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Hey all, Patti here 🙂  I know it’s not the weekend but I’ve got a few recent reads that I thought I’d share.  There’s a mix of genres and ratings, hopefully you find something you’re interested in: 

 

(book covers are amazon affiliate links)

The MartianThe Martian by Andy Weir:

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

YOU WANT TO READ THIS!!! My husband was reading The Martian and sharing little snippets – it sounded like a good story, so I checked out the audiobook from the library. I started listening in my car, but when I got up to Chapter 6 and was sitting in my driveway listening, I decided I was being an idiot so I went inside and proceeded to read the entire rest of the book in less than a day! There is absolutely no romance in The Martian and I still loved it. A little bit technical but I skimmed the math stuff and still really enjoyed it. Hubs and I already have date-night planned for when the movie comes out. My Rating: 5 stars.

Young Adult Paranormal RomanceYoung Adult Paranormal RomanceYoung Adult Paranormal Romance

DeviantDeviant by Jaimie Roberts:

Most fairy tales end with a happily ever after.

This is not a fairy tale. He is not her Prince Charming about to whisk her away into the sunset. This is a story about betrayal, lust, desire and, ultimately, revenge…

And revenge can only lead to one thing.

Tyler

He was my stranger, my visitor, my shadow in the corner of my room. He stalked me, watched me, knew everything about me. But all I could do was sit and wait. I waited for him to visit me night after night. He was becoming my addiction, my craving, my obsession. He knew every inch of me, but I knew nothing about him.

His calls himself Lotus and, as crazy as it sounds, I think I’m falling in love.

Dean

I wanted to take her, possess her, dominate her, and ruin her. I wanted to ravish her, please her, and consume her until I couldn’t take much more of her.

She will want me to kiss her. She will want me to hold her all night so that she feels a connection with me. I would make it so that she would seek me out in the dark. The one that satisfies her ultimate fantasy. A stranger who sneaks into her room. Someone who gives her the ultimate pleasure, but also seeks to give her ultimate pain. Pain she has never had to endure. Pain that will eat away at her until there is nothing left.

She was my nemesis, I was her lotus. And payback was a bitch.

Kristen Ashley made the “stranger sneaks into my bedroom for hot sex” work, this author does not. There were a lot of holes and it’s obvious the sick kid was written in to mask a plot point near the end. Really, none of the story makes sense – what kind of revenge is it to anonymously sex up your so-called enemy and flip her toilet paper roll to the wrong side? I’m not going to give away spoilers but I just didn’t buy any of it. I found Deviant to be very disjointed and I forced myself to read to the end just to see why the “hero” hated the heroine and what he hoped to accomplish by sneaking into her apartment and backing her car into her spot and stuff (which seems pretty nice to me). There’s a cliffhanger but I have no interest in the next book.  My Rating: 1 star.

Young Adult Paranormal RomanceYoung Adult Paranormal RomanceYoung Adult Paranormal Romance

True NorthTrue North by Liora Blake:

What happens when a bad-boy celebrity rocker meets a small-town bestselling novelist? Find out in this first book in the sizzling new True series by Liora Blake!

While most novelists would consider jetting off to Hollywood for a TV interview rather exciting, small-town Montana writer Kate Mosely finds it all a bit exhausting. After losing her husband in a car accident where she was behind the wheel, Kate has finally found her bearings in the world again, rebuilding a simple but stable life. And even if that means a lot of lonely nights watching old movies and quiet days writing obituaries for her hometown newspaper, Kate’s not sure she’s ready for her life to change—again.

Until she shares the stage—and a whole heap of carnal gazes—with rock star Trevor “Trax” Jenkins. Despite his intimidating on-stage bravado, underneath it Kate discovers a man with a Rilke poem tattooed on his arm, an appreciation for cronuts, and a snarky wit that matches her own.

As she and Trevor explore their heated chemistry, the scarred parts of Kate’s heart begin to heal, making room for a love so passionate it makes her want long-forgotten things equal parts naughty, heart-swelling, and joyful. But when a searing exposé in a trashy gossip magazine sends Kate running, will it threaten their chances at forever?

I don’t remember where I first saw this book, but it was on my wishlist so when it went on sale I jumped. I’m so glad I did – I absolutely loved this one and will be reading/reviewing the next book, True Devotion, later this month. This was a sweet and sexy story about a rock star (my catnip) and a widow and it was so wonderfully done that I had a book hangover when I finished. My main qualm was that the ending seemed kind of abrupt, but other than that, big big love 🙂  My Rating: 4 stars.

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Elements of ChemistryElements of Chemistry (parts 1 – 3) by Penny Reid:

Parts 1-3: Elements of Chemistry
This book includes all 3 novels.
Part 1: ATTRACTION * Part 2: HEAT * Part 3: CAPTURE

ATTRACTION
One week.
Private beach.
Invisible girl.
Jerk-faced bully.
What’s the worst that could happen?
Kaitlyn Parker has no problem being the invisible girl, which is why she finds herself hiding in various cabinets and closets all over her college campus. Despite her best efforts, she can’t escape the notice of Martin Sandeke—bad boy, jerkface bully, and the universe’s hottest, wealthiest, and most unobtainable bachelor—who also happens to be Kaitlyn’s chemistry lab partner.
Kaitlyn might be the only girl who isn’t interested in exploiting his stunning rower’s build, chiseled features, and family’s billionaire fortune. Kaitlyn wants Martin for his brain, specifically to tabulate findings of trace elements in surface water.
When Kaitlyn saves Martin from a nefarious plot, Martin uses the opportunity to push Kaitlyn out of her comfort zone: spring break, one week, house parties, bathing suits, and suntan lotion. Can she overcome her aversion to being noticed? Will he be able grow beyond his self-centered nature? Or, despite their obvious chemistry, will Martin be the one to drive Kaitlyn into the science cabinet of obscurity for good?

