Why I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day

Here I am, 2 days after Valentine’s has passed and I thought about confessing why I am not into this celebration. While I do appreciate seeing couples show their love on this special day, or during this special month, I can’t shake the guilty feeling of not enjoying this period as much as it’s due. Keep in mind that my reasons are my own and I hope I won’t get too judged about them:

1. I am a Romance reader. Love is what I read about and with every book I read, with every couple I discover, I feel the passion 10 times intensified. Evey book is a love letter that an author has written for me, the reader. So I feel loved with every chapter, every day I read.

2. Too many cheesy gifts out there. Yes, I do own a heart shaped pillow (a gift from mom) and I may buy another one at some point, but all the glowy stuff, all the plush teddy bears holding hearts or Mikey and Minnie kissing or I don’t know what else are making my eyes feel tired.

3. I am overwhelmed by the amount of flower shops that pop out in this period. Guys, if you want to buy flowers to impress, do it many more times throughout the year, not on special occasions.

4. I want to feel loved every day, I want to show my love every single day, every hour or tinny moment. Life is short and we better fill it with beautiful fillings. The entire life, not one day per year.

5. I have so many book boyfriends, I wouldn’t know which one to pick for such a day. Yes, this statement may put me in a bad position, but I have a big heart and I am willing to share it with many book boyfriends (and it’s not my fault authors create these very lovable men!)

But the main reason is that I am always happy. Regardless if I cry sometimes, if I feel angry or  exhausted, I am lucky I have my other half there by my side. I thank him and the Powers Above for this amazing gift of love and I cherish it with every breath.

So love until the end of your days. Give love unconditional, because love returns to the giver ten folds. Be happy you have been blessed with the ability to love, regardless if you have a lover or not. Love is everywhere and in everything. Enjoy it!

Book Blitz: Married to the Earl by Samantha Holt

Married to the Earl
Samantha Holt
(The Wallflower Brides #3)
Publication date: February 10th 2020
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance

Going from vivacious society belle to widow wallflower can leave a lady wanting…

Joanna Lockhart is trapped in a mire of grief and boredom. Still recovering from the sudden death of her husband, the beautiful widow is tired of being treated like a fragile porcelain doll. But when a severe illness nearly claims her life, Joanna finds the perfect outlet for her natural vitality—a charity.

Unfortunately, her sudden interest in all things philanthropic is marred by the presence of one Ambrose Creassey. For some unknown reason, this handsome cad has decided to cast aside his reputation as a rake, and take up the mantel of charitable patron.

As the Earl of Newhaven, Ambrose has enjoyed his life of delicious debauchery. But recently the earl has hungered for more noble pursuits. A charity seems to be the perfect outlet for his newfound desire to be more than just a rake. And of course, he doesn’t mind the aid of a beautiful, well-connected woman like Joanna… Especially when he cannot resist riling her a time or two.

After all, she does rise so beautifully to the challenge.

Focusing on their work is harder than either of them thought. There’s no denying the attraction between them, but is Ambrose truly prepared to cast aside his hedonistic history? And even if he does, is Joanna ready for a new love?

Goodreads / Amazon

 

Blogger’s Thoughts

I don’t know what I like more from this book so far: the cover, the blurb or the excerpt? The author is amazing, I have read a couple of more books by her and I cannot wait to read this one as well. Looks like my TBR is constantly increasing….

EXCERPT:

“It is hard to see how this will become a hospital,” she murmured.

“I should imagine you would rather see it as a grand house once more, ready for a ball.”

She glared at him. “Considering we hardly know one another, Lord Newhaven, it is a wonder you can imagine anything that I might think.”

He shrugged. “It is not hard to take a guess.”

“If we wish to take guesses, I would rather expect you would prefer this house to be used for raucous house parties.”

His lips quirked. “I suppose we should cease guessing then.”

“That would be preferable, yes.”

“Let us continue our tour.” He opened another door, leading through into a drawing room.

No furnishings existed and a thick layer of dust coated the grand stone mantlepiece. Beneath her feet, the rugs were worn and frayed. “This is going to take a lot of funds.”

“My understanding is we have enough to ensure the house can be converted into a hospital, but our current pledges will not cover the ongoing running of it.”

