August Reading Favorites

My reading momentum in the month of August definitely slowed down. August is this really awkward in between’ish transition month for me. I feel it every year. It’s the last month of summer and being a mood reader, I am in this weird space where I want to binge the last bit of my summer reads but am also *over* the heat and ready to dive head first into my fall reads.

So faithfully every year, it’s like I go super hard in July then August comes around and I’m at this fork in the road..like what do I go with? I did read a few things though that I really enjoyed, so let’s chat about them.

First up is Cowboy to the Core by Maisey Yates.

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Maisey Yates’s writing abilities always stir up all kinds of emotions in me that I don’t expect to see coming. This is book six in her Gold Valley series, which I highly recommend losing yourself in if you’re looking for a new series. At this point, we are seeing two very prominent families start to blend, but in this one we follow Jamie Dodge and Gabe Dalton. Both of these characters are so complex and so complicated. Maisey Yates writes some of the best internal conflict I’ve ever read. It adds so much depth to the romance itself. It was perfection. I could go on and on about Cowboy to the Core, but seriously, just go read it!

Yes, your girl has already started reading my favorites, the holiday romances. Next up is Christmas With the Marine by Candace Havens.

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Christmas With the Marine is Ben and Ainsley’s romance. The two meet in the shopping mall where Ben has been tasked with buying toys on behalf of his unit for the local Toys for Tots drive. While there, he runs into Ainsley who is this rich girl, who has started her own business as a professional shopper..out here trying to make money of her own and get out of the shadow of her rich parents. This romance takes place in Texas which is always fun to read being that I live here. I love seeing the military camaraderie, but we also see the flip side, where Ainsley’s Dad doesn’t think Ben is good enough for his daughter. I thought that a very interesting perspective to add to the story. It definitely presented some conflict. I really enjoyed it. It hooked me right from the beginning, but I won’t say anything further! In December, you’ll be able to see more of my thoughts.

My next two..

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First up is Grading Curves by Naima Simone.

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Naima Simone serves us a wonderfully served, interracial, older woman younger man, professor/student novella and I loved every minute of it. Long story short: lady professor goes to get a tattoo and gets way more than that. Goes to work a few days later and tattoo boo is one of her new students. Simone’s writing is magical and I am so obsessed with her. I need to own everything she’s written.

My last favorite was literally less than 30 pages, but trust me on this: Sierra Simone wrote it, so it’s the right mixture of dark, sexy as hell and twisted.

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The Seduction of Molly O’Flaherty is a historical, is erotic. I loved the hell out of this book. The story kicks off with something really messed up to Molly. We don’t witness the act, but we see how Molly is struggling with it. Enters Silas who Molly has been friends with for a very long time.

“Somehow along the way, somewhere in our decade of friendship, I’d fallen in love with Silas. And I had no way to process that revelation.”

In true Sierra Simone fashion, it feels so wrong, but is so damn right, it’s irresistible. You get hooked. Despite what has happened to Molly, she makes the choice to sit still, and allow Silas to take care of her, to take what’s happened away and make her feel good.  I’ll leave you with this:

“Whose little doll are you?” Silas asked. “Yours,” I whispered, still malarial from my incredible orgasm. “Only yours.” “And who takes care of you?” “You do.” He nudged in a little deeper, so I could feel exactly how much he stretched me. “And what are you going to do right now?” “Not move.” I moaned as he slid in farther. “Let you make me feel good.”

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Let me know your reading favorites from August and until next time, take care of yourselves.

xo.

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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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#SmutAThon TBR

Round 3 of #SmutAThon is kicking off tomorrow and your girl is excited. This has become one of my favorite readathons, so shoutout to Ginger from GingerReadsLainey and Riley from Riley Marie on Youtube for making it happen!

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This go around the ladies created a Bingo card to utilize throughout the week..

Bingo Card

Being that I work all week I’m not going to stress myself out even more and focus on the actual Bingo card or necessarily any of the prompts but I do have a few books Id like to get read and we’ll just kind of see how it goes.

First, on audio I’ll be listening to Imperfect Match by Corinne Michaels and Melanie Harlow.

