Monthly Archives: December 2013

2013 End of the Year Book Survey

EndoftheYear

I discovered the Book Survey through Effortlessly Reading and I knew I should hop on board with her, and the others. This year as been one busy year: a new baby, my daughter’s allergies (food allergies as well as asthma), so my reading took a dip or two during May – September but I am so glad I am back to reading, and enjoying “mommy time” aka Book Friendships, and Boyfriends (wink)

Best Books of 2013

1. Best Book You Read In 2013?

These was my 10 top picks from 2013

2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t?
All Fired Up by Kate Meader; I just felt the story line was dragging. There was a lot of times I would doze off while trying to read.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
Live and Let Die, the twist in this book is undeniably great! You will never guess what the ending will hold, even to the last page. It was one of the best books I read this year.

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
I recommended a lot of books to people in 2013, but the one I probably recommend the most was Friendship Makes the Heart Grow Fonder.

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
Wow, most of the books I read in 2013 was part of a series. I would say if I mentioned the book in this list and there is a series then go read it. Kristin Hannah’s series I am currently working on finishing, and all of the others. I hope I can get all the series caught up with before the end of 2014. So we shall see!

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?
Man, there is a lot of New Authors, not just one, that I have discovered this year: Katy Regnery, Courtney Cole, Shane Morgan, Lisa Verge Higgins, Natalie Whipple, Lis Wiehl, Brandi Salazar, J. Adams, Kristian Hannah and so many more.. these authors I am definitely keeping tabs on. I fell in love with their writing, and some of them I have fell in love with their personalities: they care about their readers as well as their writing. I love that. I love the fact they reach out and want to make a connection.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
A book out of comfort zone would have been: There Are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes. It takes you through a journey of what it is like on the inside of a mental hospital. While reading such an intruding book, you are captivated into wanting to know more.
A new genre for me is New Adult, and Erotica. I guess we can blame Courtney Cole and E L James. We even named our son Grayson because we got pregnant about month after I finished the books, we tried for 9 months with no luck, who knew reading a book could help out!? haha!!

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
Ducks in a Row by Michelle Garren Flye, One of the best books I have read this year, very thought provoking. This book has so much depth on so many levels. The thought process, and how everything played out was so great!

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Oh, I don’t know. I usually read a book one time and either donate it, or let a friend read it. Once I read a book I hate to go back through. I guess it is kinda like a movie: once you seen it, you seen it, or so to speak.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?
Okay, I can’t pick one.. that would be like what is your favorite color nail polish!
Entangled by Nikki Jefford

11. Most memorable character in 2013?
Jacey, Before We Fall by Courtney Cole, she is so down to earth and willing to help anyone who she sees hurting, including Dominic. I loved her character and would love to read more about her.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
Fly Away by Kristin Hannah, this book was so well written I have went back to the get the first book in the series.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
The Comfort of Lies, it brought back a lot of emotions, and I am thankful Randy Susan Meyers could bring out the real emotions of an affair.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?
The Spinsterlicious Life by Eleanore Wells

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
“You will always miss her. There will be days – even years from now – when the missing will be so sharp it will take your breath away. But there will be good days, too, months and years of them. In one way or another you’ll be searching for her all your life.”
— Kristin Hannah, Fly Away

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Oh goodness, I don’t even know. Shortest book would have been a children’s book that I read to my daughter, Jade.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
“He had to get inside. It was essential that he know everything, the routes she took, her schedule, and the lay of the land.
The silver moon glowed overhead, mocking him. Somewhere in the trees an owl hooted its laughter at his failure.”
-Randy–from Spring Cleaning

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Frankie & Delilah had me on my toes as I flipped the pages. I went from knowing how things would play out to mouth dropping shock, ha! (In a good way)
The girls friendship is so bold, and real.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Well, since my reading took a turn for about 3 months, I will just tell you my favorite authors: Janet Evanovich, Debbie Macomber, & Jennifer Weiner

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
I don’t think I read anything that was SOLELY Recommended. Goodness, someone recommend something, (wink)

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
Contemporary Romance

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
I am cheating, because I don’t have my review up yet.. but Noah from Pushing the Limits! I loved his character!

