Kay ~ BayArea BookLover

I'm a romance reader at heart but do read several other genres.

Finally! The Last Wicked Scoundrel Gets His HEA

Last Wicked Scoundrel - Lorraine Heath

This is one of my favorite series by Lorraine Heath. Often times, after Midnight Pleasures with a Scoundrel, there were glimpses of Graves in Heath's subsequent books but it was also hinted that she had no plans of ever writing his story. So, you can just imagine how Heath's fans are rejoicing to finally get it!

This book brings all of Feagan's charges together again and I love how loyal they still are to each other. Since In Bed with a Devil, we saw chemistry between Graves and Winnie and to finally get their HEA was worth the years of wait. I do wish that this could have been a full length book but this novella gave the closure the readers needed for this series. 

Now, I'm looking forward to reading Heath's new series, The Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, who are the children of these Scoundrels of St. James

2013 Favorites

In 2013, I have read around 180ish books. The sad thing is, for every 10 books I have read, only about 1-3 books make it into my 4-5 star range. I am a picky reader and I don’t tend to follow the popular trends of the 50 Shades type books or the New Adult favorites but I do follow my emotions. So, here’s a list of books that emotionally moved me in 2013. Some books were published this year but most were just what I read this year.


The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

I loved this young adult novel about a tortured girl who meets a boy who also has a sad past. These two reluctantly become friends and eventually help each other heal. It is written so beautifully and emotionally.



 On Demon Wings by Karina Halle

This is the 5th book of the Experiment in Terror series which follows a duo team in a ghost hunter type reality show. This is by far my favorite book in the series since the possession felt so real and freaked me out a lot! If you haven’t picked up this series yet, I highly recommend it for paranormal fans.



Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

A thought provoking womens fiction novel about a woman who accepts a job as a care taker of a quadriplegic man. It is emotionally written and I felt a very strong connection to the characters.



This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

This is a refreshing Young Adult novel about a girl who tries to change herself to fit in but at the end, she really just needs to be who she is. It is a book full of hurt, pain, bullying but also a very inspiring coming of age story.



Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

I loved this young adult novel. It is a very sweet romance with humorous banter, awkwardness, sometimes embarrassment as well as realistic first-love cheesiness. This book is written thoughtfully with so much truth to how life, love and family can be.



Meant to Be

Up the Challenge

by Terri Osburn

These contemporary romance books surprised me because the formula for small town romance seem to be the same in most books. So, to find Terri Osburn’s Anchor Island was refreshing. She writes humor with just the right subtle amount without overdoing it.



Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold by Ellen O’Connell

I highly recommend this book for Western Romance fans. This author isn’t afraid to write the grittiness of the American Western life but also finds the beauty among it.



Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

This is an oldie contemporary romance published in 1996. If you are a CR fan, Ms. Phillips is a must read. This particular book has a very different but fun storyline about an arranged marriage and a circus. Circus, you ask? Yes, circus. You must pick this book out to find out more!



World After by Susan Ee 

This is a young adult/sci-fi/dystopia/paranormal/post apocalyptic novel which I waited over two years for it to come out and it was definitely worth the wait. This is the follow up to Angelfall. The setting is in the San Francisco Bay Area and I loved how Susan Ee portrayed how the end of the world would alter this area and its people. If you're a fan of this genre, I highly suggest you read this!


Well, that’s my list of favorites in 2013. I look forward to finding more gems in 2014!

Remember When

Remember When: A Romantic Teen Comedy (Remember Trilogy) (Volume 1) - T. Torrest

This was fun, cute and nostalgic for me to read since it was set in the 90s. I don't know if I will read more since I'm not really into reading romances dragged through 3 books. I prefer to get my HEA sooner rather than later. But I still enjoyed this and recommend it to New Adult and series romance fans.

Unsticky by Sarra Manning

Unsticky - Sarra Manning

I haven't had much luck finding any good books lately. So, I decided to re-read one of my favorites by Sarra Manning who is also one of my fave British authors. 

