L. H. Cosway

Waiting on Wednesday: Hearts of Fire by L.H. Cosway


Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it features books that we are eagerly awaiting to be released.

Title: Hearts of Fire 
Author: L. H. Cosway
Genre/Themes: Romance, Arts
Release Date: 9 March 2015

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Author's note: This is a standalone romance that tells the story of Jack McCabe, Jay Fields’ long lost, presumed dead brother. It is not necessary to have read Six of Hearts in order to enjoy Hearts of Fire.


The Circus Spektakulär is proud to present Jack McCabe: Fire-breather, knife-thrower, risk-taker. 

My uncle lied. I never died.

I breathe fire, eat the poison that almost killed me.

Crowds come to see me night after night. Men for the spectacle, women for the thrill. I’m an oddity to be stared at and desired. With each flame I spit, I risk my life.

I wear scars on my body that will never go away, but the scars inside my head are far more difficult to overlook.

My brother doesn’t know the truth, and if I have it my way, he never will.

Life was going exactly the way I’d planned until Lille came along. She wanted to run away with the circus, have an adventure, but this world was never meant for her.

I try to keep her safe, because she doesn’t know the dangers that are out here on the road. She doesn’t know the monsters that lurk behind the bright lights of the ring. In truth, I could be considered one of them.

We were fashioned from different cloths, never intended to mix. So I watch her. I try not to touch, even when her eyes invite me.

Join us in the Spiegeltent and let us give you a show. Allow my Lille to draw a picture for you in paint and sweat and skin.

The truest love is always the hardest to let in.

This is a standalone romance that tells the story of Jack McCabe, Jay Fields’ long lost, presumed dead brother. It is not necessary to have read Six of Hearts in order to enjoy Hearts of Fire.

*** *** ***

Why am I waiting for this? - I quite enjoyed the two books by Ms Cosway that I have read - Six of Hearts (my review) and Still Life with Strings (my review). She goes for these artistic, unusual characters - a musical prodigy, an artistic girl (poses as a street mime in Still Life with Strings) and a real-life modern-day magician in Six of Hearts. This books takes us into the world of the circus and I'm curious how it will be portrayed by the author.

New Adult

Review: The Weight of Destiny by Nyrae Dawn


Title: The Weight of Destiny (The Misfits #1)
Author: Nyrae Dawn
Genre: YA/NA Romance, Realistic fiction
Release Date: 18 Nov 2014

Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

My rating: 3 Stars
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When “crazy” runs in your family and your namesake is known for walking into a river with a pocket full of rocks, a girl kind of wants to avoid tempting fate at all costs. For Virginia Nichols, the only way to dodge that bullet is to be perfect at everything: school, student council, life. Too bad it’s all a lie, and underneath the perfection...Virginia is lost. 

Ryder Blackstock knows a thing or two about being born into fate. The talents passed down from his father aren't exactly normal; instead of learning how to throw a fastball, he was taught to hot-wire a car like a pro and pick any pocket in sight. He’s got criminal blood, just like his old man. And as soon as he turns eighteen, he’ll be living life on the run with his dad.

When Ryder and Virginia meet on the beach, it seems they couldn't be more different. Soon they discover they’re both trapped in their lives—Virginia denying her fate, Ryder embracing his. Like the rocks in Virginia Woolf’s pockets, the weight of their destinies will pull them under. But being together brings out pieces of themselves they didn't know existed—pieces that make them want to take fate into their own hands and rewrite their destinies...if it’s not too late.


I loved her Games series and was intrigued by the blurb of this one but in the end I liked it but expected more.  It was not as good as I hoped it would be. It's YA/NA realistic fiction/romance a and I liked the idea of exploring what it's like for a child of a parent with a personality disorder but I felt the story lacked depth and was rather casual.

I found Virginia/Lulu an interesting character - her struggles with her mother's illness and her fears for her own mental health all felt real and easy to understand. This lead to an unhealthy need for control which also seemed realistic. I felt deeply for her struggles between what's right and should be done and her desire to be free, to find who she is, to explore the world - just like any other teenager at the cusp of adulthood.

Her romance with Ryder was sweet and tender but it didn't strike me as outstanding in any way. It was an opposites-attract kind of story and bore the marks of first (teenage) love. 

My main issue with the story was Ryder. He was a typical bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks, convinced that he is destined to be a thief just like his father. I found his certainty in his criminal fate confusing and unrealistic. He was dreaming of becoming a criminal because he thought that was the only thing he was good at. It felt forced and unconvincing. He had a caring older brother, a tight group of friends whom he could rely on, so I really didn't see him as doom or desperate. 

