Fiction Friday: Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways #3) by Lisa Kleypas

Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3)

Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


When Poppy Hathaway runs into Harry Rutledge, she does not expect that their chance meeting will change her life forever.
Harry is instantly taken with Poppy and her unconventional personality. He would do anything to win her…including ruining her current relationship.
When a scandal forces the two of them to marry, Harry assumes that he has won. But Poppy refuses to submit to the man who has lied to her.
This was a well-written, intriguing read that I enjoyed immensely.
There is an undeniable chemistry between Harry and Poppy and it is hard to not root for their relationship.
The Hathaways are still one of my favourite historical families and even all these years later, it is always a delight to come back to this series.



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How Failing an Interview for My Dream Job Was The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me

Guy in Suit

No one likes failing. ESPECIALLY NOT ME. I am an only child. I usually get what I want. So the concept of failure- of not getting what I want- is fairly foreign to me. Now I could go on about all the things I did not fail at but that is not the point of this blog post. The point is the one thing that I did fail at.

So some time in January, I came across a job opening for a magazine journalist. I didn’t want to apply because it seemed like I was never getting chosen for journalist jobs. I forced myself to send in an application because the week before that my floor manager had told me not to stop looking for a job in my field. “Hey, maybe it’s a sign”, I thought to myself.

I sent in my application and got a really positive response. I applied for a half-day position so I could still keep my steady job that I liked. However the person doing the hiring suggested that I apply for a full-day position as she was impressed by my blog and my writing. I was thrilled and I agreed. I was so excited. Someone liked my blog and my writing. A MAGAZINE SOMEONE LIKED ME!

We arranged an interview. I was excited, nervous, anxious all at once. Until the day came and I bombed the interview. I implied that I thought Media was a dying industry. Which I do because every Media outlet I planned to work at was either closing or already closed. I also mentioned that I saw myself in Marketing in five years. Also true. Because Media was not hiring.

By the time I left the interview I knew that I would not get the job. But it hurt nonetheless.

I waited for the deadline for the job to pass. Then I waited another day. Then a week. And then I cried. I cried and I cried and then I cried some more. I gave myself a week to cry. Then I picked up my bright yellow highlighter and went back to my notes on Digital Marketing.

It hurt that journalism kept kicking me in the face. I gave up so much to write. While friends were busy with boys and booze, I was writing and pitching articles. I’m a twenty-three-year-old with ten years of writing experience and the only writing I do at my job is emails.

Once I was done crying, I wallowed with some Gilmore Girls. More specifically, I watched the horror that was Rory’s journalist career.

At times like this I seriously doubt that I will ever make it as a journalist. But maybe I am just not meant to. Don’t get me wrong. I would love to have the opportunity to actually try out journalism before making a decision. However it does not look like that opportunity is coming anytime soon.

Once I accepted that I didn’t get the job and was going to be stuck in a Call Center for the foreseeable future, I had some decisions to make.

The excitement over my interview taught me a few things:

  1. Someone in the journalism industry liked me and my blog
  2. Someone thought I was worth interviewing
  3. My attitude in the interview might be the reason I will never get another job
  4. I was miserable before the job opening

No 4 was vital. I had never felt as excited or alive as I had while preparing for that interview. I thought it would change my life. And it did but not in the way I expected.

I spoke to my manager about wanting to try out Marketing. He agreed to speak to our Marketing team. I threw myself into my Digital Marketing course. I picked up new tips and tricks for my blog.

However I still felt like I lacked that excitement that I had for the interview. I needed to do something that would excite me. I felt like my life was in a rut. So I did what anyone in a rut does- I booked me a holiday. Before that holiday, I made more of an effort to be with supportive friends and family.

When one of my friends heard my sad sob story about my ten years of writing experience and no job, she told me to watch The Bold Type.

As a rule I do not watch shows about magazines because they depress me. As a college graduate I thought my first job would be something like “The Devil Wears Prada” (and it was but for a completely different reason- I’ll talk about that some other time). Instead I got “Postgrad” without the happy ending.

But I gave in and watched The Bold Type because it has been ten years since my first magazine internship and three years since my failed freelancing gig. I was not going to be a journalist. But I would find a new dream. I had to. So I watched The Bold Type and I fell in love. This was not a show about a magazine. This was a show about female empowerment and life and love. I was hooked.

I am sad to have “failed” the interview for my dream job. But honestly that single failure has taught me so much. I feel like I’m finally living instead of just going through the motions in life. I am disappointed to be a call center agent instead of a journalist but nothing lasts forever and all I need is one “yes” to finally get me in the door.

One day.

Maybe.

Or maybe not.

Who knows?

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways #1) by Lisa Kleypas

Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1)

Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I have had a really awful book slump and nothing I read seems to interest me. So when I saw that Amazon had the Kindle copy of “Mine Till Midnight” on sale, I absolutely had to purchase and reread it (as opposed to the many unread books I have currently on my bookshelves).
“Mine Till Midnight” is the first novel in the “Hathaways” series which tells the story of the eccentric and unusual Hathaways.
The Hathaways lived a regular, uninteresting life until a distant relative dies and they inherit his land. Suddenly the family is now a part of the aristocracy- something that they were never prepared for and somewhere that they certainly do not fit in.
The eldest female of the family, Amelia Hathaway is busy trying to help her sisters adjust to their new life while trying to stop her brother from drinking himself to death.
Amelia has decided that she will spend her life as a spinster, taking care of her family. And then she meets the enigmatic Gypsy, Cam (sidenote- who is also the hottest Victorian love interest in the world. NOTHING AND NO ONE WILL EVER COMPARE. And no, I am not just saying that because Cam was the first adult fictional character I fell in love with).
Cam is incredibly wealthy and has decided that he is going to go find his Gypsy family. However when he comes across mother hen, Amelia, he has second thoughts. Something about her appeals to him and he just can’t help hanging around her when he should be looking for his family.
This was a beautiful story with wonderfully unforgettable characters and an amazing storyline. It has been about 6 years since I read this book for the first time and even after countless rereads, it is still a difficult book to put down.
If you are a fan of romance or historical fiction, definitely give this a go.



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Excerpt: It’s Getting Scot in Here by Suzanne Enoch


The first in a wickedly seductive new Scottish historical romance series from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Enoch, IT’S GETTING SCOT IN HERE (St. Martin’s Paperbacks, February 26, 2019, $7.99) crosses two sweethearts from separate worlds. Readers find out what happens when a headstrong leading lady, who refuses to marry someone she doesn’t love, meets an off-limits ruffian from the barbaric Highlands.
London socialite Amelia-Rose Baxter is nobody’s fool. Her parents may want her to catch a title, but she will never change who she is for the promise of marriage. Her husband will be a man who can appreciate her sharp mind as well as her body. A sophisticated man who loves life in London. A man who considers her his equal—and won’t try to tame her wild heart…

Rough, rugged Highlander Niall MacTaggert and his brothers know the rules: the eldest must marry or lose the ancestral estate, period. But Niall’s eldest brother just isn’t interested in the lady his mother selected. Is it because Amelia-Rose is just too. . . Free-spirited? Yes. Brazen? Aye. Surely Niall can find a way to soften up the whip-smart lass and make her the
perfect match for his brother for the sake of the family.
Instead it’s Niall who tempts Amelia-Rose, despite her reservations about barbarian Highlanders. Niall finds the lass nigh irresistible as well, but he won’t make the mistake his father did in marrying an Englishwoman who doesn’t like the Highlands. Does he have what it takes to win her heart? There is only one way to find out…

 

EXCERPT:

Prologue
Once upon a time—in May 1785, to be exact— Angus MacTaggert, Earl Aldriss, traveled from the middle of the Scottish Highlands to London in search of a wealthy bride to save his well- loved but crumbling estate. Aldriss Park had been in the MacTaggert family since the time of Henry VIII, when Domhnall MacTaggert, despite being Catholic and married, declared publicly that Henry should be able to wed as many lasses as he wanted until one of them got him a son. Aldriss Park was the newly minted earl’s reward for his support and understanding. For the next two hundred years Aldriss thrived, until the weight of poor harvests, the ever- intruding, rule- making Sassenach, and the MacTaggerts’ own fondness for drinking, gambling, and wild investments (including an early bicycle design wherein the driver sat between two wheels; sadly, it had no braking mechanism and
after a series of accidents nearly began a war within the MacTaggerts’ clan Ross) began to sink it into disrepair. When Angus inherited the title in 1783, he realized the old castle needed far more than a fresh coat of paint to keep it from both physical collapse and bankruptcy. And so he determined to go down among the enemy Sassenach and win himself a wealthy bride. The English had made enough trouble for him and his over the centuries, so they could bloody well help him set things right. On his second day in London, he met the stunning Francesca Oswell, the only offspring of James and Mary Oswell, Viscount and Viscountess of Hornford— who had more money than Midas and a bevy of very fine solicitors—at a masked ball where he dressed as a bull, and she as a swan. Despite the misgivings of nearly everyone in Mayfair, Angus and Francesca immediately fell madly in love, and married with a special license ten days later. A week after that, Angus took Francesca back to Aldriss Park and the Highlands, where she found very little civilization, a great many sheep, and a husband who preferred brawling to dancing, and he discovered that her father’s solicitors had arranged to keep the Oswell family money in Francesca’s hands. This made for some very spectacular arguments, because there is nothing more combustible in the world than an impoverished Highlands laird in disagreement with an independently wealthy English lady about his own ancestral lands. Over the next thirteen turbulent years the estate prospered, and Francesca gave Angus three sons— Coll, Aden, and Niall— and with each one became more concerned that this was not a life for any civilized person. She wanted to bring the boys back to London for proper educations and to live proper lives, but Angus refused, stating that what had been good enough for him would be good enough for his lads. When a fourth child, a daughter, arrived in 1798, Francesca reached her breaking point. No daughter of hers was going to be raised with an uncivilized accent in a rough country where she would be ridiculed by proper Society and unfit to marry anyone but a shepherd or a peat cutter. Angus refused to let his lads go, but he allowed Francesca to take young Eloise and return to London—on the condition that she continue providing for the maintenance of the estate. Francesca reluctantly agreed, but given that she controlled the purse strings, she had her own conditions to try to keep some influence with her wild sons: All three boys must marry before their sister, they must wed proper Englishwomen, and at least one of them must marry someone of her choosing. She knew Angus would raise them as he pleased, but they were her children, too, by God, and she meant to see to it that they had some semblance of propriety in their lives— she was a viscount’s daughter, after all, and certain things would be expected of her offspring. She refused to allow them to be viewed as unsophisticated wild men by her London neighbors, and she remained determined to have a presence in their lives. To enforce her will, she convinced (or rather, coerced) Angus to put his signature to the agreement, which contained this provision: If young Eloise MacTaggert did marry before any of the boys, Francesca would cut off all funds to the estate. If they were to insist on defiance, they would have a heavy price to pay for it— one they and their tenants could not afford. Angus had no choice but to agree, and considering that Coll, the oldest, was only twelve at the time of Francesca’s departure and Eloise was but a wee bairn, he was willing to wager that he would have time to renegotiate. Angus and Francesca remained married, but neither would bend enough to visit the other ever again. As far as the lads were concerned, their mother had abandoned them. In the spring of 1816 Angus received a letter from Francesca announcing their daughter’s engagement, and he promptly collapsed. He’d hoped his sons would have found themselves Scottish lasses by now and shown their mother she couldn’t control their lives after all, but the lads were defiant and wouldn’t be rushed. Now it appeared to be too late. He summoned his sons to his apparent deathbed and confessed all— Francesca funding the estate, the pernicious agreement, and their mother’s grasping claws, which he explained was a symptom of all Englishwomen and their weak, clinging, cloying ways. For the sake of the property and their tenants the young men must go to London. At once. No sense even taking time to put him in the ground, much less mourn him, because Francesca wouldn’t excuse the loss of time, and they needed to marry before their sister. The lads— grown men, now— were not at all happy suddenly to learn about the responsibilities and rules foisted upon them by a woman they barely remembered. Being wily, freehearted, and exceptionally handsome men accustomed to doing things their way and certainly not bowing to the demands of a demented Englishwoman, they determined to go down to London not to comply, but to outwit their mother and upend any plans she had for them. And thus, dear reader, begins our story.

I have already started reading this and it is incredible!

Suzanne Enoch

SUZANNE ENCOCH grew up in Southern California, where she still balances her love for the
Regency romances of Georgette Heyer and classic romantic comedies with her obsession for
anything Star Wars. Given her love of food and comfy chairs, she may in fact be a Hobbit. She
has written more than 35 romance novels, including traditional Regencies, Historical Romance, and contemporary Romantic Suspense. When she isn’t working on her next book she is trying to learn to cook, and wishes she had an English accent. She is the bestselling author of Scandalous Brides series, The Scandalous Highlanders series, and One Hot Scot.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #2)

P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2)

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Lara Jean and Peter are finally really together and they are an absolutely ADORABLE couple. But Gen is still lurking in the picture. Peter swears that there is nothing between them but why does it seem like Gen is more a part of Lara Jean’s life now than before?
With the reappearance of John Ambrose, another one of the boys Lara Jean wrote love letters to, Lara Jean is forced to consider who she wants to be with.
This was a cute read however I was in a book slump and struggled to finish it. I also cannot forgive Peter for allowing Gen back into his life (I don’t care what the reason was).
This was a fun, light read that I strongly recommend to anyone who enjoys contemporary. There were several new colourful characters introduced which was highly entertaining. I especially enjoyed seeing the development of Lara Jean’s relationship with Peter and John Ambrose.



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Fiction Friday: Thief by Tarryn Fisher (Love Me With Lies #3)

Thief (Love Me with Lies, #3)

Thief by Tarryn Fisher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I actually cannot remember most of this novel (which is worrying considering that I spent so much time invested in this series).
“Thief” follows Caleb and Olivia in the aftermath of his divorce. Once again they are drawn together when Olivia and her husband start to have issues.
This was a sweet read that almost made up for all of the emotional strain the previous books put me through.
I especially enjoyed seeing how Caleb and Olivia have changed over the years. It is made clear that though they have made mistakes in the past, they have both grown from it.
This was a wonderfully emotional series that made me cry, rage and almost throw my cellphone across the room but I enjoyed it immensely.



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Fiction Friday: Book Review- Dirty Red by Tarryn Fisher (Love Me With Lies #2)

Dirty Red (Love Me with Lies, #2)

Dirty Red by Tarryn Fisher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


After reading “The Opportunist”and realising that “Dirty Red” was Leah’s story, I had zero interest in continuing with this series.
I could never forgive Caleb or Olivia for both of their deceptions and Leah was my least favourite story so I had no desire to learn any more about her.
However after reading about two pages of this and after completing “Verity”, I NEEDED another flawed, bordering-on-psychotic female to follow. So I picked this up again and it did not disappoint.
Leah finally has her marriage to Caleb as well as a beautiful baby. Sure, he might seem to care more for the crying brat than he does for her. But he is away from Olivia and that is what matters. Or does it?
Olivia may be out of their lives physically but she is still a part of Caleb’s mental space. As Leah and Caleb struggle with their marriage and their differing opinions on parenthood, there might still be space for Olivia to wriggle her way back in anyway.
By the end of this book, I had a reluctant understanding and sympathy for Leah. She is a flawed woman who loved a guy who did not love her back. Yes, she is a bitch. But this novel shows that this bitch does have a heart.
This was a well-written read that I could not put down and I enjoyed it immensely. I have never read a book, let alone a series, about so many flawed characters and this change was good.
Definitely pick this up.



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Why You Should Save for A Rainy Day


Yesterday I got in to my pretty, shiny (it had just been washed the day before) car to go to church. I was feeling pretty good about myself since I was fifteen minutes earlier and the weather had changed from constant rain to a dull sun.

I turned the key in the ignition, felt the car vibrate and then heard a sound of my nightmares. The awful crank of a car NOT starting. I stared at my dashboard in shock. NO! NO NO NO!

My dad had the habit of parking my automatic car in Neutral. Did I start the car on Neutral? Nope, I checked. And the radio was working so whatever this fault was, it was not the battery.

Fear was fast making it’s way around my body. Something was wrong with the car. And whatever IT was. I already knew I would not be able to pay for it without suffering for the rest of the month.

Here’s the thing- I am pretty good when it comes to my money. However this year I chose to do a course online in Digital Marketing and I used any extra income of mine to pay off this course.

After nine painful hours of trying to track down a mechanic on a Sunday, we managed to locate one. He agreed to look at the car and confirmed that there was water damage.

Please let us take a minute to appreciate this irony. I took advantage of the rain to wash the car and that was what caused the car to not start.

After trying repeatedly to start the car, he finally managed to fix it and charged me R350.

Don’t get me wrong. I was glad that it was nothing serious and R350 is not much compared to the thousands I imagined spending on the car.

However it certainly dampens my spirit that I do not have any extra cash for the month ahead (which is still four days away).

Moral of the story: Save for a rainy day. They may take a while to come but even sunny Durban has them.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Friend Request by Laura Marshall

Friend Request

Friend Request by Laura Marshall

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Louise receives a Facebook invitation from her childhood classmate Maria Weston. But Maria Weston is dead. Or atleast that is what everyone else thinks.
Maria and Louise were the closest of friends back in high school before Louise abandoned her to join the popular crowd.
Louise is well-aware of what happened the last night Mara was seen. Louise is part of the group that played an awful prank on Maria before she died. But there was no body found. Could Maria actually be alive?
As Louise starts to gets creepy messages from Maria’s Facebook account she is more and more convinced that Maria might be back and looking for revenge.
This was am intriguing read that I devoured in one sitting. There were countless plot twists which I enjoyed immensely. If you are looking for an unpredictable read, I strongly suggest this one.



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My Most Anticipated Reads for 2019

Person reading open book

2019 looks to be a great year in books with several of my favourite authors releasing new reads. Here are the books I am most excited for:

  1. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo- I devoured the “Grishaverse” books as well as the “Six of Crows” series. It has been too long since I read a book set in this universe and I CANNOT WAIT for this book to release.
  2. Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas- I love anything by Lisa Kleypas especially if it is historical. Interested in historical romance? You can read a snippet of “Devil’s Daughter” here.
  3. Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus- “One of Us is Lying” was one of my favourite mysteries of all-time so I cannot wait to read this.
  4. Again But Better by Christine Riccio- Book vlogger Christine Riccio releases her debut novel and if it is even a fraction as funny as she is, we are all in for a treat.
  5. Finale by Stephanie Garber- Stephanie Garber’s “Caraval” series will finally come to an end with “Finale”. Personally while I have enjoyed this series, I cannot wait. I have questions that I need answered about Dante and his past.
  6. The Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton- Picking up from the cliffhanger ending where most of my favourite characters (and one character I absolutely detested) were on the run, a resistance is building up. I love books about a team of people resisting the usual order. There is just something about people getting together to fight and overthrow the usual social order that makes me feel warm and cozy.
  7. The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh- Renee Ahdieh tackles vampires in New Orleans in this novel and I am SO HERE FOR IT! I adore Renee Ahdieh’s writing and world-building so I just know that this is going to be a great read.
  8. Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart- “Grace and Fury” was impossible to put down and I cannot wait to see how the story continues in this next book.

What books are you most excited for in 2019? Let me know below.

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