Sunday, May 22, 2022

Sunday Post - 05/22/22

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.

Monday night Little Boy had closing ceremony. He was so happy to have a trophy. Husband switched to 4 10-hour work days this past week, and Tuesday was his off day. He surprised me with taking me and the boys furniture shopping. We didn't see anything we wanted to buy exactly, but we did get some ideas. Wednesday, Husband took the kids to school and ended up having a flat tire. Big surprise but there was a large nail in it. We weren't surprised at all because our lazy contractors haphazardly dropped nails, screws, and whatever all over the yard and driveway. Even though we've gone over much of the property with a large magnet, we are still constantly finding nails, screws, glass, concrete, brick pieces, random construction trash all over our yard. Thursday, it was me and the boys during the day. We had a good day for the most part. And then Friday was both big kids' last day of school. I got bit by a dog in our neighborhood on our walk. I was walking in the middle of the street and nowhere close to his/her property. The little terror came running straigt for me and snagged my ankle before I knew it. Honestly, I figured it was going to happen because this same dog has nipped me on the foot before several years ago. We live in the country so we have no burn laws and burned some boxes Friday afternoon. The fire was out, but Little Boy picked up something that was still hot and burned his thumb and pointer finger. His pointer finger does have a blister on it but his thumb looks much better than I thought at first. His crying woke Baby Boy up, and I had a mom fail and snapped at Little Girl during the whole process. It was a rough end to the day. Saturday, Little Girl had closing ceremony. After that we ran to a graduation party for a guy who goes to church with us. Then we came home and worked on the pool and yard. The pool has two years of neglect basically because it sat from fall of 2020 until April 2022 when we finally started giving it some attention again. But I feel like I'm finally seeing some progree on it, and we sure know how to turn a green pool back to clear blue.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of An Unfamiliar Duke (Georgian Gentlemen, # 4) by Sian Ann Bessey (4 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of This Woven Kingdom (This Woven Kingdom, # 1) by Tahereh Mafi
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to link up for the 2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2022 to sign 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!

NEW BOOKS:

The Decoy Girlfriend

By: Lillie Vale

Publication: September 6th 2022 by G.P. Putnam's Sons

336 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary

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--A laugh-out-loud funny and whip-smart romantic comedy from the author of The Shaadi Set-Up, about a young woman who takes the place of her celebrity doppelgänger, and must fake-date the actress’s sexy costar boyfriend.

Writer Freya Lal has a huge secret: she’s a dead ringer for It-girl actress Mandi Roy. Her second novel is due in a month, but inspiration is nowhere to be found. Desperate to shake off her writer’s block, Freya leans into her look-alike abilities and indulges in some mistaken identity for simple perks, like scoring a free mimosa or getting into a trendy nightclub.

Actor Taft Bamber appears to have it all: gorgeous, talented, and Mandi’s love interest both on- and off-screen. But what nobody knows is that their relationship is a PR stunt, and after years of playing make-believe, he’s yearning for something real.

When Freya’s latest impersonation of Mandi goes viral thanks to Taft’s accidental interference, rumors of a breakup threaten Hollywood’s golden couple. To make amends, Freya is forced to give Mandi a little time off: she’ll pretend to be the actress for a month, move in with Taft, and squash the rumors by acting completely in love. But as Freya and Taft play house, it becomes impossible to ignore that their instant chemistry isn’t just for the cameras. While faking it, they might have just found the real thing.

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!

Monday, May 16, 2022

An Unfamiliar Duke - Review

An Unfamiliar Duke (Georgian Gentlemen, # 4)

By: Sian Ann Bessey

Publication: May 16th 2022 by Covenant Communications

290 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical 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--At eleven years of age, Rosalind Ainsworth was convinced that Sebastian Lumley, the future Duke of Kelbrook, was the most odious young man she’d ever met. And ten years later, after having had no contact with the nobleman in the intervening time, her opinion of him has not changed. Unfortunately, neither has the marriage contract their fathers signed soon after her birth.

As Rosalind’s twenty-first birthday and the appointed wedding day approaches, Sebastian makes a rare appearance in London. His first meeting with Rosalind since childhood goes less than perfectly, but Sebastian has a compelling reason for honoring their marriage contract—a reason outlined in a document kept behind his workshop’s locked door.

After a quick wedding, the new couple relocates to Finley Park, where their acquaintanceship slowly blossoms into affection. But when Sebastian’s secretive work threatens their fledgling relationship and Rosalind’s life is placed in jeopardy, Sebastian finds himself forced to choose between the man he has pledged to help and the woman he has come to love.

I can't think of a single book where I've disliked the story that focused on a marriage of convenience where the couple ultimately fell in love. I mean I guess I'm just a sucker for this trope. An Unfamiliar Duke was no different. 

Rosalind and Sebastian have been betrothed since infancy. Their fathers were friends and hoped to spare their children the difficulties of finding a good match. Sebastian and Rosalind seemed to have only really met once in their past when they were children. Sebastian was fifteen I believe, and Rosalind was eleven. They didn't have the best initial reaction to the other. Rosalind talked a lot for a boy that was used to being mostly alone. And Sebastian cut her out in a way that made Rosalind feel unwanted. The two grow up knowing from this point that they're betrothed, but both are hoping to find a loophole to escape the contract. 

Unfortunately, the contract their fathers created is pretty airtight legally speaking. When the upcoming marriage can no longer be ignored, the two meet, and Sebastian at least asks Rosalind what she wants to do.  Luckily, these two ended up having some common areas of interest that laid the work for a friendship to form. From there things built rather slowly. Through shared experiences and teamwork, these two begin to develop a relationship that is not quickly broken. 

The relationship drove the story for me in An Unfamiliar Duke which is always my preference. Although there was a mystery or an added layer to the story that created some suspense and action mostly at the end. None of that was unpredictable. Yet I didn't mind because, again, it wasn't the driving force of the story. 

Favorite quotes:

-"You possess all the qualities necessary to be a marvelous wife."

-And if she truly wished to keep her list balanced, she must include the good no matter her current feelings.

