Happy New Year Sugarbook Lovers,
We hope that you guys had a great holiday season with your friends and families. Sugarbook Club has started the new year running and this week we are going to review the first two books that we read for January.
The books we read for January are Broken Hero by London James and The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren.
When this writer was taking notes of everyone’s opinion of the books; I found it funny that we tend to go into what we disliked about the book and get stuck there and not what we liked about the book. We can start out giving a high rating of the book, but then after taking notes, I’ll ask “well, why did you give it a high rating if you aren’t able to tell me something that you like about the book?” That then make the ratings change or at least they will come back to give me the positives of the book. It makes for a funny review that needs to be typed, but here we go.
Broken Hero by London James is the story of two people who’s lives are affected by the U.S. Marshall’s office. Baker is a former U.S. Marshall who retired after he lost his partner/lover and almost his life as well. Isla is in the witness protection program after her brother turned witness against a mafia family that he was a bookkeeper for. She was very angry that she was put in that position and never forgave her brother for why she was living “on the run”.
Here’s our thoughts on the book. Firstly, this book is a suspense novel and waiting to find out what happens next was a major positive for this book. This is the main reason why we liked it. Now for what we didn’t like. Isla was very selfish and self-righteous. She was angry with her brother for “working for the mob” and aiding them in being able to continue doing dirty; but when she was given the opportunity to pass on information that the U.S. Attorney’s office needed to put an end to them, she refused to give up the information because she was having a snit. We didn’t like she seemed to take charge in the bedroom, being very vocal; it was off-putting. It made Baker seem less “alpha”, when he had been uber-alpha until those moments. We liked Hero’s backstory; it endeared him to us. We felt that Baker was in a better headspace than Isla, so who was the “broken hero”. To end the review, there were two things that left us unsettled. 1) Who was the mole in the U.S. Marshalls office? So much mess happened because of the mole and we wanted him to be exposed and brought to justice. And 2) an error was found in the book. It was stated at one point in the story that Heros house had bulletproof windows in the house; but when the sniper began shooting, the bullets went through the house. All in all, we gave the book 3 smooches.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren is about Ethan and Olive, siblings of a couple that got married who were lucky or unlucky depending on who you ask to be the only people not to be effected by a sever bout of food poisoning. As a result, they are given the chance to take the honeymoon trip that was non-refundable, non-postponeable, non-transferrable. Olive is the identical twin of Ami, so she assumes her identity so that she can take a much needed vacation at the same time not wasting a free trip. Ethan is the grooms brother and for what-ever-reason, he and heroine do not get along. They end up having to spend a whole lot more time with each other due to unforeseen issues and they come to like each other. Without giving spoilers, things happen and major changes are made in everyone’s lives. This book was written in 1st person, it was from Olives point-of-view, not a good thing. As a result, we didn’t like her much. Was this because we were stuck in her head? Probably. We really needed to get Ethans point of view. The wedding was annoying….the fact that everything was free… it was too much. And finally, the reason why they weren’t “friends” was annoying and had us saying, “Aahh Man!”; I could see it from the beginning of the book. This book got 1.5 smooches.
That’s our reviews for January. If you’ve read either of these books, let us know what you thought of them. Next month we will be reading A Good Day to Marry a Duke by Betina Krahn and The Goddess Gets Her Guy by Ashlyn Chase.
FYI…we are starting to think about how we might be changing things up with the Sugarbook Club book reviews. Something we are thinking about doing is video recording our some of your meeting and posting it for you guys to see. We can be hilarious at times and our meetings can get a little crazy. It’s hard to translate that to paper. What do you think? Would you be interested in seeing us?
Another thing, we are putting together thoughts about Lori Foster’s RAGT. We have a book club meeting on Thursday in one of the boardrooms. If you are planning on attending the event, come check us out and join in our hilarity.
