Must-Read Monday: Two Forbidden Love Stories

So it's been a while since I've done a Must-Read Monday, but I've been catching up on my reading lately and have a few to share with you. :)

It wasn't the plan, but the last two books I've read had the theme of forbidden love (a favorite dynamic of mine to write and read about.) And both were fantastic reads. So here you go...

On the Island  by Tracey Garvis Graves

Yeah, yeah, I know I'm behind the times on this one. It was a bestseller a while ago. But it's been sitting in my stack since last year and I finally got the chance to pick it up. I really enjoyed this story. It was fast-moving and transported you to the deserted island setting. And both characters were very likeable. My only complaint was that it could've been a bit steamier after all the yummy sexual tension built up in the first half of the book, but that's just a personal preference of mine because I like a very sexy book. :) But I definitely recommend it for an engrossing read. 

Here's the blurb from Amazon:

Anna Emerson is a thirty-year-old English teacher desperately in need of adventure. Worn down by the cold Chicago winters and a relationship that’s going nowhere, she jumps at the chance to spend the summer on a tropical island tutoring sixteen-year-old T.J.

T.J. Callahan has no desire to go anywhere. His cancer is in remission and he wants to get back to his normal life. But his parents are insisting he spend the summer in the Maldives catching up on all the school he missed last year.

Anna and T.J. board a private plane headed to the Callahan’s summer home, and as they fly over the Maldives’ twelve hundred islands, the unthinkable happens. Their plane crashes in shark-infested waters. They make it to shore, but soon discover that they’re stranded on an uninhabited island.

At first, their only thought is survival. But as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.’s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man. 

A Little Too Far  by Lisa Desrochers

Next is a read I couldn't put down. The blurb had me from the start. A love triangle with a stepbrother and a soon-to-be priest? My first thought was -- how did me and Tiffany Reisz not write this book? (For those who haven't read us: I have the forbidden foster brother love in MELT INTO YOU and Tiffany's Original Sinners series has a priest as the main hero.)


This is a New Adult book (college-aged protagonists) and transports you Italy for most of the novel. That's one of the things I liked most about it. The setting had real life to it. Also, the story was very sexy and fun. Here's my Goodreads Review:

A Little Too Far (A Little Too Far, #1)A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So I love, love, love forbidden romance stories and this one had double forbidden-ness, so yay for that. I loved the heroine's voice. She was funny and comfortable with herself and outspoken. I like that the fact that she enjoyed sex wasn't a BIG OL' DEAL. I was a little sad when I realized that I was pulling for the wrong guy in the love triangle, but I'm looking forward to his story next. I also really enjoyed the Italian setting. I felt transported there and that's always a nice treat. Very quick and sexy read!

View all my reviews

And here's the blurb:
Have you ever gone just a little too far?

Lexie Banks has.

Yep. She just had mind-blowing sex with her stepbrother. In her defense, she was on the rebound, and it's more of a my-dad-happened-to-marry-a-woman-with-a-super-hot-son situation. But still, he's been her best friend and confidant for the better part of the last few years ... and is so off limits. It's a good thing she's leaving in two days for a year abroad in Rome.

But even thousands of miles away, Lexie can't seem to escape trouble. Raised Catholic, she goes to confession in hopes of alleviating some of her guilt ... and maybe not burning in hell. Instead, she stumbles out of the confessional and right into Alessandro Moretti, a young and very easy-on-the-eyes deacon ... only eight months away from becoming a priest. Lexie and Alessandro grow closer, and when Alessandro's signals start changing despite his vow of celibacy, she doesn't know what to think. She's torn between falling in love with the man she shouldn't want and the man she can't have. And she isn't sure how she can live with herself either way.
 

If that blurb doesn't sell you, I don't know what will. :)  Also, I'm excited that Lisa is one of the authors in the Fifty First Times anthology I'm contributing too. (I actually didn't realize that until after I'd read her book, lol.) Btw, if you missed the announcement about the anthology, you can find out the details here. :)

*Also, if you entered my 50 Book Giveaway, all winners have been chosen and contacted. Thanks to all of you who participated and spread the word! :)

So how do you feel about taboo or forbidden romance stories? Has anyone read either of these.