I loved revisiting Grace and Vaughn and watching their relationship develope from the beginnings of a contract, through friendship, and to love. It isn't an easy set up since both characters have lots of baggage but their personalities just seem to fit. It does take a lot of time for the characters to come around and not deny their feelings but it just made me appreciate everything that they went through together.

First read August 15, 2011

Within Reach by Sarah Mayberry

Within Reach (Harlequin Super Romance) - Sarah Mayberry

I really enjoyed this and didn't expect this to tug on my heart strings. I can't imagine losing the love of my life or a best friend. So, following the grief of these characters and watching them slowly heal had my heart tightening often. I also really appreciated how the two young children weren't just side characters and their grief was just as important as the adults. There were many angsty moments and also sexy ones but in the end, it was the realistic emotions that really got to me. 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Edition Original) by Chbosky, Stephen [Paperback(1999£©] - Stephen Chbosky

This is a coming of age story that mentions a lot of deep issues of sex, rape, molestation, death, drugs, etc. but these issues weren't really dealt with because the POV is through Charlie who is socially awkward and somewhat of an emotionless introvert. It's hard to say what was wrong with Charlie and I had many guesses of either mental illness, anxiety, depression, trauma, or autism. It would have been nice if we got the answer to this. But what we got is enough to say that it was literally written artistically where I can see why so many people love this book.

The Redhead Plays Her Hand by Alice Clayton

The Redhead Plays Her Hand - Alice Clayton

It has been fun following these characters from the beginning of their relationship, through their insecurities and now, in this book, we see how they deal with their public fame. It was hard reading about sweet Jack and what he put Grace through. There were many times I wanted to scream at him and also at Grace for putting up with him. But then I had to step back and remind myself that Jack is 24 years old and that it was realistic how he handled things. I'm happy with how things ended and it was a sweet way to wrap up this trilogy.

TSTL by Anne Tenino

Too Stupid to Live - Anne Tenino

Sam is an awkward, gawky, pale and skinny gay man. He's insecure and not very confident about his self image. Ian is what you call a man's man. He's brawny, handsome and ready to really "come out" and start living his life. When these two meet, Ian doesn't think that Sam is his type and Sam isn't at all surprised that Ian is unattainable. But as their relationship progresses, there's more to it than first impressions.

This was so fun to read!! I loved the characters and the humor. The sex was very hot and the certain fetish had me giggling. Ha! I loved all the references to romance novel tropes and rules. And it was funny how Sam was very well aware that he was acting like he was TSTL in these real life situations with Ian. 

I loved how the author journeys us through Sam and Ian's relationship which starts off as "just sex" and then into something deep. I also enjoyed how each of the guys' issues were dealt with and not glossed over. I haven't read many m/m romances before but I must say that this is one of my favorites.


Tangled - Emma Chase

It took me two attempts to finish this book. I think mainly because Drew was too abrasive for my tastes. Written in Drew's POV, his harsh thoughts about women and sex may come off offensive to some people. But I can see why others would be attracted to this type of hero, in hopes of some redeeming qualities by the end. Yes, the reader gets that here but I felt there wasn't anything emotionally deep or moving between the characters. This is more of a fun read with some hot sex.

Sex. Love. Repeat.

Sex Love Repeat - Alessandra Torre

Well, I must say that the story line is different and refreshing about a woman, Madison, who has relationships with two different men. Stewart is rich and a workaholic who doesn't do commitment. Paul is a surfer and laid back who doesn't want to live without Madison so he will take whatever she gives. Both men know that the other exists but Madison keeps each world separate. 

I was engaged through most of the book but I felt like the latter half was a bit lacking. The big reveal was a shock which I didn't see coming. I was just disappointed with the execution of the confrontations, decision making and the end resolution. It all seemed like it was made too easily for such a complicated and intense situation. However, I really liked the author's writing style and the sex was hot. I will most likely read more by this author.

3.5 Stars

Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love

Carolina Gold - Dorothy Love

This story is set after the civil war and located in the south. Charlotte has returned home in hopes of reviving her deceased father’s rice plantation. She stumbles upon many hardships with faring weather, unreliable workers and lack of funds. Needing another source of income, she agrees to tutor Nicholas’ (her neighbor) daughters. 

I appreciated how the author displayed all the adversities of post-civil war. I liked how Charlotte was determined to make her rice patties succeed and I liked that Nicholas was a very caring father to his two young children. I did however feel like the book moved a bit too slow for me. We follow the characters through a lot of everyday details which got rather repetitive. When we journeyed with Charlotte in search of Nicholas, it dragged a bit through many monotonous parts before we get any outcome. When the big secret was revealed, I wasn’t very interested by that time. I also regret that I didn’t feel any strong sense of connection between Charlotte and Nicholas due to lack luster scenes together. If you enjoy simply written words as well as storytelling, I think you will enjoy this book. Unfortunately, this just didn’t work for me.

* ARC provided by Thomas Nelson Publishing via Netgalley

Up to the Challenge by Terri Osburn

Up to the Challenge (An Anchor Island Novel) - Terri Osburn

This was another fun read by Terri Osburn. There is just something about her writing that flows so well for me especially the subtle humor. I loved the opposites attract type trope along with the guy finally noticing the girl, years later. I can't wait to read more by Terri Osburn.

The Secret of Ella & Micha

The Secret of Ella and Micha  - Jessica Sorensen

Typical New Adult and it seems like I have read others with the same stuff...Tortured virgin girl and a tatted hot guy. I enjoyed it while reading it but when I was done, I had no strong feelings of wanting to read more about these people.

PS I Love You (Sweet Dreams Series #1) - Barbara P. Conklin

PS I Love You (Sweet Dreams Series #1) - Barbara Conklin

This book is one of the first romance novels I ever read. I found it at my local library when I was 10 years old which started my love for all things romance. As a 10 year old girl, this book moved me and I remember crying a lot for the characters. I decided to order a used copy from Amazon because I was curious to see how I'd feel about it as an adult.


Well, I finished it quickly and it was quite nostalgic to read it. The writing is simple and not as earth shattering as I remembered it as a 10 year old. But I did feel a bit emotional at the end just as I did back when I first read it. I do love how this is an innocent, sweet first love and coming of age story about an awkward 16 year old who is unsure about certain aspects of life. By the end, circumstances lead her to learn, develop and grow as a character. I would recommend this young preteens if they can handle some of the outdated 80s references.

"Meant to Be" for Me!

Meant to Be - Terri Osburn

I was apprehensive when I first started this book just because the topic is about a girl falling for her fiancé's brother. I also haven't been feeling small-town contemporary romances since Robyn Carr and Toni Blake...and I have tried plenty of small-town writing authors. So, to find Terri Osburn's Anchor Island...I am so grateful. This book had all the right elements for me and I really enjoyed it. I loved all the characters we meet on Anchor Island which is also a great set up for the next books and I am so much more curious to read about them now. I loved how the relationship between Beth and Joe was slow to develop and also, the author didn't jump right in for the steam. We have to wait for it and it was put in at the right moment. The humor in this was subtle which I really appreciate because I have read several authors who over do it where the humor comes off annoying and/or unnatural. I didn't feel like that with Ms. Osburn's writing style. That being said, I am jumping right into the next book and look forward to reading many more by this author =)

Lost and Found?....More like just Lost.

Lost and Found - Chris Van Hakes

The writing in this was done well with several laugh out loud moments but I think the characters and their friends were very inconsistent. One minute the friends are telling Delaney she should stay away from jackass Oliver and then they say no, don't stay away and try him out & get naked with him. This goes back and forth through the majority of the book which got real old, real fast and even confusing. Plus, the interaction between Oliver and Delaney annoyed me. They kiss, then one will say this is wrong and leaves. They kiss again, the other one says they can't do this and leaves. Back and forth of this got very frustrating. Again, I liked the writing style and see lots of potential for this author, but I just think the execution of the story wasn't very realistic or even natural.