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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.


Monthly Book Report: March 2017


I read 4 good books in March that I would recommend. I read a few that I would not recommend so we won’t talk about those. I didn’t have a lot of free time to read this month unfortunately but there were a few books that I knew I wanted to read so I used my reading time wisely.

1. Mulberry Moon by Catherine Anderson– After a career on the rodeo circuit, Ben Sterling longs to settle down on his farm and start a family like his brothers. He’s searched all over for the woman of his dreams. Yet the only one to spark his interest is the new owner of the local café. Getting her attention, however, won’t be easy. Sissy Sue Bentley has worked hard to make it on her own, and she doesn’t need another man in her life. From her alcoholic father to the men she’s dated, who were after only one thing, they are nothing but trouble. Except Ben keeps showing up whenever she really needs help. Sissy struggles to deny her growing feelings for him—but soon Ben’s tender concern has her hoping for a happier future. Then her past comes barreling back into her life, and it will take more than the love in Ben’s heart to hold them together.

I love Catherine Anderson, she’s one of my favorite authors and I’m always excited when she has a new release. I enjoyed this book. It took awhile to get the story build up but once it got going it was really good. I liked both main characters and I liked them together. There were some twists that I wasn’t expecting. This is part of a series but each book stands alone. 

2. Cole by Tijan– I shouldn’t have remembered him. He was just a guy who walked through a restaurant. I didn’t know his name. We never made eye contact. There was no connection between us at all. But I could feel him.
The tingle down my spine. The command in his presence. The snap of tension in the air around him. That was the first time I saw him, and I was captivated. The second time was different. He was in the mysterious back elevator of my apartment building. Our eyes met for a fleeting second before the doors closed, and I was staggered. My breath was robbed. My senses on high alert. My body hummed. That was just the beginning. He was the leader of the mafia. I was about to fall in love with him, and his name…Cole Mauricio.

I love Tijan. Her Carter Reed series is one of my most favorites ever and this book is part of that series. There’s action, there’s violence, there’s a hot alpha male, and there’s mafia. What else do you need? I definitely recommend reading this series in order so you get the full story. 

3. Moving Target by Lynette Eason– When Maddy McKay and Quinn Holcombe don’t show up for Quinn’s surprise birthday party, his friends know that something is very wrong. Their search turns up little beyond evidence that Quinn and Maddy just decided to take off for a long overdue vacation. But it soon becomes apparent that they did not leave of their own accord. Maddy awakens in a cement room with no idea where she is. But it’s not long before she realizes she’s in the clutches of a madman exacting revenge by hunting. His prey of choice? Humans. Now Maddy and Quinn must run for their lives, hoping to find their killer before the next game begins. Because if they don’t win this game, they die.

This series is so good! There’s so much action and suspense and romance. It’s fantastic. This one is probably my favorite of the series. I could not put it down! You can read the books in any order but they are really good when you have the backstory on all the characters. 

4. Claiming Grace by Susan Stoker– For Logan Anderson, moving on from a traumatic past means moving back to his hometown of Castle Rock, Colorado, to start a personal-security business with his brothers. But it’s not long before Logan runs into Grace Mason, his best friend from high school…and the woman who never answered his letters during his Army years. Grace was pleasantly surprised to see Logan return to Castle Rock, despite their falling-out ten years ago. Everyone always assumed they would end up together, including Grace, who had eyes only for him. But as Logan eventually escaped their town, Grace got pulled further into her family’s controlling grasp—and farther away from the man she loved. Now, united by scars both visible and not, the two must fight to free Grace from the suffocating hold of her family. But the Masons won’t let go easily—and they’ll do whatever it takes to keep the couple apart.

Susan Stoker is another one of my favorite authors. This is the first book in her new series. I enjoyed it, probably not as much as her other 2 series but it was really good. I think I love her other characters so much that starting a new series was hard for me. I know, I’m a freak. 

