WWW Wednesday

October 21, 2020

We are back again with another episode of WWW Wednesday! I’m not really reading a lot this month, so there isn’t much to see on this list. However, it has been nice slowing down a bit and enjoying a little me time!

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam on Taking on a World of Words. If you want to join in on the fun, be sure to tag the original post in the link above. Or feel free to answer the questions in the comment section below! And please feel free to leave your link in the comments as well.

What are the three Ws:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

I have finally started This Coven Won’t Break!! I have been saying it all month that I was going to read it and we have made it. To be fair, I have only read the first couple of chapters, but you have to start somewhere 😛

Love Your Life on the other hand I am a little over halfway through. It is my last Netgalley arc of the month and reads fairly quickly, so I should hopefully have it finished by tomorrow!

Recently Finished

Kingdom of the Wicked was such a pleasure to read and I cannot describe how excited I was to have gotten the chance to read this arc. It is the perfect October spooky read and I will recommend it to everyone. For my full review, click here.

What’s Next?

Another book that has been on my list all month is Beyond the Black Door. I have had such high hopes for my reading this month and it just hasn’t worked out. This one I will be tackling next though, or else I will have to skip my local book club meeting and that is not going to work for me!

I am also hoping to get a head start on another Netgalley arc I have that comes out Nov 3, White Ivy. I have been in the mood to find a good mystery/thriller, so hopefully this will be what I am looking for.

Have you read any of the books on my list? What are you currently reading or planning to read this month? Also, what are your October spooky read recommendations? Lets have a chat down below.

As always, thank you so much for stopping by our blog. We appreciate all the love and support!

Balancing Life and Books

Hello all you cool cats and kittens!

Happy Monday! Thi here! I wanted to hop on and really just talk for a bit about keeping up with life and maybe books, lol. I can’t do that without acknowledging Christie. She is seriously the best co-blogger/friend I can ask for. I mean, y’all, seriously, I contributed maybe one-two posts the last few months and she took it like a champ. I didn’t want to talk books, and she didn’t ever ask me to step up and make more blog posts! So, Christie, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for keeping the blog running.

I went into a huge reading slump a couple of months ago, and was having the worst time breaking it. During that [and this] period, I decided to focus on getting healthier and lose this quarantine weight (and then some).

Fast forward to the last few weeks, I am slowly getting back in the groove of things with reading; however, I am struggling because I now spend a lot more time on my personal page for fitness purposes rather than my bookstagram. So, if you have any advice on how to balance all parts of social media life, I’d love to hear it! I don’t know how to spice up my bookstagram to make it more creative and it just has me not even wanting to deal with it.

Aside from that, I wanted to hop on and just share a few books with you lovely people! One I recently finished, a current read, and an upcoming read! 🙂

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If you loved Nightingale, historical fiction, strong female leads, The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel is for you! This is the first five 🌟 book I have read in a while and it deserves every positive review it has gotten! It gutted my heart and pieced it together every turn of the page. I finished this book almost a week ago and still cannot adequately leave a review that can explain my love for this heartwarming and touching book. Seriously, stop reading this and go get the book!

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I am currently in between a few books, but wanted to bring attention to an arc, because with all the time I took away from reading, my netgalley is taking a hit. Don’t Look for Me by Wendy Walker is a suspenseful psychological thriller that I have enjoyed since the first page. It has a pub date September 15 AKA tomorrow. Cutting it close, I know! All I will say right now, in order to avoid any spoilers, is that I am really enjoying it and will be posting a review tomorrow, so keep an eye out! Safe to say you should pre-order it now though if you have not! 😉

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Lastly, I have both Anxious People by Fredrik Backman and One by One by Ruth Ware both on my counter challenging me to start one of them soon, so we shall see who wins! Have you read either one of these? If so, which one should I start with?

As always, thank you for stopping by our blog and if you made it this far into the post- thank you for putting up with my venting session (lol), you deserve some ice cream! 🙂

A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore |Arc Review|

Happy Monday book friends! I have finally been able to knock out a few arcs and I am here to share with you one of my most anticipated rom-coms for this year!

A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution—but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans…and her heart.

Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed.

Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smouldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare.

As Lucie tries to out-manoeuvre Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war… 

I want to start by saying thank you to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group for providing me with the e-ARC in exchange for my honest review!

In case you didn’t know, Bringing Down the Duke was one of my absolute favorite rom-coms last year and when I heard that a sequel was coming out I knew I needed to read it.

