WWW Wednesday: August 10th 2022

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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?


Personal:

  • We are getting ready for the first day of school. Backpacks and shoes were bought, and I went school cloth shopping for Miss R. We’re going shopping for Miss B and Mr. Z next weekend.
  • I can’t believe I am saying this, but we got another freaking cat. We went to the shelter and picked up a 10-week-old longhaired orange and white male kitten. Staying with the gangster theme for names, we named him Tony (after Tony Soprano, Vinne is after the actor who played Big Pussy in the Sopranos). He’s a spitfire who doesn’t like to be handled (we’re working on that).
  • On the reading front, I enjoy not reviewing books from NetGalley. To be honest, once I made the decision to cut the cord, it felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I am reviewing a book a week (well, two this week), and again, just love that I can read what I want when I am done reading the books I need to review.

So that’s the major 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:

A river divides Cottonbloom in two: the upscale enclave on the Mississippi side and the rundown, rough and tumble side in Louisiana. They’re worlds apart—but nothing can build a bridge like love…

Cade Fournette never had it easy Cottonbloom. He stuck around long enough to raise his orphaned siblings and then hightailed it out West—and never looked back. Even though he’s succeeded in Seattle, Cade never lost the toughness and the angry edge that helped him survive down South. His only weak spot: the girl he left behind…

Monroe Kirby came from the wealthy side of town, but that didn’t protect her from her mother’s drinking—or her mother’s boyfriend. It was Cade who did that, on a long-ago hot September night, before he disappeared…along with a piece of her heart. Now Monroe is a physical therapist who can fight for herself, and it’s Cade who could use some conditioning when he returns home unexpectedly. Will he and Monroe pick up where they left off and finally explore their mutual passion—or will the scars and secrets of the past divide them once more? 


What I am currently reading:

In his semi-autobiographical novel, This Time Next Summer, Mikheyev weaves a tender tale about love and loss, one that is distinctly personal and yet universally human.

She was beautifully broken. And his everything.

Hurt and scarred by every man in her life, Jasmine had vowed to never love again. Then she meets Avgust, and her broken heart resumes beating.

A romantic idealist who measures love by his poetry output, Avgust had given up on finding that elusive once-in-a-lifetime kind of love he’d always dreamed of. But the moment he spies Jasmine in a coffee shop, he knows unequivocally that she is his Her—the woman who will change his life.

It was the perfect love story.

Until the secrets and betrayals of the past threaten to break them apart.

Will their love be strong enough to save Jasmine from her past, and Avgust from his future?

A Highland warrior battles to reclaim his birthright in the first of a new series filled with seduction, revenge, and soul-stirring passion…

They call him the Beast—a hardened mercenary whose heart seems as cold as his icy blue gaze. They do not know his true name: Niall Braewick, son of the Laird of Kincaid. It has been years since he escaped into the forest the night his father was murdered. Now he has returned, ablaze with a vengeful hunger. He will gain the MacClaren chief’s trust, gather his clan, and take back his lands. And take the MacClaren’s daughter as well…

Though he pulled her from the river, saving her life, Elspeth has been warned to keep her distance from her father’s hired warrior. He is a barbarian—a shame, as he is far more compelling than the lechers and fools competing for her dowry. Little does she know that, like the castle itself, she is a prize Niall intends to claim…but will he extract blood for blood and possess what is his, or will his enemy’s beautiful, innocent daughter tempt him to forsake his dream of conquest?


What books I think I’ll read next:

Zoe was still in high school when she saw her father shot dead by a classmate obsessed with her, and then still a kid witnessed the killer’s sentencing. A horrible tragedy, but now, thirteen years later, she’s thoroughly rebooted her life.

She’s the CEO of her own cyber security company, a celebrity in her field, and a speaker in high demand.

She’s just the kind of strong, self-reliant woman who can take care of herself in any situation.

Except the one she’s in.

She’s got a stalker.

And she already knows he’s a killer.

Given her background, Zoe knows instantly that she needs protection and she knows how to get it—her sister Mel’s the owner of Blackhawk Security.

But trust Mel to send Spence Flynn, the one agent Zoe can’t be alone with, but not because they don’t get along. It’s because attraction sizzles between the two of them like runaway electricity. And because they both know the last thing a body guard should do is get into a relationship with his principal.

It’s unethical and dangerous.

But how are they supposed to fight this thing? Spoiler: Good intentions suffer a knockout in the first round. And then, to the delight of the reader, the earth moves in the most delicious way.

Meanwhile, Zoe’s stalker is still sending her charms from a bracelet he stole from her thirteen years ago, the scariest being a heart he’s had engraved with both their names. Unnerving enough– and then he starts dropping off lunch for her, tailing her in a white Subaru, and trying to break into her condo.

