Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy


Full of GraceFrom Goodreads: Landon Grace is a stand-up guy, but running about 7-bananas-strong, from tequila shots at Oscar and Hale’s wedding reception, what happened between him and Sher was supposed to be a one time thing. A quickie, between the Best Man and Maid of Honor, at their best friends’ wedding.

But some one-night-stands refuse to be finished in one night.

Especially when they return with a hard shot of morning sickness.

Now, Landon is faced with a problem he never thought he’d have to consider…

Just how much sway does a guy really have, regarding a woman’s choice to pursue or terminate the pregnancy of his child?


Full of Grace is my third Misty Provencher book, and let me tell you, she’s got a fan for life.  Every single one of her novels is expertly crafted, with prose that lifts right off the page making readers feel as if they’re part of the story, as if the characters are real-life friends.  And for an author to be able to do that takes immense talent.  Talent that Provencher is blessed with; talent I adore as I read her novels.

In Hale Maree, readers are introduced to Landon Grace and Sher Traifere , but as side characters, their story remains untold, until now. I absolutely love companion novels that continue a storyline through someone else’s eyes, and that’s exactly what Provencher gives us as she focuses on Landon and Sher–making this novel just as amazing as the first, though vastly different.  Perhaps what I love about this book is that it not only stands alone, but it also looks at deep topics while captivating the reader from the get go.  While Sher is full of nonstop giggles, it seems, her personality really shines through as she struggles with her choices concerning her pregnancy after a one night stand, and Landon’s choice to man up and do what’s right, even though Sher fights him every step of the way, really makes for an intense, yet lovely read.

And of course, our beloved Hale and Oscar are in this novel as well, though this time they’re the side characters, which I really enjoyed because their story continues as well in this novel, and it’s just amazing how Provencher is able to go so indepth with all her characters’ lives, keeping us abreast of  what’s happening while focusing more so on others.

If you read no other series this fall, make sure you pick up Crossed and Bared–these novels are true gems that you just must read.  Trust me.  Five stars.


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And make sure you pick up Full of Grace’s amazing companion novel, Hale Maree, for FREE!!!

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Hale Simmons dreams of getting herself a titanium crash helmet, so she can bust through the welfare-cycle of her crappy life. But for now, she’s just a 18-year-old girl stuck with the responsibility of looking after her alcoholic father, Jerry. 

But for Hale, ‘crappy’ suddenly takes a nosedive, when Jerry and his old friend, Otto Maree, go for a drink one night.  A horrible accident occurs and Jerry is the sole witness. Otto, who is also a prominent business man, stands to lose everything, if news of the accident goes public.

Out of mutual moments of desperation, the two fathers forge a deal. 

Otto offers the finances that can lift Jerry out of the poverty cycle.  In exchange, Jerry agrees to an alliance cemented with family bonds; an arranged marriage between Hale and Otto’s playboy son, Oscar.

As the mystery surrounding the accident continues to grow, Hale has to figure out if this situation is something she wants to escape or if it is an amazing twist of fate that has just been waiting around for this particular accident to happen.

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1st prize 1 autographed copy of Hale Maree by Misty Provencher

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Thirty SunsetsFrom Goodreads: To Forrest Shephard, getting away to the family’s beach house with her parents and her brother, Brian, is the best part of every summer. Until this year, when her mother invites Brian’s obnoxious girlfriend, Olivia, to join them. Suddenly, Forrest’s relaxing vacation becomes a mission to verify the reality of Olivia’s rumored eating disorder. But the truth behind Olivia’s finicky eating isn’t at all what Forrest expected. And over the next thirty days, Forrest’s world is turned upside down as her family’s darkest secrets begin to come to light.


This novel turned out to be completely different than what I expected, and I really applaud the author for it, especially as it hits on so many important issues, rape and attempted rape included, and the message for women is an amazing one. While reading, it’s so easy to point at Forrest and to shake your head, yelling at her to get some common sense, but in the end, it’s NOT her fault. Women tend to blame themselves when a man becomes aggressive, or when he takes advantage of her; outsiders tend to blame the woman too, even I was upset with Forrest leading up to the pivotal scene between her and Scott because all the signs concerning an aggressive, unhealthy relationship were there, but Forrest is NOT at fault. And this is an important theme that needs to be put in the hands of young girls more often. Scott is a terrible human being, and the fact that Forrest has never had an admirer before explains her gullibility and the fact that she writes off his pushy behavior, to the point that it’s almost too late. Yes, it did drive me crazy, because I’m an outsider looking in, but when in the heat of the moment, as Forrest finds herself, we tend to be blind to the reality that surrounds us, and this is exactly what happens to Forrest. Luckily for her, she has a supported family willing to stand by her side and help her through the rage and turmoil that Scott leaves in his wake, and I just love how Deriso handled the entire situation.

But the novel doesn’t actually center around this—the novel deals with so much more, such as teen pregnancy, family dysfunction, and secrets as well. The truth about Brian and Olivia’s relationship floored me, but made perfect sense, and the reaction of Forrest’s parents also made perfect sense once the truth about their relationship came to light. Overall, this is an extremely well done novel, though I did find the ending just a tad bit too convenient. Four stars.

