Unbroken Cowboy by Maisey Yates

“I don’t know what you’ve done to me,” he said, brushing her hair off her face. “But I’m pretty obsessed with you. Just so you know.”

Ever since reading A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas by Maisey Yates during my 2018 Holiday Romance Binge, I knew Maisey Yates was an author I needed to add to my list of “I need to read everything she’s written,” list. I’m totally reading her Gold Valley series out of order, definitely need to back track and read the first 3 books in the series, but I’m basically obsessed with what I have read so far.

Unbroken Cowboy by Maisey Yates (Gold Valley #5)

Published April 23, 2019 by HQN Books

Narrated on Audio by Suzanne Elsie Freeman

Average rating on Goodreads: 4.08 Stars

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

 

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Synopsis:

Dane Parker traded in his trailer-park roots for glory as a bull rider. But when a serious injury sidelines him for months, it’s the first time he can’t just pull himself up by his bootstraps. The last thing he wants to deal with is sweet family friend Bea treating him like one of her wounded animals—or the unexpected attraction that suddenly flares between them.

Beatrix Leighton has loved Dane for years, while he’s always seen her as another sister. When she enlists his help to start her animal sanctuary, she thinks it will give him purpose. Instead, it brings all the desire she feels for him to the boiling point. Bea’s father taught her early on that love means loss. But could her forbidden crush turn into a love that will last a lifetime?

 

My Thoughts:

What I loved about Bea and Dane’s romance is how well Maisey Yates captured first love, and how in some ways it never really leaves you..especially in Bea’s case. Dane, her first crush, first love..whichever you choose to call it is in so many ways a constant in her life. Their circle of people are the same so there is no way they wouldn’t be in some way, a part of each others lives.

Both Bea and Dane have Dad issues. Bea especially came from a situation where she felt kind of wrote off and associates love with loss so as the relationship between her and Dane grows she makes a decision to keep it strictly about sex. In her mind, it makes total sense. Dane is this rodeo bull rider guy who is completely experienced with women while Bea has never went there with a man. But I felt that Bea’s infatuation with Dane was written so well. I as the reader could feel how much this man who in her mind never noticed her, meant to her.

“there was something about the way Dane inhabited his skin that made her want to get closer to him.”

 

I can’t express how full my heart was when things started to heat up between these two. I was internally screeching with excitement because Bea felt like a girlfriend of mine who finally got her guy. 

“This was why people needed to have love affairs.”

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I really enjoyed reading Bea as a character and seeing her evolution as the girl with a love of animals living in her cabin in the wood. She is the nice girl whose strength gets underestimated at times. I love that she continued to pursue the things she loves and capitalize on them. Her pursuing her dreams is definitely inspirational.

Dane, in the beginning is this pissed off yet sexy grump because he’s been hurt doing what he loves the most. For both of these characters, they checked off  a ‘character growth’ must have for me. We get to see both of these individuals have to confront their own issues separately before being able to be fully happy together.

This book, just like the previous one, took me be surprise. I saw the cover and it gives me the cozy vibes..but oh how sexy it is!

“He stripped her clothes from her body slowly, so very slowly, taking his time as he kissed the curve of her neck, her shoulder, her collarbone. He avoided the more obvious parts of her, instead of moving straight through the centerline of her body, down to her stomach, stopping just above where she was wet and hungry for him. He kissed her inner thigh, her knee, down. Until she was shaking. Until she felt like every kiss was a gunshot. Piercing her skin and going deep. Adding to that endless pain in her chest. He stood, stripped the rest of his clothes off slowly. Her mouth went dry.”

The sex scenes were descriptive just enough. It gave me what I needed without being overly done and yes, I was excited. Yates wrote Bea and her crush for Dane so well, that when she finally has sex with him I was like,”Yes, finally.” I as the reader could feel how she never expected this, never thought she would find herself in the situation in which she did.

I couldn’t give this book any less than 5 stars for the emotions it stirred in me. It really made me think of the importance of first love and how it can be so important for the emotions it stirs. There was this sweet combination of innocence yet hot and intense when it came to Bea’s feelings for Dane and when you begin to realize his feelings for Bea have grown it’s almost as if you question if they are now stronger than his feelings for her. She tries so hard to remain strong and stick to keeping it strictly physical. It was an ode to love finding it’s way though, and I loved it!

