Minute Reviews [30]

Posted June 15, 2019 by Kim in 4 Stars, 5 Stars, Minute Reviews / 0 Comments

Minute Reviews

Hey, who’s in the mood for some more Minute Reviews? These books were ones I read for the Romanceopoly challenge and, if I’m honest, I wasn’t sure I was going to review them at all. Not because I didn’t enjoy them, but because they were copies I bought or borrowed and not given to me for review consideration. This is a topic for another time, but I go back and forth on which non-ARC books I want to write reviews on.

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 [30]Hearts of Fire by L.H. Cosway
Series: Hearts #2
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: March 9, 2015
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: eBook, 350 pages
Narrator: Jim Frangione, Madison Vaughn, Michael Crouch
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
Reading Challenges: 2019 Romanceopoly, 2019 Tackle My TBR Challenge
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

By night Jack McCabe captivates audiences. He is a fire-breather, a spectacle desired by women and envied by men. But by day Jack is a loner few people truly know.

When wide-eyed dreamer Lille decides to leave her humdrum life behind and run away with the circus, she never expects to meet someone like Jack. He is moody and distrustful, and he definitely doesn’t want to be her friend. He tells her the circus isn’t the place for her, that there are dangerous people who will try to take advantage, but Lille refuses to quit.

Slowly but surely Lille breaks past Jack’s walls. He wants to protect her but resents the attraction he feels. When they finally succumb to desire, Lille comes to learn that the course of true love never did run smooth.

In Review: My Thoughts

L.H. Cosway’s books have been on my radar for ages, but I’d never made time to read any of them. (Well, any of her solo books. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed her series with Penny Reid.) When I saw Hearts of Fire on the recommendations list for the Romanceopoly challenge. I knew it was time. I’m glad I jumped in when I did, but I really wish I had time to binge the entire series.

I loved everything about Hearts of Fire. The circus setting was amazing. Why aren’t there more romance books set in the world of the circus? I’d read the hell out of them. The characters in this series are amazing and I can’t wait until I have time to read all of their stories. Jack and Lillie made my heart beat faster. This one was angsty, romantic and sexy with a bit of suspense mixed in. I was all up in my feelings for these characters.

Favorite Quotes:

“Make mistakes, Lille. Walk on the cracks. Break the rules that were made to be broken.”

“When I kiss you, it will be everywhere. When I kiss you, I won’t stop there. If I taste you, I’ll want to taste everything.”

“You have never been invisible to me, flower. You’re all I see.”

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About L.H. Cosway

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

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Minute Reviews [30]Heart of the Dragon by Gena Showalter
Series: Atlantis #1
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Publication date: August 30, 2005
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Format: eBook, Audiobook, 372 pages
Length: 10 hours and 39 minutes
Narrator: Madison Vaughn
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
Reading Challenges: 2019 Audiobook Challenge, 2019 Romanceopoly, 2019 Tackle My TBR Challenge
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Grace Carlyle's world was about to change...

Deep in the jungle on the trail of her missing brother, Grace never expected to find a secret world populated by mythological monsters -- nor guarded by a sword-wielding being whose beauty put mortal men to shame.

Darius en Kragin belongs to a race of shape-shifting warriors sworn to guard Atlantis and kill all travelers who stray within its boundaries. Yet when Grace stumbles into his realm, he finds himself tempted to betray his centuries-old vow.

Now their forbidden love will either bring their worlds together -- or tear them both apart.

In Review: My Thoughts

I need to preface my review of Heart of the Dragon by saying I really wasn’t into the idea of this book or the whole “fated mates” thing going in. (No offense to anyone who reads PNR. I just didn’t think it was my jam.) If you’ve followed me for any length of time on any bookish or social platform, you know I’m a contemporary romance reader. In fact, before this year I’d never read any PNR. (Well, outside of YA books and I don’t think those really count in this instance.) I was apprehensive going in, but I took this recommendation from a friend and went with it. And you know what? I really enjoyed it.

I’ll admit, it did take me a little while to get into Heart of the Dragon. I’m not accustomed to a lot of world-building in my books, so that was different for me. Plus, sexy dragons who tend to kill humans? Ok. I was out of my depth initially. But all that said, after a few chapters I was totally hooked. Couldn’t even wait for more audiobook time and finished it in eBook hooked. That’s a pretty good sign. Darius and Grace’s story was excellent and I totally “get” the fated mates thing now. I also understand the appeal of sexy dragons. I’m not sure when I’ll make the time to continue on with this series, but I plan to do just that.

