Friday, April 3, 2020

My Thoughts: The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz
The Grace Kelly Dress
by Brenda Janowitz
Website | Twitter | Instagram

Publication Date: March 3rd 2020
Publisher: Graydon House Books
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781525804595)
Genre: Adult Fiction | Contemporary | Historical
Source: Netgalley Review Copy

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Two years after Grace Kelly’s royal wedding, her iconic dress is still all the rage in Paris—and one replica, and the secrets it carries, will inspire three generations of women to forge their own paths in life and in love in this beguiling new novel from Brenda Janowitz.

“Exactly the type of book I love: charming, smart, and brimming with heart.”—EMILY GIFFIN, #1 New York Times bestselling author of All We Ever Wanted

Paris, 1958: Rose, a seamstress at a fashionable atelier, has been entrusted with sewing a Grace Kelly-lookalike gown for a wealthy bride-to-be. But when, against better judgment, she finds herself falling in love with the bride's handsome brother, Rose must make an impossible choice—one that could put all she's worked for at risk: love, security, and of course, the dress.

Sixty years later, tech CEO Rachel, who goes by the childhood nickname "Rocky," has inherited the dress for her upcoming wedding in New York City. But there's just one problem: Rocky doesn't want to wear it. A family heirloom dating back to the 1950s, the dress just isn't her. Rocky knows this admission will break her mother Joan's heart. But what she doesn't know is why Joan insists on the dress—or the heartbreaking secret that changed her mother's life decades before, as she herself prepared to wear it.

As the lives of these three women come together in surprising ways, the revelation of the dress's history collides with long-buried family heartaches. And in the lead-up to Rocky's wedding, they'll have to confront the past before they can embrace the beautiful possibilities of the future.

“Not everything is right the first time,” her mother said carefully. “Take Grace Kelly’s wedding dress. Do you think that was the first design Helen Rose came up with?” -THE GRACE KELLY DRESS

"A charming, heartfelt novel about three generations of women who are connected by the gorgeous gown that each wears on her wedding day. Fast paced and entertaining from beginning to end." -Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone

"Brenda Janowitz's gift is understanding and revealing the nuances of complicated families, of love embraced, love lost and love reclaimed. With The Grace Kelly Dress she has stitched together a seamless intergenerational modern-day fairy tale, with a very contemporary twist." -Mary Kay Andrews, New York Times bestselling author of The High Tide Club

"Brenda Janowitz writes with extraordinary humor and heart, her writing growing in beauty and maturity with every book. This is a book that has to be added to your nightstand immediately." -Jane Green, bestselling author of The Friends We Keep (Goodreads)

The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz is only the second book that I have read so far about Grace Kelly, and I am HOOKED! I am so happy to see these books coming out that have Grace in the story, as I find myself want to read more and more. (And soon I plan to watch all of her movies as well!)

But enough about Grace, let’s talk about The Grace Kelly Dress, the book!

The Grace Kelly Dress is the story about a wedding dress, a replica of the one worn by Grace Kelly herself, and the three generations of women that it inspires. First, I have to say that the characters in the book were great. Though they are years apart from each other in age, I managed to relate to them all in some form or another, which was awesome. I very much enjoyed reading each of their stories, and I also enjoyed that each of the chapters were alternately told through each of these ladies.

Second, I absolutely loved the settings for the book as well. While the story doesn’t go too in depth on the settings, I still managed to feel like I was both in Paris and New York with these women. (One day I will actually visit these places, but until then, I am more than happy to visit via the written word.) I also really enjoyed the storyline for this book as well. It was fascinating and engaging, and kept me hooked right up until the end.

I also want to add that while I had a print version on the book, I opted to listen to the audiobook instead, and I’m really glad that I did. Cassandra Campbell did an excellent job of narrating the story, and I enjoyed all of her different voices as well. I definitely plan to listen to more audiobooks that are narrated by her soon!

Overall; In case you can't tell by this quick review, I very much enjoyed The Grace Kelly Dress! The story was absolutely fascinating, and I loved the characters as well. The story definitely made me want to find all the movies that Grace Kelly was in, and I am hoping to watch them as soon as possible. And I will DEFINITELY be checking out more books by Brenda Janowitz soon as well!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

My Thoughts: Blitzed by Alexa Martin
(Playbook #3)
by Alexa Martin
Website | Twitter | Instagram

Publication Date: December 3rd 2019
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 325
ISBN: 9780451491992
Genre: Adult Fiction | Contemporary
Source: Netgalley Review Copy | Own

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Maxwell has finally met an opponent that he can't best in this new football romance from the author of Fumbled.

According to Brynn Larson, Maxwell Lewis is more trouble than he's worth. She doesn't care if he's a football god with a rock-hard body that brings most women to their knees. After an encounter that ends poorly, she's not interested in giving him a second chance. The last thing Brynn expects is for him to turn up at her bar months later, hat in hand. It doesn't matter if he brings more customers to her business--she's still not going on a date with him.

Maxwell knows he made a mistake. He'd been waiting to make his move on Brynn since the day he laid eyes on her and he was finally ready to go for it until he screwed up. He wishes he could tell her the truth about what happened that night, but he just can't. He can't tell anyone, so he'll make amends and hope she'll forgive him.

Brynn's not like other women, though. Playing for the Mustangs doesn't impress her and gifts make her scoff. Max will have to bring his A game if he hopes to win her over. (Goodreads)

I was super excited to get my hands on Blitzed, the third book in the Playbook series by Alexa Martin! After completely devouring the first two books in the series, Intercepted and Fumbled, I couldn’t wait to see what would be in store with this third book. It definitely did not disappoint!

One of the things that I loved most about this series was the characters. While the storyline revolves around a main theme, (a football team), each story is different, and features a different couple. I have loved all of the characters that we’ve met so far, and have enjoyed each of their stories. (And I hope that the series continues on so that ALL of the characters will eventually get their own stories!)

The couple in Blitzed was Brynn and Maxwell, and I do have to say they are my favorite couple so far. Brynn is an absolutely amazing woman, and Maxwell is an adorable guy. Together, they just work so well, and I absolutely loved their story. (I won’t say too much more, so just read the story to meet them yourself!)

I had assumed that Blitzed was the last book in the Playbook series, but I was SO thrilled to discover that there is going to be another book, Snapped, set to release this fall! I am so excited that there will be another book, and I hope that we get even more than that in the future as well.

Overall; Blitzed was yet another excellent addition to the Playbook series by Alexa Martin, and I’m pretty sure this is my favorite book of the series so far, which is saying a lot because ALL the books in the series are SO GOOD! If you haven’t yet check out the series, and are a fan of romance, then do add these to your TBR! And I will be over here patiently waiting to read Snapped as soon as it’s released in October!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

My April 2020 TBR

Happy first day of April, Bookworms!

Were you, like me, SOOOO ready to say goodbye to March??
It was a bad month all around, and I don't know if April will be any better,
but I can definitely hope that it is.

I have a small TBR picked out for April...
partially because I had a hard time focusing on reading last month,
and I don't want to stress in case I have another bad month...
and also because I did a LOT of mood reading last month, and I liked it.

So I'm hoping to read all the books pictured above, 
but I'm really just going to see how things go, and I'm NOT going to stress.

Here's my TBR for April!

What I'm Reading:

The Honey Don't List by Christina Lauren
(Just got this in the mail recently and I can't wait to start it!)

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams
(Super excited for this one as well!)

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
(This one has been on my tbr for too long!)

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez
(Another that I've been meaning to read for a while now!)

Well Met by Jenn Deluca
(I seem to have a theme going here... lol!)

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
(Meant to read this last month, but I'm hoping to get to it in April!)

Imagine Me by Tahereh Mafi
(Curious to see how this series will come to an end!... Again!)

Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa

•     •     •

So that's my TBR for this month!
You probably noticed that I have a LOT of romance listed,
and that's because those are the books that are getting me through right now,
so I'm going to keep on reading them.


What's on your TBR for April??

Waiting on Wednesday: Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes & The Empire of Dreams

Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes
(Pandava Quartet #3)
by Roshani Chokshi
Website | Twitter | Instagram

Publication Date: April 7th 2020
Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents
ISBN: 9781368013857

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War between the devas and the demons is imminent, and the Otherworld is on high alert. When intelligence from the human world reveals that the Sleeper is holding a powerful clairvoyant and her sister captive, 14-year-old Aru and her friends launch a search-and-rescue mission. The captives, a pair of twins, turn out to be the newest Pandava sisters, though, according to a prophecy, one sister is not true.

During the celebration of Holi, the heavenly attendants stage a massage PR rebranding campaign to convince everyone that the Pandavas are to be trusted. As much as Aru relishes the attention, she fears that she is destined to bring destruction to her sisters, as the Sleeper has predicted. Aru believes that the only way to prove her reputation is to find the Kalpavriksha, the wish-granting tree that came out of the Ocean of Milk when it was churned. If she can reach it before the Sleeper, perhaps she can turn everything around with one wish.

Careful what you wish for, Aru . . . (Goodreads)

And I'm super excited to see what's going to happen next in this much anticipated third book!
I know it's going to be awesome.
The Empire of Dreams
by Rae Carson
Website | Twitter | Instagram

Publication Date: April 7th 2020
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
ISBN: 9780062691903

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New York Times-bestselling author Rae Carson makes a triumphant return to the world of her award-winning Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy in this extraordinary stand-alone novel. With action, adventure, and a heroine set on destroying the patriarchal limits meant to keep her in her place, The Empire of Dreams once again proves that Rae Carson is a master of epic fantasy.

Even though Red Sparkle Stone is a foundling orphan with an odd name and a veiled past, she's about to be adopted into the royal family—by Empress Elisa herself. Sixteen-year-old Red can hardly believe her luck. Then, in a stunning political masterstroke, the empress's greatest rival blocks the adoption, and Red is left with no family and no future.

Grieving and lost, but determined to find her place, Red hatches a daring plan: she will prove herself as a recruit for the world's most elite fighting force, the legendary Royal Guard—something no woman has done before. But it's no coincidence that someone wanted her to fail as a princess, someone whose shadowy agenda puts everything she loves at risk. As danger closes in, it will be up to Red and her new friends—and maybe some new enemies—to save the empire. If they can survive recruitment year. (Goodreads)

Ah! It has been SO long since I read the Fire and Thorns series,
but I am SOOOO excited to get back to this world!
I wish I had time re-read the books before starting this one,
but I'm too impatient to wait. lol!

•     •     •
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

April Book Challenge • #AlltheBooksApril20

March is finally over, and it's now time for a brand new Bookstagram Challenge!

Do you need something to pass the time and fill your feed while you #StayAtHome for the next few weeks?? If so, book challenges are for you! And not only are they a great way to pass the time, but they are also great for discovering new books, and new bookish people! AND you get to talk about the best things ever... BOOKS! Sound like fun? It will be!

Head over to Instagram today to join Loriimagination and I for our April Book Challenge!
It's going to be SO much fun, and we'd love for you to join us!!


•   •   •

Why join in a book challenge??

It's a great way to fill your feed with ALL the Bookish Things!!

The daily prompts give you ideas for daily posts!

You get to meet awesome fellow bookworms!

You will discover SO MANY new books!

It's so much fun!

Head over to Instagram and join us for #AlltheBooksApril20!!

Monday, March 2, 2020

My Thoughts: Marriage on Madison Avenue by Lauren Layne
Marriage on Madison Avenue
(Central Park Pact #3)
by Lauren Layne
Website | Instagram

Publication Date: January 28th 2020
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781501191633
Genre: Adult Fiction | Contemporary | Romance
Source: Edelweiss Review Copy

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Available for Purchase:
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From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne, comes the final installment of the Central Park Pact series, a heartfelt and laugh-out-loud romantic comedy that’s perfect for fans of Sally Thorne and Christina Lauren.

Can guys and girls ever be just friends? According to Audrey Tate and Clarke West, absolutely. After all, they’ve been best friends since childhood without a single romantic entanglement. Clarke is the charming playboy Audrey can always count on, and he knows that the ever-loyal Audrey will never not play along with his strategy for dodging his matchmaking mother—announcing he’s already engaged…to Audrey.

But what starts out as a playful game between two best friends turns into something infinitely more complicated, as just-for-show kisses begin to stir up forbidden feelings. As the faux wedding date looms closer, Audrey and Clarke realize that they can never go back to the way things were, but deep down, do they really want to? (Goodreads)

Marriage on Madison Avenue is the third and final book in the Central Park Pact series by Lauren Layne, and was definitely one of my most anticipated reads for this past January. I read the first and second book in the series, Passion on Park Avenue and Love on Lexington Avenue, when they were released in 2019, and enjoyed both books immensely, so I couldn’t want to start this final novel. It was definitely worth the wait!

Quick recap borrowed from my review of Passion on Park Avenue: In case you haven’t read this series, but are curious, here’s what you should know: The Central Park Pact series is about three women, Naomi, Claire, and Audrey, who meet under the most unusual circumstances. (A man.) Because of this, and unlikely friendship is formed, and a book series begins!

Marriage on Madison Avenue was probably the book in the series that I was MOST excited to read. I love Audrey, and I couldn’t wait to start her part of the story. She’s such a fun character! And there’s also Clarke, who is pretty great as well. Together… well, read the story to find out! I also loved that both Claire and Naomi are included throughout the book as well. These books have such a fun storyline, and great characters, that they quickly became some of my favorite reads.

Reading this book was a little bittersweet. While I was really excited for the story and to see how everything would wrap up, I also didn’t want the book (and series) to end! These books were such fun, but also relatable reads, and I have become seriously attached to the characters. I will definitely have to read more books by Lauren soon!

Overall; Marriage on Madison Avenue was such a great ending to The Central Park Pact series! I very much enjoyed Audrey’s story, and the ending wrapped up the series quite nicely. This series was just the escape that I didn’t know I needed, and has helped fuel a growing love for this genre, and I now need more books like this! I definitely plan to read more books by Lauren Layne in the future, and will definitely be reading more books in this genre as well.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

March 2020 TBR & The State of the Blog

Happy First Day of March, Bookworms!

It's been a while since I last posted, and I have to say I'm sorry about that. I took a much needed, (although somewhat abrupt), break to clear my brain and heal my mind, and I'm hoping that it was just what I needed.

In case you're wondering... For the past 8-9 months I've been running at about 25% mentally and physically, and we couldn't figure out why I was feeling so drained. I think we finally figured it out, and I am already starting to feel much better. I am now trying to work my way back to reading, blogging, and Bookstagramming regularly, all of which I have been to tired to give much of my attention to lately. I feel like such a slacker, but I'm excited to hopefully get back to things. (I'm also hoping to get back to exercising and eating better as well!) So, wish me luck! I am very much looking forward to life getting back to normal.

And moving on...

March is going to be an AMAZING month for new books! I'm purposely keeping my TBR pretty light this month, because there are so many new releases that I want to spend my time one, with the main one being *Chain of Gold* by Cassandra Clare. I can't wait to read it!

So without future ado, here's my March TBR!!

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
(This month I am finishing up my re-read of the series!)

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
(I just recently added this book my collection, and I'm so excited to read it!)

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
(I had this one on my TBR last month, but didn't get to it!)

Emma by Jane Austen
(Continuing my one classic book a month theme, and I'm excited to re-read this before I see the movie!)

Moment of Truth by Kasie West
(I love Kasie's books, and I'm so excited to read this!)

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
(I really love Tricia's books as well, and I can't wait to tackle this book.)

•   •   •

Also on my TBR for this month:

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams
The Honey-Don't List by Christina Lauren
Imagine Me by Tahereh Mafi
Havenfall by Sara Holland
The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski
The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu
The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz

•   •   •

So that's my exciting TBR for March! I can't wait to get started on it.

What books are you looking forward to reading in March??

March Book Challenge • #AlltheBooksMarch20

Are you looking for some inspiration to spice up your Bookstagram feed??
How about joining a Bookstagram Challenge!!

Head over to Instagram today to join Loriimagination and I for our March Book Challenge!
It's going to be SO much fun, and we'd love for you to join us!!

•   •   •

Why join in a book challenge??

It's a great way to fill your feed with ALL the Bookish Things!!

The daily prompts give you ideas for daily posts!

You get to meet awesome fellow bookworms!

You will discover SO MANY new books!

It's so much fun!

Head over to Instagram and join us for #AlltheBooksMarch20!!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Audiobook Spotlight: The Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

Audiobooks Spotlight is a new weekly feature that I am starting to share my thoughts on all the awesome audiobooks I have listened to! Do you love audiobooks as much as I do?? Check out what audiobooks I've enjoyed recently!

•     •     •
Children of Virtue and Vengeance
(Legacy of Orïsha #2) by Tomi Adeyemi
Website | Twitter | Instagram

Publication Date: December 3rd 2019
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Narrated By: Bahni Turpin
Audio Length: 13 hrs and 27 mins
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Audio Source: Library Borrow

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Available for Purchase:
Audiobooks.comAudible |

After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari's right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy's wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the stunning sequel to Tomi Adeyemi's New York Times bestselling debut Children of Blood and Bone, the first title in her Legacy of Orïsha trilogy. (Goodreads)

Back in early 2018 I discovered The Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, and I completely devoured the story. I absolutely couldn’t wait to get my hands on the sequel, The Children of Virtue and Vengeance, and when I finally got started on it, I devoured it as well!

The storyline for this sequel picks up right where the first book leaves off, and will once again leave you hooked as you fly through the pages. If at all possible, I think that I liked this book more than the first book, and that’s saying a lot, because the first book is really great! Lots of action and fantasy, and you will be hooked right up to the end.

While I have print copies of both of the books in this series, I opted to listen to the audiobooks for each. Why, you ask? That would be because they are both narrated by Bahni Turpin! I have listened to quite a few books narrated by Bahni since I have discovered audiobooks, and she does an absolutely fantastic job of narrating the story.  She has a way of making the characters stand out, and I love that! I was definitely hooked, and I am very much looking forward to listening to more audiobooks narrated by Bahni in the future.

Overall; If you were a fan of Children of Blood and Bone, then you will most definitely want to check out this sequel! Children of Virtue and Vengeance was everything I didn’t know I needed in this sequel, and now I’m super anxious to get my hands on the next book, which is currently untitled and without a release date. (I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more information on it!)

Thursday, January 16, 2020

My Thoughts: We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
We Hunt the Flame
(Sands of Arawiya #1)
by Hafsah Faizal
Website | Twitter | Instagram

Publication Date: May 14th 2019
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages: 472
ISBN: 9780374311544
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Source: Review Copy / Own

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Available for Purchase:
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People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands. (Goodreads)

To be completely honest, I tried multiple times over the last half of 2019 to read We Hunt the Flame, and for some reason I never could quite click with the book. I was very disappointed by this, as I had heard SO many great things about how much everyone wanted to love the book, and I really wanted to read it so I could form my own opinion.

LUCKILY FOR ME… I was determined to give the book One More Try before the year ended, and the best thing happened… THE BOOK and I TOTALLY CLICKED! I don’t know how, or why, but I started the book, and I DEVOURED it. And, it was so great!

What did I like about this book, you ask? Everything. The characters were awesome. I loved Zafira, and Nasir, and the whole crew that we meet along the way. They were all so great, and I really enjoyed watching the relationships between them all grow.

What else did I like? The storyline. It was a pretty awesome journey that this random crew took over the course of the story, and I loved every minute of it. And yes, I even liked the cliffhanger ending, which will definitely keep me pining away until the next book, We Free the Stars, is released. (I can’t wait!)

Overall; I am SO glad that I decided to give We Hunt the Flame one more shot, as I ended up really, really enjoying the book! I can’t wait to get my hands on We Free the Stars, which is currently set to release in July of this year! (And I will definitely be re-reading this book again before the sequel is released!)
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