Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bout of Books 4.0 is Coming!

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

I need some reading motivation, so here it is: Bout of Books 4.0... Next week!
You can sign up too! Bout of Books 4.0
  • Bout of Books is a week long read-a-thon, run from 12:01am on Monday, May 14th through 11:59pm Sunday, May 20st in whatever time zone you are in.
  • Bout of Books is low pressure, meaning participants are only asked to push themselves to read more than they normally would during any given week. There is no competition between readers.
  • How much time a reader wants, and can commit, to read, tweet, or network with fellow bloggers is left to individual preference. All challenges and giveaways are optional.
  • Networking with fellow bloggers is actively encouraged, though never required. Co-hosts are there to facilitate blog hopping and interaction between participants.
  • Use Twitter to post updates throughout the read-a-thon. Everyone will be tweeting with the #boutofbooks hashtag.

My Goals:
To READ... Really, I just need to get reading. :)

Books to Read:
Here are the books I'm choosing from... Hopefully at least 3 or 4 of these will get read. I need to catch up on some of my favorite series. That's my Kindle on top, because there are also 3 or 4 books on there I need to read, as well. :)

I'll update my progress here. Wish me luck! :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Review - Rock Me by Cherrie Lynn

Rock Me (Ross Siblings, #2)Rock Me by Cherrie Lynn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great installment in the Ross Siblings series! Thank you, Cherrie Lynn, I can't wait to read the next one!!
Brian - what can I say about Brian, except where can I meet a guy like that?!? Tattooed, pierced, muscled, longish dark hair -  so hot. And he is just an awesome guy. I fell in love with him in this book!
Candace - she was likable. And I liked them together. I liked how his protective instincts came out around her, and I liked how she really did fit into his world - she just got scared. I hate Candace's world. I wanted to slap her mother and her cousin. And I'm so glad her brother got what he did. :) At times, I thought Candace and her friends acted a little more immature than their early 20s. And who is still a junior in college at 23? Unless she took time off in between? That was never fully fleshed out.
Candace tried so hard to be independent, but truth was - she lived in an apartment paid for by her parents, who also paid for school, and she didn't work...
I came to like her though, as she grew in the book and realized exactly who she was and what she wanted out of life. I liked when she finally took a stand. And I loved the whole rock festival weekend!
This book took me on an emotional roller coaster - there were great ups and heartbreaking lows. The climax of the book is tense and heartache follows, but the ending is so worth it - even if it wraps up a little too easily. ;) All in all, a fabulous read about a not-so-bad Bad Boy, and a former pampered princess who just wants out.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mini Review - Beautiful Mess by Lucy V. Morgan

Beautiful MessBeautiful Mess by Lucy V. Morgan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love the premise of a female lead with best guy friends. And I love when they discover there's something more there. This book is an enjoyable, sweet read, with humor, some hot sex and likable characters. The book opens with Bailey mourning being dumped and her male roommates and their friend trying to talk her out of her depression. Of course, they're not really good with the crying, and are a little unsure of what to do. I love the interactions between Bailey, Olly, Tom, and Linc. The conversations are humorous and I really fell in love with all the characters. The book was filled with British slang, but it was enjoyable. Every now and then I was all, "What the crap does that mean?" But context helped me to figure out most of them. :)
That moment when you realize someone you always saw as a friend has seen you as something more all along? That moment in this book is so super sweet. Loved it! And the hot sex that followed. :) Love these guys, and I hope Olly and Tom get books too, because I want to spend more time with them!

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mini Review - My Shifter Showmance by R.G. Alexander

My Shifter Showmance (Shifting Reality, #1)My Shifter Showmance by R.G. Alexander

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved the premise, I loved the characters. I loved all of it... Except the length. It was too short! I wanted more. More of the characters, more interactions, more intrigue, more sex, more, more, more. I'm not greedy or anything. :) Seriously, I'm a huge R.G. fan, really. And she writes so well. This book was enjoyable to read. I just think it could have been developed into an even longer novel.

