Sunday, April 5, 2020

Stacking the Shelves & Sunday Post (65)

Hosted by:  Tynga's Reviews
Hosted by:  Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

This was a tough week for me.  I had been doing better with my cough and shortness of breath, but then out of nowhere, I took a turn for the worse.  My doctor doubled my prednisone and prescribed me a corticosteroid inhaler.  He told me to take my oxygen daily with a pulse oximeter, and if I got to the low 90's not to put off going to the E.R. anymore.  

I asked if he thought there was a possibility I had Covid, and he said yes.  However, there are no tests unless you are medical personal or are in critical condition.  He told me to isolate myself and my family, and if I don't improve after this set of steroids runs out, and my breathing continues to get worse, I need to go to the ER.  The tightness in my chest, shortness of breath, and pain in my chest keeps fluctuating.  I was feeling better today, so I decided to put the groceries away.  Next thing I knew, I was out of breath, had to use my inhaler and sit down.  Overall I'm doing a lot better, but I can't walk very far in my one bedroom apartment or take a shower without getting out of breath.  I've been on the steroids for two weeks, and as I start to taper off, I hope I continue to improve and not backslide.

My husband and daughter each have had a cough and low grade fevers.  My husband says he's feeling ok, just really tired.  My daughter is non-verbal and has Autism, so she can't tell me how she feels.  She spent all last week crying and screaming a lot though which scared me, and I could hear a raspy sound.  This week though she's doing better and hasn't been crying as much, so I hope she gets better quickly. 

Needless to say, my reading, blogging, and pretty much everything in my life has taken a hit, as I've been down for the count.

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Thanks to Siobhan Davis & Social Butterfly PR

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Waiting on Wednesday (121)

https://www.wishfulendings.com/


A Secret for a Secret 
All In #3
By: Helena Hunting
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release Date: May 12, 2020

Book Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting comes a new romance about trading secrets, breaking the rules, and playing for keeps. 

My name is Ryan Kingston, and I’m a rule follower. I’ve never been in a fistfight. I always obey the speed limit. I don’t get drunk, and I definitely don’t pick up random women at bars. 

Except the night I found out that my whole existence has been a lie. 

I got drunk. And picked up a stranger. 

Her name was Queenie, and she was everything I’m not: reckless, impulsive, and chaotic. We did shots and traded secrets. And ended up naked at my place. 

She left me a thank-you note in the morning and her panties as a parting gift. But no way to contact her. 

Six weeks later I’m sitting in the first official team meeting of the season, and there she is. I neglected to mention that I’m the goalie for Seattle’s NHL team. 

And Queenie? Turns out she’s the general manager’s daughter.


Why I'm Eagerly Waiting:

I love this series, and Helena Hunting.  I am struggling with focusing on my reading lately, and her books are always really easy for me to escape into.  I have loved every book in this series, and have confidence that I will enjoy this one just as much.  The synopsis sounds great!  I love that he ends up sleeping with his manager's daughter, and will have to interact with her on a daily basis, after they had one wild and intimate night together.

What are you waiting on?

Monday, March 30, 2020

Book Review: It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers #2) by Lisa Kleypas

It Happened One Autumn
Wallflowers #2
By: Lisa Kleypas
Published: September
Publisher: Avon Books
Add to: Goodreads
Source: Audible Purchase
Four young ladies enter London society with one necessary goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband. So they band together, and a daring husband-hunting scheme is born. 

It happened at the ball... 

Where beautiful but bold Lillian Bowman quickly learned that her independent American ways weren't entirely "the thing." And the most disapproving of all was insufferable, snobbish, and impossible Marcus, Lord Westcliff, London's most eligible aristocrat.

It happened in the garden... 

When Marcus shockingly—and dangerously—swept her into his arms. Lillian was overcome with a consuming passion for a man she didn't even like. Time stood still; it was as if no one else existed... thank goodness they weren't caught very nearly in the act! 

It happened one autumn... 

Marcus was a man in charge of his own emotions, a bedrock of stability. But with Lillian, every touch was exquisite torture, every kiss an enticement for more. Yet how could he consider taking a woman so blatantly unsuitable... as his bride?


My Thoughts:

It Happened One Autumn is the second book in the Wallflowers series. In this sequel, we get Lillian Bowman's story.  Lillian is a bold, brash, and outspoken American.  Her parents want her and their younger daughter Daisy to marry an English gentleman with a title.  Unfortunately, Lillian's disposition is a huge turnoff to most of these gentlemen, because they prefer meek, quiet, and conservative women. 

