Taking Love in Stride Review

Track coach Andrea O'Connor is fuming at the audacity of Ian Powers, the very attractive father of one of her students. He offered to buy school equipment only if Andrea agreed to train him for a half-marathon.

Well, train him, she would. And not just in running. As a widower with a high-powered job, Ian needed some instruction in being a father to an active teenage daughter. Yet as this overbearing man opened up, Andrea found herself learning lessons--in loving.

Ian knew that Andrea, with her assertive attitude and her penchant for stilettos, was some woman! But her vulnerable heart was on the run, so he'd have to prove that his love, unlike his running, had limitless endurance--and once he caught this swift beauty, he'd never let her go.

What I thought...

I will start off by saying that although I have listed Romance as one of my least favorite, that does not mean that I don't love some of them and Taking Love in Stride is one of those I love.

The two main characters, Andrea and Ian are both written beautifully and both grow a lot in the book. Andrea is a teacher/track coach that has past issues with her father that she has let cloud her judgment on just about everyone. In taking the steps to help one of her students, she comes face to face with Ian.

Ian is a business man through and through, but he's also a dad and son. Which he tends to forget about in giving his daughter, Denise a life where she can have whatever she needs and mostly wants. Although what his daughter wants most is to have more time to spend with her father.

Andrea and Ian come together and connected from the start, but to Andrea he's just like her father. To him, she's bullheaded and jumps to the wrong conclusions too quickly. They end up helping each other in a lot of ways. I am really trying to keep it as vague as possible because this is definitely a book worth reading! I don't want to include any spoilers but this is a story that shows how hard AND rewarding it can be to go with your heart and come to terms with your past.

I would definitely grade this book a....


Stephalicious <3

iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books: Author Interview and Giveaway: Elizabeth Eulberg

Another author interview that just so happens to have a little something special at the end! A Giveaway! Just clicky the linky!

iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books: Author Interview and Giveaway: Elizabeth Eulberg: "Please give a warm welcome to super funny and sweet author Elizabeth Eulberg! Hi everybody! I’m Elizabeth Eulberg, author of Prom and Pr..."

iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books: Giveaway: 400 Followers of Awesome!

Awesome giveaway from a fellow awesome book blog! Clicky the linky and check it out!

iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books: Giveaway: 400 Followers of Awesome!: "Well, daaaaang. After only three months of blogging, I've reached 400 followers!! I could never have reached this level of awesomeness witho..."

My Blood Approves Review

Seventeen-year-old Alice Bonham's life feels out of control after she meets Jack. With his fondness for pink Chuck Taylors and New Wave hits aside, Jack's unlike anyone she's ever met.

Then she meets his brother, Peter. His eyes pierce through her, and she can barely breathe when he's around. Even though he can't stand the sight of her, she's drawn to him.

This is a young adult paranormal romance with mild language and mild sexual situations recommended for readers in grade 9 and up.

But falling for two very different guys isn't even the worst of her problems. Jack and Peter are vampires, and Alice finds herself caught between love and her own blood...

What I thought...

I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would starting it. I was afraid it was going to be a bad spinoff of Twilight, which in some ways it is similar, but not in the "OMG I've already read this" way.

Starts off and you meet the main character, Alice, who's your average high school student except for the fact that she is clubbing with her friend on a school night. They are saved from a couple of losers by Jack (feel the Twilight vibe yet?) While her friend is enamored by Jack, Alice isn't and can't seem to get past the way her friend is acting towards him. Just as puzzling is Jack isn't the least bit bothered by it, but he is perplexed that Alice isn't acting the same way. Now for me, reading A LOT of vampire books, I knew right away that this was the case here.

What comes next is a friendship between Alice and Jack that always happens late afternoon till the wee hours of the morning. This was the part of the book where I wanted to scream to Alice that Jack was a vampire and that it was insanely obvious. I got so aggravated at how naive she was that I almost quit reading it right then and there. I am so glad that I didn't.

When she meets his "family" she meets his "brother," Daniel and instantly falls in love and intense passion just by looking at him. This got me intrigued at the connection she was having towards him especially the fact that he obviously wasn't feeling it towards her. Also to the fact of how Jack feels towards Alice. I would continue but I don't want to give too much away about the book.

One thing this book definitely did for me was give me my new favorite vampire, Jack. :)

Like I said, I really enjoyed this book, but can't say that it's one of my all-time faves. So I give this book a solid...



The Miracle Inspector Review

A dystopian thriller set in the near future. England has been partitioned and London is an oppressive place where poetry has been forced underground, theatres and schools are shut, and women are not allowed to work outside the home. A young couple, Lucas and Angela, try to escape from London - with disastrous consequences. Description from Amazon

What I thought..

I thought this book was one of the strangest, far out, and mind boggling books I have ever read. Not only that, it was the one of the best books I have ever read. It's set in the near-future London where things like art and theater and poetry are a big no no. I wasn't sure what to think at first when I started reading because you are soon tossed in a world where women are not allowed to work outside the house and the only time they can leave the house is when they are visiting relatives. They have to wear veils to cover their faces and bodies, and never allowed out at night. Or where people are taken away from their homes for having certain beliefs and never heard from again.

You meet Lucas, a ministry man who's job is Miracle Inspector. His job is to answer claims of miracles from the Virgin Mary's face in flan or Jesus' face in toast. Lucas comes and investigates and makes it known that no such thing has occurred, and deduces that it was usually done on purpose.

I felt myself having a lot of mixed feeling towards Lucas. I found myself disliking him because he believes the views as far as thinking a woman having a job outside of the house is ludicrous. On the other hand, I realize that it's the life that he was born and raised in. It's something that has been instilled in him since his parents are gone. He holds a prominent place in the ministry and must live by the rules in order to keep him and his wife safe.

Another view point of the story is from the point of view of his wife, Angela, whom I loved and admired since I first “met” her in the book. She dreams of getting away from London and living with Lucas in a place where woman and men are treated equal and they can have and raise a family with better views than where they are now. Instead of being home all day trying to keep herself occupied while Lucas is making a living outside of their home.

Compared to the other couples that you meet in the book I love the relationship between Lucas and Angela. I believe it's apparent from the first time we meet them that they are deeply in love, but also have conflict with each other. She wants a life outside of the home and Lucas above all wants to give that to her at whatever cost.

Their story has ups and too many downs, and at the end I was left wondering what is to come of these two. I like to draw my own conclusions, as many readers do and envision they have the life they each wanted for each other, just the way a miracle should be. Be prepared for British humor at it's best, and a story that will have you believing in miracles even when life isn't so kind.

The grading system I am going to use should be easy enough to understand as I am using the A, B, C, D, F as used in schools.

I give this book a huge A because I think everyone should check this book out! It's filled with adventure and gets you thinking, I can't wait to check out more books from Helen Smith because her writing style is very unique and easy to follow.




Word by Word...: Final Moonglass Inspiration Giveaway!

Awesome book giveaway hosted by Word by Word Blog.. Clicky the linky and check it out!

Word by Word...: Final Moonglass Inspiration Giveaway!: "Four weeks ago, I started a giveaway series to count down to the release of Moonglass and take a look at all of the elements that inspired i..."


Getting it together

I am tired! Lol I have a had quite an exhausting past couple of weeks and I am so happy that I am sitting in a quiet room with no one yelling or jumping around. The baby is asleep (although we never know for how long) and I am going to rant a bit about some stuff that I want to do because I need your help! But with more important (and totally awesome) things first shall we?

First.. I enter a lot of giveaways, mainly for books and I won one from Katidom It's Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison and just from what they say on Goodreads I think I am good to go! Please do make sure and come back sometime in the future to check out my review on the book. Let's hope it lives up to the hype! Thank you again Kati and to everyone that hasn't seen her blog yet check it out with the link above.. If some of you are into good HONEST reviews on books, then I think you will love it as much as me. :)

Something else that I have been wanting to talk (blog) about is Swagbucks. I do a ton of searches on very random topics, whether it be for symptoms my kids are having to possible names for characters to locations to base a book on. With Swagbucks you can do the searches and earn Swagbucks that you can turn in to get actual prizes, without the shipping fees!

You can check them out here

Main reason I brought this up is that I recently turned some of my Swagbucks in to get a 5 dollars gift card from Amazon. With this I was able to get 4 books for my Kindle. They were all 99 cents each! The books I got are:

My Blood Approves by Amanda Hocking (which I LOVED, review to come later)
Hollowland by Amanda Hocking
Switched by Amanda Hocking
The Father's Child by Mark Adair

I can't wait to get the time to dive in to the other Hocking books because the one I read was better than I thought, and her writing style is very unique. As far as The Father's Child, that was me judging the book by it's cover but I have rarely read a bad book IMO.

Ok, people here's where I need your help. I want to start getting books from publishers to read and review, I understand that I am very new at this but reading has ALWAYS been my passion. My one little slip is the fact that I don't have enough followers on my blog to qualify right now, and to be honest I am still learning. I have books that I have read in the past to do reviews on still and I know it's going to be a process. I have been inspired by some of the blogs I follow now like Reading Teen, Novel Thoughts, Katidom. So if you can spread the word about my blog please :) I am also on Twitter and Facebook. Help me make this happen, I am a stay at home mom that likes to go away to that place where only a book can take you. Not to mention the fact that I would be living under a bridge if I bought every book I wanted to read. I love all genres, more on the YA and mystery/thriller, dystopian, and the like. I have to say my least favorite is Romance but here recently there have been some really good ones! So I will quit rambling now (sorry!) and I appreciate all you can do to get the word across.

Final observation, being in this quiet house while the kids are away gets me thinking... A mom always wants an empty and quiet house, till she gets one. Then I am counting down till my babies are going to be home! Lol Well thanks everyone and have a wonderful Easter! Comments are welcomed and loved :)

<3 Stephalicious


Heavenly Savings: Chunky Bling Interchangeable Watch Review and Give...

Yet another awesome giveaway for today from one of my trusty dusty blogs, Heavenly Savings! Just clicky the linky :)

Heavenly Savings: Chunky Bling Interchangeable Watch Review and Give...: " My Thoughts on Chunky Bling I am a very bold individual when it comes to my accessories. That is why I knew that the watches mad..."

Reading Teen: Reading Clean Spotlight! Entwined by Heather Dixon...

Yet another book giveaway, this time from one of my favorite blogs, Reading Teen. The book is Entwined by Heather Dixon, just clicky the link below!

Reading Teen: Reading Clean Spotlight! Entwined by Heather Dixon...: "ONE LUCKY WINNER WILL RECIEVE THIS..... READ MY REVIEW HERE !!!! This book was so amazing. I chose this book, for the month of April bec..."

Confessions of a Bookaholic: Guest Post & Giveaway: Sleight by Jennifer Sommers...

Awesome post and giveaway from the book Sleight by Jennifer Sommers. Just clicky the link below :)

Confessions of a Bookaholic: Guest Post & Giveaway: Sleight by Jennifer Sommers...: "Today I have a hilarious author here visiting my blog. Her name is Jennifer Sommersby and she is the author of Sleight . She's sharing a..."

Book Lungs: 300 Follower Giveaway!

This is an awesome new blog that has killer reviews and awesome giveaways! The following link will take you to one of those giveaways, if your smart (and I think MOST of you are) this should definitely become a blog to follow!

Book Lungs: 300 Follower Giveaway!: "Prize Pack #1 * ARC of Die for Me by Amy Plum - (Discontinued U.S. Cover) ARC of Misfit by Jon Skovron ARC of Exile by Anne Osterlund..."


The Bookish Type: A Cornucopia of Dystopia: ARC Giveaway of Divergen...

I have heard nothing but good things about this book and now here's a chance to win it! Just click the link below :)

The Bookish Type: A Cornucopia of Dystopia: ARC Giveaway of Divergen...: "Thanks to Allison at Harper Collins I am able to give away an ARC of the highly anticipated Divergent by Veronica Roth ! Coming May 3,..."


Heavenly Savings: Monster Factory Review and Giveaway!

Check out this giveaway from Heavenly Savings! Just click the link below!

Heavenly Savings: Monster Factory Review and Giveaway!: "My Thoughts on Monster Factory It seems like here recently I have seen many stuffed Monsters for Kids around. This was something that I ..."


Giveaway Blogdom: Purex Complete with Zout Review and Giveaway

Here's a giveaway from Giveaway Blogdom for a coupon for a free bottle of Purex with Zout!

Giveaway Blogdom: Purex Complete with Zout Review and Giveaway: "MMMM....the smell of freshly laundered laundry. For me it really is something that I could get lost in (not as much as the smell of co..."


Heavenly Savings: Honeycat Cosmetics Review and Giveaway! OPEN WORLD...

Don't you just love to have some you time? For most moms, this is harder to come by more than you think. Check out the blog Heavenly Saving and an awesome giveaway!

Heavenly Savings: Honeycat Cosmetics Review and Giveaway! OPEN WORLD...: "p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } My Thoughts on Honeycat Cosmetics You have all read my posts about how much I love my Bubble Ba..."


Giveaway Blogdom: TA-DA Bags - Review and Giveaway

Now for another awesome giveaway from Giveaway Blogdom!

Giveaway Blogdom: TA-DA Bags - Review and Giveaway: " As a blog reviewer I see a lot of new products come through my door. My mom once said it was like Christmas everyday an..."


Heavenly Savings: Scunci Bendini Clip Review and Giveaway!

Heavenly Savings: Scunci Bendini Clip Review and Giveaway!: "p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } My Thoughts on Scunci Bendini Clip Having a little girl is so much fun because I get to do fun sty..."

Heavenly Savings: Southern Magnolia Minerals Reveiw and $20.00 Gift ...

Heavenly Savings: Southern Magnolia Minerals Reveiw and $20.00 Gift ...: "p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } My Thoughts on Southern Magnolia Minerals I had my makeup done by a little Mineral Makeup stan..."

Giveaway Blogdom: Executive Gift Shoppe - Review and Giveaway

Giveaway Blogdom: Executive Gift Shoppe - Review and Giveaway: " My mom has had a job that requires business cards for the last ten years, and to date has yet to have a way to hold them. I la..."


Breastfeeding and an awesome Giveaway via Measuring Flower: Pump-a-Pair Review and Giveaway

One issue that I always seem to be at loggerheads with my friends is breastfeeding.. I have a couple (and yes that means like.. 2) friends that breastfed but most of my friends thinks it's nasty or weird or whatever.  Honestly to each their own, but I happen to be a very happy breastfeeding mommy and am always looking for things to make it a little easier experience. While scouring through my email I came across a blog I have been following for a few weeks now that offers giveaways, but also offers reviews on the products, recipes, craft ideas.. Truly a perfect site for a stay at home mom on a budget.. Did I mention coupons too? But any-who before I get off track the following link is to that giveaway and to the blog that mentioned before :)

Measuring Flower: Pump-a-Pair Review and Giveaway: "In October of 2010, Lyndsay Szymanski, with the help of her brother (now the CFO and co-owner) Jason Shultz, began Pumping Station, LLC, to..."

As always tell your friends about me :) And follow if you want!