Friday, February 3, 2017

The Starter Wife by Gigi Levangie Grazer (Audiobook)

Hey Everyone,

So I am going to be honest with you, I have not been reading.  I just started my last semester of university, I will graduating this May with my Bachelor's in Early Childhood Studies.  It has been an incredibly long journey, with many hardships, but I'm almost there.  My semester consists of work Monday through Friday, school two nights a week, and three days of student teaching a week to complete my 196 hours needed to graduate.  Week two just ended, and I will admit I'm tired.  So tired that I used a sick day from work today (SHHH...) and took a nap this afternoon.  I know, totally irresponsible, but it's been a rough few months, and it isn't going to get any easier anytime soon.  I just need to keep going, and if that means taking a couple off, on a slower day, then so be it.

But anyway, I drive a lot, I commute, and the car rides can get pretty dull.  So I went to the library last weekend, and borrowed a couple of their audiobooks!  I miss reading, but to be honest, I just haven't been in the mindset to be able to settle down and read a book.

I started off with something easier to settle into...The Starter Wife by Gigi Levangie Grazer.

From Goodreads:

There are starter jobs, starter car, starter houses, and then there are starter wives.  From the bestselling author of "Man-eater" comes "The Starter Wife," a sexy, savvy, and wickedly funny novel about life after divorce and one woman redefining herself after years of marriage to a Hollywood studio head.

When her husband Kenny dumps her by cell phone mere months before their ten-year wedding anniversary, Gracie Pollock finds herself reeling.  Though her nine-year role as the wife of a semi famous Hollywood studio executive often left her dry and she never fully embraced the "status" (according to Kenny), Gracie has grown accustomed to the unique privileges afforded by Tinseltown's brand of power and wealth: reservations at Spago on a Friday night; beauty treatments by dermatologists (Arnie), manicurists (Jessica), and colorists (Cristophe) to the stars; line-jumping at Disneyland with her daughter and Ugg-wearing celebrity offspring.  And despite the fact she had consented to name their daughter Jaden in a (failed) attempt to lure Will Smith to one of Kenny's productions, Gracie believed she and Kenny were different from other Hollywood couples.  She never thought she'd be a "starter wife."  But now that her marriage is over, her phone isn't ringing, her mailbox is empty, and it's only through faux pas by her world-class florist that she learns her husband has upgraded: Kenny is dating a pop tartlet.

With images of Kenny's 'tween queen everywhere she turns, Gracie seeks refuge at her best friend's Malibu mansion for some much-needed divorce therapy.  Soon she's associating with all the wrong people, including a mysterious hunk who saves her from drowning, the security guard at her gated community, and -- God forbid -- Kenny's boss, one of Hollywood's better known Lotharios.

With her signature wit, sassy style, and cameos of the rich and famous -- and wannabe rich and famous -- Gigi Grazer tackles the most delicious and dastardly details of a divorce and recovery, Hollywood style.

My Thoughts:

So I don't know if anyone remembers when USA (the TV Channel) came out with the TV show "The Starter Wife"?  Well that show was based on the book by Gigi Levangie Grazer.  Unfortunately the show was canceled after only ten episodes, which was a serious bummer, because my mom and I actually liked it!

But anyway, after all these years, I've always still wondered how the show was supposed to end!  So when I found The Starter Wife audiobook at my local library I ended up checking it out and listened to it on my commute to school.

Overall, it was okay to be honest.  The story was kind of a bit everywhere for me.  I think it may be partially because I listened to the audiobook versus reading the actual book.  I felt the lay out of the overall story was confusing, especially when listening to it.  At first, my cd's were messed up because out of nowhere it switched point-of-views, and there was no warning!  The whole first half of the book was in the point of view of Gracie, and then out of nowhere it switched into Sam's point-of-view!  When Sam's point-of-view happened, the reader had not even been fully introduced yet to Sam.  We didn't even know his name.  The chapters must not have names, because the transitions felt really weird.

