Review: Misadventures of a Backup Bride

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Misadventures of a Backup BrideMisadventures of a Backup Bride (Misadventures, #4) by Shayla Black
Series: Misadventures #4
Published by Waterhouse Press on October 17th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION: This story had an interesting premise and I enjoyed the intrigue of the characters competing against the “villain” dad. A reader who can accept insta-love stories can enjoy this one.

THE STORY: Carson Frost inherits a company from his biological father that is in financial trouble. In seeking a loan, he turns in desperation to the company’s rival. The rival agrees to a loan on the condition that Carson marry his daughter.  Two weeks before the wedding, Carson recognizes that this is going to be a disaster and tries to get out of the wedding by making up another woman who he is love with. The father calls his bluff and demands that Carson produce the woman. Carson can only think of one possible woman to call — Ella Hope, and actress who he met six months ago when she dated one of his friends. Ella agrees to take the job, but the passion explodes between the two when they meet again in person. When the father meets Ella, he agrees that Carson doesn’t have to marry his daughter — but only if Carson and Ella marry in two weeks.

OPINION: This short novel sets up an interesting conflict. What happens when the woman hired to pretend to be the love of a man’s life becomes the love of his life? I enjoyed this story and the characters. This is my favorite of the series because the characters are well drawn even in the short space allowed for them in this story. Plus, there is a tremendous amount of conflict. It’s also really interesting that there are no terrible “evil” characters in the end. Plus, the story is really sexy. What I didn’t expect was the turn towards a more traditional and emotional romance story towards the end. I thought the twist on the events of a romance story worked really well here.

WORTH MENTIONING: Much of the relationship development between Carson and Ella takes place around of during sexual escapades because of the nature of the book.

CONNECTED BOOKS: MISADVENTURES OF A BACKUP BRIDE is the fourth book in the Misadventures series. The books in the series are all standalone stories without any connections or overlapping characters.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

four-stars

Review: More Than Want You

Review: More Than Want YouMore Than Want You (More Than Words, #1) by Shayla Black
Series: More Than Words #1
on April 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads
four-stars

“I can’t be with someone who wants revenge more than they want me.”

FINAL DECISION:  If you allow yourself to get over Maxon being a major jerk, this book is a wonderful journey for his character.  He learns what is really important in his life. His relationship with Keeley is rough and imperfect and finally wonderful.

THE STORY:  Maxon Reed is a man on a mission — to get a deal from his estranged brother.  Maxon is willing to do just about anything — including finding a woman to distract his brother.  When Maxon meets Keeley Kent and there is an instant attraction between them and he knows that she is perfect for his plan.  After convincing the reluctant Keeley to give his plan a change, Maxon spends weeks tutoring Keeley in exactly how to appeal to his brother.  The problem is that every moment they spend together brings Maxon closer to realizing that Keeley is perfect for him.  But will Maxon give up his plan of revenge in order to get the girl himself?

OPINION:  I don’t mind heroes who are jerks in the beginning of a romance book as long as they don’t end up that way.  Maxon is a world class jerk (though his brother has him beat). Intensely competitive with his estranged brother, Maxon clearly has no morals about using people (despite his belief that he does).  His competition with his brother is primary — before friends, before love, before anything and everything.  The good news is that this book just throws Maxon’s world into disarray.  It never goes where he plans. And he ends the book a better person who is capable of love.

Keeley is almost the opposite of Maxon.  Altruistic, emotional, willing to help and do anything for those she cares about.  I like how she operates as Maxon’s guide and conscience in many ways.  While we get a bit from her point of view, the book is really about Maxon’s journey (because he is the one who really needs the help).  Keeley is more of a free spirit than the career driven Maxon, but she is also happier.

The relationship between Maxon and Keeley is complicated by Maxon’s own inability to understand what he wants and needs and how to get there.  I enjoyed seeing Maxon breaking down.  He has a nasty background which doesn’t excuse his behavior but makes it more understandable.  The focus in this book is really on Maxon getting himself right and how his relationship with Keeley is the catalyst for that.

