Best In Books | September 2016

Best in Books is a monthly feature created by BookTuber Hope Ortego
A playlist of her Best In Books videos can be found HERE.

Today was supposed to be a Freebie Friday post but I was having issues with Rafflecopter. So instead I've done a quick switcheroo and Freebie Friday will take place tomorrow, on Saturday, and today I'm sharing my Best In Books for September. Let's get started! 
It Ends With Us
Let's just sit back and ooh and ahh, shall we? Because I love it all. The colors, the font, the design... this one just does it for me. When I first got the book I didn't even notice the way the flowers are broken and fractured. Seeing the lilies like that now - oh, the feels.

Blurred Lines
The banter in Blurred Lines was So. Good. I loved Parker and Ben's friendship... and friendship with benefits. There were so many laugh out loud scenes that I lost count.

"I need an extra hour."


"I just wolfed down an entire plate of Chicken Parmesan, heavy on the cheese."


"So...obviously I need to let the food settle."

"Sex isn't like swimming, Parks. You don't have to wait for thirty minutes before diving in."

"I can't have sex now. What if I get....rumbly."

Lily from P.S. I Like You
I loved this girl! I found Lily so incredibly relatable. There were many times that her reactions or her take on certain situations gave me flashbacks to my own teenage years. I felt like I truly understood Lily. She was far from perfect but she owned her shortcomings and worked to change them and do better. I loved her sense of humor and her willingness to be her own person. Such a great YA protagonist!
Sean from Choosing Happy
Picking my favorite male character was so easy this month. Sean from Choosing Happy was a stand-out. Yes he was gorgeous - blond hair, gray eyes, great body - but there was so much more to Sean than his looks. He was charming and funny, he loved to tease and have fun. He was so thoughtful and generous and always put Madison's needs ahead of his own. And this was not some moody, brooding guy. Sean was full of life and joy and it was contagious to those around him. He really was the total package.
it rode in on

I loved Sean so much that he also delivered my favorite quote for September:

"You asked me once to make you happy and I would give anything to spend my life doing just that, but the truth is that if you want to be happy, you have to choose it."

It Ends With Us

I've yet to write a review for this one (I'm still at a loss of how to share how I feel about this remarkable story) so I'll keep this brief. I'm going to leave it at this: not only is this my best book of the month, this is Colleen's best book to date.


Now it's your turn: What was the best book you read in September? 

September #ShelfLove Challenge: Be Kind to Writers Month

September topic: It's Be Kind to Writers and Editors Month! Write a thank you post to your favorite person (or people) in the publishing industry.
I'm a lifelong reader. It wasn't something I started doing as a teenager or as an adult. Once I learned to read I was off and running and never stopped. Now with a couple decades of reading behind me, I cannot imagine what my life would have been like as a non-reader. It's truly unthinkable. At the risk of sounding cliche, reading has enriched my life beyond measure. And that is all thanks to writers. Over the years there have been many authors whose books made an impact on me - too many to mention - but here are a few that I especially want to thank.

To Judy Blume:
Thank you for providing me with a path through my childhood. Your books tackled subjects that were relevant and relatable. Every page was like a personal message from you, telling me "It's okay. You're not the only one who feels that way."

To Diana Gabaldon:
Thank you for writing a novel that defied classification and swept me away to another time and place. Almost 20 years ago I picked up a book called Outlander and was transported. With a mix of history and romance and action and time travel, it opened my eyes to stories that crossed genres and immersed me in a tale that still captivates me. 

To Katie McGarry:
Thank you for writing everything I want in young adult novels. Your characters never fail to work their way into my heart. I ache for their struggles, cheer them on, and celebrate when they overcome. Thank you for being kind and humble and for sharing your stories.

To Jennifer L. Armentrout:
Thank you for providing me with countless hours of entertainment. For the Lux series, The Dark Elements series, the Covenant series, the Wait For You series. For Roth and Tink and Cam and Katy. For swoony romance and laugh out loud moments. For stories that are so real and for pure escapism. And, it must be said, thank you for Daemon Black. Seriously... thank you.

To Colleen Hoover:
Thank you for the gift of your incredible story telling. It was two and a half years ago that I picked up Maybe Someday. And I fell in love with two characters who felt so completely real, their situation so plausible. I laughed and swooned and even cried as I experienced their story. Since then I've read them all, from Slammed all the way to It Ends With Us, and each and every one has made an impact on me. Each one unforgettable. The characters who speak to me, the situations that hurt my heart, the relationships that warm my heart, the romance and the humor and the range of emotions that I experience every single time... I thank you for all of it. Thank you for introducing me to the music of Griffin Peterson and the art of Danny O'Connor. Thank you for being the kind of person who gives as much as she receives, for being compassionate, for creating an organization like The Bookworm Box that I am so happy to support. Thank you.

Have you ever written a letter to an author?
Who would you write to?

Choosing Happy by Samatha Harris + Giveaway!

Hello and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for CHOOSING HAPPY by Samatha Harris! I read Samatha's first novel, Somewhere In Between, back in February after I won a copy in a giveaway and I've been dying to read more from her since then. So I was thrilled to receive an ARC of Choosing Happy and take part in promoting it. And I'm even happier to say that CHOOSING HAPPY did not disappoint and I got more of what I loved from the first book: well-developed and realistic characters, great dialogue full of snappy banter, and a perfect mix of swoony romance and steamy scenes. Now let's talk more about CHOOSING HAPPY!
 Madison Buchanan’s life has imploded…

Her husband left her for his nineteen-year-old intern, leaving her alone and faced with starting over in her forties. With the help of her feisty best friend, Madison reinvents herself, armed with a new look and open to new possibilities.

Sean Taylor is gorgeous, fun, and young—very young…

He hasn’t had the best of luck. Sean’s track record with women is less than stellar, but when he walks into The Den one day, he just can’t help but be captivated by a dark haired beauty with the sad eyes and killer legs. She’s a little older, but he doesn’t discriminate. More than anything, he wants to be the one to make her smile.

Sean personifies the only thing that has eluded Madison all of her life—joy…

It was meant to be a fling, something fun, with no strings and zero drama, but Sean wants something more, and Madison is just not ready. She’s lived by the rules her family, her friends, even her boss have laid out for her, but her new life is not what she expected. Being with Sean opens feelings she never thought she’d experience.

The the demands of her family and her job throw her boring, simple life into chaos, and Sean is no exception…

Madison is left with a choice. Give in to the expectations of the world around her—or choose to follow her heart and be happy.

But choosing happy is so much harder than it seems.
Amazon ~ FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Madison Buchanan is where she never thought she'd be. Forty-two years old and single, thanks to her husband of sixteen years who left her for a nineteen year old girl. She needs a fresh start and best friend Margot is determined that she gets it. Convinced that a makeover and a fling is just what she needs, Margot has a hand in setting up both for Madison. Meeting Sean at a local bar has Madison considering some no-strings-attached fun but the obvious age difference is giving her pause.

At twenty-nine, Sean Taylor has had his share of hard knocks, both personally and romantically. But despite his past he has a love of life that is evident to anyone. A chance meeting with a gorgeous but slightly shy older woman has him wanting more ("I don't discriminate when it comes to beautiful women."). When Madison agrees to a date Sean turns on the charm and is determined to show her that age really is just a number.

One kiss and this woman already had me completely tied in knots. 
I didn't just want her, I craved her.

First things first: I adored Sean! I mean, what's not to love? This guy was sweet and kind and funny and heart-stoppingly sexy. And sooo thoughtful! The dates he arranged, the attention he paid to Madison... hello new book boyfriend! I loved his patience and his willingness to be so open about his feelings and what he wanted from Madison. This was a guy who wasn't afraid to say what he thought and what he felt and put himself out there. 

Madison was a little trickier in that I empathized with her and was frustrated with her in equal amounts. She was dealt such a shock with the end of her marriage and that is something that would send anyone into a tailspin. But Maggie's people-pleasing ways and refusal to stand up for herself had me desperate for her to show some backbone. Between her mother, her ex-husband, her employer (and even, at times, her best friend) Maggie was surrounded by people who bulldozed right over her. It was so rewarding to watch as she came into her own. I have to admit, I also grew frustrated with some of dealings with Sean. She gave mixed signals, she was hurtful - and to someone who was nothing but open and honest and encouraging. I tried hard to empathize with her at those time but my heart truly hurt for Sean.

"You can be happy, Madison. You just have to choose to be."

Choosing Happy had a wonderful cast of secondary characters that I thoroughly enjoyed. Sean's friends Alex and Drew (the protagonists from Something In Between), Madison's assistant , Sean's grandmother... I loved them all. Another of my favorite elements of the novel was the humor which is there in abundance. Sean's easygoing banter was full of teasing and fun and Madison's best friend and assistant (Margot and Jeremy, respectively) had an epic relationship.

I highly recommend Choosing Happy (and Somewhere In Between!) to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance that is smart, fun, and sexy. Choosing Happy is guaranteed to leave you wanting more from this talented author.

Choosing Happy is the second book in the Madison Square companion series but can be read as a stand alone. 

Note: I was provided an advance copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way changes my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

“You are a mess,” I repeated, “but so am I. Life is messy.” I pressed my forehead against hers and exhaled. “The mess isn’t the problem. I can deal with messy. The problem is you won’t let me.”
She took a deep breath and took a bite of her food, a sigh of pure satisfaction escaping her lips as she relaxed into her seat. Fuck me that sound. I could spend the rest of my life searching for more ways to get her to make that sound again. If her laugh had turned me on, that fucking sigh made things almost painful.
“We make absolutely no sense. I get that, but I can’t explain it and I shouldn’t have to. We are so alike in some ways and completely different in others. She’s frustrating and overwhelming and I know that I should be running for the hills, but I love her. Why can’t that be enough?”

Samatha “Sam” Harris lives near Baltimore, Maryland with her husband David and daughter Ava. Born in Florida, she migrated north which most people agree was a little backwards. She has been an artist all of her life, a Tattoo Artist for more than ten years, and a storyteller since she was a kid.

Sam has a slightly unhealthy love for Frank Sinatra, classic movies, and Jazz and Blues music, but her first love will always be reading. From Romance, to Thrillers, to Historical Fiction and everything in between, she loves to become a part of the story. As a writer she tells the stories that she would want to read.

Twitter: @samathaharris08 ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page
Somewhere In Between
Amazon ~ B&N

The Sunday Post #27

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 weekend! I've spent much of the weekend playing with book so, needless to say, it's been great. :) After The Husband got the new bookshelf put together last week I've been itching to reorganize. I decided to start from scratch and removed every single book from the shelves. I spent hours yesterday stacking and compiling and organizing and shelving... it was fabulous. I'm so happy with how it turned out. I'm still tweaking here and there but I'll share pics soon.

I've also been having fun taking part in a photo challenge that Entangled Teen is doing on Instagram. The challenge started on the 19th and runs through the 30th with a different photo prompt every day. Prizes include an early print copy of Shadows, previously available only as an e-book) or Opposition, which is being re-released with a cover that matches the original covers. I've been having so much fun with the prompts. I mean, any reason to celebrate Daemon Black. *wags eyebrows*

Tuesday, September 20: Top Ten Tuesday was all about audio - however you wanted to interpret that. Instead of audio books, I decided to just share some of my favorite songs. I had *so* much fun picking which ones to use and I loved hearing about everyone's favorites in the comments.

Thursday, September 22: Since I'm getting ready to start A Court of Mist and Fury, I decided to use one of my favorite lines from A Court of Thorns and Roses for That's What He Said Thursday. That line from Tamlin to Feyre... serious swoonage!

Friday, September 23: On Friday I shared my review of Just a Kiss by Denise Hunter, which released earlier this month. This was a sweet contemporary romance that focused two best friends who embark on a romantic relationship - but not without obstacles. 

Choosing Happy - Samatha Harris

P.S. I Like You - Kasie West
November 9 (Audio) - Colleen Hoover

September Bookworm Box
Unwritten - Chelsea Cameron
Ready to Fall - Daisy Prescott

You Had Me at Hello - Mhairi McFarlane
The Fire Between Hi and Lo - Brittainy Cherry
The Silent Waters - Brittainy Cherry

The Time Traveler's Christmas - Amy Jarecki

How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
You know I want to hear about it! :)