Tag Archives: Bookish

Review: Kisses and Rogues: Four Regency Stories by Anthea Lawson

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Kisses & Rogues: Four Regency Stories by Anthea Lawson
My Overall Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Passion flared in his eyes, and he took her mouth again in a kiss that seared her to her soul. In a moment, they must pull apart, their two bodies un-melding, but for now she savored every second.

I breezed through this anthology because the stories were exactly what I needed at the time: short, lighthearted romances with a touch of historical ambiance and a guaranteed HEA. Without going into too much detail on such short stories, I’m just going to sum up a couple key points about each one.

Five Wicked Kisses: 2 of 5 stars – I kept getting really distracted (and upset) by the coercion in this story, which wasn’t long enough to dive into such morally fraught waters.

Maid for Scandal: 3.5 of 5 stars – While totally unbelievable, this story was hilarious. It would have had a slightly higher rating if I hadn’t been so annoyed at the heroine’s naivete, but I suppose that was also part of the story’s charm.

The Piano Tutor: 4 of 5 stars – This was definitely my favorite of the bunch, and I think it was because the heroine was more mature. The plot also worked excellently as a short story.

To Wed the Earl: 3 of 5 stars – Of all the stories, this was the one I most wanted to see developed into a full-length novel. I kept finding myself wanting to know more about the characters, the financial mystery, and the side relationships.

As someone who doesn’t often read historical romance, I was happy with how this one turned out. I have had Passionate on my TBR for about a year now, so maybe it’s time to give that one a try.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set Outside the US

TTT 1.0

For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to that book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten Books Set Outside the United States

After taking several months off, it’s so nice to do a Top Ten Tuesday post! Many of these have a fantasy element, but I only included those that are still modeled after our world.

From my TBR:

Beautiful Ruins  Akata Witch (Akata Witch, #1)  Every Breath (Every, #1)  Paris Time Capsule  My Lady Jane

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter – Throughout time in Europe and the US (a little cheaty…)
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor – Nigeria
Every Breath by Ellie Marney – Australia
Paris Time Capsule by Ella Carey – France
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows – Historical England

Some of My Favorites:

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)  Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)  Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)  Carry On  Die for Me (Revenants, #1)

The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – Historical Persia
Daugther of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor – Czech Republic
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – France
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – England
Die for Me by Amy Plum – France

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Which books made your list this week? I’d especially love to find more books set outside of the US AND Europe. Link your own Top Ten Tuesday in the comments!

BookTube-A-Thon 2016 (And Welcome Back!)

Hello everyone 🙂 It’s been so long since I’ve posted, but I’m still here, and I’m still reading. School and life got away from me, so I took a break from blogging and reviewing my reads. I’m back today, though, because of BookTube-A-Thon.

I don’t have my own BookTube channel, but I’m an avid BT watcher, and all of the BookTube-A-Thon TBR videos got me really excited to join in the reading. I’ve never actively participated in a read-a-thon before, so I’m not sure how closely I’ll be able to follow a set TBR. I’m going to give it a shot, though!

Okay, here are the details for anyone else interested in jumping aboard:

When: Now! July 18-24, 2016 (12am on the 18th – 11:59pm on the 24th)

Reading Challenges:

  • Read a book with yellow on the cover.
  • Read a book only after sunset.
  • Read a book you discovered through BookTube.
  • Read a book by one of your favorite authors.
  • Read a book that is older than you.
  • Read and watch a book-to-movie adaptation.
  • Read seven books.

More Info: There will be a lot more going on, like video challenges, Twitter sprints, and Instagram posts. For all of the details on those, checkout the official YouTube channel!

My main focus is just going to be on reading and enjoying everyone’s awesome video posts. If I’m feeling really ambitious, I might join in on some of the Instagram activities (@AmorousReads).

Stay tuned for a post on my TBR, and if you’re participating, too, let me know, especially if you’ll be blogging, vlogging, or photographing the experience!

My Weekend Read

I’ve been in a general reading slump for the past couple weeks, but despite that, my weekend reading has actually been going really well! For the last two weekends, I’ve picked a book on Friday with the goal of reading it cover-to-cover over the weekend (because who doesn’t need one more excuse to read instead of study?)

Since this has worked out really well for me, I figured why not post about it? It also seems like a great way to get recommendations if you guys join in the fun! So keeping that in mind, here are the things I’m going to include in the post (and the things I’d love to know from those of you who also have weekend reads):

  • Which book is your weekend read?
  • What is the first sentence or synopsis?
  • Where did you first hear about it?/What convinced you to pick it up?
  • What format will you be reading in (hardcover, paperback, e-reader)?

