What’s Kim Reading? – April 1-7

What's Kim Reading?

You all know that I am a voracious reader. Here’s a list of books I’ve #1clicked this week.

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 10.57.36Title: The Makeover

Author: Nia Forrester

Synopsis:

They’ve got the ‘friends’ part down pat. But now, they have to learn how to be lovers.

Samantha has been best friends with Colton since they were toddlers. His NBA career has never impressed her, nor would he want it to. Their friendship is based on two things: a long, shared history, and Sam’s tendency to keep things real with him, even if the rest of the world doesn’t.

When Sam realizes that the feelings she has for Colton—that are much stronger than friendship—might be returned, it seems like their problems are over, but no, that’s when the real trouble starts.

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 11.00.15Title: Vienna Dawn (The Imperial Season, Book #3)

Author: Mary Lancaster

Synopsis:

En route to Vienna, where the great powers of Europe are making peace and elaborate entertainments, spirited Russian countess, Dunya Savarina, is rescued from ruin by Captain Richard Trelawny, a wounded British officer who has given up on life and happiness.

Resourcefully, Dunya secures Trelawny’s alliance in her master-plan to marry her first love. After all, having lost an arm and an affianced bride in rapid succession, the captain is clearly in need of her peculiar brand of help in his own affairs. Together, they embark upon a deception intended to win back their old loves.

Roused from indifference by Dunya’s whirlwind vitality, Trelawny adroitly handles his sham engagement, hostile family, wicked seducers, espionage, elopements, and duels, all the while protecting Dunya and trying very hard not to fall in love with her.

And Dunya begins to suspect that first love is not always the greatest love – or even the most fun.

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 11.05.07Title: The Swedish Prince

Author: Karina Halle

Synopsis:

I never believed in fairy-tales.

Never held out for Prince Charming.

Growing up poor in small-town California as the oldest of six siblings, I knew I would never ride off into the sunset with anyone. That was even more apparent when a senseless tragedy took the lives of my parents, forcing me to become the sole guardian of our dysfunctional household at the mere age of twenty-three.

Then a fateful encounter literally brought Prince Charming to my doorstep.

At first I thought Viktor was just your average businessman passing through, albeit obscenely handsome, six-foot-five, blue-eyed, and mysteriously rich.

But soon I discovered the truth behind Viktor’s façade.

Beneath his quiet, enigmatic gaze and cocky charm, is a man who is running away from who he really is. A role he’d rather not fulfill.

He is Viktor of House Nordin, His Royal Highness, The Crown Prince of Sweden.

Yet uncovering Viktor’s secret was only the first step.

I didn’t expect to fall in love with him.

I didn’t expect to have my whole life turned upside down.

When you’re from two different worlds, can your hearts meet somewhere in the middle?

Or do happily-ever-afters only exist in fairy-tales?


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Carl Philip, the real Swedish Prince

I’ve just started reading The Swedish Prince. It’s New Adult, which is not a genre I usually read, but it’s fun so far–especially since I live in Stockholm, Sweden. Our real Swedish Prince (Carl Phillip of Sweden) is pretty dishy and very married these days, but it’s nice to dream. 😉

Once I finish reading The Swedish Prince, I’ll start with The Makeover. I am a diehard Nia Forrester fan. She is an author whose work I automatically #1click without even needing to read the synopsis. Why? She *always* delivers stellar fiction.

What are you reading this week?

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What I’ve Read, I’m Reading and Will Soon Be Reading

Once a month, I’ll share with you what I’ve read, what I’m reading and what I’ll soon be reading. This month, I’ve got three choice reads I think you should add to your TBR and 1-click lists. All three are by writers who happen to be women of colour, and all three are about love and come at it from different perspectives.

What I have read:

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 12.37.44Whiskey & Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith

Publication Date: March 8

I was lucky enough to read an ARC of Whiskey & Ribbons and it was unputdownable. It’s one of those heart wrenching stories of love and loss and finding love again that had me feeling emotional for a while. Yes, I had a book hangover. Pre-order it ASAP. 

Synopsis:

Evi—a classically-trained ballerina—was nine months pregnant when her husband Eamon was killed in the line of duty on a steamy morning in July. Now, it is winter, and Eamon’s adopted brother Dalton has moved in to help her raise six-month-old Noah.

Whiskey & Ribbons is told in three intertwining, melodic voices: Evi in present day, as she’s snowed in with Dalton during a freak blizzard; Eamon before his murder, as he prepares for impending fatherhood and grapples with the danger of his profession; and Dalton, as he struggles to make sense of his life next to Eamon’s, and as he decides to track down the biological father he’s never known.