So, he knew something about his charity. That was interesting. She could not be certain why the earl had decided to take a closer look at how things were run but he was not entirely ignorant. However, if he was to be interfering with her work, she would have to speak up. They had far too much toil ahead of them for him to be causing any chaos.

She paused by the fireplace and turned to face him as he wrenched open the shutters on one window. Blinking in the sudden influx of light, she tilted her head. “Why exactly have you decided to assist the charity? Mr. Bartlett told me you are only a figurehead.”

“Well, that is incorrect. I am also the biggest donor.”

She lifted a brow.

“Does it surprise you that I might wish to actually have a hand in the running of the charity?”

“Frankly, yes.”

A smile curved his lips. “Well, I do enjoy a frank woman.” He strode over to join her by the fireplace. “And why have you taken up the mantle as the charity’s latest philanthropist?”

She could come up with some pithy remark perhaps. Some flippant reply that would have him eyeing her with amusement once more, but she could not help feel they had reached some odd moment of honesty. She blew out a breath. “I should like to find something useful with which to occupy myself. Being a widow is a tiresome occupation.”

“For someone like you, I imagine it is.”

“Someone like me?” She stiffened her shoulders.

“Someone as vivacious and as intelligent as you.”

The air flew from her lungs. She let her shoulders drop. “Oh.” for some reason, the flattery made her cheeks warm.

Preposterous.


Author Bio:

USA Today Bestselling author Samantha Holt lives in a small village in England with her twin girls and a dachshund called Duke. If you’re not sure where to start why not try…

Amelia and the Viscount (Bluestocking Brides #1) for a fun, slightly hot shorter length read. Meet the Chadwick sisters and follow their adventures in each of their standalone stories.

You’re the Rogue That I Want (Rogues of Redmere #1) is a longer read with heat, witty dialogue, a feisty heroine and adventure. All books in the series are standalone.

Sinful Confessions is the first in the Cynfell Brothers Series. These are all novella length and standalone–ideal for a quick dip into the world of the sexy Cynfell brothers.

Wake Me With a Kiss is a sweet, fairytale romance. Twists on Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella are also available if you love a clean, fun read.

To Steal a Highlander’s Heart is a full length dive into the world of sexy highlanders. For those who love braw Scots, some steamy scenes, and medieval romance, this series is a perfect escape.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

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Audiobook Review: Mine to Five by Tara September

Audiobook Blog Tour: Mine to Five by Tara September

Author: Tara September

Narrator: Verla Bond

Length: 4 hours and 15 minutes

Publisher: Plus it Up

Released: Dec. 11, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

2018 Contemporary Romance Writers’ Stiletto Finalist

2018 Tampa Area Romance Writers’ TARA Finalist

2018 Maine Romance Writers’ Strut Your Stuff Finalist – Second Place Contemporary Winner

2017 Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest – Second Place Winner

’Tis the season for an office romance!

Working beyond nine to five and barely getting by, Melanie Thomas is eager to celebrate the impending holiday season and to toast the start of her dream marketing job over drinks with her boyfriend. Unfortunately, he has different plans – like seeing other women.

Indulging in a pity party with tequila, Melanie confides in a sexy stranger at the bar. It’s almost Christmas. One night of letting go won’t hurt anything, right? Turns out, it just might, when the stranger is her new boss. Determined to succeed at her job, Melanie won’t be scared away. This is her chance, even if her hot boss has her feeling all merry and bright and wishing for a less-than-professional relationship.

Matthew Ryans is burned out and on thin ice at the company he helped build, unless he gets his head back in the game. Yet, his head, both upper and lower, are quickly becoming obsessed with his new assistant. Still, he can’t seem to fully begrudge Melanie’s distracting presence and the Christmas joy she brings with it. Especially considering that her enthusiasm has him reenergized.

For once, he is longing for Mondays, but with his heart and job on the line, he can’t risk blurring the lines no matter how strong the lure of holiday mistletoe is.

Will their holiday passion be able to fuel mutual career success, or will it only get in their way in the New Year?

Buy on Audible

Tara September is an award-winning… and losing contemporary romance writer living in Southwest Florida.

Tara is proud to be the world’s most okayest mom to clones (identical twin boys). When not writing out her daydreams, she blogs over at When Tara Met Blog @tarametblog, a lifestyle and parenting blog of 14 years.

