January 2014 in Review

January is over and I’ve had a difficult time this month with the heat, barely made some exercises and the summer is far from over in my side of the world. I was so wishing for some rain in this week. But no such luck. My vacation is over and real life is back the next Monday, I’m already behind, because I barely read anything this month.

Books read:

I’ve finished 21 books and loved too much of those to count so for January, my favorites are from my favorite authors in the moment and two of those are series finale.

Up From the Grave (Night Huntress, #7) Misbehaving Killer Frost (Mythos Academy, #6)

Challenge Check:

I did really good this month with those challenge books and made a great dent on the NetGalley pile and the TBR.

  • 2014 TBR Pile Challenge – 1/12
  • 2014 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge – 7/50
  • 2014 Netgalley Reading Challenge – 7/21
  • Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh 2014 Read-A-Long – 2/13
  • 2014 Series Challenge – 1 series (Night Huntress)
  • 2014 Prequel & Sequel Challenge – 8/30
  • 2014 Reading Challenge: Seriously Series – Finished one started before 2014 (Night Huntress)
  • 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge – 9/40
  • 2014 Audio Book Challenge – 3/15
  • 2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge – 7/50
  • 2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge – 17/300 books over 100 pages
  • 2014 Men in Uniform Reading Challenge – 0/5
  • 2014 Ebook Reading Challenge – 17/150
  • 2014 Romantic Suspense Reading Challenge – 0/10
  • 2014 Erotic Romance Challenge – 0/12
  • 2014 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge – 6/30
  • 2014 NetGalley Challenge – 7/52
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Urban Fantasy Review: One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost

One Grave at a Time (Night Huntress, #6)

One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress
Publisher:
 Avon
Format:
 ebook
ISBN: 0061783196
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release date:  August 30th 2011
Number of pages: 358
Source: Bought

Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Goodreads

Summary:

Having narrowly averted an (under)world war, Cat Crawfield wants nothing more than a little downtime with her vampire husband, Bones. Unfortunately, her gift from New Orleans’ voodoo queen just keeps on giving–leading to a personal favor that sends them into battle once again, this time against a villainous spirit.

Centuries ago, Heinrich Kramer was a witch hunter. Now, every All Hallows Eve, he takes physical form to torture innocent women before burning them alive. This year, however, a determined Cat and Bones must risk all to send him back to the other side of eternity–forever. But how do you kill a killer who’s already long dead?

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Review:

This series has grown on me, but it’s almost over and I had such a hard time finishing this book. I wanted to love this story, but it was just to simple and a little confusing too. Ghosts are not my favorite in stories, but the more strange thing was how out of nowhere now Cat is the savior of the world and now every little thing must be addressed. I think it’s understandable how Bones always gets frustrated when their plans just disappear.

My first thought was how this plot was a little strange, but we also see some developments in Cat relationship with her mother, a super plus. The new director for the government agency Cat used to work was way too creepy, but his story will have to wait until next book. Guess my problem was the ghosts.

Contact the Author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook

Series in Order

#0.5 – Reckoning
#1 – Halfway to the Grave
#2 – One Foot in the Grave
#2.5 – Happily Never After
#3 – At Grave’s End
#3.5 – Devil to Pay
#4 – Destined for an Early Grave
#4.5 – Magic Graves
#5 – First Drop of Crimson
#6 – Eternal Kiss of Darkness
#7 – This Side of the Grave
#8 – One Grave At a Time
#8.5 – Home for the Holidays
#9 – Once Burned
#10 – Twice Tempted
#11 – Up From the Grave (Expected publication: January 28th 2014)
#12 – Untitled

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Romance Review: Reforming the Playboy by Inara Scott

Reforming the PlayboyReforming the Playboy by Inara Scott
Series: Passion Creek
Publisher:
 Entangled: Indulgence
Format:
 ebook
ISBN: 1622664507
Genre: Romance
Release date: January 13th 2014
Number of pages:  200
Source: Publisher

Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Goodreads

I received this book from Entangled: Indulgence in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Summary:

Five years ago, she left without a word…

Internationally-renowned artist Max Estin is as well known for his million dollar commissions as he is his partying and clubbing. But Max is hiding a secret—for almost a year he’s been completely blocked. Unable to paint. And to unlock his art, and save his career, he’s going to need the one woman he never wanted to see again.

Now, he’s determined to make her pay…

Kira Estin never told Max exactly why she left, or what secrets forced her to return home to Passion Creek so abruptly. So when a chance reunion turns to seduction, Kira is more than a little suspicious. She knows better than to trust Max, but can’t fight the fire that he lights in her body—or her heart. But when everyone is hiding a secret, can even the hottest passion survive?

