Reading Challenge: 2019 GoodReads Challenge

The Weekly Recap (129)

Posted May 27, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 10 Comments

Hey everyone!!!

Sorry for dropping off the face of the planet without a word. A bitch was busy with family stuff and busy doing everything and anything that wasn’t blogging. I ran out of blogging mojo and honestly, I was traveling from one graduation to another, making candy leis, running errands for different family parties and I still have one more high school graduation before my family is completely done with graduations for this year.

I just could not get my shit together to get blog posts written and even books read. Before last week, I had read one book in the entire month of May. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve kicked my reading slump to the curb cause your girl read hella books this week. I’m patting myself on the back for that. Yay me!

So what do you guys think about the brighter colors on the blog? I have to give some major props to my homie gee locc, Nick from The Infinite Limits of Love for hooking me up with my brand new blog header. I had a feeling that a small change in the blog look would do wonders in getting my desire to blog again up and I was right. It helped that I got a gorgeous new header so thank you, thank you, thank you to Nick for working her magic. I love her stuff and I’m grateful she hooked me up!

Before I get into my books stuff…

Thanks to all of the veterans that have served to protect all of us here at home. I appreciate your efforts and sacrifices. 🙂

Now, onto the books…

What I’m Currently Reading
The Weekly Recap (129)Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
Published by Penguin, Berkley on June 4, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: 2019 GoodReads Challenge, 2019 New to Me Challenge

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’m still grinding out these reads so that I can get my review pile down. So next up on my review pile is this book and I’m starting it on my lunch hour today. I’m looking forward to the experience.

What I Read

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

What I Reviewed

Passion on Park Avenue (Central Park Pact #1) by Lauren Layne | 4 out of 5
Taming the Scotsman (MacAllisters #4) by Kinley MacGregor | 4 out of 5
Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson #7) by Patricia Briggs | 4 out of 5

What I Got

American Witch (American Witch #1) by Thea Harrison
Night Broken (Mercy Thompson #8) by Patricia Briggs
Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson #9) by Patricia Briggs
Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson #10) by Patricia Briggs

What I Got for Review

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

What Made Me Laugh

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

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The Weekly Recap (128)

Posted April 22, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 12 Comments

It’s been a pretty quiet week for me so I was able to get some TV shows watched, some books read and still hang out with my bestie and my family. My friend, that died last year? We’re creeping up on the one year anniversary of his death and his birthday is tomorrow (he shares a birthday with my Mom) so over the weekend, my bestie Therese and I took some flowers and balloons to his grave because we were thinking of him. We ran into his parents at his gravesite so it was good for us to catch up with them and share some time talking about David with them. After we left the cemetery, we went to lunch and tried Susiecakes and meh, Susiecakes isn’t nearly as good as Miss Priss cupcakes across the street. They don’t have anything on Sprinkles either. Their banana pudding doesn’t hold a candle to Magnolia Bakery’s banana pudding either. Meh.

Our Easter was spent going to dinner with the entire family at new to us Japanese BBQ place that was pretty damn good. They kept the food coming, the food was great and thought it was a little pricey, but I still enjoyed dinner quite a bit.

Now, onto the books…

What I’m Currently Reading
The Weekly Recap (128)Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #7
Also in this series: Silver Borne
Published by Penguin, Ace on March 5, 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 342
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: 2019 GoodReads Challenge, 2019 TBR Challenge

Patricia Briggs's novel River Marked was praised as "an urban fantasy where our everyday world is believably twisted into the world of fey, werewolves, vampires, and myths made real." Now Mercy Thompson faces a shapeshifter's biggest fear as the realm she has embraced is thrown into chaos...

Mercy Thompson's life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman - the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack - has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy's life. But on the edges of humanity, a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more...

After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can't reach Adam - or anyone else in the pack for that matter. They've all been abducted.

Through their mating bond, all Mercy knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. But she fears Adam's disappearance may be related to the political battle the werewolves have been fighting to gain acceptance from the public - and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outmatched and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely.

