Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sin by Violetta Rand

Sin by Violetta Rand introduces us to Macey Taylor who happens to be a stripper at the Devil's Den. Macey tells it like she sees it and isn't interested in taking anyone's crap. Joshua Camden came back to Texas to put his Ivy League education to use as the new manager for Devil's Den. Camden is working to make the Devil's Den into a High Class Gentlemen's Club but not everyone appreciates the changes he wants to make. Both Macey and Joshua have just come out of serious relationships with equally serious baggage and trust issues but that doesn't stop the instant attraction between them. While Macey works to push him away Joshua is working to draw her in. Can these two make it work or will it explode?

This book is the third book of a series titled Devils Den and I haven't read the first two but this just sounded very cute and I loved the cover. I very much enjoyed Macey because she comes across as strong and tell you like it is but really she has insecurity issues like every girl on earth. The chemistry between Macey and Joshua was just insane and I couldn't tell from page to page if they were going to rock the earth or just plain explode. Each of them had some serious trust issues which I'm guessing really only time will fix considering it hadn't been very long since either had been cheated on. I enjoyed the secondary cast of characters in this book and hopefully I'll be able to learn more about them once I've read the other books. Loved Simon and Glenda! I like that Joshua is supportive of her choices while they are together even if that's stripping for other guys.

There were a few things I would have liked to know more about like more of Macey's past because they alluded to it but didn't go into any depth, her new job, what happens with Bishop and more info in the epilogue would have been nice. Now granted I might find out some of those things in previous and future books but I'm impatient and want them now lol. Overall I liked this book and plan to check out more in the series for sure. A solid 3 1/2 stars.

This book was kindly provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Baked Fresh by Annabeth Albert

Annabeth Albert brings us another fun read about Vic Degrassi a baker on the rise in Portland. Vic goes after what he wants—and gets it whether it's losing weight, giving up smoking, or graduating from culinary school. Vic decides he wants Robin Dawson, the sweet-hearted hottie who volunteers with him at the local homeless shelter. When he learns that Robin is suddenly single after being unceremoniously dumped, Vic is more than happy to offer a shoulder to cry on—or at least a fresh-baked pastry to bite into. But it's been a long time since Vic's gone on a date, and he's nervous about risking his friendship with Robin. So when their flirtation turns into a steamy night together, Vic and Robin have to figure out if they're friends with benefits or lovers in the making, and if Robin is ready for something more than just a rebound.

I really enjoyed this book and thought the characters were just adorable. I like the differences in Robin and Vic and how they see each other. The description of the book led me to think that Vic's New Years resolutions would play a bigger part than it did but it didn't really detract from the story. Robin's previous relationship was certainly not really healthy at all but I would have liked to hear a little more about it rather than just guessing from how he is so skittish now. I thought that Annabeth did a very good job of displaying the self image issues that many people face after losing a lot of weight like Vic did. I was super excited to see Robby and David from the previous book too. I really look forward to reading more from this author.

I was given this awesome book to give my honest review of from NetGalley!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Blue Books

Today, April 2, 2015, is World Autism Day which is the kickoff for Autism Awareness Month. Just like Breast Cancer paints the town pink in October Autism likes to light up April with BLUE. Autism touches my life, just like it touches millions of others all over the world. So on this wonderful day I would like to share with you some "blue" books in the spirit of lighting up this post blue. I haven't read these (yet) but they certainly look interesting. I hope you enjoy!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Crushed by Lauren Layne

Crushed by Lauren Layne is a book about two people who thought they knew what they wanted until they actually got it. Michael St. Claire grew up in New York but sets out to Cedar Grove, Texas to escape his life and find out more about his real father and the family that never knew about him. Chloe Bellamy has lived in the shadow of her pretty sister, Kristen, her whole life.

Chloe Bellamy has been in love with Devon Patterson for years but has resigned herself to just be his friend while Kristen has what she wants. Michael's plan was to use pretty, refined Kristen to meddle with his half brothers life. Michael decides to use Chloe's crush on Kristen's boyfriend to strike a deal with the curvy quirky Bellamy sister.

