30 April 2017

Sunday Summary // 30.04.2017

Sunday Summary
I bring you this Sunday Summary on a Sunday… I almost moved it to Saturday so I could have my monthly post on the last day of the month… then I decided a wrap up in May instead would be fine. I’ll just mix up my usual blog routine.

Anyway, it’s been a crazy hectic week. I was out Tuesday seeing friends after work (at the pub, yes, they recognise us there and I have no shame) but I left early from that because I was tired. I then was out with work on Thursday. We had a launch party for our new office at a bar in Birmingham. It was all paid for and a girl was leaving from my department the next day so a couple of us decided to use it as her leaving drinks. Let me tell you, never attend something where you get free drinks. You feel a strong need to always say yes to another drink and end up going to a club on a school night and staying out until 3am. I got 2 hours sleep and was sat at my desk Friday morning dying a little inside. I’ve never attempted going to work after a night out and I wouldn’t recommend that experience again. It was a laugh, though, and I’m glad I went. It was insanely fun even if I only stayed as late as I did because you don’t leave drunk work friends out in the city alone. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the hangover that killed me, either. I hardly had one, it was the lack of sleep that made me want to die. I was surprisingly productive if a little short with folks.

After all that rowdiness I’ve not been doing a whole lot of reading, both blog reading and book. I am catching up this weekend, though, as it’s a bank holiday. I got myself 10 hours sleep Friday night to make up for my late night Thursday and I am all prepared to sit in my pyjamas and just read everything. I need the relaxation as next week is the beginning of a new month and we’ve officially closed our other offices and are taking on all their work. Work will be crazy and I’ll need the break. Especially as someone else has handed in their notice, she’s worked there for a long time though and she has a job offer to be paid more with less hours and more holiday and it’s closer to home. I begrudge no one for leaving in those circumstances. It will leave us with too much work and not enough staff, though. Hopefully, it will work out alright. If not, well, you’ll get see the drama unfold each Sunday so keep you’re eyes peeled.

I have to say, I don’t know if you guys really care about these life updates of mine but I enjoy sharing them. It also is nice to talk about stuff which isn’t the awful state of the world and how I am fed up we’re having another general election in the UK and I hear people saying Theresa May is the most popular prime minister and I’m thinking really? The woman has gone back on basically everything she’s said ever. I should be happy we have another female prime minister but all I think is that she honestly has no political position she is happy to stick to and comes out with stupid comments like ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ when it comes to Brexit and all you can think is ‘really, Theresa May, that is the stupidest thing you’ve said ever’ but people eat it up. Just, ugh, I am disillusioned with politics and I want to hide under a rock for about ten years and let the stupid blow over (or get worse).

What I’ve Been Reading

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This week began as a slow reading week. It took me near enough 5 days to finish Uprooted and that was a reread. I liked It Happened on Love Street but since I was quite looking forward to that romance it ended up being almost disappointing. It was sweet and made me laugh at weird things and puppies! So, there is that. I began my reading of the weekend with The One Real Thing and let me tell you, this will not be the last Samantha Young book I read. It was so good! Why did I wait 6 weeks to finally start reading this library book? I then got in reading Never Trust A Pirate, which was a crazy quick read for me and so much fun. Will it stay in my memory? Maybe not, but I had a great time while it lasted.

New To Me

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I know, considering I’ve been out of the house a lot this week I’m not sure how I found so many new books. I did, though. I managed to stop myself buying all of Molly Harper’s books when they went on sale at 99p… barely. I just got a kindle edition of How To Flirt With A Naked Werewolf as I borrowed a copy a while ago and enjoyed it and got The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires. I may regret that decision, but they are still on offer. I could back for them all and it wouldn’t come to much more then a tenner. Ugh, why is it payday time when I feel rich? I did also get the next Lucky Harbor collection, this is volume 3 and I am determined to have all the books in that series. Jill Shalvis brightens any bad day.
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I also have a few new review copies to get started on. I don’t know which to begin first. I mean, they all look so good. Spandex and the City was a bit of an impulse but if it’s as good as it sounds I know I'll have might a right decision. I loved the last Veronica Henry book I read so when I was emailed about it I had to say yes. I’ve got a review scheduled for next month so I will be reading this very shortly. I know I had a lot of doubts about the first book in the series by Manda Collins so you may be questioning my having the second book… I am always willing to give a second chance so hopefully it’s better than the first. I’ll let you know. I basically squealed when I got approved for When Dimple Met Rishi so you know I cannot wait to get reading that. And Come Sundown, I cannot wait. I may have only read one Nora Roberts book so far but this sounds like a fantastic read I cannot wait to start.

