Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Goodreads Awards Challenge

2016 Goodreads Awards Challenge

Books of Amber is hosting the 2016 Goodreads Awards Challenge in which participants read as many of the 2015 award winners as they wish in any of the many categories that interest them.  I have never voted in the Goodreads Choice Awards but I will definitely be looking forward to seeing this years nominations based on all the book-y goodness available on 2015's list!!  The categories and tiers I am shooting for are:

  • Fiction Tier 1: 1-2 books (I really want to read First Frost by Sarah Addison)
  • Mystery and Thriller Tier 2: 3-5 books (I want to see what all the hooplah is about The Girl on the Train, I want to read the next book in the JD Robb series [I am on book 3 but according to the rules it would count], and I have read a really positive review about the Karen Slaughter book)
  • Historical Fiction Tier 1: 1-2 books (I read an amazing review of The Nightingale on a book blog)
  • Fantasy Tier 2: 3-5 books (there are several series on this list I would like to start)
  • Romance Crackers Challenge: Romance is my wheelhouse and I have read a whopping zero books on the is that possible??? So embarrassing.  I am hoping to catch up on what I have missed.
  • Humor Tier 1: 1 book (I want to read the Kunal Nayyar book)
  • Non-Fiction Tier 1: 1 book but I don't know which one yet
  • Memoir/Autobiography Tier 1: 1 book
  • History/Biography Tier 1: 1 book (The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse--sounds amazingly bizarre)
  • Graphic Novels Tier 1: Lumberjanes and maybe Rollergirl
  • Best Debut Goodreads Author Tier 2: 3-5 books (a lot of things look interesting on this list!!)
  • Young Adult Fiction Tier 1: not sure which ones but lots of fun options
  • Young Adult Fantasy and Sci Fi Tier 2: again, no particular picks right now but some great looking options exist; maybe I'll finally read Cinder and a friend just recommended the Sarah Maas series to me...
I have a feeling I just completely overloaded my metaphorical reading plate with way too many yummy options from the Goodreads buffet but hey, I've always had a voracious reading appetite!  

2016 Monthly Key Word Reading Challenge

2016 Monthly Key Word Reading Challenge

I was hoping the Key Word Challenge would happen again this year.  This challenge is one that I really enjoyed last year even if I didn't complete it.  It is being hosted by My Soul Called Life this year and there are some great keywords!  I am determined to read a qualifying book every month this year--now I am off to browse my TBR for possible reads...

2016 Title Fight Reading Challenge

2016 Title Fight Reading Challenge

I just couldn't help myself--I went looking around to see what other reading challenges might be lurking out there and I found this one.  Only seven books so that should be totally doable plus you know I love challenges that are open ended so how could I say no?  I couldn't!  So here we go, I am throwing my hat into the ring for the 2016 Title Fight Reading Challenge hosted by The Bookshelf Gargoyle.  

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2016 Monthly Motifs Reading Challenge

2016 Monthly Motifs Reading Challenge

I am trying not to go overboard with challenges this upcoming year...I truly just want to have fun reading and not feel stressed about having to read anything just to check off a box on a list.  For that reason, I have been gravitating towards open ended challenges like the 2016 Monthly Motifs Reading Challenge hosted by girlxoxo.  Each month gives a theme but they are so open ended that they will stretch me just enough to keep me out of a reading rut but not so much that I avoid the challenge or immediately feel like a failure when I can't find a book/don't want to read something that would fit the first few categories.  Plus, with this challenge only requiring a total of twelve books, I don't feel that I am adding to much to my plate through sheer numbers of books either.  Now, I am off to comb through my TBR books to see what I might want to read for January's Who Dunnit? category.  

Saturday, December 12, 2015

2016 A Series A Month Reading Challenge

2016 A Series A Month Reading Challenge

A Series A Month is hosted by Love at First Page.  The premise is to focus on one series a month whether it be a complete series, part of a series, finishing up a series, etc.  With this challenge I plan to focus on duologies, trilogies, and quartets.  I would love to read a series each month all year long but am setting a more realistic goal of six series/six months.  Maybe this is the year I will finally get to the 50 Shades trilogy or the Hunger Games trilogy (what can I say?  When a book/series gets insanely huge, I usually dig my heals in and refuse to read it until the hoopla has died down.  I don't know if I worry it won't live up to hype or if I am just being a brat, but either way...)  I would also like to read Crossfire, Neighbor from Hell, Beautiful Bastard and several others.  Now to see if I actually read any of those or find completely new options...Only time will tell.  One great thing about reading: there is never a shortage of great books!  

