Savaged by Mia Sheridan

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: Savaged
Author: Mia Sheridan
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
When wilderness guide, Harper Ward, is summoned to the small town sheriff’s office in Helena Springs, Montana, to provide assistance on a case, she is shocked to find that their only suspect in the double murder investigation is a man described as a savage.

But the longer she watches the man known only as Lucas, on the station surveillance camera, the more intrigued she becomes. He certainly looks primitive with his unkempt appearance and animal skin attire, but she also sees intelligence in his eyes, sensitivity in his expression. Who is he? And how is it possible that he’s lived alone in the forest since he was a small child?

As secrets begin to emerge, Harper is thrust into something bigger and more diabolical than she ever could have imagined. And standing right at the center of it all, is Lucas. But is he truly the wild man he appears to be? A cold blooded killer? An innocent victim? Or a perplexing mix of all three?

Harper must find out the answers to these questions because the more time she spends with him, the more she risks losing her heart.

GOODREADS

Review

Oh boy. This book was much more intense than I expected it to be.

Read More

Beautifully Written Books

I’m a sucker for gorgeous writing. I adore it when a book is so beautifully written that I have to stop and take a breath before reading on.

I totally understand that some people absolutely hate flowery prose. I am not one of those people.

And writing doesn’t necessarily have to be flowery to be beautiful to me. Sometimes certain authors have such an incredible ability to describe a thought or feeling in a succinct and unique, yet relatable way that you know exactly what they mean without three paragraphs of description.

Give me all of those books. And all of that talent.

Here are some of my favorite examples of beautifully written books:

 

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The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

“My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn’t go away; it becomes a part of you, step for step, breath for breath. I will never stop grieving Bailey because I will never stop loving her. That’s just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don’t get one without the other. All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy.”

“Remember how it was when we kissed? Armfuls and armfuls of light thrown right at us. A rope dropping down from the sky. How can the word love and the word life even fit in the mouth?”

“Remember how it was when we kissed? Armfuls and armfuls of light thrown right at us. A rope dropping down from the sky. How can the word love and the word life even fit in the mouth?”

 

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How to Kill a Rockstar and God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo

“Fate is the magnetic pull of our souls toward the people, places, and things we belong with.”

“Fate is just another word for people’s choices coming to a head. Destiny, coincidence, whatever you name it. It inevitably lies in our hands.”

“I know that if I ever have the audacity to blame fate or God for holding a gun to my temple, I also have the wherewithal to remind myself that if I end up with a hole in my head, I was the one who pulled the trigger.”

“Has the industry done to music what McDonald’s has done to eating?”

“Just knowing you exist changed the world for me.”

“I like to say I don’t believe in mystics . I don’t believe in fate. I don’t believe in destiny or kismet. I don’t believe in God. I don’t believe in anything. But I believe in the possibility of everything.”

“Real annihilation happens from the inside out.”

 

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The Nature of Jade by Deb Calletti

“It was one of those times you feel a sense of loss, even though you didn’t have something in the first place. I guess that’s what disappointment is- a sense of loss for something you never had.”

“They say religion is about love, but you wonder how much of it really is about fear.

“Stereotypes are fast and easy, but they are lies, and the truth takes its time.”

 

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Darkly Madly Duet by Trisha Wolfe

When gravity makes itself known, we’re powerless to stop the collision. Knowing you’re being drawn into a black hole does little to prevent the inevitable.

When I look into his eyes, I see myself. Not a reflection of the woman—but the hollow echo of my blood-stained soul.

She is my salvation. And I am her long-awaited consequence.

 

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Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

“Time passes by you like a bullet,” he says, “and fear gives you the excuses you’re craving to not do the things you know you should. Don’t doubt yourself, don’t second-guess, don’t let fear hold you back, don’t be lazy, and don’t base your decisions on how happy it will make others. Just go for it, okay?”

“A ship at harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are for.”

