The Vixen and the Vet by Katy Regnery

Blurb:
22888713In this modern-retelling of “Beauty and the Beast,” Savannah Carmichael, betrayed by an unreliable source, returns to her hometown of Danvers, Virginia with her once-promising journalism career in ruins. Given the opportunity to get back in the game by writing a patriotic human interest piece, Savannah turns her attention to the town hermit, Asher Lee, a wounded veteran who returned to Danvers eight years ago, and hasn’t been seen since.

After an IED explosion in Afghanistan took Asher’s hand and disfigured half of his face, he’s lived a quiet life on the outskirts of Danvers where the locals respect his privacy…that is, until Savannah Carmichael comes calling in a borrowed sundress with a plate of homemade brownies. When Asher agrees to be interviewed by Savannah, he starts feeling things for the beautiful reporter that he hasn’t felt in years.

Misfits in small-town Danvers, Savannah and Asher create a bond right away, touching each other’s hearts in ways neither thought possible. When a terrible mistake threatens to drive them apart, they’ll have to decide if the love they found in one another’s arms is strong enough to fight for their hard-won happily ever after.

** Contemporary Romance. Due to profanity, realistically depicted scenes of war and very strong sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.**

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My Review:
3 stars — I thought now would be the perfect time to finally read Ms. Regnery’s Beauty and the Beast retelling, what with the new movie out…and crap on a cracker, it just didn’t work for me.  It’s so weird, b/c I really enjoy her Blueberry Lane books, but this is now the second of her wildly popular Modern Fairytale stories that I just didn’t connect with.  Quite frankly, this book left me extremely underwhelmed, especially given how outrageously popular it is.

It was so odd, b/c I started this book before bed one night, and just really wasn’t sucked in right away.  I wasn’t too sure about Savannah, and I really wasn’t enamoured with her sister Scarlet, so I put it down and went to sleep.  Then the next day I was reading while exercising, and I was wholly sucked in!!  I was just super excited and thinking “OH!!!  This is what they were talking about!”  I loved the beginnings of Savannah’s relationship with Asher, and how they met, and there was just some magic in their developing friendship and more.  I even highlighted things!  And then I had to do real life things, and when I got back to it today, I was bored.  Like wth?  I can admit that there might be a small mood component to my enjoyment, because I was having a really hard time articulating (even in my own head) what exactly went wrong.  But I’ll give it a try.

On the surface, I really enjoyed the way Ms. Regnery’s chose to portray our Belle and Beast.  I could totally see a reporter from a small town not fitting in, and a veteran with terrible disfigurements feeling ostracized by that same small town.  But I’m not sure I fully bought into their roles…more Savannah than Asher.  I could actually really understand Asher’s backstory and what he went through and how he came to be who he was, and I really felt like he stayed true to his character for much of the book.  And while his actions at the climax were harsh, I could kind of get it even if it made me disappointed.  But Savannah really did NOT act like a reporter.  It was like a character trait that she was just supposed to have that kind of facilitated the plot, but I don’t really feel like I understood much of her.  She uses her past betrayal and disgrace in so many aspects of the story, but I just didn’t know much about what happened, and I just didn’t really feel anything towards her and the decisions she made.  I didn’t empathize with her character nearly as much as I needed to.  I needed something more for me to understand why she would make such a big mistake at the climax, b/c she really came off as selfish, self-serving, and really not very in touch with people’s emotions.  So to say I was disappointed in my Belle would be a bit of an understatement.

And while I enjoyed their initial chemistry and found that spark and magic quite exciting, somewhere along the way I got really bored with it, and wasn’t feeling the steamy scenes…I honestly thought “oh, here they go again.”  I enjoy steamy scenes, but apparently there wasn’t enough keeping me interested in these ones, but that honestly could have been just me.

