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Welcome, come right in, enjoy!

If you like a good love story, if you love to travel the world, if you love discussing new things to watch and read well then settle in. This is the place I intend to bring all of my thoughts and feelings on what shows and movies I’m watching, the books I’m reading, and the places I’m visiting these days. I plan on reviewing books, movies, tv shows, and maybe writing about exploring the world from time to time. I hope you might like to enjoy coming along for the ride!

 

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books · Review · Uncategorized

Lover Unbound & Lover Enshrined Reviews

I’m back on that Black Dagger Brotherhood grind! I feel more immersed in the series after completing these two books then ever before, and I am honestly just so excited to keep reading and let J.R. Ward take me away.

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Lover Unbound (The Black Dagger Brotherhood #5) by J.R. Ward
5 stars

Vishous has been my favorite brother since the beginning of the series–tough, smart, funny. I loved learning more about where he came from, the origins of his power, as well as the surprise of who his parents were. His and Doctor Janes love story was very different from any of the brothers romances before, and I found their connection to balance out the best and worst in each other. There were times when I was shocked, times when my heart broke, and times when I couldn’t help from smiling. I feel like this is the first book where J.R. Ward really starts stepping up her plotting game, building and intertwining plot points for the larger story and future books.

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Lover Enshrined (The Black Dagger Brotherhood #6) by J.R. Ward
5 stars

I love you forever didn’t always need to be spoken to be understood. 

So many people who love this series don’t particularly favor this book, I almost always hear it is often people’s least favorite. So I was a little surprised to find how moved I was by Phury’s story. His book is truly about addiction, depression, and the broken feeling of wanting to save someone and knowing you can’t. It was about a shattered family, and the delicate bond between siblings that can so easily become a tangled mess through life’s traumas.

J.R. Ward has used this book and the last to really set up a larger picture for the series, and I really think her writing just keeps getting better as the series progresses. She made some big moves in the major plot, as well as side plots, and the web of relationships in this world is so intricate. I’m beginning to understand why this series is so beloved!

books · Review

March Reading Wrap Up

 

countessThe Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan
4 stars

Trigger Warnings for miscarriage.

The third book in Courtney Milan’s Brother’s Sinister series features Violet and Sebastian, life long friends who have been fooling London society by posing Violet’s scientific research as Sebastian’s in order for it to be seen as “respectable.” I loved Violet and Sebastian in previous books and had been so looking forward to their story. Violet is so smart and Sebastian so eccentric, but underneath their exterior’s or two richly troubled people. They have such a dynamic, layered romance. Their love is a very soulful and patient one that tore at my heart strings, and as always Milan wrote it in a divine and elegant prose that I adored.

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Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander
4 stars

I love this cozy series! It’s got Shakespeare, baked goods, and a smart a lovable protagonist in Juliet. The setting of Ashland, Oregon is so quirky and inviting—I love that it is a real place you can add on to your must travel to list! The mystery itself kept me guessing and I loved immersing myself into the story! I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the books in this delectable series.

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Dark Needs at Nights Edge by Kresley Cole
5 stars

Finally, a book in this series I loved whole heartedly! While I can say for sure I have found all of the books in Immortals After Dark entertaining, I had yet to read a book that gripped me emotionally and had me fully invested in the characters. This was that book! I loved Neomi, especially. A French ghost ballet dancer from the roaring 1920s, she was so romantic and headstrong. I adored her! The story in itself was also fascinating and there were some true turns I did not expect. I really loved this one!

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Almost Perfect by Susan Mallery
3 stars

I decided after seeing my library had the entire Fool’s Gold series by Susan Mallery in ebook format to dive back into this series. I love a small town romance in the spring time, and these books are so easy to eat up. The hero in this book, Ethan, was kind of a dumb a-hole, but I love the community of heroines in the town and the general comfy-ness of the series to keep reading.

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Sister of the Bride by Susan Mallery
2 stars

A less then artfully written novella, unfortunately. Insta-love, surface characters with no human depth. I’m just gonna pretend I never read this one.

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Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole
3.5 stars

Cadeon, the mercenary demon, and Holly, the halfling math professor fall in love. I liked Holly a lot, Cadeon was a touch forgettable for me. But this book prefaced and hinted at the upcoming story about seductress/sorceress Sabine, and her mortal enemy demon king Rhdystrom. I can already tell the follow up novel is going to be so juicy!

