2018 Book #53 – The Christmas Cowboy Hero by Donna Grant

51vr3JjFD5LTitle: The Christmas Cowboy Hero
Author: Donna Grant
Date finished: 6/23/18
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: October 31, 2017
Pages in book: 316
Stand alone or series: #1 in the Heart of Texas series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

’Tis the season for ex-Navy SEAL Clayton East to come home for the holidays—even if the mood at home is anything but festive. His father is ill. The East Ranch is in financial trouble. And now it’s on Clayton, the prodigal son, to make sure his family doesn’t lose everything.

Headstrong Abby Harper is like a mother to her younger brothers, who she’s helped raise since she was a teenager. Keeping them in line is no small task while she’s also working toward her college degree. And now that one of her brothers has been arrested for stealing cattle at the East Ranch, Abby is at her wits’ end. But there is a silver lining: Clayton East. He believes in second chances, and is willing to give one to her brother this Christmas. Letting beautiful Abby—and the inescapable longing in his heart—off the hook, however, is a whole ’nother story. Could it be that the woman of this local hero’s dreams has been back at home all along?

My rating:  2.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This is from my 2017 Backlog list, I read this for the 2018 Bookish Reading Challenge for the “a book you picked up based on the title” category, as I had picked this book originally around the holidays since I thought it would make a good Christmas read.

This book sounded like it would be a cute read for around the holidays, which is when I had originally planned to read it but unfortunately work got in the way last year. So I read it this year while I was on vacation! The premise behind this book was a romance trope cliche, millionaire cowboy rescues poor nice woman in a Texas town. And while it was completely unrealistic, it was still romantic. Clayton as a character was everything you’d want from a romance novel hero: dark, brooding, completely devoted, utterly sexy. Abby was nice enough, and honestly I loved that she was an accountant studying to be a CPA, but she was a little too shy for my tastes in a romance heroine. Their whole relationship moved pretty quickly too, I mean within a week of Brice getting arrested Abby’s whole family was staying to weekend with Clayton’s family, and within 6 weeks they were engaged. This was a sweet romance though with an ok Christmas theme and some serious sparks between the hero and heroine. I enjoyed it and would recommend it!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

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2018 Book #47 – Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper

51taEw8sx6LTitle: Sweet Tea and Sympathy
Author: Molly Harper
Date finished: 6/18/18
Genre: Contemporary romance, women’s fiction
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: November 21, 2017
Pages in book: 321
Stand alone or series: #1 in the Southern Eclectic series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Beloved author Molly Harper launches a brand-new contemporary romance series, Southern Eclectic, with this story of a big-city party planner who finds true love in a small Georgia town.

Nestled on the shore of Lake Sackett, Georgia is the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. (What, you have a problem with one-stop shopping?) Two McCready brothers started two separate businesses in the same building back in 1928, and now it’s become one big family affair. And true to form in small Southern towns, family business becomes everybody’s business.

Margot Cary has spent her life immersed in everything Lake Sackett is not. As an elite event planner, Margot’s rubbed elbows with the cream of Chicago society, and made elegance and glamour her business. She’s riding high until one event goes tragically, spectacularly wrong. Now she’s blackballed by the gala set and in dire need of a fresh start—and apparently the McCreadys are in need of an event planner with a tarnished reputation.

As Margot finds her footing in a town where everybody knows not only your name, but what you had for dinner last Saturday night and what you’ll wear to church on Sunday morning, she grudgingly has to admit that there are some things Lake Sackett does better than Chicago—including the dating prospects. Elementary school principal Kyle Archer is a fellow fish-out-of-water who volunteers to show Margot the picture-postcard side of Southern living. The two of them hit it off, but not everybody is happy to see an outsider snapping up one of the town’s most eligible gentleman. Will Margot reel in her handsome fish, or will she have to release her latest catch?

My rating:  4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This is from my 2017 Backlog list, I read this for the 2018 Bookish Reading Challenge for the “the first book in a series” category, as its the first book in the Southern Eclectic book series.

This book sounded pretty interesting to me and the cover looked so cute. I’m glad that I read it, I really liked Margot’s character a lot. The supporting characters were all charming and hilarious as well but Margot specifically I identified with a lot. This book was funny and heart-warming, I laughed out loud and I teared up at a couple points too. It was a sweet love story and I really ended up enjoying it quite a bit. Kyle is a widower and I thought that the author handled the emotional complication of that, as well as the emotions of his two young daughters, very well. This was the perfect book for my vacation reading and I really enjoyed it. I would recommend it!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

Bout of Books 22 Wrap Up Post

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So for one of my goals this year to help me focus more on reading and having concentrated time for reading, I decided to participate in all 3 Bout of Books reading challenges / read-a-thons this year! This was the second one and I didn’t exactly get a lot done but it was still ok amounts of successful.

