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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin: Book Review



Published: Ballantine Books, 2018
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Fiction, Chick Lit
Pages: 352 pages






Summary

Nina Browning has a beautiful life with her husband, Kirk, as one of Nashville’s elite living in the upscale Belle Meade neighborhood. Their only son, Finch, is their pride and joy and has recently been accepted to Princeton. Life is grand.
Tom Volpe lives on the other side of the river and works in construction. He works hard to provide as a single father to Lyla. Last year, Lyla was accepted to Windsor High School where Tom hopes Lyla will be presented with a more optimistic future.
         At Windsor, Lyla is introduced to Finch. Finch is the guy of her dreams. He’s rich, beautiful and full of charm.  After a night of partying with mutual friends, someone takes a picture of Lyla that will forever change the path of her life. Who knew a picture could do so much damage? A story of unlikely friendships, tainted trust and terrible secrets.
My thoughts:
When I started "All We Ever Wanted", I had already read several other Emily Giffin novels. I knew I liked her work and style. This book was different from the start, but good. I like the use of 3rd person omniscient point of view. Giffin lets the reader see into the minds of Nina, Tom and Lyla in alternating chapters. The characters are well developed and deep. The novel brings to light a lot of social issues. Giffin addresses the issues of wealth (the "haves" vs the "have nots"), racism, bi-racial children, social media, teen drinking, sexual assault and mental health along with honesty, respect trust and values. Wow! That’s a lot of ground to cover, but I think Emily Giffin did so wonderfully. I felt the emotions of Nina as she described her past experiences and as she related to the present. I felt the pain of a parent loving their child while also looking to be certain justice would be served. She brought to the surface all of these topics and they flowed. Giffin did another great job with this novel. I highly recommend it, but be warned, that it is not as light as some of her previous works. This one is definitely deep but also memorable. I highly recommend for your next read. This novel would be great for a book club with so many conversation starters. 
Rating



Favorite Quotes from "All We Ever Wanted":


~“People make time for what matters to them.”


~“Justice isn’t only about what a person deserves, but also about what a person needs.”


~“Because sometimes you just can’t see the things that are the closest to you.”



Disclaimer: I received this book as a gift from family. All statements and opinions are my own. 

Get a copy of "All We Ever Wanted" here

Emily Giffin on Good Reads 


Friday, March 23, 2018

Knights Who Stole My Heart (Knight Series Book 2) by Sonya Jesus - Book Review

Published: February 28, 2018
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Romance
Pages: 290


Summary



Amelia is back and still in romantic limbo.

Connor still shows the promise of a new, unscathed future. Lia loves the idea, but can she follow through with what he wants? And then there is the baggage that he brings. He’s best buds with Jaime, Meg’s sister, which is a major hit against him.

Then there’s Robins, Lia’s BFF. He’s sexy and he knows her heart from the inside, but he belongs to Meg and he’s not even faithful to her! But why does it seem like their relationship has changed lately?
The soccer gods have come out of the wood work. Since when have they been friends with Lia? She didn’t even think they had ever noticed her!

Throw in Mason and we have an absolute catastrophe!



Hawk is still hiding on the sidelines. He’s still waiting for the day that he will make Lia his Queen. Lia thinks she has problems now, but Hawk is convinced that once they are together, they will never have another problem. He has planned for any that may arise though. He will do anything to be sure of that.
Who knew life at Westbrook could be so eventful? This is definitely going to top Medieval Week! But someone is still pranking Lia. Someone is trying to send her a message. It could be anyone. Is it really a prank? Or will Lia be soon be history?





My Thoughts
Sonya Jesus has done it again! I actually think I like this book even better than the first! Check out my thoughts on Knights After My Heart (Knight Series Book 1) here

From the first pages, I was drawn back in to the story of Lia and Hawk. I love the feel of reading two separate yet completely entwined stories. The author seamlessly blends the two points of view without ever repeating unnecessary details.
I am completely engrossed with Lia’s love life! I so think she should pick….wait, I can’t tell you! Not until you've read it yourself!

The reader gets to see more of Lia’s Vixen and Angel in this book. Those two are seriously fun and seriously relateable! Every girl should be as in touch with their Vixen and Angel!



Hawk’s perspective keeps the reader on edge and constantly trying to figure out his next move.
The hardest part about reading this book was that I moved right in the middle of reading it! After moving all day (and wanting to do nothing more than read this book), I finally snuggled into bed and was ready to read, but my body was so exhausted, I couldn’t! It. Was. Miserable! I started sneaking away to read when I should have been working!

