August in Review

Yet another month is coming to a close. August was good to me reading wise. I thoroughly enjoyed just about everything I read during it. I am over the heat though. It has been over 100 degrees everyday here for the past week. Now, we don’t get the fall I’d wish for here in South Texas but I am still looking forward to cooler days, cozy coffee shop mornings and fall reading, but before I get ahead of myself..let’s reflect on what I read in August.

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The first thing I read in August was The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory.

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I received a review copy of The Proposal from Netgalley and have typed a review up that is scheduled to post on 1 October. I ended up giving it 3 out 5 stars. Overall, I thought it was okay. Be on the lookout for my review where you’ll get my actual thoughts on the book.

Next, I read/listened to Silver Linings by Debbie Macomber which is book four in her Rose Harbor Inn series. I realized I haven’t once mentioned the audiobook narrator. Her name is Lorelie King and she did a fantastic job.

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I gave this one five out of five stars. Silver Linings definitely took me by surprise with the turns in the story I wasn’t expecting. As soon as Jo Marie, our main character finally gets to the point where she recognizes and accepts her feelings towards Mark Taylor, her handyman and best friend since moving to Cedar Cove, Mark informs her he is moving away.

There are always guests staying at the Rose Harbor Inn, and in this story, it is two best friends, Kellie and Katie who have returned to Cedar Cove for their high school reunion. Both ladies have loose ends after all these years they’d like to tie up. When it came to their stories, Debbie Macomber had me worried for a bit! It really felt like one wasn’t going to get her happy ending. This novel overall just really took me by surprise, I really enjoyed it!

My next read was another five star read, and oh my goodness! I loved this book, so much.

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Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs was fantastic. It was a gem I had sitting on my shelf which I planned to read, but wasn’t in a rush. That is, until my friend Sarah from Not Just Romance Novels on Youtube read it, finished it, and said this may possibly be her favorite book of 2018. I will have a review posted for this one coming probably in October, so be on the lookout.

I finished the last book in Debbie Macomber’s Rose Harbor Inn series, Sweet Tomorrows. I can officially say that I have finally completed a series!

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I can’t even begin to explain how sad I was to see this series end. Each time I picked up another book I was excited to see who was crossing paths with the main character Jo Marie next, and to also see where the love between her and Mark was going to go.

After finishing Sweet Tomorrows, I wanted more Debbie Macomber and I was very much in the mood for one of her Christmas romances. I checked out the audio book for Twelve Days of Christmas from the library and oh my GOODNESS, I loved this book.

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When I first decided I wanted to try reading romance, within the matter of a few days I’d breezed through a few Debbie Macomber Christmas romances so reading Twelve Days of Christmas was such a joy. This one follows Julia who works at Macey’s and is ready to do something different. She applies for a social media position with a different company and they have narrowed the applicants down to Julia and one other person. The company states both Julia and the other applicant should start a blog to see who generates the bigger following and whoever does is hired! Julia has a scrooge of a neighbor named Cane who her best friend tells her to kill..with kindess. Julia uses this idea for her blog. She will kill Cane with kindness for twelve days and blog about the experience. Neither Julia nor Cane however, expect for feelings to begin growing. I loved this story so much. Honestly, it was one of Debbie Macomber’s more romantic stories I’ve read. Once Julia and Cane realize they have feelings for each other, the things they say to each other were so swoon worthy.

The last romance I read this month was Sugar Pine Trail by Raeanne Thayne which was another Christmas romance.

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This was the last book in the Haven Point series that I needed to read before I could read Thayne’s newest release for it. There was a story line in this book that was absolutely heartbreaking and written so well. The main character is a librarian and sort of a recluse and I enjoyed seeing her come out of her shell a bit. I am so happy that my next one up is the new release.

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August was such an epic reading month. My fingers are crossed that September is just as amazing! Let me know how your August reading went and what you have planned for September. Take care of yourselves Friends. xx

 

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Sunday Coffee

Happy Sunday Friends, I hope all is well with you. It is September!! I can’t believe it. I live for this time of year. Even though the weather doesn’t change much, I try and squeeze as much as I can out of every moment possible from September 1st until the beginning of January. I am aiming to make these last few months of 2018 amazing.

