Tuesday, January 6

Buddy Review: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

Even though it is now 2015, Rowena and I have three more reviews from 2014 to post. And for October's review, we roped Holly into reviewing with us! Holly and I both read the Ivy League series by Sarina Bowen and Wena took our word for it on how awesome this series was. Here's our thoughts on The Year We Fell Down.

The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen
published by Rennie Road Books
The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves has someone else.

What now?

She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead.

Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He’s way out of Corey’s league.

Also, he’s taken.

Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the “gimp ghetto” of McHerrin Hall. Over tequila, perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands.

They’re just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she’s falling. Hard.

But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won’t, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness — one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who’s afraid to love her back.
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult
Series: The Ivy League #1

Wena: I'm so glad that you both told me to get these books read because I didn't stop reading the series until I was completely done with the books. I absolutely loved all of them.

Holly: I have to be honest, I liked this book a lot, but I didn't love it. The hero dragging his feet with his ex and the heroine's tendency to brush everyone off frustrated me.

Ames: Ok, I really enjoyed this book too and I have to agree with you Holly, Hartley staying with his girlfriend so long got on my nerves too. But at the same time it created a delicious tension between him and Corey that I just ate up. I loved how their friendship developed and created those moments of tension. So good!

Holly: I liked the progression of their friendship, too. I really felt their connection. I also liked how Hartley adopted them and took them home.

Wena: I hear you, Holly. When Hartley kept the girlfriend around after she got back, I wanted to strangle him.

The tension was delicious. I loved seeing their friendship grow and then kind of stall when Stacia came back. The way that they were both struggling, I loved all that angst. 

What do you mean, brush people off?

Holly: She didn't connect with other people, and held everyone at arms length. It isn't that I don't understand why, it's just that after a while it started to read like she was constantly feeling sorry for herself.

Wena: I guess because I understood why she thought the way that she did, it didn't bother me.

Ames: I felt like I understood why she kept people at arms length, so her attitude didn't bother me.

Holly: Like I said, I understood. I didn't even hold it against her. As a matter of fact, I mentioned on Goodreads how impressed I was with her overall attitude - and how realistic it seemed based on the circumstances. Still, there were times I became impatient with her.

I like that she was pragmatic about her injury, but a lot of the time her actions didn't match her thoughts/the things she said about it.

I did like how once they committed, the drama between them was done. There were still outside conflicts, but they were solid as a couple. I also liked how quick Hartley was to claim Corey once he came to his senses about his girlfriend.

Wena: Same here. I liked that Hartley didn't wait a week before claiming Corey the way that he did. The way that he did it made me smile. I just really liked him. I liked the person that he was with Corey and I really liked the way that he brought Corey and oh crap, what's the roommates name again? Anyway, I really liked that he took them home with him for Thanksgiving.

Ames: And yes! Once Hartley decided to go for Corey he was all in and things were good. The other thing I liked was how Corey decided to join a sports team again. She showed she could do it and I thought that showed real growth for her character.

Wena: Like you, Ames, I really liked that Corey tried to get out and get her own life instead of feeling sorry for herself.

Holly: I liked that Corey found her own sport, too. I loved when she put the team captain in his place. It cracked me up how she took advantage of them not wanting to hurt her.

Ames: Ok, how cute were they playing the hockey video game? I loved that!

Wena: I really liked seeing the game RealSticks show up throughout the entire series. It was great. The hockey video game was adorable. I loved how Corey practiced to beat Hartley. Haha.

Hartley had a really great outlook on life in general and I really liked that his eyes were opened to the way that things were for Corey. And when he told her that he loved her that first time? When he said, "I love you, Corinne" and used her full name? I about swooned. LOL.

I loved what he did for his Mom in the end after reconnecting with his Dad and the relationship that he had with her. They were good together and I was glad that she was so open and willing to love his friends along with him.

Ames: I liked how the whole series was connected. RealSticks was a good common theme besides the hockey team itself.

Hartley was definitely swoon worthy! Definitely a good guy. One of the better heroes I've read this year, actually.

His mom was awesome.

Holly: His mom was really awesome. The side plot with his dad was interesting. I was curious about him and I liked the way that played out.

Wena: I also really liked the friendship between Corey and her roommate. What the heck was her name? Della? Delia? Dana? I can't for the life of me remember. But I liked the friendship that blossomed between them. The way that the roommate was a friend to Corey first and foremost and didn't treat her like an invalid.

Besides Stacia, was there anything else you guys didn't like about the book? I can't think of anything.

Holly: Just how closed off and almost whiny Corey was. She wasn't quite annoying, she just occasionally skirted the line. But, again, Bowen saved her - and the story, really - when they got together and all that angst was done.

Ames: I really enjoyed the book and can’t really think of anything that I didn’t like enough to complain about. Haha. Friends to lovers always gets me and this is classic friends to lovers.

Ok, I’m giving this one 4 out of 5 stars, or a B+. What about you guys?

Wena: My grade is 4.5 or an A.

Holly: I'm going to give it a 3.75 out of 5, or a B-.

Thursday, January 1

New Releases - January 2015

Happy New Year everyone!!

Wow, it's really hard to believe that a year has gone by and another is starting! :) While 2014 wasn't a great blogging year for neither Ames and I, one of the constants has remained this monthly new releases post. We hope to continue this year as well; however, we want to mix it up a little bit. We've been doing it this way since August 2009... Guess it's time for a change :) Let us know what you think of it!


