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WHAT I'VE READ LATELY

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Trial by FireThe Dom's DungeonBy the BookNakedSmash CutSave The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need

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Friday
Jun122015

FRIDAY READS: Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

 

First, a quick DEAL ALERT. My Invitation to Eden book BLURRING THE LINES is on sale for .99 for a limited time. Grab it on the cheap! 

About the book:

A year has passed since Gretchen lost her fiancé, but she still can’t sleep. Or paint. And her new home in New Orleans is either haunted or she’s finally going crazy. 

Her bet is on the latter. 

So when her best friend, Burke, offers to sweep her away to a private luxury island for a break, she can’t say no. Maybe if she can be someone else for a few days, the ghosts of the past will quiet. At least for a little while. 

Burke knows what she’s going through. She lost her fiancé, but he lost family. He gets her in a way no else can. But lately she’s noticing things she shouldn’t about her former fiancé’s younger brother—his sexy smirk, that spicy Cajun accent, and the way he looks at her when he thinks she’s not paying attention. A week alone with him? Dangerous. If she blurs the lines between them, she could ruin the only friendship that means anything to her. She could ruin it all. 

But the island of Eden has its own agenda. The island knows what you need. That’s what the invitation says. She just never imagines it will grant her the one wish that could destroy them both. 

 Buy it for 99 cents! Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks


 

All right, on to Friday Reads. I've been giving you lots of dark reads lately, so today I have one that will have you laughing out loud and getting all the feels. OPENLY STRAIGHT by Bill Konigsberg. I adored this book! It went on my favorites shelf--which is not an easy shelf to get on--and I bought the author's other books immediately. It's a YA about Rafe who's been openly gay for years and has very supportive family, friends, and community. But he's tired of being looked at as gay first before anything else. So he decides to go to an all boys boarding school for his last two years of high school and not tell anyone he's gay. I loved the issues it explored and how he worked through him. I also enjoyed the romantic thread in it. Enjoy!

A funny, honest novel about being out, being proud . . . and being ready for something else.

Rafe is a normal teenager from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He's won skiing prizes. He likes to write.
And, oh yeah, he's gay. He's been out since 8th grade, and he isn't teased, and he goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that's important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. To have it be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time. 
So when he transfers to an all-boys' boarding school in New England, he decides to keep his sexuality a secret -- not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate breaking down. He meets a teacher who challenges him to write his story. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben . . . who doesn't even know that love is possible. 
This witty, smart, coming-out-again story will appeal to gay and straight kids alike as they watch Rafe navigate being different, fitting in, and what it means to be himself.

Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks

 

What have you read (or what are you currently reading) this week?


Friday
May222015

Friday Reads: Two Great Books & It Will Only Cost You a Buck

 

So I've been doing theme days this week (a little bit on here and a little on my FB page), which has been fun. Today is Friday Reads. I'm going to give you two recs. One is what I read this week and one is one of my fave m/m romances that's on sale. And bonus, one is free and one is only a dollar! You're welcome. ;)

 

First is THE HOSTAGE BARGAIN by Annika Martin. I saw her speak at RT and because I loved PRISONER, a book she co-wrote with Skye Warren, I decided to give it a try. This book is such frothy, campy fun. Three hot bank robbers take a teller hostage and she decides she wants to be part of the gang. It's silly and funny and super sexy. I love the banter with the heroes. If you're looking for something steamy that will also make you laugh (in a good way), check this one out. The first is free but there's also a boxed set with all three books for a good price as well.

Next is Damon Suede's HOT HEAD. I read it a few years ago, but when I saw that it was on sale for just a $1, I had to pass that along. I loved this book. One of my favorite m/m romances. It's super sexy and great characters with lots of emotion. And it's friends to lovers AND hot firefighters. I mean, come on? Why are you still here? Go, get it. Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

So now it's your turn. Tell me what you're reading or what you want to recommend this week. :)


Monday
Aug042014

What I've Been Reading: Smexiness, Male/Male, YA, and Thrillers, Oh My!

 

Maybe it's because I brought home like fifty books from the RWA conference and I'm feeling the weight of my TBR pile, but I've been on a bit of a reading binge over the last week or two. And I've been on a pretty good streak of books--no DNFs in a while--so I figured I'd share some of what I've been reading.

 

The Saint by Tiffany Reisz (erotica)

Yes, Tiffany is a friend, but that is not why I love her books. This is one of my favorite series out there right now. Smart, sexy, dark, and epic. Don't start with this one, though, if you haven't read the rest. The Siren is book one.

 

Take (Temptation Series Book 2) by Ella Frank (male/male romance)

First, let's just say OMG this cover. *shamelessly stares* Okay, moving on. This is book two in a m/m romance series, so if you haven't read book one (TRY), start with that one. This is a filthy hot series that follows the same couple throughout. I'm thinking there is going to be a third book, but the cliffhangers aren't shameless because certain threads are wrapped up with each one.