I’m almost done with my read of this book but holy cow am I glad to be back in Mercy Thompson’s world. I’ve missed these guys and I can’t wait to see how things turn out for Adam, the pack, and Mercy. Man I love these guys!

What I Read

Magic Burns (Kate Daniels #2) by Ilona Andrews | 4.25 out of 5
Ice Hot (New York Nighthawks #1) by Tracy Goodwin | DNF
Hook Shot (Hoops #3) by Kennedy Ryan | 4.75 out of 5
The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2) by Helen Hoang | 4.25 out of 5
The Fifteenth Minute (The Ivy Years #5) by Sarina Bowen | 4 out of 5

Eye Candy Friday

Lotus DuPree
Hook Shot (Hoops #3) by Kennedy Ryan

What I Reviewed

Extra Credit (The Ivy Years) 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 | 4 out of 5
Mine till Midnight (Hathaways #1) by Lisa Kleypas | 4 out of 5

What I Posted

The Weekly Recap (127)
TV Tuesday: Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 1
The Wednesday Post (11)
Throwback Thursday: The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years #1) by Sarina Bowen
Eye Candy Friday: Lotus DuPree in Hook Shot by Kennedy Ryan

What I Got

Best of Luck (Chance of a Lifetime #3) by Kate Clayborne
Body Check by Elle Kennedy
Can’t Escape Love (Reluctant Royals #3.5) by Alyssa Cole
Once Ghosted, Twice Shy (Reluctant Royals #2.5) by Alyssa Cole
Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson #7) by Patricia Briggs

What I Got for Review

Brazen and the Beast (The Bareknuckled Bastards #2) by Sarah MacLean

What Made Me Laugh

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

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Throwback Thursday: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

Posted April 18, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features, Reviews | 8 Comments

Each week, I’ll be writing a review for an oldie but goodie that I’ve read through again to see if these books are holding up for me. I’m a different person than I was when I read these books, older and wiser (at least I hope) so I’m curious to see if books that I used to love can stand the test of time.

Throwback Thursday: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina BowenThe Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years #1
Published by Indie Published, Rennie Road Books on March 21, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View: Alternating First Person
Pages: 268
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars
Reading Challenges: 2019 GoodReads Challenge

The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves has someone else. What now?

She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead.

Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He's way out of Corey's league.

Also, he's taken.

Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the "gimp ghetto" of McHerrin Hall. Over tequila, perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands.

They're just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she's falling. Hard.

But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won't, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness—one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who's afraid to love her back.

When Sarina Bowen put these books on Kindle Unlimited, I had no plans to re-read them but I kept seeing this series mentioned everywhere so when I left my kindle at home one day, I downloaded these books onto my Kindle Library and read them on my computer at work. I have no regrets either because I absolutely adored my re-read of this series. Sarina Bowen tackles such heavy themes in each of these books and just like the last time I read these books, I loved them.

It had been such a long time since I read this book and with each reading, my love for both Adam Hartley and Corey Callahan grows and grows. Sarina Bowen does such a good job of writing young love and she handles the immaturity and growth between her New Adult characters so well. I hang on every word, every single time and it was no different this go around.

Corey Callahan starts her freshman year in college in a wheelchair. A really bad accident cut her playing days short and she’s got to work really hard to get back on her feet again. All of her plans for college are out and she’s trying to make the most of it but it’s hard and when she meets Adam Hartley, who is injured himself and living in the dorm across the hall, things get a lot harder for her because of course she develops a crush on him and of course he’s already got a girlfriend.

Adam Hartley is on the injured list and can’t play hockey until he’s all healed up. He’s on crutches and getting around is hard so he’s parked in the “gimp ghetto” of McHerrin Hall and he strikes up a friendship with his wheelchair-bound neighbor, Callahan. There’s a lot of things he can’t do these days so spending time with Corey keeps his spirits high. The more time that they spend together, the closer they get and before Hartley knows what’s what, he’s got a decision to make. Stay with his girlfriend or lose out on Callahan.

There’s a lot going on in this book. Both Corey and Hartley are working through their own personal issues so this book was heavy on character development, which I’m always down for. On top of them trying to figure out how to maneuver around campus and just get around town, they’re also falling for each other. Callahan falls first and she’s rocking that unrequited crush pretty hard for a long time. So long, in fact, that I wanted to strangle Hartley for taking so long to make up his damn mind. I still thought that he took entirely too long to break up with his girlfriend but in the end, I still loved the hell out of him. I loved the hell out of both of these characters and was super thrilled that they finally got their happy ending in the end.

Sarina Bowen writes college romances so well and I think I’ll be reading these books over and over again because I love them that much. They’re not perfect but they’re still pretty freaking awesome. If you haven’t read this series, I highly recommend them.

Final Grade

4.25 out of 5

The Ivy Years Series


four-stars

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The Weekly Recap (126)

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

Happy Monday, everybody!

I know that I haven’t been around for a while and I could say that I’ve been super busy with a bunch of work stuff and family stuff because things have been pretty crazy on both fronts but really, I’ve just been in a funk. I haven’t been in the mood to write up posts, I’m reading but my heart’s not in it and I think a lot of it has to do with the way that my friend was let go at work. The whole thing just kicked me in the gut and I haven’t (along with all of my other coworkers) gotten over it. We’re having a farewell dinner for our friend and I feel a little bad about not inviting my boss but well, thems the breaks. Nobody wants to spend any personal time with upper management right now.

I’ve also been pretty busy getting ready for my trip back to Utah for Chance’s graduation and Caiden’s birthday party. I’ve been helping Chloe (Caiden’s Mom) plan things out, ordering things that I want to include for the party like an Incredibles Sign that is all about Caiden, his birthday invitations, stuff like that and I’m having a lot of fun with that.

I’m hoping that this post will kick off my coming back from my blogging slump but…we’ll see. Also, before I jump into my week in books portion of this post…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY OLDEST AND BESTEST FRIEND, THERESA!

I can’t wait to celebrate with you and the rest of our squad on Thursday. I hope you have the best day today, Therese!

Now, onto the books…

What I’m Currently Reading
The Weekly Recap (126)Fumbled by Alexa Martin
Series: The Playbook #2
Published by Penguin, Berkley on April 23, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: 2019 GoodReads Challenge, 2019 New to Me Challenge

A second chance doesn't guarantee a touchdown in this new contemporary romance from the author of Intercepted.

Single-mother Poppy Patterson moved across the country when she was sixteen and pregnant to find a new normal. After years of hard work, she's built a life she loves. It may include a job at a nightclub, weekend soccer games, and more stretch marks than she anticipated, but it's all hers, and nobody can take that away. Well, except for one person.

TK Moore, the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, dreamt his entire life about being in the NFL. His world is football, parties, and women. Maybe at one point he thought his future would play out with his high school sweetheart by his side, but Poppy is long gone and he's moved on.

When Poppy and TK cross paths in the most unlikely of places, emotions they've suppressed for years come rushing back. But with all the secrets they never told each other lying between them, they'll need more than a dating playbook to help them navigate their relationship.

I’m making slow but sure progress on my review pile for April and I’m hoping to really catch up this week so that I can start on my buddy reads. Wish me luck. So far, this book has been great. Alexa Martin is a new to me author and I’m really enjoying her writing style and this book. Poppy is a fantastic mother and reminds me of myself with Brenna so I’m a happy camper with this one. I’m almost done too.

