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Sunday, July 31, 2016

July 2016 Recap

Considering how little I've read this month is great realizing ALL the book belong in the favorite's pile but frankly it's no wonder.. As I started removing books from my list (July Goals) due to time running short I left the ones I was the most excited about. 

Total Read - 7 ebooks / 1783 pages (~58 pages a day)

Not as I would like my statistics to be, but I it's better than last month, and next month I'll be studying less so I'll be back to business enjoying my reads more freely. 

★  ★  ★  ★  ★ - Cheers and Shouts for the Favorites -  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★ 
So basically, everything I've read this month have been a favorite.

I started this month with the second installment in the "True North" series by Sarina Bowen - "Steadfast", while I had a few misgivings about the previous one, this one was EXACTLY what I would expect from Sarina to deliver - a touching story, a hero who is a hero exactly or despite being NOT your regular "hero" type - dealing with past mistakes and his drug addiction. 

Continued to "What Remains", a standalone novel by Garrett Leigh who is also one of my favorite authors. This one, yeah, I wasn't ready for it.. I don't really read the synopsis of her books, maybe right before I delve into them, and so I haven't realized I'm going to be crushed one hounded times before the story was over. Well, it's exactly Garrett's style so I'm not sure why I was so surprised! and yet, seeing a couple struggle with learning to love each other again due to head trauma leading to memory loss was heart breakingly beautiful.

and you know what I actually had another read of a hero suffering from memory loss in the third installment in the "Returning Home" series by Serena Bell - "To Have and to Hold" which was also the last book I've read this month. Though similarities can be drawn from the subject, they were totally and absolutely different. 

I even managed to read a short series this month, the second "sub-series" in the "Blueberry Lane" world by Katy Regnery - "The Winslow Brothers". I enjoyed these as much as I enjoyed the previous part of the Blueberry Lane series, though these ones felt more emotional which I really enjoyed! "The English Brothers" being more of a fun read dealing with less complicated stuff. I love me some romantic drama :)

 ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

That's if for this month reads, I had a really busy month, haven't read at least a whole week, and since I study twice a week, these are days I don't have time or energy to read at all.. I promised myself and also delivered through my registration for the following year - no more! once a week studying, and yeah, naturally my exercise routine but nothing major. I want to enjoy myself and not stress myself this year. 

To Have and to Hold (Returning Home #3) [Trina & Hunter] by Serena Bell

PERFECTION, This book drawn me in from the first page, not allowing me to let it go until I was finished (which is why I'm DEAD on my feet today..). I LOVED both previous installments in the series, there is something about wounded soldiers/heros, right? Yet it's different with how much realistic this story feels, or just how much emotion this story (as with the previous ones) sucked out of me. Trina and Hunter deserved each other SO MUCH, and losing each other the way they did left ME broken. Both didn't know how to fight for one another even though it was obvious from the start the WANT to. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Campaigning for Christopher (The Winslow Brothers #4) [Christopher & Julianne] by Katy Regnery

THIS is my favorite Winslow book :) I had a feeling it's going this way quite early and considering how much I LOVED Preston and Elise's book (yeah will all the times I was annoyed as HELL included! hehe) that's saying something. In a way there are similarities between the two, but as two different characters in the book say at certain points what Elise did is NOTHING like what Julianne did and yet the thing that IS similar is her need to make amends and how sweetly and beautifully she does exactly that. 

While Christoper have been mean to Julianne quite a lot I think his behavior could totally be understood especially when you read his inner turmoil. It's one thing to hate someone who hurt you BADLY, it's a totally another deal when she won't go away but while she is doing the best that she can to make amends he is distracted but how much he is attracted to her, knowing trusting her is NOT possible, and it certainly doesn't help that while getting to know her he liked EVERYTHING about her.. For Julianne it's the same, or maybe worse? She hurt him badly and she needed to make amends and so she is at his disposal until election day, posing as his girlfriend. Trouble is, as SHE gets to know HIM, she loves everything about him as well and knowing he won't ever trust her while she is falling for him, knowing in weeks he will be gone from her life, is making her miserable. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Crazy about Cameron (The Winslow Brothers #3) [Cameron & Margaret] by Katy Regnery

This was a fun sweet read. I enjoyed meeting both Margaret and Cameron and loved getting a taste of the Story family (Margaret naturally but also one of her 5 sisters - Priscilla). The family situation there seems tense.. so I'm happy it worked out so beautifully for Margaret, getting her heart's desire not only with Cameron but also with her dream occupation - building her own winery. Cameron is in a different yet similar place in life, he is unhappy with his work and even though he CRAVES Margaret and have been for most of his life, with how much is work is costing him (time wise) there is no way he can commit to anything more, especially not a relationship that will surely suffer from his demanding company. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Proposing to Preston (The Winslow Brothers #2) [Preston & Elise] by Katy Regnery

