Category: Features

The Monthly Recap: April & May 2019

Posted June 4, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 8 Comments

I can’t believe that it’s already the first week in June. Where the heck did the time go? In the past couple of months, I’ve been really busy on the family front and my blog presence took a hit but I’m slowly catching up on all things blog related as well as books/reading related and since I don’t want this post to get seriously long, I’ll do a photo blog post about my off books recap.

Monthly Book Stats

Books Read: 21 | Books DNF’d: 1
Books Purchased: 11 | Books Received for Review: 10 | Reviews Posted: 20
Highest Grade: 5 out of 5 | Lowest Grade: DNF, 2.5 out of 5

What I Read

April

1. The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years #2) by Sarina Bowen (Kindle Unlimited) | 5 out of 5
2. The Happily Ever After by Tif Marcelo (eARC) | 4 out of 5
3. Fumbled (The Playbook #2) by Alexa Martin (eARC) | 4.25 out of 5
4. The Understatement of the Year (The Ivy Years #3) by Sarina Bowen (Kindle Unlimited) | 4.5 out of 5
5. The Shameless Hour (The Ivy Years #4) by Sarina Bowen (Kindle Unlimited) | 4.25 out of 5
6. Magic Burns (Kate Daniels #2) by Ilona Andrews (eBook) | 4.25 out of 5
7. Hook Shot (Hoops #3) by Kennedy Ryan (Kindle Unlimited) | 4.75 out of 5
8. The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2) by Helen Hoang (eARC) | 4.25 out of 5
9. Ice Hot (New York Nighthawks #1) by Tracy Goodwin (eBook) | DNF
10. Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson #7) by Patricia Briggs (eBook) | 4 out of 5
11. The Austen Playbook (London Celebrities #4) by Lucy Parker (eARC) | 4 out of 5

May

1. Passion on Park Avenue (Central Park Pact #1) by Lauren Layne (eARC) | 4 out of 5
2. Hot to the Touch (Brotherhood by Fire #1) by Jaci Burton (eARC) | 3 out of 5
3. American Witch (American Witch #1) by Thea Harrison (eBook) | 4 out of 5
4. Love, Chloe by Alessandra Torre (eBook) | 4 out of 5
5. Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo (eARC) | 3.25 out of 5
6. Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy #4) by Ilona Andrews (eARC) | 4.5 out of 5
7. Night Pleasures (Dark Hunters #1) by Sherrilyn Kenyon (eBook) | 2.5 out of 5
8. Then Came You (Laws of Attractions #3) by Kate Meader (eARC) | 4 out of 5
9. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (eARC) | 4.25 out of 5
10. The Bridal Boot Camp (Little Bridge Island #0.5) by Meg Cabot (eARC) | 3.75 out of 5
11. Ayesha at last by Uzma Jalaluddin (eARC) | 4.25 out of 5

Eye Candy Friday

Jon Snow from Game of Thrones
Lotus DuPree from Hot Shot by Kennedy Ryan

What I Posted

April

Blog Tour: Hook Shot by Kennedy Ryan
The Weekly Recap (126)
My TBR Pile: April 2019
Books to Binge On: April 2019
The Wednesday Post (10)
Favorite Office Romances
The Monthly Recap: March 2019
The Weekly Recap (127)
TV Tuesday: Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 1
The Wednesday Post (11)
Sunday Spotlight: A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole
The Weekly Recap (128)
TV Tuesday: Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 2

May

Sunday Spotlight: Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne
Cover Reveal: Superfan by Sarina Bowen
The Weekly Recap (129)
2019 Summer Reading Challenge
The Wednesday Post (12)
My TBR Pile: June 2019

