Thursday, July 9, 2020

Upon Further Review - A Court of Thorns and Roses

Upon Further Review is an original feature here at Somewhere Only We Know. I have always loved re-reading my favorite books, and I wanted a way to incorporate re-reading into my blog. Thus From the Ashes and Upon Further Review were born. From the Ashes is where I re-read a book that I have never reviewed before and finally review it. Upon Further Review is where I re-read a book that I've already reviewed and see if my original rating stands or not. This is also the time for me to discuss any new revelations that my latest re-read has brought to my attention.

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, # 1)

By: Sarah J Maas

Published: May 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

421 pages

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Fae, Faeries

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

So I've actually read A Court of Thorns and Roses before (here's my original review). I used to love to re-read but I haven't felt like I've had time to re-read over the last couple of years. I originally borrowed the series from Holly. So when I saw A Court of Thorns and Roses available for review, I jumped on it.

My biggest excitement about doing a re-read of this series was the big reveal that comes in book 2. And I knew that so much of book 1 is set up for that one moment, so I was excited to go back and see how much foreshadowing I might have missed and just see the setup coming. And honestly, I have to say it was just as good the second time as it was the first.

I remember my friend Lacy warning me that A Court of Thorns and Roses had a slow start, and I remember not being as put off by that the first time as I expected given her warning, but this time it was even more noticeable for me because I knew exactly how far I needed to read before the action started picking up and given what I know this time that I didn't know before had me uninvested in aspects of the story that I originally devoured. I can't say too much because I don't want to spoil the story for new readers. Fans who have already read this one will know exactly what I'm talking about.

One thing I complained about in my original review is that Sarah J Maas has a tendency to over-describe. I don't need to know what every meal consists of, what each character is wearing, or what each place looks like to the point of not needing to imagine or fill in the blanks myself. I can't tell you how many times I skimmed during this read-through because the description was just too much. This was especially difficult for me when the action picked up the last 30% or so of the book. In those intense moments of action, I need to move along quickly. And given the length of her novels, I personally think it would be beneficial to trim some of the excess descriptions.

I really hadn't thought much about how I would feel like I needed to continue reading the remaining books of the series after finishing A Court of Thorns and Roses, but I mean duh! A Court of Mist and Fury might be one of my all-time favorite build-ups and reveals ever. So, of course, I need to read that!

Favorite quotes:

-It took me a long while to realize that [...], whether he knew it or not, had effectively kept me from shattering completely.

-“Everything I love has always had a tendency to be taken from me.”

-“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”

I think my original rating of 4 Stars stands for me. I am tempted to give it 4.5 because I know just how much of this book builds to that pivotal moment in the next. But truthfully I still agree with all of my original reasons for rating it 4 Stars. Too much description is my biggest negative. Upon Further Review of A Court of Thorns and Roses, the final verdict is 4 Stars. Have you read A Court of Thorns and Roses? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Can't Wait for Layla

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Layla

By: Colleen Hoover

Expected Publication: December 8th 2020 by Montlake

302 pages

Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover comes a novel that explores life after tragedy and the enduring spirit of love.

When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences.

Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow—another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Top Ten Authors I've Read the Most (As of 2020)