Auto-Buy Authors

The Honeymoon Arrangement by Joss Wood (UK ed.) - Jan. 01
One Night of Trouble by Elle Kennedy (After Hours, B03) - Jan. 05 
Halfway Perfect by Julie Cross - Jan. 06
Make It Last by Megan Erickson (Bowler University, B03) - Jan. 06
Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols (Superlatives, B02) - Jan. 13
Burned by Karen Marie Moning (Fever, B07) - Jan. 20
Playing Dirty by HelenKay Dimon (Bad Boys Undercover, B01) - Jan. 27
Risking It All by Tessa Bailey (Crossing the Line, B01) - Jan. 27
Catching a Falling Heiress by Laura Lee Guhrke (American Heiress in London, B03) - Jan. 27
The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn (Smythe-Smith Quartet, B04) - Jan. 27
We Can Work It Out by Elizabeth Eulberg (The Lonely Hearts Club, B02) - Jan. 27
Forsaken by Kelley Armstrong (Otherworld Stories, B13.3) - Jan. 31
Once Upon a Rose by Laura Florand (La Vie en Rose, B02) - Jan. ?

Definitively getting...

Trust No One by Jayne Ann Krentz - Jan. 06

 I've enjoyed the first book

For Keeps by Rachel Lacey (Love to the Rescue, B02) - Jan. 27
The Dragon Conspiracy by Lisa Shearin (SPI Files, B02) - Jan. 06
Bridged by Kendra Elliot (Mason Callahan, B02) - Jan. 27

Second Chances

The Earl I Adore by Erin Knightly (Prelude to a Kiss, B02) - Jan. 06

Maybes/On the radar

The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson (The Witches of Echo Park, B01) - Jan. 06
Silver Thaw by Catherine Anderson (Mystic Creek, B01) - Jan. 06
Back to Before by Tracy Solheim (Second Chances, B01) - Jan. 06
If the Viscount Falls by Sabrina Jeffries (The Duke's Men, B04) - Jan. 27
I Was There by Gayle Forman - Jan. 27


So, what do you think of the new format? As much as we liked commenting on new releases, it was getting a bit redundant because, let's face it, there are just a number of reasons why we'd pick up a book right? :) As such, we're trying to come up with categories that are self-explanatory. In any case, feedback would really be appreciated :) And of course, if we forgot any new releases, let us know!!

Wednesday, December 17

Buddy Review: Whatever Life Throws at You

**After taking a bit of a break, Rowena and I have decided to catch up on our monthly reviews. So this here is September's review. You can blame me for the delay since my reviewing muse up and left me this year. I think she's making overtures about coming back, but we'll see. **

Whatever Life Throws At You by Julie Cross
published by Entangled Teen
Life loves a good curveball...

Seventeen-year-old Annie Lucas's life is completely upended the moment her dad returns to the major leagues as the new pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals. Now she's living in Missouri (too cold), attending an all-girls school (no boys), and navigating the strange world of professional sports. But Annie has dreams of her own—most of which involve placing first at every track meet…and one starring the Royals' super-hot rookie pitcher.

But nineteen-year-old Jason Brody is completely, utterly, and totally off-limits. Besides, her dad would kill them both several times over. Not to mention Brody has something of a past, and his fan club is filled with C-cupped models, not smart-mouthed high school “brats” who can run the pants off every player on the team. Annie has enough on her plate without taking their friendship to the next level. The last thing she should be doing is falling in love.

But baseball isn't just a game. It's life. And sometimes, it can break your heart...
Genre: New Adult
Series: n/a

Ames: All right Wena, what did you think of Whatever Life Throws at You?

Personally, I really enjoyed it! I was wondering how Julie Cross was going to manage a teenage heroine falling for a baseball player but I thought she did a really good job of the age thing and explaining how Annie and Jason got to know each other and develop a relationship. It was sweet.

Wena: Me too!

I was curious to see if I'd like this because I HATE the older person and younger person story line but I thought Cross did a great job of showcasing Jason's struggle with his feelings for Annie. I loved that she didn't breeze over the fact that she was a minor and make it out to "not be a big deal". I also thought that their story is a real story. It happens more than we think and it was nice to have an author pay attention to the little details of Jason and Annie's relationship. The little things that brought them together because I may hate older guys who date minor girls but I was rooting for Jason and Annie throughout the entire book.

Ames: I agree, I liked that Cross didn't gloss over their age difference. It created some good conflict too. Especially when one person wants to take their relationship public and the other doesn't.

There was so much else to like about this book besides the main characters. I loved Annie's dad and that he had a physical handicap. And the team's PR person...what was her name? And even the characters I didn't care for, they were well drawn and fleshed out. You know who I'm talking about, the owner, Annie's friend's dad. Jerks.

Rowena: I know exactly who you mean. I can't stand parents that let their kids get away with stupid shit and try to buy their way out of things. Discipline your kids and they won't go about town acting a damn fool. Ugh. The owner was a POS too. I didn't like him at all. But you're right...they were well written characters. Fleshed out and not one dimensional at all.

Crap, what the heck was the PR lady's name? That's going to bother me because I really liked her. I thought she was a good fit into Annie's life. Well, both Annie and Jason.

Cross did a great job of writing all of those different relationships. This review is probably going to be boring because I can't remember if there was anything that I didn't like. Hmm, let me think on it.

Ames: LOL I know what you mean. Even Annie showing her age, sometimes acting immature, didn't bother me because Cross did such a good job describing her character. What makes this book so good for me was how the relationship developed between Annie and Jason. Like their first meeting? When she pretended to interview him? And their texting and even how they were there for each other during the tornado. All the other good stuff was gravy to their main dish.

