Tag Archives: all fired up

Top Ten Tuesday (31): Top Ten Books for YA and Contemporary Romance Newbies

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the gals at The Broke and the Bookish

I’m going to do a split version for this week and do a top five for YA books and another top five for Contemporary Romance books. So here we go…

Top Five Books for YA Newbies…

 

Jellicoe Road
JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta. My general belief is that everybody should read this book at least once in his/her life. 🙂 It’s an amazingly woven, poignant, and powerful story. Here’s my attempt to REVIEW this.

 

fangirl
FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell. If you need an initiation to the YA genre, you’ve got to try Rainbow Rowell’s YA books.

 

since you've been gone
SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE by Morgan Matson. I love the plot and character development in this one. It was great being with Emily in her journey of discoveries.

 

the winner's curse
THE WINNER’S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski. This is a historical fantasy variation of YA, whose story presents sides that you will have a hard time choosing over. Here’s my REVIEW.

 

queen of attolia
THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA by Megan Whalen Turner. This is actually the 2nd book in The Queen’s Thief series and my favorite. But I would still recommend reading the series in order to get that full impact of MWT’s genius.

 

Continue reading Top Ten Tuesday (31): Top Ten Books for YA and Contemporary Romance Newbies

Review: All Fired Up by Kate Meader

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Title: All Fired Up

Author: Kate Meader

Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)

Release Date: November 5, 2013

Source: eARC via NetGalley

From Goodreads:

Her sweetest mistake . . . 

Cool as a Chicago winter, private events planner Cara DeLuca is a model of self-control . . . until she meets the one temptation she can’t resist: Shane Doyle. The sexy, Irish pastry chef is too hot, too sure, too young, and after a crazy night in Vegas-her new husband. While at first Cara wants nothing more than a way out of her sham marriage to Shane, she soon finds that beneath his farm boy demeanor lies a man who can match her drive, both in and out of the bedroom. How can the wrong guy feel so deliciously right?

. . . Tastes so, so good

Shane has carefully structured his career and life around one goal: connecting with the family that doesn’t know he exists. Marrying a woman with more issues than a magazine stand wasn’t part of the plan, but melting Cara’s icy exterior is so worth the detour. Now as the annulment date nears and long-buried secrets are revealed, Shane will have to fight for the one thing guaranteeing the perfect life he craves . . . the current Mrs. Shane Doyle.

 

 

It took me a while to get into the groove of Kate Meader’s writing but when I got into it, I was in it for the long haul. At first, I thought it would be a simple, ‘we got married in Vegas but we’re strangers or we can have the ultimate benefits without commitments’ type of romance but the depth of the story caught me by surprise. And that endeared me to Cara and Shane.

 

Shane is a pastry chef making his own name in the industry but he moves to LA and then Chicago to be closer to his remaining family, who by the way does not know about him at all. Now he’s working under Jack Kilroy, superstar chef, in his Chicago restaurant. On a drunken night in Vegas, he ends up hitched to none other than Jack Kilroy’s soon-to-be sister-in-law and ex-producer of his TV show, Cara DeLuca. And while Shane is as swoon-worthy a hero as they come, it was Cara that really fascinated me in the book.

 

She used to be Jack Kilroy’s producer and her biggest career break would have happened if not for the sudden change in Jack Kilroy’s life plans, which included Cara’s younger sister, Lili. Now, she’s managing events for Jack Kilroy’s Chicago restaurant and hoping to expand the business so she could really flex her managing and organizational skills. She’s seen as aloof and cold by the restaurant staff and it doesn’t help that she can’t even join them in meals during break time. But she has a few secrets of her own and a guilt that she won’t let leave her. Plus, she didn’t count on getting married to an Irish pastry chef, who’s not keen on getting an annulment when, really, they said their ‘I-do’s’ under the influence of alcohol.

 

A lot happened in the book, from co-habitation shenanigans, meeting the DeLuca clan, a rough rugby game, a trip to The Bean, some line-dancing, motorcycle trips around the city, and cooking. I loved all these but the one the I loved the most in this book is the trajectory of the characters’ development.

 

I especially adored Cara’s transition from this insecure and guilt-ridden woman to someone who loves herself more and believes in the power of acceptance and understanding. It’s actually the first time that I’ve read a book covering Cara’s particular issue and I really appreciated the treatment that Kate Meader gave to this specific subject. The way it was presented: the story left me heartbroken at first but then I saw the strength in Cara to be able to go through what she had and still triumph over the adversity in the end. It was a joy to read, really.

 

This is one of those novels that really show the readers how the two main characters fit with each other. Saying they complete each other would be a bit cliche but I love how compatible and complementary Cara and Shane are with one another. Even though they’ve completely led different lives growing up, I think they are kindred spirits. For instance, they both feel removed from their families. Shane didn’t have any family left expect the one in Chicago who has no idea of him. Cara, on the other hand, has the lovely DeLuca family but her struggles before and the consequential guilt have left her feeling like an outsider. But their understanding of each other’s feelings and disposition is one of the things that made me believe they are undoubtedly good, even perfect, for each other.

 

Since this is my first Kate Meader novel, I didn’t know what to expect from her book. I mentioned earlier about having to get into the groove of her writing but I was hooked afterwards. I love her wit. She had me laughing out loud countless of times throughout the book. And then she would have me choking back tears in some. And I love that even though there were plenty of hot, and I mean hot scenes in there, she also gave me a lot of heart. This book reminds me of what I feel when I read Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ books. Their books are both sexy, charming, laugh-out-loud, but heartwarming.

 

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars

 

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About the author:

KateMeader-author-300x300Kate writes contemporary romance that serves up delicious food, to-die-for heroes, and heroines with a dash of sass. Originally from Ireland, she cut her romance reader teeth on Catherine Cookson and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Mills & Boons thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron, and she’s there. She has a bachelor’s in law (useless), a master’s in history (not as useless), and another master’s in library and information science (yay, using). When not writing about men who cook and the women who drool over them, she works in an academic library. Her stories are set in her adopted home town of Chicago, a city made for food, romance, and laughter – and where she met her own sexy hero.

Kate is represented by Nicole Resciniti at The Seymour Agency.

Learn more about her via her Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

 

 

 

 

Thursday Quotables (2)

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Thursday Quotables is a weekly meme hosted at Bookshelf Fantasies. You choose a quote from your latest book read for the week. It can be a quote that made smile or laugh, had you crying, or just interesting in general.

 

This week, I quote from Kate Meader’s latest release, All Fired Up.

 

“I know you’ve been wondering how we got here, Cara. How we both could have done something so crazy.” He caressed her hip, absorbing the shock of heat he found there. “This is what happened that night. This feeling.”

He wished he could articulate it better but that was the best he could do. There she had stood in the middle of her family and friends, looking like the experience was entirely alien to her. Like she had been deposited there from the mother ship and didn’t recognize a single person. Shane knew exactly how that felt–to not belong, to be unsure of your place. The night had been spent turning wisps of recognition into strings of connection. They got drunk, they shared stories, they laughed a lot.

 

 

16173214I’m loving this book so much right now. Shane and Cara are characters that I genuinely want to know better. And I like how Kate Meader slowly but surely lets her readers get to know these intriguing, mysterious, flawed characters. 

 

I love the quote above because it’s one of the prime examples in the book, among many, of how these two people, who would have nothing common between them at first glance, seem to find common ground in the most unlikely of things: their innermost emotions. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Monday: What are you reading? (4)

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. It’s a great opportunity for bloggers to post what books they plan to read for the week. Here are some of the books that made it to my TBR list this week.

 

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All Fired Up by Kate Meader

Kiss Me on This Cold December Night by Charlotte Phillips

Along Came Trouble by Erin Kern

 

I received eARCs of these books and I can’t wait to read them all. I’ve started with All Fired Up. The story is intriguing and I got hooked right away.

 

What about you? It’s Monday! What are you reading?

 

 

 

It’s Monday: What are you reading? (2)

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. It’s a great opportunity for bloggers to post what books they plan to read for the week.

I recently received approvals from some of my requested ARCs from NetGalley so I’m lining them all up for my TBR list. Here are few that are on the top of my list and there summaries from Goodreads:

 

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The Rogue’s Proposal by Jennifer Haymore

Melting Ms. Frost by Kat Black

All Fired Up by Kate Meader

Turned by Virna DePaul

 

 

 

The Rogue’s Proposal by Jennifer Haymore

Lord Lukas Hawkins, the rakish second son of the House of Trent, has never found a wager he couldn’t win or a woman he couldn’t seduce—until his search for his missing mother leads him to a mysterious encounter with a beautiful stranger.

Luke’s mother has been missing for months, and while his honorable older brother Simon, Duke of Trent, leads the official investigation from London, Luke sets out on a somewhat seedier path. Sources have told him his mother was last seen with a scoundrel named Roger Morton, but their association isn’t clear. Was she kidnapped or did she go willingly?

While searching for Morton, Luke meets Emma Anderson, a secretive beauty with her own reasons for hunting Morton. At first Luke laughs at the idea of allowing a woman to join him in his search, but soon Emma’s insights into Morton—like the woman herself—prove impossible to resist.

 

 

Melting Ms. Frost by Kat Black

When Aidan Flynn walks into Cluny’s Restaurant, he can’t take his eyes off his new flame-haired boss, Annabel Frost. With his heart set on seducing her, Aidan can think of nothing but getting beneath her cold exterior.

Known as one of the toughest women in the business, Annabel is impervious to Aidan’s many charms, and his grey-eyed gaze and lilting Irish accent do anything but captivate her.

But Aidan knows there’s more to Annabel than meets the eye. And he’s not going to stop until he reveals all…

 

 

All Fired Up by Kate Meader

Her sweetest mistake . . .

Cool as a Chicago winter, private events planner Cara DeLuca is a model of self-control . . . until she meets the one temptation she can’t resist: Shane Doyle. The sexy, Irish pastry chef is too hot, too sure, too young, and after a crazy night in Vegas – her new husband. While at first Cara wants nothing more than a way out of her sham marriage to Shane, she soon finds that beneath his farm boy demeanor lies a man who can match her drive, both in and out of the bedroom. How can the wrong guy feel so deliciously right?

. . . Tastes so, so good

Shane has carefully structured his career and life around one goal: connecting with the family that doesn’t know he exists. Marrying a woman with more issues than a magazine stand wasn’t part of the plan, but melting Cara’s icy exterior is so worth the detour. Now as the annulment date nears and long-buried secrets are revealed, Shane will have to fight for the one thing guaranteeing the perfect life he craves . . . the current Mrs. Shane Doyle.

 

 

Turned (The Belladonna Agency #1) by Virna DePaul

Welcome to a mesmerizing world where vampires hide among humans. This centuries-old species has its own rules, code of conduct, and taboos. Only the FBI knows that vampires exist—and although the Bureau agrees to keep their secret, it also plots to give humans the upper hand.

Turning mortals into vampires is forbidden.

But there are creatures who refuse to play by the rules.

Ever since he was turned, FBI special agent Ty Duncan has had one mission: bring rogue vampires to justice. As a recruiter for Belladonna, a shadow agency formed to keep vampires in check, Ty must tap Ana Martin, a troubled ex–gang member and one of the few mortals who can infiltrate places that his kind and the law cannot. From their first encounter, Ty fights a hunger to make Ana his own.

When Ty claims to have information about Ana’s missing sister, Ana has no choice but to trust this captivating stranger who awakens her deepest desires. But as she and Ty climb the heights of pleasure and passion, an enemy is conspiring to destroy them both.

Can Ana help Ty find his humanity in a love that could heal them both, or will their passion lead them into a darkness impossible to escape?

 

 

This is my first time reading these authors but I’m really excited with these book summaries. I’ve actually started Jennifer Haymore and I can’t wait to read the rest.

 

What about you, guys? It’s Monday. What are you reading? I’d love to hear from you.