Summer of Series: You Haven’t Read That?!

Happy almost summer everyone!!

As I sit here writing this post, it is the day before Memorial Day and there are officially 12 school days sitting between me and summertime. *insert caffeine aided shriek here* Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE teaching my tiny humans, but I am beyond ready for summer, and you know what summer means….

LOTS AND LOTS OF READING!

Summertime for me means trying to catch up on all the books I have to read, and I can’t say enough how ready I am for another summer filled with good times, good people, and of course, lots and lots of good books.

It’s obviously no secret that I am perpetually behind on reading all the books I want to read. I feel as if that is pretty much the story of my life at this point. It’s also no secret that I have a ton of unread books that seem to be piling up quicker than you can say “How many books do you have?” My real life never-ending book basket is proof of that, and that thing keeps expanding every day. (Sorry Mom!)

Now a few years back I did a blog post series that I titled Summer of Series. My goal with that blog post series was to read through some of the many series I own. You see I have a thing for books, and especially series. I LOVE me a good series. (That’s probably why over the years I’ve continued to buy complete series like I need my next breath.) There’s just something about a good series, where you spend multiple books in one world with a set of characters that gets my heart beating just a bit faster in the best kind of way. Like for real y’all. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good standalone novel too, but a good series is my absolute favorite and is something I live for!

When I did my original Summer of Series I had set out to read around 20 different series, and I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that I failed at reading even a quarter of those series during that summer. But that being said, I haven’t given up on my love of series and I haven’t given up on my love for this blog post series, which is why I decided to bring it back for another summer filled to the brim with some amazing series. And I for one couldn’t be more excited to get this all started again!

So welcome to Summer of Series: You Haven’t Read That?!

For this summer I decided to pick some series that have been recommended to me for forever. These are the books and series that when I mention I haven’t read them yet, I get some serious side eye….hahaha, just kidding, but I do have a lot of people that ask me “You haven’t read that yet?” Many fellow readers, bloggers, and even some authors have told me I NEED to get to reading these books stat, so I guess it’s high time I start listening to them.

For this post series, I decided that I would focus in on those highly recommended series to finally see what I have been missing out on all these years. (It also made for a pretty great blog post series title, if I do say so myself.) Some of these series I originally intended to read the last time I did my Summer of Series, and others have been added to my list over the years. Some of these series came out years ago, and others are more recent, but they’re all ones that I’ve been dying to read, and they all have been recommended to me sooooooo many times before.

I know there are hundreds of more books and series I could focus on, and believe me I want to read them all, I just chose to focus on these ones because some of them have been in that big old never ending book basket for years, and they needed to see the light of day. Y’all get my crazy thinking, right? Right.

I’m hoping that this summer and this blog post series will allow me to get to as many of them as I possibly can, while also allowing me to connect with some of y’all about these books and how great I know they’re going to be!

Now for the sake of realism, I realize that I’m yet again being a bit ambitious with how many series I selected to try to read, but I figure there’s nothing wrong with aiming high.

So without further ado, let’s get this Summer of Series off to a good start!

I’ve got some great posts, some giveaways, and some good books planned for the summer, and I hope y’all are as excited as I am! I also hope y’all have some great books you plan to read too because you know I’d LOVE to talk about them!

So here’s to the next 3 months filled with some amazing series that I can’t wait to dive into!

p.s. If you have a series from the picture that you would recommend me starting with, please feel free to comment with your recommendation!

Listed below are the series pictured that will be part of Summer of Series. Click the series title to head to Amazon for that series, and click the author’s name to head to their website.

 

My Super Ridiculously Late List of Top Reads from 2016!

It is officially 2017 y’all!! giphy3

*whoop whoop*

And before you say it, yes I know this post is so beyond late since we’re already 4 months into 2017. (I’m sure y’all were all waiting on baited breath for this post, right? hahaha!) Life’s craziness has kind of gotten the better of me these past few months, but I knew I wanted and had to do this list to share out my Top Reads because even though I hate picking favorites, I couldn’t not pick favorites. That makes sense, right? Right.

I must say making this list each year is equal parts fun and hard. It’s so much fun to look back on all of the books I read and loved in a year, but each year I think it gets harder and harder to narrow down my list of favorites. (That’s probably why this list seems to be getting longer and longer each year, haha!) There are just so many good books out there, and I think this year of reading showed me that more and more.

2016 overall was a pretty amazing, crazy, and wonderful year for my little blogger self. It brought some lows, but mostly highs, and I for one couldn’t be more thrilled with the books that I had the chance to experience, read, and love this year. This year I found myself reading and loving soooooo many books I had been meaning to read for ages. I loved being able to finally read them all, and getting to know exactly why all my friends said I needed to read them. (They were so damn right, by the way!)  This year also brought some new authors into my reader heart that I’m keeping forever, while also giving me some incredible books from my all-time favorite authors that were utter perfection and continued to show me why they’re my favorite authors in the first place.

I ended up reading 243 books in 2016, and I would honestly recommend any of them to y’all. (If you click that link it’ll take you to the full list of books I read in 2016.)  These 243 books represent so many different stories, characters, genres and subgenres (though the vast majority are some kind of romance), and authors. Some of these books made me cry my eyes out, others had me laughing my ass off on just about every page, while they all had me swooning something fierce and feeling the love and lives of these characters. Some of these books hurt and broke my heart in the best way, while others filled it up in ways I never knew possible. Some had the best feels, others had the most consuming heat, but they all shared the fact that they gave me one helluva read.

Some of the books on this list are a part of series, others were standalones, but they all stuck with me in some way, shape, or form. I HIGHLY recommend all of the books on this list, and I am telling y’all that you will LOVE them. You will feel these authors’ words, you will fall head over heels for the distinctive characters these books have, and you will experience, love, live, and breathe every ounce of their stories.

So without further ado, here is my Top Reads of 2016 list! I hope 2016 was as good to you and your reader life, as it was to mine! Here’s to a 2017 filled to the brim with the best books, and more wonderful crazy than you can shake a stick at!!

**All books selected were read by myself in 2016. Scroll below to read and find out more about them all (they aren’t listed in any kind of order), and as always, thank you for visiting The Never Ending Book Basket.**

~The Tristan & Danika Series: Bad Things, Rock Bottom, & Lovely Trigger by R.K. Lilley~

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“I want you to let go. i want you to submit. I want to make you lose your mind. I want you to be so far gone that the only word left in your vocabulary is my name.”   ~Bad Things

“She was the one. If I’d ever had a doubt, I didn’t now. She was the one I’d be thinking about, longing for, until I took my last breath. If I lost her tomorrow, I’d pine for her like a lovesick fool. This was the kind of love that only hit you once in your life.” ~Rock Bottom

“Love doesn’t let you walk away clean. Love is messy. Love takes a fucking piece of you before it’s done.” ~Lovely Trigger

The Tristan and Danika Series by R.K. Lilley is one of the most intense, all-feeling, and heart wrenching series I have EVER read. To say these books squeezed my heart and made it ache something fierce it putting it too mildly. These books shook me to my core. They eviscerated my heart again and again, and I just kept going back for more because that’s how powerful and consuming Tristan and Danika’s love was. This series is proof that while love might not be easy, and while it might bring you to your very knees more than you ever thought possible, it is well worth the fight to get it. This series will stay with me forever, and Tristan and Danika’s emotional and sensual fight for their forever is one that you should read as soon as humanly possible…just have the tissues and wine ready.

Read My Review of Bad Things, Read My Review of Rock Bottom, Read My Review of Lovely Trigger

~Knot by M. Mabie~

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“Sometimes I thought we were both cats hunting the same mouse named Love. Other times we were both mice scrambling, both trying to avoid being eaten alive by a monster with the same damn name.” ~Knot

If you know me, then you know my love of M. Mabie’s writing is fierce, and you probably know that my love affair with one Reggie Warren has been going strong ever since I met him for the first time in Bait two years ago. To say that I LOVE that man is probably the understatement of the century, and while it ain’t easy to share him, if there was one person I’d want to share him with it’d be Nora. Knot follows Reggie and Nora’s emotional, mesmerizing, and breathtaking story that spans years of time as they explore the literal explosiveness that’s between them. This is a story that shook these characters to their cores, made them reevaluate what it is they actually wanted, and pushed them to their very limits, and along the way I felt it ALL with them. This book was EVERYTHING I needed and wanted, and it just goes to prove that Reggie Warren and his special lady friend Nora know how to make one helluva lasting impression that still holds a piece of my heart.

Read My Review of Knot

~The Retrieval Duet: Retrieval & Transfer by Aly Martinez~

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“I’d lived twenty-six years of life before that night. But, suddenly, I was alive for the very first time. I knew absolutely nothing about that man. But I knew he was mine. And I was meant to be his. ” ~Retrieval

“I don’t believe in wishes, but somehow, I’ve found myself in a situation where a silly wish is all I have left. If I’m lucky enough to catch 11:11 again tomorrow, it means we’ve survived another day.” ~Transfer

If you are looking for a duet that is bursting with the best amount of gripping suspense, all-feeling romance, and fiery heat that will literally have you on the edge of your seat the entire way through, then you NEED The Retrieval Duet in your life this very second. Retrieval and Transfer are two of the most incredible reads I’ve ever read. They told the interwoven stories of characters who had been through so much, who had struggled, who had felt and breathed and lived every emotion under the sun and were still fighting with all they had to get to where they needed to be.  These books will grip your heart and take you through every emotional twist and turn this duet has to offer, and you will bask in every word of it as it all unfolds in front of your eyes. Your heart will race, squeeze, melt, and fall so totally for these characters, and that is just part of what makes this duet so unforgettable and thrilling to read.

Read My Review of Retrieval    Read My Review of Transfer

~Hallowed Ground by Rebecca Yarros~

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”We stood on the edge of something I couldn’t fathom, and I had no clue how to bring us back. Not without him fighting for us equally as hard.” ~Hallowed Ground

I don’t think I have ever cried as much reading a book as I did with Hallowed Ground. (I actually cried writing my review for this book because that’s how much I was so consumed in the emotion of it all. That has never happened to me before in all of my blogging, and it hasn’t happened since.) This book, and really this entire series just hit me on another level. These character engrained themselves in my heart so deeply, I felt their struggles and their own journeys so truly, and I was invested in every humanly way possible in their story. Maybe that’s why this story affected me so much, and maybe that’s why I still think back on it often, either way, Rebecca Yarros’s Flight and Glory Series is amazing. Hallowed Ground was literal perfection, and even though it tore my heart to shreds from time to time, I loved every single second of being encapsulated within Josh and Ember’s story. Those two had a story of loss, fight, and a deeply felt love that was trying with all it had to pull them through, and I can’t say enough how much I loved and felt their journey in this book. It’s something I know I will NEVER forget. Ever.

Read My Review of Hallowed Ground

~Shameless by Lex Martin~

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“I’m a pale canvas next to his tattoos. Something about our juxtaposition makes me feel bland. Like I’m whatever nameless piece of art that’s mounted next to the Mona Lisa. I’m a little girl from Texas, and he’s this beautiful tattoo artist from Boston. He’s edgy and biting and brisk, and I’m all Southern hospitality and polite welcomes. Except nothing about my legs dangling open on either side of his face is polite.” ~Shameless

Lex Martin continues to be one of my favorite authors, and all of her books just remind me of that again and again. The way she creates the best blend of banter, laugh out loud humor, fun, with the perfect dose of romance and connection is the everything. Shameless was such an incredible read that had everything I’ve come to know and love about a book by Lex Martin. It was phenomenally written, it had some good feels and one heck of a romance, all thrown in with this effervescent spark that was felt on every page of the book. Shameless was a story that tugged at my heart, just as much as it made me blush and swoon, and it was that perfect combination that had me falling fast for Brady and Kat, and wishing like crazy that those two would be able to figure it all out. If you’ve never read a book by this author, then that must be fixed this instant, and I am telling you, Brady and Kat, their authenticity, their connection, and the feels they give you will sweep you up with all they have in the best possible way!

Read My Review of Shameless

~Porn Star by Laurelin Paige & Sierra Simone~

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“You know me. Come on, you know you do. Maybe you pretend you don’t. Maybe you clear your browser history religiously. Maybe you pretend to be aghast whenever someone even mentions the word porn in your presence. Maybe you even wish you didn’t know my name, just like you wish you didn’t have that drawer with the lotion or the toy. Everybody knows Logan O’Toole, world famous porn star. ” ~Porn Star

I have LOVED each and every one of Laurelin Paige and Sierra Simone’s books’, so when getting the chance to read what these two phenomenal authors wrote together was fantastic in every way. This book thrusts you right into the world of two porn stars, embarking on a new series, who soon find themselves feeling much more for one another than they ever expected. What I loved about this book was that Sierra Simone and Laurelin Paige do such an incredible job of putting you right into the thick of this world. They show you its nuances, what it’s like to be in this industry, and they show you the intricate dynamics that make up what it really means to be in the porn world. Their attention to detail and how real they made it feel set this book apart for me, and truly let me understand a world I didn’t know much about. That coupled with the phenomenal and fiery love story between Devi and Logan had me blushing and melting with all I had for these two and all that they shared. If there’s one book you should take a chance on, I vote you do it with this one!

Read My Review of Porn Star

~The Bridge Series: Into the Fire & Over the Edge by Meredith Wild~

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“Vanessa was different. Everything about her revved me up. The way she moved, the way she brushed me off because even if she might have wanted me, she didn’t need me….She took every inch of me, over and over. It was an erotic sight. Satisfying and arousing. Enough to push me over…Her hands were everywhere. Every desperate touch spread fire over my skin, tugged somewhere in my gut as I fought the urge to bring our bodies closer. It was all too much. Something triggered inside of me.” ~Into the Fire

“Thousands of pretty girls in New York, but the irrefutable truth was that no one could hold a candle to Olivia Bridge. She wasn’t a diamond in the rough. She was just a fucking diamond— beautiful, refined, smart. A prize for any man. Except she was Darren’s sister …and Will’s new fucktoy.” ~Over The Edge

The Bridge Series is one of my all-time favorite series, and Meredith Wild brought it to a close in the most outstanding, fiery, and amazing way with Into the Fire and Over the Edge. These books told the stories of Darren Bridge and Olivia Bridge and their own individual searches for love. Each of their stories were jam packed with the most sensual heat, the most mesmerizing amount of connection, and enough twists and turns to have you beyond ready to see how it would all play out. While each of these books are standalones, I definitely recommend reading them in order starting with On My Knees and then jumping into these two books. The Bridge siblings definitely kept me on my toes through both of their books, and had my heart feeling it all with them along the way. Meredith Wild’s incredible writing keeps you hooked into every word, ready for what each new page will bring. Through every word of these books you will love what you get with these dynamic characters as they push themselves and their own boundaries in their unforgettable searches for love.

Read My Review of Into the Fire    Read My Review of Over the Edge

~So Much More by Kim Holden~

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“Life blooms in second chances.” ~So Much More

Oh Kim Holden and her incredible words…..there are not enough words in the dictionary to accurately capture how much I love this woman’s books. They are unforgettable, emotional, real, raw, and beautifully written. Her books are in a league of their own for me, and So Much More was another book that proved that again. This book isn’t easy. It tells they very real and difficult story of what can happen when your life is completely upended, when you have no idea how you’ll make it through, and when each new day seems to bring on a new set of challenges waiting to tear you down…yet in the same breath how those challenges and difficulties might ultimately bring you to the exact place you need to be. So Much More is all about second chances, letting go, and the unforgettable and amazing things that can happen when you embrace the love and life around you for what they really are and for what they can give you. I promise that you will love this book, these characters, and their emotionally breathtaking journey of second chances…you’ll even love Miranda. Trust me.

Read My Review of So Much More

~It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover~

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“It ends with us.” ~It Ends With Us

If there is one book in the world that I could recommend everyone read, it would be It Ends With Us. Every man and woman, no matter what age they are, no matter where they come from, no matter what their background or relationship status is, NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK. I can’t say that enough. This book brought me to tears and shook me to my core. It changed me. It made me cry like a baby in the middle of a Red Robin as I told my mother about it, how much it struck me, and how much it meant to me. It evoked so many thoughts and feelings and discussions that I will never forget feeling or thinking or experiencing. This book is EVERYTHING. And I can’t tell you anything about it really because you need to go into this book blind and just live it. Live it, breathe it, and feel every ounce of it. I have read all of Colleen Hoover’s books, and this is by far the most powerful and emotional book of hers to date. Lily, Ryle, and Atlas will change you in this book, and their story will stay with you long after you close that last page. That’s how unforgettable it is. That’s how unforgettable they are. If there is only one book you read this week, this month, this year…it NEEDS  to be this book.

Read My Review for It Ends With Us

~The Beautiful Series by Christina Lauren~

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“If only he would keep his mouth shut, he’d be perfect. A piece of duct tape would do the trick. I had some in my desk that I’d occasionally pull out and fondle, hoping someday I could put it to good use.”   ~Beautiful Bastard

“So?” she said, giving me a slow, wicked smile when we accelerated forward. ” You told Will you found a woman who likes to have sex in public?”
“Not in my cab!” the cabbie yelled so loud we both jumped and then broke into laughter. He pumped the brakes, jolting us. “Not in my cab!”
“Don’t worry, mate,” I told him. I turned to her and murmured, “She doesn’t let me fuck her in cars. Or on Tuesdays.”
“She doesn’t,” she whispered, though she did let me kiss her again.
“Shame,” I said into her mouth. “I’m good in cars. And especially good on Tuesdays.”   ~Beautiful Stranger

“See, the problem with boobs is if you have big ones, you can never look thin. You get these burns on your shoulders from bra straps, and your back hurts. And unless you’re using them for their intended purpose, they’re always in the way.”
“In the way of what? My hands, My face? Don’t you blaspheme in here.” He looked up to the sky. “She didn’t mean it, Lord. Promise.”   ~Beautiful Player

“Ruby?”
“I’m having a moment, just give me a second,”
“Was I too forward?”
“No, I just had an out of body experience. Niall Stella just took off my shirt and admired my chest.”
“Do you need to text someone?”
“I just need to remember to add it to my spreadsheet of Niall Stella Moments,” ~Beautiful Secret

I have never been more grateful for a humongous winter storm because that’s what finally allowed me to devour the Beautiful Series by Christina Lauren. This series is equal parts fun, equal parts sexy connection, and equal parts amazing. With interconnecting characters, this series brings you one unforgettable group of friends who all find themselves smack dab in the middle of some pretty unforgettable love stories. This series gives you every kind of love story you could want and need from enemies to lovers, to sweet and heart melting, to the playful back and forth banter and sass all these characters seem to have. I LOVED every word of every novel and novella in this series. This series showed me exactly why I love series in the first place. The way Christina Lauren’s spark filled writing allowed me to connect in with all these characters, the way they invested me in them all and their stories, and the way they allowed me to see what happened after the last page of each book with the novellas was outstanding. This is a series that gives you a bit of it all, and you will eat it all up and love the blush and swoon it gives to your heart.

