Friday, August 25, 2017

2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge: August Wrap Up

Time for our seventh Monthly Wrap Up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Since the July Wrap Up, Neither Holly or Sandy finished any series enders this month.

Announcements/Reminders:
  1. Please make sure we have a valid email address or other means of contacting you if you choose to participate. Linking up to Goodreads is perfectly fine, but we have found that Goodreads is not a reliable source for contacting someone should you be selected as one of the monthly giveaway winners. This could be due to your Goodreads notification settings or Goodreads themselves could be at fault. We're not sure which. And since we want to make sure that everyone who is eligible for one of the giveaways will receive their prize should they win one month or the grand prize at the end of the year, it is up to you to ensure that we can contact you and that you respond within a reasonable amount of time (usually stated in the email notifying you of your winning).
  2. While the challenge and giveaways are open internationally, please make sure that you can receive e-gift cards via Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. Again, we want to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to participate and to receive the prizes. Please remember that Holly and I are funding the giveaways out of our own pockets as something that we want to do, and we would like to continue to do so.
Which series enders did you finish? Link up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the August giveaway runs from August 25th - September 25th. On September 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.




Monday, August 21, 2017

After the Game - Review

After the Game (The Field Party #3)

By: Abbi Glines

Published: August 22, 2017 by Simon Pulse

352 pages

Source: ebook, Borrowed from Sandy

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Summary:
The third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Field Party series—a southern soap opera with football, cute boys, and pick-up trucks—from USA TODAY bestselling author Abbi Glines.

Two years ago, Riley Young fled from Lawton, Alabama. After accusing the oldest Lawton son, Rhett, of rape, everyone called her a liar and she had no option but to leave. Now she’s back, but she’s not at Lawton High finishing up her senior year. She’s at home raising the little girl that no one believed was Rhett’s.

Rhett is off at college living the life he was afraid he’d lose with Riley’s accusation, so Riley agrees to move back to Lawton so she and her parents could take care of her grandmother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. But the town still hasn’t forgotten their hate for her, and she hasn’t forgotten the way they turned on her when she needed them most.

When town golden boy Brady Higgens finds Riley and her daughter, Bryony, stranded on the side of the road in a storm, he pulls over and gives them a ride. Not because he cares about Riley, of course, but because of the kid.

But after the simple car ride, he begins to question everything he thought he knew. Could Brady believe Riley and risk losing everything?
MY REVIEW:
Another fast and easy read by Abbi. One thing is true about her stories, I can usually read them in a couple of days and they are angsty and fun. This series has been enjoyable to read since it deals with high school football players in Alabama. The first 3 books all have family problems in some form or another and end up having a girl come in to their life in their senior year that helps them overcome their issues. There's always a happily-ever-after and that's just peachy for me!

In this third book in the series, star quarterback Brady Higgens seems to have it all. A model family, the love and adoration of his entire town, lots of friends. He's known as a "good guy". One who is polite to everyone and is nice to even those he dislikes because that's just the kind of person he is.

Riley Young is a girl that the entire town hates after her accusations two years before of the town's wealthiest family's son raping her. Her family had to leave Lawton due to the hatred being spewed at Riley. Everyone believed him and no one believed her. Now her family is back to take care of her aging grandmother who has alzeimer's. Riley is being homeschooled in her senior year of high school. After having a baby, her priorities have changed. As a teen mom of a toddler, she vows to be the best mom she can be and provide a good life for herself and her daughter, all while keeping her as far away from her past and the people of this town. Even though she was created from such a great act of violence, her daughter was her salvation and she is viewed as a blessing to Riley and her parents.

Brady sees Riley in a rain storm one day pushing a stroller, and being the kind of guy he is, he pulled over and insisted on giving them a ride. He realizes that perhaps Riley wasn't lying and that everyone in their town, including him, may have misjudged her.

Fans of contemorary romance, but also of high school football, and young adult romance will enjoy this series.

This book has mature language but the sexual content is a minimum.

Check out my other reviews:

Book one, Until Friday Night (4 stars)
Book two, Under the Lights (3.5 stars)

Top Favorite Quotes:
You can't hide goodness. Hers was there, shining bright. It got to me. She got to me.

