Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Month In Review: July 2018

Wait, how can it already be the end of the month??? That's so crazy. Summer is almost gone, y'all gone!! Well since it's gone here are the books I have read, the reviews I have written and a recap of all the awesomeness that came my way.

Waiting on Wednesdays: The Books coming out this month that I would love to get my hands on. What are you lusting for??
  • WOW: A Duke By Default by Alyssa Cole
  • WOW: Pale As Death by Heather Graham
  • WOW: The Impossibility Of Us by Katy Upperman
  • WOW: Small Town Rumors by Carolyn Brown
Book Hauls:
  1. Stacking the Shelves (17)
  2. Stacking the Shelves (18) The Strand Edition 
  3. Stacking the Shelves  (19) The Ebook Edition
  4. Stacking the Shelves (20) Thriftbooks & The Dollar Tree
Reviews on the Blog This Month:

Books Read This Month: 12

Yearly Goal: 150   Monthly Count: 12   Balance: 67

These are the prompts I was using to complete my monthly TBR.  Blue means I filled them in during the month.  Black are from the beginning TBR. 
Lemonade Syllabus:
  1. .

Perpetual Author Challenge:
  • 2-3 Brenda Jackson Books
  • Ming Game & Night Game Ghostwalker Series by Christine Feehan
  • The Obsession by Nora Roberts 
  • Cross Breed by Lora Leigh.(ARC) 
Finish Series Challenge:
  • Fifth Grave Past The Light by Daryna Jones

  • Crossbreed by Lora Leigh ✔
  • Dagger's Edge by Lora Leigh ✔ 
  • Surviving Adam Meade by Shannon Klare✔
  • The Breakup by Erin McCarthy ✔

Black Out Challenge:
  • Between The World & Me by Ta-Nahisi Coates 
  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevado 
  • .
  • .
  • .
Erotica books:
  • Decadent by Shayla Black
  • .
  • .
Non-Fiction Books:
  1. Religious Book
  2. Religious Book
  3. Finance Book
  4. Social issues Book
  5. Personal Interest Book
Summer Reading Challenge Books:
  • Out of this World Marriage by Maggie Shayne
  • Revealed: A Prince and A Pregnancy by
  • The Billionaire's Pregnant Mistress 
  • First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
Book Reviews To Look Forward to Next Month: I read a few books as ARCs that are coming out this month, I can't wait to share my thought with y'all.

  • Dagger's Edge by Lora Leigh
  • The Breakup by Erin McCarthy
  • Surviving Adam Meade by Shannon Klare
These are just a few of the books I read this month and I have audiobook reviews to share and I just am so proud of how well this month went. 

And that's a wrap!!! I was very excited once I started to put this together and realized what a productive and fun month I had. I can't wait to see how I do next month!!! I hope you're doing well in your challenges as well. Have you read any of these?? What's on your accomplished for the month list?? Share down below so we can pat each other on the back about a job well done and I'll see you tomorrow.  

Monday, July 30, 2018

Monday Movie Review: Set It Up (2018)

Movie Title: Set It Up
Released: 2018
Directed by: Claire Scanton
Starring:: Taye Diggs, Luy Lui, Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell
Based on:  Written by Katie Silberman
Run Time: 1hr 45mins
Two corporate executive assistants hatch a plan to match-make their two bosses.

Hi my loves,  please be aware that as the review goes along there might be spoilers. I'll try to warn you. I watched this movie while working on my crochet projects. (this is only time I really watch tv, I marathon shows and work on projects). I was really looking forward to a fun romantic comedy, and that's what we got. 

The premise is simple, two workaholic bosses are keeping their assistants hostage to their ambition and to aide them in having social and love lives, the two assistants hook their bosses up.  At first glance this is a cute contemporary romance, because not only do the bosses appear to fall in love, the pair finds that their own love lives come more into play.  They bond and share great stories as they figure out how to keep the magic going for their bosses while trying to accomplish their own goals.  Their jobs kept them from pursuing their goals and dreams, as one wanted to be a writer but didn't have any time the other was trying to push their relationship further with their partner. 

Let's talk about what worked in the movie:
  1. Relateable characters, the two assistants were fun and funny, slightly nerdy and had amazing banter. 
  2. The way the relationship developed and their friendship that came from it was good.
  3. NYC being highlighted throughout the movie
  4. The shopgirl when they are shopping for rings. She was so relatable, she's like I'm here for the tea and her face when the argument blew up. Hilarity.  
  5. Harper's best friend, I loved her and their friendship, she was so honest and real with Harper. She was a true friend and hilarious as well. 
  6. Their comedic moments, like when they went to the baseball game and had the kiss cam moments.  
  7. Harper trying to let her boss know she has to keep her wax appointment has got to be the most awkward yet hilarious moment as well.  

