Kiss Me Kate by Katy Regnery

Blurb:
25540433Kate English, cousin to the beguiling English Brothers, has relocated to Philadelphia and now works with her cousins at English & Company. The problem with moving to Philly? It was where Kate met her first love, Etienne Rousseau. Since the move, Kate can’t seem shake the painful memories of a romance that broke her heart.

Etienne Rousseau, neighbor and arch-enemy of the English family, is recently single and has every intention of enjoying his newly-minted bachelor-status. That is…until his brother inks a deal with English & Company, forcing Etienne to work with his one-time lover, Kate English. Though he wants to hate the girl who once destroyed his life, he can’t deny the fierce attraction or hide the deep tenderness he still feels for Kate.

With vibrant flashbacks of their passionate, teenage love affair making it impossible to ignore their unresolved history, Kate and Etienne will commit to unraveling the secrets of their heartbreaking past to make way for a breathtaking future.

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My Review:
4.5 stars — Oh Etienne…I was so freaking skeptical.  Like seriously, soooooooo skeptical that I actually really held back and wore my skeptical face for a great deal of the reading of this book, but you won me over.  I thought it was impossible, but you managed it.  Or should I say Ms. Regnery managed it.  And I don’t even feel cheated or anything.  She managed it where there were some misunderstandings, a lot people acting not their best, but it was all kind of human, you know?  Like I could be mad at all of them equally for the misunderstandings and grudges of the past, and while I was at first sad and wanted my English boys to be above reproach, I could see how it could have happened that way, and it was OK knowing that not all my beloved characters are flawless.  Even Stratton…heck especially Stratton, since he’s still working on coming around.

And I know I’m talking so much about Etienne, but if you read the whole English brothers series, you understand why their is an initial sense of pushback when you find out that Etienne is Kate’s love.  I wanted to trust Ms. Regnery, but there were a few moments in Stratton’s book where he just comes across so smarmy or something…but even that kind of gets explained away.  Like Etienne acknowledges the kind of f’d up-edness of his relationship with Amy, and that he did not behave his best either.

OK, enough about all that.  Basically all you need to know is that I am a grudge holder, and I forgave Etienne…so all those people who said I would love him were right.  And not just Etienne, I loved Kate too.  She was this beautiful mix of confident and sassy and insecure…definitely a heroine I could relate to.  And she was a bigger girl too, like me!!  We could swap clothes!!  So obviously that’s going to make me love her too!  But it was her heart that I loved…she has an innocence about her, but she was still so strong.

And Etienne was so sweet and almost heartbreaking as a teenager.  Like he had this undeserved reputation based on a language barrier, and my heart just went out to him.  Seeing him connect with Kate just made me feel so many butterflies.

And that’s one of the things that was kind of unique about this final (sort of) book in the English Brothers series — it was kind of a combination of an adult book and a young adult book, b/c we didn’t just get present, we got tastes of their past as well.  And not tiny flashbacks, but longer ones!  We really got to watch them fall in love and connect.  I really loved that.  It did make for some strange pacing in the book, b/c in the end we didn’t get as much from the present as I had been anticipating.  But I was still thoroughly satisfied.  Just not sure if it will be to everyone’s tastes, you know?

And all along we got little tastes and foreshadowing about what went wrong in the past, but it was so hard to know how they each felt they’d been betrayed by the other, but know that neither one had the full story, and that so much had happened to keep them apart.

So I loved it.  I loved the love and the romance, and I believed in it, and I swooned, and I melted, and I was just thoroughly satisfied.  Now I can’t wait to see how Lib takes on J.C.!!!

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A is for Abstinence (V is for Virgin #2) by Kelly Oram

22089601Blurb: Rockstar to the core, Six-time Grammy Award-winning musician Kyle Hamilton has it all—money, fame, talent, good looks, and a job he loves. His only regret in life: walking away from a certain notorious virgin because he was too prideful, stubborn, and even afraid to give her the only thing she asked of him—his abstinence.

Four years and a broken heart later, Kyle realizes that sex isn’t everything, and he suddenly can’t stop thinking about the girl that got away. Virgin Val Jensen got under his skin like no one else ever has. He wasn’t ready for her then, but things are different now. He’s grown up, he’s learned a few things, and he’s finally figured out exactly what he wants, or, rather, who he wants.

Kyle Hamilton wants a do-over, and this time he’s willing to do—or not do—whatever it takes.

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5 stars

Oh, this one was even better than the first one.  I enjoyed the passing of time and the maturity that both Val and Kyle exhibited.  They both grew into themselves and it was a lovely second chance at first love book.

