Every month I post a recap of all of my reviews from the previous month. For my full spoiler free review including Likes and Dislikes, click the review headers. I was way for 2 weeks in August, so there were a few less reviews than usual.
I also post the top 20 e-book bestsellers based on your clicks on Ana’s Attic links. Please see below the review recap.
August 2016 Review Recap
“You saved my life, Lily,” he said to me. “And you weren’t even trying.”
*completely spoiler-free and even storyline-free review*
I can’t do this book justice with a review. Especially a review where I don’t want to give one thing away. Go in blind and I promise, you won’t regret it. It Ends With Us is Colleen Hoover’s best work to date, and totally one of the best books I have ever read. Skip your Caramel Machiatto for the day, and spend that money on this book. You’ll be glad you did.
“For what I have in mind, there are no pants required. ”
No Pants Required by Kim Karr is a funny, sexy, light on the angst beach read. I loved the characters, I laughed out loud several times, and I loved the sexy, flirting banter. The”book club” was genius, but I wish I liked the story they read more, it would have been like a 2 for 1! I love that it took a while for the couple to become friends and get to know each other before it developed into more, despite the sexy start. I would definitely read more like this from Kim Karr.
“Any other time, any other place, she’d be under me already, but I knew my job. Reapers Forever, Forever Reapers. Sometimes loyalty sucked.”
I found Reaper’s Fire to be unputdownable. I really enjoyed it while reading it, though I got frustrated that the main couple weren’t together until way after the halfway point–then they still weren’t physically together. I liked that I didn’t have to remember a lot from the previous books, yet still got glimpses of favorite characters. The fire part of the story was told so well I felt like I was there and could feel the smokey air.
I didn’t really realize until I had finished the book how many unresolved issues and unanswered questions there were especially regarding both exes. If they are answered in the next book I feel like I would have to retain too many details from this to appreciate it. Since there was an amazing epilogue, I felt like many of the unanswered issues could have easily been resolved in an epilogue, but they weren’t.
If you are a fan of The Reaper’s, I think that you’ll love Reaper’s Fire but you should know going in that it doesn’t take place at the Reaper’s clubhouse, so you won’t have the same “coming home” feeling you might otherwise.
“First loves were supposed to be flimsy and temperamental. They were supposed to burn bright and fade fast. They weren’t supposed to stick. They weren’t supposed to eat away at a man’s heart, his capacity for life.”
Alessandra Torre can certainly set a mood and tell a story with skill. Moonshot combined so much into one book– forbidden romance, second chance romance, first love, angst, sex, conflict, drama, suspense, and at the heart of it all, a serious love for baseball. Moonshot took us on an epic journey that was totally unpredictable, had me saying “holy crap!” a number of times, had me in tears, and had me on the edge of my seat.
“So here I was, a princess in a frozen world with a very scary yet very hot husband who could really kiss and liked to cuddle.”
Wildest Dreams was still very much a Kristen Ashley book. I expected it to be a little more “otherworldly” but it wasn’t. it was a nice and easy transition into the fantasy world, so I think it would be easy for any fan of her contemporary books to get into this series. I have never felt such a crushing need to go back for more right after I finish a book. I honestly rushed through the other books I committed to, blew off work and had to get to Golden Dynasty right away, and it was even better. Filled with adventure, romance, palaces, wars, executions, kidnappings and even more romance, I’m telling you, if you are a fan of Kristen Ashley, I don’t care if you have never read a fantasy or paranormal book before, you need to try this series. You won’t regret it.
“Out there, King Lahn is a fierce warrior but in here, my Lahn… kah Lahn is sweet.”
His eyes changed, intensity shifting in when he murmured, “Fierce warrior, sweet.”
I grinned at him. “You’ve sort of got it.”
“Fierce warrior, sweet,” he muttered again.
