Monday, October 26, 2015

More Than Scars by Sarah Brocious


Synopsis:

Disclaimer: This story is a modern day Fairytale. Prepare for events that go beyond the normal day events you are used to. Plan on a happily ever after escape.

They say that the best way to heal is to find someone who suffers more and invest in their healing. Nerissa Meadows decides to make a change in career and experiences the strangest of interviews. She had been through so much but nothing like her soon to be employer, Liam Byrne. His scars have stolen from him...from his two little girls. It's as if life has ceased to exist outside of his own front door in order to protect what he loves and keep out what he fears. He perceives his weakness but Nerissa sees in him a wounded hero. Her heart aches for his two girls. Their young lives have been touched by too much sadness! They need her and she finds that she most desperately needs them. Fairytales can take shape in the most unlikely of places!


My Review: 4.5 Stars

Nerissa Meadows hasn't had an easy life. She has been put through the wringer on more than one occasion. When cancer took away her dream of becoming a mother, she decided to change careers from a teacher to a nanny. Her interview with the mysterious Liam Byrne is anything but ordinary. She is instructed to not look at him, to keep her eyes lowered. Even though it was the strangest of interviews, Nerissa feels an instant connection to Liam. And when she meets little Brianne and Amelia, she is a goner. She knows that she is right where she needs to be.

Liam is broken and scarred. There are very few people that he actually trusts. He, too, has been put through the wringer and he has closed himself off from the world, both physically and emotionally. His life is his two little girls and he will do anything and everything to protect them from the ugliness of the world.

Nerissa definitely has her work cut out for her when it comes to Liam. She has to teach him to love, to trust, to face his fears, to live. She has to show him that there is so much more to a person than just their outside appearance... that it's what's on the inside that matters most. He has the hardest time seeing and understanding this but Nerissa refuses to give up on him. She will earn his trust and she will help him face his demons.

I loved watching Nerissa and Liam grow and become stronger, not only as a couple but as individuals as well. They both know a thing or two about heartache and suffering. Watching them lean on each other and encourage each other was one of my favorite parts of the book. I felt their heartache, their pain, their happiness, their love. It felt like I was right there with them on their journey to discover their own HEA.

And can I just how much I loved all the characters in this book?! Especially Ian! Holy crow! He was seriously awesome! And little Brianne and Amelia... so stinkin adorable! I fell in love with them instantly. :)

I am a complete sucker for any kind of Beauty and the Beast story. When I stumbled upon More Than Scars and read a few reviews, I knew it was one that I just had to read. I was sucked in from the very beginning and had an extremely hard time putting it down! I stayed up way too late and woke up way too early just to finish it!

So why only 4.5 stars? There is just two things that bugged me. I'm not going to get into too much detail because this story was really good and I think that everyone should definitely give this book a try. First there was just way too many exclamation points throughout the entire book. The majority of the time they just did not fit and were not needed. The second thing is the book just ended! And you all know how I feel about that... I hate it! I need closure dang it! Lol. I would have loved an epilogue just to tie everything together.

This is the first book by Sarah Brocious that I have read and I will definitely be reading more by her.. especially if she ever decides to give Ian his own book... ;) Hehe. I love finding new authors that I can share with others. It seriously makes me happy when I can add more to my list of authors to watch. :)

And we can't forget about my casting! What do you think?! Pretty good, eh? ;)



Saturday, October 24, 2015

Another Shout Out For The 2015 Swoony Awards!!



Is it just me or has this year gone by extremely fast?! I seriously can't believe we're heading into the last week of October already! This is seriously CRAZY! So... since we have a little over 2 months left in the year I thought I would do another SHOUT OUT for the Swoony Awards!

What Are The Swoony Awards?

The Swoony Awards are a reader’s choice award recognizing excellence in clean secular fiction. It is hosted by The Happily Ever After Book Club. We wanted a way to show our appreciation to these awesome authors who write the kind of books that we love. It’s also a great way to find new books and a good go-to when looking for something fun to read.

What Are The Eligibility Requirements For The Swoonys?

-ONLY books PUBLISHED December 1, 2014 – November 30, 2015 are eligible.
-Intimacy: No sex or closed door/fade-to-black, no/low innuendo, nothing crude or crass
-Language: None/mild (No F words or other explicit language) nothing overly crude
-Violence: Mild/low
-Religious: No Christian/Inspirational themed novels.
-Page Count: Novellas or Novels only, 100 pages or higher, no short stories this year
-Age: Only Young Adult, New Adult and Adult, NO children’s or middle grade
-Mood: Since the Swoonys are sponsored by the Happily Every Book Group, we are looking for books with HEAs. Uplifting, lighthearted and feel good books preferred. Some drama is okay, but not downers or overly depressing stories.

