Category: My 5-star reads

Review: The Birthday List

Posted April 4, 2018 by Victoria in 2018-Reviews, My 5-star reads, Rom-Contemporary, Second Chance / 0 Comments


I adored this book! The writing was tight and flowed well for me which enabled me to enjoy the story. At first I thought this was an ugly cry book, and though there were parts that made me teary-eyed, I would say this book was very uplifting. It showed that you can move on from the past. I love second chance romances. It’s like catnip.

Poppy lost her husband five years ago, and in fulfilling her husband’s birthday list she encountered Cole again—the man who had to inform her of Jamie’s death. Cole had always been attracted to Poppy, and for Poppy, that second encounter gave her something of an awareness to the hero. Not an instant lust or love and though this was a slow-burn romance, it wasn’t frustrating, but infinitely swoony because of Cole. Could there be a more perfect man? No doubt he was alpha, but he was also kind and understanding. Were there instances where he was jealous of the dead husband? Of course there were, but he knew he had to be patient and take it slow with Poppy. In the process of checking off Jamie’s birthday list, they spend time together and fall in love. And the way it happened had me grinning from ear to ear.

I loved the cast of characters. Friends and family all take part in helping Poppy fullfill the list. I especially love Jimmy who is Jamie’s grandfather. He and another cranky old man provided some laughter in the book.

This wasn’t sad. The theme of this book is hope and second chances. There were coincidences and everything came full circle to a satisfying end.

I love Cole so hard and that he was a man-in-uniform? Loved him harder!


Book Slump Remedies

  We’ve all had them. The dreaded book slump. The ones where even our reliable go-to authors don’t work. The three books mentioned here were my best reads this past month in a crowd of just-okay books. Worth The Fall ~ I was pleasantly surprised how this worked for me. The premise shouldn’t have worked. I woman who is pregnant with 4 kids in tow. It help that the hero was a Navy SEAL. I was sucked in from the first word. * My Goodreads review Black Lies ~ Alessandra Torre is a hit or miss for me. Some times her angst is such a mind f*ck that just doesn’t work for me. But the original plot in this one, although far fetched had me applauding the risks she took with this one. If you’re not one with many triggers, and if you’d read anything, I recommend you give this a try. It’s best to go in blind, and even if you think you’ve hit one of your triggers, I advice to keep on reading. * My Goodreads review The Hook Up ~ the title and the cover doesn’t do justice to the story. I do not read much new […]

Posted September 29, 2014
2013-Reviews, My 5-star reads

Last Breath – Dirty-t..

I haven’t posted about books I’ve read in a while. I’ve read mostly 4-star books, some were just missing the final oomph to make it a 5-star read. However, I’d like to introduce my favorite book boyfriend this year. Yes, I’m cheating on my guys Jack, Derek, Viktor and Travis … but I think they’ll like Daniel. Because he’s as badass just as they are . . . and quite the dirty talker. This is the second book of the Hitman series. I didn’t like the first book so much, Last Hit, but Last Breath simply blew me away with the action and badass alpha male. Review posted also on Goodreads. FIVE awesome stars! I wasn’t a fan of the first book which had a great story, but I didn’t like Nick or Daisy much. However I found myself liking Daniel and I was curious with what happened to Regan. I am not a fan of the sex-slave trope because frequently the heroines are so horribly scarred and broken the book becomes a hard read for me. Regan was not broken, she had a lot of fight left in her when Daniel finds her. She has a fear of being […]

Posted April 14, 2014
2013-Reviews, My 5-star reads

Amazing New Adult book: Mak..

Making Faces by Amy Harmon I almost skipped this book because some reviews said the romance didn’t start until the middle of the book. For me this wasn’t a book about romance, it was more about friendship and boy, how i loved Bailey, Fern and Ambrose. Bailey had a disease called muscular dystrophy and became wheelchair-bound at an early age. It’s interesting despite his disability he had such a big view of the world. In some ways this book was personal because it reminded me of my own brother who doctors said wouldn’t live past three months when he was born. He lived until he was 26—he was wheelchair-bound all his life but like Bailey, he had so much wisdom and he was a hero to me. Anyway, back to the book—from the blurb, Ambrose comes home from war horribly disfigured and suffering an emotional turmoil of losing all his friends—friends whom he had convinced to sign up to join the Army. How Fern and Bailey draws him out of his survivor’s guilt becomes a strong part of the plot. I loved it when Bailey faced Ambrose and called him on his bullshit of self-pity. The development of the romance […]

