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text 2019-01-18 22:07
Reading progress update: I've read 224 out of 224 pages.
Sheets - Brenna Thummler

So cute

 

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review 2019-01-18 01:00
Book Blitz: Kissing Princeton Charming by C.M. Seabrook & Frankie Love with Giveaway
Kissing Princeton Charming
C.M. Seabrook & Frankie Love

Publication date: January 17th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

We have reputations for a reason.

His?

Spencer Beckett:

Princeton Charming. Ivy League Playboy. Rich AF.

Hers?

Charlotte Hayes:

Campus sweetheart. Virgin. Working her booty off to get through this last semester.

When a bet pushes these two together it’s fire and ice … and Charlotte is melting.

Fast.

But Charlotte has a chip on her shoulder. She doesn’t believe that fairy tales exists in the real world.

One kiss tells her this is a bad idea.

Two kisses tells her he’s too good to be true.

Three kisses and she’s royally screwed.

Spencer Beckett might be everyone else’s Prince Charming but can he sweep this princess off her feet.

 
 
EXCERPT:
 
His eyes are bright, like he sees something he likes, something he wants. It takes me a moment to realize that thing is me.
 
His hand cups my cheek. “You are an enigma, Charlie Hayes.”
 
I draw in a tight breath. “And you are very smooth.”
 
Wait, how does he know my last name? Or for that matter where I live. This whole thing is unnerving.
 
“You like smooth?” His mouth is so close. His lips practically on mine.
 
God, I want him. But warning bells blare in my head. I should tell him to leave. Instead, I stutter over words, “I’ve never had smooth.” It’s the truth. I’ve had boys kiss me who didn’t know what they were doing, sloppy and unremarkable. I’ve had guys kiss me who were desperate and trying way too hard.
 
But Spencer Beckett is neither a high school boy nor a clingy college guy. He is something else entirely. He knows what to do as he lifts my chin ever so slightly. As he licks his lips, tempting me to lick my own. His eyes search mine and for a moment I feel found — or at least seen.
 
“You said yes before,” he rasps, blue eyes searching mine.
 
I whimper, “I…”
 
“I’m going to kiss you now, Charlie.” His head lowers, and his lips brush against mine before I have a chance to change my mind.
 
One kiss and I know I’m in trouble.
 
One taste and I know my resolve is gone.
 
 
Author Bio:
Frankie Love writes filthy-sweet stories about bad boys and mountain men. As a thirty-something mom who is ridiculously in love with her own bearded hottie, she believes in love-at-first-sight and happily-ever-afters. She also believes in the power of a quickie.

Author links:
 
 
--
Amazon bestselling author C.M. Seabrook writes hot, steamy romances with possessive bad boys, and the passionate, fiery women who love them. Swoonworthy romances from the heart!
 
Author links:
 
 
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review 2019-01-17 22:17
Book Blitz: Hot Justice by Lynn Raye Harris with Giveaway
Hot Justice
Lynn Raye Harris
(Hostile Operations Team #14)

Publication date: January 15th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

She’s searching for justice. He’s searching for peace.

What they need is each other. They just don’t know it yet…

Dean “Wolf” Garner is the kind of guy who loves hard and leaves fast. From the moment he rescues reporter Haylee Jamison in the Guatemalan jungle, he can’t stop thinking about the dark-haired beauty. His life is too complicated for romantic entanglements though–and not even a woman like Haylee can convince him otherwise.

Haylee wasn’t supposed to be in the drug cartel’s compound, but she was captured while on a mission of her own: find the trail of fake opioids entering the US and halt the operation. Back home in DC, Haylee can’t stop thinking about the gorgeous military operator who rocked her world for one steamy night before leaving. But when she uncovers a conspiracy and finds herself in danger, there’s only one man she trusts to keep her safe.

It’s easy for Wolf to risk his life to protect Haylee and give her the justice she desires. The hard part is taking a chance and admitting what’s in his heart before it’s too late.

Before he loses the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

“Lynn Raye Harris is the undisputed Queen of Military Romance because her Hostile Operations Team series just keeps getting better and better.” ~ Diane B.

 
EXCERPT:
 
Mexico-Guatamala Border
 
Dean “Wolf” Garner waited for the jump command. He was standing nut-to-butt with his teammates, all of them suited up and ready to go. This was a HAHO jump where they’d fall out of the aircraft one behind the other, open chutes about fifteen seconds in and then coast for forty miles to the landing zone. Cade “Saint” Rogers was team lead and he’d be first out the door. Wolf was second. Echo Squad would stack up behind the leader while they were airborne and follow Saint’s lead as he guided them using GPS and landmarks.
 
The C-130 Hercules doors were open and they’d switched over to oxygen bottles. HAHO jumps were hell on the body, whether from the minus-zero wind temps, the lack of oxygen and threat of hypoxia, or the incredible snap of the harness when the chute deployed. It was a necessary evil when trying to sneak up on the enemy, though.
 
They were currently at T-minus two. The PT had cleared them all to jump and the jumpmaster was about to give the signal.
 
“You bastards stick with me,” Saint said into their earpieces. “Let’s go get those hostages and get the fuck out.”
 
Seconds later, Wolf was free falling into the sky behind Saint. Wolf deployed his chute, grunting as the harness snapped him hard against the restraints. Jesus. He was carrying a hundred pounds of gear and weaponry, which made the experience even more fun.
 
He sighted in on Saint and lined up. The rest of the team followed, everyone checking in, and then they were gliding under canopy toward the LZ.
 
The sun perched in the sky behind them, sinking quickly toward the horizon. Everything below was bathed in golden light that faded into darkness the father east Wolf looked. It was a beautiful sight and he never took it for granted.
 
The terrain here was mountainous and green and a river cut through the landscape, marking the border. This was the area where the Mexican cartels got their rocket-propelled grenades and grenade launchers as well as other military-grade equipment they used as they fought each other for territory. It’d be fine if all they did was kill each other, but unfortunately civilians often got caught in the crossfire.
 
Sometimes those civilians were American, and sometimes they were held for ransom. Like now. A group of dentists and opticians on a mission to provide services to an impoverished village had been swept up in the raid and HOT had been tasked with getting them out.
 
It took twenty minutes, but the team touched down and shrugged out of their chutes. They buried them, along with the special jumpsuits and oxygen canisters. Then they slung their M4 rifles across their chests and started the trek toward the camp where the cartel was holding the hostages.
 
HOT had pictures of the camp from drone photography and they knew the layout and the approximate number of people who guarded it. Echo Squad wasn’t just there to extract hostages—they were also there to take out the cartel members who were in the camp. At last count, that had been twenty.
 
Wolf didn’t feel sorry for the men. They were rough, evil, nasty men who terrorized innocent civilians. They killed indiscriminately, and they left messages in the form of headless bodies dangling from bridges and trees.
 
No, Wolf had no problem with killing them. It took Echo another forty minutes to reach the camp. It was dark by then, and the cartel men were drinking. The hostages were nowhere to be seen, but HOT knew they were being held in a rough concrete structure in the center of the camp. Ten men and women from somewhere in Alabama, on a church mission to help the poor. They were no doubt terrified and probably dehydrated and hungry.
 
“Like we planned it,” Saint said into their earpieces. The team split up and fanned out around the camp. Wolf and Noah “Easy” Cross slipped silently toward their target. They waited for the signal, then glided toward the men they’d marked. A quick slip of the knife and two cartel members would never harm anyone again.
 
A man emerged from the building where the hostages were, dragging a woman with him. She was small and dark-haired and she fought mightily. Wolf stiffened as the man thrust her against the side of the building and dropped his mouth to her neck. She wrenched her head to the side and tried to hit him but he caught her wrist and pinned her to the wall.
 
Wolf signaled Easy that this one was his. Easy nodded, lifting his rifle to provide covering fire if necessary as Wolf crossed the distance. The cartel members were falling quickly as his teammates took them out. Soon, Echo would converge on the building.
 
The woman was fighting hard when Wolf slipped up behind the man. Before Wolf could grab him, the man grunted and stumbled backward. His hands dropped to his crotch and Wolf nearly laughed. Smart girl. Brave girl.
 
He yanked the man back and stabbed him in the kidney, dropping him to the ground. The woman’s dark eyes widened. She was wearing a stained white button-down shirt that had been torn open and jeans with tennis shoes. Her black hair was wild and her skin was golden, and his heart thumped once before he clamped down on the reaction.
 
“You’re American?” she asked in a soft southern accent. “You’ve come to rescue us?”
 
“Yes,” he told her, turning to place her behind him as he scanned the camp for any stragglers. Someone shouted in the distance and a shot rang out.
 
“Got him,” Jax “Gem” Stone said in Wolf’s ear. “Fucker.”
 
“Status,” Saint ordered.
 
“All clear,” Malcolm “Mal” McCoy replied. The rest of Echo Squad followed suit.
 
“Let’s get the hostages,” Saint said.
 
Wolf turned back to the girl, knowing that Easy had his back and that his teammates were converging on the building to extract the hostages. “You okay?” he asked, dropping his gaze over her body, back up to her eyes. Dark, fiery eyes. Angry eyes.
 
She lifted her chin as she pulled her shirt together. “Yes. Fine.”
 
“What’s your name?”
 
“What’s yours?” she shot back.
 
Wolf grinned. “Wolf.”
 
She blinked. “Is that really your name?”
 
“No, but I like it better than my real name. Which is Dean, by the way.”
 
“Dean.” She paused for a moment. Then she thrust out her hand. “I’m Haylee. Pleased to meet you.”
 
He took her hand. A sizzle of something electric rolled through him. “You always so polite in dangerous situations?”
 
She grinned, and his heart thumped again. “I don’t know. This is my first kidnapping.”

 
Author Bio:
Lynn Raye Harris is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the HOSTILE OPERATIONS TEAM SERIES of military romances as well as 20 books for Harlequin Presents. A former finalist for the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award and the National Readers Choice Award, Lynn lives in Alabama with her handsome former-military husband, two crazy cats, and one spoiled American Saddlebred horse. Lynn's books have been called "exceptional and emotional," "intense," and "sizzling." Lynn's books have sold over 3 million copies worldwide.

 
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-01-17 22:00
Book Review : The poet x Elizabeth agevedo
the poet x - elizabeth agevedo

Jan 4-12

A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent


Review : I loved this book I highly reccomend the audiobook . Xiomara is a teenager who is going through a lot her body has changed a lot her mother has all these religious views and xiomara doesn't know what she believes anymore she meets this guy who she really likes but shit goes real when her mom finds out . this book is told in verse and I love verse books and the audiobook is read by the author and it was a beautifully written book . Xiomara finds out her twin brother is gay . Xiomara joins the poetry club where she gets to let out her emotions . after a big blow up with her family Xiomara calls the guy again and they start talking again . And she has her family priest help with her family to help them all talk this out . Xiomara finally performs her poem at the slam event . I believe everyone she read this book .

Quotes :And I think about all the things we could be 
if we were told our bodies were not built for them


When your body takes up more room than your voice you are always the target of well-aimed rumors,

“And isn't that what a poem is? A lantern glowing in the dark.

 

 

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review 2019-01-17 19:57
Fawkes
Fawkes - Nadine Brandes

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

Gorgeous cover (I admit the cover + the title are what drew me to the book in the first place), and also an interesting take on historical events by showing them under the colours (see what I did there) of magic rather than religion. In this alternate early 17th-century world, people are able to bond with a specific colour, and exert control over items of this colour through the wearing of a mask. The conflict arises from how people view the use of colours: Keepers (the ‘Protestants’) believe that a person should only master one colour and not give in to the ‘White Light’ that governs them all, lest greed devours them and twists their powers to nefarious ends; while Igniters (the ‘Catholics’) believe that listening to the White Light, and controlling more than one colour, is the way to go. Both factions are in conflict not only because of these views, but because of a plague that turns people to stone, with each camp blaming the other for the advent of this mysterious illness.

