Book Review

Book Review: New Orleans Rush by Kelly Siskind

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 310 pages
Author: Kelly Siskind
Publisher: Everafter Romance
Release Date: April 23rd, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Falling for your surly boss is a rotten idea.
Letting him saw you in half is even worse…

Beatrice Baker may be a struggling artist, but she believes all hardships have silver linings…until she follows her boyfriend to New Orleans and finds him with another woman. Instead of turning those lemons into lemonade, she drinks lemon drop martinis and keys the wrong man’s car.

Now she works for Huxley Marlow of the Marvelous Marlow Boys, getting shoved in boxes as an on-stage magician’s assistant. A cool job for some, but Bea’s been coerced into the role to cover her debt. She also maybe fantasizes about her boss’s adept hands and what else they can do.

She absolutely will not fall for him, or kiss him senseless. Until she does. The scarred, enigmatic Huxley has unwittingly become her muse, unlocking her artistic dry spell, but his vague nightly activities are highly suspect. The last time Beatrice trusted a man, her bank account got drained and she almost got arrested. Surely this can’t end that badly…right?

WHERE CAN I GET A MAGICIAN LIKE HUXLEY?

This quick romantic comedy is a hidden gem in the genre. I absolutely adored this and it took me a day to finish because of it!

Beatrice is effervescent and optimistic about most things in her life. Being betrayed by the men she’s known (including her Father) she ends up in New Orleans, single, without a job or a home. But then she meets…HUXLEY. Oh their chemistry is dynamite y’all. Sparks flying every which way it could light up a night sky.

I couldn’t get enough of their banter and flirtatious moments. It was purely them meeting and getting to know each other that formed their friendship turned romance. I usually prefer a stand-out trope (like enemies to lovers) but this worked in such a magical way I was smitten with them. I love that Huxley took care of Bea and helped her get on her own two feet. Not only that, but Bea helped Huxley see the glass half full rather than empty. These two peas in a pod really completed each other. THEY’RE JUST SO PRECIOUS OKAY? Trust me on this.

Huxley and his brothers, Axel and Fox are also what brother goals are made of. These three had an incredible dynamic too. I love the different personalities and banter that made up their daily conversations. They all kind of grew up (even though everyone is in their late 20s and 30s) as they started to take care of each other. Huxley as big brother never got a chance to take a breath and his brothers (plus Beatrice) helped him step back and enjoy the finer moments of life.

The only reason I took off a half a star was a personal preference. I didn’t love that there was a whole chapter and a half dedicated to the sex scene. It was a bit much and a bit too detailed for me. It’s easily skipped over though so if this also isn’t your scene I promise the rest of the book is gold.

I liked the plot of this as well. It was different than other rom-coms I’ve read before. I felt there was a bit more at stake and it upped the drama overall. It never over took the romance, but wove seamlessly with it.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong language
  • Romance: kissing, make outs, flirting, innuendo, Chapter 23 & beginning of Chapter 24: detailed love scene; Chapter 30: fade to black with a little detail
  • Violence: physical, being held at gun point
  • Trigger warnings: gambling addiction, gambling in general

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Book Review

Book Review: Field Notes on Love on Jennifer E. Smith

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Young adult contemporary romance
Length: 271 pages
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: March 5th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Having just been dumped by his girlfriend, British-born Hugo is still determined to take his last-hurrah-before-college train trip across the United States. One snag: the companion ticket is already booked under the name of his ex, Margaret Campbell. Nontransferable, no exceptions.

Enter the new Margaret C. (Mae for short), an aspiring filmmaker with big dreams. After finding Hugo’s spare ticket offer online, she’s convinced it’s the perfect opportunity to expand her horizons.

When the two meet, the attraction is undeniable, and both find more than they bargained for. As Mae pushes Hugo to explore his dreams for his future, he’ll encourage her to channel a new, vulnerable side of her art. But when life off the train threatens the bubble they’ve created for themselves, will they manage to keep their love on track?

PURCHASING A TRAIN TICKET ASAP.

This was really cute! It was a surprisingly very short book too. It was clever and fun, and I was sad the ending was so abrupt. Though I do feel like I need to take my husband up on his offer to take me on a train ride (he’s only been asking me the entire time we’ve been together…)

I adore Hugo. He was sweet, tender-hearted, and a truly well meaning person. Hugo had a wonderful character arc over this fast paced book as he got to seek out what would make him happy. I think it’s a bit coming of age because we are all seeking to find what path we want to take after high school and Hugo was able to do that with the help of a stranger, Mae.

