18 Givers
8 Takers
Rileygirl

Romancing Riley

There usually has to be some sort of romance involved for me to pick up a book. Anything with a strong emotional undercurrent is bound to get my attention. Contemporary, PNR, H/C & M/M are my favorites.

A Few Favorites ♥

Collide
Fire For Effect
Brothers In Arms
The Final Line
Shadowfever
Darkfever
Shock & Awe
Marked
Slide
Lover Awakened
Long Time Gone
Catch a Ghost
Uncommon Passion
Rough Canvas
Wake Me Up Inside
Chase the Storm
Something Like Autumn
Safeword
Power Exchange
The Value Of Rain


Jennifer's favorite books ยป

Silent by Sara Alva

Silent - Sara Alva

Sweet story that started a little slow, but I really enjoyed the interaction between Sebastian and Alex. Sebastian was a sweet soul and seeing their relationship build, and Alex 'grow up' was heartwarming. I enjoyed it.

 

Full review to come.

Bullet by Garrett Leigh

Bullet - Garrett Leigh

I really enjoyed this, I wish it had been longer.

 

Full review to come.

Bullet - Garrett Leigh

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"Feel that, Levi? Feel it all.
This is what it's supposed to be.
This is what's real."


My pathetic, hopeless romantic heart loves those lines. My favorite in the entire book.

Fall for Me by Ann Lister

Fall For Me - Ann Lister

Not too much to say about this one. It was a decent enough read, but I found it very predictable. I had already figured out the plot at about 15% into the story. Dagger and Ryan were sweet, but occasionally bordered on saccharine towards the end. Overall, it was just an okay read for me.

I don't know whether or not I'll continue with the series. Perhaps if I can catch them on sale for 0.99¢ again, but I wasn't really wowed enough otherwise. Even then, it's kind of iffy. All of the 5 star ratings are a bit confusing and makes me wonder if we even read the same book.

Hidden Away by J.W. Kilney

Hidden Away - J.W. Kilhey

I don't know if there's anything I can say about this one that could do it justice. In fact, I had to give it a couple days to sink in so I could even try - and I'm still pretty sure I'll fail. This is a powerful read and it made me feel a range of emotions from angry to sad, rage, relief, amazement, and just plain heartbreak. It made me forget that I don't even like historical reads.

 

I should probably have prefaced this by stating that i didn't choose this book, it was chosen for me as part of a reading challenge - otherwise I probably never would have picked it up. I'm so glad I did though. This novel has two parallel storylines, flipping back and forth between 1941 & 1951, which is a difficult feat to pull off effectively, but Kilney does it flawlessly

 

It starts in 1951, where we meet John Oakes, a seasoned war veteran plagued with severe PTSD (known as shellshock in this time period.) He's a simple man whose only desires are to find someone to share his life with and to quiet his nightmares. He's a student at UC - Berkley, studying Political Science and pursing his PhD when he first meets Kurt, a janitor at Berkley, who tries very hard to remain invisible in order to survive each day - trapped in nightmares of his own. They run into each other when John discovers beautiful piano music as he's walking the halls to avoid going home to restless sleep, and eventually brought together with the help of Kurt's only friend, Jules.

 

As the story unfolds, we're transported back to 1941 in Austria, where a gay Kurt is 20 years old, and just finding himself. He's always been a gifted pianist and begins rehearsing for a concert where he meets his first love, Peter. The relationship they begin is forbidden, but also so very addictive. Peter is vibrant and full of love, things Kurt has never been exposed to in his sheltered life and he can't help but cling to them and Peter with everything he has.

 

There is so much depth and breadth to this story that I couldn't possibly be able to cover it all in this review and including any spoilers would dampen the powerful impact on how the events of the past influence those of the future. Both men are traumatized by their pasts. But with great effort, together they are able to put those ghosts to rest and find the peace they so desperately crave. This is one of those novels where you truly feel that the ending is deserved and earned.

 

I can't say enough about this book. It is not a pleasant read, nor should it be. Some things can never, and will never be acceptable. Looking through Kurt and John's eyes, we get an up close and personal look at one of the worst times in human history. And while it may be fiction, it both felt and affected me as if it were real. Big fat, ugly tears at times. I'm not a history buff, so I can't truly comment on the veracity of the events, but it does appear that it was heavily researched and handled with a deft and delicate hand.

 

I have always loved romances with damaged characters, I'm sure I've said that once or twice. I think you will find though, that this book will give you new meaning to those words. Even if you don't like historical fiction/romance, I highly recommend you give it a try. There are a few stories that demand to be told, and this is one of them.

 

Painfully beautiful.

 

 

Long Time Gone by S.E. Jakes

Long Time Gone - S. E. Jakes

More Prophet and Tommy! These two together are explosive and S. E. Jakes does a great job at bringing them to life. They are hotter than hell together and I was so happy to finally get them back on my kindle - even if they tried to melt my screen.

 

I still adore Prophet, he's quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. I really enjoyed this story, but for some reason, I didn't find it as gripping as the first one and I can't quite pinpoint why. There was what's coming to be known as classic Prophet humor - because he deflects everything with sarcasm (the whole alligator scene was a riot); there was also a little more romance in this one than the first; the boys trying to work on more of their problems as a couple, and coming to terms with feelings they're hesitant to name. And whereas the last one ended with a cliffhanger of sorts, this one seemed more hopeful. Overall, it was good, but for some reason it didn't reach great for me. That doesn't mean I'm not salivating at the next chance to read more from them though, far from it.