There are a lot of reasons to really enjoy the show, if you're a big fan of  Never Been Kissed, She's All That, 10 Things I Hate About You, then you're going to enjoy this.  If all you're looking for is a fun, witty, modern romantic comedy featuring two desperate young people trying to distract their bosses so they can have lives and on the way find that they get a little more than they bargained for. Enjoy it and stop reading from here.  After this I'm going to kind of shred the movie.  Enjoy the movie!!

******************************SPOILERS AHEAD********************************

While I enjoyed the diverse characters, the witty banter and the fun friends who were fleshed out and had great lives, there are several underlying notes that I couldn't help but notice.  
  1. While the movie on the surface is about getting these two workaholics together, the true romance that comes from it isn't the two main diverse characters.  They don't even get incidental relationships at all.
  2. All the characters that are used for comedic relief are people of color. I do mean used, we weren't laughing with them but at them. First, there was the elevator operator who was "simple-minded' (unable to read social cues, couldn't understand more than the basic instructions given to him & had the nickname Creepy Pete and was ok with being called that) He also loves plants and works in the basement, but doesn't seem to know about growth lights because he can be seen watering dying/dead plants. Really?!!
  3. The next person we laugh at is the large African American package delivery man, who decides that due to his claustrophobia it would be smart to strip naked in an elevator that has stopped for just a moment. Then urinate on his package.  Then be caught by a Caucasian woman as she attempts to board once the elevator starts working again. IN WHAT EFFING WORLD?? With people calling the cops on Firefighters in uniform?? the one where people are calling the cops as you move into your building?? Not happening. 
  4. In the end, the two assistants end up together, the bosses don't last and mostly because the male lead is a cheating bastard. He's a successful venture capitalist who is selfish, egotistical and so competitive he gives his assistant a promotion just because someone else got on near him.
  5. Charlie's girlfriend, who was Latina, was vain, vapid, as shown as a woman who had no depth and that was the reason he had to break up with her to get with the perfect down to earth girl Harper.   
I really enjoyed the movie, but as it went on and I realized how it was going to end I began to feel moments of disquiet.  I wasn't happy about the things that I noticed and perhaps they didn't mean to cast the minority characters as people not deserving of love as they are vain (the girlfriend) cheaters (Rick) or too focused on work (Kirsten), simple-minded (the maintenance worker)  or someone who deserves to be arrested for public indecency (the delivery driver).  

While I enjoyed it while watching it won't be a repeat performance for me.  

Have you seen it?? Do you feel like I'm reaching?? Bring popcorn and enjoy my loves, then let me know in the ocmments down below.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Stacking The Shelves (20) Thriftbooks & The Dollar Tree (July 2018)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page! Stacking The Shelves now has a new host and check out that new image!!

For the Roses by Julie Garwood. I decided to get all the books I was missing from her since I still have so many credits to my name.  I requested a few of her books and this is one of the others that came in this week. 
Come The Spring by Julie Garwood. Another of the wish list books.  This wasn't supposed to be the cover, but since it's brand new never been read book Ill suck it up.
Guardian Angel by Julie Garwood
Prince Charming
A Girl Named Summer
Gentle Warrior. This one came out when I was four years old. I can't wait to see how it's held up. I actually got this copy and cover, I believe it's a first print as well. 

Running errands brought me to the Dollar Tree a few towns over and I had to check out their book section and they have a few gems that I will be sharing on the instagram. I, however, couldn't leave empty handed so I snagged these two. 

Forever Summer by Alyson Noel. To add to my summer reading list

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. Because classic.

For some reason, my thriftbooks order has been severely delayed in getting here and I'm just now getting there. O_o
Wild Sweet Love by Beverly Jenkins, because Beverly writes amazing historical romances. They are a must read.
Chasing Down A Dream by Beverly Jenkins. I've already read this but wanted a copy for my shelves.
Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally. I also ordered the ones I was missing from this series these are definitely going on the summer reads list.
Catching Jordan  this is the beginning of the series and I figured since I have scattered books from the series I would just complete it and read them all.
Jesse's Girl 
Racing Savannah

I've decided to get a few more of the catalog of Beverly Jenkins so I grabbed these:

Through The Storm  This is another historical fiction. It spawns another of the series and I loved it because of the familial ties. Had to have a copy for myselves.
Bring on the Blessings (Blessing 1) I've already read this and own it as a ebook, I just needed a physical copy to go with all my others.
Something Like Love  Another of Beverly's historical romance and I can't wait to dive right into it. It promises to be an amazing read.  And an informative one as well.

