Weekly Wrap Up: October 14th through October 20th 2018

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Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

Until We Are Free (Until #1)

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

Limits

The Lost Thorn

Aaru: Halls of Hel (The Aaru Cycle #2)

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

The Corner of Holly and Ivy—review coming October 30th, 2018

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

Dear Santa—-review coming October 16th, 2018

Dear Santa: A Novel

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Limits—review here

Limits

The Last Thorn—review here

The Lost Thorn

Dear Santa—review here

Rough & Ready—review here

Rough & Ready (Lightning Book 3) by [Wolff, Tracy]

Aaru: Halls of Hel—review here

Aaru: Halls of Hel (The Aaru Cycle #2)

The Christmas Star—review here

The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)

Mr. Nice Guy—review here

Mr. Nice Guy

 

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #13)

 

The Girl He Used to Know

 

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

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The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope: Book 9) by Donna VanLiere

The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)

3 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: October 16th, 2018

Genre: General Fiction, Christian

Series: Christmas Hope

The Christmas Shoes—Book 1

The Christmas Blessing—Book 2

The Christmas Hope—Book 3

The Christmas Promise—Book 4

The Christmas Secret—Book 5

The Christmas Note—Book 6

The Christmas Light—Book 7

The Christmas Town—Book 8

The Christmas Star—Book 9

Where you can find The Christmas Star: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Hope series comes another heartwarming, inspirational story for the holidays.

Thirty-two-year-old Amy Denison volunteers at Glory’s Place, an after school program where she meets seven-year-old Maddie, a precocious young girl who has spent her childhood in foster care. Unbeknownst to Amy, Maddie is a mini-matchmaker, with her eye on just the right man for Amy at Grandon Elementary School, where she is a student. Amy is hesitant – she’s been hurt before, and isn’t sure she’s ready to lose her heart again – but an unexpected surprise makes her reconsider her lonely lifestyle.

As Christmas nears and the town is blanketed in snow and beautiful decorations, Maddie and the charming staff at Glory’s Place help Amy to see that romance can be more than heartache and broken promises.

In The Christmas Star, Donna VanLiere delivers yet another sweet, joyous story that is sure to capture readers’ hearts.


My review:

It seems like I am reading and reviewing a lot of Christmas books lately. Christmas is one of my favorite holidays and I like reading books that put me in the holiday mood. Especially when it is the middle of October, in the mid to high 80’s and as humid as it is in mid-August. So, yes, I enjoyed reading The Christmas Star.

The Christmas Star is a cute second chance romance, even though it isn’t billed as one. Amy is volunteering at an after-school program called Glory’s Place. It is there that she meets Maddie, an adorable 7-year-old who has spent her entire life in foster care. Gabriel is a custodian at a local elementary school. He knows Maddie from school and has become fast friends with her. Maddie is not so subtle about them meeting. And when they do, surprise doesn’t even cover what they both felt. See, Amy and Gabriel were married and had gotten divorced. They try to stay apart but life keeps throwing them together. What will happen to them? Will they rekindle their romance? Or will they go their separate ways?


What I Liked About The Christmas Star:

What did I like about The Christmas Star? Hmmm, let me think for a minute. I liked reading this book and finding myself smiling during certain scenes. Mainly the ones with Maddie in them. I loved that little girl. I liked most of the characters. I liked that it was set during Christmas (duh…lol). I also liked that it was a second chance romance, even though it wasn’t billed as one. But, what I liked the most, is that there was no sex in this book at all. It was 100% a clean book. I also liked that this book was a Christian book. I liked that Christianity was discussed but not pushed down my throat.

To Recap:

  1. Certain scenes made me smile
  2. Most of the characters
  3. It was set during Christmas
  4. A second chance romance
  5. Zero sex. Not even kissing!!
  6. A Christian book but didn’t overwhelm me as I read it.