Imperfect Match

I am a total Melanie Harlow fan and have yet to read a Corinne Michaels romance so I’m excited to see what together these ladies will do. I also have this on ebook so I’ll be able to follow along.

My next pick, is Wrong To Need You by Alisha Rai.

Wrong to Need You

Currently I have the audiobook for this downloaded on Scribd, but I’m not getting my hopes up. I’m already listening to a book on Scribd so I have a very big feeling that in their usual douchebaggery..this one will disappear as soon as I’m finished with my current read. If so, I do own a physical copy and checked out the ebook from the library to tag team it.

Also from the library, I have the audiobook of A Duke By Default by Alyssa Cole.

A Duke by Default

Between having the physical copy along with the audiobook, I’m pretty sure I can finish reading this one during the readathon. I have been completely reading this series out of order. I recently finished Can’t Escape Love, which is from Reggie’s perspective and Reggie is the sister of Portia..who is the heroine in A Duke By Default. Portia was kind of a hot mess in A Princess in Theory so I’m excited to read her story.

I needed some Emma Hart on this list!

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I for real want to read everything by Emma Hart at some point, but The Roommate Agreement seems like it’ll be the perfect mixture of fun and sexy which if this next week is anything like last week..I’ll need.

Lastly, some Sierra Simone.

a lesson in thorns

I wish so badly that there was an audiobook to A Lesson In Thorns by Sierra Simone. I have read a few pages into it and it seems very dark, and atmospheric and all around the kind of story I could get swept away by while listening. I do though, own both the physical copy and ebook and if I had to pick a main book for the week to accomplish, this would be it. It has been sitting on my nightstand for over a month now.

To everyone reading this and participating in the readathon, good luck to you! Let me know what you’re reading.

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The Breakfast Club Book Tag

Hello friends! It is tag time. Sara @ The Bibliophagist is who I saw do this one in particular, and being a total Breakfast Club Stan, I had to do it.

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Princess

A book that is very popular and pretty on the outside, but you thought was uninteresting on the inside

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Sorry, not sorry. 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne didn’t do it for me. I wasn’t feeling Darcey whatsoever. My fingers were crossed that good ol’ Tom would redeem the story for me, and was greatly disappointed..and her brother?! *insert eye roll emoji..please* Darcy’s brother was so immature. Before you ask..No, I haven’t read The Hating Game. One day, I do plan to give it a try but with how disappointing this one was, I’m in no particular rush.

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Criminal

A book that looks/sounds rough and bad, but ended up completely stealing your heart

PRIEST

One word honey, PRIEST.  It’s so damn wrong but is so damn perfect all the while. Sierra Simone crafted this very atmospheric, totally forbidden, so sexy, romance. I was hooked from beginning to end.

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Brain

A book that made you think

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When We Left Cuba really made me think.  My mind was all over the place while reading this book, thinking of Beatriz, and her role as a woman during the time period the book is set. It was one of those reading experiences that really had me questioning “what would I do?” I liked how Chanel Cleeton bought to light that not all women just sat by as things were happening. So many actually took action and did their part.

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Basket Case

A book that people would call you crazy for reading

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The reason I chose Midnight at the Wandering Vineyard for this one is because, readers I’m close to are big on, “Don’t read it, if you’re not feeling it.” I completely roll with this, if I’m hating the book. I didn’t hate this book, but it sure as heck lost my interest to the point, for a while I was reading yet had absolutely no idea what was going on.

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Athlete

A book that made you struggle/work to finish

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I had to go with Women of the Dunes by Sarah Maine for this one. Was it entirely the books fault..? Not necessarily, however it did play some part in it. Once upon a time, about 3 years ago, historical fiction was my jam! Honestly, it feels like I woke up one day and no longer had any interest in reading it. So, I was a little nervous in picking this book up and once I began reading it, it wasn’t doing it’s best to rekindle my historical fiction flame. I do however think if you are a historical fiction fan, and are especially fond of Scottish history, you’ll love this.

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Feel free to answer these questions if you’re up for it. I’d love to see your responses. If you decide to do it, let me know so I can see your answers. xo.

