Feb 08

Review * Call Me, Maybe Ellie Cahill

Reviews 2 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Call Me, Maybe Ellie CahillCall Me, Maybe by Ellie Cahill
Published by Loveswept on February 9, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 217
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Clementine Daly knows she’s the black sheep. Her wealthy, powerful family has watched her very closely since she almost got caught in an embarrassing scandal a few years ago. So when Clementine’s sent on a mission to live up to the Daly name, politely declining isn’t an option. Of course, the last thing she does before boarding the plane is to grab a stranger’s phone by mistake—leaving the hunky journalist with her phone. Soon his sexy voice is on the line, but he doesn’t know her real name, or her famous pedigree—which is just the way Clementine likes it.

Despite all the hassles, Justin Mueller is intrigued to realize that the beautiful brown-eyed girl he met at the airport is suddenly at his fingertips. They agree to exchange phones when they’re both back in town, but after a week of flirty texts and wonderfully intimate conversations, Justin doesn’t want to let her go. The only problem? It turns out that Clemetine has been lying to him about, well, everything. Except for the one thing two people can’t fake, the only thing that matters: The heat between them is for real.

What I Thought…

• I curled up with Call Me, Maybe on a blustery snow day and it kept me on my couch reading until I was finished. Call Me, Maybe is a fast read and it was pretty cute.

• Clementine and Justin go through a phone mix up at the airport and end up with each others phones until they return home. I thought this was a real cute way for them to meet, and led to some awkward moments.

• Clementine’s family is super wealthy and this causes her to not tell the truth about who she is, while part of me understands why, the other part of me doesn’t understand because unless you’re into the rich and famous/sociolite stuff, who pays attention to who has money where you live? But that could just be me. I completely understand not wanting to say that you have gobs of money though, it’s hard to tell who likes you for you rather than your money.

• Clementine’s family is overbearing towards Clementine and it drove me crazy. Yes, she made a mistake, but it’s over and done with so, move on!

• There aren’t too many secondary characters in this one, but I did like Clementine’s neighbor/friend and Justin’s roommate.

• While reading Call Me, Maybe was more of a three star read, but the ending was so excellent I had to bump it up.

Overall if you are into cute contemporary romances definitely give this one a shot!

Kimberly


Feb 01

Review * I Wish You Were Mine by Lauren Layne

Reviews 2 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * I Wish You Were Mine by Lauren LayneWish You Were Mine by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #2
Published by Loveswept on February 2, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 260
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
A year ago, Jackson Burke was married to the love of his life and playing quarterback for the Texas Redhawks. Now he’s retired, courtesy of the car accident that ruined his career—and single, after a nasty scandal torpedoed his marriage. Just as he’s starting to get used to his new life as a health and fitness columnist for Oxford magazine, his unpredictable ex shows up on his doorstep in Manhattan. Jackson should be thrilled. But he can’t stop thinking about the one person who’s always been there for him, the one girl he could never have: her younger sister.

Mollie Carrington can’t say no to Madison. After all, her older sister practically raised her. So when Madison begs for help in winning her ex-husband back, Mollie’s just glad she got over her own crush on Jackson ages ago—or so she thought. Because as Mollie reconnects with Jackson, she quickly forgets all her reasons to stay loyal to her sister. Tempted by Jackson’s mellow drawl and cowboy good looks, Mollie is sick and tired of coming in second place. But she can’t win if she doesn’t play the game.

What I Thought…

• This is the first book in either Layne’s Stiletto or Oxford series that gave me some SERIOUS feels. I also stayed up until way past my bedtime to finish it. My “one more chapter” turned into “finished the whole thing.”

• Wish You Were Mine is a bit of a different romance, Jackson is Mollie’s sisters ex husband. I’m trying to think if I’ve read a book like this before but I honestly can’t remember, which made it refreshing for me.

• Obviously given the past things are not smooth for Jackson and Mollie. Being in love with your siblings ex-husband does not make for good family moments. Also Mollie’s sister is a bitch.

• Jackson is struggling because in a moment his entire life changed and he can no longer play football and has to do something else. I really liked how Layne showed his emotions and being torn between the “new me” Jackson was forced into and the guy he’s always been.

