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WhiskeyintheJar Romance

Romance book talk, reviews, recipes, and dog pictures

Blogger Site: WhiskeyintheJar Romance

Guest Reviewer at:  Reading Between the Wines book club

Currently reading

Born of Silence
Sherrilyn Kenyon

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

60%

The Scoundrel in Her Bed: A Sins for All Seasons Novel - Lorraine Heath

It was madness to have him back in her life, but she didn't want to walk away from the possibilities, no matter how much they frightened her.

Reading Update: 30%

The Scoundrel in Her Bed: A Sins for All Seasons Novel - Lorraine Heath

She’d played him for a fool. No memory of her should be pleasing to recall but there were still nights when he lay awake in his bed, staring at the ceiling because when he closed his eyes he saw her.

Reading Update: 25%

The Lady Chosen - Stephanie Laurens

Again, slowly, deliberately, he raised her wrist to his lips. 

Holding her gaze, kissed.

Crashing Into Her by Mia Sosa

Crashing into Her: Love on Cue - Mia Sosa

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

 

“Eva,” he whispers in a low groan. “Friends shouldn’t do this.”

Third in the Love on Cue series stars Eva and Anthony. Eva was the friend and Anthony the cousin to the heroine in the first in the series, Acting on Impulse. Series readers will enjoy the many appearances and inclusion of past heroines and heroes. However, newbies could comfortably start here as Eva and Anthony are just beginning their relationship. Eva and Anthony start off a little ornery with each other but when their thought to be one-night stand turns into now we're working with each other, their back and forth really heats up. 

Eva was a gusty heroine, she moved from the east coast to the west, even though she lost financial and emotional support promised by her dad. She does gain proximity to her bestfriend and a job, which I must mention how wonderful it was to read about three women (heroines from #1 and #2 Pretending His Mine ) with varying personalities having fun together, encouraging, and being a support system for each other. It helps round out the heroine and series' world when they don't live in isolation or primarily for the hero. Even though I didn't get a great feel for Eva's relationship with her mother, I enjoyed how her issues with her father weren't heavy angst, more like family growing pains; it was nice to see them talk and work to improve their relationship.

Anthony had the often used, can't commit because my father loved my mother more than she did him and now I can never love because I don't want to turn out like him. This felt a little forced and I thought the overall theme and feeling of the story's two people trying to navigate life and open up for love, could have did without it. Anthony seemed like a pretty busy guy, he helps to run/instruct at a gym and stunt work business, just having him unsure if he could take time from his career while emotionally opening himself up could have worked. 

“Last night was incredible, but I think you wanted to keep it impersonal, and only after experiencing impersonal did I realize it doesn’t fit the way I feel about you.” 

I really enjoyed Eva and Anthony's back and forth and chemistry. There were a couple times where I thought they didn't have to be so clever with each other all the time but it was refreshing how they were generally friends through the majority of it. They both had a little bit of bitterness and fear of what could happen, instead of taking each problem as it came. It was enjoyable to follow along with them as their chemistry couldn't help but push their friendship into more heated situations. They also did a great job talking and owning up to mistakes or missteps. 

This is written in first person point of view, alternating chapters, which not a personal favorite, I sometimes feel like I'm missing some connection between the two. *Per publisher's email, this was a formatting mistake and will be fixed in final copy. I read an arc of this, so not sure if this will be changed, but there were a couple times where the pov changed within a chapter, without any warning. An example:
When I cup her cheeks, sweeping my thumbs under her eyes to dry them, she leans into my touch, all soft and vulnerable. “Hey, hey, baby,” I say. “Talk to me. Why the tears?” 
I look up at Anthony, not caring that I’m a blubbering mess. The warmth of his body is a balm that calms me like a magic cure for a colicky baby.

This chapter was under the heading “Anthony” and was all from his pov, until suddenly it switched to Eva. This is exactly how it read for me, no spaces or acknowledgment that the pov was changing to Eva. I, personally, found this incredibly disruptive to the flow and had me backtracking and some confusion as to was speaking for a little bit. This example was easier to catch on because of the “look up at Anthony” right away but the “I” at first made it read funny to me. Others who read a lot of first pov may not have the problems I did.*

This author does a fantastic job writing family and friendship dynamics, I believe in her characters and world. I do think that while this is contemporary right now, the character's parlance could have this not aging well, even within 5/10 years; a lot of current/pop culture word usage. The author's use of food to immerse and showcase in some small way the characters' cultures was delightful and had me wishing there was a companion cookbook. All in all, an entertaining contemporary where two people try to just be friends but their chemistry can't be denied.

