Cherry On Top: March 2016 Top Picks

March 31, 2016 6:01 pm Published by 14 Comments

It’s officially spring and we have a great selection of books that made our top picks this month. This months giveaway is a little different than what we’ve done in the past but be sure to check out the details below.

The Sutherlands by VariousLola’s Pick | The Sutherlands by Various Authors

This March gem peaked my interest when an ARC of Shadow Ranch was provided to me by Robin Covington. The short story marks the author’s foray into M/M romance and lovers of this genre can welcome and celebrate a new voice. While the suspenseful undertones and scorching chemistry between her two leads was enough to check off a reading win; I proceeded to purchase the family saga boxset to see how the other short stories would fair. Not only could I not stop reading but I got introduced to some great new authors in Avery Flynn, Kelly Jamieson, Abby Niles and Joya Ryan. The stories delve into a gamut of tropes and feature some great characters. If the Sutherlands are looking to adopt a new family member, count me in.

 

The SecretaryNikki’s Pick | The Secretary by Meg Brooke

This is most definitely not a book to be judged by its cover, which I don’t think does the book justice at all. This is a historical–a smart, well-researched, beautifully written historical–and its packaging doesn’t relay that at all.

I haunt a number of Amazon’s discussion threads, and this book came up as a recommendation on the down-on-her-luck-heroine themed list. I’ve received a number of excellent recommendations via these threads, and The Secretary was no different. Clarissa Martin, our heroine, is on the cusp of homelessness after the rather sudden death of her father, who’d left her virtually penniless. Sorely lacking in the qualifications for either a governess, seamstress or mistress–the most commonly accepted areas of employment for a female in 1833–and having no marriage prospects, Clarissa decides to use the skills she developed serving as her father’s political secretary to land a job. Since she was also sorely lacking in the equipment required to be a secretary–that is, a penis–she bought herself a wig and some men’s clothing, tied her tatas down and found her a fella in desperate need of her skills.

There’s a great deal to love about this book. Brooke’s attention to detail as pertains the various political intrigues introduced in the story left the historian in me well-pleased, and Clarissa is a smart, determined, adorably quirky heroine that I couldn’t help but love. Anders, our hero, is a bit more beta than alpha, but Clarissa is not the type of woman who would’ve responded well to high-handed behavior. His tendency to step back and allow her adequate time to process her thoughts made perfect sense within the confines of the story, and made me love him all the more.

The Duke and I by Julia QuinnTeena’s Pick | The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

This wonderful historical was a birthday gift from Nikki. BIG…HUGE Thank you!

In all honesty when I read Nikki’s other gift, Linda Howards After The Night, I thought that it was going to be my March Cherry! Damn fine read..Just sayn’!

Simon and Daphne just won my heart.

Daphne Bridgerton is smart, clever and sassy! (Just my kind of heroine) Simon Basset comes across her in a library with an over exuberant suitor. Daphne deals with the situation with a right hook! Daphne one my heart at this moment! As one of 8 brother and sisters, three of them older brothers, she has come away with skills! Her family is full of exuberance, noise, meddlesome behaviour and an abundance of love.

Simon, on the other hand, was shunned by his father because of a speech impairment. His childhood and Daphne’s were so very different. Daphne is like no other woman Simon has encountered. Simon comes up with a plan the helps him avoid matchmaking ton Mamas and affords Daphne the masculine attention that will snag her a suitable match. It cant fail! Can it!?

Porn StarTJ‘s Pick | P*RN STAR by Laurelin Paige & Sierra Simone

I don’t watch porn, never have, I just don’t get it. Watching other people have sex to me is just gross. Sex is very intimate and should be private IMO. However I totally get that porn is a massive money making industry. I certainly don’t judge folks who watch porn by any means…I’m not a prude ya know! So why did I choose to read this book? More importantly why was it my fave of the month?

I chose to read it because I read The Fixed Trilogy, by Laurelin Paige and really enjoyed them. So I figured what the heck why not read P*RN STAR right? Plus it intrigued me. You know guilty pleasure’s and all. What I did not expect was to really like it. I actually loved it. I learned a lot. The authors certainly did the research needed. The sex is scorching hot.

Logan is this huge porn star who actually just kinda fell into the business. He’s genuinely sweet and makes sure, while doing a scene his co stars are completely comfortable and at ease before filming. Apparently in that business not all women are treated with respect. Logan is a huge advocate for women being treated the way they need to be treated in this particular business.

