When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting

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When I read the blurb for When Sparks Fly, I knew that I needed to read it, one reason is that I love reading contemporary romances, and the other reason is that I have heard nothing but good things about Helena Hunting. I am glad that I read this book. It was what I needed to read.

I like the friends-to-lovers trope but feel that it is overused in romance novels. So I did go into reading the book thinking that When Sparks Fly would be typical in that regard. It isn’t. Declan and Avery’s slide into romance was one of the more natural romances that I have read in a while.

The plotline for When Sparks Fly was medium-paced. There was no lag in the book, and it was very well written.

I liked Avery. She had me laughing with her observations on life and Declan. I liked that she wasn’t portrayed as a shrinking violet. She wasn’t afraid to call Declan out on his stuff (like his extracurriculars). She did have her flaws, and they were on display in the book. But they were nothing compared to Declan’s.

Let’s talk about Declan. He was a freaking mess for 90% of the book. His childhood was less than ideal, and in turn, it turned him into a commitment-phobe adult who ran from his problems. But that didn’t excuse how he treated Avery during the last half of the book, though. He was a real douche canoe. But I did like him. The author didn’t make him perfect and chose to highlight his mental health issues.

The romance angle of When Sparks Fly was sweet. I loved seeing both realize that they were in love with the other person. It was a considerable whammy for Declan since he was using Avery’s relationship with his ex-best friend as a reason why he shouldn’t get with her. I loved seeing him realize that Avery was his person.

The sex scenes were hot in When Sparks Fly. I did giggle when Declan caught Avery masturbating. And I wasn’t surprised with how it ended up. I was a little “eh” when Avery told her sisters about it, though. I wouldn’t say I like kissing and telling (or, in this case: getting help with masturbating and telling).

I did like how mental health was portrayed in When Sparks Fly. Declan had some serious issues from his childhood that needed to be resolved before moving forward with any relationship. While I didn’t see his breakdown coming, I wasn’t surprised by it. But, I liked how his friends (and Avery) supported him. Having him going to therapy was a huge plus. I also like that his issues didn’t magically go away at the end of the book. Getting help was huge but Avery supporting him (and participating in the therapy) was even more significant.

The end of When Sparks Fly was sweet. And at the very end, it was perfect!! I did a lot of “Awww, so sweet” to myself as I was reading.


I would recommend When Sparks Fly to anyone over the age of 21. There is graphic sex, language, and mild violence.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at The Book Date.

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kid-lit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle-grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in those genres – join them.


Happy Monday (well, as happy as a Monday can be…lol) everyone and I hope you all had a great weekend!!

It was hot out this weekend. Temps were in the mid-90’s with real feel temps of it being in the lower 100’s. And it was (and still is) super humid. So, needless to say, we stayed in for most of the weekend.

The only time we went out was to Miss R’s horseback riding lesson. It was her first lesson in almost a month. The barn had a horse show and then all the trainers (and a couple of the kids) came down with COVID. Everyone came off quarantine the end of the last week. Miss R was thrilled to be riding again and she did very well.

The first week of school was offically great. Any issues we had (which I discussed in my WWW Wednesday post) had been resolved.

I finished 1 1/2 books over the weekend. I am happy with that.

I watched the rest of Season 1 and the first episode of Season 2 of Cold Case. The more I watch it, the more I remember how much I loved this series.


What I am Reading Now:

Running the Spark House, a hotel/event space that has been in her family for years, has been Avery Spark’s lifelong dream. After years of working hard and making personal sacrifices, Avery and her two younger sisters have turned the Spark House into the premier destination in Colorado Springs. Avery is living her best life—she works with her sisters and loves every minute of it, she has a great group of friends, and she lives in a fantastic condo with her best friend Declan. She might not have any love in her life, but she’s happy.

But everything comes to a screeching halt when Avery is in a car accident, leaving her immobile for weeks. After nearly losing Avery, Declan insists that he will be the one to take care of her while she recovers. However, as Declan becomes Avery’s caretaker, lines begin to blur.

Avery and Declan have been best friends since college and always had an attraction to one another, but when she ended up dating his best friend, Sam, they successfully stamped down any feelings they may have ever had for one another. Now, as Declan and Avery spend more time together, they each begin to wonder what would’ve happened if she’d dated him instead of Sam. What starts as a friend helping out another friend turns into foreplay and, before they realize it, they recognize how deeply they care for one another. But when things get serious their past threatens to destroy everything they have built.

I read the first couple of chapters of When Sparks Fly last night. So far, I am loving it!!! The opening sentence had me rolling (grown men participating in hobby horse racing).


What I plan on reading this week:

I knocked two books off this list last week. Big hooray for me!! The order I am reading these books are: Author ARC, Author ARC, NetGalley ARC, NetGalley ARC. I am motivated to read at least the first two books this week but I am hoping to read them all by Sunday.

If the only way to save her mother is to act like a spy, Mari can act like a spy.

Maybe.