So the other thing that really didn’t work for me had a lot to do with how this “Southern” town was portrayed.  Are they really like that?  It felt like a stereotype was taken as fact and embellished upon.  It’s not that I don’t understand elements, but I wanted a bit more nuance I guess.  This is not the first time I’ve been insulted by the portrayal of a region that I don’t even live in, so perhaps *I’m* the one who has it wrong.  I don’t know.  But it influenced how I enjoyed Miss Potts (which was sometimes I did, sometimes I really didn’t).  It influenced how little I enjoyed Savannah’s sister Scarlet.  Though honestly, there were many more problems with her.  Both she and her fiance Trent were downright mean.  And I just did NOT buy the turnaround.  I’m glad it was there, I wanted to buy it, but I needed an apology and some humility I guess.  And don’t get me started on the Lance business, and dealing with it in a Southern way.  NOT a fan of that tiny side plot at all, and how it played out.

OK, enough complaining Lenore.  Let’s end with a high note.  I really enjoyed Savannah’s Mother, and the story she told of her relationship with Asher’s Mother.  I really thought it added to the story, and gave depth.  I know she had her own elements of caricature, but I didn’t mind them…maybe because she was kind.  I needed that kindness.

And I really thought the description of Asher’s injuries, and the bits of detail that we saw on how he coped with only one hand, and the look into things that could help him were well placed and added to the story.  It was a really good read for my diversity challenge in that way.

So yeah.  I’m bummed.  I take it really hard when I don’t enjoy a book that’s so highly recommended.  But apparently I’m a special snowflake that just can’t conform.  Oh well.  I’m going to at least give her Hansel and Gretel retelling a try, and if that one doesn’t work either, I’m totally calling it a flatline and sticking with her other series.  Sometimes we’re just not a match.

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Justice Ascending (The Scorpius Syndrome #3) by Rebecca Zanetti

justice-ascendingBlurb: Before surviving the Scorpius bacterium, Tace Justice was a good ole Texas cowboy who served his country and loved his mama. After Scorpius, the world became dark, dangerous, and deadly… and so did he. The Vanguard medic is stronger, faster, and smarter than before, but he’s lost the line between right and wrong. His passion is absolute, and when he focuses it on one woman, there’s no turning back for either of them.

Sami Steel has been fighting to survive right alongside Tace, convincing the Vanguard soldiers she’s one of them. In truth, Sami is a former hacker turned government agent who worked at The Bunker, where scientists stored both contaminants and cures. Only she knows the location, and she’s not telling. Yet when sexual fire explodes between her and Tace, she’ll face even that hell again to save him.

 

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg This book is a pre-order, available Jan 31, 2017!

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5 stars

I’m so happy with this series!  I have received them ALL through Netgalley and I can’t wait to get the next one. But I’m conflicted!  I was expecting this to be a trilogy.  But it looks like there will be more books in this series since the sociopathic president and the VP aren’t dead yet and they so need to die. I’m happy I get to keep reading the series but dammit I really wanted him to die!

This is my fave book in the series so far and I’ll tell you why. 🙂 This is not a story of a soldier finding his love with a civilian – which has been the progression of the characters so far.  She switches it up in this one with both MC’s being soldier.  And it was a totally different paradigm than her previous books in the series and I love it.

First off, Texan Tace Justice is smexy! Super smexy! Super duper smexy! I really loved how self aware he was.  He knew he had OCD and he was obsessing about Sami.  He was very mush internally conflicted because of it.  He knew it wasn’t normal.  He was one of those guys you could always depend on and he enjoyed being that person.  He was proud of his long family line of texas rangers and couldn’t wait to be a part of that legacy.  Watching him struggle and come to terms with the fact it will never happen formed a soft spot in my heart for him.

Sami seemed to have a bit more dimension for me.  In the beginning she seemed a hardcore hand to hand combat expert with a background in law enforcement.  As the story progresses we get to see her feelings start to shine through.  And the dynamic of having a female soldier and how she is treated different but equal at the same time.  It’s written quite beautifully.

There was a lot more action and sex in this book.  Their chemistry was instant and escalated quickly.  It gave me tummy warmth to read it.  The solidarity exhibited by this new militant group is quite heart warming.  The trust is there and when someone fucks up it’s dealt with swiftly and not used against them at a later time.  They are a family and all that that entails.  They are flawed and forgiving.  And I love that about these characters.

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Welcome Home for Christmas by Annie Rains

Blurb:
31349355The bestselling Hero’s Welcome series continues with a juicy Christmas romance, a short novel set in Seaside, North Carolina, where the bustling military base keeps this small town stocked with dedicated, lovable heroes.