• The gang from the previous books were quite present in Wish You Were Mine, which I always enjoy. It’s nice to get the little updates on where things are when you know you don’t need a whole new book. I also loved how they wormed their way into Jackson’s life, refusing to let him be the stick in the mud he was being.

• Mollie and her sister and it was difficult at times to watch Mollie struggle through that, but I totally get it. She’s family and we always see our family different from others.

Overall this was the best in the series for me and I definitely recommend it to contemporary romance fans!

Kimberly


Jan 26

Top Ten Tuesday * Books I Plan on Reading During My Snowcation

Top Ten Tuesday 3

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten Books I plan on reading during my snowcation, but since I’m honest I’ll admit I probably won’t read even half of them.

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie and since here in Virginia we have tons of snow we are of out school for an undetermined amount of time (depends on the plowing and the weather) I’ve decided to put together a list of books I hope to read.

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Currently Reading

  1. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
  2. Black City

To Read

  1. Slide by Jill Hathaway
  2. Shadowlands by Kate Brian
  3. Mind Games by Kiersten White
  4. NIL by Lynne Matson
  5. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
  6. All In by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  7. Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry
  8. Nobody But You by Jill Shalvis

Kimberly


Jan 25

Review * Keep On Loving You by Christie Ridgway

Reviews 2 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Keep On Loving You by Christie RidgwayKeep On Loving You by Christie Ridgway
Series: Cabin Fever #4
Published by HQN on January 26, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: Take My Breath Away, Make Me Lose Control, Can't Fight This Feeling
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Mackenzie Walker's siblings have all found their happy-ever-afters, but she has everything a single girl needs in her California mountain hometown. Family, friends, a thriving business…and memories of Zan Elliott, her first love, whose touch—and betrayal—she's never forgotten. Now, ten years after he left town, Zan returns to manage his late grandfather's estate…and flip Mac's life upside down with one heated glance.

Documentary filmmaking has taken Zan all over the globe, yet nowhere was far enough away to make him forget Mac. Seeing her ignites their incredible chemistry all over again. Mac's trust won't be easily won, however, especially when Zan's inheritance jeopardizes her family's hard-earned dreams. But every moment together is challenging Zan to stop living life through a lens and dare to let his guard down for a chance at forever…

What I Thought…

• I love a good second chance love story. I enjoy watching the characters muddle through their history to figure out their future. Mackenzie and Zan have spent the last 10 years apart, and not even talking, which makes for an interesting backstory.

• Zan has a lot going on in his head that causes him to make the decisions that he does. I get where he is coming from, but I appreciate that the Walker family just isn’t having it. His persistence regarding Mackenzie is also adorable.

• Mackenzie is a strong woman – at least to the outer world. She has some issues obviously but she looks out for her family and owns her own business. She also doesn’t want to rely on Zan, though she comes to learn that relying on someone sometimes isn’t a bad thing.

• Keep On Loving You had a cute secondary romance. Normally these don’t work for me as I feel they take away from the main romance but Tilda and Ash were just so cute together that I couldn’t help but want to know more.

• Keep On Loving You had humor and plenty of feels in it. It’s hard not to feel for the hardships of Zan and Mackenzie’s past!

Overall I especially enjoyed Keep On Loving You and would recommend it to any romance fan!

Kimberly


Jan 24

Sundays in Bed With… Black City, Football and #blizzard2016

In Bed With... 2

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Sundays in Bed With… is hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed!

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Black City

It started snowing on Friday around 10 am here in Virginia, turned to sleet Friday evening then back to snow. And then more snow and more snow. It was only supposed to snow off and on on Saturday but the low wasn’t where it was supposed to be which caused the storm to move slow, rotate more and hang out over central Virginia.

The TV meteorologist actually said “You could walk faster than this storm is moving.”

I haven’t seen this much snow since the time I got my Corolla stuck leaving my apartment back when I lived in Wisconsin (probably around 2003).

Since I can’t leave my house I’ll be curling up with Black City in the morning and watching football in the afternoon. I’ve had Black City for quite awhile. I picked it up at a Book signing in North Carolina not really sure if I would actually read it or not but the author was so funny that I caved into the pressure. Picked it up on a whim, so we’ll see how it goes.

