March Book Haul

In February, I did two book haul posts for the comics I bought at Komiket and other books I purchased. For March, these are the new books that I bought and received:

Beginner’s Luck by Kate Clayborn
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I've had Beginner's Luck by @kateclayborn.author on my wish list for a while, because I keep hearing good things about it from romance Twitter. So I one clicked as fast as I can when I saw that it's a Kindle deal for 0.99usd. Looking forward to reading this book! This bookstagram also applies to @bentchbites' #MarchBookstagram2018 prompt for today: new-to-me author. Beginner's Luck is a debut novel so it will be my intro to Kate Clayborn's writing.🙌🏻📖 Have you guys tried any new authors lately? . . . #BeginnersLuck #KateClayborn #LyricalPress #KenstingtonBooks #romancereads #contemporaryromance #Kindledeals #Kindlebooks #IGreads #instabooks #readersofIG #bookstagram #bookphotography #besfluencers

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Hotter Than Ever by Elle Kennedy

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
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Good coffee in one hand, a potentially good book in the other. It's how every weekend should look like!📖☕ I'm only at chapter 3 but I'm enjoying Children of Blood and Bone by @tadeyemibooks so far. Sometimes when a book gets a lot of hype, I want to wait for the buzz to die down before I read it. But sometimes, I like having that sense of connection with other readers all over the world when an exciting new release has just come out. Like, hey I'm here in Manila and I'm reading the same book that you're reading wherever you may be. Do you ever get that feeling? What was the last book that made you feel that way? . . . 📸 @chuchay.d #ChildrenofBloodandBone #TomiAdeyemi #fantasyreads #YAlit #youngadultbooks #Kindlebooks #diversebooks #IGreads #readersofIG #instabooks #bookstagram #bookstagramPH #bookworm #bibliophile #booknerd #bookphotography #bookandcoffee #coffeetime #coffee #cafehopping

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Ashwin by Kit Rocha
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Today's prompt for @bentchbites' #MarchBookstagram2018 is latest purchase and I just one clicked this 0.99usd Kindle deal a few minutes ago. Ashwin is the first book in the Gideon Riders series by @authorkitrocha. My original answer to this prompt was supposed to be my current read, Children of Blood and Bone. But I couldn't resist buying this title. I've had it in my wish list ever since it was mentioned in @bookthingo's podcast as a good dystopian romance series. Looking forward to reading it! What about you, what's your most recent book purchase? I'm not the only one who keeps one clicking Kindle deals, right? I used Palaso by Marianie in the background because I love its vibrant colors. Not sure if any of you have noticed but I've been using some of my comics when I take Kindle bookstagram shots to add some color to them.📸📚 . . . #KitRocha #GideonRiders #romancereads #romancenovels #Kindlebooks #IGreads #readersofIG #instabooks #bookstagram #bookstagramPH #bookworm #bibliophile #booknerd #bookphotography

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Review copies of Ang Mundo ni Andong Agimat, After Eden by Arnold Arre, Private Iris by Jamie Bautista and Arnold Arre
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Today, I received book mail from @arnoldarrebooks and it includes three Filipino comics titles: After Eden, Ang Mundo ni Andong Agimat and Private Iris. Also with matching postcards and bookmarks. Thank you so much, Chamber Shell Publishing! I read After Eden years ago when it was first released by a different publisher but apparently this newer edition has been revised. Looking forward to reading and rereading all these three titles! Have you read any of these? Let me know what you think if you have.📚📬 . . Do you read comics and graphic novels? Which ones have you loved? . . . #ChamberShellPublishing #ArnoldArre #AfterEden #AngMundoniAndongAgimat #PrivateIris #Pinoykomiks #diversecomics #comics #graphicnovels #artPH #readlocalPH #Filipinoauthors #Filipinobooks #diversebooks #IGreads #readersofIG #instabooks #bookstagram #bookstagramPH #bookphotography #bookhaul #bookmail

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The Tetethered Mage by Melissa Caruso
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New book in my Kindle, and new cake discovery earlier today! I've had The Tethered Mage on my wish list ever since Kristen (fantasycafe) rec'd it on Twitter and I one clicked it the other day while it's still a Kindle deal.📚 Looking forward to reading this epic fantasy soon. Have you read this title? If you have, what did you think of it? Included in this shot is a slice of ube crepe cake from @papermooncafeph and IT'S SO GOOD. I've had crepe cakes in Singapore before and wasn't a fan of them so I've mostly been ignoring PaperMoon whenever I've seen it here in Manila but apparently I should have paid attention to it earlier. Definitely planning to have more of this cake in the future.🍰 What's a new title that you just purchased? Or a new cake/dessert that you've just tried? . . . #TheTetheredMage #MelissaCaruso #OrbitBooks #fantasyreads #Kindlebooks #IGreads #readersofIG #instabooks #bookstagram #bookstagramPH #bookworm #bibliophile #booknerd #bookphotography #bookandcoffee #coffeetime #coffee #cafehopping #PaperMoonCafePH #ubecake