Marcus is ultra conservative, and has an elevated place in the aristocracy.  He is one of the most sought after elgible bachelors.  Marcus and Lillian drive each other crazy!  She thinks he's uptight and aloof, and he thinks she is unsuitable for marriage.  However, Lillian feels a stirring when she's around Marcus, and he is amused and entertained by her honesty and authenticity.  I loved the fire and heat between these two characters.  The chemistry between them was combustible!

It Happened One Autumn was a story that I fell in love with.  I enjoyed it at the begininng, but before I knew it, I was completely immersed and in love with this romance.  The Wallflowers series just keeps getting better, and I know I'm going to be sad when it comes to the end. 

I adore Anabelle, Lillian, Evie, and Daisy's strong and loyal bond of friendship.  They are always there for each other, and are more like family than friends. With each new book in this series, I feel like I get to know the characters better, and like I'm being reunited with old friends.  If you are a fan of historical romance, I recommend you check out the Wallflowers series by Lisa Kleypas.






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About the Author:

LISA KLEYPAS is the RITA award-winning author of 21 novels. Her books are published in fourteen languages and are bestsellers all over the world. She lives in Washington State with her husband and two children.




Saturday, March 28, 2020

Stacking the Shelves & Sunday Post (64)

Hosted by:  Tynga's Reviews
Hosted by:  Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

This week was really difficult for me.  It started out where I was exhausted, sleeping a lot, and had a light cough.  Next thing I knew, I had a low grade fever, bad headache, was vomiting, extremely short of breath, and my chest was hurting each time I would inhale.  Needless to say, I was really scared, because I have restrictive lung disease, asthma, and my lungs are only operating at 50%. It got so bad that even though I was scared of going to the ER, I thought I might not have a choice if I couldn't breathe.  I was using my inhaler a lot---which got me through the weekend.  

On Monday, I had a video conference doctor appointment, and was so relieved when the doctor diagnosed me with severe bronchitis, possible pneumonia.  I was worried I could have Coronavirus, but he said my symptoms were different since I had a wet cough, and my fever wasn't high.  He gave me steroids to help my lungs, and really strong antibiotics.  He told me not to leave my house, because I'm really sick right now, and it was good I didn't go to the E.R. or urgent care.  The medicine is working, and I'm feeling much better.

Then my daughter was wheezing, crying, and coughing.  I got scared again.  I had my husband take her in to her doctor, and he said she has a really bad sinus infection, and asthma, and gave her an inhaler and flonase.  

Now, every time one of us get's sick I'm filled with fear.  Each time my husband or daughter coughs, I freak out.  I had to stop watching the news and reading about Coronavirus, because it was causing me to have panic attacks.  Ever since I literally died (several times, and the doctors brought me back,) I have PTSD and a fear of not being able to breathe again. I was on a ventilator for a while, and the fear of this virus causing a lack of breath has me panicking.  I just hope we can all get through this, and the doctors find a way to stop it.

Thanks to Inkyard Press & Forever Romance

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Book Review: Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers #1) by Lisa Kleypas


Secrets of a Summer Night
Wallflowers #1
By: Lisa Kleypas
Published: November 28, 2016
Publisher: Avon Books
Add to Goodreads
Source: Audible Purchase
Four young ladies at the side of the ballroom make a pact to help each other find husbands . . . no matter what it takes.

Proud and beautiful Annabelle Peyton could have her pick of suitors—if only she had a dowry. Her family is on the brink of disaster, and the only way Annabelle can save them is to marry a wealthy man. Unfortunately her most persistent admirer is the brash Simon Hunt, a handsome and ambitious entrepreneur who wants her as his mistress.

Annabelle is determined to resist Simon's wicked propositions, but she can't deny her attraction to the boldly seductive rogue, any more than he can resist the challenge she presents. As they try to outmaneuver each other, they find themselves surrendering to a love more powerful than they could have ever imagined. But fate may have other plans—and it will take all of Annabelle's courage to face a peril that could destroy everything she holds dear.


My Thoughts:

I've been listening to The Ravenels Series by Lisa Kleypas on Audible, and after reading both of the St. Vincents siblings love stories; Gabriel and Phoebe, I was excited to learn that their parents had their own love story, which is part of the Wallflowers series.  However, when I went to listen to their story, Devil in Spring, which is the third book in the series, I felt lost.  So I decided to begin the Wallflowers series with book one.  I would not recommend these books as standalones.  These books are best read in order.

First, I would like to mention that I prefer Mary Jane Wells, who is the narrator of The Ravenels Series.  She has a really pretty and soothing voice, and she is such an excellent narrator.  The narrator of the Wallflowers Series, Rosalyn Landor, does a really good job, but her voice comes across as more prim and proper, and mature sounding.

Secrets of a Summer Night introduces readers to four wallflowers; Annabelle, Lillian, Evie, and Daisy, who forge a strong friendship, and band together to help each other find a husband.  Annabelle has a striking beauty.  Unfortunately, she can't find a husband because she lacks a dowry.  Her family is destitute after losing her father to a heart attack.  Pressure  is placed on her to marry a wealthy man so that her spouse can support her mother and brother, along with Annabelle.

Annabelle meets Simon Hunt who is not of the same social standing as she is, because he is a butcher's son.  However, Simon has made a vast amount of wealth through hard work and intelligent investments.  When Simon and Annabelle meet, sparks fly, and there is no denying their sizzling chemistry.  Simon makes his interest in Annabelle well know, but she is determined to resist him...

I wasn't the biggest fan of either main character at the beginning of the story.  Annabelle came off as snobby.  I didn't like the way she was so quick to count Simon out, just because he wasn't part of the same social class as she was.  I'm glad to say that as the story developed, I grew to like Annabelle.  She underwent a lot of character growth, and became a better person after all of the trials and tribulations she went through.  I liked Simon's big heart, and loyalty, but something that turned me off about him was how pushy and aggressive he could be towards Annabelle.  I liked his protectiveness and how he didn't play games and went after what he wanted, but at times, he was just too much.

However, after Annabella and Simon spent more time together, and I got to see more layers to who they were, I grew to like them both.  Their love story had romance, tenderness, and sweet moments, and undeniable chemistry.

My favorite part of this story was the four girls friendship. They are all so unique, but their sisterhood is strong, loyal, fun, and admirable. I can't wait to read each of their stories, and see them all together, teasing each other, scheming, always loyal, and up to their ears in shenanigans!






About the Author:

LISA KLEYPAS is the RITA award-winning author of 21 novels. Her books are published in fourteen languages and are bestsellers all over the world. She lives in Washington State with her husband and two children.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Waiting on Wednesday (120)

https://www.wishfulendings.com


Blacklisted
Loveless Texas #3
By: Jay Crownover
Publisher: Forever Romance
Release Date: October 27, 2020

Book Summary:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series comes an irresistible and suspenseful romance between a doctor who plays by the rules and the outlaw who breaks them in order to protect her. 

Dr. Presley Baskin has always lived a quiet, calm life. Unfortunately, nothing about her life in Loveless, Texas---especially not the wild, rowdy, and impossibly close-knit Lawton family who've claimed her---is quiet or calm. Which is how loner Presley finds herself roped into patching up local bad boy Shot Caldwell against her better judgment. Presley wants nothing to do with the dangerous, brooding leader of the local outlaw motorcycle club. But when someone starts stalking her, Shot is the only person she trusts to help. Plus he owes her one... 

Palmer 'Shot' Caldwell has always known his life isn't made for relationships. At least until shy, secretive, Presley reluctantly pulled a bullet out of him. He's oddly protective of the pretty doctor, so when she comes to him for help, hard-hearted Shot suddenly realizes there's nothing he wouldn't do to keep her safe.


Why I'm Eagerly Waiting:

I read Unforgiven and really enjoyed it.  One of my favorite characters was Palmer "Shot" Caldwell.  I want to see how his love story plays out with the prim and proper Dr. Presley Baskin. Now that we know who the villain is, I'm excited for more suspense, thrills, and danger!


What are you waiting on?

Monday, March 23, 2020

Blog Tour: Frozen Beauty by Lexa Hillyer


Frozen Beauty
By:
Lexa Hillyer

Publisher:
HarperTeen

Release Date:
March 17, 2020

Add to:
Goodreads

Source:
eARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review

Book Synopsis:

Everyone in Devil’s Lake knows the three golden Malloy sisters—but one of them is keeping a secret that will turn their little world inside out….

No one knows exactly what happened to Kit in the woods that night—all they have are a constellation of facts: icy blue lips and fingers cold to the touch, a lacy bra, an abandoned pick-up truck with keys still in the ignition. Still, Tessa, even in her fog of grief, is certain that her sister’s killer wasn’t Boyd, the boy next door whom they’ve all loved in their own way. There are too many details that don’t add up, too many secrets still tucked away.

But no matter how fiercely she searches for answers, at the core of that complicated night is a truth that’s heartbreakingly simple.

Told in lush, haunting prose, Frozen Beauty is a story of the intoxicating power of first love, the deep bonds of sisterhood, and a shocking death that will forever change the living.

 

My Thoughts:

I was drawn to this story by the attractive book cover, and knew I needed to read it after I read the synopsis.  I enjoy stories that have sibling relationships, and thought it would be neat to read about sisters, with one of them having a big secret, turning up dead, and one of the remaining sisters investigating, to try to find out what happened.

Ms. Hillyer writes beautiful prose that are poetic and lyrical.  Her words effortlessly painted this story in my mind.  Frozen Beauty takes place in the small town of Devil's Lake, and is the story of the Malloy sisters.  

We learn about the eldest, senior in high school, Kit, who is the "perfect" sister.  She gets excellent grades, and volunteers her time.  Middle sister, Tessa, often gets overlooked, and doesn't have many friends.  The youngest sister, Lilly, a sophomore in high school, is a bit immature, likes being the center of attention, and often times feels left out, because the two oldest sisters are closer.  Right smack dab in the middle of the sisters is their friendship with next door neighbor Boyd, who is a junior in high school alongside, Tessa, and they are best friends.  Each of the sisters have feelings for Boyd, but keep their feelings about him a secret from one another.  As for Boyd's feelings, he gives mixed signals to the sisters.


One night, when Lilly is spending the night at her best friend Mel's house, she wakes up to find her missing.  When she goes to look for Mel, she is shocked to see Kit and Boyd together in his truck arguing, and then kissing.  The next day Kit turns up dead, and Boyd is locked up.  Boyd claims his innocence, but based on what Lilly saw, and the fact that Kit's DNA is all over his truck, the police believe they have a solid case against Boyd.  Tessa believes in Boyd's innocence, and is determined to prove that he isn't the one that killed her sister...

Frozen Beauty is told in chapters alternating between what happened before Kit's death, and what happened after her death.  We get a prologue by Boyd, as well as the majority of the story narrated by Tessa and Lilly.  The story casts a suspicious light over a few characters, and has the wheels in the reader's mind turning to try to piece together the puzzle of who murdered Kit.

I enjoyed the author's writing style, and learning about the Malloy Sisters.  The plot unraveled rather slowly.  This was a mystery that I was excited to solve, and along the way various serious topics were addressed. We learn a lot about Lilly's best friends Mel, the pushy leader of the group, and Dar, who has an eating disorder and struggling with coming to terms with her sexuality.  We learn about Patrick Donavan, Lilly's eventual love interest, who is the resident bad boy.  We get little poems sprinkled throughout the story written by Kit, and one thing quickly becomes clear; she was keeping a lot of secrets from her sisters.  

This story deals with the grief of losing a loved one; as Tessa, Lilly, and their mother struggle to move forward with their lives. If you are looking for a murder mystery with seamless beautiful writing, interesting characters, and a quick, effortless read, check out Frozen Beauty.   







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About the Author:

Lexa Hillyer is the Founder and President of Publishing at Glasstown Entertainment, an all-womxn creative development and production company located in New York and Los Angeles. She is also the author of Frozen Beauty, Spindle Fire, Winter Glass, and Proof of Forever, all young adult novels published by HarperCollins, as well as the poetry collection Acquainted with the Cold from Bona Fide Books. Acquainted with the Cold was the 2012 gold prize winner of the Foreword Book of the Year Award for Poetry and received the Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize. Her work has been featured in a variety of journals and collections including Best New Poets 2012, and she has received several honors for poetry. Lexa earned her BA in English from Vassar College and her MFA in Poetry from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. She worked as an editor at both HarperCollins and Penguin, before founding Glasstown Entertainment along with New York Times Bestselling author Lauren Oliver. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter and their very skinny orange tree.




Tour Schedule Here

Friday, March 20, 2020

Stacking the Shelves & Sunday Post (63)

Hosted by:  Tynga's Reviews
Hosted by:  Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

I've been struggling with focusing on my reading or anything else for that matter with what's happening with the Corona Virus.  Has Anyone else?  My daughter is going crazy by being cooped up in the house, and I think she's going to slowly drive me crazy!  LOL How are you all holding up?



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Thanks to Berkley Romance