2016 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge

2016 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge

Bea's Book Nook is hosting the Finishing the Series Reading Challenge.  This challenge is right up my alley as I love a good series...unfortunately I am so, so behind on so many of my favorites.  My goal is to complete seven or more series (this is the highest level offered).  Looking back, one of my earliest posts was about series that I needed to get current on and sadly many of them are the same that I will be listing in this post...It doesn't seem that I have done a good job focusing on finishing series, but rather have continued to begin new ones so that I am more behind than ever.  I have nine series by Kristen Ashley alone that I would like to complete.  Hopefully this challenge will help with that!  

Thursday, December 10, 2015

You Read How Many Books? 2016 Reading Challenge

You Read How Many Books? 2016 Reading Challenge
The Crafty Engineer's Bookshelf is hosting the 2016 You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge.  Last year I felt that I reread a lot more than I had in previous years so I am going to use this challenge to keep track of my first reads.  I am challenging myself to read more new-to-me books.  Now I am in no way saying that I won't be rereading because that would be both 1) a bold faced lie and 2) a quick way to make me sad.  I love rereading for many reasons.  However, last year I was rereading a lot due to book slumps and rereading provided me with comfort and solace.  I am extremely hopeful that this year I won't experience so many reading "blahs" and will instead be rejuvenated by new titles, authors, and series.  I am going to begin at Level 1: 100 books and (fingers crossed) work my way up.  Wish me luck!


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Coyer Back to Basics

Coyer Back to Basics
Fantasy is More Fun, Because Reading, and Books, Review, and Movies! Oh My! are hosting the Coyer Back to Basics Challenge from Dec. 19 to Mar. 4.  The goal is to read free and nearly free ($5 or less) e-books off our e-readers.  I have 2,300+ novels, novellas, short stories, and samples on my Kindle.  I have read approximately 800 of them.  Of the remaining 1,500, up to three-fourths of them were $5 or less so I have A LOT of options for this challenge!  I don't know if samples are supposed to count, but personally, I would like to get to some of them so I can decide whether to buy, put on a wish list for later, or delete.  I also have a ton of free downloads to get to as well as books that purchased that are languishing on my Kindle (some of them for years!!)  Add in the library books I need to get read and returned and this challenge is EXACTLY what I need right now.  I also love that this challenge is just a few months long so it can match my attention span (I tend to be a binge reader and I get side-tracked easily...I am looking forward to focusing on this challenge but don't know how long it will last before I get distracted.)  Having a March 4 deadline gives me hope that I can stay focused most of this time on Coyer!  

2016 TBR Challenge

2016 TBR Challenge
The Misadventures of Super Librarian is once again hosting The TBR Challenge for 2016.  I participated last year but only read books for 5 of the 12 months...Hopefully 2016 will be more successful!  

2016 New Release Reading Challenge

2016 New Release Reading Challenge
(un)Conventional Bookviews and Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My! are hosting the 2016 New Release Challenge.  I tried this challenge last year but didn't keep up with the quarterly updates.  I didn't even keep track of all the new releases I read which made it rather a ho-hum ending to a challenge I was really excited to undertake.  I officially kept track of 16 new releases but know that I read more 2015 books than that.  So, this year my goal is to keep more accurate reading records and to follow through on the quarterly updates.  I am going for the highest level: 45+ books (New Release Enthusiast).    Fingers crossed! 

2016 Literary Pickers Reading Challenge

2016 Literary Pickers Reading Challenge

I am excited to once again take part in Delighted Reader's Literary Pickers Reading Challenge.  In 2015 I found all of the items and I want to do that again this year!  I am officially signing up for Level 3: Professional Picker which is 50 items/50 places although unofficially, I will be going for all 100.  Below are the items I will be looking for as I read in 2016.  

