Saturday, September 14, 2019

Stacking The Shelves (2019) #22: Harlequin Sale .@HarlequinBooks

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!!

Harlequin had a sale recently and I decided to snag a few things that were on sale. I grabbed a few new to me authors and one of my faves:

American Dreamer by Adriana Herrera. I saw the author and her author friend gushing about the book and wanted to know what they were talking about so I grabbed this one.

Seduced by Second Chances Reese Ryan. All of my favorite romance peeps have been recently raving about her and her works so I snagged a few titles from her recently including these two.

His Until Midnight  Reese Ryan

Twins for the Soldier by Rochelle Alers. I love Rochelle's stories, plus an instant family trope?? Girl sign me up.

Black Tie Billionaire  by Naima Simone  This is also the book of the month for Romanced by the Book Instagram page.  It's the second book in her Blackout Series and let me explain to you how much I loved LOVED the first one so of course, I bought the second.

I have ordered more but am waiting for those to be delivered, but in the meantime, I thought I would share these. Have you read any of these?? 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

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Stacking The Shelves (2019) #21 September Pre-Orders Are Rolling In

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!!

Hi my loves,

I only got two books this week. These were pre-orders for September. 


Dark Illusion (Carpathian 29) by Christine Feehan

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite & Maritza Moulite. This a YA story about Haitian immigrants and I can't wait to read it. 

I don't know much about either stories, I know I love the look of the Haiti book and it's not often that you see books about Haiti so I pre-ordered. The Christine Feehan book was a given because y'all know I'm obsessed with this series.  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

Monday, September 2, 2019

Book #Review: A Deep Dark Secret by Kimberla Lawson Roby .@KimberlaLRoby

Book Title: A Deep Dark Secret
Author:  Kimberla L Roby |WebsiteTwitterFacebook| Instagram
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Christian Fiction
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Format: Hardcover, Paperback
Cost: $19.99
Pages: 179
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound
Publication Date Sept 29, 2009
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
Kimberla Lawson Roby explores the consequences of a life-altering family trauma in A Deep Dark Secret, tackling controversy with the same storytelling brio and startling insight into human nature that made her previous books New York Times bestsellers. Leaving behind the world of philandering preacher Curtis Black and his family—featured in her acclaimed novels Too Much of a Good Thing, Love and Lies, Sin No More, and The Best of Everything—Roby enters the life of a little girl hiding A Deep Dark Secret and gets to the troubling root of an all too prevalent societal and family issue. Both groundbreaking and ultimately hopeful, this coming-of-age story is powerful, brave, and unforgettable.
****Trigger Warning for those who are sensitive to books about child abuse, sexual abuse, rape and suicide.******

I went into this book like normal, completely oblivious to the synopsis and my gawd I needed that warning. The first time I tried to read this I had to put it down because I couldn't make it past the first chapter I wasn't ready. Now two years later I [icked it up and flew through the book. It's short read but it's devastating in its content.

Told from the perspective of a young girl who is being sexually abused starting at age five until age twelve when the abuse escalates and she begins to try to find ways to end it. I was so devastated reading this because 1) you know it's true for some children who are abused. The stats here in America is 1 in every 4 girls and 1 in every 8 boys have been abused * and that is severely under-reported* 2) the manipulation described was spot on and oh gawd I just wanted to rescue her and keep her safe.

I became so emotionally invested in this story, the young girls struggle to find her way to safety, to not just leave it all behind, her desperation when she realizes there is another possible victim close by. Just the reality of her journey and the devastation one person is causing in her life. Reading how she reacts and how her friend is reacting to her journey as well, a friend who is 'boy crazy' and what she's willing to do to have someone love her.  Consent was also discussed in this book as the protagonist began to explore being a pre-teen who wants to feel something for the cute boy in her class.

I'm so glad that Kimberla wrote this because it's a book every single black mother needs to read, it's a book that needs to be in the church, it needs to be given to students in school so they can read the story and see the manipulation and how it worked to silence her for so long.  I need teachers to read this and see what the signs are.  There were so many who should have seen something was wrong but no one dug deep enough, no one asked the right questions and these girls were left to fend for themselves.

The ending was great, I loved that we saw the two varied reactions to the truth coming out.  I'm glad we got to see how those closest to the survivor acted, and how they have changed by telling their truth.  It's a necessary read and I just felt all the emotions reading this.
 ★★★★
RECOMMENDATIONS
Happy Reading my loves, 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

September 2019 To Be Read


Hey my loves, with Fall coming I love looking back at the year and seeing how I have done so far, this year I decided to look back at previous Septembers and seeing how my numbers look.

