Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Book #Review: Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts

Book Title: Chasing Fire
Author:  Nora Roberts |Website| Facebook |
Publisher:  Putnam
Genre: Romantic Suspense/  Mystery Romance
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Format: Mass Market
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 472
How I got it: Purchased 
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Publication Date:
Add To Goodreads
Little else in life is as dangerous as fire jumping. Flying past towering pillars of smoke, parachuting down to the edge of an all-consuming blaze, shoveling and sawing for hours upon hours, days at a time, all to hold the line and push back against the raw power of Mother Nature.

But there's also little else as thrilling - at least to Rowan Tripp. The Missoula smoke jumpers are one of the most exclusive fire-fighting squads in the nation, and the job is in Rowan's blood: her father is a legend in the field. She's been fighting fires since her eighteenth birthday. At this point, returning to the wilds of Montana for the season feels like coming home - even with reminders of the partner she lost last season still lingering in the air.

Fortunately, this year's rookie crop is among the strongest ever - and Gulliver Curry's one of the best. He's also a walking contradiction, a hotshot firefighter with a big vocabulary and a winter job at a kid's arcade. He came to Missoula to follow in the footsteps of Lucas "Iron Man" Tripp, yet he's instantly more fascinated by his hero's daughter. Rowan, as a rule, doesn't hook up with other smoke jumpers, but Gull is convinced he can change her mind. And damn if he doesn't make a good case to be an exception to the rule.

Everything is thrown off balance, though, when a dark presence lashes out against Rowan, looking to blame someone for last year's tragedy. Rowan knows she can't complicate things with Gull - any distractions in the air or on the ground could be lethal. But if she doesn't find someone she can lean on when the heat gets intense, her life may go down in flames.
This is the second book in my theme read from Nora. I read Blue Smoke and now this one.  Chasing Fire is about the firefighters who help put out the fires in the forests. We know here in the US that during the summer is the worst time for forest fires, and these are the elite firefighters who go into these remote areas to put them out. 

As we have seen in real life in the past few months, fires don't care about the neighborhood it burns, it doesn't care about the wealth or lack of the residents, it simply burns.  From California, on down most of the West was on fire this year and this made the stories even more relatable to me to know a little bit about the men and women who go in and why they do.  Now I know this isn't a tale of a real firefighter, but once again we can't knock Nora for her research, without a doubt she didn't just talk to the firefighters, I'm sure she learned about jumping as well because the description of jumping from the plane as a tandem?? Only someone who's been up there can understand.

This story starts off with Rowan who is the daughter of a legendary fire jumper, and she's become a legend herself. Last summer her crew suffered a serious tragedy and she's still trying to deal with this. It's a new year and some of the old hats have returned and so have the new recruits.  She's in charge helping the new recruits settle in and thier training.  Rowan wants to keep it professional and keep somewhat of a distance since she knows not everyone will make the cut. Standing out from the recruits due to his abilities is Gull. Rowan has a rule of not dating in house and Gull?? Well he's making her rethink that rule.

At first the story is slow to get to the drama we know is coming, however, it lays down a great foundation, allowing the team to get to know each other as the weeks roll on and the recruits get cut and only the strong will move onto the new team.  Before the summer fires start to burn a bit of old drama kicks off and solidify the bonds between the team and will put Rowan in an even better light for Gull and makes Gull a true member of the team to the ones who were there before. 

As the story unfolds and they bond and Gull & Rowan flirt, Rowan's dad also begins to change and it's a change she never saw coming and one she isn't prepared for.  I love the bond she has with her Dad and how close-knit they were. I loved the relationships that the team as a whole had and quirks that made them bond and sometimes fight, and of course rag on each other. I was very glad there were several female firefighters who more than kept up they lead. 

As the summer fires begin to burn a firebug becomes obsessed with seeking revenge, the past returns to haunt the team and a body is found at the site of a burn. From there the hits don't stop coming, the drama and craziness just unfold all with the backdrop of raging forest fires. I absolutely loved how the team developed and worked together, and as the danger grew how the worked through it and had each other's backs.  I loved how Gull made Rowan think beyond the next fire and see more than just the teams needs but her own as well.  The will they won't they back and forth flirting was amazing. I really enjoyed them coming together as a couple because he was able to be there for the changes happening in her life.

