Friday, November 29, 2019

Black Friday Book Bonanza

Happy Thanksgiving and welcome to our stop on the Black Friday Book Bonanza Giveaway Hop! It's been a while since we've done a giveaway on the blog so it's a big one.

We've got paperback copies of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom plus a ton of Grishaverse swag, including bookmarks, buttons, art prints, and Six of Crows socks for one lucky winner. (Not everything is pictured.) This one's US only due to shipping costs. No giveaway accounts or follow/unfollows please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to check out the rest of the stops on the hop!
Black Friday Giveaway Hop Participants
1. Reading Reality (INT)
2. Caffeinated Reviewer (INT)
3. Angel's Guilty Pleasures (INT)
4. Read Your Writes Book Reviews (US)
5. Samantha The Book Disciple
6. Nicci @ Sunny Buzzy Books (INT)
7. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books
8. Gretl@ Goldilox and the Three Weres (US)
9. Ilovebooksandstuffblog
10. Beauty Info Zone (US/Can)
11. The Mommy Island
12. Dashing Bling Read
13. The Attic Girl
14. Maureen @ Maureen's Books
15. Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know
16. Suzie Olsen
17. Tabatha @Broken Soul Reviews
18. Carol's Notebook (Int)
19. The Kids Did It

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Review: The Firefighter's Cinderella by Sonia Weiss

48494649. sy475 The Firefighter's Cinderella
(Fire and Sparks #3)
Sonia Weiss
Release: Nov. 18, 2019
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
What’s a Cinderella to do when she’s accidentally kicked her Prince Charming in the face and broken his nose? Hold an audition, of course.

Harper Bailey is desperate to keep her family’s amusement park business up and running, but her employees keep quitting, and the man playing prince to her Cinderella in the company’s mainstage show is just the latest casualty. When sexy firefighter Rafferty Bradford, the most eligible bachelor in their small town, offers to step in, Harper agrees--reluctantly. After all, she and Rafferty are ex-best friends with a ton of past history. Surely they’ll have zero chemistry onstage.

Rafferty has his own reasons for agreeing to play Prince Charming, and none of them are good. If Harper finds out the truth, it’ll just reinforce every rumor she’s believed over the years about Rafferty’s bad rep. But when their chemistry explodes both onstage and off, he’ll have to choose between happily-ever-after for himself...or the Cinderella he’s fallen for.

I picked up The Firefighter's Cinderella because the blurb reminded me of Well Met, which I loved, where the characters had great chemistry in costume but fought IRL. It's actually more of a second chance romance since Harper and Rafferty were childhood friends who had a falling out years ago when one of them proposed dating.

I love the small town thing where everyone except the couple knows they're going to get together, as well as the meddling grandmother in this story. I also enjoyed Harper's fairy tale-themed amusement park, though I wish we'd gotten to see more of it other than the show. But I had some issues with the story as well, primarily that I found Harper really unsympathetic at first. I think if I had read the first two books in the series that feature Rafferty's siblings, she would have been even more so. I also felt like the timeline of their friendship was confusing.

The Firefighter's Cinderella is very much a Hallmark Movie waiting to happen due to its rushed HEA (although the short length contributes to that as well) and the lack of heat. But if you enjoy those fluffy, feel good romances you might want to give this one a try.


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Review: The Royal Bodyguard by Lindsay Emory

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The Royal Bodyguard
Lindsay Emory
Release: Nov. 11, 2019
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
When Princess Caroline of Drieden of the Royal House Laurent eloped with a race car driver, she forfeited her royal title and her family.

Now a widow and exiled from Drieden, Caroline is working as a journalist, writing exposes under a pen name. When, one day, she catches sight of her sister Thea's ex-fiancé, she's stunned - Christian is supposed to be dead. Here could be the scoop of the century.

But Caroline's plans to uncover Christian's deception are foiled by the arrival of Hugh Konnor - her former bodyguard and Caroline's first - unrequited - love. When Hugh stubbornly refuses to leave her side, Caroline can't deny they make a good team.

As they unravel a web of deception that could bring down the House of Laurent, Caroline must decide how far she's willing to go to protect a family she feels deserted her - and whether the man who swore to guard her body can safely hold her heart.

I'm a fan of Princess/Bodyguard romances and The Royal Bodyguard looked to be an interesting twist on the trope since Caroline is no longer a princess and Hugh hasn't been her bodyguard for years. And I did enjoy the chemistry between the two of them. I loved all the action in the story. I also thought Caroline's narration was interesting, her use of things like "/sarcasm font/" giving the sense that you're reading something she wrote herself. All of those things kept me turning the pages long after my bedtime.

But I was confused by the timeline. Caroline's sense of alienation from her family makes it seem like she's been gone much longer than she has. And I was never clear on what exactly Christian had done when he left Thea or how other characters may have connected to his plans. The resolution feels rushed and the big reveals glossed over.

I think some of my confusion is because The Royal Bodyguard is actually the second book in Emory's Runaway Royals series. It's not labeled that way because the previous book was from a different publisher. Had I read Thea's book first I might have had a better understanding of the backstory. I wish more effort had been made to ensure this one would stand alone. In fact, I felt the ending might be setting up Thea's book next before I did some research.

In the end, The Royal Bodyguard is an action movie sort of romance novel - it's a lot of fun as long as you don't think too much about the plot.


Update: I got Thea’s book, The Royal Runaway, from the library about a week after I finished The Royal Bodyguard. It did indeed answer all my questions about Christian and the timing. I still think more effort should have been made to ensure book two would stand on its own.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Review: Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

43092891Get a Life, Chloe Brown
(The Brown Sisters #1)
Talia Hibbert
Release: November 5, 2019
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
Talia Hibbert, one of contemporary romance’s brightest new stars, delivers a witty, hilarious romantic comedy about a woman who’s tired of being “boring” and recruits her mysterious, sexy neighbor to help her experience new things—perfect for fans of Sally Thorne, Jasmine Guillory, and Helen Hoang.

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamourous family’s mansion. The next items?

Enjoy a drunken night out.
Ride a motorcycle.
Go camping.
Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
And... do something bad.
But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

I love Talia Hibbert! (I also hate her a little bit because she’s like 23 and has already written so many awesome books.) Get a Life, Chloe Brown is my seventh Hibbert book and might be my favorite so far.

Chloe is a grumpy heroine, which is a refreshing change. She lives with chronic pain and has withdrawn from the world. She’s loved but babied by her wealthy family, which just makes her feel more isolated. Despite that, she's a strong, independent woman who owns her own web design business. Her relationship with Red brings her out of her shell. Eventually. They start off very much on the wrong foot, which gives the story an enemies to lovers feel.

The book tackles some serious issues, mostly related to Chloe's illness, which I found eye-opening. The couple also deals with an unhealthy relationship in Red's past and its fallout. But there are still lots of feel good moments, eccentric side characters and a cute cat which kept the story from being too dark. What gave me all the warm fuzzy feels though, was Red's easy acceptance of Chloe. He focuses on what she can do rather than her limitations, which allows her to shine.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown was one of my Most Anticipated books of the year and it did not disappoint. I'm thrilled that more people are discovering Hibbert and eagerly awaiting the next book starring Chloe's sister Dani.

Recommended for fans of: Alisha Rai

4.5  stars

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

We Love Lists: Books Rose Red Wants to Read Before It's 2020

About this time last year, I made a list of all the books I wanted to read before the end of year and I found it highly motivating in a year that seemed like one never ending reading slump. This year has been nothing like last year. And while I haven't read as many books as previous years, all the books I've read have all been high quality reads. It's been an excellent reading year and I'm hoping to squeeze in a few more books before it's time to make another year's worth of resolutions.

As of today, I'm thirteen books away from completing my Goodreads goal of 104 books. I am determined to finish the year off strong. There's 56 days left in 2019 and I'm hoping that I can read 15 more books between the craziness of being a first year teacher and the normal busyness of the holidays. I'm terrible at sticking to TBRs but I made one anyway. I have a ton of books in my possession that I want to read ASAP so I might not get to all of these. But as of right now, these are the books that I really want to read before the year is over.

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
This book is kind of cheating because this is my current commute read. I'm about halfway through and I'm loving the audio! It's been hard to stop listening to do my grading. I can't wait to see where this story goes!

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater
I feel like I've been waiting for this Dreamer series for forever! I'm so excited I have it in my hands! I always need more Ronan Lynch in my life. Plus, Maggie says it's her version of an adventure thriller and I am here for it!

Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean
I have no idea why I haven't read this yet. I adored Wicked and the Wallflower and I was stoked for this one from the short preview at the end of it. I'll blame the new job. I will read this one by the end of the year though.

Deosil by Jordan L. Hawk
My beloved Whyborne & Griffin series has come to an end and I'm not ready. I keep putting off reading this because I'm scared about how it will end. I'm going to read this soon. I just need a little more time to prepare to say goodbye.

The Name of All Things by Jenn Lyons
 One of my surprising favorite books of the year was Jenn Lyons debut, The Ruin of Kings, and I am so ready to see what happens next after that ending! Khirin, I'm sure, is going to get up to all sorts of shenanigans and I am here for it especially if a certain vanĂ© is involved. I just got the audio for this and I'm excited for it to be my next commute read!

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin
This year I discovered and devoured everything Gail Z. Martin has written under her pen name Morgan Brice. I have been meaning to pick this series up ever since I learned it's set in the same universe and connected to her Morgan Brice books. The main character in this series is actually Simon from Badlands cousin. I'm so excited to explore more of this world Gail has written.

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
 I only have one more square left in my Romanceopoly challenge and it happens to be the women's fiction challenge. I was having a hard time trying to pick a book for this one because this is a genre I really haven't read. Shout out to Gretl for bringing this one to my attention. I've heard only great things about it so I'm excited to read it.

Reticence by Gail Carriger
 2019 is the year of series enders for series I'm not ready to say goodbye to. And I'm so not ready to say goodbye to the crew of the Spotted Custard. At the same time, I'm dying to read Percy's book. I'm thinking this will be a good one for Thanksgiving break.

After the Crown by K.B. Wagers
 I read the first book in this trilogy earlier this year for book club and I loved it! I'm intrigued to see what happens to Hail and the gang next. I'm excited to read it because I've heard that the series just gets better and better!

Break the Day by Lara Adrian
Rafe's book came out right before school started and I haven't been able to pick it up yet. I've been waiting for his book since the first book about this new generation. I love Adrian's male characters but I adore her strong female characters. That combination is why I can't wait to read Rafe's story and meet Devony.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I read and loved both Simon Snow books this year and I'm dying to read the book that sparked them. Also, it's a book about finding yourself in college and fanfiction. It sounds like something I'll love. Although, I have to be in a certain mood for contemporary so hopefully I get this one read this year.

A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh
Nalini Singh has written a thriller/romantic suspense novel and I am here for it! As a teen, I read every thriller and romantic suspense novel I could get my hands on until I couldn't read them anymore. I've read a few since then but they haven't been my favorite. I'd read Nalini Singh's grocery list so I'm sure she's going to be a breath of fresh air for a beloved genre I'd put aside. I'm so excited to read this one.

A Little Light Mischief by Cat Sebastian
2019 will be known as the year where I got back into historical romance. I binge read Cat Sebastian's Turner series earlier this year and I loved it so much! This is a novella set after the trilogy about one of the Turner brothers' acquaintances, Molly Wilkins, and I'm so excited to read about this female thief turned lady's maid. Add in the fact that it's an f/f romance and I'm even more sold.

To Be Taught if Fortunate by Becky Chambers
You all know how much I love Becky Chambers' Wayfarers series. I'm really excited to read her first published novella not in that series. As much as I love Wayfarers, I want to see what she does in a new work. Honestly, I probably would have had this read already if not for the craziness of starting a new job. I'm still ridiculously excited to read this and can't wait to pick it up.

Loose Ends by Morgan Brice
We don't have a cover for this book yet but it's supposed to be released before the end of the year. I have fallen completely head over heels for Morgan Brice's Badlands series! I love Simon and Vic so much and their paranormal adventures are so unique and different from other PNR/UF books I've read. I'm excited for this book because Simon and Vic are going to Charleston to help Simon's cousin, Cassidy, who is the lead of the Deadly Curiosities series. Morgan Brice's newsletter says that we can expect cameos from characters of her other two series and I am excited.

Those are the books I want to read before we're ringing in 2019. According to my spreadsheet I made for this TBR, I have 56 days to read roughly 5255 pages. That's totally doable! I just need to read 94 pages every day between now and the end of the year. Wish me luck!

What books do you want to read before the end of the year?


Friday, November 1, 2019

#Romanceopolyathon TBR

Romanceopoly is hosted by Under the Covers and Peace Love Books. It uses a Monopoly-style board where each property is a different genre or trope.

We’ve had so much fun doing the Romanceopoly Reading Challenge this year! And we’re so close to completing all the squares. Next week is the second Readathon of the challenge and it’s all about finishing up your board. 

I’m hoping to use the Readathon to finish all the spaces I haven’t landed on yet. 
They are:

Alien Avenue - Read a SciFi Romance or SciFi Novel
Murder Mill - Read a Thriller or a romantic thriller
Freedom Friars - Read an adult LGBT romance

My November rolls are:

Erotic Eaves - Contemprary Erotic Romance
LGBT Lane - New adult LGBT Romance

I'm terrible about sticking to a TBR list. But I'm thinking of something like this for the readathon:
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Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdez
Romancing the Werewolf by Gail Carriger
 Zero Sum Game by SL Huang
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

If anyone has a favorite erotic romance, LMK.
Rose Red only has one square left on her board and she's looking for Women's Fiction recs.

There’s also a #Romanceopolyathon photo challenge so watch our Instagram.

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