The Sunday Post #152


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:

  • As you're reading this it's likely I'm already poolside with a book in one hand and a fruity drink in the other. *puts down drink and waves* (You didn't think I was going to put down the book, did you?)
  • I'm still having issues commenting on Blogger blogs with my iPad or iPhone so I'm terribly behind in commenting. Not sure how much catching up I'll be able to do this week since that's all I've have with me (phone and iPad). I'll visit and comment as I can, though.
  • While we're away we'll also be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. Quite the milestone! We've been together for more than half my life and he's better than any book boyfriend could ever hope to be.      
Since I'm away for the week it seems only fitting that I share this one from the 80's. :)






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

I'm enjoying this one even more than I expected to! And the audio version is so, so good. (And Gavin Pope is book boyfriend goals!)


PHYSICAL BOOKS: 

I read the Kindle version last December but when I saw that Colleen was offering the book in paperback on her website I had to grab one. And - bonus! - she personalized it for me. :)

eARCS FOR REVIEW: 
     








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

Review: My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

MY FAVORITE HALF-NIGHT STAND 
Christina Lauren
Publication date: December 4, 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Format: Trade Paperback
Source: Purchased


GOODREADS  *  AMAZON










S Y N O P S I S

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Millie and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship...but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.

M Y   T H O U G H T S

Christina Lauren have become go-to authors over the last year or so and they consistently deliver swoony romances full of humor and heart. And while this wasn’t my favorite from the writing duo, it was still an enjoyable read.

Millie and her four best guy pals are all single and in need of plus-ones for a formal work event. They all agree to try a dating app, with varying degrees of success. In the midst of this, Millie and Reid hook up and have a fantastic (half) night together. But instead of taking a moment and seeing where this might go, they agree to put it behind them and remain just friends. Best friends. But going back to the way things were is easier said than done. And when Millie changes her dating app profile and is matched with Reid… things really get interesting.

I know a lot of readers took issue with the “catfishing” aspect but that wasn’t really a stumbling block for me. What I struggled with was Millie herself. I just couldn’t connect with her and I found her closed-off nature so frustrating. She was aware of it, her friends were aware of, they called her out on it… and yet she continued to keep everyone (including BFF Reid) at arm’s length.

Beyond that I really enjoyed the friend group, in all their hilarious nerdiness. I’d love to be friends with those guys. And Reid was a total sweetheart. Despite my (lack of) feelings for Millie, I still pulled for her and Reid – because I’m a sucker for romance and can’t help myself. 

3.5/5 STARS

Have you read My Favorite Half-Night Stand?





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?