Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Review: Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne

February 19th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Purchased

Publication date: August 25, 2015

Publisher: Loveswept

Rating: ★★★★☆

 

About the book

When Parker Blanton meets Ben Olsen during her freshman year of college, the connection is immediate—and platonic. Six years later, they’re still best friends, sharing an apartment in Portland’s trendy Northwest District as they happily settle into adult life. But when Parker’s boyfriend dumps her out of the blue, she starts to wonder about Ben’s no-strings-attached approach to dating. The trouble is, even with Ben as her wingman, Parker can’t seem to get the hang of casual sex—until she tries it with him.

The arrangement works perfectly . . . at first. The sex is mind-blowing, and their friendship remains as solid as ever, without any of the usual messy romantic entanglements. But when Parker’s ex decides he wants her back, Ben is shocked by a fierce stab of possessiveness. And when Ben starts seeing a girl from work, Parker finds herself plagued by unfamiliar jealousy. With their friendship on the rocks for the first time, Parker and Ben face an alarming truth: Maybe they can’t go back. And maybe, deep down, they never want to.

My Thoughts

Lauren Layne has quickly become one of my favorite authors and I love the best friends to lovers trope so this book really checked all the boxes for me. I loved Parker and Ben’s relationship both as best friends and as a couple. They were adorable together and the interaction between the two totally drew me in. I felt the pacing for the majority of the book was spot on and I finished this book in almost one sitting (I had to take a break to actually go to work. lol.).

The main reason I took one star off was Parker turned me off a bit towards the end when she is totally clueless about how her words really affected Ben. For two best friends who were supposed to be so in tune with each other and know each other so well, it took a woman Parker despised to actually get to the root of Ben’s insecurities. Knowing Ben like she is supposed to I expected Parker to have a bit more insight into Ben’s non-romantic feelings.

Ben on the other hand really held my heart because despite being good looking, great at his job and an overall sweetheart of a guy he still had his own insecurities. It was touching to see and added an extra layer of depth to his character that made me totally fall for him.

This is a quick read. Yes, it’s predictable but it’s oh so fun to read!

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Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Contemporary, New Adult | No Comments »

Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

February 13th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books
Source: Borrowed from the library
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Publication date: October 14, 2014

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

About the book

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international best seller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home – and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

My Thoughts

I never thought I would read this book. A friend had mentioned it a year or so ago and the thought of things that “spark joy” seemed a little too new age to me. However, after getting sucked into the Netflix series I was inspired to pull all my clothes out and even though I didn’t necessary use the joy method, just the inspiration to pull EVERYTHING out did wonders. There was stuff that hung in my closet and has been through multiple moves without ever being worn. I went through every piece of clothing and thought about did I really like it, did it fit and would I actually wear it vs just liking the style. I ended up getting ride of 3 trash bags worth of clothing and refolded everything using her method. That folding method alone was gold for me. Things fit so much nicer and now I can see all my clothing versus only the top 3 layers of shirts like when they were stacked up. It’s almost like having a new wardrobe now with all the clothes I had forgotten I had.

After reading a CNN article talking about how the show naturally own scratches the surface I figured I should give the book a chance because I do want to tackle the other parts of my house. I borrowed it from the library and while the sparking joy still seems a little too out there for me she does offer some other practical nuggets. I used to do the I’ll tidy one spot or get rid of one item at a time method of tidying my house and it never works. Reading her reasoning about why this doesn’t work really does make sense and it has inspired me to go home and want to tackle each of the areas she talks about.

All in all, this was an easy read, some good tips and was inspirational to kick off a tidying bug.

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Blog Tour: In the Dog House by Traci Hall Excerpt + Giveaway

February 11th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

About the Book:


Ten years ago, Jackson Hardy joined the Marines, leaving behind a woman he still dreams about. When he’s called home to care for his ten-year-old nephew, no one is more shocked than he to run into Emma again. Or to still have those same feelings. But Jackson isn’t looking for love, and neither is Emma, especially not with him. His precocious nephew, though, and a retriever named Bandit, are about to change that.

So what if Emma Mercer is an overachiever? She has plans to get her doctorate in psychology and create a no-kill shelter for the EST dogs she trains. Which leaves absolutely no time for romance. She’s fine with a furry family—dogs don’t teach you to love and then rip your heart to shreds. But young Matty’s situation tugs at her heartstrings and there’s no way she can’t help him…and Jackson.

She may have hotter-than-ever chemistry with the soldier, but forgetting the past isn’t easy.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | AppleBooks | Kobo

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Excerpt


“I’ll tell you a secret,” he said in her ear. “You are the woman I dream about, when things are quiet and I’m looking up at the stars. It’s you, on our place at the beach, snuggled together under a blanket.”


Her heart cracked at his admission. “Why?” Why hadn’t he told her that before now?


