WWW Wednesday #78 | February 26, 2020

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

Day 2 of cloudy, overcast and rainy and I couldn't be happier. I love this kind of weather! It'd be even better if it was cooler (it's around 70 degrees) but I'll take what I can get. What's it like where you are today?



 It's been a busy week and I haven't (or made) a lot of time for reading so I'm not very far into Regretting You. Even so, I've already settled into the lives of these characters. I feel like I have a sense of where things are going to go, but Colleen Hoover is a master at throwing in unexpected turns so who knows. 
Current progress: page 56/354

After the emotional rollercoaster of Grip, I'm finally ready for Still, the conclusion of Grip and Bristol's story. This is a long one (over 13 hours on audio) and I've just barely started, but it feels good to be back with these characters that I now and love.
Current progress: 6%


Malice was a simple case of right book, wrong reader. I can see why people like it but it just wasn't for me. On the flipside, The Dark Light of Day was exactly what I was looking for. I was in the mood for something dark and a little twisted and T. M. Frazier delivered. 



Next up will probably be The Honey-Don't List since it releases in a couple weeks and I need to get on the ball with it.

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

Top Ten Tuesday: I'd Follow You Anywhere

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

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic: 
Characters I'd Follow on Social Media

Do you ever read about a certain character and just wish they were real? Out there somewhere? (Come on, it's not just me, right? Right??) And you know you would totally stalk them on social media if they were real.

What's fun is that Krista & Becca Ritchie (twin writing duo of one of my favorite series - Addicted/Calloway series) have Twitter accounts for a couple of their characters. There are several accounts for characters that are run by fans, but Krista and Becca actually run the accounts for a couple of the main characters (Lily and Connor, and possibly one or two others). 

And now for the characters I would definitely follow on social media.


Blake Riley (Good Boy and Him duet - Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy) - I'd love to see whatever randomness Blake shared on Twitter. Including his rants against sheep.
Jude & Cardan (The Folk of the Air trilogy - Holly Black) - I can just see Cardan sending rude and/or vaguely puzzling gifs to Jude.
Connor Cobalt (Addicted/Calloway series - Krista & Becca Ritchie) - Connor's brilliance and his scathing commentary would make for some interesting tweets. He could shut anyone down in 140 characters.
Daisy Jones (Daisy Jones & The Six - Taylor Jenkins Reid) - It's hard to imagine that Daisy would even bother with social media (she'd likely be completely oblivious to it), but even so, I'd love to see what she chose to share.
Simon & Blue (Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli) - Between adorable tweets and pics of the happy couple it would be cuteness overload.


Daemon & Luc (Lux series and Origin series - Jennifer L. Armentrout) - Both Daemon and Luc are incredibly cocky and think quite highly of themselves. I'd love to see what they chose to share.
Lainey (Getting Played - Emma Chase) - Lainey would have awesome home decor and DIY projects on Instagram.
Heidi (Heidi's Guide to Four Letter Words - Tara Sivec & Andi Arndt) - There's no telling what kind of hilarious awkwardness would come from Heidi. 
Meredith (Awakening Autumn - Lora Richardson) - Meredith would probably share her artwork on Instagram (after being not-so-gently nudged by Greta and Owen).
August (Wonder - R.J. Palacio) - Because who doesn't need the reminder to be kinder than necessary?

Who would you follow on social media?

The Sunday Post #196

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:

  • How is it that the short weeks always feel the longest? #LifeConundrum
  • Monday was a holiday (and now begins the long drought until Memorial Day - ack!) and I was off on Wednesday because of a medical appointment for The Husband. And tomorrow (Monday) two of the three Board members are out all day so I anticipate a super quiet day. Nice way to ease into the week!
  • We had one day of winter on Friday so there was that. 
  • I'm taking part in the Favorite Things Giveaway Hop and have a couple signed books up for grabs. Be sure to enter if you're interested.
  • This week's 80's music fix is from Tommy Shaw's first solo album (he was from Styx). Girls With Guns is the only song I remember from the album but I loved it. It was always one of those instant mood-lifter songs for me.



