Rachel's books

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



A Lot Like Love

A Lot like Love - Julie James

Jordan happens to be the daughter of a rich man and the sister of someone who did something stupid and is paying for it. Jordan also happens to be fucking awesome all by herself. She's a successful business woman, owning her business, a popular wine store. She knows knows everything about wine.
Nick, is an undercover FBI agent who has worked one undercover job after another. He doesn't "do" relationships. He lives her the job.
You know where this is going! See, the FBI needs her for her connection to someone. She can get the FBI in, so they can get the evidence they need to take this person down. Nick becomes Jordan's fake BF. Things happen and their fake "date" has to become more. 
I enjoyed this one so much. I loved the banter between Nick and Jordan, Nick and his family, Jordan and her family. In fact, I enjoyed this so much, I wasn't ready to say goodbye at the end of the book. An epilogue would have been nice:-) Nick has his preconceived notions of who Jordan is based strictly on the fact she has money (or in this case stands to inherit $$). Jordan quickly proves him wrong. I liked how this progressed from not-quite enemies to an admiration to lovers. 
One of the only things I didn't like about this book was how most women were struck dumb by Kyle's attractiveness. Really?! It's also a little dated with the "Lost" references (Kyle looks like Sawyer).

Shoulda Been a Cowboy

Shoulda Been a Cowboy (Copper Ridge) - Maisey Yates
Jake was the resident "bad" boy in Copper Ridge, Oregon. Cassie, a "good" girl, had a huge crush on him and tutored him in math. Before she worked up the nerve to tell him how she felt, he left town abruptly. Cassie made some bad decisions (getting married and not furthering her education) while trying to please her mom. 
Fast forward 15 years later. Jake is back in town, he dad died, leaving him her properties. Cassie is renting one of his properties for her coffee shop. Cassie decides to go after what she wants.....for a change. 
Both have some issues, they talk and work through them. Decently paced, but I thought it was rushed towards the end.


The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton

The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton - Miranda Neville

Got this weekend (11/4) at my local library sale. Having heard about Miranda Neville's death, when I saw this, I picked it up. I've never read her and I thought I would remedy that.
Here is her obituary.
Avon's remembrance.


I enjoyed the opening. Celia was being kidnapped and stripped of her clothes. When the kidnapped leaves, she takes initiative and escapes, stumbling over Tarquin. It turns out, the hit on his head gives him amnesia. In the past, he had made a comment about Celia that, in turn, ruined her marriage prospects. So, to get back at him, Celia makes up a story and an identity for him.
I did find it hard to believe that Tarquin, with no title, had the influence he did. Seriously, *one* comment, and everything is ruined?!
I enjoyed the first part of the book (act 1). The road trip (for lack of a better word) across the countryside, their banter and interactions, the who/why was Celia kidnapped, their survival in the wilderness. This was the best part of the book.
Then (act 2), Tarquin remembers who he is. They go to a friend's house. I lost some interest at this point.
I was surprised at how much I liked Tarquin. (Since he is/was an arrogant bastard). Since this isn't a book that would have jumped out at me, I'm glad I read this.

The Highlander Next Door

The Highlander Next Door - Janet Chapman

Got this this weekend at my local library sale (Nov 4th). Having heard about Janet Chapman's death, when I saw this, I picked it up. I've never read her and thought I should. I think this was the wrong book to start with (detailed below).
Here is her obituary.  I loved that her family mentioned she was on hospice.  


Oopsie, this is book 6 in a series that is a spin-off of another series. So, maybe I would have enjoyed this (a little) more if I had been more involved in this world and characters. So, back to the book.
Niall is originally from somewhere else. Make that a different time. Pretty cool, yeah? He is the Chief of Police. He had moments where I liked him and didn't. My main problems where with the heroine, Birch. And maybe Niall's intelligence in falling for someone like Birch.
Birch's mother has been married 4 times and has made some iffy choices. So, Birch is JADED. To the point she's a BITCH. Yes, in caps, because she is that BAD. I didn't like her, couldn't connect with her, and didn't believe her turn around. No, no, and no.  I didn't like that she ran a battered women's shelter. Wrong career choice there.  