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Finding Perfect by Susan Mallery
3 stars

This book was about Pia, the Fool’s Gold city event planner, who was bequeathed her best friends frozen embryos after she died. The premise itself was interesting and heartfelt and I liked practical Pia. The romance was tepid, but the happy ending was heart warming enough for the 3 stars.

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Only Mine by Susan Mallery
2.5 stars

Is it bad that I can barely remember this book at all? Dakota for some reason works on a random reality dating show that pops up in Fool’s Gold. Finn, Zach, Jack? Some guy shows up to get his brothers off the show, it doesn’t work and then he sticks around to do nothing about it for a few months. The show is cancelled, everyone goes home. And then I guess they fall in love? Another book ending in pregnancy…wondering if this is going to be the ongoing ending for this series…

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The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
4 stars

This book was set in the Alaskan wild and I really liked that! It dropped a high maintenance heroine in a less then high maintenance abiding place. The hero was a little brutish towards her at times, but I thought they played well off of each other. The real shining portion of this story had to do with Calla re-bonding with her estranged father as they both learn to come to terms with his terminal illness. I thought the ending was well done, and it had some very touching moments.

March was a great reading month for me, and I can’t wait to dive into more spring reads as the weather heats up. Did you read any good books in March?

books · Uncategorized

Friday Reads – March 22, 2019

This is officially my first ever Friday Reads post, hurray! I spent the majority of my week sitting around in airports. I’m not exaggerating, like hours and hours! But luckily I had my trusty kindle to rock it out with me. I’ve started working my way through the Fool’s Gold series by Susan Mallery–a much beloved and very prolific small town romance series that I find so cozy and fun! I’m only on book 3, Finding Perfect which follows our heroine Pia as she discovers that her recently deceased friend has willed her three frozen fertilized embryos. It’s been really interesting to read about a heroine experiencing a pregnancy she was neither expecting or hoping for that feels quite foreign to her, it’s something I haven’t yet read in a romance novel before.

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I got a couple of days to head home to my parents house in the mountains and play with our dogs. It was a much needed break from life. This is one of my favorite times of year when winter begins to fade out and spring begins, the air changes and the birds fly back. The days turn longer, and the sun sets later. My mom and I took our dogs for a little ride to the bank with the windows down–the teller even gave them treats, which I thought was so cute! It was for me, the highlight of the week. Below is a picture of our puppy Remy after I let him wear my scarf. My dogs always make me so happy 🙂

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The last thing I’ve been enjoying this week is, surprisingly, an audiobook! I’m not really the best at getting into audiobooks, in fact I’ve probably only finished two or three in my entire life. But in order to get the fill of my scribd subscription, and to get in some extra reading time, I’ve been working on my audiobook listening! I’m about halfway into The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker. So far I’ve been loving it! The narrator is so well cast, and the setting of the Alaska wild is so charming and quaint. I look forward to driving everyday because I get to listen to city girl, Calla, adapt to the small and secluded Alaska town where her estranged father lives. I really have a feeling that this book has some 5 star potential.

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Any Friday night plans? I’m currently cuddled up on the couch watching Hallmark movies (Mingle All the Way is on, in case you were curious) because I am thoroughly addicted to this channel!

 

books · Review · Uncategorized

February 2019 Wrap Up

February may just be my least favorite month of the year…but disregarding that I still managed to escape into some wonderful books! Here is what I read in February!

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Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
3.5 stars
This was a re-read for me. I initially read this first novel in the Grisha trilogy many years ago. I planned to read through the whole series so I could move on to her new release, which features a secondary character of this trilogy as it’s protagonist. I love Bardugo’s world building, but the characters of this series can just not compare to her Six of Crows duology. I still do have a demented crush on the Darkling, and I am unashamed. Tall, dark, and maybe evil? Count me in. Hopefully I will get to the next books in March!

buffy volBuffy the Vampire Slayer #1 by Jordie Bellaire
4 stars
Because how can I not? Favorite show of all time, I love these characters. The art was an absolutely amazing twist of modern day style and retro throw backs. There was no way I couldn’t love this.