What I Disliked About The Christmas Star:

There were things that I didn’t like about this book. I was confused about why Amy and Gabriel’s relationship ended. There were two explanations. One was dumbed down to a 7-year-old (I wasn’t a good husband). The other one was when Gabriel was thinking about the past (I was a bad husband and I drank too much). I figured Gabriel drank too much but what else happened? I also didn’t like that Lauren and Travis’s story took over the book. That is something I cannot stand when I am reading a series of books. Those characters and that storyline should have been regulated to the background. I also didn’t like how happy Amy’s parents were about certain things that happened at the end of the book. Even though Gabe talked to them for 5 hours, it still struck a chord on my BS meter. And the last thing: The adoption. I know people who have adopted out of foster care before and it took months (even uncontested). There were so many hurdles that they had to jump through it wasn’t even funny. So to have one go through in under a month didn’t ring true to me.

To Recap:

  1. Confused about why Amy and Gabriel’s relationship ended
  2. Lauren and Travis’s relationship being one of the main storylines
  3. How happy Amy’s parents were about what happened at the end of the book
  4. The adoption. Not a realistic situation

What I rated the book and why:

I gave The Christmas Star a 3-star rating. I enjoyed reading the book and thought it was a sweet story. I loved that it was set around Christmas. I also liked this book was 100% clean. There was no sex. Don’t get me wrong, I loved me some sex but in this case, the book didn’t need it. But there were some things that I didn’t like about this book. The main thing, which affected the rating, was the adoption at the end of the book. It was not realistic. My other reasons were what I felt personally about certain things in the book and listed above.

I would give The Christmas Star an Older Teen rating. There is no sex or sexual situations. There is no language. There is no violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread The Christmas Star. I am also on the fence if I would recommend this book to family and friends


Other stuff:

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Christmas Star.

All opinions stated in this review of The Christmas Star are mine.

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


Have you read The Christmas Star?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Weekly Wrap Up: October 7th through October 13th 2018

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Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

Dear Santa: A Novel

Tetterbaum's Truth (Just Call Me Angel Book 1)

Days of Reign

 

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):’

The Christmas Star—review coming October 16th, 2018

The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Tetterbaum’s Truth—review here

Tetterbaum's Truth (Just Call Me Angel Book 1)

Days of Reign—review here

Days of Reign

The Forbidden Door—review here

The Forbidden Door (Jane Hawk, #4)

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Little Darlings

The Storyteller's Throne

A Nanny for Harry

The Reckoning: A Thriller

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Accidents Happen

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

WWW Wednesday: October 3rd, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

Personal: Nothing much. Reading: I have come to the conclusion that I need to join a support group for people who download free Kindle books and just let them sit there…lol. I have downloaded so much, it isn’t even funny. On top of all the ARC’s I have waiting to review, I will never get to them. Oh well, lol.


What I am currently reading:

America's Sweetheart (Real Love, #5)

click on the picture for Amazon link

Old flames burn bright. When a disgraced starlet returns home to lick her wounds, she discovers that her high school sweetheart is just as tempting as ever.

“No one writes big-hearted bad boys like Jessica Lemmon!”—New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster

Allison: When I left for California, I gave myself a new name and never looked back. Now my carefully crafted good-girl image is getting torn to shreds in the press thanks to my Oscar-winning A-hole of an ex-boyfriend. So I escape to the only safe haven I know and trust—my hometown—to take a breather while I plot my triumphant Hollywood comeback. However, when I arrive at my parents’ house, Jackson Burke answers the door instead. And suddenly the past comes rushing back. . . .

Jackson: First kiss. First time. First love. Yep, Allison Murphy and I shared a lot of firsts back in the day. When she left, she took half my heart with her. Now she’s back in town, and even though I swore I’d keep my distance, her parents hired me to remodel their house, and I’m going to finish the job. But one hot kiss later, suddenly the press is calling us the next big celebrity couple. Sure, I’ll play the part, for Allison’s sake—but I refuse to let her close enough to break my heart all over again. . . .

 


What I finished reading:

The Wartime Sisters

Click on the picture for Amazon link

Two estranged sisters, raised in Brooklyn and each burdened with her own shocking secret, are reunited at the Springfield Armory in the early days of WWII. While one sister lives in relative ease on the bucolic Armory campus as an officer’s wife, the other arrives as a war widow and takes a position in the Armory factories as a “soldier of production.” Resentment festers between the two, and secrets are shattered when a mysterious figure from the past reemerges in their lives.

 


What I am reading next (click on the pictures for Amazon links):

The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Hope series comes another heartwarming, inspirational story for the holidays.

Thirty-two-year-old Amy Denison volunteers at Glory’s Place, an after school program where she meets seven-year-old Maddie, a precocious young girl who has spent her childhood in foster care. Unbeknownst to Amy, Maddie is a mini-matchmaker, with her eye on just the right man for Amy at Grandon Elementary School, where she is a student. Amy is hesitant – she’s been hurt before, and isn’t sure she’s ready to lose her heart again – but an unexpected surprise makes her reconsider her lonely lifestyle.

As Christmas nears and the town is blanketed in snow and beautiful decorations, Maddie and the charming staff at Glory’s Place help Amy to see that romance can be more than heartache and broken promises.

In The Christmas Star, Donna VanLiere delivers yet another sweet, joyous story that is sure to capture readers’ hearts.

The Forbidden Door (Jane Hawk, #4)

When this relentless rogue FBI agent comes knocking, her adversaries will have to answer—with their lives—in the latest thrilling Jane Hawk novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Corner.

“We’re rewriting the play, and the play is this country, the world, the future. We break Jane’s heart, we’ll also break her will.”

She was one of the FBI’s top agents until she became the nation’s most-wanted fugitive. Now Jane Hawk may be all that stands between a free nation and its enslavement by a powerful secret society’s terrifying mind-control technology. She couldn’t save her husband, or the others whose lives have been destroyed, but equipped with superior tactical and survival skills—and the fury born of a broken heart and a hunger for justice—Jane has struck major blows against the insidious cabal.

But Jane’s enemies are about to hit back hard. If their best operatives can’t outrun her, they mean to bring her running to them, using her five-year-old son as bait. Jane knows there’s no underestimating their capabilities, but she must battle her way back across the country to the remote shelter where her boy is safely hidden . . . for now.

As she moves resolutely forward, new threats begin to emerge: a growing number of brain-altered victims driven hopelessly, violently insane. With the madness spreading like a virus, the war between Jane and her enemies will become a fight for all their lives—against the lethal terror unleashed from behind the forbidden door.

Don’t miss any of Dean Koontz’s gripping Jane Hawk thrillers:
THE SILENT CORNER • THE WHISPERING ROOM • THE CROOKED STAIRCASE • THE FORBIDDEN DOOR • THE NIGHT WINDOW (Coming Soon!)

 


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

WWW Wednesday: September 26th 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

Nothing much. All is good with my family. Readingwise, I have fallen slightly behind on my reviews. Nothing that couldn’t be fixed by doing some reviews over the weekend. Another reason I have fallen behind…I forgot that I had blog tours. So, I had to rearrange my schedule to get those down asap.


What I am currently reading:

A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)

click on the picture for Amazon link


What I finished reading:

The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)

 

Click on the picture for Amazon link


What I am reading next (click on the pictures for Amazon links):

The Rain WatcherAfter the FireRough & Ready (Lightning, #3)First Earl I See Tonight (Debutante Diaries, #1)The Wartime SistersAmerica's Sweetheart (Real Love, #5)The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)The Forbidden Door (Jane Hawk, #4)


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

Weekly Wrap Up: September 9th through September 15th

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

In the Mood Fur Love

Drawn to the Marquess (Imperfect Lords, #2)

The Ancient Nine

Books I’ve Reviewed (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Drawn to the Marquess—review here

Drawn to the Marquess (Imperfect Lords, #2)

 

The Ancient Nine—review coming September 24th

The Ancient Nine

Worldwielder—review here

Worldwielder

I Do Not Trust You—review here

I Do Not Trust You

 

Lies—review here

Lies

Dead Girl’s Don’t Love—review here

Dead Girls Don't Love

Carbon Replacements—review here

Carbon Replacements (The McAllister Justice Series #4)

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Rend (Riven, #2)

Perfectly Inappropriate

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane

 

The Girls at 17 Swann Street

The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)

The Perfect Liar

Email Request (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Spirit of Prophecy: Paranormal and Sci-Fi Crime

Pandemonium

The Wizard's Gift

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Musical Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday