Welcome Back to Me

Oh, hello! It’s been a while!

I started this blog as some way to keep track of all the books I’ve read…and I’ve read a lot! But, sometimes life throws you curve balls and you need to evaluate what in your life is causing stress, what can be released for a while, and what needs to stay. Thus the four year long break.

Between 2018 and now, I’ve had a lot happen. The most pressing reason I put this blog on hold was burnout coupled with a nice healthy dose of depression. In 2018 I started a job that did nothing for my health. I came home exhausted and the longer I was there, the more depressed I became. I quit that job in Spring 2019, allowing myself the time to take a break before the stress of finding a new job swallowed me up again. Eventually, I found a place I actually enjoy working at. A place I don’t feel utterly spent at the end of the day, allowing me the space to pick up my various hobbies I’ve put on hold for the sake of my mental health.

So, here I am, a few day until the end of 2021, picking up this blog that I never forgot about.

I don’t really have a plan for it. I’m going to read books. I’m going to share them with all two of you who stumble across this space. I’m going to give myself the space and room to enjoy (or DNF) books without worrying about how many posts per week I write. I want this to be a fun, sustainable project for me to enjoy and, hopefully, a few of you to find and enjoy as well.

As I start this back up, I’ll be changing a few things. Most notably, the “NSFM” Rating System. Instead of rating this “Not Safe For Mom”, I’m going to keep it simple and keep it SPICY. Why? Simply because more people understand the word “spice” in the context of books than NSFM. I know spice level is very subjective to each specific reader, so, I’ll go into more detail of the spice system on that page.

You also might not see too many 1 or 2 star reviewed books. DNFs, certainly. Let me tell you why. I have limited time. If I am not enjoying something, I am not going to give it my time or space. I’m going to Marie Kondo that shit. Does it spark joy? No? Then it’s out. And that’s why I’ll keep reviewing DNFs. I’m going to tell you why I DNFed a book.

I also might start a WDB TikTok account. The BookTok community is VAST and amazing and I may throw my hat into that ring. Give it a shot and see how I feel. I’ll let you know when that happens.

In many ways this feels like opening up a house that’s been closed for years. Picking things up, dusting them off, airing thing out, and sprucing things up. But in the meantime, it’s good to be back.


At the Stroke of Midnight


I don’t think anyone will be surprised to learn I love a good fairytale retelling. While most of the stories I’ve brought you are Beauty and the Beast, I do love when I find a good rebranding of other fairy tales/Disney princesses. It’s fun and I enjoy a clever retelling of a familiar story.

Today, let me introduce you to a new version of Cinderella. Tara Sevic is a fairly new to me author with witty and amusing characters and a plethora of men to make me swoon.

At The Stroke of Midnight is book one of her modern day fairytale/Disney princess retellings, The Naughty Princess Club. This trio (so far) of books brings us to Fairytale Lane and three women embarking on a new business venture to make it rain.

Here’s what it’s about:

Once upon a time Cynthia was the perfect housewife. Between being the President of the PTA and keeping her home spotless without a hair (or her pearls) out of place, her life was a dream come true. Her husband was once her knight in shining armor, but now he’s run off with all their money…and the babysitter.

Dressed as a princess at the annual Halloween block party on Fairytale Lane, she meets two other “princesses” also facing money troubles: antique store owner Ariel and librarian Isabelle. When the women are invited to wear their costumes to a party where they’re mistaken for strippers, Cindy, Ariel, and Belle realize that a career change could be the best way to make their money problems go bippity-boppity-boo.

But can structured Cindy approach a stripper pole without sanitizing wipes? And could the blue-eyed anti-prince that has been crossing her path become Cindy’s happily ever after? At the Stroke of Midnight is a hilarious, empowering story where princesses can save themselves while slaying in stilettos.

This book is so much fun! Sevic is magic with her words and wit.

Things I Loved

This book is centered so much around empowering female friendship I was jumping for joy! At Cindy’s lowest point, these other two zany women come crashing into her life and decide to stay. They listen to her cry her eyes out over her scum-bag ex-husband, they help create the Naughty Princess Club full force, they push her to break out of her pristinely, ordered world. They are there for her. Through the ups and downs, they are sticking to her like glue whether she likes is or not. AND IT IS AMAZING!

In fact, the first 35% of the book is mainly interactions between Cindy, Ariel, and Belle. There are a few crazy, random-happenstances between Cindy and PJ, but their story doesn’t really get going until that 35% mark.


I love books where the women in the story have such a strong support network among their friends! It’s beautiful! It’s wonderful! It’s amazing!!! Female friendship should be shouted from the roof-tops! It isn’t encouraged nearly enough!

And what are romance books but stories about life and relationships. Romantic relationships do not happen in a bubble. Our friends influence us. We gush and swoon and laugh over our romantic relationships. Friends should be more prominently featured in romance books!

The male lead in this book was also just…*fans self. Swoons.* PJ Charming is our tall, blue-eyed, and handsome main man. There are a lot of things to swoon over this guy, he’s a genuiley caring man, he decided to run his club so women like his mother would be alright, and he’s a goofball, when it comes down to it. But I think the thing that really got me was when he began to really understand Cindy and her motivations. And at that moment in the book, my ovaries exploded!

Let me back up a smidge. There comes a point in Cindy’s post-divorce, oh-shit-my-life-is-falling-apart life in which she realizes Brian (sleaze husband) never really saw her, never really listened to her, never took her seriously. It is a huge moment for her in reclaiming who she really is. So, when PJ acknowledges that her idea to start the Naughty Princess Club isn’t just a bored housewife’s passing fancy, it is a big beautiful moment!

There is so much amazing life reclaiming, beautiful friendship moments in this book!

Let me also take a moment to applaud this version of Cinderella. Sevic ties in elements on the Cinderella story, lost shoe and evil stepmother included, while putting everything in a modern-day setting. I loved that she set up the next two books by making Ariel and Belle active parts of this story. But what I ultimately loved most of all in this version is that Cindy saves herself. PJ was just along for the ride. Yes, he helps her, encourages her, and becomes a major part of her life, but Cindy’s “freedom” is of her own doing.

The Things I Didn’t Love

Nothing. Absolutely Nothing.