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Act Like It by Lucy Parker
4 stars
As a through and true theatre kid who has always been obsessed with British pop culture, this book may have been written for me. I adored the characters and their gradual, effortlessly written romance. Lainie was a down to earth heroine, filled with both self love and self doubt. Richard was a grumpy but truly honorable hero. I really loved what they brought out in each other. The backdrop of London’s West End was delightful and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

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Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas
3.5 stars (just because her others get so much better!)
Another re-read for February! As I mentioned I hate February, I always get kind of down towards the end of winter when I just need to see the sun and wake up to birds chirping again. So I decided to turn to one of my first and favorite romance authors for comfort. Lisa Kleypas, I’ll love you forever! Why not re-read her Wallflowers series first right? I love the class differences explored in this first novel, and the angst is top tier when Lady Aline and her estate’s stable boy fall in love as young teens. This book is all about their clash of love and will as they reunite as adults. I also love the side plot romance between Aline’s sister and McKenna’s business partner. Delicious.

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American Prince by Sierra Simone
4 stars
Wow this series is so effin’ good! I have read nothing like this story and it only gets better the further you read. The way Sierra Simone weaves her characters and their narratives together to form a story of love, loss, bravery and fear, is truly flawless. I loved hearing from Embry through this second book and I think he may be my favorite character of our main three. I knocked the book down a star just because one of our villains got a little melodramatic towards the end, and it jarred me just a bit from the realistic force of the epic love story (or stories!).

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For the Duke’s Eyes Only by Lenora Bell
4 stars
I really LOVED the unique features of this historical romance. The fact that our heroine, Lady India, was a fearless archaeologist was so fascinating! I mean how could you not love a historical, gender bending of Indiana Jones? Amazing. I loved reading about artifacts they would discuss and hunt. I also enjoyed the hero, Ravenwood, and all his mystery and secret keeping. One of my favorite romantic tropes is the ‘they grew up together’ one! I think it allows for such cute and complex bonds between the characters involved!

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Tycoon by Joanna Shupe
3 stars
This was such a fun and exciting little novella! The romantic setting of two strangers meeting on a train platform, as the heroine tries to escape after witnessing a crime, is such a fantastic premise for a story. I loved the chase and the thrill of two people just learning so quickly that they can give themselves to another person so fully. It was a very endearing love story and I will definitely be looking into more books by Shupe!

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Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night by Kresley Cole
3.5 stars
I finished another Immortals After Dark book! Yay! I’m getting more and more into this series with each book I read. Bowen is a Lykae (werewolf) who is looking for a way to undo the death of his mate from centuries ago. Mariketa is a witch on the cusp of her immortal change waiting for her prophecy to unfurl. So what happens when Bowen and Mariketa begin to feel the mating bond lock in between them? Oh and did I mention they also despise one another This one was a wild ride and there were some twists towards the end that actually really got me! Cole begins to show here how freely she can write and diversify a paranormal plot line. I can’t wait to swallow the rest of this series whole!

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The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan
5 stars
This book is absolutely stunning. Everything about the way Courtney Milan writes her historicals is absolutely swoon-worthy. I always find myself highlighting passages as I move through her books because she is just such a god damn beautiful writer. She just gets so deep into the heart of her characters emotions and it makes them so authentic and tangible. She never misses a beat when it comes to showing how a love story is an altering experience for both people involved–I just love reading the gorgeous transformations she paints across the page. This story is about loud and poisonous heiress Jane, who puts people off to avoid being married off for her money, and Oliver, whose aspirations of Parliament make boisterous Jane the last person he should fall in love with. Of course they do. And they are all the better for it. Gorgeous!!!

books · Review · Uncategorized

Verity by Colleen Hoover

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4.25 stars 

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish. 
Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of the night their family was forever altered.
Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her. 
Due to graphic scenes and mature content, this book is recommended for readers 18+.
This new and independently published novel by Colleen Hoover is a diversion from her still heavy but less thriller centric love stories. I was excited by the prospect of reading a book by Colleen Hoover that people were comparing and paralleling to the sinister work of her bad ass best friend Tarryn Fischer. To me Verity is Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, meets Misery, meets Gone Girl. It was pretty cool to watch the trend of the haunting wife in a modern setting. I actually liked both Jeremy and Lowen as our hero and heroine and Hoover wrote their connection to be easily believable.
The manuscript portions were truly disturbing and had me wondering even about other members of the family such as the unfortunate twin Harper, and the surviving baby Crew. The portions in the book when Lowen is paranoid about Verity resonated in my own body and at one point I myself thought I was hearing things in my own apartment. But nobody else was home!
I was waiting through out the book for Jeremy to be revealed as the author of the heinous “autobiographical” manuscript, but Hoover really took her twist in a less obvious and garish direction. The twist at the end of this tale is not one that leaves you gasping, but one that makes your stomach free fall out of your actual body.
This book has re-peaked my interest in Colleen Hoover’s writing, which has disinterested me in everything she has written since It Ends With Us, which I loved. I would really be ecstatic to see her release another thriller title, and I congratulate her on independently publishing such a great book.