4 stars

I received this novel from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.  This title recently released.

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Do AnythingFrom Goodreads: A broken heart is only the beginning for her.

Bookworm Annabelle Hart thinks she’s found the love of her life. But when her fiancé’s philandering ways shatter their happy future, she decides she’s through playing the victim. Now, rather than read about life, she wants to live it—starting with a sabbatical from her editing job in Chicago to travel the world. But the past refuses to let her go so easily.

He thinks he has his life figured out.

After watching the woman he thought he loved walk away from him, Holden Blackburn is still picking up the pieces. Content with his life as the owner of an English Inn, just outside the sleepy town of Alton, he’s living his new and peaceful normal. That is, at least, until Annabelle stumbles into his life, and he’s overwhelmed by a desire to learn all he can about her. Now if only he can get her to stay in one place long enough.
Will they risk their hearts on a new chance at love?

When her past returns in a way she can’t ignore, Anna panics, running from any possible future with Holden. She’s determined to keep her life from falling apart again, but she soon discovers the only place she feels safe is in Holden’s arms.

But some things even he can’t protect her from.


Annabelle Hart doesn’t have the greatest self-esteem. She tends to settle more often than she should, and she very rarely fights back when someone wrongs her. But when her world comes crumbling down—her fiancé’s true colors coming forth—Annabelle finally speaks up and begins to live for herself. Caught in a whirl-wind romance she wasn’t expecting, Annabelle begins to find herself, only to have a bomb shell dropped on her that changes everything.

This is a beautifully written story of heart-ache, new beginnings, and the fierceness of a mother’s love. Truth be told, I thought this NA novel was lovely from the very beginning, but it wasn’t necessarily setting itself apart from the many others I’ve read before it. That is, until Owens threw a kink into the story that I never expected; a kink that set this novel apart from all the rest, placing it in its own category of love and protection. And I loved it!

The characterization is superb—all the characters, even the despicable fiancé, are extremely real and easy to relate to, given the shifting circumstances throughout the novel. Annabelle has some extremely difficult choices to make throughout the novel, and I must say, I don’t envy her at all. And while I might not have made all the same choices in the end, she is an extremely strong character that came into herself as the novel unfolded, and I really enjoyed her.

Holden is, of course, extremely swoon-worthy, and I want him all to myself… Owens has indeed drafted the perfect man, and as he too picks up the pieces of his life, both his and Annabelle’s happily ever after dream is realized. Four stars.

4 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Heart BeatFrom Goodreads: Life. Death. And…Love?

Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with.

But Emma can’t tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her.

Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn’t have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge.

Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?


This novel completely blew my mind.  It’s extremely well written and deals with a really tough topic; one I’d never even thought of before.  Emma’s mother died while she was pregnant—legally brain dead, she can’t survive without machines.  But without these machines, her unborn child doesn’t have a chance at survival.  Faced with a difficult decision, Emma’s step-father, Dan, opts to keep his wife on life support in order to give his son a chance, but Emma doesn’t disagrees with his decisions wholeheartedly, believing his choice of a son over her mother means he’s more interested in having a legacy than doing what is right for her brain-dead mother, his wife.

The novel opens exactly 30 days after Emma’s mother died, and our first meeting with Emma takes place in the hospital as she speaks with her mother, a task she adheres to every day alongside Dan, a man she’s steadily grown to hate over the past month.  From the start, Emma’s pain is palpable, and I immediately found myself on Emma’s side–why would her step-father, Dan, keep Emma’s mother on a ventilator like that, forcing Emma to go see her deceased mother every day, when all Emma really wants is to be able to put her mother to rest, to gain some closure? Because let’s face it, there’s no closure when you still see the dead day after day.

And then, Dan’s side came out, and while this really isn’t a story about sides at all, the idea that Dan wanted to keep a part of his wife, Emma’s mother, alive, to give his baby a fighting chance, makes sense too.  So what do you do in a situation like this? This novel is raw and full of emotion, and I was cut in two as I read. I wanted to see the baby live, but I wanted Emma to obtain closure; I wanted Dan to understand where Emma was coming from, and I wanted Emma to understand why Dan made his choices.

Scott treats this extremely delicate topic with care, and it’s so beautifully written. I was engulfed in the story from the get go, and it’s really a story of healing, while also bringing to light a topic I never knew existed. Interestingly enough, while reading this novel, this article popped up in my newsfeed: I guess I never realized the extent of this issue before, and it really opened my eyes about it. And it’s hard to take a side because there is so much at stake here.  Do a parent’s wishes override that of an unborn child?  Should the parents’ wishes matter?  Should doctor’s do everything in their power to keep the unborn child alive?  This is food for thought, and I absolutely loved this novel.  Five stars.

5 stars

Harlequin TEEN has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on January 28,2 014.

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Update: Check out this article from Huffington Post: Here’s Where Your Living Will Can Be Ignored When You’re A Pregnant Woman

et cetera
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