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To kick off this week, I sprained my ankle. It was about 4 in the morning and I was carrying all my Life (it felt like) to the car to head to work. I had my gear bag, gym bag, water jug and a chair in case I was posted somewhere outside and needed it for my back. Next thing I know, I am face down on the ground and my ankle is throbbing. I called my husband and he came outside to help me up and into the car. Luckily after going to the base hospital,  I learned it was just a sprain but pretty swollen so they gave me quarters for the day and sent me home. This is so easier said than done, but I really need to slow down. If I have to take 2 or 3 trips back into the house then that’s just what I need to do. I am always rushing and trying to knock everything out as quickly as possible that sometimes I just don’t even realize what I’m doing..then stuff like the fall happens. It sucked, my ankle is still a bit sore, but it reminded me to give myself time. I need to start waking up a few minutes earlier, which means going to bed a little bit earlier so I have time if I need to make multiple trips in and out prior to leaving. Seriously, give yourself time Friends.

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I got up early to make my way to the coffee shop and sit outside on their patio area to get some reading done. I got there right when it opened and the sun was slowly peeking through the clouds. The cool breeze felt amazing, my latte tasted delicious and the cozy mystery I had in tow was getting to the good parts. It was so nice to just be in the moment, to appreciate the moment for what it was.  I have been hauling cozy mysteries like crazy over the past few months.  Most of the series I own give off such fall vibes so I’ve saved them with the goal to start making my way through them at the beginning of September.  The one I started with is The Hat Shop Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay. The first book is Cloche and Dagger and it is so much fun.

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The main character is Scarlett, and at the beginning of the book she has just went through a very public break up. She learned that her boyfriend of two years was actually engaged and there is a video circulating the internet of her crashing his engagement party. Her cousin Viv recommends she fly to London and help her with their Grandmother’s hat shop they inherited. Scarlett decides to go but upon her arrival she is shocked to learn that Viv hasn’t been seen and only days after her arrival in London, a client of Viv’s is found dead, naked, wearing only the hat Viv made for her. It is getting really good. I seriously have no idea who it could’ve been at this point.

We took the kids to a birthday party and they had so much fun. I was nervous because it was a pool party, and to be honest, my kids haven’t had much experience swimming. They did great though! I am so proud of them.  My daughter stayed close to the side but she still managed to play and have a good time. My son Jase got to play and keep up with the other boys and my 2 year old jumped into the 3 ft end a few times on his own. I was a nervous wreck the first time but after that, I just stood there ready to pull him up and he loved it. I seriously think that kid is fearless sometimes. I wish I could be more like him.

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I truly hope you all had a wonderful week this week. Make this next one a great one. I have been on Pinterest like crazy saving different fall soups and recipes to try, and I came across a quote I want to share with you.

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Have a good day Friends, be Kind to yourself and until next time, xx

 

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Sunday Coffee

Hello Friends, and Happy Sunday. What a week this past week was. Grab a coffee or whatever you have in the morning and let’s chat.

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If you follow me on Twitter, you have seen me talk about No Soda August. I made the decision to cut soda out of my diet this month in the hopes of being able to completely live without it. Another reason behind it was, I hoped a combination of no soda and more exercise would help me shed a few pounds. I got really frustrated a few days ago because the shedding of pounds hasn’t happened. It is really weird talking about my body issues because I am actually comfortable having some weight on. I have always been a tiny girl who wanted to look more womanly and secretly hoped one day to be a little thicker. After having my third baby, I have been staying between 160-165 which isn’t terrible, but physically I am feeling that I am a little heavier than I have been before. My back is constantly bothering me, I am quite often extremely uncomfortable. I finally reached the point where I made the decision to stop looking, keep pushing forward and doing what I’m doing. It is so easy to focus on what’s not happening that you completely don’t see what is, and for me, it’s that I am doing so damn good with my challenge of going without soda. I have been drinking mostly gatorade and water, and I don’t feel thirsty all the time like I did when I drank so much soda.  When I was drinking coca-cola heavy, I always always needed a drink, but I don’t feel that way now that I’ve cut it out. I also have more energy and my skin is starting to look a little better. All I can do is take it one day at a time and pay more attention to the progress I have made because damn, the negative aspects will eat you up!

I was approved for a poetry collection on Netgalley called Glimmerglass Girl by Holly Walrath.

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I love poetry, so much and I hate rating a poetry collection low. I feel poetry more than just about any other genre takes guts to write. Here you are pouring your heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears out for the world to read and critique-it’s hard for me to admit when I don’t like a body of work. I didn’t enjoy this one though, Friends. I think my deal with some of the newer collections coming out is just the style itself of writing. Long gone are the days of simple stanzas. I miss those days! I completely understand being creative and switching your style up, but when it comes to poetry,  I want to feel what you’re writing, I want it to move me. If I can’t get past the how, the deeper stuff is going to go completely over my head.