2016 Literary Pickers Challenge- Scavenger List

Household Goods
  1. Ceiling Fan
  2. Portrait
  3. House Plant
  4. Pumpkin
  5. Candelabra
  6. Dead Bolt
  7. Grandfather Clock/Mantle Clock
  8. Window Blinds
  9. Microwave
  10. Table Cloth
  11. Razor
  12. Nail Polish
  13. Hand/Purse Mirror
  14. Coffee Table
  15. E-Reader
  16. Earbuds
  17. Window Shutters
  18. Sink
  19. Lawn Mower/Equipment
  20. Tile floor
  1. Hard Helmet
  2. Earring/s
  3. Head Band
  4. Flip Flops
  5. Motorcycle boots
  6. Belt
  7. Tattoo/Body Art
  8. Evening Gown/Dress
  9. Business Suit
  10. Cuff Links
  11. Space Suit
  12. Military Uniform
  13. Fisherman/Newsboy Cap
  14. Scarf
  15. Mask
  16. Bracelets/Cuffs
  17. Natty or Ugly Sweater
  18. Sunglasses
  19. Business Card/s
  20. Lingerie
Work Tools/Weapons
  1. Rifle
  2. Saddle
  3. Whip
  4. Hammer
  5. Tool Belt/Box
  6. Briefcase/bag
  7. File Folder
  8. Work Gloves/Garden Gloves
  9. Cash Register
  10. Measuring Tape/Ruler
  11. Microscope
  12. Ingredients
  13. Sports Equipment
  14. Silencer for a gun
  15. Explosive
  16. Lock Picks
  17. Safe
  18. Photocopier
  19. Stamps
  20. Notebook/pad
  1. European Sports Car
  2. American Muscle Car
  3. Fighter Jet/Spacecraft
  4. Steam-Powered Vehicle
  5. Ice Skate/s
  6. Russia
  7. China
  8. India
  9. Spain
  10. Brazil
  11. Underwater
  12. Another planet
  13. Another Dimension/Parallel Earth
  14. Desert
  15. Tropical Island
  16. Place of Archeological Interest
  17. War Zone
  18. Cart/Wagon
  19. Camel/Donkey
  20. Sailboat
Romantic Encounters
  1. Alien/Alien or Alien/Human
  2. With a Geek
  3. Male/Male or Female/Female
  4. Menage or Poly
  5. Love Triangle
  6. Arranged Marriage
  7. Fated Mate
  8. Fake Mates/Marriage of Convenience
  9. Reunion or Second Chance
  10. Blind Date/Dating Service
  11. Dominant/submissive or Master/slave
  12. Capture/captive
  13. One Night Stand
  14. Male/Female
  15. Older/Younger (5 years or more age difference)
  16. Highschool Sweethearts/Young Love
  17. Apocalyptic/Dystopian Romance
  18. Romance before 1950
  19. Older Couple (over 50)/Winter Romance
  20. Enemies to Lovers

Challenge Completed: Literary Pickers 2015

Challenge Completed: Literary Pickers 2015
As soon as I started this challenge in January, I knew I wouldn't be happy unless I found everything.  And I did!  What I didn't do was keep monthly updates going after that will be my focus in 2016.  

