Release- Good Girl by Lauren Layne

Good Girl1

About the Book

In this steamy novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines, country music’s favorite good girl hides away from the world—and finds herself bunking with a guy who makes her want to be a little bad.

Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music, not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and serious heat.

Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.

You can find my review to this amazing book here

Release Date: May 17

About the Author

Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. A year after moving from Seattle to NYC to pursue a writing career, she had a fabulous agent and multiple New York publishing deals.

Lauren currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and plus-sized Pomeranian. When not writing, you’ll likely find her running (rarely), reading (sometimes), or at happy hour (often)

Favorite Quotes and Fun Teasers

I dump a handful of chocolate chips into the blender. Chocolate fixes everything.
Tucking the phone between my ear and shoulder, I put the lid on and flick the blender back on, sort of relishing the hacking noise the chocolate chips make as they whir.
“What the heck is that noise?” Amber asks.
“Just throwing some carrots into the blender,” I lie.
“Oh, good call! I love how carrots add that delicious bit of sweetness,” she says.
I roll my eyes. Sweetness my ass. They’re carrots.

His eyes rake over me. “Playing dumb won’t change the fact that you’ll be thinking about me all night, princess. Your fingers will be a poor stand-in for my tongue, I can promise you that.”
“I’m trying to figure out which word better applies here,delusional or disgusting. I’m thinking it’s a tie.”
Noah bends down slightly, enough so that I can feel his warm breath on my mouth. “Enjoy your night, princess.”

Good Girl2

“There once was a guy named Noah, he was as appealing as a boa. Whatever happened, whoa-oh-oh, whatever happened, who-oh-oh, to rot his soul?” I shake my head. There’s more strumming on the guitar, and her Noah-hate song continues.“His face was average, his eyes were cold. His body flubby, whoa-oh-oh. His kiss was filthy, his flavor bad. He tried to woo me, and it was sad, whoa-oh-oh.”

But right when I’d just begun to think that any guy who spends all day building a porch swing has to have a heart in there somewhere, he had to go and ruin it all with a crass, cruel comment.

Your cocktail’s almost as good as your blow job.

That’s twice now he’s managed to make me feel . . . dirty.


Running- What week am I on…

Monday: 4 Miles

It took me a while to get into my run today. But I really enjoyed the last mile to miles and half. I felt kind of rushed but love my morning runs! I do so much better when I am able to run in the morning than afternoon.

Thursday: 3 Miles

Damn Hills!! I had no idea going into this run all I would be doing is running up and down hills. This was a difficult workout!! I am know I need to to do them more often. But my thighs and knees kind of hurt now that I am done and sitting down.. I hope I didn’t push myself too hard and hurt something.

Sunday: 5 miles

I need to get a better handle of these hills. Not a bad run but it could have been better. Mile three I hit a hill that kind of killed my pace. I’m a little disappointed about that. But I ran and that’s what matters.

Overall, I missed one run this week. It was a short two mile run but it’s still no excuse.

Total milage: 12

May is Celiac Awareness Month



What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.  It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide.  Two and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications.

CeliacWhen people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage on the villi, small fingerlike projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body.

Celiac disease is hereditary, meaning that it runs in families. People with a first-degree relative with celiac disease (parent, child, sibling) have a 1 in 10 risk of developing celiac disease.

What are the symptoms of Celiacs Disease?

Right now studies have discovered 300 known symptoms which may occur in the digestive system or other parts of the body. But what is really scary is some people with celiac disease don’t have any symptoms at all.

The most common symptoms are digestive symptoms, which are more common in young kids although some adults do experience these as well. Some examples are: Abdominal pain, chromic diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, pale foul-smelling or fatty stool, etc.


In adults, the most common symptoms include: unexplained iron-deficiency anemia, fatigue, bone or joint pain, arthritis, bone loss or osteoporosis, depression or anxiety, tingling numbness in the hands and feet, seizures or migraines, missed menstrual periods, infertility or recurrent miscarriage, canker sores inside the mouth, an itchy skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis, etc.

Diagnosis and Treatment

There are several blood tests available that screen for celiac disease antibodies. But for this screening to work, you must be eating gluten. Again, you must NOT be on a gluten-free diet.

If test results come back suggesting you might have celiac disease, your physician will recommend a biopsy of your small intestine to confirm the diagnosis.

Celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune disease, which means that you cannot “grow out” of it. The treatment for both celiac disease and gluten sensitivity is lifelong adherence to a strict gluten-free diet

My Story

Growing up, I have always struggled with canker sores. And my stomach has always bothered me. I hated when doctors would push on my stomach because it always hurt. I grew up thinking your stomach was supposed to always hurt. That was my norm, constantly living with mild pain. But it wasn’t until late 2010 and early 2011 that my real symptoms started to show up.

me It started with what I thought was weight gain but really it was my body swelling from everything I was eating. During the week, I normally ate soups and salads for lunch and eggs for breakfast. But on the weekends, I would splurge with pizza, pasta, beer.. you name it. And soon, every weekend I would spend 9+ hours in the bathroom throwing up and in the worst pain of my entire life. Then I would spend a couple more hours in the emergency room because I couldn’t stop vomiting. I would be shaking uncontrollably from the pain. The lightest touch of clothing or sheets would be painful.

Once I had an emergency doctor tell me I was an alcoholic who needed help. But the thing was, I would only have one or two beers and that would be enough to set me off. Finally, at the beginning of 2011, I found an amazing doctor who helped me get diagnosed with Celiacs. I remember my doctor telling me I can to cut out all gluten from my diet. And believe it or not, I cried. I was a carb loving fool at the time and giving up my pasta and breads seemed unfair. When I told my doctor this, he looked at me and pretty much told me to suck it up and I would no longer be a carb person.

Fast forward five years later and some days I still struggle with a gluten free diet. And although my symptoms aren’t bad enough to send me to the ER anymore, they are still bad. When I eat gluten, not only is my body destroyed but so is my mind. And it doesn’t fix itself right away. I have to live with what feels like half of who I am for weeks until my body finally rights itself.

When I eat gluten, I have the digestive symptoms and the horrible pain. That pain usually lasts for about three to five days. But the mind fog is what lasts for weeks. It’s hard to describe but it’s like listening to a conversation but only hearing part of it. Then trying to make sense of what you heard and respond. But you can’t find the words you want and everything is out of range. Your mind is like walking through molasses. You can’t remember anything and you often have to ask the same questions over and over because sometimes you don’t even remember asking them but most of the time you just don’t remember in general.

It’s kind of scary. But what’s really scary is having to take care of my two boys with symptoms. If they are bad enough, I fear I will forget something important and my kids might get hurt. What is also scary is knowing each time I get sick, I might be that much closer to getting colon cancer or developing some other disease.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Do you have celiac disease or know someone who does?

Later this week I will write a post about what foods I eat, some of my favorite gluten free recipes, and whatnot.



My Perfect Mistake (Over the Top, #1)

My perfect mistake

Author: Kelly Siskind
Published: April 5, 2016
Pages: 340

Stars: 5 out of 5


What happens in Aspen
is definitely not staying in Aspen. . .

A girls’ trip to Aspen was exactly what Shay needed to forget about her toxic ex-boyfriend. She’s got her girls, pristine slopes for skiing, and hot guys everywhere. Of course, her epic self-rediscovery goes completely to hell when a wild (and deliciously hot) skier knocks Shay on her ass . . . and war is declared.

Kolton doesn’t know what it is about Shay that makes him lose it. Not just his cool—although she does have an unholy gift for that—but his restraint. When anger gives way to explosive chemistry, they’re both shaken with the intensity of it. But somewhere between lust and hate, Kolton and Shay realize they could have something real . . . if they don’t kill each other first.


Shay lost a big part, well I guess her entire personality, when she was dating Richard. But now that they are done, she is back with a vengeance. To say she has a strong personality is putting things gently. But man, do I love it! She is the free spirited, crazy, loving, and strong best friend we all want. I loved watching her character grow and become a stronger, more independent person. And her quick whit and sass is devilishly addictive.
Kolton has a lot of baggage. Single dad, love of his life died while giving birth.. I feel for his character. But man do I love his dominant persona.  And the wooing, I loved the wooing.
When Shay and Kolton release their sexual tension, wow. It’s hot and passionate and the entire thing is gush worthy. I just absolutely loved their love/hate/chase game they were playing. They go from hating each other to not being able to their hands off each other.
The thing that really surprised me was only about a third of the book surrounded Shay and Kolton when they were in Aspen. The rest of the book showed the complications and reality of dealing with a love interest when you don’t live in the same town and life gets in the way.
This is definitely a series to keep your eye on. It’s funny, sexy, and at times heartbreaking. I loved the emotions each character went through and the real life problems they had to overcome. Honestly, I love this book and can’t wait for the next one to come out! Oh and did I mention this is one of those books you don’t want to put down? I read this book in two days, it was that captivating!

