December 2022 Wrap Up

Here is what I read/posted in December.

As always, let me know if you have read any of these books and (if you did) what you thought of them.

Books I Read:

Review Coming January 3rd
Review coming January 13th
No Review
No Review
No Review
No Review
No Review
No Review
No Review
No Review
No Review
No Review
No Review
No Review
No Review

Books I got from NetGalley:

Random House—Ballantine Books Widget
Saint Martin’s Press Widget
SMPG Influencer Widget
SMPG Widget
Random House Ballantine Widget
SMPG Widget
SMP Widget
SMP Widget
Wish Granted From Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine
Blackstone Publishing Widget

Books I got from Authors/Indie Publishers:

From AME Publicist
From AME Publicist
From Author
From Authors
From Author
From Author

Goodreads Giveaway Winners

Won Kindle edition

Books Reviewed:

All Dressed Up by Jilly Gagnon—review here

The Prisoner by B.A. Paris—review here

Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz—review here

Little Eve by Catriona Ward—review here

The Villa by Rachel Hawkins—review coming January 3rd

All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham–review coming January 10th

The Sylvan Horn by Robert Redinger—review here

The Split by Sharon Bolton—review here

The Catch by Jenna Miles—review here

The Bodyguard by Katherine Coulter—review here

Cathedral of Time by Stephen Austin Thorpe—review here

Don’t Look For Me by Wendy Walker—review here

Souk Daddy by Antony Curtis—review here

Affinity for Pain by R.E. Johnson—review here

A Wicked Game by Kate Bateman—review here

Son of the Poison Rose by Jonathan Maberry—review coming January 13th

The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff—review coming January 6th

Bookish Travels—December 2022 Destinations

I saw this meme on It’s All About Books and thought, I like this!! So, I decided to do it once a month also. Many thanks to Yvonne for initially posting this!!

This post is what it says: Places I travel to in books each month. Books are lovely and take you to places you would never get a chance to go. That includes places of fantasy too!!

So….enjoy!! Please let me know if you have read these books or traveled to these areas (other than the fantasy….lol).


Loyal (Village), Island of Altnaharra


Geeta’s unnamed village, Kohra

United States

Texas (Houston)
Kentucky (Brownsville–past + present)
California (San Francisco)
Connecticut (Hastings)
Georgia (Atlanta), Florida (Silver Bay, Varnedoe)
New York (Newborn City)
Arizona (Flagstaff, Sedona), Wyoming (Yellowstone National Park), California (Los Angeles, Encino, Westwood, Aladorio), Georgia (Athens), Nevada (Franklin Lake, Sierra Nevada Mountains), Utah (Salt Lake City), Indiana
Unknown City/State
Nevada (East Las Vegas)
Minnesota (unnamed domed city, G-town)
Arizona (Flagstaff)
California (Los Angeles)
Ohio (Columbus), Colorado (Telluride)
Arizona (Tucson, Dove Valley)
New York (New York City)


Mount Olympus, River Styx, Hades (the Underworld)


Rome (Ancient)
Florence, Tuscany

Silver Empire

Argon (Argentium), Straits of Anthelos, Haddon Bay


Western Reach






Victorian London
Cornwall (Penry)
Derbyshire (Leacroft)


New South Wales


Villon-sur-Sarthe, Le Mans, Paris


Marsyas Island

The Catch by Jenna Miles

Publisher: Hibernia Press

Date of publication: November 2nd, 2015

Genre: Romance

Purchase Links: Kindle | Audible

Goodreads Synopsis:

Poignant and powerful, The Catch is a contemporary second-chance romance that effortlessly captures the nostalgia of young love and relatably reflects the trials that come with family, motherhood, and responsibility.

Julia Dunphy’s husband just left her for the second time, her thirteen-year-old won’t stop swearing in public, and to top it all off, her four-year-old just asked to buy condoms. Needless to say, this isn’t how she’d expected her life to pan out.

Then, Julia’s new work in an aquarium shop washes up old memories of a whale-watching business she once imagined – and of William Quinn, the man she imagined it with. William walked into her life with striking blue eyes and constant surprises. Before she knew it, she was head-over-heels in love. However, the realities of life eventually pulled them apart. When Julia and William’s paths cross again, despite their baggage, an undeniable spark remains.

When she learns that William has made a success of their ideas, she wonders if it’s too late to finally make a success of their relationship. But Julia has already blown her first two chances at happiness with William, so a third one seems like wishful thinking. Then she uses her prowess as a paralegal to save William’s business, and when he shows up to thank her, she dares to wonder – is another chance with him possible, after all?

First Line:

The fog was as much a native of this neighborhood as Julia was.