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week's topic is Top Ten Authors I've Read the Most.
  1. Colleen Hoover (21 books) - Slammed, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, This Girl, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Ugly Love, Maybe Not, Never Never Part 1, Confess, Never Never Part 2, November 9, Too Late, It Ends With Us, Without Merit, All Your Perfects, Verity, Maybe Now, Regretting You, Finding Perfect
  2. Richelle Mead (18 books) - Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Storm Born, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, Last Sacrifice, Bloodlines, The Golden Lily, The Indigo Spell, Succubus Blues, Gameboard of the Gods, The Meeting, The Fiery Heart, The Immortal Crown, Silver Shadows, The Ruby Circle, The Glittering Court
  3. Abbi Glines (21 books) - Fallen Too Far, Never Too Far, Existence, Forever Too Far, Breathe, Because of Low, While It Lasts, Just for Now, Twisted Perfection, The Vincent Boys, The Vincent Brothers, Sometimes It Lasts, Misbehaving, Bad for You, Hold On Tight, Until the End, Until Friday Night, Under the Lights, After the Game, Losing the Field, Making a Play
  4. Jessica Sorensen (19 books)- The Secret of Ella and Micha, The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden, The Forever of Ella and Micha, The Redemption of Callie and Kayden, Breaking Nova, The Temptation of Lila and Ethan, The Destiny of Violet and Luke, The Ever After of Ella and Micha, Lila and Ethan: Always and Forever, Saving Quinten, Nova and Quinten: No Regrets, Delilah: The Making of Red, Tristan: Finding Hope, The Probabilty of Violet and Luke, Wreck Me, Ruin Me, Unraveling You, Raveling You, Awakening You
  5. KA Tucker (14 books) - Ten Tiny Breaths, One Tiny Lie, Four Seconds to Lose, Five Ways to Fall, In Her Wake, Burying Water, Becoming Rain, Chasing River, Surviving Ice, He Will Be My Ruin, Until It Fades, Keep Her Safe, The Simple Wide, Say You Still Love Me
  6. Katie McGarry (14 books) - Pushing the Limits, Dare You To, Crossing the Line, Crash Into You, Red at Night, Take Me On, Breaking the Rules, Nowhere But Here, Chasing Impossible, Walk the Edge, Long Way Home, Say You'll Remember Me, Only a Breath Apart, Echoes Between Us
  7. Darynda Jones (14 books) - First Grave on the Right, Second Grave on the Left, Third Grave Dead Ahead, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, Fifth Grave Past the Light, Sixth Grave on the Edge, Seventh Grave and No Body, Eighth Grave After Dark, The Dirt on Ninth Grave, The Curse of Tenth Grave, Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, The Trouble with Twelfth Grave, Summoned to Thirteenth Grave, A Bad Day for Sunshine
  8. Maggie Stiefvater (11 books) - Shiver, Linger, Forever, Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception, Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie, The Scorpio Races, The Raven Cycle, The Dream Thieves, Sinner, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, The Raven King
  9. Kasie West (13 books) - The Distance Between Us, On the Fence, Pivot Point, The Fill-In Boyfriend, Split Second, By Your Side, PS I Like You, Love, Life, & the List, Lucky in Love, Listen to Your Heart, Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss, Maybe This Time, Moment of Truth
  10. Janet Evanoich (12 books) - Plum Lovin', Finger Lickin' Fifteen, Sizzlin' Sixteen, Smokin' Seventeen, One for the Money, Explosive Eighteen, Notorious Nineteen, Takedown Twenty, Top-Secret Twenty-One, Tricky Twenty-Two, Turbo Twenty-Three, Hardcore Twenty-Four

Which authors have you read the most? Let me know!

Monday, July 6, 2020

Not Another Love Song - Review


Not Another Love Song

By: Olivia Wildenstein

Expected Publication: July 7th 2020 by Swoon Reads

320 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Angie gets thrown into the deep end of the music industry and goes head to head with a sexy new boy.

Success requires sacrifice.

No one understands this better than high school senior Angie, who’s worked her entire life toward her dream of making it onto Nashville’s music scene. When her idol, Mona Stone, launches a songwriting competition, her dream suddenly feels within reach. Against her mother’s wishes, Angie pours her heart and soul into creating a song worthy of Mona.

But soon it isn’t only her mother who stands in the way of her dream. Reedwood High’s newest transfer student, Ten, becomes a major roadblock in Angie’s path to success. With his endless collection of graphic tees, his infuriating attitude, smoldering good looks, and endearing little sister, Ten toys with the rhythm of Angie’s heart.

She’s never desired anything but success until Ten mauled her with his big black car. Now she wants him and Mona Stone, but she can’t have both.

And picking one means losing the other.

Against the glittery backdrop of Nashville’s music scene unfolds a story of betrayal and abandonment, of first love and acceptance, and of ties that go far beyond those made of blood.

