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250 Books In 365 Days: Books I Loved In July

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I’m still trying to figure out where July went. It’s almost time for the kids to go back to school but I feel like summer just started. What a bummer. I didn’t read as many books in July as I planned to because we were busy having fun. But I did manage to find some favorites during the month. If you missed it, on Monday I posted about how I fill my Kindle on a budget for those of you who love to read as much as I do. 

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1. Go With Me by Elyssa Patrick– I, Daphne Fox, have a few things to confess: 1. I hate Nick Brady. Loathe. Abhor. Can’t stand him 95% of the time. 2. That other 5%? I’m not talking about that at all. 3. People think I’m lucky for surviving the car crash. I disagree. 4. Nick is the only guy who makes my nightmares go away. 5. I won’t love him, though. Love is not worth the pain. I, Nick Brady, have a few confessions of my own: 1. I don’t hate Daphne Fox. At all. 2. I find her scar sexy. Just like the rest of her. 3. I may be her older brother’s best friend, but that’s not going to stop me. 4. I love her. 5. And I’m going to do everything I can to have her.

 I loved this book. It was the classic big brother’s best friend falling for the little sister story. It was emotional and deep and I could feel the connection between the characters. Highly recommend.

 2. Nero by Sarah Brianne– Nero is the king of Legacy Prep, living a life of power. Elle is the school’s punching bag, living a life of fear. The only good girls Nero knows jump in his bed when he tells them to. The closest Elle has come to a bad boy like him is in the cafeteria line. The mob boss gave him orders to find out what she knows. Her mouth is sealed.

 I had to kind of suspend reality and morals in order to fully appreciate this book but once I did that, I loved it. It’s a mafia mob style book and I admit, I’m a sucker for those. 

 3. Completely Wrecked by Shayne McClendon– Elizabeth Clayton has been in love with Dylan Lange since they were in elementary school. Uncomfortable in her own skin and in possession of a kind and gentle heart, she never expects him to see her in a romantic light. When she stumbles upon him, battered and unconscious, it starts a chain reaction that will span more than a decade of interactions between them filled with pain, devotion, love, and loss. Take a journey with Lizzy and Dylan that will make you laugh, make you ugly cry, and (hopefully) encourage you to take a look around and appreciate the love and positivity in your own life. 

This book has a trigger warning and it definitely needed one. Child abuse and child death are part of the theme so be warned. I was unsure about this book until about halfway through. I kept putting it down and coming back to it. But somewhere around halfway I was totally engrossed in the story and could not put it down. The story made me cry real tears and that hardly ever happens. It’s not an easy story to read though. 

 4. Breathe With Me by Kristen Proby– Mark Williams has loved Meredith since he was seventeen. A successful man with a strong family, he’s worked hard to move on from Meredith breaking his heart all those years ago. When his path crosses with the only woman he’s ever loved again years later, Mark knows there is nothing he won’t do to keep her in his life. But when the going gets tough, will Meredith stick around or will he lose her again? Meredith Summers is a dancer. One of the first things she learned in following her dreams is that timing is everything. She has spent the past ten years following her dream touring with mega-stars while trying to forget the high school sweetheart she left behind. Now she’s back in Seattle, running a successful dance studio with her best friend Jax and determined to move on from her gypsy past. Until the day she sees Mark Williams and time stands still. It’s as if no time has passed at all when Meredith finds herself in Mark’s arms again. The chemistry, the bonds and the love are as strong as ever and hearing Mark whisper breathe with me in her ear is a balm to her wounded soul. But will she grab onto this second chance at love, or is the timing all wrong for them again?

 This is book number 7 in the With Me In Seattle series. This series is one of my favorites and every book is amazing. This particular story is a second chance at love storyline and I love those. Highly recommend the whole series but it does need to be read in order. Also- if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited then all 7 of the books in this series are free to read. 

