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WWW Wednesday #50 | April 24, 2019


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

Happy Wednesday! We're halfway through the work week... hang in there, friends. (← I typo'ed that at first and called you all fiends LOL) Today is my younger sister's birthday so a great big happy birthday to you, Terri! Can't wait to see you this weekend.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

    
     
   
The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years #1) - Sarina Bowen
I DNF'd a book last night (grrr... still feeling all annoyed by it) and was desperate for something fun, light, and easy. A sure thing. Sarina Bowen is an absolute go-to author for me. I always connect with her characters, they're rarely angsty, and there's always plenty of humor. Totally in the mood for that. This one is going to be my palate cleanser after that DNF.

In the same vein as just wanting something light and fun, I started the audio book of Intercepted this morning. I must have OD'd on angst and drama lately because all I want is fluff right now. Anyway, I've heard good things about this one so hopefully it delivers a good time.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

  
 
The Unhoneymooners - Christina Lauren
Totally enjoyed it! Y'all probably know that I'm not a huge fan of the hate to love trope - or the fake relationship trope, for that matter - but it totally worked for me here and I was totally loving Olive and Ethan. Their banter - both the snarky kind and the friendly kind - was so off the charts funny and I just loved their dynamic. Two big thumbs up for The Unhoneymooners!

Oh, my heart. This story captured my heart, made me swoon, made me cry, made me hope. I adore Emma Scott so, so much and this one was a perfect example why.

This was a case of like-not-love. I just never fulled warmed to Drew. He was cocky and arrogant and didn't take no for answer (blah blah blah - we've all read this character before) but I felt like there was never anything to soften that. He never really changed. Yeah, he finally figured out he was in love but even then he was still kind of a jerk and was determined to "win" at all costs. I don't know... it was good, but not as good as any of the books in Chase's Royally series.

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'LL READ NEXT?
  
I don't even know. Vacation starts this weekend so I'm trying to plan what I want to read over the next week. I'm definitely in the mood for light and easy but I'm not sure what that entails yet. I'm open to suggestions! :)

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

Top Ten Tuesday: First Books Reviewed (aka The Cringey Ones)

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

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic: 
First Books I Reviewed

I first joined GoodReads in 2007 and immediately started tracking and rating my books. But it wasn't until 2011 or so that I really started reviewing what I read. And even then it was rarely a well thought out review with any kind of form or real content. It was more... stream of consciousness. (Because that sounds so much better than hot mess.) If nothing else, I had a good laugh while searching through them. So here are the first books I reviewed.


The Hunger Games * Suzanne Collins
City of Bones * Cassandra Clare
One Day * David Nichols
A Stolen Life * Jaycee Dugard
Fifty Shades of Grey * E.L. James
Clockwork Angel * Cassandra Clare
Night Road * Kristin Hannah
Mary Ann in Autumn * Armistead Maupin

Have you read any of these?
What was your first review?

The Sunday Post #151


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:


  • Happy Easter to those who celebrate.
  • I had a time commenting on Blogger blogs all week. On the pc it was fine but trying to comment via iPad or phone was a no-go. I saw Heidi at Rainy Day Ramblings mentioned having the same issue... ever since the latest Apple update. I hadn't connected the two but it makes sense. So, I imagine others will have the same issue commenting here. Commenting on certain blogs might be a challenge now since I'm at the office all day and can't comment from there (our firewalls are no joke). I'll just have to set aside time in the evenings for comments.
  • I hit up my favorite used bookstore Friday night (it's huuuuge!) and while sometimes I leave with nothing, this time I hit the jackpot. I think I ended up with about 12 books. And while I'm not usually the biggest fan of used books (yes, I'm that particular about my books LOL) these were all in almost pristine condition. Score!
  • In exactly one week I'll be sitting poolside, with a stack of books beside me and a fruity drink in hand. I'm counting the days, y'all!      
I love this song but when it comes to the video... well, grab your tissues. (I'm not crying, you're crying *wipes away tears*)





WHAT I READ IN THE LAST WEEK:
WHAT I'M CURRENTLY READING: 

    

I just finished How To Save a Life last night so I haven't even decided on my next read yet. But I am still listening to Tangled.



PHYSICAL BOOKS: 

My Book Depository order arrived and I'm so happy to have this one in my hands. I'm sure it's going to be emotional but I'm excited to read it.


And then there's my book haul from Friday night's jaunt to the used book store. Big score!

99 Days-Katie Cotugno | I Want It That Way-Ann Aguirre | As Long As You Love Me-Ann Aguirre | Run Away With Me-Mila Gray | Stay With Me-Mila Gray | Rome-Jay Crownover | Jet-Jay Crownover | The Wedding Date-Jasmine Guillory | The Proposal-Jasmine Guillory | Hard As It Gets-Laura Kaye | Hard To Come By-Laura Kaye | Hard As You Can-Laura Kaye | Hard To Let Go-Laura Kaye






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

Series Review: Saints of Denver by Jay Crownover


Back in 2016 I was browsing my library's OverDrive app looking for an audiobook to keep me entertained on my daily commute. I randomly downloaded Rule by Jay Crownover, the first book in the Marked Men series. To be honest, I didn't expect much but figured it would be some mindless brain candy. Here we are three years later, with multiple re-listens of each book in the series, feeling like the characters are my close, personal friends (LOL), and considering Marked Men among my favorite contemporary romance series. And now I've spent the last several weeks binge-listening to the spin-off series, Saints of Denver. These books consist largely of side-characters from the original series who now get their own stories. Having finished the series I'm positive that I'll be returning to these characters and their stories again and again, just like I've done with the Marked Men series


LEVELED #0.5
Pub: November 2, 2015
My rating: 3.5/5 stars

I've seen Crownover refer to Leveled as a sort of bridge between the Marked Men series and the Saints of Denver series. It tells the story of Orlando (Lando) and Dominic (Dom), two men who are totally dedicated to their careers but both crave something more in their life. They could not have been more different - Dom's rough-edged cop to Lando's polished exterior - but they couldn't have been better matched. I loved that Dom was so open with his feelings for Lando, even in the face of Lando’s hesitancy. Having experienced a great loss, and living with guilt, Lando was understandably gun-shy about opening himself up to a new relationship. And the danger involved in Dom’s job became a major factor in their story. Both guys were totally endearing in their own way and it warmed my heart to watch as they drew closer together.

To be honest, it's not really necessary to read this novella before starting the rest of the series. I don't recall Dom or Lando appearing in any of the Saints of Denver books until the epilogue of the final book. But even so, I enjoyed their story and would recommend it. 


BUILT #1
Pub: January 5, 2016
My rating: 4/5 stars

There was definitely a hint in the Marked Men series that there was more to come with Sayer and Zeb. These two were the unlikeliest couple - the bearded ex-con and the reserved and refined lawyer - but you know what they say about opposites attracting. There was serious attraction between Sayer and Zeb but it took them a while to act on it, and even when they did Sayer was determined to keep Zeb at a distance. I gotta say, Sayer really started to annoy me as the story progressed. She was so hung up on her deceased father's expectations and it guided her every decision. Get over it already, Sayer! He's gone and you can do what you want! I was totally frustrated on Zeb's behalf. 

As much as I was annoyed by Sayer, I loved Zeb. He had such character and integrity. And when dealt with a surprise from his past he immediately regrouped and showed such amazing compassion and love and a willingness to do the right thing. It went a long way in demonstrating the kind of man he was. (Confession: I was actually moved to tears by one scene.) 


CHARGED #2
Pub: May 24, 2016
My rating: 3.5/5 stars

I admit, when I realized Charged was pairing Quaid and Avett I was more than a little skeptical. Avett, who appeared in the later Marked Men books, was a hot mess and I couldn't imagine there being a shred of compatibility or chemistry between she and Quaid. I did come around (mostly) because they did seem to bring out the best in one another but I still can't say I was ever 100% sold on the pairing. There was a common thread between them in that they were both living their lives based on their pasts. Avett was constantly atoning for a past mistake and Quaid had spent years building a persona to prove he was more than his past. Avett seemed slow to learn from her mistakes, which got a little tiresome, but I had to admire her big heart and her selflessness. Quaid was actually a good man who took a long, hard look at the life he'd created and realized it wasn't at all who he wanted to be. And then made drastic changes to become a person he could be proud of. Go Quaid!

I loved having so much of Brite, Avett's father, in this one. He's long been a favorite side character. And the inclusion of Asa and Rome (from the Marked Men series) was a great bonus. Love those guys!


RIVETED #3
Pub: February 14, 2017
My rating: 4/5 stars

I was so excited to Church and Dixie's story. The bubbly cocktail waitress who always had a smile on her face and the enigmatic ex-soldier whose whole demeanor screamed total badass. Dixie's been carrying a torch for Dash Churchill (Church) for a long time and when he asks her to go home to Mississippi with him as a favor she doesn't hesitate. It's there where Church's past comes to light and he has to confront it head-on. Dixie is there encouraging him all the way, while he's also there for her - letting her know it's okay to not be everyone's cheerleader all the time and put herself first. I wanted to shake Church every time he tried to convince himself that he wasn't what Dixie needed or deserved (gah!) but I still loved his sense of duty, his protective nature, his willingness to man up and admit his past mistakes and ask for forgiveness from those he loved and had let down. 

Even though the woman-in-danger element became kind of over the top and veered into Lifetime Movie territory, I was still completely into it and pulling hard for a happy ending for all. 


SALVAGED #4
Pub: June 20, 2017
My rating: 4/5 stars

Poppy's story was a long time coming and I loved that it was one that would intersect with Wheeler's story. Poppy was a character who had been through hell and was understandably skittish and distrustful. Wheeler had a rocky start in life and was convinced he would always be on his own, a feeling that was compounded when his longtime girlfriend/fianceĆ© cheats on him and he ends their relationship. Watching these two come together gave me all the feels. I loved Poppy and Wheeler together. Wheeler was so patient with Poppy and gave her the space she needed to feel safe and secure. And with Poppy, Wheeler was able to finally have that person who put him first and stayed by his side no matter what. 

The drama started to slip into over the top territory near the end but it also felt necessary so that Poppy could fully put the past behind her. Wheeler now holds the place of my favorite guy from any Crownover novel (sorry, Nash, but you just got bumped). This guy was nothing but sweetness and kindness wrapped up in a hot package. Salvaged was definitely my favorite of the Saints of Denver series.


HAVE YOU READ THE SAINTS OF DENVER SERIES? 

WWW Wednesday #49 | April 17, 2019


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


WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

    
     
   
The Unhoneymooners - Christina Lauren
I'm at the 92% mark and had to stop reading this morning in order to make it to the office on time. Gah! Adulting sometimes sucks. LOL You better believe I'll be plowing through the last couple chapters during lunch. I need closure! This one has felt a little different from the last few I've read by CLo and I can't even pinpoint exactly how, but it's so, so good and in between all the laughs it has hit on some real-life topics.

What is it with the Emma Chase covers being all about the abs? A couple weeks ago it was Getting Schooled (such a cringe-worthy cover... ugh) and now this one. Anyway, I'm listening to the audio of Tangled and it's interesting how it's 100% from Drew's POV. I'm trying to remember if I've ever read a romance that was solely from the male POV. The narration is by Sebastian York so that's an automatic win and I'm really enjoying seeing the changes in Drew.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

  

Flesh (Flesh #1) & Skin (Flesh #2) - Kylie Scott
I listened to this duet on audio and, while I can admit that it was mostly ridiculous, it was also plenty entertaining. A zombie apocalypse + romance. I mean, how can you go wrong? LOL The first book was much better, with an actual plot that I was invested in, but the second was kind of repetitive with a TSTL (too stupid to live) female lead. I probably won't even review these on the blog - I mean, they were just fun brain candy listens - but I might share a few thoughts on GoodReads.

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'LL READ NEXT?
  
  
I'm not even sure what's up next. I'm already kind of planning what I want to read on vacation and that's only a week and a half away so I don't want to dive into anything chunky or weighty right now. I need to keep it simple so I can morph right into vacay reads as soon as I hit the pool. LOL Sooo, for now I'm going to stick with the ones I mentioned last week. I can't figure out what I'm in the mood for so it's anyone's guess. :)

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