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250 Books In 365 Days: Books I Loved In August

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Well Summer is over and the kids are back in school. I had high hopes that this would mean a little more free time for me to read but the first week of school brought reality crashing back down on my head. There’s no free time. So I’ve been reading in little spurts here and there- waiting at the bus stop, waiting at football practice, staying up way too late to finish just one more chapter. I did read some great books in August though!

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1. Taste by Cambria Hebert– Spencer Waller’s main purpose in life is to protect and serve. After spending years in the military, he gets a coveted spot on the Secret Service detail protecting the president. Spence doesn’t have time for women or all the work having a relationship with one requires. But just because he isn’t looking for a lady doesn’t mean he can’t appreciate a beautiful one when he sees her. And he makes it a point to see one in particular every single day. Elle Bond has literally chopped and fried her way to the top of the food chain. Earning a coveted position in the White House as the president’s personal chef, she figures her professional life can only get better. Her personal life, on the other hand, could use a little bit of an overhaul, and because of that, she tries to ignore the charm-dripping cookie thief every time he comes into her kitchen. After all, she knows better than anyone that just one taste of something good is never enough. One night after work, Elle is assaulted, threatened, and given an ultimatum. She can’t go to the police, and she sure as hell can’t do what she was ordered. But she has to. Or else. Pale, shaken, and scared to death, Elle confides in Spence, and his protective instincts take over. Together, Elle and Spencer have to uncover a sinister plot and stop it before someone ends up dead.

This book is part of a series but they are all stand alone reads that don’t have to be read in order. I have read several of them and they are all fantastic. The perfect amount of romance, danger, and suspense. I highly recommend this series. 

 2. Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter– When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school bullies taunt and shove her. She can’t go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self. Her older self has been through it all already—she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.

I went into this book blind based on the recommendation of a reader friend of mine. She said not to read the blurb, to just read the book. I never do this but I took her advice and I loved this book. It was strange, I had no idea what was coming, and I loved it. Throw away your preconceived notions and read this one! 

 3. A Will To Change by Beth Rinyu– Will McAdams is a New York City firefighter who has always lived in the shadow of his older brother, never quite measuring up to his parents standards. He lives his life without regrets, and answers to no one. The women love him and he uses that to his advantage, making it clear that he only has one use for them. Gabby Spencer is a nurse in the burn unit of a busy New York City hospital. Her guarded personality doesn’t allow many people into her life and her patients take the place of her lack of family. She masks the pain that she is harboring deep inside with quick wit and sarcasm. When Will becomes one of Gabby’s patients they form a special bond and soon become each other’s solace. But Will doesn’t see her like every other woman in his life. She means the world to him and he feels an underlying need to always protect her – most of all from himself. Even though he wants her more than he’s ever wanted any other woman, he’s not willing to take that next step and jeopardize everything they have. When jealousy and pain begin to overtake their once perfect friendship, will Will’s fear of falling in love and never measuring up, cause him to lose the one and only woman to ever own his heart?

I love this author. She makes me feel all the feels when I read her books. This is a companion novel to A Cry For Hope, which I also loved. If you’ve not read her work, you’re missing out!

 4. Hard Knox by Nicole Williams– Knox Jagger. The name inspires resent in every male at Sinclair University, want in every female, and contempt in Charlie Chase. Charlie can be summed up in three words: independent, independent, and independent. To Charlie, Knox epitomizes everything that’s wrong with college males: prolific one-night stands, drunken senseless fights, and a body that hints at prioritizing gym time over study time. As an up-and-coming writer for Sinclair University’s newspaper, Charlie’s tasked with getting to the bottom of who’s been dropping little white pills into girls’ drinks at parties. In an ocean of All-American boys sporting polo shirts and innocent smiles, Knox is the obvious suspect. As evidence piles up against the bad boy of Sinclair, Charlie becomes more and more certain it isn’t Knox. But when her drink is dosed at a party and she wakes up on Knox’s couch the next morning, Charlie’s left with more questions than answers when it comes to Knox Jagger. How can Charlie ever hope to uncover the truth behind a guy so closed off he’s become . . .Hard Knox.

