ARC August: The Final Count

Tomorrow is the last day for ARC August and I must say I’m pretty pleased with how I did this year. Did I read everything I wanted to? Nope. And I did read 2 non-ARCs (one because I reread Anna and the French Kiss for my birthday and the other because it was the Michelle Obama book that came in from the library) which wasn’t completely in the plan, but all in all I read 6 ARCs, hopefully 7 by the time the challenge ends tomorrow. Out of those 6 completed ARCs, 2 of them were 5 stars reads and 2 were 4 star reads. All in all it was a good month. Here are the books I read:

4 Stars

2 Stars

5 Stars

4 Stars

2 Stars

5 Stars

Currently I’m about 50% done with Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren.

How did you do on ARC August? What was your favorite out of the books you read?

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ARC August: Check-In

Unlike last year I am checking in in the middle of ARC August to show my progress. So far I have done pretty well for myself. I have finished 4 books, I’m in the middle of 2, and I DNFd one . Not too bad considering I went away for a few days and celebrated both my birthday and my mom’s. Would I have liked to have read more over the last 16 days? Sure. But I’ll take what I can. Here are two mini reviews for what I have read:

ARC August: Check-InStealing Home by Becky Wallace
Published by Page Street Kids
Published: July 9, 2019
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four-stars

Fight for your dreams, even if it means breaking a few rules.

Seventeen-year-old Ryan Russell has life perfectly planned. If she keeps up her hard work, one day she’ll take over the family business: owning the Buckley Beavers, a minor league baseball team, and become one of the only female General Managers in the sport.

But when the newest member of the Beavers, child-phenom Sawyer Campbell, shows up, Ryan’s carefully laid plans are thrown a major curveball. Sawyer is far more charming than the arrogant jocks she usually manages, his ambition rivals her own workaholic nature—and he’s completely out of bounds. Fraternizing is against every rule in the Beaver’s handbook.

Then Ryan’s divorced parents butt heads over the future of the Beavers, and her mom plans to sell her shares to a business group known for relocating teams. If this happens, Ryan’s dreams of becoming GM disappear. In a bid to save her future, she partners with Sawyer to use his star power to draw in sponsors who will keep the team in Buckley. But the more time she spends with him, the more impossible it becomes to play by the Beaver’s rules, and she can’t afford a strikeout on the path to her dreams.

Full count with two outs, Ryan’s one pitch away from losing the whole ball game.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Stealing Home was a great summer read! It ticked all the boxes for things I love in a sports themed romance. Sawyer and Ryan had amazing chemistry and the bantered back and forth so well. There was also oodles of tension between them because they wanted something they couldn’t have, each other. But what I really loved about it was the fact that it was also a story about going after your dream no matter what it takes. It is so easy to think something is impossible and to give up on it, but Ryan was not that person. She fought for what she wanted and went for it. I struggled a lot with Ryan’s mom’s portrayal and the way she kind of turned towards the end, but all in all it was a quick, enjoyable read with a hot of heart and depth.

ARC August: Check-InHot to the Touch by Jaci Burton
Series: Brotherhood by Fire #1
Published by Berkley
Published: May 7, 2019
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two-stars

Love burns white-hot in this first scorching romance in an all-new trilogy about a family of firefighters from the New York Times bestselling author of the Play-by-Play novels and the Hope series.

Firefighter Jackson Donovan doesn't look back--as a rule. So when his past comes roaring back to life in the form of not-so-damsel-in-distress Becks Benning, the last thing he wants to do is relive old times. No matter how tempting she makes it seem...

Now thanks to his two interfering brothers, Becks is living with them while she looks for a new place and tries to pick up the pieces of her tattoo business that went up in flames. Which means a grown up, smokin' hot Becks is in his house, sharing meals, and digging up old wounds. And despite his better judgement, the more time he spends with this smart, artistic, incredible woman the more he wants her in his bed--and his future.

Becks always had it bad for Jackson. Unfortunately for her, not much has changed--he's still honorable, hard-working, sexy as sin--and closed off. But there's more than one way to get to a man's heart and if Jackson doesn't want to recall old memories, she'll just have to help him make new ones. Because now that she's found Jackson again, she's not letting him go.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Hot to the Touch has been on my TBR for some time now but something just didn’t work for me with this one. When I was reading the book I felt more like it was being told at me and not to me and that really rubbed me wrong. I also didn’t find any chemistry at all between Jackson and Becks so I had no interest if they were a couple of not. His personality changed so much I just didn’t like him at all. Plus the pacing felt a tad off. Honestly, I have been struggling with Jaci Burton books for sometime and I think this was the one that finally has made me believe this author just isn’t for me anymore. This book just didn’t do it for me.

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*I will be reviewing The Bromance Book Club closer to release and November and Tweet Cute closer to release in January.

How is your ARC August progressing?

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New to Me – September Voting

In 2018 I had the idea to have readers and friends read my favorite books from years past. I had 20+ amazing people sign up and read some of my all-time favorite books. They took the time out of their busy lives and reading schedules and read books I love and shared what they thought on my blog. It was a lot of fun and I got to see some new takes on old favorites. It actually was a fun experience. If you are interested in the reviews HERE.

This year I decided to give back in a way and asked everyone that signed up to tell me their favorite book (that I have not read) because in 2019 it is time to do NEW TO ME.

