Five Stars, Four Stars, Jen Geigle Johnson, Josi S. Kilpack, Low Language, Low Religion, Low Romance, Low Violence, Moderate Language, Moderate Religion, Moderate Violence

At Home Learning

 

PicPlayPostPhoto (1)Weekly Reading Round Up

I participated in my own at home learning last weekend when I attended a virtual writing conference. In my very first class I watched the amazing Lisa Mangum not just teach a concept, but then show us how to implement it by mapping it out. She had another author u the beginning ideas for a story, and it was awesome. I was just as enthralled with this new story idea as I was with the class. So I went looking for other things this author has written and I found this:

51Vw6s+8xcLI don’t do scary, I get the heebie jeebie’s just looking at that cover. However, the premise sounds amazing!

Erwin is in hell— Locked in his high school with his ex-girlfriend, her new pain-in-the-ass boyfriend, and a handful of others while zombies claw at the doors trying to fight their way in.
The bright light in the dark is Sylvia, whose strength helps hold Erwin together when everything is falling apart.
When they realize the school is no longer safe, Erwin is determined to keep the group together and get them all to safety. But he can’t save everyone.

 

I really want to be brave enough to read it, but I’m not…yet. However, I did find this too, and really enjoyed it.

Secondary Characters by Rachel Schieffelbein 51obj+FFBFL

This was a really fun quick young adult read. I think we all feel like a secondary character at some point in our lives which made Mabel extremely relatable. I appreciated getting the story from both Mabel and Lance’s point of view. His point of view created in the reader the knowledge that Mabel wasn’t a secondary character to him. Thus adding an on the edge of your seat feeling of: when is she finally going to see it and believe it too? I really enjoyed their sweet romance. **Just a heads up there was a bit of swearing in the book, they were however, all mild curse words.

**** Moderate Language, Low Romance, Low Violence, Low Religion

The Earl’s Winning Wager by Jen Geigle Johnson52955109._SX318_SY475_

This is a favorite author of mine. She has such versatility in her writing with both traditionally published and indie Regency Romances under this name. She also writes contemporary romances under the pen name Sophia Summers. Her traditionally published books feel a little deeper, a little more flushed out. Her Indie books are lighter, but still delightful. Depending on what mood I’m in I can always find a good read with her. This book is the second in the Lord’s for the Sisters of Sussex series. These sisters are so fun and unique, each with their own voice. Jen has created an intriguing setting in the castle and an interesting mystery that instantly peaked my interest. There however, was so much going on with all the sisters, the love triangle and the mystery of the family’s background I had a hard time keeping up with everything.  The confusion pulled me out of the story a time or two. I loved the characters so much though and can’t wait to see where this journey takes each of them.

*** Low Language, Low Romance, Low Violence, Low Religion

Rake and Roses by Josi Kilpack49733535

This was a beautifully written book of redemption. The first two chapters were hard to read for the fact that they were written so well you felt the desperation and the hurt to your very core. I was a little worried about how dark the book was going to get, but it never once felt heavy like that. The author handled the lowest lows and the darkness of life with a layer of hope and love. I instantly loved Lady Sabrina and the direction her goodness took the book. Harry Stillman alternately could have easily been a character I hated, but the author wrote him with such raw vulnerability that you fiercely want him to succeed. I was so invested in Harry’s growth there was a moment when his growth shown through and I felt Lady Sabrina’s response to that growth was out of character. I had forgotten for a moment that she was also broken. That moment made the story more real to me, they were both healing in different ways and their combined growth made the story honest and empathetic. I loved Daisies and Devotion so much I wasn’t sure if I could love any of the books in the series as much, but they just keep getting better!

*****Low Language, Low Romance, Moderate Violence, Moderate Religion (There was a bit more focus on God in this book, being a God fearing woman myself I felt like you couldn’t have a story of redemption with out Him. The author wove those parts in really well.)

 

Five Stars, High Violence, Low Language, Low Religion, Low Romance, Low Violence, Moderate Language, Moderate Romance, Nichole Van, Three Stars

Give me a Break

Weekly Reading Round Up

With all the changes and life adjustments happening… this week I needed something familiar. I needed something that would make me smile and make my heart happy. Nichole Van‘s House of Oak Series might just get the label of ‘my favorite series ever’. It’s high praise, but well deserved. And I read them all this week, and loved them all over again. We’ve already given you our effusive praise for this series here. house-of-oak-series-by-nichole-van-L-m199uJ

However I realized in re-reading that post that I hadn’t mentioned my most favorite book in that series, which is Clandestine (book 3).

I love Marc and Kit’s story. It makes me laugh out loud. Modern pop culture references in a regency era setting make for some fantastic moments. I remember the first time I read it, I just about dropped my phone with the twist she throws in. Intelligent, witty, emotional writing was exactly what I needed this week. I could read this series again and again and be delighted every time.

***** Low Language, Low Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion

Aeva the Wild by Claire Marion 41hog8XXkSL

I (Aimee) had never read anything set in the viking era and it intrigued me. I should have processed however, the reality of how vulgar the vikings were into my decision to pick this book up. It is very violent, including sexual violence. And though there wasn’t a ton of language for most of the book, it oddly picked up in the last twenty percent of the book. So while the author was fantastic and the plot was very well done, the ratings are a lot higher than I’m comfortable with.

***Moderate Language, High Violence, Moderate Romance (The consensual romance was moderate. The sexual violence is categorized under the High Violence)

 

His Lady in Hiding by Jen Geigle Johnson41+midp8xiL._SY346_

You can find our blog tour review on this great book here.

 

 

Five Stars, Four Stars, Low Language, Low Religion, Low Romance, Low Violence, Lucy McConnell, Moderate Language, Moderate Romance, Nancy Campbell Allen, Sheralyn Pratt, Three Stars

No More Adulting

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Weekly Reading Round Up

Don’t Kiss Your Lab Partner by Lucy McConnell 51DKGSj1DAL
When I don’t want to adult anymore my go to reading is always young adult novels. They make me smile. Lucy McConnell is a favorite of ours, so when she comes out with an young adult novel on a week I’m really done adulting, it’s a time to rejoice. This was just what I needed. It was a quick, cute, fun read.  Adelle was an adorable character that you love right away. Such a great start to a new series.

**** Low Language, Low Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion

 

Road Trip with the Enemy by Kelsie Stelting411m+rv2+ZL

A little ironic that two of us picked young adult books this week that dealt with grief and death. Especially when that seems to be something so many are dealing with currently. The author handled it really well, such good emotion.  There were a few things that Sydney’s character did that I wouldn’t want my teenager to think was an okay way of grieving, but the author did a really good job of showing how people cope and grieve differently and the ramifications of that.

*** Low Language, Low Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion

 

Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts by Nancy Campbell Allen51SYSmFZNlL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

I have been waiting rather impatiently for the next steampunk fairy tale. These books are so unique. They balance romance, suspense, fantasy and fairy tale components so well. This one however, wasn’t my favorite. The plot was intriguing and the suspense kept me engaged, but there were a few elements I’d come to expect from the others that felt missing in this one. I found myself often distracted from an otherwise interesting plot because I was trying to figure out the Cinderella aspects. In the other books in this series, the fairy tale connection felt natural and ingenious, this one felt a little forced. I really like the two sides of the same coin concept in the enemies to lovers trope. There were definitely swoon worthy moments between Emme and Oliver and I loved their snarkiness.  I may need to go back and read the last book to see if there’s a little more back story between the two characters that I just don’t remember, because the romance felt a little rushed. Despite not being my favorite, you can bet I’ll be waiting just as impatiently for the next steampunk fairy tale. I love this unique and wonderful world the author has created. 

*** Low Language, Moderate Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion

 

The Kiss That Launched 1,000 GIFS by Sheralyn Pratt 51g4igC4vsL

Not only is this book light and fun, and witty. The perfect romantic comedy. It also has moments of honesty about relationships that make me want to say, hey everyone, read this! I really love her writing so much!

***** Low Language, Low Violence, Moderate Romance, Low Religion.

 

 

The Ghost of You and Me by Kelly Oram pro_pbid_4258569

One of us stayed up until one o’clock in the morning reading this book, that’s how good it was. The author did a really good job of writing both sides of grief. There was accurate portrayals of what it’s like to be the one grieving and what it’s like to be the one on the outside affected.  The conversations and the emotions were real. It’s one I’d actually re-read.

**** Moderate Language, Low Violence, Moderate Romance, Low Religion

Anneka Walker, Five Stars, Four Stars, Low Language, Low Religion, Low Romance, Low Violence, Moderate Language, Moderate Violence, Rebecca Connolly, Three Stars

Trying something new…

Weekly Reading Round-up

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Melanie… 

The Masked Baron by Anneka Walker  

Beauty and the Beast is one of my all time favorite fairy tales so I’m super skeptical of re-tellings. At first I wasn’t sure if I loved where this one was going. The more I got into the story, the more I loved what she did with it. The story is a little more fantastical, a lot of high drama, so keep that in mind going in. I especially loved how she ended it. (releases March 2nd!)

**** Low Language, Low Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion

Fall From Trace by Rebecca Connolly

This book has been built up since the beginning of The London League. All the intrigue has been building for four books, and it did not disappoint!  Rebecca Connolly is an expert at romance and her attention to detail in that category makes every scene swoon worthy. She has excellent character development and I came away loving the story and it’s characters. I feel like her actions scenes are sometimes missing that attention to detail, a little rushed maybe, but it doesn’t make me love her stories any less.

***** Low Language, Low Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion

Nikki…

Most of my reading this week was taken up with my local book club’s book

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

I loved this book! I loved how it reminded me of my grandfather’s. Both of whom seemed a little prickly on the outside, but had hearts of gold. I loved the humor, the emotions, and the metaphors. The metaphors! Huge fan of his writing style and am now adding “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” and “Britt-Marie was Here” to my tbr list.

***** Moderate Language, Moderate Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion 

I also fit in two novellas:

Lady Mary Contrary by Anneka Walker

I really liked the plot idea. I have a soft spot for friends to lovers books. I however had a hard time ever feeling completely invested in the story.  Their banter was well written, I just never connect personally to the characters.

*** Low Language, Low Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion

and, A Highlander’s Hidden Heart by Julie Coulter Bellon

This story had such a great cute meet. I loved the resolution the author provided between the heroine and her parents, but the overall story felt a little rushed, even for a Novella. I would love to see this story flushed out a little more. The characters had such great potential of both the heroic and villainous kind.

*** Low Language, Low Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion

Aimee…

My little one has been sick for what seems like days on end so my days have been filled with reading Little Blue Truck Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, and Dear Zoo which are fantastic, if you’re a one year old 😉

 

 

3 1/2 Stars, Low Romance, Low Violence, Moderate Language, Moderate Religion

Perspective

Confession for you all, I have always been more on the sensitive side I cry during movies, watching TV, and while reading books. Heavens, I’ve even cried watching facebook videos! Since having my first baby however, my hormones (lets just blame it on the hormones) have been out of control.

So Healed by Miranda Lotz may not have been the best choice, it is 100% a heart wrencher. I cried through more than half of it.

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“Stephanie knows God answers her prayers. Giving birth to her daughter after five miscarriages is proof of that. 

But when baby Abby is diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy and treatments begin to spiral out of control, Stephanie is left to question why a God of miracles doesn’t guide her to heal Abby.

Stephanie’s husband, Jared, wants to try Mary’s Miracle–an organic CBD oil made from hemp–to treat Abby’s seizures, but Stephanie wants to know what God has planned for them.

As treatments dwindle and options run low, Stephanie must learn how to trust her instincts and follow her heart, finding a path forward for her daughter, and a path back to God for herself.”

The author did a beautiful job of reflecting all the pain hurt and struggle a family can go through when they find out hard news about their little angels. Miranda Lotz’s writing not only pulls on your heart strings, but gives you perspective. She did a very good job of making you feel and understand all the emotions.

I did struggle a little with the points of view it was written in, the chapters were labeled with the person’s name, but every now and then it seemed to switch to third person or even a completely different view.

Be aware of the sensitive nature of this book before you decide if it’s for you. Also a few other points: The book is very heavily religious as this family struggles in understanding why God would allow this, but it’s not preachy. There is heavier language than most books we read, so keep that in mind. Lastly, although there is no violence in the book its first chapter is pretty graphic in the telling of her delivery.

That all being said, this is a good book to turn to for perspective, for faith, and for a really good cry. –A.B.

4 1/2 stars, Giveaway, Low Violence, Moderate Language, Moderate Romance

Segue not Segway

You know what I love? A Good segue. When a writer can transition seamlessly from one point of view to another, or one time period to another, or one chapter to another. That’s one of the things that first caught my attention when reading Bria Quinlan‘s “The Catching Kind”, her transitions from one chapter to another keeps pulling your interest along, keeping you hooked.

“Hailey Tate thought she was worth more than a straight flush. Apparently not.

When camera-shy author Hailey Tate’s agent loses a bet and brokers a deal, it leaves Hailey in the last place she wants to be: backed into the corner of Publicity and Paparazzi. Now, thanks to her girl-next-door image and role as pretend girlfriend to a womanizing shortstop, she’s getting the attention she always managed to avoid.

Connor Ryan is not only America’s Sexiest Athlete, he’s also the current Bad Boy of Baseball. But when he goes a base too far, management wants to bench him…permanently. One thing he never counted on? Falling for his sweet, fake girlfriend. He’s the guy who can catch anything and now she’s next on his list”

Bria Quinlan’s writing is delightful, she creates witty banter that made me smile through the whole book. She exhibits the life of an author in Hailey. From her insecurities, to her crazy schedule, to her quirkiness, she was such a fun and authentic character to read.

