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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Release Blitz: How to Catch an Heiress

howtocatchanheiress_blitz

How to Catch an Heiress

by Natalie Rios
An Heiress Series Novel
Publication Date: October 3, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

How to Catch an Heiress cover_Natalie Rios

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Anthony Carter has not had it easy in life. In a matter of months, he lost his mother to cancer along with his much coveted spot in a prestigious doctoral program. Swimming in debt, he’s been forced to move back to his hometown in rural Montana and take whatever job he can find. A drunken weekend in Vegas is exactly what he needs to help him forget his problems.

A recent break-up with her boyfriend of nearly a decade has left straight-laced Liz Rockwell disillusioned with love and in desperate need of a vacation. She gets more than she bargained for when one drunken night at a Vegas bar results in her being married to Anthony. Embarrassed by her lapse in judgment, Liz is ready to make this whole night just go away. A quickie divorce seems like the best solution to their problem, until Anthony realizes who Liz really is.

Known in the media as the Candy Heiress, billionaire Liz is the answer to Anthony’s prayers. All he has to do is convince her to write him a check. Unfortunately, Liz is not one to be easily intimated or coerced. Discovering the Rockwell family secret may be Anthony’s only hope. But the more time he spends with the intelligent and tenacious Liz, the more he realizes their chapel wedding may not have been such a drunken mistake after all…

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About Natalie Rios

Natalie Rios bio pic (1)

Natalie can’t sing. Or dance. Or play an instrument. She can’t ride a bike and doesn’t know how to swim or drive. As a result, her husband often asks “Are you sure you’re not really from Mars?” (the answer, in case you were wondering, is no. Unless New York counts as another planet). When she’s not geeking out at her day job, Natalie can be found attempting to wrangle her overly energetic Westie, baking ridiculously chewy chocolate chip cookies, and watching so-bad-it’s-good reality television shows.

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Giveaway: Destroyed & Unseen Messages by Pepper Winters

giveaway pepper 2Want to win a Kindle copy of Unseen Messages

and Destroyed by Pepper Winters?

 

Now is your chance, Kim Talks Books is offering one lucky winner a Kindle copy of these two fantastic reads!

All you have to do is post a comment about a secret. But hurry–I’ll be picking a winner on Sunday, May 8th.

**Disclaimer: Winner must have a Kindle address. Prize can be gifted**

 

giveaway pepper

NOW AVAILABLE &  FREE ON KU

Unseen Messages

Amazon US:  http://amzn.to/1Tt8zfn

 

“Instincts are what keep us safe from fate.

Ignoring them can change your life forever.”

 

Destroyed

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1UwtwuT

“Secrets brought us together but they ultimately destroyed us.”

About the Author

pepper winters banner

Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex… her books have sex.

She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affairs with her book boyfriends.

 

STALK Pepper

 Website | Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads

 

 

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Want to win paperback copies of Unseen Messages & Destroyed?

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway! It’s open to international entrants!

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More holiday reads to check out!

Yes, it’s the third Sunday of Advent and here in Sweden it’s Saint Lucy’s Day, which pretty much marks the beginning of Christmas here.

I love Christmas and I love reading novels set during the holiday season. So let’s continue with more books you can read to help you get in the spirit! 🙂

ChristmasWishesJenny Hale‘s latest, Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses, sounds like my cuppa tea!

An uplifting, beautiful story about never letting go of your dreams, the special magic of a family Christmas… and the rush of falling in love under the mistletoe.
Single mother Abbey Fuller loves her family more than anything, and doesn’t regret for a moment having had to put her dreams of being an interior designer on hold. But with her son, Max, growing up, when a friend recommends her for a small design job she jumps at the chance. How hard can it be?

Nick Sinclair needs his house decorated in time for his family’s festive visit – and money is no object. What he doesn’t need is to be distracted from his multi-million dollar business – even if it is Christmas.