Wrapped Up in You

Wrapped Up in You - Cyn D. Blackburn

Justin hates the holidays: with good reason, someone he was close to was killed right before. So, his colleagues (makes you like em, right?) sign him up to be a Santa for a week. Everything he collects goes to charity.
Lilly is best friends with Justin's sister. Shocker- they have a history and it's not the best one. Lilly was a bit of a bully to Justin when they were younger. To Lilly's credit, she does realize what she did when younger was wrong. 
So, of course they are paired together. Lilly, a reporter doing a story, rides with Justin for a week. I don;t mind stories like this when done well. Each side talks, forgives, is apologetic, and has empathy. I didn't care for this one much, mainly because I didn't like Justin or Lilly. Both had moments where I wanted to slap some sense into them. Lots of angst. I just didn't connect.

eARC courtesy of Entangled Publishing(Lovestruck) and NetGalley
Expected publication: was November 13th (per NetGalley) *this has changed to? (Amazon says Oct 8th, 2018. I had to go back and look at that date, yep, it says 2018). No listing on B&N.
*as of Nov 2, 2017

The White Lily

The White Lily - Juliette Cross

In the northern Varis Empire, Friedrich Volya, the Duke of Winter Hill is the one in charge. His uncles are Dominik (the most ruthless of the Queen's sons) and Marius (he married the leader of the rebellion and "betrayed" his family). Friedrich is on the side of the rebellion. Someone in his land is spreading a pamphlet of support for the rebellion and is called "The White Lily." Dominik is on a quest to find and bring down this person. 
Brennalyn has lived in Terrington for the last 3 years. She works as a school teacher, taking in orphans who have no where else to go. She also is an agitator and is actively working for social change. 
I've enjoyed each book in this series. Each is a fairy tale retelling. This one is Snow White. Brenna has 7 orphans (Helena, Emment, Caden, Beatrice, Jack, Denny, and Izzy) that she is mom to. They think of her as mom and I loved Friedrich's reaction to them too. I liked, although it's brief, reading about Arabelle, Marius, Sienna, and Nikolai again after their stories. The underlying story is progressing and I like where this is going. 
No description is out for book 4 (assuming there will be a book 4), but I'm guessing it will be Dragomir Vilhelmina of Arkadia's book, aka Mina. I hope. I suspect maybe Mikhail (Blood Guard) or Dane as the love interest. I'm interested to see if I'm right.

It Takes Two to Tangle

It Takes Two to Tangle - Theresa Romain
Henry is recently returned from war. Having suffered an injury, he is learning a "new normal." His has a devoted brother (Jem) and sister-in-law (Emily). Emily is friends with Caroline. Caroline happens to be the most popular in social circles, so Henry decides that he must court her to win Society back over. Frances, is Caroline's cousin and companion. 
Frances "gets" Henry and what he is going through. She also has lingering guilt over something she did when she was first married (I personally didn't think it was a big deal considering a woman's place in society). My issue with Frances is she let Henry think someone else was writing him letters for way too long. She had many, many chances to come clean- and didn't. 
Both characters are likable and "fit" together well. I really liked Caroline and look forward to her book.


Born a Crime

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood - Trevor Noah

I borrowed the hardback from a friend. When I heard the audio (and I never listen to audios) was narrated by the author himself, I opted to listen to it instead. This made for nice entertainment to and from work for the last 2 weeks. 
Trevor Noah has improved from his first day, week, and year on The Daily Show. The Daily Show was my introduction to him. I hadn't heard about him prior to that. I learned so much about South African history from this book. He had an interesting upbringing (that's putting it mildly). And his mother; what a woman! Wow! There was so much to admire about her. 
The only thing that lacked: how he became a comedian. How did he progress from being a DJ to where he is now? That's not talked about in this book. But, anything else? Eye opening. Thought provoking. And most of all? You can learn something and be entertained. This was interesting.

Scary, Lovesick, Foolish

Scary, Lovesick, Foolish: A Halloween Romance (Crazy, Sexy, Ghoulish Book 2) - Andrew G. Marshall

This picks up 2 years after Crazy, Sexy, Ghoulish. Brendan and Nora, dating for 2 years are now done with college. Brendan is writing and directing his own one act play for their town's "Horror Fest." Nora gets asked to play the lead in a competing play after their lead drops out. 
Each has insecurities and these play out over the course of the story. Bottom line: the BIG issue would have been solved if they both came clean and TALKED to the other one. This was still enjoyable and both learned and probably won't repeat the same mistake again. 
See the next story is Zack's. I think Vin needs one too.