Holding a master’s degree in journalism from NYU, she previously was the Corporate Communications Manager at WWE and PR Manager for The Walt Disney Company, Consumer Products.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagram

Narrator Bio

Verla Bond is an American actor, improvisor, and storyteller, who makes her home in Los Angeles, California. She enjoys performing on the stage and screen, but especially loves recording audiobooks, where she gets the privilege of playing all kinds of diverse characters, such as British vampires, Irish leprechauns, and Southern gentlemen.

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This was such an enjoyable read! Two people, one looking to move forward in his career and the other looking to begin working with the pros, meet and form an incredible team, not only during working hours.

When Melanie finds out her boyfriend (much older boyfriend) does not view their relationship as exclusive, she happens to be in the right place at the right time to meet an handsome stranger. Their connection is instant, and the attraction is mutual. The next morning, she wakes up at his place, no recollection of what happened and close to being late to her new job. I think you already know who her boss is, so I won’t mention it.

I am a romance reader. I read mostly Romance and I read a lot of Romance. Having a one-night stand with a stranger and realizing the next day that said stranger is actually your boss is not something new. It was explored in many other novels. But the way the author created these two is so heartwarming. Both are mature enough to see past their first encounter and have the good sense to start a healthy working relationship. I love how they evolve, and I love how comfortable they feel together.

But when work gets in the way, it’s difficult to keep the personal items at bay. An interesting plot, a little predictable, but with a good execution.

The narration was good. Verla Bond added a great voice to our main characters’ personalities and I did enjoy listening to her. However, I would have wanted a better interpretation of the male characters. With Melanie, she did a great job pointing out her moments of despair, but with Matthew I wanted a more decisive pronunciation or something that could give me a more “male vibe”, somehow.

All in all, I loved the book and I cannot wait to discover her other titles. I am giving 4 stars to the story mostly because of the predictability of the plot. But I had a lot of fun listening to the story and I would love to reread it. It was perfect for an evening of relaxation.

Cover Review: the color combinations are great, the two at the office are great and it’s in line with the season. But I don’t quite get the title. Mostly they stay overtime, and they try to have a professional attitude. There is no challenge to have her by 5 or until 5. I don’t see it that fit for the book. But I do like the cover a lot.

4 stars

Ok, until next time, Happy Reading 😊

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Tara September. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

 

Feb. 4th:

Bookmark and Fork

Viviana MacKade

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Feb. 5th:

What Is That Book About

Saturday Nite Reader

AC Squared Book Blog

Feb. 6th:

WonderlandiansBooks

Chapters Through Life

T’s Stuff

Feb. 7th:

Sometimes Leelynn Reads

Nesie’s Place

Feb. 8th:

Lilly’s Book World

Jazzy Book Reviews

Dazzled by Books

Feb. 9th:

What’s Beyond Forks

Carla Loves To Read

Feb. 10th:

Twirling Book Princess

Teatime and Books

From the TBR Pile

Ree Cee’s Books

Plugging you into the audio community since 2016.

Sign up as a tour host here.

 

Weekly Quote #8

New week, new books and many books!

Hello there, how did you start your week? I had a great start, reading great books, crocheting and spending time with my other half 🙂 And I also went to work 🙂

My favorite quote from last week is from “An Everyday Hero” by Laura Trentham. I love this book so much and I am close to finishing it. I read from the same series “The Military Wife” but never got to review it. I was in awe of her writing and how well she managed to capture each emotion. The same happens in “An Everyday Hero”, but with a little more fun. I cannot wait to share my review with you guys, but until then, enjoy this fun quote:

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January Wrap Up & February TBR

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As I was mentioning in a previous article, January was mostly about organizing my activities, developing a schedule of sorts and making sure I find comfort and time (especially TIME) to focus on everything. Between scheduling articles, crocheting and going through my fabric stash, I did find a balance.

But back to reading. I had 15 books to read during January (TBR here) and unfortunately I did not manage to complete them all. However, I did finish more than I expected:

  1. Real Miracle by Susan Saxx
  2. It Started With a Candy Cane by Susan Saxx
  3. Real Temptation/ Special Delivery by Susan Saxx
  4. Forever My Duke by Olivia Drake
  5. Shadowed by Michelle Areaux
  6. Mister Hollywood by Mika Lane
  7. Scot Under The Covers by Suzanne Enoch
  8. Lace and Lies by Melanie Munton
  9. Unconditional by Lexxie Couper

I am planning on keeping the remaining books from January on my TBR for February, although I will not list them below. I don’t want to end 2020 with 100 books not read, from my monthly commitments.

February is already a busy month. 2 days in and I am running between books, articles and projects. I have 4 challenges I am participating in during the year and in January I have not read one single book for them. Also, I am participating in Bookweb vaLITines Readathon that is happening this month – more about it and my TBR here. As for my TBR, it’s quite challenging to say the least. Here are my reading plans:

  1. An Everyday Hero by Laura Trentham
  2. Mine to Five by Tara September
  3. Am I Ugly by Siobhan Hill
  4. The Sea in Me. by A Kelly
  5. Special by Chino Chakanga
  6. Ubiety by Grzegorz Kunowski
  7. Hunted by the Dragon by Addison Carmichael
  8. Cherokee Summer by Susan Antony
  9. Grown Enough For Love by Chelsea Falin
  10. Tucker by Emily March
  11. A Country Dilemma by Sasha Morgan
  12. My Pulse by Hanna Dale
  13. Wild, Wild Rake by Janna MacGregor
  14. A Circle of Firelight by Curtis Edmonds
  15. Dangerous by Sara Cate
  16. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
  17. Killer Domes and the Chosen One by Gibbo Gibbs
  18. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
  19. A Merciful Death by Kendra Elliot
  20. The Rose & The Dagger by Renée Ahdieh
  21. Matsushita Leadership by John P. Kotter
  22. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  23. One book from Nora Robers – not having it with me at the moment

23 books in 29 days….  Doesn’t look reasonable at first, but some of them are not so long and I can go through at least 2 in one day so there’s that.  This will be an incredible month!

Tell me about your plans for February J looking forward to reading about them in the comments below. Until next time, Happy Reading!

 

January: NonBookish Wrap Up

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Uf, this was such a busy month! On all aspects. Work was crazy, reading was crazy and I am proud to say I finally managed to organize my crochet and sewing projects – on paper!

I’ve decided to stop working on the items that have been standing around unfinished. Some bring sad memories, other just simply remind me of the long time they’ve been sitting around untouched. With this decision in mind, I started a new crochet blanket – I cannot share yet the picture, just in case the person I’ll be gifting it to will see, but I’m adding the yarn colors here. It looks good until now, and I cannot wait to add the finishing details to it.Alize

When it comes to sewing, I was not that productive, but I did manage to do a sketch of the next project and clean up a space around the room to install again my sewing machine. Don’t expect any spectacular items, I’m relearning.

Last weekend I also took a small break with my other half to a near-by city. 2.5 hours drive felt very relaxing. We just walked around the city center, taking pictures and enjoying the view. After the week we had, it was so welcomed.

It feels good to finally have an order, to finally have all my ideas on a TO-DO list. January was more about organizing and starting over. Overall, it was not such a terrible month. Looking forward for February 😊

Bookweb vaLITine Readathon – TBR

Hey Guys,

I’m coming a little late with my TBR for the Bookweb vaLITine Readathon happening throughout the month of February. For those of you that you don’t know what this is about, I’m linking here the announcement video from chaptercviii. There are a lot of challenges, there are a lot of books you can read, but you can also double up on them. The challenges marked with an * there is no book, just bookish activities. So here is my TBR, where books are needed:

  1. OLD LOVE: read an old favorite or a book that brings back fond memories

Here I’m considering Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. It was one of the first books I read and analyzed. Never dared to review it officially though.

  1. BLACK HISTORY MONTH: read a book written by a Black author

Special by Chino Chakanga – it was sent to me by the author and I cannot wait to discover the story

3*. LOVE NOTE: spend at least 30 minutes (over the course of the month) leaving comments on videos, Instagram posts, blog posts, etc. of creators that you appreciate

This is already happening 🙂

  1. THAT’S MY TYPE: read a book either recommended to you or extremely IN your comfort zone (your favorite genre, author, tropes, etc.)

