Friday Reads: Tempting Fate by Jane Green

Look! A Friday Reads! It's been SUCH a long time since I've had one of these. I have to admit that I've been in a major reading slump this year. I'm not sure what's gotten into me, but I haven't had a maybe-I-don't-need-sleep, page-turning read in a long time. But this week, I finally came across one that had me sacrificing sleep so I could read more pages - Tempting Fate by Jane Green.

Now, first, a warning that this is NOT a romance. This is a women's fiction book, which is outside of what I normally read. There isn't a tragic ending or anything, but it's not a romance. So know that going in. Also, based on Goodreads reviews, this is one of those kinds of books that you're either going to love or hate. I happen to fall into the loved-it camp.

It's about infidelity, which is why I think it has such a love/hate reaction from readers. A heroine who cheats is hard to like. And much of the book, I didn't like her. BUT I also think that this situation could so easily happen to someone who never thought they could be a cheater. The way it was portrayed--woman in her 40s, feeling insecure about aging, in a rut, feeling resentful toward her husband about something he did gets unexpectedly swept up by the attention of a young, hot, funny guy.

Yeah, so think hot internet mogul who looks like Ryan Gosling walks into this woman's life. As you can expect, things in her life blow up. She makes a decision that had me yelling at the book (and I had to put that aside because it made an otherwise intelligent heroine seem really stupid, but I didn't want to give up on the book because of it. I'm glad I didn't.) I won't give spoilers, but I thought the drama was well done and realistic. And though there isn't a ton of action in this book (more internal, quiet type drama), I found it a page turner and very compelling. Some may have an issue with the ending, but I also think it was relatively realistic. 

Overall, I definitely recommend. 

Here's the official summary (from Amazon):

What is a woman's greatest temptation? How far will she go to find fulfillment―and how much is she willing to lose? This is an unforgettable, enthralling novel about the risks and rewards of "having it all" from beloved New York Times bestselling author Jane Green.

Gabby and Elliott have been happily married for eighteen years. They have two daughters. They have a beautiful, loving home. Forty-three-year-old Gabby is the last person to have an affair. She can't relate to the way her friends desperately try to cling to the beauty and allure of their younger years. And yet she too knows her youth is quickly slipping away. She could never imagine how good it would feel to have a handsome younger man show interest in her…until the night it happens. Matt makes Gabby feel sparkling, fascinating, alive―something she hasn't felt in years. What begins as a long-distance friendship soon develops into an emotional affair. Intoxicated, she has no choice but to step ever deeper into the allure of attraction and attention, never foreseeing the life-changing consequences that lie ahead. If she makes one wrong move, she could lose everything―and find out what really matters most.

Grab a copy: Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo



*Disclaimer: I have not been asked to review this book and have purchased it with my own money. All opinions are mine. Links to Amazon and iBooks are affiliate links, which means I earn a small percentage (no extra cost to you) if you purchase from links on my site.

Must Read Monday: The Best of My Book Binge

After I turned in a honking pile of writing, including short stories, a novella, and a novel mid-March, I was in desperate need of a break. And what do breaks mean? Book binge! :) So since I'm just getting back from the RT Booklovers Convention and haven't quite recovered my brain yet, I thought I'd share my favorites from my most recent book binge.

And I'd love to hear in the comments what you've been reading and loving lately.

Here goes, in no particular order:

Foreplay: The Ivy Chronicles by Sophie Jordan (New Adult)

Really sexy and fun AND only 99 cents right now!


Uninvited by Sophie Jordan (YA)

A few years in the future and they've learned how to identify the kill gene. What happens when a good girl tests positive for the gene? I loved the concept and I loved the book. I'm anxiously awaiting the sequel now.


Hard Time by Cara McKenna (erotic romance)

A convict hero. Yep. Every time I read a premise for a Cara McKenna book, I'm like, how is she going to pull that off? Then she does. She's become an autobuy for me.


Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry (YA)

Dude, I just went to grab the pic for this and it's on sale for 31 cents! Go buy it. I loved this book.