-"...do not wish to compete with anything higher than this level of passable."

An Unfamiliar Duke was just what I was hoping it would be. Rosalind and Sebastian essentially have a marriage that they didn't pick yet can't get out of. They find a way to build a friendship that develops into more. All the while there are forces trying to work against them. I enjoyed every part of this book. An Unfamiliar Duke gets 4 Stars. Have you read An Unfamiliar Duke? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Sunday Post - 05/15/22

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.

Monday night Little Boy ended up having a makeup game which was his last of the season. Little Girl also had a game. Tuesday, I took Little Boy to get his haircut, and then we met some friends at a spash pad in town. We'd never been before so both of my little guys took nearly two hours to warm up to going out and playing in the water. Thankfully, I'd packed us a picnic lunch so we had something to do in the meantime. After Little Girl got home from school I rushed her to a hair cut appointment. And then we rushed back home and to her school for her kindergarden program. I am so proud of her, and I cannot believe kindergarden is ending already. We have one week of school left. Wednesday I ran some errands before picking Little Boy up from school and then had another one after getting Little Girl from school. Thursday my mom came to spend the day with us. And then Friday, Little Girl had her last game of the season. They finally won. It ended up being a rough afternoon and night though. You know how one person in the family will be in a bad mood and it just radiates out to everyone. And pretty soon there's a storm cloud hanging over everyone? Saturday I woke up with an upset stomach. So Baby Boy and I hung at the house while Husband took the two big kids to a party at the lake that we'd been invited to. They had a blast.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Rescuing Lord Inglewood (Inglewood, # 1) by Sally Britton (4 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of An Unfamiliar Duke (Georgian Gentlemen, # 4) by Sian Ann Bessey
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to link up for the 2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2022 to sign 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!

NEW BOOKS:

Sunkissed

By: Kasie West

Publication: May 4th 2021 by Delacorte Press

320 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library (on sale for $1.99)

( 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--A lighthearted and swoony contemporary YA romance by fan-favorite author Kasie West about a girl who finds that a summer spent at a family resort isn’t as bad as she imagined…and that falling in love is filled with heartache, laughter, and surprises!

After being betrayed by her best friend, Avery is hoping for a picture-perfect summer. Too bad her parents have dragged her and her sister to a remote family camp for the entire summer. And that’s not even the worst part. Avery also has to deal with no internet, a cute but off-limits staff member, and an always-in-her-face sister.

But what starts as a disaster turns into a whirlwind summer romance as Avery embarks on an unexpected journey to figure out what she truly wants and who she wants to be.

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!

Monday, May 9, 2022

Rescuing Lord Inglewood - Review

Rescuing Lord Inglewood (Inglewood, # 1)

By: Sally Britton

Publication: May 21st 2019 by Blue Water Books

232 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, Regency

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( 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--All he wants is someone he can trust. All she wants is to belong. But when compromising circumstances force them together, do they have a chance at finding love? Silas Riley, Earl of Inglewood, is known among his peers in Parliament as the man made of stone. As a wealthy peer, there are few he trusts with his friendship. He guards his heart and his honor with vigilance, and when an accident nearly takes his life, he’s faced with a situation which threatens his standing in society.

Growing up in the shadow of her older brother, Esther Fox’s acceptance in his circle has been indifferent at best. So when she ends up in a compromising situation as she saves the life of her brother’s dearest friend, the Earl of Inglewood, she is forced to marry him to save her own reputation. Once again, she finds herself accepted only because of the situation, and not because she is truly wanted.

Neither are prepared for a loss which further complicates their new relationship. With such a difficult beginning, can they ever hope to understand one another, let alone find love?

Rescuing Lord Inglewood starts off exactly there...where Esther rescues Silas by pushing him out of the way of a falling statue. The gossip that flies around concerning this incident was a stretch for me. In some ways, I could see it happening. And in other ways, it was beyond comprehension that this particular situation could be turned into something scandalous. Regardless, Sally Britton did choose to include a second situation that truly forced the marriage.

Esther is used to being left behind. Her brother was five years older than her, and even though she constantly followed him around, he was also constantly telling her she couldn't come and play with him and his friends because she was either too small or too young. Her mother dies after remarrying. Esther's brother eventually enlists in the military and goes off to war leaving her to live with her stepbrother and his wife. More than anything, Esther feels like she's constantly being left behind by those she cares about while they go off to their own whims and adventures and left out of the planning and say over her own life. And her marriage to save her reputation isn't much different.

Silas is best friends with Esther's brother, Isaac. And he was one of the friends always running off and leaving Esther behind. Silas is used to taking charge. His parents died when he was young leaving him an earl. His grandmother came to take care of him, but he was often on his own and had to learn to take control. He has spent a lot of time keeping others away and guarding himself and his emotions.

Silas wouldn't exactly have chosen the way his and Esther's marriage happened, but he was the first one to be open to the idea. Esther and Silas had a slow build to their relationship starting with trust and moving brick by brick into creating something special. I liked how they had complicated issues to work through and not just being unsure about the other's feelings.

The side characters made for a fun extended family of sorts, and I can't wait to carry on the series and read about each one of them.

Favorite quotes:

-"For the moment," she said, her fingertips brushing the polished surface of the desk, "my sorrow is at rest. That is the way with mourning. It is like a thunderstorm, drenching you one moment and the next turning into a misty fog."

-"What matters is living without regrets, and loving without fear. I wish to make every moment we have together count."

Rescuing Lord Inglewood was my first book by Sally Britton. And now I want to read them all. I enjoyed the complexity of the story and the character's backgrounds and conflicts. I loved the slow-building romance between Esther and Silas. I even enjoyed the existing friendships as well as the newly formed ones. I can't wait to continue the series. Rescuing Lord Inglewood gets 4 Stars. Have you read Rescuing Lord Inglewood? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Sunday Post - 05/08/22

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.

