Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Can't Wait for A Queen of Thieves & Chaos

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.

A Queen of Thieves & Chaos (Fate & Flame, # 3)

By: KA Tucker

Expected Publication: September 5, 2023

606 pages

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

( Goodreads | Amazon )

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

Goodreads description--From internationally bestselling author K.A. Tucker comes the third novel in her Fate and Flame series, an adult fantasy novel that should be read in series order.

"You betrayed your brother to steal a broken crown."

The kingdom stands on the brink of chaos. Atticus' grip on the realm is faltering, and as threats arise ever closer to home, he is driven to increasingly desperate acts to hold onto power.

With Islor's fate now in the balance, Zander stands to defend the Rift from the oncoming Ybarisan army. With the king's forces scattered, he must risk unlikely new alliances.

And behind the walls of Ulysede, secrets wait for its new queen. Romeria knows that the paths of the hidden city will lead her to answers. But will they be enough to save the realm – or is their fate already sealed?

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

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases of Q3/Q4 2023

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 Releases of Q3/Q4 2023
  1. A Soul of Ash & Blood (Blood & Ash, # 5) by Jennifer L Armentrout
  2. Light Bringer (Red Rising, # 6) by Pierce Brown
  3. A Queen of Thieves & Chaos (Fate & Flame, # 3) by KA Tucker
  4. To Have and to Heist by Sara Desai
  5. Pixels & Paint (Trinket Sisters, # 1) by Kristi Ann Hunter
  6. Committing to the Cowgirl (Colorado Cowgirls, # 1) by Jody Hedlund
  7. Calling on the Matchmaker (A Shanahan Match, # 1) by Jody Hedlund
  8. Sleepless in Dubai by Sajni Patel
  9. The Queen's Crown (Leauge of Rules, # 1) by Jennifer Anne Davis
  10. Give Me a Sign by Anna Sortino

Which books are on you most anticipating from the second half of 2023? Let me know!

Monday, June 26, 2023

Love Unseen - Review

Love Unseen

By: Rachel Kelley Stones

Expected Publication: July 5, 2023

248 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, 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--Hannah Hadley is a permanent fixture in London Society and well on her way to becoming a spinster. Despite her beauty and kind disposition, Hannah has accepted the harsh reality of her situation: she will never marry. Continually affected by an illness from her youth, Hannah acknowledges her chances of entertaining potential suitors, at least respectable ones, is slim.

To members of the ton, Jonathan Carter is undeniably unsuitable. Though he is in possession of a massive fortune and is handsome as well, there remains an insurmountable black mark against him: his is new money. Even so, he’s caught off guard when his enchanting neighbor, Miss Hadley, flatly rejects his offer to dance. Despite their rocky introduction, however, they find themselves inexplicably drawn to one another. But when circumstances force Hannah from her home, the couple’s warm association comes to an abrupt end. Now, Jonathan must find a way to rescue the woman he just might love or risk losing her forever.

Ok so I'll be honest. Love Unseen surprised me. It really shouldn't have, but it did. I didn't put much thought into what Hannah's illness might be, but I haven't read any other books from this period with the same situation. Since this was a unique context for a book set during this time, I really enjoyed the story because of this.

Hannah and Jonathon don't start off too well. Hannah unintentionally offends Jonathan. These two spend some time back and forth between being almost harsh with each other and then coming to understand the other. The back-and-forth was a little confusing at times, but overall it built some nice tension.

I always kick myself for doing this, but I finished Love Unseen 3 weeks before I'm finally sitting down to write my review. Doing this means I've forgotten some of the finer points of the story that I wanted to make.

