Intercepted

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Intercepted is a steamy romance with catty football wives and I am here for it all!

It took me a solid chunk of this book just to stop calling the main character Melanie because I LOVED The Game and it just felt so similar at first. In the end, I think this novel was so much better!

Four years ago, when Marlee and Chris were on a break, Marlee had a one night stand. Now, he’s back and Marlee has to make a choice. Fortunately for Marlee, Chris cheats on her paving the way for the romance we all need between Marlee and Gavin. 

Chris is such a slime ball, as are most of the other characters who gang up on Marlee. But she’s also got some amazing friends in her corner and that part of the story was just as great as the romance!

5/5 stars. 10/10 recommend. Catch y’all again when I finish Fumbled.

Book Review: Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library

3.25 stars

This book put the “cozy” in cozy mystery and I’m a sucker for books set in my home state of Wisconsin. Rain and her best friend Julia are librarians who have just decided to keep the library open year round, despite the brutal winters. Shortly after Rain arrives at the lake for the annual ice fishing competition, Wallace Benson is found dead. Immediately, his wife Tina blames Julia’s husband, Nick. The police end up finding enough evidence to arrest Nick, and it’s up to Julia and Rain to clear Nick’s name.

Even though I was pretty sure who the killer was before the murder even occurred, I still felt like the sleuthing was interesting enough for me to remain skeptical right until the very end. Many of the characters were unreliable, and I liked that aspect. It was also nice that I was able to read and follow this book not having read the first one in the series. I feel like I’m rating this one a little low considering I didn’t find anything wrong with the book, but I also don’t think it’s of the caliber I would normally give a 4 star read.

Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this ARC.

Where the Crawdads Sing: Review

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Historical Fiction, Romance)

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Catherine Danielle Clark, who is known by the nicknames “Kya” and “The Marsh Girl” has been abandoned by everybody in her household and is forced to make her own way in life. She attended school for exactly one day in her life, and has kept mostly to herself and to the wildlife. Tate takes an interest to Kya early on into the story, and we later learn that Tate has been interested in Kya since before her earliest memories. In addition to following the story of Kya and Tate, the story follows multiple timelines, in which the “present day” timeline follows the probable murder of Chase Andrews.

Spoiler alert

Continue reading “Where the Crawdads Sing: Review”

The Friend Zone: Review

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez (Romance)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Kristen has an expectation of herself to be perfect, and that she is never good enough, and I can relate. While my mother is absolutely nothing like Evelyn was, I do completely understand holding yourself to the highest standard and making stupid rules “to protect other people”.

I almost yelled at the book once, until I remembered that my infant was sleeping in the next room. I was so infuriated with the relationship between Kristen and Josh. I almost wish that Tyler had stuck around for more of the novel, because I think the character building would have been amazing. On the other hand, I love how much time I spent so frustrated about their relationship.

I liked that the author centered the premise around Sloan, Kristen’s best friend, and her fiancé Brandon. I think this made the meeting and the entire friend zone (or friends with benefits, this is a romance novel after all), story more believable. I am planning to read both sequels: The Happily Ever After Playlist and Life’s Too Short (Pub date: April 6, 2021).

The Lies She Told: A Review

I’m not going to lie- I really didn’t like this one. I recently listened to another audiobook by Holahan and I felt like that made the ending of this one slightly easier to predict. Overall, I felt like the breadcrumbs leading me to the ending were pelted at my face. While there were definitely some late twists and turns, nothing was a complete shock. In some ways, I really like how everything tied together. In other ways, I wish that more had been left to the imagination and a “big reveal”.

What I did really like about this book was the chapter structure. I loved the alternate voices, especially listening to the audiobook version. I felt like it added a layer of complexity to the book that was really enjoyable. The one thing I will say is that at the beginning, when Liza says she doesn’t invent characters, she borrows them from reality, I knew exactly what the alternate voices were doing and that took something away for me.

I would say that if you read a lot of thrillers for the puzzle, this is probably not a book for you. If you read thrillers and just enjoy the story line and the writing style, then absolutely give this book a chance.

***Spoiler Alert***

Some of the particular things that turned me off were even just the names of the narrators. I realized, rather suddenly, that Liza and Beth were both nicknames for Elizabeth. If I hadn’t been listening to the book, this totally would have been my DNF point. I had a feeling the whole time that Beth was a repressed version fo Liza, and the second I put the names together I was confident in that. 

