Tuesday, August 26

Buddy Review: Make It Count

**Rowena and Ames are back together! I got over my dreaded epic slump (4 books read in July, wtf??) and was able to get us back on track for August. Thanks to Nath for covering for me in July. :P **

Wena: Our August book of the month is Make it Count by Megan Erickson. It was Ames turn to pick a book and when she suggested this one, I was all about it.

Make It Count by Megan Erickson
Published by William Morrow
Kat Caruso wishes her brain had a return policy, or at least a complaint hot-line. The defective organ is constantly distracted, terrible at statistics, and absolutely flooded with inappropriate thoughts about her boyfriend’s gorgeous best friend, Alec…who just so happens to be her brand new math tutor. Who knew nerd was so hot?

Kat usually goes through tutors like she does boyfriends—both always seem to bail when they realize how hopeless she is. It’s safer for her heart to keep everyone at arm’s reach. But Alec is always stepping just a little too close.

Alec Stone should not be fantasizing about Kat. She’s adorable, unbelievably witty, and completely off limits. He’d never stab his best friend in the back…

But when secrets are revealed, the lines of loyalty are blurred. To make it count, Alec must learn messy human emotions can’t be solved like a trigonometry function. And Kat has to trust Alec may be the first guy to want her for who she is, and not in spite of it.
Genre: New Adult
Series: Bowler University #1

This book is about a boy and a girl, the boy is a nerd and the girl is the nerd's best friend. She needs a tutor and Nerd Boy becomes her tutor and a bond is formed, then feelings grow and BAM, they're in love with each other. This book caught all of the highs, the lows and most definitely all of the drama.

Rowena: You're not going to believe this but on my drive to San Francisco, I made Brenna (my 15 year old daughter) read this book out loud to me. It was like having my own real life audiobook. She didn't read for that long but she read long enough that I was curious enough to want to read on.

I liked this book. It wasn't perfect but I did like it. I liked Alec. I liked Kat. I liked the secondary characters, even Max. Do you think Shanna and Cam will end up together or someone completely different?

What did you think?

Ames: Lol! Did she talk with different voices for the dialog?

I agree. At the beginning some writing stuff popped out for me but as the book went on those issues smoothed out. But right from the get go I was into these characters. I liked Kat and loooved Alec. I had quite a few lol moments.

As for Shanna and Cam, I'm going to say no. I want to know what happened between them but don't want to see them together. Let's switch things up and avoid the obvious sequel bait!

Rowena: Are you kidding me? She read in a monotone that if I had to sit and listen to for hours on end, I'd be bored to death. LOL. I had to pay close attention to the words she was saying because it was that, that kept me interested. She's a terrible audiobook reader because she kept stopping to laugh at whatever Kat and Alec were thinking. Crackhead.

I was expecting to like both of the main characters so I wasn't surprised that I loved each of them off the bat but there were things about the both of them that made me want to smack some sense into them.

With Kat, it was how quick she was to assume the worst in everyone. And at times, how dramatic she was about everything under the sun but through all of that, I still really liked her character. I liked how she never once hid the truth about her crush on Alec from herself. Lie to everyone if you have to but I don't like when characters lie to themselves. The same with Alec. I liked that he was upfront about his feelings from the beginning. And his guilt? Yeah, I liked it but the thing that bothered me about him was how mad he got at Max about, well, you know what. I felt like, be angry at Max but keep in mind that you aren't exactly an angel either.

You don't think Shanna and Cam are going to get together? Oh man. I want them to. I want to see Shanna tame Cam's wild self.

Ames: Ok, as much as Kat annoyed me, I did feel for her. But at the same time, I was wondering how she could be so clueless. When I was in high school we learned about learning disabilities and even in university, people could volunteer to take notes for students that couldn't do it themselves (and yes I did this). However, despite how I grew up, I get that she would be defensive about being seen as dumb (since she thought she was and everyone but Alec treated her that way). And Alec. I liked his cluelessness. That's such a guy thing. I really liked Alec. And you know what else I liked? That dancing scene. That was HOT!!

I hate to say it but I predicted that ish between Max and whats her name (dont want to give it away). I saw that one coming a mile away. LOL But I still want to read Max's book! He wasn't a total douche canoe.