The Catch by Jenna Miles

Romance novels have been my favorite go-to genre for years. I love reading the different tropes and seeing people get their happy endings. So, when I got the offer to review The Catch, it was a no-brainer. I immediately accepted. I am glad that I did because this was a great read.

The Catch had a pretty straightforward storyline. Julia has moved back to the San Fransisco neighborhood she grew up in to raise her young son and teenage daughter. She hopes to reopen her late uncle’s aquarium business. As Julia settles in, she starts thinking about her lost love, Will, and their relationship over the years. Reconnecting isn’t easy because she broke Will’s heart five years earlier. But a chance comes when she uses her paralegal skills to help Will’s family with a legal case. But Julia is hiding more secrets from Will. What secrets is she hiding? Will they finally be together? Or will that secret tear them apart for good?

The Catch is a medium-paced book that takes place in San Fransisco. I liked the pacing because it did allow me to process everything that happened with Julia (there was a lot). I also loved the location. San Fransisco is a relatively unknown city for me (other than watching Full House and Fuller House), so reading about it was amazing!!

I am going to be very blunt here. I couldn’t stand Julia for most of the book. I will get more in-depth in the bulleted section of this, but she did leave a bad taste in my mouth until the last part of the book.

  • Julia—As I mentioned above, I couldn’t stand her. She came across as selfish and made choices that made me scratch my head and ask, “Why?”. She somewhat redeemed herself in the 2012 timeline when she took on Will’s mother’s insurance issue and resolved it.
  • Will—I felt for him for 90% of the book. His breakdown when Julia broke up with him was a little unwarranted, but we’ve all been in those types of relationships. I also didn’t blame him for how he acted in 2012. What Julia did to him in 2006 was awful, and he wasn’t wrong for acting as he did when he saw Julia again.
  • Paige—I felt for her, but I wish the author had disclosed her mental health diagnosis sooner in the book. It would have changed how I saw her. Because honestly, she came across as a brat in the 2012 parts of the book. The author explained and showed what Paige was like before her diagnosis (in 2006) and how her father’s sudden disappearance and reappearance triggered it. She did become more likable in the second half of the 2012 timeline. Her reaction to Julia’s secret was not what I expected, and I was so mad at her paternal grandmother!!

The secondary characters carried the book and added more depth to it. I hope the author will write a book set in this universe again. There are several characters that I would like to get their own stories.

The Catch fits perfectly into the romance category. I loved reading about Julia and Will’s very rocky and messy relationship. The trope that The Catch fit into was second-chance love (well, in this case, third chance). But I also feel that it fits into the reunion trope.

The storyline with Julia, Will, and their love story was well written. How many people here have had relationships that ended and restarted years later (raises hand)? It was raw and wasn’t pretty, but it was real. I wouldn’t say I liked that Julia did a number on Will (in 1993 and 2006). Also, I wouldn’t say I liked the secret that she had. Talk about a doozy, and in a way, it wasn’t fair to Will. Also, I want to add that this storyline jumps from 1993 to 2006 to 2012. I had no issue following it. The author labeled each chapter with what year it was.

There are trigger warnings in The Catch. Death of a family member, AIDS (mentioned), bigotry (talked about, not shown), underage drinking, parent abandonment, spouse abandonment, cheating, racism (derogatory names used to describe Hispanic people), abortion (talked about), drug use (talked about), drug overdose (talked about and briefly shown the aftermath), and mental illness are shown in the book. If any of these trigger you (and a couple did trigger me), I recommend not reading this book.

The end of The Catch was your typical HEA. The author wrapped up all the storylines in a way that mostly satisfied me. I say mostly because I wasn’t thrilled with how the secret secondary storyline ended. I understand why, but so frustrating. All I have to say is that Will is too forgiving.

I would recommend The Catch to anyone over 21. There is language, nongraphic sexual situations, and mild violence. Also, see my trigger warnings.

I would like to thank the author, Jenna Miles, for allowing me to read and review The Catch. All opinions in this review are 100% mine.

WWW Wednesday: December 7th, 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

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


Thursday: Not a lot happened around here. I started getting my kids big Christmas gifts in and trying to find good hiding spots. I found out that two games I play (Disney’s Dreamlight Valley and Planet Zoo) are having updates. Disney’s was today (and it was free!!) and Planet Zoo’s is next week (hello armadillos!!!). Also, BK is getting me the Kindle Scribed for Christmas. I can’t wait!! I am getting him a deep fryer that cleans and recycles the oil.

Friday: Miss R didn’t have horseback riding. Her instructor went to a trainer conference, and we rescheduled for Sunday. Miss B went to her winter formal. She had a blast!!