January Finds
  1. Rose: Love Under Two Benedicts by Cara Covington (Lusty, Texas #3) 
  2. Frying Pan: Sam by Sean Michael (Shibari Auction House #7)
  3. Lamp: The Lady and the Lion by Cynthia Kirk
  4. Picture: Capturing Peace by Molly McAdams (Sharing You #0.5)
  5. Painting: Connor's Journey by Sean Michael (part of the Velvet Glove series)
  6. Eye Glasses: Three to Heal by Sean Michael (part of the Velvet Glove series)
  7. Child's Toy: The Hot Zone by Jayne Castle (Arcane #11)
  8. Lipstick: Bear's Pup by Bellann Summer (Rescue for Hire #1)
  9. CD: The Mane Squeeze by Shelly Laurenston (Pride #4)
  10. Coffee Maker: Stone Creek Christmas by Linda Lael Miller (Stone Creek #4)
  11. Map: Mariana by Susanna Kearsley
  12. Fireplace: At Home in Stone Creek by Linda Lael Miller (Stone Creek #6)
  13. Toothbrush: Against the Wall by Alexa Land (Firsts and Forevers #7)
  14. Microwave: Paulie's Protector by Bellann Summer (The Men of Crazy Angle Ranch #4)
  15. Tea Cart: The Desperate Game by Jayne Castle (Guinevere Jones #1)
  16. Whip: Anything for a Byline by Sean Michael (part of the Velvet Glove series)
  17. King Sized Bed: With Love by J L Langley (With or Without #0.5)
  18. Kiss: Rock Stars and Size Queens by Sean Michael (part of the Velvet Glove series)
  19. Sports Equipment: With Caution by J L Langley (With or Without #2)
  20. Window: Attitude on Wheels by Sean Michael (part of the Velvet Glove series)
  21. Shovel: Love Under Two Wildcatters by Cara Covington (Lusty, Texas #4)
  22. Bar Stool: Falling for the Groomsman by Diane Alberts (Wedding Dare #1)
  23. Hair Dryer: Caught Up in Here by Lauren Blakely (Caught Up in Love #0.5)
  24. Condom: Bonded by Sara York
  25. Barn Door: The Mane Attraction by Shelly Laurenston (Pride #3)
  26. Card Game: All In by Alexa Land (Firsts and Forevers #2)
  27. Couch: Velvet Need by Sean Michael (part of the Velvet Glove series)
  28. Handcuffs: First Night by Lauren Blakely (Seductive Nights #0.5)
  29. Shopping Basket: Healing Her Heart by Laura Scott (Crystal Lake #1)
  30. Rope: Love Under Two Lawmen by Cara Covington (Lusty, Texas #2)
  31. Wallet: One Night With Her by Lauren Blakely (Seductive Nights #3.5)
  32. Pool Table: Commander's Spitfire by Bellann Summer (Rescue for Hire #5)
  33. Laptop Computer: Robin by Sean Michael (Shibari Auction House #6)
  34. Pencil: Xavi's Wild Ride by Bellann Summer (The Men of Crazy Angle Ranch #2)
  35. Mirror: Untouchable by Alexis Blake (Untouchable #1)
  36. Saddle: Love Under Two Gunslingers by Cara Covington (Lusty, Texas #1)
  37. Airplane: Tyler's Transformation by Bellann Summer (The Men of Crazy Angle Ranch #1)
  38. Boat: The Chilling Deception by Jayne Castle (Guinevere Jones #2)
  39. Spaceship: The Martian by Andy Weir
  40. Truck: Without Reservation by J L Langley (With or Without #1)
  41. Skates: Beast Behaving Badly by Shelly Laurenston (Pride #5)
  42. Balcony: Knight by Kristen Ashley (Unfinished Hero #1)
  43. Tent: Boy Princess Vol. 1 by Seyoung Kim 
  44. Garden: Salvation by Alexa Land (Firsts and Forevers #5)
  45. Swimming Pool: Puppy Love by Sean Michael (part of the Velvet Glove series)
  46. Mall: Way Off Plan by Alexa Land (Firsts and Forevers #1)
  47. Mansion/Estate: With Abandon by J L Langley (With or Without #3)
  48. Another Planet/Dimension: Soaring with Hawk by Sean Michael (part of the Velvet Glove series)
  49. Bird: Velvet Blade by Sean Michael (part of the Velvet Glove series)
  50. Secretary: Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie
  51. Cop: Candy Cane Kisses by Elle Rush (Forever Christmas #4)
  52. Neighbors: Skye Blue by Alexa Land (Firsts and Forevers #6)
  53. Firefighter: The Farmer Takes the Cook and the Foreman by Bellann Summer (The Men of Crazy Angle Ranch #3)
  54. Doctor/nurse: Ghost by Sean Michael (part of the Velvet Glove series)
  55. Military Personnel: Gathering Storm by Alexa Land (Firsts and Forevers #4)
  56. Big Cat: The Mane Event by Shelly Laurenston (Pride #1)
  57. Jeans: Tin Star by J L Langley (Ranch Series #1)
  58. Uniform: Velvet Song by Sean Michael (part of the Velvet Glove series)
  59. Beard: Gabriel's Pretty by Bellann Summer (Rescue for Hire #6)
  60. High Heels: Creed by Kristen Ashley (Unfinished Hero #2)
  61. Body Piercing: Braided by Sean Michael (part of the Velvet Glove series)
  62. Lingerie: Omorphi by C. Kennedy 
  63. Ball Cap: Shocking Behavior by Jennifer Archer 
  64. Tattoo: Jack's Sweets by Bellann Summer (Rescue for Hire #2)
  65. Fangs: When Darkness Comes by Alexandra Ivy (Guardians of Eternity #1)
  66. Mittens or Gloves: Two Men for Two Twins by Sean Michael (part of the Velvet Glove series)
  67. Claws: Visions of Night by Nalini Singh (Psy-Changling #2)
  68. Gown: Big Bad Beast by Shelly Laurenston (Pride #6)
  69. Chocolate: The Beast in Him by Shelly Laurenston (Pride #2)
  70. Omelet or Quiche: Feral by Alexa Land
  71. Popcorn: Leo's Pet by Bellann Summer (Rescue for Hire #4)
  72. Sushi: Damian's Treble by Bellann Summer (Rescue for Hire #3)