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Review:

This was such a cute town, it feels like Fool’s Gold from Susan Mallery, with lots of nosy neighbours and romance is bubbling in Passion Creek. I loved Kira and Max was just as likable. He didnt’ made a mistake those years ago, but was a little oblivious to the way Kira was shutting from life, this is a story of reconnection and these two can understand the reasons between their problems those years ago.

I did not like the way Kira grandmother decided to push these to together, it worked but was strange too. I loved the fact both are artists and how much Kira helped Max push those inspirations to the paper. They have such a good chemistry together and both deserved a nice change and hapiness. Loved metting this town and Bev.

Contact the Author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook

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Romance Review: A February Bride by Betsy St. Amant

A February Bride (A Year of Weddings, #3)A February Bride by Betsy St. Amant
Series: A Year of Weddings
Publisher:
 Zondervan
Format:
 ebook
ISBN: 9780310338291
Genre: Romance
Release date: January 28th 2014
Number of pages: 120
Source: NetGalley

Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Goodreads

I received this book from NetGalley and Zondervan in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Summary:

In A February Bride by Betsy St. Amant, history repeats itself when this bride runs out of the church on her wedding day—in the same dress that had been passed down for generations and worn by her mom, grandma and great-grandmother who also ran out of their weddings. The heroine struggles to break destructive cycles of the past. Can this bride shuck expectation and discover who SHE is as a bride and in the Bride of Christ? And if she finally walks down the aisle, what dress will she be wearing? Readers will enjoy this novel of redemption centered on a winter wedding.

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Review:

This book became one of my favorites so fast. Allie was such a sweet girl, but I can easily understand her fears after meeting the family. Those women from her family are full of criticism and never lose a moment to put Allie down. The dress was the end and made so such sense to me. It’s like a family curse after all those weddings and the bad luck it brought, her mother forced Allie to wear the dress.

Hannah was Allie best-friend and Marcus sister, so after the doomed wedding, I expected everyone to desert her, but Hannah was a super friend and even brought the Marcus back to Allie’s life. Super loved Hannah and her creations for this Valentine wedding. The pre-parties and super cute. Loved Marcus family, they are super nice and treated Allie like another daughter.

I’m not sharing spoilers, but Hannah made a cute cupid.

Contact the Author: Website | Goodreads | 

Series in Order

#1 – A December Bride
#2 – A January Bride

#3 – A February Bride 
#4 – A March Bride (Expected publication: February 25th 2014)
#5 – An April Bride (Expected publication: March 25th 2014)
#6 – A May Bride (Expected publication: April 22nd 2014)
#7 – A June Bride (Expected publication: May 27th 2014)
#8 – A July Bride (Expected publication: June 24th 2014)
#9 – An August Bride (Expected publication: July 29th 2014)
#10 – A September Bride (Expected publication: August 26th 2014)
#11 – An October Bride (Expected publication: September 23rd 2014)

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Erotica Review: The Breed Next Door by Lora Leigh

The Breed Next Door (Breeds, #6)The Breed Next Door by Lora Leigh
Series: Breeds
Publisher:
 Ellora’s Cave
Format:
 ebook
ISBN: B002HUU0A6
Genre: Erotica
Release date:  August 4th 2009
Number of pages: 98
Source: Bought

Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Goodreads

Summary:

Lyra’s neighbor can’t be for real. A man that stares at home baked bread like he’s never tasted it. Who chops his lawn up with the powerful weed eater and lawn mower he has. A man that makes her hormones stand up and scream every time she sees him. He cut down her rosebush, and he’s breaking through her reserve to invade her dreams at night. But Tarek Jordan is much more than he seems. A Breed Enforcer with a plan. First, find the Council Trainer he’s tracked to Fayetteville, Arkansas, and second, claim the woman he knows belongs to him alone. Until the danger that shadows his life begins to shadow hers as well, and then Tarek knows, he can’t wait to claim the woman his heart and soul burns for. His next door neighbor will have to accept him as he is, and now on his terms, rather than hers.

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Review:

This was such a short story and both are new to me, but I liked Tarek and his honesty. Loved Lyra and her brother, she sounds just like Merinus. She’s strong and very pretty, after the time and the studies we can see that some developments made possible to now have some control over pregnancies. Tarek was a little different and he’s really good with computers, after saving Lyra is clear these two were made for each other.

