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christyherself

Christy Herself

...now officially on booklikes

Different and entertaining.

Finding Harry Styles - G.B. Hope

I enjoyed this book because it was different. Not your typical "post-apocalyptic" book in that there are no zombies. No viruses. Just a complete loss of electricity, as well as to vehicles and most other items that we all probably rely on way too much.

One thing that I always find interesting in these stories are the reactions of people and how groups form. Who becomes a true leader, and who becomes a dictator. You see several groups form in this story, and each one is fascinating in its own way - some are even scary.

The title maybe off putting for some; really it just relates to a couple of the characters and their love of One Direction and Harry Styles.

Honestly, the book entertained me, and I couldn't put it down.

Maybe the women could have been stronger. Maybe some of the men not so bossy. The only thing that really bothered me was the one comment made about online reviewers saying "It just wasn't my thing". I do use that line because not everything I dislike is going to be disliked by others. I say it because I don't want anyone - other readers or authors - to think I'm judging them based on something I didn't enjoy and that they did.

At any rate, I did enjoy this book.

The Day Of The Wave

The Day Of The Wave - Becky Wicks I really enjoyed this book. Becky Wicks is a pro at describing locales in her books so well, that you can feel the sand beneath your feet. The wind coming in from the direction of the ocean. Her books make me wish I had the ability to travel the world, specifically to Bali.

This story is of Isla and Ben, who reunite eleven years after the Boxing Day Tsunami. Isla has returned to Thailand after living a bit of a boring life in the UK, having found that her boyfriend has cheated on her, and with the help of two well meaning friends who think she needs to return in order to deal with the events of that day. Ben returned to Thailand years before, re-opening the business that his uncle was running when the tsunami hit. Each had assumed the other was dead, and after a couple of near misses, they finally run into each other.

What follows is the story of the issues they dealt with following this event, how they each dealt with it, and how they strive to help each other overcome their fears – whether it is a fear of the ocean, or of becoming close to someone.

A nice, enjoyable read. You will be read to feel that sand on your feet as you read it.

Black Balled

Black Balled - Andrea Smith, Eva LeNoir I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of Troy and Larson. It was very entertaining – whether you like M/M or not – and I had a hard time putting it down. The interaction between the two characters was fun to read, whether they were fighting or loving.

Larson is very much a very confident man – confident in his writing ability, in who he is sexually – in his performance, sexually. He has had some sad circumstances happen in his life over the past year, and is struggling to deal with those while also dealing with Babu, the overly nasty book reviewer.

Troy also has issues from his past that are a clear reason of why he feels the need to be the kind of reviewer he is: blunt and (for lack of a better phrase) rude. As I read more and learned his story, I grew to quit hating him like I did initially.

Again, the chemistry between the two of them is off the charts, no matter the interaction. While I’m not much in M/M romances myself (other than Soren & Kingsley lol), the sex scenes were sizzling; and as a woman who loves hot men? There were some menage scenes that were really off the charts hot. I do have to say, I think I enjoyed the interaction between the two main characters when humor was involved more than anything. These two are masters at the come back, and it was fun to read.

Again, I think even if you aren’t sure about M/M or don’t generally read them? You will enjoy this story.

The Bicycle Waltz: A Novel of Round Dance and Romance

The Bicycle Waltz: A Novel of Round Dance and Romance - Paul R Zimmer, Jean M Zimmer Couldn't finish. Too much dance instructing and Silicon Valley background that interfered with the story for me.

Elements of Chemistry: HEAT (Hypothesis Series Book 2)

Elements of Chemistry: HEAT (Hypothesis Series Book 2) - Penny Reid Part 2 in the story of Kaitlyn and Martin.

It’s hard for me to review each part of this as I have already read it all as a “whole”. (Yes, be jelly – I got ARCs of all 3 together!) All I can say is that I loved every bit of this story. I love Kaitlyn more than Martin probably because after all – he is a man and bless their hearts, they are blissfully ignorant when it comes to women and our emotions. I’m not saying I don’t love Martin, because dammit, I sure do. He’s pretty wonderful – even if insufferable at times.