I’m looking forward to reading some more great books in April. It’s getting warm outside so I plan to spend some time out on the deck reading while the kids play in the yard. I love Spring!


Monthly Book Report: February 2017


I read a lot of great books in February! I read 11 fantastic books, to be exact. It was a great reading month for me! And 9 of them were borrows so they were free to read! That’s a great month, for sure!

1. The Memory Watcher by Minka Kent– When Autumn Carpenter stumbles upon the social media account of the family who adopted her infant daughter years ago, she finds herself instantly drawn into their picture-perfect existence. From behind a computer screen, Autumn watches Grace’s every memory, from birthdays to holidays to bedtime snuggles. But what starts as an innocent fascination spirals into an addictive obsession met with a screeching halt the day the McMullen family closes their Instaface account without so much as a warning. Frantic and desperate to reconnect with her daughter, Autumn applies for a nanny position with the McMullens, manipulating herself into Grace’s life under false pretenses. And it’s only then that Autumn discovers pictures lie, the perfect family doesn’t exist, and beautiful people? They have the ugliest secrets.

This book. THIS BOOK. It was so good! I didn’t see the ending coming and there were some twists and turns that I definitely wasn’t expecting! I love that in a book. This was more in the contemporary mystery/suspense category, which I really enjoy.

2. Kill Me by L.P. Lovell– Una: To many, I am little more than a myth. The Kiss of Death, a hired killer, revered by some of the greatest criminal organisations in the world. Trained by the bratva themselves, without conscience, without mercy, the perfect soldier. I’ll kill anyone… for a price. Death doesn’t discriminate, she sells to the highest bidder, but even I have a weakness. Nero: I want one thing—power. But power is merely a game of strategy. The pieces are on the chess board. Death is my queen, and also my pawn. She’ll paint this city red in exchange for the one thing she wants. Now all I have to do is watch it all play out. She’s nothing more than a weapon, and yet, I find myself wanting to dance with death, to possess her. And I always get what I want. A game of power. A risk that could cost her everything. An obsession that would see the world burn at their feet. A bloodied king. A broken queen. Kill me or kiss me?

I enjoyed this book. It was unexpected. The heroine was a badass and I liked that. I probably won’t continue reading the series but this book was pretty good. It’s violent and dark and fast paced. 

3. Protector by Michelle Horst– I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of person. I wanted to save the world, or at least leave my stamp behind. In my own naïve way I thought I could bribe karma but life has a way of teaching us lessons. I never knew how selfish I was until my life was ripped away from me. Taken. I’m forced to watch as they torture and kill my family … and I know I’m next. I hear their screams. I watch them die. It’s the worst kind of torture. Then he comes. He made a promise to my brother. It’s the only thing keeping him bound to me. A promise to protect me. I should set him free of the promise … but I don’t. He’s my shield against karma. He’s my protector.

Woah- this book was just WOAH. It’s definitely violent so if that bothers you then you’ll want to skip this one. I felt for the heroine, she really got a bad hand dealt to her. I didn’t see the twist coming which always makes me happy. I do recommend this one and I hope this is going to turn into a series because I would definitely read more about these characters!

4. Becoming Mrs. Lockwood by K.I. Lynn– Every girl has dreams of meeting Prince Charming, or at least I know I did. A fairy tale-like meeting of love at first sight. Real life and fairy tales are very different. I’m just a small town Indiana girl that had a chance encounter with one of Hollywood’s golden boys. You may think you know where this story goes—not even close. Life is different. Marriage is hard. It’s even worse when you’re strangers.

This book definitely requires you to suspend reality a little bit in order to enjoy it. And I had to get over the age difference which at first made the story a little icky to me. I almost stopped reading but I kept going and I did end up enjoying the story. 