What I Read

The Right Swipe (Modern Dating #1) by Alisha Rai (eARC) | 3.5 out of 5
You’d be Mine by Erin Hahn (eARC) | 4 out of 5
When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton (eARC) | 4.25 out of 5
Extra Credit (Ivy Years) by Sarina Bowen (Kindle Unlimited) | 4.25 out of 5
The Year We Hid Away (Ivy Years #3) by Sarina Bowen (Kindle Unlimited) | 4.5 out of 5
The Key to Happily Ever After by Tif Marcelo (eARC) | 4 out of 5

What I Reviewed

Getting Lucky Number Seven (Taking Shots #1) by Cindi Madsen | 4 out of 5
Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews | 3 out of 5
The Dating Game by Kiley Roache | 3 out of 5
Eye on Me by Rachel Harris | 4 out of 5
Team Player by Julianna Keyes | 4 out of 5

What I Posted

The Weekly Recap (125)

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)

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

What Made Me Laugh

All the damn time.

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

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The Weekly Recap (125)

Posted March 18, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 10 Comments

I’m in Utah, y’all!!

I’m spending this week taking care of this little one so that his parents can work and still be with him on his birthday this coming Thursday. Can you believe little Caiden will be turning 2 this week? I can’t. I remember when he was born and then when he was a baby. Compared to how skinny he is now, he was such a chunky baby. Still super adorable but chunky too.

It’s been a pretty eventful week for me at work. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to wrap weekly stuff up so that my backup and boss don’t have to deal with any of that stuff this week while I’m out.

Meghan is completely done with basketball now. Meghan lost her game at Nationals last week so they were knocked out and in her conference, only one team remains this week. Good luck to Masters University!

Bren and Ken had their Sophomore Showcase this past Friday that Delene drove them to and they said they had fun, and the rest is up to the coaches that were there to see them. I wonder why the showcase was so early since a bunch of NAIA teams were at Nationals and didn’t have anyone out at the showcase to see these girls. That was kind of dumb but whatever. Bren and Ken are the most excited about getting their nails done finally. They haven’t been able to get their nails done since they kept breaking during basketball but nothing is holding them back now. Haha.

Now, onto the books…

What I’m Currently Reading
The Weekly Recap (125)When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton
Published by Penguin, Berkley on April 9, 2019
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: 2019 GoodReads Challenge

In 1960s Florida, a young Cuban exile will risk her life--and heart--to take back her country in this exhilarating historical novel from the author of Next Year in Havana, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.

Beautiful. Daring. Deadly.

The Cuban Revolution took everything from sugar heiress Beatriz Perez--her family, her people, her country. Recruited by the CIA to infiltrate Fidel Castro's inner circle and pulled into the dangerous world of espionage, Beatriz is consumed by her quest for revenge and her desire to reclaim the life she lost.

As the Cold War swells like a hurricane over the shores of the Florida Strait, Beatriz is caught between the clash of Cuban American politics and the perils of a forbidden affair with a powerful man driven by ambitions of his own. When the ever-changing tides of history threaten everything she has fought for, she must make a choice between her past and future--but the wrong move could cost Beatriz everything--not just the island she loves, but also the man who has stolen her heart...

I finished Next Year in Havanah by Chanel Cleeton last night so I’m going to start this book today. I’ve got a lot on my plate today so I’m hoping to start this one tonight when I’m off babysitting duty and have some time to myself. Wish me luck since I can’t wait to start Beatriz’s book!

What I Read

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews | 3 out of 5
Getting Lucky Number Seven (Taking Shots #1) by Cindi Madsen | 4 out of 5
Anatomy of a Player (Taking Shots #2) by Cindi Madsen | 3 out of 5
Next Year in Havanah by Chanel Cleeton | 4.25 out of 5

My favorite read of the week goes to Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton. That ended up being a super good story and I enjoyed pretty much all parts of it. I’ll be buddy reviewing it with Ames so stay tuned for that.

Magic Bites and Anatomy of a Player were both slow starts and I did like them, I just liked them least of the books read. I am looking forward to reading the next books in both series so that’s something.

What I Reviewed

Bad Reputation (Bad Bachelors #1) by Stefanie London | 1 out of 5
Overnight Sensation (Brooklyn Bruisers #5) by Sarina Bowen | 4.5 out of 5

What I Posted

The Weekly Recap (124)
The Wednesday Post (9)

What I Got

Nothing this week. Lots of other stuff going on. Maybe 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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