Saturday, December 16, 2017

Book Review: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

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Series: Girl Meets Duke Book #1
Format: Ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from Library (Overdrive)
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis from GoodReads

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
- They will be husband and wife by night only.
- No lights, no kissing.
- No questions about his battle scars.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.


But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
- They will have dinner together every evening.
- With conversation.
- And unlimited teasing.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…


Review

I read this book without reading the synopsis. I literally just went with the fact that Tessa dare wrote it. She is definitely a favorite author now and a must buy/read. This is just a fantastic story. I read it in one sitting which is always a good sign.

Emma and Ash were both well-crafted characters. Emma is such a strong and determined woman. She is certainly an inspirational character. Ash was so funny in a dark and dry way. Ms. Dare really knows how to write scarred characters and humor.

This whole story dealt with some dark and serious issues. But it was handled in a wonderful way and Ms. Dare kept it appropriately light with does of humor here and there.

The only thing that makes me mad is that I have to wait months for the next book. There isn't even a real synopsis yet. But I think I saw some sequel bait there.

Thanks for reading!
Holly


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Book Review: Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas

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Series: Hathaways Book #4
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 321
Rating: 5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

For two years,
Catherine Marks has been a paid companion to the Hathaway sisters—a
pleasant position, with one caveat. Her charges' older brother, Leo
Hathaway, is thoroughly exasperating. Cat can hardly believe that their
constant arguing could mask a mutual attraction. But when one quarrel
ends in a sudden kiss, Cat is shocked at her powerful response—and even
more so when Leo proposes a dangerous liaison.

Leo must marry and
produce an heir within a year to save his family home. Catherine's
respectable demeanor hides a secret that would utterly destroy her. But
to Leo, Cat is intriguing and infernally tempting, even to a man
resolved never to love again. The danger Cat tried to outrun is about to
separate them forever—unless two wary lovers can find a way to banish
the shadows and give in to their desires.
Review

This is such a well-crafted story. I love seeing the growth of the relationship between Leo and Cat.
Leo, especially, has grown so much throughout the course of this series. Their romance has the right
amount of passion and compassion.

While reading this, I realized what I really love about this series. It all comes down to the family.
The Hathaways are such an amazing family. I love seeing how supportive and accepting they are.
There is just so much of it in this particular book and it warms my heart. I love reading about good/
positive families.

Thanks for reading!
Holly


Monday, December 11, 2017

Book Review: Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas

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Series: Hathaways Book #3
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 373
Rating: 5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Poppy Hathaway loves
her unconventional family, though she longs for normalcy. Then fate
leads to a meeting with Harry Rutledge, an enigmatic hotel owner and
inventor with wealth, power, and a dangerous hidden life. When their
flirtation compromises her own reputation, Poppy shocks everyone by
accepting his proposal—only to find that her new husband offers his
passion, but not his trust.

Harry was willing to do
anything to win Poppy—except to open his heart. All his life, he has
held the world at arm’s length…but the sharp, beguiling Poppy demands to
be his wife in every way that matters. Still, as desire grows
between them, an enemy lurks in the shadows. Now if Harry wants to keep
Poppy by his side, he must forge a true union of body and soul, once and
for all.

Review
 
I flew through this one. I remembered liking this, but it was even better than I remember.

Poppy is great. She does remind me a lot of Win because she has a kind of calm outside, but she's still her own person/character. She is an incredibly strong and passionate person.

Harry is definitely a hard person. Ms. Kleypas does a fantastic job of explaining why he is the way she is. It would be easy for him to come across as unlikeable, but she finds a nice balance for him.

Their romance begins under some questionable circumstances, but it does work. This isn't a storyline every author can pull off, but Ms. Kleypas can. And I love seeing Poppy and Harry navigate being a new couple. They have to work through the ups and downs of married life. Those are some of my favorite types of books.

And Ms. Kleypas provided glimpses of the two previous couples which makes my heard happy. It's always nice to see and makes the world feel more flushed out. Then, there's the sequel bait. Ms. Kleypas is like the queen of sequel bait and it was strong here. So strong that even though I've read the whole series before I had to pick up the next book immediately.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Friday, December 8, 2017

Review: The Remedy by Suzanne Young

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Series: The Program (.5 or 3)
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 401
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased or Chirstmas Gift
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Quinlan McKee is a closer. Since the age of seven, Quinn has held the responsibility of providing closure to grieving families with a special skill—she can “become” anyone.

Recommended by grief counselors, Quinn is hired by families to take on the short-term role of a deceased loved one between the ages of fifteen and twenty. She’s not an exact copy, of course, but she wears their clothes and changes her hair, studies them through pictures and videos, and soon, Quinn can act like them, smell like them, and be them for all intents and purposes. But to do her job successfully, she can’t get attached.

Now seventeen, Quinn is deft at recreating herself, sometimes confusing her own past with those of the people she’s portrayed. When she’s given her longest assignment, playing the role of Catalina Barnes, Quinn begins to bond with the deceased girl’s boyfriend. But that’s only the beginning of the complications, especially when Quinn finds out the truth about Catalina’s death. And the epidemic it could start.