Rowena: I hear you. I didn't like the way the whole thing with Max ended in this book. I wish that it had happened differently. Like, I wish that Max didn't end up taking the brunt of the blame for everything. I wished that they could have fought about it (the boys) and then they could have eventually fixed their differences. I didn't like that Max had to be that guy in order for Alec and Kat to be together. I wasn't a fan of that.

I liked that dance too even though I was like, "What are you doing Alec? Max is YOUR BEST FRIEND!" the whole time. Because no matter how much of a dick Max was to Kat, they were still in the wrong for that dance. Just ask Cam. :)

Do you know if this is going to be an ongoing series or like a trilogy or something like that?

Ames: I think I saw a couple more books on Goodreads but I didn't want to peek ahead. Lol

That was part of why I liked the dancing scene. It was so taboo. And Max kept throwing these two together, and he admitted to doing it on purpose.

Rowena: After I finished this book, I peeked ahead and I'm not mad that I did. LOL. I figured I knew who was getting a book and who was going to end up together and I'm glad for the next book. I'm looking forward to reading it.

So what are your final thoughts on the book? Are you glad you read it? Best book you've read all year?

For me, this book was good but it wasn't the best book that I read. I mean, I liked it but I didn't LOVE it and want to have its babies. There were some issues that I had with it but overall, I had a good reading experience and will definitely be reading more from this author and this series. My favorite part of this book was Alec. I loved how open and honest he was, even when he was being a butthead. It was a good book and I'd give it a 3.5 out of 5.


Ames: I agree with you. It was very enjoyable and I will definitely read more from this author. I am going to give this one a B (3.75). I liked Kat's sense of humor. She said a few things that cracked me up and overall I enjoyed this romance. :)

Friday, August 15

Buddy Review: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Surprise! Actually, double surprise as 1) we haven't forgotten this buddy review and 2) it's me buddy reviewing with Rowena and not Ames. Poor Ames, she got the reading blues back in July... Lucky for us all, I had read Since You've Been Gone and was only too happy to step in!


Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
published by Simon & Schuster in May 2014
It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just...disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night?
Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn?
Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger?

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she'll find?

Go skinny-dipping?
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Series: None

Nath: Since You've Been Gone... I really loved Amy & Roger's Epic Detour. That book made me fall in love with Ms Matson's writing. Consequently, I expect to be blown away with every new release. While Second Chance Summer wasn't perfect, there was something to the story, to the writing. It was just so poignant. Unfortunately, with Since You've Been Gone, I feel Ms Matson missed the mark. It wasn't bad per se, but I have to say I struggled a lot with the heroine, Emily, and I guess that affected my overall enjoyment of the book.

Rowena: Aww man, I'm sad to hear that you didn't like this one as much as I did because I did...like this one, a lot. I thought it was cute and I'm not at all ashamed to say that I grinned like a crazy person throughout the entire thing. Her whole romance with Frank and seeing Emily come into her own? I really enjoyed it. This is my second favorite book by Matson, the first being Amy & Roger's Epic Detour. I thought Emily was hard to connect with at first and I wanted to smack her upside her head for relying so much on Sloane to have a life but you see her growth over the course of the book and her journey to having her own life was enjoyable for me.

What didn't work for you?

Nath: Oh I agree, certain parts of the book were great and I did smile. I liked Frank and their entourage and I liked the idea of Emily completing a list of 10 random things. What didn't work for me was Emily. It's exactly as you said... I wanted to smack her for relying so much on Sloane. You were able to overlook this, but I guess I couldn't. Perhaps it's because it hit a bit too close to home... I'm a person who values friendship a lot and it's great to have a best friend who's bigger than life... but it's never okay to me to have no identity. To be happy to be known as 'Sloane's friend', that wasn't okay with me. That was very sad as well as Emily's lack of backbone because of Sloane's absence. For me, Emily was just too dependent on Sloane and the whole "Sloane this, Sloane that" got old very fast :( Yes, she grew throughout the book, but it was a bit too late...

Rowena: I guess because Emily is a teenager, I was okay with letting that stuff slide because in the end, she did learn that it wasn't okay to live in Sloane's shadow and she ended up being her own person so I was glad. The new group of friends that Emily made over the summer was proof that she did learn from her mistakes. They were her friends but she had a personality and a life outside of them. I thought they were really good for her and I thought they were all adorable together.