It was his relationship with Virginia that helped him believe more in himself and ultimately act right and recognize the chance he had of being something more than a small-time criminal. Graduating high school and preparing for college and being adult can be scary and confusing, still I felt Ryder was acting rather childishly most of the story. 

On the plus side, I did like a lot his friends and the way Ms Dawn explores the complex relations between them - love and hurt and betrayal and loyalty. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story. 

This is the first book in a new YA/NA series by Nyrae Down and even though I didn't like it as much as I hoped, I'm curious about the rest of the books and very much willing to give them a try. 

Purchase links: Amazon


Best Reads of 2014 Part II


Here are the titles that made reading such a pleasure during the second half of the year. They are mostly by new-to-me authors who are now an auto-buy for me. It's romance in all its diversity - contemporary, steampunk, paranormal, new adult, comedy, m/m, bikers!

Read my review / Add the book on Goodreads
/ Buy the book on Amazon
Shield of winter (Psy-changeling #13) by Nalini Singh. I only discovered Nalini Singh's world of Phys and Changelings and went on a binge read of the series early in the year in order to get ready for the latest installment. And what an exciting story that was! Highly recommended series for any PNR fan. The next book in the series, Shards of Hope in coming out in June 2015.

Read my review / Add the book on Goodreads
/ Buy the book on Amazon
ay it Down (Desert Dogs #1) by Cara McKenna. Not a bikers romance, though the characters do ride bikes. Smart erotica by an author whose style I thoroughly enjoy! Next book, Give It All, comes out in February 2015

Read my review / Add the book on Goodreads
/ Buy the book on Amazon
Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City #4) by Penny Reid. I just Penny Reid and everything she writes. This is less funny and more melancholic than the previous books in the series> Instead, it's a really intense and all-consuming, once-in-a-lifetime of romance. And we'll get the stories of all of Ashley's six Winston brothers

Read my review / Add the book on Goodreads
/ Buy the book on Amazon
The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years #1) by Sarina Bowen. I've been sceptic of New Adult lately and this college story involving a girl with disability and a hot hockey player was a wonderful surprise. So much, that I completed the whole series and other two novel and the novella very much. 

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/ Buy the book on Amazon

I can safely say that Alexis Hall was my biggest and best discovery of the year. I love his style of writing and the stories he tells are so just so powerful and intensely emotional. The true power and beauty of love. This book is bit difficult to read because it's written in heavy slang but once you get the hang of it, it's just mesemerizing! 
An accompanying book, Liberty and Other stories, releases on 5 Jan 2015.

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/ Buy the book on Amazon
Glitterland was published before Prosperity but I| read it after it and I already loved Mr. Hall's style was, this comtemproary m/m romance was a real treat. The characters are so vivid and real and their romance feels authentic and natural. Furthermore, it explores issues of depression and artistic creation and I have a serious soft spot for this. Next book in the series, Waiting for the Flood, comes out in February

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/ Buy the book on Amazon
 This was my first romance by an Indian romance and it was an absolutely lovely read. It was cute and fluffy and serious and dramatic like a real Bollywood movie. It takes right  into the heart of Indian culture with its complextity and ambiguity in the modern wolrd.

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/ Buy the book on Amazon

I've been hesitant of New Adult lately, but this m/m college romance was a nice surprise. Togther with Sarina Bowen's The Ivy Years, these are the best NA romance I read recently. Woderfully compelx characters involved in a true-to-life story of love and life and the choices we make anf growing up to be the best you can be. 
Next book in the series, Nothing Like Paris, comes out in March 2015.

Don't miss the Best Reads Part I! Eight more fantastic books I read in the first half of 2014.


Waiting on Wednesday: Holding Strong by Lori Foster


Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it features books that we are eagerly awaiting to be released.

Title: Holding Strong (Ultimate #2)
Author: Lori Foster
Genre/Themes: Romance, Sports
Release Date: 31 March 2015

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Pre-order: Amazon


An up-and-coming MMA fighter wants more than just one night from a woman fleeing her past in Lori’s irresistible new novel.

Heavyweight fighter Denver Lewis plays real nice, but he doesn’t share. That’s why he’s been avoiding top-notch flirt Cherry Peyton. But a man can only resist those lush curves for so long. Their encounter surpasses all his fantasies, bringing out protective urges that Cherry’s about to need more than she knows…

Denver’s combination of pure muscle and unexpected tenderness has been driving Cherry wild. Yet no sooner does she get what she’s been craving than old troubles show up on her doorstep. And this time, Cherry can’t hide behind a carefree façade. Because the man by her side is one who’ll fight like hell to keep her safe…if only she’ll trust him enough to let him…

*** *** ***

Why am I waiting for this? - I've read both the prequel novella and the first novel in this series and though I expected more of Cannon's story (my review) and I rather like the rest of the fighters and I'm curious to read their stories as well.