Three-hundred-and-sixty-four days a year, Allison Carmichael doesn’t mind being single. It sure beats dating another loser, and it keeps her heart safe. Then there’s that three-hundred-and-sixty-fifth day: Christmas Eve, the traditional time her entire family gathers together—and gangs up on her, demanding to know when she’s going to get married. This year, she swears, is going be different. And that’s why, at a charity auction she’s throwing on-base, she buys herself a man.

Sergeant Troy Matthews insists that he’s not for sale. His time is, though, and he’s happy to donate it. Happier still when he learns the identity of the winning bidder: the redhead with the killer good looks and smart mouth who runs the veteran’s center. Allison needs Troy’s help to fool her family into believing they’re an item, and he’s all too happy to indulge her. But by the time Christmas Eve rolls around, their little charade is working a little too well . . . because Troy’s falling head over heels.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

This was a good Christmas romance, but for me personally it was just missing something to give it that extra punch.  I think I just wasn’t that drawn in by either Allison or Troy.  Allison felt kind of stiff, and I tend to be more attracted to heroines with a bit of sass.  She just felt kind of dry or something.  And could be a little…uppity? or something.  I don’t know, she just occasionally rubbed me the wrong way with her reactions and things.

And Troy may have had a bit more sparkle to his personality, but I couldn’t always get a handle on who he was.  He’s supposed to be this playboy, but I’m not sure I really felt it.  It felt like I was told that he broke a lot of hearts, but I didn’t really get why.

It wasn’t all humdrum.  I enjoyed some of the memory sharing they did about their pasts, and Troy’s reluctance to go home for Christmas was a pretty good side story.  And the chemistry was pretty good between them.  *sigh*  I guess it was all just good, not great you know?

So yeah.  It was entertaining, but left me a little underwhelmed at the end.

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Maybe This Kiss by Jennifer Snow

Blurb:
31560190Love is always worth the risk . . .

Neil Healy was happy to be promoted to Air Force Lieutenant, but he’s less than thrilled that the new job has brought him back to his hometown. The memories alone could kill a man, to say nothing of actually seeing the woman he never got over. Neil knew avoiding Becky Westmore would be impossible, but he didn’t expect the chemistry between them to be as strong as ever.

All Becky wants this holiday season is to get through the month of December with her sanity intact. Not helping? Her ex-boyfriend’s return to Glenwood Falls. Even after a decade apart, Neil still makes her feel in ways no other man has. But Christmas is a time for miracles, and maybe Becky’s will be a second chance at first love.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

Well hmmm…so this one didn’t hit it out of the park with me.  I’m still trying to figure out why.  I think I just wasn’t totally enamoured with the characters, you know?  Like on paper they were both good characters, but I didn’t feel that connection with them at the start.  And so it was slow to hook me in.  I think I wasn’t big on how frazzled Becky was, but how she wouldn’t ask for help…she made me feel tired.  I was missing some sass there too.  It’s not a bad thing, it’s just something that is a guaranteed love thing for me personally as a reader, and I wasn’t feeling it.  I thought her daughter was pretty hilarious, and her brothers intrigued me, but she was missing some sparkle.  And unfortunately my opinion of her went down before it went up.  I wasn’t really impressed with how she dealt with her relationship with Neil in the past, I couldn’t understand what drew them together if they were so very different.

It was kind of the same for Neil.  He didn’t get my book boyfriend juices going at the beginning.  He was kind of blah.  He didn’t seem to like Colorado or the snow at all, and as a Northern girl who has to deal with people complaining about the weather all the time, I often wonder why they don’t just move.  So I wasn’t sure why he came back, unless he didn’t have a choice in where he was based out of?

And even their initial chemistry…I mean, I felt some of it, but it was sooo…reluctant?  So much past clouding over, that I couldn’t hop on the train you know?  Which is not a bad thing, just not a thing that this particular reader enjoys as much.

BUT.  But.  The book picked up.  I started to see more dimension in both characters.  I got some sweet moments.  I got to see more expansion on what drew them together.  And the steamy scenes drew me in more.  There was still conflict, but I was ok with how that all played out in the end — not too much unnecessary drama or dragging things out.  It ended a bit abruptly (there’s a teaser for the next book at the end, so be warned it ends sooner than you think), and I would have ideally liked an epilogue or something, but I was still happy with how things played out.  I was worried it was going to go one way, but it didn’t.