This is Penny Reid at her best. Funny. Smart. Heart wrenching at times. All the feels. I love Penny Reid because she writes the “smart romances” – people who have above average intelligence, who may be on the geeky or nerdy side but it doesn’t take away from their sexiness.

Seriously, buy this series. It is a joy to read.

Merged review:

Part 2 in the story of Kaitlyn and Martin.

It’s hard for me to review each part of this as I have already read it all as a “whole”. (Yes, be jelly – I got ARCs of all 3 together!) All I can say is that I loved every bit of this story. I love Kaitlyn more than Martin probably because after all – he is a man and bless their hearts, they are blissfully ignorant when it comes to women and our emotions. I’m not saying I don’t love Martin, because dammit, I sure do. He’s pretty wonderful – even if insufferable at times.

This is Penny Reid at her best. Funny. Smart. Heart wrenching at times. All the feels. I love Penny Reid because she writes the “smart romances” – people who have above average intelligence, who may be on the geeky or nerdy side but it doesn’t take away from their sexiness.

5 out of 5 stars. Seriously, buy this series. It is a joy to read.

My Time in the Affair

My Time in the Affair - Stylo Fantome I wish I were so much better at writing reviews than I am. Some books deserve better words and feelings than I feel I can convey.

My Time in the Affair is a story of Mischa. Mischa has been married for several years to a man she has been with since she was 19 years old. She was a dancer and had an injury, and decided that due to this she would step away from dancing. She takes a job in an insurance company, finds herself gaining some weight, finds herself in a rut with the job and in the marriage. She and her husband are at the point where they rarely have sex.

She gets an opportunity with her employer to travel out of the country and makes a decision that she will cheat on her husband. She starts exercising, loses the weight, and prepares for her trip - physically and mentally. Once she arrives, she finds that it isn't as easy to do as she thought. After deciding she simply cannot cheat and resigning herself to her life being what it is, a chance meeting with a handsome man changes everything.

If you have ever been married for a long time and your marriage has gotten to this point - the point where you try to tell your spouse that you are in a rut, that something needs to be done because you are drowning - only to have your spouse seemingly ignore your pleas? Then you will know exactly how Mischa is feeling. It takes two people to make a marriage work; and sometimes it takes work as well.

This book does have some twists and turns that go into another area, but what touched me the most was everything that Mischa went through. All the feelings she had. How she dealt or didn't deal with them. And those around her who stood by her during this situation - it gave me so many feels. Many times I was brought to tears. Because Stylo Fantome captures those feelings perfectly. The despair, the guilt, the hate you at times feel for yourself. She nails it.

Never once do you hate Mischa. If anything, you feel empathy for her.

Well written, as always. I just loved this book. Loved it. I already feel like it is one of the best books of the year for me.

Vintage (Volume One)

Vintage (Volume One) - Lisa Suzanne 2.5 stars

The premise is good and the writing isn't horrible. I'm just not a huge fan of such instant, intense chemistry. It has to be written in a way that makes you feel it and believe it. It didn't pass my eye roll test.

I think that the reservations of the heroine were real and written in a way that you understood them. That I did like.

Overall, the book seemed to drag a bit and I didn't connect with the hero at all.

The Dead Days Journal (Volume 1)

The Dead Days Journal (Volume 1) - Sandra R Campbell Great read! The story of a group of individuals who have survived the "end of days" and how they survive as well as interact with each other. They are also having to deal with a group of monsters in this new world ... and they aren't the monsters you would expect.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved Leo, the main character. She was a strong young woman who was willing to stand up to whoever she needed to - specifically her father who is leader of the group - in order to do what she felt was best.

Not your typical dystopian book. It is filled with surprises and twists that you do not see coming, and it does end in a bit of a cliffhanger. I am really looking forward to Volume 2!

ShutterGirl

ShutterGirl - C.D. Reiss Another winner by CD Reiss. The writing style is very much hers, but this story is different than anything else she has written. I loved Laine and got where she came from - it's hard when you feel unworthy of the person you care about. Further, I loved reading about Los Angeles, and celebrities and all that glittery stuff that I never get to see that side of in my part of the world.

