Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Book Review: Serenity Harbor by RaeAnne Thayne

Title: Serenity Harbor
Author: RaeAnne Thayne
Source: Lake Union Publishing

Goodreads Summary:

Computer-tech millionaire Bowie Callahan is about the last person that schoolteacher Katrina Bailey wants to work for. As far as she can see, he's arrogant, entitled and not up to the task of caring for his young half brother, Milo. But Kat is, especially if it brings her closer to her goal of adopting an orphaned little girl. And as her kindness and patience work wonders with Milo, she realizes there's more to sexy, wary Bo than she'd ever realized.

Bo never imagined he'd be tasked with caring for a sibling he didn't know existed. Then again, he never pictured himself impulsively kissing vibrant, compassionate Katrina in the moonlight. Now he's ready to make her dream of family come true…and hoping there's room in it for him, too…

My Thoughts:

I have read many RaeAnne Thayne books. Usually I love her Christmas stories the very best, but this book is now my hands down favorite. Thayne is one of my favorite contemporary romance writers, and if you follow her on Facebook, you can see she is a genuinely super nice person too.  

This book touches my heart, and on two topics particularly close to my soul. Special needs children, and adoption. My son has Cerebral Palsy, and before we had Wyatt, we were in the process of trying to adopt. Thayne tackled these two topics with great skill, understanding, and sensitivity. I feel many times that I read books that use these things as props, without any real heart or soul or understanding behind them. Like it is just there to manipulate the reader in some way. It is different with this book. You can feel the love that Thayne has for her subject matter and characters, and that level of care in her writing takes the book to the next level.

And I love these characters. Katrina, Bowie, Milo. Katrina and Bowie are both determined and driven, motivated to be the best parents and guardians they can be. Katrina especially. Nothing will stand in her way of returning to Columbia and reuniting with the little girl that her heart as claimed as daughter, just as that little girl's heart has claimed her as her mother. Nothing can tear that bond, and Katrina will fight as hard as she can to return to her and bring Gabriela home to Haven Point. Her relationship with Milo is so sweet and caring, and I love the two of them together. I even got a little teary at one point in the book! 

In my opinion, Thayne has outdone herself with this latest book - I loved it completely! 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Sunday Post/It's Monday! What are you reading?


Check out the The Caffeinated Book Review for the Sunday Post

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date
I had a great week, full of activity! After months of being kind of housebound, it was nice to get out, socialize, have a different kind of fun. We had a family craft night, Billy and I went on a date night, and my friend had one of those at home leggings parties. I even bought a pair to bop around the house in - they are so soft!

Read Last Week:

I finished up the two books I was working on. The Robyn Carr book was particularly good! 

Reading This Week:


The Hating Game by Sally Thorne - my friend's June book club pick
and I will probably pick something else up at the library tomorrow too. :)


Alone, Orange is the New Black, The Ranch, GLOW, The Good Witch

How about you? What have you been up to?

Monday, June 19, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Better late than never! The high heat and humidity continued through last week, and this week, finally, we get a reprieve. It is beautiful out today! We have been doing a lot of front porch sitting in the evenings, me with my white wine, Billy with a beer. He's been drinking one called Archangel that is really good - it's a Michigan craft beer with a hint of cherry juice. We have been having a good time watching our robin family - they built a little nest in the crook of our Maple, and we see the mom and dad constantly feeding their babies. So cute!

We had a pretty fun Father's Day weekend - I hope you all did too! Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there!

Read Last Week/Reading This Week:

I didn't finish my book but I did start two. I am really enjoying them both!



iZombie, Supernatural, Orange is the New Black, The Ranch, Alone


Friday, June 16, 2017

So tell me....

So tell me..how do you blog? Do you follow a routine, a schedule? 

Do you write when you get a chance, fitting it in where you can? 

Do you have a plan, weekly, monthly?

I've been having a rough time trying to fit it in. Right now, I am trying to blog when I can, although sometimes the only time I get is late at night when I am exhausted and so is my brain. It just wants to veg and not think about composing sentences or thoughts.

Is there food involved? Snacks? Drinks? I happen to like a glass of wine if its evening.

Also, do you take notes on the books you are asked to review? Do you wing it, write it off the cuff? I am a compose as I go girl, but I like to hear what other people's processes are. 

