Weekly Wrap Up: October 28th through November 3rd 2018

Weekly wrap-up banner

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

Pandemonium

The Wizard's Gift

Black Diamond Fall

The Storyteller's Throne

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

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

The Wizard’s Gift—review here

The Wizard's Gift by Michael Waller

Black Diamond Fall—review here

Black Diamond Fall

Kiss Me at Christmas—review here

A True Cowboy Christmas—review here

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

The Corner of Holly and Ivy—review here

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

The Storyteller’s Throne—review here

The Storyteller's Throne

The Rain Watcher—review here

The Rain Watcher

A Nanny for Harry—review here

A Nanny for Harry

Stripped Down—review here

Stripped Down

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

Foam On The Crest Of Waves

The Night Before

You Are The Everything

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

Deadly Cage—Tom Howard (No Amazon/Email page yet)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

 Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

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Stripped Down (Tap That: Book 1) by Erin McCarthy

Stripped Down

3.5 Stars

Publisher: 

Date of publication: October 29th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: Tap That

Stripped Down–book 1

Where you can find Stripped Down: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | BookBub

Goodreads synopsis:

His best friend’s hot older sister.
Her younger brother’s annoying sidekick.
And one forbidden kiss in high school…

It was complicated back then. It’s even more so now.

Because former mean girl Sloane rolls back in town to find Rick stripping at a charity event like he was born with biceps.
And single dad Rick is her landlord.
And her brother will murder him if he has sex with her.

But sometimes you have to strip it all down to see what was there all along…


My review:

Rick and Sloane have a history. Sloane was a former mean girl who shared an earth-shattering kiss with her younger brother’s best friend. Rick was that friend and he has changed in the years since that kiss. Sloane is not looking to start a relationship. Hurt by a bitter divorce, all she wants is to be left alone. But that doesn’t happen. After seeing Rick stripping for a charity auction, Sloane needs to see if Rick lives up to the promise in his boxers. Rick wants to know if kissing Sloane now was as good as kissing her back then. Determined to keep each other in the friends with benefits zone, they both start to fall for each other. But can it last? Can Rick and Sloane keep it at sex? Or will it blow up in their faces?

I wasn’t too sure if I liked Rick and Sloane as a couple. I got rebound relationship vibes from them. Sloane was fresh from a divorce. Her ex-husband cheated on her and that made her feel like she wasn’t attractive. So, I wasn’t surprised when she ended up sleeping with Rick.

I thought it was hilarious that such a big deal was made about Rick’s package. I giggled through Sloane’s reaction to seeing it. I giggled through people saying that “he grew into it“. Seeing that I was in bed, I got some dirty looks from my SO because well, it was 11pm and I was laughing my fool butt off.

I liked that Rich thought himself to be a smooth operator. His confidence was awesome. His determination to sleep with Sloane was amazing, considering at his bestie threatened to rearrange his face. His one-liners to her were hilarious. But I also liked seeing his other side. His mature and responsible side. His devotion to his 9-year-old sister was amazing. I was saddened by the fact that he had to become her legal guardian at such a young age. But I was also saddened over the situation that led to it. His truth bomb on his father was something that needed to be said. It saddened me to see that he grew up like that but still. He was the complete package.

I felt bad for Sloane. I couldn’t imagine how she felt when her husband told her that he was cheating on her. Betrayed was the closest thing that I could come up with as a feeling. I didn’t blame her when she moved back to her hometown. I was a little surprised when she decided to hook up with Rick and then keep hooking up with him. I was also surprised when she started having feelings for him.

Sloane and Rick did have some unbelievable chemistry. From the minute their eyes met, it radiated from them. So I wasn’t too surprised that the sex was hot. I did think that Sloane was going to have a problem walking because Rick was so big (haha). The scene on the motorcycle was insane. I will never look at a motorcycle the same again.

The end of the book was a big “Eh” for me. I did think that Sullivan’s reaction after the Ferris Wheel scene was a bit much. Also, what is with everyone ditching the baby with Axl? Other than that, I liked the end of the book. It was sweet. Sloane deserved it.


