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Mini Reviews August Wrap Up

This is what I read in August. . . let’s see how September goes!


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell  – I’m so excited to finally be in this world fully!  It’s hard to not see Harry Potter characters in my head while listening but I enjoyed trying to mash them up to see who is who. I loved it, and I loved what I think were small references to a few other author’s books. Nice to see Levi’s coffee creation lives on. 5/5

Ice Planet Barbarian Honeymoon by Ruby Dixon – Did I do the two month free trial of kindle unlimited to keep reading these? SIGH. MAYBE. It’s interesting enough to continue that’s for sure. This was just a quick inbetween story. 3/5


Rise of the Witch by C. Rochelle – This is a reverse harem surrounding Baba Yaga lore that I heard about through tiktok, the author popped up on my FYP.  When you see RH you think one thing but there was an actual story here and it was really good! The writing wasn’t as great though so I think I’ll stop here in the series. 4/5


It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey (audio)- This is my first book by Ms Bailey but it will absolutely not be my last.  The male lead is an example of why you shouldn’t settle.  WOWZA.  It moved fast but the story was great and the characters were likeable; fair warning the audio isn’t something I’d listen to without headphones.  Can’t wait to read Hannah and Fox’s story! 4/5


The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown (audio) – I’ve listened to Daring Greatly at least five times so far but have never listened to this one.  I feel like I pick up something new with each listen of her books and this one I think will be the same (I will definitely have to relisten).  While I fully understand and agree with her thoughts I still can’t make myself follow her advice out of fear.  5/5


Neon Gods by Katee Robert (audio) – Another new to me author, though I’m not sure if this was a rec by a friend or something I found on TIktok too.  I know I see the author on my FYP so anything is possible.  This was a “spicy” retelling of Hades and Persephone.  It wasn’t a bad story, but something was missing for me.  I’ll probably continue with the series though.  3/5


The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson (audio) – This was my favorite in the series by far!  Loved the mystery in it and most of it was a complete surprise.  BUT. . .while I’m aware of Stevie being a teen I feel like Stevie made absolutely no growth or learned a single thing from the main series.  A lot of selfish things were done and I wasn’t a fan.  I feel like everyone else grew overall though.  I also think it would have been a little better reading versus audio, the narrator’s interpretation of the male voices threw me a bit. 4/5


Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher (audio) – I’d been wanting to read this one for a long time.  Something about it told me it would be special.  Grief is hard and it is unique to every single person.  It was a wonderful and heartbreaking book though it read more like I was reading a Nicholas Sparks novel.  I wouldn’t ever think of a teen speaking like these characters.  4/5


Tweet Cute by Emma Lord – This one is from my 12/12 (but really 13) recommendations from friends.  I’ll have more on that post but overall it was a quick and cute read.  3/5


Giant Days Volume 10 by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal – It took forever for my library to order these and I’ve been reading as they come in.  Such a cute series, I love Susan and McGraw. 4/5


Giant Days Volume 11 by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal – Cute as always.  Fingers crossed for Ed! 3/5


Giant Days Volume 12 by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal – I know things arecoming to an end and I’m sad.  This is by far one of the cutest graphic novel series I’ve ever picked up.  4/5

Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert (audio) – Another 12/12 read from friends.  The narrators was very monotone to me at normal speed so I had to speed it up.  Fun fact – before I started reading this book I’d found book two without realizing this was a series and that I’d found book two, LOL.  A cute but awkward read. 3/5  


If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy (audio) – This was a bout of books choice.  This was a hard one to rate.  I loved the story overall and the audio – it gave me Beauty Queens from Libba Bray vibes but on the other hand I HATE the premise of The Bachelor.  The idea of a group of women fighting over one man makes me want to punch a wall.  You only see from Cindy’s POV as well so you just have to hope Henry’s intentions are pure.  I almost went with 3 stars on this one but there was a letter written by someone near the end that had me crying.  4/5


The Comfort Book by Matt Haig – A self-help/inspirational book about when you are feeling low and need a pick me up.  It’s definitely worth a look.  3/5


Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin – This was a book I carried around for a long time, never opened, and when I finally sat down to read I was mad at myself for waiting so long.  I think the size was more off putting than anything but it moved quickly.  Glad I already have book two ready to go! 4/5


Rat Queens Volume 8 The God Dilemma by Ryan Ferrier, Moritat, Casy Silver, Priscilla Petraites, & Marco Lesko – To be completely honest I’m completely lost to the storyline of this series.  I have no idea what is going on anymore but I’m going to keep reading.  3/5

Adult Fiction · Chick Lit · Contemporary · Favorite Author · Library Find

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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Adult Fiction · Chick Lit · Contemporary · Contemporary Romance Challenge 2016 · Review · Romance

Just Fine With Caroline by Annie England Noblin

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Caroline O’Connor never dreamed she’d be back home in Cold River, Missouri, the Ozark Mountain town where everyone is ‘up your business.’…they mean well as they drive you crazy. She thought she’d left town for good, but now she’s back, helping to care for her New York born mother—struck with Alzheimer’s, and prone to saying and doing anything—and her father, the beloved local doctor frustrated he can’t cure his own wife.

As for Caroline, she’s doing ‘just fine’ coping with her parents, her brazen cousin Ava Dawn’s marital disasters, her mostly-deaf dog…and with Noah Cranwell, far-flung relative of a local family mostly infamous for running moonshine, an ex-veteran who’s come to Cold River with troubles of his own.

Caroline believes she knows everything about Cold River and the people who live in its hills and hollers … but sometimes life’s greatest surprises happen closest to home.

Source: galley from the publisher, Harper Collins, for review purposes. All opinions are my own. Thank you!

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The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

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Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.

Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.

From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.

Source: egalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks so much!

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Results May Vary by Bethany Chase Blog Tour! Excerpt and Casting

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She never saw it coming. Without even a shiver of suspicion to warn her, Caroline Hammond discovers that her husband is having an affair with a man—a revelation that forces her to question their entire history together, from their early days as high school sweethearts through their ten years as a happily married couple. In her now upside-down world, Caroline begins envisioning her life without the relationship that has defined it: the loneliness of being an “I” instead of a “we”; the rekindled yet tenuous closeness with her younger sister; and the unexpected—and potentially disastrous—attraction she can’t get off her mind. Caroline always thought she knew her own love story, but as her husband’s other secrets emerge, she must decide whether that story’s ending will mean forgiving the man she’s loved for half her life, or facing her future without him.

Source: eARC from publisher for review purposes–Thank you!

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