Overall, the story was interesting.  Gracie was an interesting character, I was not a huge fan of her character's voice for the novel.  Gracie gave up everything to be a part of the 90210 world.  Everything, including her up-and-coming writing career, to be with her up-and-coming producer Hollywood husband.

I feel the tough part about audiobooks is you here the readers interpretation of a story, which might be different than what you might interpret it off as you read the book yourself.  Normally, I don't listen to audiobooks until after I have read a book myself, and given it my own interpretation.  But having no time to read, I've decided to give audiobooks more of a try.


Overall, The Starter Wife kept me entertained on my car rides to and from school and student teaching.  The transitions were a little confusing for me, because one second it would be about Gracie, and then out-of-nowhere it was about Sam.  I thought I had gotten a different audiobook in the mix!  I also felt the ending was a bit rushed, or far-fetched.  I don't want to give it away, but everything seemed to end pretty quickly and kind-of out of nowhere, in my opinion.

The Romance Bookie 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Boy is Back (ARC) by Meg Cabot and 2016, the year from HELL!

Hello Everyone,

I know I have been absent for a few months now, since the beginning of my school semester.  And while school has been keeping me busy, there have been other things that have happened in my life.

So before I go into my last review of 2016, I want to tell you guys something that has changed my life forever.

On Wednesday September 14th around 5:30 pm my entire world was turned upside down.  My dad, at the age 46, suffered from a major heart attack.  It happened at home, while my brother and him were working on a project together.  The ambulance came, and the paramedic were able to resuscitate him; but unfortunately the damage had been done.

On Thursday September 22nd, 2016 at 6:25 pm my dad died from brain damage, caused by the lack of oxygen during the heart attack.  My dad is my hero, and will always be.  He was the most hard working person I have ever met, and he has always inspired me to go after my dreams.

To say things have been hard is an understatement.  I find myself bursting into tears all the time at the smallest memories of my dad.  I want to talk to him one last time, even if it is in my dreams.  I miss him so unbelievably much.  Losing a parent sucks.  I know, not the best description, but really it sucks.  I find myself fighting for air, it feels like a piece of my chest has been ripped out, and constantly have the most awful feeling in my stomach.  It feels like someone has punched me.  In the past, when I got this feeling, I was able to change whatever was bothering me, but now...there is no way to change these awful feelings.

However, life must go on, no matter how hard, and I know my dad would have wanted us all to continue working hard and fighting for what we want.

Back in early May, my boyfriend of three years proposed.  He has been my biggest rock.  He was by my side 24/7 during the week my dad was in the hospital.  A god-awful experience that no one should EVER have to experience.  He has continued to be there through every tear and is always there to hear any memory that pops into my head.  My dad, my fiancé, and I had started planning our wedding.  We were about to put the deposit down for our February 2018 wedding.  We were going to do a giant family trip to Walt Disney World in Florida, spend an entire week together, and end it with the wedding ceremony in Epcot in the Japanese Tea Garden in the World Showcase.  My dad was so excited!  He was going to make an entire road trip for my mom and him out of it.

But now that will never happen.

Walking down the aisle without my dad, is impossible to imagine.  However, after everything that had happened there was one thing that truly sunk in.

Life is short and can end in an instant.

So on Tuesday October 4th, 2016  my fiancé and I; with his parents, my mom, brother, family friend Mark, and my aunt and uncle who were here from Germany to help with everything; got married in an outside ceremony at the county.  While it wasn't the wedding that neither him nor I ever imagined, it turned into an almost perfect moment.

On our way home that evening, after dinner, we drove past the beach, and over the Pacific Ocean coastline there was the most beautiful orange sunset I have ever seen.  Tears came into my eyes, because in that moment I just knew that my dad was watching over us and was happy and proud of Vincent and me.

Since then, we have found ourselves settling into the married life fairly easily.  He has been the only thing keeping me going through all of this.  He encouraged me to keep going to classes, and he helped me get through this semester while still continuing the accomplishment of straight A's.

But anyway, I wanted to let you all know, because for one, I wanted all the readers to know I really appreciate all the support this past six years.  December 12th, marked 6 years of the Romance Bookie!! SIX years!!  And while life has gotten crazy, and The Romance Bookie has slowed a bit, I still appreciate all the support in the past, present, and future!

If you or anyone you know wants to help in anyway, my mom and brother can use all the help possible to help pay for the upcoming hospital bills coming our way.  My dad unfortunately did not have any health insurance, and found out while he was in the hospital that just him staying in the ICU bed each night cost us $7,100 A NIGHT.  That does not include any of the medicine, the ambulance drive, the heart surgery my dad had, or any of the other procedures that occurred during my dad's stay.  A family friend set up a GoFundMe account to help us.

While I know this is probably one of the most depressing posts ever, I did not want to end this year like this.  So I decided to end this post with a review from a book whose writer has continuously gotten me out of some hard times.  She was there for me in high school when all of my "friends" abandoned me, she made my first couple of years of college a little less lonely, and she was always there to make me smile through her words.

SO here is my review of Meg Cabot's latest release, The Boy Is Back, which was sent to me back in August, but which I never got a chance to read until now.

So Meg, if you happen to be reading this, thank you again for your support, and I hope I can still receive your books in the future, but if not, you know I will be first in line to buy my copy.

From Goodreads:

From New Yorks Times bestselling author Meg Cabot comes the sweetly humorous story of a man who has to face his past in order to find his future.
Sometimes to move forwards, you have to go back...

Sometimes to move forward, you have to go back...

One post. That's all it took to destroy the care free, glamorous life of pro golfer Reed Stewart.  One tiny post on the Internet.

Then again, it's not like Reed's been winning any tournaments lately, and his uncle isn't the only one who says it's because of the unfinished business he left behind back home in Bloomville, Indiana -- namely Reed's father, the Honorable Judge Richard P. Stewart, and the only girl Reed ever loved, Becky Flowers.

But Reed hasn't spoken to either his father or Becky in over a decade.  

Until that post on the Internet.  Suddenly, Reed's family has become a national laughingstock, his publicist won't stop calling, his siblings are begging for help, and Reed realizes he has no other choice: He's got to go home to face his past...the Judge and the girl he left behind.

Becky's worked hard to build her successful senior relocation business, but she's worked even harder to forget Reed Stewart ever existed -- which hasn't been easy, considering he's their hometown's golden boy, and all anyone ever talks about.  It was fine while they were thousands of miles apart, but now he's back in Bloomville.  She has absolutely no intention of seeing him -- until his family hires her to help save his parents.

Now Reed and Becky's can't avoid one another...or the memories of that one fateful night. 

Can the quirky residents of Bloomville bring these two young people back together, or will Reed and Becky continue to allow their pasts to deny them the future they deserve?

This warm, thought-provoking book, told entirely in texts, emails, and journal entries, is as much about the enduring bond of families as it is about second chances at love, and will delight as much as it entertains.

My Thoughts:

So it's been quite some time since a new book in The Boy Series, 2004 to be exact.  I read the first three books in the series quite some time ago, I want to say back in high school, but Becky and Reed did not disappoint!

When I first read this series, I remember being a little skeptical about whether or not I would like a book written in completely text messages, emails, and other forms of media.  I ended up loving it.  The stories flowed way better than I ever expected!  All questions were answered, the story was explained in a unique manner, while still being thorough!

The Boy is Back, released 12 years after the last novel in the series, brings back a continuation of the series, that can also be a stand-alone, to bring back the flirtatious form of writing we all grew to love with the Boy Series!

Becky, Reed, Marshall, and the other lovable characters bring to life the sense of humor that I have grown to love in Meg's writing over the past 12 years.

Overall Rating:

It's Meg Cabot...enough said!  Of course I would recommend anything by Meg Cabot in a heart beat!

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year, and I hope to be back in 2017!

Love from,
The Romance  Bookie 💜

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Perfect Panel of Authors by The Romance Bookie

Hello Everyone!

I know it has been a long while.  Things have happened in my life, that I will go further into detail in the next post.  But anyway, I was asked by Eventbrite to do a post where I describe my Perfect Panel of authors that I would love to see that a book event.  Dead or alive.

So to celebrate my just having finished my last assignment of my second-to-last semester before I receive my Bachelors Degree, I will be sharing with you my list!

The panel I would like to see is:

JK Rowling
Stephenie Meyer

I know I know, no Meg Cabot on this one.  But here's why:

These are last two big authors that I have not been able to meet.

Plus as much as some people do not like one of these author's books, I believe they would go good together for a panel, because they wrote two of the most popular phenomenons of all time.

Now I know there will be nay-sayers, but just keep something in mind...this is MY DREAM PANEL!  NOT YOURS!

I loved both of these series growing up!  Harry Potter I read throughout elementary, middle, and high school, until the last book came out my sophomore year.  And then Twilight came into play my senior year when I bought the first book at my school's book fair.

As much as some people have negative things to say about Twilight, and while yes, it isn't my number choice anymore, it will always hold a very special place in my heart, because that series got me out of some lonely times.

Meeting these two authors, would be achieving two goals on my list!  :)

The Romance Bookie

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Blog Tour: It Ends With Us (ARC) by Colleen Hoover (w/GIVEAWAY!)

I haven't done a book tour in quite some time.  I would say it has been at least a couple of years!  But when I was given the amazing opportunity to be a part of Colleen Hoover's latest release, It Ends With Us, I knew I had to be a part of it!  Especially since it is summer, I am home more often than during the school year, and it just couldn't have worked out better!

So time for the review! :)

Description From Goodreads:

Image provided by Publisher for Blog Tour

Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants.  She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up -- she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business.  So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant.  He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily.  And the way he looks in the scrubs certainly doesn't hurt.  Lily can't get him out of her head.  But Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.  Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his "no dating" rule, she can't help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan -- her first love and a link to the past she left behind.  He was her kindred spirit, her protector.  When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer.  Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

My Thoughts:



When the description says this book was "heart-wrenching", they seriously aren't kidding!  I cannot even tell you how often I felt that jump in my chest, when I was reading It Ends With Us!

The emotions going through me, as I was reading were love, sadness, happiness, then Colleen decided to reach into my chest and just squeeze my heart until it was rung out to the extreme!

This book was honestly not what I was expecting!  I was going "la la, what a nice lovely story.  Oh poor Lily as a child..." and then...


Nothing is like you thought!

Now don't get me wrong, that isn't necessarily a bad thing!  In fact, with It Ends With Us it worked so well, it was really hard for me to put it down!  At times I will admit, however, that I did have to put it down.  So many feels were going through me, I was just in shock.

Colleen did such an amazing job of allowing her readers to understand why people make the decisions that they do.  I wanted to be mad so often, but as I kept reading, I was like, "Oh God, I can see why".  It was so hard to going through what these characters went through.  I can't imagine being in that situation!  When Lily was first describing her parents' relationship, I was so mad at her mom.  I couldn't believe that first of all, someone would put up with that, but second how someone could let their child be exposed to a relationship like that.  I have always thought of that when I heard about abusive situations.  But as I read on, slowly I found myself begrudgingly understanding more and more, until ultimately I was questioning the final decisions myself.  I couldn't believe it.  It was so hard for me, because I had always been set on my decisions if I ever found myself in a situation like this.

It Ends With Us really showed me that you never know until you've actually gone through the situation yourself.

My Rating:

I highly recommend this one!  I don't want to say it was a life changing story for me, but it just might have been!  It changed my views so much, that I have started questioning a lot! I highly recommend checking one out if you get a chance!

You can get your copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, and iBooks!

You can also enter this awesome giveaway, where YOU could win a SIGNED copy of It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Romance Bookie :) 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Defending Taylor (Hundred Oaks #7) by Miranda Kenneally

Hello Everyone!

Another review for you!

This time of the newly released Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally!

From Goodreads:

There are no mistakes in love.

Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor's always  pushed herself to be perfect.  After all, that's what is expected of a senator's daughter.  But one impulsive decision-one lie to cover for boyfriend-and Taylor's kicked out of private school.  Everything she's worked so hard for is gone, and now she's starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor's escape from the pressures of school and family, but it's hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival.  The only person who seems to understand all that she's going through is her older brother's best friend, Ezra.  Taylor's had a crush on him for as long as she can remember.  But it's hard to trust after having been betrayed.  Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?

My Thoughts:

I love Miranda Kenneally's books!  They are seriously so cute!  Every time one comes out I order it immediately!  Defending Taylor came out last Tuesday, and while I forgot to preorder my copy, I did order it the day it was released, and thanks to Amazon prime got it by Thursday.

I am past those days where I can devour a book in one sitting, however, I did read it fast!  Especially for the fact, that in recent months it has taken me months to get through a single book!

Anyway, overall I truly enjoyed Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally!  While technically this book is a standalone, and can absolutely be read by itself, it is a part of the Hundred Oaks series.  It was a cute read that did a great job from getting me out of my head, and into one of my favorite places!  It was like a much needed vacation!

What I liked most about Taylor was that even though she was having a really hard time, I loved how confident she was and how for the most part she really stood for herself, especially around the mean-girl at her new school, Nicole.

Ezra, the love interest of the book, was interesting.  It surprised me that his secret would be such a big deal to his family, but I guess the world isn't always such an accepting place.

The character that randomly bothered me a bit was Taylor's mom.  I thought she was really judgmental and really wasn't there for Taylor when she really needed her.  And while at the end things look a little more up for Taylor, I still felt that Taylor's mom could have said something to her, like Taylor's dad did.

 Randomly I really liked Taylor's sister, Jenna.  Jenna, while having a forefront that was very mature and politically acceptable for the family, she also had her wild crass side that I really enjoyed, even though she only showed up a few times throughout the book.

This next thing has nothing to do with Miranda or her writing, it is more me talking about people in general: I know Taylor messed up big time, especially for the fact that Taylor's dad is being possibly reelected for Senator, but I just couldn't believe how unsupportive her family was!  They knew Taylor was in a bad place in her life and yet were not there for at all.  I get that they were disappointed in her, but that doesn't mean ignoring your child!

Overall rating:

I really did enjoy this one!  It was a great read to get me away from things happening in my life right now!  Just what I needed, and I really appreciated it!  I will say this though...the back of the book says that Defending Taylor is for ages 14 and up.  I personally don't agree with that.  There is some pretty strong sexual content (involving oral sex), and while things don't go into detail, it was HEAVILY implied.  I work with elementary school kids, and personally I think they know way too much than they should.  I believe a lot of that has to do obviously with the internet being so prominent (OMG I SOUND LIKE MY MOM!!!!!), but also because what the kids are surrounded by.  Books are one of those things.

While, yes I admit, I was pretty naive and innocent at the age of 14, I did not know about a lot of sexual acts, including female oral sex (I know, I know, but you aren't born with that knowledge!!!).  I just believe that if a parent were to go to the book store, find this book for their 14 year old daughter, thinking it was appropriate for a 14 year old, but not knowing there was oral sex in it, and other things, and they weren't okay with letting their daughter read that, then they would be mad.  Rightfully so!

So personally, I would put the age rating up to 16.  Which I know doesn't seem like all that much of a difference, but the maturity level between a 14 year old and a 16 year old can sometimes be pretty immense!  I may be overreacting, but I am just sad with how some of these kids are growing up knowing way too much way too early, and I'd like to keep their minds as innocent as long as possible.

However, I really did enjoy it!  It is a super cute easy read, for anyone looking for an escape!  I highly recommend it!

The Romance Bookie :)