Being Brooke by Emma Hart #romance #review #bookaddict #KU

Being Brooke by Emma Hart

Synopsis
My name is Brooke Barker…
And I’m a freaking disaster.
No, seriously. I’m a college drop-out working a dead-end job, my best friend Carly’s dog gets more action than I do, and I have more bad dates in my diary than there are movie remakes.
Not to mention I’m completely and utterly in love with Cain Elliott.
The problem? He’s in a relationship. With a girl who’s so plastic she makes Barbie cry herself to sleep with jealousy.
The second problem? He’s my best friend.
My shut-up-and-put-on-Harry-Potter, yes-this-is-your-shirt, help-I-have-no-power, crap-I’m-out-of-tampons, kinda best friend.
And that’s all he can be, right?
Right.

Opinion
Brooke is loud, brash, and snarky. I should have loved her. Instead I was annoyed. I could not understand why she seem so intent on sabotaging the relationship.

Brooke’s life tip number one is “don’t fall for your best friend”. It is too bad that she already did that. She could have embraced it, but she was so sure they would not succeed as a couple. As a result, she was all over the place and it seem to me that she was being extremely weird.

Cain was cute but super clueless. I cannot see how it was possible for him to be that dense. Everyone else seems to know Brooke was madly in love with him while he obliviously is dating someone else. They wonder how long Brooke will carry a torch for him. When he finally finds out that Brooke wants more, I thought he was extremely patient to deal with all of her antics.

The supporting characters made this book for me.

TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
BORROW. I loved Cain in a he-is-too-cute kind of way. Brooke was too annoying for me.

Book details
Series: Barley Cross
Heat Level: 🔥 🔥 🔥
Print Length: 288 pages



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Guest Hope Clark talks about #beachvacation #guestpost #SCbeaches #Edisto

This guest post is by C. Hope Clark from www.chopeclark.com

The Atypical Beach Vacation for the Atypical Tourist – Edisto Island

Beaches conjure visions of motels, neon, souvenir shops, lifeguards, and a sea of visitors strewn across the sand. Partying, maybe. All sorts of floats and rafts in the water, close enough to bump at the next wave. To some, that’s the typical beach vacation. To others like myself, the more atypical tourist, those are the opposite of what makes for a great getaway.

And the ultimate atypical beach vacation is hands down Edisto Beach, South Carolina.

 

One hour south of Charleston, down a long two-lane highway that ends in the Atlantic. No motels. No franchises. No buildings allowed over 41 feet tall. Porch lights off at dusk to keep from confusing the turtles. One old grocery store that’s a far cry from a rambling, neon Publix. The tap water tastes salty, and there isn’t any room service. You might have to bring your own sheets and towels.

There’s you, the beach, the jungle of the island you go through reaching the beach, breezes, and no traffic noises. You usually rent one of the worn-out houses, none of which are more than three blocks from the ocean on one side, and the marsh and its jaw-dropping sunsets on the other.

The Edisto mantra is that you leave your problems on the other side of the Big Bridge, which is otherwise known as the McKinley Washington Bridge over the Dawhoo River. And few people go back across at the end of the week without wishing they could remain on that beach forever. Very few. But there’s one time of year, that doesn’t involve summer, that attracts the Edisto faithfuls, and that’s in October for the Edisto Museum’s annual Edisto & Beyond Tour of Historic Plantations, Churches and Graveyards.

Unbeknownst to most, Edisto Island families pre-Civil War once rivaled the richest of Atlanta, Charleston, and New Orleans. Sea Island Cotton amassed what today would be millions for the Seabrooks, the Jenkins, the Townsends, and a dozen or more other old families. Edisto’s history is long and rich. The Edisto Museum, via its tiny white house on the corner of Highway 174 and Chisolm Road, with its fierce graciousness, preserves this history in all its dignities and atrocities, preserving the past of the white and black cultures that gave the island its magic.

