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Weekly Book Club {10.18.17}

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This past week was a heck of a difficult one in our house so I didn’t have time to read a whole lot. But I did finish a book in one of my most favorite series by one of my most favorite authors. I took my time with it, mainly because I didn’t want it to end. 

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Dark Legacy by Christine Feehan– In a beautiful compound hidden away from the world, Emeline Sanchez tries to blunt the pain that has wracked her body ever since her terrifying ordeal in the labyrinth beneath the city—when she was forced to exchange blood with an evil master vampire. Now, it’s his voice that haunts her…that calls to her in the dark…that never lets her rest. And while the children that she helped to free from his clutches struggle to heal, watched over by their Carpathian protectors, Emeline knows one thing: She must sacrifice herself to keep them all from harm.

I’m totally biased about this series. I love it so much. And I’ve read every single book multiple times so the characters feel like family. I love that you see a lot of the old characters in the newer books but it’s not over the top. The story still very clearly revolves around one couple. The side characters add to the story rather than compete with the main characters. That’s a hard balance to achieve when you’ve written 27 books in one series, I think. And Christine Feehan does it beautifully. I really loved the main heroine in this book, she was strong and brave but she also knew her limits. She didn’t have any too stupid to live moments that required the big strong man to rescue her. I hate that. If you have not read any of this series I highly recommend it. While each book is a standalone story you will enjoy them so much more if you read them mostly in order. 

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Weekly Book Club {10.11.17}

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I finished 2 books in the last week and made good progress on a third. One book I loved. One book made me uncomfortable. And the last one that I’m still reading is by a favorite author. So it’s been an up and down reading week for me. 

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A Beautiful Terrible Thing by Jen Waite– What do you do when you discover that the person you’ve built your life around never existed? When “it could never happen to me” does happen to you? These are the questions facing Jen Waite when she begins to realize that her loving husband–the father of her infant daughter, her best friend, the love of her life–fits the textbook definition of psychopath. In a raw, first-person account, Waite recounts each heartbreaking discovery, every life-destroying lie, and reveals what happens once the dust finally settles on her demolished marriage. After a disturbing email sparks Waite’s suspicion that her husband is having an affair, she tries to uncover the truth and rebuild trust in her marriage. Instead, she finds more lies, infidelity, and betrayal than she could have imagined. Waite obsessively analyzes her relationship, trying to find a single moment from the last five years that isn’t part of the long-con of lies and manipulation. With a dual-timeline narrative structure, we see Waite’s romance bud, bloom, and wither simultaneously, making the heartbreak and disbelief even more affecting.

My Rating: 4 Stars

I’m not quite sure how to rate this one. It was a hard read. It’s a non-fiction first hand account of a marriage crumbling. It was intense and emotional and difficult to read. I almost felt like a voyeur peeking in the windows of a neighbor’s house watching their marriage implode. The story alternated between the past and the present giving readers a glimpse of how the relationship started and what went wrong. Definitely a story that made an impression. 

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Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason– Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan may be in South Carolina, but when a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, her life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she’s made a career out of taking care of others. But after an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her–and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he’s not about to let Haley fight this battle alone. In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories–and the depths of the heart–Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley’s past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won’t quit.

My Rating: 5 Stars

This is book 4 in one of my favorite series- the Elite Guardians series. It can be read as a standalone with no problems but the characters from the other books are in this one too so it will be a more enjoyable read if you start with book 1. And honestly these books are so great that you should read them all anyway. There’s action, suspense, romance, and bad ass women….it’s everything I love!

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Weekly Book Club {10.4.17}

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I’ve got 2 good books to share with you today! Both of them were books that I’ve been anxiously waiting for at the library. 

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Cemetery Girl by David Bell– Four years after Tom and Abby’s 12-year-old daughter vanishes, she is found alive but strangely calm. When the teen refuses to testify against the man connected to her disappearance, Tom decides to investigate the traumatizing case on his own. Nothing can prepare him for what he is about to discover.