So yeah.  It ended stronger than it started for me.  And I will say that reading the teaser of the next book, I think I might enjoy those characters more…I was already more intrigued.  Good thing I have that ARC burning a hole in my pocket as well!!  I’m going to be hard pressed not to move on to it right away…I have to decide now.

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Letters to Love by Soraya Lane

letters-to-loveBlurb: When her sister Lila and brother-in-law Gray are killed in a tragic accident, Bella is named as guardian to her two young nephews. Then she discovers that she’s expected to co-parent with Gray’s best friend, and grief turns to shock. Noah has always driven her crazy, and Bella’s sure the arrogant, handsome Navy SEAL is the last person she wants to share a life with.

Just as it seems they’ll never see eye to eye, letters from Lila start to arrive—letters she wrote in case they ever ended up in this situation. And so the reluctant couple follows her instructions, spending ever more time together as part of their unexpected, unconventional family.

Forced into an impossible situation, will these letters from the past bring them together?

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Favorite Quote: 

Her big, tough-as-nails, amazing military dad; a man who never cried, never complained, never asked anyone for anything. And now he was sitting as still as a statue, body shuddering with emotion as she touched him.

4 stars

I got this book from my Kindle for Samsung app.  You get a free book every month if you have it, so if you have a Samsung phone and like free books, I’d download this puppy.

This book was exactly what I expected it to be. A heartbreaking love story.  I cried a few times throughout.  The grief that Bella and Noah experience is genuine and the author was able to relate those intense -+–feelings quite flawlessly.

I loved how Noah stood up to Bella about the co-parenting request.  He knows he won’t be around as much but he still demands to be as much a part of their lives as he is able.  He has commitment issues and abandonment issues up the wazoo, but all those seem to take a back seat whenever he is around the kids.  He shows a great capacity for love and at the same time seems to be terrified of it.

Bella is headstrong and a bit controlling.  Contradicting Noah’s more laid back attitude. She adored her sister and her nephews and is still trying to navigate her life post death of her sister.  She is a great guardian and has a wonderful support system.  But, its hard for her to let go and just roll with it. Especially after her previous carefree life with no one depending on her.  I think she has a hard time not having a committed partner and that’s what scares her.  The two fears each MC exhibit contrast nicely in this book, giving the book a great conflict that is easy to follow.

I really enjoyed the military background this book covered.  It added another layer to the story.  Noah’s commitment to his brothers in arms was admirable, even though it took him away from his family.

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Hallowed Ground by Rebecca Yarros

Blurb:
26201118There are some debts you can’t repay.

Josh Walker is loyal, reckless, and every girl’s dream. But he only has eyes for December Howard, the girl he’s craved since his high school hockey days. Together they have survived grief, the military, distance, and time as they’ve fought for stolen weekends between his post at Ft. Rucker and her college at Vanderbilt. Now that Josh is a medevac pilot and Ember is headed toward graduation, they’re moving on—and in—together.

Ember never wanted the Army life, but loving Josh means accepting whatever the army dictates—even when that means saying goodbye as Josh heads to Afghanistan, a country that nearly killed him once before and that took her father. But filling their last days together with love, passion, and plans for their future doesn’t temper Ember’s fear, and if there’s one thing she’s learned from her father’s death, it’s that there are some obstacles even love can’t conquer.

Flight school is over.
This is war.

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My Review:
4 stars — I will preface this review by saying that I think my enjoyment was marred slightly by having to set this book aside for a few days while I went on a roadtrip, and then since I was already out of the story, I also fulfilled an ARC read that I had on my plate.  I hate doing stopping a book partway, but I just had no choice in this case.  I’m not sure if it affects my opinion of the book on a whole, but I wouldn’t doubt I would feel better about my rating if I’d been able to read straight through.