I belong to the museum not to support it, but also to receive early access to the Edisto & Beyond Tour each October. No two years are alike with different plantations, graveyards and churches opened to the public. Amidst the shadows of oak trees hundreds of years old, dripping in Spanish moss, you envision the people who preceded you on that island, picture the enchantment, sweat, and strife while you stand where others stood. Seeing where they worked, dined, and ultimately rested in peace. Ghosts, lovers, patriots, and rogues.

I was lucky enough to serve as a docent at Middleton Plantation, also known as Chisholm Plantation at one time and The Launch at another. These family properties sometimes changed titles as families passed them down. It offers a divine open view of the Combahee River.

 

 

Most folks in South Carolina can appreciate Middleton Place in Charleston County on Highway 61, the home of then Governor Henry Middleton. The Governor’s son Oliver built Middleton Plantation on Edisto.

Assigned an upstairs bedroom that belonged to one of the Middleton children, I’d spent much time investigating my assignment. I could tell you that the brass knobs on the doors, though antique, weren’t original because Union soldiers stripped the house of its valuables. That the handmade desk was a gift to the daughter, and the sea trunk used for European treks. That the plantation gained a reputation for its long-staple cotton only viable on the sea islands of South Carolina and Georgia, varieties developed and transported by land barons and slaves alike.

As an author of two mystery series, one centered in the rural reaches of South Carolina and the other on Edisto, my research served me well as touring visitors asked questions about the time period, the families, and the architecture. Thank goodness for my agriculture degree from Clemson, enabling me to answer questions about the cotton.

Another docent handled the bedroom at the other end of the short hallway who turned out to be the sister to Lowcountry author Dorothy Benton Frank. What a joy to share literature, history, and a love of Edisto with someone equally infatuated with all three realms.

Each locale on the tour comes with a docent or two, each equipped to answer questions, each carrying a deep reverence for the graveyard, church, home, people, or in some cases, ruins and gardens that they are entrusted to teach about.
And the entire island embraces that day. You’ll find art shows in parks, and usually an author signing at the Edisto Bookstore. The museum opens its doors with remarkable and fresh displays to aid to your knowledge along with gifts of handcrafted jewelry, indigo, paintings, and more, each distinctively tied to Edisto.

There’s a reason people return to Edisto rather than bounce from place to place for their vacation needs. There’s a reason your watch changes to Edisto-slow time when you cross the Big Bridge. This is a beach where they define calm, promote simplicity, and accept visitors seeking that lifestyle, if only for a week. Like Shangri La, Edisto is a permanently happy place, isolated from the world, and deeply grateful to each generation that came before for creating such a haven.

BIO

BIO: C. Hope Clark’s latest release is Dying on Edisto, Book 5 of the Edisto Island Mysteries. She has also authored one other award-winning mystery series and is working on another. She founded FundsforWriters.com, selected by Writer’s Digest for its 101 Best Websites for Writers for 18 years. Her newsletter reaches 35,000 readers. www.fundsforwriters.com / www.chopeclark.com

LINKS

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44089103-dying-on-edisto

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130656357

Edisto Island Mysteries

 

 

BOOK BLURB

One death. Two detectives. And unexpected backup.
A Callie Morgan and Carolina Slade crossover, standalone mystery!

When a renowned—and now dead—travel blogger washes ashore on the banks of Indigo Plantation, Edisto Beach Police Chief Callie Morgan agrees to head the investigation as a favor to the county sheriff, whose reasons are as questionable as the death itself. When death turns to murder and a watchdog from the county makes her investigation difficult, Callie reluctantly turns to Carolina Slade and Wayne Largo, vacationing agents with the Department of Agriculture.

Because poison is growing on this plantation and someone knows how to use it well.