I loved that we got essentially two love stories within the pages.  As the desire and love formed and the danger amped up, I kept taking guesses on who it could be that was causing the trouble and why.  As the story unfolded I was so absorbed and couldn't wait to find out what happened.  And I was very satisfied with the ending. I highly recommend, the drama, the sexy times, the mystery and the love that unfolded keeps you glued. 
As always,
Happy Reading my loves, 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

ARC Book #Review: One Tough Cowboy by Lora Leigh .@LoraLeigh_1

Book Title: One Tough Cowboy
Author:  Lora Leigh |WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: St. Martin's Press/ Romance
Genre: Romance
Series/Standalone: Series 1
Format: ebook, Mass Market
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 304
How I got it: NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
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For as long as Samantha can remember, Hunter—a man as strong as steel, with a heart of gold—has been her hero. It came as no surprise to Samantha when she found out that the ranch-hardened cowboy who always protected her from bullies went on to become the town’s sheriff. What does surprise her is how incredibly hot he still is. And how much she still wants him…


And, lo and behold, Hunter still has feelings for Samantha. The long-smoldering heat of their innocent flirtation has grown into a full-raging fire. But when tragedy strikes, and their small-town community is shattered, Hunter vows to do everything he can to keep his childhood sweetheart safe. But can Samantha trust that Hunter has her best interests at heart…and that, after all these years, his love is true?

Ok, y'all know I have been a fan of Lora's writing for years,  of course, I snagged this one once I had a chance and I'm so glad I did.  This is a second chance romance and apparently, it's the start of a new series?? Heeyyyyy!!!

Let's look at the setup, Sam returned home to the small town that captured her heart. She's also back for the man she has idolized since she was younger. A veteran police officer in her adopted city she's visiting to put her grandmother to rest, and to carry out her will.  I absolutely loved that Hutner and Sam had a history but were always 1 to 2 steps away from each other. Just a little out of sync.  One of my fave lines was "Sam, we're in a cornfield right now". I cackled for a good fifteen minutes.  They had good chemistry and flowed together well.

I was intrigued by the mystery of the town and wondering what the mayor was up to. I loved how the mystery behind the town drew Sam in and put her in the position of wondering if she should move back home.  This also put her back in Hunter's crosshairs as they hadn't synced before and yet here they are now, she's grown and capable and they have the opportunity that they never had before.

I was horrified at the end during the woods scene because like Hunter I knew it would have broken Sam.  The idea that people would be so careless and greedy is always so shocking (and yet if we only look to the news now we can tell this is something that really happens) . I have to say as the story unfolded and the villains became known, I had to wonder at people's motivations. I especially had to wonder about the people in each of their lives, like her ex showing up and putting himself in the mix of things and expecting her to be happy about it. UGhhh.

I want to know more about Hunter's mystery friend and his team especally the woman that gave Hunter the peep show. Cackling at that scene by the way.

A few cons I noted was each time that Sam started to show some skill as a police officer, to question things, Hunter shut her down by seducing her. Now I don't know if he meant to do that each time, but whenever they were alone and should be working on the case they just ended up having sex. It was erotic and steamy but at times I was like Right now?? You think right now is the time for this??

As erotica, it flowed well and was very erotic and kept you turning the pages to get to those scenes, however as erotica that's supposed to have a mystery suspense angle they spent way too much tie having sex (I Know shock I said that. Lmao). Lora herself has written the Breed series which balances this at times good and sometimes they end up like this where the story kind of gets buried beneath the romance and erotica aspects.  I felt like necessary scenes were either too short or kind of rushed so that we could get back to the romance, and I wanted more of a balance.  Don't get me wrong I still enjoyed the story and can't wait to see more from Hunter's friend, but I'm hoping there is more of a balance from the second novel.

Have you read it?? Let me know what you think in the comments down below.

  • Sierra Cartwright's Danger Zone ( Contemporary- Military) 
  • Lauren Dane's Undercover (Sci-Fi Erotica)
  • Kaitlyn O'Connor's Clone Wars: Armageddon (Sci Fi Erotica)
  • Forbidden Pleasure by Lora Leigh ( Contemporary Erotica-- Romantic Suspense) 
  • Jory Strong's Inked Magic (Paranormal Suspense~~ Menage) 

Happy Reading my loves, 

Monday, January 28, 2019

Book #Review: Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts

Book Title: Blue Smoke
Author:  Nora Roberts |WebsitePinterestFacebook|
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Format: ebook
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 470
How I got it: Borrowed From The Library
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: October 2005
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Reena Hale grew up with an intimate knowledge of the destructive power of fire. When she was a child, her family's restaurant was burned to the ground, and the man responsible was sent to jail. The Hale family banded together to rebuild, and Reena found her life's calling.