*I have been in a bit of a reading funk. I've read several good books, and I'm coming off a reading high I guess. Lately, I've picked up several books but can't seem to get far before I DNF them or simply put them down to return to another time. I can't explain it exactly but my tolerance for reading pet peeves has been at an all-time low. That being said, I almost DNFd Not Another Love Song within the first 15%.

My issues were small, but seemingly numerous, specifically at the very beginning of this book. A few cliche things: two best friends creating a senior year bucket list (which never came back around in the end and maybe should have been edited out or revisited towards the end of the book), mention of a popular character holding court at school, a typical clumsy female lead character, required gay character/couple to check the diversity box, occasional moments where I felt like I was missing pieces of a scene and had to pull out of the moment to re-read sections to ensure I didn't, the main female was a bit judgemental at times, a completely bogus and harsh argument with her mother, feeling entitled to the details of someone else's life, a faith in and idolization of a celebrity, a continuity issue where Angie thinks Ten is going to trick her but then acts as if the idea of someone doing such a thing is ludicrous to Nev, and then there's the one-sentence mountain out of molehills moment where a political statement is made about the state of America's health care system. Each of these things is a small issue individually, but when compiled they do add up to quite a lot of eye-rolling and sighing while reading this book.

I did decide to keep reading and once I got past the beginning my issues weren't so concentrated.

Obviously I had some issues with Angie. She's a bit too similar to many other female leads I've read before. I did appreciate her drive to follow her dreams, but I didn't feel like she was always smart about her approach. She often acted out of an emotional response rather than thinking things out.

Ten was also a bit of a reactor. He had a hot button topic that he couldn't seem to respond logically about. He and Angie were hot and cold. They would make progress and then have a fight. Over and over.

Probably my favorite part of this entire story revolves around Nev. I was afraid that I wouldn't like her as she felt like such a weak and insecure character (which I struggle with this type of person in real life), but she only needed a little encouragement to find some strength to stand up for herself and make some changes. Her story was the most interesting part outside of the back and forth and Angie and Ten.

I was a little disappointed with Angie's blind adoration of Mona Stone. One of those "never meet your heroes" kinds of things. Yet I guess that's just another difference between myself and the character. I have never felt it wise to idolize any person. We are all human. And humans will inevitably eventually let you down in some form or other. And celebrities are real people who often think and behave much differently than we imagine them to. Which means the version of them that lives in our heads just does not even exist. And that's what we mourn when we realize who we have imagined isn't real.

I read Not Another Love Song quickly, but it wasn't without issues for me. Most of them were very small, but when you add them up, I can't help but knock my rating down to reflect all of the sighing I was doing. Not Another Love Song gets 3 Stars. A little more polish would buff out a few of these kinks. Have you read Not Another Love Song? What did you think? Let me know!

*Review was written months ago when I originally read this book, but I waited to closer to the publication date to post my review.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 07/05/20

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This felt like a long week. It rained almost everyday, but we were still able to get out for walks and to play a bit in between showers except one day. Husband got off work half a day on Wednesday. It's always nice for him to get home early. Thursday the kids and I ran to my mom's to spend the day. Friday, Husband had the whole day off work. He worked on the yard and fence and the kids and I did a little swimming in the pool. I'm so proud of their progress. My 2 year old son is amazing. He's a natural in the water and is swimming better without any help than his older sister. I'm still terrified that I'm going to feel overconfident in his abilities though so I watch him like a hawk. My 4 year old is tall enough to stand in the shallow end and keep her head well out of the water. She's doing well swimming but just isn't quite the natural that her brother is. I imagine by the end of our swimming season they'll both be seasoned pros. Saturday I did a quick grocery pick up, cleaned house and then we spent the day at Husband's mom's for the 4th. Husband's Dad passed away 5 years ago on the 4th so we always set off some fireworks in his honor. Today we'll be celebrating Holly's birthday with my family here at our house.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Love's Mountain Quest (Hearts of Montana, # 2) by Misty M Beller (4 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Most Anticipated Books of Q3/Q4 2020
Wednesday: June 2020 EOM Wrap Up
Thursday: Review of A Bride of Convenience (The Bride Ships, # 3) by Jody Hedlund (4 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Not Another Love Song by Olivia
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday & June 2020 EOM Wrap Up
Thursday: Upon Further Review of A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, # 1) by Sarah J Maas