Best Reads of 2014 Part I


I've started sharing my #BestReads2014 one by one on Twitter and Facebook and will continue to do so all through December. This was a fantastic year for me in terms of reading and I found some little jems, discovered some amazing author and their stories which brought so much emotion, both joy and tears in my life.

I've divided my best reads of the year in twoposts since they are too many for a single one. The books are listed in chronological order of reading them. I read a lot of romance, some m/m, some New Adult, a little bit of fantasy and it's all reflected here. I hope you will find something you like and give it a try in the New Year.

Best books of 2014 Part I

Read my review / Add the book on Goodreads 
Buy the book on Amazon
The Emperor's Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #1) by Brian Staveley - I loved this first book in a debut epic fantasy series. Gomplex world-building, intriguing plot and great characters, what's not to like. Book 2, The Providence of Fire releases on 13 Jan 2015.

Read my review / Add the book on Goodreads 
/ Buy the book on Amazon
The Chocolate Temptation (Amour et Chocolat #6) by Laura FlorandI find this series just delicious and Patrick and Sarah's story was no exception. Emotioanlly intense and beautifully written.

Read my review 1 and review 2 / Add book 1 and book 2 on Goodreads 
Buy book 1 and book 2 on Amazon
Move the Sun and Behold the Stars (Signal Bend #1 and #2) by Susan Fanetti. This is a great biker romance (both books deal with the same couple) which stands out with its strong heroine and powerful writing. 

Read my review / Add the book on Goodreads 
/ Buy the book on Amazon
It Happened One Wedding (FBI / US Attorney #5) by  Julie James. Another favourite series of contemporary romances this time involving lawyers and FBI agents. 

Read my review / Add the book on Goodreads 
/ Buy the book on Amazon
Snow-Kissed (Snow Queen #1) by Laura Florand - Another title by Ms Florand made my list this year and this little novel just broke my heart. The story resonated deeply with me.

Read my review / Add the book on Goodreads 
/ Buy the book on Amazon
The Kraken King (Iron Seas #4) by Meljean Brook - My first steampunk romance and I loved everything about it - the action/adventure, the world building, the amazing characters and their romance
Read my review / Add the book on Goodreads 
/ Buy the book on Amazon
Between the Sheets (Boys of Bishop #3) by Molly O'Keefe - A surprise small-town romance by a new-to-author which was raw and gritty and emotional and all-around fantastcic
Read my review / Add the book on Goodreads 
/ Buy the book on Amazon
Complicated creatures (Part 1) by Alexis Lawless - This intense romantic suspense with strong characters was another woderful surprise and I can recommend to anyone


Waiting on Wednesday: Hero by Samantha Young


Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it features books that we are eagerly awaiting to be released.

Title: Hero
Author: Samantha Young
Genre: Romance
Release Date: 3 Feb 2015

Pre-order links: Amazon / iBooks / B&N 

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Alexa Holland’s father was her hero—until her shocking discovery that she and her mother weren’t his only family. Ever since, Alexa has worked to turn her life in a different direction and forge her own identity outside of his terrible secrets,. But when she meets a man who’s as damaged by her father’s mistakes as she is, Alexa must help him.

Caine Carraway wants nothing to do with Alexa’s efforts at redemption, but it’s not so easy to push her away. Determined to make her hate him, he brings her to the edge of her patience and waits for her to walk away. But his actions only draw them together and, despite the odds, they begin an intense and explosive affair.

Only Caine knows he can never be the white knight that Alexa has always longed for. And when they’re on the precipice of danger, he finds he’ll do anything to protect either one of them from being hurt again

*** *** *** 

Why am I waiting for this? - I really like Samantha Young's On Dublin Street series and this enemies-to-lovers story sounds just irresistible. I've read the first two chapters on Ms Young's website and now I can't wait to read more and discover the story of Alexa and Caine. 

M/M romance

Review: The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen


Title: The Understatement of the Year (The Ivy Years #3)
Author: Sarina Bowen
Genre: NA Romance, College, M/M 
Release Date: 29 Sept 2014

Author's links:

My rating: 4 Stars
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What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.

Five years ago, Michael Graham betrayed the only person who ever really knew him. Since then, he’s made an art of hiding his sexuality from everyone. Including himself.