I have been going back over the past few years worth of tbr videos & lists shared here on the blog.  I decided I wanted to look at the books and prompts that I missed and see what I can add on my tbr for this year.What i found is I have missed 43 prompts in the last few years and 44 actual book titles that I shared. This year I wanted to grab a few books from these prompts and lists for this years reading lists.

My goal this year is 150  books, if I break that down it comes out to 13 books per month, with 3 to 4  books a week. Totally doable in my books, so as the proverb says, you can eat an elephant one bite at a time, so here are my first few bites:

Read So Far This Year: 105
TBR Pile 150
TBR Balance: 45
Monthly Goal: 13
    Perpetual Author Challenge:
    • Brenda Jackson 
    • Beverly Jenkins
    Finish Series Challenge:
    • Sylvia Day 
    Black Out Challenge:
    • .
    • .
    Erotica Book Selection: 

    Book Club Book: (This month I'm skipping this one since it's not a title I own, however, I'm listing it so I know what the book was for this month at the end of the year).
    • Educated by Tara Westover 
    2013 to 2018 Prompts and Titles I want to check out this year:

    Banned Books Week TBR:
    • The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison
    • Beloved Toni Morrison
    • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
    Prompts:
    • Christine Feehan book ( new one coming this month so I will read that one) 
    • 10 books from shelves
    • A little Night Magic by Lucy Monroe 
    • 3 L. A Banks books: Crimson Moon Series 
    • Krewe of Hunters by Heather Graham
    • Gena Showalter
    • Cheyenne Mcray
    • Holly Black
    • Nora Roberts Black Rose
    • Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
    • Faerie Tale
    • Alice Hoffman title
    • YA horror/ paranormal
    • NA horror/ paranormal
    • Paranormal titles 5
    These are the ones I want to work on this month. Plus I will be putting up my Spooky TBR for the entire fall season.  What are you going to be reading my loves?? Share in the comments down below if you have read any of these and as always

    Happy Reading

    Saturday, August 31, 2019

    Stacking The Shelves (2019) #18: Savers & Amazon Pre-Order

    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!!

    Pre-Order from Amazon:

    Sylvia Day  Butterfly in Frost:
    As soon as I saw this was excited and had to pre-order even though there hadn't been a publishing date. So I was so excited when it was shipped this month. It's Sylvia and I had to know nothing else when I ordered it.

    I marathoned this series two years ago and I haven't forgotten how amazing it was. So when I saw that she had a new one coming out I had to pre-order:

    Don't Doubt (Reed Brothers 20) by Tammy Faulkner. Reading Order 

    Savers Haul:
    I had to go to the Dr again this week and the office is right next to Savers so I was excited to take a peek inside and see what they had on the shelves this week. Also, they have a great sale of buy 4 get the 5th free so I snagged these:

    Everyone always talks about her for historical romance and she's well-liked on twitter so I figured I should grab one of hers to read so I snagged:

    A Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare $1.99 (Free after the sale) And I didn't know it was book three until I was setting up this post...so fun times there. LOL

    I have a few of her cowboy romances on my shelves and they are pretty good so I snagged another for the shelves:
     Hell Yeah by Carolyn Brown $1.99

    For the YA Paranormal shelf, I snagged these three in the series, hopefully, I like them. They were $2.99 apiece (which is a little steep but I was feeling good and needed a bit more of a boost from the sale.

    Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series:

    My Soul to Take Book 1

    My Soul to Save Book 2

    My Soult to Keep Book 3

    For Ebooks: 
    Free:
    Netherfield Must Go (Part1 of 4) by Nikki Payne

    Purchased: (twitter made me do it) 

    Cold Magic (Spiritwalker 1)by Kate Elliott

    Temptations of a Wallflower by Eva Leigh

    And that's all I've gotten this week.  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


    Sunday, August 25, 2019

    VEDA 2019: Day 24: Weekend Reads & Stacking The Shelves (2019) #17 .@AuthorBJackson .@Sonali_Dev

    Hi my loves

    We're here again for another stacking the shelves and a bit of a catch up on what I've read and what I'm going to be reading this weekend. My #fridayreads video is linked as well.