He held a power that most didn't have and he'd used his power for good. In my world, that made him a superhero.

"But if you love someone you can wait forever. Eachmoment you're together is special. You live for those times."

Language: 2 (medium)
Mature Content: 1 (light)
Final Rating: 3.5 stars

Thursday, August 10, 2017

*ARC* What It Takes - Review

What It Takes: A Dirt Road Love Story

By: Sonya Loveday

Published: May 27, 2017

242 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Source: ebook, ARC from Netgalley

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Summary:
Gracen Lowell is on the hunt for a man—but not just any man. He has to be ‘the one’. Her only problem is that no one she’s dated has ever measured up to the charming qualities of her best friend. 

Slade Owens knows no matter how much he loves Gracen, he’ll never be what she’s looking for. And he dang sure isn’t going to stick around to watch her fall in love with someone else. Slade leaving the Owens’ family farm for an out-of-state job should put enough distance between the two to allow him to move on with his life and Gracen to search for her happily-ever-after. 

Gracen knows asking him to stay isn’t fair. Slade thinks leaving her behind is the only thing to do. Inexplicably drawn together, the best friends must decide if they have what it takes to own up to their feelings… before it’s too late.
MY REVIEW:
I really enjoyed this story! Cowboys, Texas, childhood best friends! There's nothing sweeter to me than stories about childhood best friends that find love. It gets me right in the soft spot of my heart every single time! I also had a bit of nostalgic feelings as the story had me reminiscing of my own childhood growing up in southeast Texas.

In this story Gracen and her father moved to the Owens Ranch in Texas when she was 5 years old. She grew up riding horses and swimming in creeks and doing all the things the Owen's brothers did. She was closest to Slade and they grew up thicker than blood. A bond between them that was unbreakable. They moved in each other's space like breathing air. But friendship was all they ever had. Gracen was convinced that she was on a journey to find the "right one" and though she deeply loved Slade, had fallen in love with him, she didn't believe he reciprocated the same deep feelings for her. On the flip side, Slade has been in love with Gracen for a long time but he doesn't think she feels that way for him - as much as she goes on and on about finding Mr. Right, he figures he must not be that for her. He'd rather have her friendship than nothing at all. Best friends for 16 years is not something he's willing to give up. So he decides it's time to move on and give her the space she needs to find whoever that right guy is, without him always being around. So he takes a job in Montana. That should be far enough away.

With Slade away Gracen allows herself to open up to the possibility of someone other than him. Though she's depressed and destraught and can't fully function without Slade there. He's been her rock for so long she's lost without him. Not to mention the conditions in which he left. She can't continue to pine after someone that in her mind, doesn't want her in the same way. The new ranch hand, Clint, is handsome and charming and he continues to gently pursue her until she finally gives in.

Yes, it was frustrating that Slade and Gracen didn't communicate better about their feelings, but after finishing the story I can understand their hesitation to "lay all their cards on the table". Having been friends for so long they stood to lose a great deal if they let romantic feelings in and things didn't work out. On the flip side, you stand to gain so much by just being upfront and honest. That's life though isn't it? Always learning lessons the hard way.

This story deals with physical abuse. It is scary and heavy. But it also deals with friendship and love and family and loyalty. I was definitely getting hit with a lot of feels! It was a fast read and every page had me wanting to come back for more. For my first book by Sonya Loveday I was quite pleased and I definitely see myself picking up some more books by her.

Top 5 Favorite Quotes:
"Your muscly muscles are hurting me."

"Princess, I already bow at your feet as it is."

My daddy had always told me a man's word was his honor. If a man couldn't uphold his word, what kind of man was he?

"A man ain't much of a man if he can try to darken someone like that...try to take their light."

"Family of our choosing is sometimes even better than the ones we're stuck with by blood."

Language: 2 (medium)
Mature Content: 2 (medium)
Final Rating: 4 stars

Thursday, August 3, 2017

*ARC* Loving Kalvin - Review

Loving Kalvin (The Kennedy Boys #4)

By: Siobhan Davis

Published: July 31, 2017

224 pages

Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Source: ebook, ARC from author

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Summary:
A second-chance romance from USA Today bestseller Siobhan Davis. Standalone with HEA and no cliffhanger. 

Lana 
I knew it would end in disaster, but I didn’t listen to reason. I didn’t care. Because I loved him so much. 
Kalvin Kennedy ruled my heart. 
Until he destroyed it. 
Shattered it so completely that I became someone else. Someone I loathed. Someone who repeatedly lied to her loved ones. 
So, I ran. 
From him. From myself. Desperate to hide my new reality. 
But I could only run so far. 
When he reappears in my life, I’m terrified. Unbelievably scared of facing the consequences of my actions. 
Never mind that I still love him and want him so badly—there’s too much at stake now. 
How can I trust him with the biggest secret of all when he’s likely to rip my world apart again? 


Kalvin 
Lana was always far too good for me. Everyone knew it but her. 
I tried to stay away, but I was weak. 
And I hurt her. 
Crushed her until she barely resembled herself. Forced her to follow a path she would never have willingly chosen. 
And then she was gone. 
And my world has never felt as empty, as lonely. 
She begged me to stay away. Not to find her. To forget she ever existed. 
But that’s like asking me to slice my heart in two and toss half aside. 
I’ve never believed in fate, but when I rock up to the University of Florida, I’m ready to eat my words. 
Because she’s here. Like I hoped she would be. And I’m determined to prove I deserve a second chance. 

This series is only suitable for readers aged seventeen and older due to mature content and language.
MY REVIEW:
Being book 4 in the series, it's very hard to keep a review spoiler free. What I will say is that this book follows Kalvin, one of 7 of the Kennedy brothers. The order of their birth is Kaden, Keven, Kyler, Kalvin, Keanu, Kent and Keaton. Kalvin and Lana had a past that was vaguely elluded to in the first three books but what exactly that past entailed and how deep or real their relationship went actually is still a big mystery going in to book 4.

Kalvin is only 17 years old at the start of this story. He finished high school early and is enrolled in the University of Florida. Exactly where he believes 18 year old Lana to have gone to college. Kalvin and Lana have been best friends since they were 2 years old. They grew up together and, at the age of 13, both knew there was more between them than just friends. However, they literally came from two different social and economic classes. Basically, Lana's family was "the help" of the Kennedy's. From that point on into their older teen years, Kalvin pushes Lana away and chases after any and every girl he can get his hands on. Until he finally realizes Lana is the one he's always wanted; the reason why he's never been satisfied with anyone else. At the start of the story though, Kalvin and Lana haven't seen or spoken to one another in a year. By her request, he hasn't looked for her. Too much pain has occured and Lana blames herself for that. She believes by them living miles apart and allowing space and time to heal old wounds, that is the only way either of them can thrive. Kalvin believes they can reclaim what they once had. If only he can convince her.

A few irritations I had were mostly with Lana constantly pushing Kalvin away instead of being completely honest with him about her feelings. Lies is what got them to the place they are in now. So it was frustrating to me to see her continue to be dishonest...both with him and with herself. Dishonesty over any length of time is bound to blow up in your face and can cause irreparable damage.

Every book in this series is filled with teen angst and romance, drama, and, at some level, deceit and lies. Some lies are harder to come back from than others. Just as I loved the first three books, I equally enjoyed the story of Kalvin and Lana. It was entertaining and enjoyable!

Check out my reviews of the previous books in the series:
Finding Kyler
Losing Kyler
Keeping Kyler

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced complimentary copy of this book.

Top 5 Favorite Quotes:
"Don't stop fighting for her. When things are rough, don't give up."

"When we were kids, everything seemed so black and white," I start to explain. "But reality is so many different shades of complexity."

Being charitable in your every thought and every action is what matters.

"You're like the brightest star in the sky, lighting my life in so many ways."

"To family. To health, happiness, love, and forgiveness. To the future."

Language Rating: 2 (medium)
Mature Content Rating: 2 (medium)
Final Rating: 4 stars

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge: July Wrap Up

Time for our seventh Monthly Wrap Up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Since the June Wrap Up, Holly hasn't finished any series enders this month. Sandy finished A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, # 3) by Sarah J Maas.

Announcements/Reminders:
  1. Please make sure we have a valid email address or other means of contacting you if you choose to participate. Linking up to Goodreads is perfectly fine, but we have found that Goodreads is not a reliable source for contacting someone should you be selected as one of the monthly giveaway winners. This could be due to your Goodreads notification settings or Goodreads themselves could be at fault. We're not sure which. And since we want to make sure that everyone who is eligible for one of the giveaways will receive their prize should they win one month or the grand prize at the end of the year, it is up to you to ensure that we can contact you and that you respond within a reasonable amount of time (usually stated in the email notifying you of your winning).
  2. While the challenge and giveaways are open internationally, please make sure that you can receive e-gift cards via Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. Again, we want to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to participate and to receive the prizes. Please remember that Holly and I are funding the giveaways out of our own pockets as something that we want to do, and we would like to continue to do so.
Which series enders did you finish? Link up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the July giveaway runs from July 25th - August 25th. On August 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.

Nicole @ FYFA wins this month's giveaway by default. The only other entries were from Holly and myself, and we're not eligible

Monday, July 24, 2017

How to Save a Life - Review

How to Save a Life (Dreamcatcher #1)

By: Emma Scott

Published: February 9, 2016 by Trillian

274 pages

Genre: New Adult, Romance, Paranormal

Source: Personal Kindle Library

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Summary:
Josephine Clark is trapped. A harrowing past haunts her every time she looks in the mirror, and she can’t escape the violence of her everyday life. More and more, her thoughts turn to Evan Salinger, the boy she knew in high school. The boy they called a mental case. A loner. A freak. The boy who seemed to know things no one could know. For a few short weeks, Jo had found perfect solace in Evan’s company, sneaking every night to meet him at the local pool. In the cool of the water and the warmth of Evan’s arms around her, Jo had tasted something close to happiness. 

Cruel circumstances tore them apart, and four years later, the sweet memory of their time together is dissolving under the punishing reality of Jo’s life now. Evan seems like a fading dream…until he reappears at the moment she needs him most. Guided by Evan’s strange intuition, they flee her small Louisiana town, on the run from the police, and Jo begins to suspect there is something more to his sudden return than he admits. 

Over twelve days across America’s heartland, deep secrets come to light, buried pasts are unearthed, and the line between dreams and reality is blurred as Evan and Jo fight to hold on to their soul-deep love, and discover that there is more than one way to save a life. 

How to Save a Life is a complete second-chance STANDALONE novel with shades of the paranormal. It carries the characters from high school through to their early twenties. It is not YA; mature subject matter and sexual situations. TRIGGER WARNING: some domestic violence (on the page) and mentions of sexual abuse (off the page) For readers 18 years and up.
MY REVIEW:
This was maybe the 4th book I've read by Emma Scott. Having loved Full Tilt, All InThe Butterfly Project I was expecting great things! Perhaps I built up my expectations too high because I was disappointed with this one. Let me explain why.

First off...this story deals with both sexual and physical abuse. The sexual abuse is not explained in detail, only in vague memories from the past. The reader is spared what could have been graphic details on that, for which I'm thankful. Secondly, this story is pretty much as close to insta-love as you can get. I don't normally cringe with insta-love stories but this one felt forced to me.

The story begins with Josephine at a new high school, her senior year, only a few weeks away from graduation. Her parents are both dead at the start of the story and her uncle is her legal guardian. As a trucker they move around a lot. So much so, that she's never in any one place long enough to form any kind of meaningful relationship. Due to a rather noticable scar on her face she often gets labled quickly in the new schools so she gives them something to label her for. At this new school though, the school freak has already been bestowed upon another student. A very handsome, tall, blonde, muscular guy, who by appearance alone doesn't look like a freak. Everyone warns her to keep her distance from Evan Salinger though.

