Friday, December 29, 2017

My Favorite Books of 2017


Can you believe 2017 is already coming to an end? I can’t for sure! This year has literally flown by. I didn’t read as much books as I hoped and planned this year. But since we had our wedding in May which took a lot of time in the early months of this year, I’m still pretty happy with the result I got in the end. And I did read some great books! Funny to see that most of my favorite books this year are Romance novels. I think I am a mood reader after all!

Since this is the last week of the year I’m thinking a lot about what’s coming next year. There will be some changes on the blog. And for one, I hope I will be able to get some posts ready ahead of time. Something I haven’t been able to do for this last few years. That’s definitely one of the things I plan on doing better in 2018.

And before I take you through my favorite books of this year, I wanted to take this time to thank you all for staying with me this last year. Maureen’s Books is a big part of my life, and I can’t imagine life without it.

Happy New Year!!

Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge


http://www.maureensbooks.com/2017/01/review-eeny-meeny-by-mj-arlidge.html
The girl emerged from the woods, barely alive. Her story was beyond belief. But it was true. Every dreadful word of it. Days later, another desperate escapee is found - and a pattern is emerging. Pairs of victims are being abducted, imprisoned then faced with a terrible choice: Kill or be killed. Would you rather lose your life or lose your mind?

Detective Inspector Helen Grace has faced down her own demons on her rise to the top. As she leads the investigation to hunt down this unseen monster, she learns that it may be the survivors - living calling cards - who hold the key to the case. And unless she succeeds, more innocents will die...

I was looking for a good thriller and what I found was another series I just have to read.
- Maureen's Books


The Silent Waters by Brittainy C. Cherry


Moments.


Our lives are a collection of moments. Some utterly painful and full of yesterday's hurts. Some beautifully hopeful and full of tomorrow's promises.

I’ve had many moments in my lifetime, moments that changed me, challenged me. Moments that scared me and engulfed me. However, the biggest ones—the most heartbreaking and breathtaking ones—all included him.

I was ten years old when I lost my voice. A piece of me was stolen away, and the only person who could truly hear my silence was Brooks Griffin. He was the light during my dark days, the promise of tomorrow, until tragedy found him. Tragedy that eventually drowned him in a sea of memories.

This is the story of a boy and girl who loved each other, but didn’t love themselves. A story of life and death. Of love and broken promises.

Of moments.

.. let’s not even start with the beautiful writing.. Wow.. I loved the writing.
- Maureen's Books


Every Little Thing by Samantha Young


http://www.maureensbooks.com/2017/03/review-every-little-thing-by-samantha.html
The quiet town of Hartwell is the perfect place to get away from it all - and find what you never knew you needed . . .

Bailey Hartwell has many reasons to feel content - her successful business, a close circle of friends and her steady boyfriend . . . even if their romance feels staid after ten years without a serious commitment. The only challenge in her life comes in the form of sexy businessman Vaughn Tremaine. She thinks the ex-New Yorker acts superior and that he considers her a small-town nobody. But when Bailey's blindsided by a betrayal, she's shocked to discover Vaughn is actually a decent guy.

Vaughn admires Bailey's free spirit, independence and loyalty. As his passion for her has grown, his antagonism toward her has only worsened. Every little thing Bailey does seduces him. But when Vaughn's painful emotional past makes him walk away in fear he will hurt her, it opens an old wound in Bailey, and she uncharacteristically retreats.

Once Vaughn begins to realise he's made the biggest mistake of his life, he has no choice but to fight like he's never fought before to convince Bailey that the love they've found together only comes around once in a lifetime . . .

‘Every Little Thing’ is my third Samantha Young read, and I must say I really love her writing. Her writing is fun, interesting, sexy and very romantic.
- Maureen's Books


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas


When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

I can’t even tell you guys how much I loved this book. I was having a little reading slump and this book really was what I needed.
- Maureen's Books


A Tapping At My Door by David Jackson


From the bestselling author of Cry Baby, the beginning of a brilliant and gripping police procedural series set in Liverpool, perfect for fans of Peter James and Mark Billingham.

A woman at home in Liverpool is disturbed by a persistent tapping at her back door. She's disturbed to discover the culprit is a raven, and tries to shoo it away. Which is when the killer strikes.

DS Nathan Cody, still bearing the scars of an undercover mission that went horrifyingly wrong, is put on the case. But the police have no leads, except the body of the bird - and the victim's missing eyes.

As flashbacks from his past begin to intrude, Cody realizes he is battling not just a murderer, but his own inner demons too.

And then the killer strikes again, and Cody realizes the threat isn't to the people of Liverpool after all - it's to the police.