    I finished reading Ian's Ultimate Gamble by Brenda Jackson, this is another of the Westmoreland family members.  Ian is the "Perfect End' while his cousin was the Perfect Storm.  Meeting and falling in love with a police officer and separating when something happens between them. A few years later Brooke is assigned to his casino and she has to do it without letting Ian know. As they reconnect they find themselves trying to work their way through it.  I really enjoyed it and can't wait to do a full review for you.  I gave it 4 stars.

    Currently Reading:

    I have Copycat by Kimberla Lawson Roby on the list of books to read this weekend and I'm actually diving into it as we speak. What are you reading currently??  I'm also listening to Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. She's the narrator so you know it's A  M  A  ZING

    Now for the Haul:
    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!!

    From the Goodwill:

    Echoes of Evil (Krewe of Hunters 26) by Heather Graham $1.29

    From Walmart:

    Pride Prejudice & Other Flavors by Sonali Dev $10.98


    I will be going back for The Marriage Clock by Zara Raheem because that synopsis sounded awesome as well.

    Did you get anything fun this weekend?? Finish any books yet?? 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

    Saturday, August 10, 2019

    VEDA Day 10: Black Romance and it's New Queen


    I had some thoughts about that new Jasmine Guillory article from  ZORA.  I wasn't the only one; so many on twitter also had opinions that they shared and it spawned a bit of a recommendation thread all over the place. With yesterday also being National Book Lover's day it didn't go down well that this young woman and her team seem intent on erasing black women writers from the romance sphere.

    It's not the first article that has tried to frame black romance as something that hasn't existed until Jasmine came along and really it's on the authors of the article to do better research. It is also on Jasmine and her team who have final say that an article shouldn't erase the works of the women who came before her to center her as "shero of black romance". We don't have to live like this, we don't have to pit black romance authors against each other, there is plenty of room at the table that many of the African American authors had to build for themselves since big publishing houses didn't seem to believe they would have selling power. Many of the names we know as staples did sign with big houses but they also self-published and created their own publishing imprints as a way to get the stories they wanted out there, not just the ones the gatekeepers would sign up for.

    Imprints like Arabesque, Kimani and Dafina having been publishing African American centered stories for decades and for this little author of 4 books to come along and act as if Sandra Kitt hasn't existed and been making movies from her works for years is absolutely bullshyt.  We could sit here and go through the history of African American authors who have created different lanes for all of us to read in, from the women who when they realized big publishing houses weren't going to create the books they wanted to create their own like the 'street lit' sub-genre  of romance that focuses in on the inner city and impoverished men and women seeking love/ revenge and sex; because everyone's stories deserved to be heard.  Several publishing houses including Triple Crown Publishing by Vickie Stringer came out of that so did many well-known authors Omar Tyree, Sistah Souljah and more.

    Romance in all its nuances has existed since dime novels were considered salacious in the 18th and 19th century.  Black romance has been shaped by greats like Sandra Kitt, Beverly Jenkins, Donna Hill, Brenda Jackson, Francis Ray, Rochelle Alers, Terry McMillian, Toni Morrison and so many more.  These women have been putting pen to paper and writing about black love, black romance, and it's many varied outcomes. They have staying power as many have extensive catalogs and have been writing in this genre for decades.

    It's disheartening to see this article and this moniker being thrown around without the consideration for the women and men who changed the genre to include people who look like them. From E Lynn Harris writing about on the down-low brothers to Kimberla Lawson Roby's books about Reverend Curtis Black, and the shenanigans that take place in the black church, to the historical novels that center black women post Civil War written by Beverly Jenkins. And not to mention all the Christian Romance novels out there, the paranormal like those written by LA Banks (May She Rest in Power); and the smorgasbord of contemporary and interracial romance authors out there.  From Ace writers to the erotica like Robin Covington and Zane.

    I personally have grown up in this genre, I started by reading a Nora Roberts novel my aunt gave me and then I found Sandra Kitt and I haven't ever looked back.  In high school I was reading Omar Tyree books and discussing them with my classmates, as a sheltered teen, I knew nothing about street life but these books made me feel seen as a kid growing up in the city. I remember sharing the Coldest Winter Ever with my girlfriends from my freshman year in college. My sophomore year I loaned out my Omar Tyree collection to a cousin and never got them back, but I remember reading and loving so many of the works that I had to replace them. I still to this day remember how I reacted to a twist in Milk in My Coffee, like still a shocker.  His book Leslie was so good and I was hooked.