When Abbey pulls up to the huge Sinclair mansion, she has a feeling she might be out of her depth. And when she meets the gorgeous, brooding Nicholas Sinclair, she knows that she’s in real trouble…

With the snow falling all around, can Abbey take the chance to make her dreams of being a designer come true? And can she help Nick to finally enjoy the magic of Christmas?

Now, I read the Christmas Tree Guy by Railyn Stone last Christmas, but I think I’ll be re-reading it this year. 🙂

XmasTreeGuySydnee Garrett has a lot on her to-do list. Wrangle her young and rambunctious twin boys. Check. Get her life back in order since her husband decided to leave her for a much younger woman. Check. And buy a Christmas tree. Check.

What she wasn’t expecting was adding one more thing to her list. A young, sexy personal trainer. Check.

Quinn Masters is a man who knows what he wants and doesn’t take no for an answer. He isn’t fazed by age or race differences and he does everything in his power to win Sydnee over.

Will Sydnee continue to fight for her orderly life or welcome in the chaos that’s threatening to change her entire world?

BurningBrightThis year was the first time I ever saw romances set during Chanukah. Now, I think today is the last day of Chanukah, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still fall in love, right? 🙂  I think k I’ll be checking out Burning Bright.

This December, take a break from dreidel spinning, gelt winning, and latke eating to experience the joy of Chanukah. When you fall in love during the Festival of Lights, the world burns a whole lot brighter.

It’s definitely not love at first sight for Amanda and her cute but mysterious new neighbor, Ben. Can a Chanukah miracle show them that getting off on the wrong foot doesn’t mean they can’t walk the same road?

Lawyers in love, Shari Cohen and Evan Sonntag are happy together. But in a moment of doubt, he pushes her away—then soon realizes he made a huge mistake. To win her back, it might take something like a Chanukah miracle.

When impulsive interior designer Molly Baker-Stein barges into Jon Adelman’s apartment and his life intent on planning the best Chanukah party their building has ever seen, neither expects that together they just might discover a Home for Chanukah.

All Tamar expected from her Israel vacation was time to hang out with one of her besties and to act like a tourist, cheesy t-shirt and all, in her two favorite cities. She definitely was not expecting to fall for Avi, a handsome soldier who’s more than she ever dreamed. 

41A2YaB8RIL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_I really like the sound of Lit Up by Devyn Morgan–two men falling in love and dealing with their religious differences. Could be fun! Adding it to my Kindle queue. 🙂

Has a fateful November meeting over raspberries led Rusty to Mr. Right? He and Cole have so much in common, except for that religious background thing.

And Cole loves holidays. Rusty decks out Christmas trees, while Cole lights up menorahs. It can’t be that hard to plan and execute the perfect Chanukah. What could possibly go wrong?

Two men, two sets of traditions, one chance for Rusty to get it right.

Exactly what do you do with a dreidel?

Lit Up is a standalone M/M romance with an HEA.

Still need more! Keep checking in! I’ll be bringing you more of my favorite finds for holiday reads! 🙂

Happy reading!

My Christmas reading list

christmas tree

Photo credit: Kate Zaidova/unsplash.com

I love to escape into a good book. I think everyone who knows me is well aware of this fact. Sometimes I prefer books to people. This is especially true during the Christmas season. Usually, it’s a pretty stressful time at work and I just want to relax…but then there are all those Christmas things you have to do–like mingles and shopping and meeting family (which is not bad, though sometimes there are those who try your patience). That’s why I always have a book with me–you never know when you need a few minutes to yourself to simply…escape. 

And I love holiday love stories. Yes, I am kitschy like that. It doesn’t even need to be a romance, as long as people are falling in love and there’s a little snow and maybe even mistletoe, well that makes me happy. So here are some of titles I’ve already 1-clicked for my Kindle. Maybe they’ll whet your holiday romance appetite.