I loved seeing Frank and Emily grow closer together. I loved the Emily that she was around Frank. She didn't want to be his friend but that didn't stop him from pursuing the friendship anyway. He was so completely different from Emily but so completely perfect for her too. He didn't let her get lost in their new group of friends. She wasn't a sidekick. She was a part of something real and I liked that for her.

Nath: Oh there was definite growth in Emily and it was very well-done. It was good to read about Emily coming into her own person, making her own friends. I also understand that she couldn't just forget/give up on Sloane and in the end, her perseverance really paid off... But at times, she'd think of Sloane and that would annoy me because it would be like almost undoing all her growth ^_^;

I quite liked Frank and the other secondary characters, Dawn and Collins. They were a good group and I enjoyed their interactions... I also thought that some of the things Ms Matson brought up was very realistic such as Collins being a bit jealous of Frank and Emily's friendship and Dawn's reaction to Emily and Frank's kiss. I also really liked Emily's family. Unconventional, but very fun LOL.

Rowena: Yeah but that's only natural when you're trying to build something that you didn't have before. Emily didn't have the confidence to be her own person. She was happy to live in Sloane's shadow so when Sloane up and disappears, she's thrown for a loop. She was forced to build a life for herself and not one that she could share the spotlight with anyone. Everyone slips up every now and again and I thought the slip ups that Emily had were realistic and did show just how much she'd grown over the course of the summer because those slip ups didn't keep her down. It kept her real. She wasn't perfect and I liked that. I liked that she liked the person she was becoming without Sloane and she kept right on fighting the good fight until the very end. And I think my very favorite part of the book (after the romance with Frank, of course) was that even when she built this new life where she was the main show, she didn't forget about Sloane. She needed closure from Sloane's split and she got it.

Overall, I thought Emily proved that she was a lot more than Sloane's best friend and I thought Matson did a fabulous job of showcasing her strengths. I was a grinning machine while reading this entire book. The whole thing just worked for me. I loved the main character, the love interest and the other friends that Emily made along the way. I even loved Emily's family. They were a treat too.

Nath: You're right about Emily not forgetting Sloane. That part, I did like. She changed and grew, but didn't put Sloane in a box labeled "Past" and that was nice. She's definitively loyal :)

I guess I just didn't have your patience. I enjoyed the story and the writing. I really liked the list and how Emily managed to accomplish it :) It's just at times, Emily really got on my nerves and that dimmed my enjoyment of the book a little. As such, I'm giving a B- for Since You've Been Gone.

Rowena: If this had a heroine that was much older than 17 than I probably would have had less patience with the heroine but I just keep the age thing in mind when dealing with YA books. They're young and do dumb things because they're still young where it's still okay to make them. Had they been older, yeah, I'd be right where you were.

I'd give the book a high B. It was very enjoyable for me.

Friday, August 1

New Releases - August 2014

I can't believe it's August already. July went by so fast and it wasn't helped by this horrible reading slump I'm in. Hopefully the wonderful new releases in August will help me get over this slump. There's quite a few I'm looking forward to!

August 5

My Beautiful Enemy by Sherry Thomas
published by Berkley
Hidden beneath Catherine Blade’s uncommon beauty is a daring that matches any man’s. Although this has taken her far in the world, she still doesn’t have the one thing she craves: the freedom to live life as she chooses. Finally given the chance to earn her independence, who should be standing in her way but the only man she’s ever loved, the only person to ever betray her.

Despite the scars Catherine left him, Captain Leighton Atwood has never been able to forget the mysterious girl who once so thoroughly captivated him. When she unexpectedly reappears in his life, he refuses to get close to her. But he cannot deny the yearning she reignites in his heart.

Their reunion, however, plunges them into a web of espionage, treachery, and deadly foes. With everything at stake, Leighton and Catherine are forced to work together to find a way out. If they are ever to find safety and happiness, they must first forgive and learn to trust each other again…
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Heart of the Blade. Book #2

Ames: Sherry Thomas is an auto-buy author for me. And this one sounds intriguing.

Nath: Nod nod. I'm not a fan of Ms Thomas, but I agree with you, the blurb is intriguing! Also, I really liked the cover of The Hidden Blade which is the prequel....

Downfall by Rob Thurman
published by New American Library (ROC)
I let it go—all of it. Everything I’d been saving up all my life, building and growing inside me, too much to hold in one half-human body. It pushed and fought to be free with a force that turned me into a bomb with a timer vibrating on zero. I was free.

