Tuesday, January 31

Audiobook Review: Sinful Scottish Laird by Julia London

Author: Julia London
Narrator: Derek Perkins
Title: Sinful Scottish Laird
Series: Highland Grooms #2
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published: February 28, 2017
Where I got It: Borrowed from library

Widowed and forced to remarry in three years' time or forfeit her son's inheritance, Daisy Bristol, Lady Chatwick, has plenty of suitors vying for her hand and her fortune. But a letter from a long-lost love sends Daisy and her young son to her Scottish Highland estate to buy time for his return. Along the way she encounters the powerful Cailean Mackenzie, laird of Arrandale and a notorious smuggler, and she is utterly and unwillingly bewitched.

Cailean has no use for any Sassenach in his glen. But Daisy's brazen, flirtatious nature and alluring beauty intrigue him. When her first love appears unexpectedly at her estate, Cailean knows that a passionate woman like Daisy cannot marry this man. And to prevent the union, Cailean must put his own life at risk to win her heart.

This is the 2nd book in the series. I read book 1 last year. 

Here we follow Daisy Bristol, aka Lady Chatwick, and Cailean who is the laird of Arrandale. When Daisy's husband passed away and she is forced to remarry in three years' time or forfeit her son's inheritance. There are plenty of suitors vying for her hand...and her money. However, she wants to marry for love or at least for friendship, so when she receives a letter from a long-lost love sends her to her Scottish estate to buy time for his return. Along the way, she will meet Cailean who is not only a laird but a notorious smuggler. She is utterly bewitched but he has no use for a woman and especially not an English lady. 

This is book 1 but you can read this as a standalone. There are some references to the other couple since they are Cailean's parents, but they explain what you need to know. 

This was a slow start for me. I really and truly struggled to get into the story. I found myself zoning out, however, I kept pushing forward. Things did turn around for me after page 50 and I found myself invested in our characters. 

I liked Daisy and Cailean. You can see the lust and even some friendship, but the love took a while which worked for them. They both were burned by love in the past (in different ways) so you can see why they are unsure of their feelings. Plus Daisy is living in a fantasy that Robert (who was her first love) and her are meant to be. Poor thing believes he loves her and not her fortune. Spoiler...not spoiler....he doesn't. She does figure it out but it takes a while. 

I really did love how our two MCs are a little older and not virgin-y. She is a widow hitting 30 soon and Cailean is about to turn 36 any day. It was also nice seeing how complex they were. Lots of issues and flaws. They have been hurt and there is some external issues they have to deal with too. Between her being English and him Scottish....and then the political issues impacting this romance. It is not an easy romance but they will find their HEA (not a spoiler of course). So yes, it took a while and it worked. 

The ending was nice and the resolution was dealt with perfectly. However, there are some things not 100% settled. I feel like there is something heading their way though....book 3 is about Cailean's brother so I'm sure the other shoe will drop then. 

The narrator was the same as book 1. He did a good job then and did a good job here. Nice voices and flawless changes in accents and different genders. 

In the end, I struggled with the beginning but I pushed through and I grew to enjoy it. I liked the characters and you can't help but root for them to find love. 3 stars from me. 

- #8 for Audiobook challenge
- #7 for Romance Reading Challenge - MC 35+ years old

Monday, January 30

Blodeuedd's Book Review: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

339 pages, Paperback

Series: Bromance Book Club (#1)

Published: November 5, 2019 by Berkley

Contemporary romance


The more I thought about it the more annoyed I got.

They could not communicate. No one said you had to marry just cos you were preggers, do not blame your problems on others. Thea felt, bleh, I disliked her more and more. She blamed everything on others, fudge girl, maybe you are the problem.

Her sister was toxic. Why the hate? Your brother in law is not the problem, and you are a bitch.

Gavin Gavin, I know you had a hard time finding a woman. And yes you should be loved for who you are, but it would have been better to leave this one behind.

I do not believe in their HEA: They will definitely divorce at some point when Thea has issues again. And Gavin needs to just leave

I am just so disappointed. It was depressing, there was no romance, and nah I wont be reading more.

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.

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.

Sunday, January 29

Book Review: Sweet Valentine by Reina M Williams

Author: Reina M. Williams
Title: Sweet Valentine
Series: Montana Matchmakers
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: ebook
Pages: 50
Published: January 31, 2020
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

Cutler Manning and Nora Delgado believe they left their love in the past...