So it’s a shock when his past strolls right into the Harkness College locker room, sporting a bag of hockey gear and the same slow smile that had always rendered Graham defenseless. For Graham, there is only one possible reaction: total, debilitating panic. With one loose word, the team’s new left wing could destroy Graham’s life as he knows it.

John Rikker is stuck being the new guy. Again. And it’s worse than usual, because the media has latched onto the story of the only “out” player in Division One hockey. As the satellite trucks line the sidewalk outside the rink, his new teammates are not amused.

And one player in particular looks sick every time he enters the room.

Rikker didn’t exactly expect a warm welcome from Graham. But the guy won’t even meet his eyes. From the looks of it, his former… best friend / boyfriend / whatever isn’t doing so well. He drinks too much and can’t focus during practice.

Either the two loneliest guys on the team will self destruct from all the new pressures in their lives, or they can navigate the pain to find a way back to one another. To say that it won’t be easy is the Understatement of the Year.


This is the third book in the New Adult series, The Ivy Years, by Sarina Bowen. I've read the two previous novels (my review of book 2) and the novella, Blonde Date, and I really enjoyed them all a lot. My personal favourite remains, book 1, The Year We Fell Down (my review). This installment features a m/m romance between two hockey players in college and I found it just as good as the previous books.  was also very good. emotional, intense, a bit ansgty. 

It's an emotional friends-to-lovers sort of story starting back when the characters were teenagers and they meet again 6 years later as team mates in the college hockey team. They story is told in a dual POV and we get both sides to an event that pretty much shaped their lives up to the moment.

I liked both Rikker and Graham a lot, though i may have a tiny bit more love for Rikker. He was outed against his will and was forced in the role of a symbol, flagbearer for gay athletes. Despite being comfortable in the knowledge who he was, he didn't want the publicity and the attention. he just wanted to be a regular gay guy in college, playing hockey. In a way he was doing his own hiding, trying to blend it, avoiding by all means any more drama for himself and his teammates.

Graham was his polar opposite. He was so deep in the closet that he denied even to himself who he was. His hatred for himself and his desires were completely suffocating. His whole life is a form of evasion and he is so focused on playing the role of a straight guy all the time, that he is failing to form his won personality.

I found the inner struggles of the two main characters were deftly presented and I got deeply engaged in their story.

The girl in the story, Bella, was a great supporting character. I like how she was presented as a true friend and generally a nice human being, instead of the evil bitch woman we often see in m/m romance. I felt bad for her and Graham's obliviousness was no excuse for the pain he cause her and all the other people who loved him.

On the negative side, I felt that Graham self-loathing was too much at times. He seemed stuck in the past and couldn't really move forward for a big portion of the story. This also made Rikker seem far too patient with him. He forgave past and present mistakes far too easily. While I sympathize with them both for what they had to go through and very much enjoyed the dynamics of their relationship, how complicated, yet easy it was, I would have loved if they talked more often and more openly with each other.

The ending felt rushed. I would have loved to see more of Rikker and Graham as a couple, how the others saw and accepted them being together. The tentative reconciliation between Rikker and his family we see in the end felt a bit out of place and forced. I didn't really need it and don't think it added anything to the story itself.

The next book in the series will be about Bella and for all her love of hockey playes, I hope she ends up with a cute nerdy guy who knows nothing about sports :)

Purchase links: iBooks / Kobo / Amazon / B&N / ARe / Buy from SARINA

Jessica Topper

Review: Dictatorship of the Dress by Jessica Topper


Title: Dictatorship of the Dress (Much "I Do" About Nothing #1)
Author: Jessica Topper
Date of publication: 6 Jan 2015
Genre/themes: Contemporary Romance

Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

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My rating: 4 stars


As the dress-bearer for her mother’s wedding, comic book artist Laney Hudson has a lot more baggage than the bulky garment bag she’s lugging from New York to Hawaii. Laney is determined to prove she’s capable of doing something right, but running chores for her mom’s fairytale nuptials is proving to be a painfully constant reminder of her own lost love.

So when she’s mistaken for the bride and bumped up to first class, Laney figures some stress-free luxury is worth a harmless white lie. Until the flight crew thinks that the man sitting next to her is Laney’s groom, and her little fib turns into a hot mess.

The last thing Noah Ridgewood needs is some dress-obsessed diva landing in his first-class row. En route to his Vegas bachelor party, the straight-laced software designer knows his cold feet have nothing to do with the winter weather.

When a severe storm leaves them grounded in Chicago and they find themselves booked into the last available honeymoon suite, Laney and her in-flight neighbor have little choice but to get better acquainted. Now, as her bridal mission hangs in the balance, perhaps the thing Laney gets right is a second chance at love.


