Saturday, May 16, 2020

Date Night with a Book: The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

Date Night with a book is the new After Dark series of posts on my blog, books posted for Date Nights contain Adult  Romance themes and scenes. From now on I will keep my reviews of all books I read that have explicit scenes in them for Date Night posts for those of you who prefer to avoid them or easy to find for those of you who seek them out ;)

Read for: Recently Added/ Anticipated Release

Synopsis: "Critically acclaimed author Mia Sosa delivers a sassy, steamy enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy about a woman whose new job requires her to work side-by-side with the best man who ruined her wedding: her ex-fiancé's infuriating, irritating, annoyingly handsome brother. Perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory, Helen Hoang, and Sally Thorne!

A wedding planner left at the altar. Yeah, the irony isn’t lost on Carolina Santos, either. But despite that embarrassing blip from her past, Lina’s managed to make other people’s dreams come true as a top-tier wedding coordinator in DC. After impressing an influential guest, she’s offered an opportunity that could change her life. There’s just one hitch… she has to collaborate with the best (make that worst) man from her own failed nuptials.

Tired of living in his older brother’s shadow, marketing expert Max Hartley is determined to make his mark with a coveted hotel client looking to expand its brand. Then he learns he’ll be working with his brother’s whip-smart, stunning—absolutely off-limits—ex-fiancée. And she loathes him.

If they can survive the next few weeks and nail their presentation without killing each other, they’ll both come out ahead. Except Max has been public enemy number one ever since he encouraged his brother to jilt the bride, and Lina’s ready to dish out a little payback of her own.

But even the best laid plans can go awry, and soon Lina and Max discover animosity may not be the only emotion creating sparks between them. Still, this star-crossed couple can never be more than temporary playmates because Lina isn’t interested in falling in love and Max refuses to play runner-up to his brother ever again..."

My Review: I wasn't too sure how this book would go, I haven't read any jilted bride books before. I am glad that I listened to the audio book while reading the print because there are a lot of words I needed pronunciations on, names of Brazilian food and names. It was a bit of a rocky start for me but I pushed through the first few chapters and ended up falling in love with the characters and the story. Lina is a strong female character, all business and can stand on her own two feet, and Max is a strong (but softie on the inside) male character that is just the right counterbalance to Lina. They had me laughing with all their banter and awkward situations. It was fun and quirky, but still had the emotional punches I like in my romances.

My Rating: It took me a bit to get into it but I ended up really enjoying this one, I loved both the main characters, but the side characters also really shined! I give this one a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Bedtime Story: Rónán and the Mermaid: A Tale of Old Ireland by Marianne McShane & Illustrated by Jordi Solano

Read for: Netgalley/ Requested Review

Synopsis: "An Irish storyteller revisits the little-known legend of the Mermaid Saint in a haunting, beautifully illustrated tale of kindness, music, and longing.

Long ago, on the eastern coast of Ireland, a monk from the Abbey of Bangor was collecting driftwood along the wave-tossed shore when he found a boy washed up amid a circle of seals. At first the boy, wrapped in a shawl of woven seagrass, could barely move or speak. But when he regained his strength, he recalled being brought ashore by a lady with long golden hair who sang him to safety and gave him a silver ring. The monks knew the legend of a mermaid who had wandered the coast for three hundred years. Could it possibly have been her? Inspired by a story told in medieval chronicles of Irish history about a wondrous happening in the year 558, debut author Marianne McShane weaves a captivating tale, while Jordi Solano captures the legend's spare but welcoming abbey on the rocky shore -- a setting that makes you believe that if you listen hard enough, you too can hear the mermaid's song."

My Review: I love folk tales, and this book really gave me those vibes. The illustrations are stunning. It might be a bit long and go over the heads of the youngest readers but older children will enjoy the story. I love the blending of belief systems in this book, the more magical pagan beliefs and the newer Christian beliefs. The fact that the story is taken from the history books was great as well, I really appreciated the author note describing the historical details.

My Rating: I really enjoyed this book, I loved the illustrations and the historical basis. It may not be perfect for the youngest kids but it would work well for a bedtime story for 5 and up. I give it a rating of Three Paws.

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the above is my honest review and opinion.

You can find out more about Marianne McShane and her books on her Goodreads Page or Website.

Rónán and the Mermaid is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, May 19th, but you can pre-order your copy now in print format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it at your local library or bookstore.

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Review of The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski

Read for: Recently Added/ Anticipated Release

Synopsis: "Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences.

Nirrim keeps her head down and a dangerous secret close to her chest.

