Review: One Christmas in Paris by Mandy Baggot

Thursday, September 29, 2016

31750478One Christmas in Paris
Mandy Baggot
Published by: Book outure
Publication Date: October 7, 2016

Summary: (Taken from Goodreads)
They say Paris is the City of Love, so bring your je ne sais quoiand don’t forget the mistletoe! 

Ava and her best friend Debs arrive in Paris just as the snow starts to fall. The Eiffel Tower glitters gold and the scent of spiced wine is all around, but all Ava can think about is Leo, her no-good, cheating ex. 

Debs is on a mission to make Ava smile again, and as they tour the Christmas markets, watch lamplight glittering on the river Seine, and eat their body weight in pain-au-chocolat, Ava remembers there’s more to life than men ... Until they cross paths with handsome, mysterious photographer Julien with his French accent and hazelnut eyes that seem to see right inside her. 

Ava can’t ignore the intense chemistry between them, but her fingers have been burned before and she can’t forget it, especially when her ex, Leo, starts texting again. Can Ava really trust Julien – and what exactly is his secret? 

Will Ava go home with a broken heart, or will she find true love amongst the cobbled streets of Paris? 

Join Ava and Julien in the most romantic city in the world this Christmas, as they discover the importance of being true to themselves, and learn how to follow their hearts. 

My Thoughts:
As soon as the weather begins to cool down, I tend to start thinking about wonderful romantic holiday stories that will give me the warm fuzzies. In all honesty, I don't expect my holiday books to have much in the way of a plot or a storyline. I expect them to be sweet, fun, and romantic. No big conflict or deep issues being pushed forward.

This book did give me the warm fuzzies and the happiness that I expected, but it did go a bit deeper than I expected. I really enjoyed the story. The book centers around Ava and Julien. Ava is a bit of a pushover who has never learned to live life for herself, instead bending backwards to please others. However, she has recently been hurt and is determined now to learn to be herself and have fun. Julien has lived his life to his fullest, and knows the joy life can offer him. However, a terrible lost has led him into a depression, and he is only now beginning to find his way back to life.

I ADORED Julien's character. He was romantic, sweet, and just the best. I loved him from the first page, and really wanted him to find his happy back. Ava's character grew very slowly on me. She seemed so juvenile at times and drove me nuts at times. I think that her character might be the reason for the 3 star rating instead of 4. By the end of the book I didn't mind her, but she definietely had some character flaws that rubbed me wrong and made it hard for me to really be a big fan of hers.

This book is set primarily in Paris. Hence the title right? But, what I mean is, this author really did a great job at taking the time to pain an image of Paris in my mind. I loved the details she put in about this city. It really made me want to visit at Christmas time. I absolutely loved the thought that went into really and truly creating a wonderful setting for the story. 

Now onto the romance, after all, this is first and foremost a romance holiday story. I felt like Baggot delivered there. The romance between the two was cute, and slow building. It wasn't fully believable, but it's a holiday read and I find I'm okay with it. I loved watching these two help each other find their way back to living life to the fullest while falling in love.

If you are looking for a cute, sweet, holiday book. I would recommend this one. It is a quick read that will draw you in, and is sure to give you all of the Christmasy feels.

Top Ten Books I want to Read this Fall

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's prompt is top ten books on my Fall TBR.

I have so many books on my tbr this year. But, currently I'm in a historical romance mood, so I'm not sure when I'll get to some of them. hopefully soon.

Young Adult Books

27190613 22840421 20560137

Contemporary Romance

28446375 30363144 28678119

Historical Romance

27261345 25322245 

825828 6547260

What books are you hoping to read in the next few months? I'd love to hear from you!

Review: Stroke of Midnight by Olivia Drake

Saturday, September 24, 2016

16034220Stroke of Midnight
Olivia Drake
Series: Cinderella Sisterhood #2
Publisher: St. Martin's
Originally Published On June 4, 2013
Rating: 2 1/2 stars

Summary: (Taken from Goodreads)
He's no Prince Charming. She doesn't have a pumpkin coach. Sometimes love is nothing like a fairy tale; it's even better...

It's Never Too Late

The infamous Laura Falkner has returned to London society in disguise. Determined to clear her father's name, she becomes a companion to elderly Lady Josephine—only to learn the woman's nephew is none other than Alexander Ross, the devilish Earl of Copley, the man Laura once loved with all her heart. The same man who'd accused her father of theft and forced them to flee England. 

To Fall Head Over Heels In Love

Alex has never forgotten Laura—or forgiven himself for letting her go. Today, Laura is as lovely—and stubborn—as ever, and her attempts at crime-solving are putting her in danger. The only way Alex can keep her safe is to marry her. But how can this notorious rake convince Laura that his heart is true…before the clock strikes twelve?

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed the first book in Olivia Drake's Cinderella Sisterhood series. But, while this one was entertaining enough. It didn't capture me the same way.

I think my main problem with the book was that I really didn't care for either of the main characters, and definitely didn't enjoy their romance. Laura is determined to clear her father's name. While I appreciate that, she literally just goes off a 'well they never got along hunch.' She refuses to even consider anyone else might have been the culprit. With literally no proof. I liked her general character... but the stubborn assumptions really made me view her as being quite stupid, and it frustrated me. Alex just felt like a flat character. He didn't have much personality at all. I felt as if Drake gave him a bit of a back story and hinted that he was mysterious, and almost dangerous. But, then wrote him as a stereotypical English gentleman. I didn't see the mystery or danger that she alluded to at time.

As for the love, it was way too forced. Alex sees this girl that attacked him 10 years ago, and decides she must be his. But, refuses to tell her any secrets. Laura refuses to trust him, but decides to marry him anyway even though literally a few pages before she was trying to ruin, just for the sake of being petty. They don't trust each other at all, and then suddenly after they are married they are madly in love. Just, no. That isn't how it works. It really frustrated me.

However, I will say, the story was generally entertaining. I enjoyed the mystery. At some points I was wondering myself if Laura was chasing unicorns with her firm beliefs. I had suspicions, but didn't figure it out. I would have liked to see a bit more resolution, but I can live with what I was given.

I also loved Aunt Josie. It was so nice to see a lovely elderly lady that is friendly and not snobbish, as they are often protrayed in regency novels. She was sweet, and fun. I truly adored her character.

Overall, I gave this book a 2.5 rating. It is hard to give it much higher when I really didn't like the main characters at all. I will continue with the sereis though, I think Olivia Drake's writing is entertaining... so I hope to enjoy the next book more.

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Feature and Follow Friday

Friday, September 23, 2016

Hosted by Parajunkee and Alison can Read

  • The goal is to increase blog followers, make friends and have something to post.
  • You create your own post using the post prompt.
  • You leave your link and thumbnail in the linky list that links back to your post prompt.
  • Once you have your post up and linked, visit other posts and tell them hi. The point is to FOLLOW them not just comment.
  • If you see a post that just hit it to the moon, or just want to show appreciation to a fellow blogger friend, like their name on the linky list to show some appreciation.
  • The person with the most likes gets chosen as the next Feature (you can be chosen every 90 days unless we are in need of features)
  • It is required that if you participate that you have to follow the FEATURE. It is a big no-no to participate and ignore the feature. They are the special snowflake in this little blizzard.
  • As a participant it is up to your discretion on how you want people to follow. Please post RSS, GFC etc if you have a follow of choice.

This weeks prompt is: What is your book betrayal story?

My biggest book betrayal story is from about 10 years ago. I was still in high school. I'm very sad that I'm closing in on my 10 year reunion, by the way... when did I get so old!?

Anyways, it was the days of Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, and I, along with everybody us in the reading world at the time, was obsessed. I bought the first book on a whim, after I saw it on the top sellers on Amazon. Up until that point, I was a firm contemporary YA reader only. This was my very first (except for Harry Potter) venture into fantasy or paranormal. Truthfully, I wasn't expecting much. But, I loved it, and quickly picked up the 2nd and 3rd book as well. All in beautiful hardback editions... because I knew these were going to be keepers.

I loved the first book so much, that I literally, read it out loud to my mom. I wanted her to share in the love, so I followed her around the house reading to her. I was like her own personal in person audible. Looking back, that was kind of pathetic. But, it worked and my mom was soon just as hooked as I was on the series. 

Here is where the problems came in. My neighborhood at the time was a very tight knit little our of the way culdesac. There are literally about 20 houses in the whole neighborhood. Everyone was super close, and there were regular ladies nights (where all the moms got together to gossip and drink), neighborhood potlucks, parties, ect. My mom told the other moms about this great series. Of course, they all wanted to borrow the books. By this point, my mom had bought her own copies, but the demnad was too high... so my copies began making the rounds through the neighborhood. Everyone had a different book, and honestly, I had no idea where my books were 90% of the time. They went through the moms, and all the teenage girls, and even some other friends and family members outsside of the neighborhood. Like I said, this was the height of the craze, and my small Southern town was taken over.

But, sadly, my books did not fare well through all of the travel. I never did receive the first book back. Somebody decided to keep it for themself I guess. My 2nd book was missing pages, and the 3rd book actually had the hard cover half ripped off! I was devestated. These were my new lifelong favorites after all. Also, I was an overly emotional teenager... so, there might have been some tantrums and some 'I hate you! You ruind my life's' thrown in at my mom. I blamed her, since it all began with her friends. Guys, I seriously was upset for days. Oh, and somehow, all of my mom's copies came back looking perfect.

My parents ended up repurchasing the whole series for me when the 4th book came out a couple years later. It came out the day after I got my wisdom teeth pulled, and I spent 4 days holed up in my bedroom marathoning the series. A year later, I went to college, and completely forgot about the series. But, I'm not going to lie Twilight definitely helped shape my high school years.

Did you lose beloved books? Which ones? I'd love to hear from you, and will definitely respond!

Review: The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn

Thursday, September 22, 2016

25322244The Viscount Who Loved Me
Julia Quinn
Series: Bridgertons #2
Publisher: Avon
Originally Published On December 5, 2000

Summary: (Taken from Goodreads)
1814 promises to be another eventful season, but not, this author believes, for Anthony Bridgerton, London's most elusive bachelor, who has shown no indication that he plans to marry.
And in truth, why should he? When it comes to playing the consummate rake, nobody does it better...
—Lady Whistledown's Society Papers, 
April 1814

But this time, the gossip columnists have it wrong. Anthony Bridgerton hasn't just decided to marry—he's even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended's older sister, Kate Sheffield—the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate is the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams...

Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes do not make the best husbands—and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate is determined to protect her sister—but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony's lips touch hers, she's suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself...

My Thoughts

There is just something about those hate to love romances that never fail to make me happy.

The second book in the Bridgerton's series follows Anthony, the eldest of the siblings. Anthony was 18 when he lost his father, and he has taken it the hardest. The loss has caused him to form a crippling fear of dying young himself. Not so much the dying young part, but of leaving behind people he loves. Because of this, he has rejected marriage and love, instead focusing on enjoying his life as a rake. However, he needs an heir to the Bridgerton wealth... so he has finally decided to settle down, as long as there is no love in the marriage. Just mutual respect.

Meanwhile, Kate has pretty much accepted life as a spinster. She is nearing 21, and only now can her family afford for her and her beautiful younger sister to come out in society. She knows she is outshined by her sister, and so, she decides to help her find a wealthy, respectable, good, and loving husband. She manages all of her sister's suitors with ease and has no problems warning off rakes such as Anthony. However, Anthony is determined not to let Kate hold him back from marrying her pretty and intelligent sister that he happily has no spark with.

Kate and Anthony hated each other from the beginning. Kate has based her opinion of him purely off of Lady Whistledown's Society Papers, and Anthony cannot stand the fact that she makes something in him stir. The sexual tension between them was wonderful. Once I started the book I could not put it down.

I love the was Julia Quinn did not really make this a love triangle. I was worried when I saw he'd be courting her sister... however, Edwina and Anthony barely interact. Kate does such a great job of keeping them seperate, and Edwina never shows any interest at all. There is not a competition for his affections at all. Instead, just 2 sisters that truly love each other and support each other fully.

Both Anthony and Kate are crippled by their own individual fears. I thought the way they truly cared and supported each other through them was beautiful. Even though they didn't understand the other, they strove to find a way to help and love. It was so sweet.

I think if you are looking for a regency romance that is just super sweet, but funny and addictive, This is a great series to go with. I was literally laughing out loud at some parts. And, I think I kept a smile on my face the whole time. A great light-hearted read!

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Well, Hello there!

I am not new to the book blog world, but after losing contact with my previous blog, I decided a fresh start would be the best for me. So here I am. I am just a girl that really hopes to find others that I can chat with books about, share favorites, and just have fun.

I'm not going to pretend to be a 'profssional reviewer' by any means. I read purely for my own enjoyment, and my reviews reflect that. I'm not going to dissect and pick apart my books, but instead I will tell you what I liked, what I didn't like, and how I felt overall. Because I'm reading for my own entertainment, I don't feel this incessant need to finish a book. I typically give it to about 25%. If I'm not enjoying myself at all, I don't finish the book (unless I've been askd to review it). Does it mean the book isn't good? Not necessarily. I'm an emotional reader. Sometimes, a book just isn't what I want at that particular time. If I want to, I might return later, but I don't worry about it if I just don't want to. Since I took this view, I have found myself to enjoy what I read a lot more. There are many more 4 and 5 star books than there are 1 and 2 stars. I won't ever rate a book I did not complete.

I am a sucker for a romance story. I love romance, in all of its aspects. I'll give most any book a try if I feel like it is going to give me that happily ever after gooey happiness. That doesn't mean I only read romance novels. I enjoy books that have other themes as well, however, my absolute favorites tend to have a strong romance to them. The only books I absolutely will not read are horror (I'm a complete scaredy cat, and I don't like to be scared), and erotica (sorry, but pure sex is just not for me). Otherwise, you'll see anything and everything featured on my blog.

My favorite genres include:

Young Adult
some contemporary

epic fantasies

regency historical
highlander historical
Western America historicak
some fantasy and paranormal

Christmas novels (they hold a special place for me!)

I'm mainly blogging to make reading friends. I'd love to hear from you! I enjoy a debate on a book, as long as it is respectful. I enjoy hearing general feedback, and will do my best to make sure to respond to you as quickly as possible.

If you want to contact me, feel free to email me at or visit me on Goodreads