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

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.

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“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


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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.

Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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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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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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“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.


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.

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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.

Find it online

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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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Blog Tour: Review + Excerpt from Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Ryan

December 30th, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

I’m so excited to be participating in the Dirty Little Secret tour as I fell in love with this book! Be sure to grab your copy today!

Source: Received for review

Publication date: December 18, 2018

Publisher: Avon

Series: Wild Rose Ranch #1

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book

Meet the women from Wild Rose Ranch—and the men who want them—in New York Times Bestselling Author Jennifer Ryan’s breathtaking series of romance and scandal . . .

Noah Cordero is a modern-day cowboy who loves three things: ranching, his younger sister, and his step-father. John Cordero groomed Noah to take over the Montana spread where he learned to ride and work the land. But when John unexpectedly dies, he leaves half the ranch to a woman Noah doesn’t even know.

Roxy shares Noah’s last name, but not his blood. Estranged from her father, haunted by regrets, and eager to escape her notorious mother’s past, she is forced to fulfill her father’s last wishes. Inheriting means sharing a home with infuriating, challenging, and oh-so-tempting Noah. But John didn’t just make her owner of his ranch and guardian to her sister, his hidden sideline is her worst nightmare—she’s the new owner of the notorious Nevada brothel called Wild Rose Ranch where she grew up.

My Thoughts

I’ve only read one other Jennifer Ryan book and while I enjoyed it I didn’t feel the need to go out right away and get the next book in the series. HOWEVER, this book totally blew me away and I cannot for the next book in the Wild Rose Ranch series!

Jennifer Ryan totally won me over with her cast of characters. I absolutely loved Roxy and I swear I wish I could be more like her. She’s really been dealt a crappy hand in life with her mother and never being acknowledged by her father but instead of taking a woe is me approach to life, she’s used her experiences to become a strong and amazing woman. She doesn’t beat around the bush and tells it like it is. 

Noah has his own issues to work through and is thrown a curve ball with Roxy’s appearance in his life but while he definitely had his “shame on him” moments I also really loved his character. Watching the romance grow between him and Roxy was so heartwarming and this probably ranks as one of my favorite forced proximity romances. 

I cannot wait for the next book which sounds like it will be Austin and Sonya’s story so I’ll be counting down the days until its release!

Find it online

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God, the way she said his name.

“It’s late and I’m exhausted. Can this wait?”

“Uh, thank you. For my room. I, uh, really appreciate it.” He ran a hand through his hair, uncomfortable under her penetrating gaze.

“How’d that taste coming out of your mouth. You thanking me for anything after John left me half of your ranch and home.”

“Like horse shit.” Not really because the thing was, she got it.

Despite the fact she had to be jealous as hell that he’d grown up here with John, she understood his anger and resentment. She had a side. He had a side. And she was willing to concede that his feelings mattered just as much as hers.

She laughed and the sound went right to his belly and tied it in knots.

Unable to fight it any longer, he closed the distance between them and with one hand sliding to the back of her neck, his fingers buried in the thick mass of silky hair, he pulled her lips to his. She smelled of paint with a hint of flowers, like the ones she’d left by his bed. Their smell teased him all night and made him think of her.

His instinct was to devour, but he felt her tense and her eyes went wide. Watching her, he brushed his lips against hers. Once. Twice. With barely a touch, he tasted a hint of the sweet grapes she’d eaten.

She stood perfectly still, her breath washed over his mouth from her slightly parted lips. “I thought we agreed this wasn’t a good idea.”

“We both lied about that.” He kissed her softly again, lingering over the sweet torment. He could take the kiss deeper, have her wrapped in his arms, and begging for him to take her to bed. He saw the hunger to match his own in her eyes, but he also caught the slight hesitation and a trace of—not exactly fear, but doubt.

About what, he didn’t know. He didn’t believe Roxy was afraid of anything. She’d left her old life and moved to a stranger’s house because a young girl needed her. That took guts, knowing her welcome wasn’t exactly friendly, at least on his part.

Instead of taking what he wanted, he gave in to instinct and pressed his mouth to hers in a soft undemanding kiss that was warm and sweet and unrushed. He didn’t pull her closer, but enjoyed the feel of her mouth against his, the way her eyes fluttered closed as she sank into the kiss and the moment with him, and the brush of the hard tips of her breasts barely skimming the hard muscles of his chest as her breathing deepened. Time stopped.

He withdrew slowly and she leaned into him, her mouth following his until they broke the kiss.        

Her eyes flew open and studied him.

“Thank you for putting the smile back on Annabelle’s face.”

“You’re welcome. She’s a great kid. I like her.” The soft smile told him she meant it. “Good night, Noah.” She stepped back and his hand slid out of her silky hair and across her soft skin along her neck.

“Night.” He stood rooted to the floor and watched her leave, aching to go after her.

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