What Else You Should Know


The romance is hot, the story is fun, and the writing is a thing of humorous beauty.

Sevic has two other books in this series (so far, I don’t know if she plans on doing any more). At The Stroke of Midnight is followed by Belle’s story, In Bed With The Beast, and Ariel’s story, Kiss The Girl, being released in September 2018. I obviously one-clicked fast as lighting on Belle’s story, which is equally delightful. If these women were your best friends, Cindy would bail you out of jail, Belle would be there to give you a hug and a muffin, and Ariel would be there right along with you, bringing the knife to the fight.

Read these books and revel in the amazing. They do not disappoint.

Favorite Quotes

“Fourteen? Jesus, no wonder we, as a gender, are so fucked up. It’s been stuffed down our throats since we were born that it’s completely normal to find the man of your dreams when you’re a child, and you’re pretty much a freak of nature and an old maid if you haven’t found him by the time you’re seventeen.”

“I see you. I hear you. And I’m sorry,” he [PJ] whispers.

“Sorry! Shit. I was trying to be all cool and rip these fuckers [panties] off you, but Jesus Christ what are they made out of, steel?” He mutters in annoyance, looking down at us.

I’m attracted to his confidence in me. I’m attracted to the way he challenges me and pushes me to be the person I want to be.

“You couldn’t find my clit with a flashlight and Google Maps!”


Quick Review: Beyond Series

Hello Reader!

It’s a wonderfully sunny morning and I have a few books to share with you. Twelve books if you want to get technical (nine novels and 3 novellas). I’m talking about the Beyond Series by Kit Rocha.

This scorchingly hot series is set in a post-apocalyptic world revolving around the O’Kane Family; a family of badasses living outside the pristine walls of the pseudo-utopian, patriarchal city, Eden. The O’Kane family is shaking things up in the sectors, making the rulers of Eden nervous. The Beyond Series follows this family as they shake up the order of things while falling head-over-heels in love.

Now, when I say “scorchingly hot” I do mean it. These are erotic romances and I was not prepared for the hotness found on the pages of these books. Because the O’Kane family loves and loves hard and they’re not afraid to show it. AKA The sex scenes in these books are just out of this world hot and there is now a burn mark on my couch. This is the first time I’m rating any book (let alone 12 at once), “Absolutely Not Safe For Mom”. Mom – please, do not read these books.

That’s not to say there is no plot amid the sex. There is. And it continues through the rest of the nine books. And Kit Rocha does a great job of leaving you with just enough of a cliffhanger to keep you coming back for more. And then, because they’re evil geniuses, Kit Rocha leaves the series in enough of a cliffhanger to keep you coming back for their next series, Gideon’s Riders. They’re evil wonderful and going to eventually get all my money.

Please, don’t ask me to pick a favorite. That’s like asking to pick a favorite pet or child. Just…I can’t.

What I Love About This Series:

  • Badass ladies who can hold their own against their badass lovers.
  • A found family of misfits, broken, and searching people.
  • Sex positivity, FTW!!!
  • Let’s be honest, the ladies run Sector Four.
  • Sector Four is a place to heal and rebuild.
  • O’Kane’s protect their own.
  • Yes, the sex. (I’m not blushing! You’re blushing!) 😊💕🔥

Tropes To Be Found:

  • Action & Adventure
  • Bad Boy
  • Band of Brothers
  • Bisexual
  • Cage Fighting
  • Dancing Queen
  • Dominance & Submission
  • Dystopian
  • Erotic Romance Found Family
  • Learning how to friend
  • Like a virgin
  • May/December
  • Pain & Pleasure
  • Polyamory
  • Possessive Lovers
  • Post Apocalyptic
  • Power Couple Second Chance Romance
  • Secret Agent Man
  • Sexual Awakening
  • Sheltered Princess
  • Spies
  • Super Sexy Romance
  • Tattoos
  • Tragic Backstory

To learn more about this series, go to Kit Rocha’s website and take a look at their beautiful covers. (Also, just as a note, my picture does not include all of the books.)


Heart of the Fae


Once upon a time…

A plague sweeps across the emerald hills of Uí Néill, leaving a young midwife’s father with months to live. To save her people, Sorcha makes a deal with a dangerous Fae. She must travel across the sea, through merrow and kelpie lands, to find a forgotten king on a crumbling throne.

Born king of the Seelie Fae, Eamonn fought battles unnumbered to uphold honor, duty, and freedom… until his twin brother sank a blade between his shoulders. Crystals grew from the wound, splitting open skin and bone. His people banished him to a cursed isle for his disfigurement, now king of criminals and fools.

With the help of brownies, pixies, and will-o’-the-wisps, Sorcha battles to break through his crystalline shell and persuade him to take back his stolen throne.

This determined beauty could come dangerously close to stealing his beastly heart.

Heart of the Fae is a fantasy romance story by Emma Hamm and it’s just lovely. I loved this book. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but Hamm blew me away with her story telling. I know this will be a book that I read again several times.

This is a Beauty and the Beast story told through the lens of Irish folklore. Hamm does a fantastic job of interweaving Irish mythology into the story, making it a fresh, new version of Beauty and the Beast. It was a stunning tale that had me laughing, griping the pages in suspense, and crying.

Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses, making them so very compelling. The two main characters are less than perfect, making their struggles that much more relatable. Even the villain had his moments of twisted righteousness. Every person in this story was unique and fantastic.

The two main characters in this story are Sorcha and Eamonn.

Sorcha is a fiery, red-headed midwife. She comes from humble origins but has taught herself a lot of medical knowledge due to her being both a midwife and to help combat the plague. She’s smart and takes no shit from man. Yet, all that she’s given is shit from men. While she’s still very kind and caring, she has developed a thick skin and a very stubborn streak.

Another very important aspect about Sorcha is that she was raised to honor the Fae. While there are Fae in the human world, they don’t interact too much. They’ve become demonized due to *history*. Unlike most humans, Sorcha’s mother taught her to treat them with respect and leave gifts for them. She’s a little ostracized for this.

