Monthly Wrap Up – March 2019

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I hope you all had a wonderful March!

What books did you read this month?

Books I Read
  • Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez – 5 stars
  • The Last Letter by Rebecca Yarros – 3.5 stars
  • Brownies and Broomsticks by Bailey Cates – 4 stars
  • The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan – 4 stars
Book Haul

Physical Books
On the Way to You by Kandi Steiner
Weightless by Kandi Steiner
What He Doesn’t Know by Kandi Steiner
A Love Letter to Whiskey by Kandi Steiner
The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton
Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien
Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt de la Pena

Kindle Books
The Friend Zone by Abby Jiminez
Limit by Molly McAdams
Southern Player by Jessica Peterson
The Birthday List by Devney Perry
With a Hitch by RC Boldt
Fighting Silence by Aly Martinez
The Wedding Deal by Cindi Madsen
Charms and Chocolate Chips by Bailey Cates
Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti by Bailey Cates
No Exit by Taylor Adams
Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander
A Nordic King by Karina Halle
Ask Me Anything by Molly E Lee
Protecting the Heiress by Nana Malone

Monthly Funny

 

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Review – The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

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Synopsis
Since his mother’s death six years ago, Carter Kane has been living out of a suitcase, traveling the globe with his father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane. But while Carter’s been homeschooled, his younger sister, Sadie, has been living with their grandparents in London. Sadie has just what Carter wants—school friends and a chance at a “normal” life. But Carter has just what Sadie longs for—time with their father. After six years of living apart, the siblings have almost nothing in common. Until now.

On Christmas Eve, Sadie and Carter are reunited when their father brings them to the British Museum, with a promise that he’s going to “make things right.” But all does not go according to plan: Carter and Sadie watch as Julius summons a mysterious figure, who quickly banishes their father and causes a fiery explosion.

Soon Carter and Sadie discover that the gods of Ancient Egypt are waking, and the worst of them—Set—has a frightening scheme. To save their father, they must embark on a dangerous journey—a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and its links to the House of Life, a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

 

My Review
4 out of 5 stars
4stars

I’m honestly not really sure where to start with this review. I feel like there isn’t a lot I can say without spoiling things.

I will say though that I have grown so fond of the PJO and HOO characters over the years that I was really nervous to start a new series by Riordan with all new characters. While I didn’t love this book as much as I loved the books in the PJO and HOO series, I still really enjoyed this book.

I enjoyed that the usual humor was present in this book. Sadie and Carter are so different from each other. It was interesting to me that they wanted what the other one had.

I know absolutely nothing about Egyptian mythology, so the Gods in this book were really confusing to me at first. Things were explained later on so that helped a lot.

Khufu and Bast were probably my favorite characters.

The story was slow for me at first, but that’s typical with a first book in the series with the world building, backstory, and things like that. After the pace picked up, I was sucked into the story and flew through the rest of the book. A couple surprise twists really shocked me. I’m interested in seeing where the story goes from here.

 

 

Monthly Wrap Up – February 2019

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This is a little late, but better late than never, right?! 🙂

I hope you all had an amazing February.

February wasn’t very kind to my family lol. I was diagnosed with pneumonia early in the month. I don’t think I’ve ever been that sick in my entire life. I’m so glad that’s all behind me now. That was really rough. Just as I was starting to recover from pneumonia, my youngest son was diagnosed with the flu. Two days later, me and my other son got the flu. The day after that, my husband got the flu. O_O Insane, right?! I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. Thankfully we’re all better now. Here’s hoping we don’t get sick again for a really long time! lol

I was able to buy a new (to me) vehicle in February, so yay for that! My last vehicle was getting really old and was having a lot of problems, so it was time to get something different.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Book Haul

Paperback/Hardback
Because You’re Mine by Rea Fray
One and Only by Jenny Holiday
It Takes Two by Jenny Holiday
The Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage
Slow Ride by Lori Foster
Gracie’s Secret by Jill Childs
Low Country Hero by Lee Tobin McClain
California Girls by Susan Mallery
*Huge thank you to the publishers for sending me the above books.