    The first time I read a Beverly Jenkins book and realized she was sharing real history?? That she had bibliographies in the back that I could use to go down the rabbit hole of black history??? I was hooked. Seeing Disappearing Acts by Terry McMillian then discovering it was a book?? How Stella got her groove back?? Seeing a black woman on Oprah talking about Jamaica and she wasn't Jamaican?? Loving the heck out of the adaptation with Angela Bassett?? ( I mean that romance imploded but still we got some good books and television out of it). Black women have always been the ones to center our stories, our pain, our history and our journeys. Lynn Emery writing of black women heiresses trying to make it in the corporate world.

    Don't come in here and piss on all of us and tell us it's raining. To be a Queen includes more than being the flavor of the moment. It's staying power, it's having a range in the books you can write, with different characters and their journeys. We all know they will end up together but how they get there is what makes a great writer. Give me the emotions, don't just waltz in here and pretend that because you say it it's true.

    I state it in my video and I want to touch on it even more here. Not only is it erasure of the black women and men who have opened up the genre for her to be able to come in and make these damn comments, it's also a way to center stories, not about black women at all. It feels like the way her press is being handled that black readers aren't the target audience, we are the 'given', they seem to believe we are already going to be reading her works because she's a black romance writer. UGH no, that's not how that works. The interviews and the way she's being marketed which include ignoring the presence of the black women who have been around before her is a total white gaze marketing. It appears (to me the reader) like she's not really marketing her books for us black readers but for white readers who want a little 'flavor/ color/ sassiness' in their romance without having to actually read 'black romance'.

    Now again I understand that this is just my perception, but as someone who buys romance books, and I like to believe have a little sway in what others read as well, then you would want to make sure we aren't the ones you are slighting. I have no dog in this fight I'm not a writer, aspiring or otherwise, I like working in the healthcare field but romance is my escape, and seeing women who have helped me without even knowing it being treated like chopped liver, pissed me all the way off. So here I am participating in the callout. Fix the way your press is shaping your campaign as a writer, stop erasing black writers who have helped to shape the genre you get to come in and write in.

    Jasmine you and your team need to do better.

    Share in the comments down below your recommendations for romance readers my loves and let's continue the discussion.
    As always
    Happy Reading


    Thursday, August 1, 2019

    August 2019 To Be Read


    Welcome my loves it's August 2019. And my July was a fantastic month of reading; not just in the number of books I read, but also in the quality of books I read. I had a lot of 4 and 5 stars reads and I'm hoping this month will also be the same.

    For August besides my usual prompts, I'm going to be doing ARC August as well as Austen In August. Find our what I plan to read for those down below.

    My goal this year is 150  books, if I break that down it comes out to 13 books per month, with 3 to 4  books a week. Totally doable in my books, so as the proverb says, you can eat an elephant one bite at a time, so here are my first few bites:

    Read So Far This Year: 87
    TBR Pile 150
    TBR Balance: 63
    Monthly Goal: 13
      I actually am doing VEDA (Vlog every day in August) this year and I made a TBR video as well, I'll link it here.

      Perpetual Author Challenge:
      • Brenda Jackson Star of Hi Heart, Stranded with a tempting stranger
      • Beverly Jenkins
      Finish Series Challenge:
      • Don't Tempt Me Sylvia Day 
      Top 19  List
      • Jan Read: Shifting (haven't finished yet)
      • April Read:
      • May Read: A Princess Theory by Alyssa Cole
      • June: Second Time Sweeter Beverly Jenkins
      • July: Souls Revealed by Dawn Marie Daniels & Candace Sandy
      Black Out Challenge:
      • Jambalaya by Luisah Teish
      • .A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney
      Kimberla Lawson Roby:
      • A Taste of Reality
      • A Deep Dark Secret
      • The Perfect Marriage
      • Best Friends Forever
      • One in a Million
      • Copycat
      Erotica Book Selection: 
      • The Exhibitionist by Tara Sue Me 
      Book Club Book: (This month I'm skipping this one since it's not a title I own, however, I'm listing it so I know what the book was for this month at the end of the year).
      • Murder with Fried Chicken & Waffles by A. L Herber
      ARCs
      • Color Me In Natasha Diaz
      • Last Night Karen Ellis
      • A Map Of the Dark Karen Ellis
      • Highland Crown May McGoldrich
      • The Perfect Date Evelyn Lozada
      • Kingdom of Exiles Maxiym Matineau
      • No Other Duke But You
      • The Long call Ann Cielves
      • Never Day Duke Erica Ridley
      • Feels Like Summer Time Tammy Faulkner
      • Ferocity Summer 
      2018 ARCs Only:
      • Dare to Fall Estelle Maskame
      • The XY Virginia Bergin
      • Kiss the Girls Tara Sivec
      Leftover Books: Books from other months TBR that I didn't conquer.
      • Valiant by Holly Black
      • The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
      • That Summer by Sarah Dessen
      Non Fiction Reads:
      • The Principles of Druidry by Emma Restall Orr
      • Seasons of the Sacred Earth by Cliff Seryntine
      So this is a pretty ambitious TBR, but I think I can knock some of these off easily.  What are you going to be reading my loves?? Share in the comments down below if you have read any of these and as always

