The Sunday Post #352 | October 15, 2023


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 share what's coming up on your blog in the week ahead.


At the office, all three Board members were out of the office on Thursday and Friday so I was the only one in the executive suite. Nice and quiet! :) That doesn't happen often but it certainly made for an easy week.

I mentioned last week that I received both my Covid and flu vaccines and that the Covid vaccine was no longer free. To clarify that, now that the vaccines are on the commercial market (and not provided by the government) there could be a cost involved. But there are still options for free vaccines. People with limited or no insurance will still have access to the vaccines for free through a CDC initiative called the Bridge Access Program. The program is designed to provide vaccines through local health care providers and select pharmacies. So a simple phone call to a pharmacy or provider will let you know if it's available at no cost. Otherwise, health insurance covers the cost. Here's an article if you want more info. Since I mentioned last week that the vaccine was no longer free, I wanted to explain that better.

A home in my city just went on the market and is one of the largest single-family homes in the area. 18,000 square feet, 10 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms (plus 5 half-baths), six-car garage... needless to say, this is not in my neighborhood. LOL The exterior photo is stunning and there's also a video showing the interior. Anyone have several million to spare? 😄

Ready for a blast from the past? Those of you of a certain age (meaning over 50 like me lol) will remember a certain 70's heart throb by the name of Shaun Cassidy. Well, my older sister and I got tickets to see him next month. It's sad how excited we are. Haha! 

Naturally, this week's throwback song has to be one by Shaun Cassidy. 😉 This is Hey Deanie from 1977. Enjoy! 


Tuesday, October 10

Thursday, October 12


Kindle: All the Little Raindrops - 4.5★



Kindle: Lotus by Jennifer Hartmann
Audio: Grayson's Vow by Mia Sheridan


Not a thing.



Review: Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros


by Rebecca Yarros
Series: The Empyrean #1
Pub: 5/2/2023
Format: Kindle/Audio

Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general—also known as her tough-as-talons mother—has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away... because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter—like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.

She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.

Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom's protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda—because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die. down once again.

 Unless you’ve been in a cave, trapped under something heavy, or otherwise completely out of touch with the world around you, you are well aware of the phenomenon that is Fourth Wing. And based on the 98,000+ reviews on Goodreads, I doubt there’s anything new that can be said about it. But that won’t stop me from gushing about my own reading experience because after finishing Fourth Wing… I have all the feelings and I need to share and commiserate and flail along with everyone else.


I will not run. I wouldn’t be standing here if I’d quit every time something seemed impossible to overcome. I will not die today. - Violet Sorrengail


Violet Sorrengail wants nothing more than to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a Scribe, devoted to capturing and maintaining the history of Navarre. She’s dealt a cruel blow when her mother, a general in the kingdom of Navarre, forces Violet to instead enter Basgiath. A war college for dragon riders, Basgiath is brutal for even the strongest candidates but even more so for Violent whose chronic illness manifests joint pain and unstable joints that dislocate easily (a disorder that closely mirrors Yarros’s own struggle with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome). Day after day, Violet faces almost insurmountable challenges that push her to her limits both physically and mentally.


The first year is when some of us lose our lives. The second year is when the rest of us lose our humanity. - Xaden Riorson


Fourth Wing started with a bang – with Violet thrown into a dangerous and tension-filled challenge in the first chapter – and never let up. As invested as I was, it was when the dragons showed up and sunk their claws in me that I become low-key obsessed and could hardly bear to set the book down. The dragons – with their fierce, unpredictable natures, their wisdom, and their unique personalities – were something to behold. And I – who in no way considers myself a fantasy reader – was astounded at the connection I felt with the magnificent beasts. I cheered for them, I laughed at their dry humor, and I shed tears at their heartache. I credit that wholly to Yarros and her proven skill at creating characters (yes, even dragons) that always evoke an emotional response.


“Did you ever once stop to think that sometimes you can start out on the right side of a war and end up on the wrong one?”


The worldbuilding was detailed without being overwhelming (this non-fantasy reader thanks Yarros for that). And the building tension as the stakes rose higher and higher was delicious torture. The plotting was exquisite, the twists and turns so satisfying, and the push and pull of the romance was the perfect balance to the brutal competition and behind the scenes machinations. And then there was that jaw-dropping final scene that had everyone (me included!) desperate for the next book. I’m actually glad I didn’t read Fourth Wing when it released back in May. I’d hate to think I had to wait six months for answers. As it is, the four or five weeks until Iron Flame is in my hands feels like an eternity.


We can live as cowards or die as riders.


As if it wasn’t apparent, there was so much I loved about Fourth Wing. Violet’s resilience every time she pushed past her own fears and perceived weaknesses, the friendships, the intrigue, the danger, Xaden (I admit, every time he called Violet ‘Violence’ I practically squealed with delight), the plot twists, the dragons (my love for Tairn and Andarna knows no bounds), and so much more. Fourth Wing took me by surprise. It was only because of my love and appreciation for Yarros’s contemporary novels that I took a chance on it, and it paid off in the best of ways. Fourth Wing will without a doubt be one of my top reads of 2023. 4.75★

Review: I'm Your Guy by Sarina Bowen #NewRelease


The furniture district is my personal hell. I don’t know my ass from an ottoman. But when a hot designer comes to my rescue, I realize my problems are bigger than the house I’m trying to furnish.

A scorching kiss over fabric samples makes me question all my choices. But is it too late to change my entire life to get more of them?


I need this gig, but my cocky new client leaves out a couple crucial details:

He doesn’t mention that he's a famous hockey player. And he doesn’t own up to the way he’s always trying to undress me with his dark, broody eyes.

The man throws out more mixed signals than a broken traffic light. I've never been more sexually frustrated in my entire life. I need to back away before I do something stupid, like lose my heart.

Oops. Too late.


Sarina Bowen has once again woven her magic and delivered something special with I’m Your Guy. Carter and Tommaso were instantly likable and I was pulling for their happy ending from the first chapter. Maybe Sarina sprinkles her words with fairy dust or something, because I don’t think she has it in her to create a character that I don’t fall a little in love with.

Carter is down on his luck. An interior designer whose business has gone belly up, his boyfriend has walked out leaving him to deal with the financial fall-out, and he was just evicted from his apartment. He needs a new client like yesterday or else he might be returning to his small hometown in Montana to lick his wounds and regroup.

Enter Tommaso – a professional hockey player with neither the time nor the inclination to furnish his new condo. Their meet-cute not only saves Carter from a parking ticket, but sets into motion a relationship that exceeds the bounds of designer and client in the most wonderful way.

Both Carter and Tommaso were dealing with issues that had their personal lives in turmoil. With Tommaso, Carter found someone who was truly in his corner, and championed his ideas and goals. And for the first time in his life, Tommaso could be his true self when he was with Carter. Down came his walls and he slowly began to envision a more authentic life.

The narration, once again teaming Teddy Hamilton and Jacob Morgan, was absolute perfection. Audiobook lovers will recognize Hamilton and Morgan as the voices from Bowen’s fan favorites Him and Us (as well as The Best Men). Both narrators are so talented and made the listening experience totally immersive and thoroughly enjoyable.

There was so much to love in I’m Your Guy: the banter between Carter and Tommaso, the camaraderie among Tommaso’s teammates, Carter’s friends, Tommaso’s sweetness and caretaking underneath his gruff exterior. It all combined in a way that made me laugh and made my heart melt in equal measure. 4.25★

Note: I was provided an ALC (Advance Listening Copy) in exchange for an honest review. This does not impact my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

The Sunday Post #351 | October 8, 2023


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 share what's coming up on your blog in the week ahead.


It's been a couple weeks since my last Sunday Post and it feels good to be getting back to my regular schedule. 

We took our trip to North Carolina to visit my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. Her health has been declining and we had not seen them since pre-Covid. While it was hard to see how much her health has deteriorated in the last couple years (she has Parkinson's), it was a good visit. I truly hit the jackpot when it comes to in-laws because they are the best people.

The day after we returned, The Husband and I got our updated Covid and flu vaccines. I ran a low-grade fever for two days (and had terrible chills) but otherwise bounced right back. Apparently Covid vaccines are no longer free and I was so thankful for good insurance that covered the cost. The cost of the vaccine listed on my paperwork was rather shocking.

Today we are getting some honest to goodness fall weather! The high is just 75 degrees (24 C) and I am loving it. The coming week will be back in the 80's so I'm enjoying this while I can.

Hockey season starts this week and I am beyond excited. There were a lot of trades at the end of last season and it feels like a different team (the Tampa Lightning). It's odd seeing so many new faces (and missing those who were traded - including my favorite player 😭).

Today's throwback song is Sunday Girl (1978) by Blondie. Enjoy! 


Tuesday, October 3



This covers the last two weeks.