Another recently finished arc was The Proposal. I am not quite ready to share my feelings on this one, simply because I don’t quite know myself, how I feel yet. It is one of those books I am hoping grows on me with time. I am torn between a head nod to some of the reviews I read on Goodreads, and “but damn, I don’t think it was that bad!” Stay tuned for when I get my crap together and figure it out.

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I am currently in the middle of four things (physical and ebooks!) and have been so undecisive on my audiobooks. I will start an audiobook then want something else, so start something else. My main physical book for this week though is A Love Beyond Time by Judie Aitken.

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Plot Summary: When anthropologist Ryan Burke joins a dig at the site of Little Big Horn, she realizes that not everyone is excited about the opportunity. Renowned Indian affairs lawyer Dillon Wolf wants to shut the project down. But when Ryan is given an old tribal tipi, she journeys to the past — where the tension between her and a Lakota warrior named Wolf erupts…into passion.
                                                                                                                                                                     I am really having fun with this one. I haven’t gotten to the time traveling part yet, which I am excited for, but so far I am loving the story. When Ryan arrives at the dig site, the head scientist gives her tons of crap because she’s a woman–even though he hired her on! The other scientists are really welcoming though and one pulls her aside the next morning and let’s her know there is some sketchy stuff going on at the site and he believes Dr. Gaffney (the head scientist) is involved. The last chapter I finished, Ryan had a sit down with one of the Lakota elders, who is one of the sweetest old men, and he really believes Ryan is there to do good by his people. It is fascinating so far, I’m loving it.
                                                                                                                                                                    That’s what’s been up with me. What’s going on in your corner of the world? I hope you had a fantastic week!
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e-Arcs I need to be reading.

Hey Friends! I took the plunge recently and made an account with Netgalley. If you are interested in possibly getting approved to read and review books prior to their release, I highly recommend checking the site out.

I was probably a little crazy for on a whim clicking away at all the different titles that grabbed my attention, but I was excited to see that I was actually approved for most of what I requested. Now I need to make it a point to actually read them. Here are a few that are on the top of my list to get to this month.

The arc that I am actually reading and so far enjoying is, The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory. Currently, I am about 30% into this follow up to The Wedding Date .  This follows Nik, who in the beginning of the story gets proposed to by her actor boyfriend of a few months at a baseball game, on the overhead screen in front of the entire baseball stadium and millions of viewers at home. Nik has her reasons for turning him down, and does so in front of the world.  Obviously her boyfriend doesn’t take this too well and the day is saved by Carlos (who is the best friend of Drew from The Wedding Date) and his sister Angela. I slipped and read a few reviews that have already been posted about this book, and a few are pretty ehh, bad. I am reading an arc so I am not complaining about editing and writing yet, because hopefully things will be edited prior to the actual release, but that is one complaint I have seen. I think Guillory’s writing is a breath of fresh air though. It is fun and light hearted, and I think that is how she intends it to be.  The Proposal is set to release October 30,2018.

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The next arc I need to get to (sooner rather than later) is Intercepted by Alexa Martin which releases September 11,2018 and it sounds fantastic!

Summary:

Marlee thought she scored the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. But there’s a new player on the horizon, and he’s in a league of his own…

Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She’s definitely had enough practice by dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers he has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. There’s just one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.

Gavin fights to show Marlee he’s nothing like her ex. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. The team’s wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with Marlee’s return. They have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when the gossip makes Marlee public enemy number one, she worries about more than just her reputation.

Between their own fumbles and the wicked wives, it will take a Hail Mary for Marlee and Gavin’s relationship to survive the season.

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After reading The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata I have been craving more sports romances, especially ones involving football which is honestly a sport I know nothing about. I love that Intercepted includes the world of the “sports wives,” I can’t wait to dive into this one and see the antics they put Marlee through!

The next title is The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston which had a few of the buzz words that instantly have me needing a book in my life: antiques, adventure, historic, and transported.

Summary:

A new series about a young woman whose connection to antiques takes her on a magical adventure, reminiscent of Outlander

New York Times bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter Paula Brackston returns to her trademark blend of magic and romance to launch a new series guaranteed to enchant her audience even more.

Xanthe and her mother Flora leave London behind for a fresh start, taking over an antique shop in the historic town of Marlborough. Xanthe has always had an affinity with some of the antiques she finds. When she touches them, she can sense something of the past they come from and the stories they hold. So when she has an intense connection to a beautiful silver chatelaine she has to know more.

