Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wrapping Up 2015: New Authors Reading Challenge 2015

Yeeehaaa! Welcome to 2016, ladies and gentlemen!
I'm so excited, because to me, 2016 is a year of changes: I have stuffs to finish, an engineering degree to get, projects to oversee, and actually, I want to have a real boyfriend this year, not just book boyfriends, because let's be frank here, I'll always find new book boyfriends to put on my Book Boyfriend Brigade :V It's not important, though. The real boyfriend part.

Last year I signed up for New Authors Reading Challenge hosted by Ren's Little Corner. And because I happen to have a couple hours before my meds kick in, I'll do the Wrap Up Post now!

I only got 45 books out of this RC, and sadly, I could only fulfill four out of six categories, which are What's In A Name, Genre 101, Ebook Lover, and Series Addict.

Welcome 2016!

I can't believe 2015 is ending in less than 5 hours! It's 7.10 by the time I started writing the post.

The year 2015 has been an interesting one, to say the least. There are several things happened to me personally, and also, blogging activity in this year is better than last year, if I dare to say.

There's nothing special in writing this post down, actually. Just a quick recap of my reading and blogging activity in 2015.

I set my target for reading 100 books in 2015. Well, to be honest, it was stalled by July-August because I was too busy with school. But in the end, I read 104 books. In blogging, I got total 43 reviews this year. Again, I posted absolutely nothing in August, because I was in a place where internet connection was shaky at best.

Check Out My Books Here

And here are twenty reviews I like the most, hehe. Just 20 out of 43, because I didn't have the patience to combine all 43 covers. Hit me XD

Speaking of New Year, it's not quite complete if you don't talk about resolutions. I'm not good in following up my resolutions, actually. But for one year, I want to make resolutions regarding this blog. For 2016, I just have 3 things to do:
  1. Giving this blog a domain, so instead of, I want to make it I'm giving it a deadline, which is in July
  2. Writing at least 50 reviews. If I can do 43, I can write up 50
  3. Being more involved in The Rock Stars of Romance: doing blog tour, release blitz, cover releases, etc. At least ONCE in a month
So that's all! Happy New Year, everyone. Me, Nina Ridyananda, and my entire harem of Book Boyfriends Brigade wish you a prosper year, a fulfilling year, and more importantly, a good and nice New Year celebration. Don't get too drunk, guys! See you on the other side of the year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Review: The Deal

Title : The Deal
Series : Off-Campus #1
Author : Elle Kennedy
Edition : Kindle
Release Date: February 2015
Page counts : 358 pages
Language : English
Genre : New Adult, Sport, Contemporary Romance
Average Rating : 4.36 (per December 31, 2015)
Hotness Scale : 3/5
Read date : December 26, 2015
Add to Goodreads

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy... 

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

...and it’s going to be oh so good. 

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

The Deal has been on my TBR list for a while, ever since I noticed The Mistake (book 2 of the series). I didn't know what to expect, and I obviously underestimated this book at first. I know Elle Kennedy, though I've never read her books before. After this one I'll make sure to try on her other books as well.

Hannah Wells makes a deal with the captain of Briarcrest's hockey team, Garrett Graham. For her tutoring sessions, Garrett will help her to draw the attention of her dream guy. Garrett doesn't expect to kiss her, or feeling good around her. And Hannah doesn't expect herself to care about the cocky captain and his sweet ways.

"You knw, a gentleman would offer to sleep on the floor."
"Do I look like a gentleman to you"
She laughs at that. "Nope."

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Secret Santa 2015: Gift and Riddle

Special in Indonesian #sokbangetdeh

Tahun ini adalah tahun keempat aku ikut Secret Santa BBI. Kali pertama di tahun 2012, aku dapat buku Matched. Tahun kedua, 2013, aku dapat dua buku yaitu Time of Death dan Wild Invitations. Tahun lalu, aku dapet Burn for Me. Semuanya favorit aku, muahaha. Well, karena kan semua buku ini wishlist aku :D

Oke cukup. Tahun ini, aku juga nggak melewatkan Secret Santa dong. Agak dagdigdug duer karena aku jadi PIC alias Person In Charge! Waaaah #paniksendiri Jadi selama sebulanan ini aku dan temen-temen Event (Mbak Nana, Chei dan Mput) menjadi penghubung 57 peserta! #cuewajahpanik Memang ada beberapa halangan, sedikit false alarms, Santa yang belum mengirim hingga minggu terakhir, Target yang berubah alamat, dan sebagainya. Tapi overall, sampai sekarang, belum ada deramah yang bener-bener bikin pusing #crossingfingers

Jadi tahun ini, top wishlist aku adalah Magnus Chase. Sepupu Annabeth Chase dan ternyata punya darah dewa Nordic. Buku pertamanya diberi judul The Sword of Summer, dan aku udah nggak sabar segera membaca buku ini!

Aaaand, this year aku dapet buku itu dan tambahan pengharum ruangan Literaroma berbau jeruk serta gantungan kunci authentic China.