After her mother is abducted, Mari Sandoval breaks into her mother’s research lab in an ill-advised attempt to appease the kidnappers. Fortunately she’s thwarted by two spunky sorority girls who offer her a better way to save her mother—become a spy.

In the fast-paced world of undercover agents—where fabulous new clothes, high-tech gadgets, and flirting for secrets are the norm—Mari’s inexperience could ruin everything.

Will she be able to master the art of espionage in time to rescue her mother from the clutches of a maniac? Or will her undercover mission doom them both to imprisonment?


Spies Never Quit is a cute spy-thriller where the romance is sweet and the suspense is cozy.
It’s just a simple trip to New York. What could possibly happen to our loveable heroes THIS time? Faster-than-sound reptiles? Exploding Minotaurs? Generational secrets coming back to haunt them? Expect the unexpected in this third installment of The Talisman Series, “Windy City Ruins”. The war for Earth is creeping steadily closer, and Rome’s team is in a mad dash to figure out the Talismans before it’s too late. Can they amass enough talent to help them defend the realm? Or will The Tyrant King’s heinous minions sweep them off course and leave Earth ready for the taking? Windy City Ruins is the third installment of the Talisman Series.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh comes Her Renegade Cowboy, the final book in the Moving Violations trilogy…

He will risk his life…

The oh-so-proper school teacher, Lily Donovan has learned, the hard way, that men are not to be trusted. Period. Until Levi Roberts, the new cowboy working at her cousin’s ranch, tempts her carefully-built resolve and awakens an all-consuming passion she thought lay dormant. But when she discovers his deadly secret, and her own secrets come to light, Lily unwittingly joins the lethal cat and mouse race between Levi and the man he’s been hunting for weeks.

To save her heart…

Former Ranger Levi Roberts has seen his fair share of deadly trouble during his years as a tough-as-nails operative. The ultimate expert in undercover investigations, he’s been tasked to find a man with a dangerous agenda in town. Routine work has been boring…until he runs into Lily, the prickly school teacher who tempts him like no other. Getting under her skin has been deliciously satisfying for his red-hot desire, but when Lily lands in the hands of the very man he’s been investigating, Levi will have to fight with every ounce of his heart and soul to save her—and to heal the heart he broke.
The first in a new regency romance series about two feuding families and reunited childhood enemies whose hatred turns to love.

Maddie Montgomery’s family is in debt, and her hope rests on the rival Davies clan missing their yearly “pledge of goodwill,” ceding the land that separates their estates. With Maddie’s teenage nemesis, Gryffud “Gryff” Davies, Earl of Powys, away, hope is in reach.

But then, Gryff shows up and is stunned that the tomboy he once teased is now a woman. When Gryff and Maddie discover contraband on their land, they realize it can benefit both families. But they’ve also uncovered a dangerous plot, and they need to work together to get out alive. Soon, their hatred for each other starts to feel more like attraction.

Kate Bateman brings crackling banter, steamy romance, and a dash of adventure into the first book in the Ruthless Rivals series.

WWW Wednesday: August 18th 2021

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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?


What I Recently Finished Reading:

If you play with fire…

One of the most notorious cowboys in Cold River, Jensen Kittredge always has willing women with sweet smiles vying for a place in his bed. So when the prissy high school librarian sidles up to him in the most disreputable bar in town with a scowl on her face, he has no idea what to make of it. Much less the attraction he feels toward the bespectacled creature who wants something from him… but not that.
Yet.


Someone gets burned…

Harriett Barnett doesn’t care for dens of iniquity– or the insolent cowboy she certainly shouldn’t find attractive. But one of her students needs her help, and if she needs to corral the infamous Jensen to save him, she will. Trouble is, the town’s favorite Kittredge brother is a lot more than she bargained for. Harriett’s happy little life is orderly and neat, just how she likes it–until Jensen blows it all apart with his particular brand of addictive passion. Can a modern-day schoolmarm really tame the wildest cowboy in town? Or is Harriet headed for a terrible fall?

What I am currently reading:

From the author of Paris Never Leaves You, a gripping story of a young German Jewish woman who returns to Allied Occupied Berlin from America to face the past and unexpected future

Millie Mosbach and her brother David escaped to the United States just before Kristallnacht, leaving their parents and little sister in Berlin. Now they are both back in their former hometown, haunted by ghosts and hoping against hope to find their family. Millie works in the office responsible for rooting out the most dedicated Nazis from publishing. Like most of their German-born American colleagues, the siblings suffer from rage at Germany and guilt at their own good fortune. Only Millie’s boss, Major Harry Sutton, seems strangely eager to be fair to the Germans.

Living and working in bombed-out Berlin, a latter day Wild West where the desperate prey on the unsuspecting; spies ply their trade; black markets thrive, and forbidden fraternization is rampant, Millie must come to terms with a past decision made in a moment of crisis, and with the enigmatic sometimes infuriating Major Sutton who is mysteriously understanding of her demons. Atmospheric and page-turning, The Living and the Lost is a story of survival, love, and forgiveness, of others and of self.

