Tuesday, April 10, 2018

All About the Books April 2018

Life According to Steph

This month it was catching up on Netgalley reviews, while also adding some more *cough* and all the library books. I still have about eight checked out I need to read before the 23rd. FYI, I'm a romance reader mostly and these are all romance, if that's not your thing I totally get it. I'm hard pressed to read a lot of genres.

Five Stars, Loved It


Fatal Chaos by Marie Force -
I love how Marie Force does not make the book drama between the main characters. The outside forces are enough for these stories. There were similarities between the murders in Fatal Chaos and something Our Area experienced late last year so when I can relate that just makes a story so much more interesting to me. All of the characters in the Fatal series continue to entertain me and I'm always anticipating the next in the series!!

Synopsis: First the calm. Then the storm…

Escaping DC during the dog days of summer is one of the smartest moves Washington metro police lieutenant Samantha Holland ever made. Beach walks aren’t quite as romantic with the Secret Service in tow, but Sam and her husband, Vice President Nick Cappuano, cherish the chance to recharge and reconnect—especially with a scandal swirling around the administration.

No sooner are they back home than a fatal drive-by shooting sets the city on edge. The teenage victim is barely older than Sam and Nick’s son, Scotty. As more deaths follow, Sam and her team play beat the clock to stop the ruthless killers. With Nick facing his greatest challenge—one that could drastically change all their lives and even end Sam’s career—will the mounting pressure deepen or damage their bond?


Hard Justice by Lori Foster is the second book in the Lori Foster Body Armor series and surprisingly, I loved it more than the first.

Synopsis: Playing it safe has never felt so dangerous

Justice Wallington knows how to harness his strength and intimidating size, skills he put to good use first in the MMA cage and now as a bodyguard at the Body Armor agency. But no opponent has ever left him feeling as off balance as his new client, heiress Fallon Wade. Far from a spoiled princess, she's sweet and intriguingly innocent. It's a risk-free assignment, until he's required to fake a relationship with her in order to blend in.

Sheltered from the world after a family tragedy, Fallon longs to experience life, going to bars, dancing, talking to strangers. Not easy with a huge, lethal-looking bodyguard shadowing her every move. Justice seems like her polar opposite, but pretending to be a couple stirs undeniable heat. And when danger strikes again, it's not just her safety in jeopardy, but a passion that's real, raw and absolutely against the rules.


The Wishing Season by Denise Hunter - I have no idea how this ended up on my holds list at the library but I'm so glad it did lol. This is the third book in the series and I've already ordered the first one because it's NOT at my library and will read the others in order. I have a heart for foster kids, especially those that age out so I just whipped through this book and was so glad to see the outcome I was hoping for.

Synopsis: Living side-by-side, a fledgling chef and a big-hearted contractor find a delicious attraction.

Trouble is, their chemistry could spoil their dreams.

Spirited PJ McKinley has the touch when it comes to food. Her dream of opening her own restaurant is just one building short of reality. So when a Chapel Springs resident offers her beloved ancestral home to the applicant with the best plan for the house, PJ believes it’s a contest she was meant to win.

Contractor Cole Evans is confident, professional, and swoon-worthy—but this former foster kid knows his life could have turned out very differently. When Cole discovers the contest, he believes his home for foster kids in transition has found its saving grace. All he has to do is convince the owner that an out-of-towner with a not-for-profit enterprise is good for the community.

But when the eccentric philanthropist sees PJ and Cole’s proposals, she makes an unexpected decision: the pair will share the house for a year to show what their ideas are made of. Now, with Cole and the foster kids upstairs and PJ and the restaurant below, day-to-day life has turned into out-and-out competition—with some seriously flirtatious hallway encounters on the side. Turns out in this competition, it’s not just the house on the line, it’s their hearts.


Hot Response by Shannon Stacey was *fans self* so what I love about a good hero story. There's just something about Stacey's writing that draws. me. in. Gavin was such a great guy and the relationship between Gavin and Cait really grew at a pace I've seen a lot among friends. The challenges facing them weren't drama for drama's sake and I thought the book flowed perfectly.

Synopsis: Gavin Boudreau lives for the job, but he also believes in “work hard, play harder.” As the youngest guy in Ladder 37, he figures he’s got plenty of time before settling down becomes a priority. Soft, pretty women who aren’t looking for promises are exactly his type, and he’s comfortable with that. Working with a gorgeous EMT isn’t going to change who he is.

The last thing Cait Tasker needs in her personal life is a firefighter whose challenges on-scene have been a thorn in her side from minute one. Her plate’s too full for a man anyway. Back in her childhood home to help her family cope with an unexpected tragedy, she’s got enough to handle without throwing a hot, testosterone-laden fireman into the mix.

As long days on the job lead to long nights together, Gavin and Cait will discover how far temptation can take them—and what happens when the one you thought was all wrong for you turns out to be the person you can’t live without.

Netgalley Read, Review is my honest opinion.


Truth or Bead by Penny Reid was just as good as I thought it would be. I can't wait to get my hands on the other books in the series, and I felt like this was the perfect first book in the series. I loved the chemistry between Duane and Jessica, plus the small town history always gets me.

Synopsis: Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!

Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level-headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life.

His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…

But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.

Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?


The Opposite of You by Rachel Higginson had a few things going for it that made the story mean something to me. Food trucks, competition, strong female and of course, a love story. Loved! I like to think of myself as a food truck connoisseur, so this appealed to me beyond the romance level and it's still one I think of whenever I watch a cooking show. The intricate knowledge of the culinary world always fascinates me and the build up to the relationship felt real. his critiques of her food reminded me of little boys that tell a girl she's doing something wrong because he likes her and that's the only way he knows to show it. #swoon

This was my first book by Rachel H. and I look forward to exploring her other works.

Synopsis:I’ve sworn off men.

All men.

Famous last words, right? You’re expecting some epic tale of reluctant love and my dramatic change of heart? Well, you’re not going to get it.

I’m stubborn. And headstrong. And I’ve just survived the worst three years of my life. After escaping an abusive boyfriend to live in hostels and cheap hotels while I worked my way across Europe, I’ve come to two conclusions.

The first? Now that I’m back home, I’m going to squander my expensive culinary degree on a food truck that caters to the late night drunk crowd.

The second? I’m going to prove to the bastard across the plaza that my street food is better than his fussy five course monstrosities.

Killian Quinn might be Food and Wine’s Chef to Watch Out For. He might have a Michelin Star. He might have every food critic in the city wrapped around his too-large fingers. But he’s also pretentious and unbearably arrogant and the very opposite of me.

So he can keep his unsolicited advice and his late night visits and his cocky smiles. I want none of it. Or him.

I want the opposite.


In Fighting Dirty by Lori Foster we really get to know the two main characters that we've seen throughout the series and it made for such a deeper connection between myself as the reader as well as the characters since they have known each other for years! I love how Rissy's brother Cannon actually pushed them together, knowing how they both felt and we're holding back. The suspense of who the attacks were targeting kept the book moving and I enjoyed the extra layer it brought. Looking forward to the body guard series to come!!

Synopsis: He's the hottest MMA fighter in the game, but one woman is ready to try out a few steamy moves of her own in an unforgettable new novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster...

With the life he's led and the muscles he's gained, Armie Jacobson isn't afraid of anything. Except maybe Merissa Colter's effect on him. It's not just that she's his best friend's little sister. Fact is, she deserves better. Women pursue him for one night of pleasure, and that's all he wants to offer. Until rescuing Merissa from a robbery leads to the most erotic encounter of his life.

Good girl meets bad boy. It's a story that rarely ends well. But Merissa is taking matters into her own hands. No matter how he views himself, the Armie she knows is brave, honorable and completely loyal. And as past demons and present-day danger collide, they're both about to learn what's truly worth fighting for…

Netgalley Read, Review is my honest opinion.


Worth It All I'm such a sucker for a kid without a dad (or mom) in a romance book and the way it just adds to the story. The hero not only gets the girl, he gets the whole family. The connection between Casey and Jake was so precious. To see him help her out so much and in turn get the girl really just kept me wanting more for this couple, even beyond the ending. Love the McKinney brother series!

Synopsis: She’s fighting for control. . . . Paige Roberts learned to fend for herself growing up. Now she’s doing everything possible to give her daughter, Casey, the stability she never had. But when the vivacious five-year-old decides she’s done wearing her prosthesis, Paige faces her toughest challenge yet: trusting a handsome, brooding stranger who simply wants to help.

He’s struggling to connect. . . . JT McKinney lost more than his leg in a car accident that stole his dreams of pro football. Eight years later, he's made a new life for himself far away from his old one. His business is developing cutting-edge prosthetics and he’s more than happy to turn his attention to machines instead of people. Still, he can’t shake the feeling that something’s missing.

Will they take a chance on love? . . . When JT gets the chance to help Paige’s daughter, he takes it. He never planned on the two of them tearing down his walls or teaching him to believe in himself again. Paige might not believe in happily ever afters, but JT wants more than anything to be her prince. They’ll both have to let go of the past if they want a future.

Netgalley Read, Review is my honest opinion.



Four Stars, Worth It

Score by Victoria Denault is the first in the San Francisco Thunder Series and while I enjoyed it there wasn't anything stand out to me.

Synopsis: He's used to winning, but now he's playing with his heart.

Jude Braddock. Hockey god. That's how everyone sees him now. But when they were teenagers, Zoey knew him as the kid who didn't have enough nerve to make a move on their one and only disastrous date. Seems he doesn't have that problem anymore, though. According to the rumors, he's with a different woman every night. After a rough divorce, the last thing Zoey needs is more heartbreak. But Jude's cocky, playful attitude is mighty hard to resist.

Jude knows he isn't built for long-term relationships. But he's getting sick of women pounding on his door in the middle of the night looking for a rematch. When Zoey comes back into his life, it's like fate has given him a second chance. He'll do anything to make her happy again. Is this what love looks like? He has no idea. All he knows for sure is that this time, he's playing for keeps.

Under Pressure by Lori Foster was a good intro and I think the story just dragged and could have been finished a lot earlier. I loved getting introduced to the Body Armor series, because they have gotten significantly better to me.

Synopsis: He can protect anything except his heart

Leese Phelps’s road hasn’t been an easy one, but it’s brought him to the perfect job — working for the elite Body Armor security agency. And what his newest assignment lacks in size, she makes up for in fire and backbone. But being drawn to Catalina Nicholson is a dangerous complication, especially since it could be the very man who hired Leese who’s threatening her.

What Catalina knows could get her killed. But who’d believe the sordid truth about her powerful stepfather? Beyond Leese’s ripped body and brooding gaze is a man of impeccable honour. He’s the last person she expects to trust — and the first who’s ever made her feel safe. And he’s the only one who can help her expose a deadly secret, if they can just stay alive long enough...


Three Stars and Below, Meh


Lawman From Her Past by Delores Fossen had an interesting premise and was unfortunately just ok.

Amish Refuge by Debby Giusti - Romantic Mystery is hit or miss for me. This one felt like a never ending repeat of events.

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally really sounded like it would be a great book, I mean a girl football player and her team actually respects her as a leader.

Up next:
I have SOOOOO many books on my TBR list that have been added recently. I'm looking forward to a New Adult series by Mila Gray, Come Back To Me.

Are we friends on Goodreads!!

What are you reading and loving lately?

12 comments:

  1. The covers of those books are mighty pretty... ;). It's been awhile since I've indulged in a romance book. I think one might be in order later this month.

    I loved your synopsis of "Truth or Beard!" Too funny!

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  2. I loved Truth or Beard. I devoured most of her Knitting in the City series last month and that is also fantastic!!

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  3. Truth or Beard just intrigues me by the cover.
    Isnt that funny when you forget putting books on your hold list. I got a notice the other day for a book that was in &I was like, I am loosing my mind - I dont remember adding that at all. Conspiracy? :)

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  4. ahhhhh i am so glad you enjoyed Truth or Beard! That might be my favourite by Penny Reid. I just adore Duane so, so, so much. I might have read it 3 times, can't stop won't stop. i also really liked the opposite of you!

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  5. Not typically my type of reads but I have to say I am intrigued by the beard book.

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  6. I've heard good things about Penny Reid and that series! Glad you read mostly good reads this month. :)

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  7. I don't read romance but the covers are way better than the ones on the books I do read.

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  8. I don't read much romance these days but in my past - all the time. And Lori Foster was a favorite. I'm not familiar with these series but have you read her Edge of Honor series? I really liked that one!

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  9. I have Truth or Beard downloaded on my ipad thanks to the recommendation of Kristen, I need to get around to it. I have so many netgalley books, its not even funny. I am adding Hot Response to my TBR.

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  10. I'm adding you to my goodreads. :) I am on a major romance kick right now! :) I have been reading a few Zapatas and buying all sorts of kindle daily deals... whoops! hahah I have Truth or Beard on my list. Super excited. I'm intrigued by the food truck one. I'm going to look into it now. :) XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  11. The Wishing Season looks good! I may have to check that one and the others out :)

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