The secondary characters--specifically Hannah's family members--were odious. Her mother is pure vitriol. Her sister is no better than a spoiled brat. And her brother, mostly spineless and passive. The reasoning behind Hannah's mother's feelings towards her never made sense to me. Even when Love Unseen actually touched on the specifics I was left feeling like it wasn't logical and didn't make sense. I suppose emotions usually don't follow logic. I felt like Hannah's sister was almost as bad as her mother and then a switch flipped there towards the end. I wasn't sure I could have been as forgiving as Hannah was. Jonathan's mother and sister were wonderful. Even Hannah's aunt was a breath of fresh air despite still being a little too passive for my taste.

There did come a point where the story began to feel a little too dramatized for me, but I didn't really dislike it even with that. As a matter of fact, overall the story was better than I expected.

Favorite quotes:

-If she didn't want me to draw attention to myself, why did she insist on pointing out every one of my mistakes?

-"There are always those in life who choose to dislike and discourage, but that's a reflection of their character, not yours. You must learn to ignore them."

-"Your father made it easy to love and be loved,"

-Nature has a way of creating little bits and pieces of artistry that man cannot replicate.

I couldn't leave that last quote without correcting it from "nature" to "God."

Love Unseen was refreshing in many ways. Hannah's condition wasn't one I'd read about in this unique historical setting. Her relationship with Jonathan was rocky and even borderline harsh in the beginning. Things took a very dramatic turn there towards the end. And I can't say that everything made logical sense to me, but in the end, I found that I like this book much more than I was expecting. Love Unseen gets 4 Stars. Have you read Love Unseen? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, June 25, 2023

2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge - June Wrap Up

Time for our Monthly Wrap Up for the 2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Sandy finished Never Wager with a Wallflower (The Merriwell Sisters, # 3) by Virginia Heath.

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 grand prize winner.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday Post - 06/25/23

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.

Husband was off work Monday. Monday was also my brother's birthday. We went for a walk and then the kiddos ended up going to Grammy's house for a few hours with Husband while he cut her grass. I had a few unexpected hours to myself. Tuesday we walked and then went swimming. My oldest two kids had a fight over monopoly and then decided they wanted to be good friends with each other. They spent the rest of the night being so polite to each other I nearly cried. They even slept in the same room together. I wasn't naive enough to think such behavior was likely to last until the morning the next day, but it gave me hope for their future relationship. Wednesday was my birthday. Husband fixed me breakfast and the kids gave me their presents. The polite sibling behavior had indeed worn off. We went by grocery pickup and then to the storage building. I wanted to swim, but can you believe that the kids didn't? Granted, temps have only hit 90 once here so far this month so the water is unseasonably cold. It also did rain that afternoon. Thursday I took the kids to my parents house. We took their bicylces to ride around the block. Friday, we ran back up to the store to get a birthday present for a friend. Then we went swimming. Saturday, I went to a women's devotional. And then took Little Girl to a birthday party for her friend at a roller skating rink. That was Little Girl's first time skating and my first time in at least ten years. Saturday was a particularly exhausting, but good, day.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Play for Me by Libby Hubscher (4 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Summer 2023 TBR List
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Light Bringer (Red Rising, # 6) by Pierce Brown

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Love Unseen by Rachel Kelley Stones
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday?

Don’t forget to link up for the 2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2023 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:

Homeschool Bravely

By: Jamie Erikson

Publication: April 2, 2019

208 pages

Genre: Nonfiction, Parenting, Christian, Education

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon )

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

Goodreads description--Quiet the voices of "not good enough" and step courageously into guilt-free homeschooling Many homeschool parents have a long-term relationship with self-doubt. "Did I make the right decision?" "Could someone else do this better?" "Am I robbing my kids of something by not sending them to ‘regular school’?" What if there’s a better way? Not a 3-step technique or a shiny, new curriculum, but a change in perspective that transforms the way you plan, teach, and homeschool? Homeschool Bravely teaches you to see homeschooling as a calling, helps you overthrow the tyranny of impossible expectations, and guides you through the common bumps in the road, including how Reclaim your hope, renew your purpose, and transform your homeschool. Because the truth God will use every part of your homeschool, even your fears, faults, and failures, to weave good plans for your kids.

