Monday, February 19, 2018

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

Graphic Novel, 288 pages
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Published by: First Second
Read from: February 16, 2018
Source: Library
For fans of:  Romance, Friendship, LGBTQIAP+, YA

     Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:
     Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!
     Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.


     I'm still a bit new to graphic novels, but even I can recognize when something is past amazing. And this mt friends, is past amazing. From the writing, to the art, it was all amazing and because of it I have added all of Wang's work to my TBR.
     Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride. Unfortnuately, his heart is not in the pursuit. He's more interested in keeping a secret from his entire kingdom. At night he becomes the beautiful Lady Crystallia, the current fashion icon! The only person who knows his secret is his best friend, the dressmaker, Frances. But Frances has put her own dreams on hold to help keep his secret. How long can she put his dreams ahead of hers?
     I loved reading Sebastain's journey of identity. I loved how he was portrayed in both Wang's writing style and her art. In the art he seemed like a basic prince when he was being Prince Sebastain, but at night as Lady Crystallia, he comes alive. I imagine that's how he felt on the inside as well and Wang did a great job at portraying it.
    I also loved the family and friendship dynamic in this one. I don't want to be too spoilery, but it did not end up the way I expected it to.The friend and the family dynamic. It turned into so much more. I can honestly say I've never cried over a graphic novel before, but for this one and the amazing relationships portrayed, I definitely did.
     This graphic novel was so much more than I expected and I can see myself reading this a couple more times before sending it back to the library. Jen Wang is a new to me artist, but after my love for The Prince and the Dressmaker, I can assure you this will not be my last novel by her.
Overall, I give this

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Stacking the Shelves #256 & the Weekly Wrap-Up

This bookish meme tells the blogosphere what all we borrowed, bought, and received for review. It's hosted over at Tynga's Reviews.

From the Library: 

The Prince and the DressmakerLet's Talk About Love
Gunslinger Girl

From the publisher: 
This Heart of Mine

The Weekly Wrap-Up!

Wednesday 02/14/18: Waiting on Wednesday: Bring me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf
Friday 02/16/18: Book Blogger Hop: Character Act-Alikes! 
 Saturday 02/17/18:  The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Me on Instagram: 

Accompanied my head children's librarian on an outreach this week and was able to take this wonderful picture of us her, her boss, and the lovely kiddios!.

A very wonderful someone brought in this box of books and I was so happy they did! They brought them in as donations and I cannot stop smiling about it! I've been petting this Morgan Matson ARC everyday since! 

My Keno Beano's birthday was the 15th! I can't believe he's already 1! (Or 7 depending on how you look at it!) Look how tiny he used to be compared to now lol 

What went on at your blog this week?
Send me links and I'll take a look! 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

e-Audio, 320 pages
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Published by: Simon Pulse
Read from: February 9-11, 2018
Source: Library
For fans of:  Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Diversity, Sparkly Covers, LOL, Debut Author, Adult

     A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.
Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist.
     On the eve of his ex's wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend...
     After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other...
     They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century--or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want....


*This book is part of the new adult contemporary romance genre! It is more mature than YA. I have featured it in Take Me Away... After Dark as a way to feature the few Adult and New Adult titles I am beginning to read!"  


     This was on my TBR since the cover came out, but it really jumped to the top when so many people (even those that I KNOW don't like contemporary romance) enjoyed it. So I requested that my library buy the e-audio version and I put myself on hold for it. And low and behold I'm going to say the biggest cliche I know: I'M SO GLAD I DID.
     Drew and Alexa have the best meet cute in a broken down elevator. And amazingly, things escalate from there. He takes her to a wedding as his fake date and soon learns that he cannot let her go. And Alexa learns that she doesn't want him to.
     Y'all, this CANNOT be a debut author. Like I don't believe it. The writing style was nothing short of amazing. I found myself wanting to listen to it all the time! I easily got lost in Guillory's words and I wanted to stay theere. I easily devoured this in about 3 days. (Would have been shorter if I had the physical copy lol) By the time I finished I had already bought a physical copy for myself and I was super excited to read it again
     I also really love the characters. Alexa is without a doubt, the level of dope, petty, professional that I aspire to be. I felt everything she said and did in the whole novel! (Even when I felt she was being stubborn and didn't want to listen on purpose.) And then there was Drew. He was clueless sometimes, but I loved him more than I can explain. And Guillory made some of their interactions so real, I could swear that these were real people that she was just writing down notes on! And last but not least, Carlos. I have to say I liked Drew, but I liked Carlos more. He was the level headed one who kept them both sane and thinking straight. I really hope that the Carlos in her next book description is about this Carlos. Then my life will be complete. Because I NEED Carlos to get his HEA.
     Then there was the romance. There are some definite spicy times in this one and I was here for ALL of them lol I loved that she mentioned the most important part about it (wrap it up folks) and was still able to still make the scene sexy. And if any of you are wondering, its not super telling, its really clean and sexy and I loved it. Add on to all that that it was diverse and extremely accurate, I loved everything about it!
     After reading this, I can't wait to see more from Guillory. In one book she has become my reason for a book hangover, my favorite rnew author, AND the author of my favorite book of 2018 so far. I cannot wait to see what else she has in store for us!
Overall, I give this

Friday, February 16, 2018

Book Blogger Hop: Character Act-Alikes!

 Have you ever found yourself acting like a favorite character in a novel?

Not purpose, but yes. I'm clumsy and loud and anxious and a tomboy. I'd say that's a mixture of some of my favorites, but definitely them acting like me instead of the other way around lolol 

What about you?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Moonlight Sins by Jennifer L. Armentrout

e-Audio, 400 pages
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Published by: Avon
Read from: February 2-9, 2018
de Vincent, #1
Source: Edelweiss (I received a copy of this book from the Edelweiss and the Publisher in exchange for a just and honest review. This did nothing to influence my review.
For fans of:  Thrillers, Romance, Contemporary, Adult, Series Starters

     New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout delivers the unforgettable story of a woman whose new life has just begun—but may end in murder...
     Julia Hughes has always played it safe until she learned a very painful lesson. Now Julia’s starting over with a job in the Louisiana bayou—and a scorching encounter with a stranger, only to discover he’s Lucian de Vincent... her new employer. The de Vincent brothers share a massive fortune and a dark reputation. Julia cares for their troubled sister, but a menacing presence in the mansion—and the ever-present temptation of Lucian—prove dangerously distracting.
     Lucian’s grandmother claimed de Vincent men fall in love once—and hard. Apparently, it’s Lucian’s turn. Julia’s compassionate care of his twin makes Lucian want to lay himself bare. But some secrets are better for Julia not to know.
     The recent “suicide” of Lucian’s father is the latest in a string of deaths on the estate. Someone is eliminating the de Vincents. And the best way to get to Lucian may be through Julia...



*This book is part of the new adult contemporary romance genre, with a hint of a thriller! It is more mature than YA. I have featured it in Take Me Away... After Dark as a way to feature the few Adult and New Adult titles I am beginning to read!"  


     Towards the beginning of February,  I was in a book slump. And usually the only thing that helps with my book slumps is a Jennifer L. Armentrout book. And sure enough, it worked.
     Julia is on the brink of starting a brand new job in Louisiana. Unknowingly she goes out in style her last night in her hometown.... with her boss, Lucian de Vincent. When she finally gets there, things are much different than she expected, both the job and with Lucian......
     Obviously my favorite part of this was the characters lol I'm not sure what it is about JLA's bad boys, but they are always my favorite. And Lucian was no different. He was super hot and of course super mysterious. I also loved "Ms. Hughes." She was the usual JLA heroine, but for some reason I connected with her a bit more. And of course them togeteher was everything I hoped it would be. They were so great together and I found myself not wanting to put the book down.
     I think I liked it so much because of the setting. If you don't know, I LOVE New Orleans. Me and my husband actually try to go at least once a year. (This year ALA Annual is there and I AM ALL FOR IT!) The haunting setting and the mention of a haunted mansion was all I needed to love it. I loved that JLA even paid homage to Bourbon Street and said that they stay away from there because it's for tourists. Which is VERY true lol I'm not a native, but I am from a place where tourists visit alot and I know the places to stay away from lol
     As for the secrets at the end, I was actually plesantly surprised. I had become so invested in one character, I wasn't expecting the ending and all the other secrets that came with it. This was the first time I was so lost in a thriller that I wasn't trying to find out what was going on before it got to the end. I'm usually trying to figure it out at about 35%, but this time it didn't even cross my mind. I was too invested in "Ms. Hughes" and Lucian.
     This read was all that I expected it to be and more. I loved seeing them together and I loved all the mysteries and secrets surrounding the brothers. Everything was just what I needed to pull me out of the reading funk I've been in!
Overall, I give this
(This review will have no quotes because it was read via audio)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

WoW: Bring me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

This bookish meme tells the blogosphere what we're waiting patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) for! It's hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine!

Bring Me Their Hearts

     A lush, unique new fantasy trilogy about a girl tasked with stealing the prince’s heart…literally, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Lovely Vicious series.
     Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.
     Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum; if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy her heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.
     Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him – every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him – until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The Prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.
     So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.
      Winner takes the loser’s heart.

Published by: Entangled Teen
Expected Publication: June 5, 2018

Why I'm Waiting: All I needed to see was the part about "stealing the prince's heart." Sounds like nothing I've ever read before! However, because I'm so hype about this, if there is no REAL heart stealing, I'm going to be so let down! Here's to hoping it really happens! 

What are you waiting on this week?
Will you be waiting on this with me?

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

TTT: Top Ten Books that Left me Swooning Even After I Closed it! [Love Freebie]

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish and is now run by Jana at That Artsy Reader GirlEach week she will post a new Top Ten list . Everyone is welcome to join. 

This week's topic is:
Top Ten Books that Left me Swooning Even After I Closed it!
[Love Freebie]

 Moonlight Sins (de Vincent, #1)Prince in Disguise
Alex, ApproximatelyIf I Stay (If I Stay, #1)
Everything, EverythingThe Anatomical Shape of a Heart
I'll Meet You ThereMy Life Next Door
Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)Two Boys Kissing

What about you?
What books made you swoon even after you closed it?

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith

e-ARC, 384 pages
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Published by: McElderry Books
Read from: February 7-February 10, 2018
Source: Edelweiss (I received a copy of this book from the Edelweiss and the Publisher in exchange for a just and honest review. This did nothing to influence my review.
For fans of:  Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, LGBTQ, YA

     How do you let go of something you’ve never had?
     Junior year for Brooke Winters is supposed to be about change. She’s transferring schools, starting fresh, and making plans for college so she can finally leave her hometown, her family, and her past behind.
     But all of her dreams are shattered one hot summer afternoon when her mother is arrested for killing Brooke’s abusive father. No one really knows what happened that day, if it was premeditated or self-defense, whether it was right or wrong. And now Brooke and her siblings are on their own.
     In a year of firsts—the first year without parents, first love, first heartbreak, and her first taste of freedom—Brooke must confront the shadow of her family’s violence and dysfunction, as she struggles to embrace her identity, finds her true place in the world, and learns how to let go.


       I found this book on accident really. I couldn't decide what to read so I decided to read a little from each of the ones I had in mind. When I got to this one, I just couldn't stop reading it. 
"We weren't brought up with any kind of religion. So maybe that's why I've never thought too much about the soul. Never knew how to define it, recognize it. But looking down at my dad's face, I know exactly what a soul is, and I know for sure that it exists, because I can see that his is gone. He doesn't look real. Like whatever made him, him, whatever made him a person, a human being, is no longer there."
     Brooke was supposed to have it easy. Go to a new school and have an easy summer. But one day, that's all changed when she comes home to see that her mom has been arrested for killing her father. Brooke has so much on her plate trying to learn how to keep the family together and everything else. But then she learns the hardest lesson yet- when to let go.
"He was a great guy... generous[...] I guess it's natural that when people die, when they're no longer here to defend themselves, the temptation to idealize them is stronger than the pull of reality. That acute desire to pretend they didn't have a single flaw- I feel it too."
     The writing style was what got me. I wasn't expecting to fall into this book and get stuck like I did. I called myself reading only the first chapter and I just couldn't stop reading it. I loved how Smith was able to "show" me Brooke's world instead of just telling me. This is one of my favorite parts of reading, getting lost in the character's world. 
"How's the fancy-pants school? [...] Lots of screens everywhere. Smaller classes. More teachers, fewer students. They seem like mostly assholes-' 'They are everywhere, aren't they?"
     However, I wasn't a fan of the MC. It was like a wreck that you couldn't look away from. I felt so bad for her situation, but I also knew that was too much for anyone to go through. Adding on to the fact that she got migraines from stress, (which I can definitely relate to) it was just too much. I wanted to shake her and tell her it didn't have to be that way. But I knew her pride was getting in the way. (However I LOVED Dani and I was not happy about how things went with her....)  
"Water, she begins, shaking her head slightly, a deeper crease forming in her brow as she tries to to put it into words, 'water's always seeking water. It's like gravity, magnetism- water attracts water. [...] They cut through rokck, move mountations to do it, but they always carve out a path [...] to reach that other body of water out there. 'Funny thing is, she continues, 'people do that too, don't they"
     I also really liked how Smith handled the tough subject of having a parent in prison, having one pass away, and having one kid witness it. It was such a terrible situation, and I really wanted to hug them all. Especially Callie. I couldn't even imagine what to do in that type of situation. Smith found a good way to handle it all. 
"Life doesn't always go as planned though, does it?"
     I really was expecting to only read the first chapter in this book, but I was sucked into it unexpectedly. Sometimes that makes the best stories. I'm happy that I chose this one to get sucked into. 
Overall, I give this

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Stacking the Shelves #255 & the Weekly Wrap-Up!

This bookish meme tells the blogosphere what all we borrowed, bought, and received for review. It's hosted over at Tynga's Reviews.

From the Library:

The Wedding DateHey Black Child

It Should Have Been YouYou Won't Know I'm Gone (The Black Angel Chronicles #2)

Reign the Earth (The Elementae, #1)The Last Black Unicorn

The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish (Audio)


Allegedly by Tiffany Jackson

That awkward moment when even your audio holds come in all AT THE SAME DAMN TIME. 

The Weekly Wrap-Up!

Wednesday 02/07/18: Waiting on Wednesday: Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas
Thursday 02/08/2018: No post. 
Friday 02/09/18: Book Blogger Hop: Meeting Authors Edition
 Saturday 02/10/18:  Blog Tour: Excerpt for Fade to Us by Julia Day

Me on Instagram

I was trying so hard to get the trophy in this picture, but my eyes were too bleary with tears to actually get it in the shot. Now you just see a teary eyed me being photobombed by The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton!

Please donate if you can! 

What went on this week at your blog?

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Blog Tour: Excerpt from Fade to Us by Julia Day

     Fade To Us is a story about found families, the bond of sisterhood, and the agony and awe of first love.
     Brooke’s summer is going to be EPIC--having fun with her friends and a job that lets her buy a car. Then her new stepfather announces his daughter is moving in. Brooke has always longed for a sibling, so she’s excited about spending more time with her stepsister. But she worries, too. Natalie has Asperger’s--and Brooke’s not sure how to be the big sister that Natalie needs.
     After Natalie joins a musical theater program, Brooke sacrifices her job to volunteer for the backstage crew. She’s mostly there for Natalie, but Brooke soon discovers how much she enjoys being part of the show. Especially sweet is the chance to work closely with charming and fascinating Micah--the production’s stage manager. If only he wasn’t Natalie’s mentor…
     When summer comes to an end, will Brooke finally have the family she so desperately wants–and the love she’s only dreamed about?

 Excerpt from Fade to Us by Julia Day

✦    1
Definite Opinions

had been chasing the Thomas twins around their house for a half hour, begging them to put on their clothes, when the ga-
rage door whined up. Their mother was home.
Guys, come here,” I shouted as I flung myself onto the car- pet. Five seconds later, I had two tiny bare butts bouncing on my belly. Gotcha.” I sat up, locked my arms around their squirmy bodies, and shifted them onto my lap. I’d just wiggled a pair of Pull-Ups onto both boys when Mrs. Thomas walked in the door.
She hugged them as she smiled at me. Were my little men good today?”
Absolutely adorable.” I took the wad of cash she held out and shoved it into my pocket. Thanks.
“Brooke?” She squinted at the calendar hanging on the kitchen wall. “Can you babysit next Saturday morning? Eight to eleven?” 
“Sure. See you then.” I kissed the twins on the tops of their heads and left. Once I got home, I locked up my bike in the back- yard and collapsed into my hammock. A nap had just become my top priority. Eyes shut. Swaying in the breeze. Surrounded by the scent of roses.
A screen door slammed, followed by thuds across the deck and the soft swoosh of footsteps on the lawn. Maybe if I pre- tended not to be here, the footsteps would change direction.
“Brooke,” Mom said.
Guess not. Im hiding.
Not very well, since this was the first place I looked.”
I smiled drowsily without opening my eyes. Are you saying I’m predictable?”
Completely. How were the boys?”
“Busy. And naked.” I sighed. Loudly. In a way that made it obvious I would rather not be talking.
It’s time to eat.”
Now?” It couldn’t be any later than five p.m. I peered at her through half-closed eyes. “What about Jeff?”
Hes home. Were having fried chicken.”
Mom rarely fried chicken, even though it was one of my favorites. Too messy and unhealthy, which made todays choice highly suspicious. Why?”
Were holding a family meeting.” Her eyes sparkled with mischief.
I rolled from the hammock, my heartbeat jumping into over- drive. About . . . ?”
“Come and see.” She jogged back to the house, her blonde ponytail bouncing behind her.
A family meeting on a Friday in the middle of June? When nothing was going on? Mom and I had been a team long enough for me to know this meeting meant something big—and happy for me.
Fighting off the burn of anticipation, I trailed her into the kitchen. The table looked gorgeous. Lace tablecloth. Roses in a vase. The “company china. And not only had my only-cooks- from-scratch-under-duress mother made fried chicken, shed added creamed potatoes and biscuits, too.
Oh, yeah. Something big. And there was only one thing it could be.
Jeff was holding Moms chair for her. When he was done, I inched around him.
Hello, Brooke.” He held up his fist.
My stepfather and I had been fist-bumping for the whole time hed been in my life. I’d hoped after their wedding that he would progress to hugging. But nine months later, I was still waiting. “Hi, Jeff.” I touched my fist to his and slid onto a chair.
It quickly became apparent that the two of them had a conspiracy going to keep me in suspense during the meal. We talked about ordinary stuff, like . . . our jobs. The weather. The Chicago Cubss chances of reaching the World Series. And after every topic, Mom and Jeff would smirk at each other and then me. Fine. I could survive on hope for a few more min- utes.
As soon as they put down their forks, I pounced. Okay, guys . . . ?”
My stepfather’s phone buzzed.
Mom and I exchanged grins. Because of course. The best mo- ments of my life were always interrupted before they happened. Like a hyper dog ruining the cookout for my ninth birthday.
Or the hurricane that canceled my first dance recital. Or the badly placed candle that torched the decorations at Moms wed- ding to Jeff. At least tonight, the destruction of property wasn’t involved.
He glanced at the phone and then at my mother. It’s Mei.” His ex-wife. He would have to answer, although his reluctance to delay the family meeting was kind of sweet.
Mom sniffed. “Go ahead.”
Jeff accepted the call. “Mei, what is it?” He narrowed his eyes, then frowned. Rocketing from his chair, he left the kitchen and disappeared into the den.
“I wonder what she wants,” I said.
Me, too.” Mom covered the leftover potatoes with a piece of plastic wrap and carried them to the fridge. Dessert?”
“Should we wait for Jeff?”
Nope.” She added the p with a lot of attitude.
I reached for the biscuits. Might as well clean up, too.
Jeff was gone for ten minutes. Mom and I had already fin- ished our peach cobbler when he returned. After slipping his phone into his pocket, he stood behind his chair, gripping the seat back. He looked uncertain. Hesitant. Two words I’d never thought of for my stepfather before.
My mother rose and crossed to his side. What’s happened?” Mei has been having some health problems since she had
her baby.” He shook his head as if dazed. Im sorry.”
“The doctors want her to reduce her stress.” Mom and I said in unison, Natalie.”
He gave a sharp nod.
My stepsister and I chatted online often, and one of her favorite topics was her baby brother. But shed never mentioned her mom being sick.
Jeff rubbed a hand over his nearly bald scalp. “Natalie is coming to live with us for a while.”
What? I stared at him in disbelief. Natalie would be living
here? Hed invited her without checking?

CREDIT: FADE TO US by Julia Day. Copyright © 2018 by the author and reprinted by permission of Wednesday Books.  

JULIA DAY lives in North Carolina, halfway between the beaches and the mountains. She has two twenty-something daughters, one geeky old husband, and too many computers to count. When she's not writing software or stories, Julia enjoys traveling to faraway places, watching dance reality shows on TV, and making a dent in her To-Be-Read pile. Julia is the author of YA contemporary romances The Possibility of Somewhere and Fade to Us (Feb 2018).