Anyway, how has your week been? Please tell me all and tell me which book to begin first because I am bad with choices.

28 April 2017

My Blogging Problems // How Do You Feature Books You’ve Already Reviewed?

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I have come to learn there is nothing better than rereading an old favourite. Don’t get me wrong, I love how utterly gripped and absorbed you are in a new book. Everything is new and shiny and interesting and you don’t know what will happen and the characters are different. But rereading an old favourite with familiar characters and a vaguely familiar plot is like coming home. The familiarity of it is just perfect and it can be just as gripping as the new shiny on your shelf is. What’s difficult, and what I want to talk about today, is how on earth do you feature rereads on your blog?
For me, the whole point of book blogging is that I love books but none of my friends really read all that much anymore so I had to turn to the internet to fill that hole. I like to be able to flail and rave about new books. I like discovering lots of new books to fill my already full shelves. As such, I like to talk about the books I’ve loved, regardless of when they were released or how long it’s been since I’ve read them. It’s great rereading an old favourite from my pre-blogging days, or a book I forgot to review and having a chance to feature it like it deserves. But what about the books I’ve already reviewed and loved so much I want to review again? I can’t reasonably review them again, that would be weird, so how do you go about featuring books you’ve reviewed before?

I know I’ve asked a similar question before but what other ways can we include books on our blogs? We’re not all reviewers. It’s not something everyone enjoys doing, so what else can you do to feature a book? I suppose I need help in ways to be creative and would love your suggestions. I mean, blogging is about coming together and flailing about books together, right?

So, what do you do when you want to feature a book again? Do you try and feature books again or is it a one time thing only? I’m curious because after three years of blogging I’m bound to wanting to look at a book again, I know some people wouldn’t even notice but I would so what should I do?

26 April 2017

Borrowed Books // Where I Realise I Need More Fantasy In My Life

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Borrowed Books is a feature I started when I first began visiting the library again. I wanted to try and make sure I spoke about the books I borrowed and figured this was the feature to do it in. I normally review and say my thoughts on them. What makes it different from when I write my mini reviews in Bite Sized Books? Absolutely nothing, I just like to confuse folk. Anyway, these are the latest couple of books I’ve borrowed and loved because libraries are brilliant, you should go visit yours and see what you can find.

The Rook
Published: 1st August 2013
Source: Library
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Mystery
My Rating:
The body you are wearing used to be mine.

So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.

She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.

In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.

Filled with characters both fascinating and fantastical, THE ROOK is a richly inventive, suspenseful, and often wry thriller that marks an ambitious debut from a promising young writer.
This was such a surprising read and I don't know what to say exactly to explain why. I’d had it on my radar for a little while and expected to enjoy it, but I wasn’t sure what to expect from it. I knew it was meant to be a Harry Potter spy top book but I was completely unprepared for what I got.

I couldn’t out this book down once I started. I was fully absorbed in the book and Myfanwy’s story as she tries to figure out who she was, who she is, and who on earth has it out for her. I loved the fact that there was a whole cast of characters and it was a complex world set in the modern day. I was continually trying to figure out who had wiped Myfanwy’s memory and who put her in her predicament. The fact I hadn’t a clue whodunnit until the end just demonstrates how well it was written. I suspected everyone!

I did have some gripes, I felt like the whole book was extra confusing and could have been made a touch clearer. But that may have been because I didn't figure things out until the end and once it got explained to me I felt like smacking my head and going 'duh'. The other thing is that Myfanwy should have figured out how to pronounce her name far sooner. Anyone that knows even a bit of Welsh names, as in able to correctly pronounce Welsh towns, would know how to say her name right. I wish that had been corrected immediately because I was saying it right in my mind but I knew that wasn’t how she was saying it. What a nightmare!

