Only Him (One & Only #2) by Melanie Harlow

Only Him

by Melanie Harlow

book #2 in the One and Only trilogy

Goodreads Rating: 4.15 Stars

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Plot:

Sometimes your first love deserves a second chance.

He was my first crush, my first kiss, my first everything.
But I’m not a lovesick teenager anymore, and I’d never let that cocky troublemaker break my heart again.
So when he shows up out of the blue asking me to have dinner with him “for old time’s sake,” I say I will. After all, it’s been twelve years, and I’m stronger and smarter than I was back then.
Except…he still does something to me. He’s got those eyes that make me weak, those hands that drive me wild, and a body I can’t resist—especially once I see the tattoos. It doesn’t take long for our trip down memory lane to go from sweet to sizzling.
We’re just as good together as we were back then—better, even—and I’m willing to give the only man I’ve ever loved another chance.
But he’s got to tell me the truth.

* * *

All I wanted was to see her again. Tell her I’m sorry. Make her smile.
Okay, that’s a lie. I wanted to do more than that—a lot more. But I know she’s better off without me, and I promised myself I’d behave.
Except I’ve never been much good at keeping promises…or my hands to myself when I’m around her.
I can make her laugh, I can make her cry, I can make her body surrender to mine in ways that neither of us could have imagined back then. I can—and I do—love her more than she’ll ever know.
But I can’t tell her the real reason why I’m here.
And I can’t stay.

him collage.JPG

My Thoughts:

Per usual, I read this trilogy completely out of order but if you were considering reading it, just putting this into the universe: that is totally fine, each book can be read as a standalone.

Only Him was such an emotional second chance romance following Dallas and Maren. There is something about rekindling flames with your first love type stories that I yearn for. It’s like this slight hold on innocence, but now we’re adults and it’s interesting to see if we love each other the same now that we have time and life experiences on our side. With Maren you instantly get the sense that she needs some sort of closure with her and Dallas’s situation.  Same with him, which is basically how the story kicks off. Dallas has some medical issues and makes the decision to go see her after all these years to apologize for how things ended.

I think what’s going to stick with me most about this story is Dallas. He has some family drama. He was the screw up kid, always compared to his older brother who got the good grades, stayed out of trouble. Dallas was always in trouble, dropped out of college and does tattoos for a living. The author really wrote the growth of Dallas as a character well. We see him choosing to be miserable and he gets called out on it. We see how things aren’t always what they appear. We see Dallas and his brother work towards mending their relationship, and Mister Perfect Big Brother shares with Dallas a situation that humbled him.  It really opened the conversation on, as a man, being okay with being vulnerable.

Only Him

The relationship between Dallas and Maren kicks off kind of fast, I mean the two already have so much love for each other, so I didn’t mind. They definitely make up for lost time, but Dallas’s medical issue is a big part of the conflict and he takes the opportunity for Maren to be there for him, away from her. You have two people who obviously love each other, yet it’s so complicated.

Minus the medical issues and family drama, this book felt like a love letter to first loves we don’t get closure on. I think everyone remembers their first love, but if you found yourself in a situation like Maren’s, it makes total sense how, regardless of how much Time has passed, that you’d still be fixated on them.  I thought Melanie Harlow captured that so well.

If you are already a fan of Melanie Harlow’s I think this back list title is definitely a must read. I have chatted with a few friends who admitted this was their least favorite book in the trilogy..and I will say, book three remains my favorite, but Only Him is still very good. Very sexy, and very emotional, but so worth it.

xo.

B5EF10B8C3AF2A7E7A5CADAA74704D8C

 

 

 

Sunday Coffee

Happy Sunday friends. Grab your Sunday morning drink of choice and let’s catch up, shall we..

sunday coffee

It’s been a while. A lot has happened. life is changing. If you follow me on my social medias, then maybe you know..I retired from the military!

excited

I’m very excited but also nervous as hell. This is what I’ve been doing since I was 18 years old. The learning to adjust struggle is real. I still wake up entirely way too early. Now that my job doesn’t depend on how physically fit I am, I have to dig deep and find the motivation to get back into some kind of work out routine. Waiting for everything financially to flow how it’s supposed to has me a little nervous..but I am staying positive that everything is going to work out. *fingers crossed* they always do.

I started making youtube videos again. Crazy, but I really missed talking to a camera. I went back and forth with, do I go back or not, for a while. I reflected a lot on my niche, what lane do I want to be in? I honestly struggle mentally when I come to the realization that I have cornered myself, or put myself in a box, so at this point I am determined to film the videos I want to film and create what I want. Consistency and Transparency are what matters most to me at this point. Put out content and be as real as possible.

