My “Why”: Why I started My Romance Blog

In a nut shell, why not..?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

until next time, take care of yourselves. xo.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

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July in Review

Hey Friends! I hope all is well with you. Another month has passed us by in what feels like the blink of an eye. As I look back at what I read in July, I am realizing how good of a reading month it was for me. Not necessarily just thinking about how much I read, but in terms of what. I read some really feel good books and read a couple with friends which is always a fun way for me to tackle a book.

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I read The Inn At Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber which I have written a review for. I listened to this via Overdrive and also followed along, which I highly recommend doing if you are interested in starting this series. The narrator, Lorelei King, is fantastic and it is just one of those stories that feels good to have someone read aloud to you. This read as the first book in a series should. As I was reading it, I felt like there was more to come while at the same time, introducing me to the main character and what I can expect from the rest of the series. Jo Marie is the main character, a war widow who moves to Cedar Cove and purchases an Inn. Moving and buying the Inn eventually helps her begin to heal from the loss of her husband and she slowly realizes, that is what she wants the Inn to sort of represent for everyone who stops there; a place for healing.

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Once I finished The Inn At Rose Harbor, I couldn’t resist, and immediately jumped into the second book in the series, Rose Harbor in Bloom. This too, I followed along with the audio book via Overdrive. This was another well crafted story with a cast of characters all healing from something. Annie Newton arrives at the Inn in the midst of coordinating her grandparents fiftieth wedding anniversary while healing from her broken engagement.  With all of the chaos of planning going on and her grandparents not seeming to be able to get along, she is forced to face and be around Oliver Sutton, who, growing up always teased her. We also meet Mary Smith, a business woman who comes to the Inn after being diagnosed with a serious illness. While there, she comes face to face with a lingering regret; the love of her life whom she let go of nineteen years ago. Where I felt like the first book was a great introduction story, Rose Harbor in Bloom jumped right into my heart and shredded it into pieces before bit by bit piecing it together again.

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Next, I read Love Letters which is book three in the Rose Harbor series. In this book, a slight twist happened that I expected but at the same time didn’t expect. Jo Marie has a handy man named Mark who is difficult at times, rough around the edges, but is a good friend to her. But Jo Marie knows nothing about Mark and it is starting to bother her. In this novel, she begins to realize she has been thinking about him a lot more than willing to admit. It was the guests of the Inn though that really tugged at my heartstrings. We meet Ellie, a 23 year old woman taking a leap of faith by traveling to Cedar Cove to meet a guy named Tom whom she’s been corresponding with for months but has never actually met in person and we also meet Maggie and Roy. Maggie and Roy are a married couple who are taking their first vacation together since their children were born. Both have made mistakes in their marriage and they are hoping this vacation will help rekindle the spark in their relationship. I love how vulnerable the characters in this novel had to be. We see them all really have to open themselves up to possibilities. It was great.

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I could’ve totally binged the Rose Harbor Inn series, but I had to keep in mind that I have also been making my way through another series, the Haven Point series by Raeanne Thayne. So I picked up the next book in the series for me, Snowfall on Haven Point. This one follows Andrea Montgomery, a single Mother of two whose police officer husband died in the line of duty. Andrea comes to Haven Point trying to escape a fellow officer and friend of her husband who took advantage of her after her husband passed. We are first introduced to Andrea in the previous book, Riverbend Road when she meets and becomes friends with Wyn Bailey. In Snowfall on Haven Point, Wyn asks Andrea to keep an eye on her brother, Sheriff Marshall Bailey, who was recently injured in a hit and run vehicle accident. Marshall doesn’t like feeling helpless at all, and is not excited to have someone looking after him but the more and more he spends time with Andrea and her kids, his mind starts to change.