 

TESTIMONIALS

Murder, corruption, and page-turning intrigue are usually the elements that shine the brightest in mysteries like Hope Clark’s latest Dying on Edisto. But it’s the characters that bring a vivid literary element to Clark’s prose and create a strong emotional response to their tangled lives. The scenic town of Edisto Beach is peopled with a modern-day pirate claiming to be a descendent of Blackbeard, a degenerate travel blogger, a yoga teacher who drives a baby blue vintage Benz convertible, a mixed race waitress and her matriarchal grandmother, and a whole slew of wealthy and crooked good ole boys. Leading the cast are two strong female protagonists—a police chief and an investigator with the Department of Agriculture. Did someone say hemlock? —Susan Cushman, author of Cherry Bomb and editor of Southern Writers on Writing

“In a plot as complicated as the numerous waterways that create Edisto Island in South Carolina, C. Hope Clark has combined the characters from her two series to solve the murder of a renowned travel blogger. They mystery requires all of their detective skills and blends the two mystery worlds in a page-turning standalone. The story opens with a floater and progresses with edge-of-your-seat action. Prepare to be absorbed by Clark’s crisp writing and compelling storytelling. This is one you don’t want to miss!”— Carolyn Haines is the USA Today bestselling author of three mystery series. She is the author of over 80 books and has received numerous writing awards.

Hope Clark converges her sleuths, Carolina and Callie Jean, on Edisto Island for the finale, Dying on Edisto, concluding her two murder mystery series. Slews of fans always awaited these highly addictive and superbly penned novels – grabbing you from the first page and not letting go until the last. A pristine, sleeper sea island, two determined masters of law who butt heads, a mystery corpse from Atlantic waters, a few idiosyncrasies along the way – the absolute best cast and plot for an intense coastal thriller. ~Karen Carter, Owner, Edisto Bookstore

The Sweet Spot – Duluth GA #foodiefriday

The hubs and I were on our way home from Atlanta, Georgia. I had a taste for cupcakes. I searched online and found there was a bakery called The Sweet Spot located in Duluth, Georgia.

I told hubby that I would like to stop there but after putting it into GPS I saw it was a 5 mile detour off of the interstate. With that in mind, I told him that I changed my mind and we did not have to go there. He insisted saying if I wanted a cupcake, let’s go get it.

 

When we arrive, I took in the location. Located in a strip mall, the bakery had very simple but elegant decor. It looked as if it could be featured in a real simple or Martha Stewart magazine.

There were so many different flavors of cupcakes to choose from and everything looks so delicious. I decided to order the pistachio cupcakes, red velvet cupcake, and a tres leches cake bar.

I was so excited to dig into my desserts.

I started with the tres leches. I didn’t examine the cake closely enough before I bought it, otherwise I would have realized it had a layer of vanilla pudding in between the cake and the whip topping. I do not know where adding vanilla pudding is considered traditional for this desert, but none of my friends have ever put vanilla pudding into tres leches. The cake had a firm texture with which it could absorb the milk that would have been poured into it. However, the milk did not have much flavor. I could not discern any hint of spice like cinnamon or nutmeg which are usually common in this desert.

The pistachio cupcake had little pieces of pistachio nuts throughout the cake and was topped with a lightly pistachio flavored whipped cream. The flavors were not very intense. It tasted like it did not have enough flavor. In my opinion, either the topping or the cake needs to have a strong pistachio flavor. One or the other, but not both. Too much would it be overwhelming. In this both had very muted flavors.

My last hope for a satisfactory dessert was the red velvet cupcake. I saved this for last because I love red velvet cake and I helped this would be delicious. It had the proper density and texture for red velvet cake. However, It was topped with whipped cream and not cream cheese frosting. Another desert that I took for granted that bakers knew how they should be served.

TOW opinion: I was disappointed that the desserts were not prepared the way that I have traditionally known them to be prepared. I did learn if I am going to a new bakery, I need to ask more questions to ensure what I am purchasing is what I am expecting to receive.

Single billionaire boss #bookreview #romance

Single Dad, Billionaire boss 

Synopsis
Stuck with a blistering hot, filthy rich, and thankfully single billionaire? It’s the vacation of a lifetime alright…

Sometimes, the worst of circumstances can lead to the best of times. Harper Kelly has just been fired from her dream job, but rather than wallow in her misery, she’s taking the opportunity to cross some items off of her bucket list. Forget job hunting, she’s going skiing in the Alps!

It’s not long, however, before her dream vacation is marred by a fraught encounter with a ridiculously handsome guest. Cue a freak avalanche, and the two are snowed in together, along with his adorable son. What’s more, Harper soon discovers the irresistible vacationer is none other than Jason Raynes, the notoriously reclusive billionaire!

With a luxury hotel to themselves, it’s not long before Harper begins to thaw the frosty single dad’s heart, and break down the walls that seek to keep her out. And when Jason unexpectedly makes her a job offer she can’t refuse – as a tutor to his beloved son – Harper doesn’t know how to feel; is this his way of keeping her around, while keeping her at arm’s length? For every step he takes toward her, he pulls two steps back. Could it really be true that to be so close to him is to live in danger?

After an eerie encounter on the historic streets of Dublin, Harper begins to wonder if her new lover’s past is coming back to haunt them. Can she get him to open up to her before he pushes her away? Or before malevolent forces catch up with them both?

Opinion
The story line was OK but I have questions

1 How were they skiing and missed an avalanche and the hotel evacuation? This seems extremely far-fetched and unrealistic.

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2 Why did Harper flirt so much with Jason and then blame him for being hot and cold? He wasn’t looking for a girlfriend. She pretty much just pushed herself and the relationship on him.

3 After they slept together, why did Harper think she was going to receive proclamations of love? They had no romance before that besides one kiss and a few glances.

Image result for don't be desperate girl meme

4 Where were Harper’s girlfriends? She needed someone to tell her to stop throwing herself at her boss and trying to make him love her.

5 Did Harper have absolutely zero common sense? She was so dumb at times. When confronted with danger on multiple occasions, she lacked the common sense to do what she needed to do in order to save herself.

6 Why did it seem like Jason was not sure if he wanted a serious relationship or just a new mom for his son? I cannot tell if he was still grieving for his deceased wife or if he was emotionally ready to be in a new relationship. On an unrelated note, his way of handling the conflict was infuriating to me. He was withholding pertinent facts for no reason!

TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?

BORROW if you like nanny/single dad romances. The story line showed a lot of promises, but the characters were weak.

Book details
Series: Billionaires of Europe
Heat Level: 🔥 🔥
Print Length: 261 pages

 

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Photo blogging #challenge January 2019 #books #photoblog

The theme for January’s photo blogging challenge hosted by http://hoohaa.com/ was BOOKS. I thought it would be a no brainer for me because books are my life. I read all the time. HOWEVER, I realized with this challenge that I do not take pictures of my books. The pictures that I took this month are not very creative/artistic, but they do tell stories about me.

Without further ado, here are my pictures on the theme.

I love reading and I have a Kindle unlimited subscription so that I can read lots of books. My goal on Goodreads is to read over 100 books over the course of 2019. Can you guess what my favorite genre is?

 

I like the feel of physical books, but I have a Kindle too. When I made the jump to digital books, I was unsure how I would feel about it. Fast forward to now, I love my paperwhite. On a good night, I am snuggled with a blanket with my Kindle in hand.

 

Talking about a different type of book, this is a sticker book that I use for decorating my planner. I have To-Do lists a mile long and using decorative stickers helps jazz it up. My favorite brand is MAMBI (Me and My Big Ideas). They always have super cute stickers. Their Free Spirit book was a recent release to their sticker book collection.  I like the style because it uses a lot of the colors I like: blue, grey, pastels, and rose gold.

 

One of my goals in 2019 is to have better time management, especially when on social media. A guy at work was giving this book away and I took it. I am looking forward to reading and gaining some insights to put into action this year!

These are my pictures for this month’s photo challenge.

Check out the website to see the other bloggers’ submissions and interpretations of this theme.