Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber *New Favorite*

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Finale
Author: Stephanie Garber
Series: Caraval #3
Format: Exclusive edition from Owlcrate

Synopsis:
Welcome, welcome to Finale, the third and final book in Stephanie Garber’s #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series!

A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end…

GOODREADS

Review

I’m just going to say it: Finale is my all-time favorite, well, finale to a series I’ve ever read. Ever.

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Favorite Books of July 2018

It’s been such a fun week for me!

My brother and I went to the Panic! at the Disco concert on Wednesday (seriously was the best concert I’ve ever been to) and then last night I had a fun karaoke night with some friends and the hubs.

Anyway, that is kind of my reason for not posting this yesterday as I originally intended. 😛 Pretty good reason, right?

July was a fantastic reading month for me. I read a total of 19 books last month – which is a record high for me this year! Of those 19, I had seven 5-star reads!

Here are my favorite reads from July 2018

November 9 A Novel By Colleen Hoover

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?

 

Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…the games have only just begun.

 

Pucked Love (Pucked #7) by Helena Hunting 

As an NHL player, relationships haven’t been my thing. Shrouded in secrecy and speculation, they never last very long. But then that’s what happens when you require an NDA before the first date.

Until Charlene. She’s like a firefly. She’s elusive, and if you catch her she’ll burn bright, but keeping her trapped dulls her fire and dims her beauty.

I caught her. And as much as I might want to keep her, I’ll never put the lid on her jar. Not at the risk of losing her. So I’ve let her set the rules in our relationship.

But as long hidden secrets expose us both, I discover exactly how fragile Charlene is, and how much I need her.

We’re all broken. We’re all messed up. Some more than others. Me more than most.

The FINAL standalone novel in The Pucked Series.

 

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang 

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

 

Full Tilt (Full Tilt #1) and All in (Full Tilt #2) by Emma Scott 

“I would love you forever, if I only had the chance…”

Kacey Dawson has always lived life on the edge–impulsively, sometimes recklessly. And now, as lead guitarist for a hot up-and-coming band, she is poised at the brink of fame and fortune. But she is torn between wanting to be a serious musician, and the demons that lure her down the glittering, but alcohol-soaked path of rock stardom. A wrecked concert in Las Vegas threatens to ruin her career entirely. She wakes up with the hangover from hell and no memory of the night before, or how she ended up on her limo driver’s couch…

Jonah Fletcher is running out of time. He knows his situation is hopeless, and he’s vowed to make the most of the handful of months he has left to him. His plans include seeing the opening of his glass installation at a prestigious art gallery…they do not include falling in love with a wild, tempestuous rock musician who wound up passed out on his couch.

Jonah sees that Kacey is on a path to self-destruction. He lets her crash with him for a few days to dry out and get her head on straight. But neither of them expected the deep connection they felt, or how that connection could grow so fast from friendship into something more. Something deep and pure and life-changing…something as fragile as glass, that they both know will shatter in the end no matter how hard they try to hold on to it.

 

Slightly Scandalous (Bedwyn Saga #3) by Mary Balogh 

Meet the Bedwyns…six brothers and sisters—men and women of passion and privilege, daring and sensuality.

Enter their dazzling world of high society and breathtaking seduction…where each will seek love, fight temptation, and court scandal…and where Freyja Bedwyn, the wild-hearted daughter, meets her match in a man as passionate, reckless, and scandalous as she.

Growing up with four unruly brothers has made Freyja Bedwyn far bolder than most society ladies. From feisty manner to long, tumbling hair, Lady Freyja is pure fire, a woman who seeks both adventure and freedom.

Adventure soon finds her on a visit to Bath, when a handsome stranger bursts into Freyja’s room and entreats her to hide him. His name is Joshua Moore, Marquess of Hallmere, a man with a hell-raising reputation of his own who is quickly intrigued by the independent beauty. So intrigued, in fact, that he makes her a surprising request: to pose as his fiancée and help thwart his family’s matchmaking schemes. For two people determined to be free, it’s the perfect plan…until passion blindsides them both. For as Joshua sets out to achieve his complete seduction of Freyja, a woman who has sworn off love is in danger of losing the one thing she never expected to give again: her heart…


 

What were your favorite reads from July?

