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review 2018-09-24 02:52
Review: Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis
Hot Winter Nights - Jill Shalvis

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

It’s never a bad time for holiday cheer, especially when you’ve got a story like Hot Winter Nights to read. Lucas and Molly’s romance is funny, heartwarming, and sensual. It’s impossible not to be swept away by this sweet confection of a tale.

Molly is a fighter. She’s got grit, strength, and a spine of steel and I loved that about her. As the office manager at Hunt Investigations, she knows she’s invaluable to the team. Yet she also knows she can and wants to do more, only her boss, brother, and the other members of the team are overprotective of her, in part because of the permanent nerve damage she has in one leg. But Molly is nothing if not clever and resourceful, so when a bad Santa case comes her way, she’s determined to take it on. She knows it isn’t safe to work alone, so she talks Lucas into helping her, not knowing her boss has already ordered him to keep an eye on her. Lucas is a hero you can’t help but love. He sees and respects Molly’s skills, knowledge, and abilities and even though he’s as protective as the rest of the Hunt investigators, he supports her in her quest to become an investigator. When it comes to his attraction to her, well, the sister of his best friend is off-limits. Except close quarters make it impossible for either of them to deny the pull between them…

Both Molly and Lucas have scars – physical and mental – from their past that make them put up walls around their hearts. Though it’s obvious to readers that they’re a perfect match, their road to happily ever after isn’t an easy one because insecurities and old ghosts aren’t easily overcome. Jill Shalvis perfectly balances their internal struggles with their otherwise bright and sexy romance and I was rooting for Molly and Lucas every step of the way.

Family and friends bring additional warmth and good cheer to Hot Winter Nights and Heartbreaker Bay fans will be delighted to catch up with past heroes and heroines (though if this is your entry into this series, you won’t be lost). I adore this series with its quirky, welcoming characters and the friendships add some sparkle to the story without detracting from Molly and Lucas. The only downside to this book is that I finished it incredibly eager to read the next Heartbreaker Bay book, Playing for Keeps, and that’s not a bad problem to have.


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

 

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2018/09/review-hot-winter-nights-by-jill-shalvis.html
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text 2018-09-16 05:34
Key West - the NON book post: beaches, butterflies, birds and ... chickens.

Fun fact about Key West:  the inhabitants of this little island take the term free range seriously.  Hens and roosters are everywhere.  Sunrise is an orchestral chorus of cock-a-doodle-do's.  

 

Why so many chickens?  Florida rambler says it more succinctly than I could:

Key West residents call them gypsy chickens.  When people stopped the laborious process of turning live chickens into Sunday dinner many decades ago, some backyard chickens gained their freedom. Other roosters were released when cock-fighting became illegal.

 

The chickens of Key West:

Rooster waiting for CVS pharmacy to open:

 

Rooster in tree:

 

Will he?  

 

Yes, yes he will:

 

The prettiest rooster on the Key:

 

It wasn't all roosters running around though:

 

There's also a butterfly conservatory on the island, and believe me when I tell you it's amazing.  It's been there 20 years now and the conservatory is gorgeous, well maintained and teeming with butterflies.  My photos don't do the selection justice but a few highlights:

 

 

There were a few birds in the conservatory too, and I was so busy trying to capture them that I totally forgot to snap a picture of the boards identifying them.  So that's a future rainy day project.  But they're just too pretty not to share:

 

 

and finally, the beaches, the water and the sunsets, er... sunrises.  It was cloudy the two evenings we were there, so there was no sunsets.

 

  

 

 

(wavy lines courtesy of my rushing through the panorama picture process)

 

That's it - no more pictures!  Holiday officially over.  *sniffle*

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text 2018-09-16 04:10
Key West Book Post #2 - Only 1 picture in this one.
Sharks And Other Sea Monsters - Robert Sabuda,Matthew Reinhart
Deenie - Judy Blume
Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great - Judy Blume
Freckle Juice - Judy Blume,Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Ocean: A Photicular Book - Carol Kaufmann,Dan Kainen
Big Science For Little People: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Child Discover the Wonders of Science - Lynn Brunelle

Hemingway House and the Hemingway cats were just one of the book highlights of my 2.5 day trip Key West.  The other was a trip to Books & Books, a non-profit bookshop run by the only living author I turn fan-girl over.  Judy Blume.  It is not hyperbole or exaggeration of any kind to say this woman was the single biggest influence in my childhood and pre-teen years.  So, no WAY was I going to miss visiting her bookstore, even if odds of her being there were slim.

 

She was there.

 

She was lovely.  I was a blithering idiot, of course.  What I could manage to say was nothing, I"m sure, that she hasn't heard a million times over the years, and I'm kicking myself for not having enough wits about me to tell her what I really appreciated about her books (that all her characters had agency and didn't need adults or friends to tell them what was right or wrong), but she was wonderful, kind and patient nevertheless.  She was preparing for an extended trip and was in a meeting when I arrived, but she paused the meeting to come out and sign my books (because of COURSE I bought some of her books), and chat with me for a few minutes.