Apart from minor gripes I adored this book. I loved how intricate the world was and how it was written to be slightly hilarious and everything was a little weird and it totally worked for me. I loved the fact it kind of addressed the concept of nature vs nurture with the whole memory thing with the way Myfanwy’s personality changed completely with all her former memories removed she was a totally different person which leads you to question does that mean personality is formed by experience as much as being part of who you are? I just really liked what was done with this book. Now I need to try and get my library to get the second one.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Published: 3rd September 2013
Source: Library
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
My Rating:
Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.
This book has been on my radar for a very long time, essentially since I first began blogging. I was even more interested after reading The Darkest Part of the Forest because that book showed me she is a fantastic author yet still I didn’t pick this up. When I saw it at my local library I knew I had to commit and enjoy it. I realised it had been a good long while since I’d read any kind of vampire book so I knew this would feed my craving for the paranormal. I just wish I knew why I always wait to read books I know I’ll enjoy.

This book did an excellent job of being a love letter to the vampire genre without romanticising vampires too much. It was a sharp dose of reality about vampires a lot of the time and didn't fall into the Twilight trap. There were no sparkling vampires and gentle creatures feeding only on animals. All vampires were deadly, they were monsters and whilst folks romanticised them when they came face to face with them it was all very different. This is the book I'd want to give to teenage girls thinking of reading Twilight.

Tana has grown up in a world where vampires have become public knowledge. They accidentally revealed themselves and now the world must put up with them whilst trying to prevent the spread of the vampire infection. Coldtowns have emerged where vampires and those infected with vampirism are expected to seclude themselves and anyone is allowed to enter, but no one is allowed to leave. Tana ends up at a party where everyone is slaughtered by vampires and her, her ex boyfriend and a boy she has never met are forced to flee. She ends up going to a coldtown believing herself to be infected so it’s the only way to go

It is an excellent YA book but I'd expect no less from Holly Black. More importantly it's a good book outside of the YA genre. It hooked practically from the start and I was constantly thinking about reading. It reminded me that I don't read anywhere near enough vampire or paranormal books and that it's not hard to make me fall in love with secondary characters.

Have you read either of these? What did you think? I read two fantasy books from the library. What was the last book you borrowed?

24 April 2017

The Upside of Unrequited // It’s So Fluffy!

Published: 11th April 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating:
Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love-she's lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can't stomach the idea of rejection. So she's careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.
Then a cute new girl enters Cassie's orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly's cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly's totally not dying of loneliness-except for the part where she is.
Luckily, Cassie's new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny, flirtatious, and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she'll get her first kiss and she'll get her twin back.

There's only one problem: Molly's coworker, Reid. He's an awkward Tolkien superfan, and there's absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

I have been wanting to read this book ever since I first heard about it and so I was majorly daunted by it when I got approved on Netgalley. I mean, I’ve hyped it up majorly in my mind so I was scared to read! Luckily, I saw Nick review it and she enjoyed it so I decided to put my big girl pants on just getting reading. Good thing I have Nick around to tell me what to read, isn’t it?

If I had to describe my immediate feelings for this book upon finishing in a single gif it would be this:
This book was freaking adorable. I mean, there was lots of teen drama and stuff happening but it was also the cutest!

It's strange, it sort of began with Molly being cute and meeting a quirky girl in the toilet (Mina) and the inevitable making friends in toilets (this always happens in clubs and I love it). It then had the greatest meet cute for Mina and Cassie (Molly’s sister) with the awkward merge of friends which always occurs. It then turned into an awkward teenage angst thing as Cassie became invested in her relationship with Mina leaving Milly to feel alone. It had Molly doing the ‘will they, won't they’ thing with Will and Reid and then the book turned back to a teenage cute-fest that is Molly and Reid.

As I said, it felt a bit strange.

I mean, the book stayed cute all the way through but there was a slight change in tone as Molly fell into that pit of obsessing which happens when you start overthinking things and know you are and simply cannot stop yourself no matter how much you try. She became anxious within the book and definitely had some self-esteem issues to deal with but it all felt so very genuine.

I think that's what I really loved about this book. Albertalli really knew how to describe the thought process of a slightly obsessive, anxious person. I cannot claim to suffer from anxiety but I am an anxious person when I let myself be and so I could totally understand Molly's entire thought process in this book. Even when she was being totally crazy and you wanted to stop her all I could think is ‘I've been there’. That feeling of reality within the book is what made me fall in love. That and the really amazing characters.