I highly recommend this novel. It is not a stand-alone. It is necessary to read the first novel for the background knowledge, but completely worth it!

Pick up your copy below, then comment your thoughts. I can’t wait to here them! Also, who is your vote for Lia’s knight in shining armor? Do you think she’ll live to choose? 

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book in return for my honest review. All opinions and statements are my own.


Knights Who Stole My Heart by Sonya Jesus:  Purchase your copy here

Connect with Sonya Jesus on Facebook here

Sonya Jesus on Goodreads


Friday, March 16, 2018

Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway: TRIP by T. Torrest!




TRIP is FINALLY here ya'll!!!

I am thrilled to introduce you to an exclusive excerpt from TRIP! This is the brand new book from the Remember When series by T. Torrest. Layla and Trip are back at it, only this time we hear Trip's side of the story! The Remember When series is one of my top ranked series! I legit hear songs that I deem worthy of the movie soundtrack still! I read this series over a year ago and I STILL do this! (When you start making the movie, keep me in mind!) 

If you haven't read the Remember When series, I highly recommend it! (Links to buy below)


Here is my excerpt from TRIP by the amazing T. Torrest!

Excerpt
  
 By the time the bell rang, I’d solidified my place in the Alpha group. For all the places I’ve ever lived in, the formula for popularity was always the same. All it ever took was a little bit of confidence and a whole lot of ballbusting.
   Momjokes. The universal language no matter where you went.  
   Rymer came with me to pit-stop at my locker so I could grab a notebook for English class.
   “So, hey,” he said. “You play any sports?”
   “Yeah. Hockey.” I grabbed my notebook and checked my back pocket to make sure I still had my pen. “I’m checking out the Shermer Heights rink after school. Is it any good?”
   “Definitely. Hey, the bell’s gonna ring, but I’ll see you sixth period.”
   I’d already compared schedules with everyone at the lunch table and found that Rymer and I had study hall together after my next class. “Yep.”
   “And you’ve got Mason now, right?”
   “Yeah.”
   “Heh. Good luck with that.” He snickered out an evil laugh as he started walking backwards, disappearing into the crush of kids barreling their way down the hall. “She’s tough, man. You’d better watch your ass with her. Just a heads up.”
   “Noted. Thanks.”


Summary

The year is 1990. Big hair and Bon Jovi, muscle cars and rock n roll set the stage for this novel. 

Trip Wilmington is the new kid in town, again. He is used to moving from city to city, and making new friends as he goes. It's his normal. He's fits in quickly with the popular crowd at Saint Nicetuis, just like his last school. There is one thing he isn't counting on at his new school, Layla Warren. 

Layla is different than any girl he's ever met. But of course, she has baggage and his name is Cooper Benedict. Coop is her on-again/off-again boyfriend. He's not interested in making room for a newby in town. 

As Trip finds his way in his new school for his final year of high school, he will learn a lot about friendship, life and most importantly, love. 

This is the story of Trip Wiley, famous actor, before he was Trip Wiley, from HIS point of view. 

My Thoughts

I have waited SO long for this book! I have obsessed over the Remember When series for over a year! This book was amazing! It lived up to all of my expectations, for real! 

I loved hearing the Trip/Layla story from his point of view. This novel fills in the gaps from the first series. This novel is filled with the same awesome writing style and passion. I just can't get enough! 

If you haven't read the Remember When series, please do! It is every teenage girl's fantasy written down in a book! Seriously! There are a lot of  80's/90's references making it just that much more fun to read. I mean, I hadn't thought about strolling the aisles of a movie rental store in ages! Which one makes me sound older? The fact that I know what a movie rental store is? Or the fact that I said "ages"? Either way, amazing book to follow an already amazing series. 500 star rating from me. 

Trip and Layla are my couple. I love them. They are relate-able and deep. They are a hot, passionate mess. They are beautiful, unpredictable and so much more. 

I do recommend this book for 18 and older. 

Giveaway

Be sure to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a $50 gift card & more!






Next Stop on the Blog Tour:

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of this novel in return for my honest review. All opinions and statements above are my own. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Knights After My Heart by Sonya Jesus - Book Review

Knights After My Heart by Sonya Jesus - Book Review
Genre: Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Romance,
Thriller, Mystery, Supsense
Publication Date: September 21, 2017
Summary:

Amelia, aka Lia, is a junior at Westbrook University. Lia spends her time watching the soccer gods, studying and of course eating! Life has gotten weird lately though. She has a new potential boyfriend, Connor. The problem is that Lia doesn't really do relationships. She's been hurt before and doesn't care for it to happen again.

