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tjlovestoread

TJlovestoread. Romance Reviews & More

There are many things we have in common, every day very real things like the fact we are wives, mothers, some of us have a job or several. We are friends who enjoy each other’s company while having coffee or playing cards. But what brought us together here is our passion for books, our weakness for hot alpha males and our love for a good story that we’ll take with us for a long, long time, especially when it makes us cry.

This blog was an inevitable, unavoidable, natural evolution to our book buddy friendship. We are still having hard time figure things out like what happens when we read the same book and have very distinct opinions about it (we’re just posting one review, first one who finishes has dibs). Our schedules are at ends and we do this because we need an outlet for our book infatuation, but it’s also done during our “free” time. So please bare with us and hopefully we’ll have a great blog for you to love to visit.

We’re Ceci, Dali and Ingri (sorry chickie, I needed to make that rhyme), and this is us.

Ceci (a.k.a. Ces BookGeek)

I am a hyperactive wife, mother, lawyer, teacher, daughter, sister and friend. My passion for reading started at an early age; it was fed by an unforgettable literature teacher in junior high and high school, and then it remained somewhat dormant during my new adult years (yeah!book lingo and all). Maybe having to read so much in law school made me lazy; I also got bored of all the “intellectual” books that were pushed down my throat by friends. Anyway, I grew up reading 80’s young adult novels like the Heartbreak Café and Sweet Valley High. Then one day, in my late twenties a book called Twilight was published, and just like that, my curiosity and my love for books was revived! Reading that book was a trigger and it helped me find great treasures and new friends.

My first reads were entirely based on Paranormal Romance, either YA or Adult. Of course, after finding the “adult” books, I now stay away from YA unless it is a recommendation from someone I know or, it’s a book with high ratings. Nowadays I read contemporary romance, new adult books, erotica with a plot and I’m still faithful to PNR.

What I don’t like in a book: Unnecessary drama. Stupid heroes/heroines who make harsh decisions without asking first. Porn on paper. Unbelievable insta-love (this always takes one star away from my ratings. I only believe in insta-love in paranormal or fantasy. Real life not so much, the author has to sell it really good for me to buy). Incessant self-loading and insecurities from a character. Horrible editing. Cliffhangers when the next book is going to take more than six months to come out (if that is the case, I wait for the whole series to be published). A book with no HEA (which never happens in romance so…. Any other genre I don’t mind). First person POV’s have to be real, if I am diving into the head of “regular” person, then such person should think like a real person; people don’t think in metaphors and analogies all the time, if writers want to be overly lyrical they should stay away from first person POV.

Aside from the above, I am very easy to please. I love alpha male heroes, but you can throw a sweet beta male my way and won’t complain. I love books that make you swoon and forget about real life drama and real life relationships (aka real men).  Moreover, if you want my heart forever, throw me a book with spy/assassins/conspiracy/action/forbidden romance. I will dive into it right away. Why? Well if you want to know, I am a hard-core fan of La Femme Nikita, for me there is no other couple that equals Michael Samuel and Nikita, even if they never got their real HEA; therefore I’m a sucker for these plots.

oh and did I mention I am a Video Game geek ohh yeaahh!! RPG’s rule

Dali (a.k.a. The Star Wars and Star Trek Geek)

A friend suggested that instead of using my name I should call myself something “mean and scary” like the book bitch. He’s obviously never read my reviews because if he had, he would know I’m fairly easy to please. As long as I get my happy ending and there are no incessant inner whiny monologues from ANY character and we can avoid the wishy-washy heroines and steer clear of dumb decision making, you know the kind where the worst assumptions are made, no one asks what really happened, no one considers intervening to clear up misunderstandings a causing the heroes endless pain, then I’m good.

Ok, so I may be a bit demanding, but I do try to be as honest with the books I read as possible. I love to include quotes to state my case and sometimes just because they’re so swoony they make my insides go all gooey.

I will also take advantage and push eco-friendly advice. Shhh, the gals don’t know about this yet, but I’ll try to sneak those in once in a while.

You can stalk me on Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2209138-dali-from-tjlovestoread

REQUESTS

If you want to request reviews, we will gladly accept, we are not very picky.  Just abstain to request them if your book has more than two of our don’ts. We promise to be objective and to never, ever be mean or disrespect your work. If we don’t like your book for any reason we will, review and provide feedback for such reasons. If for any reason, it becomes a DNF we will not rate, because I truly believe that you cannot rate something you didn’t finish….

RATING SYSTEM

Same as GoodReads

SOME TERMINOLOGY

DNF = Did Not Finish

HEA = Happily Ever After (endings)

HFN = Happy For Now (endings)

POV = Point Of View

PNR = Paranormal Romance books

TBR = To Be Read

YA = Young Adult (books about 15 to 18 year olds, no explicit or descriptive sex scenes. Although some portray teen sexual activity)

NA = New Adult (Books about 18 to 25 year olds, usually in College. Books about your very firsts screw ups and achievements as an adult)

SOME EROTICA TERMINOLOGY

BDSM = an acronym used to describe a variety of kinky activities. BD stands for bondage & discipline. DS stands for dominance and submission and SM stands for sadism and masochism.

Dom = shortened version of the word Dominant

Domme = dominatrix or female dominant

Dominant = term for the person who takes control in BDSM play

Limits = these can be hard or soft. A hard limit is a sexual act that a player will absolutely not consider and a soft limit is something they may consider but are unsure of.

Masochism = deriving sexual pleasure from receiving pain

M/F = a male/female heterosexual pairing

PWP = Porn without plot

Safeword = very important in D/s play. A word the submissive can use to slow down or stop a scene if it is becoming too much for them. Can also be used by the top.

S/m = sadomasochism

Sub = shortened form of the word submissive

Submissive = the person giving up control to the dominant

Topping from the Bottom = an expression used to describe the practice of a sub attempting to control the dom and the scene.

Hard As It Gets

Hard As It Gets  - Laura Kaye WOW, This book was not what I expected. It was much more.

Action/suspense packed, kept me guessing, flawless writing.

Hard As It Gets is book one in Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series. This is beyond the story of Becca and Nick. It's the tale of five brave men trying to find a way to clear their names and find a purpose while doing so.

We begin with a 28 year-old woman entering a tattoo parlor, her name is Becca Merrit and she’s has endured hardship and loss her entire life; she is looking for Mr. Rixey. Turns out, her brother, Charlie went missing and the only lead she has, which was provided by her brother before disappearing, is to look for Rixey. She finds him, asks for help and, he sends her packing.

Nick Rixey doesn’t what to have anything to do with Becca; she is the daughter of the man who ruined his life and that of his men. They served under him in Army Special Forces and he turned out to be corrupt. The survivors were discharged, mud covering their names, no honor and a freaking NDA. In the end his sense of honor, curiosity and the instant attraction he felt for Becca, lead him into helping her. As the story unfolds, they come upon a very dangerous situation, therefore, Nick rekindles contact with his former team (those alive) and all of them play a part in the rescue mission. All of this paves a path to love, redemption, friendship, brotherhood and bullets flying.

In order to provide an objective review, I need to set aside the romance part for a little bit. For me, this book was more about the suspense. The way the story is told and how everything unfolds piece by piece is just marvelous. I loved the interactions with the men; I loved Nick’s brother, Jeremy (most of all his t-shirts); I loved how the tattooing business plays out, side by side the mission. I loved the banter and how forgiveness, loyalty and trust become the most important characters during the story.

Now, about the romance. I could have given the book five stars but I came upon yet, another insta-love story. Don’t get me wrong, the author played it well, it seemed almost believable but, it is just something that doesn’t sit well with me. I felt their attraction, felt the chemistry and understood what drew them together in the first place, and ultimately what traits in their personalities drew them to love. Then again, the insta-love was somewhat necessary due to the plot. It is kind of when you see an action movie, the hero meets a girl he has to sort of protect and, middle of the movie we get a love-scene between them, and they end up together (obviously here, there are several hot scenes).

Nick finds a new purpose, he finds love and meaning to his life. Becca also finds a new purpose among all the tragedies and truths that unfold. She also finds a dog, it was hilarious and adorable and “Tripod” was da-best-joke-ever! Needles to say, among everything this book had many, many quirky and funny moments. They helped ease the tension. Becca is a great heroine strong, intelligent, kind and resilient. I loved how there was no ridiculous angst and no stupid decisions like in other books. She becomes a part of the testosterone-rigged team, along with kind-hearted cute Jeremy (I want him to end up with Charlie, as we learn Jer is Bi!!).

What I want to criticize? Maybe the back and forth with characters thoughts. Yep! This book is written in a somewhat traditional romance book style; I felt that some parts were unnecessary and gave the urge to skim a little and I don’t like it when it happens, therefore I believe that in further installments, the author needs to be less descriptive in this regard.

Nevertheless, this book was great, action-packed and promises the delivery of great sequels!! I can’t wait to start reading Shane´s story; I know it will be another insta-love thingy but the Arc of the story is what really drives me to continue reading the series!!!! Kudos to Laura Kaye.. excellent writing.
Favorite Quotes:

“God, this kiss. It was the kind she'd remember forever, that would invade her dreams and haunt her in quiet moments. The kind her older self could look back on and know, once, she'd really lived. The kind that, no matter what, she could never, ever regret.”

“Happiness wasn't something you found, happiness was something you made-by living in the moment, by cherishing the people in your life right now, by finding the courage to change those things you didn't like.”

“Sometimes you plodded through life with nothing changing from one month to the next no matter how much you yearned for a revolution to erupt beneath your feet. And sometimes your whole world imploded and rebuilt itself in a matter of seconds.”