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Jade City by Fonda Lee
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"...Shae was struck by a sense of nostalgia so profound she found it difficult to breathe. The humid air through the open window, the sound of her native language being spoken on the radio, even the terrible traffic... She swallowed, close to tears; she had only the vaguest idea of what she was going to do in Janloon now, but she was undeniably home." - Jade City by Fonda Lee . THIS. SO MUCH THIS. A passage that reminded me of what it felt like to move back home to the Philippines after years of living abroad in Singapore. Actually even just coming home for a visit felt like this. Jade City is a fantasy novel that has been at the top of my wish list after it's been rec'd several times on book Twitter, and by @anovelescape here. I jumped at the chance to read it when it became a Kindle deal. . It's an Asian-inspired mafia fantasy where jade is able to enhance certain people's fighting skills. I read some author interviews and discovered that this was inspired by Fonda Lee's own martial arts experience and her love for kung fu movies. The setting is fictional but based on Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Okinawa. I'm only at 17%, and just at the stage where the multiple POVs are being introduced but the worldbuilding is incredible so far. . Have you read Jade City? Feel free to share what you thought of it. What are other Asian-inspired fantasy that you've loved? . . . #JadeCity #FondaLee #OrbitBooks #fantasyreads #bookquote #diversefantasy #diversebooks #ownvoices #Kindlebooks #IGreads #readersofIG #instabooks #bookstagram #bookstagramPH #bookworm #bibliophile #booknerd #bookphotography

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Shadow Blade by Seressia Glass
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Shadow Blade by Seressia Glass is an urban fantasy title that I heard about on book Twitter. The premise looked interesting so I tried a Kindle sample and I liked it well enough to buy it for 0.99usd (not sure if this is a Kindle deal or the usual price). The heroine has dangerous magical powers: she draws off energy from animate objects, absorbing thoughts and emotions, but draining the person in the process. It sounds really intriguing and I'm keeping it mind while I'm still in my fantasy binge. I'm always on the lookout for good urban fantasy titles, hoping that I'd find something that I love as much as I love Ilona Andrews' books. Haven't managed it yet but hope springs eternal. Have you read this book? Do you read urban fantasy? If you do, what are your favorite UF titles or series? . . . #ShadowBlade #SeressiaGlass #SimonandSchuster #urbanfantasy #fantasyreads #Kindlebooks #IGreads #readersofIG #instabooks #bookstagram #bookstagramPH #bookworm #bibliophile #booknerd #bookphotography

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Out of all of these, I’ve read and reviewed Children of Blood and Bone, which I’ll include in my round up of bookstagram reviews at the end of the month. I’m currently in the middle of Jade City and I’m enjoying it so far.

I went to an art/zine/book fair last Saturday called Gandang Ganda sa Sariling Gawa but I’ll do a separate post for that since this one already has so many titles! And I also received a few gifts because of the birthday wish list I made last week so I’ll work on another post for that. What about you, what books have you acquired recently?

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Cover Reveal: Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen have both written awesome new adult hockey romances (The Ivy Years, Off-Campus) and I was thrilled when they decided to team up to write Him. I did both a cover reveal and review for it. I thought Him was going to be a standalone novel so it came as a pleasant surprise that the authors were inspired to write a sequel! It’s going to be so much fun to find out how Wes and Jamie have been doing. Both the premise and the cover look great. I like how the cover design matches the first book in terms of look and feel and muscles on display. Simple and such a good fit for the story.

Us

Can your favorite hockey players finish their first season together undefeated?

Five months in, NHL forward Ryan Wesley is having a record-breaking rookie season. He’s living his dream of playing pro hockey and coming home every night to the man he loves–Jamie Canning, his longtime best friend turned boyfriend. There’s just one problem: the most important relationship of his life is one he needs to keep hidden, or else face a media storm that will eclipse his success on the ice.

Jamie loves Wes. He really, truly does. But hiding sucks. It’s not the life Jamie envisioned for himself, and the strain of keeping their secret is taking its toll. It doesn’t help that his new job isn’t going as smoothly as he’d hoped, but he knows he can power through it as long as he has Wes. At least apartment 10B is their retreat, where they can always be themselves.

