ARC August 2018- Update #4

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What a freaking crazy week this was! Busy week at work, and then the Fair was this past weekend and that takes up so much of our time! I tried to stick with the reading schedule, I’ve been really pushing myself for the reading challenge this month and I’ve been enjoying all the extra reading a lot. I didn’t necessarily knock it out of the park this past week since it was such a busy week but I was able to get a bit of reading done. This past week I also participating in both ARC August AND Bout of Books, which was fun and challenging. You can check out my Bout of Books 23 journey here! Anyways, so here’s where I stand right now:

 

MY PROGRESS

August 2018 ARC’s

Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins – Read and reviewed (Week 1)
Our House by Louise Candlish – Read and reviewed (Week 2)
Smothered by Autumn Chiklis – Read and reviewed (Week 1)
-The Duke of Seduction by Darcy Burke – Read and reviewed (Week 4)
Maybe For You by Nicole McLaughlin – Read and reviewed (Week 3)
Cowboy, Cross My Heart by Donna Grant – Read and reviewed (Week 3)
-The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo
-Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia

Additions

Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone – Read and reviewed (Week 3)
BuzzBooks 2018 Romance Sampler – Read and reviewed (Week 2)
-Hot Pursuit by Rebecca Freeborn

Backlog ARC’s

I’m actually using a reading challenge to help me whittle away at the 2016 and 2017 backlog list, so for this challenge I’d like to get to the following:

-A book told through letters
-A book with a five-word title – Read and reviewed At the Heart of It by Tawna Fenske (Week 2)
-A book whose cover features nature
-A book whose title begins with K, Q, J, X, or Z – Read and reviewed The Killing Game by Nancy Bush (Week 4)
-A book you bought (requested) for the cover
-A book written by an author who wrote one of your favorite 2017 books
-A book with a one-word title

Books Read August 20th – 26th

The Duke of Seduction by Darcy Burke – 4.0 stars
The Killing Game by Nancy Bush – 3.5 stars

Plan for Upcoming Week

This coming week should hopefully be a bit smoother. Really August is just through Friday so there’s only a few days left to get in as much reading as I can. I plan to take Friday off to hopefully fit in a little last minute push to the finish line, but Friday night we’ll be leaving for Block Island for the weekend! Hope everyone else is having a successful reading month.

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!

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

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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

ARC August 2017 – Check in #2 – 8/8-8/13

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And so goes another week of ARC August 2017. This past week was also a fairly busy one for me, between work and trying to exercise and also trying to spend time with husband and family there doesn’t seem to be a lot of time leftover for reading lately. Even with Goal Day this past Saturday I was only able to read one book this past week. This month will continue to be a busy one for me but hopefully I will catch up while on vacation at the end of the month! Anyways, so here’s where I stand right now:

MY PROGRESS

-Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber – Read and reviewed
-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
-Bad Girl Gone by Temple Mathews
-Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
-Seeing Red by Sandra Brown – Reading now
-13 Dates by Matt Dunn
-The Other Girl by Erica Spindler
-Ready to Run by Lauren Layne
-The Uncertain Season by Ann Howard Creel
-Pretend You’re Safe by Alexandra Ivy

Books Read August 8th – 13th

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Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber – 3.75 stars

Plan for Upcoming Week

I have a busy week coming up with 4 exercise classes, 2 meetings, 2 days at a new client and a day planned for going to wineries with my mom and mother-in-law! Might have to break into my sleeping time to get some reading done but hopefully I’ll be able to fit it in somewhere! The book I’m reading right now (new release by Sandra Brown, out tomorrow!) is pretty good and I can’t wait to finish it and share my thoughts with all of you. Happy reading everyone!!

2017 Book #65 – Emerald Coast by Anita Hughes

51BaCBQAllLTitle: Emerald Coast
Author: Anita Hughes
Date finished: 8/1/17
Genre: Fiction, women’s fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date:August 1, 2017
Pages in book: 304
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:

Set on the glamorous Italian island, Emerald Coast is a touching and humorous story about marriage and the difficulty of finding love and happiness at the same time.
Lily Bristol arrives at a luxurious resort in Sardinia for the grand opening of her newest home furnishing store on the Emerald Coast. She’s a successful business woman with an international chain of stores from San Francisco to Milan. Thirty-two and newly divorced, she’s ready to handle things on her own. At least until her private butler, Enzo, escorts her to a beautiful suite where she notices a suspiciously familiar pair of men’s slippers and shaving kit.
Lily is horrified. Her ex-husband Oliver moved out of their restored Connecticut farmhouse six months ago, but they booked this trip when they were trying to save their marriage and never cancelled the reservation. Oliver, a food critic for the New York Times, is here covering Sardinia’s hottest new restaurant. The only other available room is the adjoining suite; and worse, Oliver isn’t alone. He’s brought a twenty-something named Angela with him.
Lily is determined to make do and enlists Enzo to find her a suitable man. But it’s not as easy to find new love as they both expected. When Lily and Oliver find themselves alone on a very important night, they turn to each other. Sparks begin to fly, but can they be together without breaking each other’s hearts?