Nora Delgado is where she never thought she’d be: in Loving, Montana. Since Nora and her sister had to leave their family ranch after the death of their father, Nora feels she has to continue being the responsible, practical sibling. When the one person who brought out her impulsive side walks into her life again, trying to pull her back into his, she pushes back. But Cutler is determined to show Nora that there’s only one valentine for him, and that’s the one woman he left, but loves: Nora.

Gotta love a nice quick story! 

Here we follow Cutler and Nora. They believe they left their love in the past, but they will find that their feelings never really went away. Nora is where she never thought she'd be...in Loving, Montana. Cutler is determined to show Nora that they are meant to be and she is his only valentine. 

Quick and super sweet! The perfect read to cuddle up with while a blizzard blows into town and that is what I did. 

Nora is super serious and has a lot of walls. Cutler is a romantic and wants Nora back. You can see that Nora loves him too. 

This had a lot of 'Persuasion' feelings here. They fell apart because Nora was persuaded to break it up and Cutler made something of himself. Very nice touch I didn't realize until I finished reading.

Honestly, I feel like this could've been longer. I would've loved to learn more about Nora and Cutler before they broke up, break up, and reunited. I feel like I would've connected more with them then. They were a little 2D. Still a fun couple though. 

In the end...short and sweet. Very nice seeing them give love another chance. 3 stars from me.  

- #6 for Romance Reading Challenge - Non-Xmas holiday

Saturday, January 28

Book Review: Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George

Author: Jessica Day George
Title: Princess of Glass
Series: The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy #2
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Retellings, Romance
Format: paperback
Pages: 266
Published: May 25, 2010
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

Hoping to escape the troubles in her kingdom, Princess Poppy reluctantly agrees to take part in a royal exchange program, whereby young princes and princesses travel to each other's countries in the name of better political alliances--and potential marriages. It's got the makings of a fairy tale--until a hapless servant named Eleanor is tricked by a vengeful fairy godmother into competing with Poppy for the eligible prince. Ballgowns, cinders, and enchanted glass slippers fly in this romantic and action-packed happily-ever-after quest from an author with a flair for embroidering tales in her own delightful way.

This has been literally sitting on my shelf for yearssssss. I read book 1 in 2016 and loveeeddd it. I bought this one shortly after and just....kept forgetting about it. I kept telling myself I would read it and just...didn't. Can't explain why. Thanks to the TBR pile reading challenge I have finally dusted this off and read it. Yayy for the TBR!

Here we follow Princess Poppy who agrees to take part in a royal exchange program. Young princes and princesses travel to each other's countries to learn about those countries, gain alliances, and maybe gain a marriage proposal. This has the makings for a romance for Poppy who has been having a hard time after the recent curse was lifted. Everything is going well until a hapless servant named Elanor is tricked by a vengeful fairy godmother into competing with Poppy for the eligible prince. Ballgowns, cinders, and enchanted glass slippers will fly!

This was certainly a different take on Cinderella. It was fun. You can see the elements of Cinderella, but the author had a lot of fun (you can tell) with making it fresh and new. Which kuddos to that!  

The first 85% of the book was really intriguing and I was hooked. The last 15% of the book...lost me a bit. It seemed soooo rushed. Things happened and then it just ended. It left me reeling a bit. I feel like we needed another 20 pages or so just to nicely wrap things up. To be honest it felt like the author was rushing to get this done. It was just very anti-climatic in a way. I liked what happened in the end, don't get me wrong. It was nice and I love Poppy so I want good things for her....but it just felt SOOOO rushed and so easily solved.

I still enjoyed this book overall. You can't help but root for Poppy. Poor girl has been through sooooo much that you just want to see her be happy. That poor family needs a break!!

I also found myself feeling bad for Eleanor. Sure she was an idiot, but I can see WHY she wanted more. 

Christian was whiney at first. I didn't like him, but I did warm up to him by the end. 

All-in-all, it wasn't as good as the first one (which def read that one first), but I still had fun. It was a fresh take on the old story and I adored Poppy. The ending was a bit too rushed though, but I still had fun. 3 stars from me. 

- #5 for Romance Reading Challenge - YA
- #1 TBR Pile Challenge

Friday, January 27

Movie Review: Amber - The Girl Behind the Alert (2023)

Amber: The Girl Behind the Alert
Length:  1h 32 mins
Released: 2023
Genre:  Documentary
Rating: PG
Where I Got It: Peacock

Amber: The Girl Behind The Alert is the story of Amber Hagerman, the girl whose abduction and murder inspired the Amber Alert - which has since saved over 1000 kids. Amber's case remains unsolved. There are multiple suspects, a series of compelling theories, but proof has been elusive... This year, the 25th anniversary of Amber's murder, the detectives are still on the case, determined to solve the crime with new evidence and cutting edge DNA testing.