She trained as a firefighter and then as a cop, always with the end goal in sight: to become an arson investigator. Now, as part of the arson unit, she is called in on a series of suspicious fires that seem to be connected-not just to each other, but to her.

And as danger ignites all around her, Reena must
rely on experience and instinct to catch a dangerous madman who will not stop until everything she loves has gone up in smoke.
Once again I fell into this book and that was all I knew for two days.  This story was fast-paced, absolutely absorbing and right on theme for the other two by Nora that I read back to back.  I fell in love with the characters, the family and the relationships we were being introduced to. I guessed the killer before she did but I didn't realize the extent of his depravity, my gawd I couldn't have guessed that at all.

This starts off with a young girl blooming into an adult one summer night. That night is also the night she witnesses her family's restaurant burning to the ground.  This started because of an earlier incident and I am so drawn into the story from here.  It's told in several parts following mainly two characters.  Reena who's family is having to rebuild after the fire. She is an astute & curious girl and is able to help the police officers in solving the crime, and being exposed to the process makes her want to learn more.  Luckily for her, the officer in charge liked her and shared what he could as a way to help her and her family deal with this tragedy.

Told in parts of Reena's life from the tragedy of her family's restaurant burning down to her becoming the officer she's wanted to be since the event, we have it split between her childhood, her college years and then her finally becoming arson detective with her hometown department. I have to say that one can never say that Nora doesn't do her research, I have learned more about being an arson detective than I ever knew from watching t.v shows.  I loved the work that went into making Reena's passion real and yet wasn't information dump as a way to make you aware of the work needed for Reena to succeed.

One of the things about this novel that I loved was how much we got from the people around Reena, and eventually, when we meet Bo we get his story as well.  I loved how Reena's family came together whenever she needed them, from that first incident to her going to college and the different times she needed someone who could fix things, there was a family member there to help.  I loved that the community was close-knit & was also willing to be there as well.  As the story progressed and Reena faced tragedies that drew her closer to meeting the villain who has been stalking her life, I couldn't help but cry each time it cost her something else.  This villain wasn't your typical monster, he didn't stick to one sort of M.O so no one ever put it all together and reading his parts you just wanted to scream.

Bo, was a character introduced during Reena's college years, who came close to meeting her, and for the first two parts of the story, there are always near misses and even an opportunity presented by a community member that they both turn down.  Reading that made me laugh, and I couldn't wait to see how their parallel lives would come together. When they finally do it's awesome.

Bo & Reena's inner thoughts were really consistent with their characterizations and totally made me love them. They shared their nervousness, their WTF moments, their embracing of the relationship and just made this a fun read.  As the story progressed and the monster draws closer I just kept wanting to shout that they should see the similarities in the crimes, just please see it!!  Hearing her father's take on what would have happened to Reena that fateful day freaks me out for her near miss.

The story takes off once Reena's life becomes even more settled and the monster decides to stop hiding and starts to taunt the police, Reena and her family.  Eventually, everything comes out, all the deeds, all the loses, all the fear as the monster escalates and the police are left scrambling to find the next victim.

Once it got started I couldn't put the novel down and I loved every second of it. I finished it really quickly and I can't wait to get a copy to add to my shelves.  I highly recommend if you love mysteries, badass female leads and strong family ties.  I read this while marathoning Nora's work and the other four books I read similar to this are told from the different parts that make a whole. Nora hasn't repeated a story despite writing over two hundred books and each time I read I can't believe I never thought of those characters' jobs and the parts they play.

  • Chasing Fire Nora Roberts
  • Heather Graham
  • Christina Skye
  • Julie Garwood's Buchanan-Reynard Series
  • Dinah McCall Chase the Moon & Tallchief

Happy Reading my loves, 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Stacking The Shelves (2019) # 3: January

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 don't have much to haul today, as I'm still trying to continue to only read the books on my shelves.  I  ordered this back in august of 2018, as soon as I saw there was a link I grabbed it.

