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.

 

🙂

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Nuts (Hudson Valley, #1)

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I’m not sure what I expected but this wasn’t it. Please take my review with a grain of salt. With over 15,000 reviews on GoodReads and an average star rating of 4 out of 5, my opinion of this book is not the norm. Maybe I’m in a reading slump I just need to try a new genre, I don’t know…


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Author: Alice Clayton
Published: October 20, 2015
Pages: 308

Stars: 1 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Roxie Callahan is a private chef to some of Hollywood’s wealthiest, and nastiest, calorie-counting wives. After a dairy disaster implodes her carefully crafted career in one fell ploop, she finds herself back home in upstate New York, bailing out her hippie mother and running the family diner.

When gorgeous local farmer Leo Maxwell delivers her a lovely bunch of organic walnuts, Roxie wonders if a summer back home isn’t such a bad idea after all. Leo is heavily involved in the sustainable slow food movement, and he likes to take his time. In all things. Roxie is determined to head back to the west coast as soon as summer ends, but will the pull of lazy fireflies and her very own Almanzo Wilder be enough to keep her home for good?

Salty. Spicy. Sweet. Nuts. Go on, grab a handful.

Review:
The book starts off slow and is full of drama. Roxie does a lot of complaining and has an off-putting personality. She obviously has some issues with her mom and is just angry.

I felt like the beginning of this book was all about how hard Roxie’s life was growing up, how terrible her Mother is, and how angry she is because her Mother is different. Not exactly something I want to read. And honestly, the book kind of felt boring.

But the worst for me is that I felt zero sympathy for the character. Instead, I felt as though she was ungrateful, snobby, and slightly abrasive.

I’m sorry but I couldn’t get into the book. Maybe I’ll try this book another time but until then, it goes into the DNF Graveyard…

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The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)

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This is one of those books where you are kind of frustrated with how clueless the main character is and some of the choices she makes.


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Author: Rae Carson
Published: September 20, 2011
Pages: 423

Stars: 2 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

Review:
Lucero-Elisa (lets just call her Elisa) is only 16. There are times throughout the book where her character acts her age, but there are also times it’s easy to forget she is only 16. Elisa is over weight and an emotional eater. I can’t help with how off-putting Elisa’s character is in regards to food and how my own stomach turned with her eating habits. Maybe this is a nod to the authors ability to create such descriptive character that they are able to pull that strong of an emotion out of me. I don’t know about you but if I can’t connect with the characters on some level, it makes it extremely difficult for me to enjoy the book.    

Everything in the beginning is extremely secretive and I honestly had no idea what was going on. Everyone either treats Elisa with gentle hands and hides the truth from her. Or they try to sabotage her every move. This kind of plot frustrates me to no end. There are too many secrets to keep track of and the author doesn’t give enough information for the plot to make sense. 

King Alejandro de Vega (lets call him Alejandro) is older than Elisa and is king. After he marries Elisa, he does nothing but hide her and ask for her to spy on his court. I can’t help but feel sorry for Elisa. She is queen but he introduces her as a friend who will be staying indefinitely. While she yearns for his affection, Alejandro shows nothing but indifference. That is unless he wants something, then he touches her hand and turns on his boyish smile. Oh and did I mention he has a mistress.. Not cool Alejando, not cool 

But what really sickens me is Alejandro’s attraction for Elisa increases immensely once she loses weight. In fact the underlying message I received from this book is quite appalling. When Elisa is overweight, she is insecure, weak, and very similar to a mouse. But once she loses the weight, her character becomes powerful, respected, and she fits the role of queen. I don’t like the connection to weight and success. 

As the plot continues, Elisa’s life gets turned upside down and she meets Humberto. Humberto is a kind boy who sees true beauty in Elisa, regardless of how much she weighs. It doesn’t take long for Elisa to begin questioning her feelings for Alejandro and becoming closer to Humberto. I don’t want to say much but for how things turned out with Humberto, I can say I did not see that coming. I will admit I’m not heartbroken over the situation. I struggled to see his character going anywhere and to see him as anything other than a young boy.

With that said, there are some characters in this book who aren’t always who they seem to be. The author provides nice plot twists that are difficult to see coming. The plot has a strong religious pull, not at all what I was expecting. In fact, the religious push came close to overpowering the book. 

