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The Sunday Post #185


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news - a post to recap the past week on your blog, 
showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is
coming up on your blog in the week ahead. You can find the info here:

  • This whole week I've been feeling like I was coming down with something. Run down, zero energy, sometimes running a low-grade fever... but nothing has materialized. If this is as bad as it gets then I can just soldier on. But I'm constantly on alert for new/worse symptoms: Oh no, did my fever just spike? Ack, does my throat feel a little sore? LOL With this being my busiest time of the year at the office, plus the holidays, there is no time to be sick!
  • Did anyone score any big Cyber Monday deals? I hibernated at home on Black Friday (the norm) but I did do a little shopping on Monday. Online Christmas shopping saves my sanity. :)
  • I know a lot of you, like me, read and loved Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale. Have you seen the latest casting news? Real-life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning will play sisters Isabelle and Vianne. My first thought is that they seem too young but I bet if I went back and checked the book they're not that far off from the characters. What do you think?
  • For all you Hallmark movie fans, did you know there is a Hallmark Channel Monopoly? If you know someone who is hooked on those movies, wouldn't that be a fun Christmas gift? :)
  • And now for this week's 80's music fix: I decided to stick with the holiday/Christmas theme all month because why not? Here's an oldie from Sir Elton.


WHAT I COMPLETED IN THE LAST WEEK:

   

Him (Him #1) - Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
Cowboy Christmas Redemption - Maisey Yates *DNF*

I finished my audio re-read of Him (I've lost count of how many times I've read it) and it's still just as perfect. I immediately launched right into the follow-up, Us.

Last night I decided to give up on Cowboy Christmas Redemption. After a solid week I was only 50 pages in and realized that I just didn't care about the characters. I also think maybe Yates isn't for me. The sentence structure often seemed clunky and I'd find myself re-reading sentences to make sure I was understanding. And then wondering why it had been worded in such an awkward, confusing way.

WHAT I'M CURRENTLY READING: 
    
Us (Him #2) - Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Right now the only thing I have going is my audio re-read of Us. I might browse my shelves this afternoon to see if anything appeals to me. 

KINDLE BOOKS:
        
The Candle Palace - Devney Perry
Tinsel - Devney Perry

I'm excited for Deck and Avery's story in Hoops Holiday, but what really has me jazzed are the bonus stories for Iris + August and Banner + Jared.And two more titles from Devney Perry. I'm determined to (finally) read something by her!

AUDIO BOOKS:

    

The Christmas Pact - Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward






How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
I'd love to hear about it!

#Blogmas2019 Day 5 & Day 6: Best Dark/Twisted/Suspense and Best Historical #BestBooksof2019


Welcome to Blogmas 2019! 
Blogmas is the creation of Sophie @ Beware of the Reader. This is her third year (I think) doing Blogmas and my second year participating. Sophie has provided some great prompts for this month and I'm excited to participate as often as possible. I'll probably be combining days fairly often, like today. If you'd like to participate, be sure to use the hashtags #Blogmas2019 and #BestBooksof2019.

DAY 5: BEST DARK, SUSPENSE, TWISTED READ 

Verity was one of the first books I read in 2019 and was a way to kick off the year! I remember thinking: this is not the Colleen Hoover I know... this is a creepy/twisted side of Colleen Hoover! LOL Because Verity really was pretty dark and twisted. There were times I was actually creeped out by the sinister atmosphere CoHo created. And the twists left me not knowing what to think. I may be used to Colleen's emotional romances, but I'd read more like this from her any time!

DAY 6: BEST HISTORICAL READ
    

Staring in the 1950's, Mrs. Everything spans more than sixty years. Weiner lets us follow two sisters across the decades as their paths separate and converge. Mrs. Everything was largely about sisterhood - both familial and in the larger sense - but it was also a fascinating look at the social changes over the years. I loved this one and it's definitely among my favorites of 2019.

I'm giving an honorable mention to Daisy Jones & The Six. It feels odd to consider a story that took place within my lifetime as historical. LOL But I guess the 1970's now counts as history. (Ack!) Taylor Jenkins Reid created a phenomenal cast of characters, specifically Daisy and Billy, and I was glued to the story. TJR proved yet again why she is one of my favorite authors.


HAVE YOU READ EITHER OF THESE BOOKS?
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE DARK, TWISTY READ THIS YEAR?




Monthly Wrap Up | November 2019


WHAT HAPPENED IN NOVEMBER
  • Fall finally came to Florida. No more 90 degree days. In fact, many days have been in the 60's and 70's and the last few nights have been downright chilly (by Florida standards, anyway). So I've been a happy girl.
  • Mid/late November started the busiest time of year at the office. It was easy to feel overwhelmed so that's when conveniences started saving my sanity. Amazon same day (or next day) delivery, Chili's curbside pick-up, and Walmart grocery pick-up. Thank goodness these things exist!
  • Thanksgiving was a crazy, busy, hectic, wonderful, fun-filled day filled with family. There were 15 of us at my house and we ate and talked and played games. A good time was had by all. It was a great day... and at the end of it I think I was in bed before 9 pm. Ha! 

WHAT I READ IN NOVEMBER


November was kind of a middle-of-the-road reading month. There were a few highlights but also a couple books that I had high hopes for and ended up being disappointed (isn't that the worst feeling?). I've been feeling slightly underwhelmed by too many books over the last month or so and I don't know if it's me, the books, or a combination of the two. Hopefully Santa will bring some stellar reads in December! :)

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams | 3.5/5 stars
Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop | 4.5/5 stars
Trusting Winter by Lora Richardson | 4/5 stars
The Major's Welcome Home by Tessa Bailey | 3/5 stars
Repeat by Kylie Scott | 4/5 stars
Flow by Kennedy Ryan | 4/5 stars
Blitzed by Alexa Riley | 3.25/5 stars
Grip by Kennedy Ryan | 4/5 stars
Coming Home for Christmas by RaeAnne Thayne | 4/5 stars

FORMATS
Total Read: 9
2 physical books
4 audiobooks
3 e-book
(2 ARCs: The Bromance Book Club, Blitzed)

TOP OF THE HEAP
Etched in Bone
Ratings-wise my top read in November was my audio re-read of Etched in Bone. It is the fifth and final book in The Others series (before the spin-off into The World of the Others series). I loved revisiting all the characters and it was bittersweet to come to the end. Outside of a re-read, it's a toss-up between Trusting Winter and Grip, two vastly different books. One was sweet and filled with the softest characters ever, and the other was angsty, sometimes intense and emotional, and touched on some weighty topics.

THE ONE THAT RUINED IT ALL AT THE END
Blitzed
I haven't written my review of Blitzed yet, but suffice it to say that I was mostly enjoying it until about the 90% mark. That was when I got full-on ragey towards both the main character and, by extension, the author. The reaction/actions of the main character pretty much ruined it for me. Boo hiss.

THE ONE THAT INDUCED MUCH EYE ROLLING
The Major's Welcome Home
Maybe I was taking this one too seriously and it was meant to be every bit as ridiculous as it was. But the speed at which this entire relationship took place made my head spin. In less that a week they were in love and she was moving to another state to live happily ever after with the guy. Just no.

THE ONE THAT WAS JUST WHAT I NEEDED
Coming Home for Christmas
After a month of reading ups and downs, I was desperate for something light and easy. I was unsure about Coming Home for Christmas because I'd never read anything by Thayne and I figured it was going to be too much on the sweet side of romance to really appeal to me. Surprisingly, it was just what I needed and I really enjoyed the story of Elizabeth and Luke finding their way back to each other.


WHAT HAPPENED ON THE BLOG
I had 15 blog posts in November which included 3 reviews: Well Met, The Bromance Book Club, and Trusting Winter. I shared some of the books I want to re-read, my favorite contemporary series, and some of the bookish things I am most thankful for. I also took part in the Black Friday Book Bonanza Giveaway and was happy to gift Nicci @ Sunny Buzzy Books her choice of book. :)


WHAT I'M CURRENTLY READING


WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE READ IN NOVEMBER?

#Blogmas2019 Day 3 & Day 4: Best Cover Model and Best Rom Com #BestBooksof2019


Welcome to Blogmas 2019! 
Blogmas is the creation of Sophie @ Beware of the Reader. This is her third year (I think) doing Blogmas and my second year participating. Sophie has provided some great prompts for this month and I'm excited to participate as often as possible. I'll probably be combining days fairly often, like today. If you'd like to participate, be sure to use the hashtags #Blogmas2019 and #BestBooksof2019.

DAY 3: BEST COVER MODEL 
I'm not the biggest fan of covers featuring shirtless guys. It opens the floodgates to all kinds of cheesiness. But there's an exception to every rule, right? Because Long Shot manages to feature a shirtless guy that 1) isn't cheesy and 2) is positively dreamy.

According to Kennedy Ryan the cover model is Kevin S and if you want to indulge in a little more eye candy you can check out his Instagram account.

DAY 3: BEST ROM COM

When it comes to laugh out loud humor, Christina Lauren nails it. I love the snarky banter, the funny one-liners, the self-deprecating humor, and the hilarious situations. They combined it all perfectly in Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating. I read this one way back in March but I still remember how much I loved Hazel and how often I laughed out loud while read her and Josh's story.
"I can’t believe I’m encouraging this conversation, but you were telling me about your gynecologist snubbing you and I’m actually curious to hear how it turned out."

“So I stopped in the middle of the gymnasium and smiled at him—not my courtesy smile, but my real one—and he just walked by.”

“Maybe he didn’t see you.”

“He definitely saw me—and don’t get me wrong, I run into guys all the time who’ve seen my vagina and pretend not to know who I am. Things don’t work out and that’s fine. But I paid this guy."

HAVE YOU READ EITHER OF THESE BOOKS?
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE ROM COM THIS YEAR?





#Blogmas2019 Day 1 & Day 2: Best YA and Soul Destroyer #BestBooksof2019


Welcome to Blogmas 2019! 
Blogmas is the creation of Sophie @ Beware of the Reader. This is her third year (I think) doing Blogmas and my second year participating. Sophie has provided some great prompts for this month and I'm excited to participate as often as possible. I'll probably be combining days fairly often, like today. If you'd like to participate, be sure to use the hashtags #Blogmas2019 and #BestBooksof2019.

DAY 1: BEST YA
This should be fairly easy because by my count I've only read ten YA novels this year. One was kind of meh but the other nine were all varying degrees of good/great. But if I had to choose just one, it would be Hope and Other Punch Lines by Julie Buxbaum


I already knew I loved Buxbaum's storytelling so I had high hopes for this one. And it did not disappoint. The two main characters were both so well-written and fully-realized and their story - both separately and together - packed an emotional punch. My wonderful friend Sam (We Live and Breathe Books) gifted me a hardcover copy of this book and that makes it even more special to me.

DAY 2: SOUL DESTROYER/HUGE BOOK HANGOVER
Coincidentally, my pick for the book that destroyed my soul is another YA novel. I didn't even have to think about this one because there was only one book that hurt my heart so much that I could only read small amounts at a time. That book is Birthday by Meredith Russo.


Morgan and Eric's story was incredibly emotional. And it was Morgan's story in particular that broke me. Morgan was going through the heartbreaking process of struggling with gender identity. And that struggle was shared in heart-wrenching detail. Morgan's pain was palpable and so many times I wanted to grab this kid, give a crushing hug, and swear it would all be okay. 

HAVE YOU READ EITHER OF THESE BOOKS?
WHAT BOOK DESTROYED YOUR SOUL THIS YEAR?