Fiction Friday: Book Review- Daring to Dream (Dream Trilogy #1) by Nora Roberts

Daring To Dream by Nora Roberts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Margo, Kate and Laura grew up in Templeton House together. The three girls were as close as sisters.
The daughter of the Templeton’s housekeeper, Margo always wanted more. So as soon as she graduated she took the first opportunity to leave their small town to become a model.
She had fame, success and money. Until it all came crashing down with a scandal.
Forced to return home and try to make something of her life, Margo decides to open a store and sell the last pieces of her pampered life.
I’m not sure why I picked up this book because there isn’t much that appealed to me in terms of plot. I guess it was just an impulse because of the pretty butterfly on the cover?
Surprisingly I loved this book. There’s a legend, close-knit friends and family. This is a feel-good novel though and though which I really enjoyed.
The relationship between Kate, Laura and Margo was beautiful to watch especially seeing how they were so different in personalities.
If you’re looking for a romance book with a lot of heart, I strongly recommend you start this series.

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Fiction Friday: The Places I’ve Cried in Public by Holly Bourne

The Places I’ve Cried in Public by Holly Bourne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the first book I read by Holly Bourne and wow, IT IS ONE HELL OF A BOOK!
Amelie and Reese were in love. Or so she thought. But now that they are over, Amelie is beginning to see the cracks in their relationship. She is starting to see that maybe, just maybe whatever it is that they had was not love.
“The Places I’ve Cried in Public” paints a pretty accurate picture of what it’s like to fall into a toxic relationship. Ever so slowly that you don’t even know its wrong until you’re too far gone and then wondering what happened.
I knew a Reese in high school and this book really took me back to that time. I had to keep putting the book down to cry and then I sat and bawled my eyes out when this book was finished. I felt seen. I felt heard. I felt understood.
This book is so important and so relevant.
It is realistic and well-written and just sheer, utter perfection.

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Learn to Give Yourself a Break

Back when I was a young, naïve college student I wrote a blog post about the importance of taking a mental health day. It’s funny because looking back, I was under the impression that all jobs allowed a mental health day. After all how could you be expected to function at a job if you’re not at your best? However, this is the real world and sometimes mental health days are just not an option.

Girl with headache
Real life depiction of the position I am in as I type this

A few days ago (a week to be accurate), I came home from work with a headache. This wasn’t unusual as I normally have headaches during the weekend (it’s my blog/study/writing time).

However by the time Monday rolled around, I didn’t feel any better. Plus I had my sinus acting up. By Wednesday, the pain was too bad and I eventually started crying before begging to be taken to the doctor.

I had a feeling I knew what the cause was but I hoped he could help. Nope. He decided it was a tension headache. From what little I knew, I knew tension headaches were stress-related. I didn’t know how not to stress. But I was in horrible pain and I was already behind on my studying.

I took medication and went to sleep, hoping to return to work on Thursday. No such luck. I woke up with an awful sore throat and my head still hurt. I dosed myself with large quantities of flu medication, home remedies and spent most of the day asleep. In fact I was only awake for 4 hours.

I felt horribly guilty and ashamed. I was behind on all of my work all because of a stupid headache.

I managed to rest enough that it was fine for me to return to work on Friday.

My head still occasionally hurts like hell but I’m trying to make a concentrated effort to remain calm and not stress (a difficult feat for someone with anxiety).

So the point of me sharing this story is simple. Learn to take a break. You don’t want your body deciding all of a sudden that it needs a break. Because trust me, your body will definitely pick the most inconvenient time possible/

Fiction Friday: Red Lily (In the Garden #3) by Nora Roberts

Red Lily by Nora Roberts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Red Lily” is the final book in the “In The Garden” trilogy and oh how it breaks my heart to see these characters go (which is odd coz I barely remembered them in “Black Rose” but I guess I’ve gotten attached to them).
“Red Lily” follows Harper and Hayley as they try to start a relationship together. The two of them have had feelings for each other for a while which they’ve been pushing back.
However a short while after their first kiss, the Harper Bride has a temper tantrum and her violent behaviour starts to escalate. She then starts possessing poor Hayley who is no longer sure what is her and what is the Harper Bride.
I found it incredibly sickeningly that the Harper Bride would go after Harper as he is technically her family (insert vomit emoji here) however I was also moved by how she was clearly losing her sanity.
This was a great read that I devoured in one sitting (although it WAS lockdown so it could have been that too). I loved watching the entire family come together and I was glad to finally see the Harper Bride put to rest.

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Book Review: Black Rose by Nora Roberts (In the Garden #2)

Black Rose by Nora Roberts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read “Blue Dahlia” about a year or two ago so I’m not sure why I decided to pick this up when I barely remembered the first book.
All I did remember was the ghost of the Harper Bride and I was curious to know more about her.
So I picked this up with a vague recollection of book one but surprisingly I enjoyed this book.
Roz Harper is a single mother and businesswoman, running “In the Garden”. She has hired Dr Mitchell Carnegie to help her discover who the Harper Bride really was.
The first time I picked up this book, a year or so ago, I couldn’t see anything of interest between Roz and Dr Mitch which is why I didn’t bother reading this book.
But I pushed through and sure enough, a cute story came through.
Roz is reluctant to give in to another relationship especially after two marriages. But when her creepy, gold-digging ex-husband returns to torment her, it is easy to see how different Mitch is from him.
But as Roz considers the possibility of starting anew with Mitch, the Harper Bride is determined to stop her.
I thought we would learn more about the Harper Bride and her history and I was left feeling pretty disappointed. What does she want? What would it take to free her? And why is her behaviour escalating?
I’m hoping those questions would be answered in the last book.
This was a fun read that had me up till the early hours of the morning

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Book Review: The MacKade Brothers: Devin and Shane by Nora Roberts

The MacKade Brothers: Devin and Shane by Nora Roberts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book so so so so so much!
This follows the last two MacKade brothers- the respectable Sherfiff Devin MacKade who has had a crush on Cassie Connor since forever and Shane MacKade who is determined to be the last MacKade bachelor until he meets a gorgeous academic who changes his mind.
Devin wants Cassie but knows that she is still fragile after her divorce from her abusive, scumbag husband. But when rumors start up about the possibility of parole, the MacKades rally to ensure that Cassie remains protected.

Shane MacKade reluctantly opens his home to Rebecca Knight who is studying paranormal activity. He is attracted to her but refuses to commit as he is the last remaining MacKade bachelor, a title he wears well.

These two stories were my favorite from the series. It was sweet and romantic and I couldn’t read fast enough.
The only thing that irritated me was that my copy was in tatters (it was secondhand) and pages kept falling out as I read it. Not a fun experience and it definitely took away from the book but I love these pairings and these plotlines.

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Book Review: The Pride of Jared MacKade by Nora Roberts

The Pride of Jared Mackade by Nora Roberts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jared MacKade pops in to his new neighbor, Savannah as a favor to a friend.
Her estranged father has passed away and left her some money.
Savannah wants nothing to do with the money or the nosey lawyer who brings her news of it. But when her son starts spending more and more time on the MacKade ‘s land, Savannah finds herself
attracted to Jared MacKade.

This was a pretty quick read that I enjoyed. It’s a fun romance and I liked the element of Savannah and her son having trouble trusting Jared. It felt realistic but also it was handled pretty well with a really heartfelt scene.
It was also great to see Rafe and Reagan again (They are so cute!) and their tiny but close-knit community.
This series might have me craving small town romances.
Definitely give this series a go if you’re looking for a quick and sweet read.

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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Start a Book Blog

I love my blog. Usually. Sure there are some moments when I’m stumped for content ideas and want to tear my hair out but most of the time I am pretty proud of what I have created. That being said, book blogging always feels like something I fell into rather than consciously going into. And with my years of experience I want to share 5 reasons why you SHOULDN’T start a book blog.

  1. Free Books– First and foremost. Free books. Whenever I mention I have a blog, the first thing people want to know is if I get free things. In fact I remember drawing out plans for a book blog back in ninth grade before an exam with the sole intention of getting free books. The blog never even got started but don’t be that person. Getting free books for a blog is so far off in the future that you are better off not starting a blog at all.
  2. It is hard work– Coming up with content is tough especially if you’re looking for non book-reviews content. Yes your blog can focus on just reviews but everyone does that. You want to stand out. You NEED to stand out.
  3. If you’re a bookworm, this is an expensive hobby– Here, ladies and gentleman we have the real reason I fell into book blogging. To justify my bookworm habits. No I’m not obsessive about books and fictional characters. I’m just a book blogger. For the longest while, my book blog was used as an excuse to purchase more and more books. Now I’m sitting with 3 shelves of unread books and instead of reading them, I’m watching Netflix. (They look at me with judgement in their spines and I can’t stand it).
  4. It is incredibly time-consuming– You need to generate content ideas, get graphics, draft posts and edit. Then you need to promote on social media- preferably different platforms so your work gets exposed to a different audience. I’ve been sitting here for two hours just preparing this post (and okay, occasionally checking Whatsapp but my point stands).
  5. There can be some ugliness– Trolls hating on your feed, copycats duplicating your work and passing it off as theirs and even authors just being downright shady in some cases. Google it. I don’t even want to go there but I remember a story of an author tracking down a book blogger’s physical addreses (What the ACTUAL fudge?)

In life, nothing and no one is perfect. I will always say that you should start a book blog. It’s an amazing experience provided you’re doing it for the right reasons and you know what to expect.

Do you have a book blog? Feel free to leave your link below!

Book Review: The Return of Rafe MacKade by Nora Roberts

The Return of Rafe MacKade by Nora Roberts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The town is set abuzz when bad boy, Rafe MacKade returns home. Newbie, Regan doesn’t understand the fascination. Sure he’s gorgeous but what’s the big deal?
As a kid, Rafe had a reputation as a troublemaker. Now he has returned home and plans on building an inn.
When Rafe meets Regan, he is instantly intrigued by her. It certainly doesn’t hurt matters that she runs an antique shop and he is in need of furniture for his new business venture.
It isn’t long before the two of them are involved in a casual relationship.
But like most of Nora Roberts books, casual doesn’t last long and when someone in the town decides to go after Regan, Rafe will do whatever he can to protect her.
I loved that this book was about more than just Regan and Rafe. There was an entire town of characters and I enjoyed getting to know them.
If you’re looking for a small town romance, give this a go.

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- When You Wish Upon a Rogue by Anna Bennett

When You Wish Upon a Rogue by Anna Bennett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Miss Sophie Kendall is the head of the Debutante Underground, a group of women who come together to discuss their lives and the advice column, The Debutante’s Revenge.
Their group needs a new place to meet. Somewhere in town that is busy enough for them not to be noticed but big enough to fit all of them.
Sophie finds an abandoned shop that is perfect for her meetings. But she also finds the shop’s insomniac owner, Henry Reese.
Henry Reese is instantly taken by Sophie and her bright manner. However Sophie is already engaged to someone else- an engagement she is unable to break as her family desperately needs money.
Henry and Sophie make a deal- she can have the shop for her meetings if she spends one night a week with him.
Nothing romantic- he just needs her help to sleep. Sophie agrees and sets a few ground rules to protect both her reputation and her heart. But as they spend time together, it is clear that they are both falling for each other.
I am going through a bit of a historical romance funk so I was surprised at how easily I took to this novel.
Sophie and Henry have a playful sort of relationship which I adored seeing. I kept rooting for them to get together, her family’s finances be damned.
This was a great read and I cannot wait to pick up the first two books in the series.

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