It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

t’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at The Book Date.

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.


Happy Monday (well, as happy as a Monday can be…lol) everyone and I hope you all had a great weekend!!

This weekend was kind of laid-back for us. It was super hot on Friday. The temp was 96 with the real feel temp being 106. Miss R did have her horseback riding lessons but the lesson was shortened and the instructor asked for it to be earlier in the day (when it was more cooler).

Saturday, we hit Sam’s Club. Our pandemic supply of toilet paper and paper towels had finally been demolished (before the pandemic hit, I accidentally bought two things each of toilet paper and paper towels) and we needed more. Of course, once you’re there, you can’t just buy what you came for. We ended up with baguettes, a huge thing of grill spice, an 80 pack of water on top of the tp/paper towels. Then we came home and hibernated (aka watched the Olympics all day).

Sunday was a bit cooler. Miss B had her final 2 hours of driving (she drove highway and did fantastic!!). She completed the course and now we are waiting for September to roll around to get her permit (the DMV here is scheduling Teen 1 testing a month out). Then, she’s driving. Other than that, we relaxed.

We take Mama Cat (or Sarah, the rescue named her) to the vet tomorrow. It has been very stressful. I worried because of the heat (we opened our outdoor storage to help her cool down) and I currently worry because I’m afraid she’ll disappear. I also took out the cat carrier and found out that she is very food orientated. She likes treats and went right into the carrier when I placed treats in it. So, hopefully (knock on wood), I will have no issues with crating her tomorrow. After she is spayed and gotten shots, she is going to a friend of mine for temporary fostering. Then, when I get the email from the rescue, I take her to the transport and she goes off to her new life!!!

I finished 5 books last week which is really good for me. I am hoping to read 5 more this week also.

I have been writing books reviews like a madwoman. But, you guys have only seen two of them….lol. Even with me busting my butt writing, I am still behind 3 reviews….sigh.


What I am Reading Now:

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Their back! Julian and Rome are taking their show on the road. This time it is to lovely old England in search of Camelot. While there the Knight and Dragon will be trying to solve the mystery of the Talismans, the mystery of their shadowy stalker and the mystery of sibling rivalry. Prepare to meet some new faces and, of course, some new Darkbrands as the two further their adventures across the pond.

What I plan on reading this week:

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Hospital orderly Owen Cloud falls in love, and to him it seems someone has turned up the volume on the Buzz of Being. Everything is as is always was, only more. Three women he meets help him advance through three phases of love–passion, friendship, and finally generosity of heart.
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Flirting with evil will be the ruination of her soul.

Goodness is much easier to corrupt than it is to hold on to. And for Natasha, a woman reeling from the pain of losing a loved one, evil is all the more tempting. Luck or misfortune spirits Natasha away to the foreign Court of Velaris in a quest for a suitor but instead secures her a place among Velarian royalty. Craving revenge, Natasha makes use of this opportunity to enact her plans as she navigates the lush court where aristocracy is a double-edged blade. But when she befriends her soon-to-be husband Mikhail, the Beloved Prince, Natasha makes a deadly mistake. She captures the attention of the debonair Darkling Prince; a villainous man meant to ascend the Velarian throne.

Enamored, the Darkling Prince charms Natasha, and soon the two feel a forbidden emotion captivate their stoic, scabrous hearts. But with the existence of a violent rebel group capable of cataclysmic damage, there is little time for love. With war brewing amidst the enigmatic kingdom, the royals must become all the more cunning and devious if they wish to triumph over their adversaries. What draws the insidious line between right and wrong when it comes to a battle of survival? For Natasha, nothing is too far, too light, too bloody, too evil.

Soon, the only reflection Natasha sees in her mirror’s beveled glass is that of an Evil Queen. Often, the cost of survival is more frightening than the beasts of death. But that’s what gives the Queen of Shadow’s beauty an edge: she wears her darkness adorned about her throat like the grandest of all diamonds, ebony, and bloodred in shade.
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If you play with fire…

One of the most notorious cowboys in Cold River, Jensen Kittredge always has willing women with sweet smiles vying for a place in his bed. So when the prissy high school librarian sidles up to him in the most disreputable bar in town with a scowl on her face, he has no idea what to make of it. Much less the attraction he feels toward the bespectacled creature who wants something from him… but not that.
Yet.

