Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Seasons Readings: Springing into Books

Summer shines, Spring blossoms, Winter glistens and Autumn crunches. Seasons affect our lives constantly. As part of Nori’s Book Blogger Creativity Project #BBCreativityProject, the Hot Pink Team are celebrating and honouring the seasons with some special book posts over the next month.

Before I start my post I’d like to introduce you to the Hot Pink Team: Brittany from The Book Addict’s Guide, Debbie from Silk Serif, Erica from Escape Under the Cover, Kj from Birds that Love Words, Let from Other Side of Ordinary, Maggie from The Novel Orange, Nori from Read Write Love, Orchid from The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia, and Veronica from Grounded Wanderlust.

We have all worked really hard and hope you enjoy what we have created.

Spring is hands down one of my two favorite seasons (the other being fall!) so when the Hot Pink team decided to do seasons, I was super happy with the choice! When I was thinking about what I wanted to do, I was talking to a friend about flowers and what they meant! So, I thought I could take flowers and their meanings and give some book recommendations for them!

When I was coming up with books to recommend, I came up with two different topics I seem to look for the most in books: friendship and romance/love. So for now, those are the two I'm going to give recommendations for!

Friendship is incredibly important to me and I LOVE reading about friends or people becoming friends. I've spent so many years of my life looking for those friends that I would have for the rest of my life and it's a bigger struggler than I ever anticipated. 

Alstroemeria                          Yellow Rose                


Breadcrumbs was one of the first books that came to mind when I thought about this topic! A girl who travels to the ends of the world for her best friend? Heck yes! 
Liesl & Po was an excellent story and I loved the uniqueness of it! 
Where the Red Fern Grows going a little old school for the next few but I LOVED and hated this story when I was younger. I sobbed like it was no ones business. 
Shiloh Ah, obviously. 
Because of Winn Dixie  wasn't this the epitome of a friendship between a child and her or her best friend, even if its a dog? 


Just Visiting is one of the most recnt read for me but I really connected to it! 
Open Road Summer is basically about two girls and their friendship and how their future will change. 
 Welcome Caller this is Chloe is an older read and one I wish more people read! I loved seeing the different people Chloe became friends with! 
Emmy & Oliver really showed how a connection between two people can't be broke by time or place.  
Code Name Verity is all about strong female friendships and one of my all time favorite books. PLEASE read it! 
 Harry Potter Series do I need to explain? 
Vampire Academy Series  the connect that Rose and Lissa have is unexplainable but they're always there for each other no matter what! 

I am all about the romance/love stories guys. The die-hard romantic in me loves reading romances and books that have swoony relationships in them. There is something so wonderful to me about seeing two people fall for each other. The more tension in the beginning the better! 

Red Rose


 The Crimson Crown has one of the best romances that develops throughout the series without making the books all about the romance. Plus, it's a fabulous fantasy series!
Audrey, Wait! was so cute! I remember reading this book and having the goofiest smile on my face.
The Truth About Forever WES WES WES WES
The Year of Secret Assignments SEB CHARLIE MATTHEW
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour ROGER ROGER ROGER ROGER


 The Re-Arranged Life has a interracial relationship between a white guy and an Indian American girl who is basically me! I don't remember the last time I've connected with a character!
Boomerang was so much fun! I loved seeing Mia and Ethan put their differences aside and fall for each other.


Again the Magic has some of my favorite topes when it comes to romance books! 
Secrets of a Summer Night Annabelle and Simon are two of my favorites in this series and I love how Simon has been in love with Annabelle for years! 
It Happened One Autumn Lillian and Marcus falling in love is basically how I want to fall in love: I want to have chemistry and lots of banter and fun with the man I love. 
Romancing the Duke is such a cute story! For me, I love that Izzy and Ransom have to get past their flaws to really be in love. 

And that's it for my post! I hope you all found new books to read that have friendships and romance in them!

