Sunday, September 23, 2018

Review: Knight of My Dreams by Lynsay Sands

Knight of My Dreams by Lynsay Sands
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Purchased paperback copy

Summary (from Goodreads):

Lady Alice knows she is not the type to entice a man. She's too voluptuous, too intelligent, too strong minded. Why, she even reads! But then Jonathan, Earl of Fairley, arrives at court. Tall, dark and handsome, the knight is any woman's dream. And he has just been ordered by the king to find a bride… and Alice is to help him!

Jonathan has been evading his mother's matchmaking schemes for years, so why does she insist that Lady Alice isn't for him? Alice is only to aid in his search for a bride, yet Jonathan can't help but be distracted by her glorious hair—the color of a sunset—and a figure that is like a lush berry about to burst to full ripeness… Has Jonathan fallen prey to love?

What I Liked:

This book was adorable and hilarious! I've read several of Lynsay Sands' books and I think this one is a favorite, definitely in the top three. I bought it on a whim, because I love a good knight/maiden story. It's a short story, and very entertaining!

Jonathan, Lord of Fairley, is a young but seasoned warrior who is not ready to get married. But when the king orders him to get married in two weeks - or he (the king) will choose a bride for him - Jonathan knows he must do something. His mother has sent many suitable girls his way, but not Lady Alice, daughter of Lord and Lady Houghton, friends of his mother. According to his mother, Lady Alice is unsuitable... but after Jonathan meets her for the first time, he decides that she is anything but unsuitable, and he wants her. Is Lady Alice the one?

Such a cute romance story! Jonathan is your cliche tall dark and handsome knight, with many victories in battle, and a good reputation as a knight. Alice is your cliche sweet maiden, who is a little on the voluptuous side, something that Jonathan likes a lot. When the two meet, their connection is instant, but they don't fall in love right away. It takes a few more encounters, but soon, they can't get enough of each other. Much to Lady Fairley's chagrin - she is determined to match her son with someone else, and asks Alice to make a list of suitable eligible young ladies for Jonathan. 

This story has a little scheming in it, involving a rather meddlesome mother and a bumbling uncle. It's so funny! I was laughing and I was sighing at the cute romance. Jonathan and Alice are thrown together, and they can't deny their chemistry.

This book is so short, and there's only one steamy scene, but it's a good one! The building chemistry between the characters is really good. A finale steamy scene wouldn't have been a bad idea though!

The ending was great - a nice happily-ever-after. I liked this novella and definitely recommend it!

What I Did Not Like:

I wish this were longer! I think it was originally a novella so it wasn't intended to be long. But still! One more steamy scene wouldn't have hurt. *wink*

Would I Recommend It:

If you're looking for a quick romance read, this is a perfect one! It's cute, sweet, funny, and a little steamy. And pretty short, but not annoyingly so. The author constructed the story well. Plus, it's set in the 1500s, with a knight and a maiden! WIN!


4 stars. This was a great novella! I'm glad I bought it on a whim. Plus the cover is fantastic. I want more medieval romance novels, especially involving an alpha knight and sweet maiden!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (#300)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!

So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, September 16th to Saturday, September 22nd?

(all links to Goodreads are provided!)

In the mail:

Nothing this week!

From Edelweiss:

I can't wait to read this! I loved Heartstone and highly recommend it. =)

Just one book this week, but it's bound to be a good one! I saw others receive it last week and was sure to get a review copy of my own. Quite fitting, for my 300th STS post. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, September 21, 2018

My Favorite YA Books with Forbidden Romance

Happy Friday, bibliovores! Today is another day in which I didn't feel like writing/posting a review, but did feel like posting something... so I'm doing another favorites post! You can check out my other favorites posts in a previous posts (for example). 

Here are some of my favorite YA books with forbidden romance! I loooove forbidden romance. This isn't all of the books (there are so many that I love!), and you'll have to stretch the word "forbidden" for one or two of them, but it's a good list!

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)  Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)  City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
Obsidian (Lux, #1)  The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)  The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)
Frostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1)  Duels and Deception  Suitors and Sabotage
Hourglass (Hourglass, #1)  Of Metal and Wishes (Of Metal and Wishes, #1)  The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed, #1)
Revel  Warped  The Distance Between Us
The Book of Broken Hearts  The Vespertine (The Vespertine, #1)  Such a Rush

I need more forbidden romances in YA contemporary! There are lots of paranormal and fantasy here. Recommendations are appreciated!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Swoon Thursday (#295): Beautiful Sinner by Sophie Jordan

- From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering

- Try to make the swoon excerpt 140 characters (or less), if you are going to tweet about it. Use the hashtag #YABOUND when tweeting

This week, my swoon is from Beautiful Sinner by Sophie Jordan!

