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text 2020-05-22 16:00
Short and Sweet Summertime Reading Master Tracker
Because He's Perfect: Anthology for the Movember Foundation - Danielle Dickson,Anna Blakely,Ally Vance,Alice La Roux,Renee Harless,Sienna Grant,Claire Marta,Lexi C. Foss,Tracie Delaney,Dani René,K. L. Humphreys,Elle Boon,Carrie Ann Ryan,Victoria James,Samantha Lewis,Lexxie Couper,Anne Joseph,Victoria-Maria MacDonal
Once Upon a Wedding: A Fiction From the Heart Second Chances Anthology - Donna Kauffman,Barbara Samuel,Hope Ramsay,K.M. Jackson,Tracy Brogan,Sally Kilpatrick,Sonali Dev,Falguni Kothari,Jamie Beck,Priscilla Oliveras
No Dukes Allowed - Grace Burrowes,Anna Harrington,Kelly Bowen
This Wedding is Doomed! - Stephanie Draven,Jeannie Lin,Shawntelle Madison,Amanda Berry
Hearts Entwined (Ladies of Harper’s Station #2.5) - Mary Connealy,Karen Witemeyer,Regina Jennings,Melissa Jagears
Love By the Letters: A Regency Novella Trio - Grace Burrowes,Vanessa Riley,Kelly Bowen
The Christmas Heirloom: Four Holiday Novellas of Love Through the Generations - Karen Witemeyer,Becky Wade,Sarah Loudin Thomas,Kristi Ann Hunter
Serving Up Love: A Harvey House Brides Collection - Tracie Peterson,Karen Witemeyer,Jen Turano,Regina Jennings

I decided that my summer reading project was to read anthologies and novellas/shorter works (150 pages or less) off my NOOK and Kindle. Short and sweet is the theme for this year, as I wanted space to read longer works at my leisure without feeling unproductive. Also, I want to have short works ready to read so I can structure my days around reading and other hobbies, errands, and such and not the news or social media (BL exception, of course) - I really need to get off my phone more, that screen time tracker is not good for my health.

 

Dates for this reading project: May 25th (Memorial Day) to Labor Day (Sep 7th) - 106 days. I am aiming for one story from an anthology or novella per day, with the goal of averaging about 100 pages per day. I put a few winter holiday ones on the list for a Christmas-in-July reading week. To kick off the project, I will be starting the longest anthology and use Random Number Generator to pick a novella. After that I will use RNG or go by mood - probably the second method most of the time.

 

Anthologies

1. No Dukes Allowed by Various Authors 0/3 stories read

2. This Wedding is Doomed! by Various Authors 0/4 stories read

3. Hearts Entwined by Various Authors 0/4 stories read

4. Once Upon a Wedding by Various Authors 0/11 stories read

5. Because He's Perfect by Various Authors 0/20 stories read

6. Love by the Letters by Various Authors 0/3 stories read

7. The Christmas Heirlooms by Various Authors 0/4 stories read

8. Serving Up Love by Various Authors 0/4 stories read

 

Novellas

Nook:

1. Changing Leaves by Edie Bryant

2. The Cost of Hope (The Cost of Love #1) by G.S. Carr

3. Once Upon a Winter's Eve (Spindle Cove #1.5) by Tessa Dare

4. A New Life (West Meets East #1) by Merry Farmer

5. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

6. Hollywood Holiday (Hollywood Headlines #2.5) by Gemma Halliday

7. Out of the Storm (Beacon of Hope #0.5) by Jody Hedlund

8. A Lady of Esteem (Hawthorne House #0.5) by Kristi Ann Hunter

9. A Search for Refuge (Haven Manor #0.5) by Kristi Ann Hunter

10. Love by the Letter (Unexpected Brides #0.5) by Melissa Jagears

11. Love on the Prairie (McKinnie Mail Order Brides #1) by Ciara Knight

12. Love in the Rockies (McKinnie Mail Order Brides #2) by Ciara Knight

13. Mrs. Sartin's Secretary (Lords of Chance #2.5) by Wendy LaCapra

14. That Healing Touch (Cutter's Creek #1) by Kit Morgan

15. The Christmas Mail Order Bride by Kit Morgan

16. What Lies Behind Us (World War II Sisters) by Sierra Rose

17. A Little Light Mischief (The Turner Series #3.5) by Cat Sebastian

18. Tycoon (The Knickerbocker Club #0.5) by Joanna Shupe

19. A Hero's Promise (Culpepper's Ring Novella) by Roseanna M. White

20. Fairchild's Lady (Culpepper's Ring Novella) by Roseanna M. White

21. Mail Order Cowboy (Gold Valley #1.5) by Maisey Yates

22. Hometown Heartbreaker (Copper Ridge #3.5) by Maisey Yates

23. Claim Me, Cowboy (Copper Ridge #4) by Maisey Yates

 

