Books Like Breathing

Books Like Breathing

Romance, YA and Fiction reviews by an opinionated New Yorker with a caffeine addiction.

Reading progress update: I've read 325 out of 384 pages.
Wicked Little Secrets - Susanna Ives

Overall very good. Love Dashiell. Want to smack Vivienne. There's also a lot of religion in here that I wasn't quite expecting but it works with the plot so I can stand it.

Reading progress update: I've read 274 out of 354 pages.
Head Over Heels  - Jill Shalvis

I've been waiting for Chloe's story. Good so far. I love the simplicity of this series so far. No big conflicts.

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Review: Kobo Aura

KoboIntroduction and First Impressions: Let me begin by saying, I have tried nearly every e-reader on the market. Sony Reader Daily Edition that took 20 minutes to turn a page, a terrible weekend with a Kindle that resulted in tears, a Nook that became annoying far too quickly, the Kobo Aura HD which I loved but only got to use for 10 minutes while setting it up for my Mother and a migraine inducing use of an iPad to read a book. I was on the point of giving up on e-reading but then Kobo came along and made everything better. It's not without some faults though—they are very minor though.

 
I was surprised when I opened the box how slight the e-reader itself is. It's so thin and light. It fits perfectly in my hand. Most e-readers feel a bit unwieldy and heavy in my smaller hands but this is perfect. The back is also designed to give a nice firm grip so I can read while walking—this is actually very important to me because I read while commuting.
 
Some basics about the Aura before we get started. The Aura has 4gbs of space—expandable with an SD Card up to 32gb, it has a 6 inch high resolution Pearl E-Ink Clarity Screen, it has 1GHz processor, and it can read ePubs, Pdfs, Mobi and txt. I haven't really used the PDF reader but I do have a few on there that I will read eventually.
 
Screen-One of my great frustrations with other readers has been the screen quality. Either they weren't sharp enough or they were too sharp and too bright. I am also particularly sensitive to backlight and too much can give me a migraine fairly quickly. I can absolutely say without any bias that Kobo has provided the best screen out of any I've tried. It's honestly only beaten by the Kobo Aura HD which features 265 ppi to the Aura's 212. It's almost as comfortable as reading a paperback. As someone who avoided e-readers for the longest time, this is very important. I need to feel as if I am reading a book—not a document—and the Auro provides me that experience. There is also very little eye-strain. In fact, the only eye-strain that occurred was when I decided to read a book straight through for 10 hours. It was the Anne of Green Gables series so it was acceptable. 
 
 
Reading Experience-I absolutely love how everything is so customizable within the book. You can change fonts, size of text, spacing, margins, sharpness of text...it's just beautiful. You can even add your own fonts. I have to admit that I geeked out and found a Jane Austen font and used it on her books. Yes, it improves the reading experience dramatically. The processor is also excellent. It's a 1-GHz Freescale 1.MX507. Yes, I know, jibber jabber. But the page turns are so quick, faster than a blink of an eye, the keyboard is very responsive and there is very little ghosting. I appreciate this because my Sony Daily used to take forever to turn the page or highlight or do anything really. I could knit a sweater before that thing turned a page.
 
I also love the enhanced reading features. There is a dictionary of course. And it is responsive and quick. It doesn't take much effort for the word to be highlighted and defined. You can also add your own preferred dictionary as well. I also love that you can highlight a word or phrase and the Kobo will give you related information like articles and related books. I haven't had an e-reader that featured that before and I found myself using it very often.

For the whole review (and pictures--lots of them), please visit Books Like Breathing.
Source: http://bookslikebreathing.blogspot.com/2013/11/review-kobo-aura.html
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5 Stars
Review: A Song at Twilight by Pamela Sherwood
A Song at Twilight - Pamela Sherwood

This was an angsty one in a not so bad way. It wasn't painful to get through even though they had their moments. I just loved how Sophie and Robin acted like two mature adults. They didn't throw fits or have an epic big misunderstanding even though their situation would have warranted it. They also had their sweet moments and just the right amount of angst to make it interesting.