My rating:  1.0 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 is about Lily Bristol and her ex-husband Oliver, who through one of those crazy twists of fate end up both trying to use a reservation after their divorce. Oliver brought his new girlfriend (Angela) and Lily ends up hooking up with a guy named Ricky from Sardinia (where they are) but while all this is happening they both also can’t stop thinking about each other and their shared memories.
Overall I did not care for this book. I’m going to try to be honest here without being (a) cruel or (b) overly dramatic. I found Lily’s character to be a complete mockery of a strong and independent woman. She has random conversations with strangers and just is everything that I would hate to become as a women and as a wife. Oliver has some extreme jealousy issues and may be addicted to sex since he can’t seem to stop having it with his new girlfriend. However (**SPOILER ALERT**) he apparently NEVER THINKS TO ASK HIS NEW GF ABOUT BIRTH CONTROL. Sorry the caps were dramatic I just can’t believe that any logical person in this day and age would overlook that in a new relationship. Anyways moving on the characters were irrelevant and unrealistic, the story line was half-hearted and not at all engaging, and I honestly couldn’t even read most of the conversations they were so awkwardly structured. I did not care for this novel. However, all of that being said I know these are popular novels and that some people do like them so that’s fine. Amazon has mostly 4 star reviews. So maybe its just me.

The bottom line: I did not personally enjoy this book. I cannot personally say that I recommend it, though I know many people who enjoy this author’s books so maybe its just me.

Link to author website

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

2015 Book #82 – Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner

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Title: Who Do You Love
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Date finished: 8/7/15
Genre: Fiction, Romance-ish, Women’s fiction
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: August 11, 2015
Pages in book: 400
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:

An unforgettable story about true love, real life, and second chances…
Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are just eight years old when they meet one night in an ER waiting room. Born with a congenital heart defect, Rachel is a veteran of hospitals, and she’s intrigued by the boy who shows up alone with a broken arm. He tells her his name. She tells him a story. After Andy’s taken back to a doctor and Rachel’s sent back to her bed, they think they’ll never see each other again.
Rachel grows up in an affluent Florida suburb, the popular and protected daughter of two doting parents. Andy grows up poor in Philadelphia with a single mom and a rare talent for running.
Yet, over the next three decades, Andy and Rachel will meet again and again—linked by chance, history, and the memory of the first time they met, a night that changed the course of both of their lives.
A sweeping, warmhearted, and intimate tale, Who Do You Love is an extraordinary novel about the passage of time, the way people change and change each other, and how the measure of a life is who you love.

My rating: 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for ARC August reading challenge, it is #4 on list from my sign up post. I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book is about Rachel Blum, who meets a boy named Andy Landis when they’re coincidentally in the same hospital on the same night when they were young children. Rachel waited with Andy in the ER waiting room since his mom wasn’t with him and told him stories. Their lives seem to be intertwined since they end up encountering each other years later when they are both in high school.
What follows is an on and off relationship that spans across decades. A story of true love and second (or third or fourth) chances. Whenever Andy and Rachel meet up again it seems as if no time has passed and neither has ever stopped loving the other. Andy seems to make many mistakes along the way and I think that both he and Rachel have to grow quite a bit before their lives can permanently fit together. In the meantime, they both continue on their life path separately and have many important life experiences.
Overall I enjoyed this book. I thought the story line was sweet and touching. I thought the characters were wonderfully flawed and I really felt like I was given an opportunity to connect with them through the book. There were some plot developments that were interesting and obviously necessary to the story line but that I didn’t necessarily expect. I think the only thing I would be able to complain about is that I thought the ending was a little quick. I thought we were going to get to the reunion part where they fall back in love and what not and then bang it happened and two sentences later the story was over. I usually like a little wrap up (epilogue) even if its just like “oh it’s been a week and they’re still happy.” Other than that though I thought this was a good book.

The bottom line: I thought this was a touching, sweet story. I can’t say that it was a story that really grabbed me but it dig tug at my heart-strings. I would recommend it to readers who like women’s fiction.

Favorite Quotes:
“I realized, as he touched my cheek, then my hair, that I had never stopped hoping for this, not in all the years we’d been apart.”

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page