Don’t forget to link up for the 2020 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2020 to sing up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

A Court of Frost & Starlight (A Court of Thorns & Roses, # 3.1)

By: Sarah J Maas

Publication: June 2nd 2020 by Bloomsbury (first published May 1st 2018)

272 pages

Genre: Adult, Fantasy

Source: Borrowed from the e-library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate link. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--In this companion tale to the bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series, Feyre, Rhys and their friends are working to rebuild the Night Court and the vastly changed world beyond after the events of A Court of Wings and Ruin. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can't keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated – scars that will have a far-reaching impact on the future of their court.

Sarah J. Maas is a global #1 bestselling author. Her books have sold more than nine million copies and been translated into 37 languages. Discover the sweeping romantic fantasy for yourself.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

A Bride of Convenience - Review

A Bride of Convenience (The Bride Ships, # 3)

By: Jody Hedlund

Publication: June 30th 2020 by Bethany House Publishers

384 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Upon discovering an abandoned baby, Pastor Abe Merivale joins efforts with Zoe Hart, one of the newly arrived bride-ship women, to care for the infant. With mounting pressure to find the baby a home, Abe offers his hand as Zoe's groom. But after a hasty wedding, they soon realize their marriage of convenience is not so convenient after all.

A Bride of Convenience is the third book in Jody Hedlund's Bride Ships series. The first book A Reluctant Bride was just okay for me, but The Runaway Bride was much more enjoyable for me. The characters were easier to connect to. I particularly loved Pete. And I appreciated that even though they kept things clean, Arabella and Pete were passionate about each other. So I wasn't sure which direction A Bride of Convenience would go. In the end, I devoured it.

Pastor Abe was present in the previous book, but he was so much more complex than I would have expected from the glimpse of him we initially had. He is from a good family in England and volunteered to be a missionary working for free with the mining communities. However, he and the Bishop in Victoria do not see eye to eye. Abe left England with an understanding of future engagement and marriage with a lifelong family friend. Yet he's shocked to learn that Lizzy is to marry someone else.

Zoe escaped England's Cotton Mills and her abusive father and addict sister. She's hunting for her twin brother who fled England before her. Zoe is grieving still when she arrives in Victoria the death of her 6-week-old niece when her closest friend on the bride ship dies as well. Zoe has a heart for orphans and when she witnesses a widower giving up his 4-month-old daughter she knows she has to step in and take care of the baby. But a single woman can't take on a baby alone in this world. Especially not while searching for her brother.

Pastor Abe, in a shock, agrees to marry Zoe so she can keep Violet and look for her brother. But he wakes up the next day wondering what he was thinking and initially wants to have it annulled. But he decides to honor his vow before God. Pete advises him to woo his wife. Pastor Abe doesn't quite know how to do that. The two get to know each other better over time and outside conflict. I enjoyed the journey.

Favorite quotes:

-“Sometimes we want to know the whole plan and how it will all work out before we agree to start,” Mrs. Moresby continued. “But all we can do is take one step at a time, one day at a time, as He leads us along.”

-“Remember,” Mrs. Moresby said as she wrapped the scarf around her neck, “you don’t have to be perfect or have your situation all figured out to be used by the good Lord. If you have a willing heart, that’s all He needs.”

-He’d decided the fight for his way wasn’t worth the additional tension and had resigned himself to the fact that God could use him anywhere and in any church building.