What I Reviewed

April

Throwback Thursday: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen | 4.25 out of 5
When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton | 4.25 out of 5
You’d be Mine by Erin Hahn | 4 out of 5
Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton | 4.25 out of 5
Extra Credit by Sarina Bowen | 4.25 out of 5
Repeat by Kylie Scott | 4 out of 5
Anatomy of a Player (Taking Shots #2) by Cindi Madsen | 3.5 out of 5
The Key to Happily Ever After by Tif Marcelo | out of 5
Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways #1) by Lisa Kleypas | 4 out of 5
Fumbled (The Playbook #2) by Alexa Martin | 4 out of 5
Magic Burns (Kate Daniels #2) by Ilona Andrews | 4.25 out of 5
Hook Shot (Hoops #3) by Kennedy Ryan | 4.75 out of 5

May

The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #1) by Helen Hoang | 4.25 out of 5
Passion on Park Avenue (Central Park Pact #1) by Lauren Layne | out of 5
Taming the Scotsman (MacAllisters #1) by Kinley Macgregor | 4 out of 5
Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson #7) by Patricia Briggs | 4 out of 5
American Witch (American Witch #1) by Thea Harrison | 4.25 out of 5
The Austen Playbook (London Celebrities #4) by Lucy Parker | 4 out of 5
Love, Chloe by Alessandra Torre | 4 out of 5
Hot to the Touch (Brotherhood by Fire #1) by Jaci Burton | 3.25 out of 5

What I Got

Thirsty (Eastside Brewery #1) by Mia Hopkins (eBook)
Rafe (Loose Ends #1) by Rebekah Weatherspoon (eBook)
Hook Shot (Hoops #3) by Kennedy Ryan (Kindle Unlimited)
Extra Credit (Ivy Years) by Sarina Bowen (Kindle Unlimited)
The Year We Hid Away (Ivy Years #2) by Sarina Bowen (Kindle Unlimited)
The Understatement of the Year (Ivy Years #3) by Sarina Bowen (Kindle Unlimited)
The Shameless Hour (Ivy Years #4) by Sarina Bowen (Kindle Unlimited)
The Fifteenth Hour (Ivy Years #5) by Sarina Bowen (Kindle Unlimited)
Best of Luck (Chance of a Lifetime #3) by Kate Clayborne (eBook)
Body Check by Elle Kennedy (eBook)
Can’t Escape Love (Reluctant Royals #3.5) by Alyssa Cole (eBook)
Once Ghosted, Twice Shy (Reluctant Royals #2.5) by Alyssa Cole (eBook)
Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson #7) by Patricia Briggs (eBook)
American Witch (American Witch #1) by Thea Harrison (eBook)
Night Broken (Mercy Thompson #8) by Patricia Briggs (eBook)
Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson #9) by Patricia Briggs (eBook)
Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson #10) by Patricia Briggs (eBook)

What I Got for Review

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen
One Fine Duke (School for Dukes #3) by Lenora Bell
Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson #11) by Patricia Briggs
The Duchess in His Bed (Sins for All Seasons #4) by Lorraine Heath
No Judgments (Little Bridge Island #1) by Meg Cabot
Brazen and the Beast (The Bareknuckled Bastards #2) by Sarah MacLean
The Wallflower Wager (Girl Meets Duke #3) by Tessa Dare
Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy #4) by Ilona Andrews
Don’t You Forget about Me by Mhairi McFarlane
Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

There you have it, the months that were both April and May in books for me. How did your month look? Did you read any good books? Any bad books? Share with me in the comments!


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The Weekly Recap (130)

Posted June 3, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 4 Comments

So, Caiden went back home to Utah yesterday. My sister had to check on me this morning because I miss him something fierce. He’s such a joy to be around and even though he’ll be back in two weeks, we were all bummed when he left for the airport last night. We need help, obviously. So because he was leaving us yesterday, he wanted to hang out in my room and I let him do whatever he wanted so when he gave me a box of Snoopy bandaids and asked me to, “Help him”, I helped him stick bandaids all over his body, haha. Not too long after he was done with the bandaids, we snuggled and he fell asleep for his afternoon nap while I watched the Dodger game on my iPad.

My nephew RJ is down from Colorado because he’s got to have surgery to replace the titanium rod that his doctors inserted into his leg after they took the cancerous bone out of his leg. The titanium rod was supposed to be the best of the best but it broke when RJ was at school so he had to drop out of school for next semester to get his health under control. He was bummed about it because he’s going to be in school forever before he can graduate and become the dentist that he wants to be. He’s in L.A. so that we can spoil him some before he goes back home for his surgery. Poor kid.

