Top Ten Tuesday: The (Fictional) Crush Edition


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic:
Fictional Crushes

As a romance reader, fictional crushes are totally a thing. I love love. I love romance. I'm a sucker for some swoony dialogue. I adore a good alpha hero... or a sweet cinnamon roll. I can appreciate a badass, broody hero whose only soft spot is for the woman who captured his heart... and the down to earth beta male who openly declares his feelings for his true love. 

So yeah, fictional crushes are a thing. :)

Disclaimer: We're going to totally ignore the fact that romance heroes are often in 20's-30's age range. For the sake of this week's prompt, I'm pretending that I'm 25 in order to alleviate any cougar vibes. LOL

Daemon Black | The Lux series - My OG fictional crush
Roth | The Dark Elements series - So what that he's a crown prince of Hell? 
Rhysand | ACOTAR series - No explanation needed... it's Rhysand
Jamie Fraser | Outlander series - The dashing Highland warrior.
Alexander (Shura) Belov | The Bronze Horseman - Willing to love against all odds.

Connor Cobalt | Addicted series - Because confidence is king.
Ryke Meadows | Addicted series - Unpolished but utterly devoted.
Jonas | Lies & Lullabies - So much love for his unexpected family.
Ryan Wesley | Him - Because Ryan Wesley.
Cameron Hamilton | Wait For You - The swooniest, cookie-baking boyfriend.

Have you read any of these books?

The Sunday Post #259 | August 29, 2021


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news: a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books,
 and share what's coming up on your blog in the week ahead.

It was a busy week at the office but generally uneventful. I can handle that.

My brother-in-law who broke his hip is back in the hospital. He now has pneumonia. Poor guy can't get a break (uh, no pun intended).

Yesterday The Husband and I tried to go to the used bookstore (it's enormous and is a local landmark). I haven't been since before Covid. Unfortunately, when we got there the parking lot was packed so I didn't even try to go in. Sad face. I'm thinking I'll take a day off soon and go again mid-week when it shouldn't be busy.

We ordered a new mattress for the bed in the guest room. On the rare occasion I ever have to sleep on it I always feel sorry for every guest we've ever had. LOL We ordered it yesterday and it will be delivered tomorrow so that's pretty impressive. Everything seems to have slowed down since Covid (we waited over two months for our living room/dining room furniture earlier this year) but apparently mattresses can still be had.

This week's 80's music fix is Don't Change (1982) by INXS. This was always my favorite from the band. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 24

Wednesday, August 25

Thursday, August 26

Friday, August 27


Magic in the Wind by Christine Feehan - ★★
The Bitterroot Inn by Devney Perry - ★★★★
Ever After Always by Chloe Liese - ★★★.5
The Candle Palace by Devney Perry - ★★★★


I'm continuing in my quest to complete all the series that I've started and then let linger. Devney Perry's Tin Gypsy series wraps up with the final book being released this coming week. Perfect time to dive back into the series and get caught up. And on audio, I'm continuing the Brooklyn Bruisers series. I feel like I could read about the team, the staff, and all the other characters in the series forever. :)


The Highland Fling by Meghan Quinn

I was so excited for this one that I pre-ordered the paperback, something I very rarely do.
Can't wait to dive in (probably next week).


Because it's Kennedy Ryan and I won't rest until I've read everything she's written. :)

Loving You Always by Kennedy Ryan
Be Mine Forever by Kennedy Ryan
Until I'm Yours by Kennedy Ryan


Jay's Gay Agenda by Jason June

As soon as this one came on my radar I knew I wanted to read it. It took my library a while to get it, but it finally came in and I was able to pick it up yesterday. So excited for it.

How was your week? I'd love to hear about it!

Review: Always Yours by Kennedy Fox

Kennedy Fox
Publication date: February 18, 2020
Series: Liam & Maddie #2 | Roommate Duet #6
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: Audio
Source: Hoopla
4 Stars
Rehearsals, leotards, and textbooks—that was my life. 

Dancing is all I’ve known until Liam admits his true feelings, and I’m thrown into a world I know nothing about. Secrets and betrayal have proven that Liam isn’t the man I thought he was. Though I’m struggling with the truth, deep down I’d still do anything for him. 

Saving our relationship is his top priority, but keeping him safe is mine. Corruption and power are their game and Liam is nothing more than a pawn. Playing by the rules won’t end well, but I can’t let him fight them alone. 
Our happily ever after is right around the corner, but then it crashes and burns, threatening to destroy us. Giving up on the love of my life isn’t an option, but I might not be able to save him.