Or can they? When Wes’s noisiest teammate moves in upstairs, the threads of their carefully woven lie begin to unravel. With the outside world determined to take its best shot at them, can Wes and Jamie develop major-league relationship skills on the fly?

Warning: contains sexual situations, a vibrating chair, long-distance sexytimes, and proof that hockey players look hot in any shade of green.

To be released on March 8! Check out its Goodreads page, and add it to your shelf.

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Social media links for the two lovely authors:

Sarina Bowen
Website
Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook

Elle Kennedy
Website
Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook

Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

In my cover reveal post for Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy, I quoted a Twitter conversation where I mentioned that I would be thrilled if these two hockey romance authors worked on a collab title. Given how much I enjoyed both the Ivy Years and the Off-Campus series by these authors, I was pretty sure that I’d enjoy Him. I was lucky enough to receive an early review copy of this title and I was so glad it was sent out just as the weekend started. That gave me enough time to read it without worrying about real life getting in the way. As is the usual case lately, it took me a while to write a review so Him has been released since then so feel free to grab a copy of it!

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

HimThey don’t play for the same team. Or do they?

Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.

Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions — can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend… and a big one to learn about himself.

Warning: contains sexual situations, skinnydipping, shenanigans in an SUV and proof that coming out to your family on social media is a dicey proposition.

I had so much fun reading Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy’s Him. So much so that the next day, my flatmate asked me what I was reading in the middle of the night because she said she could hear laughter from my room. Yep, some of the scenes in this book really made me laugh and smile along with the characters. It’s hard not to when Wes and Jamie tease the hell out of each other. I really liked that they have a solid friendship that was formed through years of spending summers together in hockey camp. They come from different family backgrounds but they’ve always had hockey to bond over. That friendship get a break after Wes walks away because he mistakenly thinks that he ruined what they had with a careless bet. On the other hand, Jamie didn’t think that incident was a big deal and was more hurt by the silence from Wes more than anything else. After reconnecting at a championship game, Wes decides to join Jamie as a coach in their old hockey camp. Surprisingly, there wasn’t that much angst in their story as these two guys change the status of their relationship from friends into something more. It felt like a natural and realistic transition of friends to lovers, with a nice summery vibe while they’re both having fun coaching a sport they’re both passionate about.

I thought it was nice that Jamie and Wes had such distinct personalities, that were contrasting to a certain extent. Jamie is an easygoing, California surfer type of guy while Wes is more serious and prickly. I think their personalities are reflective of their upbringing. Jamie comes from a big family who supports him in basically everything, which is saying something considering how he makes some pretty big decisions during the duration of this book. Wes comes from a wealthy but cold and uptight family. He makes a point of keeping people at a distance because of this. I felt so bad that Wes doesn’t have a warm and welcoming family but at least he has Jamie in his life. I wish there were more scenes that had Wes interacting with Jamie’s family because they’re awesome. I also really liked Jamie’s friendship with Holly and how understanding she is of his predicament. Even with their career decisions, these two guys were in different places. Wes was totally committed to being the best professional hockey player that he can be, while Jamie was indecisive about playing pro. I really don’t know much about hockey but I liked that these aspects of their stories were fleshed out because it’s something that guys their age think about. Also, these career decisions affected their relationship as well.

Him was an engaging read that had me rooting for Wes and Jamie right from the start. Sexy, funny, sweet and swoon-worthy! To be perfectly honest, M/M sports romance wasn’t something that was at the top of my list of books to read. I tried it because Sarina Bowen wrote The Understatement of the Year in the middle of a series that had earlier M/F books. That was the first M/M book that I read and thus has a special place in my heart given how much I cared for the characters. So yay Sarina for that strategy! Him is only the second M/M romance that I’ve read and it solidified my resolve to read more books like it. If M/M isn’t really your thing, I still recommend giving Him a try. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Elle and Sarina will work on another collab title because I would love to read more from them!

Other reviews:
SmexyBooks
Me and My Books

Him2

Cover Reveal: Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

I am thrilled to be participating the cover reveal for Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy’s Him. I’m a big fan of both of their new adult hockey series, the Ivy Years and Off-Campus. It’s funny because I have been looking forward to their collab even before I knew they were writing a book together! Check out this Twitter conversation:

So you can imagine my excitement when I found out about Him! I seriously cannot wait for this book to be released and you can bet that I will be recommending it to everyone I know. I’m so glad they chose to write a MM novel because The Understatement of the Year was one of my favorite reads last year (Rikker and Graham! ♥♥♥) and I would love to read more books like it.
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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the cover for Him:

Him

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

They don’t play for the same team. Or do they?

Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.

Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend… and a big one to learn about himself.

Warning: contains sexual situations, skinnydipping, shenanigans in an SUV and proof that coming out to your family on social media is a dicey proposition.

