Bout-of-Books 17 Progress

BoutOfBooks-880x400-03As usual, I’ll keep this post front and center for the duration of Bout-of-Books 17 so it’ll be easy for everyone to see how I’m doing. Once again, no goals other than to read and have fun and no real theme to my reading either. My usual eclectic mess is even messier than usual this time around. I’ve got about 3 books that I’ve started but haven’t finished so I’m going to attempt to get them knocked out this week. That may or not happen, but it’s a worthy goal… that is if I had a goal, which I don’t… other than having fun😉

8/22
Number of books & pages I’ve read today: Approx. 93 Pages

  • Continued Gambling on Love by Jane Davitt (Approx. 93 Pages)

Total number of books & pages I’ve read: Approx. 93 Pages
Today #insixwords: Playing Catch-up is so Much Fun ;) 
Books:

  • Continued Gambling on Love

8/23
Number of books & pages I’ve read today: 1 Book; Approx. 51 Pages
Total number of books & pages I’ve read: 1 Book; Approx. 144 Pages

  • Finished Gambling on Love by Jane Davitt (Approx. 51 Pages)

Today #insixwords: Not Exactly a Stellar Reading Day😦
Books:

  • Finished Gambling on Love

8/24
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8/25
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8/26
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8/27
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8/28
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Fortune’s Favor (Heroes of Arcania #2) by Liz Long

LizLongNova will learn it takes more than sheer strength to be a superhero. Her world implodes when Fortune strikes back for all the trouble she’s caused. His dangerous games put everyone around her at risk, especially when he decides to turn Arcania against its precious Heroes. Nova wants to protect Arcania, but how does she save a city that doesn’t want her help?
Cole has no idea how to deal with his sister Penelope, especially now that she’s learned the truth about their family secret. Thanks to Fortune, she’s headed down a dark path, one with no return. Torn between helping Nova and protecting his sister, Cole will be forced to make a choice. Tensions rise as Cole and Nova discover war will come to Arcania if they don’t get Fortune off the streets…or preferably six feet under.
Nova and Cole might have each other, but will they lose everything else in their mission to save Arcania?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Well, I’m just a little bit behind, but since I’m posting this the week after the last book in Liz Long’s Heroes of Arcania series, I’ll just pretend it was planned that way.😀

Fortune’s Favor picked up exactly where Super Nova left off. After Penelope’s seemingly betrayal and Henry’s kidnapping, Nova and Cole are both left devastated. Now they each have even more reasons to want to end Fortune’s reign of terror on Arcania.

Needless to say, a lot happens in Fortune’s Favor. More secrets are revealed. Crazy alliances are made and the danger never slows. Henry finds himself caught in the middle in more ways than one, but that doesn’t stop him from taking more crazy chances. Both Nova and Cole are suffering from guilt as well as an urgency to find a way to stop Fortune.

From the beginning I’ve loved the connection between Nova and Cole. Nova started her fight against Fortune because of Star, but as the story’s processed, it’s turned into much more than that. Cole’s goal has always been to do the right thing, regardless of the danger to himself, but the strength in those convictions and his alliances are put to the ultimate test by the end of Fortune’s Favor. The jury’s still out on exactly how far Penelope will go to prove her point… Things should be extremely interesting in Unbreakable, the final book in the Heroes of Arcania series.

On a side note, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I didn’t even consider a connection between Liz Long’s Donovan Circus series and Heroes of Arcania until this book. It’s sad to say that I’m afraid I may have never really ‘gotten it’ but the author made it blatantly obvious in Fortune’s Favor. *face palm* That’s okay, oblivious or not, I love the connection and hope I notice even more.😉 As I mentioned, Unbreakable was released last week, so if you’re one of those people who doesn’t like to start a series until it’s complete, you’re in luck.

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Rhapsody (Bellator Saga #5) Cover Reveal

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RHAPSODY-PAPERBACK

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Title: Rhapsody Book #5 in The Bellator Saga

Author: Cecilia London

Release: September 13th

Cover Artist: S.K. Hartly with Luminos Graphic House

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RHAPSODY-EBOOK (1) “I’m never going to stop loving you, Caroline. It’s just not possible.”

Major Caroline Gerard returns from a dangerous mission battered and bruised. Terrified to confront the emotional and physical gap between her and her husband, she’s determined to do whatever it takes to avoid reality.