What books I think I’ll read next:

Running the Spark House, a hotel/event space that has been in her family for years, has been Avery Spark’s lifelong dream. After years of working hard and making personal sacrifices, Avery and her two younger sisters have turned the Spark House into the premier destination in Colorado Springs. Avery is living her best life—she works with her sisters and loves every minute of it, she has a great group of friends, and she lives in a fantastic condo with her best friend Declan. She might not have any love in her life, but she’s happy.

But everything comes to a screeching halt when Avery is in a car accident, leaving her immobile for weeks. After nearly losing Avery, Declan insists that he will be the one to take care of her while she recovers. However, as Declan becomes Avery’s caretaker, lines begin to blur.

Avery and Declan have been best friends since college and always had an attraction to one another, but when she ended up dating his best friend, Sam, they successfully stamped down any feelings they may have ever had for one another. Now, as Declan and Avery spend more time together, they each begin to wonder what would’ve happened if she’d dated him instead of Sam. What starts as a friend helping out another friend turns into foreplay and, before they realize it, they recognize how deeply they care for one another. But when things get serious their past threatens to destroy everything they have built.
If the only way to save her mother is to act like a spy, Mari can act like a spy.

Maybe.

After her mother is abducted, Mari Sandoval breaks into her mother’s research lab in an ill-advised attempt to appease the kidnappers. Fortunately she’s thwarted by two spunky sorority girls who offer her a better way to save her mother—become a spy.

In the fast-paced world of undercover agents—where fabulous new clothes, high-tech gadgets, and flirting for secrets are the norm—Mari’s inexperience could ruin everything.


Will she be able to master the art of espionage in time to rescue her mother from the clutches of a maniac? Or will her undercover mission doom them both to imprisonment?

Spies Never Quit is a cute spy-thriller where the romance is sweet and the suspense is cozy.
It’s just a simple trip to New York. What could possibly happen to our loveable heroes THIS time? Faster-than-sound reptiles? Exploding Minotaurs? Generational secrets coming back to haunt them? Expect the unexpected in this third installment of The Talisman Series, “Windy City Ruins”. The war for Earth is creeping steadily closer, and Rome’s team is in a mad dash to figure out the Talismans before it’s too late. Can they amass enough talent to help them defend the realm? Or will The Tyrant King’s heinous minions sweep them off course and leave Earth ready for the taking? Windy City Ruins is the third installment of the Talisman Series.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh comes Her Renegade Cowboy, the final book in the Moving Violations trilogy…

He will risk his life…

The oh-so-proper school teacher, Lily Donovan has learned, the hard way, that men are not to be trusted. Period. Until Levi Roberts, the new cowboy working at her cousin’s ranch, tempts her carefully-built resolve and awakens an all-consuming passion she thought lay dormant. But when she discovers his deadly secret, and her own secrets come to light, Lily unwittingly joins the lethal cat and mouse race between Levi and the man he’s been hunting for weeks.

To save her heart…

Former Ranger Levi Roberts has seen his fair share of deadly trouble during his years as a tough-as-nails operative. The ultimate expert in undercover investigations, he’s been tasked to find a man with a dangerous agenda in town. Routine work has been boring…until he runs into Lily, the prickly school teacher who tempts him like no other. Getting under her skin has been deliciously satisfying for his red-hot desire, but when Lily lands in the hands of the very man he’s been investigating, Levi will have to fight with every ounce of his heart and soul to save her—and to heal the heart he broke.
The first in a new regency romance series about two feuding families and reunited childhood enemies whose hatred turns to love.

Maddie Montgomery’s family is in debt, and her hope rests on the rival Davies clan missing their yearly “pledge of goodwill,” ceding the land that separates their estates. With Maddie’s teenage nemesis, Gryffud “Gryff” Davies, Earl of Powys, away, hope is in reach.

But then, Gryff shows up and is stunned that the tomboy he once teased is now a woman. When Gryff and Maddie discover contraband on their land, they realize it can benefit both families. But they’ve also uncovered a dangerous plot, and they need to work together to get out alive. Soon, their hatred for each other starts to feel more like attraction.

Kate Bateman brings crackling banter, steamy romance, and a dash of adventure into the first book in the Ruthless Rivals series.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at The Book Date.

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kid-lit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle-grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in those genres – join them.


Happy Monday (well, as happy as a Monday can be…lol) everyone and I hope you all had a great weekend!!

Our weekend was laidback but not as laidback as it was last weekend. It was still hot and humid. But it also rained off and on all weekend. Actually, the rain is supposed to last all week. I am not complaining. After almost a month and a half with no rain, it is welcome. At least when we mow the grass, it won’t come back up as dust

The kittens’ mom got spayed on Thursday. I felt awful for her because when she was all sort of drugged up when we got her back. She didn’t meow the entire ride home (she cried the entire ride to the vet). I talk to the transport on Wednesday and on Friday, she will be transported to NJ and her new life.

The kittens got for their 3-month appointment tomorrow. They get their shots and I am going to have the vet look at Loki’s tail (I believe it has been broken previous to us taking him in). I am also hoping that I get the go-ahead to get them neutered. Our Humane Society has a program where you can get your kitten spayed/neutered with a microchip for $40.

