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whiskeyinthejar

Whiskey in the Jar Romance

Romance book talk, reviews, recipes, and dog pictures

Blogger Site: WhiskeyintheJar Romance

Guest Reviewer at:  Reading Between the Wines book club

Currently reading

When a Lady Deceives (Her Majesty's Most Secret Service)
Tara Kingston
My Fair Princess
Vanessa Kelly
The Tao of Hockey (Vancouver Vice Book 1)
Melanie Ting
Beauty and the Mustache: A Philisophical Romance (Knitting in the City Book 4)
Penny Reid
Before I Fall
Jessica Scott

Kyraryker’s quotes


"She thought it over, but couldn’t see any immediate loopholes other than the threat of her inner slut emerging, and she could darned well control that little bitch."— Susan Elizabeth Phillips

40%

American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition: Full Cast Production (Audio) - Neil Gaiman, Daniel Oreskes, Dennis Boutsikaris, Ron McLarty

I think I have enough grifting ideas to quit my job and grift around the country now. Good golly Miss Molly I don't think I can listen to another grift plan again. This is part of the reason I think I have a problem with audio, it drags things out that I can quickly read. Mr. Wednesday's endless grifting stories are starting to make my left eye twitch. And so is the weird, underage girl mini-focuses that keep happening. Done with it. I'm a little in to Part Two and the long ass moose story just about killed my desire to keep listening. I'm hoping the quicker pace that the story started off with returns. 

 

Also, 

Mad Sweeney!!!! I really hope the show doesn't faithfully follow the book now. A favorite character gone to soon :(

(show spoiler)

My Halloween Bingo Card!

Woo-hoo! Thank you very much Moonlight Reader for the personalized card!

 

 

Can't wait to follow along with everyone in the spooky delight :)

Medieval Mundane

Beast: Great Bloodlines Converge - Kathryn Le Veque

Mostly a story about how a medieval knight who was tasked with watching over Joan of Arc befriending her, taking her heart from the pyre, and trying to secretly bury it in Winchester, per her request.

A forced marriage along the way, a boat load of characters, and some clandestine wheeling and dealing between French knights and English knights.

The romance is a small portion of this with a very real feeling 1400s feel, the author knows her time and place.

There's a story here, just not one I found too entertaining; medieval mundane. 

Unlucky coincidence

Her Enemy at the Altar - Virginia Heath

This book had the unlucky coincidence of being read right after a lackluster book that pretty much had the same storyline.

 

Tall heroine who hides her hurt behind a tough abrasive exterior. This book's heroine was better constructed but the whole "I can never believe I have any minuscule attractiveness to me" carried on far too long. It ended up giving her a bit of immaturity.

 

Poor gorgeous hero who needs to marry for money to save estate. Same character outline as the other books I read but story placement here was a bit different with hero and heroine's families having a centuries old feud. The feud wasn't really explained but how it effected their present families was detailed. They are caught in a compromising position and hero marries heroine even though her father doesn't give him her dowry, thus bankrupting the hero.

 

This book had more of a story construct but how long it takes the hero and heroine to develop past the immature "I hate you!" "No, I hate you!" took too long and I missed seeing their relationship without any animosity. 

Since I read this right after not enjoying an extremely similar storyline, I definitely think I already had my fill of insecure abrasive tall heroines (I'm even one!) and the poor gorgeous heroes who just want them to recognize how regal they are. 

The bottom line, I was exhausted by how long it took hero and heroine to move beyond their animosity. 

Surface

If the Rogue Fits (Must Love Rogues Book 2) - Eva Devon

Heiress is tall and not conventionally attractive, because of how her father always puts her down and men act toward her, she becomes very bitter towards the opposite sex. Earns reputation for being a man hater.

Gorgeous poor Earl needs money to rebuild estate father ruined. Finds out heroine is rich and goes for her, lucky him, he finds her sassy great.

Heroine's whole gender male hating and gruffness was a bit off-putting and hero's genial good guy shucks was a bit hokey dokey. Not a lot of depth to the writing, very surface characters with cliche villainous daddies and non-villainous misunderstood sister and friend. 

The story was predictable from beginning to end and was a quick read. Some dialogue connection moments between hero and heroine but never flushed out. Surface and over trodden ground.

Freebie ok-ness

Barefoot in White - Roxanne St. Claire
"When I'm finished, you will see yourself as the beautiful, sexy, sensual, desirable, and smokin'-hot woman that I see every time I look at you."
Something cracked inside---some ice around her heart, maybe? Or maybe it was the wall of protection she'd erected for so long she couldn't remember life without it. Or perhaps it was her willpower to say no to anything. She didn't know, but all Willow could do was hope she didn't shed a tear while Nick Hershey gave her a gift she'd feared she'd never get or deserve. 
Adoration.
 


This story moved along at a pretty quick clip while dealing with some pretty heavy issues. The heroine has big mommy issues, her mother was a model and apparently brow beat her and tried to control her, forcing her daughter into her image. This severely backfired and made the heroine turn to food for comfort. Hero is on medical leave after losing hearing in one of his ears and is dealing with guilt stemming from someone he cared about dying because of a decision he made.

The heroine is definitely the strongest of the characters with her more front and center and her thoughts and feelings flushed out more. There is a lifetime movie mechanism that throws a wrench at our couple just when they might get things figured out that eventually flows into a super rushed bow tie ending; our mother daughter reunion is solved far too quickly for the 80% of the book where the heroine goes over and over how her mother emotionally messed her up. Our hero is a little wooden with a basic military man guilt storyline and I didn't feel we delved into him as well.

The romance was rushed and it felt like our couple never got to really move and shake around with their bonding as the quick pace I mentioned along with heroine's emotional issues took over. There was a lot of stuttered stop and go between them. 

The epilogue was cheesy ridiculousness and had me rolling my eyes. I got this as a freebie and its better than most. If the author delved deeper and flushed things out more while having our leads have more interactions outside the hero's villa and pool, this would have been better. I would give another in the series a try.
 
 

 

Reading Update: 60%

Barefoot in White - Roxanne St. Claire

“Listen carefully, okay?” Another nod. “Every single time you doubt your beauty or worth or value or sex appeal?” She didn’t answer, but only because the lump in her throat was growing too fast. How did he know she doubted that stuff? How did he know she fought demons daily that told her she had none of that? She hadn’t told him.

"You remember that just looking at your goddamned ear gives me a hard-on.”

Chicago Recommendations

I'll be taking a quick baseball trip to Chicago at the end of the month and for how close I currently live, I've never been to Chicago. My nights will be taken up by baseball games but I was looking for some suggestions on anything I should make sure to see or do during the days. I'm also looking for some restaurant suggestions or foods I should make sure to try. I'm not a red meat eater but the bf is and giddy to try a deep dish slice. 

 

Any and all suggestions welcome, thought I better ask my well traveled and well read Booklikers before I just winged it and asked Yelp :)

NA mediocre hell

FLY - Molly McLain

 

The story is incomplete, it's a cliffhanger, folks. 
Now that is out of the way because SIGH, here's my personal opinion.

 

 

It clearly states this is book 1 but I felt lost as all get out in the beginning as people and relationships are thrown at you with no context or explanation. The hero and heroine supposedly have this epic friendship, but other than it being said over and over, I see no evidence of it. Every dude wants the heroine, every woman wants the hero and he likes to partake, heroine is the hero's emotional crutch, and hero likes to throw money at heroine. 

This was almost 200pgs of the hero and heroine wanting to make a move on each other but scared the other one still just wanted to be friends. Which could have worked wonderfully but that was the only depth to our characters. The heroine has a little bit background with her father having a traumatic brain injury but even that wasn't fleshed out too great. The hero's fmx bike career somewhat touched on, the author has a brief scene listing a bunch of tricks and the over and over mentioning of hero having women throw themselves at him. 

More context needed and less NA cliche been there done that. I also almost lost an eye rolling it so hard at the ending cliffhanger.

Dirty Sexy Saint (Dirty Sexy Series Book 1) - Erika Wilde, Carly Phillips

 

Little rich girl runs away to make a stand against rich mean daddy who wants to force her into an arranged marriage. 

Gets blackout drunk at bar owned by hot guy who's mother was a crack whore (the term they use over and over) and he had to raise his younger brothers.

He lets her stay at his apartment, has her be waitress at his bar, buys her clothes, and then a whole pastry chef ensemble because that is her dream job.

Guy tries to stay away from her because he is not good enough and likes rough kinky sex. She gives him a blowjob and they have missionary sex in his office. He's a kink master, folks.