“We don’t need food to survive this life as much as we need our hearts broken at least once. But the best part is, the first break is always the worst. It’ll never feel this bad.”

 

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Caraval Series by Stephanie Garber

“She imagined loving him would feel like falling in love with darkness, frightening and consuming yet utterly beautiful when the stars came out.”

“Gold shimmered no matter what, but few people could make darkness glitter the way he did.”

“He smelled of magic and heartbreak, and something about the combination made her think that despite what he claimed, he wanted to be her hero.”

 

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American Queen by Sierra Simone

“Jealousy is a word with too many meanings. It’s a TARDIS of a word, bigger on the inside, a small, mean thing on the surface, but a complicated dance of emotions and negotiations within. I’m suffering with every single meaning of the word jealous.”

“Sometimes the forbidden fruit is just too sweet not to bite.”

“I saw that you can be hurt—mortally wounded, in fact—and it doesn’t have to be anyone’s fault. Sometimes the world is just cruel that way, and it wasn’t fair to grudge them their happiness even as it tore down my own.”

 

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

“I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.”

“We are all dealt a hand at birth. A good hand can ultimately lose – just as a poor hand can win – but we must all play the cards the fate deals. The choices we face may not be the choices we want, but they are choices nonetheless.”

“Failure isn’t absolute, just because you couldn’t save everyone doesn’t mean you didn’t save anyone.”

 

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.”

“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”

“Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?”

 

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

“Another secret of the universe: Sometimes pain was like a storm that came out of nowhere. The clearest summer could end in a downpour. Could end in lightning and thunder.”

“The summer sun was not meant for boys like me. Boys like me belonged to the rain.”

“But love was always something heavy for me. Something I had to carry.”

 

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Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

“People are so complex. They want to hear the truth, but they want you to lie to them.”

“Life. It’s a funny thing. Some want it, some throw it away. Some cling, some have it stolen from them. It’s terrifying… which is maybe why I was drawn to Fear in the first place.”

“But her story isn’t finished, and for once she’s picked up a pen.”

Favorite Books with Unique Love Stories

When you read as many romance novels as I do, love stories tend to get a bit repetitive. So, it’s refreshing when I come across a story that has a particularly unique romance.

Don’t get me wrong, I love many of the common tropes, but it’s always nice to come across something just a little bit different.

Here are some of my favorite 5 star books with unique romances

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Some Quiet Place (Some Quiet Place #1) Kelsey Sutton

I can’t feel sadness, anger, or fear. I can’t feel anything. I’ve grown talented at pretending.

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions… she sees them in human form. Longing hovers around the shy, adoring boy at school. Courage materializes beside her dying friend. Fury and Resentment visit her abusive home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, except beautiful Fear, who sometimes torments her and other times plays her compassionate savior. He’s obsessed with finding the answer to one question: What happened to Elizabeth to make her this way?

They both sense that the key to Elizabeth’s condition is somehow connected to the paintings of her dreams, which show visions of death and grief that raise more questions than answers. But as a shadowy menace begins to stalk her, Elizabeth’s very survival depends on discovering the truth about herself. When it matters most, she may not be able to rely on Fear to save her.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet

As a little girl, Jane has no one. Her mother, the powerful head of a Broadway theater company, has no time for her. She does have one friend-a handsome, comforting, funny man named Michael-but only she can see him.

Years later, Jane is in her thirties and just as alone as ever. Then she meets Michael again-as handsome, smart and perfect as she remembers him to be. But not even Michael knows the reason they’ve really been reunited.

SUNDAYS AT TIFFANY’S is a love story with an irresistible twist, a novel about the child inside all of us-and the boundary-crossing power of love.

♥ ♥ ♥

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My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares

Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together-and he remembers it all. Daniel has “the memory”, the ability to recall past lives and recognize souls of those he’s previously known. It is a gift and a curse. For all the times that he and Sophia have been drawn together throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart. A love always too short.