 

Still Missing  by Chevy Stevens (thriller)

Okay, I think this book traumatized me a little. A realtor is abducted and kept in a cabin by a psychopath. It's very intense but was a compelling read.

 

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake  by Sarah MacLean (historical romance)

Why do I always forget I love historical romance? I've had this book on my shelf forever but had never picked it up. When I saw Sarah speak at RWA, I realized I needed to fix that. It was such a sexy, adorable story. Loved it. And it's only 3.99 in ebook. :)

 

The DUFF: (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger (YA)

Okay, I know I'm like years behind on this one. Julie Cross has been telling me to read it forever, and I finally listened. Such a great story. And it's going to be a movie. 

 

Those are some of the ones I've been buried in lately. What are you reading?

 

 

 

Monday
May192014

Must Read Monday: The Best of My Book Binge 

After I turned in a honking pile of writing, including short stories, a novella, and a novel mid-March, I was in desperate need of a break. And what do breaks mean? Book binge! :) So since I'm just getting back from the RT Booklovers Convention and haven't quite recovered my brain yet, I thought I'd share my favorites from my most recent book binge.

And I'd love to hear in the comments what you've been reading and loving lately.

Here goes, in no particular order:

Foreplay: The Ivy Chronicles by Sophie Jordan (New Adult)

Really sexy and fun AND only 99 cents right now!

 

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan (YA)

A few years in the future and they've learned how to identify the kill gene. What happens when a good girl tests positive for the gene? I loved the concept and I loved the book. I'm anxiously awaiting the sequel now.

 

Hard Time by Cara McKenna (erotic romance)

A convict hero. Yep. Every time I read a premise for a Cara McKenna book, I'm like, how is she going to pull that off? Then she does. She's become an autobuy for me.

 

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry (YA)

Dude, I just went to grab the pic for this and it's on sale for 31 cents! Go buy it. I loved this book.

 

And for something a little different...

600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster (lit fic)

This one follows a man who has Aspergers and OCD. It was recommended to me and I really enjoyed it. I'd say it's more a lit fic type book, but had a good pace and kept me reading. 

 

Spin by Catherine McKenzie (women's fic)

I don't read a lot of women's fiction but this one sounded like a fun premise. Reporter goes undercover in rehab to get a story about a starlet but finds out she really needs rehab herself. Ended up really liking this one.

 

So those are my faves from the last few weeks, what are some of yours?

 

*As always, none of these authors solicited me for reviews. I don't take review requests and any recs I give are from my own personal TBR pile and based on my own leisure reading.

Monday
Mar112013

Must Read Monday: A YA Romance Set in 1986

Last week I was in NYC for both business and a bit of a vacation. The trip was fantastic, even though a few things went awry--like me getting strep throat and having to find a doctor in an unfamiliar city because I barely could swallow and couldn't stop getting the chills. (Btw, have I ever mentioned how miraculous antibiotics are? Ohmigod. I've never been so happy to see those big, pink pills.) Thankfully, the medicine saved the second half of my trip and I was able to enjoy the vacation.

One of the other things that went awry was the big snowstorm that wreaked havoc on my flight on Friday. We had a cancelled flight, and I ended up spending about 13 hours in airports and planes before getting home around 11pm. However, the long day wasn't as bad as it could've been because for a big part of the day I was completely absorbed in a book. I had brought my Kindle with me, which has probably about 100 unread books on it, and decided to start a new one. How to decide which one? I wanted to make sure I picked a fabulous one because I knew I'd be reading for a while at the airport. Well, I had seen Julie Cross's post about Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell  before I left, and she's my go-to girl for YA and NA recommendations. Our tastes almost always line up, so I figured it was a safe bet to pick that one up first. And boy am I glad I did. I almost forgot I was so tired and stuck in an airport.

Eleanor & Park is set in 1986 and is the story of two quirky teens who connect in the sweetest, most simple (yet poignant) way possible - on the bus. This story has humor but also some heavy family issues, so it's not a "breezy" read. But it channeled a bit of John Hughes for me. I think I saw someone on Goodreads describe it as Pretty in Pink (which came out in 1986, btw) if Andie had gone for Duckie. (And, hello, I ALWAYS wished she'd gone for Duckie instead.) So it was perfect for me. The ending was a bit open-ended, and I understand why it was that way, even though I prefer my HEAs wrapped up with a bow. But don't let that deter you. It was a fantastic book. In fact, as I'm writing this, I'm thinking I may go back and change my 4-star review to a 5-star because I'm still thinking about the book, and I'm starting to better accept the choice of ending, lol.

So anyway, here it is, go read it... :)

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Blurb:

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.

I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.

Anyone else read this one? Any other Duckie fans out there? And how do you feel about left-to-interpretation endings?