Someone gets burned…

Harriett Barnett doesn’t care for dens of iniquity– or the insolent cowboy she certainly shouldn’t find attractive. But one of her students needs her help, and if she needs to corral the infamous Jensen to save him, she will. Trouble is, the town’s favorite Kittredge brother is a lot more than she bargained for. Harriett’s happy little life is orderly and neat, just how she likes it–until Jensen blows it all apart with his particular brand of addictive passion. Can a modern-day schoolmarm really tame the wildest cowboy in town? Or is Harriet headed for a terrible fall?
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Millie Mosbach and her brother David escaped to the United States just before Kristallnacht, leaving their parents and little sister in Berlin. Now they are both back in their former hometown, haunted by ghosts and hoping against hope to find their family. Millie works in the office responsible for rooting out the most dedicated Nazis from publishing. Like most of their German-born American colleagues, the siblings suffer from rage at Germany and guilt at their own good fortune. Only Millie’s boss, Major Harry Sutton, seems strangely eager to be fair to the Germans.
Living and working in bombed-out Berlin, a latter day Wild West where the desperate prey on the unsuspecting; spies ply their trade; black markets thrive, and forbidden fraternization is rampant, Millie must come to terms with a past decision made in a moment of crisis, and with the enigmatic sometimes infuriating Major Sutton who is mysteriously understanding of her demons. Atmospheric and page-turning, The Living and the Lost is a story of survival, love, and forgiveness, of others and of self.
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Running the Spark House, a hotel/event space that has been in her family for years, has been Avery Spark’s lifelong dream. After years of working hard and making personal sacrifices, Avery and her two younger sisters have turned the Spark House into the premier destination in Colorado Springs. Avery is living her best life—she works with her sisters and loves every minute of it, she has a great group of friends, and she lives in a fantastic condo with her best friend Declan. She might not have any love in her life, but she’s happy.

But everything comes to a screeching halt when Avery is in a car accident, leaving her immobile for weeks. After nearly losing Avery, Declan insists that he will be the one to take care of her while she recovers. However, as Declan becomes Avery’s caretaker, lines begin to blur.

Avery and Declan have been best friends since college and always had an attraction to one another, but when she ended up dating his best friend, Sam, they successfully stamped down any feelings they may have ever had for one another. Now, as Declan and Avery spend more time together, they each begin to wonder what would’ve happened if she’d dated him instead of Sam. What starts as a friend helping out another friend turns into foreplay and, before they realize it, they recognize how deeply they care for one another. But when things get serious their past threatens to destroy everything they have built.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Nature on the Cover

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

She assigns each Tuesday a topic and then posts her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


I was happy that today’s TTT prompt was pretty easy. There are hundreds of books that have nature themes on their covers. I decided that I was going to use my library TBR and my NetGalley TBR for this prompt. If I don’t have enough on those, then onto my regular TBR!!

For nature covers, what do you like? Beaches? Woods? Flowers? Lakes? Let me know!!

So, here are my choices!! Enjoy


1. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

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2. Her Renegade Cowboy by Lora Leigh

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3. All Night Long with a Cowboy by Caitlin Crews

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4. Princess Charming by Nicole Jordan

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5. Frangipani by Celestine Hitiura Vaite

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6. The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

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7. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

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8. One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus

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9. Every Sky a Grave by Jay Posey

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10. Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibanez

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The Last Real Cowboy (Cold River Ranch: Book 3) by Caitlin Crews

The Last Real Cowboy (Cold River Ranch Book 3) by [Crews, Caitlin]

3.5 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: January 28th, 2020

Genre: Romance

Series: Cold River Ranch

A True Cowboy Christmas—Book 1 (Review Here)

Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy—Book 2 (Review Here)

The Last Real Cowboy—Book 3

Where you can find The Last Real Cowboy: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

In Cold River, sometimes forbidden love is the sweetest of them all…

Perennial good girl Amanda Kittredge knows that her longtime crush on Brady Everett was never really supposed to go anywhere. But when Brady comes home to Cold River during Amanda’s first attempt at independence, well, who better to teach her about rebellion than her older brother’s bad-boy best friend?