In the vein of Jojo Moyes’ After YouWhiskey & Ribbons explores the life that continues beyond loss, with a complicated brotherly dynamic reminiscent of Elizabeth Strout’s The Burgess Boys. It’s a meditation on grief, hope, motherhood, brotherhood and surrogate fatherhood. Above all, it’s a novel about what it means – and whether it’s possible – to heal.


What I’m reading:

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 12.37.09Halsey Street by Naima Coster

Publication date: January 1

I’m nearly done reading Halsey Street and … yes, I know I keep posting about it on Twitter and Facebook, but that’s because it’s a beautifully written novel that I think you need to read ASAP. Review coming soon.

Synopsis:

A modern-day story of family, loss, and renewal, Halsey Street captures the deeply human need to belong—not only to a place but to one another.

Penelope Grand has scrapped her failed career as an artist in Pittsburgh and moved back to Brooklyn to keep an eye on her ailing father. She’s accepted that her future won’t be what she’d dreamed, but now, as gentrification has completely reshaped her old neighborhood, even her past is unrecognizable. Old haunts have been razed, and wealthy white strangers have replaced every familiar face in Bed-Stuy. Even her mother, Mirella, has abandoned the family to reclaim her roots in the Dominican Republic. That took courage. It’s also unforgivable.

When Penelope moves into the attic apartment of the affluent Harpers, she thinks she’s found a semblance of family—and maybe even love. But her world is upended again when she receives a postcard from Mirella asking for reconciliation. As old wounds are reopened, and secrets revealed, a journey across an ocean of sacrifice and self-discovery begins.

An engrossing debut, Halsey Street shifts between the perspectives of these two captivating, troubled women. Mirella has one last chance to win back the heart of the daughter she’d lost long before leaving New York, and for Penelope, it’s time to break free of the hold of the past and start navigating her own life.


What I’ll soon be reading:

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 12.36.32.pngThe Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Publication date: January 30

I pre-ordered The Wedding Date a few months ago and I am happily counting down the days until I can read this one. Going on sick leave for an operation on January 23, so I’ll be reading this one while I recuperate. 🙂

Synopsis:

A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about each other…

They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century—or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want…

 

Happy Reading!

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Blog Tour: Hate Story by Nicole Williams

 

 

 

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Nina can’t let herself fall in love with the man she’s going to marry. Both of them have experienced the sting and sham of love and have no intentions of falling victim to it twice. Love is expensive—hate is free.

Three years. A million dollars. A solution to both of their problems. They planned it all, from the story of their first meeting to the date of their divorce. Nothing could go wrong.

But what they didn’t consider was chemistry, and Nina and Max have no shortage of it. After too many near-kisses, Nina convinces herself that hating Max is better than loving him, and the more she gets to know this soon-to-be-husband of hers, the more she discovers just how very much she truly, madly, and deeply . . . hates him.

This isn’t a love story. This is the other kind.

 

