Book Spotlight: The Giving Heart

Welcome to the blog tour for The Giving Heart by bestselling author, Toni Blake! Read on for exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a copy of the book!

The Giving Heart by Toni Blake

The Giving Heart

Expected Publication Date: October 29th, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Small Town Romance

Publisher: HQN Books

Spend a white Christmas on Summer Island, where the fires are warm and the romance is hotter

Lila Sloan wonders why she ever thought house-sitting for her sister Meg on the remote Summer Island was a good idea. And to make matters worse, local real estate developer Beck Grainger is trying to cut down the beautiful trees that line the property. Lila can’t let this happen; Meg will never forgive her.

Beck can understand Lila’s anger—sort of. The trees are actually on the neighboring property, and the land was zoned for development months ago, so his plans were no secret. But he dislikes being at odds with his friend’s sister, especially because Lila is appealing in every way: loyal, quick-witted and completely stunning.

Lila hates that she’s so attracted to Beck, who seems like a genuinely good man, despite his tree-murdering tendencies. And their chemistry is off the charts. She just wishes he’d let this development go. As Summer Island counts down to a snowy Christmas, Lila and Beck will have to strike a compromise that seems impossible for them both—or risk losing the best thing either of them has ever had.

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Excerpt

Five long, cold minutes later a tall, broad-shouldered man wearing a winter coat with blue jeans and some weird, worn, leathery sort of cowboy hat on his head came walking down from the direction of West Bluff. Despite herself, and for the first time ever in her life, she found herself envying work boots like the ones he had on because they appeared so sturdy and dry. She braced herself for a fight.

When she looked up at him, two things struck her simultaneously. First, he was ridiculously handsome—with dark hair peeking out from beneath that dumb hat, and dark stubble on his chiseled jaw to match. And second, his warm brown eyes wore that same confused, cautious look as the man on the bulldozer’s as he said, “I’m Beck Grainger. And…there seems to be some sort of problem here?”

Lila drew back. This was Beck Grainger? Who Meg had spoken of so fondly? And even Suzanne, too, during their short visit yesterday, had mentioned him as a friend. Meg had told her he’d been interested in dating Suzanne and she’d declined, but they both still thought he was a great guy.

“Well, I’m Lila Sloan,” she said. “And yes, there’s a problem. I’m not letting you destroy Meg’s property value like this.”

Beck Grainger’s dark eyebrows shot up beneath his leathery brim. “You’re Meg’s sister?”

She gave a terse, crisp nod.

The handsome man sighed, shifting his weight from one work boot to the other. “Look, no one is trying to destroy anyone’s property value. And I assumed Meg knew about this. It’s not a secret. It was brought publicly before the town council and zoned for residential use back in the spring.”

Ugh. None of this was good news. But Lila was certain Meg didn’t know. Her sister had been dealing with a lot this past year and perhaps hadn’t been paying attention to island business. They’d actually discussed these very woods over the Thanksgiving table last week, recalling how they’d played here as children when their grandmother was still alive and running the place. Meg said that a couple of years ago she’d crossed the stream to plant some shade-loving trillium and blue cranesbill among the trees, and that the small blooms had added color visible from the patio each of the last two summers. Meg loved and valued these trees. And Lila brimmed with anger that no one had made Meg aware of this—but that was neither here nor there. “I can assure you she doesn’t know.”

The handsome man’s brow narrowed skeptically. “Well, if it’s a problem for her, why didn’t she just pick up the phone and call me?”

“Because she’s away right now—traveling. And even if she were here, she wouldn’t have known you were the person to call. And maybe she would have done something sensible—because Meg is definitely sensible—like contact someone on the town council. But I, being less sensible and more rash, took a more direct approach. Meg left me in charge of the inn while she’s away—and I can’t let you do this. I just can’t.”

The tilt of Beck Grainger’s handsome head told her he was going to try reasoning with her. “You know, it’s not gonna be that bad. Luxury homes. With big yards. They’ll fit into the landscape.” He even ended the sentence with a wink. Was he serious? Given what Lila had been through recently, he was definitely barking up the wrong tree with an elitist suggestion that rich people made better neighbors.

“I don’t care what you’re building—you’re doing it at the expense of my sister’s inn. People stay here because of the ambiance and atmosphere. They stay here to listen to crickets in the trees and see fireflies blinking in the woods. We played in these trees as kids. They’ve been growing here since…well, since before Summer Island was even Summer Island. I can’t let you tear them down.”

