August 17, 2016

30 Days of Books :: Day 4

Hello my lovelies! I hope August is treating you well. It's been excruciatingly HOT here for the past few weeks, but we're surviving. And right now I'm sitting in air conditioning, in a comfy chair, writing about books, so I'm doing very well! :) By the by, anybody watching the Olympics? I am anything but a sports fan normally, but give me the Olympics and I become this crazy fanatic. Watching all the things, googling all the things, you name it. No matter how boring the sport, I am so there. Although I have decided that there aren't any boring sports at the Olympics. Because it's the Olympics! It's just magic, okay? ;)

Anyhoo, on to the fun stuff.

{joining Jenni}

Day 4 :: Your favorite book of your favorite series

Yay! Another easy one! On my last post, I said my favorite series is The Lunar Chronicles, so my favorite out of the four main books (excluding all the short stories. And I refuse to acknowledge that Fairest exists. I'm sorry. But I just can't.) is Scarlet!! I love the other three books a great deal, but my love of Scarlet knows no bounds. I'm not sure what it is about Scarlet and Wolf exactly (I did write this post about how much I love them though), all I know is they grabbed my heart from the first pages and have refused to give it back. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I'm realizing how much I love the Beauty and the Beast fairytale? I know that's not the one their story is modeled after, but it definitely has similarities. Whatever my reasons, I love how these two characters fall in love and proceed to care for each other no matter what happens to them. Their relationship is my favorite of the four main couples! :)

What about you? What's your favorite book of your favorite series?

August 16, 2016

Review: The Wedding Shop by Rachel Hauck

Once again, I was swept away into a Rachel Hauck novel and happily at that! She simply has a way with words. This wasn't a nail-biting, stay-up-way-too-late type of story for me, but that didn't matter. It was the gentleness and the care in her storyline that kept me picking the book back up again and again. Which probably sounds like it wasn't a great read, but it was! Oh, it definitely was.

The reason I enjoyed it so much? The characters, of course. Because I loved Haley. She's quite a force of nature! Now Cora, on the other hand, I wanted to shake her a few times. But Haley? I was right there with her every single step and wanted so badly for her dreams for the shop to come true. And as she dreamed huge, refusing to let pessimism crash into it, I kept hoping right along with her. It did help that I was rather fond of Cole, as well. (Who wouldn't be? ;) As these two worked together, I loved all their little moments. Their relationship is pretty fragile in the beginning, thanks to their past, but oh the sweetness that slowly develops! Definitely a favorite aspect of the novel for me.

Dual storylines can sometimes be confusing, if the writer doesn't differentiate between the characters somehow. I confess that I wasn't expecting all the POVs that we get, but Ms. Hauck handled them all well. Cora's bits were an interesting background for Haley's, and while I was more riveted with Haley and Cole, I did like watching Cora's growth as she figured out what she really wanted out of her life.

The bits of hope and grace that Ms. Hauck tucks into her story were lovely as well! By the time I closed the final page, I was smiling from all the cute and happy moments. And was glad that I had the privilege of reading this excellent story!

**I received a complimentary copy via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

"I had my adventure. After the air force I was supposed to come home and open the old wedding shop with Tammy." Haley smiled at the memory of playing in the shop with her best friend. "Man, I don't think I've really thought about that since high school. But if she were alive now, she'd be begging, 'Let's open the shop, Hal. Now's the time.'"
"The old wedding shop? What? I never heard this before. Why would you want to open that old place? The city owns the property and last I heard, was about to tear it down, thank goodness." Mom opened the bedroom door and hollered down. "Dave, is it almost halftime? We can do our goals."
Haley was on her feet. "Tear down the shop? Why?" Her dream with Tammy woke up, stretched, and rattled around in her soul.

