Sunday, January 31, 2021

Swoony Worthy Spotlights!

Welcome to Swoon Worthy Spotlights hosted by KJ's Book Nook

Once a month I'll feature 1-3 of my favorite books that I have read during the month. I'll share the cover(s) and my review(s).

It's been over a year since I've done a Swoon Worthy Spotlight and decided earlier this month that I was going to bring it back! I'm excited! It's the little things in life! Hehe.

For this month I'm going to choose... 

All's Fair in Love and Blood by Jennifer Peel

Coffee Shop Girl by Katie Cross

Romancing Daphne by Sarah M. Eden

What are some of your favorite reads from January? 

Book of the Month 411!

Y'all! Are you ready for all the details on my Book of the Month? Yes? Sweet! Here's how it all came to be! 

2020 may have been a horrible year for most of us, but it was not a horrible year for books. In fact, there were SO many AMAZING books released last year that I just couldn't keep up! 

After we announced the 2020 Swoony Award winners, I not only started thinking about all the books I could've given my Swoony to, but all the ones I really wanted to see win. So I had an idea. 

Remember when I said a few months ago that I was going to be giving away a Swoony Mystery box? Well, I decided to tweak it just a bit. Instead of giving away a mystery box, I'm going to do a monthly giveaway featuring all the books I wanted to either give mine to or wanted to see win. 

So... here's the 411 on the giveaway...

The giveaway will not only be opened to US residents, but Internationally as well. As long as you can receive electronic gifts from Amazon, you're eligible. US residents will have the choice of a physical package or an electronic gift. 

What am I giving away you ask? The electronic gift will be an ebook of the Book of the Month along with an Amazon gift card to purchase your favorite reading treat. The physical package will be a paperback copy of the Book of the Month and one of my favorite reading treats. 

To enter to win, you'll comment on my blog post, my Facebook post or my Instagram post. You'll receive an extra entry for tagging one friend on Facebook and one friend on Instagram. The counting of entries is new for me since I usually do a Rafflecopter so I don't want to get too crazy with the entry choices. Haha. 

And that's it! It's that simple! I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to do more than one post for entries by sharing a favorite line from the book or something like that maybe once a week or once every two weeks. But don't worry, you'll know when I know. 😉

You guys! I can't wait to share these book with you! Keep your eyes open on February 1st for my very first Book of the Month! 

Until then... Happy reading my fellow Book Dragons! 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

All's Fair in Love and Blood by Jennifer Peel



They are both out for blood, but could it end in love?

Scarlett Armstrong and Kane Hudson have a tangled past involving not only their families but their own failed love affair. Now, eight years later, to make things more complicated, they’re both in the running to become the next CEO of Scarlett’s family’s business, Armstrong Labs, a privately held blood plasma company. It all comes down to who presents the best business plan to the board of directors.

For Scarlett, it’s a matter of continuing her family’s legacy and hoping that her father will be proud of her once and for all. After all, she’s spent her entire life pushing her own dreams aside preparing for this role. And perhaps she would like a little sweet revenge against the man who stole her heart and never gave it back. Kane, on the other hand, is determined to reach his goal of becoming the CEO of a Fortune 500 company before his forty-fifth birthday and proving to Scarlett she’s meant to follow her own dreams.

But things don’t go according to plan for either Scarlett or Kane when they realize that perhaps they’re fighting for the wrong thing. With love and blood on the line, which one will come out on top?

My Review: 5+ Stars!

Y'all, I feel like this book should come with warnings. Lots and lots of warnings. Out of the goodness of my heart, I'll provide you with some of the warnings someone should have given me before I started this book.


1. You may or may not need tissues before you dive into this book.
2. You may or may not want to have a tub of cookie dough waiting for you in your fridge so you can eat your feelings. (True story.)
3. You may or may not need to wrap your kindle in bubble wrap incase you decide you need to throw it across the room.
4. You may or may not be blown away with the emotional rollercoaster you're about to embark on.
5. You may or may not want to read this book at the same time as one of your bestest book buddies because you are probably going to need some emotional support along the way.
6. You may or may not have the mother of all book hangovers once you finish this book.

