February 2017 Wrap-Up

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February has been a slower month. My reading has been all over the place and I’m currently in the middle of reading seven books (YIKES). I was trying to watch so many nominees before the Oscars ceremony, and trying to read certain books before signings, and it’s put my currently reading into a limbo. I hope to finish all of these books out within the next week or two.

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Review: Us (Him #2) by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

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Author: Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Publication Date: March 8, 2016
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 328 pages
My Rating: 4 / 5 stars

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SUMMARY

Five months in, NHL forward Ryan Wesley is having a record-breaking rookie season. He’s living his dream of playing pro hockey and coming home every night to the man he loves—Jamie Canning, his longtime best friend turned boyfriend. There’s just one problem: the most important relationship of his life is one he needs to keep hidden, or else face a media storm that will eclipse his success on the ice.

Jamie loves Wes. He really, truly does. But hiding sucks. It’s not the life Jamie envisioned for himself, and the strain of keeping their secret is taking its toll. It doesn’t help that his new job isn’t going as smoothly as he’d hoped, but he knows he can power through it as long as he has Wes. At least apartment 10B is their retreat, where they can always be themselves.

Or can they?

When Wes’s nosiest teammate moves in upstairs, the threads of their carefully woven lie begin to unravel. With the outside world determined to take its best shot at them, can Wes and Jamie develop major-league relationship skills on the fly?

I know, I know. I did say after reading Him that I wasn’t planning on reading Us, but I needed a hockey romance after reading the incredible Off-Campus series by Elle Kennedy, so here I am. I actually enjoyed this book so much more than the first book, because most of my issues with Him weren’t big factors in this story. And that, made this book a lot more enjoyable to read.

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Mini Movie Reviews: The 89th Academy Awards

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Taking some time away from books to review some Oscar films! I haven’t had a chance to watch all of the nominated movies in the Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress categories, but here’s some mini reviews on what I have watched just in time for the awards ceremony today! I did skip out on watching Elle because the subject matter is too intense for me just after watching the trailer. The main ceremony starts tonight at 8:30 Eastern/5:30 Pacific Time! The following movies are listed in order from my favorite to least favorite.

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Review: A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab

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Author: V.E. Schwab
Publication Date: February 21, 2017
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 624 pages (Hardcover)
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

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SUMMARY

Londons fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire—and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes and foes struggle alike. The direct sequel to A Gathering of Shadows, and the final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees Schwab reach a thrilling culmination concerning the fate of beloved protagonists—and old enemies.

As Travars.

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Review: Gone for You (Wild Side #1) by Riley Hart

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Author: Riley Hart
Publication Date: February 6, 2017
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 224 pages
My Rating: 3 / 5 stars

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SUMMARY

Oliver Hayes wears his heart on his sleeve, and his friends never let him forget it. Every Friday night spent at Wild Side, their favorite West Hollywood bar, Oliver’s lack of hookups becomes the hot topic. It’s not that he doesn’t want a good time. He just wants it to mean something, which is a lofty goal when he’s still pining after his childhood crush, Matt, who left ten years ago to start a new life in New York City.

Matt Daniels has always felt most at home seated at a piano. He might not have entirely fit in with his family and friends, but he was always able to find himself in music. Or at least he did before he gave up his dream a lifetime ago. Now, he has a successful modeling career and should be enjoying every second of it. Yet nothing feels right, and Matt fears he’s losing himself.

Just when Oliver decides to get over Matt for good, Matt waltzes back into LA. As Matt struggles to understand what he’s missing in his seemingly perfect life, he falls right back into leaning on Oliver for support. Things aren’t what they used to be between them, though. They tumble into bed together, and it’s hard not to continue ending up there. For the first time in years, Matt’s inspired to compose again, reigniting a spark he thought long extinguished.

But as always, Oliver can’t keep his heart in check, and soon Matt realizes he’s gone for Oliver too. The biggest question is, can he fully give himself to someone if he still hasn’t figured out how to love himself?

I usually love a good friends-to-loves trope, but somehow, Gone for Me was just an okay read for me.

He had no doubt Matt did love him. Matt had always loved him, only not in the same way Oliver felt for him.

He closed his eyes, wishing like hell Matty didn’t own such a big piece of landscape in his heart.

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ARC Review: Insight (The Community #1) by Santino Hassell

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Author: Santino Hassell
Publication Date: March 13, 2017
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 331 pages
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

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SUMMARY

Growing up the outcast in an infamous family of psychics, Nate Black never learned how to control his empath abilities. Then after five years without contact, his estranged twin turns up dead in New York City. The claim of suicide doesn’t ring true, especially when a mysterious vision tells Nate it was murder. Now his long-hated gift is his only tool to investigate.

Hitching from his tiny Texas town, Nate is picked up by Trent, a gorgeous engineer who thrives on sarcasm and skepticism. The heat that sparks between them is instant and intense, and Nate ends up trusting Trent with his secrets—something he’s never done before. But once they arrive in the city, the secrets multiply when Nate discovers an underground supernatural community, more missing psychics, and frightening information about his own talent.

Nate is left questioning his connection with Trent. Are their feelings real, or are they being propelled by abilities Nate didn’t realize he had? His fear of his power grows, but Nate must overcome it to find his brother’s killer and trust himself with Trent’s heart.

For anyone who liked reading Stygian, Santino is back with a paranormal book that is addicting to read from start to finish! Nate Black is a distinct relative to Jeremy from Stygian and the paranormal situations spiral from there. Nate is born into a family of psychics in a small Texas town. After his twin brother, Theo, is pronounced dead after being estranged from the family for almost five years, Nate doesn’t believe the cause of death is suicide. Nate has a vision of Theo’s last moments that point makes his death seem more like a murder. In an attempt to escape his aunt and uncle and to solve his brother’s mysterious death, Nate hitches a ride to New York City with a gorgeous engineer, Trent, he’s bumped into several times around town.

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Review: The Goal (Off-Campus #4) by Elle Kennedy

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Author: Elle Kennedy
Publication Date: September 26, 2016
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 350 pages
My Rating: 4 / 5 stars

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SUMMARY

She’s good at achieving her goals…

College senior Sabrina James has her whole future planned out: graduate from college, kick butt in law school, and land a high-paying job at a cutthroat firm. Her path to escaping her shameful past certainly doesn’t include a gorgeous hockey player who believes in love at first sight. One night of sizzling heat and surprising tenderness is all she’s willing to give John Tucker, but sometimes, one night is all it takes for your entire life to change.

But the game just got a whole lot more complicated…

Tucker believes being a team player is as important as being the star. On the ice, he’s fine staying out of the spotlight, but when it comes to becoming a daddy at the age of twenty-two, he refuses to be a bench warmer. It doesn’t hurt that the soon-to-be mother of his child is beautiful, whip-smart, and keeps him on his toes. The problem is, Sabrina’s heart is locked up tight, and the fiery brunette is too stubborn to accept his help. If he wants a life with the woman of his dreams, he’ll have to convince her that some goals can only be made with an assist.

The Goal can technically be read as a standalone, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It has major spoilers for The Score and honestly, why wouldn’t you just read these books in order? After the emotional toll book 3 had on me, I did need a break (albeit only couple hours in-between) before picking up this book. Honestly, the first half the book is rough for a standpoint of I can’t believe I have to revisit this utter devastation again. I love getting to know Tucker and Sabrina’s backstory leading up to Tucker’s revelation in The Score, but this book has a very different feel to it than the previous three books. In the previous books, we got the college lifestyle of the hockey players, and seeing them actually playing hockey. In this book though? It’s just a backdrop to the story and Tucker and Sabrina’s story exists outside of it.

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