Wrapping Up 2015: My Top 5 Reads in 2015

First, let me say that picking up five books from one hundred plus is not easy. The books I've read are all good, with only a small percentage being not worth my efforts. And so, having to pick 5 titles is hard, like picking up your favorite male models! Ugh.

This year is a particularly interesting for me, because I've been reading many contemporary romance books, and found out that I have a soft spot for redeemable heroes. Lev Leokov, for one. And then Caine Carraway. Many of Kristen Ashley's heroes. There are also several heroines I came to love, subgenres of romance I dig in.

First on the list is Lev by Belle Aurora. Check the book here. It's an interesting story between a homeless girl being rescued by a man who later fall in love with each other. I totally adore both main characters, the little girl Lidiya, and even the grumpy Sasha. So far, Lev is my favorite of all Belle Aurora's books.

Read My Review Here

Next up is Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh. Add it to your GR shelf!. Whoaaa. This book is my favorite of the series so far. I fell in love with Zaira's way to love Aden. She feels like the hero, instead of heroine. How Nalini wrote her up as the one with the monster inside, I was stunned. And Aden is an interesting character, pictured as the quiet leader with strong influence. It doesn't hurt that the cover is gorgeous.

Read My Review Here

Hearts of Fire by L.H. Cosway captivated my heart. You want to take a look at the blurb? Here's the GR link. The first to get me was the Circus Spektakular and the whimsical feel of the cover. I love the characters, Lille with her artistic heart, Jack with his quiet adoration to Lille. It was a heartbreaking and delightful read, and I enjoyed the book so much I managed to re-read it for the third time.

Read My Review Here

I've read many Kristen Ashley's badass alpha heroes. So not adding one of them feels wrong. Walk Through Fire is a favorite so far, followed close by Law Man. Here's your blurb. I was emotionally involved from the start, not quite knowing what I'd get in the end. This is the one book of KA who managed to make me mope around for a bit, crying like a baby, and scream in frustration. In the span of one night. The characters are a bit older than what I usually know (both in their forties). But still, I like Logan 'High' Judd and Millie Cross. They still go at it with blistering intensity, and even if they are a bit old, I didn't feel like that in the book.

Read My Review Here

The last, but not least, is a current read. So well, the review is still unavailable. The Deal by Elle Kennedy made me all kind of tingly, humor is plenty, embarassing scenes are available, sweet and swoon-worthy moments turn me into a mushy puddle. Why don't you take a look here? Garrett Graham is not your typical jock, and frankly, I love him. While Hannah Wells feels just like the same old college heroine, in the end, I like her too. They really started off different--Hannah was a bit prejudiced, but Garrett manages to make Hannah his friend, and later, his lover. So yeah, this is deffinitely the buster of my reading slump, particularly in reading college love stories. Review to come!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Bookish Soundtrack #4: Bad Blood by Taylor Swift

Cause baby now we got bad blood

I love this song and the real feeling behind it, haha. There are so many times when love turns to hate, affection turns into loathing.

I also have a special place for this book, Ride Steady. Probably one of my best reads this year, it also endears me more to Kristen Ashley. I just have some mixed feelings toward her guys, but Joker is a winner hands down.

As I told in the review, Carissa Teodoro is going through a hard time in her life. And her jackass ex-husband doesn't help the matters. At some point in the end, Carissa even said she hates him, to his face.

So congratulations, Aaron. You've finally done it. You've turned love to hate.

And all I can think about is that phrase from Taylor Swift! From Bad Blood. There are two versions of this song, one is original version from the album 1989. The second one is the music video version featuring Kendrick Lamar. Personally, I love the original better.

Did you have to do this?
I was thinking that you could be trusted
Did you have to ruin what was shiny?
Now it's all rusted
Did you have to hit me where I'm weak?
Baby, I couldn't breathe
And rub it in so deep
Salt in the wound like you're laughing right at me
You can say I'm a Swiftie sometimes, though not exclusively :P And Bad Blood is especially good for books with love-turns-hate situations.

Review: Hearts of Fire

Title : Hearts of Fire
Series : Hearts #2
Author : L.H. Cosway
ISBN : 1508535639
Edition : Paperback
Publisher : CreateSpace Independent
Page counts : 350 pages
Language : English
Genre : Adult, Contemporary Romance
Average Rating : 4.29 (per 23 Desember 2015)
Hotness Scale : 3/5
Add to Goodreads
Also Check : Six of Hearts (book #1)

Hearts of Fire:   
The Circus Spektakulär is proud to present Jack McCabe: Fire-breather, knife-thrower, risk-taker.

My house burned down when I was just a boy, robbing me of both my parents.

Now I breathe fire, eat the poison that almost killed me.

Crowds come to see me night after night. Men for the spectacle, women for the thrill. I’m an oddity to be stared at and desired. With each flame I spit, I risk my life.

I wear scars on my body that will never go away, but the scars inside my head are far more difficult to overlook.

My brother doesn’t know me, and if I have it my way he never will.

Life was going exactly the way I’d planned until Lille came along. She wanted to run away with the circus, have an adventure, but this world was never meant for her.

I try to keep her safe, because she doesn’t know the dangers that are out here on the road. She doesn’t know the monsters that lurk behind the bright lights of the ring. In truth, I could be considered one of them.

We were fashioned from different cloths, never intended to mix. So I watch her. I try not to touch, even when her eyes invite me.

Join us in the Spiegeltent and let us give you a show. Allow my Lille to draw a picture for you in paint and sweat and skin.

The truest love is always the hardest to let in.

After reading Jay's story in book 1, I was of course curious to see about the younger brother. All Jay knows is that Jack McCabe was dead in the fire that killed his beloved mother. What he didn't know is that Jack was alive, and being fostered by the state. And he lived miserably. Now Jack is a performer at Circus Spektakular, going from one place to another, and basically tried to forget Jay exists at all.

Lille Baker left her town in Ireland for the adventure with the Circus. Although Jack has been giving her cold shoulders and mixed signals, she decides she won't give up and holding onto her dreams---to be an artist. However, she doesn't count her feelings to be that strong towards Jack, or that Jack would return them. Their story is full of colors, dramas, and hot make-out sessions.

When I kiss you, it will be everywhere. When I kiss you, I won't stop there. If I taste you, I'll want to taste everything.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Review: The Strongest Steel

Title : The Strongest Steel
Series : Second Circle Tattoos #1
Author : Scarlett Cole
Edition : Kindle
Publisher : St. Martin's
Page counts : 297 pages
Language : English
Genre : New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Average Rating : 4.11 (per Dec. 16, 2015)
Hotness Scale : 2/5
Add to Goodreads
Note : Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 Nominee for Debut Author

Harper Connelly never expected to find herself outside of a tattoo parlor at one in the morning, summoning the nerve to take back her past. She's determined to forget her old life and is looking for an artist who can tattoo over the scars on her back.

Trent Andrews, local legend and owner of the Second Circle tattoo studio, has his own reasons for specializing in inking over scars. And in spite of her mysterious past and the difficult road ahead, he quickly realizes that Harper is funny, smart, and--under her ridiculously oversized clothing and SPF 100 sunscreen--totally hot. He's happy to take on the challenge of designing a meaningful and deadly full-back tattoo for her.

But when cryptic messages start appearing on Harper's phone, strange deliveries arrive at her door, and Second Circle is vandalized, Harper is convinced that her ex-boyfriend has tracked her down, and worse, that he knows about Trent. Running was the only thing that saved her last time, but now that she's started to put down roots in Miami, she'll have to decide if she can finally fight back instead.

I know I picked up this book because of the cover! I just loved the blue and the abs, haha. Though, somehow, I also found myself curious. Tattoo artists are my favorite, they are just that: an artist, working on a human's skin as their canvas. Although I'd never have a tattoo on my own, I always love the concept of a tattoo, marking your skin with something meaningful and artistic to keep something in your mind.

Since the first page, I hadn't been able to put down the book willingly. Yes, I say willingly. There were times when I had to put it down. Though, I must say, it's a bit predictable and flat for me, but I liked the basic storyline and its simplicity in telling the story of Trent and Harper.

“I want to be the one cheering you on, not stopping you from making it onto the field.”

Friday, December 11, 2015

Cover Reveal: Hallowed Ground by Rebecca Yarros

Hi, guys!
Last week I've been so busy with school, I could barely find times to sleep. But still, reading (although just re-read) was still my main past-time activity:)

As for the title above, many of you probably has read Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros (read my review - Indonesian). It was the first book of Flight and Glory series. The stories of military school's students, which make me all kinds of intrigued (I'm a big fan of Military Romance). Sadly, between trying out new books, I've forgotten to read book two and three of this series :( Now that I'm not too swamped up with school, I'll get at that!

So it's my honor to be a part of this Cover Release arranged by TRSOR. Let's see how's the cover gonna be. Since the previous three covers make me droolly, haha.

Wrapping Up 2015

I don't know where 2015 has gone XD And it's already the second week of December.
I gotta admit, this year is not what I expected. I have some terrifying experiences, unexpected new books, some world-changing decisions (my world, please note :p), and new boys to put on my harem!

This year, I'm doing a Wrapping Up post series.
Along with that, I'm anouncing that my blog is now a fully-run English language-based blog. I'm Indonesian, yes. And I have several goals I'd like to score with this blog, internationally. Starting with turning this blog more professional and doing more posts, of course :) Hope I can turn 2016 into a good year for this blog, seeing as this baby is almost 4 years old and I haven't made any drastic change.

P.S. And please just roll with it when this blog is undergoing major changes :) :)

What's going to be on this post series?

  1. My Top 5 Hottest Book Boyfriends in 2015
  2. My Top 5 Best Read in 2015
  3. My Top 3 Hottest Book Covers in 2015
  4. My Top 3 New Authors in 2015
  5. My Top 3 Intriguing New Series to Continue in 2015
For now, I'll start with those five.
And if you want to participate in this Wrapping Up, you can just contact me and I'll sent you the picture above to put on your posts. And if you want to be a guest in this blog, I'll say yes as well :D


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