This is not a series I am interested in continuing. Although, it is refreshing to see an author not afraid to kill off key characters within their book. Ultimately, this book was too religious and I didn’t respect nor really like Elisa’s character. 

First Year (The Black Mage, #1)

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I won’t say this book is going to be a favorite of mine but I did enjoy the book enough that I want to read the next book in the series. Just maybe not right away… 3 


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Author: Rachel Carter
Published: January 26, 2017
Pages: 320

Stars: 3 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Before the age of seventeen, the young men and women of Jerar are given a choice —pursue a trade or enroll in a trial year in one of the realm’s three war schools to study as a soldier, knight, or mage…

For fifteen-year-old Ryiah, the choice has always been easy. Become a mage and train in Combat, the most prestigious faction of magic.

Yet when she arrives, Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Everyone is rooting for her to fail—first and foremost among them is Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived.

Will Ry survive, or will her dream go down in flames?

Review:
This book is a quick read. I think I finished this book in a couple days. So why did it take me so long to write my review?? In all honesty, the synopsis of the book gives away most of what the book is about. I honestly didn’t know what more I could say…

Because of this, I’m not going to go into too many details. I don’t want to ruin what little surprises are left in the book. With that said, I will say I was highly entertained with Ryiah and Prince Darren’s interactions. There is just something about love/hate relationships that I just can’t get enough of. 

Although Ryiah develops her skills in magic and knowledge, I don’t really see her character grow. By the end of the book she is still the same fierce, slightly emotional, girl who isn’t always confident. At least those are the characteristics I enjoy and her character isn’t exactly boring.  

Prince Daren’s character was sometimes confusing and I don’t think his character was as well developed as Ryiah. But I still enjoyed the slight hidden smiles and the relationship he had with Ryiah.

Overall, the book was enjoyable. The writing wasn’t perfect but it worked. The plot had some gaps, which is always irritating. And some of the conclusions Prince Daren came to, I have no idea how he came to them. It didn’t really make sense. 

The Immortal Heights (The Elemental Trilogy, #3)

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I have really enjoyed this series! For me, it was one of those hidden gems. And I’ll be honest, my review of this book is not an in-depth one.  I started reading the book and next thing I knew, I was at the end and all I wrote were 3 sentences. That’s how captivating this book is!!


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Author: Sherry Thomas
Published: October 15, 2015
Pages: 432

Stars: 5 out of 5

Series:
The Burning Sky (Elemental Trilogy #1)
The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy, #2)

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Synopsis:
In a pursuit that has spanned continents, Iolanthe, Titus, and their friends have always managed to remain one step ahead of the forces of Atlantis. But now the Bane, the monstrous tyrant who bestrides the entire mage world, has issued his ultimatum: Titus must hand over Iolanthe, or watch as his entire realm is destroyed in a deadly rampage. Running out of time and options, Iolanthe and Titus must act decisively to deliver a final blow to the Bane, ending his reign of terror for good.

However, getting to the Bane means accomplishing the impossible—finding a way to infiltrate his crypt in the deepest recesses of the most ferociously guarded fortress in Atlantis. And everything is only made more difficult when new prophecies come to light, foretelling a doomed effort…

Iolanthe and Titus will put their love and their lives on the line. But will it be enough?

Review:
This book doesn’t miss a beat and picks up exactly where the second one left off. And if you struggle remembering all the details from the previous book, no worries because the author does a fantastic job of reminding you. As normal, the writing style took me a little bit to get used to. But once I did, the book flowed effortlessly.

The heartache Titus and Iolanthe go through is hard to imagine. I wonder how painful it would be to know your loved one will die but not know how to stop it from happening. I’m impressed Thomas followed through and killed some of our most loved characters. Not every author is strong enough to do this. Although when I was reading the book, I was saddened by the loss, I do respect the author for making such a difficult decision. 

 The plot was fantastic, full of romance, black magic, and best yet it was unpredictable. You are going through the book believing one thing to only find out it was something completely different. 

It’s difficult to remember Titus is so young. His character comes off as such a romantic and someone who has experienced a lot in life. As much as his character has grown, Iolanthe as grown that much more. Starting this series as a scared girl, she has transformed into this strong, independent woman.

The ending wasn’t my favorite but overall I found it satisfying. I would recommend this series to anyone who loves Young Adult/Fantasy books.

Breath of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles, #2)

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I enjoyed this book but it took me a while to finish reading it and there were a lot of things that bothered me. Overall what does this mean? I think this book killed the series for me. So sad..