Val remained true to herself and her virture and I applaud her for it.  I don’t know that its a feasible option for everyone now a days but I loved how she owned if for herself and didn’t look down on others for their different beliefs.  I also like how she evolved from being the face of Not Everyones Doing It into starting her own adoption agency and being a double major at Stanford.  This girl has serious ambitions!

Kyle seemed to have the most growth emotionally and while I wasn’t completely in love with him, (I couldn’t move past his previous behavior in the first book)  He did redeem himself for the most part.  Him having a previous relationship really helped him to be more understanding with regards to her choice.  Their relationship seemed to go pretty fast since they had not seen each other in four years but it still felt right to me.  She helped him to see past himself and use his fame in a less selfish and more productive way.

It ended predictably for me but that’s fine because its what I wanted to happen.  🙂  PS, it has a character from one of her other books referenced in it.  I love that! So go read it already!

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Paperglass (War of the Princes #2) by A.R. Ivanovich

paperglass.jpgBlurb: Surviving a narrow brush with death convinced Katelyn Kestrel that she must never return to the war-torn Outside World. Safe again within the sanctuary of Haven Valley, she has forced herself to forget Rune Thayer, the young Dragoon soldier who had sacrificed everything to save her.

Katelyn’s struggle to adapt to a peaceful life is undone when she is assaulted by a classmate, triggering her powers with devastating consequences. The authorities learn of her rare Abilities, and a web of troubling mysteries unravels around her. She finds that an unfortunate twist of fate has delivered Haven prisoners to the Prince of Shadows, and he will stop at nothing to discover the valley’s secret location. Katelyn must find and rescue the captives or witness the destruction of everything she has ever loved.

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Favorite Quotes: 

And just like that, I stepped firmly onto the hardened soil of my worst nightmare.

“Sometimes I dream that I don’t hate you.” His words were a cup, brimming with honesty and pain. “Then I wake up. It all comes back. I remember what you did to me—how wicked life is.”

“This is it,” Rune said, looking up at the mouth of the hall. “The moment where we live for our luck, or die for our decisions.”

5 Stars

According to Goodreads, this book has two different titles.  This one is called Paperglass, the other one is called Dragoon.  Both are titled as book 2 in The War of Princes series but they are the same book. I chose this one because this is the only one available on Amazon.

This book totally threw me for a loop. I wasn’t expecting the turn it was going to take.  The supporting characters take a more prominent role in this one. Which really makes this story deeper.  I mean, even if they didn’t have more spotlight time the story would have been great, it just added that extra layer to the story though, ya know? 

The stakes are higher, the love is deeper, and the magic is more powerful.  We learn more about the politics of the both worlds in this one and the author adds more world building as well; making this story really come alive to me.  The first book was great, this one was better.  

I’d like to point out that I loved how the author was able to change her characters temperaments and make me believe it.  This is a tough thing to do IMO.  I can’t wait to see what adventures Katelyn and Co. go on in the next book. 

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Remember Jamie Baker (Jamie Baker #3) by Kelly Oram

30334744Blurb: Plagued by memory loss, Jamie Baker searches high and low for the answers to who she is, where she comes from, and why she’s able to do things other humans can’t. A not-so-simple task when she’s hiding from the people responsible for her amnesia—an evil scientific research company that wants to capture her at any cost.

When Jamie’s quest for the truth reveals a devastating betrayal from the one person she thought she could trust, she’s forced to team up with a secret military organization in order to ensure her safety and stop Visticorp’s horrific human experimenting once and for all.

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3 Stars

::sigh::  I don’t know why but this last book just kinda went……blah for me.  I mean it was a lot faster with regards to the story line but the content was just…eh.

The supporting characters were amazing in this book, they provided me with some much needed contrast to Jamie’s personality.  The story line was great, all the loose ends were ties up with no loopholes that I could find.  But for some reason, I can’t stand Jamie herself anymore.

She is too trusting and naive. Stubborn and unwilling to compromise in any aspect which makes her seem super childish to me.  I get that she has amnesia and is having a hard time  dealing but that doesn’t excuse her behavior.  She treats everyone like they owe her something and when things go wrong she doesn’t want to accept blame and own her faults.

On the contrary side, she also cares WAY too much what others think and is constantly trying to people please.  But it’s like you nothing is good enough for her.  I don’t know why I can’t stand her, I really really want to like her but I . just. don’t.   Also, why is her hair and eye color different than what it describes in the book.  I don’t understand why that was changed.

Maybe I’m being nit-picky and looking for things I didn’t like.  I’m just glad I finished the series.

