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Book Review: Pull Me Close


Pull Me Close by Sidney Halston– Katherine: I thought I could enjoy a night out like a normal person. I thought I could handle the flashing lights, the pulsing music, the crowded dance floor. I couldn’t have been more wrong. After having an anxiety attack and passing out during my sister’s engagement party at Panic, I wake up in the arms of the hottest guy I’ve ever seen. Nick Moreno’s no gentleman. But he might just be the man I need to help me take control of my life.

Nick: When I hear there’s some random girl passed out in the back room of my family’s South Beach nightclub, I’m pissed. My dad’s already behind bars and we can’t afford any more bad press. But after giving her a lift—literally—back to her apartment, I stop seeing Katherine Wilson as some random girl. She’s gorgeous, vulnerable, and braver than she knows. And when we kiss, all I want to do is pull her close and promise that she’ll always be safe in my arms.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Published: October 26, 2016

Acquired: TBR List

Series: #1 in The Panic series

My Rating: 4 Stars

My Thoughts: If you’ve ever suffered from a panic attack of an anxiety disorder then you will understand this book. The author did a really really good job of portraying the symptoms in a very realistic way without downplaying or over-dramatizing them. Most books either gloss over the reality or dramatize the character straight into the psych ward, both of which are very annoying to people who have suffered from these medical conditions.

This story shared the reality of the main character, Katherine, lived with all the time after a very significant and traumatic event earlier in her life. The author also gave a very realistic look at the process to treat and overcome a mental disorder- believe it or not, the love of a hot alpha male alone does not fix those things! I know, gasp! I loved Katherine’s character- she had sass and spunk despite her reality and she truly wanted to get better. Nico was a great partner for her- he had enough alpha in him to make her feel safe but enough compassion to help her heal in her recovery. They were a great pair. As someone who has dealt with an anxiety disorder for years I really enjoyed this story and I’ll definitely read more in this series. 

This Week New Releases: March 12

New releases for the week of March 12 that I’ve added to my wish lists!

All the Wrong Places by Joy Fielding- March 12- A husband’s death, a difficult divorce, a brutal break-up, dissatisfaction with a boring relationship: for various reasons, four women turn to online dating, hoping to right-swipe the way to love and happiness. Paige and Heather are cousins, locked in a lifelong rivalry that recently culminated in Heather taking Paige’s boyfriend for herself, although now Heather isn’t quite sure she wants him. Paige’s mother, Joan, is trying to get back on her feet after the death of the love of her life two years ago. And Paige’s longtime friend, Chloe, is considering giving her unfaithful husband a taste of his own medicine. Together, the women are navigating the choppy waters of online dating, until one of them unwittingly makes a date with a killer, starting the clock on a race to save her life.

Worth Fighting For by Laura Kaye- March 12- Commercial diving instructor Tara Hunter nearly lost everything in an accident that saw her medically discharged from the navy. With the help of the Warrior Fight Club, she’s fought hard to overcome her fears and get back in the water where she’s always felt most at home. At work, she’s tough, serious, and doesn’t tolerate distractions. Which is why finding her gorgeous one-night stand on her new dive team is such a problem. Former navy deep-sea diver Jesse Anderson just can’t seem to stop making mistakes—the latest being the hot-as-hell night he’d spent with his new partner. This job is his second chance, and Jesse knows he shouldn’t mix business with pleasure. But spending every day with Tara’s smart mouth and sexy curves makes her so damn hard to resist. Joining a wounded warrior MMA training program seems like the perfect way to blow off steam—until Jesse finds that Tara belongs too. Now they’re getting in deep and taking each other down day and night, and even though it breaks all the rules, their inescapable attraction might just be the only thing truly worth fighting for. 

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis- March 12- Rachel Hollis has seen it too often: women not living into their full potential. They feel a tugging on their hearts for something more, but they’re afraid of embarrassment, of falling short of perfection, of not being enough. In Girl, Stop Apologizing, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of a multimillion-dollar media company, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself. 

