180 Seconds by Jessica Park ~ Audio book Review & Quote-tastic (@JessicaPark24)

I'd been seeing this book around for a while, and I snatched it up while it was on sale. It was a fabulous read, and at times it made my heart ache. 
180 Seconds
Title: 180 Seconds
Author: Jessica Park
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Published: April 25th 2017

Buy Now - Amazon Audible B&N

Some people live their entire lives without changing their perspective. For Allison Dennis, all it takes is 180 seconds…

After a life spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, Allison is determined to keep others at arm’s length. Adopted at sixteen, she knows better than to believe in the permanence of anything. But as she begins her third year in college, she finds it increasingly difficult to disappear into the white noise pouring from her earbuds.

One unsuspecting afternoon, Allison is roped into a social experiment just off campus. Suddenly, she finds herself in front of a crowd, forced to interact with a complete stranger for 180 seconds. Neither she, nor Esben Baylor, the dreamy social media star seated opposite her, is prepared for the outcome.

When time is called, the intensity of the experience overwhelms Allison and Esben in a way that unnerves and electrifies them both. With a push from her oldest friend, Allison embarks on a journey to find out if what she and Esben shared is the real thing—and if she can finally trust in herself, in others, and in love.

180 Seconds was a different read than what I expected. I loved the way Allison and Esben met and that they were so different from one another. They fit together well, but it was also a difficult read as they faced some hard times that almost broke my heart.

Allison wasn’t a very confident girl. She kept to herself and found it hard to let people in. She was raised in the foster care system and was adopted late in her teenage years. Her best friend is the only person she kept close. After meeting Esben and going through the social experiment that rocked them both, she started to see herself—as well as the world and people around her—differently. She grew so much throughout the story, but I had that niggling feeling that something was coming, and boy did it rock my soul. My heart broke for Allison and I may have ugly cried too!

Esben was a nice guy and I loved the way he saw the world through each experiment that he did. I liked the way he encouraged Allison to do things that she wasn't totally comfortable with. He supported Allison and fit into her family easily. It all seemed too good to be true and I was anxious waiting for the penny to drop.

Allison's best friend Steffi confused me and I wasn't sure what her intentions were. There was something about her that threw me off because she was selfish, manipulative and did things that annoyed me. My heart broke for Allison though, because despite what Steffi put her through, she was still kind enough to do anything for her.

I was quite impressed with my first Jessica Park read. She created characters that had their quirks, but together they were perfect. It was a beautiful, gritty yet tragic read that will leave your heart swelling with the belief that love can heal your soul.

The first quote was amusing, and the second I felt in my soul! 

When he lowers himself into the seat beside mine, his arm grazes against me. “Hi,” he says softly.
“Hi.”
“How was the rest of your weekend?” he asks with a glint in his eye.
“Less drunk,” I reply.
In the sweetest voice I’ve ever heard, he says, “You’re cute drunk.”

Kindle Page 93

“How can you be this . . .” I look into his eyes. “How can you be this everything?”
“Let’s be clear here. I’m not saying that this is all a total breeze for me, because you’re pretty damn hot, and I would love to be tearing your clothes off, and I’ll probably have to take, like, forty cold showers later today.” His grin is both mischievous and utterly sweet. “But you know what feels better than anything physical?” Esben looks at me for a long time. “How it feels to be falling for someone the way that I’m falling for you.”

Kindle Page 138

Hosted by Anna @ Herding Cats & Burning Soup

Jessica ParkJessica is the author of CLEAR, The Left Drowning Series (LEFT DROWNING and RESTLESS WATERS), the New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE (& the companion novella FLAT-OUT MATT), FLAT-OUT CELESTE, and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.




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Man Card by Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby ~ Review & Swoon Thursday (@SarinaBowen, @Blunder_Woman)

I knew this book would be a hoot, and boy was it ever! There were a few intense moments, but overall it was a highly entertaining read! I'm looking forward to coming back to this world again, and soon!
Man Card (Man Hands, #2)
Title: Man Card
Author: Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby
Series: Man Hands #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: January 15th 2018

Buy Now - Amazon | B&N Kobo

Nothing ventured, nothing banged...
Ash
I still don't know how it happened. One minute I was arguing with my arrogant competitor--our usual trash-talk over who deserves the larger commission. But somehow I went from throwing down to kneeling down...
It can never happen again. I don't even like Braht. He's too slick. He's a manipulating mansplaining party boy in preppy clothes.
So why can't I get him out of my head?

Braht
There are two things I know without question. One: Ash and I are destined for each other. Two: never trust a man with a unibrow.
Ash is my missing my piece. She's the sweet cream to my gourmet espresso. And nothing gets me going faster than her contempt for me. They don't call her the Ashkicker for nothing.
Eventually I'll win her over...if my past doesn't ruin everything first.

I was looking for a read that was a bit lighter and a whole lot of fun, and Man Card was just what I needed! I was introduced to both Ash and Braht in the first book and I was looking forward to seeing their love/hate relationship turn into something more. Throw this couple into the same workplace, add a little danger and you know that these two would explode throughout the pages!

Ash thrived on control of everything around her; her home life, the work place and her love life. Having Braht in her life seemed to throw all her hard work into the air. He pushed her buttons, he allowed her to drop her walls and she somehow let him into her life without realising it.

Braht knew what he wanted since the first time he set his eyes on her, and that was Ash. He had had a taste of her and knew he wasn't letting her go. He appeared to be an over confident man, who loved his manscaping and being pampered, but he had issues in his past that gave him the drive to be the focused man he was today.

Ash and Braht really did compliment each other well, despite the secrets of their pasts coming back to haunt them. I enjoyed seeing the softer side to Braht and how far he would go for the people he loved. Ash grew into a better person too, being able to trust another person once again. She had a strong connection with her parents that made my heart swell with happiness for her. I enjoyed seeing all the characters from the first book again too, and I look forward to seeing how Sadie's life will turn out!

Complimentary copy provided by the Author in exchange for an honest review.

*** Swoon Thursday was first bought to us by YA Bound. Since they are no longer with us, and with permission from Trisha Wolfe, I have decided that those of us that love to swoon need a central meet up point.  So here it is ladies! I have a link up for everyone at the bottom of the post you can add your swoons to, and I’ll set it up every week! So tell all other swooners out there to come on over, link up so we can visit each other! ***


How I loved Braht and they way he expressed himself! Each time he opened up to Ash, I fell for him a little more!

“It’s the guy who has a firm grip on his man card that can hold your purse. He’s not afraid to be seen with that Tory Burch you like to carry—nice color, by the way. He’ll free up your hands because he likes your hands, and he remembers all the terrific things you can use them for.”

Kindle Arc Loc 1429

“Any man who tells you that chick flicks are for pussies can’t be any good in bed. Because that man does not speak the language of women.

Kindle Arc Loc 1436

On October tenth on this spot Sebastian Braht first seduced the woman of his dreams. Casualties: none. Weaponry: dirty talk and first-class salesmanship. Result: only one party shot his cannon, but both parties declared victory multiple times.

Kindle Arc Loc 2519
Originally inspired by YA Bound

Sarina BowenSarina Bowen is the USA Today bestselling author of steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction. She lives in the wilds of Vermont.

She is the author of The Ivy Years, an award-winning series set amid the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college. Also, the The Gravity series.

With Elle Kennedy, Sarina is the author of HIM and US.


Tanya Eby
Tanya is a member of SAG/AFTRA. She is a narrator and has over 500 titles to her credit. She also narrates under the name of Tatiana Sokolov for books that are particularly saucy (AKA erotica books). When not narrating, she’s working on her own writing. Check out her books: Easy Does It, Blunder Woman, Pepper Wellington and the Case of the Missing Sausage, Foodies Rush In, Tunnel Vision, and Synchronicity. She also has a food blog at dips.tanyaeby.com.




Other reviews featuring Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby
Man Hands #1
Other reviews featuring Sarina Bowen
The Ivy Years series
True North series
Keepsake #3
Bountiful #4 
Other reviews featuring Sarina Bowen & Sarah Mayberry
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Too Late by Colleen Hoover ~ Audiobook Review & Quote-tastic (@colleenhoover)

I had forgotten that Colleen Hoover had written this book. It was first published on Wattpad and was a bit of a side project. I snatched it up while looking for an Audible read and it was fantastic! Three different and intense characters, one of which had a little crazy about him!
Title: Too Late
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Published: November 19th 2016

Buy Now - Amazon | Audible B&N

Sloan will go through hell and back for those she loves.
And she does, every single day.
After finding herself stuck in a relationship with the dangerous and morally corrupt Asa Jackson, Sloan will do whatever it takes to get by until she's able to find a way out.
Nothing will get in her way.
Nothing except Carter.

Sloan is the best thing to ever happen to Asa. And if you ask Asa, he'd say he's the best thing to ever happen to Sloan. Despite Sloan's disapproval of Asa's sinister lifestyle, he does exactly what he needs to do in order to stay a step ahead in his business. He also does exactly what he needs to do in order to stay a step ahead of Sloan.
Nothing will get in his way.
Nothing except Carter.