Brady’s plans did not include being forced to work the family homestead for a year–and yet, here he is. And, to make matters worse, his best friend’s innocent little sister is making a menace of herself in the most grown-up, tempting ways. When Amanda begs Brady to teach her about men, he knows he should refuse. But could Brady’s greatest temptation be his salvation?


First Line:

Brady Everett was the insufferable, patronizing, sadly all-too-gorgeous bane of Amanda Kittredge’s existence.

The Last Real Cowboy by Caitlin Crews

My Review:

The major plotline for The Last Real Cowboy centered around Brady and Amanda’s romance. The author chose to have that plotline go at a medium pace, which was more than OK with me. There was some lag towards the end of the book. I wasn’t thrilled with it, but the author was able to get the book back on track, so I dealt with it.

I am going to put up a quick trigger warning. Brady suffered intense emotional and verbal abuse by his father. The author didn’t hold back any punches when it came to writing what Angus did to him. Those were some of the most intense scenes of the book, and I will admit, I sobbed through them all. So, read with care if that type of abuse triggers you.

Brady was an enigma in Grey and Ty’s books. He was portrayed as someone who could care less about the ranch. I will admit, I was curious about how he would come across in the book. I was surprised when his character turned out to be the exact opposite of the previous two books. I felt terrible because he did have some legitimate business opportunities, and he got bullied/laughed at by his brothers. That was hard to read because they were continuing what Angus was doing to him.

I thought that Amanda was immature and impulsive for most of the book. But, once I got to thinking about it, I would have been the same way if I had four older brothers breathing down my neck. While she did mature throughout the book, her impulsiveness stayed. That impulsiveness was crucial towards the end of the book.

I did think that Brady and Amanda were a good couple, right from the beginning. They complimented each other. I loved that Amanda wasn’t afraid to go to bat for her man when the going got tough. I wouldn’t want to piss her off, that’s for certain. That scene was the best in the entire book.

The sexual attraction between Brady and Amanda was immediate and red hot. Of course, Brady did try to reign it in (because of her brothers), but Amanda kept chipping away at his defenses. That sexual attraction morphed into some intense sexual chemistry. The author was smart and built that chemistry up. So when they did have sex, it was explosive.

The plotline about Brady and the ranch was sad. As I mentioned above, his father abused him. He ensured that Brady would continue to be outcast by his brothers after his death. His college education was used against him time and time again. There was a point in the book where I did wonder why Brady was staying.

While The Last Real Cowboy is the last book in a series, it can be read as a standalone. But I would strongly suggest reading the first two books. It explains more about Angus and the brothers’ relationships.

I do wonder if Amanda’s brothers will be getting their books. If they do, I want to read it. They were a massive presence in The Last Real Cowboy!!

I wasn’t thrilled with the ending of The Last Real Cowboy. While everything happened the way I thought it did, I was left with a feeling that it was rushed.


I would give The Last Real Cowboy an Adult rating. There are sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Last Real Cowboy. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy (Cold River Ranch: Book 2) by Caitlin Crews

Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy (Cold River Ranch Book 2) by [Crews, Caitlin]

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: July 30th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Cold River Ranch

A True Cowboy Christmas—Book 1 (review here)

Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy—Book 2

The Last Real Cowboy—Book 3 (expected publication date: January 28th, 2020)

Where you can find Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

A game of pretend with the highest stakes of all in the latest novel of breathtaking romance from USA Today bestselling author Caitlin Crews

Ty Everett ran off to the rodeo when he turned eighteen and has been riding bulls ever since…until his last fall causes partial amnesia and he must return to Cold River Ranch to figure out what comes next. But how can he pick his next move when he can’t remember how he got here in the first place—much less the beautiful woman who appears at the ranch, claims she knows him, and warms his cold heart for the first time since he woke up in the hospital?