The Liar’s Child by Carla Buckley- March 12- On the outskirts of North Carolina’s Outer Banks sits the Paradise, an apartment complex where renters never stay long enough to call the place “home”–and neighbors are seldom neighborly. It’s ideal for Sara Lennox, who moved there to escape a complicated past–and even her name–and rebuild a new life for herself under the radar. But Sara cannot help but notice the family next door, especially twelve-year-old Cassie and five-year-old Boon. She hears rumors and whispers of a recent tragedy slowly tearing them apart. When a raging storm threatens then slams the coastal community, Sara makes a quick, bold decision: Rescue Cassie and Boon from the storm and their broken home–without telling a soul. But this seemingly noble act is not without consequences. Some lethal.

House on Fire by Bonnie Kistler- March 12- Divorce lawyer Leigh Huyett knows all too well that most second marriages are doomed to fail. But five years in, she and Pete Conley have a perfectly blended family of her children and his. To celebrate their anniversary, they grab some precious moments of alone time and leave Pete’s son Kip, a high school senior, in charge of Leigh’s fourteen-year-old daughter Chrissy at their home. Driving back on a rainy Friday night, their cell phones start ringing. After a raucous party celebrating his college acceptance to Duke and his upcoming birthday, Kip was arrested for drunk driving after his truck crashed into a tree. And he wasn’t alone—Chrissy was with him. Twelve hours later, Chrissy is dead and Kip is charged with manslaughter. Kip has always been a notorious troublemaker, but he’s also a star student with a dazzling future ahead of him. At first, Leigh does her best to rally behind Pete and help Kip through his ordeal. Until he changes his story, and claims that he wasn’t driving after all—Chrissy was, and he swears there is a witness. Leigh is stunned that he would lie about such a thing, while Pete clutches onto the story as the last, best hope to save his son, throwing his energy and money into finding this elusive witness. As they hurtle toward Kip’s trial date, husband and wife are torn between loyalty to their children and to each other, while the mystery of what really happened that night intensifies.

Vicious Minds by J.J. McAvoy- March 15- In the end…we all lose. How well do you think you know the Callahans?Yes, I’m asking you. Because I know you’ve been watching. The chaos, the violence, the love, and the madness—who could look away? Not me, for sure. My grandmother always told me…where you look is where you go. So I ask again, how well do you think you know the Callahans? Do you really think you understand Melody, Liam, or even Ethan? I have to wonder—will your mind be able to handle it? We haven’t met yet, but ready or not, here I come. The true queen of Chicago. For now, you may call me Calliope.

Book Review: The Military Wife


The Military Wife by Laura Trentham– Harper Lee Wilcox has been marking time in her hometown of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina since her husband, Noah Wilcox’s death, nearly five years earlier. With her son Ben turning five and living at home with her mother, Harper fights a growing restlessness, worried that moving on means leaving the memory of her husband behind.

Her best friend, Allison Teague, is dealing with struggles of her own. Her husband, a former SEAL that served with Noah, was injured while deployed and has come home physically healed but fighting PTSD. With three children under foot and unable to help her husband, Allison is at her wit’s end.

In an effort to reenergize her own life, Harper sees an opportunity to help not only Allison but a network of other military wives eager to support her idea of starting a string of coffee houses close to military bases around the country.

In her pursuit of her dream, Harper crosses paths with Bennett Caldwell, Noah’s best friend and SEAL brother. A man who has a promise to keep, entangling their lives in ways neither of them can foresee. As her business grows so does an unexpected relationship with Bennett. Can Harper let go of her grief and build a future with Bennett even as the man they both loved haunts their pasts?

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Published: February 5, 2019

Acquired: Public library e-book

Series: #1 in Heart of a Hero series

My Rating: 4 Stars

My Thoughts: I’m a real sucker for military romance stories, probably because my dad was army and it’s the life I knew as a kid. This story was an emotional journey between a war widow and her deceased husband’s best friend. I liked that it wasn’t a fluffy read. The story line touched on some real issues going on within military families including PTSD, death, loneliness, and the pain of moving on. 