23. Best 2013 debut you read?
I wish I could just have one best book, but that would like what is my beat/favorite recipe haha!

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
Transparent by Natalie Whipple

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?
Friendship Makes the Heart Grow Fonder was not only a journey of fun, but it was a journey of them learning about themselves, growing friendships, and the growing they had to overcome with their decisions of the present.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
Swimming with Maya by Eleanor Vincent, When a book brings you to tears, you know the writer has pulled you into her words, and with Eleanor she pulls you into her story. I longed for Eleanor through having to tell her daughter’s story.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?
A Matter of Trust, you will want to read all in one day. It was so hard for me to puyou are so far into the book that you just have to t down. The first few pages have you wanting more so fun of intensity, then keep going and going.. well, you get the point.

Book Blogging/Reading Life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013?
I have so many new blogs that I have stumbled upon. I follow so many, and even try to go by and comment on all of you. You are all amazing!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013?
Favorite?? How can you have a favorite review??

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
Not a clue

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
hmm, I think I will start taking notes for next year.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I love participating in the Teaser Tuesdays, it really helps with showing people about a book. I also enjoy the Monthly Wrap-Ups, it is a way to look back on how much you enjoyed reading, and which book was your favorite of that month.

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?
I love interacting with so many of you from authors to other book bloggers! Unlike my real life friends and even family don’t read as much as I do, I finally found people who are like me!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Children’s: Starring Jules #1: Starring Jules (As Herself)
Memoir: The Spinsterlicious Life 

Most Commented: Someday, Someday, Maybe

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Of course the Reviews!

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Man, this year I finally went and got a new Library card. I know, I have been slacking. I have also realized we don’t have “book stores” around here anymore: Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, etc. All are gone 😦

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Oh yes, yes, yes… I completed my Goodreads Challenge! I didn’t know if I would with everything that went on this year: A New Baby Boy (Grayson), my daughter’s life-threatening food allergies, battling the school system, getting my food allergy support group up and running.. a little tired is an understatement haha!

 

Review: Undressing Mr. Darcy

undressingmrPublisher: Berkley Trade
Author: Karen Doornebos
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Review Source: NetGalley/Berkley Trade

DNF

Summary
Thirty-five-year-old American social-media master Vanessa Robert lives her thoroughly modern life with aplomb. So when her elderly Jane Austen-centric aunt needs her to take on the public relations for Julian Chancellor, a very private man from England who’s written a book called My Year as Mr. Darcy, Vanessa agrees. But she’s not “excessively diverted” as Jane Austen would say.
Hardbound books, teacups and quill pens fly in the face of her e-reader, coffee and smartphone…
…until she sees Julian take his tight breeches off for his Undressing Mr. Darcy show, an educational “striptease” down to his drawers to promote his book and help save his crumbling estate. The public relations expert suddenly realizes things have gotten…personal. But can this old-fashioned man find his way into her heart without so much as a GPS? It will take three festivals filled with Austen fans, a trip to England, an old frenemy, and a flirtatious pirate reenactor to find out…

Review
Everyone has talked or gave hype about the book, but I guess I just couldn’t get into it. I am over 30% into the book, and I still can’t find myself to keep going. Maybe it wasn’t my time for this book, and I can try it again later.
One reason could be, I didn’t read Jane Austen novel “Pride and Prejudice” novel,  so maybe next time I will start there with reading the book, and the “Definitely Not Mr. Darcy” (first book by Karen Doornebos).
However, the writing style is great! I just couldn’t get hooked into the storyline, but I am not saying you can’t.

About the Author
Karen Doornebos is the author of UNDRESSING MR. DARCY published by Berkley, Penguin. Her first novel, DEFINITELY NOT MR. DARCY, has been published in three countries.
She lived and worked in London for a short time, but is now happy just being a lifelong member of the Jane Austen Society of North America and living in the Chicagoland area with her husband, two teenagers and various pets, including a bird.

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Disclosure: I won this book for free via NetGalley/Berkley Trade. I did not have to do the review, and this review is my honest opinion.