Read My Review of  The Beautiful Series

~The Cranberry Inn Series: Room for You, Room for More, Room for Just a Little Bit More by Beth Ehemann~

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“Brody, are you sick?” asked Piper.
“Yeah, do you have a fever?” Lucy asked, tugging on my shirt.
I bent down to her level as she felt my forehead. “Nope, not sick. Why?”
They looked at each other and shrugged.
“Mom was on the phone with Auntie Alexa and she said you were hot. If you’re hot, you have a fever. Do you need medicine?” ~Room For You           

“You are my future, Kacie. You’re my present and my future and if I could figure out a way to invent a damn time machine, you’d be my past.” ~Room For More

“You called God’s name so many times last night that either you were enjoying yourself or you were having a massive prayer session while in bed with me.”   ~Room For Just a Little Bit More

The Cranberry Inn Series by Beth Ehemann is one of the sweetest and most swoonworthy series I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It also has me wishing with all I have that The Cranberry Inn will become a real place as soon as humanly possible because I NEED to be able to visit that magical place. This series has it all: a heart meltingly sweet and good looking hockey player, a single mom with a heart of gold, two little twin girls with more charm and sass than you can shake a stick at, and a plethora of other supporting characters that bring it all home. I could not put these books down from the very first page of them, and I was immediately swept up into the sweet and beautiful love story of Brody and Kacie. Those two owned my heart through every word, swept me up so truly into everything they shared, and let me experience the literal magic that happened when they were together. This series is the epitome of a honest to goodness amazing love story, and it is one that made me fall in love with this world, its characters, and Beth Ehemann’s incredible writing. I’d pay the toll a million times over just to get into this world more because it is that incredible, and that damn sweet.

Read My Review of Room for You    Read My Review of Room for More

Read My Review of Room for Just a Little Bit More

~The City Limits Series: Roots & Wings & Sunshing & Rain by M. Mabie~

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“He’d magically turned all of my rough edges to silk when he touched me. Made all of the empty and lonely spots full with his attention. When his fingers moved over me, everything male in him spoke to everything female in me, and I felt beautiful. Fragile and vulnerable.”   ~Roots and Wings

“I wanted to kiss you last night and all day today.”
He ran his fingers over my hair as I pulled back to look at him, my confession making my cheeks flush hot.
“I’ve wanted to kiss you my whole damn life. I win.”  ~Sunshine and Rain

The City Limits Series by M. Mabie is a world of sweet, damn good, small town love stories that show you the magic and wonderfulness that small town life can bring you. These stories are easy reads that are low on angst and drama, but high on love and some serious feels. These books give you the wonderfully distinctive dynamic that exits in the small town of Wynne, and it gives you all the authentic and easy to love characters that make this special place what it is. M. Mabie brings her dynamic writing out in these books, and allows you to fall heart first into a world of fishing, campfires, water towers, radio stations, and real-life romance that is going to have you feeling all of the butterflies as these stories unfold. Whether it’s with Vaughn and Mutt as she welcomes him to small town life and he helps he find the balance of her roots and wings, or whether its Sunny and Rhett as these two see what really could be if they gave up their pre conceived notions of one another…Wynne is the place to be. I can’t accurately describe how good these books felt to read and how right they were, so grab yourself a sweet tea and park a spot outside, and get to loving these books.

Read My Review of Roots and Wings   Read My Review of Sunshine and Rain

~The Spiral Down by Aly Martinez~

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“The ground was shaking and my decade-old walls were starting to crumble. I could lose myself trying to rebuild them while the super storm known as Henry Alexander ominously hovered over me. Or I could sit back, relax, and enjoy the thunder. Even the strongest hurricanes had to die out eventually. Maybe Henry was mine.
Or, more likely, he’d be the earthquake that was going to break me down before swallowing me whole.
Either way, I wasn’t going to be left standing.” ~The Spiral Down  

Oh Henry and Evan…those two still own a piece of my heart even a later after reading their unforgettable and all-consuming love story. To say I loved these men with my whole heart is the understatement of the century. These two OWNED me and my heart through every word of this book. They owned my breaths, my feelings, my heart, my blushes, my very soul as their breathtaking and highly emotional story unfolded in front of me. This book was perfection for me. With its heavy feels, deeply emotional journey as these two men tried to pull their heads out of their butts and feel what they so needed to feel, all thrown in with the BEST back and forth and personality, The Spiral Down gave me it all. It was probably only the third male/male romance I’ve ever read, but it just showed me through every word that I need to read more in this series like I need my next breath. Once you read Henry and Evan’s story I think you’ll feel the same way. You’ll also have a heart that is bursting for those two and all that they share as they try to shed the labels, the past, and the walls keeping them apart…and let me tell you, the spiral down through it all never hurt so good.

Read My Review of The Spiral Down

~The Gabriel’s Inferno Series by Sylvain Reynard~

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“Look at me. Look into my eyes.” His eyes fixed on hers as they fluttered open.
“I’ll give you anything. My body, my soul, Take them. Take everything.” ~Gabriel’s Inferno

“I wandered in the darkness looking for something better, something real. I found you, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to lose you.”   ~Gabriel’s Rapture

“For you, my love, I would endeavor to pluck the stars from the sky, only to shower them at your feet.”
“How do you do that?’
“Do what?”
“Say things like that. That’s beautiful.”
“I’ve spent years studying poetry, Mrs. Emerson. It’s in my DNA.”   ~Gabriel’s Redemption

The Gabriel’s Inferno Series is one that has been recommended to me for years, and every time I had to admit that I hadn’t read it, I always expected some serious side eye because I know how much fellow readers have loved this series. It was that push that finally had me diving into this series, and let me just say that I couldn’t be happier that I finally gave this series a chance. It was INCREDIBLE. So outstandingly written, with beautiful and flowing writing, that told a love story for the ages. What Julianne and Gabriel shared as their story unfolded was intense, very real, and had my heart aching for all that those two go through. I love me a good series, and this series captured that a million times over as it let me become fully invested in this story with Julianne and Gabriel. I also have a major soft spot for student teacher romances, and this is by far one of the best one of those, and series I have ever read. With a story that felt poetic, breathtaking, and deeply emotional, this series paints a beautiful portrait of what love and redemption can give you if you only open yourself up to it.

Read My Review of Gabriel’s Inferno    Read My Review of Gabriel’s Rapture

Read My Review of Gabriel’s Redemption

~The Love is War Duet: Breaking Him & Breaking Her by R.K. Lilley~

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“Love is never satisfied with half-measures.  It won’t take parts of you.  It will own all of you, every single, longing piece.  “Love will make you its slave,” I stated venomously.  “It will ruin you.  Grind you under its heel until you don’t recognize what’s left.   “Love will take your soul.”  ~Breaking Him

“Love changes you. No matter how strong you are, it makes you stronger. No matter how weak you are, it makes you weaker. No matter how hard you are to conquer, it will bring you to your knees.”  ~Breaking Her

Having loved every single word of the angst and emotion filled Tristan & Danika Series, it is no surprise to me that I LOVED  the This is War Duet as much as I did. I mean I think R.K. Lilley puts the angst in angst with what she puts her characters through, and I absolutely freaking love it because it gives me one helluva read that has the most intense emotion and connection and fire weaving their way through it. Dante and Scarlett’s story ain’t easy y’all. In fact it’s probably one of the most hard fought love stories I have EVER read. It pushed my heart to its very limit, right along with Dante and Scarlett. Breaking Him and Breaking Her follows Scarlett and Dante as they go from lovers, to enemies, to some kind of messed up version in between. Told with alternating past and present, this story fills in how these two came to eviscerate one another and their hearts, and lets you know exactly why they seem to always come back to more….It’s all a puzzle, and when it all comes together you will be left with one helluva intense, breathtakingly emotional, and mesmerizing picture.

Read My Review of Breaking Him     Read My Review of Breaking Her

~The Cocktail Series: Wallbanger & Last Call by Alice Clayton~

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“Fucking Wallbanger,” I hissed, frozed on the spot.
His grin slid off as well as he played place-the-face for a moment. “Fucking Pink Nightie Girl.” ~Wallbanger

“Early the next morning, I drove him to the airport, kissed him good-bye, told him I wasn’t wearing any panties, and then kissed him once more while he tried to push me back into the car to see if I was bluffing. I was not. Kissing him a final time, I told him I loved him and I’d see him in two weeks. No one ever tells you to remember these moments. To photograph them in your mind, develop them into memories, to have them easily accessible and on instant recall when you’d need them later. To try and replay and re-create the last time you see someone.”   ~Last Call

Wallbanger and Last Call and the rest of the Cocktail Series by Alice Clayton were books I had been meaning to read for like ever. I had heard such great things about these books, plus with a title like Wallbanger, who could really resist this series. What I got in these books was a laugh out loud funny story that had my cheeks hurting from how much I was laughing and smiling at the antics of these characters. Simon and Caroline’s story definitely starts off in the most memorable of ways, with her hearing him with other women through her bedroom wall, and what ensues in their story is a charming, memorable, and perfectly outlandish story of what happens when two seemingly opposite people start to fall for one another. The banter and humor of this book is off the charts and had me almost peeing my pants I was laughing so hard. (I’m not afraid to admit that.) This book and this entire series kept me beyond enamored, but there was just something about Simon and Caroline and their push and pull that really spoke to me. Their fun and memorable love story made Wallbanger and Last Call two great, well written, and highly enjoyable reads with more crazy ridiculous and wonderful moments than you can count!

Read My Review of Wallbanger     Read My Review of Last Call

~The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon~

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“Swallow Daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ’til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ’til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heav’n or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, daughter. Stay alive.” ~The Bird and the Sword

Now let me start this by saying that I am not normally a fantasy reader. I am pretty much a strictly romance reader who sometimes dives into other subgenres, but that being said I have LOVED every single book I have ever read by Amy Harmon, so there was no way I was going to not read this book. The Bird and the Sword completely changed the game for me. It opened me up to an entirely new genre to read, and it swept me up in what felt like a mixture between and episode of Game of Thrones and the sweetest fairytale. This book gave me a love story intertwined with the fight for power, and it was incredible. The magical world that Amy Harmon creates in this book feels so real, it was as if I was actually in that world while I read this book. This book perfectly encapsulated Amy Harmon’s magnificent and beautiful writing, and gave me a story filled with magic, twists and turns, light and dark, and one little girl who holds all the power. It was incredible in every way, and I am so glad I took a chance on this book because it was so so good.

Read My Review of The Bird and the Sword

~The Beauty Series: Beauty from Pain, Beauty from Surrender, & Beauty from Love by Georgia Cates~

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“We’re heart to heart and he fades into me until I don’t know where I end and where he begins.” ~Beauty from Pain

“Every song I write from here on out will be about Jack Henry. That’s how our tale will go on and on forever—through my music. He will always be every song I sing”   ~Beauty from Surrender

“You were once my beauty from pain, before you became by beauty from surrender. Now you’ve adapted into something different again.”
“And what is that?”
“My beauty from love-both of you. Forever.”   ~Beauty from Love

The Beauty Series by Georgia Cates is another series I had been meaning to read for so long, and am so glad I finally took the chance to read these books. This a series about Jack Henry and Laurelyn, that spans continents, separations, and heart squeezing moments that threaten to tear these two apart. What starts as a simple proposition soon becomes so much more for these two as they soon realize that they might have just stumbled upon the exact person they need, even though that throws them both for a serious loop. I loved the whole premise of this story, I loved that it took place for the most part in a place that I had never been before, and I loved that it pushed these two to be real with each other and themselves about what they really wanted. These books weren’t the easiest on Jack and Laurelyn, and they both have their share of struggles, but this series is all about the glorious feelings and moments you can have if you try to heal from the pain, surrender to what you feel, and embrace the love that the right person wants to give you.

Read My Review of Beauty from Pain    Read My Review of Beauty from Surrender

Read My Review of Beauty from Love

~The Vixen and the Vet by Katy Regnery~

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“And I’ll tell you something else. I’m not worried that you’ll find someone else, because there isn’t anyone else on the face of the earth who could ever love you as much as I do. It’s impossible because no man has ever loved a woman as much as I love you. And I’m not worried about me finding someone else, because you brought me back from the dead and gave me a second chance at life. You’re my miracle, Savannah, and I will always belong to you.”   ~The Vixen and the Vet

The Vixen and the Vet is a re imagining of Beauty and the Beast, and that fact alone had me knowing that I would love this book. With a story bursting with meaning, struggle, and a love story between a girl with some serious fire and sass, and one stubborn as all get out man, this book gave me a love story that felt magical. Asher is a veteran who returned home looking and feeling different than when he left, which has led him to withdraw from the small Virginia town he calls home. Savannah is a reporter who returns home after being forced to leave her old writing job behind. He wants to stay hidden in the shadows, and she’s looking for a story that could put her right back where she needs to be with her career, and the thought of bringing Asher into the light suddenly becomes very intriguing for Savannah. What you get in the Vixen and the Vet is a story of healing, connection, and what happens when you meet that person who might just bring you to exactly where you need to be. With some seriously swoonworthy moments, this book had my heart the whole way through!

Read My Review of The Vixen and the Vet

~The Legacy Series: Point of Origin & Ignite by Rebecca Yarros ~

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“There’s no ignoring the fact that I know you better than almost anyone on this planet, Emerson. That I know exactly how it feels to have you under me, so deep inside your body that I’m pretty sure I left a piece of my soul there. There’s no ignoring what we had, or how badly I fucked it up.”   ~Point of Origin

I pulled back slowly, scared to see what lingered in her eyes, and prayed it wasn’t disgust. What the hell had I been thinking to kiss her like that? We’d never shown any signs of crossing the line, and I’d just jumped across it. Her eyes were closed, giving me no hint of what she was feeling.

“Avery?” I asked softly. Her pulse raced under my hand. Her eyes fluttered open and there was no anger, just surprise.

“You want me?”

“I have always wanted you.” With a soft cry, she met my mouth, opening hers in a hungry kiss. My tongue swept inside the mouth I’d dreamed of for years, and holy shit, she tasted even better than I’d ever fantasized. She tasted faintly of the peppermint tea she loved and pure, sweet Avery.   ~Ignite

It’s obviously no secret that Rebecca Yarros is one of my favorite authors. I mean 2 of her others book are on this list, so it’s pretty easy to say that I LOVE that woman’s writing and storytelling with all that I have. Her Legacy Series is one that is full of fire, both literally and figuratively, and it is one that I can’t wait to get more of. Point of Origin and Ignite follow two of the firefighters of the mountain fire crew that is coming back together. This series will continue with more of these intense and adrenaline filled books, and I for noe am beyond excited for more. Point of Origin is a second chance romance of Bash and Emerson as she and him fight to get back the crew that took their parents, yet is still a huge part of their soul. Ignite gives you the friends to lovers story of Avery and River who are struggling with their feelings, coupled with the expectations placed upon them both. These books have the best amount of heat, and I don’t mean those fires they fight. What these characters share is raw, powerful, and consuming in every way possible. These books will have you wanting to hightail it to Colorado ASAP because that’s how alluring and wonderful and consuming these characters and their stories are. Legacy is all about family, friendships, past, and present, and it is a series that I know will continue to deliver!

Read My Review of Point of Origin     Read My Review of Ignite

~Edge of Chaos by Molly E. Lee~

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”Dash and I were the same, pulsing with a calling in our blood to stand on the edge of chaos.” ~Edge of Chaos

Fun fact about me: I am fascinated by extreme weather and storm chasing, so when I found out Molly Lee was writing a book that included that, and one killer romance, I was beyond sold. This book was equal parts adrenaline and adventure, and emotional heartfelt romance that swept me up with all it had. Dash and Blake’s story was as intense as the storms they were chasing, and Molly’s incredible writing allowed me to be there through every word of that. She let me get right to the heart of those storms, and the emotion and connection that Dash and Blake were sharing and it was phenomenal. It was real, raw, impactful, adventurous, and made for one wild ride that starts this series off in the most amazing way. This book takes love to the edge, and I am telling you, what you get on that edge and what you get with these two will hook you into this series and this incredible author’s writing with all that you have, and will have you even more ready for that next adventure she has in store for you!

Read My Review of Edge of Chaos

~Franco by Kim Holden~

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“I don’t know if it’s just the accent, but I get the feeling she’s the type of person who could tell you to, Fuck off, and you’d take it as a compliment and respond with, Thank you very much.”   ~Franco

Franco was a fun, lively, and vibrant meeting of two incredible characters with two very memorable personalities. Franco and Gemma had that spark that could not be denied, and that coupled with the humor and fun that ensued every time those two were together had me loving the antics, the connection, and the pull those two shared. This book is the third book in the Bright Side Series, and I really can’t say enough how phenomenal it was to get back with the gang of Rook and to be in a place where my heart is damn happy. This series means the world to me, and getting more of it was something that was just the icing on top of the best damn cake in the world. Franco and Gemma’s story in this book was about just how far you might be willing to go when it really matters, and it exemplifies that the heart truly can know no distance. This book was a perfect addition to this series, and though I will probably always want more of this world, if I never got another word from these characters, my heart will still love them all fiercely and will LOVE what they gave me in this series with their charm, their wonderful distinctiveness and their music, lives, and loves.

Read My Review of Franco

~Aced by K. Bromberg~

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“Rogue, rebel, reckless. Those words still apply to him. As do so many others that would make him blush, roll his eyes, and play them off because they make this stoic man uncomfortable. My rock is the one I can’t seem to get out of my head. Because that’s exactly what he has been to me. My everything.” ~Aced

Rylee and Colton have got to be one of my favorite literary couples that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Their story has torn me and my heart to shreds, and put me all back together again through every emotional and breathtaking word of their journey together. Those two have stuck with me in so many ways, so getting more of them was something I loved. Aced was their story of what happened in the in between of the ending of Crashed between the different epilogues. It filled in so much of that gap and all of the questions I had about what had happened to those two, and it was glorious. In true Rylee and Colton fashion, those two didn’t make this book or what happens to them easy. They made it damn hard, damn emotional, and gut wrenching at times as these two struggled, yet in just as they always do, Rylee and Colton kept me with them through every word and breath and feeling as they tried to put themselves back together again. Aced is their story of struggle, triumph, and happily ever after, and it was the perfect conclusion to everything from A to mother effing Z that those two had shared.

Read My Review of Aced

~Sweet Thing & Sweet Little Thing by Renee Carlino~

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“You have to teach your heart and mind how to sing together… then you’ll hear the sound of your soul” ~Sweet Thing

“I learned that you can’t predict your future, there’s no crystal ball or formula for happiness. You can’t control the weather just like you can’t control the way others behave, but what you can control is how much love you give. Surrendering to this crazy thing called life is hard, but we don’t have to be the soulless sheets of paper tarrying along in the wind. We can find our people, love, respect them, and then hang on for dear life because it’s not where you go on this journey but who you’re with that matters the most.”   ~Sweet Little Thing

After reading Sweet Thing and Sweet Little Thing, Renee Carlino has solidified herself as one of my favorite authors. The way that she wove together an emotional, angst filled, and lyrical story in Sweet Thing between Mia and Will showed the power of music, family, friendship and love. This book and Mia and Will’s journey tugged at my heart so much as those two put each other through the wringer. I felt it all with those two as they went back and forth, as they pushed each other to their limits, and as they tried to figure out what in the world they were doing with one another. This story was a phenomenal coming of age romance that pushed Will and Mia to see what they really wanted, what they were willing to fight for, and how far they were willing to go for the one they wanted. With the most incredible sense of build and push and pull, Renee Carlino kept me right in the thick of it during every word of this book as Will and Mia got closer and closer to where they’d fought so hard to get.

