Friday, December 2, 2016

The Player (Wedding Pact #2) by Denise Grover Swank

Available on * * Goodreads


Divorce attorney Blair Hansen is convinced that marriage should be based on practicality, not passion. But as her own wedding approaches, she finds herself remembering her law school boyfriend, the only man she's ever loved, and regretting what might have been. Then a twist of fate lands Garrett back in her life, and the man who loomed large in her past is suddenly casting a shadow over her wedding, making her question everything. To complicate matters further, the job she loves is in peril, and she can feel the ‘perfect’ life she’s fashioned for herself start to crumble under her feet. Could everything she's believed about life and love be wrong? 

Garrett Lowry is a divorce attorney who's ready to settle down. The problem is that he can’t find a woman who suits him nearly as well as the one he loved and lost. He broke her heart by playing the field after their break up—something he’s always regretted. But after months of pining for Blair, Garrett stumbles across her in a freak coincidence—and then destiny keeps throwing them together, the coincidences becoming ever more unlikely. He’s convinced it's a sign they should give their love a second chance, but Blair is engaged to another man—a man who is absolutely wrong for her. 

Can Garrett convince Blair that a player once isn’t a player forever, and that happy endings aren’t just for dreamers? 


I enjoyed The Player even though I didn't care for Blair. How is that? Well the author wrote the story in such a way that even though I didn't like her I enjoyed reading it. Fantastic as that usually doesn't work. 

You first meet Blair in the first book in the series, though you don't have to read it prior to this one. I really didn't like Blair in that book so I was iffy on this one to start. Imagine my surprise when I got to the end and still didn't like Blair, but enjoyed every moment of this story. It was fun, I loved Garrett and felt bad for him at times, but it was a great read. 

Blair is...hard to like. She is so self righteous, so head in the sand won't listen to anyone else. She was burned in the past when she was with Garrett and now she is adamant that marriage should be about practicality and not passion. After all that passion and love and all of that could get you hurt again so much better to be practical about it all. She has a guy who seems to fit into her life just fine and she is getting married to him soon. She doesn't care that there aren't sparks or real love between them as she doesn't want that. And none of her friends understand why she is going through with this. But she is no matter what. 

Garrett loved Blair so long ago, but then everything got mixed up. He hasn't seen her since then, has become somewhat of a player, but recently he wants what he had with her bad. He still isn't over her and when she starts to get put in his path once again it was fun to watch the sparks fly. I loved Garrett and how he would stir up trouble and make Blair crazy. He knows there is still something there between them, if only he could get her to dump her loser fiancé. Garrett knows what is really going on and the two of them were awesome together. Yes, Blair still annoyed the heck out of me with her nope, it doesn't matter what happens or if I am still in love with Garrett I am still marrying the guy I said I would! Really by the end she was just ridiculous in her head in the sand, not listening to anyone ways. Oh I didn't like her, but Garrett was so sweet and I loved him enough for me to want them to end up together. 

Of course things works out and there are a lot of hilarious hijinks along the way. It was a fun read and now I can't wait to read Libby's book! She is the one who was there for both of her friends, the voice of reason and the one cheering both of them on, so I know I will love her even more once I read it. These books are such fun reads!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Dirty Bad Savage (Dirty Bad #2) by Jade West

dirty bad savage
Available on * * Goodreads


They say Callum Jackson's a savage.
No home. No prospects. No self-restraint.
He's red-flagged on my system, a grade-1 aggression risk, totally off limits for a woman like me.
But the rules don't allow for my dangerous games; they don't bend for my twisted desires.
Callum Jackson is the most beautiful beast. 
A beast I can't stop thinking about, can't stop wanting, can't stop hunting...
...I just pray to God this beast bites.

