Romance Bingo First 5 Wrap Up

Hey Friends! I hope you had a wonderful week and are enjoying your weekend. I wanted to check in and quickly recap my first five completed reads for the Summer Romance Bingo I’m participating in.

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  • My pick for a historical romance was Katherine by Anya Seton which I gave 3/5 stars. This is the fictionalize depiction of Katherine Swynford and John Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster’s love affair. Their love affair changed history. My first Anya Seton novel was Dragonwyck and it completely blew me away but the two I have read since have just been okayKatherine is over 500 pages and to be honest the first 200 were very slow. Had I not been reading this as a buddy read, I probably would’ve DNF’d it.

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  • I read Redemption Bay by Raeanne Thayne for the challenge of “reading a novel with someone in the medical field.” This is book three in the Haven Point series and I gave it 4/5 stars. Redemption Bay follows Mayor McKenzie Shaw whose sister Devin is a doctor. I loved this story, so much.

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  • For the challenge of “read a paranormal romance,”  I read The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark.  I gave this one 3/5 stars. It had so many things in it that I am a complete sucker for but it just didn’t hit the mark for me. Somewhere along the line, I started losing interest and had no idea what was going on. It had the creepy old house, a town full of witches, demons, vampires and faeries. It had old manuscripts from a romance author who lived in the creepy old house before passing away. I seriously wanted to love the hell out of this book, but I didn’t.

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  • For the challenge of “read a book with a cowboy in the story,” I read the next book in the Haven Point series, Evergreen Springs.  This is Devin’s love story with single dad, cowboy,  Cole Barrett. I gave this one 4/5 stars. Raeanne Thayne does such a fantastic job at truly capturing human emotions. Her characters are very real people with baggage, ghosts in their closets and self-doubt. I loved it.

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  • Lastly, for the “small town romance,” challenge, I read Riverbend Road which is book four in Raeanne Thayne’s Haven Point series. If you can’t tell, I was totally sucked into the town of Haven Point. I literally couldn’t get enough of them so I finished one and immediately jumped into the next and lucky for me, they fit into a few challenges.  Riverbend Road is the love story between Police Officer Wyn Bailey and the Chief of Police, Cade Emmett. These two have pretty much grown up together–Cade’s mentor was Wyn’s Father who was a police officer until his death, and he was best friends with Wyn’s brother.  Raeanne Thayne does such a good job in this novel of capturing that internal conflict we tend to have when we don’t think we are good enough for someone. That was definitely the case for Cade. True enough he worked himself up to Chief of Police but he saw Wyn’s family structure and never thought he was good enough for her because of how his was set up. I gave this one 4/5 stars!

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Let me know if you are participating in any summer reading challenges or if there are any read-a-thons coming up you’re excited for! Until next time, take care of yourself!

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Romance Chat With Friends.

phonto (11)Hey Friends, I hope all is well with you. An idea I have had for my blog and really wanted to do was the occasional bookish chat with different friends from the book community. My first two friends I chatted with are both romance readers and have been reading the genre for years now. I chatted with Britt who is a big contemporary romance reader and blogger. And Sarah who shows a lot of love to Harlequin romances and has a booktube channel. I will post these ladies information and I highly recommend you go follow and show love. They are both so sweet and super passionate about the books they read and their individual ways of sharing what they’re reading with the rest of us!

A Christmas romance. A demon lover & reaching my Goodreads Goal.(Weekend Catch Up)

Hey Friends! I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend. I honestly just wanted to check in with you all and chat about my current reading status and my thoughts after having reached my reading goal on Goodreads.

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Recently I finished Evergreen Springs by Raeanne Thayne which is book 3 in the Haven Point series. I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads. This series is just what I need at the moment. I really believe sometimes you read books when you’re truly meant to, and that’s how I’ve felt with each of these books. Yes, this book is a Christmas romance and yes, I know it is the middle of June. I told myself I would read Christmas novels throughout the year because they really put me in a good mood!

After finishing Evergreen Springs, I immediately checked both Audible and Overdrive to see if either had the audiobook to book four, Riverbend Road. I was super excited to see one of my libraries indeed had it-so just like with Evergreen Springs I will be reading the physical copy and following along on audio.

E-Books I’m EXCITED for!

I love reading e-books Friends. I have the Kindle App downloaded on both my Ipad and IPhone so between the two, I always have a book with me. It can get pretty crazy though! Between checking e-books out via Overdrive from the library and one clicking on Amazon, at times I feel like I’ve went a bit over board–but typically if I am hauling an e-book, it’s because I want that book RIGHT NOW. Once upon a time, I believed all my books needed to be in physical form. But after realizing how convenient e-books are, how much cheaper they can be at times and surprisingly how much faster I seem to read them–I got over needing all physical books pretty quick! Here are a few I have recently hauled that I am excited to read.collage (1)

Beverly Jenkins is at the top of my list of Must Read Romance authors. She writes historical romances that take place in America and the heroines are women of color. I recently checked out Destiny’s Embrace both in e-book and audio form from the library. Destiny’s Embrace takes place in the American West and follows Logan, a ranch owner who begins to fall for his housekeeper Mariah. The two bicker quite a bit but the sexual tension is there and only rises when Mariah’s former lover arrives on scene. You don’t see too many historical romances that take place in America, let alone with a woman or man of color who isn’t a slave so I am excited to read my first Queen Bev novel!

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Honestly this next title I saw on Instagram and within minutes found that it was not only on Amazon but that it’s part of Kindle Unlimited so I was able to click to read it for free. It is Lilith by Willow Aster which at some point had a title change, because when I found it initially it was titled Whore. It is the story of Lilith Fontenot who is beautiful, intelligent, independent and appears to have it all. She is also the highest paid prostitute in New Orleans. She once had dreams of a normal life but buried those long ago and is now focused on surviving. There are two men; a mob boss and a community center owner who have their own specific plans for Lilith and neither will rest until it becomes reality.

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Always Never Yours is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance that caught my eye on Amazon one day and ever since I haven’t been able to get it off my mind. I put it on hold with the library and it finally came through a few days ago. This is Megan Harper’s story of being the girl “before.” She is the girl who after dating her, guys find their one true love. Megan doesn’t waste time feeling sorry for herself. Instead she focuses on directing theatre and fulfilling her dream school’s acting requirement in the smallest role possible. Megan gets cast as Juliet in her high school’s production of Romeo and Juliet and this guy Owen promises to help Megan catch the eye of a sexy stagehand if she helps him with his script writing. Between rehearsals and her divided family Megan begins noticing Owen and questions, shouldn’t a girl to get to play the lead in her own love story? This story sounds so good. I am so in the mood for a young adult contemporary romance at the moment but I haven’t read the genre in years and can be very picky. I don’t have anything against young adult. Just the last couple of books I remember reading, I kept thinking, “I DON’T WANT YOUNG GIRLS READING THIS CRAP AND THINKING THIS IS OKAY.” Just the specific books I read I remember feeling like young girls deserved so much better and are way smarter than what the author was giving them credit for.

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This next one, I read the first few sentences in the synopsis and immediately clicked the button on Amazon. “It was a big lie. The biggest lie she’d ever told. It reverberated through her head as she said it, ringing eerily, and the girl behind her eyes—the girl who knew the truth—screamed, and her scream echoed along with the lie. ” In The Smallest Part    Mercedes says “No,” when she is asked if she loves Noah.  She knows that Cora loves him too. With the lie, Mercedes loses him. She was the best friend, the godmother, the bridesmaid, the glue. She was there through all the good and bad times and ups and downs. She was also there when everything came crashing down. I feel like this book is going to rip my heart all the way out and to be honest, I am so ready for it! I am in the mood for a book to completely shatter me at the moment.

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Lastly, I hauled Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained by Maya Rodale. When I heard there were a few non-fiction books about the romance genre floating around, I knew I had to get my hands on them. Maya Rodale’s Dangerous Books For Girls is the first I picked up and it explores the origins behind the stigma against popular romance novels.  The book argues that the stigma behind romance has nothing to do with the covers or the audience but everything to do with the fact that these novels are dangerous. I am so excited to read this one!

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So these are the e-books I have recently hauled! Do you read e-books? Share with me some of the titles you’ve hauled recently on your e-reader. Until next time Friends, take care of yourselves–xoxo, Bree

 

 

 

 

 

3 Romances I need film adaptations of ASAP.

Hello Friends. It is currently Sunday evening which is the time I usually spend watching a romantic comedy I’ve rented from Amazon or have saved on my DVR. Tonight though, I wanted to switch it up and browse titles on Netflix. I’m not much of a Netflix watcher but my husband logged on and created a profile for me so I could browse their Romantic movies. I was really shocked and a little disappointed because their selection wasn’t what I expected. This got me thinking about some of the romances I’ve read that I secretly wish had their own film adaptation.

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Next Year In Havana by Chanel Cleeton is a story I haven’t been able to get off my mind since reading it. This is the story of both Marisol and her Grandmother Elisa who has recently passed away. It was Elisa’s wish to be cremated and for Marisol to take her ashes back to Cuba where their lineage is from. Elisa and her family left Cuba during the Cuban Revolution. It is while there that Marisol learns of her Grandmother’s secret first love and finds a possible new love of her own.

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If Next Year In Havana became a film I’d be at the theater the day it premiered! I would love to see more stories that focus on the part of history this book deals with. Until reading this book I didn’t know much about Cuban history and this book was very eye opening.  I’m also such a fan of reading two women who are connected in some way but their stories are years apart. Obviously this is Marisol and her Grandmother’s story but while In Cuba, Marisol feels at times that she didn’t know her Grandmother at all because there are plenty of secrets she begins to unearth. Lastly, I find the story line of two people who love each other and are meant to be together but don’t end up together, SO romantic. This book had me in tears because Chanel Cleeton did a fabulous job of building this relationship between two people who you root for and want to see together but things happen that keep them a part. This book needs to be a movie like five minutes ago. It is so good!

I discovered a used bookstore!

Hello Friends! One thing I love seeing is used book hauls. I am always so jealous of people who have these cool used book stores where they live because up until recently I hadn’t found one in my city besides Half Price Books.  Well I am here to share with you  that I have located one here in San Antonio and have fallen in love with it!

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The other day after leaving group therapy as I sat in my car I had this urge to go book browsing. There is a Barnes and Noble about six miles from my job but that wasn’t what I was in the mood for. I went on google and typed in used book stores near me, and Nine Lives Books popped up showing that it was only eight miles away.  I drove over there, honestly not knowing what to expect. My fingers were crossed though and upon walking in, I immediately regretted being in this city for going on five years and just now discovering this place!

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This gem is floor to ceiling full of books. As soon as I walked in there was a stand of old romances and science-fiction novels on clearance for 50 cents. I made my way to the right and there were rows of nonfiction. Along the book shelves were boxes on the floor of books to find a place for. I made a left at the end of the nonfiction row and there is a section of children’s books and old records for record playing. I kept walking straight and found myself in the romance section.

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At first glance, all I see is two rows and a grocery basket with a sign that lets me know all contents inside are 1 dollar or less. But no, Friends. I am so glad that as I browsed through the hundreds of Debbie Macomber books this place has, I noticed that there were more books behind the ones I was looking at. On my first visit I was able to find two books by Debbie Macomber that I have never seen in Barnes and Noble. I recently read book one in her Blossom Street Series and really wanted the physical copy. I was so close to just ordering it from Amazon but I found it in Nine Lives for $1.98. I walked out that day with not only that book but also the second book in the series.  I checked, and had I wanted to, I could’ve  left the store that day with the entire Blossom Street Series  but other titles were catching my eye! As I was picking up my stack of books to leave, out of the corner of my eye–I have no idea how I missed this book initially when I was looking at books by this author–I see book one in Raeanne Thayne’s Haven Point Series, Snow Angel Cove. I flipped out. This is another title that I was so close to biting the bullet and just ordering from Amazon but I left Nine Lives with it for $1.98.

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I have now visited this store two days in a row. Overall I have hauled eight books and spent $13.50! Aside from the price though I am so happy I have discovered Nine Lives Books for a few reasons.

  1. I’m glad I am out of this mind state I used to be in where all my book had to be new. There is something very cool about hauling a book knowing it came from someone else. Some have their last owner’s names on the inside flap. Some have telephone numbers. I just imagine some older woman cleaning out her closet or garage and taking a big box of books in to get some cash or store credit for. I mean there are some super vintage books in this store, all I could do is imagine how long someone had them for before giving them up.
  2. Being new to romance, I don’t want to just focus on new romance. I want to back track a bit and read some older novels. I think shopping used is really going to come in handy for this. I saw so many older titles by authors I have never heard of–books that when I flipped open the book, were published in the late 70’s early 80s. It’s going to be very cool to see how the genre has evolved over the years and I know I won’t find these older titles shopping at Barnes and Noble.
  3. So many Friends have said “Support your local used book store.”  I chatted with the book seller today who is an older gentleman who reads science-fiction and horror. He was telling me basically he’s a book collector and his house has stacks and stacks of books. I really appreciate what him and his team are doing and I am so excited that I finally have a used book store I can support. I can’t imagine where all these amazing books would end up if places like Nine Lives Books weren’t around.

So share with me Friends, do you have a cool used book store where you are? Let me know some cool titles you’ve found browsing the shelves in yours! Until next time, take care of yourself–xoxo, Bree!

Realizations I’ve had since finishing Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

Sleepless In Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

HQN Books; May 31, 2016

My Rating: 5/5

 

What was the last book you read Friends, that after finishing it, all you kept thinking to yourself was, “What took me so long to read this book?” I have been asking myself this question since about 8 pm last night when I finished reading Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan. I buddy read this one with my friend Ashley from Ashheartbooks on Youtube and I think we both finished it, sad that it was over but excited because it’s book one in the From Manhattan With Love series so there is so much more in store!

Plot Summary:

What if the person who broke your heart, is the only one who can help you find your future?
Great friends. Amazing Apartment. An incredible job. Paige has ticked off every box on perfect New York life checklist. Until disaster strikes and instead of shimming further up the career ladder, Paige is packing up her desk.

Her brother’s best friend Jake might be the only person who can help her put her life back together. He also happens to be the boy she spent her teen years pining after, and Paige is determined not repeat her past mistakes. But the more time she spends with Jake, the more Paige realises the one thing that was missing from her world all along. The perfect New York love story…

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This was the perfect book to kick off my summer reading. Once upon a time I would’ve never considered myself a “mood” reader or “seasonal” reader but as times goes on, there’s a certain book I want at specific times. For summer in particular, I want fun reads. I want books that take place in cities I’ve never been to so I can imagine myself there. I want stories centered around friendship. These are just bits and pieces of what make up Sleepless in Manhattan.

Sarah Morgan has been writing for a while now. I’ve found one early series of hers with book one having come out in 2004! Over fourteen years ago and she still wrote this amazing contemporary novel with very realistic characters. I like when I read a book that makes me want to change things in my own life or makes me reflect on things I do or don’t like–So let me share a few realizations I’ve had since finishing Sleepless in Manhattan:

  1. I need more girl time: This book follows Paige who lives with two of her life long best friends Frankie and Eva. Paige is the organizer. She was very sick as a kid and now that she’s an adult, organization is something she has control over. This comes in super handy after her, Frankie and Eva lose their jobs and decide to start their own business. Frankie is the tough one who doesn’t believe in love and would rather watch horror films over romantic comedies. And Eva is the hopeless romantic who loves to cook and has her own blog. Reading about the friendship between these girls, how Eva cooks their breakfast in the morning, their movie nights and dinner at Romano’s Italian Restaurant made me realize how much I need more quality time with friends. We are all so busy! A weekend with no plans always sounds wonderful but in the grand scheme of things, dinner out or in with friends could do me good!
  2. I should visit NYC at least Once before I die: Every book I’ve read that takes place in New York City always makes me question why I haven’t visited there yet–especially with my husband being from Brooklyn. Reading Sleepless in Manhattan reminded me why I need to bump this up on my “make it happen sooner rather than later” list of things to do. Sarah Morgan writes these beautifully descriptive passages where the girls are having movie nights on the roof top of their apartment and I could just imagine myself there gazing out at the NYC skyline, listening to the traffic down below and smelling the different foods being prepared in nearby restaurants.
  3. Take more risks: I don’t stray too far from my comfort zone and I’m realizing how BORING that is. A big theme in this book is risk taking. Paige has been in love with Jake, her brother’s best friend since she was a kid. She spilled her heart to him once upon a time but he shut her down due to a promise he secretly made to her brother. In the book she takes the risk and spills her heart yet again. We also get to see her take the risk of starting her own business after being let go from her job. She instantly thinks, “I have to search for a job.” It’s not until Jake throws out the idea, that the thought crosses her mind that she could totally run her own business with Frankie and Eva. This one was big for me. I have been doing my job since I was 18 and am honestly over it at the moment. With only a year left, I am weighing the pros and cons and considering the “risks,” of trying something new!
  4. I’m a sucker for love in all it’s forms: In a way I can understand how hard it would’ve been for Paige to move on from crushing so hard on Jake after all these years being that they see each other everyday but I absolutely love that after all these years he’s still the man she wants! I love how her love for him has really stood the test of time and seeing him flaunt countless women around. I love Jake’s friendship with Matt (Paige’s brother.) He respected his wishes for so long and turned Paige down when he really didn’t want to. I loved seeing how awesome of a big brother Matt was to Paige. He was very overprotective but after his family witnessed her being sick for so long, protecting her became a natural everyday thing for him. I adored Jake’s relationship with his adopted Mother, Maria. Although she wasn’t his biological Mother, she became the Mother he needed and you could just feel their love for each other coming off the pages. It was a conversation between them towards the end of the book that made my eyes swell with tears..ahh it was so good! And of course, you can’t help but love the friendship between Paige, Frankie and Eva. When Paige gets her heart broken in the book, she immediately knows her friends are going to be there for her.

 

I will be thinking of this book for a long time! If you are looking for a good, fun, sexy book to start your summer reading off, I can’t recommend this one enough. And I didn’t even touch on the sex scenes in this book! My God, Sarah Morgan can write a sex scene!! So share with me Friends what you are currently reading and what some of your summer reading recommendations are! I hope all is well with you and I’ll chat with you in my next post–xoxo, Bree!