Book Review: My Way To You – Catherine Bybee

A woman’s journey through tragedy leads to the discovery of love in a novel about hope and survival by New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee.

When a wildfire nearly destroys Parker Sinclair’s family home, it’s just one more disaster to add to her mountain of stress. For the past two years, she has shouldered the responsibility of raising her younger brother and sister after their parents’ untimely deaths. Forced to leave college for a crappy job that barely pays the bills, Parker manages her family property, which consumes every aspect of her life. Now winter is coming and the forecast isn’t spreading sunshine on the dark cloud over her head. The last thing Parker needs is a mudslide destroying everything she has worked so hard to maintain.

Colin Hudson’s job as a public works supervisor is to protect Parker’s property and neighborhood from further damage. But it’s a little hard when the owner of the land is a control freak who tries to do everything herself. The hardworking, attractive young woman is far from the “hot mess” she claims to be. In fact, her tight grip of control is one of the things that attract him the most. It’s also the hardest to crack. Now Colin’s working overtime to help Parker open up her heart, trust him, and let him in.

As Parker and Colin work together to keep her home and neighborhood safe, they may be in for another disaster. Or they may just realize that sometimes it takes destruction to create something new.

 


 

**Because of the very informative book description there will be no need for me to add my own version of a description or include other story details.** 

 

I LOVED My Way To You ( Canyon Creek #1 ) by author Catherine Bybee. I loved it so much that I´m not able to find the right words to explain why.

A feel-good romance that´ll have you smiling for days!

A romance reader gets the full bookish package with this one- A well-balanced story with

great dialogue. Lovable characters. A conflict and a resolution. My bookish needs were satisfied. My book standards were met. I can´t really ask for more.

Roll on July 2020… I need myself the second book, Home To Me ( Canyon Creek #2 )


Would I recommend this book? Yes! My Way To You is an emotional romance that pulls at heartstrings. It´s a story you never knew you needed to have on your bookshelf!

Would I reread this book? Without a doubt, yes!


The Cover – 4 Stars:  I like it. It´s neutral and friendly. Easy on the eye but still an eye-catcher.

The Story – 5 Stars:  Well told! Well written.

The Characters – 5 Stars: I loved Parker and Colin as individuals but also adored them as a couple. They worked so beautifully together as a team, conquering their struggles as their relationship developed.

My emotional state after finishing this read – In love.

 

`My Way To You`( Canyon Creek #1 ) by author Catherine Bybee is available for purchase on Amazon.com.

`Home To Me` ( Canyon Creek #2 ) is available for pre-order on Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

Book Review: The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck – Mark Manson

synopsis single

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

 


 

My Thoughts 2

 

Out of all the people who usually recommend books to me – It was my brother who pushed me to buy `The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck` by author Mark Manson.

The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck

Mind you- I wasn´t and still am not on the search for immediate or permanent happiness. I´m good. Things are fine. Everything´s boogy in my neck of the woods. So, the idea of buying a self-help book, knowing I don´t need help is a little pointless, wouldn´t you think?

 

“You don´t have to be on the lookout for happiness to enjoy this book. I guarantee you- You´ll like it even if you don´t need it.”  Is what my brother said.

 

He was wrong. I didn´t end up liking `The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck`. I loved every single thing about this book. I think it´s a brilliant piece of work.

 

Entertaining. Provocative. Funny. Eye-opening. Helpful. 

 

It´s safe to say that this book, with the way it´s written, is not for everyone. I happen to be the type of person who enjoys profanity in books ( lots of profanity ) and can see the beauty in the author´s directness without being offended by his ideas or notions. I believe this is one of the best eye-openers on the market.

 

“You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of fucks to give. Very few, in fact. And if you go around giving a fuck about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice—well, then you’re going to get fucked.”

 

From mornings to evenings… From January to December… The fucks I have to give are sparse. The fucks I do give are used wisely, though. This book will talk about this topic, along with ways to free oneself from the cages we locked ourselves in, in an easy to follow way.

Mark Manson talks about how happiness is a problem, discusses self-worth and even reveals his take on failure and success in an understandable way.

My brother was right. You can fully enjoy this book without actually needing all the advice inside. You can sit back, relax and, for once, have fun reading a self-help book ( because most self-help books aren´t entertaining ).


 

Would I recommend this book? Definitely. I can see this book helping many people ( if needed ). A great read even for non-help seekers

Would I reread this book? Absolutely. The language and writing is right up my alley. If there ever was a book for me then this would be it.