Tuesday Talk… is anyone out there?

Hi everyone, I am just sending out a reminder if you want to participate in Tuesday Talk this week, it is about books that leave lasting impressions. If you missed this post, you can find it here.

Here is the question to consider:

This weeks question: Name a book (and author please) that has left a lasting impression on you. For the purposes of this discussion, I would like to stick with the more positive impressions. And then write a small snippet of what it was about this book that has stayed with you. Was it the characters? The struggle? The way the author wrote?

I normally write my follow up by Saturday but because I haven’t had anyone participate, it will take me longer to do the research and see what the world thinks. But honestly, I would rather write about what you think and the books that matter to you.

So please, consider participating. You can leave a comment or shoot me an email:

Happy Friday!!

The Way of the Runner: A Journey into the Fabled World of Japanese Running

The way of the runner

Author: Adharanand Finn
Published: June 7, 2016
Pages: 326

Stars: 4 out of 5


It may come as a surprise to many people, but Japan is the most running-obsessed country on earth. A 135-mile relay race, or “ekiden” is the country’s biggest annual sporting event. Thousands of professional runners compete for corporate teams in some of the most competitive races in the world. The legendary “marathon monks” run a thousand marathons in a thousand days to reach spiritual enlightenment.

Yet so much of Japan’s running culture remains a mystery to the outside world, on par with many of the unique aspects of contemporary Japan. Adharanand Finn, the award-winning author of Running with the Kenyans, spent six months immersed in this one of a kind running culture to discover what it might teach us about the sport and about Japan.

As an amateur runner about to turn 40, he also hoped to find out whether a Japanese approach to training might help him run faster. What he learns—about competition, team work, form, chasing personal bests, and about himself—will fascinate and surprise anyone keen to explore why we run and how we might do it better.


I began reading this book because I have recently rediscovered my love for running. But as I read the words and really thought about what the author was saying, goosebumps spread across my arms. Just thinking about the dedication, love, and commitment to running.. It amazes me. But instead of the author keeping with the excitement, the book (at times) kind of drags out. Although I enjoyed what I read, I found myself putting the book down a lot. Don’t get me wrong, it was an enjoyable read. It just wasn’t the type of book you read in one sitting.
This book takes an in depth look at Japan’s running methods and beliefs. The author plans to travel to Japan and take a critical look at the Ekiden season. I really enjoyed reading about the Japan culture and how runners are somewhat idealized. For example: Japan is unique in that it offers long distance runners a salary to join a team. In Japan, road runners are a big deal. Not only are they faster than my mind can even comprehend, they are an idealistic symbol to the community and certain races bring in comparable rating to the Super Bowl.
As the story continues, my once amazed outlook on these runners turns to pity and sadness. The conditions Japan runners face isn’t ideal and the expectation is unrealistic, often leading to the racers burning out. At every point in a Japan runners development/career, they are expected to give maximum effort… All the time, every time. Their coaches expect the highest performance and often their motivation is all the runners have because along the way they have lost their own motivation/enjoyment for running.
This really broke my heart because running is amazing and supposed to be fun. I understand the competitiveness and the aspect that training isn’t always fun. But I have a hard time seeing what the point is. The author often asks- ‘why do me run?’ The author suggests the answer is understanding yourself. And I think I agree with him. Yes, I run for stress relief, escape, enjoyment.. But I run for me and I have learned so much more about who I am since I started.
This book has a bunch of history and fun statistics. The book is well written but longer than I think it needed to be. I am interested in picking up his other book- Running with the Kenyan’s and probably will be a book I would prefer via hard copy instead of electronic.  If you are a runner, I think you would enjoy this book.

Book Releases May 2016

I know I am late in getting this out. But better late than never

Did you know there are close to 200 books being released in May? That is a lot of books to read. Here are a couple books I am looking forward to:

Sugar DaddyRelease date: May 24
Synopsis: Sela Halstead lost her innocence in a way that no sixteen-year-old should ever have to endure. She’s spent years trying to forget that night even while wondering about the identities of the monsters who brutalized her—until a telltale tattoo flashes across Sela’s TV screen. The incriminating ink belongs to Jonathon Townsend, the millionaire founder of The Sugar Bowl, a website that matches rich older men with impressionable young women. Obsessed with revenge, Sela infiltrates Townsend’s world, only to come face-to-face with a tantalizing complication: Beckett North, his charismatic business partner.