Another busy week. Honestly the beginning of this past week feels months away. Monday night the kids had ballgames. Little Girl had a double header in another city. Grandma & Grandpa and Grammy came to Little Boy's game. My dad got all of the new window casings done between Monday and Tuesday. He left our house Tuesday not feeling well and went to the doctor Wednesday with a sinus infection. I finally started feeling better towards the end of the week. And I think we're pretty much all healthy right now. Tuesday, I took the boys to Walmart for a few things we wouldn't make it until Saturday without. And to get them out of my dad's way. Friday I dropped the kids off at school and ran to UPS to drop off a package. Then I dropped off some donations and got Chickfila for lunch after getting Little Boy from school. Both kids had games Friday night. Little Girl's team hasn't won a single game this season but we scored several runs in a row after a stretch of games with zero points. The league is offering a free softball camp this summer that we'll probably attend. There was an ice cream truck at the field Friday night so we grabbed treats for the way home. Saturday I got a good bit of painting done on various things. And then I started vacuuming the pool. It has over a year's worth of neglect since we were away all year last year and it just hasn't been our priority. But we do want it clean and functional for this summer so I got started on that. Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there. Momming is such a hard yet rewarding job. Take in your day Mamas! Also, today happens to my anniversary. Husband and I have been married 13 years. The last several have been challenging, but I wouldn't trade my partner for any other.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: April 2022 EOM Wrap Up
Thursday: Review of Games in a Ballroom by Jentry Flint (4 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Rescuing Lord Inglewood (Inglewood, # 1) by Sally Britton
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to link up for the 2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2022 to sign 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!

NEW BOOKS:

The Dreaming Beauty

By: Anneka R Walker

Expected Publication: July 11th 2022 by Covenant Communications

256 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

( 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--Once upon a dream, two cursed people fell in love...

Tansy White doesn't want to end up alone like her three aunts who raised her, but when she is betrayed by her would-be betrothed, she fears she might never change her fate. At her aunts' suggestion, she seizes the chance to visit Rose Cottage, the country home of her late mother. For years, dreams of the cottage have haunted Tansy, and she is convinced it holds the answer to her hidden past. But after getting caught in a terrible storm, she meets a man who is just as determined as she is to learn all her secrets.

Marcus Taylor, brother to the Duke of Westmorland, is also troubled by vivid dreams. On a sleepless night, as a tempest rages outside his brother's estate, he makes a discovery far more mysterious than any dream: a young woman, cold as ice, lies unconscious in the library, and he is sure she is the key to solving his problems. When she makes, what begins as a shared quest for information turns into an unexpected friendship. As they piece together the fragments of their past, they discover a tangled web of lies, and their feelings for each other become just as entwined. But is their love as strong as their dreams. . . or their fate?

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, May 5, 2022

Games in a Ballroom - Review

Games in a Ballroom

By: Jentry Flint

Publication: May 3rd 2022 by Shadow Mountain

272 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical 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--London, 1815

Olivia Wilde has resigned herself to never finding a love match. Her father has insisted she marry a man with a title, if only to increase his own standing and reputation in society. But the men her father deems acceptable are, at best, boring and uninspiring, and at worse, are as brutish as her father, and are only looking to increase their own diminishing coffers. With her future looking dismal, Olivia decides to enjoy the last few months of freedom with her childhood friends, including the handsome Emerson Latham. His devilish smile and flirtatious teasing stirs up feelings she knows she cannot entertain.

Emerson is struggling to rise to his responsibilities after the death of his father. Though he might still be learning what he needs to do as the head of his household, one thing he knows for sure is that he wants Olivia Wilde to be his wife. Having grown up as childhood friends with Olivia, Emerson long ago had fallen in love with her quick wit, beauty, and passionate heart. However, without a title, he will never be permitted to court Olivia openly. But he has a plan that may give him a chance to court her in secret.

As the season kicks off, Emerson proposes a bit of fun with a playful game of tag. Olivia’s friends are delighted by the idea, though Olivia is more wary. After all, the game must be played in secret and they must be discreet when tagging each other at dinners and balls and the theater. As the romance builds between Olivia and Emerson, so does the risk of being discovered. Not only are their reputations at stake, so is their safety if they are caught by Olivia’s father, who has an explosive, and at times violent, temper.

Can their love find a happily ever after before the game ends?

Games in a Ballroom has such a unique concept. Playing a secret game of tag at various balls definitely sounds like a new way to flirt with the object of one's affection. Jentry Flint did a good job showing that games are important to this group of characters. Emerson, Arabella, and Olivia seem to have grown up constantly playing games with each other that exceeded the typical child. When Emerson went off to school, he met two other gentlemen that made up a trio. She showed that even as adults these games were important to each character to maintain a feeling of who they are deep down.

Olivia's father has built his financial empire from scratch. And it seems that all he cares about is advancing. He married Olivia's mom as an advancement. And all he lacks is a title. Now Olivia marrying someone with a title still doesn't actually get him a title, but that's as close to one as he'll get. He truly seems to care nothing about anyone but himself. He's volatile, angry, and abusive. And Olivia and her mother have done everything they can to fly under his radar and not upset him.

Emerson is struggling to find himself now that his father has passed away. He has new responsibilities. Finding a wife for himself, a husband for his sister, and taking care of his widowed mother is just a few of those weighty responsibilities. He doesn't have any problems setting his eyes on who he wants to marry. But he has to convince her that he's not just interested in playing games with her. And he has to convince her that defying her father will be worth it to her.

The side characters were all lively. I would love to read stories about each of them. And I absolutely hope Jentry Flint turns this into a series. I'm intrigued about Arabella and Northcott. But it will be interesting to explore Bradbury as well. He's strictly against marrying, and his vices and games draw him further away from the idea. I hope she explores the idea of writing their stories.

Favorite quotes:

-"The true making of a man is not measured by what he can physically obtain, but by his love for the woman he would give up all else for."

-"Blazes, Emerson, why did you have to go and make it uncomfortable?"

Games in a Ballroom is the first book to hold my interest in about a month. Even though I read it in October 2021 and it doesn't publish until May 2022, I didn't hesitate to pick it up. The description completely pulled me in, and Jentry Flint didn't disappoint with her debut. Games in a Ballroom gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read Games in a Ballroom? What did you think? Let me know!