This book, right here, has ruined all other books for me for the unforeseeable future. I'm going to need to reread lots and lots of old favorites in order to give any new books a fighting chance of me loving them. Not sorry authors! I'm doing this for your own good! 😂

If you couldn't already guess, I absolutely LOVE this book! From the moment I picked it up, there was no putting it down! I skipped meals, stayed up way too late reading and pretty much ignored the world around me. No one existed except my new best friends, Scarlett and Kane. Oh how I adored these two!

Scarlett was such an amazing heroine! Y'all, I had real tears, both sad and happy ones, falling down my face for her. It didn't matter what life threw at her or that it was constantly knocking her down. She got right back up and kept pushing forward. She had every right in the world to be angry and bitter but she always, always took the higher road, even if she didn't want too. She has got to be the most selfless heroine ever and she makes me want to be a better person.

Kane was such a phenomenal hero! I think we all need a Kane in our lives. From the very beginning, and I mean VERY beginning, he was Team Scarlett. This man loves her fiercely, protects her with every fiber of his being, helps her to not only see herself but love herself, is willing to sacrifice his own happiness to make sure she is as happy as she can possibly be. He is the best of the best. It's no wonder they are perfect for each other!

And can we PLEASE take a moment to talk about the sizzling chemistry that was flying off the pages from the start?! It was hot, hot, hot! Oh holy Hannah! That first kiss! *dreamy sigh* Talk about a million butterflies and turning into a big ol' pile of goo. WOWZERS! This book has the BEST kissing scenes!

I am in awe of Ms. Peel's talent! I swear, it feels like every time I think I've found my new favorite book of hers, she turns to her next couple and says: "Hold my Dr. Pepper. I'm about to prove her wrong... again!" I will forever be grateful to one of my best bookish friends for introducing me to her books. I cannot WAIT to see what she has in store for us next!

As for my casting, I think we all need to take a moment to admire these two. I. Am. In. LOVE! *dreamy sigh* Aren't they perfect?! 

Content: Mild language. Sizzling kisses. Clean!
Sunday, January 17, 2021

Coffee Shop Girl by Katie Cross




This coffee shop is going to kill me.

Sure, it's my dad's dream. If he hadn't died eight months ago, I wouldn't be here, a college drop out, trying not to drown in debt.

Nor would I be staring into the muddy eyes of a viking-sized man that's telling me everything I'm doing wrong—as if he knows so much about business in a small mountain town.

Except he does.

And when the biggest, most unexpected surprise of all falls in my lap, I'll have no choice but to ask for his help.

Time for some power lipstick.


This girl is drowning.

She might have eyes like glacier pools and hair so black it's glossy, but that doesn't mean she knows how to run a coffee shop. She's drowning in more than debt, interest, and credit card payments.

She'll never make it.

But I kind of want her to.

Because underneath that bright lipstick and those sun dresses is a woman that I have an uncomfortable feeling is about to rock. my. world.

My Review: 5 Stars

Confession. I have been suffering from a book hangover for over a week now. I've lost count of how many books I have tried but they just couldn't keep my attention. On a whim, and without reading the synopsis, I grabbed this one and crossed my fingers that I found a winner. Good news is... I found a winner! Bad news is... I have an even bigger book hangover now. Good news is... I. Do. Not. Care!

Y'all! I have been sitting here for hours trying to type up my review but all I can think of is... Ummmm... what in the world just happened?! Literally. What in the world just happened?! This book did not go in the direction I thought it would. Granted, that was probably because I didn't read the synopsis and, for some unknown reason, I assumed this book was a RomCom. Ummm. Yeah. It's not. BUT it was SO good!

Ms. Cross did a phenomenal job of captivating me from the very beginning. I hadn't even finished the first chapter before I found myself cheering Bethany on and being intrigued by the mystery of all things Maverick. I couldn't read fast enough to discover all the things about these two! Oh how I adored them!