I gave Stripped Down a 3.5-star rating. This was a fast read with memorable characters. There were some elements that I didn’t like. The ending didn’t resonate with me as much as I wanted it to. Also, I didn’t think that Rick and Sloane made a believable couple. Other than that, I enjoyed reading the book and look forward to book 2.

I would give Stripped Down an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is mild violence. There are some triggers in this book. They would be cheating and animal neglect/abuse. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book. Same goes if you are triggered too.

I would reread Stripped Down. I would also recommend this book to family and friends. I would include a warning about the triggers.


I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review Stripped Down.

All opinions stated in this review of Stripped Down are mine.

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


Have you read Stripped Down?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Weekly Wrap Up: October 21st through October 27th 2018

Weekly wrap-up banner

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

A Nanny for Harry

Kiss Me at Christmas (Playful Brides, #10)

Stripped Down

Big Stick (Aces Hockey, #7)

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #13)

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

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

Kiss Me at Christmas—review coming October 31st, 2018

Kiss Me at Christmas (Playful Brides, #10)

Stripped Down—review coming October 29th, 2018

Stripped Down

First Grave on the Right + Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Reread + Blog Tour)—review coming November 9th, 2018

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

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #13)

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

Our Life in the Forest—review here

Our Life in the Forest

Big Stick—review here

Big Stick (Aces Hockey, #7)

Until We Are Free—review here

Until We Are Free (Until #1)

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

Watcher in the Woods (Rockton, #4)

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

Stripped Down

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

WWW Wednesday: October 24th, 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: Two out of my three kids have been sick. On top of it, I am getting sick with the same thing. Yay…not.

Reading: Because of my kids being sick, I have fallen behind on review and reading. I also restructured my review schedule. I noticed that I had some blog tours coming up that I hadn’t read the books for. That took me about 1 1/2 days to do. Hopefully, once everything is settled (kids + me being sick), I can catch up on writing reviews.


What I am currently reading:

Stripped Down

click on the picture for Amazon link

His best friend’s hot older sister.
Her younger brother’s annoying sidekick.
And one forbidden kiss in high school…

It was complicated back then. It’s even more so now.

Because former mean girl Sloane rolls back in town to find Rick stripping at a charity event like he was born with biceps.
And single dad Rick is her landlord.
And her brother will murder him if he has sex with her.

But sometimes you have to strip it all down to see what was there all along…


What I finished reading:

Big Stick (Aces Hockey, #7)

Click on the picture for Amazon link

A brooding hockey hunk learns to embrace life—and love—from a single mom who takes the world one puck at a time.

Big move . . . Jodie’s motto is “Don’t wait for the perfect moment – take the moment and make it perfect.” And that’s just what she decides to do when she moves to Chicago with her two-year-old daughter. Now all Jodie needs is a place to live, and her best friend’s boyfriend has just the answer.

Big stick . . . Nick Balachov has zero interest in socializing, partying, or flirting right now. It’s not that he doesn’t like women. He loves them. It’s just that hockey, casual hookups, and hanging out at home are enough for him these days. Now Nick has a big problem – because the woman living in his empty coach house is a major distraction.

Big deal? The more Nick tries to keep his distance, the more Jodie needs him – around the house, that is. First, he helps with the snowstorm, then the power outage. Nick even finds himself trying to impress her little girl. What the hell is wrong with him? Jodie represents everything Nick doesn’t want. But maybe she’s just what he needs. . . .


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

A Nanny for Harry

JUGGLING ON EMPTY? WHO’S YOUR NANNY?
Kali Miller hasn’t even given birth to baby Harry when doctor-husband Matt ‘helpfully’ hires a live-in nanny. Britta is svelte, blonde and beguiling, and Swedish enough to make any new mother insecure, especially one who looks and feels as ginormous post-delivery as she did the day before. But a nanny means Kali can go back to work at her law firm where she is desperate to make partner. The Millers’ seaside house will be nice and clean; their meals healthy and fresh, and Harry well looked after. It’s the only option, really, for career women like Kali.