Monday, May 2, 2022

April 2022 EOM Wrap Up

I read 1 book (not including children's books). *These qualify for the 2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
This Woven Kingdom (This Woven Kingdom, # 1) by Tahereh Mafi

I have reviewed 4 books. *These qualify for the 2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
Always Jane by Jenn Bennett
Enchanting the Heiress (Hearts on the Heath, # 3) by Kristi Ann Hunter
My Sister's Big Fat Indian Wedding by Sajni Patel
Manor for Sale, Baron Included (A Romance of Rank, # 1) by Esther Hatch

Other Posts:
Sunday Post - 04/03/22
Sunday Post - 04/24/22
Can't Wait for Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez
March 2022 EOM Wrap Up
2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge - April Wrap Up

Goals:
I'm ahead on my Bible-in-a-year plan.
I've read 14 out of 52 books (including children's books).
I've read potentially 2 out of 5-10 series enders.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Sunday Post - 05/01/22

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.

I've been getting a lot of painting done at the house during Baby Boy's naps this week. On Tuesday, Little Boy told me his ear was hurting and he couldn't hear well. After having the flu last week, I figured that was the perfect storm for an ear infection. Baby Boy had a wellness check up scheduled for Thursday so I called the doctor to see if I could bring Little Boy in at the same time and they said yes. So Thursday we ran to the doctor. Both boys have ear infections. Baby Boy's was lingering from before so we switched antibiotics. He's in the top 3% for height and is average for weight. I stopped by the pharmacy on the way home to drop off their prescriptions. Then got good behavior treats and gas in my car. When I got home my parents were right behind us. We'd gotten our windows replaced last week so my dad was coming by to get back to work on our house. My mom ended up watching the kids for me so I could go to field day for Little Girl. That's the first event I've been able to go to for her class. I dropped her off at the house and ran back to the pharmacy to pick up the medicine. Friday I ran to get groceries after taking the kids to school, and my dad came back to work on the house. He got the big window in our living room framed out. It looks so good. Saturday, we went to my niece's wedding. And then came home and crashed. I finally got a little reading done without falling asleep. I'm just so tired these days.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: 2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge - April Wrap Up
Thursday: Review of Manor for Sale, Baron Included by Esther Hatch (4.5 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: April EOM Wrap Up
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday
Saturday: Review of Games in a Ballroom by Jentry Flint

Don’t forget to link up for the 2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2022 to sign 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!

NEW BOOKS:

No new books this week.

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, April 28, 2022

Manor for Sale, Baron Included - Review

Manor for Sale, Baron Included (A Romance of Rank, # 1)

By: Esther Hatch

Publication: February 25th 2021

247 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( 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--She has everything Lord Farnsworth wants, including his manor.

Lord Farnsworth would rather rot in debtor’s prison than sell the one place that feels like home to him—his mother’s manor. That is, until he meets the woman who wants to buy it. Sally Duncan is beautiful, intelligent, and as rich as a baron—a rich baron, not a cash-strapped one like Lord Farnsworth. She’s the solution to every one of his financial problems and is bewitching to boot. All he needs to do is sell her his beloved manor and then charm her to the altar, and the manor will be his again. Simple, right?

But nothing is simple when Sally starts tearing apart his ancestral home and renovating it in a way no one would consider tasteful. She is wreaking havoc on everything, but he cannot give up on owning his mother’s estate again, nor can he imagine anyone but Sally as his wife.

And so he sticks with his plan.

What a horrible mistake.

I have really become a fan of Esther Hatch. I didn't remember until going back to re-read some of my reviews from 2021 that A Proper Scoundrel made me laugh. That was one of the best things about Manor for Sale, Baron Included. I mean who sells a house and a Baron comes along with it. What's really happening is that Lord Farnsworth just can't bear to let go of the home where he spent the most time with his mother. But the finances he inherited from his father have him in the red and something has got to go. He hatches a scheme to sell the manor and get the lady who buys it to agree to marry him so that he can once again possess the home.

Bless her! Who wouldn't be upset when buying a home and the former owner just won't leave. Sally has her mind set on one thing. She wants to establish a home where her sister Victoria can flourish, unlike the stuffy townhome they all lived in back in London. Victoria is in a wheelchair, so the home Sally purchased will need some renovations to make it accessible for Victoria. Only the former owner just won't go away. Sally taunts him with the changes she plans to make and the two exchange a series of funny gifts.

Johnathan was intrigued by Sally upon their first meeting. Of course, Sally had something that he wanted--his house--but more than that he caught a glimpse of someone he might share his life with. And he goes about pursuing her and that end with fervor. Sally doesn't even see Johnathan as anything but a nuisance until she witnesses his interactions with her sister. And even then, he's still not consciously on her radar romantically. It takes some winning over for her to see otherwise.

This book was funny, but it was deeper and more complex than I expected. Each character has a developed backstory that lends depth to them. Sally is independent. She was chosen by her grandfather to be his heir, a decision her father didn't understand. She wasn't a boy. She doesn't want to be in a position of having her husband disappointed if she only provides daughters instead of heirs. And she wants to see her sister settled and taken care of. Johnathan grew up in a family where his parents were mostly separated after he was born. And he essentially only saw his mother in the winter of each year. He has inherited the barony but it's bleeding money, and he needs to find a way to lower the rent for his tenant farmers, not raise it.

My favorite quotes mostly revolved around the squirrel (IYKYK), but I'll only include two of those:

-And he still hadn't been offered any tea. He had brought her a perfectly good squirrel; the least she could do was offer him some tea.

-The squirrel had been a mistake. Never bring a young woman a squirrel. Young ladies liked flowers and sweetmeats, not wild game.

Manor for Sale, Baron Included was exactly what I've come to expect from Esther Hatch. Delicious. I loved the well-developed characters--even the secondary characters. I rooted for the relationship. I devoured the pages. I laughed and smiled like a lunatic. And I can't wait for more. Manor for Sale, Baron Included gets 4.5 Stars. Have you read Manor for Sale, Baron Included? What did you think? Let me know!

Monday, April 25, 2022

2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge - April Wrap Up

Time for our Monthly Wrap Up for the 2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Neither Sandy nor Holly has finished any series enders this month.

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 April giveaway runs from April 25th - May 25th. On May 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a grand prize winner.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Sunday Post - 04/24/22

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.

So much has happened this month. We finally moved home Friday the 8th from my parent's house. Husband also scheduled months ago for his friend from Japan to come visit on the same day and spend the weekend with us. It was terrible timing as far as not having a nice cozy place for him to come visit. He ended up sleeping on an air mattress in Husband's office. The kids swarmed him and pulled him into all kinds of games and outdoor play over the weekend. Bless him, he rolled with all of it. He even helped my dad install our barn doors on the following Monday. Unfortunately, my dad also hurt his back that same day. I'm so thankful that he didn't hurt it worse. He's gone to the chiropractor several times over the last two weeks and that has helped a lot. His chiropractor told him that he was very near rupturing a disc. And I'm so thankful it didn't get that far. Needless to say, he's taken a break from working on our house, which is just fine as much of the remaining work is painting and cosmetic. My daughter had an e-Learning day on Good Friday and Husband had off work. So we'd scheduled months ago a trip to visit my sister in Gulf Shores. We went down Friday and spent the night and returned home Saturday in time to eat a quick dinner and go dye Easter eggs at Grammy's house (a tradition). That same Friday Baby Boy woke up with a runny nose. He was clingy all weekend. I started to feel crummy on Sunday as well. But we went to church and had Easter lunch with Grammy. It was raining outside so the kids had to hunt eggs inside. Sunday evening, Little Girl started running a fever. She stayed home from school on Monday and ran fever off and on all day. We kept her home Tuesday even though she wasn't running a fever. Little Boy started up running a fever and barely got out of bed all day. I took Baby Boy and Little Boy to the doctor on Wednesday. Baby Boy has another ear infection (or likely his prior one never fully healed) and an upper respiratory infection. Little Boy tested positive for Flu A. That's probably what Little Girl had too but she was well enough to go to school Wednesday which worked out because she had a field trip to the zoo on Wednesday. I was sad because I was planning to take the boys and meet her at the zoo, but that didn't work out. I haven't gotten to go on any of her school field trips, but I remind myself that if she'd started kindergarden last year then she likely wouldn't have had any field trips at all. Thursday Little Girl came home from school coughing a ton and running a fever again so I think she might have gone back a little too soon. I decided to keep both big kids out of school on Friday. Saturday, Little Girl had a softball tournament. Her team lost both of their games so they got kicked out of the tournament pretty early. But she finally got a base hit in a game after a streak of striking out. And I literally cried because I knew how much she's been wanting to get a good hit.

THE PAST THREE WEEKS:

Monday 4/4: Review of Always Jane by Jenn Bennett (3.5 Stars)
Wednesday 4/5: Can't Wait for Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez
Monday 4/11: Review of Enchanting the Heiress (Hearts on the Heath, # 3) by Kristi Ann Hunter (4 Stars)
Thursday 4/21: Review of My Sister's Big Fat Indian Wedding by Sajni Patel (4 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: 2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge - April Wrap Up
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday
Saturday: April EOM Wrap Up

Don’t forget to link up for the 2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2022 to sign 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!

NEW BOOKS:

Edward and Amelia

By: Karen Thornell

Expected Publication: June 6th 2022 by Covenant Communications

? pages

Genre: Historical Fiction, Adult

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--The last thing Amelia Kennington wants is to participate in the London Season. But the daughter of a duke is not afforded such opinions. She must put forth a subdued facade, but beneath it is a well-hidden fire that surfaces only when provoked—such as when an overly familiar gentleman startles her and she falls into the Serpentine.

Edward Drayton, the Earl of Norwich, has gained a reputation as Society’s most decorated rake. And while there are benefits to such a reputation, it no longer gives him the satisfaction it once did. This Season, he plans to find a wife—except she seems to find him instead. And she is nothing like he expected.

Scandal is inevitable following Edward and Amelia’s ill-conceived meeting, forcing them to marry. Amelia’s disdain for this man she hardly knows is more than clear, and Edward’s pride is wounded before their marriage has even truly begun. Yet, against all odds, the two slowly let their guard down, discovering the truth of who they married. But when Society gossip, a sister’s jealousy, and long-held secrets threaten their budding relationship, the unlikely couple must determine if their unconventional love is strong enough to withstand the opposition they face.

Beyond Boundaries: Learning to Trust Again in Relationships

By: John Townsend

Publication: October 31st 2012 by Zondervan (first published September 25th 2011)

272 pages

Genre: Non-fiction, Self-Help, Christian

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( 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--For when your trust has been broken: discover how to set firm boundaries again, how to connect deeply without being hurt, and how to safely grow your most intimate relationships.

Painful relationships violate our trust, causing us to close our hearts. But to experience the freedom and love God designed us for, we eventually have to take another risk.

In this breakthrough book, bestselling author Dr. John Townsend takes you beyond the pain of the past to discover how to re-enter a life of intimate relationships. Whether you're trying to restore a current relationship or begin a new one, Townsend gives practical tools for establishing trust and finding the intimacy you long for.

Beyond Boundaries will help you:

Reinstate closeness appropriately with someone who broke your trust
Discern when true change has occurred
Reestablish appropriate connections in strained relationships
Create a safe environment that helps you trust
Restore former relationships to a healthy dynamic
Learn to engage and be vulnerable in a new relationship as well
You can move past relational pain to trust again. Beyond Boundaries will show you how.

Plus, dig even deeper into relational healing with the coordinating video study and study guide. Spanish edition also available.

Never Rescue a Rogue (The Merriwell Sisters, # 2)

By: Virginia Heath

Expected Publication: November 8th 2022 by St. Martin's Griffin

368 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Regency, Romance

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--Virginia Heath’s Never Rescue a Rogue, the next book in the Merriwell Sisters series, is filled with whip-smart banter, swoony romance, hilarious mishaps, and twisty reveals that will make you gasp and laugh in delight.

