Everyday things

Top 5 Romantic books you should read!

♥ Can you feel the love in the air? ♥

Valentines day is tomorrow and even though that is nothing I and Hubby celebrate, it does bring some more lovey dovey feelings out and the need for romance books are a little stronger than usual. It is not often I read clean romance books, since I like to mix in some suspense. But here I have tried to pick out my top five romantic stand alones, I believe in my opinion everyone should have read.

 

Preacher – Dahlia West
This one took me by total surprise back in 2017 when I read it. With 2234 ratings and an average of 4.20, I believe this one need some extra love. It is actually the first book in an series if we are going to believe Goodreads. But West has not yet given any indications that she is working on a second book. It was first time published back in 2015 and is about a broken man, left for dead, finding new purpose of life in one of my favorite strong female characters. It is just a great story that I need to put on my reread list.

The Hating Game – Sally Thorne
I read The Hating Game only because of the serious hype in the bookish community. In the end I’m really glad that I did even though I feel it’s a little more of an chick flick than I would have liked. It is about two work rivals who hate each outer, becoming friends through hilarious happenings and then more. With 66 031 ratings and an average of 4.22 this is an perfect book for a week like this. Specially if you are single but still dreaming of that one and only perfect guy.

The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion
I love The Rosie Project. Such a great book with a funny story. There is not often I laugh out loud as much as I did to this one. It’s actually a series but I do not feel the sequel is worth this one, so lets just ignore it. With 368 987 and an average rating of 4.01 this is the book you should read if anyone. It’s about an man who is different from everyone else, who like his life neet, clean and in order. He meets Rosie who is a complete opposite from himself and he agree to help her with finding out a truth about her history. Just hilarious.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
I wanted to recommend a little more historical type of romance to. This one is also specially because it is only written in letters. It is between a woman and some characters she corresponds with in a post second war period. It’s a great work of art and wonderful read. Also became a movie, who I yet have not seen. 509 190 ratings with an average of 4.15.

Wait for it – Mariana Zapata
This was the second book by Zapata I read but the first who made me fall in love with her. It is about a woman, caring for her sisters (if I remember correctly) children, just trying to keep it all in control when the neighbor comes and stirs her day to day life. A great story about grief, sorrow, love, happiness and the will to live. 29 037 ratings on Goodreads and an average of 4.24 this is one of my all time favorite books.

♥ Have you read these? What you think? ♥

Contemporary · Everyday things · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

Shadow dance – Julie Garwood

51J31JlyR4L.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Jordan Buchanan is thrilled that her brother and best friend are tying the knot. The wedding is a lavish affair–for the marriage of Dylan Buchanan and Kate MacKenna is no ordinary occasion. It represents the joining of two family dynasties. The ceremony and reception proceed without a hitch–until a crasher appears claiming to be a MacKenna guest. The disheveled and eccentric professor of medieval history warns that there’s “bad blood” between the couple’s clans, stemming from an ancient feud that originated in Scotland, and involving the Buchanan theft of a coveted MacKenna treasure.

Jordan has always led a cautious life and has used her intelligence and reason to become a successful businesswoman. So she is intrigued but skeptical of the professor’s claims that the feud has been kept alive by the grave injustices the Buchanans have perpetrated over the centuries. But when Noah Clayborne, a close family friend and a man who has never let a good time or a pretty girl pass him by, accuses Jordan of being trapped in her comfort zone, she determines to prove him wrong and sets out on a spontaneous adventure to the small, dusty town of Serenity, Texas, to judge the professor’s research for herself.

Maneuvering through a close-knit community in which everyone knows everyone else’s business, Jordan never anticipates the danger and intrigue that lie in her path, nor the threat that will shadow her back to Boston, where even in familiar surroundings, her life is at risk.

A powerful thug who rules by fear, a man who harbors a simmering secret, and an unexpected romance that pierces all defenses–beloved author Julie Garwood weaves these dazzling elements into a brilliant novel of romantic suspense. Shadow Dance is a searing tango of passion and peril.

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My thoughts: This was so good. So, so good! I absolutely love Noah and Jordan. I love how different they are and even though their long history as friends, they never were any romantically inclined to each other. Their feelings never just appeared but slowly grew, together with their personality and everyday life, is just such a great line to follow. It is a deep, connectable story with an interesting side plot that to be quite frank, I never really needed. It was the cherry on the ice cream but oh, what a ice cream.