Miss R got her teacher assignment last week as well as when Open House is going to be. I have never heard of her teacher and am curious to see how Miss R is going to like her.

Mr. Z got his teacher assignments through PowerSchool last week. He is in advanced math (NC Math 1) and advanced ELA. But, he isn’t thrilled that he has PE first period (at 8am). His Open House is being done differently this year. They are doing a drive-through Open House. During that, he will get his Chromebook, schedule, and meet his teachers.

Miss B, on the other hand, has to wait until Wednesday to find out her schedule. She is a little irritated by that. She let the principal know last week when we went to the school to pick up her school certificate (she needs one to get her learner’s permit). He laughed and apologized to her. The great thing about being in a small school, everyone knows the kids. Her Open House is the same day as Miss R and Mr. Z’s, but just a little later in the day.

I haven’t read anything since last Wednesday. I have gotten into playing ESO and building up a dark elf dragon knight (stamina build). But, I did work on the blog. I edited several posts. I fixed images and links. I added in information.

I am behind 1 review, which was supposed to be published last week. I am hoping to finish that book up soon and start on the other 3 books on my Currently Reading list.


What I am Reading Now:

Flirting with evil will be the ruination of her soul.

Goodness is much easier to corrupt than it is to hold on to. And for Natasha, a woman reeling from the pain of losing a loved one, evil is all the more tempting. Luck or misfortune spirits Natasha away to the foreign Court of Velaris in a quest for a suitor but instead secures her a place among Velarian royalty. Craving revenge, Natasha makes use of this opportunity to enact her plans as she navigates the lush court where aristocracy is a double-edged blade. But when she befriends her soon-to-be husband Mikhail, the Beloved Prince, Natasha makes a deadly mistake. She captures the attention of the debonair Darkling Prince; a villainous man meant to ascend the Velarian throne.

Enamored, the Darkling Prince charms Natasha, and soon the two feel a forbidden emotion captivate their stoic, scabrous hearts. But with the existence of a violent rebel group capable of cataclysmic damage, there is little time for love. With war brewing amidst the enigmatic kingdom, the royals must become all the more cunning and devious if they wish to triumph over their adversaries. What draws the insidious line between right and wrong when it comes to a battle of survival? For Natasha, nothing is too far, too light, too bloody, too evil.

Soon, the only reflection Natasha sees in her mirror’s beveled glass is that of an Evil Queen. Often, the cost of survival is more frightening than the beasts of death. But that’s what gives the Queen of Shadow’s beauty an edge: she wears her darkness adorned about her throat like the grandest of all diamonds, ebony, and bloodred in shade.

I was a little off with what I said last week about Fairest. I was under the impression, from what I read, that this was going to be a retelling of Snow White. It isn’t. Instead, which I thought was a neat spin, it is about what happened after Snow White ended. I stopped reading right after Mikhail dropped that bomb and I can’t wait to see where this story is going to go.


What I plan on reading this week:

This is a repeat of last week. I am really hoping to get at least two of these books read this week.

If you play with fire…

One of the most notorious cowboys in Cold River, Jensen Kittredge always has willing women with sweet smiles vying for a place in his bed. So when the prissy high school librarian sidles up to him in the most disreputable bar in town with a scowl on her face, he has no idea what to make of it. Much less the attraction he feels toward the bespectacled creature who wants something from him… but not that.
Yet.


Someone gets burned…

Harriett Barnett doesn’t care for dens of iniquity– or the insolent cowboy she certainly shouldn’t find attractive. But one of her students needs her help, and if she needs to corral the infamous Jensen to save him, she will. Trouble is, the town’s favorite Kittredge brother is a lot more than she bargained for. Harriett’s happy little life is orderly and neat, just how she likes it–until Jensen blows it all apart with his particular brand of addictive passion. Can a modern-day schoolmarm really tame the wildest cowboy in town? Or is Harriet headed for a terrible fall?
Millie Mosbach and her brother David escaped to the United States just before Kristallnacht, leaving their parents and little sister in Berlin. Now they are both back in their former hometown, haunted by ghosts and hoping against hope to find their family. Millie works in the office responsible for rooting out the most dedicated Nazis from publishing. Like most of their German-born American colleagues, the siblings suffer from rage at Germany and guilt at their own good fortune. Only Millie’s boss, Major Harry Sutton, seems strangely eager to be fair to the Germans.

Living and working in bombed-out Berlin, a latter-day
Wild West where the desperate prey on the unsuspecting; spies ply their trade; black markets thrive, and forbidden fraternization is rampant, Millie must come to terms with a past decision made in a moment of crisis, and with the enigmatic sometimes infuriating Major Sutton who is mysteriously understanding of her demons. Atmospheric and page-turning, The Living and the Lost is a story of survival, love, and forgiveness, of others and of self.
Running the Spark House, a hotel/event space that has been in her family for years has been Avery Spark’s lifelong dream. After years of working hard and making personal sacrifices, Avery and her two younger sisters have turned the Spark House into the premier destination in Colorado Springs. Avery is living her best life—she works with her sisters and loves every minute of it, she has a great group of friends, and she lives in a fantastic condo with her best friend Declan. She might not have any love in her life, but she’s happy.