Mae had to grow on me. I didn’t love her personality at first, but I think Hugo truly brought out the best in her. And her Nana. I love her Nana! Such a spunky and loving character. Her support for Mae provided her the opportunity to figure out that it’s okay to open your heart up. I loved watching Mae work on her new movie and thought it was a unique concept that gave a different perspective to everyone who participated.

I love the train traveling concept and wish the time could have been spread out more. I think that’s why it was a short book though, a train ride is only so long. It was a growing up kind of experience for both Hugo and Mae. The ending stopped way before I thought it would and would have loved a bit of an epilogue to know how this couple is doing.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: some kisses
  • Violence: none

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Book Review

Book Review: Dark Shores (Dark Shores #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: Young Adult Fantasy
Length: 368 pages
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: May 7th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.

A PIRATE WITH A WILL OF IRON

Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences. 

A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET

Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world. 

A DANGEROUS QUEST

When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.

THIS SERIES WILL ONLY GET BETTER.

The author hosted an Instagram read-a-long on her page and I took advantage of reading it during the last month. She posted questions each week and responded to so many of us. It made me really have a lot of appreciation for her as a fan.

Dark Shores is filled with allllll things Roman. A lot of the way the governments are set-up, the world-building and more were drawn from this ancient civilization. It was AWESOME. I am fascinated by all things Roman and loved how this played out. There were wicked senators, ship sailing, gods fighting each other, conquering and a dash of romance.

I am obsessed with Marcus. He was my favorite POV and I wish the book was focused more on him. I love him + his soldiers. They were some of my favorite side characters. I found them funny, endearing and thought they all needed a hug. And I wouldn’t mind giving them said hug.

Teriana was fine, she’s one of my reasons for lowering to four stars. I found her a bit annoying/whiny at times and wasn’t as interested in her chapters. There was lots of talk but she never pulled out any tricks, so I’m curious where that goes during book two. I did enjoy Marcus and Teriana together though. I like the relationship and am waiting for all heck to break loose when things start to spiral.

This had great world-building and I found that it was a lot more creative of a book plot overall than I have read in a hot minute. I couldn’t easily guess what was happening next and that’s always a good sign of a great fantasy. My only other issue with it was that it was a little slow at times. I found myself wanting to scan ahead to dive into the next scene.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: shoot used quite a bit
  • Romance: kiss, a fade to black love scene
  • Violence: ship wreck, torture, hangings, murder involving dismemberment

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Book Review

Book Review: The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: Contemporary New Adult Romance
Length: 388 pages
Author: K.A. Tucker
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: August 7th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.

THIS. WAS. STELLAR.

Tear-shedding (yes, one scene totally had me shedding a few tears), heart-stopping, and utterly devastating, this book took me to some high highs and some low lows. I’m still speechless thinking about it.

I started off really not loving Calla. She was materialistic, vain, selfish and more. I dearly hoped she would have a turn around in this book, and I’m so happy she did. Calla became more lovable as a character to me and all I wanted to do was give her a hug. She went through a lot in 400 pages.

The story itself, focusing a lot on her Dad left me crying y’all. I know I already mentioned it, BUT IT HAD TO BE SAID AGAIN. I don’t generally cry reading. Granted, it was 2 AM so being really tired probably contributed, but still. There was one scene in there that I *can’t* handle. I loved watched Wren and Calla figure out each other and actually open up. There wasn’t heavy drama between them. It really focused on remembering how important family is and soaking up any time you get to have them. The awkward first encounters turned into deep conversations where they had a chance to know about each other’s lives.

Now, we know I have to talk about the romance. OHEMGEE. Jonah. My rugged space cowboy Jonah. I was totally impressed with how this was done. There was so much angst I could barely stand it. It was amazing. Fantastic banter that left me chuckling (and a few good pranks that made me squeal). Sweet, loving moments where all the emotions came out. All of it. Tucker turned the span of a few weeks into this magical romance that makes me so happy I picked this book up.

While I still don’t want to fly on tiny planes. This book also gave me major wanderlust. I wanted to be in Alaska. Seeing these gorgeous sites in my mind wasn’t doing it justice. The beautiful writing made it feel like I was really in this small towns and rugged landscapes.