Kindle:

24. Proper English (England #0) by KJ Charles

25. Dance All Night (Dance Off #2.5) by Alexis Dare

26. Willow: Bride of Pennsylvania by Merry Farmer

27. Engaging the Competition (With This Ring? Novella) by Melissa Jagears

28. Mrs. Martin's Incomparable Adventure (Worth Saga #2.75) by Courtney Milan

29. Dueling the Desperado (Brides of Blessings #4) by Mimi Milan

30. Where Snowy Owl Sleeps (Brides of Blessings #9) by Mimi Milan

31. Birth of the Butterfly (Brides of Blessings #11) by Mimi Milan

32. Miracle on Ladies' Mile by Joanna Shupe

33. After a Fashion (A Class of Their Own #0.5) by Jen Turano

34. The Husband Maneuver (A Worthy Pursuit #0.5) by Karen Witemeyer

35. Worth the Wait (Ladies of Harper's Station Novella) by Karen Witemeyer

 

 

 

 

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review 2020-05-10 23:31
Held up on a reread
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen,Marilyn Butler,Claire Lamont

Rereading this 20yrs after the first time was quite a different experience, I wish I had time to reread a lot of other books.

Catherine's nativity was more pronounced, John and Isabella Thorpe made my blood pressure rise, the Gothic satire portion didn't play as big a part as I remembered, Henry was an intuitive dear but Austen also delivered a fourth wall breaking line that killed the romance for me, and the ending felt rushed.

For quotes, comments, and a deeper discussion of thoughts and feelings: Northanger Abbey buddy read

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review 2020-04-28 17:07
A Duke By Any Other Name by Grace Burrowes
A Duke by Any Other Name - Grace Burrowes
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.

“Lady Althea Wentworth is, without doubt, the most vexatious, bothersome, pestilential female I have ever had the misfortune to encounter.”

When her brother unexpectedly inherits a dukedom, Althea is thrust into the world of social splendor and social backstabbing. She spent most of her childhood trying to survive and protect her siblings, so the intricacies of navigating jealousy and competition for bachelors is beyond her. Having a duke next door, even if he is a recluse, could be the answer to her problems, though.
Nathaniel wasn't supposed to be the duke and he is starting to chafe at having to wear the mantle. When he finally descends on his neighbor to tell her to keep her pigs in her own yard, he can't help but finally feel alive when sparing with her.
Secrets that are starting to feel constraining and a chemistry that can't and doesn't want to be ignored, are heating up the Yorkshire moors.

Following the Wentworth family and their friends, the Rogues to Riches series delivers its fourth installment staring Althea, the oldest sister. In previous books, she was the straightforward sibling that could come off a little abrasive. In her own story we get a look at how she was left to take care of and protect her younger siblings from their alcoholic father while their elder brother Quinn (My One and Only Duke) went out to try and make money. When her family inherits the title, she becomes Lady Althea and not only gains the prestige but jealousy, with one particular enemy in a Lady Phoebe. With Phoebe making snide remarks and spreading innuendo about her, Althea needs help with learning how to navigate polite society as she does want a husband and family.

He was lonely.

Nathaniel is Althea's neighbor on their estates outside of York and is a recluse as he shuns society. At first he seems like a grumpy bear just wanting to hibernate but when we get a pov from his mother, that hasn't been back to the estate or seen her son in years, we get a tease that maybe Nathaniel is forced into keeping out of society. Then we are introduced to his brother Robbie, who supposedly died years ago, and learn that Robbie was the older brother and Nathaniel isn't the true duke. This is revealed in the first half and I don't count it as a huge spoiler as the majority of the book is about Nathaniel and Althea growing to love one another but Nathaniel not seeing a way they can be together because of the tangle it would cause and possibly revealing Robbie is still alive.

Anything for my only brother.
And now, anything had become everything.


