Book Review: The Dating Game by Jenny Proctor (Brenna Jacobs) 

Title: The Dating Game (ABCs of Love #0.5) The_Dating_Game

Author: Jenny Proctor (Brenna Jacobs) 

Published: June 2021 by Four Petal Press 

Source: Apple Books 

Type: ebook 

Blurb: 

Allie Carmichael is dating the wrong kind of man. To help Allie out of her dating rut, Allie’s sister, Cassie, challenges her to date 26 new men, all that have 26 different careers—one for every letter of the alphabet. 
 
When Eric’s neighbor, Allie, asks him for help with her new dating challenge, he’s reluctant to get involved. Mostly because he’d really like Allie to fall in love with him. She’s determined to finish out her dating challenge, but he’s a veterinarian. And V is at the end of the alphabet. 
 
Can Eric persuade Allie to abandon the list and see him as something more than just her best friend? 

Check it on Goodreads 

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This is one of the best novellas I have read. Usually, I stay away from short books, mostly because the action happens very quick and I don’t have time to get used to the characters or to learn their stories. I admit that I am a bit scared of short stories. However, “The Dating Game” was a very pleasant surprise. The pace is perfect, we have enough background to understand who our characters are and we have enough action to become captivated.

Allie accepts her sister’s challenge to date outside her comfort zone, but she has to date guys with professions starting with each letter of the alphabet. She already covered “A”, for attorney. She has to find the rest. Since her friend and neighbor Eric is the guy who knows almost everybody in town, she asks for his support. Little does she know that Eric wants more than friendship between them. Too bad he’s a vet and has to wait an entire list of other guys until Allie can date him.  

What I mostly liked about this book is how comfortable it feels. The writing, while simple and easy, gave a cozy feeling and made me enjoy it even more. I had fun reading it and I felt every struggle our main characters went through.

Allie wants to find her special someone, a guy that can understand her commitment to her job, a guy that can be both polite and fun, good looking and intelligent, preferably not a dog owner. Eric wants to win Allie’s heart, but she must accept his two dogs Daisy and Bo. Slowly, he devises a plan and he counts on his two four-leg friends to help.

Cover Review: I like the colors and the fun and crazy that this cover depicts. The illustration works perfectly with the story. It’s a great choice.

Favorite Quote: “I ran because kissing Eric felt like finding my forever. And that is utterly terrifying.” Read more of my thoughts about this quote in my Weekly Quote article.

All in all, this was a beautiful book and my expectations were met almost completely. I would have liked to have a bit more fun during Allie’s blind dates, which is why I am not awarding my full 5 stars. Otherwise, I do encourage you to try it and let me know what you think about it.

Until next time, happy reading 😊

4 stars

About the Author:Jenny_Proctor

AFTER A RECENT MOVE to Charleston, SC I’m learning to love the beach as much as I love the North Carolina mountains where I grew up. It’s a little hotter here in the low country, but I’m embracing the heat and all that comes with it. I love to spend time outdoors with my husband, Josh, our six children, and a growing assortment of pets. But also? I love hanging out at home with a great movie or a favorite book and eating delicious food that, when I’m lucky, I didn’t have to prepare myself.

Website || Goodreads

P.S.: you can read more of my thoughts about The Dating Game in my Moody Melon article

 

Once a Book Lover, Always a Book Lover

Hey All,

(while I was working on this article, I’ve noticed that I have not posted anything since January! I cannot even remember if I’ve finished those books or not…)

It has been a while! My writing feels rusty somehow and my books have started to pile up. There has been a lot going on lately. I’d like to say things have settled down but I am still at a crossroad professionally and personally. Anxiety, stress and tiredness have settled in (quite comfortably I’d say). At some point, all will be OK. At some point, I will reach that point…

For now, I am coming back to the world that has never rejected me. I am coming back to reading and reviewing, with a heart more open than before. I’ve grown so much in this universe of beautiful covers, chapters and pages and I feel I haven’t given it enough. Lately I was looking at book reading and reviewing more like a chore. I took too much upon myself. Maybe I will read less but write more. Who knows? Of one thing I am certain: this blog is here to stay and this book blogger is eager to come back.

I am officially open to book reviews, author interviews and promos. I will keep open the paid promotions and beta reading services, so check out the services page for details – as mentioned before, these are in place to help maintain this blog.  I am looking forward to working with you all amazing authors out there 🥰

Come back for an update of my weekend reading list. My weekly quote articles will be back every Monday as usual. After that, may the amazing books guide my articles 🙂

Until next time, happy reading 📚!
(Oh, how I’ve missed that!)

