Hi and Welcome!

For the last three years I have been a Stay at Home Mother. And during this time, I found I was many things: Household CEO, Toddler Tantrum and Meltdown Negotiator, Executive Chef on a tight budget, Head Cheerleader, Housekeeper, Teacher, Child Advocate, Event Planner, Guru in special education, and so on. But somewhere along the line I had lost myself within a world of diapers, baby talk, and tears. Although I am highly educated, I found myself being defined by my children and the role of being a mother.

Don’t get me wrong; I love spending time with my children. But I am so much more than a Mother. I am a runner, a lover and critique of books, and maybe one day an author. I started this blog at the beginning of 2016 in hopes to redefine and connect with who I once was and discover who I’m going to become. And I feel like I have done just that. I have embraced the rewards and challenges of running. This year I will not only complete my first half marathon, but I will also be completing my first full marathon. I have read amazing books that allowed me to get lost form one imaginary world to the next. And I have been able to meet some amazing people.

Looking forward, I have decided it is time to return to work. Although this probably means I wont be able to read as many books as I am used to, I plan to continue to read, write, and post as often as I can. I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I enjoy writing it. Feel free to post comments or send me a message at boundtobeme3@gmail.com.

 

🙂

Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade, #3)

Bright Blaze of MagicAuthor: Jennifer Estep
Published: April 26, 2016
Pages: 368

Stars: 2.5 out of 5

Add to Goodreads

Where to Buy:
Barnes&Noble
Amazon

 

Synopsis:
Bad Things Always Come In Threes…

As a thief, I’m good at three things: hiding in the shadows, getting in and out unseen, and uncovering secrets. I put these skills to work for the Sinclair Family, one of the magical mobs that run the tourist town of Cloudburst Falls.

Everyone knows Victor Draconi wants to take over all the other Families–and kill every last Sinclair. What they don’t know is that I’m on to him, and no way will I let the man who murdered my mom get away with hurting all the other people I care about. Especially when I’ve got places to break into, stuff to steal, and Devon Sinclair fighting right by my side…

Review:
It has been a while since I’ve read the previous book in this series that it took me a little bit to understand what was happening. But once I remembered the details, it was easy to take off with this book. I hate saying this but I just wish it was better. I am so disappointed this book because I really enjoyed the first two in this series.

The writing isn’t the best but the plot is somewhat captivating and I can’t resist a female heroine who is all kinds of awesome. Except this female heroine just might be too awesome. Lila is a strong woman, surrounded by love and support but clouded by doubt, revenge, and at times loneliness. She is an amazing thief and a strong swordsman. But the death of her mother haunts her as does the threat her mothers killer poses. Although she isn’t perfect, she’s pretty close to it.

Devon is the bruiser for the Sinclair family which pretty much means he’s one day going to take over the family. With that said, what I found odd was most of the time Lila is the one leading the group, coming up with the plan, and shouting orders. When Devon does give out orders or comes up with a plan, it’s always him sacrificing himself or throwing himself in danger. Halfway through the book I wanted to roll my eyes at his stupidity. He has one of the most unique powers, compulsion. And what does he keep trying to do but hand himself over to the man who rips powers out of others. Because that sounds smart, let’s give the bad guy even more power so he can control people with his words instead of using blackmail.

I found this book to be a bit repetitive. I noticed the author continued to say the same things multiple times throughout the book. Examples include picking locks, how she can see with her enhanced sight, how she is an amazing thief…

I highly doubt I’m giving anything away by saying how Lila volunteers to fight Victor in a one on one match. We all saw this coming and if you didn’t, I’m just not sure how you missed it.  But don’t worry, I’m not going to give away the ending. I felt like this part of the book was slightly ridiculous or maybe I just thought it should go a different way. I’m not really sure which it is.. but everyone gives their support to Lila without questioning why a teenager is fighting the man with unknown amounts of magic. Ok, I can go with this, sure. Lila did save everyone and she is pretty much the perfect badass. But what strikes me as odd is how everyone believes she will win. And I mean there is no doubt, worry, concern.. They all just automatically accept her facing Victor. It was as though that thought was the most logical conclusion and everyone is at ease with it. In fact, Lila is the only one who is slightly concerned about facing Victor.