So tell me - I really am interested!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Book Review: Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Source: Lake Union Publishing for a fair and honest review

Goodreads Summary:

Bea has barely been scraping by since her husband died. After falling for a telephone scam, she loses everything and is forced to abandon her trailer. With only two-thirds of a tank in her old van, she heads toward the Pacific Ocean with her cat—on a mission to reclaim what’s rightfully hers, even if it means making others pay for what she lost.

When fifteen-year-old Allie’s parents are jailed for tax fraud, she’s sent to a group home. But when her life is threatened by another resident, she knows she has to get out. She escapes only to find she has nowhere to go—until fate throws Allie in Bea’s path.

Reluctant to trust each other, much less become friends, the two warily make their way up the Pacific Coast. Yet as their hearts open to friendship and love from the strangers they meet on their journey, they find the courage to forge their own unique family—and begin to see an imperfect world with new eyes.

My thoughts:

This was initially a very difficult read, emotionally. Bea's tale of woe killed me. I had to set the book down for a while, and go back. Bea is a senior citizen, barely scraping by, living with her cat in their trailer, when she falls victim to a phone scam and loses what little money she has. In secret under cover of night, she transforms her van into a sort of mobile home for herself and her cat, and heads out of the trailer park, basically penniless and homeless. This image broke my heart - and is such a truism of what can befall seniors today. My own mother is 70, living on a fixed income, and not too long ago called me alarmed after receiving the same type of phone call as Bea. I stressed to her that it was a scam, and to never ever give any of her info over the phone to anyone who calls. 

Allie is taken under the care of CPS after her parents are sent to jail - another instance of the failure of our world to care for our elderly and young people, as Allie is not sent into the best of situations. The two meet after Allie escapes, and from there the story becomes a bit more lighthearted and heartwarming as they embark upon an unconventional road trip of sorts.

I highly recommend this emotional read, that spans a roller coaster of highs and lows, but ultimately ends on a high, a win for people and demonstrates that not all is bad in this world, if we give people a chance. Everybody needs somebody, and Allie and Bea are an unlikely duo who are just what the other needs.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Sunday Post/It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


Check out the The Caffeinated Book Review for the Sunday Post
It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Whew it was a hot hot weekend here in the D! We did a lot of car rides to get out of the house, but didn't venture out for too long. Wyatt is pretty sensitive to heat so we stuck close to air conditioning. We still had a fun time!

Read Last Week:

On Folly Beach by Karen White: I loved this!! I so love this author, glad that I gave her another try. I really disliked the first book I read by her, but now I am very much enjoying her work. I guess I just needed the right book?

Reading This Week:

I really need to write this post on Monday evenings, but that seems too late. I go to the library on Mondays, so most of the time I am not sure what I am going to read next until I go. However, I do have this gem in my NetGalley:

I read my first Robyn Carr not that long ago, and I enjoyed it so much I knew I would read her again. 


Supernatural, The Durrells, The Handmaid's Tale, The Keepers, The Good Witch, and I am about to start Orange is the New Black. 

What about everyone else? How is it going?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

So May was not the best month for me and blogging! I hope to do better this month - I really miss it when I don't get this time. We have been having lots of little family adventures though lately! And ice cream. All good things.

Read Last Two Weeks:


Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty: This was really good! My first by this author, but I did watch the HBO show Pretty Little Lies, which led me here. This won't be the last I read by Moriarty!

The Sound of Glass by Karen White: Still reading my way through White's backlist, and loving it. It's also a good way to pass the time while waiting for all my library holds to trickle in.
This one had a crazy good twist!

The Widow's House by Carol Goodman: Loved it. Loved it!!! I love this author, and this book was no exception.

Reading This Week:

I am looking forward to starting this one! I am also hitting the new books section tomorrow at the library - always so exciting!


We are addicted to all the farm series shows produced by BBC - we watched Edwardian and Victorian Farm, and are now watching Tudor Farm. They are available on Youtube actually! We are also watching The Durrells (more books I am waiting on, the Corfu Trilogy!), iZombie, Supernatural, HGTV shows, and The Handmaid's Tale. We began Twin Peaks but haven't watched since, although we do plan on going back. 

So what's been going on in your world? Good stuff I hope!