Thursday, February 14, 2019

Adult Romance Starter Pack!!

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! Happy Valentine's Day! I'm Genni, and today I'll be sharing five books I recommend for someone who wants to start reading adult romance. 

Full disclaimer - I am not a pro when it comes to adult romance! I started reading romance earlier last year. This is by no means a comprehensive list of the best romances to start off with! I am still pretty new to romance as well and still have a lot to read.

Now, there is a method to this madness. I picked the following five books for specific reasons. I didn't give all of these books the elusive five out of five flower rating, but I did enjoy all of them. Each book does something different. Some veer towards erotica, other have a more women's fiction feel to them, and some are standouts due to their diversity.

Without further ado, here are five romance novels that are a great introduction into the genre!

I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

First up is I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella. Sophie Kinsella is such a well loved and well known romance author. Confessions of a Shopaholic, anyone? While 11-year old me was obsessed with the movie, it wasn't until last year I read my first Sophie Kinsella book. Now, I'll be honest, I didn't absolutely love the book. But, it had a great blend of humor with deeper topics of self love and self confidence. I've Got Your Number is a book about Poppy, who loses her phone and engagement ring the night before meeting her fiance's parents. She freaks out, and when she finds a phone in the trash, she promptly uses it. The phone, however, is a company phone, and Sam needs it back. This leads to a lot of humor, awkward situations, and a wonderful ending. I think this is a great book to start off with for several reasons. First, it's a standalone. Kinsella is also a well established author, meaning you have a vast array of books to further your romance reading after. Lastly, it provides an introduction to the genre of romance novels that have a women's fiction focus.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Backlist Book Review #3 | The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be doing another backlist book review. Backlist book review is a new series on my blog where I review books that I read weeks, perhaps months, ago. Check out my first two backlist book review posts, where I reviewed This Cruel Design and Restore Me. Instead of my usual paragraph format, I'm going to be answering four questions:
  • What is my rating?
  • What is the book about?
  • What do I remember?
  • Does my rating still stand? 
Without further ado, here is my backlist book review for The Kiss Quotient!

Title: The Kiss Quotient
Author: Helen Hoang
Series? Technically, no. Helen Hoang is publishing a novel following a secondary character in this book, though.
Pages: 336
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Source: I read a library copy of the Kiss Quotient. 

What did I rate it? 

4.5 out of 5 Flowers!

What is it about?

The Kiss Quotient is a romance novel following Stella and Michael. Stella is a brilliant economotrist, but she isn't so brilliant with relationships. Stella, who has Asperger's, hires Michael, an escort. She thinks one night will do the trick, but things go off plan. Michael isn't comfortable having sex with Stella for one night, especially because she is so uncomfortable. Michael then begins to teach Stella how to be in a relationship - dates, flirting, meeting the family, the whole shebang. While Michael teaches Stella the ins and outs of how to be in a relationship, the unthinkable happens - Michael and Stella begin to fall for each other. All the while, Stella does not tell Michael about her Asperger's leading to some very stressful situations for her. Cue the drama! 

What do I remember?

Surprisingly, I remember a lot about The Kiss Quotient. Since reading the book at the end of August, specific scenes just continue to jump out at me, like when Stella meets Michael's family for the first time, their first date, and even the horribly awkward first night they spend together. While I do remember the specifics and the ending, I don't remember too much else. I forgot what the problem was between Stella and Michael (we had to have a breakup to have tension!!), and I don't remember too much of the secondary characters or the sexy times. I'm not too surprised about this, though. I'm actually shocked that I remember what I do, because those scenes are still very vivid in my mind! 

Does the rating still stand? 
Yes, the rating still stands! Though I might not have remembered the more explicit scenes, I do remember Stella and Michael's relationship pretty well. I also remember how great is was to read such a diverse and own voices novel. I've never read a book with a character who has Asperger's, let alone from an author that is diagnosed as well. I think The Kiss Quotient is a great example of how to have diversity in a novel that seems authentic, while still keeping the angst, tension, and chemistry of a great romance. 

Have you read The Kiss Quotient? What did you think? 

Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon with another post!

Happy Reading!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Mini Book Reviews | Romance Edition (The Proposal, The Thing About Love)

Hello everyone and welcome back to my book blog! Today I'll be doing two mini reviews on some recent romances I've read. Along with YA, I mostly read romance books. The two books I'm reviewing today, The Proposal and The Thing About Love, are both popular romance novels and got a lot of attention when they were published. 

Without further ado, here are my mini book reviews!

Title: The Proposal
Author: Jasmine Guillory
Series? Companion novel to The Wedding Date  
Pages: 327
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Publisher: Berkley Books
Source: I listened to the audiobook via Scribd.

The author of The Wedding Date serves up a novel about what happens when a public proposal doesn't turn into a happy ending, thanks to a woman who knows exactly how to make one on her own...

When someone asks you to spend your life with him, it shouldn't come as a surprise--or happen in front of 45,000 people.

When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn't the hard part--they've only been dating for five months, and he can't even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans...

At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik's rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He's even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik's social media blows up--in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can't be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes...

Last year I read Guilllory's debut, The Wedding Date. Even though I liked The Wedding Date, I did have some issues with it. The love interest from the first book got angry and kicked or threw things when angry. I thought this was pretty intimidating and unhealthy. In this companion novel, things are much less problematic. The novel opens with Nikole on a date with her boyfriend at the Dodgers stadium when, to her horror, she is being proposed to! Her boyfriend can't even spell her name correctly, so she rejects him in front of everyone. The stadium is outraged, and Carlos and his sister help save Nikole from public scrutiny. The opening of The Proposal was hilarious and really got me hooked on listening. There was a still something missing for me, though. The "x-factor" wasn't there for me; I wasn't too worried when reading the romance and felt a bit disconnected from it. Despite my issues, the book was an engaging read and I listened to it very quickly. For me, The Proposal is a vast improvement from The Wedding Date for me. I'm definitely going to be reading Guillory's upcoming book, which is set in the same world as well.

With that, I give The Proposal four out of five flowers!

Title: The Thing About Love
Author: Julie James
Series? A part of a companion series.  
Pages: 373
Publication Date: April 18, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
Source: I checked out the paperback edition through my local library.

Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.

FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to run into each other again–assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.

For both of them, being paired with a former rival couldn’t come at a worse time. Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work as a team–a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic, beachfront resort as part of the investigation. Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a whole lot more complicated. . .
I've heard good things about The Thing About Love for years and when I saw it at my local library, I immediately picked it up. Maybe it was the good reviews I've read for years, but this was just a solid romance novel. Maybe it's because "hate to lovers" isn't a trope I enjoy that much, but The Thing About Love wasn't bad or amazing for me. Julie James writes chemistry really well, though. The sexual interactions between Jessica and John were hot, consensual, and made me wary about my facial reactions when I was reading the book around my family. However, I thought the ending was a little predictable. Julie James foreshadowed John's decision a bit too much for me, and I anticipated the ending even before the two characters got together. After reading this, I'm pretty interested in reading more from Julie James. I know that this is actually the seventh in a companion series, so I might just start from the beginning and see if I like any of those more.  

With that, I give The Proposal four out of five flowers!   

Have you read either of these books? What did you think of them? 

Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon with another post!

Happy Reading!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!

Monday, February 4, 2019

January Wrap Up!

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be wrapping up my first month of 2019! In January, I read 12 books. I also started my second semester of my sophomore year at UNC. I'm enjoyed my classes so far, and it's nice to just take 4 instead of my usual 5 or 6. There's a couple more exiting life updates, and those I'll talk about more after the books.

Without further ado, here are the 12 books I read during January.

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren


Is it even a wrap up if I don't include a Christina Lauren book? I think this is my 14th book I've read by her, and I'm almost 100% positive I've read at least one CL book or novella every month since July. Am I addicted? Yes. I don't know what I'm going to do once I get caught up on everything. Love and Other Words was beautiful, and definitely one of my favorites from the author duo.

Merry Inkmas by Talia Hibbert


Merry Inkmas was one of my least favorite reads of January. I tried finishing this before the end of the year, and even though the book was really short, I just couldn't do it. I really don't like insta-love, so when the main characters professed their love after a seemingly short time of knowing each other, I wasn't convinced. 

Gimme Some Sugar by Molly Harper


Is this blog just a romance blog now? I read a ton of romance this January, Gimme Some Sugar being one of them. Gimme Some Sugar is part of a contemporary romance series that focuses on different characters in a small town. I hadn't read the other books, but decided to give this one a go after seeing it on Netgalley. I really liked it, but I wasn't as connected to the story as I hoped.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

TTT | The Ten Most Recent Additions to My To-Read List

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be participating in the weekly meme, Top Ten Tuesday. Every Tuesday, Jana from That Artsy Reader Girl provides prompts, and bloggers answer them! I don't participate in these every Tuesday but just every now and again. 

This week's prompt is the most recent additions to our to-read list. I'm writing and scheduling this post, so these additions are from the night of January 5th. I would assume that I will add more in between the time I'm writing this post and by it's publication date. If you want the most updated version, feel free to check out my goodreads to-read list

Here are my most recent additions to my list on goodreads! 

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

I was looking for historical fiction recommendations on twitter (follow me here if you want!), and I was recommended this by V, who blogs over at Audio Killed the Bookmark. It sounds absolutely wonderful, as it follows two impoverished young girls who are kidnapped and sold to rich people. Scribd and my library doesn't have this though, so I'm not too sure when I'll get my hands on it! 

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

This is another book I added because of twitter! Sam from WLAAB mentioned that The Running Dream was one of her favorite reads of 2018. I love that book, and responded as such, and the author responded! Sam also mentioned she really liked Flipped, and I went to goodreads right away and added it. 

Friday, January 25, 2019

DISCUSSION | Hesitancy Posting Negative Reviews

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be doing a discussion post about guilt over writing negative reviews. If you are unaware, I'm participating in a discussion challenge this year, hosted by Feed Your Fiction and It Starts at Midnight.

When I write reviews, I try to be as honest as possible and write about the good and the bad. But when a book is mostly bad for me, I always feel a little hesitant about posting the review. Today, I'm going through the reasons I am hesitant, and why I shouldn't be. 

So why do I feel a little bit guilty writing negative reviews? Well, there are a couple reasons. 
  • I feel doubly disappointed when I don't like an ARC. Knowing that the publisher gave me a copy of a book after I requested it makes the not-liking it just a little bit worse. 
  • I've had authors comment on my negative reviews of their book. This not only makes me feel very uncomfortable, but also reminds me that authors can read and might read these posts. I try to remind myself that authors are people separate from their work, and when I critique a book, it isn't critiquing the person. 
  • Coming off too harsh. I don't know if my humor actually comes across when I'm slinging gifs left and right trying to explain my exasperation. But also, why am I so worried about coming across like a bitch when I'm just trying to express my opinion? 

While I am hesitant to post negative reviews, there are plenty of reasons to write them as well. Here's the couple that I came up with:
  • Books are subjective! What one person loves, another person could hate. I think it's important that readers get every opinion, that way they can make an accurate decision on whether they think they'll enjoy the book or not.
  • Every opinion should be respected! If I write a negative review on a popular book, I shouldn't be worried that people will be hurt or rude because our opinions don't match. This goes the same for publishers. If I'm writing a negative review on an ARC I received, I shouldn't be worried that the publisher won't approve me of other books. In fact, negative reviews of arcs show that I'm an accurate book reviewer and I don't let the way I received a book impact my thoughts.
  • They're humorous! I actually like reading negative reviews more than positive reviews. Negative reviews have such intelligent quips and sass, and I'm here for them.
  • We don't owe publishers or authors anything more than an honest review. Authors and publishers are looking for honest, in-depth reviews. My reviews, the negative and positive, are just that.

So for this year, I'm making a goal. If I don't like a book, I want to be as unflinchingly honest as I can. I don't want to beat the bush or minimize my faults; I want to give my negative opinions just as much merit as my positives. Let the negative reviews commence! 

Have you had any hesitancy about posting negative reviews? What do you like the most about negative reviews? 

Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon with another post!

Happy Reading!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

BOOK REVIEW | The Raging Ones by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Title: The Raging Ones
Author: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Series? Yes, the first in a duology.
Pages: 352
Publication Date: August 14, 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Source: I received an ARC of The Raging Ones via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
In a freezing world, where everyone knows the day they will die, three teens break all odds.

Franny Bluecastle, a tough city teen, dreams of dying in opulence, to see wealth she’s never known. Like the entire world, she believes it’s impossible to dodge a deathday.

Until the day she does.

Court Icecastle knows wealth. He also knows pain. Spending five years in Vorkter Prison, a fortress of ice and suffering, he dreams of life beyond the people that haunt him and the world that imprisoned him.

Mykal Kickfall fights for those he loves. The rugged Hinterlander shares a frustrating yet unbreakable connection with Court—which only grows more lawless and chaotic as their senses and emotions connect with Franny.

With the threat of people learning they’ve dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet to survive. But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought after spot in the newest mission to space. Against thousands of people far smarter, who’ll live longer, and never fear death the way that they do.