Read My Review of Sweet Thing     Read My Review of Sweet Little Thing

~The Game On Series: The Hook Up, The Friend Zone, & The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan~

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“Why won’t you let me kiss you, Anna?”
I can’t breathe.
“Why, Anna?”
“It’s too much,” I rasp.
“Not when I want everything.” He says it so deep and strong, a staking of a claim. “And I want everything with you, Anna.”   ~The Hook Up

“GrayG: Just to clarify, putting the perfectly reasonable and technically correct name aside, shenanigans are a go?
Laughing now, I lean back more comfortably in the ugly plastic airport seat and answer.
IvyMac: All night, Cupcake. I can’t wait to taste your frosting.
A couple seconds pass and then,
GrayG: Mac, you sent a dirty text. I just shed a tear of pride. I also have a hard-on. I think the little old lady sitting next to me is checking it out.” ~The Friend Zone

“Not necessary. Man-buns are hot. I blame Jason Momoa. There was only so much watching him bang Khaleesi the female population could take before they wanted their own Khal Drogo.” ~The Game Plan

Now I love me a good sports romance, and The Game On Series by Kristen Callihan delivers three distinctive, personality driven, and completely wonderful sports romances. Each of these books has a couple you won’t soon forget with their memorable personalities, back and forth, and the charm that bursts out of all of them. These interconnected standalones are so fun, so enjoyable, and are full of some serious heart and heat. They fantastically weave together everything you love about a good sports romance, while also making you smile and blush on just about every page. I loved how fun and light these books were, yet at the same time I loved how much meaning they had as well. Kristen Callihan exceptionally balanced bringing out the fun and the heart in these books, and I finished all 3 with a full heart and one big old smile on my face from these couples. With some serious charm and personality, these books are not to be missed… trust me on that!

Read My Review of The Hook Up   Read My Review of The Friend Zone

Read My Review of The Game Plan

 ~The Legal Briefs Series: Overruled, Sustained, Appealed, & Sidebarred by Emma Chase ~

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“Young love is strong. First love is powerful. But what you don’t know when you’re young—what you can’t know—is how long life actually is. And the only dependable thing about it, besides death and taxes, is change.”   ~Overruled

“I want her – this fearless, stunning woman. And I want the kids. Those perfect, awful, amazing children – whom she loves with every inch of her soul. I want them to be mine. Mine to hold, mine to protect and teach. Their joy, their laughter, their love. I want to come home to it, bask in it, be the reason for it. But even more than that, I want to deserve them.”   ~Sustained

“What if the reason I’ve never let myself fall in love with a woman is because I didn’t have anything to give? Because I’d already given my heart to her when we were seventeen years old? And all these years…I’ve just been waiting for her to come back to me with it.”   ~Appealed

“She’s my love, my home, the solace to my soul, the keeper of my heart, the center of my entire fucking world. The only reason I really believe in my own goodness is because I see it reflected in her eyes.”  ~Sidebarred

Emma Chase wowed me last year with her Tangled Series, so when I jumped into her Legal Briefs Series, I knew that I would most likely love it…and as it turns out, I was so right. This series was brought to life by Emma Chase’s sparkling and vibrant writing. I swear that woman is the queen of the male point of view, and the way that she continues that in this series with the males of the legal world was phenomenal. She made every moment of reading this series distinctive. She made it fun, charming, dynamic, and lively in only a way that she can, and I loved every single second of getting to be a part of that. This series let me fall in love with a whole new set of characters, and these interconnected standalones kept me loving them through every new book. I laughed, I smiled, I felt my heart fall something fierce, and I just enjoyed these well written, personality driven reads that gave me a whole new world of characters to root for. If you loved her Tangled Series, you will love these books so much!

Read My Review of Overruled    Read My Review of Sustained

Read My Review of Appealed   Read My Review of Sidebarred

~Him & Us by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy~

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“I have the same damn weakness I’ve always had. It’s still there as I stare up at the big screen. As I watch up at that big screen. As I watch Jamie Canning stop another dizzying slap shot. As I admire the grace and deadly precision with which he moves. My weakness is him.” ~Him

“There’s an old quote my mother once painted on a ceramic platter. Love is friendship set on fire. I get it now.” ~Us

Him and Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy are the books that popped my m/m cherry. These books were AMAZING. They were heated and sensual, they told a story of heart and discovery, and they gave me Jamie and Wes, two men who will always own a part of me. Those two guys shared something so real, so intense, and so worth it. Him and Us explores their journey to one another, and while it isn’t easy on either of them, and it pushes them both to realize what they truly want, it is their story all the way through and it just seared my heart to these two incredible guys. Both Jamie and Wes owned my heart through every word of these books. Those two made me blush, they had my heart feeling like it was beating out of my own chest with all that they go through, and they had me rooting with all I had that they would figure out a way to make it all work. This book isn’t just an m/m romance, it’s a story of second chances, and finding your true self and the love you deserve. This duet is beautiful, meaningful, and did I also mention that it was really freaking hot?!?!

Read My Review of Him   Read My Review of Us

~Fighting Solitude by Aly Martinez~

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“She entered my life during a brief period when all the stars had momentarily aligned.
It wasn’t until it all exploded, throwing my entire world out of orbit, that I realized she was the greatest gift I’d ever been given.”   ~Fighting Solitude

Oh those Page Brothers….how they continue to wow and awe me. I loved every book in Aly Martinez’s On The Ropes Series, but I have to admit that the Page brother I was most excited to get my hands on was Quarry. That foul mouthed little instigator was who I NEEDED in my life, and boy did his story pack some kind of emotional punch. Quarry and Liv’s story in Fighting Solitude is raw and intense and consuming in every way. I think I cried reading this book more than I did any of the other books in this series, and the vulnerability and openness I got with these two seared them to me in ways I didn’t even know was possible. Fighting Solitude is a story of overcoming the darkness that threatens to consume you, it’s a story of second chances, it’s a story of what your heart and soul hears, and it’s a story of pushing out from the solitude you’ve found yourself in to end up in the exact place you were always meant to be. Quarry Page was a bundle of personality and vibrancy, and Liv James was no wilting flower with her fire and determination. Getting to experience these two fight for it all was everything… and then some.

Read My Review of Fighting Solitude

~First Touch & Last Kiss by Laurelin Paige~

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“He was always rough. Always raw. He fucked me however he wanted— fucked my tits, my mouth, my cunt. He’d tell me when he wanted my ass in the future, he’d take that too. And then sometimes, rarely, in the middle of the night, he’d be sweet. Pulling me into his lap, kissing me, caressing me. Letting me fly but anchoring me with his eyes. Speaking words he’d never dare say in the light of day. Words that I’d never dare say in return. It was these times that I felt the most connected to him. It was these times that he scared me most.” ~First Touch

“Whoever had decided that damnation was fire and brimstone was wrong. Hell was cold and ice and emptiness. Hell was watching the one I’d grasped to so tightly slip through my fingers.
Hell was realizing the one I’d come to love would never choose to love me.”   ~Last Kiss

First Touch and Last Kiss was a provocative, dark, and sensual story of romantic suspense that had me on the edge of my seat through every pulse pounding word. Laurelin Paige delivers and incredible duet with these books, and she had me in awe of what was going on with these characters. Emily is a person on a mission searching for her oldest friend when she hears a message with a hidden signal in it, and that message is what leads her to Reeve, a dark and mysterious billionaire who’s got some serious mystery and darkness surrounding him. The more Emily digs and the closer she gets to Reeve, the more she finds herself entwined within a dark and pleasurable web of everything surrounding Reeve. As much as she knows she should fight it, she can’t help but be drawn to it, but the closer she gets, the more tangled she gets. This book is filled to the brim with twists and turns, the most sensual heat, and two characters who shouldn’t have ever met, yet still can’t help but feel what they do for one another. Be prepared to read these books in one sitting because you will not want to put them down!

Read My Review of First Touch     Read My Review of Last Kiss

~The Family Justice Saga: Unchained & Unforgettable by Suzanne Halliday~

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“Loving her was his salvation, but that didn’t mean all those feelings and the inner agony he felt over the whole fucking war was going to magically go away.” ~Unchained

“His masterful kiss set her on fire and unleashed a heady mix of desire and ecstasy. She surrendered instantly. His firm, insistent mouth demanded a response so she kissed him back with a ravenous hunger. Raising his lips off hers, he gazed into her eyes and brushed a gentle kiss on her forehead. “Don’t give up on me, counselor,” she whispered.

“From your first day angel baby, our souls have been connected. I could never let you go.” ~Unforgettable

The Family Justice Saga continues to be a series that fills my heart and gives me it all. To say I love these characters isn’t enough. I feel so beyond connected to them all and their stories, I feel as if I am a part of their family, and I feel like I will never get enough of their stories. Suzanne Halliday has woven such intricate and interwoven stories together in this series with all of her distinctive and memorable characters, and Unchained and Unforgettable continued my love of all things Justice. These books gave me more with all of the characters I love, had me feeling once again like I was a part of the big and loveable Justice family, and had me already ready for more with this crew. This series will continue to be one of my all-time favorites. If you’re looking for series that truly invests you with a group of characters, puts you through it all with them, and has you falling and loving and laughing and just enjoying every second you get with them, then you NEED  these books in your life. Stat.

Read My Review of Unchained    Read My Review of Unforgettable

~Dark Notes by Pam Godwin~

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“I wouldn’t need words, just her awareness of my body, my intent, and my confidence to give her what she craves. She may not know it but she needs clearly-defined boundaries, discipline, and a man she can trust to push her beyond her comfort zone. She may not yet recognize me as that man, but she will.” ~Dark Notes

Dark Notes is the first book I’ve ever read by Pam Godwin, but it will certainly not be the last. This book pushed my boundaries. It was dark and raw and intense as all get out. It gave me a story that wasn’t easy. It told a story that was gritty and messy and hard, but yet oh so good in the same breath. Emeric and Ivory were one helluva couple, with a dynamic and pull that I felt in my bones. Those two had a fire that could not be denied, despite the fact that they were teacher and student. This book isn’t for the faint of heart, but I am telling you, it will give you EVERYTHING. It will grasp you, shock you, break you, and make you, and in the end you will be damn glad you gave this book the chance it so rightfully deserves. Dark Notes was a pulsating read that had me needing the closest fan I could find, all while I fell damn hard for what Emeric and Ivory shared as they explored that dark and very real fire between them.

Read My Review of Dark Notes

~Me Before You By JoJo Moyes~

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“Hey Clark’, he said.’Tell me something good’. I stared out of the window at the bright-blue Swiss sky and I told him a story of two people. Two people who shouldn’t have met, and who didn’t like each other much when they did, but who found they were the only two people in the world who could possibly have understood each other. And I told him of the adventures they had, the places they had gone, and the things I had seen that I had never expected to. I conjured for him electric skies and iridescent seas and evenings full of laughter and silly jokes. I drew a world for him, a world far from a Swiss industrial estate, a world in which he was still somehow the person he had wanted to be. I drew the world he had created for me, full of wonder and possibility.”   ~Me Before You

Would you like to read a book that will rip your heart out and that you will never get over, yet you’ll find yourself loving every emotionally masochistic word of it?! Well come on down because Me Before You is the book for you. This book broke me. It made me sob and break and cry like there was no tomorrow. It was emotionally gut wrenching across the board, yet in the same breath it was one of the most powerful and meaningful stories I’ve every had the pleasure of reading. JoJo Moyes completely allows you to understand her characters, their motivations, their reasons, and their hearts with every page in this book, and even though this book still broke me (and I’m pretty sure there is still a part of my heart broken from it) I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. It isn’t light and it ain’t easy, but that’s what makes it what it is, and that’s what sets it apart. This book is perfection. It will take a chunk of you, but you’ll gladly give it for what Will and Lou give you, and in the end you’ll be damn glad you gave this book what you did.

Read My Review of Me Before You

Read My Review of Falling

~All That Jazz by Natasha Boyd~

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“You’re like a hurricane, Jazzy Bear. You would have changed everything. If you’d asked, I’d have given up my plans and dreams.” ~All That Jazz

The Eversea Series by Natasha Boyd is wonderful, southern, and charming series with the most phenomenal writing. I have loved every single book in this series, and I had been waiting for Joey and Jazz’s story ever since I met the two of them and had felt that there was one helluva story between those two. All That Jazz fills in all the questions you have about those two, all while putting you right back in the heart of Butler Cove with all its personality, charm, and warmth. The back and forth between Joey and Jazz had me on edge through every word of this book, and had me NEEDING for those two to figure it all out. What Joey and Jazz share is built on a past and present that collide in this book, and every heart melting and pulling word of this book will have you rooting for those two. Throw in the best dose of southern charm, and you have a book that is as vibrant and authentic as the south. If you have loved the Eversea Series, then I promise you will love this book so so much!

Read My Review of All That Jazz

~Dark Lover by J.R. Ward~

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“I’m going to talk to her.”
“And how’s that going to go? You’re just going to walk up to her and say, ‘Hey, I know you’ve never seen me before, but I’m your dad. Oh, and guess what? You’ve won the evolutionary lottery: You’re a vampire. Let’s go to Disneyland!”   ~Dark Lover

So I will admit that paranormal romance is so not my typical genre of romance that I like to read. It’s not that I haven’t loved the paranormal romances I’ve read, it’s just that they’re not the books I typically lean towards. I was told by a friend of mine that if I didn’t read this series, I would be disowned, so with that push I finally decided to give it a go. I had heard such incredible things about this series from so many of my friends, but I’ll still admit I wasn’t sure if I was going to love it or not. That being said, I LOVED every single word of Dark Lover by J.R. Ward. This book was all kinds of consuming, and I found myself so entwined with this brotherhood of vampires and the phenomenal world J.R. Ward creates. I couldn’t get enough of Wrath and Beth’s love story that was interwoven into all of the action of this book, and I have since read almost half of this series. I am hooked and addicted and everyone who told me to read this series was so fucking right because these books are soooooooo good. They’re romances with the best amount of paranormal to them, and I can’t get enough. (So you were right Aly & Ashley, okay?! hahaha!)

Read My Review of Dark Lover

~Wilder by Rebecca Yarros~

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“I knew why everyone got sucked in. He was magnetic, hypnotizing. It wasn’t just the body, the face or the tattoos. He made me feel anything was possible, like there was a whole shiny world waiting for me to step inside and explore. He was everything I wasn’t, but he made me feel like I could be.”  ~Wilder

Wilder is the first book in Rebecca Yarros’s Renegades Series, and this book was packed to the brim with action, adrenaline filled moments, and a love story of two seemingly opposite characters who couldn’t help but be drawn to one another. This book spans continents and countries, sets your pulse and your heart on fire with the action and antics of these renegades, and still gives a love story that is bursting with heart and feels galore. I loved and experienced every word of this book because of Rebecca Yarros’s exceptional writing. She puts you right in there with her characters, she lets you get them, she lets you understand their motives and fears and questions, and she lets you be with them as they fight to overcome what holds them back. Getting what I did  with Paxton and Leah in this book set my heart on fire, had me feeling it all for those two, and had me wishing like hell I had done Semester at Sea. The Renegades give you one wild and heart filled ride, so be sure to jump on their train…or boat, this very second!

Read My Reviews of Wilder

~Forever Rockers by Terri Anne Browning~

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“I love you. That is all that matters, do you hear me? I love you and all I need is you.” ~Forever Rockers

The Rocker Series by Terri Anne Browning is a series that I will never get enough of. I have been with this series since the very beginning. I have been through it all with these characters. Their highs and lows, their fights and wins, their losses and heartbreaks, and every twist and turn and up and down these books have brought them all. It’s safe to say I love these books with all that I have, and while I can’t pick favorites…yet it’s pretty safe to say that Shane and Harper have a special place in my heart. Their story is very special, very emotional, and so easy to understand and feel. Those two have struggled and been through it all, and the events of Forever Rockers gives you one last little bit with them as they try to create the family they’ve always dreamed of. In true Rocker Series fashion, there are forces and people out to get the rockers and the ones they love, and this book is jam packed with so many twists and turns that will have you dying to know what happens. I loved every word of this series and every word of Forever Rockers brought this series to a close in the most fitting and all-feeling way.

Read My Review of Forever Rockers

~One With You by Sylvia Day~

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“I hadn’t known Eva was out there, had been afraid to even dream of finding the one person in the world who would accept and love every facet of me.” ~One With You

The Crossfire Series is one of the first romance series I ever read. This book is part of the reason I love romance so much. Gideon and Eva’s emotional love affair is what showed me I loved me a good love story. Their sensual, emotional, and very raw love story told through Sylvia Day’s phenomenal writing is what made me love these two as strongly as I did. To say I was anticipating the conclusion to this series is putting it lightly, and I didn’t know what this last book for them would bring, but what I got with them was a beautiful, meaningful, and powerful story of love. This was the best conclusion I could have asked for with this series, and even though I am so sad to say goodbye to these two, their love and their fight to overcome the demons of their past will stay with me forever. Gideon and Eva’s love may not have been perfect, but it was real and it was theirs, and this series brought that love to life in the most incredible way.

Read My Review of One With You

~The Quantum Series: Valorous, Virtuous, Victorious, Rapturous, & Ravenous by M.S. Force~

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“The more time I spend with her, the more I want her. I want her to be mine. It doesn’t matter that I might not be good for her. I can be someone different for her. I’ll be anyone she needs me to be if it means I get to have her in my life.”  ~Virtuous

It had come down to a choice — her or the lifestyle. I’d chosen her. I’d choose her every time. I need her more. It’s that simple. She’s everything I didn’t know I needed until she literally slammed into me and turned my life upside down….” ~Valorous

“People don’t understand that it’s not all about the sex. It’s much more about the emotion. When two people are fully invested in a scene, it can be the most intensely emotional experience you’ll ever have — and that’s before anyone has sex.” He cups my face and slides his thumb over my cheekbone. “That’s magnified a thousand times when you’re in a scene with someone you love.” ~Victorious

“I’m her partner. Me. No one else. I realize tears are running down my face, and I don’t care that I’m crying for the first time in my adult life in front of someone I barely know. My heart breaks at the thought of her doing those things with anyone but me.”  ~Ravenous

“My body ignites at the images that scorch my brain in the scope of five seconds. Holy shit. Have I gone blind, deaf and dumb, or is Jasper Autry telling me he wants to have sex with me— and make a baby with me?”~Ravenous

The Quantum Series by M.S. Force is my new guilty pleasure. This series explores the themes of BDSM, friendship, and love and how all three can combine when given the right set of circumstances. This series has captivated me from the beginning with Natalie and Flynn, it continued with Hayden and Addison, and it got even stronger with Jasper and Ellie. The Quantum Series is so mesmerizing, and explores the love lives of a group of friends who also have a proclivity to the BDSM scene. This series explores their attempts at finding love, every emotional up and down, and every twist and turn that comes their way as they try to figure out exactly what they’re doing. This series is addicting, perfectly heated and sensual, and bursting with a group of dynamic characters I can’t wait to get more of!! M.S. Force has created a world where love has no boundaries, where there is power and submission, and where there is unyielding friendship and loyalty bursting from the pages of these books. I love this series so much, and I am beyond ready to see where this gang is headed next!

Read My Review of Virtuous        Read My Review of Valorous     

Read My Review of Victorious    Read My Review of Rapturous

Read My Review of Ravenous

So there you have it folks! My Top Reads of 2016. (If you’ve stuck with me all the way to the bottom of this uber long post, you deserve a gold medal. Seriously.) All of these books were AMAZING, and they blew me away with everything they had. I hope you take a chance on any or all of these books because I HIGHLY recommend them all. So please, do yourself a favor and check them out. Trust me. You won’t regret reading any of these books!