Spence has his hands full in more than one way. And Zoe has a public appearance coming up. The perfect time for a stalker to strike.

The sweetness of first love…

Could a fiercely independent cop’s heart be stolen by the guy who makes her favorite doughnuts? Will a maid who used deceit to snare a mail-order husband get a dose of her own medicine? Can her handsome neighbor rescue a modern-day “princess” from a tenacious ex-boyfriend? Can two strangers in a rideshare be honest enough to fall in love for real? Can you remember your first love? How about your second? Third? Fourth?

Featuring the talents of Linda Budzinski, Melissa Maygrove, Michael Di Gesu, Sylvia Ney, Katie Klein, Kim Elliott, Templeton Moss, S.E. White, Denise Covey, and Sammi Spizziri. Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will touch your heart and rekindle lost feelings. Prepare to return to that first love…

“Where is your husband?”

Since waking up from the accident Dr Paige Hanson has been asked that question over and over. By the hospital staff, by her mother in law and by Government officials.

As she struggles to grasp the wisps of memory returning to her Paige learns that there’s more at stake than Leo’s whereabouts.

Turning towards the teachings of the one person she swore never to become she begins to realise that some questions are best left unanswered.

She doesn’t believe in fairy tales. He is married to his job. Maybe whiskey is the secret ingredient that will bring them together–and give true love a shot.

Wedding photographer Charlotte Linley loves her work –even though she hates weddings. Sure, she still holds a grudge after being left at the altar by her high-school sweetheart. But today Charlotte is just happy to have complete control over her career, which is flourishing. Especially since she joined forces with one of the three gorgeous owners of The Stag, a boutique distillery that has become Kansas City’s hottest wedding venue.

Dean Troyer, bitter after the end of his own marriage, knows that Charlotte is the real deal–beautiful, talented, and successful. He may flirt with her every time she comes to The Stag, but Dean is determined to keep his professional distance…particularly now that she’s helping him with his own sister’s wedding. The only problem? The more time Dean spends with Charlotte, the deeper their connection grows. Is this a rom-com cliche’ or could it be that these two jaded souls in the wedding business have finally found their real-life happily ever after?

Goodreads Monday: Maybe I Do (Whiskey and Weddings: Book 1) by Nicole McLaughlin

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This is a weekly meme where anyone can choose a random book from their Goodreads TBR and highlight it. Once you choose a book, make sure you link and reference @LaurensPageTurners.


This week’s selection:

Synopsis:

She doesn’t believe in fairy tales. He is married to his job. Maybe whiskey is the secret ingredient that will bring them together–and give true love a shot.

Wedding photographer Charlotte Linley loves her work –even though she hates weddings. Sure, she still holds a grudge after being left at the altar by her high-school sweetheart. But today Charlotte is just happy to have complete control over her career, which is flourishing. Especially since she joined forces with one of the three gorgeous owners of The Stag, a boutique distillery that has become Kansas City’s hottest wedding venue.

Dean Troyer, bitter after the end of his own marriage, knows that Charlotte is the real deal–beautiful, talented, and successful. He may flirt with her every time she comes to The Stag, but Dean is determined to keep his professional distance…particularly now that she’s helping him with his own sister’s wedding. The only problem? The more time Dean spends with Charlotte, the deeper their connection grows. Is this a rom-com cliche’ or could it be that these two jaded souls in the wedding business have finally found their real-life happily ever after?


I had read book 3 (Maybe for You) a while ago and decided that I wanted to read Books 1 and 2. So I added them to my TBR. When will I read Maybe I Do at some point within the next few months.

Maybe for You (Whiskey and Weddings: Book 3) by Nicole McLaughlin

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4 Stars

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

Date of publication: August 28th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: Whiskey and Weddings

Maybe I Do – Book 1

Maybe This Time – Book 2

Maybe for You – Book 3

Where you can find Maybe for You: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

She’s never had a no-strings fling. He’s never had anything else. But maybe this time will be an exception?

After a year of mourning her fiancé, Alexis Parker has worked hard to rediscover what she wants out of life. Fresh out of the military and back stateside, her brother offers her a marketing job at the Stag Distillery. Ready for a new challenge, Alexis agrees to accompany her new co-worker Jake Cooperon a Stag cross-country promotional tour. He may have an infamous playboy reputation, but Alexis is surprised to find out that there is more to him than meets the eye. And she likes what she sees. . .

Jake promised Alexis’s brother that he’d be an absolute gentleman. Of course, that was before he and Alexis hit the road, and they both agree that what Alexis’s big brother doesn’t know won’t hurt him. The plan: to keep their fling confined to the RV, and everything will go back to normal once they head home. Things progress in ways neither of them could have imagined, and Jake realizes that he and Alexis make a perfect mix. Can he convince her that he’s ready to shake things up and give true love a shot?

