Let’s Talk About Off Base

off base cover

Off Base is the second Annabeth Albert book that I’ve read, and it featured a compelling love story with just the right amount of emotional weight and smexiness. The romantic leads, Zack and Pike, were both endearing with their quirks and personalities, and I fell in love with them both. Zack was facing extremely heavy pressure to stay closeted, and while I normally am not crazy about m/m romances dealing with people coming out to families and friends (just a personal preference–there’s nothing wrong with this as a plot point or even the whole plot), I believe it really worked well here.

Pike was hilarious as a person, but there was so much more to him–a vulnerability that made me feel rather protective of him when Zack made some choices that were not in either of their best interest.

This was a strong book with great characters, and I’ll definitely be looking for more of Albert’s books in the future.


Let’s Talk About Wicked Sexy Liar

wicked sexy liar

Wicked Sexy Liar, by Christina Lauren, is the fourth book in the Wild Seasons series. Honestly, I was worried that I wouldn’t like it as much as Dark Wild Night, (the third book), because part of what I loved about Dark Wild Night was the graphic novelist heroine, Lola. I loved how during critical moments, she’d have a flash of imagery as if the moment were happening in a comic panel. So cool.

But Wicked Sexy Liar did not disappoint in the slightest! The humor was still there, and the conflict and sexual tension were done very well. London and Luke were both endearing in their own ways, and I especially loved London’s attitude about sex, and Luke’s wake-up call, which seemed ongoing but delighted me throughout.

Bonus–this one had a fun short story at the end, featuring the character Luke’s friend and Oliver’s employee, Not-Joe.

Let’s Talk About: The Sun is Also a Star


This book, you guys! It was soooooo good! Swoony but realistic. I won’t say anything more about the end because it would be a huge spoiler, but I will say that the whole thing is just incredible. This book encapsulates everything I love about YA contemporary romance–believable characters with real problems that didn’t feel orchestrated. Their actions were plausible, their voices distinct and youthful (I mean, they sounded like legitimate teenagers to my 30-something ears).

The story for the most part takes place over a single day, but I didn’t doubt for a second that these two fell for each other.

Nicola Yoon has another popular book, Everything, Everything, which I am very interested in reading. And I just saw a movie trailer for it, so that’s exciting!

First Love: Bitten

Back when I was a younger Liza, I was new to the world of paranormal and urban fantasy. Sure, as a teenager I read LJ Smith’s Vampire Diaries series, but when I was an adult, I stumbled across a copy of Kelley Armstrong’s Stolen, it felt like a whole new world had opened up to me.


I read Stolen in probably a single sitting, and then I had to go back and find Bitten. I loved Bitten even more than Stolen, and thus began my decade-long love affair with Kelley Armstrong’s writing.


At the time, she was also posting short stories and novellas from the Women of the Otherworld universe on her website, and I greedily read them–including a delicious prequel to Bitten. Years later, she published those stories in a collection called Men of the Otherworld.


Next week over on my personal blog, I’ll discuss how Season One the television series lives up to the novels.


Let’s Talk About Secrets of a Soprano


This lovely book was full of all my favorites: music, wittiness, and slow-burning romance. I’m a sucker for a good historical and even more of a sucker for the second-chance romance trope, so I went in already predisposed to like it.

Basically, the main character, Tessa, is a famous opera singer with a broken heart. Maximilian Hawthorne is an aristocrat who owns an opera house…and he also sports a broken heart. Turns out (and this is not a spoiler) they broke each others’ hearts!

Drama and angst and witty comebacks fly all over the place in a romance that is as sweet as it is seductive.

Let’s Talk about Dark Wild Night

dark-wild-night-coverThis book, you guys! So good! In short, it’s about Lola, a graphic novel writer/illustrator who makes it big, and her best friend Oliver, who owns a comic book store. Totally geekery catnip for me. I will say that there weren’t really any major twists or surprises to this one–the story was simple and straightforward, and that actually made it really refreshing. The sexual tension is off the charts, and even though some of the sexytimes scenes went a little long, there weren’t any complaints here. Sexy moments, funny moments, and a few aggravating moments where I wanted to shake some sense into Lola even while I understood where she was coming from. All in all, I thought this one was fantastic and I was so glad I took a chance on a new (to me) author.

Wishing you all a happy Wednesday with some great books,


Let’s Talk About A Rogue by Any Other Name

51za420b4fl-_sx309_bo1204203200_Although I can’t write them and don’t even want to try, I seriously love historical romance. I love the social rules, the beautiful gowns, the often emotionally repressed dudes. Sarah MacLean’s A Rogue by Any Other Name is one of my favorite historical romances. The hero and heroine were good friends as children, which is one of my favorite, favorite things in a romance (and which you’ll get to see in Fierce Lover when it’s released next month). There are misunderstandings, and a super broody, angsty hero who is nonetheless absolutely lovable. And soooo sexy. I ended up reading every book in this series, but I think this one might have been my favorite. Or maybe it’s tied with Book 2, One Good Earl Deserves a Lover. Then again, there were some laugh-out-loud moments in Books 3 and 4…ah, I can’t decide. If you’ve read these, let me know what your favorite was, and maybe I’ll go back and read it again!

Let’s talk about: Tsavo Pride

Tsavo Pride Laura

Tsavo Pride by Laura Diamond is a stand-alone historical shifter novella and it’s set in roughly the same place as my Pride of Africa. But that’s not why I loved it! Well, partly – I love Kenya. For another thing, look at this cover. So gorgeous. Also, the characters are richly drawn, the setting is vivid, and there’s a heartbreaking love story.

Don’t expect too much heat, but you’ll get an unusual story of love and legend.

Full disclosure: I know Laura IRL as she lives about an hour away from me and we go to book events together upon occasion. She mostly writes young adult fiction which you should also check out.

Have you read Tsavo Pride? Any other Laura Diamond books? Let’s chat!


Let’s Talk About: Godspeed


When it comes to classy romance with a timeless feel, Godspeed by February Grace is one of my ultimate favorites. I usually stick to shorter, steamier, contemporary stories, but this steampunk romance has some of my favorite characters of any book, not to mention its beautiful descriptions and setting.

The heroine, Abigail, is one you root for from the beginning. To put it bluntly, she’s dying, and the only person who has a chance of saving her is the charming but very serious Dr. Quinn Godspeed. The interactions between Abigail and Quinn were without a doubt the best part of the book, but the story’s mystery is also what kept me eagerly flipping pages. Definitely recommended for anyone who loves a newer (2012) romance that reads like a classic.

Note: Although I own a copy of the book, the publisher has since gone out of business, and Ms. Grace has moved her novels to Wattpad. You can read Godspeed for free here.

Let’s Talk About Every Which Way but Dead

Kim Harrison’s Every Which Way but Dead and Kelley Armstrong’s Stolen are tied for “First Adult Urban Fantasy” that I read (the tie is because I can’t remember & likely I read them days apart). They basically landed in my lap, and I devoured them like the delicious things they are.


Every Which Way but Dead is the third book in Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, but even reading it without the others, I was completely invested and in love. After finishing it, you can bet I ran right out to buy the first two books–which I also loved. This is urban fantasy with tons of suspense, danger, humor (always a plus), and incredible characters. I was envious of their friendships and I really really wanted to live here in this amazingly well-constructed world.

Has anybody else read these?