5. Turbulent Desires by Melody Anne– ER nurse Lindsey Helm used to be strong. Then a late-night attack at the hospital nearly killed her and left two close colleagues dead. Now Lindsey has retreated from the world. She knows she needs to move on, but every hint of danger seems threatening—including a certain sexy flyboy who’s determined to show Lindsey what she’s missing. But falling for F-18 pilot Maverick Armstrong is a risk she can’t afford. Maverick knows that fear can eat away at the soul, and he won’t leave Lindsey to that fate. She needs someone to reach her and to remind her of the exhilaration and unbelievable passion of being touched. He’ll help her heal, and then he’ll walk away. He has to walk away. Because Maverick swore he would never fall in love and never marry. But this is a rescue operation, and Maverick will stay the course—even if things get hazardous. Even if saving Lindsey means surrendering his heart in the process.

I really really enjoyed this book. It definitely has triggers for violence but it was a really well written story. It gave me all the feels and I loved the interactions between the main characters. It’s part of a series but I read it as a standalone with no problems. 

6. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver– For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night. However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

I’ve had this book on my TBR list for awhile and once I saw that it was turned into a movie I knew I had to read the book first. I refuse to watch movies based on books if I haven’t read the book first. And I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting and I couldn’t put it down! Highly recommend. 

7. Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb– As NY Lt. Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband Roarke are driving home, a young woman—dazed, naked, and bloody—suddenly stumbles out in front of their car. Roarke slams on the brakes and Eve springs into action. Daphne Strazza is rushed to the ER, but it’s too late for her husband Dr. Anthony Strazza. A brilliant orthopedic surgeon, he now lies dead amid the wreckage of his obsessively organized town house, his three safes opened and emptied. Daphne would be a valuable witness, but in her terror and shock the only description of the perp she can offer is repeatedly calling him “the devil”…While it emerges that Dr. Strazza was cold, controlling, and widely disliked, this is one case where the evidence doesn’t point to the spouse. So Eve and her team must get started on the legwork, interviewing everyone from dinner-party guests to professional colleagues to caterers, in a desperate race to answer some crucial questions: What does the devil look like? And where will he show up next?

I just love this series. I love it so much. Every book is great and the characters all feel like old friends now. This is book number 44 in the series and if you haven’t read all of them yet, what are you waiting for?? 

8. Fly With Me by Chanel Cleeton– U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Noah Miller—call sign Burn—loves nothing more than flying hard and fast. When he meets a gorgeous and sassy woman while partying in Las Vegas, he immediately locks on to her. Jordan Callahan owns a thriving clothing boutique, but her love life is far less successful. Her luck changes when six feet, two inches of sexy swagger asks her to dance and turns her world upside down. One scorching weekend becomes an undeniable chemistry that they can’t leave in Vegas. But the long distance relationship and their different lives threaten to ground their romance. And when the dangers of Noah’s job become all too real, Jordan learns being with a fighter pilot means risking it all for a shot at love.

I love me some military books. The heroes are always yummy and alpha and hot. This was the first book in a new series and it was fantastic. I love that the relationship between the two main characters wasn’t easy. It was hard and real and they dealt with their issues in adult ways. I devoured this book in less than 12 hours because I could not put it down!

9. Into the Blue by Chanel Cleeton– Eric Jansen—call sign Thor—loves nothing more than pushing his F-16 to the limit. Returning home to South Carolina after a tragic loss, he hopes to fix the mistake he made long ago, when he chose the Air Force over his fiancée. Becca Madison isn’t quick to welcome Thor back. She can’t forget how he shattered her heart. But Thor won’t give up once he’s set his sights on what he wants—and he wants Becca. Thor shows Becca that he’s no longer the impulsive boy he used to be, and Becca finds herself irresistibly drawn to him. But will Thor be able to walk away from his dream of flying the F-16 for their love or does his heart belong to the sky?

This is book 2 in the series and it was good too. Probably not as good as book one but still a solid 4 star read for me. I enjoyed seeing repeat characters from book 1. The angst level in this book was higher than in book 1 and the conflict wasn’t as strong for me, but definitely worth the read.