Three Years of Blogging and All I Really Want to Say is Thank You.

Y’all guess what.

Come in real close so I can tell you because it’s a secret….

Well really it’s not so much of a secret because the title of this blog post kind of reveals what I’m about to tell you, but we’ll just disregard that for right now. Okay? Okay.

So come in real close y’all because I have something to tell you…something big…something fantastic…something worth celebrating….

The Never Ending Book Basket is officially 3 years old!!!

*insert confetti toss and simultaneous twirling here*

confetti

Can we all just take in the fact that I have somehow managed to keep this blog alive for over one thousand days?!?!?!

This is coming from a girl who somehow managed to kill a plant that’s not even supposed to need water. (Though in all actuality I think all plants need some kind of water, so that might’ve been where I went wrong with that one, but I digress…) You heard that right, I killed a cactus. A mother effing cactus that barely needs any maintenance, and yet I still managed to kill it, so the fact that I have kept this blog going for 3 years now is something I’m pretty damn proud of.

You heard that right, this book blog turned 3!!

So I guess this is really like a thing now. Like this whole book blogging thing is really going to stick. Like for reals y’all, and I for one can’t say enough how happy that makes me because I truly don’t know where I’d be without this blog and what its brought to my life.

What it looks like when I try to reorganize my TBR pile...

What it looks like when I try to reorganize my TBR pile…

Now once again I must admit that this blogiversary post is a bit delayed for the second year in a row since The Never Ending Book Basket’s actual blogiversary is November 7th. Last year I spent my blogiversary at the Indies Invade Philly book signing with two of my best friends, which was ahhhmazing in so many ways. This year I got to spend my blogiversary adulting at the car repair shop and writing a paper for my grad class, which was so not as much fun as Indies Invade Philly.

But if I’m being 100% honest, I’m actually kind of glad I was delayed in writing this post because its sentiment fits the time of year just right. You see the biggest thing I feel right now, as I write this third blogiversary post, is thankful.

I am so damn thankful.

I’m thankful for the unforgettable experiences and people and books this blog has brought to my life.

I’m thankful for my friends and family accepting and supporting my little blog in any way that they can, and for their understanding that my book obsession is literally never going away.

I’m thankful for what creating, running, and writing this blog has shown me about myself, my passions, and my dreams.

I’m thankful for the authentic and cherished relationships this blog has allowed me to create with other bloggers, fellow readers, and some of my all-time favorite authors, who are all literally some of the best people on the planet.

I’m oh so thankful that when my little blogging world was turned upside down this year, I found I had the best kind of support system a girl could ask for.

Like I said, I am thankful for it all. So. Damn. Thankful. 

When I started this blog I had no idea how it would literally change my life in so many amazing ways. I had no idea how it would bring some of the most phenomenal books into my life that I will literally never forget or stop feeling. I had no idea that it would allow me to cultivate the most amazing friendships with people all over this great big world. I had no idea that it would allow me to help and support authors in ways that I didn’t even know were possible. I had no idea that it would fulfill me as much as it has, but fulfill me it does.

What started as just a little idea, bloomed into something I never could have expected, and I am grateful every day that I have this blog and this amazingly wonderful community to be a part of.

Through all of life’s craziness, this blog, this community, and all the book love have grounded me. They have helped keep me sane-ish *heavy on that ish*, and have shown me that this community of readers, authors, and bloggers is where I want to be as long as humanly possible.

Don’t get me wrong, this blog and everything that goes along with it is work, but it’s the best kind of work a girl could ask for, and I wouldn’t trade a single second of it all. This little book blog of mine makes my heart happy on a daily basis, and I truly don’t know where I’d be without it.

So THANK YOU! giphy2

Thank you for supporting me and my crazy book loving self, thank you for supporting this blog in every way that y’all do, and thank you for letting me spread the book love in every way that I can.

You’ll never know how much it means to me. If I could give you all bookstore gift cards, hugs, and copious amounts of coffee as a thank you, I would because y’all are the best and you’ve made me the happiest book blogger on the planet with the support I’ve received.

So now while I can’t hug you all, or give you gift cards and coffee, I can give you my annual list of things I’ve learned in the last 3 years of book blogging, which is pretty much the same thing….right? Right.

(It’s sooooo not the same thing, but let’s just go with it!)

What I’ve learned in the last 1,095 days of book blogging:

  • Amazon, you hit like a bitch. If you’ve followed this blog then you know that this year I was banned from reviewing on Amazon, and had all of my hundreds of previous reviews removed. *insert middle finger to Amazon here* It’s funny that in my 2nd blogiversary post last year, I wrote about being worried that that very thing would happen, and just a mere 3 months later it did. And you know what, it fucking sucked. Like a lot. But you know what happened too? I realized that being banned from Amazon wasn’t the absolute worst thing in the world. I also realized that there was no way being banned from Amazon was going to stop me on my book loving, book blogging brigade. Sure it changed the way I go about blogging in some minor ways, and it still pisses me off that I literally can’t post a review for anything on that damn website, but it in no way stopped me from being the kind of book blogger I want to be. It also led to my most viewed blog post ever, with that oh so catchy title that I’m kinda really proud of, which to this day gets viewed almost daily. Sure getting banned from Amazon was so not in the plan, but the support I received from this book community when that happened, and have since received since being banned, is something I will truly never forget. Ever. So fuck you Amazon, and goodnight.

    I *might* have a book buying problem...

    I *might* have a book buying problem…and the floor beneath all those books *might* be collapsing soon…

  • I *might* have a book buying problem. So in my three years of blogging I have come to the conclusion that I *might* have a slight problem with buying books…and when I say slight, I mean that I’m actually worried the floor in my room in going to collapse because I have soooooo many books. What can I say?! Books are my jam, and I will not apologize for that, nor will I apparently stop buying books no matter how many unread ones I have at home. No matter where I seem to go, I always seem to find some books that need to find their way to my home, and as much as my mother might hate that, I think she just accepts that my book buying isn’t stopping anytime soon. So I guess as much as I tell myself I won’t buy any more books until I read more of my literal TBR pile, the lie detector test has officially determined that to be a lie….and I’m kind of really okay with that because what in the world could be wrong with buying more books??? (Fun fact: there is nothing wrong with buying more books.)
  • Hanging out with fellow readers, bloggers, and authors is the best. THE ABSOLUTE BEST. This year I got the amazing chance to travel to 7 book signings, in 4 different states, all while hanging out with the best people. (And also while adding to my actual never ending book basket of course!) I will literally never get enough of meeting my favorite authors, fellow readers, and other bloggers who all share the same book love. Getting the chance to talk and interact with them makes my little heart happy, and this year has given me some of the most unforgettable memories that I will cherish forever. Whether it was hanging out with my favorite people who I don’t see near enough, whether it was running into familiar faces at book signings while we all made our way through all the craziness and lines, or whether it was meeting new friends online and in person, this year burst my heart with all that it gave me. Meeting people who not only get and accept, but love your crazy never gets old. I will literally never get enough of meeting and connecting with people from this community whether it be in person, online, or anywhere in between, and I look forward to another year of doing just that!
  • I still use all the words, and I still LOVE using all the words. Words are my jam. They make me happy, and I love them something fierce, which is probably why I like to use all of them. All the damn time. Yep, I am still wordy as fuck, and I am really okay with that. Sure my book reviews are typically over 1500 words at minimum, and let’s not even get started on the trees being killed by the length of my beta notes, but in my book, using all the words is okay. (Lord help me when I actually get to writing that book I always say I’m going to write. That book will probably be longer than the phone book!) And let’s be honest, being wordy is kind of my schtick at this point. So I’m going to keep being wordy, and I hope y’all are okay with that because I don’t think I’ll ever stop being wordy because where’s the fun in that?!
  • Books are literal magic, and they can give you it all, if you let them. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, books can bring us together if we let them, and that is something pretty damn amazing. I truly believe books can give us the most unforgettable feelings, tumblr_mwy0p7ssz81rc5z1po1_500moments, and experiences within their pages, all we have to do is give them a chance to wow us with their magic. Books have literally changed my life. They have let me live so many different lives, with so many different characters in so many different worlds, and it honestly doesn’t get better than that. They have made me full on ugly cry, laugh to the point of my cheeks hurting, practically made me stop breathing at times, and they have pushed me and my heart to their very limit. Whether it’s a romance novel that has me melting and swooning, or the most thrilling mystery that has me dying to know what will happen next, or an honest memoir that amazes me with its authenticity and realness, or a magical world that lets me believe in magic and possibilities and what could be…books have given me it all, and then some, and for that I can’t say thank you to the book gods enough.

So there you have it folks. Three years of book blogging is officially in the books!

deo5r*wooooohooooo*

Here’s hoping that there are many more of these blogiversary posts to come in the future! I don’t know about you, but I can’t seem to get enough of this book world or the book love it contains, and I’m really looking forward to experiencing more of it in the days to come.

I know this post is ridiculously long, and I know I probably lost most of y’all when the bulleted list started, but to quote one of my favorite movies even though I keep fumbling for the right words, all I really wanted to say was thank you.”

That’s all I really wanted to do with this post. I wanted to say thank you. From the bottom of my heart. A million times over.

Thank you for supporting this blog and for supporting me. Thank you for accepting my book loving crazy ass, and for allowing me to be a part of a world that makes me happy and fills my heart on a daily basis. Thank you for every word of encouragement, every like, every comment, and every kind and thoughtful word you’ve given me.

Thank you to the authors for creating the unforgettable books and characters and worlds we all love and need to get lost in, and thank you for letting me read and review your books because it truly means the world to me.

Thank you to my fellow bloggers for being the best group of coworkers a girl could ask for, and even though I’ve never met most of y’all, I think we’d all agree that this is the best *job* to have.

Thank you to my fellow readers for all the fantastic book recommendations, for being you and getting as excited as I do over books, and for loving books as passionately as you do. There is truly nothing better than that, or you.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I truly can’t say it enough.

Amazon, you hit like a bitch.

It’s taken me a bit of time to write this post, but I figured it’s about time to share the utter nonsense that’s happened between me and Amazon, and how a company that I once highly respected, has now become one that I have zero respect for.

I’ve thought about writing this post for weeks, what I would say and how I would capture everything that’s happened, and I’ll be honest with the fact that this post has taken on many forms, but finally I decided that it would just be easiest to state the facts.

So here it goes…

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This is the first email I got from Amazon.

As some of you know, on February 24th I was sent an email from Amazon letting me know that I could no longer post reviews on their website, and that all of my previous reviews had been suppressed or removed. In case you’re wondering, that was well over 300 reviews that I had written in my over 2 years of book blogging.

All gone in an instant because Amazon decided that I was “manipulating product reviews.”

I don’t even know what that means for Amazon. I have no idea why my reviews were deemed manipulating or misleading, and when I asked for clarification on this, you know what I got? I got an email from them saying they weren’t going to give me any information or “evidence” as to why this all happened.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here, so let me backtrack a bit.

About 2 minutes after I opened my email and found out I was no longer able to review on Amazon, I called customer service because I wanted an answer. Really, I wanted someone to tell me what the hell was going on, why they were doing this, and what they even meant by “manipulating product reviews” since I was sure that I had never done that.

I was so frustrated, so upset, and I will admit that I was near tears because of all of this.

That customer service representative I talked to had no idea what to do with me and my issue, and as it was also 7 o’clock in the morning, she couldn’t talk to anyone who worked in the online communities department because they weren’t there yet. She told me she would forward what was going on to them, and that they would call me back within 24 hours.

Well funnily enough, 24 hours came and went, and I got no phone call. Can’t say I’m shocked about that one.

So that’s when round 2 of calling customer service came, and over 48 hours after I first called Amazon about this, I tried again. That customer service representative also had no idea what to do with me, but after about 10 minutes on hold, they informed me that they had submitted a form to the online communities department about my inquiry as to why I was banned and why my reviews were removed. This representative informed me that I should get a reply within 2 days.

And he wasn’t lying. I got a response alright, and that response is by far one of the worst displays of customer service I’ve ever seen. (And this is coming from a girl who worked in retail for many years.)

Amazon sent me a *lovely* email telling me they found my reviews to be manipulating or misleading, yet I still had no clarification on what that actually meant, and that they were not going to give me any other information about this. They also added that they were probably not going to respond back to further emails about this issue, and then added that they could only respond via email to questions about reviews.

The second, even more *helpful* email I received from Amazon.

The second, even more *helpful* email I received from Amazon.

That’s when I started scratching my head a bit.

So Amazon can only respond to my questions about my reviews, why there were removed, and why this was all happening via email, but as they say “we may not reply to further emails about this issue.”

That seems a bit like an oxymoron to me, but what do I know? I’m just a school teacher who’s passionate about book blogging.

Basically what I got from that is that I can only email them about this whole thing, but they’re probably not actually going to respond to me.

Super helpful Amazon. For a multibillion dollar company, their customer service with this was horrendous in my opinion, and I really don’t think it was too much to ask for to speak to a human being on this issue.

If you’re going to remove my reviews and ban me forever, the least you can do is talk to me in person.

Right? Apparently not though, since all I got was that email.

So where did that leave me?

Well that left me angry and frustrated and with no reviews on Amazon. It also left me scrambling to try to figure out what this would mean for me as a book blogger. Luckily all my reviews were saved to my Goodreads account, so they weren’t fully gone, but that still left me pissed and unsure of what this would all mean going forward.

And when I get pissed, I act, so you know what I did? I calculated how much support I had given Amazon over the last year.

Now I’m not a numbers person, but you can’t deny numbers and facts, so here it goes:

  • In 2015 I spent roughly $1,441.33 on books on Amazon. That’s a combination of over 344 e-books, paperbacks, and Audible books. (And let me remind you, that’s just for 2015. That doesn’t include the money I spent in the 2 years before when I started buying e-books and paperbacks through Amazon.)
  • As of February 28th 2016 I had already spent $163.17 on Amazon on e-books, Audible books, and pre-orders.
  • Between 2015 and 2016 I have done giveaways on my blog for over $196 dollars’ worth of e-books and gift cards from Amazon. ($115 of that was gift cards to get people to buy things on their website.)
  • I’ve also been a member of their Amazon Associates Program since 2015, meaning that on a daily basis, multiple times a day, I promote Amazon and their products on my blog and my blog’s Facebook page.

And what did Amazon do to thank me for that daily promotion and my almost daily purchases from them?

They banned me.

They didn’t ban me from buying things from them of course, but from giving my honest reviews of the products I purchased.

They also removed hundreds of reviews I worked my ass of on, and for what reason?

Oh wait. They won’t give me a clear reason.

tumblr_mc32p3pxMR1qc8jh0o2_250Was it because I “know” authors? Well let me tell you Amazon, I wish I knew even a fraction of the authors that I’ve read books from. I wrote a review for Grey by E.L. James that you removed. If you think I know her then I would gladly give up my reviews to say that, but newsflash, I don’t know her. (Even though I wish I did, because I think she’s pretty amazing.) I don’t know Sylvia Day, or Abbi Glines, or Jodi Ellen Malpas, or Colleen Hoover either, or the other authors’ books that I’ve reviewed on your website. (And believe me, I wish I could say that I knew them, but alas I don’t.)

I would say I probably know 5 or 6 authors, tops. And if you don’t want me to review a book of theirs, that I can understand, but removing all of my reviews? I don’t get that at all.

And while we’re on that topic, how do you even determine that I “know” those authors? What formulas or tactics do you use to figure that out? Because I’d seriously like to know.

Was I banned because I like the books I read too much? Is it because almost every book I read is 4 or 5 stars, or is it because my book reviews are super detailed and long? Well let me tell you something Amazon, after being an avid reader my entire life, I have a pretty damn good idea of what I like to read. I know what I’ll love, and when I love a book I love it hard, and I write reviews that show that. I want to spread the book love, which is why I’m a fucking book blogger in the first place, and I’m not going to waste money on a book I know I won’t like, just so I can give it 2 stars and not be deemed as being a “misleading or manipulative reviewer” by you.

Was I banned because your computer system deemed me to be paid or fake based on whatever wonky system you have? Well let me tell you, I make absolutely ZERO dollars every year reviewing books, and I spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars buying books. (It’s kind of my thing, if you couldn’t tell.) In fact, to date I’ve only been paid out once by the Amazon Associates Program, and that was a $10 gift card TO AMAZON. That I gladly spent on Amazon, as it was the only place I bought e-books from.

Whatever Amazon’s reason for doing all this is, I will probably never know. And you know what? It is what it is at this point. I unfortunately have no control over the crappy things Amazon tries to do, and since they won’t give me a reason, I’m done looking for one.

I’m sure many of you at this point, including Amazon, are thinking, well what’s the big fucking deal? It’s a book review.Jon Stewart

Well to me it is a big deal. Book reviewing and blogging is my passion. It’s something that helps keep me sane from my daily on the go life, and it’s what I LOVE to do. So to remove hours and hours of work that I did, to remove reviews that I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into, and to ban me from supporting books and authors pretty much feels like a slap in the face.

Especially after all of the support I’ve given Amazon over the past few years.

It may not be a big deal to Amazon, but is sure is hell is to me and countless other reviewers who have had the same thing happen to them.

I get it Amazon, it’s your company and you can do what you want, but one of these days you’re going to realize that it’s bloggers like me that bring people to your website, that tell people to buy your shit, and support you in countless ways…and by that point it’ll be too late.

Because you’ll have probably banned us all.

So now, over a month later, what am I supposed to do?

Stop book blogging over all this crap? Stop being an avid reader and a huge supporter of authors because of all this? Stop writing book reviews or change the way I write them because I can’t post them to Amazon?

That’s a big hell to the no. anigif_optimized-28150-1440411350-1

Because if I did that, Amazon would win, and they don’t get to fucking win with this, or tell me what I can and can’t do.

Sure I can’t review on their website anymore, and to that I say good riddance, and fuck you.

What they did shows a hell of a lot more about their company and its ridiculousness, than it does about my book reviews.

What I can do is keep reading, and reviewing (on my blog and other retailers), and telling readers about the books that I love while supporting hard working authors who deserve a damn book review.

I can also tell people about what’s happened to me with Amazon, and how it’ll probably happen to them sooner rather than later because let’s face it: Amazon makes their own rules, and they just don’t care about the ramifications those rules have.

It also means that I can be a smarter consumer with whom I choose to give my money to when I buy books and other products. 

Today is April 3, 2016. The sun is shining, it’s springtime, and yeah I’m still banned from reviewing on Amazon and that still kind of pisses me off, like a lot, but at the end of the day, I won’t let one company’s ridiculous policies and handling of this situation keep me from doing what I want to do.

I won’t let them keep me from being the book blogger I want to be. I won’t let their asinine system keep me from spreading the book love and supporting authors, and I won’t let them keep me down or stop me from being a passionate book reviewer.

So that’s what I have to say.

Amazon, you hit like a bitch.

And you know what?

You’re not going to stop me and my book loving brigade.

Not one little bit.

Top Reads of 2015!

2015 has officially come to an end! Whoop, whoop!

Well technically it came to an end over 2 weeks ago, but let’s just disregard the fact that I’m a tad behind with this post. Okay? Okay.

It’s a New Year, which means endless possibilities and new chances, and of course lots of new books! giphy

*Insert lots of cheering and celebrating here*

But before we dive into all the fun that 2016 has to offer, I want to share with you some of my favorite books from this year.