 5. Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey– With Olympic tryouts on the horizon, the last thing nineteen-year-old Kinsley Bryant needs to add to her plate is Liam Wilder. He’s a professional soccer player, America’s favorite bad-boy, and has all the qualities of a skilled panty-dropper. A face that makes girls weep – check. Abs that can shred Parmesan cheese (the expensive kind) – check. Enough confidence to shift the earth’s gravitational pull – double check. Not to mention Liam is strictly off limits . Forbidden. Her coaches have made that perfectly clear. (i.e. “Score with Coach Wilder anywhere other than the field and you’ll be cut from the team faster than you can count his tattoos.”) But that just makes him all the more enticing…Besides, Kinsley’s already counted the visible ones, and she is not one to leave a project unfinished. Kinsley tries to play the game her way as they navigate through forbidden territory, but Liam is determined to teach her a whole new definition for the term “team bonding.”

 It’s not a secret how much I love soccer and that love extends to books about soccer players. But I’m very particular- the books must be accurate. Nothing worse than someone who knows nothing about the sport trying to write a book around it. This book is fabulous. It’s more romance focused than soccer focused and I loved the whole story. You’ll enjoy this one even if you’re not a soccer fan. 

 6. Pieces Of Olivia by Melissa West– Olivia Warren used to be a normal girl with a bright future. But on one fated night, everything changed. Hiding the scars of her past up her sleeves, Olivia transfers her enrollment from Columbia University to The College of Charleston, determined to pursue her own dreams for the first time in her life. She intends to allow herself a bit of alone time to heal… that is, until she meets Preston. Preston is best friends with her roommate, completely hot, and off-limits. But the chemistry between them is instantaneous—and as the pair begins to spend more time with one another, their feelings for each other build into something undeniable, something powerful enough to heal Olivia’s deepest scars. Olivia tries to put her own past behind her and trust Preston, but she discovers that his past might be more present than she ever bargained for.

 This book is the first in a series but it’s not a cliffhanger ending, I hate those. This is a very emotional book and I could feel the butterflies in my tummy as I read. I loved the main characters, neither of them inspired eye-rolling and scoffing. 

 7. Ruthless People by J.J. McAvoy– To the outside world, they look like American Royalty, giving to charities, feeding the homeless, rebuilding the city. But behind closed doors is a constant battle for dominance between two Bosses, cultures, and hearts. Ruthless People is a romantic crime fiction set in modern day Chicago, and follows the life and marriage of Melody Giovanni and Liam Callahan—rivals by blood and leaders through fear. Their marriage, arranged by their fathers in hopes to end years of bloodshed between the Irish and the Italians. Liam believes he’s getting a simple-minded wife, one he can control, one who bends to his every need . . . the complete opposite of Melody. She knows exactly what type of man he is, and would rather die than give up the power she has spent her life building. The Mafia of the past has evolved, and with rival bosses gunning for them, Melody and Liam will have to learn to work as one to take down those who stand in their way.

 Oh man. This might be a favorite book of all time for me. It’s completely violent, totally without morals, and absolutely amazing. The author describes it as “Mr. and Mrs. Smith meets the Sopranos” and that is so accurate! Be warned though- this is a mafia book and it’s dark. But if you can get past the dark tone, it’s an amazing read. 

 Here’s hoping for more great books in August! Happy Reading!

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How I Fill My Kindle On A Budget

Clearly I have not been shy about the fact that I love to read, right? I adore my Kindle. I named her Phoebe and she goes everywhere with me. I read a lot of books. I’m a very fast reader- a fact that used to drive my mother insane back when we used to take me to the library as a kid. She’d let me check out 10 books at a time and I’d be done in 3 days and begging her to take me back so I could get more. I can read a book a day even now with my busy life. I have insomnia and spend a lot of late nights reading to pass the time until I can fall asleep. But books are expensive and I do not have an unlimited book budget. Unfortunately. I have to find ways to fill my Kindle on a budget.

 

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1.Search the Amazon bestsellers & hot new releases lists. You can find the Top 100 books in whichever genre you like to read. There’s a list for paid books and a list for free books. I find a lot of great books on the Top 100 free list. 

 

2. Utilize the Amazon Wish Lists. I have a limit of $3.99. I don’t pay more than that for any book. So any book I find that costs more I add to my wish list. Kindle books go on sale frequently so I check my wish list a few times a week to see if any of the books I’m wanting to read have been discounted. Sometimes the discount only lasts for 24 hours so you have to check frequently. 

