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?

 

My 10 fave books of 2015 and 5 I’m anxiously awaiting in 2016

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Heaven is a stack of good books! And a glass of wine!

 

Some people get excited about new handbags or shoes or guys with tattoos. I am such a book nerd. I get more excited about books. Though if you give me a hottie lumbersexual reading Garcia Marquez or some novel that I am also reading, well, I might get excited about that.

Anyway, I read a little over 50 books in 2015, so I thought I’d share with you ten of them that resonated with me.

  1. Haunted by Christina C. Jones
  2. Addicted Allison by Noelle Black
  3. Kilted for Pleasure by Melissa Blue
  4. Maldeamores by Mara White
  5. Love Is by Tia Kelly
  6. Falling Stars by Xio Axelrod
  7. Ivy’s League by Nia Forrester
  8. Coming Down by Carrie Elks
  9. Brunch at Ruby’s by D.L. White
  10. In the Nothing by Nia Forrester
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Yes, I am just as excited as this little cutie! Photo credit: forharriet.com

And which titles am I anxiously awaiting? You know there are more than five I can’t wait to read, but these are five that I am super excited about. 🙂

  1. Starlight by Xio Axelrod
  2. When I Was Invisible by Dorothy Koomson
  3. City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin
  4. Lily in the Middle by Nina Perez
  5. Getting Schooled by Christina C. Jones

So tell me: which titles are you anxiously awaiting in 2016? And which were your favorites of 2015?

Review: Coming Down by Carrie Elks

Coming Down CoverI am a total sucker for stories about second chances at love. I’m also a sucker for books set in the UK. It’s been this way since the mid-90s when I first began reading chick lit by authors like Victoria Routledge, Jane Green, Abigail Bosanko, Dorothy Koomson… so when I first heard about Coming Down (the first book in the Love in London series) I immediately added it to my TBR list. The cover was already enough to hook me–Big Ben and double-decker buses against a sunset sky? Yup, I love London and this was enough for me. Then I read the blurb and was intrigued–a man from the past, a woman trying to make up for her past mistakes, a neglected child who needs love and security? Okay, now I was totally hooked. Of course I bought it. How could I resist?

Coming Down by Carrie Elks tells the story of Beth and Niall’s shared past and what happens when their paths cross after so many years apart. Beth is in a comfortable marriage that lacks passion and Simon, her wealthy and much older husband, feels more like her doting (though sometimes a tad bit controlling) guardian rather than the man of her dreams. While he provides her with financial security, he’s also scrubbed away any of Beth’s rough edges and honed her into the perfect pretty trophy wife–always beautifully turned out for social events, always knowing the right hostess gifts, etc. But what he hasn’t managed to do is stop her from working at the inner-city drug clinic where she helps the children of recovering addicts. When the clinic needs a new volunteer art teacher, Simon’s daughter recommends an artist who turns out to be Niall, the man who once turned Beth’s life upside-down and who introduced her to a world of drugs that ended up pulling her into a downward spiral.

Both Niall and Beth are different people now. They’ve conquered their drug problems and they’re both trying to make up for a past mistake that led to the death of a friend. Initially, they pretend there is no connection between them, but it’s obvious the years apart have not dulled their attraction to one another. And their love of the children at the clinic keeps bringing them together. Well, I won’t reveal any more details. I’ll just say I thoroughly enjoyed reading their story and can’t wait to delve into the next book in the Love in London series, Broken Chords, which comes out later this week. 🙂

My rating? 5_Star

My first post of 2015 — why I love reading.

Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 13.22.35Happy New Year, everyone! Hope you had a great New Year’s Eve and didn’t do anything you regret. 😉 I decided I needed another challenge. Along with the Read Harder challenge, I will be joining the Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts at Midnight team and the 2015 Discussion Challenge.
My aim is to post at least once a week (which I think would put me in the Gift of the Gab category), so let’s start right now.

I started thinking earlier today about why I love reading so much. Ever since I was a wee one, I’ve loved reading. It was (and remains) the perfect escape. Having a bad day? I can find a great spot to read and get lost in a good book or imagine myself in some exotic locale. Feeling like I need a little more romance in my life? Perfect, there’s always some good book for that and for a few hours I can get caught up in the hero and heroine’s love story and eventual HEA (or Happily Ever After).

But what started my love of reading? I could probably trace it back to when I was in kindergarten at Albert M. Greenfield Elementary School in downtown Philadelphia and my teacher, Mrs. Albert, gave me a copy of The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf. Somehow, I taught myself to read with that book. I’d sit for hours with it, not letting any of my classmates have a go at it, and get lost in Ferdinand’s story. Ferdinand and I were pretty similar–we were both day-dreamers and prone to thinking of other things when we should have been focusing on things like work or lessons. We both preferred our own company even though we liked hanging out with others–we’d probably be classified as extroverted introverts.

Once I learned to read, there was no stopping me. I read everything–the newspaper, text on packaging, road signs, you name it. And my curiosity about the world around me increased. I wanted to know more, see more. I read Madeline and suddenly I began pestering my parents about going to Paris. I read Curious George and I wanted a pet monkey. I read Black Beauty and fell in love with horses; every week I wrote letters to my grandparents begging them to help me get a horse that could live in my parents’ garage. (I had to settle for getting to ride a horse every now and then when I visited them during the summer).

Reading was my way of escaping dull days–especially since there weren’t many kids in my parents’ neighbourhood who were my age. Either everyone was my older sister’s age or my younger brother’s age, and my school friends lived in other neighbourhoods. And when I was older and noticed that all was not well in my parents’ relationship, reading let me escape into other people’s lives and I could imagine myself living in a castle in Scotland or on an adventure in the African savannahs.

Nowadays I write my own novels as well as read other writers’ novels. I love it when a writer pulls me into a complicated story or writes a passage that’s so simple yet still so descriptive that I can picture everything the narrator sees and experiences. And it’s this escape into the imagination that is one of the aspects of reading that I appreciate most. Sometimes we all need an escape–from reality, from life, from whatever–and reading gives us that without costing very much or requiring a passport or the hassle of an airport security check. It’s portable, it can be popped into our handbag and off we go. You can enjoy it fully-clothed or naked, with a glass of wine or a mug of tea, in the comfort of your own home or on the subway.

And the best thing is when you meet someone else who’s reading the same book as you and you can bond over the characters and plot. Ahh…now that’s a wonderful moment.

So tell me, what are you reading today? I’m nearly done reading Fix You by Carrie Elks, and I’m loving it so far. 🙂