I enjoyed this book more as I got into it (Maxon was hard to like at first).  By the end of the book, however, I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book also introduces the romance that is the subject of the second book in the series.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  MORE THAN WANT YOU is the first book in the More Than Words series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars

Review: The Edge of Dominance

Review: The Edge of DominanceThe Edge of Dominance (The Doms of Her Life, #4) by Shayla Black, Jenna Jacob, Isabella LaPearl
Series: The Doms of Her Life #4
Published by Amazon Digital Services on September 13th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 445
Goodreads

FINAL DECISION:  A worthy conclusion to the complicated romance between Raine, Macon and Liam, this book left me with a happy feeling for the three and a burning desire to hear more about their friends.

THE STORY:  In this final chapter of the romance between Raine, Macon and Liam, the three are dealing with the revelation of Raine’s pregnancy and also with Macon’s unresolved feelings after Raine’s abduction in book 3.  This book which has some humor with the arrival of Liam’s parents, mostly deals with a serious threat to the happiness of the three that comes from Macon’s past.

OPINION: This book is just a guilty pleasure crazy ride.  The story goes in directions that really cannot be anticipated from the prior books and I loved it!

The trio is really challenged in this book as external forces threaten their happiness.  Finally, we learn about Macen’s past and it is his past which threatens them.  I thought this was the most emotional that we have seen Macen and I truly felt that with his emotional breakthrough in this book, the trio is on the best footing ever.

This book has a bit of a suspense/crime mystery involved as Macen is in danger of spending most of his life in jail.  The question for the friendly characters is who is out to get him.  This threat to Macen and the accompanying loss of control forces Macen to examine his life and make deep emotional changes.  I loved his struggle in this book (he’s been my favorite in the series).  I also loved how he has to lean on Liam and Raine (whereas previously he has been the steady one for them).

I loved the new characters that we got to meet.  Liam’s parents come to visit and their arrival changes the dynamic of this book.  There are some surprising twists that some readers might have to adjust their thinking for.  I especially loved Liam’s dad.  There is one scene toward the end that might be the biggest hoot in the series!

This book really shows the three developing a true equal relationship.  Throughout the four books in this series, these characters and their relationship has changed and grown.  The relationship between three people is deeply complex and I have really enjoyed the journey these characters have taken.

Of course there is a lot of hot sex, but it is really the emotional connection between these characters that has sustained me through these books.

The series is nicely wrapped up and there is a sweet epilogue.

WORTH MENTIONING: Oh, we need so many sequels for all the friends of the trio!

CONNECTED BOOKS:  THE EDGE OF DOMINANCE is the fourth and final book in the Doms of Her Life series.  This is a serial about the romance between three characters.  The series should be read in order because it assumes knowledge about the prior books and the books build on one another.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

Review: The Bold and the Dominant

Review: The Bold and the DominantThe Bold and the Dominant (The Doms of Her Life, #3) by Shayla Black, Jenna Jacob, Isabella LaPearl
Series: The Doms of Her Life #3
on February 10th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 366
Goodreads
four-half-stars

FINAL DECISION:  This book continues the saga of the trio trying to work out how their relationship will work.  There are a lot of external threat to their happiness in this one which was good, but not as emotional as book 2.

THE STORY:  After the events of book 2, things should be perfect between the trio.  Macen and Liam have agreed to share Raine in a menage relationship.  But just when things are going well, Liam’s ex-wife returns and is intent on causing trouble for Liam and his new relationship.  Danger in the form of Raine’s father also threatens the trio as they continue to try and work through all the pitfalls of developing a stable and loving relationship between them.

OPINION:  This book is about Liam and Raine’s ghosts.  Liam is still struggling with his jealousy in the relationship and with his ex-wife.  The best part of this series is that everyone is not immediately hunky-dory with the threesome.  To this point, Liam has struggled the most.  He clearly has issues with believing that he is not enough for Raine.  Much of this appears to stem from his ex-wife’s infidelity.  This book through its drama (and there is a lot of plot dramatics here), allows Liam to exorcise his demons and fully commit to the relationship.