But so was everything I’d fought so hard not to be...

Brothers Cal and Niko Leandros know trouble when they see it—and then proceed to wipe the floor with it. But now it seems their whole world is falling to pieces. Cal’s nightmarish monster side is growing ever stronger, changing Cal physically as well as mentally. Which is exactly what Grimm—Cal’s savage doppelgänger—wants. And when a covert supernatural organization decides that it’s time to put Cal down before he threatens pretty much everything else in existence, the brothers find themselves in a fight they actually might lose. But the dark temptations Cal has denied all his life may prove to be exactly what can save them.

Even if he must fall forever...
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Cal Leandros, Book #9

Nath: Wow, I can't believe this series is up to book #9!! I love Cal, Niko and Goodfellow and have to say, Ms Thurman is one of the best authors when it comes to bromance LOL. Also, I like how male-centric this series is... but I really wish Downfall will move the storyline along. As much as I like the characters, I'm tired of the whole Cal going bad/evil and the one step forward, two steps back development progression :(

Lay It Down by Cara McKenna
published by New American Library (Signet Eclipse)
Backbreaking days, wild nights, and the hard hum of steel between your thighs...

That’s a life well lived, according to the Desert Dogs—four friends who call Fortuity, Nevada, their badlands home.

Vince Grossier is the self-crowned outlaw king around here. But when Fortuity’s slick new mayor invites a casino development to town, greed isn’t far behind—and it claims Vince’s good friend as its first casualty. With the law turning a blind eye to the mysterious death, Vince must seek his own brand of justice. The pretty photographer hired by the developers might be the key to uncovering the truth. And she’s a temptation too good to pass up.

Finally free of a controlling ex, Kim Paget’s not looking to be taken for a ride—not on the back of some tattooed roughneck’s bike and definitely not in his bed. But when she uncovers evidence supporting Vince’s suspicions of murder, Kim must entrust her safety to a man whose body threatens danger of a whole different kind.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Desert Dogs, Book #1

Ames: I'm a big fan of Cara McKenna and I've been on an MC binge since late last year. And that's still going strong. I'm all over this one!

The Man Plan by Tracy Ann Warren
published by New American Library (Signet)
What’s a girl to do when the man she’s loved her entire life thinks of her as a little sister? Worse, her own big sister was the one who broke his heart years earlier. For Ivy Grayson, the chance to get him to see her in a different light comes when she receives an unexpected invitation to move into his luxury New York apartment building. Manhattan also just happens to be the perfect place to pursue her wish to become a successful artist. But how many dreams can one woman expect to come true?

Billionaire financier James Jordon has everything a man could want—except love. When Ivy’s family asks him to keep an eye on their “little girl” in the big city, he agrees. But the innocent girl he knew is now a dynamic woman who knows what she wants, and how to get it. He may have promised himself to keep things platonic, but ignoring the game of love isn’t an option. Especially when Ivy is so eager to play.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Graysons, Book #2

Nath: The first book, The Last Man on Earth, was on my radar but I didn't pick it up... so who knows if I'll pick up this one ^_^; But I do like this kind of story when the heroine blooms and hero finally realizes what's in front of him.

An aside - this cover just doesn't work for me. The guy on The Last Man on Earth was yummy, but this one? Or perhaps it's the background color... or the fact his face looks a bit too small for his shoulders... What do you think Ames?

Ames: I agree. Something is off with that model. He's too spiffy. And I'm like you, I like stories where the heroine blooms. I also like heroines who are artists. This one sounds good to me!

The Sweetest Summer by Susan Donovan
published by New American Library (Signet)
Every instinct told Police Chief Clancy Flynn that his island’s claim to fame was nothing but a silly tourist attraction. But now and then, he couldn’t help but wonder if his lifetime of bad romances—starting with the pretty tourist who broke his twelve-year-old heart—could be traced back to a childhood prank involving that very statue....

Then one day the pretty tourist comes barreling back into Bayberry—all grown-up and on the run with her niece. Though Evelyn McGuinness is wanted for kidnapping, she tries to persuade Clancy that there’s more to the story. Now the by-the-book police chief must make the toughest decision of his life: to take Evelyn into custody—or into his arms....
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Bayberry Island, Book #2

Nath: I used to love Ms Donovan's books which is why The Sweetest Summer made it on my radar... but I got to say the blurb is so-so. Really, the police chief is not going to turn in the lady wanted for kidnapping?!

