#Blogmas Miracle On 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

This is crazy. He groaned the words against her mouth. “You want true love, and I’m not Prince Charming.”

Prince Charming was a weird stalker guy with a foot fetish.”  Breathless, she locked both hands behind his neck to stop him pulling away. “You taught me that.

But he married the girl.”

I don’t want to marry you. I just want you to give me an orgasm.

Just the one? You have low expectations.”

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Plot:

Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she’s given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn’t expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner.

Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife’s death looming, he’s isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn’t appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?

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Miracle On 5th Avenue was a reread for me. I rated it 5 out of 5 stars my first time reading it, and this go around was no different.

Although Miracle on 5th Avenue is book three in the From Manhattan With Love series, I whole heartedly believe you can read it as a standalone.  Eva and Lucas are complete opposites so if opposites attract is your thing, you will love these two. While Eva is the hopeless romantic, Lucas is a crime fiction author and complete cynic. Their romance takes place during the holidays but the fast approaching Christmas Day isn’t a major plot point in the story, so if you’re in the mood for a good December read but don’t want to be hit over the head with the fact that Christmas is coming, add this one to your tbr.

The romance between Eva and Lucas is a bit of a slow burn but I love Eva so much as a character that I didn’t notice. Yes, I want you to read this for the romance but honestly, I want you to read it more for Eva. Everyone could use an Eva in their life. She is a proud hopeless romantic. She blogs. She has a Youtube channel. She was raised by and adored her Grandmother. She is one of my all time favorite heroines. She is unapologetically herself and true to herself.

I can’t recommend Miracle on 5th Avenue enough. If you are looking for a fun romance amidst a New York City in December back drop between a true girl’s girl and a guy who writes books where someone always dies in the end, I think you’ll enjoy this one.

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Book Review: A Lesson In Thorns by Sierra Simons

A Lesson In Thorns by Sierra Simone

Published March 19, 2019

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.22 Stars

My Review: 5/5 Stars

Synopsis:

When librarian Poe Markham takes the job at Thornchapel, she only wants two things: to stay away from Thornchapel’s tortured owner, Auden Guest, and to find out what happened to her mother twelve years ago. It should be easy enough—keep her head down while she works in the house’s crumbling private library and while she hunts down any information as to why this remote manor tucked into the fog-shrouded moors would be the last place her mother was seen alive. But Thornchapel has other plans for her…

As Poe begins uncovering the house’s secrets, both new and old, she’s also pulled into the seductive, elegant world of Auden and his friends—and drawn to Auden’s worst enemy, the beautiful and brooding St. Sebastian. And as Thornchapel slowly tightens its coil of truths and lies around them, Poe, Auden and St. Sebastian start unravelling into filthy, holy pleasure and pain. Together, they awaken a fate that will either anoint them or leave them in ashes…
***
From the author of the USA Today bestselling New Camelot series comes an original fairy tale full of ancient mysteries, lantern-lit rituals, jealousy, money, murder, sacred torment, and obsessions that last for lifetimes…

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My Review:

This is only second read by Sierra Simone but I am left with the same emotions I experienced after reading Priest by her last year. A Lesson In Thorns is dark, sexy, twisted, grimy and feels all kinds of wrong, but feels so damn good.

The heir

The dreamer

The priest

The genius

The socialite

The saint

This is their story but we mostly follow Poe, the dreamer.

“I’m jealous of Delphine and yet turned on by Delphine. My skin is hasted by the ghost of Saint’s lip ring…and I haven’t even felt it yet. I wonder if Rebecca is willing to take me on as a sub, and I wonder if Becket ever breaks his vows. I can’t stop thinking of the expression on Auden’s face when he was hoisted over Saint and me on the gravel, I can’t stop thinking about those hazel eyes and how they would look burning over me in the heat of power and play.”

Simone reunites this group of friends and creates the perfect gothic setting. Old inherited house. Library filled with old books and secrets stuck amongst the pages. She creates the perfect dreary setting and amidst all of that, a group of friends with tension in every room they enter.

