Friday Reads: November 1

I hope everyone had a fun Halloween!

Today I’m sharing what I’m reading this week. I’m currently reading two books: one Book of the Month purchase, and one Netgalley eARC. One is a Thriller, while the other is a YA Fantasy.

I pulled all the Synopsis sections from Goodreads!

Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy #2) by Emily A. Duncan
Synopsis:
Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.
As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.
In her dramatic follow-up to Wicked Saints, the first book in her Something Dark and Holy trilogy, Emily A. Duncan paints a Gothic, icy world where shadows whisper, and no one is who they seem, with a shocking ending that will leave you breathless.

Ruthless Gods is the second book in Emily A. Duncan’s Something Dark and Holy trilogy. I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
So far I’m enjoying the direction this book has taken. The first book was wrapped up into the romantic dynamic between two of the main characters, and while there’s still romance this installment, the story has taken a devious, darker turn that involve the gods’ role. I’m hopeful to finish reading the book this weekend.

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
Synopsis:
No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.
As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story—until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.
Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

I purchased Lock Every Door through Book of the Month back in July. I’m about a third of the way into the novel, and the momentum is beginning to kick in. The first few chapters were a bit slow, but I guess it was needed to introduce Jules’s situation and her awe at the splendor of the building she’s living in, the Bartholomew.
This story also alternates between Jules’s present time, and the days leading up to her predicament. Which, now that the tension is building, is pretty absorbing!
The the NYC references also pull at my heart. I love a story that reminds me of my old home!

I hope you all are reading some great titles! Feel free to share the stories you’re tackling today.

Book Review: Keeping Her Close by Carol Ross

I’m participating in The Library Looter & Anniek’s Library Blogtober challenge.

Keeping Her Close by Carol Ross
Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Books
Genre: Contempory Romance
Release Date: October 1, 2019

I’m happy to be reviewing ‘Keeping Her Close’ for Prism Book Tours! Many thanks to Carol Ross for sending me a complimentary copy!

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

The job sounds simple: teach a businessman’s daughter how to stay safe. But former navy SEAL turned bodyguard Kyle Frasier has a personal motive, too. Harper Jansen is his late best friend’s fiancée. Loyalty demands he protect her, not that Harper looks in need of rescuing. In fact, it’s Kyle who needs help—balancing duty with his desire to build a life with the one woman he shouldn’t want…

My Thoughts:

Keeping Her Close tells the story of Kyle Frasier, a former Navy SEAL hired by a wealthy environmentalist to guard his daughter Harper Jansen after an attempted attack on his life. Kyle and Harper’s first encounters were uneasy, but they soon form a deep connection that grew intimate as time went on, much to Kyle’s discomfort. To make matters even more complicated, Kyle is also tasked to uncover the mystery of his friend Owen’s death, who happened to be Harper’s ex-fiancee.

One thing that I enjoyed about this novel is the healthy tension between Kyle and Harper. Their decent into coupledom wasn’t immediate, which I appreciated! They both endured some experiences that caused them to learn more about each other.

We also learn that Kyle is a complicated figure, one who’s in a constant state of insecurity. He feels like he’s never living up to his family’s expectations, which flows into his circumstances with Harper as the story progresses. Kyle’s family serves as a welcoming respite among the tension brought from Kyle and Harper dealing with the ‘less-than-ideal’ situation of being supervised every minute of the day. The Frasier family radiates a loving dynamic, something that both Kyle and Harper were without for a long time. For Harper, a large family introduced an only child to a sense of community. For Kyle, it reinforces the fact that a strong family unit is always present, ready to accept and overcome any obstacle. The notion of inclusion and forgiveness is a recurrent theme throughout the book: Love and family will always prevail despite struggle.

If you love a romantic story with trust, community, and family as a focal point, then this is the book for you!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Orange Book Covers/Blogtober Day 18

Along with yellow and red, orange is a very popular autumn color. Since it’s Blogtober, it’s only fitting that I highlight some books with Orange on the cover!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Steig Larsson

Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

Describing My Perfect Autumn Reading Nook/Blogtober Day 4

I envision my Autumn reading nook as a soothing, comfy place:

There would be pillows and seats in black and white, with pumpkins throughout!

There would be autumnal messages posted on the walls:

Orange and white candles would be stationed around my reading space:

Pumpkins would also be planted around the room:

And of course, my Snoopy & the Peanuts Gang characters would be by my side!

What would be in your Autumn reading nook? Feel free to share in the comments!

Notes: All pics were taken at TJ Maxx. The Snoopy & Lucy figures were purchased at Hallmark.

I received the inspiration for this post from The Library Looter & Anniek’s Blogtober prompts!

New Releases for Sept 2019

I get so enthused for the start of the fall season, and seeking new books to add to my collection makes things extra special! I have a few selections listed for this month.

Tunnel of Bones by Victoria (V.E.) Schwab

Adventures in Paris unfold in this next installment of Cassidy Blake’s life, as she navigates the Veil with her ghostly best friend Jacob! (Released Sept. 3rd)

‘The Institute’ by Stephen King

A group of children gifted with telekinesis are held captive at a facility, by people whose motives are dangerously unclear. It definitely sounds like a ‘good-vs-evil’ scenario in the making! (Release date: Sept 10)

‘The Testaments’ by Margaret Atwood

This anticipated sequel takes place 15 years after the events told in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. Whether you’re a fan of the books or the Hulu adaptation, it’s sure to be a definite page-turner! (Release date: Sept 10)

‘Red At the Bone’ by Jacqueline Woodson

An unplanned pregnancy intertwines the fate of two families, as Jacqueline Woodson tells a powerful story of multi-generational legacy in Brooklyn. (Release date: Sept 17)

‘The Dutch House’ by Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett expresses the power of sibling bonds in the face of family complications. (Release date: Sept 24)

‘A Dream So Dark’ by L.L. McKinney

‘A Dream So Dark’ is the highly anticipated sequel to ‘A Blade So Black’, which follows Alice traversing through the Nightmare-verse of Wonderland, while making it home in time for curfew! (Release date: Sept. 24)

August Reading Wrap-Up

When August began, I had a huge goal. I was going to read FOUR books for the month! Sure, I needed to plan for a major life event, but I didn’t care! I WOULD get to those books!

Well…it’s the end of August…and I didn’t get to my goal. I only read half of the books I wanted this month. They’re as follows:

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Rating: 4/5 Stars

I adore Historical Fiction novels, and I heard rave reviews about the Outlander series from many of my friends. It’s a huge read (over 800 pages), but I wanted to take it on.

Outlander is set in Scotland, between the 1940s and 18th century. It follows the story of Claire Randall, a woman who finds herself trapped between two different time periods, and swept away by two starkly different men!

There’s so many steamy moments in this story, combined with the rich historical content between the Scottish clans and British ‘lobsterbacks’ as they entwine themselves in war. I may read the next installment in this series in the near future, but I thoroughly enjoyed this first installment in the series!

Color Me In by Natasha Diaz

I read ‘Color Me In‘ as part of a partnership with Random House, Netgalley, and Sazon Book Tours. That’s right, I took part part in my very first Blog Tour! I will always be grateful for this opportunity, and to review such a wonderful book.

Color Me In‘ by Natasha Diaz tells the story of Neveah Levitz, a teenager from an interracial family going through divorce. She and her mother move to Harlem, her mother’s childhood home, and Neveah is struggles with her identity as she navigates the issues of race and class through her community.

I enjoyed ‘Color Me In‘ since this is spoken in a voice that all readers need to absorb. There are many in Neveah’s position who struggle to find her sense of self, after living a seemingly flawless life. She learns to seek outward in order to find herself within.

So that’s it!

I hope to read more books next month, especially with the arrivals of two stories that I’m eagerly anticipating!

Professional Reader