February 14, 2021 05:26 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I kicked off my 2021 reading with four novels, a novella, and a short story in January. They ended up being kind of a mixed bag, mostly good, but a couple so-so. Only one book rose to the five-star level to become my Book of the Month. It’s a paranormal romance that’s part of a long-running series by a favorite author I’ve featured before. Her books seemingly never fail to entertain me and keep me on the edge of my seat, eager to find out what happens next. Such was the case with this book. It’s the story of Thanatos, Horseman of Death, and Regan, an Aegis Guardian. The pair experienced an inauspicious beginning to their relationship in the previous book of the series when Regan was sent to seduce Thanatos, with the intention of getting pregnant with his child, who the Aegis believes will bring an end to the Apocalypse that is already in full tilt. However, unbeknownst to her, Thanantos was still a virgin, believing that to lose his virginity would result in the breaking of his Seal. Even with this lack of knowledge, Regan was about to think better of the idea, when the whole thing went sideways. Both of them unintentionally consumed an aphrodisiac wine that rendered them senseless with lust and Regan lost control of her powers, pinning Thanatos down in a rape-like manner during the whole affair. Needless to say, though, her mission ended up being a success, and this book fast-forwards to eight months later, when the birth of their child is imminent.
Tags: Larissa Ione
January 17, 2021 05:01 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I normally read several holiday-themed stories during the month of December, but I think this may be the first time I've spent the whole month reading nothing but. Nearly all of them were enjoyable, but only one rose to the five-star level to be named as my Book of the Month. It’s a paranormal romance that’s the latest release by a huge favorite author of mine who I’ve highlighted a number of times before. It features a fan-favorite couple who’ve been a part of this long-running series since nearly the beginning. They’ve recognized each other as mates, but they’ve never gone through an official mating ceremony. Then after a blizzard hits their home, they have to deal with an unexpected tragedy that brings a great deal of sadness and guilt. But in the end, they come to the realization that their love can conquer this challenge, too, and it’s finally time to make their union official.
Tags: J. R. Ward
December 19, 2020 03:59 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
November was a very busy reading month for me. I actually read the most individual stories I believe I’ve ever read in a single month, which was ten total. Of course, they were split evenly between full-length books and short stories. Otherwise, this slow reader never could have managed it.:-) Nearly all of them were enjoyable reads, though, and two even made it to five-star status. I loved both of them and thought they were equally as good, which made my choice on which to feature as my Book of the Month a difficult one. After much consideration, though, I finally decided that one just barely edged out the other, because of its strong emotional connection both between the hero and heroine and with me as the reader. It’s a steamy contemporary romance by an author I’m featuring for the first time and that’s not unlike my own Loving Hearts stories in that it features a vet tech heroine who wants to become a full-fledged veterinarian and a menagerie of cute animals, so hopefully you’ll enjoy my selection.
Tags: Marie Force
November 14, 2020 03:42 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I had a few good reads during the month of October, but only one rose to that all-important five-star mark for me to feature it in this column. It’s a paranormal romance by a relatively new-to-me author who I’ve never featured before, and it’s the second in her most popular series. It’s the story of Breed warrior Dante who is plagued by visions of his own death, and veterinarian Tess Culver, a Breedmate who harbors an extraordinary gift. After chasing a vampire he believes has gone Rogue, Dante is nearly blown to bits, the explosion tossing him into the river, where he’s swept away. He manages to crawl out and ends up in the storeroom of Tess’s veterinary clinic, where he feeds from her in an effort to heal himself. It’s not until afterward that he realizes she bears the mark of a Breedmate, and by Breed law, what he’s done makes her his. He tries to fight it, but the bond with her is strong, making it impossible for him to stay away from her. Then he discovers that the vampire he chased that night was actually hopped on a new drug called Crimson that is rapidly turning many youths of their kind into Rogues, and it’s Tess’s ex-boyfriend who is manufacturing and dealing the drug at the behest of the Order’s mortal enemy. Dante tries to gently woo Tess before revealing the entire truth of what they are, but when her life is threatened by Rogues, she gets a quick initiation into his dark and dangerous world.
