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text 2014-05-02 19:27
April 2014 Recap
Wicked Nights - Gena Showalter
Beauty Awakened - Gena Showalter
The Country Mouse Collection - Amy Lane,Aleksandr Voinov
Find You in the Dark - A. Meredith Walters
Curio - Cara McKenna
Coercion - Cara McKenna
Craving - Cara McKenna
Confession - Cara McKenna
Exposure - Cara McKenna
One Hot Night - Samantha Hunter

Well, here we are at the beginning of May, frankly with all that was going on with me the previous month, I can't believe it's over and the huge project I've been consumed by is soon to be done. Not yet, but soon enough. I worked a lot more hours and had less time to be be at home with my dogs, less time to read naturally, less time to be me and do staff I enjoy or just relax. Hope this month will bring more "light weight" staff for me. 


So I didn't really have time to read (at least not in the beginning of the month when I was tired all the time and couldn't keep my eyes open to read when I got home) but actually most of what I read in the beginning of the month have also been a disappointment so why read when I obviously need the sleeping hours and the books aren't worth the sluggish morning after half a night of reading ;)


I'm still re-listening to all the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward. While last month I listened to 5 books, this month I only managed three. I'm almost at the end, I have about a third of the 10th one and then I only have the 11th till I get to read "The King". But I did manage to read the Insider's guide which I had but didn't read before.

Lover Avenged (BDB #7)

Lover Mine (BDB #8)

Lover Unleashed (BDB #9)

The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide


I got to read a small mini series (all the novellas together amount to about 300 pages) that wasn't planned in my April Goals which was "Curio Vignettes" By Cara McKenna (aka Meg Maguire). Highly recommend it! :)

Curio (Curio Vignettes #1)

Coercion (Curio Vignettes #2)

Craving (Curio Vignettes #3)

Confession (Curio Vignettes #4)

Reversal (Curio Vignettes #5)

Exposure(Curio Vignettes #6)


Without further ado here is my April Recap :)


Author of the Month: (Wicked Nights + Beauty Awakened
Angels of the Dark #1, #2) Gena Showalter

I've read Lords of the Underworld a few months ago. It's one of quite few Paranormal Romance I've read which ISN'T about vampires. It's about demons, warriors and immortals. But nevertheless a great read! Gena built an amazing world that feels real (or could be real), interesting characters and now a spin off which started with Zacharel (whom we met in the LotU series) and continues with the rest of the Amy of Disgrace. I loved Zacharel when reading of him and the LotU series and LOVED his personal story. I also really enjoyed the second one in the series of Koldo (a new character). Gena brings into this world interesting and divine motives I really like. I like that the characters are versatile and even though supposed to be utterly good (angels hello!) they are damaged in their way leaving them having to struggle with their past but also present (so they'll actually have a future ..). I planned on reading the last one when it was published (on the 29th of April) but since I was all over Curio I postponed it to the beginning of May (will start reading it today :)).


Favorite Book of the Month: The Country Mouse Collection By 
(Country Mouse + City Mouse) By Amy Lane & Aleksandr Voinov

I started with putting this one in the "fun break" but then moved it to this spot since even though it WAS a total easy going and funny read it was also a great story and my ABSOLUTE favorite of the month. We have two short novellas that together brings us a whole story (I think together they are about 200 pages). The first one deals with the forming of the relationship between the Country Mouse - Owen the easy going from the US coming to a visit in London and the City Mouse - Malcolm the uptight workaholic living in London. The first part had a lot of sex (some of it naughty :P) but it did have a sweet story as well. Owen is an amazing influence on Malcolm and he can read him like an open book, giving him what he needs even if he doesn't know that's what he actually needs! The second one is about them trying to get along as a couple when they have different views towards a lot of things. Mostly about work.. Owen wants a work with meaning, Malcolm wants a job with a status and naturally pays well. Both of them wants that for the other which is what's sweet about it. I wish we could have had another short novella to this one but I guess I'll have to settle with what we got :) 

I should mention that the read was very fluent even though it's written by two authors. This is the first read for my of Amy Lane but Aleksandr Voinov I knew from a preious read - "Unhinge the Universe" (Also Highly recommended!) 


Disappointment of the Month: Find Yon in the Dark by A. Meredith Walters

I don't like writing bad reviews but sometimes I feel like "I have to" first because I want to document what I read for myself and second because I would like to have an honest review when I look for a book to read so for me it also means to deliver it myself with my reviews. One other thing, I really try to finish a book even if I don't really like it or have my misgiving about it but this one, I left after almost 50% for me that means the book have REALLY disappointed me (or angered me which will mostly be the case). I think this book had a lot of potential dealing with a rough subject - a teenager suffering from both Mood (Affective) Disorder and a Personality Disorder. I guess it was suppose to show us how the MC struggle with the disorders both with one another and with the world around them (family, friends, kids they go to school with etc) but it was a total miss because the girl - Maggie was A CHILD. I think she behaved like a 12 years old.. (not 16...) there is NO love expressed only an obsession we all read about / witnessed / once had when we were young when it was all about the crush and nothing to do with the person towards it's expressed. Also it's all about forgetting who she is to be HIS girl. I felt that the Maggie couldn't deal with what was going on with her boyfriend since she can't even understand what a real relationship is about. I really wish I'd love it. I do.