Not only was the murder investigation really good, and kept me on the edge of my seat, I also really loved getting to know the main character Cody.
- Maureen's Books


Summer's Lease by Carrie Elks


http://www.maureensbooks.com/2017/07/review-summers-lease-by-carrie-elks.html
Meet the Shakespeare family: four sisters, four stories . . . four ways to find true love

Cesca Shakespeare has hit rock bottom. Six years after the play she wrote bombed at the box office, she's unable to hold down a job, keep an apartment, and worst of all her family have no idea how far she's fallen. So when her fairy Godfather offers her the use of his friend's Italian villa for the summer, she grudgingly agrees to try writing a new play. That's before she finds out the house belongs to her arch-nemesis, Sam Carlton.

When Hollywood heart-throb Sam Carlton sees his name splashed across a gossip rag, all he wants to do is hide. That's how he finds himself traveling to Italy, deciding to spend the summer in his family's empty villa on Lake Como. Except when he arrives it isn't as empty as he'd hoped.

Over the course of the hot Italian summer, Cesca and Sam have to come to terms with their pasts. What begins as a tentative friendship quickly grows into an intense attraction - and then a scorching fling. But they can't hide from reality forever . . . as their different worlds collide, Sam and Cesca face a choice: is this just a summer romance, or could their love weather even the coldest winds?

I love everything about this book. I loved the story, I loved the characters, I loved the scene in Italy and I loved the chemistry between Cesca and Sam. It was just such a great novel I didn’t want it to end.
- Maureen’s Books


Home Field by Laurie Winter


One year after her husband is killed in action, Julie Ellis is back in her hometown and focused on raising her young son. Then Reagan Harrison bursts into her life—a cocky, charming linebacker who leaves her off balance.

As a successful, professional athlete, Reagan believes he has it all. But after meeting Julie, he finds every excuse in the book to spend time with her. Despite his best efforts not to fall too hard, Reagan envisions a future with Julie, along with the little boy he’s come to love as his own.

While Reagan’s protective love begins to mend Julie’s spirit, she can’t suppress her continued deep devotion to her late husband’s memory. And when a letter arrives from beyond the grave, Reagan resolves to provide her with the answers she desperately needs to heal. Now Julie must choose either to keep her heart closed off or remove the lock and fight for a future with Reagan. Can a second chance at true love be just as sweet?

Honestly, there was nothing about ‘Home Field’ I didn’t like. It was a charming book, with some amazing chemistry and I just loved it.
- Maureen’s Books


Be With Me by J. Lynn


http://www.maureensbooks.com/2017/10/review-be-with-me-by-j-lynn.html
There are a lot of reasons why Teresa and Jase should steer clear of each other…

Firstly, Teresa is Jase’s best friend’s little sister – and Jase has a pretty good idea of how Cam will feel about anyone messing her around.

Secondly, Teresa’s dreams of being a dancer have just been put on hold – maybe permanently. The last thing she needs is a player like Jase distracting her when she needs to find direction.

Thirdly, Jase has a secret. A big one. And he’s not ready to risk sharing it with anyone apart from the people closest to his heart.

But there is one electric reason why they can’t stay away from each other…

J. Lynn has a way of writing that makes you want to devour her books. And ‘Be With Me’ is no exception.
- Maureen’s Books

A Winter's Tale by Carrie Elks


http://www.maureensbooks.com/2017/11/review-winters-tale-by-carrie-elks.html
Struggling film student Kitty Shakespeare is determined to make the most of her new job as nanny to major producer Everett Klein's son, Jonas. It might not be exactly the career she'd hoped for when she moved from London to LA, but thanks to her habit of freezing up in interviews, this is her last chance to impress a key player in Hollywood - if she can get this right, then surely he'll take a moment to look at her work. However, what Kitty hasn't allowed for is Everett's sexy-as-hell brother, Adam - but love at first sight this is not.

Adam Klein may be sexy, but he's also gruff and rude and in no way ready to make a fool of himself over the nanny - not after the year he's had. All he wants to do hole up in his cabin and hide from the brother who destroyed his life. If only he could find it easier to ignore the way Kitty makes his heart race . . .

As Christmas approaches, Kitty and Adam come to realise that the course of true love never does run smooth - and just maybe, it's more interesting that way...

A heartwarming Shakespeare Sisters Christmas romance from the bestselling author of Fix You.

The romance and chemistry between Kitty and Adam was amazing and I loved reading every single page of ‘A Winter’s Tale’.
- Maureen’s Books



Year One by Nora Roberts


With one drop of blood, the old world is gone for ever. And in its place, something extraordinary begins...  