 

`The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck` is a non-fiction, philosophy, psychology, self-help/personal development book so I´ll keep the rating simple.

 

5 stars


 

This book is available for purchase at Amazon.com

 

Book Review: I Hold Your Heart – Karen Gregory

synopsis single

The tense, tender must-read book of the summer – perfect for fans of Louise O’Neill and Sara Barnard

‘You make me feel like there’s something good in the world I can hold on to,’ Aaron says. He kisses me again, draws me so close it’s almost hard to breathe. ‘I love you, Gem. And I promise I’ll hold your heart forever.’

When Gemma meets Aaron, she feels truly seen for the first time. Their love story is the intense kind. The written-in-the-stars, excluding-all-others kind. The kind you write songs about.

But little by little their relationship takes over Gemma’s life. What happens when being seen becomes being watched, and care becomes control?

Told in both Gemma’s and Aaron’s words, this is a raw, moving exploration of gaslighting in teenage relationships that skewers our ideas of what love looks like

 


 

My Thoughts 2

 

Puuh! * scratches forehead * That book definitely wasn´t what I expected it would be.

You know the feeling when you see a book title and you think “meh” but then you read the tagline and think ” Oh?”

`When does love become possession?`

Oh? indeed. Seriously, I had so many things going on in my head. Young adult with the promise of a true crazy character?  I wanted the crazy. The full-on stalker, bat shit loon from our worst nightmares. Well, I got more than I asked for, I can tell you that much. And I fully enjoyed every minute I spent reading.

`I Hold Your Heart` by author Karen Gregory sounds relatively harmless but the story… The way it starts and how it develops and the way it ends… I´m impressed.

 

A powerful story about an abusive relationship between college students.

 

I´ve read many young adult novels that had abusive characters or were about abusive relationships but hardly any of those novels come close to `I Hold Your Heart`. I hold your heart

You meet Gemma / Gem, a young college student, who is your everyday young woman and shortly after you meet the wonderful Aaron, also a college student attending the same college as Gemma. They have an insta-attraction and from there on, their story unfolds. And boy, does it unfold. It unfolded downhill for everyone involved in the story.

This is not one of those stories that try to make you fall in love with the Hero. There´s no chance for that because from the get-go you have this indescribable ill feeling that you can´t shake off. That certain something that sets off all alarm bells although nothing terrible has happened ( yet ). You like the Hero ( Aaron ), you might even put up with his odd ways or even wave his behavior off, dismissing it and blaming it on true love. But then you quickly get sucked in and realize how systematically he works and it´s painful to witness. You know this. The Hero knows it. All the sub characters were aware of it and sometimes Gemma was aware of it, as well. You can understand how easily Gemma overlooked the warning signs.

This is what makes this story so fascinating. A reader witnesses the excruciating slow burn abuse inflicted upon the Hero´s one and only true love, Gemma. Is it pretty? Absolutely not. It´s spooky, actually. And come to think of it – It´s all realistic. You suddenly realize that this could have happened to someone near you. Or perhaps it´s happening now and you´re not aware of it.

And the writing? Well, you won´t hear me complaining. It´s clean and sharp.


 

Would I recommend this book? I would. I think there should be more novels about abusive relationships and the effects they have on the victims and the people around them.

Would I reread this book? I would. I will. This gem is going to be placed on my sacred top bookshelf.

 

 

The Cover – 4 Stars:   Not exactly what I would call fantabulous but it was enough to grab my attention.

The Story – 5 Stars:  Well paced. Gripping. Nail – bite-worthy. Emotionally brutal. Powerful. What I loved most was how a reader doesn´t get a sugar-coated happily ever after. A reader gets a realistic ending. One I appreciated.

The Characters – 5 Stars: Aaron is perfect until you see his coercive and controlling behavior. He´s manipulative. I couldn´t have asked for a better developed character. As for Gemma,… Her character has proven that no matter how level headed or strong-minded you are, you´re not immune or safe from an abuser. I loved Gemma for being `only human`.

My emotional state after finishing this read – Emotionally pooped beyond words.

5 stars


 

You can purchase `I Hold Your Heart` by author Karen Gregory on Amazon.com

I hold your heart

 

 

Book Review ( Before & After ): Dirty Angels ( #1 ) – Karina Halle

synopsis single

For Luisa Chavez, a twenty-three year old former beauty queen, a better life has always been just out of her reach. Sure, she’s had men at her feet since she was a young teenager but she’s never had the one thing she’s craved – security. Having grown up in near poverty, her waitressing job in Cabo San Lucas can barely let her take care of herself, let alone her ailing parents. Every day is another unwanted advance, every day is a struggle to survive.

