It’s the end of the month and that means two things…our Cherry on Top for January list and our end of the month giveaway! January’s Cherry on Top picks range from paranormal to historical to yes, even the hotly debated contemporary. See, all is not lost in the contemporary world, even Nikki found one worthy of a mention! As always, please remember our Cherry on Top picks are not necessarily new releases for the month of January, just books we read in January that left a good impression on our souls.
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it until all of you guys are reading this series…Ella Frank can build a paranormal world worthy of your time and effort. Ella Frank writes compelling stories with interesting twists that will leave you stunned into submission. Ella Frank’s vampires are fuck hot. Ella Frank is an author that should be on your stop drop and roll list. What she does in ISADORA is nothing short of genius. The Greek mythology slant on vampires coupled with well, an interesting menagerie of couplings will pull you into this tale and make you question the good vs. bad scenario from chapter one. I can honestly say, I have no idea where she is taking us on this journey but I am enjoying the fuck out of this ride! Start at the beginning, Alasdair.
I have a love/hate relationship with Emma Chase’s heroes. Basically, I love to hate them. I totally get the appeal of their snarky, man-child humor, but it wears on my nerves. That grating was certainly exacerbated by the fact that the Legal Briefs Series is written almost entirely from the male point of view. The male perspective is all sharp edges and blunt corners, and I find myself craving the buffer of the female mind. We lose a great deal of insight into the heroine without the female point of view, as well as the softness that comes with the feminine perspective. That being said, there are few authors who write men as well as Chase, and no author I’ve read who is as capable of crafting a three-dimensional, fully-fleshed character completely without the benefit of their internal dialogue. While I was amused by the goings-on of Drew et al. and found Overruled and Sustained enjoyable, Appealed was the first Emma Chase book I absolutely loved. Brent was a pleasant surprise, very, very different from the man I’d built in my mind after the first two books, and Kennedy was . . . perfectly imperfect. Best friends as children, Kennedy and Brent fell out after high school, when he did next to nothing to alleviate the bullying his girlfriend, the stereotypical beautiful-inside-but-rotten-through-and-through mean girl, showered on Kennedy. The shit this girl is subjected to would break a lesser woman, and it certainly took chunks out of our heroine, but she came out the other side stronger, smarter, snarkier and a whole hell of a lot more guarded. I wanted to smack Brent about his head on more than one occasion, but I appreciated that he went all-in with Kennedy very early on and set about righting the wrongs of the past. Both characters give us the very worst of the ugly they carry inside and still manage to pull at your heartstrings, and Kennedy’s journey from victim to valor was an ass kicking, girl power pleasure to read.
I reviewed this book for the blog early in the month and despite some valiant contenders this book is the winner. By far one of the best suspense series i have read in a long while. Please be warned this is the second book in the series and is not a stand alone. Read these books in order otherwise you will be lost and not know who did what to whom and who is supposedly dead!! I will say no more!
I read a lot of books in January and most of them were forgettable but this one was not. Nina our awkward heroine and one syllable Sam our sweet and broken hero were the perfect match. Sam makes Nina own her crazy, and Nina gives Sam a reason to love again. This book was refreshing and different. It was such a pleasure to read. My only problem with it was I didn’t want it to end.
This is the first book by this author that I’ve read and it won’t definitely be the last. It is a revenge, second chance romance with an interesting plot twist and loveable primary and secondary characters. The writing is superb, filled with chuckle inducing banter as well as heartfelt moments that left me all teary eyed. Note to the author: Can we have Tabby and Connor’s book, please? (PS – Scandal note: This one is free on KU at the time of this post)
Highlands’ Lairds Series
by Julie Garwood
The Secret #1
January has been a month of rereads. The Secret and Ransom are two of my all time favorite reads. I’ve read them for years, so many times. It is hard to choose which is my favorite. I love the friendship between Judith and Francis Catherine and I love the bravery of Gillian. Don’t even get me started on Iain, Brodick and Ramsay. These books are simply delightful.
After finishing 2015 in such a book funk, I needed a good start to the New Year. Luckily I have had a great month of reading. With so many good books to choose from I can place myself completely in Tania’s shoes when trying to choose just one, but choose one I must, so my pick for January is Risking It All by Tessa Bailey. I know I am late to this series but with Boiling Point sitting on my Kindle taunting me I had some serious catchup to do. Apart from Ms Bailey’s excellent skill in writing a dirty talking Alpha male, this story had so much more for me. I loved Bowen and Sera, the way they bared their souls to each other, their actions that spoke louder than words, the emotions in the decisions they made and the way I felt so involved in each encounter. Both characters were complex, each with their own inner demons to battle and I thoroughly enjoyed their road to redemption and love. The whole story for me felt so intimate and the suspense just added another engaging layer for me to what was a well rounded story.
LOVE IN THE LIGHT (Hearts in Darkness #2)
by Laura Kaye
Amazon | Goodreads
The full length follow-up to Laura Kaye’s Hearts in Darkness novella, Love in the Light picks up the story of what happens with Makenna James and Caden Grayson after their chance meeting in an elevator stuck by power outage and their resulting love affair. Ms. Kaye won me over with her ability to pack such a detailed and engaging love story into a short collection of pages in that first story and I was thrilled when I learned a sequel was coming. Love in the Light delivered more than I could have hoped for. Caden is not your everyday idiot that’s just too afraid to give himself to a good woman. He has legitimate issues battling PTSD and clinical depression and Laura Kaye does a phenomenal job of pulling you into the heartbreaking whirlwind of Caden’s beautiful mind. This story takes us on a journey of his realization that he needed to fix himself in order to be the man that he wants and needs to be, as well as the man that Makenna needs and more importantly, deserves.
Mercury Striking is book one in Rebecca Zanetti’s new series, The Scorpius Syndrome. It’s a dark and dangerous dystopian with a premise so possible, it is terrifying. Edgy characters and non-stop action makes this a book you cannot put down.
RUSH (Mackenzie Family)
by Robin Covington
I had the pleasure of getting an early ARC of Rush by Robin Covington. This 100-page novella packs a punch and kicks off a new project within the world of Lilianna Hart’s Mackenzie Series for those familiar with the popular romantic suspense collection. Several other authors such as Avery Flynn, Kimberly Kincaid, Cristin Harber and Christopher Rice are all involved in contributing to the extension of this world and for Covington this book kicks off her foray into erotic romance. The reclusive Atticus is not only forced out of his mountain hideaway for an important case but he is also required to collaborate with his ex-wife, Olivia. A woman born with a silver spoon and sticky fingers, one can easy conclude that the dynamic between these two is convoluted, as you’ll get. It’s action-packed and Robin has planted the seed for more great things to come for Atticus and Olivia. Rush releases February 16 by the publisher of 1001 Dark Nights collection, Evil Eye Concepts and is bound to appeal to lovers of suspense with a dose of eroticism.
Normally our end of the month giveaway is a selection of e-books from the month. I’m switching things up a wee bit because I still have quite a few paperback books to giveaway so this month’s prize is a random box of books. I can tell you, it will be a nice mix of very new releases and a couple of older ones, too! To enter, just do what the rafflecopter tells you!
Scandal &Tags: 2016, appealed, chasing crazy, cherry on top, Ella Frank, emma chase, Giveaway, isadora, january, jt geissinger, julie garwood, kelly siskind, laura kaye, lexi blake and shayla black, love in the light, mercury striking, ransom, rebecca zanetti, risking it all, robin covington, Rush, Seduction In Session, tessa bailey, the secret, wicked beautiful