Rachel's books

I'm a registered nurse.  Reading gives me that escape I need.  I read primarily romance in all genres.



The Rule of Luck

The Rule of Luck - Catherine Cerveny

In this future, the Earth as we know it has been destroyed by climate change, earthquakes, the subsequent wars that followed. Humanity is ruled under one government. That government controls everything from life-span to fertility to calories. Humanity has colonized Mars and Venus. There is AI, cloning, and genetic modification.
I thought the concepts were interesting and I liked the writing. What I didn't like so much were the characters. Felicia is struck dumb and in lust by Alexei's perfection. Oh please no. I did like Felicia's tarot card reading and her luck gene (yes, that's a thing in this book). Alexei is an Alpha-hole extraordinaire. I think that title explains it all right there.
This would have been better had he been less of a possessive asshole and she less "stupid in lust" (my term for lack of a better descriptor). There's also the cheating.

Yes, I know she really isn't that much into Roy. And I know he really is a spy for her mother. Roy also happens to be married with a baby on the way. His wife thinks he and Felicia are work friends. 

(show spoiler)

For Ripped Bodice Bingo- tarot square.

How to Win at Feminism

How to Win at Feminism: The Definitive Guide to Having It All—And Then Some! - Sarah Pappalardo, Reductress, Anna Drezen, Dr Elizabeth Newell Berglund

Well, hummm. Some of the satire/sarcasm worked and some of it didn't work for me. There are some things you can joke and laugh at. Other things not so much. This book has some LOL moments. It also had it's fair share of hell no not funny moments.
I did like the fake ads spread throughout. Pink Goats International was one of my favs.

Romancing the Duke

Romancing the Duke - Tessa Dare

Izzy father wrote fairytales. When he dies, she is left with nothing except a castle she inherits. When she arrives at this castle she finds someone living there. It turns out Ransom Vane Duke of Rothbury owns the castle...or does he? Ransom was injured in a sword fight, scarring his face and losing his vision (most of it).
I love Beauty and the Beast stories and I think this is one of them. I enjoyed both Izzy and Ransom and could believe their interest and later romance as they got to know each other. The band of people that help out Ransom later are interesting characters. I did think it strange that once Izzy started reading his correspondence and they both realized something was fishy, neither of them acted on it.
I also liked

Izzy was the bread winner and author of the popular stories.

(show spoiler)

For Ripped Bodice Bingo- I'm using this for the free space

The Governess Affair

The Governess Affair (Brothers Sinister, #0.5) - Courtney Milan
The plot was unique in this one. Neither one are titled and are the average working folk. I liked how Hugo admired and cared for Serena. I would have liked for Serena to get a meeting with Clermont though.
I liked meeting Marshall, Robert, and Sebastian (Robert's cousin).
For Ripped Bodice Bingo: Epistolary square


The Secret History of Wonder Woman

The Secret History of Wonder Woman - Jill Lepore

This was very fascinating. I enjoyed reading about earlier feminism. WMM was definitely ahead of his time (but also had his issues). This was really, really well researched, so it came off as a bit dry for me so I read small portions at a time. 
One thing I found fascinating were the relationships Elizabeth, Olive, Marjorie, and William all had with each other. After Marston died, the women continued their relationship/friendship. I thought it was interesting the amount of secrecy. The author made a point of pointing out that each child had a different POV. 
This is most definitely a story of how Wonder Woman began and all the amazing women that inspired her creation. But it's also a story of family.

Feast of Stephen

Feast of Stephen - K.J. Charles

This was a nice, short story.

Flight of Magpies

Flight of Magpies - K.J. Charles

This was a pleasant story, wrapping up plot threads from the first book. I liked that Merrick found love too. This introduced Jonah who gets his own story (and that promises to be interesting). Looking forward to Crane and Stephen as side characters in his since they have some unfinished business.
Ripped Bodice Bingo: queer paranormal.

