Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Book Review: Untangle My Heart by Melissa A. Smith

Untangle My HeartUntangle My Heart by Melissa A. Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

** I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. **

This story begins with two men, Dean Brady and Brady Deen, buying presents for their girlfriends for Christmas. One intends to propose while the other doesn’t. The two men order identical gifts with different inscriptions. However, there is a mix up at the jewelry store and they end up with the other one’s gift. One couple ends immediately while the other couple stays together for a couple more weeks. Then in a chance meeting, one of the men and the woman from the other couple meet up. Months go by before they see each other again and seem to hit it off when they have more time to spend together. Who will end up with who? Will the original couples reconnect or will another couple be formed?

This book may seem to be confusing at first. However, if you read slowly and pay attention, it isn’t so bad. I may have had to read a few sections more than once just to make sure I was putting the right people together in my head. Overall, the story was good and was able to make me laugh as well as scream.

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Book Review: Heart of Marley by T.K. Leigh

Heart of MarleyHeart of Marley by T.K. Leigh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

** I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. **

NOTE: The main male character, Cam, is a character from T.K. Leigh’s Beautiful Mess Series and Heart of Light. HOWEVER, you do not have to read those books to read this book. This book is actually an expansion of a story that Cam told in Heart of Light.

Cam and Marley are twins that endure a heart-wrenching childhood. As an escape, they go to live with their aunt and uncle. While, I think anyway, the aunt and uncle mean well, they went about getting help for the twins the wrong way. They believe that God will heal all and never get the kids the psychiatric/psychological help they needed to cope with the past. Cam is able to recover easier than Marley. Marley attempts to live a normal teenage life while living in a town where there are low whispers about the twins and their past. By the end of the book, all of Marley’s problems come full circle and the result is devastating.

T.K. did an excellent job of capturing the emotions of Marley. From the childhood abuse to the teen living with mental illness and no treatment. The main story is devastatingly heartbreaking. And the book takes you on an emotional ride with wonderfully written ups and downs!

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Book Review: Heart of Light by T.K. Leigh

Heart of LightHeart of Light by T.K. Leigh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

** I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. **

NOTE: The main male character, Cam, is a character from T.K. Leigh’s Beautiful Mess Series. HOWEVER, you do not have to read that series to read this book.

First, I want to applaud T.K. for writing about such a dark subject as human trafficking and NOT glorifying it! Second, I LOVED Cam in the Beautiful Mess series, just not with the main female in that series. So, I was excited when I learned she had written Cam his own story.

The story begins with Jolene escaping those who cause harm to her. She ends up in the small little town where Cam lives. However, Cam’s best friend meets Jolene first and offers to rent her the cottage that Cam owns but does not live in. When Cam finds out, he is upset since the cottage was where “the one who got away” lived. Cam is at first mean to Jolene but eventually warms up to her and determines that she is hiding something and feels the need to help her. Jolene warms up to Cam and sees how real men treat women. However, her freedom is being threatened by one of the sickos who used to abuse her. There is also a cameo appearance by one of the Beautiful Mess characters, but again you really don’t have to have read that series to understand that character’s role in this book. Within this book, we learn about Cam and why he became a psychiatrist (which sets up the background for her next novel).

I felt for Jolene. I felt for some of the minor characters who were caught up with her escape and freedom. They sacrificed so that she could have freedom. While the majority of the story is about Jolene and Cam, there are sections told by another character who is also looking for Jolene.

T.K. is a fabulous writer and I cannot wait to read more of her work.

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Book Review: Someone You Already Know by Sarahbeth Caplin

Someone You Already KnowSomeone You Already Know by Sarahbeth Caplin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

** I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. **

This book by Sarahbeth Caplin is a fantastic read about the tragedy of rape and sexual assault. The story follows two teenage best friends that have both encountered rape and sexual assault. Katherine was raped while walking home one night by a stranger. Elisabeth embarked in a relationship with an older guy who didn’t and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Katherine received criticism for what she was wearing and for walking alone at night; Elisabeth was told she wasn’t assaulted and that she just wasn’t enjoying herself enough. Both doubt one another and try to make their experience seem worse than the other’s. Through time, the girls realize that neither of their experiences is worse than the other; that all sexual assault is horrific especially for the victim.

At the end of this book, there are several discussion questions. I love this feature for this story. I will be using this book for my daughters (and probably son too) since I home school them. Rape and sexual assault should not be swept under the rug and I applaud Ms. Caplin for writing this book so that we, as a society, can overcome the stigma attached to sexual assault.

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Book Review: The Broken Road by Melissa Huie

The Broken Road (The Broken Road, #1)The Broken Road by Melissa Huie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

** I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. **

This book was a roller coaster when it came to my emotions. One minute I thought I knew how I wanted the book to go and the next I was glad that it didn’t go that way. At first, Shane infuriated me in the way he was treating Megan. She was hopelessly in love with him yet he was dating a little witch named Allison. As Megan decided to move on with her life and forget Shane, he inserted himself into her new relationship and revealed the sham that it was. Luckily for Allison, the truth about her was revealed and I’m glad that she turned out to not be the witch I initially thought.

This book was a really good read. I had to rate it 4.5 instead of 5 stars because of the dragging parts of the story. Otherwise, the story for the most part was good. The characters were developed. The story had an emotional rollercoaster effect. There is a second book to this one; however, I have not purchased it as of this review (it is on my wishlist).

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Friday, December 26, 2014

2015 Reading Challenges

It has been three months since I left book blogging. I will admit, I miss it. Sometimes it's hard to check my email and see all the awesome books needing promoting. But, I also must admit that I am not at the point where I can come back and do it like it deserves to be done as.

However, I do intend to read some. For fun! And I found some challenges to help motivate me.

I have freebies that I have one - clicked and never read. And here is the perfect challenge to help me along with it. Unfortunately, all of my ARCs that I have do not count towards this goal. But, I still have plenty of freebies that I one - clicked that will count towards this challenge. My primary goal is to make it to the Coupon Clipper level (12 freebies). But, if I can make it higher, it would be awesome!

2015 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 
Most of the books I read are Contemporary Romance so this would be a perfect challenge for me. I'm aiming for 3rd base on this one (11-15 books).

New to You Reading Challenge 
Most of the books are "New To Me" in some way. A new author, a new series. I'm aiming for Level 2 for this challenge.

The 2015 Re-Read Challenge 
There are several books I want to re-read. Especially when I have read a book or more of a series and a new one comes out. I love re-reading the first ones to reacquaint myself with the characters/storylines, etc. My goal for this challenge is 12 re-reads in 2015.

My TBR List is out of control. I mean completely out of control. Between freebies I've one-clicked, ARCs I've received, and the books I have bought on sale, my TBR list is at 500+ easily. There is no way that I can read all these books in a year. I may be lucky to get through just these in 5 years. I figure that 12 in 2015 for this challenge may be realistic considering the obligations I have to school.