And for something a little different...

600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster (lit fic)

This one follows a man who has Aspergers and OCD. It was recommended to me and I really enjoyed it. I'd say it's more a lit fic type book, but had a good pace and kept me reading. 


Spin by Catherine McKenzie (women's fic)

I don't read a lot of women's fiction but this one sounded like a fun premise. Reporter goes undercover in rehab to get a story about a starlet but finds out she really needs rehab herself. Ended up really liking this one.


So those are my faves from the last few weeks, what are some of yours?


*As always, none of these authors solicited me for reviews. I don't take review requests and any recs I give are from my own personal TBR pile and based on my own leisure reading.

My Unforgettable Reads of 2012

So as it stands right now, I've read 41 books this year. Not quite there on my 50/50 Challenge, but close. And frankly, there are a few half-read or almost-finished-but-lost-interest books in the stack.

However, I thought today would be a good day to go through my read list from this year and pull out my top reads. These are the books that I can still remember when I look back at the list. Others, though I may have enjoyed them, fade and become murky. So the ones I can still remember certain characters and scenes get put on this list. Enjoy!

New Adult

So I've been on a big New Adult kick lately and I've found some winners (including one I just finished this week and loved.)

Easy by Tammara Webber

Really likeable characters you were pulling for.


Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

One of those you cannot stop reading. Worth it for the Facebook updates alone.


On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

Sexy and angsty and an Irish hero--hello.


Women's Fiction

More Like Her by Liza Palmer

Funny in parts, tearful in others.

(Warning - there is a school violence scene in this one)


The Reason Is You by Sharla Lovelace

A little romance, a little paranormal, and lots of memorable characters.


Erotic Romance:

An Ordinary Girl by Barbara Elsborg

Very angsty and a tragic backstory but really enjoyed it.


The Principal's Office by Jasmine Haynes

Super smexy. And liked that it was an older heroine.


Sheltered by Charlotte Stein

Ignore the weird cover. LOTS of sexy tension in this one.


The Theory of Attraction by Delphine Dryden

A geeky, dominant hero. Need I say more?


Dark Erotic:

The Angel by Tiffany Reisz

One of my favorites of the year.


Captive in the Dark by CJ Roberts

Very, very dark. I blogged about it here.


Male/Male Romance:

Hot Head by Damon Suede

Soooo much sexual tension. Gah. Loved this one.



Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Think And Then There Were None meets high school.


The Harrowing by Alexandra Sokoloff

College, empty dorm, ouija boards. Scary fun.


So those are my picks. What were some of your favorite reads of 2012? 


Book Hangover and The Book That Gave It To Me

Photo by Nanny Snowflake (flickr cc)So you know that feeling when you get caught up in a book and you can't put it down so you shirk all other responsibilities and consume the thing like it's the last box of chocolate before the apocalypse?

Yeah, then you finish it and you look up, blinking to take in your surroundings, vaguely remembering where you are. And the rest of the day you're kind of still half in the book and half in real life? It's disorienting. It's awesome. it's the sign of a fantastic book. (Or a serious illness.)

That's what I call book hangover. And I had it this weekend with More Like Her by Liza Palmer. I don't usually read women's fiction/chick lit (if we're still calling it that). I don't have anything against the genre. I just tend to gravitate toward more straight up romance. Plus, the women's fiction I've read in the past has always left me hanging with those darn fade to black love scenes, lol. Yes, personal preference, but when a story builds up all that sexual tension, I want to see the payoff. Just sayin'. But anyway, I digress. This book did have a fade to black, but the scene was so sweetly sexy and poignant in the lead up that I didn't feel short-changed.

So I'm so glad I gave the book a try. And if you're wondering how I ended up picking the book up at all since it's not my preferred genre (because I'm always curious about how readers find a book), here's how it went: Sierra Godfrey, who I met through blogging, mentioned how much she liked Liza Palmer's blog and her writing. So I went to the blog and really enjoyed her voice (and her 80s references) and thought "Hmm, if her blog is this funny, maybe I'd like her books." This was a passing thought. Not a purchasing decision.