Since VDOT already said the secondary roads won’t be touched until this evening I think it’s safe for me to say that there won’t be any school tomorrow, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t have school all week. It’s exam week which kind of makes me kind of sad because I can get so much work done during this time, but also happy because it means I’m not losing any instructional time.

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading. If your in the northeast/midatlantic stay safe and stay warm!

Kimberly


Jan 12

Review * Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger

Reviews 3 ★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via Purchased in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Lying Out Loud by Kody KeplingerLying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger
Series: The Duff #2
Published by Scholastic Press on April 28, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 309
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: The Duff
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend's house every night because she has nowhere else to go.

Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with - secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross. Ryder's the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can't stand - a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed.

But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually 'like' him. Only there's one small catch: he thinks he's been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she's the girl he's really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?

What I Thought…

Lying Out Loud is more about friendship than it is about romantic relationship and I loved that. Sonny and Amy are thick and thin BFF’s and there are some issues that pop up that they have to work through and I love that not only does Lying Out Loud showcase a strong friendship but it shows that sometimes you have to work through things to keep that friendship going, it’s not always easy.

The ending was so freaking good and perfect in the way that endings should be (not everything is tied up in a bow for the characters), but the rest of the book wasn’t as spectacular. It was still good, but not quite as good as The DUFF. Sonny was quite frustrating at times (girl just tell the truth, ok) and that made it hard to like her (and probably why I didn’t like this as much as The DUFF).

Overall if you enjoyed The DUFF I recommend you pick up Lying Out Loud.

Kimberly


Jan 05

Top Ten Tuesday * New Years Resolutions

Top Ten Tuesday 5

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten New Years Resolutions

I’m not really a big fan of resolutions, but I like goals so here are my goals (and they are not necessarily relegated to just 2016)

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1. The Bookshelf

I have this beautiful bookshelf that my uncle made me that houses all of my read books (excluding mass market paperbacks because they aren’t the right size). I’m trying to cut back on what I own so I made a promise to myself (and my mother) two summers ago that I would never have more read books than fit on that shelf. I’ve done two purges and feel pretty good, but now…. Not so much. I am nearing capacity which means I need another purge.

2. TBR

I am hoping to cut my TBR down by 50% by either reading or weeding. This goes along with cutting back, I just need less stuff, and some of these books have been on my TBR shelf since before I started blogging. It’s time to figure out if they even interest me anymore.

 

3. No more soda

I’ve quit soda few times, including this past year, but the beginning of the school year really got to me and soda was my go to. I’ve had two blood tests done this year and both times my glucose came back at 99 and it’s supposed to be between 65-99. Since both my parents have some form of diabetes I need to keep that in check so the soda has to go. And probably some other stuff too, but I’m starting there.

4. Improve my 10k time

5 years ago I did the Monument Ave 10k. I also did it last year and just missed breaking my first time by 30 seconds. So frustrating! My goal this year is to break that time, which also means that I have to lose some weight because no way am I going to break that time 25 lbs heavier than I was 5 years ago.

5. Look for a new school

I’m not particularly happy at my current school and since it’s a 40 minute drive I feel like at the very least I could be unhappy closer to home. We’ll see what happens, but I am hoping to get into a new school. I’ll miss my redneck students but I need to do what’s right for me.

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6. Save money

I’ve had a lot of expenses this year and money is tight. I came across the 52 Week Money Challenge on Facebook and thought this looked like something I could easily do.

7. Calm down the fears

Honestly I’m not sure how to go about doing this, but in recent years I am becoming increasingly worried about all the things. Then the worry builds on other worries and I just kind of freak out. I’m not sure how to combat this, but I need to relax.

8. Cut back on social media

I spend way to much time checking Facebook and sometimes Twitter. I need to cut back. I’m hoping that I can do this on my own, but if need be I’m going to remove the apps from my phone as that is where I check most often.

What are your 2016 Goals?

Kimberly


Dec 31

Looking Back at 2015 * Books and More!

Year in Review 4

It’s hard to believe that today is the last day of 2015! I feel like this year flew right by. This year was up and down for me. Sometimes I read a lot (i.e. in the summer) other times I barely read at all (September and October – I’m looking at you). I haven’t blogged a whole lot either, and while I wish I blogged more I also don’t regret not blogging. If blogging becomes a chore I will hate it, so instead I blog when I want. I’m hoping to get some mojo back for 2016.

