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The Sunday Post #169

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 week at the office was a killer. Deadlines and stress and way too much peopling. By Friday afternoon I was so done. So mentally drained that I declared Saturday a hibernation day. I stayed in pj's and vegged all day. Just what I needed.
  • My mom is finally retiring (at the age of 74). Friday was her last full day of work. She goes in tomorrow briefly but that's it. Not sure how she's going to fill her time now - maybe volunteer work - but I'm glad she's no longer commuting to a full time job every day. 
  • Otherwise it's been a thoroughly uneventful week. Today is supposed to be stormy so it sounds like a good excuse to hibernate again. :) How was your week?
  • A favorite from the early 90's...


Just as I predicted... another powerful 5-star read from Bryn Greenwood. Review to come (hopefully) this week.


When I say I'm currently reading this one I mean that I'm on page 2. LOL So I really have no thoughts on it at all just yet... but I have high hopes! :)


File this one under: Sophie made me buy it. :)


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

WWW Wednesday #59 | August 21, 2019

WWW Wednesdays is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words.
Just answer three questions and share what you're reading.

My morning started at the dentist office. 
It has to get better from there, right?


The Reckless Oath We Made - Bryn Greenwood

I haven't had much time reading this week (or I haven't made much time for reading) so I'm only 25% into The Reckless Oath We Made but I am seriously Loving It. It may seem premature, but I'm already predicting a 5-star rating. Greenwood's gift at creating utterly unique, fully-realized characters is breathtaking. And several times I have come across a sentence or phrase that captures a feeling so perfectly... I just sit there and stare at it. Zee and Gentry are giving me life.

I had a love-hate relationship with the fourth book in the Sea Breeze series. Preston was a typical Abbi Glines guy: meaning he slept with anything on two legs and acted like a caveman with the one special snowflake who made his heart go pitter-patter. But he ran so hot and cold with Amanda that I wanted to do him bodily harm. But (there's always a but when I read Abbi Glines), this one was also surprisingly emotional. It took a darker turn near the end that I wasn't expecting and that triggered some events that actually got to me. So, yes Preston was another reformed man-whore (yawn), but Abbi still managed to reel me in with the emotion, So, go Abbi.


I might jump back into the Sea Breeze series or I might move on to When You Were Mine. We'll see how I feel after I finish The Reckless Oath We Made. 

What are you currently reading?
I wanna know! :)

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Romance Tropes

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic: 
My Favorite Romance Tropes

There are an endless number of tropes - the chosen one, the main character who is an "outsider", the absentee parents - but all of my favorites happen to be centered around romance. Quelle surprise! Some of the most popular tropes don't do it for me (fake dating, enemies to lovers, for example) but here are the ones that do, plus some examples:

I love the idea that some loves are just meant to be. Sometimes timing or circumstances may end a relationship, but getting to see two characters reconnect down the road does my heart good.


Two friends who know each other well, who already care for one another, and then develop feelings that are more than friendly... I'm always there for it.


I mean, come on... it's not called a meet cute for nothing! :)


Oh, the agony. The character who pines away, who hides their true feelings - until one day, finally, the one they secretly love sees them in a different light. 


Oh yeah, I'm a total sucker for a damaged hero. The guy who has suffered. It could be anything from childhood trauma to the horrors of war, but I turn to mush for a tortured hero who manages to overcome his demons with the help of the woman who loves him.


On the flipside, there are the sweet, soft guys. They're not angsty or snarky or cruel. They are thoughtful and caring and make the best boyfriends.


I've always had a thing for age gap romances - maybe because there's an age gap between me and The Husband. 


Whether a relationship is off-limits because the characters are from different social standings, different sides of a conflict, or different species, they almost always stand to lose big if found out. That always ups the stakes and leads to serious angst.


Don't you go rolling your eyes at me. I know this is one overused, played out trope. But I can't help it, I fall for the bad boy/good girl story every time.


Forced proximity is the perfect opportunity to have two characters get to know each other - or set aside differences for a common goal (like getting out of wherever they're trapped). It's also the perfect opportunity for some serious chemistry to develop.



Review: The Last Post by Renee Carlino

Renée Carlino
Publication date: August 20, 2019
Series: No
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Atria and NetGalley



“See you on the other side.”

Laya Marston’s husband, Cameron, a daredevil enthusiast, always said this before heading off on his next adventure. He was the complete opposite of her, ready and willing to dive off a cliff-face, or parachute across a canyon—and Laya loved him for it. But she was different: pragmatic, regimented, devoted to her career and to supporting Cameron from the sidelines of his death-defying feats.

But when Cameron dies suddenly and tragically, all the stages of grief go out the window. Laya becomes lost in denial, living in the delusion that Cameron will come back to her. She begins posting on his Facebook page, reminiscing about their life together, and imagining new adventures for the two of them.

Micah Evans, a young and handsome architect at Laya’s father’s firm, is also stuck––paralyzed by the banal details of his career, his friendships, and his love life. He doesn’t know what he’s looking for, only that there is someone out there who can bring energy and spirit to the humdrum of his life.

When Micah discovers Laya’s tragic and bizarre Facebook posts, he’s determined to show Laya her life is still worth living. Leaving her anonymous gifts and notes, trying to recreate the sense of adventure she once shared with her late husband, Micah finds a new passion watching Laya come out of the darkness. And Laya finds a new joy in the experiences Micah has created for her.

But for Laya, letting another man in still feels like a betrayal to her late husband. Even though Micah may be everything she could wish for, she wonders if she deserves to find happiness again.

M Y   T H O U G H T S

After a whirlwind first year of marriage, Laya is suddenly and tragically a widow. Retreating from work, family and friends, Laya is mired in grief and finds solace in leaving messages for Cameron, her deceased husband, on his phone and his Facebook page. Despite pleas from his family to stop the posts, which they consider hurtful, Laya can’t seem to stop.

Micah works for Laya’s father’s architectural firm and seems to be at a crossroads himself. He feels a disconnect with his friends and a sense of pointlessness to his work and his everyday life. When he meets Laya he’s immediately drawn to her. He knows she is a widow and, when he comes across her posts to her deceased husband, he feels compelled to somehow help her. Taking cues from her posts, he begins to slowly get to know Laya and a relationship (of sorts) forms.

I was excited to dive into The Last Post because I have loved several of Carlino’s books in the past. She has such a gift for emotional storytelling. Unfortunately, it was the emotion that was missing from this one for me. I didn’t feel a connection with either Laya or Micah, and at times I wasn’t even sure I felt a real connection between the two of them. In the beginning I wasn’t sure what to make of Micah or what his motivations were. It wasn’t clear to me whether he was altruistic or was trying to fulfill some need in himself.

Both Laya and Micah were living very small, insular lives – disconnected from the world and the people around them. I liked how together they both started to rejoin the world. Laya was finally able to start moving past her grief and Micah was coming out of… whatever it was he was going through. Honestly, I never did really understand what his issues were or what was troubling him. Laya struggled to come to terms with Cameron’s failings and recognize that neither he, nor their marriage, had been perfect. It was satisfying to see her come out of her shell and be willing to move forward.

While I didn’t feel emotionally invested in Laya and Micah’s story, and I missed that emotional punch that I’ve come to count on from Carlino, there’s no denying that she is a gifted storyteller. I love her writing style and I love her ability to tell a story about real people facing real challenges. Her stories always feel authentic and never gimmicky. If you enjoy stories that focus on overcoming loss, second chances and moving on, give The Last Post a chance.

3.5/5 STARS

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. This does not impact my opinion of the book or the content of this review. I received no compensation and my review is voluntary.

The Sunday Post #168

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:

  • A break from the heat! And just in time, too, because I was about to start crafting a voodoo doll of the weatherman and stick pins in it until he delivered better weather. ;) Yesterday it rained virtually all day and stayed in the 80's. A temperature that starts with an 8? What's next... snow?!
  • Yesterday was a fairly busy one. I had a hair appointment (I do believe Lindsi and I were sitting in a salon chair at the same time yesterday afternoon) and then The Husband and I ran a few errands. We made up for it with a quiet evening in, complete with take-out pizza and playing cards. We're extreme like that.
  • I saw Becky Albertalli announce some casting news for a Love, Simon TV series. It sounds awesome but honestly it will take a lot for me to watch it and actually stick with it. I am just not a TV watcher. I even gave up on the BH90210 reboot after one episode. LOL
  • In exciting (only to me) news, as of today I am down to only FOUR arcs between now and the end of the year. With no intention of requesting any more for the foreseeable future. My goal this year was to request less and Read. My. Own. Books. I'm excited to be doing that more and more often. I'm loving it! 
  • The heat may have lessened (slightly) but this still looks so cool and refreshing and I really, really want some.


I read two more Sea Breeze books in the last week. Abbi has a real tendency to write the same characters over and over again. The guys are all alpha types with serious caveman tendencies. I mean, seriously, they are all sex gods who are insanely jealous/possessive when they finally meet "the one". The girls are always virginal good girls who fall for the sex god-caveman, put up with his insanity/bad behavior, and he reforms and becomes a one-woman man (but is still jealous/possessive). So yeah, they're pretty ridiculous - and not exactly relationship goals (LOL) - but they're also crazy addictive and fun, quick reads. And, yes I'll admit it, there have been a couple times where Abbi has managed to create a few scenes that actually got an emotional response from me (but no tears - let's be real Ha!).


I'm taking a break from the Sea Breeze series to dive into The Reckless Oath We Made. Greenwood wrote one of my favorite books of  2016 (All the Ugly and Wonderful Things) and this is her first release since then. I'm only about three chapters in, but I'm already captivated by these unique characters. Zee is a waitress and also a part-time drug runner. She needs the money to help support her mother and nephew plus pay her medical bills. Gentry, who I've just met, talks and thinks in medieval English (is that even a thing? I don't know the correct term for it... obviously). He is a knight who watches over Zee. So yeah, interesting characters. I am so excited to see where this one goes. Greenwood astounded me with All the Ugly and Wonderful Things so I am expecting more greatness!


I one-clicked When You Were Mine about 2.5 seconds after reading Nicci's review. I'm convinced I will love it. I nabbed Verity when it went on sale for 99¢. I own a physical copy but I've been wanting The Husband to read it and he much prefers to read on his iPad. Rookie Move was another 99¢ steal. Again, I own the paperback but now I have options when I get around to reading it.


The Flatshare has been on my radar since way before it was even released. As soon as I read the synopsis I thought it was a total "me" kind of book. I discovered Tone Deaf when Sam included it in one of her Can't Wait Wednesday posts. Fingers crossed I get to both of these before they're due back at the library!

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