I really enjoyed this book though it turned out to be different from what I expected. Based on the cover I thought it would be a light romantic comedy and while it had its funny times, it was much more serious and thought-provoking. It's not dark or depressing, but there is some sense of sadness, a lot of regret and a wonderful HEA.

I really enjoyed Ms Topper's debut novel, Louder Than Love (my review) and I can see some similarities in the writing here. It's a complex story with well developed characters who undergo profound changes in their lives - real people with real problem, easy to relate to and understand the decisions they make.

On the surface this story shouldn't work for me, he is engaged, they meet under extreme circumstances and are forced to share a room/space, fall in love in matter of 2 days, turn their lives around, still I'm surprised how much I enjoyed it. Ms Topper has given both the characters and their romance some depth and authenticity which made them very appealing. 

Laney is lost, grieving, insecure, a quitter. Noah seems her polar opposite - he is in control of his life, knows who he is and where he is going. As it turns this is pretty much an illusion, a lie he keeps telling himself.

There is subplot, the story of Laney and Allen, which I found very moving and emotional. We see just bits and pieces but they are enough to create a powerful vision of their romance which I absolute loved.

The story goes between present and past and this is where I had some issues. It was confusing, the transitions between Laney's memories and her present day situation were too abrupt sometimes and I needed time to figure out who is talking and when the said events are taking place.

Another weakness for me was the way things with Noah's fiance were handled. The problems there were resolved too neatly and everybody got their HEA, which took away from the realistic aspect of the story. 

I'm already excied about the next book in the series coming in the summer of 2015. It's be about Laney's best friend, Dani, and to my surprise not Noah's army buddy Ben. Ms Topper keeps twisting my expectations with this series! I recommended this read if you are looking for a contemporary romance with a touch of humour, some sadness and nostalgia but ultimately with a lot of passion, love and hope for the future.

 Pre-order links: Amazon / BN.com / iBooks / Kobo / Penguin

Alexis Hall

Waiting on Wednesday: Liberty and other stories by Alexis Hall


Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it features books that we are eagerly awaiting to be released.

Title: Liberty and Other Stories
Author: Alexis Hall
Genre: Steampunk, queer romance, short stories
Release Date: 5 Jan 2015

Pre-order links: Riptide

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For the delight and edification of discerning readers, we present diverse stories concerning the lives, histories, and adventures of the crew of the aethership Shadowless.

Lament! as an upstanding clergyman falls into the villainous clutches of a notorious criminal mastermind.

Question your sanity! as a dissolute governess confronts blasphemies from beyond creation.

Wonder! at the journey of the dashing skycaptain Byron Kae across sapphire oceans, through smog-choked streets, and to the depths of the sky itself.

Gasp! at an entirely true and accurately rendered tale of pirates, cavalrymen, aethermancers, scientists, and a power to unmake the world.

Plus, hitherto unseen extracts from the meticulous and illuminating journals of Mrs. Miranda Lovelace, rogue scientist and first of the aethermancers.

This collection includes:

- Shackle (A Prosperity Story)
- Squamous with a Chance of Rain
- Cloudy Climes and Starless Skies
- Liberty

*** *** ***

Why am I waiting for this book? - Actually, I already have a review copy of this and I'll be reading it very soon. This is a sort of sequel to Prosperity which I loved, with separate stories about all the main characters. I discovered Alexis Hall's books just recently but I'm completely blown away by his writing and can't wait to read more of it. 

Katie McGarry

Release Day Launch, Excerpt and Giveaway for Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarry


Join the celebration of the release of Breaking the Rules, the sequel to Noah and Echo's story from Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. This is one of my favourite YA romances and I'm excited to meet the older selves of these characters. 

BTR RDL Banner

 BREAKING THE RULES (Pushing the Limits #1.5)
Katie McGarry 

  Breaking the Rules Cover

 A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry. For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so . . . different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who's never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything--except the one thing Echo's just not ready for. But when the source of Echo's constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants--even as foster kid Noah's search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves. Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah's more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he'd be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn . . . seriously epic.

Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** Books-A-Million ** Kobo ** iBooks ** Google Play

 BTR Teaser 1

And don’t forget to read the first books in the Pushing the Limits Series…

  BRT Teaser 2  


From Echo’s POV

There’s nothing like the rush of being chased by the great Noah Hutchins…

I hold my breath and strain to listen past the late-day birds singing in the branches above. The fine hair on the back of my neck rises as if Noah has appeared behind me and deliciously blown over my skin. I close my eyes. He’s so near I can imagine his body wrapped around mine.

