Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag—July 2019

I have been seeing this come up a ton on the blogs that I follow. So I figured, why not!! So, here I go!!

Goodreads Challenge

Since I am technology impared today (I can’t get my Goodreads challenge to show up here), here are my stats:

I have read 120 books out of 250. I am 48% done with my challenge and am 7 books behind schedule. Which isn’t bad considering I had some real life challenges thrown my way!!

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2019

This is a hard one. I have read so many good books this year. But the winner is:

Glory Bishop by [King, Deborah L.]
click here for my review

I loved this book. It struck a nerve with me while reading it and I couldn’t stop thinking about it after I was done.

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2019

Crown Of Contempt (Novi Navarro Chronicles, #2)
click here for my review

I absolutely loved this sequel. Loved, loved, loved it!!

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To

The Farm: A Novel by [Ramos, Joanne]

This is on my must read list. I keep seeing reviews for it on blogs I follow. As soon as I am done with my backlog, this will be the first book I read.

Most Anticipated Release of the Second Half of 2019

The Grace Year


The Girl the Sea Gave Back

I was psyched when I got approved for The Grace Year. I was also psyched when my wish got granted for The Girl the Sea Gave Back. Hoping that these books are as good as the blurbs make them out to me.

Biggest Disappointment:

Let's Talk About Sext (Let's Talk About Sext, #1)
Review here

Awful female main character, pushover male main character, lack of any sort of sexual attraction. Just a small bit of what disappointed me about this book. Which is sad because I had read Evie Claire’s books before and loved them.

I thought that the story itself was good. But I couldn’t get past the main characters.

Biggest Surprise

Darwin's Cipher
review here

I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did. I couldn’t put the book down!!

Favorite New to You or Debut Author:

Kingdom of Exiles (The Beast Charmer, #1)
review here

I devoured this book and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

Favorite Crush:

Touch of Smoke

Owen Amir – A Touch of Smoke. He was the complete package. He was head over heels for Rikki. He also risked everything for her.

Favorite Character:

I got two from the same book:

Cruel Intentions (Rydeville High Elite #1)
my review here

Abby: She was tough as nails and didn’t back down from anyone. I loved her!!

Cam: Even though he was a jerk for most of the book, I loved him.

Book That Made You Cry:

Mrs. Everything
my review here

Book That Made You Happy:

Can't Stand the Heat? (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 2)
my review here


Keeping Lucy: A Novel

Book to Movie Adaptation:

Eh, I just realized that I haven’t seen any book to movie adaptations so far this year.

Favorite Blog Post of Mine:

People really seem to still be digging my review of The Sweetest Oblivion. Since I don’t do discussion posts (I would rather read), that will have to do.

Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year?

My review of Cruel Intentions. I loved that book!!!

Most Beautiful Book You Bought or Received So Far This Year?

I won these two books off of Goodreads. Which never happens, so I am excited to be showing them off…lol.

I'll Never Tell


Southern Sass and Killer Cravings (Marygene Brown #1)

What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year?

Oh boy, that is a loaded question. So, I’ll just take a few off of my “waiting to be review pile” that haven’t been on here yet

Steel Crow Saga
Nocturne in Ashes (Riley Forte #1)
The Orchid Throne (Forgotten Empires, #1)

This is where I am supposed to tag people. But, instead, I am going to leave this open ended. Can’t wait to read everyone’s!!