Raine also must have a final confrontation with the demons of her past.  I liked how this was resolved and I especially liked that Raine, rather than either of the two men, is the active participant in resolving her past.

In this book, Macen is the rock.  (Can I confess that he is my favorite?)  He is the steady one throughout the book which allows the other two to return to the relationship through his determination and strength.

This is a complex story.  These characters are engaged in long journey to resolve their past and build a future together.

The ending of this book hints that Macen’s challenges are just beginning and I look forward to the conclusion of the trio’s story in the next book.

I like the secondary characters as well and hope that there are stories in the future featuring the sadist Beck and fellow dom Seth.  This book also has most external action than the other two books in the series.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book ends on a wow cliffhanger.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  THE BOLD AND THE DOMINANT is the third book in the Doms of Her Life series.  This is a serial that tells the story of the relationship between Raine, Macen and Liam.  This series should be read in order because the story builds on the prior books in the series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

four-half-stars

Review: The Young and the Submissive

Review: The Young and the SubmissiveThe Young and the Submissive (The Doms of Her Life, #2) by Shayla Black, Jenna Jacob, Isabella LaPearl
Series: The Doms of Her Life #2
Published by Dream Words on October 29th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 300
Goodreads
four-half-stars

“It might take both of you to reach her.”

FINAL DECISION:  In this book, the two men competing for Raine’s heart must put aside their differences to help her.  I enjoyed how these three characters are changing and growing (unevenly and painfully).  This book is only a part of Raine, Macen and Liam’s journey and should be approached as such.

THE STORY: This book continues the story of Raine, Macen and Liam.  As the prior book ended, the two men were engaged in a competition to win the woman they both love.  In this book, Liam realizes that he is not making progress with Raine’s submission.  As he learns more about her past, he recognizes that he alone will not be able to heal Raine.  When he and Macen put aside their differences to help Raine, Liam can’t help but fear that he might help Raine, but lose her.

OPINION:  I really enjoyed this book because the menage that is developing is messy and filled with jealousy, anger, trust issues, lust and love.  These three people are constantly confronted with having to adjust their expectations and desires.  The relationship between Raine, Macen, and Liam is difficult and evolving.  For me, I understand why such a complex relationship cannot be resolved in one book.  I don’t mind that the story of these three was divided into four books because I can see how the authors are developing this complex relationship.

In this book, the three main characters have to adjust their expectations.  The relationship changes from one of competition between the two men to them joining forces to help Raine.  This process is not easy for either of these dominant men and yet the book details how each struggles with Raine’s desires.

These characters are beginning to reveal themselves to one another.  Secrets and pain are shared and thus the beginnings of what might be a strong stable relationship is being developed.

This serial series asks for a commitment from the reader to follow the journey through multiple books, but I am looking forward to seeing what comes next for these three.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book has a menage m/m/f and also numerous and explicit sex and BDSM.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  THE YOUNG AND THE SUBMISSIVE is the second book in the Doms of Her Life series.  This is a serial and the books should be read together and in order.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

four-half-stars

Review: One Dom to Love

Review: One Dom to LoveOne Dom to Love (The Doms of Her Life, #1) by Shayla Black, Jenna Jacob, Isabella LaPearl
Series: The Doms of Her Life #1
Published by Dream Words on December 4th 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 237
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION:  This book is a battle.  Two men competing for one woman.  I usually don’t like these types of stories, but this one worked because the emotions felt genuine.  Certainly not for everyone, but without a doubt, deeply emotional.  Readers should be aware that this is continuing series and the issues are not resolved here.

THE STORY:  Raine Kendall has loved Alpha Dom Macen Hammerman for years, but Macen has never treated Raine as anything but a child.  Determined to make him change his mind, Raine shows him that she is all woman.  Macen knows that he can never claim the naturally submissive and yet feisty Raine because she will destroy her.  When Macen breaks Raine’s heart again, she turns to Macen’s best friend and fellow Dom Liam O’Neill.  Liam wants Raine and treats her well, but Raine still loves Macen.  Macen isn’t ready to surrender Raine even as he fights claiming her.