      Happy Reading

      Saturday, July 27, 2019

      Stacking The Shelves (2019) #16: Ollie's Haul

      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!!

      Hi my loves, I have been on a bit of a buying spree, and I went to a few stores I haven't been to in at least a year to see what they had. I had a budget of $50 to spend between the two so here are the things I got at the first stop which is Ollies:

      Dante's Inferno by Canterbury Classics $2.99. This is a gorgeous leatherbound edition.

      Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley Doyle, snagged this because it's a magical realism book and I kind of miss that. I used to have a Sarah Addison Allen book a year but there hasn't been one in the last two years. I'm hoping this is good.  $1.99

      City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C Anderson I remember this being a huge hit when it first came out and I never got around to it and now I'm excited to get right into it.  $1.99

      Rebound by Kwame Alexander This is another book I have wanted to read for a while, this author is on my list for a while. $2.99

      Then I went to the local dollar tree to snag a few things and saw this one I wanted to grab this.

      Like it Never Happened by Emily Adrian

      So far I've spent $11.98 our of my budget. I'm splitting this because it got so huge, check next week to see what I snagged at the other discount store. 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

      Wednesday, July 10, 2019

      Can't Wait Wednesdays (8) Blood Awakens by Jessica Willis #NetGalley #bloodawakens

      Originally hosted by: Jill over at Breaking The Spines.  However, the Breaking The Spines blog is no longer hosting the prompt, there is a new one called Can't Wait Wednesdays hosted by Wishful Endings. Same premise of sharing books we can't wait to get our hands on. 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. 


      Young Adult/New Adult

      Blood Awakens ( The Awakened Book 1) by Jessica Willis 
      People called Sean a blood guide, though he never fully understood why. As far as he knew, he could hear heartbeats and heal people. It wasn’t until he walked in on his brother’s brutal murder that he learned of the darker nature of his power: blood speaks to him, and he to it. With a simple song, he can command it to do whatever he wants, and in that moment, he showed his brother’s murderers no mercy. Now Sean must fight to keep his inner demons in check and his path to redemption begins with the establishment of sanctuary for people like him, people with powers, the Awakened.

      Graciela is one of many who did not Awaken, but she’s watched as her brother’s power as an empath—the ability to sense other’s emotions—has brought him to the brink of death. Together, they set across Central America in search of a cure, or at the very least, safety. What they find is a sanctuary called Hope, the same one Sean governs.

      But they soon discover that even from within the compounds of the sanctuary, no one is safe. Not when there are people in the world with unimaginable power and insatiable bloodlust.

      WARNING: Due to the nature of some of the powers and abilities in this book, this story does contain graphic descriptions of blood and some violence.
      Due Date: June 26th, 2019
      Print: Ebook
      Pages: 601
      Publisher: Kindle Published
      Status: I received a copy from NetGalley and will be reading this and sharing my opinion soon.
      Add To Goodreads
      Why I'm Excited:
      This is a sci fi new adult and it sounds awesome. I'm just looking at that page count and wondering what is happening in there if it's also a series. 

      What's on your book lust list?? Share in the comments down below!!
      Happy Lusting

      Monday, July 8, 2019

      Book #Review: Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie

      Book Title: Anyone But You
      Author:  Jennifer Crusie |WebsiteTwitterFacebook
      Publisher: HQN Books
      Genre: Romance, Romantic Comedy
      Series/Standalone: Standalone
      Format: Mass Market, ebook
      Cost: $1.99
      Pages: 283
      How I got it: Purchased
      Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Thriftbooks
      Publication Date: November 21, 1996
      Add To Goodreads
      Synopsis:
      For Nina Askew, turning forty means freedom--from the ex-husband, freedom from their stuffy suburban home, freedom to focus on what she wants for a change. And what she wants is something her ex always vetoed--a puppy. A bouncy, adorable puppy. Instead she gets...Fred.

      Overweight, middle-aged, a bit smelly and obviously depressed, Fred is light-years from perky. But he does manage to put Nina in the path of Alex Moore, her gorgeous, younger-by-a-decade neighbor.

      Alex seems perfect--he's a sexy, seemingly sane, surprisingly single E.R. doctor--but the age gap convinces Nina that anyone but Alex would be better relationship material. But with every silver-haired stiff she dates, the more she suspects it's the young, dog-loving doc she wants to sit and stay!
      This is the story of Nina who is recently divorced, in her 40s and is trying to restart her life.  She's trying to get all the things she'd been denied in her marriage to a successful lawyer. She starts by filing for divorce, moving into an apartment in a building with character, unique neighbors and getting a puppy. Only she doesn't get the puppy of her dreams, she gets instead Fred.  Fred's got the most depressing face ever but he like her wasn't expecting much love from the world.

      I loved that she was learning to find herself, however, her self-esteem was in the toilet. She was just trying to exist instead of embracing the new change in her life and that was dragging her back from a great opportunity. She was able to see what being stagnant was doing to her boss and her boss's business but didn't see how much of herself was reflected there As we were reading I laughed at some of her antics and her moods because #same. I loved that as we went along it became clear this was shaping up to be an older woman/younger man romance. I loved how the dog was the reason they were introduced and that was the cutest meet-cute.

      At times it became clear this was a little dated especially the parts of the discussion about VCR, but Netflix and chill is as old as time because watching VCR and TMC and hanging out was how these two began their friendship.  Both struggling to find a way into more but being held back by the assumptions and beliefs that Nina had. She's just turned 40 and she's not confident in herself, her body and believes at first that Alex is just a shiftless 25 year old and that scares her that she's attracted to him. She doesn't believe she can measure up to women in his age group but Alex sees her as a beautiful woman and considers her sexy but she's not willing to see herself as he sees her.  Alex is a successful man but his family's inability to respect his field of expertise and Nina's lack of respect because of his age put him a unique place of wanting her but being afraid to go for what he wants because he doesn't want to lose what they have.

      I loved how she's all over the place because she's never had a choice that's hers, her mother is a strong influence and without even knowing it, Nina was still letting her mother's ideas shape her everyday decisions. She's either her mother's or her ex-husband's choices and now she's trying to find her own voice and ideas so she tends to go back and forth between what she's known and what she's learning to be true.  It's a very real and relatable struggle.  It at times got boring though because she kept repeating the same things over and over again DESPITE all the evidence to the contrary. How much more signs did she need?? Nina kept discounting what Alex said or did because she kept writing him off based on his age, despite the fact that he was a successful Dr.

      I loved the relationship between Alex and his brother Max. I cracked up often with their conversations because I swear Alex waited until Max was drinking to drop salient questions and comments on him. Almost like he was trying to kill him by choking. Hilarious. Alex's family life is complicated and this is the greatest source of stress for him, but it's also a motivating factor for him to follow his dream career path.

      I loved how the subplot of her best friend learning to come to terms with her past is a great catalyst for the changes Nina needs to make and learn to accept. Their main problem becomes of course them, Nian's inability to take Alex seriously based on his age and his fears that because she doesn't take him seriously he won't be able to hold her to him.  Seriously I wanted to whisper that Nina needed a few hours of therapy and so did Alex's family who kept the pressure on him to conform even though it didn't work for them.

      I loved how their friends were able to see what they couldn't and totally made sure to let them know. Especially Norah, because talk about being a kick-butt woman.  I loved how the ending came together because no one is perfect but we can learn to be happy alone and we can also learn to be happy together.  They both had to figure out how to do that without losing themselves to the fears and expectations of others.

      I still loved how it all came together, the changes their relationship brought to their friends and the improvements they made in their lives. I loved how they were together. It was a great romance with lots of good humor and aged surprisingly well.
       ★★★★☆
      Do you have any good rom-com to share?? Leave them in the comments and of course; 
      Happy Reading my loves,