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text 2017-03-26 22:20
.What I'm Reading | February 2017.

This post can originally be found at MissKatiEllen.


Although slightly later than usual I bring you my reads from February. I didn't get to finish as many as I would have liked, but that's what happens when you take a week off work for your birthday. As it was my birthday I decided that it only be right by picks were Disney related.



The first book I finished was Poor Unfortunate Souls by Serena Valentino. This is unfortunately the last in her villains series, which I'm absolutely gutted about. I love the world she's created, the references to other Disney Kingdoms, how some characters lives are already entwined. This story was about Ursula, but due to this amazing world that's been created I felt her story lacked compared to the previous two books. The story was kept interesting changing from different people's POW but I felt like there was so much more being hinted at, begging to be explored.


The second book I finished was Once Upon A Dream by Liz Braswell. This is her second Disney 'what if' retelling, this is completely unlike her first book. Due to the nature of Aladdin the beginning was quite literally the film and things only changed when Jafar got the lamp, whereas in this book we are in the dream world that Aurora thinks is real and we got chapter versions of what happened and 'what happened'. This book is much slower by comparison, A Whole New World was filled with constant fighting and things happening.  Aurora getting to grips with the dream, with herself, coping with two sets of memories. Discovering so much was a lie in both worlds. The books downfall is that you will her to be this strong girl but she keeps pulling this poor me routine, her life was a lie, she was abandoned, she grew up in the woods away from her family. Thank God Prince Phillip is there to throw in his point of view, growing up as a royal isn't everything either.


My final book was Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I loved this book, I don't know what I was expecting but it certainly wasn't this; and that's not a bad thing either. What I enjoyed the most about this aside from the whole thing is her relationship with Zuanna. Their friendship is so believable, even if Zuannas over the top personality isn't. Although Karou never technically lies to anyone, flashing that smile she has and everyone shrugs off the weird things and chalks it up to it just being Karou. And Zuanna is like that too, but everyone has a breaking point and pushes the issues. Where does she go, what are these errands Karou is always disappearing on?? There is only so much a friendship can take until a smile no longer makes the cut. It's hard to talk about this book without giving anything away. Two worlds, one consisting of Angels and part human part animal, the other the world as we know it. Both as real and as the other.

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review 2016-08-28 00:00
Once Upon a Dream
Once Upon a Dream - Liz Braswell Once Upon a Dream - Liz Braswell I rarely DNF a book, but this one... I tried to get into it, but the writing and characters just grated on me. I was not a big fan of the first book, A Whole New World, but I enjoyed it enough to give this book a try (and will ultimately attempt to read anything with Disney ties). The writing left much to be desired, with too many over descriptive moments that served no purpose (and also seemed like a thesaurus randomly spewed over sections of the book) and annoying characters that I just couldn't relate to or sympathize with. Most of the original good guys were bad guys, Maleficient was a 'good' guy, and it just didn't work. Some retellings can be great and have interesting plot twists, but this was not one of them.
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text 2015-03-24 15:59
Inside: Agoraphobic Romance Leads
Beyond Repair - Charlotte Stein
Cool Shade - Theresa Weir
The Duchess War - Courtney Milan
The Shy Bride (Traditional Greek Husbands #1 & Greek Tycoons #6) - Lucy Monroe
Summer Breeze - Catherine Anderson
Soul Weaver - Hailey Edwards
Dog Crazy: A Novel of Love Lost and Found - Meg Donohue
Honeysuckle Summer (The Sweet Magnolias Book 7) - Sherryl Woods
Once Upon a Dream - Jennifer Archer
When the Rancher Came to Town: A Valentine Valley Novella - Emma Cane

Agoraphobia comes in many gradations. It is a panic disorder that can be triggered by

ide open spaces, crowds (social anxiety), or traveling (even short distances).

The sufferer becomes anxious in environments that are unfamiliar or where he or she perceives that they have little control. (Thank you Wiki)


My mother in law is agoraphobic. She has what we call a "five mile radius."  We live outside of her comfortable traveling distance. We are about a 100 miles to the south in a city where in her younger years she visited often and easily. 


And short of tranquilizing her with like Mr. T on the A Team with a sedative in her milk, she will never see our home. The kinds of treatments for this condition haven't worked for her. There is a great deal of sorrow for all of us in this fact but especially for her. 


So, when I read about Agoraphobia in Romance, I feel a tenderness. Love.


