2020 Book #41 – I Heart Forever by Lindsey Kelk

Title: I Heart Forever
Author: Lindsey Kelk
Date finished: 6/11/20
Genre: Fiction, women’s fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Pages in book: 368
Stand alone or series: #7 in the I Heart series
Where I got the book from: Edelweiss
NOTE: 
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

A wedding in Manhattan…and someone’s keeping a secret.

The day her husband Alex picks up a backpack and goes travelling, Angela Clark promises to stay out of trouble and keep both Louboutins on the ground.

So when her best friend’s boyfriend confides in her, it can’t hurt to help him pick out a ring at Tiffany’s surely?

And when her fashion magazine announces major changes, being terminally late and arguing with your boss isn’t that bad, is it?

Then suddenly there’s another big secret Angela’s got to keep – and the man she loves is still thousands of miles away. As the wedding of the year looms, Angela is going to need her friends by her side as her old life looks set to change forever.

My rating:  2.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I had requested this book a long time ago and finally got around to reading it. The book was ok, I liked some parts of it. I ended up liking it more than I expected to honestly. It reminded me a bit of Confessions of a Shopaholic series, kind of bimbo-y sounding narrator and main character. And I’m sure this is just because I hadn’t read the other books in the series but I didn’t feel all that invested in the characters, therefore the story fell apart a little for me. The plot seemed a little scattered to me, fitting with how it seemed the narrator’s mind worked but not my favorite. There were still some entertaining / funny parts but overall it wasn’t my favorite.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2019 Book #100 – The Prince of Broadway by Joanna Shupe

51BMJcQBlcLTitle: The Prince of Broadway
Author: Joanna Shupe
Date finished: 12/29/19
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: December 30, 2019
Pages in book: 384
Stand alone or series: #2 in Uptown Girls series
Where I got the book from: Edelweiss
NOTE: I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

In the second novel in Joanna Shupe’s the Uptown Girl series, a ruthless casino owner bent on revenge finds his plans upended by a beautiful woman who proves to be more determined than he is–and too irresistible to deny.

Powerful casino owner.
Ruthless mastermind.
Destroyer of men.

He lives in the shadows . . .

As the owner of the city’s most exclusive casino, Clayton Madden holds the fortunes of prominent families in the palms of his hands every night. There is one particular family he burns to ruin, however, one that has escaped his grasp . . . until now.

She is society’s darling . . .

Florence Greene is no one’s fool. She knows Clayton Madden is using her to ruin her prestigious family . . . and she’s using him right back. She plans to learn all she can from the mysterious casino owner–then open a casino of her own just for women.

With revenge on his mind, Clay agrees to mentor Florence. However, she soon proves more adept–and more alluring–than Clay bargained for. When his plans are threatened, Clay must decide if he is willing to gamble his empire on love.

My rating:  3.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I haven’t read anything by this author in the past (I’m fairly sure) but I’ve heard so many good things about her novels on the podcasts I listen too. And I saw her speak recently at an event that I went to, so I was excited to try one of her novels. This book reminded me a LOT of another book I read recently, Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas. I haven’t read a lot of historical romances set during this time period and while I enjoyed it, it was definitely a change. The women in this novel were very rebellious. Like more rebellious than I was even during this modern time period. So that piece of the story line felt a little off to me. Though you wouldn’t be able to set up the story line otherwise so it was necessary. The story line itself felt a little drawn out too – some pieces started to feel redundant. All that being said, I did enjoy a lot about this book. This was a very feminist novel, and it had a lot of strong female characters. I liked a lot of Florence’s character though she was a bit naive of the risks she was taking on with her actions. Overall though it was a sweet story and I’d recommend it.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

Book Riot Live 2015

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So this past weekend I had the good fortune to attend Book Riot Live 2015 in New York City. I had never been to a book conference before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but when I started getting information about the line-up of speakers and panelists I was pretty excited! For those of you that don’t know about Book Riot, they are a great site for book recommendations and reviews and so much more. They also have a quarterly shipment that they do for both Adults and YA. I subscribe to the Adult one and so far I’ve gotten two shipments (one of which you can read about here) and I really like them. They also do multiple podcasts including book recommendations and new releases. So anyways they organized a book conference for this past weekend and hosted some of their podcasts live and also had some seminars with authors. Plus there were a ton of vendors there and a cute little reading area and other fun activities. I was lucky enough that my husband agreed to tag along with me as far as the hotel while I went to the conference and geeked out so I didn’t have to travel to NYC and back by myself! Him and I also had a great time seeing different parts of the city between when I was at the conference and in general its always nice to get away for a night and relax. So below are a few highlights about the conference!