They call it The Doom - a deadly pandemic that starts on a cold New Year's Eve in the Scottish countryside. There's something mysterious about the virus and the way it spreads. As billions fall sick and die, some survivors find themselves invested with strange, unexpected abilities.  


Lana, a New York chef, has the power to move things and people with her will. Fred can summon light in the darkness. Jonah, a paramedic, sees snatches of the future in those he touches. Katie gives birth to twins, and suspects that she has brought fresh magic into the world, along with new life. 

But The Doom affects people differently. Along with the light, a dark and terrifying magic will also rise. As the remaining authorities round up the immune and the 'Uncannies' for testing, Lana, Katie and others flee New York in search of a safe haven. The old world is over, and Year One has begun.

This book was amazing and I loved it from beginning till end. ‘Year One’ is definitely not easy to put into one genre. It is post-apocalyptic, there is romance, it is paranormal, fantasy.. this book has it all.
- Maureen’s Books


What are your favorite reads of 2017?

Thank you all for visiting this year! See you in 2018!! 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My Favorite.. Thing About 2017



My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive. For more info and the upcoming subjects visit the My Favorite Meme. page.

There are many things I love about this last year. Meeting some new and wonderful people. Starting my own promotion business. There is lots to mention that I loved. But obviously my favorite thing about 2017 was getting married to my prince in May. We had been planning this day for almost a year and it truly was one of the best days of my life. Everything went the way we planned and hoped. We were surrounded by the people we love, we had this gorgeous location, the weather was nice, I had my dream dress, the food was good, the party was amazing and our love for each other only got stronger. 

Yes, my favorite thing about 2017 was definitely becoming a Mrs. 


What is your favorite thing about 2017?

Link Up Your My Favorite.. Post:


Thank you all for joining and visiting the My Favorite post this year.

See you all next year! 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas


Today it’s Christmas.. My favorite time of year.
I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!! And I hope you all have a great time surrounded by the people you love. And may you all have some time to read too! ;)

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Sunday Post #77: Merry Christmas



The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ Its a chance to share news ~ A Post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

This is already my last Sunday Post of the year. At Christmas I'll be working at the hospital during the day. And next week, on Sunday I will be having a little break and won’t be going online. At least that is the idea. Nothing but reading, watching tv and spending time with my hubby. Sigh..

This week was pretty busy. I had to work four days and almost every day something was planned. Monday I spend the day with my mom. Tuesday I went to visit my aunt. Wednesday I had to work and after one of my colleagues/ girlfriends came over for dinner. Thursday I had to work, and after I had to get groceries for at least till after Christmas. Friday I had to work again, and in the evening we had a Christmas dinner from my husbands work. And today, Saturday is my mom’s boyfriends birthday and I’ll be spending the day cooking. Yes.. busy busy busy.

So.. to not make this weeks post to long I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I hope you all have a great time surrounded by the people you love. And.. after that a very Happy New Year!! I will be sharing some posts next week, like the yearly My Favorite Reads of 2017 post, and I’ll try to visit you guys on Sunday obviously, but I’ll probably won’t be here a lot after this weekend.

I’ll see you all next year! 😉
Books & Blogging:
Since this week was kind of crazy busy, I didn’t read a lot. Hopefully I get to catch up a little on Sunday. Blogging wise I shared my Christmas Book Bloggers Tag organised by Trish @ Between My Lines. And it was just so much fun!!

On Friday I shared my new Discussion post: Does It Matter If You Like A Book Character Or Not? And I'd love to hear your opinion.

I also finished my 2017 posts and have everything now ready to go for this year. Hopefully I can start making posts for next year soon too. 


Last Week On The Blog:


This Week On The Blog:

  • Merry Christmas
  • My Favorite.. Thing About 2017
  • My Favorite Books of 2017

New Arrivals:

Received from Netgalley
Received from Netgalley

Random Pic:


Friday, December 22, 2017

Discussion: Does It Matter If You Like A Book Character Or Not?


As a fanatic reader and book blogger I loved reading book discussions. And since I also love having my own book blog I decided to post a book discussion myself. So join me on my little book discussion journey and let’s have some fun! 

As a reader and book blogger I read about many different characters. Just as in real-life, some characters I like, and some I definitely don’t like as much. Nothing surprising there probably. But does it change your view of a book if you don’t like the character as much? For example, would I have liked Harry Potter as much as I do now if I disliked Harry’s character? 

This is something I’ve been thinking about lately since I recently read a book in which I disliked the characters very much. Well.. I just thought they were awful really! But the story itself had potential and I found myself feeling sorry for not enjoying this book as much as I probably would have with a different character.