Review

This was quite a roller coaster. It gave me a lot of the same fee
lings as The Program. Ms. Young does a great job of addressing serious topics like death and suicide.

The main feeling I had while reading this was trippy. Quinn is like the most intense method acting. And this is a great use of first person. As she gets confused about who she is, so did I as the reader. It was a really weird feeling, but The Program was the same.

I definitely got emotional while reading this-there were tears. And this was a good addition to the Program series. And I'm eager to read the next book and she what happens next.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Book Review: Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel

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Stand Alone
Format: Audiobook
Rating: 3 Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from Library (Overdrive)
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Hachette Audio 

Synopsis from GoodReads

In this new edition, internationally recognized executive coach Lois P. Frankel reveals a distinctive set of behaviors-over 130 in all-that women learn in girlhood that ultimately sabotage them as adults. She teaches you how to eliminate these unconscious mistakes that could be holding you back and offers invaluable coaching tips that can easily be incorporated into your social and business skills. The results for hundreds of thousands of women have been career opportunities they never thought possible-at every stage of their career, from entry-level to the corner office! Stop making "nice girl" errors that can become career pitfalls, such as: Mistake #13: Avoiding office politics. If you don't play the game, you can't possibly win. Mistake #21: Multi-tasking. Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should do it. Mistake #54: Failure to negotiate. Don't equate negotiation with confrontation. Mistake #70: Inappropriate use of social media. Once it's out there, it's hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube. Mistake #82: Asking permission. Children, not adults, ask for approval. Be direct, be confident.

Review

I don't typically review by non-fiction books, but I had some things to say about this. And this is more my observations then a review. But isn't that always the case?

Overall, this had some helpful tips and interesting observations. I recently started a new job where I feel like this can be helpful. I do a lot of the things Ms. (Dr?) Frankel says women do-I make my voice higher subconsciously and can be kind of mothering to my co-workers.

And her tips are mostly helpful. I would like to work on adding them to my life. But some made me a little mad. They come across kind of like "just be like a man." Men may do better in corporate business, but there are just certain things women shouldn't have to give up if they don't want to. Like one thing she said was not to have long hair because it reminds people of little girls. I have and like long hair. And if that's one of the reasons I don't advance I'm ok with that because that is such a stupid thing to be concerned with. If your hair is well cared for it shouldn't matter. That whole tip just really stuck out to me as annoying.

Thanks for reading!
Holly


Monday, December 4, 2017

November Wrap-Up (2017)

November was definitely a pick up compared to the last couple of months. I did read/listen to a decent amount of audiobooks which does help. But I have no idea how I read so much. And it was a fairly good month for quality of books, too. I only DNF'd one book.

And in personal news, I started a new job this month. My first day was the Monday before Thanskgiving. It's definitely been a little overwhelming, but I'm grateful for the opportunity. And I know it will get easier.

I don't think I'll have any issues completing my GoodReads goal this year. And I'm definitely excited about reading more books going into December.

Here are the books I read and their ratings.

Idol-4 Stars
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The Darkest Promise-4 Stars
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At Home-4 Stars
9820802

On the Fence-4 Stars
18298225

Mortal Heart-4 Stars
20522640

Love, Lex -DNF
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A Short History of Nearly Everything-4 Stars
7673227

Seduction of Elliot McBride-4 Stars
12240431

Managed-4 Stars
30325011

Unveiled-4 Stars
10299323

Seduce Me at Sunrise-5 Stars
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Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office-3 Stars
18984687

The Remedy-4 Stars
22449285

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Review: Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas

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Series: The Hathaways Book #2
Format Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 360
Rating: 5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks

Synopsis from GoodReads
 
He has tried hard to forget her.

Kev Merripen has longed for the beautiful, well-bred Winnifred Hathaway ever since her family rescued him from the brink of death when he was just a boy. But this handsome Gypsy is a man of mysterious origins—and he fears that the darkness of his past could crush delicate, luminous Win. So Kev refuses to submit to temptation... and before long Win is torn from him by a devastating twist of fate.

Can she remember the man he once was?

Then, Win returns to England... only to find that Kev has hardened into a man who will deny love at all costs. Meantime, an attractive, seductive suitor has set his sights on Win. It’s now or never for Kev to make his move. But first, he must confront a dangerous secret about his destiny—or risk losing the only woman he has lived for...
 
Review
 
I've lost count of how many times I've read this book. This was always my favorite in this already amazing series. Now, I think it may be falling down in my rankings, but still 5 stars obviously.
 
Win is great. She's a very refined and caring person. She may appear delicate especially because of her health issues but she has a fierceness and strength. She's kind, but doesn't let anyone walk all over her.
 
Merripen is angsty and brooding. He also feels deeply-especially for Win. I like that he works so hard and he does care for all the Hathaways. But I wish his life centered a little less around Win.
 
The romance is gripping and passionate. The fierceness with which these two love each other was always what I loved about the book. It still gets to me, but I see some of the flaws in this type of romance now. And Merripen has alpha/gypsy tendencies I'm sure some people would see as problematic.
 
I've really enjoying re-reading this series...again.
 
Thanks for reading!
Holly