Sassafrass

Sassafrass

From smut to sweet and everything in between...

Review
4 Stars
I liked this follow up better than the first book
Commander in Chief (White House Book 2) - Katy Evans

Commander in Chief (White House Book 2) - Katy Evans 

 

I really feel like this book is what the first one SHOULD have been.  Matt was willing to fight for Charlotte and she in turn was willing to fight for their relationship.  I think that all would have been a lot easier BEFORE he got in the White House but what do I know.

 

I enjoyed this story and didn't have the nagging thought in the back of my mind about them keeping secrets so I was happy to see the way things turned out.

 

And I must say, I kept picturing Matt like Justin Trudeau of Canada.  I certainly wouldn't mind looking at a president who looked like him.  *sigh*

Review
5 Stars
I loved that grumpy ole bastard!
A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman

A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman 

 

I had heard from many book friends that I would enjoy this book.  And clearly they know me better than I know myself because I was reluctant to try this book.  But from the first scene in the Apple Store, I was hooked.  

 

Ove made me laugh, made me roll my eyes, made me angry, and in the end made me cry. This story was full of just so much, but I loved the man's journey to find his way after life had dealt him yet another blow.  One that he didn't think he would ever be able to get past.

 

My family more than once looked at me like I was crazy as I was laughing out loud at one outrageous scene after another.  I have no idea how this man got in the situations he did.  But, man did I love the guy by the end.

 

I had this on whispersync and I had started reading it, but once I heard the narrator reading this, I couldn't go back.  He did an excellent job, and being that he's a new narrator for me, I was very pleasantly surprised.

 

A MAN CALLED OVE is one of those books that I know is going to be sitting with me for a long time.  I loved every second of it and was so sad to see it end.

Review
5 Stars
Such an amazing novel!
Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor 

 

Wow, this was so elaborate and so well-written.  It was amazing to watch even the most non-consequential thing have significance later on.  I loved the way everything was woven together to make this fantasy so amazing.

 

I felt horrible for Lazlo at so many different times in the book, but he was much stronger than I gave him credit for.  I really wasn't sure how things were going to come to a head, but I got a bit of shock when it came to him and Sarai and how things ended.

 

I have no idea how I'm going to be able to wait until the next book comes out.  I have to know what happens now!  LOL

Review
4 Stars
I had to suspend belief just a tad, but I really enjoyed this!
Not Quite Mine - Catherine Bybee

Not Quite Mine - Catherine Bybee 

 

Ok, I'm not gonna lie, I had to give this book the side eye a little bit because the premise was so unbelievable.  But, you know what.  It really didn't matter because I enjoyed it anyway.  I loved Katie and Dean together.  But more than anything, I loved the joy that Katie got from being a mom.  There's nothing like it in the world and I loved the fact that no matter how unrealistic the way she got Savannah was, Katie got the chance to be mom after wanting it so badly.

 

Considering I only tried this series because it was free on Kindle Unlimited, I've really found a gem.  I can't wait to read the next one in the series!

Review
4 Stars
Love the Landry's!
Switch - Adriana Locke

This one was great too. These Landry's really know how to do the romance thing. I was not expecting Graham to be so fun. Loved his dominant ways in the bedroom but loved the fact that Mallory wouldn't listen to him even more. LOL

I loved the way that Mallory ruffled his put together self and made him live a little. And he in turn gave her some stability and room to grow which had been stifled from her previous relationship.

I wasn't a fan of the way Graham dealt with the one thing that went wrong. He racked up some major jerk points for that one. I'm glad Ford set him straight and right away too.

Loved seeing on the gang again too. it was awesome. I love the Landry family. I definitely will be continuing on with this series.

The narration on these books are just so on point. Wen Ross and Kai Kennicott are an awesome duo.

Review
4.5 Stars
Does this author know the future?
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood 

 

*4.5 STARS*

 

So, um, yeah, that just happened.  I finished reading this book and I was floored.  I had to go to fluffy, light reading for a few days just to help process this.  The book was great, it was, but it was eerie that a book written in 1986 can be so relevant today.

 

I got chills when the narrator, Offred was talking about how women's rights were slowly eroded before the big change occurred.  First it was not access to abortions, then not being able to get birth control.  What the heck did the author know that we don't? Considering what's happening in 2017, it's like she was looking into a crystal ball.

 

Anyway, I'm getting off my soapbox because this review is not meant to be political AT ALL.  But what is supposed to be is an ode to the this amazing story.  It was hard to read at times...like a lot of times, but it was worth the struggle.  

 

I listened to this on audio and it was mesmerizing.  Claire Danes did an amazing job.  The reason I took off 1/2 star is because the beginning was very confusing.  It was like I walked into the middle of the story.  I was lost for a while trying to figure out what was going on, but I think that is exactly what the author intended.  We were made to feel like the Handmaids when all the changes occurred I think.

 

But, things were revealed in time.  How scary!  At one point I thought to myself that I would have rather have been confused because getting all the details didn't make me feel better at all!  I guess that was the point.  But considering the world we live in today, it was like the author got a roadmap to lead us here.  AMAZING JOB!