Diana Merriwell and Giles Sinclair only tolerate one another for the sake of their nearest and dearest. Everyone believes that the two of them are meant to be together, but Diana and Giles know that their constant pithy barbs come from a shared disdain—not a hidden attraction. Diana loves the freedom of working at the newspaper too much to give it up for marriage, and Giles is happily married to his bachelor lifestyle. But they do have one thing in common—the secrets they can’t risk escaping.

When Giles’ father, the curmudgeonly Duke of Harpenden unexpectedly turns up his toes, it’s only a matter of time before someone comes crawling out of the woodwork who knows the true circumstances of his only son's birth. As the threat of blackmail becomes real, Giles must uncover the truth of his parentage first, or else he and all those who depend upon him will be ruined—and dogged bloodhound Diana is his best hope at sniffing out the truth. As Giles and Diana dive into his family’s past, the attraction that the two of them insisted wasn’t there proves impossible to ignore. Soon, the future of the Sinclair estate isn’t the only thing on the line…

Crescent City (House of Earth and Blood, # 1)

By: Sarah J Maas

Publication: March 3rd 2020 by Bloomsbury Publishing

648 pages

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy

Source: Borrowed from the e-Library

( 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--Half-Fae, half-human Bryce Quinlan loves her life. By day, she works for an antiquities dealer, selling barely legal magical artifacts, and by night, she parties with her friends, savouring every pleasure Lunathion—otherwise known as Crescent City— has to offer. But it all comes crumbling down when a ruthless murder shakes the very foundations of the city—and Bryce’s world.

Two years later, her job has become a dead end, and she now seeks only blissful oblivion in the city’s most notorious nightclubs. But when the murderer attacks again, Bryce finds herself dragged into the investigation and paired with an infamous Fallen angel whose own brutal past haunts his every step.

Hunt Athalar, personal assassin for the Archangels, wants nothing to do with Bryce Quinlan, despite being ordered to protect her. She stands for everything he once rebelled against and seems more interested in partying than solving the murder, no matter how close to home it might hit. But Hunt soon realizes there’s far more to Bryce than meets the eye—and that he’s going to have to find a way to work with her if they want to solve this case.

As Bryce and Hunt race to untangle the mystery, they have no way of knowing the threads they tug ripple through the underbelly of the city, across warring continents, and down to the darkest levels of Hel, where things that have been sleeping for millennia are beginning to stir...

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, April 21, 2022

My Sister's Big Fat Indian Wedding - Review

My Sister's Big Fat Indian Wedding

By: Sajni Patel

Publication: April 19th 2022 by Amulet Books

304 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

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--A fresh, witty rom-com romp set against the backdrop of a high-profile music competition and a riotous Indian wedding

Zurika Damani is a naturally gifted violinist with a particular love for hip hop beats. But when you’re part of a big Indian family, everyone has expectations, and those certainly don’t include hip hop violin. After being rejected by Juilliard, Zuri's last hope is a contest judged by a panel of top tier college scouts. The only problem? This coveted competition happens to take place during Zuri’s sister’s extravagant wedding week. And Zuri has already been warned, repeatedly, that she is not to miss a single moment.

In the midst of the chaos, Zuri’s mom is in matchmaking mode with the groom’s South African cousin Naveen—who just happens to be a cocky vocalist set on stealing Zuri’s spotlight at the scouting competition. Luckily Zuri has a crew of loud and loyal female cousins cheering her on. Now, all she has to do is to wow the judges for a top spot, evade getting caught by her parents, resist Naveen’s charms, and, oh yeah . . . not mess up her sister’s big fat Indian wedding. What could possibly go wrong?

The description above pretty much covers most of what's going on in this book. There is so much culture packed into this one book. And honestly, most of it went over my head. But I enjoyed it nonetheless. I have become increasingly interested in Indian culture through contemporary books focused on Indian characters. And My Sister's Big Fat Indian Wedding was super immersive into all of the things I find fascinating about the culture.

Zurika is struggling. Because her heart is in music. Music (any form of the arts really) isn't considered a worthy career pursuit by her family or culture. She didn't apply to colleges that she had any hope of getting into, and so Zurika's future feels like it is very much hanging on whether or not she can get a music scholarship from a competition that just so happens to be held the same week as her sister's big wedding. Zurika has been repeatedly warned not to mess with any of the wedding events. Anything going wrong during one of these events is a bad forecast for the couple's future. Yet Zurika's cousins are determined to help her reach her goals. Or at least have the opportunity.

Naveen is a cousin of the groom. He lives in South Africa but also dreams of pursuing music in college and for his career. And he's in competition with Zurika for the scholarship. While the two could have easily been rivals, they quickly strike a deal to help the other. They practice together and begin to develop an interest in the other. Zurika is hesitant because if Naveen can't move to the states, the distance between America and South Africa is vast. And even if he does come to the US for college, that is still months away. Yet Naveen wasn't hesitant at all to know that he wants to get to know Zurika better.

Had I written my review for this book when I finished it instead of waiting until I'd read FOUR other books, I probably could have written a better review than this one. But if you're enjoying Indian culture, then My Sister's Big Fat Indian Wedding should be right up your alley. It was right up mine. I did wish for a little more romance since I always prefer the romance to drive the relationship, but honestly, what occurred felt genuine and not forced.

Favorite quote:

-If I were in my eighties and had spent nearly twenty hours on a flight from India to Atlanta, I'd be the walking dead, too.

Nice, subtle pop culture reference to The Walking Dead which takes place and was filmed in Atlanta and surrounding suburbs.

The other pieces I highlighted were grammatical issues that I'm sure were corrected in the final copy.

My Sister's Big Fat Indian Wedding was an immersive look into Indian/Hindu wedding culture and I loved it. It wasn't without romance, although I wouldn't have minded a little more. These wedding events sound like a total mix between exhausting and a huge party. I enjoyed every minute of My Sister's Big Fan Indian Wedding and Sajni Patel hasn't let me down yet. This book gets 4 Stars. Have you read My Sister's Big Fat Indian Wedding? What did you think? Let me know!