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99: The Warriors Rise (Rise of the Battle Bred Book 3) by VL Holt

99Blurb: In this, the third book of the Battle Bred trilogy, Jane would rather die than allow William to sacrifice himself for her again, even with one do-over up his sleeve. So she’s taken matters into her own hands. Who knew mortal combat could be so fun? Between sparring and some unexpected events, she doesn’t have much time to miss William. Good thing, because he’s got a major PR nightmare to clear up before the entire globe discovers who and what he is. But things are so much more dangerous than either of them realize.

A storm is brewing that will bring down the fires of Lochspawn revenge, a creature designed for mass destruction, and the wrath of the most powerful men on the planet. Jane and William only want to be together, but they may have to fight together. And if they do, they just might have to answer the question: is love really worth dying for?

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Favorite Quotes:

“I can’t remember my life before you came into it,” I told him, my heart in my throat. It was quiet for a beat. “Jane?” “Yeah?” I whispered. “The only life that matters to me is the one with you in it.”

“I wish we could just have a normal couple weeks, you know? Homework, go out on the weekends, share a slushy straw, make out, have a BBQ with the neighbors. Instead your living room is a freaking war room; there’s monsters in Oregon’s airspace, and five psycho immortal freaks have a bounty on your head. So,” I took a breath and sighed again. “So I’m sighing because it’s time for me to suck it up and get back to work. We can sleep when we’re dead, right?” I quipped.

I was running toward the danger, like a fool or a hero. But I knew I was no hero, so that only left one thing.

finishing the series

5 stars

Another great cover, right!

I was given an amazing opportunity to read an ARC of this book and I jumped on that offer fast!  I think this book really tied up all the loose ends from the previous two books, which I thought was gonna be a tall order since the second book had no real closure.  This book has got more complexity in it than the other two as well.  You can see the authors growth during this series.

This book has lots of action, a fact that I love.  Events happen at fast clip and before you know it, you are staring at the last page thinking, “That can’t be the end, I want more!”  The flashbacks combined with the interlocking story lines really bring out a deep, layered plot. I love the fact that this story isn’t linear, giving it a great ebb and flow.

I love the battle scenes!  They were precise and organized and I enjoyed that there were many and not like one huge one.  I think I like that part the most.

Jane’s relationship with William evolves here and we see a bit more emotional depth from them and it fit very good since anything physical would have taken away from the main plot.

That’s about all I can say since this is a series finale and I don’t want to spoil it too much for you.  Go read the series!!!

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Behind the Stars, Complete Series (Behind the Stars #1-6) by Leigh Talbert Moore

Behind the starsBlurb: Prentiss Puckett is certain of three things:
-Graduation is two weeks away.
-Summer only gets hotter in south Mississippi.
-She’s getting a job with air-conditioning.

She did not expect to be kidnapped walking to work.
And she never expected to become a hero.

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finishing the seriesbook bingo

5 stars!

This book clears two of my challenge spots.  An alien invasion Sci/Fi hosted by Just Another Girl and Her Books and a finishing the series hosted by Bea’s Book Nook.

This was not what I was expecting at all! I’ve read a few books by LTM and I expected the story line to be similar in this book.  I have never loved being wrong more in my life.  This story starts off with a bang.  Literally within the first few paragraphs you see what the main story line is.

You may be wondering how I could have NOT known about the alien invasion part when its clearly in the blurb.  Well, I don’t normally read blurbs if I can help it.  Most of my recs come from other book lovers and bloggers.  I rarely do any pro-active searching for a book. There are so many books out there and I’ll admit, I’m lazy when it comes to looking for books.  So I just put my ear to the ground and listen to others recs.

At any rate, this series started out a bit slow but it held my interest anyway.  There was intrigue, suspense, strength of character and hopelessness.  It ran the scope of emotion for me, as each character contributed to one extreme of emotion or another.

Prentiss  (Love that name) was a simple, country girl who held no ambition in life but to be the wife of a farmer.  She didn’t think she was special or smart and she wasn’t intent on climbing any ladders; be they social or professional.  She was content with her life.  And I liked that about her.  I too, am content with my life.  We see her growth as a character in this book and its subtle enough that I didn’t find it too fast.  The strengths she thought she saw were in others were actually being exhibited by her once she was out of the shadow of the one she planned on spending her life with.

It was a wonderful path we followed with her.  She was so unassuming in the beginning, and we go on a journey of self discovery with her, realizing that the slightest change in circumstance can make an enormous difference in how you look at yourself.  The romance subplot was just a bonus for me.  I would have been happy if it was just about her.

Just….go read this.  The first one is FREE!!!

