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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review: The Officer and the Secret by Jeanette Murray

The Officer and the Secret (Semper Fi, #3)Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402265468
Pages: 346 pages
Genre: Romance/Contemporary/Military
Series:   Semper Fi-1,2
Challenges- 2013 150+ Challenge , 2013 Read-A-Latte Challenge ,Romance Reading Challenge 20132013 Outdo Yourself Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's


If There's One Thing He Hates, It's a Secret...
Coming home after a rough deployment, Captain Dwayne Robertson wants some stability in his life, and finds it in the friendship he's forged with Veronica Gibson while he was away. But her past is a well-guarded mystery, and Dwayne doesn't know if he can deal with a woman who has something to hide...
And She's Filled with Them...
Veronica Gibson doesn't want anyone to know about her bizarre upbringing. She's finally escaped her missionary parents and would be enjoying her independence if she didn't feel so insecure about fitting in. She can easily envision a glorious future with Dwayne—but can she build a new life on a web of lies?


My Review:

Intro Babble: This series started out very well for me with TheOfficer Breaks the Rules and then fell a bit short with TheOfficer Says "I Do". I was hoping for this series to make a big comeback with Dwayne and Veronica's book and I am happy to say that it did.


Heroine: Veronica-I really really liked her. And that's a victory in and of itself lately. I usually balk at the more conservative heroines for some reason. But not Veronica. I guess because I liked her so much in the last book. And it was incredibly easy to identify with her even though her past was rather extraordinary.

Hero: Dwayne-I never thought I would like a hero named Dwayne so much. But I did. He had a very slick Southern charm but it wasn't at all shallow. He had layers. He had a very sensitive and broken side as well. He was definitely my favorite hero out of the three in this series.

Chemistry: There was a lot of the should they/shouldn't they going on because of Veronica's past and Dwayne's PTSD. I liked that both of those storylines were not brushed over at all. I did not, however, like how Dwayne treated Veronica towards the end of the book because of his own personal hangups. I thought it was unfair and it made me mad.

Chemistry Rating:

Ending Babble: I am in love with this book. The characters were all well-drawn and interesting. It was very easy to identify with each one of them. I also really enjoyed the slow-build of the relationship between Dwayne and Veronica was just perfectly paced and so much more satisfying a story than the insta-love books I have been reading lately. I think this one may be my favorite out of the series.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: Meet Me at The Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan

Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe: A Novel with RecipesPublisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 1402281803
Pages: 432 pages
Genre:  Fiction/Chick Lit
Series:   Meet Me at The Cupcake Café
Challenges- 2013 150+ Challenge , 2013 Read-A-Latte Challenge ,Romance Reading Challenge 2013, The 2013 Literary Exploration Reading Challenge, 2013 Outdo Yourself Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's


Issy Randall can bake. No, Issy can create stunning, mouthwateringly divine cakes. After a childhood spent in her beloved Grampa Joe's bakery, she has undoubtedly inherited his talent. She's much better at baking than she is a filing so when she's laid off from her desk job, Issy decides to open her own little café. But she soon learns that her piece-of-cake plan will take all of her courage and confectionary talent to avert disaster.

Funny and sharp, Meet Me at the Cupcake Café is about how life might not always taste like you expect, but there's always room for dessert!


My Review:

Intro Babble: I was initially attracted to this book because it seemed like a nice lighthearted read about one of my favorite things to do—baking. And I was right. I liked it. It may not go on my favorites list but it was a nice distraction on a hot day when I was, oddly enough, baking cupcakes.


Heroine: Issy-This girl walked the line between frustrating me and being extremely likable. She seemed a bit dippy at times but it was also the same dippiness that becomes quite endearing after a while. I also didn't like what a pushover she was for her boyfried Graeme. I wanted her to kick him to the curb so badly most of the time but it took her so long to get to that point.

Hero: Austin-Loved him. He was the smooshiest of the sweetest heroes ever. I felt more attached to him than I did Issy which added to me wanting to kick Issy. He's genuinely a good guy which sometimes can be a bit of a rarity.

Chemistry: I really did ship Issy and Austin very hard. Which presented a sort of problem. Issy was kind of blind. I wanted to shake the girl because Graeme was clearly bad news. But Austin and Issy did have a very sweet connection but I don't think I enjoyed this book as much as I did for the romance, oddly enough. I was much more engrossed in Issy's story not necessarily the romance.