 

 

 

Recently Added to My TBR (July 2018)

I’m just settling in from a Date Day with my youngest daughter, Violet (3yo). Her sister has been at my parents house for a couple days and my husband was gone for the day, so I took advantage of the opportunity to have some fun, just her and I.

We went bowling, played in the arcade, went out to lunch, got some FroYo, went to the library, then came home and promptly took a nap. I actually slept, too! Which is rare. Usually, I can’t turn my brain off and use the opportunity to get some stuff done, but I passed right out.

Anyway, this is a fairly new feature I’ve added to the blog last month where I show you all the books that I’ve added to my TBR! (As if the thing isn’t long enough.

Here are all the books I’ve added to my TBR this month

(In order from date added. Titles link to Goodreads.)

TBH I’m not sure why I added Dr. Strange Beard to my TBR when I haven’t even read the first book, but I’m sure I’ll love the series, so I’m not mad about it. After recently reading my first Tammara Webber and enjoying it, I decided to check out some of her other books and Between the Lines looked really good. I actually only recently realized, after reading Legendary, that the third book in the trilogy had a title! As for Toil and Trouble, I mean, the cover is freaking gorgeous and the topic is exciting!

 

 


I read the first part of Jake Undone at the end of Gemini, and it got me hooked enough to add it to my TBR (even though Penelope Ward books have either been complete misses for me or just OK).


Most of these books and some of the ones below were added to my TBR after reading this post by Book Twins Reviews!


I’m actually surprised that To Kill a Kingdom wasn’t already on my TBR!

 


After finally reading The Kiss Quotient, I added Helen Hoang’s other book! The last three are books that I found at my local library’s little used book store. They’re a Persephone retelling!


Have you read any of these books? What have you added to you TBR this month?

 

 

 

Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Legendary
Author: Stephanie Garber
Series: Caraval #2
Format: Hardcover purchased from Amazon

Synopsis:
A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…the games have only just begun.

GOODREADS

Review

I. Am. Reeling.

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Reading List: June 2018

hellojune

The official first day of summer isn’t until later in the month, but it sure feels like summer around here. After almost three weeks of rain every single day, the sun has finally broken through and I couldn’t be happier.

Typically, when it starts getting this hot around here, I start complaining about how suffocating it is, but after dealing with the extremely unusual wet weather for so long, I’m so grateful for the sun. Even if it melts me as soon as I walk outside.

It’s kind of like when you take for granted how amazing it is to be healthy until you get sick.

Anyway, it’s the beginning of June and that means it’s time for a new reading list…

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Book Haul: May 2018

It’s been a slow blogging month for me. I’ve been absent from the internet altogether for a couple weeks now and I’m actually pretty happy about it. It’s been nice to go to bed early with a book every night without browsing the internet or feeling obligated to do anything outside of work.

Sometimes it’s nice to take a little break without guilt. (Even if the “without guilt” part takes a little work when you love your blogging community and want to read and respond to #alltheposts.)

Anyway, it wasn’t a slow book-buying month! (Honestly, I don’t know if it ever really is.)


 

Here are the books I hauled this month

eBooks

White Knight by CD Reiss
36224014

Catherine Barrington is a rich girl. Chris Cartwright is a poor boy.
He left her to make something of himself. A man she could be proud of. A man she could bring home to her parents. A man she could marry.
On the trading floor he became the man he knew he could be. Now, it’s time to return.
Rich girl.
Poor boy.
She didn’t care about his money, but he didn’t believe her. Soon after he left, all the money was gone.
Her life is hell.
Now he’s back, and he’s different. Pristine. Gorgeous. Rich.
Rich boy.
Poor girl.
Money was never the barrier, until now.

After reading my friend CD Reiss, King of Code, I’ve been obsessed with her books, particularly these characters and their intertwined stories.

 

Prince Charming by CD Reiss
34507164

Keaton Bridge is exactly the kind of guy a straight-arrow like Cassie doesn’t need.

For one thing, he’s a criminal—and she fights crime for a living. And being criminally handsome isn’t helping her say no, either. Everything about him screams trouble, from his British accent to his mysterious past.

And Cassie doesn’t do trouble.

Keaton’s got his own trouble. He’s trying to go legit, and an FBI agent hanging around is the last thing that will help his credibility. All it took was one night of passion to sear her into his skin. Now he can’t imagine living happily ever after without her.

All they have to do is walk away.

But neither of them ever walks away from danger.

 

From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata
37683751

If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one.