I waited so long to read this series. I knew I’d get to it one day but wasn’t overly enthused. Fantasy or historical are not my thing. But I can’t stop thinking about it! Everything I LOVE about Kristen Ashley’s writing was here with the addition of magic and fantasy and a whole new world. Lahn was the ultimate in swoony alphas, and Circe was sweet, quirky, feisty and smart. I loved how they came together with a huge cultural and language barrier and built a relationship based on compromise and love. It’s 2 weeks later and I still have a book hangover and I can’t stop trying to re-work my schedule to fit the next in the series. I can’t wait to go back to Fantasyland!
The Golden Dynasty will go on my all-time favorites list.
“My word, Franka, have we arrived in the lap of the gods?”
“No, babe. It’s just the Nordstrom shoe department.”
While Midnight Soul isn’t my favorite of the Fantasyland series, I still loved the crap out of it. It is different from all the previous ones, as it is more relationship driven with very little action. It takes place mostly in our world, which was a ton of fun seeing the other world Franka and Josette adjust to. Though I loved Franka’s change, I felt it was a bit too extreme. There were a few side stories that intrigued me as much, if not more than the main one, and I wish we could have had them develop more, so I am going to hold out hope for a novella. I found that though I took over a week to finish Midnight Soul, I still finished with tears running down my face and hugging my kindle, completely devastated the series is over.
“Whoever said forty was the new twenty clearly didn’t live in my body. It was curvy, but not in the seductive, luscious, twenty-something way. There were no toned abs and sculpted thighs on my body. These were the lumps and bumps of a woman who’d bore children, nursed them until her breasts sagged, and carried them until her back spread. Each child added pounds, and each decade refused to remove them.”
I absolutely LOVE the concept of The Sex Education of M.E.. Emme was one of the most relatable characters ever, but her lack of self confidence and always assuming the worst caused a lot of angst that I think was a bit too much. As sexy as Merek was, his secrets pissed me off. But all-in-all, this was an amazing intro to LB Dunbar’s work. I like her writing style and I am hoping to get more about side characters. Don’t get me wrong, I actually loved Emme’s lack of self esteem, it’s what made her so relatable, but sometimes it was just a bit too much.
Sadly, it’s so rare to get a story about adults getting a second chance at love and life. With 50%+ of marriages ending in divorce, it’s great to be able to read about people who are older, more mature, with tons more baggage and history finding their way to love. I am hoping that The Sex Education of M.E. is the beginning of a new trend of books featuring older characters, and I am hoping that LB writes more in this world.
“While I get hit on all the time, women have a hard time holding my gaze the way this one does. They’re content to stare at my feet while they try to flirt because my eyes are sometimes too cold and my scar is too angry looking. But not this woman.”
The Wicked Horse Series is filled with delicious, dirty, kinky sex. Nothing is taboo. And although there is a ton of great sex, there is also a lot of story, with good character development. In this installment, for me, the sex is what brought it up to 4 stars, because I had some trouble connecting with the couple, especially Sloane. There were just too many secrets and lies between them, and I kept waiting for them to be exposed. The plot was a bit predictable, but still, I do plan on continuing this series on audible, because I need Bridger’s book, and the sex is off the charts. I thoroughly enjoyed listening, and the narrators were really good for the characters played. Mr. Ana was a happy camper the days I listened to Wicked Lust! ?
“You’re the only girl in the entire world that’s forbidden, and fuck me if that doesn’t make me want you more than anything.”
There was so much hype around Stepbrother Dearest when it came out 2 years ago. It did so well and spawned so many copycats that a whole new genre developed. It did make me expect a little more. Don’t get me wrong, I throughly enjoyed the story, the writing was great, but there were enough things I didn’t like, especially the second half basically repeating the first, that it kept me from falling head over heels with the book, and warranted a 4 star rating.
Bestsellers for August 2016
I’m forty, flabby, and frustrated. Don’t get me wrong, I have a good home, a decent job, and great children. I had a loving marriage for twenty years where we had our ups and downs. It wasn’t perfect; but it wasn’t awful. Then he died.
After the grief took its course, and the reality of my life set in, I grew frustrated. It wasn’t the bills or the struggle to keep my interest in my work. It was life without a man – the only man I’d been with for twenty years. And before you go all feminist on me, it isn’t that I can’t be an independent woman, but there are certain areas where a man is necessary.