Click here for the trailer

My co-worker suggested watching this. Had no idea what platform it was on. The hubby and I randomly decided to switch to Peacock and take a break from HBO Max for a while. Lo and behold - this was on Peacock. So we decided to watch it. 

This documentary shares the story of Amber Hagerman. She was abducted and murdered which inspired the Amber Alert. This system went federal in the US in 2002. It has saved over 1000 kids. Amber's case is still unsolved, but the detectives are still on the case. 

So I remember when this went federal and I remember asking my mom what it was and who was Amber. Mom never went into detail because I was young. She simply stated, "a while back a little girl went missing and they named it after her". That is all I knew. I had no idea it was in the 90's this happened and I had no idea about the story behind Amber. 

It is crazy to think I was about the same age as her little brother when she went missing. This hit me pretty hard tbh. I did cry by the end. Poor Amber....her poor family....drives me crazy thinking if they could've reached the public 2 hours sooner MAYBE they could've tracked down the black truck that took her. But everyone had to wait 2 hours for the news to broadcast and even with all the tips and leads....they couldn't find it. 

This was very good. I totally recommend watching it. It's so sad that Amber lost her life, but so many kids are alive because of her alert. 

Fantastic watch. It is informative and will make you feel. 5 stars from me. 

Thursday, January 26

Audiobook Review: Cursed by SJ West

Author: SJ West
Narrator: Christa Lewis
Title: Cursed
Series: The Watchers #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance, YA, Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Published: October 18, 2012
Where I got It: Audible

Since she was eight years old, Lilly Rayne Nightingale felt like Fate was trying to wipe away her existence through a series of odd, near fatal incidences. Luckily, her best friend Will was always one step ahead of Fate preventing her from being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Will was her knight in shining armor until he broke her heart after their one and only kiss.

On Lilly’s first day of college, she meets Brand Cole. Intrigued by Brand, Lilly must decide whether or not she can give up her adolescent fantasy of being reunited with Will and allow Brand the opportunity to conqueror her heart.

Not only do Will and Brand both love Lilly, they share a dark secret neither wants Lilly to discover. Lilly thinks Fate is after her once again when a new series of attempts on her life start to take place, but she soon learns someone of flesh and blood is trying to kill her this time.

Soooo I read the spin-off series first. Whoopsies. You SHOULD technically read this series before the 'Watchers Chronicles'. I guess it doesn't really matter at the end of the day though...

Here we follow Lilly Rayne Nightingale. Since she was a child she has always felt Fate was trying to wipe away her existence through some odd incidences that should've killed her. Luckily, her best friend Will is always one step ahead of Fate. Will was always her knight-in-shining-armor and she loved him...until he broke her heart. On her first day of college, she meets Brand Cole who seems perfect for her. However, she will soon realize Brand and Will both share a secret that could change her life forever. 

Feels funny reading this one. Things are normal-ish, especially Lilly. It was nice, though, seeing a fresh and young version of Lilly before all mayhem is released!

This was SO much more YA than the other series. The other one was YA too, but this was super duper YA. Nothing wrong with it, but Lilly is such a naïve thing here. Sometimes too innocent and pure. There were some scenes that made me slightly cringe........

I really hated how every man/angel/demon/thing wanted her! You will understand later on (because I spoiled myself by reading the spin-off first) but it was exhausting. (SPOILER) Once she meets Brand and she learns the truth about Will...it is no longer is a love triangle....but there was a good chunk of time when it was. (END OF SPOILER) Like I KNEW the truth and what will happen but I was still SLIGHTLY annoyed by this. I am beginning to not really like ANY love triangles especially when the character is like Lilly and seemingly perfect and every SINGLE man in the world wants her. There are reasons I know, I know but STILL. If I didn't read the spin-off I wouldn't have had the patience. Maybe everyone should read that series first LOLLL. It was so good. 

Don't get me wrong...I adore Lilly and Brand and even Will...but this was rough. Hopefully, book 2 is better because I really did like them in the other series. Now that the secrets are out and Lilly has picked....things should get better. More action! More angel/demon politics pleaseeeeeee!!

Tara (spell?) who was Lilly's bff was amazing! Loved her. I hope to see her in the next and find her HEA. I don't remember her being in the spin-off....(it's been a while)....so I am worried about her future. She is too awesome!!!