Overall audience notes:

  • New adult contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong language
  • Romance: kisses, make-outs, a mildly detailed love scene and others more glossed over
  • Violence: plane crash
  • Trigger warnings: divorce, terminal illness (cancer), loss of a loved one

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Things to Do While Listening to An Audiobook

For Top Ten Tuesday this week it’s an Audiobook freebie! I’ve thought all week about what I wanted to do and finally this idea popped into my head.

Some people are wary of audiobooks (I totally was too), but now I see how much other stuff I can do while listening to one! It’s multi-tasking at its finest. Put an audiobook on and get down to whatever business you need to.

So here’s a list of 10 things that you can do while listening to an audiobook!

Laundry

I’m one of those weird people who enjoys laundry. I love an empty basket and all the clothes put away (even if it only lasts a few hours, okay who am I kidding, 5 minutes). My favorite thing to do is play an audiobook while folding clothes! Makes everything go by much faster.

Shower

May be crazy sounding, but I figured out if I put my phone in a certain spot I can hear it well AND shower! Taking me time to a whole new level. Or better yet if you have a waterproof speaker you can easily listen that way.

Insomnia (Or whatever is keeping you up late)

Maybe it’s been a long day, but your mind won’t rest. Maybe you’re a parent who needs to rock a child back to sleep. This is a great chance to pop in some headphones and listen softly to a favorite audiobook. I used to do this when I was nursing our little one and loved it!

Exercise

This was one of the first ways I utilized audiobooks. I run a lot (or did – as I’m still in a boot *sigh*). I digress, this was a great way to spend the time! If I’m feeling it, I’ll listen while I lift weights or do some yoga.

Driving

Road trippers unite! My husband travels a lot for work and I convinced him to try out audiobooks and he really enjoyed it. I do as well, especially because it means no commercials. Get in the car, put on a book, an be on your way.

Instagram/Blogging

A new way I’ve been adding listening to my day is to do so while I’m taking Instagram photos (or scrolling forever). I’ve also added in listening while I’m blogging. Since I don’t have to be super focused on these tasks I can easily take in both!

Relax

I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, but occasionally my eyes/head will hurt from all the reading I’ve done (especially if I have read a lot in one day). What’s great about audiobooks is that you can close your eyes, let your head relax and still get reading done!

Cooking

Sometimes I listen to music while making dinner, but if not, I’ll put a book on! It’s a great way to spend the time and make cooking not seem like a chore (for me it can be some days).

Hobby/Craft

If you’re into jigsaw puzzles as much as I am, this is a great opportunity! Or coloring in a book, sewing, stitching, whatever you’re good at doing! Even better, learn a new craft while you’re listening!

Work

Since I’m a stay-at-home Mom right now, my job consists of keeping a tiny human alive. I try to keep the TV off for most of the day, so I’ll play a book we can listen to while playing! At your office (or other environment) you could listen while on break, or lunch, or even while working!

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Award

Blog Award: The Liebster Award

I was nominated by TheGeekishBrunette for this award! She is so sweet and I’ve loved following her blog and Instagram! Definitely make sure to check her blog out and give her a follow.

The Liebster Award Rules:

  1. Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
  2. Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination
  5. Give these blogs 11 questions to answer

What is the weirdest book you have read?

While my husband loved this series, I unfortunately thought it was just to strange for me. I thought it was odd and weird and wasn’t for me.

Favorite book to movie adaption?

ALL TIME favorite book to movie adaptation (The Kiera Knightly version).

What is your favorite book series, and why?

SJM’s ACOTAR series is my absolute favorite. The story that Feyre goes on really hits me in the feels every time. I love the emotions, the plot, the characters, the romance, everything. It has yet to get old to me in any way.

If you could collide two book worlds together, what would they be and why?

Okay, I’m not even really sure which ones. But an interesting concept would be somehow combining a Sci-Fi book like The Illuminae Files with something full of fae (i.e. The Cruel Prince, etc.).

Just thinking about faeries dealing with flying spacecrafts is making me chuckle.

Who is your favorite book couple?

Oh of course, Feysand.

If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Guys I’m beating a dead horse, A Court of Mist and Fury. I could re-live that romance all day.

Besides reading, do you have another hobby?

I absolutely love running! Unfortunately at this time I’m still in a boot so I can’t do anything but arm weights. But hopefully I’ll be healed in the next few months.

I also love baking muffins! I make them often and for everyone.

What is a favorite quote of yours?

“There are good days and bad days for me — even now. Don’t let the hard days win.”

Morrigan – ACOMAF

Favorite book genre and why?

All things fantasy! I love reading worlds that I have no way on conceiving myself. It’s nice to be taken away from the real world for a bit while reading.

What was the last book you gave 5 stars?

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating. This book was so cute y’all!

You are to go on a date with your favorite book boyfriend/girlfriend, who is it and what would your date consist of?

Since we already know my love of Rhysand, I’ll go with Rowan Whitethorn. Y’all I have no idea what we would do. I’m too starstruck by even the thought of these males being real to concentrate on a date. I’m also a fan of really simple dates. Dinner and a walk through a bookstore. I’m not sure what a date with a fae might consist of, I wouldn’t be mad about it though haha.

11 Random Facts About Me:

  1. I am terrified of flying. I take so much Dramamine before I even get near the terminal. It’s unfortunately hindered me from traveling.
  2. I was bitten by a Copperhead (very poisonous snake) 2 weeks before I got married.
  3. I got married really young (20 years old!) and we’ve been together for 7 years.
  4. I played year-round competitive basketball for 15 years, but didn’t want to play in college.
  5. I love painting/crafting, but haven’t gotten to do it much since I had a baby.
  6. I’m left handed (so is my husband — we’re cool).
  7. I am a true Southerner and NCAA football is my religion (GIg ’em Aggies).
  8. My favorite spice is Lemon Pepper, and I put it on almost everything.
  9. I am a roller-coaster fanatic and love theme parks!
  10. My perfect place to live is a bungalow on the beach.
  11. I am obsessed with french fries, the best kind you ask? Chick-fil-A.

Okay, going a little off the path here and only nominating 5 bloggers and giving 5 questions. Holy mackerel 11 is a lot!

I’m tagging:

Book Allure || LaureGalie || #Bookish (Bibliophile Prints) || The Wolf and Books || Reader Fox

And here’s the questions:

  1. Who was your favorite childhood author?
  2. Do you judge a book by its cover? Or give it a chance?
  3. Who would be your best pal from a book?
  4. Where is the strangest place you’ve read a book?
  5. You’re stranded on a desert island: what book do you bring?

Now that my mind feels like mud from trying to be creative with my questions, no pressure in participating! Just wanted to spread the love.

Instagram || Goodreads

Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit

Helllloooo Top Ten Tuesday!

I had a really tough time with this one! Mostly because a lot of the books I read involve war. And nobody wants to travel there during hard times, ya know?

So, let’s all operate under the assumption that there is peace in the land and I’m going on a summer holiday.

Velaris

A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOTAR #2) by SJM

I am completely predictable and I am okay with this. Velaris is the first place I’d visit. It’s the City of Starlight! I would love to visit all of the different city squares.

Jurassic Park

by Michael Crichton

I am obsessed with dinosaurs. Have been since I was a little. And all I want in life is to go to a park (not be attacked) and look at dinosaurs. Why hasn’t science caught up to this yet!?

Caraval

by Stephanie Garber

Remember, it’s only a game…and it’s a game I want to play! How cool would a travelling magical carnival type mystery game be? SO COOL. I would find a way to get a ticket and I would be happy just being there.

Orynth

Kingdom of Ash (ToG #7) by SJM

I really only want to go here to meet Rowan, but can you blame me?

Red London

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I loved this series and would love to travel like Kell through all of the London’s! Well, except Black London, of course.

Warcross

by Marie Lu

In such a digital age it would be awesome to have a game like Warcross to play. I feel it would be like the Sims games, but even more realistic. Maybe something along the lines of Second Life from The Office (please someone tell me they know that reference haha).

Italy

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

While this isn’t a fantasy or exotic location, I have always wanted to travel here. And Love & Gelato gave me all the wanderlust to travel the countrysides of Italy.

Grishaverse

Shadow & Bone Trilogy, SoC Duology and Nikolai Duology
by Leigh Bardugo

Using only this cover for the entire world, but put me anywhere in this land and I will be a happy camper. Though, I’d be an even happier camper if you put me in Nikolai’s palace…

Le Cirque des Rèves

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Circus of Dreams — oh how I would love to go to this circus too! I clearly have an affinity for traveling troops of magic. This is one of my favorite stand-alone fantasies and I highly recommend it!

Weep

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

This duology was so enchanting. And the city of Weep is intriguing. Checking out the libaries, seeing the citadel with the Gods. What a holiday!

Do you want to travel to any of these places too? Let’s go together! Let me know in the comments. Happy Tuesday!