Posted October 24, 2013
My 5-star reads, New Adult/Young Adult

Some great reads this week

I’m getting ready to re-plot my second book. I had a story fixer look at my plot outline and I had realized a few home truths: I had too many villains that my story could rival ‘24′ …  after all my next heroine is a brilliant nuclear scientist and not Jack Bauer. And although my male protagonist could be as badass as Jack Bauer (with the sexy of a Christian Grey), I had a plot twist that could either be too brilliant or too contrived. And when my thoughts are too mired in my plotting, I need to clear my head by reading. Great reads are getting harder and harder to come by because I’ve been avoiding books with cliffhangers. Is anyone tired of this trend yet? I had been looking forward to Entwined with You because that’s the last Gideon and Eva book, but Sylvia Day announced that there was to be more Eva and Gideon. I mean, really? Can we just give them an HEA? They’ve been through enough, right? And I’ve slowly O’D on New Adult. I think the stories are getting repetitive. Let’s see, tortured hero (preferably tattooed), heroine running away from a dark past, college […]


To Outline or Not to Outlin..

It’s the middle of April and spring is in full swing! How is your writing? For me, I’ve written five action-filled chapters of Silver Fire and I am taking a step back. I’m taking a break before I take a look at what I’ve written so far, and let me tell you it’s hard because I left it at a cliffhanger and I just want to jump back into it. I’m trying to follow James Scott Bell‘s suggestion of taking the 20,000 word step back, although in my case, it’s more like 24,000 because I could not stop writing. Stop. Take a break of a day or a week and then get back into your story. Which brings me to a question for writers out there: are you an outline or no-outline writer? For me, I guess since my novels are romance-thrillers, the technical side of the plot needs to be fleshed-out. I  know what the conflict is and how it has to be resolved, but I need information to support its plausibility. Like in my second book, I needed to research nuclear reactors, nuclear fission, isotope enrichment and all that stuff  because they are an inherent part of the […]


Favorite New Adult/Young Ad..

When reading New Adult and Young Adult novels, I had to put myself in a frame of mind of how I had behaved when I was that age. That’s why I had to go back and change some ratings. Anyway … Is it any surprise that  Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire is on my list. At first, I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads before i bumped it up to 4.5 after I went back and read a couple of the scenes and pondered them through. I love that Travis Maddox is so intense about his Pidge. Travis is the ultimate bad boy—tattooed, a bare-knuckle fighter, and the resident man-whore. But he is also smart and when he falls for Abby, he falls hard. Sigh, I do have a weakness for this type of story. The reason they stay apart kind of dragged and the whole bet thing is ludicrous but other than that I enjoyed the book. I enjoyed Slammed and Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. A LOT. I nearly did not read Slammed. I had a string of bad young adult reads that I was leery to read another one … and about poetry … no thanks. But I […]


Favorite Contemporary/Histo..

I’m a big fan of Lisa Kleypas Historicals, but I loved her contemporary romance, Smooth Talking Stranger. Also she had shifted to the 1st POV in this one. I loved the banter between Jack and Ella. With lines like: “No more Dane,” he eventually said with unnerving finality.  I tried to be funny. “I can’t decide if that means you don’t want me to see him again or if you’re planning to kill him.”  “It means if the first thing happens, the second thing is likely to follow.” I wasn’t really sure who was the smooth-talking stranger here, Ella or Jack. Oh, one thing I could almost hear was Jack Travis’s sexy Texan drawl. It was one smooth reading book! Kristen Ashley I was taking a break from paranormal and urban fantasy reads and I wanted to look for more books with Controlling/Alpha Males. Kristen Ashley’s books kept coming up on the list. I was fresh from reading the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and would have rated those books 5 stars if it was maybe shaved into two books. Anyway, I digress. I liked Christian Grey and I wanted to find similar books. Enter Kristen Ashley. I almost did not read […]


Five-Star reads

Ever since my reading binge began in May 2012, I have not seen any signs of it abating. I have amassed 186 entries on Goodreads since I discovered that website—not including some books I couldn’t finish. It has become my source for researching a new book to read and I encourage you all to check it out. I thought it’ll be great to highlight some the best books I have read so far, so I’ve started this series of my 5-star reads which is really based on the Goodreads scale. I frequently get asked  about book recommendations, so I have divided my books into categories. I’m starting with the popular Paranormal/Urban Fantasy books.  I have started this as a page on the menu bar   as well and will add to it as I add more books to the list. Check out also my favorite Contemporary/Historical Romances  and New Adult/Young Adult list. Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Fever Series  by Karen Marie Moning I came across Karen Marie Moning’s books through her Highlander series. I was very intrigued with the Paranormal aspect that she had incorporated especially starting with the books of the twins Drustan and Daegus, Kiss of the Highlander  and Dark Highlander respectively. […]