Contemporary · Romance

The Gamble – Kristen Ashley

18246040| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Love is the greatest gamble of all…

Nina Sheridan desperately needs a timeout vacation. With a fiancé who can’t even remember how she takes her coffee, Nina wants some distance to rethink her engagement. Flying halfway around the world from England to a mountain town in Colorado should do the trick. But when she finds a gorgeous man at her rental cabin, Nina’s cold, lonely adventure suddenly heats up.

The owner of the house, Holden “Max” Maxwell is surprised by the beautiful woman who turns up at his door. But when Nina becomes ill, Max spends days nursing her back to health. A private man with a broken heart, Max finds himself drawn to the strong-willed woman. Soon it becomes impossible for Nina and Max to deny their growing attraction to one another. Yet even as these two wounded lovebirds think about taking a chance on a relationship, a dangerous secret from Max’s past emerges-and threatens to end their love for good.

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My thoughts: O my heart, please calm down! This book was all kinds of sweet and adorable. Right into your heart, knock you on the ass, wonderful. What it is with Kristen Ashley and her books that leaves you with this warm, fuzzy feelings when you are done. She is certainly a great storyteller and even though I felt this one was somewhat predictable, I didn’t mind. Because I was lost and cozy deep in the story and loved my journey to the end even though I had pretty much figured it all out.

KA is a fantastic writer with the ability to write great Heroes and Heroines you can not do other than love. Specially the guys. I loved Max. I loved how real he was. With his history, life and courage. I’m not a big fan on the the dead spouse plot, but it did work in this book. It didn’t get a lot of focus which I believe is the reason for that it worked. I really liked Nina too, though she was a little to immature for a grown woman in the middle of her thirties and with the bad history and experience as she had, I feel she should have been able to handle some stuff a lot better than she did. But I could ignore it for the most part and just enjoy her and Max and the story unfolding. There is also some great second characters and side plot unfolding beside the main one. There is also another small love story at the side and it is just wonderful to take part of it.

This is a book that sucks you in. You do not have a choice. And when done, you also want your own A-frame in a Colorado mountain with your own Mountain main. I do not have a A-frame in the Colorado mountain and will probably never have since I then have to move to the other side of the world. Fortunately, I already have my Mountain man so i’m okay with that.

Adult fiction/Erotica · Contemporary · Romance

Badd Motherf*cker – Jasinda Wilder

32757849| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Your wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of your life, right? That’s what they say, at least. I went into that day hoping I’d get the happiest day of my life. What I got? The worst. I mean, you really can’t get any worse of a day without someone actually dying. So…I may have gotten just a little drunk, and maybe just a tad impetuous… And landed myself in a dive bar somewhere in Alaska, alone, still in my wedding dress, half-wasted and heart-broken.

***
Eight brothers, one bar. Sounds like the beginning to a bad joke, yeah? I kinda think so. Wanna hear another joke? A girl walks into a bar, soaking wet and wearing a wedding dress. I knew I shouldn’t have touched her. She was hammered, for one thing, and heartbroken for another. I’ve chased enough tail to know better. That kinda thing only leads to clinginess, and a clingy female is the last thing on this earth I need. I got a bar needs running, and only me to run it—at least until my seven wayward brothers decide to show their asses up… Then this chick walks in, fine as hell, wearing a soaked wedding dress that leaves little enough to the imagination—and I’ve got a hell of an imagination. I knew I shouldn’t have touched her. Not so much as a finger, not even innocently. But I did.

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My thoughts: Reading is subjective and since this one has as high rating as it has, clearly it is a likable book. It just didn’t work for me. I do not see my self as a prude or in any other way abashed when it comes so sex. But when the sex scenes actually bore me out, which is clearly suppose to be the highlight of the book, I just can’t take it.

To be honest, the story around the sex-scenes is just weird. It started of good and I can understand the reaction when you find out that your fiance is sleeping with the bridesmaid on the day of the weeding. But it is the rest that irks me. It is the same thing in another cover. The Hero is an total asshole who suppose to be the most grownup and the oldest of 8 brothers. The heroin is suppose to be this strong, kick ass girl, no one piss on, and she does the complete opposite. It is to cheesy, to blah and to over the top for my taste. It is more like a porn-video, where the story is just to give you some time before the sex starts. But we all know that it is not the story that matters. As same as we know men do not read naked magazines “for the articles”.

Maybe i’m greedy that way, but I do need more in the books I read. I need some real depth, some real character development, some real story and something that is believable if it is in the genre Contemporary Romance Erotic. I’m an emotional person and to find the erotic part of a book interesting or enjoyable, I need a connection to the characters or the story it self. Otherwise I just get bored.

Oh and one last thing. The books is written in a neck breaking speed. Everything that is happening, is happening in just three days. THREE DAYS! It is rushed and there is more introduction to the other 7 brothers, than the main characters actually talk to each other. It is like an introduction book on the next 7 character/books that will be released. And the explanation in the end! WHAT? I do not get it. How can that even be an alternative? It is just weird and wrong and not suitable. If I had any hope for a good ending, that totally trashed it for me.

So, No. Nope. Not happening! This is not a series for me to continue. The whole thing was just a bad experience. And if Wilders books are all like this, she is not an author for me.

Contemporary · Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Force of nature – Jane Harper

34275222| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Five women go on a hike. Only four return. Jane Harper, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry, asks: How well do you really know the people you work with?

When five colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat in the wilderness, they reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking down the muddy path.

But one of the women doesn’t come out of the woods. And each of her companions tells a slightly different story about what happened.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker. In an investigation that takes him deep into isolated forest, Falk discovers secrets lurking in the mountains, and a tangled web of personal and professional friendship, suspicion, and betrayal among the hikers. But did that lead to murder?

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My thoughts: I was under the impression that this wasn’t supposed to be a series. That the first book (The Dry) was going to be the only one. I don’t know why I thought that since everything nowadays is either a trilogy going on five books, a long series or god first book with a number two flopper. I should have been smart enough to foresee that it would be written a second book. Still I was quite happy when I found out that a new one about Aaron Falk was to be released. I do however feel a little let down. I do not find this one as strong as the first and maybe I’m too critical but I don’t feel it quite meet the expectations I had for it. It is not a flopper, just let me state that, but it is not a success either.

It was pretty good. I did like it but I did not love it. Nothing terrible but it was nothing groundbreaking either. A quick but not a deep read and I’m quite satisfied after all. Had trouble with connecting and Falk felt a little slow, grey and boring this time around. There was no real suspense but a good description of a reality so true in this day and age.

However Harper is a great author of the contemporary crime genre with her way of natural, soft flowing and easy rhythmic way of writing. I did enjoy it, but I don’t feel a wow factor in it. I would probably read the next one to if there will be one, but that time I will try not to have high hopes for it. Even though I know that Harper has the ability to write something really good, based on the first book, I have certainly learned I can’t expect the same each time.

Contemporary · Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance

Dance upon the Air – Nora Roberts

59829.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: When Nell Channing arrives on charming Three Sisters Island, she believes that she’s finally found refuge from her abusive husband—and from the terrifying life she fled so desperately eight months ago… But even in this quiet, peaceful place, Nell never feels entirely at ease. Careful to conceal her true identity, she takes a job as a cook at the local bookstore café—and begins to explore her feelings for the island sheriff, Zack Todd. But there is a part of herself she can never reveal to him—for she must continue to guard her secrets if she wants to keep the past at bay. One careless word, one misplaced confidence, and the new life she’s created so carefully could shatter completely. Just as Nell starts to wonder if she’ll ever be able to break free of her fear, she realizes that the island suffers under a terrible curse—one that can only be broken by the descendants of the Three Sisters, the witches who settled the island back in 1692. And now, with the help of two other strong, gifted women—and with the nightmares of the past haunting her every step—she must find the power to save her home, her love…and herself…

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My thoughts: This was the first time I read something more supernatural, written by Nora Roberts and since I do like her other books, I didn’t expect anything less. Well I shouldn’t have expected anything at all. Because this was certainly not my type of book and a complete waste of time. So why didn’t I DNF it you wondering? Well I’m a sucker for the whole “woman on the run from bad guy, find a new home, new friends, new life, new love but her past comes back and hunts her.” plot. Some old school romantic suspense. Never fails me. So I thought.