Now, onto the books…

What I’m Currently Reading
The Weekly Recap (130)If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann
Published by Macmillan, Swoon Reads on June 4, 2019
Genres: LGBTQ, Young Adult
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: 2019 GoodReads Challenge, 2019 New to Me Challenge

High school finally behind her, Winnie is all set to attend college in the fall. But first she's spending her summer days working at her granny’s diner and begins spending her midnights with Dallas—the boy she loves to hate and hates that she likes. Winnie lives in Misty Haven, a small town where secrets are impossible to keep—like when Winnie allegedly snaps on Dr. Skinner, which results in everyone feeling compelled to give her weight loss advice for her own good. Because they care that’s she’s “too fat.”

Winnie dreams of someday inheriting the diner—but it'll go away if they can't make money, and fast. Winnie has a solution—win a televised cooking competition and make bank. But Granny doesn't want her to enter—so Winnie has to find a way around her formidable grandmother. Can she come out on top?

While browsing NetGalley, this book caught my eye because I think the cover is gorgeous and I’m loving her braids and the attitude she exudes on the cover is something that I’m most curious about. Winnie looks like she’d be fun to read about so I’m picking this one up this afternoon. I’ll keep you guys posted on what I think.

Weekly Book Stats

Books Read: 1 | Books DNF’d: 0
Books Purchased: 0 | Books Received for Review: 0 | Reviews Posted: 3
Highest Grade: 4 out of 5

What I Read

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jaladdin | 4 out of 5

I only read one book this past week because I’ve been busy with work and family stuff so I didn’t have a lot of reading time. Hopefully this week, my reading will pick up. Wish me luck!

What I Reviewed

The Austen Playbook (London Celebrities #4) by Lucy Parker | 4 out of 5
Love, Chloe by Alessandra Torre | 4 out of 5
Hot to the Touch (Brotherhood by Fire #1) by Jaci Burton | 3.25 out of 5

What I Posted

The Weekly Recap (129)
The Wednesday Post (12)
My TBR Pile: June 2019

What I Got

Nothing this week.

What I Got for Review

Nothing this week.

What Made Me Laugh

There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?


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My TBR Pile: June 2019

Posted May 30, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 10 Comments

So, every month I put a list together of the books that I either need to read for review or the books that I want to get around to reading (finally). I’m also trying to be more responsible with my Kindle Unlimited and Audible Romance Package subscriptions so I’m going to post my TBR Pile on the blog so you guys can keep me honest. Before we get to my list for next month, let’s see how I did in April (since I didn’t do one for May).

I ran into the biggest reading slump of my life in the month of April and it bled a little into the month of May so I got really behind on my review pile so the game plan for June is to catch up and stay caught up so that I can finish the Mercy Thompson series. Keep your fingers crossed for me, yeah?

Here are the books that were on my TBR pile for last month, how I did and the books that I plan on reading this month for buddy reads, book club, reading challenges and everything else. Enjoy!

Previous Month Stats

Books to Read: 10
Books Read: 9, 1 DNF
Books Unread: 0
Pages Read: 2,926 | Hours Listened: 0
Favorite Read: Hook Shot | Least Favorite Read: Ice Hot

I’m really happy that I finished this entire list of books, got them off of my TBR pile. Sure, it took me two months to do it but I did it and I’m closer to getting caught up than I was just last week.

My favorite read of the bunch goes to Hook Shot because that book hit me in every single one of my feels and I just adored both Keenan and Lotus. They were a great couple and Lotus was the bomb. She was my girl crush of the year so far. My least favorite of the bunch goes to my lone DNF of the last couple of months. I was supposed to buddy read Ice Hot with Holly but 20 pages in and I hated it so I was glad that Holly did too and we chose another book to read instead.

JUNE’S TBR PILE

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
Releases on June 4, 2019
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss

A modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice for a new generation of love.

Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.

Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself.

I’ve heard a lot of good stuff about this book and it comes out in early June so I’ve got to get this one read and reviewed soon. I’m excited since not a lot of people that I’ve seen hated it. Woot!

If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann
Releases on June 4, 2019
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

High school finally behind her, Winnie is all set to attend college in the fall. But first she’s spending her summer days working at her granny’s diner and begins spending her midnights with Dallas—the boy she loves to hate and hates that she likes. Winnie lives in Misty Haven, a small town where secrets are impossible to keep—like when Winnie allegedly snaps on Dr. Skinner, which results in everyone feeling compelled to give her weight loss advice for her own good. Because they care that’s she’s “too fat.”

Winnie dreams of someday inheriting the diner—but it’ll go away if they can’t make money, and fast. Winnie has a solution—win a televised cooking competition and make bank. But Granny doesn’t want her to enter—so Winnie has to find a way around her formidable grandmother. Can she come out on top?

Holly and I were curious about this one so we added it to our review pile and will be reading it together. Doesn’t it sound like such a cute book? Isn’t Winnie freaking adorable on the cover? I need to know her!

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen
Releases on June 4, 2019
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss

Emma Saylor doesn’t remember a lot about her mother, who died when she was ten. But she does remember the stories her mom told her about the big lake that went on forever, with cold, clear water and mossy trees at the edges.

Now it’s just Emma and her dad, and life is good, if a little predictable…until Emma is unexpectedly sent to spend the summer with her mother’s family—her grandmother and cousins she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl.

When Emma arrives at North Lake, she realizes there are actually two very different communities there. Her mother grew up in working class North Lake, while her dad spent summers in the wealthier Lake North resort. The more time Emma spends there, the more it starts to feel like she is divided into two people as well. To her father, she is Emma. But to her new family, she is Saylor, the name her mother always called her.

Then there’s Roo, the boy who was her very best friend when she was little. Roo holds the key to her family’s history, and slowly, he helps her put the pieces together about her past. It’s hard not to get caught up in the magic of North Lake—and Saylor finds herself falling under Roo’s spell as well.

For Saylor, it’s like a whole new world is opening up to her. But when it’s time to go back home, which side of her will win out?

I will always want to read a new Sarah Dessen as she freaking rocks at writing my kind of contemporary YA’s. Her writing style never fails to engage me from beginning to end and I’m pretty anxious to see what she does with this one.

Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim
Releases on June 11, 2019
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Lush and visual, chock-full of delicious recipes, Roselle Lim’s magical debut novel is about food, heritage, and finding family in the most unexpected places.

At the news of her mother’s death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn’t spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco’s Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She’s even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother’s restaurant.

The neighborhood seer reads the restaurant’s fortune in the leaves: Natalie must cook three recipes from her grandmother’s cookbook to aid her struggling neighbors before the restaurant will succeed. Unfortunately, Natalie has no desire to help them try to turn things around–she resents the local shopkeepers for leaving her alone to take care of her agoraphobic mother when she was growing up. But with the support of a surprising new friend and a budding romance, Natalie starts to realize that maybe her neighbors really have been there for her all along.

Another review book that I’m looking forward to reading. I’m all about more diverse romances and this one promises to be a good one so woo hoo, come to Mama!

The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada
Releases on June 11, 2019
Publisher: Macmillan, St. Martin’s Griffin
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Angel Gomez only wants to get through nursing school and earn enough to support her mother and her son, Jose. Her bartending job helps bring in some extra cash, and the last thing she’s interested in is flirting or men in general.

Caleb “The Duke” Lewis is an up and coming star for the Yankees, known for getting around. However, his last breakup left him distracted and made him turn to drink. When he’s caught by the Yankees manager at a party instead of training, he’s suspended and sent back to the Bronx to get his head straight.

Angel and Duke’s worlds collide one night at the club and sparks fly. Though Angel wants nothing to do with Duke, he has no intention of letting her slip through his fingers. She isn’t star-struck by his fame, and this might be just what he needs to get things in order. He’ll do anything to convince her…even make her an offer she can’t refuse.