It’s while she’s examining the chatelaine that she’s transported back to the seventeenth century. And shortly after, she’s confronted by a ghost who reveals that this is where the antique has its origins. The ghost tasks Xanthe with putting right the injustice in its story to save an innocent girl’s life, or else it’ll cost her Flora’s.

While Xanthe fights to save her amid the turbulent days of 1605, she meets architect Samuel Appleby. He may be the person who can help her succeed. He may also be the reason she can’t bring herself to leave.

With its rich historical detail, strong mother-daughter relationship, and picturesque English village, The Little Shop of Found Things is poised to be a strong start to this new series.

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I love time traveling stories and this one sounds like the perfect, curl up on the couch on a Saturday night with a warm drink kind of read. I am very excited for it. The Little Shop of Found Things is set to release October 2, 2018!

 

What about you Friends? Are you a netgalley user? What are some of the titles on your radar that you need to get to soon?

 

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Fantasy Romance by Grace Draven

Hello Friends! I recently became aware of the author, Grace Draven. I remember seeing one of her covers and immediately going on Goodreads to see what else she has out there. I read through a few of the synopsis and immediately knew I needed to get lost in her worlds of fantasy and romance. Three clicks later, and I have hauled three titles by her.

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First I hauled Radiance which is book one in the Wraith Kings series.  I am finding myself interested in the “forced together for political reasons,” trope. I really want to explore it more and see how the relationship between the two main characters turns out.

Plot Summary:

THE PRINCE OF NO VALUE

Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.

THE NOBLEWOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE

Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.

Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.

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I went ahead and hauled the second book, Eidolon, with the hopes that I love book one so much that I want to immediately jump into the story of book two.

Plot Summary:

In a bid for more power, the Shadow Queen of Haradis has unleashed a malignant force into the world. Her son Brishen, younger prince of the Kai royal house, suddenly finds himself ruler of a kingdom blighted by a diseased darkness and on the brink of war. His human wife Ildiko must decide if she will give up the man she loves in order to secure his throne.

Three enemy kingdoms must unite to save each other, and a one-eyed, reluctant king must raise an army of the dead to defeat an army of the damned.

A tale of alliance and sacrifice.

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The last book by Grace Draven I hauled, I saw on Fangirl Musings YouTube channel. She did a review of it, which I will leave here. I loved her review so much, I knew I had to have this book and that is Entreat Me.

Plot Summary:

Afflicted by a centuries-old curse, a warlord slowly surrenders his humanity and descends toward madness. Ballard of Ketach Tor holds no hope of escaping his fate until his son returns home one day, accompanied by a woman of incomparable beauty. His family believes her arrival may herald Ballard’s salvation.

…until they confront her elder sister.

Determined to rescue her sibling from ruin, Louvaen Duenda pursues her to a decrepit castle and discovers a household imprisoned in time. Dark magic, threatening sorcerers, and a malevolent climbing rose with a thirst for blood won’t deter her, but a proud man disfigured by an undying hatred might. Louvaen must decide if loving him will ultimately save him or destroy him.

A tale of vengeance and devotion.

 

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All of Grace’s books have some really great reviews on Goodreads which excites me and some damn good sounding story lines. And do I need to talk about the covers? They are stunning. I know I am going to get lost in these and fall completely in love. I can’t wait to start them. I will keep you posted on my thoughts.

Do you have any fantasy romance recommendations for me?

 

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ABC Tag

I am currently sitting at work, in this dark office alone, listening to the sound of the (very loud) air conditioner and decided to hop on the blog. I pulled up the website, We Heart It which I’m obsessed with and came across this tag. I feel like it is another way for you to get to know me. I tag anyone willing to do it, and if you do please let me know, so I can see your responses!

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  1. Age:  31
  2. Books: Yes Please! Currently reading “The Proposal,” by Jasmine Guillory and “Serenity Harbor” by Raeanne Thayne
  3. Colors: My favorites are Green, light pink and black
  4. Dream: To travel the world and explore it’s book shops
  5. Everyday start with: The mindset that it is going to be a good day!
  6. Flower: I love sunflowers.
  7. Goals: Finish my degree, one day teach overseas, get in shape. Unapologetically read as many romance novels as I can.
  8. Height: 5’3
  9. In love with: My kid’s laughter, cozy Saturday nights on the couch curled up in my favorite blanket with a fall candle burning, Christmas movies, Halloween..
  10. Job: I am a military police officer in the Air Force
  11. Kids: I am a proud mom of 3
  12. Last thing I ate: a salad from Subway
  13. Magic power I want: to cast spells and fly
  14. Number of fears: I think just one. I have this fear of fear itself. I hope to never been in a situation where I truly experience what it feels like to be terrified.
  15. Outfit: I mostly wear uniform so when I am off duty, I like to dress relaxed. I honestly love leggings with a cute shirt. In the colder seasons I love a cute cozy cardigan
  16. Passions: Reading, History
  17. Quotes: I love quotes and could go on and on about them. One of the most recent ones I saved on Pinterest was, “Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.” LOVE it.
  18. Reasons to smile: Family, endless possibilities with the start of each day, GOOD books, COZY coffee shops, amazing food, ice-cream
  19. Season: AUTUMN
  20. Travels: I loved Saudi Arabia
  21. Underwater animal: I am amazed at how big and graceful looking whales are.
  22. Vacation: My dream destination is anywhere I can get to in South America. I have recently become obsessed with traveling there.
  23. Worst Habit: the classic, “I’m fine,” when I really am miserable and should probably talk about what’s bothering me.
  24. X-Men character: Storm
  25. Your Favorite Food: Pasta! I could probably live off Spaghetti
  26. Zodiac Sign: Scorpio

 

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Sunday Coffee

Hello Friends. This week has been a good one and I’ve had a lot on my mind. Grab yourself a cup of coffee or your morning drink of choice and let’s chat.

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This is my weekend to work so I had a few days off during the week which I love. Don’t get me wrong, I love having the weekend to do whatever just as much as the next person, but I also really enjoy days off during the week. I feel like I can get a lot done and when I want to go places, I don’t have to deal with the weekend crowd.

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Tuesday I took a late trip to the coffee shop. I arrived at about 7 p.m. and they close at 8. It is a much different vibe from my typical morning trip. There were all sorts of students there studying and people chatting after a long day at work. I love the calm setting in the morning but also found that I really liked the busy yet chill vibe of being there in the evening.

On Wednesday morning I took my kids with me to my other favorite coffee shop before we spent the morning running errands and eating snacks.

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We spent most of Wednesday out and about but I actually got quite a bit of reading done. I listened to most of Murder in the Mystery Suite by Ellery Adams which is this months pick for the Cozy Mystery Book Club that’s hosted by Courtney from Courtagonist and Angela from Books are my Hart . I loved it. All I can say is, if you are a mystery lover, lover of books and small towns with cozy settings, it is a must read.

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We went as a family to Barnes and Noble and let the kids each pick out something. I love taking the kids and see what is of interest to them. My daughter is enjoying The Dork Diaries books and Baby Sitters Club graphic novels. My son Jase goes for Goosebumps which makes me happy because it was because of those that I fell in love with reading as a kid, and my youngest, Kaysin found a pop up book with Peppa Pig. I walked away with the second book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward, Lover Eternal.

I recently finished Enchanted Crossings! Yes, finally. I have only been making my way through it for about 2 months, maybe longer! Dream Seeker by Anne Avery was the second story and it was a dream. It is the story of Calee who is considered a Dreamer-a psychic with the capability to guide starships through the darkness of within by following the songs of the stars that only Dreamers can hear. Calee becomes the Dreamer, for a Scout ship pilot named Bram Mason whose next assignment is a very dangerous one. Bram is prepared to give his life for this mission but as the story progresses he realizes he wasn’t prepared for the feelings growing for Calee, a woman half a galaxy away.  This was a wonderful story that really captured how romance doesn’t always have to be physical but is a lot about imagination and what’s in your mind. The last story was The Last Gatekeeper by Kathleen Morgan and this one I felt was the one that got the most steamiest. No other way to say it, but I loved the sex scene in this story and that’s not always something I just have to Have in a book, but the one in this story was so damn good. The Last Gatekeeper is the story of a dazzling temptress who uses her power to persuade a warrior from a different world to kill the beast whose been harassing and killing people from her tribe.  I enjoyed this story because it was immediately jam packed with action, it got straight to the point.

My goal for the next couple weeks is to finish arcs I’ve been approved for, so I can really focus on my fall reading once summer is over. I have so many new (to me) things I want to get to, as well as a few old favorites I want to revisit. I feel like 2018 has been an awesome reading year for me, but with us being in the home stretch before it comes to a close, I really want to read things that blow me away. I am keeping my fingers crossed that happens these next few months.

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How was your week Friends? Read anything good? Until next time, Be kind to yourself. xx

 

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