“The darkness outside feels like a living thing, seeping inside the windows and settling in the tucks and corners of the house. It’s awake, aware–but it’s not sinister, and there’s nothing baleful in its observant gloom as I push through it to get to the tower. It’s more like the night has decided to keep watch with me, as if it wants to wrap itself around my shoulders like my blanket and follow me around. Except when I finally emerge into the tower, I see that the Thornchapel night is already keeping watch with someone else.”

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It almost feels like a spoiler to discuss the romance in this book because there is more than one and you really have to just go along for the ride to see who ends up with who. There are surprises but it’s more so, characters coming into their own and I really liked seeing their evolution.

This story does have a but of a mystery element to it that I hope we get to see a bit more of in the books to come. I thought even with all the other craziness going on, Simone did a wonderful job of not letting you forget the small mystery element to the story.

I think if you don’t mind your romances a little darker and sexier, you’ll enjoy this. In true Simone fashion, she challenges you morally. The same vibes I felt with Priest, I felt with this book too but as wrong as it feels, she weaves everything together so beautifully. It is beautiful and whimsical and dark, and I couldn’t get enough of it. I need the next book asap.

xo.

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Thoughts While Reading: Junk Mail by Kendall Ryan

Okay friends, I am currently 84% of the way into Junk Mail by Kendall Ryan..which is my first read by her and I’m loving it.

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Let’s set the scene shall we? Imagine being on the receiving end of a dick pick from a number you 100% don’t recognize. Imagine that subject matter of this unexpected text message, isn’t too bad to look at. Through convo and realizing the message was sent to the Wrong person..both yours and the name of the human this subject matter belongs to are exchanged. Now..imagine that you are interviewing with a company that’s going to assist you with getting your company off the ground..Cool, right? No biggie. Now imagine that you and Mr. Dick Pic..Junk Mail *literally* are now working together. That friends, is the beginning to this amazing story by Kendall Ryan.

Junk Mail is a lot of fun so far. I only have 20% more to until finishing and I decided to take a break from reading to jot down my thoughts because 1) I’m putting off finishing it, because it’s been a lot of fun and I don’t want it to end and 2) The story has flowed so well, I’m a tad nervous about how it’s going to end. I love the idea of a dick pic turning into a romance, especially an unexpected one. This isn’t something as of yet that I have read before.

Peyton and her Grandmother live together and are basically best friends. I have no shame in admitting that I live for romances with matchmaking, sneaky grandmothers. I love the relationship between Peyton and hers. Peyton adores her and if this wasn’t a romance, I could hands down read a story of their own.

I really like Josh. I wouldn’t say he’s my favorite of love interests but he’s a good guy. There is a scene where Grandma falls and Peyton is so nervous and scared..all she can think of is to call Josh and he literally saves the night. I really liked seeing him have Peyton’s back. With this being a work place romance, there is a conversation Josh has with his homie Brody which basically results in him ignoring Peyton (in her opinion, him  ghosting her) to ensure her business takes off. While I thought it was kind of a dick move (hah!) to just stop talking to her without any explanation, I had to remember he was doing it with her best interest in mind.

“if you really care about a person, you need to let them tell their whole story. Because if you don’t, you may be losing them somewhere in the details.”

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“falling in love with you is the least professional thing I’ve ever done. And I want to keep doing it over and over again.”

Okay, I finished Junk Mail. It was a solid four star read for me, I really enjoyed it and definitely recommend it. One thing I really enjoyed about the relationship between Josh and Peyton is how easy things flowed between them. The story kicks off with this hilarious, uncomfortable situation which could totally make thing awkward. Yet, once these two met, the awkwardness was short lived and things just kind of flowed. It worked.