Tags: Lara Adrian
October 17, 2020 04:10 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I had several really good reads during the month of September, but wanting to bring my readers the best of the best, I only feature books in this column that I’ve rated five stars. I had just one five-star read during the month that was a true romance, and since it’s already available for free in ebook anyway, I’ve opted to step outside the box and feature a non-romance book this month that also happens to be non-fiction. In all honesty, it was my favorite read of the month anyway. I realize that this might be a slight disappointment to some of you. However, I hope that many of you will still find it as interesting as I did, because it’s truly an awesome read.
Tags: Bryan Stevenson
September 19, 2020 02:47 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I had some really great reads during the month of August, but only one romance rose to the five-star level. It was the continuation of a popular, paranormal romance series by a favorite author that has produced a lot of keepers for me. It pairs Limos aka Famine, the only female Horseman of the Apocalypse, with Arik, a member of the R-XR, which is a secret branch of the military that deals with paranormal phenomena. These two shared a brief sexually-charged moment in the previous book of the series, and as this story opens, they finally share a passionate kiss, which lands Arik in literal hell, where he’s tortured for a month before finally escaping. Afterward, Limos nurses him back to health, during which time things gradually heat up between them even more, but she is supposed to become the bride of Satan, and at first glance, there doesn’t appear to be an out-clause in her contract. So they spend the better part of the book trying to figure out if there’s a way for them to be together, while still battling her brother Pestilence, who has regrouped and is once again wreaking havoc on the Earth.
Tags: Larissa Ione
August 15, 2020 07:08 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
For the month of July, I read only one romance that I rated the five-stars necessary to receive the honor being named Book of the Month. It’s an inspirational that has been held up as the gold standard, not only for this sub-genre but for the romance genre as a whole and has come to be regarded as something of a classic. It actually was a reread for me and I’m happy to report that I loved it every bit as much now as I did upon first reading it about twenty-five years ago, so it has definitely held up to the test of time as well. The book was inspired by the biblical story of Hosea and Gomer, and is set against the backdrop of California during the gold rush days. It tells the story of a young woman who was sold into prostitution as a child and hasn’t known any other life since, nor does she believe in love. However, a simple but kind farmer who falls in love with her at first sight and feels like God is telling him that this is the woman who is meant for him sets out to change her mind, a process that takes a lot of patience and persistence over the course of four years time.
Tags: Francine Rivers
July 15, 2020 07:30 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
With regards to quantity, I didn’t read many books during the month of June, mainly because I was reading an epic novel that took this slow reader most of the month to complete. However, it was an excellent book that ended up being my favorite five-star read of the month. Although now six years old, it’s the most recent book in this equally epic series that follows star-crossed lovers Jamie and Claire. I know now that I’ve mentioned their names, it will obvious to most exactly what series I’m talking about, and it’s been a favorite of mine for over twenty-five years. Much like Jamie and Claire’s love for each other, my love for them and this series is just as strong now as it was when I first picked up the inaugural volume of the series all those years ago, and I don’t anticipate that I’ll ever get tired of it. I’m always eager to see what happens next, which is why I simply couldn’t put this or any other book of the series down.
Tags: Diana Gabaldon
June 14, 2020 03:08 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
May was another good reading month for me with lots of four and four-and-a half star reads, but only one book rose to the top and received the five stars necessary to earn Book of the Month status from me. Written by one of my favorite authors, it’s the second book the series that introduced her to me. I featured the first book of this same series a couple of months ago, and this one was another awesome re-read. I just adore the entire Knight clan and this book has long been one of my favorites in the series. It’s the story of two lonely souls finding comfort and understanding in each other’s arms, while fighting the forces of evil who want to destroy, not only their burgeoning love, but also the lives of others. This book has a little something for everyone: heart-pounding action and suspense, spy intrigue, a rich and detailed historical setting, and best of all, swoon-worthy romance.
Tags: Gaelen Foley
May 16, 2020 07:04 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
After having only a couple of five-star reads during the first three months of the year, I found myself with so many in April that I had a hard time choosing which one to feature as my Book of the Month. I finally settled on the newest book of one of my all-time favorite series that I’ve featured several times before. This book is a turning point in the series that essentially makes it the end of one era and the beginning of a new one. That’s because the war that has dominated the series from the beginning finally culminates as readers get to see whether a long-held prophecy is fulfilled, and if so, in what way. But in addition to some major changes in the overall series story arc, we also have a beautiful, love-conquers-all romance between our main hero and heroine that of course makes it all worthwhile.
Tags: J. R. Ward