I'll expand on this at release time but it is definitely worth your time!

Untitled - The Girl in 6E sequel

Untitled - The Girl in 6E sequel - Alessandra Torre First, I think one really should read The Girl in 6E in order to understand Deanna. Further, it’s just a damn good read. I think the synopsis describes this book perfectly.

The book takes place after the events of The Girl in 6E. Deanna is still fighting her demons, while also hoping that those demons do not do damage to her relationship with Jeremy – or to Jeremy himself. She is still doing work out of her apartment with her online business of…I’m not sure how you describe her job or what the official title would be. As a naughty cam girl. She still has her regulars, still has Mike assisting with keeping her identity secret from her customers.

Enter Marcus Renza, newly released from prison after the vicious rape of a girl some years earlier. He is a man of wealth and though he was convicted in this case, the fact of the matter is that he has done much worse to other girls and women in his past. He has to serve the last 3 months of his sentence on house arrest, and from his computer he finds Jess Reilly. After a few interactions with her, he decides he must have her as his “first” after he has served his term.

This sets up a rendezvous between Marcus and Deanna that will leave you reeling.

This is not your usual Alessandra Torre erotica. This is, in my mind, a great suspense read with a heroine that you aren’t sure that you should be rooting for. Deanna is one of the darkest people you will meet, and she struggles hard to overcome the inner desire she has to cause harm even far worse than what Marcus has in his past.

Simply a good read, especially for if you love suspense, drama, something darker, and want to be entertained. Alessandra Torre is great at erotica, but I have to say, this is now my new favorite by her – even over Black Lies which I totally loved as well. I found myself tensing up, holding my breath, and not able to sit still as I read and the action moved forward. The anticipation of the eventual meeting between our heroine and our villain builds up in the wonderful writing that you will also be holding your breath while you read.

You simply must, MUST read these two books.

Lowcountry Boneyard

Lowcountry Boneyard - Susan M. Boyer This is the third in the Liz Talbot Mystery Series, and the first one I’ve read. I was able to read it as a stand alone without any issues.

The stories are set in South Carolina, which serves very well for this novel. Liz owns a detective agency with her partner, Nate, who lives in Greenville while she lives in Stella Maris. They are a bit of an item as well. She also has another partner in the form of Colleen, a friend who is dearly departed and serves as her “guardian angel” (in a sense).

The story starts as Liz is hired by an influential Charleston family to find their daughter who has been missing for a month. With this being a mystery, I don’t want to give anymore away than what you read in the synopsis.

All I can say is – I must now purchase all the other books in this series as this is one of the best mysteries I’ve read. I loved the characters, their interactions with each other, the locale. I even loved reading about how Liz takes her notes and organizes them (yea I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to organizing things). Her family is also a great set of characters, specifically her father who acts like a true Southern father should, what with guns and shovels and fire at his disposal.

This is a mystery that grabs you from the start and makes you want to keep reading until you find out everything. The writing is smart, funny, and interesting. To be a mystery writer has got to be a huge challenge, and Susan M. Boyer meets that challenge.

Will Liz and Nate find out what happened to the daughter? Will they be able to work out the differences their long distance relationship has? Will her dad get rid of the rats inhabiting his backyard? Buy the book and find out!

The Marrying Type

The Marrying Type - Laura  Chapman I couldn't finish. The book made me feel exhausted; the poor heroine was constantly stressed it seemed. And the hero was bland.

Books, Blogs, & Reality

Books, Blogs, & Reality - Ryan Ringbloom This book tells the story of four online friends whose common love of romance and erotica novels are what brought them together. Rachel is in a relationship but wants to delve into the BDSM world. Brooke starts a new job, and has instant chemistry with her new boss. Lizzie lives in the UK, was married then had a baby at a young age, and feels her marriage is struggling and she is only 24. Jess is a firm believer in the bad boy with commitment issues turning himself around for the right woman.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I have made online friendships in the same way and communicate via instant messenger just as they do. I seek advice from these friends, offer same if they want it, and we offer each other moral support in ALL things - life, children, love, book recommendations!

