Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2016

I'm always discovering new-to-me authors it seems like, so this week's prompt could have been much longer than just ten. Some of my most favorite reads this year were from newbies. And you betcha I'll be back for more! Have you read anything by these authors? Let me know in the comments.

Jessica Love - IN REAL LIFE [add to goodreads]
Darcy Woods - SUMMER OF SUPERNOVAS [add to goodreads]
Jennifer Mathieu - AFTERWARD [add to goodreads]
Julie Buxbaum - TELL ME THREE THINGS [add to goodreads]

Julianna Keyes - GOING TO THE DISTANCE [add to goodreads]
Sally Thorne - THE HATING GAME [add to goodreads]
Katherine Center - HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS [add to goodreads]

Laura Drewry - OFF THE HOOK [add to goodreads]
Ruby McNally - CRASH [add to goodreads]
Cara McKenna - HER BEST LAID PLANS [add to goodreads]

Monday, November 21, 2016

GIVEAWAY: Looking Ahead to 2017

Can you believe 2016 is already almost over?! This year has been... rough. I think most people are happy to see it end, yet we're a bit fearful of what lies ahead as well. It's a good thing we have our books to escape to when life brings us those challenges. I know I can always count on a good story to take my mind away, and ease my soul, even if it's just for a few pages. We all need that sometimes.

I'm back again with another pre-order giveaway of the books I am most looking forward to reading in 2017. I hope you'll find some new stuff to add to your own to-be-read list and enter my giveaway below for a chance to win one of these. This contest is open to my international readers too, but please make sure the book you choose is able to ship to you from Book Depository (I know some books have different publishing dates).

Winner will choose one book from the list above.
Open to US + International readers (Book Depository must ship to you!)
Books are subject to change due to publication date/availability.

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Monday, October 31, 2016

Discussion: Have You Become a Picky Reader, Too?

I've been on a reading binge of romance novels (both YA and Adult) for the past five years it seems.  This year it's been heavily focused on Adult romances.  Basically if there isn't an element of romance in the story, I don't want to read it.  Call me a romantic.  Over the last six months or so, I've noticed there are certain details in the adult romances I look for.  When I am perusing Amazon's kindle deals, or checking out some book rec's that friends sent me, I've gotten into the habit of looking for certain details.  I don't know when I became this reader, but there it is. I AM NOW A PICKY READER.

So what are these details?  Well, though these aren't necessary details that I HAVE TO HAVE when I read, they are things I definitely find myself looking for.

  • Prefer first person narrative. Why? Because I feel that much more connected to the story.  And if the  novel is told from one POV, it's even better.  I prefer to be inside a character's mind and discovering the story through their eyes.  Though dual POVs can be fun, it takes the element of surprise out of the story sometimes. Third person narratives aren't a hands down no for me. If the writing is solid and entertaining, then I am okay with it.  But most of the time those first person POVs are my jam.
  • Not a big fan of second chance romances. Why? Because I feel like I missed the beginning of their love story.  Typically the story begins later down the road, when I feel like I am just being TOLD what their first time around was like, when really I want to be experiencing it too (even if it's much earlier in their time frame).  I think this goes back to my "wanting to be inside the character's head" comment from above -- I need to understand where they are now, and why a second chance romance may or may not be an option.
  • Substance is a must. Why? Because even though all those romancey-times are fun, I need to know who those peeps are, what their story is, where the conflict is, how their story will be resolved. I need something deeper in my story than just a means to get to the bedroom.
  • I prefer the dorky - might need to take a second look - his wit & words is what attract me first - kind of hero.  Why? Because ripped abs, sculpted arms, bad-boy types have left me feeling bored. I think this goes back to my needing substance in the story preference. An attractive guy is great and all, but a writer can only describe their physique so many times before it gets boring and I lose interest in the story. Give me humor, wit, SUBSTANCE to his character and I am all in.
  • The girl doesn't need the guy to complete her story. Why? Because nothing bugs me more than when a heroine is portrayed as weak, or her life is less than because she didn't get the dude, or her happily ever after didn't pan out. Call me a feminist, but I believe all women are more than capable of living a fulfilled life regardless of her romantic relations. They're just an added, extremely nice, bonus!
So tell me, which details draw you to the books you read?  If you're a romance reader fan, too, do any of these preferences make your list as well?  Let's chat about it!  Talk to me in the comments, or feel free to find me on twitter (@GReadsBooks) to further the conversation.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Last 3 Romances I've Read...

I decided to highlight the last 3 romances I've read and feature them on the blog, as sort of a "mini-review" series.  I know for myself when I am wanting a new romance to read, I appreciate coming across a round-up of novels to either add to my TBR, or pass on by, thanks to other book bloggers.  So I am hoping this new feature does the same for you!

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Published: August 9, 2016 by William Morrow
About the book: Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.[goodreads]
I read this novel a little over a month ago, and it's been on my mind ever since.

My first thoughts after finishing it: "I could have raced through this book in a blink of an eye because it was so dang entertaining. But I took my time with it, savoring every hysterical witty banter, every irresistible look, & that holy smokes hot kiss in an elevator! Oh this book is what dreams are made of. I adored every single page. Please give me MORE, MORE, MORE." 

Yup, I fell completely head over heels in love with it!  And that love affair is still going strong.  If you're a fan of love-to-hate relationships like I am, then this novel is everything you've ever wanted.  The tension between these two characters builds and builds, yet revealing sweet moments here and there.  I love a good story that can deliver on both the physical and emotional attraction between two characters.  This is a definite must read!

