JoRead

Writers write. Storytellers feed your imagination. My imagination has a hunger that can't be satiated.

Master of None (Millcastle #2) by Kate Pearce

Master of None (Millcastle #2) - Kate Pearce

Master of None (Millcastle #2) - Kate Pearce 

 

Forced marriage & marriage of convenience are two of my favorite tropes and this story hit all the high marks in what I think these tropes should be. The narrative/voice of this author made the story tangible and the characters jump out of the page. 

Emily has always been a dutiful, obedient daughter so when her father tells her she must marry the manager of one of his mills she reluctantly acquiesces to her father’s wishes. I liked her character a whole lot. She gave the illusion of being a meek woman however she was never afraid to speak up when in disagreement or when someone pushed her limits. 
Adam had this quiet confidence that made him both endearing and appealing, and I think his greatest flaw was his pride because he always thought to be right. On the other hand there were times I felt bad for the poor guy, what with him having to deal with an expanding empire, his new bride, family disputes, and old flames trying to destroy his marriage. But even with all the burdens that were suddenly thrown their way, Emily and Adam managed to create a joyous if not perfect marriage. The chemistry between the two was not exactly “explosive” but it was believable and real, what a real marriage should be like, especially when it started the way it did. 

The suspense, real-life hardships, emotional scenes, and well-defined characters, not to mention a true historical setting feeling, made this story a highly enjoyable read. Oh, and that man on the cover of the book, so-very Adam! 

*I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.*

Halloween reads

I think this is the first year that I'm actually reading some reads in theme with Halloween and in my search to find something different to read I came across this list. 

 

The 10 Greatest Female Monsters In Literature, From Carmilla To The Woman In Black

 

I haven't even heard of Carmilla until I read the list so of course now I want to read it. 

 

 

https://www.bustle.com/p/the-10-greatest-female-monsters-in-literature-from-carmilla-to-the-woman-in-black-12193994?fbclid=IwAR0prnSA7yiB_iorqbWPECgg6DER8PcTJNhWoGWo8yMERH38HnQhnLJzJ_o

Sentinel of Darkness (Darkness Series #8) by Katie Reus

Sentinel of Darkness  - Katie Reus

Sentinel of Darkness (Darkness Series #8) - Katie Reus 

 

Sweet, cute novella and as usual by this author, full of romance, sexy heroes, and shifters shenanigans.

 

Dagen meets Keva in the most imperfect way but the moment he meets her, his dragon knows she is IT for him. The way he protected Keva (and actually all shifters in this series) is sweet and romantic. What I liked the most about the two was how in spite of having both gone through hell (one of them literally) they were still warriors and didn’t shy away from love. I would have loved for this story to be longer and read more about the other members of the pack, and specially that very pregnant shifter. But overall it was an enjoyable read that reminded me how much I like dragon shifters and this series.

 

*I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher*

My review of How the Dukes Stole Christmas by Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan & Joanna Shupe

How the Dukes Stole Christmas: A Holiday Romance Anthology - Sophie Jordan, Sarah MacLean, Tessa Dare, Joanna Shupe

How the Dukes Stole Christmas: A Holiday Romance Anthology - Sarah MacLean,Tessa Dare,Joanna Shupe,sophie jordan 

 

For starters, DUKES! I don’t care how many make-believe dukes have been created, I’ll read them for as long as they keep writing them. Secondly, Christmas! I’ll admit that I prefer to read dark, scary, paranormal stories during the month of October, but c’mon, who can say no to Christmas stories, specially when they are written by some of your favorite authors and they all come together in one pretty package!
And that actually brings me to say that thirdly, it’s freaking Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, and Joanna Shupe, what?! If you haven’t read books by them then let me tell you, you are missing out on some serious awesomeness. And in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a super fan of all of these ladies so forgive me if I gush too much.

 

Tessa Dare’s Meet Me in Mayfair was clever, funny, and oh, so romantic. It probably is one of the most charming and memorable “date” nights I have ever read.

Sarah MacLean’s The Duke of Christmas Present is a second-chance love story. There were some serious tug-at-your-heart scenes, specially when the heroine returns “home.” It was kind of hard for me to understand the reasoning behind both the hero and heroine’s actions but once I got to the end, everything made complete sense.