Malice was a classic case of it's-not-you-it's-me. It's one that I never would have picked up on my own but since Entangled sent it in an oh-so-pretty PR package I felt led to give it a try. And try I did. But it was pretty apparent that it just wasn't my thing and at about two-thirds in I started skimming. I can understand why others like it, but for me it never progressed beyond mild interest. I give myself a gold star for trying it and finishing it. *pats myself on the back*

Audible offered me a copy of Catch Me When I Fall and I was all excited because I'd actually been looking at it just a few days previously. I started listening right away but... *womp womp* I DNF'd at just 22 minutes in. I can safely say that A.L. Jackson's writing is not for me. Everything was just so overly dramatic, every action, every emotion, every thought was described with purple prose. I swear, these characters didn't just feel bad and get upset. Nooo, they ached in their souls and felt each ragged breath as it ripped painfully from their overexerted lungs. You get the idea. I couldn't take it.  


I've been holding on to Regretting You since Christmas and I've wrung every bit of anticipation out of it that I could. When it comes to Colleen Hoover I waver between wanting to gobble up her book as soon as it's released and holding on to it and waiting... knowing that I have something special to look forward to. I just started it this morning and I can't wait to get further into it.

I was in the mood for something seriously dark and messed up a few days ago (hey, it happens LOL) and I decided that meant it was time to try T.M. Frazier. I was going to start with King but then saw it has a prequel of sorts, The Dark Light of Day. I don't love the narrator but I am into the story. And yeah, it gets dark. I'm sure I'll continue the series but, unless there's a change in narrator I 'll probably shift to the paperback or Kindle versions.  





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

Short Take Reviews: Kennedy Ryan, Kandi Steiner, Kylie Sott and More

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... I used to write a review minutes after finishing a book. It was like Rule of Reading 101 for me. Finish book, write review. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. But somewhere along the way that rule fell by the wayside and now here I am with untold number of books read but not reviewed. In an effort to catch up - or at least lessen the gap - I'm sharing some quick-fire reviews of some recent (and some not so recent) reads.


Despite the whole amnesia-after-an-attack thing, Repeat was a surprisingly low-drama romance. Clem was totally likable and I admired how she tried hard to roll with things and stay optimistic. When she reconnected with former boyfriend Ed in an attempt to piece together her former life, he initially wanted no part of it. But he was a genuinely good guy and did everything he could to help and protect Clem. It wasn’t easy for him to move forward with her, since he remembered how badly things had ended before, but he was caring and compassionate and it was obvious a lot of the old feelings were still there. I appreciated that the attack aspect wasn’t over-dramatized (especially since it became pretty obvious who was behind it), and the focus was almost completely on Clem and Ed and their second-chance romance. 

Flow is the novella that precedes Grip but even in that limited number of pages (126 to be exact) Kennedy Ryan was able to create complex characters, highlight social issues, and set the foundation for a remarkable relationship filled with chemistry and heart. And did it all with beautiful prose that often made me pause and let what she wrote sink in and marinate for a bit. Now that’s talent. The willingness to be open with one another, and the soul-baring conversations they had, drew me in to Bristol and Grip and had me so ready for the rest of their story.

Grip had me equal parts captivated and frustrated. The intense week Bristol and Grip shared eight years ago is long gone but not forgotten. Bristol has put Grip firmly in the friend zone as she manages his career. I loved Grip and his way of subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) letting Bristol know he still wanted more. My frustration was with Bristol because she was the only thing keeping them apart. There was no reason for them not to be together other than her own guarded heart. It took a long time for her to get out of her own way. Once she (finally!) did, I was right back on board. These characters truly felt like two halves of a whole. I loved their connection, their friendship, their passion. And all the elements that Kennedy Ryan wove into the story were done with her usual brilliance.


What He Doesn’t Know was my first from Kandi Steiner and her angsty, emotional brand of story telling was just what I wanted. From the outside, Charlie Pierce has it all – devoted husband, beautiful home, and she is a beloved kindergarten teacher. But inside she is drowning in grief and loneliness. When her brother’s best friend (and her teenage crush) comes back to town she finds in him a sympathetic friend, a lifeline… and more. Love triangles are tricky business and so often one person is painted as the obvious choice and the other is clearly no good. Not so here. Steiner doesn’t take the easy way out but instead shows the characters flaws and their pain and the turmoil they each go through. I liked that these were adults with a lot on the line, not teenagers or college-age young adults who would enjoy the drama and then move on. Steiner’s writing was beautiful and she was able to truly make me feel for Charlie’s situation.