I think it is the paranormal aspect with the book that bugs me the most. It feels so unrealistic and worn-out. No real excitement or suspense. Oh and the characters. I have never seen Roberts as any less than an author who stands for strong and independent females and good, great guys. But Zack in this book, is not a great guy. He pushes and pushes even though Nell has told him that she cant get involved with anybody not even him. Then he pushes some more, they gets involved and than HE gets mad because she has not told the truth about her history. Well F*** you! She was as honest she could be from the start and Zack didn’t listen. He kept pushing. He kept taking over. Not letting her find her footing and kept stearing her the way he wanted her to go. That is not her fault. And he didn’t make her situation easier.

Oh man. Do you see my problem here? It was terrible and I’m honestly disappointed on Roberts. This is not an series I will continue to read. And from now on I will probably stay with the other type of genres by Roberts and stay away from the paranormals. I do not feel that, that is her strong suit.

And the last thing I wish so complain about is the writing. It is written in a point of view way, for every character and the chapters are to crowded. It was hard to keep track on who is talking when. Overall the book is in such a bad quality that if I didn’t already know, I wouldn’t have though this was a Roberts book. That is how different it all is.

Chick Lit · Contemporary · Romance · Young, New adult/College

Finding Audrey – Sophie Kinsella

23305614| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Audrey can’t leave the house. she can’t even take off her dark glasses inside the house.

Then her brother’s friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again – well, Starbucks is a start. And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she’d thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable.

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My thoughts: It was…. okay, it was cute and sweet. A little funny, a lot heartwarming and a quick read. Something nice to occupy my mind with after the mind blowing good horror/thriller and mind blowing bad chick lit book I recently read.  It takes on a serious topic and also gives the reader a true and honest look into a young girls life while living with depression and anxiety. When I was a teenager, I had a lot of trouble with the same. I truly understands how it is and how bad it can be and how hard it can effect a family. But I also understands and knows that it isn’t the end of the world, you can get better, at least I did and life is worth fighting for. Kinsella did a great job with describing the feelings and actions in Audrey’s life. The one thing that bugged me the most was the whole Linus relationship. But that I can’t go into in detail without spoiling the story, so we will leave it at that.

The book is about Audrey who have a really ruff time and suffers from some severe anxiety. She is a young teenager who lives with her “crazy” family somewhere in England (can’t remember where). She has no friends, do not go to school and goes to therapy once a week.  What I love the most about the book is the family. They are loud and obnoxious but still a family who loves and would die for each other. I love the mother and her “old” ways of handling the family and the father who reminds me so much of Arthur Weasley (from Harry Potter series). I could really picture him in my mind. I love young Felix and his ways of playing messenger between Audrey and Linus oh and Frank. Come on, you got to love Frank. He is like the typical, modern teenager and so lovable. They all have their own character, traits and quirks and Kinsella has as always done a great job with describing her characters and I find no fault here.

I did like the book but didn’t love it. I find this whole “teenage love angst” a little too much over the top and I think i’m starting to get to old for that. And I also find the book a little too short and would have love to have some real confrontation or emotions not only from Audrey but other characters to. It is a hard topic to write about and I do think Kinsella tried to steer away so it wouldn’t be sad and depressing. But too much happy, happy, fluffy stuff, just makes it unrealistic. But maybe that is just me since I have personal experience and to this day still struggles with anxiety.

So over all a good story, quick and easy. But don’t go and expect to get to know what happened to Audrey, because that mystery is never revealed. You get hints and can pretty much build your own story from it, but it bugs me that I never got to know what “really” happened.

Chick Lit · Contemporary · Romance

The thing about love – Julie James

27246123| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer

FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to run into each other again–assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.

For both of them, being paired with a former rival couldn’t come at a worse time. Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work as a team–a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic, beachfront resort as part of the investigation. Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a whole lot more complicated. . .

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My thoughts: Damn it, I went in the chick lit trap again. I was scrolling in my book list on my kindle (I have like 70 books on it) and stopped at the title. It was one of those titles that I have had in my kindle for a long time and just kept scrolling past and now I thought that “Now I have to get it read”. I wouldn’t had bought it if I didn’t want to read it at some point. Often when I do that, read a book that I have had for a long time but never really come to read, I just do it and more often than not, find the book wonderful. Well not this time.

James is a new author for me. Never read anything by her but several of my GoodReads friends have and many of them have given her books high scores. So I was not prepared for the boring hours to come. The book is about Jessica and John, who hated each other in the FBI Academy, and now six years later have to work together in an short undercover ploy. I had extreme problem with connecting to the characters and already two chapters in the book, I was bored. But it was too early to DNF it so I kept going. There is nothing exciting with the story and it’s pretty predictable. They hate each other and then they don’t. They do their work, not much is happening, it is a pretty boring case and then the work is done. No suspense, no angst or heavy love. No history or old girlfriends/boyfriends who come forward. No great writing or a story that you think about while not reading. It was quite a relief when I was done and I was so ready to move on.

I did finish the book instead of DNF it and that was only because of the one thing I liked with the book. The banter and jokes they kept throwing back and forth. When they talked to each other or other characters, it actually was pretty funny and I liked the way those parts was written. But it was all the other things in between that totally ruined the book. SO, I give it a one star rating. As a whole, I did not like the book at all, but bits and pieces I did and that saved the book from a DNF. That has to count for something. Now that I’m done with the book, I do however, realize that I should have DNF it. Just a waste of time in my opinion but done is done. Time to move forward.

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense

For you – Kristen Ashley

10813480| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Lieutenant Alexander Colton and February Owens were high school sweethearts. Everyone in their small town knew from the moment they met they were meant for each other. But something happened and Feb broke Colt’s heart then she turned wild and tragedy struck. Colt meted out revenge against the man who brought Feb low but even though Colt risked it all for her, Feb turned her back on him and left town.

Fifteen years later, Feb comes back to help run the family bar. But there’s so much water under the bridge separating her and Colt everyone knows they’ll never get back together.

Until someone starts hacking up people in Feb’s life. Colt is still Colt and Feb is still Feb so the town watches as Colt goes all out to find the murderer while trying to keep Feb safe.

As the bodies pile up, The Feds move in and a twisting, turning story unravels exposing a very sick man who has claimed numerous victims along the way, Feb and Colt battle their enduring attraction and the beautiful but lost history that weaves them together.

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My thoughts: This is one of those first eBooks I bought when I first bought my kindle. I went on a buying spree at the time and had over a hundred books on my kindle. Did not buy all of them tough. Several of them was free and thanks for that, because I don’t think my wallet would have survived otherwise.

Anyhow, so I have had this book in my library since early 2016 and never got around to actually read it. But since it is on my “30 books before 30” list and I couldn’t choose what to read, I went for it.

This is a great book, but I do have a couple of issues with it. First of, it is to god damn long and at some points even slow. Kristen Ashley is one of those authors who really can write a long, slow burn book and I have never had it tick me off before. But this time it just didn’t do. I do not have patience for something like that. The second thing is, 22 goddamn years? Are you kidding? That reason for the “bad blood” between Alexander and February was not what I had expected. And it really ticked me off because I feel that 22 years is just toooo long for a reason like that.

Other than that, great book. I really liked the plot with the killer, feds and how everything was linked. The mad man with the killings and his reasons really felt believable and at some degrees it was even quite terrifying and it gave me the creeps. Ashley is the queen when it comes to character buildup and it was easy to connect with them. There is a lot of character in this book and at first it was quite hard to keep track but that eventually went away and was not a problem. This is also the first book in a series. I have read the synopsis of the second book and so far it seems like they are stand alones, because the names in the second do not ring a bell and probably did not appear in this book.

Contemporary · Romance · War/Military

Dear Aaron – Mariana Zapata

35404657.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Ruby Santos knew exactly what she was getting herself into when she signed up to write a soldier overseas.

The guidelines were simple: one letter or email a week for the length of his or her deployment. Care packages were optional.

Been there, done that. She thought she knew what to expect.

What she didn’t count on was falling in love with the guy.

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My thoughts: I really like Zapata and her way of writing. This is the third book I read by her and I still just loves her and she is one of my favorite authors. Yes I can say that after three books. This book, however, is probably the one I like the least of those I have read. And that is just because it is so god damn slow. I did expect some slowness since that is her thing. Slow burned, contemporary romance is what she do. So I was prepared and didn’t expect anything else. But I didn’t know that I had to wait like 90% of the book for something to really happen and at 40% I was actually ready to give up. I don’t have patience for slowness. But I did keep reading and I’m happy for that. It is a great book. But it would not be the first one I would recommend by her if anyone asked.

I did, however, really liked Ruby who is this nerdy, a little social awkward young woman with big dreams but also a lot of fear. She is trying to do some good because she is a genuinely nice person. Then we have Aaron, who kind of just float through life right now. He doesn’t know what he want out of life, he has no near relationship with his family and comes from a different kind of background than Ruby. But they spend 9 months just talking, getting to know each other, before stuff happens and things evolve. Just a great, great story. But so slow!

In some way I feel that this book is unfinished. There was parts that I didn’t really understood and others that was needlessly. And there is a pretty big part of the book (can’t say what because I do not want to spoiler you) that was kind of boring because nothing really happen until the end. And I found that the end was somewhat unfulfilling. Gosh is sounds like I didn’t like this book at all, but I did, I promises and I think that you would to. Probably even more than me.

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense

Vigilante – Jessica Gadziala

35101098| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: A new stand-alone dark romance from bestselling author Jessica Gadziala 

I’m a bad guy. I do bad things.
But I do them for the right reasons.
That’s why I can sleep easy at night even with the smell of fresh blood still in my nostrils. One more scumbag off the streets. One more righting of a wrong. That was all my life was about.
Until I came across her…

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My thoughts: Luce is probably one of my favorite characters of all time. Well, at least he is up at the top with Renny, Eli and Isaiah. I starting to see a pattern that I like Gadzialas darker characters more. Those with a history or a torment that makes my heart bleed. Those who have had it bad but got them self-through it and rising above it but still feel/thinks that they don’t deserve more. They have walls thicker than the one Trump wants to build between Mexico and USA. They are funny, lovable, kind and fiercely protective over those they call family. It is feel good books with feel good characters in a hot as sin story and afterwards I just feel this calm happiness in my chest.

This book is no different. Luce is wonderful, funny, sarcastic and insanely observant and at sometimes, obnoxious. But he is easy to love and if he was a real person, I would totally have a crush on him. Evan, however, I did not feel for at all. I mean, nothing! I found her a meek and lamblike kind of character, that just took it all a little too easy. I missed some feelings. Some hard , punch in the heart, angst feelings that put some depth to her character and the story it self’s. Since that had such a big part of it.

But still, this is a really good book. I loved how they ventured out of Navesink Bank. Normally all the books is in that city. Nothing wrong about that. But I just liked that for this story, they actually left the city. And not only that. They actually left the whole country. That was cool and really put a nice touch to the story overall.

Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction

Eleanor Oliphant is compleatly fine – Gail Honeyman

35508633| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. 

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Smart, warm, uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes, The only way to survive is to open your heart…

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My thoughts: I was quite surprised when I started to read this book. It was not quite what I had expected and actually a lot darker. I had imagine that it would be like an female version of Don Tillman (The Rosie project) with a lot of charm and humor. Well, in my opinion it was not!

Eleanor is a lost soul, a person who has had a rough childhood and never got to learn all those social rules that everyone else seems to understand without even trying. She has no friends, no family and a quirky way of handling her mundane routine of daily life. She is so content in her own world that she doesn’t seem to realize that she misses something and wants more. She just trots on in the same way she have done the last 10 years or so. One day, fates steps in and breaks her life down to pieces and gives her the ability to build it up again, just the way she wants it.

The book is a lot darker than expected and touches hard subjects like depression, loneliness and alcoholism in a lighter kind of way. I would have found the book a little better if it was a little deeper in those subjects though. It is pretty much what the book is all about, so why not do it proper. I read somewhere that Honeyman didn’t want to make Eleanor an victim. But I feel the book lost something in that decision. You can be two victims. That one who accepts and does nothing, or that one who fights for something better and the right to live. Use it! Anyhow, back to the topic, loneliness and depression is something I personally knows a lot about and it is probably the reason to why I did not find this book as funny and humorous as many others have found it. Yes it certainly had its moments and Eleanor do say some pretty funny stuff sometime. But it was no a laugh out loud type of book for me.

I did however cry a couple of times and I did enjoy the book immensely. Eleanor is an oddball, you can’t do anything but love her and Raymond is my hero. He stands so far away from my typical literary love, but he seized my heart and refused to let it go. He is so ordinary and common to real life people that he is so easy to relate to and he felt warm and lovable.

I missed the charm I had expected in the book. The tone is very up and down, but it is still cute. I often felt to step in the book to hug her and say that everything is going to be alright. Because when it is bad, it can get better. Speaking by experiences here.

I can’t say that I loved, loved the book. But I did love it.