I love me some Hard Knox. I wasn’t sure I would like this story- the heroine is a little off-putting and judgmental in the beginning. But she grew on me. This was a great story.

 5. Nikolai by Roxie Rivera– After a brush with death as a juvenile delinquent, Vivian swore she’d never stray across that line again—but there’s just one problem with her plan to stay on the right side of the law. She’s completely, irrevocably and unabashedly in love with Nikolai, the Russian mob boss who saved her life. From the moment Vivian appeared in his life on that tragic April night, Nikolai felt himself inextricably bonded to her. She’s the bright light in his dark world and the only thing that keeps him from sliding deeper into a life of crime and violence—a mobbed-up life he can’t escape no matter how hard he tries. After Vivian is ripped from his arms in a brazen blitz attack, Nikolai will stop at nothing to get her back—but rescuing her and keeping her safe in his arms isn’t enough. Suddenly, Nikolai’s only chance to keep her safe is to do the one thing he vowed never to do—he’ll drag her deeper into his shadowy world and bind her to him forever. Because their tangled pasts are about to collide and the shockwave threatens to bring Houston’s criminal underbelly to its knees.

You know how I love mob books and this one is fantastic. It’s part of a series that I recommend reading in order to get the full background. This one is probably my favorite of the series but it’s a close race. 

 6. A Whole New Crowd by Tijan– Taryn grew up in a different world. Her boyfriend was a criminal. His older brother was part of a gang. They weren’t great people, but they were her family. Then everything changes when she’s adopted by a family in the neighboring town. New family. New friends. A new world. She’s elated. This is her chance for a new beginning, but secrets start being revealed and Taryn learns her new life has ties to her old one, ties that she’s not happy about. Her new family might not have been the lucky break she thought she had. Now she’s not only fighting to live that new future, but she’s fighting to survive as well.

I love Tijan. It’s a fact. Her Fallen Crest High series is still one of my favorite series of all time. This book was a little darker but it was really a great story. I loved the heroine, she was bad ass! 

 7. Thin Love by Eden Butler– Love isn’t supposed to be an addiction. It isn’t supposed to leave you bleeding. Kona pushed, Keira pulled, and in their wake, they left behind destruction. She sacrificed everything for him. It wasn’t enough. But the wounds of the past can never be completely forgotten and still the flame remains, slumbers between the pleasure of yesterday and the thought of what might have been. Now, sixteen years later, Keira returns home to bury the mother who betrayed her, just as Kona tries to hold onto what remains of his NFL career with the New Orleans Steamers. Across the crowded bustle of a busy French Market, their paths collide, conjuring forgotten memories of a consuming touch, skin on skin, and the still smoldering fire that begs to be rekindled. When Kona realizes the trifecta of betrayal—his, Keira’s and those lies told to keep them apart—his life is irrevocably changed and he once again takes Keira down with him into the fire that threatens to ignite them both.

This book is so good. I loved that the author showed both the present and what happened in the past. There were 2 characters in this story that I wanted to kill. Like for real murder, y’all. I must say- this is not an easy love story. Kona and Keira were totally dysfunctional as a couple, bordering on toxic. It was intense and uncomfortable to read about at points but it was just so good. Highly recommend!

 I’m hoping to carve out some time in September to read because several of my favorite authors have books coming out during the month. Did you read anything good in August?

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250 Books In 365 Days: Books I Loved In July

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I’m still trying to figure out where July went. It’s almost time for the kids to go back to school but I feel like summer just started. What a bummer. I didn’t read as many books in July as I planned to because we were busy having fun. But I did manage to find some favorites during the month. If you missed it, on Monday I posted about how I fill my Kindle on a budget for those of you who love to read as much as I do. 