I’m kind of nervous about reading this one as I don’t think I’ve heard of very many people who liked this one. Wish me luck cause I have to read it.

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfree
Releases on June 11, 2019
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

Can a romcom-obssessed romantic finally experience the meet-cute she always dreamed of or will reality never compare to fiction, in this charming debut adult novel from Kerry Winfrey.

Annie is twenty-seven years old, single, and obsessed with romantic comedies (she and her mother watched them religiously, before her mom died). Her dating life is limited by the expectations she’s formed from these movies. She is not as open to new experiences as she might be, because she’s waiting for her Tom Hanks–i.e., a guy she’ll find in the perfect, meet-cute romantic comedy way. When Annie does finally meet her perfect match, it’s not quite in the way she expected, and she’s forced to reckon with the walls she’s built around herself over the years.

This one has been getting some good reviews all around so I’m glad that I have it for real…I’ll definitely be reading this one next month for sure.

Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer
Releases on June 25, 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship…

This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?

Brigid Kemmerer is an author that a lot of people love. I needed to find out for myself if she is as good as everyone claims so I’m excited to jump into this book this coming month.

Brazen and the Beast (The Bareknuckle Bastards #2) by Sarah MacLean
Releases on July 30, 2019
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss

The Lady’s Plan

When Lady Henrietta Sedley declares her twenty-ninth year her own, she has plans to inherit her father’s business, to make her own fortune, and to live her own life. But first, she intends to experience a taste of the pleasure she’ll forgo as a confirmed spinster. Everything is going perfectly…until she discovers the most beautiful man she’s ever seen tied up in her carriage and threatening to ruin the Year of Hattie before it’s even begun.

The Bastard’s Proposal

When he wakes in a carriage at Hattie’s feet, Whit, a king of Covent Garden known to all the world as Beast, can’t help but wonder about the strange woman who frees him—especially when he discovers she’s headed for a night of pleasure . . . on his turf. He is more than happy to offer Hattie all she desires…for a price.

An Unexpected Passion

Soon, Hattie and Whit find themselves rivals in business and pleasure. She won’t give up her plans; he won’t give up his power . . . and neither of them sees that if they’re not careful, they’ll have no choice but to give up everything . . . including their hearts.

This is probably the only July review book that I still have to read so I’ll be reading this one as well and I can’t wait because I really enjoyed the first book in this series. I’m ready for Whit’s book!

Night Broken (Mercy Thompson #8) by Patricia Briggs
Released on March 11, 2014
Publisher: Penguin, Ace
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 341
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

An unexpected phone call heralds a new challenge for Mercy. Her mate Adam’s ex-wife is in trouble, on the run from a stalker. Adam isn’t the kind of man to turn away a person in need—and Mercy knows it. But with Christy holed up in Adam’s house, Mercy can’t shake the feeling that something about the situation isn’t right.

Soon her suspicions are confirmed when she learns that Christy has the furthest thing from good intentions. She wants Adam back, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get him, including turning Adam’s pack against Mercy.

Mercy isn’t about to step down without a fight, but there’s a more dangerous threat circling. Christy’s stalker is more than a bad man—in fact, he may not be human at all. As the bodies start piling up, Mercy must put her personal troubles aside to face a creature with the power to tear her whole world apart.

This is another book that I’m really nervous about reading because I’ve heard that a lot of people were pissed off reading this book, Holly included but I need to catch up on the Mercy Thompson series and this is the next book I have to read…I’m going to push through and get this one read. The ex-wife better not piss me off too much to turn me off the series. I’ll be pissed if that happens.

Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson #9) by Patricia Briggs
Released on March 8, 2016
Publisher: Penguin, Ace
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 341
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

If I survive Night Broken, I’ll be reading this book next because I am determined to catch up on this series so that I can move on to Kate Daniels. Wish me luck!

What books are on your TBR pile for June? Anything good that I should keep my eye out on? Please share the books you have on deck to read next month.


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