I also adored Lizbeth and Ellie. I don't want to give anything away but, just know, these two are pivotal in this story.

Gah! You guys! The feels in this book! All. The. Feels! My heart shattered into a million pieces. I had tears rolling down my face on more than one occasion. I ached for Bethany, Maverick, Lizbeth and Ellie. Their journey is so heartachingly beautiful! There's just something about getting lost in it all with them. The learning, the growing, the healing, the loving.. it was all just SO real! This is one book that I will be thinking about for a long time to come!

This is my first book by Ms. Cross and it definitely will not be my last! I cannot WAIT for the next book in this series to come out! It has been preordered and I will be sitting on the edge of my seat for release day!

As for my casting. Y'all. She had me at tattoos. I cannot tell you how long I have waited to use this exact picture! He seriously just fits for me. I am in love with these two! What do you think?!

Content: Mild language. Brief moments of peril. Talk of abuse and suicide with no details. Swoony kisses! Clean!

Friday, January 8, 2021

Romancing Daphne by Sarah M. Eden



As her first London Season looms before her, the thought of the impending social whirl fills Daphne Lancaster's timid heart with dread. She hasn't her sisters beauty nor their talent for conversing easily. Even her family's enviable connections may not be enough to prevent disaster.

But Daphne's misery turns to surprised delight when the first event of her Season brings an unexpected visitor to her door—James Tilburn, whose tender kindness stole her heart in her youth. When the handsome young gentleman expresses his desire to court her, Daphne is elated. Their feelings for each other quickly grow, and it appears that, much to Daphne s disbelief, her happily ever after is within reach.

Yet nothing is as it seems. The couple finds themselves caught in a tangled web of greed and deceit, leaving James and Daphne to determine whether they are willing to risk everything for true love.

My Review: 5 Stars!

Confession. Seeking Persephone has always been my favorite book of this series. I never thought I would love another book more than that one. And then I read Romancing Daphne.

From the very first page, I was transported to London where I lived my life right along side Daphne and James. I loved their relationship. There was a connection between them that only grew stronger the more they got to know each other. Watching their relationship grow from friendship into something more was beautiful. Even when unforeseen forces tore them apart, they couldn't ignore their connection. They leaned on each other, strengthened each other, helped each other, lifted each other up in their times of need, loved each other when they thought no one else loved them. These two were absolutely perfect together. 

I had the hardest time putting this book down. The time I spent away from it was absolute torture. I found myself sneaking in reading time whenever I could. I may or may not have gotten irrationally angry when real life kept me from finishing the book as fast as I wanted.

This book is definitely a roller coaster ride when it comes to your emotions. Holy. Hannah! You will laugh, you will cry, you will get so angry that you wish someone would skin a certain somebody alive and throw them to the Falstone wolves, you will smile all the goofy smiles, and you will find yourself letting out all kinds of dreamy sighs. 

I'm sure most of you would agree when I say, Ms. Eden is an amazing storyteller! I have loved every single book of hers I have read so far. I cannot wait to dive into the rest of this series. 

And of course I can't forget my casting. I am in love with these two! What do you think?

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Courting Miss Lancaster by Sarah M. Eden



Harry Windower adores blonde, green-eyes Athena Lancaster, but alas, a penniless man like himself has no hope of winning a young noblewoman's hand. To add insult to injury, Athena's brother-in-law and guardian, the Duke of Kielder, has asked Harry to assist Athena in finding a gentleman of her dreams. But the lovesick Harry is cunning as well: as the weeks pass, he introduces Athena to suitors who are horrifically boring, alarmingly attached to their mothers, downright rude, astoundingly self-absorbed, and utterly ridiculous.

Athena can't comprehend why she is having so little success meeting eligible and acceptable gentlemen. Indeed, her circle of admirers couldn't be be less admirable - nothing like the loyal, gentle friend she's found in Harry. But how long can Harry's scheme be hidden before it is discovered? And what will Athena do when she uncovers Harry's deception?