Wrapped-in-Red-slider1-280x376Wrapped in Red by Mika Jolie

Christmas is a time to be merry and bright. For Minka Montgomery, it’s anything but.

While Martha’s Vineyard bursts with festive lights and good cheer, a black shadow parades around and within Minka. With her Christmas spirit conspicuously absent, her marriage to Jason Montgomery has snowballed and is spiraling out of control. The weight of motherhood – and her new role as a wife – presses on her shoulders. Self-doubt creeps in and swiftly turns to hopelessness.
As her anxiety level rises, can she share what’s in her heart with her husband? Is there a branch of hope to hold on to? With Christmas only twelve days away, can she find her Christmas spirit and rediscover the true meaning of the season?

Festive Stocking Filled with Candycanes and Gingerbread Man

The Calum by Xio Axelrod

Calum, The (Noun)
1. fictional hero of best-selling romance novel, A Laird to Love
2. the perfect man

Twenty-six is too old to believe in fairytales, but tell that to Lovie’s roommate. Convinced she’ll find a real life version of her ultimate book boyfriend, Calum MacKenzie, Jo drags Lovie to the Scottish Highlands. Lovie’s no cynic *ahem* but she knows The Calum is a myth. A construct. A freaking unicorn! And there are warmer places to spend a winter vacation.

 

winters-tale-english-5.previewWinter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

Set in New York at the beginning and the end of the twentieth century, Winter´s Tale unfolds with such great narrative force and beauty that a reader can feel that its world is more real than his own. Standing alone on the page before the book begins are the words, I have been to another world, and come back. Listen to me. In that world, both winter and the city of New York (old and new) have the strength and character of protagonists, and the protagonists themselves move as if in a vivid dream. Though immensely complicated, the story is centered upon Peter Lake, a turn-of-the-century Irish burglar, and Beverly Penn, a young heiress whom he encounters in robbing her house, and who eventually will die young and in his arms. His love for her, and a gift of grace, will allow him after the most extraordinary and painful explorations and discoveries to stop time and bring back the dead. To follow him, his predecessors, his inheritors, and his companions is to experience one of the great stories of American literature.

Wrapped in Red NMWrapped in Red by Nana Malone and Sherelle Green

Two holiday romances for the price of one! 🙂

‘Tis the season for finding passion and rediscovering love… 

Mistletoe Mantra by Nana Malone

Returning to her Virginia hometown where her fiancé dumped her—years earlier on Christmas Eve—is making Nomi Adams croon the holiday blues. She needs to find the reclusive photographer who can advance her magazine career. However, Lincoln Porter’s on his own rescue mission this yuletide. Because during this season of love and renewal, Faith, Virginia, looks to be a place for second chances…

White Hot Holiday by Sherelle Green

A solo Caribbean vacation is college professor Sage Langley’s perfect escape from Christmas and all its merriment. But she has unexpected and thrilling company at Grayson Ellington’s luxurious vacation home: the sexy attorney himself! And her brother’s best friend—who has desired and longed for Sage for years—has fantasies and plans for a red-hot romance to chase away her winter doldrums.

comfort_and_joyComfort and Joy by Kristin Hannah

An oldie but still a goodie!

In this modern-day fairy tale, New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah gives us a very special gift: the heartwarming story of a woman at a crossroads, caught between two lives, who finds a second chance at happiness.

Joy Candellaro used to love Christmas more than any other time of the year. Now, as the holiday approaches, she finds herself at loose ends. Recently divorced and estranged from her sister, she can’t summon the old enthusiasm for celebrating. So without telling anyone, she buys a ticket and boards a plane bound for the rural Northwest.

Yet Joy’s best-laid plans go terribly awry. The plane crashes deep in the darkness of a forest. Miraculously, Joy and her fellow passengers walk away from the wreckage as the plane explodes. There, amid the towering trees, Joy makes a bold and desperate decision to leave her ordinary life behind and embark on an adventure…just for the holidays.

