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!

ACS_0048

  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

 

signature

Sunday Coffee

Hey Friends! I hope all is well with you and that you had an awesome week. Let’s chat about what’s been going on with me, and I hope you’ll share with me how you’ve been doing.

phonto (18)

Currently I am in one of my moods where I want to rewatch some of my favorite films. Last night, I watched The House on Haunted Hill last night and am currently watching 13 Ghosts. I think I am just very much getting in the mood for fall.

This past week I had an appointment with my psychologist and I feel like we are finally on the same page and I am headed in the right direction to be able to focus on getting better without the stressors of rushing to get better for professional reasons. I know I have a long road ahead of me but it feels good to know that she is on my side and wants what is safe for me.

Surprisingly I usually have an audiobook going on, but I have chilled a bit and have been showing love to the Podcasts I am subscribed to. I highly recommend listening to The Heaving Bosoms Podcast review of The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. I was driving in my car, laughing hysterically at the two hosts Melody and Erin. They are always just what I need whether I’m listening at 4:30 in the morning on my way to work or after a long 12 hour shift.

Reading wise, I have been making my way through Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas.  This is a buddy read I have been doing with Kate from BeyondBookish and I am really enjoying it.  I’ll have to give a few more historical romances a read, but while reading this one, I get the sense that I have really allowed historical romances to intimidate me for no real reason other than I just didn’t think I’d understand what was going on. I have about 100 pages left and it has been very easy to read, has a likeable heroine, an awesome friendship between the heroine and three other young women and a very cute romance.

ACS_0121 (1).JPG

Lastly, this month I want to start the process of taking better care of my body. I am doing a No Soda August where I begin eliminating soda. This is tough! I have been addicted to Coca-Cola and dark sodas for a ridiculously long time. I can only imagine how good this will be for my skin, my teeth, weight and energy level. I have don’t this before, about four years ago and did great! I honestly should have kept it up, but literally a week into September, I took my first sip of Pepsi and never looked back. I also have my excitement back for running. With my work schedule, there isn’t really an excuse, but at the same time there is always something that comes up that causes a change of plans. I hoping I can stick with it though and keep it as a priority and fit running into my schedule somehow.

So what is new with you Friends? What have you been reading? Are you a Podcast listener? Have any recommendations for me? xx

 

signature

Review: Heart of the Hunter by Madeline Baker

Heart of the Hunter by Madeline Baker

Dorchester Publishing/1994

3/5 Stars

Source: I read this story as part of the anthology, Enchanted Crossings

Plot Summary:

Kelly McBride is torn between two men—one an ex-con who she’s not sure she trusts, the other the spirit of an Indian who’s been dead for over a hundred years.

Lee Roan Horse and Blue Crow are men with two things in common—they’re both in love with Kelly and they both want the gold hidden on her ranch. When treasure hunters come searching for the gold, Lee and Blue Crow are determined to keep Kelly safe, even if it means they have to defy death to do it.

IMG_5095

My Thoughts:

I have debated since finishing Heart of the Hunter if I should just wait and review this entire anthology as one, or share my thoughts on this one specific story. I finally decided to just go with my gut and here we are.

At the used book store I go to there are always boxes of these Native American romances. None which appear to be own voices but I understand this was sort of a craze once upon a time. Me, being curious, I have been intrigued but also pretty hesitant with reading one. I am very much in the mood for older romances at the moment, but I know the romance genre has a lot to answer for, when it comes to diversity and the way people have been portrayed.

When I came across this anthology however, and read the synopsis for Heart of the Hunter which is the only story out of this anthology with Native American characters, I didn’t get a bad vibe. Point blank, I didn’t want to read anything racist or disrespectful.

Kelly is a likeable character. She has inherited this ranch with mountains and a cave on it, which houses the remains of Blue Crow. Blue Crow was a Native American warrior who lost his life in a tussle with the friend of one of Kelly’s distant relatives. While signing paperwork and handling all the legalities to finally be able to 100%  call the ranch home, Lee Roan Horse comes to her asking if he can purchase the ranch from her. Lee Roan Horse feels the ranch should be his, being the land belonged to his people. Initially though, all he sought was the gold in the cave which after all these years has been guarded by the spirit of Blue Crow.

One thing Madeline Baker does in this book that I was able to appreciate was her appropriately writing Lee Roan Horse, a Native American male in contemporary times and his struggle with opening up to Kelly. It doesn’t take long for the two to develop an attraction, but Lee Roan Horse has already been burned by a white woman before, so he plays it safe with Kelly. He really keeps their relationship about business. When he was younger, a white girl had a big crush on him. He turned her down and turned her down. Eventually he gave in and they were caught. She was Melinda, and when her father caught her and Lee Roan Horse, she cried rape. I honestly wouldn’t have expected this story line which I can only imagine had to have been the truth for so many men of color, to show up in this book, but I appreciated that it was there. It was a completely understandable reason behind why Lee kept his distance.

