Book Review: Roomies by Christina Lauren (9781501165832)

51Yr-LgxTbL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_Holland Bakker was a stalker.  Not the scary type, but the music enthusiast type.  She took the long way to work every day just to see the subway musician play his guitar with lovely abandon until a homeless man pushes Holland onto the subway tracks and changes her life forever.

Calvin McLoughlin is a Julliard graduate from Ireland with an expired visa playing guitar in the subway and in various unknown bands in New York.  He is in America illegally and calls the police anonymously to help the beautiful young woman who fell on the tracks.

Fate brings Holland and Calvin together to help Holland’s uncle, Robert, who needs a musician fast to save his show.  What can be done to keep Calvin in America legally for the job of his dreams?  Holland owes Robert for giving her a job and how bad would it be to be married to Calvin, the man in her dreams?

This is not just another romance novel and believe me, I have read my share of them.  The story is unique, the characters are diverse and believable, and it is told without the saccharin and obnoxious love words found in other romances.  And I would like to add that the humor is subtle, but very effective.

Thank you to Ms. Lauren, Gallery Books and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.


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Book Review: The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey (9781538759929)

51IhKtKO55LIt’s amazing what you can keep buried when you want to.

A body is found in the small Aussie town of Smithson.  She was Rosalind Ryan, a local drama teacher and pregnant.  Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is assigned the case with her partner, Detective Sergeant Felix McKinnon.  The detectives find out this is not a cut and dried case, and how is Gemma’s history with her old schoolmate, Rosalind, connected to the case?  There are a lot of secrets to be discovered, and Gemma and Felix have a lot to lose if their affair is one of them.

There a lot of twists and turns in this story and several characters are introduced.   It is a bit long and drawn out in that I knew who the killer was early on and, in my opinion, it could have been wrapped up then.  The title of the book is fitting as the story is dark throughout and many of the characters have dark secrets.  It was a mediocre story at best.

Thank you to Ms. Bailey, Grand Central Publishing, and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.



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Book Review: Who Knew? Questions That Will Make You Think Again by Sarah Herman (9781684120475)

61Ykilnf9cLIf you want to be the life of the party, this is your book. You can fill your brain with as much “useless knowledge” (my affectionate moniker) as you can fit and impress people with how fast a sand dune can move, explain what watermelon snow is, and give in morbid detail why a barbershop pole is red and white.

A fun book with questions about weather and climate to film and theater. It also contains short quizzes at the end of each chapter (with answers in the back) to see how much you are retaining. My partner and I are always trying to one up each other on interesting facts and I can thankfully say this book has increased my odds of drawing and maintaining a crowd longer.  🙂

Thank you to Sarah Herman, Portable Press and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book!

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Book Review: Please Don’t Do Coke in the Bathroom, Irreverent Hand Lettering for Every F*cking Occasion by Sami Christianson (9781631063763)

51sFKiSRgpL._SX397_BO1,204,203,200_Take a crack at it, it’s f*cking therapeutic.

Just the title alone on this book would get someone to notice it.  It is a guide for hand lettering to express your sarcasm with beautiful calligraphy.  With the onslaught of social media and online writing why not change it up and leave a handwritten note telling someone how you really feel.  Christianson shows the reader different hand-lettered styles providing a worksheet to practice drawing the letter themselves.  It’s a hilarious journey of “A is for Asshole” to “Z is for Zip It Back Up Please” all emphasized in a classy script.  I recommend it as a fun, instructional read that will improve your handwriting and quick comeback skills.

Follow Ms. Christianson on Instagram at

Thank you to Ms. Christianson, Race Point Publishing and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

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Book Review: Violated-Exposing Rape at Baylor University Amid College Football’s Sexual Assault Crisis by Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach (9781478974086)

cover117931-mediumAccording to national statistics, at least one in five college women experience some type of sexual assault. 

Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach are ESPN reporters who have done a comprehensive investigation into injustices and cover ups of a prominent Christian college, Baylor University, in Waco, Texas.

The book contains many stories of Baylor female students who reported sexual assaults by athletes to their university over a period of several years which went unanswered until the administration had to confront the realities happening on its campus.  Not only did the university ignore the victims’ cries, but the city police department was inconsistent in their investigations and withheld police reports involving students and student athletes.  One case included five victim reports involving the same male football player, a serial rapist.  Once this sexual assault case came out, other cases (old and new) started surfacing.

Under pressure from the public, the Baylor board of regents hired a Philadelphia law firm to review the school’s response to sexual assault complaints which did not fair well for the university or the football program.  It found “willful intent” of college employees to silence women who reported sexual assaults by some Baylor football players.   For the first time ever, a major Division I university ousted its president, athletic director, and head coach of one of the most prominent football program in the country.  Victims were getting justice by seeing their rapists pay for their crimes and federal Title IX lawsuits were being filed against Baylor as well as U.S. Department of Education investigations, and an NCAA inquiry.   Once this travesty came out about Baylor in the media, more and more colleges and universities started experiencing reports of inaction by administrators and athletic departments to help sexual assault victims.

As one who works in a liberal arts college, it was a very eye-opening read.   The authors did a thorough job of research for this book which can be seen in the timeline of the Baylor sexual assault scandal and a detailed bibliography with resources worth reading.  This book will bring out many emotions in the reader such as disbelief, disgust, anger and so much anguish for the victims.  I highly recommend this book!

Thank you to authors Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach, Center Street Publishing and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.




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Book Review: Forbidden Temptation by R.L. Kenderson (Forbidden, Book #3) Kindle book

51FRvg6qQOL._SY346_To say they had a complicated past would be an understatement.

Human, Mackenzie (Kenzie) Swanson, and cat shapeshifter, Sawyer Lennar, were kidnapped by mistake and were able to escape their kidnappers and hide out for a while.  Sawyer hated humans so when he got amnesia from a blow to the head and his personality changed for the better, Kenzie was grateful for small favors.  In the past, he was downright cruel to her, but now he was sweet and accommodating.  How long would this last, why did he hate humans so much and why did she let him mark her?

Cat shapeshifter and female sentinel, Phoenix Kaplan, was drawn to vampire and Guardian, Dante Leonidas, after he saved her from a dire situation.  He had once fed from her which had embarrassingly resulted in her first ever orgasm.  She was a she-cat and seemed to not like sex, but he would die before letting her get hurt.  Why does a vampire make her feel so safe?

Vampire and Guardian, Lexine Harlow, didn’t understand why Dante liked a shifter who dressed like a homeless man and had a surly attitude.  She had been in love with him for five years.  She disliked the cat-shifter, and she deserved to be with Dante.  Will her new friends help her make her wish come true?

This is story three from Kenderson’s Forbidden series and even though I haven’t read the first two stories in the series, this one stands on its own.  The humans, cat-shifters and vampires are well-developed, interesting and sexy characters. It was an all night read for me which is a great compliment to this book.  A definite must read, and I plan to read the other stories in the series!

Thank you to Ms. Kenderson and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.



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Banned Books Week: September 24-30, 2017


As an avid reader of ALL books (banned and otherwise) I celebrate Banned Books Week every year to promote intellectual freedom in our libraries.  Stay informed. If you hear of a challenge at your local library, support your librarian and free and open access to library materials by contacting the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF). OIF estimates it learns of only 3-18% of book challenges. Find out your library’s policy for reviewing challenged materials. Stay updated about intellectual freedom by signing up for the free Intellectual Freedom News newsletter, or reading the Journal for Intellectual Freedom and Privacy.

Go to the America Library Association’s (ALA) frequently challenged books page to see what books you have read.  You may be surprised.


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