February Finds
  1. Hand Gun: The Fatal Fortune by Jayne Castle (Guinevere Jones #4)
  2. Beach Towel: Deeper by Sean Michael (Hammer #21)
  3. House Plant: Trust No One by Jayne Ann Krentz
  4. Picnic Basket: No Ifs, Ands or Bears About It by Celia Kyle
  5. Carriage: Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn
  6. Motorcycle: Go Fetch by Shelly Laurenston (Magnus Pack #2)
  7. Sports Car: Embrace the Darkness by Alexandra Ivy (Guardians of Eternity #2)
  8. Bicycle: Sheltered by Charlotte Stein
  9. Concert: Biker's Pup by Sean Michael
  10. Mountain: Welcome Home by Sean Michael
  11. Private Club: Underground: Special Teams by Sean Michael
  12. Lake: Wolf With Benefits by Shelly Laurenston (Pride #8)
  13. Best Friend: All Kinds of Tied Down by Mary Calmes
  14. Lawyer: The Sinister Touch by Jayne Castle (Guinevere Jones #3)
  15. Dragon: Pack and Mate by Sean Michael (Kennel Klub #2)
  16. Thong: Once Perfect by Cecy Robson (Shattered Past #1)
  17. Suit of Armor: Bite Me by Shelly Laurenston (Pride #9)
  18. Cowboy Boots: Pack Challenge by Shelly Laurenston (Magnus Pack #1)
  19. Tuxedo: Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston (Pride #7)
March Finds:
  1. Guitar: Beginning to Believe by Sean Michael
  2. Bear Skinned Rug: A Marrying Man by Sandrine Gasq-Dion
  3. Alarm: Stroke Rate by L M Somerton
  4. Drums: Murphy's Law by Lisa Marie Rice
  5. Clouds: Catching Fire by Nora Roberts
  6. Prince: Royal Line by Sean Michael
  7. Geek: Absent Minded Astrophysicist by T N Tarrent
  8. Superhero: Crazy Wild by Tara Janzen
  9. Corset: Dancing on the Edge by L M Somerton
  10. Lady's Hat: Undercurrent by Sara K. Parker
  11. Fan: Otherwise Engage by Amanda Quick
  12. Cane: Brad's Rock by Bellann Summer
  13. Kilt: Living on the Edge by L M Somerton
  14. Hot Dog: A Betting Man by Sandrine Gasq-Dion
April -December Finds:
  1. Porch Light: High Noon by Nora Roberts
  2. Library Card/Book: Checking Out Love by R. Cooper
  3. Jungle: Man With a Past by Jayne Ann Krentz
  4. Alien: Breadding Stations by Chris T. Kat
  5. Mer Person: Marine Biology by Gail Carriger
  6. Crown or Tiara: Siren's Call by Jayne Castle

Challenge Completed: 2015 Full House

Challenge Completed: 2015 Full House
I completed the 2015 Full House Reading Challenge and am excited to share what I read with you.  This was a very enjoyable reading challenge and I am looking forward to participating again in 2016.  On to what I read for this year's challenge: 

  • Library Book: Chilling Deception by Jayne Castle
  • A top book of 2015: All Kinds of Tied Down by Mary Calmes
  • You heard about the book online: Once Perfect by Cecy Robson
  • Set in the southern hemisphere: Icebound by Julie Rowe
  • Published in 2015: Against the Wall by Alexa Land
  • Novella: The Earl Who Loved Me by Bethany Sefchick
  • Setting that you now want to visit: Murphy's Law by Lisa Marie Rice
  • Award Winning: Falling Awake by Jayne Ann Krentz
  • First in a Series: The Mane Event by Shelly Laurenston
  • A Keeper: Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn
  • Author outside your own country: Marianna by Susanna Kearley
  • Book by author you really like: Hot Zone by Jayne Castle
  • Free Choice: Sizzle and Burn by Jayne Ann Krentz
  • Published 2000-2013: The Lady and the Lion by Cynthia Kirk (2001)
  • Outstanding hero or heroine: Wolf with Benefits by Shelly Laurenston (Ricky Lee Reed)
  • Won or borrowed: Sinister Touch by Jayne Castle (borrowed)
  • Book set in northern hemisphere: Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston
  • Debut novel by author: Undercurrent by Sara K. Parker
  • Published Pre-2000: Desperate Game by Jayne Castle
  • Author new to you: Boy Princess Volume 1 by Seyoung Kim
  • 2nd book or more in a series: At Home in Stone Creek by Linda Lael Miller
  • Been on your TBR "forever": Stonecreek Christmas by Linda Lael Miller
  • Published in 2014: Capturing Peace by Molly McAdams
  • Type of book you rarely read: The Martian by Andy Weir 
  • You love the cover: Bad Girls by Jane Yolen

2016 Full House Reading Challenge

2016 Full House Reading Challenge
Book Date is hosting the 2016 Full House Reading Challenge.  This was one of the challenges that I successfully completed last year and I am excited to give it a go again this year!  Below is this year's Full House board with some great new categories.

2016 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

2016 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge
Escape With Dollycas is once again hosting the Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge.  I was super excited to complete this challenge last year and hope to successfully do so again this year. I am not making a list ahead of time but will fill in my titles as I finish them.  I am already looking for Q, X, and Z titles!


2016 Read the Books You Buy Challenge

2016 Read the Books You Buy Challenge
Book Date is hosting the 2016 Read the Books You Buy Challenge.  I am guilty of buying books (particularly, although not exclusively, for my Kindle) that then sit and don't get read.  This challenge will allow me to see exactly how out of control (or, if I am lucky, how not so bad) this habit is.  The premise is simple...keep a list of books I buy then mark them off as I read them.  I am aiming to read 25% of the books I read so will be signing up for the second level: 20%-40%: Making Inroads.  This challenge also allows participants to include books backdating to June 2015 if desired.  I am going to begin with books bought in December 2015 and go from there.  There will be an official link-up in July and another in December 2016 to keep others up-to-date on our progress but I am going to try to do a monthly post for my own personal use to see how I am doing each month and for the year as a whole.  I will be keeping track of my overall progress here as this is the post that will be re-linked in July and December.  Crossovers with other challenges count. 

2016 Reading Assignment Challenge

2016 Reading Assignment Challenge

Fantasy is More Fun and Because Reading are once again hosting the Reading Assignment Challenge.  Last year I started strong with this challenge but missed a book in March and then further messed up by inadvertently reading books before I was supposed to.  However, I still enjoyed the overall premise of the challenge and am really happy that I can try again in 2016.  I am also pleased that some slight rule changes are making this challenge easier by having a built in do-over every quarter for those who might not have gotten all their books read.  If next year I don't get to all of my books in March, I will get a do-over starting in April rather than just throwing my hands up and basically having to bow out like this year.  Hallelujah!  I am so IN!!  With this change, I decided to up my game and go for four books a month and am once again going with the strategy of getting caught up on some of my fave series while also starting a new series by a personal favorite and rounding it out with a couple of books that have been on my Kindle for seemingly ever.  Here are my choices: 

Belonging - Alexa Land
Coming Home - Alexa Land
All I Believe - Alexa Land
Dark Lycan - Christine Feehan 

Dark Wolf - Christine Feehan
Rock Addiction - Nalini Singh
Pony - SJD Peterson
Operation Endgame - Christi Snow 

Dark Blood - Christine Feehan
Rock Courtship - Nalini Singh 
Lord and Master - Jules Jones
A Thread of Deepest Black - Finn Marlowe

Dark Ghost - Christine Feehan
Heart of Obsidian - Nalini Singh
Rock Hard - Nalini Singh
Collision Course - KA Mitchell

Samurai Game - Christine Feehan
Shield of Winter - Nalini Singh
Rock Redemption - Nalini Singh
Savage Love - Sandrine Gasq-Dion

Viper Game - Christine Feehan
Shards of Hope - Nalini Singh
Fit to be Tied - Mary Calmes
Locke and Key - Sandrine Gasq-Dion

Leopard's Prey - Christine Feehan
Archangel's Legion's - Nalini Singh
Oracle's Moon - Thea Harrison
The Tinder Chronicles - Alexa Land

Cat's Lair - Christine Feehan
Archangel's Shadows - Nalini Singh
Lord's Fall - Thea Harrison
My Fair Captain - JL Langley

Wild Cat - Christine Feehan
Archangel's Enigma - Nalini Singh
Kinked - Thea Harrison
Vision in White - Nora Roberts

Air Bound - Christine Feehan
Night's Honor - Thea Harrison
Bed of Roses - Nora Roberts
Regelence Rake - JL Langley

Earth Bound - Christine Feehan
Midnight's Kiss - Thea Harrison
Whiskey Beach - Nora Roberts
Savor the Moment - Nora Roberts

Shadow's End - Thea Harrison
The Liar - Nora Roberts
Happy Ever After - Nora Roberts
Englor Affair - JL Langley

I actually have 15 books from last year's list and am hoping for a happier ending in 2016. Looking at my choices I can't believe I am so far behind in so many series by authors that I love!!  I'd say that I need to quit starting so many new series but that is VERY unlikely to happen. What I can do is focus more on catching up/keeping up with in-progress series.   

Unfixable by Tessa Bailey

Unfixable by Tessa Bailey

He's the last thing she wants...but the only thing she needs.

Willa Peet isn't interested in love.  She's been there, done that, and has the shattered heart to prove it.  Ready to shake the breakup, she heads to Dublin, Ireland.  But there's a problem.  A dark-haired, blue-eyed problem with a bad attitude that rivals her own.  And he's not doling out friendly Irish welcomes.  

Shane Claymore just wants to race.  The death of his father forced him off the Formula One circuit, but he's only staying in Dublin long enough to sell the Claymore Inn and get things in order for his mother and younger sister.  He never expected the sarcastic American girl staying at the inn to make him question everything.

But even as Willa and Shane's fiery natures draw them together, their pasts threaten to rip them apart.  Can Shane give up racing to be with the woman he loves, or will Willa's quest to resurrect the tough-talking, no-shit-taking girl she used to be destroy any hope of a future together?

Wow!  This story left me with no thoughts in my head beyond, "Damn!" and the insane urge to fist-pump (which I may or may not have given into, ahem).  I loved how this book made me feel so many different things to such an intense degree; I laughed out loud, I cried, my stomach tied itself into knots a couple of times...this was not a passive read for me.  I felt so GOOD when I finished the epilogue that I had to take a break and run some errands (which flew by as my mind was still with Willa and Shane) rather than dive right into another book which is my habit.  I just wasn't ready to say goodbye yet.

Surprisingly, this is a book I almost gave up on while reading the Prologue.  I didn't immediately connect with Willa as she lamented her lost relationship with Evan.  I didn't really care for the poor-little-lost-girl-with-a-great-guy-trying-to be-everything-she-needs pity party.  I may have thought that Evan was better off without this mess who was currently narrating the story.  And then Chapter 1 came about and suddenly I started to get this Willa chick and her anger and guilt both at and on behalf of Evan and her NEED, not want, not wish, but actual NEED to be who she is without feeling that it isn't safe, or enough, or wanted.  Soon after this point, Shane entered the story and I was hooked.  