Him2

To be released on July 28!

Links:
Goodreads
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Kobo

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Social media links for the two lovely authors:

Sarina Bowen
Website
Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook

Elle Kennedy
Website
Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook

And there’s also a great Facebook group called The Locker Room where both Sarina and Elle are coaches.

Off-Campus Series: The Deal and The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

I’ve read a few of Elle Kennedy’s super steamy romances before so I was really looking forward to her new adult series. One of my favorite discoveries last year was Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years books, which had hockey players as MCs and an Ivy League college setting. I was hoping that the Off-Campus series would be just as good as that. And it was! Both The Deal and The Mistake were so much fun to read. Elle Kennedy writes so fast (or I’m just really behind on reviews) because the sequel has been out for a while now and it’s taken me this long to write a review for The Deal. I have been recommending these books to friends both online and in real life though. Several of them have gotten back to me to say that they thoroughly enjoyed these books.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

The DealShe’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice… even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good.

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

The Deal is a lighthearted and fun novel to read which also manages to tackle a number of serious issues for the characters. Even though they’re young, both Hannah and Garrett have gone through horrible experiences but what I liked about them was they didn’t let those experiences define them. I liked how thoughtful Elle Kennedy was in handling the traumatic experiences of her characters, balancing all of those with humor. The book was funny because of the banter between the characters, not just the romantic development between the hero and heroine but also how they interacted with their friends. With how different their college interests are, Hannah and Garrett don’t even make sense as friends, let alone a couple, but the process of their getting to know each other felt very natural. Hannah wouldn’t have attended hockey games if she didn’t know Garrett, in the same way that Garrett wouldn’t have been interested in his school’s musical production if Hannah wasn’t involved in it. Hannah didn’t even want anything to do with Garrett, at the start of the book. It was hilarious how he tried to convince her to help him out. He was cocky and arrogant but not in an annoying way. As they spend more time together, they realize that there’s more to the other person than the usual stereotypes. Their transition from (reluctant) tutor and tutee to friends to more than friends felt realistic. And I thought it was nice how their circles of friends also started overlapping because of them. The Deal is really my kind of new adult romance. I wanted to read the sequel as soon as I finished it and I’m glad I didn’t have to wait too long for it to be released.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:
The Mistake by Elle KennedyHe’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

I read The Mistake as soon as I got my grubby hands on it, meaning when I was very generously given a review copy. I feel like I need to apologize that it took me so long to review this title but most of the time, real life gets in the way of reading and blogging. In The Deal, Logan seemed like a typical playboy jock. But he has his own reasons for enjoying his college years as much as he can. He has a lot to deal with because of his family. I liked how intensely loyal Logan is to those he loves but it was also frustrating how that got in the way of pursuing his dreams. He has never been in a serious relationship, nor has he wanted one, until he sees how things are between Hannah with Garrett. I was wondering why he was acting so weird in the first book and his situation becomes much clearer in this sequel. I really liked Logan as a character and I think he’s a great guy. However, I didn’t like Grace as much. I don’t know why but I just got the feeling that she didn’t have that much personality. In spite of not liking Grace as much as I wanted, I still enjoyed reading The Mistake as a whole because Elle Kennedy writes great romance. I liked how the relationship developed in this one and that there wasn’t any unnecessary drama. Some new adult titles lay the drama on thick but that wasn’t the case in this one. The Mistake was an enjoyable read but I think The Deal is a stronger installment in the series. One thing that The Mistake had which The Deal didn’t was more explanations regarding drafts for pro hockey players. For someone like me who knows next to nothing about hockey, it was interesting to read more about the process.

Looking forward to the next book in this series! I’ve seen Elle Kennedy mention that it will be about Dean.

Cover Reveal: The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

Elle Kennedy’s new adult hockey romance The Deal is one of my favorite reads this year. I’m so behind on writing reviews so I haven’t written one for it but I have been recommending it to both blogging and real life friends. Some of them have loved it just as much as I did. 🙂 So now I have two NA hockey series to love: Off-Campus by Elle and The Ivy Years by Sarina Bowen. These two authors, together with other sports romance authors, have a fun Facebook group called The Locker Room – you should check it out if you’re a fan.

Moving on to the sequel of The Mistake… I’ve been curious about it right after I finished The Deal! I really want to know Logan’s story after we saw glimpses of him in the first book. Good thing there’s only a few weeks left until its release date. In the meantime, check out the cover and book summary below.

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Off-Campus #2
The Mistake by Elle Kennedy
Release date: April 28

The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild

​Pre-Order Links
Amazon
B&N
iTunes
Kobo
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