And that's it my loves. What'd you get in your haul this week?? Share in the comments down below and I'll see you next week.

Happy Reading & Haulin' my loves

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Book #Review: Blue Dahlia ( In The Garden # 1) by Nora Roberts

Book Title: Blue Dahlia (In The Garden Trilogy )
Author:  Nora Roberts |WebsitePinterestFacebook|
Publisher: Jove/Penguin
Genre:  Romance
Series/Standalone:  Series Book 1
Format:  Mass Market
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 402
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date October 2004
Add To Goodreads
Recently widowed Stella Rothschild has found a new love in Logan Kitridge. But there is someone who isn't happy about Stella's growing feelings for Logan: the Harper Bride, an unidentified woman whose grief and rage have kept her spirit alive long past the death of her body./span>
This being a Nora Roberts title I went into it without reading the synopsis and the first few pages snagged my interest and before I knew it the book was done.  I absolutely loved the story that unfolded with the mystery of what happened to the woman in the beginning and how she's related to the Harper Bride of the family legend.

Once we start the story in the past,  we move forward and are captured by Stella's tale and what happens on the worst day of her life. She's going about her day being a wife and mother and then a news report catches her eye and her world comes apart even before the officers show up to confirm it for her.  I loved that Nora captured grief and the moments that you have to sink into your emotions and then when she realizes she needs to come back from that moment for her boys. I wanted to cry with her, for her and felt so sad realizing as she did that the dreams she had been working on would never come to pass.

Realizing that she won't move on or heal if she remains in their hometown, Stella looks for and interviews for her dream job in the same state as her father and stepmother. Moving the boys and herself for this new opportunity is both daunting and scary and yet necessary.  Just reading this you felt like you were right there with her, with her anxiety, her nervousness and her need for this to work out. From the get-go Logan challenged her and what she was trying to do, Logan didn't like change and Stella brought a ton of change he wasn't ready for.  Stella heralded many changes for the garden center, from her presence to the new life brought into the home with her boys, and then a lost family member coming to them for help. 

Even though they butt heads several times, the sparks were there and they slowly worked their way from an adversary towards being friends then lovers. I liked that it was a slow build and that they weren't certain about anything. I loved her boys being involved and that Logan fell for them as much as he fell for Stella. As their relationship developed, however, the ghost of the house made herself known, she went from a benevolent ghost who sang to the children to a woman bent on making sure Stella came to heel.

It was scary to read how she kept coming into their lives and still everyone wanted to know who she truly was since the house has been passed down for generations and yet no one knew who she truly was.  The mystery of who she was & how she was connected to the house and the family drew you right in. I loved the developing story and can't wait to see how it works out in the other two books. 
This is a great story especially for those of us who love gardening and gardens as this plays a prominent role in the story. It's a great start to the trilogy as there are several storylines left to be filled and I can't wait to read them.   Happy Reading my loves, 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday (W.O.W) Pale as Death by Heather Graham

Hosted by: Jill over at Breaking The Spines.  This is a weekly book lust prompt, asking for us to share our absolute can't wait to get our hands on a copy books. Swing on over to find out how to participate and to see what others are sharing.  

Adult Fiction/ Romance / Erotica

Pale As Death (Krewe of Hunters 25) by Heather Graham

From the dark depths of Hollywood’s past

The crime scene is horrific: the corpse of a young actress, drained of blood and cut in two. LAPD Detective Sophie Manning’s new case is high-profile and difficult—there’s no evidence to work with. And it’s a disturbing echo of the infamous Black Dahlia killing. Sophie is burning the candle at both ends, desperate to catch the murderer before he strikes again, when she starts to experience inexplicable visits…from ghosts.

Bruce McFadden has a particular talent that can help Sophie—he can speak with the dead. As a consultant for the FBI’s paranormal team, the Krewe of Hunters, he’s been tasked with Sophie’s case and they’re forced to partner up. But Sophie doesn’t want his help, and she doesn’t want to share his peculiar skill. And she certainly isn’t ready for love, despite Bruce’s attentions.

As the killer taunts the police, Sophie and Bruce will discover that the threat is closer to home than they’d ever realized. Working side by side is the only way they’ll stop this deadly sequel. 
Due Date: August 1
Print: Mass Market 
Pages: 384
Publisher: MIRA Harlequin
Add To Goodreads

Y'all know it's Heather Graham so add it to the list.