A Bride of Convenience was more than I was expecting. I loved Zoe's heart for orphans. I found her experience to be so typical of a woman in wanting her husband to desire her yet being both thankful and disappointed that if he did he was choosing not to act on it. I can't wait to see what happens in the next and potentially last book in the Bride Ships series. A Bride of Convenience gets 4 Stars. Have you read A Bride of Convenience? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

June 2020 EOM Wrap Up


I have read 9 books (not including children's books). *These qualify for the 2020 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
Finding Perfect (Hopeless, # 2.6) by Colleen Hoover
Love's Mountain Quest (Hearts of Montana, # 2) by Misty M Beller
A Bride of Convenience (The Bride Ships, # 3) by Jody Hedlund
A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, # 1) by Sarah J Maas (re-read)
A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, # 2) by Sarah J Maas (re-read)
The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court, # 1) by Richelle Mead
A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, # 3) by Sarah J Maas (re-read)
Girl Gone Viral (Modern Love, # 2) by Alisha Rai
Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey by Abigail Wilson

I have reviewed 8 books. *These qualify for the 2020 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
At Love's Command (Hanger's Horsemen, # 1) by Karen Witemeyer
The Marriage Game by Sara Desai
A Single Spark by Judith McCoy Miller
Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon
A Gilded Lady (Hope & Glory, # 2) by Elizabeth Camden
All the Things We Never Knew by Liara Tamani
Lakeshire Park by Megan Walker
Love's Mountain Quest (Hearts of Montana, # 2) by Misty M Beller

Other Posts:
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 06/07/20
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 06/14/20
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 06/21/20
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 06/28/20
Top Ten Summer 2020 TBR List
Can't Wait for The Gentleman Spy (Serendipity & Secrets, # 2) by Erica Vetsch
Can't Wait for Midnight Sun (Twilight, # 5) by Stephenie Meyer
Can't Wait for It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood
Can't Wait for Beholden (The Fairest Maidens, # 1) by Jody Hedlund
2020 Series Enders Reading Challenge - June Wrap Up
May 2020 EOM Wrap Up

Goals:
I am 33 days ahead on of schedule my Bible-in-a-year plan.
I've read 52 out of 52 books (including children's books).
I've read 5 out of 5-10 series enders.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Top Ten Most Anticipated Books of Q3/Q4 2020

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week's topic is Top Ten Most Anticipated Books of Q3/Q4 2020.
 
  1. Fair as a Star by Mimi Matthews
  2. Midnight Sun (Twilight, # 5) by Stephenie Meyer
  3. Vying for the Viscount (Hearts on the Heath, # 1) by Kristi Ann Hunter
  4. A Portrait of Loyalty (Codebreakers, # 3) by Roseanna M White
  5. Beholden (The Fairest Maidens, # 1) by Jody Hedlund
  6. Gentleman Jim by Mimi Matthews
  7. Game Changer (The Field Party, # 6) by Abbi Glines
  8. Layla by Colleen Hoover
  9. Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover
  10. Almost a Bride (The Bride Ships, # 4) by Jody Hedlund

Which books are on your Summer 2020 to-be-read list? Let me know!

Monday, June 29, 2020

Love's Mountain Quest - Review

Love's Mountain Quest (Hearts of Montana, # 2)

By: Misty M Beller

Expected Publication: June 30th 2020 by Bethany House Publishers

336 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Young widow Joanna Watson is struggling to make a new home for her five-year-old son, Samuel, in the little mountain town of Settler's Fort. When she returns home from work to find Samuel and the woman watching him missing, with no lawman in town, she enlists a man she prays has enough experience in this rugged country to help.

Isaac Bowen wants nothing more than a quiet, invisible life in these mountains, far away from the bad decisions of his past. But he has a strong suspicion of who's behind the kidnapping, and if he's right, he knows all too well the evil they're chasing.

As they press on against the elements, Joanna fights to hold on to hope, while Isaac knows a reckoning is coming. They find encouragement in the tentative trust that grows between them, but whether it can withstand the danger and coming confrontation is far from certain in this wild, unpredictable land.

I was excited to explore Joanna's story in this book. I felt for her in the previous book, Hope's Highest Mountain. Her husband died leaving her a widow and single mother of a very enthusiastic little boy. The journey to Settler's Fort was difficult and Samuel was lost at one point. So to find out that Samuel was once again involved in a tragic event was a little heartbreaking for me. In this case, he and Joanna's friend, Laura, witnessed a murderer and were kidnapped. Joanna enlisted Isaac Bowen's help in rescuing Laura and Samuel from the kidnappers.