Daniel O’Shea has returned to the small town of Rain Valley, following the death of his ex-wife. Now he is a single father facing his son’s first Christmas without a mother. Six-year-old Bobby isn’t making it easy-the boy has closed himself off from the world, surrounding himself with imaginary friends.

When Joy and Bobby meet, they form an instant bond. Thrown together by fate, these wounded souls will be touched by the true spirit of Christmas and remember what it means to be a family.

Then a dramatic turn of events shows Joy the price of starting over. On a magical Christmas Eve she will come face-to-face with a startling truth. Now she must decide: In a time of impossible dreams and unexpected chances, can she find the faith to reach for the love she has found…and the new life only she believes in?

There are still more books on my Christmas reading list, so check back later this week for more ideas! And if you’re looking for gift ideas for the book nerd in your life, check out my suggestions here

 

What I Read When I Read About Love

Our Valentine's Day at the Avenue Hotel. Photo: Avenue Hotel, Copenhegen

Photo: Avenue Hotel, Copenhegen

I know, I am a few days late–but I was in Copenhagen celebrating Valentine’s Day with my gorgeous hubby. I won a Valentine’s Day stay at Avenue Hotel, a design boutique hotel in Copenhagen’s Fredriksberg district. The stay included a cozy tower room at the hotel (breakfast included), champagne, pastries from Strangas Dessert Boutique and an amazing dinner at Höst. Needless to say, inspiration came to me while I was there and there will definitely be a a follow-up to Maybe Baby.

But while I was there, I starting thinking about which books would be on my Books About Love 2014 list–if I had one.

 

Sex in the Title CoverSex in the Title by Zack Love – a satirical rom-com set in New York City in the 1990s that revolves around the romantic adventures (and misadventures) of five guys who think they are going to conquer the world. Since it’s set in the 90s, the New York we find is pre-smart phone, the Twin Towers are still standing and there’s a wonderful air of nostalgia (perfect for someone like me who was a teenager in the 1980s and in college and grad school in the 1990s). Contrary to the title, the book is not all about sex. It’s more about the pie in the sky ambitions and goals we set for ourselves when we’re young and naive and what happens when we are finally faced with reality. Now, how can this be a rom-com then? Well, Zack Love interweaves the tales of five friends and their pursuit of love. Yes, there are foibles, nothing is perfect–even the people who almost seem too perfect are just as flawed as you want them to be. This is a book with so many laugh-out-loud moments as you are reminded of your own romantic foibles and dreams of youth. Bravo, Zack!

 

cover-jod-webcover-joy-webJust One Day/Just One Year by Gayle Forman – Wonderful books about Allyson and Willem, who meet by chance in the UK during an open-air performance of Shakespeare and what happens when Willem convinces Allyson to do something unexpected–go to Paris with him even if it’s just for one day. What happens during that day and, in the next book, as they try to reconnect, is amazing. If you liked Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, you’ll love these books.

 

Is Marriage coverIs Marriage for White People?: How the African American Marriae Decline Affects Everyone by Ralph Richard Banks – The title alone is enough to stop you in your tracks but there is more to this book than meets the eye. It is an interesting study of love and marriage within the African-American community and how antiquated ideas of the black woman’s place in society had led to a decline in marriage within the community and the implications it has on US society. Banks questions why it is considered acceptable for African-American men to marry outside of their race while the same is not always true for African-American women. He also examines the mixed messages sent to young men and women by the media, their families, the church, etc about their place in society. So why do I consider it a book about love? Because quite a bit of the book examines why African-American women may maintain friendships or be attracted to men of other races but will not, or are reluctant to, pursue relationships with these men. Since I write a lot about interracial relationships, I’ve always been intrigued by the fact that social pressure can prevent someone from seeking love.

 

The-FLAVOURS-OF-LOVE-HB-654x1024The Flavors of Love by Dorothy Koomson – Dorothy Koomson has always said that what she writes is heart fiction–not simply women’s fiction. Her books are always about love and the choices we make because of love. This book is more suspense than romance–the story revolves around Saffron Mackleroy, a widow whose husband was murdered eighteen months prior to the start of the novel. On the outside, Saffron looks like she’s coping well with her situation–she’s even decided to finish writing the cookbook her husband was working on. But then her fourteen-year-old daughter Phoebe gets in trouble at school and confesses to something that begins to tear apart the semblance of normalcy Saffron is trying to maintain. And then the person convicted of killing Saffron’s husband begins sending her letters and claiming to be innocent. It’s easy to get hooked by The Flavors of Love. I know I did! Another great one, Dorothy! Can’t wait for your next book. 🙂

That’s it for now! What books would you put on your Books About Love list?

Some books on my 2014 Want To Read list

I thought today was going to be a very productive writing day, but it’s turned into a stare-out-the-window-and-daydream day. Going out for a walk didn’t help. I went to my local café (where I usually write at the weekend) but it was too noisy. Someone please tell parents to give their kids headphones if they are going to allow them to watch movies in a public place. It’s really annoying when the kids have the volume up so loud that you can’t concentrate. Several people asked the parents to turn down the volume, but the parents only replied, “But the kids are having so much fun…” Hmm…so much for teaching your kids to show consideration to others. I’m sure those kids were having fun, but that doesn’t mean the parents couldn’t adjust the volume to a more acceptable level. Grrr!

Anyway, enough about silly parents who try too hard to be their kids’ best friends, I’d much rather talk about books I want to read. And today I thought I’d post a list of some of the books I am looking forward to reading in 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 23.20.47The Fortune Hunter – Daisy Goodwin: Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved reading anything about Empress Sissi of Austria. Goodwin’s soon-to-be-published novel revolves around the love affair of the empress and cavalry captain Bay Middleton.

I’ve already pre-ordered this for my Kindle, and I will also order a hardback copy. I loved Goodwin’s debut novel, The American Heiress (also known as My Last Duchess) and I’ve been looking forward to her new novel.

If you like historical fiction, make sure you add The Fortune Hunter to your Want to Read list on Goodreads.

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 23.43.15Cress – Marissa Meyer: I usually prefer standalone novels but Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles is a page-turning roller coaster ride that takes some of the fairy tales we grew up with and sets them in a dystopian world… well, I love them.

Cress takes the story of Rapunzel and has her trapped on a satellite, held prisoner by an evil queen. I’ve just ordered it for my Kindle. I think this will be one of my February reads. Now the Lunar Chronicles series is originally a YA book that has become a crossover hit. Check out Marissa Meyer’s website for a sneak peek. I think you’ll like it.

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 00.01.07The Widow File – S.G. Redling: I’ve already downloaded The Widow File for my Kindle. It’s a juicy techno thriller written by a fellow brainstormer S.G. Redling and, as always, she doesn’t disappoint with her fast-paced story about a data analyst who may or may not have some very sensitive information in her possession that people are willing to kill for.

Snappy, tight and exciting–and I’m only 100 pages into the book. I think I’ll get lost in it tomorrow. I love a good thriller. 🙂

That’s it for now! You know this list is a work in progress, so there will definitely be more books to come!

Happy reading!

 

Kim’s birthday post

Today is my birthday and the day has started off quite well! My hubby made me a lovely birthday breakfast, my friends have been sending me Chuck Norris jokes (yay!), I have today off from work and I’ve got lots of writing ideas. All that’s left is to treat myself to a few new books for my Kindle. 🙂

Before I do that, I thought I’d give you heads-up on a couple of books I read during my lovely two-weeks off for Christmas. I usually spend the Christmas holidays reading lots of  holiday chick lit and romance novels.

So what did I read this year (other than the Christmas novels I told you about a few posts ago)?