I’m in my first online course in over a year and I feel like it’s kicking my butt. Once upon I fell in love with history and convinced myself that teaching it is what I wanted to do with my life! Someone should’ve shaken me! My current class deals with the U.S.’s involvement in the Vietnam War which truly fascinates me but it’s so masculine at the same time..I’m over it. If I have to read one more time about Presidents who didn’t want to be the one to lose a war or anyone else’s ego, I am going to flip!

The fall is here and I couldn’t be happier. I have broken out the crockpot already and started making different fall vibes recipes. I could eat soup at any time during the year but there’s something perfect about the fall season that just screams *make soup in the crockpot* to me. The joys of having leftover taco soup while lounging on the couch watching some paranormal ghost hunting show are unreal and hard to describe, but sometimes just what I need. It’s been so lovely.

Today is the last day of the Contemporary-a-thon which is hosted by some lovely book tube ladies. This is my first time every participating in this readathon, and I quite enjoyed myself. I have been vlogging and posting a video every 2 days *except Friday through Sunday, just posting them together.* Vlogging everyday is some work. Especially when I vlog a bit then edit a bit, thinking that it will free some time at the end. My reading did start to slow down though toward the end. Friday, I didn’t read anything. I think I was just really mentally checked out after having to read for school Friday morning. After that, I was like No way!

I did start two books yesterday though. Penguin Teen sent me a copy of Looking For Alaska with the movie cover as the cover to the book.

IMG_0239

I’m only a few pages into it, but so far so good.

And I downloaded the audiobook to Irresistible by Melanie Harlow. I was in the mood to return to an old faithful favorite who I knew would pull me out of whatever rut I felt myself going in.

IMG_9519

In a nutshell, that’s what’s been up with me. I have a few articles on Frolic coming out soon, hopefully, that I’m very excited about. I have an idea for Youtube that I think will be a lot of fun, and a series that I can also learn a lot while making. So *fingers crossed* that all works out.

Here is my latest video:

 

But that’s all from me. Let me know what’s been up with you. What are you currently reading or loving at the moment. Be Kind to yourself. Take care of yourself. We will chat again soon. until next time, xo.

selfie

WWW Wednesday 25 September 2019

Happy Wednesday Friends!

‘WWW Wednesdays ’ was originally hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm before moving to Taking on a World of Words. 

Wednesday

For WWW Wednesdays, we answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

 

My current read is Coming Home For Christmas by Raeanne Thayne which is the 10th book in the Haven Point series. In the previous book, Season of Wonder, is where we get really introduced to Luke and his situation. We learn he is a single dad of two whose wife disappeared and a large group of the townspeople believe he is behind her disappearance. In Coming Home For Christmas, Luke has tracked her down and brought her home. The District Attorney is moments away from charging him and putting him in jail to make an example out of  husbands who make their wives go away.” It is the cozy, small town feel I have grown to love and expect from this serious, with the mix in of intensity surrounding the reuniting of Luke and Elizabeth, his ex-wife.

IMG_8587

I recently finished Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words by Tara Sivec. This is an audible original I listened to via the Audible Escape. This book was hilarious and it wasn’t one of those situations where it feels the author uses too much comedy to overcompensate for lack of plot, bad writing..or whatever. The plot was there and I loved it. Heidi is a 20 something recent kindergarten teacher who when we meet, is in between jobs. She isn’t happy teaching anymore. She also has a really big crush on her neighbor. Heidi ends up getting a job working at a studio where erotica novels are produced. In hopes that it’ll help build her confidence, Heidi starts a podcast where she reads a paragraph or so from an erotica novel. I didn’t do this book justice trying to explain it, but it’s a lot of fun and so swoon worthy at the end. I highly recommend it.

heidi

What I think I’ll read next.. Lone Wolf Cowboy by Maisey Yates. I actually started this a few days ago. I made it maybe 10 pages in but had so much school reading that needed to be done. My next read is definitely going to be it, because the newest book in the series is out now.

yates

I am currently taking part in Contemporary-a-thon which has been a lot of fun so far.

Let me know what you are reading at the moment and what you plan to read next. Happy Wednesday Friends. I hope yours is amazing. ♡♡

B5EF10B8C3AF2A7E7A5CADAA74704D8C

Reigning Magicks by Candace Osmond & JJ King

“magic is neither black nor white, but full of color and purpose. It is up to use that purpose wisely.”

Reigning Magicks

by Candace Osmond & JJ King

Book 1 in the Witch In Time series

Goodreads Rating: 4.73 Stars

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Plot:

She’ll Reign Over His Heart…In This Time or Another
After decades of war, two hostile druid factions come close to a peace treaty that could save hundreds of lives. All they need is the hand of Princess Ashlynn to seal the deal, but the stubborn and powerful daughter of Clann Kavanagh’s High Priestess will have nothing of it.