Commander Jack McIntyre has been tasked with saving American democracy, but he has to save his marriage first. He’s desperate to regain the passionate connection that he and his wife once shared. And a man on a mission will sacrifice anything to succeed.

In the meantime, the rebellion is in need of a catalyst to spur international action to stop President Santos’ increasingly unstable behavior. As Caroline and Jack repair their hearts, each day brings new secrets and new challenges, and a revelation that could shatter everything they thought was true.

Rhapsody is the fifth book in The Bellator Saga. It should be read after the first four books in the series.

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Want an opportunity to win the first four books in the series?

Head over to Cecilia’s Author page today for a chance to win books 1-4 in the series!

CLICK HERE

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BUSINESS CARD FRONTCecilia London is the pen name of a native Illinoisan currently living in San Antonio, Texas. She’s filled several roles over the course of her adult life – licensed attorney, wrangler of small children, and obsessed baseball fan, among others. An extroverted introvert with a serious social media addiction, she is the author of The Bellator Saga, an epic, genre-crossing romance series. You can catch all of her quirky updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or at her website.

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Did you catch the sale of Books 1 – 3 in the series?

Sale ends TODAY!

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Dissident:

Rising Democratic star Caroline Gerard is reluctant to fall in love again after losing her husband. Can Republican playboy Jack McIntyre break through her grief and capture her heart? Told mostly in flashback and set against a chilling fascist backdrop, Dissident is a rollercoaster ride of political intrigue, passionate romance, and undying love.

Conscience:

Caroline faces the biggest challenge of her life when confronted with the cruelty and sadism of her captors at The Fed. Hope fades quickly, even as she holds onto her one last bit of sanity and her unshakable belief that her husband will rescue her. But is that faith just a mirage?

Sojourn:

Reeling from her experiences at The Fed, Caroline tries to forge ahead and create a new identity. But that’s hard to do with the ghosts of the past constantly whispering in her ear. She is determined to find the rebellion and move on with her life, but what will she find when she arrives there?

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Bout-of-Books 17 (8/22/16-8/28/16)

YKdCOt4Wow! This Bout-of-Books marks exactly 5 years since the very first Bout-of-Books that was started by that infamous tweet. And since I’ve been there from the beginning, it marks my 17th Bout-of-Books as well. I still get excited when I get ready to announce to everyone my intention to join in on the fun.😉

During the week of August 22-28, 2016 it’s officially time to get your read on! If you’ve never participated in Bout-of-Books, you can find out everything you need to know about this ‘no-pressure’ read-a-thon here. The only other thing you need to know is get ready to have some fun! You can read as much or as little as you want while you meet lots of cool bloggers/readers and take part in challenges, chat away (or just try to keep up) with a couple of twitter chats. Of course there’s nothing wrong with just setting the week aside to just read while knowing that a bunch of other people are doing the same. Below is the official Bout-of-Books blurb:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Just remember, the most important thing is to have FUN!

Don’t Tempt Me (Guthrie Brothers #1) by Lori Foster

Don'tTemptMeLove comes along when it’s least wanted 
Jason Guthrie has no time for entanglements—between helping out his widowed brother and teenage nephew and getting his hometown back on its feet, his days are spoken for. But his nights are another story… And when his lovely new neighbor, Honor Brown, reluctantly accepts his help in remodeling her house, Jason finds himself wishing his handyman skills could knock down the defenses she keeps building around herself.
Martial arts teacher Sullivan Dean knows real danger when he sees it—even when it takes the form of the gorgeous blonde helping her friend move in across the street. After putting his wayward past behind him to focus on teaching control to troubled kids, Sullivan has learned to avoid party girls like Lexie Perkins. But Sullivan can’t seem to keep his hands off the real woman behind that flirty charm—or keep his heart from landing at her feet…

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Basically, if Lori Foster writes it, I’ll read it. She’s actually one of a very few contemporary romance authors that I follow. I honestly prefer her ‘edgier’ books, but I like her sweet romances too. Even though there’s an element of danger in Don’t Tempt Me, I think this one falls into the ‘sweeter’ category.