Weekly Wrap Up (6-24-18 to 7-1-18)

Books I’ve Read

The Dream Daughter

I Think I Love You (Oxford, #5)


Inconclusive Evidence

Rough Ride (True Brothers MC, #4)

Books I’ve Reviewed

The Sweetest Oblivion

The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)

Every Time You Go Away (review coming July 25th, 2018)

Every Time You Go Away

Broken Promise

Broken Promise (Sons of Broad #3)


Visionaries (Mud, Rocks and Trees, #5)

Before and Again

Before and Again

One for the Rogue

One for the Rogue (Studies in Scandal, #4)

Malevolent Sadness

Malevolent Sadness: A Paranormal Suspense Thriller

NetGalley Haul

Bright Ruin (Dark Gifts #3)

The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo (Victorian Rebels, #6)

Email Requests


Weekly Posts:

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Weekly Wrap Up

The Sweetest Oblivion (Made: Book 1) by Danielle Lori

The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)

5 Stars


Date of publication: June 20th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: Made

The Sweetest Oblivion – Book 1

Where you can find The Sweetest Oblivion: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

She’s a romantic at heart, living in the most unromantic of worlds . . .

Nicknamed Sweet Abelli for her docile nature, Elena smiles on cue and has a charming response for everything. She’s the favored daughter, the perfect mafia principessa . . . or was.

Now, all she can see in the mirror’s reflection is blood staining her hands like crimson paint.

They say first impressions are everything . . .

In the murky waters of New York’s underworld, Elena’s sister is arranged to marry Nicolas Russo. A Made Man, a boss, a cheat—even measured against mafia standards. His reputation stretches far and wide and is darker than his black suits and ties. After his and Elena’s first encounter ends with an accidental glare on her part, she realizes he’s just as rude as he is handsome.

She doesn’t like the man or anything he stands for, though that doesn’t stop her heart from pattering like rain against glass when he’s near, nor the shiver that ghosts down her spine at the sound of his voice.

And he’s always near. Telling her what to do. Making her feel hotter than any future brother-in-law should. Elena may be the Sweet Abelli on the outside, but she’s beginning to learn she has a taste for the darkness, for rough hands, cigarettes, and whiskey-colored eyes. Having already escaped one scandal, however, she can hardly afford to be swept up in another.

Besides, even if he were hers, everyone knows you don’t fall in love with a Made Man . . . right?

This is a standalone forbidden romance.

My review:

Image result for it doesn't work that way gif

I can’t even begin to explain how much I loved this book. Before I get into that, let me explain something. I do not like Mafia romances. They don’t ring true with me. All the Mafia based romances that I have read have been unrealistic. Why unrealistic? Because most of the scenarios that were portrayed in those books wouldn’t happen. <Shrug> I like my books a little more realistic. I don’t need to read about Don’s who walk away from the Mob because they fall in love. It doesn’t work that way.

So back to why I loved The Sweetest Oblivion so much. It was as close to life as one could get with a book. The characters were human. While they did bad things, they weren’t necessarily bad. Plus, it was dark. And you all know that the darker the romance, the more delicious it can be. And that was the case with The Sweetest Oblivion. I also connected with Elena. And let’s not forget the sex!!! Totally hot and well worth the wait!!

With the good, there is also the bad. I didn’t like the violence in the book. There were some scenes that made me gag. I didn’t like how the women were treated. I am far from a feminist but I couldn’t wrap my head around being driven everywhere and having a bodyguard. I also couldn’t wrap my head around why Elena was considered unfit for marriage. Why she wasn’t the favorite daughter anymore. I did want to yell “We don’t live in the Middle Ages anymore” at both Elena’s father and Nicolas.

Image result for mafia women meme

I liked Elena. She was tough. She had to be, growing up in a family like hers. I mean, if she could eat dessert after having a man get his head blown off while holding her, nothing could faze her. Her backstory was awful (well, besides being born into a Mafia family). The guilt she had over what happened to that boy was heartbreaking. She held onto the ring he gave her like it was a lifeline. I do think that she got the better deal in Nicolas. If she had ended up with Oscar <shudder>.

I didn’t like Nicolas during the first half of the book. He was lusting after Elena while being engaged to her younger sister. He treated her horribly the first half of the book. He was a man whore who slept with anything with a pair of tits. While he didn’t exactly flaunt it, it was well-known information. But, as the book went on, he started changing. It was after he got engaged to Elena and moved her into his house, that I started liking him.

The chemistry between Nicolas and Elena was insane. From the first meeting to the end of the book, they were on fire. What I liked is that the sexual tension between them didn’t fall apart after they slept together the first time. Instead, it got hotter. I swear my Kindle fogged up on a few of the sex scenes. What I also liked is that the sex came later in the book. The author chose to let that sexual tension build up. Loved it!!!

Image result for mafia love gif

The end of the book was great. The author did a great job of wrapping everything up. I was happy with what happens with Nicolas and Elena. I am looking forward to book 2!!

What I liked about The Sweetest Oblivion:

A) Relatable characters

B) Dark romance

C) Insanely hot sex

What I disliked about The Sweetest Oblivion:

A) The violence was a little too much in places

B) The scene with tiramisu. Can’t look at that dessert and say yum again.

C) The Middle-Aged treatment of women

I would give The Sweetest Oblivion an Adult Rating. There is explicit sex. There is explicit violence. There is language. I would highly recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Sweetest Oblivion. I would also recommend it to family and friends.

Image result for mafia love gif

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review The Sweetest Oblivion.

All opinions stated in this review of The Sweetest Oblivion are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

A Girl in Black and White (Alyria: Book 2) by Danielle Lori

A Girl in Black and White (Alyria #2)

5 Stars

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

Date of publication: August 15th, 2017

Genre: Fantasy, Suspense, Romance, New Adult

Number of pages: 296

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: Alyria

A Girl Named Calamity – Book 1 (review here)

A Girl in Black and White – Book 2

Where you can find A Girl in Black and White: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

My once upon a time didn’t end with happily ever after—but with blood-stained hands and cold blue eyes. The story of my life had been laid beneath my feet since childhood, but until death, I’d never known that road was paved with stones called lies. 

In this city of sun and heat, cloaked in dark, both inside and out, I became somebody other than Farm Girl. There was no assassin behind my back. No, my shackles were just as tight but came in a different form. 

Like Death’s icy fingers running down my spine, the ones that had gripped me for months, my past haunted my present in the guise of nostalgia. My old chains still left marks on my skin, their owner’s gaze following behind. But he didn’t know I lived. He didn’t know I was so close, that I heard his name spoken every day. That I still hated him. Until my hate started tasting suspiciously different. 

One mistake and everything I’d created unraveled. A liar. Corruptor. He stood in front of me now. The air was heavy with expectation, tense with the possibilities of how this would unfold, of what he would do.

But there was always two sides to every story, and maybe in this version, the corruptor wasn’t him, but me. 

*This should be read after A Girl Named Calamity. 
Warning: explicit sexual content, violence, and profanity.

Trigger Warning: None

Continue reading “A Girl in Black and White (Alyria: Book 2) by Danielle Lori”

A Girl Named Calamity (Alyria: Book 1) by Danielle Lori

Title: A Girl Name Calamity

Author: Danielle Lori


Date of publication: July 13th, 2016

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

Number of pages: 259

POV: 1st person

Series: Alyria

A Girl Named Calamity – Book 1

A Girl in Black and White – Book 2

Where you can find A Girl Named Calamity: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

*This is a New Adult Fantasy Romance*

I was a simple farm girl living in the magical land, Alyria, where men ruled and women only existed.

Call me sheltered. Call me naive. I was probably both. I never expected to be the key to Alyria’s destruction.

The journey I was on wasn’t only one to save me. But one where I had a lot of learning to do. With men. With magic. And with myself.

But I wasn’t alone. I had an escort. One I wasn’t so sure about. But one I couldn’t afford to lose and one I wasn’t so sure I could even leave.

I had many hopes. But the most important one was that my name wouldn’t become my fate.

WARNING: This novel contains blood, violence, profanity, and some sexual content.
It does end on a cliffhanger.

Trigger Warning: None

Continue reading “A Girl Named Calamity (Alyria: Book 1) by Danielle Lori”