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.
November 20, 2018 12:32 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I read a number of books in October that I enjoyed, but only one full-length novel made it to five stars. It’s the first book of a brand new series and the latest novel by one of my all-time favorite authors who I seem to keep featuring again and again. That’s because her books are just so darn good, I can’t help myself.:-) She writes about a very famous paranormal Brotherhood, but in this new contemporary series, she’s created a different sort of brotherhood made up of firefighters and other first responders. Anne and Danny, our hero and heroine, who are both firefighters, enjoyed a very steamy one-night stand in the two short prequel novellas, but the heroine had worked too hard to make it to where she was in a man’s world to give that up for a relationship. When this story opens, it’s been about three weeks since that fateful night, and there’s still an unrequited attractions simmering between them. Their station house is called out to fight a warehouse fire, during which Anne becomes trapped and Danny must make a gut-wrenching and life-altering decision in order to free her from the flames. From there we fast-forward ten months to see Anne reinventing herself as an arson investigator, where she’s looking into a string of warehouse fires that may be connected to the last fire she fought and which place her in the cross-hairs of a desperate arsonist.
Tags: J. R. Ward
October 14, 2018 05:40 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I read a lot of good books in September, but none of the full-length novels quite made it to that all-important five-star mark to earn Book of the Month status from me. I did, however, read three novellas that I ended up rating five stars. This made the choice for my favorite a rather difficult one, but since one of the stories is already free, that narrowed it down to only two. I finally settled on the third novella in a trio of connected stories about three half-brothers. In it, our hero spends a wild night in Vegas and wakes up the next morning beside a naked showgirl he doesn’t remember. Not wanting to deal with the awkwardness, he sneaks out before she awakens, only to have her hunt him down in Mexico weeks later, saying that they’re married and she wants a quickie divorce. But when he finds out all this new information, he’s not about to give up so easily this time.
Tags: Lucy Monroe
September 13, 2018 04:10 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
This month’s Book of the Month selection is from an author I’ve featured several times before. She’s one of my favorites, and yes, she really is just that good. This particular book is a historical romance and one of her beloved fan-favorites. In it we have a cynical bad boy who has clawed his way up from the bottom to become one of the wealthiest men in England paired with the good girl, country miss who sees the diamond in the rough. Aside from neither of them being from aristocratic stock, they have little in common, but they still fit together like two pieces of a puzzle. I loved how these two came together and fell in love despite the odds and how they adored each other unconditionally, while a jealous, obsessive former paramour of our hero adds a bit of intrigue and suspense. It was simply a great read and one that I definitely recommend.
Tags: Lisa Kleypas
August 17, 2018 04:58 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
For my Book of the Month choice this month, I have the final book of a contemporary romance series that is one of this author’s earlier works. Both the hero and heroine of this book were introduced in previous books of the series and have close ties to the other characters, but their book stands well on its own. In it, our heroine has decided to take control of her life along with her shares of the family-owned grocery store chain, but she’s going to have to face down her jerk of an older half-brother to make her case. She’ll be doing it over a long holiday weekend at the family estate, which she’s dreading. That’s why she asked a friend to come with her. When he can’t, he suggests another guy she’s had a crush on since meeting him to go in his place. Our hero isn’t too keen on accompanying her either at first, but he’s attracted to her, too, and eventually can’t resist the pull of being near her. So he ends up being her moral support, defender, and lover for the weekend. He would have liked to be a whole lot more if only her brother hadn’t interfered, casting a pall over their burgeoning relationship.
July 14, 2018 03:02 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
My book of the month selection for June is the sixth volume in a phenomenally successful and widely loved epic romantic series that spans decades and even eras of time given its time travel aspect. This particular book – like all the others in the series – is a very lengthy tome. At nearly a thousand pages in hardcover it’s big enough to use as a doorstop, and it took me over three weeks to read it. (Have I mentioned that I’m a slow reader?) Yet it never felt long at all, and I was still sorry to see it come to an end. With kidnappings, rape, two murder mysteries, other mysteries surrounding a missing slave, missing gold, and the identity of who fathered a young woman’s baby, as well as political intrigue as the War for Independence gets under way, there’s never a dull moment. Not to mention there’s lots of character development for our main characters as well as tons of romantic entanglements, as well as the culmination of a plot point that began two books back. There was just so much going on in this book that I was never bored for even a moment, and I loved every minute (despite it being quite a lot of minutes:-)) that I spent reading it.