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Monthly Book Report: April 2017


I read 12 books in April! But only 6 of those were really great reads for me so we’ll just talk about them. I had a hard time getting into some of the books this month. I was distracted by my to do list and it was hard to just relax and enjoy the read. May has already started out strong with a couple of great books waiting to be read!

1. Once and For All by Cheryl Etchison– Rule #1: Military and matrimony don’t mix. But if there’s one person Staff Sergeant Danny MacGregor would break all his rules for, it’s Bree—his first friend, first love, first everything. Maybe he likes playing the hero. Maybe he’s trying to ease ten years of guilt. Either way, he’ll do whatever he can to help her. Wish #1: A little bit of normal. Bree Dunbar has battled cancer, twice. What she wants most is a fresh start in a place where she can find a new job, and where people aren’t constantly treating her like she’s sick. By some miracle her wish is granted, but it comes with one major string attached— the man who broke her heart ten years before. The rules for this marriage of convenience are simple: when she’s ready to stand on her own two feet, she’ll walk away and he’ll let her go. Only, as they both know all too well, things don’t always go according to plan.

I loved this book. It was a random check out from the library when nothing else was catching my eye. And it turned out to be one of my favorite reads of the whole month. Full of romance and angst and hot military men. It wasn’t a light fluff read though, it dealt with serious issues and those issues were dealt with really well. I already bought book 2 and can’t wait to dive into it. 

2. Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens– Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband was sent to jail and she started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When her ex-husband is finally released, Lindsey believes she’s cut all ties. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But can he really change? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

Oh man, this book was really good! I’ve read several of her books and they’ve all been great reads. This one had me guessing the whole time. I thought it was obvious which way the story was going. I thought I had it figured out. Then there was a twist and I still thought I had it figured out. But I was so wrong. I had no idea. I could not put this book down. I finished it in less than 36 hours. Trigger warning: there are some scenes of domestic violence so if that’s a trigger for you then this might be a book you want to pass on.

3. I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi– Maddy is a devoted stay-at-home wife and mother, host of excellent parties, giver of thoughtful gifts, and bestower of a searingly perceptive piece of advice or two. She is the cornerstone of her family, a true matriarch…until she commits suicide, leaving her husband Brady and teenage daughter Eve heartbroken and reeling, wondering what happened. How could the exuberant, exacting woman they loved disappear so abruptly, seemingly without reason, from their lives? How they can possibly continue without her? As they sift through details of her last days, trying to understand the woman they thought they knew, Brady and Eve are forced to come to terms with unsettling truths. Maddy, however, isn’t ready to leave her family forever. Watching from beyond, she tries to find the perfect replacement for herself. Along comes Rory: pretty, caring, and spontaneous, with just the right bit of edge…but who also harbors a tragedy of her own. Will the mystery of Maddy ever come to rest? And can her family make peace with their history and begin to heal?

I’ve never read a book from this author before but I definitely will. This book was fantastic. It was another random library check out that turned out to be amazing. I spent the entire book trying to figure out why the main character would do what she did only to be completely blindsided and shocked by the ending when the reasons are revealed. Blown away. Highly recommend this one!

4. When Stars Collide by Micalea Smeltzer– Waking up in Vegas married to the guy of your dreams sounds like a good thing, right? Not when you’re Thea Montgomery and said guy is your brother’s best friend. Thea and Xander have always avoided the connection between them because her brother would never approve. Now, they’re married— the strongest bond you can have as a couple—and they’re not even a real couple…unless they want to be. Thea wants an annulment immediately, but Xander’s waited too long to see her become his and he won’t let her go easily.
If she wants a divorce, fine, but he wants the summer to convince her that he’s the one. If at the end of the summer she still wants to end their marriage he’ll sign the papers, but until then…All is not fair in love and war.

I’m a total sucker for surprise marriage stories and this one didn’t disappoint. I don’t read many New Adult books anymore because so many are disappointing. But this one was great. I liked both main characters and the side characters were interesting and well developed. This is book 2 in a series but I have not read book 1 and I didn’t feel lost or confused at all. 

5. When Constellations Form by Micalea Smeltzer– It’s been three years since Xander and Thea’s impromptu Vegas wedding. Since then, they’ve dealt with family drama, his grueling NFL schedule, and her college classes. Now that Thea’s graduated from college, it’s finally time for them to move out and start their life together. Things couldn’t be any more perfect. And then a curveball is thrown their way. Midnight feedings and a screaming infant wasn’t a part of Thea’s five-year plan, but, suddenly, it’s very much her soon-to-be reality. Xander is thrilled at the prospect of parenthood while Thea can’t wrap her head around it. But, ready or not, here comes baby.

This is the follow book to the one above. It’s set 3 years after the surprise marriage in Vegas. I liked this book. I liked catching up with the characters and seeing where their lives went after the first book. But to be honest, I didn’t like this one as much as the first book. It was good but it wasn’t great. 

6. Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind and Soul by Ruth Soukup– STUFF. It’s everywhere. Lurking in corners and closets, spilling onto counters and coffee tables, creating havoc everywhere we look. And it’s not just the physical clutter that weighs us down. Oh no, it is the stress of overbooked schedules, and the weight of life that sometimes feels oppressive and totally out of whack. New York Times bestselling author Ruth Soukup feels your pain–she has been there too. Through personal stories, Biblical truth, and practical action plans, she will inspire and empower each of us to finally declutter not just our home, but our mind and soul as well. Unstuffed is real, honest, and gets right down to the question we are all facing–how can we take back our lives from the stuff that is weighing us down?

Definitely one of my favorite reads of the month. Hands down. As regular readers know I’ve been on a mission to declutter my house. I checked this book out of the library after seeing several recommendations on blogs and social media. And it was great. It was a quick easy read but it really helped me put some things in perspective. Highly recommend!

As I mentioned, I have several great books on tap to read in May! I anticipate an amazing month of reading and I can’t wait to share them with you next month.


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