Oh! Nearly forgot...the narrator was pretty good. Not as good as the other narrator for the other series, but she fits Lilly perfectly. 

2 stars from me. Someday I'll dive into book 2, but not for a bit. I'm tempted to read book 1 of the spin-off to remind me of the good times. ;) 

- #7 for Audiobook challenge
- #4 for Romance Reading Challenge - Fantasy

Wednesday, January 25

Audiobook Review: Dog Gone Ghost by Angie Fox

Author: Angie Fox
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Title: Dog Gone Ghost
Series: Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries #4.5
Genre: Paranormal, Cozy Mystery, Short Story, Thriller
Format: Audiobook
Published: January 24, 2017
Where I got It: Audible

Who let the dogs...and cats...out?

Verity Long’s new ghost hunting career has gone to the dogs, literally. A spirit is releasing animals from their cages at the Sugarland Animal Rescue Center. It's an unusual haunting that gets even more bizarre when she uncovers a new clue in a case of a missing child. Verity vows to reunite the lost boy with his family. And when she does, Verity just might answer the age-old question: Do all dogs go to heaven?

This series is so dang fun. 

We continue to follow Verity who has started a new career in ghost-hunting! She is asked to figure out who/what is releasing the animals from their cages at the local animal rescue. Little does she know she will not only be figuring out that mystery but find a clue in the case of a missing child from years ago. 

Short but good. It was the perfect length for this mystery. 

Verity and her ghost side-kick Frankie are always a blast. An unlikely duo but fun. I also was excited to see more of her pet Lucy! 

There were some funny bits. A few parts that will give you goose-bumps....and there was a scene that broke my little heart. I did have a tear or two. 

You can read this as a standalone since it seems like a side adventure for this duo. 

The narrator is perfect as per normal. I hope she continues to narrate the future books! Still have a lot to read to catch-up but I am hopeful. 

In the end....fun and perfect and all the feels. I'll give this short a 5!

- #6 for Audiobook challenge

Tuesday, January 24

Book Review: Songbird by Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway

Author: Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway
Title: Songbird
Series: Rugby #4.5
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Short Story
Format: ebook
Pages: 130
Published: December 1, 2022
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

After finishing another long shift at her dead-end job, Ophelia is left with the bleak prospect of spending Christmas alone for the very first time. Not wanting to return to the house she rents with far too many strangers, she wanders the streets of Dublin taking in the festive cheer. Then, in the cozy confines of a small, quiet pub she graces the patrons with a song, snagging the attention of a tall, handsome American stranger.

Didn't realize this was technically book 4.5 in a series until after I went to type this review. Oops. But at least it didn't feel like I was missing references from the others SO that is a plus...it can be a standalone story. 

Here we follow Ophelia who is left with the bleak prospect of spending the holidays alone for the first time. Not wanting to return to her house that she rents with far too many strangers...she decides to wander the streets of Dublin. In a small, quiet pub she sings for the patrons. This snags the attention of a handsome American stranger.

This was a short one and I feel like it was a teaser for more. It ended abruptly and not very HEA. Hopefully, there is more because I would like to see them fall in love and start their life together. There will be drama for sure. They will have a lot of stuff to work through...you can already tell...

But yes, super duper short and an ending that will leave you wanting more. I am bummed it was so cliffhanger-ish BUT it did leave me wanting more so if that was the intent......that worked LOL. 

Short and sweet. Probably my last Xmas story until December. Sighs. 

3 stars from me. 

Monday, January 23

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Accidentally Aphrodite

Book 10 in the Accidentally Paranormal series

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Narrated by Hollie Jackson

Publication date Jan 31, 2023

Running time 8 hrs

Paranormal romance / to review

Good narration, she made them all seem fun and relatable, though one of the voices was not a fav of mine. Her book might not be for me. But the rest of the voices were good. 

I am aware it is book 10, and there were a lot of side characters that must have had their own books. But in the end it did not matter. This was Quinn´s book, and those side peeps were her new friends. With their own baggage.

It was a shortish fun story. Quinn goes to Greece after her ex left her. Boom. Magic! Big books and the powers of Aphrodite. What on earth happened?!

If I were to have questions it would be, if Aphro is the Goddess of love for the entire world, then there are no other gods? Why just the Greek ones? They were not first. I love mythology so my head brain goes haywire.

Oh and then there is Khristos that says he will help her with her new powers. Hot single Khristos.

Learning to match people, guarding your heart from a hunk, and new quirky friends. That sums it up. A fun story

Mythology buff Quinn Morris has always wanted to visit Greece, where her inner hardcore romantic envisioned proposing to her boyfriend. And she's finally here--with her friend Ingrid. She might not have found love at the Parthenon, thanks to her cheating ex, but she has found big boobies...and swirly purple eyes...and sparkling skin. Oh, and Greek hottie Khristos, who claims to be descended from a goddess and swears Quinn's the new Aphrodite.

With help from Khristos, and support from Ingrid's employers--Nina, Wanda, and Marty--Quinn has to learn all the tricks of the matchmaking trade, STAT, lest she has her new friend Cupid sticking arrows in all the wrong places. All while dealing with her man-hating mother, guarding her own heart from Khristos, and protecting herself from an invisible foe who might want to snatch Quinn's newfound powers from her--dead or alive.

Sunday, January 22

Joint Review: Daughters of the Blood by Anne Bishop

Hello all! We will be discussing "Daughter of the Blood" by Anne Bishop. Blodeuedd is in red and Carole is in purple.

Anne Bishop
Title: Daughter of the Blood
Series: The Black Jewels #1
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal
Published: March 1, 1998
Pages: 288

The Dark Kingdom is preparing itself for the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy--the arrival of a new Queen, a Witch who will wield more power than even the High Lord of Hell himself. But this new ruler is young, and very susceptible to influence and corruption; whoever controls her controls the Darkness. And now, three sworn enemies begin a ruthless game of politics and intrigue, magic and betrayal, and the destiny of an entire world is at stake.

I dnfed this once before, but hell it is Bishop! So I tried again. Big mistake

I’ve been itching to try some other stuff by Bishop since we don’t have a new one yet for the series…..this sounded SOOOO good. :/ Which it started off okay…but yeah…

It was just so boring. I did not care about ANYONE. And the way it was built was just scattered somehow

Sighssss yes. I didn’t really connect with anyone. They all seemed so 2D and just atypical and boring. 

I was just reading reviews on GR, you really either love it, or dnf it, lol

LOL I did the same thing. Some folks are IN LOVE and just raving about it. Some, like us, are meh. I wanted to like this so bad. The first like 20 pages (or so) I was super vibing with it, but then I literally struggled to finish. I had to push myself. 

I had to start skimming, I could not have finished any other way. It was freaking impossible.

Yes I started skimming the last 40% of the book. I was literally falling asleep and I wanted to DNF, but I knew we wanted to discuss so I just got through it. 

Same, I only finished for our discussion. And ugh, like wtf, it was getting so freaking pedo.

RIGHT? Like I kinda liked one dude at first (Daemon I think it was???) but they all got weird. 

Yes! I was all ok, sure weird, but at least he does not fancy her, and then he was getting feelings. Like wtf dude, sure you held off, but that is a child. He was attracted to a child. Ugh such a pedo book

Oof it was rough. Like creepy everyone. Maybe if she as like 16…I could forgive it bc it is a mediveal fantasy, but she was YOUNG. 

Just euw euwwwwwwwww.

Maybe later books are better bc she is older and whatnot, but IDK. It kinda bugged me how adult this was and the main character is like a kid.

Considering how it ended. Euw. And nope, he liked her now so he is ruined for me. May he burn in hell. 
And I know she was like I will write this cool book where men are whores, but it does not feel flipped around. He is what? I forgot, centuries upon centuries old and has to whore for everyone?!

Just weird. Super weird. 

And the whole jewel thing frankly confused me.

Yeah. When I felt I understood….they threw something else and then I was confused again. The world, in general, confused me. 

I felt like I needed a map and a glossary

OMG yes that would’ve been super helpful!! I feel like we need a short story just about the world and stuff. 

The world was helluva confusion. Like was this all hell? Yeah, whatever. 
I also felt like all women were bitches…or saints

Like I said earlier. All 2D. The nice ones were just saints and angels. The bad ones were just mean to be mean. No reason just angry bitches. I get the side characters being a lil flat…but the main characters even felt like stereotypes and simple. Too simple. 

A very simplistic world and character building

Too simple which is a bummer for sure! The author in the other series we love built such a wonderful set of characters and a world that was so fleshed out! 

I will always love that world. This one, no

Which is a bummer. I was really craving some medieval fantasy! Sighs. 

I am reading some reviews for book 2 now. Someone called it a clusterfuck

Oof that is no good. Maybe I’ll try book 2 one day if I am bored and not sure what to read LOLLL

I was stupid and bought and omnibus so I have them all

Girrrrrrrrrrrl. We’ll have to try book 2 one day together I guess. Hahahaha


Hahahahaha maybe in like 5 years when we forget about this one ;)

Can I ever forget?

