Tag: romanceopoly

Wrap Up | June 2019

I really felt like I read only 5 or 6 books in June but nope. I read 13! I would prefer to break up a wrap up over 5 books into two posts but I wasn’t paying attention 😅

I had a few let downs this month and one book I decided to drop.

Fate's Edge The Edge 3 Ilona Andrews Elaine Howlin Bookstagram

Fate’s Edge (The Edge #3) by Ilona Andrews ★★★★☆

Fate's Edge (The Edge, #3)

This is an urban fantasy series set in the Edge which is a realm between the Broken (our world) and the Weird (mirror to our world but with magic). The series is meant to be paranormal romance and definitely starts out that way but by this book I think it’s more like urban fantasy with more focus on the suspense plot than the relationship.

Taken as urban fantasy it’s a brilliant book but taken as paranormal romance it doesn’t quite work.

A Bogie in the Boat (Linx & Bogie #2) by Elizabeth Hunter ★★★★★

A Bogie in the Boat (Linx & Bogie, #2)

I really hope Hunter will write more and maybe longer books in this series. So far the stories have been pretty short but really engaging. It’s a buddy story about a woman and the ghost of a detective who constantly tries to get her to solve mysteries.

The Ice Princess (Princes Trilogy #3.5) by Elizabeth Hoyt ★★★★☆

The Ice Princess (Princes Trilogy, #3.5)

Super short story at the end of Hoyt’s Princes trilogy about the madam of Aphrodite’s Grotto. I’m generally not a fan of short romances but since I already had an idea of Carol’s character from previous books I actually enjoyed this one.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang Elaine Howlin Bookstagram

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) by Helen Hoang ★★★★★

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1)

Oh my gosh, I loved this!! I was really surprised by this book! I didn’t expect to like about about a male escort and I also was not prepared for how steamy this book is! I totally judged it by it’s cover and expected a sweet and silly romantic comedy style story. It is certainly sweet but not at all silly.

The Kiss Quotient is available on kindle unlimited

Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers #1) by Penny Reid ★★★★★

Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers, #1)

Loved this and another surprise for me for pretty much the same reasons as above. I expected a homey small town story but there’s a slight edge to it that pushes it out of that category. We follow Duane Winston who has had the hots for Jessica for most of his life but she’s mad for his identical twin brother.

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The Taken (Celestial Blues #1) by Vicki Petersson ★★★★☆

The Taken (Celestial Blues, #1)

I stumbled across this book on Scribd and listened to it based solely on the cover. I love the rockabilly elements from the main female character. This is a noir urban fantasy mystery series (yes please!) following rockabilly reporter Kit and ex-P.I. fallen angel Griffin as they look for her friends murderer.

Last Kiss Goodnight (Otherworld Assassin #1) by Gena Showalter ★★★☆☆

Last Kiss Goodnight: An Otherworld Assassin Novel

I’m in two minds about this book. I think the world was well built and interesting but the characters were pretty one-shot and a little generic. Another small issue I have is that the main female character is deaf but I think the way her deafness is portrayed wasn’t very realistic (though I can’t say that for sure). Last Kiss Goodnight is a sci-fi romance about an alien zoo in a circus run under the iron fist of Vika’s father when Soloman is captured and put on display in the zoo.

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje ★★★★★

The English Patient

I adored this but it is a bit of a heavy read so I really took my time with it. I’ve been reading it since January and finished it up this month. I’m really happy I took my time with it and soaked in what the book had to say. The English Patient centers around four people in a villa in Italy at the end of World War 2 coming to terms with what has happened to them over the past few years.

Hyde & Seek (Hyde #1) by Layla Frost ★☆☆☆☆

Hyde and Seek (Hyde #1)

Say hello to my only one star read this year (so far). I only finished it because I wanted to complete a square on the Romanceopoly board. I don’t want to get really negative about this book because a lot of people seem to love it (I’m in the minority) but this really wasn’t for me. None of the characters felt realistic and the main female character was bordering on a Mary-Sue. She seems to have Beyonce’s figure (but feels she’s too curvy), smells like cake and every man and his uncle wants to bang her because she listens to metal and has tattoos.