Not part of a series, this is another great young adult story by Katie McGarry. Only a Breath Apart & my Review

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

Friday, January 25, 2019

Snippet Book #Review: Crave ( A Billionaire Bachelor Club Novel) by Monica Murphy .@MsMonicaMurphy .@avonimpulse .@avonbooks

Book Title: Crave ( A Billionaire Bachelors Club Novel)
Author:  Monica Murphy |WebsiteTwitterFacebook| Instagram
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Genre: Romance, Erotic Romance
Series/Standalone: Series Book 1
Format: Mass Market, ebook
Cost: $4.99
Pages: 256
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: August 2013
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New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy launches her sexy Billionaire Bachelors Club series with a lavish bet, a night of carnal desires, and a forever that never seemed possible.

Billionaire Archer Bancroft always gets what he wants—and he's wanted Ivy Emerson, his best friend's sister, for far too long. Being forbidden and untouchable only makes her more tempting. When a million-dollar bet with his friends throws down a challenge—last bachelor standing takes all—Archer knows he can win. That is, until one enchanted evening with Ivy takes his heart for a ride.

Ivy knows Archer is nothing but bad news: infuriating, arrogant . . . and completely intoxicating. But despite her best efforts, she can't seem to keep away. When a stolen kiss leads to a night of heated passion, Ivy realizes she's in trouble and in head over heels.

But in the light of day, everything seems clearer, and Archer's not so sure a one-night stand is all he wants. Concocting a plan to keep Ivy by his side, Archer might just be willing to lose this bet . . . and win the jackpot instead.
I seem to read a theme whenever I get into a mood and this is the third book with this trope I've read this month. Again I went into this just knowing how much I love Monica's writing and I'm so glad I did. Forbidden love certainly has a nice thrill to it. 

In this one, we dive into meeting the three best friends who have carved out a life for themselves that has allowed them to become some of the most sought after bachelors.  At a friends' wedding, these three concoct a bet that says one of two who are jaded about relationships will fall in love and get married within a year.  Like the little fools, they are they take that bet. However, there is one exception and that is Ivy because she is one of the friends younger sister, she also happens to be the one woman Archer wants but doesn't believe he deserves.

In a moment of weakness in a hidden spot at the wedding Archer and Ivy give into their attraction and when they are almost caught by her brother Archer like most dummies said something that put Ivy out.  From there we get a fun, raunchy adventure. Archer decides a great way to get closer without drawing her brothers suspicion would be to hire Ivy on to aide him in completing another of his exclusives spas.  Ivy was surprised to realize that even though Archer claims to not believe in love he knows what a great relationship needs to survive and caters his business to that for an exclusive clientele. 

Of course, it wouldn't be a good romance without a little drama, men being stupid, secrets coming out and of course, a bet coming back to haunt the men involved.  I loved Ivy as a character and the fact that she liked Archer but when she thought he couldn't meet her relationship standards she took what she wanted but wasn't going to lower her standards. Her bond with her brother was great to see as well. 

A quick, steamy and erotic introduction to this new series.  I can't wait to read the other books and see how each bachelor falls.

Happy Reading my loves, 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Book #Review: Rush (Breathless 1) by Maya Banks .@Maya_Banks

Book Title: Rush ( Breathless 1)
Author:  Maya Banks |WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: Romance, Erotic Romance, New Adult
Series/Standalone: Series Book 1
Format: Trade Paperback
Cost: $15.00
Pages: 396
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: February 2013
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Gabe, Jace, and Ash: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Gabe, it’s making one particular fantasy come true with a woman who was forbidden fruit. Now she’s ripe for the picking...

When Gabe Hamilton saw Mia Crestwell walk into the ballroom for his hotel’s grand opening, he knew he was going to hell for what he had planned. After all, Mia is his best friend’s little sister. Except she’s not so little anymore. And Gabe has waited a long time to act on his desires.

Gabe has starred in Mia’s fantasies more than once, ever since she was a teenager with a huge crush on her brother’s best friend. So what if Gabe’s fourteen years older? Mia knows he’s way out of her league, but her attraction has only grown stronger with time. She’s an adult now, and there’s no reason not to act on her most secret desires.

As Gabe pulls her into his provocative world, she realizes there’s a lot she doesn’t know about him or how exacting his demands can be. Their relationship is intense and obsessive, but as they cross the line from secret sexual odyssey to something deeper, their affair runs the risk of being exposed—and vulnerable to a betrayal far more intimate than either expected.
I went into this one knowing it was Maya Banks and I've seen it all over and I wanted to read it, beyond that no clue of what it was about (I say this in just about every review, I purchase/ or read because of the author and their reputation or my previous experiences with their work not because of the synopsis~~ mostly).  Anyway into this review we go.

