Bout of Books: If You Like This, Try That

Today’s challenge for Bout of Books 28 is “If You Like This, Try That.” This can be a really fun challenge (if I have enough time to put two thoughts together and type up the post). The organizers of Bout of Books 28 have provided the additional instruction for this challenge:

Put your recommendations hat on, #boutofbooks-ers. For this challenge, pick a book, author, or trope (or whatever!) from your TBR and suggest similar books.

Example 1: If you like Sarah McLean, try Lenora Bell.

Example 2: If you like a modern day, romantic twist on Greek mythology, try Staci Hart’s Hearts and Arrows series.

My examples that I’ve gathered are a mix of different categories and examples from books and other things I’ve experienced over the last year, hopefully it helps someone find a new and interesting read!

If you like being a part of a book club -> Try PODCASTS!

I started listening to podcasts last year and I’ve been hooked ever since! I have a few favorites, which I featured in a blog post earlier this year, but there are so many options out there! It’s especially fun to read along with the podcast hosts and other listeners and then “discuss” the book!

If you like vampires and / or other folklore -> Try the Immortals After Dark series!

I can’t say enough good things about the Immortals After Dark series. After listening to the intro episode to the Fated Mates podcast last spring I decided to give the series a try and I was immediately HOOKED. I read the whole series in like 3 months, I devoured it. It may not be for everyone but damn that series is definitely for me because it is BAT SHIT AMAZING.

If you like family secrets and plenty of plot twists -> Try The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

If you like books by Sarah Addison Allen -> Try The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins

If you like the movie The Proposal -> Try Not That Kind of Guy by Andie J. Christopher

And if you are for some reason enjoying the anxiety and panic and just craziness that comes with all this pandemic business but you’re looking for a love story to somehow find root in it -> Try After Sundown by Linda Howard and Linda Jones

It isn’t exact since it isn’t about a pandemic but I have to say when I first started reading this book it reminded me so much of what we were experiencing right now that I almost couldn’t continue reading it because it was creating so much additional anxiety for me!

Immortals After Dark series

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So this year I caught on to the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole. I heard about this series because I started listening to the Fated Mates podcast (see my other post on how I fell onto the podcast – up later this week). I had no idea it was a read-a-long with a romance series but I decided to give the first book a try and see how things went.

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So the first book in the series is A Hunger Like No Other, featuring Emmaline and Lachlain. Amazon says it’s actually the second in the series but on Fated Mates this is the first one we read. The one Amazon considers first is really a novella that we read later in the podcasts. Anyways, this book was BANANAS. I was hooked on the series right from the start and I DEVOURED it once I started it. At first I tried to use it as a reward, like read 2 of my scheduled books and I get to read an IAD book. But then I gave up on that and just read IAD books because I couldn’t WAIT to get to the next person’s story. I read the whole series as it stands now (18 books) in less than 3 months.

Obviously there were some books within the series that I liked more than others. I mean the whole series is amazing, I think the lowest rating I gave any of the books in the series was like a 3.5, which means I still liked it. Most of the books in the series I rated a 4 or above. Some of my favorites are the ones below:

I didn’t post individual reviews of the books since the series was one that I was just reading for fun and not for my reading schedule. I did post individual reviews on my Goodreads page though. I wanted to do an overall post on the series though since I’ve loved it so much. It was especially enjoyable to read the books along with the Fated Mates podcast. The next book in the series, Munro, is coming out in the summer I think and I can’t wait. I would definitely recommend the whole series – it is so interesting and complicated and amazing. Go read it now!

2019 Monthly Status Update: July

outdated_technology_update_required_thinkstock_871052724-100749659-largeJuly was HUGE! I got so much reading done. I had a vacation at the end of the month but had no internet so I’m just catching up on my blog posts today. Another reason I got so much reading done is that last month I discovered the Fated Mates podcast, which I’m now addicted to and am working my way through Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series. I’m only allowing myself to read one though for every ARC I get read, so it’s encouraging me to get my reading done faster! So anyways, here are some highlights from July for me:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 16
# pages read this month: 5,923
# books read year-to-date: 53
# pages read year-to-date: 18,081

Favorite Books I Read this Month:

I’ve been devouring Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series and have loved almost all those books so far (on #11 now). Other than that I also enjoyed Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient (4.5 stars), which I read on vacation, and Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham (4.5 stars).

Other Posts this month:

Summary Post – NERCA 2019
ARC August 2019 Reading Challenge Sign Up Post

Next Month TBR List:

Check out my ARC August 2019 Reading Challenge Sign Up Post which includes my reading list for August! Looking forward to a successful reading challenge this month!