Chemistry Rating:

Ending Babbly: I liked Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe very much. The humor was the exact sort that appeals to me. Very light and good for a chuckle here and there. I also loved that the focus was more on Issy's story as a whole and not so much laser-focused on romance. The secondary characters were also a great part of the story. They were lively and interesting on their own. I did find the recipes to be a nice touch—especially Grandpa Joe's commentary. I am a baker so I may try a couple...not anytime soon because it's over 100 degrees out there but someday. I am almost jealous of Issy. She had all of those recipes handed down to her. I had to figure out all of mine because my family doesn't write anything down.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Review: From This Moment On by Bella Andre

From This Moment On (The Sullivans, #2)Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
ISBN: 0778315576
Pages: 384 pages
 Genre: Romance/Contemporary
Series:  Sullivans-1
Challenges- 2013 150+ Challenge , 2013 Read-A-Latte Challenge ,Romance Reading Challenge 20132013 Outdo Yourself Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's


Just one night…
Marcus Sullivan has always been the responsible older brother, stepping in to take care of his seven siblings when their father died. But when the perfectly ordered future he's planned turns out to be a lie, Marcus needs one reckless night to shake free from it all.

Known throughout the world by only one name—Nico—pop songstress Nicola Harding is seen as the ultimate sex kitten. But it's all a lie. After a terrible betrayal she refuses to let anyone else close enough to find out who she really is…or to hurt her again. Especially the gorgeous stranger at the bar.

One night is all Nicola and Marcus agree to share with each other. But instead, a deeper connection than either of them could have anticipated begins….

My Review:

Beginning Babble: I really enjoyed the first book in this series, The Look of Love, and this one looked even better. I was also really looking forward to it because my Mother came across this series in my book stash and read them first and loved them. My Mom is always right.


Heroine: Nicola-I didn't expect to like her. Usually heroines that just happen to be famous ring like a cheap plot device to me but not Nico. I liked her. She was likable and easy to identify with.

Hero: Marcus- I expected to love him. I loved him in the last book and loved him even more in this one. He was one of those stalwart type of heroes. Not much makes him flinch. I didn't realize it but it's one of my favorite traits to have in a hero. Unflappability.

Chemistry: It was almost the same sort of insta-love as in The Look of Love but not really. It was much more organic. It was a natural process not love at first sight. And their chemistry was INTENSE. I have a feeling this is going to be a trend with Bella Andre's books because hot is an understatement...a big one.

Chemistry Rating:

Ending Babble: I am loving this series so far. It's not very out there and some may call it formulaic but that's what I love about this series. Sometimes I want something that isn't going to shake my foundation and, so far, this series is perfect for that. And aside from that, Bella Andre writes some of the better contemporary heroes I have come across recently. I am definitely looking forward to the next books in the series.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Once Upon a Readathon 2013 Intro and Updates

I have been waiting for a readathon...I am so behind in reading (and life). I have a bit of a handicap this time around. I am currently dealing with an eye injury and have to wear an snazzypants eye patch but I will attempt to read at least 10 books.

July 8th:
Currently Reading: Paradise Valley by Rosanne Bittner
Up Next: To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt
Finished: None yet

Cover2Cover Mini Challenge:
 1. Which book you are most excited to read in the coming year? It can be already released or coming soon.

I am most excited to read Lisa Kleypas' next book. It's about Joe Travis. I have been waiting for this for forever. 

2. Which book would you re-read if you had the time and weren't so busy reading ALL of the other good thing?

I think I would reread all of Lisa Kleypas' books. She's my favorite and I will never get over Derek Craven. Seriously, I won't. 

3. and lastly, If you could meet any fictional character who would it be and why?

I would say Anne Shirley but I have a feeling that if I met her in real life she would annoy me to no end. I would love to meet Severus Snape. We could gripe at the world together.  

July 9th

Currently Reading: To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt
Up Next: What the Bride Wore by Jade Lee
Finished: Paradise Valley by Rosanne Bittner, To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt, Cowboy Seeks Bride by Carolyn Brown, To Seduce a Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt, Surrender to Sulty by Macy Beckett

Better Read Than Dead Challenge:
Mini-Challenge Time!!!

You're in a bookstore and you've just purchased 5 books you've been dying to read, when the apocalypse hits. (Zombie, Demons, Vampires, Dean Winchester vs. Sam Winchester (yes, I'm watching Supernatural reruns) I don't care what apocalypse). You've got one chance at survival, what 2 books do you take and what 3 other items do you take? 

I take a copy of Anne of Green Gables (hopefully the series but the first book will do) because I am not going to be able to go home and I am going to want that book and Jane Austen's collected works because I'll never get bored--at least for a while until I loot a bookstore. The other three items I'll pick up are all the bottles of water, a couple book lights and a few journals to keep a memoir. 

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