Interwoven through Sophia and Daniel’s unfolding present day relationship are glimpses of their expansive history together. From 552 Asia Minor to 1918 England and 1972 Virginia, the two souls share a long and sometimes torturous path of seeking each other time and time again. But just when young Sophia (now “Lucy” in the present) finally begins to awaken to the secret of their shared past, to understand the true reason for the strength of their attraction, the mysterious force that has always torn them apart reappears. Ultimately, they must come to understand what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together.

♥ ♥ ♥

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The Wish Collector by Mia Sheridan

New Orleans, a city of mystery and magic, of secrets and dreams, and a history drenched in both love and the deepest of heartache.

When ballet dancer Clara Campbell arrives in New Orleans, lonely and homesick, she is immediately captivated by the story of Windisle Plantation and the tragic tale that is said to have transpired beyond its gate. Legend has it that it is abandoned by all living souls, but to Clara’s great surprise, it is not a ghost she hears through the stone wall surrounding the property, but a flesh and blood man. A scarred stranger with a pain deeper and darker than the churning waters of the Mississippi river that flows beside his self-imposed prison.

The ruined man behind the wall hides himself from the world. The last thing he expects is to find a friend in the selfless girl who speaks to him through the cracks in the rock. The girl who keeps returning week after week. The girl who makes him wish for things he has long since given up on. The girl who strikes both fear and hope within his wounded heart. But there can be no future for them, no life beyond Windisle, for no one knows better than him that monsters only live in the dark.

The Wish Collector is the story of shame and triumph, of loneliness and love, and the miracle of two hearts connecting despite the strongest of barriers between them.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Darkly, Madly Duet by Trisha Wolfe

Born, Darkly

He challenged her sanity.

She shattered his reality.

They dared each other…to the brink of madness.

A dark and twisted maze awaits criminal psychologist London Noble when she falls for her patient, convicted serial killer, Grayson Pierce Sullivan. As she unravels the traps, her sanity tested with each game, she’s forced to acknowledge the true evil in the world around her.

Born, Madly

Duet: a performance by two.

But who is acting, and who is devolving?

A buried past is unearthed, and Grayson Sullivan—AKA The Angel of Maine—retaliates against the system who made him, deploying psychological warfare on the woman who initially set him free. Dr. London Noble probes deep into the mind of the killer she’s fallen for, searching for answers, as a copycat killer threatens their unity. Are they partners, lovers, or enemies? One final trap will reveal all.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry, and Tobias Iaconis

In this moving story two teens fall in love with just one minor complication—they can’t get within five feet of each other without risking their lives.

Can you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

♥ ♥ ♥

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Never, Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen.

Complete strangers since this morning.

He’ll do anything to remember. She’ll do anything to forget.

♥ ♥ ♥

The Wish Collector by Mia Sheridan

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: The Wish Collector
Author: Mia Sheridan
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
New Orleans, a city of mystery and magic, of secrets and dreams, and a history drenched in both love and the deepest of heartache.

When ballet dancer Clara Campbell arrives in New Orleans, lonely and homesick, she is immediately captivated by the story of Windisle Plantation and the tragic tale that is said to have transpired beyond its gate. Legend has it that it is abandoned by all living souls, but to Clara’s great surprise, it is not a ghost she hears through the stone wall surrounding the property, but a flesh and blood man. A scarred stranger with a pain deeper and darker than the churning waters of the Mississippi river that flows beside his self-imposed prison.

The ruined man behind the wall hides himself from the world. The last thing he expects is to find a friend in the selfless girl who speaks to him through the cracks in the rock. The girl who keeps returning week after week. The girl who makes him wish for things he has long since given up on. The girl who strikes both fear and hope within his wounded heart. But there can be no future for them, no life beyond Windisle, for no one knows better than him that monsters only live in the dark.

The Wish Collector is the story of shame and triumph, of loneliness and love, and the miracle of two hearts connecting despite the strongest of barriers between them.

GOODREADS

Review

This book spoke to my Phantom-of-the-Opera-Loving Soul.

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The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: The Distance Between Us
Author: Kasie West
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

GOODREADS

Review

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Kasie West book, so when I discovered a few of her books were on the Audible Escape package, I decided to pick one at random and read it.

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Life Update: I’ve Never Felt More Trapped In My Own Body

As someone who has suffered with panic disorder for over a decade, I’m very familiar with the unsettling feeling of being trapped inside your own body.

When I’m having a panic attack, I’m fully aware of what is happening. It is not an out-of-body experience. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I’d much prefer to be anywhere but in my body when panic sets in and I know I’m in for the crashing-plane-feeling of a panic attack.

It’s that exact feeling that has been hanging out in the back of my mind as I’ve slowly started compiling symptoms that I’ve had for years.

It all came to a head at the end of September when I had what I thought was an ocular migraine. I don’t usually get migraines often. Headaches? Yeah, all the time. But migraines are few and far between.

Then, that last Friday in September came and I had the weirdest migraine I’d ever had. Suddenly my vision was skewed, as if I’d looked up and the sun and back down, but couldn’t clear the dark blobs in my vision. Luckily, I’ve heard about ocular migraines before, so I took some medicine and quickly left work before it got worse.

And it definitely got worse.

And since then it’s as if that migraine barely left.

The entire next week I had light sensitivity and headaches. My vision returned to normal, but my eyes were even hurting.

I went to a walk-in clinic who prescribed me migraine medicine, but told me I probably shouldn’t be at work when I take it because of my side effects (so, I didn’t take it).

I went to an ophthalmologist the next day, who told me that my eyes looked healthy, but she started asking me odd questions about my medical history.

Your hand has been tingly and slightly numb for two years? Tell me more about that.
Is it in only one eye that you have the pain?
Have you noticed any discoloration in your vision in that eye?
Has your vision decreased in that eye? Or become dimmer?

Ultimately, though my eyes looked healthy on her end, she insisted I see a neurologist. I took the card for the neurologist she recommended, and went on my way.

Her leading questions, though, stuck with me and I did the unthinkable… I took to Google.

And that’s when I came across Optic Neuritis.

“Optic neuritis is an inflammation that damages the optic nerve, a bundle of nerve fibers that transmits visual information from your eye to your brain. Pain and temporary vision loss in one eye are common symptoms of optic neuritis.”

Optic neuritis had a lot of the same symptoms that I was having, minus the vision changes. This was the only thing I could find that listed symptoms I was having and as I was researching it further, I came across something even more unsettling… Optic Neuritis is often a sign of Multiple Sclerosis.

Of course, I started digging into MS and that’s when things got scary. My tingling hand, that time my entire left side went numb and tingly, the ice pick headaches I was having a few months ago, frequent UTIs… these are all symptoms of MS.

I stopped researching MS altogether when things started getting scary. I didn’t want to scare myself without knowing for sure, but I also wanted to find out some answers. So, I did a little research and found a neurologist about an hour away from where I live who specialises in MS.

Here’s the thing, MS is really hard to diagnose. Doctors have to cancel out every other option before they can determine it is MS, so I wanted to go to a neurologist who knew exactly what to look for.

Of course, this was the beginning of October and I couldn’t get an appointment until November 11.

Ok, I thought, well, I can deal with the eye pain and migraines until then.

But then, the following Wednesday, my vision started to change.

It’s hard to describe, but it is as if there was a gray screen in front of my right eye. I was seeing flashes of lights in only that eye.

After I went to Shameless Book Con in mid-October, I ended up in the ER.

My vision had changed pretty significantly within a week and a half and it was pretty scary.

I decided to go to the ER at the hospital that the MD neurologist was associated with so that my records would be available to him for my upcoming appointment.

I was pretty relaxed going in, I purposely went at a time when I didn’t think it would be busy and I fully understood that they would likely admit me and do all sorts of testing. Despite my tendency to be anxious, I wasn’t really in this situation. Surprisingly, hospitals and doctors don’t really bother me at all.