Sophia Harding runs a tight ship. She may work in the dregs of housing association slums, but her patch is on the way up. 
Anti-social behaviour is down, employment is on the rise, and she's even been shortlisted for estate manager of the year.
It's looking good. Really good. Until Callum Jackson completes his jail time and lands right back on her doorstep.
She could do without a guy like him on her books: a failure of the system and a pain in the fucking ass.
She should tick the boxes, do her job and keep her distance – that's what the handbook says. The handbook says no one-on-one contact, no at-risk situations, no direct confrontation of any kind.
But the handbook doesn't know of her craving for hardcore submission.
The handbook has no fucking idea how she yearns to unleash Jackson at club Explicit, where his savage can really run wild.
The handbook doesn't know shit...


Woah. Alright first things first. After Dirty Bad Wrong I expected Dirty Bad Savage to be a bit...dirtier. It was great, I loved it, it just isn't as dirty. I suppose not every story can have that level of amazing sexy time in it and still be different. But this was just as wonderful as the first. Really I have loved everything I have read by this author thus far. She is simply amazing.

So Dirty Bad Savage. What a fun story. Callum and Sophie were awesome together. Plus it is not the "normal" story, but I wouldn't have expected that from Jade. Callum is younger than Sophie, poor, doesn't believe in love or anything like that, really he is jaded. Very much so. And he has just gotten out of jail and is returning to the streets he grew up on. His only companion is a dog that he loves so much. He would do anything for his dog. He is all he has in the world.

Sophie is an estate manager and is in charge of where Callum grew up. She is from a well to do family and they all want her to do something else with her life, but she loves her job. She is also a submissive and has become increasingly frustrated with the lack of good partners for her. She wants to be dominated like Masque did, but she can't seem to find that right fit with someone. Until she meets Callum.

Now Callum has never been in the BDSM world so he is not sure what he thinks. He likes rough sex, but what Sophie really likes is a bit different, though they still make it work. They connect as people and that lets the other pieces fall into place. Oh, it was fun watching these two come together. Plus you get to see Callum's introduction into this new world (with some help from Masque! Eeek!) and it was wonderful. He had aspirations early to be an artist, but his mom always shot it down and made him feel bad about that. He hasn't really had many good chances in his life, but then Sophie shows up and things start changing. He was great. Rough around the edges, but he just worked with her. They were amazing.

Overall this was a great read. Not as dirty as the first book, but just as fun to read.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Substitute (The Wedding Pact #1) by Denise Grover Swank

the substitute
Available on * * Goodreads


The first book in a humorous contemporary romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Denise Grover Swank. 

Megan Vandemeer meant to tell her parents about her broken engagement, but a month and a half later she finds herself boarding a plane home to her wedding. Having stretched avoidance to its limits, it's time to come clean--a terrifying prospect since her mother is sure to blame her rather than her cheating, emotionally frigid ex. A couple of drinks and two Dramamine later, Megan finds herself spilling her sob story to the tall, dark, and handsome stranger in the seat next to her. 

With only one week left to save his business, Josh McMillan boards a plane to Kansas City in a last-ditch effort, leaving the details to chance. An unexpected answer is delivered in the form of the beautiful brunette beside him. Though she’s completely loopy, her honesty, openness, and humor charm him. So when she passes out before landing, he helps her off the plane--a good deed that leads to a colossal misunderstanding. Her parents assume he’s her fiancé. In a twist of fate, the mix-up might help Josh save his business, so he plays along, figuring he can help Megan too. All he has to do is stage a public break up convincing enough to appease her mother. 

Josh is only supposed to be a substitute groom, but the more time he and Megan spend together, the more their pretend engagement starts to feel real…and the less they want to break it off. Can a relationship that began as a farce turn into happily ever after? 


The Substitute was a fun read. Megan and Josh were so cute together and yes, I know things move quickly in this story, but it worked. They seemed to care for each other right away and it was fun watching them fall in love in such a short amount of time with such craziness around them. 