But everything comes to a screeching halt when Avery is in a car accident, leaving her immobile for weeks. After nearly losing Avery, Declan insists that he will be the one to take care of her while she recovers. However, as Declan becomes Avery’s caretaker, lines begin to blur.

Avery and Declan have been best friends since college and always had an attraction to one another, but when she ended up dating his best friend, Sam, they successfully stamped down any feelings they may have ever had for one another. Now, as Declan and Avery spend more time together, they each begin to wonder what would’ve happened if she’d dated him instead of Sam. What starts as a friend helping out another friend turns into foreplay and, before they realize it, they recognize how deeply they care for one another. But when things get serious their past threatens to destroy everything they have built.

WWW Wednesday: August 11th 2021

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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?


What I Recently Finished Reading:

Hospital orderly Owen Cloud falls in love, and to him it seems someone has turned up the volume on the Buzz of Being. Everything is as is always was, only more. Three women he meets help him advance through three phases of love–passion, friendship, and finally generosity of heart.

I had a hard time finishing this book. My formatting was messed up and the paragraphs all ran together until almost the end, then it morphed into paragraphs. So, that meant that I had to take my time when reading it. I also had a hard time finding the book. The author changed the name from Cypress Lake to Sip Lake. When I couldn’t find it on Goodreads, I googled it and found a forum with the author addressing it.


What I am currently reading:

Flirting with evil will be the ruination of her soul.

Goodness is much easier to corrupt than it is to hold on to. And for Natasha, a woman reeling from the pain of losing a loved one, evil is all the more tempting. Luck or misfortune spirits Natasha away to the foreign Court of Velaris in a quest for a suitor but instead secures her a place among Velarian royalty. Craving revenge, Natasha makes use of this opportunity to enact her plans as she navigates the lush court where aristocracy is a double-edged blade. But when she befriends her soon-to-be husband Mikhail, the Beloved Prince, Natasha makes a deadly mistake. She captures the attention of the debonair Darkling Prince; a villainous man meant to ascend the Velarian throne.

Enamored, the Darkling Prince charms Natasha, and soon the two feel a forbidden emotion captivate their stoic, scabrous hearts. But with the existence of a violent rebel group capable of cataclysmic damage, there is little time for love. With war brewing amidst the enigmatic kingdom, the royals must become all the more cunning and devious if they wish to triumph over their adversaries. What draws the insidious line between right and wrong when it comes to a battle of survival? For Natasha, nothing is too far, too light, too bloody, too evil.

Soon, the only reflection Natasha sees in her mirror’s beveled glass is that of an Evil Queen. Often, the cost of survival is more frightening than the beasts of death. But that’s what gives the Queen of Shadow’s beauty an edge: she wears her darkness adorned about her throat like the grandest of all diamonds, ebony, and bloodred in shade.

I am almost done with Fairest. Actually, Goodreads marked me as finished but I am 75% done. It is an interesting take on the Snow White/Evil Queen fairy tale. I feel awful for Alina (for some reason, she is called Natasha in the blurb) and I can’t wait to see where this story goes. I also loved the Russian angle too!!


What books I think I’ll read next:

There is little change from my IMWAYR post. Still a whole bunch of ARCs. I am hoping to get these read by next Monday. They all look like fast books but I could be wrong.

If you play with fire…

One of the most notorious cowboys in Cold River, Jensen Kittredge always has willing women with sweet smiles vying for a place in his bed. So when the prissy high school librarian sidles up to him in the most disreputable bar in town with a scowl on her face, he has no idea what to make of it. Much less the attraction he feels toward the bespectacled creature who wants something from him… but not that.
Yet.


Someone gets burned…

Harriett Barnett doesn’t care for dens of iniquity– or the insolent cowboy she certainly shouldn’t find attractive. But one of her students needs her help, and if she needs to corral the infamous Jensen to save him, she will. Trouble is, the town’s favorite Kittredge brother is a lot more than she bargained for. Harriett’s happy little life is orderly and neat, just how she likes it–until Jensen blows it all apart with his particular brand of addictive passion. Can a modern-day schoolmarm really tame the wildest cowboy in town? Or is Harriet headed for a terrible fall?
From the author of Paris Never Leaves You, a gripping story of a young German Jewish woman who returns to Allied Occupied Berlin from America to face the past and unexpected future

Millie Mosbach and her brother David escaped to the United States just before Kristallnacht, leaving their parents and little sister in Berlin. Now they are both back in their former hometown, haunted by ghosts and hoping against hope to find their family. Millie works in the office responsible for rooting out the most dedicated Nazis from publishing. Like most of their German-born American colleagues, the siblings suffer from rage at Germany and guilt at their own good fortune. Only Millie’s boss, Major Harry Sutton, seems strangely eager to be fair to the Germans.