Review
4.5 Stars
Oh how I wish this one was longer!
Lily Mine - Annabel Joseph

Lily Mine - Annabel Joseph 

 

I wish this one was longer, I just didn't want it to end.  I'm not usually a fan of historicals but I loved the way this one was written.  I really was rooting for Lily and James.  And even though I knew things were going to come to a head, I still cringed and railed when Lily ran away.

 

I was surprised about Lily's connection to James's wife's family (I bet that makes no sense , but it will when you read it).  I was also surprised considering that the author talked about the book being light BDSM that crops and whips were brought out.  I thought things were a bit more involved that light but I guess it depends on your perspective.

 

I'm a huge fan of Ms. Joseph's and I truly enjoyed this one.  It's just reminded me of how much I need to get back to her work.

Review
4 Stars
Cute new series!
Not Quite Dating - Catherine Bybee

Not Quite Dating - Catherine Bybee 

 

This a cute little CR that was quick, fun, and sweet.  There weren't any plot twists, no big reveals, and no surprises, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.  Jessie's son, Danny, was an adorable little dude, and I liked Jack's family and friends as well.

 

I'm looking forward to reading more in the series, and it looks like I've found a new author to read.

 

The only thing that stuck in my craw about this one was how much of a good mom Jessie was, but her sense went out the window with Jack.  You would think with how sensible she was, she would get more information about the man she was bringing around her child.  She didn't know where he lived or anything.  That just didn't fit with the rest of the picture that was drawn about her.  I guess love can make you do crazy things sometimes.

 

Regardless, I enjoyed the story all the same and will be continuing on with the series very shortly.

Review
4 Stars
This one was convoluted
Mercy Blade - Faith Hunter

Mercy Blade - Faith Hunter 

 

Man, this one had a lot of twists and turns but then it all made sense in the end.  Poor Jane.  I really had a hard time with this one because she got so beat up.  And her Ricky bo also took some hits.

 

I don't know what happens for them in the future, but they didn't leave things on a good note.

 

I'm not a fan of Leo in this one.  I'm not generally a fan of his anyway, but he was way too sneaky in this one and that left Jane vulnerable.  I didn't appreciate that.  And don't even get me started on Molly's sister, Evangelina.  I hope she meets with some repercussions after that the sneaky and unethical thing she tried to do to Jane.

 

I'm especially interested with how things move forward now that the Weres have outed themselves.  Should makes for some interesting times.

Review
2.5 Stars
It's a slippery slope
The Circle - Dave Eggers

The Circle - Dave Eggers 

 

*2.5 STARS*

 

It's a slippery slope with transparency isn't it?  Where do you draw the line?  Where do the individual rights come in when you are trying to do better by society?

 

Those are all the things that were going through my mind as I was reading this book.  And I love the fact that it got me thinking.

 

But, I think the execution and the writing were lacking here and the book itself fell short for me. The characters never got past the superficial layers especially Mae and I think that her character could have been a lot more complex as she was going through this process of transparency.

 

I loved what the author was trying to do but just didn't think he was successful in doing it.

Review
4 Stars
Great follow up
Blood Cross: A Jane Yellowrock Novel - Faith Hunter

Blood Cross: A Jane Yellowrock Novel - Faith Hunter 

 

This was a great follow up novel to the first one in the series. Jane had success on her first mission of hunting down a rogue vampire that ended up being a little more complicated than just that. And now she's dispatched to find a the vampire who is siring vamps and raising them from the ground before they've had time to get over their crazy. But things are different with these new vampires and the and rules that are being broken go way deeper than Jane first thought. It's a very tangled web and it gets even more so when her own loved ones end up involved.

This was so good. We found out more information about Jane and about Beast. It was also nice to see her interact with her family. There were parts of the story that were hard for me to listen to because they were gory, but I did anyway because I couldn't miss a single word of this. It was just captivating. And I loved the way that the author weaves her storylines.

I enjoyed every second of this book, and I loved the fact we got a little bit of romance in there too. WOOT! I will definitely be continuing with this series. I can't believe it took me so long to get started with it.

Review
4 Stars
Love should never be a Pipe Dream
Pipe Dreams (A Brooklyn Bruisers Novel) - Sarina Bowen

Pipe Dreams (A Brooklyn Bruisers Novel) - Sarina Bowen 

 

I'm such a sucker for second chance romance, but I have to admit, I was sure the way this was going to go. I should have known that I was in good hands with my girl, Sarina Bowen, because PIPE DREAMS was the stuff I get in a puddle of girl goo over.

Mike and Jessica have a past. They spent a wonderful year together, but while Jessica was planning for their future, Mike was heading back to his ex-wife and daughter. Their relationship needless to say didn't end on a positive note.

But now they are back in each other's presence. Jessica is having to work in the front office for the Brooklyn Bruisers, her basic nightmare come to life. She doesn't know how she's going to get through the playoffs having to see him again after spending the last two years avoiding anything dealing with hockey. Now that she's around him all the time and the sexual tension is running high. The past is still in their way though, not to mention Mike's teenage daughter who does not approve of Mike's blossoming relationship with Jessica.