Seleste’s prophesy kind of spoiled the book for me. I wasn’t difficult to connect the dots and predict what was going to happen. I don’t remember the other books being this predictable but this one seemed to be.

Overall, I wanted so much from this book and I didn’t get it. I’m not sure if there will be a forth to this series because the author, in a way, left it open. Looking on Goodreads, my review is not the norm. Most people seemed to have really enjoyed this book. My suggestion, if you have come this far in the series, give the book a shot. Who knows, you might love it.

Throwback Thursday- Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn

throwback

With 259 pages, Kitty and the Midnight Hour was an entertaining read. It was first published in November of 2005 but has received over 24,000 ratings with an average rating of 3.66.

Kitty and the Midnight

Synopsis:

Kitty Norville is a midnight-shift DJ for a Denver radio station – and a werewolf in the closet. Her new late-night advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged is a raging success, but it’s Kitty who can use some help. With one sexy werewolf-hunter and a few homicidal undead on her tail, Kitty may have bitten off more than she can chew?

What I thought:

For the first book in the series, this was a good one. If you are looking for your normal paranormal romance book, this is not it. The author provides the reader with a fresh twist on werewolves. Kitty was attached by a wolf and struggles to keep ahold of her human side along with her wolf. In the beginning of the book, her character is weak and she is at the bottom of the pack. But throughout the book, she discovers who she is or who she wants to be and her character starts to change. This book is full action, romance, and the book is never dull.

What I really enjoyed about this book is that throughout it, the author asks the question- is a behavior right, morally, because it is instinctual? 

Quotes:

“I’m a werewolf trapped in a human body.”
“Well, yeah, that’s kind of the definition.”
“No, really. I’m trapped.”
“Oh? When was the last time you shape-shifted?”
“That’s just it – I’ve never shape-shifted.”
“So you’re not really a werewolf.”
“Not yet. But I was meant to be one, I just know it. How do I get a werewolf to attack me?”
Stand in the middle of a forest under a full moon with a raw steak tied to your face, holding a sign that says, ‘Eat me; I’m stupid’?”

 

Once Burned (Night Prince, #1)

Once BurnedAuthor: Jeaniene Frost
Published: June 26, 2012
Pages: 346
Listening Length: 8 hours and 30 minutes

Stars: 4 out of 5

Add to Goodreads

Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble 

 

Synopsis:
She’s a mortal with dark powers…

After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person’s darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude…until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world’s most infamous vampire…

He’s the Prince of Night…

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don’t call him Dracula. Vlad’s ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

Review:
As much running as I’m doing, I thought I might try to listen to something besides music. I’ve only tried books on tape once and hated it. The voice annoyed me more than anything else and I struggled to get into the book. But let me reassure you, that is not the case with this book!! I will admit by the end of the book I was a little annoyed with the voice that was given for Vlad, but overall I thought the person reading the story did a really nice job. In fact, more often than not I didn’t want to stop listening.

Something else to note is that I wasn’t able to take notes while listening to the book. Which in case you are wondering, that is not the norm for me. So bare with me because this review might be different from my others.

Leila is a strong character who is more comfortable blending in than getting attention. She has a unique ability, or maybe curse, that whenever she touches someone she can not only see their past and future but she also gives off an electric charge. As you can imagine, this makes having a love life impossible.

There were two things I didn’t really care for with Lelia’s character. The first was how fast she fell in love with Vlad. For me it was far too close to the love at first sight thing. If it wasn’t for the taunting banter her and Vlad had in the beginning, Lelia’s feelings for Vlad would have been far too much for me to handle. The other thing that somewhat irritated me had more to do with the person reading the book. I really didn’t care for how the reader pitched her voice in a way that made Leila often sound weak, timid, and scared. Because the impression I got from the story was Leila’s character is anything but. Yes, there are times in the book she is scared but those aren’t the strong emotions that leave a lasting impression on me. Like I said above, she is strong, but also determined, brave, and stands up for those weaker.

Vlad’s is arrogant, caring, and everything an alpha male should be. His confidence and strength is everything I remember from the Night Huntress Series but also so much more. I will admit there were times I had to stifle a laugh while out running with how over the top he was. Vlad was so sure he and Leila were a done deal that he not only set Lelia up with another guy but he practically dared her to sleep with someone else. And he did all of this just because she tried denying her feelings/attraction towards him. But then there are times in the book that made me kind of stop and remember exactly who Vlad is. He isn’t always charm and oozing sex appeal. In fact, Vlad almost seems at odds with himself in this book because one minute he is a perfect gentleman and the next he is a ruthless torturing killer.

 

My favorite thing in this book (oh how I wish it lasted longer) was the mental and verbal battles between Vlad and Lela. The sexual tension and banter between the two had me smiling to the point that I probably looked like an idiot. And the sex scenes were detailed but not overly graphic where you might feel embarrassed reading them. Jeanine Frost is amazing at creating a world that is both realistic and easily visualized. I love how she describes just enough for you to understand but not enough that you drown in the details. The way she writes makes everything flow effortlessly. If you haven’t picked up a book from her, you should because she is one gifted author.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Ultimately, I still prefer to read a book as apposed to listen because I felt like I could read this book faster. Also, listening to an audio book isn’t always the most convenient thing. But I am surprised with how much I enjoyed listening to this book and would be open to more books on tapes.

I’m not sure how I feel about the ending of this book but there is no question about reading the second book in this series. I am glad I didn’t jump right into this series after finishing the Night Huntress Series. I think if I had, I would have been terribly disappointed. Because even though Leila is a strong character and her and Vlad have some amazing sexual tension, it doesn’t compare to Cat and Bones. My recommendation is if you just finished with Cat and Bones, wait a while before jumping into this series. If you haven’t, then by all means pick this book up because I am sure you will enjoy it!

First Half Marathon- Woman Rock MN

I woke up this morning not sure if I would actually be able to run. My knee was already a little sore and I couldn’t stop myself from questioning if this was a mistake. But I pushed those thoughts to the back of my head and pushed on.

HalfM7

The weather was perfect despite the threat of rain. The temperature was low to mid sixties and there wasn’t much wind. The race didn’t start off like I would have hoped. They had a silent start and when we headed to the start line, we discovered the race had started a minute early. I don’t know about you but this kind of threw things off for me. I tried not to play catch up but being at the back of the race wasn’t encouraging.

For the first six miles, I was able to find my rhythm and somewhat enjoy my run.

HalfM2

And then the knee started going, then came the rain, and hills. That’s when I split off from my running friend and switched between walking and running. I think at this point in the race, my goal was to finish without blowing my knee.

HalfM

I’m not really excited about my time but I am calling this a win. I finished the race, without killing my knee, and I wasn’t the last one running.

As I am typing this out, my knee still kind of hurts but it isn’t sharp or anything. I am worried I won’t be able to run my full marathon in early October or be able to run my 20 mile capital run in September.

HalfM1

What did I learn:

  1. I need to bring more fuel. I realized very quickly that what I brought was not enough. Luckily the race was handing out gels and I was able to take advantage. But the sugar in those things killed my stomach.
  2. Come rain or shine, the race is on. I didn’t bring anything to throw on right after the race because honestly I didn’t even think about it. Which was mistake number two because I not only cooled down surprisingly quickly, but I was wet from the rain. Not a good combination.
  3. It’s okay to walk. Seriously, it is okay! It’s not the end of the world if you have to walk.
  4. Get to the start line early! We were waiting for our other friend to join us who often runs late. Mainly this cost me mentally but it also put me behind in regards to my time.

Overall, I am glad I ran the race. The experience I am walking away with will help prepare me for my other races.

Have you ran a half marathon? I would love to hear how it went or your thoughts on mine!!

Throwback Thursday- The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

throwback

This week I would like to talk about a series, The Selection. This series is in the Young Adult category and although I don’t always enjoy these books, I did enjoy this series.

The-Selection

Somewhat of a synopsis:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for the main character, America, this is not her dream. As she struggles to discover herself, she is tossed into a world full of manipulation, lies, cruelty, violence, and of course love. But not just the simple kind of love. You see America doesn’t willingly or want to fall for Prince Maxon. Not when Aspen is a constant reminder. Before you know it, a love triangle forms and the reader is left in a constant ping-pong arena: Prince Maxon or Aspen..

This series is about injustice, overcoming great obstacles, finding and allowing yourself to love, and the idea of dreaming of something more.

By the end of the series, the author adds unexpected twists but a somewhat predictable ending. And although I felt the ending was an easy way out with questions still unanswered, if  you allow yourself to get swept away in the fairy tale then you will enjoy this series.

Quotes:

“True love is usually the most inconvenient kind.” – The Selection

“You get confused by crying women, I get confused by walks with princes.”- The Selection

“He stood and went to read my pin as I approached. “America, is it?” he said, a smile playing on his lips.
“Yes, it is. And I know I’ve heard your name before, but could you remind me?” – The Selection

“Your Majesty- Tugging my ear. Whenever.”- The Selection

“I sighed. “Actually, Mom, we argue pretty regularly.”
“What?” She gaped at me. “Well, stop it!”
“Oh, and I kneed him in the groin once.” – the Elite

“America Singer, you get back here.” He ran in front of me, wrapping an arm around my waist as we stood, chest to chest. “Tell me,” he whispered. I pinched my lips together. “Fine, then I shall have to rely on other means of communication.” Without any warning, he kissed me.”- The Elite

“I want everything with you, America. I want the holidays and the birthdays, the busy season and lazy weekends. I want peanut butter fingertips on my desk. I want inside jokes and fights and everything. I want a life with you.” – The One

“Maxon: “To be clear, no one agrees with you.”
America: “To be clear, I don’t care.” – The One


 

Ok, I want to hear from you. Have you read this series? What did you think?

Blog Tour and Excerpt: Furious Rush by S.C. Stephens

Furious Rush

Furious Rush1

Author: S.C. Stephens
Published: August 23, 2016
Pages: 384

Add to Goodreads

Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million
Google Play
iBooks
IndieBound
Kobo

 

 

The first in an emotion-fueled, New Adult series from the #1 bestselling author of the Thoughtless novels!

Too fast, too furious—and way too hot to handle…

Mackenzie Cox has a lot to prove. Daughter of a racing legend, she is eager to show the world that she has inherited her father’s talent in the male-dominated sport of professional motorcycle racing. The last thing Kenzie needs is to be antagonized by her rival team’s newest rider, Hayden Hayes. Plucked from the world of illegal street racing, Hayden immediately gets under Kenzie’s skin. His insinuations that Kenzie is a spoiled princess who was handed her career fuels her desire to win, and much to her surprise, Kenzie soon learns she performs better when she’s racing against Hayden.

As Kenzie and Hayden push each other on the track, the electric energy between them off the track shifts into an intense—and strictly forbidden—attraction. The only rule between their two ultra-competitive teams is zero contact. Kenzie always does her best to play by the rules, but when her team slips into a financial crisis, she has no choice but to turn to Hayden for help. The tension simmers during their secret, late-night rendezvous, but Kenzie has too much to lose to give in to her desires. Especially when she begins to doubt that Hayden has completely left his street life behind…

Furious Rush

Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

C. Stephens is a #1 bestselling author who spends her every free moment creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance. In addition to writing, she enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading, listening to music, watching movies, and spending time with her friends and family. She and her two children reside in the Pacific Northwest.

Website    Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads

Furious Rush

Excerpt:

“Do you have any idea who this guy is, and why the hell he’s on our track?”

Myles tilted his head as he thought. “Don’t know, but if he’s on the track before noon, your dad must have hired him. The Bennetis know not to break that rule. Not after what happened last time.”

The last time a Benneti stepped foot on our track before they were allowed to, that Benneti had found himself duct-taped to the flagpole in the middle of the track. Naked. Of course, the Benneti team had gotten us back by breaking all the windows in the garage doors. They were still boarded over, since we couldn’t afford to fix them yet. For the sake of our bank account, Dad had ordered every Cox racer not to continue the paybacks, no matter how warranted they were.

Ignoring Myles’s chuckle, I renewed my inspection of the racer. The new rider was fast, and ridiculously good—his setup on the corners was perfectly timed, and he kept his body low, hanging off the bike so that nothing was over the center line but his outside arm and leg; his “triangle of daylight”—the space between his inside knee and the bike—was so beautiful that Dad would probably photograph it and hang it on his office wall. Considering the furious competition at the professional level—races were won or lost by mere seconds—and considering how much time, energy, and resources were spent on training new riders, I wasn’t too surprised this guy was top-notch. With the upcoming racing season so close, any person Dad brought onto our team would be impressive. Dad wouldn’t settle for anything less than amazing; he couldn’t afford to. Yet another reason I was feeling a profound pressure to perform. There was no free ride for Jordan Cox’s daughter; I had to earn my place, same as everyone else.

When number 43 finally finished his set and slowed to exit the track, Myles let out a low whistle. “Not bad. He reminds me of you.” Frowning, I peeked up at him. His dark eyes sparkled with amusement. “No guts, no glory, balls-to-the-wall racing, like you have something to prove every time you go out there.” He raised a dark eyebrow at me, but I remained silent. Having to prove myself was a daily occurrence, and Myles knew that.

The rider exited the track at the same place where we were standing with our bikes. He slowed to a stop directly in front of us, shut off his motorcycle, and removed his helmet. My jaw dropped to my chest, and my eyes bugged out of my skull. No. It was not possible. But the long-dulled desires starting to tingle back to life at just the sight of him told me it was possible. The man who was proudly wearing the number 43 was the same drop-dead-gorgeous man who’d won the street race early this morning. What the hell was he doing here—on my turf—looking for all the world like he belonged?

In the bright sunshine, I could see that his eyes were actually a light shade of green. There was a devious glint in them that silently promised that every day with him would be even more intriguing than the last. Add that to his dirty-blond hair, rugged jawline, perfect bone structure, athletic build, and perfectly full lips that hinted at a treasure trove of untold pleasures, and you got a man who attracted a lot of attention everywhere he went—as I’d witnessed last night by the swarm of groupies surrounding him while he’d been illegally racing.

No way. There was no way Dad had hired this guy!

Hopping off his bike, the stranger ran a hand through his sweat-soaked hair. The shaggy strands were sticking up every which way now, and the chaotic hairstyle was too damn appealing. A small groan slipped from me in my shock. Get it together, Kenzie.

His emerald eyes swung my way, taking me in, and I held my breath and stood a little straighter. Did he recognize me like I recognized him? Did I want him to? Damn it . . . what was his name again? And why the hell did he have to have such incredible eyes? Green with flecks of gold, penetrating and intense, like when he was looking at you—truly looking at you—nothing else around him mattered. I could easily picture him studying the track with that unrelenting gaze. I could also picture him studying my curves with that superheated stare. Goddammit, no. This couldn’t seriously be happening.

 

One With You (Crossfire, #5)

One with You

Author: Sylvia Day
Published: April 5, 2016
Pages: 464

Stars: 3 out of 5

 

Links to buy:
$9.99 Amazon
$9.99 Barnes&Noble

 

 

Synopsis:
Gideon Cross. Falling in love with him was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It happened instantly. Completely. Irrevocably.

Marrying him was a dream come true. Staying married to him is the fight of my life. Love transforms. Ours is both a refuge from the storm and the most violent of tempests. Two damaged souls entwined as one.

We have bared our deepest, ugliest secrets to one another. Gideon is the mirror that reflects all my flaws … and all the beauty I couldn’t see. He has given me everything. Now, I must prove I can be the rock, the shelter for him that he is for me. Together, we could stand against those who work so viciously to come between us.

But our greatest battle may lie within the very vows that give us strength. Committing to love was only the beginning. Fighting for it will either set us free … or break us apart.

Review:

This book was better than I thought. Since the release, I have read reviews that put the book near the middle of the road. And for the most part, I would have to agree. For me, the repetition of what Gideon and Eva say was slightly annoying and I felt like it was something the author did to fill the space. The same goes for the plot. I felt the plot was similar to a conversation that crept along at a leisurely pace. My thoughts on reasons behind doing this range from the plot not having enough substance to stand on its own to the author wanting to incorporate an overview of the series. What I mean by this is the author would highlight scenes from previous books in this series as something the characters looked back on or commented on how they grew.

The author did a wonderful job of staying true to her characters. I wouldn’t go as far as saying the characters grew on an individual level but they did develop as far as their relationship is concerned. I wouldn’t say the developments in Eva and Gideon’s relationship was jaw dropping insightful or suspenseful. It was in ways predictable and  slightly uneventful.

Overall, I am glad I read this book. The author does a nice job wrapping everything up and tying loose ends. If you have been keeping up with this series, you will enjoy reading this book. It’s provides the perfect closure for these loved characters.