 

I just loved this book to bits and pieces. I loved both Sophie and Robin. They had such perfect chemistry and worked so well together-even though their situation kind of sucked. They had a deep connection that was both gut-wrenching and sweet at the same time (if that's even possible). The pacing of the story was spot-on. It was slow but it wasn't watching the grass grow type of slow. It was perfect---I could go on and on about this one—so I am just going to say that Pamela Sherwood is going on the auto-buy list. 

Source: http://bookslikebreathing.blogspot.com/2013/11/review-song-at-twilight-by-pamela.html

Thankfully, I exported and deleted my books from Goodreads before they "temporarity disabled" the feature for "maintenance". Because that's how maintenance happens. No it's really not.

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5 Stars
Review: My Lady Quicksilver by Bec McMaster
My Lady Quicksilver - Bec McMaster

I always enjoy it when it the hero who falls buttass in love with the heroine. Usually it's the heroine with the stronger feelings and the heroes being all manly and detached. It was the complete opposite with Jasper. He was a smoosh when it came to Rosalind and I found it so endearing. I also loved how it was a slow build with Jasper and Rosalind. It took time and it was gradual but when it happened...wow!

 

Bec McMaster is awesome. I mean it. She's absolutely amazing. She singlehandedly converted me to a lover of Steampunk. I was a pure skeptic until I read 1st book in series. The world she creates is wonderfully detailed and beautifully written and I love how she weaves the paranormal aspect into her story. Lady Quicksilver is no different. It's excellent. 

Source: http://bookslikebreathing.blogspot.com/2013/11/review-my-lady-quicksilver-by-bec.html
A Season Beyond a Kiss - Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

This heroine is a Grade-A moron. Like bashing your head against a really stupid brick wall. With such a great hero...why?!

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5 Stars
Review: A Risk Worth Taking by Heather Hildenbrand
A Risk Worth Taking - Heather Hildenbrand

I have just gotten into New Adult and I'm really loving each and every book I've picked up so far. It's just like with Steampunk. I am so far behind everyone and I am left to figure out what I have been missing. And apparently, I have been missing a lot.

 

The conflict between Ford's easy peasy personality and Summer's tentative/terrified approach to love was one of the greatest parts of this book. Summer approached a relationship with Ford like you would approach a landmine. I could see why. She was more type-A and very cautious about relationships because of her parents and Ford was just willing to go where the wind took him. It was quite interesting to watch them try to acclimate to each other.

 

This one started out a bit slow. It took me a while to get into it and make a connection to the characters but once I did I couldn't put the book down. This was also coincidentally, the first book I read on my Kobo Aura (that review will be posted this week as well). The writing was excellent, the storytelling was excellent and I loved both Summer and Ford. I loved this book. There is nothing else to say.

Source: http://bookslikebreathing.blogspot.com/2013/10/review-and-giveaway-risk-worth-taking.html
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2.5 Stars
Review: Against the Ropes by Sarah Castille
Against the Ropes - Sarah Castille

I walked into this book thinking that I was absolutely going to love it and I did breeze through it but so much of the book went awry for me. I think there is a good book in here. I enjoyed some parts. The secondary characters were great, the writing was well-done, and the MMA fighting aspect was interesting. But at times, it just seemed like mishmash of many of the plot points in other similar BDSM erotica books. I just wish it had been a bit simpler. If Max was just a normal dude who happened to fight underground in his spare time not a billionaire/underground fighter and if Makayla hadn't had the drama with the over-aggressive school loan collector and been an EMT with a healthy fear of blood, I think it would have worked much better for me.

I do think that while Against the Ropes fell a bit short for me, I will stick around for the next book, In Your Corner, because Jake and Amanda's story sounds so good. 

Source: http://bookslikebreathing.blogspot.com/2013/10/review-against-ropes-by-sarah-castille.html
30 Day Book Challenge: Day 4
Never a Gentleman - Eileen Dreyer

Day 4: Favorite book of your favorite series:

 

I think my opinion about Never a Gentleman is a bit unpopular. There's cheating in this here book. And angst. Lots of it. But I think that's why I loved it. The emotions were so visceral and so realistically portrayed. I read this one over and over and cry like a little broken baby each time.

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Barely a Lady - Eileen Dreyer Never a Gentleman - Eileen Dreyer Always a Temptress - Eileen Dreyer Once a Rake - Eileen Dreyer
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Day 3: Your favorite series:

 

I have read many romance series but this one is my favorite. I love Eileen Dreyer's books. They always manage to capture just the right amount of angst--for my tastes. It gets pretty damn heart-wrenching at times and I think that's why I love this series so much. The emotions just kicks you in the head.