Hyde & Seek is available on kindle unlimited

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey Elaine Howlin Bookstagram

Fix Her Up (Hot and Hammered #1) by Tessa Bailey ★★★☆☆

Fix Her Up (Hot and Hammered, #1)

This book has been hyped quite a bit recently among romance readers and I’m kind of in two minds on whether it deserves it or not. On one hand I enjoyed it and on the other it featured tropes that I’m sick of. A lot of people have been commenting on it’s steaminess level as well but I didn’t think it was that high (read The Professional by Kresley Cole if you want a super steamy book). We follow Travis who has just returned home after an injury has ends his pro baseball career and Georgette, a professional clown, who has been on love with him her whole life. They both want to change their image so decide to fake date for a bit.

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough ★★★★☆

The Thorn Birds

This was so close to being a 5 star read but some things really annoyed me around the middle of the book. Mostly character actions so we won’t get into it 😉 The story was a wonderful sweeping saga following the Cleary family but mainly the daughter Meggie. There are a lot of interesting looks at gender in the book especially perceived gender roles and how the people are influenced by their religion.

The Raven Prince (Princes #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt ★★★★★

The Raven Prince

One of my absolute favourite historical romances!! There are strong Beauty and the Beast themes in this one but it isn’t really a retelling. I LOVE books with Beauty and the Beast themes 💜

The Leopard Prince (Princes #2) by Elizabeth Hoyt ★★★★★

The Leopard Prince (Princes Trilogy, #2)

This one has the most interesting subplot following along the romance. It’s a murder mystery, SHEEP MURDER!! It’s a lot of fun to read and unravel with the characters while they fall in lurve.

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Watch my Summerathon Vlog and Wrap Up

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didn't finish

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard

An Unkindness of Magicians

I love the premise of this book but when listening to the audiobook I found it to be a bit of a mess. I decided to stop listening around halfway and I’m going to try the print book at some point and see if I follow it better.

March Reading Plans

Since I’m doing the Irish Readathon this month I will hopefully be reading mostly Irish literature but I would like to mix it up a bit and continue with some of my urban fantasy or paranormal series as well. I also have a few other reading challenges that I’m taking part in.

Romanceopoly

My current spot on the board is “Heartbreak Hospital – Read a book with a doctor hero/heroine – OR – Read a tearjerker”. I hate tearjerkers so I’m going to read a book with a doctor. I put Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward on my MBR for this challenge but I think I’m going to read Shadow Game by Christine Feehan instead.

Shadow Game (Ghostwalkers #1) by Christine Feehan

Shadow Game (GhostWalkers, #1)

The classified experiment is the brainchild of renowned scientist Peter Whitney and his brilliant daughter, Lily. Created to enhance the psychic abilities of an elite squadron, it can transform their natural mental powers into a unique military weapon. But something goes wrong. In the isolated underground labs, the men have been dying-victims of bizarre accidents. Captain Ryland Miller knows he is next. When Dr. Whitney himself is murdered, Ryland has only one person left to trust: the beautiful Lily. Possessed of an uncanny sixth sense herself, Lily shares Ryland’s every new fear, every betrayal, every growing suspicion, and every passionate beat of the heart. Together, they will be drawn deeper into the labyrinth of her father’s past and closer to a secret that someone would kill to keep hidden.

Kick’n Down Your TBR

This reading challenge is hosted by Gotta Have Romance with a Kick on Goodreads. It works kind of like bingo. You create a shelf on Goodreads for the challenge and then use the spinner to decide the book you’ll read. I’m doing the monthly level which is one book per month. For March the spinner gave me Deeper Than Midnight by Lara Adrian which is the 9th book in her Midnight Breed series. I read the 8th book in 2013 so I can’t really remember the series very well but I’m just going to continue on. I really don’t feel like rereading the first 8 books right now.

Deeper Than Midnight (Midnight Breed #9) by Lara Adrian

Deeper Than Midnight (Midnight Breed, #9)

DELIVERED FROM THE DARKNESS, A WOMAN FINDS HERSELF PLUNGED INTO A PASSION THAT IS DEEPER THAN MIDNIGHT.

At eighteen, Corinne Bishop was a beautiful, spirited young woman living a life of privilege as the adopted daughter of a wealthy family. Her world changed in an instant when she was stolen away and held prisoner by the malevolent vampire Dragos. After many years of captivity and torment, Corinne is rescued by the Order, a cadre of vampire warriors embroiled in a war against Dragos and his followers. Her innocence taken, Corinne has lost a piece of her heart as well—the one thing that gave her hope during her imprisonment, and the only thing that matters to her now that she is free.