Maybe? Time heals all wounds?

About the Authors
Carole and Blodeuedd have been blogging for a long while now. For the last few years the epic duo has been discussing books, watching movies, and even wetting the pen and sharing their stories with the worldwide web. They both love cats, chocolate, and a good story.

Friday, January 20

Audiobook Review: An Unexpected Kiss by Cindy Roland Anderson

Author: Cindy Roland Anderson
Narrator: Mia Barron
Title: An Unexpected Kiss
Series: Christmas in Snow Valley #1
Genre: Chick Lit, Novella, Contemporary Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published: October 20, 2014
Where I got It: Audible

Lucy Phillips doesn’t want to spend her Christmas vacation dodging her ex-boyfriend, so when he turns up at the airport to give her a ride home, Lucy panics and asks a complete stranger to kiss her. Although the kiss is incredible, Lucy never expects to see the guy again. Is it bad luck or destiny when Lucy comes down with a sore throat and the new doctor in Snow Valley is none other than Cole Taggart, the guy she kissed at the airport?

Randomly stumbled upon this in Audible's library. It fits a couple of challenges and I love this cover. Maybe it's the shoes? They are so freakin' cute!!

Here we follow Lucy and Cole. Lucy's mother is playing matchmaker and trying to get her to go back out with her ex. Lucy doesn't want to spend her holiday vacation dodging her ex, so when he turns up at the airport to give her a ride home, she panics and asks a complete stranger to kiss her. The kiss was incredible, but she never even got his number or full name, so she expects never to see the guy again. When she comes down with a sore throat she goes to see the new doctor in Snow Valley and it is none other than that stranger...Cole.

This was so cheesy and cute. I could totally see this being one of those Hallmark/Netflix cheesy Xmas movies. Lucy loves the holidays and Cole is slightly grumpy because his parents and ex burned him so he is slightly bitter. 

She is home for the holidays but her mother won't stop trying to force her ex on him. Poor Lance. The guy just wants love. I kinda felt bad for him but he needed to take the hint. SO desperate it was cringy....plus he needs to stop wearing that lettermen jacket from High School....they have been graduated for years. 

Lucy and Cole become friends and partners in helping a struggling family get an amazing Xmas and real feelings flame up. Yes, there was the lust of course, but I loved how they became strangers who shared a kiss, to friends, to partners for a good cause, and then more. There was some drama near the end, but it was an easy fix. Honestly...I don't think it was really warranted. 

This was sweet. There are some Christian moments but it doesn't take over the story. I didn't even realize this was technically a Christian romance novel until I saw it listed on Goodreads after I finished. So nice there. 

The narration was okay. I feel like I heard her voice before but I can't pinpoint where. There wasn't a lot of differences between the characters. But it was just enough so you didn't get confused. 

But yes, this was cute. Very cheesy and Xmas-y. I'll give this 3 stars. 

- #5 for Audiobook challenge
- #3 for Romance Reading Challenge - "Kiss" in title

Thursday, January 19

Audiobook Review: Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Author: Anne Bishop
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Title: Written in Red
Series: The Others #1
Genre: Paranormal, UF, Fantasy, & Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published: March 1st 2013
Where I got It: Borrowed from library 

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others. 

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow

Read this in 2019 with Blodeuedd. We did a joint review (which you can click here). I had some issues but did like it. I gave it three stars then. After catching up and finishing the series (for now), I decided I wanted to backtrack and maybe re-read the whole series. The series is JUST so good. The first time I read book 1 I did the ebook, this time I decided to do the audiobook since it is available at my library now. 

Book 1 follows Meg and Simon. Meg is a blood prophet who can see the future when her skin is cut. She has been enslaved her whole life, but she decides to escape. The only safe place she can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard which is a business district operated by the Others. Simon is a shape-shifter and in charge. He needs a new Human Liaison so he reluctantly hires Meg who is a stranger. When he learns about the truth Meg and that she is wanted by the government, he'll have to decide if she's worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow. 

How fun going back to where it all began!! Love these characters. By the end of the others, I grew to really adore Meg and Simon. I remember having some issues the first time I read this book. Meg annoyed me. I can see HOW and WHY she did before, but now I adore her and just want her happy.

Gah. I still don't understand why the humans are so dumb in this world. They can't take on the Others so why do they always try??? Just play nice and they'll play nice with you. What is so hard to grasp? 

