Happy New Year, Booknerds!

    I hope everyone is having a magical holiday.

    I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank every single one of you who take the time out of your day to read what I write, to comment, like, and share everything that I post, and recommend my blog to your friends and family every single day. It means the absolute world to me, and I cannot thank you enough.

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    5 romance reads to set the mood for winter

    Hey guys! Today I’ve teamed up with the absolutely wonderful The Bibliotheque to bring you my top 5 romance reads for winter. It’s getting cold where my friends are over the other side of the world,  which means it’s almost time to say goodbye to the beaches and piná-coladas and say hello to sweat-pants and a wine in front of the fire. But never fear! I’m here to help you with an accessory you cannot live without in the colder months….

    A good book.

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    Weekly Recap – Nov 14, 2017

    We’ve had a massive week of new book releases so I though I would do one post for them all so I’m not spamming your Facebook and Instagram feeds with individual books! I will try and do this for you guys regularly. Be sure to check them all out and let me know in the comments below of any good ones you’ve already read so I can add them to my TBR!

    At the bottom of the post I have also added some of my favourite sales that are happening. Please be mindful that they are on sale at the time of posting and can change at any minute!

    Happy reading!

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    My favourite Instagram accounts and why you should be following them

    When it comes to inspiration, I’m drawn to many different ‘flavours’ and Instagram is usually the very first place I go to. With the many different hats I wear in my life, I tend to follow an array of accounts to help me through my day – to – day struggle of staying in touch with the world.

    First and foremost, I am a woman. I am me. I have many people say to me “the most important thing in the world for you right now is being a mother”, and while I don’t disagree with that statement, we tend to forget that the most important thing in the world right now is being you. Looking after you. Because without looking after yourself, how are you going to look after anyone else? How am I going to look after my own children if I don’t take care of me first. I want to give them the best version of myself because without that, I would not be doing the best thing for them.

    So on that note, I give you my favourite Instagram accounts and what each of these remarkable women do for me on a daily basis.

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    BOOK REVIEW — Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

    “There’s a lot of baggage in our family. I think sometimes you luck out and get a family you connect with. But sometimes. . .” I try to fight back an embarrassing and unexpected tear. “Sometimes you get stuck with family members that do nothing but make mistakes they never have to apologise or pay for.”

    WOW ok, this book was really wonderful. I’m still feeling the impact even after a few hours. But before I say anything about the book itself, I wanted to explain my rating (which is 5 stars, btw). I didn’t finish this book with my usual ‘omg!’ reaction. It was something completely different. Difficult to explain even. Powerful even. For me, it hit a spot that not all books do. In fact, I haven’t felt this way after finishing a book in a really long time. Not everyone will feel this way of course, but I feel as though I needed to explain that. My 5 star rating needed to reflect that, even if just for myself. And the more I think about the events that unfolded in this story, the more that ‘feeling’ gets stronger. I really hope you guys get it too!!

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    All new website now live

    Hey everyone! I thought I’d just check in with you all and let you know what’s been happening around here (and at home) lately. As you can probably see, my website (and email) has had a bit of an update. I wasn’t feeling the last update I had done so I did some more research and did it all myself. I would love to hear your thoughts (as you guys are the ones who use it!) so leave your messages below or just send me an email 🙂

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    BOOK REVIEW — Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata


    Buy DEAR AARON (kindle)

    Gosh. I’m struggling with this review right now. I have so many emotions running through me it’s hard to get them down exactly the way I’m feeling them. I guess I should start by saying that Mariana Zapata is by far one of my favourite story tellers ever. Her books are an instant one-click for me, every single time. And I didn’t waste a second picking up Dear Aaron. And you know what? I loved it. I really really loved it. But sometimes, authors write such amazing books that our expectations sky rocket. I don’t want to take away from Mariana’s incredible talent. This book was great. But for me, and I absolutely hate to say this, this wasn’t my favourite of hers. And I’m almost crying as I write that. Because this book, the first 70-80%, OMG! A solid 5 stars. I read it faster than I’ve ever read before. I couldn’t put it down. The whole premise had me screaming for this book from the second the author announced it.

    Ruby Santos knew exactly what she was getting herself into when she signed up to write a soldier overseas.
    The guidelines were simple: one letter or email a week for the length of his or her deployment. Care packages were optional.
    Been there, done that. She thought she knew what to expect.
    What she didn’t count on was falling in love with the guy. 

    I mean, come on! That blurb sent me swooning already and I didn’t even have the book yet! I guess for me, I wanted more of the book as a whole. For anyone new to Mariana Zapata, she’s literally the queen of slow burn romances. And they are EPIC. It’s the reason I love her writing. She really tells a story. You learn to love and appreciate the characters as individuals before they begin any kind of romance, and the build up is amazing. Dear Aaron did exactly that. The letters to and from were building up emotions inside of me, making me feel anxious as to where the story was heading. Mariana’s writing style was a little different this time around, but her signature style was never far. But I think what fell a little flat for me was when they eventually did meet up, and the week that they spent together, I think I wanted more from them as a ‘couple’. It’s hard for me to say this without sounding like I didn’t like the book. What the author gave us was great, but I really felt like we could have had so much more of ‘them’. And I felt a little let down by the epilogue. I think the author missed an opportunity to really bring these characters and their relationship to another level, and it just didn’t make it there for me. Aaron and Ruby have this epic romance building throughout the time that Aaron is deployed, and I’m so excited for them to finally meet and ‘see’ their connection grow, and we did, but only just a little. And for that, the last 20% was 3.5-4 stars. I enjoyed it, just didn’t love it.

    There was also the back story of the characters pasts that kept being brought up in small doses, but never really touched on fully, and I think I wanted to know more about that side of each of them. Although Mariana’s books are never overloaded with drama, I think this book could have done with just a little more.

    Mariana’s writing is always amazing though. It’s something that I have always just loved about her books, even if I didn’t connect a lot with the story or the characters. I still end up finishing the books because of how easy the words flow. This one just fell a little short in terms of story. I would still absolutely recommend this book for anyone who enjoys those sweet, lighthearted romances. It was a really lovely read. I really enjoyed it, just didn’t love it as much as I was hoping I would.

    Rating: 4 stars

    Buy DEAR AARON (kindle)

    BOOK REVIEW — Give Me Hell by Kate McCarthy



    “Family means no one ever gets left behind.”

    HOLY FREAKING WOW GUYS! I have finally found a new top favourite for 2017!!! From the gorgeous cover to the epic love story that spans over a decade, this book was an addictive, heart-racing, action packed, drama filled, EPIC romance that had me absolutely hooked from the first word to the very last (literally!!!). I honestly could not put it down. Lovers of romantic suspense, you need this series in your life. (I have reviewed books 1-3 here, and they really need to be read first). This review is spoiler free, so you are safe to continue reading even if you haven’t read the other books in the series yet.

    “How do you give up the one thing that keeps you breathing?”

    This story begins with a prologue of where book 3 left us. It’s a huge spoiler (and major cliffhanger) so I won’t go into any details, but those of you who have read Give Me Grace will know exactly what I’m talking about. And then the first chapter takes us way back to when Mackenzie Valentine was 11 years old. And we get to know her family and her relationship with Jake from the very beginning.

    Mackenzie Valentine is wilful, fiery, and determined to prove she doesn’t need anyone. Desperate to break free from the over-protective parents and three older brothers who dictate her every move, she runs away at the age of seventeen to hunt down the only boy who makes her feel alive.

    Throughout books 1-3 of this series, we get snippets of Mac and Jake’s relationship. We know there’s a lot of tension between the two. They’re always fighting. Something big happened when they were younger, and this is explained early on in this book. The author not only takes us back to the beginning, but we move our way through the timeline of the first 3 books (which is why reading them first is so important). I’m not usually a fan of books that do this, but I promise you, it doesn’t feel like you’re reading the same books again at all. In fact, Mac and Jake’s perspective is quite different from the others, making it feel like a new book with a familiar feel to it. It also doesn’t drag. We move quite quickly through the timeline we’ve grown to love and before we know it, we’re back in present day dealing with an entirely new storyline. This would not have been easy to do, so I take my hat off to Kate who has obviously spent hours on end crafting this story to what it is, so that we get exactly what we came for, without losing sight of where Mac and Jake’s story was heading.

    “Jake is infiltrating my heart in some kind of sneaky ninja attack. Is this a crush? Because it feels crappy and wonderful, and I don’t like it one bit.”

    Fans of this series will adore this book. Mac and Jake are exactly the kind of characters I had imagined them to be. Kate has absolutely nailed their story in my opinion. From their personalities, relationships with friends and family, to the way they dealt with the blows in their lives. This book was obviously written delicately, to make sure that every single word in every scene was absolutely perfect and exactly how we thought it would be. The planning and execution of this book has been done with extreme detail. Resulting in a story fans have not only craved from these two characters, but so much more than what we ever imagined.

    “Not having a home, or a sense of belonging to someone or something, is like being adrift at sea with no safe harbour to set down anchor. For a small moment in time, Mackenzie Valentine had been my safe harbour. I had belonged to her.”

    In short, Jake was a member of the King Street Boys gang when he lived in Melbourne and is dealing with the consequences when Mac shows up in his life again. The two try to navigate their way around a ‘friendship’, but there’s just way too much history there, and they fail. Jakes past ultimately catches up with him and Mac gets caught in the middle. Her family, the Valentines, are all a part of the reason Jake was able to leave the gang in the first place but the whole thing comes crashing down with devastating consequences. The book travels across years of their lives, tying up loose ends and answering questions we’ve had for a long time now.

    “Mac somehow managed to start a war and finish it all at the same time. There is no weighing the size of the balls this woman carries. Let’s just say they’re really bloody heavy.”

    I honestly wish I could say so much more about this book, but I really want everyone to be able to go in without really knowing anything. If you haven’t read the first three books in the series, read my series review here and hopefully that will convince you to one-click! You get a lot of back story from those books, and it makes Give Me Hell so much more enjoyable.

    This is not a standalone. It’s a romantic suspense novel filled with hot, loyal, protective, Aussie alpha males who absolutely adore their women. My heart still races thinking of what we still have to come in this series but I’m extremely excited to see another favourite get their story (you find out who it is at the end of the book – so please don’t spoil it for others when you read it!!). I highly recommend this book and the entire series to every romance lover. It’s fast paced, full of heart, and has made its way to the top of my favourites list for 2017, and quite possibly my favourite book written by Kate McCarthy to date.

    5 stars!


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