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Book Review: The Scars That Made Us


The Scars That Made Us by Inda Herwood– Ultimatums suck. I should know. I was handed one on my eighteenth birthday by my mogul of a father. And it’s all because he refuses to believe that I can take care of myself, that I don’t need a man to fall back on in case my college dreams fail. But as much as I hate to admit it, his doubt comes from a logical place. It all stems from the nightmare incident that happened to me when I was seven years old. An event that has left scars of both the physical and emotional variety on me, leaving my body weaker than most.

But what is the ultimatum, you ask? I either marry a man of his choosing for a stable financial future, or else I don’t get his check to go to college and complete my dreams of becoming a doctor. 
Tell me, how do you trust a man who only wants to marry you for the check your father is so obviously writing him? The answer is you don’t.

But when Jagger Wells, my ridiculously gorgeous intended, explains the real reason behind his going along with this scheme, I begin to see the man beyond the pretty face; a guy just trying to do right by his family. And I decide that maybe there’s a way we can both get what we want without having to sign a marriage certificate in the process. All it would require is a little acting on our part and a couple of well-placed lies.

After a while, though, it doesn’t feel like we’re tricking our families anymore, but ourselves. That’s when lines blur, feelings become something real, and the truth is ultimately questioned. In the end, I discover that I’m not the only one with scars.

Genre: Clean Young Adult/New Adult Romance

Published: September 28, 2018

Acquired: TBR list

Series: Standalone

My Rating: 3 Stars

My Thoughts: I’m not sure what I expected from this book but it fell a bit short for me. It was fairly slow moving with very little conflict or action. The characters didn’t grab me and I didn’t feel any connection to them. Nor did I feel the connection between the main characters, Cyvil and Jagger. I realize they started as strangers but I didn’t feel the connection at the end of the book either. I’m normally a sucker for a marriage of convenience story line but the reasons behind this particular marriage of convenience were just off-putting and it tainted the story for me. 

I couldn’t stand the main character, Cyvil’s, parents at all. I wanted more from the back story on what happened to her as a child to cause the scars that covered her body. It was a huge part of her story that was just glossed over and that made it seem less than significant. Honestly it felt as though the entire book was a buildup to a showdown between Cyvil and her parents but when it finally happened the entire scene was a huge letdown. The story had potential but it just fell short for me. I gave it 3 stars because the writing was good and the story was complete- it just didn’t hold my attention. 

This Week New Releases: February 19

These are the new releases for the week of February 19 that I will be adding to my wish lists!

Never Tell by Lisa Gardner- February 19- A man is dead, shot three times in his home office. But his computer has been shot twelve times, and when the cops arrive, his pregnant wife is holding the gun. D. D. Warren arrives on the scene and recognizes the woman—Evie Carter—from a case many years back. Evie’s father was killed in a shooting that was ruled an accident. But for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many. Flora Dane sees the murder of Conrad Carter on the TV news and immediately knows his face. She remembers a night when she was still a victim—a hostage—and her captor knew this man. Overcome with guilt that she never tracked him down, Flora is now determined to learn the truth of Conrad’s murder. But D.D. and Flora are about to discover that in this case the truth is a devilishly elusive thing. As layer by layer they peel away the half-truths and outright lies, they wonder: How many secrets can one family have?

Jagged Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan- February 19- Roxie Montgomery met her soul mate when she least expected it. When he asked her to marry him, she thought her happily ever after was only just beginning. Then, she found that walking into the sunset was much harder than her favorite books made it out to be. After a crushing loss, she feels as though she doesn’t know her husband anymore, or rather…she doesn’t know herself. Carter Marshall has loved Roxie since the first time he saw her. But as the days pass between them, so does the distance. He doesn’t know how to show her that he’s all in, and honestly doesn’t know if she’s in at all. When an accident changes everything, they’ll have to decide if what they have can be salvaged, or if starting over is the answer. Or even possible. Without fighting, without a true new beginning, sometimes, the remnants of what was lost can leave anyone jagged, shells of what they were before. It will take more than the idea of forever for Roxie and Carter to find themselves again, but as the Montgomerys know, nothing worth fighting for is easy.

The Shape of Lies by Rachel Abbott- February 19- Fourteen years ago Scott was Anna’s boyfriend. She loved him, but he ruined her life. When he died, she should have been free. But today Scott is on the radio, talking about her. Threatening to spill her secrets. Anna is a mother, a wife, and head teacher of a primary school. And she’s a very good liar. She has been lying about herself for so long, she doesn’t really know who she is any more. Anna used to think she was a good person. She made one stupid mistake, and now she is having to pay for it – over and over again. Scott is the only person who knows the truth about her past. But how can Scott be alive? Soon, DCI Tom Douglas is going to knock on her door looking for answers. But Anna is already running scared: from the man she used to love; the man she watched die all those years ago; the man who has come back to life.

The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason- February 19- On one terrible night, 17-year-old Harley Langston’s life changes forever. At a party she discovers her younger sister, Audrey, hooking up with her boyfriend, Mike—and she abandons them both in a rage. When Mike drunkenly attempts to drive Audrey home, he crashes and Audrey ends up in a coma. Now Harley is left with guilt, grief, pain and the undeniable truth that her ex-boyfriend (who is relatively unscathed) has a drinking problem. So it’s a surprise that she finds herself reconnecting with Raf, a neighbor and childhood friend who’s recently out of rehab and still wrestling with his own demons. At first Harley doesn’t want to get too close to him. But as Audrey awakens and slowly recovers, Raf starts to show Harley a path forward that she never would have believed possible—one guided by honesty, forgiveness, and redemption.