That is… until they put some medicine in my IV that I still am not sure what it was. They told me it was for my headache, but I have a feeling it was some sort of steroid.

I was fine as they put in my IV (despite some difficulty), when they took blood, and even when I got a CT scan, but about 20 minutes after they administered the IV medication, I started feeling my skin crawling and a desperate feeling that I needed to get the hell out of that hospital.

It didn’t feel like my normal panic attacks, it felt like it was right under my skin. I began shaking, my heart rate spiked, and when the ER doctor (who was abosolutely lovely, by the way) told me she wanted to admit me and possibly keep me overnight for more testing and to see the neurologist and ophthalmologist, I couldn’t say yes. I had to leave.

And I did. I ended up leaving against medical advice.

With a “normal” panic attack, just signing the discharge papers would’ve cured the anxiety, but because this was medically induced, that skin-crawling, I-need-to-escape feeling stuck with me the entire day. Even when I was in my pajamas in bed at home.

The ER doctor instructed me to try to get into my MS doctor’s office sooner and she also wanted me to see an ophthalmologist (again) and another neurologist. I consulted with the MS doctor and he added me to their cancelation list and told me to go ahead and see the ophthalmologist again, but not to worry about the neurologist.

So, I saw the ophthalmologist, who basically said the same thing as the first. After doing all sorts of tests, he told me that my eyes looked healthy in the areas that he could see, but he couldn’t cancel out Optic Neuritis or MS – I’d need an MRI for that.

The MS doctor ended up ordering me a MRI and a VEP, both of which I scheduled before my appointment with him.

And that’s where we leave off in this story. I had my MRI on Friday and I have my VEP test this coming Thursday.

And I’m feeling… I don’t know. Nervous? Sick of feeling headachy all the time? Sick of having trouble seeing out of my right eye? And, honestly? Slightly hopeless. Just a touch. Because even if I am official diagnosed with MS, there is no cure. You can somewhat treat the symptoms, but I just… I don’t know. It’s scary and it’s hard to even wrap my head around.

I want to be that person who is brave, who powers through and stays positive… and that’s typically how I am, but I can’t help spiraling sometimes.

If this is MS… suddenly the future is terrifying. What will it mean for my husband? For my kids? For my career? For my mental health?

I want to be positive. Not just for myself, but for my family and friends. I want to inspire people, not depress them…

But I’m just not there quite yet. My body feels like it’s failing me and I’m trapped inside of it.

For now, as I often do… I’ll employ the good old “fake it til you make it” state of mind. I’m great at plastering on a smile and going about my business, pretending that I am that positive person. The one who can find the light even in complete darkness. And maybe, eventually, I’ll actually become that person.

October 2019 Wrap Up

Check out my October Wrap Up video here:

September Stats

  • 8 Books total
  • 1 Re-reads
  • 1 three-star book
  • 4 four-star book
  • 2 five-star books
  • 7 audiobooks
  • 0 hard copy
  • 1 eBook
  • 1 currently reading

Re-reads

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Maybe Someday
(Maybe #1)
by Colleen Hoover

Contains exclusive content: songs from Griffin Peterson

Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she’s a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope….

Maybe someday…

Colleen Hoover draws you in to this passionate tale of music, love and betrayal…

♥♥♥

★★★ 3 Star Reads

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Broken Prince
(The Royals #2)
by Erin Watt

From wharf fights and school brawls to crumbling lives inside glittery mansions, one guy tries to save himself.

THESE ROYALS WILL RUIN YOU…

Reed Royal has it all—looks, status, money. The girls at his elite prep school line up to date him, the guys want to be him, but Reed never gave a damn about anyone but his family until Ella Harper walked into his life. From wharf fights and school brawls to crumbling lives inside glittery mansions, one guy tries to save himself.

THESE ROYALS WILL RUIN YOU…

Reed Royal has it all—looks, status, money. The girls at his elite prep school line up to date him, the guys want to be him, but Reed never gave a damn about anyone but his family until Ella Harper walked into his life.