I know this was written a while ago, but geez it blew my mind! I wish I’d picked it up earlier, and it was a brilliant book to listen to! The story is told from three perspectives: Sloan, Carter and Asa. I enjoyed seeing the lengths that Sloan and Carter would go for someone they loved and I tell ya, it was remarkable seeing into the twisted mind of Asa! It wasn’t always a pleasant read and it was intense too, but I just hoped that Sloan would make it out of the impossible situation they were in.

Right from the opening chapters I could see Sloan and Carter had chemistry, but they soon realised it wouldn’t be easy for them. Sloan is stuck in a situation that she doesn’t know how to get out of, with Asa pulling all the strings and Carter now works for Asa. However not all is at it seems and I had a glimmer of hope that Carter may be able to get Sloan out.

This book was intense! Everyone was on tender hooks around Asa as you didn’t know when he’d crack. He was possessive of Sloan, and had issues from his childhood that would constantly resurface. He had his own set of rules and would take anyone down who was a threat or stood in his way.

This was a different read than what I’m used too from Hoover, but it was still remarkable in its own way. I liked the way that she tackled this difficult situation and how I was hooked to learning more about the characters. The narrators delivered the story perfectly pulling me into the world and that I couldn’t get myself out of. I just wished I'd picked this story up earlier... it was fantastic!
I have a few little quotes from the same interaction between Sloane and Carter. It really was a turning point in their relationship.

“Are you? Interested in fucking me?”
Jesus Christ. What is she doing?
I fight my own hands as they slide to her hips. “Not really,” I say, my voice rough. “I’m much more interested in making love to you.”

Kindle Page 177

“Everything I’ve ever said to you. Every look I’ve given you. Every time I’ve touched you. It was never for the job, Sloan. Not one fucking time. Do you understand that?”

Kindle Page 178

I squeeze my eyes shut and whisper in her damp hair. “You’re all I see, Sloan. Beyond the job, beyond right and wrong. You’re all I see.” I press my lips to the side of her head, and when I feel her mouth press against my neck, I pull her closer. She’s still gasping for breath, probably a combination of fear, anger, and our current proximity. We find each other in the dark, and when our lips finally meet, it’s as if she’s silently begging me to kiss away her doubts.

Kindle Page 179

Hosted by Anna @ Herding Cats & Burning Soup

Colleen Hoover
Colleen Hoover is the New York Times bestselling author of eleven novels and five novellas. Hoover’s novels fall into the New Adult and Young Adult contemporary romance categories.

Hoover published her first novel, Slammed, in January 2012. Since then, all her eligible works have become New York Times best sellers.

Colleen Hoover is published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. Colleen also has several self-published titles.

In 2013, Colleen’s third novel, Hopeless, was the first self-published novel to reach #1 on The New York Times, where it remained for several weeks. Hopeless went on to become one of the top 20 bestselling ebooks of 2013.

In 2015, Colleen’s novel CONFESS won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance. That was followed up in 2016 with her latest title, It Ends With Us, also winning the Choice Award for Best Romance.

Her novel CONFESS has been filmed as a series by Awestruck and is due to release this spring on go90. Katie Leclerc and Ryan Cooper star in the series.

Ugly Love is slated to begin filming in late 2017.

Colleen founded The Bookworm Box, a charity subscription service and bookstore, with her family in 2015. The Bookworm Box is a subscription service that provides readers with an exciting opportunity to receive signed novels in the mail each month from authors all over the world. All profits from the subscription service are donated to various charities each month. To date, The Bookworm Box has donated over $850,000 to help those in need.

Colleen’s next release is WITHOUT MERIT, a contemporary romance novel due to release through Atria Books in October, 2017.

Colleen’s current work-in-progress is an exciting revisit to a previous novel, not yet announced, due to release in early 2018.





Other reviews featuring Colleen Hoover
Hopeless series
Losing Hope #2 


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Roomies by Christina Lauren ~ Review & Swoon Thursday (@seeCwrite, @lolashoes, @HachetteAus)

What a fun read Roomies was... because, you know, Sexy Irishman! Calvin and Holland were fantastic together, and I had hopes that these two would fall hard!
Roomies
Title: Roomies
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: December 5th 2017

Buy Now - Amazon | B&N Kobo

Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a big-time musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.

Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realise that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

If you didn't know by now, I'm a fan of the writing duo Christina Lauren, and I was super excited to get my hands on Roomies! I mean, who wouldn't want to marry an Irishman so he can stay in the country, and them you happen to fall for one another?! I tell you Roomies was a sweet and fun read that had plenty of swoonworthy moments that made my heart flutter!

I loved Holland! She seemed to be a little lost when it came to figuring out what she wanted to do with her life, but when an opportunity arose to help her uncle and Calvin, the young guitarist that she had a crush on, she took the chance! She was a very selfless person, and really looked out for those she was close to.

Calvin!! Oh my what a sweet hottie he turned out to be! He was talented, kind hearted and had a rocking body! He looked out for Holland and made her feel special. I could see that they were both slowly falling for one another, but were both a little scared to take the plunge... until they did!

Of course their story had plenty of hurdles, but they were able to work through most of them together. I loved how they married and then fell in love! It may have been backwards, but it was beautiful! I just wanted an epilogue... a little more of Holland and Calvin together again! I also liked seeing how close Holland was to her uncles, the musical ear that she had that brought Calvin into all of their lives, and how they both had family that they were close to. It really was a magnificent romance that I didn't want to end!

Complimentary copy provided by Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review.


*** Swoon Thursday was first bought to us by YA Bound. Since they are no longer with us, and with permission from Trisha Wolfe, I have decided that those of us that love to swoon need a central meet up point.  So here it is ladies! I have a link up for everyone at the bottom of the post you can add your swoons to, and I’ll set it up every week! So tell all other swooners out there to come on over, link up so we can visit each other! ***


I just had to share their first kiss... at the wedding. It was a little awkward, but sweet!

“Calvin, you may kiss your bride.”
I do a double take toward the officiant before I can help it. It never occurred to me that he would. That we would.
Calvin laughs a little at my wide eyes. “I promise to make it nice.”
It takes every bit of focus I have to remain upright. “I . . . believe. you.”
A tiny cocky grin curves his mouth. “If you can’t be good, at least be good at it.” His hand comes to rest at the back of my neck; his fingers thread into my hair. “So come here,” he whispers, licking his lower lip. As he leans in, I have to tip my head back to see him. His eyes are closed, his breathing even, and there’s a moment of hesitation where I know we're both thinking, This is it. We’re really doing this.
I bring my hand to rest on his chest and it's that solidness that spurs me on, has me closing the last bit of distance be- tween us. His lips are warm, smoother than I imagined, and tiny explosions travel along my body like a rush of caffeine filling my veins. It’s a perfect kiss, not too wet, not too soft, and I count to two before he pulls away, his forehead resting against mine. And just as I’m wondering whether he’ll ever kiss me again—unprompted—he whispers a sweet, nearly imperceptible “Thank you.”

Paperback Page 97
Originally inspired by YA Bound
Yes, there are two of us! Lauren (on the left) and Christina (on the right).

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced nine New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 23+ languages.

Lauren Billings (but everyone calls her Lo) has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and before she made writing her full-time job, would spend her days doing nerdy research-type things wearing a lab coat and goggles. She is silly Mommy to two littles, wife to one mountain biking homebrewing scientist, bestie to a shoe-stealer, and an unabashed lover of YA and romance.

Christina Hobbs (but you’ll always hear Lo call her PQ) used to spend her days in a junior high counseling office surrounded by teenagers. These days you’ll probably find her on tumblr. She is married and absolutely not old enough to be the mom of a 14 year old (right??), thinks she’s the luckiest person in the world to write books with her best friend, and is an unapologetic lover of boy bands and glitter. She also likes to steal Lo’s shoes.

You can follow their shenanigans at:

@lolashoes (Lauren) & @seeCwrite (Christina) on Twitter. On TumblrWhere we post kissing gifs and writerly stuff and Wattpad for short stories and sneak peeks!

For official information about their books, events, interviews, movie news and more, follow @christinalauren.

Website / Facebook / Twitter - ChristinaLauren 
Goodreads / WattPad / Tumblr / Pinterest




Other reviews featuring Christina Lauren
Beautiful series







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Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton ~ Review & Quote-tastic (@ChanelCleeton, @penguinrandom, @BerkleyRomance)

Here is my first review for 2018! 
I'm starting off with a book that is released tomorrow, Next Year in Havana. This is the first book in a new series by Chanel Cleeton, and I was pleasantly surprised as to how much I enjoyed it!
Next Year in Havana
Title: Next Year in Havana
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Genre: Historical Contemporary Romance
Published: February 6th 2018

Buy Now - Amazon | B&N iTunes Kobo

After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity--and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution...

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba's high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country's growing political unrest--until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary...

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa's last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba's tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she'll need the lessons of her grandmother's past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

Next Year in Havana was a read that really touched my heart. I loved that it was told through two perspectives: Marisol—present day—and her Great Grandmother Elisa—past. Although I've never been to Cuba, it was interesting to get their perspectives on a country where their people struggle daily, unless they are born into wealth.

Marisol was in Cuba so she could scatter her Grandmothers ashes. She met a lot of people that her Grandmother knew and saw a different side to Elisa, that left her wondering if she truly knew the person who raised her. She uncovered secrets, discovered some truths and allowed her heart to fall for someone when she least expected it.

I loved Elisa's perspective, seeing the difficulties she had to face and how politics dictated her life. She fell in love with a guy that her family would never approve of and was willing to put herself in danger to save him. She had to leave the only home she knew to begin again in a new country. I could never imagine how hard that would be!

I've read about 90% of Chanel Cleeton's work, and to be honest, I wasn't sure that I'd enjoy this one, so boy was I happy to be proven wrong! I loved both time-lines and was introduced to a lot of characters, some I can't wait to see more of. The romances were sweet and the story was addictive, even with the hint of danger on the horizon. I would've liked a little more of Marisol after she returned home, instead the ending felt a little rushed. I am looking forward to Beatriz's story (Elisa's sister). Being the carefree and deceptive sister, I'm sure it will be an entertaining ride!

Complimentary copy provided by the Publisher, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have two Quotes today. One featuring Elisa and Pablo, the other with Marisol and Luis!

Pablo takes my hand, his thumb stroking the inside of my wrist, teasing the soft skin there.
“You’re going to be difficult to walk away from, aren’t you?” he asks, his voice resigned.
My heart thuds.
“I hope so.”

Kindle Arc Loc 1510

My fingertips trail against the sea as it caresses my navel. I dive under the waves, and when I pop up again, Luis is there, his back to the sun, watching me.
It feels like a line of dominoes falling into place, like somehow I was meant to end up here, with the grandson of beloved family friends, my feet on Cuban soil, history catching up to me.
I take a step forward. Then another. I stop an inch away from Luis, and our lips meet, the salt from the sea between us, the smell of the ocean filling my nostrils, the sun warming his skin beneath my hands, his beard scratchy against my cheek.
Ages pass before we come up for air.

Kindle Arc Loc 2911

Hosted by Anna @ Herding Cats & Burning Soup

Chanel CleetonOriginally from Florida, Chanel Cleeton grew up on stories of her family's exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her years spent studying in England where she earned a bachelor's degree in International Relations from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master's degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science. Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She loves to travel and has lived in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.




Other reviews featuring Chanel Cleeton
Wild Aces series
Into the Blue #2
On Broken Wings #3
Capital Confessions series
Flirting with Scandal #1
Playing with Trouble #2
Falling for Danger #3
International School series
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JANUARY WRAP-UP

 Hello Everyone! Welcome to 2018!!
I'm so happy to be back even though things have been hectic in the Hop Household. We are in the process of moving into a new house while we wait on our land to settle so we can build. The kiddos are excited for the change, and are keen to move into a brand new home (eventually!). 

So in between packing I've still had time to read. I gifted myself a box set for Christmas, and devoured it during the holidays. I read a few awesome books at the end on 2017. I've also read some books that I've had in the kindle app for a while. I'll be sharing all these reviews very soon!

I'm still working at the hospital, it's been a year now. I'm finding it hard to juggle blogging, work and family life. I don't always have enough time to blog, but I somehow manage time to read, if only in short spurts! 

The kiddos all began a new year of school this summer. Grades 7, 5 and 3! They are growing up so fast! 
Anyway, I hope to be around more, and I plan to get a lot of posts scheduled before we relocate in only 7 days! See you all soon!
These are the books I've picked up over the past month!
(Click on covers to take you to Goodreads)

The Selection Series 1-5 Book Set (The Selection, #1-5)
The Selection Series by Kiera Cass
This was my $10 gift to myself for Christmas!

Dating You / Hating YouRoomies
Dating You / Hating You and Roomies by Christina Lauren
Thanks to Hachette Australia for these fab reads!

Room Mates The Series
Room Mates (The Series) by Kendall Ryan
99c purchase at the end of 2017

The Dark Light of Day (The Dark Light of Day, #1)
The Dark Light of Day by T.M. Frazier
Naomi’s Weekly Wrap Up is a combined meme with the Sunday Post hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book ReviewerBought, Borrowed and Bagged hosted by Braine @ Talk Supe and Stacking The Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.
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