Or you could go the TLDR route and just share what you’re currently reading 🙂

If you write up your own post, please just include a link back to Amorous Reads, and leave a link in the comments here so that others can find your post, too. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to know what you’re reading 😀

I’ll be posting occasional updates on my instagram and twitter accounts  (@amorousreads), so feel free to check in there, too!

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Now that the logistics are out of the way, here’s my first official weekend read:

These Shallow Graves
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

The first few sentences:

Josephine Montfort stared at the newly mounded grave in front of her and at the wooden cross marking it.

“This is the one you’re after. Kinch,” Flynn, the gravedigger, said, pointing at the name painted on the cross. “He died on Tuesday.”

I first saw this book on another blogger’s Top Ten Tuesday post last autumn – I wish I could remember which blog. The cover immediately caught my eye, and I’ve seen a lot of positive reviews since then, so I’m really excited to be giving it a go. I was lucky enough to find a used hardcover copy in pristine condition at my local bookstore, so that’s the one I’ll be reading.

What is your weekend read? I am always in need of recommendations, after all 😉

Holiday Update 2015

Like so many others in the United States, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season for me. As such, I want to take advantage of the long weekend to share some holiday cheer and let you guys know about some seasonal posts I have in the works for this December.

I spent Thursday in typical Thanksgiving form. Before visiting family for dinner, I spent the morning baking, watching the 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street, and putting this year’s Christmas tree together. Given my lack of funds, time, and energy, I decided to avoid a real tree and go with a makeshift bookish one. I’ve seen a few photos of trees like these circling the internet this season, and I’m really glad I decided to try one for myself!

Book Tree - 2015

Here’s the inside scoop on my little book tree. The tree itself is about 2.5 feet tall, with an estimated 70 books, mostly paperback. I used two strings of lights with the ends held in place by binder clips. My tree topper is actually a red top hat topper I bought one year for a themed holiday party. If anyone wants more info on the building process, let me know in the comments below; I’d be happy to share my limited book tree wisdom.

Now, back to Amorous Reads – I do have a few holiday posts in the works!

Book Reviews: I’ll admit it, I’ve been known to fall into the trap of cutesy holiday feel-good movies (blame Netflix). Since I’m steeped in school this year, with less time for movies and more time for books, I’ve decided to schedule some holiday romances into my active TBR. Not too many, but I’m hoping to read one every couple of weeks through the end of the year.

There are so, SO MANY stories to choose from (and I’m sure the chances of picking a reasonably good one are hit and miss), so I’m just going to start with three books that have already made their way to me during the last year:

Unexpected Gifts (Castle Mountain Lodge, #1)   Let it Snow   Christmas Reflections (Forever Christmas, #1)

And since nothing goes better with a cutesy romance than food, I’ll be throwing in some holiday snack recommendations with the usual review 😉 You can be on the lookout for these reviews over the next month or so. (And to those who really aren’t into this, I’ll be reading my usual lineup of books, as well.)

6th Annual Broke & Bookish Secret Santa: For those who don’t know, book blog The Broke and the Bookish has orchestrated a book-themed international Secret Santa event every year for the past 6 years, and I’m participating this year! I already have my giftee’s info and have been plotting her gift, which will be 1-2 books and a few goodies. I’ll be drafting a blog post about the event, and the process of choosing gifts, sometime within the next two weeks.

Seven Days of Midwinter: This is a public book event on Facebook that celebrates and spreads the word about lesser known authors of paranormal or urban fantasy. The event will be running from Dec. 14th – 20th, and it’s a LOT like the Thirteen Days of Halloween event I blogged about in October. I’m hoping to get a detailed post up for this one, too, but here’s a quick link to the Facebook page for those who are curious in the meantime.

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And now to round out the Thanksgiving spirit, I would like to share a few things that I am grateful for this year:

  • My family and friends, who always humor me when books are my default topic of conversation at every get together
  • Not dying under a pile of books while constructing my book tree 😉
  • The amazing blog community – It has been wonderful to share my experiences with so many different people, from all over the world, and from different walks of life. Thank you for being awesome!

And on that note, I think I’m going to go read one of my cheesy holiday romances with a cup of hot chocolate. I wish the best to everyone, both at home and abroad. I hope this season is full of love and joy, no matter which holiday you call your own 🙂

Minute Review: Relentless Flame by Jillian David

Relentless Flame (Hell to Pay, #2)

Relentless Flame by Jillian David (Hell To Pay, Book 2)
My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

“My name’s Dante.”

“Hi, Dante.”

Her hands remained at her side. He groaned. But all was not lost. Time to go to the next level of seduction. He puffed out his massive pectoral muscles and gave her his best rakish grin. This maneuver always succeeded.