What I also liked about this book is the "reality" part - how each of these ladies think that the romance novels they read and the plot devices contained with work in connection with their own love lives - only to find, real men aren't like the guys in the books. Plus, you get to read "reviews of books" by these ladies which are pretty entertaining themselves.

Great, fun read when you have a few hours to spare and you also need a break from those romance novels where everything goes according to plan, where the man acts like no real life man can. I needed the break this book gave me.

Maverick

Maverick - Chelsea Camaron This story was just "okay". I know it was a novella, but it was too rushed for me. I didn't feel any build up between the main characters because it moved that quickly. I think it needed much more story to work for me.

I would normally rate this a 2 star but dangit, I love Chelsea Camaron and don't want to do that so I'm going with 3.

Elements of Chemistry: ATTRACTION (Hypothesis Series Book 1)

Elements of Chemistry: ATTRACTION (Hypothesis Series Book 1) - Penny Reid Penny Reid has done it again. I love her and I love her books!

First, this set of books is about a younger couple (they are in college), so FYI there. I usually like my couples to be older, but in this series, I didn’t mind at all reading about this particular younger couple.

You have two very smart college age kids (I’m 46 so they are kids to me lol) who also are celebrities to a degree; Martin is part of a very wealthy family that makes money in telecommunications. Kaitlyn’s mother is a senator, and that is just the start of her prestigious lineage. Martin is very put together and very attractive, and has a reputation as a bit of a manwhore. Kaitlyn tends to hide behind baggy clothes but Martin is attracted to her nonetheless because, hello – BRAINS. The sexiest thing any person can have.

All I can tell you is that the WHOLE SERIES (Yes, I’ve already read every one of them, lucky me!) is so very good. The chemistry between the two, whether sexual or intellectual, is off the charts. The convictions of Kaitlyn really strike a cord with me. The struggles that Martin goes through after being raised by a father who is a bit of a lout. Okay, more than a bit. Further, I love reading about people finding love who are just a bit on the nerdy or geeky or intellectual side… it makes me feel all fuzzy inside. Penny Reid is a master at this kind of book! I love books that entertain and make me think and her stories always do both. Further, I also love stories that pass my eye roll test – everything comes across as believable. I didn’t roll my eyes thinking “there’s no way this could happen” at any point.

I realize I am extolling the virtues of the whole series here; mainly because after reading it all, it is hard to analyze each book. Needless to say, the first book that tells how their relationship begins is worth the read. The difficulties that any couple faces when getting to know each other are depicted pretty well in this book – from dealing with jealousy to knowing how to talk to each other in a reasonable manner so issues don’t explode into anger. Just WONDERFUL.

This story ends with a cliffhanger but Penny includes the first few chapters of the next in the series to ease you from that.

You must buy this series, each and every one. You won’t regret it. You will get the warm fuzzies just like I did. DON’T DELAY!! GO NOW!

Silver Bastard

Silver Bastard - Joanna Wylde Silver Bastard is the first in a new series by Joanna Wylde. It tells the story of Becca, who at 15 is “given” to Puck, a member of the Silver Bastards MC, as a gift after he is released from prison by her slimy, no good piece of shit stepfather. The next morning, when Puck sees the stepfather beating Becca, he puts her on the back of his bike and takes her back with him to Idaho, the MC’s territory. Becca is given a home with an older couple who nurture her as she finishes high school.

Pick up 5-6 years later. Becca is now 21, and is living on her own while working and going to beauty school. While working at the local cafe during breakfast, Becca is being hit on by a local boy who is a bit of a jerk after several MC members come in. This leads to a bit of a fight, and Becca steps in an lets someone have it with a coffee pot as they are ready to hit Puck. After this even, Puck seems to have re-entered Becca’s life after essentially letting her grow up.

Becca is also dealing with her mother, who for years has told Becca she is going to leave the wicked step-father, but never follows through – though this time, it seems like she really means to get away.

This was a fairly good MC book, with some hot sex scenes. I liked Becca but I am not sure that I got enough of Puck to really “get” him. At any rate, it had a decent storyline and you wanted to know (or at least I did) whether or not her mother was truly going to leave and start being a responsible adult.

3.5 out of 5 stars.