≡ Menu

On a Book Bender

I borrowed the next book immediately.

As Luck Would Have It by Alissa Johnson

As Luck Would Have It by Alissa Johnson (Providence, #1)

Genre: historical romance
Format: paperback from library
Read: 5/28/2014
Alissa Johnson | @alissajohnson2
As Luck Would Have It on Goodreads


Providence Series Order

1. As Luck Would Have It
2. Tempting Fate
3. McAlistair’s Fortune
4. Destined to Last


After years of wild adventures overseas, Miss Sophie Everton is in no hurry to return home to the boring strictures of the ton. But she’s determined to reclaim her family’s fortune–even if she has to become a spy for the Prince Regent to do it. 

Before she can get her first assignment, she lands right in the lap of the dark and dashing Duke of Rockeforte. She’s faced hungry tigers that didn’t look nearly as predatory. Somehow the blasted man manages to foil her at every turn–and make her pulse thrum with something more than just the thrill of danger.

Both are caught in a daring dance of espionage and desire. But to make a true love match, they’ll have to learn to trust in each other…and, of course, a little bit of luck.
-from Goodreads

Thoughts on As Luck Would Have It

I snagged McAlistair’s Fortune, book three in the series, from the library first, but when I was finished, I requested As Luck Would Have It. And when I finished that book, well, I went and borrowed the second book.

A bit of historomance crack, this series.

Coming into the first book of the series already being familiar with the characters perhaps put me at an advantage, at least as far as knowing what goes on and who’s up to what. Not there’s much set up required…

I do have to admit that this was a total escape read, and under different circumstances, I likely would have found Alex overbearing and far too possessive. But I ignored it and cheered Sophie on every time she slipped through his fingers.

Though I wasn’t much of a fan of the luck arc (especially as it played out in the end), I do have to admit that Sophie and Alex were fun, and I liked finishing the book knowing that, based on my experience reading book three, Sophie’s still giving Alex a run for his money.

Definitely a fun historical romance you can escape into, while leaving you just a little breathless.


Ended the way it needed to.

Ignite Me by Tarereh Mafi

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me, #1)

Genre: dystopian, YA
Format: hardcover
Read: 7/9/2014
Tahereh Mafi | Blog | @taherehmafi | Facebook
Ignite Me on Goodreads


Book Order

1. Shatter Me
1.5. Destroy Me
2. Unravel Me
2.5. Fracture Me
3. Ignite Me


With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.
-from Goodreads

Thoughts on Ignite Me

I waited a long time to read Ignite Me, and in some ways I’m glad I did. The time—and what I’ve learned about story telling—gave me greater perspective. I would have loved Ignite Me regardless, but I have new respect for Tahereh Mafi and her evil story telling genius.

See, Unravel Me made me do something I’ve never done before: switch allegiances with the love interest.  Even so, I wasn’t as excited about Unravel Me as I was about Shatter Me (which was a 10). I wasn’t sure what to expect with Ignite Me. I’ve been disappointed with series endings before. *looks pointedly at Divergent*

But I picked Ignite Me up in the midst of an extremely strong historical romance bender—you need breaks sometimes, right?—and blew right through the book. No, seriously. I read it, cover to cover, in about four hours. I couldn’t put it down.

And standing at the end now, I see why all the books, even the novellas, were written the way they were. I GET IT. IT IS GLORIOUS.

Juliette finally realizes who she’s meant to be. Shit goes down. Kenji is absolutely hilarious, and I want to put him in my pocket and take him everywhere with me. The love triangle is resolved. It’s everything it needed to be.

I’m a deliriously happy reader right now.


A dark and dysfunctional love story.

Why She Left Us by David Dennis

Genre:  Contemporary
Format:  PDF provided by the author for an honest review
Read: June 14-16, 2014
Why She Left Us on Goodreads





It was the summer of 1985, and she was young and inexperienced, but longing to love and to be loved in return, when he entered her life.

At the same time, while she was desperately seeking the love and approval of a mother who never wanted her in the first place, events totally beyond her control claimed her as their victim, leaving those she left behind unable to cope with the enormity of her absence. 

“WHY SHE LEFT US” is written as a series of diary entries, the events seen through the eyes of several different people. 

But at its center is a love story chronicling a romance that transforms the lives of two people who, for too brief a period of time, experienced the greatest happiness they had ever known.


My Thoughts

The summer of 1985 proves to be the disastrous undoing of a whole family in David Dennis’ Why She Left Us. The book is written in a series of diary or journal entries authored by five main characters – three sisters, their aunt, and the boy loved by one of the sisters.

The characters each date their journal entries and, if you aren’t paying attention to the dates, it’s very easy to get very confused right from the start! Each of the narrators tells the story in his or her own voice with his or her own biases and slants. The only “true narrator” seems to be eldest sister Betsy, whose entries are in chronological order, while the others are at a date after The Event.