Shane is surly and rude and sarcastic and so stinking sexy that I defy any reader not to fall in love with him.  And I loved how Willa didn't take any of his crap but she also didn't hold it against him when he continued to throw it out there.  And those glimpses of him when his true self emerged, the self that wasn't weighed down with guilt, the self that was tender, protective, and funny?  Like Willa, I found myself drawn to this side of Shane so much.
Willa and Shane's relationship isn't the only one to develop...watching Willa connect with Shane's sister and his mother, watching Shane's relationship with both of them metamorphose into something healthier and stronger, hearing Willa's thoughts and memories of her sister Ginger and Ginger's husband Derek, all of these relationships were beautifully developed.  It was great as the reader to watch Willa realize that not only was she no longer an island unto herself, but she never really had been.  She knew how to love deeply and fiercely, it was just trusting others long enough to allow herself to share that love with more than just her sister.  

Shane saw everything that Willa projected and was able to bore down to the very core of who she was without allowing her to bullshit either of them...the best thing was that Willa was able to do the same with Shane.  These two obviously were made for each other but the entire time they are developing their relationship, the fact that Willa is on a deadline to return to Chicago is hanging over their heads like a boulder ready to crush anything they build.  This does not help with Willa's knee jerk desire to cut ties to avoid heartbreak.  And there comes a point when it looks as if everything will unravel.  Watching how Shane calls Willa's bluff and Willa's realization that what she has with Shane is worth fighting for is one of the best endings to a book I have ever read.  And then, Tessa Bailey follows this up with the most heart-melting epilogue I have read in just about forever, leaving me breathless and wanting to begin the story all over again simply so I can have all the feelings again.  

I cannot recommend this book enough and if like me, you aren't convinced during the prologue...just keep reading.  I promise you will not regret it!!  

I borrowed this book from my local public library.    

Deal Me In: Answer the Wicked by Kim Lenox

Deal Me In: Answer the Wicked by Kim Lenox

I liked this story about Mr. Rathburn, his nurse Malise, and his only visitor in two years, St. Vinet.  However, as a part of the Shadow Guard series there was a lot going on that I didn't fully grasp. This left me feeling discontent because for me the story was incomplete.  It also ended with a lot unresolved that will most likely be addressed in other books.  

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Deal Me In: Marine Biology by Gail Carriger

Deal Me In: Marine Biology by Gail Carriger

I loved this one!! Alec is a werewolf who never expected to survive the bite that would change him at age 18.  At age 24, he still finds himself surprised.  When called home for a Pack meeting, he is surprised to meet two merpeople who need his Pack's help to find the Selkies that stole $3.2 million.  Alec is attracted to Marvin which is inconvenient as he is not out to his Pack.  Alec and Marvin were super cute, apparently they went to high school together and so knew of one another although they weren't close then.  This allowed their quick connection in the story to feel more realistic.  While short, I felt comfortable with the HFN that was achieved by the end of this one.  Highly recommended!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

When Jack meets his new foster brother, he already knows three things about him: 
      Joseph almost killed a teacher.
      He was incarcerated at a place called Stone Mountain.
      He has a daughter.  Her name is Jupiter.  And he has never seen her.
What Jack doesn't know, at first, is how desperate Joseph is to find his baby girl.
Or how urgently he, Jack, will want to help.
But the past can't be shaken off.  Even as new bonds form, old wounds reopen.  The search for Jupiter demands more from Jack than he can imagine.

This story.  This beautiful, heart-wrenching, gorgeous, impossibly moving story.  This is the kind of story that will stick with me forever; the one that I will tell others that they have to read; the one that changed me for having read it; the one that broke my heart.  

Joseph.  Has there been a more real person than Joseph in the books that I have read this year?  Has there been someone who so solidly knew what he wanted to do, what he NEEDED to do and who relentlessly pushed himself to do it?  Is there anyone who deserved all of the good things that life should have given him more than Joseph?  and Jack.  Jack who had his back--and whose back was most solidly had by Joseph.  

I don't know how Gary D. Schmidt can write such simple, spare sentences that add up to such an emotionally charged piece but he is a master of story.  I read much of the book with tears rolling down my face and at the end I felt like there was a hole, a space where something precious had been and was now gone.  It was hard and painful and I am so grateful that Gary D. Schmidt wrote this story and that I got to read it.  Because it was honest.  It was real.  It was never manipulated or contrived but it was also never easy.  

 I received an ARC of this book at ILA.