I liked seeing how when things got kind of crazy and Peyton storms out in her feelings, it was her two girlfriends there for her well prepared with ice cream and makeup remover. And how the next morning, she wakes up her to grandmother and her beau cooking her breakfast. Yes, to heroines with strong support systems..I’m a total Stan.

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Thoughts While Reading: Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole

May 25, 2019, 7:35 pm

Okay so Can’t Escape Love is the third book that I’ve read from Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series. We won’t get into why I am reading this series book out of orders, but I still have book two and the newest release to read.

According to my Kindle, I am currently 57% of the way and being that I’ve reached the halfway point, I wanted to do a check in and share what I think so far of the book and then share final thoughts once I’ve finished.

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I want to be best friends with Reggie, our heroine in this book. Reggie just screams black girl magic to me. She is comfortable in her own skin. She rocks beautiful curls. She is a blogger, running a website. She is a complete nerd, and I just love her. Reggie has worked her butt off with her blog and has been recently been suffering from insomnia. The only thing that used to help is watching this guy Gus’s live streams of him doing puzzles and hearing his voice.

Reggie hits him up basically like, “I’ll pay you to record yourself talking so I can get some sleep.” Gus learns that Reggie is very knowledgeable about this tv show that he has to speak about, write about so he’s like “you watch the show with me, help me become knowledgeable of it and I’ll record myself for free.” (not in those words, but basically–you help me, I’ll help you kind of deal) This leads these two to actually spending time together.

First and foremost my favorite thing about this story is the representation. I love how much I feel like I see myself in Reggie. She wears these big rimmed glasses like me and every time they are described, knowing she’s also a woman of color and a blogger.. I just can’t help but feel like hey hey the heroine could be me! Reggie also lives in a wheel chair and refuses to let her disability define her. It is interesting to see her interaction with Gus as he enters the picture. He is this total good guy, smooth, but you can tell Reggie is used to people wanting to fix her, so she has her guard up a bit, insists on doing everything herself..which is completely understandable.

Reading the clues, I think Gus may be on the autism spectrum. He is written so flawlessly and it isn’t made to be this big deal, it’s just part of who he is. I don’t know how Alyssa Cole did it, but it feels so natural. What I like about Gus is how obvious it is that he’s absolutely crazy about Reggie and his game is so strong, so smooth..

“Is there a reason you chose the chocolate tart first? she asked. His gaze darted down to her mouth and then back up. “You know the answer to that.

She shivered at the twin caresses of his vote in her ears and his breath across her mouth. “Tell me.”

I wanted to see how it tasted on your lips.” His voice had gone deeper again, to that level that made her whole body sound like a sound receptor vibrating from his eery word. 

“Then what are you waiting for?”

So far this book feels like a five star read for me. I’ll check back once I’ve finished it.

May 25, 2019, 10:00 pm

I finished! I ended up rating Can’t Escape Love 5 out of 5 stars over on Goodreads.  This book is less than a 3 hour listen to via audiobook, less than 200 pages and yet Alyssa Cole creates these emotions between Reggie and Gus, brings the tension, brings the family tension between Reggie and her family..all of these different layers to the story but ties it up in the end, enough that left me satisfied.

My heart went out to Gus there for a while. He really began to second guess himself. He began running through interactions with Reggie, which put him in his feelings..thinking she didn’t feel the same way he did.

“He’d told her that he’d give her whatever she needed. She’d never asked for him.”

I liked seeing the evolution of Reggie though. She is this strong, fierce woman of color who has always believed she didn’t need anyone.

“I’ll take care of you. Those were the exact last words Reggie had thought she’d every want to hear from someone she was dating, but coming from Gus, it wrapped her in warmth instead of pricking her anger.”

I loved seeing her stay true to herself, but allow Gus to Love her and for her to become open to loving him.

I definitely recommend this Reggie and Gus’s romance if you’re looking for a fun, quick read. I honestly would’ve loved another 100 or so pages. This is part of a series but I wasn’t totally lost having not read book 2 yet, so I think this could for sure be read as a standalone.

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