 

So, if you haven't tried this series, I highly recommend it - especially if you're a fan of the ever popular Cut & Run Series by Abigail Roux.

 

 

51%

Long Time Gone - S. E. Jakes

"This has to be your fault"

"You think I invited the alligator in here?"

"Isn't this your people?"

"My people? Are you calling my people alligators?" And then Tommy continued talking to him. In Cajun French.

 

"I have no idea what you're saying - you know that, right?" The alligator looked at him mutinously, and he waved in Tom's direction. "What? He's your friend - go talk to him."

 

"Prophet, let me go and don't move."

 

"And lock us in here with that?"

"There'll be more behind it."

"You're kidding."

"You're going to argue with me now?"

 

The alligator, which was at least five feet in length, still advanced a little, and Prophet waved his gun at it.

 

Tom grabbed his arm and pushed it down. "This is a message."

"And my message back's going to be damned effective."

[..]

"This place is not fucking normal."

 

 

 

 

Oh, Prophet, I've missed you.

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5%

Long Time Gone - S. E. Jakes

Only Prophet could have an email address of testingpatiencedaily@gmail.comI just adore him. He has a habit of making me laugh and breaking my heart simultaneously.

Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning

Shadowfever  - Karen Marie Moning

Mind blown. Review later.

 

Excellent series. I'm sad that it's over.

Thomas' Choice by Tina Folsom

Thomas's Choice  - Tina Folsom

I actually really enjoyed this - up until the ending. And that's not to say it ended badly, because it didn't, it just descended too far into saccharine for me. Thomas and Eddie were very sweet and hot together, and I liked how their relationship progressed from friends to lovers. The ending was good in theory, I liked the idea of it. I just thought it was poorly executed. I loved the 'falling to one knee sentiment' and thought it was a nice touch. However, their 'voices' didn't ring true to me and seemed very different from the rest of the book.

In my defense, I have not read all of this series. I love m/m vampire romances and a friend stated that it could be read as a standalone. So, it could be my lack of knowledge and love for characters that would have normally developed over the series that has caused me to give it a lower rating. It's not a bad story by any means; it just wasn't everything I'd hoped it would be.

 

As a side note: The guy in the hoodie on the cover? Pretty damn beautiful. I love his smirk. ;)

Soulless by T. Baggins

Soulless - T. Baggins

There's a belief in Asian literature about the red string of fate. Where regardless of the time, place or circumstance, people are destined to find each other, belong to each other. They are magically connected by this red thread, often thought to be tied around their ankles or little fingers by the gods. It stretches and tangles, but never breaks.

 

We know it in western culture simply as soulmates. That's what Nicholas and Ban are.

 

This was much better than I expected. In fact, it wasn't at all what I expected. And given that it was a historical romance, I wasn't expecting much. (That's just a personal thing, it has nothing to with the author. I generally don't like them.) So yeah, color me surprised. The main characters, even the side characters, had depth and layers that were revealed slowly as the book progressed.

 

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Progress 20%

Soulless - T. Baggins

"For a mere peasant's life, you made a bargain with the devil. And he shall collect on your debts. Slowly."
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Ruh-roh.

Out of Focus by L.A. Witt

Out Of Focus - L.A. Witt

2.5 stars. Clearly I'm in the minority here, but all I can really offer for this one is ... meh. It was alright. Didn't hate it, didn't love it. There was nothing really wrong with it, it was well written. I just couldn't seem to connect with the characters, so I could never really get into it. I'm sure plenty of other people will continue to enjoy it.

Reading Progress 3%

Soulless - T. Baggins

I'm trying to broaden my horizons a little, so picked something different. I'm not a huge fan of historicals. Frankly, I hate them. They bore the hell out of me, usually. However, I do love vampires, and I can sometimes stomach historical settings within those worlds during flashbacks. (This appears all historical though. Sigh.) But in addition to vampires, it's m/m vampires, so another point in its favor. Judging from the reviews, these are not your sparkly vampires and they actually have some teeth to them. ;) Again, all the better.

 

Here's hoping that three out of four won't let me down terribly.

 

Please be good...please be good...please be good.

 

 

Marked by Garrett Leigh

Marked - Garrett Leigh

Sweet, free short from Garrett Leigh. It's a deleted scene from Slide where Pete finally gets his tattoo and other things....

 

 

;)

Slide by Garrett Leigh

Slide - Garrett Leigh

I always feel out of my depth when I write my reactions to books I've really loved. I don't ever feel my words can quite do them justice. This one is no different. If there were a recipe for a book I'd love, this one is it: beautifully broken characters, angst, hurt/comfort, human fallibility, strong emotional undercurrents, an artist, tattoos, and psychological aspects - I am in heaven. Seriously, I was like a kid in a candy store with this book. I loved it.

His eyes blazed at me, but it was the best kind of heat. He smiled, and for the first time in my life I believe that, for him, I could be more than I'd ever dreamed.

Even though those are the first words you see, they're some of my favorites of the whole book. The entire prologue alone was quite beautiful. The love and emotion between these two was so strong in places it was almost palpable, but it never became saccharine.  

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