August Wrap Up 📚☀️

☀️August Wrap Up☀️

I read 8 books in August which was pretty good for me!

Now I just need to catch up on reviews! ☺️

The Christmas Swap/ 2.5⭐️
I’m Still Here/ 4⭐️
Home Before Dark/ 4.5⭐️
One to Watch/ 4⭐️
Dating Makes Perfect/3.5⭐️
The Other Alcott/3⭐️
Acceptable Risk/ 3.5⭐️
A Life Once Dreamed/4⭐️

What are you most excited to read in September?

Acceptable Risk

Whew! Hey friends! It’s been awhile! With the back to school season, we’ve been super busy, as I’m sure many of you have been too!

Well buckle up for a fast paced, wild ride. Here’s my review for Acceptable Risk, the 2nd book in the Danger Never Sleeps series.

Sarah, a military journalist, is taken hostage in the Middle East along with some female students. Luckily she is rescued by Gavin Black, a former Army Ranger, at the request of her father, a Lieutenant General in the Army. Her father also arranges for her to be discharged on a false psychiatric diagnosis. Sarah is NOT happy and it only furthers past wounds she carries from her relationship with her father.

Once stateside, Sarah learns of a string of veteran suicides, including her own brother. Unable to accept this news, she soon uncovers more than she bargained for and she and Gavin try to uncover the truth in these mysterious deaths. But someone wants them both dead and will do anything to keeps some secrets hidden.

I’m giving this one ⭐️⭐️⭐️.⭐️/5⭐️

There is a high body count and Sarah finds herself in some literally unbelievable situations all within a short span of time (attempted abduction, hostage situation, being run off the road,etc).
You don’t need to have read the first book in the series although those characters make a few cameos. If you are looking for a quick, action packed read this is definitely the book for you but be sure to see the trigger warnings below ⬇️ Acceptable Risk is available now!

Trigger Warnings: suicide, PTSD, violence, abduction, addiction to prescriptions

💄One to Watch💄

💄Book review 💄

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I got “One to Watch” earlier this summer from Book of the Month and I just finished! I’m reading with some fab ladies in a Buddy Read group and we are loving it. This is probably my favorite new book of the summer! 😎☀️

Here’s the scoop: Bea, a plus sized fashion blogger, is a longtime Main Squeeze show (modeled after the Bachelor) viewer. One night she has a little to much 🍷 and writes a post about the show that goes viral. She criticizes the show’s lack of body diversity and actual diversity and, as a result, they ask her to be the next Main Squeeze. Originally, Bea agrees to do it to further her own career, but she soon gets swept up in the romance and fantasy of the show! I was really excited to see how this ended but my lips are sealed! 😍🤐

While an easy read, Kate Stayman London does an amazing job spotlighting self love, friendship, forgiveness, family relationships, and body diversity. You’ll love Bea and the cast of characters. 💞

I’ve never seen a whole season of The Bachelor! 😄🤷🏻‍♀️ Do you watch?

Happy Book Lovers Day! 📚

Happy National Book Lovers Day!!!! 💓📚

I can really get behind this holiday 🤩 and I thought I’d show some #coverlove to celebrate! I just love a beautiful book cover! I’m drawn to bright colors on the book’s cover. Is there a color you love most or are drawn to?

Which book’s cover has recently made you go 😍🤩?

A Life Once Dreamed

Thank you to Revell Publishing and to NetGalley for this eARC! “A Life Once Dreamed” is available now!

Rachel Fordham’s “A Life Once Dreamed” takes place in America’s Dakota Territory in the late 1800s. Agnes Pratt suddenly abandons her fiance and family after learning a secret, and she moves to the small frontier town of Penance. For six years she teaches school, makes friends, and vows to never marry. Then one day her former fiance, James Harris, shows up as the new town doctor. He’s come to win her back but numerous obstacles arise, including a deadly scarlet fever epidemic.

I absolutely love a good, Christian romance but I love them even more when there are issues that are relevant to the present day. “A Life Once Dreamed” definitely delivers. The issue covered here involves not prejudging someone based on their background. In this case, it’s prejudging illegitimate children but I love that this lesson can be applied to a number of present day issues. I think Fordham’s Aggie sums it up best when she says, “It’s time the world stops punishing the innocent for crimes they did not commit.”

You will love this fast read that was the perfect escape!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

🌊July Wrap Up🌊

I have been busy celebrating my daughter’s birthday this weekend! 🥳🧁💜

Before more time went by, I wanted to recap my July books. Someday I’ll read as much as many of you. Probably when my 3 kids are grown 😂🤷🏻‍♀️

Until then, I do what I can! It was a perfect mix of physical books, audiobooks, and ebooks!😍📚

🎧The Switch ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.💫

🎧Talking as Fast as I Can ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📕Mexican Gothic ⭐️⭐️.💫

📕I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📱Set the Stars Alight ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📱 RomEantically Challenged ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

What was your favorite book you read in July?

💞RomEantically Challenged💞

Happy Pub day to RomEantically Challenged by Marina Adair. I really liked this rom-com but probably not for the reasons you may think! Thanks to Goodreads and Kensington Books for this gifted ARC for an honest review!

Goodreads describes the story as Three Men and a Baby Meet 27 Dresses and I think it’s a pretty good interpretation. Here’s the main scoop: Physician Assistant Annie relocates to Rome, Rhode Island after her fiancé dumps her, immediately meets someone new, and then steals her wedding date/venue/etc. She moves into a quiet cabin in Rome and is adjusting to life in the new town when the cabin owner (Emmitt) suddenly shows up, back in town after being injured in his photojournalist job. The predictable sparks fly. Additionally, Emmitt’s daughter’s mom has just died, and he struggles to be emotionally available for her after traveling so much for his job. Along with his daughter’s step dad and uncle, Emmitt and company often struggle to rein in their girl and help her work through her emotions. So, there’s a lot going on!

Here’s what didn’t work for me:

Emmitt is the stereotypical macho “player” in Rome. This kind of character trait always makes me face palm a little but his womanizing ways were a little too in my face for my liking. Also, I don’t think their love story wasn’t anything special since it was mostly lust turned to love.

Emmitt’s relationship with his teenage daughter was a bright point in the book. It was pretty funny to see her run circles around her dads. I also liked how Adair explores how each man processes the grief over losing the lady who held them all together. Men grieving and processing their emotions was refreshing and something we need to see more of.

The climax of the book/ big problem and the solution felt a bit forced.

Here’s what I loved:

My favorite theme in this book focused on Annie’s past. Adopted from Vietnam as a baby by white parents, Annie never feels like she truly fits in. She struggles knowing she wasn’t wanted by her birth parents but was wanted by her adopted parents and it’s such a complex dichotomy. Adoption is close to my family so I really loved the complexities with adoption that Adair focused on. In a truly heartbreaking scene, Annie is asked to consult on a patient by a well respected doctor. When she arrives in the exam room, the doctor assumes that because she’s Asian, she can speak Chinese with the patient and wants her to translate. While difficult to read, these are things that I don’t experience as a white women. Being in Annie’s shoes in this humiliating experience is an important lesson.

While the romance of the book isn’t anything extraordinary, I think the themes of grief, adoption, loss of a parent, and realizing that others’ actions aren’t a reflection of you are such important themes.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Mexican Gothic

I’m totally a sucker for a gorgeous book cover. I can’t resist. So when it was time to pick my July Book of the Month (see my Affiliates link for a discount on your first box!) I was drawn to “Mexican Gothic” by Sylvia Moreno- Garcia. I had also seen some buzz about this book, and I love a good thriller, so I immediately picked it.

Noemí Taboada is a socialite in Mexico City in the 1950s who lives a fast and fun lifestyle. Her father receives a very strange and frantic letter from her cousin, Catalina, who is a newlywed living in the countryside with her new husband and his family. Noemí’s father needs her to go to investigate Catalina’s situation and bring her home if needed. Once she arrives at Hill Place (the dark and ominous manor where Catalina lives), Noemí realizes something is definitely NOT RIGHT. Sounds like the beginning of a great thriller, right? Ehhh, sort of.

First of all, I really enjoyed Garcia’s writing style. She is a master at building the isolation of the manor, the past-it’s-prime- small town, the creepiness of the house, and the major sense of foreboding, which I loved. I’ve seen some people say they thought the first part of the book was slow and I do agree with that to a certain extent; but aren’t all thrillers going to give the reader a small sense of comfort and normalcy and then- WHAM! Something happens! This one is no different. Once the major events of the book start, buckle up for some really weird stuff.

I wasn’t expecting some of the twists and turns in this book. While that’s normally a good thing, many of them are truly disturbing and contain numerous potentially triggering subject matter (see below) especially for a mom of young kids like me. If you aren’t in the phase of life I’m in, it might not bother you as much. The end and final twist still has me scratching my head and wondering “What?!” I’d love you hear your opinion if you’ve read it!!

⭐️⭐️.⭐️/ 5 stars

Content warning: eugenics, racism, sexual assault, infanticide, incest, cannibalism

One of my all time favorites!!

It’s #throwbackthursday to one of my favorite books of ALL time and one of the longest titles ever: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society 🥔🥧

Do you have a book or a movie that you love and could just revisit again and again? For me, it’s this book!🥰

It is adorable, heartbreaking, funny, quaint, and a must read! I first read it probably 10 years ago and I reread it every year or two.

Juliet is a writer living in post war London. One day she gets a letter from a man living on the island of Guernsey who finds her name written in a book. They begin a correspondence and he tells her his story of the German occupation on the island and the literary society members of his small village created. Juliet is soon drawn to visit them and it changes her life.

Written in letter form between characters, it is such a treat to read! ❤️ It will make you wish for simpler times when letter writing and correspondence was the main form of communication! Everyone loves mail, right?!

You will not regret reading this wonderful, charming book! There is a Netflix movie, but read the book first if possible!!!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

✨Set the Stars Alight✨

I loved this book SO much!!

Synopsis: Lucy Clairmont’s family treasured the magic of the past, and her childhood fascination with stories of the high seas led her to become a marine archaeologist. But when tragedy strikes, it’s Dashel, an American forensic astronomer, and his knowledge of the stars that may help her unearth the truth behind the puzzle she’s discovered in her family home.

Two hundred years earlier, the seeds of love are sown between a boy and a girl who spend their days playing in a secret sea cave, while the privileged young son of the estate looks on, wishing to join. As the children grow and war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption unfolds, held secret by the passage of time.

As Lucy and Dash journey to a mysterious old estate on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers–and the healing–they so desperately seek.

It’s a total work of art. Amanda Dykes’ novel is captivating, tragic, unexpected, satisfying, and it touches on the themes of both familial and sacrificial love. Her writing is so poetic and it’s been a long time since I have appreciated that kind of writing.

I loved the split time and you will cry and rejoice with each set of characters and believe the impossible that happens. Check out this book from @BethanyHouse
I thought about this story for days after I finished!
🌟🌟🌟🌟