Well, this book brought out so much out of me! I was agitated, I was mad, I was annoyed and most of it because Preston is SUCH an amazing guy, and through the synopsis I could just imagine how much Elise is going to hurt him and so every word, every step, I was cringing inside, feeling as though she doesn't deserve him with her self doubts and tendency to RUN. But what kept me going and what made this book so amazing was how HUMAN she felt. She made a LOT of mistakes, not only where Preston concerned, and considering how difficult her life have been, I mostly feel sad for her, and TOTALLY get all her actions. I couldn't and wouldn't hate her for her actions, each and everyone of them was her trying to find herself, her place in this world. She truly didn't mean to hurt Preston and even he at a certain point got her action and realized he could have played things differently himself if he was aware of her fears and worries. The whole story was heart breakingly beautiful, so touching and sweet on the one hand and on the other, sad and almost hopeless (for them, we, as the readers had the privilege of knowing they never forgot each other). 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Bidding on Brooks (The Winslow Brothers #1) [Brooks & Skye] by Katy Regnery

This was a really sweet story, enjoyed getting to know the Winslow brothers a little bit better after reading of Jessica in "The English Brothers" (Anyone But Alex, #3). Brooks and Skye's romance was as slow as it was fast, they knew each others for 20 years, but they were just friends, until Skye accepted his request to bid on him (with his money..) so he won't have to sail with someone he has no wish to entertain. After the first spark in which Brook finally sees Skye as a woman (and not just his mechanic in overalls..) love blossoms pretty fast. In my mind it was very believable considering they knew each other for such a long while they just never thought of more for a lot of reasons. I gotta say, it was pretty predictable, and I didn't really like the final twist in the story and yet I had fun reading this one so I'm not really complaining. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

What Remains by Garrett Leigh

Another amazing and mostly HEART BREAKING read by Garrett. This was one hell of a ride. As usual I don't really read the synopsis of Garrett's books. I know I want them, I know I'll love them and so there is little sense in doing anything but pre-ordering and reading them as soon as I'm able. This was no different, well, except for being too busy to read :( I read this one in two days, started, realized this book is complicated than I anticipated then had the most hectic week I haven't read a page, then when Saturday FINALLY arrived I sat till I finish with eating breaks only :)

In one word - phenomenal. Jodi and Rupert's love story was beautiful, but mostly crushing with how life, or rather GARRETT, stood in the way to their happiness. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Steadfast (True North #2) [Jude & Sophie] by Sarina Bowen

Don't even know where to begin.. This book was A-Mazing. I want to say it was a difficult read, because it was! and yet it was also IMPOSSIBLE to put down. This book deals heavily with addiction in such a realistic way the only thing I can say is I applaud Jude for getting through what he did. Yeah he did stupid mistakes when he was young, and yet he wasn't that much older when he decided to take himself seriously and SAVE himself.  I was also really impressed with Sophie, she has such a tender and big heart, it's obvious how much she loves giving and being there for others even though her life is more than difficult, mostly after losing her brother (and in a sense her mother as well). She has this amazing ability to see others truly even when she isn't seen by almost anyone around her. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

July 2016 Goals

June was SO damn stressful I do hope July will be proper summer-vocation material, though I know it WOULDN'T be because I have three courses a week (besides my day-job) but I hope nevertheless to have less evening events so I can READ! :)

I have quite a lot this month - about half by Amy, two new novels by authors I absolutely LOVE and a series by Katy I'm also pretty excited to get my hands on. 

    This is the second novel in the True North series, I gotta say I'm really interested to see how this one unfolds, we got to know the MC a little in the first installment and he has quite the road to go through (especially considering his love interest!)

    I've been waiting for a while now for a new book by Garrett. I've read all of her books and I'm really excited to have my hands over this Contemporary MM Romance novel. 

    This is the second part in the Blueberry Lane series. I loved the first one (English Brothers) so I really can't wait to read these :)

    This one ALMOST went under my radar, not sure how THAT happened! Which makes me even MORE excited! I LOVED the two other books in the series. It's so much more than just another Contemporary Romance novels. 

    I'm looking at the overall list and it's SO MUCH FUN realizing ALL of the books are by authors I ABSOLUTELY LOVE! I'm truly excited about every single one of the books here which is why I REALLY REALLY hope I'll actually get to read them all! (Note - no I didn't.. but well, more enjoyable book for the following month to come ;))

    Check out more of my Recap and Goals of the past months!