10. On Broken Wings by Chanel Cleeton– A year after losing her husband, Joker, the squadron commander of the Wild Aces, Dani Peterson gets an offer from his best friend, Alex “Easy” Rogers, to help fix up her house. Dani accepts, and their friendship grows—along with an undeniable attraction. Racked by guilt for loving his best friend’s widow, Easy’s caught between what he wants and can’t have. Until one night everything changes, and the woman who’s always held his heart ends up in his arms. Yet as Easy leaves for his next deployment, he and Dani are torn between their feelings and their loyalty to Joker’s memory. But when Dani discovers something that sends them both into a spin, the conflicted lovers must overcome the past to navigate a future together.

And this is book 3 in the series. It was as good as book 1 for sure. It deals with two of the pivotal characters from book 1 and I loved it so much. Seeing them work through their issues and find a future together was amazing! I hope there are going to be more books in this series because I just love these character so much!

11. Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova– Joe O’Brien is a forty-four-year-old police officer from the Irish Catholic neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. A devoted husband, proud father of four children in their twenties, and respected officer, Joe begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He initially attributes these episodes to the stress of his job, but as these symptoms worsen, he agrees to see a neurologist and is handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family’s lives forever: Huntington’s Disease. Huntington’s is a lethal neurodegenerative disease with no treatment and no cure. Each of Joe’s four children has a 50 percent chance of inheriting their father’s disease, and a simple blood test can reveal their genetic fate. While watching her potential future in her father’s escalating symptoms, twenty-one-year-old daughter Katie struggles with the questions this test imposes on her young adult life. Does she want to know? What if she’s gene positive? Can she live with the constant anxiety of not knowing? As Joe’s symptoms worsen and he’s eventually stripped of his badge and more, Joe struggles to maintain hope and a sense of purpose, while Katie and her siblings must find the courage to either live a life “at risk” or learn their fate.

This book was a recommendation from a reader, thanks Amanda! And it was good! I could not put this story down. I had to keep reading. I had to know the end. And the end….not what I was expecting. It was a heartbreaking read full of hard stuff and tears but also full of love and family. I cannot recommend this one enough!



Monthly Book Report: January 2017


I started out pretty well in January with my goal to read more books this year. I had quite a list of books that I wanted to read and I got through most of them. 

1. The Keeper by Jillian Liota– Soccer goalie Rachel Jameson is in her final year at Glendale College on academic and athletic scholarships. It’s quite the achievement for a young woman who grew up in a home filled with drunken abuse, who barely made it out of high school alive. But she’s smart, dedicated, and has her eyes set on that cap and gown next spring. Nothing’s going to get in the way of a hard-fought battle for the freedom and independence she’s so desperately craved. Until she meets Mack. He stumbles into her world with a flirty smile and warm eyes – a man that pushes Rachel out of her comfort zone and into his arms. Their chemistry is swift and undeniable, and soon after meeting the two recognize the depth of their connection. But an unfortunate circumstance forces the two to abandon their romance before it has truly begun. Rachel’s carefully planned life begins to shake like an unstable house of cards, and when she risks losing Mack completely, she has to decide what’s more important. Her future. Or theirs.

I loved this book. I love sports romance books but they have to be written well. I really love soccer romance stories but there are very few well written ones. This was a well written one. Totally believable and the characters were amazing. I was sucked into the story from the beginning and very invested in how it turned out. I read this book in less than 24 hours because I could not put it down! I can’t wait for the next in the series. This book is a standalone!

