2017 Monthly Status Update: August

city-update

August was a crazy hectic month for me. Work is picking up like crazy and between that, the Terryville Fair, and my family’s trip to Maine, there hasn’t been a moment to spare! Thankfully my time in Maine mostly consists of reading so I was still able to get a good amount of reading done and I even have a great jump off start to September too. So below is my progress for August:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 9
# pages read this month: 2,958
# books read year-to-date: 73
# pages read year-to-date: 21,756

Favorite Books I Read:

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker – 5.0 stars
Seeing Red by Sandra Brown – 4.25 stars

Other Posts this month:

ARC August 2017 Reading Challenge Sign Up
ARC August 2017 – Check in #1 – 8/1-8/7
ARC August 2017 – Check in #2 – 8/8-8/13
ARC August 2017 – Check in #1 – 8/14-8/20
If the Creek Don’t Rise BLOG TOUR!! 
ARC August Final Check in and Wrap up

Status of 2017 Reading Challenges:

  1. Finish 2016 ARC’s from NetGalley that I missed – Haven’t read any since last month so still have 27 to go (though stay tuned for September progress!)
  2. Participate in 2 reading challenges – During May I participated in the Bout of Books challenge and during this past month I participated in ARC August so this Goal is checked!
  3. Other goals:
    1. Write shorter reviews – I think I’m doing better at this, this past month I was able to get out a few shorter ones
    2. Continue establishing relationships – I think I’m doing it, we’ll see how it goes I guess!

Next Month TBR List:

I read all but two of the books on my TBR from last month plus a few more! Some of them I technically finished in September but I won’t include them at this point on my TBR for the next month since they’re already read. I actually don’t have many on the TBR list this month since I didn’t have a lot that I signed up for in September. I am hoping to get to some of the books on my backlog in addition to the ones listed below but I haven’t decided which ones yet. I will have to see where the wind takes me!!

-The Uncertain Season by Ann Howard Creel
-Pretend You’re Safe by Alexandra Ivy
-Every Boy’s Got One
-The Best Kind of People
-The Visitors
-The Scot Beds His Wife
-Select
-A Season of You

My birthday is coming up soon and I can’t wait to spend it with my nose in a book!! Happy reading everyone!!

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ARC August Final check in and Wrap up post

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So I’m a little behind with my check in! Between the Terryville Fair Aug 24-27 and then immediately leaving and spending all last week in Maine with no internet or electricity, and then only having one day after I got back to get ready for the work week, I haven’t had any time to catch up with my blog posts! I’m trying to catch up a little at a time every day this week. Anyways so here’s where I ended up on the ARC Reading challenge! I made good use of my time in Maine but didn’t get through as many as I had hoped:

MY PROGRESS

-Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber – Read and reviewed (Week 2)
-Emerald Coast by Anita Hughes – Read and reviewed (Week 1)
-Leave the Night On by Laura Trentham – Read and reviewed (Week 1)
-If The Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss – Read and reviewed
-Bad Girl Gone by Temple Mathews
-Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker – Read and reviewed
-Seeing Red by Sandra Brown – Read and reviewed (Week 3)
-13 Dates by Matt Dunn – Read and reviewed
-The Other Girl by Erica Spindler
-Ready to Run by Lauren Layne – Read and reviewed (Week 3)
-The Uncertain Season by Ann Howard Creel
-Pretend You’re Safe by Alexandra Ivy

Books Read August 21st – 31st

If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss – 3.5 stars
Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker – 5.0 stars
13 Dates by Matt Dunn – 3.0 stars

So that’s a wrap for this year! I had a great time participating in this challenge again and I hope to participate again next year! Happy reading everyone!

2017 Book #73 – 13 Dates by Matt Dunn

411mqPY6QIL._SY346_Title: 13 Dates
Author: Matt Dunn
Date finished: 8/31/17
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: August 15, 2017
Pages in book: 334
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
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:

When Noah Wilson first encounters the quirky, opinionated and very beautiful Angel Fallon, his world is turned upside down. It’s clear she’s not his normal type, but Noah can’t stop thinking about her—which doesn’t bode well for the blind date he’s already late for.

Convinced by his friend (and self-professed dating expert) Marlon that thirteen dates is all you need to fall in love, Noah decides to give it a try with Angel. They should be incompatible: she’s impulsive and he’s a planner; he wants to settle down and she doesn’t ‘do’ relationships—or anything, for that matter—the way Noah is used to. But there’s something about Angel, and Noah can’t shake the idea that all they need is twelve more dates.

Despite some near-disasters involving rock climbing, saddle sores and jellied eels, it seems his plan may actually work. But even if they do reach the magic number, can that really mean they’ll just fall into their happily-ever-after?