Eamonn is Fae. He is son to the Faerie king and queen, the eldest twin, and raised to be a warrior. We learn very quickly that Fionn (his younger twin) betrayed Eamonn, stabbing him in the back. With every cut Eamonn received, crystals would grow out of the wound. Over time, he has turned into a half Fae/half golem creature. He is a handsome man with streaks or opal and crystal distorting his body. For this, he was banished to a magical island that is seen once every seven years. It’s the home of banished Fae and Eamonn has become their king. It is a twisted mockery of what should have been rightfully his.

So, as you might imagine, Eamonn isn’t the happiest of people. He’s secluded and a bit beaten down. Yet, no matter what happened in his past, his first thought is to protect. Like Sorcha, he’s stubborn, yet he cares tremendously for the people on this island. Like most Seelie Fae, he feels his emotions on a stronger level. When he loves, he loves hard. When he becomes angry, it’s like a storm. Kind of like in Spinal Tap, he too goes to eleven.

About The Book

There are three things that help set up the story. 1. The human lands are being ravished by the blood beetle plague. Nobody knows how it started, where it came from, or how to cure it. The host is infected with beetles living under their skin and feeding off their blood. It’s a bit like the scarab beetles from the 90’s version of The Mummy with Brendan Fraser (the best version). 2. Sorcha, the badass heroine of this book, has found a way to extend the life expectancy of a person infected with the blood beetle plague. While she attempts to share her findings with the college of medicine (multiple times), they ignore her because men and patriarchy. They view her as insignificant because she’s a woman and has a vagina, but she knows she has something to contribute. She knows she’s right. She’s going to keep working on a cure for her father. 3. In a world that doesn’t believe or trust in the Fae, Sorcha does. After her latest failed attempted at the college of medicine, Sorcha finds herself face to face with a Fae and a deal that could change the tides of the plague. She is to bring back an exiled Fae prince in exchange for the cure to the plague.

These events, the plague, patriarchy, and the Fae, are the catalyst for everything that happens in both Heart of the Fae and Veins of Magic.

Now, this wouldn’t be much of a story if Sorcha didn’t accept the deal from the Fae. She does. Obviously. She leaves immediately, saying a rushed goodbye to her family, and travels farther than she has ever gone before. She sees things she thought were just old Fae tales and meets intriguing people who help her on her way. Eventually, Sorcha finds herself washed up on this magically hidden island inhabited by banished Fae of all kinds.

And this is where the fun begins!!

Eamonn is (if you haven’t figured out) the prince who Sorcha needs to bring back. And it’s not going to be easy. He has no reason to go to the human world. He has no ties to it and no reason to trust Sorcha. As much pain as this place causes him, he’s come to care for the people who live in this broken castle with him. They are an odd sort of family.

Sorcha enters his life like a hurricane. Yet, for all her initial demands, realizes she needs to find a way to get Eamonn and the other Fae to trust her. She decides to stay until she can convince him to help. Slowly she starts turning things around, winning the trust of the other Fae through her kindness and genuine respect for them. Unwittingly, Sorcha becomes a catalyst for change in the Fae world and Eamonn’s life. He realizes he still wants to reclaim his throne and build a different world than what his brother has ruled over.

And things slowly start to thaw between Sorcha and Eamonn.

Their relationship is so gradual. They are a antagonistic towards each other at first (hello enemies to lovers!), going head to head. Sorcha is the first person in a very long time that stands up to and challenges Eamonn. And Eamonn helps Sorcha realize she doesn’t have to do everything alone.

They slowly learn to trust each other, becoming tenuous friends first and then lovers. It’s a beautiful dance of them being such fools for each other. Sorcha values his quick wit and smart mind and Eamonn is entranced by her compassion and steadfastness. Hamm does a wonderful job of building the romantic tension between them and it’s so delicious. I could eat it up. I’m thinking about it and I want to reread the book. It’s good things.

It’s an amazing romance. Delicious relationship is delicious.


While Heart of the Fae is about these two falling in love, it is also about Sorcha and Eamonn growing, realizing their potential to do something more, and then starting to act upon that.

Now, since this is book one, never doubt that it ends on the cliffiest of cliffhangers. It’s noble, it’s heart wrenching, is maddening all at the same time! And book two starts with a very different tone than book one. So, buy both books at the same time so you can just start book two immediately.

For any fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses out there, seriously consider picking this series up.

Heart of the Fae is the first in The Otherworld series, with the second, Veins of Magic, finishing up this tale. Book one focuses on Sorcha and Eamonn coming together and falling in love. Book two is about them staying in love and fighting for…so much. You need to read them both to get the HEA. And it is so worth it.

Lovely Quotes

“I am not a woman, but sword and shield. I will carve my own path or I will force others to create it for me.”

“Everything is dangerous and one must decide whether to live in fear, or courage.”

“I fear that you would ask me to lay the world at your feet.” He glanced over his should, blue eyes searing through her calm resolve. “And it would be all too easy to do.”

“I am my own before I am any other’s.”

“Right and wrong suggests that there is only black and white. I refute that belief and instead replace it with my own. If I desire a man, I shall take one.”

“Mo chroí,” She whispered. “You called me your heart.”

Buy The Book



Agnes Moor’s Wild Knight

Agnes Moor knows her place in the court of King James IV—as one of the “exotics” in his employ. When the king makes a kiss from Agnes the prize of a tourney, a mysterious knight plows through his opponents to claim it. But it isn’t chance. The Wild Knight has come for her, and her champion is after the most elusive prize of all: her heart.

Alright, so, I’ve had this book in my TBR pile for probably a year! I don’t know why I haven’t read it before now, but I hadn’t and I finally did! And I just…I think I melted a bit when I read it.

First of all, you need to know this is a novella. I did not know this…I probably forgot because It’s been a year since I first bought it. But gosh dang-it I want this to be longer! Now, for a novella, it’s super cute and a well told story, I was just expecting a full-length novel.

For me, novellas sometimes don’t quite hit the mark. The premise is good, the idea is wonderful, but it’s just missing something because there isn’t a whole lot of room to tell a fully formed story. And I get it. It’s a novella. It’s short. That’s what it is. But sometimes you get some novellas that just really hit the spot and this was one of them. Cole did a fantastic job telling this story.