I also liked that Annie was an athlete in her own way. Yeah Jason was a baseball player, but she was a serious athlete too and I loved how they ran together. So good.

Rowena: Oh yeah. When he showed up at her first meet and tried to be all undercover about it, I was grinning like a madwoman. It was so freaking cute.

I really liked seeing Jason and Annie come together. From their first meeting (that interview was pretty awesome) and all of the other meetings in between, you saw their relationship grow. It wasn't one of those love at first sight things. They struggled with their feelings, with each other and trying to find middle ground with each other and I loved reading about it all. Like Brenna would say, their struggle was real. LOL.

I also liked that the Dad had a handicap and I also liked that it wasn't shoved in our faces and forced into the storyline. It was just one more element to the story that just felt real. This was one of those real life, real problems kind of stories and I completely loved it. Why in the world have I not read anything by this author before? I'm trippin'.

Ames: Ok, for some odd reason I thought you did read this author before? If you haven't, then you definitely need to. She does the athlete heroine well. She has a series about a gymnast and another one with a young genius doctor who's forced to go back to college. She's really good!

Rowena: Nope, this was my first Julie Cross book though I think that I have read a short story of hers in one of those anthologies but looking back, it didn't really stick out to me. But this book? Yeah, I won't be forgetting these characters any time soon. Adored them!

I'd give this book an A. You?

Ames: You definitely need to check out her other contemporary books. I can't say anything about her paranormal series.

I'm giving this one a B+. I highly recommend it.

**Ok stay tuned for three more reviews! Hopefully we can get them done...oh shoot! I was going to say hopefully we can get them done by the end of the year but that's so soon!! Christmas is right around the corner!! How did that happen?!**

Monday, December 1

New Releases - December 2014

OMG, we're coming in the last stretch of the year!! Can't believe it's already December! Where did November go?!? Where did 2014 go?!?

Well it seems that this year, the publishers were looking out for us. They wanted to make sure that we have enough money for the holidays... because there are so few releases. You thought the November list was a short one? December is even shorter ^_^;

Here is what we're looking forward to. Please, please, please, let us know if we missed something! Because I'm pretty sure I'm going to go in withdrawal this month...

December 01

Hell on Wheels by Z.A. Maxfield
published by Riptide Publishing
Nash is the reliable one in the Holly family, the guy everyone counts on to keep things going. His genius twin brother is off at university, so Nash runs the family’s auto repair business and cares for his partially-paralyzed little sister while his crackpot father invents. His life seems mapped out for the foreseeable future, however much that might chafe.

So when Wolf’s Landing actor Spencer Kepler-Constantine lands in his life, Nash is ready for a diversion. Spencer is in the middle of a very painful, very public divorce and isn’t ready for a relationship—not that Nash wants one. But they both need a friend, especially one with benefits.

As they grow closer, Nash starts to see his family in a whole new light. Do they really need him so badly? Or does he simply need to be needed? Then Spencer’s ex reappears with a grand romantic gesture, and Nash has to figure out what he wants—and how to get it—before Spencer’s gone for good.
Genre: m/m, Contemporary
Series: Bluewater Bay, Book #3

Ames: I love ZA Maxfield's writing so I'm really looking forward to this one.

December 02

Wickedly Wonderful by Deborah Blake
published by Berkley
Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them…

Though she looks like a typical California surfer girl, Beka Yancy is in fact a powerful yet inexperienced witch who’s struggling with her duties as a Baba Yaga. Luckily she has her faithful dragon-turned-dog for moral support, especially when faced with her biggest job yet…

A mysterious toxin is driving the Selkie and Mer from their homes deep in the trenches of Monterey Bay. To investigate, Beka buys her way onto the boat of Marcus Dermott, a battle-scarred former U.S. Marine, and his ailing fisherman father.

While diving for clues, Beka drives Marcus crazy with her flaky New Age ideas and dazzling blue eyes. She thinks he’s rigid and cranky (and way too attractive). Meanwhile, a charming Selkie prince has plans that include Beka. Only by trusting her powers can Beka save the underwater races, pick the right man, and choose the path she’ll follow for the rest of her life…
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Baba Yaga, Book #2

Nath: I've been enjoying this series so far. I liked the concept of Baba Yaga. It'll be interesting to read Beka's story :)

Razed by Shiloh Walker
published by Berkley
Tattoo artist Keelie Jessup can handle that someone else has claimed the man of her dreams. She’s just not pleased with her remaining options…

Keelie doesn’t believe in the “perfect man.” But the men who are worth the trouble are usually taken—like her business partner Zach Barnes. After a string of bad luck and the lost chance with Zach, Keelie decides that maybe flying solo—and living with suppressed desires—is the key to happiness.

As a photographer, Zane Barnes has an eye for the human form, and his eyes can’t get enough of Keelie’s curves. Unfortunately, Keelie is like most women—always fawning over his little brother, Zach. Zane is about ready to give up, but then a few stolen moments at his brother’s wedding have him thinking maybe there’s a chance there after all. Now he just has to prove that the perfect man does exist…for her.
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Barnes Brothers, Book #2

Ames: I read Wrecked last year and really enjoyed it. I'm so glad that we're getting more. Keelie wasn't my favourite character in Wrecked but I liked Zane so I can't wait to see how Shiloh Walker gets me to like Keelie. LOL

Nath: It's nice to see that Wrecked is getting a sequel. I'll probably be picking this one up.