Assigned to safeguard Corinne on her trip home is a formidable golden-eyed Breed male called Hunter. Once Dragos’s most deadly assassin, Hunter now works for the Order, and he’s hell-bent on making Dragos pay for his manifold sins. Bonded to Corinne by their mutual desire, Hunter will have to decide how far he’ll go to end Dragos’s reign of evil—even if carrying out his mission means shattering Corinne’s tender heart.

Muses Mandate

Muses Mandate is the monthly group read for My Vampire Book Obsession on Goodreads. Picking a book to read each month wasn’t working out for us so instead, we decided to choose a monthly author and call them muses. People can read whatever book they want by them. It’s worked out really well for us so far.

March’s Muse is Patricia Briggs. There are two books by Briggs that I would like to read and can’t make up my mind on. They’re set in the same world following different characters. Cry Wolf is listed as the first book in her Alpha & Omega series but it’s really the second. You need to read the prequel novella Alpha & Omega in order to have an understanding of the characters. I’d also suggest reading the first few books of the Mercy Thompson series before reading it.

Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega #1) by Patricia Briggs

Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1)

Anna never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack… and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she’d learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. Then Charles Cornick, the enforcer—and son—of the leader of the North American werewolves, came into her life.

Charles insists that not only is Anna his mate, but she is also a rare and valued Omega wolf. And it is Anna’s inner strength and calming presence that will prove invaluable as she and Charles go on the hunt in search of a rogue werewolf—a creature bound in magic so dark that it could threaten all of the pack.

River Marked (Mercy Thompson #6) by Patricia Briggs

River Marked (Mercy Thompson, #6)

Being a different breed of shapeshifter-a walker-Mercy Thompson can see ghosts, but the spirit of her long-gone father has never visited her. Until now, on her honeymoon with the Alpha werewolf Adam. An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River-and innocent people are dying. As other walkers make their presence known to Mercy, she must reconnect with her heritage to exorcise the world of the legend known as the river devil…

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The Irish Readathon

We have a list of 5 challenges for the readathon but you don’t need to do them and you can combine them if you want.

My first choice would work for two of the challenges, “read a book by a female Irish author” and “read a book by one of the hosts favourite authors”.

Almost Love by Louise O’Neill

Almost Love

If it doesn’t hurt, it’s not love: the gripping new novel from the bestselling author of Asking for It. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and Jodi Picoult.

When Sarah falls for Matthew, she falls hard.

So it doesn’t matter that he’s twenty years older. That he sees her only in secret. That, slowly but surely, she’s sacrificing everything else in her life to be with him.

Sarah’s friends are worried. Her father can’t understand how she could allow herself to be used like this. And she’s on the verge of losing her job.

But Sarah can’t help it. She is addicted to being desired by Matthew.

And love is supposed to hurt.

Isn’t it?

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My next choice will work for “read a book by a female Irish author”.

Echoes of Grace by Carragh Bell

Echoes of Grace

Even in death, love survives

Grace Molloy was the darling of the theatre scene. Young and dazzling, she gave it all up to marry the playwright Henry Sinclair, thirty years her senior. Then, one stormy night, she died giving birth to her daughter, Aurora.

Left with no memory of her mother, Aurora is raised by Henry and her nanny, Maggie, in a huge old house on the Cornish coastline. All the little girl has of Grace is a portrait – a painting of a woman in a white dress, her beautiful face frozen in time.

Aurora grows up, resembling Grace in looks and talent. She pursues her dream of being on the stage and soon achieves great success in the world of theatre, like her mother before her. Then a secret unfolds – a secret that could threaten all that she holds dear . . .

Echoes of Grace is the story of a young woman who, having overcome a painful past, must now embrace it to find her real self.

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My next choice works for “read a book that isn’t a novel” and “read a book older than you are”.

The Plays of Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde

The Plays of Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde took London by storm with his first comedy, Lady Windermere’s Fan. The combination of dazzling wit, subtle social criticism, sumptuous settings and the theme of a guilty secret proved a winner, both here and in his next three plays, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, and his undisputed masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest. This volume includes all Wilde’s plays from his early tragedy Vera to the controversial Salome and the little known fragments, La Sainte Courtisane and A Florentine Tragedy. The edition affords a rare chance to see Wilde’s best known work in the context of his entire dramatic output, and to appreciate plays which have hitherto received scant critical attention.

