Kat’s Review: Things You Save In A Fire by Katherine Center

Release date: August 13, 2019

Goodreads Description:

From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel about family, hope, and learning to love against all odds.

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?

Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt, affecting novel about life, love, and the true meaning of courage.

So if you’ve been following me on social media, you have probably heard me rave about How To Walk Away by Katherine Center. It was by far the best book of 2018 and if anyone disagrees they can fight me. When Katherine Center announced this upcoming release, I was literally celebrating. Plus, it was a story about a female firefighter!!! The girl power freak in me went absolutely nuts. It also helped that Chicago Fire was on a break so this book really filled that void for me.

Cassie was a hard character to get a handle on. I almost was disappointed with this book because it took forever to really connect with her. In How To Walk Away you get emotional invested really quick. In Things You Save In A Fire, it seemed like well past the halfway mark before I really felt invested. It took me awhile to realize that was the point though. Cassie is a very closed off person who doesn’t let anyone get to close. So even the readers had to earn that trust to get behind her walls and really see the real Cassie. I felt that was a great build up to the character and by the climax of the book the bond the reader has with Cassie is so strong and the emotions are so real and raw.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 out of 5) I still need to go back and read all the amazing books by Katherine Center prior to How To Walk Away because her writing is phenomenal and the characters are like family. She definitely has another hit on her hands with Things You Save In A Fire.

Blog Tour – Kat’s Review: Forgiven by Carrie Aarons

Goodreads Description:

In a split-second, a car crash killed almost everything between them. Ten years later, can one accidental ride fix tattered spirits, uncertain futures, and broken hearts?

Lily Grantham has always done what she’s been told. The daughter of a senator, she grew up as the good girl of Fawn Hill, and carried that torch right on through to adulthood. Her only wild streak? Bowen Nash. She loved that boy since the day they laid eyes on each other, and it nearly ended them both. A decade later, and Lily still can’t move on. Even if Bowen has made it clear he doesn’t love her anymore.

Bowen Nash never wanted the life he’s trapped in. Destined for baseball fame and the love of his high-school sweetheart, that existence vanished in the flip of an old pickup. Now, he’s stuck in the town that produced his worst nightmare. Pretending to hate Lily Grantham guts him day in and day out. But to protect her from the ultimate secret, it’s necessary to break his own heart each time they pass on the street.

They’ve been fighting fate for as long as it’s been chasing them. And now, time is up.

I thought my allergy medicine had quit working for me all of a sudden while reading Forgiven, but no that was just Carrie Aarons breaking my heart in every which way that she could. If you’ve ever been a teenage girl Lily’s emotions will resonate with you on so many levels.

I would highly recommend reading this book after Fleeting just to get warmed up. Had I tried to dive into this book first, I don’t think I could have handled the intense emotions Bowen and Lily put me through. It took a majority of the book for the big secret to finally be revealed and normally I would get bored or annoyed but once again Carrie Aarons is a professional fiddler of the emotions and draws it out just the right amount.

To have a first love so strong that even after you’ve broken up it drives you crazy for ten years, I can’t even imagine. I’d kill for a love like that but reading Bowen and Lily’s story was definitely worth all the heart ache and heart break and tears. The Nash Brothers would have me eating out of the palm of their hands.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐(5 out of 5) Another five star read from Carrie Aarons. Forgiven is full of secrets, blackmail, love, family betrayal, heartbreak, hot sex, and a sexy ass Nash brother. What more could you really ask for? Well other than another book in the series 😁.

Full disclosure, I am so in love with this series that I actually received an ARC for Forgiven to be on the blog tour and still pre-ordered the ebook. I don’t think I’ve ever done that but that’s how obsessed I am with The Nash Brothers *swoon*

Kat’s Review: Fleeting by Carrie Aarons

Goodreads Description:

Four gorgeous brothers, one small town, and the women who drive them wild.

Presley McDaniel lives her life from moment to moment.

Making permanent decisions means obligation, and that would force her to stop being the family disappointment. Waitress, fitness instructor, dog walker … you name the hourly job and she’s probably held the position.

But when her grandmother can no longer run her book shop in Fawn Hill, a town so small it barely has its own zip code, Presley steps up to help.

The move from bustling city to green pastures may be exactly what she needs to sort out her life. But she didn’t ask for that happy ending to include a gorgeous veterinarian with an all-American smile and a penchant for snuggling puppies. The good doctor is reliable, responsible, and just the kind of man Presley has always avoided.

Love and commitment are predictable.
So why, the moment she lays eyes on him, are they all she wants?

Keaton Nash has never questioned his steady path.

His brothers may tease him about settling into his father’s passed-down role of small town veterinarian, but Keaton has never minded his rural roots. And after tragedy struck two years ago, he has a duty as the eldest Nash man to look after his family.

What he doesn’t need is the sexy, flighty stranger who shows up in town and gets his broken heart beating again. Presley McDaniel is a distraction, a red-headed temptation that is the definition of a bad idea.

He’s barely recovered from the love who left him to chase bigger dreams, and this woman is bound to do the same.

Except for the first time ever, he wants to abandon stability.
She makes him want to be reckless.

I’ve been bitten by the love bug and I’m not mad about it. I stumbled upon this series due to an advertisement for the next book, Forgiven, coming out and it sounded really good and then noticed Fleeting was the first in the series and it also sounded really good and that’s how I got drawn into the Brother’s Nash!!

I fell so in love with this story. Down on her luck Presley, with no real intentions in life and headed no where fast, comes to help out her grandma for a bit. Straight laced, secure, sexy as hell Keaton is just the thing to tie Presley down. I loved both of these characters so much and the drama was so well planned. I hate love stories where everything just plays out so perfectly and that’s just not real life. There are miscommunication issues and pride issues and personality differences and Carrie Aarons writes that masterfully.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 out of 5) I loved the characters and the storylines and the writing so much in this book. In fact, the second I finished this book I immediately picked up Forgiven. I’m not sure how I’m going to handle having to wait for the rest of the Nash brother books but I’m so glad I’ve been introduced to Fawn Hill and it’s residents.

Check back tomorrow when Book Nerd Anonymous highlights Forgiven the story of Bowen and Lily, which by the way is a total heart crusher, as part of the release Blog Tour!!

Kat’s Review: Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

Goodreads Description:

Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington may seem harmless, but she’s, in fact, one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves and a liar. Varin, on the other hand, is an honest, upstanding citizen of Quadara’s most enlightened region, Eonia. He runs afoul of Keralie when she steals a package from him, putting his life in danger. When Varin attempts to retrieve the package, he and Keralie both find themselves entangled in a conspiracy that leaves all four of Quadara’s queens dead.

With no other choices and on the run from Keralie’s former employer, the two decide to join forces, endeavoring to discover who has killed the queens and save their own lives in the process. When their reluctant partnership blooms into a tenuous romance, they must overcome their own dark secrets in hopes of a future together that seemed impossible just days before. But first they have to stay alive and untangle the secrets behind the nation’s four dead queens.

An enthralling fast-paced murder mystery where competing agendas collide with deadly consequences, Four Dead Queens heralds the arrival of an exciting new YA talent.

YA Fantasy is probably not one of my top favorite genres. I know it’s pretty main stream these days but it’s not really a genre I dabble with much. However, I read the first couple chapters of Four Dead Queens months ago on bookishfirst.com and instantly knew I needed to read this book.

The world that Astrid Scholte created was breath taking and the mystery and fantasy all balled into one made this an unputdownable book. I may have been bitten by the YA Fantasy bug and if most of them turn out as exciting as Four Dead Queens I won’t be disappointed.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 out of 5 stars) My only issue with any type of fantasy world is sometimes authors get so wrapped up in creating the fantasy world they sometimes forget to build the characters. Also, when they start to get too hyper focused on being descriptive it can be a tad boring. I felt Astrid did a perfect job of describing the four different quadrants and the Queen Law. However, I wish Keralie’s character could have been built up more. I was on the fence with liking her or not.

Kat’s Review: Petal Plucker by Iris Morland

Goodreads Description:

The man I hate might be the first one to pluck my petals…

Confession: I, Dandelion “Dani” Wright, am twenty-six years old and have yet to be deflowered. No man has hosed my hyacinth. Fondled my freesia. Diddled my daffodil.

You get the point.

My excuse?

I was too busy running my family’s flower shop and winning floral design competitions.

Suddenly that whole pesky virginity thing becomes a big deal when Jacob West walks back into my life. The boy I once loved. The same boy who humiliated me when he stood me up for prom.

This Jacob is no boy, though: he’s all man now—confident, charming, and so sexy my metaphorical blossoms are getting scorched. I can almost forget I’m supposed to hate him forever. Almost.

To make things worse, he’s my main competition now, since he took over his parents’ flower shop. If I give into this sizzling attraction between us, it could jeopardize everything I’ve worked so hard to achieve.

But if I’m not careful, he might not just be the first man to pluck my petals—he might also be the only man to capture my heart.

I can’t even tell you how excited I was when I heard Iris Morland was coming out with a new book!! Her characters always seem so real and relatable and Petal Plucker is no exception. The build up of relationships is probably my favorite part of her books, including this one. The emotional tornado that is Dandelion Wright is probably the most accurate character I’ve read in awhile.

Now I made the mistake of sneak reading some of this book on my phone at work and I would very highly not recommend that lol. The amount of redness on my cheeks was very hard to explain away. However, Iris is a master at writing sex scenes and if my sex life was half of what she writes, I most likely wouldn’t have time for books, but that’s ok.

The biggest turn on for me was that it’s set up to make you think this is the start of a series due to it being The Flower Shop Sisters and I really hope I’m headed in the right direction on that thought pattern because even the small amount we got of the sisters was enough to make me want to follow them around for a bit too. Especially Kate!!

(4.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐🌠 The only reason I didn’t list this as a five star is because once the sex started happening it felt like there was more of that then character building and that’s definitely not a bad thing per se but I really did enjoy the awkwardness of Dani. In the words of Britney Spears, Gimme more! Please, Iris Morland GIMME MORE of the Wright sisters!!!

Kat’s Review: Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

Goodreads Description:

From New York Times Bestselling author Penelope Douglas comes a new forbidden love story…

JORDAN

He took me in when I had nowhere else to go.

He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He doesn’t treat me like I’m nothing, take me for granted, or make me feel unsafe.

He remembers me, laughs with me, and looks at me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.

I have to stop this. It can’t happen.

My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he’s probably unavailable.

Only Pike Lawson isn’t the unavailable one.

I am.

PIKE

I took her in, because I thought I was helping.

She’d cook a few meals and clean up a little. It was an easy arrangement.

As the days go by, though, it’s becoming anything but easy. I have to stop my mind from drifting to her and stop holding my breath every time I bump into her in the house. I can’t touch her, and I shouldn’t want to.

The more I find my path crossing hers, though, the more she’s becoming a part of me.

But we’re not free to give into this. She’s nineteen, and I’m thirty-eight.

And her boyfriend’s father.

Unfortunately, they both just moved into my house.

*BIRTHDAY GIRL is a stand-alone, contemporary romance suitable for ages 18+.

If I had judged this book from it’s description, which I initially did, I never would have read it. A few of my girlfriends did a buddy read of this book and they were all hot and bothered over Pike and couldn’t stop talking about it, which triggered my FOMO (fear of missing out). I had already convinced myself this was just porn in book format and I wanted nothing to do with it but I caved and I was wrong.

Don’t get me wrong, there was quite a bit of sex in it but there was a lot of storyline as well. After reading this book, I’m kicking myself for not trying to find me a mid to late 30 something man when I just hit my 20s.

I really enjoyed Jordan as a character. She was very relatable and was a huge 80s fan. Anytime 80s pop culture is involved in a book I’m going to be a sucker for it.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 out of 5) If you’re anything like me and automatically think this book is going to be major book porn just from the description, I beg you to just give it a chance. I was pleasantly surprised by it and even a month later I just keep trying to picture in my mind who would be my perfect Pike ❤️❤️

Jess’s Review: The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner

Goodreads Description:

Elise Sontag is a typical Iowa fourteen-year-old in 1943–aware of the war but distanced from its reach. Then her father, a legal U.S. resident for nearly two decades, is suddenly arrested on suspicion of being a Nazi sympathizer. The family is sent to an internment camp in Texas, where, behind the armed guards and barbed wire, Elise feels stripped of everything beloved and familiar, including her own identity.

The only thing that makes the camp bearable is meeting fellow internee Mariko Inoue, a Japanese-American teen from Los Angeles, whose friendship empowers Elise to believe the life she knew before the war will again be hers. Together in the desert wilderness, Elise and Mariko hold tight the dream of being young American women with a future beyond the fences.

Review:

The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner is likely to be in my top reads of 2019. This is the first book I have read by Meissner and I am eager to read more. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, especially during the World War II period.

Elise and Mariko meet at an interment camp and instantly become best friends. Little do they know how that time spent at the interment camp will forever shape their lives. The story goes back and forth between the present and past. Elise is the voice behind the story in the book. She is very eager to find Mariko before she forgets who she is. This is very emotional book. Elise’s journey will make you want to weep at times so have a box of tissues handy.

I could not imagine having to go through what these characters went through. We never hear real details about the interment camps. It definitely makes you think because American born citizens were in some of those camps just because where their original family came from. Meissner had me hooked within the first chapter. The Last Year of the War is definitely worthy of a 5 ⭐️ rating!

I received an egalley from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 out of 5 stars) : If you are looking for a good historical fiction read then this is it!