When Salvador Reyes, the depraved leader of a major Mexican cartel, takes an interest in her, Luisa is presented with an opportunity she can’t afford to pass up. She’ll become Salvador’s wife and exchange her freedom and body for a life of riches – riches she can bestow upon her deserving parents. But Luisa quickly finds out that even the finest wines and jewels can’t undo the ugliness in her marriage, nor the never-ending violence that threatens her every move.

Soon, Luisa is looking for an escape, a way out of the carefully controlled life she’s leading. She finally gets her wish in the worst way possible.

As it is, being the wife of Salvador makes her an ideal target for rival cartels and there’s one particular man who needs Luisa as part of his cartel’s expansion. One particular man whose quest for power has destroyed lives, slit throats and gotten him out of an American prison. One particular man who will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants.

That man is Javier Bernal. And he wants Luisa. He wants to take her, keep her, ruin her.

Unless she ruins him first.


 

***WARNING***

This book deals with drug cartels and as such it contains a lot of sex and violence and some violent sex. It can get pretty ugly, pretty dark and pretty crazy. There is drug use, abuse, a bit of torture and dubious consent. The hero is not a hero and the villains…well, they’re even worse. If this sort of thing bothers you, PLEASE DO NOT READ IT. This ain’t no cupcake farting unicorn kind of book. If you are even a bit squeamish about violence, brutality and rape, this is your warning to stay away from a book that you certainly will not like (and why read books that you know you won’t like?)

 

Copied from the `Dirty Angels`( Dirty Angels #1) book description on Goodreads

 


 

before and after

 

It´s been close to 5 years when I first laid my hands on this gem. Back in 2014 I was all hot and bothered to read this promising and much talked about dark romance.

Word had it ( back then ) that `Dirty Angels`was the latest shocker. Dirty, filthy, brutal and just one of those reads where you get riled up, all while falling helplessly in love with the romantic clusterfuck. dirty angels

Love / hate. Despise / adore. Exciting / shocking. `Dirty Angels` was that all that and so much more.

I´ve always been a sucker for gritty romances. The more triggers dark romances had the more intrigued I was. Did I get my money´s worth? Did my fellow book bloggers promise too much when they said this book should be approached with caution? Yes. YES. Y. E. S!

32 year old me loved this read. I remember the overnighter I pulled because I couldn´t put the book down. I remember suffering a week long book hangover after I finished the book. I remember calling my husband at work, telling him I needed to find more books like `Dirty Angels`.

I even found my 2014 review on my old blog! You´re welcome.

 

review old
Please excuse the review. It´s old and orange. Don´t know what was wrong with me back then. 

 

See? Literally the slow motion train wreck you couldn´t pull your eyes away from.

Back in 2014 I gave `Dirty Angels`( Dirty Angels #1 ) by author Karina Halle 5 out of 5 stars champagne glasses.

 

5 years later…. 

 

37 year old me decided it was time to do some `Dirty Angel`rereading. It´s been a while and I wanted to know if I still felt the same.

In a way- I do. My general feelings for the story haven´t changed. I still believe the story is just as great as it was back in 2014. For me, this book is a timeless dark romance because it still tugs at all the “right” emotional strings. Even 5 years later I still feel very strong for the characters and what they´ve been put through.

 

Do I think this book is worth the warning label? The answer to that is complicated.

2014 was the year for dark romances. Authors were testing new waters and began publishing the “mind fuck” stories. Didn´t bother me one bit. But in 2014 there weren´t many offended readers. The triggered groups were smaller. Also, in 2014 reviews looked a little different. You either enjoyed the brutal romance or you didn´t. You either accepted the warning and felt warned or you didn´t.

These days, a book can´t have enough warning labels because there are far too many reviewers who are easily offended by the slightest event.

 

I can say, without a shred of doubt, that `Dirty Angels` by Karina Halle is still a fucking awesome twisted dark romance. One readers should treat as a work of fiction.

 


Would I recommend this read? 32 year old me would have. 37 year old me still would. I still think it would be wise to trust the warning label, though. Not everyone treats certain topics as casually as I do.

Would I reread this book? Already have.


 

The Cover – 3 Stars:     I can´t remember what I thought of the cover back in the day but now… I don´t really think it´s mind blowing. Fitting for the story, sure.