OPINION:  This book introduces the conflict between the main characters.  This book is the beginning of a serial about Raine, Macen and Liam.  I knew this going in so I wasn’t disappointed that things were not resolved in this book.  This book is only the opening act.

Raine has loved Macen for years.  A woman used to being abandoned, she desperately wants to be loved.  While she has submissive tendencies, she is also mouthy and has her own wants and desires that she will not give up.  Her character is central to this story because both men are sniffing around her and also because the reader has to believe that she can have a relationship with both these men.

Macen is a haunted man.  He doesn’t want to bring Raine into his world and yet he refuses to let her go. We learn that his wife died and Macen believes it is because of his lifestyle.  He wants to save Raine by keeping his distance.  In this book, he is tormented by the possibility of losing Raine. His desperation made me sympathetic to him even when I would otherwise think he is jerk for the way he treats Raine.

Liam seems like the sweeter guy, but he can also be a jerk.  We don’t learn much about his in this book and his demons although he does reveal that he does not take infidelity well because of his own past.

I really liked that these characters have a tangled relationship.  Love, hate, desperation, lust.  I have read books before where the woman is involved with two men, but those books are usually ones where the men desire a menage.  These two guys are competing against one another and Raine is caught between.  That brings more angst and uncertainty to the book, but I enjoyed the conflict (which is not resolved).

WORTH MENTIONING:  Content warning for those who want a one woman one man romance.  Raine is involved with two different men in this book.  There is also public sex, BDSM and lots of sexual activity.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  ONE DOM TO LOVE is the first book in the Doms of Her Life series.  This is a continuing story about the menage rather than four separate stories.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars

Review: Big Easy Temptation

Review: Big Easy TemptationBig Easy Temptation (The Perfect Gentlemen, #3) by Shayla Black, Lexi Blake
Series: The Perfect Gentlemen #3
Published by Berkley on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 384
Goodreads
five-stars

“You broke her heart.”

“Yeah, well, she broke mine, too.”

FINAL DECISION:  The most emotionally complex story of the series so far, BIG EASY TEMPTATION expands the overarching conspiracy while always keeping the focus of the story on the characters and their relationship.

THE STORY:  At their first meeting almost decade ago, Naval Officer Dax Spencer knew that Holland Kirk would be special to him.  The two circled around one another for years until 3 years ago.  The death of Dax’s father brings the two together as Dax seeks answers to what happened to his father.  Holland’s work as a NCIS agent gives her jurisdiction and for a time the two work together and finally begin building a relationship.  Then everything falls apart separating the two.  Now the two reunite as the conspiracy The Perfect Gentlemen are investigating appears connected to Dax’s father’s death. Dax has questions for Holland about what happened three years ago.

OPINION:  I loved the emotional complexity of this story.  The narrative is unusual in that the story is divided in two parts. The first part takes place in the past and ends badly with Holland and Dax separated.  The second part begins in present time and ultimately brings the two lovers back together.  I especially liked that the story takes the time to bring readers into the past and show the entirety of what went wrong with Holland and Dax.  Without that context, it would be difficult to understand and forgive the betrayals that tore them apart.  By following Dax and Holland through the entirety of their story, the pain they both experience is more immediate, fresher and thus more devastating than a mere exposition of the past would have been.

This is a second chance at love story and I became engrossed in Dax and Holland’s journey and was deeply saddened at the end of the first part of the story and then rejoiced when the two found on another again.  The complexity of the story, the characters and the emotional heft of the story matched the increasing complexity of the overarching story.

One thing I especially like about this series is that each of the books in the series is different.  This is the not a series with different characters in the same story. Each of the stories, each of the characters, each of the situations and challenges are different.  At the same time, each of the novels adds to the overarching story and I love that I get to see all the characters throughout the series.

Both Dax and Holland make many mistakes on their way to finding one another and I like the optimism of that.  Even with all their mistakes and misses in getting to their HEA, the do eventually get there.