Escape into a charming regency world in this delightfully romantic comedy of manners that will entertain you to the very last word.

My Review: 3.5 Stars

While chatting with some bookish friends recently, I realized that I have not read all of the books in the Lancaster/Jonquil series. So I thought, what better way to start off 2021 than to read the series in order. Needless to say, I'm a bit excited to read them all! 

Harry! *dreamy sigh* I have loved Harry since I first met him in Seeking Persephone. He has got to be one of the best side characters ever. I couldn't wait to dive into his story. If anyone deserves a HEA, it is him!

Sadly, I had a hard time connecting with Athena at first. From Seeking Persephone, I envisioned her as a bit self centered from Artemis's letters. She was far too worried about her coming out than her family. If I'm being honest, it's always bugged me. It wasn't until she finally realized her feelings for Harry that I actually started connecting with her. I'm thinking it,s probably my mood because all my bookish friends absolutely adore this book.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm not a big fan of friends to lovers stories. Especially when the heroes in said stories are trying to hook the heroine up with someone else. Granted he was commanded to do it and he tried his best to sabotage Athena's chances with any and all suitors, but it left me feeling sad for Harry. I wished Adam would've woken up a bit and realized what his best friend was going through. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I really did enjoy this book. I just wished that the ending would've happened sooner and that we could have seen more of the courting going on. But don't worry. These little things are not going to stop me from reading the book again. 

I'm sure I'm just like everyone else when I say, Ms. Eden became an instant favorite of mine. Her books always capture me and give me that much needed break from reality. I'm looking forward to reading all her books that I haven't read yet. 

And of course I can't forget my casting! I'm loving these two! What do you think? 

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Top 20 Books of 2020!

2020 was an amazing year for books! I laughed.. I cried.. I got so angry I wanted to throw my kindle across the room.. I let out a lot of dreamy sighs.. and I loved every minute of it! I found new authors that I absolutely adore and wait with great anticipation for their next book baby to be released! I was able to read over 100 books!

Before I look ahead to the New Year and new books, I thought I would pay tribute to some of these favorites that I fell in love with in 2020. I will tell you that my list is not in any particular order. I absolutely LOVED all these books and there is NO WAY I'll be able to choose a ranking for them! It just is NOT possible! So don't even ask!

So... without further adieu... here are my TOP 20 of 2020!

What are some of your favorites of 2020?

Seeking Persephone by Sarah M. Eden


When Persephone Lancaster receives a marriage proposal from the ill-tempered Duke of Kielder, she refuses—and then reconsiders. The obscene sum of money he’s offering Persephone would save her family from ruin. With her characteristic optimism, she travels to the far reaches of Northumberland to wed a greatly feared stranger. Lodged deep in a thick forest infested with wild dogs, the Duke’s castle is as cold and forbidding as the Duke himself, a man with terrible scars on his body and his soul.

But the Duke’s steely determination to protect his heart at all costs is challenged by his growing attachment to his lovely and gentle bride. With caring persistence, Persephone attempts to pierce the Duke’s armor and reach the man beneath. Yet he cannot tolerate such exposure, and his repeated rejections take their toll. But when grave danger arises, the Duke realizes he must face the risk of revealing his true feelings or lose the woman he cannot live without.

My Review: 5 Stars

Adam was born with his right ear missing. Several surgeons believed that his ear was just under the surface and with surgery they could dig it out of hiding. Several unsuccessful surgeries later, his parents finally gave up hope that the ear would ever make an appearance. But all this left Adam even more disfigured and scarred both physically and emotionally. Feeling rejected by his mother, dealing with his father's untimely death and then being shipped off to school was just too much for little 7 year old Adam. He became cross and grumpy. Everyone feared and coward away from him. He never felt accepted or loved and did everything he could to hide his feelings from the world. When he discovers who the heir presumptive to his fortune is he will do anything to make sure the idiot never inherits his title. Even if it's paying for a desperate bride whose family is in need of financial security.