 

3. Subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. I am in my 30 day free trial right now but I will definitely be continuing my subscription. It costs $9.99 a month and you can read a ton of books for free. There are a ton of great books that I’ve been waiting to read available in Kindle Unlimited. You can download 10 at a time and there are no due dates and no limits to how many you can read per month. This is a great option for me when I’ve reached my monthly limit on the book budget. 

 

4. Use your public library’s digital media collection. I check out a whole lot of books through the public library to read on my Kindle. On my library’s website there is a link to online media and I borrow via Overdrive. Every library’s collection is different but I read most of the new releases this way because they’re too expensive for me to buy until they go on sale- J.D. Robb, Janet Evanovich, Christine Feehan. 

 

5. Check Amazon’s Daily Deals. I’ve gotten a lot of great books at deep discounts. I signed up for the daily email which lets me see what books are on special that day. I recently got a $9.78 book for $1.99. 

 

6. Read Maryse’s blog on Tuesday’s and Friday’s. I love this book blog. I don’t remember how I found her but she is the only book blog I read these days. On Tuesday’s she posts a large list of the newest release books with links. On Friday’s she posts a big list of discounted books for the week. I’ve found a bunch of new authors through her blog and if I buy a book she has recommended I always buy directly from her link because I think she uses affiliate links and I appreciate the time and effort she puts into finding all the books. 

 

So those are the main ways I fill my Kindle with new books all the time. I’ve had several questions about how I afford all the books I read and I wanted to share my secrets.  Also- if you are an Amazon Prime member you can borrow a book from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library every month. 

 

Happy Reading!

 

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Some Books From My TBR List + Why I Love Reading

"Inadequate respect for tomorrow."

 

It’s no secret around here that I love to read, right? I mean I think I’ve been pretty clear on that fact. I’ve loved to read for as long as I can remember- ever since childhood. My mom says I was reading first level books by age 4 and I never got over that love of reading. When I was in middle school it was The Babysitters Club, and Sweet Valley Twins, and anything Judy Blume. Then I graduated to Sweet Valley High and Nancy Drew. I put reading on the back burner when soccer took over my life but I found my way back to my first love eventually.

 

Lots of people have asked me why I love to read. I don’t know. I can’t explain it. I love to escape into someone else’s fictional world. It helps me relieve stress. More than once I’ve smacked Matt in the shoulder and remarked “why can’t you say stuff like that?” when I’m reading a book. He always responds “because I’m a real man, not one made up by a woman”. Hmph. And more than one Matt has thrown his hands up in complete exasperation and said “stop trying to turn me into one of your fictional book boyfriends”. Men. 

 

Well that and iced tea!

 

I have probably 1500 books on my Kindle plus I have a small collection of paperback favorites that I’m slowly re-buying on my Kindle. I have some favorite series by different authors that I buy always, no matter what- J.D. Robb, Dianne Duvall, Christine Feehan, Kristen Proby, Janet Evanovich…and then I have a bunch of books that I’ve bought when they drop down to 99 cents on sale. It will take me forever to get through all these books. But I have a book for every mood…more like 500 books for every mood.

 

I have at least 5 different TBR lists on my Kindle just to keep track of the books I want to read. Today I wanted to share some of the books off of my main TBR list. These are the books I plan to read first. As always- the amazon link are not affiliate and I’m not receiving any compensation from anyone. I just really want to read these books.

 

1. Never Surrender by Lindsay McKenna– From Shadow Warrior…to hostage. Despite her sweet nature, Navy medic Bay Thorn’s will is unbreakable. It has earned her not only the respect of her team, but also the love of Navy SEAL Gabe Griffin. And as soon as she wraps up the final six months of Operation Shadow Warriors in Afghanistan, she’ll have her happily ever after…. Until her deployment goes horribly wrong. Bay’s medical expertise is needed by the Taliban, and she is taken hostage. Her captor is ruthless and cruel, and Bay isn’t exempt from his evil intents. All that’s left now is her resolve and the too-distant memory of Gabe—her last and only hope for rescue. And to pull Bay from hell, this SEAL will have to break every rule in the book. But will Gabe find the woman he loves…or a woman broken beyond recognition?

