Music Monday 1.19: Victorian Era Ambiance

This meme was created by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song you really like and share it on, you guessed it, Monday.

This one is going to be different today. Around this time last year, I was working on papers and music in a language I understood was especially distracting. Additionally, I was reading a few historical romances and one of them was C.L. Polk’s The Midnight Bargain, which is actually historical, romance, and fantasy. Polk shared a tweet about ambience sounds, and I was immediately hooked. I never knew there was ambiance for time periods! This one is a favorite with the variety of sounds, and it’s 3 hours long. I hope you enjoy it! If there are other ambience sounds you enjoy listening to, please share. I would love to listen to them too.

A blend of multiple genres, The Midnight Bargain brings to mind regency era novels like Pride and Prejudice but with magic.
(My Review)

This is a book you’ll see me mention throughout the blog because it’s the first book to a trilogy I adore. Set in an alternate U.S., the book blends multiple genres and will remind you of novels set in the regency era as well.
(My Review; Audiobook Review)

Music Monday 1.18: It’s raining outside…

This meme was created by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song you really like and share it on, you guessed it, Monday.

BTS has repeatedly asserted their dominance at an international level and as a long time KPOP fan, I’ve been ecstatic. Lee Sora’s “Song Request” was released in January in 2019 and features Suga, who is also credited for writing and composing.

Here is a link to the lyrics including the romanization, translation, and hangul from ColorCodedLyrics. The song itself makes me nostalgic and exudes feelings of grief and longing, perfect for those gray and cloudy days…like those in fall or winter, right? Lee is listening to the radio to keep her company, requesting songs to help her deal with feelings. Here are books that made me smile and those that made me cry. Anyone else remember waiting for the radio to play your favorite songs?

In case you needed it, here’s a 1-hour loop.

BOOKS THAT MADE ME SMILE

Hey, DJ, play me a song to make me smile
on nights when my heart is sad
there’s a song that will laugh for me

Quirky with lots of Heart
Pippa Grant is hilarious and when I think about books that made me laugh she’s the first author I think of. There’s so much absurdity but they’re so entertaining.
You can also read my mini-review here.

Lots of laughing out loud
I couldn’t stop myself from laughing when I read this. Melody Joo is hilarious. She has a good sense of humor and sticks up for herself but it’s her interactions with her parents that I was continually laughing at. You can also read my review here.

BOOKS THAT MADE ME CRY

“hey, DJ, play me a song to make me cry
on night when my heart is frustrated
there’s a song that will laugh for me”

I can be emotional. The good, the bad, the sad. If it hits me in the chest, I may need tissues. Sleeper is a romance with an HEA but I nearly flatlined when I read this:

“…I could do a million takes and never feel like I got it just right. Because I didn’t get to be her first. Because she wasn’t my first. But if I can be her best and last, I might come close to showing her that it’s the first time that anything I’ve ever done with a woman has ever felt this good and real.

(Mini Review here)

Romance Interlude 2.2

Along with Pippa Grant, Kayley Loring is quickly becoming one of my go-to romance authors. I discovered Kayley Loring last year and have been picking up her novels here and there. Fans of romance novels cannot go wrong with reading just about anything from Loring. Because the books below are not part of an official series (at least the last time I checked), I’m calling them standalone but the characters are connected to each other and make appearances. This is actually quite timely because Loring has a book coming out on January 14 for Valentine’s Day that I am really excited about, A Very Friendly Valentine’s Day (cover reveal and blurb here). I will be posting a review for that one as well. Until then, here are mini-reviews.


Sleeper (2019)
by Kayley Loring
ASIN/ISBN: B082H3TTBJ
Publication: December 12, 2019
Goodreads Summary
Series: Name in Lights #1

One liner: Willa has had a crush on her brother’s best friend Shane since she was a kid, and she’s just been hired to be the new nanny.

Willa is smart and has always known what she wants to do. She’s also a bit eccentric, which is part of the reason why I really liked her and also part of the reason why the kids adored her. When she and Shane meet again, there is bantering and there is a whole lot of chemistry. Shane is a great dad so I had heart eyes throughout most of the book for him. While I liked the characters, what sold me on this book is the writing. One of favorite quotes of 2020 comes from this book, and it’s beautiful. I’ll repeat it here because I really want to and I’ll be repeat this some more later too. How could I not fall more in love with Shane after this quote? (Sigh…)

“I already know that every time with her, it will be perfect, but I could do a million takes and never feel like I got it just right. Because I didn’t get to be her first. Because she wasn’t my first. But if I can be her best and last, I might come close to showing her that it’s the first time that anything I’ve ever done with a woman has felt this good and real.”


Charmer (2020)
by Kayley Loring
ASIN/ISBN: B086C9587P
Publication: March 25, 2020
Goodreads Summary
Series: Name in Lights #2

One liner: Nico has a crush on waitress Kat and asks her and her family to go on tour with him when he realizes he doesn’t want to be away from her that long.

Charmer didn’t appeal to me in the same way as Sleeper did. I liked it, but not nearly as much. While I liked both Nico and Kat, I felt like I knew him better as a character than I did Kat. I didn’t seem to connect with their romance as much either, maybe because I kept comparing him to Shane. I know it’s unfair to Nico’s character but Shane is a lot to live up to (please see quote above for reference…hahaha). Nico is still a sweetheart though. Grammie, who also makes an appearance in Sleeper, is awesome! I love her! My favorite aspect of Charmer is probably the video diaries. I like these a lot more than the journals being kept, even those in Sleeper.


Troublemaker (2020)
by Kayley Loring
ASIN/ISBN: B08CTHDLQ3
Publication: August 13, 2020
Goodreads Summary
Series: Name in Lights #3

One liner: Emilia finds out that the man she had a sparks with at a club and can’t stop thinking about is actually the father of one of her current students.

Before I begin, please see the quote above from Sleeper again. Please understand that this mini-review, like the one for Charmer, was also influenced by how much I enjoyed Sleeper (hehehe). I read them one after the other so that couldn’t be helped. I would rank Troublemaker to be on par with Charmer in terms of how much I enjoyed the story, but probably a little better. After reading the first two, this one was a bit of fresh air. Putting aside the whole famous director thing, I found this book to have the more realistic relationship, with adults trying to navigate an adult relationship rather than immediate sweeping off of feet. Alex’s son was pretty adorable as well. The best part is that Grammie and her awesomeness make an appearance.