So I’m still going strong on my mission to read 250 books in 365 days. I read a lot in February- face it there’s not a whole lot to do when you are stuck inside for multiple snow days. You can only watch so many kid shows before you start to develop a noticeable twitch. Here are my favorites from March. As always, none of these links are affiliate or compensated.
1. Beneath our Faults by Charity Ferrell– Daisy Mara had the picture perfect life until a shot rang through the air and shattered her world into pieces. Unable to cope with her loss, she’s forced to move thousands of miles away. The last thing she expects to find when arriving in her new home is her neighbor, naked and in a very compromising situation. Keegan Montgomery never had to answer to anyone for anything. His life consisted of partying and frequenting as many beds as he could throw himself into. But under his bad boy facade, he is facing his own internal demons. Daisy will never love another. Keegan knows he’ll never love anyone – ever. But their attraction is undeniable. Can the tragic ending of a first love end up being the beginning of another?
This book was a tear jerker. I could feel the emotional pain of the main character. And I could feel her struggle- to hold on to the past or to move on with what was right in front of her. So many tears.
2. Salvation by Noelle Adams– You get to the point where you can just say it. There was never anything special about me, except my father is rich and important. That’s why it happened. It was just a normal Tuesday afternoon. I was twenty-three and thinking about my new designer boots. They kidnapped me for ransom. They raped me before I was rescued. My therapist says that talking about it means I’m starting to heal. I don’t really think I am. It’s even harder to talk about Gideon. He couldn’t save me when it really mattered, so he keeps trying to save me now. He refuses to give up on me, and I can’t make him understand. There are some things you just can’t be saved from.
This book was everything I expected and more. The author does include the following warning: Salvation is a love story that follows a difficult path of healing after sexual assault. It is a true contemporary romance, but it addresses very hard issues, including rape and attempted suicide. Please consider whether this book is for you. I personally did not find anything in this story to be triggering but everyone is different. The actual assault is not described in graphic details and 99% of the story takes place afterwards. It’s about how one woman deals with the aftermath of her assault. I found it to be very real, and raw, and realistic.
3. More Than Meets the Ink by Elle Aycart– Wickedly sexy James Bowen is a bad boy of the highest order — tattoos and attitude included — which unfortunately ranks way up on Tate’s not-a-chance-in-hell list, right there along with skydiving naked over Teheran and juggling Ebola vials just for kicks. But what the heck, she’s on holiday, the guy is absolutely irresistible, and she needs to unplug from her life. With her dad and brother gone, Tate is left to deal with the family restaurant, which is fast going down the drain. Her employees are acting out, her boyfriend has bailed out, and her very own private stalker is emailing her to death with lovely threats of doom, fire, and dismemberment. So yeah, maybe a little holiday fling is in order. Strictly sex though, and no follow-up whatsoever once. She hadn’t counted on her take-charge holiday fling having an opinion of his own and stubbornly sticking around, before and after the sex, making himself at home in her life. There is definitely more to James than meets her prejudiced eye, and even if she’s not ready to look deeper, James isn’t prepared to permit her not to.
I adore this book. Seriously. This one and the sequel Inked Ever After are on my favorite books ever list. And I don’t add books to that list lightly or often. You know how much I love me some alpha males and these books are full of them. Hot, tattooed, possessive, wickedly funny alpha males. I laughed out loud so many times while reading these books. I highly recommend them. Be warned- they are naughty and hot!
4. The Plan by Qwen Salsbury– Day of Employment: 359 11:05 a.m. Location: Cubicles outside Canon’s office. Co-workers: Betting on how long Canon’s new PA will last. Me: No doubts. Ms. Gum-smacker won’t last the day. I need to place my bet. Manolo Blahnik’s New Fall Shoes: Mine. As soon as Madeline hands over my winnings. Emma Baker has never spoken a word to Alaric Canon, nor has he to her. But she’s studied him every day across the office tundra for almost a year. Canon is hard and fierce, terrifying and beautiful. He’s also the most stern, unforgiving person Emma has ever seen. Emma’s co-workers run a betting pool for Personal Assistant terminations. There’s a separate pot for the day one leaves without crying. Not likely…Canon made a former Navy SEAL cry. He has high standards and low tolerance. Everyone knows it. Everyone stays away. Everyone who can, that is. Except Emma. She can’t look away. Alaric Canon is the single most attractive man she’s ever seen. Bar none. Canon has never noticed her. Not once in almost a year. She’s not even a blip on his radar. But she will be. His radar will be blipless no more. It is a goal. Emma has a plan.
I love a good office romance story and this one was fantastic. It’s hysterically funny. I mean REALLY hysterically funny- I snorted sweet tea out my nose during one particular scene. I think the ending could have been better but the book was just so funny that I can overlook that small detail.