The characters were the best. I loved Molly with every fibre of my being. She was quirky and creative without even realising it. She basically lived the Pinterest life and you just know you would never be able to recreate the cool things she makes because no one can. Pinterest fail is a thing. Molly was sassy, though. She was freaking hilarious. I loved her with her sarcasm and awesomeness. And her twin, Cassie was awesome. Sure, she could be selfish at times. Who isn’t at seventeen? But she was there for her family and friends when needed ready to cut a bitch who was giving anyone the side eye. And those two together, sure they fought and argued but they were such brilliant sisters who were close and figuring out how to stay close as they grew up and had new people in their lives who were as important as family. I mean, that is a difficult thing to learn.

And Reid whose cheeks and I want to smush and I just want to take him everywhere in my pocket because the boy be cute. Just, ugh, I am fully in love with Reid. I am not convinced boys like that existed when I was at school but there should have been because I would have loved him.

Molly and Cassie's moms! Honestly, they were parent life goals. It’s so fun to see parents I recognise in books because they are similar to my own. I may not have two moms but their general attitude to parenting is so like my mom and stepdad. I love it. They were involved and they were ready to call Cassie and Molly out on things but they were never too involved and controlling. They allowed them both to make their mistakes because parents should let their children make the mistakes and learn because how else will they learn?

Basically, in my slightly spoilerish flailing I have to say I loved it. I loved the writing. I loved the book and I am sat here questioning why the hell I've not read Albertalli's first book? My fear of reading was unfounded and crazy and I will undoubtedly be reading this again in the future.

Have you read this, what did you think? What was the last brilliantly fluffy book that you simply had to tell everyone about repeatedly?

23 April 2017

Sunday Summary // 23.04.2017

Sunday Summary
Another week has gone and I am tired! Also, annoyed because I was ready to say this week had gone quite well and I woke up with conjunctivitis this morning so I’m in a bad mood now. I can’t remember having it before so it is just unlucky on my part. I now have a strong urge to buy things to make myself feel better. I might just play video games instead.

It has been a tiring week getting up that bit earlier to get into work. That being said, I have actually enjoyed my commute into work. I’m not just catching the bus anymore, I get to experience the train and it’s so nice. It turns up when it says it will and if there are delays you know about it! Add in the fact that I can read on them then I’m pretty happy. I may have to stop being cheeky and getting a lift everywhere, I’ll wait and see what I think when the kids are back at school and there’s traffic.

I don’t want this post to be all about work (really guys, you hear about all the dramas) but I will say a couple more things. First off, don’t you hate it when you’re right about someone who joins your team? Someone new started about a month ago and we said as soon as they moved onto the team they wouldn’t last and to no ones surprise she left on Tuesday. She never wanted the job and should never have been offered it. She was more a hindrance than a help and we are basically left in the lurch as someone else is leaving next week (we knew this was happening but she got a job abroad so really, I would too) so yeah… we are a touch screwed and your manager really doesn’t appreciate having an ‘I told you so’ shoved in their face so I’ve had to restrain myself. Just, it’s so annoying when you can see how things are going to end up and can do nothing stop it.

There we go, rant done.

This week has been more of a good week than anything, though. That’s helped along by the fact Monday was a bank holiday so I just stayed home reading. And then work wise it was meh, but when I wasn’t working it was great. I saw a friend who was back home for a flying visit and I did my usual trip to the pub with my bestie to catch up on life, the world… things. It’s always good catching up with her. And then shopping this weekend which was fun but exhausting.

What I’ve Been Reading

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I’ve been stuck in this rut since rereading the Rephaim series. I adored it but I wanted more. I am so glad Paula Weston has a new book out this year because I am all over that. I did read The Upside of Unrequited which was amazing (review to follow) it is just so cute and cute. Heaps of cute and fluff. But reading that meant I was in another reading rut. There’s something so difficult about finding a book after reading good ones… so I settled on rereading in the end. Going Too Far is one of those books which just fills a craving. It’s strange considering I disliked the book first time I read but really enjoyed second time around and loved again this third time. It’s strange how my brain works.

New To Me

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I’ve been very restrained this week. I have seen books I’ve wanted but I’m trying to be smart. I even resisted the urge to go into my local bookshop when I was shopping to prevent book buying. I do have a few things in my basket online which may get bought later on but I am trying to wait until payday here. Progress guys!

And there is my week, it’s been busy but I’ve been happy. How has your week been? Any good books? And how do you deal with deciding what to read next when you’ve read so many good books in a row?

19 April 2017

Bite Sized Books // Why Don’t I Read More Sports Romance… Or More Sarina Bowen?

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This time I’m combining two reviews, both of books in Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series. I did this because I loved both books and totally want to talk about them and I really didn’t want the reviews to be spaced out with weeks between them trying to remember to post a review. It was also whilst reading these I remembered I totally have a thing for sports romance so why haven’t I read more. I will want all the recs below please so I can do some reading catch up.
rookie move Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers #1) – Sarina Bowen
Published: 6th September 2016
Source: Bought
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports Romance
My Rating:
A brand new sporty, sexy series from USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen.

Georgia Worthington and Leo Trevi were the golden couple of their high school. He was the hockey team captain, she was a tennis star. Until graduation, when tragedy pulled them apart.

Five years later, everything's coming together for Leo. His dreams of playing professional hockey seem to be coming true as he's called up from the minors to play for the NHL's newest team. The only problem? The team's publicist is the woman who broke his heart.

As she tries to prove herself as the senior PR specialist for a major NHL franchise, the last thing Georgia needs is the distraction of her former flame. But when Leo arrives at the press conference that can make or break her career, Georgia realizes that the man she put her on ice might still be able to melt her heart.
I haven't read some good old romance in a couple of weeks and this book has reminded me of that fatal error. I also haven't read enough of Sarina Bowen's books and that is a seriously fatal error I will be remedying swiftly. I had only read the first in her NA series and her books co-authored with Elle Kennedy and I seriously need to read her back catalogue.

What made this book so great? Well, turns out I am a major fan of sports romance. I forget this until I read another awesome sports romance and this one was great. Ass into the fact it's a second chance romance and I am there.

I will say this felt very similar to Bowen's NA books and I know this is more of an adult romance but if you're trying to transition from NA to straight up romance then this is that middle ground. It does have some of the elements that are so frequently seen in NA, such as a tragic backstory, but much like Elle Kennedy managed to write a romance which sensibly handled a woman who had been raped and her handling that past trauma so does Bowen in this book. Georgia may have been raped and that affected her life but it is handled so sensibly the impact it had on her.

I think I loved this book because Georgia this relatable character who is trying to make a life for herself and thinks she's got a pretty good handle on things until her ex is back in her life in the most shocking way and her attitude towards Leo is crazy. I didn't get how she wasn't climbing him like a tree but, you know, I did get why she was hesitant. I like when the biggest obstacle between a couple is themselves and that was definitely the case with Leo and Georgia. It was Georgia putting up barriers and her realising that was awesome.

I do think the reason I enjoyed the book quite so much was Leo, though. He wasn't a player or a bad boy, he was this really sweet man who had his heart broken when he was young and viewed seeing Georgia again as a second chance for them as he never really stopped loving her. He was so sweet and patient and sure he acted rashly but he was so hot doing it and his heart was always in the right place.

This was a fantastic start to a series I cannot wait to continue. Bowen has proved she is an awesome romance writer and not one to be overlooked.

hard hitter
Published: 3rd January 2017
Source: Bought
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports Romance
My Rating:
He's a scrapper in the rink, but he's about to learn that playing nice can help you score...

As team captain and enforcer, Patrick O’Doul puts the bruise in the Brooklyn Bruisers. But after years of fighting, O’Doul is feeling the burn, both physically and mentally. He hides his pain from the coaching staff, but when his chronic muscle strain becomes too obvious to ignore, he’s sent for treatment with the team’s massage therapist.

After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, Ari Bettini needs a timeout from men. She’s focusing only on work: rehabilitating the Bruisers’ MVP. O’Doul is easy on the eyes but his reaction to her touch is ice cold. Ari is determined to help O’Doul heal, but as the tension between them starts to simmer, they both learn that a little TLC does the body good…
I actually bought the two Brooklyn Bruisers books not because I wanted to read more Sarina Bowen (I know, for shame) but because I kept hearing about this book on the Smart Bitches podcast. I was first mentioned at the beginning of this year and they specifically said about O’Doul not liking to be touched and having to see a massage therapist and I was totally there. As soon as I knew the hero didn’t like to be touched I wanted to read so I bought these two books because I wanted to read Hard Hitter but hate reading series out of order. As soon as I realised I was enjoying Rookie Move I was even more excited to start reading Hard Hitter and God damn it was a hit too.

As I said, the premise of the book is that Patrick O’Doul is a hockey player, the enforcer (so basically the guy who gets into the fights on the ice when someone steps out of line on the other team), and he is currently suffering from pains from his job so gets referred to the team's massage therapist, Ari. Ari has recently gone through a tough break up and very much against dating and wouldn’t dream of compromising her job so the chemistry between these two is obviously off the charts. Like, fan yourself hot off the charts. You definitely can’t complain about a lack of chemistry with this romance, but the romance isn’t the sole reason I loved this book.

I loved this book because I loved Patrick. He has all kinds of issues he seriously needs to work on but he is a little trier and I adored him for that fact. He was forced into the massage therapy but he begins to enjoy it because he begins to trust Ari. But that’s not the only thing he works on. He has spent so much time having to be alone (and pretty much liking it that way) so even though he works as part of a team he never lets others in and he works on building solid connections 10 years after originally joining the team. Like he never lets people in his apartment but then he lets in Ari, and then Ari, Becca and Georgia and then really it’s a slippery slope from there. Just those little things of him growing and realising no man is an island essentially was brilliant.

I did like Ari a bit less because she was fast to jump to conclusions even though she really should know better. Yet she is willing to give others the benefit of the doubt. I know she’d been burned by her ex so I forgave her judgey mc-judgerson moments because I got where they were coming from. She had a few trust issues and a whole heap of doubt about herself and it was good seeing her figure herself out (with a few pushes from those around her) but I definitely took my time warming up to her.

In the end, this book worked for me because it was sports romance (seriously, I have a strong urge to see a proper hockey game now and I haven't had that urge since I watched The Mighty Ducks as a kid). I adored the romance in it and Patrick is a star, I love him, I want to keep him in my pocket the precious little cinnamon roll that he is. I love that he is this majorly tough guy but inside he is all squishy and soft. So yes, this book was all Patrick all the time for me. It is still a totally brilliant book ignoring his brilliance as well.

So there you have my reviews for the first two Brooklyn Bruisers books, I am now ready for Pipe Dreams (although, where is Becca’s book. That’s the book I want ever since the first book where it was blatantly obvious her and Nate were meant to be with his awkward blushing and total awesomeness).

Have you read these books? What did you think? And please recommend sports romances to me and remind me I need to read all of Bowen’s back catalogue.

17 April 2017

Goodbye Days // A Book You Need Tissues For But Crying Is Worth It

Goodbye Days
Goodbye Days – Jeff Zentner
Published: 6th April 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
My Rating:
Can a text message destroy your life?

Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, there could be a criminal investigation into the deaths.

Then Blake’s grandmother asks Carver to remember her grandson with a ‘goodbye day’ together. Carver has his misgivings, but he starts to help the families of his lost friends grieve with their own memorial days, along with Eli’s bereaved girlfriend Jesmyn. But not everyone is willing to forgive. Carver’s own despair and guilt threatens to pull him under into panic and anxiety as he faces punishment for his terrible mistake. Can the goodbye days really help?
First thing to know before you pick this book up? You will need tissues. You will ugly cry no matter how much you try and stop yourself. It’s inevitable so just accept it. Second of all, you will probably feel some rage at a few characters and it is awful but it just makes the ending all the more satisfying, you know?

This is the first book I’ve read by Jeff Zentner, I know everyone talks about The Serpent King but I haven’t read anything by him before. He is an author I've heard many a good thing about but I am so glad I waited to read this book by him first. I was emotionally wrung out by the end but so very, very happy as well.

This book is centred around Carver who has lost his three best friends in a car accident and is blaming himself because he texted them around the time of the car accident. It leads him on a path of guilt and self-discovery as he spends time with the families of those he loved trying to help them get some closure whilst also trying to get closure for himself. There is a mixed response from the family of his loved ones because too often we want to find someone to blame when we lose someone. It has to be someone's fault because bad things can't just happen.

I haven't cried so much reading a book in a long time. I know I get emotionally involved in things very easily, much like Carver I cry at YouTube videos about good deeds, but this book will hit you in the feels and then beat you around the head with your emotions right until the end. But in a good way, you know? You may be ugly crying but you'll be happy about it, trust me. It’s one of those books which puts your through the ringer and drains you but it’s so good.

I think this book works because of Carver. He isn’t the best person. He isn’t the most likable character. He acts rashly and like a bit of a dick at times but he has lost his best friends. That support structure you usually fall back on when you make bad choices in gone and he is struggling. He is blaming himself for losing those closest to him and this is a difficult thing to handle and so that instant connection you make with him is vital to this book. I definitely wouldn’t have liked this book as much if I hadn’t gotten what Carver was going through.

Like I said, if you’re looking to cry like a baby read this. And if you want some awesome characters and a really good read, you should probably read it then too.

What was the last book which made you cry? And have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

16 April 2017

Sunday Summary // 16.04.2017

Sunday Summary
Happy Easter! At least those who celebrate it. For everyone else Happy Chocolate Egg Day (that’s what I like to celebrate).

It’s been a slower week blogging wise for me. You may have noticed I only had two posts up and I am way behind on comments and I really need to catch up on blog reading but I’m enjoying taking it a little slower for the past week. Hopefully, a little time away will recharge my batteries. I have plenty I want to say but I’ve not got the same motivation to stay up late to get it all done.

As for real life? It’s been a strange week. Our office has now got everyone moved in from all of the offices who will be merging here. It has meant it’s been louder in the office, busier in the kitchen, and it’s strange to finally put faces to names when I’ve been emailing and calling these folks for a while. It’s meant that going to work kind of feels like going to a new school as you see all these strange faces about. It’s a very weird feeling but I’m getting used to the new office at least. I am nervous about the fact I will finally be getting public transport to work next week. I’d been getting a lift from someone on my team but she’s on holiday next week so I must finally brave the longer commute, at least there’ll be time for reading! I just think this new office makes me feel like I’ve started a new job and I’m still figuring out my routine. I should be settled by the end of the month, I hope.

I had my first experience of getting my nails done this week, as well. A friend bought me a gift voucher to have gel nails done at the salon she goes to for my birthday. She arranged an appointment for me so I had to be brave and let a stranger do my nails. I was a little less than gracious about the gift when I got it as it really, really is not my kind of thing. I avoid getting my haircut because I don’t like small talk so why on earth would I want to sit for an extended period of time getting my nails done? At least with a haircut you don’t really need to make eye contact. Thankfully, it was quite nice. I will probably never pay to get my nails done again apart from a really special occasion but it was nice. I now have pretty purple gel nails that are a perfect shade for spring. It’ll just be hell waiting for them to grow out.

What I’ve Been Reading

The RookThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown182708462223799321112814
I’m quite pleased with my reading this week. I enjoyed The Rook, although it took me way longer to read than expected. It was a really interesting fantasy world which was kind of like a cross between X-Men and Mi5. It was totally cool and I will read the second book eventually. I also got around to reading The Coldest Girl In Coldtown, a book I was excited about being released and took years to finally read. It was an excellent take on the vampire genre. It was both a love letter to the genre without romanticising the fact that vampires are killers. I mean, they drink blood, they can’t really be all good. And then I finally began the reread of Paula Weston’s Rephaim series this weekend which I’ve been wanting to do ever since Nick posted her reviews of them. I mean, this series! I love it so bad.

New To Me

To Sir With Phillip With Love738 DaysSleepless in ManhattanSunset in Central Park3299422126047680
I feel like I justify my purchases every week and really, I am happy with them so no justification necessary. I got a whole bunch more free books but I won’t include those because those will fill a page. Especially as I may not read them. I literally just see free book, especially free book from a big name author and I can’t say no. I mean, I got Sunset in Central Park free and a bunch of others, it’s impressive. I gave in to buying 738 Days because I’d been thinking about it for a while. I figure why not buy the paperback? And my newest Julia Quinn book was used so that was pretty cheap. I’m a huge fan of second-hand books. And Under her Skin was 49p for Kindle, who can say no to that? And Burn had to be bought as I’m reading the series again and I really want physical copies (yes, I am weird like that).

Am I the only one who sees the word free and wants something? I can’t be the only one hoarding free books for Kindle? And how has your Easter been? Anyone got anything interesting or done anything interesting?