It’s a little tricky to write about the main plot of the book because, trying to unfold just what happened and how each of the characters are involved is one of the strengths of Why She Left Us. The unfolding mystery of The Event that all of the narrators are referring to – and that Betsy is building up to – is probably what I liked best about the book; it kept me turning the pages to find out just what, exactly, happened and who did what when.

I say that Betsy seems to be the only “true” narrator because her voice and perspective, to me, were the most honest. Good or bad, self-deprecating or full of praise, she kind of simply laid out the events of the day as they happened. The other characters, with perhaps the exception of Aunt Lucille, tell such pieces of the story that are heavily marred by their personalities that it’s hard to trust the information they provide.

David Dennis gives each narrator a distinct voice, which is quite the accomplishment. Many authors struggle to utilize such distinctness in the varied voices of their narrators. And the story is quite heartbreaking . . . and yet, it’s also disturbingly dysfunctional. At times the voice of Betsy seems too odd and out of place to maintain belief, but I liked Betsy. I rooted for her and was rather sad when The Event came to the climax.

Why She Left Us is an interesting read. A puzzle and a romance of sorts, with a moral reminiscent of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”


Girl with Book Lungs


It’s that time again — Tuesday! — which means I attempt to brighten your day with half-naked men. Read on at your own risk.  Top Off Tuesdays was started by FeliciaChristi and me.  It is where we (and you!) share the book covers that make us swoon.  Head over to Felicia’s blog to share your Top Off Tuesday link or to see what everyone has posted.

Poor Bronto. With that name, I’d probably want revenge too.

Barbarian Lust, Book Two

Momma warned Ivy to stay away from the bloodthirsty Barbarians but only a Barbarian can show her true love. Bronto’s compassion, affection and gentle touch overpower his fierce nature. She places her heart and future in his hands as he introduces her to a life of passion while protecting her from the deadly creatures overrunning her planet.

Aliens. Mutants. Dinosaurs. What the hell kind of planet has the government sent Bronto to? He tolerates the creatures lurking around every corner but not the alien abduction of Ivy. He’s just begun to introduce her to the ways of lust when she’s taken to be used for their brutal experiments. Bronto never believed he could fall for one of Helixis’ “primitive” humans. But now he can’t imagine life without Ivy. He’s determined to save her and destroy the invasive species before they leave her to rot in their lab.

Inside Scoop:  Some Barbarians live up to the name. Contains brief nongraphic scenes and descriptions of rape.

A Romantica® sci-fi erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave


Wanted more Bridgerton family with this.

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn (Bridgertons, #2)

Genre: historical romance
Format: ebook
Read: 5/23/2014 — 5/24/2014
Julia Quinn | Facebook
The Viscount Who Loved Me on Goodreads


Bridgerton Series Order

1. The Duke and I
2. The Viscount Who Loved Me
3. An Offer From a Gentleman
4. Romancing Mister Bridgerton
5. To Sir Phillip, With Love
6. When He Was Wicked
7. It’s in His Kiss
8. On the Way to the Wedding


1814 promises to be another eventful season, but not, this author believes, for Anthony Bridgerton, London’s most elusive bachelor, who has shown no indication that he plans to marry.
And in truth, why should he? When it comes to playing the consummate rake, nobody does it better…
–Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, 
April 1814

But this time, the gossip columnists have it wrong. Anthony Bridgerton hasn’t just decided to marry–he’s even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended’s older sister, Kate Sheffield–the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate is the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams…

Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes do not make the best husbands–and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate is determined to protect her sister–but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony’s lips touch hers, she’s suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself…
-from Goodreads

Thoughts on The Viscount Who Loved Me

I spent the last bit of my Christmas gift card (in May as I write this) to buy The Viscount Who Loved Me after realizing my county library system didn’t have it. Never let it be said I am not devoted to the Bridgertons.

That said, The Viscount Who Loved Me wasn’t my favorite book. Maybe because the fun antics of the Bridgertons didn’t make much of an appearance. But I did laugh out loud plenty, and that is certainly the mark of  a Julia Quinn novel.

Like the bee sting.

So… I’ve never really been the fan of “interested in someone other than the MC, but is clearly meant for MC” tropes. And while I enjoyed certain aspects of Anthony and Kate’s romance, I didn’t particularly enjoy that. (Hence it wasn’t a favorite.)

But. It’s the Bridgertons and Julia Quinn, and I found myself satisfied nonetheless and looking forward to book 3.


Happy Birthday to Me!

in Giveaways

Elusive Memories by Amanda Shofner

It’s my birthday, and that means I get to celebrate however I want. And I choose to celebrate by giving away an electronic copy of Elusive Memories. (Paperbacks pictured here because 1, I have no pictures of the electronic copy and 2, it’s far more impressive to see 10 copies just lying about, amirite?)