I really liked the paranormal element to this book. Blue Crow has been guarding the gold that was buried in the cave with his body for over a hundred years. Besides guarding the gold, once he meets Kelly, he realizes he has also spent all of this time waiting for her.

“I have waited for you my whole life, and now that I have found you, I know you can never be mine.”

Reading the scenes between Kelly and Blue Crow had me really thinking about the trope of star crossed lovers and how sometimes it seems almost impossible for two people who are meant to be together to actually be together. The attraction between Blue Crow and Kelly is so intense, and it’s almost intensified because of the fact that it can’t be.

“tears coursing down her cheeks because she’d fallen in love with the one man she couldn’t have, a man who wasn’t a man at all, but a ghost.”

For a while there is sort of a love triangle between Kelly, Lee Roan Horse and Blue Crow.

“Kelly frowned in confusion. She loved Blue Crow, not Lee, yet she felt the same desire for both men.”

There was something frustrating about Kelly’s “confusion.” There were scenes where she would be burning with desire for Lee, but things would back fire, he’d push her away and she’d run into the ghostly but solid arms of Blue Crow. At the same time, she is a grown woman and I am all for celebrating her choosing to do what she pleases with her sexuality.

There are some snakes behind the scene who are also out for the gold on Kelly’s land. Towards the end of this story, things really take some unexpected twists which I enjoyed. It added a different element and felt like a break from the back and forth of this “love triangle.”

8541610

The ending to this story is what I think really blew me away. It is a paranormal romance so I can totally see some people rolling their eyes at the ending but I am a complete sucker for it. This is the type of paranormal storyline I am seeking; one with characters defying boundaries of life and time to be with the person they are meant to spend their life with.

xoxo,

signature

Romance Reader Book Tag

Hey Friends! I have yet to post a Tag on my blog and recently came across this one thanks to the lovely ladies at Under The Covers Books Blog. It is six questions all about being a romance reader!

ACS_0048

  1. What age did you start to read romance novels? – A few days shy of my 31st birthday!
  2. If you could pick one hero to meet from your favorite romance novels who would it be and why?- This is a toss up between Aidan Graves from The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata and Michael from The Kiss Quotient. I was reading both of these books at the same time and swooned over the both of these men.
  3. Who are your favorite romance authors and why?- So far my favorites are Debbie Macomber and Raeanne Thayne. I want to devour everything these ladies have written!
  4. What is a favorite romance novel to re-read?- I am not much of a re-reader, the only book I have re-read though is Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier which is a love story, has a mystery element to it and tons of suspense.
  5. What book would you recommend to a non romance reader?- Jeez this is tough, but let’s go with The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. This book was an overall happy book. I loved it!
  6. Which is your favorite? Contemporary, suspense, or historical and why?- At this point I’d have to say contemporary although I really want to love historical romance. I just don’t think I have read the right books yet. The contemporary books  I have been reading though have been written really well and I know a lot of readers, read historicals for the escape, but I have found it very easy to get lost in the contemporary novels I have been reading.

 

So those are my answers to this tag! I’d love to know what yours would be if you’re a romance reader! Share with me, if you are a re-reader, what is your favorite book to re-read. Until next time, take care of yourselves and I’ll chat with you in my next post. Xoxo,

 

signature

 

Book Review: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

29367958

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

Self Published/ February 2016

Audio Narrator/Callie Dalton(this book is part of Audible Romance Package)

5/5 Stars

I needed a sports romance for the Summer Romance Bingo I’m participating in and honestly was a little hesitant to tackle this prompt altogether. Left and right though, I kept being recommended The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata. It’s funny how after I read a book by an author I start hearing their name all the time! That’s been the case with Mariana Zapata during and since I finished The Wall of Winnipeg and Me. Luckily, I really loved this book. So I will gladly be continuing to make my way through her other novels.

Plot Summary:

Vanessa Mazur knows she’s doing the right thing. She shouldn’t feel bad for quitting. Being an assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization was always supposed to be temporary. She has plans and none of them include washing extra-large underwear longer than necessary.

But when Aiden Graves shows up at her door wanting her to come back, she’s beyond shocked.

For two years, the man known as The Wall of Winnipeg couldn’t find it in him to tell her good morning or congratulate her on her birthday. Now? He’s asking for the unthinkable.

What do you say to the man who is used to getting everything he wants?