100%

Crashing into Her: Love on Cue - Mia Sosa

This needs a companion cookbook with all the food mentioned in it! 

 

Help me, the hunger is real

 

Reading Update: 50%

Crashing into Her: Love on Cue - Mia Sosa

Before she exits the truck, she places a hand on my thigh. “You’re a cool guy, Anthony. Although there are times when I want to strangle you, I’m glad we’re friends.”

“Good, because I feel exactly the same way.” When she’s gone, though, I sit there staring at the spot on my thigh where she casually rested her hand. That simple act yanked me out of our buddy-buddy moment like I’d been doused with cold water. And I know what that means: There’s trouble ahead.

Reblog:

First Romance Bingo Giveaway is up!

Reblogged from Jessica (HDB):

If you wanted to participate, now is a great time to come and check in :). I'm giving away a copy of 99 PERCENT MINE by Sally Thorne (which I'm reading right now and can easily say is adorable.)

 

Link is here:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtO-36fnDJL/

Oof emotional moments

Madly (The New York Series): A Loveswept Contemporary Romance - Ruthie Knox

I did a buddy read for this which can be found here:  Madly Buddy Read

My comments, quotes, and thoughts can more fully be found there.

 

If I had to sum this book up in one word it would be, exhausted. I liked it with its raw, oof, delve into emotions, but also all those emotions of anger, hurt, and pain, exhausted the hell out of me. These were not perfect characters and at times I wanted understanding and forgiveness for teenage actions, still bothering now adults, to play a bigger part. 

 

The romance lacked a bit for me, it moved pretty quick and I just didn't feel the story threads were there to support it. 

 

This was very much about family dynamics, pain, and human connectivity, putting your own wants and desires on people, and secret desires versus what the world/people tell you what kind of and how you should live your life. 

 

Deep oof stuff at times but I'm exhausted.

70%

Madly (The New York Series): A Loveswept Contemporary Romance - Ruthie Knox

“Mom picked at me for being too fat,” May said, “and Dad tried to make it up by leaving candy on my dresser, and—”

I'm telling you, this book is chalk-full of oof moments; very brittle raw nerve moments.

More comments & quotes: Buddy Read

50%

Madly (The New York Series): A Loveswept Contemporary Romance - Ruthie Knox

"I want to say ‘fuck you’ to the whole idea, too, that getting penetrated is the point of the deal, like it’s not sex if there’s not something inside me. I’m inside me. I am.”

There are some brutal emotions/emotional moments happening in this one.

More comments & quotes:Buddy Read

Whimpers

 

I...ummm.....help. The windchill is going to make this even worse isn’t it?

This should be a fun week!

 

20%

Madly (The New York Series): A Loveswept Contemporary Romance - Ruthie Knox

She cried happy tears at the end, and Winston speculated whether the jewels the children had kept were valuable enough to save their houses. He’d worried about it, talking diamond and gem markets, as he held her hand all the way through the credits.

Oh Winston, you guarded heart, you. 
A line will make my eyes water out of nowhere, only to then immediately lol at a convo exchange between them.

 

For more comments & quotes: Buddy Read

Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Anne Long

Lady Derring Takes a Lover: The Palace of Rogues - Julie Anne Long

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

 

No one, particularly not her late husband, had ever valued her for wits. Oh, but she possessed them.

 

Starting off the Palace of the Rogues series, Lady Derring Takes a Lover, is a magnificent return to historicals for Long. The first thirty percent of the book was perfection with our heroine Delilah being told by her solicitor that her late husband was in massive debt and eventually winding up going into business with said late husband's mistress. Their Grand Palace on the Thames boarding house becomes the setting for smuggling intrigue and romance.

 

Derring never laughed at my jokes. But I laughed at all of his, even though I didn’t find him amusing. He sulked if I didn’t,” Delilah said. “It’s a small but killing thing, isn’t?”

 

Delilah and the mistress, Angelique, start off very wary of each other but with fantastic telling some truths and learning lessons story writing, Long gives us a female relationship that you will ship hard. This tandem of women from different social levels and impoverished by the same man bonding together was just brilliant. Long played them off each other beautifully, they had their separate strengths and weaknesses but ultimately, their hearts beat for the same reasons. If looking for a immensely satisfying female relationship in your romance, this is it.

 

I am the king’s favorite hunting dog.”

 

Our hero, Captain Tristan Hardy, is all that is strong, contained, and eventually burning. Delilah and Angelique start off with more of the focus and are so strong, that Tristan ended up a little bit to the edges of the spotlight. It takes a little bit before Tristan and Delilah really get going, around 40%, which I know will make some antsy, but while their time seems a bit shortened by how full this first in series book is, they tended to make the most of it. From the first time Tristan sees Delilah, to the mandatory drawing room nights, and finally to the last 10% of their story, they had chemistry. Tristan might not have felt as fully fleshed out as I like, but let me tell you, the man can grovel/make things right with the top tier of romance heroes.

 

The notion of seducing her made him breathless, because he thought it was both possible and inadvisable for a dozen reasons.

 

While Delilah is living at and running the boarding house because it was the only thing not repossessed, Tristan arrives there because he is the captain of the blockade. His investigation into a cigar smuggling ring has led him to believe Delilah's husband was involved, along with The Palace of the Rogues, renamed The Grand Palace on the Thames by Delilah and Angelique. I thought the cigar smuggling investigation worked to get these two together but it moved very slowly and tended to feel almost ignored at times, not the strength of the novel. It is obvious the history of the former Palace of the Rogues is going to be the plot thread stringing the series together as we get a couple hints and clues here that will probably add to the building of an eventually completed puzzle (series).

 

It was nearly as much a collision as a kiss, at first, fierce and hard, as if they were both intent on punishing themselves and each other for wanting this.

 

Long did a great job interweaving secondary characters to create a full ensemble cast but I did think it took away from time I would have preferred to go to Delilah and Tristan. I loved Tristan's relationship with his Lt., providing a wonderful showing and not telling insight into his personality and character, wouldn't change a thing about Delilah and Angelique's friendship, but a very small secondary romance and some other minor focuses on characters could have been taken out. There is some on fire commentary dealing with women's rights but I did almost cringe at a very close to feeling forced mansplaining moment. There is some definite first in a series fullness happening here but again, Tristan and Delilah's moments are impactful when they have them.

 

Oh, now I see. You’re that Captain Hardy.”

 

The beginning was 5 stars, the middle 3.5ish, and the ending brought it back to 5 stars, for me. All in all, I was highly impressed with this first installment and am dying to read the next in the series, which I think will be about Angelique and a mysterious stranger that arrives late in the story. A brilliant female friendship, a loaded chemistry couple, and an ensemble cast that pulls you into their world, don't miss this one.

 

Know that I am at your mercy, now and forever.”

Reading Update: 10%

Madly (The New York Series): A Loveswept Contemporary Romance - Ruthie Knox

All of them full of passionate pronouncements about how they’d finally figured out how to live their lives. All he’d figured out was how to work Netflix.

More comments & quotes: Buddy Read

100%

Lady Derring Takes a Lover: The Palace of Rogues - Julie Anne Long

The last 10% of this:

 

 

Captain Tristan and his short poetry can come get it anytime

I'm going to try and participate in this! Pending me figuring out Instagram, lol.
Join in the fun!

It looks so much better in here!

Reblogged from Jessica (HDB):

Hi all!

 

It looks like things are running a million times more smoothly in here. I stopped in a week or so ago to try to update my reading lists (I actually hit my goal, huzzah!) and it was so damn slow. Does it look like things are better?

 

Please pardon the avalanche of reviews and ratings as I get things settled again.

 

OH ALSO, UPDATE:

 

I'm hosting a Romance Bingo game in February on Instagram! If you have an account, and want to join in, come on over! I have goodies for prizes, too. *wink wink*

 

Here's the link to my Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/hdbblog/