Sunday, December 1, 2019

Sunday Skim



Week of 11/17/2019 and 11/24/2019:


Finished:






Currently Reading:




Looking Forward To:





I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving and that you got some reading time in. If you Black Friday shopping is your thing, I hope that you got the deal you wanted. Now starts a busy month of a variety of holiday get togethers but I'm definitely hoping for some time to read.

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Monday, November 18, 2019

Julie's Review: Midnight at the Wandering Vineyard

Author: Jamie Raintree
Series: None
Publication Date: March 26, 2019
Publisher: Graydon House
Pages: 368
Obtained: publisher
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Bottom Line: Makes me want to get on a horse and ride some trails at Midnight
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: Growing up, it was Mallory and Kelly. Kelly and Mallory. Nothing could come between them. That summer before college, bucket list in hand, they greeted every sunrise and chased every sunset. Tattoos—check. Sleeping under the stars—check. But when Mallory met Sam, everything changed. Older, experienced and everything Mallory never knew she wanted, Sam was her first taste of love—and the one adventure Mallory didn’t want to share with Kelly. But Kelly had her own secrets, too, until the night tragedy struck and their perfect summer—and their friendship—unraveled. Now, after ten years away, Mallory is home and determined to make amends. No more secrets, no more half-truths. As Kelly slowly lets her guard down, Mallory convinces her to complete their unfinished list of hopes and dreams. But Mallory’s not the only one back in town, and when Sam reappears, Mallory risks making all the same mistakes—and maybe a few new ones—to try to heal that which was broken. ~amazon.com

Review:  Midnight at the Wandering Vineyard makes me want to climb back on a horse and go on some trails. The beautiful vineyard setting didn’t hurt the situation either. Mallory left her family’s vineyard 10 years ago to pursue college and then a career in NYC but while she left on good terms with her parents, the rest of her relationships were in turmoil. She’s made good but something in her heart still hurts.

As she makes plans to go back for the planting party  she plans on talking to her former best friend, Kelly to make amends and to see if there is forgiveness between the two of them.  What she didn’t plan for is the guy who broke her heart to be there as well which causes things to spiral in a way she didn’t foresee.

I liked how she had to come face to face with her past and her mistakes and maybe finally put some closure to things that she’s been holding on to. While Mallory grew up a bit while she was away, it’s this trip back that truly launches her into adulthood.


If you are looking for a great novel to lose yourself in then you should pick up Midnight at the Wandering Vineyard.

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Sunday, November 17, 2019

Sunday Skim



Week of 11/3/2019 and 11/10/2019:


Finished:





Currently Reading:




Looking Forward To:




November and December look to be a couple months where I can catch up on some ARCs that I didn't quite get to in the month when they published. I will also be totally diving into Erin Morgenstern's The Starless Sea. I've been waiting for this book for so long but yet I want to savor it.


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Sunday, November 3, 2019

Sunday Skim



Week of 10/27/2019:


Finished:

Uh nothing because I DNF'd a book and my audio is a long one. 

DNF:

I really wanted to get into this one and love it but I couldn't.

Currently Reading:





Looking Forward To:




One of these days life will slow down and I'll get back to writing reviews and I hope that is this week. I haven't even been watching my tv shows because I've been so wrapped up in the World Series. I was rooting for the Nationals and happy they won but honestly would have been fine with either team. Now I have to wait for Spring and move onto basketball season. It's going to be a long one with my 2 favorite teams (Bulls & Warriors - Steph Curry is out for 3 months!!) going through some growing pains.



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Sunday, October 27, 2019

Sunday Skim



Week of 10/20/2019:


Finished:



This was not my favorite of the Christina Lauren novels. It felt to me like a Hallmark movie and I missed the sharp wit.

Currently Reading:




Looking Forward To:





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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Sunday Skim - A day or two late



Week of 10/13/2019:


Finished:



Emma Straub is always entertaining and her writing is exceptional.


Didn't Finish:


I was about 1/4 of the way in and it just wasn't capturing my attention. Too long to get to the meat of the story.

Currently Reading:




Looking Forward To:



Who else is ready to cuddle up with a blanket and read?