Fourth Wing (The Empyrean, # 1)

By: Rebecca Yarros

Publication: May 2, 2023

528 pages

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Dragon

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon )

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

Goodreads description--Enter the brutal and elite world of a war college for dragon riders from USA Today bestselling author Rebecca Yarros

Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general—also known as her tough-as-talons mother—has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away...because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter—like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.

She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.

Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom's protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda—because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die.

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!

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Can't Wait for Light Bringer

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.

Light Bringer (Red Rising, # 6)

By: Pierce Brown

Expected Publication: July 25, 2023

704 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Space Opera, Dystopian

( Goodreads | Amazon )

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

Goodreads description--Darrow returns as Pierce Brown’s New York Times bestselling Red Rising series continues in the thrilling sequel to Dark Age.

“The measure of a man is not the fear he sows in his enemies. It is the hope he gives his friends.”—Virginia au Augustus

The Reaper is a legend, more myth than man: the savior of worlds, the leader of the Rising, the breaker of chains.

But the Reaper is also Darrow, born of the red soil of Mars: a husband, a father, a friend.

The worlds once needed the Reaper. But now they need Darrow. Because after the dark age will come a new age: of light, of victory, of hope.

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

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Top Ten Summer 2023 TBR List

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 Summer 2023 TBR List
  1. Fairest of Heart (Texas Ever After, # 1) by Karen Witemeyer
  2. Rocky Mountain Rendezvous (Sisters of the Rockies, # 1) by Misty M Beller
  3. The Wishing Well by Natalie Kleinman
  4. Someone You Loved by Robin Constantine
  5. An Unwitting Alliance (Matchmaking Mamas, # 2) by Anneka Walker
  6. Give Me a Sign by Anna Sortino
  7. A Bride by Morning by Katrina Kendrick
  8. Chiara's Choice by Chalon Linton
  9. Champion of Fate (Heromaker, # 1) by Kendare Blake
  10. Watership Down: The Graphic Novel by James Strum

Which books are on your TBR list for Summer 2023? Let me know!

Monday, June 19, 2023

Play for Me - Review

Play for Me

By: Libby Hubscher

Expected Publication: June 20, 2023

368 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley

( 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--When her new job takes her to a New England boarding school, she's surprised to find her roommates are all men - including a very handsome one who plays by his own rules.

Sophie Doyle has her dream job as the head athletic trainer for her favorite baseball team (go Red Sox!), a handsome boyfriend, and easy access to the finest cannoli in Boston. When she loses all three and the World Series to boot, she's forced to apply for the open trainer position at an arts-focused boarding school in New Hampshire. The only available room is a glorified closet in an apartment with three guys: Jonas Voss, the aloof and attractive orchestra teacher, and his two rambunctious roommates.

Sophie knows that training a bunch of privileged high school kids whose idea of a play is A Chorus Line instead of a walk-off homer is going to be a big change from the pro athletes she's used to. She wasn't expecting that these students would have big-time talent and even bigger-time problems. Sophie has troubles of her own--Jonas is a full-fledged grump who clearly doesn't want her near him or the precious piano he never plays.

With sunny optimism, Sophie sets out to win over Jonas and help the kids she's growing attached to. But when her relationship with Jonas moves to the major leagues and plans change at the end of the season, they have to choose whether they are playing for keeps.

I don't love the cover of Play for Me, and I don't usually read many sports books. But coming off of baseball/softball season for my kids, I was in the mood to read about someone who loves the sport. I finished this book three weeks and four books ago, and I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to write my review of it. This has become my new blogging-normal since I don't have time or access to sit down at my computer every day like I did when I worked or even when my kids were tiny and my computer was in our dining room.