Weekly Quote #22 

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Happy new 2022 Monday!  

Happy new Weekly Quote article!  

I hope you all have started the week with a positive attitude and a good book. This is not just a new week, it’s the first of 2022, which means we have to make it amazing. I am definitely trying a new approach, with better vibes. Let’s see how long it lasts :)) 

Since last week I was telling you about Idol by Kristen Callihan, today I have two quotes from the second book in the series “Managed”. I a, telling you, this was such a delight! I will tell you more in my review, but until then, here are two of my favorite quotes: 

“Oh, I bet you’d find that marvelous; all of us helpless women just smiling and nodding. Though I’m afraid it would never work on me.” “Of course not,” he deadpans. “I’m stuck next to the one afflicted with an apparently incurable case of verbal diarrhea.” “Says the man who is socially constipated.”  

“You know, I’m not actually comfortable being an asshole to women.” “Really?” I say, biting the corner of my lip to keep from smiling. “But you do it so well.”  

Yes, it’s funny, with a bit of a serious side. It has a little of everything. Let me know in the comments if these quotes sparked your interest. My review will be up sometime this week 🙂  

Until next time, Happy Reading!  

Book Review: Idol by Kristen Callihan 

Idol by Kristen Callihan

Title: Idol (VIP #1)

Author: Kristen Callihan 

PublishedJune 7th 2016 by Plain Jane  

Source: Scribd 

Type: Audiobook 

Blurb: 

Libby 
 
I found Killian drunk and sprawled out on my lawn like some lost prince. With the face of a god and the arrogance to match, the pest won’t leave. Sexy, charming, and just a little bit dirty, he’s slowly wearing me down, making me crave more. 
 
He could be mine if I dare to claim him. Problem is, the world thinks he’s theirs. How do you keep an idol when everyone is intent on taking him away? 
 
Killian  
As lead singer for the biggest rock band in the world, I lived a life of dreams. It all fell apart with one fateful decision. Now everything is in shambles. 
 
Until Liberty. She’s grouchy, a recluse—and kind of cute. Scratch that. When I get my hands on her, she is scorching hot and more addictive than all the fans who’ve screamed my name. 
 
The world is clamoring for me to get back on stage, but I’m not willing to leave her. I’ve got to find a way to coax the hermit from her shell and keep her with me. Because, with Libby, everything has changed. Everything.   

Check it on Amazon & Goodreads 

My Review

This story is not only a romance, but as well a journey to rediscover oneself and become a better person. I may have enjoyed this last part more than the love story. But let me tell you more than what the blurb is describing. 

Libby meets Killian at (maybe) the lowest point in his life. Hiding away in an old house, in a small town where hopefully nobody will recognize him, he’s taking time away from his band, his fame and his life in general even. Oh, the drunk part you’ve already read about, but the scene in the book is fantastic! From the first pages we see Libby’s strength and her independence. The fact that she doesn’t recognize him makes Killian act more naturally and they begin a beautiful friendship, which in the end will lead to music – of the heart and the real kind as well. Will they stay together when reality strikes? That’s the million dollar question: will fame change everything? 

I was mentioning earlier that this is also a journey of self-discovery. Killian has lost his motivation and even his inspiration. He is tired, drained even. Recent events in their band affected all members, some in more ways than others. He is lost. Libby gives him a breath of fresh air, a chance to feel normal again. For her, Killian is the key to her own music. He opens the door to her dreams, but also her fears. They will find strength in one another, they will find even inspiration. This would be the first part of the story.  

The second part is focused on the life Killian has on stage, with his band, but as well on Libby’s career. I don’t want to get into details, as I may spoil a big part of the action, but there are challenges that their relationship will have to face and there are feelings that will be left unsaid. Loved it!  

In terms of the writing, even if this book has 339 pages (according Goodreads), it felt like a lot more. Not in a bad way, not at all. I was so drawn into the story and I was so caught up in the characters that I lost track of time. I love the fact that the author put a lot of attention into the reactions each character has to the major events, such as Libby finding out who Killian is, or later the team’s reaction to her presence or Libby’s attitude toward her potential career. It all felt natural.  

Since I listened to this book on Scribd, I can say that both narrators did a great job. I loved how each used the inflexions to portray key details of our characters’ personalities. I had no problem understanding who was who in the scenes where more characters appeared.  

Oh, and speaking about the rest of the characters, I have a feeling that the next books in the series will be fantastic as well. We find out a little about them, not about all but the main ones. I cannot wait to tell you about their stories as well (I’ve finished book 2 and I am almost half way into book 3 already).  

