Jen’s Favorites of 2018

I read some amazing books from old favorites and made at least one new favorite this year!

The Sins of Lord Lockwood by Meredith Duran. Tortured heroes are my jam and Lockwood fits the bill in spades. The man was kidnapped right after his wedding and sent to a penal colony under a false name. The wife he left behind is heartbroken, but instead of seeking the answers she wants, she asks only for an heir. Lots of feels in this one.

Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs. As much as I love the Mercy Thompson books, I adore the Alpha and Omega spinoff books even more. Here, Charles has been put in charge of the pack in Bran’s absence. We get to spend some time with the Wildlings in this one and get a peek behind the curtain of Leah’s character. Anna and Charles are so great together. I can’t get enough of them.

[Read more…]

Sara’s Favorites of 2018

by Sara

Overall, 2018 was not a great year for me as far as books and reading went. I felt like I struggled to be interested in a lot of the books that came out this year and then was let down by some favorite authors whose books elicited little more than a “Meh, it was ok” from me. These books, listed below, are the books that broke through my reading malaise and wowed me.

Thirsty by Mia Hopkins – I’ll be honest, I was prepared to hate this book. However, what I found when I got down to reading it was an original and sexy redemption story.

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole – This Contemporary Romance is one of the times when it’s safe to judge a book by its cover. Just like its cover art, A Princess in Theory is a vibrant and beautiful romance. Funny and heart-felt it, it warmed my heart to see the geeky girl get the prince and be able to use her enormous and sexy brain.

[Read more…]

Review: Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean

Reviewed by Jen

Man, I really enjoyed this book. To be fair, Sarah McLean is an auto by author for me at this point. But that isn’t what made me love it… The story featured some of my favorite tropes, done to perfection, along with two main characters who I simply adored, both together and apart.

Felicity is a 27-year-old wallflower, who actually used to be a darling of the ton. I liked her in The Day of the Duchess, as one of the ladies who was “trying out” to be that hero’s new wife. Obviously, she was not meant to be the heroine of that tale. Still, her family is pushing hard for her to have a good match because they are in dire financial straits and they need a rich husband for her to solve their problems. Unfortunately, since she has fallen out of favor with those who were once her friends, it is a task that is growing increasingly difficult.

Those “friends” have actually grown quite cool. As the story begins they are teasing and pushing her too far, so far in fact that she declares that she is engaged to the duke who threw the ball they were attending. With that pronouncement, she unknowingly threw herself into a battle between two brothers with a deep grudge against each other. [Read more…]

Jen’s Favorites of 2017

For me, 2017 meant a lot of writing, moving (again!), and some new responsibilities at work. When you put all of that together, it equals less reading time for me than ever before. I came across a few stinkers (which I had to mark DNF despite my best efforts,) but I also added a few awesome books to my keeper-shelf.

Every year, Ilona Andrews tops my list. Part of me is embarrassed that I must be so predictable by now, but it’s not my fault. I swear if she ever writes something I don’t love, I’ll tell you the truth. In this case, it’s a two-fer in her Hidden Legacy series. White Hot and Wildfire came out really close together and that was a huge win for fans who had to wait an age after Burn For Me. These books feature such fantastic world building, awesome characters, and an exciting enemies-to-lovers romance that hit all my happy buttons. If you’re a Kate Daniels fan or heck, if you like UF/PNR at all… jump into this series with both feet. I promise you won’t regret it. [Read more…]

Review: The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

Reviewed by Jen

This book sucked me in right away with so many feels. It is a second chance at love story, which can be hit or miss for me. In this case it fired on all cylinders. The biggest reason? Artfully crafted flashback scenes which made me ache for this love lost.

We had the set up for this relationship in a previous book in the series. One of the Soiled Sisters pushed her brother-in-law Malcolm into a pond because he was unfaithful to her sister Sera. I am never OK with a cheater story, which made it very difficult for Mal to be a sympathetic hero. But I have to hand it to Sarah McLean, because she made me want these two to be able to work it out. [Read more…]

Review: A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

scot in the darkReviewed by Jen

It can be fun to throw the rules of historical romance out the window every so often. Sometimes, the heroine doesn’t have to be a virgin or a widow. Sometimes, it’s a man’s sexual history that can cause shame. Sometimes, it’s not a title that can determine who is most worthy. Sarah MacLean knows this. And that’s a big part of what made me enjoy this story. It also helped that I love Beauty and the Beast stories and MacLean is one of my favorite historical authors. [Read more…]

Review: The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean

rogue not takenReviewed by Jen

Rakes and rogues are generally not my favorite types of heroes, but Sarah MacLean is one of those authors where I know I’m going to like the book without even having to read the blurb. And again here, she doesn’t disappoint. King didn’t make me fall in love at first sight, but there is more to him than meets the eye. He’s not simply the debaucher his reputation implies. But it takes a special woman to get to the truth of him. [Read more…]

Jen’s Favorite Books of 2014

2014

Another great year of reading is drawing to a close and looking back on some of the awesome titles, I am tempted to go back and read some of them again.  Now that I have put this list together, I realize that just about every one is part of a series. Some of them can stand alone. Others are better read after enjoying earlier installments.  But either way, for me, they are the cream of the crop from the year 2014. [Read more…]

Review: Never Judge a Lady By Her Cover by Sarah MacLean

never judge a ladyReviewed by Jen

This book was absolutely worth the wait. Don’t get me wrong. I hated waiting for it. But I have to take my hat off to Sarah MacLean.  She has clearly been planning this book for a long time. There have been so many little clues, so many little pieces placed on the gameboard for this story to play out.  And as it all fell into place, I couldn’t help but be completely and totally impressed with how she did it. [Read more…]

Review: No Good Duke Goes Unpunished

no good dukeReviewed by Jen

Temple has lived the last 12 years of his life suspected of a murder he didn’t commit.  Not even he is sure of his own innocence.  He only knows that –shortly before his father’s wedding– he woke in a strange bed, covered in blood. The bed belonged to his would-be step-mother, and she was never seen or heard from again.  Since that day, he has lived in disgrace under the moniker “The Killer Duke.” He is part owner of a notorious gaming hell, and he fights night after night in the ring.  The only respect he has, he’s earned with his fists.

Mara is the woman he is accused of killing, and she most assuredly is not dead.  She wasn’t even trying to fake her death all those years ago, merely her ruin –so she could escape an arranged marriage to a man old enough to be her father.  [Read more…]