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1. Go With Me by Elyssa Patrick– I, Daphne Fox, have a few things to confess: 1. I hate Nick Brady. Loathe. Abhor. Can’t stand him 95% of the time. 2. That other 5%? I’m not talking about that at all. 3. People think I’m lucky for surviving the car crash. I disagree. 4. Nick is the only guy who makes my nightmares go away. 5. I won’t love him, though. Love is not worth the pain. I, Nick Brady, have a few confessions of my own: 1. I don’t hate Daphne Fox. At all. 2. I find her scar sexy. Just like the rest of her. 3. I may be her older brother’s best friend, but that’s not going to stop me. 4. I love her. 5. And I’m going to do everything I can to have her.

 I loved this book. It was the classic big brother’s best friend falling for the little sister story. It was emotional and deep and I could feel the connection between the characters. Highly recommend.

 2. Nero by Sarah Brianne– Nero is the king of Legacy Prep, living a life of power. Elle is the school’s punching bag, living a life of fear. The only good girls Nero knows jump in his bed when he tells them to. The closest Elle has come to a bad boy like him is in the cafeteria line. The mob boss gave him orders to find out what she knows. Her mouth is sealed.

 I had to kind of suspend reality and morals in order to fully appreciate this book but once I did that, I loved it. It’s a mafia mob style book and I admit, I’m a sucker for those. 

 3. Completely Wrecked by Shayne McClendon– Elizabeth Clayton has been in love with Dylan Lange since they were in elementary school. Uncomfortable in her own skin and in possession of a kind and gentle heart, she never expects him to see her in a romantic light. When she stumbles upon him, battered and unconscious, it starts a chain reaction that will span more than a decade of interactions between them filled with pain, devotion, love, and loss. Take a journey with Lizzy and Dylan that will make you laugh, make you ugly cry, and (hopefully) encourage you to take a look around and appreciate the love and positivity in your own life. 

This book has a trigger warning and it definitely needed one. Child abuse and child death are part of the theme so be warned. I was unsure about this book until about halfway through. I kept putting it down and coming back to it. But somewhere around halfway I was totally engrossed in the story and could not put it down. The story made me cry real tears and that hardly ever happens. It’s not an easy story to read though. 

 4. Breathe With Me by Kristen Proby– Mark Williams has loved Meredith since he was seventeen. A successful man with a strong family, he’s worked hard to move on from Meredith breaking his heart all those years ago. When his path crosses with the only woman he’s ever loved again years later, Mark knows there is nothing he won’t do to keep her in his life. But when the going gets tough, will Meredith stick around or will he lose her again? Meredith Summers is a dancer. One of the first things she learned in following her dreams is that timing is everything. She has spent the past ten years following her dream touring with mega-stars while trying to forget the high school sweetheart she left behind. Now she’s back in Seattle, running a successful dance studio with her best friend Jax and determined to move on from her gypsy past. Until the day she sees Mark Williams and time stands still. It’s as if no time has passed at all when Meredith finds herself in Mark’s arms again. The chemistry, the bonds and the love are as strong as ever and hearing Mark whisper breathe with me in her ear is a balm to her wounded soul. But will she grab onto this second chance at love, or is the timing all wrong for them again?

 This is book number 7 in the With Me In Seattle series. This series is one of my favorites and every book is amazing. This particular story is a second chance at love storyline and I love those. Highly recommend the whole series but it does need to be read in order. Also- if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited then all 7 of the books in this series are free to read. 

 5. Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey– With Olympic tryouts on the horizon, the last thing nineteen-year-old Kinsley Bryant needs to add to her plate is Liam Wilder. He’s a professional soccer player, America’s favorite bad-boy, and has all the qualities of a skilled panty-dropper. A face that makes girls weep – check. Abs that can shred Parmesan cheese (the expensive kind) – check. Enough confidence to shift the earth’s gravitational pull – double check. Not to mention Liam is strictly off limits . Forbidden. Her coaches have made that perfectly clear. (i.e. “Score with Coach Wilder anywhere other than the field and you’ll be cut from the team faster than you can count his tattoos.”) But that just makes him all the more enticing…Besides, Kinsley’s already counted the visible ones, and she is not one to leave a project unfinished. Kinsley tries to play the game her way as they navigate through forbidden territory, but Liam is determined to teach her a whole new definition for the term “team bonding.”