The Language of Flowers and Flower Meanings  were used for the meanings! 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

When You Fall Out of Love

This is not the post I thought I'd be writing today. I was going to have a book review or another discussion up but not this post. Why? Because writing this post, telling you all what this is about scares me. It's terrifying to think that writing these words will give one aspect to this issues I'm not sure I want: certainty. When I put words down, on a computer or paper, it's far too certain for me. And yet, here I am, typing up these words for the whole world to see. But let me back up a little and explain to you why I'm writing this post. And, I want to tell you a story.

Many, if not all, of the books I read has a romance in it. Whether it be the love-to-hate or best-friends-turned-to-love or any of the numerous types of love stories out there, it can be found in books. But the one thing I haven't seen is what happens when you fall out of love. Now, I understand that this doesn't make for the best book around but I can't help but want a book where the main character decides to be single or go explore the world after her romance ends. This isn't to say that she can't find romance anywhere else but I want a book that really, truly, explores the aspect of falling out of love.

So to make my point, let me tell you a story: In high school, I never dated. It was a mix of lots of reasons none of which included thinking I was better than a silly high school romance. Simply put, I just didn't date. It wasn't something I wanted even though I am a die hard romantic. Fast forward to the fall semester of my freshman year of college and like many New Adult books, I met a boy. We went on a date that last about three hours and I thought it was going places. But in the end, it fizzled out. Around November, I knew it was over and I had moved on. I met this new guy and while I thought he was attractive, he was newly out of a relationship with someone I knew and I considered him out of my league.

So during the next semester, I saw more and more of this guy. He was friends with one of my closest friends and the three of us began hanging out. I let go of anything negative thoughts I had and began flirting with him. Long story short, by March of that semester, I asked him out and we began dating. We dated for well over a year and things were going great...but in January of 2015, as a sophomore in college (aka this past school year), something changed for me. I didn't think about him all the time. I didn't look for his texts or phone calls. I didn't have butterflies in my stomach anymore when he called me "sweetheart" and his kisses had lost their magic. I realized that the next two years of my college career were going to be very, very important for me and I wasn't sure if romance was something I needed. Wanted, yes, but not needed.

I reapplied with a sudden, uncomfortable feeling that I had fallen out of love with this guy. He was my first boyfriend and the first guy I share my kiss with (yes, I was 19 when I had my first kiss) and first date and so many more things. Yet, it wasn't enough. The spark had died out and it made me very sad. We dated for the remainder of the semester to bring that spark back but come May, when I was done with my semester, we still didn't break up. It turns out that no matter how we felt, we weren't ready to let go. But about a week ago, we ended it officially.

What I realized is that he was the perfect first boyfriend. He was kind and considerate and made me very happy but he wasn't, at the end of the day, who I needed in my life. He and I had once shared many things but as we'd grown older, those similarities diminished and went away. I want to see the world. I want to learn new languages. I want to bungee jump and sky dive and many other things that scare me. I want to drink coffee and eat macaroon in Paris or watch a theater version of my favorite Shakespeare play in London or learn about the art in Rome. I want to become a lawyer but I don't know what I want to study. I want to have adventures during my college years and make new friends. I want to go clubbing and dance my heart out.

It's not to say that he had to want all of these things for us to have a good relationship. What I'm saying is, I wanted him to want these things for me. I wanted him to support my love for travel and to see new places and even though he did, it wasn't the right kind of support. It was more of a "I'm glad you want to travel but..." That afterthought was always there and it made me seem like a bad person for wanting these things. He talked about missing me and how it would be hard but in times like this, I don't want someone to tell me that. What I want is for a guy to be as excited for this as I am. And I would do the same for him. While this sounds trivial, what I'm trying to say is that I wanted a guy who would support me regardless of what I wanted to do and understand that it wouldn't change how I felt about him. It's not like I won't miss him or that I don't understand what traveling means. It's just that for one moment, just one moment, I want to live in a blissful world where traveling to these far away places is possible without bringing in our relationship.