I felt for Sophie. She worked extremely hard to get her dream job. She worked with a professional, major league team and athletes for the exact team she loved the most. She had memories of her dad taking her to the Red Sox games. Her literal dream job. And because she pulled a player to prevent further injury and the team lost she got fired. And not just that but an entire city blamed her for the loss. Her boyfriend at the time also broke up with her, and since she was living with him, she is now homeless. That's a lot to lose at one time. Thankfully, her friend gets her a job at a boarding school as an athletic trainer.

Jonas has similarly lost his dream job. He was once a professional pianist. But he's quit playing. Now he teaches music at the same school as Sophie and they are suitemates along with another two teachers at the school. Jonas seems annoyed with Sophie from the very beginning. He apparently doesn't open up easily even though everyone seems to like and get along with him. Sophie riles him up more than normal. These two have one of those enemies-to-lovers arcs even if you can't really claim them to be full-fledged enemies.

Sophie and Jonas work together to get Jonas to play the piano again. He's terrified of hope. And Sophie is determined. The side characters and stories were just as important to the overall story. I liked Tyson, but my favorite side character was Sophie's dad. I love seeing well-written parental characters as they are often missing from stories. It's a contrast to Jonas's father and family. Not everyone has a loving support system built into their nuclear family.

There were many questions driving me forward in my reading. And that helped me not want to put this book down. Well, that along with this wonderful romance. Would Tyson choose music or baseball? Would his choice damage Sophie and Jonas's relationship? Can Sophie and Jonas survive long-term if they end up going back to their old dream jobs? Is there a happy medium or place of compromise to be found? What would that compromise be? And would one or both of them feel regret for making their choices? While it's hard to make career choices based on a relationship, what's the point of life without those we love to share it with?

Favorite quotes:

-"A girl can only be spit on so many times before she needs a change of scene..."

-"I find it challenging to breathe around you."

-"You are like a song that my heart has been waiting for. I recognized your melody the moment we met."

Ultimately, I give Play for Me 4 Stars. I loved the relationship. I didn't want to put this book down when I had to. I read it as quickly as possible, and if I remember correctly, I even stayed up late one night to finish it. The questions about the outcome pushed me forward just as much as the relationship did, in the best way possible. I did have a few questions about the logistics of Sophie's athletic trainer job, but those were probably best to chalk up to something I shouldn't think too deeply about. Have you read Play for Me? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Sunday Post - 06/18/23

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.

To be honest, I simply cannot remember Monday. Isn't that terrible? Tuesday, I took the kids to the park with a group of other kids and moms. There is a creek the kids played in and then the playground, of course. We brought a change of clothes, and then stopped at the library which is right by the park. Wednesady, I had grocery pick up, and then the kids had haircuts. Oh man that was chaos. It was going well at first. Baby Boy got his cut first. I can't bring myself to give him a big boy haircut because his curls are so adorable. Next was Little Boy. He did great and Baby Boy was just starting to get fussy. We don't normally have Little Girl with us when we get the boys hair cut. Little Girl got a good bit cut off and also got bangs. They weren't exactly what she wanted, but I think she looks cute. Anyway, Wednesday afternoon, night, and Thursday it stormed. I worked on cleaning the house and getting the pool ready for Saturday. Friday we walked and went swimming. Baby Boy is having some fear of the pool for some reason. I haven't figured out exactly why yet, but I'm trying to work with him it through it. Saturday we celebrated my brother's birthday, my birthday, and Father's day with my dad and my side of the family. Happy Father's Day to every father out there today!

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Borrow My Heart (Borrow My Heart, # 1) by Kasie West (4 Stars)

Wednesday: Can't Wait for Pixels and Paint (Trinket Sisters, # 1) by Kristi Ann Hunter

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Play for Me by Libby Hubscher
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday?

Don’t forget to link up for the 2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2023 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.

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!

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Can't Wait for Pixels and Paint

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.

