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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.

UNTIL ALEX, by J. Nathan

This book gave me a ride on the let’s get in touch with all your emotions rollercoaster. It shocked me on more than one occasion, it made me laugh and smile, cry and fall in love. It’s a remarkably sweet debut novel from author J. Nathan that will grip you from its tragic start and keep you engaged with its fun and sexy banter, and heart rendering moments ‘til the very end. And one thing’s for sure, it will “seep right down to your bones.”

I’ve considered really hard about what to put in my review regarding the book’s plot because even though you can piece together some things, it still stunned me more than once and I would really hate to give anything away. I also think the blurb does a very good job at telling us what we need so I’ll include that and then tell you my personal thoughts about it.

On the outside, Hayden is every girl's living breathing fantasy, brooding and devastatingly gorgeous. He spends his nights losing himself in alcohol and faceless girls, but it's all just a facade. An elaborate cover for the emotionless shell of a man he is. One who harbors too many secrets and destroys lives the way his was destroyed. It’s the reason he avoids relationships and keeps everyone at arm's length…

Until Alex

Alex’s life just shattered into a million pieces, leaving her with more grief than she knows what to do with and guilt so deep it’s destroyed the carefree girl she once was. Now she’s hundreds of miles from home, living with an aunt she doesn't know, finishing senior year at a college she’s never been to, and trying desperately to get through a single day without breaking down. She's never felt more alone in her life... 

Until Hayden

The trouble with Hayden is who he wants to be and who he is are in constant flux. And though he’d die before letting Alex learn the truth about him, he can’t be sure he's strong enough to let her in…or push her away. She’s the one person who just might see the real him.


The book grabbed my attention and heart right from the beginning. I was barely 2% in when I was in shock and hurting for Hayden and then smiling because of the smart mouthed girl that had just met the broody “hottie” with dimples. It’s incredible writing when you are so devoted to a couple of characters you barely know. 

These two incredibly sad souls told their story from alternating points of view. And even though I think Hayden’s perspective went to the corny side at the end, I really enjoyed being in their heads.

Even though Hayden was broken and angry at the world, he was also sexy, and his pain didn’t blind him to what Alex had to offer, showing his flip side, which was sweet, loving and made me swoon and “I smiled a big stupid grin” repeatedly.

Alex’s patience and understanding with Hayden’s hot and cold attitude never frustrated me and I really admired her strength of character. She was a very grounded and real person.

The story unfolded at a perfect pace, letting us know what we, and the characters, needed for their connection to build and grow. Their sizzling chemistry was off the charts. 

“I'd have to touch you.”
He nodded… “I hope so.”
“You might have to kiss me goodnight.”
His eye focused on my lips. “Oh, sweetheart, you can count on that.”


I loved and was equally frustrated watching them get to know each other.

“I don't know what this is. This thing between us... But I really need it.” ~Hayden


As the book got closer to the ending, “my heart ricocheted off the wall of my chest.” It got so intense I couldn’t get to the happy fast enough. I felt like I hit the jackpot with this book and I’ll be looking forward to J’s next book. 

* I was given an ARC of this book for an honest review from Netgalley. The excerpts are from that copy. *

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Source: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22089015-until-alex