5 star reviews, Book reviews, romance

Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

Fix Her Up was my first book by @tessabaileyisanauthor and I have since read quite a few of her books on my Kindle!  I was elated when she gave me a copy of Love Her or Lose Her.

And y’all.  The hype is real.  This is a great book!

Rosie and Dominic were high school sweethearts who got married before he went to serve our country in Afghanistan.  He came home different and Rosie has not been happy in their marriage, she doesn’t feel seen and heard, their relationship is just physical and not emotional.  Dominic is a blue collar guy from a working class family and his dad showed love by providing for his family and that is all Dominic knows, he is taken aback when Rosie leaves.  Dominic is loves Rosie deeply and agrees to couples therapy with a very untraditional therapist.

Rating: 5 stars!!

Why I Loved This Book: My husband is a lot like Dominic.  He loves me, but he doesn’t always know how to show it. Tessa Bailey did an amazing job writing Dominic’s character, she really got inside the head of a guy who was raised to believe that you show your love by providing and that is all you need to do.  There is one part where Rosie realizes that it takes two to tango and that she had a part in how their marriage fell apart; I FELT what Rosie was feeling, nerves and anxiety and I realized that sometimes I am full of complaints for my husband, but I too, have some flaws.  That night my girls were out and I asked my husband what I do that I annoys him and he told me – I am organized with my time, but I don’t always organize things like our china cabinet or storage closets the way he would like. I didn’t take it personally, I took it constructively and if he’d like to reorganize the china cabinet and storage closets, he can have at it!

This book comes out next Tuesday, January 14. I recommend this book to anyone who likes romance and to ALL MARRIED COUPLES.  We could all use the reminders in this book!!

What is your love language?  How do you show love? What do you like someone to do to show you that they love you?

Book reviews, contemporary fiction, thriller, Women's Fiction

Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser

3/5 stars

My Review:

Molly and Liza have been friends for a long time.  After Liza moves away, things are strained between the two women.  While Molly’s husband is away on business, the two women agree to Facetime each other one evening after Molly puts her kids to bed.  When Molly leaves the room to check on one of her kids, Liza sees a man in a mask enter the room where Molly is and then her screen goes black.  Liza drives all night to get to her friend to help her, but Molly is cold and unappreciative when Liza gets there.

This book explores a friendship that was close at one time, but has changed over time.  It also explores a marriage that has some issues.  This book explores the things that go unsaid in a relationship and how that can be isolating and effect what was once a close relationship.  I thought it was good, but it got weird in some parts in a way that I didn’t find believable, which is why I am giving it 3 stars.

I would like to thank Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for my copy in exchange for my honest review.

From the Publisher:

Molly and Liza have always been close in a way that people envy. Even after Molly married Daniel, both considered Liza an honorary member of their family. But after Liza moved away, things grew more strained than anyone wanted to admit—in the friendship and the marriage.

When Daniel goes away on business, Molly and Liza plan to reconnect with a nice long video chat over wine after the kids are in bed. But when Molly leaves the room to check on a crying child, a man in a mask enters, throwing Liza into a panic—then her screen goes black.

When Liza finally reaches Molly, her reply is icy and terse, insisting everything is fine. Liza is still convinced something is wrong, that her friend is in danger. But after an all-night drive to help her ends in a brutal confrontation, Liza is sure their friendship is over—completely unaware that she’s about to have a near miss of her own. And Molly, refusing to deal with what’s happened, won’t turn to Daniel, either.

But none of them can go on pretending. Not after this.

Forget You Know Me exposes the wounds of people who’ve grown apart, against their will. Best friends, separated by miles. Spouses, hardened by neglect. A mother, isolated by pain. The man in the mask will change things for them all.

But who was he?

And will he be back?

Personal

Goals for 2019

Bookish Goals:

I saw a lot of bookstagrammer and book bloggers posting about reading goals for the New Year. These are all either in my Netgalley queue or have been on my TBR forever and this year, I am committed to reading them. I would LOVE to do a buddy read on any or all of them if anyone is interested.

2018 was my first year on Bookstagram, and when I first discovered Netgalley, I went crazy (easy to do!) but this year I really want to keep it to books that I really want to read. I overextended myself with blog tours and reviews from publishers and I don’t want to do that again either, I will only say yes to reviewing a book IF I am interested in it AND I have time.

I am not going to worry about Twitter. It’s not my jam.

I want to focus on building relationships on Bookstagram.

I want to blog more about books + life. I miss blogging about life stuff and I want to do more of that in the new year. I have wanted to do a self-hosted blog since I was a homeschool mom blogger and learn about SEO and plug-ins and things like that, but I just never did it, I might take the plunge this year.

Marriage Goals

In 2017, I was inspired by an Instagram friend who went on 52 hikes. I knew 52 was not do-able for us, but my husband and I took on a challenge to go on 9 hikes and we had so much fun with it. All the hikes had to be in New Jersey. We had a lot of fun exploring our state and finding different hikes. A lot of times we would either grab a picnic lunch from a vegan restaurant or go out to brunch before the hike or dinner after the hike.