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Mosaic (Dragonfly #4) by Leigh Talbert Moore

18631029Blurb: Love is stronger than time…

The future never goes as planned.
People are never what they seem.
Time changes everything.

So you want to know what happened to Anna and Julian? Well, listen up, because I’ve got the whole scoop. I’m Jules, btw, and I am an artist, as you already know if you’ve read Watercolor. What you might not know is I inherited my mother’s cute little newsy nose, thank you very much.

It’s high school reunion time, and everyone’s coming back to Fairview—everyone who’s not already there, mind you. What went wrong, who’s fault it was, and why the heck nobody knew about me… it’s all coming out.

Long-distance relationships rarely last, and a lot of water has passed under that bridge. Big Secrets will be exposed, and in the end we’ll know if that old saying is true: Love is stronger than time.

finishing the series

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5 stars

Re-read review

I find that I am even more upset about the lost time they had this go around.  I mean, 15 years!  That’s a lifetime to me!  There’s not much to add to my original review except to say I was a bit disappointed with how fast they got back together, I mean, 15 years is a long time to not say anything about a daughter…… and Julian didn’t seem that upset. I thought he would be more upset since he had the same thing happen to him.

Other than that, the reunion was a fantastic way for us to see how everyone grew up and changed.  I loved catching up on Jack, Rachel and Lucy and the rest of the crew.  It was great ending to a wonderful series.

**original review**

I have no words…..

Okay that is not entirely true. I loved this book. It made me feel so deeply.

Now since this is the last book in the series I thought I could do a little background.

How can one persons life go exactly where it should but leave behind a love that is so true and honest? Anna left Julian for a career in London because she thought he was seeing someone else when they were in college. But she has kept a secret for seventeen years that she needs him to know. Julian lied to Anna to make her follow her dreams because he thought she was unfaithful to him all those years ago in college.

Other peoples lies and influence on their relationship has had monumental consequences. And the loss of time is was really killed me. They can never get that back.

It’s just too much, I can’t even think straight after reading it. I have a massive book hangover and my feelings are all over the place resulting in a meloncholy state of mind at home and at work. That is how deeply this book has touched me.

Her writing is superb, from the very beginning the transitions and dialoge were all on point as well as the plot line being very deep and moving. I am not very analytical in my reviews being more of a hippie dealing with feelings rather than disecting a book literally. I know what I love and this author has IT!

I don’t know how else to tell you to go buy EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE BOOKS.

Just, dammit, you need to go read them. Now. Thank you and goodnight.

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Watercolor (Dragonfly #3) by Leigh Talbert Moore

watercolorBlurb: Finishing senior year is supposed to be the best time in a person’s life.
Finishing senior year as Julian’s girlfriend should’ve been the icing on the cake.
Knowing the secret that could change everything for him is the only thing threatening to spoil it all.
Until Jack returns.

Anna and Julian are together at last, and it’s as hot and happy as they knew it would be. The only problem is The Secret.

And Jack.

But while Anna is determined to fight for the guy she loves, she could still lose Julian when he discovers the truth she’s been helping to hide.

 

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5 stars

This one really took a different turn than I was expecting with their long distance relationship. I thought for sure we would get the HEA I was hoping for since book 1 but nooooo, LTM had to leave me in suspense again!  I mean, yeah, they are together but they have to go to seperate colleges hundreds of miles away from each other.  And their relationship is really in the beginning stages still!

Ok, I’m not really complaining.  This book is my second favorite in the series because we finally see the love blossom for Anna and Julian. Although I have to say that for someone who claims such strong feelings for Anna,  he didn’t seem like he was too broken up about the long distance as she was.  I know he’s got a lot going on with his new family but come on!  You pursued her through two books, now that you have her you are like “calm down, we’ll see each other when we see each other.”

Or maybe Anna is just so in love with him it seems she physically can’t live without him.  I think this really touches on how difficult long distance relationships can really be.  I don’t know how well I would have taken it to be away from the one I loved and just found for a whole four years.  That’s a long time to miss.  People drift away and embark on a new adventures and experiences, sometimes leaving each other behind.  You have ot be one strong person to do that I think.

That’s really all I can say about his book without spoiling it.  Go read the series!

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Undertow (Dragonfly #2) by Leigh Talbert Moore

undertowBlurb: Falling in love will pull you under…

-Bill Kyser has a plan to take the sandy farms of his hometown and turn them into a world-class tourist destination–and become a billionaire in the process.
-Alexandra “Lexy” LaSalle has a plan to change her life by becoming a world-famous artist.
-Meg Weaver has a plan to hold onto Bill no matter what she has to do.