The most angst filled story so far, this book feels like a pivot point in the series as the third of the five Perfect Gentlemen gets his woman and some of the outlines of the conspiracy are beginning to be revealed.  The conspiracy which has ensnared The Perfect Gentlemen is breathtaking in its scope.  It also keeps me guessing!

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book also reveals the likely pairings for the other Perfect Gentlemen and now I can’t wait for the next book.

CONNECTED BOOKS: BIG EASY TEMPTATION is the third book in The Perfect Gentlemen series.  This book should be read as part of the series because the suspense thread is part of an overarching story.  The overarching mystery continues past this book as well so be willing to continue to read the series.  Not a hardship!

STAR RATING:  I give this book 5 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in order to provide a review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions contained herein are my own.

five-stars

Review: Seduction in Session

Review: Seduction in SessionSeduction in Session (The Perfect Gentlemen, #2) by Shayla Black, Lexi Blake
Series: The Perfect Gentlemen #2
Published by Berkley on January 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 400
Goodreads
five-stars

“He’s taken one glance inside Lara’s fridge and known he would need help to survive.  The woman didn’t even have real milk.”

FINAL DECISION: The second entry in The Perfect Gentlemen series is funny, suspenseful, and spicy hot.  Connor, Lara and all the supporting cast of characters makes this a read that is fast paced and exciting.

THE STORY:  Connor Sparks, one of the Perfect Gentlemen, has picked up the mystery of who killed one of their own. A mysterious informant has sent the crew looking at Lara Armstrong, who runs an online tabloid, Capitol Scandals.  Connor, who works for the CIA, intends to use all his skills to find out what Lara knows.  Pretending to be a bodyguard, Connor inserts himself into Lara’s life but finds that the quirky woman brings a light to his life that the man who has lived in darkness for so long desperately wants.  Lara is a woman who wants to change the world but when someone tries to kill her, she has to turn to her sexy new bodyguard for protection.

OPINION: A perfect blend of humor, complex drama and suspense, SEDUCTION IN SESSION picks up where the first book in the series left off.  The overarching mystery continues as the question of who killed Maddox expands into a true conspiracy that goes far beyond the murder of one man.  I love that the suspense story is not external to the characters and the romance, but rather is built into the fabric of the relationships both between the hero and heroine but also The Perfect Gentlemen themselves.  I adore a good romantic suspense but only where the focus remains on the romance and not the suspense.  Here, as with the first book in the series, I found the balance just perfect. The overarching story kept me turning pages, while I relaxed into the romance between Connor and Lara.

The romance between Connor and Lara is complex and intriguing with a layer of humor which kept the story from being too dark.  Connor is a man who is marked by all the work he has done to protect people.  Working for the CIA has led Connor into a dark world and he now sees himself separate from those he cares about because of his secrets.  When he first approaches Lara, Connor knows that he will find a spoiled girl who is playing at revealing secrets or a woman who is trying to harm his friends. What he discovers instead is a woman who believes in the good in people and who wants to help others.

It is was easy for me to fall a little in love with Connor.  I love heroes who are wounded and have a darkness at their core. Connor is a good man who has had to do bad things for good reasons.  The love of a good woman brings him into the light.

Lara is not a character that I normally would like.  She is fussy with her Vegan diet, her obsession with environmental and social issues. She did eventually win me over because her genuine concern and caring for others, her ultimate recognition of the complexity of the world and her ultimate complete acceptance of Connor showed her to be someone that I could like and see as a match for Connor.

In less talented hands, these characters could have been caricatures.  Instead, the story goes deep into these two people giving them depth and complexity and life.

This series scares me a bit because I feel that it is one that I will want to re-read again and again, but so much depends upon the remainder of the series because these books are so intertwined.

WORTH MENTIONING: I’m not a big fan of pets in books because they often are a distraction, but I loved Lara’s struggling Vegan dog Lincoln.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  SEDUCTION IN SESSION is the second book in The Perfect Gentlemen series.  I cannot recommend a reader skip the first book, the stories build upon one another in the overarching story so just start at the beginning with this series.  You won’t regret it.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 5 stars.

five-stars

Review: Scandal Never Sleeps

Review: Scandal Never SleepsScandal Never Sleeps (The Perfect Gentlemen, #1) by Shayla Black, Lexi Blake
Series: The Perfect Gentlemen #1
Published by Berkley on August 18th 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 400
Goodreads
five-stars

“Gabriel Bond really wanted to murder his best friend.”