Isaac has had his eye on Joanna since he helped rescue Samuel in the first book. Yet he feels unworthy of her due to his past. He spent a year with the very criminals who kidnapped her son before waking up and changing his life. Isaac sees this as an opportunity to redeem himself once and for all and put an end to the gang that he started.

I loved the build of the relationship between these two characters. They both had regard for the other before this journey. I loved how they slowly exposed themselves to the other through this journey. Every obstacle along the way revealed the character of each. My first reaction to Isaac breaking his leg on the journey was that Misty M Beller was throwing in unnecessary obstacles, but what she really did was provide Isaac (and myself) an opportunity to rely on God instead of Isaac himself. It was something his character needed to grow in and revealed my own faults with assuming Isaac would be the means to rescuing Samuel and Laura rather than having faith that God would provide another way.

Usually I get a little frustrated with additional narrators beyond the two main characters. In this case, Laura provided a perspective we wouldn't be able to witness without her POV. But Laura also provided intrigue for me concerning the next book in the series. I'm assuming she'll be the leading female character. I have some suspicions about who the main male character might be but I'll have to wait to find out. Either way, I'm excited to find out more.

Favorite quote:

-I’m sorry, Father. Sorry for thinking I’m the only one to keep Joanna safe. The only one capable of bringing back her son and Miss Hannon. In truth, there’s no way I can do any of it without you. Go before us, Lord. Make our way straight. Fight the battle before us.

Love's Mountain Quest was so enjoyable. I loved seeing the authentic build of feelings and relationship between Isaac and Joanna. I loved the spiritual battles each had to overcome. I ached for the trauma that Samuel and Laura endured. But I can't wait to see Laura's story. Love's Mountain Quest gets 4 Stars. Have you read Love's Mountain Quest? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 06/28/20

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Sunday was my birthday. We celebrated with family over to eat and enjoy the pool. We also celebrated my brother's birthday and Father's Day. The rest of the week was rainy almost every day. We did get to walk most days because the rain didn't come through until noon or after. I began to feel like I was trapped in a cave by the end of the week. I think quarantine is really starting to catch up to me. Thankfully it's taken longer to affect me than some. My kids are dying to go to our public park. I think technically it's back open, but I'm so apprehensive. This just really felt like a long week. And I think I'm suffering from yet ANOTHER book hangover.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of All the Things We Never Knew by Liara Tamani (3.5 Stars)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Beholden (The Fairest Maiden, # 1) by Jody Hedlund
Thursday: 2020 Series Enders Reading Challenge - June Wrap Up
Friday: Review of Lakeshire Park by Megan Walker (4.5 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Love's Mountain Quest (Hearts of Montana, # 2) by Misty M Beller
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday & June 2020 EOM Wrap Up
Thursday: Review of A Bride of Convenience (The Bride Ships, # 3) by Jody Hedlund

Don’t forget to link up for the 2020 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2020 to sing up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Wild at Heart (Wild, # 2)

By: KA Tucker

Publication: March 3rd 2020 by K.A. Tucker

400 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library (birthday present)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate link. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From the internationally best-selling author of The Simple Wild comes the continuation of a woman’s journey to Alaska and a life she never imagined for herself.

Calla Fletcher returns to Toronto a different person, struggling to find direction and still very much in love with the rugged bush pilot she left behind. When Jonah arrives on her doorstep with a proposition she can’t dismiss, she takes the leap and rushes back to Alaska to begin their exciting future together.

But Calla soon learns that even the best intentions can lead to broken promises, and that compromise comes with a hefty price—a log cabin in interior rural Alaska that feels as isolating as the western tundra.

With Jonah gone more than he’s home, one neighbor who insists on transforming her into a true Alaskan, and another who seems more likely to shoot her than come to her aid, Calla grapples with forging her own path. In a world with roaming wildlife that has her constantly watching over her shoulder and harsh conditions that stretch far beyond the cold, dark, winter months, just stepping outside her front door can be daunting.

This is not the future Calla had in mind, leaving her to fear that perhaps she is doomed to follow in her mother’s fleeing footsteps after all.

