Minute Reviews [25]

Posted April 19, 2018 by Kim in 4 Stars, 5 Stars, In Review, Minute Reviews / 0 Comments

Minute Reviews

It’s time for more Minute Reviews! From historical to contemporary romance, I’ve got a little bit of everything here for you today. Each of the books I’m reviewing were read as part of my 2018 Tackle My TBR Challenge. Some were from my 2018 Audiobook Challenge, too.

And if you want to do reviews like this REALLY easily, check out the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin! It’s amazing. Seriously.

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Minute Reviews [25]The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #3
Genres: Historical Romance
Publication date: June 27, 2017
Publisher: HarperAudio
Format: Audiobook, Length: 10 hours and 39 minutes
Narrator: Justine Eyre
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
Reading Challenges: 2018 Audiobook Challenge, 2018 Tackle My TBR Challenge
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

The one woman he will never forget…

Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has lived the last three years in self-imposed solitude, paying the price for a mistake he can never reverse and a love he lost forever. The dukedom does not wait, however, and Haven requires an heir, which means he must find himself a wife by summer’s end. There is only one problem—he already has one.

The one man she will never forgive…

After years in exile, Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, returns to London with a single goal—to reclaim the life she left and find happiness, unencumbered by the man who broke her heart. Haven offers her a deal; Sera can have her freedom, just as soon as she finds her replacement…which requires her to spend the summer in close quarters with the husband she does not want, but somehow cannot resist.

A love that neither can deny…

The duke has a single summer to woo his wife and convince her that, despite their broken past, he can give her forever, making every day The Day of the Duchess.

In Review My Thoughts

I love-love-loved The Day of the Duchess. I listened to it entirely on audiobook and I had a really tough time forcing myself to stop listening, to draw it out longer. I’m not exaggerating when I say I spent at least four hours one afternoon reorganizing my closet and cleaning everything in sight so I could keep listening. If I found more audiobooks I loved as much as this one, I’d have the cleanest apartment in the state.

I’m a sucker for a second chance romance and when it’s as swoony and romantic and as full of feels as this one is, it’s no wonder. It also had quite a bit more angst than I’m accustomed to in historical romance and that’s one of the reasons I loved it as much as I did. FEELS. FOR. DAYS. I was an emotional wreck, totally invested in Malcolm and Sera’s story. Without getting too far down in the weeds and ruining the story for you, Malcom’s determination to win Sera back is what I want from all heroes in every book. Forget alphaholes and manwhores, I want a man who wears his heart on his sleeve and is all in for the woman he loves. That’s what does it for me.

The Day of the Duchess is one of my new favorite historical romances and probably my favorite Sarah MacLean book to date. (Which is saying something because I love her books.) There was just something about this one that was so real and raw that it go under my skin and into my heart.

FAVORITE QUOTES

The only woman he’d ever loved. The only woman he’d ever hated. The same, and somehow entirely different.

“I shall have you. I shall love you. And I shall grow old in your arms.”

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About Sarah MacLean

Sarah MacLean is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of YA and adult romance. She grew up in Rhode Island, where she spent much of her free time bemoaning the fact that she was more than a century too late for own Season. Her unabashed addiction to historical fiction helped to earn her a degree in European History from Smith College before she moved to New York City to pursue a career in publishing. After receiving a Masters in Education from Harvard University, Sarah returned to New York, where she lives with her husband, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels.

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Minute Reviews [25]Underneath It All by Kate Canterbary
Series: The Walshes #1
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: October 19, 2014
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Format: Audiobook, Length: 8 hours and 17 minutes
Narrator: Christian Fox, Lucy Rivers
How I got it: Audible Romance Package
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
Reading Challenges: 2018 Audiobook Challenge, 2018 Tackle My TBR Challenge
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Lauren

It's all the little things—the action plans, the long-kept promises—that started falling apart when my life slipped into controlled chaos.

After I met Matthew Walsh.