Because I am that die hard romantic who believes that there is someone out there for everyone, I think that eventually, my prince charming will come. We'll banter and argue and get angry but come back together again. He might be someone I already know or someone I have yet to meet. But for now, I'm okay with being single. I'm still sad that this happened and even though I will love this guy forever, I'm not stating to become okay with not having him in my life.

I feel like I've rambled on so I'm going to attempt to wrap things up. In the end, I want more books that deal with good to honest falling out of love scenarios. I know that sounds boring but I want one regardless. I want a heroine who simply don't love a guy even though he's nice and kind and supportive. Because sometimes, you just fall out of love.

What do you all think? Am I crazy for thinking/wanting this kind of book? Have you ever been in this situation? How did you handle it? 

Image source 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleyas

           It Happened One Autmn by Lisa Kleyas
Series: Wallflowers #2
Release Date: September 27, 2005
Publisher: Avon 
Source: Borrowed from Library 
Four young ladies enter London society with one necessary goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband. So they band together, and a daring husband-hunting scheme is born.

It happened at the ball...

Where beautiful but bold Lillian Bowman quickly learned that her independent American ways weren't entirely "the thing." And the most disapproving of all was insufferable, snobbish, and impossible Marcus, Lord Westcliff, London's most eligible aristocrat.

It happened in the garden...
When Marcus shockingly—and dangerously—swept her into his arms. Lillian was overcome with a consuming passion for a man she didn't even like. Time stood still; it was as if no one else existed...thank goodness they weren't caught very nearly in the act!

It happened one autumn...
Marcus was a man in charge of his own emotions, a bedrock of stability. But with Lillian, every touch was exquisite torture, every kiss an enticement for more. Yet how could he consider taking a woman so blatantly unsuitable...as his bride?
I can't remember the last series I fell in love with before I came across the Wallflowers Series. After reading each book, I have to get my hands on the next installment and at this point I have four more books in this series. Anyways, when I came across It Happened One Autumn, I was surprised and excited to see that Marcus Marsden was the love interest to Lillian Bowman. I loved him in the prequel and Lillian was the fiery, opinionated Wallflower I connected most to so seeing them come together was a pleasure!

Lillian Bowman was a woman after my own heart. So similar to my own personality, I loved how vivacious, opinionated and open she was. She was always doing something, rarely sitting still which made reading It Happened One Autumn so much more fun! She was in a world where propriety and lady like behavior was expected but being the American she was, Lillian wouldn't couldn't let society dictate what she did with her life. Seeing her and Marcus butt heads was so much fun. And speaking of Marcus, while he isn't my favorite hero, I liked seeing his turmoil about falling for a woman unlike any he'd ever met before. He's just as stubborn as Lillian but his aristocratic upbringing clashed often with Lillian's freedoms.

And of course I can't talk about a romance if I don't talk about how the two fell in love and let me tell you, It Happened One Autumn had one of my all time favorite tropes. Hate to love romances, for me, are THE best kind of romances. Like, there's no room for negotiation. The next closest would be second chance romance but that's not what we're talking about right now! So from the moment Lillian and Marcus meet, they don't get along. Lillian likes to do what she wants and is willing to fight for it. Marcus isn't used to woman offering their opinions freely or doing what they please. Her American upbringing and his English, nobleman upbringing are at the opposite ends of the spectrum. But no one can stop love and Lillian and Marcus can't help but be drawn to each other. There is so much banter and arguing and awkward situations that I had the goofiest look on my face the entire time I read it!

Overall, I really enjoyed It Happened One Autumn. While Lillian is the one Wallflower, thus far, that I've connected to the most, I didn't love her story as I think I'm going to love Evie's or Daisy's. It might have to do with the immense amount of drama at the very end of the novel. It's going to make reading the next book in this series a very interesting experience for sure but I think the suddenness of the events bothered me a little. Otherwise, another win for Lisa Kleypas for sure! I don't understand how she writes such wonderful stories guys, but I love every second of it!
This book is pretty great but it’s missing something that would make it extremely special. I might re-read this book, possibly more than once. I would recommend this book to lots of my friends and some of my colleagues. 
I LOVE the red! It plays off Lillian's dark hair so well and really like the dress pop!

