Friday, July 12, 2019

Book Review: Prince Charming by Rachel Hawkins

Series: Royals Book #1
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporay
Publisher: Penguin

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Meet Daisy Winters. She's an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair, a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who's nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince's roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown--and the intriguing Miles--might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.


This was a cute YA contemporary. I read it in just a couple of hours and enjoyed my time with the characters. The romance was cute, but not as developed as I would've liked. Actually, I felt that way about a lot of the story. I wanted more development with many of the characters and story lines. 

It felt kind of like a Disney movie-if drinking was kosher on the Disney channel. It was a very one level story. Like I would've like to know more about the sister's relationship. I would be ok with less romance if that relationship had been more deeply explored.

The friendships were really cute and pretty healthy. There is a group of guy friends that seems a little toxic, but is actually pretty good which I like. And Daisy's parents were funny. It's nice to have a YA book with parents who are actually in their kids' lives.

Overall, this was a good story. Maybe it is more of a 3.5 star read. I definitely want to pick up the next story. And I hope more of the side characters get books because I'm interested in them.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Book Review: The Duke is But a Dream by Anna Bennett

Series: Debutante Diaries Book #2
Format: ebook
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
How I Got It: NetGalley
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperback

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Miss Lily Hartley is the anonymous mastermind behind the ton’s latest obsession: The Debutante’s Revenge, a titillating advice column for ladies on the marriage mart. To keep her identity secret, Lily delivers her columns disguised as a chimney sweep—which is all well and good, until she unwittingly lands in the middle of an ugly tavern brawl. Fortunately, the devastatingly handsome Duke of Stonebridge sweeps in to rescue her.Unfortunately, Lily’s dressed as a boy—and holding rather incriminating evidence linking her to the scandalous column. Drat.

When Eric Nash, Duke of Stonebridge, sees a helpless lad receive a nasty blow to the head, he’s outraged. But when he discovers there’s a beautiful woman hiding beneath the chimney sweep’s cap, he’s positively stunned. Nash would happily escort her home, but she’s forgotten her name—leaving him little choice but to take her in himself until he can locate her family. But the closer he gets to finding them, the more he doesn’t want to let her go.

Lily’s trying to figure out exactly who she is…in more ways than one. With so much at stake—her column, her reputation, and even her heart—she needs a plan, and she needs it fast. Before Nash finds her family. Before he learns who she is. Before they fall totally, completely, and utterly inconveniently in love.


***I received this book via NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review***

This was a cute story. I feel like I say that a lot, but it's how I feel. The characters were nice and the romance was fairly well-paced. It's also an amnesia story line which I've only read once before. 

Lily was a likable character and I really liked her writing. Nash was a little brooding, but not annoyingly so. I'm not a huge fan of overprotective big brothers, but he grew a little and you can tell it comes from a place of love. I would've liked a little more development in the romance, but it wasn't too much of an issue. I would have liked some more development in some of the side story lines as well as the friendships.

It was a fast and enjoyable read, but nothing special. It was a little forgettable, but I would read other books in the series because I like the characters.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Book Review: The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma

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Stand Alone
Format: Audio Book
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
How I Got It: Library
Genre: Non-Fiction, Self-Help,
Publisher: Harper Collins

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Legendary leadership and elite performance expert Robin Sharma introduced The 5am Club concept over twenty years ago, based on a revolutionary morning routine that has helped his clients maximize their productivity, activate their best health and bulletproof their serenity in this age of overwhelming complexity.

Now, in this life-changing book, handcrafted by the author over a rigorous four-year period, you will discover the early-rising habit that has helped so many accomplish epic results while upgrading their happiness, helpfulness and feelings of aliveness.

Through an enchanting—and often amusing—story about two struggling strangers who meet an eccentric tycoon who becomes their secret mentor, The 5am Club will walk you through:

How great geniuses, business titans and the world’s wisest people start their mornings to produce astonishing achievements
A little-known formula you can use instantly to wake up early feeling inspired, focused and flooded with a fiery drive to get the most out of each day
A step-by-step method to protect the quietest hours of daybreak so you have time for exercise, self-renewal and personal growth
A neuroscience-based practice proven to help make it easy to rise while most people are sleeping, giving you precious time for yourself to think, express your creativity and begin the day peacefully instead of being rushed
“Insider-only” tactics to defend your gifts, talents and dreams against digital distraction and trivial diversions so you enjoy fortune, influence and a magnificent impact on the world
Part manifesto for mastery, part playbook for genius-grade productivity and part companion for a life lived beautifully, The 5am Club is a work that will transform your life. Forever. 