Monday, April 11, 2022

Enchanting the Heiress - Review

Enchanting the Heiress (Hearts on the Heath, # 3)

By: Kristi Ann Hunter

Expected Publication: March 1st 2022 by Bethany House Publishers

352 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--Harriet Hancock likes to make the lives of those around her better whether they like it or not. So, she is surprised when her friend Sophia Whitworth has ideas of her own on how to make Harriet happier--by throwing her together with Sophia's brother, stable hand Jonas Fitzroy. When Harriet discovers his natural way with words, she hatches a plan that would benefit them both.

Holding a grudge against Harriet for her meddling in Sophia's life, it is only because of his sister that Jonas agrees to approach Harriet about a possible artistic project. What he doesn't expect is for her to request his help writing a book. As they work together, they start to see each other in a different light, but when the truth of Harriet's schemes is revealed, she'll find her good intentions for once have gone too far.

For some reason, I wasn't excited about reading Harriet's story. And then, when I found out that she was paired up with Jonas, I was honestly even less excited about this story. Yet I wanted to complete the series, and I have found Kristi Ann Hunter to be a favorite author. I shouldn't have worried. Kristi Ann Hunter proved my worries unfounded. Thankfully, Enchanting the Heiress didn't take too long to hook my interest, and I quickly read the entire book.

I don't know that I've read a story quite like this one before even though parts here and there would be similar to other stories. Harriet has a desire deep within her to make the lives of others around her better. She sees a need and she steps in to fill it. She hears of a desire and she manipulates people like a chessboard to get others in the right place for those desires to be fulfilled. In some ways, this is a selfless and wonderful quality to possess. A desire to make better the lives of others is applaudable. Yet, Jonas takes issue with what he sees as Harriet meddling where she doesn't belong.

Jonas is content. He's happy and thankful to be stable and stationary after traveling with the circus. He isn't ambitious. He doesn't feel like he needs much of anything. He doesn't feel a draw to many people to form relationships, and he doesn't seek to improve his circumstances like many would. Yet Sophia can't stand to see her brother's talents go to waste. Sophia is the one who recruits Harriet to help Jonas, but Harriet decides to go about things in her own way.

I loved their journey. And in some ways Enchanting the Heiress was about how to craft a story. I always appreciate books where insight is given into the writing and publishing process. Of course, Harriet never truly desired to write a book.

Favorite quotes:

-"I had other dreams only because I didn't know about this one."

-"...love doesn't demand what it wants. Instead, it will sacrifice itself to give the other person what they need."

-Life always held room for improvement, didn't it?

-Why was it so difficult for people to understand that helping others was its own reward? It was a purpose in and of itself.

-"I hardly think my independence is affecting the construction of your sentences."

-He'd never been a coward, and he wasn't going to start now.

-"Respect can be restored. A lost opportunity cannot."

Enchanting the Heiress was so much more enjoyable than I feared. I don't really know why I was initially put off by Harriet. I'd probably need to go back and re-read the prior books in the series, but I liked just about every aspect of this story. I also reviewed another book recently where I commented on the number of Scripture used. I'm pretty sure Enchanting the Heiress had more than that book, but for someone who might take issue with this, none of the Scripture felt preachy. All of it felt relevant to the characters. Enchanting the Heiress gets 4 Stars. Have you read Enchanting the Heiress? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Can't Wait for Part of Your World

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.

Part of Your World

By: Abby Jimenez

Expected Publication: April 19th 2022 by Forever

400 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary

( 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--The New York Times bestselling author of Life's Too Short delivers a refreshingly modern fairy tale perfect for fans of Casey McQuiston and Emily Henry.

After a wild bet, gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddle with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come—the complete opposite of sophisticated city-girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable.

While her ultra-wealthy parents want her to carry on the family legacy of world-renowned surgeons, Alexis doesn’t need glory or fame. She’s fine with being a “mere” ER doctor. And every minute she spends with Daniel and the tight-knit town where he lives, she’s discovering just what’s really important. Yet letting their relationship become anything more than a short-term fling would mean turning her back on her family and giving up the opportunity to help thousands of people.

Bringing Daniel into her world is impossible, and yet she can’t just give up the joy she’s found with him either. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis possibly choose between her world and his?

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

Monday, April 4, 2022

Always Jane - Review

Always Jane

By: Jenn Bennett

Publication: March 29th 2022 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

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--A chauffer’s daughter finds herself in the middle of a love triangle with the sons of her boss’s wealthy next-door neighbors in this delightfully romantic story from the author of Alex, Approximately, Jenn Bennett.

Love—and Fen Sarafian—do not care about your summer plans.

Eighteen-year-old chauffeur’s daughter Jane Marlow grew up among the domestic staff of a wealthy LA rock producer, within reach of bands she idolizes, but never a VIP. Every summer, Jane and her father head to the Sierras to work at the producer’s luxury lodge at Lake Condor—a resort town and the site of a major musical festival.

The legendary family who runs the festival are the Sarafians, and Jane’s had a longtime crush on their oldest son, Eddie—doltish but sweet. So when a long-distance romance finally sparks between them, she doesn’t hesitate to cross class lines.

But Jane’s feelings about Eddie are thrown into question after she returns to the lake and reconnects with his alluringly intense brother, the dark horse of her placid summer plans. A fellow lover of music—and hater of the game—Fen Sarafian has been ousted from the family and is slumming it at a vinyl record shop. He burns for Jane like a house on fire and will do anything to sabotage his older brother, even if it means taking a wrecking ball to a multi-million-dollar music festival. Or Jane’s heart.

Always Jane was darker than the bright pink and blue cover with the couple and the cute dog running around their feet would lead you to believe. This was not a "cheery" story which I would have assumed given the cover art.