December Monthly Wrap-Up

Wrap-Up

Reviews
Gaze Into Heaven by Marlene Bateman Sullivan (4/5 Stars)
Friendship Makes the Heart Grow Fonder by Lisa Verge Higgins (5/5 Stars)
Washing Cars & Wasting Time by John Oliva (4/5 Stars)
Her Deal With the Devil by Nicola Marsh (4/5 Stars)
When She Came Home by Drusilla Campbell (4/5 Stars)
Swimming with Maya by Eleanor Vincent (3/5 Stars)
Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade (4/5 Stars)
Impossibly Love by Shane Morgan (5/5 Stars)
Brood X by Michael Phillip Cash (4/5 Stars)
Ducks in a Row by Michelle Garren Flye (5/5 Stars)
By Proxy by Katy Regnery (5/5 Stars)
Before We Fall by Courtney Cole (5/5 Stars)
A Christmas to Remember (2/5 Stars)
Review: Stillwell by Michael Phillip Cash (3/5 Stars)
Review: If You Were Me and Lived In… by Carole P. Roman (5/5 Stars)

MeMe’s I participated in:
Teaser Tuesday – When She Came Home
Teaser Tuesday – Before We Fall

Cover Reveals
Playing for Love at Deep Haven

Books/other things I won/Given:
Overprotected gift pack by Jennifer Laurens @ Jennifer Laurens
4 Spooky ARCs @ Stories & Sweeties
3 Books & Goodies @ Deal Sharing Aunt – 3 partners in shopping
Woman on Top by Deborah Schwartz @ Every Free Chance Book Reviews
Champagne for Christmas by Jean Joachim @ Joachim Books
BY PROXY by Katy Regnery @ Katy’s Facebook Giveaway! Thank You Katy!!
Grounded By You by Ivy Sinclair @ Booklovers LaceyCat
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers @Susan M. Heim
Breaking Brandon @ As the Page Turns
$5 Gift Card from Renee Entress! Thank you so much!
Thank you everyone for a chance to read these books. I am cracking down on reading books on my shelves this year, 2014, and I know with out a doubt that there is awesome reads that was given or I won this month! Thank you again, and when I get to them I will post a review.

Favorite Book This Month:
byproxy

Goodreads Challenge Congrats! You have completed your goal of reading 50 books for the 2013 Reading Challenge!. 56/50 (117%) Talk about catching up! It feels so good to be back on a regular reading schedule!

Upcoming in January:
Pushing the Limits
Finding Narragansett (Book Blitz)
Fifteen Minutes
Stuck in the Doldrums
Against the Odds: Still His Woman
The Master Plan (Book Blast)
Against the Odds: Forever
Running Lean
Beyond Escape
Beneath Our Faults (Cover Reveal) ?
It Must Be Fate (Blog Tour)
Charmed
The Art of Letting Go (Blog Blitz) ?
Midwinter Magic
In Pursuit (Cover Reveal) ?
Boss’s Fake Fiancee
The Victor’s Wife
Playing for Love (Blog Tour)
Arranged Love (Blog Tour)
Sex Boot Camp (Blog Tour)
Twisted Sisters
The Dawn of Christmas

Review: If You Were Me and Lived In…

Publisher: CreateSpace
Author: Carole P. Roman
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book
Series: If You Were Me and Lived In…
Age: 2+
Review Source: Author

All of the books are available in paperback and are 20-30 pages in length. They are intended for children preschool to age 8, although older children might enjoy them as well.

★ ☆★ ☆★ – 5 Stars!

Mexico

Click photo to take you to Goodreads

If You Were Me and Lived In… Mexico
-A child’s introduction to Cultures Around the World

“If You Were Me and Lived In… Mexico – A Child’s Introduction to World Culture,” is the first entry in this educational series that takes children on journey to our exciting neighbor to the south.. Mexico! Perfect for children from Pre-K to age eight, this little book is a ground breaking new experience in exposing children the joy of culture differences.

France

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“If You Were Me And Lived In… France – A Child’s Introduction to Culture Around the World” is the second book in a remarkable series about countries all over the globe. With each book covering a different nation, Roman opens up a world of wonder while highlighting the fact that underneath it all we are far more alike than we might have imagined. Focusing on what life would be like from a child’s viewpoint, she examines the diversity of the people who make up our planet.