The Good Chase by Hannah Martine
published by Berkley
Gleann, New Hampshire’s annual highland games always deliver the best of Scottish culture—rowdiness, rugby, whiskey, and unexpected romance…

Even though Shea Montgomery’s swanky bar and distinguished palate have made her a highly regarded whiskey connoisseur, she’s happiest bringing her favorite spirit to various highland games around New England. Her demanding ex made her wary of men obsessed with money and status, and she’s now more comfortable in the country than in the city. Still, when a gorgeous rugby player straight from Wall Street barrels into her whiskey tent, she’s tempted to change her mind…

J.P. Byrne went from poor beginnings to international high roller by using his charisma and wit, and holding fast to his dreams. A strong, independent woman like Shea is exactly what he’s looking for, only he has no idea how to prove he’s more than his three-piece suits—especially when he’s spent years doing just the opposite.

But as Shea and Byrne battle old demons, they discover together that the best remedy for past pain is a good, stiff shot of present pleasure…
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Highland Games, Book #2

Nath: Ms Martine is an author I've been wanting to try. This one sounds interesting. I need to find out what highland games are... Seems so many books are about it!

The Winner Takes All by Jennifer Dawson
published by Kensington (Zebra)
For two stubborn people…

Corporate mogul Shane Donovan sees the ultra-cool, collected Cecilia Riley as an ice queen—even if he can't deny that, on the surface, she's a work of perfection his body can't ignore. Forced to spend two weeks in the same house for his sister's upcoming wedding, Shane senses that deep down Cecilia mirrors his need. And he's determined to draw her into a sexy game that will melt away her reserve…

Losing is not an option…

Career-driven Cecilia Riley has just enough free time in her schedule to head out of town for her brother's wedding. But her agenda is thrown for a loop by the presence of Shane. Though his over-confident attitude leaves a lot to be desired, his insanely hot body has kept Cecilia up nights. Unsure what game Shane is playing, Cecilia takes the bait, bent on resisting him at all costs.

But as Shane and Cecilia discover, temptation follows no rules…
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Something New, Book #2

Nath: I liked the cover... For some reason, the female model makes me think of the 1920s LOL. But it's not. Anyway, the blurb had me at 'corporate mogul.' Yes, I'm still nostalgic.

December 16

Running Hot by HelenKay Dimon
published by Harpercollins Publisher (Avon Impulse)
Camped out at a resort bar in Fiji, CIA operative Ward Bennett may look like he's on vacation but he's really deep undercover, hunting a dictator on the run. Ward may be on the job, but that doesn't mean there isn't time for the sexy female bartender. That is, until she drugs him.

When Tasha Gregory discovers the hottie on the barstool isn't who he pretends to be, her MI6 training kicks into gear, and she has no choice but to take him out. Problem is, Ward's not an easy man to put down for long. More than once, his interference almost blows her surveillance operation—and her ability to keep her heart to herself.

As the situation heats up, these two must decide whether they can trust one another—and quick. Working together might just make everyone safer, but getting close enough for comfort … might just get them killed.
Genre: RS
Series: Bad Boys Undercover, Book #00.5

Ames: I like the sounds of this one. I like Dimon's writing and I really enjoyed the last few books I've read by her. I like female spies/assassins and the fact that it sounds like Tasha can dish it out as well as Ward? That makes me intrigued.

Nath: Whew, seems like Ms Dimon is having a really busy year :) I'll give this one a chance since it's a prelude ;)

December 30

A Deadly Web by Kay Hooper
published by Jove
John Brodie is a Guardian, a member of a secret network devoted to protecting the psychics in his charge from a ruthless—and virtually invisible—enemy.

Tasha Solomon is unaware of the Guardians’ existence—until the night the gifted psychic suffers a shocking and violent attack and Brodie saves her life.

Tough and resilient, Tasha isn’t used to depending on anyone. But the assault has left her vulnerable. Tasha doesn’t know who wants her dead, or why, or when he will strike again. Now, she is forced to trust that Brodie can guide her through a tangled web of danger and deception toward a safe harbor—one she fears is more elusive with each dark and endless night.
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Series: The Bishop Files, Book #2

Nath: Kay Hooper is one of my favorite author so this is an auto-buy. Love the cover and I'm looking forward to it :) I hope though it's a bit more straightforward than The First Prophet.

You're So Fine by Kieran Kramer
published by St. Martin's Press
Lacey moved to Hollywood to make it big. What she got was an actor boyfriend who fathered a child with a woman who abandoned the baby. Lacy breaks up with the cheating boyfriend, but not before she adopts the baby, Henry, because his father has no interest in him.

Lacey takes a job assisting an actress, Monica, and gets another actor boyfriend who is set to work on a movie in South Carolina with Monica. Then her boss and boyfriend run off to Italy. Left with a new resolve to never date another actor, she moves into the South Carolina lighthouse she had rented for Monica.

However, her ex-boyfriend has sublet the lighthouse to an actor. They agree to share, and while Beau seems like everything Lacey has vowed to avoid, he may be just what she and Henry need…
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: None

Ames: Awwww, this one sounds cute. Even the baby isn't putting me off. LOL

Nath: LOL, the cover just pulled me in :)

Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare
published by Harpercollins Publisher (Avon)
Your presence is requested at romantic Twill Castle for the wedding of Miss Clio Whitmore and... and...?

After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She's inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement.

Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother—even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself.

So how does a hardened fighter cure a reluctant bride's cold feet?

● He starts with flowers. A wedding can't have too many flowers. Or harps. Or cakes.
● He lets her know she'll make a beautiful, desirable bride—and tries not to picture her as his.
● He doesn't kiss her.
● If he kisses her, he definitely doesn't kiss her again.
● When all else fails, he puts her in a stunning gown. And vows not to be nearby when the gown comes off.
● And no matter what—he doesn't fall in disastrous, hopeless love with the one woman he can never call his own.
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Castles Ever After, Book #2

Ames: I still need to read Romancing the Duke but I'll still get this one. I need to have it on hand for when I do read RtD. LOL

Nath: I haven't been in the mood for historical romances this year... However, Ms Dare is always on my radar :)

Variables of Love by M.K. Schiller
published by Ominific Publishing
Meena Kapoor knows what life has in store for her. She’s in her senior year at Stanford where she’ll graduate summa cum laude, and then she'll begin her interviews…her marriage interviews. Meena is Indian, and she’s never questioned that she’ll have an arranged marriage like all the generations before her. Not until she meets gorgeous math major Ethan Callahan. Ethan’s sense of humor and free spirit stir feelings in Meena she didn’t know were possible outside of Bollywood movies. It doesn’t hurt that he’s charming and has the uncanny ability to make math sound like poetry, but Meena knows their equation makes no sense in the real world.

Ethan finds himself intrigued by the mysterious, beautiful girl, whose big, brown eyes reflect great pain. His goals are small at first—to make her smile and then to laugh. But he soon wants more, and though Meena is adamant they have no future, he convinces her to share the present. Ethan believes every problem has a solution, but with cultural expectations and family duty among the variables, they will struggle to solve the ultimate equation to find happiness.
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: None

Ames: I've been buying anything that hints at geeky characters and Ethan sounds like one for sure. I also like that Meena is a woman of color. I've seen some positive reviews for Schiller's other books (average rating for books on GR is around 4) so I'm looking forward to this one.

Nath: Interesting one. I like geeky characters too!

December 31

Bounty Hunt by Kelley Armstrong
published by Subterranean Press
After the Australian Pack murdered Reese William’s parents, the young werewolf fled and took refuge with the American Pack. Three years later, the Australians have tracked him down and dispatched a bounty hunter to bring him back. That bounty hunter, though, isn’t the lone wolf who owes them a debt, but his twenty-one-year-old daughter, Madison. Maddie is determined to bring in the rogue Reese for her ailing father. Now Reese has to show her the truth behind her client's lies…and avoid being the cause of an all-out war for Elena and the rest of the American Pack.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Otherworld Stories, Book #13.2

Nath: Fair warning, Bounty Hunt is a graphic novel. Not usually my genre, but it's Ms Armstrong. Plus, Reese is one character I've been wanting to know more about :)

Saturday, November 1

New Releases - November 2014

How was Halloween? Did you get scared? LOL. Can you believe I saw no kids?!

Well here we are, the beginning of a new month. Two little short months and it'll be the end of the year. Okay, that's scary! I'm so not ready for 2014 to be over! One thing I can't understand though is that the holidays are coming... so why are there so few new releases?! Don't they know that books make great gifts?

I think this is one of our shortest list ever! So make sure to point out any books we forgot!

November 3

Starstruck by LA Witt
published by Riptide Publishing
Hollywood is full of dirty secrets, but Carter refuses to be Levi’s.

Retired action star Levi Pritchard has made a quiet life for himself in the sleepy logging town of Bluewater Bay, Washington. But then Hollywood comes to film the wildly popular television series Wolf’s Landing, and Bluewater Bay isn’t so sleepy anymore. His retirement doesn’t stick, either, because he’s offered a part on the show—exactly the kind of complex role he’d always wanted, one that would prove him more than a glorified stuntman. The only catch? He has to stay in the closet—no matter how attractive he finds his co-star.

Carter Samuels is the critically-acclaimed male lead on Wolf’s Landing. And now, the man who inspired him to take up acting—and made him realize he’s gay—is joining the cast, and sparks fly between them instantly. But Carter is out and proud and determined to stay true to himself.

Remaining just friends is the only thing to do, as both the studio and Levi’s disapproving, dysfunctional family keep reminding them. Except their friendship deepens by the day, tempting them with what they can’t have but both desperately need.
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Series: Bluewater Bay, Book #1

Ames: Eeeeeee!  I love Witt's writing and everything about this blurb makes me feel all grabby hands. Haha

November 4

The Kraken King by Meljean Brook
published by Berkley
A former smuggler and thief, Ariq—better known as the Kraken King—doesn’t know what to make of the clever, mysterious woman he rescues from an airship besieged by marauders. Unsure if she’s a spy or a pawn in someone else’s game, Ariq isn’t about to let her out of his sight until he finds out…

After escaping her fourth kidnapping attempt in a year, Zenobia Fox has learned to vigilantly guard her identity. While her brother Archimedes is notorious for his exploits, Zenobia has had no adventures to call her own—besides the stories she writes.

But when she jumps at the chance to escape to the wilds of Australia and acquire research for her next story, Zenobia quickly discovers that the voyage will be far more adventurous than any fiction she could put to paper…
Genre: Steampunk
Series: The Iron Seas, Book #4

Nath: The Kraken King serial was a good experiment, but seriously, nothing beats a complete, full-length novel!! A bit disappointed they chose that cover in the end... it's a bit generic and doesn't tell much about the story.