Megan is supposed to get married in a few days, only she broke up with her fiance 6 weeks ago. And she didn't tell her mom because she was afraid of what would happen if she did. After all she thinks her mom would just cut her off from her whole family if she upsets her enough and she doesn't want that. So she put it off and put it off and when this story starts she is on a plane going to see her family as planned. A few days before the wedding so they have a chance to get to know her fiance Jay as they have never met. 

Josh is trying to save his fathers company. He invented a great new thing that once patented will help keep his fathers company afloat. He doesn't want to see everyone lose their jobs or anything. Some people have been at the company for many many years and it would be rough to find a new job. Only another company stole his idea and submitted their patent paperwork before him. And now he stands to lose everything if he doesn't find evidence that the other company stole his idea. 

Josh of course is seated next to Meghan on the plane and she kind of gets herself into a bit of trouble mixing some medication and alcohol. It was fun. Josh of course helps her off the plane and then accidentally tells her parents he is her fiancé, and when he finds out her dad is one of the partners of the firm that stole his idea he decides to go with it. She gets a fake fiancé, he will break up with her before the wedding so her mom is not angry with her, and he gets to try and find his evidence. Only of course he starts falling for her and then things get tricky. It was so cute. I loved it. They really went well together. They keep going and going with the charade which makes it harder to come clean and it was just a lot of fun. I forgot how much I enjoy the authors books until I read this one. I really need to check out more of her work.

Oh also what is Blair's deal? I really did not like her in this story. She is supposed to be bff with Meghan, but she sure doesn't act like it. Lily, on the other hand, was so sweet. I loved how she had Meghan's back and was trying to push Josh and Meghan together. I can't wait to read her story. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Beneath These Lies (Beneath #5) by Meghan March

beneath these lies
Available on * * Goodreads


Look, but don’t touch…she might as well wear a neon sign that says it. It just makes me want her more.

She might be above me in every way, but I still want her under me.

I’ve got no business touching her rich-girl skin, but that won’t stop me from stealing a taste. Because rules were meant to be broken—especially when the prize is so fine.

In a world where nothing is as it seems, what's buried beneath these lies? 


I have really enjoyed reading this Beneath series. All of the characters are so much fun to get to know. I remember first meeting Rix earlier in the series, but I never thought we would get a book with him as a main character! I loved it!

Valentina has had a lot of not so good things happen to her in her life. She has had her share to deal with, but she is trying to move on. She has her art gallery and she paints on the side (though she doesn't want anyone to know this) and she is just a girl trying to live her life. When the young girl she hired goes missing she will do anything she can to find her. Even get mixed up with the guy she shouldn't want to be with. The most dangerous guy in the city who inexplicably makes her feel safe. He shouldn't, but he does. She shouldn't be drawn to him, but she is. Only she is also a bit confused. She hasn't been with anyone in a long time and Hennessey is also going after her affections so things can get a bit heated. 

I really liked Hennessey from the prior books, but right from the start I was rooting for Rix. There is just something about a bad guy that draws you in. You can feel the connection between these two and I loved it. I loved watching Rix push Valentina to step outside her comfort zone in a good way. He thinks she deserves everything and he wants to be there for her even if he is not who she should want. He knows she could do better, but oh I loved the two of them. Valentina is still a bit broken when they first meet, but he doesn't fix her. As she says:

"Rix hadn't healed me, but he'd given me the motivation to heal myself."

I love that so much. I love it wasn't a magical guy who fixes everything, but someone who knows and cares about her who pushes her to fix herself. It was wonderful. They were really sweet together and it was exciting seeing the darker world Rix lives in, even if you just get a glimpse. Really a great read.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Sunday, November 20, 2016

#BookBlogWriMo Day 19 & 20: Book Adaptations & Ones That Made Me Cry

Day 19: Favorite book adaptations?

Book adaptations are always hard. With a book you can get so much detail, so many thoughts and feelings, that are simply hard to get across in a movie or tv show or whatever. It is a different format, visual vs making up pictures in your head, and often times it doesn't work. Because you can get so much more from a book. Or at least I can. I always think I should watch a movie based on a book before I read the book, but then I usually read the book because I don't want it to be spoiled by the movie. Then the movie is rarely as good and yeah. 