 

2. First Grave On The Right by Darynda Jones– Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e., murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

 

3. The Witness by Ginna Gray– In the blink of an eye, Lauren Brownly’s life changed forever. Late one night the concert pianist witnessed a grisly murder, and with it came a devastating truth:Her career had been financed by crime lord Carlo Giovessi. Now Lauren’s testimony against him could finally bring him down. Terrified and utterly alone, Lauren must trust in one man—Sam Grey Wolf Rawlins. She is powerfully drawn to the rugged FBI agent who took her into protective custody, but Wolf cannot dismiss the shocking allegations about Lauren’s personal involvement with the mobster. Their traitorous emotions—and their survival skills—are put to the ultimate test when their plane crashes during a blizzard. Now they are stranded in the mountains with hit men hot on their trail, and danger is closing in on Lauren and Wolf. There’s a traitor in the ranks of the FBI and Wolf knows there is nowhere safe to hide—except in a world he left behind long ago…

 

4. Pieces of Olivia by Melissa West– Olivia Warren used to be a normal girl with a bright future. But on one fated night, everything changed. Hiding the scars of her past up her sleeves, Olivia transfers her enrollment from Columbia University to The College of Charleston, determined to pursue her own dreams for the first time in her life. She intends to allow herself a bit of alone time to heal… that is, until she meets Preston. Preston is best friends with her roommate, completely hot, and off-limits.  But the chemistry between them is instantaneous–and as the pair begins to spend more time with one another, their feelings for each other build into something undeniable, something powerful enough to heal Olivia’s deepest scars. Olivia tries to put her own past behind her and trust Preston, but she discovers that his past might be more present than she ever bargained for…

 

5. Take Over At Midnight by M.L. Buchman– Nothing sticks to “Crazy” Tim Maloney, until he falls hard for a tall Creole beauty with a haunted past and a penchant for reckless flying. Lola LaRue never thought she’d be susceptible to a man’s desire, but even with Tim igniting her deepest passions, it may be too late now…With the nation under an imminent threat of biological warfare, Tim and Lola are the only ones who can stop the madness–and to do that, they’re going to have to trust each other way beyond their limits.

 

6. Don’t Look Back by M.J. Fredrick– When her best friend is kidnapped in Africa, Dr. Liv Olney must return to the scene of her own horrific captivity. The only man she trusts is former Army Lt. Gerard “Del” Delaney, the man who rescued her. Even with him, she can’t relinquish control of her emotions, needing to keep painful memories at bay. In exile after a court martial that stripped him of everything, Del misses his son and his country. When Liv asks for help, his instinct is to turn away. But her courage reaches out to him and he cannot refuse, especially when she promises that she can help clear his name so he can go home. Together they travel to Africa, where they fight warlords and monsoons, and learn to trust and hope that, together, they can find happiness and peace. 

 

7. The Sweet Spot by Stephanie Evanovich– When pro baseball player Chase Walker first meets Amanda at her restaurant, it’s love at first sight. While Amanda can’t help noticing the superstar with the Greek-god-build, he doesn’t have a chance of getting to first—or any other—base with her. A successful entrepreneur who’s built her business from scratch, Amanda doesn’t need a Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet. And a curvy girl who likes to cook and eat isn’t interested in being around the catty, stick-thin herd of females chasing Chase and his teammates. But Chase isn’t about to strike out. A man who isn’t interested in playing the field, he’s a monogamist who wants an independent woman like Amanda. His hopes rally when she discovers that squeaky-clean Chase has a few sexy and very secret pre-game rituals that turn the smart, headstrong businesswoman on—and into his number one fan. Then a tabloid discovers the truth and turns their spanking good fun into a late- night punchline. Is Amanda ready to let loose and swing for the fences? Or will the pressure of Chase’s stardom force them to call it quits?

 

8. It’s Always Been You by Victoria Paige– Former Navy SEAL Travis Blake is a rising star in the security business. In two short years, Blake Security Inc. has become highly sought after by the who’s who in Washington DC. But unbeknownst to many, Travis is haunted by the mysterious death of his wife three years before. He carries with him the guilt of not being there to protect the one person who meant everything to him. He has buried his wife, but his heart refuses to accept that the body six feet under is hers. His obsessive search for her leads him deep into the trenches of covert ops—where everything is not what it seems. Caitlin Kincaid has been on the run for a while. The sum of her memories began three years ago when she awakened with a broken arm and leg and a severe concussion. Hunted down by a secret group within the U.S. government, her companion persuades her to stay off the grid because of the standing kill order on their heads. One night, while fleeing assassins, she is left on the side of the road with a cryptic message: “It’s time for you to stop running. I’m not the one you love.” When Travis receives news that the woman who has turned up at the American Embassy in Berlin could be his wife, he wastes no time getting to her. He is unprepared for the devastation that shreds him when Caitlin looks at him with no recognition in her eyes. Amnesia is a challenging enough obstacle for winning the love of his life back, but with lies defining the past three years of her life, Caitlin becomes wary of anyone’s help. Love was never the problem. A marriage cannot survive without trust. As sinister forces threaten the bond they are trying to rebuild, trust must come quickly or one of them will die. 

 

9. Acts Of Contrition by Jennifer Hanford– Mary Morrissey is living the life of her dreams. She has a loving husband of ten years, Tom, two daughters, and twin boys. Her parents are just down the road. Her three sisters are nearby. Perfect—some might even say she is living the American Dream. But beneath the shiny veneer, Mary hasn’t taken a calm breath in years. She lives in a constant state of panic, afraid that the secret she’s kept hidden for so long will be revealed, that it will shatter the life she’s worked so hard to build. When Mary’s handsome and addictively charismatic ex-boyfriend Landon James reappears during his high profile Senate campaign, she feels the truth bubbling to the surface and knows she’s powerless to stop it. Mary has spent years trying to forget him, and now he’s on every TV she sees. A conditional Catholic, Mary bargains with God, negotiating deals that will keep her happy life undisturbed for another day. She prays for strength and confesses her sins—anything that might let her sleep at night under the weight of the guilt she carries from lying to her husband and family for the entirety of her marriage. When Tom learns what Mary’s been hiding, what once seemed unfathomable—a deep, heartbreaking divide between them—is now their new normal. Can they find a way to rebuild their life together? Is forgiveness possible?

 

10. Plain Jayne by Laura Dewry– Worn out from the long drive back home, Jayne Morgan can only smirk at the irony: Of course the first person she sees from her old life is Nick Scott. Once best friends, they lost touch when Jayne left town at eighteen, but nothing could keep them apart forever. Jayne has returned to take over her grandmother’s bookstore, determined to put all her bittersweet memories and secret disappointments strictly in the past—until, that is, Nick insists she bunk at his place. Nick never did care what people thought about having a girl for a best friend—or the “scandal” she caused by showing up to his wife’s funeral four years earlier—so he’s got no problem with the gossips now. Jayne was always the one person he could count on in his life. Now Nick is starting to realize that he never wants her to leave again . . . and that being “just friends” isn’t going to be enough anymore.

 

Those are just 10 of the fabulous books I’m dying to read on my TBR list. I really need more hours in my day. A lot more hours. If I could find a way to cut out sleep entirely I’d be golden. 

 

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250 Books In 365 Days: Books I Loved In June

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I read less books in June because most of my time was spent at the pool with the kids. But not having to get up early in the mornings plus kids who like to sleep in past 9:30am means I had quite a few very late nights reading books. Have I mentioned how much I really love summer? Because I do. 

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1. Obsession by Lisa Clark O’Neill– Trauma surgeon Justin Wellington is accustomed to handling gunshot wounds… just not over his Cobb salad. When a lunch date with his best friend, the woman with whom he’s quietly and desperately in love – homicide detective Kathleen Murphy – becomes the scene of a drive-by shooting, Justin’s surgical skills are called upon to save the life of a young waitress. His heroism that day sets into motion a chain of events that brings him to the attention of a dangerous and disturbed individual, threatening his career, his own life and the lives of those he holds dear. Obsession: Because sometimes what we think is love is really only madness.

 I really enjoyed every page of this book. This is book 5 in the Southern Comfort series. I’ve read 3 of the others and they are all great. I wish I’d read them in order though so I do recommend doing that. This book combined 2 things I love- friends turning into lovers, and romantic suspense. It was a definite favorite.

 2. Cut Too Deep by K.J. Bell– A woman traumatized by her past, beaten, battered, and unwilling to trust. A man held captive by his greatest failure, lost, and self-destructive. Letters that unexpectedly bind them together. Is their bond strong enough to survive each other? As a web of deceit is revealed, will they be able to determine what’s real, and what’s worth fighting for? Or will they crumble under the weight of secrets that cut too deep? Can Miller forgive himself and move beyond his fear of failing the one he loves? Can Hadley accept the love she desperately wants but doesn’t believe she deserves?

 This book stayed with me for a couple of days after I read it. Reading what Hadley went through and seeing the way Miller helped her overcome it and stand strong made this a really emotional read for me. Definitely on my favorites shelf.

 3. Bite Me by Shelly Laurenston– Livy Kowalski has no time for idiots. When you shapeshift into a honey badger, getting through life’s irritants is a finely honed skill. Until she gets stuck housing her nutso cousin and dealing with her dad’s untimely and unexplained demise. That’s where Vic Barinov comes in—or his house does. Vic can’t step outside without coming back to find Livy devouring his honey stash and getting the TV remote sticky. It gets his animal instincts all riled up. But he’ll have to woo her at high speed: all hell is breaking loose, and Livy is leading the charge.

 I love shifter books. But I’ve never read one quite like this. I’ve never read a shifter book about a Honey Badger. And I loved it. This book is part of a series but I haven’t read the others in the series yet. This book is hysterically funny. I found myself laughing out loud a lot while reading. There’s some drama but it’s all wrapped up with a funny bow. 

 4. Infinity + One by Amy Harmon– When two unlikely allies become two unwitting outlaws, will two unforgettable lovers defy unbeatable odds? Bonnie Rae Shelby is a superstar. She’s rich. She’s beautiful. She’s impossibly famous. And Bonnie Rae Shelby wants to die. Finn Clyde is a nobody. He’s broken. He’s brilliant. He’s impossibly cynical. And all he wants is a chance at life. One girl. One boy. An act of compassion. A bizarre set of circumstances. And a choice – turn your head and walk away, or reach out your hand and risk it all?  With that choice, the clock starts ticking on a man with a past and a girl who can’t face the future, counting down the seconds in an adventure riddled with heartbreak and humor, misunderstanding and revelation. With the world against them, two very different people take a journey that will not only change their lives, but may cost them their lives as well. Infinity + One is a tale of shooting stars and fame and fortune, of gilded cages and iron bars, of finding a friend behind a stranger’s face, and discovering love in the oddest of places.

 This book is so unlike any other rock star book that I’ve read before. It kept my interest and I had to know what happened. I loved the relationship that developed between the 2 main characters and I loved the obstacles they had to overcome in order to be together. 

 5. Crash Into You by Katie McGarry– The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life—that’s who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers…and she’s just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can’t get him out of her mind. Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look. But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they’ll go to save each other.

 This is book 3 in a series. I’ve read all 3 and I do recommend reading them in order because the characters from the first 2 books play a role in this book. You’ll get more out of the book if you understand the background of the characters. I loved the man character, Rachel. She tried so hard to be someone she wasn’t to please her family. I could just feel her anxiety pouring off the pages while I read. The relationship between her and Isaiah was powerful and I loved reading it develop. 

 6. Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis– Co-owner of the town’s only kennel, Lilah Young has lived in Sunshine, Idaho, all her life. Pilot-for-hire Brady Miller is just passing through. But he soon has Lilah abandoning her instincts and giving in to a primal desire. It’s Brady’s nature to resist being tied down, but there’s something about Lilah and her menagerie that keeps him coming back for more.

 The blurb of this book didn’t really tell me much but I love Jill Shalvis so I knew I’d love this book. I had it on hold at the library for my Kindle for awhile and finally was able to read it. I loved it so much that I immediately read the other 3 books in the series. They are all 5 star reads for me in June. The characters from book one continue throughout the series and each book deals with a different couple so it’s like reading about one big happy family. I highly recommend this series if you like some laughter with your romance.

 I have a bunch of great books on hold at the library including the new J.D. Robb and Janet Evanovich books. Hopefully they will come available in July. Plus there are some great books releasing this month that I’m excited about!

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250 Books In 365 Days: Books I Loved In May

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I read a ton of great books in May. I had a hard time narrowing it down to my favorites. There’s a whole bunch of great ones releasing in June too but I expect my reading to slow down since I’ll be at the pool every day soaking up the sun. 

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1. Bender by Stacy Borel– All Keegan wanted was a roommate who was quiet, minded their own business, and paid for part of the rent. Instead, she got Camden Brooks. Camden, with his sinful body, sharp tongue, and the inability to stay out of Keegan’s personal space, couldn’t seem to curb his interest in the new girl who wouldn’t put up with his domineering ways. Feelings were running rampant, sexual tension was thick, and both were struggling to let go of control. To some people, getting a roommate simply meant living with another person. But to both Camden and Keegan it was a curveball that neither was prepared to swing at. 

 Oh how I loved this book. It may be one of my all-time favorites. I loved that the main character, Keegan, was not the stereotypical size 0 twig girl. She was a real size girl with real insecurities. Camden came off as a real ass for the first part of the book and I was anxious to see him redeem himself. And never fear- he did! Highly recommend!

 2. Take a Chance by Abbi Glines– When Harlow Manning’s rocker father goes on tour, he sends her to Rosemary Beach, Florida, to live with her half-sister, Nan. The problem: Nan despises her. Harlow has to keep her head down if she wants to get through the next nine months, which seems easy enough. Until gorgeous Grant Carter walks out of Nan’s room in nothing but his boxer briefs.Grant made a huge mistake getting involved with a girl with venom in her veins. He’d known about Nan’s reputation, but still he couldn’t resist her. Nothing makes him regret the fling more than meeting Harlow, who sends his pulse racing. Yet Harlow wants nothing to do with a guy who could fall for her wicked half-sister even if there are no strings between Grant and Nan. Grant is desperate to redeem himself in Harlow’s eyes, but did he ruin his chances before he even met her?

 I adore the whole Rosemary Beach series. It’s one of my favorites and this book is a spin-off continuation of that series. I love to see all the characters from the previous books in the new stories. It makes them so much better, in my opinion. I loved this book. It is a cliffhanger ending, which normally I hate and avoid like the plague, but I cannot resist an Abbi Glines book. I can’t wait for the next book to come out in September!

 3. Unbreakable by Rebecca Shea– Jessica Harper is the epitome of perfection. She’s a good daughter, makes excellent grades, and always strays on the safe side of life. The last thing she thought would ever happen was falling in love with her best friend’s brother. But sometimes fate just has a way of bringing two people together. Wide receiver for the University of Arizona, Gabe Garcia, seems to have it all. When his feelings for Jessica come to surface, Gabe will give up everything to be with her. But what happens when a tragedy abruptly changes the course of your life? For Jessica and Gabe, everything they thought they knew about each other will be questioned. Sometimes, there are scars in life that are cut too deep to completely heal. Will their love prove to be unbreakable, or will it shatter and prove fate is just another lie?

 Oh this book. I was feeling all the feels while reading this one. My heart was in the pit of my stomach as I read. I had very strong opinions of how I wanted the story to end. Not giving any spoilers- you have to read this one and feel it like I did. 

 4. Sweet Temptation by K.C. Lynn– “If you could go back and change one moment in your life what would it be?” I expect him to say the week the three of them were held prisoner, but what he says next is something that I will remember for the rest of my life. “It would be to find you sooner, because I would have never let anyone hurt you.” And that was the moment I gave Sawyer Evans my whole heart.

 This is book 2 in the Men of Honor series and I loved it as much as I loved the first book. Who doesn’t love hot, tattooed, alpha military guys? The chemistry between the main characters, Sawyer and Gracie, is out of this world. Seriously. You’ll need a fan to read this book. I loved seeing all the same group of characters from the first book. I highly recommend this one but you definitely should read book one first. 

 5. Sweet Addictions by Jessica Daniels– Wedding hookups never amount to anything. Those who partake in this wicked little activity know the rules. Get in. Get laid. Get out. There’s no expectation of a relationship. It is what it is. Dylan Sparks knows the rules. She’s familiar with the protocol. And she engages in the best sex of her life with a complete stranger at her ex-boyfriend’s wedding. Reese Carroll doesn’t care about the rules. He wants more than just one night with Dylan. And he’s too addicting to pass up. Sweet Addiction is the story of one girl’s struggle to keep things casual, and one boy’s desire to never let her go.

 Oh man. This book. This book rocked my face off. It had everything- laughs, loves, hot sex, great friends…it was the total package. I found myself laughing out loud at parts and sniffling at other parts. I love a book that makes you feel the full range of emotions. Dylan was a bad ass main character and I loved her!

 6. Inflame by Tessa Teevan– Easy going soldier Kale Montgomery, a self-proclaimed ladies man, has no plans of settling down, especially not with his best friend- the sexy, sassy schoolteacher Lucy Dawson. Their relationship, though unconventional, is mutually beneficial, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Friends with benefits? Casual lovers? Whatever you want to call it, they’re having fun, in and out of bed, and to them, that’s all that matters. At least that’s what they think, but how long can you spend in someone’s bed before you find they’re also infiltrating your heart? As their casual fling with no strings attached progresses, it’s not long before they realize they’re both in way over their heads. One fateful night changes their lives forever in ways they could never have imagined, giving them the push to finally admit that maybe, just maybe they want more than they’ve let on. Their mutual attraction rapidly intensifies as it shifts from burning lust to unrelenting want, need, and possibly even love. Suddenly the idea of settling down doesn’t seem so bad. In fact, it sounds pretty damn perfect. Just when things seem to be falling into place, past pain and renewed insecurities rise to the surface and threaten to smother the flames of their passionate relationship, reminding them both why they’ve always kept the idea of love at arm’s length. Will Kale and Lucy realize that what they’ve been waiting for is each other, or will the blazing whirlwind of their feelings burn out too quickly, causing it to all go up in smoke?

 This is book 3 in the Explosive series and I think it was the best one yet. I loved the connection between Kale and Lucy. They were so meant to be together but the road to love is not easy for them. I loved this book!

 7. Stupid Girl by Cindy Miles– After her senior year of high school leaves behind nothing but heartache, Olivia Beaumont is sure of this: She’s no stupid girl. She sets out for Winston College, promising herself that she will remain focused on her first and only love – astronomy. But all it takes is cocky sophomore Brax Jenkins and an accidental collision with a football, to throw her entire year off course. A quick-tempered Southie who escaped the inner city streets of Boston to pitch for Winston, Brax is known to play way more fields than just the baseball diamond. So, when his name is drawn to take part in his fraternity’s hazing dare, Brax eagerly accepts the mission to take Olivia’s virginity. But he doesn’t plan on falling hard for the sweet and sassy Texas girl who sees right through his bad-boy persona. As Olivia and Brax battle their feelings for each other, echoes of the past year begin to surface. A boy who once turned Olivia’s whole world upside down reappears, and “harmless” pranks wreak havoc. Pretty soon the aspiring astronomer is on the verge of revealing her most difficult, heartbreaking secret. All the while, Brax must wrestle with the irrevocable dare, and Olivia struggles against all logic as she does the one thing only a stupid girl would do: fall in love.

 Oh man, this book killed me. I had a book hangover for days after this one. I loved Olivia- she was a total bad ass main character with so much pain buried inside her. She made my heart ache. Brax….was kind of an ass. But I still liked him a lot. The roller coaster these two went on to get to their HEA was wild. This is probably one of my favorites of the year so far. 

 8. Separation Anxiety by Lisa Suzanne– We all get one true love in our lives, and it’s up to us to find it. Fate will act and try to push us together, but ultimately it’s up to us to recognize who that one person is when he’s standing in front of us. It turns out that I recognized who my one person was when I was separated from my husband. On the same day I determined that I was finally going to file for divorce, I confessed my secret to Jesse Drake, my swoon-worthy colleague known for his womanizing ways. Jesse invited me to crash with him, and with each new piece of the enigmatic Jesse puzzle that I started to fit into place, I found myself wondering if Fate had pushed us together for a reason. If only my husband would stop getting in the way of the man with whom I was meant to be.

 I love books where the couple starts as friends and progresses into a relationship. I love the connection, the angst of the transition from friends to lovers. This book was all that plus the added drama of a failed marriage. I loved how Jesse stayed strong and refused to let his relationship with Veronica progress to a physical one until her divorce was final. 

Did you read anything good this month that I should know about?

 Book I’ve Loved This Year:

January

February

March

April

 

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