Burrowes is always good at the subtle but sweet and loving emotions between her leads and Nathaniel and Althea wonderfully showcase that talent. When they have their first meeting you can almost feel Nathaniel coming alive as Althea snips and pushes back at him as he outright refuses her request to tutor her in the ways of polite society, while also slipping in advice to her. The angst to keep them apart, Nathaniel trying to protect his brother, added depth to the story, his character, and made you hurt for this family. Robbie looks to be the hero in the next book in the series and I'm looking forward to seeing how his connection to Althea's sister Constance occurred and see him get his happily ever after. The struggle and love between Nathaniel and Robbie was felt but their mother's struggle wasn't completely understood for me. She had a bad relationship with her husband so she hated the estate but how it felt like she suddenly just decided to go back and help felt rushed; her whole inclusion in the story felt a bit out of place.

I will always be that hungry girl.

Althea's background and how that shaped her was heartfelt and will have you feeling for her as Nathaniel tells her to never beg, at first not appreciating the strength and courage Althea displays in doing so. If you are a reader of the series, you'll appreciate the glimpses of the Wentworth clan and their strong and loving familial bonds, Lord Stephen, the younger brother makes his usual charismatic appearance and I can't wait until we finally get his book.

This is the woman I was meant for.

I did think the second half dragged for a bit as the threads of Nathaniel not thinking he could have a life in order to protect his brother and Lady Phoebe trying to force society to hate and shun Althea slowed down too much in their route to conclusion. I also thought that Nathaniel spilled the beans to Althea about Robbie a bit quickly and their first sex scene felt gently abrupt. However, if you're looking for a sweet comforting read, Althea willing to prod and poke at Nathaniel was great and this couple had a lovely charmingly amusing chemistry that will warm your heart.
 
 

 

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review 2020-04-11 16:07
Dragged
Marry in Scandal - Anne Gracie

For my thoughts, comments, and quotes: Marry in Scandal Buddy Read

This started off promising for me but meandered in the middle and then had an ending that was full of pointless, annoying, quickly done with reveals.

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review 2020-04-10 23:42
Book Review - The Earl and the Executive by Kai Butler
The Earl and the ExecutiveThe Earl and the Executive by Kai Butler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First time reading this author and I was impressed.

This book was a delightful combination of regency romance with sci-fi fantasy. I admit it, I cut my romance novel teeth on Harlequin's and regency romances and graduated into sci-fi fantasy so this brought back some lovely nostalgia of my reading journey, ending up with lgbtq romances which are my current day go to.

The plot was full of pure regency tropes with a sci-fi and lgbtq twist that throws things on their head a bit, and I wasn't disappointed by them at all.

The bookish younger brother (Tiral Oican) inherits a title after the hedonistic and foolish older brother dies mysteriously - after squandering the family fortune. The beautiful and highly intelligent younger sister was secretly doing 'mannish' things like managing the estate - primarily agriculturally based - and in order to save the estate the new earl must now marry and marry well... which means he must venture to the capital planet and attend a 'season' trolling for a spouse.

Enter the rake (Destzev Laft) - the handsome man with no intention to ever get caught in a marriage trap, one who happens to be ridiculously wealthy and the head of a truly impressive business consortium. He had come to the capital planet and had been rejected and humiliated by the 'ton' and took those lessons to heart, ruthlessly building up his business into the most sought after in the system. And he hid his true identity when he went out, using a false name, in order to avoid all the marriage minded mama's and social climbers.

A launch party for Zev's company's newest flyer is a must attend event, even for Zev himself, though he comes as his alter ego, Zev Yuls, and immediately finds himself captivated by the obviously new to the scene Lord Gret (Tiral). Playing up his alter ego - a man known for taking lovers for a season, spending lavishly and never settling down (it is implied he is a kept man) Zev engages Tiral in conversation and both become fascinated with each other. Upon leaving the soiree, Tiral is warned by other members of the peerage to avoid Zev lest he want his reputation ruined before he acquires a spouse.

This sets off a series of events - Tiral asking Zev for tutelage in the arts of flirtation wooing and finding a spouse - even as Tiral's appearance amongst the ton turns slightly more sinister as threats are made, his house is broken into and other dangerous events happen, all revolving around his deceased brother's death.

As with all good regency romances, the rake falls for the ingenue and the ingenue realizes his money and title mean nothing without the rake, even as danger pushes them together before pulling them apart.

Over all a fun little read, and just what I needed for a distraction.

View all my reviews

 

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