Sugar Daddy (Sugar Bowl, #1)

Sugar Daddy
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Published: May 24, 2016
Pages: 220

Stars: 4.5 out of 5

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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.

Review:
I think this book might be a trigger for some people. More so the prologue than the rest of the book. Just something to keep in mind before you begin reading this book.

But Wow, the prologue in this book is not what I expected. It isn’t gritty or over the top. But nonetheless it makes my stomach turn. Although the author doesn’t give extensive details of Sela’s rape, the details that are given is enough to make me sick, angry, and disgusted. I was surprised by the amount and strength of emotion you get from this one section. It screams of self-shaming, desperation, loathing, and so much pain.

Fast forward ten years and Sela remembers one of her rapists- Jonathan Townsend (JT). Which brings us to the introduction of the sugar bowl and Beck. Beck is part owner and programmer behind the sugar bowl. He is also a man who is more interested in having a one night stand than developing any kind of relationship. That is until he meets Sela. Beck is smart, confident, kind, and strong. There is something sweet yet sexy about the way he is both dominating and caring.

Sela is full of pain and only has one thing on her mind- revenge. And she is willing to do anything to achieve this. Even if that means getting close to JT’s partner Beck. But Beck isn’t what she was expecting and slowly he begins to penetrate Sela’s cold heart. Will Sela continue on her path of revenge, risking Becks love and affections? Or is Beck enough to satisfy the revenge Sela desperately wants?

I will admit, it didn’t take me long before I became enthralled with this book. The main theme behind this book is revenge through murder. Yet sex is also an important undertone. In this book, sex is used both for power, pleasure, and pain. The complexity is not what I expected.

As Beck and Sela’s relationship develops further, I’m torn with how I feel. Part of me wishes Sela would give up her need for revenge and just let Beck lover her. The other part considers her a lose canine and wonders when she will plunge into a depression. I actually considered putting the book down half way in because I knew the plot was ready to turn and I wasn’t sure if I would like the way things changed. But of course I couldn’t put the book down. And the ending, wow, talk about intense. The build up was almost stressful to read. I won’t give anything away but the ending was not how I thought it would end. I cannot wait for the second book.

The only thing I wish this book had was the backstory of Sela’s rape. She writes in her journal that she deserved this and I know this is a common feeling for rape victims. But the author doesn’t really go into much detail about what lead up to the rape.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I would say it is worth your time to pick up and read.

 

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Life Interrupted, The Family Battle with Cancer.

brain-cancer

The playwright wrote in “I Never Sang For My Father” – “Death ends a life, but not a relationship…which struggles on, seeking its own resolution.”

Cancer is the ugliest thing around. It doesn’t just hurt the people who have it, but also the ones around them. Right now I hate Cancer more than I have words to describe.

grandpa-and-ash
The picture on the left was taken almost a year ago, January 20th or so. My son would have almost been 3 and my father in law who can never sit still for long, decided to indulge my son desire of going on a wagon ride.

I’m not going to go into details because honestly, it’s just too heartbreaking. But here is the condensed version: My father in law had his first seizer mid September. That day he was diagnosed with brain cancer. From there they told us he had at max 11 months to live. After surgery they came back with 5 to 11 years to live.

You can imagine the emotional rollercoaster that must have been…

emotional-roller-coaster-ride

Within the last three months he has had brain surgery, went through radiation, and completed two out of 12 months of chemo. One week after he finished radiation, the mass on his brain grew back to almost the exact same size. Yes, you read that correct- 1 week. We discovered the growth on his brain because despite the fact he is on seizure medication, he had another seizer and the MRI confirmed.

But the worst part is the news we received this week from his neurologist- he is at the end of his options. Surgery isn’t one of them. More radiation isn’t one.. The only thing he has left is an experimental treatment that would be performed at Mayo in Minnesota.

heart-breaking

What does that even mean, experimental treatment??? There are so many questions and no answers. It could drive a person mad…

Trying to have an optimistic conversation with my husband is one of the most difficult things I have tried to do. Pushing the words out of my mouth that I am not sure I even believe… Pushing the words past my throat, a throat that felt on fire and painfully squeezed with each word that came out.. But I push the words out because I have to be my husbands rock.

As you can imagine, to say my husband is a mess is an understatement. At 31 years old, he is watching the man he has looked up to for all his life suffer and be told the possible outcome is far worse than grim.

tears

I mourn the loss for my husband. I mourn the loss for my children because they are so young they might not remember who their grandfather is, what kind of man he was. And I am selfish and mourn for myself.

What does it feel like to be on this rollercoaster? It feels like depression and hatred and pain. It pulls you down to were moving through life feels like walking in molasses. I lay in bed and I can’t stop the tears from falling. I blink my eyes and realize I must have fallen asleep because it’s the next day. But I don’t feel like I’ve rested. Reading feels like too heavy of a task so I watch netflix. But even then I feel like I am just staring at the screen. I want to point my finger and blame someone.

cancer-quote2

I want to hit, scream, and cry. But I am the rock my husband depends on and rocks don’t do that. So I stay calm, I push the tears away, and I hold my husband. When I am alone and I don’t feel numb, that is when the tears come.

gary

 

You see, I am charged with keeping the house together. I don’t go to the doctors appointments, I don’t see my father in law.. because I am the one holds everything together while my husband is gone. It’s not an easy job. And deep down my biggest fear is that I won’t get to say goodbye.

As you have probably gathered from this emotional mess I am writing, it takes a strong and wonderful man to pull this kind of emotion out of someone. He is not even my father and he is far from perfect, but he is a great guy.

I was asked what I want for Christmas and I said time. This is why I want time. If I could give you one piece of advice going into the holidays and new year, it would be to love your family and put aside your differences. You always think you have forever but sometimes father time changes his mind.

cancer-quote

The Sight (Devil’s Isle, #2)

Thie Sight

Author: Chloe Neill
Published: August 16, 2016
Pages: 330

Stars: 5 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Claire Connolly is a Sensitive, infected with magic when the Veil that divides humanity from the world beyond fell. Magic can easily consume and destroy a Sensitive, and if Claire’s secret is discovered she’ll be locked into the walled district of Devil’s Isle along with every other Paranormal left in the city.

Bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered Claire’s secret, but refused to turn her in. Together they saved New Orleans from the resurgence of magic that nearly destroyed it. But now a dangerous cult is on the rise, and it will take both Claire and Liam—and magical allies within Devil’s Isle’s towering walls—to defeat the occult threat before magic corrupts them both…

Review:
Walking into this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. A lot of time has pasted since I read the first book in this series. But the further I got into the story, the more I remembered. And I’ll be honest, the first handful of chapters were dull. But things pick up and before you know it, you can’t put the book down. So if you start reading this book and you contemplate putting it down, don’t. Push through because it’s well worth it.

The writing and the world Chloe Neil created, like always, is spectacular and really shines in this book. The details really allow you to imagine what is happening and the action scenes are spectacular. Between the details and action, I was completely captivated. And that doesn’t include the romance side of this book.

Liam is sexy as all get out. He has the looks, flippant tongue, and he’s a bounty hunter. It’s a safe bet to say he can handle most situations. Claire is a fiery red head who is strong, loyal, and loves deeply. But she is also a sensitive who developed magic as a result of being exposed to it. Supposedly she is supposed to turn into a wrath because the magic will start controlling her. But not everyone thinks that has to happen. Some believe you can control the magic and stay human. Unfortunately for her, Liam is on the fence about this. Which makes him off limits.

The sexual tension between them builds throughout the entire book until you guessed it, it collides into this intense moment. And of course things can only go down hill from there. The ending in this book is unbelievable. I honestly didn’t see it coming. As I was finishing the book, I was at the edge of my seat unable to believe what I was reading.

This book was about war and politics. It is about people who are mad, hurt, and blindly follow others. This book expresses so many emotions: pain, hope, hatred, love, and repulsion. It also shows a characters drive to do what is write, even if that means giving up what they cherish most.

This has probably been one of the hardest reviews I have written in a long time. I want to talk about so much, but doing so would spoil the book. So how about this, read the book because I promise you’ll love it. And then let’s connect because if you are anything like me, you’ll want to talk to someone after you’re done reading the book. This series is one to keep your eye on!

 

Books Anyone?

I just had the strangest desire.. I was scrolling through various posts and all of a sudden I felt this strong desire to pick up a brand new book and read it. But not just that. I want to go into an actual book store and buy a book. Which I haven’t done in years.

bookholelarge

It is true I prefer reading off my iPad than holding an actual book.

I miss looking at a full bookshelf. I miss the smell of a brand new book. Wouldn’t it be amazing if every time you bought a book, you also got the electronic version of it for free. Maybe that will happen one of these days…

 

Tuesday Talk-What gets you through the Holidays???

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!  

It is a know fact that sometimes the holidays are difficult to get through. Maybe it’s because you’re single and you are dreading to have to explain to your mother/aunt/uncle why you aren’t currently dating anyone. Maybe it’s because you have a difficult family and you’re dreading the drama.. Or maybe you just simply hate the holidays.

cat

Haha, okay maybe things aren’t this extreme but reading this made me chuckle. If you had the same reaction, your welcome 🙂 So, here’s the thing- not everything is easy and holidays can sure throw a curve ball in an already hectic slushy wet mess of a thing we call winter.

My weekly question is:

Do you love or hate the holidays?

What are some of the things you do to pick you up when you are down?

 For me, it really depends on the year. Some years, I love the holidays and all the magic that surrounds them. But then there are the years were I just can’t handle my family, the extra drama, and I feel like an outcast or outsider trying to pretend like I fit in.

This year, I’m feeling pretty neutral about the holidays. It’s fun seeing how excited my kids get but I’m not really feeling that excitement. I’m also not feeling any negative or bad feelings. It’s more like another thing on the long list of things I need to check off.

Some of the things I do when I am down-

  • Read a favorite series or gush worthy book. Nothing spells distraction like a book you can lose yourself in
  • In college I once wrote on my dorm mirror: Smile, you are beautiful. Everyone morning and everyone time I would pass the mirror, I would read the message. And eventually, I started to feel that way.

I’m excited to see what you do to pick yourself up. Happy Tuesday Everyone 🙂

Hooked on Trouble (Over the Top, #3)

hooked-on-trouble

Author: Kelly Siskind
Published: January 10, 2017
Pages: 340

Stars: 4 out of 5

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Where to Buy:
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Synopsis:
The last time Raven did “real” was sixteen months ago, when she spent one unforgettable night with the tattooed, impossibly sexy Nico, and then he disappeared the next day. Since then, she’s kept her guard up and her feelings to herself. She doesn’t have time for relationship drama when she’s busy searching for her long lost sister.

Nico hasn’t stopped thinking about Raven—her sultry curves, inked skin, and the fact that he ditched her after their night together. Now that they’re living in the same city, he knows this is his chance to make things right. What better way to prove to Raven he’s for real than helping her find her sister? But when the lines between right and wrong start to blur, putting his job on the line, Nico has to decide if the risk is worth the ultimate reward.

Review:
I will be honest, I have been waiting for Raven and Nico’s story ever since I finished the first book. I absolutely love this author and have really enjoyed this series. The author does a fantastic job creating a unique story plot and characters with each book in this series. Although all three characters – Shay, Lilly, Raven – are best friends, they follow their own journey.

As we know from the previous first two books, Nico is a force. Not only is he strong, but he is a hidden softy. His loyalty and kindness are at odds with his looks and tough demeanor. His tattoos and gruff personally only adds to his cop persona. Nico’s past and family are full of heartache, disappointment, and shame. But if Nico is anything, it’s a hero with high expectations. He gives everything to his family in hopes of a better life. But always playing the hero comes at a cost. And no matter how much he gives, he never thinks it’s enough.

Raven is on the hunt for a new life and a sister she hasn’t seen in many years. Formerly a teacher, she now lives in Vancouver with her two best friends. Interested in starting an event business with her friends, she finds a job where she can use her photography skills. Raven is not a perfect character. Along the way, she makes many mistakes. But her heart is in the right place. The more time Raven spends with Nico, the harder he is to resist. But Raven’s past is colored in darkness and her sister is stirring up trouble.

This series is such a fun read, as was this book. Unfortunately Nico didn’t really do it for me. I was hoping for a little more sassiness or banter between the characters. The plot had some nice twists and I really like how the entire series comes full circle with ending the book with a trip to Aspen.

Overall, great story. I think the first book in this series is my favorite. If you haven’t read it yet, you must give it a try. This series is perfect for someone who is looking for a light and fun read with romance sprinkled throughout.