Sunday, February 17, 2019

Stacking The Shelves (2019) # 4:

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!!

I got only two goodies this week:

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas (author of the smash The Hate U Give). I ordered this simply because it's Angie and I don't need to know anything else.

And when in Boston visiting my sister we stopped by an independent comic book slash bookstore and I snagged a copy of Binti  (the Complete Trilogy) by Nnedi Okorafor. The cover is amazing and I really couldn't justify to my cheap self paying 10 to 12 dollars each for a 90 page book, but I had no qualms about snagging this gorgeous baby.

And that's it. I managed to behave this month how about you?? 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

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Book #Review: Perfect Fit (Perfect Duo Book 2) by Brenda Jackson

Book Title: Perfect Fit ( The Perfect Series)
Author:  Brenda Jackson |WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: Kensington Books (dafina)
Genre: Romance, African American Romance
Series/Standalone: Series Book 2
Format: Mass Market 
Cost: $6.99
Pages: 388
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Publication Date: Feb 01, 2011
Add To Goodreads
Sage Dunbar is dealt a shattering double blow when she discovers that her fiancé has depleted her bank accounts and her father has been having an affair. Reeling with shock, she accepts a job promotion that involves relocating to Anchorage, Alaska. She never expects to cross paths with a man who will challenge everything she thought she knew about love.

Gabe's "sex-only" relationship policy has been working just fine, keeping him free of messy entanglements and emotional baggage. Then he meets Sage, and his no-commitment ways start to lose their appeal. But Sage isn't ready to give her heart and trust to another man any time soon. With a single-minded determination that surprises even him, Gabe resolves to convince her that true love can erase every obstacle--real or imagined--in its path. . ..

Praise for Brenda Jackson's Perfect Timing
I picked this one up pretty quickly after reading Perfect Timing. Since I origianally started witht his book I was able to dive right in with some background on the main character telling the story.  I dived into this having glimpsed the character from the previous book and having formed an idea of who he was due to his actions and the advice he gave in book one.

Now Brenda writes characters that are amazingly relatable. They are successful, come from different backgrounds but have stories and experiences the reader has had or knows someone who has lived it. This makes for a really good and immersive reading experience.  The characters are all well written, fleshed out and well rounded.  In this one we meet up again with Gabe who is a successful businessman who is happy to be in a new town due to the change in his firm, with his best friend now a married man, he's the one doing the traveling, and while there sees a vision across the room. This woman immediately draws him in and he's beyond disappointed when he realizes that she's so confident and glowing happily because she's a successful woman who is engaged. And he's got the feeling she's happy with her place in life.

With this being the start of the story I wasn't sure what was going to happen to bring these two together, because as y'all know I don't read synopsis, especially from favorite authors. They are just autobuy and read.  The story is told in two parts, the beginning with everyone's background and the laying down of information as to what leads us to the second part. And when we find out what happens to send Sage running to the cold wilds of Alaska, I totally agreed with her. I was freaking out and cussing out everyone involved.  Dealt such a heartbreaking blow she goes away to find a good way to explain to her family what happened and discovers a secret so soul destroying it just about breaks her.  I couldn't help but feel her pain, because Goddess above knows I wouldn't know what to do or say in that situation.  I do know I would rage though, just be so angry.

The premise of this story is the lesson each of the characters has to learn in forgiveness and letting go. Even though Gabe had created these rules to protect himself he hadn't really dealt with his own issues from his situation and this caused a constant back and forth between him and Sage.  As Sage, I was also annoyed that people kept insisting she didn't know her own mind and would come around once she stopped being mad. Listen, I'm not that forgiving and this isn't one of those moments a person can just get over, so stop asking me to be the bigger person. I can forgive, but forgiveness doesn't necessarily mean reconciliation.

Now I have very strong feelings about cheating. I'm not going to say that everyone else should follow my lead, it's your relationship do what works for you. However, I highlighted this discussion between the person being cheated on and Sage and I just wanted to slap them.
While he didn’t tell me everything that was going on with him at work, I felt something was bothering him, and I became concerned. But not concerned enough to start spending more time with him to get to the root of the problem. Instead, I became more and more absorbed in what I was doing—my church work, my charities, my frustrations to move forward and make wedding plans, and my own job. I wasn’t there for him. Unfortunately, someone else was.” ~~~ Only a strong woman, a very strong woman, could admit as well as accept something like that.
Let me explain to you, no matter how much you work at taking care of your relationship if your partner is going to cheat THEY WILL CHEAT. It's bullshyt to try to lift the burden of their bad behavior by saying you should have done more.  We are partners for a good long time and you didn't think to come to me and say " I think my job is in jeopardy, I'm going to have to work harder and longer to prove to them that I'm still good at it". You made a unilateral choice to take yourself off and sleep with someone else because I couldn't read your effing mind?? Is you crazy??

If you want to forgive them then say it's because Y'all have history and you don't feel like starting over. Don't serve me some religious bullshyt that we are called to forgive. No. They cheated,, they had plenty of time in which to make a change to walk away to not actually take their clothes off and sleep with that person. And to then have someone else help hide your duplicity?? Nah son,  I hate how women, especially black women are expected to absorb the trauma of their partners lying, cheating and putting their health at risk and work at forgiving them, when we know full well that if the reverse happened those women would be dogged out and called all kinds of names.