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About the Author

toni-blake-author-photo.jpg

USA Today bestselling author Toni Blake’s love of writing began when she won an essay contest in the fifth grade. Since then, she has written over twenty contemporary romance novels. Her books have received the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers’ Best Award, her work has been excerpted in Cosmopolitan, and she has been nominated for a RITA Award. Toni lives with her husband in Northern Kentucky.

Toni Blake | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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You can win a paperback copy of The Giving Heart (U.S. Only) or a digital copy (International), just click the link below to enter!

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Blog Tour Schedule

October 21st

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Spotlight) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

October 22nd

On the Shelf Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

October 23rd

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

I’m All About Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

October 24th

Romantic Reads & Such (Spotlight) http://romanticreadsandsuch.wordpress.com

Viviana MacKade (Review) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

October 25th

The Bookish Mrs. Harding (Review) http://thebookishmrsharding.home.blog

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

October 28th

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

Ruby Red Romance Review (Review) https://rubyredromancereview.com/

October 29th

Books, Teacup, and Reviews (Spotlight) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

Eclectic Reviews (Review) https://eclecticreview.com/

Jane Hunt Writes (Review) https://www.jolliffe01.com/blog

October 30th

Alys in Bookland (Spotlight) https://alysinbookland.wordpress.com/

Past Midnight (Review) http://pastmidnight.home.blog

November 1st

Inked and Blonde (Review) https://inkedandblonde.blogspot.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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Honesty you say?! Well, take a listen and let me be completely honest with you…..

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Book Review: Dark Matter

September has hit and I am out of readathon territory. It was intense and I was busy but I will say that I managed to read a lot of books! Anyways, I decided to do a buddy read this month with Markus and we chose Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.

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Synopsis: Jason Dessen is walking home through the chilly Chicago streets one night, looking forward to a quiet evening in front of the fireplace with his wife, Daniela, and their son, Charlie—when his reality shatters.

It starts with a man in a mask kidnapping him at gunpoint, for reasons Jason can’t begin to fathom—what would anyone want with an ordinary physics professor?—and grows even more terrifying from there, as Jason’s abductor injects him with some unknown drug and watches while he loses consciousness.

When Jason awakes, he’s in a lab, strapped to a gurney—and a man he’s never seen before is cheerily telling him “welcome back!”

Jason soon learns that in this world he’s woken up to, his house is not his house. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born.

And someone is hunting him.

This book was amazing. I had no idea what I was really getting into when I picked this up but I had been told by many people that it was really good so I went for it and I was not disappointed!

The book had me on the edge of my seat right from chapter 1. I really needed a good pick me up sci-fi and this one was exactly that. I felt like I was right in it with Jason Dessen trying to figure out what was happening and what to do next.

It has become one of my top Sci-Fi reads. Probably my favorite of this year so far. There were a lot of concepts in this book that were explored and I was so glad that they went in the direction they did.

I heard that they are making this into a movie so I hope they can capture the amazing written work of this book and do it justice on the big screen!

There is so much I want to say about this book and talk about it with people but I can’t because of SPOILERS. So I would just say to read it and then we can gush about all the stuff that happens in this masterpiece. If you are a fan of mind-bending, plot-driven books that will keep you guessing then pick this one up! 

Book Rating: 5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads!

Disclaimer: I read this book because I wanted to. I was in no way compensated for my review.


I recently became a part of the Harper Collins Book Blogger group and they sent me my first batch of ARC’s! Watch the video to see what I got!

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Book Review: Landline

The magical readathon is now over and I read so freaking much during the month of August. Landline by Rainbow Rowell was the 2nd last book on my readathon TBR and I read it in 3 days. The prompt for this one was to read a book with my Hogwarts house colours on the front of it. So I chose this one because I am a Hufflepuff and it had yellow and black.

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Synopsis: Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts…

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

I found this book to be very different from Rainbow’s other work. And by that, I mean Eleanor and Park since that is the only other book I have read by her. This one had a much more new adult feel to it where her other stuff felt more young adult based.

I do think I like her young adult books more but that being said, this book was still pretty good. The concept of being able to speak to your significant other of the past through a landline phone was a fun new twist of old and great to see in a book considering a lot of today’s generation may not even get to experience a landline phone.

Georgie struggles with a lot of common dilemmas in the life of a married woman juggling a family and a career. Communication is waning between her and her husband and the book goes over her relationship with him.

It plays out like a romantic drama movie in book format. If you are looking for a book about love and family values then this is a good option.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I bought this book with my own money and read and reviewed it because I wanted to. I was in no way compensated for this review.