I find these kinds of subjects close to heart since I studied Behavioral Science for my B.A. and I worked with different kinds of Disorders for years (granted not with what Clay has, not that it matters..). So yeah, it was a total miss on that account but the most strange thing about this book was that even though it brings such a refreshing and different story all the other details of the book felt like a total and absolute cliche / unoriginal. So as I wrote above, haven't finished this one and cancelled my planned reading for the rest of the series.. 


Discovery of the Month: Curio Vignettes by Cara McKenna
(See links to all reviews above)

I read almost all books published by Meg Maguire (and will finish them all till the end of the year) but this is the first I've read in her other pen name - Cara McKenna. She writes Contemporary Romance under Meg and Erotica under Cara. I don't read a lot of Erotica basically because I'm more into the story than the sex.. ;) But this one gave both the sex AND the story. I loved that we had a story of about 5 months long which means we could feel how the relationship was building (each novella had a short few weeks gap from the previous one) making it more realistic. I loved that we had a man whore (and not the obvious other way around) I loved that what Didier was dealing with wasn't so obvious or I should say stereotypical to prostitutes it had more to do with HOW he lived his life and not about his occupation specifically. I loved that I could relate to both of them even though my life story has NOTHING to do with theirs. For me that's something a great writer can do (and a good one does occasionally or not at all).  Both of them felt real to me, relateable. I also appreciate an author who can write a good novella. That's not an easy thing! But I should say that all of them had their happy ending but it wasn't an absolute and total closure to the story it was mostly having something to look forward to. I would have been totally OK with reading just the first one but naturally was happy to get all 6 of them.    


Fun Break of the Month: One Hot Night (Old Port Nights #1) by Samantha Hunter

This is a short novella that's going to become a series though I'm not sure if it'll be like Curio containing short novellas or a "regular" series with full novels. Anyhow it was a fun read, and was exactly what I needed after all the "misses" I had this month (I mentioned above one I didn't finish but there were two others). I really enjoy reading Samantha, every novella I stumble upon (OK, except for one) is a great an fun read. I really want to get to read her full novels but as you know the "to read" list is always unrealistic..  I won't write another review of the novella here you can click on the name and go to my full review.  


That's it for this month recap! May Goals coming up in a bit! 

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review 2014-05-01 21:35
Exposure (Curio Vignettes #6) - Cara McKenna
Exposure - Cara McKenna

This is the last installment in the "Curio Vignettes" (mini) series and for me it delivered exactly what I wanted to read :) I love a happy ending, love happily ever after but I usually prefer it to be less sticky and more to the point of dealing with the problems or at least seeing a way out of them - just as this installment delivered. 


Caroly and Didier leave Paris for a few days vocation in Provence. This trip is very significant for the both of them, first because it means Didier found another job (I loved the job that he found, I actually thought it would be cool if that's what he did and then I got exactly that :)) and it also means that he is dealing much better with his Agoraphobia. and naturally it means that the both of them can take the relationship to the next level. 


I think it's beautiful how much the both of them changed in the past 5 months they have been together. Caroly is a much stronger woman who knows what she wants, the sexual experiences did a lot for her confidence and not only between the sheets and Didier naturally had a lot of change with his phobia but also he did a huge change in life choosing to live for himself and deal with the fear and not close himself up with his clients which on the one hand are fun for him and on the other hand they helped him confine himself in his apartment. 


While I wrote after the first installment that I get Caroly's state of mind, I think that in a way I also understand Didier. I love being in my house. If I didn't have my dogs and a day job that takes me out of the house I would have probably almost never leave it, just to go to the post office to take my packages and sometimes go out to eat when I don't feel like making dinner. I can be very sociable. But at heart I crave the silence and solitude of my 4 walls. For me it's not about fear or insecurity it's just that I'm a private person (and unlike Didier I'm not the hospitable type) and like my quite time with myself.


I guess a lot of avid readers know what I mean :) Anyhow I know what Didier means when he says that Caroly truly loves him because she makes him get out of his shell, and my good friends are like that as well, when I "disappear" for a while they rouse me from my social hibernation. I know it's bad being isolated but I'm too content with being alone to change that and lets say the truth out loud here - it's not good being alone all the time.. and it's good having a balance. 