I was really excited when I found this book because you have Medieval-historic romance with a black woman as the female protagonist. How often do you get that? Like…just this once. This book is it. One book. But I was so excited to read it. Because, let’s be honest, I’m guessing most of you think Medieval times and think it’s pretty white. And yes, as a white woman, I’m guilty of that. Which is why I was excited for this book. It helps remind me of…you know…reality.

The Lovers

I feel like well-rounded characters aren’t often found in novellas. Since the story is so short, the characters aren’t as fully developed. However, that’s not the case here. Agnes and Gareth were both fantastically, rich characters

Agnes was a wonderful, vibrant character. She was funny and witty and smart. She had wonderful moments of being so graceful while putting down members of the court who impugn her honor. And it was great. I loved reading it! She was smart and graceful, well able to hold her own in court. I so enjoyed her.

Gareth was equally wonderful. He’s confident, willing to work for what he wants, and smart. I picture him as Gerard Butler in all the Scottish regalia, which just…give me a piece of that! And when he first meets Agnes, he’s enraptured. Gareth is stunned by her beauty and mind. I love a man who loves his woman’s brains and much as her beauty. Gareth, in short, is amazing.

The Romance

One thing I really liked was that Agnes and Gareth weren’t strangers to each other. It wasn’t a love-at-first-sight-oh-my-gosh-I-gotta-tear-your-clothes-off type romance. They had spent time in each other’s company prior to the tournament and there was a genuine respect and attraction for each other. It was the respect between these two characters that I really appreciated about this story.

You have Agnes who is a black woman in a white man’s court. She’s unique, mysterious, and seen more as an object, not a person. Then there’s Gareth, a Scottish highlander who is seen as little more than an uneducated barbarian. These are two people who are seen as outsiders that find and understand each other. They have respect for each other as human and that respect turns into love. When they first meet, they’re intrigued by each other, which then leads to some amazing flirtation.

Now let me tell you, Gareth is all in. Gareth is full on ready to woo Agnes the moment he meets. But he waits. She leaves Scotland and she thinks he’s forgotten her. But oh no! Not that man! He remembers her and remembers her fondly. Gareth enters the competition for the sole reason to win her hand. He’s going to be her champion and then he’s gonna marry her. It’s fantastic! He’s just a swoon-worthy character.

And Agnes, while hesitant, finds Gareth too good to be true. He treats her like a person. He enjoys her conversation and humor and he meets her word for word. Agnes and Gareth are equally matched and it’s so wonderful to see. And she also finds a champion in Gareth. Not just as the tourney champion, but as someone who will stand up for her and defend her honor when she cannot. She wasn’t expecting to find love, but it found her.

Also, for such a novella, the love scene is surprisingly sexy.


If you want a short, sweet, and sassy romance, grab this book! It is such a treat!


Just once, but it had left an indelible mark on her. She’d thought herself foolish – month of pining away for some Highland chief determined to thwart James’s plans for unification – but as MacAllister bowed deeply and strode off the field, she understood that her instinct had been correct: The Wild Knight had come for her. Maybe once had been enough.

“…But I believe it would be quite easy for a man to care for you.”

“I will always champion you,” he said simply. “If you will have me.”

His plaid had flow up when he’d leapt across the table, revealing a muscular ass and the hint of something thick and veined.

Read The Book


Along Came Love

When a silly, impulsive decision lands free-spirited India Shaw behind bars in San Francisco, she has no choice but to call the only person she knows in the unfamiliar city—the very man she abandoned after a steamy two-day fling. The fact that she’s pregnant with his child is something she’d rather not divulge.

Tech executive Michael Black never thought he’d hear from the quirky beauty after she left his bed four months ago, much less be called upon to post bail. He’s got his hands full with a corporate merger that could make or break his career, but his honorable nature—and an overwhelming need to see her again—means he can’t just leave her in jail. And when India reveals the truth about her pregnancy, Mike insists she stay with him until the baby is born.

India doesn’t want to depend on him for anything, but their constant proximity stirs up feelings she can’t ignore. She’s never desired a family before and she knows a future with Mike isn’t possible . . . but then along came love to shake up all her plans.

Along Came Love was abso-freakin-loutly adorable! It was such a fun opposites attract romance that had me riveted to the pages. If I had my way, I would have spent a good day with this book, sadly, work got in the way.

This was my first introduction to Tracey Livesay. I found this book through one of Kindle’s gazillion book deals. It sounded adorable, so I bought it. And I’m so very glad I did. This is the second book in the Shades of Love series, and it may have been even better had I read Love On My Mind first. I know we meet both Mike and Indi in those books, so there is a chance I would have had a better grasp on both their characters if I started there. I didn’t, however, and still enjoyed the book!

What I Loved

  • I loved the differences in personality between Mike and Indi. They were such a great yin and yang couple, balancing the whimsical and the serious.
  • I do appreciate that Mike more or less took Indi’s word that the baby was his. He knew she had no reason to lie and, once he had time to process, took her at her word.
  • Mike caring for Indi, especially during her various bouts of morning sickness, was tooth-achingly adorable.
  • Indi’s ability to charm and make friends, especially with Mike’s sister, Morgan, was so wonderful.
  • The fact they call the baby Nugget.
  • The chemistry between the two was on fire!

What I didn’t Love

  • The fact that Mike was still in a relationship with Skylar when he started fooling around with Indi. I almost DNFed the book when this happened, to be honest. I really didn’t like the way Mike handled the situation with Skylar and how he reasoned, “well, she saw the picture and hasn’t returned my calls, so we’re practically broken up.” It didn’t feel respectful to either Indi or Skylar.
  • The Black Family Drama at the end was overwhelming. I’m not surprised that Indi got out of dodge when she could. I get the excitement of a new grandbaby, but it really felt as though they didn’t care what Indi thought. It made me angry for her.
  • The end of the story felt rushed and as though some of the main obstacles hadn’t been resolved by the time the lovers get back together.

Beyond the Romance

One thing I really appreciated was the conversation Indi and Mike had regarding what it would mean for Mike, a white man, raising a biracial child. It was poignant and an issue I’m not sure too many people would think about.