Kindle
What He Never Knew by Kandi Steiner
What Doesn’t Kill Her by Christina Dodd
Revelry by Kandi Steiner

Books I Read
  • Gracie’s Secret by Jill Childs – 3 stars
  • What He Always Knew by Kandi Steiner – 3 stars
Monthly Funny

yup pretty much

 

Review – Brownies and Broomsticks by Bailey Cates

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Synopsis
Katie Lightfoot’s tired of loafing around as the assistant manager of an Ohio bakery. So when her aunt Lucy and uncle Ben open a bakery in Savannah’s quaint downtown district and ask Katie to join them, she enthusiastically agrees.

While working at the Honeybee Bakery—named after Lucy’s cat—Katie notices that her aunt is adding mysterious herbs to her recipes. Turns out these herbal enhancements aren’t just tasty—Aunt Lucy is a witch and her recipes are actually spells!

When a curmudgeonly customer is murdered outside the Honeybee Bakery, Uncle Ben becomes the prime suspect. With the help of handsome journalist Steve Dawes, charming firefighter Declan McCarthy, and a few spells, Katie and Aunt Lucy stir up some toil and trouble to clear Ben’s name and find the real killer..

 

My Review
4 out of 5 stars
4stars

This was my first book by this author and I really enjoyed it! I’m glad that I decided to go ahead and take a chance on this series. Magical elements are usually pretty hit-or-miss with me, but I really enjoyed the magic aspect in this book.

I enjoyed getting to know the members of the coven – Lucy (Katie’s aunt), Bianca, Jaida, Cookie, and Mimsey were all great in their own different ways. I really like that each woman is giving Katie lessons to help her develop her magic. I’m so looking forward to seeing how much Katie has improved with her magic in the next book.

I loved the idea of a magical bakery. All of the treats that the Honeybee Bakery offers sounded delicious so I stayed pretty hungry while reading this book. 🙂

Another thing about this book that I really loved was Katie’s familiar, Mungo. I loved him so much! He’s so cute and I love how he tries to communicate with Katie.

The mystery kept me engaged. There were plenty of suspects to choose from. The reveal of the killer surprised me!

I can tell that there is a love triangle forming. I already know who I want Katie to be with. I’m team Declan all the way. Honestly, Steve really creeps me out so I hope she doesn’t end up with him.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series. I can already tell this is going to be one of my new favorite series to read.

 

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Author Links
Author Cricket McRae also writes as Bailey Cates and Bailey Cattrell
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Review – The Last Letter by Rebecca Yarros

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Synopsis
Beckett,

If you’re reading this, well, you know the last-letter drill. You made it. I didn’t. Get off the guilt train, because I know if there was any chance you could have saved me, you would have.

I need one thing from you: get out of the army and get to Telluride.

My little sister Ella’s raising the twins alone. She’s too independent and won’t accept help easily, but she has lost our grandmother, our parents, and now me. It’s too much for anyone to endure. It’s not fair.

And here’s the kicker: there’s something else you don’t know that’s tearing her family apart. She’s going to need help.

So if I’m gone, that means I can’t be there for Ella. I can’t help them through this. But you can. So I’m begging you, as my best friend, go take care of my sister, my family.

Please don’t make her go through it alone.

Ryan

 

My Review
3.5 out of 5 stars
3pt5stars

I’m going to be completely honest and say that I’m really torn about how I feel about this book. On the one hand, I really enjoyed most of the book. Then again, there are two really big things that bothered me.

Lying to protect the other person, or lying for any reason really, has become a really big pet peeve of mine in romance books. I struggled with that in this book. Whether it is lying by omission or straight up lying, it’s just not necessary. Beckett was holding something back from Ella because he was certain that if she ever learned the truth then she’d kick him out and never speak to him again. Well, the truth always has a way of coming out. Ella wasn’t angry about the truth that Beckett was hiding/keeping from her. She was angry because he LIED. Especially in this case, you don’t lie to a woman that already has trust issues. Ella and Beckett lost a pretty good amount of time together because of this. Not only that, but Beckett and the kids lost precious time together as well. It was just such a huge waste and could have been avoided.

My second thing that really bothered me is the tragedy near the end of the book. This entire book was full of one tragedy after another, but you could at least see where they fit into the story. This last one didn’t need to happen. There was no reason for it. It definitely had the emotional impact that I’m sure was intended though. I don’t remember the last time I cried that hard while reading a book. After reading those heart wrenching words, I literally put the book down, threw my head back, and sobbed for a long time. I had to calm myself down before I could pick the book back up and finish it.