Are you getting any of these?? What's on your book lust list?? Share in the comments down below!!
Happy Lusting

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Book #Review: The Obsession by Nora Roberts

Book Title:  The Obsession
Author:  Nora Roberts |WebsitePinterestFacebook|
Publisher: Berkley Publishers
Genre:  Romantic Suspense, Mystery
Format:  Hardcover, Ebook
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 453
How I got it: Borrowed From The Library
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date April 12, 2016
Add To Goodreads
The riveting new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Liar.

“She stood in the deep, dark woods, breath shallow and cold prickling over her skin despite the hot, heavy air. She took a step back, then two, as the urge to run fell over her.”

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away
This is told in four parts and part one I read when I was just trying a chapter, once I read it I was hooked and I couldn't put it down. I finished this book in two days. Told mostly from Naomi's point of view we get the tale of a young girl living a nightmare no one should ever have to live much less that of a child.  Naomi wakes one night to see a family member heading off into the woods and being a curious child who is only days away from a birthday she hopes they are heading to her present so she follows them, what she finds there is a horror no eleven-year-old should witness.

I absolutely felt terrified when reading this book because before Naomi realized what was happening I knew it based on the description. I just knew it wasn't what she wanted down in that hidden cellar, from the talk of the grunts she heard I just knew she should run and in fact found myself telling her to turn back to run to not go. I was so invested, I felt anxious as the story unfolded and she began her journey deeper into the nightmare.

Nora writes books in a way that you get so invested int he characters lives and want so much for their emotional health and happiness. I loved that this included a happy gay couple who were a great source of normalcy for her and her brother and that even though Naomi had been exposed to such depravity she still managed to have some semblance of a happy home life. The people around her insisted on therapy to aide in this.  (which is rarely discussed in these books).  I loved that she and her brother became such good successes despite who their parents were.

We see Naomi through the discovery and the aftermath of the discovery of a serial killer in her family. We see the repercussions as they ripple across the family lines, and how it impacts them and the community.  We always talk about the victims and how the killers destroyed their lives, we sometimes forget how their actions impact the innocent people they may be related to.  We forget that our fascination with minds that broken means that they have other victims as well, not just the ones whose lives they have destroyed but their family and friends as well. And you're left struggling with how did you not know that someone you love, lived with, was friends with is/was a monster.  I really liked that Nora brought that up in this book and we see what happens when a woman takes back the narrative and gives her own story instead of allowing the press to make the story for her.  This decision has repercussions that span decades and finally come to a head when Naomi settles down in this small town and begins to fall in love with her new home, and the family and connections she is creating in her new town.

As Naomi learns to stop running form the past and embrace and plant roots for the future, she learns more about herself and about who she wants to be despite her relation to a serial killer. I loved watching her bloom with Xander. He was such a surprise to her and to us. I loved that the relationship started slow, and she was reluctant at first because she expected rejection based on her past. I loved that he figured it out and still wanted to date her. He wasn't looking to make a fortune form it, he was just a man who knew he was down to the bone and was happy with his life, but wanted to explore this attraction. Xander was successful in his own right, was well liked in his town, had a bit of the bad boy in him but was mostly a good guy who saw Naomi for more than she saw herself.

I loved how this story developed how the mystery kept unfolding how everything kept coming together and even how the near misses happened.  I loved how Naomi bloomed here as her home was renovated and it's almost like the renovation of the house became a parallel for the renovation of her life and her beliefs about happiness.  And of course, there is a cute dog.

  • The Gingerbread Man by Maggie Shayne
  • Fast Track by Julie Garwood
  • Heather Graham's entire catalog

A perfect mystery with a wonderful romance. I highly recommend my loves, check it out and of course Happy Reading my loves, 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Book #Review: Out Of This World Marriage by Maggie Shayne

Book Title: Out of This World Marriage
Author:  Maggie Shayne|WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: Harlequin Intimate Silhouette
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Romance
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Format: Mass Market
Cost: $3.75
Pages: 249
How I got it: Purchased 
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
Publication Date: April 1995
Add To Goodreads
UFO Crash-Lands in Iowa

How on earth had Thomas Duffy's life become stranger than a tabloid headline? One moment he was a grumpy-but-respectable country doctor. The next he was starry-eyed over an exotic beauty who'd dropped out of the sky and into his wheat field.