Kindle/Audio: Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros - 4.75★
Kindle (eARC): The Stars Are On Our Side by Jennifer Hartmann - 4.5★
Audio (ALC): I'm Your Guy by Sarina Bowen - 4.25★
Kindle: Stranded in Starlight Cove by Brighton Walsh - 3.5★
Audio: On the Defense by Piper Rayne - 4★


Kindle: All the Little Raindrops by Mia Sheridan



Kindle: All the Little Raindrops by Mia Sheridan
Kindle: The Memory of Us by Dani Atkins




Review: The Stars Are on Our Side | Jennifer Hartmann #NewRelease

 The Stars Are on Our Side by Jennifer Hartmann is now live...

Tabitha Brighton's name made national headlines when she was kidnapped by the infamous serial killer known as the Matchmaker. She was also known for something else: being the only victim he ever willingly released.

Now, two years later, she's ready to tell her story.

Through a series of interviews with a local writer, single mother Tabitha relives every harrowing detail of her trauma, haunted by the memory of the man she was held captive with and ultimately lost. As she confronts her demons, she finds solace in Gabe--the new man in her life who will do whatever it takes to prevent her from slipping back into the shadows.

But Gabe has his own troubled past that threatens to unravel their fragile connection. And just when Tabitha begins to believe in the possibility of new love and a fresh start, her world is turned upside down once again.

Gabe always tells her not to look down, to keep flying. But even stars fall...

And no one ever talks about the crash.

** The Stars Are on Our Side is an interconnected standalone in the world of Still Beating and Lotus, featuring fan-favorite characters Tabitha and Gabe. It is HIGHLY recommended that you read both Still Beating and Lotus prior to reading this book for the most effective reading experience.

  Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited


Amazon Worldwide:      

Add to Goodreads: 

I'm not sure what I can say to convey how soul destroying, yet life affirming, The Stars Are on Our Side is. Tabitha and Gage practically leapt off the page and left me feeling certain that if I traveled to Marengo, Illinois I would find them there, living their lives. And there were many times I felt the need to find them and check on them, and tell them it would be okay. Because for quite a while, they were decidedly not okay.

She's lost in her own war. I'd like to think I'm a part of that war, but I can't allow myself to mull it over for too long. I laid down my sword five months ago when the girl I was helplessly falling for surrendered to her dark past.

Tabitha was one of only three survivors of the serial killer called the Matchmaker - and the only one he ever willingly released. It's been two years since that horrific experience and Tabitha has not been able to move on. She pastes on a smile for her small circle of friends, but in so many ways she is still in that dingy basement, chained to a pole, terrified of the man whose heavy boots stomped down each step.

I'm certain one can find dignity in most things, but there is no dignity in unrequited love. It's fucking painful.

Gabe was there to support Tabitha from the start- as a friend, even though he wanted so much more. Desperate to see her through the trauma, he could feel her slipping away, her past pulling her back day by day. At the same time, Gabe's own troubled past came to call, threatening not only his future but Tabitha's, as well.

I'll take your leftover pieces. I'll cherish those pieces. And I'll spend my whole damn life doing everything in my power to make your heart whole again.

Switching between present and the past, as Tabitha recounts her time as a captive two years prior, The Stars Are on Our Side was dark, harrowing, gritty. and at times almost too much for my squishy heart to handle. But it was also filled with bravery, resilience, devotion and love. Gabe was there to fight for Tabitha with every step she took on the road back from her hellish past, but there came a point where Tabitha fought for Gabe just as hard. Their journey was not an easy one, but it made the outcome all the more rewarding.

That's what love is. It's finding that perfectly imperfect person that complements your heart, that brightens your shadows, that sees your broken, mismatched parts and wants to spend the rest of their life piecing them into place. And even if those pieces never fully fit, they love you anyway.

Jennifer Hartmann has created such special characters and they endure the unimaginable. But they also triumph over their circumstances and prove themselves so deserving of their hard-fought happiness. The Stars Are on Our Side is a story that I will think about again and again, remembering these characters, their struggles, and their ultimate triumphs. Powerful, emotional, and unforgettable. 4.5★

Content warning (highlight to view): rape and assault, kidnapping, forced sexual encounters, violence and mild gore, on-page character death

Meet Jennifer Hartmann

Jennifer Hartmann resides in northern Illinois with her own personal romance hero and three children. When she is not writing angsty love stories, she is likely pondering all the ways she can break your heart and piece it back together again. She enjoys sunsets (because mornings are hard), bike riding, traveling, bingeing Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns, and that time of day when coffee gets replaced by wine. She loves tacos. She also really, really wants to pet your dog.