2015 was a great reading year for me. I read a total of 221 books this year (at least that’s what my Goodreads tells me I read this year, haha!). I also had the chance to go to some amazing book signings and meets some fabulous authors. I celebrated my Summer of Series  and read my days away, and I have to say that I loved so many of the books I got to read this year.

I fell so hard for so many characters, and was swept away again and again by their unforgettable stories. Many of the books I read were by some of my all-time favorite authors who continue to blow me away on a daily basis, others I read came out of left field and stole my heart completely with everything they had. I even had the chance to fall under the spell of some well loved favorites that have been recommended to me for years. Some of these books made me laugh, a good number of them made me cry, and all of them will stick with me in some way, shape, or form forever.

All in all, 2015 was a good year for me & books, and I want to share with you my favorite ones. Some of these books are standalones, and some are series. Often I couldn’t pick just one favorite book from a series, so I included them all. (That’s my logic, and I’m sticking with it.) Be sure to check them all out! And if you’re looking for more books to fall in love with, head over to my Goodreads page to check out more of what I read in 2015, because I read so many fantastic books this year!! (Way more than I could ever include on one list!)

All of the books below, are memorable, phenomenal, and downright AMAZING to say the least. I could use just about every positive adjective in the book to describe them, and I still wouldn’t come close to capturing what it was like to read them. So please, I beg of you, check them out, read them, and let them amaze. Let them blow you away with all that they’ve got. Trust me. They’re worth it.

Top Reads 2015

**All books selected were read by myself in 2015. Scroll below to read and find out more about them all (they aren’t listed in any kind of order), and as always, thank you for visiting The Never Ending Book Basket.**

~The Sweet Addiction Series: Sweet Addiction, Sweet Possession, & Sweet Obsession by J. Daniels~

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“Jesus Christ. It is way too early to talk about dick sizes and which way they curve.”. . .”But for the record, he’s massive and as straight as you pretended to be in high school.” ~Sweet Addiction

“I beg him because he likes it and because it’s true. I do need him; I’ll always need him. How I ever managed to convince myself otherwise is beyond me. I was a complete fool for ever denying my feelings for him.” ~Sweet Possession

“I want him to want me so badly he can’t remember anyone before. I want him to distract me so I’m not completely terrified of what this is or what it’s becoming. I don’t want to think. I just want to feel. His hands. His mouth. The wild pace of his heart.” ~Sweet Obsession

The Sweet Addiction Series by J. Daniels is AMAZING. What starts as a wedding hookup leads to so much more for Reese and Dylan in Sweet Addiction and Sweet Possession. These books are full of fun and heat and so many laugh out loud moments that will send your heart a flutter and melting again and again. They are some of my all-time favorites now, and I can’t get enough of them!! (Especially Joey. That man is my spirit animal.) Sweet Obsession continues the series with one Brooke Wicks and her Aussie obsession Mason King as they explore the intense and consuming connection they share. She’s just looking for a good time, he’s looking for that something more, and what happens when these two are together is nothing short of explosive, hysterical, and meltworthy.

Read My Review of Sweet Addiction & Sweet Possession        Read My Review of Sweet Obsession

~The Wake Series: Sail & Anchor by M. Mabie~

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“The best things are worth waiting a little for, honeybee. Otherwise, fairy tales would start with happily ever after.” ~Sail

“Because sometimes things happen that are so far past fantastic you have to do them again simply to see if they’re as spectacular the second time. Those precious moments are almost as good as the next, when you learn sometimes the second-time moments are more.” ~Anchor

Blake and Casey are two of my favorite literary couples EVER. I could go on and on about how much I LOVE those two with my entire heart, and I still wouldn’t come close to capturing my love for them. I could also go on and on about how many times those two made me cry, or want to scream, or want to jump up and down with utter joy and happiness and frustration (sometimes all at once, haha!) I will NEVER forget their story. The events of Sail and Anchor complete their story and show how that Bait of a connection Sails them straight into something they both never knew they wanted and needed, and finds them Anchored in the exact place they needed to be all along. It wasn’t always easy for the two of them, but it was so fucking worth it. Blake and Casey’s story will blow you away, and pull at all of your emotions a million times over, and that was everything!!  

Read My Review of Sail    Read My Review of Anchor

~The On the Ropes Series: Fighting Silence & Fighting Shadows by Aly Martinez~

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“You see, meeting the love of my life at age thirteen was never part of my plan. However, neither was gradually going deaf at the age of twenty-one. They both happened anyway. Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life. Fighting for my career. Fighting the impending silence. Fighting for her.” ~Fighting Silence

“When I was nineteen years old, I fell in love with a girl who changed my life by showing me that even the darkest nights still had stars and it didn’t matter one bit that you had to lie in the weeds to see them.”  ~Fighting Shadows 

The Page Brothers…..be still my rapidly beating heart. Those boys own me each and every time I read one of their books, and this series is made its way to being one of my all-time favorites this year. They are all distinctive in their own wonderful ways, but they’re all fierce and strong and determined as hell. Their books follow Till, Flint, and Quarry (his book actually releases in just over a month, and it is AMAZING!) as they fight to get to the exact places they want to be, and do their damndest to escape the shitty card they’ve each been dealt. The journeys they go on to get there will have your heart breaking and racing and healing all at once in a way that is extraordinary to experience. I couldn’t resist the pull, the emotions, and the all-feeling fight from the Page brothers. I will never forget what it was like to be inside that ring with them, or outside of it living and fighting and giving it my all right along with them.

Read My Review of Fighting Silence           Read My Review of Fighting Shadows

~The Flight & Glory Series: Full Measures, Eyes Turned Skyward, & Beyond What is Given by Rebecca Yarros~

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“The fire you have within you is impossible to kill. The first breath you take when you’re free of all this, it will come roaring back. That’s what is so impossibly beautiful about you.”   ~Full Measures

“I’ve seen love burn someone to the ground, and I’ve seen it make sense of the ridiculous. I won’t settle for less than that kind of fire.”   ~Eyes Turned Skyward

“This is not a temporary thing between us. There is no deadline. I. Am. Always. Yours.”
He kissed me softly, his tongue tracing my lower lip. “So go ahead and fall. I’ve gotten really good at catching you.”   ~Beyond What Is Given

The Flight & Glory Series was a series I had meant to start reading months ago, and I could kick myself for waiting so long to read these books because they were phenomenal. They had the perfect level of emotion, angst, intensity, pull, along with some unforgettable characters who completely stole my heart. Each of these books follows a different couple, and while they might technically be standalones, I personally think you MUST read all of them because they are all that fantastic and it makes the effect of them all the more immense when they’re read in order. I am a huge military romance lover and these books delivered in every single way. The emotions and how much you feel each of these unique and unforgettable stories will leave you in awe! I read them all in less than 3 days because I could not stop reading. I HAD to know what would happen next!! Rebecca Yarros’s writing is breathtakingly beautiful and captures every ounce of these books. You truly feel and live every word of this series!!

Read My Review of Full Measures          Read My Review of Eyes Turned Skyward

Read My Review of Beyond What is Given

~Kissing Madeline by Lex Martin~

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“I hate you”, she says under her breath.
“It’ll pass. Then you’ll love me, I promise.”
She turns and glares.” You shouldn’t make promises you can’t keep.”
I grin and motion toward her.” You need to be careful. I always keep my promises.” ~Kissing Madeline

The Dearest Series by Lex Martin is fun, engaging, and has an effervescent spark lighting off of every page. Dearest Clementine and Finding Dandelion were two of my top reads last year, so it was no surprise that Kissing Madeline made my list this year. I’m also pretty sure that this book is my favorite of the series! I had been waiting for their story ever since I finished Finding Dandelion last year, and their story did not disappoint one bit. Daren and Maddie’s story was full of so must heat, so many swoonworthy moments, and their connection was out of this world fierce. I was so beyond invested in their story together, and the level of what those two feel for one another will have you rooting with everything you have for them. Kissing Madeline has the best balance of heat, meaning, and an all-feeling love story that I will never stop loving or forget.

Read My Review of Kissing Madeline

~The Paper Swan by Leylah Attar~

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“I want to remember this,” he said, pulling me into his arms. “If I die tonight, I want to die remembering what it was like to hold the whole world in my hands.”   ~The Paper Swan

The Paper Swan is one of the most beautiful, well crafted, and eloquently written books I have ever read. It gave me a story that consumed me mind, body, and soul, and I am still thinking about this story weeks later. This was another book I meant to read months ago, and I can’t tell you enough how much it left me in awe of its magnificence. Leylah Attar weaves together a story that spans decades and continents, a story that has you on the edge of your seat the entire time and has your heart completely in the story itself with the characters experiencing every twist and turn. The story that Leylah Attar gave me in The Paper Swan is one that I know I will never forget because reading this book is an experience unto itself. This book is breathtakingly emotional, intense and consuming to say the least, and it will literally leave you in awe with the story, emotions, and unforgettable moments it gives you.

Read My Review of The Paper Swan

~Hard Love by Meredith Wild~

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“Ours was a hard love. We’d fallen hard into it, and we’d fought hard to keep it. Out kind of love didn’t ask nicely. It took. It ravaged. It consumed the heart whole and asked questions later. The rewards were soul-deep and all-consuming, sweeping through like a wildfire.” ~Hard Love

Hard Love was the perfect, and I mean PERFECT, conclusion to Meredith Wild’s Hacker Series. Hard Love brought Blake and Erica’s consuming, hard fought, and amazing love story to a close in a way that did their story justice and had me realizing over and over again why this is one of my favorite series. Hard Love takes you on one last intense and wholly enrapturing ride with Blake and Erica as they face one last fight together. Their story in Hard Love is completely fitting and exemplifies everything that this series stands for: the utterly breathtaking, unforgettable, and all-feeling things that love can bring you if you give your self into it all and allow yourself to have it. I can’t say enough good things about this conclusion and what it gave their dynamic characters. As sad as I am to say goodbye to Blake and Erica, their story in the entire series, and especially in Hard Love, is one that completely stole my heart from beginning to end, and I know that will stick with me far past the end.

Read My Review of Hard Love

~Gus by Kim Holden~

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“You only get one chance at this circus called life. Don’t sit in the crowd watchin’ it happen. You jump right in and be the ringleader. That’s where you find your fire.”   ~Gus

A year ago I read a book that changed my life. That book was Bright Side by Kim Holden. Bright Side is a book that will stay with me in my heart, in my mind, and in my soul for the rest of time. Exactly a year later I read Gus, the follow up to Bright Side, and I have no doubt that this book will be joining Bright Side in my heart, and in my soul, and definitely in my mind. Gus is a story about a lot of things. It’s about love and healing and hurt and pain. It’s about what happens when your life is thrown upside down, and you lose the person who was your reason for being. It’s about finding yourself and fixing yourself as you try to put yourself back together again. Gus is also about love. The power of love, how love can heal you, and the unforgettable, all-feeling, and truly wonderful places love can take you if you open yourself up to you. Gus is about moving on, but never forgetting, and I know that I will never forget this book and the beauty and meaning within it. It was perfection, and I am telling you, YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK!

Read My Review of Gus

~Unforgettable Sun by Kathryn Andrews~

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“…there is only one way to be loved, truly loved, and that’s unconditionally…you are under my skin, in every breath that I take and permanently branded on my heart…I want to be bear you. I burn for you…” ~Unforgettable Sun

Unforgettable Sun is the conclusion to The Hale Brother’s Series by Kathryn Andrews. This book gives you Matt’s story, and I am telling you that this series, and especially this book, is not to be missed. What you get from Matt and Elle in this book is breathtakingly emotional and will squeeze your heart more times than you can count while reading. This book gives you all the answers you’ve been searching for, while giving you a love story that is full of feeling, full of meaning, and full of a hope at healing from the darkness of the past if you only follow the sun. Matt’s story is probably my favorite from this series (though don’t tell Beau & Drew that because I LOVE them too!!). It was phenomenal to finally get into his head after wondering so much about him and what he went through, and though his story broke my heart more times than I could count while reading, I LOVED every all-feeling word of it because it truly gave me everything!

Read My Review for Unforgettable Sun

~Confess by Colleen Hoover~

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“I’m scared I’ll never feel this again with anyone else,” I whisper.
He squeezes my hands. “I’m scared you will.”
~Confess

It really doesn’t get much better than a book by Colleen Hoover, and Confess is a perfect example of that. This book was beautiful, meaningful, and full of shocking moments from the very first moment to the very last. I can’t tell you enough how utterly mesmerizing Confess is to read. Reading this book will probably make you cry, it’ll definitely make you feel, and somewhere in there while reading it you’ll realize how epic and unforgettable of a love story you are experiencing. Auburn and Owen’s story is full of some big OMG moments, and what those two go through will have you wanting to reach in and make it all better for them both. They both have secrets, both have things from their past they’d rather not remember, and they’re both still currently reeling from those pasts…but when these two come together in this book it is everything and you will be blown away by the colors they paint.

Read My Review of Confess

~The Frenched Series by Melanie Harlow: Frenched, Yanked, Forked, & Floored~

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“Stop it, Mia. And don’t even look at his crotch right now. Don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t— I did it. I couldn’t help myself.” ~Frenched

“What I’m trying to say is, there’s no perfect life without you. In fact, I no longer dream about a “perfect” life. I only dream about a life with you.” ~Yanked

“We have history. That has weight. It has meaning. And you of all people know that just because something is in the past doesn’t mean it’s dead and buried.”  ~Forked

“Sexually, I wanted him six days to Sunday. Sixty-nine days to Sunday, in fact, and I wasn’t even a sixty-nine kind of girl. Confession: I was, of course I was. I’d just never acted like it in real life. But I’d do it with Charlie. In a heartbeat. And were there other numbers? I’d do those too.” ~Floored

The Frenched Series is one of the most engaging, fun, and sparkling series that I have had the pleasure of reading! These books had the best amount of everything to make a well-rounded series full of so much life, vibrancy, and heat that is sure to bring a certain kind of blush to your cheeks in the best possible way. This series follows a group of girlfriends as they each take a chance on love, and the crazy, unpredictable, and downright amazing things that can happen if they give it all a chance. From Frenched with Lucas *major sigh* and Mia, to Forked with Nick and Coco, and onto Floored with Charlie and Erin, this series gives you 3 phenomenal stories that will have you laughing out loud more times than you can count, will have you practically panting and needing a fan too, and will give you 3 unforgettable stories of friendship, love, and spark, and the life changing things that can happen when you have all 3!! I fell in love with Melanie Harlow’s writing through these books, and she dazzled me completely with these books, so please do yourself a favor and read them!!!

Read My Review of Frenched        Read My Review of Yanked

Read My Review of Forked             Read My Review of Floored

~Corrupt by Penelope Douglas~

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“When you want to make an impression and you think you’ve gone far enough, go a little further. Always leave them wondering if you’re just a little bit crazy, and people will never fuck with you again.” ~Corrupt 

Corrupt was the first book I had ever read by Penelope Douglas, and to say that it owned me, that it consumed my heart and my mind for hours and hours, and that it wowed me with everything that it had is putting it too mildly. Every dark and twisty page of this book left me blown away by what I was reading. Corrupt gives you the perfect level of suspense, darkness, intrigue and mystery with a healthy dose of intense build and passion and searing heat too. This book shocked me, it awed me, and it had me blushing more times than I could count and I was mesmerized by every word of it. This book definitely pushed me a bit as a reader, but I loved every second of it, and the story I read in Corrupt is one that I know I will never forget because of how corrupting and fantastic and utterly mind blowing it was.

Read My Review of Corrupt

~The Fall Up by Aly Martinez~

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“I’m going to make things awkward. It’s kinda what I do. Just bear with me.”
She licked her lips, and I was forced to kiss her again. When I finally came back up for air, I continued.
“My name is Samuel Nathan Rivers. I’m twenty-seven. Aquarius. No criminal history. I have a clean bill of health. I’m a democrat, but for God’s sake, do not tell my mom. I own a furniture shop and clear six figures a year. I’m not interested in your money. I’ll show you my tax return if need be. I’m also not a super-fan interested in your fame. But, for the love of all that’s holy, I need you to come home with me.”   ~The Fall Up

Oh The Fall Up….Oh Sam, Oh Levee, Oh how much I LOVED this all-feeling, emotional, and breathtaking book. It’s not secret that Aly Martinez is one of my favorite authors (you’ll see a couple of her other books in this post too) and this book completely blew me away. It’s a bit different than her other books, but it’s just as amazing and mesmerizing and emotional. This book made me cry and feel and live everything Sam and Levee did. Boy did I cry and feel and live this book, and I can’t say enough how much Aly Martinez allowed me to be in this book with these characters. I fought with them, I struggled with them, and in the end I fell hard and fast for them because I could not resist the dynamic and distinctive spell of Sam and Levee. The Fall Up Explores what happens when you reach rock bottom and you’re not sure which way is up, and how meeting the right person, the perfect person, can change it all, can heal you, and can send you falling up to the exact place you need to be. PLEASE. I BEG OF YOU. Read The Fall Up this instant because Sam and Levee and their emotional all-feeling story is not to be missed!!!

Read My Review of The Fall Up

~Blue Horizons by Kathryn Andrews~

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“All I ever wanted was to be somebody. Somebody to someone and somebody to myself. Ten years later with the brush of her hair across my arm, and the flash of blue under the lights of the bar, I knew, just like that…I’d finally been found.” ~Blue Horizons

Kathryn Andrews never fails to deliver a story and a set of characters that I am emotionally invested in from the first word until well beyond the very last. Blue Horizons tells the story of Ash and Ava, two people who are searching. They’re searching for that something more, they’re searching for that meaning, and they’re searching for that peace, that calm, that something that will make them feel complete. What they both don’t expect is the immense pull they share with one another, and the events and feelings that unfold between them after a chance encounter in a bar. Blue Horizons gives you a story full of feels, full of many moments that will squeeze your heart again and again, and two characters who help each other find exactly what they’ve been missing. Kathryn Andrew’s phenomenal writing brings it all to life in the most authentic and all-feeling way, and in the end you will be in awe of what you’ve gotten from Ash and Ava and their emotional journey. This is a book you need in your life, and one that will have you feeling it all with Ash and Ava as they give it all a chance together.