It Happened One Autumn was such a fun read! I loved the hate to love trope and Lillian is the one Wallflower I connect to the most!

Review: Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas

           Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas
Series: Wallflowers #1
Release Date: October 13, 2009
Publisher: Avon Books
Source: Borrowed from Library 
Four young ladies enter London society with one common goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband. So a daring husband-hunting scheme is born.

Annabelle Peyton, determined to save her family from disaster, decides to use her beauty and wit to tempt a suitable nobleman into making an offer of marriage. But Annabelle's most intriguing -- and persistent -- admirer, wealthy, powerful Simon Hunt, has made it clear that while he will introduce her to irresistible pleasure he will not offer marriage. Annabelle is determined to resist his unthinkable proposition ... but it is impossible in the face of such skillful seduction.

Her friends, looking to help, conspire to entice a more suitable gentleman to offer for Annabelle, for only then will she be safe from Simon -- and her own longings. But on one summer night, Annabelle succumbs to Simon's passionate embrace and tempting kisses ... and she discovers that love is the most dangerous game of all.
So after falling in love with Again the Magic, I was eager to start the Wallflowers series. Kelly and Alexis both loved the series and I was ready to find out what all of the hype was about. Secrets of a Summer Night is one of those books I love to read when I’m bored or in a bad mood: well written, romantic, and a fun read. But I didn’t expect the one things that made me fall in love with the Wallflowers: the friendship between the four women. Secrets of a Summer Night, while not my favorite of the series, is worth a read for anyone and everyone!

It’s hard for me to figure out what kind of romance Secrets of a Summer Night. Even though Annabelle and Simon Hunt have known each other for a while, Annabelle wasn’t in love with him like Simon was with her. So it’s not a second chance romance nor is it a hate to love romance. But whatever it was, I loved seeing Annabelle open up to Simon and allow herself to be loved. Annabelle, like many women in the 1800s, has to find a husband before she becomes too old. Society people talk and it would ruin her reputation. Her family is also in need of money so an advantageous marriage is necessary. But Simon Hunt, no matter what he does to her when he comes close to her, is not the man for her. So Annabelle decides to fight her feelings. But that only goes that far, of course, and soon, Annabelle find that Simon is a wonderful man. The use of one of my favorite tropes, when one of the love interests gets sick and the other takes care of them, allows Simon and Annabelle to fall in love and truly understand each other. There was, however, some drama in about ¾ into the novel and I can’t figure out if I liked the drama or not. I guess that some drama is necessary in any novel and I have a feeling each novel will have a dramatic climax.

I think what I really loved about this novel is something people might find weird: I liked seeing how society in the 1800s still had a focus on birthright and linage. It’s interesting to see that regardless of how much money Simon has and how well known he is in an industry that is growing everyday, the fact that he has no title does not allow him into the home of the nobility. Annabelle, more into the nobility, no matter how low her rank is, has that over Simon. Seeing Annabelle and Simon understand what their love, what their marriage, will mean for their future. Annabelle has to understand that she won’t always be introduced to everyone’s home as she once would have. But in the end, I loved seeing that for Annabelle, her love for Simon was worth more than her standing in society.

Overall, I really enjoyed Secrets of a Summer Night. It was an excellent beginning to the Wallflower series (since Again the Magic is considered a prequel) and I can't wait for the rest of the series. I loved seeing Annabelle and Simon fall in love with each other. Seeing Annabelle find friends in the other three Wallflowers, however, was one of my favorite parts of this entire novel. There are not enough positive female friendships in books in general so I couldn't be happier.

This book is pretty great but it’s missing something that would make it extremely special. I might re-read this book, possibly more than once. I would recommend this book to lots of my friends and some of my colleagues.

I didn't LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE this so it couldn't get a LYLAS rating. However, I would recommend this series to lots of people and I will re-read this for sure. It's fun, quick, romantic, and just what I need from a historical romance.

