The Monthly Recap: July 2019

Posted August 8, 2019 by Rowena in Books | 4 Comments

Another month down and another shitty reading month in the books. Sigh. I really thought that things had kicked off for me on the reading front last month but meh, I found every other thing to do in the middle days of July that wasn’t reading and I did that instead. I did get to meet up with some book friends, I celebrated Holly’s birthday with her and I went to another Dodgers game and saw the firework show with them as well, haha. July was a good month, even if it wasn’t a good reading month.

Here’s what my month in books looked like…

Monthly Book Stats

Books Read: 10 | Books DNF’d: 0
Books Purchased: 3 | Books Received for Review: 2 | Reviews Posted: 9
Highest Grade: The Prenup, Brazen and the Beast | Lowest Grade: Like the Wind

What I Read

1. Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson #11) by Patricia Briggs (eARC) | 4 out of 5
2. Wolf Rain (Psy-Changelings Trinity #3) by Nalini Singh (eARC) | 4.25 out of 5
3. The Prenup by Lauren Layne (eBook) | 4.5 out of 5
4. Beginner’s Luck (Chance of a Lifetime #1) by Kate Clayborne (eBook) | 4 out of 5
5. Like the Wind by J. Bengtsson (Audiobook) | 3 out of 5
6. Daisy’s Back in Town by Rachel Gibson (eBook) | 3.75 out of 5
7. Count to Ten (Romantic Suspense #6) by Karen Rose (eBook) | 4 out of 5
8. How to Date Your Dragon (Mystic Bayou #1) by Molly Harper (Audiobook) | 4 out of 5
9. Brazen and the Beast (The Bareknuckle Bastards #2) by Sarah MacLean (eARC) | 4.5 out of 5
10. Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop (Audiobook) | 4 out of 5

Eye Candy Friday

Mercy Thompson
Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

What I Reviewed

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai | 3.5 out of 5
The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen | 4.25 out of 5
Highland Deception by Meggan Connors | 2.5 out of 5
Superfan by Sarina Bowen | 4.25 out of 5
Wolf Rain by Nalini Singh | 4.25 out of 5
Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer | 3.75 out of 5
Daisy’s Back in Town by Rachel Gibson | 3.5 out of 5
Night Broken (Mercy Thompson #8) by Patricia Briggs | 3.25 out of 5
Like the Wind by J. Bengtsson | 2.75 out of 5

What I Purchased

Daisy’s Back in Town by Rachel Gibson
Desire and the Deep Blue Sea (Love Unscripted #1) by Olivia Dade

Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop

What I Got for Review

A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh
Blitzed (Playbook #3) by Alexa Martin

There you have it, the month that was July in books for me. How did your month look? Did you read any good books? Any bad books? Share with me in the comments!


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The Wednesday Post (18)

Posted August 7, 2019 by Rowena in Books | 4 Comments

Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tessa over at Wishful Endings and it was based on Waiting on Wednesday that was hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

I decided that I’m going to do a mashup of the Can’t Wait Wednesday and WWW Wednesday posts here on my blog. I’m bringing them together and calling it The Wednesday Post. Here’s what I’m up to this week.

WWW Wednesday

What did you recently finish reading?

The Kingpin of Camelot (A Kinda Fairytale #3) by Cassandra Gannon
The Duchess in His Bed (Sins for All Season #4) by Lorraine Heath

I really enjoyed both of these books. The Cassandra Gannon was a new to me author and series and while it was pretty slow in the beginning, once the story hit its stride, I really came to love the world and the main couple. I really, really loved King Midas. King Midas was everything! 🙂 Aiden’s story was just as fantastic as I knew it would be. Lorraine Heath is a goddess of historical romance and I eat up everything she writes. I’m still LOVING the hell out of this series and I cannot wait for Fancy’s book.

What are you currently reading?

The Iron Duke (Iron Seas #1) by Meljean Brook

I haven’t started this book yet since I went to see Hobbs and Shaw last night like the good Samoan lady that I am. LOL. I got home pretty late so I didn’t even bother starting this one and running the risk of not remembering a damn thing I read. I’ll be starting this book today though and it’s been on my TBR pile for YEARS. I know that Holly will be happy that I’m finally reading this book…she only had to force me to do it with the Summer Reading Challenge. Haha.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Coming Up Roses by Staci Hart
Water Bound (Sea Haven #1) by Christine Feehan

I’m still plugging away at my TBR pile and I’m hopeful that I’ll get through all of the books that I need to read this month so that I can finish my Summer Reading Challenge with my head held high, haha. In an effort to make that happen, I’ll be reading these two books next.

Can’t Wait Wednesday
The Wednesday Post (18)The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Series: The Bromance Book Club #1
Published by Penguin, Berkley on November 5, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add It: Goodreads

The first rule of book club:
You don't talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott's marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville's top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it'll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

I’m really looking forward to reading this book. It sounds like my kind of romance and I’m excited to see what Lyssa Kay Adam’s brings to the contemporary romance table. There’s room for everyone and I’m excited to give her stuff a try.

So, what are you reading this week? Anything good? Anything that you want to rant about?
Are you looking forward to The Bromance Book Club? What other books are you looking forward to releasing this year?


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My TBR Pile: August 2019

Posted August 6, 2019 by Rowena in Books | 5 Comments

So, every month I put a list together of the books that I either need to read for review or the books that I want to get around to reading (finally). I’m also trying to be more responsible with my Kindle Unlimited and Audible Romance Package subscriptions so I’m going to post my TBR Pile on the blog so you guys can keep me honest.

I think I’ve finally found my reading mojo for the year. This year has been slow going as far as my reading is concerned and I was a little worried that my reading was going to take a hike for good but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. I read all but one of the books on my TBR list from last month and to say that I’m happy is putting it mildly. I’m freaking ecstatic. Here’s how I did this month as far as my TBR pile goes.

Previous Month Stats

Books to Read: 10
Books Read: 6
Books Unread: 4
Pages Read: 1,332 | Hours Listened: 17 hours
Favorite Read: Brazen and the Beast | Least Favorite Read: Like the Wind

August’s TBR PILE

The Wallflower Wager (Girl Meets Duke #3) by Tessa Dare
Releases on August 13, 2019
Publisher: Harper Collin, Avon
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss

They call him the Duke of Ruin.

To an undaunted wallflower, he’s just the beast next door.

Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society—and now he wants to get even.

Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart.

When her imposing—and attractive—new neighbor demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.

Done, Gabriel says. How hard can it be to find homes for a few kittens?

And a two-legged dog.

And a foul-mouthed parrot.

And a goat, an otter, a hedgehog . . .

Easier said than done, for a cold-blooded bastard who wouldn’t know a loving home from a workhouse. Soon he’s covered in cat hair, knee-deep in adorable, and bewitched by a shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. Now she’s set her mind and heart on saving him.

Not if he ruins her first.

This book was on last month’s TBR pile and it’s one that I didn’t get around to but need to read so it’s back on this month’s list. Second times the charm, maybe? Tessa Dare is the bomb historical romance author so I’m sure that I will adore this book and I can’t wait. I will get my shit together this month and I will read this one before the month is up.

The Duchess in His Bed (Sins for all Seasons #4) by Lorraine Heath
Releases on August 20, 2019
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss

For a duchess with practical desires, falling in love is an inconceivable part of her plan…

As owner of the Elysium Club which caters to women’s fantasies, Aiden Trewlove is accustomed to introducing adventurous ladies to sin and vice. But he is uncharacteristically intrigued by the mysterious beauty who visits his club one night, yearning to indulge in the forbidden—with him. Drawn to her indomitable spirit, he breaks his rule of never becoming personally involved with his clientele and is determined to fully awaken her desires.

A recent widow, Selena Sheffield, Duchess of Lushing, has never known passion, not until Aiden’s slow, sensual seduction leads her on a journey of discovery and incredible pleasure. But her reasons for visiting the notorious club are not all that they seem.

As Selena’s motives become complicated by love, she finds herself with a most unexpected choice: forge ahead with a secret plan that could secure her future—or follow her heart which could prove ruinous.

Another book that was on my TBR pile for last month and I never got around to reading it. That’s going to change this month. Probably even this week. Bet.

The Kingpin of Camelot (The Kinda Fairytale #3) by Cassandra Gannon
Released on July 31, 2017
Publisher: Self Published
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 576
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

The Queen: Guinevere must save Camelot. Ever since Arthur died, the evil Scarecrow has been trying to marry her and gain the crown. If she and her daughter are going to survive his mad schemes, Gwen needs to find Merlyn’s wand. Fast. Unfortunately, the only man strong enough to help her on her quest is Kingpin Midas, a flashy, uneducated mobster dealing with a curse. Gwen is a logical, rational woman, though, and she can draft one hell of a contract. She’s pretty sure she can come up with an offer not even the kingdom’s greatest villain can refuse.

The Kingpin: Anything Midas touches turns to gold. Literally. The curse has helped him to rule Camelot’s underworld with an iron fist. He has more money and more power than anyone else in the kingdom. He’s convinced there’s nothing he can’t buy. One look at Gwen and Midas knows that he’s about to make his most brilliant purchase, yet. He’s about to own the one woman in the world he would give anything to possess. All he has to do to claim her is somehow win a war against the smartest man in Camelot, hide his growing feelings from Gwen, deal with his overprotective bodyguard’s paranoia about the queen’s hidden motivations, and adjust to a five-year-old demanding bedtime stories from a gangster. Simple, right?

The Contract: Gwen’s deal is simple: If Midas marries her, she’ll make him King of Camelot. It’s a fair bargain. Midas will keep her enemies away and she’ll give him the respectability that money can’t buy. She never expects Midas to agree so quickly. Or for their practical business arrangement to feel so… complicated. Midas isn’t the tawdry, feral animal that Arthur railed against. He’s a kind and gentle man, who clearly needs Gwen’s help just as much as she needs his. In fact, the longer she’s around Midas the more Gwen realizes that their “fake marriage” might be more real than she ever imagined.

I really need to tackle my Summer Reading Challenge so this book is back on my TBR pile for this month. Wish me luck!

Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy #4) by Ilona Andrews
Releases on August 27, 2019
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews comes an enthralling new trilogy set in the Hidden Legacy world, where magic means power, and family bloodlines are the new currency of society…

In a world where magic is the key to power and wealth, Catalina Baylor is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, and the Head of her House. Catalina has always been afraid to use her unique powers, but when her friend’s mother and sister are murdered, Catalina risks her reputation and safety to unravel the mystery.

But behind the scenes powerful forces are at work, and one of them is Alessandro Sagredo, the Italian Prime who was once Catalina’s teenage crush. Dangerous and unpredictable, Alessandro’s true motives are unclear, but he’s drawn to Catalina like a moth to a flame.

To help her friend, Catalina must test the limits of her extraordinary powers, but doing so may cost her both her House–and her heart.

I need to re-read this book because it comes out this month and I need to write my review for it…you guys don’t have to wish me luck since I’ll have no trouble at all reading this one again. Mr. Alessandro Sagredo?? Come to mama.

The Iron Duke (Iron Seas #1) by Meljean Brook
Released on October 5, 2010
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Genres: Steampunk, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power – and fear – of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen, as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.

I was supposed to read this book years ago and I never did. Then I was supposed to read it last month and I never did…but Holly put this book on my summer reading challenge list so I have to read this month. For reals.

Coming Up Roses by Staci Hart
Releases on August 1, 2019
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 293
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited

Everyone hates parts of their job.

Maybe it’s the paperwork. Maybe it’s the day-to-day grind. Maybe it’s that client who never knows what they want, or the guy who always cooks fish in the microwave.

But not me. I love every corner of the Longbourne Flower Shop, every flower, every petal, every stem. I love the greenhouse, and I love Mrs. Bennet, my boss. I love creating, and I love being a florist. I don’t hate anything at all.

Except for Luke Bennet.

The Bennet brothers have come home to help their mom save the flower shop, and Luke is at the helm. His smile tells a tale of lust, loose and easy. He moves with the grace of a predator, feral and wild. A thing unbridled, without rules or constraint. When he comes home to save Longbourne, I almost can’t be mad at him. Almost.

He doesn’t remember that night I’ll never forget. That kiss, touched with whiskey and fire. It branded me like a red-hot iron. But it meant nothing to him.

Everyone hates part of their job, and I hate Luke Bennet.

Because if I don’t, I’ll fall in love with him.

Ames chose this book to read this month for our monthly buddy read. I’m down with it so on my TBR list this goes.

Water Bound (Sea Haven #1) by Christine Feehan
Releases on July 27, 2010
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 480
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Christine Feehan’s #1 New York Times bestselling Hidden Currents may have closed the Drake Sisters saga—which “brought paranormal romance to a new high”*–but it has opened the door to an all~new series of startling magic, mystery, and the soul~stirring elements of nature….

The last thing Lev Prakenskii remembered was being lost in the swirling currents of the ocean and getting sucked deeper into the nothingness of a freezing black eddy off the coastal town of Sea Haven. Just as quickly, just a miraculously, he was saved—pulled ashore by a beautiful stranger. But Lev has no memory of who he is—or why he seems to possess the violent instincts of a trained killer. All he knows is that he fears for his life, and for the life of his unexpected savior.

Her name is Rikki, a sea~urchin diver in Sea Haven. She has always felt an affinity for the ocean, and for the seductive pull of the tides. And now she feels drawn in the same way to the enigmatic man she rescued. But soon they will be bound by something even stronger, and their tantalizing secrets will engulf them both in a whirlpool of dizzying passion and inescapable danger.

This is another Summer Reading Challenge book that I haven’t gotten around to but will get around to this month. I promise.

Sweet Heat (Blue Collar Lovers #3) by Zuri Day
Releases on June 25, 2019
Publisher: Kensington
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

The Blue-Collar Lover Series

They don’t wear suits, but the five Carter brothers work hard to earn a day’s pay—and keep the right woman satisfied . . .

No one turns out luscious pies and to-die-for cakes like Marvin Carter. Few outside of the family know about his baking skills, but working as a restaurant line cook is getting old fast. Now he’ll do whatever it takes to win start-up money from a major cooking contest and launch his own dessert franchise. But his prime competition is making things hot for him in—and out—of the kitchen . . .

Naomi Wells is as savory as her soul food and has twice the spice. This confident, large-and-in-charge beauty also has high aspirations, and will work all her skills against the tasty Mr. Marvin to take first place—and start her caterer-to-the-stars business. As their attraction burns hot, the other contestants can’t take their heat nor their talent, and threaten to burn their dreams to ash. Will the desire be doused—or can Marvin and Naomi find common ground and fire up the chance of a lifetime?

This is me and Holly’s buddy read for the month. I’ve never heard of this author before but I’m game so on my TBR pile this goes.

Kill the Queen (Crown of Shards #1) by Jennifer Estep
Released on October 2, 2018
Publisher: Harper Collins, Harper Voyager
Genres: Dystopian, Romance
Pages: 480
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Gladiator meets Game of Thrones: a royal woman becomes a skilled warrior to destroy her murderous cousin, avenge her family, and save her kingdom in this first entry in a dazzling fantasy epic from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin series—an enthralling tale that combines magic, murder, intrigue, adventure, and a hint of romance.

In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.

But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.

Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.

But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen.

I must really love buddy reads because this book? It’s another buddy read that I’ll be doing with Ames and Holly. It was my choice since this book has been on my wishlist for a cool minute. I’m pretty stoked about jumping into this series. It’s my first book that I’ll be reading by this author and it just sounds like a reading adventure so I’m here for it.

Don’t You Forget about Me by Mhairi McFarlane
Releases on September 10, 2019
Publisher: Harper Collins, William Morrow Paperbacks
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 432
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss

Internationally bestselling author Mhairi McFarlane delivers a funny, romantic, heartfelt novel perfect for fans of Josie Silver or Sally Thorne, and anyone who loves Bridget Jones!

You always remember your first love… don’t you?

If there’s anything worse than being fired from the lousiest restaurant in town, it’s coming home early to find your boyfriend in bed with someone else. Reeling from the humiliation of a double dumping in one day, Georgina takes the next job that comes her way—bartender in a newly opened pub. There’s only one problem: it’s run by the guy she fell in love with years ago. And—make that two problems—he doesn’t remember her. At all. But she has fabulous friends and her signature hot pink fur coat… what more could a girl really need?

Lucas McCarthy has not only grown into a broodingly handsome man, but he’s also turned into an actual grown-up, with a thriving business and a dog along the way. Crossing paths with him again throws Georgina’s rocky present into sharp relief—and brings a secret from her past bubbling to the surface. Only she knows what happened twelve years ago, and why she’s allowed the memories to chase her ever since. But maybe it’s not too late for the truth… or a second chance with the one that got away?

This book is on my review pile for September so I need to get a jump start on that so yeah, I’ll definitely be reading this book this month.

What books are on your TBR pile for August? Anything good that I should keep my eye out on? Please share the books you have on deck to read next month.


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