The whole book is just so warm, fuzzy, exciting with a lot of suspense, hilarious characters, deep connections and just wonderful romantic suspense. This is what I want and hell, you did it again Garwood. You freaking did it again.

Unfortunately it do end on a cliffhanger. Not one of those bad ones but still a cliffhanger. It may be quite interesting to get to know all the answers someday, but still, at this point, I don’t feel the need for it. So on that note, I do really recommend this series and even though there is cliffhangers, there is no bad ones. And it is just so worth it.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

If looks could kill – Heather Graham

731806.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Madison Adair didn’t witness her famous mother’s brutal murder. But she saw it. Saw the gloved hand…felt the knife strike…knew her mother’s terror.

That was a lifetime ago. But the nightmares have returned; only, this time they’re of a faceless serial killer stalking women in south Florida. A killer she can’t see but who knows she is watching. Surrounded by her family, Madison knows she should feel safe, but she doesn’t.

And how much can FBI agent Kyle Montgomery protect her, when he can’t let go of the past they’ve shared? Madison is Kyle’s only link to the killer, but can they find the truth before the killer strikes again? Because sometimes, it’s what–or who–you can’t see that holds the greatest danger….

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My thoughts: Nah! Nothing for me. Quite the same as always. Horrible history, broken hearts, murder mystery, stalker, new killings, FBI, macho man, irritating female protagonist and a situation that just feels dumb. Come on, they hardly talk but they do argue a lot. About the same thing over and over. If they actually had talked early in the beginning, the arguing would probably not have been as bad. And I probably would have liked the book a lot more.

It was a fast read without any real depth. The murder mystery was quite interesting, but you didn’t receive any clues to who the killer are so the whole guessing game for me fell flat. Oh Graham certainly tried to make other characters seem guilty but it was too obvious so I actually dismissed them from my “who the killer is” list early on.

Not overly fawn over the characters either. There is some stuff happening that just make you lose the respect for that character and creates a situation that is just awkward. To be quite frank, Kaila and Dan (two side characters) relationship and short chapters about them, are the one thing I actually liked and felt had the most depth. And the book was not even about them.

It is probably time to realize that Graham is not an author for me. I have read five of her books but not one of them have received a higher rating than 3 star. Average rating is 2.8. It is time to spell the flowers and confess to myself that it doesn’t matter how much the synopsis appeal to me, she is just not an author that I like to read. Unfortunately.

Monthly summary

November Summary

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I’m not that happy with November. I worked so much that I didn’t have much time for reading. It mostly went in audiobooks and I did reread a couple of books for the reason that it was easy on my mind.

But it is starting to slowing down on work now and i’m exciting for the last exciting month of the year. And soon it is Christmas. Woho! :o)

Favorite book this month: A court of frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas
Least favorite book this month: 
At peace by Kristen Ashley

Number of physical books:
4
Number of e-books:
 3
Number of audiobooks:
4
Total pages: 4521
Female authors: 8
Male authors: 4