 It’s not a secret how much I love soccer and that love extends to books about soccer players. But I’m very particular- the books must be accurate. Nothing worse than someone who knows nothing about the sport trying to write a book around it. This book is fabulous. It’s more romance focused than soccer focused and I loved the whole story. You’ll enjoy this one even if you’re not a soccer fan. 

 6. Pieces Of Olivia by Melissa West– Olivia Warren used to be a normal girl with a bright future. But on one fated night, everything changed. Hiding the scars of her past up her sleeves, Olivia transfers her enrollment from Columbia University to The College of Charleston, determined to pursue her own dreams for the first time in her life. She intends to allow herself a bit of alone time to heal… that is, until she meets Preston. Preston is best friends with her roommate, completely hot, and off-limits. But the chemistry between them is instantaneous—and as the pair begins to spend more time with one another, their feelings for each other build into something undeniable, something powerful enough to heal Olivia’s deepest scars. Olivia tries to put her own past behind her and trust Preston, but she discovers that his past might be more present than she ever bargained for.

 This book is the first in a series but it’s not a cliffhanger ending, I hate those. This is a very emotional book and I could feel the butterflies in my tummy as I read. I loved the main characters, neither of them inspired eye-rolling and scoffing. 

 7. Ruthless People by J.J. McAvoy– To the outside world, they look like American Royalty, giving to charities, feeding the homeless, rebuilding the city. But behind closed doors is a constant battle for dominance between two Bosses, cultures, and hearts. Ruthless People is a romantic crime fiction set in modern day Chicago, and follows the life and marriage of Melody Giovanni and Liam Callahan—rivals by blood and leaders through fear. Their marriage, arranged by their fathers in hopes to end years of bloodshed between the Irish and the Italians. Liam believes he’s getting a simple-minded wife, one he can control, one who bends to his every need . . . the complete opposite of Melody. She knows exactly what type of man he is, and would rather die than give up the power she has spent her life building. The Mafia of the past has evolved, and with rival bosses gunning for them, Melody and Liam will have to learn to work as one to take down those who stand in their way.

 Oh man. This might be a favorite book of all time for me. It’s completely violent, totally without morals, and absolutely amazing. The author describes it as “Mr. and Mrs. Smith meets the Sopranos” and that is so accurate! Be warned though- this is a mafia book and it’s dark. But if you can get past the dark tone, it’s an amazing read. 

 Here’s hoping for more great books in August! Happy Reading!

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How I Fill My Kindle On A Budget

Clearly I have not been shy about the fact that I love to read, right? I adore my Kindle. I named her Phoebe and she goes everywhere with me. I read a lot of books. I’m a very fast reader- a fact that used to drive my mother insane back when we used to take me to the library as a kid. She’d let me check out 10 books at a time and I’d be done in 3 days and begging her to take me back so I could get more. I can read a book a day even now with my busy life. I have insomnia and spend a lot of late nights reading to pass the time until I can fall asleep. But books are expensive and I do not have an unlimited book budget. Unfortunately. I have to find ways to fill my Kindle on a budget.

 

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1.Search the Amazon bestsellers & hot new releases lists. You can find the Top 100 books in whichever genre you like to read. There’s a list for paid books and a list for free books. I find a lot of great books on the Top 100 free list. 

 

2. Utilize the Amazon Wish Lists. I have a limit of $3.99. I don’t pay more than that for any book. So any book I find that costs more I add to my wish list. Kindle books go on sale frequently so I check my wish list a few times a week to see if any of the books I’m wanting to read have been discounted. Sometimes the discount only lasts for 24 hours so you have to check frequently. 

 

3. Subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. I am in my 30 day free trial right now but I will definitely be continuing my subscription. It costs $9.99 a month and you can read a ton of books for free. There are a ton of great books that I’ve been waiting to read available in Kindle Unlimited. You can download 10 at a time and there are no due dates and no limits to how many you can read per month. This is a great option for me when I’ve reached my monthly limit on the book budget. 

 

4. Use your public library’s digital media collection. I check out a whole lot of books through the public library to read on my Kindle. On my library’s website there is a link to online media and I borrow via Overdrive. Every library’s collection is different but I read most of the new releases this way because they’re too expensive for me to buy until they go on sale- J.D. Robb, Janet Evanovich, Christine Feehan. 