My review:

Maybe for You broke my heart. I should have known that this book was going to make me cry by the first chapter. Alexis’s pain over Nate’s death was gut-wrenching. It came off the pages in waves. My heart broke for her. She needed to start healing. The first step to doing that was her taking the post in Italy. What I liked is that the author didn’t detail Alexis’s time in Italy. All I knew is that when she came home, she had somewhat healed and was starting to live again. Which was great and set the tone for the rest of the book.

I liked Alexis. What I liked is that she was human. She wasn’t perfect. She made mistakes. She had the same insecurities. It made for a more believable character. I connected to her. Mainly in the last half of the book. Everything that she felt, I felt. She did have her flaws. She kept pushing Jake away. She kept him at arm’s length. She was confused about what she felt about him. I loved it!!!

I liked Jake. He was exactly what he presented. The only thing is that he liked the ladies and the ladies liked him. I did think that it was messed up that the father of a grown woman complained to his business partners about Jake sleeping with his daughter. I also found it a little creepy. I liked that he was there for Alexis no matter what. I did agree with what he said when Alexis found out what she did. He wasn’t perfect. He had a temper. He had a rep as a playboy. But it was those imperfections that made his characters.

I loved that the romance in this book wasn’t Instalove. I don’t have anything against Instalove but it gets old in romance novels. So, when I see a novel where the relationship is built up, I love it. So, yes, I was happy with the romance in this book. Jake and Alexis had a year to build a relationship via text. For some people, that might not be enough but Jake and Alexis talked every day for a year. A relationship was built. I also liked how the author chose to have Alexis and Jake overcome their relationship issues. They fought like normal people but they always ended up talking it out.

Like the romance, the chemistry between Jake and Alexis grew during the first few chapters. I did have one small complaint. Not even a complaint, an observation. But how did she not feel hin when she was grinding up against him? I mean, its pretty obvious. Not talking from experience or anything…lol. Anyways, that chemistry leads to some red-hot sex. I needed a fan after the first scene. The other sex scenes, while not as hot, were still hot in their own sense. But nothing was like that first scene.

Now, I haven’t read the other books. The author did a great job at keeping the other characters, Dean and Charlotte/T.J. and Jen, in the background. I liked it. So yeah, the author did a great job at keeping them in the background where they belonged. Saying that, though, the secondary characters did make the book. If I had to have favorites, it would be Charlotte and Regina. Charlotte because she didn’t take crap from anyone. Regina because she was sweet and understanding.

The secondary storylines added depth to the book. Instead of taking over a book and leaving questions, they added to it. The author was able to tie them to the main storyline by the end of the book.

The end of the book was fantastic. I won’t lie, I had tears running down my face. It was that moving and a perfect ending for this book!! Also, the epilogue made me cry too. Ugly crying for the last half of the book FTW!!

What I liked about Maybe for You:

A) Alexis’s healing

B) The romance between Alexis and Jake

C) The epilogue

What I disliked about Maybe for You:

A) Alexis’s keep pushing Jake away

B) Jake’s temper

C) The other sex scenes weren’t as hot as the first one.

I gave Maybe for You a 4-star rating. The characters were relatable and the plotline was engaging. I did think that the sex scenes, after the first one, lacked some of the heat of the first one. I also didn’t like Alexis pushing Jake away many times. But other than that, it was a good read.

I gave Maybe for You an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is some very mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Maybe for You. I would also recommend it to family and friends.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Paperbacks, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Maybe for You.

All opinions stated in this review of Maybe for You are mine.

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

Only With You (Man Enough: Book 4) by Nicole McLaughlin

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4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Swerve

Date of publication: June 5th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Trigger: (highlight if you want to read it): talk of sexual abuse, talk of past drug/alcohol use

Series: Man Enough

All I Ask – Book 1

Along Came Us – Book 2

Should’ve Been You – Book 3

Only With You – Book 4

Where you can find Only With You: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The men in Nicole McLaughlin’s Man Enough series are tough Alphas devoted to serving their country and the women who love them.

National Guardsman Aiden King has been attracted to Hannah Walters for a while, but he never made a move because of her close relationship with his best friend. But when circumstances change, Aiden is surprised when his friend gives his blessing. Problem is, there’s a reason he’s still alone after all these years, and as much as he wants her, that secret keeps him from acting on his desires.

Hannah has finally decided to wait for the kind of love you read about in books and see in movies. After her failed engagement, Aiden’s unassuming support has become a touchstone for Hannah. It soon becomes apparent that he may be exactly the kind of man she’s been looking for. But the closer they become, the more he keeps her at arm’s length.

When Aiden suggests a road trip to take Hannah’s mind off her troubles, the two of them go on a journey neither one expected. She just hopes that the final destination is them together for good.

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