Below were the goals that I had set for the week and my assessment with how I did on them.

Time Devoted to Reading

I plan to read at least 2 hours each day during the week, with hopefully additional hours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Saturday I’m working and I have a bridal shower but then Sunday is pretty open so hopefully I can make up for any lost time on Saturday. I usually like to take a day or two off during the May reading challenge but this year I’m not able to because I’m too busy.
Things didn’t go quite according to plan – There was a lot of things that came up this week and also between work and social events and trying to get some down time in between there wasn’t a lot of time left for reading. 

My Goals

My goals for this read-a-thon are that I’d like to participate in as much as I can: the daily posts plus reading every day.

I did not participate in any of the daily challenges but I did read every day (except Sunday which I took off). 

Books to Read

Overall this was not the greatest week of reading for me but I was able to get a little reading done at least. Looking forward to the next one in August!

Bout of Books Update – Day 5 & 6

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Friday and Saturday were busy days! Friday after a busy work day I got together with a few girlfriends and our friend Adria asked us all to be bridesmaids in her wedding next year!! We (of course) said yes!

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Then Saturday I worked in the morning and then celebrated my friend Cori’s upcoming wedding! Her bridal shower was very fun and we had cake and played games and had a great time!

However, suffice it to say I didn’t get much reading done, being as busy with fun as I was!

Update

Friday and Saturday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) 1 hours (maybe)
Number of pages I’ve read today: 56 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 405 pages
Books read: Finished reading The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll, started The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams
Challenges: I did not participate in the daily post challenge for Friday or Saturday

Today is my day at home and I have a lot of chores and other things to take care of but I’m hoping to find some time to read today too! Its a beautiful day and I’m looking forward to some relaxation and re-centering after a busy week and weekend!

2018 Book #40 – A Harmless Little (series) by Meli Raine

Title: A Harmless Little Game / Ruse / Plan
Author: Meli Raine
Date finished: 5/14/18
Genre: Suspense, thriller, romance
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: October 18, November 18, and December 13, 2016
Pages in book: 227 / 179  197
Stand alone or series: A Harmless Little series (3 books)
Where I got the book from: The first book was advertised on Facebook and was free, the next two I purchased from Amazon

My rating:  3.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: We went away for the weekend last weekend with my family and Sunday morning I was tooling around on Facebook and just scrolling through whatever when I saw the first book in the series advertised. I was in the middle of another book already, and to be perfectly honest I never start a new book when I’m the middle of one already but I decided to just read like the first chapter of this to see if it was something that’d interest me and I was HOOKED. I read all three books within like 36 hours, I couldn’t put them down. The emotions and anger and passions in these novels were just so raw and intense it was hard to get my head out of the story even when I wasn’t reading them. The books all had pretty good plot lines too, there were twists and turns around every corner. And there was like some crazy conspiracies going on. I would be interested to read more by this author in the future when I have free time (HA). My only issue with the books were how mushy and flowery the characters got with their lovey dovey crap. It got to be way too much, especially considering the other stuff that was going on in the novels were pretty dark. There was some gruesome stuff going on, I would definitely say these books are not for the faint of heart. I’d recommend checking them out though, I really liked the story lines.

Link to author website

 

Bout of Books Update – Day 4

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Thursday went ok for reading. I had a productive but stressful workday, grabbed some food and drink with a friend and had some relax time, and then got to read once I got home.

Update

Thursday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) 1.5 hours
Number of pages I’ve read today: 115 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 349 pages
Books read: Continued reading The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll
Challenges: I did not participate in the daily post challenge for Thursday

Almost done with this book! And then I can start the next one, which I’m not super excited about the next one either but its gotta get read! Happy reading everyone!

Bout of Books Update – Day 3

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So Tuesday didn’t go great. I had some personal things come up that flowed over into Wednesday also. My reading progress was not awesome but everybody’s gotta deal with crap sometimes so that’s that.

Update

Tuesday & Wednesday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) 1.5 hours (been working toooo much)
Number of pages I’ve read today: 127 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 234 pages
Books read: Continued reading The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll
Challenges: I did not participate in the daily post challenge for Tuesday or Wednesday

Hopefully things kind of turn around, although I’m getting together with friends the next two nights and then I have a bridal shower and work on Saturday. So we’ll see how the next few days go I guess.Part of my problem is I’m just not loving the book I’m reading right now but I have to get moving because I’m getting really behind. Hope everyone has a happy reading week!