05 April 2018

March Reads

Hey y'all,

I can't believe that it is already April and we are a quarter of the way through 2018. After a fun an relaxing vacation, getting back to my routine with work this week has been a bit tough and I definitely need to get back to my usual nighttime routine and 10:30pm bedtime.With 8 days off work I was able to read four books on vacation leading to a whooping nine books for March. I am actually ahead of my book goal according to GoodReads with 19/55 completed.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood. 5/5 stars

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African ChildhoodTrevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

This was my book club's selection for March. I listened to the audiobook which I recommend as Trevor Noah reads the book. This was filled with stories from his childhood and were all over the map as far as emotions. I thought it helped bring some awareness to the struggles in South Africa as well as helped you understand his past.

  Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways #1) 3/5 stars

Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1)When an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to navigating the intricacies of the ton. Even more challenging: the attraction she feels for the tall, dark, and dangerously handsome Cam Rohan. Wealthy beyond most men’s dreams, Cam has tired of society’s petty restrictions and longs to return to his “uncivilized” Gypsy roots. When the delectable Amelia appeals to him for help, he intends to offer only friendship—but intentions are no match for the desire that blindsides them both. But can a man who spurns tradition be tempted into that most time-honored arrangement: marriage?

I started the Hathaway's series after reading the Ravenels and Wallflowers series from Lisa Kleypas. The Hathaway family includes some characters from the Wallflower series and I enjoyed the first book. 

Again the Magic (Wallflowers 0.5) 3/5 stars

Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0.5)Lady Aline Marsden was brought up for one reason: to make an advantageous marriage to a member of her own class. Instead, she willingly gave her innocence to John McKenna, a servant on her father's estate. Their passionate transgression was unforgivable—John was sent away, and Aline was left to live in the countryside... an exile from London society. Now McKenna has made his fortune, and he has returned—more boldly handsome and more mesmerizing than before. His ruthless plan is to take revenge on the woman who shattered his dreams of love. But the magic between them burns as bright as ever. And now he must decide whether to let vengeance take its toll…or risk everything for his first, and only, love.

This book is a prequel to the Wallflowers series and explores the sisters of Marcus Marsden, Earl of Westcliff who is the main man in my favorite Wallflower book, It Happened One Autumn. Aline is mentioned in that book but her story of finding love and moving to America is merely a few lines. This was not merely a novella which I enjoyed.

Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways #2) 3.5/5 stars

Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2)Kev Merripen has longed for the beautiful, well-bred Winnifred Hathaway ever since her family rescued him from the brink of death when he was just a boy. But this handsome Gypsy is a man of mysterious origins—and he fears that the darkness of his past could crush delicate, luminous Win. So Kev refuses to submit to temptation... and before long Win is torn from him by a devastating twist of fate. Then, Win returns to England... only to find that Kev has hardened into a man who will deny love at all costs. Meantime, an attractive, seductive suitor has set his sights on Win. It’s now or never for Kev to make his move. But first, he must confront a dangerous secret about his destiny—or risk losing the only woman he has lived for.

I think this was my most anticipated book in the Hathaway series as Kev and Merripen's love is highlighted a lot in the first book. It was a great story about sticking up for yourself and your feelings. I also loved the deeper look into Merripen's past and wish there was more about their future in the other Hathaway books.

Tempt Me at Twilight. (The Hathaways #3) 3.5/5 stars.

Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3)Poppy Hathaway loves her unconventional family, though she longs for normalcy. Then fate leads to a meeting with Harry Rutledge, an enigmatic hotel owner and inventor with wealth, power, and a dangerous hidden life. When their flirtation compromises her own reputation, Poppy shocks everyone by accepting his proposal—only to find that her new husband offers his passion, but not his trust. Harry was willing to do anything to win Poppy—except to open his heart. All his life, he has held the world at arm’s length…but the sharp, beguiling Poppy demands to be his wife in every way that matters. Still, as desire grows between them, an enemy lurks in the shadows. Now if Harry wants to keep Poppy by his side, he must forge a true union of body and soul, once and for all.

This is probably my favorite of the Hathaway stories and that is most likely since it deals with people outside the aristocracy. I love a good mix of industrialists and the "Ton" in historical romances. This book was filled with real people with faults and learning to compromise. It was a quick read and fit well with the Hathaway's and their sense of being a little off in society.

 Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways #5) 3/5 stars

Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5) As a lover of animals and nature, Beatrix Hathaway has always been more comfortable outdoors than in the ballroom. Even though she participated in the London season in the past, the classic beauty and free-spirited Beatrix has never been swept away or seriously courted... and she has resigned herself to the fate of never finding love. Has the time come for the most unconventional of the Hathaway sisters to settle for an ordinary man—just to avoid spinsterhood?
Captain Christopher Phelan is a handsome, daring soldier who plans to marry Beatrix's friend, the vivacious flirt Prudence Mercer, when he returns from fighting abroad. But, as he explains in his letters to Pru, life on the battlefield has darkened his soul—and it's becoming clear that Christopher won't come back as the same man. When Beatrix learns of Pru's disappointment, she decides to help by concocting Pru's letters to Christopher for her. Soon the correspondence between Beatrix and Christopher develops into something fulfilling and deep... and when Christopher comes home, he's determined to claim the woman he loves. What began as Beatrix's innocent deception has resulted in the agony of unfulfilled love—and a passion that can't be denied.

I have read a similar story of false authors in letters and they tend to be fun stories but not my favorites. I have liked that Beatrix is a bit odd and not your typical heroine from a historical romance. However, I didn't love how this one played out. It was cute but not my favorite from the series.

November 9 3/5 stars.

November 9Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

I liked the concept of the novel but some of the story was a bit over the top for me. It was a very quick read (about half the day) but I wasn't emotionally invested like I have been with other Colleen Hoover books.

All The Missing Girls. 3/5 stars

All the Missing GirlsIt’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.
The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

This book is told backwards. You read a chapter and then start on day 15 moving back to day 1. I thought I would be more intrigued with this novel like other thrillers/mysteries but I often was able to set this book down. I didn't feel as connected to the characters and what was happening in large park to working back in time. 

Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship.

Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship Kayleen Schaefer has experienced (and occasionally, narrowly survived) most every iteration of the modern female friendship. First there was the mean girl cliques of the '90s; then the teenage friendships that revolved around constant discussion of romantic interests and which slowly morphed into Sex and the City spin-offs; the disheartening loneliness of "I'm not like other girls" friendships with only men; the discovery of a platonic soul mate; and finally, the overwhelming love of a supportive female squad (#squad).
And over the course of these friendships, Schaefer made a startling discovery: girls make the best friends. And she isn't the only one to realize this. Through interviews with friends, mothers, authors, celebrities, businesswomen, doctors, screenwriters, and historians (a list that includes Judy Blume, Megan Abbott, The Fug Girls, and Kay Cannon), Schaefer shows a remarkable portrait of what female friendships can help modern women accomplish in their social, personal, and work lives.

This is the Girls Night In book of March. I wish I could get into this book more. I kept putting it down as I was not connected to it. I did enjoy the discussions of how female friendships have changed historically especially with the entry of women into the workforce but it isn't one I would recommend to a lot of individuals to read.   

Next on the List:

What are you currently reading? 


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