Sunday, August 2, 2015

LUSTING FOR COVERS (7)

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Lusting for Covers is a weekly meme, held on Sunday, that allows bloggers to share their current cover obsession with fellow book lovers.  It is hosted by TBQ @ TBQ's Book Palace.


Base Instincts (Demonica)
Base Instincts (Demonica) by Larissa Ione
Paranormal Male/Male Romance
Expected Publication: September 14, 2015

As a Seminus demon, Raze’s life literally depends on having sex with females. The problem is that he doesn’t desire females, and it’s physically impossible for him to be with males. Thankfully, he and his best friend, Fayle, have an arrangement that keeps him alive . . . if lonely. He finds some solace in his work as a medic at Thirst, a vampire club known for its rough clientele. But his carefully structured world turns upside down when he meets a mysterious male who makes him want what he can never have.

Slake is an assassin used to getting what he wants, and what he wants is Raze. But he also wants to earn back the soul he sold when he was a much different demon. All he has to do is capture a runaway succubus named Fayle and hand her over to her family. What he doesn’t count on is being caught himself by a web of lies—and his attraction to Raze.

Raze and Slake must navigate a dangerous world to be together. But as Fayle’s jealousy of their relationship turns deadly, they find themselves embroiled in a battle not only for their love, but their lives and souls.
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Not much I can say about this cover that isn't obvious. ;)  As a fan of the Demonica series, I am happy to see Raze's Seminus tattoo.  Can't wait to try this!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

MONTHLY RECAP: July 2015

LIFE AWAY FROM THE BLOG...

  • I went on vacation at the beginning of the month and it was a wonderful way to relax.  I got quite a bit of reading done, but mostly just enjoyed hanging with my family and eating a lot of great food.
  • I am, of course, obsessed with my summer TV loves: Big Brother and So You Think You Can Dance though the later show is getting stale to me.
  • I also binge-watched the entire first season of Amazon Instant Video's Catastrophe which isn't hard to do since it is only six episodes.  It is hilariously raunchy and very romantic!
  • I participated in the second HR101 Twitter Chat with some wonderful ladies this past week and had so much fun!  I love sharing recommendations and getting new ones from fans of my favorite genre.  We are doing another one on October 27th so I hope any historical romance lovers can join us!

BOOKS I READ... (in ratings order)

1. Finding Their Way (Restoration #2) by A.M. Arthur (M/M contemporary)
Just a wonderful story! Boxer was such a sweet character and shows that you should never judge someone based on their appearance. I wasn't sure about Riley at first due to all his secrets. But, he showed his true strength and I was fully invested in his journey.

2. Promises (Coda #1) by Marie Sexton (M/M contemporary)
An old favorite that I re-read.  My original review from 2011 can be found here.

3. Strawberries for Dessert (Coda #4) by Marie Sexton (M/M contemporary)
Since I re-read Promises, I had to re-read my favorite of all the Coda books.  My original review from 2013 can be found here.

4. The Art of Sinning (Sinful Suitors #1) by Sabrina Jeffries (historical romance)
My review can be found below.

5. Taking the Heat (Jackson: Girls Night Out #3) by Victoria Dahl (contemporary romance)
My review can be found below.

6. The Deep of the Sound (Bluewater Bay #8) by Amy Lane (M/M contemporary)
My review can be found below.

7. Saving the Rifleman (War Girls #1) by Julie Rowe (historical romance)
My review can be found below.

8. The Reluctant Hero by Lorraine Heath (historical romance)
This had a ton of potential with the writer heroine and the mysterious sheriff hero. I really wish it had been a full-length novel. The twist at the end was a fun aspect.

9. Your Wicked Heart (Rules of the Reckless #0.5) by Meredith Duran (historical romance)
Interesting start to a series.  I loved the unique setting and the practicality of the heroine.

10. The Lady's Guide to Skirting Scandal (Lords of Worth #2.5) by Kelly Bowen (historical romance)
Fun nautical setting with a surgeon hero.  Review coming in August.

11. Shards of Hope (Psy-Changeling #14) by Nalini Singh (paranormal romance)
Just an amazing installment to an already wonderful series.  Review coming in August.

12. The Marriage Act by Alyssa Everett (historical romance)
My review can be found below.

13. Viscount's Wager (Gambling on Love #3) by Ava March (M/M historical)
Very sexy and full of drama.  Review coming in August.

14. Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1) by Nalini Singh (urban fantasy)
Another example of this author's amazing imagination.  Review coming in August.

15. Trust the Focus (In Focus #1) by Megan Erickson (M/M contemporary)
Sweet road trip love story involving two best friends.  Review coming in August.