Pixels and Paint (Trinket Sisters, # 1)

By: Kristi Ann Hunter

Expected Publication: July 1, 2023

362 pages

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

( Goodreads | Amazon )

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

Goodreads description--For Emma Trinket, life is a delicate balancing act between loving her family and pursuing interests they don’t understand. When the opportunity arises to finally impress them with her job as a computer programmer, she jumps at it even if it means immersing herself in a world she’s despised since childhood. Unfortunately the one man who could crush her prospects is also the best person to help her navigate the lessons she needs to be a success. Artistic expression is both Carter Anderson’s safe space and his livelihood, but his fading inspiration has him worried about his place in life. His encounters with Emma spark a passion to create that he hasn’t felt in years and he isn’t ready to let go of his new muse even if she’s threatening the sanctity of his art world with her digital technologies. As each tries to gain an advantage from the other, Emma and Carter discover they actually might be more compatible than they thought. Will that be enough to unify their opposing missions or will the real differences between pixels and paint tear them apart?

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

Monday, June 12, 2023

Borrow My Heart - Review

Borrow My Heart (Borrow My Heart, # 1)

By: Kasie West

Expected Publication: June 13th 2023 by Delacorte Press

320 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--When a girl overhears a guy getting verbally destroyed by his friends for being catfished, she jumps in to save the day--and pretends to be his online crush. A young adult romance from the critically acclaimed author of Places We've Never Been.

Wren is used to being called a control freak. She doesn't care; sticking to the list of rules she created for herself helps her navigate life. But when a cute guy named Asher walks through the door of her neighborhood coffee shop, the rulebook goes out the window.

Asher is cute, charming . . . and being catfished by his online crush. So Wren makes an uncharacteristically impulsive decision--she pretends to be the girl he's waiting for to save him from embarrassment. Suddenly she's fake-dating a boy she knows nothing about. And it's . . . amazing.

It's not long before Asher has her breaking even more of her own rules. But will he forgive her when he finds out she's not who she says she is? Wren's not so sure. . . . After all, rules exist for a reason.

Kasie West is an auto-read author for me. I've got two books of hers that I need to go back and finish, but I always know that I'll enjoy her books. That being said, I don't always love characters that live by a strict set of rules. It seems that Wren's rules are mostly assigned to her dating life, which up until now has been really minimal. Her rules have sort of gotten in the way. I liked the way Kasie West worked this though. Wren has her rules in place because of her mom. Her mom left her father, Wren, and her sister several years ago. Her mom is flighty and unpredictable at every turn. The only thing predictable about her is that she's unreliable and she will ultimately let Wren down.

One thing the description got wrong is that Asher only has one friend ragging him in the coffee shop about whether or not his online catfish will show up. Wren feels like his friend is particularly harsh so she heads out back, changes clothes (she happens to have a change on her), and re-enters through the front pretending to be Gemma. Wren is waiting for an opportunity to talk to Asher without his friend so she can explain and let him down easily, but he never seems to be without his blasted friend Dale. Thus she uses this as an excuse to carry on pretending to be Gemma.

Wren also works at a local pet shelter. Before meeting Asher she'd been interested in Chad, a coworker at the shelter. Chad hadn't shown much interest in her until Asher starts volunteering. Wren's boss assigns Wren the task of personally seeing that their longest resident dog, Bean, gets adopted. Wren and Bean have a bit of a connection, but Bean can't seem to get a similar connection with any visitor that comes in looking to adopt a pet. Wren's father is allergic so she's a no-go on adopting him herself. Bean was truly at the heart of the story. And I wanted to meet him myself to see if he'd approve of or reject me. Because Bean approves of Asher, he joins the crusade to get Bean adopted.

There was one part where all of the conflicts in the book were coming to a head at the same time and I literally teared up for Wren. I don't often tear up in Kasie West's books, or any book really. I didn't quite cry, but man I felt for her with everything hitting at the same time. Great writing.

