ARC August 2019 – Update #3

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And so ARC August continues! I’ve been doing pretty darn well (if I do say so myself) keeping up with my reading schedule this time, I’m hopeful I’ll be able to meet my overall goal this month! Anyways, so here’s where I stand right now:

MY PROGRESS

July & August 2019 ARC’s 

-Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson
-The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins – Read & Reviewed – Week 2
-The Arrangement by Robyn Harding – Read & Reviewed – Week 3
-A Highlander Walks Into a Bar by Laura Trentham – Read & Reviewed – Week 1 
-The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney
-The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware – Read & Reviewed – Week 3
-The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai – Read & Reviewed – Week 2
-Outfox by Sandra Brown
-To the Stars and Back by Camilla Isley – Read & Reviewed – Week 2

Additions to the list: 

– Conversations with a Fat Girl by Liza Palmer
– As Good as the First Time by K. M. Jackson – Read & Reviewed – Week 3

Books Read August 11th – 17th

Plan for Upcoming Week

The upcoming week is a very busy week for me! Every year my family and I work at the Terryville Fair over the whole weekend while the Fair is going on, which takes up a good amount of reading time during the weekend. Also this year my husband and I are going to see Ron White on Saturday night (exciting!). Hoping to find some time here and there to keep up with the great progress I’ve made so far, but also looking forward to one of my favorite events of the year! Happy reading everyone!

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ARC August 2019 – Update #2

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First full week of ARC August I would consider a smashing success! . Anyways, so here’s where I stand right now:

MY PROGRESS

July & August 2019 ARC’s 

-Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson
-The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins – Read & Reviewed – Week 2
-The Arrangement by Robyn Harding
-A Highlander Walks Into a Bar by Laura Trentham – Read & Reviewed – Week 1 
-The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney
-The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
-The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai – Read & Reviewed – Week 2
-Outfox by Sandra Brown
-To the Stars and Back by Camilla Isley – Read & Reviewed – Week 2

Additions to the list: 

– Conversations with a Fat Girl by Liza Palmer

Books Read August 4th – 10th

Plan for Upcoming Week

I’m pretty slammed at work right now but so far I’ve been able to balance between work and also finding time to read. Hoping to have that continue to work this week! And not many plans over the next weekend so there will be plenty of time for reading. Happy reading everyone!

2019 Book #57 – To the Stars and Back by Camilla Isley

51hTVVGAldLTitle: To the Stars and Back
Author: Camilla Isley
Date finished: 8/9/19
Genre: Contemporary romance, romantic comedy
Publisher: Pink Bloom Press
Publication Date: June 14, 2019
Pages in book: 231
Stand alone or series: #4 in the First Comes Love series
Where I got the book from: Author/publisher NOTE: I received this book for free from the author/publisher 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 Hollywood’s sexiest bachelor meets the girl next door their relationship doesn’t follow the script…

On-screen, Christian Slade is America’s favorite heartthrob. Off-screen, letting romance into his life isn’t as easy. The women he dates all seem to want a piece of his glamorous life rather than his heart, and trust doesn’t come easy for him.

Then along comes Lana. A beautiful rocket scientist who’s also sweet, smart, sexy, and has absolutely no idea who he is. But what will happen when she finds out?

Will their worlds prove too far apart or could love really be like in the movies?

My rating: 3.75 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. I finished this book for ARC August 2019! Love this reading challenge. And this year I’m especially excited because this year they have a bunch of fun games and challenges, including one of my favorite things, reading bingo! This book will be checking off my “Author I’ve Read before” since I’ve read a number of books by this author before.

So far I’ve read the other 3 books in this series and I have to say overall this is just a great series. The books are laugh out loud funny and short enough to hold your interest but long enough to still have a well developed story line. If you’re looking for a fairly quick but still engaging and fun read, these are the books for you! This was a cute story, and I liked so many of the details that were included within the story. I loved all the science facts included and how smart Lana was. Even better was how passionate she was about teaching and about helping others – it was positively endearing. And I also loved her cats, they sounded so cute! Christian was an ok hero for me but I couldn’t really connect with him, he felt a little two-dimensional to me even towards the end. I still really enjoyed the book though and I’d recommend both it and the other books in the series!

Link to author website

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

2019 Book #50 – Buzz Books 2019 Romance Sampler

51nJyTD8rGLTitle: BuzzBooks 2019 Romance Sampler
Author: Various – see below
Date finished: 7/29/19
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Various
Publication Date: July 12, 2019
Pages in book: 252
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.

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

These are the samples that are included in the BuzzBooks 2019 Romance collection – each excerpt I’ve included a brief summary of my thoughts (based solely on the excerpts provided) and my interest in reading the whole book:

  1. Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams (November 5, 2019) – This was a really engaging first few chapters but I don’t think it is for me. It made me so sad to think about those little girls and what they’re dealing with. I know it’s really popular and I’m sure I would like it but I’m just not interested in reading it right now.
  2. The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken (August 27, 2019) – There was a lot going on in this book even just in the first couple chapters. There was a lot of dark, murderous stuff in the excerpt too and I didn’t quite grasp what was going on with just the first couple chapters.
  3. Not the Girl You Marry by Andie J Christopher (November 12, 2019) – This one seemed super good! I really liked the first couple chapters of this one, it was engaging and really grabs the reader into the story. I’m planning to request this one and hopefully read the full e-galley!
  4. Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn (December 31, 2019) – I loved the start of this one. The excerpt really leaves you hanging on the edge of a cliff and I can’t wait to find out what happens. I loved the lyricism of the author’s writing and how well developed I felt like the main character was even just within the first couple chapters. Definitely requesting this one so I can hopefully read the full e-galley!
  5. Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore (September 3, 2019) – Seemed like a solid historical romance, nothing really grabbed out in the first couple chapters to grab me though. I think I’d enjoy reading it but I’m trying to limit my NetGalley requests.
  6. The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson (December 3, 2019) – This excerpt was tough, it didn’t really get far enough in to give you a feel of what the story would be. It seemed ok but didn’t grab me.
  7. The Bachelor by Sabrina Jeffries (February 25, 2020) – I liked this one, it sounded pretty good actually. I think I’d enjoy reading it but I’m trying to limit my NetGalley requests so I will have to pass on this one.
  8. The Princess Plan by Julia London (November 19, 2019) – I’ve already signed up to review this one so I was interested to read the first couple chapters. It sounds interesting and I’m looking forward to reading it.
  9. The Little Bookshop on the Siene by Rebecca Raisin (January 7, 2020) – This sounded like it would be sweet and most likely interesting to a book reader like me but the heroine sounded a little too naive for me based on the first couple chapters. I’m kind of interested in the book but am trying to limit my NetGalley requests so I think I’ll pass on this one.
  10. Unspoken by Kelly Rimmer (November 26, 2019) – I was actually kind of interested in this one but I can not get on board with these two people getting back together. Overall the second chance romance is not an enjoyable trope for me but especially with how much hatred there was between these two at the start of the book I just can’t see how they’ll end up reconciling.
  11. A Royal Christmas Wish by Lizzie Shane (September 10, 2019) – This one didn’t quite catch my interest, the heroine seemed like she was somewhat whiny which doesn’t appeal to me. And overall the plot doesn’t sound like it would be something I’d love.
  12. The Sunday Potluck Club by Melissa Storm (March 31, 2020) – Lot of potential here! Just the first couple chapters had me feeling so many things. I’m definitely going to be requesting this one and hopefully will get to read the full e-galley!
  13. A Cowboy to Remember by Rebekah Weatherspoon (February 25, 2020) – This one wasn’t for me (I don’t love cowboy romances anymore) but definitely seems like something others would enjoy!

2019 Monthly Status Update: July

outdated_technology_update_required_thinkstock_871052724-100749659-largeJuly was HUGE! I got so much reading done. I had a vacation at the end of the month but had no internet so I’m just catching up on my blog posts today. Another reason I got so much reading done is that last month I discovered the Fated Mates podcast, which I’m now addicted to and am working my way through Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series. I’m only allowing myself to read one though for every ARC I get read, so it’s encouraging me to get my reading done faster! So anyways, here are some highlights from July for me:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 16
# pages read this month: 5,923
# books read year-to-date: 53
# pages read year-to-date: 18,081

Favorite Books I Read this Month:

I’ve been devouring Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series and have loved almost all those books so far (on #11 now). Other than that I also enjoyed Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient (4.5 stars), which I read on vacation, and Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham (4.5 stars).

Other Posts this month:

Summary Post – NERCA 2019
ARC August 2019 Reading Challenge Sign Up Post

Next Month TBR List:

Check out my ARC August 2019 Reading Challenge Sign Up Post which includes my reading list for August! Looking forward to a successful reading challenge this month!

ARC August 2019 Reading Challenge Sign Up Post

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Woo Hoo! ARC August is here again, and I can’t wait to dig into some of my backlog and my upcoming releases. I still have wayyyyy too many ARC’s from the past three years that I never got a chance to read, plus I missed the “deadline” for 12 additional ARCs so far in 2019. PLUS I have 6 ARCs scheduled to be read in August. SO you could say I have a lot of reading to accomplish! For those of you that don’t know, ARC August is a month-long reading challenge hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat. and the only participation requirement is reading ARC’s! I participated in this reading challenge for the last four years (20152016, 2017, and 2018), and every year this reading challenge has been super successful and productive. I hope to continue the productivity with this challenge this year since I have so much to read! I’ll be on a family vacation during the first few days of August and should be able to get a jump start on my reading for the month!

So here is the list I’m going to be working off of for this year’s challenge:

July & August 2019 ARC’s 

-Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson
-The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins
-The Arrangement by Robyn Harding
-A Highlander Walks Into a Bar by Laura Trentham
-The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney
-The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
-The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
-Outfox by Sandra Brown
-To the Stars and Back by Camilla Isley

I’m hoping to also possibly get to some backlog ARC’s from previous years, but I’m in the midst of a series right now so between that and the ARC’s I might not be able to make it to previous years’ backlogs. I’m looking forward to a lot of the books I have lined up for August though – I can’t wait to get to reading!

Summary post – NERCA 2019

Last winter I had the opportunity to participate as a reader in the Romance Writer’s of America New England Reader’s Choice Awards. I read 10 books as part of the process, and I won’t post on all of them here but wanted to briefly highlight a couple that I enjoyed.

51B4Jp4cJQLInnocent Target by Katie Reus – 4.0 stars

I thought this book had great chemistry between Axel and Hadley – their relationship developed fast but the tension between them lept off the page. There were a lot of side characters mentioned – I’m fairly sure that they would have starred in their own novels in the series but I didn’t find that not having read them took away from my enjoyment of the book at all. This was a good read and I would recommend it.

 

51mlyPJrCoLEnter the Duke by Grace Callaway – 4.75 stars

I really liked this novel! Maggie was so nuanced and such a strong character, but also loving and vulnerable. And her daughter Glory was perfectly precocious. I just loved all the characters in this novel, and the plot was so exciting. There was action and adventure (a kick butt treasure hunt!) and lots of love. Both love through family interactions and relationship development but also through the hero and heroine’s romance unfolding. This book had an engaging story and a great cast of characters. I enjoyed it a lot and I’d recommend it!

 

41MsyU+JKaLFree to Dream by Tracey Jerald – 4.0 stars

This was a much darker story than I usually read but I did end up lot it. The story was engaging and ultimately a sweet read. I didn’t want to put it down! Cassidy had an interesting family also – I’m guessing at least some of them have their own stories eventually as well. And I loved that the ending of this book was realistic and involved the hero and heroine being in couple’s therapy to work through their issues. I also loved how climactic the ending was – I didn’t piece some of it together until the end (always nice to have a surprising plot twist included. This was a good read and I’d recommend it (be warned though that the book has some very dark pieces to it).

 

I had a great time participating in this and I hope I get to be a reader for it again next year.