Noah is wily and good at seeking, but I’m crafty and better at hiding. I edge to the side again and in painfully slow movements look behind me and…


I scream. Loudly. My heart ramming through my chest. Birds’ wings beat together as dozens of them take to the sky. The moment I spot the laughter in Noah’s chocolate-brown eyes, my scream quickly morphs into a fit of giggles. He reaches for me, but I stumble back from the solid arm attempting to sneak around my back.

“You’re not getting away this time.” Noah’s deep voice vibrates down to my soul.

Noah’s arm slides one way and in a maneuver so slick it seems choreographed, I slip to the side, once again barely dodging his grasp.

“You’re too slow,” I taunt as I gain traction and sprint for the field of untamed wildflowers. The white-and-yellow daisies brush against my legs as I push forward. My skirt swishes against my thighs, and I love how the smooth material grazes my skin. Clean air fills my lungs, and my blood beats manically in my veins. Never in my life have I felt so alive. So high that I’m soaring.

“I’m letting you win,” he calls out.

“You are not.” I slow and pivot to watch as he struts behind me. The tall grass and flowers reach his jean-covered legs. For once, his dark hair doesn’t hide his eyes, and I love the spark of naughtiness in them. “You’re sore that you’re losing.”

He flashes the type of grin that encourages tingles. “You’re becoming cocky, Echo.”

I laugh, and the sound causes his smile to widen. Even though he’s slow in his approach, his wide gait closes the distance between us faster than I’d like. I steadily walk backward, unable to tear my eyes off the fluid way he moves. “Now, now. Out of the two of us, we both know you own that title.”

“Own it, wear it, I am it. I’ve never claimed differently.”

Nope, he never has. Noah is exactly who I see. A few months away from Kentucky, away from home, the rough foster kid is evolving into a man.

“Hey, Echo.” Noah gestures with his chin that he has something important to say, and I stall, watching as his gaze falls to my midriff. “Your tank rode up.”

I peer down and in a heartbeat realize my mistake when grass rustles and Noah grabs my waist. In a dizzying circle, my arms wrap around his neck and somehow we both end up on the ground. Me on top. Noah on the bottom. As always, Noah becomes my safe place to land.

With a wink, Noah rolls us, reversing our positions, but I don’t complain. I dream of his body over me. The heavy sensation is familiar and addictive. Noah skims his nose along the side of my neck, and the pleasing tickle causes me to suck in air.

“I won,” he whispers against my skin.

I find myself in a waking dream as I savor his caresses. “Did not.”

Noah presses a kiss to that sensitive spot behind my ear. A stream of warmth floods my body. Longing for more, I twist to expose my neck.

“Did, too.” His hands roam, sliding to my side. I melt and tense at the same time. We’re in the wide open, but I can’t stop the way my body molds to his. My fingers bunch the material of his shirt as I play with the idea of removing it. We’re far from the walking trail, far from the campsite. How many people, besides Noah and me, allow themselves to wander to the point of being lost?

“You said you could find me in five minutes,” I say softly. “That was longer than five minutes.”

“Echo,” he says as he raises his head. His fingers begin this little dance. Moving up then slowly down. Each down is slightly lower and promises very wicked things.


“I’ve got you beneath me and not a person in sight. That’s winning.”

A peacefulness unfurls within me. I have to agree. That is winning.

Author's Bio:
  Katie McGarry Author Photo
Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan. Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

Website | Twitter @KatieMcGarry | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumbler | Instagram 


Book Blogging

Book Blogging: Reading Habits


Reading is generally considered an introvert activity, something you do by yourself. You can read on a comfy armchair/coach/bed at home on a hot summer/cool spring/freezing winter day with your food and drink of choice. You can read at the beach, in the mountains, on your way to anywhere. The common thing in all these scenarios is that you are alone and basically don't need company to enjoy yourself. 

My choice of this image for the post is very much influenced by my daughter's current obsession with Winnie the Pooh :)

With the development of the internet, social media and modern communications in general, the act of reading changed, at least for me. While the act of reading is done on your own, I find it that at least some my enjoyment of a given story comes from the opportunity to discuss it with like-minded people (usually online, since I don't have any RL friends who read the kind of books I read presently). My reading experience has changed and it includes the desire to share my thoughts on the books I read, whether in detailed reviews or just with a quick notes.

I even find myself telling my husband about the books I read and he is not a romance fan at all and further more, since he is not very fluent in English, so I have to retell the books in Bulgarian and find myself in a situation where I need to come up with BG terms for a number of things - the Psy and the changeling of Nalini Singh, the steampunk contraptions from The Kraken King and Prosperity. Sometimes it can be a challenge to discuss even contemporary romance in my native language when I've read the books in English.

