Sunday Coffee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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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.

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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.”

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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,

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What I’m Currently Reading

Hey Friends! It is Friday and I hope you’ve had a great week. I unfortunately work this weekend, so I’m not sure how much I will get read but these are the books that I will be going into the weekend reading.

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I have been listening to The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata on audiobook from the Audible Romance package. It took me a few chapters to get into this book but now I’m loving it. This book is making me smile, I’ve giggled while driving, laughed out loud a few times and am finding myself completely swooning over the love interest Aidan.

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?

This book has some pretty good reviews on Goodreads and when I asked for recommendations on the Summer Romance 2018 Bingo Group I am participating in, a majority of the recommendations were for this book. Up to the part that I’m at, I feel like this book deserves the hype that it gets. I’m really enjoying it.

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I am currently halfway through The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang and wow, this book is living all the way up to the hype that it is getting.

Plot Summary:

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

This book has had my emotions all over the freaking place! I feel like Mariana Zapata is doing an excellent job of putting you in the mind of the main character Stella, who lives with Aspergers. There have been scenes that had me on the edge of my seat because Stella is such an honest person because she doesn’t know how to be any other way, so some scenes are a little intense! I love the love interest, Michael, he is falling hard for Stella and I am totally here for it.

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Lastly, I am currently reading a vintage romance! I say vintage, but this book was published in the year 2000 and that is Enchanted Crossings by Anne Avery, Madeline Baker and Kathleen Morgan.

Plot Summary:

This classic anthology includes three romances by popular authors. In these stories, a Lakota warrior defies the boundaries of life to claim a beauty, a pilot and a dreamer on faraway planets learn that passion can bridge the heavens, and a dazzling temptress uses her powers to open a stellar portal and the heart of a reluctant warrior.

I am currently on the first story in this collection, Heart of the Hunter and it is SO GOOD. I love when a story has a little bit of a paranormal twist to it. The main character Kelly  inherits the home and land that has been in her family since her Grandfather purchased it. Kelly’s Grandfather told her prior to dying that on the land there is a cave with the body of a Native American warrior laying to rest in it, and with his body a bag of gold. Kelly locates the body and is surprised he is still basically in tact and shortly after starts seeing a man out of the corner of her eye and feeling a presence around her.

To be honest, I didn’t know how I would feel about this story. It appears that once upon a time there was a romance craze where stories were written with a Native American love interest and white heroine and the used book store I go to has boxes and boxes of them. I was hesitant at first to give them a try–I didn’t want to read anything crazy and disrespectful, but so far with the first story I’m reading, I am really enjoying it!

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Those are my 3 current reads. Let me know what you are currently in the middle of reading, Friends! Have you read any of my current reads? What were your thoughts on them? I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll chat with you soon!

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