Desperate to change her fate, Ashlynn ventures into the forbidden forest in search of an ancient spell. When the old magic goes awry, the princess finds herself thrown into the future and stranded in an unknown land.

With the help of a handsome and powerful Romani sorcerer, Ashlynn searches for answers and a way home even though every moment spent at Cian’s side makes Ashlynn less certain of her desires.

Now she must decide if the past is worth changing or if their future is worth fighting for.

magicks

My Review:

My fingers will remain crossed that we see a resurgence of time travel romances. There is something very unique and comforting about them, especially ones very well written. A good time travel romance has the ability to have you hooked from page until the very last word of the book and that was the case with Reigning Magicks.

I had never read anything by JJ King but I have read another time travel fantasy romance by Candace Osmond before. In Reigning Magicks, the story kicks off with Ashlynn being highly upset that she is being married off to basically unite her familial clan with their rival clan. Ashlynn doesn’t want to marry someone she doesn’t love. You can tell she doesn’t even like the guy. So she sneaks off into the wood searching for the local seer, to see if she can help her. She finds the seer and is given this stone and basically told to go home, perform this specific ritual and she will be granted a wish. Ashlynn does all this and wishes that clans be united but not at the expense of her being married to someone she doesn’t want to be with. Next thing we know, she’s thrust over 300 years into the future.

I like the different spin the authors used for Ashlynn’s story. Typically with time travel stories, your main character travels backward in time. It was interesting to see this princess from the past, thrown into modern day and how much like a fish out of water she is but to also see her fall in love with modern conveniences.

magicks

It doesn’t take long though for the thought of should Ashlynn return to the past and make things right start flowing through her mind. The authors wrote some pretty interesting twists into the story that I didn’t see coming, and I always love a good familial twist.

Reigning Magicks is a fast paced, short romance full of magic bursting at the seams. It will feel perfect as a fall read, and I highly recommend it. The second book is already out and the third book is scheduled to release on HALLOWEEN 2019 which feels like perfect timing.

xo.

B5EF10B8C3AF2A7E7A5CADAA74704D8C

 

Well Met by Jen Deluca

“I met Jake at a frat party when I was nineteen. We were drunk, we…you know.” I shrugged. “We were just together after that. He never asked me out; I never accepted.”

well met 2

Our heroine in Well Met by Jen Dulca is Emily who is fresh out of a breakup with her ex boyfriend Jake. Jake and Emily met at a party when they were 19 and their relationship just sort of happened after that. While together, Jake convinced Emily to quit college where she was pursuing an English Degree, to work two jobs and help provide for him as he pursued his law degree. Jake gets his degree and offered a job..and dumps Emily.

Then Emily’s older sister and niece are in a bad car accident which brings her to Willow Creek, Maryland. She moves in with her sister to help with normal day to day things. Em’s niece really wants to participate in the town’s Renaissance Faire but has to have an adult sign up with her, so Emily steps up, signing up to be a tavern wench. Enter Simon. These two can’t stand each other, basically immediately. But then the two get into character and Emily realizes he’s kind of hot. Eventually for both Emily and Simon, feelings begin to change.

“April was right. I hadn’t been on this side of the grounds much at all. Except for the first day of Faire. The hand fasting. That day had been the beginning of everything between Simon and me. The first time he’d kissed me, even though it was staged. The first time I’d felt his hand around mine and felt safe. Protected. Like he was the one I was meant to be with. It had all been fake emotion brought on by being in character and fancy words spoken while our hands had been bound together with a golden chord. But it had been real, and more importantly, it had led to something real.”

I’m sure you’ve seen this book somewhere as it is all over the place at the moment. Well Met is very original. It brings something fresh to the lineup of 2019 romance releases with the Renaissance Faire theme. What I liked most about this book was the premise and the plot. I liked that Emily stepped up and was there for her sister and niece during a period of their lives when they are trying to get things back to normal. This also allowed Emily and her sister to work on their sisterly relationship that they never really got to have due to their age difference.

I liked the hate to Love relationship between Emily and Simon. The faire is a very big deal to Simon who we learn gradually, makes the faire a priority in honor of his deceased brother, who the faire was once upon a time, a big deal to. Simon is also an English teacher so he knows what he is talking about. He doesn’t think Emily takes things seriously and also thinks her and this guy Mitch are a thing. Mitch and Simon grew up together but were complete opposites: Mitch was the big, buff, popular guy and Simon was the nerd living in his brother’s shadow. The walls between Emily and Simon slowly come down once they give each other a chance and actually communicate. I enjoyed the pacing. It was a while before things start to shift between the two and I liked that it wasn’t rushed.