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Friday, October 18, 2019

Julie's Review: Royal Holiday


Author: Jasmine Guillory
Series: The Wedding Date #4
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 295
Obtained: library
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: A great escape
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality. Malcolm Hudson has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling. Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy affair come New Year’s Day. . .or are they? ~amazon.com 

Review: I swear that I could read a Jasmine Guillory book every week if only she could write that quick but alas I have to wait for 1 (maybe 2) a year. This one is a continution of basing books off the characters in her fantastic Wedding Date Series. In this book, Maddie (who we met in The Wedding Party) gets a rare opportunity to go and style the new Duchess she invites her mom, Vivian, to take a vacation with her. Vivian doesn't allow herself long vacations due to her job as a social worker but there are some shakeups going on at work and she allows herself to take the time off and spend the holidays in England with her daughter.  What she didn't expect was the delicious man, Malcolm, that would be her tour guide initially and then be her constant companion as she filled her days while Maddie worked. 

What I loved about the book is the "old fashioned" way that Malcolm and Vivian start to fall for each other and they way they continue to bond after Vivian returns to San Francisco. I also really appreciated that these 2 main romantic characters were in their 50s and still finding love and figuring it all out. There are complications when you are older to finding people and then given the "baggage" how to work around it and figure it out. Things aren't always smooth but worth it in the end. 

I will continue to read Jasmine's books for as long as she continues to write them. They are a great form of escape and dreamy-ness. 



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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Sunday Skim



Week of 10/6/2019:

Finished:





While I might not have found The Floating Feldmans as hilarious as some I did enjoy getting to know the family and seeing if they would rally around or against each other.  Now, Royal Holiday is just what I expect from Jasmine Guillory which is nothing short of a fun, quick read.

Currently Reading:




Looking Forward To:




I have a lot of books that are backed up from September coming into October so I'm hoping to have some time near a fire to catch up. Kids activities have wound down for a moment so I should have more free time. (YIPEE).

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Julie's Review: The Floating Feldmans


Author: Elyssa Friedland
Series: None
Publication Date: July 23, 2019
Publisher: Berkely
Pages: 366
Obtained: library
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 3/5
Bottom Line: I wanted to laugh more than I did
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Library
Summary: Sink or swim. Or at least that's what Annette Feldman tells herself when she books a cruise for her entire family. It's been over a decade since the Feldman clan has spent more than twenty-four hours under the same roof, but Annette is determined to celebrate her seventieth birthday the right way. Just this once, they are going to behave like an actual family. Too bad her kids didn't get the memo. 
Between the troublesome family secrets, old sibling rivalries, and her two teenage grandkids, Annette's birthday vacation is looking more and more like the perfect storm. Adrift together on the open seas, the Feldmans will each face the truths they've been ignoring—and learn that the people they once thought most likely to sink them are actually the ones who help them stay afloat. ~amazon.com 

Review: Sometimes I fall into the trap of reading a book that has a lot of buzz but then falls short because of that buzz. In the case of The Floating Feldmans I had trusted people tell me it was funny and I should definitely read it. So when it came in at the library I dropped all other books to read it. Now let me say, that I did enjoy the book but for me it wasn't funny. I'm not even sure if I chuckled. 😑 What I did like was the character development throughout the novel and the realization that as a parent sometimes you have to let them find their own way.

The Feldman's are splilntered across the US with the adult children being in California and Colorado while the parents are still in their family home with very little visiting between all of them. In fact, they struggle to remember when they were all in the same room together. They have all gone their own way with varying degrees of contact. They are definitely not intimately involved in each others lives.  They all do jump at the chance to go on a cruise for their matriarch, Annette's, 70th birthday.  What they don't realize is all the secrets they are keeping will come to surface pretty rapidly as they are all together.

How hard is it for parents to forget who their adult kid was when they were younger and accept that maybe they aren't that person any more. Or the one that you pinned all your hopes and dreams on, doesn't really have it together. The one you dismissed as a screw up found their own path and created a place for themselves and didn't share with you becasue they were worried you wouldn't accept them.

Families are never easy but being in a confined area with a lot of together time typically highlights the issues or secrets you are trying to hide. This was definitely the case with the Feldmans. I liked how each character had their own storyline that meshed with the main plot and how in the end it wasn't tied up with a bow but they all do finally have respect and maybe more love for each other.



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Sunday, October 6, 2019

Sunday Skim



Week of 9/29/2019:


Finished:




Ask Again, Yes is a brilliant family novel that will leave you with a book hangover. You will need a day in between starting another book. Glory Over Everything was a great sequel to The Kitchen House. I would even like to see a third novel for these characters.

Currently Reading:




Looking Forward To:


Do you guys do scary books for the month of October? I'm not really a scary reads person so I typically pass on that tradtion. One year I did read Dracula and Frankenstein and it did add a different feel to the month.


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