After QRM I have started very tentatively joining some literary discussions online. Alexis Hall, I blame you for this with your thought-provoking posts of romance (queer and het), HEA, love and life in general. I don't feel confident enough to comment often, but I absolutely enjoy following these discussions.

Goodreads is my preferred social book site, it's in fact the only one I actively participate in since I don't really have the time for more. It's has its weakness but I have found some amazing people there, made some friends. I try to join in buddy reads but don't always manage to, I participate in some groups (sometimes rather actively) and I keep challenging myself by trying new genres/types of books. I tried the Reading Challenge for the first time this year and I'll fail it spectacularly, since I'm 50 books behind my goal of 200. This is the place where I get most of my book recommendations as well.

I like the me-time that reading gives me, the escape from the routine of the everyday but I very much appreciate also the chance to connect with different people through the books that I read. This is part of the reason behind this blog - to have a place to write about the books I read and lately, about the reading and blogging itself. 

How do you feel about reading? Is it a way to escape the world or a way to connect with other people, a mixture of the two, or something else completely?

Blog Tour

Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway for Razed by Shiloh Walker


Welcome to my stop of the Launch and Blog Tour for Razed by Shiloh Walker. Read a short but sexy excerpt from the story of Keelie and Zane, check my review and enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for some awesome prizes.

Title: Razed (Barnes Brothers #2)
Author: Shiloh Walker
Date of publication: 2 Dec 2014
Genre: Romance

Author's links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

My rating: 4 stars

Buy Links: Amazon / B&N / iTunes / Kobo / IndieBound


Tattoo artist Keelie Jessup can handle that someone else has claimed the man of her dreams. She’s just not pleased with her remaining options…

Keelie doesn’t believe in the “perfect man.” But the men who are worth the trouble are usually taken—like her business partner Zach Barnes. After a string of bad luck and the lost chance with Zach, Keelie decides that maybe flying solo—and living with suppressed desires—is the key to happiness.

As a photographer, Zane Barnes has an eye for the human form, and his eyes can’t get enough of Keelie’s curves. Unfortunately, Keelie is like most women—always fawning over his little brother, Zach. Zane is about ready to give up, but then a few stolen moments at his brother’s wedding have him thinking maybe there’s a chance there after all. Now he just has to prove that the perfect man does exist…for her.


Keelie’s eyes were blind.

What in the hell was happening?

Lifting his head, he looked around, spied the narrow dip in the brick wall and he twisted, taking them inside it. The solid weight of her in his arms, the feel of her body against his was heady, a wonderful pleasure, one he didn’t want to give up.

“Zane . . .” She whispered his name as he turned her around, tucking her back against his chest.

“Shhh . . .”

He could feel how close she was. Her entire body had gone rigid. He wanted to pull her skirt up, tear her panties away and sink inside. But he’d be damned if the first time he made love to her happened here . . . like this.

Still, her body trembled, a fine subtle tremor that came from deep inside. When he lay his palm on her belly, the muscles jumped at his touch. Slowly, he slid his hand down and toyed with the hem of her skirt. “May I?” he whispered, pressing his mouth to her neck.

“What?” The question was a thick, velvety caress.

He slid the tips of his fingers up. “Let me do this,” he said softly. His cock jerked in jealous demand. It had better ideas, but that wasn’t going to happen.

She didn’t say anything, but neither did she pull away, so he slid his hand higher, the clinging material of her skirt rising up.


I haven't yet read the first book in the Barnes Brothers series but I loved this one will be going back the first as soon as I can. We meet the heroine, Keelie, in the previous book, and I as far as I understood her role was rather central but we learn everything we need to know about it in this book, so reading the series out of order was no problem for me.

This an intense, passionate love story with some angst and not too much drama, just the kind I enjoy. The strongest element was the depth of emotion Ms Walker has giver the characters. Their feelings seem real and easy to relate to. 

Both characters have their demons to deal with. Keelie's past is rather painful and she still struggles with it which prevents her from living fully in the present. Her difficulty of letting go and moving one seemed over the top towards the end. Zane was the most patient and supportive man you can imagine and Keelie's continuous insistence on keeping him at a safe distance became annoying at some point.

I really liked Zane, especially his caring and supportive attitude towards everybody in his life and Keelie in particular. He was no controlling and possessive alpha male, but rather a smart loving man, giving his love and time and attention to all the people who mattered in his life. He was the sensible brother, always reliable and smart, never acting stupid or irrational, a figure everybody looked up to Still, he  took his time taking his life in his hands and going for what he loved both professionally and personally

I liked how Ms Walker brought some serious issues amidst the romance in her story and blended them seamlessly with tender romantic gestures.