The description lets readers know that two romances are the focus of Don’t Tempt Me, but this is pretty much Jason and Honor’s story. Since Sullivan isn’t a ‘Guthrie’, that’s probably why they shared the story. Lexie’s Honor’s best friend though, so having them find their HEA together was kind of appropriate.

As a series opener, Don’t Tempt Me did a great job of introducing the characters and helping readers get to know all the brothers pretty well. I liked and pretty much admired them all and can’t wait to get to know them even better.😉

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Wolfsong (Wolfsong #1) by T.J. Klune

WolfsongOx was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.
Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road, the boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.
Ox was seventeen when he found out the boy’s secret, and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.
Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.
It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.

This author… He gives readers no choice but to fall in love with the characters he creates. Then he slowly tortures them both physically and emotionally until he eventually and just as slowly, puts the pieces of their lives back together again. I both love and hate him for that…

Wolfsong was written in mostly double-titled chapters, so depending on how you look at it, Ox didn’t even meet Joe (the boy) until the 3rd (or 5th) chapter. That’s okay though, because the quality time that readers spent with Ox was necessary. Klune used those introductory chapters wisely. One of the things that I love most about this author is his ability to make his characters ‘real’. As much as I was impatiently waiting for Ox and Joe to finally meet, I really appreciated that one-on-one time I got to spend with Ox. Being in Ox’s head was a unique experience even from the beginning. He never had a high opinion of himself (I’m still mad at his father), just one of the many reasons that I couldn’t help but love him from the very beginning. It’s really hard to explain, but basically, readers were given the opportunity to experience Ox’s growth from a awkward boy into a somewhat less awkward young man.

And then there was Joe… I’m not surprised that the most quoted line out of this book was “candy canes and pinecones and epic and awesome” because that’s pretty much what Wolfsong was… but it was so much more than that. I promise not to give anything away, but the moment that Joe and Ox finally meet is too amazing not to share…

There was a boy standing in the dirt road, watching me. His nose was twitching and his eyes were wide. They were blue and bright. Short blond hair. Tanned skin, almost as much as mine. He was young and small and I wondered if I was dreaming again.
“Hello.” I said.
“Who are you?” he asked.
“I’m Ox.”
“Ox? Ox! Do you smell that?”
I sniffed the air. I didn’t smell anything other than the woods. “I smell trees,” I said.
He shook his head. “No, no, no. It’s something bigger.”
He walked toward me, his eye going wider. Then he was running.
He wasn’t big. He couldn’t have been more than nine or ten. He collided with my legs, and I barely took a step back. He started climbing me, hooking his legs around my thighs and pulling himself up until his arms were around my neck and we were face to face. “It’s you!”
He was in my arms now. I didn’t want him to fall. He took my face in his hands and squished my cheeks together. “Why do you smell like that?” he demanded. “Where did you come from? Do you live in the woods? What are you? We just got here. Finally. Where is your house?” He put his forehead agains mine and inhaled deeply. “I don’t get it!” he exclaimed. “What is it?” And then he was crawling up and over my shoulders, feet pressed against my chest and neck until he clambered onto my back, arms around my neck, chin hooked on my shoulder. “We have to go see my mom and dad,” he said. “They’ll know what this is. They know everything.”
He was a tornado of fingers and feet and words. I was caught in the storm.

And then it gets better….

He started spinning his storm again, voice rising up and down, words forcefully punctuated without pattern. “Mom! Mom, you have to smell him! It’s like…like…I don’t even know what it’s like! I was walking in the woods to scope out our territory so I could be like Dad and then it was like…whoa. And then he was all standing there and he didn’t see me at first because I’m getting so good at hunting. I was all like rawr and grr but then I smelled it again and it was him and it was all kaboom! I don’t even know! I don’t even know! You gotta smell him and then tell me why it’s all candy canes and pinecones and epic and awesome.”
They all stared at him as if they’d come across something unexpected. Mark had a secret smile on his face, hidden by his hand.
“Is that so?” the woman finally said. Her voice wavered like it was a fragile thing. “Rawr and grr and kaboom?”
“And the smells!” he cried.
“Can’t forget about those,” the man next to her said faintly. “Candy canes and pinecones and epic and awesome.”
“Didn’t I tell you ?” Mark said to them, “Ox is…different.”