What started off as burning resentment and the need to make his father’s new ward suffer turned into something else entirely—keep Ella close. Keep Ella safe. But when one foolish mistake drives her out of Reed’s arms and brings chaos to the Royal household, Reed’s entire world begins to fall apart around him.

Ella doesn’t want him anymore. She says they’ll only destroy each other.

SHE MIGHT BE RIGHT.

Secrets. Betrayal. Enemies. It’s like nothing Reed has ever dealt with before, and if he’s going to win back his princess, he’ll need to prove himself Royally worthy.

♥♥♥

★★★★ 4 Star Reads

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Remedial Rocket Science
(Chemistry Lessons #1)
by Susannah Nix

Rocket science is no problem. Falling in love, on the other hand…

College student Melody Gage is craving a night of no-strings fun when she meets charming out-of-towner Jeremy, and that’s exactly what she gets. Until three years later, when Melody relocates to Los Angeles and finds herself thrust back into Jeremy’s orbit.

Not only does her hunky one-night stand work at the same aerospace company where she’s just started her dream job, he’s the CEO’s son. Jeremy’s got a girlfriend and a reputation as a bad boy, so Melody resolves to keep her distance. Despite her good intentions, a series of awkward circumstances—including an embarrassing crying jag, a latte vs. computer catastrophe, and an emergency fake date—throw her together with the heavenly-smelling paragon of hotness.

As the billionaire playboy and nerdy IT girl forge an unlikely friendship, Melody’s attraction to Jeremy grows deeper than she’s ready to admit. Will she risk it all for a shot at her happy ending?

The debut novel from author Susannah Nix, Remedial Rocket Science follows in the tradition of contemporary romantic comedy favorites like Penny Reid, Sally Thorne, and Jennifer Crusie. This lighthearted slow burn romance is the first in a series of standalone rom-coms featuring geeky heroines who work in STEM fields.

♥♥♥

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Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words
by Tara Sivec & Andi Arndt

Cowritten by USA Today best-selling author Tara Sivec and award-winning narrator Andi Arndt, a hysterically funny, heartfelt romance about starting over and taking chances.

Nothing good ever comes from drinking a box of wine alone. So when I decided to entertain my drunken self by setting up some hand-me-down podcasting equipment and reading the steamy parts from romance novels, I never thought anyone would actually listen. The fact that I admitted my huge crush on my sexy next door neighbor made the whole thing even more mortifying. But sometimes life surprises you, and that’s how my podcast, Heidi’s Discount Erotica, was born.

Now I, Heidi Larsen, a sweet former kindergarten teacher in Waconia, Minnesota, lead a scandalous double life reading erotic novels to the listening world. And with each episode, I find myself embracing my new alter ego more and more. Now I’m starting to feel more comfortable in my own skin and do things I never would have dreamed of – like kissing my neighbor.

Look out, Waconia, because Heidi’s on the loose! She’s in your ears, in your hearts, and down your pants…wait, that didn’t sound as good as it did in my head. Well, you get the picture, don’tcha know!

♥♥♥

Be the Girl
by K.A. Tucker

Almost sixteen-year-old Aria Jones is starting over. New postal code, new last name, new rules. But she doesn’t mind, because it means she can leave her painful regrets behind. In the bustling town of Eastmonte, she can become someone else. Someone better.

With the Hartford family living next door, it seems she will succeed. Sure, Cassie Hartford may be the epitome of social awkwardness thanks to her autism, but she also offers an innocent and sincere friendship that Aria learns to appreciate. And Cassie’s older brother, Emmett—a popular Junior A hockey player with a bright future—well … Aria wishes that friendship could lead to something more. If he didn’t already have a girlfriend, maybe it would.

But Aria soon finds herself in a dicey moral predicament that could derail her attempt at a fresh start. It is her loyalty to Cassie and her growing crush on Emmett that leads her to make a risky move, one that earns her a vindictive enemy who is determined to splinter her happy new world.