ALWAYS YOURS is book 2 in the Liam & Maddie duet and must be read in order.

Fair warning: This review may contain spoilers for the first book in the duet, which has to be read before this one. If you plan to read Always Mine, come back after that one has wrecked you. :)

Always Mine ended with Liam’s worst fear coming true: Maddie was in danger. With that development, it seemed that the enemy held all the cards and Liam was at their mercy. And just when it looked as if it was finally over, he was is pulled back into the dangerous underworld of Las Vegas for the fight of his life.

Kennedy Fox pulled out all the stops with this series ender. The danger was more intense, the villains were truly despicable, and the stakes were higher. At times I wanted to throttle Liam for keeping what he was going through from everyone. He wanted to ensure everyone’s safety – and the less they knew, they better – but he desperately needed to unburden himself and have the support of his friends. Even when I wanted to strangle Liam for some asinine decision-making (seriously, he should have been smarter than this), my heart also hurt for him and I was completely invested in the story. The tension was off the charts and as I listened, I sometimes wished I had the physical book in my hand so I could read faster and turn the pages quicker.

I continued to struggle with Maddie’s character in this one. Once again, her immaturity was on display and she always seemed to default to jokes and sarcasm and came off as silly and childish. It felt like she simply lacked the maturity to deal with much of what happened. She could be downright bratty at times and felt more like a burden to Liam instead of a mature, supportive partner.

The story was so full of twists and turns which left me reeling so many times. No matter how satisfied I was overall with the ending, there was one character who got such a raw deal and it left me raging at the injustice. This person deserved so much better and now that I know they are a featured character in another series, I’m obviously going to read it to make sure their life is set to rights.

I had such a fun time binging this series and immersing myself in the lives of these characters. I loved cheering for them, hurting for them, worrying about them, and feeling all the feels when they got their HEA. The epilogue did a great job at providing a final peek into their lives and their stories are ones that I’ll remember for quite a while.


Review: Always Mine by Kennedy Fox

Kennedy Fox
Publication date: January 7, 2020
Series: Liam & Maddie #1 | Roommate Duet #5
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: Audio
Source: Hoopla
4 Stars

College parties, beer, and one-night stands—that was my life.

Now, I hunt criminals. Drinking and women are still included, though I can’t seem to forget the underage girl who almost gave me her virginity. I stopped it before it happened and kicked her out.

Years later, we’re reunited. She’s no longer underage but still equally off-limits. After ignoring her relentless advances, she wears me down. I only have so much willpower when she’s around, which is all the damn time now that we’re roommates. Just when my restraint starts to crumble, my poor choices finally catch up with me, putting us both in danger. 

There’s no easy way to explain why I betrayed her, but I’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe—even if it means breaking her heart.

ALWAYS MINE is book 1 in the Liam & Maddie duet and must be read first.

After the bombshell reveal at the end of the previous book (Truly Yours, the second book in Mason and Sophie’s duet), the conflict for Maddie and Liam was already in place.  Maddie has appeared in all the previous books, and made her interest in Liam obvious, but as the youngest Corrigan sister her life still revolved around college classes and dance rehearsals, rather than careers and relationships.

Liam had serious game but avoided relationships like the plague. After his mother walked out on him and his father, he saw that love could lead to loss. He had a near-hookup with Maddie a couple years ago but when she confessed her age, he shut it down fast. When he met her again a few years later and realized she was the sister of Lennon and Sophie (the girlfriends of his best friends) he knew he’d be seeing her plenty. And when Maddie moved into the house he shared with Mason and Sophie, there was no escaping her relentless flirting and advances.

As a bounty hunter (or, as Liam like to say, a fugitive recovery agent) he traveled a lot and his trips to Las Vegas led to some serious gambling. When he was approached with an offer to play some high-dollar games he was unable to ignore the lure of big money. And there began the trouble.

Maddie was a character I struggled with because her immaturity showed. She was several years younger than all the others and the difference in life experience was obvious. There were times when her relationship with Liam felt more like a girl with a crush who was determined to prove she could get the guy, instead of a woman with genuine feelings for a man.

Despite my feelings for Maddie, it was impossible not to be sucked into the story. One decision by Liam snowballed and set off a series of events that grew increasingly worse – and more dangerous. He was determined to keep his friends removed from his mistakes and keep them out of the fray, but that meant he was going it alone, with no support. There were times I wanted to shake him for making such asinine decisions, but I could also see how he get caught up in the moment before it all spiraled out of control.

Always Mine was filled with Kennedy Fox’s trademark steam, humor, drama, and OMG moments. While I was slightly less invested in Liam and Maddie’s relationship as I have been in the others in the series, I was completely hooked on Liam’s circumstances and his efforts to extricate himself from such a dangerous situation. The cliffhanger at the end proved just how far the villain was willing to go and had me instantly reaching for the next book.

Note: Always Mine is the first book in the duet that makes up Maddie and Liam’s story. While the two books can be read as a duet, the experience is much fuller if you read the previous duets, Baby Mine and Baby Yours (Hunter + Lennon’s story) and Truly Mine and Truly Yours (Mason + Sophie’s story) first. 


WWW Wednesday #105 | August 25, 2021



Happy Wednesday! What are you up to today? I realized that I hadn't done a WWW Wednesday post since back in April and I felt like chatting about my current reads so here we are. I spent a bit of time yesterday visiting blogs and commenting and it felt great to be completely caught up. Even though it only lasted a few minutes. LOL
How is your week going? What are you reading today?



Currently reading: I've been in the mood to finish up the plethora of series that I've started over the years. In the last couple of weeks I finished Jennifer Armentrout's Harbinger trilogy along with the Roommate Duets series by Kennedy Fox. It sounds silly, but it's such a feeling of accomplishment. :) Next up is the Jamison Valley series by Devney Perry. I'm enjoying getting Maisy's story in The Bitterroot Inn and already have a few theories about Hunter's true identity. 
Current progress: 15%

Currently listening: I'm finding that the Bergman Brothers series is rather hit or miss for me. I struggled through the first book, Only When It's Us, because I found the female lead to be so unlikable. Then came Always Only You, which I adored. Ren and Frankie both captured my heart and I truly felt for both of them. Now I'm more than halfway through Ever After Always and... I'm on the fence. I like Freya, I really like Aiden, but there have been several times where the narrative seemed to veer into a direction that left me thinking just get on with it already. So I'm not exactly flying through this one. On the plus side, I am loving the narration and appreciate that the same two narrators have been used throughout the series. 
Current progress: 60%



Read: Katie McGarry has long been a favorite and one of the few authors that can still entice me to read YA. So I was super intrigued when she released her first adult novel. Fantasy is not my genre, but it's Katie. A Wicked and Beautiful Garden is more urban fantasy than high fantasy and I ended up enjoying it so much. I will say that I found a lot of the Fae lore hard to keep track of. There was a lot of information shared and sometimes I found myself just going with it and not trying to retain it all. I adored the two main characters, the incredible cast of secondary characters, and the ending totally left me wanting more. Now I need to get my review written before it starts getting fuzzy in my mind. :)

Listened To: Magic in the WindOof. This was just weak. At 112 pages maybe it's supposed to be an introduction to the series (although it's considered #1 in the series, not a #0.5 prequel) but everything about it was paper thin. The characters, the plot... all of it. Zero characterization, no background information, no explanations for the "magic", just nothing. Plus, the insta-love was so off the charts that it was absurd. All of it combined to a great big thanks but no thanks for me. I definitely won't continue the series and I doubt I'll pick up anything else by Feehan. This was not for me.



I'm not 100% sure of what I'll pick up next, but these are strong contenders. I've been savoring Heart Bones on my shelf and have lapped up the anticipation of having a CoHo book ready and waiting for me. I think now I'm ready to immerse myself in what is (almost) sure to be a five-star read. I'm also ready to get back into the world of the Brooklyn Bruisers hockey team, and it's time for O'Doul's story in Hard Hitter.

What are you currently reading?
I wanna know! :) 

Top Ten Tuesday: Feels Like the First Time

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic:
Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time 

Did anyone else start singing Foreigner's Feels Like the First Time
when they read this week's topic? Tell me it wasn't just me.

Some books are so special, made such an impact on me, and/or were such a unique reading experience, that I would love to be able to rewind and enjoy the feeling of reading them for the first time all over again. Since I don't have a time machine handy, or a forgetful potion (although age is lending a helping hand on that front LOL), I'll have to settle for remembering what made them so special... and maybe even rereading them one of these days. Here are my picks for the books I wish I could read again for the first time.

Have you read any of these books?
What book do you wish you could read again for the first time?