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I read another Debbie Macomber novel, her newest release, Cottage by the Sea. I took my time with this one and enjoyed it so much. I read half of it in physical copy and actually listened to the second half with my current free subscription to Scribd. In this story, we follow Annie Marlow who in the blink of an eye’s entire life is rocked by tragedy. As expected, she grieves for a long time, until encouraged to return to somewhere she remembers being happy. Annie returns to Oceanside in the Pacific Northwest and rents the cottage her family used to spend summers in.  It is in Oceanside that Annie begins to restore her spirit. She gradually makes friends with Mellie, her landlord who is a total recluse, Britt who works at a local coffee shop and Keaton, who she’s most drawn to. Keaton is a big strong guy but at the same time quiet and peaceful and the two grow close. As they grow closer though, the chance of a life time lands in Annie’s lap and she’s torn between feeling safe in Oceanside and Keaton’s arms, or this chance toward continued success. Debbie Macomber hasn’t ceased to amaze me yet. I feel like I know what to expect when I pick up one of her novels but she has such an incredible way of creating these characters you care about and these locations that sound so cozy and dreamy, you don’t want to leave.

 

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My last book of July was Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained by Maya Rodale which I buddy read with Becky from Beck’s Books on Youtube. I enjoyed this book so much. In the beginning it felt as though Rodale was hitting points that weren’t anything new, so I became a bit nervous but it started to really get good. I think this book is a must read for romance readers and would be a great conversation started if you were able to convince a non romance reader to read it.

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Share with me what you read in the month of July!! I hope all is well with you, take care of yourselves and until next time, xx

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Romance Chat With Friends

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Hello Friends! I am back with another Romance Chat With Friends post and I am so excited to share today’s friend with you all. Today on the blog I have my girl Stephanie. I found Stephanie on Youtube shortly after I started reading romance, and I can’t even being to describe how happy I am to have found her channel.  When I decided I want to occasionally do these romance chats, Stephanie immediately came to mind. She is a busy woman who still finds time to read and not only does she find the time to read, but she reads ALOT. I highly recommend checking out her Youtube channel which you can find her at Stephs Rom Book Talk So without further ado, let’s get into the chat.

 

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Falling For Romance: To kick off, I am always fascinated with what I like to call the ‘origin story’ for romance readers. I want to know how they got into reading the genre. Share your romance “origin story.” How did you come across and read your first romance novel?

Stephanie:  When I was working the night shift during Hurricane Sandy and finishing up my Master’s Degree I needed something to fill my nights so I started to read the Fifty Shades Trilogy. I devoured them and then I read as many books as I could that was compared to this trilogy.

Falling For Romance: You’re a Booktuber who reads romance which unfortunately isn’t the most popular genre on Booktube. Were you ever hesitant to start your channel? And what keeps you excited about posting videos?

StephanieI actually started my channel because my “friends” and co-workers were tired of me talking about all these books that they needed to read. One of them suggested that I start a channel, so I did and the rest is history. I found that talking to the camera to post on the internet about books that excite me is a great outlet. During that first year I was a little hurt that I wasn’t getting views on my channel but I just kept at it. I even had a time where I thought of quitting but then some of my major viewers and favorite authors let me know they really enjoyed my videos and it changed my mind. In turn I let go of comparing subscribers to success.

Falling For Romance:  Who are 3 authors and any books in particular by them that you wish more people would read?

Stephanie:

The Grip Series by Kennedy Ryan 
Dear Life by Meghan Quinn
Red Lights, Black Hearts by Fabiola Francisco

Falling For Romance:  What is one trope in romance you’ll never be tired of reading?

StephanieQuick breeding, instalove stories, and if they are interracial but not stereotypical, even better!

Falling For Romance:  What is something you want to see more of or done differently in romance?

StephanieSince I read so many indie authors many of them already give me so much variety that as of now I have the perfect balance in the books I am reading.

Falling For Romance: As I read romance novels, I’m always imagining them being made into films. What is one recent read you’d love to see have a film adaptation?

Stephanie: Mercy by Debra Anastasia – It has romance, action, darkness, and such a unique storyline that I think it could really transfer well.

Falling For Romance: What are you currently reading that you’d recommend and are there any upcoming releases you’re excited for?

Stephanie: Dear Martin by Nic Stone rocked my world recently. Anticipated release I am looking forward to is Blood Cure by KA Linde the third book in the Blood Type Series.

Falling For Romance: Lastly, are there any other Romance reading  Youtubers or Bloggers you’d like for more people to check out and subscribe to?

Stephanie:

I hope you all enjoyed this romance chat with Stephanie. Be sure to check out her Youtube channel and the other ladies she recommends. Be sure to be kind to yourself today, and I’ll chat with you in my next post. xoxo.
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Reading As A Busy Mom

Hello Friends! One question I get asked often is how I juggle reading with working full time and being a Mom of three.  My husband and I are both active duty military in a career field that doesn’t work your typical Monday through Friday 8-5.  There are a lot of 12-14 hour days and long work weekends.  Add on having three young kids who demand quite a bit of attention, wanting to blog, wanting to take photos and post to Instagram and Youtube, I can understand the question of, “How do you juggle it all?” So I wanted to share some of my tips, or things I do to squeeze reading into my already busy life.

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  1. I posted the above photo because it was around the time that I read The Wedding Date, that I became serious about the advice I’ve heard from so many online friends to, “Always have a book with you.” I have found this piece of advice very helpful. If I know I have a doctors appointment or will be somewhere with some down time..even if as a family we are driving somewhere, I always have a book with me for those moments I’m able to read a few pages.
  2. Continuing on with always having a book with me, I highly recommend downloading the Kindle App to your phone if you are a Kindle user. I have the app on my Ipad and IPhone. Having the app on your phone is so convenient.  For those days when I can’t bring a physical book with me, I still have all my ebooks on my phone thanks to the Kindle app which comes in handy for those few moments throughout the day I am able to squeeze in some reading.
  3. One word: Audiobooks. I know there are still a lot of people who don’t really vibe with audiobooks. I thought for the longest that I was one of those people. I think what helped me was before I read my first audiobook, I had already spent about a year listening to Podcasts. So I was already used to listening to people talk. I have friends who read 6,7,8 books a week sometimes thanks to audiobooks. I usually listen to mine on 2x speed and depending on what I have going on, can usually finish one in 2 to 3 days. Now, where do I listen to them? My commute to work is only about 10 minutes. Regardless though, I listen while driving to and from work. Depending on what I’m doing at the gym, I occasionally listen while there. I listen while prepping and cooking meals. I have a speaker I purchased from Walmart so  I’m able to listen while taking a shower or sitting in the bath. While putting awa laundry I’m listening, while cleaning the house, I’m listening. I pretty much listen whenever and wherever I can.
  4. I find ways to keep myself excited about reading. I find the more I keep myself excited about reading, the more I stay motivated to incorporate it as much as I can into my day to day. To keep myself excited, I’ll read blog posts by friends to see what they’re excited about. I may listen to one of the bookish Podcasts I listen to or watch one of my favorite Youtubers who talk about books. I think excitement and happiness can be contagious. Seeing someone else excited about something they read definitely inspires me to continue reading and find the next thing that excites me.
  5. Try reading more than one book at a time. I used to be a one book at a time kind of girl. I admire people who can focus on one book at a time, but I have grown into one who reads multiple books at once. Sometimes you’re just not in the mood for the one book you may have set aside to read. If you’re not in the mood for it, but still want to read, pick up something else. I have found in a strange way, this keeps me interested in everything I am reading and has upped the amount of books I have been able to read a year.
  6. Do buddy reads. If you’re already part of a real life book club, that’s great and pretty much the same thing but if not, find a friend and let them know you’re interested in reading something with them. All of the buddy reads I have done have been with online friends and we share our thoughts via the Voxer App. I love buddy reads. Even though you’re reading the same book, everyone interprets things differently. It is always cool to see how someone else viewed a situation. Buddy reads have really helped me read books that I probably would have not finished or maybe not even started had I went at it alone. Usually with buddy reads you set a page count or chapter count for the day and to keep up it kind of forces you to make time to read so you can share your thoughts with everyone. And they are just so much fun, especially if you’re reading a really fun book or one that causes a lot of discussion.

 

I hope these little pieces of advice help. They are just some of the main things I have done to help balance being a full time working mom of three with my love of reading. When it all comes down to it, incorporate reading any way you can into your everyday life. Whether listening to an audiobook while cooking dinner or having a book in your bag to read while waiting for your doctor’s appointment to start, make the time to read what you can when you find the moments to do so.

Until next time Friends, take care of yourselves. xoxo.signature

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

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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!

 

 

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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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Romance Chat With Friends.

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

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I discovered a used bookstore!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sleepless In Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

HQN Books; May 31, 2016

My Rating: 5/5

 

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

Plot Summary:

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

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

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!