2. Playing Stacy by Jenn Hype– Stacy’s no stranger to trouble, considering that’s where her smart ass remarks usually land her…in trouble. A drunken night out with her best friend Adalyn lands her in jail. Not that she’d done anything wrong, except for hit on the incredibly sexy cop who showed up to take a report from Adalyn who’d had her purse stolen. Chad, a no-nonsense officer who takes himself and his job very seriously, has no patience for Stacy’s shenanigans and over the top flirting. So he hauls her to jail to teach her a lesson, but didn’t expect it to cause Stacy to become a regular fixture in his life. Stacy ends up befriending Chad’s partner, Joe, who keeps her company after Chad dumps her in a holding cell for the night. Joe and Stacy hit it off right away, resulting in Stacy always being around, no matter how much Chad tries to avoid her. The constant bickering and sarcastic insults only heighten the sexual tension between Chad and Stacy, and Chad’s ability to control his emotions and actions becomes increasingly difficult. A low scale war is declared between them, but their actions continue to both hurt each other while simultaneously pulling them together. When the fighting leads to literal bloodshed, they begin to wonder if they both should surrender before the war destroys them both.

This book was really funny but a little over the top. I couldn’t relate to the male MC, Chad, at all. He just seemed too rigid and it was never fully explained why. Stacy was immature and juvenile and I wanted to roll my eyes at her more than once. So while it was a funny story I probably won’t read anymore in this series. 

3. Bad Mommy by Tarryn Fisher– When Fig Coxbury buys a house on West Barrett Street, it’s not because she likes the neighborhood, or even because she likes the house. It’s because everything she desires is next door: The husband, the child, and the life that belongs to someone else.

Holy COW. This book was a roller coaster ride. It’s told in 3 sections from 3 points of view and it’s amazing. AMAZING. I loved it. Throw away all your preconceived notions, don’t read any of the spoilers, and just immerse yourself in this book. You will not regret it!

4. Shelter for Adeline by Susan Stoker– Saddled with a job she hates and a detestable boss she likes even less, Adeline Reynolds could use a break. It doesn’t look like she’ll get one today. Her service dog, Coco, is alerting her she’s about to have an epileptic seizure—and her frustrated blind date has left her to deal on her own. Enter firefighter Dean Christopherson, who escorts her to the nearby fire station, where she can suffer through her ordeal safe from injury and prying eyes. Dean—known as “Crash” to his friends—didn’t expect to find The One in a diner during his lunch break, but he’s blindsided by the beautiful, brave Adeline. She brings out his every protective instinct—along with the carnal ones. As they get to know each other, Dean’s feelings for Adeline grow fast, as does his irritation with her boss, whose behavior is suspicious at best. As much as he wants to protect Adeline from the world, Crash has to tread carefully. His overprotectiveness could push her away…and leave her vulnerable to a man whose obsession has reached the boiling point.

This is book #7 in the Badge of Honor series and it’s so good. I love all of her books, no exceptions. This one was fantastic. You don’t have to read them in order and they are all standalone stories. All of her books have action, suspense, romance, and hot hot heroes. The perfect storm! I highly recommend all of them.

5. Bad Husband by Shey Stahl– Ridley Cooper is on a mission. And if there’s one thing he’s good at, it’s getting what he wants. What’s he not so good at? Being a husband. At least that’s what his wife would say. For most of my life I’ve been focused on one goal. Making a name for myself and building a business from the ground up. I’m a hard-working man, confident in my trade and quite frankly pretty awesome if you ask me. Sure, I make mistakes, you’ll see, but I think my dedication helps me out here. It’s the devoted work ethic that has me following through with anything thrown my way. That being said, my wife of the last eight years served me with a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Believe me, I’m shocked too. She’s under the impression I don’t care. Ridiculous assumption. I know what you’re thinking, what the hell did I do? Let’s not judge me yet until you know the whole story. The way I see it, in the state of Arizona, I have approximately 60 days to make her fall back in love with me. Easy enough, right? You’ve clearly never met Madison.

I love this author. She writes some of my favorite books. This one was unique- it was told from the point of view of the husband. And it’s hysterical. I can actually see my husband doing and saying some of the things that the husband in this book did and it made me laugh out loud more than once. I love books that portray a real marriage- with flaws, and fights, and issues. This book absolutely did that. 