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There wasn’t a lot of voting in the August poll so I honestly had no idea which book would end up winning. In the end, 6 of the 7 books that were on the list had at least one vote. Now full disclaimer, it is ARC August this month, so I may not read the winning book until September and will do two New to Me reads for the month. But the winning August book was:

Now it is your time to vote again and pick the book I will read in September. You have until 8/23/19 to get your vote in and tell me what book I should read next!

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Review: Start Here – Trish Doller {giveaway}

Review: Start Here – Trish Doller {giveaway}Start Here by Trish Doller
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: August 13, 2019
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five-stars

Two teens go on a life-changing sailing trip as they deal with the grief of losing their best friend in this heartwrenching, hopeful novel from the author of Something Like Normal and In a Perfect World.

Willa and Taylor were supposed to spend the summer after high school sailing from Ohio to Key West with their best friend, Finley. But Finley died before graduation, leaving them with a twenty-five-foot sailboat, a list of clues leading them to destinations along the way, and a friendship that’s hanging by a thread.

Now, Willa and Taylor have two months and two thousand miles to discover how life works without Finley—and to decide if their own friendship is worth saving.

From acclaimed author Trish Doller comes a poignant tale of forgiveness, grief, and the brilliant discoveries we make within ourselves when we least expect it.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

It’s safe to say I’m a Trish Doller fan girl. I don’t think she could write anything that I won’t love. My love started with Something Like Normal, her debut, and has only grown. So when I heard about Start Here I was so excited. There is something I love about a good friendship book and mixing one of my favorite authors with a favorite kind of story? YES PLEASE! And I am happy to say Trish hit it out of the park with this one.

Start Here is the story of Willa and Taylor, two girls left behind after their best friend Finley dies. The plan was always for the three of them to sail from Ohio to Key West, but when Finley dies before graduation the two remaining girls reluctantly decide to go using the 25 clues that Finley left for them. With time and a lot of distance to go, Willa and Taylor try to figure out if they have a friendship without Finley or was she the glue that held them all together.

What I personally loved about Start Here was the journey. Not the literal journey of the 2000 miles from Ohio to Key West, but the journey of Willa and Taylor. Both of these girls are just lost without the one person that made them feel like they were special like they had someone to belong to. With her death, they were both gutted and not sure how they fit in the world or with each other. Over their trip and with the help of Finley’s clues, they learn who they are, what they are made of, and how they work as a duo instead of a trio. That was what I loved the most. Watching these 2 girls figure things out and have meltdowns and fights and breakdowns was what made this book a 5 star read. It captured the essence of loss and moving forward and uncertain friendships to perfection.

Start Here is a book that you definitely need to add to your TBR. It is romance light, but friendship heavy and something everyone should read. I highly recommend going on this journey with these complicated characters.

Giveaway for one copy of Start Here by Trish Doller. US ONLY. Ends 11:59pm EST 8/19/19.

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Review: Vow of Thieves – Mary E. Pearson

Review: Vow of Thieves – Mary E. PearsonVow of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
Series: Dance of Thieves #2
Published by Henry Holt
Published: August 6, 2019
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five-stars

Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in love than ever. Their new life now lies before them―the Ballengers will be outlaws no longer, Tor's Watch will be a kingdom, and the two of them will meet all challenges side by side, together at last.

But an ominous warning mars their journey back, and in their rush to return to Tor's Watch, just outside the fortress walls, they are violently attacked and torn apart―and each is thrust into their own new hell.

Unsure whether the other is alive or dead, Kazi and Jase must keep their wits among their greatest enemies and unlikeliest allies. And all the while, Death watches and waits.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Reading a book that culminates 5 years of reading is always terrifying. A lot is riding on it. Expectations are high and so are emotions. That is why I was scared to read Vow of Thieves, but I was wrong to be. It was exactly what this story needed and my favorite book by Mary Pearson.

Vow of Thieves picks up where Dance of Thieves left off. Jase and Kazi are making their way back to Jase’s home, Tor’s Watch, but things have changed. The two of them are violently attacked and everything they thought they knew is different. Instead of settling in and making the plans the made happen, they find themselves in a situation where trust means everything and deciding who to trust could mean life or death. They have vowed to do whatever it takes to protect Tor’s Watch and the people they love and they will do just that, even if it means losing everything.

Jase and Kazi are the backbone of Vow of Thieves. They make the tough choices and do the hard things and I love that about them. Everyone loves that about them. But what I want to really talk about is how Pearson creates the heart and soul of the story with her secondary characters. The Ballengers, Wren, Synové, and the characters from the Remnant Chronicles that make appearances, those are the people that add life and love and even more color to the strength of Jase and Kazi and who bring them to life and show what they are made of. It is them they fight for or with and that is what makes Mary’s books so special to me. Everyone is going to remember the main characters but is a talent that makes readers remember the secondary ones and want to know more about their stories. I mean I’m still begging for a book about 2 people in The Remnant Chronicles and I will be begging for books about people in The Dance of Thieves duology.

So, how would I describe Vow of Thieves? Amazing, fantastic, epic, Mary Pearson’s best book to date; that’s how I would describe it.  Since 2014 I have been wrapped up in this world that Pearson created, starting with The Kiss of Deception, and she finished it off perfectly with the final part of Jase and Kazi’s story. Add this to your TBR. You won’t regret it.

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