FINAL DECISION:  How did I miss this series?  I absolutely loved this book which has funny, sexy and likeable characters, complex issues, an intriguing mystery and is hot, hot, hot!  I totally fell in love with the characters and flew through this book.

THE STORY: Gabriel Bond, one of the six “Perfect Gentlemen” of Creighton Academy, is left adrift after the death of one of his best friends Maddox Crawford.  Grieving and angry and a little lost, Gabriel seeks some forgetfulness with a woman he meets in a bar.  Everly Parker isn’t a woman who engages in one night stands, but the handsome and sexy Gabriel is an opportunity that she doesn’t want to pass up.  Things become complicated, however, when Everly and Gabriel meet again and find out that Gabriel is Everly’s new boss and Gabriel finds out that Everly is the woman he believes was Maddox’s mistress.  Then Gabriel becomes a suspect in Maddox’s murder.

OPINION: This book just sucked me in and wouldn’t let go. The Perfect Gentlemen are sexy, dominant men who have a funny and even somewhat sweet relationship.  They call one another brothers and their relationship is the central pivot point in the overarching story. The men needle, tease, taunt, challenge one another and are devoted to one another.  Without this foundation in the book, it would be impossible to understand or believe what these men are willing to do for one another.  The unshakable relationship between these men also serves to show how important the relationship between Gabriel and Everly becomes as she dislodges the other Perfect Gentlemen as most important to Gabriel.

Some readers might grumble about the fact that the overarching mystery that begins in this book with Maddox Crawford’s death is not resolved in this book.  I like my series to be closely connected and prefer that there be overarching issues which thread through all the books in the series.  This book is just about perfect in that regard.  Some questions are answered in this book and some questions linger on and is picked up by the next book in the series.  The romance itself is complete.

Before I began reading romances, I was an avid mystery reader and I still really enjoy a good romantic suspense or romance/mystery book.  My complaint is often that either there is too much suspense and little romance or the mystery is no real mystery but rather nothing more than an excuse to create drama for the hero and heroine.  Not so here.  The mystery seems organic and vital to the story and yet never overshadows the romance between Gabriel and Everly.  I was satisfied with the answers I got in this book even as I wonder about the bigger questions left unanswered.  Obviously, I don’t know what the ultimate answers are but the writers have earned my trust by creating a clever and intelligent beginning.

While Gabriel is definitely a yummy hero.  Unapologetically a highly sexed man, I loved how Gabriel doesn’t apologize for his sex life and doesn’t ask Everly to apologize for hers.  Powerful and yet willing to listen to Everly (after some initial misunderstandings). He treats her as an equal to him intellectually and sexually.  He’s funny and sexy and has some darkness in his past — what’s not to love?

I adored Everly as well.  She is smart and capable.  And can she handle Gabriel!  I especially like that Everly has a profession that is not usually given to women in books.  She is head of information security and is a hacker.  Her particular skills are especially useful in the mystery.  Loved, loved that Everly is not a damsel in distress but an active participant in the story and in the mystery.

This book just hit me in the right spot.  In fact, the hardest decision for me was whether to read the next book right away or re-read my favorite parts of this book.  My decision was to continue with the series and then re-read.  The best of both worlds.

WORTH MENTIONING:  The books in this series all deal with one overarching mystery that begins with the death of Maddox Crawford in this book. The overarching mystery is not resolved here even though the immediate issues raised in the book are resolved.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  SCANDAL NEVER SLEEPS is the first book in The Perfect Gentlemen series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 5 stars.