My Rating: 4 Stars

I read another one of David Bell’s books a couple of months ago and enjoyed it so I added this one to my queue on Overdrive. I was not disappointed. I don’t want to say too much because you really need to go into this one blind. I will say that the first part of the story was how I expected, but then it went a direction I was not anticipating. I can’t say that I agree with the actions of the father. I didn’t understand him for most of the book and I really did not understand him by the end. But that inner conflict made the story better for me. 

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Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker– Jen Hatmaker believes backbone is the birthright of every woman. Women have been demonstrating resiliency and resolve since forever. They have incredibly strong shoulders to bear loss, hope, grief, and vision. She laughs at the days to come is how the ancient wisdom writings put it. But somehow women have gotten the message that pain and failure mean they must be doing things wrong, that they messed up the rules or tricks for a seamless life. As it turns out, every last woman faces confusion and loss, missteps and catastrophic malfunctions, no matter how much she is doing “right.” Struggle doesn’t mean they’re weak; it means they’re alive. Jen Hatmaker, beloved author, Big Sister Emeritus, and Chief BFF, offers another round of hilarious tales, frank honesty, and hope for the woman who has forgotten her moxie. Whether discussing the grapple with change (“Everyone, be into this thing I’m into! Except when I’m not. Then everyone be cool.”) or the time she drove to the wrong city for a fourth-grade field trip (“Why are we in San Antonio?”), Jen parlays her own triumphs and tragedies into a sigh of relief for all normal, fierce women everywhere who, like her, sometimes hide in the car eating crackers but also want to get back up and get back out, to live undaunted “in the moment” no matter what the moments hold.

My Rating: 5 Stars

I adore this book. I adore it so much. Reading one of her books is like sitting having a glass of wine with a friend. I laughed so hard while reading this one. Full of funny stories about her family in addition to some real talk about some difficult topics, this book hit all my buttons. I especially related to the chapter on grocery shopping. I may or may not have read half of this book out loud to Matt in between laughter. I highly highly recommend this one!

A couple of my favorite quotes:

“Oh sure, MTV hit the scene in 1981, but we couldn’t watch it because of the devil. Apparently we could watch a show starring two outlaw brothers, their half-naked cousin, and a car painted with the Confederate flag but couldn’t watch Madonna sing “Like a Virgin” because we might get secondhand pregnant.” Hahahahahaha!

“If these children don’t like it, they can grow up and move out one day and make their own dinners, and may God bless them with kids who only eat processed cheese slices on white bread.” Thank you and Amen. 

I highlighted about a hundred more but you should just read the book so I don’t get a cease and desist letter from Jen Hatmaker’s lawyer. haha!

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Weekly Book Club {9.27.17}

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I slacked off a bit on reading while Tyler was going through his concussion symptoms, which is why I didn’t have a post last week. But I have 2 good books to share today so hopefully that makes up for it!

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Secrets in Death by J.D. Robb– The chic Manhattan nightspot Du Vin is not the kind of place Eve Dallas would usually patronize, and it’s not the kind of bar where a lot of blood gets spilled. But that’s exactly what happens one cold February evening. The mortally wounded woman is Larinda Mars, a self-described “social information reporter,” or as most people would call it, a professional gossip. As it turns out, she was keeping the most shocking stories quiet, for profitable use in her side business as a blackmailer. Setting her sights on rich, prominent marks, she’d find out what they most wanted to keep hidden and then bleed them dry. Now someone’s done the same to her, literally—with a knife to the brachial artery. Eve didn’t like Larinda Mars. But she likes murder even less. To find justice for this victim, she’ll have to plunge into the dirty little secrets of all the people Larinda Mars victimized herself. But along the way, she may be exposed to some information she really didn’t want to know.

My Rating: 5 Stars

I love this series. It’s one of my absolute all time favorite series and it never disappoints me! This is book 45 in the series and it’s as fresh as book 1. I think one of my favorite things about this series is the characters. From book 1 the characters have been the same so the reader gets to see them grow and change. They’re like old friends now and I have a vested interest in their lives. I know, I’m weird. I devoured this book in less than a day because I couldn’t put it down. Then I walked around like a zombie for 2 days haha!