 

Big Announcement: FIFTY FIRST TIMES - A New Adult Anthology!

 

So I've been sitting on this news for a while and today I can finally announce it. This December (release date tentative), I'm going to be contributing a story to a brand new New Adult Anthology of short stories called FIFTY FIRST TIMES, releasing from Avon Impulse! 

I'm super excited about this project not just because of the awesome theme but because the group of authors in this anthology is beyond awesome. Authors like J. Lynn, Molly McAdams, Lisa Desrochers, Sophie Jordan, Carrie Ryan...the list is long and totally kickass. You can see the full list here on Goodreads.  I can't wait to read their stories.

Here's the official Publisher's Marketplace Announcement:

Julie Cross's FIFTY FIRST TIMES: A NEW ADULT ANTHOLOGY, in which 19 favorite and bestselling authors, including J. Lynn, Carrie Ryan, and Sophie Jordan write fictional stories about their characters' first time, to Tessa Woodward at Avon Impulse, for publication in December 2013, by Nicole Resciniti at The Seymour Agency.

My story is one of two male/male stories in the anthology. "Two In the Morning" (title tentative) is about Malcolm and Bates, two college roommates and childhood best friends. Bates has realized he's in love with his best friend. And Malcolm has no clue Bates is gay. So when the two have to travel home together for Thanksgiving and share a bed at Malcolm's family's house, things are going to get complicated. I can't wait for y'all to read it. It was SO much fun to write. 

Here are the opening lines of my story (told from Bates' POV):

There were three things I knew for sure as I lay in the dark of my cinder-block cell of a dorm room.

One: I shouldn’t be awake.

Two: I definitely should not be listening to my roommate round second base with Cami/Cassie/Chloe, or whatever her C-name was.

And, three: I should not be sporting the monster of all hard-ons from all those deep, growly sounds Malcolm kept making.

 

Now, this anthology is the brainchild of my friend and fellow author, Julie Cross. She's the one who came up with the idea, gathered the authors, and is editing the stories. So, I'll share what she has to say about the project...

From Julie Cross:

FIFTY FIRST TIMES: A NEW ADULT ANTHOLOGY

Fifty First Times is a collection of fictional short stories from variety of published Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult Romance authors aimed at a New Adult audience. Each story magnifies a moment in two characters’ lives that shows the reader their decision to take physical intimacy to a new level, the events leading up to this moment and in some cases, the events that follow.

MY VISION FOR THE BOOK

Despite the implications from the description, Fifty First Times is not a book about sex. It’s about trust. It’s about the difference between love and lust. It’s about responsibility and growing up. It’s about each character’s individual definition of virginity which varies considerably from story to story. It’s about the couple who decides not to go through with it, the two boys who finally aren’t ashamed, the eighteen year olds in WWII era who’s wedding night could very well be their last night together, the deaf pair who have no choice but to take body language to a new level, the boy grieving the death of a close relative who meets an unexpected stranger on a road trip, the girl who’s drunken one night stand helps her come to terms with her feelings for a guy she’s been too afraid to open up to, the couple trapped in a fallout shelter anxiously awaiting the end of the world in a dystopian future, the pair facing racial and culture barriers proving that love can exist underneath the external layers of humanity, and of course the two young people fumbling and laughing, getting everything wrong yet making a memory that will never fade.

 

Doesn't all of that sound so awesome? I mean, I'm in the thing and *I* can't wait to read the variety of stories. So what do you think? Are you ready to read something from the "New Adult" side of me? ;)

UPDATE: It's now up for pre-order on Kindle (even though the title needs to be fixed on this listing).

Fill Your Shelves for Fall Book Giveaway (Day 5) - Historical Romances & A Genre Grab Bag!

If you missed it this week, I'm doing a huge giveaway of over FIFTY romances this week. Each day I'm featuring a different subgenre. We've been at it all week with different romance genres. But today is the day for Historical Romance and a special Mixed Genre Grab Bag.

Historical Prize Pack: 

AND

To Enter: You MUST fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Simply leaving a comment will not enter you for the contest. Contest ends Friday Sept. 20. Winner will be chosen and notified the following week.