But yes, I really enjoyed this. It does take a long time for things to happen but we are building the world and the characters so it takes some time. 

The narrator is fantastic. Her voices are perfect for everyone. The first time I read this it was the ebook. I def prefer the audio...she brings this to life for sure. 

In the end, I liked this more the second time. Knowing what I know of Meg and Simon I could appreciate them more at the beginning. I also think the narrator is so perfect that it really spices up the experience. I originally gave this 3 stars, but I'm bumping this up to 4 stars now. Yayy! Rarely does that happen during a re-read for me. Read this series. It is too good. 

- #4 for Audiobook challenge

Tuesday, January 17

TMST: Spin-off Series

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog. Feel free to leave your links in the comments if you are participating.

1/17: Do you tend to enjoy spin-off series? Or are you hesitant about them?

OooOooOOOOOooo. Mmmmm. It all depends so this question is a toughie. 

Honestly, I think it depends on the series and the characters being featured. If the series is going to feature some fun characters in a fun town I am allllll about it. If it is a new character or a new town....I am a little more hesitant about it. 

Monday, January 16

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Melting Point by Kate Meader

By: Kate Meader

Narrated by: John Solo

Series: Hot in Chicago

Length: 3 hrs and 31 mins

Release date: 01-17-23

Contemporary romance / to review

Good narration, he does make it work so well, and gives good voices to them. It gets hot, it gets romantic.

I should listen to more novellas. They are so fast and short!

In this one we meet Gage and Brady. They used to be something, but Brady was scarred from his time in the military. This time is is Brady that realises that he really wants this and decides to show Gage that he can be the man for him.

Short yes, but they have a long story behind them so that they finally manages to get to get together and get their HEA is believable.

Firefighter Gage Simpson has it all: the job of his dreams, the family of his heart, and no shortage of hot guys lining up to share his bed. “Fun and easy” is his motto—and it’s kept him sunny through a painful upbringing and steered him away from trouble. But when trouble comes knocking in the form of a sexy, scarred, tattooed chef with a harrowing past and zero communication skills, Gage can’t help but be drawn to the flame.

Brady Smith isn’t fun. And easy isn’t in his vocabulary. When cocky Gage swaggers into his restaurant kitchen, the former Marine-turned-five-star-chef is blindsided by the firefighter’s beauty. Then confused that this golden guy with the sparkling blue eyes and the body of a god might be interested in him. As desire flares and temperatures rise, Gage and Brady will have to figure out if the heat between them is just a temporary flash—or the beginning of something real.

Friday, January 13

Book Review: The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre by Natasha Lester

Author: Natasha Lester
Title: The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Romance
Format: ebook
Pages: 432
Published: September 28, 2022
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

1943. After spearheading several successful advertising campaigns in New York, PR wizard Alix St Pierre comes to the attention of the US government and finds herself recruited into a fledgling intelligence organisation.

Enlisted as a spy, Alix is sent to Europe where she is tasked with getting close to a Nazi who might be willing to help the Allied forces - but there's also the chance he might be a double agent.

1946. Following the war, Alix moves to Paris to run the Service de la Presse for the yet-to-be-launched House of Christian Dior. But when a figure from the war reappears and threatens to destroy her future, Alix realises that only she can right the wrongs of the past and bring him to justice.

The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre is a thrilling, sumptuous work of historical fiction told in three timelines: before, during and after WWII. This completely immersive story takes readers from the dangerous, intrigue-filled rooms in Switzerland where elites of both sides mingled and schemed during the war, to the glamorous halls of the House of Dior in the golden age of French fashion and journalism.

When I first saw this book I was curious about it and then I was asked to read and review it so I was extra excited! 

Here we follow Alix St Pierre. In 1943, after spearheading several successful advertising campaigns in New York, she catches the eye of the US government. She accepts the position in a fledgling intelligence organization. Enlisted as a spy, Alix is sent to Europe where she is tasked with getting close to a Nazi who might be willing to help the Allied forces...but there's is a chance he might be a double agent. 1946, following the war, Alix moves to Paris to run the Service de la Presse for the House of Christian Dior. Her postwar life is going great until a figure from the war reappears and threatens to destroy her future. She will need to bring him to justice in order to right the wrongs of the past. 

At first, I was a little worried about the jumping timeline. We see her pre-war, during the war, and post-war. That is a hard narrative to do, but it worked well! Even though she survived the war, there are still mysteries and things in the past she will uncover. The format worked for this story! 