His mouth smothered the rest of her words. She blew out a startled breath and he took that inside himself, drinking in her air, his tongue sweeping inside her mouth.

She didn't react. She was too stunned. 

He crouched in one quick motion, wrapping an arm around her waist and lifting her off her feet so that their fused mouths were level.

He coaxed and nibbled at her lips. It worked. She couldn't resist.

She could never resist him. Not in her dreams. Not in reality.

Apparently not ever.

She would worry about the implications of that later. For now, she wrapped an arm around his shoulders, hanging onto him like he was the only thing keeping her from flying away. 

She opened her mouth to him and he deepened the kiss. This wasn't just a kiss. It was more than that.

- eARC, 30%

You can read my review of this book HERE! I loved it. This whole series is excellent.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday (#299): The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I'm featuring:

The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons
Book One of the Deceivers series
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: February 5, 2019

Summary (from Goodreads):

Pretty Little Liars meets Ocean's 11 in this intrigue-filled contemporary drama from acclaimed author Kristen Simmons.

Welcome to Vale Hall, the school for aspiring con artists.

When Brynn Hilder is recruited to Vale, it seems like the elite academy is her chance to start over, away from her mom's loser boyfriend and her rundown neighborhood. But she soon learns that Vale chooses students not so much for their scholastic talent as for their extracurricular activities, such as her time spent conning rich North Shore kids out of their extravagant allowances.

At first, Brynn jumps at the chance to help the school in its mission to rid the city of corrupt officials--because what could be better than giving entitled jerks what they deserve? But that's before she meets her mark--a senator's son--and before she discovers the school's headmaster has secrets he'll stop at nothing to protect. As the lines between right and wrong blur, Brynn begins to realize she's in way over head.

I love Kristen Simmons' books! This one sounds different and very cool.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday (24)

Happy Tuesday! Today I've decided to participate in Top Ten Tuesday, formerly hosted by Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Today's topic is: 

Books On My Fall 2018 TBR

There's my fall TBR, or part of it! Some are backlist that I've not read yet, like Renegades. I am forever behind!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Monday Muse (8)

Hey fam! Happy Monday! Or something - are Mondays ever really happy? Let's change that! Today I'm sharing another Monday Muse post, which features my hobbies other than reading.

I didn't post anything last week so theoretically I have twice as many coloring updates! Here are the latest pages I've colored in my 17-18 Johanna Basford planner:

I loved this one! The little frog is super cute.

This one is one of the most detailed ones I've colored so far! It took a long time to finish. It looks good though (in my opinion)!

I'm not finished this one, it's another one that's detailed (though deceptively so, in this case). I do love flowers. =)

In fashion news, I tried on this dress whilst bored in the mall and I thought it looked good! I think it's a bit mother-of-the-bride-y so I didn't buy it but it was worth trying on!

Also in fashion: I am in love with the following ring, available on Local Eclectic.

(Buy it! I'm buying one for myself, for Christmas. Treat yo self!

I did a little bit of travelling for work this week! I went to south Prince George's County, basically on the edge of Washington, D.C./Maryland. I was doing a dam inspection, and checked out the stream into which the pond was flowing. It looked pretty good!

And I saw the biggest spider (biggest I've seen in my life). It was HUGE, probably the size of my palm. These photos against the guardrail don't do it justice!

Also, I can't get over how gorgeous the cover of We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett is. Check it out and the add the book to your Goodreads shelf!

Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Review: Beautiful Sinner by Sophie Jordan

Beautiful Sinner by Sophie Jordan
Book Five of the Devil's Rock series
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

Locked in with the town bad boy . . .

Most women would be scared, but Gabriella’s only worried about resisting Cruz Walsh, who’s even hotter than he was back in high school. Cruz was wrongly accused of the high-profile crime for which he was imprisoned; Gabriella’s desperate for the scoop that will get her career off the ground and get her out of Sweet Hill, where everyone still remembers her as “Flabby Gabby.” Being stuck in a supply closet with Cruz is the perfect opportunity to land an interview. What Bri doesn’t count on is Cruz taking “up-close and personal” to a whole new level.

If there’s a silver lining to the hell Cruz went through, it’s that losing his freedom put everything in perspective. Maybe starting over someplace new would be easier, but after years locked up, Cruz values his family—and his true friends—more than ever. So he’s back home, facing the gossip, dodging reporters . . . and face-to-face with Gabriella Rossi. They’ve both changed: Bri wants a story and Cruz just wants her. Another thing he’s learned? Don’t let a good thing slip away.

What I Liked:

I've been in a bit of a reading slump, and I decided to pick up this book even though it doesn't publish for another month and a half. I love this series - books one and four are my favorite, but all four are great - and I had a feeling that this fifth book would be excellent. I believe this is the final book in the series, and it's a great concluding story.