There is a lot to look forward to with the rest of the Barnes brothers, what we saw of Trey and Travis makes me excited to read their stories as soon as possible. In short, a recommended read for fans of contemporary romance with interesting characters and strong plotline, mixing fun and passion with some serious issues being discussed.


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Waiting on Wednesday: Breaking the Rules


Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it features books that we are eagerly awaiting to be released.

Title: Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits #1.5)
Author: Katie McGarry
Genre: Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: 8 Dec 2014

Pre-order links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / iBooks

Add on Goodreads

A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry

For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so... different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything — except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.

But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants — even as foster kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.

Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah's more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he'd be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn... seriously epic.

*** *** *** 

Why am I waiting for this? - I like Ms MsGarry's writing and how realistically she presents her characters with all their insecurites, flaws and best features. I'm a big fan this series and Noah and Echo are one of my favourite couples. I'm excited to see them along the road literally (I love stories involving a road trip) and figuratively, as they get together as a couple. 

Amy Jo Cousins

Review: Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins


Title: Off Campus (Bend or Break #1)
Author: Amy Jo Cousins
Date of publication: 30 Dec 2014
Genre/Themes: Romance, New Adult, m/m

Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook /Goodreads

Add to Goodreads

My rating: 4 stars


Everyone’s got secrets. Some are just harder to hide.

With his father’s ponzi scheme assets frozen, Tom Worthington believes finishing college is impossible unless he can pay his own way. After months sleeping in his car and gypsy-cabbing for cash, he’s ready to do just that.

But his new, older-student housing comes with an unapologetically gay roommate. Tom doesn’t ask why Reese Anders has been separated from the rest of the student population. He’s just happy to be sleeping in a bed.

Reese isn’t about to share his brutal story with his gruff new roommate. You’ve seen one homophobic jock, you’ve seen ’em all. He plans to drag every twink on campus into his bed until Tom moves out. But soon it becomes clear Tom isn’t budging.

Tom isn’t going to let some late-night sex noise scare him off, especially when it’s turning him on. But he doesn’t want any drama either. He’ll keep his hands, if not his eyes, to himself. Boundaries have a way of blurring when you start sharing truths, though. And if Tom and Reese cross too many lines, they may need to find out just how far they can bend…before they break.


I've been on an m/m romance streak in my reading lately and as hesitant as I am about New Adult college stories this days, I was intrigued by the blurb of this book and decided to give it a try.

It's my first book by Amy Jo Cousins and I quite like her writing style. It's enganging and emotional without being melodramatic. It's an angsty story with some drama but I found it fitting the college experience and the age of the characters (they are all in their early twenties).

Both Tom and Reese have a lot of baggage, more than the average college student but their portrayal felt realistic and convincing. I felt connected to them, understood their issues and wanted badly things to work out well for both of them.

It's a story of discovering who you are and being comfortable in your own skin, about overcoming pain and trauma. The emotional scars come in different forms for Tom and Reese but they have made both of them distrustful of others, hiding away off campus.

Outwardly Tom and Reese and complete opposites -  Reese is openly gay, flamboyant, dealing with the aftermath of an assault he suffered, while Tom is just trying to figure out who he is while hiding away from everyone and working hard to make it on his own after father pulled a Ponzi scheme and he lost everything he had. 

Their relationship was quite interesting - it was full of tension and issues and fight, yet the feeling between them were real an the attraction was undeniable. It was all about building trust, opening to each other. Yet their love was not enough for them to overcome their issues. They needed outside help and I was glad that they did look for it and got it in the end.

I liked the supporting characters a lot and I feel that Steph and Cash totally deserve a story of their own. Reese's dad was also great. 

Having said all this, I had some minor issues with this story. I hated when Tom kept referring to Reese as "kid" at the beginning.

Another issue I had is related to a particular event in their sexual relationship. At some point things got rocky between Tom and Reese and there was a lot of mistrust and anger between them. I felt that this act was supposed about love and trust , yet its timing when their relationship was its lowest really and they were the most distant from one another didn't fit the characters and the story. 

Overall, it's an emotional, intense story which made me care deeply for the characters and root for their HEA. I'd recommend this book to all fans of New Adult romance who love refreshing stories with some angst, some drama, some laughs and a lot of love and passion

The book in the series, Nothing like Paris, will be about Jack who was quite a villain here and it releases in March 2015.

Pre-order links: Amazon / B & N / Kobo iBooks

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