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Showing posts from December, 2013

The Dom Project by Heloise Belleau and Solace Ames

The Dom Project was one exceptionally good book. Engaging, witty, funny and real. A true romance with an element of BDSM  but so everyday life as well. Fantastic writing, great memorable characters and a very unique twist to the friends into lovers trope.  I love how Robin and John are as friends, as would be Dom and picky submissive.  The way they are in the everyday life.  Robin with her almost obsessive way of organizing and how vulnerable she gets when she lets down her walls.  I love John's dorkiness, his laid back attitude and the way he becomes everything Robin needs in the end.  There are a lot of elements going into this book but its all flawlessly put together making the flow of the story great. It has enough of everything for every reader. Highly recommended reading whether you are into the BDSM romantic genre or not.
*The ARC for this novel was provided by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review*

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason

Two college students, Tom Sullivan and Paul Harris, attempt to solve the mystery about an old allegorical Renaissance manuscript, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (Poliphilo's Struggle of Love in a Dream), which had eluded historians for generations. Each has his own deep connection to the coded text and it is this to which they threw their passions and also could lead to their ruin. Set in an Ivy League school, the scholarly atmosphere and ruminations of post-graduation life served as a background for treachery, murder and suspense.

The Rule of Four is bit scholarly than most historical fiction with the premise quite promising, drawing out the nostalgic school life, literary pursuits and intellectual squabbling so to speak. It also displays the human psyche by delving more on character background and the seduction of passion (in this case the devotion to study the text) which could either soar one so high or make one a slave for life.

One Day by David Nicholls

If there's a saying to sum it all up, it would be that quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Life is a journey, not a destination."

One day for each year. We get to glimpse Emma and Dexter and their status of friendship or relationship whichever comes on first, from the day they first met through a number of succeeding years.

Nicholls wrote this book focusing more on character development which invariably helps to explain the emotional journey of both to each other. This probably wouldn't be for those who read to escape and seek ideal romance (I wouldn't even call this under romance) for this is but a reflection of the bitter reality we are living. It touches on their own disappointments, issues and triumphs in their own lives like any normal post-graduation adults (e.g frustration with career, purpose of living, passions, etc).

Love the One You're With (Sex, Love & Stiletto #2) by Lauren Layne

Love the One You're With, the second book in the Love, Sex & Stilettos series, was a funny, entertaining and engaging tale about two magazine writers and their "He said, She said" approach to dating. I loved the interactions between Grace and Jake, their dialogue was witty, flirty, filled with double meanings and often downright sexy. It reminds me of those old Hollywood screen couples with all that sexual chemistry often manifesting themselves in their bantering and downplayed lusty looks. The plot and pacing simply flowed, the writing smooth. This is a story that reads like a movie, easy to visualize but the characters still had depth and were fully fleshed out. It was sweet, romantic and yes the couples antics trying to top one another was simply hilarious. Fans of romantic comedies would definitely love this one.
*The ARC for this novel was provided by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review*

Book to Film: Flipped by Wenddelin Van Draanen

Julianna "Juli" Baker met Bryce Loski when they were seven. His family just moved into the neighborhood and being the good neighbor that she is, went to help. One look at his beautiful blue eyes and she knew she was a goner.

Bryce met Juli when they were seven. Or more like she barged into his life and never left him alone since then. First time he saw her, Bryce knew she was dangerous. Unavoidably dangerous.

From Scotland with Love by Katie Fforde

From Scotland With Love is a wonderful, captivating and engaging read mostly because of its adorable female lead. Daisy is simply a great character, self aware, young and just so relatable that it was pure pleasure to read this. Set in the wilds of Scotland, in the middle of winter, Daisy is set to prove herself to her boss. She just needed to drop by their famous client's place, author Rory McAllan, and have him sign the bookplates and off she goes to spend the holidays back home. How should she know that she'd be stuck in the middle of a snowstorm, spending time with her client and discovering how much she's starting to like him. Ms. Fforde's writing was truly excellent, from the very memorable characters, to the imagery of the setting and the development of the romance.  Everything just flowed smoothly, with no hitches. This was funny and sweet and romantic and just right for the holidays.

Married for Christmas by Noelle Adams

Married for Christmas is a beautiful and captivating love story exploring the often used romantic trope of marriage for convenience. Noelle Adams has crafted a memorable tale with her excellent writing, wonderful characters and heartfelt emotions. Jessica and Daniel are both fully fleshed out and well developed main leads. Although being both people of faith, Daniel being a pastor and Jessica a devout follower, the story doesn't really delve into that too much. It does influence their decisions and how they lead their lives but its the interactions between these two individuals that really carry the story. I like Jessica, the way she makes decisions, the way she leads her life and the courage she displays in trying to achieve what she has always dreamed of having. I like Daniel's vulnerabilities, his doubts, his fears and how he isn't the perfect hero. They match and their story resonates in the honesty of their emotions and the way they love. A wonderful read for…

A Man Above Reproach by Evelyn Pryce

A Man Above Reproach was surprisingly engaging and entertaining. At first glance it would read like a typical historical romance, but, what fully holds your attention is the dialogue between the bluestocking and the duke. This is not a full plot propelled story but more of character driven. The core is the interaction and the eventual developing relationship between Elias and Josephine. The usual societal obstacles of being from two different worlds to what is expected by society in terms of a perfect match is more a catalyst rather than the main story. I loved the dialogue between these two. The banters, the wittiness positively sizzled. The usual misunderstanding, the hesitancy in giving in to the romance, its so deftly written that you simply will never get bored. The secondary characters, although not fully fleshed out, has enough depth to give the story that extra something, making it more captivating. In many ways it gave me that vibe when reading an Austen book but in …

Book to Film: Atonement by Ian McEwan

The story starts off in summer 1935, a busy day for the Tallis household. Thirteen year old Briony Tallis is preparing for a play that she wrote herself to present to her brother. Briony then sees her older sister Cecilia and Robbie, son of the housekeeper, in a rather sexual situation which young Briony misinterprets.

An incident happens during the family's dinner party and one of her cousins, Lola, was discovered to be raped by an unknown assailant. Briony then accuses Robbie as the criminal. Though Robbie claims to be innocent, he is taken away to be imprisoned and this incident destroys the loving family that Briony has known.

Delicious Temptations Blog Tour

Today we will be hosting the Delicious Temptations Blog Tour, featuring Anna Sullivan's Temptation Bay (review link) and Adrianne Lee's Delicious (review link).  I've read and reviewed both these books and enjoyed them.  One is a sweet and quirky romance filled with delicious pies and the other, a romantic suspense mystery waiting to be solved.  Both these authors have penned great stories which make us wonder what makes a good contemporary romance? We asked both Anna and Adrianne to give us their top 5 things that a contemporary romance must have for each of them and their books definitely hit the list.

Sneaking Candy by Lisa Burstein

Sneaking Candy, the title can be misleading, it would probably make you think of a naughty erotica story. Well there was some naughty bits delving on the erotica but Sneaking Candy is more about a confused young woman trying to get her mojo back and finding out if she's really cut out to be a serious literary author. Never mind that she's actually an up and coming self published erotica writer with lots of fans and some great 5 star reviews (the one star ones don't really count). It also doesn't help that she feels some sort of attraction to her professor but what about her favorite barista who can't make a decent Chai latte but can just about melt her panties off with just a look? Her life is just about to get more interesting.  Told in the first person point of view,  Lisa Burstein's Sneaking Candy was a fun, extremely sexy and engaging new adult contemporary romance.   I love, love, love the character of Candace aka Candy. I love how self-aware she is an…

A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena de Blasi

In an old specialty store was where I first glimpsed this book. After reading the first few pages, I really wanted to finish the whole book but, alas, I couldn't. There's somewhere I must go, I only stayed to pass the time, life happened, etc. It wasn't until years after when I finally chose to sit down and read it again.

