September 15, 2019 03:24 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I didn’t read very many books in August, but those I did read were all winners. However, one stood out among the rest. It’s the seventh volume of a long-running, epic, romantic series that I first discovered nearly twenty-five years ago. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been following Jamie and Claire’s story for this long, and now that I’ve named the main characters, I’m sure most hard-core romance readers know exactly what series I’m talking about. This couple have been through so many adventures and hardships, joys and sorrows, and yet they’re still together and still experiencing all that life (or perhaps I should say the author :-) ) has thrown at them. In this installment, they’re trying to avoid the American Revolution, partly as a matter of survival and partly so that Jamie doesn’t risk facing his own son, a British officer, across a battlefield. But as is often the case in this series, fate has other plans in store for them, and they end committing piracy before winding up in a couple of the more significant battles of the war, then finally reaching their original goal, a return to Scotland.
Tags: Diana Gabaldon
August 18, 2019 04:06 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
Overall, July was a really good reading month for me. Nearly everything I read rated four stars and up, and I even had two five-star reads. Both of them were so good, they ended up in a virtual tie, making it extremely difficult to choose between them. After a great deal of nail-biting indecision, I finally decided that one edged out the other by a mere hair’s breadth. It’s a paranormal romance that’s part of a long-running series, one that I recently became hooked on. In it, we have a couple who were best friends in childhood, but after she witnessed him tearing her abusive foster father apart in his beast form, she basically ran, leaving him believing she was dead. Now, twenty years later, she’s returned needing his help finding a street kid she’s been working with who’s been kidnapped before he suffers the same brutal fate as several others who’ve been found murdered. Unsure if they can trust one another, they form an uneasy alliance that gradually heats up into a passionate romantic relationship. But meanwhile, she finds herself a target of the killer who wants her to stop investigating the murders.
Tags: Nalini Singh
July 14, 2019 03:08 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
June was a so-so reading month for me. Out of the six books and novellas I read during the month, only half rated four stars or higher, and out of those three, only one received that all-important five-star rating to be in the running for Book of the Month. It’s the companion guide to one of my all-time favorite romance series, one that has been very popular over the years since its publication. I found this to be a very informative book that gives readers all sorts of insights and background that you don’t get merely from reading the novels and which can help to enhance the reading experience.
June 14, 2019 10:39 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
My May reading was kind of hit and miss. Most of what I read was quite good, but there were a couple of “meh” stories, too, and only one that I ended up rating five stars. Since that’s my main requirement for a book to be featured as my Book of the Month, my choice this time was easy. :-) It’s a historical romance by a favorite author of mine who I’ve showcased before, and it’s part of a series -- that, thus far, has been a clean sweep of perfection -- about four friends who form a book club, reading popular and sometime salacious stories. The ladies book choices always parallel events in the story, and in this one, they’re reading a fictional ghost story that mirrors the mystery of a ghostly intruder who is robbing and murdering aristocratic women. Our heroine who has a major crush on our hero, who is a Bow Street Runner, concocts a story about hearing a ghost outside her bedroom window, leading to her father hiring him to protect her. But soon the threat turns real, placing her life in imminent danger, while this couple fall madly in love and must buck society’s rules to be together. It’s a sweet, emotional, and lightly mysterious story that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did.
Tags: Jacquie D'Alessandro
May 17, 2019 12:27 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
April was a mixed reading month for me. I had several great reads, including multiple five-stars, but there were a couple of not-so-good ones, too. With there being more than one highly rated book, though, I had my work cut out for me deciding which one to feature as my Book of the Month, but I ended up choosing one that was a pure delight, a fun, sexy, romantic story that really put a smile on my face and a spring in my step. As a bonus, it’s written by a popular indie author I’ve never featured before, and I love offering up new authors to my readers.
Nick is a cartoonist whose popular comic strip, The Adventures of Mister Orgasm, was turned into a hit, late-night, animated television series. A formerly shy, nerdy guy, he eventually found his confidence, and now prides himself on being a top-notch lover who craves learning what a woman wants in the bedroom and giving it to her in spades. He’s not a total man-whore, though. He is, in his own words, a “serial monogamist,” sticking with just one lover at a time until the relationship has run its course, but none of those women have tempted him to make a more permanent commitment. Instead, Nick can’t seem to help lusting after his best friend’s sister, even though he considers her off-limits. But when they start hanging out together as friends and she asks him to be her dating coach, that coaching soon turns into flirting, then sexting, and finally he just can’t resist her charms any longer. Ah, Nick! [dramatic sigh] Nick is totally my dream guy in every way, from the physical aspects (dark hair, short trim beard, glasses, and a hot body) to his single-minded focus on giving a woman the best orgasms of her life, he simply makes me swoon. But when he realizes he’s fallen in love, he’s also a touch vulnerable and uncertain, and I absolutely loved him to pieces.
Tags: Lauren Blakely
April 14, 2019 04:12 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
March was a good reading month for me. Everything I read rated four stars or higher, and I had multiple five-star reads. This made my choice of which book to name my Book of the Month a tough one, but I finally decided on the lesser-known of the two romances that garnered this rating and the one that gave me tons of feels. It’s the second book of a series that follows the same couple throughout, and they are such wonderful characters that I wanted to share them with my readers, too.
Makenna and Caden started their journey in book one, while stranded in an elevator in the pitch dark. This made getting to know one another a true meeting of hearts and minds, since they couldn’t see each other. As book two begins, they’re still together and going strong, but things don’t exactly go as well as hoped for when Caden accompanies Makenna to meet her family on Thanksgiving. After that trip, he starts to think that perhaps she deserves someone better than him, someone not quite so broken in mind and spirit. This sends him into a downward spiral of clinical depression and a major flare-up of his PTSD. He has to fight hard on his journey back to wholeness, and in turn, they must fight as a couple for that elusive HEA ending.
Tags: Laura Kaye
March 16, 2019 07:22 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
February’s reading was definitely an improvement over January’s. I read several good books, some of which made it to keeper status. However, I still only had one five-star read. It was a great one, though, that has now edged into the top spot as my favorite so far in this long-running series. I also believe it’s the first time I’ve featured this author’s work as a Book of the Month. So, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
After her ordeal of being kidnapped, tortured, and brutally mind-raped by a powerful Psy serial killer, Brenna was a broken shell of her former self. It’s taken a lot of time for her to find some peace and normalcy in her life again. But just as things start settling down for her, she begins to have frightening, blood-soaked dreams and visions, leaving her believing that her captor did something to alter her mind and that she might be going crazy. These episodes usually leave her extremely agitated and the only person who can calm her is Judd. She’s deeply attracted to him on a physical level, but with the cold, emotionless Psy existence brought about by the Silence Protocol ruling his life, she’ll have her work cut out for her convincing her Psy protector that they’re meant to be together. Brenna is a very strong young woman. Although she’s still affected by the things done to her during her kidnapping ordeal, she’s determined to put it all behind her and live the fullest life she can. I liked that she’s often the pursuer in her relationship with Judd and refuses to give up on him finding a way for them be together, and she also possesses an underlying gentleness and vulnerability that made her likable and relatable.
Tags: Nalini Singh
February 16, 2019 03:23 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
January’s reading was kind of meh for me. I tried a couple of new authors who didn’t quite make the cut, as well as another author I’d read before but who didn’t have a very good track record with me. That left only two books and a novelette, all by favorite authors, that scored highly with me. Out of those my top pick was a re-read of an old favorite that’s the third book of a phenomenally popular series. The hoopla over it may have died down somewhat in recent years, but it will always hold a special place in my heart.
Bella has been a character whose actions and choices I don't always agree with, but somehow I'm still able to understand her. For instance, I'm a hopeless romantic, so the prospect of marriage to someone like Edward would not be a difficult choice for me to make. Bella, however, fights not only the idea of a beautiful wedding, but also the marriage itself as though it were the most distasteful thing in the world. However, the author allows me to live my own perspective vicariously through other characters. Bella also seems to always be thinking of everyone else before herself, so I was pleased to see her grow enough by the end of this book to realize that it's OK to do something because it was right for her instead of just right for her loved ones. I did find myself wishing throughout much of the book, though, that Bella would ease up on the self-flagellation. She constantly seems to think that every bad thing that happens is somehow her fault and that she is a bad person because of it, when that clearly isn't the case, but overall, I liked her anyway.
January 21, 2019 07:29 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
December’s books offered a great wrap-up to my 2018 reading. Out of seven full-length books and three novellas/short stories, only one didn’t make the cut, so I’m really pleased with such a nice group of books to end the year. A few of those were five-star reads, as well, which was the icing on the cake. The stand-out romance from among them was an older Harlequin Historical title that turned out to be a really fun, delightful story, one that took the concept of Midsummer Madness to a whole new level. I can be pretty particular about romantic comedies, but this one was a very enjoyable farce that somehow managed to be both humorous and touching.
Tags: Tori Phillips
December 19, 2018 12:00 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I had just one five-star read in November. It was a re-read of an old favorite that’s the second book in a popular young adult series that stirred up a ton of hype about a decade or so ago, when I read it for the first time. Since then, a lot of that hype has died down, but I still love these books and I’m having fun rediscovering them. I’ve enjoyed reading the first two books again, and I look forward to re-reading the rest in 2019.
When I say Edward and Bella, everyone is sure to know which series I’m talking about.:-) I recall that when I read these books for the first time, I was enthralled by their epic love story. But in this second volume, they spend much of it apart. After an innocent birthday celebration leads to a minor accident that in turn causes a life-threatening situation for Bella, Edward decides that the best course of action to keep her safe is to take himself out of her life. This leaves Bella depressed, demoralized, and having difficulty moving on with life, until she discovers a new friendship and a rebellious purpose with Native American teen and friend of the family, Jacob Black. But Jacob has some secrets of his own, and he and a “gang” of teens from the reservation may prove equally as dangerous as Edward.