Favorite Quotes:

Failure to act against her would mean breaking his vow and surrendering his honor. But hurting her would mean obliterating the last shreds of his humanity.

“To you I belong. My heart beats only for you. No other will tempt me, from this day and beyond. To you I belong.”

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About Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld series, two young adult series--Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles--and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series.http://members.genashowalter.com/

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Minute Reviews [30]Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Series: Creekwood #3
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQ
Publication date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: HarperAudio
Format: Audiobook, Length: 6 hours and 45 minutes
Narrator: Michael Crouch
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
Reading Challenges: 2019 Audiobook Challenge, 2019 Romanceopoly, 2019 Tackle My TBR Challenge
My rating:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

In Review: My Thoughts

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda has been on my TBR since, oh I don’t know, before it was even released. I’ve seen hundreds of glowing reviews for it, yet I never made time to read it. Thanks to my Tackle My TBR Challenge monthly topic (book to movie adaptation) and Romanceopoly, I was inspired to do just that. I picked up the audiobook and got lost in Creekwood.

This book was everything I hoped and more. It was utterly adorable. Simon was such a solid lead. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time in his head. The side characters were wonderful, too. I swear, I cheesy-grinned my way through about 95% of it. I loved Simon so much. Michael Crouch gave a fantastic performance on the audio. It’d been awhile since I read a coming of age story and I’ve not read many YA LGBTQ books, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I suspected there would be some angst, but it ended up being lighter than I thought it would be. Totally couldn’t get enough of this one. Oh and I was quite surprised by Blue’s true identity, but it was just so stinking perfect. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens agenda left me with all the heart eyes.

Favorite Quotes:

Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it should be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying.

The way I feel about him is like a heartbeat—soft and persistent, underlying everything.

People really are like houses with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.

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About Becky Albertalli

Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It's Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta.

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Minute Reviews [30]Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #1
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Publication date: January 22, 2009
Publisher: Recorded Books
Format: Audiobook, Length: 13 hours and 29 minutes
Narrator: Jim Frangione
How I got it: Audible Romance Package
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
Reading Challenges: 2019 Audiobook Challenge, 2019 Romanceopoly, 2019 Tackle My TBR Challenge
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

The only purebred vampire left on the planet and the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who killed his parents centuries ago. But when his most trusted fighter is killed—orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate—Wrath must put down his dagger and usher the beautiful female into another world.

Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn’t there before, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes to her at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of the Brotherhood and blood frighten her. Yet his touch ignites a dawning new hunger—one that threatens to consume them both...

In Review: My Thoughts

Several years ago I went through quite the vampire phase, but that was back when I read primarily YA. I binged the hell out of just about every vampire series I found after Twilight. Don’t judge. That was also right around the time I became seriously obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. However, I never did check out the world of adult vampires in romance. What was I thinking? Oh, right… I “didn’t like” PNR. So many folks have told me I HAVE TO read the BDB series, but it’s intimidating and also I wasn’t sure it would be for me. Silly past Kim.  Thanks to Romanceopoly I can report I do, indeed, enjoy PNR. And I think I’m on the way to being obsessed with the BDB series.

Again, it took me a couple chapters to get into this one because of the world-building and the names and all that jazz. But once I did, I found myself taking the long way home and even hoping for traffic so I could get some more listening time. Wrath and Beth were great together. I really enjoyed their sensual romance. There was a lot going on in Dark Lover, but I don’t mean that in a bad way. There were a lot of characters to introduce and storylines to set up. This is a long series and I’m glad I jumped in at the very beginning. I guess I still love me some vampires because I can’t wait to read more of these men.

Favorite Quotes:

“You don’t know this yet. But you are Mine.”

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About J.R. Ward

J.R. Ward is the number one New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series of vampire books. She is a winner of the prestigious Romance Writers of America RITA award for Best Paranormal Romance and is a multiple RITA nominee. A graduate of Smith College, she was a double major in History and Art History with a medieval concentration in both and she still longs at times for a return to those days sitting in dark lecture halls, looking at slides of old triptychs and reliquaries. Prior to becoming a full time writer, she was a corporate attorney, serving for many years as the Chief of Staff of one of Harvard Medical Schools premier teaching sites. Her idea of absolute heaven is a day filled with nothing but her computer, her dog and her coffee pot and the Brothers, of course.

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Let’s Chat

Have you read any of these books?
What’d you think?

Kim Sig

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