If your memories were stolen, would you know who to trust?

But don’t just take it from me…

“…an amazing story full of twists, turns and crazy revelations” — Creative Deeds Reads

“This first book set up such an incredible story. I definitely want more.” — Smitten with Reading

“The only issue that I had was my own impatience to get through the last part to find out what happened!” — Once Upon a Chapter

Here’s the synopsis:

The Northern Alliance Betterment Society, better known as the Hunters, has persecuted the Gifted for years. When Sam Benson is taken and her memory stolen, she certainly isn’t their first victim. But she’s determined to use her family’s influence as memory-bringer elders to make sure she’s one of the last.

As soon as she escapes the Hunters’ compound, anyway.

Two Hunter guards claim to be working to get Sam free, but only one has her best interests at heart—and holds the key to mounting an offense against the Hunters. With her memory fractured and the Hunters set against her, can she choose the right person to trust?

Runs through August 3rd.

Here are the terms and conditions:

  • You must be at least 18 years old or older
  • Your information is subject to the On a Book Bender privacy policy
  • Your entry will be verified; if the entry cannot be verified, it will be removed
  • Void where prohibited
  • The giveaway runs from July 25th midnight CDT to August 3rd 11:59pm CDT
  • Value of prize is $2.99 ($0.99 for The Unexpected Gift)
  • No purchase necessary to win
  • Winner will be contacted via email and has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen
  • Odds of winning depend on the number of entries
  • Additional terms and conditions may apply

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Kayla and Daren are perfectly adorable!

Perfect Kind of Trouble (Finding Fate #2) by Chelsea Fine

Genre: Contemporary new adult
Chelsea Fine | @ChelseaFine | Facebook
Amazon – Kindle
Add Perfect Kind of Trouble on Goodreads

Book Order

1. Best Kind of Broken
2. Perfect Kind of Trouble
3. Right Kind of Wrong


Sometimes when perfect falls apart, a little trouble fixes everything . . .

Twenty-one-year-old Kayla Turner has lost everything. After spending most of her life taking care of her ailing mother, she just wants to spot a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. So when her late father-a man she barely knew-leaves her an inheritance, she finally breathes a sigh of relief . . . until she learns the inheritance comes with strings. Strings in the form of handsome playboy Daren Ackwood, her father’s protégé. To see any of her inheritance, she’s forced to team up with him. From his expensive car to those sexy dimples, Kayla’s seen his type before. But Daren isn’t who he seems to be . . .

Struggling to make amends for his family’s mistakes, Daren has a life more Oliver Twist than Richie Rich these days. He’s beyond grateful that James Turner included him in his will, but working with Turner’s princess of a daughter to fulfill his cryptic last wish is making Daren wonder if being broke is really so bad. Still, she’s just as beautiful as she is stubborn, and the more time he spends with Kayla, the less it feels right being without her. Soon Daren and Kayla begin to wonder if maybe the best gift Kayla’s dad could have left them . . . was each other.

Thoughts on Perfect Kind of Trouble

I really, really liked book 1 and I was really, really hoping book 2 would grab me just as tightly when I picked it up. I’m pleased to announce that I was as invested in Kayla and Daren’s story as I was in Pixie and Levi’s. In other words… WHOO-HOO!

Kayla and Daren are both guilty of judging the other of based on looks. As they’re forced to work together to claim the inheritance, they come to see that some things really are only skin deep and they’re a lot more alike than they seem. That moment when they let down their walls and admit the truth of their circumstances to one another was outstanding. Plus, the snark. OH, THE SNARK. I really do love when two people poke and prod at one another to hide their real feelings.

Without giving too much away, we’re given a slew of misunderstandings (Kayla takes the brunt of those and I FELT for her as she found out the truth), a scavenger hunt that allows two wary people to rediscover the things that matter in life, and a whole lot of sexual tension. Oh, and handcuffs. The handcuffs play a big part!

I had fun with this book. I liked Kayla and Daren. I liked the situations they found themselves in. I liked how upbeat Daren remained even when life was kicking him the hardest. I’m 2 for 2 with this series and I couldn’t be happier!

Kelly Loves Books... and you!


Top Off Tuesday — Because Cyborgs

in Top Off Tuesday

It’s that time again — Tuesday! — which means I attempt to brighten your day with half-naked men. Read on at your own risk.  Top Off Tuesdays was started by FeliciaChristi and me.  It is where we (and you!) share the book covers that make us swoon.  Head over to Felicia’s blog to share your Top Off Tuesday link or to see what everyone has posted.

Natalie’s loved and lost and she’s not so sure she wants to risk her heart again. She’s willing to settle for a challenging career as a space-pilot instructor and a succession of no-strings attached lovers. But that’s before her boss saddles her with the last thing she wants—a new partner.