For a while I only had a few book and movies that I like equally as well. One was Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr. I love love love dark depressing stuff and Hubert Selby Jr is about as depressing as you can get. I loved the book and the movie as they were the same, but different. They were both great. 

I also loved The Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides. I remember hearing that was going to be made into a movie and thinking how in the world are they going to do this well? I was very pleasantly surprised when I watched it as it was great and felt very true to the book. 

I feel like there was a third one, but I can't think of it at the moment...Oh well. Some more recent ones that weren't bad were The Martian by Andy Weir. The movie wasn't perfect, and I think the book was much better, but for an adaptation I think it was pretty good. The Hunger Games was another good one. I did not like the first movie, but the other ones I enjoyed more than their respective books. The second movie was much better and more what I was expecting from the first one in terms of how the movie progressed and the games and all that. 

I also loved the American version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. As with The Hunger Games I didn't enjoy that first book, but I loved loved loved books two and three. I was really hoping we would get an American version of the whole series. The Swedish movies I didn't care for as much. They just were not as good. The ending of the third Swedish movie was especially a let down. The end of the book was phenomenal, but the movie was not as badass as the book. 

Oh, the Harry Potter movies were also really good. I am not a super fan, but I did enjoy both the books and the movies. I may even go so far as to say the movies, especially the first few, I enjoyed more than the books. 

I think that is about all. I'm sure there are other adaptations I have enjoyed, but I can't think of them at the moment. 

Day 20: #SobbingSunday – What book made you cry?

Honestly there is only one book that I have seriously cried at. Only one to make tears stream down my face. I am not a crier. I don't know why, but I just don't cry a lot. I tear up, I get choked up, but tears streaming down my face? It just doesn't happen. 

So what was the one book that had me crying so much? What book made me such a mess that when my husband came to say hello I had to just shoe him away cause I couldn't handle it? What book had me crying so hard I had to literally set the book aside at times because I could not read the words for the tears in my eyes? That afterwards my husband came to check on me and cuddled with me on the couch and put on My Little Pony (my happy place) to try and make me feel better? 

Bright Side by Kim Holden. Man this book. I...I am not a crier, but this book was intense. It was beautiful. It was wonderful. It was so much more than I had expected. I went into it knowing a lot of people cried while reading it so I knew something bad/sad/touching would happen. I started reading and thought okay. I think I know what will happen and I am ready for it. I am ready to read this and it won't be that bad. Only I wasn't ready. I don't think you can be ready for this book. Even if you know what happens, even if you are expecting it, the writing is so amazing you can't help but feel so much for these characters. Bright Side was seriously amazing and left me with such a book hangover I couldn't imagine moving on. Sure, sometimes I get a really intense book and it takes awhile to read something else, but not like this one. Thankfully Gus was already out. People said just read it. Read Gus, it will make everything better, and it did. It was hard, it was really difficult, but it was healing as well. 

There you do. If you want a good cry read Bright Side. Even if you know what will happen nothing can prepare you for this story. It was a remarkable read and it still sticks with me even today. 

When I Was Yours by Samantha Towle

when i was yours
Available on * * Goodreads


“Marry me.”
“What?” I stared back at him, unblinking.
He moved closer, taking my face in his hands. “I love you, Evie. I look into the future, and the only thing I see clearly is you. Marry me.”

What’s an eighteen-year-old girl who was madly in love with her nineteen-year-old boyfriend say? 

Of course, I said yes.

Twenty-four hours later, I married Adam Gunner at a Vegas chapel to the sounds of “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi. Not the best omen. I get that now.

Then, exactly one week later, I left him. I walked out, leaving behind my wedding ring, annulment papers, and my heart, and he never knew why. 

I haven’t seen him since. Not in ten long years.

Now, he’s here, standing before me. Looking at me with nothing but hurt and hatred in his eyes, he wants answers. 