Magnolia by Kristi Cook
published by Simon & Schuster
In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Series: n/a

Nath: I don't know, this one caught my eyes for some reasons. Hopefully, it's good! LOL.

Ames: Actually this one sounds cute. Usually neighbor families are feuding or something so with this one featuring friendly neighbors, I think it can be more interesting.

The House of the Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory
published by Macmillan (Tor Books)
The rulers of tiny, impoverished Swansgaard have twelve daughters and one son. While the prince’s future is assured, his twelve sisters must find their own fortunes.

Disguising herself as Clarence, a sailor, Princess Clarice intends to work her way to the New World. When the crew rebels, Clarice/Clarence, an expert with rapier and dagger, sides with the handsome navigator, Dominick, and kills the cruel captain.

Dominick leads the now-outlawed crew in search of treasure in the secret pirate haven known as The House of Four Winds. They encounter the sorceress Shamal, who claims Dominick for her own—but Clarice has fallen hard for Dominick and won’t give him up without a fight.
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Series: One Dozen Daughter's, Book #1

Nath: Love the cover and the story sounds like so much fun! But does that mean there'll be 12 books?!

Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre
published by Macmillan (Feiwel & Friends)
Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn't imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She's not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he's impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes, and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly... bad things are happening. It's a heady rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil's bargains, she isn't sure who—or what--she can trust. Not even her own mind...
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Series: Immortal Game, Book #1

Nath: This one was not on my radar, but people in my entourage keeps bringing it up... Guess I'll wait to see their verdict :)

Ames: I thought this one sounded interesting. I like the cover, I like Ann's writing. The blurb is vague enough that I'm not turned off by the paranormal shenanigans. I'm so over paranormal stuff but when its not stated clearly, I'm ok with it. LOL I'll see what reviews say, but for now its on my radar.

August 14

Isla & the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
published by Dutton
From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Series: Anna and the French Kiss, Book #3

Nath: The long awaited finale! Don't really have much expectations for this one... but I wouldn't mind seeing Anna, Étienne, Lola and Cricket again :)

Ames: I want to re-read Anna and Etienne's book and then read Lola's. I know I know, I can't believe I haven't read Lola's book yet either. I'm horrible. LOL

But once I've read them, I'll be all over this one. I know it.

August 19

Visions by Kelley Armstrong
published by Dutton
Omens, the first installment in Kelley Armstrong’s exciting new series, introduced Olivia Taylor-Jones, daughter of notorious serial killers, and Gabriel Walsh, the self-serving, morally ambiguous lawyer who became her unlikely ally. Together, they chased down a devious killer and partially cleared her parents of their horrifying crimes.

Their success, however, is short-lived. While Olivia takes refuge in the old, secluded town of Cainsville, Gabriel’s past mistakes have come to light, creating a rift between the pair just when she needs his help the most.

Olivia finds a dead woman in her car, dressed to look like her, but the body vanishes before anyone else sees it. Olivia’s convinced it’s another omen, a sign of impending danger. But then she learns that a troubled young woman went missing just days ago—the same woman Olivia found dead in her car. Someone has gone to great lengths to kill and leave this young woman as a warning. But why? And what role has her new home played in this disturbing murder?

Olivia’s effort to uncover the truth places her in the crosshairs of old and powerful forces, forces that have their own agenda, and closely guarded secrets they don’t want revealed.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Cainsville, Book #2

Nath: Have yet to read Omens yet, but it's Kelley Armstrong and she's an auto-buy :)

How the Scoundrel Seduces by Sabrina Jeffries
published by Simon & Schuster (Pocket)
Investigator Tristan Bonnaud has one aim in life— to make sure that his half-brother George can't ever ruin his life again. So when the pesky Lady Zoe Keane, the daughter of the Earl of Olivier, shows up demanding that the Duke's Men find a mysterious gypsy woman, he seizes the opportunity to also hunt for a gypsy friend who knows secrets about George. Tristan doesn't expect to uncover Lady Zoe's family secrets, as well... or end up falling for the woman who will risk all to discover the truth.
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Duke's Men, Book #3

Nath: Another auto-buy author! And another series I haven't read yet... Gosh, I'm turning into Ames!! LOL.

Ames: LMAO!! Yes you are!! But I noticed you aren't reading as many historicals this year. You'll get to this one eventually. And I'm interested in this series as well...haha!

Nath: Yeah, I'm over historical this year... Just don't feel it :(

Seducing Lauren by Kristen Proby
published by Simon & Schuster (Pocket)
Now that his best friend, Josh, has happily settled down with his true love on a Montana ranch, small-town lawyer Ty Sullivan starts thinking that maybe single life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And when Lauren Cunningham’s no-good ex-husband comes after her for an unexpected trust fund, Ty steps in to protect her. But soon he can’t help but think of her as more than a client. Lauren’s in no mood to jump into another relationship, so how can Ty convince her that her mistake wasn’t getting married, but marrying the wrong guy?
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Love Under the Big Sky, Book #2

Nath: I've never read Ms Proby, but this one sounds interesting... Especially with the hero making the first steps. It's always nice to see a guy wanting to settle.

Ames: I bought the first book but haven't read it yet. LOL

August 26

A Scandal to Remember by Elizabeth Essex
published by St. Martin's Press
For too long, Miss Jane Burke’s father has taken advantage of her painstaking research. Heading to the South Seas to make her own name as a scientist despite the crew’s insistence that a woman aboard is bad luck, she isn't prepared to be championed by a handsome ship’s officer who rouses longings inside her as wild as any storm…

For Lieutenant Charles Dance, a post on His Majesty’s survey ship Tenacious is just one more dutiful rung on the ladder of his career. Even a headstrong bluestocking on board is less troubling than the ship’s drunken captain—and the ferocious gales that drive the ship off course. Stranded on a remote island, passion blazes between them as hot as the sun, but it’s Jane’s love Charles wants forever…
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Reckless Brides, Book #5

Nath: I'm not crazy about the heroine being a scientist... but I have been enjoying this series and Ms Essex' writing a lot so I'm willing to give A Scandal to Remember a chance. I hope most of the book will be aboard the ship... that'd be fun :)

Ames: What? Why not!  I love heroine scientists! In fact I just re-read Midsummer Moon by Laura Kinsale because I love the heroine and her pet hedgehog! LOL

Nath: I guess it's because in historical, it's always the same setting... the heroine is considered weird, but of course, she's attractive. It feels trite.

Once More, My Darling Rogue by Lorraine Heath
published by Harpercollins Publisher (Avon)
They are England’s most eligible bachelors, with the most scandalous reputations. But for the right woman, even an unrepentant rogue may mend his ways...

Born to the street but raised within the aristocracy, Drake Darling can’t escape his sordid beginnings. Not when Lady Ophelia Lyttleton snubs him at every turn, a constant reminder he’s not truly one of them. But after rescuing her from a mysterious drowning he realizes she doesn’t remember who she is. With plans to bring her to heel, he insists she’s his housekeeper—never expecting to fall for the charming beauty.

While Ophelia might not recall her life before Drake, she has little doubt she belongs with him. The desire she feels for her dark, brooding employer can’t be denied, regardless of consequences. So when her memory returns, she is devastated by the depth of his betrayal. Now Drake must risk everything to prove she can trust this rogue with her heart once more.
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Scandalous Gentlemen of St.James, Book #2

Nath: Another auto-buy book, but one I'm up-to-date with :) Been a while since I read an amnesia book... Don't know how I feel about Drake using the situation, but I have faith in Ms Heath's writing!

What I Love About You by Rachel Gibson
published by Harpercollins Publisher (Avon)

Ex-high school cheerleader Natalie Cooper could once shake her pom-poms with the best of them. But she's paid for all that popularity—her husband's run off with what's left of their money and a twenty-year-old bimbo named Tiffany. Leaving Natalie to manage a photo store and having to see some pictures she, well, really shouldn't.


Then she comes toe-to-manly chest with Blake Junger. Exiled to a remote cabin in Truly, Idaho, Blake wants nothing to do with anyone. Instead, he's determined to struggle with his demons and win—all on his own. But the last thing he needs is Natalie distracting him with her luscious curves and breaking down the barriers of his heart.

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Truly, Idaho, Book #3

Nath: Seems to me it's been a while since Ms Gibson has hit one really far out there. Hopefully, this will be it!

Ames: The blurb for this one reminds me of that Molly Harper book, And One Last Thing...which makes me want to read it.

It's in His Kiss by Jill Shalvis
published by Grand Central Publishing
Becca Thorpe has uprooted her life and escaped to the beach. Now's her chance to get away from city living, throw caution to the ocean winds, and live in the moment. Especially if the moment includes the deliciously sexy surfer she meets shortly after arriving in Lucky Harbor. Something about the dark intensity of Sam's eyes and the thrill she gets at his touch convinces her to stay awhile.

Boatbuilder and investment genius Sam Brody is a self-made man who knows how dangerous it can be to mix business and pleasure. But he can't resist offering Becca a job just to hear her laugh and have her near. Yet when her brother comes to town asking for help, will he tempt her back to her glamorous life in the city? Or do Sam and little Lucky Harbor have a chance to win Becca's heart?
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Lucky Harbor, Book #10

Nath: This is my fall-back series :) In the mood for contemporary romance, don't know what to read? The Lucky Harbor series it is :) There's been a positive buzz for It's in His Kiss so I'll be sure to pick this one up eventually :)

Ames: LOL Nath. Jill is an auto-buy author for me. And she's got her own shelf in my room. One day I'll read this series. I did read book 1 last year. hehe

The Homecoming by Robyn Carr
published by Harlequin (MIRA)
At the age of nineteen, Seth Sileski had everything. A superb athlete and scholar, handsome and popular, he was the pride of Thunder Point. Destined for greatness, he lost it all in a terrible accident that put an end to his professional football career when it had barely begun. The people in his hometown have never forgotten what might have been.

Seth has come to terms with the turns his life has taken. But now he's been presented with an opportunity to return home and show his father—and the people of Thunder Point—he's become a better, humbler version of his former self.

Winning over his father isn't the only challenge. Seth must also find a way to convince his childhood neighbor and best friend, Iris McKinley, to forgive him for breaking her heart. With his homecoming, will Seth be able to convince the town, his family and especially Iris that he's finally ready to be the man who will make them all proud?
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Thunder Point, Book #6

Nath: I really enjoyed The Promise which prompted me to read The Chance which was so-so... So where will The Homecoming fall? Yes, I'll read it to find out :) I'm enjoying the Thunder Point community and I like childhood sweethearts story... Hopefully, Seth is good at groveling!

Ames: I've fallen behind on this series. But that's not a bad thing. I'll be able to read them back to back whenever I get around to them!

The Best Kind of Trouble by Lauren Dane
published by Harlequin
She has complete control...and he's determined to take it away

A librarian in the small town of Hood River, Natalie Clayton's world is very nearly perfect. After a turbulent childhood and her once-wild ways, life is now under control. But trouble has a way of turning up unexpectedly—especially in the tall, charismatically sexy form of Paddy Hurley….

And Paddy is the kind of trouble that Natalie has a taste for.

Even after years of the rock and roll lifestyle, Paddy never forgot the two wickedly hot weeks he once shared with Natalie. Now he wants more… even if it means tempting Natalie and her iron-grip control. But there's a fine line between well-behaved and misbehaved—and the only compromise is between the sheets!
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Hurley Boys, Book#1

Nath: Wow, two books in the same month with the heroine named Natalie!! How rare!

LOL, I was going to skip this book just because, until I read that the heroine was a librarian. Sigh, how easy are we?

Ames: *gasp* You were going to skip a Lauren Dane novel?  I don't know if we can be friends anymore...LOL

So yeah, Lauren is an auto-buy author for me. :P I will readily read whatever she puts out. :P

Nath: LOL, you can't live without me no matter what I do :P

I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre
published by Harlequin
Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she's determined to make them come true—for her parents' sake as well as her own. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, she barely has time to think, let alone date. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B….

Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can't risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, a social life is out of the question. The last thing he wants is for four noisy students to move into the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia's and Ty's paths cross, and soon they can't stay away from each other.

The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can't know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary
Series: 2B Trilogy, Book #1

Nath: Wow, someone is being prolific this month! Two books in a month! But now I'm confused... Scratch my comment above, I think I Want It That Way is the book everyone's been mentioning to me! LOL.

Ames: Really? That's good to know then! I enjoy new adult and Ann Aguirre so I've been waiting for this one to come out. Good to hear people are talking about it already. Hopefully positively?