14 April 2017

My Thoughts // The Fear Of Not Having A Post Queue

My Thoughts_zpsv3m9csox.png
This time last week I had absolutely no posts in my queue and it filled me with fear. I haven’t had no posts lined up in my queue for months now. I have had things lined up and ready to go and planned ahead for the past few weeks. Sure, I’ve had to finish off posts and brush up a few things. Every so often I’ve had to write a post and slot in my queue but all in all, I’ve been able to sit back and relax. It’s been refreshing. I saw I was posting that final post and I actually thought about delaying posting until I had a few more reviews and things lined up. It was only a moment of thinking about delaying and then I realised that was stupid and to get a grip but it really got me thinking, why am I so scared about not having a post ready and lined up in advance?
When I started blogging I didn’t have a queue, I decided to start a blog, I chose a name and designed my blog and wrote up a post and published it. I didn’t have a review ready. I had no discussion post ready. I had no Top Ten Tuesday. I had nothing and I didn’t care. I found it exhilarating, this sense of freedom I had to do what I wanted when I wanted. I thought it was so cool that I had gotten myself my own little corner of the internet to do with it what I will and it felt amazing. I posted as and when I wanted and often didn’t finalise my post until seconds before I posted.

Now I post things which I wrote a week, a fortnight, a month ago and when people comment on my review I have forgotten everything I have to say. I find myself having to read my post again to be able to respond to what someone else said. Or I’ve written a review fresh from finishing a book but two weeks later when I post it I find that my thoughts have changed. I don’t feel as critical or I’ve noticed a few flaws and basically, my thoughts are different about books two weeks after as opposed to immediately after finishing.

Now I have to slowly work on my posts day by day I am excited about the feeling of freedom I have again. Sure, I have ARCs I want to review and there are monthly and weekly posts I always do but for the next couple of weeks, at least, I am working post by post. Sure, I’ll slowly build up my queue again but that will take time and until then I can just take it easy and remember why I love to blog.

Do you feel scared at the prospect of having no posts queued up? And do you enjoy the freedom you have when you have nothing queued up?

10 April 2017

Somebody’s Baby // A Romance That Felt More Real Than Most

Published: 4th April 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Small Town Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:
Veterinarian Rory Gallagher chose a different path from his brothers, both of whom became first responders in the lovely little town of Darling, Vermont. Rory’s always had an affinity for animals—and the ladies. Known for his impressive track record in breaking hearts, Rory never meant to hurt anyone; he’s just never been in a hurry to settle down. It’s not as if he needs to pay a visit to the town’s famed Kissing Bridge to magically find love. He’ll know The One when he sees her. . .right?
Oaklee Ferguson is the kid sister of Rory’s best friend—and, even now that she’s all grown up, remains immune to the pet-doctor’s charms. When she shows up at Rory’s clinic late one night—devastated after hitting a stray dog with her car—Rory’s so-called “bedroom eyes” are the last thing on her mind. Still, his care and kindness toward the dog, and his concern for her feelings, catches Oaklee by surprise. . .and soon the two (and rescued dog makes three!) begin to share a deep connection that neither could have ever imagined. Could it be that love has been waiting for them by the bridge all along?
I have been reading Donna Alward’s Darling, Vt. and really enjoying it but I have to say this book may have been my favourite. Oaklee and Rory’s story was one I could relate to. These two couldn’t deny their chemistry and their connection but they had both been burned and were scared to put their heart’s at risk again. I mean, I enjoyed the past two books but this one really got to me and I loved it. It may have helped there was a dog involved as well. Everyone loves a dog.

Like I said, this book is about two people scared to risk themselves for love. Oaklee was Rory’s best friend’s sister growing up so she was off limits. Years later, they definitely have chemistry and they are both interested, but they don’t want to risk their friendship or themselves. We can all relate to that. Add into the fact that they’ve both experience some pretty brutal heartbreak and you can see why they’re both hesitant to start something up.

I think this book worked because of the hesitancy of both characters. Too often in romance you have two characters getting involved with one another when they have baggage they need to sort and they end up hurting the other because of it. This time you have Rory and Oaklee both trying to give the other distance to not risk a friendship and to avoid causing the other pain. Sure, that approach also had flaws but it’s nice to see folks giving a little consideration to one another before venturing into a relationship they are definitely not ready for.

Basically, I liked the fact that the characters felt real. Oaklee is a woman who has pushed many a person away after her heartbreak at college and is now trying to exude a confidence and togetherness she doesn’t really possess as she tries to stay in control of her career. Rory, on the other hand, has been burned by love so goes on numerous dates which never really get past date two to try and make it seem like he doesn’t care about settling down. They are both people keeping up appearances so it was nice to see them allow a bit of chaos into their lives in the pursuit of love. Add in a poor dog that needs a home to recuperate in and I was totally sold on this romance.

Do you find yourself being drawn to calmer romances that are more like real life at times? Or do you prefer the escapism of the crazy sauce romances out there?