Epic and awesome indeed… So ‘epic and awesome’ that I’m ashamed of how long it’s taken me to sit down and write my review. The thing is, I always have a hard time writing reviews of books that I love. I know that there’s no way that I can come close to putting into words what makes a book like Wolfsong one that shouldn’t be ignored. There was just so much to love about it. Ox and Joe of course, but the rest of Joe’s family and Ox’s mom. Their friends and the ‘pack’ in general. *sigh*

Then there was the trademark TJ Klune moments that made me simultaneously love and hate the author. You guessed it, there were tears. Tears of joy, tears of laughter and gut wrenching, heart breaking tears. Lots and lots of ‘wookie cry face’ tears. As much as I hate to admit it, they were all worth it.

Beyond that, the world building and the author’s unique take on werewolves was awesome… I loved the way the wolves viewed certain aspects of life the way that more humans should. I loved Ox’s mother’s acceptance of who Ox was for no other reason than she loved him as a mother should. There’s really not much more that I can say other than I’m super excited that this is just the beginning of a new series. Now I need to go over my TBR list, I have some catching up to do with the rest of this author’s books.😉

DragonFlyRating5

 

Adulting 101 Virtual Book Tour

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Hi, and welcome to the blog tour to celebrate the release of Adulting 101 by Lisa Henry. I’m visiting some of my favourite blogs around the place to talk about writing Adulting 101, some of my influences and inspiration, and even sharing an excerpt or two! Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a prize!

 Blurb:

Adulting101_600x900The struggle is real.

Nick Stahlnecker is eighteen and not ready to grow up yet. He has a summer job, a case of existential panic, and a hopeless crush on the unattainable Jai Hazenbrook. Except how do you know that your coworker’s unattainable unless you ask to blow him in the porta-potty?

That’s probably not what Dad meant when he said Nick should act more like an adult.

Twenty-five-year-old Jai is back in his hometown of Franklin, Ohio, just long enough to earn the money to get the hell out again. His long-term goal of seeing more of the world is worth the short-term pain of living in his mother’s basement, but only barely.

Meeting Nick doesn’t fit in with Jai’s plans at all, but, as Jai soon learns, you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to have the adventure of a lifetime.

This is not a summer romance. This is a summer friendship-with-benefits. It’s got pizza with disgusting toppings, Netflix and chill, and accidental exhibitionism. That’s all. There are no feelings here. None. Shut up.

You can find out more about Adulting 101 at Riptide

Bio:

Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

You can email me at lisahenryonline@gmail.com

Or check out my website at lisahenryonline.com

Got Twitter? Follow me at https://twitter.com/LisaHenryOnline

Hanging out on Goodreads? So am I: Lisa Henry

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lisa.henry.1441

Giveaway:

Each comment on this blog tour enters you for a chance to win a $20 Riptide credit and an ebook of your choice from my back catalogue. You’ll also win a super secret cute little gift that’s very close to my (and Nick’s) heart! Entries close August 20, and contest is not restricted to US residents. Remember to leave your email address in the comments so I can contact you if you win!

Summer Court (The Tarot Witches #4) by SM Reine

SummerCourtHalf a year ago, Samita Madin shared one steamy night with a friend – what she thought would be just a fling with that firefighter her mom didn’t like. But she couldn’t stop thinking about Slater Reinhard in the weeks that followed. Especially once she realized she’d gotten pregnant from their tryst.
Samita had every intent of staying in Toronto, keeping the baby a secret from Slater. But then demons attacked North America in a massive catastrophe known as the Breaking, which let Hell pour onto Earth. Separated from her family, and injured in a collapsing building, she has no choice but to let Slater protect her – and their unborn baby – from the preternatural onslaught.
But now Slater’s one of the preternaturals. He’s been bitten by a werewolf since the last time they saw each other. He’s changing from a hero firefighter into a monster with urges that he can’t control.
A lot of those urges have to do with Samita.
He only needs one glance from Samita to vow he’ll get her and their baby through the end of the world. And Slater has every intent of claiming Samita as his mate.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1This series in SM Reine’s world needs to come with a warning for some readers, even those who have read most of her books. The Tarot Witches is a lot more sexually explicit than any of her other series. I feel like I have to mention this because some readers have found it too much. The irony in Summer Court is that Samita is just as turned off by the sexual laden magic that the Tarot Witches an their mates thrive on.