Chloe has always felt like the ugly one next to her picture perfect sister. Chloe would never do anything to break up her sisters relationship but she can't help but think that Devon is with the wrong girl. Michael is bringing some major baggage from New York and thinks that stirring up trouble will make the chaos in his life calm down. The book starts out with Michael and Chloe bickering before deciding to strike a deal to get Chloe in better health in order to show Devon what he's missing.

This story is really a tale of 'the grass is always greener on the other side'. Ladies with straight hair prefer curly and ladies with natural curls use straighteners. We always think we want what we can't really have. Chloe started out as Devon's best friend and thought herself in love with him before he became popular and started dating her sister Kristen. She has had to watch what she wanted being flaunted in her face for years while eating her feelings and hiding behind sarcasm. Along came Michael who guessed her dilemma immediately and, for his own selfish reasons, decides to help her get fit while showing Devon what he's missing. Michael doesn't really know what he wants but seems drawn to this curvy sarcastic girl with the mess of curls.

I really really enjoyed this book! Chloe is beyond funny and I love that she just pokes at Michael or Beefcake as she calls him. Who would have known that the Star Spangled Banner would be used like that? I just about fell over laughing at that whole thing. I thought Michael was definitely a smidgen broody but then again after his history is fully explained I understood him a little more and forgave his bi-polar self. The reunion at Micheal's place was a little bit crazy but a whole bunch perfect. I laughed a lot while reading this book and that's ALWAYS a good thing! I can't say that I was a big Kristen fan but then again I have to recognize that not every person can have depth, some people are just shallow like a puddle. I wasn't a huge fan of the way Chloe saw Devon in the beginning but then again that's how first crushes go. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wanted a sweet fun read with minimal drama. I totally would be down with a sequel.

This ARC was kindly provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Growing Up Book For Boys by David Hartman

The Growing Up Book For Boys by David Hartman explains all of the fun of puberty for boys on the Autism Spectrum. Puberty for young men is difficult to navigate on it's own but when you add in the unique characteristics of being on the spectrum there are plenty of things that need to be explained. David Hartman explains the ins and outs of this trying time in a very straightforward manner using direct language and visual tools.

I requested this book because my 8 (soon to be 9) year old son is on the Spectrum and this will soon be something I have to deal with. I found that this book was definitely up front with the details and didn't really hold anything back at all. I was at first a little taken aback at the frank manner of the book but as I kept reading I began to realize that it's needed to clearly paint the picture for our special kids. I'm still going through parts of the book and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. I really appreciate this book and the fact that I'm now going to be able to really address this issue with my son instead of trying to navigate it in the dark.

This book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Beautiful Broken Promises by Kimberly Lauren

Beautiful Broken Promises was about Lane Parker and the secret he has been keeping for far too long from his closest friends. It's been four years since Lane has felt whole again and now this is his journey to getting his life back. 

This book starts out with the loveable man-whore Lane we knew from Beautiful Broken Mess but quickly delves into pieces of himself that he hasn't really shared with anyone. Lane has been doing everything he can to find his long lost Kate when he finally finds her. Raegan was once upon a time a nanny for Lane and his wife when tragedy struck. Raegan has spent the last four years trying to survive and keep two children with as normal of a childhood as possible. When re-united Raegan and Lane have a lot to learn about themselves and life together. 

I loved to see the gang again and how everyone fit. Raegan just came across as a great mother because although she had been beaten down by life and rose to the occasion when her children needed her. There were a few twists and turns I didn't expect and that just kept me hooked. I loved this whole series and wish there was more!

This book was provided to me by my local Library!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Improve Your Memory by Robert Allen

Improving your memory can help you in your everyday life and is extremely important to everyone. Your brain is a muscle and you need to exercise it. With this book you CAN improve your memory.