I know, it's not a great review. But I don't have much else critical to say. Strong female lead, hot, feline male lead who goes after the woman he wants, is aggressive and knows how to pleasure her. A little bit of angst, some great secondary characters I want to know more about. The plot moved along, and then it was just over. I'm sure if it were longer, I'd have loved it more and given it 5 stars. :)

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Review - Curveball by Kate Angell

Curveball (Richmond Rogues, #2)Curveball by Kate Angell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I fell in love with the Richmond Rogues in Squeeze Play. I love baseball, I love baseball players. So, I had to devour this next book in the series. The Bat Pack - what a great group of guys to focus a book on. Love them! Something about the bad boys, or even just the "player"- but I enjoyed reading about these guys more than Risk and Zen. Their women were awesome, as well. I loved Keely and Emerson, their independence, their determination not to be "fan girls", how they wanted more from the guys than just a quick roll in the hay, and held out. I also liked Jen, but felt like we really didn't get to know her as well. Maybe because she's always been in Chaser's life - there wasn't the getting to know each other phase of their relationship. The sexual tension is rampant throughout the book. And there is much hot sex to be had... sweet, hot, sex. This book is strictly romance.
I'm going to be nit-picky. Baseball is my favorite sport, and while I'm not as observant as the woman in the bar who could tell the players had had sex by the swivel of their hips, I do know the sport. So, some of the little baseball details throughout the book weren't always perfectly logical along the lines of the game of baseball. But, I suspended my disbelief - or however that literary term goes, and I immersed myself in the world of the Richmond Rogues, and loved it! Can't wait to read the other installments.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review - The Reluctant Vampire by Lynsay Sands

The Reluctant Vampire (Argeneau, #15)The Reluctant Vampire by Lynsay Sands

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one was more like 3.5 stars for me. I liked the characters, though it was the group that I don't know as well as the others. Mirabeau, Tiny,Alessandro, Leonora, Edward, and Dawn... these are all people I hadn't seen in a long time, so it took me awhile to remember their stories.

Harper and Drina were likable - both funny. Stephanie was an enjoyable character, as well. I look forward to seeing more from her and how she's doing in future books.

My issue with this series is now the lifemate thing seems to be coming too easily. So, Marguerite can now pick your lifemate. I liked it better when it seemed to happen more by chance. Also, I like when they resist it - and don't fall into bed immediately after discovering they are lifemates. I don't know, I guess I like a little struggle and heartache in my romance. It makes when they finally do come together that much more awesome. :)

I do always enjoy the Argeneaus, though and look forward to the next installment. I'm holding out for a book for Bricker, though. Can't wait for that one.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review - Winter Fire - Jess Dee

Winter FireWinter Fire by Jess Dee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved this! It was short, but packed with heat and emotion! Rachel is in the Blue Mountains for her BFF's birthday party - Jenna, who is twins with Jackson, who Rachel has been in love with for 12 years, who is also is love with Rachel. Yet, they have denied their mutual love for those 12 years because Jackson and Jenna have a pact not to date each other's friends. So Rachel goes into the birthday weekend, dreading seeing Jackson, who she hasn't seen in 2 years. Then she meets Garreth - a sexy stranger who wants to get her in bed, and makes no bones about admitting it straight out.

Rachel thinks hot sex with a sexy stranger is just what she needs to get Jackson out of her head. But, of course, it doesn't work that way and there is surprise and heartache, and maybe an HEA - I don't want to spoil the ending.

The characters were easy to love - Rachel and Garreth had amazing, witty and flirty dialogue that was fun to read. We get to know these two pretty well. Jenna and Jackson - not so much. But we know the depth of Rachel's feelings for Jackson, and I was rooting for them. Although, I was rooting for Garreth, as well.