Borrow My Heart was such a good read. Kasie West explained all the questions I had except two. What happened to the real Gemma? And did Asher ever stop talking to her? All else was addressed and done so in a way that satisfied my curiosity and didn't feel forced. I noticed that this was book 1 in a series so I'm hoping that book 2 will follow Kami and Dale. Borrow My Heart gets 4 Stars. Have you read Borrow My Heart? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Sunday Post - 06/11/23

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 and Tuesday I worked on pressure washing the concrete around the pool. Tuesday the pressure washer stopped working though. Wednesday we ran errands. I ran a sample of pool water by a local pool company to be tested, did my grocery pickup, and ran by the bank. I used the rainy afternoon to clean house. And then Thursday my parents came by to visit. My dad spent almost the entire time working on the pressure washer. Turns out a piece of debris was in the gas or something like that. Anyway, I returned to pressure washing Thursday afternoon. I didn't finish because it started to rain on me. Friday, Husband and I took the kids to an early lunch at Chickfila. From there, I went to my sister's for a women's conference at her church. Husband took the kids to the local trampoline park. I spent the night with my sister and sister-in-law Friday night and got home tomorrow afternoon.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Mr. Gardiner & the Governess (Claivoir Castle Romances, # 1) by Sally Britton (4 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Borrow My Heart (Borrow My Heart, # 1) by Kasie West
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday?

Don’t forget to link up for the 2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2023 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 Shameless Flirt (The Ashbrooks, # 2)

By: MA Nichols

Expected Publication: February 5, 2019

284 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

Source: YouTube Audiobooks

( 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--A rogue with a silver tongue, a spinster with an iron heart, and the doorstep baby that brings them together.

Ambrose Ashbrook spends his life hiding. Even his family sees nothing but the roguish fa├žade he hides behind. But when he finds an abandoned infant, all pretense is upended with one look at her dimpled smile. Knowing his sister is better equipped to help the child, Ambrose climbs aboard a carriage bound for the country.

It’s only a day’s journey. An easy distance. Caring for a baby cannot be that difficult…

Mary Hayward despises flirts. One broke her heart, and she won’t allow it to happen again, so being trapped in a public coach with a chatty charmer is the last thing she wants. But when it’s clear the gentleman is struggling to care for his young charge, Mary has no choice but to lend a hand.

If only he would be quiet! A gentleman like him cannot possibly be interested in a plain spinster like herself… Could he?

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, June 5, 2023

Mr. Gardiner and the Governess - Review

Mr. Gardiner and the Governess (Clairvoir Castle Romances, # 1)

By: Sally Britton

Publication: November 25th 2020 by Pink Citrus Books

228 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Regency

Source: YouTube Audiobooks

( 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 duke’s governess, a gentleman entomologist, and a castle full of flowers is the perfect setting for a summer romance. As the new governess to the duke's family, Alice Sharpe must learn to control her impulsiveness. Employment in the duke’s household is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and could mean living in comfort the rest of her days. Unfortunately, her first encounter with the duke's houseguest, a handsome gentleman obsessed with insects, proves she may not be ready for the austere role of governess.

Rupert Gardiner has one goal: to have his work in entomology and botany published by the Royal Society. He is fortunate that the Duke of Montfort, believes in him and enlists Rupert to make a record of all the flora on the castle grounds. But Miss Sharpe’s spontaneity and continual appearance during his work is an annoying distraction. At least, that’s what he tells himself.

While Alice struggles to adapt to her new role, constantly striving to go unnoticed while still being herself, she cannot help but admire Rupert’s intelligence and focus. The more often they fall in together, the more her admiration deepens. But could a gentleman such as he ever fall in love with the governess?

As the first stand-alone novel in a new series by author Sally Britton, this story begins the Clairvoir Castle romances. This is a light-hearted series set in the Regency period.