My rating:  3.0 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 book tells the story of Noah Wilson and Angel Fallon, a couple who meet at a Starbucks. Noah falls in love with Angel almost immediately, in a rush of feelings he never expected. Angel though is a bit more hesitant, convinced that relationships “aren’t her thing.” After spending a good amount of time just tracking her down, Noah wears down her defenses until she agrees to go out on a date with him. Since Angel is all about “new experiences” though, Noah has to spend some time coming up with various original date ideas, including horseback riding, rock wall climbing, and even eating jellied eels. And as Noah finds himself falling even harder in love with Angel, can he convince her to do the same?

Overall this book was ok but wasn’t my favorite. I found Angel’s character annoying and frustrating, and Noah’s character was overly nice and naive. I understand Angel’s hesitancy towards relationships, given her situation, but the whole Margate trip sent me over the edge because she was so outstandingly rude. Other than that it was an ok and cute story. It reminded me a little oat first of The Rosie Project, mostly because of how incredibly different Angel and Noah were personality wise.

The bottom line: I liked this book ok, it was interesting and was a cute/sweet story. Nothing thrilled me about it but it was pretty good.

Link to author website

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

2017 Book #72 – Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

51pkE2hbOuL._SY346_Title: Emma in the Night
Author: Wendy Walker
Date finished: 8/29/17
Genre: Fiction, thriller
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: August 8, 2017
Pages in book: 298
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
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:

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.

Bestselling author Wendy Walker returns with another winning thriller, Emma in the Night.

My rating:  5.0 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 book tells the story of Cass Tanner, the daughter of a classic narcissist who disappeared three years ago along with her sister Emma. Cass suddenly appears after the three years on her mother’s doorstep, with claims that Emma is being held against her will and that they need to go save her. Spending most of the next few days with the police telling them every detail she can remember in the hopes that it will help piece together where they were being held and where Emma is now. Through all this, Dr. Abby Winter, a forensic psychiatrist who is familiar with this case, notices oddities about Cass’s story that don’t quite add up.
Overall I loved this book. I didn’t want to put it down – the story was so interesting and engaging. It was perfectly in your head psychological and i could see into the mind of Cass and could understand her thought process. I loved the plot and all the plot twists and everything the story encompassed. Also funny story, I read this one while visiting my family’s house in Maine, which is off the coast near South Bristol. And funny enough when they’re trying to find the island where the girls were being held this was the exact location they were looking at. They even mention the island of Thrumcap in the book which is so cool because I could see that island from my house! Even without that added coincidence though, this was a great book with a lot to offer for a thriller and I would definitely recommend it!!

The bottom line: I loved this book, I was hooked right from the very beginning. I loved how the author unfurled this story, I didn’t want to put the book down. I would definitely recommend it!

Link to author website

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

2017 Book #71 – If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss

61YmLjIcHpLTitle: If the Creek Don’t Rise
Author: Leah Weiss
Date finished: 8/28/17
Genre: Fiction, women’s fiction
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
Pages in book: 320
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
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:

He’s gonna be sorry he ever messed with me and Loretta Lynn

Sadie Blue has been a wife for fifteen days. That’s long enough to know she should have never hitched herself to Roy Tupkin, even with the baby.

Sadie is desperate to make her own mark on the world, but in remote Appalachia, a ticket out of town is hard to come by, and hope often gets stomped out.  When a stranger sweeps into Baines Creek and knocks things off kilter, Sadie finds herself with an unexpected lifeline…if she can just figure out how to use it.

This intimate insight into a fiercely proud, tenacious community unfolds through the voices of the forgotten folks of Baines Creek. With a colorful cast of characters that each contribute a new perspective, IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE is a debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

My rating:  3.5 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. Also be sure to check out my Blog Tour post on the book here. This book tells the story of a small  mountain town in North Carolina, Baines (which means “bones” in the local dialogue) Creek. It is there that we meet this interesting cast of characters, including Sadie Blue, a young pregnant woman trying to survive the beatings inflicted on her by her husband, Roy. Also included is Kate Shaw, the new local teacher, Prudence, the preacher’s sister, Eli, the preacher, and various others. We get to hear a little from each different character’s point of view, which I thought was really interesting for the overall story. The grammar was pretty hard to get through in some parts, the author tries hard to stay true to the dialect of the region being represented in the book and they are for the most part illiterate. The book follows the different characters lives through a strange course of events.
Overall I liked this book a good amount. I liked seeing things through each different character’s point of view and I liked that each section from each different person revealed a new piece of the story. The grammar was hard to get through and also I felt like there were a lot of open pieces to the story left kind of unresolved, even with all the different points of view. I liked all the different characters, especially Sadie and Katie Shaw. There was a lot going on with so many different points of view and sometimes it was a little distracting. Other than that though I thought this was a good book and I was interested to see what would happen in the end.