Until next month,
Hello fellow Sugarbook lovers. Thanks for checking out our last book review for 2019. We hope to have a list of the books we will be reading in January sometime after the 2nd week in December. We may try some new things next year, maybe have some interactive meetings……we won’t make any promises, but we’ll keep you informed. Now on to the reviews for the month. We read Hard to Love by W. Winters and Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams. Let’s begin with the first one that we discussed.
Termed “Hard to Read” by one of our members, Hard to Love was not a favorite… at all.
Of the six of us, four were able to complete it; the other two just could not get into it after making several attempts. This is the story of Jase and Laura who was introduced to most readers in some previous series by the author. The book begins with a scene were they come together after some time apart that is filled with tension. It then goes to their burning hot romance that is new and exciting, but been in the making for quite some time (one can assume). Jase has a crew that is somewhat gansta, but maybe trying to get out of the drug selling part. They’re still keep underground fighting in the mix with the club they are soon to open being the front. They also try to “police” they’re turf from too much drug activity by taking out dealer supply if they get too cocky. Laura loves Jase, but wants to go school and make something more of herself. She is dealing with the grief of losing the grandmother that basically raised her, by staying in her grandmothers house that is in much needed repair. Although Jase and Laura have great love for one-another, the directions that they want to go in are not the same.
Many times you will read a sequel knowing you didn’t like the first book to that you can find out about another character that you possibly liked or to clear up loose ends. Not so with this book…..knowing the second book could tie up cliffhanger that this book left you with did not entice us to continue with the series. We normally keep the books on our tablet until after the meeting so that we can reference parts of the book if necessary. This time around immediate deletion occurred by the majority of us. Someone stated that it read like a really bad Urban Fiction novel, and that wasn’t a good thing. It just didn’t grab our attention. Jase did not listen to Laura when she said she wanted out of the “life”. Laura just seemed really young although there was only a three year age difference and she had basically been living in the “life” for most of her life…first with her father being a part of it and then being with Jase. When it was all said and done we gave this book And that was really hard to do.
The next book was a lot better. It actually came out the week of our meeting; but surprisingly most of us enjoyed it enough to finish it before the meeting. What does that tell you?
This was the story of Thea and Gavin and a slew of other characters that you really ended up loving. Thea and Gavin are a married couple and parents of 4-year old twin daughter, that have recently separated and Thea has asked for a divorce that Gavin does not want. Enter his best friend and baseball teammate along with some other prominent men from the city to invite him to join their book club. This isn’t any usual book club, this book club reads romance novels to make them better partners to their significant others (spouses, girlfriends, even dates). Gavin can’t believe that a romance novel will help him repair his marriage, but he’s desperate and gives it a shot. Surprise, some of his girly stuff is actually working; but there are demons Gavin and Thea are both facing that causes some bumps in the road.
This book was well liked by all who read it and much anticipation is had for the next book. Admittedly, Thea was not liked until about half-way through the book. The issues that she had made things so much harder. Thea spent so much time waiting for the other shoe to drop, that she sabotaged her marriage. She should have not conformed to what she felt people wanted her to be and been true to herself. It lead to her being frustrated with Gavin. It wasn’t Gavin or her marriage that made her feel fake, it was because she didn’t speak up. She didn’t ask for what se wanted or needed. We were also not a huge fan of the way her sister was so disrespectful to Gavin. This was his house she was living in and she was very snarky and provided more tension than was necessary. We won’t let Gavin get away scott-free either….his pride did lead to some problems. Because he was afraid to say what was on his mind, communication was broken down with both of them. They needed to communicate with each other and stop letting past hurts and negative input way in their decisions. Based on this you would think we didn’t like the book, but nope….we really enjoyed it. When things were working for Thea and Gavin, it was working, The romance story that was Gavin’s guidebook was interesting and his book club members were hilarious. This book received . As stated earlier, the next book in the series will be read even if it’s about the sister, whom we weren’t a fan of until the very end of the book.
That’s all for now. Thanks for taking the time to visit our site. Next month we will not have an official book club meeting, it will be our annual holiday dinner get-together. However, we decided to visit a classic (or so some of us think) written by Kristen Ashley. If you have read any of the books in her Fantasyland series give us your thoughts. We will be reading the first book, Wildest Dreams. It will be a reread for half of us and a first time for the rest. It’s a favorite and one we are looking forward to discussing. We may post our thoughts, but will definitely post what we will be reading in January, Until next time.
This month we read three books again….it’s the new trend for Sugarbooks guys. We read Wishful Thinking by Evangeline Anderson, Interception by Alexa Martin, and Haven by Rebekah Witherspoon. So the review of the books this month was interesting. As we were discussing our feelings on the books, our opinions changed as the discussion progressed.
The first book that we discussed was Wishful Thinking by Evangeline Anderson.
This book was about Philomena (Phil) Swann and her desire to carefully word her annual birthday wish to Fairy Godmother (FG), finally set a date for her wedding to her fiancé of five years, and leave the job working for someone she can’t stand and finally start law school. What happened was anything but. In an attempt to make a wish so small and insignificant it won’t mess up her life; but instead after a horrible day she accidentally shouts out a wish to speak her mind…and then finds she can’t stop. Between telling everyone exactly what she thinks and trying to deal with her eccentric grandmother who’s been brewing botched love potions to catch herself a man, Phil has her hands full. When she starts finding out some startling things about the people in her life—such as how her hot and hunky co-worker and best friend Josh really feels about her—Phil knows she’s made a wish that will change her world forever.
There were 3 main thoughts that occurred after reading this book….1) We wanted Phil to do better – she had spent her life as a pushover and even when she was able to speak her mind, she still felt guilty for it. REALLY? She never said anything that was hurtful or untrue, so why feel guilt over it. 2) We wanted the “best friend” who could see all of the “fairy things” that no one else could see to be part fairy. The reason why he was able to see it was revealed later on, but we were frustrated with it. It was a let-down for him not to be part fairy or something. 3) Finally, why did they not make a complaint to someone about the FG’s mix-up’s? How long do you put up with the FG’s screw ups?
We thought and thought about what we liked about the book. It was hard to think of anything. We decided that the funny scenes were what made the book…. specifically, the HR scene.
The next book was liked a little better. Interception by Alexa Martin.
This book is about Marlee Harper. She was in a 10-year relationship with her boyfriend who plays for the NFL and has yet to ask Marlee to marry him. After finding out that her boyfriend has been cheating on her once again, she leaves at a time when the guy that she has been fantasizing about for years after a one-night stand. This dude also happens to be the new quarterback for her boyfriend’s team, Gavin Pope. Gavin has remembered Marlee from all those years and wants to jump on the opportunity to make things work with Marlee.
Our thoughts about this book were similar to those we felt for Wishful Thinking with the exception that Marlee had been a doormat for so long and when she got her backbone, she over compensated. She was all about exerting her independence, but how could you be so independent like that and stay with someone like that for that long. So, we liked the story, but was not impressed with the heroine. We liked the ending of the book and how thought provoking it was – we had a lengthy discussion about this book. Mostly we liked Gavin.
The final book had the best review, but was only read by two of our members.
Haven by Rebekah Witherspoon is about Claudia Cade, a city girl, who is attacked along with her brother while they are out camping. She is fleeing for her life when she comes across Shepard Olsen’s home in the woods. Shepard ends up coming to her rescue and kills her assailant. He gets her to the hospital and a bond forms between them. When Claudia returns to the city, she is unable to deal with her former life and eventually returns to the mountains to be with Cade where she finally feels at peace and safe. Cade has his own demons that he is dealing with, mainly in the form that he prefers more of a Dom-Sub relationship and has not been able to find anyone in the small town where he lives that likes the same. His failed attempt at such a relationship with someone in the town has left him looked upon negatively by the townsfolk and he goes to LA once a year to have his “needs” met. Only when he saves Claudia’s life is he begun to be looked at in a more positive light by his fellow town residents. The book is about the growth of their relationship and their individual growth.
We liked this book because although they were both suffering from PTSD, they owned it. They knew they had issues, and they knew that it may construe some of the ends and outs of their relationship, but they wanted the relationship to work. They were mature that way. One reader said that even with it being a genre that she wasn’t a huge fan of, BDSM, she was able to read it and not cringe. Butt plugs have become an option for her. J The only thing that was not liked about the book was the abrupt ending. We wanted more or to know what else happened.
So we guess you are wondering how many smooches we gave each book? Here’s the run down…
Next month is our last official book discussion of this year as our December meeting will be “holiday dinner”. We will be reading Hard to Love by W. Winters and Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams. Only two books to read, what will we do? Until next time.
I wanted to start this post by stating that for the next couple of post will feature reviews that were done in the month of September, October and November. Why so many at once you may ask? Well….the person that usually translates our monthly reviews had written the reviews out, BUT just couldn’t coordinate her life to allow her to post the reviews. They were sitting on a jump drive waiting to be transferred to the web. Please forgive us and continue to follow us. We really would appreciate your comments and questions. It will give us an idea of what additional content we can provide on our page. Thanks.
This month we started a trend of reading 3 books instead of 2. Why do would we subject ourselves to this type of pressure? Honestly, one of the books was a short one….only around 100 pages. If you dedicate a day to it, you can finish it in that day. We also had an extra week to read, because some of our members were going to be away the weekend of our regular meeting so we rescheduled for the following week. But enough about book club business; let’s talk about these books.
The shortest book of the bunch was by Mariah Stone called Fortress of Time.
There was a even shorter book that was a prelude to this book (One Night With A Viking) that the majority of us read. Why do you ask? Because 1) we were afraid we might be lost if we didn’t read it first; and 2) it was short and it would be a way to add another quick book to our Goodreads reading challenge number. In both books the synopsis is that modern, independent women are thrust back in time to the Viking era by one of the Fates. The first woman is out with friends at her bachelorette party that she did not want. Her friends are making comments that she needs to loosen up before she signs her life away to a unromantic, unpassionate marriage she needs to have a good time. Due to the way she grew up, she craves stability and a firm sense of security; this marriage is going to give her that, she doesn’t need to loosen up – she just needs to marry this guy. Something happens that makes her leave the club early and on her own when she “meets” the Fate that sends her back in time. This book was around 60 pages. The “Love” story that ensues is not super believable, but we read it. The second book which was the one that we were truly supposed to read involved an attorney that fought for the rights of women. She is sent back in time to be with a Viking that is distrustful of women. They fall in love, but she goes back home only to feel so sad and despondent because she misses the “love of her life”. She decides to find a way to go back in time. Not without packing a suitcase of must have toiletries. Collectively, our group was not a fan of these books. One member described it perfectly saying, “I felt the book was too short and that made the story not as good as it could be. Too rushed to believe that any modern woman would give up toilets and other modern conveniences for a love that I didn’t believe was realized enough between the hero and heroine.” Both of these books got 1 smooch.
The second book we will discuss is Temptation’s Darling by Johanna Lynsay.
This was a Historical Romance written by one of our favorite authors. This is the story of the eldest daughter of a man who is forced into exile after he kills a man that was caught in a compromising scenario with his wife. The eldest daughter stows away when her father leaves her mother so that she can go with her father. She ends up living the remaining years of her teenage years with her father. She is allowed to be free – allowed to dress like a young man, riding astride, being able to shot a gun with significant skill. When she goes back to her mother to finally have her season with her younger twin sisters; she makes the acquaintance of 3 gentlemen that are trying to hide their identity while she is in “disguise” as a young man so that she can travel without the pomp and circumstance that is required for women. A mutual attraction between one of the gentlemen and the eldest daughter; but they can’t be together because she agrees to marry the son of the man who sent her father into exile with the promise that once it’s done, her father could come back to the ton. One of our members is NOT a fan of historical romance; hence she did not finish the book. The rest of us who read it felt it was okay, but felt that Johanna Lynsay has done better. We gave this one 3 smooches.