NOTE: I received a free paperback copy of this book at the RT Booklovers Convention. There was no request or requirement that I write a review or that I say positive things about this book.  All opinions contained herein are my own.

five-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Top 10 New to Me Books I Want to Read After RT Booklovers Convention

by Alice Clayton, Alyssa Cole, Donna Grant, Elle Kennedy, Em Shotwell, Julie Murphy, Katherine Reay, Leigh Bardugo, Lexi Blake, Savannah J. Frierson, Shayla Black

In April, I attended the RT Booklovers Convention in Las Vegas. It was a fantastic experience.  The parties were fun, the panels were usually very interesting and I came home with bags full of free books, but what I loved most was standing around talking with people about the books that they love.

The convention opened my eyes to authors, genres and all kinds of books that I never knew were out there.  I made a commitment that I would pick 10 books by authors that I haven’t really read before and try them out in the next year.

There is no method in the books I chose other than my limitation that they not be from authors that I regularly read. I ended up with dozens of possible books to read, and decided to just chose 10 that sparked my interest in some way.

What follows are my list of books in no particular order:

Blackbird Summer

Blackbird Summer by Em Shotwell: This might be the most shallow reason for choosing a book — I was walking around the book fair and loved the cover of this book.  I spoke with the author who gave a good pitch for the book.  It features a heroine with supernatural powers and takes place in the rural South. It happened to be on sale on Kindle so I bought it right then. The cover looks like a pictures I’d like to have on my wall.

Mixed Signals (Off the Grid, #3)

Mixed Signals by Alyssa Cole:  I saw the author speak at one of the panels and was impressed by how articulate and funny she was.  I really like clever books so I have hopes that this author’s personality will transfer to what she writes. The book is part of a post-apocalyptic series and I’m going to have to decide whether or not to read from the beginning of the series or start here.

Being Plumville

Being Plumville by Savannah J. Frierson:  I met this author at the Book Fair.  I was wandering around talking to different authors and approached her table.  I asked what her book was about.  When she told me that the story was about an interracial couple in the 1960s, I was hooked.  I know I haven’t read this book before so I was determined that it would make my list of books to read.

Scandal Never Sleeps (The Perfect Gentlemen, #1)

Scandal Never Sleeps by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake: One of my favorite events at the RT Convention was the Perfect Gentlemen event.  Lots of cool swag and a free copy of this book along with a signing by the authors.  As we waited in line for the signing, the group of women I was with laughed and drank the pink champagne.  It was a fun time. The entirety of the event plus the blurb on the back made me put this book in the read really soon pile.  A group of powerful and really sexy men finding strong women while investigating the death of one of their members is definitely my type of catnip.

Dumplin'

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy: This book was chosen as Book of the Year at the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards.  I love the idea that all people deserve a happy ending.  Once again, I was impressed with the author as she accepted her awards that night.  Her remarks were touching and I knew I would have to read this book.

Wallbanger (Cocktail, #1)

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton: Lot of buzz about this author and series at the convention.  Someone else had recommended the book to me a while ago, Sarah MacLean has recommended it several times, and the repeated recommendations at the convention finally moved it to my list.

Dear Mr. Knightley

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay:  I went to the Sweet Romance Morning Coffee Break event and this author was in attendance.  One of the attendees at my table recommended reading this book and I was intrigued by the letter writing involved in the book and its connection to Pride and Prejudice.

Claimed (Outlaws, #1)

Claimed by Elle Kennedy: Another of those post-apocalyptic books, I received and ARC of the second book in this series at a blogger event and decided I had to look at this book to decide if I had to read it first.  I read the blurb “Her best chance at survival is Connor Mackenzie, an aggressively sensual fugitive who opens her eyes to the wicked possibilities of a world without rules.” and I had to add it to my list.

Smoke and Fire (Dark Kings, #9)

Smoke and Fire by Donna Grant: Dragon Shapeshifters.  Nothing else needed except I do need to decide where I want to start with this series.

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: I talked to many people able YA books and two different people suggested this book to me.  I know that it was on sale on Kindle not long ago so I decided I would give it a try.

Over the next year, I’m going to read these books.  Stay tuned to read my reviews.

Do you create book challenges for yourself? If so, what is on your challenge list?

Save

Save