Tired of Book Burnout? This Free Resource will Help

karaskinner_AC18_R0AOne day I found myself in a library with some time to kill. It sounds like heaven, right? Except it wasn’t. I found myself staring blankly at rows and rows of books with nothing but indifference.

I used to love starting new books. It was exciting to go into a store or library and hunt for a hidden gem to curl up in a nearby armchair with. Or to finally start that book I got three years ago that I’ve been dying to cross off my TBR list.

But after reading mediocre book after bad book after slightly-good book, I approached new books with indifference and sometimes dread. I had a horrible case of book burnout. It took a lot of time reading some old favorites (hello, Harry Potter) to get over it.

But there’s another way to stop falling into a book slump and that’s to read books you know are good. Which is why I’m pleased to introduce the Lover’s Quarrel Ultimate Reading List. 

This free PDF book is a list of romance novels that are free, over 50,000 words, and rated 4 stars or higher by me. This list will get updated all the time as I read more books that fit the criteria.

Get Lover’s Quarrel Ultimate Reading List today when you subscribe to my mailing list. You’ll get free books sorted by genre and you’ll see highlights from my reviews so you know which ones you’ll like the best. It’s a short list now, but it will get updated as I find more books to add.

Book Review: Eternity by Maggie Shayne

6baad4c8166fb3b89d4ff0a592bfab85300 years ago, Raven St. James was hanged for witchcraft. But she revives among the dead to find herself alive. She is an Immortal High Witch, one of the light. A note from her mother warns that there are others, those of the Dark, who preserve their own lives by taking the hearts of those like her.

Duncan Wallace’s forbidden love for the secretive lass costs him his life.

300 years later, he loves her again, tormented by hazy memories of a past that can’t be real. She tells him of another lifetime, claims to be immortal. Though he knows she’s deluded, he can’t stay away. And the Dark Witch after her heart is far closer than either of them know.

Continue reading “Book Review: Eternity by Maggie Shayne”

Book Review: DreamZ by A. R. Von

25421901-_uy472_ss472_Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian

Word Count: 12,470

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.54/5 stars

My rating: 3/5 stars

To be honest, I automatically started to dislike this book because “Dreams” is spelled with a Z. And while it was okay, it was not as good as it could have been.

Wunder has been dreaming about a man for as long as she can remember, always the same man. The dreams leave her aroused to no end at night. Unfortunately, this man doesn’t exist in her life, at least not yet. But her love life is nonexistent and thanks to her being half zombie, that’s not going to change any time soon.

Continue reading “Book Review: DreamZ by A. R. Von”

Book Review: Telling Jase

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQ

My rating: 4/5 stars

Jase grinned, “you were about to tell me why you always hated Marcus?”

Sean closed his eyes. Truth, he reminded himself. He took a few deep breaths. “I envied him, Jase.”

“What? Why?”

Truth, truth, truth. “Because he got to have you, and I didn’t. Because I wanted you. I wanted to be with you. Jase, I… I think I still want that.”

Sean “Tag” Taggert’s fiancee abandoning him and their son, Cody, is a blessing in disguise. Sean had never loved her and only committed to her for Cody’s sake. He was really in love with his best friend and former college roommate Jase, and now he might have the chance to tell him that.

But there was just one problem. Jase didn’t know Sean was bisexual. And Sean had no idea how Jase would react to the news that he had been in love him for three years.

Jase is incredibly hot and I can see why Sean’s attracted to him. He’s sexy and dominant, but also sweet, and caring, and great with kids. Jase is always there for Sean and a good friend. And Jase is also very attracted to Sean. There is no question at all about that.

And damn, they have good chemistry between them. Their relationship isn’t forced or fake at all.

Jase pulled off his t-shirt and tossed in on a chair. Tag stared at him with hungry eyes, and pulled his shirt over his head as well. Jase bit his lip and held back a groan. Tag had more tattoos. There were at least three new ones that he could see, tribal patterns on each pec, and a dragon, low on his left stomach, that halfway disappeared beneath his drawstring pants.

Jase ended up hopping quickly into the bed, when the thought of following the dragon’s tail into Tag’s pants caused in him a very noticeable reaction.

Sean killed the light and climbed in next to him. He scooted over till his shoulder was pressed against Jase’s chest. Jase reached across Tag’s body and grabbed his hand. His forehead touched the side of Tag’s head. He smells like home, he thought. He squeezed Tag’s hand and whispered. “Nite, Tag.”

“Nite Jase.”

They are so cute together. Telling Jase is the perfect story to put you in a good mood.

But it’s not completely perfect. The beginning is awkward. Sean comes home early to hear Jase and his then-boyfriend having sex in their room and within a matter of minutes he knows for sure he’s bi and in love with Jase. Just because he got turned on by sex sounds. That felt forced and insta-love, even if most of the story doesn’t.

I also couldn’t picture Lisa as a real person at all. Even though we never actually see her in the story, she plays a huge part. Despite all of the time Sean and Jase spend talking about her and all the time Sean spends thinking about her, she remains an undeveloped plot device instead of a real character.

Despite those flaws, this story is worth 4 stars. It’s a quick, fun read that I highly recommend.

You can read Telling Jase on Smashwords for free. Please let me know what you thought of the book — and this review — in the comments. And go ahead and click on the little heart if you liked this review.

 

Second Time Around by H.A. Caine

second-time-around-coverGenre: Contemporary, LGBTQ

Word Count: 8,140

Average Goodreads Rating: 2.67/5 stars

My Rating: 3/5 stars

Second Time Around is a story about mistaken identities. Jamie meets the man of his dreams, Matthew, at a party celebrating the opening of his new bakery. Better yet, Matthew seems to be into him. There’s just one problem: there’s a good chance Matthew is heterosexual and thinks Jamie is a girl.

You can read this book for free on Smashwords

Continue reading “Second Time Around by H.A. Caine”

Book Review: Claiming Her Highwayman by Michelle Grotewohl

claimingherhighwaymanGenre: Historical

Words: 17,970

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.8/5 stars

My rating: 2/5 stars

Cass runs one of the greatest band of highwaymen around. Despite being a woman, she’s respected by her crew, and every night they return to camp richer than they were and she can enjoy being in the arms of her second-in-command, Will Carpenter. But that all changes when Will accepts a position in the King’s Guard. Cass knows Will wants more than what she can give him. He wants marriage and kids, as well as honest work instead of thieving. But Cass doesn’t know if she can ever give him up.

Claiming Her Highwayman is free on Smashwords.

I found myself underwhelmed by this story. When it starts, Will and Cass are already a couple, and the chemistry between them already feels forced, as well as the heist they’re about to go on. It’s like a bad first draft that hasn’t developed into something greater yet. Cass and Will feel more like paper dolls than people and unfortunately, I never get that attached to them. They just don’t have the chemistry.

It doesn’t help that my suspension of disbelief took a huge beating when Will’s offered a job with the King’s Guard, as the princess’s personal guard. He’s a highwayman! Since when do they let criminals guard princesses? Um, never. Not only that, but he’s still in contact with his old gang, and he’s not even in training to be a soldier! He just is. Apparently the standards for becoming a member of the King’s Guard is really low.

It would make a hell of a lot more sense to me if there was a scarcity of guards for some reason, like the country was at war, and that’s why they’re turning to criminals to keep up with the demand of soldiers. That would flesh out the plot, too. But nope. Apparently we’re supposed to accept that a robber can become a princess’s bodyguard easily after mugging her with his gang of bandits. Oh, and he almost becomes her husband. Because every king wants his little girl to marry a common criminal.

Despite everything wrong with the story, I like Will’s and Cass’s characters. Even though Will only exists to be Cass’s lover, he’s got some pretty charming lines in the story. His need to protect her is incredibly sexy.

Cass’s character is a little more complex. She’s strong and independent, and she knows what she wants in life. She’s the type of girl who would be bored to death in most respectable professions for a woman, instead enjoying being a bandit. But I hated her when Bryce, one of her men, attacked her in her tent. All she did to defend herself was bide her time until she could scream for help

What. The. Fuck.

She’s a damn gang leader and she doesn’t know how to defend herself against one man who gets too handsy? Please. That’s fucking ludicrous, and all of my respect for her is just gone because of that one scene. How the hell did she become a leader in the first place if she needs to scream like a damn damsel whenever she gets attacked? Not cool.

This book really didn’t do much for me. While it’s all right, it’s not that good. The characters aren’t good, and neither is the writing. I suggest you look elsewhere for your historical romance bad boy.

If you liked this review and want more, then please like Lover’s Quarrel on Facebook, for more reviews, giveaways, and more.

Book Review: Same Time Next Year by Jenna Bennett

5162bhuo6pvlGenre: Contemporary

Word Count: 4,560

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.27/5 stars

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

It’s not often a book can surprise me. But Same Time Next Year totally took me off guard.

Every year, for the past either years, Regina White and Tyler Harrison meet at the same hotel, in two connecting rooms for one night.

The receptionist, Elizabeth, thinks she has the whole situation figured out. But she doesn’t know what this night means to the mysterious couple. And somehow she can’t stop thinking about them anyway. 

You can read Same Time Next Year for free on Smashwords.

At first I thought I wasn’t going to like this story. I thought it was about two people leaving their depressing and dull lives to have one night of infidelity and debauchery a year, like some sort of modern day fairy tale. On top of that, the “good” character, Elizabeth, is kind of a bitch who is quick to condemn and judge Regina, but smile and admire Tyler.

It’s one thing to disapprove of adultery, it’s another thing to have double standards about it.

But despite my misgivings at first, I got sucked into the very hot sex scene quickly.

“No, I don’t want champagne. I want you. Naked. And wet. And begging.”

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Gotta love good dirty talk. Unfortunately the scene ends abruptly and before the couple gets to the really good part, if you know what I mean. 😉

For such a short story there is actually a lot of character development. We learn that Tyler and Regina met at a conference years ago, when they had those two hotel rooms by coincidence. Tyler loves how Regina’s strong and confident in public, but a little submissive in the bedroom. Regina loves how Tyler still wants her, and how he’s always willing to please her. They have great chemistry together and I love how they’re still attracted to each other after all those years, and always come back to the same hotel.

My only complaint, aside from the abrupt end to the sex scene, is Elizabeth. I get why she’s necessary to the story, but she’s undeveloped and unlikeable, and I wish she was gone.

You can read Same Time Next Year for free on Smashwords and I highly recommend that you do.