Saturday: We took Miss B to Sams Club to finally get her glasses prescription filled. She was thrilled. Other than that, we hung out all day.

Sunday: Miss R had horseback with the older (think 15-17) girls. She did well and cantered. She is still too unsure to jump the rails.

Monday: I spent all day Monday fighting with Tony. He decided that he belongs outside and jets whenever the front door opens. Super frustrating, but I know he will grow out of it. I also spent some of it breaking up fights between Snickers and Loki. She has decided not to like him this week. Which means she chases him down every time she sees him.

Tuesday: Miss R had an orthodontist appointment. We found out that she might be getting her braces off soon. Also, on a sadder note, her main orthodontist is retiring. I was very sad about that. He did wonders with Miss B’s teeth. But the other orthodontist is just as good.

The longest book I read this week: Was a tie between The Bandit Queens and Cathedral of Time. I couldn’t get into The Bandit Queens at first. The Cathedral of Time was long for a different reason. It is connected to an app that scanned a QR code at the end of each chapter. It was very interesting and time-consuming (which is great for younger kids)

The shortest book I read this week: Was The Bodyguard. Someone told me that I would love this book and laugh at it. I did!!!

So that’s the essential things for this past week. How was your week?

As always, let me know if you have read or are planning to read any of these books!!

What I Recently Finished Reading:

Ghostly sightings of a legendary murderer. The discovery of a hidden stash from a bank robbery. The disappearance of a well-known TV personality, and the most prominent family in town entangled in all of it. Makayla Brown’s ideal life is about to be blown to smithereens. She’ll need to race across space and time, plunging herself into another world in hopes of saving her own. When Makayla disappears off the face of the Earth, the dedication of her two best friends, Tanner and Andrew, will be tested as they attempt to follow her trail through a dangerous new world and encounter beasts and beings the likes of which they’ve never seen. Will they reach Makayla in time to rescue her from certain death and bring her safely home, or will they be doomed to spend eternity in their new world, sealed by the rule of the fates?

Author Stephen Austin Thorpe, the son of a school teacher who made magic with her words by varying intonations and playing with pronunciation to add dramatic flare, grew up loving words. But it wasn’t until he sat down to document the flow of a video game he planned to create that he realized how much he loved to write. And so Cathedral of Time, the first in The World of Agartha series, was born. Stephen’s love for Ancient Rome, and history in general, grew from his service as a 19-year old missionary in modern-day Rome. Stephen lives in Utah with his wife Maria and daughters Jenny and Mary.

What I am currently reading:

Cover is from Amazon.

Newly single, Julia Dunphy is back in San Francisco with her kids. Julia’s new work in an aquarium shop unearths old memories of a whale watching business she once imagined, and of William Quinn, the man she imagined it with. When she learns that William has made a success of their ideas, she wonders if it’s too late to finally make a success of their relationship. But Julia’s already blown her first two chances at happiness with William, so a third one seems like wishful thinking. Then she learns that William’s family is drowning in medical bills, and she uses her prowess as a former paralegal to stick it to the insurance company. When William shows up to thank her, she dares to wonder – is a third chance with him possible, after all?

What books I think I’ll read next:

Bailey Flynn has always been the resident country music star in her small town of Oak Plains, Pennsylvania. But ever since tragedy struck six years ago, she hasn’t sung a single note or picked up her treasured guitar.

Bailey returns home to find an open slot at the annual summer concert waiting for her to fill it. Her past makes her hesitant to rise to the occasion, despite her sister’s insistence. It isn’t until she sees a familiar face from high school that she begins to let hope—and music—into her heart again. He might just be the fresh start she needs…or a bitter reminder of the past she’s worked so hard to forget.

Five children in prison, five sets of parents who would do anything to protect them, one chance to break them out.

It’s 2037 and after a nationwide campaign following the increase in prisoner death rate, the system has gone fully automatic. Every inmate is on their own with each cell a box of isolation. The juvenile correction facilities are functional, cold and impersonal yet impecable, a stark contrast to the adult institutions where suicide and collapse of mental health for the youth transfering is almost inevitable.

With an iminent transfer date, the clock is ticking. But with an impenetrable prison, long standing feuds and skeletons in the closet, will these strangers ever be able to work together to formulate and execute a plan to save their children whilst keeping their families intact?

Son of the Poison Rose marks the second installment of New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry’s epic, swashbuckling Kagen the Damned series.

The Silver Empire is in ruins. War is in the wind. Kagen and his allies are on the run from the Witch-king. Wild magic is running rampant everywhere. Spies and secret cabals plot from the shadows of golden thrones.