But Britta’s idea of cooking is fiskpinnar (fish sticks) in the microwave. She leaves blonde hairballs between the sofa cushions and has cute, broken-English convos with Matt, leaving the dirty diapers and other chores for Kali. The only thing Britta has in common with those super-nannies that all Kali’s friends seem to have is that she’ll probably never quit. And of course, Harry adores her!

As Kali’s life becomes increasingly frenetic —not helped by a disgruntled client out to get her for a deal gone bad—she starts losing her grip on reality. The top brass at her firm now views her more as a potential liability, than partnership material. And Matt seems to have some mysterious ‘history’ with Harry’s nanny. Just who is this Britta Edvardsson? And what does she want with Matt… and little Harry?

The Storyteller's Throne Grace was born a storyteller with a beautifully brilliant mind. Trauma twisted her reality into a tale of darkness. Now, at eighteen, Grace has found herself on the shores of a shadow world created to heal a generation. A world whose purpose is to release our emotions from the bonds of youth.

But she is not alone. It’s a world inhabited by others, those working on their own hearts and one other like herself. An amazing and yet afflicted empath and musician by the name of Kai that Grace feels inexplicably drawn to.

Will she be able to handle the suppressed memories of her youth? Accept the vulnerability necessary to explore her own heart and that of another? Fulfill the true purpose it seems she is destined to serve?

Come along with Grace as she learns to uncover her past, harness her gift, open her heart to love and embrace her future.

Black Diamond Fall

From the acclaimed author of CLARA’S HEART and CLOUDLAND comes a rich, literary mystery based and united by two real events that occurred at Middlebury College; the disappearance of a student during winter break; and the vandalism of the Robert Frost Homestead located on one of the outer campuses.

Luc Flanders has just finished playing a game of pond hockey with his college roommates when he realizes he has lost something precious and goes back to the ice to find it. He never returns, and the police department in Middlebury, Vermont are divided in their assessment of what may have happened to him. Some feel that Flanders left on his own accord and is deliberately out of touch. Others, including detectives Nick Jenkins and Helen Kennedy, suspect that harm may have come to him. As the search for Luc Flanders widens and intensifies, suspicions about several different people, including his Middlebury College roommates and ex-girlfriend arise. Unfortunately, Sam Solomon an older man with whom Luc has been having a secret relationship, cannot prove his whereabouts during the hours when the younger man may have disappeared and Solomon, too, comes under suspicion.

BLACK DIAMOND FALL is at once a lush, evocative literary novel, a portrait of love between a younger and older man, and a riveting mystery that could only come from the mind of acclaimed writer Joseph Olshan.

The Wizard's Gift

The last of an ancient group of wizards leaves a gift to the newly arrived race of men. It is revered and cared for by a line of priests until it is stolen, and the high priest and his sovereign murdered by a king who believes himself destined to be a great wizard. But from ancient writings, the high priest had discovered that the gift is not benevolent as was thought. This forces the son of the high priest unexpectedly elevated to his father’s position, and the young prince who is equally suddenly king, into a race to find the gift before it can be used as that may cause the destruction of the world. Accompanied by the retired captain of the palace guard they hope to speed their journey by crossing the Wasteland, a seeming desert, which is fabled to be populated by monsters, and from which no visitor has ever returned. In the course of their adventures they are hunted by dog-faced men and captured by slavers, but the young prince truly becomes a king, and the priest discovers that he has a destiny that goes beyond the bounds of his world.


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 2nd through September 8th)

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

Worldwielder

Dead Girls Don't Love

Sadie

The Breakup (The Jordan Brothers)

Dagger's Edge (Brute Force #2)

 

Cowboy, Cross My Heart (Heart of Texas, #2)

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

Sadie—review here

Sadie

The Breakup—review here

The Breakup (The Jordan Brothers)

Dagger’s Edge—review here

Dagger's Edge (Brute Force #2)

Cowboy, Cross My Heart—review here

Cowboy, Cross My Heart (Heart of Texas Book 2) by [Grant, Donna]

Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen—review here

Sold on a Monday—review here

Sold on a Monday

Second Chance At Two Love Lanereview here

Second Chance At Two Love Lane

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

What About Us (Panic, #4)

A Spark of Light

An Anonymous Girl

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

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

 

The Breakup (The Jordan Brothers: Book 2) by Erin McCarthy

The Breakup (The Jordan Brothers)

3.5 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: August 28th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: The Jordan Brothers

The Hookup – Book 1 (review here)

The Breakup – Book 2

Where you can find The Breakup: Amazon | Barnes, and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Can two wrongs feel oh-so-right? This bride is about to find out—with the bad boy who makes an epic breakup worth her while.

Bella: I know I’m a princess. I’m used to getting what I want. But all I ever really wanted was a husband and a family. Unlike my sister, Sophie, I’ll never have a brilliant career to fall back on. So what’s a bride to do when she learns that Prince Charming is a cheating snake just a few days before her fairy-tale wedding? With my fiancé begging for another chance, the only way to save the wedding is to even things out with a little revenge sex—and local bartender Christian Jordan seems like the right man for the job.

Christian: If gorgeous Bella Bigelow thinks sleeping with me will somehow lead to happily ever after, I’m not going to turn her down. The guy she wants to marry is a jerk, and her sister is fooling around with my estranged twin brother, Cain. So what’s the problem? Besides falling for a woman who doesn’t know what she wants out of life? All I want to do is whisk her away from that church, take her to a cabin in the woods, and act out all our naughtiest fantasies. And I may just get the chance. . . .

My Review:

I enjoyed reading The Breakup. It was a book that was straight to the point. It had an easy plot to follow, likable characters and some steaming hot sex scenes. I needed to read a book like The Breakup. After some of the books I have read, it was a welcome turn of pace for me.

What is interesting about The Breakup is that it starts halfway through The Hookup. That was interesting to me because I haven’t seen too many books written that way. I got to see everything from the bar scene from Christian and Bella’s POV. It added an extra insight not only to the stress that Bella was going through but to Christian and Cain’s complex relationship.

I could not stand Bella’s fiancée. I wanted to kick him in the nads and punch him in the face. I couldn’t believe the stuff he put Bella through. The things he said to her. I felt so bad for her when she found the text messages and told Sophie why he did what he did. He tried to justify his actions to her. “Baby, you made me do it. You are boring in bed“. What the actual frick frack???? No wonder she was so insecure about sex. Then to get her parents involved? W.T.F. So, yeah, I was happy when she left him at the altar. He deserved it.

Bella and Christian had insane chemistry. Every scene that they were in was through the roof. I found myself chanting “Do it! Do it!” What made it even hotter was that Christian refused to do anything with Bella until she was single. She came to him for a “revenge screw” and he turned her down. What guy does that?? A guy who has morals. Loved it!!

When Bella and Christian finally had sex, it was explosive. I knew that certain things were coming since Bella had told Christian that she didn’t like oral sex or butt play. Him teaching her to like oral was a no-brainer. But, I was surprised that anal wasn’t touched. Maybe because it was a line that she didn’t want to cross. Who knows. What I also liked is that the sexual tension continued. It wasn’t as red-hot as the first time but it was still there.

I liked that Christian was a bit of a straight arrow. He carried incredible guilt over what happened with his brother. He felt that he was the blame for Cain’s drinking. At the same time, though, he also stood up and took responsibility for his son. I did find it interesting that they wouldn’t know if Cain or Christian was the little guy’s father. Because they were identical twins, they have identical DNA. But he decided to take the responsibility. I loved how he handled baby mama drama. He wasn’t willing to rock the boat because he was afraid that she would go for full custody.

Bella was awesome in this book. I got a strong Runaway Bride vibe from her at the beginning of the book. I understood what she was going through, relationship-wise. She didn’t want to stay because he was a jerk but he was also familiar. Her taking off right before the wedding made me go “Oh yeah” and do a fist pump. The same thing when she let loose on Christian’s baby mama. I thought she was a little innocent for Christian, as weird as that sounds. Some of her phrases made me think “Is she from the ’50s?“.

I was disappointed by the last half of The Breakup. I had a feeling something like what happened was going to happen. I did an “ugggh” when it came around. A typical romance theme that I was hoping wouldn’t be in the book.

The ending of The Breakup was your typical HEA. I liked seeing what happened with Sophie and Cain. I also wonder if there is going to be a book 3. There are a brother and a sister that need romance!!!