Booklikes-opoly: rolled a 5- #33 set in UK, $3 for bank of $ 61

Wrong to Need You

Wrong to Need You: Forbidden Hearts - Alisha Rai

This was another great entry in this series. I liked Livvy and Nicholas's appearance in this one. It was nice to see where they were in their relationship. But, on to the main couple in this one- Sadia and Jackson. They were BFFs growing up. Jackson has always been in love with Sadia, but Sadia fell for his brother Paul instead. Things happened and Jackson left and had no contact with Sadia (on his part) for 10 years. He is home now for Livvy.
I really loved this book. Sadia is so complex. I really enjoyed her development throughout the book. Her relationships with her sisters, her parents, her in-laws, Livvy, and yes- Jackson are very layered and full of emotion. I got to know Jackson as well- maybe a little less then Sadia.
And we finally learned who burned down the store and future plans.

Paul. He wrote a letter and confessed to John. Livvy and Nicolas are engaged with a quick wedding planned. Tani sits down to dinner with John. Sadia and Jackson will be getting married at some point too- after Livvy and Nicholas and with Sadia's family present.

(show spoiler)

I liked the hints at the next (and last) book- Eve and Gabe.
Ripped Bodice Bingo- wine & spirits- Sadia is an excellent bartender to Jackson's chef.

Booklikes-opoly: rolled a 7 to #28- romance/chick-lit.  $4 for bank of $58


No Proper Lady

No Proper Lady - Isabel Cooper

This is a little like The Terminator, but with roll reversal. Joan is the assassin. Overall, I liked this, but it was slow in places. I liked how accepting Simon was, but the whole "I can't compromise you" got old. And now that I think about it, Joan told Simon how she felt, but I don't remember Simon confessing his feelings. (And I'm too lazy to go back and look). The 2nd in this series features new people and sounds good, so I most likely will read it.
For Ripped Bodice Bingo- Assassins square

For Booklikes-opoly: rolled a 3 to #22 women's roles/strong female character  $3 for a bank of $54

The Untouchable Earl

The Untouchable Earl - Amy Sandas

I didn't like this as much as the first book. I did like that we did learn more about Nathan Hale and his motivations. It's been awhile since I read the first book, so it took me a bit to catch on, but this book is occurring at the same time as book 1 (Emma's) and book 3 (Portia's).
I liked Lily, but there were moments where thought she was too passive. On the other hand, she did fight for what she wanted and I thought by the end she was more assertive. Avenell was okay. I liked that he had a disability (ill as a child, he has severe neuropathy in his upper body) and experiences pain with touch. I thought this was overcome too quickly. I also thought he was too mean to Lily at times.
I am looking forward to Portia's book.

Re: Nathan H: his baby mama is addicted and is holding their daughter hostage and needs money. He plans to take his daughter.

(show spoiler)

Booklikes-opoly:  rolled 7= #19 author name begins with any letter in LAKE

$4 for bank of $51
For Ripped Bodice Bingo- I will see what else I read over the next couple of months. This might be a stretch, but Angelique is sassy- but she's a great aunt (and not a grandparent). ? for "Sassy Grandparent square.

The Trouble with Paradise

The Trouble With Paradise - Jill Shalvis

Dorie has a degree in fashion, works full-time at the Shop-Mart (think Wal-Mart), and has an evil boss. So, when she wins a cruise to the South Pacific, she takes it. Things happen.
So, this has several funny moments and several eye-roll moments. I couldn't believe Dorie was so clumsy. I did like the interaction with the other women- Brandy and Cadence. The romance was so-so. I admit I didn't "get" Christian's (and Andy's) attraction to Dorie. But, this was still (overall) a fun (beach) read.
For Ripped Bodice Bingo: a beach on the cover

For Booklikes-opoly- rolled a 4 to #13- beachey items on cover  $3

Bank $47

Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons Series) - Leigh Bardugo

Wonder Woman as a teen! I liked that this showed her insecurities and her growth throughout the book. Alia is a Warbringer and that title means exactly what it means. People are after her either to kill or use her. There is a lot of Greek mythology in this one and I thought that was refreshing.
I enjoyed the interactions between Alia, Theo, Nim, and Jason. I have to admit I didn't see a certain someone's betrayal coming. This works as a good companion to the movie Wonder Woman (IMO).
For Ripped Bodice Summer Bingo: title includes character's name square.