I did like the progression of the story and loved the parallels in growth that both Sage & Gabe had to go through.  Even though Sage didn't believe she had anything left to learn.  I would have loved more from her friend Rose's story as we were only getting snippets and a few spoke of trauma not being addressed. I did love the growth she also went through and how that helped her open up to avenues she normally wouldn't have looked at without making those changes. 

It was a sweet ending and a good story. I loved the romance of it, the building of a friendship then slow dating, the slow unfolding of love and the acceptance of the gift that love is.  Forgiveness comes in many forms and letting go comes when the heart has fully healed. It leaves scars but each love is a lesson and a chance to embrace change and I loved this story for that.
  • Good Woman Blues Lynn Emery
  • Kiss Lonely Goodbye Lynn Emery
Happy Reading my loves, 

Monday, February 4, 2019

Book #Review: Perfect Timing (The Perfect Series) by Brenda Jackson .@AuthorBJackson

Book Title: Perfect Timing (The Perfect Series)
Author:  Brenda Jackson |WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: Dafina Kensington
Genre: Romance, African American Romance
Series/Standalone: Series 1
Format: Mass Market, Ebook
Cost: $4.99
Pages: 317
How I got it:  Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Publication Date: March 1, 2004
Add To Goodreads
Childhood friends Maxie Chandler and Mya Rivers, estranged for years and brought together by a class reunion, turn to each other for support when Maxie's fiancae dies and Mya discovers that her perfect marriage is not what it seems.
I went into this one not knowing the premise (which is a popular refrain around her so you guys know autobuy author means no need to check synopsis).  I originally started Perfect Fit then discovered it was actually a second book, so I put it on the back burner and went into this one. Let me tell you, I wasn't ready for the mess, the drama and the steamy down to earth love story we got, but I was all for it.

We went into this meeting Mya and Maxi on the playground forming a friendship that will be the basis of this novel and the reason they both go on the class reunion cruise. Years later Maxi is facing a daunting diagnosis and for her the cruise will be a chance to stop taking the knocks the world seems to be handing her and have a chance to relax, for Mya it's a chance for her and her husband to have fun without their little ones around & also to break up the cycle of their lives which is hectic right now.

I loved the characters, the story and just about everything about the story. I loved that everyone was so casually successful. I was saddened to realize that for Maxi her goals outside the home had been accomplished but her deepest desire wasn't and not because she hadn't tried but because fate kept stepping in.   Once we got deeper into the story and we met the Paige I knew it was going to be some drama, and when homegirl stated her intentions??? Yeah no ma'am you a problem!!

I did love the fact that the characters were relatable, that each of them had grown out of their stupidity from childhood, as many of them had made life hell from Christopher during school over something he didn't have a choice in.  I loved that Maxi was his friend from the beginning and even though he had left without a goodbye she still was such a good person that she only had the best intentions for him.

Chris and  Maxi getting to know each other again and realizing that they had more in common than they thought was beautiful to watch. I loved the story unfolding between them and how they come to the solution they did.  I loved that Chris was open and honest about his feeling with Maxi as far as he knew.  I loved that they were honest with each other, even if Chris was slow on the uptake about the change in his feelings for Maxi.  I loved how despite everything he thought when faced with having to make a change to their plans, his immediate actions weren't to just call her but actually seek her out and discuss the changes. I also gotta say I loved that Brenda wrote them as real people. I loved that while she shared how sexual Chris was, she never wrote his other partners like they were whores for enjoying sex with him.  I loved that they were allowed to enjoy their sexuality the same way he was and not be denounced for it because of a sudden he's met "the one and she's perfect and virginal" which is a sad plot device I see a lot in other romances.

Now the chemistry that Mya and Garrett had??! Whew chile, all those years together and they never faded, took each other for granted or had any real issues. They did, however, have two very different philosophies in life and for many that would have been the end of their relationship. I don't like the way it was resolved, I thought she should have stuck to her guns, but far be if for me to judge how another woman lives her life.  Mys should have known going into the relationship that this is how he was raised, how all the men in his family are currently with their families and this for him goes deeper than their surface.  Garrett failed to take into consideration that Mya wasn't the kind of woman he wanted her to be. He should have had to learn to accept that and their family would have been stronger for it I believe.  Now I get what his dad was talking about speaking to someone who had been there so he would be the best to concousil them, however, I call B.S. on that, you are supposed to be a shepherd, I don't need you leading a double life being my counselor. You willingly lied, cheated and broke not just the trust your partner had in you but the church had in you?? Bruh fail!!

I will say I felt all the emotions, from Maxi's fear about her situation to Mya's heartbreak, to Chris's contempt of the town and it's people. Brenda writes in a way that draws you in and you can't help but become invested in the story and the characters.

I loved the friendships here and the fact that the family was the backbone of the story. Even though Chris didn't have a conventional family, they still supported him and loved him like one.  I loved the great relationship that Maxi had with her mother, that Mya had with her in-laws. It's just great to see amazing healthy relationships being shared.  The only part I wasn't a fan of was the throw-away line at the end of Mya's decision, but I get she did it for her family.  I was going to make this a 4.75 stars, taking off points for that small dislike but I realize the overall story and the overall romance makes this a full 5 so yeah I'm changing it back to five stars.
Have you read this one?? Can you recommend some more amazing romance stories?? Share in the comments down below and as always Happy Reading my loves,