My husband is really into craft beer. We both used to be into craft beer, but about two years ago, I started getting nauseated after even a sip of alcohol. We had a lot of fun last year going to a couple of breweries one day when our hike was cancelled due to rain, so we have decided to take on a challenge of visiting 6 breweries this year. I will probably have a tiny sip of each beer in each flight and bring some pretzels or crackers to keep my stomach at bay. It’s just something fun to do together.

Other Goals

In my journal, I wrote down these three goals for the year:

  1. Don’t try to impress anyone.
  2. Don’t worry about what others think.
  3. Don’t compare myself to others.

I was going to wait until the new year to deactivate my Facebook account, but I couldn’t wait and deactivated in mid-December and you know what? I think these last few weeks have been wonderful without it!! I am not quite ready to completely delete my Facebook account, but I am considering it.

I want to become more of a minimalist. Years ago, encouraged by Sarah at Memories on Clover Lane, I took on a Lenten 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge. I don’t know how many times I have done it now, but I love getting rid of stuff more than getting new stuff! It’s so liberating and freeing! And it’s SO MUCH EASIER to keep our house clean and find what we need and I honestly do feel like I have more time for the things that I want to do. I think it’s a mindset, a lifestyle. So, I have divided my house up and each day this month, I am filling a bag. I might do it again over Lent.

I am doing Yoga with Adriene’s 30 Day Yoga Challenge, and then I am planning to do Brett Larkin’s Yoga Challenge. I really like having everything laid out for me every day and not having to think about it.

I want to cook more vegan food this year and try more vegan restaurants.

My younger daughter and I have plans to redecorate her room this year, which I am looking forward to and we have my parents’ 50th Anniversary this summer and a lot of fun family plans in the works for that!

4 star reviews, Book reviews, Women's Fiction

The Cast by Amy Blumenfeld

4 stars

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When Becca was 15, she had cancer and her friends made her a tape where they all acted out Saturday Night Live-type skits to cheer her up.  Now it’s 25 years later and they have a reunion, each friend is in a different plant with different issues.

There were things about this book that I LOVED: I loved when Becca and Nolan first met; I loved that the book takes place in and around New York City, which is where I love.  I thought Becca and Nolan’s characters were very realistic and very well developed and brought up some very interesting points regarding what a spouse has a right to say and have an opinion on and when they just need to be supportive.  I thought Seth’s character and Lexi’s characters were also very real and believable and sympathetic.

This book was different than anything I had read before and my husband and I had some interesting conversations because of it.

 

4 star reviews, thriller

Lies by T.M. Logan

4/5 stars

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My Review:

Riveting, enthralling, captivating, fast moving thriller

I liked Joe Lynch, he was a nice guy, if a little meek and mild, but he is a good dad and and a nice guy.

The whole story was crazy and kept me up late and had me thinking about the book during the day, anxious to get back to it and find out what happened.

Joe thinks his wife is at work, but he and his young son spot her car in traffic, then see her turn into a hotel parking lot.  They follow and Joe gets into an altercation with their family friend, Ben just as his son has an asthma attack.  When Joe returns to see if Ben is ok, Ben is gone.

Ben’s wife reports Ben missing.  But Ben starts sending Joe shocking messages that he is going to take everything from Joe.  But, since Ben is missing, Joe becomes the suspect behind Ben’s disappearance because of the altercation at the hotel.

My heart went out to Ben and I was rooting for him the whole time, but could not predict what would happen in this book.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes psychological thrillers.

I would like to thank Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for my review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

From the Publisher:

WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS BASED ON LIES?
When Joe Lynch stumbles across his wife driving into a hotel car park while she’s supposed to be at work, he’s intrigued enough to follow her in.

And when he witnesses her in an angry altercation with family friend Ben, he knows he ought to intervene.

But just as the confrontation between the two men turns violent, and Ben is knocked unconscious, Joe’s young son has an asthma attack – and Joe must flee in order to help him.

When he returns, desperate to make sure Ben is OK, Joe is horrified to find that Ben has disappeared.

And that’s when Joe receives the first message . . .

 

4 star reviews, Book reviews, contemporary fiction, romance, Women's Fiction

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

4/5 stars

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My Review:

Beautiful book, well-paced, inside view into someone else’s relationship and marriage.

This book goes between 7 years ago and present.  Seven years ago, Graham and Quinn met, started dating, fell in love and got married.  Present day is seven years later and they are having fertility issues that is driving them apart.  I love books that give you an inside look into someone else’s relationship or marriage because I do think we all have a story to tell and I also think it’s interesting to see what makes other people’s marriages tick.  I felt myself getting caught up in their relationship and hoping they would work things out.  I actually got tears in my eyes when they wrote letters to each other…I don’t want to say anymore because I don’t want to give too much away!

I recommend this book to fans of romance, women’s fiction and domestic dramas.  If someone is struggling with fertility issues, I think this book may be a good fit to see how another couple deals with things.

From the Publisher:

Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?