Friday, December 14, 2018

Weres Wanna Know: When do you give up on your reading goal?

If you've been following the blog lately you've probably heard about our reading slumps. Mine started in July! I've lowered my Goodreads goal twice in the last few months and I still may not make it.

I joined Goodreads in 2012 and that year I read more than 250 books. (I was home with a newborn and hadn't started reviewing yet.) I binged the Fever series and Psy-Changelings that year. It was awesome! I haven't come close to that number since and the last two years I've lowered my goal in the middle of the year, but I've never ended up under 100. I’m currently at 66. Who am I right now?

But that's not the only way I'm failing 2018. I'm 5 books short of my goal for the Beat the Backlist challenge with 2 weeks to go. How hard is it to read old books? Especially when I restarted my Kindle Unlimited in November. I could find an older series to binge or a bunch of novellas. But what am I doing? Watching Hallmark movies and NCIS reruns.

We also made year end TBRs last month. (Check those out here and here.) I tried to be realistic when I made my list but I've only read one of the ten books so far. At this point I really can't even.

I have some Big Ideas about how I’m going to be a more balanced and organized reader next year. (That might be an upcoming post.) I'm thinking I should just forget about this year and start reading my 2019 ARCs.

So I wanna know:

When do you give up on your reading goal?

We’re participating in the 2018 Discussion Challenge hosted by It Starts at Midnight and Feed Your Fiction Addiction. Go check out all the December discussions!

What's In My Bath Giveaway

You guys seemed to like the What's In My Bag giveaway we did recently so here's a chance to win some more bookish merchandise! If you like to read in the tub, you'll want to enter this one.

The What's In My Bath package includes:
Zelie's Magic bath bomb by Whipped Up Wonderful
Son of Poseidon bath salts and Night Circus bubble bath from The Soap Librarian 
 Jezelia shower steamer from Fairytale Bath Company
Nemesis bath soak from Leelo's
 LOTR elven bread soap by Fizzy Fairy Apothecary
Red Queen soap from Story Scentsations
Kiss of Deception lip balm from Geekfire Labs
LOTR lip scrub from Literary Apothecary 
Princess Buttercup perfume roller from Behind the Pages
and a candle from Muggle Library.
Winner must have a U.S. mailing address.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Review: You Only Love Twice by Bec McMaster

You Only Love Twice
(London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy #3)
Bec McMaster
Release: August 14, 2018
Goodreads Amazon
With the clock ticking down, the Company of Rogues must find a deadly killer and stop them from assassinating the Queen... before London burns.

First rule of espionage: don't ever fall in love with your target.

Five years ago, Gemma Townsend learned the hard way what happens when you break this rule. She lost everything. Her mentor's trust. The man she loved. And almost her life. Love is a weakness she can never afford again.

When offered a chance at redemption, the seductive spy is determined to complete her assigned task: to track down a dangerous assassin known as the Chameleon, a mysterious killer sent after the queen, whose identity seems to constantly change.

But as her investigation leads Gemma into a trap, she's rescued by a shadowy figure she thought was dead—the double agent who once stole her heart.

A man with few memories, all Obsidian knows is Gemma betrayed him, and he wants revenge. But one kiss ignites the unextinguished passion between them, and he can't bring himself to kill her.

Can Obsidian ever trust her again? Or is history doomed to repeat itself? Because it soon becomes clear the Chameleon might be closer than either of them realized... and this time Gemma is in the line of fire.

I waited longer than I want to admit to finally read this spin-off series and I'm loving it! I've wanted to know more about Gemma since she was introduced. And we finally get her story in this book! Gemma is a blue blood assassin and spy for the Company of Rogues. Her greatest regret was the time she fell in love with the enemy and failed her mission where she was shot and was made into a blue blood. This book gave me some serious Winter Soldier vibes if Winter Soldier was a romance. (Thanks Gretly for identifying what it was reminding me of!)

Obsidian, the man she fell in love with, is one of the dhampir that the COR has been battling and may not be the man that she knew and loved. And he definitely isn't. Obsidian has known pain and suffering on an incredible level and has gone through lots of mental reconditioning. He knows he hates Gemma enough to kill her but he doesn't remember more than that and grows frustrated when he can't bring himself to actually do it.

Obsidian and Gemma’s second chance romance kept me on my toes with all of the emotions! I was cracking up at their biting banter while absolutely loving their chemistry. They were totally suited for each other, fulfilling a need neither one was willing to admit to, and I caught myself hoping things would finally align in their favor so they could be together.

This book is intense with lots of little moments that are unexpected. There are also some huge developments in the overall plot arc that are thrilling. We find out who is behind the dhampir and all the other chaos that has been unleashed upon London. It was so hard to put this book down for even a moment! I was drawn in from page one and didn't really stop until I was done.

And that ending! It's going to lead to some major changes for the Company of Rogues, I know it! This book was so great! What I loved about this book is that we see the COR move from friends to a found family and I'm totally here for it! I can't wait for the next book to see Charlie's story and what happens next!


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

We Love Lists: Books We Hope To Find Under The Christmas Tree

Christmas is thirteen days away and we've been busy doing our holiday shopping. We don't know about you, but we're down to the last few little things. Now, we can start wishing for gifts under the tree ourselves. And of course, we would be super happy if more than a few of those gifts are book-shaped. So here are the books we hope to find under our tree this Christmas.

Rose Red

Behind the Throne by K.B. Wagers
I'm not sure how I missed this one when it came out a few years ago but how could I not want a book about a runaway princess turned gun smuggler who gets dragged back to her kingdom to rule? I need this book in my life! I'm pretty sure I'm getting this one from the Bestie for Christmas. :)

The Disasters by M.K. England
This is being billed as The Breakfast Club in SPACE! I'm pretty much sold on that fact alone. Add in all of the good hype it's been getting plus being blurbed by some of my favorite authors, it's definitely one that I'm really hoping I get as a Christmas gift. If I don't it will be one of the first ones I buy after the holidays.

American Hippo by Sarah Gailey
I have been meaning to read Sarah Gailey's River of Teeth series for a while now because alternate America where hippos have taken over the Mississippi River. Add in the fact that it was released as a bind-up earlier this year, it seems like a sign that this needs to be added to my shelf. I put this on my Christmas wishlist my family asked for so I'm hoping I get it.

Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner
I've been waiting for the paperback of this book to come out so I could justify rebuying the first four books with their new covers and have a matching set. It's officially out in paperback and I bought the first four books with the new covers from Book Outlet on Black Friday so I need it! It's on my Christmas wishlist so I'm hoping my family gets it for me. If they don't, I'll buy it with one of the gift cards I know I'll be getting.

Pride and Prometheus by John Kessel
I keep forgetting this book is a thing until I see it my Amazon recs. This book is what happens when Frankenstein and Pride and Prejudice meet after the events of each of their respective stories. This book is like a fanfic mashup that combines the fandoms. I'm not going to lie. I'm pretty sure I can ship Victor Frankenstein and Mary Bennet like whoa. I need this book in my life!

A Bad Deal for the Whole Galaxy by Alex WhiteI'm a series binge reader so I like to have all the available books before I start a series. This second book in The Salvagers series comes out right before Christmas so it would be awesome to see under my tree!

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris
I'm ashamed to say that I've never read a Charlaine Harris book. I want to remedy that soon but I'm not feeling the Sookie Stackhouse premise. But I'm intrigued by the Midnight, TX books. I'm hoping to get the first book for Christmas so I can finally read a Harris book.



Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Why am I wishing for a book that I already have not just one, but two copies of? Because I have two paperback copies (one old cover and one new) and all the rest of my Schwab books are hardcover. I just really want them all to match.


The Illustrated Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
I'd like to start reading these with my daughter. (And full disclosure: I haven't read the first few myself.) But they're so expensive and I already have the regular editions so I just haven't gotten them yet.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Illustrated Edition by [Riordan, Rick]

Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief Illustrated edition by Rick Riordan
I want this one for exactly the same reason, except that I haven't read any of this series. 


Various Star Wars books
I have Phasma and Ahsoka but if I had the time, I'd love to take a month and just read all the Star Wars books. I love the animated shows and I want to explore the rest of the world outside the films.


Shadow Kiss and Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
I read these books years ago and I have digital copies. But by the time I got around to filling out my paperback collection, the covers had changed. I want them with the original cover to match the rest of the books. I look for them every time I go to a used bookstore but haven't found one yet.

What books do you want to find under your tree this Christmas or receive this holiday?


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

TBR Bingo: End of 2018 TBR Update

I posted back in November a list of books I want to read before it's 2019. I made the goal to get fifteen books read before the end of the year and I was hoping that most of them would be from that list I made. In typical Rose Red fashion, I made myself a TBR Bingo card to help motivate me to get things read.


As you can see on my card above, I included all of the twenty books I listed in my previous post plus Romancing the Inventor and three Random TBR Book spaces.

I'm happy to report that since I posted that list I've read eighteen books! I've made my goal of reading fifteen books before it becomes 2019. Of those eighteen books: three are rereads, eight are from my TBR post, and the remaining seven are random unread books I had on my Kindle. Here is what I've read so far:

The Random Unread Kindle Books

The Rereads

The End of 2018 TBR Books

I can't begin to tell you how good it feels to be reading again! I'm so happy with my progress so far. The best thing is that I still have 21 days left in 2018 and can totally get more books read! Currently my Bingo card looks like this:

Ideally, I want to read the fourteen remaining books on this card but in case I don't I have picked out the six I NEED to read by the end of the year.

I'm about a third of the way through Exit Strategy and I love it so far! And I'm really excited to get to the other five! I should easily get all of these done before the year ends. I'll do a wrap-up of how I did overall at the end of the month. Fingers crossed that I can keep up my forward momentum and read as much in the next three weeks as I did in the last three.

What books do you need to finish by the end of 2018?

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