This is Cruz's story; Cruz is the older brother of Piper (heroine of Beautiful Lawman). He is a good friend of Knox and North (they went to high school together, and went to jail for the same incident, though with varying offenses). This book is set approximately six months after the ending of Beautiful Lawman - so Cruz has been free for six months. He's living in Sweet Hill, he owns his own home, and he opened a gym in the town. He's doing well, except most citizens of Sweet Hill still treat him like he was the one who killed Shelley Rae, seven years ago. Enter Gabriella Rossi, who went to high school with Cruz. She has always had a crush on him, and never believed that he killed Shelley Rae. She has been living in Austin, but moved back to Sweet Hill to live next door to her grandmother and take care of her, post-surgery. Gabriella doesn't expect to run into Cruz, or to feel the immense attraction she used to feel when she was in high school. What she doesn't know is that Cruz also crushed on her in high school, and years later, he hasn't gotten her out of his mind.

This was a unique love story. We have two people who never dated, were never friends, never interacted much, but went to high school together, and crushed on each other. Cruz was always the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Gabriella was always the smart, good girl who was going places. Twelve years later, life has stalled for both of them, in different ways. But life has a way of surprising everyone. Imagine Gabriella and Cruz's surprise when they get locked into a closet together, the night of a high school function. (Cruz's youngest sister is in high school, and Gabriella's niece is in the same high school.)

When Cruz and Gabriella run into each other in the high school event, the chemistry is electric. When they get stuck in the closet after the event, the chemistry ignites. I love how good Sophie Jordan is at building chemistry! There is explosive chemistry from the start, and it doesn't let up. 

I liked seeing Cruz and Gabriella's progression, in terms of their relationship and the mushy gushy feelings. It was the cutest thing - Cruz decided he wanted to spend more time with her, so he started bringing her food and "chasing" her. Don't get me wrong - Gabriella is not opposed to this! I would be mildly worried about consent and creepy behavior, but Cruz and Gabriella are both interested in each other, and Cruz makes a move. The romance is as sweet as the chemistry is steamy.

This book is steamyyyyy, as per Jordan's usual when it comes to her contemporary romance novels. There are closet scenes. There are backed-into-a-car scenes. There are gym scenes. So many steamy sexy times, and a great buildup to the bigger moments!

I should talk a little bit about Cruz and Gabriella individually - I adored them both. Cruz is a sweetheart. He seems like a block of marble, a hardened individual whom the town has not accepted since he was exonerated. But he's a good guy who wants to make a difference in the town. Gabriella was never a popular kid in high school, and she always wanted to get out of Sweet Hill. She has self-esteem issues, and she was bullied, and so Sweet Hill doesn't hold good memories for her. She's a kind and hard-working person, very smart and sweet and a tough on the innocent side. She and Cruz are a great match!

The climax of the book came quickly - I couldn't stop reading! This book has the usual conflict in which there is drama that could separate the couple. In this case, Gabriella's job as a reporter directly conflicts with Cruz's privacy. So it's understandable when he feels like she has stepped over a line. But I LOVE how Gabriella fights for him and holds her ground. (Side note, she did nothing wrong, and was never using him to boost anything at her job.)

Obviously I loved this book. I highly recommend it, and the entire series. Book four is probably my favorite, and then book one, but the whole series is worth reading!

What I Did Not Like:

The only complaint I have is that this book felt too short! Which is absurd because it's like 350 pages long! I think I breezed through it - I was totally engrossed. I didn't realize I was almost at the end until the big drama came along. I wouldn't have minded more pages, but I'm not unhappy with what is presented!

Would I Recommend It:

I highly recommend this book and the series in general. I've not read too many books involving ex-cons, or those exonerated, so this series was a little different. Jordan doesn't romanticize the felon aspect - I thought she did a great job with this. She isn't just looking for big, bad heroes. (Though they definitely are big and bad, no complaints there.) There is so much depth and backstory to each hero in this series. Start from the beginning, with Knox and Briar! They'll sway you.


4 stars. I love this book! I think it's the final book in the series which makes me a little sad, but now I have a good excuse to reread the entire series. I have reread most of the books anyway, no excuse needed. I can't wait to read more adult contemporary romance by Sophie Jordan!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (#299)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!

So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, September 9th to Saturday, September 14th?

(all links to Goodreads are provided!)

In the mail:

Thank you so much, Fierce Reads! This package is amazing!

Buttonssssss. (There are more in the bag. So many buttons!

Thank you, Jenefer! She always thinks of me when she gets buttons and doesn't want them. I love trading with her!

This week was a hard one, at work, but I had a great Friday evening and am so ready for the weekend! Last week I was busy (sorry for not replying to comments!) - I was attending several local festivals! I love fall (almost fall) - so many great festivals to check out. Here's me in a mermaid chair!