He hadn’t stopped smiling at me, and it wasn’t the friendly kind of smile. It was the kind that made it seem like he was in on some secret I wasn’t privy to. The kind of smile that made me feel like I was being trifled with and made the punch line of a hundred jokes I had yet to hear.
I wanted to wipe the cocky smile off his face, but that would have required touching him and even I wasn’t gutsy enough for that. A woman did not touch a guy like him unless she wanted him to be her undoing. Nope. You didn’t play with fire. You didn’t touch it. You didn’t even come close.
Fire. That was all I saw when I looked at him. I was playing with it by agreeing to this kind of arrangement with him.
Even the way he lounged in the chair was smug. Like it was his throne and he was just waiting for minions to come bow before him.
“You’re younger than I thought you’d be.” He broke the silence first.
Though it was faint, I could just make out an accent. It was European, but I couldn’t nail down the country. To look at the bastard, you’d think he was Scandinavian—blond hair, blue eyes, commanding frame—but his accent was too sharp to hail from the land of Vikings.
I was tempted to glare at the tipped smile aimed at me, but I didn’t want to lead him to the impression I cared. I gave him my version of the same smile, abandoning my “no expectations” policy for the prospect of pissing him off. “You’re older than I thought you’d be.”
His smile shifted into the realm of a smirk, like he knew I was lying. So yeah, maybe I was lying about thinking he was older, but I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of confirming his silent accusation. He was older than me, but not by much. He might have been closing in on thirty, but he wasn’t past it.
He leaned forward in the chair. When his gaze circled my face to my fiery red hair, his brow elevated. Yes, I am the stereotype. Be warned.
“Prettier too.”
I stiffened. He was fucking with me now. I’d already agreed to marry him. How much more did he think he could screw me over?
I gave him a cursory glance and kept the unaffected look on my face. “Uglier.”
He cocked a brow like he knew better. “And the personality of ten women rolled into one.”
“Intimidated?”
His head shook once. “Intrigued.”
“Irritated?”
His eyes investigated me again. It felt intrusive, definitely not cursory. “Impressed.”
“As impressed by me as the woman in heat who was just mauling you over by the bar?”
“You mean the woman who gave me this?” He pulled something out of the inside pocket of his suit jacket and set it on the small table between us.
It was a hotel card key. With a lipstick kiss pressed into it.
“Classy place, this five-star hotel.” I glanced back at the woman at the bar. She was still there, watching him as though he was the height of the male species. “Did you tell her the reason you were here?”
His attention stayed on me. “Yes, I told her I was here to meet the woman I was going to marry.”
My stomach wrung. This was the man I was going to marry.
Holy shit.
“And she didn’t ask for her room key back?” I asked.
“She didn’t give it to me until right after I mentioned that.” His stare was intense. Too intense. I felt like every secret—every piece of who I was—was strewn out on that table for him to see. “Women love a man who isn’t afraid of commitment. It’s like an aphrodisiac.”
“You know what else women like?” I didn’t pause for an answer because I guessed he didn’t have a clue. “A man who’s humble.”
He fought a smile and leaned back in his chair when a server approached with a couple of drinks on a tray. “No, they like to think they do, but they don’t.” His head shook authoritatively. “They like the cocky bastard who goes after what he wants and doesn’t take no for an answer.”
Because the server was shielding some of me from his view, I allowed myself to shift. I was getting fired up, and if he kept saying the same kinds of things with the same kinds of looks on his face, that drink was going to wind up in his face.
That was when I noticed what the server had set in front of me. A tumbler with something amber in color. The same thing she was setting in front of him. Although from the curve of her smile, she was offering to give him a blow job on the side, compliments of the house.
“What is this?” I asked. Him. Her. Whoever wanted to answer.
“Scotch,” he answered, ignoring the server lingering between us.
My nose curled at the drink.
“Expensive scotch.”
“I don’t care if it came from the fountain of youth. I won’t drink it.”
His forehead creased with what appeared to be irritation, but I couldn’t be sure. Maybe it was confusion, like he couldn’t decide what to make of me. “You would have me believe you wouldn’t take a sip of that if you knew it would give you eternal life?” When I shook my head, his head tipped. “Why?”
“Because I value my free will far more than long life.” I pushed the drink away until it clinked against his. “I’d rather live one day free than an eternity in a cage.”
He was quiet for a moment. The server stayed between us, staring at him, waiting.
“Then why are you here?” he asked me finally.
I leaned forward and hoped my stare was as powerful as his. “Because free will is expensive.”
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Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.
Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.

 

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What’s Kim Reading: 5 Books on My Summer Reading List

In a few weeks, I’ll be heading off to Sicily for a much needed vacation and some writing time. I’m looking forward to eating lots of gelato, drinking vino rosato and feeling the heat of the sun on my skin.

When I am on vacation, I devour books. I’ve already got a few books on my June vacation reading list. I head to the US in August, so I will probably save a few books for that trip (and buy a few more).

Camden by Xio Axelrod

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Xio Axelrod‘s got a new book coming on 23 May and I seriously cannot wait to read it! It’s called Camden and right now it’s available for preorder exclusively through iBooks, but will be sold wide.

I love the cover copy:

Sometimes there’s a moment when you know you’ve screwed up. For Camden Skinner, it’s the night a dead pop star walks into his pub.

As one-half of Skin, an agency which specializes in cleaning up behind the ultra-rich and infamous, Cam has gotten used to getting his hands dirty. A little too used to it. After the young singer at the center of a client’s controversy is found dead, Cam decides he’s out. He walks away from Skin in search of a simpler life. Maybe even a shot at redemption.

Redemption arrives in the form of Yara Bujold.

The singer’s meteoric rise to the top surprised no one more than Yara herself. All she ever wanted was to make music. Caught up in the dark underbelly of the industry, Yara is forced to fake her own death. But she can’t hide forever.

Yara tracks down one of the principals at Skin, the very people that helped to tear her down. She’ll force Camden Skinner to make it right, whatever it takes. What she doesn’t expect is remorse from the man that helped to ruin her. And she certainly doesn’t expect to lose herself in him.

Cam finds himself sucked right back into a world he’d hoped never to step foot in again, but he can’t walk away. He has to fix this. Not only for himself, but for her. For Yara. Because she might just be everything he didn’t know he needed. She just might be everything.

Intrigued? I know I am! 🙂

Somebody Else’s Sky by Jessica Hawkins

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Last summer, I stumbled upon Jessica Hawkins’s books and now I am hooked. I’ve got Somebody Else’s Sky on my Kindle, but I am waiting until Sicily to begin reading it. I want to be able to savor this without any distractions (other than my lovely hubby).

Here’s the blurb:

If I closed my eyes, I could still see them—all blonde sunshine, ocean-blue eyes, and long limbs. The glint of Lake’s gold bracelet. Pink cotton candy on Tiffany’s tongue. My scenery may have changed from heaven to hell, but some things never would: my struggle to do right by both sisters. To let Lake soar. To lift Tiffany up. The sacrifices I made for them, I made willingly.

A better man would’ve walked away by now, but I never claimed to be any good. I only promised myself I’d keep enough distance. If I’d learned one thing from my past, it was that love came in different forms. You could love passionately, hurt deep, die young. Or you could provide the kind of firm, steady support someone else could lean on.

Lake was everything I wanted, and nothing I could ever have. I was nobody before I knew her and a criminal after. The way to love her was to let her shine—even if it would be for somebody else.

Book two in the Something in the Way series, an epic, 3-book saga of forbidden love…

Summer’s Lease by Carrie Elks

summerslease-ebookI’ll have to wait until July for this one, but I will make sure I have a lazy weekend to enjoy Carrie ElksSummer’s Lease.

If you’ve never read her books, you’re missing out on something good.

Here’s the blurb:

Meet the Shakespeare family: four sisters, four stories . . . four ways to find true love

Cesca Shakespeare has hit rock bottom. Six years after the play she wrote bombed at the box office, she’s unable to hold down a job, keep an apartment, and worst of all her family have no idea how far she’s fallen. So when her fairy Godfather offers her the use of his friend’s Italian villa for the summer, she grudgingly agrees to try writing a new play. That’s before she finds out the house belongs to her arch-nemesis, Sam Carlton.

When Hollywood heart-throb Sam Carlton sees his name splashed across a gossip rag, all he wants to do is hide. That’s how he finds himself traveling to Italy, deciding to spend the summer in his family’s empty villa on Lake Como. Except when he arrives it isn’t as empty as he’d hoped.

Over the course of the hot Italian summer, Cesca and Sam have to come to terms with their pasts. What begins as a tentative friendship quickly grows into an intense attraction – and then a scorching fling. But they can’t hide from reality forever . . . as their different worlds collide, Sam and Cesca face a choice: is this just a summer romance, or could their love weather even the coldest winds?

A brand new series from the bestselling author of Fix You and the Love in London series.

 

The Boy Friend by Mika Jolie

Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 11.53.02Mika Jolie’s latest came out at the end of April, but I am saving it for my summer holidays.

If the cover isn’t enough to whet your whistle, then check out the blurb:

According to the law of attraction, women and men can’t be friends.

Contrary to this myth, my friendship with Coriander Phillips does not rest on unrequited love or un-actualized lust. We’ve been inseparable since the day I pulled one of her pigtails and she punched me in the gut.

She’s hilarious, fun to hang out with. Together, we’re like peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, wings and beer. A match made in heaven.

She’s the bomb.

Did I mention she’s smokin’ hot? I’ve checked her out…maybe once or twice. Hey, I’m a guy.
Seriously, no awkwardness, no secret yearning for our relationship to escalate beyond the purely platonic. I’m the boy friend—the loyal shoulder she cries on, the dispenser of coffee, sympathy, hugs, advice, and affection with no expectations.

Until the invisible line between friends and lovers became blurry.

Now I want more. I want her.

All I have to do is convince her we can be more than friends.

Right?

If only it were that easy.

The Promise: Tactics of Love by L.S. BergmanScreen Shot 2017-05-22 at 12.03.07

L.S. Bergman’s The Promise: Tactics of Love is another title I purchased a few months ago, but that felt more like a summer book, so it’s on my vacation reading list. I love the cover–it’s intriguing!

Here’s the blurb:

Every girl wants the fairy tale, ‘the promise’ of a perfect love.

Alessa Monroe is no exception.

Every guy has his way, his tactics for getting what he wants.

Keith Parker has enough skills and fame to consider himself a pro, and Isaiah Fieldman’s powers hate to be underestimated.

One woman is responsible for both men’s sudden awakening and moment of reckoning… Alessa Monroe.

For Alessa, her life feels like it’s finally on track.

With a bright ‘too-good-looking’ mentor and boss, Isaiah Fieldman, and a dreamboat celebrity boyfriend, Keith Parker, everything in Alessa’s world seems to be on the fly. The niggling feeling at the base of her stomach, that it is all too good to be true, too perfect; Alessa is happy to ignore, until … she can’t help but read the writing on the wall.

Words that say. Men and their wily ways don’t always add up. What you think you see is not always what you get. The guy you think you’ve got all figured out isn’t who he seems.

Because love is like that, complicated, oft bumpy, seldom smooth. These are how the games oft go in the tactics of love.

So that’s what my summer reading list looks like so far. Have you got suggestions for books you think I should add to it?