Enters our protagonist and point of view character, Thomas Fawkes, son of the (now) infamous Guy Fawkes, who’s been struck by this very Stone Plague and can’t wait until he gets a mask of his own, learns to master a colour, and hopefully manages to heal himself, or at least make sure the plague will stay dormant in him and never spread further than his eye. Of course, things don’t go as planned, and as he finds himself reunited with his father, the latter offers him a place in a plot meant to blow up the King and Parliament (as in, literally blow up, re: Guy Fawkes, Bonfire Night, and all that).

So. Very, very interesting premise, and I really loved reading about the London that is the backdrop in this novel—not least because I actually go very often in the areas depicted here, and I enjoy retracing in my mind the characters’ steps in streets that I know well enough. Little winks are found here and there, too, such as Emma’s favourite bakery on Pudding Lane, or a stroll to the Globe. It may not seem much, but it always makes me smile.

The story was a slow development, more focused on the characters than on a quick unfolding of the plot. I don’t know if the latter is a strong or a weak point, because I feel it hinges on the reader’s knowledge of the actual Gunpowder Plot: if you know about it, then I think what matters more is not its outcome, but the journey to it, so to speak. If you don’t know it, though, the novel may in turn feel weak in that regard, by not covering it enough. I didn’t mind this slow development, since it allowed for room for the side plot with Emma and the Baron’s household, and I liked Emma well enough. I still can’t decide whether her secret felt genuine or somewhat contrived, but in the end, it didn’t matter so much, because she was a kickass person, with goals of her own, and actually more interesting than Thomas.

As a side note: yes, there is romance here. Fortunately, no gratuitous kiss and sex scenes that don’t bring anything to the story and only waste pages. In spite of the blurb that mentions how Thomas will have to choose between the plot and his love (= usually, a sure recipe for catastrophe in YA, with characters basically forgetting the meaning of things like “priorities” or “sense of responsibility”), it is more subtle than that. Thomas at least also starts considering other people being involved, such as, well, the three hundred Members of Parliament meant to go up in flames along with the King. Casualties, and all that…

Bonus points for White Light, who we don’t see much of, but was overall engaging and somewhat funny in a quirky way. I just liked its interventions, period.

Where I had more trouble with the story was Thomas himself, who was mostly whiny and obsessed with getting his mask. All the time. You’d get to wonder why his father trusted him and invited him to be part of the plot in the first place. Often enough, he came as self-centered and constantly wavering in his beliefs. While I can totally understand that the prospect of his plague suddenly spreading left him in a state of constant, nagging fear, and therefore prone to focus on this more than on other people’s interests, the way he hesitated between which way to pursue (stay faithful to the plot, or listen to the White Light, or shouldn’t he listen to his father, but then are his father’s beliefs really his own as well, etc.) was a bit tedious to go through. Good thing Emma was here to set his sight straights, and by this, I don’t mean showing him the light (OK, OK, I should stop with the puns now), but making him aware that her circumstances are more complicated than he thinks, in his own ‘privileged’ way, even though his being plagued does contribute to a common understanding of being immediately rejected because of what one looks like.

Also, let’s be honest, Guy wasn’t exactly Father of the Year either, and the story didn’t focus much on developing his ties with Thomas. They were united through the plot, but that was pretty much all, when this could’ve been a wonderful opportunity to reunite them differently, in deeper ways, too. There just wasn’t enough about him, about his personality, and in turn, this lessened the impact of Thomas’ decisions when it came to him.

Another issue for me was the magic system. I got the broad lines, and the reason for the Keepers/Igniters divide, but apart from that, we weren’t shown how exactly this magic works. It is, I’m sure, more subtle than simply voicing an order to a specific colour, and there seems to be a whole undercurrent of rules to it, that aren’t really explained. For instance, why can the masks only be carved by the biological father or mother of a person, and not by an adoptive parent (or even by anyone else)?

Mention in passing as well to language: sometimes, it veered into too modern territory (I mean 20/21st-century modern English specifically, not ‘but Shakespeare’s English was technically Modern English, too’ ;)). I think it was especially prevalent in Thomas’ discussions with White Light, and I found this jarring.

Conclusion: 3 stars, as I still liked the story overall, as well as the world depicted in it, despite the questions I still have about it. I was hoping for a stronger story, though.

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