Then I went to RWA and she was at one of the free signings. So even though I had my stack of books with shirtless mancandy covers already (score), I thought, "Hey, look. I thought I might like her books. Maybe I'll give this one a try." (Yes, I still go to the free signings at RWA. I know this is probably considered tacky by some once you're published and all, but yanno, me + books + free = an inevitable conclusion. My will is not iron. Sue me--or don't, I've already had enough of that this year. ;) )

So that's how I found my way to this book. And now I will pay for future books because I'm a fan and know that I'll probably like her others since I enjoyed this one so much.

So anyway, the book is fantastic. Read it. Laugh. Cry. Picture Sam naked.

More Like Her  by Liza Palmer

Genre: Women's Fiction/Chick Lit

Summary (from Amazon):

What really goes on behind those perfect white picket fences?

In Frances’s mind, beautiful, successful, ecstatically married Emma Dunham is the height of female perfection. Frances, recently dumped with spectacular drama by her boyfriend, aspires to be just like Emma. So do her close friends and fellow teachers, Lisa and Jill. But Lisa’s too career-focused to find time for a family. And Jill’s recent unexpected pregnancy could have devastating consequences for her less-than-perfect marriage.

Yet sometimes the golden dream you fervently wish for turns out to be not at all what it seems—like Emma’s enviable suburban postcard life, which is about to be brutally cut short by a perfect husband turned killer. And in the shocking aftermath, three devastated friends are going to have to come to terms with their own secrets . . . and somehow learn to move forward after their dream is exposed as a lie.



And I've been on a bit of a reading binge in between my writing binges lately, so here are two others I've read and loved recently:



Genre: Erotic Contemporary
Summary (from Amazon):

When struggling waitress Melody Dylan gives a handsome, lonely stranger a simple gift she has no clue her life is about to take a drastic turn.

The stranger ends up being Clay Powers, a famous UFC heavyweight fighter. Clay’s large build and dangerous fists have always intimidated. People in his hometown keep their distance and Clay is fine with that. Everything changes when a new waitress at the local diner buys him a piece of pie on Thanksgiving. Touched by the gesture when it’s obvious she can barely afford to survive, her warm smile and lush body churn up powerful feelings that leave Clay wanting more from her than pie.

Melody is running from her past and the small, country town of Garnet is the perfect hiding place. With an ex-husband after her and scars from her abusive marriage etched deep, the last thing she expects is to fall for a man who makes a living with his fists, but she can’t resist Clay or the tender connection they share.

Finding love in the most unlikely of places, the passion is undeniable, but Clay and Melody know their haunted pasts and unpredictable futures leave the odds stacked against them.

My take: Sexy and sweet. I devoured this one in a day. I haven't read anything by Kele Moon that I haven't liked.

Wife for Hire  by Christine Bell
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Summary (from Amazon):
He needs a wife for three weeks…

Owen Phipps is out for revenge. His mission? To expose the man who stole his sister’s money and dignity. All he needs is a “wife” who can play along. Too bad his last best hope is an actress who tries to mace him with perfume when he offers her the role of a lifetime.

Lindy Knight is a real sap. She loves too hard, feels too deep, and often finds herself saying yes when she should be saying “Let me think about it.” She can’t believe her good fortune when Owen offers her more than enough money to hold off foreclosure until she can find a job. Three weeks at a resort, money she desperately needs, and she gets to help bring a criminal to justice? Score.

It seems easy enough until a couples bonding game turns intimate, and they realize how dangerous their mutual attraction could be. Can they keep their hands to themselves long enough to find the evidence Owen needs? Or are the close quarters more temptation than they can handle?

My take: Funny and sweet and just an all around enjoyable romp. Full disclosure, I know Christine. But I don't pimp books I don't love. Truly. You'll never hear me singing some book's praises just to be nice to someone. (If I don't like it, I just say nothing at all, lol.)

So anyone else get book hangover? What great books have you read lately? And what gets you to pick up a book that's outside your normal genre preferences?