The final book we read was the first in a new series by G.A. Aiken (aka Shelley Laurenston) The Blacksmith Queen of The Scarred Earth Saga.
Just a side note: when the synopsis of this book is given, very light spoilers will be given. If you plan on reading this book and don’t want spoilers, we suggest you skip to the end of this section and backtrack. This book is about a family of blacksmith (and farmers), specifically Keeley the eldest daughter a happy, fulfilled blacksmith who is also amazing at her legacy profession as well as an amazing fighter especially when she is using her hammer. Things go haywire when she is prophesied to be the next queen along with her sibling. Said sibling betrays her and the family. She is eventually heals and gets over her guilt and despair that her sibling would do this to them. The family moves on very quickly – well before Keeley – the heroine) and they all set about ways to defeat the bad seed and place Keeley on the throne. Did we mention there are Centaur’s in this story that is helping Keeley and her family; and Keeley becomes attached to one of them? That’s how the hero of this story is introduced. This was by far the favorite of all of the books we read this month. AND WE LOVED EVERY PART OF IT! Except that the story was over until the next book comes out. It was funny, it was serious, it was exciting, it was all of the things. G.A. Aiken has yet to write a book that we haven’t liked, even when she writes as Shelley Laurenston. It wasn’t full of romance, but it was full of everything else. We all had opinions about this book and they were ALL good. This got 5 smoochies.
If you’ve had a chance to sit down and read these books, let us know what you thought of them. We welcome all opinions and commentary. Until next time.
For the month of July, we only read one book, Amanda Bouchet’s Nightchaser – which is the first of the Endeavor series. This book is set in the future with a more of a space theme. Tess Bailey: the galaxy’s Most Wanted, is in deep trouble. She and her crew are on the run, pursued by a tyrant who’ll take them dead or alive. Tess’s best hope is a tall, dark, and much-too-appealing stranger, Shade Ganavan (arrogant, charming…and that special something that makes you want to kick him), who says he can help her. But his motivations are far from clear. What ensues is hair-raising moments that will leave you really wanting more.
A little back story about Sugarbook and Amanda Bouchet. We discovered her earlier this year when one of our members came across her Kingmaker Chronicles series. Lucky for us, all the books in the series had been written so we were able to read them back to back. It was a great series and had us all hungry for more of her writing. When we learned that she had another series coming out not to mention that it was something in space; we quickly added it to our list of books for the year.
It seemed as though she stuck to the same theme that the heroine of both series has a greater purpose for her life that she is unaware of. In the previous series, the heroine had her life manipulated by the gods. We are excited to see who (if anyone) is manipulating the outcome of Tess’s purpose in the world.
Having said all of that about Amanda Bouchet; we only gave Nightchaser 3.5 smooches. It had nothing to do with how well the book was, but more about how we really don’t want to wait for the next book. In this case, anticipation is not a motivator. We absolutely intend to continue with the series and our review of the upcoming books will probably get higher the more of it we read. One of our members even confessed that she had not completed Nora Roberts second book in the Of Blood and Bone series, because she is waiting on the next book to come out so that she doesn’t have to be anticipating the next book for a year.
If you have read any books by Amanda Bouchet, comment below and let us know what you thought of them. If not, pick up a copy and then comment to let us know what you think.
Next month, we are going to be pretty ambitious and will be reading 3 books: Hidden Current by Nora Roberts and the 1st two books of the Best Laid Plans series – Sure Thing and Plan B by Jana Aston. If you have the time and the inclination, check out the books and let us know your thoughts in the comments.