If You Like This, Try That – Bout of Books 25

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Today’s challenge for Bout of Books 25 is “If You Like This, Try That.” This can be a really fun challenge (if I have enough time to put two thoughts together and type up the post). The organizers of Bout of Books 25 have provided the additional instruction for this challenge:

Put your recommendations hat on, #boutofbooks-ers. For this challenge, pick a book, author, or trope (or whatever!) from your TBR and suggest similar books.

Example 1: If you like Sarah McLean, try Lenora Bell.

Example 2: If you like a modern day, romantic twist on Greek mythology, try Staci Hart’s Hearts and Arrows series.

My examples that I’ve gathered are a mix of different categories and examples, hopefully it helps someone find a new and interesting read!

If you like Crazy Rich Asians, Try The Bride Test

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If you liked First Frost or Glass Kitchen, Try The Simplicity of Cider

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If you like An Anonymous Girl, Try Believe Me

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If you like Fairy-tale retellings genre, Try the Winternight Trilogy

If you like a good revenge story, Try Jane Doe

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If you’ve ever had self-esteem issues or issues with being overweight, Try Good Luck With That

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If you like Wicked the Musical, Try All the Ever Afters

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If you liked those choose your own adventure novels as a kid, Try My Lady’s Choosing

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2018 Status Update: April

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WOOT April was a great month! I had a bunch of weekends away, some time off from work, and I spent a lot of time having fun with friends and family! I was able to get a good amount of reading done due to the quilting retreat I attended (reading retreat for me) and I even got to read some from the backlog this past month. Anyways, here are some highlights from April for me:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 12
# pages read this month: 4,160
# books read year-to-date: 36
# pages read year-to-date: 11,424

Favorite Books I Read this Month:

 

My Lady’s Choosing by Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris – 4.75 stars
All the Ever Afters by Danielle Teller – 4.75 stars

Other Posts this month:

The Duke of Ruin BLOG TOUR!!

Next Month TBR List:

Next month I only have a good number titles scheduled:

-A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman
-The Other Lady Vanishes by Amanda Quick
-Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall
-The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll
-The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go by Amy E. Reichert
-The Duke of Lies by Darcy Burke
-The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams
-It’s All About the Duke by Amelia Grey
-The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Busy schedule for next month! Happy reading!

ARC August 2017 – Check in #1 – 8/1-8/7

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So the first week of ARC August 2017 was slightly productive. I managed to read a good amount during the week but Friday my husband and I went on a winery trip and then Saturday and Sunday I was traveling and visiting with family. So the weekend was pretty busy, not much reading got done but many good times were had! So here’s where I stand:

MY PROGRESS

-Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber – Reading now
-Emerald Coast by Anita Hughes – Read and reviewed
-Leave the Night On by Laura Trentham – Read and reviewed
-If The Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss
-Bad Girl Gone by Temple Mathews
-Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
-Seeing Red by Sandra Brown
-13 Dates by Matt Dunn
-The Other Girl by Erica Spindler
-Ready to Run by Lauren Layne
-The Uncertain Season by Ann Howard Creel
-Pretend You’re Safe by Alexandra Ivy

Books Read August 1st – 7th

Emerald Coast by Anita Hughes – 1.0 stars
Leave The Night On by Laura Trentham – 3.5 stars

Plan for Upcoming Week

Work for me this week is going to be a bear so I’m not sure how much reading I’ll get done but I’m hoping to get a couple books in. Goal Day is thankfully this Saturday so that will give me a chance to get some solid reading devoted time (hopefully). We’ll see how it goes though, happy reading everyone!

2017 Monthly Status Update: April

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Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 11
# pages read this month: 3,572
# books read year-to-date: 39
# pages read year-to-date: 10,728

Favorite Books I Read:

My One True Highlander by Suzanne Enoch – 4.5 stars
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – 4.5 stars

Other Posts this month:

DREAM CRATE – Loot Crate
COVER REVEAL – The Duke of Defiance by Darcy Burke

Status of 2017 Reading Challenges:

  1. Finish 2016 ARC’s from NetGalley that I missed – Haven’t read any since last month so still have 27 to go
  2. Participate in 2 reading challenges – Scheduled for May and August
  3. Other goals:
    1. Write shorter reviews – I think I’m doing better at this, this past month I was able to get out a few shorter ones
    2. Continue establishing relationships – I think I’m doing it, we’ll see how it goes I guess!

Next Month TBR List:

-White Sand, Blue Sea by Anita Hughes (half-way through now)
-Meet Me At Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell
-The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor
-Never Trust a Pirate by Valerie Bowman
-Nothing Like a Duke by Jane Ashford
-Mediterranean Caper by Clive Cussler
-Cocoa Beach by Beatriz Williams
-Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse
-The Whole Art of Detection by Lyndsay Faye
-The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo
-Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens
-Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach

2016 Book #100 – To Love and To Cherish by Lauren Layne

51bimis3kcl-_sx303_bo1204203200_Title: To Love and To Cherish
Author: Lauren Layne
Date finished: 10/19/16
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Pages in book: 320
Stand alone or series: #3 in the Wedding Belles series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, a contemporary and witty romance series about three high-powered New York City women who can plan any wedding—but their own.
Alexis Morgan has spent the past eight years devoted to turning her tiny start-up into Manhattan’s premiere wedding planning company, The Wedding Belles. Now that her business is thriving, it’s time to turn towards her much neglected personal life, and Alexis approaches her relationships like she does everything else: with a plan. Not a part of that plan is Logan Harris, the silent partner in the Belles, and the one person who’s been there for her since the very beginning. But Alexis needs someone fun, and Logan’s all business, all the time—except when a late night at the office ends with an unexpected kiss that leaves the usually cool and together Alexis reeling.
Logan has lusted after Alexis since the day he walked into the tiny Harlem apartment that used to double as her office. But the ambitious wedding planner has always been untouchable…until now. Alexis has made it clear that she’s on the dating market—and equally clear that he’s not in the running. But when Alexis finds herself in need of a date for her sister’s last minute wedding in Florida, Logan knows it’s the perfect time to show Alexis that there’s more to him than numbers and spreadsheets—and beneath the pinstripes and glasses lies a hot-blooded heartthrob. As Florida’s sultry days turn into even hotter nights, Logan’s out to convince Alexis that the fling of a lifetime could just maybe turn into forever…

My rating:  4.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book is about Alexis Morgan, owner of the Wedding Belles in NYC (a wedding planning company). I haven’t read the other books in this series yet, but I’m guessing Alexis has been a character involved from the beginning of the series since she is the owner of the company and the previous books in the series are centered around other girls that were working at Wedding Belles. Alexis has known her whole life what she wanted to do, she’s had the vision for what Wedding Belles could be and she’s been working to make that vision a reality pretty much her whole life. Her silent business partner, Logan Harris, wasn’t a part of the dream from the beginning but now she can’t imagine running Wedding Belles without him.  Logan has been in love with Alexis since the moment they met and he has been patiently biding his time, waiting for Alexis to open her eyes and really see him. And after 8 years for waiting, Logan’s father calls him home to London to take over the family business,  giving Logan the nudge he needs to force his hand with Alexis and stop waiting. But is Alexis too scared to admit that she cares about Logan too?
Overall I liked this book a lot, it was entirely engaging and I didn’t want to put it down. Logan’s character was great if a little unrealistic, I don’t know of any guy that would actually wait for someone for 8 years like that. Alexis was an ok character for me, I actually connected with her on the control issues but overall I found her to be a frustrating character. Logan kept telling her she needed to be brave and I really agreed, I thought that she should have been a little more open to Logan since she obviously loved him and also wanted to be happy. And overall the story line made me a little sad, not only because Alexis and Logan could’ve had a closer relationship sooner but also for Alexis and her sister who were kind of in a relationship limbo for ten years as well. This book overall was great though and I would really like to find time soon to read the other books in the series. Worth the read, I would recommend it!

The bottom line: I thought this was a really sweet book. I did get frustrated with the story line at a couple points but the author really engages the reader with the characters, I didn’t want to put it down! I hope to find time very soon to read more in the series. I would recommend this one!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2016 Book #93 – Hero in the Highlands by Suzanne Enoch

51gza1urlnl-_sx303_bo1204203200_Title: Hero in the Highlands
Author: Suzanne Enoch
Date finished: 10/2/16
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Pages in book: 384
Stand alone or series: #1 in the No Ordinary Hero series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Scotland, 1812: He’s ferocious and rugged to the bone, an English soldier more at home on the battlefield than in any Society drawing room. And when Major Gabriel Forrester learns that he’s inherited the massive Scottish Highlands title and estate of a distant relation, the last thing he wants to do is give up the intensity of the battlefield for the too-soft indulgences of noble life. But Gabriel Forrester does not shirk his responsibilities, and when he meets striking, raven-eyed lass Fiona Blackstock, his new circumstances abruptly become more intriguing.
Like any good Highlander, Fiona despises the English―and the new Duke of Lattimer is no exception. Firstly, he is far too attractive for Fiona’s peace of mind. Secondly, his right to “her” castle is a travesty, since it’s been clan Maxwell property for ages. As the two enter a heated battle of wills, an unexpected passion blazes into a love as fierce as the Highlands themselves. Is Fiona strong enough to resist her enemy’s advances―or is Gabriel actually her hero in disguise?

My rating:  4.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of Gabriel Forrester, a self-made man who enjoys his life as a soldier and whose only desire in life is to keep doing the job that he’s good at. That all changes though when some great-uncle he’s never even really heard of dies and leaves him a title. And so Gabriel becomes the new Duke of Lattimer. This is one of the few issues I had with this book. I feel like if some old guy with no kids was duke for 20 years, they probably wouldn’t have waited until after he died to start looking for who the guy’s heir would be. They probably would have had it figured out ahead of time. So anyways, getting past that issue, Gabriel finds out that he’s a duke and that one of his properties in the Highlands doesn’t ever seem to make money and that it has a surly steward who doesn’t want to send down a set of financials for him to review. So he goes up there to investigate himself, only to find out that his steward is a young and very attractive female. Fiona has been barely holding everything together over the last few years and the last thing she needs now is a nosy Sassenach butting in his head where it doesn’t belong. Neither of them can deny their attraction to each other, but can they learn to trust each other as well?
Overall I really liked this book a lot. I thought it was a sweet and romantic story. And I just loved loved loved Fiona’s character. She was hard-headed and stubborn and just so fierce, it was entirely refreshing to see a heroine so confident and independent. I liked Gabriel a lot too, I loved how straightforward and sincere his character was not only with Fiona but with everyone he interacted with. This book had a good cast of characters, some of the side characters had some funny antics. I thought that the author did a great job of getting the reader to really see into the character’s minds and emotions. This was a great read and I would definitely recommend it!

The bottom line: I really enjoyed this book, I always like a good historical romance novel! I would definitely recommend, especially if you enjoy Highlander novels.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

ARC August Check in #3 – 8/13-8/20

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What a productive week. I’m so glad that I got to spend the week in Maine relaxing with my family and having a great time. And luckily while relaxing there was a lot of available time for catching up on my reading! I read about a book a day, though not all counted for this challenge. Since I didn’t have any wi-fi or electricity in Maine, I spent all of today catching up on blog posts.

My Progress:

I didn’t really have an exact plan for what I would read but I will go off the original list posted and just disclose any variations from said original list:

-The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Elizabeth Crispell – Read and reviewed – Week 2
-Results May Vary by Bethany Chase – Read and reviewed – Week 2
-Sting by Sandra Brown – Read and reviewed
-The Form of Things Unknown by Robin Bridges – Read and reviewed
-Quarter Life Poetry by Samantha Jayne – Read and reviewed
-Behave by Andromeda Romano-Lax
-Thirty Days to Thirty by Courtney Psak
-All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda – Read and reviewed
-Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan
-The Killing Game by Nancy Bush
-Luck, Love, and Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert
-The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger
-If You Left by Ashley Prentice Norton
-All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker
-To Have and To Hold by Laura McHugh
-The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood
-My Husband’s Son by Deborah O’Connor
-First Comes Love by Emily Giffin
-Stormswept by Sabrina Jeffries
-Once a Soldier by Mary Jo Putney
Additions to original list:
-I’ve Got Sand In All the Wrong Places by Lisa Scottline and Francesca Serritella – Read and reviewed
-The 24-Hour Wine Expert by Jancis Robinson
-Butter and Scotch by Allison Kave and Keavy Landreth
-I Take You by Eliza Kennedy

Books Read August 13th-20th

I’ve Got Sand in ALl the Wrong Places by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella – 2.5 stars
Sting by Sandra Brown – 4.25 stars
The Form of Things Unknown by Robin Bridges – 3.75 stars
Quarter Life Poetry by Samantha Jayne – 3.25 stars
All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda – 4.75 stars

Plan for Upcoming Week

My plan for next week is to try and get a couple more books read off the list. This is the last full week of the challenge but its also the week of the Fair and I will have a lot of catching up to do at work since I was off this past week. So not sure exactly how much reading I’ll get done. I’m already thrilled with the progress I’ve made though, 5 books off the list over the past week is such a relief! Happy reading to everyone!