August 11, 2016

Review: Told You Twice by Kristen Heitzmann

Oh friends, I was SO excited to read this one! Ever since reading Told You So at the end of last year, and being blown away, I had been anticipating Ms. Heitzmann's next book in the series. I was so sure I'd love it, no matter who it would be about, and guess what? I was so right! I will admit that I was extra special excited though, when I heard it would be Bo's story, because there was just something about that man when I met him in book one. He was so lost in heart-pain, yet the innate goodness inside of him shone through. Grace could see it and so could I. So count me doubly in to find out more about this fascinating character! :)

What a joy it was to discover Bo's heart. He has made and continues to make some really bad choices in his life, but watching as his layers slowly peel back and his true self starts becoming clearer to the others around him, as well as to himself, is a beautiful thing to witness! Of course, Grace (from book one) already knew this, but how much did I love that Exi could see it immediately as well. She is another character with so many layers and bad choices in her past, and it would seem like putting these two together would not be wise. But trust me, they fit each other perfectly! I'm always a bit leery of romances that start when one of the couple is already engaged to someone else, and I admit that Exi made some choices that frustrated me, but I have to give kudos to Ms. Heitzmann for handling that whole situation very gently. There are so many ways she could have taken it and I was very pleased with the way it all ended up.

This is a gritty and painful story. Bo has a lot of growth to undertake and in order for that to happen, he has to pretty much hit rock bottom. We all know rock bottom is not a pretty or clean place to be. But when he begins to let grace and mercy enter his life, it's a glorious moment and so worth all the hard to get to that point. He broke my heart so many times during this story! In all the best ways, of course. And I was rooting for him every single miserable step it took for him to begin to see light in his life. It was always there, he just had to realize it. Exi's storyline is just as compelling, and when she finally starts to understand herself and what she wants her life to be, ah how happy I was!

Together these two characters create a story that is entirely unforgettable! I love the way Ms. Heitzmann interweaves hope and grace in amongst all the chaos and drama. It's so true of real life, how we sometimes have to search a bit harder to find it, but it's always been there and when we go looking it shines bright. This is a story so worth discovering, friends! Read it and fall in love with these characters as much as I, okay? ;)

**I received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Eddie studied him so long he squirmed.
Bo slouched back from the table. "My sister Barb never got the leads she deserved. Everything was heaped on me. Even her love and attention. Then she's just wiped out." His hands fisted. "Where's the open arms in that?"
Eddie let the anger splash over him and ebb into a frothy tide. "I believe they're around her now. In the eternal view, she got there first, while you're still floundering here."
Bo stared. He couldn't help it. Barb the lucky one? And yet...
"It's a picture of God's unquenchable love. If you're sorry, weary, and lost, there is a way."

August 10, 2016

30 Days of Books :: Day 3

Here I am again! This really is fun (except for the picking only one part!), you should try it. :D This meme is certainly make me use my brain, let me tell you. I'm so forgetful! It's a good thing there's goodreads to help an absentminded reader out.

{joining Jenni}

Day 3 :: Your favorite series

11235712Now this is more like it! I knew immediately which series I was choosing, there was no hard decision-making involved at all. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer is EPIC and AMAZING and AWESOME and ALL THE ADJECTIVES. :D It truly is. I was a bit skeptical at first because when a book is majorly hyped, usually I'm not as big of a fan. But I tried Cinder anyway and was immediately blown away! And lucky for me I had only a few weeks to wait for Scarlet. But then...oh but then I had to wait an entire year for Cress. And then another almost two years for Winter! Those waits were excruciating let me tell you! (Actually I don't have to tell you, do I? Because I complained a lot on here about it. #Sorrynotsorry) Oh but I can't forget Stars Above! Because that epilogue/novella is a wonderful ending to the series. (Although I'm still sad the series is over! *sadface* At least I can reread as many times as I want, that helps. :)

Anyhoo, my point is, this series is something very special. I will gush about these books for years, I think. So you should read them if you haven't! And if you have, then feel free to gush in the comments. ;)

What's your favorite series? And do you read them as they come out or wait until they're all published before reading? Either way is pretty hard to do, I've discovered!


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