In the resplendence of William the Conqueror’s London court, the lovely Saxon captive Lady Nicholaa was forced to choose a husband from the assembled Norman nobles. She chose Royce, a baron warrior whose fierce demeanor could not conceal his chivalrous and tender heart. A resourceful, rebellious and utterly naive, Nicholaa vowed to bend Royce to her will despite the whirlwind of feelings he aroused in her. Ferocious in battle, seasoned in passion, Royce was surprised by the depth of his emotion whenever he caressed his charming bride.
In a climate of utmost treachery, where Saxons still intrigued against their Norman invaders, Royce and Nicholaa revelled in their precious new love … a fervent bond soon to be disrupted by the call of blood, kin and country!
Julie Garwood was one of the first romance authors that I’ve read and she has always held a special place in my reading heart because it was through her books that I found some of my closest friends. Friends that, all of these years later, I still keep in contact with and I’m still just as close with them as I was when we first met on the Julie Garwood Bulletin Board.
Last week, one of those friends who has stopped reading as regularly as I do, wanted to read a book together so Holly and I agreed to read The Prize with her.
I’m so glad that we re-read this book because holy cow, it brought back so many memories of how much I loved this book back in the day. From Royce and Nicholaa’s first meeting to seeing them fall in love and then Justin! Oh, be still my heart, Justin. I fell in love with him all over again and gah, I wish that Julie Garwood would have given him his own story because there was so much material to work with and he was so deserving of having his story told.
This scene is one of my favorite scenes of all time and one of the so many reasons that I love this book.
“I noticed that over the past few weeks you’ve seemed more concerned about training me than the others. Was that because you had less faith in my ability?”
Royce held his smile. Justin as experience an attack of pre-battle worries. It was a common affliction, especially among the younger, unseasoned soldiers.
“As your baron, I have complete faith in your ability. I didn’t give you this honor, Justin. You earned it. As your brother, however, I’ll admit I’ve forced you to work harder. You have to be better than the others, remember?”
“You have fulfilled my expectations,” Royce announced, giving him the praise he knew he needed to hear.
Royce did smile then. “You insult me by giving me your gratitude,” he said. “As your baron, I was only doing my duty.”
Justin didn’t look at Royce but kept his gaze directed on the center of the field. “I wasn’t thanking my baron,” he said. His voice was gruff with emotion. “I was thanking my brother.”
You guys have got to read this book if you haven’t already. There’s much to love about it. A smart, strong and loving heroine, a hero who leads his people with care and secondary characters that will jump right into your heart and plant themselves there forever. This is the Julie Garwood that I know and love and I highly recommend this book to everyone.
Lady Brenna MacAlister harbored no illusions that her husband, a quick-tempered highland laird, was in love with her. How could he be enamored of his bride when on their wedding day, he had assured her that she could return to her home in England as soon as she had given him a son?
Marrying Connor MacAlister had been impulsive act for Brenna. But MacAlister and his warriors a savage-looking band who had captured her and her arranged marriage to another offered precious few alternatives. Nor could Brenna deny that in fact, she had proposed to MacAlister—even if that had been ten long years ago, when she was just a child, and Connor a visitor to her father’s castle. Actually, Brenna scarcely remembered the secret missives she’d sent to MacAlister, abetted by her mischievous older sister… yet she had never forgotten the tall visitor’s dazzling, unexpected smile.
Now, after a hasty forest wedding, they were man and wife. Determined to be happy, Brenna soon endeared herself to most of the clan, despite—or perhaps because of—her uncanny knack for getting into trouble. And although she grew to adore her brave superstitious, gentle husband she had no clue that Connor lived for the moments she whispered “I love you”… words she never meant him to hear. But when a rival lair struck out at the MacAlisters, trapping Brenna in a web of dangerous intrigue, she knew that only her faith in her gallant mate could save her….
After reading The Prize with Grace and Holly, I went on to glom a bunch of Julie Garwood’s other books and The Wedding was one of them.
What a joy it was to read this book again. I had forgotten so much about what happened in this book but man, there’s a lot of good stuff.
Lady Brenna and Connor were a fabulous couple that had me laughing one minute and happy sighing the next. Brenna was strong and she was capable and above all else, she was kind. Connor was fierce and he was protective and everything that I love in a hero.
The romance between Connor and Brenna was fun. It was passionate and well written. Their chemistry felt real and the book as a whole was packed with Garwood’s classic humor and sweetness that you won’t find in the newer historicals. For me, there has always been something magical about Connor and Brenna’s story. This book will always be special to me because I connected with pretty much everyone in this one. From Brenna and Connor to Crispin and Quinlan and Alec and Jamie, I loved them all and it’s always a great time when I read this.
I loved this book so much that I carried a copy of it when I went to the hospital to have Brenna, my daughter. Hahaha, yep. You got it. After poring through baby name books and not really seeing anything that I liked, my sister gave me this book out of my bag and said, “What about Brenna? That’s a pretty name” and my baby was born Brenna Lily.
I will never get tired of reading this book and when I’m asked to quote one of my favorite romance novels, I will always quote…
She let him know how much she liked what he was doing by scoring his back with her nails and crying out with pleasure.
“Nay lass, tis Connor.”
Hahaha, this book is great and if you haven’t read it…why the heck not? Change that, you’ll love this one!
Room (2015)Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers, Joan Allen
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Release Date: January 22, 2016
Run Time: 1:58
Movie Type: Drama
ROOM tells the extraordinary story of Jack, a spirited 5-year-old who is looked after by his loving and devoted mother. Like any good mother, Ma dedicates herself to keeping Jack happy and safe, nurturing him with warmth and love and doing typical things like playing games and telling stories. Their life, however, is anything but typical–they are trapped–confined to a 10-by-10-foot space that Ma has euphemistically named Room. Ma has created a whole universe for Jack within Room, and she will stop at nothing to ensure that, even in this treacherous environment, Jack is able to live a complete and fulfilling life. But as Jack’s curiosity about their situation grows, and Ma’s resilience reaches its breaking point, they enact a risky plan to escape, ultimately bringing them face-to-face with what may turn out to be the scariest thing yet: the real world.
I went into this movie blind. I had heard of the book and then the movie but I didn’t have any plans on reading the book or watching the movie. I didn’t know what it was about but I saw that everyone was talking about it and loving it when the movie first came out. So last week when I was browsing through the movies on Amazon Prime, I came across Room and remembered all of the praise this movie got on Twitter last year and since I was tired of browsing through the movies, I hit play.
This movie hit me right in the gut and before the movie hit its stride, Brenna had come in and sat down next to me, just as intrigued with what was going on as I was.
The movie starts off in Room with Jack and his Ma. Jack is greeting the toilet, the bed, the wardrobe as if they’re his friends and then we see him and Ma go about their day. Their day looks like any normal day filled with meals, exercise, reading lessons and tv watching but what makes their day different is that the entire day is spent in a tiny room. At first, I was confused wondering why in the hell this little boy was talking to the furniture and then it hit me. It hit me at the same time that it hit Brenna, what was going on and holy cow, I couldn’t stop watching.
My heart hurt for Ma, to live through each day knowing the truth about their situation and then having to rely on Jack, her adorable 5-year-old son to set them both free. It was terrifying at the same time that it was thrilling and I seriously, could not stop watching. I was cheering for both Jack and for Ma to get through their ordeal with minimal scrapes and bruises and what really hit me was Jack.
Seeing Jack experience life outside Room was heartbreaking but it was also really good. I thought he was the strongest person in the movie and I just adored the hell out of him.
The acting in this movie was fantastic. Quite often, I’m taken out of a show or a movie because the acting is terrible but that wasn’t the case with this movie. Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay and even Sean Bridgers did a fabulous job of bringing these characters to life. There wasn’t one thing that I didn’t like about the movie. It was full of great for me. I highly recommend everyone to watch it.
Starring: Regina Hall, Queen Latifa, Jada Pinkett Smith & Tiffany Haddish
Director: Malcolm D. Lee
Release Date: July 21, 2017
Run Time: 2h 2min
Movie Type: Comedy
When four lifelong friends travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling, and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.
I can’t remember a time where I laughed as much as I have in a movie theater. I about peed my pants from laughing at every turn in this movie. As great as the big name actresses were in this movie, newcomer Tiffany Haddish stole the show. She made this entire movie, at least in my opinion.