Read My Review of Blue Horizons

~The Alabama Summer Series: Where I Belong, All I Want, What I Need, & Where We Belong by J. Daniels~

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“I know what being around you does to me.” I grab her hand and place it against my chest, my other hand reclaiming its spot on her hip. Her eyes dart from my face to where her hand is and I see her eyes react to the effect she has on me. “Do you feel that? That’s what you do to me. Every fucking time I’m near you.” I can hear her heavy breathing while her eyes stay glued to her hand. I don’t say anything else. I just let her feel it. You own this part of me. Take it.” ~Where I Belong

“I don’t feel anything when I’m with them. I don’t even see them. I see you. I taste you. And when they ask me who Tessa is, because that’s the only name I’m saying in their ear, you wanna know what I tell them?” She sniffs loudly and her lip trembles, but she doesn’t answer. And I don’t wait for her to, either. I lean closer, brushing my nose against her cheek and up to her temple. “I tell them she’s the worst fucking thing that ever happened to me, and I can’t let her go.” ~All I Want

“I want this,” he says moving his finger along my cheek, tucking some of my hair behind my ear. “Whatever this is between us, I want it. I can’t stop thinking about you. I haven’t been with anyone else since you kissed me that first time. I don’t want to be.” I smile, leaning into his head as it caresses my face. “I want this too. So much.”  ~When I Fall

“Nothing is wrong with you, Angel. I’m the same way.” I thrust my hips a little and she gasps. Her head rolls to the side. “I ache for you. Want you so bad I can’t fucking breathe” “Will it always be like this?” Like this-wild and vital. More than necessity to me. I grab her face and kiss her hard, sucking a little on her tongue. “What do you think?” She nods, whimpering a quiet “yes” into my mouth, then leaning back to gaze at me and tugging the ends of my hair. “I ache for you too.” ~Where We Belong

The Alabama Summer Series by J. Daniels is one of my all-time favorites, and these books are all guaranteed to bring a smile to your face, a flutter to your heart, and a certain kind of blush to your cheeks if you know what I’m saying. I obviously love J. Daniel’s stories, characters, and writing to pieces, and I will one click the shit out of anything this woman writes because all of her stories have the perfect balance of fun, heat, emotions and feels. Each and every book in The Alabama Summer Series made me fall even harder for the characters of this series. It truly doesn’t get much better then Ben and Mia, or Luke and Tessa, or Reed and Beth… and don’t even get me started on how much I want and need the next book in this series in my life. (CJ & Riley… YOU. ARE. MINE.) These book are exceptionally paced, phenomenally written, and they truly hit the spot in every way, shape, and form. They allow me to laugh and feel and feel the effervescent spark they all have, and they deliver it all in one wonderful, seriously charming southern package that is not to be missed!

Read My Reviews of Where I Belong & All I Want   Read My Review of When I Fall

Read My Review of Where We Belong

~The Changing Colors Series by N.A. Alcorn~

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“I want you Little Wing…” She starts to interrupt, but I press two fingers over her lips, stopping her. “I’ve never lied to you, nor have I ever lied to any woman, just to get a leg over. I’m honest to a fault. And I’m telling you right now that this isn’t some ploy to get in your knickers. This is me, telling you, that I want you. Since the moment I met you, I’ve been distracted by thoughts of you. I don’t know where all this is coming from, but I know you’re feeling it too.” ~Forget

“Because you needed to be reminded. You need to remember what makes us so right. The minute I saw you sitting on that train, I thought you were every fantasy I’d ever had come to reality. I couldn’t take my eyes off you. Your long hair, full lips…” He pauses, thumb reaching up and brushing across my bottom lip. “And eyes that I swear could see right through me. you were so fucking beautiful, Brooke. You’re still the most beautiful thing I’ve ever laid eyes on.” ~Blur 

Forget and Blur by N.A. Alcorn are two of the most emotional, musical laced, and vibrant reads I have EVER read. These books blew me away. Literally. When I read them, I couldn’t stop reading or feeling or breathing or taking in all of the literal magnificence they were giving me. There was an almost palpable magic to them, a liveliness and pull that got stronger and fiercer the more I read. I was completely in love with Brooke and Dylan’s story from the instant I started it. Their story was full of emotional ups and downs, the most amazing meaning and feeling, and I can’t even begin to describe and capture the draw and power of what those two share with one another. This duet follows the two of them as they take a chance and give into those powerful feelings, only to have things go the exact opposite way from what they both wanted. Forget and Blur is about what happens when you come face to face and heart to heart with the exact thing you need, the exact thing you never knew was coming your way, the exact thing you’re missing, and what happens when all of that power and deeply felt feeling hits you. Square in the heart, and in your mind, and your soul. The music and love and effervescent spark and feeling and emotion in this duet will have you falling hard and fast. Trust me. These books are AMAZING!

Read My Review of Forget     Read My Review of Blur

~Live Me by Celeste Grande~

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“Just be sure when this happens, you’re ready because you’ll be mine from that moment forward. I don’t intend on letting you go-ever.” He slid one finger under my chin and lifted my tear stained gaze to his. “Be with me, Angel. Be mine. Be my forever.” My insides shook violently. My whole body went numb, both unfeeling and feeling everything at the same time. All I had to do was say yes. Three little words. One word. Yes.” ~Live Me

Live Me is a book that pulled at every single emotion and feeling that I had. This book hurt my heart, tried to heal it again and again, and in the end I was simultaneously blown away by what it allowed me to experience and feel, while feeling like I was still shattered a bit because of what I read. I often gravitate towards books that will give me some serious emotional moments, but I was not prepared for how breathtakingly emotional and heart squeezing Live Me would be. I was also not prepared for all the meltworthy and swoon inducing moments courtesy of Blake and Eva. This book is the start to their story, and I couldn’t be more in love with both of their characters if I tried. Blake’s fierce determination and Eva’s strength to fight through the darkness of her past, made them a couple I was rooting for from the very first time they were together. This book made me cry and laugh and feel and take it all in right along with them. I couldn’t believe this was Celeste Grande’s book…her writing was so fluid, so all-feeling, and so extraordinary, and she truly gave me a story and characters that found their way into the deepest parts of my heart. This book is EVERYTHING, and you will feel every word of it. I can’t wait for the continuation for Blake & Eva’s story. I NEED it. Like yesterday.

Read My Review of Live Me

~Priest & Midnight Mass by Sierra Simone~

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“Whatever happens after this, I just want you to know that this was worth it. You were worth it. You were worth everything.”   ~Priest

“Is it weird to pray during sex? Maybe it is, but sometimes it happens. I’ve tried to accept that it’s who I am—a man who loves God, and who loves fucking, that I can be dirty and holy all in the same moment.” ~Midnight Mass

If you’re looking for book that will push your boundaries a bit, that will have you blushing and turning pink the more and more you read, and that will give you an unforgettable story, then Priest and its follow up Midnight Mass are for you! Now being a born and raised Catholic, I was definitely pulled into the premise of this book and how Sierra Simone would deliver a story on such a forbidden and taboo topic. What she gave me in Priest and Midnight Mass was one of the most eloquently written, beautifully emotional, and thought provoking books I have EVER read. She definitely pushed my boundaries a bit in these books, and I LOVED that. This book made me think and wonder and feel. It gave me Tyler and Poppy and their extraordinary pull and connection as they tried to figure out what they were going to do with all they felt. These books cover a wide range of topics from love to religion, to darkness and light, to pasts and healing, and in between you get a love story that is not to be missed. These books were so phenomenally written, and Sierra Simone delivers on every level with all that Poppy and Tyler give you.

Read My Review of Priest    Read My Review of Midnight Mass

~Kyland by Mia Sheridan~

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“I think that when enough time has passed, when you’ve survived that which you didn’t imagine you could, there’s a dignity in that. Something you can own. A pride in knowing the pain made you stronger. The pain made you fight to succeed. Someday, when I’m living my dreams, I’m going to think of all the things that broke my heart and I’m going to be thankful for them.” ~Kyland 

Mia Sheridan never fails to write a book full of distinctive characters, stories that pull at your heart and your mind in more ways than one, and an exceptional level of feeling and emotion that will stay with you well beyond when you reach the end. Kyland gave me everything I’ve come to love and expect from her books, and the story she gave me within its magnificent pages is one that was beautiful, full of meaning, and showed the true tenacity, fight, and determination of her characters. Tenleigh and Kyland’s story in this book pulled at all of my feelings and emotions, and I was rooting for those two in the start. Kyland tells their story of fight, of struggle. Their story of what it’s like to want something so badly, to crave it so much you can practically taste it, and the life changing things that happen when you meet someone who changes everything. A poignant story that struck so many chords, Kyland tells a story of what it’s like to struggle, what it’s like to give something and someone your all, and how even when things don’t go the way you wish they could, you can still experience the most amazing and heartfelt moments that will change your life in ways you never thought possible.

Read My Review of Kyland

~Asking For It & Begging For It by Lilah Pace~

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“Once again that mixture of fear and desire surges through my veins, the same kind of fire I imagine injected heroin must feel like—an agony so sweet you’d do anything for it.”   ~Asking For It

“We are bound together and yet parted. Two halves that can’t be glued into a whole. Maybe that’s how it is when you find someone whose wounds are the same as your own.” ~Begging For It

Asking For It and Begging For It are two of the most provocative, outstandingly written, thought provoking, and intense books that I have ever read. The story that Lilah Pace gave me within their pages pushed my mind, my thoughts, my heart, and my soul. She thoughtfully crafted a consuming story that will literally blow you away with everything it has. These books tackle a very thought provoking topic and a fantasy that is sure to make you think and feel and wonder. In these books Lilah Pace explores what happens when two people who share the same fantasy of force, come together both literally and figuratively, physically and emotionally, and how they fare the tumultuous, intense, and consuming waters that surround their shared desire and fantasy. Vivienne and Jonah’s story is one of the most exceptionally written and conveyed ones that I’ve read. They’re full of heat and desire and moments that will have you searching for the nearest fan, but they’re also about so much more. They’re about discovering things about yourself and your wants, they’re about finding someone who gets you, who understands your innate needs, and who is willing to do whatever it takes for you. These books are about the unforgettable moments and experiences the right person can give you, if you open yourself up to them.

Read My Review of Asking For It    Read My Review of Begging For It

~Perfectly Imperfect by Harper Sloan~

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“No, let me finish. There isn’t beauty in perfection. It’s as fake as the image the word projects. Beauty is found in imperfection, Willow, because to admit you’re not perfect means you’re admitting you’re not whole and absolute. When I think of myself, I see someone willing to admit he’s as far from complete as it gets because, in order to get to that perfection, I need to find the other part of me who will make my life better. To take all the faults I have and fill them, and only then will I be there. You see, the way I see it, the only way to become perfect is to find that perfectly imperfect person who brings it out of you.”   ~Perfectly Imperfect

It’s no secret that Harper Sloan is one of my favorite authors. She always gives me a story that fulfills me on many levels, and after reading Perfectly Imperfect, I’m pretty sure she gave me a story that is not only my favorite of hers, but is a book that will stay with me in some way, shape, or form. This book blended the most amazing and relatable message with a love story that gave me all the feels and emotions I wanted and craved. Harper Sloan wrote a book that I got completely. I understood Willow. I LOVED Willow. I am Willow. Perfectly Imperfect tells the story of one girls fight and journey as she comes to accept and love herself, all her imperfections, and the amazing person she is. This book also tells the story of what happens when the right person finds that amazing girl, and shows her again and again how out of this world she is. Perfectly Imperfect gave me it all, and the messages that were bursting so beautifully and meaningfully from its pages are not to be missed!

Read My Review of Perfectly Imperfect

~Playing With Fire by Alison Bliss~

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“Funny how one woman can make everything around you look so different isn’t it?” Cowboy rubbed at the back of his neck and grinned. “Like getting lost in my own backyard.” ~Playing With Fire

Rules of Protection was one of my top reads last year, so it was no surprise to me that its follow up, Playing With Fire, made my top reads list for this year. With the perfect amount of Texas charm, laugh out loud humor, and so many moments that are guaranteed to melt your heart…and other things, Playing With Fire delivered in every way. This book had the best balance of meaning, humor and charm, and it gave me yet another chance to be with the fantastic characters that make this series what it is. Reading this book felt like coming home in a way, and I felt wrapped up in everything this book and its characters had to offer right from the start. Anna and Cowboy’s story is definitely interesting to say the least, and you will be laughing, and feeling, and basking in everything they give you as it all unfolds. These two seemingly opposites attract in the fiercest of ways, and their story is not to be missed. I am already looking forward to more fun and crazy shenanigans with these characters, and that is all because of what Alison Bliss created in this book!

Read My Review of Playing With Fire

~Hard Beat by K. Bromberg~

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“Whoever said love is like war, easy to begin but hard to end, knew exactly what he was talking about.” ~Hard Beat

I love me a book by K. Bromberg something fierce. She has created some of my all-time favorite stories and characters (Colton and Rylee, anyone?!) and I was beyond ready to jump into Hard Beat when it released. What I was not expecting was this book to become my favorite book of hers. I have LOVED all of her books, and I always will, but Hard Beat was AMAZING in its own unique and distinctive way. Hard Beat gave me a story that was definitely a bit different than the other books that I’ve read by this author, but I think that’s what made me love it so much. Tanner and Beaux’s story had all the emotions, connection, and pull that I’ve come to expect and love from K. Bromberg’s writing and stories, but it gave me a story that blew me away with everything it had. Maybe it was because of the level of mystery weaving its way through the book, maybe it was because this book takes place in a whole different world, or maybe its because of Tanner and Beaux and the characters they are, but simply put, this book was outstanding in every way. Hard Beat was enrapturing and all-feeling and intense to say the least, and I could not have asked for anything more from what Beaux and Tanner so outstandingly gave me within its pages!

Read My Review of Hard Beat

~The Found Duet: Find Me & Free Me by Laureling Paige~

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“Usually he made me feel wanted. Right now, I didn’t feel that in the least. But what I did feel-the reason I followed him despite the tension radiating off his body-was needed. He needed me. Maybe only for tonight, maybe only for this hour. But I knew that sure as I knew anything.” ~Free Me

“Gwen,” he said, and every part of me melted at that word. “I was lost when you met me. And then you found me. You have been the only thing besides revenge that has kept me alive. And really? Living for revenge isn’t any sort of life at all.” Cry. That’s what the urge was. My throat was thick and my eyes glossy. I’d thought there was no possible way I could be important in his world after Corinne,and  here he was telling me that I was wrong. His lips crept into the hint of a smile. “Did I ruin it?” “Not even a little bit.” My voice sounded tight, but actually I felt more open than I had in a long time. The hint turned into a full grin. “Also, you have the nicest tits and pussy I’ve every seen.” “Dammit. Now you ruined it.” “I totally did, didn’t I?” ~Find Me

Laureling Paige is one of my favorite writers for a reason: she always gives me a well-rounded story filled with the perfect level of connection, heat, and mesmerizing feeling. She always delivers a story that is equal parts intense, consuming, and unforgettable to say the least, and The Found Duet was no different. JC and Gwen’s story was enrapturing, heart racing, and all-feeling to say the least, and I LOVED every word I got from these two. They completely pulled me in, and they never let me go once while I was reading these books. This series is a spin off of Laurelin Paige’s fantastic Fixed Trilogy, and I have to say it was amazing to be back with all of these characters once again. I had always been curious of Gwen’s character, and these books gave me all of her and more. I loved that girl something fierce, and the journey she goes on with JC will pull at your heart more times than you can count. It’ll also probably melt you a bit from time to time too, and what you get from these two as they fight against and give into the world of feeling they share, will have you loving them both to pieces. Trust me.

Read My Review of Free Me    Read My Review of Find Me

~The Strictly Business Series: The Best Medicine & Just Say Yes by Elizabeth Hayley~

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“He was again overwhelmed by how deeply she seemed to see him. When she looked at him, she seemed to be dissecting him—as if she were trying to fir pieces of a puzzle together. It surprised him how badly he wanted her to figure him out.” ~The Best Medicine

“Carpe diem, Quinn. Today is the first day of the rest of your life (is that how that corny saying goes?). Anyway, I decided that we needed to up the stakes for your first foray into Good Girl Gone Bad-dom.” ~Just Say Yes

Elizabeth Hayley is one of my favorite writing duos, and their books are chalk full of laugh out loud humor, moments that will have your cheeks heating and hurting simultaneously because your smiling and blushing like crazy, and characters that never fail to find themselves in your heart. I have LOVED all of their books, and this year they released The Best Medicine and Just Say Yes, two interconnected standalones that tell the charming, fun, and utterly fantastic love stories of a group of friends. The Best Medicine follows Lauren and Dr. Scott, and their back and forth banter is sure to win you over on about page 2. Just Say Yes follows Quinn and Tim, Lauren’s best friend and Scott’s brother respectively, as Tim tries to help Quinn get out of her comfort zone. Both of these books were fabulous, and they tell two very different stories of love, and the event filled, humor driven, and feeling and emotion bursting moments that it takes to get there. Both of these books and characters highlight the talent and phenomenal writing skills of Elizabeth Hayley. These books had me loving these two even more, and I can’t wait to read what comes next in this must read series!!

Read My Review of The Best Medicine   Read My Review of Just Say Yes

~The Tangled Series: Tangled, Twisted, Tamed, & Tied by Emma Chase~

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“Women fall in love quicker than men. Easier and more often. But when guys fall? We go down harder. And when things go bad? When it’s not us who ends it? We don’t get to walk away. We crawl.” ~Tangled

“He yells, “I want any part of you that you’re willing to give me!”
We both fall quiet. Breathing hard. Staring each other down.
And his voice drops low. Defeated. “I’ll take anything, Kate.
Just . . . don’t tell me it’s over. I won’t accept that.”   ~Twisted

“Life is a short, wild ride. Don’t try to put the brakes on, don’t over-analyze or try to control it. If you’re lucky, like I was, you’ll find that perfect someone who’ll sit next to you and hold your hand through every curve, every up and down.” ~Tamed

“I’m not gonna wish you happiness, ’cause you’ve already got that. So I’ll just say, may the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon our face. May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live. May there be a generation of children on the children of your children. May you live to be a hundred years, with one extra year to repent. And may the saddest day of your and Kate’s future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.” ~Tied

Now I know I am WAY BEHIND on reading this books, so please excuse the fact that I just read the Tangled Series by Emma Chase this year. I am sorry. I messed up big time because these books were AMAZING, laugh out loud funny, and they introduced me to one of my new favorite authors. I LOVED every word of this series, the feels, the laughs, the moments that squeezed my heart and the moments that had my cheeks hurting because I was smiling so much. If you haven’t read these books, then you NEED to. They are fantastically written, and half of them are told from a solely male point of view, which is outstanding in case you were wondering. Drew Evans is one of the most distinctive, effervescent, and wonderful male characters I have ever had the chance to fall in love with, and I basked in everything that that man gave me. He is charming and wonderful and he has absolutely no filter, and experiencing what it was like for that man to fall in love was EVERYTHING. This series gave me the best of him, Kate, and all of the other unforgettable characters of these books, and I loved every single wonderful bit of them!

Read My Review of Tangled    Read My Review of Twisted

Read My Review of Tamed   Read My Review of Tied

~9 Minutes & Out of  Time by Beth Flynn~

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“A story about a man who has loved me from the very beginning, from the first glance. The man who always was and still is my soul mate.” ~Nine Minutes

“Answer me. You think you can just take whatever you want?” He looked over at her and smiled. “I took you, Kitten.”  ~Out of Time

Nine Minutes and Out of Time by Beth Flynn are two of the most well plotted, gripping, and thrilling books that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I swear Beth Flynn must have gone through thousands of index cards when writing and plotting this book, because of how well layered these books were. I was completely consumed by these books from start to finish, and I could not get enough of the mesmerizing story and characters they allowed me to experience. The story that this series tells spans decades and states, and it will reach every recess of your mind and heart while you are reading everything from its pages. This series tells the story of Ginny, a young girl who is captured by a south Florida motorcycle gang, and it follows her in the years she spent with them. I am telling you that this book will bend your mind, and just when you think you know how it’s all going to go, you will be blown away by where it actually goes. Beth Flynn’s outstanding storytelling gave me a group of characters and a story that I can’t wait to get more of! These books are not to be missed, and I am telling you that they will bend your mind and capture your heart through every page!

Read My Review of Nine Minutes     Read My Review of Out of Time

~Empty Promises by Elle Brooks~

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Sad woman is lying in bed with her arm on head and eyes. Young woman with long hair, wears pink underwear.