Evan is adopted into the Salinger family where 2 of his adopted brothers are verbally and physically abusive to him. They hate him. His younger adopted brother is the one bright spot in the situation in which he finds himself. Evan is the school freak. After some time spent in a mental hospital his peers do not let him escape that which he views as a gift. See, Evan has dreams that are pictures of events that are soon to happen but he doesn't remember the details of the dream until right before it happens. Basically, he is clairvoyant. One time seeing a shooting where a classmate's father dies, and he freaks out during class, sets all of his classmates against him.

Only 30% in to the story, without a whole lot of interaction, to be exact ONE conversation, between Jo and Evan, he calls her "sweetness". This definitely made me cringe and gag a little bit. I don't know many 17/18 year old boys who would call their girl interest this term of endearment. Baby or Babe is more common for sure. But after ONE conversation? Um....no.

The story jumps ahead, after it's first tragedy, by 4 years. Jo is living in Louisiana and finds herself in another horrible situation. Living with a guy who is physically abusive and is a meth head. This girl either has some terrible luck or she just downright makes horrible decisions! When she is most scared for her life, Jo breathes into the air for Evan to come find her and save her. She doesn't fully understand or believe it'll work but she is running out of time. Once he shows up in that strange way of his, the story takes them on the run from the police. At 90% through I didn't know how the story was going to finish in time but knowing it was a standalone (but part 1 in a series...if that makes much sense) I kept waiting for resolution. Of which it finally comes and I was pleased with the ending.

In the Kindle version I read there were a whole lot of grammatical errors; incorrect usage of words; missing words; misspelled words. This always makes me feel "meh" especially when it's a published book that I paid for.

Though older age Young Adult's are sure to enjoy this one, it does fall more in the New Adult realm of content and age.

Top Favorite Quotes:
"That's the majestic, terrible beauty of a rumor. It doesn't have to be true for it to spread."

Something about sitting in a guy's truck and watching him drive with masculine expertise was such a turn-on.

You're never stuck anywhere if you have a good book.

"You are my life. You're in the marrow of my bones, Jo. In my dreams, my future, every particle of me."

Language: 2 (medium)
Mature Content: 2 (medium)
Final Rating: 3.5 stars

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Post #117

Sunday Post is a weekly post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
Each week bloggers participate to share any books received and news from their week.

Click on the book cover to be taken to its Goodreads page.

~FOR REVIEW~

RECAP OF WEEK:
SUNDAY:

THURSDAY:

Things are getting back to normal. Daughter's ankle is still not 100% but the orthopedic appointment and (second) xray this week showed no fracture. With a strong anti-inflammatory and strict instructions to work her ankle and strengthen it with PT exercises, she's walking with a brace and slowly getting back the activities she enjoys most!

Band camp starts for my oldest this week. 8:00-5:00 all week for two weeks. It's a tiring time for him but he LOVES it! I can't believe we are 5 Friday's away from the start of high school football games! It's one of our most favorite seasons of the year!!

In other news, after 15 years of being a stay-at-home mom and then a Nanny for the last nearly 5 of those years, I'm going back to work outside of the home as a school secretary in less than 2 weeks. This is a new transition for our family and for my kids. They've never known me to work outside the home. We were blessed for me to be available for them 24/7 since their birth. It's bitter sweet, and a bit scary but I believe it is a God-approved decision as we have been praying over this decision and job position for 3 months and the path has been smooth and has worked out effortlessly. I will have school holiday's off and summer's off and my hours will be such that I can still take my kids to school and pick them up AND not miss any of my daughter's sporting events or my son's marching events. I honestly could not have asked for a better situation if I have to go back to work. I'm sure for a time my reading time will seriously be cut in to, which may make my blogging less than it is now. But I'll still be around.

2017 SERIES ENDERS READING CHALLENGE SIGN UP:
You can now join us for our 4th annual Series Enders Reading Challenge for 2017! Join anytime until December 15, 2017. We give away a gift card EVERY month to one lucky participant and we award a GRAND PRIZE at the end of the year. The more series enders book reviews you link up - the more entries you have to win. Come join us!



Enjoy your week!
Thanks for stopping by!
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