Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Book Club: December

This post contains some affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are our own! 

It's one of our favorite posts of the month...Book Club day!!!  

This time of year might be one of the busiest for moms with all things holiday, but that hasn't slowed down our reading (or listening).  Part of that is because we both indulged in some GREAT books this month.  They were all so different, but so many that we really enjoyed!   


The other day I was cooking dinner with my headphones in while kids were running around the house and my daughter asked me why I was always listening to my book.  Ha!  I told her it was so I didn't have to listen to them yell.  Really though it was because I just love having something to take my mind off the mundane tasks of the day to day.  Folding laundry and listening, cleaning bathrooms and listening, doing dishes and listening, packing lunches and listening.  You get the point! 

My first book of the month was Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane. I typically love stories that are emotional, dramatic, messy, and complicated so when I read a review saying that is exactly what this book was I was so excited to read it and had really high hopes.  It was all of those things, but I kept waiting for something really big to happen and it never did.  It's about two families and how they are intertwined with each other's lives over a long span of time. There was issues of mental illness, substance abuse, pain and heartache. It kept me listening and wanting to know how it ended, but I just didn't love it. 

Next for me was The Simple Wild by K.A.Tucker.  My friend, Jaime, recommended this book to me and I thought it might be a nice light read after the heavy book I'd just finished.  This was a sweet love story, but touched on more than just a boy meets girl.  There was heartbreak, family dynamics and illness woven into this story, but ended in the best way possible.  It is about a young woman who hasn't seen her father in over 20 years and has had very little contact with him over that time.  She ends up going to visit him where he lives in Alaska. Let's just say the city girl has a hard time adjusting to the drastically different lifestyle the Alaskan people live day-to-day. She ends up reconnecting with her father in the best way possible and comes to love everyone who is a part of his life.  She has some difficult decisions to make when it comes to her future, but I loved the way this book ended.  I would definitely recommend it!

My friend, Vanessa, gave me this book for my birthday!  Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson was a book for her neighborhood's book club, so she thought I might enjoy it, too.  This was full of suspense, betrayal, blackmail, hidden pasts and lots of twists I didn't see coming. The main character, Amy, seems to have a nice normal suburban life, but when a new neighbor moves in and instantly inserts herself in Amy's life she starts to dig up secrets about her past that no one knows.  Amy gets blackmailed, but learns how to play the game and outsmart the new neighbor. There were so many twists I never saw coming, but they kept me wanting to know more and more about how all of these characters were woven together. It was full of drama and ended in a totally different way than I had expected.  If you like books with suspense and dark twists, this one is for you!

I started American Royals by Katherine McGee kind of on a whim and was immediately hooked.  I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!  I never watch TV so I have never gotten into any of the royal shows or series, but I feel like if I did have time to sit down and watch something I would most certainly love all things royal.  This book was written as though America, in it's very earliest days, had granted George Washington a crown and he had become the first King of America instead of our first President.  I thought that aspect of the story was so fascinating, smart and clever. The story focuses on the current royal family (a king, queen, two princess and one prince) and how the eldest princess is being groomed to be the first ruling queen. I loved all of the characters, hearing their connection to the crown and to each other, and it really made me me think about what life in the monarchy would be like. I loved the royal balls it described, the pomp and circumstance mixed in with everyday pop culture and it had me rooting for my favorite characters to end up in love and together.  I had been warned that this book just ended abruptly, but it left me wanting more and I feel like that is often a good thing.  Apparently, it is the first in a series so there will be a second book next fall!  This book could be considered Young Adult and was totally PG, but it was SO fun and really different and one that I just adored!

This month I started off reading a book a friend gave me by one of my favorite authors. About 15 pages in I put it down. It isn't a bad story or un-intriguing. It just opened up a little heavy, and I decided I needed a little more light. I'll come back to it, but switching gears proved to be a great move because I enjoyed every single book I read this month.

First up...

American Royals by Katharine McGee. I think it is so funny Carrie Beth and I picked out the same book this month. We have similar tastes in a lot of things, but reading can sometimes be hit or miss. We were at a girls night she was hosting chatting about books and we laughed when we both said this one at the same time as a suggestion to someone. We read it together and didn't even know it.

First, I love anything that has to do with royalty. Television shows, movies, books, etc. So when I saw American Royals I was intrigued. Like Carrie Beth said - it was so good! It's definitely a young adult novel, but I loved it's drama filled fun. Royal balls, forbidden romances, family chaos - I loved it all. It ended a little abruptly for me, and then I realized it's the first novel in a series. I'm curious on how it will all play out. (I'm also curious if my over filled, over tired brain will remember to pick up the second one when it comes out next year.)

Next up was The Last Wife by Nicola Marsh. This was my Audible for the month and it was such a good listen. I was so sucked in right from the start. The story is filled with family drama from the get go, and I actually looked forward to car pool and my mom taxi duties every day because it meant I could sneak in a few minutes to listen. The story follows Ria and her involvement we her ex-husband's family. Her ex disappeared five years prior in a scandal, but Ria still keeps in touch with the family. The Parker family is one of the richest families in Chicago, and one day Ria is given information on each of her family member's deepest, darkest secrets. She decides to keep them to herself until something bad happens to each family member. I was so shocked at who the culprit was, and still have questions on some of the final details, but this was a great listen/read. 

Okay, so sometimes Amazon's suggestions are a little far fetched and sometimes they are spot on. I was on my way to our annual Friendsgiving weekend at our cabin, and needed a good book to read on my Kindle. Broken Knight was in my "suggested reads" list that popped up. I mean I don't know about you, but that cover had me intrigued. The synopsis was a little vague, but had me curious enough that at $2.99 I thought, "Meh, I'll give it a go." 

I read it in a day. 

It had a lot more substance than typical romance novels, and between the drama, the heartbreak, the missed opportunities, the tragedy, and the romance I could. not. put. it. down. I stayed up until 3:30a.m. on vacation just to finish it. It was that good. I immediately told Carrie Beth to read it because it reminded me of  her favorite book of 2018

It's a romance book for sure. It has rated R content and language (not bad, but enough that it elicits a warning). It touches on substance abuse, mental health, rape, and terminal disease. All wrapped up in a love story. 

There were times I didn't even like some of the main characters. There were times I might have cried. Who knew a cover like that would take me down this reading journey. Touch√© L.J. Shen.  The ending was a teeny tiny bit rushed, but it gave such closure after so many emotional roller coasters along the way I didn't even care. Now go read it so we can all talk about it! 



My next book has to be Broken Knight by L.J. Shen. When Jen told me she stayed up until 3:30 AM reading this one I knew I had to make it my next book.  When she told me it reminded her of my fav book from 2018, I was sold. I can't wait to share about this one next month!


It's December and that can mean only one thing - HOLIDAY BOOKS! I have a stack of these holiday books ready to go. Bring on the cozy blankets, warm fires, and all the holiday reading!

1. What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand
2. Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
3. Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
4. Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes

And don't forget about two awesome holiday books we read earlier this season -  Coming Home for Christmas & A Wedding in December.  See our full reviews here.

What should we put on our reading lists next? 


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