Note To Authors:

If you’ve written a book that matches the above criteria fill free to nominate it for a Swoony. And of course make sure you vote for it! Don’t be afraid to promote the award or to let your fans know your book has been nominated and needs votes. We are doing some promoting, but sometimes a newsletter, Facebook, Twitter or blog post directly from the author is the best way to let your fan base know your book has been nominated.

Note Tor Readers:

If you’ve read a book this year that you think is awesome…VOTE! This is a great way to let authors know you appreciate all their hard work. You can vote for up to 100 books on the list. We’ve also learned that the order you rank the books you vote on does affect the overall score of the book. So take a minute and make sure you have your books in the order you want them. Invite your friends to vote! Voting ends December 31, 2015.

Where Do You Go To Vote?

You can head on over to our Goodreads Page for the Swoony Awards by clicking here.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

There are over 160 books that have been nominated for a Swoony Award so far! Which ones have I read and voted for?!

Jessie Belle by Jennifer Peel
Trouble in Loveland by Jennifer Peel
Professional Boundaries by Jennifer Peel
House Divided by Jennifer Peel
My One and Only by Shannon Guymon
Free Fallin' by Shannon Guymon
At Last by Shannon Guymon
Undeniably Chosen by Shelly Crane
Rough Around the Edges Meets Refined by Rachael Anderson
Stick in the Mud Meets Spontaneity by Rachael Anderson
The Academic Bride by Lucy McConnell
The Organized Bride by Lucy McConnell
The Professional Bride by Lucy McConnell
Hello Again by Heather Tullis
My Pride, His Prejudice by Jenni James
The Boardwalk Antiques Shop
Catching Caytie by Cindy Roland Anderson
Tess in Boots by Courtney Rice Gager
Echoes of Summer by Laura D. Bastian

Have you read any of the books that are eligible for a Swoony Award?! Have you voted for them yet?! Yes?! Sweet!! We love you!! No?! What?! What is wrong with you?! Get your rear in gear, head over to Goodreads and VOTE!! Don't have a Goodreads account?! Sign up for one!! It's easy peasy!! And it's a FANTABULOUS way to keep track of the books you have read, find new books to read and meet new, amazing friends!! That's how Heidi, Kathy and Katie met!! And I'll tell you what... you sign up for Goodreads and I'll be one of your first friends... I promise!! ;)

So come on party people!! Let's get voting and show all these AMAZING authors how much we love them and their books!! <3

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tess in Boots by Courtney Rice Gager


Synopsis:

Tess Dougherty plans every aspect of her life right down to the last detail. But she doesn’t plan on running her boyfriend off by bringing up the topic of marriage before he’s ready. And she doesn’t plan to lose her job on the day she’s set to receive a huge promotion. So when her perfect world unravels, Tess makes a new plan: disappear.

Tess packs her bags and leaves her city apartment for a remote vineyard in North Carolina. At first, she’s put off by the slow pace of small-town life in the South. She’s especially irritated by Thatcher, the vineyard’s smart-mouth, dimple-faced farmhand. But she soon begins to appreciate the area’s charm, and Thatcher’s charm, too. She even swaps her trademark heels for a pair of cowboy boots. As Tess spends more time getting to know Thatcher, she finds herself loosening her grip on her old life little by little. Unfortunately, things on the vineyard aren’t as simple as they seem. There’s a secret here, and when the truth comes to light, Tess is forced to reconsider every plan she’s ever made.


My Review: 3.5 Stars

Let me start out by saying I know there are a lot of people who are going to disagree with my rating on Tess in Boots and that is totally fine. I really, really wanted to love this book because so many of my friends have read it and absolutely loved it! But alas... there were just a few things that kept me from really loving this book.

Tess has to have every aspect of her life planned out. She is overly organized and everything has to be perfect. When her longtime, non-spontaneous boyfriend, Logan, calls in the middle of the day to say they are going to go out to dinner she just KNOWS he's going to propose to her! But when he presents her with a "congratulations on your promotion" cake, Tess ends up giving him an ultimatum... propose by the end of the summer or we're over. Logan shuts down and says "we'll discuss this later" and takes her home. The next day he leaves for his business trip without another word to Tess.