What I liked about The Breakup:

A) Easy to follow the plot

B) likable characters

C) steamy sex scenes

What I disliked about The Breakup:

A) Bella’s ex

B) Christian’s baby mama drama

C) The last half of the book.

I gave The Breakup a 3.5star rating. This book was a great read. It had an easy plot to follow. It had likable characters and some steamy sex scenes. I didn’t like Bella’s ex or Christian’s baby mama. I also didn’t like the last half of the book. But, overall, a good read.

I gave The Breakup an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Breakup. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Breakup.

All opinions stated in this review of The Breakup are mine.

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

WWW Wednesday: September 5th, 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:

What has been going on with me this past week? Two words: Sick kids. Which is horrible. But, on the flip side, I was able to catch up on my reading and blog posts. Miss R ran a fever Saturday and was feeling yucky Sunday and Monday. Miss B came home from school on Tuesday, complaining she wasn’t feeling well. Whelp, she was up at 1am, throwing up. So no school for her today and possibly tomorrow. Mr. Z has been complaining of a headache and a sore throat. Not running a fever, so off to school with him. And me? Well, I have a sore throat and a slight headache. But, I am blaming allergies for it. So yeah. Fun times here.


What I am currently reading:

Sadie

click on the picture for Amazon link

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. 

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

I came <this close> to finishing Sadie last night. I went to bed with the book at 91% and I will be finishing it up today. This was a fantastic book to read. I enjoyed reading it and I cannot wait for the ending!!! Sadie is currently available now. Be on the lookout for my review within the next couple of days.


What I finished reading:

The Breakup (The Jordan Brothers)

Click on the picture for Amazon link

Can two wrongs feel oh-so-right? This bride is about to find out—with the bad boy who makes an epic breakup worth her while.

Bella: I know I’m a princess. I’m used to getting what I want. But all I ever really wanted was a husband and a family. Unlike my sister, Sophie, I’ll never have a brilliant career to fall back on. So what’s a bride to do when she learns that Prince Charming is a cheating snake just a few days before her fairy-tale wedding? With my fiancé begging for another chance, the only way to save the wedding is to even things out with a little revenge sex—and local bartender Christian Jordan seems like the right man for the job.

Christian: If gorgeous Bella Bigelow thinks sleeping with me will somehow lead to happily ever after, I’m not going to turn her down. The guy she wants to marry is a jerk, and her sister is fooling around with my estranged twin brother, Cain. So what’s the problem? Besides falling for a woman who doesn’t know what she wants out of life? All I want to do is whisk her away from that church, take her to a cabin in the woods, and act out all our naughtiest fantasies. And I may just get the chance. . . .

This was a sweet book. Bella and Christian were introduced in The Hookup and I was happy to see that they got a love story. I needed a book where it wasn’t heavy on plot or characters. I was able to read this book and enjoy it. The Breakup is available now to buy. Be on the lookout for my review today (yes today!!!)


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

Dead Girls Don't LoveWorldwielderDrawn to the Marquess (Imperfect Lords, #2)In the Mood Fur Love

Dead Girls Don’t Love: I normally don’t review anthologies. But since I like reviewing indie authors, I decided to give this book a chance. I will be starting this book today (after I finish Sadie). Dead Girls Don’t Love is available now for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review within the next couple of days.

Worldwielder: I was intrigued by the blurb on Goodreads. As with the book above, it is also written by an indie author. So I accepted and I am hoping that it is good. Worldwielder is available now for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review at some point next week.

Drawn to the Marquess: I am a big fan of historical romances. I also am a big fan of Bronwen Evans. When I saw this on NetGalley, I was like “Gimme“. Drawn to the Marquess is available now for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review at some point next week.

In the Mood Fur Love: When the publisher sent me the request, I accepted. I thought it was a single novel, not an anthology. After I accepted, I noticed that it was an anthology. Oh well. I do like PNR but shifter romances have grown old. Here’s to hoping that this book will change my mind!! In the Mood Fur Love is expected to be published October 2nd, 2018. Be on the lookout for my review on that date.


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!!