 

Sophie Jordan’s Heiress Alone was another great example of how chemistry between hero and heroine affects a story, even if it’s a short one and even if the romance happens rather quickly.

 

Joanna Shupe’s Christmas in Central Park had me worrying and suffering along with the poor heroine, and had me wanting to slap the hero upside the head for acting like a spoiled brat that just had to have his way. Their love story may had been full of funny and cringe-worthy moments but the way their forgive and reach their HEA made it all worth it.

 

In short, four different settings, four different kinds of delicious dukes, four great Christmas stories, and one happy reader that recommends this set to all historical romance lovers. Even if Christmas is not your cup of tea, the romance alone make this a perfect read. 4.5 stars.

 

*I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher**

— feeling love
"“Being who you are is so much more important than fitting in will ever be.”
― Cheryl B. Evans, I Promised Not to Tell: Raising a Transgender Child"

To my lovely LGBTQ+ community on this #ComingOutDay remember:

 

You matter.

You deserve respect.

You do not have to fit a certain mold.

You are not alone.

 

LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE 

So far it's just ok...

Assassins - Mike Bond

Assassins - Mike Bond 

 

I won a copy of this book through BookishFirst. Not what I normally read but the premise sounded intriguing and I thought would be a good read to get out of my comfort zone but so far it's just meh... like if I were to put it down and never find out how it ends I would not miss it. 

I'm only a few chapters in so here I am hoping it gets better. 

 

A Most Unsuitable Match (Sisters of Scandal, Book 1) by Julia Justiss

A Most Unsuitable Match - Julia Justiss

A Most Unsuitable Match (Sisters of Scandal Book 1) - Julia Justiss 

 

Johnnie and Prudence's story was a delight. It had the right amount of funny moments mixed with the perfect drama. The perfect example of why I love to read historical romance. 
Prudence is a woman tainted not by her own doing but because of her mother’s reputation. Johnnie is considered the black sheep of his family and even though his reputation is not considered perfect, it’s still much better than Prudence’s because he is a man. 
Their relationship was sweet yet full of passion. He cared for her but knew that his friendship would further diminish her chances of marrying into a good family. Prudence was no innocent naiveté but always behaved with propriety, just as it was expected from her. There were lots of times when I thought society was being so unfair to her (and basically every other woman) and it sure made me glad that I didn’t get to live back then. I was happy when they managed to find a way to be together without having to give up on the things they wanted out of life. 
This book was not as “spicy” as the author’s previous series but it was definitely full of heart and tender moments, and of course accurate to its times which is one of the reasons I love this author. 

**I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher**

Kiss of the Rose (Tudor Vampire Chronicles #1) by Kate Pearce

Kiss of the Rose - Kate Pearce

Kiss of the Rose - Kate Pearce 

This book reminded me how much I love and miss reading about vampires and legends of old. 
Christopher is a man that disguises his family shame with an over the top charming personality and being the best at what he does. Rosalind is a clever woman but is getting tired of having to prove herself as a vampire hunter. These two star-crossed lovers will have to unite forces in order to bring down a common enemy at the same time that a prophecy seems to be taking place and their feelings for each other seem to be more than just unbridled passion. 
I loved the world building. I remember reading this story when it first came out and while I remember liking it then I have to say I liked it even more now. The Druids as a historical backdrop was something I hadn’t read before and I liked how it was weaved within the Tudors era. Vampires as Machiavellian beings and not necessarily heroes provided that extra darkness that I like in my PNR. 
The thing I didn’t like much was the love triangle that took place in much of the story. I always think it unfair when one of the characters is left as an afterthought just because the object of their affections couldn’t make up their mind and kept dragging the poor guy along. I know it happens IRL but I prefer it wouldn’t happen in my romances. I also thought the prophesy aspect needed more fleshed out. It took me a while to understand it and assimilate how the whole thing tied up in the end. But I think that was a personal problem that I tend to have where prophecies are concerned. 
All in all it definitely was a very enjoyable read and I recommend it to anyone that loves paranormal mixed with their historical reads. 

*I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher**

Oh... Booklikes...

— feeling cry

I love you Booklikes. I love being here, I really do... but I truly hate it when I'm trying to make a post and then you decide to stop working...

 

 

 

A Notorious Vow (The Four Hundred #3) by Joanna Shupe (4.5 stars out of 5)

A Notorious Vow: The Four Hundred Series  - Joanna Shupe

After a series of tragic events, Oliver becomes reclusive and apathetic. His only concerns are his sweet sister and his work. That all changes though after an unexpected encounter with caring and bashful Christina.
I had always thought that opposites make the best couples but Christina and Oliver proved me wrong. Christina was one of the most timid, introverted, fearful heroines I’ve ever read. Although I prefer my heroines to be more witty, self-assured, and even proactive, her tender heart and innocence made up for whatever traits I might have thought were lacking, not to mention her steel determination when it came to protecting Oliver made her a well-rounded character. 

The story kept the perfect pace. I was particularly happy that the budding romance between the main characters didn’t feel rushed or forced and I loved the way Oliver went from a grumpy recluse to a more pleasant man. And his world! It was fascinating to say the least, but unfortunately it was also ignorant and unjust. The treatment of “unorthodox” people in those days was truly appalling and if someone thinks otherwise needs to open a history book and educate themselves – At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it ¯_(ツ)_/¯

It was such a wonderful story and definitely my favorite in the series so far. If you love stories with plenty of heart, a troubled yet swoon-worthy hero, and a heroine that may seem meekly at first but proves to be a worthy opponent when she sets a mind to it, then this is the book for you. 




I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher. 

Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars ~ Hunting Danger (Redemption Harbor #5) by Katie Reus

Hunting Danger (Redemption Harbor #5) - Katie Reus

Hunting Danger (Redemption Harbor #5) - Katie Reus 

 

Nova receives what appears to be an S.O.S. message from her best childhood friend and immediately sets out to help her friend. Gage is not about to let the most wonderful woman he’s ever met put herself in any type of danger, even though he knows there is not a chance of starting a romance with Nova. And so, what started as a simple meeting between friends ends up in being the ride of a lifetime.

Nova and Gage’s story was everything I’d hoped for and more! The author was able to weave a perfect romance with non-stop action, friendship, and suspense. There is one specific scene where danger is sky high and the way it was told was so palpable that it was as if I was watching a motion picture!

Their relationship advances at a steady and believable pace. Gage was of a mind that no matter how much he desires Nova their work relationship should be a priority and didn’t want to mess that up. That part was getting a bit on my nerves but at the same time I kind of got his point of view. Furthermore, although Gage was protective of Nova, he was never alpha-annoying and trusted her instincts without hesitation. I don’t know about other readers but I always appreciate a man that treats a woman like a partner and not like a fragile piece of porcelain.
That being said, can I say how much I love Sky and Colt as a couple? We met them in Resurrection, book 1 of this series, and to me their relationship is the epitome of couple perfection ♥ So thank you Katie Reus for giving me another glimpse of what an awesome couple they are in this book! Of course the rest of the team is just as amazing. The tight bond that surrounds them is what think makes this series such a great read.

I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.

Mrs. Brodie's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies by Shana Galen & Theresa Romain

Mrs. Brodie's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies - Shana Galen, Theresa Romain

Mrs. Brodie's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies - Shana Galen,Theresa Romain 

 

I'd describe this duo as one of those that give you an AWWWW! feeling and that feeling stays with you long after you put the book down. Both stories are about second chances. 

The Way to A Gentleman's Heart by Theresa Romain stars Marianne, a lady of society-turned cook, and James, a man with plenty to regret but willing to make amends and hoping for forgiveness. I always find this author’s stories kind of hard to understand in the sense that I don’t connect with the characters right away. At first I thought James had hurt Marianne too much and grueling for the rest of his life wouldn’t be enough to deserve forgiveness, however once Marianne’s musing put their relationship in a different light and she realized he was a worthy man I too realized just as much. 

Counterfeit Scandal by Shana Galen intertwines characters from No Earls Allowed, book 2 in her The Survivors series but you don’t need to read that book first in order to read this one. Bridget and Caleb were forced to part ways at a moment when Bridget needed him the most. Fast forward several years later and Caleb seems to be the only one to help her find what she once lost but loves the most. I liked this story a lot. The author was able to pack plenty of character development, emotions, action, and redemption in only a few pages. The fact that Caleb was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for Bridget was kind of the cherry on top. 

I think this set perfectly represents what each author is about so if anyone's thought about trying something by either one I encourage you to give these novellas a go. 

I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.

How to Tempt a Rogue Without Really Trying: Heart of an Heiress (Regency Hearts Book 4) by Ava Stone

How to Tempt a Rogue Without Really Trying: Heart of an Heiress (Regency Hearts Book 4) - Ava Stone

Sweet, cute story with plenty of light moments and interesting characters. 
Cait is a strong-willed woman but not to the point of being annoying, and that is something I like in heroines. She has trust issues when it comes to men, mainly because one broke her heart not long ago but also because she’s tired of being treated like a witless person just for being a woman. I liked the way Daniel treated her from the beginning. He had an easygoing personality that didn’t clash with Cait’s strong one. If anything, I think they brought out the best in each other and complemented each other flawlessly. The one thing I didn’t like about Daniel, and as usual this is a personal preference, is that I like my rogues to be more roguish in action and not so much in description. He spent too much time smiling wolfishly and winking wickedly but other than that he wasn’t much of a rogue. That being said, I liked how they took their time to know each other and how the pace of the relationship felt real. I was glad that even though there was an instant attraction, neither one of them rushed into anything. As a side note, there are no graphic intimate scenes in case you were wondering. Just a peck here and there and some harmless flirtation, nothing more. 

Other characters helped moved the story along but to be honest, there were times there was too much going on and I felt I needed to read the other books (which I haven’t read yet) to understand better what was going on. Thankfully, that was later remedied when all knots were tied, so I think I can safely say this can be read as a standalone. 

I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher

Funny and interesting approach to a less stressed life

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life - Mark Manson

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life - Mark Manson 

 

Overall this was good "read" (I listened to the audiobook.) I listened to it during  my daily commute and I could only imagine the looks from other drivers as I was laughing half the time. Contrary to its title, the book does help you understand why you should give plenty of f*cks but only for the right reasons. 

 

 

 

I may not have agreed with everything the author said but for the most part I found this book enjoyable. He makes some pretty good points about the kind of life we want and the kind of life we are living. So, go on ahead and give some f*ucks, just don't use them up all at once. 

 

 

 

Killer Secrets by Katie Reus

Killer Secrets - Katie Reus

Killer Secrets - Katie Reus 

 

Fast paced romantic suspense with lots of action. Eve and Mack have been "friends" for most of their times but it takes Eve's life to be in danger for Mack to make a move. For such a short read this one packed a punch. The villain  was definitely the least person that came to mind. I think it focused more on the suspense aspect and lack a little on the character development but it was still a good story to pass the time.  

A Duke Like No Other (Playful Brides #9) by Valerie Bowman

A Duke Like No Other - Valerie Bowman

A Duke Like No Other - Valerie Bowman

 

Fun, sexy, intriguing romp. I enjoyed Mark and Nichole’s relationship immensely. I specially loved their banter and how they were supposedly keeping each other at arm’s length. From the start I was intrigued as to how they would end up together when there appeared to be such animosity between them but in the end I was happy on how it was handled.

Mark’s relationship with his family plays in important role here. His desire to be the new Home Secretary derived from the fact that he wanted to make a name for himself without having to rely on them. That same estrangement makes him calculating and distrustful, particularly of members of the “ton.” But what one wants and what life wants out of one are two completely different things and he’s going to have to learn to make peace with his life if he wants a future with his independent, intelligent, self-reliant wife, Nichole. 

The suspense part helps the story move along but I thought we got stuck too much on it at times. That being said, I liked how it’s that same subplot that helped Mark understand Nichole better and learn to accept her for what she is. The reason they were apart for so long was pretty much pride and selfishness so to see the two grow from petty, zealous young lovers to discerning adults made for an enjoyable read. 

**I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher**
 

Currently reading

Assassins
Mike Bond
Challenge Participant Professional Reader