It wasn’t until I knew that I was about to die, that I decided to really live. And it wasn’t until I gave up on love, that I finally found it. Just not in any of the places that I’d been searching. Sometimes you don’t get the fairytale happily ever after, but if you’re lucky, you get so much more. You get a perfect beginning that you can keep hold of until the end.” ~Empty Promises

Empty Promises was the first book that I read by Elle Brooks, and it’s what made me fall in love with her writing and fantastic storytelling. What she gave me in Empty Promises fulfilled me on so many levels, and the level of emotion and feeling behind what she was writing completely stole my heart. This book is the third book in her Promises Series, but it can either be read before the other two books or after, and I LOVED that because this book made me HAVE to read the other books in the series. Empty Promises tells an emotional and heart squeezing story of first love, promises, and the hope and pain that accompany Emily as she tries to make her last few months on this planet unforgettable. I will tell you now…have your tissues ready for this book. It will pull at every emotion you have and will have you relishing in what Emily shares with Lucas and the fight she goes on in this book. Empty Promises completely stole my heart from beginning to end, and Elle Brooks’s fantastic and all-feeling writing brought it all to life in the most authentic and enrapturing way!

Read My Review of Empty Promises

~The Law of Moses & The Song of David by Amy Harmon~

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“Everyone always talks about being color blind. And I get that. I do. But maybe instead of being color blind, we should celebrate color, in all its shades. It kind of bugs me that we’re supposed to ignore our differences like we don’t see them, when seeing them doesn’t have to be a negative.” ~The Law of Moses

“Millie told me once that the ability to devastate is what makes a song beautiful. Maybe that’s what makes life beautiful too. The ability to devastate. Maybe that’s how we know we’ve lived. How we know we’ve truly loved.” ~The Song of David

Amy Harmon has created many beautiful and unforgettable stories that I have found myself lost in, and I have loved each and every story of hers that I have had the chance to read. Earlier this year when I read The Law of Moses and The Song of David, I was once again blown away by the power, emotion, and beauty of her writing, and I have no doubt that these two books will be some of my favorites from her. I LOVED them. I loved what they made me think and feel and experience. I love how I hurt through them, hoped through them, and felt the fierce and determined fight of these characters through every page of what I was reading. Amy Harmon’s vivid and all-feeling writing weaves together two stories that will make you think and feel and live it all with her characters in the most captivating ways, and in the end you will be in awe of what you’ve just read. Moses and David left me in awe. They blew me away with their respective stories, and the unforgettable moments I got with them in their books are some that I will NEVER forget. The beauty and eloquence of Amy Harmon’s writing brings these characters and stories to life in the most phenomenal way, and I can’t say enough wonderful things about both of these books and the literary magic they cast.

Read My Review of The Law of Moses    Read My Review of The Song of David

~The Consolation Duet: Consolation & Conviction by Corinne Michaels~

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“You’re supposed to be untouchable, and yet here you are in my arms. I don’t know if I’m lucky or a fucking idiot. I just know that when we’re together, it feels right. It feels like we’re supposed to be.” ~Consolation

“Loving you was never the issue. It’s keeping you when you’re not mine to have.” ~Conviction

The Consolation Duet by Corinne Michaels is a military romance at its finest. What she gives you in this duet is nothing short of phenomenal, and the level of connection and pull you will feel from and to Natalie and Liam as you read these books is out of this world. From the moment I started these books, I couldn’t stop reading them, and I will tell you now be glad both book are out, because the cliffhanger in Consolation…I’m still not over that! (And I love that months later I still feel that! Major props to Corinne Michaels for that!) Consolation and Conviction tell an authentic, all-feeling, and consuming love story about what happens after. It’s about what happens when you’re sent reeling from the events that come your way, and what happens when the person who helps you put yourself back together, the one who helps make you whole once again, is the one person you shouldn’t be with. Natalie and Liam’s story in this book pulled at every emotion I had, and I could not get enough of the two of them! I loved them fiercely, rooted for them with all I had, and melted and felt and lived every breath of these books with them because of Corinne Michael’s outstanding writing. Trust me. You want and NEED these books in your life!

Read My Review of Consolation   Read My Review ofConviction

~Never Never Part 1 &2 by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher~

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“You think you can make me like you again?”
I look over at her and give my head the slightest shake. “No. I’m gonna make you fall in love with me again.”
~Never Never Part 1

“Never forget that I was your first real kiss. Never forget that you’ll be my last.
And never stop loving me between all of them.
Never stop, Charlie.
Never forget.” ~Never Never Part 2

I have never had more questions, upon questions, upon questions while reading a story than I had when I read Never Never Part 1 and 2 by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher. This story blew me away, and it had my mind mentally trying to put it all together the more and more I read. Never Never Part 1 and 2 are gripping, captivating to say the least, and in the end of Part 2 I think I had more questions than answers, but I LOVE that. This series tells the story of Silas and Charlie, two people who wake up with no memory of who they are, and it follows them both as they try to put the pieces of the puzzle back together again. This series is full of mystery and suspense with a healthy dose of pull and connection, and a helluva lot of questions, and I am telling you that just when you think you might’ve figure out something, a new piece of information will come along to shatter everything you think you know. I have never read a series quite like this one, and I know I probably never will again because it doesn’t get more thrilling or enrapturing or mesmerizing than what Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher created in this series. It should also be noted that the last and final part of the series releases in just a few short weeks, and I can’t wait for that last piece of the puzzle. I. NEED. IT.

Read My Review of Never Never Part 1   Read My Review of Never Never Part 2

~The Fading Series: Fading, Freeing, & Falling by E.K. Blair~

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“I don’t understand what I did that was so wrong.”
Wiping away my tears with his thumb, he says,
“You didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Then why did this happen to me?” ~Fading

“In the end there doesn’t
have to be anyone who
understands you…
There just has to be someone
who wants to.”
~Freeing

“I’m sure she can hear my heart pounding, but I need her to hear me. I need her to feel it as it thuds in my chest because I need her to hear me falling for her, ‘cause that’s what’s happening here – I’m falling. I never wanted to before, but with her, all I want to do is fall. Fall into her. Fall so deep inside of her heart so that I never have to be without her.” ~Falling

How do I even begin to describe my LOVE for The Falling Series by E.K. Blair? This is one of the most well written, utterly emotional, and all-feeling stories that I have ever read. Each book had me falling harder and harder under the spell and pull of these characters. What I think I loved the most about this series was that each book was told solely from a different characters perspective, yet all three books surround the same event and the ramifications of that event on each of the characters. E.K. Blair wove together 3 unique and distinctive stories in this series, and with each new character, and each new book, I fell more and more in full on love with Jace, Candace, and Ryan. Their stories were all emotional, all intense, and I felt and breathed and lived every word of them through E.K. Blair’s outstanding writing. These books will give you one of the most fulfilling and consuming stories you’ll ever read, and I truly can’t recommend them more to you. The level of emotion and connection you will feel to them all as they search for that light among the darkness, as they try to heal from all the pain they experience, and as they try to find the one thing they all so truly deserve, love.

Read My Review of Fading    Read My Review of Freeing

Read My Review of Falling

~The One Night Series: One Night Promised, One Night Denied, & One Night Unveiled by Jodi Ellen Malpas~

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“I want to surrender myself to you completely, Livy. I want to be yours. You are my perfect.”  ~One Night Promised

“She’s the blood in my veins.” He speaks clearly and softly. “She’s the air in my lungs.” There’s a slight pause, and I’m sure I hear William inhale a shocked breath. “She’s the bright, hopeful light in my tortured darkness. I’m warning you, Anderson. Don’t try to take her away from me.” ~One Night Denied

“I fucking love her!” Tears burst from my eyes and I fall into his side. He immediately grabs me and pulls me close. “I love her. I love everything she stands for and I love how much she loves me. It’s more than you love me. It’s more than any of you claim to love me! It’s pure and light. It’s made me feel. It’s made me want more. If any fucker tries to take her away from me, I’ll fucking kill them.” ~One Night Unvieled

Jodi Ellen Malpas has one of the greatest writing talents that I have ever experienced, and I am so thrilled that I finally read all of her books this year. I LOVED every single heart racing, well thought out, and exceptionally written word of this series and I was blown away by everything her series gave me. Livy and M’s story has the perfect level of suspense and mystery, emotion and feeling, and a love story that you will feel every ounce of. When I finally got around to reading this series this past summer, I couldn’t stop reading these books. I couldn’t get enough of what I was getting from these books. Every jaw dropping moment, every shocking revelation, and every bit of feeling and love that bursts from Livy and M will leave you in awe of their story and what Jodi Ellen Malpas creates for them. I thought it would be hard to top Jesse Ward, because that man is everything, but M, and everything I got from him in this series just about had Jesse beat. Seriously. This series is not to be missed, and every emotion, every feeling, and every meltworthy moment of this series had me loving it all even more!

Read My Reviews of The One Night Series

~The Edge of Never & The Edge of Always by J.A. Redmerski~

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“I think that if past lives are real then we have been lovers in every single one of them. I’ve known you for a short time, but I feel like I’ve known you forever.”   ~The Edge of Never

“You’re the world to me,” I whisper onto
her lips. “I hope you never forget that.”
“I’ll never forget,” she whispers back.. “But if I ever do, for
whatever reason, I hope you’ll always find a way to remind me.”
…“Always.”
   ~The Edge of Always

This is another series that I can’t believe I waited so long to read….I had always meant to read them, and with one not so subtle shove from a friend of mine, I started reading them and I LOVED THEM. I could not stop reading and feeling and living Andrew and Camryn’s story. The intensity of what those two feel for one another is out of this world phenomenal, and reading their story in this series had me falling hard and fast for the both of them. The Edge of Never and The Edge of Always had my heart reeling, my pulse racing, and I simply couldn’t get enough of what they both so authentically and fully gave me. Their story is one that had the perfect level of emotion, the best amount of feeling, and showed the amazing things that love can bring you if you only open yourself up to it. Andrew and Camryn had an amazing and unforgettable love story that mesmerized me from start to end. There was so much meaning and feeling behind everything that they shared, and I loved every bit of what they gave me in their story!

Read My Reviews of The Edge of Never & The Edge of Always

~The Blackistone Affair: Naked, All In, Eyes Wide Open, & Rare and Precious Things by Raine Miller~

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“That picture changed everything. I was not the same after I saw it and I couldn’t go back to the man I’d been before seeing it either. Not after we met that night on the street. My whole world altered because of a photograph. A photograph of my beautiful American girl.”   ~Naked

“I have no intentions of letting you go.” I swallowed hard. “If you come with me you’re signing on for all of me, Brynne. I don’t know any other way to be with you. It’s all in for me. And I want it to be all in for you too.” ~All In

“The one who had the power to take me apart was also the only one with the power to put me back together again.” ~Eyes Wide Open

“I knew more happiness and love than I’d ever experienced in my life, and now understood how precious it was to have that love.” ~Rare and Precious Things

The Blackistone Affair was a series that reinforced over and over again why I am such a huge fan of series. Spending 4 books with the same amazing and phenomenal couple was downright outstanding. I couldn’t get enough of Ethan and Brynne’s intense, mesmerizing, and highly charged relationship. From the moment I started Naked, I was blown away by everything that Ethan and Brynne gave me, and I couldn’t get enough. I wanted more, I craved more, and I NEEDED MORE. That lead to me devouring these books within just a few days, and I loved every single word of this series. I loved getting to be there with Ethan and Brynne through it all, through every up and down, through every shocking and intense moment, and through every moment in which they fell harder for one another. Their love story was mesmerizing, powerful, and full of so many blushworthy and swoonworthy moments that had me loving it all. Raine Miller brought so many amazing characters and feelings to life in this series, and I will not soon forget what it was like to read these books and to experience the beauty and feeling of her writing. This is a series full of romance and emotion and feels upon feels upon feels, and it truly doesn’t get better than that!

Read My Reviews of The Blackistone Affair

So there you have it folks! My Top Reads of 2015. All of these books were AMAZING, and they blew me away with everything they had. I hope you take a chance on any or all of these books because I HIGHLY recommend them all. So please, do yourself a favor and check them out. Trust me. You won’t regret reading any and all of these books!

Releasing Now: The One Box Set by Tia Louise

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International bestselling military romance: Get the complete, darkly seductive love story of Derek & Melissa. Three Full-Length, Red-Hot Military Romantic Suspense Novels in one set.

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 Synopsis2

WARNING: Due to strong language and intense sexual situations, these books are not intended for readers under the age of 18.

Book #1 – ONE TO HOLD: When Derek Alexander, retired Marine and top private investigator, encounters small-town girl Melissa Jones at a spa resort in the desert, the two embark on a weeklong, white-hot affair. He’s determined to hold her, but she’s running from a past that could tear them apart.

Book #2 – ONE TO PROTECT: Derek and Melissa are planning a life together, with a baby on the way… Until a face from the past turns up dead. Derek knows Melissa is still in danger, and seeing no other option, he launches a dark chain of events to protect his little family.

Book #3 – ONE TO SAVE: A secret is never safe when more than one person knows it. Refusing to let anyone pay for his crimes, Derek takes matters into his own hands. He’s exposed, he’s defenseless, but his friends are determined to save him.

Exclusive Sneak Peek – ONE IMMORTAL (Ch. 1-5): Melissa is a vampire; Derek is a vampire hunter. When the two cross paths in a bar off Bourbon Street, sparks fly. But Melissa is hiding a secret that could cost Derek his life.

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Readers say….

“FIVE STARS for the entire ONE TO HOLD series!!!” -Aleatha Romig, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Consequences series

“Great writing, steamy romance, humor, and a lot of heart.” -Mia Sheridan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Archer’s Voice

Excerpt

★★★ EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT #1 ★★★

One to Save

By Tia Louise

© TLM Productions LLC, 2015

“Secrets”

Melissa

In the cool darkness of the semi-crowded bar, I study the glass in front of me and consider my journey, how many steps I’ve taken in the last two years, how far I’ve come. Memories of my old life fade like smoke in a glass. The shame that held me so tightly now dances at the edges of my mind like the whisper of a bad dream, a flicker of shadows that no longer make sense in my world.

Young women in shiny slip-dresses twist and laugh on the dance floor, but instead of resentment, my lips curl into a smile. My old self—cynical, bitter, defeated—is a memory I have to work hard to recall. These days I could dance all night with them, but I’d rather spend my energy on other things.

The slim glass holds a pale amber liquid, and I can’t resist taking a sip. An involuntary wince pinches my eyes as I put it down. Seven and seven. Refreshing citrus dragged down by the heavy undertone of whiskey. So gross.

Sliding my palms over my thighs, I realize my outfit isn’t much different from the girls’ on the dance floor. The deep red silk is fitted at my waist, and drapes loosely over my torso. My long, dark hair is swept over one shoulder revealing a thin spaghetti strap. I lightly touch the delicate gold chain around my neck leading to the floating heart pendant that sits between my collarbones, and light glances off the thick gold cuff on my wrist.

Unlike that night almost two years ago, I’m alone. My best friend Elaine is miles away with her new husband, most likely indulging in that blissful honeymoon period of early marriage. Make that, most certainly indulging. I know those two well.

No, I came by myself to this bar in Princeton after finishing my business with a client in town. My infant son is in Wilmington, spending the weekend with his grandmother. Studying my hands, I admire the deep blue sapphire ring on my finger, but I have no wedding band.

At thirty-two, I’m an unmarried mother of a beautiful little boy, and I wouldn’t change a thing… Yet. The tiny silver scar at my hairline reminds me of what a bad marriage looks like, and with my successful marketing business and the gorgeous cottage at the beach I own, I’m satisfied with my life. Calm, not desperate. I’ll take my next steps deliberately, with certainty.

All these thoughts preoccupy my mind when I blink up and catch him watching me from across the square-shaped bar. Blue eyes, strikingly blue because of the way they stand out beneath his dark brow, coupled with collar-length thick dark hair.

He’s massive, at least six-two, and elegantly dressed with a thick stainless watch on his wrist. I can spot his type a mile away—rich, powerful, accustomed to getting what he wants. I can’t deny the hum his gaze sets off under my skin. I know what he wants.

Catching my lip in my teeth to stop my grin, I know what I want, too, and it’s no coincidence I happened to look up at that exact moment to meet his stare. Still, I’ll make him work for it.

He starts to move, his eyes never leaving mine. I don’t look away either. Thick cords of muscle ripple beneath the thin black sweater he wears as he glides past the oblivious patrons talking and laughing. Some are more animated than others, waving their arms and putting their drinks in peril.

Yellow lights hidden in the recesses above the bar illuminate rows of liquor bottles in all colors and shapes. Glasses hanging upside down above also catch the flickering light. It’s a raucous atmosphere, but this man and I are in our own secret place of longing and desire.

As he rounds the final corner, and I see him in full, my breath quickens. My eyes drift from his broad shoulders to his narrow waist, grey slacks and black shoes, then back up just as he reaches me. A close beard shadows his face, and the muscles low in my pelvis tighten at the thought of how it feels brushing the soft skin of my inner thighs.

the one teaser 4

the one teaser 3

author

tia louise

Tia Louise is the Amazon and International Bestselling author of the ONE TO HOLD series.

From “Readers’ Choice” nominations, to USA Today “Happily Ever After” nods, to winning the 2015 “Favorite Erotica Author” and the 2014 “Lady Boner Award” (LOL!), nothing makes her happier than communicating with fans and weaving new tales into the Alexander-Knight world of stories.

A former journalist, Louise lives in the center of the USA with her lovely family and one grumpy cat. There, she dreams up stories she hopes are engaging, hot, and sexy, and that cause readers rethink common public locations…

Books by Tia Louise:

One to Hold (Derek & Melissa), 2013

One to Keep (Patrick & Elaine), 2014

One to Protect (Derek & Melissa), 2014

One to Love (Kenny & Slayde), 2014

One to Leave (Stuart & Mariska), 2014

One to Save (Derek & Melissa), 2015

One to Chase (Amy & Marcus), 2015

One to Take (Stuart & Mariska), coming Jan/Feb 2016!

 

Paranormal Romances (all stand-alones):

One Immortal (Derek & Melissa, #SexyVampires), 2015

One Insatiable (Koa & Mercy, #AlphaShifters), 2015

SIGNED COPIES: http://smarturl.it/SignedPBs

Connect with Tia:

Amazon Author Page: http://smarturl.it/TLMAA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTiaLouise

Website: http://www.AuthorTiaLouise.com

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/AuthorTiaLouise

Instagram & Twitter: @AuthorTLouise

Tsu.com: https://www.tsu.co/TiaLouise

Get a FREE Bonus Scene from One to Love, and never miss a New Release! Sign up for Tia’s Book News: http://smarturl.it/TLMnews

Two Years of Blogging, Oh My, Oh My!

So I have managed to keep this blog alive for 730 days.

730 WHOLE DAYS PEOPLE!com

This is coming from the girl who can barely keep a plant alive for more than 72 hours. Seriously. One of my tiny humans gave me a plant once, and point blank told me it was really hard to kill….and what did I do? I killed the freaking plant in 2 1/2 days. (I’m telling you, that’s a talent, and clearly no one should ever give me a plant!)

But this post isn’t about killing plants, or the wonderful crazy tiny humans for that matter, this post is all about the fact that exactly 2 years ago today, I started The Never Ending Book Basket.

If I’m being 100% honest though, the actual anniversary for this blog was on Saturday, but I didn’t post about it. At all. Why you ask? (You probably didn’t ask yourself that question, but I’ll answer it for you anyways…) I was at the Indies Invade Philly book signing this past Saturday surrounded by hundreds of book lovers and some of my favorite authors ever. Not a bad way to spend my 2 year blogiversary, if I do say so myself.