Answers I can’t give.


I had high hopes for When I Was Yours as I read another book by this author and really enjoyed it. Unfortunately this one didn't work for me. It was predictable right from the beginning, I didn't understand the characters or why they did/didn't do things, and it just wasn't very good. 

Evie and Adam were in love at a young age. Adam didn't have a very good home life, his parents were a nightmare, not really caring about him at all. They wanted him to take over the movie business from his dad, but he doesn't want that. When he meets and falls for Evie he finally has something in his life worth sticking up for. Worth angering his parents and going off and doing his own thing. And Evie? Well her sister is really sick and dying when she meets Adam, her life is a bit complicated working to try and make money to take care of her sister and father. She doesn't have a lot of time, but when she meets Adam there is just something there between them. They fall in love quickly and when they graduate high school Adam asks her to marry him, so they do. It is wonderful until Evie leaves him without a word as to why just a few days later. He is crushed, he tried to find her and her family for years, but was never able to. 

The book opens when Adam is indeed running the family business, he still has a horrible relationship with is mother, and he is not very happy. He used to sleep with any girl who looked like Evie and pretend it was her, but he has been trying to stop. Until he sees the real deal again. Until he sees Evie. 

Now Evie hasn't had it easy these past years either. She never got over Adam and hasn't really been living since she left him. Now the story is told in current time with some flashbacks to what happened, and so this meeting comes pretty early on in the story. This is also where the story started to fall apart for me as I simply didn't understand Evie. She won't tell Adam what happened, why she left, and I didn't understand why. You have to wait until the very end before you get to know that what you probably guessed right away was actually what happened. And then I really didn't understand why Evie never came back to Adam, never told him what happened. It is not like she would be ruining something for him or breaking someones trust that she cares about or something. She had some super lame reason that I obviously thought was not good enough. Not good. 

Besides the story being predictable and not so good the writing was also not as good as I had expected. It was too descriptive and the beginnings of chapters read like an outline. It was very unexpected since I really enjoy the other story I read by this author. So yeah. Not the book for me. It could have been okay had Evie told Adam right away why she left and then they tried to work things out. Then seeing Adam work through everything and try to trust her again and all that would have worked. Instead the end was way too easy, Adam is upset then suddenly not and everything is fine and dandy. No. Just no. 

Rating: ★ ★

Friday, November 18, 2016

#BookBlogWriMo Day 12-18 catch up

Wow. So I started off this month thinking this would be great, I will have a different prompt to write about every day, no problems! Then things kind of derailed fairly quickly. The elections last week in the States played a big part in that. I'm still angry about that, about the fact that Trump will be president, and the need to try and do something and protest and have my voice be heard has been really strong. This is the first time I have ever felt the need to get out there and do something. To not just sit back and let things happen. It is the first time since I moved to Germany that I wish I were still living in the states. So it has kind of consumed my life. Though I think I am starting to get a handle on it and trying to do some constructive things to try and help. So I am going to try and get this all up to date and back on track for the rest of the month. We shall see how it goes.

Day 12: #SwoonWorthySaturday – What character are you swooning over?

Instead of listing characters from books that I love love love I thought I would go with more the characteristics that I love to read. Who, in general, do I swoon over as there are prompts later in the month for individual characters.

Now as I said the other day I am not super romantic. So super swoon-worthy, super romantic, super sweet usually doesn't do it for me. Some of my favorites of the tattooed guys. The guys with dyed hair and piercings. The guys that are so tough, but so sweet, and definitely a bit of alpha in there. Oh, alpha males are hot! As long as they don't get too out of control and are jerks and try to control someone in a bad way. But yeah, tattooed alphas? Yes please!

I also like broken people. I love broken people who learn to love again and everything gets better for them. People who have had horrible things happen to them, but they learn to overcome them. There is something about reading about someone who is so down, so lost, so sad and watching them become happier and oh I just love it.

Day 13: Where do you get your books from?