A blip of danger, which causes girl to sacrifice her hopes and dreams for guy, while a completely forced storyline of mean daddy and threatening arranged marriage dude have a complete turn around. 

This was pretty uninspiring with a completely predictable, took every generic NA and contemporary romance plot point. 

I see these authors are decently popular and I have some other freebies downloaded from them, I hope they break away from this ones color by numbers format.

Kindle Freebies

I have not read these selections but they're free (at the time of my post).
So enjoy and partake at your own risk :)
 
*Click on the book cover to go to Amazon and Get Yourself Some!
 
An Affair to Dismember (Matchmaker Mysteries Book 1) by [Sax, Elise]  Burned Promises by [Winters, Willow]  Ashton: Lord of Truth (Lonely Lords Book 13) by [Burrowes, Grace]
 
Mr. Sinful (Heartfelt Book 1) by [Woods, Serenity]  The Seduction of Lord Stone (Dashing Widows) by [Campbell, Anna]  The Hunter and the Witch (Crescent City Arcana) by [Chanticleer, Rachel]
 
Seducing Summer (The Four Seasons Book 1) by [Woods, Serenity]  SEALs of Honor: Books 1-3 by [Mayer, Dale]  Beat: #1 The Beat and The Pulse by [Cross, Amity]
 
Finding Lyla: Book Ten In The Bodyguards Of L.A. County Series by [Beauman, Cate]  Healed by Love: Nate Braden (Love in Bloom: The Bradens at Peaceful Harbor Book 1) by [Foster, Melissa]  Unbreakable - A Bad Boy Romance by [Rhodes, Ashley]
 
Brazen Angel (Brazen Series Book 1) by [Boyle, Elizabeth]  SEAL of Approval (SEAL Series Book 1) by [Silkstone, Jack]  
 
Enjoy and hopefully everyone can find a winner!

Sunday, We Salad! And Dessert!

The weather has been so beautiful where I'm at, it's a little hot but knowing what is just around the corner I'll take as much sun as I can. I think I'm going to make this the last Sunday Salad and go back to Soup in September :)  

 

Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Chicken

 

 

 

The recipe called for golden balsamic vinegar, Target didn't have it, so I just used the dark I had in the pantry. It probably made the taste stronger, but we loved it so, You're not the boss of me, recipe!

 

 

I let these babies soak for 2hrs because I had time and I like things with a stronger taste. Plus, I hate when my bath time gets cut short, so here's to you, chicken!

 

 

Well, here's to you until I fry you to death. Mwwwhahahahhahaha!

 

 

 

STRAWBERRIES! I love me some strawberries and avocado. The new peanut butter and jelly, I say!

 

 

 

I like silvered almonds better than sliced, so again, "I do what I want!". Feta cheese, I could sing odes to feta cheese on salads. A must!

 

 

Look at those beautiful bowls :)  This salad was so simple but I'm telling you, the taste combos, especially the seasoning on chicken, blended together so awesome. I loved this one and so did the bf. Yummy simplicity. 

 

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

 

 

If there any thing more fun than flouring a pan?! Probably.

 

 

 

Drink every time the wrapped sweet potato photo bombs!

 

 

 

Or my huge foot.

 

 

 

I haven't made a from scratch cake for a while, I forgot how long they take. They take a long time.

 

 

Bf went to the grocery store this time, he didn't get the light sour cream. On the outside, I frown. On the inside, I'm all a tingle. 

 

 

You will definitely need three lemons for this, 3 tablespoons of zest is no joke. 

Does anyone else feel kind of weird when you don't need the juice from a lemon, just zest, and leave a massacred, looks like a serial killer went at it, lemon on your counter top? I always do a quick, "Thank you for your noble sacrifice" and toss in trash.

 

 

Look at that lemon poppy seed popping cake!

 


 

Sometimes, I wish I didn't visually see what goes in my dessert. You get a stick of butter, you get a stick of butter, EVERYONE GETS A STICK OF BUTTER! 

Seriously though, don't add up the butter in this cake.

 

 

 

The frosting calls for a teaspoon of lemon juice. Get out of here with that nonsense I say! I added the whole lemon because lemon desserts are kind of my thing and I want NEED to taste that sweet sweet sour taste. Didn't make the icing too runny either. Bonus. 

 

 

 

The cake was nice and fluffy but the recipe suggests you put leftovers in the fridge. When I had a piece after refrigeration, it made it more sort of hard/dry than I like. If you can eat most of it before refrigerating, I suggest you do. Otherwise, my lemony icing was awesome and the cake part had a nice taste but it wasn't as strong or awe inspiring as I would have liked. A box mix would come kind of close to this and would save you a butt load of time. 

 

Show me your salads and desserts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading Update: 50%

The Scot Beds His Wife (Victorian Rebels) - Kerrigan Byrne

She had her own terrible secrets; she could leave him his, safe and somehow comforted with the knowledge that both of their souls were stained with sins.
Maybe they were both beyond forgiveness.
Maybe...they deserved each other.

Emo drama lama

The Skilled Seduction: Scandalous Secrets, Book 3 (Volume 3) by Tracy Goodwin (2015-11-06) - Tracy Goodwin

 

The general regency feel of this made it nothing special along with the incredibly stretched out "I love him! But now he wants to marry me because I'm compromised but I shall never marry him because I don't think he loves me!". 

I think this was around 400pgs and yet we have:

- a huge backstory continuing from previous books in series where both family's fathers were abusive psychos

- a sister/sister-in-law who almost dies from some mysterious fever that keeps her hot and comatose for a couple days only to wake up and miraculously recover. Seriously, that's all we get about the fever

- a kidnapping, semi-forced elopement

- secret maybe, maybe not love child who brings along a last second villain

- a miscarriage 

- a loooooooooong drawn out loved him forever, I'm not good enough for her

 

Every thing with the kitchen sink touched on but never delved deep to feel emotional. This was an emo drama lama

Bummed

First Star I See Tonight: A Novel (Chicago Stars) - Susan Elizabeth Phillips

I really wanted to love this one because Phillips is a favorite author but after I could feel myself pushing to enjoy it, I let go of expectations.

 

I felt like we never got to really delve into the hero's character and while I enjoyed the offbeat personality of the heroine, it felt forced. Their snarky dialogue felt stuttered, robotic, and didn't always flow for me. The emotion I typically love from Phillip's books was missing here for me. I've talked about loving some of her past books and looking back now and noticing some problematic issues, well, older me caught some slight things (heroine waking up to them having sex brought back This Heart of Mine big issue and kind of meshed together in my mind, rightly or wrongly, and gave me an icky feeling) that I wasn't able to ignore here. 

 

My main issue, though, I just didn't feel the emotional connection and missed the growth of the hero and heroine's relationship; they just kind of verbally spar back and forth and then suddenly they are in love. 

 

This just, sadly, wasn't for me.

Audio for people who don't like audio

American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition: Full Cast Production (Audio) - Neil Gaiman, Daniel Oreskes, Dennis Boutsikaris, Ron McLarty

I try to keep my blog romance genre but I have to talk about this audio. 

 

I've tried listening to audio books off and on throughout my life, any way to attack that big old tbr :)  They've just not been for me, I can't seem to concentrate enough to immerse myself into the story while listening and I always feel like I'm missing something. I've been trying to hit the gym harder the last couple months and I started to grow tired of my music playlist, so I tried some podcasts but while some have worked, I haven't found one that has been reliable for 45mins 3 days a week (well, I try to go 3 days a week ;). I have a couple friends on GRs who would die on the audio book hill, so I thought why not. I started off with a book I have already read to see if I could pay attention enough. It worked out pretty well but the one person doing different voices thing still kind of trips me up. 

 

I was hearing good things about the Starz's series American Gods and after blowing through all the episodes in three weeks, I knew I had to read the book. When I was looking for an edition, this tenth anniversary audio popped up. I am so glad I decided to give this a try! I am amazed how much the voice actors on here sound like the tv ones! It's crazy, lol. I think Laura's character is probably the weakest along with Mad Sweeney but they are also my favorites from the tv series, so maybe some bias :) 

 

I'm only probably around 15-20% into the audio but so far it has followed the tv series pretty closely. I think I may have outpaced the tv though or they've moved some scenes around. I haven't meet Easter yet in the audio but the gods have had their meeting. I love the little details you can catch that enhance the tv show.

 

Anyway, if you have previously disliked audio, this ensemble read is amazing and I love it. It was also super ummm, interesting to listen to the Coming to America Bilquis scene at the gym in public, lol.