I really enjoyed this one. I did, and it was just about perfect. I was so mad at Mike. He messed up big time with Jessica. And now, he's coming back two years later wanting to just pick up where he left off. I'm glad that Jessica made him work for him a bit. i didn't want it to be too easy. I felt for him. I know it couldn't have been easy to be a single father and widower. But, I wanted to strangle him for just not opening up to Jessica right from the start.

I loved how hot these two were together. Mike was yummy. Just scrumptious. The sexual tension was off the charts and when they finally did...wow. I just don't know how Jessica was able to hold off as long as she did. I don't think I would have been able to.

My only issue with PIPE DREAMS is that I wish we saw them being a couple a little longer before it went right into the HEA. We saw a lot of their past but they didn't build together in the present as much. I wanted to relish that more. I felt like that was missing. Other than that, this one was perfect!

PIPE DREAMS is the third book in the Brooklyn Bruisers series. It could easily be read as a standalone, but I think that if you start with this book, I guarantee that you will go back and read books one and two. I found this author when finding the Ivy Years series and I fell in love with the way she writes. I love the stories of the characters, and PIPE DREAMS was no different. I just can't wait to see who will be next to fall in the story.

*Advanced Reader's Copy provided by NetGalley and Publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Review
4 Stars
Oh the feels!
The Air He Breathes - Brittainy C. Cherry

This one was just so much with the feels.  I have no other way to describe it really. I was just ripped open so many times with the book and then patched back together with hope.  No matter how many times that happened, I just couldn't help but continue reading.

 

I was just so glad that these two damaged souls found each other and helped the other heal.  I ached so much for the loss that they each had to deal with.  It was amazing that they ended up together.

 

This is a relatively new author to me, but she's got me hooked already.  I'll definitely be checking out more of her work.

Review
3.5 Stars
No Soleil in this Cirque
Cirque de Minuit - Annabel Joseph

*3.5 STARS*

 

This one was hard for me to get into.  I think the dubious consent wasn't sitting right with me because Kelsey and Theo never had a real conversation about their power exchange before he just started "taking" from her.  That made me cringe.  BUT, they both enjoyed their relationship and things that Theo did to her so I guess that's what matters.

 

I thought that the backdrop of circus culture was very interesting and really helped make this story about more than just sex.  I thought the ending was a bit rushed, but enjoyed it all the same.

 

I really like Annabel Joseph's work.  She always makes these interesting characters that have my feelings about them go all over the place because they have so many layers.

 

I will definitely be continuing with this series.  I look forward to seeing what's next for the Cirque.

Review
4 Stars
You are never too old to find yourself...
No Strings Attached (Pink Bean Series Book 1) - Harper Bliss

No Strings Attached (Pink Bean Series Book 1) - Harper Bliss 

 

I really thought this was interesting.  I don't read a ton of Lesbian fiction.  I just don't come across a lot of it, but I really enjoyed this one.  We have a non-transitional heroine in the fact that the she's 44, recently divorced with two kids, and just realizing (or should I say acknowledging) that she's attracted to women. 

 

She meets a woman who, despite a less than stellar first impression, is someone she's attracted to.  This woman, Robin, tells our heroine, Micky, that she's looking for a no strings attached affair and Micky is willing to go along with that.  But things get more complicated that either one of them bargained for.

 

Even though we have a lot of differences, I found Micky to be really relatable.  I was rooting for her.  It could not have been easy to come out at her age and tell her family that she had partly been living a lie.  Robin's character grew on me.  I didn't much like her in the beginning but by then end, I thought that she was the perfect partner for Micky.

 

The book centers on a coffee shop called the Pink Bean, and I loved those secondary characters that came along with it: Amber, Micky's best friend; Josephine, the young barista;  and Cheryl and Kristin the couple who owns the Pink Bean.  They along with Micky's family really helped round out the story.

 

Overall, I like the book.  It was sweet, hot, and memorable.  I definitely will continue on with the series.  I was able to get this one on audio through my library and the phenomenal Angela Dawe was narrating so that was an extra special treat.

Review
3 Stars
Why?
Mr. President (White House Book 1) - Katy Evans

Mr. President (White House Book 1) - Katy Evans 

 

I really liked this one.  I actually wanted to give it a higher rating than I did. I thought that the premise was neat and really added dimension to the story.  I thought that the history between Charlotte and Matt was cool and really helped add depth to their relationship.

 

But what really stuck in craw was the fact that Charlotte and Matt were keeping things a secret like she was some stripper or something (not that there is anything wrong with being a stripper, but you could see how being with one would make it difficult for someone running for president).  Anyway, here is Charlotte, a more perfect woman for a man running for president doesn't exist), but everyone is hiding her away like some dirty little secret.  And they can't be together if he wins?  

 

The whole thing just doesn't make sense and it bothered me throughout the story.  It ended up taking out some of the enjoyment I would have had with this story.

 

I will definitely go on to read the next book because I have to know what happens.  I'm hoping that they get their act together.