 

5. Check Amazon’s Daily Deals. I’ve gotten a lot of great books at deep discounts. I signed up for the daily email which lets me see what books are on special that day. I recently got a $9.78 book for $1.99. 

 

6. Read Maryse’s blog on Tuesday’s and Friday’s. I love this book blog. I don’t remember how I found her but she is the only book blog I read these days. On Tuesday’s she posts a large list of the newest release books with links. On Friday’s she posts a big list of discounted books for the week. I’ve found a bunch of new authors through her blog and if I buy a book she has recommended I always buy directly from her link because I think she uses affiliate links and I appreciate the time and effort she puts into finding all the books. 

 

So those are the main ways I fill my Kindle with new books all the time. I’ve had several questions about how I afford all the books I read and I wanted to share my secrets.  Also- if you are an Amazon Prime member you can borrow a book from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library every month. 

 

Happy Reading!

 

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Some Books From My TBR List + Why I Love Reading

"Inadequate respect for tomorrow."

 

It’s no secret around here that I love to read, right? I mean I think I’ve been pretty clear on that fact. I’ve loved to read for as long as I can remember- ever since childhood. My mom says I was reading first level books by age 4 and I never got over that love of reading. When I was in middle school it was The Babysitters Club, and Sweet Valley Twins, and anything Judy Blume. Then I graduated to Sweet Valley High and Nancy Drew. I put reading on the back burner when soccer took over my life but I found my way back to my first love eventually.

 

Lots of people have asked me why I love to read. I don’t know. I can’t explain it. I love to escape into someone else’s fictional world. It helps me relieve stress. More than once I’ve smacked Matt in the shoulder and remarked “why can’t you say stuff like that?” when I’m reading a book. He always responds “because I’m a real man, not one made up by a woman”. Hmph. And more than one Matt has thrown his hands up in complete exasperation and said “stop trying to turn me into one of your fictional book boyfriends”. Men. 

 

Well that and iced tea!

 

I have probably 1500 books on my Kindle plus I have a small collection of paperback favorites that I’m slowly re-buying on my Kindle. I have some favorite series by different authors that I buy always, no matter what- J.D. Robb, Dianne Duvall, Christine Feehan, Kristen Proby, Janet Evanovich…and then I have a bunch of books that I’ve bought when they drop down to 99 cents on sale. It will take me forever to get through all these books. But I have a book for every mood…more like 500 books for every mood.

 

I have at least 5 different TBR lists on my Kindle just to keep track of the books I want to read. Today I wanted to share some of the books off of my main TBR list. These are the books I plan to read first. As always- the amazon link are not affiliate and I’m not receiving any compensation from anyone. I just really want to read these books.

 

1. Never Surrender by Lindsay McKenna– From Shadow Warrior…to hostage. Despite her sweet nature, Navy medic Bay Thorn’s will is unbreakable. It has earned her not only the respect of her team, but also the love of Navy SEAL Gabe Griffin. And as soon as she wraps up the final six months of Operation Shadow Warriors in Afghanistan, she’ll have her happily ever after…. Until her deployment goes horribly wrong. Bay’s medical expertise is needed by the Taliban, and she is taken hostage. Her captor is ruthless and cruel, and Bay isn’t exempt from his evil intents. All that’s left now is her resolve and the too-distant memory of Gabe—her last and only hope for rescue. And to pull Bay from hell, this SEAL will have to break every rule in the book. But will Gabe find the woman he loves…or a woman broken beyond recognition?