You already know I love this mini series and I already started adding tiny bits of books by Cara. I'm really happy I'm ending this month and starting a new one after reading two great series (remember the disappointments from the beginning of the month?).  Tomorrow I'll be returning to the Angels of the Dark series by Gena Showalter YAY!

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review 2014-04-30 21:55
Confession (Curio Vignettes #5) - Cara McKenna
Confession - Cara McKenna

At long last!!! A confession! That's not a real spoiler considering the built up of the previous installments and the name of the novella. So here we are in the one before last novella in the Curio Vignettes (mini) series and as usual I'm really happy to finish another sweet part!


This one was mostly their love confession to one another and them dreaming together of their future together, as a real couple. I'm not much for sticky love but I felt their confession of love was simply beautiful, real and charming in it's imperfection.


After hearing Didier in the previous installment we are listening again to Caroly's POV. I must say that in a way I prefer reading his POV, there is something a bit, well, shallow (as she confess herself) and insecure in the fact he really in fact wants to be solely with her.  


But her insecurities have no place in the real world since Didier loves her dearly and can't wait to find another occupation so she can be his true companion in life. He also can't wait to have her all to himself, living with her and not just seeing her on the weekends. Caroly naturally shares his wants but she also fears that it won't be easy to accomplish. 


This installment finishes in a very happy note (as the previous ones did as well) and a promise to Caroly for a special kind of treat when he finds other means of income. 


It might be getting late, but I can't see myself going off to sleep without finishing the last one in the (mini) series!

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review 2014-04-30 20:11
Reversal (Curio Vignettes #4) - Cara McKenna
Reversal - Cara McKenna

I'm giving this one 5 stars but I actually would have given it more if that was possible :) I SO loved this one! We go back to listening to Didier's POV which is very different than we heard before and a little similar to the voice of Caroly in the first installment where she is so insecure, wanting yet afraid to reach and caress. Didier is the same, only his insecurities aren't in bed, but outside his bed and outside his flat. 


We got to listen to Didier's inner fears, inner torture, how much he wants Caroly and how much he wants to give her or rather wishes he could. He has such a tender heart. his love for Caroly and the respect he has for her is simply beautiful and the way Caroly doesn't give up on him, she knows him, can read his body when he is stressed, calms him when he is in this state but also doesn't leave him like all the people around him - locked in a cage he himself built. You have to truly love someone to do what she is willing to do for him - helping him deal with this crippling fear of outdoors. 


And then there's the sex.. WOW. That was truly amazing. It was so much more than just sex or kinky / naughty sex, it had a lot of meaning for the both of them. For once he had to surrender to her. Yeah, he surrendered to women before but that was part of the act, he didn't REALLY surrender and he was playing, he wasn't himself. With Caroly he truly gives up his control and let her take him. The experience was special for the both of them and brought a new intimacy that was more about the two of them and their love for each other and what they are willing to do / be for one another than it was about the act itself. 


Simply Beautiful. I find myself utterly in love with Didier. I think it's impossible not to. He is perfect, yet he is human, has his flaws, has his difficulties. I can totally relate to Caroly. I see what she finds in him, why she is willing to keep him even for a short while (not knowing if what they have can really work on the long run) and how much he deserves "saving". So many women come to him to take comfort, to be pampered, but when does he get to be taken care of? Never before Caroly.  


Rushing up for the next installment! :)

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review 2014-04-30 16:32
Craving (Curio Vignettes #3) - Cara McKenna
Craving - Cara McKenna

Here we are in the third installment, returning to Caroly's POV. I really enjoyed this one, we started with Caroly and Didier having dinner together outside his apartment. I loved listening to Caroly's inner voice, explaining how she is the one who really knows Didier, the only one seeing him this vulnerable with hands shaking and a haunted face, and she is the one who experience these things with him without looking at him with pity or disrespect. She loves him for who he really is not just the beautiful guy or the one who really knows how to make a girl happy. From his perspective it's quite obvious that he truly trusts her and want to sort of "impress" her and "be normal" for her, so he can really be with her like "regular" couples are (naturally it's funny writing that when he is not "faithful" to her).


Returning home we get back to "tutoring" when Caroly looks inside the "treasure box" where Dider keeps his toys. It was an extremely sexy and naughty read! Unlike the sexual "session" they had in the previous part where they played two people they're not, I enjoyed much better reading their own experience, who they are, where they can go with their curiosity and sexual attraction. 


It's so much fun reading these small novellas. Each bringing us a different view - either Caroly or Didier, and getting to see how their relationship develops in those small glimpses each a few weeks / months apart making the built of the relationship feel more realistic. 


I just remembered this morning I got a recommendation to another short series by Cara - Shivaree. It has three parts, each quite short (80-140 pages). I'm not sure when I'll have time to read it, but I'll keep it for those times where I finish my planned reading for the month (like I did with this series). 

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