While Tess is trying to deal with the aftermath of her non-proposal/ultimatum, she gets thrown into another loop. The promotion she was supposed to get will not happen. In fact, she ends up losing her job! She decided it's time to disappear and the answer comes in the form of her twin brother, Jake, who's wife has just inherited a Vineyard from her Uncle Carl. They are in need of a Marketing Director to get the Vineyard back up, running and turning a profit.

Soon after arriving at Carl's place Tess meets Thatcher. She tries her best to stay away from him but there is just something about Thatcher that draws her in. She gets to know him and the more she does, the more she likes. In fact, she just might be falling in love with him! But there's just so many secrets and no one is giving away any information. No matter how hard she tries, everyone is keeping their lips sealed.

Tess has a hard time adjusting to the slower pace life but it eventually grows on her and she gets to the point where she just doesn't want to ever leave. She's finally getting to figure out who she is as an individual and what she really wants out of life. But just as she's getting to where she wants to be, life throws her yet another loop and confuses her all over again. Who does she really love? What direction is her career going in? Should she take the easy way out? Or should she reach for higher and better... even if that path is harder?

All in all this was a cute read. I did enjoy it but like I said earlier, there were just a few things that kept me from really loving this book. The secrets for one thing. They got old after awhile and I ended up rolling my eyes when I discovered what some of them were. Also, I had a hard time connecting with Tess. I am not sure what it was but I did have a hard time with her. I ended up skimming over some parts just to be done with it. Sad... I know. Maybe it was my mood? The last thing that bothered be was the book just ended! And for those of you who know me, know how much that really bugs me! I wanted just a little more... I need closure! Lol. *sigh* Oh well!

This was my first book by Courtney Rice Gager and I will definitely be adding her to my authors to watch list. :)

This casting was a bit on the difficult side for me. I was about halfway into it before any kind of description for Tess was mentioned! So this one might not be perfect but it's who I eventually saw while reading. :)


Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Girl in Seat 24B by Jennifer Peel


Synopsis:

One red eye flight and ten years of marriage later, Carly Bishop had what she considered a practically perfect life. Her journalist husband and her two adorable children were everything to her. But soon she would find out that her dream life didn't fall in line with her husband's expectations.

Left alone to sort out the pieces of her crumbling life, Carly finds strength in her children and her growing relationship with her in-laws. Most importantly, she finds her greatest strength as she builds a friendship with herself.

This is a beautiful story of one woman's strength and determination as she finds the will to move forward and be happy while the life she had grown to love crumbles around her. It is a story of a man who has lost his way and may lose it all if he can't find his way back. The Girl in Seat 24B is a story of love and forgiveness.

My Review: 5 Stars!

Carly's life is pretty close to perfect. She's married to the man of her dreams and has 2 very adorable children. But over the last several months Michael has been drifting away from her. When he drops the bomb on her that he wants a separation, Carly's world is turned upside down. She doesn't know why everything is happening but she refuses to let go of her marriage without a fight. 

And boy does she fight! She tries everything she can think of to get Michael to open up to her and just talk about how they got to the point of separation and how they can fix it. However, the bonehead Michael, doesn't want to talk. He goes about his life as if he were a single man. He's taking more assignments and travelling as much as he can with little thought to his wife and children.  

After several months Carly gets to the point that she's just tired.. tired of fighting.. tired of caring.. tired of being the only person in their marriage who is trying to fix it. She doesn't think Michael will ever change and so she goes about doing everything she can to make her life and her children's life the best that it can be without Michael in it. She decides several changes need to be made and if she is ever going to be happy again, she needs to make those changes. About this time is when Michael decides to open his eyes to what has been right in front of him the whole entire time. Now HE is the one that will be fighting to keep their marriage and their family together. 

And can I just tell you... the epilogue is absolutely PERFECT! <3 *dreamy sigh* 

While this was an emotional read and not a typical Jennifer Peel book, it was still beautiful! I loved watching Carly's journey. She is not only one of the most amazing heroines I have read about but also one of the most selfless ones as well. She became a better mother, a better friend and a better person through all the trials she faced during this hard time in her life. One of the lines in the book really stood out to me and totally sums up Carly's journey... "It's not our circumstances that define us, but how we choose to deal with them." This will be something that gets added to my favorite quotes and one that I will be turning to on a regular basis. 

Jennifer Peel has quickly climbed to the top of my favorite authors list! She has a way of sucking me in and not letting me go until I have finished the book! I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us next! There is no doubt in my mind that it's going to be just as amazing as all her other books! 

And of course there is no way I can forget my casting! These two fit perfectly for Michael and Carly in my opinion... ;) Hehe.