“You want to raise him, but you don’t even realized what it’ll mean.” “What are you talking about?” A tiny cynical smile marred the perfection of her mouth. “Do you understand he won’t be like you?” He narrowed his eyes. “Explain.” “He’ll be biracial. Half black, half white.” “I know that,” he said insulted by her insinuation. “But do you understand what that means? He may have some of your features, but superficially, he may not look like you. Are you ready for that? For the stares you’ll get, the assumption that he isn’t yours or that you adopted him? Will you be ready to answer his questions about why he looks different and how that makes him feel?”


I really enjoyed Along Came Love! I loved the characters, the dialog was so witty, and the romance made me blush! However, because of the whole thing between Mike, Skylar, and Indi (and the fact I almost DNFed because of it), I am dropping the rating down. It’s one of those trope/plot points that just makes me angry and I don’t want to deal.

That isn’t going to stop me from grabbing the other books in this series. My TBR pile is now larger because I NEED to read the rest of Tracey Livesay’s books. It’s a priority. A necessity!

If you’re a fan of pregnancy plots and opposites attract tropes, grab this book! You won’t be disappointed!


“When a woman moves to a new city, one of the first things she does is get recommendations for a hairstylist and an ob-gyn. We only trust those body parts to exceptional practitioners.

“You don’t have the right to be jealous.” “Whether or not I have the right to be doesn’t mean the feeling ceases to exist.”

She would never get tired of this feeling. Of receiving pleasure from this man and giving it in return. What would it be like to have access to these sensations any time she wanted?

Did getting turned on by a yoga session make him a pervert?

“No more running away from me. I’m in this for the long haul and we’ll figure it out. Together.”

“He moved closer to her. “I’ll always take care of you.” “I don’t need you to.” “I know. But taking care of you isn’t a way to control you, and it doesn’t mean I don’t think you’re capable of taking care of yourself. It just means I care about you and I want you to be safe.” He paused. “Because I love you.”

Buy The Book


Review: Forbidden


Rhine Fontaine is building the successful life he’s always dreamed of—one that depends upon him passing for White. But for the first time in years, he wishes he could step out from behind the façade. The reason: Eddy Carmichael, the young woman he rescued in the desert. Outspoken, defiant, and beautiful, Eddy tempts Rhine in ways that could cost him everything…and the price seems worth paying.

Eddy owes her life to Rhine, but she won’t risk her heart for him. As soon as she’s saved enough money from her cooking, she’ll leave this Nevada town and move to California. No matter how handsome he is, no matter how fiery the heat between them, Rhine will never be hers. Giving in for just one night might quench this longing. Or it might ignite an affair as reckless and irresistible as it is forbidden…

I know Beverly Jenkins just released Tempest. It looks great! It looks wonderful! But my TBR pile is huge and my broke ass needs to wait a little while to read it. So, instead, I’m talking about the first book in this Old West series, Forbidden.


There is a part of me that just wants to stop there. That’s all you need to know about this book. It’s amazing. Though, if any of you have read any of Jenkins’ previous books, this probably isn’t a surprise.

The storytelling is amazing, the characters are fantastic, and the historical research all help bring this book to life! I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS ONLY THE SECOND BEVERLY JENKINS BOOK I’VE READ! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

So, let’s talk about the characters

There is a depth and richness to Jenkins’ characters, both the two protagonists and the supporting cast. Eddy and Rhine were such wonderfully written characters, equally strong in their own convictions. While I normally wax eloquent about the men in romance books (because they make me swoon), I’m going to focus on Eddy instead.

Eddy was such a compelling character. She had a quiet determined, strength and stuck to her convictions. Getting to Virginia City wasn’t easy. It was filled with trial after tribulation, but she kept going. She didn’t back down or give up. She kept finding a way to make her dream become a reality. Eddy also allowed her self to dream again. I love that she was able to make room in her plans for the surprises life threw at her. She “dusted off” old dreams she never thought would be reality and allowed space for them in her life once again.

But one thing I loved most was Eddy’s decisions when it came to Rhine. Even though she felt a pull towards him, she knew a romantic involvement could only go so far. She stuck to her convictions even when he was flirting and charming. Every time she turned him down, I cheered a little. She kept him humble and didn’t let his flirtations sway her, especially while he was still involved with Natalie.

The side characters were also wonderful! The whole community of Virginia City was beautiful. However, Sylvia, Vera, Doc, and Jim were a wonderful support for the two lovers. Jim, always there to keep Rhine grounded. Sylvia, giving Eddy a home and a friendship she didn’t know before. And Doc and Vera, supporting Eddy and Rhine as friends.

The Romance

The romance between Eddy and Rhine was so sweet. Like, I might have a toothache now because of their story. From the moment they meet, there is a tension between the two of them. They’re attracted, but because of the (seemingly) racial differences, nothing can happen. Plus, Rhine’s engaged (though it’s more of a business arrangement).

Through it all, Rhine is an incorrigible, endearing flirt who cares deeply for the people of his community. He shows himself to be a man of character and hopes for the future. It’s no wonder Eddy falls in love with him. And Rhine doesn’t stand a chance against falling for Eddy. Eddy is smart, compassionate, strong, and fierce. No matter how he tries to stay away from her, he keeps being pulled into her.

Theirs is, for obvious reasons, a slow courtship. Their attraction to each other is shared and acknowledged, but not freely acted on. And not acted on till all the cards are on the table. Yet through their day-to-day interactions, they discover more and more reasons why they are falling in love with each other. Why Rhine is willing to turn his life up side down for Eddy. Why Eddy is willing to take a chance on Rhine.

This is a mostly closed-door romance. There is no sex in the book, but they do share intimate moments. There are lots of kisses, both sweet and sexy, and there are a few moments that get a little steamy (a little bit of fingering).

Beyond the Romance

There was a moment in my life when I considered becoming a history major. “There’s no money in that!” I said. So, logic prevailed and I switched to social work instead (side-eyes my past self’s decision making abilities). I love history. I love knowing about the past and how it’s shaped the future. This is part of why I love historical fiction. And I love when authors intertwine their stories with actual historic events.

Beverly Jenkins has blown me away with how she has blended history with her story. There is such a great depth of historical research that adds to the richness of Forbidden. Where most historical romance novels provide a general idea of the time period, Jenkins adds in actual historic places and events. It helps provide context for what is happening, the social/political climate, and the other trials and tribulations the characters are facing (beyond their romantic entanglements).


Since I am fairly new to the romance genre, this is only the second Beverly Jenkins book I’ve read. I can’t wait to get my hands on more (especially some of her pirate books!!). I know I said it before, but it bears repeating: this book was stunning. You absolutely must grab a copy and read it.

The audiobook is equally fantastic. The narrator, Kim Staunton, does a wonderful job of giving voice to the characters. If you don’t have time to read the book, grab the audio version to enjoy.


“Will you at least give me a chance to prove myself?” “To what end? A few days ago you were engaged to marry, and now you want me to believe you’re genuinely interested in me as something other than a dalliance.” A smiled played around his lips. “You don’t plan to make this easy, do you? “Why should I?”

“Men do tend to complicate things.”

“I should go before Sylvie comes home and finds you spread out on the table like dessert.” … “Why would you kiss me on the table?” She whispered. He smiled at the innocence the question held. “Because desire sometimes happens in the oddest places, little queen. You’ll see.”

“With yours, I want to put it on your lips and spend the night tasting it…And if that isn’t clear enough. I want you, Eddy Carmichael, in a way that has nothing to do with race, but everything to do with me being a man and you being a beautiful woman.”

Read The Book


Review: The Wrong Kind of Compatible

Quick Summary

Nerdy and awkward undercover FBI agent falls for the nerdy and awkward data analyst whom he is investigating. Sparks fly!

Bookish Thoughts

Nerdy and brilliant data analyst, Cassie Howard, has worked hard to achieve her career. She doesn’t need help with her work, especially not from the new too-sexy-too-be-true data analyst. No man will take credit for her work, thank you very much. Now she just needs to tell her brain to stop thinking about him so much.

Undercover FBI agent, Drew Kerrigan’s investigation has led him right to Cassie’s (work) door. She’s his best shot at discovering who is responsible for insider trading…and she just happens to be his lead suspect. He needs to get close to her, and all he seems to manage is to push her away.

However, as suspicious as they both are of each other, they can’t deny their attraction either.

I love a good nerd falls in love with “popular” person as much as anyone. But what I love about this story is that we have two nerds falling in love with each other! And they’re so…awkward! Cassie and Drew are both computer geniuses. They’re good with computers, not so great with people. Drew talks with people like he’s interrogating them. Cassie has a bad habit of unconsciously speaking out-loud what she’s thinking. And between the two of them, there are a number of different moments when their computer talk sounds more like innuendos.

Which is part of what makes this book so much fun.

This book was witty and cute. From the moment these two meet, they stumble over each other, tripping over words and miscommunication. It makes for an automatic antagonistic relationship (which is one of my favorite tropes) yet, they can’t seem to resist each other either. Their constant fumbling and bickering combined with the “forbidden attraction” adds a great push and pull to their relationship. They’re cute. They’re nerdy. They’re each other’s CSS to HTML.

There are some absolutely adorable and laugh out loud moments, and, as with all romance books, moments that had me hiding my face in my hands screaming, “NNOOOOO!!” By the middle of the story, I just wanted to bang their heads together and make them start kissing.

now kiss

The second book in the series is now in my TBR pile and I have high hopes it’ll be just as great as this one.

Beyond the Romance

Outside of the romance, I appreciated Scott’s acknowledgement to the struggle women have in the STEM/Computer Sciences world. One of the reasons Cassie is so antagonistic towards Drew at first is because she’s worried the company brought Drew in to take over her job. “Why?” you might ask, because he’s a man.

I’m married to a web-developer and through him have become friends with several women in the field. Sexism is an issue they all face. It’s become so much of an issue it has started to be prevalent in the news (Google Manifesto or Susan Fowler formerly of Uber). Women often get overlooked for jobs like Cassie’s because of their gender.

On a side note, if you’re a woman at all interested in coding opportunities, take a look at these:

Women Who Code

Girl Develop It

Fantastical Quotes

-Holy smoking hotness, Batman. No computer nerd has a right to look like that.

-Yep. The FBI would be documenting his technique for training purposes: What Not to Do with Women, A Study in Three Parts.

-She gave a brisk nod, turned, and pulled the door open. Then she angled back toward him. “Try to appear contrite and browbeaten like I’ve just been drilling you.” She clapped a hand over her mouth as the implications set in. “Mother trucker. Strike that last comment.”

“I’d like to unzip your files.”

-Drew reluctantly pulled back and smiled as she stood for a moment, eyes closed, face tipped up to him like a flower to the sun. It struck him that he’d like to be her sun—the guy that drew her closer with the force of gravity, who lit her up, who heated her to the core.

Buy The Book

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – ITunes – Kobo – Google Play

If You Liked This, Read This…

Level Up by Cathy Yardley


Review: Stage Dive Series by Kylie Scott

Over the holiday season, I read A LOT of books. So many. I tore through them because I could and because I was on a small break of my own. Today’s books (that’s right, plural) are just some of the ones that I read. These are the Stage Dive series by Kylie Scott.

Stage Dive is the rock-star-studded series about commitment phobic rock-gods, the women they fall in love with, and the major groveling these rock-stars do to keep these ladies in their life. These are cute books, heavy on the romance, a bit lighter on the music, but still fun to see these characters fall in love. If you pick these books up, I hope you liked them as much as I did.

What would you do if you woke up hung over in a Vegas hotel room married to a world famous rock star? Freak out sounds about right. Which is what Evelyn Thomas does. After parting ways with lead guitarist of Stage Dive, David Ferris, Evelyn discovers her life is never going to be the same. She and David need to navigate what the future holds and if they this is a marriage they want to fight for. Whisking Evelyn away to his private home on the coast of California, Evelyn and David spend the time getting to know each other…while slowly falling in love.

What I liked:

  • Evelyn demanding she stand on her own even though David offers to pay for rent/school/life.
  • David being protective and generally super sweet whenever Evelyn is concerned.
  • Evelyn’s best friend and brother being amazing side characters.
  • David not pushing Evelyn in the second half of the book after THINGS happen.

What I didn’t like:

  • Evelyn is a saint among women for taking David back. Not gonna lie, if my guy did anything like David did, it would take a HELL of a lot more than David’s groveling to get me back. And even then, might be iffy.
  • It took me a while to like Jimmy. He’s kind of a douche-nozzle.
  • Evelyn’s parents were disappointing.

Quote “You make me tremble in fear, rest assured.” The smile he gave me made me tremble, and fear had nothing to do with it. “BUt I married you, Evelyn, because you made sense to me. We make sense. We’re a whole lot better together than apart. You notice that?”

Buy The Book

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Ibooks – Kobo – Google Play

Book: Play. Stage Dive 2 The Lovers: Anne Rollins & Mal Ericson Tropes: Fake dating, roommates, family drama, apology puppy, dealing with illness Hotness: Not Safe For Mom Rating: 3

Anne’s roommate just bailed on her. Took all the furniture and left without paying her portion of the rent. Anne needs to find another source of income. STAT. Mal Ericson needs a fake girlfriend…he’s just not going to say why. After meeting Anne through their mutual pal, Evelyn, he’s decided she’ll be the perfect fake girl for him. In the span of one evening, Evelyn goes from roommateless to rooming with the drummer from Stage Dive. How on earth did that happen? What starts out as a simple agreement, turns into friendship, which turns into something more.

What I liked:

  • The fun and joy Mal brings to Anne’s life.
  • Anne’s relationship with her little sister, Lizzy.
  • The surrogate family Anne gains.
  • The ever persistent family that is Stage Dive

What I didn’t like:

  • Mal’s overexhuberance was a bit too much for me at times.
  • Mal suddenly being monogamous felt a bit forced to me.
  • The reason and fact Mal kept THE THING ™ a secret.
  • The odd love triangle with Anne’s bff/boss.

Quote We could deal with things alone. Of course we could. But it was so much better together.

Buy The Book

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Ibooks – Kobo – Google Play

Lead 225x300

Book: Lead. Stage Dive 3 The Lovers: Lena Morrissey & Jimmy Ferris Tropes: Boss/Employee relationship, just fuck it out of my system, man doesn’t know what Love is, former drug addiction Hotness: Not Safe For Mom Rating: 2

After getting out of rehab, lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy Ferris hires a live in assistant to help him stay out of trouble. Enter Lena. She’s vibrant and won’t back down, taking no crap from her boss. They don’t always see eye to eye, but there is a growing respect between them. And for Lena, that growing respect turns into something more. As they spend more time together, both Lena and Jimmy struggle to keep their relationship professional despite their sizzling chemistry. Yet when Jimmy pushes Lena too far, he realizes he might lose her for good and needs to convince her to take a chance on him again.

What I liked:

  • Lena’s sass is legendary. I loved that she didn’t back down even when dealing with all the unruly band members.
  • The small hints here and there to the next book.
  • Jimmy’s attempts to “help” Lena get back into the dating world.
  • Jimmy encouraging Lena to pursue photography as a profession

What I didn’t:

  • Truth be told, this was my least favorite book. Jimmy was not my favorite band member. His mistakes were many and his groveling was a bit self-centered.
  • The fact Jimmy didn’t know/recognize what love is and the fact he didn’t come to the conclusion himself.
  • Jimmy was fairly manipulative and overbearing when it came to Lena. It made for an unhealthy balance in the relationship.

Quote “I need you to come back with me, please.” His breath warmed my ear. The heat of his body beckoned against my back. “I can’t stand not having you there, not knowing what you’re thinking, what you’re doing, not being able to tell you things and share them with you. It’s just…nothing’s the same. i hate waking up without you and I worry constantly that you’re okay, that you’ve got everything you need. Look, the truth is, I’m all about you, Lena. You’re my best friend. You’re my girl.”

Buy The Book

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Ibooks – Kobo – Google Play

Book: Deep. Stage Dive 3 The Lovers: Lizzy Rollins & Ben Nicholson Tropes: Oops! We made a baby, One night stand mistake, forbidden relationship, best friend’s sister-in-law Hotness: Not Safe For Mom Rating: 3

Ever since her sister, Anne, started dating Mal, Lizzy’s girl-hood crush on Ben Nicholson, Stage Dive’s bass player, has only increased. They flirt. They text. And in between their flirting, they both come to cherish the friendship they’ve built. As much as Lizzy knows Ben isn’t looking for anything permanent, he makes her feel safe and cherished and desired. Ben knows Lizzy’s off limits. He’s Mal’s little sister, someone he shouldn’t touch no matter the chemistry between them. Yet one night in Vegas is about to change everything between them. A few months later and two positive pink lines, Lizzy finds herself pregnant and permanently connected to Ben. Now Ben and Lizzy need to learn what this new changes means for them and their budding relationship.

What I liked:

  • Ben’s care for Lizzy while she’s pregnant is super cute.
  • Ben being a super caring and sweet individual (for the most part).
  • Lizzy and another wonderful character being pregnant together and commiserating about that.

What I didn’t like:

  • Same as in Lead, Ben groveling didn’t seem as sincere as I wanted it.
  • Ben’s sister Martha playing the evil sister (which she also does in Lick).
  • Ben’s first reaction to hearing about Lizzy’s pregnancy.

Quote “Sweetheart, you’ve been important since day one. Only girl I kept coming back to. Didn’t matter how far I ran, I couldn’t get you off my mind. Never been this way about another woman.”

Buy The Book

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – IBooks – Kobo – Google Play


Review: Blue Moon by Angela Colsin


When betrayed by his Alpha, Cade Hodgins takes the role in leading the Arkin City pack and begins his search for those responsible for his father’s death. Information is hard to come by however—until a stray lupine wanders into his territory.

But Ashley Passmore is no ordinary stray. She’s a newborn wolf, turned from being a human with no prior knowledge that lupines existed. Due to her blackouts, she can’t recall who turned her or why, but Cade suspects her attackers may be the same as those who entrapped his father.

In the meantime, Cade takes Ashley in to help her regain control of her new life, and finds more than just a lead—she’s his mate. But Ashley is adjusting to the new world she’s been thrust into, making it uncertain she’ll accept the growing bond between them, while those who turned her want to make sure she’s silenced for good.