I know that was a super short intro but it pretty much summed up this awesome book. Even from the start I appreciated that the book didn't talk 'down' to me but rather approached this topic as an equal. There was also a lot of good advice on things that I wouldn't normally think had anything to do with your memory but really (when I actually think about it) would effect your entire life so duh that would include your memory.

Taking the tests included in this book was both interesting and frustrating because I need work on my memory (hence my desire to read this book lol). I do have to say that I did better on them than I thought I would so I guess that's something right? I really liked the metaphor of memory being like glue and then going through the different "strengths" of glues. Throughout the book there were some cute quotes sprinkled in and I enjoyed them. I also really liked that the author fully admitted that some of the techniques were just plain wacky but that is what made them work! In the back of this there are plenty of memory tests and I liked the variety and content. I also really liked that this author didn't go into a bunch of medical stuff about your brain and memory it was more of a peer talking to you.

There was one example used in the first part of the book that I didn't appreciate at all. The author mentioned how the Army uses rituals to teach "a youngster who has little formal education (and may not be too bright) to strip down a complicated device.." and I really think this could have been worded differently to try not coming off like recruits are all stupid young kids. There are plenty of veterans in my family (young and old) and I just found the example left a bad taste in my mouth. I'm sure it wasn't really meant to be rude but it bothered me none the less.

Overall I liked the book and found it very easy to read and hopefully it will help me with my long and short term memory!

I got the opportunity to read this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Fix You by Beck Anderson

Fix you by Beck Anderson brings us a story about a widow, Kelly, who is trying her best to raise her two sons after losing her husband. Kelly quite literally runs into Andrew one morning and it instantly changes her life. One would think that Andy Pettigrew has it all with his movie star status but really he is heading towards a dark path when he meets Kelly. Andy pursues Kelly even though she has reservations about disrupting her families lives and fitting into his world. Andy has been having trouble coping with his fame and even though his efforts are great even Kelly might not be able to help him. 

I did enjoy this book a great deal. It was a very quick read and I liked the journey the two characters had to go through to find their own happiness. I think that Kelly went into this relationship with equal measures of reluctance and pure blindness. Andrew clearly threw out clear warnings that his world wasn't exactly stable but Kelly ignored it until she couldn't anymore. Andrew needed help for far to long and shame on the people in his life for not trying harder to get him to want it. I don't really like the way Kelly handled after the scene on the beach, even if I understand some of her reasons. Throughout the book Kelly mentions his young age and maturity level compared to hers but I don't think she really was as mature as she touted she was. Overall this was a good book showing that you really need to fix yourself and that although that's your job it can't hurt to have someone else there for support. Life is hard and sooo many things can complicate it but it's all in how you choose to handle it.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Beautiful Broken Mess by Kimberly Lauren

Beautiful Broken Mess shows us the story of Jace and Audrey and the history they share. Jace can't let go of feelings he developed four years ago for a girl that eventually tried to ruin his twin brother's life. Audrey has been handed horrible circumstances her entire life but just refuses to give in. Audrey leaves Texas to go to college in California and crosses path with the only man she has ever really loved. The past that Audrey and Jace share is twisted and trying but love can overcome almost anything...can't it?

This book revisits the Riley twins and brings back a blast from Jaxon Riley's past they would rather leave there...or is that really true? As the saying goes there are always two sides to every story. In Beautiful Broken Mess we get to hear Audrey's and what we find isn't exactly what you would expect. I love the relationship between Audrey and Lane. I also like that the other girls and eventually the Riley twins give Audrey a chance to explain. Her life has been one bad thing after another so the girl really deserves a break. Loved this book and the series in general! 

This book was provided to me by my local Library. Support your Libraries!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Shelter Me by Catherine Mann

Shelter Me is the story of a special pooch, Trooper, and his journey to bring together a family. Staff Sergeant Mike Kowalski brings back his fallen commander's dog Trooper from overseas for the MacDaniel Family. Little do they know but the MacDaniel family are getting Trooper just in time to mend themselves. Sierra MacDaniel is doing her best to help out with her mother's Second Change Ranch, her brother and their grandfather all while going to school. Sierra's life is a little crazy right now so the last thing she thinks she needs is another dog and Mike walking back into her life.