She also has Robins. Robins is her super hot BFF (sounds awful, right?) and their relationship oozes with sexual tension (even more awful, right??).  Add Robins to the equation and let the chaos ensue!

The soccer gods have been acting weird lately too. Maybe there is something going on that Lia doesn't know about? Then again, she does start getting strange gifts and phone calls. It kind of feels like someone is watching her...

Little does Lia know, there is someone watching her. Hawk has deemed Lia his "Queen" and he refuses to let anyone come between them, especially not Connor. Hawk is just waiting for the time to be right to bring home his Queen. Then they can be together forever.

Rating: 5 stars

My thoughts:

Knights After My Heart is Sonya Jesus's debut novel. She did a wonderful job. Jesus writes the novel from two very different perspectives: Lia and Hawk.

Lia is a very likable character. She loves boys, her friends, and cake. She has an inner vixen and angel that often converse, and sometimes take over (I think every girl deserves to hear from those two every once in a while!). 

I still have some questions about Hawk. He is one mysteriously creepy dude! He kept the suspense high while manipulating everyone to fit perfectly into his plans. 

When I started this novel, I had no idea what to expect. It didn't take long before I was roped in and trying to sneak in extra reading time! The story line kept me guessing throughout this romantic thriller. I found myself twirling my hair and trying to determine the possible motives for the many in depth characters. Each player is part of a much larger game with Lia being the pawn. 

I can't wait to delve into the next book in the series. I. Must. Know. What. Happens! 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the book in the comments below. 

If you love hearing from me, follow me by email subscription. I'd be forever grateful!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this novel in return for my honest review. All opinions and statements above are my own.

Purchase a copy of your own below on Amazon. 





Monday, February 26, 2018

An Unnatural Beanstalk (Entwined Tales - Vol. 2) by Brittany Fichter - Book Review

Image result for an enchanted beanstalk entwined fairy tales
Publication Date: February 12, 2018
Genre: Fairy Tale, Fiction, Adventure, Romance

Summary:
Eva has always been the quietest of her sisters. She tries to go unnoticed, but her height makes that impossible. She shies away from love and life, except in her music. She has a love for the harp specifically. All of her dreams revolve around her music. Just when her dreams are beginning to come true, a good deed sends her spiraling out of control. As the old saying goes, "No good deed goes unnoticed." 

The next thing Eva knows, her music is a curse to her and everyone around her, and she's been kidnapped and betrothed to an utterly despicable man. 

Will she be able to bring her music back to life and find the man of her dreams? Or will life become a dreary, submissive place for Eva?

Rating: 5 stars

My Thoughts:
I must admit, my initial thoughts when I started this book were not great. My opinions were not based on the author, or even the cover (the cover is amazing btw!). My thoughts were purely based on my lack of interest in the original tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. I can't really say why, it has just never been a fave of mine. 

Back to An Unnatural Beanstalk, it was awesome! I genuinely enjoyed reading this novel. I love the main character, Eva. She is feminine and self-conscious yet also strong and determined, a beautiful combination.  I enjoyed each new plot twist as they came and it kept me yearning to read more. 

This was another quick read for me. I love that, but I also miss the characters once I'm done. This is one of the joys of the Entwined Tales series. The characters make appearances in each novel, so I don't feel like they are completely gone just yet. I am reading them completely out of order, but it does not take away from the tales at all. Each can be stand alone, but it is recommended to read them in order. What can I say? I guess I'm a rule breaker.  Check out my thoughts on A Bear'sA Bear's Bride (Entwined Tales - Vol. 2)

I would love to hear your opinion of this book in the comments below. 

If you are looking to purchase a copy of your own, please click on the link. 

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book digitally in return for my honest review. All statements and opinions are my own. 




Here are the rest of the Entwined Tales novels for your pleasure!


Thursday, February 22, 2018

A Bear's Bride (Entwined Tales - Vol. 3) by Shari L. Tapscott - Book Review

A Bear's Bride: A Retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon (Entwined Tales Book 3) by [Tapscott, Shari L.]
Publication Date: February 19, 2018
Genre: Fiction, Fairy Tale Retelling, Romance, Fantasy

Summary:

Sophia is the feisty middle child of a farmer. She longs for excitement and adventure, but her father wants her to settle down and marry. She is determined to rebel against him. 

When her original plan to marry her friend, and her father's foe, goes awry she decides to run away. With no further plans, she soon realizes that she will need help. 

Sophia calls upon her family's fairy godfather, Mortimer. The problem with Mortimer is that he doesn't care for Sophia. She asks him for help, but Mortimer has a plan of his own. 

Sophia is swiftly transported from her home in Astoria to the land of Briadell where she is introduced to Henri. Mortimer tells her that Henri will solve both of their problems. 

Sophia finds herself placed right in the middle of a decades old curse, a bear and scheming trolls, but there is something so irresistible about Henri. Will fate give them the blessing of happily ever after? Or will Sophia remain lost and longing for more?

Rating: 5 Stars

My Thoughts:

I really enjoy a good fairy tale retelling. I have enjoyed many and this one is now added to my list of faves. To be quite honest, I have never heard of the Norwegian fairy tale East of the Sun West of the Moon. I think this made it even more fun for me! I love to learn!

This novella was a great quick read. It was light and airy. I like Sophia's strong willed character. She reminded me of a younger version of me. 

The plot kept me interested and was well written with a good mix of adventure and romance.  

This book is part of a series, however, I read this novella first. They can be read as stand alone, but there is a recommended order. I'll let you know my thoughts on the order a bit more once I've read another. 

I highly recommend this book! I look forward to reading more in the Entwined Tales series. 

If you would like a copy of your own, check out the links below. I'd love to hear your thoughts on them once you've read them in the comments. 

Also, if you would like me to review a specific book, I'd love to hear from you! Enjoy!

Disclaimer:

I was given an advanced digital copy of this book in return for my honest review. All opinions and statements above are my own. 




More from the Entwined Tales series:





Friday, February 16, 2018

Hearts of Resistance by Soraya M. Lane - Book Review


Publisher: Lake Union Publishing 
Date: January 10, 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction


Summary:

Rose, Hazel, and Sophia are three very different women who living in a man's world during WWI. They are about to take action and change the entire war.


Rose has recently lost her husband, Peter, to the war. She learns of his secret life just before his death.  Sophia is in love with a Jewish man. In order to keep him safe, she must risk her own life. Hazel is engaged to John. John has enlisted to fight the war with the Germans and she must wave goodbye to him again.

Each woman wants to help the war. Each have encountered their own version of heartbreak. They refuse to let this war batter them. Instead, each turns their tears into motivation. Now, how to get started. The resistance needs women like them. Women aren't expected to be spies. With the Germans on high alert, the women are only given a 50-50 chance of making it back home. 

It isn't long before their stories intertwine. They're cell smuggles weapons in and people out of France. Hazel is one of the best radio operators around. Sophia is nick named "The Fox" for being undetectable, and Rose is one awesome and dedicated spy. Each has been trained to say nothing to the enemy and all have the ability to end their life, if the need arises. 

Their country needs their help. They have to do whatever it takes to stop this senseless war. France will never be the same. They will be the women everyone whispers about. Three women willing to do whatever it takes, but will it be enough? Will all they've sacrificed be worth it?

My rating: 
5 Stars

My Thoughts:

What an amazing book!!

At first glance, I was drawn in by the beautiful cover art. It is absolutely stunning! 

I began reading and quickly fell in love with Rose, Hazel, and Sophia. Each character so different and beautifully developed. I love the empowering movement they each take. Each is heartbroken, but refuses to give the Germans the satisfaction of winning. They take the term "boss babe" to the next level!

As each woman risked her life for others, they also have their own emotions they are battling. The romance in the midst of the war is an emotion many still know today. I myself was in the military. We were a dual military couple, meaning we were both enlisted at the same time. I had to be a sailor and a single parent when my husband was on deployment. It is so hard to be the one at home, but it is even harder to be the one in battle. These women were dreaming of their loved ones, unsure of their fate, wishing it would all be over so they could go home. 

The novel had a great mix of romance, history and suspense. I loved it! I never felt there was a lull in the reading. I would have read the whole book in one sitting if I didn't have to adult every day. Adulting is hard, reading is better.

I did not even know that women like this truly existed. I have already begun research of my own on the topic. I am learning that there were so many secrets to the war.

I highly recommend this book! It won't let you down. 

Purchase your own copy below. Once you've read it, let me know what you think in the comments!

Also, if you'd like me to review a specific book, I'd love to hear from you!
Happy weekend everyone!

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book for my honest review. The statements above are my own. 





All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin: Book Review

Published: Ballantine Books, 2018 Genre: Realistic Fiction, Fiction, Chick Lit Pages: 352 pages Summary Nina Bro...