You need a f*ck buddy, my friend said.
I didn’t even know what that meant.
Is it friends with benefits?, I asked.
Better, you don’t even have to be friends, she offered.
Boy, did I need an education in the modern workings of dating, and sex.
A coming-of-an-older age novel. A story for the over forty.
Something new from L.B. Dunbar — a stand alone rom-com.
See my review
He told me to settle.
He asked what was wrong with me.
He called me an easy target.
That was within minutes when I first met Caden Banks.
I labeled him an *sshole, but he was more than that. Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.
He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.
Okay, yes I was a little naive, a tad bit socially awkward, and the smallest amount of stalker-ish, but if Caden Banks thought he could tell me what to do, he had another thing coming.
I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what if I fell for the anti-stepbrother instead?
My obsession was born of innocence and good intentions, and it began the day I spotted a handwritten journal lying in the bushes outside a townhouse on Lexington Avenue. It was raining sideways that morning, and my plan was to return it the next day; safe and dry.
Only I kept it.
I kept it, and I read it.
A week later, overwhelmed with curiosity and feeling guilty for harboring secrets that didn’t belong to me, I tried to return it.
Only I wasn’t expecting to meet him.
Unapologetically heartless and enigmatically sexy, he claims he knows nothing about the journal I found outside his place, but the reticent glint in his blue-green gaze tells me otherwise.
There’s something different about him; something damaged yet magical, and I’m drawn to him; pulled into his orbit.
There’s just one problem.
The more I get to know him, the more I’m positive the journal belonged to him . . .
. . . and the more I find myself hoping, selfishly, that I’m wrong.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is a *full-length* standalone romance. For a *very limited* time, the eBook version of Heartless will include a FREE copy of VEGAS BABY as well as a small sneak peek of my next book!
Jake McKallister might have been a rock star, but he was no ordinary one. Surviving an unspeakable crime as a young teen had shaped him into a guarded workaholic, and he now lived his life trying to forget. If it hadn’t been for music and the redemption he found through it, he might not have survived. Career success came easily for him. Personal connections did not.
When outspoken, vivacious college student Casey Caldwell was paired with the famously reserved rockstar for a friend’s wedding, she was prepared for the worst. What could they possibly have in common? She was a bubbly talker; he was a reclusive loner. His life was filled with music; she couldn’t carry a tune. She’d enjoyed a happy childhood; his was a well-publicized nightmare.
Yet despite their obvious differences, Jake and Casey found each other, and her light balanced out his darkness. Would their love be strong enough to survive the weight of his tragic past?
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is a *full-length* standalone romance. Cake is a love story at heart but does deal with a sensitive topic and may not be for all.
Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of eighteen.
*This novel was professionally re-edited on June 28th, 2016*
*Was on sale during August*
Aleatha Romig, New York Times bestselling author, took the world by storm with Anthony Rawlings, Claire Nichols, and her acclaimed Consequences Series.
It has been branded “as a genre of its own” with “masterful storytelling that will keep you biting your nails and furiously flipping the pages to finally get to the emotional, jaw-dropping conclusion.”
For the first time EVER…this box set includes the following FIVE full-length novels: CONSEQUENCES, TRUTH, CONVICTED, REVEALED, BEYOND THE CONSEQUENCES
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING STANDALONE NOVEL that does NOT need to be read in conjunction with any other book.
From New York Times bestselling author, Penelope Ward, comes a friends-to-lovers story with sexy new characters.
After getting dumped, the last thing I needed was to move next door to someone who reminded me of my ex-boyfriend, Elec.
Damien was a hotter version of my ex.
The neighbor I’d dubbed “Angry Artist” also had two massive dogs that kept me up with their barking.
He wanted nothing to do with me. Or so I thought until one night I heard laughter coming through an apparent hole in my bedroom wall.
Damien had been listening to all of my phone sessions with my therapist.