Booklikes-opoly:  rolled a 6 and landed on Jail: Just Visiting.  $ 3 to bail fund

Bank $44 

Moon Awakening

Moon Awakening - Lucy Monroe

Scottish werewolves in kilts! Eh, maybe I would have liked this better had I read this when it was first published (2007). I was a different reader then and my tolerance for bullshit was better(?) or worse(?) then now. This has kidnapping (check), forced marriage (check), lavender eyes (check), and alpha males (check). I surprised Cait and Emily didn't have have to ask permission to go take a shit. Oh wait, they probably did. I despise men like this in real life and on the page.
But, this did fulfill some challenge requirements so I stuck with it.
Ripped Bodice Summer Bingo: the Kilts square

For Booklikes-opoply: rolled a 6: #4 Read a book published in May, June, July or a article of clothing/accessory on cover (take your pick- kilt, sword, belt, boots, etc).

$3 and passed Go for $5= $44 bank 


Moonglow - Kristen Callihan

Can I just say these covers are gorgeous?!
There is a were infected with syphilis killing those that have a certain smell. It turns out it's Daisy's perfume and she is a target. Miranda and Archer from the first book make appearances as do the subjects of book 3, Poppy and Winston.
I wasn't crazy about Ian's attitude in the first book and was pleasantly surprised at his evolution to hero in this one. Learning about the difference between "were" and "Lycan" was interesting. I also liked that this world was expended. There are the GIMs (Ghost in the Machine), the SOS (Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals), the reveal of Daisy's ability (and Poppy's). Nice mystery. We meet Ian's valet, Jack and another GIM Mary who will be the subjects of book 4.
Poppy and Winston's story promises to be interesting.

Winston was attached and disfigured by the were in this one. He realizes Poppy is hiding something from him and withdraws. After the first were attach, Daisy is bitten and infected with syphilis. While she can control plants and the earth, she is still human and becomes a GIM to save her life.

(show spoiler)


Booklikes-opoply:  rolled a 7: Square 35: Book set in Europe  $4 for bank of $36

Ripped Bodice Summer Bingo: Heroine smells like a flower square ("rose, jasmine, vanilla, and sunshine")


Avion - Eve Langlais

This being the last book, we learned more about One- now known as Lilith. Avion gets "fixed." Some questions get answered and others not so much. I thought everything moved a little too quickly in this one.


Booklikes-opoly- bonus roll (1/2) from Memorial Day space 28 read a romance/chick lit

162 pg $2

Bank: $32

Turn Up the Heat

Turn Up the Heat - Kimberly Kincaid

Bethany's BF broke up with her by announcing he is moving to the West Coast....on TV (he is an anchorman).  So, she decided to get out of dodge for the weekend with her 2 BFFs.  But, of course she encounters a problem.  Her car breaks down.  Enter Shane.  A sexy (of course!) mechanic with a Secret of his own.  (Ohhh...what is it?!).  We find out right away he is struggling to pay off a loan.

I thought Shane was a judgmental asshole.  See, in his oh-so-humble opinion, city women are rich, spoiled bitches.  I found it annoying a man calling a woman "sweetheart" at first meeting gross.  I don't want it in real life, and I don't want to read about it.  It took the whole book for me to warm up to him.  

I liked Bethany and thought she was able to dish it right back.  When it came to Shane's Secret- lame.  So very lame.  I didn't like that he shared some of his story with Jackson- before Bethany.  Epic fail dude.

I also thought (since this applies to both of them) they read as younger than 29 (Shane) and 27 (Bethany).  I can understand going to college and deciding (while still in college) to do something else.  But to decide to make a career out of something you don't love, purely to make your parents happy?  (Shane was a lawyer, Bethany a MBA for a real estate firm). Lame.  And that tired into Shane's Secret- he was struggling to pay off his student loans.  But, conflict solved when daddy dearest pays them off.

(show spoiler)


Booklikes-opoly:  rolled a 4 for square 19- read a book >50% blue cover.  338pgs- $4.  Bank $30

Currently reading

The Mueller Report by The Washington Post
The Visitor (Graveyard Queen) by Amanda Stevens

Professional Reader2016 NetGalley Challenge Reviews Published 80% Romanceopoly 2019 Participant