Real Talk and Review Round Up

I have read a bunch of books as I have had time and not all have made it in to reviews on the website. I have also spent a lot of time recently on the couch binging Criminal Minds with the Girl Child. There is so much going on right now with the Podcast, Kids and Summer reading challenge.  When I have a moment to sneak in some reading for me, I do not always sit down as I should to review the book. The result is you get these long review post. 

Real Talk Time! 

I have been in a bit of a reading slump in May. I am emotionally over the place. Trying to manage kids and life is hard.  Balance is so hard.  It is easy to get swallowed in the day to day and don’t look at the larger picture. 

Some of you might know that about 5 years ago my Boy child was dying from end stage liver failure.  He was diagnosed in 2003 at 10 weeks with a rare liver disease known as Biliary Atresia.  We knew than that at some point in his life he was going to need a liver transplant.  We thought we were prepared…. But in 2015 he started to go down hill and the Organ Donation listing process is not easy. You have to be dying by blood work numbers and algorithm to be listed.  Finally in the summer of 2016 he got sick enough that they listed him for transplant at age 13.  It was a long year.  He became very ill starting in Jan of 2017 to the point of multiple Life Flights and ambulance rides to his treating hospital. He spent 103 days between Jan-May of that year in the ICU/Hospital. 

Boy Child is now 18 (almost 19 years old). That year in 2017 school and education were on the back burner.  We did what we could when he was healthy and lucid.  He is obviously “behind” in schooling.  Currently his former classmates and peers are graduating this month from High School.  Boy Child has another 5-6 months of schooling to do before we are comfortable enough to graduate him.  I knew this was coming, I mean I am his teacher… but what I was not prepared for was the feelings of some how stunting him.  That somehow I did not work hard enough or push him enough to stay on track with his peers.  I also am heart broken on all the things he is missing out on. I know he isn’t. He is doing amazing.  5 years ago we were looking into palliative care for him.. today he is strong and capable young man.  Being a human is hard but caring for others is hard. The self-doubt and all that goes with it can play havoc in your life.

I share this for 2 reasons one to be open with you as to why maybe things have felt off or not as engaging. Also, May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  It is hard at times to open yourself up and share your struggles but when you do it might help someone else in their struggles.  

My current reading slump is brought on by my very good friend clinical depression. I am taking my meds and working on things. I am hoping it will be coming to an end very very soon… 

On to our Review Round Up!

Review One: Chasing After Forever by Kara Kendrick

Chasing After Forever by Kara Kendrick is book 3 Peachtree Grove Series. I read this as a standalone, but the series is interconnected.
This is Liam and Macy’s story.
There was sweetness to this story. I have read a few other books by Kara and they are very engaging stories. Her characters are very likeable.
Liam is a tech billionaire returning home after his uncle has had a health scare. He is home temporary to help out until his uncle is on the mend. Liam is nerdy and sweet.
Macy was the gun shy. She is not looking for anything serious. Macy is sassy and funny but also a bit awkward. She is fiercely loyal and loves big.
There is so much chemistry between Liam and Macy. There was a bit of a plot twist I did not see coming. It worked well with the story. This story has some big insta-love feels. This was a quick red and just enough drama to keep the story moving forward.
If you are looking for a small town romance that is quick with some Cinderella vibes this might be just the thing for you to read.

April 30

Review Two: Unlikely Date by Samantha Christy. 

Jenni and I reviewed it for an upcoming Quick Shot of Romance Episode. This is a single parent story and is a great example of the sub trope.   It is so well written.  The characters are dynamic and are ones that will stay with you.  This is the story of Tag and Maddie, but also the story of Gigi’s  Maddie daughter. 

Tag Calloway is the kind of character and hero I love. They are real and honest.  You love him and you hate him all with in the same breath.  Tag is a character with depth and reasons. You quickly learn some of his choices are a façade. He isn’t really the playboy he appears to the world. 

Maddie is a heroine with so much stacked against her and she is holding this tower in balance with a very shaky finger.  The only thing she is truly focused on and trying with every inch of her being is her daughter Gigi. 

The cast of supporting characters in this story is fantastic. There is so much emotion and love.  Maddie’s scars are visible while Tag hides his. Together they are both exposed, and all the good things happen.  Gigi is a bright spot in this story. 

This was a solid 5/5 star read for me and I absolutely recommend it.  

Review Three:  The Secret: A Billionaire and Nanny Romance by Lulu Moore.

This was my first read from the author. It was recommended to me by a member of the hive. It was a cover reveal blurb of book 2 that caught my attention. 

Boy, am I glad I read this book. It was delightful!  The family and the shenanigans were fantastic. It was a really well-done secret baby with no drama there.   I really liked Murray’s character. He was stuck in his ways but had a kindness about him that I just adored.  He did frustrate me when he went from zero to 9000 with Kit while forgetting a whole bunch a steps.  It was such a guy thing. he see it working “let’s make it this way all the time” .  Kit needed and deserved more.  I did have a moment of wanting to shake her some. Kit needed to use her loud voice and call Murray out some.. in the end they get their HEA, and it was wonderful.  It was everything I wanted in a Nanny Romance for sure!   

There are a couple of small things that bugged me.  There are a lot of characters introduced if this is your first time reading the author, some of them have their own books, some are getting their own stories.  The miscommunication trope gets a bit much and frustration for me at times but it wasn’t too bad in this story. Overall, this is a great read and I highly recommend it! 

Review Four: My Darling Neighbor by Swati M.H.

This was such a fun and entertaining read!
After having plumbing issues leave Sita needing to find alternative living arrangements for a few days. She happened to find her sexy neighbors apartment up for rent. 
What could possibly go wrong…  I am sure everything will be easy and go as plan…. Sure right.. it doesn’t happen.  This was such a great spin on enemies to lovers.  They don’t have a pass vendetta or history you watch as they start to hate one another… 

Our two leads are Penn and Sita and the chemistry between them was page melting!! 
When I tell you that Penn is HOT, I am talking page melting, blistering Hot. I loved all of him even the Broken parts and everything.
Sita is wonderful. She is intense and fierce.  I really connected to her confident nature.  She has a quirky funny personality with a flair for the dramatics. 

My Darling Neighbor was wonderful.

The authors writing cadence took some time for me to get use to.  But once the story heated up, I was all in.  The author’s voice is full of whit and humor and a rawness to her emotions.  I absolutely recommend  My Darling Neighbor.