♥♥♥

Dane’s Storm
by Mia Sheridan

A gripping, exquisitely romantic new standalone by New York Times bestselling author Mia Sheridan.

Dane was her first kiss and the only man she ever loved . . . until their marriage crashed and burned. Now Audra has built a quiet life for herself running a flower shop she’s put her whole heart into. But Audra is left reeling when an unexpected circumstance brings Dane back into her world. He’s still as breathtaking as he ever was, and he still affects her more than any man she’s ever known. Yet learning to trust him again could be a matter of life and death . . .

When Dane offers to fly his ex-wife from California to Colorado to help correct a wrong, he never imagined the harrowing twist of fate awaiting them. When their plane goes down in the snowy mountain wilderness, Dane and Audra are stranded with no one to turn to but each other. Will their second crash end their lives—or save their souls?

THIS IS A STAND-ALONE SIGN OF LOVE NOVEL, INSPIRED BY CANCER. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

♥♥♥

★★★★★ 5 Star Reads

I Wish You All the Best
by Mason Deaver

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.

♥♥♥

The Best Thing
by Mariana Zapata

Some things are easily forgiven. Other things… not so much.

Lenny DeMaio made herself a promise: she was done.
Done thinking about him.
Done worrying about him.
Done reaching out to a man who clearly didn’t want to be found.

Too bad no one gave Jonah Collins the memo.

November 2019 TBR / November Reading List

Hello, hello!

October was an absolutely insane and scary month (and not really in a spooky way.) At some point I’ll make an update all about it, but I first have to gather all of my thoughts.

But, it’s November, and despite a lot of the stress the past couple of months has brought on, I’m still so excited for the holidays. I adore Thanksgiving and even Black Friday. I have plans with a couple of friends to go Black Friday shopping, and I’m so excited. Something about the craziness and the hustle and bustle of it all gets me so amped up for Christmas. It brings back those Christmas-morning feelings.

I’ve been pretty slow with reading lately. Typically I read at least 10 books a month, usually closer to 15 or more, but the past few months I’m lucky if I get to 10.

And, you know what? That’s ok. Even though I’m a book blogger and booktuber. I think it’s sometimes hard to remember that.

As always, I like to create a reading list for myself in the beginning of the month. It’s much more of a guideline of what I’d like to read, rather than a hard-and-fast list. It’s what I turn to when I’m unsure of what to pick up next, but I’m not hard on myself if I don’t get to everything.

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Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan *New All-Time Favorite Romance*

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Archer’s Voice
Author: Mia Sheridan
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
When Bree Prescott arrives in the sleepy, lakeside town of Pelion, Maine, she hopes against hope that this is the place where she will finally find the peace she so desperately seeks. On her first day there, her life collides with Archer Hale, an isolated man who holds a secret agony of his own. A man no one else sees.

Archer’s Voice is the story of a woman chained to the memory of one horrifying night and the man whose love is the key to her freedom. It is the story of a silent man who lives with an excruciating wound and the woman who helps him find his voice. It is the story of suffering, fate, and the transformative power of love.

GOODREADS

Review

I was blindsided by this novel.

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My Favorite Creepy Romance Novels for Halloween

Happy Almost-Halloween, friends!

Even though I’m past the years of planning out elaborate costumes with my friends, Halloween is still a fun holiday for me. It’s filled with all of those memories, and now I get to see my little ones’ excitement.

As far as Halloween-inspired books, however, I have to say I’m lacking quite a bit in that area. I definitely want to try out more thrillers and horror novels, but it’s a little overwhelming trying to figure out where to start.

I do know a few novels that have pretty great romances that are also pretty creepy, so I thought I’d make a short list for you here.

Some of these books are meant to be creepy, others just have an eery vibe.

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Some Quiet Place (Some Quiet Place #1) by Kelsey Sutton

I can’t feel sadness, anger, or fear. I can’t feel anything. I’ve grown talented at pretending.

