Sunday, 20 May 2018

Weekly Recap #33

Hi everyone, with Rachel and I's crazy work schedules, we miss sharing whats going on with us. We used to have a lot of fun with our Showcase Sunday posts, so thought we'd do something regular on the blog, where we share bookish news and life news in general as a weekly recap! We've decided to link our weekly wrap up's with The Sunday Post hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer.

WHAT I READ/REVIEWED 

Jasprit:
(Click on title for Goodreads link)

 

A bit of a mixed week for me again this week, whereas I loved Burn For Me, the first book in the Hidden Legacy series, it took me a while to get into White How, however regardless I still will be reading the next book in this series to find out how things will go down! And I was super eager to read From Twinkle, with Love, but it ended up falling a bit short of my expectations. 


Rachel:
 (Click on title for Goodreads link)



Forged in Ember was a great series ender. Lots of action and the romance I was most looking forward to since it's been building since book one.  I picked up the audio for Breathe to listen to while running my half-marathon since I've read it 2 times before I knew I wouldn't have to pay close attention to the story, but still be entertained.  End Game is the most recent Will Robie out and the least riveting in the series so far.  I was disappointed that Will and Jessica didn't get their act together yet.  Don't Call Me Cupcake was magical and sweet! Can't wait for the next in the series!


BOOKS RECEIVED 
Jasprit 
(Click on title for Goodreads link)

Surprisingly nothing this week, I'm still trying to get my ARC pile down, so this is a sort of blessing. 


Rachel:
 (Click on title for Goodreads link)


Love Katie Ruggle's romantic suspense and Scarlett Cole is fast becoming a favorite author with any genre!  I can usually count on RaeAnne Thayne to tug on my heartstrings so I couldn't resist Season of Wonder..


NEW TO MY TBR
Jasprit 
(Click on Book for Goodreads link)

I blame my lack of time on Goodreads for not discovering any new books this week. But if you have any new recommendations hit me up! 

Rachel:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link) 

I  added books 15 and 16 of J.R. Ward's BDB series. I received a copy of The Thief (book 16) and now I need to read the previous book first. I'm kind of dreading some parts of The Chosen (book 15).

  WHAT I'M WATCHING:

Jasprit  


Despite books not working out for me lately, I've been binge watching the heck out of The Good Wife and loving it. Thank goodness Amazon Prime has all seven seasons up, as I think I've found a new favourite. 


Rachel:

 

The Impossible starred Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts and was based on the true life story of a family's harrowing experience during the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami in Thailand.  It was intense, but good!

EVENTS OF THE WEEK

Jasprit 


There's just eight weeks from today until my event! I know that may seem like ages away, but last weekend I was reading thoroughly up on it and was kind of worried with all the obstacles that we would have to tackle. Also my cousin told me that if you're unable to do an obstacle, you have to do 20 burpees as a forfeit! Well this week I started running again, I was fine when running, but then had an aching hip and shin after. We also got an arm bar, so I can work on my upper arm strength, wish me luck, as I'm so going to need it! 


Rachel:

I ran my first half-marathon this last Saturday and it was fantastic! My training really paid off since I felt really good through the whole race and I beat the time goal I personally set for myself.  I would definitely do this particular race again since I really enjoyed the course.  The weather was cloudy for most of the race, which was perfect, and the scenery (wine country) was gorgeous!


How was your week?

Friday, 11 May 2018

Review: Don't Call Me Cupcake by Tara Sheets

Don't Call Me Cupcake (The Holloway Girls #1) by Tara Sheets
Publication date: May 1st 2018
Publisher: Zebra Shout
My rating:  4 Stars
Pages: 304
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33199875-the-good-daughter
There’s a very special kind of sweetness to life on Pine Cove Island . . .
 
Most families have a favorite recipe or two, handed down through generations. The Holloway women are a little different. Emma Holloway, like her grandmother before her, bakes wishes into her delicious cupcakes, granting the recipient comfort, sweet dreams, or any number of good things. It’s a strange gift, but it brings only happiness. Until gorgeous, smooth-talking newcomer Hunter Kane strolls into her shop, Fairy Cakes—and Emma makes the mistake of selling him not one, but three Sweet Success cupcakes.

Hunter, it turns out, is opening a fancy new restaurant and bakery right on the waterfront—Emma’s competition. To make matters worse, the town committee has decided to split the upcoming summer festival contract between the two, forcing Emma to work with her nemesis. But she can’t afford to split her profits. The solution: create a recipe that will make Hunter leave town permanently.

The Holloway charms are powerful. But there are other kinds of magic in the world—like red-hot first kisses, secret glances, and the feeling that comes with falling truly, madly, inconveniently in love . . .

My Thoughts:
Emma’s family has baked magic infused cupcakes for the small, picturesque town of Pine Cove for generations.  Cupcakes to fix what ails, bring contentment, success, or just lift someone’s spirits.   Emma is hopping mad when she finds out Hunter Kane, a big city entrepreneur has come to Pine Cove Island to build a competitive business just down the street from her cupcake/sweet shop, and she unknowingly gave him three of her “success” cupcakes.  Emma can’t afford to lose any money with her old house in need of urgent repairs, and her ex taking off with her savings.  Emma wants Hunter gone! He’s a big city guy who doesn’t appreciate the small-town charms of Pine Cove. But their mutual intense and irresistible attraction has Emma reevaluating her plan of baking a magical “be-gone” cupcake to get rid of him.

Hunter plans on getting his business going, revamping the Pine Cove shops and restaurants and then moving onto his next investment.  The feisty, pretty town cupcake baker, Emma, makes him stop and take a closer look, and re-think his plans. The more time he spends with Emma, the more she bewitches him with her beauty and big heart. 

Don’t Call Me Cupcake was a sweet, magical romance that made me giggle and swoon.  Hunter and Emma knock heads a bit when they first meet, but sparks flew every time they were together! So playful, and fun!  I loved the whole magical aspect to the story, from Emma’s special cupcake recipes, to her sentient house that nudged and protected when the need arose.  Pine Cove sounded like a quaint, beautiful seaside town, making the story even more charming, and a place I wish I could visit!  

I’m eagerly anticipating the next in the series,  Don’t Touch My Petunia (love that name, lol!) centering on Emma’s cousin, Juliette, with her own magical gifts.  There was a sneak peek at the end that had me wanting to read more!



Saturday, 5 May 2018

Weekly Recap #32

Hi everyone, with Rachel and I's crazy work schedules, we miss sharing whats going on with us. We used to have a lot of fun with our Showcase Sunday posts, so thought we'd do something regular on the blog, where we share bookish news and life news in general as a weekly recap! We've decided to link our weekly wrap up's with The Sunday Post hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer.

Jasprit:

I was a bit more social this week, I went out with friends to try out a new place and the food was super nice, I had a Just Mex Slider and a refreshing mocktail, which was just what I needed with this heat! My sisters and I also went to watch Avengers Infinity War, I actually really ended up liking it, I've always been a Marvel fan, so loved seeing so many superheroes come together! We were also given some neat posters for watching the film. 





WHAT I READ/REVIEWED 

Jasprit:
(Click on title for Goodreads link)


It was a bit of a slow week this week, as I only managed to read one book this week, and it was only so so read for me, which is a shame as I loved the rest of the books in this series. 

Rachel:
(Click on title for Goodreads link)



Hello Stranger (the narration was perfection!) was my favorite of the bunch above, but all were a win. I've been listened to David Baldacci's Will Robie series on my commutes and runs and I'm really enjoying the series. Lots of action and there's two narrators, a male and female. Kyf Brewer for all the male characters and Orlagh Cassidy for all the female parts, which is a rarity in audio books even when there's a male and female performer.  Both are excellent!

BOOKS RECEIVED 
Jasprit 
(Click on title for Goodreads link)

 

I came across The Art of French Kissing this week and I thought that it sounded super cute. I've probably mentioned this before, but I haven't really been enjoying Kasie West's last couple of books, but I have high hopes for Listen to Your Heart!


Rachel:
(click on cover for Goodreads link)


I love Kelley Armstrong's writing! Most recently her Casey Duncan adult mysteries, but she's back to YA with Aftermath.  I had middling feelings about the previous Katee Robert romantic suspense, but I have enjoyed her romances a lot in the past so I thought I'd give her RS another try.  J.R. Ward's new series kicks off with Consumed and I can't wait! I had a friend read and love it already and I just want to read it now.  I want to read Abandoned now, too, but both Consumed and Abandoned are out later in the year and I have other review books I need to get to! Ack! I'm about to say hell with it and read what I want!

NEW TO MY TBR
Jasprit 
(Click on Book for Goodreads link)

The Art of French Kissing was actually a book I only came across this week, and I just knew I had to get a copy straight away. 


Rachel:

Aftermath and The Surviving Girls above.

  WHAT I'M WATCHING:

Jasprit  


I've been trying to find a new show to watch for a while now and one of my friends suggested The Good Wife, I only watched the first episode this week, but I'm a fan so far! 


Rachel:


I remember the last book was my least favorite in the series, and now I remember why. There was so much death and sadness in this installment.  The movie was well-done, though.

EVENTS OF THE WEEK

Jasprit 

I ran twice this week, my last run was a tough one, but our pace and time seems to be getting faster on the route we've been doing. I also bought some new trainers, as my other ones weren't supporting my arch heel as much, my new Nike Pegasus 34's seem to be super comfy so far. But my shin started hurting again this week, I'm hoping my shin splint isn't back!


Rachel:

Well, my half marathon is one week from today, next Saturday! I'm both nervous and excited!  I ran my 11 miles this last Monday, the longest run of my training schedule and 8 miles this morning. It's all lower mile runs/walks until the big day now. The race is in Santa Barbara Wine Country and there's wine tasting after the run, so even if I bomb there is that, lol! I have a time goal I'd like to meet, but other than that I'll just be happy to finish.


How was your week?

Friday, 4 May 2018

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: Someone to Care by Mary Balogh

Hello readers! It's been a while, but I'm excited to share my review for the newest Mary Balogh historical romance in the Westcott series.  I've loved this series from the start, and Someone to Care is another beautiful story!  I have my review, an excerpt and giveaway to share.  Make sure to scroll down to the bottom and fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win!


Someone to Care (Westcott #4) by Mary Balogh
Publication date: May 1st 2018
Publisher: Berkely
My rating:  3.5 Stars
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33199875-the-good-daughter
Once the Countess of Riverdale, Viola Kingsley throws all caution to the wind when adventure calls in the form of a handsome aristocrat. . . .

Two years after the death of the Earl of Riverdale, his family has overcome the shame of being stripped of their titles and fortune--except for his onetime countess, Viola. With her children grown and herself no longer part of the social whirl of the ton, she is uncertain where to look for happiness--until quite by accident her path crosses once again with that of the Marquess of Dorchester, Marcel Lamarr.

Marcel Lamarr has been a notorious womanizer since the death of his wife nearly twenty years earlier. Viola caught his eye when she herself was a young mother, but she evaded his seduction at the time. A prize that eluded him before, she is all the more irresistible to him now although he is surprised to discover that she is as eager now for the excitement he offers as he is himself.

When the two defy convention and run away together, they discover that the ties of respectability are not so easily severed, and pleasure can ensnare you when you least expect it.


My Thoughts:
Viola Kingsley used to be the Countess of Riverdale until she found out the marriage was invalid since her late husband was already married to another woman.  She and her children lost the title and fortune, but in the time since her family has rallied around her, and her children have come through remarkably well.  Still, Viola hasn’t really dealt with her feelings about the whole situation and suddenly, she’s feels the need to escape the family gathering she’s attending.  Hiring a carriage and fleeing for home, she becomes stranded in a small town when the carriage breaks down. 

This is where she runs into Marcel Lamarr, The Marquess of Dorchester, and prior acquaintance.  The man was temptation personified, but as a married woman, as she thought, Viola turned him down.  Now seeing him again, fourteen years later, his appeal hasn’t diminished.  They run off together, both trying to escape life temporarily, and they do, for a while.

Mary Balogh is one of my favorite historical romance writers, and I’ve loved all the stories in this Westcott series.  Viola and Marcel have aches in their heart each escape by running away together and enjoying each other’s company, both physically and mentally. They have meaningful conversations, steamy nights, and grow closer than they thought possible.  The cottage in Devonshire where they spent their time was dreamily described and sounded gorgeous!

I was a little disappointed Viola and Marcel kept their true feelings, both deeper than they wanted to admit, from each other.  It was obvious to everyone that they loved each other, but their pride and worry over being more hurt stopped them from sharing what was in their heart and it went on longer than I would’ve liked.  I’m thrilled with how it all turned out at any rate, and although this wasn’t my favorite installment, I still heartily recommend it. 




 Excerpt:



It felt like a lifetime. Or like something from another life altogether. But here he was, fourteen years older and fourteen years more attractive, though there was a greater hardness now to the handsome, austere features. She wondered, as she had wondered at the time, why he had taken her literally at her word. He did not seem like a man who took kindly to being told no. But she had told him to go away and he had gone. His feelings for her, of course, had not run more than skin-deep. Or groin deep, to be more blunt about it. And there had been plenty of other women only too happy to jump to his every command.
“I stand corrected,” he said in that soft voice she remembered well. He had never been a man who needed to raise his voice. “Was there a time limit?”
How did one answer such a question? Well, with a simple no, she supposed. There was no time limit. She had sent him away and had intended that it be forever. But here she was alone in a room with him fourteen years later, and he had spoken to her again and asked a question. He did not wait for the answer, though.
“Now how am I to interpret your silence?” He strolled to the table nearest the door, pulled out a chair, and sat on it, crossing one elegantly booted leg over the other as he did so. “Having sent me away once, you have nothing more to say to me? But you have already said something. You have corrected my defective memory. Could it be, then, that you hate to repeat yourself by inviting me yet again to go to the devil? Or could it be that you do not wish to admit that company—any company, even mine—is preferable to none at all when one is stranded in a godforsaken village somewhere in the wilds of England? I assume you are stranded and have not come here with the express purpose of jollificating with the locals and helping save them from being rained upon on Sunday mornings?”
The mere sound of his voice sent chills up her spine. Just because it was so soft? And because he spoke unhurriedly, with the absolute certainty that no one would dream of cutting him off?
“Jollificating?” she said. “Is it a word?”
“If it is not,” he said, his eyebrows lifting, “then it ought to be. Perhaps I should give serious consideration to writing a dictionary. What do you think? Do you believe it would rival Dr. Johnson’s?”
“With a one-word entry?” she said. “I very much doubt it, Mr. Lamarr.”
“Ah, but you do me an injustice,” he said. “I could think of ten words without having to frown in thought and pummel my brow. But why is it you will not answer a direct question? Was there a time limit? And are you stranded? All alone?”
“The axle of the carriage in which I am traveling came perilously close to breaking,” she said. “The coachman does not believe we will be able to resume the journey until tomorrow morning at the earliest.” Why was she explaining?
“I took a glance out into the innyard before stepping in here,” he said. “There is no sign of a private carriage. Has yours by chance made off without you, the imperiled axle story just one big hoax to be rid of you? But that is unlikely, I must admit. You did not—surely—arrive here in that apology for a conveyance that is listing hard to the northwest and looking for all the world as though it will not be fit to go anywhere for the next eternity or two. Or did you? A hired carriage, Lady Riverdale?”
“That is no longer my name,” she said.
“A hired carriage, Miss Kingsley?” He sounded pained.
“How are the mighty fallen?” she said. “Was that your meaning, Mr. Lamarr? Then why not say so?”
Long, elegant fingers closed about the handle of his quizzing glass, but he did not raise it to his eye. “Riverdale was a blackguard,” he said. “If it was your idea to completely disassociate yourself from him, even in name, then I congratulate you. You are better off without the connection. Kingsley is your maiden name, I assume?”
She did not answer. She looked down at her coffee in order to break eye contact with him. There was still half a cup left. It would be cold by now, though. Besides, she was not sure her hand would be steady enough to lift the cup without revealing her agitation.
“Miss Kingsley,” he said after a few moments of silence had passed. “Are you going to send me away again? And spend the rest of the day alone?”




 The lovely people of Berkley have kindly provided a Paperback Copy of Someone to Care to one lucky reader.  Giveaway is open to US Residents only.  Fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Weekly Recap #31

Hi everyone, with Rachel and I's crazy work schedules, we miss sharing whats going on with us. We used to have a lot of fun with our Showcase Sunday posts, so thought we'd do something regular on the blog, where we share bookish news and life news in general as a weekly recap! We've decided to link our weekly wrap up's with The Sunday Post hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer.

Jasprit:

I had a quiet week for once, work was busy as usual but I was able to get a lot more reading in this week and for once I've also been in the mood for reading more. Other than that I really didn't get up to much, it was a bit of a anti-social week, but I think I just really needed one of those after the busy couple of weeks I had. 


WHAT I READ/REVIEWED 

Jasprit:
(Click on title for Goodreads link)


The usual books that I go to when I need a pick me up, good old contemporary really haven't been working for me, I ended up DNF'ing Luck of the Draw, despite the positive reviews that I had seen around and Making Up I only ended up rating three stars, it was a bit too predictable in the end for me. Whereas I ended up really enjoying Burn For Me,  I don't typically read Urban Fantasy books, but Burn For Me was everything I could have hoped for. I'll be starting White Hot the second book over the weekend and I can't wait! 


BOOKS RECEIVED 
Jasprit 
(Click on title for Goodreads link)

 

I loved Vinesse's debut book Seven Days of You, so I can't wait to see what she has in store for us with her latest book The Summer of Us! And thanks to Nick for putting Hot Asset on my radar, I've loved Layne's books in the past and so I'm excited to know she has a new book out. And it seems a long time coming since Courtney Summers had a new book out, the reviews I've come across so far for Sadie have been really positive! 


NEW TO MY TBR
Jasprit 
(Click on Book for Goodreads link)

 

As you probably know I'm a huge fan of books which feature a second chance romances, Five Years From Now sounds exactly like something I would enjoy with our characters meeting up every five years. And I can't believe I hadn't heard about Emergency Contact until now, I think I saw it a few times on my Goodreads feed too. And like Lauren Layne, Christina Lauren have quickly become my go to authors, doesn't Josh and Hazel's guide to dating sound fantastic? 



  WHAT I'M WATCHING:

Jasprit  


I started Homeland the other day because my sister highly recommended it, but now I'm like seven episodes in and I'm not really feeling it, I don't know if I should continue or start with something else entirely. 


EVENTS OF THE WEEK

Jasprit 


I got my first run in after a month, the day was horrible as it was raining non-stop, but it actually felt like a good run for once, I'm hoping to get more in the upcoming weeks. 



How was your week?

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