I’ve got to admit, I got kind of frustrated with Samita in the beginning. It was obvious she loved Slater, but she held back. She almost had a ‘greater than thou’ attitude that kept me from really connecting with her, but she eventually grew on me… eventually.

There’s something else that bears mentioning… be prepared to gain a different and possibly unflattering perspective on previous characters. SM Reine is turning into a pro with this little ploy, which may have been why it took Samita a while to grow on me.

Summer Court wraps up the Tarot Witches but, as with the other books in this world, it adds just another layer. And… if you’re someone who skips prologues and epilogues, don’t. Not with this book anyway. Connections are made, questions are answered and for me anyway, there were a couple of ‘duh’ moments.

DragonFlyRating5

What Remains by Garrett Leigh

WhatRemains_600x900Web designer Jodi Peters is a solitary creature. Lunch twice a week with his ex-girlfriend-turned-BFF and the occasional messy venture to a dodgy gay bar is all the company he needs, right?
Then one night he stumbles across newly divorced firefighter Rupert O’Neil. Rupert is lost and lonely, but just about the sweetest bloke Jodi has ever known. Add in the heady current between them, and Jodi can’t help falling hard in love. He offers Rupert a home within the walls of his cosy Tottenham flat—a sanctuary to nurture their own brand of family—and for four blissful years, life is never sweeter.
Until a cruel twist of fate snatches it all away. A moment of distraction leaves Jodi fighting for a life he can’t remember and shatters Rupert’s heart. Jodi doesn’t know him—or want to. With little left of the man he adores, Rupert must cling to what remains of his shaky faith and pray that Jodi can learn to love him again.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1This is only the second book by Garrett Leigh that I’ve read. The first one was Misfits and once I finished What Remains, you know what I discovered? I need to make a conscious effort to track down more of her books.

What Remains went back and forth between the present and the past. If you’re not a fan of that type of story, don’t let it keep you from giving this story a chance. It turned out to be a great way to help readers grasp exactly what both Rupert and Jodi experienced.

There was so much to love about What Remains, I’m not sure where to start. The romance was amazing and then it crashed, through no fault of either Rupert or Jodi. I both loved and hated the circumstances that switched the roles between Rupert and Jodi. I adored both these men and the people who surrounded them with love and support.

Sometimes you can discover an author’s “super power” after only reading a couple of books. It’s taken me exactly two to discover that Garrett Leigh’s is to break you and slowly put the pieces back together.

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Crushing on the Cowboy (Rodeo Dreamers #3) by Sarah M. Anderson

CrushingOnTheCowboyAs The Heartbreak Kid, Mitch Jenner is known as the biggest womanizer of all the rodeo cowboys—but it’s just an act to keep himself safe. In fact, Mitch is so afraid of coming out that he’s opted to stay single—and a virgin. He’s fine with being alone…until he meets the mysterious Paulo.
Paulo Bernardes is here to learn the American style of bull riding well enough to teach it back home in Brazil. A namorado—a boyfriend—will distract him from his goal, but he’s captivated by Mitch, who understands him even when they don’t speak the same language. In return, Paulo wants Mitch to accept himself—and their relationship.
In private, Mitch yields to his attraction to Paulo and is rewarded with a heat and tenderness he comes to crave. But he still fears exposing their relationship. And as they grow closer, Paulo wonders how he’ll live without Mitch once their time together is up—how he’ll pick up the pieces of his heart when it’s time to say goodbye.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1This is the first book by Sarah M. Anderson that I’ve read. Even though there seems to be a little bit of confusion about exactly where this book falls in the Rodeo Dreamers series, I don’t think it makes much difference what order you read the books.

The description pretty much says it all. Mitch uses his womanizing reputation as a cover for his attraction to men. For the most part it works, but Paulo sees what others don’t. Paulo may not have time for a romance, but he can’t seem to resist Mitch and is confused by his need to hide who he really is. Their attraction is heated and the language barrier between them adds to both the mystery and the confusion.

I liked the story for the most part. The natural hesitance jumped to instant heat a lot faster than I expected. This one came in at only about 138 pages, which might have been the problem. I think that if the story was just a little bit longer and gave the characters more to build on I might have enjoyed it even more. *sigh*

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