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weekly wrap-up 11/27

↠ Three days later and I’m still stuffed! Did you have a good Thanksgiving?? Ours was super low-key and quiet. This year Matt’s family were out of town visiting relatives in Colorado, so it was just dinner with my family. Do you do Black Friday?? This would have marked my 10th year in retail if I didn’t get out of it earlier this year. Black Friday was actually the one day I ENJOYED working! Crazy and insane – once I saw a fight break out. Over books. A manager had to step in and break the ladies apart! I’m not a shopper and when I do buy things, I prefer staying in my jammies. No Black Friday madness for me, though Matt bought some things online. For me, it’s all about Small Business Saturday.

↠ I have an uncle and aunt out in Colorado as well and my grandparents spend Thanksgiving with them, so I was on dogsitting duty. For four wonderful day I hung out with this girl and, even though I missed my own pup, I have to admit it was SO relaxing. Myra and I napped and watched a lot of tv and read…basically we didn’t move from the couch the entire time ha! I also got to spend time with this cuddler.

↠ There’s a week in February where it’s one birthday after another (my niece’s, my sister’s, then Bay’s birthday on ♥ valentine’s day ♥) and November is one big fluffy of partying too: first there’s Thanksgiving, then my other sister’s birthday is tomorrow and Matt’s is the 30th. I’m going to be a big ball of turkey and cake by the time December rolls around.

READING REPORT Last week I my total for the year was 170 books read with 116 written by women and 54 written by men. This week I’m at 174 books read, 120 written by women, 54 written by men.

WHAT I FINISHED My review is linked below, but Sweet Southern Bad Boy is the third novel in Michelle Summers’ Harmony Homecomings series. While I had a few problems with the men in the MC’s life, I enjoyed this one enough to be curious about reading the first two books (the couples from both were featured as secondary characters in this one). Last week I mentioned I was listening to the audio of Elly Griffiths’ The Crossing Places, a British mystery series that follows an archaeologist. While it was an okay read, I’m a little disappointed I didn’t enjoy it more. A former co-worker and I came across this series one day and were both instantly interested, so it’s a shame it didn’t live up to expectations. This should be a series made for me: the sequels involve Victorian murders, WWII invasions, Roman history, medieval holy relics, religious apparitions, etc. Despite my meh reaction to this first book, the series sounds way too intriguing not to give it another shot. Speaking of second chances, I’m SO glad I picked up Gemina! You might remember that I did NOT enjoy Illuminae at all, so I was totalled baffled by my decision to grab Gemina one day at the library. Guys, this is why second chances exist. I was hooked and tore through this one in no time. I also read Love, Alice by Barbara Davis. Another book that sounded right up my alley (after her fiance committed suicide just weeks before their wedding, a grieving woman has become obsessed with spending time at the cemetery…when she sees a woman leave a letter on a nearby grave, opening the doors to a decades-old mystery), another book that was a letdown. Keep an eye out for my review soon!

WHAT I’M CURRENTLY READING Remember last month when I fell in love with historical fiction? I had immediately requested Sophie Jordan’s While the Duke was Sleeping from my library and it recently arrived. I’m only about 60ish pages in but am having a blast so far! Poppy is a florist with a massive crush on the Duke of Autenberry, the gorgeous man who frequents the shop. Her fantasies suddenly become reality after a run-in with a carriage leaves the Duke in a coma…and Poppy is mistaken for his fiancee. Naturally there’s the devilishly handsome half-brother with a grudge who sees through Poppy’s story. I’m pretty sure I know how this will turn out but I’m totally giddy already! I’m also listening to Ernest Cline’s Armada. Last year I read Ready Player One and, while I thought it was really fun, it took such a long time to get through. Problem solved with audiobooks! I’m about halfway through Armada and it’s fun!

MISSED SOMETHING THIS WEEK? With the holiday hubbub things were a little quiet around here and only one review went up: Michelle Summers’ Sweet Southern Bad Boy. A woman is scouting locations for a teen vampire miniseries and finds the PERFECT place…unfortunately, the home belongs to a cranky writer with a deadline looming and three kids he’s trying to care for while his sister-in-law is recovering from an injury. Hijinks ensue. I did enjoy this one (and like I said I’m interested in reading the other books in this series!) but the men in this one had me seeing red.

The Book of Summer by Michelle Gable
Michelle is an absolute doll. Her previous novels (A Paris Apartment and I’ll See You in Paris) were excellent and she was one of our #HistoricalFix guests over the summer! I HIGHLY recommend her books if you like historical fiction based on actual people and events. This latest, The Book of Summer is calling my name and I’m so tempted to push my other books to the side so I can settle in with this one! Cliff House was once a grand home, full of life and people. Now, a century on, it’s fallen into ruin to the point where the family has to make the decision to pack up the belongings and leave the island for good. The book is told through the eyes of Bess in the present day and Ruby, a newlywed during WWII. That the house is the star of the show makes me think of Black Rabbit Hall, my TOP READ of 2016! Thank you, St. Martin’s Press!

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens
Chevy is another second chance author. Last year I grabbed That Night from the library and could barely get through it (though I’m thinking a lot of that was due to the narrator). A few months later a copy of Those Girls showed up at my door and I was hesitant to read it, but completely shocked when I found myself thoroughly enjoying it! Never Let You Go follows a mother and her daughter as they run away from an abusive man. Eleven years later Lindsey is finally getting her life back on track when her ex-husband is released from jail. Although she believes she’s managed to cut all ties from her past, Lindsey can’t help but feel like she’s being watched, and eventually her new boyfriend is threatened and her home is broken into. She’s convinced it’s her ex, but he claims to be a changed man. So, SO looking forward to reading this one! Thank you, St. Martin’s Press!

The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson
You know I love me a good WWII novel! Alice-Ann is 16 and dead set on marrying her brother’s friend Mack, but when Pearl Harbor is attacked and Mack enlists, Alice-Ann realizes she needs to confess her feelings. Three long years of letters bring the two close…until one day the letters stop. Naturally Alice-Ann fears the worst, that Mack was killed. Over time, she strikes up a friendship with another man also haunted by the war, and as their friendship deepens, Alice-Ann wonders if she can ever truly get over her lost love. Thank you, Tyndale!

A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner
A while ago I grabbed this one on netgalley so I was totally surprised when a physical copy appeared at my door! Another novel that bounces between WWII and the present day. A German ballerina and the daughter of a French resistance spy board a ship, both women eager to make a new start with their husbands in America, but only one woman disembarks in New York. In the present day, a woman tours a supposedly haunted ship and winds up following a seventy-year-old tragedy. Thank you, Berkley!

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