Moment of Truth (Love Life and the List, # 3)

By: Kasie West

Publication: March 3rd 2020 by HarperTeen

352 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library (birthday present)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--At sixteen, Hadley Moore knows exactly who she is—a swimmer who will earn a scholarship to college. Totally worth all the hard work, even if her aching shoulders don’t agree.

So when a guy dressed as Hollywood’s latest action hero, Heath Hall, crashes her swim meet, she isn’t amused. Instead, she’s determined to make sure he doesn’t bother her again. Only she’s not sure exactly who he is.

The swim meet isn’t the first event the imposter has interrupted, but a little digging turns up a surprising number of people who could be Heath Hall, including Hadley's ex-boyfriend and her best friend’s crush. She soon finds herself getting caught up in the mysterious world of the fake Heath Hall.

As Hadley gets closer to uncovering the masked boy’s identity, she also discovers some uncomfortable truths about herself—like she might resent the long shadow her late brother has cast over her family, that she isn’t as happy as she pretends to be with her life choices…and that she's falling for the last guy she ever thought she would like.

Secrets and Suitors

By: Joanna Barker

Publication: October 1st 2019 by Covenant Communications, Inc.

256 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

Source: Personal Kindle Library (birthday present)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Reluctantly returning to London for yet another Season, shy Nora Hamilton has nearly given up hope that she will ever find the love match she longs for. After all, the one man she does harbor feelings for—her closest friend, James—has made it perfectly clear he views her as just that: a friend. With James traveling half a world away and Nora's father pressuring her to marry for wealth and status, Nora is forced to set aside her desire for love and accept the future she has always dreaded. Until James returns unexpectedly and Nora's feelings once again rush unbearably close to the surface. Determined to save what is left of their friendship, Nora ignores her own heart and allows herself to be swept up in the London Season, soon finding herself the object of two very different gentlemen's affections. Though she should be thrilled, both men come with a glaring fault: neither is the one man who holds her heart.

But there is much more at stake than heartbreak. When long-kept secrets are laid bare, Nora must face the fears that have plagued her all her life and decide what true love is worth.

Miss Adeline's Match

By: Joanna Barker

Publication: April 1st 2019 by Covenant Communications

263 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

Source: Personal Kindle Library (birthday present)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Miss Adeline Hayes is the perfect lady's companion: pleasant, conversational, and unceasingly proper. But when her closest friend, Charity Edgeworth, breaks off her arranged marriage without explanation, even Adeline's superior skills are put to the test. Charity's father banishes the two young women to the country, sending Adeline with a charge to find Charity a husband or suffer dire consequences.

As Adeline takes on the role of reluctant matchmaker, she discovers more than one obstacle in her path. Not only does Charity prefer escaping in books to socializing, but Adeline soon finds her own attentions distracted by the standoffish—and irritatingly handsome—Mr. Evan Whitfield. Amidst an eventful foxhunt and the unexpected arrival of Charity's former betrothed, Adeline simply doesn't have time for a battle of wits with Evan. But the two are continually drawn together until Adeline begins to question her tightly guarded convictions about love and marriage.

However, when secrets are revealed and truths made known, Adeline must face her most fearsome obstacle yet: herself.

The Other Side of the Sky (The Other Side of the Sky, # 1)

By: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Expected Publication: September 8th 2020 by HarperTeen

432 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--"Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner prove they are two living goddesses of writing, creating two compelling worlds with high stakes and gripping emotions." —Sarah Rees Brennan, New York Times bestselling author of the Demon's Lexicon trilogy and the Lynburn Legacy series

New York Times bestselling author duo Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner have crafted a gripping tale of magic and logic, fate and choice, and a deadly love. Perfect for fans of Laini Taylor and Brandon Sanderson.

Prince North’s home is in the sky, in a gleaming city held aloft by intricate engines, powered by technology. Nimh is the living goddess of her people on the Surface, responsible for providing answers, direction—hope.