Ok, time to wrap this up. I decided to give the book 4 out of 5 stars, mainly because at some point nothing happened and the action felt a bit slow. Also, the tension in the end was not as intense as I was expecting. This does not mean that I enjoyed it less, absolutely not. I loved the book and I loved the narration, but the reviewer in me is acting out. Let me know in the comments below if you’ve read the book or if you’ve read any other series by this author. For me it was the first book and I cannot wait to read her other series as well.  

Until next time, happy reading!  

Cover ReviewOh, I love the cover! It represents the story perfectly. The stage lights, Killian in the middle of it all, but keeping his mystery somehow. Yes, the cover is awesome.  

Favorite Quote: Baby doll, I could assert my manly dominance, thump my chest, and declare you’re mine. But it wouldn’t mean a damn thing if I’m not yours in return.  

4 stars

About The Author Kristen Callihan

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a RITA winner and three-time nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.  

2022 – Happy New Year!  

Happy 2022 bookish friends! I hope you’ll have an amazing year, will love, health, happiness and good people around! May each day smile upon you and may you discover 1000 other amazing worlds in the books you plan to read! 

I’ve drafted some of my bookish and non-bookish resolutions for the new year and hopefully I will manage to accomplish them. I’ve failed 2021 on so many levels. I’ve failed my book blogging activity, I’ve failed professionally and personally as well. At least more to the end of the year, I came to my senses, partially at least and I’ve established some goals:

Bookish Resolutions 

  1. Read and review 100 books: usually I would say “read at least 100 books”. Maybe I’ll surprise myself. 
  2. Increase my article diversity: a goal I had for 2021 but failed!
  3. Stay away from reading slumps: not yet sure how I’ll manage this
  4. Read more Fantasy: I would like to say I had this planned for 2021 as well, but it doesn’t matter. I hardly read anything last year… 
  5. Be consistent with my posting schedule: that’s a challenge. 

Non-Bookish Resolutions 

  1. Plan my days: I am the daughter of Chaos! If I don’t see my tasks for the day, I am lost! Lucky me, I found a pretty nice planner the other day in a library. It’s small, so I can carry it everywhere. No escaping ! 
  2. Continue developing my sewing skills: this means sewing constantly and also sewing something else besides the things I am comfortable sewing
  3. Be more productive at my daily job: yeah, next?
  4. Have stability, in my personal life: I wish I could give you details, but I’m not there yet.
  5. Grow my sewing business: I have a plan with a friend. Let’s see how far we can take it during 2022. 
  6. Linked with prior resolution: start a vision board for my sewing business. I am not sure how to start one but my favorite youtubers have some videos up which I’ll check for inspiration. 
  7. Leave the office at a decent time: could someone print this and mail it to me so I can sign it will blood? Cause I am not committing to this resolution otherwise!  
  8. Linked to item 1: organize my time so I don’t have to give up the things I enjoy. This means: time for my daily job, my sewing business, my blog and also my personal stability. 

2021 may not have been the best for me, but I plan on making 2022 better. The past is the past, we closed this chapter a few hours ago, time to write a new one. Be positive, be inspired and be amazing! 

Happy new year

Until next time (there WILL be a next time!), Happy Reading! 

Wishing you well…

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

And this is not just a line in a Christmas song. It really is a wonderful time, with good food, good people and good deeds. Or at least I hope it is the case for you all.

I’ve been out of the blogging world for quite some time. I have not read as much as I would have liked during my absence, but I am slowly catching up with e-mails and books I need to finish. Having a full (+over) time job, starting a sewing business and managing a book blog got a bit overwhelming.  My anxiety was to the highest levels. I am not saying things are better now, but I am willing to find a rhythm to make this work.

Enough talking, more actions! And this you will see in the coming days. I have three reviews pending to be posted, 3 books that were so, so good and I cannot wait to share my thoughts with you. I will get back to my bookish and non-bookish TBRs and wrap ups as well, with the first one being in January. I hope we will grow again together and I hope we’ll have lots and lots of bookish talks.

In the meantime, enjoy the holidays with the people close to your heart and spread the love to those who need it! Merry Christmas!

Christmas picture

Weekly Quote #21 

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A new week!  

I don’t know how you guys do it, but I usually plan my week on a Sunday, then spend Monday planning how to act on … my plan ! Yup, then at the end of the day I am sad that I did not do anything from my Sunday list. Oh well, I’m strange like that.  

However, this past month was not a complete waste. Even if it was not visible here on the blog, I had a lot of bookish related activities and I read a few interesting books. So here I am with a quote from one of them: “Seeking Vengeance” by Eden Summers. You already know how much I love the Hunting Her series and this book is not far behind at all.  