Here are some wonderful Romances which deal with what it means to struggle with Agoraphobia and build an intimate relationship at the same time.


My lists are never in any particular order. 


1. Beyond Repair by Charlotte Stein 5 Stars 


When Alice Evans finds a bona fide movie star on the floor of her living room, she has no idea what to do. Ordinary men are frightening enough, never mind someone as famous and frankly gorgeous as Holden Stark.

However, once she realizes that Holden is suffering behind that famous facade, she knows she has to help. He needs someone like her to give him a taste of sweetness and desire and love. He needs normality. The only problem—Alice is hiding a secret that is far from normal. In fact, her name isn’t even Alice at all.

And once Holden finds out, the intense connection they are just beginning to build may well be torn apart.


2.  Cool Shade by Theresa Weir


Maddie Smith has never been one to hang around any place too long. After losing her job as a late-night disc jockey, she has little reason to stay in Tucson. When she receives a message that her estranged sister has disappeared, she figures she might as well go to Nebraska and see what's up with her unreliable sibling. There she learns that her sister is linked to the mysterious Eddie Berlin, a recluse and a very sexy guy. Maddie takes a personal interest in Eddie as she searches for clues about the disappearance of her sister.


Meanwhile, Eddie is shouldering problems of his own. The former manager of a pop star killed by a crazed fan, Eddie feels responsible for the singer's death, and as a result, he hasn't wandered off his own property in more than four years. Still, he is attracted to Maddie, experiencing feelings he thought he would never know again. A stolen tape of a recording made by the late rock star and other clues bind the couple together. It soon becomes clear that these two deserve each other, and when they finally feel comfortable with the fit, they find they are greater as a pair than they could ever have been as individuals.


3. The Duchess War by Courtney Milan


Miss Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectacled wallflower, and she wants to keep it that way. After all, the last time she was the center of attention, it ended badly--so badly that she changed her name to escape her scandalous past. Wallflowers may not be the prettiest of blooms, but at least they don't get trampled. So when a handsome duke comes to town, the last thing she wants is his attention.

But that is precisely what she gets.

Because Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, is not fooled. When Minnie figures out what he's up to, he realizes there is more to her than her spectacles and her quiet ways. And he's determined to lay her every secret bare before she can discover his. But this time, one shy miss may prove to be more than his match...


4. The Shy Bride by Lucy Monroe


Thrust into the limelight, child star Cassandra timidly enchanted audiences night after night…. But when her parents died, Cass retreated into her own world—too shy to leave her home. Once a year she shares her musical passion by offering lessons in a charity auction…. This year, money talks. The winning bid: $100,000!

Enter Neo Stamos, arrogant Greek tycoon. He wants Cass with a burning desire, though he knows that, shy and sweet, she will need a gentle awakening…. But Neo's the master of seduction!


5. Summer Breeze by Catherine Anderson


The year is 1889, and Rachel Hollister hasn't set foot outside her house in five years. Ever since a savage attack left her family dead, she's cordoned herself off from the outside world, afraid to let anyone into her home-or into her heart. But now trouble has appeared on her doorstep-and suddenly she has no choice but to let a handsome rancher enter her well-guarded existence.


6. Soul Weaver by Hailey Edwards


Since the accident that nearly took her life, Chloe suffers from acute agoraphobia. Living alone above her family's bookstore, she spends restless nights terrified by strange visions . . . until a mysterious stranger appears and offers her salvation. Chloe is drawn to the ethereal, gorgeous Nathaniel-but her haunted soul warns her there is more to him than meets the eye.

An archangel who roams Earth collecting souls of the newly departed, Nathanial is the sole witness to the accident that should have taken Chloe's life. Seduced by the purity of her soul, he defies Providence by saving her life. But his attempt at kindness marks Chloe for damnation, and makes her an unwitting pawn in a game of unholy ambition. Now together they must fight the demons of Hell itself-for a love that defies the boundaries of Heaven and Earth.


7. Dog Crazy by Meg Donohue


As a pet bereavement counselor, Maggie Brennan uses a combination of empathy, insight, and humor to help patients cope with the anguish of losing their beloved four-legged friends. Though she has a gift for guiding others through difficult situations, Maggie has major troubles of her own that threaten the success of her counseling practice and her volunteer work with a dog rescue organization.

Everything changes when a distraught woman shows up at Maggie’s office and claims that her dog has been stolen. Searching the streets of San Francisco for the missing pooch, Maggie finds herself entangled in a mystery that forces her to finally face her biggest fear-and to open her heart to new love.