I finally finished the NEWTS and did my wrap up where I discussed all the books I read over the month of August (spoiler: I read 9 books).

ACTUAL NATURAL HEALTH & WELLNESS PRODUCTS, INC.

Book Review: Who’s Got Your Back?

Welcome back bookworms! I am planning to read a lot of books in July and this is the first of many. This on is called Who’s Got Your Back? Making and Keeping Great Relationships Among Men by David Smith.

A book about men's relationships

Synopsis: Who’s got your back? Most men will simply answer, “no one.” Not many men have close friends in the sense that women do. We’re more likely to form alliances than we are friendships. It doesn’t have to be this way. Who’s Got Your Back? will motivate men to build satisfying relationships which will be there during the ups and downs of life.

David Smith’s new book, Who’s Got Your Back? clearly presents the clarion call for men to be the kind of men modeled for us by Jesus. David shows us how we can be strong, task oriented, and achieving, but also warm-hearted and unmistakably relationship driven in the rough and tumble of everyday life.

This good book brings into sharp focus a genuine and functional and real-life definition of manliness. David Smith has skillfully woven stories with practical application strategies into a narrative as to how we build and support trusting relationships.

This book was in the middle for me. I enjoyed the concept it was trying to get across to its readers but at the same time didn’t really feel like it was applicable to me. It is more centered on men that don’t have fulfilling relationships with other men (in the non sexual way). It is a book on working towards making stronger connections with other men in your life because you need that foundation of people and support to build your character but also to bring joy and understanding of yourself more as a person to your life.

I feel that I have a strong relationship with many close friends that are guys and we make it priority to be ever present in each other’s lives. This book is more focused on the older generation (that being the baby boomers) that have a quieter lifestyle once they are married where the husband has one person to depend and rely on (his wife) and little to no other people. I don’t believe this should be the way either and this book is here to help these men branch out and find other fellowship among men that they could potentially be open and build a friendship with.

I feel that there is value in what this book has to offer and since it is very religious based, I think it would be a great resource for a men’s group based out of church. They could follow along together and work through the discussion questions at the end of each chapter.

It is a good book but I just feel that it didn’t apply to me where I am at in life right now. That being said, I will be passing the book on to my dad as I believe he would enjoy this book and could bring it to his Christian men’s group he attends.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Book Depository or Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by a publishing company in physical format to read and give an honest review.


Check out my latest Wrap Up video where I talk about the books I read in the month of June and announce the giveaway winner!

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Book Highlight: Banged Up Heart

Banged Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss

Banged Up Heart Cover

Genre
Memoir / Non Fiction

Synopsis: Banged-Up Heart is an intimate and clear-eyed account of finding love late and losing it early—and of the strength it takes to fall deeply in love a second time, be forced to relinquish that love too soon, and yet choose to love again.

When her husband of thirty years dies suddenly, Shirley Melis is convinced she will never find another man like Joe. Then she meets John, a younger man who tells her during their first conversation that he has lived for many years with a rare but manageable cancer. She is swept off her feet in a whirlwind courtship, and within months, made brave by the early death of a friend’s husband, she asks him to marry her! What follows is a year-long odyssey of travel and a growing erotic and creative partnership— until a mysterious bump on John’s forehead proves to be one of several tumors in his brain and spine.

The nine months that follow are filled with a life-threatening infection, three brain surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy. Two years and one week after their wedding, John dies at the age of fifty-nine. More than just a love story or a memoir of mourning, Banged-Up Heartcomes down solidly on the side of life. It takes you deep inside an ordinary woman, her deeply felt grief butting up against her desire for more than companionship: passion, sexual fulfillment, and self-realization. It bears eloquent witness to the wild trust it takes to fall madly in love and risk profound loss—a second time. Ultimately, it shows that it is possible to dance with a banged-up heart.

Amazon Link
https://www.amazon.com/Banged-Up-Heart-Dancing-Love-Loss/dp/193828870X /?tag=wowwomenonwri-20

Goodreads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32145012-banged-up-heart?

Audible Link:
https://www.audible.com/pd/Banged-Up-Heart-Audiobook/B07P1ZMBS4?qid=1556277182&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=MN84GWS17HRECS89TKR8

About The Author

Shirley Melis Head Shot

Shirley Melis is a longtime business writer, travel writer, and newspaper columnist who traveled the world interviewing everyone from busboys to heads of international organizations before launching a career in public relations in Washington, D.C. With Banged-Up Heart, she now takes her writing in a new direction, delving deeply into her own personal story of finding love late, losing it early, and discovering the strength to choose to love again. It is a fascinating odyssey, a journey both creative and erotic as Shirley and John work lovingly together to blend their dreams—until a mysterious bump on his forehead starts them on a tragic struggle against the dark hand of fate.