At the age of 12, Persephone's mother passed away giving birth to her youngest sister. From that moment on she could not longer be a child, she had to grow up and take care of several responsibilities. She was the mother, the cook, the maid, the bookkeeper, you name it and she did it. She was the glue that kept her family together. So when a letter arrived with a marriage proposal that would give her family the financial security they had always longed for, she was torn on what to do. She did not like the fact that she was being purchased and really wanted to turn it down. But, as always, she put her family first and accepted the proposal.

Adam and Persephone's marriage got off to a pretty rocky start. But with help from Adam's life long friend, Harry, Persephone will get some of the insight she needs to understand and connect with her husband. She knows there is something in his past that has caused him to shut himself off from the world. The more she tries to figure out what it is, the more she grows to care for her husband. But will he ever return her feelings? Or will he just keep rejecting her? 

When tragedy strikes Falstone Castle, Adam is forced to open his eyes and see what's right in front of him. Will he choose to continue to keep the world at bay? Or will he open up and learn to not only live but love as well.

I absolutely adored Seeking Persephone! Even though I had read it once before, years ago, I was still sucked in from the very beginning and did not want to stop until I had finished it. I was very upset that real life got in the way of my reading time! I enjoyed getting to know Adam, Persephone and Harry all over again. I found myself laughing at the witty banter, getting teary eyed during the sad parts, growling in frustration and letting out little sighs throughout the book. My only complaint was the ending felt a bit rushed. I would have loved a little less of the misunderstanding/lack of communication and more of them together as a real couple. Other than that I LOVED it! :) Definitely a must read if you are a fan of Beauty and the Beast or Regency. ;)

I do have to admit that the casting for this one was a bit hard for me. But I love it! :)

Saturday, January 2, 2021

2020 Swoony Award Winners!

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Swoony Awards! 

2020 was an interesting year, but for the Swoonys, it was probably our best year yet! We had over 460 book nominations and 3,200 voters! We were blown away by all the support and participation this year!

While keeping track of all the books this year, we started noticing a lot more new authors that have NEVER been nominated for a Swoony Award. To say that we were excited to see this would be an understatement! But this got us thinking. Why don't we add a NEW category just for them?! After going back and forth on what to call it, we finally decided on Rookie of the Year! Since there were SO many new authors, we decided we would go with the author who had the highest votes. Eeeeeek! We hope you love this new category as much as we do!

Best Novel of the Year
Best Historical Romance 
Forget Me Not by Sarah M. Eden

Best Contemporary Romance of the Year

Best Young Adult Contemporary Romance
The Big Easy & Other Lies by Melanie Jacobson

Best Western Contemporary Romance
Steal My Heart by Heather Moore

Best Billionaire Romance

Best Celebrity Romance
Do Depend on Your Keeper by Cami Checketts

Best Christmas Romance
Snowed-in for Christmas by Kimberly Krey

Best High Fantasy Romance
The Secret Princess by Melanie Cellier

Best Urban Fantasy Romance
Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts by Nancy Campbell Allen

Best Regency/Victorian Romance
A Proper Charade by Esther Hatch

Best American Hero Romance
Saving Grace by Jennifer Youngblood & Amelia Adams

Best Romantic Comedy Romance
A Man Worth Shaving For by Michelle Pennington

Best Sports Romance
Don't Chase a Player by Cami Checketts

Best Anthology
by Joanna Barker, Annette Lyon and Jennifer Moore

Rookie of the Year
Once and Future Wife by Clarissa Kae

Katie's Choice 
Room-maid by Sariah Wilson

Kathy Jo's Choice
The Match by Sarah Adams

Kathy's Choice 
Forest of Firelight by Shari L. Tapscott

Heidi's Choice
A Proper Charade by Esther Hatch

THANK YOU again for participating and to all the AMAZING authors who write the books that we love to escape in to!