Ames: That is a bit of a weird cover, now that you mention it. I'm behind in this series, but not too badly so I hope I'll get to this book eventually. I didn't buy it while it was in installments because I was behind in the series. But I'll buy the completed novel.

Romancing the Billionaire by Jessica Clare
published by Penguin (InterMix)
The Billionaire Boys Club is a secret society. Six men of astonishing wealth. But there’s one thing money can’t buy. When it comes to love, success doesn't come so easily...

Jonathan Lyons. Playboy, billionaire, and adventurer, he lives life on the edge. When he hears that his mentor, Dr. Phineas DeWitt, had a secret journal that leads to a legendary artifact, Jonathan takes action. It stirs his blood, but it comes with a heady challenge: DeWitt's daughter Violet. She has what Jonathan needs. And she’s not giving it up it to the man who broke her heart.

Violet is Jonathan’s weakness—he’s still in love despite their volatile breakup a decade ago. But Violet’s memories have a sharper edge. She’s never forgiven him for abandoning her. Or so she thought. When Jonathan’s attentions turn seductive, she’s in danger of falling for him all over again. And she can’t help but wonder... does he really want her, or just what she's hiding?
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Billionaire's Boys Club, Book #5

Ames: I'm really liking this series. I don't care so much for the secret society but meh, whatever brings hot guys together. haha

Make You Remember by Macy Beckett
published by New American Library (Signet)
He's about to make his own luck.

Ten years ago, Beau Dumont made the biggest mistake of his life by letting his high school sweetheart, Devyn Mauvais, slip through his fingers. Now the reformed bad boy will stop at nothing to get her back. Even if it means tricking her into taking a job on his family's riverboat, The Belle of the Bayou.

When Devyn's old flame offers her a stint at the boat's day care center, she sees it as a chance to prove she isn’t just the descendant of Louisiana's most infamous voodoo queen. Besides, it beats leading ghost tours around New Orleans. Yet when it comes to Beau, Devyn's all business. She won't give the sweet-talking playboy another chance to break her heart.

But there's no escaping temptation in such close quarters, and Beau won't be satisfied with a few hot nights with the girl he's always loved. As he strives to make Devyn remember the good times, will his passion and heart be enough to regain her trust?
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Dumont Bachelors, Book #2

Nath: Ms Beckett has been on my to-try list of authors for a while. Finally, I read the first book in this series, Make You Mine. While I didn't fall in love with it, I' curious enough about Beau and Devyn to mark this one down on my radar and I want to give another go at this author :)

Tainted Blood by M.L. Brennan
published by New American Library (ROC)
In the third Generation V novel, Fortitude Scott proves that working with family can be deadly…

Former film student Fortitude Scott is finally gainfully employed. Unfortunately, said employment happens to be with a group of sociopathic vampires—his family. And as much as Fort is loath to get too deep into the family business, when his brother, Chivalry, is temporarily unable to run the territory, it’s up to Fort to keep things under control.

So when the leader of a powerful faction of shifters turns up murdered, Fort finds himself tracking down a killer while navigating dangerous rivalries, longtime grudges, and hidden agendas. Even with the help of his foxy kitsune sidekick, Suzume, he’ll need to pull out all the stops to hunt for the paranormal assassin.

But as he calls on fairies, witches, and ghouls for help, he discovers that the problem is much bigger than a single dead werebear. The supernatural community is preparing for a massive shift in power within the Scott family leadership—and Fort has landed right in the middle of the gathering storm.…
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Generation V, Book #3

Nath: Speaking of the to-try authors list... Here's another author I've been wanting to give a chance. I'm always on the look out for new urban fantasy series and this one was brought to my attention as I've really heard good comments. Only three books behind, not bad :P

November 6

Closer than You Think by Karen Rose
published by Headline
Psychologist Faith Corcoran is desperate to escape the stalker who’s made her life a nightmare for the past year—desperate enough to run to the one place that has been her nightmare far longer. Both boon and bane, her recent inheritance of her grandmother’s old house in Cincinnati offers sanctuary in which she can start her life anew, but requires that she face the dark memories that still resonate to this day.

But she has no idea how close to home her fears still are.

Two college girls have gone missing in the area, and FBI Special Agent Deacon Novak is called to work on the case. When his inquiry unexpectedly leads him to Faith, he finds a beautiful and brave woman he can’t help but fall for. Soon they’ll discover that this seemingly simple investigation is anything but. Reaching back decades into Faith’s own past, it will shatter everything she believes to be true and will give terrifying new meaning to flesh and blood.
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Faith Corcoran, Book #1

Nath: Woooohooo!! My Karen Rose fix of the year! Can't wait to get my hand on this book. Already pre-ordered and hoping it'll come early :) Happy that the book is Deacon's... He was a really interesting character.

Ames:  Ok, more than any other author, I feel so bad about falling behind on Rose's series. :( I still buy her books faithfully because its Karen Rose so I know I'll get this one. Maybe that'll be the author I glom in 2015. :P

Nath: I sure hope so, Ames!! Because Ms Rose is definitively one of my favorite authors!! Oh, P.S. This is the UK edition release... For the North American one, it only comes out in February 2015. No way I'm waiting that long ^_^;

November 10

There's Something About Ari by L.B. Gregg
published by Riptide Publishing
Buck Ellis’s future seems pretty damn bright. With a full college scholarship in hand, he’s going to ditch Bluewater Bay and pave the way for his kid brother Charlie to do the same. The only fly in Buck’s ointment is his ten-year addiction to his best friend since second grade, his true love, and his Achilles heel: Ari Valentine, Mr. Least Likely to Succeed.

But then Buck’s mother dies, changing everything, and five years later, his future is still on hold. It’s a struggle to keep food on the table, a roof over their heads, and Charlie on the straight and narrow. Buck can’t afford any temptation, especially in the form of the newly returned, super hot, super confident, super successful television star Ari Valentine.

ADHD poster-child Ari Valentine left for Hollywood and lost everything, including his bad reputation. Then the breakthrough role of his skyrocketing career lands him back in Bluewater Bay, to the stunned disbelief of, well, everyone. But there’s only one person Ari longs to impress—the only person who ever really mattered to him, the person he left behind: Buck Ellis.
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Series: Bluewater Bay, Book #2

Ames: I like Gregg's writing. I like friends to lovers. And so I'm thinking I'm probably really going to like this book.  Also, this isn't the first series coming out of Riptide Publishing by various authors and I really enjoyed the other one, forget the name, but it was good.

November 11

Love, in Spanish by Karina Halle
published by Karina Halle
The companion to the highly emotional, scandalous and USA Today Bestselling love story - LOVE, IN ENGLISH - is finally here! Love, in Spanish is a Love, in English follow-up novel told from Mateo Casalles' POV. While Love, in Spanish touches on some events that happened in LIE (you know the ones!) it is a whole new story set a year later that continues with Vera and Mateo's "happily ever after."
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Lie, Book #2

Ames: I'm one of those sick people who likes to read about cheating in books. LOL So book 1 in this series, told from Vera's POV was one I enjoyed. I cannot wait to see how the HEA unfolds from Mateo's point of view.

November 17

Gifted by Kelley Armstrong
published by Kelley Armstrong
Contains two holiday stories, one Otherworld Pack and one Cainsville.

Gabriel’s Gargoyles - (Cainsville short story, Gabriel Walsh as 10 year old narrator.) Cainsville was where a boy could walk the streets safely at any time, day or night. Where everyone was genuinely glad to see you, and didn’t think you were odd if you wanted to keep to yourself. Because Cainsville was odd, too. For one thing, there are the gargoyles. Unlike the others, Gabriel doesn’t believe the carven creatures came to life to protect the town. It’s up to a boy to protect himself. Now he’s determined to find the last hidden gargoyle by winter Solstice. He’s also determined to get the perfect gift for his great-aunt Rose. And when Gabriel Walsh sets goals, he achieves them…one way or another.

The Puppy Plan (Otherworld novella, 9 year old Logan Danvers as narrator.) When Logan finds an puppy abandoned by the roadside a few days before Christmas, he knows it’s a sign. His sister Kate wants a dog more than anything. Their parents aren’t completely opposed to the idea. It’s just a bad time. A really bad time. Maybe next year. But now there’s this puppy in need of a home and a girl in need of a pet… So how does a boy who always plays by the rules give his sister what she wants most?
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: connected to Otherworld series and Cainsville series

Nath: Huge fan of Ms Armstrong :) This one sounds cute! Can't wait to read more about Logan and Kate. Jeez, they're 9 already?!

November 18

Captivated by You by Sylvia Day
published by Berkley
Gideon calls me his angel, but he's the miracle in my life. My gorgeous, wounded warrior, so determined to slay my demons while refusing to face his own.

The vows we'd exchanged should have bound us tighter than blood and flesh. Instead they opened old wounds, exposed pain and insecurities, and lured bitter enemies out of the shadows. I felt him slipping from my grasp, my greatest fears becoming my reality, my love tested in ways I wasn't sure I was strong enough to bear.

At the brightest time in our lives, the darkness of his past encroached and threatened everything we'd worked so hard for. We faced a terrible choice: the familiar safety of the lives we'd had before each other or the fight for a future that suddenly seemed an impossible and hopeless dream...
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Crossfire, Book #4

Ames: I just finished book 3 in preparation of this one. Oh man did I hate how that one ended so abruptly!!  And I can already guess at how book 4 will end the same way...and how.  But I'm going to have to wait and see how that'll pan out in the book. I just love the drama between Eva and Gideon. Coming from another writer, I don't think I'd put up with the back and forth but Day just has a way with words. :P

November 25

Black Widow by Jennifer Estep
published by Simon & Schuster (Pocket Books)
There’s nothing worse than a cruel, cunning enemy with time to kill—and my murder to plan.

With wicked Fire elemental Mab Monroe long gone, you’d think I could finally catch a break. But someone’s always trying to take me down, either as Gin Blanco or my assassin alter-ago. Now along comes the Spider’s new arch-nemesis, the mysteriously named M. M. Monroe, who is gleefully ...more
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Elemental Assassin, Book #12

Nath: Looking forward to see in which direction the series is heading in. While predictable, this series is still quite enjoyable.

Night Shift - Anthology
published by Berkley
Four masters of urban fantasy and paranormal romance plunge readers into the dangerous, captivating world unearthed beyond the dark...

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh delivers a smoldering story with Secrets at Midnight , as the scent of Bastien Smith’s elusive lover ignites a possessiveness in him that’s as feral as it is ecstatic. And now that he’s found his mate, he’ll do anything to keep her.

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews’ novella, Magic Steals , when people start going missing, shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau and jaguar shifter Jim Shrapshire must uncover the truth about the mysterious creatures responsible.

From Milla Vane—a warrior princess must tame The Beast of Blackmoor to earn a place among her people. But she quickly discovers that the beast isn't a monster, but a barbarian warrior who intends to do some taming himself.

It’s seer Makenna Frazier's first day on the job at Supernatural Protection and Investigations, and her first assignment is more than she bargained for when bodyguard duty for a leprechaun prince’s bachelor party goes every which way but right in national bestselling author Lisa Shearin’s Lucky Charms .
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: various

Nath: It's rare that I'm interested in all the stories in anthology, but it's the case with Night Shift! :) Can't wait to read Dali and Jim's new story! They're one of my favorite couples in the Kate Daniels series. Ms Singh's novellas are always cute :P I've also enjoyed Ms Shearin's new series and looking forward to see what Mac is up to. As for those who are unaware, Milla Vane is Meljean Brook's new pseudonym... I'm intrigued by this new series of hers.

Ames: I'm looking forward to read this for the Singh and Vane stories. I'm still behind in the Kate Daniel's series. Is that a surprise?

Nath: No ^_^; LOL.

The Duke's Guide to Proper Behavior by Megan Frampton
published by Harpercollins Publisher (Avon)
All of London knows the Duke of Rutherford has position and wealth. They also whisper that he’s dissolute, devilish, and determinedly unwed. So why, everyone is asking, has he hired a governess?

When Miss Lily Russell crosses the threshold of the Duke of Rutherford’s stylish townhouse, she knows she has come face to face with sensual danger. For this is no doting papa. Rather, his behavior is scandalous, and his reputation rightly earned. And his pursuit of her is nearly irresistible—but resist she must for the sake of her pupil.

As for the duke himself, it was bad enough when his unknown child landed on his doorstep. Now Lily, with her unassuming beauty, has aroused his most wicked fantasies—and, shockingly, his desire to change his wanton ways. He’s determined to become worthy of her, and so he asks for her help in correcting his behavior.

But Lily has a secret, one that, if it becomes known, could change everything . . .
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Duke's Behaving Badly, Book #1

Ames: I really really enjoy Meg's writing and I'm really looking forward to this book. I like when a no good dissolute rake is brought down by a child and a governess. LOL

Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean
published by Avon
She is the most powerful woman in Britain,
A queen of the London Underworld ...
But no one can ever know.

He is the only man smart enough to uncover the truth,
Putting all she has at risk . . .
Including her heart.

The fourth book in New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean’s incredible Rule of Scoundrels/Fallen Angels series. These four dark heroes will steal the hearts of their heroines and the readers alike! This is the last in the Rules of Scoundrels series—Chase’s story

By day, she is Lady Georgiana, sister to a Duke, ruined before her first season in the worst kind of scandal. But the truth is far more shocking—in London’s darkest corners, she is Chase, the mysterious, unknown founder of the city’s most legendary gaming hell. For years, her double identity has gone undiscovered . . . until now.

Brilliant, driven, handsome-as-sin Duncan West is intrigued by the beautiful, ruined woman who is somehow connected to a world of darkness and sin. He knows she is more than she seems and he vows to uncover all of Georgiana’s secrets, laying bare her past, threatening her present, and risking all she holds dear . . . including her heart.
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Rules of Scoundrels, Book #4

Ames: I read all three of the previous books in late summer (the only historicals I read this year practically) and I really enjoyed them. I had guessed Chase's secret so the grand reveal wasn't a big surprise. And I cannot wait to read her story!

Broken Open by Lauren Dane
published by Harlequin (HQN Books)
Beyond passion. And beyond their control…

Five years ago, Tuesday Eastwood's life collapsed and left her devastated. After an empty, nomadic existence, she's finally pieced her life back together in the small Oregon town of Hood River. Now Tuesday has everything sorted out. Just so long as men are kept for sex, and only sex…

Then she met him.

Musician and rancher Ezra Hurley isn't the man of Tuesday's dreams. He's a verboten fantasy—a man tortured by past addictions, whose dark charisma and long, lean body promise delicious carnality. But this craving goes far beyond chemistry. It's primal. It's insatiable. And it won't be satisfied until they're both consumed, body and soul…
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Hurley Boys, Book #2

Nath: I read the first book in this series. Rock stars seems to be a new trend in contemporary romance :P I'll probably pick this one up when I'm in the mood :)

Ames: I'm always in the mood for a Lauren Dane book!  LOL She's consistent and I love her writing. I really enjoyed book 1 in this series and I cannot wait to read this one. I really like the Hurley brothers.

The Shape of My Heart by Ann Aguirre
published by Harlequin (HQN Books)
Some people wait decades to meet their soul mate. Courtney Kaufman suspects she met hers in high school only to lose him at seventeen. Since then, Courtney's social life has been a series of meaningless encounters, though she's made a few close friends along the way. Especially her roommate Max Cooper, who oozes damaged bad-boy vibes from every pore.

Max knows about feeling lost and trying to move beyond the pain he's been on his own since he was sixteen. Now it's time to find out if he can ever go home again, and Courtney's the only one he trusts to go with him. But the trip to Providence could change everything because the more time he spends with Courtney, the harder it is to reconcile what he wants and what he thinks he deserves.

It started out so simple. One misfit helping another. Now Max will do anything to show Courtney that for every heart that's ever been broken, there's another that can make it complete.
Genre: New Adult
Series:2B Trilogy, Book #3

Ames: I really enjoyed book 1 in this trilogy and I'm waiting for book 3 to come out before jumping into the second one. Delayed gratification. But I hate waiting for books in a series to come out so I'd rather just read them all closer together. You know? But anyway, Max was introduced in book 1 and I really felt for the guy so I'm glad he's getting a story and a love of his own. Awwww.