The Object of Your Affections by Falguni Kothari- February 19- Paris Kahn Fraser has it all—a successful career as an assistant district attorney, a beautiful home in New York City, and a handsome, passionate husband who chose her over having a family of his own. Neal’s dream of fatherhood might have been the only shadow in their otherwise happy life…until Paris’s best friend comes to town. Naira Dalmia never thought she’d be a widow before thirty. Left reeling in the aftermath of her husband’s death, all she wants is to start over. She trades Mumbai for New York, and rigid family expectations for the open acceptance of her best friend. After all, there isn’t anything she and Paris wouldn’t do for each other. But when Paris asks Naira to be their surrogate, they’ll learn if their friendship has what it takes to defy society, their families and even their own biology as these two best friends embark on a journey that will change their lives forever.

Fighting the Fire by Laura Kaye- February 22- There’s only one thing firefighter Sean Riddick doesn’t like about Warrior Fight Club, and that’s Daniela England, the sexiest, snarkiest, most irritating woman he’s ever known. But MMA training keeps the Navy vet grounded, so Sean’s not about to give it up, no matter how many times he goes toe to toe with Dani—or how bad he wants to take her to the mats. A former Army nurse and the widow of a fallen soldier, Dani is done with the military and with military men. Fight club is the only thing that eases her nightmares, which means she has to put up with Riddick. He might be sex on a stick, but he’s infuriating and everything she’s vowed to avoid. But when an accident throws Sean and Dani together, all that fight bursts into a night of red-hot passion. Now they’re addicted to the heat and must decide if the one person they’ve most resisted might be exactly what they’ve both been looking for.

Book Review: Securing Caite


Securing Caite by Susan Stoker– Caite McCallan is a Department of Defense admin working in Bahrain when a glitchy elevator, of all things, leads to an unexpected invitation to dinner by a gorgeous Navy SEAL. When he later stands her up, Caite’s understandably upset… until she overhears a plot that confirms Rocco didn’t blow her off. Instead, he and two fellow SEALs are in danger — and Caite is forced to put her career and her life on the line to save them. 

Blake “Rocco” Wise never expected his routine mission to go sideways, but he was even more surprised to find himself and his teammates rescued by the adorably shy woman he met in a stalled elevator. Caite’s selfless act saved his life, but when attempts on her own make it clear someone wants her gone, it’s Rocco’s turn to protect the brave, sweet, sexy woman. The longer he knows her, the more he wants her… but keeping Caite close could bring her nearer to the enemy than ever before.

Genre: Military Romance

Published: January 15, 2019

Acquired: Purchased e-book

Series: #1 in SEAL of Protection: Legacy Series

My Rating: 5 Stars

My Thoughts: Susan Stoker is an automatic one-click author for me. I have very few automatic one-click authors so that should tell you how much I love her writing. I’ve read every book she has published in the original SEAL of Protection series and all the spin-off series as well as her new Mountain Mercenaries series. I appreciate that her books are complete stories with no cliffhangers and that she brings back all my old favorite characters often. 

As in all of her books, Caite is a strong female character with an above reproach moral code, a determination to do the right thing, and a brain that she actually uses. She might be intimidated by the larger than life SEALs that she is trapped in an elevator with but she keeps her cool and uses her head. If you’ve read the previous SEAL series then you might remember this SEAL team from the book Protecting Dakota. Rocco fits the mold that Susan Stoker created in her previous books for her male characters- strong, hot, alpha. But they all have distinctly different personalities so it never feels like I’m reading the same book about the same character over and over. This story has a ton of action, lots of witty banter, and some good romance. I can’t wait for the rest of the series!

Five Things Friday {2.15.19}


New to my Queue



Favorite Book of the Week


When I Wasn’t Reading

I spent a lot of time volunteering for my kids’ school this week. I’m co-chair of the used uniform committee and it’s a ton of work. We’re starting a new initiative and it’s taking a whole lot of my free time. But we love our school so it’s worth it!


New Books I Borrowed


What’s Up this Weekend

We have a 3 day weekend for Presidents Day! I’m spending it volunteering at the school but the kids all have some major social plans this weekend. So daddy gets to play uber driver for once instead of me 🙂

Book Review: Only a Breath Apart


Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry– Jesse Lachlin is cursed. So the town folklore says, but while Jesse’s had his fair share of tragedy, the only curse he believes is in his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year, Scarlett Copeland.

Scarlett Copeland is psychic. Glory Gardner tells Scarlett she has hidden psychic abilities, but Scarlett thinks Glory is delusional. What is real is Scarlett’s father’s irrational fears, controlling attitude, and the dark secrets at home. Scarlett may have a way to escape, but there’s a hitch: she’ll have to rely on the one person she used to trust, the same boy who broke her heart, Jesse Lachlin.

Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other. But as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head.

Genre: Young Adult

Published: January 22, 2019

Acquired: Public Library e-book

My Rating: 4 Stars

My Thoughts: I’ve been a fan of Katie McGarry’s young adult books for years. I must say though- her young adult books are more of the mature variety. I wouldn’t hand this to my 14 year old daughter to read. Her books tend to deal with heavier subjects and this one is no exception. 

I felt for Scarlett. She had a bad deal all the way around. Her dad was explosive, she lost her best friend, and she was stuck. She was a very mature teenager because she had to be. Her ice princess attitude hid deep pain inside. Jesse was misunderstood. Nobody but Scarlett saw underneath the bad boy exterior to the warm and caring person underneath. Jesse also had a very hard life and was struggling to make his way. I enjoyed watching their relationship evolve. It was a second chance story as they had been best friends for most of their childhoods but then Jesse cut off their friendship in high school. 

I really enjoyed seeing their friendship as children- those scenes added a much needed layer of depth to the story that really pulled it all together. It took what would have been a sweet love story and turned it into a saga.