Rodeo Queen Hannah Monroe gave up her crown for Ty Everett, and her innocence. What she wants from Ty now is a divorce. But Ty can’t remember her—or their secret wedding, or even the son she never meant to hide from him—and Hannah is torn. How can she leave the man she can’t forget and still loves despite herself? And even if she’s willing to start over, what will happen when the truth comes out?


First Line:

Hannah Leigh Monroe—which wasn’t her actual, legal married name, because she didn’t quite know if she was actually, legally married any longer—had been driving up and down the same county road in the Longhorn Valley outside of Cold River, Colorado, this pretty summer for going on two straight hours.

Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy—Caitlin Crewes

My Review:

Plot:

Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy’s plot was simple. A former rodeo queen goes searching for her husband after two years apart. She wants a divorce. Tracking him to his family’s ranch in Colorado, the rodeo queen makes a startling discovery. The former bull rider suffers from partial amnesia. He doesn’t remember anything from the past two years, which includes their marriage. She has some hard decisions to make. Will she give him another chance? Or will her secrets push them apart?

I enjoyed Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy’s plotline. It was simple and to the point. It was the simpleness of the plotline which made the book stand out to me. I didn’t have to remember a ton of plotlines. Just the main one and a few secondary plotlines.

Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy’s plotline was moderately paced. There were times where the plotline seemed to drag. There were also other times where the plotline seemed to go fast. There were no dropped storylines, but there was a bit of a lag in the middle of the book.

I liked the secondary plotlines in the book. I did find that they were a bit sad. They were merged with the main storyline flawlessly.

I liked that Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy was set in Colorado. I felt that it was the perfect place for Ty and Hannah’s story to take place.


Characters

Hannah: My feelings for her were mixed. On the one hand, I did feel bad for her because of what she went through. But on the other hand, I didn’t like how she handled the whole Ty situation (keeping the baby a secret). But, I started to like her after how she dealt with Brady. By the end of the book, I loved her. She put everyone, including Ty, in their place. I did think that her Southern sass was too much at times, but that’s me.

Ty: He was a hot mess for most of the book. He was abused by his father growing up. The lack of self-esteem and self-confidence that his father hammered into him was evident during the entire book. His actions kept showing that. He became everything that his father said he would be and then some. Becoming a bull rider was the tip of the iceberg with him.

I didn’t like Hannah’s mother. She was bitter. Her scenes with Hannah left a bad taste in my mouth.

Even though he was dead, Amos was also a considerable part of the book. He lived on in Ty’s head. It was Amos’s voice that urged Ty to do the things he did. I wanted to cry during those scenes. That man did so much harm to Ty and all because he looked like his mother.

Brady was also featured in this book. I wasn’t fond of him. While I understood where he was coming from each time he went toe-to-toe with Hannah, it left me shaking my head. I am not letting how he acted in this book color how I look at him in his book.


Thoughts on the book:

I enjoyed reading Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy. I thought it was a fantastic fit in the romance category. Even with three troupes in the book (secret spouse, secret baby, and amnesia), it was still able to deliver on the romance.

Hannah and Ty had instant chemistry and sexual attraction. They were apparent the minute she confronted him at the ranch. What I found refreshing was that the author had Hannah and Ty hold off on having sex until halfway through the book.

Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy was a great romance. Even though it had the three troupes that I don’t like/are getting sick of, I still enjoyed reading it. There were things that I didn’t like. I didn’t like how Hannah and Ty didn’t discuss their issues. I didn’t like how most of the book were Hannah/Ty talking about how they felt, in their head. I didn’t like Hannah keeping Jack a secret. I didn’t like what Hannah’s mother did. I most definitely didn’t like what Ty did at the end of the book.


I would give Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**