On Wattpad: Truly by Ruthie Knox

In case you haven’t heard, Truly by Ruthie Knox is available in serialized form over at Wattpad. Every Monday from September 3 to November 4, new chapters will be uploaded until the whole novel becomes available online. There are 12 chapters available right now – really good first few chapters that have made me want to read the whole book as soon as I can. Unfortunately, I have to be content with Ruthie feeding us little bits and pieces every week. I’m not even kidding when I say that new chapters of Truly are the only reason that I’m looking forward to Monday.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

TrulyMay Fredericks hates New York. Which is fair enough, since New York seems to hate her back. Just weeks after moving from Wisconsin to Manhattan, she receives the world’s worst marriage proposal, stabs her boyfriend with a shrimp fork in a very public venue, and accidentally becomes notorious. And that’s before she gets mugged.

At her wit’s end, May washes up at a Packers bar in Greenwich Village, where she meets a surly, unhelpful guy who hates her shoes and calls her ex a douche.

His name is Ben. He used to be a chef. Now he’s a rooftop beekeeper with anger management issues. She wouldn’t even like him, but he reminds her of home… and he knows where to find all the best food in the Village.

She makes him laugh. He buys her tacos and cowboy boots. The longer they’re stuck together, the better May and Ben get along … and the harder they fall.

I really like May so far, she’s funny and smart and best of all, she LOVES food. Exactly my kind of girl. Throw in a grumpy hero who takes food seriously – from preparing mouth-watering dishes to knowing where to find tasty meals around the city – and you have a recipe for one delicious romance. Can’t wait to see what Ruthie has in store for May and Ben. My favorite scene so far is the two of them devouring tacos in this hole-in-the-wall place. Who knew tacos could be sexy?

Book Haul: Ebooks Galore

I haven’t done a book haul post in months, my last one was in June. I thought it would be a good idea to put up a blog update on books that I’ve acquired since then. I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten more ebooks than physical books recently but let’s start with two packages that I’ve received:

A Corner of White package

I won a giveaway that my friend Brandy hosted on her blog. I chose A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty because I’m excited to read it. I’ve been hearing good things about this book and I like that it has a whimsical cover. I have the NetGalley edition of this but the formatting is a bit off so I would prefer reading the hardcover.

The Chocolate Touch package

I can’t get over how generous Laura Florand is, she was nice enough to send me a signed copy of The Chocolate Touch! It’s been weeks (or has it been months?) since I finished reading the galley of this and I still need to work on a review. Let me just say that I loved it – the Amour et Chocolat series really is one of my favorite discoveries this year.

Moving on to ebooks. I bought a couple of titles based on several recommendations:
Protecting Whats HisHis Risk to TakeOfficer Off LimitsConfidence Tricks
Protecting What’s His by Tessa Bailey
His Risk to Take by Tessa Bailey
Officer Off Limits by Tessa Bailey
Confidence Tricks by Tamara Morgan

Wowza, how smexy are those Tessa Bailey covers? Her Line of Duty series was recommended by both Mandi of Smexy Books and Mina V. Esguerra. I’ve read all three and I liked Officer Off Limits the best. I’m so behind on reviews so I’m not sure if I’ll ever get the chance to review these. Confidence Tricks was recommended by Laura Florand – the premise reminds me a little of Fate’s Edge.

These two titles were available for free on Amazon so I grabbed them as soon as I could:
Her Favorite TemptationThe Other Side of Us
Her Favorite Temptation by Sarah Mayberry
The Other Side of Us by Sarah Mayberry

Some galleys that I received for review / got approval on NetGalley for:
Snow-KissedWell-PlayedThe Corrupt ComteStay With MeWild ChildThe Heiress EffectLife in Outer SpaceMaking It Last
Snow-Kissed by Laura Florand
Well-Played by Katrina Ramos Atienza
The Corrupt Comte by Edie Harris
Stay With Me by Elyssa Patrick
Wild Child by Molly O’Keefe
The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan
Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil
Making It Last by Ruthie Knox

Last but not the least, even my current read is in ebook format:
The Distance Between Us
That’s a lot of ebooks! And most of them are romances. I think that says something about the kind of reading mood that I’ve been in. I do want to read more fantasy but it’s just that it’s so easy to get into contemporary romances. Anyway, Sunday is almost over in my part of the world. How was your weekend? What are the books that you’ve bought or received lately?

Contemporary Romance Mini Reviews

I’m so behind on reviews and even though I enjoyed reading these contemporary romance titles, I don’t think I can write a full review for each. So I thought it would be a good idea to bundle mini reviews together in one post. I read all of these pretty quickly, just a few days for each. I’m reading more and more contemporary romance novels and novellas lately because they’re so easy to get into. Plus, I’m also seeing more recommendations that fall under this genre in the blogs that I follow. I wanted to talk about these titles in case other readers are curious about them.