Memoirs always have much affinity with the authors just as readers, in odd little ways, find a connection to a particular book. My own journey with this one more or less is wrought with nostalgia, an old acquaintance met again. There's a lot of Italian memoirs that I have read but none of Venice yet and I'm glad I took up Madame De Blasi's book first.

An American chef on a stop to Venice meets a Venetian banker who looks like Peter Sellers and months after, she is hauling up her things halfway across the world to move her life there. It sounds like a cliche in the travel genre already, I know. What drew me in was its cadence of tones among it…

Hot Holiday Hunk Hop: A Romance at Random Giveaway

Happy Holidays to everyone – what better way to celebrate this time of year than to heat it up with hot hero hunks? 
Ladies meet Ethan (Ruined) and Evan (Wanted) — these are two hot, to-die-for hunks that you’ll definitely want to get to know — and they will be available on January 7, 2014.  No, we're not giving away the hunks as prizes.  But there will be prizes in honor of their respective book release!  This starts from December 10 until December 20, 2013.  The blogs participating are listed below, hop on over for a greater chance at winning.
Happy Holidays!

The Seduction of Miriam Cross by Wendy Tyson

The Seduction of Miriam Cross is one mystery thriller that is guaranteed to keep you at the edge of your seat. An excellently written, fast paced murder mystery that has a lot of twist and turns in the plot enough to keep you guessing in the end. Delilah Percy Powers, private investigator has been asked to help solve the murder of the famous novelist Miriam Cross. It turns out its never as simple as that.  As Delilah and her team investigates further, revelations lead them to a path more dangerous than they could have imagined.  This was a great storyline with more than solving the crime, it also delves into the dark social issues of human trafficking and slavery. Delilah was a fantastic female lead, strong, vulnerable with a take-no prisoner attitude. Despite her own emotional and psychological issues, this did not overtake the story, adding only a certain depth to it. Other secondary characters are gradually introduced as well.   Credit to the author since there were no overwhe…

Blog Hop Giveaway:Switched by Cassie Mae

Switched by Cassie Mae was a funny and often frustrating read but highly entertaining. Kayla, Wesley, Reagan and Talon were all friends. Reagan and Talon were a couple while Kayla and Wesley, well they've been pining for these two since high school. Told from Kayla's point of view, she, dragging Wesley along hatches a plan to break the happy couple apart. Because as everyone can see Talon is her soulmate while Wesley is Reagan's. Thus starts the funs and the laughs and the musical chairs between the four. Kayla as a character was frustrating initially for me, I have no idea whether its because she was being an evil bestfriend to Reagan or she really was in love with Talon. I could not really hate nor empathize with her at the start. As the story progressed and the romance part began, her sudden self awareness becomes believable. The pace, the tone and style of writing was excellent. I can see that Cassie Mae has developed her own unique voice in the New Adult/Yo…

Modern Romance Meets Austen: Definitely, Maybe In Love by Ophelia London

Spring Honeycutt wants two things: to ace her sustainable living thesis and to save the environment. Both seem hopelessly unobtainable until her college professor suggests that with a new angle, her paper could be published. Spring swears she’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that happens.

“Whatever it takes,” however, means forming a partnership with the very hot, very privileged, very conceited Henry Knightly.

Henry is Spring's only hope at publication, but he's also the ├╝ber-rich son of a land developer and cash-strapped Spring’s polar opposite. Too bad she can't help being attracted to the way he pushes her buttons, both politically and physically. As they work on her thesis, Spring finds there's more to Henry than his old money and argyle sweaters…but can she drop the loud-and-proud act long enough to let him in? Suddenly, choosing between what she wants and what she needs puts Spring at odds with everything she believes in.

Definitely, Maybe in Love is a modern take…