I seem to read the same themed books this month this one is about Gabe who is one of the three men who make up a successful firm, one of his best friend's little sister is Mia, who Gabe has had the hots for but has stayed away from because he knows his best friend would kill him for even looking in his sister's direction, much less do the things he wants to do to her.  Mia has had a crush on Gabe forever, but he's never even looked her way or so she believes.

With that premise in mind, I wanted to dive right in and see what kind of a mess these two were going to make.  Mia is just barely existing because she's not sure where she wants to go now that she's completed her degree so she's working a dead end job to keep her brother form taking care of her life for her. She decides to go to a party her brother was hosting and this decision changes the course of her life.   Gabe is at the party and knows now no matter what he can't stay away from Mia Offering her a job and a chance at being his lover Gabe takes the chance of a lifetime and Mia doesn't hesitate to take it.

I loved the chemistry between these two they had so much heat coming off the pages. They made me laugh and feel anxious and nervous. I yelled at the pages when Gabe did stupid things especially when he was a coward about certain things.  I loved how well they worked together, and how much Mia grew into her role. I loved that they were such a great duo even if they felt they had to hide it, which in fact kind of made it hotter.

I enjoyed the little office intrigue. I kept waiting to see when it would all blow up in their faces and who was going to find out first. I loved the flow of the book and how the scenes advanced their relationship.  Ohhhh when the Paris scene happened I freaked out because seriously what a freaking loser Gabe was being, just such a coward.  First of all the nerve on him planning something like that without letting me know. I going to kick your balls into your throat you try that again. Mia is way nicer than I am.

I absolutely loved that she had an amazing group of girlfriends who backed her up and loved her. I enjoyed that Mia was very much her own person and had rules and standards she would live by, yes she sublimated them for a while, but when push came to shove she stood up for them and demanded that others meet her on her level.  I absolutely loved how Gabe came correct when he realized Mia was worth it.

We go into romances knowing that they come is going to be together at the end. It's one of the major reasons we read romance, for the fantasy of the perfect romance, this one was messy, it was sexy, emotional *for the characters* and so well done. I loved every second of the drama, the sexy times and of course reading the path that lead to the happy ever after.  I really enjoyed the ending scenes as a native New Yorker.

I can't wait to see how Ash and Mia's brother handle their turns.  Let me know what you think of the story my loves and let's continue the discussion in the comments.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

ARC Book #Review & Giveaway: Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry .@Katiemcgarry .@InkSlingerPR

Book Title: Only A Breath Apart
Author:  Katie McGarry |WebsiteTwitterFacebook| Instagram
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: Young Adult/ New Adult
Series/Standalone: Stand alone
Format: Hardcover, Ebook
Cost: $17.99
Pages: 368
How I got it: NetGalley ARC
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: Jan 22,2019
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Bestselling author Katie McGarry’s trademark wrong-side-of-the-tracks romance is given a new twist in the gritty YA contemporary novel, Only a Breath Apart.

Jesse Lachlin is cursed.

So the town folklore says, but while Jesse’s had his fair share of tragedy, the only curse he believes is in his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year, Scarlett Copeland.

Scarlett Copeland is psychic.

Glory Gardner tells Scarlett she has hidden psychic abilities, but Scarlett thinks Glory is delusional. What is real is Scarlett’s father’s irrational fears, controlling attitude, and the dark secrets at home. Scarlett may have a way to escape, but there’s a hitch: she’ll have to rely on the one person she used to trust, the same boy who broke her heart, Jesse Lachlin.

Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other. But as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…
I don't know why, but going into this I wasn't thinking contemporary, I was expecting something futuristic or maybe a bit more paranormal; I'll take the awesome story we got instead.  If you're a long time reader or follower you are well aware of my love for Katie's writing and her stories.  This story took me out, I wasn't ready for all of it and man it slayed my emotions and I fell into the story and didn't want to come out.

I literally writing this right after I finished the book and I still can't process. Reading this and knowing that there are teens living this everyday breaks my heart. I wanted to rage at the adults in the scenarios that they were failing the children, As the story moved on and we realized that much of what was happening was generational we could see the setup to whether or not Jesse and Scarlett would be able to pull themselves out.  Does what everyone else in town believe about you really make you who you are??

We go into the story from Jesse and Scarlett's perspectives, when they met as children and learned to rely on each other for friendship and complicated love.  I absolutely love that they had each other to help weather the storm of growing up.  As the story progresses and we see the adults pushing their agendas, and ideas ( read that as fears, their failings, and fears) onto the kids and knowing that young children absorb whatever they believe will help I just wanted to yell, no that's not true don't believe it.  Jesse's home life is complicated, his mother doesn't really know how to parent, but luckily for her, her family is there to help even when she can't see it.  For Scarlett, her world changes one summer when her best friend, the boy she's always known distances himself from her and leaves her without a rudder in a world that is slowly suffocating her with its expectations and demands of perfection.

My heart broke so many times reading this, I wanted to yell that talking would help, but then realized the characters were right, it didn't always help.  There were so many lessons to be learned here by both Jesse and Scarlett. I absolutely loved Glory, Pastor Hughes & Marshall.  As adults, there were pretty amazing for the two to have in their corners and learn from.  I loved how Glory was such a great catalyst for change in their lives, was a great sounding board when they needed it and place to come to rest.

I would have loved more from the friends than we got in the story. I do understand the story is really about Jesse and Scarlett, however, their friends made many choices and chances for them and pushed them when needed and I wanted to know more about V, what made her tick, and why the lost boys ended up there. I wanted to know how their story changes and progresses as well.  I'm not sure I like all of Scarlett's friends because of the situation they put her in.

I was so invested in what was happening and I was so nervous the closer we got to the end of the book. I could see some of the solutions that were needed and understood the steps necessary for the characters to grow and change; I was super excited when those came through and understood why Katie made the decisions she did for the characters.  I was fully invested in their development and the progress being made. In the end, I felt proud as if they were my friends because I was so happy to see the success and growth.

I love, love that nothing was glossed over and made perfect, Katie shared the reality of the situation and how it doesn't always go the way we plan or hope.  I absolutely love the scenes where they are viewing the apartments because I had the same thoughts and was like Girl?!! I loved that Jesse knew not to say anything but let her learn the hard way the reality of the situation.  One of my favorite things wasn't the adults who stood for them when they needed, it wasn't the amazing friendships they had, it wasn't even that Jesse and Scarlett had such an amazing bond. I loved that therapy was seen and shown in such a positive light. I loved that the adults who cared gave them room to come to them but also let them know without a doubt I would believe you.  I loved their connection to the land as well, the fact that they felt the Earth breathing and could connect down to that?? Another of my favorite moments.

If you can't tell by now, I highly recommend this one. Be ready to be emotionally invested, to be angry and afraid to be nervous for the characters. To be excited as friendship becomes more, to be sad when reality crashes into the scenes and know fear.

Like all of Katie's books, this one also comes with a soundtrack and I think the songs she picked were perfect. I'll have that up this weekend along with a link to the Youtube playlist.

Good Luck & Happy Reading my loves, 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Book #Review: Afterburn/ Aftershock by Sylvia Day .@SylDay

Book Title: Afterburn/Aftershock ( Jax & Gia Bundle)
Author:  Sylvia Day |Website| Twitter| Facebook|
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Romance, Erotic Romance
Series/Standalone: Series
Format: ebook, Trade Paperback
Cost: $13.00
Pages: 400
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
Add To Goodreads
Never mix business with pleasure. Never bring politics into the bedroom. In a way I did both when I took Jackson Rutledge as a lover. I can't say I wasn't warned.
Two years later, he was back. Walking into a deal I'd worked hard to close. Under the tutelage of Lei Yeung, one of the sharpest businesswomen in New York, I had picked up a thing or two since Jax walked away. I wasn't the girl he once knew, but he hadn't changed. Unlike the last time we'd drifted into each other's lives, I knew exactly what I was dealing with... and how addictive his touch could be.

The inner circle of glamour, sex, and privilege was Jax's playground--but this time, I knew the rules of the game. In the cutthroat business world, one adage rules all: keep your enemies close and your ex-lovers closer...
Well if I'd have known how good this was I would have read it a long time ago. I should have known it would be phenomenal because Sylvia wrote it.  I fell into this story and didn't come up for four hours until it was done.

I went into this knowing nothing and I'm glad I did because I blew through this without any expectations and fell in love with the characters very quickly.  I loved Gia especially because she's a native NYer and she made something of herself despite the belief that she wouldn't be able to handle the world she was going for.  She also came from a close-knit family who had her back whenever she needed them to.

Gia now works again in New York for a well known and highly sought after curator, a former chef who had expanded beyond the kitchen to creating world-class restaurants and talent management.  Gia went after this position after her heart and dreams had been shattered and she figured how could she lose?? I loved that her mentor understood heartbreak and was willing to help because she didn't want Gia to make the same mistakes as her.