Turning Up the Heat by Laura Florand

Turning Up the HeatAfter reading The Chocolate Thief, the first book in the Amour et Chocolat series, Laura Florand earned a place in my auto-buy author list. She was generous enough to send me the ebook for the novella Turning Up the Heat. This installment is different from the rest of her books because it’s part of another series set in Provence called La Vie en Roses. The Chocolate Rose ties both the Amour et Chocolat and La Vie en Roses series together. Having said that, Turning Up the Heat is still very much about food, a theme that is consistent in all of Laura Florand’s books. Daniel is a celebrity chef, one who manages a famous restaurant and has numerous TV engagements, while his wife Lea is his supportive manager. They fell in love as teenagers and got married soon after, the story is set after they’ve been married for more than ten years. I liked that this novella went in a different direction than usual – instead of giving us a couple about to start a relationship, Laura shows us how difficult marriage can get even though the love is obviously still there. Every marriage has its own problems and when husband and wife both lead busy lives, lack of communication is definitely an issue. After everything they’ve been through together, I was rooting for Daniel and Lea to figure things out so they can have a happy ending.

Sugar Rush by Donna Kauffman

Sugar RushI got the recommendation for the Cupcake Club series from Laura Florand. I wanted to try out more contemporary romance that centered around food, especially desserts because I’m a huge fan of sweet things. In Sugar Rush, Lani leaves behind a successful career as a pastry chef and starts her own cupcakery in a small town. I love that Lani was brave enough to leave New York to start her own business and that she feels it’s the right move for her even though others believe it’s a step down. Yay Lani for going after what she wants! I felt like the first half of the novel was a little slow and I was just waiting for things to happen. The pace picked up in the second half and just like the cupcakes that Lani bakes, I found the romance sweet. Baxter is a delightful and charming guy, it was fun to see him and Lani getting to know each other beyond their previous professional relationship. The small town setting of Sugarberry Island had its own charm as well and it was cute how the secondary characters were also important in the story. I’m planning to check out the rest of the books in the series.

A quote near the start of the novel that I loved: “She breathed in the mingled scents of dark chocolate and sweet berries. It was inspiring, really, how much power a single, sweet cup of baked deliciousness could wield. Cupcake salvation.”

Cupcake salvation, indeed! But while Lani finds salvation in baking cupcakes, I find it therapeutic to eat them.

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

On Dublin StreetI first found out about Samantha Young when Angie started bibliovangelizing Down London Road. It definitely made me curious so I thought I’d give On Dublin Street a try first. The two books are companion novels but they stand well enough on their own and there’s no need to read them in order. I enjoyed reading On Dublin Street because of the characters – both Joss and Braden have a lot of issues that get in the way of having a relationship. Joss has never even had a serious relationship and she’d rather keep things casual between her and Braden. She’s a reserved type of person and doesn’t want to let anyone too close because of her past experiences. It was fun seeing Braden try to break the walls that Joss built around herself. Even though the romance was a huge part of the story, there’s more to On Dublin Street than Joss and Braden’s relationship – it was also about Joss opening up to other people and fighting her demons. I find that the characters are more developed, more nuanced, when different aspects of their lives are shown instead of just their interactions with one person. I’ve read Down London Road right after finishing this one and while I liked that one more than this, I would still recommend On Dublin Street to romance fans.

Ride With Me by Ruthie Knox

Ride With MeAfter finishing Big Boy by Ruthie Knox, I knew I would have fun going through her back list. Ride With Me sounded intriguing because I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel that focuses on cycling. I have a confession to make: I don’t know how to ride a bike. No one taught me when I was younger and I didn’t feel the need to try it out when I got older. In spite of that, I found the details of going on a cycling tour interesting. It’s an intense kind of activity and it’s always fun to read about characters who are passionate about what they do. I really liked the tension in this one – the characters rubbed each other the wrong way since the moment they meet but there’s an undeniable attraction between them. They’re total opposites as well: Lexie is uptight about cycling and has taken years to map out her planned tour while Tom is laid back and does what he feels like doing. Lexie is also friendly, outgoing and talkative while Tom isn’t. It was fun to read about their cycling adventures and see how they both react to how they feel about each other.

All of these titles are fun contemporary reads that are quick reads. Whenever I feel like I’m about to have a reading slump or I can’t decide what to read next, I go for romance because it’s fun and I’m a sap when it comes to romantic reads. Let me know what you think if you’ve read any of these or if you have recommendations similar to these books.