Living and working in bombed-out Berlin, a latter day Wild West where the desperate prey on the unsuspecting; spies ply their trade; black markets thrive, and forbidden fraternization is rampant, Millie must come to terms with a past decision made in a moment of crisis, and with the enigmatic sometimes infuriating Major Sutton who is mysteriously understanding of her demons. Atmospheric and page-turning, The Living and the Lost is a story of survival, love, and forgiveness, of others and of self.
Running the Spark House, a hotel/event space that has been in her family for years, has been Avery Spark’s lifelong dream. After years of working hard and making personal sacrifices, Avery and her two younger sisters have turned the Spark House into the premier destination in Colorado Springs. Avery is living her best life—she works with her sisters and loves every minute of it, she has a great group of friends, and she lives in a fantastic condo with her best friend Declan. She might not have any love in her life, but she’s happy.

But everything comes to a screeching halt when Avery is in a car accident, leaving her immobile for weeks. After nearly losing Avery, Declan insists that he will be the one to take care of her while she recovers. However, as Declan becomes Avery’s caretaker, lines begin to blur.

Avery and Declan have been best friends since college and always had an attraction to one another, but when she ended up dating his best friend, Sam, they successfully stamped down any feelings they may have ever had for one another. Now, as Declan and Avery spend more time together, they each begin to wonder what would’ve happened if she’d dated him instead of Sam. What starts as a friend helping out another friend turns into foreplay and, before they realize it, they recognize how deeply they care for one another. But when things get serious their past threatens to destroy everything they have built.

It’s Monday? What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at The Book Date.

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kid-lit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle-grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in those genres – join them.


Happy Monday (well, as happy as a Monday can be…lol) everyone and I hope you all had a great weekend!!

We had another hot, but laidback, weekend. It’s too hot and humid out to do anything outside (the humidity today is 96% and was similar over the weekend). We ended up watching the Olympics, eating homemade Chinese food, and just enjoying the AC.

Loki and Jesper’s mom had her vet appointment last week. She is around 2 years old, which surprised us because we thought she was younger. She was negative for feline leukemia, FIV, and heartworms which was another huge relief. She had a laceration on her back paw but it was healing, so the vet didn’t do anything but give her an antibiotic shot. She was underweight (barely 6lbs) but it wasn’t because of worms (she didn’t have any). It was because she was starving (well until we started feeding her). She got her vaccines and I dropped her off at her temporary foster (a good friend of mine). She gets spayed this coming Thursday and my friend will keep her until August 20th. That’s when she will be transported to New Jersey to the rescue who will put her up for adoption.

We are in the home stretch before school starts. I am waiting on Miss R’s teacher assignment and paperwork for Mr. Z. I need to turn those in at Open House in order to get his schedule. Miss B, on the other, will get her schedule two ways. One way is through PowerSchool and the other way is through her Open House. I also still have yet to buy school supplies. The supply list for 2nd grade is short (3 things) and 8th grade only has the basics (we have to see what the individual teachers want). 10th grade, nothing has been posted.

I have read 3 books since Wednesday. I got stuck on Sip Lake and struggled to read it. But, I powered through!!

I am still behind on writing my reviews. I wrote 2 over the weekend (which I never do) and I have 3 more to write….sigh. I meant to write 2 of those yesterday but I decided to watch Infinity War and End Game back to back followed by the ending ceremonies of the Olympics.


What I am Reading Now:

Flirting with evil will be the ruination of her soul.

Goodness is much easier to corrupt than it is to hold on to. And for Natasha, a woman reeling from the pain of losing a loved one, evil is all the more tempting. Luck or misfortune spirits Natasha away to the foreign Court of Velaris in a quest for a suitor but instead secures her a place among Velarian royalty. Craving revenge, Natasha makes use of this opportunity to enact her plans as she navigates the lush court where aristocracy is a double-edged blade. But when she befriends her soon-to-be husband Mikhail, the Beloved Prince, Natasha makes a deadly mistake. She captures the attention of the debonair Darkling Prince; a villainous man meant to ascend the Velarian throne.

Enamored, the Darkling Prince charms Natasha, and soon the two feel a forbidden emotion captivate their stoic, scabrous hearts. But with the existence of a violent rebel group capable of cataclysmic damage, there is little time for love. With war brewing amidst the enigmatic kingdom, the royals must become all the more cunning and devious if they wish to triumph over their adversaries. What draws the insidious line between right and wrong when it comes to a battle of survival? For Natasha, nothing is too far, too light, too bloody, too evil.

Soon, the only reflection Natasha sees in her mirror’s beveled glass is that of an Evil Queen. Often, the cost of survival is more frightening than the beasts of death. But that’s what gives the Queen of Shadow’s beauty an edge: she wears her darkness adorned about her throat like the grandest of all diamonds, ebony, and bloodred in shade.

I started reading Fairest last night. I only got through the prologue but it has me wanting more!! If you couldn’t tell from the blurb, this is a Snow White retelling from the Evil Queen’s POV. I have read only one other book (Forest of a Thousand Lanterns) written from her POV and I loved it!! So can’t wait to read how this story will be.


