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You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley

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Acclaimed author Colleen Oakley delivers a heart-wrenching and unforgettable love story about a woman who must choose between the man she loves and the man fate has chosen for her in a novel that reminds us that the best life is one led by the heart.

Mia Graydon’s life looks picket-fence perfect; she has the house, her loving husband, and dreams of starting a family. But she has other dreams too — unexplained, recurring ones starring the same man. Still, she doesn’t think much of them, until a relocation to small-town Pennsylvania brings her face to face with the stranger she has been dreaming about for years. And this man harbors a jaw-dropping secret of his own—he’s been dreaming of her too.

Determined to understand, Mia and this not-so-stranger search for answers. But when diving into their pasts begins to unravel her life in the present, Mia emerges with a single question—what if? 

Source: library (support your local library, y’all!)

Mia, happily married and recently moved to a small town, looks up one day at the grocery store and locks eyes with a man who she’s dreamed about for years, a man she’s never met. This sends her on a quest to find out why.

TRIGGER WARNING

Mia has had several miscarriages. It plays a big part of the plot.

Mia’s connection and attraction to Oliver, the guy from her dreams, is helping her to deal with this and her husband, Harrison’s recent distance.

It’s quite an emotional book. I felt so much for Mia and I was pulled in many different directions, wondering if I should hope for her continued marital happiness or this new, possibly better future with Oliver. Oakley doesn’t make it easy for you to know who Mia should be with. There is no clear “winner” in the handsome men who want to be with me sweepstakes.

I sped through this book, wanting to understand and get to the resolution of the dreams and why Mia and Oliver were having them, but also wanting resolution to Mia’s restlessness and heartbreak and relationships.

This is one of three books I was desperate to read this year. I was very much looking forward to it because I am a big fan of Colleen Oakley ‘s book Before I Go. You Were There Too didn’t reach the level of Before I Go for me, but I couldn’t put it down. The characters were relatable and the story was unique. Overall, I enjoyed the book and Mia’s story, heartbreaking and tender as it may be.

4/5

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Say No to the Duke by Eloisa James (The Wildes of Lindow Castle #4)

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Could she possibly refuse a duke’s hand—in favor of a sardonic, sinful rake?
Lady Betsy Wilde’s first season was triumphant by any measure, and a duke has proposed—but before marriage, she longs for one last adventure.
No gentleman would agree to her scandalous plan—but Lord Jeremy Roden is no gentleman. He offers a wager. If she wins a billiards game, he’ll provide the breeches.
If he wins…she is his, for one wild night.
But what happens when Jeremy realizes that one night will never be enough? In the most important battle of his life, he’ll have to convince Betsy to say no to the duke.

Source: finished copy from the publisher, HarperCollins/Avon (thanks!)

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Playing for Keeps by Jill Shalvis (Heartbreaker Bay #7) GIVEAWAY

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If you’re planning on falling in love…
When it comes to the confident, charismatic Caleb Parker, Sadie Lane feels the spark—the kind that comes from rubbing each other the wrong way. She’s yoga pants, he’s a suit. She’s a tattoo artist, he’s a straight-laced mogul. But after they accidentally co-rescue an abandoned dog from a storm, Sadie sees a vulnerable side to the seemingly invincible hottie.

you’d better be sure…
Caleb doesn’t do emotions. Growing up the underdog, he’s learned the hard way to build up an impenetrable wall. Perfect for business. Disastrous for relationships. He’s never worried about it before—not until he finally gets behind Sadie’s armor and begins to fall.

… someone is there to catch you. 

Both guarded and vulnerable, Sophie and Caleb are complete opposites. Or are they? Shocked at their undeniable connection, can they ever admit to wanting more? That all depends on what they’re each willing to risk.

Source: finished copy courtesy of publisher, Harper Collins/Avon. Thank You!

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Holiday Wishes by Jill Shalvis (Heartbreaker Bay #4.5)

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It’s Christmastime again in Heartbreaker Bay!

When Sean O’Riley shows up at the Hartford Bed & Breakfast for his older brother’s bachelor weekend, he’s just hoping to make it through the weekend. What he’s not expecting is to come face to face with the woman he lost his virginity to a decade ago—a woman he’s never really forgotten.

The last time Lotti Hartford saw Sean, she told him she loved him while he said nothing. Now, ten years later, she’s just looking for a good time. For once, she wants to be the wild and free one, and Sean – the good time guy – is the perfect candidate.

But as the weekend continues, Sean realizes that after a lifetime of being the hook-up king, he’s ready to find happily-ever-after, and he wants it with Lotti. But will she open her heart to him again? As Christmas sweeps through the little B&B, he can only hope love and magic are in the air.

Source: eARC from the publisher, Harper, for review purposes. Thanks!

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Bliss by Lynsay Sands

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Love thy neighbor, ’tis said. A fine idea, except when the neighbor in question is Lord Holden. Lady Helen Tiernay has complained frequently about his treatment of his people. Too frequently perhaps, for the king intends to curb their constant bickering by ordering them to wed. Helen can’t refuse a royal decree, but she’ll do everything possible to drive away her devilishly attractive husband-to-be.

Holden has faced all manner of horrors on the battlefield. But marriage to “the tyrant of Tiernay” is still a worrying prospect—until he glimpses Helen in the flesh. What flesh it is…soft, lush, made for his touch. If she weren’t so intent on thinking up devious ways to prevent consummating their bond, Helen would see how perfect they are together, and that a marriage begun as enemies can turn to absolute pleasure. 
Source: galley from the publisher, Harper Collins. Thanks so much!!

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This Is Really Happening by Erin Chack

This Is Really Happening by Erin Chack

BuzzFeed senior writer Erin Chack provides a collection of personal essays for the Snapchat generation.

Erin recounts everything from meeting her soulmate at age 14 to her first chemotherapy session at age 19 to what really goes on behind the scenes at a major Internet media company.

She authentically captures the agony and the ecstasy of the millennial experience, whether it’s her first kiss (“Sean’s tongue! In my mouth! Slippery and wet like a slug in the rain.”) or her struggles with anxiety (“When people throw caution to the wind, I am stuck imagining the poor soul who has to break his back sweeping caution into a dustpan”).

Yet Erin also offers a fresh perspective on universal themes of resilience and love as she writes about surviving cancer, including learning of her mother’s own cancer diagnosis within the same year, and her attempts to hide the diagnosis from friends to avoid “un-normaling” everything.

SOURCE:  ARC via publisher for review (Thanks!)

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