I really adored ALL of these characters and didn't want it to be over when the book ended. I liked the chapters narrated by Trooper and his perspective on what was going on with the family and his mission. This book did a pretty good job of explaining some of the stresses a military family goes through while supporting their service member. I was very drawn to that aspect and appreciated the way Ms. Mann handled it. The epilogue just made me want to run out for the next book. I will certainly be reading more from Catherine Mann!

I was provided this book by my local Library :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

50 Shades of Pink by KT Grant

50 Shades of Pink is a lesbian version of the best selling 50 Shades of Grey. In this book we have Lindsay Pinke who is working at a women's magazine as a researcher while hoping to move up within the company. Lindsay finally gets an opportunity to advance by doing an article for Colette who is the editor of the magazine. Lindsay is set to interview Victoria Nox, CEO of Nox Holdings, but finds more than she bargained for. Victoria and Colette have a past shrouded in mystery that will effect Lindsay more than she can ever know.

This book definitely tried to follow along the path of 50 SoG minus the red room of pain. I very much enjoyed 50 SoG so I was excited to read this book to see a different take on it. I also really liked the cover. There seemed like a bunch of drama here that happened in this book and was implied for the future books. The one thing I would have liked to change about SoG I would have also liked to change here. The fact that Lindsay is just so naive and awe shucks is utterly annoying. Clear signs that stuff is all likes of messed up are blatantly ignored and turned into a good thing because she wants Victoria. Even when Lindsay acknowledges that there is something wrong happening she brushes it aside. I'm hoping that Lindsay grows more of a backbone in the next book. The book really should be called 50 Shades of Nox because that girl has some serious baggage - like going on a world tour type of baggage. I'm interested to see how this story plays out.

This is my first F/F book, I've read plenty of M/M books so I wanted to see how this compared. I plan to check out some more options in this category before I determine if these are for me or not. 

This book was kindly provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Outside the Ropes by Ashley Claudy

Outside the Ropes is about Reagan Sommers and her journey that brings her to the world of boxing. Reagan has spent most of her life getting out of tough situations until one night while getting jumped she gets discovered. Reagan finds that she not only enjoys boxing but really craves that way to let some aggression out. Reagan finds herself caught between two of the men that helped her the night she got jumped. Anthony was the responding officer that night and seems determined to be with Reagan in whatever way she will allow. Gage is a fellow boxer and held some of the punks who jumped her but he is trouble with a capital T. Reagan thinks that boxing can help her get her life in order but really she finds herself in a situation that may not be easy to get out of.

It was very easy to want to be in Reagan's corner from the very beginning of the book. It's obvious that Reagan came from a very hard life but has managed to pull herself up and is working toward a different life. Getting jumped in the street changes Reagan's life in many different ways some of which are good and some look to be bad. ** The rest of this review contains minor spoilers. **

Reagan finds herself with Anthony and they pretty much use each for different reasons. I wanted to like Anthony but didn't because he just seemed to clingy and there wasn't any way Reagan cared more for him than Gage. In that fight Anthony was never going to win. Gage was an ass but maybe that's something that Reagan is in to. No one likes to be kept in the dark especially if it's stuff that is important. I was a huge fan of Dexter, even when he got himself into trouble, but I was glad that Reagan didn't let him off the hook easily.

I very much liked this book even though it left you hanging in the end - which I hate - but it certainly made you want to check out what happens next! Personally I hope that Reagan beats the tar out of Gage but that's just me lol.

I was provided this book by NetGalley for my honest review!