I decided to put in a warning prior to my post today. This book, and subsequent post, deals with both consent and life after a traumatic event. This isn’t about rape, though some of the events in the book might as well be a thin veil for talking about it. As I’ll repeat in the post, considering the climate, the #metoo movement, and the stories women share, I want to make sure you as a reader are prepared for this. There is nothing graphic shared in this post, however, knowing that the hint of this conversation can be upsetting to some, I wanted to put this warning out there.

You know those assholes who like to shit on the romance genre as a whole? The people who say that romance is nothing more than trash, is all about sex, isn’t smart, isn’t edifying, isn’t up to their perfect pseudo-intellectual standards? You know those assholes. Those asshole are wrong! And have probably never picked up a romance book in their life (Mini rant never over).

And the reason I know they’re wrong is because of the numerous, edifying, issue-raising books I have read in this genre. Take exhibit A and the book I’ll be reviewing today: Blue Moon by Angela Colsin.

I reviewed another of Colsin’s books, Strange Brew, back in September and I loved it. Blue Moon is equally fantastic. All her books have held up pretty damn well. While I loved the 5th one, The Final Calling, the best, I’m reviewing the first on for two reasons: 1. I was given a copy of this book by the author to review, but 2. And maybe more importantly, this book deals with consent and life after trauma. In this climate, with the #metoo movement and the unending stories of women experiencing sexual assault, I felt it was important to review this book. There was a moment I thought about reaching out to Colsin to see if she’d be alright with me reviewing The Final Calling instead. However, this blog isn’t just to highlight books I love, but to highlight books that have important things to say. I think Blue Moon has some important things to say.

Here’s a little book-backstory for you. Cade Hodgins is a Lupin. This is different than a werewolf, which I won’t get into because it’s irrelevant to this review and Colsin tells you all about it at the start of the book. He’s the Alpha (leader) of his pack and is hunting for the bastard Lupins who killed his father. Dad Hodgins discover these jackasses were running an illegal and highly dangerous gambling ring based on pitting newly turned Lupins against each other. Which, in this world is a HUGE NO! Not only are they running these fights, it also turns out they’re turning people without their express permission. Again, a HUGE NO in this world. Which brings us to Ashley.

Ashley becomes the unwitting victim of these Lupins. Her world is turned upside-down, she’s scared, she doesn’t know what’s happening, and has no idea that the supernatural world exists. She’s halfway convinced she’s going insane. When she meets Cade, she’s vulnerable and, more than anything, wants someone to explain what the hell is going on.

So the fact that she is taken in and cared for by Cade and his pack is so important to Ashley’s arc. Everyone in Cade’s pack who heard about Ashely being turned against her will were angry…downright murderous, even. Ashely is believed. She isn’t told she’s wrong or her being turned was her fault. In fact, she’s told this:

“Don’t go on a guilt trip, Ash. You’re not a bad person, you were victimized. Nothing that happened was your fault.”

Do you know how many women need to hear this? Need to hear that it wasn’t their fault. That what happened to them wasn’t because of something they did? Probably every single woman. I love this. And this is the part of the book I think is so important. The people who surround Ashley are caring and nurturing. She quickly finds a family within this pack and who will fight for her and teach her how to fight as well. Colsin does an amazing job of balancing Ashley’s recovery and giving her a lodestone to turn to when things are starting to overwhelm her. I wish more people had this! Everyone needs a pack.

I just…I have a lot of feels about this.


I could repeat a lot of what I wrote in my review of Strange Brew. All of Colsin’s books are about supernaturals finding their fated mates. Yet I never find Colsin’s version of this trope creepy (which is how I feel about other books with of the same idea). In the Crucible series, the couples never ignore each other’s wants, needs, and fears. They talk with each other about what it means to be mates and bonded. What that means for their lives and futures and what changes that might entail. I love Colsin’s version of the mates trop for this reason. They talk it through with each other, rather than just assume that, because they’re mates, they’re automatically going to fall in love and have their happily ever after.

Cade treats Ashley no differently. And this is why I love Cade Hodgins.

Cade doesn’t want to overwhelm Ashley more than she already has been. He helps gently ease her into the Lupin life-style, respecting her needs and boundaries. He’s a gentleman. And Cade is ever the conscientious man in love. He recognizes that he’s bonding with Ashley pretty quickly, however because he’s very aware of what she went through, the trauma she’s faced, and the repercussions of that, he’s hesitant to start anything romantic with her. He more or less waits until she is ready before starting anything. Which is both infuriating and adorable. He’s a swoon-worthy guy who puts his woman first before his pants feels.

His first instinct is to protect her while, on the other hand, he wants to know if she is bonding with him as well. There are these wonderful moment between the two of them, longing glances, gentle touches, and extreme frustration that nothing more is happening. It’s fantastic! Cade knows what’s happening, yet he’s trying to put distance between himself and Ashley. Ashley doesn’t know what’s happening, thinks Cade is frustrated, and starts ignoring him. All the while, they’re both jealous as hell of anyone else talking to the other. It’s a very amusing circle of, “I want to. But I can’t. But I want to!”

While Cade is a wonderful character, Ashley is a spitfire in her own right. Even though she experienced something traumatic, she never gives up. She finds a life for herself in this new world. And where she describes herself as timid before, she shows no compunction for standing up for herself and speaking her mind now. She’s still the compassionate person she was, but she’s also not going to let anyone walk over her. She’s going to fight for what she wants and the people she loves. And more importantly, she’s going to fight for herself. She’s amazing and I love her and I want to be her friend.

I love the romance between these two. It’s respectful, adorable, and gives me the warm-fuzzies.


I love that Blue Moon is not only blatant about the necessity of consent, but also that Ashley has a group of people surrounding and supporting her as she starts her new life. This is why romance is important. Because issues like consent need to be talked about. It should be talked about. I am so glad this book exists for that reason.

If you want to start a new series, grab the Crucible and start with Blue Moon. The characters are wonderful and all the stories intertwine (though can be read as stand-alone books if you want). This is a great paranormal romance series with so much heart!

Swoon Worthy Quotes

“You need to be kissed more often.”

“I feel like I’ve been waiting for you all my life.”

“I’ll never stop loving you, Ashley.”

Buy The Book