Friday, May 29, 2015

Book Review: Holding Strong by Lori Foster

An up-and-coming MMA fighter wants more than just one night from a woman fleeing her past in New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster's irresistible new novel

Heavyweight fighter Denver Lewis plays real nice, but he doesn't share. That's why he's been avoiding top-notch flirt Cherry Peyton. But a man can only resist those lush curves for so long. Their encounter surpasses all his fantasies, bringing out protective urges that Cherry's about to need more than she knows…

Denver's combination of pure muscle and unexpected tenderness has been driving Cherry wild. Yet no sooner does she get what she's been craving than old troubles show up on her doorstep. And this time, Cherry can't hide behind a carefree facade. Because the man by her side is one who'll fight like hell to keep her safe…if only she'll trust him enough to let him…


Review


While I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, I can say I loved the second book more. Holding Strong did have a bit of a mystery that had to unfold, but I felt like the chemistry and bond between Denver and Cherry went above and beyond what I am always looking for in a romance novel.

For as strong and kind as Denver is, he has a past that he's struggled to share with many people and even sharing it with Cherry doesn't come easy. Cherry was willing to share some things about her past but it took A LOT to get her to open up completely.

I didn't want to put this book down!

There's even a nice bonus scene for those that read the first book, No Limits or interested in seeing more from a different couple!

I love how all of the fighters watch out for their entire group. I'm very much looking forward to the other love stories that were set up in this book.

Are you a reader? Check out my other book reviews here.


I was provided with a copy of Holding Strong in exchange for my honest review.

My #Blossomvoxbox From @Influenster

I've been with Influenster even before I had a blog and I always seem to get picked for one of the more diverse boxes in the Spring, score! This year was no different, except for the fact that it came in while I was too sick to really do an unboxing video and I'm just now sharing what I received.

(I did film a video, I was still sick and you can barely hear/understand me.)



I received the Blossom Voxbox which was full of food and beauty products. Of all the products I received, most I had heard of but not tried myself so this was the perfect box for me.

Nasoya Pasta Zero Noodles // I'm not going to lie, this stuff creeps me out a bit. The packaging is filled with already wet noodles and squishy but I'm going to give it a try!

Bear Naked Granola // Two flavors for the tasting and I couldn't be more excited to try out granola!

Beanitos // Definitely not sure what to think about chips that are made out of beans but I'm a huge chip and dip fan so I'll definitely see if these bad boys hold up!

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs // This isn't like a self tanner, it's actually makeup for your legs so I can't put it on the night before when I have all the time, I'll have to take my time getting ready and apply since it washes off easily.

Hair Food Root Cleansing Shampoo // I've actually already tried this stuff and I love the scent. It's also available at Target and there's a cartwheel deal if you're interested in trying it out for yourself!

Australian Gold Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 // Who hasn't seen this stuff when browsing the multitude of sunscreens?

NYC New York Color City Proof 24HR Eye Shadow I love eye shadow in a stick! Since I don't wear a lot of eye makeup, this makes it super easy to apply and head out the door for a date!


Have you ever tried any of these products?


I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Freakin' Memorial Day Weekend of Crafting


Hello four day work week!!

Even if you didn't have yesterday off, hopefully you still had a great weekend!

No none of my pics show food or anything Holiday related but we ate a lot of good food and spent time as a family. It's the official start of Summer for us and I couldn't be more excited about what's coming up. Hopefully I can make some beach days a reality. I feel like I've been slacking a little on that front.

Saturday Dad and I made another trip to Ikea to get a couple of things and man I hate going on the weekends, but sometimes it is necessary. Then after he helped me put it up aka he only asked for my help when he needed it, lol, we went back to my parents house and I got stuck there due to a torrential downpour so we watched American Sniper and ate pizza!


Isn't my pink tool kit so cute? I really need to find a better quality but it works just fine for the most part.

Monday I spent the majority of the day when I wasn't helping out in the kitchen waiting for paint to dry on various projects.


Hmm, what color did I paint these?!


And...reading, of course. I've been trying to get caught up on the books I received for review so there will be a couple more this week. I didn't get this book for free, but I got the second one in the series so I need to get both read ASAP!!


How was your weekend?!


Linking up for weekending with B Loved Boston and Champagne and Suburbs.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Book Review: Sin by Violetta Rand

Sin proves that passion goes beyond smoldering desire when hearts dance to their own special beat.

Every woman at the Devil’s Den strip club has a story to tell, and Macey Taylor is no exception. Smart and self-reliant, she’s got a chip on her shoulder, a broken heart, and no patience for a sexy new manager with an Ivy League pedigree and a strict set of rules. Macey prefers to break rules, something she lets Joshua Camden know from the start—even as he ignites a fire in her that goes beyond the hottest club in town.

Joshua is working the Devil’s Den for all it’s worth, learning everything he can about the adult-entertainment game before investing in a place of his own. Macey is a surprise: a woman as strong-willed as she is gorgeous. Joshua wants to get inside her world, to see through her eyes. But he soon discovers that seduction is a two-way street—and expecting redemption without risking his heart may be the greatest sin of all.


Review


While I enjoyed the first two books in the Devil's Den series, I wasn't chomping at the bit to read the third one so I'm a little late to the party seeing as this book came out May 12, but I wanted to see the series through. You can read my full review for the first book here.

This one was hard for me to rate and review because I very much enjoy the ideas behind the stories she writes, but the more I read from her I realize I may not be a fan of her style in general. Which is sad because she has these awesome ideas they just aren't executed as well as other things I'm reading so it falls below par.

There's an instant love story, but a lot of back and forth between the main characters that had their relationship developed at a slower pace could have been prevented.

I still feel like the love scenes are a bit too much and choppy which is something I believe I've mentioned for this author before.

I tend to fly through these books because she has the ability to draw the reader in and keep them (raises hand) hooked. I tend to overlook a lot of the things because I want to know what happens with the story.

I'm normally all about the love but this story just didn't do it for me and I was left feeling like the entire book didn't show me what the synopsis eluded to.

Are you a reader? Check out my other book reviews here.


I was provided with a copy of sIN in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Oh Hey, Friday Favs

Hi Friends!!



Other than nobody wanting to go the speed limit which made me be in an extra hurry this morning it's going to be a good day, positive thoughts, right?!

I'm so excited for today, this weekend and the extended day off for Memorial Day! We have a little family get together in the works that I'm looking forward to trying out a recipe from a book I received to review from Blogging for Books!!

Let's get into the favorites for this week!

Favorite Workout
Since I'm feeling better but not at 100% I went looking for a relatively easy workout and thought yoga would be the perfect thing. One of the things I really want to work on besides losing weight and getting healthier in general is my arms and this workout is just perfect for that.



Favorite Sentimental Moment
Not that I'm going to get a dog, but I definitely miss seeing Boomer waiting for me when I get home in the evenings!


Favorite Fictional Moment
Look at all the Disney princesses checking out the castle!!


Favorite Item I Need


Favorite Funny


What are some of your favs from this week? What are your plans for the weekend?



Linking up for Oh Hey, Friday with these fabulous ladies - September FARM and The Farmer’s Wife. Linking up High Five for Friday with Bright on a Budget, Coffee with Caitlin, Cup of Tea, and Della Devoted!!! Also found another Heather in blogland that has a Friday favs link up!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Book Review: Once Pure by CeCe Robson

She bears the scars of the past. He blames himself for things he can’t control. Their defenses are up, but in Cecy Robson’s latest Shattered Past novel—perfect for fans of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn—true love lands a knockout punch.

Sofia Tres Santos remembers a time before her life went sour, before her innocence was ripped away, before she began punishing herself with risky behaviors and unworthy men. Now, at twenty, she just hopes she’s ready to rebuild some of what she lost. One way or another, it always comes back to her childhood friend and longtime crush, Killian O’Brien.

As strong as Killian is, Sofia has always been his one weakness. He knows Sofia has suffered and wants to ensure she’s never hurt again—not like before, and definitely not under his watch. When Sofia agrees to work at his mixed martial arts gym, Killian seizes the opportunity to help and protect the sweet girl he’s always cared for. And yet, as he trains Sofia to defend herself using his hard-hitting MMA techniques, he’s drawn to the vulnerable beauty in ways he never expected.

As Sofia grows stronger, she also grows brave enough to open herself up to love. And along the way, she challenges everything Killian believes to be true, showing him that no matter how much he dominates in the ring, the real battle is fought in the heart.


Review


I love being able to jump into a series and with Once Pure being the third installment in the Shattered Past series from Cece Robson you can do just that.

Sofia is the youngest of the Tres Santos siblings and has not had the best life. She has an interesting past with Killian, who she's harbored a major crush on since they were kids.

Their past helps give her the strength and ability to trust him with things she's never trusted anybody with. Throughout all of these obstacles both Sofia and Killian have to get through they manage to do it together, but something from their past looms in the background.

Once Pure tugged at my emotional strings and made me laugh out loud. I really enjoyed the way these characters were when they were together and I'm looking forward to seeing both of them in other books in this series.

Once Pure has only been on sale since Tuesday, so make sure to pick up your copy today!

Are you a reader? Check out my other book reviews here.


I was provided with a copy of Once Pure in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Book Review: Slow and Steady Rush by Laura Trentham

She lives by the book—and is still searching for her happily ever after.

Darcy Wilde has tried hard not to live up to her last name. As a librarian in Atlanta she lives a fine life far away from the football-obsessed town of her childhood. But when her beloved Grandmother needs help, Darcy takes a leave of absence and heads back to the home and past she left behind.

He knows how to play the field—and is in no rush to settle down.

Robbie Dalton knows a thing or two about painful pasts. After bouncing around in foster care and the Army for years he is finally ready to move on and make a home for himself in Falcon, Alabama as the newest high school football coach. Sparks fly when the sexy new coach and the sharp-tongued librarian meet, but neither of them is looking to make ties.

But when it comes to love, sometimes you’ve gotta throw away the rule book to cross the finish line…

Everything changes when Darcy falls in love, not only with the gruff, protective, and smoking hot man who's sharing her days and nights, but also with the complex tapestry of people who weave Falcon together. Could this be where she belongs - and who she belongs with?

Review


I love football and I grew up in a small town, so this book was right up my alley. The chemistry between the two got off to a rocky start, but that's one of the things I loved about this book. The misunderstanding between the two of them carries into a very powerful part of the book that a student of his is struggling with and I really loved the crossover effect that Laura wrote into this story.

A book about coming home and making that ultimate decision to stay or go. Slow and Steady Rush pulled out emotions all over the place for me. The humor and drama kept me interested and wanting to see this book all the way to the end.

I look forward to reading more from this Laura Trentham and it looks like there's more to come for the Falcon Football series this Summer with Caught Up in the Touch.

Are you a reader? Check out my other book reviews here.


I was provided with a copy of Slow and Steady Rush in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Freakin' Weekend The Big Move

I'm probably 98.9% moved in at this point, and with the exception of having a few key items like the dryer and dishwasher not working correctly I'm pretty happy with living on my own so far.

It was a whirlwind weekend.

Friday we signed the lease, had a celebratory Outback dinner right across from my complex and then finished packing late into the night and for me that's 11:30, lol!

Saturday morning we were up bright and early to start loading before the few helpers were due to show up. I checked on getting movers since it was the third floor, but they get more expensive the more floors they have to go up and we've ALWAYS moved ourselves, except when my dad was active duty, so we decided to do it ourselves.

Luckily just as we were done loading the few cars that were there another van showed up with a few more people and we managed to get everything moved by 11:30!! Being done before noon was AMAZING! I was so thankful for those last few people that showed up because we weren't expecting them at all and they were an absolute blessing.

My mom, myself and a couple friends of mine did a lot of unpacking before everybody left, after eating pizza of course. I'm pretty sure pizza is standard moving cuisine. That's when we realized the dryer wasn't working. We'd done two loads of towels, so mom took what was wet home and dried them as well as some other things that needed done up.


As you can see, some things still need to find a home in my apartment!

Sunday dad ran around with us getting a couple of things and checking on items like a pantry shelf that'll go in my coat closet. You don't need a coat closet in Florida but by golly this complex has them apparently.

I thought I was getting over my bronchitis and I ended up with a stuffy nose the last two days so fingers crossed it doesn't complicate my get well plan.

The decor of my apartment isn't anywhere close to being done and we're still getting a few things like a book shelf and I need a little step stool since I'm so short to get the top shelf in my cabinet and a lot of other things out of my reach.

This is probably the "most done" corner of my kitchen, so excited to see my pink Kitchen Aid out on the counter!!


Luckily, I was off for my regular Monday this week and I'm pretty sure I won't work a single Monday in May with the way the Holiday falls, my regular Mondays off and the Monday I was sick. Crazy!

We spent Monday walking around Ikea picking up some things and our BIG trip to the grocery store so I could get all the essentials. I was already planning on doing weekly grocery trips since I buy a lot of produce, but with all the trips I made up the stairs today I'm definitely glad I already had that mindset. I did figure out a backpack is essential to put heavy things in and I have this soft sided cooler that I can wear cross-body, OMG so wonderful!

I'm trying to be mindful of being in such closer quarters and not making too much noise. I spent a good part of the first day yelling and forgetting people lived in our hallway, oops! I went from living quarter to half mile from my closest neighbors in Kansas, to living in the suburbs here in Florida to now living in an apartment. Any pointers if you've lived in an apartment are so welcome!

How was your weekend?!


Linking up for weekending with B Loved Boston and Champagne and Suburbs.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Currently

Listening to - Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley and loving it. Though we're not even half way through and had one major Climax, weird.

Reading - Loving Lucas by Violetta Rand and I know it's an "uncorrected proof" but I'm finding lots of typos, sad.

Feeling - A little better day by day. I'm on my last day of antibiotics for Bronchitis and I hope this first round of antibiotics kicks it so I can resume normal activities like drinking and walking up the stairs...not at the same time.

Looking Forward to - Being done with this first round of Fit Girls. I'm still down 7 pounds, but I haven't been able to exercise like you're supposed

Planning - Out posts for the next month because I didn't get them done this month.

Working on - Trying to get back in the groove but I don't see that happening until I get moved in THIS WEEKEND!! Also, packing and panicking. I just realized I'll be living bear a nature preserve and that means creepy crawlers.

Watching - Chopped which is on Netflix and no commercials = awesome!

Lusting - Since I am choosing not to have internet in my new place for the first two months just to prove to myself I can do it. (I'll still have my iPhone) I'm totally eyeing the complete set of Sons of Anarchy.


Drinking - Water, water, WATER!! I read a lot of things about bronchitis and pneumonia and one of the things it said was water helps break up the mucus so I've been downing it like crazy = multiple bathroom trips.

Excited - For June and the country concerts that are coming up!!

Wearing - Dresses!! One of my favorite outfits ever because hello it's one piece. Also, super comfortable and flattering.

What are you currently up to?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Oh Hey, Friday Favs


Instead of doing the round up of favorite things I've found or experienced recently I thought I would look forward to the month that's coming. The weather has been gorgeous in Florida the last two days and it's expected to last through the weekend. *fingers crossed*

1. Moving!! It's been a long time coming and I have major packing to do this weekend so I don't imagine my Monday post will be any fun if it happens. It's technically my Monday off but I'll be at work for closing out the previous month.

2. Universal Studios Day! S and I have a planned Universal day on Wednesday, so I'm looking forward to trying out some more rides and spending the day with her!!

3. Cinco De Mayo! Even though I'm on Fit Girls Guide Challenge, I'm going to have to find their Fit Girls nacho recipe or just have some plain ol' good chips and salsa. A margarita shall be had as well, I mean...duh!

4. Hairstyle!! I'm getting some more color added to my hair, and while I thought I was also going to get it cut I've realized I need it to grow long enough for a pony tail asap! Short hair and Florida heat just aren't mixing so well for me.

5. Memorial Day!! An extra day off work and I'll be in my new place so if everything is set up maybe I'll have a party!

What are some of your favorite things coming up this month? What are your plans for the weekend?



Linking up for Oh Hey, Friday with these fabulous ladies - September FARM and The Farmer’s Wife. Linking up High Five for Friday with Bright on a Budget, Coffee with Caitlin, Cup of Tea, and Della Devoted!!! Also found another Heather in blogland that has a Friday favs link up!