Slim to None by Jenny Gardiner

Slim to None by Jenny Gardiner is a book about Abbie Jennings who happens to love her job as a top Food Critic. Abbie ends up losing her position at the paper because she gets recognized and finds it hard to hide herself due to her size. Abbie decides to do something about her weight in order to get her job back and this is her journey.

When I read what this book was about I thought I would really enjoy it but honestly I had to force myself to keep reading. I didn't really find a problem with the writing and the recipes shared were a very cute touch. Mainly it boiled down to I just didn't like Abbie - at all. I wanted to like her but it wasn't happening. I was not a fan of her fat jokes, the way she treated her husband or her ability to delude herself in regards to her diet. I just could not like her. I did like Thor, from the gym, and I liked the message that the book was trying to send. I would not recommend this book to a friend but because of the writing I would be inclined to check out another of Jenny Gardiner's books.

This book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Part-time Princess by Pamela DuMond

Part-time Princess by Pamela DuMond is the first in her Ladies in Waiting Series. This book features Lucy, a quirky fun girl that has suffered through some tragedy and is taking care of her institutionalized uncle. After sticking up for her friend Lucy finds herself jobless and in need of some serious fast cash to keep her Uncle where he can get the care he needs. 

Lucy goes online to Daveslist where she finds an interesting job posting that leads to a rather odd interview and ultimately a job. The details given to Lucy on what she is going to be doing are pretty vague but when you need money you do what you have to. Lady Elizabeth Billingsley, Zara and Mr. Philip Phillips put Lucy through some serious training that includes an all over make over and shopping spree. At first Lucy thinks she is going to be Lady Elizabeth's assistant but eventually finds out that she is supposed to fly out to Fredonia with Zara and/or Mr Phillips and impersonate her until Lady Elizabeth can make it back to Fredonia herself. 

While flying to Fredonia, on her own, Lucy meets the handsome Nick and instantly feels a connection but tries to focus on her job. When the plane lands in Fredonia Lucy finds out that when you take a job it's probably a good idea to get a few more specifics before starting because she is instantly thrust into all kinds of situations that Lady Elizabeth didn't prepare her for at all. There are two Princes vying for her affection, death threats, dungeons, ladies in waiting, and snow in the summer!

When I began reading this book I wasn't sure if I would be able to finish it because the whole idea and the characters were a little crazy but then as I kept reading I just couldn't stop! Lucy was refreshing and I admired that she just kept making things work even though Lady Elizabeth pretty much threw her to the wolves with little help. I also really enjoyed the Ladies In Waiting because they were NUTS but I couldn't stop laughing at all the crazy stuff they did and said. I adored Nick after he stopped mentioning the past with Elizabeth. Christoph, aka The Doll Butcher, is a dirty dog and probably couldn't be faithful if he tried but then again you can't always get love with an arrangement. 

Fredonia sounds like a pretty fun place to visit and I applaud Lucy for making it through while still trying to be a lady. There were SOOO many slips she made so it really surprised me that she wasn't called out on her being Lady Elizabeth every other page. Then again all the people of Fredonia were pretty crazy themselves so maybe they didn't notice at all. I liked the ending but there were SOOO many questions I had that weren't answered. I guess since it's a series I will *hopefully* find out in the next book(s). I would certainly recommend this book to anyone looking for a funny, light read. 

I was graciously provided this copy by NetGalley for my honest review.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Teaching Kids to Think by Ron Stolberg & Darlene Sweetland

Teaching Kids to Think is an interesting read about the current generation of kids who seem to be used to getting everything instantly. The book is geared toward parents who want their children to grow up and become confident, independent and thoughtful adults in a time where children are used to relying on their parents and the technology around them. The book strives to show parents ways to guide their children to develop the skills to be able to plan, organize, problem solve and make their own decisions.

