Friday, February 10, 2017

Favorite Re-Reads...Friday Five for Feb 10

The last couple of days, I've been coming off a migraine, so I'm running behind this week. 

As a result, the Friday Five is something different. 

Today, I'm going to list my top 5 favorite books to reread...

First...two all-time favorites:

Paradise and Perfect were Judith McNaught's first foray into contemporary romance and wow...she knocked them out of the water. The tropes she used are mainstays today...second chance at love in Paradise...and the ultimate bad-boy, the ex-con...or in the case of Perfect, the escaped criminal. 

Both books moved me emotionally...I honestly think these were the first books to ever make me sob while reading.
So much love...

I adore both of them. 
Corporate raider Matthew Farrell had come a long way from the poor, scruffy kid of Indiana's steel mills. A long way from the country club where, feeling like an outsider, he had dared to fall in love with a beautiful blonde named Meredith Bancroft, and known a once-in-a-lifetime passion and betrayal that still haunted his memory... Now world leaders courted him, the media watched his every move, and he was ready to move in on the Bancroft empire.

A cool, poised executive in her family's legendary department store chain, Meredith had once defied her father for the sexually magnetic, intense Matt Farrell -- and their brief, ill-fated marriage was the disastrous outcome. Now, as the Bancroft firm is threatened by a hostile takeover, Meredith is forced to confront Matt. As tensions build between them, bittersweet memories rise to the surface, leaving them suspicious, restless, and uncertain. Will they be able to believe in each other -- and grasp the tender miracle that is before them?

A rootless foster child, Julie Mathison had blossomed under the love showered upon her by her adoptive family. Now a lovely and vivacious young woman, she was a respected teacher in her small Texas town, and she passionately lived her ideals. Julie was determined to give back all the kindness she'd received; nothing and no one would ever shatter the perfect life she had fashioned.
Zachary Benedict was an actor/director whose Academy Award-winning career had been shattered when he was wrongly convicted of murdering his wife. After the tall, ruggedly handsome Zack escaped from a Texas prison, he abducted Julie and forced her to drive him to his Colorado mountain hideout. She was outraged, cautious, and unable to ignore the instincts that whispered of his innocence. He was cynical, wary, and increasingly attracted to her. Passion was about to capture them both in its fierce embrace...but the journey to trust, true commitment, and proving Zack's innocence was just beginning....
I'll admit, it's been a few years since I re-read either one of these, but just talking about them now, I need to go dig them out. (Yes, I have them both in hardback.) Seriously...storytelling at its finest. 

This book is officially a young adult book, but it has such a great message to it. It's about a kid who wrecked in a needless car accident and lost the ability to speak...something horrific as a teenager. But as the story progresses, he realizes just how lucky he is as details come out about the girl he's in love with and what she's been dealing with for the last year.
Getting drunk homecoming night your senior year is never a good idea, but Jake Hayes never expected it all to end with a car crash and a t-post embedded in his throat. His biggest regret about it all? What he never said to Samantha Shay. He's been in love with her for years and never had the guts to tell her. Now it's too late. Because after that night, Jake will never be able to talk again. When Jake returns to his small island home, population 5,000, he'll have to learn how to deal with being mute. He also finds that his family isn't limited to his six brothers and sisters, that sometimes an entire island is watching out for you. And when he gets the chance to spend more time with Samantha, she'll help him learn that not being able to talk isn't the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Maybe, if she'll let him, Jake will finally tell her what he didn't say before, even if he can't actually say it. 

This next book is just a little novella. It's about a married couple who are trying to spice up their lives after 15 years of marriage. The book completely resonated with me and I reread it about once a year...just because I love it. 

After fifteen years of marriage, Jessica Meyers's sex life is, well, a little predictable. Her handsome husband turns her on, but missionary style once or twice a week? It just can't compare to the hot new world she discovers in the pages of erotic romances. Her fantasies fuel the fire of her desire, adding a new spark to her and Alex's lovemaking. But Jess is afraid to tell her husband what she really wants in bed—and her secrets start coming between them.

State trooper Alex Meyers is a master at uncovering the truth—except when it comes to his sweet, shy wife. She's clearly keeping something from him. An affair? She wants out? When he finally confronts Jess, he's shocked to learn she wants to turn her forbidden fantasies into nightly realities. But when he takes her to a unique B and B—Bondage and Breakfast—catering to couples and multiples, Alex is about to find out just how far he'll go.