“Don’t cry, Lyla,” he whispers. “We both know tears are a privilege for those who lack guilt.” 

There are two reasons why I love this quote. The first is because Cole Torian remains true to his personality and this line screams Cole Torian! The sarcastic tone, the mockery and the subtle offense are just a few of his abilities and I absolutely adore him. The second reason is the truth that this statement has. One could argue that indeed tears are just for the innocent. The guilty don’t get to feel relief by crying.  

My thoughts about this book are conflicting. I am taking my time with the review, but you will read it soon, this I promise you.  

That’s it for today. I wish you all an amazing week with amazing books! Until next time, Happy Reading!  

Book Review: Enemies With Benefits by Roxie Noir 

TitleEnemies With Benefits  Enemies_with_benefits_roxie_noir

Author: Roxie Noir

Published: September 14th 2020

Source: read on Scribd

Type: e-book

Blurb:

Eli Loveless was my nemesis from the first day of kindergarten until we graduated high school. Everything I did, he had to do better – and vice versa. The day he left town was the best day of my life. 

Ten years later, the day he came back was the worst. Now he’s my co-worker. 

Grown-up Eli Loveless is sexy as sin. He’s hotter than asphalt in the summer. The irritating kid I once knew is gone, and he’s been replaced by a man with green eyes, perfect abs, and a cocky smile. It’s bad that I want him. It’s worse that he wants me back. 

There are looks. There are smirks. There are smiles that make my panties burst into flame. And then there’s a shared kiss that leads to the hottest night of my life. This is no office romance. This is a five-alarm fire. 

What’s a girl to do when the man I can’t stand is the one I can’t stop lusting after? 

Enter into a friends-with-benefits agreement, of course. 

No dates. No relationship. Just blisteringly hot sex, because if there’s one person I could never fall for, it’s Eli. …right? 

Check it on Amazon & Goodreads

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With joy and pride I am writing this: I have finished a book!!! And I am writing a review for a book that I have just finished! How awesome is that?! I am sorry, I may be a little too eager here but it feels like ages since I sat down and actually wrote a review. I’ve missed this and I didn’t even realize it until recently. Somehow it all came back and I plan on making sure I won’t lose it again. But that’s not the topic here. Let’s talk about this book! 

Enemies to Lovers is book 1 in the Loveless Brothers series by the amazing Roxie Noir. We meet Eli and Violet and they’ve been at each other’s throats since they were kids, trying to best each other in every possible competition. Little did they expect for a kiss to change everything. But you know how one kiss leads to another and then another and then all of a sudden they become something close to friends with benefits? Well, more on the benefits side of the saying. The road they take to realizing that there can be more than competition, more than just benefits between them is extremely fun, tasty and oh so hot! 

We have an amazing couple. Eli is a typical good guy, so focused on what he loves. He’s confident and reliable and that’s how he manages to get past Violet’s walls. She on the other hand has always focused on being the best, outsmarted Eli at everything she could. Life has not been too kind with her, as she had to put her dreams on hold to take care of family. They have this intense chemistry, it’s like a fire burning right in your hands when you’re holding this book. 

I think my fist and only issue with the two characters is precisely the one I’ve mentioned above. Eli knows exactly what he wants. He knows what his passion is and he wants to follow his passion for cooking. Violet didn’t seem passionate about much. Yes, she knows how to get things done, she is a good planner. But I would have expected her to be his equal in terms of passion for… something. Don’t get me wrong, I can move past this aspect, but they just feel a little unbalanced. 

In terms of writing and pacing, Enemies with Benefits may seem like a long book . But the fun parts, the easy flow of dialogue and everything in between is so enjoyable, you won’t even feel the pages flying. There are so many quotable lines and so many scenes at which I was laughing out loud. Everything is there with a purpose, I would not jump over any line. That’s how the couple becomes stronger and stronger. 

All in all, if you’re in the mood for a super fun enemies to lovers, “Enemies With Benefits” is a great option! I can tell you that the series only gets better and the Loveless family is a handful 🙂 

Until next time, Happy Reading!

Cover Review:  I don’t think there is something to like or dislike about the cover. It doesn’t stand out, as it’s your classic “hot guy on the cover” type. Not that impressed 

Favorite Quote: There are a lot of quotes I like, but just to pick one:

“Are you Buddies?” Daniel asks.

I just spread my hands and shrug dramatically. 

“I don’t know,” I say. “Usually I at least like the people I have sex with, This is new territory.”