In walks Devi, and Logan’s world turns upside down. Can two people in this industry fall in love and still continue to work? Or is it just too hard knowing the person you love will be having lots of sex with other folks? Told from alternating POV’s with lots of laughs…oh and did I mention the sex?

249209012556466527252717Carmela‘s Pick | The Off-Campus series (The Deal/The Mistake/The Score) by Elle Kennedy

I could tell I was on a reading high reading three books back to back to back in a week! I have long given up on reading college romances which explained my tardiness to this wonderful party. Well, better late than never because this series is fantastic. I laughed, I swooned and got hot under the collar with these Briar uni hockey boys. I will put Elle Kennedy up there with Emma Chase as top mistresses of writing the male POV. And Dean Di-Laurentis, oh boy, not only could he lay the pipe, he could also lay the witty remarks and outrageous situations. He sort of reminds me of that nutty but loveable Mal Ericson of Kylie Scott’s Play. I cannot wait for the fourth book in this series, which will be about Tucker, the sexy ginger in the house.

27801521Hope‘s Pick | Licked by Brooke Blaine

Earlier this month I reviewed Hooker (http://www.scandaliciousbookreviews.com/reviews/review-hooker-by-brooke-blaine/), which was book 2 in the L.A. Liaisons series.  I liked it so much and since I did not read book 1, Licked and it is available on KU, I hit it up.  I liked it more than Hooker!  There is a little more romance and I absolutely love the cleverness of this series.  From the titles of the chapters, to the quirks of the characters, this amusing book is excellent.  It starts off trying to be a love triangle, but don’t worry…it doesn’t even come close.  Great romance, great friendships, great banter among ALL characters. This story is funny and cute! A VERY easy read!

 

bring me backback ForeverLee‘s Pick | Bring Me Back/Back Forever by Karen Booth

I know I am late to the party with this choice and you can read full reviews by Scandal previously on the blog, and  I know I am listing 2 books here, but I just can’t split them. Karen Booth’s story’s about Christopher Penman and Claire just had me from the first page and never let go.They also have given me my first book hangover for 2016. Being an 80’s girl, I loved the premise of a mature couple close to my age, with a back story relating to one of the most influential times of my life and centred around music, which has always been and still is a constant in my life. I just adore the characters in these books, Christopher is a dreamboat, Claire is loveable and the supporting cast of characters engaging, with realistic, witty and down to earth dialogue. I instantly felt the chemistry between Christopher and Claire and their maturity meant that each scenario was dealt with realistically and with a depth that gave me a real connection to them. The pacing and storyline was fantastic and it took me back to an age when Duran Duran posters lined my walls, and my sketchbook was filled with drawings of John Taylor and Simon LeBon. I read these 2 books back to back, followed by Claire’s Diary, which is a free download from Karen’s website, and finished with Save A Prayer. An excellent series overall.  

8534799Rebeca‘s Pick | Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole

My love affair with the Immortals After Dark series continues and found me as much in love with Regin the Radiant as the hero Kresley Cole paired her with in Dreams of a Dark Warrior.  Regin is a strong, self-assured and extremely selfless Valkyrie. Her loyalty to her sisters is a close second in endearing qualities to her outrageous dialogue. Declan Chase, aka Aidan the Fierce won me over in spades too. I enjoyed his journey to redemption from the evil, twisted machine he was manipulated into becoming from a young age.  This story moved the entire series forward even as it revisited events in books past, but from other points of view.  It reinforced the gravity of where the creatures of the Lore find themselves leading up to the Accession and the grim battle they face not among themselves but against humans that wish to see them eradicated. Up until now, I’ve been leaning towards the Lykae as the strongest contention of heroes to lay claim to my heart but sweet merciful hell, the things this berserker promised.

Not a MistakeSunny‘s Pick | Not a Mistake by Amber Belldene

Not a Mistake features two faith leaders who engage in a one-night stand that results in a pregnancy. I read this book to see if I could challenge my own preconceived notions of about sexuality and the clergy. Amber Belldene’s gives us insight into the world of faith leaders (She is an Episcopal Priest.)  Ms. Belldene shares her expertise in the field and delivers the story with care. Modern leaders, especially single leaders, must deal with multiple concerns that go beyond their congregation and their relationship with God. They have to consider how as healthy human beings, they will express their sexuality. This “off the beaten path” book is a highlight read.

 

 

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