After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close.

But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything.

Including Ivan Lukov.

I’ve already read the eBook, but I’ve been dying to re-read the audiobook! I bought it as soon as it came out.

 

Flow (Grip #1) by Kennedy Ryan
31522663

In 8 years, Marlon James will be one of the brightest rising stars in the music industry.

Bristol Gray will be his tough, no-nonsense manager.

But when they first meet, she’s a college student finding her way in the world, and he’s an artist determined to make his way in it.

From completely different worlds, all the things that should separate them only draw them closer.

It’s a beautiful beginning, but where will the story end?

 

Swallow Me Whole: A Friends To Lovers Romance by Gemma James
39324700

Sadie Sawyer wants to learn how to blow a guy. She’s my sister’s best friend. The girl I’ve known since grade school. The girl I’ve always considered off-limits. She’s the girl that crawled under a table in a bar one night and changed everything between us.

Now the brain in my pants is more than willing to step up. The rules are simple.

No kissing.
No screwing.
No falling in love.

But the more I let her use my body in the name of experimentation, the more I know being friends isn’t enough. Is it too much to want it all with her?

The taste of her lips.
The sweetness of her innocence.
The chance to earn her love.

I might have a real shot with her…if her douchebag ex and my past don’t ruin everything.

The Edge of Never by J.A Redmerski
16081272

Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.

Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.

With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.

But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?

This is my book club book this month.
 


Audiobooks

Love Hacked (Knitting in the City #3) by Penny Reid
20982872

There are three things you need to know about Sandra Fielding: 1) She makes all her first dates cry, 2) She hasn’t been kissed in over two years, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Sandra has difficulty removing her psychotherapist hat. Of her last 30 dates, 29 have ended the same way: the man sobbing uncontrollably. After one such disaster, Sandra–near desperation and maybe a little tipsy–gives in to a seemingly harmless encounter with her hot waiter, Alex. Argumentative, secretive, and hostile Alex may be the opposite of everything Sandra knows is right for her. But now, the girl who has spent all her life helping others change for the better, must find a way to cope with falling for someone who refuses to change at all.

 

I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting
36048542

SHE’S GOT CURB APPEAL

Rian Sutter grew up with the finer things in life. Spending summers in The Hamptons was a normal occurrence for her until her parents lost everything years ago. Now Rian and her sister are getting their life, and finances, back on track through real estate. Not only do they buy and sell houses to the rich and famous, but they finally have the capital to flip their very own beachfront property. But when she inadvertently catches the attention of a sexy stranger who snaps up every house from under her, all bets are off…

HE’S A FIXER UPPER

Pierce Whitfield doesn’t normally demo kitchens, install dry wall, or tear apart a beautiful woman’s dreams. He’s just a down-on-his-luck lawyer who needed a break from the city and agreed to help his brother work on a few homes in the Hamptons. When he first meets Rian, the attraction is undeniable. But when they start competing for the same pieces of prime real estate, the early sparks turn into full-blown fireworks. Can these passionate rivals turn up the heat on their budding romance — without burning down the house?

This was a pre-order. Helena Hunting is an instabuy author.

 
 


Hard Copies

Legendary by Stephanie Garber
36329818

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…the games have only just begun.

This was a preorder!


 

What books have you purchased this month?

 

 

 

Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber + First Ever In Love & Words Podcast Review!

This is a very special book review brought to you both by myself and my Teen Reader/Niece Kayla!

The two of us recently read Caraval and we thought we’d give podcasting a try!

We sat down and recorded our discussion and duel reviews for this book, so if you’re up for it, take a listen!

Please note: There are definitely spoilers in the podcast review!

 

Otherwise, my written review is below.

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

5-stars

Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber

[Hard Cover Purchased from Local Library Bookstore]

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

Synopsis from Goodreads

 

Review

”Beware of getting swept too far away,” the synopsis warns. Well… I couldn’t heed that advice. I most certainly got swept away with this book.

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Reading List: February 2018

How in the world is it February already? SERIOUSLY.

Anyway, I almost wasn’t going to do the first part of this blog post in which I go back and see how I did on finishing the books on last month’s Reading List, but I’ve decided not to have shame in my game.

Nope.

I will, instead, accept that I am a failure. (She says before she even looks back on the list she made last month).

Alright, let’s see how she did, folks! (/end writing in third person. Sorry.)

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