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions… she sees them in human form. Longing hovers around the shy, adoring boy at school. Courage materializes beside her dying friend. Fury and Resentment visit her abusive home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, except beautiful Fear, who sometimes torments her and other times plays her compassionate savior. He’s obsessed with finding the answer to one question: What happened to Elizabeth to make her this way?

They both sense that the key to Elizabeth’s condition is somehow connected to the paintings of her dreams, which show visions of death and grief that raise more questions than answers. But as a shadowy menace begins to stalk her, Elizabeth’s very survival depends on discovering the truth about herself. When it matters most, she may not be able to rely on Fear to save her.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Verity by Colleen Hoover

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

A standalone romantic thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover.

♥ ♥ ♥

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A Lesson in Thorns (Thornchapel #1) by Sierra Simone

When librarian Poe Markham takes the job at Thornchapel, she only wants two things: to stay away from Thornchapel’s tortured owner, Auden Guest, and to find out what happened to her mother twelve years ago. It should be easy enough—keep her head down while she works in the house’s crumbling private library and while she hunts down any information as to why this remote manor tucked into the fog-shrouded moors would be the last place her mother was seen alive. But Thornchapel has other plans for her…

As Poe begins uncovering the house’s secrets, both new and old, she’s also pulled into the seductive, elegant world of Auden and his friends—and drawn to Auden’s worst enemy, the beautiful and brooding St. Sebastian. And as Thornchapel slowly tightens its coil of truths and lies around them, Poe, Auden and St. Sebastian start unravelling into filthy, holy pleasure and pain. Together, they awaken a fate that will either anoint them or leave them in ashes…
***
From the author of the USA Today bestselling New Camelot series comes an original fairy tale full of ancient mysteries, lantern-lit rituals, jealousy, money, murder, sacred torment, and obsessions that last for lifetimes…

***A Lesson in Thorns is the first of four books in the Thornchapel series.***

♥ ♥ ♥

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Never, Never series by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen.

Complete strangers since this morning.

He’ll do anything to remember. She’ll do anything to forget.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat… and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.

♥ ♥ ♥

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With Visions of Red
(With Visions of Red: Broken Bonds #1-3)
by Trisha Wolfe

Passion and lust ignite. Dark and light battle. This explosive first installment of the Broken Bonds series sets the exhilarating pace for a cat and mouse game where no one knows who’s really pulling the strings.

Criminal profiler Sadie Bonds knows blood. Her affair with the gruesome, dark world of killers began long before she started applying her analytical skills to investigate gory crime scenes. She gets inside the killers’ heads, breaks them down, relates to them on an arcane level. She prefers it this way—because it’s safer to ally herself with the villain than the victim. At least, that’s how she’s coped ever since she was abducted and tortured as a teen.

She will never be a victim again.

Now, she’s honed her skills in order to bring justice to these ritualistic offenders. Working alongside her colleagues, armed with sharp wit and a SIG, Sadie always catches her sadist. Until one ruthless serial killer gets inside Sadie’s head, turning the tables. He knows her secrets. Her obsessions. The darkest, most deviant part of her soul.

When she meets Colton Reed, dangerous stakes are raised as he threatens to unravel her control and reveal her darkest fantasies. The sexy-as-sin bondage rigger at an exclusive BDSM club pushes her boundaries, forcing her to acknowledge that side of herself she fears. Plunged into a realm of torture and suffering, pain and pleasure, Sadie balances on the razor-sharp edge of two intersecting worlds threatening to swallow her.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Born, Darkly (Darkly, Madly Duet #1) by Trisha Wolfe

He challenged her sanity.

She shattered his reality.

They dared each other…to the brink of madness.

A dark and twisted maze awaits criminal psychologist London Noble when she falls for her patient, convicted serial killer, Grayson Pierce Sullivan. As she unravels the traps, her sanity tested with each game, she’s forced to acknowledge the true evil in the world around her.

♥ ♥ ♥