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#TBRCHALLENGE October 2021 - Gothic

 For this month's #TBRCHALLENGE the theme is Gothic. I actually had to look this up in Amazon and turns out I didn't have a single book in my TBR that matched the description. I went ahead and ordered A Lesson in Thorns by Sierra Simone. (Which negates the purpose of the challenge, I know, but I was intrigued by the theme and wanted to stick with it). I have read this author before and enjoyed her. This book was a bit different and I would not classify it as a romance, more like a paranormal mystery with some kink tossed in. There are four books in the series. Thornchapel is a mystical ruin that six children find one summer. When they are reunited as adults, they decide to participate in a ritual together. Where I got lost is understanding why these people made these decisions and seemed to have intense feelings about their relationships, even though most hadn't been in touch since that summer. I think there was SO MUCH going on with each character and their connection to t

#TBRChallenge - September 2021 - Unusual

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 What's more unusual for this month's TBRChallenge than an ice planet millions of miles from Earth? After hearing endless good things about Ruby Dixon's Ice Planet Barbarians series, I gave book one a try. I loved it. It was totally escapist romance at its finest. This is one of my first Science Fiction Romances (I think?) and this might be my gateway book into that genre. I loved it so much I immediately bought book 2 and can't wait to tear through the rest of the series. For some reason, it reminded me of Clan of the Cave Bear (one of my all-time favorite novels).  It was shorter in length and I read it in a night. 

#TBRCHALLENGE For July 2021 - Secrets and Lies *REVIEW*

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This month's #TBRCHALLENGE is Secrets and Lies. One of my favorite Harlequin category lines is Desire, which are great for secrets and lies. This month, I read Blame it on the Billionaire by Naima Simone. Ms. Simone is a new to me author and I've loved almost everything I've read by her. Blame it on the Billionaire is part of the Blackout Billionaire's series, and I enjoyed each book of that series. In this book, after a tryst during a blackout, the heroine doesn't tell the hero that she's an employee at his company (lie #1). The hero and heroine end up in a fake engagement (lie #2). Both the hero and heroine have secrets that could tear them apart, but their sizzling chemistry keeps them coming back together. This author is expert at writing emotion. The pacing is tight and the characters are delightful. I highly recommend this book! If you want to participate in the #TBRCHALLENGE, the details are here .

#TBRCHALLENGE For June 2021 - Book with One Word Title *REVIEW*

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CW: suicide, priest sexual abuse (not by the hero)  I had shockingly few choices for this month's #TBRCHALLENGE - book with a one-word title. I read Priest by Sierra Simone. This book has been recommended on the romance podcast Fated Mates. As a former Catholic, there were a lot of things in this book that made me gasp (Catholic guilt digs in deep). The priest is the hero of the story and he uses his sacred items to perform sexual acts on the heroine. Explicit events happen in the confessional. Chrism oil is used. His rope belt is used. So this is not the right book for someone who'd find this blasphemous. The book also deals with the problems in the Catholic Church with sexual abuse of children and how this has broken the trust of many people and ruined lives and families. On a personal note, I have an uncle who left the priesthood for a woman (an adult, consenting woman). It's a very hush-hush thing in our family that doesn't get spoken of often, but essentially my un

#TBRCHALLENGE May 2021 - Fairy Tale or Folktale *REVIEW*

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 Welcome back to the #TBRCHALLENGE for May 2021. This month's theme is Fairytale or Folktale, but I didn't know how to search my books for that particular theme. I picked the next closest thing I had - Dukes! This month I read (most of) Duke I'd like to F... A Historical Romance Anthology. I bought this anthology last year. I was unfamiliar with most of the authors. I don't read many novellas because I have a hard time connecting with characters when the format is so short. Each novella was so different, so I want to comment on them individually. The Chasing of Eleanor Vane by Sierra Simone : This novella is the first in the anthology and I had a hard time connecting with the premise. I wasn't convinced that the hero and heroine would actually wind up with a happy ending despite their strong physical, instant attraction to each other. The world in which the duke wanted to live was so far removed from the heroine's life. Duke for Hire by Nicola Davidson - This w

#TBR Challenge April 2021 - Old School *REVIEW*

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For the #tbrchallenge for April, I read an Old School novel. I chose A Hunger Like No Other, which was published in 2006. I'd read this book before and I loved it every bit as much the second time. It's such a compelling, dramatic, fun, sexy read. For those new to paranormal romance, the hero is alpha to the extreme. The heroine is a little of a Mary Sue at the beginning of the book, but she finds her own and figures herself out by the end. There's quite a bit of violence on the page and the hero is the definition of torrid and tortured. Having read the rest of the series, I could see the groundwork being laid in the world and met a lot of future heroes/heroines in this one. Want to participate in the #tbrchallenge? Details here . 

#TBR Challenge April 2021 - Old School

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 I had to change my original pick for this month. I tried reading a historical romance and I could not get into it ... I think I overdid it on historicals in 2020 and I've burned out on them. Instead, I've decided to do a re-read of Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series . I've been saving the first season of the podcast Fated Mates until I could do a refresher on the books. I read them so long ago, a lot of the books are meshing together in my head. From what I recall, there's a fairly complex world of immoral beings with different rules and skills.  I'll be reading A Hunger Like No Other  originally published in 2006.