The Story – 5 Stars:     This is what I enjoy. This is how I expect my dark romances to be like. Shocking, graphic and full of “Oh hell no!”

The Characters – 5 Stars:   Nothing has changed. Javier is still a bastard I appreciate and Luisa is, by far, one of the strongest characters ever created. Bad ass all the way!

My emotional state after finishing this read- 2014: Impressed. 2019: Entertained.

 

5 stars

 


 

`Dirty Angels`can be purchased on  Amazon.com

dirty angels

 

Book Review: The Book Of Love – Fionnuala Kearney

synopsis single

One love. Two people. Twenty Years.

From the moment they met, Erin and Dom loved each other too much, too quickly. Everyone said it wouldn’t last. But they knew differently.

A wedding present, a notebook, brings them together through the good times and the bad. On the blank pages of their love story, they write down everything they can’t always say – the secrets, the heartbreak, the highs and lows. It’s where they see the best and worst of each other.

Falling in love is easy but staying in love is where the story begins…

This is the Book of Love


 

 

My Thoughts 2

I´ve read many books in my life. Many that were entertaining, gripping.. and overall just fantastic reads. I´ve had the pleasure of reading & reviewing great romances in my book blogging career but none have come close to this book.

`The Book Of Love` by Fionnuala Kearney….. The Book Of Love

The hardest part of reviewing a book you love is trying to find the right words. Because whatever I say will never describe what I felt after I finished / what I still feel for `The Book Of Love`.

A few weeks back I saw a review post from a blog I follow on Facebook for this book that stated that they´ve never read such a beautiful story in their lives. A bold statement to make, if you ask me. Don´t all book bloggers make that claim every now and then?

I was cautious. Because I´m a burnt child when it comes to recommendations from fellow book bloggers. If it weren´t for the cover, the title and the tagline I think I would have skipped the masterpiece recommendation.

 

“A story for everyone who has loved and lost.” 

 

You can imagine how that line captured my attention. I was like

” I´d like to be the judge of that.” 

The title was something I haven´t seen in a long while. `The Book Of Love`- That could have meant many things. A quick synopsis scan on Goodreads and I was sold.

It´s the first time in my professional reading history that a recommendation was right. This book is a masterpiece. One I will forever cherish.

 

It´s simple but not easy. It´s gentle and raw. Innocent and powerful. It´s painful and soothing. It´s beautiful. It´s emotional. It´s the best book I´ve read in years.

 

There are many things I loved about this book but the things I appreciated most were:

  • The story comes with warts and all! A reader accompanies a young couple through the hardships of marriage and life. I just loved the opening scene because it´s relatable and I adored how their journey was not full of fluff. They live life with its ups and downs and find ways to cope with the negative sides of life.

 

  • The simple characters. I say simple because neither are exaggerated. Erin is just a simple woman and Dom is a simple man. Individually, they´re plain but together they´re the definition of love. How these characters move forward with all they go through is incredible.

 

  • The writing. I cannot preach about this enough: Great writing is half the rent. The author has the uncanny ability to draw a reader in with her words.

 

  • The pacing. Usually, I find myself often bored between scenes. This didn´t happen with this story. Because I wanted to find out what would happen next. I was dying to know who would do what and why and when.

 

To make a long review short: This book destroyed me. I rooted for Erin and Dom. I cheered for their love. I literally sat on the edge of my seat from start to finish and couldn´t keep my feelings in check the whole time. I cried and smiled. I felt the heartache and the love even if it pained me. I fell into the worst book funk in the history of book funks.

” So, my fear is more that if we try and take things apart too much to see how they work, that maybe they won´t fit back together again.”

 

 

`The Book Of Love` is truly a story about the enduring power of love.

 


 

Would I recommend this book? Yes! Although this is definitely one of those tough romances I still believe every romance reader should have this in their collection.

Would I re-read this book? Definitely. Sooner rather than later.

 


 

The Cover – 5 stars:  I love the simplicity of it. Light colors and a large title. A book cover doesn´t really need more.

 

The Story – 5 stars:     Fascinating and breathtaking.

 

The Characters – 5 stars:     I have so much love for these characters because they´re you and me and everyone else.

 

My emotional state after finishing this read:    Ruined. Destroyed. Done with the world. Shattered. All in the best way possible.

 

5 stars


 

`The Book Of Love` by Fionnuala Kearney can be purchased on Amazon.com


 

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