My Top 3 Sessions I Attended at the Conference

3. The Reading Lives podcast Live Recording with Jeff O’Neal (Moderator) and Angela Flournoy (Author)
For those of you who don’t know, Angela Flournoy is the author of The Turner House, which was released this past April and is a finalist for the National Book Award and the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, a Summer 2015 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and a New York Times Sunday Book Review Editors’ Choice. While I haven’t read The Turner House yet, it is pretty high up on my to read list and I was excited to see her in person. Also for those of you who don’t know, The Reading Lives podcast is a show where different authors are interviewed about their lives leading up to when they became a successful author. Angela was a great interviewee and I learned a lot of interesting factoids about her life growing up. Unfortunately the book store at the conference ran out of her books before I could buy one so I couldn’t get a signed copy but it was still great to hear about her life. If you are interested in hearing this specific podcast, it it doesn’t seem to be up quite yet but when it is that epidsode and all other The Reading Lives episodes can be found here.

2. Writing Relationship seminar with Sarah Wendell (Moderator and also an author), Beverkly Jenkins (Author), William Johnson (Editor), Sarah MacLean (Author) and Jill McDonough (Poet)
I snuck into this seminar right before it started because I decided to skip lunch and I am just so glad I did. I thought this was a really great seminar and I really enjoyed the panelists and the topic. The Speakers discussed how they go about creating relationships between the characters in their works and even how they create a relationship with the readers of their books. There were a lot of interesting points made (the most common one seemed to be “Writing is hard” which 100% made sense to me!) and some great stories from all of the Panelists.

1. Get Booked Live Recording with Amanda Nelson (Moderator/Book Riot) and Sarah MacLean (Author) 
Anyone who has read my blog knows that romance is definitely a genre that I enjoy, so I was especially excited about meeting author Sarah MacLean. Sarah has written many best-selling historical romance novels, the most recent of which is being published in 2 weeks! Little did I know before hand that she would be SO FUNNY! I just loved her! And honestly part of it was that her and Amanda just played off each other so well when they were speaking, it was such a great seminar! For anyone who doesn’t already know, the Get Booked podcast is a show where people can write in and request book recommendations based on prior reads or really on any kind of criteria. Since Sarah was guest hosting, this was a 100% romance podcast which was fun for me since I recognized a lot of the authors/books mentioned and got a few new ideas from the mix as well. It was a GREAT show and you can listen to the recording (once it’s been posted) here plus all previous recordings of the show are listed there as well.

My Top 3 Other Fun Things from the Conference

3. THERE WERE SO MANY BOOKS
Honestly I was in book overload. As it is I spent WAY too much money but I could have spent WAY more. I am very please with all the books I got though! However, it wasn’t my smartest move to just bring a small backpack to the conference because I ended up having to lug 10+ books (at least half of which were hardcover) with me around the conference, through NYC and onto the train with me. Lesson definitely learned for next time, but overall so psyched with the new books I have to read!

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2. The Harry Potter Alliance’s Apparating Library
This was one of the booths at the conference, you bring in old books and “check them in” to the library on Saturday and then you can “check out” the same number of books on Sunday. I thought it was a really fun idea and I got two new books out of the bargain! (Pictured above: My Father’s Wives and The Tiger Wife)

1. Book Signings!
I got two books signed!!! AHHH!!

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Top 3 Things I Wish I Had Done

3. Talked to more people
I talked to a handful of people and honestly I was really proud of myself for even doing that. I am 100% an introvert and I have such trouble putting myself out there and talking to new people. But here I was though surrounded by book nerds who were just like me, this should have been an easy crowd for me to get involved with! So I feel myself wishing I had introduced myself to more people and made more connections.

2. Book Crawl
A bunch of people from the conference went on a Book Crawl on Saturday night. It is like a Pub Crawl but you go to book stores and it sounded like the coolest thing to me (self-admitted book nerd). I was bummed to not participate but at the same time I really wanted to spend a little time with my husband in the city and a Book Crawl is definitely not something he would find cool/enjoyable/remotely interesting.

1. Hand out more of my Blog Bookmarks and Wear my blog T-shirt
I’m honestly still kicking myself for this because I didn’t even think to wear my t-shirt that has my blog information on it! We thought of it Sunday afternoon that I should have worn it and I was so mad I didn’t think of it sooner! First off, what a great conversation piece and second what a great marketing/promotional tool! Those people are my EXACT audience!!! And I brought some bookmarks with my blog information on them with me but I only ended up handing out one because a) I’m shy and b) I am AWFUL at promoting myself because I always worry the other person isn’t going to be interested or it will seem like I am bragging.

So what about all you readers! Have any of you been to a book conference? I’d love to hear about it, I am doing research as to which ones I want to go to in the future!

2014 – Book #95

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As part of my October spooky series reading challenge, the ninty-fifth book I read in 2014 was Dead Over Heels by MaryJanice Davidson. This is a collection of 3 novellas, one of which is book 6.5 in her Undead series about vampire queen Betsy Taylor. This is the series I will be focusing on this month for my Spooky Series reading challenge for the month of October. I finished this book on 10/23/14. I rated this book 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5.

The first novella in this book is Undead and Wed: A Honeymoon Story. This story takes place only a few days after where Undead and Uneasy left off, Betsy and Sinclair are married and have ventured off for their honeymoon. What they don’t suspect however, is that Betsy’s best friend Jess and Jess’s boyfriend Nick are waiting at their hotel in NYC for them. Jess seems to think that this is the perfect time for Betsy and Nick to become bestest friends (Nick hates her guts for past events). But while they’re all staying at the hotel, kids start turning up dead, bled dry by vampires. I think the whole premise of Jess showing up on Betsy’s honeymoon is a little unlikely but other than that this was a fun story and a good addition to the Undead series.

The second novella in this book is Survivors. TV star Con Conlinson ends up stranded in a one man boat in the middle of the ocean. After two days he is thankfully helped by a silver mermaid who feeds him, drags his boat to an island so he doesn’t die, and telepathically calls to another mermaid to get a rescue team to come get Con. The funny thing is that Con was the star of a survival show, but he never would have survived another day if it weren’t for the mermaid, Ree (Reanesta). This was a cute story and I like the other mermaid books that MJ writes.

The third novella in this book is Speed Dating Werewolf Style Or, Ow, I Think You Broke The Bone. This book also takes place a few days after the end of Undead and Uneasy. Cain was one of the werewolves that Michael brought to Minnesota with him to try and find Antonia. Cain hadn’t seen many of her Pack members in years, so teaming up with them to take on the vampire queen really brought it home that many of her Pack members that are her age are now settled down with “pups” of their own. Cain decides its time for her to settle down and find a mate, and she enlists the help of her good old friend Saul. Short story made even shorter, Saul has been in love with Cain forever and she was just too dumb to realize it. To be honest I found this story to be a bit predictable and boring. It was cute just not my taste. 

Link to author website: http://www.maryjanicedavidson.net/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Over-Heels-MaryJanice-Davidson/dp/0425219410/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1414148725&sr=1-3

2014 – Book #81

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The eighty-first book I read in 2014 was The Collector by Nora Roberts. I finished this book on 9/13/14. I rated this book 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5. This book is about Lila Emerson, international house-sitter and young-adult paranormal author. While house-sitting in New York City, she witnesses a brutal murder in the apartment across the street from her. Then when she happens to meet the suspected murderer’s brother at the police station (artist Ashton Archer), she hears a new side of the story that makes her questions what she originally believed happened in that apartment. Ashton asks her to help him figure out what happened to his brother.

As they investigate, Ashton realizes that Lila is everything he’s been looking for and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe. When the police realize that the person after Lila and Ashton is a woman wanted is sever countries for murder, they have to come up with a good plan to try and keep Lila safe. As they delve deeper into the investigation, Ashton uncovers a piece of art that his brother was killed over, a Faberge egg. More specifically, one of the lost Imperial eggs.

Overall I was not a huge fan of this book. The hero was FAR too heavy-handed for me and I just couldn’t manage to get involved in the story line. Some parts of the book were interesting but by the time the climax of the book came around I had pretty much lost interest. It was ok but I’m not sure its worth reading the whole 480+ pages.

Link to Faberge Imperial Eggs: http://www.faberge.com/news/49-imperialeggs.aspx

Link to author website: http://www.noraroberts.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Collector-Nora-Roberts/dp/0399164456/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410793306&sr=8-1&keywords=the+collector