The book is laid out very well and contains an introduction and the following chapters:

  1. The Parent Traps: Do you take the Bait:
  2. Missed Opportunities When Parents Rescue Their Children
  3. Make No Mistake About It: Everyone Makes Mistakes
  4. Understanding Developmental Stages
  5. Take Advantage of the Critical Periods of Brain Development
  6. Ivy League or Bust: Are We Providing Children What They Really Need?
  7. The Phones Might Be Smart, But What About Us?
  8. The Trouble With Technology: Video Games, Social Networking & TV
  9. Athletics Provide More Thank Just Fun
  10. Why Drugs And Alcohol Are So Appealing
  11. Will Your Child Be Ready To Launch?
  12. Parents Have Grown Accustomed to Instant Gratification, Too
  13. Lessons Learned

This book really does cover a multitude of different subjects that sneak into every parents life at some point. Sweetland and Stolberg seemed to offer plenty of examples they have seen in their offices in each chapter. There are also several several lists included to allow parents to identify if they are exhibiting any undesirable behaviors that could be contributing to the problem. Chapters are also ended with a Putting It All Together section that includes an overview of The Issue, The Trap your falling into, and The Alternative which states different ways to handle the issue. The last chapter of the book entitled Lessons Learned is a very brief recap of the book and just summarized the ideas of the book.

There were plenty of things I liked about this book. What I enjoyed the most about this was that it's not preachy at all. In fact this book is written by parents who admit in the Introduction that they have fallen into these traps plenty themselves and just want to help other parents avoid them. I really enjoyed that the book wasn't only aimed at one age group but instead offered not only examples of different ages but also suggestions for each. So many of these traps are easy to fall into and don't seem like a big deal at the time. I honestly haven't ever thought about what my son is missing by me helping him, I instead was only thinking of how I was helping. This book really opened my eyes to the different ways helping can really hurt in the long run. As parents it's important to think of the far reaching implications of our actions. I liked the list of things teachers sent in regarding what traits students will need to be successful adults. 

There were several ideas I found in the book that I want to implement in my home such as: "Fun Friday" - A day designated to no housework etc so you can play games, plan a sleep over etc so, as a working mom, your child can plan for a specific day instead of 'maybe later' or 'someday'. I am also going to try observing a situation my son is in for at least 5 to 10 seconds for jumping in to help. With play dates and social situations I'm going to help set parameters but let my son take control. There were also some things that I've already put in place so I was glad to see them on the "to-do" side of this book lol. 

There were also a few things that didn't apply to me because they were not meant for children with special needs - this book was definitely written with neurotypical kids in mind. Really the only thing that I would have liked to have seen was any talk at all about non-neurotypical kids. More and more children are being diagnosed with Autism each year and I feel like this book missed a huge section of the population(including my child). A wonderful read and I'm beyond glad that I got to read it.

This ARC was kindly provided to me by NetGalley for my honest review.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge

I'm no stranger to a good book that's for sure but I've noticed that I had been sticking to one or two genres. When New Years rolled around I found a awesome Reading Challenge that would hopefully help to get my reading a little more diverse than what it's been lately. Below is the Reading Challenge that I'm participating in this year. So far I've read 7 of the categories below - I will be listing them all out in one of the Tabs at the top and updating as I go along with Reviews. Feel Free to Join ME!! 

Friday, February 6, 2015


A huge thanks for checking out my new blog! I am just a lover of books and can't think of a better way to spend an evening than reading a great book. I have always been a huge reader, in fact when I was a teen you'd always find me with my nose buried in a book no matter what was going on. Over the years my taste in books have changed but not my love for the written word. Now I've just added my phone and tablet to the books! My library card certainly gets a work out between myself and my son. I've been slowly bringing my eight year old into the land of books and although his current favorites lean more toward comics and graphic novels I'm still counting it as a win! 

It really is my hope that this blog will encourage more people to find a love of reading. I look forward to reviewing some {hopefully} good books and maybe in the future doing some giveaways! My plan {here and in life} is to be as honest as possible. I'm also looking forward to connecting with more people who share my enthusiasm for reading. If you have suggestions for books you think I would enjoy feel free to share them because I'm ALWAYS looking for new books! I hope you enjoy being here!