With all of that said though, there were still many parts of the book that I loved. I enjoyed getting to see Ella and Beckett getting to know each other through their letters. Other than Beckett not being upfront about things from the start, he was a good character. I love how devoted and determined he was to show Ella that he wasn’t going to leave, even after she sent him away. Colt and Maisie were amazing kids. Their bond warmed my heart so much. I don’t have any siblings of my own, so I always enjoy reading about strong sibling bonds like these. Ella was amazingly brave and strong for everything that she had to go through. I literally don’t know how she was able to handle all of it.

This book was raw, gritty, heartwarming, heartbreaking, and real all at the same time.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review – What He Always Knew by Kandi Steiner

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Synopsis
Left or right.

It’s that simple, and it isn’t simple at all.

If I turn left, the road will lead me back to the man I promised my life to, the one I’d imagined building a family with, the one who’s done everything in his power to get me back.

If I turn right, the road will take me to the man I loved first, the man who brought me back to life, the man who would do anything to keep me.

I knew the fork in the road was inevitable; it was the decision I never wanted to make between choices I didn’t know I had.

And I love them both.

My heart is destined to exist in two equal halves — one with each man. But one half beats stronger, the vein running deepest, and holds my choice in silence long before I know it for myself.

The realization of what I have to do, of the heart I have to break, just might break mine too.

Left or right.

All I have to do is take a breath and turn.

 

My Review
4 out of 5 stars

4stars

I can’t ever remember another time when I was so torn by a book when I was finished with it. I actually finished this book over a week ago and I’m still processing my thoughts on it. I still don’t really know how I feel.

I will say this though. This book will freaking hurt. The angst…the decisions that were made…the character’s actions…they hurt. So much. I was feeling physical pain while reading this book.

“I’d never understood how love could hurt before, how it could be the knife between your ribs. It wasn’t until that exact moment that I realized love hurts more than anything, because it’s all we want, and yet it never comes easy.”

I’ll be honest and say that this book really made me mad. I was Team Reese during the first book, and ultimately, when everything is said and done, I think I am still Team Reese. But wow. Reese, Charlie, and Cameron all pissed me off while I was reading this book. I really started to dislike Charlie the further I got into this book. A lot of the pain and heartache that was caused by certain people’s actions could have been prevented with communication and that just hurts my heart. All of this could have been avoided.

Charlie didn’t choose who I wanted her to and that really disappointed me, of course. I completely understand why she made the choice she did though. She made the best decision that she could in a really messed up and complicated situation. I’m looking forward to reading the next book so I can see the one who wasn’t chosen get his HEA.

Even with all of the anger and frustration I felt, I still enjoyed this book. I love the fact that Kandi was able to make me feel these things. When you are able to feel what these characters are feeling, you know you’re reading the work of an amazing author.

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Review – The Pomeranian Always Barks Twice by Alex Erickson

Synopsis
With a veterinarian dad and a pet-rescuing mom, helping animals is a family business for the Dentons—but after a shocking murder, it’s Liz Denton’s son who might end up in a cage . . . 

Sadly, Timothy Fuller is too old and infirm to continue caring for his beloved Pomeranian, Stewie, who is also elderly. But finding Stewie a new home has been challenging. Fortunately, Liz Denton and her son, Ben, are on the case. With two beagles and a calico currently residing under their roof, they’re always ready to provide care in an emergency.

But a rival rescue group is already there when they show up at the Fuller house—along with a nurse and Mr. Fuller’s sour-faced son. After an unpleasant argument, they reschedule the pickup for later. But by the time she gets back, Stewie is an orphan. Mr. Fuller has been found with a knife in his back. And Ben, who’d stopped off to visit one of Mr. Fuller’s neighbors, has been collared. Now solving the mystery is Liz’s only hope for rescuing her own son . . .

 

My Review
3 out of 5 stars
3stars

This book is a good start to a new cozy mystery series featuring Liz Denton, who runs an animal rescue. I really like that this series is different when it comes to the main character. Liz is married and has two grown children which is something that you don’t usually see in a cozy mystery. As a mother myself, although my children are younger, I was able to relate to Liz.

The mystery was well written. There were several suspects to choose from and the killer ended up being someone who was never on my suspect radar at all, so that was really surprising and a nice twist.

I am interested in seeing where the Denton family members will go from here. I especially have a lot of interest in Amelia and what path she will take. I think it’d be really interesting to see her team up with Liz in the future.

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