Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Apparently I'm not the only one!

So it looks as though enjoying the smell of books isn't as rare as I thought!  Check out this soy candle in the fragrance "Old Books" by Frostbeard Studio on Etsy!

Old Books -- Book Lovers' Scented Soy Candle              -- 8oz jar

This candle needs to be in my house like yesterday.  A little pricey at $15 for an 8 oz candle (I typically support my candle addiction with Bath & Body Works when they have a half-off sale).

But seriously, you NEED to visit their shop and see all their fun & unique candle scents!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Virgin by Radhika Sanghani

So.  Uh-hum.  This is one of those books that somehow knows about all the private conversations you've ever had with your closest girlfriends regarding the questions or mysteries involving sex. It was so blatant at times that I was blushing in the privacy of my own room - but so freakin hilarious at other times because I swear we've all wondered the same things or identified with some of the same issues that the main character faces. Well, okay, or maybe it was just me.

I was 26 years old when I married my husband - and yes, I was a virgin, in every sense of the word.  There's not many of us out there that decide to wait, and being as how I was raised in a religious background where sex was NEVER discussed, there was a whole lotta stuff I had NO CLUE about until after I got married.

Though the main character, Ellie is on an outright mission to lose her virginity at the age of 21, I felt that the way this story resolved itself and the lesson she learned at the end of it all was actually quite poignant.  I do not regret one bit saving myself sexually for my husband - there is a HUGE amount of pressure on teens and young adults to be sexually active and unfortunately our culture is so obsessed with sex that it can often easily define us.  I laughed, I winced, I squirmed - I did all the things that I have done with my best girlfriends discussing these very things.  Freakin hilarious book - but definitely not for everybody. Lol, but then again, maybe it should be.

Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this advance copy to give an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  If you dare, pre-order your copy here!

Description: Okay, I admit it…I didn’t do it.


This is normal, right?  I mean, just because everyone I know has talked like they’ve already done it doesn’t mean that they’re telling the truth…right?

It’s not like I’m asking for that much. I don’t need the perfect guy. I don’t need candlelight or roses. Honestly, I don’t even need a real bed.

The guys I know complain that girls are always looking for Mr. Right—do I have to wear a sign that says I’m only looking for Mr. Right Now?

Sooooo…anyone out there want sex? Anyone? Hello? Just for fun?

I am not going to die a virgin. One way or another I am going to make this happen.

Hey, what have I got to lose? Besides the obvious.

Rating:  ***

Recommend:  This is a tough one - if you're interested in picking it up, you cannot go into it hoping you don't get offended.  It's crass, funny, detailed, crude and ridiculously laugh-out-loud funny.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Since You've Been Gone by Anouska Knight

I'm a sucker for light & romantic reads - especially ones that add in a little baking and snarky British humor.  This book was so fun and I cruised right through it!  Not to mention, the publisher sent me an actual hard copy of the book, which was such a refreshing change of pace, since I've been devouring ebooks left and right.  I know, I feel like a traitor.  I never thought I'd be such a huge ebook fan, but I cruise through them so much faster!

The cover is beyond darling and the writing was just so dang effortlessness.  A perfect beach read - or if you're like me and unable to afford the time or money to get to a beach - a great summer afternoon book curled up on the couch with an iced coffee.

Thank you Harlequin for the Advance Copy, super fun & adorable story!  Since You've Been Gone releases on August 1 - but you can pre-order your copy here!

Description: How do you learn to love again?

In one tragic moment, Holly Jefferson s life as she knows it changes for ever. Now to the external world, at least she s finally getting back on her feet, running her business, Cake. Then she meets Ciaran Argyll.

His rich and charmed life feels a million miles from her own. However, there s more to Ciaran than the superficial world that surrounds him, and he too is wrestling with his own ghosts. Will Holly find the missing ingredient that allows her to live again and embrace an unknown and unexpected tomorrow?

Rating: ****

Recommend:  Yes, but be aware there were for sure a couple of steamy scenes too.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers

Very few things get me quite as excited as seeing that Ms. Francine Rivers has published a new book!!  When I saw that Bridge to Haven was released, it was the only thing I requested on my birthday wish list :-)

I fell in love with her writing in high school - close to 20 years ago. Gah! Has it been that long!?!?!

Ever since then, I've read absolutely everything she's published.  I would say she is for sure one of my top 2 favorite authors.  A large reason for that is she keeps things so real and honest - and without apology brings in God's truth in the most rawest of situations.  I freaking love that.  I've said it before and I'll say it again - it's hard to find good quality Christian fiction without it being preachy or cheeseball.  I never get that from Francine - and I savor every sentence she crafts in her stories.

Bridge to Haven was a bit reminiscent of one of my all time favorite books (which happens to also be her best-selling novel, Redeeming Love). But that was quite alright by me - it was beautiful, heart breaking, redeeming, sobering and convicting.  Loved it (as if you couldn't tell by now).  My only wish is that she published books more frequently. Grab your copy here!

Description: To those who matter in 1950s Hollywood, Lena Scott is the hottest rising star to hit the silver screen since Marilyn Monroe. Few know her real name is Abra. Even fewer know the price she's paid to finally feel like she's somebody.

To Pastor Ezekiel Freeman, Abra will always be the little girl who stole his heart the night he found her, a wailing newborn abandoned under a bridge on the outskirts of Haven. Zeke and his son, Joshua--Abra's closest friend--watch her grow into an exotic beauty. But Zeke knows the circumstances surrounding her birth etched scars deep in her heart, scars that leave her vulnerable to a fast-talking bad boy who proclaims his love and lures her to Tinseltown. 

Hollywood feels like a million miles from Haven, and naive Abra quickly learns what's expected of an ambitious girl with stars in her eyes. But fame comes at an awful price. She has burned every bridge to get exactly what she thought she wanted. Now, all she wants is a way back home.

In this riveting and highly anticipated tale of temptation, grace, and unconditional love, "New York Times" best-selling author Francine Rivers delivers big-canvas storytelling at its very best.

Rating: *****

Recommend: Absolutely!!!