But is this really possible? Is a book not great or bad because of the characters? Well.. I think I can say that I don’t necessary have to like the characters to enjoy a book. If the scene and the world in which a book takes place is just so good and well developed, I can even dislike the characters and still like the book. For example ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn. I hated both characters. Horrible really! But I thought the book was very thrilling and it kept me hooked till the very last page. 

But even if I enjoy the story, without liking the characters I still think a book that has characters you love or just like is much easier to enjoy. At least for me. Feeling like I like the characters, and can sometimes even connect with them makes me love a book even more. It’s the complete experience about a book that makes me love it.  

But what do you think? Do you have to like the character to enjoy the book you read? 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Review 'Finding Magdalena' by Shannon Condon


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33971013-finding-magdalena
Sometimes behind a beautiful face you will find a tragic story.

When freshman Maggie Curran receives news of her parents' death, her world is shattered. She leans on best friend, Graham, for support and organizes her world to cope with her loss. Excelling in her studies and music, there's little time for social life until her new roommate, Sarah, arrives. Bubbly and extroverted, she's the opposite of shy Maggie and the two become fast friends.

But a Thanksgiving trip to Sarah's home begins a chain of events which will follow Maggie well past her high school graduation.

Is she strong enough to face another tragedy?

Author Shannon Condon's first novel is a tale of loss and love; it tests the limits of inner-strength while it examines the real bonds of friendship. Stock full of tension and intrigue, Finding Magdalena is a page-turner with a well-crafted story and well developed characters.


The Facts:


Publication Date:
January 31st, 2017
Series:
-
Genre:
Thriller
Pages:
323
Formats:
eBook, Paperback
Available at:

My Review:


A view weeks ago I was asked to review ‘Finding Magdalena’. The book description sounded very interesting, and I loved the cover so I decided to give this book a chance. 

In ‘Finding Magdalena’ we meet Maggie, a young girl in college who just lost both her parents in a tragic accident. Since her parents where the only family Maggie had, she is now on her own. Luckily Maggie was emancipated and already lived on her own for a while. Maggie was a great student, excelling in all her classes and she had a great best friend. Although she was heartbroken about her parents death, Maggie tried to make the most of her life. But life can be very  hard. 

I read this book as part of a blog tour. But soon after starting ‘Finding Magdalena’ I found myself not liking this book at all to be honest so I agreed on sharing my review later on. The writing in ‘Finding Magdalena’ is very descriptive. Maggie did this, than Maggie did that. I just didn’t really like the writing style. But since I agreed on reviewing this book I kept on reading.  

In the beginning I did like Maggie. She was a gifted singer, and seemed like a very nice girl who loved her parents very much. She was serious with her school work, and a real planner. I definitely found myself liking her character. But soon she started to change. From a nice and shy girl with not having had a boyfriend at all, she went to having several different boyfriends in the span of a month or two. I didn’t really get that at all. Things went way to fast in way to little time and I couldn’t keep up. I really felt like this book was rushed. 

Near the end of the book I found out this book was more a thriller than a romantic read. But even the thrilling part I didn’t really get. I found it brutal and strange and just didn’t like it at all. And Maggie suddenly was this aggressive person. I mean.. I get that you’d want to hit someone who has betrayed your trust. But she hit two people in a very short time and it just didn’t fit the image it got from this character at the beginning. 

‘Finding Magdalena’ really wasn’t my sort of book. And although I hate giving books a low rating I honestly can’t give this book more than two stars.

My Rating:

About the Author:


Shannon Condon resides in North Carolina with her three sons. She graduated from the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. She fell in love with Southern Spain researching the book and hopes to retire there someday.

For more information about Shannon please visit her on Twitter.





I received this book from Austin Macauley Publishers in exchange for my honest review. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

My Favorite.. Christmas Tradition



My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive. For more info and the upcoming subjects visit the My Favorite Meme. page.

Can you guys believe it’s almost Christmas already? Crazy really. I need this holiday to be much longer. LOL! I just love Christmas so much. 

We don’t have a lot of Christmas traditions. We’re not religious so I don’t have the going to church tradition, and as a nurse I have to work with Christmas or New Years. Most times I work during the days on Christmas, and I don’t mind that at all. Because the one Christmas tradition my husband and I have is spending Christmas Eve with just the two of us. And we exchange gifts. It’s always such a fun, and even romantic evening. We watch this Dutch tv-show ‘All You Need is Love’. Well.. I look and my husband sits with me. 

We love spending our Christmas Eve like this. Just the two of us, just being together. Our Christmas days (yes, we have two here in Holland) are different every year. So not much of a tradition there. But I love that too. :D

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

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