27,000 words

These next two books are my go-to audiobook favorites. They're both m/m stories, but completely different in their tone and story. 

Beneath the Stain is an epic story that covers several years of a rock band and the life of Mackey...which is fraught with heartbreak and heartache. This is one of those books that even years later when I think about it can bring me to tears. So emotional, so deep, definitely full of angst.
16 hrs 36 mins

In a town as small as Tyson, CA, everybody knew the four brothers with the four different fathers-- and their penchant for making good music when they weren't getting into trouble. For Mackey Sanders, playing in Outbreak Monkey with his brothers and their friends—especially Grant Adams--made Tyson bearable. But Grant has plans for getting Mackey and the Sanders boys out of Tyson, even if that means staying behind.

Between the heartbreak of leaving Grant and the terrifying, glamorous life of rock stardom, Mackey is adrift and sinking fast. When he's hit rock bottom, Trav Ford shows up, courtesy of their record company and a producer who wants to see what Mackey can do if he doesn't flame out first. But cleaning up his act means coming clean about Grant, and that's not easy to do or say. Mackey might make it with Trav's help--but Trav's not sure he's going to survive falling in love with Mackey.

Mackey James Sanders comes with a whole lot of messy, painful baggage, and law-and-order Trav doesn't do messy or painful. And just when Trav thinks they may have mastered every demon in Mackey's past, the biggest, baddest demon of all comes knocking.

The opposite side of the spectrum is Lightning-Struck Heart. Anyone who loves audiobooks should grab this one NOW, whether you like m/m stories or not. Because this book is amazing. It's about the journey to love in all of it's awkwardness and heartache, and all those little moments to cherish. It's an amazing story and I cannot recommend it enough. If you like stories that make you happy to the point where you laugh out loud, you need to read this one. I even recommend this one for non-m/m readers. (the sex is very, very light)
19 hrs 48 mins

Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.

Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam's pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the King's Wizard, Morgan of Shadows.

When Sam is fourteen, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.

At fifteen, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle. Sir Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.

Naturally, it all goes to hell through the years when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can't control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the King sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan's boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.

Or so he thinks.


And finally, I'm going to end with a couple of classics that I like to reread every few years.

Little Women is probably not a surprise. I think a lot of people have it on their favorites list. My favorite part though is the Pickwick childhood was made up of creating things like faux newspapers, and I just love this book for what it does with those scenes between the sisters.
Grown-up Meg, tomboyish Jo, timid Beth, and precocious Amy. The four March sisters couldn't be more different. But with their father away at war, and their mother working to support the family, they have to rely on one another. Whether they're putting on a play, forming a secret society, or celebrating Christmas, there's one thing they can't help wondering: Will Father return home safely?
Pollyanna may be more of a surprise, but this book saved my sanity through my teenage years when teenage angst had a strong hold. If something went wrong in my life, this was the book I escaped into. Seriously, how can you be sad when faced with the Glad Game? This was a mainstay of my childhood...

One of the all-time classics of children's literature, a feel-good book full of enthusiasm and exuberance, and a perfect family read.

"There is something about everything that you can be glad about, if you keep hunting long enough to find it."

When Pollyanna Whittier's father dies, she is sent to live with her Aunt Polly in Vermont. 

A clash of personalities ensues as Pollyanna's sunny disposition sits ill with her aunt's need for quiet, her passion for shutting windows, and her obsession with quietly shut doors. The key to Pollyanna's happiness is The Glad GameOCooriginally invented to deal with disappointing missionary boxesOCoand is applied to all parts of life. No matter how dark the situation, it is always possible to find something to be glad about. Any attempts to discipline the child fail helplessly in the face of The Glad Game. A bread and milk supper in the kitchen is greeted with rapture; a puritan attic bedroom with sparse furnishing is valued for its rapturous views. As Pollyanna becomes acquainted with other inhabitants of the town, the cantankerous residents fall victim to her charms. However, the arrival of a motor car in town heralds a tragic change which not even Pollyanna looks likely to be able to overcome.

This timeless classic has spawned many spin-off novels and films."


So, now it's your turn...what books do you reread over and over and over again? 

I hope you all find some time to read this weekend!

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