 

Review · TV · Uncategorized

The Haunting of Hill House : Season One

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*****
5 stars

The hype around this show was something I was keenly aware of for weeks before I pressed play. I don’t know why but I have always been the type of person who put off watching beloved and acclaimed shows and films. Maybe the pressure of loving something scares me off? I have no idea.

One day I was getting ready to go out and socialize somewhere with someone, and I pressed play. One episode in and I have never wanted so badly to drop everything, crawl into bed, and let these characters consume me.

The Haunting of Hill House follows the then and now story of the Crain family–mother, father, and their five children–who spend a summer at the old Hill House and come out forever effected and changed.

This show is ,yes, about ghosts and death, about hauntings and scares. But more than anything it is about people, family, relationships, guilt, life, love and loss. It’s about everything, and I truly can say I had never before watched something so eloquently written and artfully shot. The acting was dazzling and you could see the devotion each person put into every word. There are more than a couple award worthy performances to be seen here. (Older Nellie is a strong contender, and younger Luke needs an award for simply being the most endearing child ever.) I also want to give a huge shout out to their costuming and set dressing teams because their input truly painted the show in such a way that sometimes had my mouth hanging open. The scenes of Hill House in later days was so, well the only word I can even think of is haunting. Every episode, in my opinion, was a masterpiece.

Some plot points will stay with me for a long time. Three words: Bent Neck Lady. Oh crap, I just got chills.

After I finished the series and was missing it with my whole heart I went online to hear other people’s thoughts on it and learned some amazing facts: the hidden ghosts placed in shots throughout each episode, episode six was shot in something like five takes, each of the five Crain siblings was written with the intent to symbolize each stage of grief. The beauty and details of this shows creation are endless and I want more, more, more.

Although in my opinion this season concluded with a strong ending for the Crain family, I yearn desperately to see more from these creators in this world. I strongly urge you to let this show take hold of you, the hype has never been more right. If you love truly gorgeous, layered storytelling you must watch this show.

books · Uncategorized

American Queen by Sierra Simone

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4.5 stars

I really had no idea what was going to happen when I picked this up, but I knew by the second page that this was an excellently book. Now I am a romance reader through and through, but I never read erotica, so the only brush I’ve had with a book this truly *filthy* (filthy is not a bad word I promise) was 50 Shades of Grey. And I must say a book with deeply erotic scenes but truly eloquent writing, interesting and deep characters, as well as an actual rounded plot–AMAZING. Who knew?! (everyone but me…)

The story is told to us through Greer’s prospective, she is a literature professor who specializes in Arthurian legend and it just so happens that the grandfather who raised her was also once the Vice President of the United States. When she is sixteen she has an encounter with a soldier that can only be described as love at first understanding. They just reach toward one another completely unnaturally, with soul and all. But the soldier leaves and she grows up. Five years later she encounters him with a resulting heartbreak and a searing connection with another man, who puts her heart back together if only for one night. A man who happens to be her soldier’s closest friend, and one day the Vice President to his President.

The rest of this book follows the complicated nature in which these three people fall deeply into love, with each other. It was more than interesting to read, it was gut wrenching. Sierra Simone is not only gifted at writing the erotic part of erotic romance, but she crafts the romance part in a way that is beautiful. She truly has a way with depicting the swirl of emotions that amp into a hurricane within the walls of these three peoples lives.

Only the smallest of unrealistic qualms about what the Presidential life would be, took me out of this enthralling love story for the blink of an eye. And the way in which our Greer wholly loves her villainous cousin was blatantly without reason. These two things are the only flaws I could find in an otherwise excellent erotic romance.

This first book was utterly gripping and if you’ve read it you know, there is no way you can’t continue reading the series. I’ll be moving on to the Embry centric sequel, American Prince as soon as I can get my dirty hands on it.