Jax is the son of a wealthy and influential family. His parents had a terrible relationship, one that he was determined never to end up in. When he meets Gia he can't get her off his mind, and he decides just a few months will be all he has.  That time passed and he couldn't let go, not until his family began to intervene.  Leaving Gia behind because his family needed him, he thought to never see her again, until she came in on a deal he was working on.

This is a second chance romance that was hot from the first time they were on the same page.,  They both wanted to deny their attraction but Jax had finally decided he wanted something for himself, even if it meant his family would have a hand in it.  There was a lot going on in this novel, and yet I never felt like it was forced or trite. This was two people learning to navigate the world they were born into and the world Gia was now a part of due to her work. Jax wanted to protect her and in doing so didn't understand that Gia was just as tough as he was even if she didn't appear like it. Gia had to learn that knowing something and being apart of it are two different things.

I really loved their conversations and their chemistry. My favorite part came in the second novel when they were fighting about seeing the real person, not the persona and Jax pointed out that he was well aware that Gia wasn' perfect, that she left her shoes laying around and she had cords all over the place. And it felt like such a real convo that two people coming together would have that I just laughed.

I loved their families, the fake personas and all, I wish we were getting more from Gia's family in particular because they were interesting.  I really loved her brothers and how much they loved her and each other.

I really enjoyed the background stories and wish we got more from her boss and her rival, I wanted to know how their story ended and how the rest of the players ended up.  But since this was just a glimpse into their lives we only got a few snippets from them. I would have loved if we had gotten a mention of the Cross family since Jax's family was so influential and Sylvia states she writes all her books in the same world.

The chemistry between Jax and Gia was off the charts and I really loved their intimate scenes. I noticed as they developed beyond just chasing their old flame to falling in love the scenes changed somewhat and became even more.  I loved it.

I highly recommend it. I'm especially glad I got the two in one combo because the cliffhanger form Afterburn?? No ma'dam I wouldn't have been able to deal with waiting. Also apparently Sylvia developed this into a movie and I can't wait to watch it.

  1. Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day
  2. Blindfolded Innocence (Series) by Alessandra Torre'

Happy Reading my loves, 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Book #Review: Taming Natasha (The Stanislaski Sisters)by Nora Roberts

Book Title: Taming Natasha (*From The Stanislaski Sisters Bind Up)
Author:  Nora Roberts |Website| Facebook|
Publisher: Harlequin Silhouette
Genre: Romance
Series/Standalone: Series Book 1
Format: Mass Market & Ebook
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 381
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Publication Date: December 12, 2016
Add To Goodreads
When Spence Kimball sets eyes on Natasha Stanislaski, he's thunderstruck by the intensity of his attraction to the foreign beauty. While the former ballet dancer turned toy shop owner has a fiery temperament that keeps most men safely at bay, Spence can’t seem to resist her. But he isn’t sure Natasha would be interested in a single father. Sensing a hidden wound, Spence and his little girl join forces to find a way into Natasha's closely guarded heart. He'll do whatever it takes to tame Natasha's fears…and show her how to love.

Previously published in 1990
I picked this one because one of the apps I was using to read was acting up so I couldn't read the book I wanted to last night. I downloaded this because it's one of my Nora titles I wanted to complete for 2019 and as soon as I started it I fell into it.  Now keep in mind the reason Natasha's family came to the US was big in the 90s and yet it hasn't improved much because the same issues are going on right now.

I started this book and fell in love immediately with Natasha because she was a successful woman who had a strong sense of self and character and when she assumed the man she found attractive was someone without a moral code she was so offended and I loved how she put him in his place when he hit on her.  For Spencer, he felt like he's been hit by a ton of bricks, he hadn't acknowledged his feeling for years and now he's moved from NYC, settling his daughter into a new environment and here is a complication he hadn't expected and yet he's the most open to the feeling they both feel.

I loved the push and pull of feelings Natasha was having. I totally understood her fear of truly believing that her heart knew what it was doing this time because the last time it wasn't as discerning and had been returned to her battered and heavily bruised.  I love that for her even though her dreams had been shattered she still embraced parts of it by opening the business she did.  I love that she fell first for Freddie, then for Spencer.  I loved Spencer and the fact that he wasn't afraid to chase Natasha & still gave her space when she needed it. However, he wasn't above using any advantage he had when he could to make her realize she could trust him.

