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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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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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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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!)

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Waiting on Wednesday: Cloak of Night & King of Crows
Cloak of Night
(Circle of Shadows #2)
by Evelyn Skye
Website | Twitter | Instagram
Publication Date: February 11th 2020
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 9780062643759

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After the devastating Ceremony of Two Hundred Hearts, Sora, Daemon, Fairy, and Broomstick are truly alone in the fight to save their kingdom. Empress Aki is missing, and everyone else who could help them is a prisoner to the Dragon Prince’s mind control.

At least Sora understands what they’re up against. Or so she believes, until she overhears the Dragon Prince bargaining with the god of war for immortality and learns that ryuu magic may be a more insidious danger than she realized.

Suddenly, the stakes are higher and even more personal for Sora—not only must she stop a seemingly indestructible Prince Gin, but she must also unravel the secrets of ryuu magic before it is too late for nearly everyone she loves.

And as Sora, Daemon, Fairy, and Broomstick face dangerous obstacles at every turn, the greatest challenge may be discovering who they truly are, and what, if anything, they are capable of. (Goodreads)

Last year I read, (aka devoured), Circle of Shadows, and I enjoyed it SO much!
I am very much looking forward to reading this sequel as soon as it is released.

Ps. If you love YA fantasy and have not yet started this series, you totally should.)
The King of Crows
(The Diviners #4)
by Libba Bray
Website | Twitter | Instagram

Publication Date: February 4th 2020
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780316126090

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The breath-taking finale to the epic New York Times bestseller, The Diviners, from Printz winner and beloved author, Libba Bray.

After the horrifying explosion that claimed one of their own, the Diviners find themselves wanted by the US government, and on the brink of war with the King of Crows.

While Memphis and Isaiah run for their lives from the mysterious Shadow Men, Isaiah receives a startling vision of a girl, Sarah Beth Olson, who could shift the balance in their struggle for peace. Sarah Beth says she knows how to stop the King of Crows-but, she will need the Diviners' help to do it.

Elsewhere, Jericho has returned after his escape from Jake Marlowe's estate, where he has learned the shocking truth behind the King of Crow's plans. Now, the Diviners must travel to Bountiful, Nebraska, in hopes of joining forces with Sarah Beth and to stop the King of Crows and his army of the dead forever.

But as rumors of towns becoming ghost towns and the dead developing unprecedented powers begin to surface, all hope seems to be lost.

In this sweeping finale, The Diviners will be forced to confront their greatest fears and learn to rely on one another if they hope to save the nation, and world from catastrophe... (Goodreads)

Those this series has been out for a while now, I only started reading it a few months ago.
I... am... HOOKED!!
I am in the process of reading the third book, Before the Devil Breaks You,
and I already can't wait to get my hands on this fourth book!

•     •     •     •     •

Those are my WOW picks for this week! What upcoming books are you super excited for??

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

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

My Thoughts: Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey
Love Her or Lose Her
(Hot & Hammered #2)
by Tessa Bailey
Website | Twitter | Instagram

Publication Date: January 14th 2020
Publisher: Avon
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780062872852
Genre: Adult Fiction | Romance
Source: Netgalley Review Copy | OWN

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New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey returns with a unique, sexy romantic comedy about a young married couple whose rocky relationship needs a serious renovation.

Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp.

Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippy. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous—yet surprisingly helpful—assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret... and it could demolish everything. (Goodreads)

Love Her or Lose Her is the second book in the Hot & Hammered series by Tessa Bailey, and is almost one of my most anticipated reads for this January! I discovered Fix Her Up, (the first book in the series), last fall, and absolutely fell in love with the characters and the story. I couldn’t wait for this sequel to see what was going to happen next!

As I mentioned, Love Her or Lose Her is the second book in the series. (If you’d like to see my review for the first book, Fix Her Up, you can check that out here!) In the first book we get to meet ALL of the characters in the series, and while that book was about Georgie and Travis, this book is all about married couple Rosie and Dominic! I was super excited to start their story!

To sum it up, the storyline for this book is all about  Rosie and Dom, high school sweethearts, who have been married for years, yet are drifting apart for various reasons. In a desperate attempt to save their marriage, they decide to attend marriage rehab as a way to find each other again.

One of the things I loved the most about this book is how relatable it was. I have been married to my amazing husband for what seems like forever, and I totally understood how BOTH of the characters in this book felt. I know a lot of people will. The tips that they received in marriage counseling were fantastic, and could be put to good use for ANY relationship, which was fantastic. I love that, and I definitely need more relatable books like this in my life, as I have not read nearly enough. This definitely made for a wonderful storyline.

I also really loved the characters in the story. I saw a lot of myself in Rosie, and a lot of similarities of my husband in Dominic. Even though they had problems, you could tell that love was there. I rooted for them all throughout the book. I also loved that we get to see almost all of the characters from the first book again in this sequel, and I’m very much looking forward to the next book to see them all again!

Overall; I adored Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey! It devoured this book in one day, and it’s been WAY too long since I have been that caught up in a book. I loved it! And now I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book, which is Bethany’s story, and I imagine I’m going to love it as well! I have also found a new favorite author in Tessa Bailey, and I am very much enjoying finding as many of her books as I can to read! If you love a good love story, do check this series out!

Monday, January 13, 2020

My Thoughts: The Map From Here to There by Emery Lord
The Map From Here to There
(The Start of Me and You #2)
by Emery Lord
Website | Twitter | Instagram

Publication Date: January 7th 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781681199382
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Netgalley Review Copy

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Available for Purchase:
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Acclaimed author Emery Lord crafts a gorgeous story of friendship and identity, daring to ask: What happens after happily ever after?

It's senior year, and Paige Hancock is finally living her best life. She has a fun summer job, great friends, and a super charming boyfriend who totally gets her. But senior year also means big decisions. Weighing "the rest of her life," Paige feels her anxiety begin to pervade every decision she makes. Everything is exactly how she always wanted it to be--how can she leave it all behind next year? In her head, she knows there is so much more to experience after high school. But in her heart, is it so terrible to want everything to stay the same forever?

Emery Lord's award-winning storytelling shines with lovable characters and heartfelt exploration of life's most important questions. (Goodreads)

I was super excited to get my hands on The Map From Here to There by Emery Lord, especially after I discovered it was the sequel to The Start of Me and You, a book that I read a few years ago and really enjoyed! I’m a huge fan of Emery’s wiring, and I couldn’t wait to get started on this newest book.

I had hoped to re-read The Start of Me and You before starting this sequel, as it’s been a few years, (and a LOT of books), since I read the story, and I couldn’t quite remember what happened. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to read it again, but once I started this sequel, the story came rushing back! Emery also does a good job of reminding us of things we may have forgotten, so that’s a plus as well.

One thing I do remember from the first book was how relatable I felt to Paige, especially with the anxiety and all. I get it, I really, really do, and because of that I totally understood how she felt as the story went along. Thankfully she has a pretty amazing support system to help her along the way, including a great family, lots of great friends, and a wonderful boyfriend as well. Yet, at times, she finds her way all on her own, and that is excellent growth from the first book.

The storyline for this book was lots of fun, and very easy to read. A lot of young adults are going to find this book super relatable, especially those in their last years of high school. The characters in the book are all SO great. I especially love the relationship between Paige and her best friends. Everyone should have a group of friends like that! They are all great and supportive, and I love them all. Along with the excellent family life as well!

Overall; The Map From Here to There was an excellent sequel to The Start of Me and You, and I’m so glad to have read the book! If you liked the first book, then I definitely recommend you check out this sequel. If you haven’t read the series yet, and love a good contemporary, do check out both of the books in this series!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

January 2020 TBR

Happy First Day of 2020, Bookworms!!

It's a brand new day, in a brand new year, in a brand new DECADE!
How awesome is that??

I don't know about you guys, but I am hoping for a really great reading year this year!
And I have SO many awesome books planned to read this year.
I am mainly focusing on my book backlist this year,
and I'm super excited to tackle it.


Here's what I'm reading in January!!
Books I'm Reading:

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
(I wasn't originally planning on re-reading this series this year, but after seeing the movie trailer for the second movie, I decided that I want to read it again!)

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
(This book has been sitting on my shelf for too long, and I'm super excited to get to it this month!)

The Map From Here to There by Emery Lord
(This book is the sequel to The Start of Me and You, which I loved! I've actually already started this book, and I'm very much looking forward to reading the rest this month.)

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
(This book is always my first read, every year. I love it!)

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
(This is another book I've been putting off for too long!)

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian
(I am determined to start this series this month!)

Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon
(I just got this for Christmas from my family, and I'm SO excited to dive into it! It sounds awesome, and I love the cover.)

Crier's War by Nina Varela
(This is another book I got for Christmas!)

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
(This is another book I have already started, and I don't want it to end!)

Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray
(I totally meant to read this book last month, but it got pushed to this months TBR instead!)

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
(Doing a re-read of this series before Chain of Gold is released in March!)

•     •     •

That's just a few of the books I'm hoping to get to this month! I also have a few ebooks and audiobooks on my list as well to read.

Fingers crossed for a good reading month!!

•     •     •

What's on your TBR for this month??

January Book Challenge • #AlltheBooksJan20

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

Head over to Instagram to join Loriimagination and I for our January 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 #AlltheBooksJan20!!
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