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Sunday Coffee

Hello friends! We have made it to another Sunday, and this Sunday is part of a four day weekend for me which I am so thankful for.

Grab your Sunday morning drink of choice and let’s catch up.

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Things I learned this past week:

  • 3 Minute planks suck SO bad.
  • I need to work on time management
  • I feel overall so much better when I’ve had more water than soda to drink.

Okay, confession time. I have never considered writing, authoring a book, until I began reading romance. I have a handful of stories that have been heavy on my mind for the past year or so and I want to bring them to life. Insert the fear and self doubt. I have no idea what I’m doing. I have no idea how to start a story..how to write enough to create a book..how to end a book. I don’t want to be one of those people who assume that just because I’m a reader, that I can jump right into writing and be fine. I want to take it seriously. I want to do my research and do it right. I guess what I mean by doing research is research before I even get into the process of bringing these ideas to light. Knowing what I want to write, I want to read stories with similar plot lines. I want to submerge myself into as much of the subject matter as possible. I also really want to get lost into some nonfiction about writing from the perspective of woman writers. I’m not really rushing myself because I do want to go about this the right way and in my mind, this is it.

Three of the ideas I have are: first, I really want to write a time travel romance. The time travel romance scares me a little because this subgenre of romance isn’t as popular as it was once upon a time. My second idea, surprisingly, is to write a young adult novel. I want to write  a young adult romance that I would recommend to 17 year old me. Lastly, I really want to write a book of poetry..angsty as hell love poems. The poetry collection may come first. We’ll see what happens.

This week the highway going into work was closed off. Yes, your girl was frustrated because it was less than a month ago when the side of the highway coming home was closed. This made my 10 minute commute to work turn into an hour. Looking on the bright side, I get hella audiobook listening time in.

I finished Blackerry Summer by Raeanne Thayne which is book one in her Hope’s Crossing series. I rated this one 3 out of 5 stars. Look, when it comes to this one..I have started and stopped it quite a few times. Nothing really against it, I just don’t think I’ve been 100% in the mood for it when I’ve been picking it up. Even this time, I think its just me wanting really badly to binge a series, is the reason I gave it a go and stuck with it. Next, I finished No Two Ways by Chu Yi Rodriguez which I rated 2 out of 5 stars. I didn’t go into this one with expectations but I was also hoping for greatness with it. Sadly, there was just a lot about it that left me disappointed. A review for it will be coming in June. Lastly, my most recent finish was Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole. I won’t say much about this one here because I have an entire post covering my thoughts scheduled to post next month but I will say, I rated it 5 out of 5 stars.

It was a crazy stressful week and I’m glad it’s over. I have got to do better with time management at work. I’ve got to squeeze the most I can into the time I spend at work. I’m tired of going in early and staying late. I feel like a dog constantly chasing it’s tail in circles. My therapist and I have talked about this; having realistic expectations and recognizing that I won’t get everything done that’s on my list everyday. Sometimes it may take a few days. And I need to be okay with this. Listening to the audiobooks I was in the middle of and catching up on Podcasts definitely helped put my mind at ease and definitely helped me chill out.

My wish for you this week; whatever you have to do to help yourself chill out, I hope you figure it out. Breathe in, breathe out and keep going..but have realistic expectations for yourself and be okay with saving some for tomorrow.

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Recent Kindle One-Clicks

Looking for something to one click for your Kindle? One clicking for me can get pretty dangerous. I instantly will find myself down a rabbit hole of scourging Amazon to see what else is out there and before I know it I have more downloaded than I can probably handle..But I wanted to share some of my recent one clicks with you in case you needed some ideas.

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First up is A Lesson In Thorns by Sierra Simone, a new favorite romance author of mine. I wanted to devour everything she’s written ever since I read Priest.