Note: Contest for U.S. and Canada Only. Some books in the prizes packs are used. Signed books (besides Caught Up In You) are signed To Roni since these are books from my personal library and were not donated by the author. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Mixed Genre Grab Bag of Goodness: 

PLUS

A signed copy of CAUGHT UP IN YOU

To Enter: You MUST fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Simply leaving a comment will not enter you for the contest. Contest ends Friday Sept. 20. Winner will be chosen and notified the following week.

Note: Contest for U.S. and Canada Only. Some books in the prizes packs are used. Signed books (besides Caught Up In You) are signed To Roni since these are books from my personal library and were not donated by the author. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*You can enter as many of this week's contests as you would like. You're not limited to only entering one. So be sure to click back through previous posts from the week. :)

THE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK WAS...

  • Monday: Contemporary Romance
  • Tuesday: Paranormal Romance
  • Wednesday: Erotic Romance
  • Thurday: Young Adult
  • Friday: Historical Romance and A Mixed Genre Grab Bag

CONTEST CLOSES NEXT FRIDAY!!! Winners will be contacted after that.

Thanks to all those who entered and have a great weekend!

Fill Your Shelves for Fall Book Giveaway (Day 4) - Thirteen YA Romances!

If you missed it earlier this week, I'm doing a huge giveaway of over FIFTY romances this week. Each day I'm featuring a different subgenre. We've already covered contemporary, paranormal, and erotic, and there's still time to enter those as well. But today is the day for Young Adult Romance!

Today we have two prize packs:

Prize Pack #1:

AND (if you're over 18, you also get...)

To Enter: You MUST fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Simply leaving a comment will not enter you for the contest. Contest ends Friday Sept. 20. Winner will be chosen and notified the following week.

Note: Contest for U.S. and Canada Only. Some books in the prizes packs are used. Signed books (besides Caught Up In You) are signed To Roni since these are books from my personal library and were not donated by the author. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

YA Prize Pack #2:

PLUS a signed copy of CAUGHT UP IN YOU (if you're over 18 years old)

To Enter: You MUST fill out the Rafflecopter form below (you can enter both giveaways but miss fill out both forms). Simply leaving a comment will not enter you for the contest. Contest ends Friday Sept. 20. Winner will be chosen and notified the following week.

Note: Contest for U.S. and Canada Only. Some books in the prizes packs are used. Signed books (besides Caught Up In You) are signed To Roni since these are books from my personal library and were not donated by the author. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


 

*You can enter as many of this week's contests as you would like. You're not limited to only entering one. So be sure to stop by throughout the week. :)

THE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK:

  • Monday: Contemporary Romance
  • Tuesday: Paranormal Romance
  • Wednesday: Erotic Romance
  • Thurday: Young Adult
  • Friday: Historical Romance and A Mixed Genre Grab Bag

Fill Your Shelves for Fall Book Giveaway (Day 3) - 8 Erotic Romances!

If you missed it on Monday, I'm doing a huge giveaway of over FIFTY romances this week. Each day I'm featuring a different subgenre. We've already covered Contemporary Romance and Paranormal Romance, and there's still time to enter those as well. But today is my personal favorite, Erotic Romance.

Today's prize pack includes EIGHT Erotic Romances including signed copies for my two latest releases, Fall Into You and Caught Up In You.


To Enter: You MUST fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Simply leaving a comment will not enter you for the contest. Contest ends Friday Sept. 20. Winner will be chosen and notified the following week.

Note: Contest for U.S. and Canada Only. (And this one in particular is for 18+ age group.) Some books in the prizes packs are used. Signed books (besides Caught Up In You) are signed To Roni since these are books from my personal library and were not donated by the author. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


 

*You can enter as many of this week's contests as you would like. You're not limited to only entering one. So be sure to stop by throughout the week. :)

THE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK:

  • Monday: Contemporary Romance
  • Tuesday: Paranormal Romance
  • Wednesday: Erotic Romance
  • Thurday: Young Adult
  • Friday: Historical Romance and A Mixed Genre Grab Bag

Fill Your Shelves for Fall Book Giveaway (Day 2) - 10 Paranormal Romances!

If you missed it yesterday, I'm doing a huge giveaway of over FIFTY romances this week. Each day I'm featuring a different subgenre. Yesterday was contemporary romance, and there's still time to enter that one as well. But today is the day for Paranormal Romance.

Today's prize pack includes TEN Paranormal Romances plus a signed copy of my book, Caught Up In You (erotic romance).

Paranormal Prize Pack: 

 

* Heart of Evil by Heather Graham is not pictures but is included. It was a late addition. :)

AND

 

To Enter: You MUST fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Simply leaving a comment will not enter you for the contest. Contest ends Friday Sept. 20. Winner will be chosen and notified the following week.

Note: Contest for U.S. and Canada Only. Some books in the prizes packs are used. Signed books (besides Caught Up In You) are signed To Roni since these are books from my personal library and were not donated by the author. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


 

*You can enter as many of this week's contests as you would like. You're not limited to only entering one. So be sure to stop by throughout the week. :)

THE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK:

  • Monday: Contemporary Romance
  • Tuesday: Paranormal Romance
  • Wednesday: Erotic Romance
  • Thurday: Young Adult
  • Friday: Historical Romance and A Mixed Genre Grab Bag

 

The Fill Your Shelves for Fall Book Giveaway (Day 1) - Over 50 Romances Up For Grabs!

50/365:Word Canyon

Photo courtesy of Madzia Bryll (flicker cc)

So, typically, I'm of the stance that one can never have too many books. Unfortunately, my house and bookselves (and hubs) disagree. There are lots of books and then there are Hoarders-episode-worthy LOTS of books.

I'm lucky as an author that I now get a lot of freebies and such at conferences. This is a wonderful thing. However, while I've been getting lots of free books, that hasn't stopped me from continuing to buy books. And yes, before you ask, I have an e-reader. That one is glutted too. But I still like print in the mix. (My reading is currently 50/50 between print and e.) 

And frankly, there is nothing sadder to me than an unread book on a shelf that is getting ignored. Or a perfectly well-conditioned read book that could be read by someone else instead of sitting there for eternty. (I'm not a re-reader.)

So my obsession is your good fortune. Over the last few weeks, I've gone through the tough task of sifting through my shelves and trimming down (*cough* so I can make space for new books--don't tell hubs.) After I was done, I was left with about a hundred books that needed new homes. Some were well-used and therefore were donated to the library. But half of them were still in excellent condition (many never read, some signed by the author) and I thought it'd be fun to pass those along to you in a massive giveaway. :D

Are you in?

Good. Over this week, I'll be posting a new giveaway each day. Prize packs are going to be divided (roughly) by genre and will all include a signed copy of my newest release, CAUGHT UP IN YOU!

On today's docket...Contemporary Romance!

PRIZE PACK #1 

 

AND

 

To Enter: You MUST fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Simply leaving a comment will not enter you for the contest. Contest ends Friday Sept. 20. Winner will be chosen and notified the following week.

Note: Contest for U.S. and Canada Only. (International readers: I'm working on doing something for UK/Australia with ebooks soon, but this particular contest would be too cost prohibitive with shipping.) Some books in the prizes packs are used. Signed books (besides Caught Up In You) are signed To Roni since these are books from my personal library and were not donated by the author. 

RAFFLECOPTER FOR PRIZE PACK #1:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

PRIZE PACK #2 

AND

 

To Enter: You MUST fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Simply leaving a comment will not enter you for the contest. Contest ends Friday Sept. 20. Winner will be chosen and notified the following week.

Note: Contest for U.S. and Canada Only. Some books in the prizes packs are used. Signed books (besides Caught Up In You) are signed To Roni since these are books from my personal library and were not donated by the author. 

RAFFLECOPTER for PRIZE PACK #2:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 


 

*You can enter as many of this week's contests as you would like. You're not limited to only entering one. So be sure to stop by throughout the week. :)

THE SCHEDULE FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK:

 

  • Tuesday: Paranormal Romance
  • Wednesday: Erotic Romance
  • Thurday: Young Adult
  • Friday: Historical Romance and A Mixed Genre Grab Bag