the great 2020 reading realization

Hello dear friends. We made it to another year. Though I am greeting 2021 with open arms, I am also giving it the side eye and greeting it with a dash of hesitation and nervousness because let’s be honest; 2020 was a crap show! Being a reader, I turned to reading a lot in 2020. It wasn’t about the escape really, it was mostly that comfortable companionship I’ve always felt when I spend time reading a book. I needed that last year. hah, literally yesterday! And while it did what it was supposed to do, I have thoughts! and now that we are in a new year, I definitely want to do better at things.

Case in point #1..yesterday I took a trip to Barnes and Noble. I didn’t have anything in particular in mind to buy but wanted to go browse their shelves. I’m in the mood for romantic comedies and chick lit and wanted to go see what they had. Well, I can’t enter Barnes and Noble and completely ignore the shelves smack dab in the front of the store upon entering. I can’t ignore shelf upon shelf of beautiful hard cover releases, I have to look. So, look I did! And a few titles actually caught my eye. What’s the issue? Summaries may sound good, the cover may be intriguing, it may even be an author I have been interested in giving a go. So, how do I ruin this perfect opportunity of possibly reading a new favorite book? I whip out my phone, go to goodreads, type in the title and start looking at the ratings and reviews. Here’s the thing: I love reviews. I have a select few reviewers who I trust and will legit haul or not haul a book based off what they have to say but, my issue is..this unsettling feeling that I am possibly missing out on a book that I could truly love all because I turned to the opinions of someone else to justify my buying the book or not. As someone who truly believes a group of us could read the same book together, but we are all going to read different books and get different things out of did I become so reliant on the opinions and reviews of others?

From time to time, I like to go into books knowing the bare minimum but I’m also a mood reader so I mostly read the synopsis to be sure the book is what I’m in the mood for. I miss the days where the synopsis was all I needed to decide to pick up the book. I wasn’t looking to find out what other readers had already said about it. If it sounded good, I read it. I want to get back to that. It sounds very cliche but honestly, a lot of my reading goals for 2021 center around taking it back to basics; attempting to be as much of a “normal reader” as possible.

My current reading mood is paranormal and romantic comedies. It just kind of hit me towards the end of November..I really wanted to read both of those subgenres so I am going to focus a lot of my reading on those for a while. Paranormal is definitely transporting me to other worlds and giving me the much needed mental escape and romantic comedies give me the dose of humor I need. I read over 250 books in 2020 but only had 12 saved as favorites. I am really hoping that by taking my time, savoring and spending time with books I’m truly in the mood for, that I will have more favorites this year. Maybe, maybe not; but in 2020 I rushed through so many books that again, I feel like I potentially missed out on new favorites.

I realized I was so focused on hustling through books to try and reach my 115 book goal and to constantly have a new book to talk about that I was picking up quick reads not necessarily because I wanted to read them but because they were quick and I wanted to feel accomplished. I wanted to feel that satisfaction of finishing something. 2021 is going to be all about going with the flow; if it takes an entire week to finish a book then so be it! Who cares? No one is telling me I have to finish a book a day. I’ve come to realize that no one is pressuring me to do anything. the pressure has all been pressure I’ve put on myself. so, cheers to taking it easy this year.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

Her Inconvenient Christmas Reunion

“He was the man he had left her to become.”

Her Inconvenient Christmas Reunion by Nina Singh is the childhood sweethearts second chance Christmas romance with a dash of travel and the ONE BED trope sprinkled on bed in a romantically decorated Parisian hotel-between Izadora and Zayne. These two were a thing once upon a time..until they weren’t. One day Zayne just left with no explanation. Well, he’s returned to his small Napa Valley town after his aunt has passed away and left him her winery, but only half of it. The other 50% belongs to Izadora aka Izzy. She leaves them both the message that they “need each other.”

I don’t really have any cons with this one. It’s less than 200 pages, a Harlequin romance, so I went in knowing what I was going to get. We get straight to the point to make everything come together in a short amount of time. For so long, Izadora has harbored the hurt and disappointment of the love of her life just leaving with no explanation. As the reader you are privy to why Zayne left and this secret looms for basically the entire book; Izzy doesn’t learn the reason why until the end–I’ll give you a hint; small town bad boy falls in love with the driven, determined smart girl and could totally be a distraction. Zayne goes away and gets his shit together to become the kind of man Izzy deserves but because of the LIES about himself he has grown to believe based off how he was raised; absent father, mother who took off to travel the world leaving him to be bounced around from family member to family member-even though he has his crap together there is this fear of still not being good enough for her.

For Izzy, she’s this character who has been living her life with the cards being dealt to her without really knowing the cards were even being dealt. Decisions that affected her, were made for her without her even knowing it.

“her insides were shaking. He was really here, standing before her. Her first love, the one who’d crushed her heart when he’d just up and left town on a sudden whim. She hadn’t been enough to keep him nearby.”

This is what this book tackles and so much more in less than 200 pages. It’s a story with a lot of threads to it and everything comes together nicely in the end. I really have come to adore second chance romances especially when it has that childhood sweetheart spin to it. I’m definitely looking forward to more from Nina Singh.

Rated: 4/5 Stars on Goodreads

#Blogmas Miracle On 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

This is crazy. He groaned the words against her mouth. “You want true love, and I’m not Prince Charming.”

Prince Charming was a weird stalker guy with a foot fetish.”  Breathless, she locked both hands behind his neck to stop him pulling away. “You taught me that.

But he married the girl.”

I don’t want to marry you. I just want you to give me an orgasm.

Just the one? You have low expectations.”

5th avenue


Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she’s given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn’t expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner.

Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife’s death looming, he’s isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn’t appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?

5th avenue

Miracle On 5th Avenue was a reread for me. I rated it 5 out of 5 stars my first time reading it, and this go around was no different.

Although Miracle on 5th Avenue is book three in the From Manhattan With Love series, I whole heartedly believe you can read it as a standalone.  Eva and Lucas are complete opposites so if opposites attract is your thing, you will love these two. While Eva is the hopeless romantic, Lucas is a crime fiction author and complete cynic. Their romance takes place during the holidays but the fast approaching Christmas Day isn’t a major plot point in the story, so if you’re in the mood for a good December read but don’t want to be hit over the head with the fact that Christmas is coming, add this one to your tbr.

The romance between Eva and Lucas is a bit of a slow burn but I love Eva so much as a character that I didn’t notice. Yes, I want you to read this for the romance but honestly, I want you to read it more for Eva. Everyone could use an Eva in their life. She is a proud hopeless romantic. She blogs. She has a Youtube channel. She was raised by and adored her Grandmother. She is one of my all time favorite heroines. She is unapologetically herself and true to herself.

I can’t recommend Miracle on 5th Avenue enough. If you are looking for a fun romance amidst a New York City in December back drop between a true girl’s girl and a guy who writes books where someone always dies in the end, I think you’ll enjoy this one.


Review: Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

Passion on Park Avenue

by Lauren Layne

Published May 28, 2019 by Gallery Books

Goodreads Rating: 3.77 Stars

My Rating: 4/5 Stars


For as long as she can remember, Bronx-born Naomi Powell has had one goal: to prove her worth among the Upper East Side elite—the same people for which her mom worked as a housekeeper. Now, as the strongminded, sassy CEO of one of the biggest jewelry empires in the country, Naomi finally has exactly what she wants—but it’s going to take more than just the right address to make Manhattan’s upper class stop treating her like an outsider.

The worst offender is her new neighbor, Oliver Cunningham—the grown son of the very family Naomi’s mother used to work for. Oliver used to torment Naomi when they were children, and as a ridiculously attractive adult, he’s tormenting her in entirely different ways. Now they find themselves engaged in a battle-of-wills that will either consume or destroy them…

Filled with charm and heart and plenty of sex and snark, this entertaining series will hook you from the very first page.


My Review:

Go read this book. Enough said.

No seriously though, I really enjoyed Passion On Park Avenue. There was one con to this book and I’ll go ahead and get it out of the way. This ‘con’ is more of a preference of tropes I guess you can say and it’s just not a story plot that meshes well with my anxiety. I am not a fan of one character being in on a secret that plays a huge part of how they treat the love interest and why they treat them a certain way but the other character has no idea about it. In this books case, our heroine, Naomi, knows Oliver, but he doesn’t knows her. When they initially meet, she looks familiar to him but he couldn’t place her.  The entire conflict of this book weighs on this secret and it is so well done, yet frustrating for me! I start paying way too much attention to all of the chances Naomi had to come clean to Oliver but didn’t. Again, total preference. If you don’t mind this kind of story line, it’s obviously not going to bother you. 

Okay, that part is out of the way. I really liked this book.

I can’t breathe when you do that,” she whispered.

“When I do what?” His lips drifted over her jaw, a feather-light almost-kiss.

“When you look at me like that,” she said, her voice husky as his lips moved down her neck. “When you touch me.”


Lauren Layne creates this very twisted back story. It made me cringe. It broke my heart and definitely ticked me off a bit but it completely makes Naomi’s intentions understandable at the beginning of the book.  Her Mother once upon a time was the housekeeper for Oliver and his family. (Oliver is our hero) A situation happened that leads to Naomi and her Mom being out on the streets.

Naomi is now this very successful, independent woman who made this promise to her Mom that she would basically show up at these people’s doorstep one day to show them she was now their equal. In true hate to love fashion, I loved seeing the walls Naomi put up around herself one by one begin to come down. As much as she wants to hate Oliver, he has no idea he has a blast from the past in front of him and both of them are beginning to fall for each other.

A big part of Oliver’s life now is taking care of his father who is living with Alzheimer’s. I thought this was such a good spin, a good wrench to throw into the story. I am a total Alzheimer’s Association Advocate and it sucks to see your loved one wither away, so having seen it firsthand, I could feel that bit of anger, sadness and confusion that Naomi did. She had these very revenge motivated intentions in the beginning, but Oliver’s Dad would never remember what happened or who she truly was so in a way her plan really wasn’t going to work. We as the reader see her coming to the realization that people change. Things change. Time passes.  This is a very funny but emotional romance with a heroine at the center who has to forgive and leave the past where it is.

A big bonus to this story was the friendship Naomi has with Claire and Audrey. It is very funny how the three meet in the beginning but it goes to show how regardless, nothing really beats having a crew of close girlfriends.

I really liked Oliver. I didn’t swoon too hard over him but I was smitten with how damn smitten he became over Naomi. The secret Naomi kept from Oliver, kept me from really connecting with him because I felt so bad for him the entire time. He was totally in the dark. What I did get from him though, I enjoyed. It was cool to see him become into Naomi without really knowing who she was, then having to decide if his feelings were the same once he did know.

I highly recommend this book, especially if you enjoy romances that take place in New York City, have a hate to love element to it with a pretty strong heroine at the core of it.

Read it, and chat about it with me. Let me know if you enjoyed it or not.

Until next time, take care of yourselves.




Dilemmas of a Book Nerd Tag

Hello friends! I am here with another tag. I was so excited when I saw that not only did my friend Stephanie from Steph’s Romance Books Talk on Youtube posted this video but that she also tagged me to do it. I really love tags that delve into the lives of us as readers,  and as nervous as I am that you all will get insight into just how crazy my way of doing things can be, I’m excited to answer these let’s do it.



  • Dilemma #1: Book Storage – How do you store and organize your books?: My home library is growing so fast that honestly, there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to how my books are organized. Now there are certain shelves that are organized to an extent (hardbacks with hardbacks, Ya with Ya, vintage with vintage) but that is it. I have shelves with books on top of them. My bedroom dresser has been overtaken by book mail that I just really have no idea where to put.
  •  Dilemma #2: Tracking – How do you keep track of what you have read and what books you own?: My main tracking system for read books is Goodreads. I do have a Moleskin notebook that I tote around as my reading journal. I have been doing pretty badly though with updating it, but every couple of weeks I’ll pull up Goodreads to jot down the titles I’ve read so I have them physically written down. As far as keeping track of books I own..I don’t keep track of that. Weirdly enough, I know what books I own.
  • Dilemma #3: Borrow – Do you lend your books out?: Hardly ever. Not because I don’t want to, but because I can count on one hand how many people in my real life are readers and share the same tastes as me.
  • Dilemma #4: Buying – How do you buy or acquire your books?: For this one, it really depends. I order quite a bit from Amazon and also subscribe to their Kindle Unlimited and Audible Romance package. Occasionally I’ll order through Book Depository because let’s face it..the UK covers tend to be lightyears prettier than our U.S. editions. The Library! I am an avid Overdrive user.
  • Dilemma #5: Comments – How do you respond to the “How do you read so much” comment or similar comments?: My biggest piece of advice when it comes to this question is simply this–If reading brings you joy, make time for it. Squeeze it into the in between moments. Always have a book on you. This can be on your phone, tucked into your work bag, an audiobook..whatever/however. I can’t bring a physical book with me to work but I always have an audiobook to listen to through my headphones and an ebook for when I’m sitting waiting for an appointment or in the line to grab food. We are all so busy these days, but if you make reading a priority you will find ways to sneak it into your routine.
  • Dilemma #6: Next Book – How do you pick your next read?: I am a total mood reader. Once upon a time I attempted to be a tbr kind of gal, but it overwhelmed me! I would set books aside trying to convince myself, “this is what I’m reading this month,” and literally moments after would have zero interest in those books. It is kind of difficult to explain the answer to this question, being a mood reader, but basically I’ve allowed myself to be totally okay with picking up what I feel like reading, when I feel like reading it. I am also a bit of a seasonal reader. I prefer my darker stories in the fall and am loving all the chicklit and spring vibe-small town romances I’m reading this spring.
  • Dilemma #7: Travel – How do you pick what book(s) you bring on vacation with you?: I don’t go on “vacation,” like ever! I will make the 12 hour road trip to go see family but usually when going home I bring very few books because I know I’ll be catching up with loved ones. I will bring my Kindle though to catch up on ebooks I’ve procrastinated on and usually something nonfiction (a memoir) and a romance I’m in the mood for. When traveling I want my reading to be fun because that means I’m off work and wan to enjoy myself. So I try to live it up and enjoy each moment I have away.
  • Dilemma #8: Annotate – Do you write or highlight or mark up your books in any way?: AbsoFreakingLutely! I am a big highlighter, underliner, tab user. The book is mine to do with as I please. I love a good quote that puts me in the feels, so highlighting helps direct me right back to it when I want to revisit that specific passage. Thinking long term, who knows whose hands the book will one day end up in. I love buying used books and seeing the parts of the book that meant enough to someone else that they underlined or highlighted in it.
  • Dilemma #9: New or Backlist – Which do you prefer, new releases or backlist books?: I used to be the person who would wait for the hype to die down on a new release before reading it but that has changed over time. The amount of new releases that I’ve been super excited for lately has been crazy. There’s no way I can wait for the hype to fade away. But I also love discovering a new to me author through their new release and going back to enjoy their backlist. So I guess a bit of both for this answer.
  • Dilemma #10: Sequels – Do you read books as they are released or wait for an entire series to be published before reading 1 book?: I am very very new to the world of series. I didn’t start reading more than just standalones until I began reading romance. So far, the series I have read are already complete. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have to wait for the next book to come out but I kind of want that experience, so we’ll see what happens.



The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Published May 14, 2019 by Gallery Books

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.14 Stars

My Rating: 4 Stars



Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.

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My Thoughts:

The Unhoneymooners is freaking hilarious! It was 6:15 on a Wednesday morning, I was driving in my car, laughing my butt off at only two chapters into this book. I knew then that I was going to enjoy it.

This romance follows Olive and Ethan and has a few tropes that make the story. It is enemy to lovers. When Olive and Ethan first meet their interaction is far from perfect and they have basically hated each other since. There are plenty of other scumbag reasons behind it that you find out later on in the book.

Along with enemy to lovers, this is also fake marriage and every freaking thing that can go wrong when you’re faking a marriage! Olive’s sister’s wedding is a disaster and long story short, Olive and Ethan end up taking her sisters honeymoon.

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I liked seeing these two tropes and Christina Lauren’s creative spin on them. I need a Netflix adaptation to this romance asap! Olive was a mess and I loved her. Her sister Amy is the lucky sister and Olive just believes that luck isn’t on her side. She is a total skeptic. She is a negative thinker. What I liked that Christina Lauren did with these character traits is when crap hits the fan, showcase how easy it is to doubt Olivia because of her track record, because of her negative thinking.

I also really enjoyed the spin they put on the backstory of Olive and Ethan. Olive puts together the pieces behind their interactions and the manipulation that was being played behind closed doors which lead into a story of its own. I thought it was so, so well done.

I highly recommend The Unhoneymooners whether you’re already a Christina Lauren fan or if this would be your first by the author duo. If you can get your hands on the audiobook, even better! The narration was fantastic and especially for the scenes where Olive’s family was was perfection.

*it can be hard putting thoughts together on books I love* but basically, you should read this book. I loved it.



Book Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang


The Kiss Quotientby Helen Hoang

Berkley; June 2018


A confession before I get into this review:  I tend to usually wait for the hype around a book to die down a bit before reading it. I honestly was going to treat The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang no different. I hauled it on a random Sunday night trip to the bookstore and planned to sit it on my shelf for a few months before picking it up. Obviously though, that didn’t happen and I am very happy I didn’t put reading this book off. I loved it!

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…


Firstly, let’s shout out an own voices story that is in the spotlight and getting some amazing recognition. There is a lot to love about this story.

I really enjoyed the whole premise of this book. It was cool to read from Stella’s perspective knowing she has Aspergers. It is such a big part of who she is, but she didn’t let it define her. But as someone who doesn’t live with Aspergers it was an awesome experience to get bits and pieces of how someone who does live with it, processes things. I found that fascinating. And I adored, once Michael figured out that Stella had Aspergers, how he was immediately able to communicate and interact with her in ways that wouldn’t frustrate or overwhelm her.

I loved how the author created these two very different people from different social statuses and family structures and made them perfect for each other. Michael believes that Stella is too good for him. Stella has this amazing job as an econometrician, while he works in his Mother’s alteration/dry cleaning business and also does escorting on the side. He has it made up in his mind that as soon as she learns about who is father is and the things his father has done, that she won’t want anything to do with him. Stella keeps her disorder a secret, believing that once Michael learns about it, he won’t want anything to do with her. There first couple of scenes together were super awkward but Michael was so adorably patient.

I appreciated the family aspect in this book. Michael literally put his life and the things he wanted to do on hold to take care of his Mom who has been sick with cancer. It was cute seeing him interact with his sisters and Grandmother. There is a scene early on in the book where Stella meets his family, her disorder still being a secret, and she basically blows it. The whole meeting was over stimulating for her and on her part, she says some things and does some things that come across as rude. But she realizes how important Michael’s family is to him, and does what she needs to do to right her wrongs.

This book was so swoon worthy. So many parts of it bought a smile to my face. I’d have to say my favorite part of this story was seeing the feelings grow between Stella and Michael and watching them both try to figure those feelings and emotions out. Stella is so used to trying to please the men she has interacted with that it was awesome to see her finally get comfortable with Michael and allow him the opportunity to please her. It was awesome to see Michael, who sticks to these rules and guidelines he has set in stone to keep between him and his clients, completely throw all of that out eventually when it came to Stella. It was so cute how he noticed the little things; like how she looked at him like he was the most important person in the room, how she wanted to wear his tee shirt to sleep because it smelled like him..I loved reading how happy these things made him feel.

I could seriously go on and on about this book Friends, but I’m just going to leave you with this: Read it. It is fun, it has a steamy romance, cute family moments and two people who eventually realize they are made for each other.

Have you read The Kiss Quotient? What were your thoughts on it? I hope all is well with you, take care of yourselves–I’ll chat with you in my next post. xoxo


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.

phonto (15)

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.



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.



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!



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!








3 Reasons Why Reading Romance is Good for my Mental Health

I believe that everything happens for a reason. I’ve shared my story of how and why I decided to give romance a try but I’ve never discussed how in just a few short months after I picked up my first romance, my mental health began to plummet.  I have depression and anxiety due to PTSD. Until March of 2018, I was great at ducking and dodging my triggers, but around the second week of March, I wasn’t able to anymore. It honestly felt like all the ghosts I tried to keep locked away were escaping the closets I locked them in and were free.

No shade thrown on the mental health system but the beginning of my process to get help was not the best. In the beginning on one of my darkest days, I went to the hospital only to leave within 20 minutes of basically waiting and being given an appointment a full two weeks away!

A Life Counselor at my job called a local mental health facility and asked if I could attend their outpatient group therapy. I did that for two weeks before starting a four week group therapy with the military.

I still have a long road ahead of me, but I feel I’ve definitely made some progress. Reading romance has made such an impact on my journey to getting better. Romance novels were what I carried in my bag with snacks back and forth to group, to read if we didn’t start on time or had a break. They’re what I listen to in the car on my way to appointments.

There are so many wonderful things about the romance genre, so many reasons I love it, but I want to share 3 reasons why I feel it is good for my mental health.

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  1. Escapism: Now I have always been one who reads for the escape but I feel this was heightened once my mental health started to shift.  When I started reading romance I was mostly reading authors like Debbie Macomber and Raeanne Thayne. These women authors write stories that take place somewhere that quickly feels like home for me, with characters who feel like such real people with real problems. Reading their novels, I instantly become sucked into the story and forgot about what I have going on. When you’re in a constant battle with your own mind and thoughts, it is refreshing to focus on something else–to get so lost in the story that for those few pages, few hours of reading, you weren’t in your own head.
  2. Perspective: One thing I enjoyed about attending group therapy is that I got to spend a few hours around other people who were also going through something. Our stories weren’t the same, our symptoms weren’t the same but we had the fact that we were in the same place for a reason in common. One thing I’ve really loved about the romance novels I’ve read is how there is always a big underlying element of hope in the background amongst the angst and characters whose lives aren’t perfect. Reading romance has helped put into perspective for me that everyone is battling, has battled or will battle something and because of that, I never have to tackle this thing alone.
  3. The Happy Ever After: Last weekend I re-watched a childhood favorite movie with my daughter, called “Now and Then,” and in the movie one of the girls tells her friend who just found out her parents were divorcing, “It’s normal for things to be shitty.” That is what I started believing during my darkest days and then I really started paying attention to the romances I was reading. The character’s have to put in work to grow through their issues and eventually make it to their happy ever after. There is nothing wrong with wanting that and reading romance has been a big motivating factor for me to continue getting better because I deserve, like everyone does, my own happily ever after.


I hope you had a wonderful weekend, Friends!  I was a little hesitant to type this post but I want to be as honest and as transparent as I can with you. If you have any recommendations to send my way, I’m always looking for those. Until next time, take care of yourselves!



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.


  • 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.



  • 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!



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!