North’s and Nimh’s lives are entwined—though their hearts can never be. Linked by a terrifying prophecy and caught between duty and fate, they must choose between saving their people or succumbing to the bond that is forbidden between them.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Friday, June 26, 2020

Lakeshire Park - Review

Lakeshire Park

By: Megan Walker

Publication: April 7th 2020 by Shadow Mountain

320 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Regency

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Brighton, England 1820

Amelia Moore wants only one thing—to secure the future happiness of her younger sister, Clara. With their stepfather’s looming death, the two sisters will soon be on their own—without family, a home, or a penny to their names. When an invitation arrives to join a house party at Lakeshire Park, Amelia grasps at the chance. If she can encourage a match between Clara and their host, Sir Ronald, then at least her sister will be taken care of.

Little does she know that another guest, the arrogant and overconfident Mr. Peter Wood, is after the same goal for his own sister. Amelia and Peter begin a rivalry that Amelia has no choice but to win. But competing against Peter—and eventually playing by his rules—makes Amelia vulnerable to losing the only thing she has left to claim: her heart.

Sigh! Well, that was just the perfect read for me! I am absolutely blissed out right now. Lakeshire Park was everything I could ask for. I will certainly be on the lookout for more books by Megan Walker.

Here's the background that you need to know: Amelia and Clara are sisters. Their mother was in love as a young girl, but her beloved was sent away and was supposed to return the night of a specific ball. When he didn't show up she connected with a stranger for a dance and then stole away for a private moment which resulted in a kiss witnessed by others and they were forced into marriage. The man was Amelia and Clara's father. He died of pneumonia suddenly and their mother reconnected with her original young love who became their stepfather. On her deathbed, their mother extracted a promise from their stepfather that he would take care of them and secure their futures. He then made the smallest attempts possible by giving them one season which proved unsuccessful. After contracting a lung illness which was leading to his inevitable death, Lord Gray allowed the girls to attend a house party in one last attempt to secure husbands because, upon his death, the girls receive nothing.

Amelia is resigned to being alone and only hopes to secure a future for Clara who caught the eye of Sir Ronald during their brief time in London for their Season. The only problem is, Georgina Wood also has her sights set on Sir Ronald. And Georgina's brother, Peter, is determined to help her in any way he can. Peter and Amelia quickly realize that they each are trying to advance their own sister. They strike a deal to butt out, but they also must spend each afternoon together to give Clara and Georgina a chance to win Sir Ronald's attention on their own.

Peter's regard for Amelia was quickly evident to me. She, of course, took much longer to realize it. And I was glad that Amelia at least discerned her own feelings before learning of Peter's. But there are still more obstacles for them to face. Georgina lets it slip that Peter needs a dowry from his marriage match partner. Amelia not only doesn't have a dowry, but she also has zero funds and no home or relations beyond Clara. Also, since Clara and Georgina are in competition for Sir Ronald, Clara can't stand the idea of seeing Georgina again after this house party. If Sir Ronald offers for Georgina, Clara will be miserable watching them together. If Sir Ronald offers for Clara the opposite will be true and it will be difficult for Georgina to witness. Ultimately, the main hurdle was easy for me to spot. Yet I wasn't sure how things would turn out.

Favorite quotes:

-“Love is not a risk, Amelia. Love is an inevitable outcome of living. And sometimes it does not make any practical sense at all. But that does not mean we should fear it.”

-“What is the benefit of keeping a secret from someone you care about?” I had a feeling his question was more pointed than innocent. “For fear of losing that person’s good opinion. Or being seen differently in their eyes.”“That is exactly the thing I appreciate most about love, Miss Moore. Its opinion is not easily swayed by status or money or flaws. Unless it is betrayed, it is most forgiving. And it holds steadfast in any weather.”

Ultimately I was near giddy the entire time I was reading Lakeshire Park. I loved the characters, their backstories. I loved the banter between Amelia and Peter. I literally can't think of a thing I would change. Lakeshire Park gets 4.5 Stars. Have you read Lakeshire Park? What did you think? Let me know!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

2020 Series Enders Reading Challenge - June Wrap Up

Time for our Monthly Wrap Up for the 2020 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Sandy finished Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, # 2) by Mary E Pearson.

Which series enders did you finish? Link the up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the June giveaway runs from June 25th - July 25th. On July 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter