Dating – ish (Knitting in the City #6) by Penny Reid

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official blurb
There are three things you need to know about Marie Harris:  1) She’s fed up with online dating,  2) She’s so fed up, she’s willing to forego the annoyance and consider more creative alternatives, and  3) She knows how to knit. After the most bizarre and irritating first date in the history of human kind, Marie is looking for an alternative to men. With the help of her friends, she quickly identifies a few possibilities: Need a cuddle? Use a professional cuddler. Need affirmation? Get yourself a life coach. Need an orgasm? Try orgasm meditation! Why does she need the hassle of a romantic partner when she can meet all her needs with paid services? But then her irritating date resurfaces. And he’s not at all the person she thought he was. And he suggests a different—and crazier—solution to her dilemma . . . As everyone knows (or will soon come to realize), traditional relations between humans are a thing of the past. Robots are our future. And if robots are our future, then why do we need other people at all?

my blurb!
The story of a super cool girl and a smartypants guy, who decide to use each other for professional gain but but end up gaining something else in the end.

3.25 out of 5

what i liked
I really liked Marie!  Can you tell by now that I ALWAYS like the Penny Reid heroine?  She is motivated and kind, she sticks up for herself and is loyal.  What’s not to like?
This book was a really cute romcom…. BUT it was too steamy.  So if you don’t mind a steamy romance- you’ll like this romcom.
I liked the topic that this book focused on- writing an article or solving a scientific problem of the perks of a relationship without being in one. (Sidenote- I JUST watched a new hallmark movie called Mingle All The Way that also tried to tackle this topic!)

what i didn't like
It’s too steamy!!! I have to skim a lot of parts in a Penny Reid book but I keep coming back to her. I know… why?!  Because I love her writing and her characters but I don’t love her steam! It’s too much!
The ending I didn’t love. I won’t give anything away… but the last scene.  Nope… wasn’t into it.
This was the 6th book in a series- and somehow my library has this book and only this book in the series.  They are each stand alone books but I found a lot of recaps in this book that I knew were big plot points in other books.  It didn’t flow very well.

while reading you should
Do: Read a newspaper- while you’re at it, get me a subscription bc my free local one just went out of business 😦
Make: coconut cake
Listen: Turning the Page by Sleeping At Last

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The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

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official blurb
When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn’t the hard part–they’ve only been dating for five months, and he can’t even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans… At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik’s rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He’s even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik’s social media blows up–in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can’t be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes…

my blurb!
A girl who gets brutally embarrassed online falls for her no- strings white knight.

3.75 our of 5

what i liked
This book is kind of like the second in a series- but also it’s not.  That was really good, right? I know, I should try to write reviews for a living!  Did you read The Wedding Date?  Well this book features the best friend from TWD, so it is a stand alone novel.  But also, it could be read as the second book in a series!
I loved the peak at Alexa and Drew from TWD.  I didn’t love TWD when I read it, but that was before I became a romance reader!  Now I think if I read it again, I might like it more.  So overall, it was fun to look back at some old friends from TWD.
I’m not sure if I just missed it in the description, but it was a good 3/4 of the way through the book before I realized that Nikole was black.  They have a scene where they really reference this- and I was like… wait what?! I was picturing her so differently so that was a funny and fun surprise.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again- the most diverse characters I’ve read in any books have all come from romance novels!  I hadn’t read very many black leads until I started reading this genre and I’m so happy to read about characters like me!
These books feature what I would call closed-door sex scenes.  It’s not an open look at the dirty deed. It basically features very little description and the reader is left easily understanding what the characters are doing.  I really liked that myself!
There’s also a solid group of friends in this book- so shout out to that!

what i didn't like
I feel like going back, this book should rank higher- but for some reason it just didn’t rank THAT high for me.  There were things I loved about diversity in the book and things I hated.  There’s a scene where Carlos kind of tests Nik by ordering her tacos.  I won’t go into it… but I didn’t like it.
The writing wasn’t amazing.  Is it too lame as a reviewer to say the writing fell flat?  The dual perspective wasn’t varied enough, and the characters found each other so charming and funny but I never laughed out loud while reading the book.

while reading you should
Go: to a baseball game
Do: make a recipe at home that you’ve been wanting to try!
Listen to: Blank Space by Taylor Swift

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One Day In December by Josie Silver

 

one day in december

 

official blurb
Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story. Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away. Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be. What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

my blurb!
A love triangle and its consequences experienced over a 10 year span.

3.25 out of 5

what i liked
First of all, I know that this is an unpopular opinion. The majority of reviews I have seen range from 4 stars to 5 stars.  This book ALMOST got a flat 3 stars but I did read it really quickly so I feel like that needs to count for something.
The writing in this book is amazing.  I loved it, it’s kind of conversational in tone and I would definitely pick up another Josie Silver book without even thinking about it.
Starting just after page 100, Laurie takes a trip to Thailand.  Fun fact, I taught English for a summer in Thailand and I loved it.  The descriptions and the phrases she uses took me right back there.  This was a BIG highlight for me because the Thai people were amazing and I had such an extraordinary experience with them, that I just adored reading about another Thailand fangirl in the pages of this book!
After my second night reading this book (probably like pages 100-200ish) I had a good idea who the characters were going to end up with.  This might be a negative for some people but the first 100 pages of the book stressed me out so much that this was actually a big plus for me.
There were some really good quotes in this book that I liked.  Here are a few for you to sample:
“This isn’t romance by the numbers, it’s real life.”
“I don’t know if love should feel like that, you know? …making an effort to be someone ever so slightly different from who we really are.”
If these quotes don’t show you already- this isn’t a light and fluffy read that I find a lot of people describing it as.  It is funny, but I would call this a romance drama.

what i didn't like
The love triangle! Oh My Gosh.  I HATE love triangles.  Some people might have a different opinion of love triangles… oh ya, I don’t care because this is my review!  haha
There is lying to perpetuate the love triangle in the first 100 pages and … It. Is. Stressful.  I read the first 100 pages the first night and I didn’t even want to pick the book up the next day because I was so stressed about the darn love triangle!  That might be a severe reaction for most people- but this book is well written so you like all of the people in it, and you can’t help but be annoyed that someone is gonna get the rug pulled out from under them when the resolution finally takes place.
The ending.  I did not like the ending.  I thought… wait what?  I was shocked there wasn’t an epilogue.  Maybe there is going to be a second book? A novella? I haven’t seen any news so… this is a big strike in the negative column for me.
There were some plot points in this book that I needed answers to. One specifically involving a character named Oscar. But no spoilers here… if you read it… come talk to me!
My biggest dislike in this book was that a lot of this book was painful for me. A plethora of bad decisions or life choices and 10 years of seeing the consequences of those choices.  Ugh. My heart hurt sometimes reading it!

while reading you should
Listen to this mini playlist:
-3 Wishes by Dave Thomas Junior
-In My Arms by Johnnyswim
-Can’t Help Falling In Love by Kina Granis
-Stronger Than Me by the Cast of Nashville
-What I Know by Parachute
-Villains by Johnnyswim
-Ho Hey by Lennon and Maisy

Drink- alcohol.  It doesn’t matter what kind. This book will drive you drinking. I’m joking.  The characters drink a lot in the book. haha, that’s why I chose this option.
Watch: Bridget Jones’s Diary

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Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

official blurb
Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away. But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her. Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco devouring books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.

my blurb!
An alternating past and present timeline with drama and a will they/won’t they love story.

3.25 out of 5

what i liked
I read this story really quickly. I also didn’t realize it was a romance novel until half way through it. Okay, maybe it’s NOT a romance novel, but there were a few steamy scenes in it. What is the difference between a romance novel and an adult fiction novel? Asking for a friend…
I love the characters in this book. Macy was relatable and flawed. Elliot was an amazing book boyfriend- blunt and true. Sabrina- an amazing best friend who is kind but doesn’t beat around the bush. Macy’s dad- kind and putting a lot of effort into parenthood.

what i didn't like
A lot of this book was realistic to me.  That ended when the sex scene occurred in the book. Two grown adults, having sex at a wedding, not remotely intoxicated, clothes totally off, outdoors in a public garden…. Kind of ruined it for Me. Nobody Does that! It wasn’t romantic or realistic. I don’t think it flowed well with the storyline. So that was a pretty big bummer for me.

when to read
Thanksgiving – it’s mentioned quite a few times throughout the book!

while reading you should
Listen to this short playlist:
Find a Way by Safetysuit
Villains by Johnnyswim
Fall by Justin Beiber
Eat: A turkey dinner

if you would like to buy
Click here

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Let’s Get Ready for Bed by Michael W. Smith

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I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my free and honest review.

official blurb
From Grammy Award-winning artist Michael W Smith and the co-creator of Veggietales Mike Nawrocki comes Let’s Get Ready for Bed, the second in a series of bedtime books in the Nurturing Steps line. This sweet and sleepy picture book will lull your little one to sleep with their favorite stuffed animal characters the Nighty Nights.

my blurb!
A Christian themed book featuring friends and a bedtime routine.

3 out of 5

what i liked
This book starts with a page in the beginning with who the book is gifted from and who it is for.  Every children’s book should start out with that!
Rhyming is always in the plus column for me. And this book has it! Books are just more fun to read to your kids when they rhyme!
This book is educational.  For instance, one of the pages goes over why kids wear pajamas to bed.

This book would be great for ages : 4- 5 yrs old

what i didn't like
This book is long!  I think there could be page numbers on it.  It is 20 pages long, which made it too long for my 2 and 3 year old.
The premise of the book was a bit odd.  It’s two friends who watch their other friend, Puppy, get ready for bed. And after watching Puppy do quite the routine before bed, Puppy finally sees them and they all sing a song together.

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I review for BookLook Bloggers

The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Crusie

official blurb
Daisy Flattery is a free spirit with a soft spot for strays and a weakness for a good story. Why else would she agree to the outrageous charade offered by her buttoned-down workaholic neighbor, Linc Blaise? The history professor needs to have a fiancée in order to capture his dream job, and Daisy is game to play the role. But something funny happens on their way to the altar that changes everything. Now, with the midnight hour approaching, will Daisy lose her prince, or will opposites not only attract but live happily ever after?

my blurb!
A straight laced, typical truth teller decides to deceive everyone with a fake fiance.

3 out of 5

what i liked
I love a story like this. I love a good plot of pretending to be boyfriend and girlfriend- I mean YESSSSS! (Hello, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before).
There were a lot of supporting characters that I really liked.  Chickie (worst name ever) was a fun character to read about.  She was complex in her own way.
I liked Daisy! She was quirky and fun and I loved how she attracted other people to her by being kind.  In case you didn’t know, Kind is the New Classy.
Lincoln’s name.  It was a shame he went by Linc with everyone – the nickname is fine, but Lincoln is so much better!

what i didn't like
Daisy had a few oddities about her character that I just didn’t buy into.  I couldn’t picture her at all.  Was she like a gypsy?  I don’t understand what the author was trying to do with her as a character- one time teacher, storyteller, liar, eccentric dresser, messy, broken things all over her house, but most of all a painter?  I just didn’t buy it all, what can I say?
I wasn’t obsessed with getting through this story.  I just didn’t read it and think, “EEEEEKK! I can’t wait for them to get together!” Even though the storyline is exactly my type!

while reading you should
Watch: A cinderella story
Listen to: Cinderella by Play
Eat: Casserole

if you would like to buy
Click here.

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Live Fearless: A Call to Power, Passion and Purpose by Sadie Robertson

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I received this book from Netgalley for free in exchange for my honest review which was not required to be positive.

official blurb
Dear friends,
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty tired of the struggle. You know which one I mean–fear, loneliness, not knowing who I am or what I’m meant to do. . . . Sound familiar? I struggled with insecurity, comparison, and isolation for too many years, from thigh gaps to eyebrows to the lifestyles I felt I had to live up to. I was so afraid of being “found out,” that everyone in my life would somehow figure out that I was fearful and small and that I struggled to make my faith a reality and to be secure in who I am. It took a major perspective shift from staring at comments on a screen to really digging into the pages of my Bible to see what God actually says about overcoming fear. Setting aside the fear, anxiety, and comparison to become the joy-filled person God created you to be is exactly what God is inviting you into. To really be seen and known. To be an agent of change by choosing compassion, connection, and acceptance for everyone you come in contact with. Inside this book are ways to find your power, passion, and purpose–and reach for your dreams. Plus, there are places to jot down notes, fun lists, practical ways to make changes, and thoughts on how living fearless can change everything. Are you tired of the awful comparison game? Are you exhausted from trying to keep up, from feeling small and afraid that people will find the real you and be disappointed? There is so much more for you. No matter who you are, where you come from, or what your fears are, freedom is available to you. It’s just a matter of saying yes. You in? Hope you’ll join me on this wild adventure as we learn to Live Fearless together. Love,
Sadie

my blurb!
A look at the life of the girl you might recognize from Duck Dynasty, the fear she lived in, and how she daily tries to overcome it.

3 out of 5
what i liked
Sadie is very likable.  You don’t read the book and think about how far out of touch she is with being a human.
She lived in a lot of fear – I mean it blew my mind.  And it was amazing to me that she was willing to share those struggles so readily with her readers!
The chapter’s end with reflections to help you progress in your own struggle(s) with fear!  It wasn’t crazy cheesy or anything like that- so big pro there!
Definitely the word I would use to describe this book the most is genuine.  Sadie comes across super genuine and it makes you realize how little you knew her when watching the “reality” show she was on!
This girl is so in love with God. It is amazing to read about and is really inspiring to me as a reader!

what i didn't like
Very quickly into this book I realized that I was not the target audience.  I don’t think I realized that people did live in this high level of fear and anxiety. It made me almost feel better about my issues with spiders and heights!  Not a knock on fearful people or the book- it just didn’t make me want to fly through reading it.

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