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The Breakdown by B.A. Paris– Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped. But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby. The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt. Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her.

My Rating: 4 Stars

I enjoyed this book. I have exceedingly high standards when it comes to mystery and suspense books. They have to be amazing if they’re going to get a 5 star rating from me. This one was good, really good, but not knock my socks off level. I had my suspicions about who the bad guy was and I was wrong. It definitely kept my interest and I had to finish the book to figure out what was going on. And I was surprised. That’s not easy to do. I don’t know why it’s not a 5 star read for me. Maybe the characters? I didn’t feel any connection with them. I didn’t get the pit in my stomach that makes me feel all their feels. But it was definitely worth the read and it’s well written! 

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Weekly Book Club {9.13.17}

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I read 2 books in the last week- one I loved and one that was pretty good. I recently went through my Kindle collections and sorted them again- pulling books that I really really want to read and adding them to a TBR Top 20 list so they don’t get lost. I have 6 e-books from the library that need to be read and 10 books from my Kindle Unlimited subscription that need to be read. It makes my heart happy to have so many books waiting to be read. 

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Wrecked by Cynthia Eden– LOST Agent Ana Young was only fourteen when she was abducted by a madman, but unlike many kidnapping victims, she did go home. Now, her mission is to find the missing. But her new case has her on the hunt for the escaped convict who’s obsessed with her. And Ana has an unlikely partner—the sexy, supposedly-by-the-book FBI agent she had one amazing night with and had to forget. FBI Special Agent Cash Knox knows that Ana, the petite, tough-ass former bounty hunter, can get the job done again. But this time, someone else leads them to “Bernie-the-Butcher,” someone who’s been watching Ana. Waiting for her. Now, catching a deranged murderer means Ana must trust her guarded heart to the gorgeous, complicated G-man she wasn’t supposed to fall for.

My Rating: 5 Stars

I loved this book! It’s part of the LOST series. This is book 6 in the series. I’ve read book 1 and I own a couple of the other books but haven’t read them yet. I snagged this one from the library before I realized it was part of the series. I went ahead and read it anyway even though it was out of order. I followed the story just fine with no missing info so I’ll go back and read the rest of the books I’ve missed soon. This book had romance, suspense, action, a bad-ass heroine, and a hot alpha male. That’s my perfect book recipe, y’all. I’m a sucker for that stuff. 

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Until You Loved Me by Brenda Novak– After catching her fiancé cheating—with another man–usually straight-laced, workaholic scientist Ellie Fisher liberates her wild side just long enough to indulge in a passionate one-night-stand with a tall, dark stranger she meets at a trendy Miami bar. Embarrassed by her recklessness, she ducks out the following morning without learning the guy’s full name, something that shouldn’t have been a problem…until a pregnancy test turns positive. Being a professional football player, Hudson King has always been cautious around women. But this one had been different—so disinterested in his celebrity, so convincingly into him. When Ellie tracks him down, claiming she’s carrying his baby, he’s stunned. And more than a little betrayed. But after growing up as an orphan, he’ll do anything to stay involved in his child’s life, so he urges Ellie to move to Silver Springs where they can co-parent. Hudson has a lot of love to give—certainly enough for his child, and when their initial spark reignites, perhaps for Ellie too.

My Rating: 4 Stars

I enjoyed this book, I read it quickly, and it was well written. So why not 5 stars? I don’t know exactly. I didn’t feel as connected to the characters as I wanted to. The author did a good job of telling me their emotions but I didn’t feel them. I didn’t feel the anger or the confusion or the pain, I only read about it. And I felt like the story was wrapped up in a nice little bow way too quickly. The ending was rushed and too convenient to be realistic. But that being said, I’m a sucker for an unexpected pregnancy story and I did enjoy this one. 

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