Three friends, three dreams. One fatal decision will change all their lives forever.

In Dragonfly, Bill Kyser gave Anna the three journals that held the story behind the powerful developer’s seclusion and the damaged lives of his family members.

Anna hopes to find a way for Julian to know the truth, but as she digs deeper into the tragic events of the past, she realizes silence could be the only option.

Now she’s in an alliance with the man she formerly feared. And if Julian finds out what she knows, she could lose for good the boy she’s starting to love.

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5 stars

This one is probably my favorite out of the series.  It has the most drama, mystery and romance out of all four books. It it has some really great layers with flashbacks.

I think its awesome that Anna is the the outsider looking in to Lexy, Bill and Megan’s life. She provides an unbiased opinion and at the same time, you can see the parallel to her own relationship issues.  I really enjoyed the fact that she is so unsure with herself and she is aware that she needs time to process all her tumultuous feelings instead of jumping into something she will regret later.

Anna shows a lot of growth in this book I think.  She matures even more with her ability to keep a secret and her firm resolve to focus on herself.  She has some slip ups but does not give up.  She has great drive to be good in her chosen career and while she feels intimidated she doesn’t allow that to detour her quest for the truth.

Julian takes his attraction to Anna up a notch.  He is sweet, patient and isn’t afraid to show affection to her.  He starts to open up to her about himself and we dive beneath their surface feelings in this one.  I mean, how could you not love him when he starts revealing his fears and what drives his passion for art?  ::Le sigh::  He is showing Anna how much he cares for her by trusting her with his private thoughts.  I find this incredibly sexy.

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More Than Jamie Baker (Jamie Baker #2) by Kelly Oram

18690119Blurb: Jamie Baker, the only girl in the world with superpowers, has now accepted who she is and learned to control her power. Not to mention she has the best boyfriend on the planet. Life is finally looking good. But the day she witnesses an accident and decides not to save the guy out of fear of being exposed, she realizes that simply being Jamie Baker isn’t enough.
After seeing Jamie so wrecked with guilt, the ever-helpful Ryan Miller decides it’s time to make all of his fantasies about turning his girlfriend into an honest-to-goodness superhero become a reality.

Of course, coming up with a decent Super Name and fending off all of Ryan’s attempts to get her into spandex aren’t the only problems Jamie faces. The more her alter ego starts to make headlines, the harder it becomes for Jamie to hide her extracurricular activities from her best friend, the government, radical scientists, and the mysterious new guy who is determined to steal her from her boyfriend.

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3 stars    I’m just gonna go ahead and warn you now, this review may contain spoilers, cause I’m pretty pissed about Mike and Becky’s side story here.  

This book was sloooooow in the beginning. I didn’t and don’t like Teddy and I’m kinda irritated that this book wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. You see KO, when you keep writing great stuff, my expectations just keep going up, up, up. But this one may have missed the mark just a bit.  It was a good read, but it took too long to get to the meat of the story in my opinion.

The rape recover side story was going great. Until it wasn’t.  As a victim of sexual assault, I can totally understand Becky’s feelings of betrayal from Jamie.  It wasn’t Jamie’s place to forgive him nor was it her place to try and convince Becky he was sorry.  It isn’t about being sorry at this point, it’s about being a good support system for your friend.  And if Jamie was a victim like she ‘said’ she was, then she should  have known that.  You can’t force people to forgive others.  That’s not how it works. I may be a bit jaded because of my past but it is what it is.

Just cause he gets hurt doesn’t mean he deserves to be forgiven. In fact, some would call that Karma.  I don’t feel bad for him in the least.  He made his bed, he didn’t lie in it though.  Then he blamed his actions on alcohol. What about after you sobered up huh? Did he take responsibility then? Uh, no, he didn’t, then he sabotaged his own life because he’s an idiot.  And Ryan! ::shakes head:: Ryan is blissfully ignorant of the fact his best friend is a rapist!  Oh dear god, someone tell me this doesn’t reoccur in the next book. I might have to DNF it if that’s the case.

But back to the main story, well, Jamie allows some asshole Teddy to get in between her and her love interest, Ryan.  I called that plot from gate.  For someone as suspicious as Jamie was in her last book, I’m kinda shocked she didn’t realize it herself.  Maybe it was all the superhero stuff she had been doing, but I would think you would have been extra cautious if that were the case.  Okay, I may be rambling but this book took a long time for me to finish. I’m glad I finished it and am even reading the third one because one mediocre book doesn’t spoil the bunch IMO.

The ending of the main story was pretty fantastic though and if I ignore the rape side story, which I did for the most part, my 3* rating is accurate.

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