Wild, Wild Rake by Janna MacGregor – Historical Romance. I seem to be reading a lot of it lately and loving it! 

  1. FIRST DATE: read an author’s debut

Killer Domes and the Chosen One by Gibbo Gibbs – I have a copy of this book since December. Now it’s time I give it the proper attention!

6*. SHOW AND TELL: talk about a favorite book on your social media platform of choice and show it off with a picture

Will do! Probably it will be my favorite book from January.

  1. SKINNY LOVE: read a book under 200 pages

The Sea in Me by A Kelly – 149 pages 🙂

  1. LOVE TRIANGLE: read a book that is part of a trilogy

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer – I am buddy reading this one with Astrid, over at Book Lover Book Reviews and I am already behind since today I haven’t read one single page of it!

  1. SHARING IS CARING: replace this challenge with any challenge from another readathon taking place in February (one I would recommend is #Blackathon )

Well, I may be cheating here, because I am using this challenge to start my Romanceopoly board (more about Romanceopoly in the following days). So I am using the Sun Challenge of Sleuth Street:  Read a mystery where the title of the book includes any words associated with death. For example: death, grave, bones etc. And my choice is A Merciful Death by Kendra Elliot

10*. BUBBLE BATH: read in a bubble bath (this can be replaced with another comfort activity if you’re not one for baths)

Oh, yes!

  1. LIBRARY LOVER’S MONTH: read a book from the library

Hmm…  not sure what to choose here, because I may not have time to reach the library. But give me a sec!

  1. ONE MAN’S TRASH: read a book that you’ve seen someone HATE or UNHAUL

This one is easy – The Rose & The Dagger by Renée Ahdieh. I love this series, but unfortunately, Jess from Peace Love Books (one of my favorite booktubers) does not like it L

13*. Simply tag the readathon on twitter or instagram using @readvalitines and use the tag #vaLITines on any social media platform ♥

Done that already and I’m gonna keep on doing it

  1. SET UP: read a book recommended to you by someone in your life

Matsushita Leadership by John P. Kotter – My other half recommended this book to me and I intend to read it!

  1. LONG TIME CRUSH: read a book that you’ve been meaning to get to for a while, but SOMETHING always gets in the way

BingoBoard

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – I started reading it so many times before and, while I loved the part I did get to read, I never actually finished it (and I have all the books in the series bought!)

  1. THE NEWLY WEDS: read one of the most recent books added to your TBR

Doubling with challenge 7The Sea in Me by A Kelly

  1. MORE TO LOVE: read a book over 400 pages

Doubling with challenge 8 A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

  1. NOT MY TYPE: read a book out of your comfort zone or read a book through a medium out of your comfort zone (audio books, e-book, graphic novel)

Doubling with challenge 14 – Matsushita Leadership by John P. Kotter

19*. TUNE IN: make a short playlist for your favorite book

Hmm…. I may have to come back to this one again. I’m not sure which book to pick.

  1. TOKEN OF AFFECTION: read a book that you received as a gift

I was gifted many of the books mentioned before in exchange for a review – I hope this counts. I’m choosing the same book as challenge 4 Wild, Wild Rake by Janna MacGregor

  1. COMMITMENT ISSUES: start or continue a book series

Definitely Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

22*. LIFT THEM UP: share at least five creators that you love on the platform of your choosing (we encourage diversity in your recommendation and for you to share creators that are outside your immediate social circle)

I’ll get back on that as well…

  1. YOU SEE ME: read a book that you feel represents you in some way

This is a though one… rain check for now?

  1. SHALLOW: read a book that you definitely bought for the cover

There’s one book by Nora Roberts (it’s quite big) that I bought from an airport (in Warsaw I think) but I don’t have it right now with me (visiting my parents at the moment).

  1. PICTURE PERFECT: read a comic book, graphic novel, or picture book

Am I Ugly? by Siobhan Hill – this sounds like such a fun read! And the author is amazingly friendly!

 

Oh, there are a lot of books to read! I don’t want to fail it and I do want to keep up with the blogger challenges too. More on that in the following days.

This was exhausting to put together, but fun nonetheless. I will be hosting Twitter sprints on the official

bookweb ♥ vaLITines (@readvaLITines) channel, so be sure to follow and join the fun!

Until next time, Happy Reading!