Jebediah recognizes his perfect match in Natalie from the moment she seduces him on a dare. Everything that makes her a top-notch pilot, from her fearlessness to her passion, make a night in her bed both challenging and unforgettable. Too bad she cuts Jebediah off the moment they’re assigned to a mission in the outer limits of Alliance space.

A dangerous confrontation with a brutal enemy, an exploding drive engine and a traitor close to home throw everything into perspective. Natalie is going to have to put the past behind her and risk it all, because when your partner is also your lover, failure is not an option.

A Romantica® science fiction erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave


The Bridgertons are my favorite family.

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn (Bridgertons, #1)

Genre: historical romance
Format: paperback borrowed from Daphne
Read: 5/20/2014
Julia Quinn | Facebook
The Duke and I on Goodreads


Bridgertons Series Order

1. The Duke and I
2. The Viscount Who Loved Me
3. An Offer From a Gentleman
4. Romancing Mister Bridgerton
5. To Sir Phillip, With Love
6. When He Was Wicked
7. It’s in His Kiss
8. On the Way to the Wedding


Can there be any greater challenge to London’s Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke?
— Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, April 1813

By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend’s sister, the lovely—and almost-on-the-shelf—Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth—it’s all an elaborate plan to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable.

But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it’s hard to remember that their courtship is a complete sham. Maybe it’s his devilish smile, certainly it’s the way his eyes seem to burn every time he looks at her… but somehow Daphne is falling for the dashing duke… for real! And now she must do the impossible and convince the handsome rogue that their clever little scheme deserves a slight alteration, and that nothing makes quite as much sense as falling in love…
-from Goodreads

Thoughts on The Duke and I

*flails all over you until it’s awkward*

Hi. HI. I love Julia Quinn. Many talk about how much they love the Bridgertons, but I didn’t start my Julia Quinn reads with this series, which is often suggested you do.

(I don’t always follow suggestions.)

Even so, words cannot convey how much I adore this family and how Julia Quinn portrays them. I love the Bridgertons. I could read an entire book devoted to their antics. And because I started with book 7 (who am I?), seeing them at the very beginning was that much better.

I was so excited for the rest of the books that I bought book 2 and requested book 3. Everyone says book 4 is the one to die for. Or that it’s their favorite. Because Colin. I can already see it. And I am excited.

But the duke. And Daphne. This isn’t necessarily my favorite couple. I wasn’t always fond of the duke and his choices. (Sorry, Simon, but Daphne was so right it hurt.) But I couldn’t help getting swept up in their romance. And for me? That’s a win.

Julia Quinn is the ultimate comfort read. And I can’t wait to dive into the rest of this series.



Here’s a frequent scene at my house:

Me, sitting (or standing) in front of the shelf of books that I have to read. Or, perhaps it’s me staring at the computer screen of my Goodreads to-read page, scrolling aimlessly up and down the 200+ titles. I pick up one book (or click on one title). Interesting, but not what I’m in the mood for right now. I select another . . . eh, too heavy. I want something lighter.

Ten to twelve selections later, I heave a heavy sigh, close my eyes, shoot out my hand (or cursor) and grab the first one my fingers (or mouse) touch and hope for the best. After all, I have the book (or have the book marked as “to-read”) so I’m sure I’ll enjoy it, right?

If this is in any way familiar, you, like me, probably want someone to point you in the right direction . . . set you up, as it were. Well, I’m here to help! If you’re looking for a hot new read, a book in a particular category, or just something you haven’t tried before, let me tempt you to your next read!

This month’s bachelor/ette books are:

Book #1:

  • Epistolary
  • Scotland
  • War fiction

Book #2:

  • Mystery
  • California
  • Property-flipping
  • Aviary

Book #3:

  • Cozy
  • Texas
  • Magic

Want to go on a reading date with one of these books? Or, think you’ve met one of these eligible catches already and want to guess as the titles? Here’s what you can do:

  • Leave a comment to request a date. Let me know which bachelor/ette you’d like to spend a little time with and I’ll email you back privately with the title of the book and the author. (NOTE: I’ll only respond via email, so don’t came back to this post looking for my response, okay? Okay!)
  • If you want to hazard a guess at the title of one (or more!) of the books, you can leave a comment to do that, as well. Once again, be sure to let me know which bachelor/ette you think you’ve unmasked. Just to be sure we don’t spoil the fun for other readers/dates, I’ll contact you privately to let you know if your right – or wrong!
  • Finally, do you have a book that you know On a Book Bender readers will love? Leave a comment – something along the lines of Date My Book, Jenna! – and I’ll get in touch to see when we can feature your Blind Date With a Book contender!


Girl with Book Lungs

%d bloggers like this: