21 Following

Made for Another World

Spitfire - Carla Doolin I definitely want to remember to pick up the next book in this series. I've already fallen in love with the residents of Puffin Cove just like Laura. Laura says she's running away from home after a long-ago divorce and a newly empty nest, but really she finds a home in Puffin Cove and Kane. Puffin Cove also became a home for him after a personal tragedy, and he finds he's ready to move forward after meeting his Spitfire.
Her Favorite Temptation - Sarah Mayberry Sarah Mayberry is one of those authors I always seem to enjoy but never really seek out. Her Favorite Temptation is probably the story that bumps her into "must have" category, and I can't put a finger on any one reason why that's the case. Leah is a cardiothoracic surgeon who is about to switch to a different field of medicine because she's never really had a passion for her current field. She's been living life to please her parents, and she's lost herself in the process. She meets her temporary neighbor Will, and she finds herself sharing more with him than she has with anyone else even though she's so attracted to him that she doesn't really know how to handle it. Will is dealing with his own vulnerabilities, and I enjoyed very much how believably they become safe havens for each other.What didn't work for me so well? I simply wanted more. I wanted to see how they worked together as a couple once the immediate crisis was over. I got a taste of that in the epilogue, and it was lovely, but I wasn't ready to say bye to Leah and Will. I'm hoping they'll pop up for a bit in Leah's sister's story.
Embattled Minds (Lost and Found, #2) - J.M. Madden Zeke is a war veteran with lots of scars and a traumatic brain injury, and he's feeling insecure about his crush on Ember, a women who works at the local bar. He doesn't realize she's attracted to him too because he just assumes that all women consider him some kind of freak. He's lost the confidence he had as a popular football player in his hometown.Once Ember and Zeke get on the same page, they are one hot couple. Zeke has definitely placed himself on my list of favorite heroes because I've always gone for big tall guys who can win you over with a smile or by playing on the floor with a kid. I also appreciated that the story was pretty tight and focused on them learning to be together rather than pulling in a lot of extraneous things like a bad ex or a hostage situation or meddling family members or any of the usual obstacles you see in romances. This was more of a straightforward romance with some hot scenes, and the only real impediments to the relationship were based in Zeke's hard time trusting that he'd be enough for Ember and her son.
Got a Hold on You - Pat White I've developed an interest in romances that have wrestlers/boxers/fighters as the heroes, so I had to grab this one when I saw it as a free download on Amazon. I didn't realize at the time that it had originally been published a few years ago, but it didn't seem dated at all while I was reading it. In a nutshell, Frankie is an accountant helping out her uncle during some financial difficulties with his wrestling association. She gets coerced into becoming arm candy for one of the wrestlers, and that is the beginning of some internal conflict for both her and the wrestler. They're both more than what they seem on the surface, and they have their own reasons for being a little scared of the love they find together. This is a great quick read with a cast of funny characters, and a hero and heroine who get knocked off their feet.
Color of the Wind - Elizabeth Grayson I found this in a box of books slated for the dumpster after a yard sale in my neighborhood, and I'm thankful I saved this unexpected treasure. The story is set in the Wyoming Territory in the 1880s and involves Ardith, a "plain" woman who was jilted for her sister years ago, and Baird, the man who jilted her and is now struggling to keep his cattle together and to prove himself. Ardith has brought her niece and nephews to their father after her sister's death, and everyone is trying to find their places in this new setting. The piece that really made this story for me was the clear character development that showed how Ardith and Baird were both changing and becoming the best versions of their selves because of their interactions. I can't recall another romance that I've read recently that has done that as well as this one. Seeing Ardith's letters to her publisher also added an interesting way of seeing how she was seeing the changing situation.
Tell Me No Lies - Rachel Branton This was a really nice free read. It's a sweet romance between Tessa, a woman with trust fund issues who discovers her fiancee is a lying cheat, and Gage, a sweet guy who spent years in prison. Tessa and Gage were great together, and I loved the interactions with Gage's family. The story had a great beginning, and while the focus was on Gage and Tessa, it was fantastic, but the added suspense from the event that sent Gage to prison just didn't add much to the story for me. I wanted more Gage and Tessa interaction!
Scarlet (Alpha Marked #1) - Celia Kyle Celia Kyle is pretty much an auto-buy for me as long as the blurb sounds the least bit interesting. This one is sexy and sweet as expected, and all in all, it's a great start to the series. I just found myself wanting more. It felt like we just barely touched the tip of the iceberg as far as who Scarlet is and how she'll get along with her mates and all the changes that mating will bring. I look forward to seeing a bit more of her and her alphas in her sisters' books.
Tattoos & Teacups - Anna  Martin I seem to be having great luck with the m/m romances I'm reading lately. Tattoos & Teacups drew me in with the title connecting two of my favorite things, and I wasn't disappointed at all. The tattoos are contributed by Chris, a professional percussionist, and the teacups come from Robert, a Scottish professor. A character-driven romance between a tattooed musician and a slightly older academic without any over-the-top external drama and drawn-out misunderstandings to keep everyone apart? Yes! This is what I want to read!I felt like I really got to know both Chris and Robert even though the story is all told from Robert's point of view. They have a few little bumps in the road as all couples do, but I always felt like they had a handle on how precious their relationship was to each of them. I enjoyed meeting them and seeing them come together, and I hope they still have some more stories to share with us. I did read their Christmas short story that's free on the author's website, and it seems like she's provided a number of interesting hooks that could be used well in a future novel or two revisiting Robert and Chris. I'd definitely be interested in that. I already miss them, and it's only been a couple of hours since I put down the book.
A Kiss For Midwinter - Courtney Milan This was a lovely short work to be my first book of 2013. Miss Lydia Charingford and Dr. Jonas Grantham met briefly and shared a secret that 8 years later continued to be a barrier to them actually getting to know each other. Each of them had some faults, but they worked together to fit together, and I truly enjoyed getting to know both of them.
Fierce in Fur - Celia Kyle Easily my favorite of the series. I have a soft spot for gentle giants like Brutus.
Not Just the Greek's Wife (Harlequin Presents) - Lucy Monroe This book managed to overcome two things that aren't my favorite events in books. First, this is a reunion story with a divorced couple, and those are hard for me to believe most of the time. Second, the divorce resulted in large part from a series of secrets and miscommunication that could have been avoided if the people had just talked to each other. Seeing that both Chloe and Ariston were willing to admit some fault and had matured during their time apart helped me get past the secrets they'd held in the past. I really liked that the bulk of the current story focused on their coming together as new versions of the people they'd once been while still talking about how things had gone wrong in the past. Nothing felt like it was being hidden this time around.
Carnival of Souls - Melissa Marr I know lots of people love Melissa Marr, but I could never get into her Wicked Lovely series. Then she came out with Graveminder, and I adored that one, so I was hoping I'd love this one too. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. I made myself finish the book to see if any of the issues I had with it ever resolved themselves, but they annoyed me right up until the ending. Some things were explained to death and seemed to go so slowly while other things like the main love connection seemed insanely instant. Multiple points of view kept dragging me out of the story, and I just never felt like I settled into a groove with the book. The book is well-written and will surely find many fans, but it's simply not a book for me, and I won't be reading any more in this series.
Let Me Be The One (The Sullivans, #6) - Bella Andre The Sullivans series hasn't been a hit for me all the way through, but when I like one, then I really like it. That was the case for Ryan. Learning about his relationship with Vicki gave his character a tremendous depth I hadn't seen in him before, and the friends to lovers trope is a favorite of mine when done this well.
Without Regret (Pyte/Sentinel #2) - R.L. Mathewson I was so disappointed in this book. I'd been looking forward to reading more of Chris's story because I loved his sass in the first book, but in the 10 years between books, he became an annoying man. I also understood why he didn't like his mate Isabella at first because she drove me nuts too. The pacing of their entire relationship felt off to me with it running hot and cold up to the very end.
Curve Contract (Billionaire BBW Erotic Romance) - Christa Wick This was a good short story with a plus-sized heroine. Some things felt rushed and/or not explained fully enough, but with the shorter format, that's usually the case. I would have loved reading this as a full-length novel with more details.
Tall, Dark & Lonely (Pyte/Sentinel #1) - R.L. Mathewson I'm really enjoying all the books I've read by R.L. Mathewson so far. This one was interesting with the paranormal elements. Ephraim and Madison make a great couple, and I love their whole blended family. The sometimes hilarious dialogue was an added bonus, and I'm looking forward to reading more about Chris!