I requested this from the library after the woman I follow for weight loss talked about it. She did say it isn't liked by everyone. Now, that I've read/listened to it, I understand why.

The concepts are interesting and have some potential to be life changing. But I would've appreciated more science or explanation of those things. I think, writing this as more of a narrative is what people find to be off-putting. I appreciate that it is a different take on a self-help/self-development book. But it was kind of weird. Like there was a romance which was random. If it was a case study written as a narrative, I could get behind it. The story was like half story and half self-help but kind of failed at both.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

June Wrap-Up (2019)

June was a crazy month. I knew it was going to be. Although it was a tad bit more crazy than I expected. Not in a good way, but I'm trying not to dwell on that.

I did have my dance recital which went well. If I can find away to insert the footage, I will. 

And I read way more than I thought was possible. I definitely think audio books help with that. I also finally signed up for Audible. I also got the romance package. Now, I just have to stop myself from listening to all the books. 

Here are the books I read and their ratings:

Court of Fives-3 Stars

Graceling-5 Stars

Guarding the Amish Midwife-3 Stars
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The Raging Ones-5 Stars
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Warrior of the Wild-5 Stars
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Exclusively Yours-4 Stars

The 5 AM Club-3 Stars
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The First Conspiracy-4 Stars
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Prince Charming-4 Stars

Silver Shadows-5 Stars
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The Duke is But a Dream-3 Stars

Him-4 Stars

The Night Circus-4 Stars

The Ruby Circle-4 Stars

Us-4 Stars
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Addicted for Now-5 Stars

Good Boy-4 Stars
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Let's Get Textual-4 Stars
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Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Book Review: Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

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Stand Alone
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 329
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
How I Got It: Purchaed
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

As her father's chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: To win back her honor, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year—or die trying.


I read this in like 3 hours. And now I'm sad because I don't have any more Tricia Levenseller books to read. I just really enjoy her writing. For me, there is the right balance of fantasy, action, and romance. I also really appreciate a standalone fantasy.

The Viking-inspired elements were interesting. And there was definitely a serious and dark tone. I was kept on the edge of my seat. I would get anxious and made on Rasmira's behalf. I even teared up a couple of times. 

I've seen some people complain about the romance. I didn't think it overwhelmed the story but I also love a romance. The romance was cute and added some lightness to the story. The friendships were also a nice break. I also liked how the friendships impacted Rasmira and contributed to her character development.

Overall, this was engaging and a fun stand alone read. I loved spending time with these characters and in this world.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 1, 2019

Book Review: Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

Series: Court of Fives Book #1
Format: Paperback
Pages: 432
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Little Brown Books

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Jessamy's life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family she can be whoever she wants when she sneaks out to train for The Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom's best contenders. Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an unlikely friendship between two Fives competitors--one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy--causes heads to turn. When Kal's powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes's family apart, she'll have to test her new friend's loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death. 


I want to write a review, but may have waited too long to write this.

Overall, I enjoyed this. I've already purchased the sequel so my "issues" aren't too bad obviously. I have two main problems-the romance and I was soooo confused.

I love romance, so me complaining about it really says something. I have no issue with the relationship between these two characters, but it escalated way too fast. And it is a trilogy so there is time for more development and a slower burn. It is a class-difference story which is one of my favorite tropes.

Then, there's my confusion. I expect some level of confusion in a fantasy, but this started to interfere with my enjoyment. I'm just really confused about the politics and relationships between these groups of people. Hopefully, it will make more sense as the series continues.

I picked this up because of the family relationship. Initially, that wasn't as strong as I wanted, but that started to get better and I think that will continue. I love family relationships and interactions and I'm particularly interested in Jessamy's mother. She just fascinates me. 

While the social and political elements confuse me, I am interested in it. Ms. Elliott is exploring difficult topics which I like reading about. Fantasy offers that opportunity without all of the real-world history if you tried to write in our world. It sort of reminds me of The Winner's Curse in that way. But they aren't the same books/series in any way.

I will keep reading this series and see where it goes. 

Oh, apparently, this is a Little Women re-telling. I've never read that and honestly have no interest, so I can't tell you how it works as a retelling.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Summer TBR (2019)

Spring is ending and Summer is beginning so it is time for another seasonal 

This is a 5 book TBR which I try to read in the next 3 months. 1 book that has been on my TBR for a long time and gets unhauled if I don't read it, 2 ebook TBR jar picks, and 2 physical TBR jar picks.

Here are the books I picked for the summer.

TBR Veteran:

E-Book picks


Physical book picks


Thanks for reading!