Best of 2015

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Ten books that I would consider favorites this year. I think the best of the best is Where the Stars Still Shine and Missing Dixie. So many feels!

Book Stats

I read 127 books this year and here is a quick overview.

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I really like this new Goodreads feature so here is a snippet of my year in books. Pages are probably off though as I rarely select the audio version of the book when marking it on Goodreads.

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I saw this cool graphic making feature over at Chrisbookarama and really wanted to try it.

This is the first year ever that I purchased less than 50% percent of the books I’ve read. It’s definitely because I’ve started using the library (digital only as I suck at returning books) a whole lot more than ever before.

Again, contemporary ruled my world and I don’t see that changing any time soon. I had a pretty good split between YA and Adult this year which makes me happy.

Looking Towards 2016

I’m not sure how much blogging I will do but my goal for reading is going to be the same – 125 books. I’m also on a mission to reduce my TBR – for real this time. Currently I sit at 152 books and I’d like to reduce that by 50% – either through reading them or weeding them.

I think 2016 is going to be a great year for me and can’t wait to see what it brings.

Happy New Year!

Kimberly


Dec 29

Top Ten Tuesday * 2016 Releases

Top Ten Tuesday 4

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten 2016 Release I’m Looking Forward To

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve done a TTT. I wish I could be motivated to do it more, but I’m just not. But I am excited about some books in 2016 so here we go!

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  1. Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry – March 29
  2. The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski – March 29
  3. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson – May 3
  4. The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood – May 3
  5. The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L Armentrout – May 17
  6. The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – June 7
  7. Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis – June 28
  8. Defending Taylor – Miranda Kenneally – July 1
  9. PS I Like You by Kasie West – July 26
  10. Where the Wild Things Bite by Molly Harper – July 26

Kimberly


Dec 28

Review * Anything For You by Kristan Higgins

Reviews 1 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Anything For You by Kristan HigginsAnything For You by Kristan Higgins
Series: Blue Heron #5
Published by HQN on December 29, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: The Best Man, The Perfect Match, Waiting On You, In Your Dreams
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Before you get down on bended knee…

…you should be pretty darn sure the answer will be yes. For ten years, Connor O'Rourke has been waiting for Jessica Dunn to take their on-again, off-again relationship public, and he thinks the time has come. His restaurant is thriving, she's got her dream job at Blue Heron Vineyard—it's the perfect time to get married.

When he pops the question, however, her answer is a fond but firm no. If it ain't broke, why fix it? Jess has her hands full with her younger brother, who's now living with her full-time, and a great career after years of waitressing. What she and Connor have is perfect: friends with an excellent benefits package. Besides, with her difficult past (and reputation), she's positive married life isn't for her.

But this time, Connor says it's all or nothing. If she doesn't want to marry him, he'll find someone who does. Easier said than done, given that he's never loved anyone but her. And maybe Jessica isn't quite as sure as she thinks…

What I Thought…

• I’ve been waiting for Connor’s story for a long time, and I couldn’t be more happy how it worked out. He’s been in love with Jessica for a long time and seeing Jessica finally come around was amazing.

• Anything For You tackled some tough things. I don’t want to get spoilery so I’ll leave some of them out, but the biggest one is that Jessica’s youngest brother is mentally disabled and Jessica feels that she can’t have a life because she needs to take care of him. It’s a tough spot to be in, but her love for her brother shines bright and clear.

• It took me a bit to come around to liking Jessica, I didn’t like the way she treated Connor, and that frustrated me at times, but eventually she won me over. Connor is just the right person to help her find balance in her life.

• Jessica’s brother Davey added so much to the story, I loved all the scenes with him in it, even if he wasn’t behaving good.

• Of course I loved that other characters from previous books made an appearance, and how their stories intertwined with Connor and Jessica’s, through professional and family/friendship ways.

• My only complaint about the book was how the first quarter or so of the book was the past and was broken into chunks of what happened at this time etc. I know that we needed to know the past but I guess I would have preferred it worked in in a different manner.

Overall an excellent addition to the Blue Heron series and a must read for contemporary romance fans!

Kimberly