My Thoughts:

First and foremost, I was already nervous going into this book–sports romances weren’t something I had considered reading. After deciding to go ahead and give it a try after numerous friends recommending it to me, I saw that it was over 600 pages. All I kept thinking was, “Not another long book!” Then I saw that not only was it a long book but the general consensus is that it is a slow burn romance and I didn’t know if I was in the mood for slow.

This book follows Vanessa who starts off as the assistant to this big time football player named Aidan. Vanessa has been working for Aidan for a couple of years and feels pretty unappreciated. Aidan has never went out of his way to try and get to know her. It frustrates her that here she is basically taking care of his life and he doesn’t even know her birthday. She overhears a conversation between Aidan and his manager, Trevor, that really disappoints her and decides to quit. She is gone for a few days before Aidan starts showing up at her door step begging her to come back and eventually has a proposition for her.

Okay, so yes, this book is super slow burn. If you want that instant, steamy romance, you’re not going to find that in this book. What you will find though is a really well written, gradual, love story.

I think Zapata did a great job of instantly making Aidan unlikeable. I couldn’t stand him at first, but as I look back on it, I realize, we were only seeing the situation through Vanessa’s perspective.  Zapata in the end made me feel so wrong for judging Aidan a certain way in the beginning. Things take time, and people love you in their own ways. As we grow to learn more about Aidan and see his interactions with Vanessa, you slowly start picking up on the different ways he shows her that he cares about her.  There is this whole fake situation going on between them (part of the proposition) but I got the sense pretty early on that after a while, it stopped being fake for Aidan.

There were times that Vanessa annoyed me, just a little. I listened to this on audio and there were times the narrator was reading Vanessa’s thoughts in her head that I just wanted to shout, Shut Up! The thing that makes or breaks a main character for me though is how realistic they seem and Vanessa met the mark for me. Vanessa and Aidan both come from troubled pasts. Both of their childhoods down right sucked, and Vanessa was periodically face to face with those who hurt her the most. Because of her past though, she not only worked her butt off to be where she is now stability wise, but she knows the time and place for things. When there were situations I felt like she should snap, she would count to ten and be the bigger person. She was good to Aidan. She made him a promise and stuck to it. And she didn’t make Aidan and their situation the center of her life. She started pursuing her own business ventures and training for a marathon she really wanted to do. But you begin to see how well the two know each other and have each other’s backs.

I’m always a sucker for a good friendship in a romance. Vanessa and Zak’s friendship in this one is now a favorite. Zak is Aidan’s roommate/teammate. He and Vanessa are there for each other a lot and it was a lot of the interactions with Zak that had me laughing out loud.

The romance in this book isn’t rushed at all but it is so worth it. Sit back and allow the layers of this relationship to unfold for you. I enjoyed it so much. I honestly haven’t  been able to get it off my mind since I finished it!

 

 

signature

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!

destiny's embrace

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.

lilith

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.

AlwaysNever_BOM_4p.indd

 

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.

smallest part

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!

Dangerous-Books-For-Girls-Cover-1.png

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

 

 

 

 

 

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!

ACS_0005

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!

ACS_0002

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.

ACS_0008

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.

ACS_0009

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…

Sleepless in Manhattan

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!

Friday Reflections/ June 1.2018

Happy Friday Friends we have survived yet another week. It has been a H O T one here in south Texas, like unbearably hot. One day this week I walked to my car after group therapy, turned the air conditioner on immediately after getting inside and literally sat in my car for about 30 minutes because it was so hot, I couldn’t bring myself to start driving.  Summer is for sure right around the corner and although I can’t stand the heat and the fall has always been my favorite season, there is something about summer I love. It makes me so nostalgic for growing up in Missouri and nights playing softball with friends, cherry lime-aid’s from Sonic and sitting outside of my Grandma’s at night feeling the amazing breeze.