I couldn't decide whether I wanted to run screaming or rip his pants off, and most days I wanted a little of both. If I was being honest with myself, it was rip his pants off, ride him like a workhorse, and then run screaming.

Matthew

A rebellious streak ran through Lauren Halsted. It was fierce and unrelentingly beautiful, and woven through too many good girl layers to count, and she wasn't letting anyone tell her what to do.

Unless, of course, she was naked.

She wasn't looking for me and I sure as shit wasn't looking for her, but we found each other anyway and now we were locked in a battle of wills, waiting for the other to blink.

In Review My Thoughts

Underneath It All had been on my TBR for ages before I finally decided to pick it up. One of my blogger friends had recently binged The Walshes series and kept talking about how much she loved them, so that gave me a kick in the seat. Also, I realized it was part of the Audible Romance Package, so it was a no-brainer.

I enjoyed this book so much! Lauren and Matthew had the best chemistry. The sexual tension that led up to their first hookup was HOT. Also HOT AF? Every single encounter they had. I was basically fanning myself while reading and I might’ve even blushed a few times. Matthew had a dirty mouth and some seriously sexy thoughts about what he wanted to do to Lauren. Plus, he was SO SWOONY. Sexy and romantic with a side of filth? Yes, please.

As much as I enjoyed Lauren and Matthew’s relationship and everything that came with it, I loved the Walsh family just as much. I am so excited to continue on with this series and learn more about each and every one of them. This series started off a high note and I don’t think I could’ve picked a better book to introduce me to Kate Canterbary. I foresee a binge in the very near future. It’s worth noting Christian Fox and Lucy Rivers did a great job with the narration on this story, too. They’re both new-to-me narrators and I’m excited to get more from them as well.

FAVORITE QUOTES

“If I had known I’d have a hot architect balls deep inside of me before the end of the weekend, I’d have made time for a pedicure.”

“Fuck me until I can’t walk, I can’t breathe, I can’t do anything but ask for me. Fuck me until I’m yours.”  

“Before you say no, just say yes instead.”

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About Kate Canterbary

Kate Canterbary doesn't have it all figured out, but this is what she knows for sure: spicy-ass salsa and tequila solve most problems, living on the ocean--Pacific or Atlantic--is the closest place to perfection, and writing smart, smutty stories is a better than any amount of chocolate. She started out reporting for an indie arts and entertainment newspaper back when people still read newspapers, and she has been writing and surreptitiously interviewing people—be careful sitting down next to her on an airplane—ever since. Kate lives on the water in New England with Mr. Canterbary and the Little Baby Canterbary, and when she isn't writing sexy architects, she's scheduling her days around the region's best food trucks.

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Minute Reviews [25]The Struggle by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Titan #3
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Publication date: March 20, 2017
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: eBook, 368 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
Reading Challenges: 2018 Tackle My TBR Challenge
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

A bloody path has been chosen…

The war against the Titans continues, and they remain determined to wreak havoc on the world, but Seth has become something all gods fear. Now the most dangerous, most absolute power no longer resides in those who have been freed from their tombs.

The Great War fought by the few is coming…

All may doubt and fear what Seth has become. All except the one woman who might be his final chance at redemption. Josie will do anything to prove that Seth is on their side, but fate has a nasty way of changing lives, of changing people.

In the end, the sun will fall…

The only way they can save the future and save themselves is by facing the unknown together. It will take more than trust and faith. It will take love and the kind of strength not easily broken. No matter what, their lives will never be the same.

For what the gods have feared has come to pass. The end of the old is here and the beginning of the new has been ushered in…

In Review My Thoughts

I’ll keep my review for The Struggle short and sweet for many reasons, but not the least of which is I don’t want to run the risk of spoiling this storyline if you’ve not yet read this series. (Which, if that’s the case, what are you waiting on?) One of the other reasons I’m keeping this pretty short is because it’s been ages since I finished it and I’ve already reviewed the next book, The Prophecy. I just didn’t feel right NOT reviewing this one, even if half my review consists of quotes I loved.