South Korea

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“If You Were Me and Lived in… South Korea – An Introduction to Learning about other Cultures,” is the third entry in this educational series that takes children on journey to Asia, this time landing in.. South Korea! Once again, children can learn how life is like for young people on the other side of the globe. From food to famous landmarks, they will learn that’s it’s easy to find something in common with people in different countries.

Norway

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“If You Were me and Lived in.. Norway -An Introduction to Learning about other Cultures,” another entry in this educational series that takes children on a journey through Norway. Children from Pre-K to the age of eight learn how life is like for other children around the globe.

Kenya

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“If You Were Me and You Lived… Kenya – An Introduction to Learning about other Cultures,” Number five in this exciting series travels to Africa to learn about the thrilling country of Kenya. This extraordinary book “If You Were Me and Lived in…Kenya- A Child’s Introduction to Cultures Around the World” explores life for children on a new continent. The book touches on many familiar topics such as names, money, games,and food as well the sites and sounds that come with living in Africa. Embraced by educators, parents, and children, the series gently and respectfully introduces the subjects of cultures and customs around the world.

Review
Absolutely, always love Carole’s writing! My daughter always feels involved when Carole’s new book hits the mailbox. The information that are within the series are great. I really enjoyed the pronunciation guide, it was very informative.  I have never left the South, so I have learned a lot through the books as well.
If You Were Me and You Lived… series shows exactly the location of each place. My daughter says it is her “vacation” books, haha! (Got to love the mind of a 5 year old). You learn the diversity within each culture: language, food, currency, landmarks, activities, holidays, clothing, etc.
The series of If You Were Me and You Lived.. are well written and the illustrations are playful and colorful. All these books are very educational: an interesting fact or two about the country or it’s capital city, fun, easy read, that not only would you enjoy as a parent, but your child will enjoy teaching others about other cultures!

About the Author
Award winning author Carole P. Roman is a former teacher turned businesswoman. She has successfully run a family business with her husband that employs close to five hundred people. Her most favorite job is being grandmother to her many grandchildren. Roman has two wonderful sons and hit the jackpot in the daughter-in-law department. She currently lives on Long Island with her husband.
Her first book, Captain No Beard – An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life has been named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012 as well garnered the star of remarkable merit. Captain No Beard has developed in a series of 3 more books. Her next project is the book series I Want To Do Yoga Too. She is currently working on a new educational series that explores different cultures from a child’s point of view.

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Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review: Stillwell

StillWellPublisher: Red Feather Publishing
Author: Michael Phillip Cash
Genre: Mystery & Thriller, Suspense
Review Source: Author

★ ☆★ – 3 Stars

Summary
Paul Russo’s wife just died. While trying to get his family’s life back in order, Paul is being tormented by a demon who is holding his wife’s spirit hostage on the other side. His fate is intertwined with an old haunted mansion on the north shore of Long Island called Stillwell Manor. Paul must find clues dating back hundreds of years to set his wife’s soul free.

Review
Cash really knows how to draw his crowd or readers in when he puts together a story. His characters are easily to get attached to. The prologue alone had me second guessing to even read the book. However, I did.. of course.
With reading Stillwell I found myself knowing what will happen: the cold rooms, smell… due to the fact of it being “matter of fact” for a ghost story. Some of the anti-log just didn’t fit with me. I guess I wanted more, I am not really sure. Some of the scenes seemed to lack, or have you question motive. I don’t want to give away things in the book. I just don’t see how the scenes fit in, maybe because the most popular, scary ghost stories are about motive, and we have the answers to why they do things. Cash just seems to lack on giving us a detailed description on why things happened.
To be quiet honest, I am a wuss when it comes to scary stuff. I will hide my head in my husband’s arm, or look away from the TV if I think something will jump at me. With that being said, I didn’t feel that way with this book. I found it more as a story, as a family who are dealing with death, and how they coped in a house that was “haunted”, if you want to call it that.

About the Author
Michael Phillip Cash born and raised on Long Island, Michael has always had a fascination with horror writing and found footage films. He wanted to incorporate both with his debut novel, Brood X. Earning a degree in English and an MBA, he has worked various jobs before settling into being a full-time author. He currently resides on Long Island with his wife and children.