My only issue with Well Met, was that for a large part of the book it felt that Emily continuously resorted to her “I’m not good enough,” internal struggle so much, and we weren’t seeing any action on her part to grow from it, move on from it, or do something about it. I will admit, I cried at the end, but even with the beautiful ending, I was left to feel..does Simon making this vow to show her everyday how important she is, have to be what she needs to feel important? Emily is super smart, she holds her own with the literature talk with Simon. She steps up to help her sister and niece get back on their feet. She helps the Queen with the bookstore/cafe idea and is the no brainer person to run the store when the Queen needs to take off for a while..like there are so many arrows pointing to Emily being a pretty bad ass woman. I wish we would have seen more of her recognizing her self-worth on her own.

To not end off on a bad note though, Well Met is worth the read. Read it because it is going to be different than the 2019 releases we have had thus far. I really think the faire setting brings something totally different to the genre and it’s exciting. Deluca’s writing I am rooting for. There were no complaints there and I am excited to see what else she has in store for us.

For my rating, make sure we are friends on Goodreads. You can follow me, here.

Let me know if you have already read Well Met, what your thoughts about it are and if not, is it something you plan to pick up. We will chat again soon. Until then, take care of yourselves.

xo.

B5EF10B8C3AF2A7E7A5CADAA74704D8C

WWW Wednesday September 18,2019

Happy Wednesday friends! This is my second go around with WWW Wednesday and I am so excited to share what my current reads are and what I’ve recently finished with you. First though, here is the gist of what you need to know about WWW Wednesday and what you can expect to see.

WWW Wednesday takes place every Wednesday and was originally hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm before moving to Taking on a World of Words.  Here is what you’re sharing..

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Wednesday

I decided share this week’s post a bit differently. I haven’t figured out the whole thumbnail situation, so for now we will deal with technologies preference of choosing you in mid sentence looking crazy!

 

Let me know if you like the video format and I can definitely incorporate it more into the blog. I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday. We will chat again soon.

xo.

B5EF10B8C3AF2A7E7A5CADAA74704D8C

I Hooked Up with Kindle Unlimited (Again!) Here’s what I One-Clicked

I have a very ‘it’s not you, it’s me‘ relationship with Kindle Unlimited. I know I should, but I don’t pay too much attention to all of the dramas going around surrounding Amazon and what it does for the book business. I just know for a busy Mom, who loves to read, having my Kindle is very convenient. and my relationship with Kindle Unlimited has proven to be complicated.

Processed with VSCO with au5 preset

The thing with Kindle Unlimited for me is simple: Your Girl doesn’t like paying for something she doesn’t tend to use. There have been months and months where I pay for KU, one click away throughout the month but never actually read any of the books. This presented an issue for me. Why am I paying for something I don’t use? I questioned myself on this. I questioned myself on, do I keep it so that I don’t feel like I’m missing out? Because let’s be real here, as a romance reader, there are so many damn good romances on KU! Well, I went with the decision to get rid of both Kindle Unlimited and Audible Escape. I figured between the library and Scribd, I’d be okay.

sit down

That lasted about a week. I hooked back up with Kindle Unlimited. The good thing about KU is that you can break up and get back together as conveniently as needed, and as of now, he isn’t going anywhere. I haven’t gotten back together with Audible Escape because honestly, while I still have the Audible App, very rarely did I actually use Audible Escape for my audiobooks. Yes, there would be times I’d get on there and binge a series, or listen to novellas, but those times were few, far and in between. I actually have purchased most of the audiobooks on my app and most of them were super cheap because I had them downloaded via Kindle Unlimited. So right now, I am comfortable with my decision.

My intention is this: I am paying for it, so I need to read at a minimum, two Kindle Unlimited books per month. If I read more than that, great! That is the ‘expectation,’ though. I truly believe in getting what you’re paying for. And I encourage you, if you’ve been thinking of this late, to ask yourself, is it worth my hard earned money if I’m not using it? That money could be saved or spent elsewhere.

Now that I’m back though, here are the titles I’ve one clicked so far:

Of course I had to one click away on one of my favorite authors, Melanie Harlow. I clicked three titles by her:

First is, From This Moment which is book 4 in the After We Fall series.

from this moment

Next is Irresistible which is book 1 in her Cloverleigh Farms series

irresistable

Followed by Undeniable which is book 2 in the Cloverleigh Farms series

undeniable

One that I have already started is my first ever Kandi Steiner romance and that’s On The Rocks

on the rocks

So far I have kept it simple and haven’t gotten out of control. These are four books I’ve really wanted to read so I decided to put them first and go from there. I will definitely be getting to these this month!

So yes friends, I am back with Kindle Unlimited as of now, and I’ll keep you posted on the status of our relationship. Will we successfully stay together and find a groove that works, or will we not work out, yet again. Only time will tell.

xo.

B5EF10B8C3AF2A7E7A5CADAA74704D8C