About The Author roxie_noir

I love writing sexy, alpha men and the headstrong women they fall for.

My weaknesses include: beards, whiskey, nice abs with treasure trails, sarcasm, cats, prowess in the kitchen, prowess in the bedroom, forearm tattoos, and gummi bears.

Weekly Quote #19

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Happy Monday!

I hope your week started at least as great as mine and I hope the next 6 days will be 10 times better 😊

As I used to do a while back, I’m returning with my weekly quotes, hoping this will be an inspiration for you to pick up new titles or for us to comment on the books I am currently reading 😊 With this in mind, for today I have a quote from “Enemies With Benefits” by Roxie Noir. I still have 200 pages to go through, but so far I love it a lot!

Before she can say a word, I kiss the hell out of her. Violet’s arms go around me. I kiss her harder. I kiss her like I’ve been to war. I kiss her like I haven’t seen her in years, her soft warmth flooding through me, bright against the cold room.

I kiss her like I won’t be sleeping much tonight, either.

What I liked about this quote is the intensity of the moment, the passion Eli puts into that one kiss. All that hate, all those challenges they faced in their adolescence are now transformed into something else entirely. All that energy is now a burning passion. Show me a lady in this world that does not dream of such a kiss!

With this quote now in place, excuse me while I dream about Eli for a moment. Enjoy your week and until next time, happy reading!

Book Review: Filthy Rich Prince by Lynn Raye Harris

Title: Filthy Rich Prince (Filthy Rich Billionaires #2) Filthy Rich Price by Lynn Raye Harris

Author: Lynn Raye Harris  

Published: January 26th 2021 by Amazon Digital Services 

Source: ARC received in exchange for review 

Type: e-copy 

Blurb: 

Single mother Lily Morgan knows what it’s like to struggle. Not a day goes by that she doesn’t work hard to survive. But when she’s thrown in jail in a foreign country, she has no idea she’s about to come face to face with the prince who took her virginity and left her pregnant two years ago. 

Nico Cavelli might’ve released Lily from his dungeon, but he’s not letting her go. She stole his son and heir, and he can’t forgive that. He’ll make her his princess – and he’ll make her pay for keeping his child a secret. 

What he will never do is show her any mercy. 

Or fall in love with her… 

NOTE: This is a Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella romance with an alphahole hero who is transformed by love in the end. If you don’t like angsty reads with dramatic conflict, best keep scrolling! There will be some bad decisions. There will be bossiness. And there will be groveling by the end. You were warned. 

Check it on Amazon & Goodreads 

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To be completely honest, there are parts of this story that I’ve really enjoyed and there are parts that were frustrating. We have two main characters, each with their own responsibilities. There is an interesting contrast that I will detail in the following lines, we have communication issues, but as well some scenes that were forced here and there.  

In his desire to escape his royal life, Nico has an affair with Lily. Even if their connection is intense and they both seem to want more, ne never shows up to their second date. Time passes and Lily has a beautiful boy. She is determined to provide him the life she did not have and her struggle is for the little boy only. When her job sends her to Monebianco for an assignment, things get complicated. Her encounter with Nico is nothing as the guy who stole her heart months ago. He is now cold, arrogant,  insufferable and an overall jerk.  

I loved how Lily and Nico were dedicated to their duties. She has one life to care for, while Nico has an entire kingdom. Their past is their motivation, but at some point, the child and the kingdom will be in conflict. Nico is more affected by all this, but he’s not willing to give up his child. Political intrigue, family conflict and a marriage that needs to be set on the right course – these are just some of the elements that can be found in Filthy Rich Prince.  

However, I feel that some of the scenes were not very consistent in the overall book. For example Nico’s political choice of a bride was unstable. His connections or “secret services” seem to be extremely efficient, but when actually needed, they don’t work properly. I can’t get into details unfortunately. Lily at some point becomes a bit spoiled. Even if in the beginning she is more than content to lead a simple life, she adjusts well to the royal life.  

To conclude, I think it was an ok book. It was entertaining, until the conflict becomes too much. I wanted to be blown away but…. I was not. I did not dislike it, but it does not stand out.     

Let me know your thoughts on the book, let me know if you’ve read it or anything else by the author in the comments below. Until next time, happy reading 😊   

 Cover Review: I like the gold color in the title. It makes me think about royalty. But that’s about it. The picture behind the tile is a great shot for a model, nothing that would make me think about a prince  

3 stars

About The Author Lynn Raye Harris

Lynn Raye Harris is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sizzling military romantic suspense novels and contemporary romance novels. She lives in Alabama with her husband (former military), her cat, and her American Saddlebred horse.  

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