 

 

Aside from her books, and her very presence, Books & Books is a fabulous bookshop.  I went in with ZERO intention of looking at books beyond Judy Blume's because, as I think you all know, I had already managed to accumulate a fair number of books by this time.  (*cough*four boxes*cough*)  But as I was making my way to the counter, I found the newest of the Prehistorica pop-up books, Sharks And Other Sea Monsters, and when the woman behind the counter saw me squee'ing over that one, she showed me the wonder of Ocean: A Photicular Book, which has the best holographic images I've ever seen - they honestly look like little movies on the page.  I was entranced.  It was one of a series and it was killing me to just choose one. 

 

MT had stopped at a cigar shop before meeting me at the bookstore, arriving as I was just starting to chat with JB, and in those few minutes he managed to find 3 more books to add to the pile (two are future xmas gifts) and would have added 2 others had I not already started checking out.  If this had been the first stop on our holiday instead of the last, the damage we'd have done to their inventory and our finances would have been impressive.  There were just too many interesting books screaming for attention.

 

So here's my plug: if you ever find yourself in Key West, absolutely go to Books and Books - whether you go to fan girl(boy) over Judy Blume or not, the inventory is sure to appeal to any and all book lovers.  Bring a big bag.

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text 2018-09-16 00:44
Key West - the books and cats post. (Photo heavy)

MT and I wrapped up our Florida trip with 2.5 days in Key West.  For those that might not be familiar with Key West, it is the southernmost spit of island off the tip of Florida; only about a mile wide and where the Atlantic meets the Gulf of Mexico.  Cuba is only 90 miles south and it is claimed that on clear days you can see it (it's never been that clear when I've been).  Key West is known for being the place that rogues, bootleggers, drug-runners (the none-ruthless ones that never got rich from it), and quirky people go to retire.  It's beautiful, but a tiny bit seedy and they take great pride in their independent spirit.

 

Hemmingway owned a house in Key West and inherited via gift from a sea captain in port, a cat named Snowball.  Snowball had 6 toes, wasn't fixed and had the run of the house.  Snowball begat a line of 6 toed cats that continues to this day (albeit in a controlled and careful manner - most of the cats are neutered).   Cats are revered at Hemingway House and currently there are 57 in residence (not all of them 6 toed or descendants of Snowball).  All of them named after famous people.

 

The house and grounds:

 

Check out that palm tree in the center of the first picture - the one that's growing horizontally; that's what palm trees are famous for - they grow whichever way the wind blows.

 

His writing studio - note the cat under the footstool.  

 

  

 

Embarrassingly, I read this inscription in a completely different manner than the one she probably meant.  Or, maybe not.  He was a rogue, after all.  ;-)

 

Some of Hemingway's books (most of them are still in Cuba), and a very, very bad picture of his portrait, which I included so you could see the scar on his forehead, and (hopefully) be able to read the card underneath.

 

His study in the main house.

 

And finally, just a few - a very few of the 'famous' Hemingway cats:

  

 

 

 

 

And the one who sort of stole the show for being the friendliest, the only one whose name we found out... Babe Ruth.  He climbed into MT's lap the second he sat down, and then tried to climb into my bag and go home with us.

 

 

 

 

Spoiler alert:  We still have just 3 cats.  But if we could have, we'd have taken Babe Ruth home.  Total ham and attention hussy.

 

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text 2018-09-06 17:57
Happy Go Read A Book Day!

Today, Sept 6 is "Read A Book Day."

 

Don't you know every day is a read a book day!? *cough* unless I'm "procrastinating". Go read a book! I finished a book, so I successfully celebrated the holiday. lol

 

It is also funny that today is also "Fight Procrastination Day" (Success here, too, considering I finished my book!)

 

The book I finished today was Bad Moonlight by R.L. Stine for the Horror Aficionados Goodreads group: R L Stine Fear Street Challenge group buddy read. There aren't very many of us doing this buddy read. I'm sure we'd all like more fresh blood reading along. We've got books picked out for the rest of the year and are probably going to continue to read books next year. I'm always the one behind on the challenge, but I'm caught up now!

 

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Other random holidays of today:

 

Barbie Doll Day (Barbie first went on sale on this day in 1959.), Coffee Ice Cream Day, Great Egg Toss Day, and on a more serious note, Stillbirth Remembrance Day.

 

Interesting history of this day:

 

1870 - A Woman casts her Vote in the US for the first time.

 

Louisa Ann Swain voted during state elections in the state of Wyoming. Although women weren’t extended the right to vote in the US until 1920, the governor of Wyoming, John A. Campbell, had signed a bill that gave women the right to vote on December 13, 1869. This meant that women could vote in local and state elections, but not country-wide elections.

 

 

For some reason, I ended up looking up random things and here we are. You're welcome.

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