As I mentioned in a few different other posts I get a lot of my books from the library. I am so glad I can still check out ebooks from the library back home. I don't know what I would do without it!

I also get a lot of books for free on Amazon, when they are on sale. I have a problem for sure. There is no way I could ever finish all the books I already have in the cloud and on my Kindle and yet I still one click more if they look interesting and are on sale/free. Yeah.

I also get a lot of books for free for blog tours and to review. I love that. I love getting to help authors out by reviewing their books. I have found some authors I love this way. They contacted me to review their book and I said sure! and the book was amazing.

Day 14: #MotivationMonday- What is the most inspirational book that you have read?

I am going to keep this one short as I have no idea. Inspirational in what sense? When I think inspirational I think of books that I don't read. Like Chicken Soup for the Soul and stuff like that. Not that there is anything wrong with them, it is just not my cup of tea. 

Now as I am thinking about it and writing this maybe Kyland by Mia Sheridan. Kyland the character is one of the best I have ever read. He is so selfless it is incredible. The things he does for those he cares about is really humbling. He doesn't have much, all the characters don't have much, but they still are willing to help wherever they can. This book, this story, these characters, made me want to be a better person. A person who devotes more time to trying to help others. To trying to ease some of their pain if I can. It was a beautiful story and did inspire me to work to be a more selfless person. 

Day 15: #TackyTuesday – What the tackiest plot or line you ever read?

This one will definitely be short as I am not sure. I am sitting here trying to think of tacky plots or lines and...I don't know. I think part of it is I don't usually think of books or lines as being tacky. I like a lot of books, I like a lot of quotes, and I hate a lot as well. But tacky? I really can't think of anything. 

Day 16: #WomanCrushWednesday – Who is your favorite heroine?

For sure Alice from The Collectors' Society by Heather Lyons. She is my all time favorite heroine. She is so badass but also fragile. She will go on the warpath and take down anyone who dares to hurt those she cares about but, as she says, her bones are like glass which can soften and melt so easily when something happens to those she loves. She is so beautifully written. Smart and fierce and everything all rolled into one. She can take care of herself and others, but she can also let them take care of her when need be. She would get angry when someone tried to mess with those she cared for, but she didn't run off half-cocked without a plan to get revenge. She took those minutes or hours she needed to get everything organized so she can take the bad guys down. I loved that she wasn't just a super badass female character. She had depth and was a fully rounded person. She was fragile at times which actually made her stronger. I love her so so much. If you haven't read these books you should. She is freakin amazing. 

Day 17: #ThrowbackThursday -What was your favorite book growing up?

How much time do you have? That is like saying what is my favorite book right now. I could go on and on. I have always been a reader. Always. From my parents reading me books when I was little, to getting books for Christmas, to going to the library every few weeks to get new books, I read all the time. So instead of listing them here I am going to link back to a post from the 2014 BookBlogWriMo talking about my favorite books as a child. It covers a lot of the ones I remember loving and still have fond memories of. You can check it out Here

Day 18: What book events are you most anticipating?

My friend and I go to one book signing every year. It started two years ago when we went up to London to meet a favorite author of ours, only she ended up not being able to attend. We just went to see what it was all about since we had paid for our tickets already and ended up having an amazing time. It was so wonderful to be surrounded by people who also love books and the same kinds of books as I do. To talk to people all day about what you read, who you read, everything was amazing. We knew hardly any of the authors, but we talked to almost all of them and had such a good time. So we then decided that every year we would pick out one to go to and get our book fix again. 

This year we went to Four Brits Book Fest which was awesome. Next year we are going to RARE 17 right here in Berlin!! That is very exciting!! To have such a great author event right here in my adopted hometown! Oh, I can't wait. I am still working my way through the authors I haven't read before (and finding some amazing new authors to follow). It is going to be great!!

Phew! There you go. The last few posts so I am all caught up. Now to see if I can stay on track and post every day for the rest of the month...