HEAT
Four days left.
Private beach (…and boat).
Not so invisible girl.
And maybe less of a jerk-faced bully than originally thought.
What’s the worst (or the best) that could happen?
Kaitlyn is finding life outside of the science cabinet of obscurity to be quite illuminating …and so are her pants.
When things heat up between Kaitlyn Parker and Martin—previously known as the jerk-faced bully—Sandeke, she places her trust in the one person she never thought capable of earning it, let alone keeping it safe. Fortunately or unfortunately for Kaitlyn, where she gives her trust she can’t help but also give her heart.
But how will the world beyond the sanctuary of their newfound connection react to their relationship? Soon senators, chinless billionaires, and elements beyond Martin and Kaitlyn’s control want to weigh in on the young couple’s future.
Navigating the chaotic inferno of new love might be more than Kaitlyn bargained for, and much, much more than her trust—or her heart—can handle.

CAPTURE
One week.
Manhattan apartment.
Super-hot ex-boyfriend.
…What’s the worst that could happen?
It’s been nine months since Kaitlyn Parker has seen or heard from Martin Sandeke—nine months and five stages of matter. She’s lived through the worst of first-love heartbreak, and is most certainly stronger (and less likely to hide in science cabinets) than ever before.
But now Martin is back. And he wants to be friends. But he’s sending mixed signals to the Bunsen burner in Kaitlyn’s pants.
Will Martin re-capture Kaitlyn’s heart? Can Kaitlyn and Martin ever be just friends? Or, despite an abundance of chemistry, are some bonds just too unstable to endure?

Disclosure: I am a diehard Penny Reid fan and this e-book was provided by the author at no charge to me. Actually, the three parts of the book were sent one at a time and I’m so glad I waited until I had all 3 e-arcs in hand before I started reading. I have so many thoughts all jumbling together but all that keeps coming out is “wow”. Penny Reid is an auto-buy author for me – her characters are funny and relatable. So many sighs, some dreamy and some sad, and many laughs-out-loud. This is different from her Neanderthal series and different from The Hooker and the Hermit, and yet still amazingly good.  My Rating: 5 stars.

Young Adult Paranormal RomanceYoung Adult Paranormal RomanceYoung Adult Paranormal Romance

Vicious CycleVicious Cycle by Katie Ashley:

New York Times bestselling author Katie Ashley revs up the danger and sexual tension in her brand-new Vicious Cycle romance series.

Deacon Malloy’s life is dedicated to the Hell’s Raiders motorcycle club. Tough, hard, and fast with his fists, he serves the group as sergeant at arms. But his devil-may-care approach to life is thrown for a loop when the five-year-old daughter he never knew existed lands on the club steps.

Alexandra Evans is devoted to all her students—but there’s always been something about Willow Malloy that tugs at her heart. There’s an aura of sadness about her, a girl in need of all the love Alexandra can give. When Willow stops coming to school, Alexandra’s search leads to a clubhouse full of bikers…and a father hell-bent on keeping his daughter always within sight.

The moment Deacon sees Alexandra, he has to have her in his bed—and he’s never met a woman yet who couldn’t be persuaded. No matter how attracted she is to Deacon, Alexandra refuses to be just another conquest. But it’s Deacon himself who could be seduced—into a brighter future for himself, his daughter, and the woman he’s falling for against all odds.

I liked the world but there were some issues with the heroine acting out of character (a goody-good school teacher is not going to suddenly throw back shots and dance on the bar in a biker club? Doubtful). I’m intrigued by one of the side-characters, whose story is next. I received this book free of charge at the RT Booklover’s Convention. My Rating: 3 stars.

Young Adult Paranormal RomanceYoung Adult Paranormal RomanceYoung Adult Paranormal Romance

radianceRadiance by Grace Draven:

~THE PRINCE OF NO VALUE~

Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.

~THE NOBLEWOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE~

Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light. Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.

A wonderful fantasy romance. If you liked The Last Hour of Gann, you’ll like this. If you thought Gann was too long or too violent, try Radiance instead. (If you haven’t read The Last Hour of Gann, you need to. Seriously. Click here for my raving review.)  I loved the hero and heroine and their sense of humor about their situations. I also loved their slow, sweet romance that neither of them expected. Also, Radiance has great worldbuilding.  Fun fact: Grace Draven walked past me at RT but but I was too shy to say hi. At one event, this book was one of the giveaway choices and I recommended it to everyone who passed the table. I own it in print and ebook. My Rating: 5 stars.

Young Adult Paranormal RomanceYoung Adult Paranormal RomanceYoung Adult Paranormal Romance

Have you read anything recently that knocked your socks off?  Or is there something coming out that you just can’t wait for?  

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