This book, like a lot of rom com sequels, can be read as a standalone. However, since I loved the first one so much, I would highly recommend reading it in order!

The story is told from dual POVs, (YAYYYY!!!) Lady Lucie and Lord Ballantine, as they begin as enemies. I am a sucker for the enemies to lovers trope, provided that it is done well and not an insta-love story. This one does an excellent job progressing their relationship at a natural speed and draws you into their story!

Another thing that is done exceptionally well is Dunmore’s ability to write in such a descriptive language that it makes you feel like you’ve stepped straight into 19th century London. This book is so much more than a rom com as the author brings forth the many issues that women during that time faced and really made me feel like I was fighting this fight right alongside Lucie and the suffragists.

Overall, this story is a well-written Hallmark worthy rom com. It tackles important issues and really makes me want to demand the third book right this minute! If you have not read Bringing Down the Duke yet, I recommend reading that one ASAP. If you have read that one, be sure to pick up A Rogue of One’s Own (out tomorrow, Sept 1st)

Title: A Rogue of One’s Own
Author: Evie Dunmore
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction, Adult
Publication Date: September 1, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you again to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me the opportunity to read this book! And as always, thank you so much for stopping by and supporting our blog!

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Synopsis:

Eileen is sick of being 79.
Leena’s tired of life in her twenties.
Maybe it’s time they swapped places…

When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.

Once Leena learns of Eileen’s romantic predicament, she proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with gossiping neighbours and difficult family dynamics to navigate up north, and trendy London flatmates and online dating to contend with in the city, stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected.

Leena learns that a long-distance relationship isn’t as romantic as she hoped it would be, and then there is the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – school teacher, who keeps showing up to outdo her efforts to impress the local villagers. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, but is her perfect match nearer home than she first thought?

You guys! I am trying to formulate my thoughts for this book without giving any spoilers. The Switch reminds me of a Hallmark movie without Christmas time being the setting, if that makes any sense.

After reading and loving The Flatshare, I couldn’t wait to see what Beth O’Leary came out with next. When I found out it was The Switch, I was so impatient I ordered my hardcover copy from Book Depository (and I actually love the UK edition)! Then, Netgalley offered the Switch as an audiobook option, and I knew it was a sign that I just had to read it.

Side note, if you are a netgalley user, I had a lot of issues with the app, which is understandably so as it is new, so there are a lot of bugs they need to fix. That being said, my audiobook kept freezing and skipping/jumping chapters, so I ultimately found it faster to just read the book, because I didn’t want to stop, so just a fair warning in case you’re having issues with the app as well!

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t tell you (time and again) how much of a sucker I am for dual POVs. Being able to read it from Eileen and Leena’s perspective was so refreshing and engaging. I really loved Eileen, Leena, the residents of the Yorkshire village, and Leena’s friends. My only complaint is I wish I could read more about them!

The Switch is such a sweet and charming book. While there was romance, much like Flatshare, it was not the overall theme of the book. There are themes of forgiveness, grieving, domestic abuse, infidelity, and moving on woven throughout the book and that added so much more depth to the story.

That being said, look no further if you’re looking for a book that will capture your heart almost instantaneously. Grab yourself a copy on Book Depository, or it releases August 18th in the US, and make a cup of tea, sit back, and relax and enjoy life with this book.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan Audio for providing me with an audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Switch
Author: Beth O’Leary
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Publication Date: August 18, 2020 (US release date)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd |book review|

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Synopsis

“I am Ana. I was the wife of Jesus.” So begins the new novel from the number one New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings, an extraordinary story set in the first century about a woman who finds her voice and her destiny in a time of great despair and great hope.

In her fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family in Sepphoris with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, a relentless seeker with a brilliant, curious mind and a daring spirit. She yearns for a pursuit worthy of her life, but finds no outlet for her considerable talents. Defying the expectations placed on women, she engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes secret narratives about neglected and silenced women. When she meets the eighteen-year-old Jesus, each is drawn to and enriched by the other’s spiritual and philosophical ideas. He becomes a floodgate for her intellect, but also the awakener of her heart.

Their marriage unfolds with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, James and Simon, and their mother, Mary. Here, Ana’s pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to the Roman occupation of Israel, partially led by her charismatic adopted brother, Judas. She is sustained by her indomitable aunt Yaltha, who is searching for her long-lost daughter, as well as by other women, including her friend Tabitha, who is sold into slavery after she was raped, and Phasaelis, the shrewd wife of Herod Antipas. Ana’s impetuous streak occasionally invites danger. When one such foray forces her to flee Nazareth for her safety shortly before Jesus’s public ministry begins, she makes her way with Yaltha to Alexandria, where she eventually finds refuge and purpose in unexpected surroundings.

Grounded in meticulous historical research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus’s life that focuses on his humanity, The Book of Longings is an inspiring account of one woman’s bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her, while living in a time, place, and culture devised to silence her.

Have you ever read a book that leaves you completely inarticulate? Because I just did. I read a lot of books that leaves me at a lost for words, but the Book of Longings has left me not only speechless, but also breathless.

I’m going to be frank with you guys- I’m agnostic, so the Book of Longings was originally no where near being in my pile. I was scrolling through Goodreads one day, and someone gave this book a one-star without even reading it because it didn’t follow their religious view, so it peaked my curiosity.

I was skeptical going into this book, worrying it would be more focused on the religion aspect than the synopsis leads you to believe. It came through on Libby three days ago, and you guys- I practically inhaled the book. WOW! I’ve been working on this review the last three days, and yet- I find myself continuously rambling because I still cannot articulate my thoughts.

It is a poignant story that is character-driven and may not be for devout Christians unless you are willing to keep an open mind, reminding yourself it is a work of fiction because it is traditionally believed that Jesus did not marry. While obvious mentions of God, prayers, and biblical stories are present throughout the book, the story primarily focuses on Ana, the wife of human Jesus, an amiable husband who is in the background. Ana is fierce and strong. She speaks her mind and writes her words in a time period that tries to silence women.

What I loved about this book are the women, their resilience, and their friendship. There are definite note of feminism, courage, and perseverance. Ana’s voice is strong and she uses that to make sure other’s stories get told and are heard.

All in all, Kidd did a terrific job balancing the book between biblical stories and weaving in a woman’s voice and determination to stand up for herself and others as well as maintaining equality in her marriage with human- Jesus. It is very clear that Kidd put a lot of research into this novel, and while I am not familiar with all biblical stories, I know they are sprinkled throughout the book.

This is a book I’d highly recommend for anyone willing to step out their comfort zone, regardless of which side you stand on, because you have to have an open mind in order to see all the beauty this book has to offer. It is a book that’ll sit with you for a long time if you’re willing to look at the big picture instead of dissecting every phrase of paragraph, or page.

Title: The Book of Longings
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: April 21, 2020

Rating: 5 out of 5.

If you are a BOTM member, do you have any books in mind that might be a contender for the year, because I can see Book of Longings being one! I’d love to hear your thoughts and chit-chat 🙂

The Peculiar Fate of Holly Banks by Julie Valerie [cover reveal]

With many thanks to Julie and Amazon Publishing/Lake Union for welcoming Christie and me back to the Village of Primm. We are so excited to visit our good friend, Holly Banks! If you’ve read Holly Banks Full of Angst, welcome back to Primm Village! If you haven’t, we are so excited to have you join us on November 24, 2020.

Synopsis:

The Peculiar Fate of Holly Banks is the second installment in the Village of Primm series and is designed as a standalone novel, so readers do not need to read Book One to enjoy and understand the story told in Book Two.

Ideally, readers would start with Book One, but it’s not necessary. If you are a series reader, enjoy the series beginning with Book One, Holly Banks Full of Angst. If you do not want to commit to reading more than one book, you can enjoy any book in the Village of Primm series in isolation, as the main storyline of every novel begins and ends within that particular book.

While every novel in this series is/will be a standalone, we absolutely recommend reading all the books! Holly Banks will have you laughing from beginning to end. We found her to be such a relatable character and it is such a delightful and witty read. This series is the perfect escape from reality, so while we wait for book 2, hurry over to Amazon to purchase the physical copy or you can get it on KU, if you have a subscription, and read book 1. Hip Hip!

Pre-order your copy on Amazon today:
https://www.amazon.com/Peculiar-Holly-Banks-Village-Primm/dp/1542007992/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

About the Author: Julie Valerie


Julie Valerie is the founder of the 85K Writing Challenge and serves on the board of directors of James River Writers. Julie earned an editing certificate from the University of Chicago Graham School and has a master’s degree in education, a bachelor of fine arts in fashion, and certification in wilderness first aid.

She enjoys books, the study of wine, hikes on the Appalachian Trail, and travel. Julie married her college sweetheart, and they live in Virginia with their four children and two English labradors. Holly Banks Full of Angst is her debut novel.

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