Harper is raising her son, Ben, alone after the death of her husband. She is trying to move on with her life and one of her first actions towards her new life is to open a coffee shop dedicated to employing military wives. She is helped by one of her best friends, Allison, who is dealing with her own husband’s devastating and scary PTSD. Harper needs to use money given to her by Noah, her husband’s best friend and fellow SEAL, after her husband’s death to start her business. When she seeks him out she doesn’t expect how it will change her life. I really enjoyed the build up to their relationship. It was emotional and full of layers, including guilt and fear. Their romance was bittersweet and uncertain at times as they both tried to move on from the past to embrace their future together. The story was well-paced, fully developed, and very realistic. 

Book Review: Connections in Death


Connections in Death by J.D. Robb– Homicide cop Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband, Roarke, are building a brand-new school and youth shelter. They know that the hard life can lead kids toward dangerous crossroads—and with this new project, they hope to nudge a few more of them onto the right path. For expert help, they hire child psychologist Dr. Rochelle Pickering—whose own brother pulled himself out of a spiral of addiction and crime with Rochelle’s support.

Lyle is living with Rochelle while he gets his life together, and he’s thrilled to hear about his sister’s new job offer. But within hours, triumph is followed by tragedy. Returning from a celebratory dinner with her boyfriend, she finds Lyle dead with a syringe in his lap, and Eve’s investigation confirms that this wasn’t just another OD. After all his work to get clean, Lyle’s been pumped full of poison—and a neighbor with a peephole reports seeing a scruffy, pink-haired girl fleeing the scene.

Now Eve and Roarke must venture into the gang territory where Lyle used to run, and the ugly underground world of tattoo parlors and strip joints where everyone has taken a wrong turn somewhere. They both believe in giving people a second chance. Maybe even a third or fourth. But as far as they’re concerned, whoever gave the order on Lyle Pickering’s murder has run out of chances.

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Published: February 5, 2019

Acquired: Public library e-book

Series: #48 in the In Death series

My Rating: 4 Stars

My Thoughts: The In Death series is another of my all-time favorites. If you haven’t started reading this series yet, what are you waiting for? This is book #48, which seems amazing to me, and I have enjoyed every single one of them. The plots are always tight, the characters fully developed, the mystery well thought out, and the relationships between characters solid. I personally enjoy that all the story lines are different. It keeps the series fresh and interesting. 

Eve Dallas is one of my favorite characters from any book. Ever. She’s totally bad-ass with a bad attitude and fast fists. She’s snarly and short tempered. And underneath the crusty exterior she is completely devoted to her family and friends. She also 100% devoted to her job as a cop. I love the relationships between the main characters that has developed throughout the series. I think of these characters almost as family now and it’s so exciting to catch up with them in each new book. From Roarke, Eve’s hot ex-criminal billionaire husband, to Peabody, Eve’s partner at work, to all the other characters that appear throughout the series. They are all an intricate part of these books and what make this series so unique. This book takes on a gang and adds a new character to the Eve/Roarke family- Rochelle Pickering. I look forward to seeing her in more books!

2019 Monthly Reading Recaps: February

I told y’all in my book resolutions post earlier this year that I’m going to hold myself accountable this year with regards to my reading and book buying and borrowing habits. And I’m going to! Each month I’ll be doing a reading recap with all the nitty gritty details. Doing so helps me see that I’m replacing bad habits (spending way too much $ on books when I own thousands) with good habits. So here’s the breakdown for February.

Books Read:

Unread Shelf Project- 0 books finished

Kindle Unlimited- 1 books finished

Library Reads- 15 books finished

TBR lists/already own- 0 books finished

New books purchased- 0 book finished

Total books read in February = 16

So there’s my totals on books read. Now let’s look deeper! I set goals for sticking to a monthly limit of $15 plus rollover from the previous month for new books. I also set a goal to read enough books this year from Kindle Unlimited to justify the subscription cost. 

Book Purchases- $16.09 budget

7 new books for a total of $11.24 ($4.85 rolls over)

10 new books downloaded for free

Kindle Unlimited- $128.52 cost of annual subscription

1 books read for a total of $3.99 ($33.94 year to date towards cost of subscription)

I have a complete list of books read in February 2019 along with my favorites on Instagram if you’d like to join me. I’ll have reviews coming soon for several of the books from this month.