Beautiful by Christina Lauren
Published: October 4, 2016 by Gallery Books
About the book: Featuring the entire BEAUTIFUL series cast for one final hurrah!


After walking in on her boyfriend shagging another girl in their place, Pippa Bay Cox ditches London for the States to go on a drunken road trip with Ruby Miller and some of her Beautiful friends.

Scaling the career ladder is the default way to deal with heartbreak—and to just deal—for Jensen Bergstrom. Absolutely buried by his drive and workload, he rarely takes time for himself. But when his sister Hanna convinces him to join the gang on a two-week wine tour, he has a rare moment of cutting loose. Of course, it’s only once he’s committed that he realizes the strange girl he met briefly on the plane is coming along, too. She might be too much for him…or he might realize his life has become too small and needs her to make it bigger, crazier.

With this circle of friends there’s always something going on: from Chloe and Sara’s unexpected personality swaps to Will’s new domestic side to Bennett’s text message barrage and George’s own happily-ever-after. In short, their adventures in love, friendship, and hilarity are nothing short of Beautiful. [goodreads]
Well, it's no surprise I am a total Christina Lauren fangirl.  Though their Wild Seasons series is my favorite, I've still really enjoyed their Beautiful Bastard series as well.  And just like the other, this one has now come to a close, too. Queue sad music and all the tears!

My first thoughts after finishing it: "What a sweet surprise at the very end :) Oh how I love this writing duo! Sad to see another series end, but I'm anxious for what they're giving us next."

I love their stories, because even though they're written as part of a series, each novel is its own unique story.  Do you have to read them in order? No. But will you understand all the side characters, and appreciate those little check-in's to see what they're up to now? Probably not.  And THIS novel is so much more than just Pippa and Jensen's story.  It's a culminating finale for each individual couple.  Such a BEAUTIFUL way to end the series and say goodbye.

Misbehaving by Tiffany Reisz
Published: February 11, 2014 by Cosmo Red Hot Reads from Harlequin
About the book: Wanted: Adventurous, open-minded man willing to try anything…

As a popular sex blogger, Beatriz gets paid to have orgasms. So being on deadline the week of her sister’s wedding isn’t as rough as it sounds. There’s just one hitch: Bea’s assignment is to write a review of a sex position manual, but she doesn’t have a plus one to play with.

The good news: Ben, the one who got away back in college, is also attending stag--and he's as temptingly gorgeous as ever.

The bad news: Ben turned down Bea’s offer of graduation night sex five years ago.

The best news: He’s not planning on making the same mistake twice. [goodreads]
I recently went on a binge of Cosmo Red Hot Reads and found this little gem. If you're ever in the mood for a quick, hot, enjoyable romance -- I definitely recommend checking these out!

My first thoughts after finishing it: "Whoa! That was hot! And unexpectedly entertaining. Short and sweet and to the point. Just what I needed."

There's no need to create an entire backstory for this novel.  Just enough details are given to place the characters exactly where they need to be in order to go forward with THIS particular story.  I think that takes a lot of skill as a writer to be able to not just TELL me what's been going on, but also to make me FEEL it.  And this author definitely delivered in that detail.

This novel is definitely for mature eyes only.  Sometimes the romances I read can be a bit too heavy on the actual romance-making scenes, and leave out the actual story on who these characters are.  Which is totally okay for some novels -- that may be the point of the story.  However, I need some depth before all the action begins.  This novel gave just enough details to produce a very entertaining read. I definitely recommend this one for readers who are looking for a quick romance, heavy on the romance-making part.

Monday, October 17, 2016

#BossBabes: Meet My Favorite Boss Babe + a Giveaway!

The lovely folks at Workman Publishing shared with me a copy of Boss Babes: A Coloring and Activity Book for Grown Ups.  It's a unique book filled with strong and empowering women wrapped up in a cool concept of fun activities such as crossword puzzles, coloring pages, and even matching games.  But what I really love most about this book is the inspiring message behind it.

Boss Babes: A Coloring & Activity Book for Grown-Ups by Michelle Volansky

About the book: A playful and play-filled ode to strong women, BOSS BABES is a coloring and activity book filled with fun facts and whimsical black-and-white line drawings celebrating female powerhouses from Beyonce to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Dolly Parton to Malala, Tina Fey to Serena Williams. On every page is a portrait to color or an activity to complete: Connect the dots to conjure J.K. Rowling’s patronus. Complete the Beyonce crossword (12-DOWN: Who run the world?). Decorate Flo-Jo’s nails, decode Cher’s most recent tweet, design a new jabot for RBG, color in Frida Kahlo’s flowers, and more! [workman publishing company]

To celebrate #BossBabes, and promote this new book, I want to feature one of my most favorite Boss Babes: my sister, Robin!  She's not only a loving wife & mom to two beautiful boys, but she's also a working mom, juggling two different careers.  I'm proud of the dedication she's put into her new business as a consultant for Rodan + Fields, in which she truly cares about their skin care products.  It shows in the amount of time and effort she puts into it, and how satisfied her customers are.

Robin Moore || Rodan + Fields Facebook Page
Robin is a true Boss Babe, setting a strong example for her kids on how hard work, dedication, and a positive attitude can bring the best rewards.  As her sister, I am so proud of her!!  Immediately when I received a copy of Boss Babes, I knew she'd be the person to share it with.

  • Workman Pub has put together a fun "Who's Your Inner Boss Babe?" quiz || check it out here!
  • There's also a playlist to listen to on Spotify for all you Boss Babes || listen here!

To celebrate my sister and all the #BossBabes, I am giving away a copy of the book as well!  Just fill out the rafflecopter below (giveaway participants must be US residents).  Good Luck!!

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