Image via theninaperez.com

Image via theninaperez.com

Thanks to the chicas in the Fans of Interracial Romance group on Goodreads, I stumbled upon writer Nina Perez and her Sharing Space series. The series is comprised of five (soon to be six) short novels following the romance between Chloe and Patrick. In Book One, we find out about how Chloe meets Patrick–she needs a new roommate after her ex-roomie Grace hightails it to LA to find fame and fortune as an actress. Chloe advertises for a new roomie on Craigslist and, after a number of disastrous roommate interviews, meets Patrick, a personal trainer and aspiring actor who needs to move to Manhattan to be closer to his job.

Through the course of the books, we follow Chloe and Patrick as they both try to ignore their mutual attraction for the sake of maintaining a good roommate balance, the inevitable moment when they can no longer ignore how they feel and the mixed reactions of their friends and families when news spreads that these two have finally become a couple. Add to it family drama, corporate hijinks and misunderstandings with friends and you’ve got a series that sucks you in like a good episode of Scandal (okay, it’s not as hot as Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn together, but they’re pretty hard to beat).

I’ve read the first five books loved them all. I really like how Perez writes about how Patrick and Chloe become friends before they become lovers. I also like her realistic portrayal of the complexities of friendship. Myra and Chloe’s friendship felt true to life, as did Perez’s description of Chloe’s relationship with her cousin, who is more like a sister to her. Patrick’s complicated friendship with Max and his attempts to help his wayward sister Charlotte also rang true.

Two thumbs up for the Sharing Space series. Looking forward to reading Book 6 later this month.

Image via hannahfielding.net

Image via hannahfielding.net

And now I just started reading The Echoes of Love by Hannah Fielding. Set in Venice, The Echoes of Love follows Venetia Aston-Montague as she finds herself falling under the spell of the very enigmatic and sexy Paolo Barone. Their chance meeting–he rescues her from masked assialants one night of the carnivale–sets Venetia off on a quest to learn to love again–even as others warn her about Paolo’s lothario reputataion–and to face the demons from her own past. I’m about 100 pages into the story and I love it so far. 🙂 It speaks to the Italophile romantic in me.

I love the lush descriptions of Venice, and how Fielding pulls you in as a reader so you feel like you are walking beside Venetia as she steps into the mysterious spell that is Venice. Going to dive back into the book again in a few minutes and get lost for a while. 🙂

That’s it for today! I need to go for a walk, get some more writing done, etc.

What are you reading today?

Christmas reads – 2013 edition

You know I am a sucker for novels set during Christmas. I love diving into a fun holiday read about people falling in and out of love, especially when there’s lots of snow, Christmas trees and good cheer involved. So, since the department stores here in Stockholm have already started decorating for Christmas, that means I can tell you what books are on my Christmas Reading List. Are you ready?

Just for Christmas coverJust for Christmas by Scarlett Bailey – Scarlett Bailey’s holiday stories are always high on my Christmas reading list. I love how she paints such great pictures of characters in need of a little Christmas joy and what helps them get their holiday mojo back. I am halfway through Just for Christmas and it’s a fun story about Alex, who runs away from Edinburgh to Cornwall to nurse a broken heart and start over, and what happens when the town decides she must make merry with them…and she gets the world’s scruffiest dog…and a very attractive neighbor to boot!

 

Coming Home for XmasComing Home for Christmas by Jenny Hale – I love a good family-oriented Christmas novel, and Coming Home for Christmas is the perfect family Christmas novel. It’s all about Allie, who finds herself unemployed just before the holidays, and how a flip of the coin leads her to her new position as house manager for the very wealthy and emotionally distant Robert–a man who is no longer close to his family and planning on selling the family home, despite the protests of his siblings and grandmother. Will Allie manage to change Robert’s mind? And will they fall in love? You’ll just have to read Coming Home for Christmas to find out…and you won’t be disappointed! 🙂

tumblr_static_a_vintage_christmas_cover_v2A Vintage Christmas by Ali Harris – A few years ago, Ali Harris wrote the wonderful Christmas novel, Miracle on Regent Street which–if you haven’t read it–you need to read ASAP, add it to YOUR holiday reading list. 🙂 This time, Ali brings us the continuation of Evie and Sam as a short story. I jus purchased it, so I can’t tell you much about the plot, but I am really looking froward to reading it since I loved Miracle on Regent Street so much.