Now, with that personal crap out of the way, on to the actual review!!  I absolutely loved Josh and Ember’s love story from Full Measures, and so I wasn’t sure how I’d feel knowing that they were going to likely be going through more crap.  And oh boy howdy, did they.  It was definitely an emotional journey that had me crying on multiple occasions (heck almost right at the prologue).  Ms. Yarros knows how to get you right in the feels and really see what the life of a military family can be like.  I can’t imagine it, and I can wholeheartedly say that I would not be strong enough to endure it, so I admire them all the more.

I loved all the good moments that we did get in this novel (Jagger and Paisley on the side, Will being a part of the group, the final weekend before deployment for Josh, and obviously the ending).  But this was not a book full of a lot of sweet moments.  This was a book featuring a couple truly struggling to keep it together.  And that was almost a bit more heartbreak than I could take.  And while it was epically realistic in so many ways, my literary heart had a hard time watching them have the same argument over and over again…watching Josh not learn anything over and over again.  It’s hard to be a reader and see people making obviously bad choices and yet they don’t see the same thing.  And I just wanted something to finally take, for something to finally get through to the two of them.  And like I said, this is honestly how it happens in real life with many couples, but as a reader it was hard to read about over and over with little reward.  Not to say there wasn’t a great reward, but it was starting to be too much.  Hence the 4 stars instead of the 4.5 stars I could see this book getting from me if that hadn’t been the case. (which tells you that this story was still amazing, just a bit harder for me than the first 2 books)

So definitely a strong conclusion to the series.  A tiny part of me wanted a bit more Jagger time, but that’s just because I’m drawn to that character and I’m greedy.  If you like emotionally impactful romances with complex characters, then I highly recommend you check out this series and fall in love.  Can’t wait to see what Ms. Yarros has in store for us next.

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Beyond What Is Given by Rebecca Yarros

Blurb:
26128190Lt. Grayson Masters is focused on graduating the Apache helicopter course, and the last thing he needs is his gorgeous new roommate Samantha Fitzgerald distracting him. While her smart mouth and free spirit are irresistibly irritating, he can’t deny their off-the-charts chemistry, no matter how hard he tries.

Having just been expelled from college, Sam has no business digging for Grayson’s secrets while she’s hiding her own, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to tear down his walls. Each barrier she busts through drops one of her own, though, and she’s not prepared for the truth: another woman laid claim to Grayson’s heart long ago.

Falling in love is something neither Grayson nor Sam can afford, and when that line is crossed and secrets are exposed, they’ll learn that sometimes it’s the answered prayers that will put you through hell.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — Hmmm…another hard one for me to pin down on how exactly I feel.  I think I wanted to love it so much that my initial thought was 4 stars.  But when I actually sat down to think about it, I just wasn’t as drawn into the story as I was with the first 2 books.  I really love Ms. Yarros’s writing, and that was still exceptional in this book.  My problem is that there was just too much going on, I didn’t like all the bits of drama, and while I wanted to root for Sam and Grayson, I also wanted to smack them sometimes.

The thing is, I didn’t quite get the initial chemistry.  OK, yes, I get initial attraction and they had it by the boatloads.  But that’s just not enough.  For Grayson to behave so differently, I guess I wanted something more concrete that attracted him to her.  And yeah, I guess there was her fiery personality and all that, but I just felt like I was told a bit more than shown in this case…but maybe I was just too distracted while reading this and so I missed something.

I enjoyed both Grayson and Sam, but holy shit there was a lot going on in the background of their love story.  And in the end, it kind of detracted from it.  I guess it would have been ok if they’d been able to get past the issues, but the same ones kept cropping up over and over again.  And I think both Sam *and* Grayson were to blame.  Sam really didn’t put a lot of faith in Grayson, but at the same time a part of me understood where she was coming from…I guess I just wanted her to grow up and learn and trust and just , well, *grow* a bit quicker than she did.  But another part of me understood that her reactions were very human.  And Grayson…oh that boy.  He suffered from that same affliction of humanitis…making silly choices sometimes and not learning from them.  It was hard to watch him hold onto that guilt for so long.  I got it initially, but after awhile even a stupid person would let that shit go.

And I wasn’t too bothered by the Grace storyline per say.  It was a bit obvious where it was going to go, so I can’t say I was surprised with some of the twists therein.  It was mostly just a frustrating wrench that lasted a lot longer as a plot device than I was expecting.  I will say I didn’t see Parker’s reveal coming AT ALL.  And in some ways it made me understand her a bit more.  She was still a bitch, but at least I could understand how she got to that place, so I kind of appreciated that.

And quite frankly that was enough.  Heck, then we still had Sam’s issues to deal with.  They kind of got relegated to the backburner, and really didn’t feel necessary to the story or Sam’s growth.  Maybe bits of it, but it was a bit too much for me.

AND THEN you had Grayson’s issues with his Dad and the helicopter pilot stuff (this is me trying not to be spoilery).  I was actually initially intrigued by this b/c I felt something in Eyes Turned Skyward that made me curious about Grayson and his studying habits, and it was yet another little side plot that felt thrown in.  I, personally, would have LOVED more attention on this issue.  But with everything else going on, it felt awkward and didn’t really fit.  So in the end, I would have cut it out completely.

So yeah.  All that.  We have this great little romance with two characters with great chemistry, and it just got sooooo bogged down with everything else.  I would have enjoyed the story a lot more if it could have been pared down a bit.  I will say that I was starting to give up on our characters, despite some of their sweet moments, and then we got that ending.  Grayson came through for me (and Sam).  And that’s what is bumping it up a half star.  But after writing this all out, I have a feeling I’ll still be rounding down.  It was a good book, but I think it could have been soooooo much better.  Ah well.

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Eyes Turned Skyward by Rebecca Yarros

Blurb:
23706735Life’s too short to play it safe…

Since her sister’s death, twenty-year-old Paisley Donovan, who shares her sister’s heart condition, is treated like delicate glass by her parents. But nothing will stop her from completing her Bucket List—even if it kills her. And it almost does, until Jagger Bateman pulls her from the ocean and breathes more than air into her lungs—he sets her soul on fire.
Jagger is enrolled in the country’s toughest flight school. He’s wickedly hot, reckless, and perfect for a girl looking to live life to the fullest. Except that Paisley is the commanding general’s daughter, and her boyfriend is Jagger’s biggest rival. Now Paisley must decide just how much to risk for a guy who makes her heart pound a little too hard.
They’re flying through dangerous territory—and one wrong move could make them crash and burn…
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My Review:
Another reread getting ready to read the final 2 books in this series, and I can honestly say that I felt the exact same way the second time through!  So here’s my original review…

4.5 stars — Yup, Jagger’s story was even more than I was expecting!!  Wasn’t always impressed with keeping who Anna was a secret from the reader, felt like sensationalizing or something.  But then again, since I managed to guess who she was pretty early on, perhaps that was what the author was expecting….

And now that that’s TINY niggle is out of the way — LOVED the way this book played out.  You could really feel the chemistry between Paisley and Jagger, right from the moment he saved her.  I enjoyed that Jagger wasn’t some perfect book boy too — he had a horrendous temper that made me cringe in embarrassment at times.  I felt for Paisley.  It was nice to see her really get to him though, give him a reason to try to better himself.  I was truly surprised with how the Will stuff went…  I expected a different kind of drama there, but got something else entirely.  I always appreciate it when an author can surprise me in a good way.  He just ended up being a character that was more important than I was expecting, and not just to Paisley, but to Jagger as well.

Even Paisley was a character that made you cringe sometimes with her recklessness and her adamant belief that she wasn’t going to make it.  Sometimes I wish we could have seen her grow more, and maybe be shown her *wanting* to live to be with Jagger instead of always being resigned to die.  So in the end I guess she gave me a little niggle too…

All in all, LOVING this “series”.  I see there’s a 3rd book coming out….will it be Masters book?  I hope so, I’m intrigued by him!  Then again, Ms Yarros writes such compelling secondary characters that I want to know what happens with so many of them — Sam, Morgan and Will, and now definitely Masters.

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Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros

Blurb:
Full MeasuresThree knocks can change everything…

“She knew. That’s why Mom hadn’t opened the door. She knew he was dead.”

Twenty years as an army brat and Ember Howard knew, too. The soldiers at the door meant her dad was never coming home. What she didn’t know was how she would find the strength to singlehandedly care for her crumbling family when her mom falls apart.

Then Josh Walker enters her life. Hockey star, her new next-door neighbor, and not to mention the most delicious hands that insist on saving her over and over again. He has a way of erasing the pain with a single look, a single touch. As much as she wants to turn off her feelings and endure the heartache on her own, she can’t deny their intense attraction.

Until Josh’s secret shatters their world. And Ember must decide if he’s worth the risk that comes with loving a man who could strip her bare.

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My Review:
This is actually a reread for me, but I pretty much feel the same way so I’m just going to copy and paste my review.  Can’t wait to finally be finishing this series!!  Also, check out Curly Carla’s review of this book here.

4.5 stars — well that was a whole lot of YES PLEASE!

I kind of forgot to reread the synopsis before setting out to read this book, and so imagine my surprise to find myself bawling my eyes out in the first chapter. And yet, despite that sneak attack (that wasn’t actually a sneak attack for, you know, normal people), I KNEW this book was going to be all that and a bag of chips. From that first moment when she runs into Josh at the grocery store, I knew I was going to be in love. Sometimes it was hard to reconcile the guy he was deep down from the reputation he’d earned through the years. I guess I couldn’t figure out why he went along with it all if he had that “better”ness inside him. (that would be one of those little niggles that had me rounding down instead of up). I LOVED the guy he was deep down…holy wow, do I want some Josh….

Ember was an interesting narrator. You felt her grief and struggles so deeply, and could really see how all of it was affecting her. It was interesting to take this tragedy and have it be a wake up call for her in so many ways — in the way she was living her life, or rather not living her life for herself. I loved how she was with her family, even when she was stressed and angry — it was all just so realistic and made her that much more genuine. One of my other round down niggles had to do with how she saw people in the military… I know that it was a lot of her grief talking, but at times she was sooooo opposed to it that it made it hard to reconcile the turn around in the end. But that might have been just me.

All in all, I LOVED reading this book and had so much ❤ for it. I really only lost a little bit of love when I sat down to think it through. Sometimes I prefer to just go with my gut and ignore the little things….b/c then this would be a solid 5 star read, and most of those stars would be for Josh. Can’t wait to read Jagger’s story. 🙂

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Full Measures (Flight & Glory book 1) by Rebecca Yarros

Full MeasuresSynopsis: She knew. That’s why Mom hadn’t opened the door. She knew he was dead.Twenty years as an army brat and Ember Howard knew, too. The soldiers at the door meant her dad was never coming home. What she didn’t know was how she would find the strength to singlehandedly care for her crumbling family when her mom falls apart.Then Josh Walker enters her life. Hockey star, her new next-door neighbor, and not to mention the most delicious hands that insist on saving her over and over again. He has a way of erasing the pain with a single look, a single touch. As much as she wants to turn off her feelings and endure the heartache on her own, she can’t deny their intense attraction.Until Josh’s secret shatters their world. And Ember must decide if he’s worth the risk that comes with loving a man who could strip her bare.

 

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5 Stars

I won this book from Unofficial Book Club on Facebook.  Which is weird because I rarely win books.  It looked good though, so I started reading it right away.  This story was incredibly sad tinged with a happiness that was balanced beautifully.  I cried multiple times.  It was so much more than a love story.  And honestly that wasn’t what really captured my interest.

It was the grief and the military aspect that did it.  It’s very detailed in how a military family deals with death as opposed to a civilian one.  The rituals that are adhered to were very informative and gave me a look into a different lifestyle than I am familiar with. There were little things that I could identify with.  The thing that really set it apart from a contemporary romance for me was that the love interest didn’t stand out as much as the five stages of grief did.

Somehow she navigated the grief and kept her life from falling apart. The strength that Ember shows is admirable and awes-inspiring.  She has a stubborn streak that I totally laughed at because I do that same thing with regards to asking for help.  The author was able to keep my emotions engaged without me losing interest.

I would definitely recommend this book to romance lovers.

Favorite Quotes:

His understanding softened me even further.  It was one thing to lust after him, but quite another to find myself…liking him as a person, not just a hot body.

But there was beauty in not knowing what was coming my way, in being unable to brace for impact.

He was like a puzzle where every piece was black, and I couldn’t tell what went where.

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