I finally have business cards...and I LOVE them!!

I finally have business cards…and I LOVE them!!

So yeah, I’m a few days behind on this post. Whoops. But it literally took me 2 years to get business cards for this book blog, so I feel like being a few days behind on this post is all good.

As I sit here writing this post, I have to tell you that I’m still kind of shocked that it’s really been 2 years since I started this thing. It all started with one crazy idea on my way home from work, and it turned into something more than I could ever imagine. It changed my life. And I don’t say that lightly at all.

This blog has given me things, and books, and experiences, and people I will never forget.

It has given me friendships I know that I’ll cherish forever. It has allowed me to meet some of the best people on the planet, and given me so many memories to last a lifetime. It has also given me the opportunity to “meet” people from all over the world, who are all fabulous and clearly share a love of books and reading.

What happened when I tried to "organize" my books.

What happened when I tried to “organize” my books. I *think* I did it wrong…

This blog has given me the chance to push myself, discover what I’m truly passionate about, and has introduced me into a world and community that I want to be a part of for as long as I can be. It’s also clearly given me books. Lots, and lots, AND LOTS of books. So many amazing, unforgettable, life changing, consuming books that have stolen my heart and mind and body and soul more times than I could count. I have read and discovered so many new books and authors and genre’s through this blog and this community of book lovers, and I could honestly go on and on about how fucking awesome that is.

Starting The Never Ending Book Basket has given me so so much, and all I can say is THANK YOU!

Thank you to the people who support me and keep me going with this thing day in and day out. Thank you to the amazing authors who have so generously let me read and review their books, and who never bat an eye at the fact that my typical review is at least 1500 words long. Thank you to the people who support my page, or this blog, or just say hi every once and awhile. You’ll never know how much all of that means, because seriously, it means the absolute world to me. Thank you to the other bloggers and readers and people of this community that make it the fantastic thing that it is. I truly love spending time with you all, and you make it such an enjoyable place to be.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank. You. TheOfficeMichaelTacklingJim

I can’t say it enough. Truly.

If I could give you all hugs, I would.

Now last year when I celebrated 365 days of blogging I made a long list of the many things I’d learned through blogging, and I want to do the same thing this year. Only this is the new and improved version, and it’s a hell of a lot shorter because I’ve learned that sometimes less is more. Sometimes. So without further ado…

Things I’ve learned in 730 days of book blogging:

  • I am still wordy as fuck. Like it’s legit. I do not stop writing when I review. I just keep going and going until I’m pushing 2000 words. What can I say? When I love a book, I love it hard, and I just want to share that as much as I can, which leads to all the words. And then more words, and then so many more words. So I hope you like me wordy because that is not changing. Ever.
  • Meeting you’re favorite authors in person is THE BEST. The absolute best. This past year I went to a lot of book signings. Like 6. That may not seem like a lot, but I feel like it was. (I think my mother and my wallet would attest to that as well.) I went to signings in 5 different states, up and down the East Coast, with none of those signings actually taking place in the state I reside in, so that meant lots of time in the car. Traveling hours upon hours in the car was so very worth it to meet and hangout with some of the best and most talented authors around. Those ladies are amazing, and have given me memories and adventures and fun times that I will always remember. They’re also as sweet as can be, and meeting them all in person just made me love them all more and so very excited for the next time I can fangirl all over them. Yep. I fangirled. HARD. (And I LOVED every second of it!)
  • I buy books like I breathe in air. All the time, and wherever and whenever the occasion calls for it. My book buying EXPLODED this year. Literally. I have soooooo many books that I have yet to read, and I’m honestly shocked TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive has not been contacted on my behalf because of the number of books I have….but while some people may look at that book pile and think “Why the hell would you buy so many books?” my response is WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU NOT BUY SO MANY BOOKS? Besides, there are way worse things you can spend money on…like methamphetamines or Nickelback concert tickets, so clearly me spending my huge nonexistent salary from molding the minds of the tiny humans on books isn’t too bad. Right? Right. I’m glad we all came to that agreement.
  • Romance is my jam, and I won’t apologize for it. I am an avid reader. I read just about anything, and have LOVED books from many genres, but romance is where my heart lies. Pun intended. I LOVE a good love story, and I won’t apologize for that, and better yet, I don’t have to. Just because it’s a romance, doesn’t mean it won’t blow your mind with everything it’s got. Just because the two characters have sex, doesn’t mean it’s smut. Just because it can be flowery and sweet and make you melt and swoon, doesn’t mean it won’t give you reality or flaws or authenticity or complexity too. Just because it’s a love story, doesn’t mean it holds any less merit or literary amazingness. It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I love books and reading, but I can’t tell you how many times people give me some wonky face or make a flippant or snarky comment when they ask me what I like to read and I reply romance. They don’t get it, and they don’t have to, but I’ve come to realize that people can think and believe what they want about romance books, but until they give it a chance, they’ll never know what they’re missing. So I’m still over here with my love stories, believing in happily ever afters and enjoying every emotionally murdering, swoonworthy, heart stopping moment that it takes to get to them.
  • Amazon’s review policies suck balls. And if anyone from Amazon is reading this right now, I love you with my entire heart (even though I say mean things about you) and please don’t ban me from writing reviews. Okay? Okay. But really Amazon, if I want to use the word asshole in my review, or fuck, or shit, or hell for goodness sakes, I should be able to. Sometimes you need to emphasize with an expletive. Oh, and please stop bouncing my reviews for no reason, or banning me from writing them. This is America and it’s a fucking book review, let’s take a god damned chill pill on the policing. Okay? Okay.

So I think that about caps it off. I’ve learned a lot, and probably have a million more things to learn, but I’m still here with my blog alive and kicking, and I feel like that must mean something. This past year has been a whirlwind, and I can’t believe it’s already November and that this blogiversary is happening.

I feel like it's only fitting to end with a picture of what my actual never ending book basket looks like.

I feel like it’s only fitting to end with a picture of what my actual never ending book basket looks like.

730 days of blogging down, and hopefully many more to go!

Starting this blog was one of the best decisions I ever made. It makes my life crazy and interesting and so very very fun, but most of all it fills my heart and my mind and my soul. Every. Day.

If you’ve ever visited this page, gone to the blog’s Facebook page, visited me on Goodreads, or just been there with me through this crazy wonderful ride. THANK YOU. I truly can’t say it enough. Y’all are the best.

So here’s hoping this is just the first of many continued blogiversary posts to come! Thanks for joining me on this crazy, book filled ride.

I hope you’re ready for more, because I know that I sure as hell am, and I can’t freaking wait.

Summer of Series

Background

Well it is officially summer!

Okay, well technically it’s only Memorial Day, but you catch my drift. This is the day that along with being a day of remembrance, signifies the beginning of summer.

I for one could not be more ready for summer, especially after this horrid winter. I love me some summer something fierce, which may or may not have something to do with the fact that I get 8 weeks off from the tiny humans.

That’s neither here nor there, but suffice to say, summer is one of my favorite times of year. 

It’s when the cookouts start, it’s when you spend your nights seeing more lighting bugs than you can count, and it’s when the pool or beach becomes your home away from home.

It’s also when I get to read until my heart’s content.

In the summer, much of my day or night is spent between the pages of a good book, and that makes me happier than a clam, since we all know I am a book addict.

Now you all know that I hoard paperbacks along with a crazy amount of Kindle books. That’s kind of my shtick. It’s also the whole reason behind this blog’s name, because my book basket is truly never ending.

Well this summer I’ve decided to make a dent in that basket. I’m really going to do it! Or, I’m going to give it the good ole college try, because that basket is insane right now.

Now while I obviously have a plethora of unread paperbacks in my never ending book basket, what you might not know unless you’ve perused the book basket page of this blog, is that I have a ton of unread series.

19 series to be exact.SoS

I own every single book in those 19 different series, some in e-book, but most in paperback. I’ve seriously been dying to read them all because I seriously love me a good series. Always have, always will.

There’s just something about a good series that I just love. Whether the series is 3 books long or 8, whether it focuses on one character’s story or more than one, I adore me a series to pieces.

The series are a random mix of books across a few genres from both traditionally and independently published authors. Most are a wide array of romance, but there’s some young adult thrown in there for funsies too. I’m ashamed to admit that a lot of those books have been calling my book basket home for years, and that many of them are well loved favorites that came out years ago.

I’m so epically behind.

So this summer I am making it my goal to read through some of these series. I am hoping to get through at least a third of them. (Big dreams I know.) What can I say, I’m an optimist!

I’m even being kitschy about it, and giving this endeavor a name: Summer of Series

Along with some cover reveals, release posts, and some other reviews that I can’t wait to share with y’all, this summer will be entirely focused on my Summer of Series endeavor. Each series will have its own post filled with my reviews, teasers, and some of my favorite quotes from the books. To go along with these posts I’m also going to be giving away some books from some of my favorite series ever, so be sure to stay tuned for that too!

Basically, I am devoting this summer to FINALLY reading these book series that have been shouting at me for years! I hope y’all are just as ready for this as I am because I know these series are going to be nothing short of fantastic.

If you can’t tell, I am so effing excited for this summer, and these Summer of Series blog posts!

Expect tons of reviews, some giveaways, and plenty of fun and craziness on here this summer with this series of blog posts.

I have a feeling it’s going to be one helluva summer, so let’s get it started people.

Bring on the series!

gtm

p.s. If you have a series from the picture that you would recommend me starting with, please feel free to comment with your recommendation!

Listed below are the series pictured that will be part of Summer of Series. Click the series title to head to Amazon for that series, and click the author’s name to head to their website.

And the one series that wasn’t even in my Summer of Series originally…

Hello 2015, You Gorgeous Son of a B.

So we are a bit over a week into 2015.

I know what you’re thinking…How in the hell is it 2015 already?!

This is the time when everyone really starts thinking about those infamous resolutions they made, and they start to wonder how likely they are to actually do them.

I myself am included in that group. I’m knee deep in those resolutions at this point, but this year I am bound and determined that I will accomplish at least one of them.

This year I want to do a lot of things, right along with everybody else.

I want to try and be healthier and happier.

I want to put myself out there more.

I want to write 50,000 words at least on the story that’s been rolling around in my head for years.

And…..

I want to read and review all 114 books that are currently residing in my real never ending book basket. ***

Let's all take a moment to look at the ridiculousness that is my overflowing never ending book basket...

Let’s all take a moment to look at the ridiculousness that is my overflowing never ending book basket…

Yeah I finally counted all the books in that son of a bitch, and let me tell you that was no easy feat.

Especially since counting accurately is apparently not my strongest suit.

Let’s just take a moment to realize that I own 114 paperbacks that I haven’t read. I’m kind of mad at myself for letting it get this bad, but then I’m kind of proud of myself for buying so many books.

I should get like a medal or something.

But I don’t have a book buying problem, or anything. Right?

Yeah we all know I’m delusional about my book buying addiction, but I’ve made the decision that I’ve got to get it together. I have got to read some of those books because they are all dying to be read, and some of those poor suckers are buried so deep in that basket that they haven’t seen actual light in years.

So I am saying here and now that this year is going to be the year I make a dent in the ridiculousness that is that basket. By this point next year I’m hoping most, if not all, of those 114 books will be on my bookshelf and not in that damn basket. And all of them will be reviewed on here.

Think I can do it?

giphyWell I personally can’t guarantee anything, like at all because lord knows I buy books about as often as a I breathe, but I am sure going to give it the good ole college try.

Fingers crossed.

I think this is going to be the best mother effing challenge. I am so excited to make my way through those books and that basket, and I hope you are too!

It ain’t gonna be easy and I am sure to buy 30 new paperbacks and countless more kindle books between the beginning and end of 2015, but in my opinion there are way worse things you can buy than books.

Like drugs, or Nickelback CD’s.

So who’s ready to hop on my crazy train and book reading adventure, and welcome in 2015 like a champ?

I’ve got 114 paperback books standing between me and meeting this resolution, and I for one can’t wait to dive head first into all of them.giphyAFGKAAYI

So hello 2015, you gorgeous son of a bitch.

Let’s get this hot mess express started.

May the reading, reviewing, and ridiculousness begin!

For a full list of the books in the Never Ending Book Basket click HERE.

***It should be noted that this list/number does not include the over 64 unread Kindle books I am currently hoarding. I am also going to work like crazy to read and review those ones too, so stay tuned!

365 Days of Blogging: How in the hell did that happen?

One year ago I hit publish on The Never Ending Book Basket. EEEEEKK!!

omorly

I cannot believe my blog is celebrating its first year anniversary. Seriously. How in the hell did that happen?

Where It All Began: You see, I have this idea…

This all started when I had this crazy idea that I should start a book blog. Up until that point I don’t think I had actually ever been on a book blog, but somehow that idea popped into my head. Fast forward 365 amazing days later, and this blog is still going!

I set out to write this blog as a place to talk about my biggest passion: books.

I have to admit that when I started this thing, I really didn’t think anyone would read my reviews or posts. (And I’m really not joking at all when I say that.)

As much as I hate to say that, that’s the truth. I really thought the few people who would read it would be my friends who I basically begged into reading it, or my family who I would continually bombard with blog links. And to be honest, I was fine with the fact that there was a good chance only a few people might read my blog.

How my never ending book basket grew over the last 365 days...

How my never ending book basket grew over the last 365 days…

This blog started off as an idea to just spread the book love and talk about the many books I was reading. So many things have happened since then, and I couldn’t be more grateful for every single one, but when I started this blog, I didn’t realize a lot of things…

I didn’t realize that I would meet so many amazing people in this community. I didn’t even fathom that I would develop personal friendships and connections with so many authors and fellow readers. I didn’t know that by starting this blog I would find myself in one of the best, and I do mean the best, communities around.

It also never even occurred to me that staring this blog would lead to me beta reading. (If we’re being honest, I for some reason didn’t even realize people did that.) The fact that someone would want me to read their book and give them feedback still blows me away. It never entered my mind that starting this book blog would allow me the chance to read and experience so many phenomenal books because of this AMAZING community of authors, bloggers, and readers.

When I started this blog, I never realized the immense amount of joy it would bring me.

What I’ve Learned: And yeah, I actually learned shit!

I’ve come to learn a lot in this year of blogging. Some of the things I’ve learned revolve around the wonderful world of book reviewing and blogging, and some other things involve discovering wonderful things about my crazy ass self. But through it all I’ve really learned a lot, and I wouldn’t trade this year in for anything. It has just simply been the best.

Some of the many things I’ve learned in the last 365 days of book blogging:

  • This community of readers, authors, & bloggers is the best, and I couldn’t feel more welcomed in it.
  • When I write a book review, it will likely never be less than 1000 words. #wordyforlife
  • The number of Kindle books I can devour in one weekend is somewhat alarming, but this is clearly a positive.
  • Any type of caffeine will expedite and greatly aid in the writing and creating a blog posts and reviews.thinking-yes
  • When I love a book: I LOVE A BOOK HARD.
  • There is no greater feeling in the world then sharing a book you love with someone else.
  • Independently or self-published authors (or those authors who started off as independently published authors) set the standard for connecting with readers. Hands down.
  • The generosity of this community is one of its greatest assets.
  • That bloody Facebook algorithm sucks something fierce. My blog’s Facebook page will likely only ever reach less than 10% of its total audience, but it is what it is, and I can’t change that. So I’m going to keep posting my little heart out! Eat that, Facebook.
  • Nothing will rile a group of females up more so than a film adaptation of their favorite romance novel, or waiting for the release date of their next must read.
  • Goodreads serves a wonderful purpose if used appropriately and respectfully, and unfortunately it rarely is, but I’ve got hope that one day it’ll get its act together.
  • Release day is like Christmas Day. And lucky for us there’s a release day every day of the year!
  • The number of pictures of half naked man candy that so wonderfully permeate book blog’s Facebook pages makes my news feed look like and extended version of Magic Mike. And I like it. A lot.
  • My never-ending book basket has literally grown in size since I started this blog. At this point that thing is like a bad episode of hoarders. The amount of unread Kindle books I now own is almost just as bad. (Like it’s really bad.)
  • I own more unread books than I could possibly read in 6 months’ time, but I fucking love that. My to be read list is a mile long, and I still keep buying books like I need them to breathe, but that’s me and that’s just how it’s going to be.
  • A good book is well worth a sleepless night. Always.

And I could go and on, but now it’s time for what’s really important. Now comes the most important portion of this blog post:

IT’S THANK YOU TIME!!

There are so many people I have to thank immensely for helping me this past year and for encouraging me all along the way.  I hope you all know how eternally thankful and grateful I am to each and every one of you.

I heart you all something fierce, and if I could, I would give you all the chocolate in the world, all the book boyfriends you’ve fallen in love with, just enough glitter to make you all the more fabulous & sparkly, and all the wine and booze you so rightfully deserve for putting up with my crazy ass.

To my friends Brittany, Amy, Taylor, Meredith, Cindy, Domo, Michelle, Aubrey: You’re the ones who encouraged me from the very beginning. (You know, when it only took 5 phone calls and countless texts with each of you to convince me that this was a good idea.) You ladies are the ones that keep me going, and you all listen to me go on and on about this blog day in and day out. You tolerate my ridiculousness and you accept my crazy text messages asking you your opinions about all blog related things, and I couldn’t love you all more for it.

Thank you to my family and especially my mother who now actually enjoys telling people about the accomplishments that my blog sometimes makes. (Now can you please stop complaining about how many books I buy?)tumblr_mkfu9a6KTH1qz4rggo1_1280

To all the authors who have welcomed me with open arms and made me realize why it is I do this, THANK YOU!! You are all the bees mother fucking knees!! Meredith Wild, Author M. Mabie, Kathryn Andrews, Elizabeth Hayley, Alison Bliss, and so many more. (I could honestly go on and on…) I can’t thank you enough for everything. Seriously. I don’t have the right amount of words to tell you how thankful I am for your friendships and guidance, and everything else. You are all simply the best, and it has been fabulous getting to know every single one of you. Oh, and thanks for those awesome effing book you all write superbly too because they’ve given me some amazingly awesome reading experiences that I will NEVER forget.

Thank you to all the people I’ve met this year. The fellow bloggers, readers, book addicts that have it just as bad as I do. You are all wonderful people, and it has been fantastic getting to know you. And I sincerely look forward to knowing more of you as this blog continues.

To the groups that run all those fabulous blog tours, cover reveals, release day blitzes, review tours, and everything else in between, thank you for being so flipping awesome. Special shout out to Wendy and Claire from Bare Naked Words because those two are the best, and are as nice as can be!

To the street teams that keep me sane: Team Wild, The Mo Stash, Pure Bliss, and all the rest. You’ve all been so welcoming of me and my little blog, and you all make me laugh and smile every day. And all those half naked men pictures are also equally nice.

And last but certainly not least, thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read any one of the posts that I’ve done on here. It means the world to me that someone would take the time to read my words, and I can’t even begin to describe how thankful I am to each and every one of you.

You are all the best. And I wish I could give you a hug. And that might be creepy and crazy and a tad bit weird, but do you honestly expect anything less from me at this point?

Thank you all for 365 days of fun, books, crazy, and everything else in between. It’s been one helluva ride, and I for one look forward to doing many more of these anniversary posts in the future.

Oh, and did I mention I really heart you all something fierce?

Because I do.

Like a lot. ❤

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