So this movie is about four friends coming together after years apart and taking a girls trip to New Orlean’s for the Essence Festival. Ryan Pierce has her life together. She’s half of America’s golden couple. She’s got a fabulous husband, a happy marriage and a talk show in the works along with a bestselling book that celebrates having it all. Sasha Franklin had a promising writing career but these days, all she’s writing is celebrity gossip and she’s struggling to pay her bills. Lisa Cooper is a single mother who really needs to get laid. She’s uptight and she’s a Mother Bee that practically hovers over her children and doesn’t have a life of her own then there’s Dina. Just Dina. Dina is the ratchet friend that is ride or die. She’s the friend you don’t want to piss off because if you do her friends dirty, she will come at you with a machete and loads of curse words that will have you shivering in your boots. Each of the women had their own reasons for going on this trip and seeing them in action together had me bent over at the waist, laughing my ass off at every turn.
I’m not sure if it’s because I’m ghetto or what but I laughed and laughed and laughed every time that I’ve seen this movie in the theater and I watched it multiple times. No matter what your personality is or who you are in your circle of friends, you’ll connect with one of these ladies in this movie. Me? I’m the Lisa in my group. I’m the single mom that reads racy novels and is the mother hen in the group. When Jada Pinkett Smith came onto the scene, my mouth dropped open as I turned to my niece Meghan and said, “OMG, I’m Lisa.” What’s even funnier is that my circle of friends also has a Dina, a Sasha and a Ryan.
This movie was fun. I felt like I was right in the thick of things with these four women and I was dancing and reacting the same way that these girls were throughout the entire thing. When Dina goes for Ryan’s husband’s throat and uses her South Central hood voice on him, I about died laughing. When they get white boy drunk and zip line across the Quarter and Lisa has an accident? I about died laughing. The grapefruit scene? I about died laughing.
This movie is the perfect girl’s night out movie. It’s the movie that you watch with your girls and laugh the night away. It’s got everything in it, something for everyone. I highly recommend watching this movie if you want to laugh your butt off.
Starring: Doona Bae, Jamie Clayton, Tina Desai, Tuppence Middleton, Max Riemelt, Miguel Angel Silvestre, Brian J. Smith, Freema Agyeman, Alfonso Herrera, Erendira Ibarra, Toby Onwumere
Creators: J. Michael Straczynski, Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
Release Date: May 5, 2017
TV Show Type: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Sense8 tells the story of eight strangers: Will (Smith), Riley (Middleton), Capheus (Toby), Sun (Bae), Lito (Silvestre), Kala (Desai), Wolfgang (Riemelt), and Nomi (Clayton). Each individual is from a different culture and part of the world. In the aftermath of a tragic death they all experience through what they perceive as dreams or visions, they suddenly find themselves growing mentally and emotionally connected. While trying to figure how and why this connection happened and what it means, a mysterious man named Jonas tries to help the eight.
Meanwhile, another stranger called Whispers attempts to hunt them down, using the same sensate power to gain full access to a sensate’s mind (thoughts/sight) after looking into their eyes. Each episode reflects the views of the characters interacting with each other while delving deeper into their backgrounds and what sets them apart and brings them together with the others.
I spent the weekend binge-watching the second season of Sense8 and while it took me a while to catch up (it’s been a while between seasons), I’m glad that I stuck with the show because this season really packed a punch that hit me all over the place. In the end, I was an emotional wreck but I’m so pumped for the third season that better be forthcoming.
So the first season left us on edge because Whispers (the bad guy) is now in Will’s head and the only way that our cluster knows how to keep Whispers from finding and capturing Will is to drug him up so for a huge chunk of the season, Will is drugged out of his mind. So the main focus of the show is trying to evade Whispers and BPO, the company trying to capture Will and his cluster mates for experiments. Will and Riley are in hiding while the others are still living their lives and are available to help when needed.
Individually, each sensate is going through something. Nomi is still on the run from all of her shenanigans from last season, Lito is dealing with the aftermath of being outed as gay in his acting world, Sun is plotting her revenge on her brother, Kala is dealing with being married to a man when she’s in love with another, Capheus is dealing with his rising status in his small town and Wolfgang, he’s dealing with a whole bunch of stuff.
I really enjoyed being in this world again. The first season set the tone for this show and I think the second season kept the party going. I thought the second season was excellent and the pacing was well done. You get a lot of face time from each sensate and each sensate’s story adds to the overall arc of the show in a way that was interesting and just flat out good. I love seeing the bond between each sensate grow over the course of the season and I love how they help each other out. There’s a balance in their cluster where everyone is equal in their worth and I think the writers did a fabulous job of letting the viewers see each sensate learn and grow throughout the season. They’re a lot stronger than they were last season. You can see how much they’ve grown into their abilities and their bond. They’re not strangers anymore but a unit and they work incredibly well together.
The dynamic in the cluster is pretty interesting too. Some are dealing with being alone in the world and the cluster is there to remind them that they’re not alone. Others are dealing with so many different people in their minds and the cluster is there to remind them that they don’t have to do everything on their own. It’s okay to ask for help…and they all need help from time to time. Their cluster is a family and nobody gets left behind.
When Will decides to stop hiding, I about stood up and applauded because, for me, that was a long time coming. I loved seeing each of the sensates grow in their determination to fight the good fight together. I’m pretty anxious for the next season so I’m seriously hoping that there is one coming. I’ve got my fingers, my toes, my eyes all crossed because another season needs to happen. I’m so thirsty for more.
The acting was fantastic, I even liked the new Capheus. If I had to pick a favorite, I think my favorite this season would be Sun. She’s freaking awesome and I love, love, love her. Everyone is pretty great. I’m glad to see that Riley has really come full circle from her woe is me crap from last season. I will rejoice when Kala finally gets her head out of her ass and divorces her husband then goes to get her man Wolfgang. Lito is still the bomb and cracks me up at every turn and Nomi is still a boss lady with her hacking genius self. Capheus is really growing into a full character that I’m taking notice of and seriously, the cast is so wonderfully refreshing and diverse that I’m just a huge fan of all of it.
If you haven’t watched this show, you should fix that. This is one of the best shows that I’m watching and I can’t wait for more.
When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.
Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.
Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I'm going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal's office.
Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.
And that — that, I know how to do.
Sustained is the second book in the Legal Briefs series and the first book that I read for the 2017 Totally Doable Reading Challenge. It’s a book that I read for the first time in 2015 and gave 5 stars to. I was really surprised with how much I liked this book when I first read it because I hated the first book in the Legal Briefs series, Overruled, a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Stanton and Sofia drove me up the wall but Jake and Chelsea? Absolutely loved them.
Jake Becker is a defense attorney who just had an STD scare so he’s trying something new. He’s vetting his sleeping partners. Ha! He’s going to try dating girls before sleeping with them because he’s not trying to have another scare. He doesn’t understand it but with the help of his friends, he’s going to give it a shot. He’s got a date lined up and he’s anxious to get started. He’s appalled that his friends actually date the women that they sleep with because who the hell does that? Apparently, everyone but him. At the rate that he’s going, he won’t get laid for at least two more weeks and he’s not about that life.
Before his timeline can start he meets young Rory McQuaid who successfully picks his pocket but Jake isn’t about to let a young kid get the best of him so he gives chase and catches the little shit. When Jake takes him home to meet with his parents and rat his bad ass out, Jake meets Chelsea and the rest of Rory’s siblings and his life is never the same again.
Chelsea McQuaid is 26 years old and is raising her brother’s six kids on her own. She’s much too busy for a relationship but Jake Becker sneaks up on her in ways she wasn’t prepared for but isn’t exactly against. Sure, she’s got no time for sexy times with her Mom responsibilities overtaking her life but she’s all the kids have and they’re the priority but with Jake becoming more and more of a fixture in their lives, she’s thinking that they’ll be alright.
Of course, things aren’t as easy as she wants them to be but love is worth the trouble, right? Right. Chelsea and Jake were fantastic characters with a story that I eat up every single time that I read it. I read this book two years ago and it was a 5 star read then and this year, it’s a 5 star read still. I completely adored every single child and watching Jake fall for not only Chelsea but every single kid melted me at every turn. From Riley all the way down to Ronan, I was in love. I loved that Jake had a distinct relationship with every single kid. I loved seeing him with the girls just as much as I loved seeing him with the girls and my heart broke in two when things get hard for the family, Rory ran to Jake. I was a puddle of emotions by then.
Chelsea was a fantastic heroine. So strong and sure in the choices she made. From leaving school to jumping into being a Mom to her nieces and nephews, she sat on her own grief to be strong for the kids and my heart went out to her with every passing page. She was caring and she was loving and she was hot too so that was a plus. 🙂
There isn’t a thing that I didn’t love about this book and I understand that it makes this review a freaking fangirl review but it can’t be helped…I’m a total fangirl for Jake and Chelsea. This book man, it’s so damn good. If you haven’t read it for yourself, do yourself a favor and fix that because this book isn’t to be missed!