But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away who whispers rumors that the High Caste possesses magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.

Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s Trilogy, beloved author Marie Rutkoski returns with an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us—and the lies we tell ourselves."

My Review: I was a big fan of the Winner's Curse trilogy and so was really excited to seen a new book from her. I struggled quite a bit with this one in the beginning, a lot of the world is left a mystery and I found that a bit confusing. Granted that played into the line "it is what it is" but too much was left unexplained. I guess I would have liked to know the rules of the Half-Kith Ward and more about the societal climate. With that said this was an adventure in all is not as it seems. I really enjoyed Sid's character, she was spunky and knew how to play her hand just right. Nirrim's character confused me, she never did what I expected, she was trusting and loyal to a fault. The characters in this book, much like Rutkoski's previous books, are a bit morally grey, sometimes doing the right thing, sometimes doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, and sometimes just making bad choices. The ending was definitely different than I was expecting and I am very curious to see where the next book takes it.

My Rating: I struggled a bit with this one, I think I had different expectations for it after loving her previous series so much.  I do like how it connected the mythology and gods from the previous series with this book.  Maybe morally grey characters aren't my cup of tea, but I think this story does have a lot more to be told with another book.  For now I give this one a rating of Three Paws.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Can't Wait for . . . All My Loving by Marie Force

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hoste at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you're continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.

I originally discovered Marie Force when I was searching for local authors to read and the Green Mountain/ Butler Vermont series was my first introduction to her.  Now 10 books into the series, I can't get enough of the Abbott family! Now we get the next book, finally!

All My Loving by Marie Force
Release Date: June 23, 2020


Synopsis: "It’s mud season in Vermont, and things are getting dirty…

Landon Abbott and his identical twin brother, Lucas, always shared everything—until they laid eyes on Amanda Pressley and both wanted something only one of them could have. All it took was her pretty little mouth uttering the words “prostate massager” during a sales pitch at his family’s Green Mountain Country Store in Butler, Vermont, to make Landon’s heart stop and other parts of him jump to attention. Unfortunately, his brother felt the same—or at least he did. Now Lucas is head over heels for Dani and her daughter Savannah, and the path is clear for Landon and Amanda. Except that even with her staying with him, nothing is happening, and Landon isn’t sure how to change the status quo.

Amanda is making a list and checking it twice. Nearly dying in the fire at the Admiral Butler Inn has left her with tons of regret and a new lust for life. Topping the list of things she wants to do with her second chance are two key items—fall in love and have an orgasm with a man. The last person she expects to check all her boxes is the world-renowned player named Landon Abbott. She might've made the mistake of saying yes to dates with both brothers once upon a time, but only one of them makes her heart pound. Too bad she can’t figure out how to move off the starting line toward something more than friendship with the ridiculously handsome firefighter.

When she needed a place to stay after the fire, Landon was first in line to offer his home, and now that she’s sleeping in his bed, he’s determined to show Amanda only one Abbott brother is capable of helping her achieve her goals. Things are heating up in Butler this spring as Landon and Amanda find just what they’ve been missing on the road to happily ever after. But like mud season in Vermont, that road is full of potholes as a long-buried secret from Amanda’s past and Landon’s plethora of female admirers threaten their newfound happiness.

Return to Butler, Vermont to catch up with the Abbotts, the Colemans and Fred the Moose, and find out if baby Dexter the Moose has found his way inside Hannah’s house yet."

Is there a fictional family that you wish you could join?

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Review of Stealing Thunder by Alina Boyden

Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley/ Recently Added/ Anticipated Release

Synopsis: "Protecting her identity means life or death in this immersive epic fantasy inspired by the Mughal Empire.

In a different life, under a different name, Razia Khan was raised to be the Crown Prince of Nizam, the most powerful kingdom in Daryastan. Born with the soul of a woman, she ran away at a young age to escape her father’s hatred and live life true to herself.

Amongst the hijras of Bikampur, Razia finds sisterhood and discovers a new purpose in life. By day she’s one of her dera’s finest dancers, and by night its most profitable thief. But when her latest target leads her to cross paths with Arjun Agnivansha, Prince of Bikampur, it is she who has something stolen.

An immediate connection with the prince changes Razia’s life forever, and she finds herself embroiled in a dangerous political war. The stakes are greater than any heist she’s ever performed. When the battle brings her face to face with her father, Razia has the chance to reclaim everything she lost…and save her prince."