After the way What He Doesn’t Know ended, I had to start the second book immediately. I think it’s to Kandi’s credit that throughout the first book I was almost certain of who I wanted Charlie to be with, and in this one I was completely swayed and as unsure as Charlie was. Emotions were raw and as more truths came to light there was that much more to grapple with. And no matter what choice was made, everyone was hurting. This story was messy and complicated  and beautifully written and oh how my heart ached for these characters. Steiner definitely knows how to engage the reader’s emotions and mine were certainly put through the wringer with this one. 

Almost a year after the original duet came out, Kandi decided to deliver a third story. About the guy not chosen. The one who was still lost and broken and needed someone to chose him. If I thought the first two books were angsty, this one took the cake. The guy (no names so as not to spoil the earlier books) was so broody and emo that I sometimes wanted to tell him to snap out of it. I mean, how long are you going to pine over the woman who chose the other man? Time to move on, dude. Both main characters had a whole lot of healing to do and I loved the acceptance and support they provided for each other. Much ado was made (by other characters) about the student/teacher aspect which seemed odd to me. This wasn’t a high school girl and a teacher. Sara was a 21-year-old musician and the guy was a music teacher who tutored her in his off hours. Not nearly as scandalous as some tried to make it. Their story was super emotional and the epilogue was priceless.


ONLY EVER YOU by C.D. Reiss | 3.5 STARS
The premise of Only Ever You is what made me pick it up even though I’d never read anything by C.D. Reiss. And while the story was sweet, the execution often had me scratching my head. The writing felt disjointed at times and it often felt as though the character’s thoughts and actions weren’t aligning. As a reader, I should be able to count on a character’s inner dialogue and know how they really feel, despite what they might be showing others. But they seemed to even go against their own thoughts/feelings so I was never quite sure how they really felt. Rachel, in particular, would think one thing and then immediately do the opposite. It made for a somewhat confusing read which was disappointing since I genuinely liked Rachel and Sebastian. The lack of communication between both Rachel and Sebastian, and with their families, also grew frustrating.  The ending was a bit over the top and stretched believability, but it was still swoony and brought a smile to my face.

The Christmas Pact was all kinds of adorable. I’m not usually a big fan of the fake dating trope but Keeland & Ward totally made this one work for me. Riley Kennedy and Kennedy Riley work for different divisions of the same company. Their emails are often misdirected and when Kennedy forwards them to Riley he feels the need to add snarky commentary. (Is this the ultimate meet cute, or what?) When they finally meet face to face at the office Christmas party, they end up making a deal to be each other’s fake boyfriend/girlfriend for a trip home for the holidays. This was short and predictable but that didn’t lessen any of my enjoyment. The narration from Andi Arndt and Sebastian York was perfection and this fun holiday story was cuteness overload.

Have you read any of these books?

WWW Wednesday #77 | February 19, 2020

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

Doesn't a day off mid-week feel extra exciting and decadent? I'm at home today since The Husband had a medical procedure first thing this morning. Anesthesia was involved so I had to provide transportation and after-care. I guess after-care means not letting him go online and buy anything crazy while still under the effects of the anesthesia. LOL How's your Wednesday going?


 I'm enjoying Malice well enough but it's also one of those books that I have to remember to pick up and read. Do you know what I mean? It's not like I'm constantly thinking about it and can't wait to get back into it. I feel like I already know who the Maker (of the virus) is going to be so I'm interested to see if I'm right. 
Current progress: page 120/339


It's been a super satisfying reading week (between the last WWW Wednesday and this one). Great and Precious Things wasn't as overwhelmingly sad as I thought it would be but was still an emotional read and a great story. The Music of What Happens was the perfect balance to that one since, despite some serious subject matter, it also had plenty of humor. And then returning to two of my favorites characters ever in Epic was everything I wanted.



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