6. Tiny Threads by Jami Denise– Jenna always thought her marriage was what fairy tales were made of. That was until the heels on her glass slippers snapped and left her tumbling down to reality. But knights in shining armor tend to tarnish after twenty years, and she’s far from the wide-eyed princess she’d once been. Four kids, money problems and a crumbling marriage tend to wipe away all the shiny and bright and bring on the reality of broken dreams. Royal Grainger knows he’s a lucky man—in theory. His wife is caring and beautiful, he has four amazing kids and his own business, and yet, he’s miserable. He’s detached, tired, and dissatisfied. No matter what he does, it’s not enough—for anyone. The Grainger’s know they’re treading in the deep end, and they have to work together to push through the pain, the hurt, and the monotony of a long stale marriage to reconnect again. A marriage once full of passion and consideration, becomes one full of bitterness and resentment. The past comes back to haunt them in a way they never imagined and their happily ever after becomes a battle. Whatever it takes. The stakes are too high to let go, and for each other, they’ll walk through fire.

This book was intense. It’s a really up close, hard look at a marriage in real trouble. It’s ugly, it’s uncomfortable, it’s eye-opening. I could not put it down until the very last page. I felt sorry for Jenna and I wanted to smack Royal upside the head. Hard. I wish the ending had been a little more fleshed out but it was a really good book. 

7. Smoke Signals by Catherine Gayle– On a celebratory trip with his best friend, Ray “Razor” Chambers meets sultry Viktoriya Dubrovskaya and immediately recognizes the desperation in her eyes—a sight he remembers all too well. Permanently in survival mode, the destitute and broken Viktoriya makes him an offer—a proposition he immediately refuses. However, Razor’s counter-offer changes everything for her. A ring. A marriage. A lifetime of opportunity. But learning to live together as husband and wife is as foreign as interpreting Smoke Signals. And where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.

This book was a tough one to read. I will warn you now, if you have any triggers at all with sexual abuse, assault, or rape- this is NOT the book for you. It was graphic, it was uncomfortable to read, and it was heartbreaking. I almost stopped reading it several times. I’m glad I pushed through it because the story was fantastic and worth it. But man, it was graphic. 

8. Justice for Mickie by Susan Stoker– For Cruz Livingston, becoming an FBI agent is a lifelong dream, guarding the streets of San Antonio, a calling. His latest assignment—infiltrating the Red Brothers Motorcycle Club—will help stem the flow of illegal drugs brought into the city by the violent gang. He expects the job to be dangerous. He doesn’t expect to meet the woman of his dreams while undercover. Mickie Kaiser is refreshingly sweet, but her sister is intimately involved with the RBMC’s president. Cruz can’t afford to come clean about his double life without putting his operation in danger, but as violence creeps ever closer to Mickie, his priority becomes crystal clear. Cruz will do anything to keep Mickie alive…even if it means losing her love.

Now I love this series so much. But this was not my favorite book in the series. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but not my favorite. I’m not a big fan of undercover stories. But the writing was great as always and the hero was swoon worthy. Definitely glad I read it but I probably wouldn’t re-read it again. 

So I read some good ones this month and I’m looking forward to reading more in February! 


My Top 5 Favorite Books of 2016


I didn’t have time to read as many books in 2016 as I did in 2015. I read 106 books this year and marked 46 as favorites compared to 190 read and 68 favorites in 2015. So even though I read less books in total, I read a lot of really great ones. 

1. Hopeless Vows by Rachael Duncan– It was a modern take on an arranged marriage that was supposed to lead to my happily ever after. The rules were simple: 1. Marry a complete stranger chosen for you by professionals. 2. Live together as man and wife for eight weeks while cameras record your every move. 3. Make a decision to stay together or get a divorce. Call me crazy, but I had complete faith in the process, until I saw who was waiting for me at the end of the aisle. Austin James has never met me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know him. With no other choice, I say my vows and pray I can make it through the next eight weeks. Then I’ll leave. What connects us is my best kept secret, and I’ll protect it at all costs even if that means walking away from the only person I’ve ever cared about.