My Review: I was so excited to pick this book up, and am glad I had the opportunity to read it early. I was instantly drawn into the world, and fell in love with the characters. I am a big fan of Razia, she is so confident and strong, she is also completely unapologetic for who she is, and I loved it! She has been through the highest of highs and lowest of lows both in emotions and societal class and yet she remains true to herself. Along comes Arjun and oh dear, he is a handsome prince who is kind and strong, a perfect combination to fall for. We also get the zahhaks, which from the description sound like a type of dragon but sound amazing, beautiful, powerful and loyal. I found it interesting the way the character growth was handled in this book, Razia regains some of who she already is, but the people around her seem to be the ones with the most growth throughout the story. I definitely recommend this book to any fantasy romance readers, it is a rich vivid world with characters you can't help but get behind and a full cast of side characters.

My Rating:  This book read like a myth or a legend, such vivid characters and world, adventures, romance, it had it all.  I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley and through a Goodreads giveaway from Berkley Publishing/ Penguin Random House. The above is my honest review and opinion.

You can find out more about Alina Boyden and her book on her Goodreads Page or Twitter. Stealing Thunder is her debut novel and I am looking forward to seeing more. 

Stealing Thunder is being released today so you can obtain your own copy in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it at your local library or independent bookstore. (I am going to try the audio book next time I read it).

Monday, May 11, 2020

Monday Reading List

It is Monday again, and time to update with what I read last week, what I am currently reading and what to look forward to next week.

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Forces of Destiny: Daring Adventures by Emma Carlson Berne
Moo by Sharon Creech
The Lifters by Dave Eggers
The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate
Home by Alison Neuman (Bedtime Story)
Owly Vol. 1: The Way Home & Bittersweet Summer by Andy Runton (Graphic Novel)
Love Is by Diane Adams (Bedtime Story)

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Worst Best Man
One and Only Bob
Midnight Lie

Currently Reading:

You Can't F*ck Up Your Kids by Lindsay Powers - Print - on page 43 of 320
Stealing Thunder by Alina Boyden - Print/Ebook- on page 204 of 368