The sexy artist next door now knew all of my deepest secrets and insecurities.
We got to talking.
He set me straight with tips to get over my breakup.
He became a good friend, but Damien made it clear that he couldn’t be anything more.
Problem was, I was falling hard for him anyway. And as much as he pushed me away, I knew he felt the same…because his heartbeat didn’t lie.
I thought my heart had been broken by Elec, but it was alive and beating harder than ever for Damien.
I just hoped he wouldn’t shatter it for good.
Author’s note – Neighbor Dearest is a full-length standalone novel. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.
What happens when a Bradford with questionable OCD, a temper and a reputation for making his employees cry falls for the woman that refuses to accept the fact that he’s fired her and was terrifyingly more of a Bradford than he was?
Well, we can’t share that here, because it would be seriously inappropriate, but we’re sure that you can see where this is leading…
To the altar or a stint in the slammer, either one is possible when it comes to the Neighbor from Hell Series.
Author’s Note: This book along with the rest of the series is intended to make you smile, let you relax and forget the drama and stress that plagues our lives even if its just for a little while. This is a drama free book. My goal is to put a smile on your face and I hope this book does that.
It’s nearly impossible to be surrounded by love but not understand it. My parents, my sister, and just about everyone around us has no trouble accepting that love. To give your trust to someone else and believe they would die before hurting you. I’ve witnessed it—I’ve seen the power of it—but I’ve also seen the pain. Because for me, I’ve only loved someone I could never have, and my biggest fear is that by giving her my love, all I would do is ruin her. I should have tried harder, but I’m not sure I can because I only feel complete when I’m with her.
The only time I feel like I belong is when he’s near. His infectious smile warms me straight to my bones. Any insecurities I have vanish with just a wink from him. A sliver of his attention makes me feel invincible. But all it took was one drunken night of truths for me to lose everything I had begun to crave. Now, I’m not sure how to move on because I only feel complete when I’m with him.
He said I was too young. I said he was perfect. He said our families wouldn’t understand. I said we could weather any storm. He said he would ruin me. And he was right.
When I’m with You can be read as a standalone. Each book is interconnected, so if you would like to get to know the previous couples that show up in this book, I recommending reading book 1 (Unexpected Fate) and book 2 (Bleeding Love) first.
From the USA Today and AMAZON best seller of The Reckless Series, HJ Bellus, comes a sexy romance: FILTHY.
It was just a summer fling.
He taught me his bad boy ways.
And now I’m beyond being saved.
At first it was fun, but now it’s an addiction my skin craves.
All sense of reality disappears and there’s no boundaries holding me in.
My name is Darby and this is FILTHY.
SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.
This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.
See my Review
She put me in the friend-zone. I want out.
Rule #1: Never hook up with a woman who is looking for a relationship.
Rule #2: Always do breakups in a public space.
I have a reputation.
I’m a player. Three dates and I’m out.
I don’t do commitment. My idea of a romantic evening involves making a woman cry out in toe-curling, window-shattering pleasure.
Until I meet Charlie.
She’s beautiful. She’s funny and she’s feisty.
And she’s put me straight in the friend-zone.
I shouldn’t care, but with Charlie? I’m playing for keeps.
MAX is a standalone book with a guaranteed HEA and no cheating. For a limited time, this edition includes a bonus novella – Boyfriend by the Hour.
At a secret masked ball at Yale, Naomi Costa is literally swept off her stiletto-blistered feet by a man with a killer jawline, a perfect body, and an even-better kiss. They bust out of an emergency exit and have axis-shaking sex. He pours whiskey in her belly button and after they run out of condoms, they have to get creative. That kind of sex.
The next day, she learns that he is none other than Dr. Benjamin Beck, a brand new member of the Yale faculty and the hottest thing to happen to academia since… well, ever. She has to take his damned junior seminar to graduate, but it gets worse. He’s also her College Master: her boss, her advisor, her everything. And he’s just moved in, right downstairs.
They can’t stay away from each other. They’re either fusion or fission or both. They’re making out in libraries, hiding notes between stones, and sneaking off to nautically themed AirBnbs. Hear that sound? It’s the academic code of ethics going up in flames.
If they’re found out, he’ll lose his job and his reputation. She’ll lose her scholarship and be forced to return to the life of lobster fishing that she thought she’d escaped.
And they will be found out, yes they will.
So what the hell are they going to do?
To the reader: Things get damned dirty in this book. The characters curse, the sex gets explicit. It’s an erotic love story with fury. Be advised. This is a stand-alone novel.
Other tasters’ notes: HEA. Sweet. Funny. Dirty. Muddy. Wet. Inspired by a real professor.
He wanted to do dirty things to me.
But it didn’t stop there.
He wanted to teach me to do dirty things to him.
He wanted to teach me how to take a spanking, how to take him in my mouth, how to stay quiet while I was bent over his desk.
He was my professor, so of course I knew it was wrong.
He had a reputation for breaking hearts and leaving destruction in his wake.
But I couldn’t resist his demands, his blue eyes, his strong hands roaming my body.
He was too brilliant, too sexy, too demanding.
He was the reason I transferred to Noland, the reason I wanted to be a writer.
And now he’s the reason I’m about to lose everything.
Believe follows the story of Kate, whose marriage unexpectedly comes to an end when her abusive husband leaves her. Although, it’s probably a good thing, it still knocks her to the ground.
Needing a fresh start, Kate asks for a transfer in her company and moves to the UK for a six month period. Hoping this will give her the time she needs to clear her head and mend her broken heart.
That’s when she meets Luke.
Luke Bennett is a sexy, dirty, arrogant and an extremely alluring police officer who is interested in getting to know Kate better. Kate’s friends convince her to use this brilliant opportunity as a ‘distraction’ which will help her take her mind from her failed marriage and divorce proceedings.
But a one night stand quickly turns into something more as Kate finds herself falling for Luke…
Advanced readers have described Believe as an addicting read which will make your heart race and mouth water.
Experience Declan’s complete story. Includes all four novels, the RONE-nominated novella “Decide” and an exclusive bonus novella “Decode”.
As high school sweethearts, Declan Reede and Alyssa Dawson didn’t always see eye-to-eye. Especially when it came to his dream of being a driver in the ProV8 series. When he’s offered the chance at the career of his dreams, Declan straps himself in for the ride regardless of the cost.
Older, but not wiser, Declan is on the path to becoming a racing legend. Only, regret haunts him around the track and threatens to send him off-course. When a chance encounter offers the opportunity to correct his mistakes, Declan must learn to manage the curves if he wants to claim the ultimate prize.
**Due to strong language and sexual content not intended for anyone under the age of 18**
This COMPLETE NYT Best Seller is available in a box set for a LIMITED TIME.
Estelle falls in love with her forbidden brother’s best friend for a second time.
In this second chance love story, college sweethearts torn apart are forced to work together and find that sometimes time really does make the heart grow fonder.
When old flame walks into his office seeking counsel, Victor is torn between his career as a successful divorce attorney and his growing feelings for his client.
Plus other exclusive content!
One night. That’s all it was supposed to be.
Blake Thomas’ entire career as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation has led up to this one job: submerging himself in a lifestyle of fast cars and even faster women. He’s deep undercover, building a case to bring down an intricate criminal ring of car thieves in Las Vegas, with no time to think about the one woman he can’t seem to forget. He never imagined his past would become tangled with his present, threatening to be his downfall.
Two years ago, Carly Mathewson planned for a one-night stand with a perfect stranger. What she didn’t count on was being reminded of him every time she looked into the emerald eyes of the daughter they unexpectedly created. Since that night, she’s devoted herself to keeping her life simple. But when her past refuses to stay buried, she’s determined to do everything she can to keep it from jeopardizing what she’s worked so hard to achieve. Suddenly, everything and everyone Carly has known aren’t quite what they seemed.
Every present has a past. Before they can secure a future together, Blake and Carly are forced to admit that their lives are linked by so much more than just that one night. Without warning, they’re bound together for life.
*Disclaimer: This book contains graphic language and detailed sex and is recommended for those 18 and over.
Once, I took down terrorists on the front lines as a marine.
Now I’m in the business of bad.
I’ve sold guns to people others might not approve of.
I’ve eliminated the criminals, the lowlifes and the thugs who’ve tread on my turf.
And I looked the Sicilian Mafia boss in the eye and told him to f*** off.
No one tells me no, unless it’s their last word.
I didn’t just act the part of bad—I lived it. Then she stumbled into my life.
I tried to stay away from her. Tried focusing on moving my merchandise. But one smile from Terra was like a shot to the heart.
She’s mine now. And no one threatens what’s mine.
I’ve seen a lot of terrible things in my life.
I grew up around lies and deception, and I ran away from all of them.
Until I met him.
I knew he was corrupt. I knew he was dangerous.
I should have stayed away, but my attraction to him, my need for him, overrode my logic.
Now I love him.
If he finds out who I am, we’re done and I’ll be nothing.
I never wanted to be the Mafia princess they tried to make me, but mia familia had other plans. And what mia familia wants…it gets.
Only Michael Tripp can save me.
We go together like champagne and whiskey. Now we’re married!
Gage Carter is the poster boy for rude, rugged, and obnoxious. He’s the town’s mechanic. When he’s not giving me a hard time about my car, he’s mocking my city girl ways.
He’s a small town roughneck with a dirty reputation and a mouth to match. I’m a city girl. We go together like champagne and whiskey.
People told me he was trouble. But that didn’t stop me from craving his filthy promises that make my blood pound for hours. Or having full body shivers whenever he says my name.
This joy ride’s gone too far. Now we’re married—by accident—no less. The town’s most ineligible bachelor is my husband.
Oh, and I’m pregnant.
The last thing I need is a wife…
Especially a high-maintenance one like Olivia Stewart. I’ve got no patience for a demanding, feisty city girl who thinks she can walk into my business and order me around.
But now that I’ve tasted her, I can’t get her out of my mind. She may be a burr in my side but she’s as sweet as honey. When she’s not driving me crazy, she’s driving me wild.
One problem: Some puffed-up rich boy from San Francisco thinks she’s his, and he’ll make my life hell if I don’t give her up.
Good luck with that. I can’t be bought, and I’m not giving up my wife and baby.
He wants a fight? This means war.
*This steamy stand alone Gentry Boys novel is now a USA TODAY BESTSELLER!*
It was him. Conway Gentry.
The boy I’d known years ago – the one who’d loved my best friend and was left shattered by her death – was now a macho adrenaline junkie, an arrogant, womanizing hustler.
There was not a single good reason on this earth to fall for him.
But no one told my heart that.
She didn’t seem like my type.
Snobby, boringly mainstream and above all, tied to a part of my past I’d kill to forget, I should have just had my fun with her and moved on.
Instead I kept coming back. I couldn’t help it.
I’ve known for a long time that if you live fast you crash hard.
But I also know that’s nothing compared to what love can do to you.
SINFULLY MINE is a standalone contemporary romance novel from New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Kendall Ryan.
She was forbidden.
I didn’t care.
As my best friend’s little sister, Macey Hale was off-limits. Tempting as sin, and forbidden as fuck. I wish I could say that stopped me. I wish I could tell you I behaved like a gentleman.
When she waltzes back into my life with that same spark I fell for, looking every bit the beautiful woman I knew she’d grow into, I have to force myself to remember I’m different from the man she once knew. I’m colder. Harder. And for good reason.
With my heart on lockdown, and my hands aching to touch her, I set out to prove that I can keep myself in check this time.
No strings. No attachments.
And definitely no falling for her again.
If you like steamy love stories, you won’t want to miss this older brother’s best friend romance.
This is book two in the Lessons with the Dom series, following The Gentleman Mentor. Both are complete standalone novels featuring sexy Dominant men you’re sure to fall in love with. Enjoy!