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With an average rating of 4.37 stars on Goodreads, my hopes and expectations for A Lesson in Thorns are a tad high, but I have started it already and it is giving all the dark, atmospheric Sierra Simone vibes I need.  It follows Poe, a librarian who goes to Thornchapel for work, determined to stay away from the tortured owner, Auden. Poe also wants to find out what happened to her mother, 12 years ago. While she works in the library, keeping her head down..she assumes it should be easy to track down why this remote manor would be the last place her mother was seen.

My next one click, I don’t know much about, but a friend posted it on Instagram and I had to have it.

My Life in Shambles

My Life in Shambles has an average rating of 4.13 stars on Goodreads and a damn gorgeous cover to it. I want to go into it a tad blind so I’ll share part of the blurb with you..

When Valerie Stephens made the resolution to say yes to new adventures, she never thought she’d end up in the tiny town of Shambles, fake engaged to one of Ireland’s top rugby players. But there’s a first time for everything.

 

My next one click is one I have actually started making my way through and am loving!

Petal Pluckers

Petal Plucker is hilarious so far and I’m only on the third chapter. It has an average rating of 3.98 stars on Goodreads and I’m loving it. It follows Dani, short for Dandelion *her Mom was tripping*  and she is now running her family’s flower shop..when one day, the guy who stood her up on prom night walks back into her life. The banter between Dani and her family is giving me life right now and I can’t wait to see where the romance goes.

And my most recent one click is a duo author new release..like the night before I typed this new..

Imperfect Match

With an average rating of 4.62 stars on Goodreads, and written by Melanie Harlow *a Fave* and Corinne Michaels who I have had on my authors to be read list..I feel it in my core that I’m going to love this book. The cover alone gives me all the feels! 

Rule number one for a professional matchmaker?

Don’t fall in love with your client.

Enough said.

 

Those friends, are my latest one-clicks on Amazon for my Kindle. Let me know what you have one clicked recently if you’re an ebook reader. Hope all is well with you, until next time..xo.

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Journaling on Bad Mental Health Days

I wanted to share some prompts I’ve used on bad mental health days. On those days when my mental health sucked the absolute most, regardless of the funk I was in, I think those are the moments I need to write the most. I did 2 wonderful weeks of Outpatient Therapy at a local hospital and after lunch there were 2 hours of art and journaling time. A few of these are prompts I found and wrote my responses to while there.

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  • Describe a time in your Life when you failed & what you learned from it.–This one was tough. Who wants to dwell on failure?..but it was the second part that got me. What did I learn from this failure? I wanted to focus on a time when things didn’t turn out how I expected or hoped..and what I took away from that not happening.
  • What does your ideal life look like?–Looking at life and goals for my life, especially during such a dark period really helped boost my hope for the future.
  • What lessons have I learned from having depression?–Determined to not allow this piece of my life to kick my butt, I jotted down what finally calling it what it is, seeking help and managing day to day with it had taught me.
  • What are 3 things that made you happy today?–When life feels so redundant and when you live with this cloud following you around, I know me personally, I forget to reflect on the happy moments. So I jotted down one day what had made me happy. Don’t give all the negative your energy.
  • Write the words that you need to hear–This prompt was really important to me, because when I hit my really dark period it was after years of having never giving my “monster,” a name. So it was really new for me..and also new for my loved ones. I think with it being this new thing we all needed to learn to live with,  no one really knew what to say to me. And things they were saying weren’t always the right thing. A lot of people in my life, some of the most important ones definitely have the ability to make things about them. So writing what I needed to hear in that moment was refreshing and uplifting.
  • Jotting down “triggers,” and what I can do to combat them–For a few weeks my therapist gave me an assignment to jot down when my moods take over, what I’m doing and how it made me feel so that at our following session we could sit and discuss them. This got me to thinking and wanting to write down triggers. Focusing on my triggers and coming up with my own ways to combat them felt very powerful. It took some strength but I knew that was only the beginning of the battle..I’d have to actually use the techniques I came up with when the time came. There was something moving about owning it and taking that responsibility.

 

So these were just a few writing prompts that I used during some of my darkest mental health days. I do have a specific journal just for my mental health journey which I love and prefer and would recommend to you as well. It has a little bit of everything in it..music lyrics, quotes, poems, art work and writing.