5. Surrendering by Ahren Sanders– Ravenel Hayes is a perfect daughter, a loving sister, a loyal friend, and an excellent student. Returning home to complete her MBA and be closer to her family, she has her future all mapped out. That is until her path leads her straight into Declan Collins. The dark haired, tattooed singer with a sinful body is a distraction, one that’s way out of her league. He wasn’t part of her plan. But now that he’s literally knocking on her door, how can she avoid him? Declan Collins lives life to the edge. His only emotional attachments are to his family and his band. He’s your typical bad-boy, lead singer who lives with no regrets. “Hook-up and head-out” is his motto. His ultimate goal is to take his band all the way to the top, or so it was. When he runs into Raven, she stirs up emotions in him that he had never thought possible. From their very first meeting, there’s no denying the chemistry between them. He’s not a relationship guy, but can she change his playboy ways? Jealousy, anger, stalkers, and fame and fortune threaten to tear these two apart. Will surrendering to their love get them through the challenges that await them? Or will it tear them apart?
I loved this book. I wish I had known it was part of an unfinished series before I started reading it because I probably would’ve waited for the next book to be available before starting it. But the cliffhanger ending aside, this book is fantastic. And the second book is due in April so not that long of a wait. I really loved the main character, Ravenel. She was feisty and smart and didn’t put up with any crap. The hero was fantastic up until the very end and I have high hopes he will redeem himself in the next book. He better.
6. Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James– Nothing fazes Taylor Donovan. In the courtroom she never lets the opposition see her sweat. In her personal life, she never lets any man rattle her—not even her cheating ex-fiancé. So when she’s assigned to coach People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” for his role in his next big legal thriller, she refuses to fall for the Hollywood heartthrob’s charms. Even if he is the Jason Andrews. Jason Andrews is used to having women fall at his feet. When Taylor Donovan gives him the cold shoulder, he’s thrown for a loop. She’s unlike any other woman he’s ever met: uninterested in the limelight, seemingly immune to his advances, and shockingly capable of saying no to him. She’s the perfect challenge. And the more she rejects him, the more he begins to realize she may just be his perfect match.
Oh man, this book was so funny. I love the main character, Taylor. She is strong and self-assured and is so not impressed with the sexiest man alive. I love a woman who doesn’t take crap and who’ll put a man in his place no matter who he is!
7. Tied With Me by Kristen Proby– Nic Dalton’s cupcake bakery is thriving. She serves both rock stars and locals alike, content with her growing business. But one adventurous night out with her best friend, Bailey, turns her life upside down. She meets a handsome stranger who makes her skin sizzle and her heart race. Their one night together is explosive and unexpected, but when he has to suddenly leave without taking her phone number, Nic resigns herself to never seeing him again. Matt Montgomery is one of Seattle’s finest. He works hard, loves and protects his family fiercely, and is loyal almost to a fault. And he has a penchant for bondage. Matt enjoys the way a woman looks wrapped up in his ropes, and makes no apologies for his preferences. When he meets Nic at a fetish festival, the small, beautiful woman catches his eye, drawing him to her. His one night with her was everything he’s ever looked for in a partner, but is cut short because of a family emergency. Even before he sees her again weeks later, he knows he’ll never get her out of his system. And he’ll do whatever it takes to make her his.
This is book #6 in the With Me In Seattle series. Every single one of these books is on my all time favorites list. I love them. I highly recommend starting with the first book and reading them all in order. I was a little nervous about this one because BDSM is not really my thing. But fear not, it’s very light in this book and it only enhances the story instead of being the story. I enjoyed the build up of the main characters relationship and I loved seeing all the characters from previous books in this one again. I cannot recommend this series enough.
8. Last Breath by Jessica Clare– Regan: I never really knew what misery was until the day I was kidnapped and sold for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Two months later, I’m at a brothel in Rio when I meet Daniel Hays. He says he’s here to save me, but can I trust him? All I know of him are his sarcastic retorts and his tendency to solve every dispute with his gun. He’s also the only safe thing in my world, and I know it’s wrong to fall in love with him, but I can’t seem to help myself. He says he’ll protect me until his last breath but I don’t know if I should believe him or even if I can. Daniel: For the last eighteen months, I’ve had one goal: to find my kidnapped sister. I’ve left the Army, turned paid hit man, and have befriended criminals all across the globe. In every brothel I raid or every human trafficking truck I stop, her face is the one I’m desperate to see. In Rio, I find Regan Porter, bruised but not broken and still sane despite her weeks in hell. I should leave her behind or send her home because the last thing either of us needs is to get involved. But with every passing minute, I find I can’t let her go.
This is book 2 in the Hitman series and I definitely enjoyed this one much more than the first book. It’s not really necessary to read book 1 first. This story stands alone and it’s really good- gritty, raw, and real. Be warned- it does have scenes of rape but they are not overly graphic. This is a story of survival and strength.
Who read something good this month?