Pages Read/ Time Listened
377:38 Hours Listened (24:22 listened this week)
12,188 Pages Read (17 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
White Rose  - READ
Stealing Thunder (gift)
The Eyes of Tamburah (gift)
The Wolf in the Whale
~~~~~~~~~~March Birthday Waiver Books ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Rain Dragon Rescue
The Order of the Unicorn
The Book of Boy
All the Wandering Light
Life on the Leash
Phoenix Unbound
Magic Bites - READ
Fantasy Lover
Night Pleasures
The Midnight Lie - READ
You Can't F*ck Up Your Kids  (gift)
Mary Shelley Monster Hunter Vol. 1
The Caged Queen
The Mum Who'd Had Enough
Ash and Quill
The Voyage to Magical North
I Needed a Viking
Smoke and Iron
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~End Birthday Waiver~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Red Hood (gift)
The Worst Best Man - READ
Scavenge the Stars
Hades & Persephone
Beachside Beginnings (gift)
Finding Forever
Uncommon Type
Red, White & Royal Blue
The Monster of Elendhaven
Sorcery of Thorns - READ
Beach Read
One and Only Bob - READ
Network Effect
Dark Skies
No Country for Old Gnomes (gift)
The World According to Star Wars (gift)
About That Kiss


I hope all you moms and substitute moms out there had a great Mother's Day.  It was a bit of a weird one here, usually we host a BBQ for me and my MIL and any others who wish to join, but this year with all the social distancing we delivered a few cards and gifts but that was about it.  Also, usually Munchkin allows me a nice relaxing day but he has so much energy and is so bored he wanted to run and roughhouse all day.  I also spent over an hour dealing with paperwork for our refinance. It was still nice to have a wonderful dinner prepared by Hubby and Munchkin.

I hope you enjoyed Children's Book Week last week, there are so many great new books coming out for young readers!

Happy adventures this week!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Children's Book Week: Mother's Day Bedtime Story: Love is by Diane Adams & Illustrated by Claire Keane

Children's Book Week

Read for: Children's Books

Synopsis: "Perfect for Valentine's Day—or any tender moment—this story of a girl and a duckling who share a touching year together will melt hearts old and young. In this tenderly funny book, girl and duckling grow in their understanding of what it is to care for each other, discovering that love is as much about letting go as it is about holding tight. Children and parents together will adore this fond exploration of growing up while learning about the joys of love offered and love returned."

My Review: This story was meant for Valentine's Day but I was struck more by the maternal love and felt it was much better suited for Mother's Day. We love our little ones and will do anything for them but know deep down at some point we will need to let them fall so they can learn to fly on their own, and this book perfectly embodies that love. The illustrations are beautifully done and the story reads so smoothly. It is a great soothing read for the end of the day when you are cuddled up together.

My Rating: I know I read this for Valentine's Day but it gave me all the mommy sentimental feelings and I think all you moms will really enjoy reading it with your little ones too.  I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Bout of Books 28: Sign Up & Updates

While this is a month full of readathons, I am always happy to join Bout of Books for a week long readathon!

Here is the information you need in case you want to sign up too!

The Bout of Books readathon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It’s a weeklong readathon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in YOUR time zone. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are daily challenges, Twitter chats, and exclusive Instagram challenges, but they’re all completely optional. For Bout of Books 28 information and updates, visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team


So this post is going to be my base for the week, I will continue to come back and update it each day with my progress (as I already have a lot of posts planned for this week and don't want things too jumbled up).  I will also be updating on Instagram @EasternSunset9

Time Devoted to Reading
I have really been struggling to squeeze reading time into my busy schedule lately but I would like to read between 2-4 hours each day and read about 120-200 pages each day.

My Goals
Read a total of 900 pages
Read at least 2 hours each day
Read/Finish 1-2 Requested Review Books
Make progress on Tome for Tome Topple

Books to Read
Summer Retreat - 304 pages
On a Blue Moon - 274 pages
Of Literature and Lattes - 336 pages
Wrath - 720 pages

Other Possible Books
Beachside Beginnings - 384 pages
Hades & Persephone: Curse of the Golden Arrow - 428 pages


Number of Pages I've Read Today: 164 pages
Total Number of Pages:  164 pages
Time Spent Reading Today: 3.5 hours
Total Number of Books I've Read: 1
Books Completed: 1 (Stealing Thunder)
Thoughts: I got quite a bit of reading done, just not the books I had on my list. I needed to finish up Stealing Thunder for release day so it took the priority in my reading. It was a really enjoyable book, but I am ready to move on to my TBR books. I will be starting with Summer Retreat in audio book and Of Literature and Lattes in ebook.

Number of Pages I've Read Today: 200 pages
Total Number of Pages: 364 pages
Time Spent Reading Today: 6 hours
Total Number of Books I've Read: 3 (Currently reading Summer Retreat & Of Literature & Lattes)
Books Completed: 1 (Stealing Thunder)
Thoughts: It was a much better reading day, I was able to listen to an audio book while doing office work and also read a little between helping Munchkin with his school work.  While I do want to keep this ball rolling, it is going to be a busy day. Between school work (including 2 tests), class zoom meetings, office work at home and then office work at the office, I doubt I will get much time to read. I am hoping to finish at least one book soon though and move on to my big tome topple book.

Number of Pages I've Read Today: 25 pages
Total Number of Pages: 389 pages
Time Spent Reading Today: 1/2 hour
Total Number of Books I've Read: 3 (currently reading Of Literature & Lattes)
Books Completed: 1 (Stealing Thunder)
Thoughts: It was a hectic day yesterday and there was absolutely no time for reading until the evening.  But then a couple of friends who are feeling lonely wanted to get on a zoom chat, and well drinks were poured and kept coming and the hours ticked by and before we knew it we hit midnight.

Number of Pages I've Read Today: 268 pages
Total Number of Pages: 657 pages
Time Spent Reading Today: 7.5 hours
Total Number of Books I've Read: 4 (Currently reading Of Literature & Lattes and Wrath)
Books Completed: 2 (Stealing Thunder & Summer Retreat)
Thoughts: Definitely a much better reading day, finished an audio book while working, read a few pages in Of Literature & Lattes and then while doing chores and relaxing for the evening, I dove into several hours of Wrath, finally. I am looking forward to a lot more of Wrath!

Number of Pages I've Read Today: 210 pages
Total Number of Pages: 867 pages
Time Spent Reading Today: 6.25 hours
Total Number of Books I've Read: 4 (currently reading Of Literature & Lattes and Wrath)
Books Completed: 2 (Stealing Thunder & Summer Retreat)
Thoughts: Yesterday was a much better reading day, I read only a few pages of my ebook but have listened to a bunch of Wrath, so glad I am finally getting to read this book! I plan to finish at least Wrath this weekend, plenty of audio book time while I catch up on the house work!

Saturday & Sunday
Number of Pages I've Read Today: 
Total Number of Pages: 
Time Spent Reading Today:
Total Number of Books I've Read: 
Books Completed:



I don't often participate in the challenges but if I do they will be posted here.