 

2. First Grave On The Right by Darynda Jones– Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e., murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

 

3. The Witness by Ginna Gray– In the blink of an eye, Lauren Brownly’s life changed forever. Late one night the concert pianist witnessed a grisly murder, and with it came a devastating truth:Her career had been financed by crime lord Carlo Giovessi. Now Lauren’s testimony against him could finally bring him down. Terrified and utterly alone, Lauren must trust in one man—Sam Grey Wolf Rawlins. She is powerfully drawn to the rugged FBI agent who took her into protective custody, but Wolf cannot dismiss the shocking allegations about Lauren’s personal involvement with the mobster. Their traitorous emotions—and their survival skills—are put to the ultimate test when their plane crashes during a blizzard. Now they are stranded in the mountains with hit men hot on their trail, and danger is closing in on Lauren and Wolf. There’s a traitor in the ranks of the FBI and Wolf knows there is nowhere safe to hide—except in a world he left behind long ago…

 

4. Pieces of Olivia by Melissa West– Olivia Warren used to be a normal girl with a bright future. But on one fated night, everything changed. Hiding the scars of her past up her sleeves, Olivia transfers her enrollment from Columbia University to The College of Charleston, determined to pursue her own dreams for the first time in her life. She intends to allow herself a bit of alone time to heal… that is, until she meets Preston. Preston is best friends with her roommate, completely hot, and off-limits.  But the chemistry between them is instantaneous–and as the pair begins to spend more time with one another, their feelings for each other build into something undeniable, something powerful enough to heal Olivia’s deepest scars. Olivia tries to put her own past behind her and trust Preston, but she discovers that his past might be more present than she ever bargained for…

 

5. Take Over At Midnight by M.L. Buchman– Nothing sticks to “Crazy” Tim Maloney, until he falls hard for a tall Creole beauty with a haunted past and a penchant for reckless flying. Lola LaRue never thought she’d be susceptible to a man’s desire, but even with Tim igniting her deepest passions, it may be too late now…With the nation under an imminent threat of biological warfare, Tim and Lola are the only ones who can stop the madness–and to do that, they’re going to have to trust each other way beyond their limits.

 

6. Don’t Look Back by M.J. Fredrick– When her best friend is kidnapped in Africa, Dr. Liv Olney must return to the scene of her own horrific captivity. The only man she trusts is former Army Lt. Gerard “Del” Delaney, the man who rescued her. Even with him, she can’t relinquish control of her emotions, needing to keep painful memories at bay. In exile after a court martial that stripped him of everything, Del misses his son and his country. When Liv asks for help, his instinct is to turn away. But her courage reaches out to him and he cannot refuse, especially when she promises that she can help clear his name so he can go home. Together they travel to Africa, where they fight warlords and monsoons, and learn to trust and hope that, together, they can find happiness and peace. 

 

7. The Sweet Spot by Stephanie Evanovich– When pro baseball player Chase Walker first meets Amanda at her restaurant, it’s love at first sight. While Amanda can’t help noticing the superstar with the Greek-god-build, he doesn’t have a chance of getting to first—or any other—base with her. A successful entrepreneur who’s built her business from scratch, Amanda doesn’t need a Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet. And a curvy girl who likes to cook and eat isn’t interested in being around the catty, stick-thin herd of females chasing Chase and his teammates. But Chase isn’t about to strike out. A man who isn’t interested in playing the field, he’s a monogamist who wants an independent woman like Amanda. His hopes rally when she discovers that squeaky-clean Chase has a few sexy and very secret pre-game rituals that turn the smart, headstrong businesswoman on—and into his number one fan. Then a tabloid discovers the truth and turns their spanking good fun into a late- night punchline. Is Amanda ready to let loose and swing for the fences? Or will the pressure of Chase’s stardom force them to call it quits?

 

8. It’s Always Been You by Victoria Paige– Former Navy SEAL Travis Blake is a rising star in the security business. In two short years, Blake Security Inc. has become highly sought after by the who’s who in Washington DC. But unbeknownst to many, Travis is haunted by the mysterious death of his wife three years before. He carries with him the guilt of not being there to protect the one person who meant everything to him. He has buried his wife, but his heart refuses to accept that the body six feet under is hers. His obsessive search for her leads him deep into the trenches of covert ops—where everything is not what it seems. Caitlin Kincaid has been on the run for a while. The sum of her memories began three years ago when she awakened with a broken arm and leg and a severe concussion. Hunted down by a secret group within the U.S. government, her companion persuades her to stay off the grid because of the standing kill order on their heads. One night, while fleeing assassins, she is left on the side of the road with a cryptic message: “It’s time for you to stop running. I’m not the one you love.” When Travis receives news that the woman who has turned up at the American Embassy in Berlin could be his wife, he wastes no time getting to her. He is unprepared for the devastation that shreds him when Caitlin looks at him with no recognition in her eyes. Amnesia is a challenging enough obstacle for winning the love of his life back, but with lies defining the past three years of her life, Caitlin becomes wary of anyone’s help. Love was never the problem. A marriage cannot survive without trust. As sinister forces threaten the bond they are trying to rebuild, trust must come quickly or one of them will die. 

 

9. Acts Of Contrition by Jennifer Hanford– Mary Morrissey is living the life of her dreams. She has a loving husband of ten years, Tom, two daughters, and twin boys. Her parents are just down the road. Her three sisters are nearby. Perfect—some might even say she is living the American Dream. But beneath the shiny veneer, Mary hasn’t taken a calm breath in years. She lives in a constant state of panic, afraid that the secret she’s kept hidden for so long will be revealed, that it will shatter the life she’s worked so hard to build. When Mary’s handsome and addictively charismatic ex-boyfriend Landon James reappears during his high profile Senate campaign, she feels the truth bubbling to the surface and knows she’s powerless to stop it. Mary has spent years trying to forget him, and now he’s on every TV she sees. A conditional Catholic, Mary bargains with God, negotiating deals that will keep her happy life undisturbed for another day. She prays for strength and confesses her sins—anything that might let her sleep at night under the weight of the guilt she carries from lying to her husband and family for the entirety of her marriage. When Tom learns what Mary’s been hiding, what once seemed unfathomable—a deep, heartbreaking divide between them—is now their new normal. Can they find a way to rebuild their life together? Is forgiveness possible?

 

10. Plain Jayne by Laura Dewry– Worn out from the long drive back home, Jayne Morgan can only smirk at the irony: Of course the first person she sees from her old life is Nick Scott. Once best friends, they lost touch when Jayne left town at eighteen, but nothing could keep them apart forever. Jayne has returned to take over her grandmother’s bookstore, determined to put all her bittersweet memories and secret disappointments strictly in the past—until, that is, Nick insists she bunk at his place. Nick never did care what people thought about having a girl for a best friend—or the “scandal” she caused by showing up to his wife’s funeral four years earlier—so he’s got no problem with the gossips now. Jayne was always the one person he could count on in his life. Now Nick is starting to realize that he never wants her to leave again . . . and that being “just friends” isn’t going to be enough anymore.

 

Those are just 10 of the fabulous books I’m dying to read on my TBR list. I really need more hours in my day. A lot more hours. If I could find a way to cut out sleep entirely I’d be golden. 

 

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250 Books In 365 Days: Books I Loved In June

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I read less books in June because most of my time was spent at the pool with the kids. But not having to get up early in the mornings plus kids who like to sleep in past 9:30am means I had quite a few very late nights reading books. Have I mentioned how much I really love summer? Because I do. 

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1. Obsession by Lisa Clark O’Neill– Trauma surgeon Justin Wellington is accustomed to handling gunshot wounds… just not over his Cobb salad. When a lunch date with his best friend, the woman with whom he’s quietly and desperately in love – homicide detective Kathleen Murphy – becomes the scene of a drive-by shooting, Justin’s surgical skills are called upon to save the life of a young waitress. His heroism that day sets into motion a chain of events that brings him to the attention of a dangerous and disturbed individual, threatening his career, his own life and the lives of those he holds dear. Obsession: Because sometimes what we think is love is really only madness.

 I really enjoyed every page of this book. This is book 5 in the Southern Comfort series. I’ve read 3 of the others and they are all great. I wish I’d read them in order though so I do recommend doing that. This book combined 2 things I love- friends turning into lovers, and romantic suspense. It was a definite favorite.