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So those are the books I would like to read this month. I would be happy with completing about 4 of them but we’ll see how it goes. I’m spending the last week and half of March with my family so I probably won’t get much reading done then.

What are you reading this month?

Synopsis and book cover from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

Romanceopoly

Romanceopoly is a reading challenge game hosted by Under the Covers and Peace Love Books.

The game is based loosely on Monopoly and set in the fictional city of Romanceopolis. You can roll a die to make your way around the board or just do each task which is how I’m going to play.

The website the creators have made is so helpful with tasks. They have a list of recommendations for each task here which I have found great because there are a few tasks that require books I wouldn’t normally read.

Tasks & TBR

LEATHER LANE Urban Fantasy Read an urban fantasy where the series is already completed

Alpha (Shifters, #6)

KICKASS LANE Urban Fantasy Read an urban fantasy with a picture of a kickass heroine on the cover

Magic Rises (Kate Daniels, #6)

DOWNTOWN Subway Read a rock star romance

Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss, #1)

GROWING PAINS PLACE Young Adult Read a young adult book (fantasy or contemporary)

Arcana Rising (The Arcana Chronicles, #4)

MEMORY LANE Historical Fiction Read a historical fiction novel

With This Ring  (Vanza, #1)

WOMEN’S AVE Women’s Fiction Read a women’s fiction novel

The Woman Who Stole My Life

DUNGEON Corner Read a book with a hero in prison or who is an ex-con – OR – Read a book on UTC’s or PLB’s Book Boyfriends List.

Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, #2)

COLLEGE ROW New Adult Read a new adult book set in college

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)

BUS Transport Read a book where the character(s) have to go on a journey
which involves travel (this includes fantasy)

Wicked Abyss (Immortals After Dark, #18)

LGBT LANE LGBT Read a new adult LGBT romance

Him (Him #1)

FREEDOM FRIARS LGBT Read an adult LGBT romance

Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11)

SWEET STREET Contemporary Romance Read a sweet or small town contemporary romance

Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers, #1)

BAD BOY CIRCUS Contemporary Romance Read a contemporary romance with a bad boy hero or bad gal heroine

The Dark Calling (The Arcana Chronicles, #5)

EROTIC EAVES Erotic Romance Read a smoking hot erotic contemporary romance

The Master (The Game Maker, #2)

FIRESTATION Corner Read a book with a firefighter hero/heroine – OR – Read an ON FIRE HOT erotic romance (can be other than contemporary)

Consumed (Firefighters, #1)

WARRIORS WAY Paranormal Romance Read a paranormal romance that involves a band of warriors

Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8)

MAGIC ROW Paranormal Romance Read a paranormal romance where the hero/heroine can wield magic

Waking the Witch (Women of the Otherworld, #11)

CREATURE CRESCENT Paranormal Romance Read a paranormal romance where the hero/heroine isn’t human (shifters, vamps, angels, demons, gargoyles, etc)

River Marked (Mercy Thompson, #6)

COZY CORNER Mystery Read a mystery or cozy mystery

For the Love of Mike (Molly Murphy, #3)

MILITARY MEWS Romantic Suspense Read a romantic suspense with a military hero/heroine

Deadly Game (GhostWalkers, #5)

TAXI Transport Read a book on UTC’s or PLB’s Recs List (any genre).

Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, #1)

MURDER MILL Thriller Read a thriller or romantic thriller

Final Girls

HEARTBREAK HOSPITAL Corner Read a book with a doctor hero/heroine – OR – Read a tearjerker

Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9)

FARAWAY LAND Fantasy Read a fantasy romance or a fantasy novel

Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10)

LONDON STREET Steampunk Read a steampunk romance or steampunk novel

Heart of Steel (The Iron Seas #2)

ALIEN AVENUE Sci Fi Read a sci fi romance or a sci fi novel

Last Kiss Goodnight (Otherworld Assassin, #1)

AUSTEN ROW Historical Romance Read a classic romance – OR – Read a historical romance on UTC’s or PLB’s Recs List.

Jane Eyre

UPTOWN Subway Read a chef/foodie romance

Hyde and Seek (Hyde #1)

MAYFAIR Historical Romance Read a historical romance where there is a class disparity

Beauty and the Blacksmith  (Spindle Cove, #3.5)

Be sure to check out the website if you’re interested in the challenge. It is seriously the most informative site I’ve seen for a reading challenge.