I’m really, really glad I waited to read The Struggle until I had The Prophecy in hand. I mean, every installment in the Titan series had a cliffhanger, but it was great to go right into the final book after finishing this one. There was A LOT going on (not in a bad way) and I was utterly addicted. The story was fantastic and gripping and these characters I loved so much continued to grow and develop during this book. Seth’s transition from when we first met him until now has been huge. And I’ve always been a Josie fan. Add to that Alex and Aidan and I was a happy reader.

I’m pretty picky about the non-contemporary books I pick up, but I will always read anything Jen writes. The Titan series will forever be a favorite and I think it’s finally convinced me to go back and (finally) read The Covenant series in its entirety.

FAVORITE QUOTES

“Love is the root of all that is good, and the root of all things that are evil. Love is the root of the Apollyon.” 

“Fate is afoot. Things cannot be undone. Fate has looked into the past and into the future. History is on repeat.” 

I love him when no one else believes in him and I will still love him when everyone realizes who and what he truly is.

Seth said those three short words that meant everything. Well, “I have cake” was also three short, powerful words, but hearing Seth say he loved me was like a thousand hopes and dreams come true at once.

“I think they’re about to make a baby. And maybe eggs.”

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About Jennifer L. Armentrout

# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Charles Town, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. In early 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and death of cells in the retina, eventually resulting in loss of vision, among other complications.  Due to this diagnosis, educating people on the varying degrees of blindness has become of passion of hers, right alongside writing, which she plans to do as long as she can.

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Minute Reviews [25]Heaven and Hell by Kristen Ashley
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: December 28, 2011
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: eBook, 572 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
Reading Challenges: 2018 Tackle My TBR Challenge
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

After making a bad decision when she was very young, Kia Clementine finds herself in hell. Then, suddenly, within the time it takes for a shotgun to blast, her hell changes. Completely. Then out-of-the-blue she sees Sampson Cooper, her celebrity crush. A man the whole world knows is decent. A man the world knows is loyal. A man the world knows is good. All of these very unlike her now dead husband.

He’s sitting at a table right next to hers. And she catches his eye.

Terrified of the interest Sam shows in her, Kia finds the courage to go out with him. Not long after, she shares her dark secrets and Sam shares that he’ll stop at nothing to gain her trust.

As Sam leads Kia to heaven, Kia realizes that Sam is living his own hell. But although he gives her beauty and she gives him everything, he withholds his trust.

Even with all the beauty Sam shows her, Kia wants it all. But Sam forces Kia to make a heartbreaking decision and only she can decide. It’s all or nothing.

In Review My Thoughts

I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t read a single Kristen Ashley book in all of 2017. Awful, right? I had the pleasure of sitting at her table for the Q&A Brunch at ApollyCon and I decided then and there I needed to read one of her books. I just wasn’t sure which one. Until she answered a question about Heaven and Hell and got all emotional. I decided that was my pick and my god, it did all kinds of things to my heart. It also left me with a damn near debilitating book hangover.

Heaven and Hell was a gorgeous book. It’s a long book, as is to be expected with a KA book, but it sure didn’t seem that long as I was breezing right through it. I don’t know if I’ve ever read one of her books in a day and a half, but that’s all the longer it took me to read this one. My heart and my feels were all over the place. Few things make me happier as a reader than seeing a character with a hard past, one who’d dealt with things no one should have to, get a second chance at love. When it’s with a man or woman who treat them the way they deserve to have been treated all along, it’s even better.

Sam and Kia’s story made my heart happy. He basically worshipped her and was all in for her. (Ok, with the exception of a couple parts where I wanted to scream at him for being an utter ass.) After all she’d been through with her ex husband, god knows she deserved it. As much as I loved the romance, it was also quite special to watch Kia get her groove back, so to speak. She’d lost so much of herself to her ex, having been literally beaten down by him. She was worthy of so much more and it made me happy to see her get it.

