Dirty (Dive Bar, #1)

Dirty

Author: Kyle Scott
Published: April 19, 2016
Pages: 288

Stars: 1 out of 5

 

Where to Buy:
$4.99 Kindle
$4.99 Barnes&Noble

 

 

 

Synopsis:
The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a broken hearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that comes with her.

Lydia Green doesn’t know whether to burn down the church or sit and cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it’s with his best man is another thing all together. She narrowly escapes tying the knot and meets Vaughan only hours later.

Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessman she thought she’d marry. This former musician-turned-bartender is rough around the edges and unsettled. But she already tried Mr. Right and discovered he’s all wrong-maybe it’s time to give Mr. Right Now a chance.

After all, what’s wrong with getting dirty?

Review:

Lydia has really low self esteem and comments on her weight far too much. Within the first chapter, the author makes fun of Lydia’s plus size weight close to three times. This really bugged me because I don’t find it humorous or even entertaining. I wouldn’t classify Lydia as the most stable of characters but her weaknesses overshadow her other qualities. She is a bit all over the place and her low self esteem drags everything down. I think I would have liked this book better if Lydia’s character was stronger. Lydia mentally rambles far too much, especially when she should be focused on other things like being kissed.

Vaughan, my first impression was he’s a tad crude and a bit vulgar. One of the things he does early on that seems a bit undesirable is how he openly ogles Lydia’s breasts. It’s not so much that he does it but more the way he does it. It’s not done in a flattering, sexy way. It leaves the reader with this cheap feeling. That paired with Lydia’s unbelievably low self esteem and the whole scene just doesn’t sit well with me. But he offered his friendship to Lydia, so I really tried to like him…But I just couldn’t like him. His tough guy mentality wasn’t doing it for me. And it drove me crazy when he would grunt instead of giving a response.

I didn’t like the authors writings style. It was choppy and didn’t flow well. The way she wrote, it was closer to stating facts than showing the reader each characters personality or what emotions they were going through.

And honestly, I know this is a small thing but it really drove me crazy. The cover doesn’t match the description of Vaughan. Supposedly he has reddish blond hair with blue eyes, which I have never seen before but whatever. So not only was it difficult to picture what he looked like, I honestly couldn’t imagine blue eyes going with light hair. Dark, yes. Which brings me to the cover. The guy on the over has very dark facial hair, not the red/blond the book described. Did I miss something here?

This book is a contemporary romance with humor mixed throughout and one of those love at first sight books. Or in the authors terms, crazy at first sight. Which I would have to agree with the crazy part. According to Goodreads, my review is not the norm. Most people in fact loved the book.

Overall, I felt the plot was too fluffy and shallow. I guess what everyone else considered humorous and enduring/cute, was too awkward for me and I just didn’t understand the humor. The book wasn’t able to engage my heart or mind and I found myself skimming the book. But I think if you have read books from this author in the past, then you will really like this book.

Tuesday Talk- Book content, Ratings, and should Authors be limited in what they add?

Tuesday Talks

On 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!  

This topic idea came to me a couple weeks ago after reading a book review. I’m not going to name who the reviewer was so please don’t ask. But as I was reading the review I found it interesting how the person, in a way, connected her negative feelings towards something and transferred that into the book.

This person went on a tangent (a long paragraph) about how they despise drugs and hate reading about it in books. I completely get this because lets me honest, I have done the same thing. There are just some things I really don’t like reading about.

But the blogger didn’t stop there. They went further and stated how this type of book draws in young readers and how it wasn’t fair to expose them to things like drug abuse. The blogger followed this up by stating this was their opinion on the matter and ending further discussion.

Lets take a look a the book:

Pure TortureSome of the hashtags/shelves that go along with this book are: alpha-male, immaturity, man-ho, asshole-hero, romance, new-adult..

Synopsis:
Cody’s the sexy drummer extraordinaire of the hard rock band Oblivion. Kitty’s the little sister of one of Cody’s band mates and she’s had a secret crush on him for years.

When the band are back home for a few days, the chemistry between them is both unexpected and undeniably off-the-charts.

She quickly realizes that the prospect of having what she’s always fantasized about is a very real possibility.He quickly realizes that although he feels this mind-blowing attraction towards her, she’s the little sister of one of his band mates – he would get his ass kicked from here to hell if he ever laid a finger on her!

But can Kitty convince him? After all, no one else needs to know, a one-time hook-up might suit both of them…or could it ruin everything?

Warning: This story contains hot rock stars, sizzling sexual encounters and language that you would expect from heavy rock musicians used to a life of sex, booze and rock and roll. Pure Torture contains graphic sex scenes and is strictly 18+ only.

Here’s my question or more discussion I am interested in having:

Should authors limit what content they put in their books just because their book might draw a younger audience?