Local Doctor Weds Alien

If Thomas didn't protect Janella, those sinister government snoops might harm her. So he did what any chivalrous gentleman would do: he married her. Thomas never imagined that Janella had been waiting for him, long before they met. Or that his new wife expected the works: wedding night, honeymoon - and love.
This was a fantastic read. You can definitely tell it's an older book, yet it aged pretty well.  I really enjoyed the prologue which set this up as a thing that's been happening since he was a child.

This was a very fun story because in Janella's world women are the rulers and even though she didn't like the world she kept expecting humans to be the same and was aghast when she discovered it wasn't the same.  I loved that she adapted so well to being on Earth, even if she didn't give herself an out if she had landed here and he'd already gotten married what would she have done??

When Thomas was a child he saved Janella and then he does again as an adult, and she also saves him, but that time takes longer. I absolutely loved how the relationship developed between them and how each of the characters grows as the story progresses. I absolutely loved how Janella grows within this new world, yet she pins so much of her hope on Thomas being a good guy, Thomas is very afraid after seeing so much death and isn't sure how to view her belief in him at times.

I loved that this was character driven and yet we had a bit of a mystery about the men from the government, and the refugees from her world. As the story unfolds and their emotions become more entangled that we realize that much of their drama comes from simple miscommunication.  I enjoyed the discussion of what is an alien and how do they differ from us and what do they bring to the table.

Female friendship is a big theme in this one as well and having a mentor who helps to guide Janella even if she doesn't know the full story she sees more than even Thomas expected. I just loved this story and the world we were introduced to.
Do you have any favorite alien stories?? Share them down below please, this used to be one of my favorite tropes and I'm thinking I want to get back to it.  Either way, Happy Reading my loves, 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Stacking The Shelves (19) The Ebook Edition

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page! Stacking The Shelves now has a new host and check out that new image!!

This is actually several months worth of ebooks. I've actually been very good recently. I'm trying to read more from my shelves so this is good.  

NetGalley (ARCs)
To say I screamed when I got a few of these notifications. Is not even close to the happy dances and staring in shock. I'm going to ghost a few people and things until these babies are read. Right now I'm on #TeamNoSleep
Cross Breed (Breeds 23) by Lora Leigh. I almost passed out when I realized I had received this.  I have pre-ordered this in both ebook and physical form. I got this on Friday, this is Saturday and I have finished the book. OMGAWD!!!!!!!!
Dagger's Edge (Brute Force 2) by Lora Leigh. Book two in this series and I'm so excited because the first one was very erotic and fast-paced.  I highly recommend that one and I can't wait to see where this one goes.
How to Breathe Underwater by Vicky Skinner. This cover drew me in. Then the synopsis really hooked me.
Surviving Adam Meade by Shannon Klare. This looks like a fun young/new adult romance.
To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin. Another of the books I clicked because of the cover at first then the synopsis grabbed my attention.
The Impossibility of Us by Katy Upperman. Oh my gosh the synopsis of this one??! I can't wait to read it. A multicultural book and a military family?? Yes please.
I haven't read a Lynda book in a while and when I saw she has several on NetGalley, I couldn't pass them up.

Signed Over by Lynda Aicher
Strictly Confidential Lynda Aicher
The Real Deal Lauren Blackly This sounds like it's going to be a fun, quirky read and I'm here for it.
Double Down Alessandra Torre' I marathoned one of her series at the beginning of the year and fell in love with her writing, so when I saw she has a new one coming out I had to be apart of the campaign to share.
The Breakup by Erin McCarthy. Ohhh I can't wait to see what these two get into. Can this Jordan brother be redeemed?? I can't wait to dive in.

A Treason of Truths by Ada Harper. I'll be honest it's the cover and all that smooth brown skin that caught my eye. I was halfway through reading the synopsis when I one clicked I needed to read this. It's sci-fi with spies and betrayal and is LGBTQIA+

Ebooks Purchased

One Dom To Love by Shayla Black and two others. This is a freebie on amazon from one of my fave erotica authors, of course, I one clicked the title.  
Crystal Clear (Blessings 4.5)by Brenda Jackson Told from the perspective of one of the major characters as she tries to go back where she came from and learned some hard lessons on the way.
Chasing Down a Dream (Blessings 8)by Beverly Jenkins. I read the rest of the series and couldn't wait to get my hands on a physical copy so I bought the ebook to read.
Paper Princess (Royals 1)by Erin Watt. this is a really popular romance series and I see it from several of my favorite booktubers, so I snagged the first one to see what it's about, if I like it I'll get the others.

That's all Folks!!! I got quite a few but as I said this was from May forward in ebook requesting and purchasing.  What'd you get in your haul this week?? Share in the comments down below and I'll see you next week.

Happy Reading & Haulin' my loves