 

 

I heart xmasI Heart Christmas by Lindsey Kelk – I am a huge Lindsey Kelk fan. I loved all the other books in her I Heart series, and About a Girl is one of my top faves of 2013. Those of you who’ve read her I Heart series know it follows expat Brit Angela and her adventures in NYC with her best friend Jenny Lopez and her hot musician boyfriend Alex. And this story looks to be about how Angela will try to get her dream Christmas while avoiding (or maybe causing) a few hijinks along the way. I have the feeling it’s going to be an awesome read! But I have to wait until 21 November…drat! 😀

 

Make my wish smallMake My Wish Come True by Fiona Harper – Just bought this one for my Kindle today! Two sisters who couldn’t be more different each want what the other has for Christmas. So after a bit of bickering, they decide to do a Christmas swap. Will their Christmas wishes live up to their expectations? Only time will tell! 🙂

 

 

 

christmas blissChristmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews – A few years ago, Mary Kay Andrews wrote one of my favorite Christmas novels, Blue Christmas. Christmas Bliss picks up where Blue Christmas ended, with Weezie and Daniel finally planning their wedding. Of course hijinks ensue. Of course it’s fun! I cheated and read a few chapters already…and I admit I was already caught up enough the story. If you haven’t read Blue Christmas, order it too! 🙂

 

thechristmaskeysmThe Christmas Key by Chacelyn Pierce – This one is a short story/novella set in Alaska! A heart-broken woman and a rock star find themselves stuck in a cabin together during Christmas. And of course she is his biggest fan–and not in that Stephen King Misery way. Now how will they find a way to make merry during the holiday season? I haven’t started reading it yet, but I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

 

That’s it for now! You know this list is a work in progress, so if I find any other tempting books I will add them to the list. And, of course, you can always add Snowbound to your list since it is a holiday love story! 😉

Happy reading (and writing)!

Add Catherine McKenzie to my list of favorite authors

A few months ago a friend in the US asked me if I’d ever read anything by Catherine McKenzie. I hadn’t and told her so–and she promptly began to rave about how wonderful her books were and how I’d love them.

I bought two of Catherine McKenzie’s books for my Kindle–Arranged and Forgotten–but it took a while for me to begin reading them. I had so many other books on my to-read list. But then I finally read Forgotten and then Arranged…and now I am a bona fide Catherine McKenzie fan.

ImageForgotten is about a woman who goes to Africa and, when illness and an earthquake prevent her from coming home as planned, is declared dead despite her being very much alive. She returns home to find that she no longer has a home, a job and a boyfriend. And she must reclaim her life and figure out just what she wants out of this “new” life.

This was such a page-turner. I was hooked from start to finish and think this is a book I could read again and again.

ImageArranged is about a woman who, after a very bad break-up with her boyfriend, finds a card for a matchmaking service on the day she moves out from their apartment. Taking this as a sign (though she says she doesn’t believe in signs), she makes an appointment to meet a consultant at the service. She thinks it’s a dating service but is soon informed that they are about helping people find marriage partners. And–instead of being turned off by the idea–she is intrigued. Should she give up on romantic love and focus on platonic love as a way to happiness in a marriage? And is there a place for an arranged marriage in her life? Loved this book and would definitely read it again! 😀

Both books were fantastic! I loved how the characters felt so real–sometimes you loved them, sometimes you were so frustrated by them you wanted to scream at them, but you always wanted the best for them.

That’s it for now! Happy reading (and writing)! 🙂