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The Complete Anne of Green Gables Boxed Set - L.M. Montgomery Little Women - Louisa May Alcott Jane Austen: Seven Novels - Jane Austen
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Day 2: A book that you're read more than 3 times...

 

I simply can't choose only one. I don't read many books more than once but when I do find a book that I can read that often, it is an over and over and over again type of thing.

 

Anne of Green Gables series-I love this series. I usually read it around the end of winter every year. I must have read this whole series at least 16 times. I have worn out so many copies of Anne of Green Gables that I have a mini-Anne graveyard of broken spine books in my closet. I can't throw them away. I do always skip Matthew's death scene because I just can't. I read it once and I will never read that particular part again.

 

Little Women-I remember the day I got Little Women. My mother bought it for me. It was one of my first "grown up" books when I was about 6 or 7. I loved it from page 1 and identified with Jo in a way that I didn't understand until I was much older. It's another one I read yearly. Around Christmas--it just seems like a Christmas book. I am on my 10th go around with the whole series.

 

Jane Austen's books-When I was in 6th grade, my teacher pulled me aside and asked me if I was really reading the books I was bringing in or was I pretending. I think I had taken a Dickens book with me to school because it was a testing day and I read during breaks. I told her that no I was not faking it and yes, I was really reading. She handed me Pride and Prejudice and told me to read it over the weekend. Questioning a child who shows an interest in reading is never a good idea--and my mother gave her the whatfor--but I will always feel kind of grateful to her for pointing me in Jane Austen's direction. I read through her books ever summer and each time I find something new that makes me fall in love with Jane all over again.  I'm on the 8th read through.

 

 

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Dreaming of You - Lisa Kleypas

So I am going to give this a go...

 

My favorite book from last year has to be Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas. I read through all of Lisa Kleypas' books and Dreaming of You was the one that stuck because....Derek Craven! He is probably one of the most perfect heroes in the most perfectly imperfect ways. And Sara was one of the most interesting, smart, and non-Mary Sue heroines I have ever come across. It's probably my favorite romance of all time.

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3 Stars
Review: Bad Night by Rebecca York
Bad Nights - Rebecca York

I am a bit flummoxed as to why I had a bit of a disconnect with both Morgan and Jack. The closest I can come to a reason is that I liked them both as individuals but together I just didn't buy it. It was insta-love and unless one or both of them happen to be a paranormal creature, it very rarely works for me. I had moments of really liking them together but for the most part, it was a bit flat.

 

This book presents the odd prospect of a romance storyline that did not work for me at all and a mystery and suspense plot that kept me in it. That happens rarely. I don't know if this one would have been a DNF without the suspense plot but I think it would have been a close call.

 
I do have to say though that while this did not work well for me, my Momma, who is a big reader of romantic suspense, absolutely loved it. And she looked at me like I was crazy when I said it was okay.
Source: http://bookslikebreathing.blogspot.com/2013/10/review-bad-nights-by-rebecca-york.html
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4.5 Stars
Review: True Spies by Shana Galen
True Spies - Shana Galen

This one was quite interesting. They were married before and had a child. Their marriage was a fairly loveless one with Winn spending a good deal of time away. This was one of the most angsty and heartwrenching couples I have come across recently. Their journey towards a reunion was quite remarkable. It wasn't easy but getting there was quite interesting.

 

I really liked this one. I enjoyed the angst. I always do. But I find that a good angsty romance is better when the hero and heroine have an intense connection--not just a huge pile of angsty, emotastic emotions based on nothing but tears and whimpers-- and Elinor and Winn did. I also enjoyed the mystery and spy plots. They kept me interested and were very well done. I don't know if this one is going on my favorites list but it was definitely a great read and I am looking forward to the next one in the series.

Source: http://bookslikebreathing.blogspot.com/2013/10/review-true-spies-by-shana-galen.html

I am going completely nutbag crazy with those new Exclusive shelves. Thank you BookLikes for bringing them into my life. This girl is a list maker. She wants to make lists and organize things. When I am done these shelves are going to be like looking in my mind.