I loved her family and the way they embraced the changes in her life but had her back the whole time.  They embraced Freddie and Spencer but never gave Natasha's secrets away.  I loved how we got Freddie's opinion on what she wanted to happen and what she saw and her Christmas wish.  I loved how she made the story have so great levity when the adults were struggling to figure out what to say or how to say it.

My favorite moments where the ones when I couldn't help but bust out laughing. They had such good chemistry and moved well together. I loved when they argued when they worked together while Natasha tried to hold her feelings together but she kept falling in love with them and the family they represented.  I felt Spencer's confusions, Natasha's fear and they desire to get it right at the end. The kick to the chest when we learned everything in Natasha's past, the hurt that Spencer felt when he realized that he could lose her, and the fear that she had left him for good.  Those last moments made me sob and want to read as fast as possible so I could know what happened.

I even loved the glimpses of the people that made up their friends. I loved the town although I had to laugh at the idea that small towns don't have their issues with muggings and crime. I also love that Natasha is an immigrant, her experiences that she shared was something I could totally understand and knew how the community around her both aided and held her back. I totally understood her love of the fairytales and how they were her entrance into reading as they were for me as well.   Other than that I absolutely loved their back and forth and the fact that this was a character driven story.  I read this in one sitting and couldn't wait to dive into the next one.
Have you read this?? Share in the comments down below and let me know what other books you would recommend like this. 

As Always, 
Happy Reading my loves, 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Stacking The Shelves (2019): Boxing Day Sale Part 2

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

This is going to be one of the few haul posts I will have for the rest of the year.  Since I'm reading 100%  from my shelves I won't be having too many hauls. I do have a few exceptions, I'm getting a few more paperbackswap trades in for books I have read but don't own, mostly Nora Roberts from last year.  I'm going to be going to the library book sale again this year (hopefully no injuries before the event).  and then my Birthday and Christmas haul. 

With that in mind here are the few books I have gotten in from the Boxing Day sale on Bookoutlet

The Original Black Elite by Elizabeth Dowling Taylor

Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor

From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon

Daughters of the Dust by Julie Dash

Shadow Spell  by Nora Roberts

Then I got a few financial books from authors that I've seen all over and one I used to love watching on HGTV (I'm pretty sure that's the channel I used to see her on) who is from Canada

Gail Vaz Oxlade's
Never Too Late

Debt Free Forever

Money Rules
It's Your Money

Then I got the workbook from Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover.  I've been obsessed with watching budget and planner videos for the last two years (you know surround yourself with the things you want in your life) and every one of the really successful budget women I love watching follow his advice, I have the book (which I got on sale) and now I have the workbook I have no excuses. 

From Paperbackswap I snagged:

Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts

And that's it my loves, have you gotten any fun new books for the new year?? Share in the comments down below and we can gush about the books together. 

As always
Happy Reading

Monday, January 14, 2019

2019 Freshman Series Challenge

Good Morning my loves

I'm trying to re-read this series that I loved when I was younger.  I think of these as the basis for what "new adult" is.  Linda Cooney's series has been my favorite for years and I can't wait to re-read and see how the stories have held up.

In no particular order here are all the books. I have 27 to read from the series:

To Be Read: 27
Read in 2019:

  • Freshman Lies
  • Feud
  • Games
  • Choices
  • Flames
  • Noel
  • Freedom
  • Guys
  • Summer
  • Obsession
  • Secrets
  • Loves
  • Dreams
  • Nights
  • Promises
  • Fling
  • Changes
  • Schemes
  • Follies
  • Dorm
  • Breakup
  • Heat
  • Rivals
And the series that started it all the Class of 88 and 89 Freshman, Sophmore, Junior and Senior years.

I can't wait, for me, this is a reminder of Degrassi before it sucked, a hint of Felicity, and A Different World all rolled into one. I loved the drama of the story and glimpse of what I thought college might be like (I'm still waiting for half that drama lol) but it was a good series that highlighted some of the stresses, pitfalls, and dangers that college had. And it made me so eager to experience it all.  I can't wait to see how this series holds up to my memories.

Have you read this series?? Would you like to know how it holds up?/ Make sure to check back each month as I share more about the series and my progress into it.  Let me know if you have any book you read as a kid ( and no harry potter doesn't count we know that one holds up) that made you excited about school or some wonderful adventure.

Share int he comments my love and of course, I will see you tomorrow
Happy Reading my loves