Can you guys even imagine how stoked I was to find Sally Britton has full audiobooks on YouTube for FREE? I don't have a ton of time to listen to audiobooks, but you know what, sometimes you make time for free books. Another thing I wanted to mention before I really get into the review of this book is that Sally Britton had an author's note at the end that talked about how she struggled (like many of us) through the pandemic, and for her own mental well-being she created this, I believe she said, "light-hearted" book series. Clean, low-drama romance. And you know what? Sometimes that's exactly what I need. Sometimes I just don't need extra conflict or plot. Sometimes the difficulty to go from single to together is hard enough on its own. And sometimes I just need to read a book that's going to make me smile.

Alice is unwanted among her family members. She is too pretty and distracts potential suitors from the daughters of her relations. And for the most part, she has been cast from one relative to another for many years. Ultimately, she ends up being the governess to the children of the Duke and Duchess of Montfort. Upon taking the position, the Duchess and the Dowager Duchess discuss what's expected of her, and in no uncertain terms is she supposed to go about searching for or being involved in any romance. Alice is terrified of losing her position because where would she go now that her relations are so thoroughly tired of her imposing upon them. So she endeavors to toe the line exactly and not step one foot over.

Rupert Gardiner has been commissioned by the Duke to catalog all the plants and insects at Castle Clairvoir's grounds. He is also a personal friend of the Duke. Rupert stumbles upon Alice's artwork of the local plants and he determines that she must work with him on his project since he doesn't care as much about the plants as he does the insects. Having never grown up unwanted, or really particularly ever been unwanted, Rupert couldn't possibly understand why Alice wouldn't want to take part in his scientific research if it allows her to have her name listed in scientific journals alongside his. And, of course, he quickly comes to realize that there is much about Alice to draw him to her.

As I already said, there isn't much conflict or drama to overcome. Maybe some might look at this as a fluff piece. And maybe it is. But I actually enjoyed that there weren't terribly high circumstances to overcome for these two to find love. Of course, that doesn't mean that there's no conflict to overcome because that would be exceedingly boring.

I enjoyed Mr. Gardiner and the Governess. It was the perfect, happy book to listen to as I was doing the majority of the food prep, decorating, and last-minute cleaning for my son's birthday party. Alice and Rupert were both quite different from me, but I was happy to root for them, and I enjoyed their journey to happiness. Mr. Gardiner and the Governess gets 4 Stars. Have you read (or listened to) Mr. Gardiner and the Governess? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Sunday Post - 06/04/23

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 was Memorial Day here in the US. I didn't have any family members who died in service, but I have certainly had several family members who served in the military that have now passed away. We were able to spend a good part of the day with Grammy. She cooked lunch for us and the kids got to swim a little. Husband's friend from Taiwan that was visiting left for the airport also Monday morning. Tuesday we just had a family day since it was Husband's off day. We set up the slip and slide for the kids because the pool water is still too cold for us all to get in. Wednesday, I scheduled a playdate for Little Girl and a friend from school and softball. We took the kids to the park. They were having so much fun that we transitioned to Burger King because they have a playplace. Thursday, I took the kids to my parent's house. It's always nice to get to visit them. They're both retired, and they're trying to get their house ready to sell so they can move closer to us. Friday we went for a walk and got the slip and slide back out. Saturday after we walked Husband got in the pool with the kids while I got lunch ready. Baby Boy was flipping out for some reason. I don't know if it was still too cold for him or if he traumatized himself when he jumped in last Saturday and it was so much colder. Either way, he didn't stay in long. We've got about two weeks before we're having a family party at our house so I'll be focusing the coming two weeks on prepping the house. Thankfully I did a lot of things a week or so ago that only get done seasonally and won't need to be repeated.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of An Uncharted Devotion by Amanda Taylor (4.5 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Automatic Book Turnoffs
Saturday: April & May 2023 EOM Wrap Ups

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Mr. Gardiner and the Governess (Claivoir Castle Romance, # 1) by Sally Britton
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday?

Don’t forget to link up for the 2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2023 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:

An Unwitting Alliance (Matchmaking Mamas, # 2)

By: Anneka R Walker

Expected Publication: July 10, 2023

272 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--Cassandra Vail has but one objective at the Kellens’ ball: she must secure a proposal from her eminently suitable suitor. Instead, she finds her best-laid plans thwarted by another man―the handsome and thoroughly vexing Mr. Harwood. Thanks to his meddling, Cassandra is faced with an unthinkable consequence: her parents take matters into their own hands and betroth her to a complete stranger.

Tom Harwood meant only to deter a debutante from pursuing his friend. He wasn’t supposed to be entranced by her. He certainly wasn’t supposed to flirt with her. And he especially wasn’t supposed to engage the wrong woman entirely. To make matters worse, he’s offended Cassandra and before he has the opportunity to make amends, he finds himself the latest unwitting victim of the meddlesome Matchmaking Mamas. His parents have signed a contract for his hand in marriage, and it seems his mysterious betrothed is as opposed to the union as he is.

When the reluctant couple finally meets, they are shocked to realize they are not strangers after all. Can one miserable beginning be overcome, or has their future ended before it even begins?

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!

Saturday, June 3, 2023

April & May 2023 EOM Wrap Ups

April Wrap Up

I read 8 books (not including children's books). *These qualify for the 2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
The Unassuming Curator (Georgian Gentlemen, # 5) by Sian Ann Bessey
Love Unseen by Rachel Kelley Stones
A Mistletoe Mismatch (A Christmas Match, # 4) by Sally Britton
An Uncharted Devotion by Amanda Taylor
Return to Satterthwaite Court (Somerset Stories, # 3) by Mimi Matthews
A Duchess for the Duke (Clairvoir Castle Romances, # 0.5) by Sally Britton
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Spice Road (Spice Road Trilogy, # 1) by Maiya Ibrahim

I have reviewed 4 books. *These qualify for the 2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
I Am: 40 Reasons to Trust God by Diane Stortz
The Unassuming Curator (Georgian Gentlemen, # 5) by Sian Ann Bessey
Charlotte's Web by EB White

Other Posts:
Sunday Post - 04/02/23
Sunday Post - 04/23/23
Sunday Post - 04/30/23
Top Ten Audiobook Narrators
Can't Wait for An Unwitting Alliance (Matchmaking Mamas, # 2) by Anneka Walker
Can't Wait for Appointment in Bath (Somerset Stories, # 4) by Mimi Matthews
2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge - April Wrap Up
March 2023 EOM Wrap Up

May Wrap Up

I read 4 books (not including children's books). *These qualify for the 2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
Voice of the Ancient (The King's Men, # 1) by Connilyn Cossette
Tastes Like Shakkar (If Shakespeare Was an Auntie, # 2) by Nisha Sharma
Play for Me by Libby Hubscher
*Grace and Glory (The Harbinger, # 3) by Jennifer L Armentrout


I have reviewed 5 books. *These qualify for the 2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
A Heart Worth Stealing by Joanna Barker
Twisted Twenty-Six (Stephanie Plum, # 26) by Janet Evanovich
Famous for a Living by Melissa Ferguson
Gentleman Jim (Somerset Stories, # 2) by Mimi Matthews
An Uncharted Devotion by Amanda Taylor

Other Posts:
Sunday Post - 05/07/23
Sunday Post - 05/14/23
Sunday Post - 05/21/23
Sunday Post - 05/28/23
Ten Books I Randomly Pointed to on My Bookshelf
Top Ten Automatic Book Turnoffs
Can't Wait for Committing to the Cowgirl (Colorado Cowgirls, # 1) by Jody Hedlund
Can't Wait for Someone You Loved by Robin Constantine
Can't Wait for Champion of Fate (Heromaker, # 1) by Kendare Blake
2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge - May Wrap Up

Goals:
I'm a few days ahead on my Bible-in-a-year plan.
I've read 33 out of 52 books (not including children's books).
I've read 2 out of 5-10 series enders.