 2. Cut Too Deep by K.J. Bell– A woman traumatized by her past, beaten, battered, and unwilling to trust. A man held captive by his greatest failure, lost, and self-destructive. Letters that unexpectedly bind them together. Is their bond strong enough to survive each other? As a web of deceit is revealed, will they be able to determine what’s real, and what’s worth fighting for? Or will they crumble under the weight of secrets that cut too deep? Can Miller forgive himself and move beyond his fear of failing the one he loves? Can Hadley accept the love she desperately wants but doesn’t believe she deserves?

 This book stayed with me for a couple of days after I read it. Reading what Hadley went through and seeing the way Miller helped her overcome it and stand strong made this a really emotional read for me. Definitely on my favorites shelf.

 3. Bite Me by Shelly Laurenston– Livy Kowalski has no time for idiots. When you shapeshift into a honey badger, getting through life’s irritants is a finely honed skill. Until she gets stuck housing her nutso cousin and dealing with her dad’s untimely and unexplained demise. That’s where Vic Barinov comes in—or his house does. Vic can’t step outside without coming back to find Livy devouring his honey stash and getting the TV remote sticky. It gets his animal instincts all riled up. But he’ll have to woo her at high speed: all hell is breaking loose, and Livy is leading the charge.

 I love shifter books. But I’ve never read one quite like this. I’ve never read a shifter book about a Honey Badger. And I loved it. This book is part of a series but I haven’t read the others in the series yet. This book is hysterically funny. I found myself laughing out loud a lot while reading. There’s some drama but it’s all wrapped up with a funny bow. 

 4. Infinity + One by Amy Harmon– When two unlikely allies become two unwitting outlaws, will two unforgettable lovers defy unbeatable odds? Bonnie Rae Shelby is a superstar. She’s rich. She’s beautiful. She’s impossibly famous. And Bonnie Rae Shelby wants to die. Finn Clyde is a nobody. He’s broken. He’s brilliant. He’s impossibly cynical. And all he wants is a chance at life. One girl. One boy. An act of compassion. A bizarre set of circumstances. And a choice – turn your head and walk away, or reach out your hand and risk it all?  With that choice, the clock starts ticking on a man with a past and a girl who can’t face the future, counting down the seconds in an adventure riddled with heartbreak and humor, misunderstanding and revelation. With the world against them, two very different people take a journey that will not only change their lives, but may cost them their lives as well. Infinity + One is a tale of shooting stars and fame and fortune, of gilded cages and iron bars, of finding a friend behind a stranger’s face, and discovering love in the oddest of places.

 This book is so unlike any other rock star book that I’ve read before. It kept my interest and I had to know what happened. I loved the relationship that developed between the 2 main characters and I loved the obstacles they had to overcome in order to be together. 

 5. Crash Into You by Katie McGarry– The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life—that’s who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers…and she’s just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can’t get him out of her mind. Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look. But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they’ll go to save each other.

 This is book 3 in a series. I’ve read all 3 and I do recommend reading them in order because the characters from the first 2 books play a role in this book. You’ll get more out of the book if you understand the background of the characters. I loved the man character, Rachel. She tried so hard to be someone she wasn’t to please her family. I could just feel her anxiety pouring off the pages while I read. The relationship between her and Isaiah was powerful and I loved reading it develop. 

 6. Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis– Co-owner of the town’s only kennel, Lilah Young has lived in Sunshine, Idaho, all her life. Pilot-for-hire Brady Miller is just passing through. But he soon has Lilah abandoning her instincts and giving in to a primal desire. It’s Brady’s nature to resist being tied down, but there’s something about Lilah and her menagerie that keeps him coming back for more.

 The blurb of this book didn’t really tell me much but I love Jill Shalvis so I knew I’d love this book. I had it on hold at the library for my Kindle for awhile and finally was able to read it. I loved it so much that I immediately read the other 3 books in the series. They are all 5 star reads for me in June. The characters from book one continue throughout the series and each book deals with a different couple so it’s like reading about one big happy family. I highly recommend this series if you like some laughter with your romance.

 I have a bunch of great books on hold at the library including the new J.D. Robb and Janet Evanovich books. Hopefully they will come available in July. Plus there are some great books releasing this month that I’m excited about!

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