8. Honeysuckle Summer by Sherryl Woods


Her devastating marriage behind her, Raylene Hammond is truly thankful for her best friends, the Sweet Magnolias. They've taken her in, shielding her from the world. Then she meets sheriff's deputy Carter Rollins, and suddenly Raylene's haven no longer feels quite so safe.

Carter understands why Raylene is trapped inside. He's even taken to bringing the outside world to her. But with two kid sisters to raise, just how much time can he devote to this woman who's stolen his heart?

Raylene knows Carter is a man worth loving, but she may never be strong enough to accept what he's offering. How long can she ask him to wait? Maybe they'll never have more than this one sweet summer.


9. Once Upon a Dream by Jennifer Archer


When Professor Alex Simon moves to Canyon, Texas from England, he welcomes the opportunity to change his locale. Not only would he be aiding his recently widowed sister, but he would have a chance to forget a failed relationship.


Robin Wise is less than impressed by her new neighbor-- and his little devil-cat. The feline taunts her dog, and its stuffy owner has the gall to blame her pup for the squabbles. But at a second glance, Alex isn't quite as nerdy as he seems. As a matter of fact, when he isn't insulting her dog, he can be quite charming.


But Robin has her own problems. An inherited curse looms over her impending thirtieth birthday, and until Robin can overcome the hex, she can't indulge in any fantasy she might have regarding the more-perfect-by-the-minute professor. No matter how she wishes she had the courage to act on the awakened desire in her heart.


10. When the Rancher Came to Town by Emma Cane


Bed-and-breakfast owner Amanda Cramer wants nothing more than a quiet, private life. Well, she wants guests too, but after suffering her share of unwanted notoriety, she's gotten comfortable hiding out in her inn … perhaps a little too comfortable. When her newest customer arrives—tall, dark, and breathtaking—Amanda begins to question her self-imposed exile.

Ex-rodeo star Mason Lopez knows all about the limelight. He'd avoid it if he could, but since one last ride could mean saving his family's ranch, he'll go all in. When he gets to Valentine Valley for the Silver Creek Rodeo, Mason checks into the Connections B&B and finds himself immediately drawn to the beautiful, reserved woman who owns it.

Mason has only three days in town … can he convince Amanda to open her heart to him and welcome the world back in?



Did I miss your favorite? Let me know! Vote on my Goodreads list: Inside: Agoraphobic Romance Leads

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review 2014-10-09 00:00
Once Upon a Dream
Once Upon a Dream - Kate Perry



I enjoyed reading Once Upon a Dream.  It was fun, steamy, and supportive.

I love that Summer believes in fairytales.  She knows that her prince is out there somewhere.  I admire her for going after what she wants.  She doesn't let rumors deter her, and just wants to be happy.  I think the thing I loved about this book was how supportive the family is.  Even though Summer has this crazy idea of a perfect man they help her try to snag him.  The bond between the sisters is comforting.

I loved the conversations between Jon and Summer.  They were witty, and hilarious at times.  Jon also knew what to do to make Summer flustered.  She's used to being put together and unnoticeable.  We also get to see Jacqueline's story. She's the Countess of Amberlin, and looking for her place in the world.  She's wants to be a writer, and looks to an old friend for help.  That friend isn't as nice to her as she hoped he would be, though.

I liked that we get two stories and this, and see a truly remarkable family dynamic.
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review 2014-10-05 21:18
Once Upon a Dream: Volume One - Nikki Prince
  Set of three Naughty Fairy Tale novellas with Dr. Fairee helping them all to get their fantasies.

In Waking Beauty, Aurora is ordered by the doctor to relax and go to the club and get her fantasy fulfilled. She goes, fills out her form, and gets her fantasy but she is afraid of giving up control to Felipe. Aurora has to learn to let go and trust Felipe.

In Cinda's Fella, Cinda takes over her father's cleaning business and the responsibility of her stepsisters. She is overworking. Her former Dom, Nico, wants to help her. She needs to learn that she is not responsible for the world and Nico wants to help her.

In Ridin' Red, Cinda's stepsister, Anastasia, wants to know why Lucien left her. Lucien must get her back because she is his mate but how does he undo the hurt he caused? Anastasia must grow up to get her fantasy.

I like how the stories arc into one another. The characters know each other. It was fun to watch how the ladies fought their fantasies but eventually get them when they learn to let go. I will be reading more in this series and by this author.


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