Despite the heat I’ve been facing though, this week wasn’t a bad one–

library haul

  1. What I’ve Been Reading: I have been buddy reading Sarah Morgan’s Sleepless in Manhattan with Ashley from AshHeartBooks on Youtube. This book is so much fun and I highly recommend reading it with a friend. Three friends living in New York City, setting out on a new job venture, late night roof top movie watching and NYC skyline gazing and awesome brother-sister relationship–this book is everything I need at the moment. I also recently finished Redemption Bay by Raeanne Thayne which is book two in her Haven Point series. –I went to the library closest to my work a few days ago and actually checked out a couple physical books (I am an avid Overdrive user!).  I checked out Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han and The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo. I am very much in the mood for some young adult/contemporary reads to kick off my summer.
  2. What I’ve Been Listening To: I recently cancelled my subscription to Sirius Radio because honestly I hardly ever used it, and was at this point where I was like I need to cancel the things that I pay for and really don’t use. So I had to start programming the local radio stations in my car and I got to the country station and they were playing this song called Small Town Boy by Dustin Lynch. I have been playing the heck out of this song ever since! And I am still making my way through the backlist of the Heaving Bosoms Podcast I am currently on episode 18 where they review Fifty Shades Freed by EL James. These two ladies are hilarious and I just love starting my day out by laughing with them and at them in my car in the morning and on my way home after a long day!
  3. What I’ve Been Watching: It is almost embarrassing to admit this, but I finally watched for the very first time, You’ve Got Mail starring the lovely Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks the freaking God himself. I love these two in Sleepless in Seattle which is top 3 one of my favorite movies and I’ve always known about this movie, just for whatever reason I never had any intentions of watching it. I finally caved though and damn I’m glad I did. It was incredible.
  4. Moving Forward: Okay so my main goal right now is to get my shit together health wise, physical fitness wise. I haven’t stepped foot in the gym in months. I haven’t put my running shoes on in months and I am starting to feel like a straight bum. Its uncomfortable and if I don’t get it together soon I am just going to be in this habit of not caring about being in shape or eating healthy. I am going to make sure I am drinking way more water than cokes and I am determined to either wake up early and go to the gym before work, or suck it up and go afterward–when it will be ridiculously hot and I’d rather just go home! I have to do this, it is crazy how unhealthy I’ve become. Any advice, tips, guidance you have, please send my way!!

 

I truly hope you’ve had a great week Friends! Share with me what your weekend plans consist of if you have any. My plans consist of a lot of lounging on the couch getting some reading done. I hope you enjoy yours and I’ll talk to you in my next post-xoxo, Bree

long nights, wine drinking & Summer Romance Bingo

Hello Friends and Happy Thursday. I am excited to announce that I will be participating in the upcoming Summer Romance 2018 Bingo . This is being hosted by Sarah from Not Just Romance Novels  and Sissy @ Romance Queen of Booktube on Youtube from June 1-August 1.

Once I saw Sarah’s video announcing the Bingo I knew immediately I wanted to be part of it. Altogether there are 25 different reading prompts and I think this challenge will aside from being fun, also be really good for me as a new romance reader. To be honest Friends, I think up to this point I have found my safe zone and kept myself in a box with the romance I’ve been reading. This isn’t a bad thing–I think it’s cool once you’ve figured out what it is you like, but at the same time, how do I know there isn’t more out there that I would like if I continue to play it safe?

Just glimpsing at a few of the challenges, some made me nervous and some I knew instantly could be fun. For instance–Read a Romantic Suspense. Thrillers and Suspense novels have never been my thing but I am determined to give romantic suspense a try and hopefully like it–I am sure Nora Roberts has plenty of those for me to choose from!  Another is to–Read a Romance With a Cowboy. I am a Missouri Girl no matter where in the world I am and find cowboys/country boys so sexy, so I am all for giving a cowboy romance a try.

One guard I’ve let up to do this challenge is to be open to reading Young Adult/Contemporary romances. may30

It has been almost four years since I’ve read any young adult, but to be honest Friends, I have my days when I miss it. Especially with summer approaching, I think it can be the perfect time to read young adult. One title I picked up is The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo. This book has a romance, takes place in the summer, involves a food truck and an unexpected friendship. I am totally here for it and would be lying if I said that the  food truck didn’t have anything to do with me wanting to read it.

So just to give you an idea, I’ll list the challenges:

  1. Stand alone novel
  2. Novel that takes place in a small town
  3. Romance featuring someone in the medical field
  4. Sports Romance
  5. Romance with a one word title
  6. Sub Genre: Contemporary Romance
  7. 2018 RITA Finalist
  8. Book that is part of a series
  9. Novel that takes place in a country you don’t live in.
  10. Harlequin Category Romance
  11. Romance featuring a musician
  12. Sub Genre: Paranormal Romance
  13. Novel that takes place in a major city
  14. Sub Genre: Inspirational Romance
  15. Romance with a Cowboy
  16. Romance novel published in 2018
  17. Book you bought for the cover
  18. Book by an author writing under a pseudonym
  19. Book with less than 1000 reviews on Goodreads
  20. Romance with a cat or dog on the cover
  21. Sub Genre: Romantic Suspense
  22. Sub Genre: Historical Romance
  23. Romance set at the beach
  24. Book with more than 10,000 reviews on Goodreads
  25. Reader’s Choice

 

I am really looking forward to exploring books that fit into these different prompts. I foresee a lot of long nights, wine drinking and early Saturday mornings sitting at Starbucks as I make my way through the challenges. If you have any recommendations for any of the challenges please let me know. Right now my game plan is to post a TBR for five books at a time so I will update you in the next couple of days as to what I’ll be reading first.

Let me know if this sounds interesting to you and if you plan to join in! Hope all is well Friends, until next time xoxo–Bree