My hope is that even if not one of these prompts, this post gives you the encouragement needed to do some writing on the days when nothing feels possible. and know I’m here rooting for you.

Until next time, take care of yourselves. xo.

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Ways to Fill a Journal

Since receiving a Lisa Frank diary as one of my birthday gifts back in 3rd grade, journaling has been a very important part of my life. As I get older, it gets even more important. 

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My daughter is now a 3rd grader, and it was shortly after giving birth to her that I got heavy into researching our ancestry. I remember my research coming to a dead end, and telling my Mom, “This would be so much easier, had someone kept a journal!” 

Then 2 years ago, my Grandfather passed away after a tough battle with Alzheimer’s. There is so much I wish I could’ve asked him, but seeing his memory fade away, I knew it was impossible. It was really his passing that was the kick in the butt I needed to jot down life. If anything were to happen to me, I’d like to leave behind something for my kids to read and understand how my mind worked, my opinions on things, my loves..

I understand though that journaling can be tough! Especially when your day to day may feel like there isn’t really anything exciting worth writing about. So I’m sharing some ideas of other ways you can fill your journal if you find yourself in a rut.

  • Recipes I’ve Tried--I consider myself a Pinterest Chef. Most recipes I’ve tried have come from there and if they turn out right, I’ll jot them down. You never know whose hands years from now your journal may end up in..and food is such a way to connect!
  • Movies Watched–All of 2018 I jotted down every movie title I watched as I watched them. This was cool for me to reflect back on because I don’t watch very many movies and I’m trying to do better with that. I watched more romantic comedies than anything, lots of classic film and of course..horror!
  • Quotes–I have notebooks I use specifically for jotting down quotes I’ve come across and loved. My soul is eternally 17, so the more angsty, the better..
  • Prompts–I am a big advocate of going on Pinterest and searching for writing Prompts. These come in so handy when you want to just write, but don’t really know about what exactly. A few I have written before are: The Best Advice I’d give to my younger self..The thing I’m most thankful for..
  • Art Journal--I am obsessed with watching art journal flip through videos on Youtube. I don’t go all out but I did buy a notebook with blank paper/no lines that I use for art journaling. I cut magazine articles out..I have art supplies..whatever I’m feeling at the time goes in there. I don’t use that journal often but when I do it brings a different sense of calm and relaxation. I love it.
  • Ideas/Thoughts/Lists--I keep a smaller, pocket size notebook in my car to write random things in that come across my mind while out and about. Any ideas I have, things I need to remember even grocery lists before running into the grocery store.
  • Book Reviews–I know most readers post reviews on Goodreads and if you want to go deeper, you can probably find a review for something on Instagram and of course Blogs and Youtube. Prior to posting my reviews on my blog though, I write my thoughts down in my book journal. I jot down quotes I like as I’m reading it and character traits, plot twists..opinions of the writing while making my way through. Doing this helps me better formulate a review once I’ve finished. And one day my kids will be able to take my book journal..see what I read years prior and read my thoughts on it.
  • Tracking Spending–Now this is an idea I want to give a try. I want to keep a record of where all of my money goes to, that way I can start doing better at budgeting and managing. Either paper clipping receipts, printing them out and gluing them in or just jotting them down..I think either way it could be very beneficial. Especially over a period of time and if say next year I kept track of all of my book buying, to be specific..it’d be interesting to see how much money goes toward my book buying habit.

 

So those are just a few ideas I have of ways you can fill your notebook. I hope this helps.. if you’d like maybe some Prompt ideas, I’m totally down to share some or create some. Just let me know.

we will chat again soon. Until next time, take care of yourselves. xo.

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Sunday Coffee

I wish you sidewalk pennies on bad days and the unfailing sense that things are just going to work out.

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

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I can’t believe we are already over the halfway mark of May. This month has been a month of better choices and good reading. I have been cutting coca-cola from my diet during the work day and doing really good with it. This isn’t my first attempt at staying away from soda though so I’m a little nervous but I want to push myself to have the discipline needed to stay away from it. It is getting easier as days go by. I may have a few sips later on in the day once I’m home, but I’m not craving it. I don’t like craving something I know isn’t good for me which is why I really want to phase it out of my life.

This upcoming week should be (*fingers crossed*) a short week, and I am so looking forward to it. I have a stack of physical books and a handful of ebooks I really want to get to so a long weekend will be perfect. I’ll be honest, I have been reading so many wonderful books this year and I owe being so close to my reading goal for the year to audiobooks, but I really miss the love I used to have for physical books. Audiobooks are fantastic, a big help for my hectic lifestyle. They really are lifesavers, but I want to retrain my mind to also want that urge to pick up physical books again and just read them. A lot of the times now, I will have both the physical book and audiobook going to follow along with. I miss the enjoyment of making my way through a story on my own and the pride I felt after having completed a book on my own. Is this weird?

I had some cool book mail come arrive this week:

The Key To Happily Ever After by Tif Marcelo which I ordered for myself. It is a new release, romance but also focuses on the relationship between three sisters.

From Book Depository, my order of Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane arrived. It releases in the states this fall but impatiently, I couldn’t wait!

I’ve been in the mood for a memoir so I ordered a copy of The Odd Woman and the City by Vivian Gornick.

Thanks to Entangled Publishing, I received a copy of Just One of the Groomsmen by Cindi Madisen which releases May 28th.

Barefoot Beach by Debbie Mason arrived which has an adorable cover and came with some sweet beach theme gems.

And fulfilling my cowboy cover loving heart, Justified by Jay Crownover arrived and I’m in love with it.

This past week was a really good reading week for me. May in general *knock on wood* has been a great reading month so far. I hope the momentum continues. I think it helps when you’re at peace with parting ways with a book when it’s not doing it for you. At this point, I know within the first 50 pages if a book has the thing I need to motivate me to continue on reading it or not, and if it doesn’t then I move on from it. I have so many other books I want to read/need to read, there’s no time for books I’m not feeling. I haven’t read anything terrible this month. For the most part it’s been fun, perfect for spring reads. With two weeks left in the month, I am excited to see what else I can make time for.

Pretty uneventful week this past week was. My life literally was work and home so if anything exciting in your world happened, please share it with me. Until next time, take care of yourselves. xo.

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My “Why”: Why I started My Romance Blog

In a nut shell, why not..?

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I had too many “I have time to do that later moments,” in my 20s..so my Dirty 30s are all about seizing the most out of every moment I’m blessed with. I kept making excuses and finally just Went for it.

As a woman of color occupying a teeny tiny piece of this very white female online book community who also reads the red headed step child genre (yet the genre making the most money) the odds can feel VERY against me but who gives a sh*t about *odds*?

Romance was the genre I thankfully began reading and fell in love with months before the darkest mental health moment I’ve had in my life. Once I sought help, while at every group meeting, during outpatient therapy, every doctors appointment..I always had a romance novel with me. Always. I felt the genre and it’s authors became companions for me and helped pull me through a tough time..so it’s only right I do my part, regardless of how big/small to show them love.

Romance is such a huge genre, I truly believe there is something out there for everyone..you just have to find the right book. I’d love for someone who maybe never read a romance to find a new favorite book due to reading my blog or seeing an Instagram post.

I work full time. I’m a mom of 3 littles and *fingers crossed* will be going back to school in the next few months. I wanted something I could give my attention to that truly felt like mine. Blogging and my Instagram (falling4romance) are mine. They keep me motivated to make time for myself both to read and blog. It’s having my blog that gets me out of bed on the weekends to go visit a coffee shop, sip a delicious latte and get reading done.

I love when I hear what someone’s idea of what they think a romance reader looks like. While in some cases I know someone who can identify with their idea..I am typically not it. Being in the military and a police officer in the military, it is very much a man’s game. Women in our career field tend to be one of the guys..not what you would expect to be a romance reader. I hope my being here gives that young lady/woman at home who is torn because she doesn’t think she’s the right demographic..she’s not what people would expect..she’s not sure where she’ll fit in, that girlfriend push to just go for it!

There it is Friends. My ‘Why’ behind starting my blog. I’d love to know yours..

until next time, take care of yourselves. xo.

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