I loved this book. I’m a sucker for the arranged marriage storyline anyway and this one was really good. It had some twists and turns and drama that I wasn’t expecting. I really really hope the author writes a sequel! 

2. Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn– What do you do when your soul mate marries your best friend? If you’re Kate Evans, you keep your friend Rachel, bond with her kids, and bury your feelings for her husband. The fact that Shane’s in the military and away for long periods helps-but when tragedy strikes, everything changes. After Rachel, pregnant with her fourth child, dies in a car accident and the baby miraculously survives, Kate upends her entire life to share parenting duties. Then on the first anniversary of Rachel’s death, Kate and Shane take comfort in each other in a night that they both soon regret. Shane’s been angry for a year, and now he feels guilty too – for sleeping with his wife’s best friend and liking it . . . liking her. Kate’s ability to read him like a book may have once sent Shane running, but their lives are forever entwined and they are growing closer. Now with Shane deployed for seven months, Kate is on her own and struggling with being a single parent. Shane is loving and supportive from thousands of miles away, but his homecoming brings a betrayal Kate never saw coming. So Kate’s only choice is to fight for the future she deserves – with or without Shane.

This one was a tearjerker. It made me feel all the feels and I felt totally emotionally spent by the end of the book. Sometimes I just need to read a book that makes me want to cry. This one fit the bill!

3. Rescuing Rayne by Susan Stoker– As a flight attendant, Rayne Jackson is used to cancellations, but she never dreamed her latest would lead to a whirlwind tour of London with a handsome stranger…or a life-altering night in his bed. One evening is all the enigmatic man can give her, and Rayne greedily takes it, despite suspecting it will never be enough. Heading home after another extreme mission, Keane “Ghost” Bryson hadn’t planned to seduce someone during his layover, but Rayne is too sweet to resist. Being a Delta Force member means lying to protect his identity, which is unfortunate, considering Rayne seems made for Ghost, right down to the tattoo on her back. For the first time in his life, regret fills him as he slips away the following morning. Both are shocked when, months later, they meet again—under the worst possible circumstances. Seems fate has given them a second chance…if they can survive the terrorist situation they’re in. If Rayne can forgive Ghost his lies. And if Ghost can trust Rayne to be strong enough to endure the secrets and uncertainty that come with loving a Delta Force soldier.

I love military romance books with lots of action and Susan Stoker is great at giving me those! Her books always come with swoon worthy heroes, smart heroines, and thrilling action. What could be better?

4. One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid– In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure. On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever. Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness. That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves. Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly? Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

Oh man, this book. I cannot even imagine being in the situation of the heroine. What do you do? How do you make that choice? This book was great and really dug deep into the emotions. 

5. Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson– Evie Blackwell loves her life as an Illinois State Police Detective . . . mostly. She’s very skilled at investigations and has steadily moved up through the ranks. She would like to find Mr. Right, but she has a hard time imagining how marriage could work, considering the demands of her job. Gabriel Thane is a lifetime resident of Carin County and now its sheriff, a job he loves. Gabe is committed to upholding the law and cares deeply for the residents he’s sworn to protect. He too would like to find a lifetime companion, a marriage like his parents have. . . . When Evie arrives in Carin, Illinois, it’s to help launch a new task force dedicated to reexamining unsolved crimes across the state. Spearheading this trial run, Evie will work with the sheriff’s department on a couple of its most troubling missing-persons cases. As she reexamines old evidence to pull out a few tenuous new leads, she unearths a surprising connection . . . possibly to a third cold case. Evie’s determined to solve the cases before she leaves Carin County, and Sheriff Thane, along with his family, will be key to those answers.

I love Dee Henderson and this book was no exception. This is the first in a new series and it was great. I cannot wait to see where this series goes in the future. I think it might end up being a new favorite!