What I plan on reading this week:

This week is all about the ARCs from NetGalley and I am hoping to cut down on that pile…sigh. I always go overboard with them. Thankfully, the books that I am reading are by authors I have already read before or I have seen good reviews for.

If you play with fire…

One of the most notorious cowboys in Cold River, Jensen Kittredge always has willing women with sweet smiles vying for a place in his bed. So when the prissy high school librarian sidles up to him in the most disreputable bar in town with a scowl on her face, he has no idea what to make of it. Much less the attraction he feels toward the bespectacled creature who wants something from him… but not that.
Yet.

Someone gets burned…

Harriett Barnett doesn’t care for dens of iniquity– or the insolent cowboy she certainly shouldn’t find attractive. But one of her students needs her help, and if she needs to corral the infamous Jensen to save him, she will. Trouble is, the town’s favorite Kittredge brother is a lot more than she bargained for. Harriett’s happy little life is orderly and neat, just how she likes it–until Jensen blows it all apart with his particular brand of addictive passion. Can a modern-day schoolmarm really tame the wildest cowboy in town? Or is Harriet headed for a terrible fall?
From the author of Paris Never Leaves You, a gripping story of a young German Jewish woman who returns to Allied Occupied Berlin from America to face the past and unexpected future

Millie Mosbach and her brother David escaped to the United States just before Kristallnacht, leaving their parents and little sister in Berlin. Now they are both back in their former hometown, haunted by ghosts and hoping against hope to find their family. Millie works in the office responsible for rooting out the most dedicated Nazis from publishing. Like most of their German-born American colleagues, the siblings suffer from rage at Germany and guilt at their own good fortune. Only Millie’s boss, Major Harry Sutton, seems strangely eager to be fair to the Germans.

Living and working in bombed-out Berlin, a latter day Wild West where the desperate prey on the unsuspecting; spies ply their trade; black markets thrive, and forbidden fraternization is rampant, Millie must come to terms with a past decision made in a moment of crisis, and with the enigmatic sometimes infuriating Major Sutton who is mysteriously understanding of her demons. Atmospheric and page-turning, The Living and the Lost is a story of survival, love, and forgiveness, of others and of self.
Running the Spark House, a hotel/event space that has been in her family for years, has been Avery Spark’s lifelong dream. After years of working hard and making personal sacrifices, Avery and her two younger sisters have turned the Spark House into the premier destination in Colorado Springs. Avery is living her best life—she works with her sisters and loves every minute of it, she has a great group of friends, and she lives in a fantastic condo with her best friend Declan. She might not have any love in her life, but she’s happy.

But everything comes to a screeching halt when Avery is in a car accident, leaving her immobile for weeks. After nearly losing Avery, Declan insists that he will be the one to take care of her while she recovers. However, as Declan becomes Avery’s caretaker, lines begin to blur.

Avery and Declan have been best friends since college and always had an attraction to one another, but when she ended up dating his best friend, Sam, they successfully stamped down any feelings they may have ever had for one another. Now, as Declan and Avery spend more time together, they each begin to wonder what would’ve happened if she’d dated him instead of Sam. What starts as a friend helping out another friend turns into foreplay and, before they realize it, they recognize how deeply they care for one another. But when things get serious their past threatens to destroy everything they have built.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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t’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at The Book Date.

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.


Happy Monday (well, as happy as a Monday can be…lol) everyone and I hope you all had a great weekend!!

This weekend was kind of laid-back for us. It was super hot on Friday. The temp was 96 with the real feel temp being 106. Miss R did have her horseback riding lessons but the lesson was shortened and the instructor asked for it to be earlier in the day (when it was more cooler).

Saturday, we hit Sam’s Club. Our pandemic supply of toilet paper and paper towels had finally been demolished (before the pandemic hit, I accidentally bought two things each of toilet paper and paper towels) and we needed more. Of course, once you’re there, you can’t just buy what you came for. We ended up with baguettes, a huge thing of grill spice, an 80 pack of water on top of the tp/paper towels. Then we came home and hibernated (aka watched the Olympics all day).

Sunday was a bit cooler. Miss B had her final 2 hours of driving (she drove highway and did fantastic!!). She completed the course and now we are waiting for September to roll around to get her permit (the DMV here is scheduling Teen 1 testing a month out). Then, she’s driving. Other than that, we relaxed.

We take Mama Cat (or Sarah, the rescue named her) to the vet tomorrow. It has been very stressful. I worried because of the heat (we opened our outdoor storage to help her cool down) and I currently worry because I’m afraid she’ll disappear. I also took out the cat carrier and found out that she is very food orientated. She likes treats and went right into the carrier when I placed treats in it. So, hopefully (knock on wood), I will have no issues with crating her tomorrow. After she is spayed and gotten shots, she is going to a friend of mine for temporary fostering. Then, when I get the email from the rescue, I take her to the transport and she goes off to her new life!!!

I finished 5 books last week which is really good for me. I am hoping to read 5 more this week also.