The bottom line: I liked this book an ok amount, it was interesting but the grammar was hard to sludge through, even though it seemed like it was done on purpose. I would recommend it!

Link to author website

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

ARC August 2017 – Check in #3 – 8/14-8/20

arc-august2

Wow this week just flew by! Busy week at work and on Friday I spent the day with my mom and mother-in-law going to wineries and that was really fun. Not a lot of time left (again) for reading though. Plus I had to read the book for my Book Club over the weekend which took up a few days of non-ARC time. Anyways, so here’s where I stand right now:

MY PROGRESS

-Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber – Read and reviewed (Week 2)
-Emerald Coast by Anita Hughes – Read and reviewed (Week 1)
-Leave the Night On by Laura Trentham – Read and reviewed (Week 1)
-If The Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss – Just starting today!
-Bad Girl Gone by Temple Mathews
-Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
-Seeing Red by Sandra Brown – Read and reviewed
-13 Dates by Matt Dunn
-The Other Girl by Erica Spindler
-Ready to Run by Lauren Layne – Read and reviewed
-The Uncertain Season by Ann Howard Creel
-Pretend You’re Safe by Alexandra Ivy

Books Read August 14th – 20th

Seeing Red by Sandra Brown – 3.75 stars
Ready to Run by Lauren Layne – 3.75 stars

Plan for Upcoming Week

This week is going to be a little nuts. Work is really picking up for me now and I”m gearing up for almost two weeks off so I have a lot to do before my vacation starts. And for my vacation time, The Terryville Fair is coming up this weekend and that’s always a busy weekend for my family and I since we work pretty much the whole weekend. And then late afternoon Sunday I leave for Maine, where I will hopefully be able to get more reading done than I have for most of August so far! Even though this week will be busy, it will also be extremely fun and I’m looking forward to starting the festivities! I’m sure I’ll find time to read when I can but I’m not going to stress too much about it for now! Happy reading everyone!!

2017 Book #69 – Ready to Run by Lauren Layne

519Qgtj62YLTitle: Ready to Run
Author: Lauren Layne
Date finished: 8/15/17
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
Pages in book: 203
Stand alone or series: I Do, I Don’t series Book #1
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:

Jordan Carpenter thinks she’s finally found the perfect candidate for Jilted, a new dating show about runaway grooms: firefighter Luke Elliott, a known player who’s left not one but three brides at the altar. The only problem? Luke refuses to answer Jordan’s emails or return her calls. Which is how she ends up on a flight to Montana to recruit him in person. It’s not Manhattan, but at least the locals in Lucky Hollow seem friendly . . . except for Luke, who’s more intense—and way hotter—than the slick womanizer Jordan expected.

Eager to put the past behind him, Luke has zero intention of following this gorgeous, fast-talking city girl back to New York. But before he can send her packing, Jordan’s everywhere: at his favorite bar, the county fair, even his exes’ book club. Annoyingly, everyone in Lucky Hollow seems to like her—and deep down, she’s starting to grow on him too. But the more he fights her constant pestering, the more Luke finds himself wishing that Jordan would kick off her high heels and make herself comfortable in his arms.

My rating:  4.25 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 book tells the story of Jordan Carpenter, a tv producer from New York City, and Luke Elliott, a firefighter from a small town in Montana. Normally these two might never have crossed paths but luckily Jordan is trying to cast the star of a new tv show called Jilted (The Bachelor but for guys with commitment problems) and Luke has left three women at the altar, and by all accounts seems perfect to be the star of the show. And so Jordan travels (*cough*stalks*cough*) to Montana to convince him in person. Only problem is once she gets there she finds herself distracted by.. well by Luke himself. While he sure is surly he also has a heart of gold. But while Jordan’s career rests on Luke’s answer, can she really throw her life away and open herself up to this new opportunity with Luke?
Overall this was a really good book. I really got hooked into the story and I didn’t want to put it down. There was some great chemistry between the main characters and I thought the author did a great job of really developing their relationship, especially considering how short the book was. This was a fairly quick and easy read, and it would be just perfect for reading on your summer vacation. My only warning is don’t think too hard in like a feminist mentality, Jordan seemed genuinely happy with her decisions and I like that the author accurately portrays how much her character likes the small town life. My only real complaint with this one is that I thought it would’ve been really fun to read about Luke actually being on the show but it sounds like we’ll get a glimpse of that with the second book in the series, Runaway Groom. I liked this one a lot and I can’t wait for the next one in the series!!

The bottom line: I liked this book a lot, it was a sweet story and it was a good read. I really got hooked into the story, I didn’t want to put it down! I would recommend it!

Link to author website

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