“And your name is?” He leaned forward, undoubtedly impressing her with his overwhelming masculinity.

“Not interested.”

This quote pretty much sums up the bulk of Dante’s personality, and it was hilarious to read. The relationship seemed less natural to me than Peter and Allison’s in Book 1, but it was entertaining nonetheless!

Recommendation: Read this if you love reading about an overly confident, Thor-lookalike playboy falling for someone bookish who won’t give him the time of day.

The Liebster Award!

Thank you so much to Chanice at Inside the Mind of a Bibliophile for nominating me for a Liebster Award! For those who don’t know, the Liebster is an award designed to recognize awesome young blogs, bring fellow bloggers together, and spread the love. It’s an honor to be a part of 🙂

Without further ado, here are the rules:

Questions from Inside the Mind of a Bibliophile:

1. What is your favorite thing about blogging?

Definitely getting feedback and opinions in comments! I love reading about what others liked or disliked about a book, especially if it’s one I haven’t read yet.

2. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which one would it be and why?

That’s a really hard one! Probably The Kraken King by Meljean Brook because I absolutey LOVED it and it’s nice and long 🙂

3. What’s your favorite snack to eat while reading?

I’m more of a beverage drinker than snacker while reading, my drink of choice usually being tea. It’s just too easy to get schmutz all over my book or Kindle while snacking.

4. If you could be one fictional character for a day, who would you choose?

I think it would be really awesome to be Kate Mercier from the Revenants series for a day. Who wouldn’t want to live in Paris, kick butt, and save lives?? Vincent’s not too bad, either 😉

5. What is your least favorite genre and why?

Probably horror. I’m really not a fan. I mean, there’s already so much real horror in the world…

6. What is your favorite contemporary novel?

Most of my favorite books fall under the paranormal umbrella, but there are a lot of great contemporary books, too. My favorite so far this year has to be Anna and the French Kiss! I feel silly for having waited so long to read it!

7. Who is your favorite book blogger?

Way too hard to pick one! Aside from reading the blogs of some of my favorite authors (Jeaniene Frost, Amy Plum, and Laura Kaye, to name a few), I LOVE reading reviews and updates from other book bloggers. A couple that I especially like are Book Owly, Romance 4 the Beach, and Caroline Peckham.

8. Has a book ever changed your life or your perspective on certain things? If so, which book?

There have been a lot of books that changed my outlook in small but profound ways over the years. A few of these are: Riveted by Meljean Brook (Adult Steampunk), Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (YA Paranormal), and Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov (Memoir).

9. How many books have you read this year and how close are you to your yearly reading challenge goal?

So far I’ve read 94 books this year with a page count of over 31,000 (courtesy of Goodreads stats). My goal was originally 125 but if I keep this pace up, I’m pretty sure I’ll surpass 150!

10. What is your favorite book that you’ve read in 2015 so far?

I’ve got two, one YA and one adult. YA: After the End by Amy Plum, Adult: The Kraken King by Meljean Brook!

11. What is the worst book you’ve ever read?

I remember hating a lot of the books I had to read in school, but I’m going to pick out my least favorite book read this year. For that I have to pick The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter. A one-star rating from me…

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Eleven random facts about me:

  1. I used to hate the idea of e-readers, but now I do almost all of my reading on one.
  2. My non-bookish time is spent as a pre-vet student.
  3. I love proof-reading other people’s work (strange, I know…)
  4. I always eat a few pieces of candy 30 minutes before an exam! Glucose loading 😉
  5. I never watched much TV until I saw Gilmore Girls for the first time.
  6. I love computer programming.
  7. I use my Kindle as the ultimate motivator to go to the gym – it’s not elliptical time, it’s extra reading time!
  8. I have two goofball dogs.
  9. Scotch is my alcohol of choice.
  10. Tea is my non-alcohol of choice.
  11. Spicy popcorn is my movie snack of choice, but it’s not allowed within 10 feet of any books!

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My Nominations (not quite 11, but still a great bunch of bloggers!):

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Eleven Questions for my nominees:

  1. What are the top three books on your TBR pile?
  2. When is your favorite time to read?
  3. What is your favorite type of vacation book?
  4. If you could be close friends with any author, who would it be?
  5. What is your favorite book read in 2015?
  6. What is your least favorite book read in 2015?
  7. Standalone, trilogy, or longer series?
  8. Which book are you always recommending to others?
  9. Which book or series really got you hooked on reading?
  10. If you had to set one bookish goal for yourself, what would it be?
  11. Why did you start blogging?

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Thank you again to Chanice for nominating me, and happy blog discovery, everyone!