I have been writing books reviews like a madwoman. But, you guys have only seen two of them….lol. Even with me busting my butt writing, I am still behind 3 reviews….sigh.


What I am Reading Now:

Their back! Julian and Rome are taking their show on the road. This time it is to lovely old England in search of Camelot. While there the Knight and Dragon will be trying to solve the mystery of the Talismans, the mystery of their shadowy stalker and the mystery of sibling rivalry. Prepare to meet some new faces and, of course, some new Darkbrands as the two further their adventures across the pond.

What I plan on reading this week:

Hospital orderly Owen Cloud falls in love, and to him it seems someone has turned up the volume on the Buzz of Being. Everything is as is always was, only more. Three women he meets help him advance through three phases of love–passion, friendship, and finally generosity of heart.
Flirting with evil will be the ruination of her soul.

Goodness is much easier to corrupt than it is to hold on to. And for Natasha, a woman reeling from the pain of losing a loved one, evil is all the more tempting. Luck or misfortune spirits Natasha away to the foreign Court of Velaris in a quest for a suitor but instead secures her a place among Velarian royalty. Craving revenge, Natasha makes use of this opportunity to enact her plans as she navigates the lush court where aristocracy is a double-edged blade. But when she befriends her soon-to-be husband Mikhail, the Beloved Prince, Natasha makes a deadly mistake. She captures the attention of the debonair Darkling Prince; a villainous man meant to ascend the Velarian throne.

Enamored, the Darkling Prince charms Natasha, and soon the two feel a forbidden emotion captivate their stoic, scabrous hearts. But with the existence of a violent rebel group capable of cataclysmic damage, there is little time for love. With war brewing amidst the enigmatic kingdom, the royals must become all the more cunning and devious if they wish to triumph over their adversaries. What draws the insidious line between right and wrong when it comes to a battle of survival? For Natasha, nothing is too far, too light, too bloody, too evil.

Soon, the only reflection Natasha sees in her mirror’s beveled glass is that of an Evil Queen. Often, the cost of survival is more frightening than the beasts of death. But that’s what gives the Queen of Shadow’s beauty an edge: she wears her darkness adorned about her throat like the grandest of all diamonds, ebony, and bloodred in shade.
If you play with fire…

One of the most notorious cowboys in Cold River, Jensen Kittredge always has willing women with sweet smiles vying for a place in his bed. So when the prissy high school librarian sidles up to him in the most disreputable bar in town with a scowl on her face, he has no idea what to make of it. Much less the attraction he feels toward the bespectacled creature who wants something from him… but not that.
Yet.

Someone gets burned…

Harriett Barnett doesn’t care for dens of iniquity– or the insolent cowboy she certainly shouldn’t find attractive. But one of her students needs her help, and if she needs to corral the infamous Jensen to save him, she will. Trouble is, the town’s favorite Kittredge brother is a lot more than she bargained for. Harriett’s happy little life is orderly and neat, just how she likes it–until Jensen blows it all apart with his particular brand of addictive passion. Can a modern-day schoolmarm really tame the wildest cowboy in town? Or is Harriet headed for a terrible fall?
Millie Mosbach and her brother David escaped to the United States just before Kristallnacht, leaving their parents and little sister in Berlin. Now they are both back in their former hometown, haunted by ghosts and hoping against hope to find their family. Millie works in the office responsible for rooting out the most dedicated Nazis from publishing. Like most of their German-born American colleagues, the siblings suffer from rage at Germany and guilt at their own good fortune. Only Millie’s boss, Major Harry Sutton, seems strangely eager to be fair to the Germans.
Living and working in bombed-out Berlin, a latter day Wild West where the desperate prey on the unsuspecting; spies ply their trade; black markets thrive, and forbidden fraternization is rampant, Millie must come to terms with a past decision made in a moment of crisis, and with the enigmatic sometimes infuriating Major Sutton who is mysteriously understanding of her demons. Atmospheric and page-turning, The Living and the Lost is a story of survival, love, and forgiveness, of others and of self.
Running the Spark House, a hotel/event space that has been in her family for years, has been Avery Spark’s lifelong dream. After years of working hard and making personal sacrifices, Avery and her two younger sisters have turned the Spark House into the premier destination in Colorado Springs. Avery is living her best life—she works with her sisters and loves every minute of it, she has a great group of friends, and she lives in a fantastic condo with her best friend Declan. She might not have any love in her life, but she’s happy.

But everything comes to a screeching halt when Avery is in a car accident, leaving her immobile for weeks. After nearly losing Avery, Declan insists that he will be the one to take care of her while she recovers. However, as Declan becomes Avery’s caretaker, lines begin to blur.

Avery and Declan have been best friends since college and always had an attraction to one another, but when she ended up dating his best friend, Sam, they successfully stamped down any feelings they may have ever had for one another. Now, as Declan and Avery spend more time together, they each begin to wonder what would’ve happened if she’d dated him instead of Sam. What starts as a friend helping out another friend turns into foreplay and, before they realize it, they recognize how deeply they care for one another. But when things get serious their past threatens to destroy everything they have built.

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