He wouldn’t let her turn around to look at him as he finished his confession. “I knew that I’d hurt you that day, and I never forgave myself for it. I promised that I would be the best soldier I could be, to make the sacrifice worthwhile.”


It was a good thing that she was sitting down already, because his words took all strength from her body and left her speechless. Vulnerable.


Tears spilled over and splashed on his hand. “Em?”


His eagle tattoo flexed as he shifted and tightened his arm around her, but she hid her face. “Why didn’t you talk to me about this?”


He scooted backward and came around to face her, on his knees, sitting back on his heels. “It wouldn’t have changed anything, don’t you understand? But I never stopped loving you.”


He tilted his head so that their mouths were inches apart, his eyes staring deep into hers as if demanding that she see his feelings for her—and she did. It made her head swim, and she clasped his shoulder to steady herself. The shield around her heart buffeted in the storm of her emotions.


“I’ve never met anyone like you.” He feathered his lips across hers, and Emma sighed at the longed-for contact of his mouth. They kissed, and she didn’t care who watched in the crowd. She reveled in the rightness of it, ignoring the wrong.


“Just being here with you eases something in me.” He tucked her close.


As if by silent agreement they watched the world from their blanket, content to be together for this moment with no expectations.


As the sunset faded to dusk and then into night, the white caps of the Cascades glowed in the moonlight. By nine, the music stopped, and the fireworks were set to begin. Jackson made sure they sat hip to hip. Her body hummed at the heat of his thigh next to hers, the touch of his pinky finger skimming her hand. Casual. Electric. God, how she craved more.


Fireworks sparked before them, and she jumped back, her hand to her throat as she laughed nervously. Bandit and Matthew raced over to the blanket, Bandit dropping the slobbery Frisbee in her lap.


Jackson met her gaze, a smile dancing along that sexy mouth, his eyes promising a million pleasures—later.


Later. Emma grinned and hugged Bandit close. She didn’t know what the future might bring, and even if it wasn’t a happy outlook, she couldn’t turn her back on what she felt right now. One day at a time


Giveaway:

  • $15 Amazon Gift Card


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet the Author:


My name is Traci Hall and I love to write…sounds like the beginning step of a program!However, I am not sorry that I love to write, so I guess I’m in it for the long haul. Finger cramps, slumped back and numb feet from sitting all day aside, there is nothing I would rather do than tell stories. Hearing back from readers makes it all worthwhile.


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Posted in Blog Tour, Contemporary, Romance | No Comments »

Review: Still of Night by Jonathan Maberry

February 8th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books
Source: Purchased
Publisher: JournalStone
Publication date: November 9, 2018
Series: Dead of Night #3

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

The dead rose. We fell. 

But not everyone thinks the war for survival is over. Heroes rise in times of crisis, and STILL OF NIGHT tells their stories… 

DAHLIA -a bullied high school girl with a love for edged weapons goes from victim to powerful leader as the zombie apocalypse sweeps through her world. 

RACHAEL ELLE -continues her journey from comic-con cosplayer to actual hero as she encounter a community with a dark and terrible secret. 

CAPTAIN JOE LEDGER and his best shooters, TOP and BUNNY, head to an overrun San Diego to try and save a possible cure for the virus that is bringing the dead back to unnatural life. 

And in the wilderness, Joe, Dahlia, and Rachael Elle will come face-to-face with savage gangs, an army of the living dead, and the mysterious and deadly OLD MAN CHURCH. 

The final battle unfolds in a little town called Happy Valley, where the residents have found their own unique and terrible way to survive the end of the world. But a war is coming, and no one will escape the last great war between the living and the dead. 

STILL OF NIGHT is the fourth book in NY Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry’s bestselling DEAD OF NIGHT series. George A. Romero called DEAD OF NIGHT and its sequel, FALL OF NIGHT, “The official prequel to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD as far as I’m concerned.” 

My Thoughts

I love all of Jonathan Maberry’s books. Whether they be his YA Rot & Ruin series, the adult Joe Ledger books or the Dead of Night series, they are all favorites of mine. The only reason I didn’t give this one 5 stars was that it had a few short stories before leading into the main book and while I loved the main story not all of the short stories hit the mark for me. The main one I had issue with was Rachael’s story. I had enjoyed her first appearance at a Comic Con but I couldn’t get into her short story or feel it really added anything to the over arcing storyline. I did enjoy seeing her in the longer story when she meets up with Joe Ledger so it might have just been the style of the short story.

Other than that I loved the rest of the book. I was a little leery about Dahlia but watching how her character evolves is amazing especially once we she comes under Mr. Church’s tutelage. And speaking of Mr. Church, I was so excited to see him make an appearance in this book. As I mentioned above I love the Joe Ledger series and seeing some of those characters weaving into this series has been great. I’m hoping at some point we see more of what happens with Top and Bunny.

I also really enjoyed reading the overview of the timeline of where all the series fell and it makes it that much more amazing see where Joe Ledger had started off and his experiences through out this entire zombie apocalypse. He really ties all the series together so nicely and I really look forward to more books.

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Review: The Wrong Highlander by Lynsay Sands

February 6th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books
Source: Received for review
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication date: January 29, 2019
Series: Highland Brides #7

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book

Lady Evina Maclean has heard much about Rory Buchanan’s skill as a healer. What she hasn’t heard is how good the brawny Highlander looks bathing in a waterfall. But Evina can’t afford the distraction, for her ailing father urgently needs care. Only when she’s rendered Buchanan unconscious and dragged him back to her family’s castle does the truth emerge—it’s not Rory she’s kidnapped but his brother Conran.

Other ladies try to ensnare Conran with flattery. Evina hits him over the head with the hilt of her sword to save her kin—and Conran likes the spirited redhead all the more for it. He’s learned enough from his brother to heal Evina’s father, but there are other dangers swirling around the Maclean clan. And while the beautiful, independent lady has sworn not to marry, this wrong Highlander may be just the right man for her.

My Thoughts

Hard to believe this is book 7 in the series. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and this one didn’t disappoint. Where as some series become stale after the first books the Highland Brides series definitely doesn’t suffer from this.

Both Conran and Evi were likeable characters and I loved watching the interplay between the two. Evi is an independent woman who is still able to admit when she is wrong which I loved. So many headstrong female characters feel the need to stand by idiotic actions just to prove they’re independent. Evi is candid and I really admired her. While Conran didn’t knock Aulay down from being my favorite of the brothers he was still a fun character. He had a good heart though a bit clueless when it comes to dealing with women in certain matters but luckily Aulay shows up and sets him straight.

The story line itself moves along at a good pace though the mystery of who is threatening Evi was more of a background plot for me. I enjoyed more watching Conran and Evi circling each other and finally falling for one another. The supporting cast of characters was wonderful. I laughed over some of Evi’s father’s antics and we got to see the other Buchanan siblings and their spouses which I loved. Really an enjoyable story and one of my favorites from the series.

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Posted in 5 Star Books, Books, Historical Fiction, Romance | No Comments »

Review: Playing for Keeps by Jill Shalvis

January 24th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review
Publication date: January 22, 2019
Publisher: Avon Books
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #7

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

If you’re planning on falling in love… 

When it comes to the confident, charismatic Caleb Parker, Sadie Lane feels the spark—the kind that comes from rubbing each other the wrong way. She’s a tattoo artist, he’s a straight-laced mogul. But after they accidentally co-rescue an abandoned dog from a storm, Sadie sees a vulnerable side to the seemingly invincible hottie.

you’d better be sure… 

Caleb doesn’t do emotions. Growing up the underdog, he’s learned the hard way to build up an impenetrable wall. Perfect for business. Disastrous for relationships. He’s never worried about it before—not until he finally gets behind Sadie’s armor and begins to fall.

… someone is there to catch you. 

Both guarded and vulnerable, Sadie and Caleb are complete opposites. Or are they? Shocked at their undeniable connection, can they ever admit to wanting more? That all depends on what they’re each willing to risk.

My Thoughts

I’ve been waiting for Caleb’s story since we first met him and he totally won my heart in this book. He’s the perfect mix of bad boy and suave corporate genius not to mention he has a heart of gold. Really he is as perfect as you could want in a boyfriend. Then when you think you couldn’t fall any harder for Caleb he goes and rescues a homeless dog and co-adopts it with the heroine, Sadie. The only slightly frustrating thing for me about Caleb was just how much slack he cut Sadie. I’ll admit while I felt for Sadie I never really got into her character. She was judgmental, over dramatic at times and just got on my nerves. I kept hoping to see her character grow through out the book but I felt like she barely changes and the relationship only works because Caleb gives her so much leeway to stomp all over his feelings.

Despite Sadie’s character I felt Shalvis’s writing, Caleb and Lollipop carry this book and still made it an extremely enjoyable read. Definitely loving this series!

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Excerpt

“Don’t run off,” he said.

“I don’t like it when people tell me what to do.”

“I get that,” he said. “And same. Also, I try very hard to never tell anyone what to do. But I think we need to finish this.”

Another quiver from deep inside her. “I keep telling you, there’s no this.”

“Are you sure?” Very slowly and carefully, clearly giving her plenty of time to get away if she really wanted, he stepped into her, making her extremely aware that she now stood hemmed in between the alley wall and his body, neither quite touching her.

But she wanted him too. She actually ached to close that last inch between them. She didn’t do it. Instead, she lifted her chin. “I could make you an eunuch right now if I wanted.” The threat was minimalized by the fact that she whispered the threat, but suddenly holding onto her temper was difficult. So was talking. “Don’t think I can’t.”

“I have no doubt,” he said, still holding one of her hands. He took the other as well and squeezed gently. “I think you could probably do anything you set your mind to.”

No one had ever said those words to her, not ever, and when she felt the back of her eyes sting unexpectedly, she closed them in self defense.

“Sadie.”

She shook her head.

“Look at me. Please?”

It was the damn please that had her opening her eyes. Caleb had closed the gap so that if she so much as took a breath, they’d be touching.

So she did just that. She took a deep breath, and then their bodies were up against each other, his warm and hard. Everywhere. “What’s happening?” she whispered.

“I believe you’re deciding between kicking me in the nuts and kissing me.” One side of his mouth curved very slightly as he lifted their still joined hands above her head, against the wall. “But that last part might just be in my dreams.”

“Yes,” she whispered.

“Yes, it’s just in my dreams?”
She meant to say yes again, she really did. She even opened her mouth to say it, because this was insane, this incredible … craving she had for him. It made no sense. Less than no sense, and yet …

She went up on tiptoe and touched her mouth to his.

Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Romance | No Comments »

Review: The Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride by Linda Broday

January 24th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: January 29, 2019

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

Former outlaw Clay Colby is abuzz with his mail order bride’s expected arrival. He’s fought long and hard to drag Devil’s Crossing out of lawlessness…so when his homestead is set ablaze by a bitter rival, he’s heartbroken. There’s no woman in the world who’d stand by him now.

But Talley Shannon is no ordinary woman.

After escaping the psychiatric hospital in which she was wrongfully detained, Tally only wants someone to protect her and the little girl under her care. She doesn’t mind that Clay’s home is dang near burned to the ground–not when he makes her feel so safe. So cherished. But it’s only a matter of time before the ghosts of her past come calling…and her loving cowboy must defend his new bride–and the family they built together–to his very last breath.

My Thoughts

Cowboy romances normally aren’t at the top of my list of books to read but something about this blurb caught my eye so I decided to give it a try. I am glad I took a chance on it because I ended up really enjoying it and read it in 2 reading sessions. 

I absolutely loved Clay’s character. He won my heart over from the moment he picked flowers to try and make his home more welcoming for Tally. Then we see his patience and love for a little girl, Violet, and OMG, just take my heart right now! 

I liked Tally’s character well enough and is broke my heart reading what she went through at the insane asylum (not to mention it always amazes me how women could be incarcerated for the craziest of reasons.). There is also a great cast of supporting characters that help make this a great story all around and watching the romance develop will leave you with a happy sign. This is my first read from this author but definitely won’t be my last.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Review: Crucible by James Rollins

January 22nd, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: January 22, 2019

Publisher: William Morrow

Series: Sigma Force #14

Rating: ★★★★★

About the Book

In the race to save one of their own, Sigma Force must wrestle with the deepest spiritual mysteries of mankind in this mind-expanding adventure from the #1 New York Times bestselling author, told with his trademark blend of cutting edge science, historical mystery and pulse-pounding action.

Arriving home on Christmas Eve, Commander Gray Pierce discovers his house ransacked, his pregnant lover missing, and his best friend’s wife, Kat, unconscious on the kitchen floor. With no shred of evidence to follow, his one hope to find the woman he loves and his unborn child is Kat, the only witness to what happened. But the injured woman is in a semi-comatose state and cannot speak—until a brilliant neurologist offers a radical approach to “unlock” her mind long enough to ask a few questions.

What Pierce learns from Kat sets Sigma Force on a frantic quest for answers that are connected to mysteries reaching back to the Spanish Inquisition and to one of the most reviled and blood-soaked books in human history—a Medieval text known as the Malleus Maleficarum, the Hammer of Witches. What they uncover hidden deep in the past will reveal a frightening truth in the present and a future on the brink of annihilation, and force them to confront the ultimate question: What does it mean to have a soul?

My Thoughts

If you haven’t already started reading the Sigma Force series from book 1 I highly recommend this series. James Rollins’s is one of my favorite authors and if you love action-packed, thought-provoking and addictive books you will love this series!

I swear my favorite authors are conspiring to give me heart attacks reading their latest books. First Matthew Reilly’s The Three Secret Cities left me wanting to cry and then this one had me in agony for a good part of the book. Every time I think Rollins can’t top the subject of his last book he comes out with a new mind-boggling idea. I found the storyline around AI, where we are at in our current AI development and the possible future fascinating. That alone kept me enthralled and then you throw in everything going on with Gray and Seichan as well as Monk and Kat and this is probably one of my favorite reads of the year. This book will have you turning the pages long into the night and you won’t be able to put it down until the very last page. A definite must read!

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