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Hello Spring, Romance Recommendations

I feel like when it comes to seasons, we as readers have two favorite seasons which really dictate what we’re reading. Everyone knows their go to’s for the fall: darker, cozier stories to curl up with. Then there is the summer, where our to be read piles look more light and fun. I know me personally, I don’t give Spring the respect it deserves. It’s the time of year for new beginnings. The flowers are beginning to bloom. The weather is getting cooler (unless you live in Texas, it already feels the the dog days of summer) and Its the perfect time to treat yourself to a trip to your favorite coffee shop’s patio to sip on a cool drink with a good romance for a bit. If you’re unsure of what to read, I have you covered. These are a few romances I have read in the past few months that I think will be perfect for those cool spring days.

First up is My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren. This is a fun friends to lovers romance. I like what the author duo did with this one. Very realistic to how a lot of people nowadays are tackling the dating world, the plot line involves online dating. A group of co-workers have an upcoming office party, and one of the friends puts out the idea that the crew should all create online dating profiles on a website. Millie (the only female in the crew)  goes along with the plan, yet creates a fake profile, and finds herself matched up with Reid, one of the guys from the crew. This was my first read by Christina Lauren. It was a lot of fun and very realistic. As someone who hasn’t been on the dating scene for a long time, it was a fun glimpse into how much it has changed with continuous growth of technology. If you want a fun, sexy romance that’s easy to get into, and follows a crew of educated professionals, I highly recommend this one.

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My next recommendation is Priest by Sierra Simone. I would probably recommend you read Priest in any season but if you’re looking for a romance that is going to hook you through the last page, you have to give this one a try. Priest is told from Tyler, aka Father Bell’s perspective. In the outskirts of Kansas City, Tyler is a Priest at a local Catholic Church and his world Is flipped upside down when Poppy stumbles in to make confession. Without even trying really, Simone created a very dark, atmospheric vibe that is almost an ode to how forbidden Tyler and Poppy’s romance is. Things that take place in this book are so wrong but so damn sexy. Save this one for those cool, breezy Spring nights..it is totally worth the read.

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Only You by Melanie Harlow is my next recommendation. At this point it’s safe say, Melanie Harlow can do no wrong in my book. I love her characters. I love her Detroit, Michigan settings and although I read the third book in this trilogy first, I absolutely adored Only You. This one has the accidental baby trope, but with a twist that works and won’t leave you pissed off..I know that is a lot of romance readers’ least favorite trope! It is also a friends to lovers romance, which I think Spring is perfect for. Emme and Nate have been neighbors for years. They are complete opposites. Nate is a divorce attorney and well known player. Emme is a wedding planner who wears her heart on her sleeves and has been known to fall easily and quickly. Let’s just say the unexpected baby with a twist makes the two see each other in a totally new light and brings them much closer than they every could’ve expected. I loved it.

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Fall in love with the romance of Grip and Bristol, in Kennedy Ryan’s Grip. This is the novella to the Grip series and I loved it so much. This is an interracial romance and although it’s a novella it truly sets everything you need for the rest of the series up. It takes place out in California and I could feel the breeze from the ocean on my skin and the whole vibe was just perfect. Grip is a poet/rapper and he’s become one of my favorite heroes of all time. I love what he stands for. This is a quick read, but one you won’t want to miss a thing with. It is fun and forbidden and sexy yet entangled with some very important dialogue. Amazing, you have to read it.

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My last recommendation is another shorter romance, but one that was a lot of fun and that’s Catastrophe Queen by Emma Hart. Mallory is a complete klutz which adds a funny, lighthearted edge to this story. Her family is freaking hilarious. Her aunt and grandfather have been staying with her and her parents and there is the constant banter back and forth. I was literally sitting at the coffee shop one morning reading this on Kindle laughing hysterically, I know people around had to think I was losing it. Mallory literally steps into traffic due to not paying attention and is almost ran over by her soon to be boss, Cameron. Long story short, this is their romance. I am finding that I really enjoy office romances, so if they are a setting you enjoy, I can’t recommend Catastrophe Queen enough. You are literally on edge the entire time, worrying that Mallory is going to spill coffee all over the edge, or trip over her own feet.

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Thank you for reading. I hope you found something in this list that you want to add to your Spring to be read list. Share some of your Spring reading recommendations with me. xoxo,

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