The other thing was the flashback to Liza’s childhood. I found it relevant to the story, particularly in hiding the weapon, but I also felt like it took something away. The dream/flashback felt incredibly forced and I wasn’t a huge fan, though it did help things make sense. 

Finally, the ending felt super drawn out. I felt like I was waiting for forever to have the author just get to the point. In the end, I was surprised at the additional murder (if we call it that), but I also felt a little unsettled by the main character being responsible for three murders, even if the first was only as a witness. I did know from reading other Holahan novel that there was no way the main character would be convicted for any of her crimes. The tone of the story and the knowledge of the other ending made this an expectation for me, which ultimately just made the ending fall flat.

The End of the Fourth Trimester

It has been 12 weeks since our little baby joined us in the world, and I truly cannot believe so much time has gone by.

  • The first 12 weeks of my pregnancy felt like they dragged on. I was constantly worried about doing the “wrong thing” and hurting the baby. I was convinced that every single change in my body meant something was wrong (at first), and it was so hard for me to just live in the moment and enjoy my pregnancy.
  • After my 12 week appointment, it felt like a weight was lifted! We started telling people outside of our immediate circle and overall things just felt more like we’d have a  baby soon.
  • I also had a doctor’s appointment today to discuss my anxiety medication. While I haven’t actually felt any postpartum anxiety or depression, I have found it harder to focus on my job and to remain calm with everything I have going on. I’m really glad I sought the help, because even just vocalizing what exactly was going on helped me so much.

Exercise

  • During my first trimester I was terrified to exercise.
  • During my second trimester I started doing yoga twice a week at a studio in town (Baby Moon– they offer virtual classes and virtual class packages for prenatal and postpartum women now! Totally check it out :)).
  • Postpartum, I couldn’t wait to be cleared to exercise! I had been walking at least once a day towards the end of my pregnancy and I cannot tell you how difficult that was getting. A short trip around the block took ages. Then, once we brought my daughter home, we started walking again. She needed the sunshine to help with her jaundice and I needed to just move.
  • My legs still aren’t what they were before I was pregnant, and I’m honestly afraid to try to run because I think they might just crumble. Instead, I’ve added PiYo to my workout routine and I thank my body every day I make it through a workout.

Food So you know how everybody says you’re “eating for two” while you’re pregnant? Yeah, they really need to emphasize that you’re eating for two while breastfeeding!

  • When I first started breastfeeding I was never full! One thing that kept me going was No Cow Protein Bars (my favorite is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough). I have inhaled many a No Cow bar, mostly in the middle of the night, but also in the middle of the afternoon.
  • It didn’t feel like I had lost my appetite that much during my first trimester, sure, I considered potatoes a food group (mores than usual), but I thought I was eating a normal amount. I now have some serious questions about “normal”.
  • Cooking with a newborn: just figure out what works! We switched to more simple meals that feed an army, and it hs been working out great for us! Since baby was early, I didn’t have time to prepare any freezer meals. We got 2 weeks worth of food from a meal train (thank goodness!), but everything else has just been quick and easy, sometimes stirring one handed while bouncing a baby.

Body Image Here’s the thing: there has been exactly no point in my life where I disliked how I looked. I am way too self absorbed of a person to ever think there’s something wrong with m appearance.

  • When I look at my postpartum body, I see a body that grew my daughter. And when I look at my daughter I see a life that I sustained for eight-ish months. I don’t care the I have stretch marks or extra skin. Now, as ever before, I care if I get out of breath walking up the stairs. I care if my arms feel weak after carrying groceries inside. I care if I can walk (or run) a mile. Whatever my body looks like while I’m doing that really doesn’t matter to me.
  • I’ll be honest though, when I look at the scale or see my BMI after a doctor’s appointment I wonder if I can still be truly healthy in this body. That honestly helps keep me going to achieve my health and fitness goals. It’s a far better motivator than “did you run out of breath today?” I try not to put any stock in it.

Finale I am so thankful and blessed to have been on this journey into motherhood. I feel like this is my first real reflection on the past year. There’s so much more I could say, and maybe I will some day, but for now I’m just going to leave this here and thank my lucky stars for my health and my family.