Unlike many romance novels, she's doesn't have her back to the camera with her dress undone so that's a plus. However, it's still pretty similar to most romance novels so there's that.

SoaSN had an amazing blend of romance, fabulous female friendships, and a strong woman willing to do what she must for her family.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas

           Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas
Series: Wallflowers 0.5
Release Date: January 1, 2004
Publisher: Avon
Source: Library 
She gave him her innocence…

Lady Aline Marsden was brought up for one reason: to make an advantageous marriage to a member of her own class. Instead, she willingly gave her innocence to John McKenna, a servant on her father's estate. Their passionate transgression was unforgivable—John was sent away, and Aline was left to live in the countryside…an exile from London society.

…and he took her love.
Now McKenna has made his fortune, and he has returned—more boldly handsome and more mesmerizing than before. His ruthless plan is to take revenge on the woman who shattered his dreams of love. But the magic between them burns as bright as ever. And now he must decide whether to let vengeance take its toll…or risk everything for his first, and only, love.
When it comes to prequels for adult romance novels, they tend to be about one hundred or so pages. So imagine my surprise when this prequel to Lisa Kleypas's Wallflowers was a full length novel at 391 pages! I'd had this series on my radar for years but it wasn't until I read Kelly's reviews of the series that I decided I'd finally check them out from the library and see how I felt about it. Needless to say, I loved Again the Night and I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

If this book is any indication of what the rest of this series is going to be like, I'm ready for it all. The plot went with two tropes I LOVE: second chance romances and hate-to-love romance. And oh, boy was this a romance I would love! From the beginning, Aline and John McKenna--called McKenna because there were too many Johns on the estate already--had a forbidden romance. I mean, a lady and a servant? That can never happen. And because of this, once their romance is found out, they are separated. Of course, the book really begins when McKenna comes back hell bent on revenge. But what follows is love... Y'all, Aline and McKenna really, truly love each other even when they're young and reading those few chapters, it's so easy to see it. Their love, their loss, and their anger was so palpable that my heart went out to them. There's nothing worse than social class separating two people from being together especially if they are each others one true love. I’m also a die hard romantic so I was basically rooting for them from the very beginning.

As much as I liked Aline, McKenna was my favorite. He’s tall and looks almost ruthless and is an unconventionally handsome which all makes for a irresistible man! While he always knew that being with Aline would be near impossible, he still loved her after all that time--12 years to be exact so I have to insert this gif:
Anyways, back to McKenna! He was hurt after everything that happened with Aline but he never got over her. So when they see each other again, he wants to exact his revenge on her...but he loves her too much to harm her. Seeing his struggle with his feelings, the world's expectations and rules, and just what the future held for me was one of the best parts of this novel.

Now, I liked Aline a lot but unfortunately, there were some aspects of her character I couldn't get past. For one, her big secret--why she wouldn't get close to McKenna--seemed trivial to me. I understand that society was different during that time but the things she worried about seemed ridiculous to me! But more so, it's not as if McKenna would have cared about this secret of hers. I wanted her love for McKenna to be enough for them to get past all of the issues.

Overall, y'all, this was another win for Lisa Kleypas! It's a new series I've fallen head over heels in love with and I can't wait to begin the rest of the books. This was so sweet, romantic, and adorable that I couldn't help be keep thinking of Aline and McKenna even after I closed the book. If you like romance novels, please, please give this book a try! And come back to tell me if you could stop your self from getting the first book in the series.

This book is pretty great but it’s missing something that would make it extremely special. I might re-read this book, possibly more than once. I would recommend this book to lots of my friends and some of my colleagues.

This book was so close to being my all time favorites but alas, it didn't get there! However, I know that I'll be rereading this book if I'm ever in the mood for it and I would recommend it to everyone!

Why oh why do all romance novels have the same covers????? I don't understand this at all!

Again the Magic was a fun, romantic introduction to the Wallflowers Series! It features a second chance romance and it's a whole lot of fun!