I loved Connor and Hailey’s romance, it was not just believable, but adorable. It is a little higher on the romance meter than I usually read, thought there wasn’t even very much kissing, but there were more inuendos for those who want a heads up about those kind of things. That being said, I plan to read the other’s in the Brew Ha Ha series.  The second in the series, “Worth the Fall” is free today, so I guess that’s going on my kindle 🙂

 

 

Author Bria Quinlan

RWA RITA award finalist and USA Today Best Seller Bria Quinlan writes Diet-Coke-Snort-Worthy Rom Coms about what it’s like to be a girl and deal with crap and still look for love. She also writes books for teens that take hard topics and make you laugh through your tears. Some people call them issue books. Some people call them romantic comedies. Bria calls them what-life-looks-like.

Her stories remind you that life is an adventure not to be ignored.

 

Giveaway Details

Ends 10/1/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

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Low Religion, Low Violence, Moderate Language, Moderate Romance, Three Stars

Flight Plans

When I heard about the book The Best Laid Flight Plans, by Leigh Dreyer, I was super excited for a few reasons: 1. I love re-tellings,  but that’s nothing new 2.  It was put into the military life I have come to love and enjoy.

The Best Laid Flight Plans: A Modern Pride and Prejudice Variation (Pride in Flight Series Book 1) by [Dreyer, Leigh]

“In this modern Pride and Prejudice variation, Captain William “Fitz” Darcy has just received a new assignment as an instructor pilot at Meryton Air Force Base. Soon he meets the intrepid 2nd Lieutenant Elizabeth Bennet, a new student at the base that he cannot keep out of his head. Elizabeth, on the other hand, finds Captain Darcy to be arrogant and prideful and attempts to avoid him at every turn. Despite Darcy’s insulting manners, Elizabeth soars her way through pilot training, but can she soar her way into love as well?”

I was excited to read one of my favorite regency stories, Pride and Prejudice, with an Air Force pilot twist! And while Leigh Dreyer did a good job with doing just that, I did not love it as much as I had hoped. The end was probably my favorite part, the author took a bit of liberty with the story that really threw some suspense into a story I already knew so well.

I did struggle with a couple things. I found it a bit distracting that she kept the names exactly the same, such old fashioned names were hard to put into my modern thought of the story and along those same lines some of the language was not consistent. There were modern words, even some cussing and then all of the sudden an Air Force pilot is using a sentence with words like “absolutely delightful” and “it is lovely”. I can’t picture a normal ’30 something saying’ that, let alone an Air Force pilot.

My one other confusion came when the author took the officers to the military ball. At the ball, there was a toast given.  It’s one I’ve never heard at the military balls I’ve attended. Though beautiful, the toast spoke only to pilots, which is not all the Air Force is made up of, and seemed out of place. I attempted to reach out to the author to get better understanding, but did not receive a response. So while there may be an explanation for it. To me it was confusing.

I did enjoy that I was able to understand the military lingo and acronyms and though she did have footnotes could see that being daunting for other readers. I enjoyed the story enough that I am going to read the next book that will be coming out despite some of my hiccups with this one. –AB

 

Moderate Language, Moderate Romance, Moderate Violence

Reckless Magic

Hey sis! Confession, I love me a good teen flick, kind of embarrassing for an adult, but it’s true. I also love when a book can keep me guessing! Reckless Magic by Rachel Higginson is about Eden a spunky 16 year old girl in a mixed up world, and with each twist and turn in her adventure I got more and more sucked in!41L1ivDXLzL

“Sixteen-year-old Eden Matthews has been in and out of private schools for the last two years. She can’t seem to stop herself from closing them down. Kingsley is her last chance to finish high school.

Only Kingsley isn’t like the other schools she’s been to. The students are different. But, then again, so is she. After meeting Kiran Kendrick, the mysterious boy who seems to be the source of all her problems, she is suddenly in a world that feels more make-believe than reality.”

For me you know a book is good when it keeps you up late at night because you can’t put it down. The romance is fun and the writer kept me guessing on Kiran’s character and motives… good or bad? This was definitely a top favorite for me.

 

*One conversation about belief in God, but not really any religious themes.

Additional confession: This book is the first in the Star-Crossed series, after book 4 of this series Eden’s story ends. The romance, language and violence creeps up to high with books 5-7 in the series; with the romance going beyond my liking. –A.B.