A graduate of Vassar, Shirley Melis has created an intimate memoir bearing eloquent witness to the kind of wild trust that can grow in the heart of an ordinary woman thrust into circumstances that few others must face. Now retired, she lives in Galisteo, New Mexico.


Blog Tour Schedule

July 8 (today) @ The Muffin
Interview and giveaway.
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

July 9 @ Book Santa Fe Crystal Otto
Crystal J. Casavant-Otto shares her review after listening to the touching and inspiring memoir Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis.
http://www.booksantafe.info/

July 10 @ Lisa Buske
Lisa Buske reviews the Audible version of Banged-Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss by Shirley Melis.
https://www.lisambuske.com/

July 11 @ Bring on Lemons with Tara Forst
Wisconsin mother and business woman Tara Forst shares her thoughts after listening to the inspirational audible version of Banged-Up Heart by Shirley Melis.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

July 12th @ BreakEven Books
Today’s Author Spotlight at BreakEven Books is on Shirley Melis and her memoir Banged-Up Heart – now available on Audible!
https://breakevenbooks.com/

July 13 @ Bring on Lemons with Angela Williams
Angela Williams reviews Shirley Melis’s Banged Up Heart.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

July 14 @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen
Educator and Entrepreneur Cathy Hansen reads and reviews Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis. You’ll want to stop by Bring On Lemons today for your chance to learn more about this touching and encouraging memoir (now available on Audible).
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

July 15 @ Lisa Haselton
Shirley Melis is being interviewed today by Lisa Haselton. Stop at Lisa’s blog to learn more about Banged Up Heart, a non-fiction, memoir (now available on Audible), about finding the courage and strength to love again.
http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

July 16 @ Bring on Lemons with Madeline Sharples
Fellow memoir writer Madeline Sharples interviews Shirley Melis about her book Banged Up Heart. (now available on Audible) Don’t miss this heart felt interview about courage and love.
http://madelinesharples.com/

July 17 @ Jerry Waxler
Coach and Author Jerry Waxler shares his thoughts after reading Shirley Melis’s memoir Banged Up Heart.
www.memorywritersnetwork.com/blog

July 18 @ Deb Blanchard
Teacher Deb Blanchard gives insight into “Banged Up Heart” the touching memoir by Shirley Melis (now available on Audible).
https://www.facebook.com/Reviews-by-Deb-1737715249887520/

July 19 @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Don’t miss today’s interview between memoirist Linda Appleman Shapiro and Shirley Melis. Find out more about Melis and her memoir Banged Up Heart (now available on Audible).
http://applemanshapiro.com/

July 20 @ Bring on Lemons with Penny Harrison
Wisconsin business owner and avid reader Penny Harrison shares her thoughts and feelings about Shirley Melis’s memoir Banged Up Heart (now available on Audible).
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

July 22 @ Memoir Writers Journey with Kathleen Pooler
Kathleen Pooler shares her thoughts with readers of Memoir Writer’s Journey – find out what Pooler has to say about reading Shirley Melis’s memoir Banged Up Heart.
http://krpooler.com/

July 23 @ Bring on Lemons with Pang Papathopolus
Wisconsin professional caregiver and health care worker Pang gives her review of the Audible version of Banged-Up Heart by Shirley Melis.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

July 24 @ The Constant Story with David W. Berner
Author and radio personality David W Berner reviews Shirley Melis’s book Banged Up Heart and shares his thoughts with readers at The Constant Story.
http://davidwberner.blogspot.com/

July 25@ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles shares her review of Banged-Up Heart on Audible – hear what she has to say about this memoir in it’s audio form!
https://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com/

July 26 @ Bring on Lemons with Michelle DelPonte
Michelle DelPonte shares her review of the Audible version of Shirley Melis’s Banged Up Heart today at Bring on Lemons. Don’t miss this exciting blog stop and book giveaway.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/


If you get a chance, check out my July TBR video where I talk about the books I will be reading in July and the giveaway that I am hosting on my Youtube channel!

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Book Review: Five Feet Apart

Oh My God! Guys, I read this book and it was absolutely fantastic. It gave me The Fault In Our Stars vibes and it was so cute. It’s called Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott.

A hand holding the book Five Feet Apart

Synopsis: Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

So first off I want to say that the cover of this book is absolutely stunning! I adore how they made the lungs into flowers. The colors compliment it really well and it is a very eye-catching design.

It is a dual perspective narrative which I have been very into lately. I noticed that a lot of YA books have been doing this and I like it because you get to see more than one side to the story. It also helped that both characters were likable in this one.

I mean, in the beginning, Will was a little frustrating but I can see why he felt the way he did. His character development was incredible and he definitely grew on me.

There is just something about a sick teenager’s love story that just pulls me right in and makes me feel so many emotions. I actually teared up while reading this book (not once but twice) and it is very rare that I cry about anything.

This book made me learn a lot about CF (Cystic Fibrosis) because I wanted to better understand what the characters were going through. I can’t imagine having to live with that disease and applaud these main characters for being as driven as they are (even though they are purely fictional).

I would 100% recommend this book to anyone and everyone! It was so good and it is a quick read to at only around 260 ish pages! It is a great YA Contemporary read that you should add to your bookshelf.

Book Rating: 5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and Book Depository or find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I purchased this book with my own money while on vacation and read and reviewed it because I wanted to. 


Check out my Booktube Real Talk tag video where I answer questions regarding books and the bookish community!

Beliosa

Book Review: A World So Small

Hey there bookworms! I did it. I finally sat down and read the book that my friend’s sister wrote and you know what? It was actually pretty damn good. This book was called A World So Small by Cameron Dreamshare. She owns Dreamshare Studios located in Pembroke, Ontario.

Synopsis: When all you ever wanted was to make music that sells, and all she ever wanted was you, but ex-lovers reappear and repeat like a catchy chorus.

Jordan Barker is a gig rat with a soul-crushing day job and big dreams of becoming a musician and Valkyrie Snow is an architect hitting her stride midlife. Everlasting love should be easy in a world of instant gratification, but it’s harder than ever.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I got a little nostalgic because it was set in a futuristic Ottawa and I am from that area originally so I recognized a lot of the street names and restaurant names that were mentioned.

Romance books are not my “go to” when I choose a book but Cameron managed to keep this one interesting with a subplot to the romantic bits that kept the ball rolling and the reader wanting to find out what was going to happen to the two main characters that they have been following along with. I will say that some of the romantic parts were quite explicit but it does warn you of that in the synopsis and on the back of the physical book.

Val is such a self-sufficient character. I applaud her for being true to herself and believing in what she wants. She is not controlled by the mainstream thoughts of society but forms her own opinions on matters and takes action. Her ties to feminism are very evident and it is great that she is such a strong leading force.

There is a lot of character building and part of Jordan’s character is that he is a musician. I actually want to hear his band play a show based on what I have read about them. They seem like they have a unique sound and I feel like I would be into them.

The ending was definitely something to wait for. It had a good pace for most of the story but it really picks up in the last 70 pages or so. I flew through them because it got really intense in a way that I couldn’t put the book down until I knew what happened next.

I am very happy to say that I enjoyed this book and will be picking up a copy of the sequel next time I am back in my hometown visiting with my friend. If you get a chance, I would recommend picking it up to. Just be warned that if explicit sexual content bothers you, there is quite a bit of it in this book so be wary of that.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and Book Depository or find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I was sent this book by the author in physical format to read and give an honest review.


Check out my No Disclaimers tag video where I answer questions regarding books and the bookish community!

Beliosa

Book Review: The Sun Is Also A Star

Bring out your contemporary’s! This month I am reading a lot of different books and decided to start it off with The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon.

books on a bookshelf

Synopsis

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

The main reason I picked up this book was because the movie came out recently and I wanted to read it before I watched the movie to see if the movie could do the book justice. I am really glad I picked this book up!

It was told from multiple perspectives and the entirety of the book was spanned over just one day. It explores the life of Natasha whose family is getting deported and her struggle trying to do everything in her power to stay in America. It also follows Daniel as he is on his way to his interview to get into a prestigious school to become a doctor. Their paths cross by complete luck (or was it fate) and you see them get to know each other.

I love when books play off of the “everything happens for a reason” bit and it shows how everything is connected and how it all played out because of certain events. This and books involving time always get me.

I don’t necessarily believe in the whole Insta love thing but I could see how it was kind of essential for this book.

The ending was absolutely amazing! I can’t say anything because I refuse to spoil this book but if you do pick it up, go all the way to the end because it is worth it.

There were a lot of side characters in the book and my favorite character actually was one of these side characters. Daniel and Natasha would annoy me at times but in their own little ways.

Honestly, this was a fun, easy contemporary read and is great to pick up for the summer and read at the beach or on the patio.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and Book Depository or find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I bought this book in physical format with my own money and read it because I wanted to.


Check out my May Wrap Up video where I talk about all the books I read in May and what I ended up thinking about them.

Beliosa

Book Review: The Infinite Noise

Another day and another book read! I took part in a buddy read with my friend Josh from highliterature.com and he actually suggested this book as it was on his TBR. It is called The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen and is contemporary with some sci-fi aspects to it (superpowers).

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Synopsis: From Lauren Shippen, the creator of the beloved and award-winning podcast The Bright Sessions, comes the first novel in a series that follows the struggles and discoveries of three teenagers with supernatural abilities who end up on the couch of Dr. Bright, a mysterious therapist who specializes in atypicals.

“What if the X-Men, instead of becoming superheroes, decided to spend some time in therapy?” (Vox on The Bright Sessions).

This book was ok. It didn’t have a very big synopsis which was alright because it left it open to the imagination but I guess I expected more from it. When it mentions the X-men in a quote about it, you would think that it has to be good right? Wrong. It wasn’t horrible but there was a lot lacking.

First off, I did enjoy the development of relationships. As Caleb and Adam become friends, you see different sides of each of them that exposes their feelings and shows how they react to different situations.

Caleb’s chapters were a little too much for me because they were overly descriptive. I found them hard to get through as I would get lost in the depiction of how he was feeling. I also believe that the author wanted to express the struggles of his power so kudos because I could feel the frustration as well. *Not sarcastic, I actually believe she did a good job with this*.

Adam’s chapters were more relatable and fun. He was a nerd and the goody two shoe type which is kind of how I felt that I was like in high school so I connected with his character.

The plot progressed kind of slowly which brought it down a bit and overall, not much happened. I was hoping for something with a little more action in it since the characters have weird powers but there were no battle scenes or anything like that. It was more a studious version of an origin story where they learned how to handle their powers.

It might be time to pick up another fantasy book to satisfy that action craving I am having.

I would recommend it if you want a contemporary book about young love. Also, it is very much LGBTQ+ positive so if you want another book with a healthy representation of this, then you have found your book.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and Book Depository and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by my friend Josh from highliterature.com to buddy read with him. This was my honest opinion on what I thought about the book.


I recently did the “Do I Have That Book?” tag and I had so much fun making this video! I would love if you could check it out and leave a like or comment what you thought!

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Cover Reveal: The Heart Of The Matter

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A Mother’s Love: The HEART of the Matter

Genre: Anthology/ Short Stories

Expected Publication Date: May 14th (Mother’s Day)

Where would we be without the LOVE of a Mother? That’s what’s so special about this anthology, it’s all about a Mother’s Love!

An endearing novel about the strength and resiliency of a mother’s love. . . . By loving their children more than themselves, the women in this anthology go to the extreme to protect and safe-guard their children. Oftentimes, at the cost of their own happiness.
These nine authors provide readers with heartening tales of inspiration, forgiveness and sacrifices, all coming from a place of love…A mother’s heart!

The Scent of a Man: Dr. Julia E. Antoine
Holding On to Love: Solange St. Brice
A Mother’s Miracle: P. A. Smith
A Very British Mother: Lucinda E. Clarke
Dead Witch Talking: T. A. Moorman
The Blue Box: Jan Raymond
One Night of Love: Izzibella Beau
Welcome Home: Erin Eldridge
No Greater Love: Mariyam Hasnain

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About the Author

JULIA E. ANTOINE, aka Ju Ephraime, is the author of numerous bestsellers and award-winning novels, including, I Will Follow: to Eternity and Beyond and her highlander historical series, The Campbell Brothers. Dr. Antoine always knew she would be a writer. She started writing short stories for the local radio station in her hometown before she had even graduated high school. These days her time is spent plotting and creating new stories. When she’s not plotting out her next book, she travels extensively researching new locations to color her stories. She lives in the New England area with her wonderful life companion and her favorite pet, her dog, Gus.

Visit her at www.juliaeantoine.com or www.too-clever.com

Pre-Order in Time for Mother’s Day!

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I recently got back from my vacation to Ireland and Scotland and made a video about it. Feel free to check it out if you want to see how my trip went!

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