Loveddddd Alix. She was such a strong and independent woman, but with a huge heart. She loves her friends and wants to make the world a better place. Oh! And she is so brave. I don't think I could sign up for the spying world....even though I find it SO interesting and intriguing (I think I would be good at it)....but she was tough but she could also be vulnerable. She is classy...creative...smart...and flawed. She isn't perfect, but that makes me love her even more. 

I could gush over her all day.

Anthony was an interesting character too. Don't want to spoil anything, but he was compelling. 

Oh, Lillie and Bobby!!! My heart!!!!

But yess a great cast of characters (even the big baddie). All complex...all intriguing. 

The story was good too. I had NO idea how she was going to uncover the mysteries or fix things. I did feel that one resolution was....a little too easy at the very end. I think someone (won't name names) should've done more. There needed to be more talking. Lots of hurts...lots of distrust. Don't get me wrong I was happy about WHAT happened ultimately, but I feel like we needed more time. 

The beginning was a little slow which makes sense because there was some build-up but once the ball got rolling I couldn't put this down. SO good.

Overall, I really enjoyed this. Such a great cast of characters especially Alix! She was awesome. The story was enthralling. I did feel there needed more talking and work at the end, but I still was happy with what happened. Again...SO GOOD. I really should read more by this author. She really brought the three different lives and times of Alix to life. 4 stars from me. I highly recommend it for those that like mystery, history, and a splash of romance. 


Thursday, January 12

Audiobook Review: When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn

Author: Julia Quinn
Narrator: Rosalyn Landor
Title: When He Was Wicked
Series: Bridgertons #6
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published: June 29, 2004
Where I got It: My shelf (Audible) 

Everything was so much simpler... when he was wicked.

In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and breathtaking, that one knows one's life will never be the same. For Michael Stirling, London's most infamous rake, that moment came the first time he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton.

After a lifetime of chasing women, of smiling slyly as they chased him, of allowing himself to be caught but never permitting his heart to become engaged, he took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and hard into love it was a wonder he managed to remain standing. Unfortunately for Michael, however, Francesca's surname was to remain Bridgerton for only a mere thirty-six hours longer—the occasion of their meeting was, lamentably, a supper celebrating her imminent wedding to his cousin.

But that was then... Now Michael is the earl and Francesca is free, but still she thinks of him as nothing other than her dear friend and confidant. Michael dares not speak to her of his love... until one dangerous night, when she steps innocently into his arms, and passion proves stronger than even the most wicked of secrets...

Slowly finishing this series. I'm trying not to rush through it since we have so much time before the next season comes out (I heard late 2023)...but it is so hard not to gobble the whole series up in one sitting. 

This one follows Francesca Bridgerton and Michael Stirling. Francesca thought she had her happily ever after when she married John. However, life is cruel. After John dies, Francesca is alone. She is even more alone when her best friend (and cousin to her late husband), Michael, leaves for India suddenly. Time goes on and he finally returns years later. She is done mourning and ready to remarry. Michael is done chasing women and decides maybe he should marry. He wishes he could marry Francesca since he has been in love with her for years, but it would be wrong to marry his cousin's widow. He dares never tell her how he feels until one dangerous night when she steps into his arms...

Poor Fran. Life is a cruel, cruel thing. She was so happy with John. And all she wants is a baby!! UGH. The feels. 

Sure, I felt bad for Michael too because of his loving her the whole time. I wanted Fran and him to be together....but I didn't want John to pass away. I was hoping he was a cruel man and tossed her to the side or something. The little we get to learn about John he was a good egg. Michael is a rake, but a good egg too. I can see how Michael felt so guilty about his love for Fran. 

I really liked this one. It had a really different format than the others. It takes forever for Fran to realize she has feelings for Michael too (that are not just physical) but it was needed. It is hard going from friends to lovers ESPECIALLY when they are technically family members too (he being her late hubby's cousin). You can't help but cheer when they finally find common ground and their HEA. 

OMG the additional epilogue had me clapping. Make sure to read the version that has the 2nd epilogue, because you will cheer like me. It will break your heart but the ending is just so sweet. 

Def do the narration. The narrator is simply perfect for these books. She is great. 

Sighs. I may need to read the next book or re-read Colin's book. I have been seriously itching for season 3 of the show. GAH.

In the end, I really, really liked this. It was a slow burn when you read Fran's POV, but with Michael, you can feel how much he aches for her. It was def my favorite of the series. So good. And that 2nd epilogue? OH my feels. 5 stars for sure. 

- #3 for Audiobook challenge