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New Year. New Reading Challenge.

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It’s that time of year again! As you know, there is nothing more that I love then challenging myself when it comes to the books I read. Whether it’s a new author, series, a genre that takes me out of my comfort zone or being able to tackle some books that have been on my tbr for far too long; I live for a good reading challenge. The past few years, I stepped up my game not only with the books that I read, but also by attempting to clear out that never ending to-read list. As always, my challenges have been hard, but a ton of fun at the same time. 

For 2021’s Reading Challenge, I really wanted to once again challenge myself and kick my never-ending to-read list’s butt!! And I am more than ready for the challenge……

  • Re-Read a Favorite Book
  • A Book by an Author New to Me
  • 2 Contemporary Romances
  • 2 New Adult Romances
  • A Biker Romance
  • 2 Paranormal/Fantasy Romances
  • A Sports Romance
  • A Romantic Comedy
  • A Book Chosen For Its Cover
  • Accidental Pregnanacy Troupe
  • Older Brother’s Best Friend Troupe
  • Holiday Romance (Any Holiday)
  • A Forbidden Romance
  • A Billionaire Romance
  • Bad Boy Romance
  • A Workplace Romance
  • Fake Relationship Troupe
  • Favorite Troupe
  • Book with a Red Cover
  • 10 Books on my TBR
  • 6 New Releases
  • A Troupe I haven’t read in 12 months
  • A Rockstar Romance
  • A Non Romance Book
  • A Classic Novel
  • A Book Picked By A Friend
  • A Dark/Taboo Romance
  • A Historical Romance
  • Fairytale Re-telling Troupe
  • A YA Book
  • Enemies to Lovers Troupe
  • A Book that will make you Ugly Cry
  • Age-Gap Troupe
  • Friends to Lovers Troupe
  • Book with a Blue Cover
  • Mystery/ Thriller
  • 3 Duets
  • A Mafia Romance
  • 3 Novellas
  • 3 Sweet Romances
  • 2 Romantic Suspense Novels
  • A Book with a Cowboy on the Cover
  • A Book where one of the Main Characters is/was in the Military
  • 2 Small Town Romances
  • A Book where one of the Main Characters is a First Responder
  • A Second Chance Romance
  • Dystopian/Science Fiction
  • A Book with a Yellow Cover
  • Insta-Love Troupe
  • A Book with a Bearded Man on the Cover
  • A Fighter/MMA Romance
  • A Trilogy
  • Finish a series I Started
  • Bully Romance Troupe
  • Read one series
  • 2 Box Sets of books
  • A stand-alone Romance
  • Beach Read Troupe
  • 4 Books I own per month

Do you enjoy reading challenges? Share with me in the comments below, your 2021 Reading Challenge!

Year in Review: 2020 Reading Challenge!

Each year, I try to create a reading challenge that’s not only fun and challenging but also realistic. This year, I set the bar pretty high, and couldn’t be happier with the results. I’ve read over 90 books for this challenge, 36 of those being books that have sat on my kindle for far too long. I’ve discovered a lot of new authors and exciting books in 2020 and can not wait to see what next years challenge will bring.

Here are the books that made my 2020 Reading Challenge a success:

  • A Book by an author who is new to me: Let’s get textual Teagan Hunter
  • A Contemporary: Pretend You’re Mine by Lucy Score
  • A NA Read: Break You by MV Ellis
  • A Biker Novel: One Hundred & Thirty-Six Scars by Amo Jones
  • A stand-alone Novel: The Biker and the Thief by Kate McCarthy
  • A Paranormal: Kiss of Vengeance by S. Young
  • 2 New Releases: Finding Him by RVD, Once A Myth by Pepper Winters
  • A Sports Romance: The Rivalry by Nikki Sloan
  • 2 books that have been on my TBR forever: Tap Left by A Zavarelli,  The Marriage Pact by Winter Renshaw
  • A Romantic Comedy: Bossman Bridegroom by Meghan Quinn
  • A Book from your Favorite Troupe: Protecting Piper by Cynthia Eden
  • A Book Chosen for its Cover: Echoes of Time by Calia Reed
  • A troupe you haven’t read in 12 months: The Other Woman by Sadie Jones
  • A Rock Star Romance: Rock by JA Huss
  • A Non Romance Book: A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost
  • A Classic Novel: Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery 
  • A book with a Man with Tattoos on the cover: The Bad Boy Arrangement by Nora Flite
  • A Book Picked by a Friend: Fear Me by BB Reid
  • 2 Books on your TBR: Soul in Darkness by Wendy Higgins, Wicked Cravings by Suzanne Wright
  • 2 New Releases: Liar by Fiona Cole, Now or Never by Stella Rhys
  • An Audiobook: Sweet Filthy Morning After by Christina Lauren
  • Dark/Taboo Romance: Credence by Penelope Douglas , 15 by Lana Sky
  • Historical Romance: The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne
  • Favorite Troupe: That Night by KI Lynn
  • Read a Duet: The Devil’s Contract & The Sinner’s Bargain by Claire Contreras
  • Fairy Tale Retelling: Stealing Cinderella by A. Zavarelli
  • A YA Book: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
  • A Fighter/MMA Book:- In Your Corner by Sara Castille
  • A Contemporary Book with a Second Chance Romance: Breathing Wisteria by Amali Rose
  • A Contemporary Book with Enemies to Lovers Troupe: Then You Happened by K. Bromberg
  • A Book that will make you Ugly Cry: The Other Side Kim Holden
  • A Book with a Dog included on the Cover: The Art of Racing in the Rain
  • A Book with an Age Gap Troupe: The Forbidden Man by Karina Halle
  • A Book with Friends to Lovers Troupe: Down on Me by J. Kenner
  • 1 trilogy: Violent Delights, Violent Triumphs, and Violent Ends by Jessica Hawkins
  • 2 box sets of Books: Ashes & Embers Series Collection  by Carian Cole, The Evolution of Sin by Giana Darling
  • Finish a series that I started: Dollar Series by Pepper Winters
  • Bully Romance Troupe: Break Filthy Rich Boys by CM Stunich
  • 2 Duets: Both of Me & Both of Us by Amber Kelly, Whatever It Takes & Wherever You Are by Krista & Becca Ritchie
  • Mafia Romance: Bound by Honor by Cora Reilly
  • 2 Novellas: Loving Storm by Carian Cole, Dream of You by JLA
  • 2 Sweet Romances: Untamed Cowboy by Maisey Yates, Love Walks In by Nina Lindsey
  • A Suspense Novel: Broken With You by J. Kenner
  • Read one series: Seaside Series by Rachel Van Dyken

3 Books on my TBR each month:

The Sea of Lost Things by Kelly St-Laurent, Justified by Jay Crownover, The Assistant by Marni Mann, Half Truths by Claire Contreras, Complicated Love by Krisitn Mayer, Rush by Kandi Steiner, Tears of Ink by Anna Bloom, A Single Glance by Willow Winters, One Little Lie by Whitney Barbetti, Seducing The Billionaires Wife by Marquita Valentine, Beautiful Lies by Emery Rose, Something Wicked by Teresa Mummert, Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves, Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts, Sinner by Sierra Simone, Where You Can Find Me by Fiona Cole, Monster by Jessica Gadziala, Something So Right by Natasha Madison, The Story of US by Molly Okeef, Pretty Little Player by J. Kenner, Scarlet Stone by Jewel E Ann, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margret Atwood, Intention by Ava Harrison, True by Erin McCarthy, Silk Volume One KM Scott, Shame by Rachel Van Dyken, The Wrong Kind Of Love by Lexi Ryan, Dirty Reckless Love by Lexi Ryan, Wrapped in Love by Lexi Ryan, Her Defiant Heart by Monica Murphy, His Wasted Words by Monica Murphy, Damaged Hearts by Monica Murphy, To Professor With Love Linda Kage, Be My Hero Linda Kage, and With Every Heartbeat Linda Kage.

Have you completed your 2020 Reading Challenge? Share some of your 2020 challenge books in the comments below!

Blog Tour & Review!!! – Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid

HappilyEverNinja_Tour

Happily Ever Ninja

by Penny Reid

Publication Date:

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Humor

cover

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

From the USA Today Best Selling Author of ‘Truth or Beard’

There are three things you need to know about Fiona Archer… I would tell you what they are, but then I’d have to kill you.

But I can tell you that Fiona’s husband—the always irrepressible and often cantankerous Greg Archer—is desperately in love with his wife. He aches for her when they are apart, and is insatiable when they are together. Yet as the years pass, Greg has begun to suspect that Fiona is a ninja. A ninja mom. A ninja wife. A ninja friend. After fourteen years of marriage, Greg is trying not to panic. Because Fiona’s talent for blending in is starting to resemble fading away.

However, when unexpected events mean Fiona must take center stage to keep her family safe, her response stuns everyone—Greg most of all. It seems like Greg’s wish has come true.

Except… not.

When all is said and done, can Greg handle this new version of his wife? Will his irrepressible cantankerousness push her away? Or can the couple find a way forward without either being forced to step back into the shadows?

This is a full length, 100k word novel, and is the 5th book in the Knitting in the City Series. All books in

the series can be read as a standalone except book #1.5

About the Author

SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like

thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

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Review:

Penny Reid – You will never ever be bored reading any story of hers. Any chance you think you’ve been there, read that? Then it’s probably time to give a Penny Reid book a go. I can be a fickle reader at the best of times… At the worst I’m downright schizophrenic, however these books have never failed to keep me loyal…

Happily Ever Ninja is the latest instalment in the Knitting in the City series… The series follows the love lives of a group of women united by the love of knitting/crocheting/generally being awesome. I’ve personally been waiting for this book with a lot of curiosity… The character Fiona has been married to her husband Greg for a long time… long enough to already have a couple of kids… So I was so interested to see how you could approach a ‘romance’ where the 2 characters were already signed, sealed and delivered!

Turns out you can make this one of the most interesting stories in the series to date. It doesn’t rely on just one formula, instead it very cleverly mixes the mundane realities of married life with kids with the more intriguing and unexpected realities of current events and global issues that to be honest, you will never ever expect. It takes a clever touch to try and meld these together and I’m not sure that it would work every time… But under Penny’s careful guidance it just does. It works. It’s interesting, and interesting will always get my vote.

I’m not going to give away the plot, it deserves to be read and discovered. However I will say, before you read this book you really should take the time to read the short story about Greg & Fiona’s meeting (Ninja at First Sight). It will add so much more to the story if you do.

This latest offering is yet another example of everything that is good about authors who love to write different stories and push the boundaries. I love that every time I start a new Penny Reid book I never quite know what to expect. Long may it continue!

Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers #1) by Penny Reid

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Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers #1) by Penny Reid

Truth or Beard

Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!
Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life. His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…
But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.
Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-headed heart is she willing to risk?

I have been acting like some next level creeper-stalker person over this book… Ever since I read the excerpt for this story in the Shiver Anthology last year I’ve been counting down the months until I could get my hands on ALL of the story. So when I finally got hold of it last week I was a very VERY happy human. Since everyone knows my Penny Reid fan status (Big, HUGE fan) I’m going to try and keep this review less on the fan-girl side and more on the explaining why I’m fan-girling so much side…. So here goes!

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters most, in the end” – Ernest Hemingway

Truth or Beard is the first instalment in the series that Penny Reid has dedicated to the 6 Winston brothers who were first introduced to us in Beauty and the Mustache. I love this idea, I love how this series connects with the Knitting in the City series. I love how we are going to get a (much) more in-depth look at each brother and his story, because they were so intriguing in BatM. And most of all I love how I just know that Penny will take each brother and create a story that is as unique as he is. Starting here, with Duane.

I love Duane! Yes, he comes across distant and broody on the outside, but once I got into his head he was so much more. The depth of his feelings made him a complex character. For a lot of the book he was battling his own emotions as much as he was battling Jessica’s. He had big plans for the two of them and no matter what he wanted to make sure everything was planned and executed to perfection so that he could give her everything that he felt she deserved. However, what Duane didn’t take into account was that life can’t be organized perfectly, sometimes you just have to live and chase your dreams. He was so busy trying to do the right thing by everyone that he almost missed out on his own dream in the process.

He nibbled on my ear, whispering my name like it was a dirty word – but not a curse word – a dirty word. Something erotic and scandalous. I had an odd thought then, that I liked my name on his lips more when it was whispered.

Jessica was instantly likeable. I loved that she was busy obsessing over travelling and experiencing the world rather than obsessing over finding a husband and a white picket fence. She had long dreamed of all of the places she would go and she was determined. So determined, that when her heart started to travel on it’s own path she had no idea what to make of it or how to reconcile the fact that even if she hadn’t planned on love, it may have found her and if it had found her, then how on earth was she going to be free to embark on her childhood dream?

Penny Reid is super duper talented at dual POVs. She knocks it out of the park every time. The tone, the subtle details, these things really make all the difference when you’re the reader. She always gets it right and this book is no different. So I LOVED having the book set up like this, the story called for it. It really added to the back and forth between Jessica and Duane. The angst of not knowing what to do next with their feelings, the hotness of the hot looks, the intricacies of their relationship and themselves… All of these things were magnified from being able to look through both sets of eyes.

…I wanted to hold on to this moment for as long as possible, because it was the first time – and maybe the only time in my life – I felt truly seen, known and understood. And I wanted to give him everything in return. I wanted him to know I saw him. I knew him, too.

So! Like I promised, fan-girling moments aside… I  FREAKING loved this book! Penny Reid is an exceptionally talented writer who never shies away from writing exactly the type of story she feels like she needs to write. I’m positive this is why her books always hit the mark and why every time I read a new one I find it harder and harder to have a firm favourite. This is a definite must read whether you are familiar with Penny Reid’s work or not. This book… This freaking book It’s definitely made it into my top reads of the year that’s for sure,

ARC received in return for an honest review