85459Northern Lights – Nora Roberts
Settings: Alaska, USA Pages: 637 Published: 1991
Genres: Romantic, suspense, mystery, fiction, contemporary.
My rating: Reread – First time I gave 5/5
Links: Review
22016387Royal Assassin – Robin Hobb
Settings: The Realm of the Elderlings  Pages: 648 Published: 1996
Genres: Epic, High fantasy.
My rating: 4/5
Links: Review
Book 2 in The Farseer series.
31076583A court of frost and starlight – Sarah J Maas
Settings: Fantasy World Pages: 229 Published: 2018
Genres: Fantasy, young adult, romance.
My rating: 5/5
Links: Review
Book 3.1 in The A court of thorns and roses series.
25214258The Devil’s star – Jo Nesbo
Settings: Oslo, Norway Pages: 387 Published: 2003
Genres: Crime, mystery, thriller.
My rating: 4/5
Links: Review
Book 5 in The Harry Hole series.
38208505Lazarus – Lars Kepler
Settings: Stockholm, Sweden Pages: 543 Published: 2018
Genres: Crime, mystery, thriller.
My rating: 2/5
Links: Review
Book 7 in The Joona Linna series.
170448Animal farm – George Orwell
Settings:
 England Pages: 144 Published: 1945
Genres:
 Classic, fiction, fantasy, politics.
My rating:
 4/5
Links:
Review *Review at goodreads
11665750At Peace – Kristen Ashley
Settings:
 Brownsburg, Indiana, USA Pages: 660 Published: 2011
Genres:
 Contemporary, romance, suspense.
My rating:
 1/5
Links:
Review
Book 2 in 
The Burg series.
32355670.jpgStuffed – Jessica Gadziala
Settings: USA Pages: 123 Published: 2016
Genres: Contemporary, romance.
My rating: 4/5
Links: Review *Review at goodreads
31188235The Chemist – Stephenie Meyer
Settings: Washington DC / Texas, USA. Pages: 522 Published: 2016
Genres: Thriller, fiction, mystery, romance, suspense.
My rating: 5/5
Links: Review *first read review
This is a reread. Review is from the first time I read it.
16055994Monster – Micael Dahlén
Settings: All over the world Pages: 235 Published: 2011
Genres: Nonfiction, true crime.
My rating: 1/5
Links: Review
30315673Beard in mind – Penny Reid
Settings: Green Valley, Tennessee, USA Pages: 393 Published: 2017
Genres: Romance, contemporary, humor, funny.
My rating: 4/5
Links: Review
Book 4 in The Winston Brothers series.
Contemporary · Humor/Funny · Romance

Beard in mind – Penny Reid

30315673.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: All is fair in love and auto maintenance.

Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.

Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.
She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words. Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.

The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean losing what matters most.

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My thoughts: Penny Reid is still in the top five, favorite female authors, after this wonderful gem of a book. God damn she is a good writer! She writes such funny, heart-warming, sad, happy and lovable stories that I have no words left to describe it. It is just pure enjoyment to read her books.

The series about the Winston brothers is funny and light but often has one thing that is more of a serious note in it. Reid mix it well and makes it such a part of the story that it is so significant to the whole of the plot. One book has more focus on oppression, another has on hate and malice and this one has sickness and unprocessed feelings. It makes you think and for me personally I do recognize myself so much in Shelly. And Reid has done a wonderful job with writing about something as hard as OCD. Shelly is such a unique person and I love the way she has been written. It is in a way that you do not like her at first but love her at the end.

Beau is just beautiful. I love how the most of the book is from Beau’s point of view and about his feelings. It is like he is the girl but it is so much more rational but still not. It is wonderfully refreshing to read a book mostly from a guy’s point of view and the small chapters from Shelly was enough for me.

However I do have one small problem with the book. And that is that somethings do not feel finished or has a satisfying ending. Maybe there will be more about the situation in the coming books but other things went so fast and suddenly the book was over. Some serious happenings and discussions was never written, only explained after it had taken place. Like a side-note. I was just left hanging, wondering and feeling that it was not done. There is no cliffhanger to explain my feelings. But still it just felt incomplete.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance · Young, New adult/College

A court of mist and fury – Sarah J. Maas

17927395.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

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My thoughts: Do not read this review if you not yet have read the first book because I don’t want to unintentionally ruin it for you. So this is a SPOILER ALERT. Read on by your own free will. I have warned you. 😉

I have no words! Oh I’m lying to you. I have so many words and feelings that it is a big chance this review is just a rant about how much I love this book. Love, love, love, loved IT. I don’t know what to say in order to express how stunning this series is. I’m starstruck and was sporting a major book hangover before I was even done and I just had to get my hands on the third book right away. I could not, was not, ready to leave the world of Prythian or its people like Feyre, Rhys and all the others. That the book ended on a major cliffhanger did not surprised me either.

This is in my opinion a work of art. The so small details in the first book made so much more sense in the second. It’s a beautiful way Maas has tied the books and story together. She has a talent with slowly changing the readers mind and thoughts about different subjects like for an example Tamlin, Rhysand, Lucien and the world of Prythian. You fall even harder in love and I admire Feyre. I connect with her and it is just a wonderful, heartbreaking and intense ride throughout the 600 pages. Not once did I feel the slowness of the story as I did in the first book.

I love the development, the magic, the love, fear, feelings and so much more that Maas has crammed in there. And hate! I feel so much hate towards some of the characters. They are hideous, mean and what I once thought is no longer the truth. It is so intense to follow that I even dream about it at night. I’m so high-strung that I should start meditate to be able to mentally tackle the third book. I feel so much that I’m ready to burst. Aren’t it a wonderful feeling? 🙂

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.

Contemporary · Humor/Funny · Romance

Fire & Brimstone – R. L Mathewson

26158415.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: What happens when a Bradford with questionable OCD, a tempter and a reputation for making his employees cry falls for the woman that refuses to accept the fact that he’s fired her and was terrifyingly more of a Bradford than he was?

Well, we can’t share that here, because it would be seriously inappropriate, but we’re sure that you can see where this is leading…

To the altar or a stint in the slammer, either one is possible when it comes to the Neighbor from Hell Series.

Author’s Note: This book along with the rest of the series is intended to make you smile, let you relax and forget the drama and stress that plagues our lives even if its just for a little while. This is a drama free book. My goal is to put a smile on your face and I hope this book does that.

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My thoughts: This is the 8th book in the neighbor from hell series and I have loved pretty much every single one of them I have read. Except this one. It really did not reach the target this time and that is too bad and even makes me a little sad. Since my accident I’m in a lot of pain and don’t sleep well. When I’m not dumping my brain into a random tv show or game on my phone, I try to read. And I really needed some kind of pick me up read that would make me happy and maybe make me feel a little better. I thought that this was the one who would not disappointed me. Unfortunately I was wrong.

The first 30% of the book is pretty funny and good. I am not denying that. There is some good characters and you got to love their reactions and counteractions to each other. Unfortunately it just got to be too much. They kept ranting and same thing happened over and over again. I didn’t fall for the heroin in the same way as I’m usually do and find her kind of annoying a lot of the times. Christopher aka Lucifer certainly has more depth than what meets the eye but that is not really showed in the story either. And there is really no plot either. It’s to loosy floosy with any real goal.

The whole book feel like something pushed out of thin air with nothing but an idea, without love or excitement for the writing of the book itself. It was weirdly written where it was not that easy at all times to know who talks/thinks and suddenly the point of view shifted to other characters from the earlier books. This has never happened before and was total surprise and I actually thought for a while that my eBook was defaulted. It just didn’t make sense at first to be there with Lucifer and Becca and then suddenly you where there with Trevor and Zoe for a whole chapter. Talk about confusing.

I’m still gonna continue the series. Just see this book as an bump in the road and that Mathewson is just human and not even she is flawless. 🙂

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.

Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

Tennessee takedown – Lena Diaz

18343283.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: A SWAT officer in small-town Tennessee will do anything to protect the innocent beauty whose life has been put on the line in Lena Diaz’s Tennessee Takedown

It can’t be a coincidence that in the past twenty-four hours, three different thugs have tried to kill or abduct Ashley Parrish. Sexy SWAT team leader Dillon Gray saved her, but now he wonders why someone would want to murder the beautiful accountant and why he finds her so infuriatingly attractive.

Then the FBI comes after Ashley for embezzlement, and Dillon knows he must protect her from a killer and prove she’s being framed. Taking her on a hair-raising run through dangerous terrain barely fazes him. But wanting her from more than just one night scares the hell out of him.

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My thoughts: I have read Lena Diaz other series (Deadly Games) and I LOVED it. There is four books in that series, filled with hot alpha males, strong women, incredible thrilling suspense and complicated character relationships. Three of the four books got a 5/5 score and the last one, number four got 4/5. That is how good that series was. Can you imagine my surprise that I found this first book in one of her other series, extremely lacking and disappointing?

I had expected the same level of writing skill and imagination but there was nothing. Nothing! My mind is blank! I feel nothing other than disappointment toward this book. It starts right in the middle of a shootout and then there is action throughout the whole book. There is never a break and I think that is maybe the point that rubs me the wrong way. Ashley is just to TSTL (too stupid to live) and I Dillon is just a used up character with no real depth. I could not connect with them and they more irritated me than anything else. The plot was quite interesting until the end, when it just got too much. I mean, come on, can you be that stupid? I do like the whole stolen identity plot even though it was predictable right from the start.

What really saved this book is the other characters. Chris, Chief Thornton, Donna and so on. I don’t know if Diaz did it on purpose, but it did feel like she put more thought in those characters than what she did in her main ones. That is the only reason I feel I would like to read the second book in this series. The second book is about Chris and I do want to read more about him. *Wink*