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Author: Amanda Bouchet
Published: January 3, 2017
Pages: 432

Stars: 2.5 out of 3

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Synopsis:
SHE’S DESTINED TO DESTROY THE WORLD… 
“Cat” Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat’s tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what’s a girl to do when she knows it’s her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.

BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT
Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world-for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin must embrace their fate together. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom…or not at all.

Review:
This story begins full of drama and a roller coaster of emotions. Griffin discovers exactly who Cat is and doesn’t handle the deception well. 

Cat continues to grow in this book and I actually like her more. Griffin’s character kind of rubbed me wrong but I think that has more to do with the plot. Whenever Cat found herself in a dangerous situation with no way out, all it would take is Griffin saying he believed in her, knew she could do it, etc. and she would overcome the obstacle with ease. Where’s the fun in that? Plus, completely not realistic!

The plot flows effortlessly and I felt like I really connected more with the side characters. Which is weird because they aren’t the focus of the book. There was a lot of sex in this book and dare I say it was almost too much. And the amount of support/help the Gods gave Cat was over the top ridiculous. If the gods blatantly favored her this much, then they could have solved all of this without her. 

Overall, I felt like the plot was intriguing but the writing could use some work. The book went in a familiar and predictable pattern. Again, where is the fun or creativity in that? As I mentioned above, this book will be the last I read in the series.. 

A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles, #1)

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This book was a little confusing to begin with. But by the end of the first chapter, I was fully emerged in the book. 


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Author: Amanda Bouchet
Published: August 2, 2016
Pages: 441

Stars: 3 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Catalia “Cat” Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods-and her homicidal mother-have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.

Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm-until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin’s fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone.

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Review:
The book opens to a world full of gods, magic, and strength. In this world you are either born with magic – magoi, or you aren’t – Hoi Polloi. And not all magic is given equally. For example our heroine, Cat, her powers are as complex as they get. Although she looks harmless, she is as deadly as they come. Not only can she tell when others lie, she can also absorb their powers and use it against them. But as awesome as that sounds, her magic did nothing to save her from her family and the demands of her realm. Forced into hiding and disguised as a member of the circus, Cat is constantly looking over her shoulder. 

That is until Griffin, a warlord and second in command, comes into her life. He’s strong, handsome, and everything Cat doesn’t need right now. But as the story progresses, Cat discovers she isn’t entirely resistant to the warlords charm. The chemistry between Griffin and Cat is intense, even though Cat denies it every step of the way. The banter between them is fun and helps keep the plot moving. 

Cats can sometimes be immature, especially when it comes to her inner thoughts. For example she is in her twenties but says things like ‘yuck’ when kissed. Her inner thoughts are also constantly in turmoil with her actions.  I understand Cat is inexperienced but some of her immaturity in regards to Griffin was a little irritating. 

This is one of those books that is both frustrating and captivating. Frustrating with how much Cat denies her feelings and connection towards Griffin. Even when it’s obvious Griffen was sent to her, she still pushes away. But captivating in how the author provides the right amount of information/details to keep you wondering what will happen next. 

Overall, this book was a fun read. There is so much mystery left at the end of this book that I’m looking forward to reading the second. But at the same time, it felt like the book just ended. Here I was reading, I turn the page and that was that – The end. It’s weird how there wasn’t any closure or warning the book was closing to an end.

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Can You Keep a Secret?

Three different covers, one book… Maybe that should have been the first clue that this book wasn’t for me. But once again, my review of this book is a far cry from the norm. Most people actually enjoyed reading this book. I just wasn’t one of them.


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Author: Sophie Kinsella
Published: December 27, 2005
Pages: 374

Stars: 1 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets: Secrets from her boyfriend: I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken. Secrets from her mother: I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur. Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world: I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is. Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger.…Until Emma comes face-to-face with Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her…

Review:
The first chapter had me chuckling with easily relatable situations aligned with humorous view on them. It was a little difficult to follow everything being said based on cultural differences. The book has a ‘Bridget Jones Diary’ kind of flow and feel. Everything from the embarrassment, mishaps, and uncomfortable experiences. Honestly, I couldn’t do it. The book was too much and felt like a scene from Bridget Jones. Where’s the uniqueness in that?

This book was not for me and will forever remain in the DNF Graveyard…

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