On Fire

On Fire (Shadow Stalkers #4) - Sylvia Day
Darcy is a fire inspector in a small town investigating a series of arson incidents. Each is a place that Darcy is tied to in some way. After the third, she calls in for help. Jared, a Deputy Marshal arrives and is hot on the case. Insta-lust also flares up. 
This was decent. Very heavy on the sex, but it also had a plot. I liked Darcy's vocation, different for a change. She also saved herself towards the end, so mad props to that. Jared was also likable, and I liked that he had moments where he was distracted. 
I would have liked more on the mystery and Danielle. The suspense element could have been better. Everything was wrapped up, but *more* would have been wonderful. The "why" was lacking IMO. But, this did have halfway decent plot to all the sex that was happening on the page.
Slow start to this morning, this was the only book I finished for the readathon.  


Dewey's 24 Readathon Opening Meme


1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Boise, Idaho in the Mountain Time Zone

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Um, just the one I'm working on right now (On Fire).  After that?  TBD.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?


4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

Oh goddess, I'm really not that interesting!  I have 3 cats and they all sleep on my side on the bed.  On me.  Especially when it's cold outside.  In the summer, they are in bed with us, but not on me.  

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

Reading!  Hopefully knocking down that TBR pile.  The downside is, I have a few things going on today.  So, I will say this now, I didn't read as much as I wanted.  

Arresting Desire

Arresting Desire - Shayla Black

Lucia: super smart academic who just turned 25. She also happens to be a virgin. Oh and she's part of a mob family. Yep, those last 2 sentences.
Jon: a 35 year old FBI agent. He was undercover 2 years ago and met Lucia. He's been HOT for Lucia ever since. Oh, and he's got SO much sexual experience. Of course he does.
This could have been good, but instead just annoyed me. I lost tract of how many times I rolled my eyes. I guess I'm still in my bitchy mood. Whatever. 

Taking the Heat

Taking the Heat (Shadow Stalkers #2) - Sylvia Day
Brian is a US Marshall tasked with protecting a witness while transporting her across the country to testify. Layla is that witness. It turns out they have a history together. First loves, they broke-up (but of course haven't forgotten each other). Complicating matters, Layla is the target of an assassination attempt. 
Didn't care to much for this one. I had a harder time getting into the story. Don't get me wrong, the sexytimes were HOT, but it was just weird under the circumstances (someone has tried to kill you while on the way to testify in court, but who cares! Let's have sex!). Because I wasn't that into the story, moments like this one took me out more (not to mention gave me a case of the giggles): "She's found his prostate." and "...as her pussy spasmed in greedy delight." And let's not forgot this one: "...her womb spasming with need."
I did like the end and how they compromised to solve their issues.


Soul Possession

Soul Possession - Maya Banks

Jessie is a waitress at the bar that Rick and Truitt go to. Rick and Truitt have both flirted with Jessie and do so each time they see her. Both want to take her home with them, so they proposition her together, and each time she declines. Then one night, she gets falsely accused of stealing and fired. On this night, she accepts their offer. Then, the morning after, she is accused of murder and then soon after kidnapped by a serial killer terrorizing the city.
Whew! There is so much packed in this novella! I did enjoy the ride, lots of hot sex. Good, likable characters. Jessie didn't need saving and I appreciated that. I do think Jessie let Rick and Truitt off a little too easily. I think more groveling was necessary after what they did (or in this case didn't do).

Break Out

Break Out - Nina Croft

Rico is a vampire, born/made in the 15th century. This takes place in 3048, Earth is no more (doesn't say why) and mankind has taken to space. That also means genetic engineering and the discovery of Meridian. Meridian is an expensive mineral that has the ability to make a person immortal. As the series continues, I'm assuming I will learn more about it. Skylar makes Rico and his crew an offer they can't refuse. Skylar has her own secrets.
This was fun. I enjoyed the interactions of the crew of the El Cazador: Tannis, Daisy, Janey, Trog, and Al. Decent action, romance, and banter. Reminded me a little of Firefly. Looking forward to the next. It looks like it picks right up after this one, but with Al and Jon.

The Sapphire Heist

The Sapphire Heist - Lauren Blakely

This is a continuation of book 1 (they really should have been 1 book IMO). Steph and Jake both have moments where they don't trust the other. I didn't think much of the moment Steph didn't, because, hey it made sense. Either way, they talked about it and moved on. Jake's moment, on the other hand, I didn't like and I thought Steph handled it well. 
Overall, this was decent, pacing is good and the "chase" is well played. The thief doesn't change throughout the book, even though there was a brief moment where I thought it could have been someone else. I do think this and The Sapphire Affair should have been 1 book. I think it would have worked better combining the 2.
Both of the books are available through Kindle Unlimited.

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Professional Reader2016 NetGalley Challenge Reviews Published 80%