    June 2016 Recap

    This was the worst month EVER for reading (June Goals). I had so much going on in my life I barely had time to sleep and so I was too tired to sit down and read. Also, I might have been less patient with the books I did manage to read.. 

    This month I had a lot of things to consider and re-think, about my near future. Considering my studies, instead of trying to finish ASAP, I decided to stretch and make my life a little more relaxing (how I LOVE to stress myself and then whine to myself about having no time..). Also had a thoughts about my single status and what I think about it, I think romance reading makes finding a man quite difficult hehe There are NO men like the ones we read about ;) But THAT I knew before... What I realized is though I WANT a relationship I'm unwilling to compromise at quite a lot. If it means I'll stay alone - so be it. I'm not unhappy, and most of the time it's not on my immediate to-do list (I rather read than go on a date THAT'S for sure!), I'm quite content with my life the way it is.  

    Back to books which is why we are here!

    Total Read - 5 ebooks (+ 1 DNF) / 1141 pages (~38 pages a day)

    I don't mind the fact I've read so little this month, I realized how stressed out I've been from the things that were happening (on the paragraph above I just mentioned things I THOUGHT about not the whirlwind of activity I had..). I was tired, I had less patience to EVERYTHING and EVERYONE and it had a bad influence on me. I think on top of that, not reading as much means I had less "me time" or "alone time" which is something that makes me not very friendly.. Funny enough I do believe reading as much as possible makes me a nicer person when I DO interact with others hehe

    ★  ★  ★  ★  ★ - Cheers and Shouts for the Favorites -  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★ 
    "Dark Sexy Knight" was a surprise publish by Katy Regnery. I've read the first three books in "A Modern Fairytale" not that long ago and LOVED them. Even though the fairytale is known and so you'd think - "predictable", it's NOT. The story, from a modern perspective is simply beautiful. I"m talking about this specific book of The Legend of Camelot, but I'm also referring to the other ones in the series. They are all stand alone novels and are simply a MUST read! Though be advised they are quite angsty.  

    "Two Men Walk into a Bar (At Christmastime)" is a short novella also by Katy Regnery. It's mostly aimed for ones who've read "The Vixen and the Vet" (first in "A Modern Fairytale") as well as "After We Break" (previously titled "Playing for Love at Deep Haven"). It contains the two coupled meeting each other and spending Christmas together. It was a sweet short novella. I really enjoyed getting another glimpse of Asher and Savannah. 

    "The Hardest Fall" is the 3rd book in the "Roadmap to Your Heart" series by Christina Lee. I CAN'T praise this book enough. There are no more words to be said - I think my review says it all. This book touched me on a personal level. It's a BEAUTIFUL love story, but it also deals with the subjects of acceptance, belonging, it talks about seeing others the way they are and loving them without prejudice or judgment. This book is a MUST READ. There are NO excuses.

    ▲  ▲ On the Fence ▼  ▼
    "Bittersweet" is the first book in Sarina Bowen's new "True North" series. I was SO excited about it, as I usually am with any of her released but sadly it somehow didn't deliver what I was expecting and I'm wondering if it was the book or was it me having less patience and so not dealing very well with my misgivings. Mostly I had a hard time with the detailed farm activity. Both characters were really interesting and I enjoyed getting to see how they resolved their differences but I needed a faster pace I guess. 

    "After We Break" by Katy Regnery was suppose to be the first in a series but for some reason the series was cancelled (?) and so the day I put it down (DNFed at 74%) I saw it changed it's name and became a stand alone one. Strange coincidence, right?

    Though I've a fan of everything else I've read by Katy I could not for the life of me connect with one of the MCs and so even though I struggled to finish the book I got to the point in which I don't want Zach to end up with Violet and so I put it aside. I liked the idea behind this book, the love rekindled, and I LOVED Zach, he was so sweet and honest (even if he screwed up in the past).

    "The Wedding Date" by Katy Regnery was the last book I"ve read this month. It's been a long day and I really wanted to sit down and lose myself in a book but sadly this sweet short novella had exactly the thing to put me off - Young Adults.. Yeah both characters are the SWEETEST thing, and they so deserve each other and happiness, I was just put off by their rather childish behavior in my mind which mostly means insecurities GALORE. It might be totally your thing, but it's one of those things I just CAN'T handle. 

     ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

    That's it for this month's Recap. Though I had a few misgivings, I"m looking at this month and everything I had during it and I'm simply happy I managed to read and enjoy my little piece of heaven even if for a short(er) while.