REVIEWS I PUBLISHED...
MEMES I PARTICIPATED IN...

Top Ten Tuesday
Stacking the Shelves
Lusting For Covers 
OTHER POSTS... 

Friday, July 31, 2015

REVIEW: "The Marriage Act" by Alyssa Everett

The Marriage Act
The Marriage Act by Alyssa Everett

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Historical Romance -- Regency England

Carina Press -- Published on July 28, 2015
eARC, 245  pages
Read in July 2015
Received from Netgalley

RATING: 3.5 STARS

THEMES/TROPES
Troubled Marriage, Road Romance, Big Misunderstanding

SUMMARY
When John, Viscount Welford, proposed to Caroline Fleetwood, the only daughter of the Bishop of Essex, he thought he knew exactly what he was getting—a lovely, innocent bride.

Five years later, he knows better. The woman who ran to another man on their wedding night—after they'd consummated the marriage—is hardly innocent. Years spent apart while John served as a diplomatic attaché have allowed them to save face in society, but all good pretenses must come to an end. When Caroline receives word that her father is dying, she begs John to accompany her on one last journey to see him.

But there's an added problem—Caroline never told her father that her marriage to John was a farce. As they play-act for others, Caroline is delighted to find she never really knew her husband at all. But can she be the kind of wife he needs—and does she want to be?


FIRST LINE
"If you'll come with me, my lord," the butler said, "Miss Fleetwood is in the morning room."

MY THOUGHTS
I received a free copy of this book from Carina Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a difficult book to get my head around.  Overall, I enjoyed it and stayed up way too late one night to finish it which is usually a good sign.  There were just nagging things that kept popping up in my head while I was reading it that I couldn't ignore.  But, I guess that is also a sign of a well-written story that has me thinking about it long after completion.

The Marriage Act starts off with John, Viscount Welford asking Miss Caroline Fleetwood, the daughter of an esteemed bishop, to marry him.  John has fallen in love with her and is desperate to marry her in time to travel off to Vienna where he has been assigned in a diplomacy post.  Things unravel after the wedding night when Caro runs off to meet up with the man she is really in love with and is brought back by her heartbroken husband.  They live separate lives for the next five years, but are brought back together when Caro's father's health comes into question and she asks John to act like a loving husband in order to keep their marriage troubles a secret.

Let me start off by saying that I absolutely adored John!  He is so desperate for affection yet feels like he will never find it.  His heart was broken by Caro's betrayal and he reacted in anger as one could understand.  So, when Caro asks him to help her out, he can't say no to her and decides to just make the best of the situation.  What I really liked about his character was the growth that he achieved through this journey.  He learned how his actions are perceived by others and that he can often appear judgmental without meaning to.

Caro is a character who also had an emotional journey to take.  While I ended up liking her more by the end, she made it difficult for most of the book.  Her youthful folly was pretty egregious and she did take the "punishment" for it.  But, I had issues with her constant flip-flopping when it came to John and their marriage.  She claims to have grown up yet, every time John tried to explain his feelings, she pushed them aside.  I also did not appreciate her constant lying to John, her father, etc. which she finally admitted to at the last possible moment.

I do have to admit some admiration for the author for this story.  It is obvious that she intended for both John and Caro to have some major personality flaws that they needed to learn to overcome.  I also thought she did a good job of showcasing their character growth.  I guess I just wish that Caro's redemption hadn't come so late in the game especially since it was a source of frustration for me throughout the story.

The plot of this book could be divided into two parts.  The first section deals with Caro's reveal to John of her plan and their trip to her uncle's home (where her father is staying).  As with most road trips, there are plenty of hazards to deal with...physical and emotional.  The later half of the book has the couple arriving to visit Caro's father and pretending to be a happy couple.  I found myself liking the second part much more since that is when the characters made the most progress and learned to think of other people's feelings.  Though I could have done without Caro's annoying cousin, Sophia, who provided an interesting insight for Caro to see how foolish youthful declarations could be yet just spent most of her page time irritating the tar out of me.

After thinking about it, I can say that I would recommend Alyssa Everett's The Marriage Act due to the wonderful writing and the refreshing tone.  I do still have reservations regarding Caro's character, but it is possible that other readers may not see the same issues that I do.  I did find the story (as a whole) entertaining and will keep checking out more of Ms. Everett's books.

FAVORITE QUOTE
"Why would you want to keep that dreadful message from our wedding night?  It's one of my greatest regrets."
"Because you wrote it, Caro.  Insulting or not, it was all I had of you when I was in Vienna, my only remembrance of the one night we'd spent together before I left.  For that reason alone, I could never part with it."