Contact the Author: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Series in Order

#1 – Tempting the Beast
#2 – The Man Within

#3 – Elizabeth’s Wolf
#4 – Kiss of Heat
#5 – Soul Deep
#6 – The Breed Next Door
#7 – Megan’s Mark
#8 – Harmony’s Way
#9 -Tanner’s Scheme
#10 – Wolfe’s Hope
#11 – Jacob’s Faith
#12 – Aiden’s Charity
#13 – Beyond the Dark
#14 – Dawn’s Awakening
#15 – A Jaguar’s Kiss
#16 – Mercury’s War
#17 – The Magical Christmas Cat
#18 – Coyote’s Mate
#19 – A Christmas Kiss
#20 – Bengal’s Heart
#21 – Lion’s Heat
#22 – Styx Storm
#23 – Primal
#24 – Navarros Promise
#25 – An Inconvinient Mate
#26 – Lawe’s Justice
#27 – Stygian’s Honor
#28 – The Devil’s Due
#29 – Rule Breaker (Expected publication: February 4th 2014)

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Sunday Post #15

The Sunday Post The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme.

Still on vacation, but got to finish a few books and schedule the reviews for next month. The year started with lots of great reads so far.

Last Week on the Blog

Romance Review: Hollywood Blackmail by Jackie Ashenden

News on the Reading Pile

Bought:

Dangerous Pleasure (Bound Hearts, #12) Beauty and the Billionaire (Billionaire Boys Club, #2) The Wrong Billionaire's Bed (Billionaire Boys Club, #3) Foolish Games (Out of Bounds, #2)

NetGalley:

Dash of Peril (Love Undercover, #4) Come Home to Me (Whiskey Creek, #6) The Black Sheep's Inheritance One Good Cowboy

That’s all for this week. What you got to show? Leave me a link and I’ll come to visit.

Cutting the Budget – Helping to keep in Track

Cutting the Budget 2014

I decided to make this year all about the TBR and visiting Delighted Reader and her idea to keep track of her book shopping made me super giddy to do the same, so after some begging she created this awesome meme. I think is necessary for me, because I buy way too much and sometimes they are oldies or romances, so less expensive, but when I check the final line at the end of year, the number staring at me is huge.

After some thinking my final number is 500 bucks for the whole year, around 40 for month. It’s still a lot, but there are some series I love releasing this year, and I don’t expect to spend everything, it’s just a guide.

Week One

I was pretty good with this week purchases and also got some books from the Publisher.

Book and Author

Where I Got

Final Price

Budget Left

An Exquisite Challenge by Jennifer Maynard

Harlequin.com

3.99

36.01

What a Rancher Wants by Sarah M. Anderson

Harlequin.com

3.99

32.02

Sweet Southern Betrayal by Robin Covington

Publisher

0,00

32.02

Hollywood Blackmail by Jackie Ashenden

Publisher

0.00

32.02

Week Two

I caught some books for low prices and decided to save the time from picking them later, the most expensive was a new release and I used a gift card for that.

Book and Author

Where I Got

Final Price

Budget Left

The Professional: Part 2 by  Kresley Cole

Amazon.com

1.99

30.03

Hope Flames by Jaci Burton

Amazon.com

4.78

25.25

Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau

Amazon.com

Gift Card

25.25

Howling For You by Chloe Neill

Amazon.com

2.84

22.41

Dante’s Dilemma by Day LeClaire

Amazon.com

2.95

19.46

The Wicked Woods by Kelly Apple

Amazon.com

0.00

19.46

Killer Frost by Jennifer Estep

NetGalley

0.00

19.46

Week Three

Maya Banks released a new book and she’s a favorite of mine, but the price was a little big for an ebook. Will have to save some money next week to end this month on the blue.

Book and Author

Where I Got

Final Price

Budget Left

Guardian For Hire by Christine Bell

Amazon.com

0.99

18.47

In Bed with Mr. Wrong by Katee Robert

Amazon.com

0.99

17.48

Fighting For Irish by Gina L. Maxwell

Amazon.com

0.99

16.49

Secrets on the Sand by Roxanne St. Claire

Amazon.com

2.98

13.51

Seduction on the Sand by Roxanne St. Claire

BN.com

2.99

10.52

Some Like it Royal by Heather Long

NetGalley

0.00

10.52

After the Storm by Maya Banks

Amazon.com

4.59

5.93

Misbehaving by Tiffany Reisz

NetGalley

0.00

5.93

Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck

NetGalley

0.00

5.93

Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck

NetGalley

0.00

5.93

Week Four

And I passed my budget by only $1.74. Not much, but next month I’ll only be able to spend $38.26. And there are so many great books releasing in February… sniff

Book and Author

Where I Got

Final Price

Budget Left

Dangerous Pleasure by Lora Leigh

Amazon.com

1.99

3.94

Beauty and the Billionaire by Jessica Clare

Amazon.com

2.84

1.10

The Wrong Billionaire’s Bed by Jessica Clare

Amazon.com

2.84

+ 1.74

Foolish Games by Tracy Solheim

Amazon.com

Gift Card

+ 1.74

Come Home to Me by Brenda Novak

NetGalley

0.00

+ 1.74

Dash of Peril by Lori Foster

NetGalley

0.00

+ 1.74