The tech mastermind behind The Sugar Bowl, Beck always gets what he wants, in business and in bed. And yet, for a man who’s done every dirty thing imaginable, there’s something about the naïve, fresh-faced Sela that sparks his hottest fantasies. Because with her, it’s not just about sex. Beck opens up to her in ways he never has with other girls. So why does he get the feeling that she’s hiding something? In a world of pleasure and power, the shocking truth could turn them against each other—or bind them forever.

I have been looking at this book for some time but didn’t know if I wanted to read it. There is just something about the synopsis that makes me randomly think about this book. I think I am going to have to give it a try 🙂

The Last StarRelease Date: May 24
Synopsis: We’re here, then we’re gone, and that was true before they came. That’s always been true. The Others didn’t invent death; they just perfected it. Gave death a face to put back in our face, because they knew that was the only way to crush us. It won’t end on any continent or ocean, no mountain or plain, jungle or desert. It will end where it began, where it had been from the beginning, on the battlefield of the last beating human heart.



I still need to read book two in this series but I can’t wait to get to this book!!

Release Date: May 20
Synopsis: Judd Asher was taken from his front garden when he was just four years old. After an extensive search he was never found.
Twenty-one years after a random call out, Judd is found chained and beaten in the basement of an old rundown farmhouse where he has lived the life of an animal for the last twenty-one years.

Kloe Grant is assigned as Judd’s personal therapist. It’s her job to rehabilitate him, to guide him back to normal life. But as Judd’s only emotion is rage, Kloe finds it both heart-breaking and challenging mending a soul that’s not only broken but caged inside him by the demons of his past. However, when Kloe’s relationship with her patient raises some eyebrows, Kloe can’t fight against the powers that want to see her fail, and with an arm behind her back, she walks away, leaving behind a man who has come to live life again for her.

Four years later Judd, now known as Anderson Cain, the darkest and most formidable cage fighter in a world where violence and crime are the only way to keep breathing, Judd finds there’s not a lot in life that can abate the rage that still twists and prowls beneath his skin.
Not until a chance encounter brings him to her door. To the woman with the bluest eyes and the most stunning smile, the woman who took his hand in the darkness and led him through the door into the sun. But Kloe Grant left him when he needed her the most. She took the only shred of hope and trust he had left and annihilated it. She starved his belief, and she fed his fury. She owes him. And he’s going to make sure that this time, she pays. In blood. In lust. In pain. And with her soul.

This book looks fun!! I can’t wait to give it a try 🙂

Here are two books coming out this month that I already reviewed. If you haven’t already, check out my review and maybe give them a chance:

Good GirlPublish Date: May 17
Synopsis: Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music, not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and serious heat.

Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.

Read my review here

Glass CeilingRelease Date: May 24
Synopsis: Two years ago, Nick Farley was undercover as a bartender in Chicago. The tough-as-steel FBI agent was working all the angles to build a case against a local crime syndicate, but even his intense focus was no match for the sight of Angela Cavallo’s plump pink lips pulling on her drink. All Nick got was one night—the longest, hottest, sweetest night of his life. It could have been the beginning of something real. Instead, she walked away—and Nick watched her go.

Angela has made some mistakes in her life, but Nick was never one of them. Nor was the baby boy he doesn’t know about. But Angela has been running from a stalker for so long that she’s forgotten how to feel safe. So when Nick suddenly reappears in her life, Angela faces a moment of truth. She wants to trust him and reveal her secrets—her life and the life of their son may depend on it—but first she needs to know that Nick can handle her past, and promise the one thing she most craves: a future together.

You can read my review here

Moving Comfort Juno Sports Bra

First I want to state I did not receive this bra for free. I went out and bought it like everyone else. The company has no idea I am writing this review and I am not affiliated with them in any way. This is an honest review from someone who has been looking for the perfect bra for a very, very, very, long time. 

For as long as I can remember, I have always had to wear at least two sports bras whenever I did anything that was considered semi active. And because of my size, one of them had to have an underwire to provide enough support. Not the most comfortable..

Sports Bra

I bet you can just image the fun tan lines I get after a summer of running..

Like most women over the years my chest size has fluctuated but one thing has always remained- the uniqueness of my size. Currently I am a 32 FF. And no, I did not miss type. In the past, I have had to special order bras or get them altered to fit. And don’t get me started on how much money I have to spend… ugh!