Hot sex, hot menage, emotions, great characters, easy to love - it's all in here.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review - Giving Chase - Lauren Dane

Giving Chase (Chase Brothers, #1)Giving Chase by Lauren Dane

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This one just wasn't for me. I wanted to like it, to read all the books in the series. Four hot brothers finding love? Sounded good. I guess this one's just not my style. I didn't enjoy the characters. I don't mind insecure female leads - but Maggie was over the top for me. Everyone kept having to reassure her how beautiful she was. ugh. Kyle was kind of bland. I liked Shane a whole lot better - he was flawed. I like my characters flawed, I guess. Everyone in the book was in their mid to late twenties, yet sometimes they talked to each other like they were in high school. Especially the "bad" women, who picked on Maggie all the time and never failed to remind her she wasn't "cool" or in the "in-crowd". It was just a little too much for me.
The sex was good. I did enjoy that. :) But all in all, this book just didn't do it for me. Cheesy characters, cheesy dialogue, cheesy plot twist. And odd, Southern dialogue that I didn't always understand. Maybe the next books in the series get better? This one? Not for me.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Review - Breaking Free - Cherise Sinclair

Breaking Free (Masters of the Shadowlands, #3)Breaking Free by Cherise Sinclair

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I didn't expect to love this book so much! In fact, I had skipped this one to read Cullen's story because I hadn't liked Nolan that much. I was so wrong! This book was amazing, I had to read it in one sitting, except for the end. I kept putting it off because I didn't want it to be over.
What's there to say? Ms. Sinclair has done it again. This series is simply masterful. I don't have any direct experience with Doms, but I now have a fantasy of meeting a Dom just like one of the Masters of the Shadowlands. :) Do men like that really exist?
Master Z asks Nolan to take a on troubled sub, see if he can turn her around. He agrees when he sees how she doesn't get off in a scene, how scarred she is from past abuse. Beth was awesome. Strong and independent. Given her past - spending 2 years with an abusive, sadistic husband, she could have turned into a shy hermit. But she needed the BDSM in her life and found it at the Shadowlands. Unfortunately, she hasn't yet found a Dom who can pleasure her. Then Nolan comes in and practically undoes her with a simple kiss. He is unlike any Dom she's known before.
Nolan is the perfect Dom, masterful, hot, unyielding, protective, caring. So amazing. With each book, I find a new favorite Dom... :) I loved the play party scene Nolan hosts at his house. How fun would that be?!

There is plenty of tension in this one, hot sex, hot BDSM, emotions, suspense, action, and on and on. It has it all! I can't wait to read the next installment in this series. Thank you Ms. Sinclair, for creating this fantasy world for me!

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Review - Unleashed - Cherrie Lynn

Unleashed (Ross Siblings, #1)Unleashed by Cherrie Lynn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved this! Stayed up all night just to finish it. :) I am such a sucker for the whole "friends into lovers" plot line. And this one did not disappoint. Probably because Kelsey has been in love with Evan since college and their timing just always sucked, and he was never ready for a relationship. She married his best friend, he gets engaged, and one day, Kelsey walks in on her husband and Evan's fiancee. She hasn't really seen him in 2 months because seeing him brings up the memories of what happened. Then he calls her out of the blue and asks her to go to Hawaii with him - what would have been his honeymoon.

What a great vacation they have. They do not jump into the sack immediately. There is plenty of delicious sexual tension and innuendo. We get to see perspective from each of them, and I wanted to yell, "Just do it, already!" In a good way. When they finally do get together -- HOT! I fell in love with Kelsey and Evan, I wanted them to find happiness together, finally. The plot moves along and there is emotions after emotions involved. So, so worth the missing hours of sleep. Can't wait to read the next one.

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Review - On the Island - Tracey Garvis-Graves

On the Island On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I bought this because of all the great reviews. I guess I'm just not a sweet romance type of person. I enjoyed it, I really did - it kept me reading. I didn't have to sit and finish it all in one sitting, however. Once Anna and T.J. got back to the real world, the story stalled a little for me. Then it picked up, and the ending was sufficiently fulfilling.
I enjoyed their time on the island - the struggles to survive, their triumphs and heartaches. I loved watching T.J. grow and how they began to see each other as more than just survival companions.
Maybe because Anna is so close to my age - I knew what she would do. I knew what she was thinking when they got back to Chicago. I saw it all coming. But it didn't bother me.
The funny thing is- the writing style is very on-the-surface. The reader does not get much insight to what the characters are thinking, even though the chapters switch between Anna's and T.J.'s POV. It's more like reading a narration of the events. So, all the emotion is brought out in dialogue and by the narrator's observations of the other. I really enjoyed their conversations. T.J. is awesome, I just really liked him.
All in all, I enjoyed this one. I didn't love it, I probably won't read it again. But it was a sweet romance.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Review - Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fifty Shades sucked me in, took me on an incredible emotional ride and completely left me hanging in heartache. The writing was great and kept the action moving along at a fast pace.

Ana drove me crazy. I'm not sure exactly why, but she did. I really enjoyed her voice in the emails between her and Christian, but that voice rarely showed itself in face-to-face conversation. Christian, now him I loved. What can I say? I'm addicted to the tortured-soul, complete control-freak Dom. Don't we all want to be the one to fix him?

I think Christian evolved quite well as he reconciled his emotions he discovered when he was with Ana. Yet, Ana seemed uncompromising to me. Although, I think Christian should have insisted on her doing more research when she balked at portions of the D/s lifestyle. I don't know, given her a book to read maybe? He just did a crappy job explaining why he needed the things he needed and Ana could never really understand him.

The sex in here is hot! The BDSM scenes are tasty. And the end leaves you completely hanging and wanting to throw something. I will need to get the next two books so I can see how Ana and Christian make it through all their issues.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mini Review - One Wicked Night by Kelly Jamieson

One Wicked NightOne Wicked Night by Kelly Jamieson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was amazing! I couldn't put it down and read it as soon as I'd bought it. It has everything! Emotion, hot sex, angst, lovable characters, a great storyline... Seriously, everything.
You will get sucked into the lives of Kaelin, Tyler, Nick and the rest of the Wirth family. The author doesn't let you forget about the secondary characters, and includes you in their lives, as well.
The plot moved along, providing enough back story that you become emotionally involved in the characters' lives and ache right along with them. Yes, I had tears falling during parts of this book, and other parts were hot, hot, hot! m/m action, m/m/f action, and it was amazing.
There's not enough I can say about how much I loved this book. What a great way to spend a few hours. :)

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Review - Crazy Ever After - Kelly Jamieson

Crazy Ever AfterCrazy Ever After by Kelly Jamieson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this one. Samara works for her father's company in San Francisco. She has worked her way up to the position she currently holds. Yet, she hasn't been home to Portland in seven years. Her dad's death changes that. Forced to go home to help her mother, whom she hasn't spoken to for those 7 years, she also has to face Travis - the man who rejected her 7 years ago, right before she ran away to college.

So here we are, Travis, Samara, and her mother - all grieving the death of the CEO of the company and head of the family. Samara thinks Travis and her mother had an affair and have not talked to either of them for 7 years. Also thrown in there is the fact that Samara came onto Travis when she was 17 and he was 24. He told her they couldn't, and she has felt rejected by him ever since.

Now that her father is gone, Sam is determined to take over his job as CEO, and Travis - as her dad's business partner- thinks he is the right man for the job.

This one tugs at your heartstrings almost immediately. I felt the sting of Travis's rejection of Sam, her grief, the tension of her going home. Her unyielding attraction to Travis - woo, do they have chemistry. It was almost tangible. I loved watching their relationship evolve. I enjoyed their verbal sparring. And Sam really was a strong, intelligent heroine. She had a tendency to be a little too stubborn for my tastes - almost to the point of throwing tantrums, but she was still likable.

When they finally do get together, the sex is hot and steamy! And also tender and loving.

The end is all twisty - you'll have to read!

I thoroughly enjoyed this one!

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mini Review - Lean on Me by Cherise Sinclair

Lean on Me (Masters of the Shadowlands, #4)Lean on Me by Cherise Sinclair

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Holy hotness! I was eagerly awaiting Cullen's book because I fell in love with him immediately. Was it just me, or did he seem different in this book? Not as flirty and fun? I loved the evolution of their relationship and the sex was hot, hot, hot! I'm addicted to Club Shadowlands, and only wish I could attend for a night. :) Now I need to get reading so I can get caught up with all the other Masters.

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Review - Squeeze Play by Kate Angell

Squeeze Play (Richmond Rogues, #1)Squeeze Play by Kate Angell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved it! It's about baseball, so of course, I grabbed it right up. Overall, it was a fun, hot, emotional read. I loved that there was more than one romantic storyline going on at once. Since we knew right away that the main characters were into each other already, it was nice to have some romantic turmoil from the secondary characters.

I loved the baseball trivia smattered throughout the book. I loved seeing the players interact in the offseason, and I can't wait to get to know some of them better in the following books.

Really, hot baseball players, hot sex? Could it get any better? :)

My only issue was right at the beginning. The book opened up in the 7th game of the World Series - no problem, except they were in Tampa Bay and Richmond was up to bat, in the bottom of the 9th. The home team has last at-bats... other than that, though, I loved the book! Can't wait to read more about the Rogues!

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Review - Four For Christmas by R.G. Alexander

Four For Christmas Four For Christmas by R.G. Alexander

I've loved pretty much every book I've read from R.G. Alexander, but Three For Me? is one of my all-time favorites. So, when I saw this one, I bought it and devoured it right up.

Hot sex, poignant emotions, a sassy female lead, and 3 hot mountain men. All wrapped up and this touching Christmas story.

I really enjoyed getting to know the characters, and I'm so glad they didn't jump into the sex. They took a few days to get to know each other. And really, when you're living with someone, you do get to know one another. That being said, when they do get to the sex, watch out! It's hot and plentiful. Georgia gets three amazing guys and she gets to enjoy them all thoroughly, even at the same time.

There are a lot of emotions tied up into this story. I was pleasantly surprised by this, it really sucked me in and made me invested in the characters. I was kind of excited by the guest appearance by Simon, too! And I want to know when we get to read Carrie, Lou Ann and Lee's story? They are all in this story, as well.

All in all, another amazing offering from R.G. I can't wait to see what she has in store next!

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Bout of Books 3.0

Bout of Books

I did terrible during Bout of Books 2.0, so maybe this time around I'll be better.
My goal is to read 3 books. I'll keep you updated on my progress, though it will probably be at night, since I'm working every day.

First challenge for today comes from Hannah at Once Upon A Time
Post a pic of my TBR. Since I haven't decided what I'm reading for the challenge yet, here's my TBR of books. See any that you have in your pile, too?

Out of control, I know. :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mini Review - Devon's Pair - Jayne Rylon

Devon's Pair: Powertools, Book 4Devon's Pair: Powertools, Book 4 by Jayne Rylon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First of all, this book was HOT! Following along the lines of the other Powertools books. I enjoy this series. Quick, hot reads with plenty of menage and group action. This one went to fast for me. We already know the men, but we didn't really get to know Devon, before there was talk of needing and loving. That's my only issue, I guess. I wanted more character development. More with how she and Neil and James work out their menage. There is hot, hot sex in this one. A group scene, involving everyone we love in this series. And, of course, the menage that is the main story.

All in all, a pleasurable, hot, fast read that makes us all wish we knew a crew of 5 hot, open-to-anything construction guys. :)They can come remodel my house any day. ;)

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Review - Friday Night Bites - Chloe Neill

Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires, #2)Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I devoured the first book in this series and could not wait to get the next one. Finally! It was in my hands. It took me awhile to get into it, but I think I was in a reading slump in October and November. Anyway, I read it on a long car ride last night by the light of my cell phone (yes, I need book lights) because I couldn't put it down. I had to know what came next.

This series reminds me of Buffy episodes. There's a Big Bad (Celina), who has an ultimate motive, and along the way, the "gang" encounters mini battles in the ongoing war. Sorry, not sure what constitutes as spoilers here, but this book centered around one facet of Celina's ulterior motives. She irritates me. The bitch needs to get put down. But what I love about Chloe Neill is that it's all her machinations. Celina, Ethan, Mr. Merit - they're not just each a great strategist - it's Neill. And that's what makes me keep coming back. The constant politicking, strategizing, the moves that are being made that we, as readers, don't even know about yet.

Then there's Merit and Ethan. Gah! Really!? I hate politics, I hate logic and rational thought when it comes to my book-boyfriend relationships. I love what Merit's sister said to her, "He could sexually harass me any day." and "And by the way, if you have a chance with Blondie, take it. Please. For me." And I think all us readers would add FOR US!! Dang. I love the sexual tension throughout the book, with undertones of something more. I love Ethan. Period. I love how frustrating he is, how controlled, then BANG! He reveals a hidden part of himself and he's vulnerable. I understand why their relationship is a bad idea, but dayum... I want her to hit that... Even when she kisses Morgan (who is definitely hot, too) I just didn't feel it. I want her with Ethan, dammit!

Merit's world kind of implodes in this book and she goes through transitions as she adjusts to life as a vampire, a Sentinel, and living in Cadogan House. I feel for her in this one.

I love how real the characters seem. At times, they may be immature or respond irrationally. But, they seem real to me. Like how people I know would respond, how we would banter. I love Chloe Neill's dialogues. The snark, the flirting, the sarcasm, all of it. I love it.

So, there's book 2. It ends in the middle of Merit/Buffy off to begin a new mystery. So next week's episode is Book 3, and dangit - I don't have it yet. I need to get it, and Book 4, and Book 5... I think I'll wait to read Twice Bitten until I have the rest of them in my hands. I don't want to put myself through this torture again. :)

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Reading Resolutions and Challenges for 2012

In 2011, I read about 80 books. That is also including novellas, and other short books I read in ebook format. But that's more than I've ever read before. And I blame blogging. :) I've been exposed to so many new books in the last year, I've found so many great new books to read.

I still read mainly more mainstream books, but one of my resolutions this year is to read more of the books I see only in the blogosphere. The ones that I only learn about from fellow bloggers. 

Other resolutions:
1. Work on my TBR. Yes, it's huge. I resolve to catch up on some series that I am behind in before starting new series. 

2. Work on the 2 challenges I signed up for - Erotic and Pagan reading challenges. Hopefully, I can get 10-15 in each one. 

3. Read at least 80 books again, if not more. I'd like to shoot for 100, but just not sure if it's doable. 

Books I'm reading now, which need to get finished:
City of Bones - Cassandra Clare
Friday Night Bites - Chloe Neill
Eternal Kiss of Darkness - Jeaniene Frost

Books I'm highly anticipating in 2012: (in no particular order)
Deadlocked - Charlaine Harris
Lover Reborn - J.R. Ward - #1 most wanted!
A Perfect Blood - Kim Harrison
The Darkest Seduction - Gena Showalter
Darker After Midnight - Lara Adrian

(Since Blogger switched, I no longer know how to put graphics in my posts :( if you can help me, please do)

Obviously, these are my favorite series that I'm all caught up on. Need to catch up on so many more! I'll keep you updated.

Hope your 2012 is full of great books!!