Kagen Vale is the most wanted man in the world, with a death sentence on his head and a reward for him—dead or alive—that would tempt a saint.

The Witch-king has new allies who bring a terrible weapon—a cursed disease that drives people into a murderous rage. If the disease is allowed to spread, the whole of the West will tear itself apart.

In order to build an army of resistance fighters and unearth magical weapons of his own, Kagen and his friends have to survive attacks and storms at sea, brave the haunted wastelands of the snowy north, fight their way across the deadly Cathedral Mountains, and rediscover a lost city filled with cannibal warriors, old ghosts, and monsters from other worlds. Along with his reckless adventurer brothers, Kagen races against time to save more than the old empire… if he fails the world will be drenched in a tsunami of bloodshed and horror.

Son of the Poison Rose weaves politics and espionage, sorcery and swordplay, treachery and heroism as the damned outcast Kagen fights against the forces of ultimate darkness.

Perfect for fans of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series and Keri Lake’s
Nightshade, Affinity for Pain is a dark paranormal romance that is steamy,
action-packed, and full of emotional intrigue.

Hope Turner is the ideal human-hunting assassin, and she is damn good at her job. A daughter of the Chakal, a race of hybrid demons lacking physical sensation and
emotion, Hope was always brutally efficient in her work. She never struggled with a case, that is, until she was assigned to take down Ciaran O-Connor – a stubborn,
strong-willed bodyguard with a dark past and severe PTSD.

He also happens to be her soulmate.

When the omaeriku – an inescapable soulmate bond – takes hold of her, Hope is hit with a wave of emotion and physical sensation for the first time in her life. Finding herself unable to kill Ciaran and ending up on her former boss’s hit list, Hope and Ciaran must escape into hiding. Immediately, the chemistry between Hope and Ciaran is electric. However, they must try to direct their focus on finding a way to take down Marcus Dentry, their newfound common enemy, who was both Hope’s former boss and Ciaran’s former captor and torturer.

However, as they spend more time together and succumb to their physical desire for each other, the newfound emotion and pain brought forth by the soulmate bond begin to overwhelm Hope. Can Hope learn to handle her sudden emotions, both the good and the bad, before it drives her away from the only person who can make her feel? And can Hope and Ciaran track down Marcus and exact their revenge before he gets to them first?

Inspired by the works of authors like Robin McKinley and Neil Gaiman, Affinity for
Pain is a great next read for smut-lovers seeking a romance that includes action,
intimate vulnerability, and electric chemistry. Click “Add to Cart!” today!

December 2022 TBR

November has flown by for me (I don’t know about you guys). It was a busy month. Here is what I am planning to read for December.

Indie Authors

From Novel Cause
From Author
Author Request
Author Request
From Novel Cause
From Novel Cause


Goodreads Giveaways

Kindle winner
Paperback winner

November 2022 Wrap UP

Here is what I read/posted in November.

As always, let me know if you have read any of these books and (if you did) what you thought of them.

Books I Read:

No review
No review
No Review
No Review
Review coming December 1st
Review coming December 27th, 2022
No Review
Review coming January 3rd, 2023
Review coming January 10th
Review coming December 9th
No Review
No Review
No Review
Review coming December 2nd
Review coming December 10th
No Review
No Review
No Review
No Review
Review Coming December 3rd
Review Coming December 4th

Books I got from NetGalley:

Publisher Invite
Publisher Invite
Publisher Invite
It was a limited-time Read Now book
It was a limited-time Read Now book
Publisher Invite
Publisher Invite
Publisher Invite
SMP/Minotaur Influencer Program
SMP Widget invite
SMP Widget Invite

Books I got from Authors/Indie Publishers:

From Author
From Novel Cause
Author Request
Author Request
Author Request
From Novel Cause
From Novel Cause

Goodreads Giveaway


Books Reviewed:

The Last Huntress by Lenore Borja (review here)

Alias Emma by Ava Glass (review here)

A Broken Clock Never Boils by C.J. Weiss (review here)

The Art of Prophecy by Wesley Chu (review here)

A Sliver of Darkness by C.J. Tudor (review here)

Shadowed Intent by Reily Garrett (review here)

Death in a Dark Alley by Bradley Pay (review here)

Conviction by Michael Cordell (review here)

The Wilderwomen by Ruth Emmie Lang (review here)

Wicked Bleu by E. Denise Billups (review here)

A Maiden of Snakes by Jane McGarry (review here)

Mostly Human 2 by D.I. Jolly (review here)

Shampoo & Condition by M.L. Ortega (review here)

Spies Never Lose by M. Taylor Christensen (review here)

The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez (review here)