In many ways authors already add ratings to their books, similar to movies. But instead of pg13, you get Ya, Na, erotica… Is that enough of a warning or should authors do more?

How do you feel about exposure? Again, similar questions- should authors limit the content they expose their readers to?

Feel free to answer all, any, or just comment on this topic. It will be interesting to see how everyone feels.


My personal feeling on the matter is anyone and everyone will read what they want to read. You can’t stop a young child from picking up a Steven King book. I think it is unfair and unrealistic to ask authors to limit their creativity based on the notion that younger readers might come across something that others wish they weren’t exposed to.

The sad reality is bad things happen in our world and we cant ignore the issues and refuse to talk about them. They are still going to be there.

As a mother do I want my boys reading about “man-ho” sex, drugs, and rock and roll.. Well, not particularly at a young age. But those topics aren’t going to be new to them. My kids are going to be exposed to what drugs are, what sex is, etc. so they know how to handle different situations they will find themselves in.

Again this is my personal opinion, but you can’t fear exposure. If you try to shelter someone, it just creates ignorance. And often times ignorance breeds stupidity and dump choices.

Now do I think the author should maybe write a warning on their book if it contains strong sexual scenes, yes. Because not everyone wants to read about that and that is just fine.

Half Marathon Training week 17 (Marathon Training week 8) & Whole30

Monday: 7 mile trail run
Running

I’m not really sure why this run was such a struggle. Maybe I am still recovering from the hill run on Saturday. Who knows but it was one of those runs I contemplated the stupidity of what I’m doing. 7 miles is a long time to doubt your abilities.

I’m glad I pushed through and finished the run. I’d say I won this mental battle.

For me to get my miles in, I had to get up really early to run. Again I have no idea what I am going to do once I return back to work. There is no way I would have made it back home in time to shower and get the kids up to leave. For those who run in the morning, how do you do it??


Tuesday: Walk/Run 4 Miles
Running

I am so disappointed! I went out there needing to do five solid miles and right about 2.5 miles, my knee started yelling at me. From there I just needed to try to make it back. I walked… I walked a lot. And all I can think is this is it. I’m not going to make it. It’s my stupid IT band. It is so tight, working it on the foam roller almost has me in tears. Ahh, I just want to scream I’m so FRUSTRATED!!


Wednesday: 7 Miles Octane Zero Impact Machine
Running

Ok, I refuse to throw in the flag. I just need to figure a way around this. I had seven miles to do and after talking with my running group on Tuesday, they suggested the Octane machine.
Octane fitness

The machine looks kind of odd but it supposed to help. According to the website, The Zero Runner is a hybrid of a treadmill and an elliptical so you get the best of both – a true running motion without the impact. It is a powerful tool that enables runners to better manage repetitive impact forces that over time that can damage the body.

I’m not 100% sold on the idea that this machine is exactly like running. I will say that after doing 7 miles on it, my legs were somewhat like jello but my knees felt great.

I guess I would compare this machine to the ideal running situation- where all you do is run on a complete flat surface, no hills unless you move the resistance. My pace was faster than I would normally run outside but I haven’t really ever tried running on a flat surface before.

Either way, I’m just glad I was able to get the miles in. My knee still hurts and I still want to die when I foam roll, but I’m going to keep at it and hope for the best.


Thursday: Swim 450 meters
Kind of depressing isn’t it? Trust me, I know. I wanted to go further but my goggles broke. With my spare sitting at home, I had two options: end early or ruin my contacts and try swimming without. I’m sure you can figure out which option I took. But to be honest, it doesn’t surprise me that my goggles broke. I have had these since I was a competitive swimmer in high school and chlorine is a nasty chemical.

Looks like I will be buying a new pair. Tomorrow I am going to try Yoga. Maybe adding that to my schedule will help loosen my IT band. Who knows, I’ll try just about anything though.

I did make a killer dinner tonight: Pesto and roasted red pepper chicken with asparagus, green beans, and tomatoes.

pesto chicken


 Friday: Hot Yoga
Whoever said yoga was easy, they never took a class like mine. I’ll admit, I don’t like yoga. Well, let me rephrase- I didn’t like yoga until I took this one. The description of the class is: a dynamic and empowering yoga practice where music supports the energy of the class and integrated sequences build heat, strength, and endurance in the student. Temp: 95+

The instructor was named Kim and she was amazing. Her voice was perfect and I was surprised I actually had a difficult time/workout. As someone who runs four days a week, I thought I was in shape. Nope! The class was packed and for good reason. I was so jealous of the guy sitting next to me, he ended up taking his shirt off and I wish I had the guts to do that. It was really, really warm though!!


Saturday: 1 mile Zero Impact Machine
One mile you ask?? Yes, one silly, lonely mile.. I am at the gym and really getting into my run. Everything feels great and I’m making progress on the Zero Runner. And then the electricity goes out. Honestly, I didn’t look at my machine to know exactly how far I went. But based on how long I was on it, I assume I was over one mile but under two. I was so frustrated but even more so when the machine would’t turn back on. I guess I’ll be doing 13 miles tomorrow…


Sunday: 13 Miles Impact Machine
I was not into this run. I stayed up really late last night helping my Mother-in-law make my son a weighted lap blanket for him to take to daycare tomorrow. True to the purpose of the machine, my knees felt great and I didn’t feel the harsh impact on my body. But my thighs are tight and I can tell I pushed myself harder than I should. I just wanted to be done. Doing 13 miles inside is torture. I did listen to a book on tape and that was fun.

Total Milage for the Week: 32


Whole30:

Well, I am almost done with this and I am glad. I like how I am feeling and looking but this diet is really messing with my running. My chiropractor thinks I am not replenishing my electrolytes, potassium, or magnesium. And in response, my body is tightening up and I’m getting hurt.

The thing is, I can’t drink coconut water. I have tried three times and all I end up doing is drinking nothing because I would rather drink nothing than coconut water. Which is not a good thing! I miss the easiness of drinking sports drinks. I did find a spray that is sugar free and seems to be whole30 approved. It’s an electrolyte spray you add to your water. Not sure it will help but finders crossed.

I am loving the food we eat on this diet. And giving up chocolate, ice cream, etc is almost worth it to not have to count calories and eat whatever I want… almost.. One more week and then weigh in 🙂

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

All the Ugly and Wonderful things

Author: Bryn Greenwood
Published: August 9, 2016
Pages: 352

Stars: 5 out of 5

Goodreads

Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

 

 

Synopsis:
As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible “adult” around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer.

Review:
This isn’t the type of book I normally pick up but I’m glad I did. I’ll be honest with you, this book at times is terribly sad. The plot involves child abuse that is uncomfortable and guaranteed to pull an emotional response out of you. But it is also about strength and savoring those little moments of light. And I promise, the ending is worth getting to. There are some grammatical errors, but nothing you aren’t abel to read past.

Wavy is a complex child who comes with a hefty load of baggage. After her father and mother get arrested, she is sent into the system. After much persuasion, Wavy goes to live with her aunt. Although, that didn’t last long because of Wavy’s peculiar habits. You see, she isn’t like a typical child. She would rather eat out of the garbage than eat dinner at the table with her family. She would rather steal and sneak around than follow societal rules. She is a selective mute and yet so much more. Once Wavy goes back to live with her mother, there is no doubt she was lucky she didn’t turn out worse. The abuse her and her brother go through is horrifying.

I found myself reading this book wondering how in the heck did this little girl end up like this. Unfortunately that answer gets solved and you aren’t going to like it. Yet with everything Wavy has been through, she is such a strong character. The author did an amazing job describing the hopes and dreams of a little girl who caries around so many demons.

In this book, Wavy talks about the different sides her mom has. There’s happy mom who is attentive, caring, and loving. There’s scary mom, who is cruel, neglectful, and abusive. Then there is sad mom, who doesn’t care about anything and falls into a depression. Because of all these sides, Wavy (at the age of five) ends up practically raising her brother.

Kellen is a complex character. I can’t help but pity him. He isn’t attractive, is constantly made fun of, and overweight. But he is a savior to Wavy and a trusted friend. I’m not sure how old he is, much older than Wavy. I think he might be ten years older than her. Maybe more, like I said I’m not sure. Which is what kind of bothers me. The further I get into the story, the more Kellen and Wavy’s relationship changed. At first it was really innocent. But as it became more, I couldn’t help but see Wavy as a child and Kellen as an adult. To be honest, it made me uncomfortable reading about this. But his character does redeem himself in some ways and by the end of the book I am happy with how things turned out.

As I was reading this story, I kind of felt like I was on a rollercoaster of emotions. And just when you think things are as bad as they can get, tragedy strikes and everything gets worse. You must be asking, what more could happen to this little girl that wouldn’t be classified already as a tragedy? Well, when you find out it’s like your heart stops. You’re reading the words but shaking your head not wanting to comprehend them. Your stomach turns with how unfair life can be. And you’re just not sure how much more of this you can take. That’s how gifted this author is.

Even with all the uncomfortable moments and my doubts about Kellen, somehow by the end of the book I desperately wanted Wavy to reconnect with him. I was surprised how this book stayed with me. When I wasn’t reading the chapters, I was constantly thinking about the plot or wishing I could read just one more chapter. I will admit there was one point in the book I wanted to put it down. It was around the time Kellen and Wavy’s relationship changed into something more and I wasn’t sure how much more of that I could take. But I’m glad I did’t because this book is truly amazing.

My final thought I want to leave with you is I promise you won’t be disappointed in this book. Yes it is emotionally charged and pulls at your heart, but the story is one worth reading. By the end of the book, you will fall in love (and sometimes hate) the characters in this book. My warning is to read the book for how it is. Wavy is not your typical little girl, so don’t try to cast her in that image. You will only be disappointed and end up disgusted. Good luck with this book if you decide reading it. Like I said, it will be one that stays with you.

Throwback Thursday- Rush (Breathless, #1) by Maya Banks

throwback

Maya Banks is a well known author in the erotica category, creating sexual scenes that either leave you blushing or falling over yourself trying to turn the page fast enough. And her book, Rush, is no exception. The first in the Breathless trilogy, this book was first published on February 5, 2013.

Rush

 

Synopsis and Review:

Gabe, Jace, and Ash: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Gabe, it’s making one particular fantasy come true with a woman who was forbidden fruit. Now she’s ripe for the picking…When Gabe Hamilton saw Mia Crestwell walk into the ballroom for his hotel’s grand opening, he knew he was going to hell for what he had planned. After all, Mia is his best friend’s little sister. Except she’s not so little anymore. And Gabe has waited a long time to act on his desires.

Gabe has starred in Mia’s fantasies more than once, ever since she was a teenager with a huge crush on her brother’s best friend. So what if Gabe’s fourteen years older? Mia knows he’s way out of her league, but her attraction has only grown stronger with time. She’s an adult now, and there’s no reason not to act on her most secret desires.

As Gabe pulls her into his provocative world, she realizes there’s a lot she doesn’t know about him or how exacting his demands can be. Their relationship is intense and obsessive, but as they cross the line from secret sexual odyssey to something deeper, their affair runs the risk of being exposed—and vulnerable to a betrayal far more intimate than either expected.

If you missed my review, you can find it here: Rush (Breathless #1)

Ok, so why give this book a chance?

Like I mentioned in my review, if you are looking for a book with lots of sex then I think you found it. This book is about forbidden love- your best friends little sister is supposed to be off limits… right?

What makes this book stand out to me is how strong Mia is. Yes, she plays the submissive role pretty well. But that doesn’t mean she lets Gabe walk all over her.. which he tries. What can I say, I am a sucker for strong women.

Again, like most books this one isn’t perfect. There are some eye roll moments and at times I wanted to scream at both characters for being chicken shits. But I will say the book is saved by some amazing sex, a grovel that can never be topped, and a fairytale ending.

So I guess what it really comes down to is this is a great book about sex, an alpha male who is damaged, and a great love story.

Quotes:

“I’m not stubborn. My way is just better.”

“Tell me what you need.”
“You,” she said simply, that one word tearing to the very heart of him. “Just you.”

“If you ever wake up and see the light and decide you want me back? You’re going to have to crawl.”

 

Tuesday Talk- Blog Awards

Tuesday Talks

On 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 a lot of blog awards out there. The one most common is the Liebster Award. But there are so many others out there. In order to receive an award, you must be nominated by your fellow bloggers.

I’m curious, what do you think of blog awards?

  • Is it something to help pass the time?
  • A popularity contest?
  • Something not to take serious but more fun?

How do you think people are chosen for awards?

  • Is it because their blog stands out from everyone else?
  • Is there something special about their blog?
  • Maybe the blogs that get picked are the ones that comments the most?

Or do these awards even register with you? Maybe you care less about blog Awards.. Either way, I’m curious to know what you think.


Personally, I think they are meant to be fun and not taken too serious. But I can see how they might cause some jealousy and maybe make some people envious.

My thought is that is you really want to do one of these awards, answer questions about yourself and nominate others, just do it! Yes, it might defeat the purpose of the ‘award’ but why not have fun. Blogging is all about having fun 🙂

Red Queen (Red Queen, 1)

Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard
Published: February 10, 2015
Pages: 383

Stars: 4 out of 5

Where to buy:

Amazon
Barnes&Noble

 

 

Synopsis:

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

Review:

Mare is really hard on herself. In a world full of injustice and cruelty, Mare does the best she can. Trying to survive, she steals from her fellow community-from her red bloods. Even though this helps her family, instead of them thanking her she is created with disappointment and left with guilt. Mare is so full of love for her friends/family, sometimes it binds her decisions.

Cal is a mystery, as he is supposed to be. You want to believe in him and think the best, but the author does a fantastic job of blurring his character based off the decisions he makes. The same goes for his brother Maven. The author did an amazing job developing the characters and leading the reader along a path full of heartache, love, trust, and pain.

This book had me so torn! I kept going back and forth- one minute feeling sorry for Cal, the next questioning his actions. One minute feeling sorry for Mare, the next almost disgusted with the games she plays, with how she plays Cal.

This book ended like I thought it would but the path the author took was unexpected. Although it took me a while to fall in love with the book and get attached to the characters/plot, by the end of the book I am left wanting more. I can’t help but wonder what will happen next.