Heaven and Hell was sexy, sweet and full of feels — all things I expect from a Kristen Ashley book. It’s been nearly a month since I finished and I still get a big stupid grin on my face when I think about it. One of my favorites of hers to date. I can’t wait for the next book, Sam and Kia’s friend Luci’s book. If Luci’s scenes during this book are any indication, I’m pretty sure it’ll absolutely destroy me as Luci tries to find her own happy ending after the death of her husband. But, regardless, I’m here for it. I fell a little bit in love with Luci, too, and I need her to be happy.

FAVORITE QUOTES

“Make him work to unlock your secrets, my Kia. Do not accept another man in your life who does not rise to that challenge and do it gallantly.”

“Wherever you are, however you got there, if it’s good, you’re meant to be there either because you earned it or life led you there and you were smart enough to hold on.”

Sometimes home wasn’t where you grew up. Home was where you were meant to be.

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About Kristen Ashley

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen's Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing's changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she's blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

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Minute Reviews [25]Remedial Rocket Science by Susannah Nix
Series: Chemistry Lessons #1
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: August 21, 2017
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Format: Audiobook, Length: 8 hours and 35 minutes
Narrator: Caitlin Kelly
How I got it: From the library
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
Reading Challenges: 2018 Audiobook Challenge, 2018 Tackle My TBR Challenge
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

College student Melody Gage is craving a night of no-strings fun when she meets charming out-of-towner Jeremy, and that’s exactly what she gets. Until three years later, when Melody relocates to Los Angeles and finds herself thrust back into Jeremy’s orbit.

Not only does her hunky one-night stand work at the same aerospace company where she’s just started her dream job, he’s the CEO’s son. Jeremy’s got a girlfriend and a reputation as a bad boy, so Melody resolves to keep her distance. Despite her good intentions, a series of awkward circumstances—including an embarrassing crying jag, a latte vs. computer catastrophe, and an emergency fake date—throw her together with the heavenly-smelling paragon of hotness.

As the billionaire playboy and nerdy IT girl forge an unlikely friendship, Melody’s attraction to Jeremy grows deeper than she’s ready to admit. Will she risk it all for a shot at her happy ending?

In Review My Thoughts

I’m not really sure how Remedial Rocket Science escaped my radar for as long as it did, but as soon as I read the blurb, I knew I had to have the book. The synopsis sounded absolutely delightful and comparing it even loosely to Penny Reid or Sally Thorne means it basically has my name written all over it. I do love a good romance with a seriously smart and kickass heroine, so this was right up my alley. It was smart, funny and delivered a delicious slow burn.

As excited as I was to read the book, I was admittedly a little nervous about the whole other woman thing. As in, you know, Jeremy had a girlfriend when he and Melody were reunited. (And, well, when they were together the first time.) He was a little misguided when he was younger. I liked watching them build a friendship, but there was so much chemistry under it that it was hard to imagine them staying that way. But, at the same time, I liked his girlfriend — and so did Melody, as they became friends. This is where the angst came in — both for me and Melody. I won’t tell you how it all ends, but I will say I was surprised and really, really happy.

This book definitely gave me some Penny Reid vibes and I loved that. I’m already about halfway through the audio of the second book in the series and I’m enjoying it every bit as much. Angst aside, it’s a fun, swoony and sexy romantic comedy. I highly recommend if that’s your kind of thing.

FAVORITE QUOTES

Melody wasn’t a super-fan of picnics, given her aversion to insects, sunburn, group activities and portable toilets. 

Her feelings for Jeremy were like Schrodinger’s Crush. As long as she didn’t open the box, their relationship existed in a state of quantum superposition: both possible and impossible at the same time. She was too much of a wimp to find out whether the cat was alive or dead. 

Jeremy was like the sun. It was warm when he was shining on you, but when he was shining somewhere else, he cast a cold shadow.

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About Susannah Nix

Susannah Nix lives in Texas with her husband, two ornery cats, and a flatulent pit bull. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, knitting, watching stupid amounts of television, and getting distracted by Tumblr. She is also a powerlifter who can deadlift as much as Captain America weighs.

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What’d you think?

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