Now that I am training for a half marathon, along with new shoes I needed a new bra. I head over to my favorite athletic store and talk with one of the sales ladies about my options. And to my surprise, she says she has the perfect bra for my figure and she promises I no longer have to do the double sports bra. I am skeptical but try it on. To be honest, I am not sure if I fell in love with the bra in the changing room or during my first run. I absolutely love the Moving Comfort Juno sports bra.


Bra Features:

  1. Interior unicup Design- gives support, shape, and complete modesty
  2. Interior Front Yoke- prevents vertical breast movement
  3. Powermesh Zones- on back offer maximum ventilation
  4. Front Adjustable Straps- with concealed hook-and-loop closure offer a custom fit on the move
  5. Adjustable Soft Padded Keyhole Back Closure- Offer a custom fit and support
  6. Encapsulation/Compression

This bra is designed for women who have small ribcages but a full chest size. I have been running with this bra for a week now and I am telling you, everything is secure! This bra is great for high impact sports but I personally think you can do about anything in this bra without being disappointed. 

Common questions about this bra:

Q: Will the straps in the back make me have back fat?
– The strap design should not create extra bulge, but the most important thing is proper fit. A comfortable tension at the straps and bottom band to ensure proper support. If it’s too loose, it won’t provide proper support, and if it’s too tight, it could dig in and be uncomfortable.

Q: What is the best way to determine the size you need?
– Most people who wear sports bras, go up a cup size and down a band size from their normal lingerie bra. Others stay the same size and also have a good fit. To best figure out the proper fit, we would suggest getting into a specialty running store to be fitted!

Q: What sizes do these bras come in?
– The band size goes from 30-40 and the cup size comes in a C, D, DD, and E

Q: How long should the bra last?
– The bra should last between 6 months and a year with regular use.

What I loved about this bra:

  • I can wear running tanks without having my bra show!!
  • It actually does a great job of giving shape. In the past I have had bras that made my chest look like some kind of  squished, odd sort of look that was not flattering under any shirt. This bra actually gives some shape, so you could wear it under anything.
  • The impact resistance is great. I’ve taken this bra out on some longish runs, and the girls did not move. The material for the band beneath is thick and sturdy, yet not overly tight, so you get a really good sense of control and stability. And I did not have to wear an underwire bra or two bras to get this!!
  • I liked the adjustable band. It keeps the elastic from wearing down from being too tight, and makes the overall fit much more individual.
  • The straps and razorback design are VERY comfortable on the shoulders and don’t leave dents after I am done wearing them. The open mesh in the back wicks away moisture pretty well. This is the kind of bra you forget you are wearing because it so that comfortable.

What I don’t like or didn’t care for:

  • This bra is a little difficult to get into and out of. After using it a handful of times, it is easier getting it on and off. But this isn’t the kind of bra you can just throw on. You need to take your time to make sure everything is where it’s supposed to be.  Although the back has three hooks, the bra stays attached and you have to maneuver it over your head and breasts before you get it into the right spot. Some can step through but after having kids, my hips are a bit too big to do that.
  • The price is expensive. I ended up buying the 32E and it cost me $60. Expensive, you bet. But not all that surprising considering how much I have to spend on my regular bras.


I highly recommend this bra if you struggle finding a bra that fits. I have never felt so supported while running before. But I think you should go into an athletic store and get sized. Once sized, I think it would be fine to order online but for this bra to work, you need the right size. The bra is expensive but well worth the money.

If you use this bra, I would love to know what you think!


Tuesday Talk- Powerful Books Part One

Tuesday Talks

Every Tuesday I will try to engage you in a question/topic/idea. You are welcome to write in with a suggestion you want to share or maybe talk about next Tuesday. My response is not right for everyone but I am hoping together we can generate some great conversation. And as always, I would love to hear from you on this topic or any topic out there!  

There are books that entertain, books that inform, books that enthrall – books that speak to our rational side, connect with logic, reflect on our intellect and mirror our emotions. And then there are books that seem to speak directly to the soul – life changing books that make you question your core beliefs or maybe connect with a side of yourself you didn’t know you had. Either way, they stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.

This week I want to talk about inspiration and the books that connect and stay with us.

Now if I ask you to name your favorite book, most of you would be pulling your hair out, wondering how you could name just one. So lets not go there. What I want to look at are the books that leave a lasting impression on us. Sometimes these books fall in our favorite category and sometimes they don’t.

This weeks question: Name a book (and author please) that has left a lasting impression on you. For the purposes of this discussion, I would like to stick with the more positive impressions. And then write a small snippet of what it was about this book that has stayed with you. Was it the characters? The struggle? The way the author wrote?

After writing about my book choice, I can see how writing a quick response might become difficult. If you would like to write a longer response, you can email me at:

I will collect all of our answers and put together a collection of powerful books that have stayed with us. I plan on posting this around Saturday. I hope you participate. I would love to see what books have left an impression.

Mine is easy-

The Bluest Eye

This book tells the story of a young girl convinced that her blackness makes her ugly and worthless. If only she had blue eyes, she thinks, her life would be different.

One of the ideas behind this book is how we see the world and how the world sees us. The little girl in this book (Pecola) thinks that if she has an attribute of whiteness, blue eyes, then she will be worthy, loved, deserving..

One of the scenes in this book is when her and her friends, are drinking out of Shirley Temple cups with Shirley Temple’s image on them. All of these images (from the medial and whatnot) surround her- Images of whiteness, white girls, beautiful white girls, cute white girls. And the ways in which they are actually adored, treasured and idolized. These white girls are idealized in a world that doesn’t treasure or idealize Pecola. So as she’s literally drinking in Shirley Temple, she thinks she’s going to absorb her in some way, but in actuality, she will never become her because Pecola is not seen. She’s invisible.

At the time and maybe even still today, this story highlights how our world, our media, is saturated with images of white women, white skinny women who are kind of put on a pedestal of beauty. And then beyond that, this book also sheds light on the cycles of violence and abuse.

This book is a hard read because of the injustice, emotions, rape, and cruelty. The ending is sad and I remember at one point telling my professor how sad this book made me and how I didn’t want to finish it. She told me something around, “Sometimes we have to face the sad and ugly to understand the world around us.”

His to Protect (Fireside, #2)

His to protect

Author: Stacey Lynn
Published: July 12, 2016
Pages: 225

Stars: 3.5 out of 5


Declan James lost his last ounce of trust the day his wife walked out the door, leaving him to save the restaurant they built together. Throwing himself into his work, Declan swears off women—or at least, women who expect him to stick around in the morning. But when he discovers a skittish beauty scrounging through the Fireside’s trash to feed her dog, Declan offers her a job and a place to rest her head. There’s just something about her that awakens his protective side. And soon, not even that mangy mutt can stop Declan from caring for her.

After one too many trips to the ER, Trina Wilson finally gathered the courage to leave her husband, taking only her car and hyperactive boxer. Unfortunately, life on the run proves harder than she anticipated—until Declan takes a leap of faith on her. But even as Trina starts to see beyond his gruff exterior, she can’t relax, even for a moment. Not with her husband still tracking her down. What Trina doesn’t know is that in Declan, she has a powerful ally—and, if she would only follow her heart, a devoted lover.


After reading the synopsis, I was surprised to find the book started the way it did. The emotions, the fear, everything was perfectly described. The writing in this book is well done and pulls the readers in. This book might be considered a trigger book if you have ever been in an abusive relationship. The book doesn’t go into details about the abuse, but Trina’s character is the perfect resemblance of a bettered wife.

While reading this book, my heart ached for Trina. Her character is amazingly strong but not in the sense I am used to reading. She is a woman who knows her worth but sacrifices herself because of what she feels is the right thing to do at the time. When all is said and done, she is hardly a shell of her former self.

From the very beginning when Declan meets Trina, he has this innate need to protect her. He doesn’t understand it but he also doesn’t fight it. He is a strong man who can easily be described as having an alpha male personality. Declan’s character isn’t perfect and because of his ex wife, he has a hard time trusting and accepting love.

What I found interesting was both characters just came out of a bad relationships. Yet, they both kind of jump right in with each other. Yes, Declan’s ex wife was out of the picture but Trina’s husband wasn’t. The rational part of me has a hard time believing a relationship developed under these circumstances could ever be sustained.

And although both Trina and Declan help each other heal and their characters grow, I couldn’t help but feel like I have read this plot a thousand times. Not necessarily the dynamics in this particular book, but the overall theme isn’t new. The plot was well written and flowed beautifully. And I enjoyed the story but wasn’t head over heels in love with it.

Overall, This is one of those books that captivates your attention and pulls you in because the emotions are so raw. But at the same time, you need to take a step back and let the book set in before you come to your conclusion.