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Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review: A Christmas to Remember

AChristmastoRememberPublisher: Forever
Authors: Jill Shalvis, Kristen Ashley, Hope Ramsay, Molly Cannon, & Marilyn Pappano
Genre: Romance, Anthologies
Review Source: NetGalley/Forever

★ ☆ – 2 Stars

Summary
Curl up with this heartwarming Christmas collection!
Jill Shalvis, Dream a Little Dream: Melissa has kept every man at a safe distance-especially firefighter Ian, a sexy friend with sexy benefits. But Ian secretly longs for more. Luckily, ’tis the season for giving love a chance . . .

Kristen Ashley
, Every Year: Holidays don’t come easy for Shy and his brother, Landon. But with the magic of Christmas, along with a little help from Tabby and her family, the Cage brothers are about to get the gift of a lifetime . . .

Hope Ramsay
, Silent Night: Down on her luck and evicted from her apartment, single mother Maryanne hopes to start over in Last Chance. When the snow begins to fall, it looks like her baby might literally spend Christmas Eve in a manger. And Maryanne might celebrate the holiday with a handsome stranger.

Molly Cannon, Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas: Lincoln is a bachelor who’s set in his ways-until a professional organizer dressed up as Mrs. Claus changes his life, one tip at a time. . .

Marilyn Pappano, A Family for Christmas: War widow Ilena doesn’t mind spending Christmas alone. But when a new doctor blows into town with the winter wind, will she get her secret Christmas wish?

Plus: Excerpts from upcoming novels!

Review
There was only two in this bunch that I really liked, and I wish there was more to the short stories, because they all ended mostly abruptly. However, I did really enjoy Dream a Little Dream, it was my favorite out of them.
I also think this was a good idea for the authors to make the readers want to go out and buy their books, just give them enough to want more.. and that is exactly how I felt. I couldn’t even finish the last book due to knowing I was going to go through the thought of it ending so soon, and be left hanging in the dark. I have never tried a short story like this one, with five authors, and from reading this one, I don’t think I will pick up another book like it… UNLESS the books are full short stories, and not “excerpts”.
On a positive note, I loved the fact that the authors wrote letters to the readers, it was a nice touch to the abruptly endings.

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Disclosure: I received this book for free from NetGalley/Forever. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review: Before We Fall

BeforeWeFallPublisher: Forever
Author: Courtney Cole
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Series: Beautifully Broken #3
Review Source: NetGalley/Forever

★ ☆★ ☆★ – 5 Stars!

Summary
Sometimes, one dark moment is all it takes to turn your world black…
For 24-year old Dominic Kinkaide, that moment took place on the night of his high school graduation. One dark incident changed him forever. He’s a hardened actor now, famous in the eyes of the world, but tortured in his own. He doesn’t care about much of anything, except for losing himself in the roles that he plays.
23-year old Jacey Vincent doesn’t realize how much her father’s indifference has affected her. She is proof that sometimes it isn’t one specific moment that wrecks a person, but rather it’s an absence of moments. She’s like a bird with a broken wing-strong yet fragile, as she tries to float through life, finding acceptance in the arms of random guys, one after the other… to fill the void that her father left in her.
Until she meets Dominic.
After jaded Dominic and strong-willed Jacey are thrown together, his secret and her issues create a dark and damaged energy that will soon turn their attraction to each other into an explosive storm.
Even though when the clouds have cleared and the dust has settled, both of them are almost obliterated… they’ve learned a priceless lesson.
Sometimes, before we fall… we fly.

Review
Oh, the pain, the tears… the words. painfully captivating

Wow!! Yep, this book is by far, the best one of the year. I could not put it down, and I wanted more even when I finished!
I am so sad our local libraries doesn’t even have Courtney Cole, much less the beginning of the series, because I totally would load up on the other 2 books!
Dominic is so dark, mysterious, but he has so many walls up. Jacey knows something is bothering Dominic before he even tells her. She can read him like a book, and she is so sweet.
Before We Fall had me in tears, and I was fighting for everything. The story had me on the edge of my seat, squeezing tissues, putting my book down to clear my eyes so I could continue reading. However, these were not bad tears. These tears was tears of happiness, watching walls being torn down, frustration, and watching emotions fly across the pages. There was even parts where I caught myself smiling.
Jacey’s a powerful person, her will to give, and her passion is something that we should all live for. Jacey continues to push through life through the number of odds that was set out against her. However, she still smiled, loved surprises, and wanted to help everyone she could.
When Dominic and Jacey get together it is like immediately attraction, you can feel the “spark” before you even take off through the rest of the book. That “spark” only gets better as Jacey and Dominic intertwine through their own emotions, and heartache.
I completely will tell you to give this book a try! I am going to find the rest of the series, and I bet you will be looking for those books too! Now go, go, and Happy Reading!

BeforeWeFallTeaser

About the Author
Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could.
She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds.
Every Last Kiss is her debut novel and she followed it with the rest of The Bloodstone Saga (Every Last Kiss, Fated, With My Last Breath and My Tattered Bonds).
Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

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Disclosure: I received this book for free from NetGalley/Forever. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review: By Proxy

byproxyPublisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Author: Katy Regnery
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Holiday
Review Source: Won

★ ☆★ ☆★ – 5 Stars!

Summary
A HOLIDAY SURPRISE
Stubbornly small-town Jenny Lindstrom has misgivings when she promises to stand proxy in her best friend’s wedding—misgivings that are fulfilled when tall, handsome Sam Kelley walks into the courthouse an hour late. In order to keep her promise, an afternoon favor turns into a weekend of startling but undeniable attraction, threatening the well-ordered world that keeps her heart at arm’s length from any more pain.
Sam’s plan is to fly to Livingston, Montana, take vows for his favorite cousin, and return to Chicago as quickly as possible. But his plan is turned upside-down when he must spend a weekend with Jenny in Gardiner in order to keep his word. He doesn’t want to fall for the prim, proper schoolteacher whose small-town life seems to him like selling out, but the more time he spends with her, the harder it is to say good-bye.
When city and country come together for Christmas, the unexpected gift is true love.

Review
Love, Love, Love!! One of the top books this year. I absolutely loved the humor, and the characters had a round aspect on life, Katy got the characters to become more than life through her words.
I read this book as we was traveling around through the holidays. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a clean romance.
Jenny & Sam collided into one another, this was by far a “love at first sight” book, but you got to build with Jenny & Sam. They were not perfect, and I loved how Jenny’s brothers didn’t just automatically “know” Sam, like where he lived, his reason for being there, etc. It was fun to see the “guys” talk, so to speak. I also loved how we got to see how Jenny thought about Sam, and then how Sam thought about Jenny. It gave me a different angle, and made the story more rounded. It was kinda like watching a movie develop right in front of you. Ohhhh Katy, That is a great idea: a MOVIE!
With this being a series, I will definitely be looking out for the next book! This is by far one of the best, and the littlest of things would make me smile.

Even if there had been, Jenny would have probably kept him at a respectful distance, especially at school where she honored the simple inherent wisdom of: Don’t get your nookies where you get your cookies. ~28% Kindle

About the Author
Katy Regnery Author PhotoKaty Regnery, winner of the 2013 NECRWA First Kiss and 2013 Maine RWA Everything But the Kitchen Sink contests, has always loved telling a good story and credits her mother with making funny, heartwarming tales come alive throughout her childhood. A lifelong devotee of all romance writing from Edwardian to present-day, it was just a matter of time before Katy tried her hand at writing a love story of her own.
As it turned out, one love story turned into a series of five Heart of Montana romances, following the love lives of the Yellowstone-based Lindstrom siblings. In addition to small-town contemporary romance, Katy is presently writing a paranormal romance that takes place in northern New England and the forests north of Quebec.
Speaking of forests, Katy lives in the relative-wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut where her writing room looks out at the woods and her husband, two young children and two dogs create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories of all are the messy and unexpected ones.

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Disclosure: I won this book in a giveaway. I did not have to do the review, and this review is my honest opinion.

Review: Ducks in a Row

DucksPublisher: Michelle Garren Flye
Author: Michelle Garren Flye
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Review Source: Author

★ ☆★ ☆★ – 5 Stars!

Summary
Cady Summers thinks she has all her ducks in a row: great house, beautiful family. Then her estranged twin sister Cam shows up…pregnant. Envious of her sister’s condition and lonely with a teenage daughter and a workaholic husband, Cady’s life no longer seems to have the perfect order she has always cherished.
A recovering drug addict and absentee mother of two, Cam Taylor has never had any order in her life. Afraid of his reaction to her pregnancy, Cam flees the man she loves, seeking refuge in the only home she still knows.
Can the love between the two sisters provide a healing balm for the wounds of her scarred marriage or will Cady seek solace in the arms of another man? Can the reunion with her sister give Cam the courage she needs to face the man she loves or will she let her past mistakes come between them?

Review
One of the best books I have read this year, very thought provoking.
Ducks in a Row is not only about the twin sisters: Cam & Cady, but about family. Everything about this book was well-written. Michelle brings you close to the characters, you can understand their logical, or what seems to be, thinking. This book has so much depth on so many levels. The thought process, and how everything played out was so great! I could hardly put this book down, such a pleasant read. I got through half of 370 pages by the time I knew it. I wanted to finish this book, and I am so glad I did.
This book can be an emotional read especially if you have been through a tragic cheating situation; however, it doesn’t lead to every detail, but it could be something hard to overcome emotionally. So, just know that is the only thing I will say about that, because it did hit home to me on a lot of occasions, but I still made it through. Michelle did shine light on marriages and how we shouldn’t take anyone for granted from husbands, sisters, to children (family). Go ahead, grab your copy today. It really is that good.

About the Author
Michelle Garren Flye is the award-winning romance author of five novels. Here most recent novel, Where the Heart Lies, has been described as an “engaging novel with charming and likable characters” and a story that “will make you believe in love and second chances.”
Michelle has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is the mother of three and lives in North Carolina with her husband and their rapidly growing collection of pets.

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Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review: Brood X

BroodXPublisher: Red Feather Publishing
Author: Michael Phillip Cash
Genre: Mystery & Thriller, Suspense
Review Source: Author

★ ☆★ ☆ – 4 Stars

Summary
Seth is laid off from work. His wife Lara just found out they are expecting a baby this summer. Seth plans on documenting the entire pregnancy with his brand new digital camcorder.
During an evening home watching television, the news reports that a swarm of cicada (Brood Ten) are expected to overwhelm the entire Northeast.
Brood Ten is vicious and ready to invade.
During a sweltering summer night, Brood Ten emerges and wreaks havoc with the electric grid, phone and cell service, wi-fi, food and water supply. Civilization as they know it is gone.
Seth and Lara are thrown back to the stone age in their own home with trillions of cicada trying to deposit their eggs and breed.
Fast paced and filled with tension, Brood Ten is the perfect summer read when you’re sitting outside listening to the cicadas sing.

Review
Oh, I usually hate books about bugs. No really, but something about this book really made me want to read it. I don’t think I will ever go back outside “peacefully”. This book has a little bit of it all: pregnancy, marriage, humor, friendship, interesting, grossed out, etc. There is definitely enough in this book to keep you turning the pages, and to keep you on your toes, with your ears tuned in. Michael let the book gradually build into the setting, giving us a better understanding of what will happen. I personally think if it wasn’t for the gradual build then the reader would lose understanding, so I think he did a great job with timing it out perfectly.
There are just some topics or conversations that hold my “yeah, right” category or labelled as childish; however, the ending is fabulous, and I bet you will read this book just as quickly as I did.
If you like books that can creep you out, make your skin crawl, your heart stop at some places, and hold your breath than this book is for you! Now I wonder if this book will make it to the movies, I think it can!

About the Author
Michael Phillip Cash born and raised on Long Island, Michael has always had a fascination with horror writing and found footage films. He wanted to incorporate both with his debut novel, Brood X. Earning a degree in English and an MBA, he has worked various jobs before settling into being a full-time author. He currently resides on Long Island with his wife and children.

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Author Links
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Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.