Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday (24)


Happy Tuesday! Today I've decided to participate in Top Ten Tuesday, formerly hosted by Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Today's topic is: 

Books On My Fall 2018 TBR



There's my fall TBR, or part of it! Some are backlist that I've not read yet, like Renegades. I am forever behind!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Monday Muse (8)

Hey fam! Happy Monday! Or something - are Mondays ever really happy? Let's change that! Today I'm sharing another Monday Muse post, which features my hobbies other than reading.

I didn't post anything last week so theoretically I have twice as many coloring updates! Here are the latest pages I've colored in my 17-18 Johanna Basford planner:


I loved this one! The little frog is super cute.


This one is one of the most detailed ones I've colored so far! It took a long time to finish. It looks good though (in my opinion)!


I'm not finished this one, it's another one that's detailed (though deceptively so, in this case). I do love flowers. =)

In fashion news, I tried on this dress whilst bored in the mall and I thought it looked good! I think it's a bit mother-of-the-bride-y so I didn't buy it but it was worth trying on!


Also in fashion: I am in love with the following ring, available on Local Eclectic.

(Buy it! I'm buying one for myself, for Christmas. Treat yo self!

I did a little bit of travelling for work this week! I went to south Prince George's County, basically on the edge of Washington, D.C./Maryland. I was doing a dam inspection, and checked out the stream into which the pond was flowing. It looked pretty good!



And I saw the biggest spider (biggest I've seen in my life). It was HUGE, probably the size of my palm. These photos against the guardrail don't do it justice!



Also, I can't get over how gorgeous the cover of We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett is. Check it out and the add the book to your Goodreads shelf!



Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Review: Beautiful Sinner by Sophie Jordan


Beautiful Sinner by Sophie Jordan
Book Five of the Devil's Rock series
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

Locked in with the town bad boy . . .

Most women would be scared, but Gabriella’s only worried about resisting Cruz Walsh, who’s even hotter than he was back in high school. Cruz was wrongly accused of the high-profile crime for which he was imprisoned; Gabriella’s desperate for the scoop that will get her career off the ground and get her out of Sweet Hill, where everyone still remembers her as “Flabby Gabby.” Being stuck in a supply closet with Cruz is the perfect opportunity to land an interview. What Bri doesn’t count on is Cruz taking “up-close and personal” to a whole new level.

If there’s a silver lining to the hell Cruz went through, it’s that losing his freedom put everything in perspective. Maybe starting over someplace new would be easier, but after years locked up, Cruz values his family—and his true friends—more than ever. So he’s back home, facing the gossip, dodging reporters . . . and face-to-face with Gabriella Rossi. They’ve both changed: Bri wants a story and Cruz just wants her. Another thing he’s learned? Don’t let a good thing slip away.

What I Liked:

I've been in a bit of a reading slump, and I decided to pick up this book even though it doesn't publish for another month and a half. I love this series - books one and four are my favorite, but all four are great - and I had a feeling that this fifth book would be excellent. I believe this is the final book in the series, and it's a great concluding story.

This is Cruz's story; Cruz is the older brother of Piper (heroine of Beautiful Lawman). He is a good friend of Knox and North (they went to high school together, and went to jail for the same incident, though with varying offenses). This book is set approximately six months after the ending of Beautiful Lawman - so Cruz has been free for six months. He's living in Sweet Hill, he owns his own home, and he opened a gym in the town. He's doing well, except most citizens of Sweet Hill still treat him like he was the one who killed Shelley Rae, seven years ago. Enter Gabriella Rossi, who went to high school with Cruz. She has always had a crush on him, and never believed that he killed Shelley Rae. She has been living in Austin, but moved back to Sweet Hill to live next door to her grandmother and take care of her, post-surgery. Gabriella doesn't expect to run into Cruz, or to feel the immense attraction she used to feel when she was in high school. What she doesn't know is that Cruz also crushed on her in high school, and years later, he hasn't gotten her out of his mind.

This was a unique love story. We have two people who never dated, were never friends, never interacted much, but went to high school together, and crushed on each other. Cruz was always the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Gabriella was always the smart, good girl who was going places. Twelve years later, life has stalled for both of them, in different ways. But life has a way of surprising everyone. Imagine Gabriella and Cruz's surprise when they get locked into a closet together, the night of a high school function. (Cruz's youngest sister is in high school, and Gabriella's niece is in the same high school.)

When Cruz and Gabriella run into each other in the high school event, the chemistry is electric. When they get stuck in the closet after the event, the chemistry ignites. I love how good Sophie Jordan is at building chemistry! There is explosive chemistry from the start, and it doesn't let up. 

I liked seeing Cruz and Gabriella's progression, in terms of their relationship and the mushy gushy feelings. It was the cutest thing - Cruz decided he wanted to spend more time with her, so he started bringing her food and "chasing" her. Don't get me wrong - Gabriella is not opposed to this! I would be mildly worried about consent and creepy behavior, but Cruz and Gabriella are both interested in each other, and Cruz makes a move. The romance is as sweet as the chemistry is steamy.

This book is steamyyyyy, as per Jordan's usual when it comes to her contemporary romance novels. There are closet scenes. There are backed-into-a-car scenes. There are gym scenes. So many steamy sexy times, and a great buildup to the bigger moments!

I should talk a little bit about Cruz and Gabriella individually - I adored them both. Cruz is a sweetheart. He seems like a block of marble, a hardened individual whom the town has not accepted since he was exonerated. But he's a good guy who wants to make a difference in the town. Gabriella was never a popular kid in high school, and she always wanted to get out of Sweet Hill. She has self-esteem issues, and she was bullied, and so Sweet Hill doesn't hold good memories for her. She's a kind and hard-working person, very smart and sweet and a tough on the innocent side. She and Cruz are a great match!

The climax of the book came quickly - I couldn't stop reading! This book has the usual conflict in which there is drama that could separate the couple. In this case, Gabriella's job as a reporter directly conflicts with Cruz's privacy. So it's understandable when he feels like she has stepped over a line. But I LOVE how Gabriella fights for him and holds her ground. (Side note, she did nothing wrong, and was never using him to boost anything at her job.)

Obviously I loved this book. I highly recommend it, and the entire series. Book four is probably my favorite, and then book one, but the whole series is worth reading!

What I Did Not Like:

The only complaint I have is that this book felt too short! Which is absurd because it's like 350 pages long! I think I breezed through it - I was totally engrossed. I didn't realize I was almost at the end until the big drama came along. I wouldn't have minded more pages, but I'm not unhappy with what is presented!

Would I Recommend It:

I highly recommend this book and the series in general. I've not read too many books involving ex-cons, or those exonerated, so this series was a little different. Jordan doesn't romanticize the felon aspect - I thought she did a great job with this. She isn't just looking for big, bad heroes. (Though they definitely are big and bad, no complaints there.) There is so much depth and backstory to each hero in this series. Start from the beginning, with Knox and Briar! They'll sway you.

Rating:

4 stars. I love this book! I think it's the final book in the series which makes me a little sad, but now I have a good excuse to reread the entire series. I have reread most of the books anyway, no excuse needed. I can't wait to read more adult contemporary romance by Sophie Jordan!


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (#299)


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!


So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, September 9th to Saturday, September 14th?


(all links to Goodreads are provided!)


In the mail:



Thank you so much, Fierce Reads! This package is amazing!


Buttonssssss. (There are more in the bag. So many buttons!

Thank you, Jenefer! She always thinks of me when she gets buttons and doesn't want them. I love trading with her!


This week was a hard one, at work, but I had a great Friday evening and am so ready for the weekend! Last week I was busy (sorry for not replying to comments!) - I was attending several local festivals! I love fall (almost fall) - so many great festivals to check out. Here's me in a mermaid chair!

Friday, September 14, 2018

My Favorite Middle Grade Novels

Happy Friday, bibliovores! Today is another day in which I didn't feel like writing/posting a review, but did feel like posting something... so I'm doing another favorites post! You can check out my other favorites posts in a previous posts (for example). 

Here are some of my favorite Middle Grade novels, from my adolescent days! I no longer read Middle Grade but when I was young, from age 10 to a young teen, I used to love MG books. Keep in mind, this was around 2005 to 2008 or so. Here's my list!

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)  The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2)  The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3)
The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4)  The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5)
Fablehaven (Fablehaven, #1)  Rise of the Evening Star (Fablehaven, #2)  Grip of the Shadow Plague (Fablehaven, #3)
Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary (Fablehaven, #4)  Keys to the Demon Prison (Fablehaven, #5)
The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #1)  The Magician (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #2)  The Sorceress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #3)
The Necromancer  (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #4)  The Warlock (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #5)  The Enchantress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #6)
Magyk (Septimus Heap, #1)  Flyte (Septimus Heap, #2)
Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #1)  Curse of the Bane (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #2)
Deltora Quest (Deltora Quest, #1-8)


My favorites were the Deltora books! There are several series within that world and I loved them all. I highly recommend them. I may need to do a reread!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Swoon Thursday (#294): Runaway Girl by Tessa Bailey


- From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering

- Try to make the swoon excerpt 140 characters (or less), if you are going to tweet about it. Use the hashtag #YABOUND when tweeting


This week, my swoon is from Runaway Girl by Tessa Bailey!


"Please, baby," he groans into my gasping mouth, his face pained. "Please."

"Yes." 

The kiss is a downpour of rain you can't see through, powerful and hypnotic and intoxicating. It's the first trip around a Ferris wheel, only we're moving at a hundred miles an hour. I'm instantly dizzy at the taste of him, tobacco and coffee and mint toothpaste. I throw my arms up around his neck and cling, letting him smash me into the unbreakable wall of his body while his mouth bears down on mine again and again. He slants our lips together, sipping at me, changing directions, punctuated air leaving his nose, like he's out of control. Snapped.

Just like that. 

- eARC, 48%



I'm reading this book now and really enjoying the dynamic between Jason and Naomi. This book is hitting shelves on September 24th!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday (#298): A Soldier and a Liar by Caitlin Lochner


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


This week, I'm featuring:


A Soldier and a Liar by Caitlin Lochner
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: February 19, 2019

Summary (from Goodreads):

In a world on the brink of war, four superpowered teens must learn to work together for peace in Caitlin Lochner's action-packed debut novel. 


Lai Cathwell is good at keeping secrets. As a Nyte, a supernaturally gifted teenager who is feared and shunned by the ungifted, this skill is essential to survival. Orchestrating her own imprisonment to escape military duty has only honed her ability to deceive others. But when rebels start attacking the city, Lai is dragged back into the fight with a new team of Nytes.

Thrown together with Jay, a self-conscious perfectionist consumed by the desire to be accepted; Al, a short-tempered fighter lying for the sake of revenge; and Erik, an amnesiac hell-bent on finding his memories and his place in the world, Lai realizes she's facing an entirely different kind of challenge--one that might just be impossible. But if this team can't learn to work together, the entire sector will be plunged into war.



I saw this on Goodreads recently and I think it sounds great! More people need to be talking about this book! And that cover is wonderful.