Let's start with Fen. He is the 2nd son of a music industry promoter. His dad's parenting philosophy is to promote success by putting his oldest two kids in competition against one another. Eddie (the oldest) turned to ruthlessness, and Fen chose to bow out. As a result, Fen's relationships with both his father and Eddie have suffered. Eddie seems to have been spoiled, never having to suffer any real consequences in his life. And Fen has taken the brunt of more than one of Eddie's mistakes. Since the two have been competing almost all their lives, Fen is pretty heartbroken to find out that Jane has been seeing Eddie in secret. He knew that she had a crush on Eddie a few summers ago, but he thought that had changed.

Speaking of a few summers ago, Jane suffered an injury when she fell off the dam and into the lake. She hit her head which caused some brain damage affecting her speech. She can talk just fine, but she often has difficulty finding the word she wants to say even if it's a pretty basic word. She has in fact had a crush on Eddie for a long time. Mostly, it seems her crush was superficial, focused on his handsome face more than anything. She insults his intelligence in her own mind even while she's dating him. I mean I liked Jane, but this bugged me. Not all people are going to be on the same level intellectually. I'm aware. But shouldn't you at least aim to be in a relationship with someone who can compliment you or be on similar levels. I certainly would hate to be in a relationship with someone I considered dumb, and maybe even worse than that, I would hate to be in a relationship with someone who thought I was the dumb one. Regardless, I was a little miffed at Jane here.

Jane is also struggling with a few things like some rumors concerning her parentage. Apparently, her biological father could potentially be someone else. Jane is aware of the rumors, and we're never really given a straight answer to this question, but that didn't completely bother me. I suppose the struggle was the point in this case, not the resolution. And hey, not all problems have solutions. But this added depth to Jane as a character.

I usually do not abide cheating books at all. I simply do not find any interest in reading about characters who cannot end one relationship before moving on to the next. So in some ways, I found myself gritting my teeth because Jane should have done the right thing in this situation. At the same time, Eddie was so completely unworthy of Jane with his lies and secrecy that I didn't feel too bad for him. Regardless if cheating is an issue for you, then you might consider knowing up front that it exists. Perhaps what I personally took issue with even more than the actual cheating is the lie that I have been finding in books that if something feels right then it can't possibly be wrong. As a society, we have got to get this out of our heads. I get so frustrated by this lie being perpetuated. Feel good does not equal right, especially when things like morals or ethics are involved. What feels good is often a lie--or at the very least deceiving.

I feel like I should have quite a bit more to say about Always Jane, but it did take me nearly two weeks to write my review. Whoops.

Favorite quotes:

-"...your problem is that you always use a nuclear weapon when a simple knife to the back would suffice." "I like to make sure my adversary is dead."

-"Your brain doesn't speak for all brains."

-...my body was so delighted to see his body--hello, friend...

-"Let's not get ahead of ourselves," she said, grinning. "I'm years ahead. We've got kids already. We travel the world and leave them with Ms. Makruhi. There's cake every weekend. Frida does not sleep with us."

Always Jane was not really at all what I expected it to be. I did enjoy it while I was reading it. I was able to block out some things I normally take issue with in order to just read and enjoy the book, but now that it's over and time to write my review, those things I skipped over aren't as easy to ignore. There's cheating, there's the lie of what feels good has to be right, and there was diversity for diversity's sake which I always find annoying. I did root for Jane and Fen. And Eddie being a kind of crappy human being made it easier not to feel too guilty over the cheating and stuff. Obviously that's just because this is fiction. I do applaud Jenn Bennett for not getting too descriptive (for me). Always Jane gets 3.5 Stars. Have you read Always Jane? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Sunday Post - 04/03/22

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.

Ball games started this past Monday. Little Girl's team did not do as well as they did during their practice game a few weeks ago. We didn't keep score, but they definitely lost. However, Little Boy's team killed it. Little Boy is just naturally athletic, and Little Girl has to work a little harder on these skills. Tuesday, the big kids had dentist appointments. No cavities. YAY! I took Little Girl to school to check in and then went to the house to work on painting and various tasks. Wednesday, I worked at the house between Baby Boy's morning nap and getting Little Boy from school. Thursday, Little Girl lost another tooth. I think this was her 6th tooth. She's been losing them left and right. It seems like as soon as one comes out another one gets loose. It was also Little Girl's team's turn to "volunteer" at the concession stand at the ball park. I went to work that for two hours. And then Friday, Little Boy's game was cancelled due to some kind of damage to the field they were scheduled to play on (we'd had bad weather Wednesday night), but Little Girl also had a game. The coach told us the score was 4-2, but we lost. Even still the girls played so much better than they did on Monday. Saturday ended up being a rough parenting day. Have you ever had those days where one person is in a bad mood and it radiates out to everyone else? Well that's kind of what happened. And even though I kept trying to reset the day and we did have some good moments, it was overall a challenging and difficult day. Also, Friday was my nephew's birthday. He doesn't read my blog, but I'm wishing him a happy birthday all the same.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: 11th Blog Anniversary Giveaway - Week 4
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Edward and Amelia by Anneka R Walker
Thursday: Review of Bargaining for the Barrister by Anneka R Walker (4 Stars)
Friday: March 2022 EOM Wrap Up

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Always Jane by Jenn Bennett
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to link up for the 2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2022 to sign 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!

NEW BOOKS:

To Tame a Cowboy (Colorado Cowboys, # 3)

By: Jody Hedlund

Publication: May 3rd 2022 by Bethany House Publishers

368 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--Brody McQuaid is a broken man, and he knows it. While his body survived the war, his soul did not. Besides loving his little niece, his only other sense of purpose comes from saving the wild horses that roam South Park. Ranchers in the area have taken to killing the horses, which are competing with their cattle to feed on the open grass.

Savannah Marshall is a veterinarian on her family's Colorado ranch. She longs to keep her father happy following the tragic death of her older brother, including marrying a man of his choosing. But days before her wedding, she gets cold feet and disappears to South Park. As she learns more about the destruction of the horses, she joins Brody in an attempt to save the wild creatures. But when Savannah's family and the resentments of the area cattlemen catch up with them both, Brody and Savannah will have to tame their fears if they've any hope to let love run free.

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!