Fur Baby Friday

 I can't believe Toby, our eight-year-old Cockapoo naps on the steps.  Toby has taken naps there since he was a puppy.

They can’t be too comfy, especially now that we remodeled.  He sometimes naps with his snout next to the baluster shoe and those little things are sharp.

Thanks for visiting ~ 

Stacking the Shelves #1

This is my first time participating in Stacking the Shelves, a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks.  If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launchpage.

These are the books I added to me shelf this past week.  I went to Barnes & Nobel to get two books, Hunted and The Hate U Give.  I left the store with four additional books.  I usually tend to order online because of pricing but I did enjoy browsing the bookstore. 

Hunted by Meagan Spooner
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman
Under the Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
Gilded Cage by Vic James

What I added to my Kindle:

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Thank you stopping by, I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone added to their shelves this week. ~ Jovi

Review: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

Behind Closed Doors Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Kindle Edition336 pages
Published August 9th 2016

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You'd like to get to know Grace better. But it's difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.

Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace's friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn't Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?

And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

My thoughts…  **spoilers**

Nothing is what it seems. Jack is not the man that everyone thinks he is.  What goes on behind closed doors would shock their friends and the community. 

Behind Closed Doors opens at a dinner party that Jack and Grace are hosting.  Everything is perfect, the food, the house, and Grace & Jack the perfect couple.  One of the guests ask Grace how they met…

Jack and Grace met in the park one afternoon, while Grace was there with her younger sister Millie who has Down Syndrome.  Grace was dancing by herself and some of the park goers began whispering about her.  Jack approaches Grace, bows and begins dancing with her, Grace is thrilled that Jack was so caring and thoughtful with her sister.  In Graces past relations, most men usually backed off once they realized that Grace is Millie’s primary caregiver.

Jack sets his sights on Grace.  She cannot believe how lucky she is to attract someone like Jack, a successful lawyer who defends abused women, gorgeous and well mannered.  After six months of dating, Jack asks Grace to marry him, she agrees.  Jack also convinces Grace to quit her job and sell her current home. 
Grace is currently in a special school where she lives but she's supposed to go and live with Jack and Grace after she turns eighteen.

They get married, and while on the honeymoon everything changes.  Jack lets Grace know that he never wanted her, and doesn’t find her attractive, he has his eyes set on Millie.  Jack is a sadistic man and loves the fear he provokes from women and he is very much looking forward to bringing out that fear in Millie. 

Grace does not want Millie brought into the sadistic world she lives in with Jack.  She will try to figure out how she can stop it while being held hostage in their home and pretending in front of friends.

The entire time I was routing for Grace, I wanted her to make Jack suffer, like Molly suffered.  The story is written well, overall it was a pretty addictive read and Millie was fabulous, she was my favorite character.  I will certainly read B. A. Paris’s next novel, The Breakdown.

Happy Reading ~ Jovi

Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Heartless Heartless by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hardcover453 pages
Published November 8th 2016

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

My thoughts… **spoilers**

I never planned on reading Heartless since I have never been a fan of Alice in Wonderland, but I liked the cover jacket.  I’m happy I did read it because Marissa Meyer made this world and characters enjoyable for me. 

Heartless is an epic retelling/prequel of Alice in Wonderland, with the focus being on The Queen of Hearts, Catherine.

Poor Cath. All she wants is to pursue her dream of opening a bakery with her maid and friend Mary Ann.  But her mother has other plans. She wants to make her the Queen of Hearts, but Cath is interested in Jest, the mysterious new court jester with his own motives.  Determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her own terms, she and Jest enter a secret courtship.

I tried not to get hopeful with the romance between Cath and Jest, considering how the Queen of Hearts ends up.  It was hard not to like Jest, he made Cath feel for the first-time what love really is.  I was saddened and heartbroken at the end and understood Cath's transformation from a smart, lovable girl into a cold heartless Queen. 

“For the murder of Jest, the court joker of Hearts, I sentence this man to death.”  She spoke without feeling, unburdened by love or dreams or the pain of a broken heart.  It was a new day in Hearts, and she was the Queen.  “Off with his head”

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fast, entertaining, fantasy read.  I have not read Marissa Meyers Lunar Chronicles, I will soon since I have them sitting pretty on my book shelf. 

Happy Reading ~ Jovi

Review: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Hardcover306 pages
Published January 31st 2017 

Why is everyone talking about the ending of Sarah Pinborough's Behind Her Eyes?

Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife, but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?

As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong, but Louise can’t guess how wrong―and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.

My thoughts…

WOW… I absolutely could not put this book down, it totally consumed me.  It’s addictive, dark, and original and it has an ending that everyone is talking about.  #WTFthatending has never been a more appropriate hashtag for a book. 

Behind Her Eyes is not a book for everyone and it is one of those books that it’s hard to say anything about without revealing spoilers (which I usually have no problem with). Read the synopsis and then the book… you’ll either love it or hate it! 

Happy Reading ~ Jovi

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Kindle Edition453 pages
Published April 2011 

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

My thoughts…  **Spoilers**

Unearthly has been on my TBR shelf since December 2013, what took me so long to read it?!  I absolutely loved it.

Unearthly tells the story of a 16-year-old girl, Clara, who is one fourth part angel-blood (her mother is half angle-blood and her father is human). The book opens with her discovering her purpose in life which all angel-bloods experience at some point.  Through visions, it appears that Clara is destined to save a young boy from a forest fire (Christian).  Together with her mother and brother, Jeffery, they pack up and move from California to Wyoming. Only it seems her purpose in regards to Christian is not quite clear and neither are her feelings towards him.

Clara is smart, sarcastic, and confident but she has a huge weight on her shoulders… she knew she was an angel blood, but didn't necessarily know how to fly.  We learn with Clara and share her frustrations as she tries to prepare herself for her purpose.

Unearthly contains a love triangle (sort of), which I usually avoid, here the love triangle is barely present. Clara isn’t playing games and there isn't any cheating going on, not even in Clara's heart.  I can understand her almost sudden attraction to Christian, all the females at school think of him as a god. I also understand that Christian is to be saved by Clara to fulfill her purpose, I didn't understand why, for a time, she thinks she is destined to be with him.  Christian was not an interesting character compared to Tucker.  Maybe in the second book, his character will get a chance to grow.

Over the summer, Clara gets a chance to see Tucker for who he really is, sweet, caring and respectful. The scenes between Clara and Tucker were beautiful, it wasn’t love at first sight.  I liked the pacing of the romance, it was real and healthy, they got to know each other before falling in love, or even liking each other for that matter.

Cynthia Hand created an amazing world within this book. The plot was excellent and kept me interested right till the very end.  There were also plot twists (the Black Wings), which made the book that more interesting.  I truly enjoyed this and I will read the sequel, Hallowed, soon.

Happy Reading ~ Jovi

Review: Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Paper Valentine Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Hardcover304 pages
Published January 8th 2013

The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls.

For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.

With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realizes that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life—and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.

My thoughts…

Paper Valentine started off tremendously slow for me, but once the story took off, I finished it in one afternoon.

Hannah is a teenage girl, who can see and talk to her best friend, Lillian, who died sixth months ago, from anorexia.  Her death has affected Hannah a great deal as she's feeling both sorrow and guilt from not being able to help her friend more when she was alive.  We see this darker, depressed side of Hannah in the novel.

When a murderer begins targeting young girls, Lillian convinces Hannah to dig deeper into what is happening in their town.  Hannah begins to see visions and hears the voices of the murdered victims.  They leave her messages with the help of a make shift spirit board, they are trying to get Hannah to discover who their killer is.

Around the same time, she begins a friendship with damaged bad boy and loner, Finny, one of the more developed and likable characters in the book.  I would have liked to have seen more of their relationship develop throughout the novel.  Hannah is drawn to Finny, even though she has her suspicions. Suspicions that put a wedge between them, until she realizes that Finny could never hurt anyone.

Meanwhile, Hannah has terrible friends, it's bad enough to get bullied, but to have it done by people who are allegedly your friends are just so much worse.  Hannah didn't even seem to realize how awful they were.  We saw Hannah really develop in the story and starting standing up for herself and not be being defined by friends.

I really liked the mystery aspect of the story, and I had had a clue early on who the murderer was going to be.   This was the first novel by Brenna Yovanoff that I’ve read, I’m looking forward to reading more of her novels.

Happy Reading ~ Jovi

Review: RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

RoseBlood RoseBlood by A.G. Howard
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Hardcover432 pages
Published January 10th 2017

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

My thoughts…  **Spoilers**

I wanted so badly to like RoseBlood since I enjoyed the original Phantom of the Opera.  Unfortunately, I was very disappointed and I feel terrible giving it only a 1 star.  I can’t believe I finished it, it was a huge struggle and many times I had to force myself to read through to the end.

RoseBlood follows a high school senior, Rune, who is sent to RoseBlood Academy, a French boarding school for musical arts that is inside a renovated opera house, only to discover a very real danger that lurks within and has waited for her return for over a century. 

When Rune sings, she has the voice of an angel, but singing leaves her feeling physically drained and ill.  The voice controls her, and she can't control when it bursts out of her. 

Basically, the whole plot of this book is that the phantom is trying to capture Rune so he can cut out her voice and give it to his dead daughter to resurrect.  He uses Thorn, the phantoms (Erik) adopted son, to get closer to Rune… because we find out that Rune and Thorn are "twin flames"(soulmates) which means that they have the same soul. Basically, one soul separated into two parts into two different bodies and that makes Rune and Thorn want to be together. 

Whose soul do Rune and Thorn have… Christine’s.  The phantom, Erik, has never been loved and tries to force Christine to love him and when she refuses he thinks it’s because of his deformity.  Christine returns to the phantom years later after the death of her husband and she falls in love with him because they are “twin flames”, they have a child together and the baby girl dies.  Before Christine and the Phantom could have a bonding ritual, she dies... so her soul is reincarnated into Thorn and Rune… ugh.

“We’re twin flames.  Incarnations of the same soul, parted while reentering the world… predestined to find each other again.  Everything we ever experienced in our separate lives has been working to reunite the mirror pieces of ourselves we left within the other.  Twin souls always come full circle, as natural and in ineludible as the migration of birds or the alignment of the planets.  All of this has been set into motion in the past by our spirit, for our bodies to discover in the present.  Now, at last, we’re here.”

Can’t forget to add that Thorn also wears a mask, even though he is gorgeous and had no deformities.
“Why?” I ask.  "Why the mask?”  He swallows, his Adam’s apple bobbing.  “It is only behind the mask where I feel I belong.”  “No.”  I squeeze his hand.  “You belong up here, out in the open, with me.”   (Erik and Thorn live in the sewers of the academy and haunt it).

Why has the phantom lived so long… because he's a psychic vampire who also owns a nightclub, that Thorn works at.  The nightclub has a rave inside, he uses the people at the rave to feed off their energy.  He then stores the energy in "cryogenic chamber."

A retelling / spin-off of Phantom of the Opera could have been fabulous, but this wasn’t anything close to a retelling at all.  This was the first book I’ve read by A. G. Howard and I’m certain that I wouldn’t be reading another A.G. Howard book anytime soon.

Happy Reading ~ Jovi

Review: Under The Peaches by Shana Vanterpool

Under The Peaches Under The Peaches by Shana Vanterpool
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Kindle EditionKindle
Published February 28th 2017
Teaching Love Series, #1

Unwanted. A word eighteen-year-old Kaelyn Jefferies knows better than most. Given up at birth, she knows nothing of love. Now she navigates this world blind, worrying only about her present to survive. And sometimes when you’re the only guide you have, you don’t always do what’s best for yourself.

After another confrontation with her bully, Kaelyn flees to her hiding spot to be alone and nurse her wounds. Instead, she finds Julian Ean, the gorgeous twenty-four-year-old calculus teacher the other girls whisper about, nursing a few of his own. Until that moment, Mr. Ean was simply a man she passed in the halls. Afterwards, he is impossible to ignore … to forget.

Mr. Ean only wanted to help Kaelyn. Patch her up and show her she was worth so much more than she was giving herself. He didn’t mean to fall in love with a student. It’s wrong, he knows it, but he can’t help himself around her. Not when her pain feels like his.

Kaelyn didn’t mean to fall in love with a teacher. It’s wrong, she knows it, but after Mr. Ean shows her what a real smile feels like, there’s no going back after that …

Book one in the Teaching Love Series, comes a poignant coming-of-age novel showcasing the beauty of strength and the delicious lure of forbidden love by Shana Vanterpool.

My thoughts…  **Spoilers**

I absolutely loved this book and could not put it down!  Under the Peaches is a taboo love story between a 24 year old teacher, Mr. Julian Ean, and his 18 year old student, Kaelyn Jeffries. 

Kaelyn has had a very difficult life, she was given up for adoption at birth.  Then later she was moved around into different homes, all that which had horrible foster parents.  Kael has also been bullied and abused since her sophomore year of high school by the same girl and her friends.  She keeps to herself to avoid her tormentors and is always alone, one day she goes to her favorite spot at school to hide out and she finds that someone else is there as well, Mr. Ean.

Mr. Ean is the young gorgeous math teacher that all the female students can’t but help swoon over.  Julian is also struggling with his own issues; his fiancĂ© has been cheating on him and has decided to move out of the home they share together.  As soon as he realizes that Kael is sitting on the bench alongside him, he notices her bloody lip (being hit by the bully), all he wants to do is help her in any way that he can. He takes her back to his classroom for first aid and to share his lunch with her.  Their relationship starts out innocent and they begin to grow a beautiful friendship. 

When Kael is forced to leave her home because her foster dad tries to rape, she has nowhere to go after both foster parents are arrested.  Julian has Kael move into his home and offers his spare bedroom.  They both fight their attraction to each other and know it’s wrong because Julian could lose his job if anyone found out. 

They fall in love and it’s beautiful, Julian makes her see that she is worthy of love, his love, and he refuses to let he go even though he risks losing everything.  Kael has a lot of insecurity, not being able to love herself and always questioning why Julian would love her (which got me frustrated at times), eventually she works at overcoming her insecurity and realizes that she would do anything and everything to give Julian the love and life he deserves.  She will love him and be there forever.  Julian is so sweet, patient, possessive and gorgeous… he is the perfect boyfriend for Kael. 

This was my first book by Shana Vanterpool and I’m very much looking for to book #2 in the Teaching Love series.  Under the Peaches is a story that is very intense and had my emotions everywhere (crying, anger and happiness), and I loved every page of it.  

Happy Reading ~ Jovi

It's like Christmas

Happy Dance… more books.  As of lately I’ve been placing my book orders at the beginning of the month.  I try to stay away from Amazon, Barnes & Nobel and Book Outlet for the remainder of the month, and it’s been difficult. 

Soon, I’ll be running out of space to store books and I’m not looking forward to packing them up again.  Less than six months ago, we did a major home renovation, hardcover books are heavy.  Hopefully by late spring I will move into the bigger bedroom and add more bookcases.  My husband said I could always move them all to the basement, I had to laugh… I do not like basements. 

Thanks for visiting ~ Jovi

Review: Unspoken by Jen Frederick

Unspoken (with Bonus Content) Unspoken (with Bonus Content) by Jen Frederick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Kindle Edition278 pages
Published September 13th 2013
Woodlands Series, #2 

Whore. Slut. Typhoid Mary.

I've been called all these at Central College. One drunken night, one act of irresponsible behavior, and my reputation was ruined. Guys labeled me as easy and girls shied away. To cope, I stayed away from Central social life and away from Central men, so why is it that my new biology lab partner is so irresistible to me?

He's everything I shouldn't want. A former Marine involved in illegal fighting with a quick trigger temper and an easy smile for all the women. His fists aren't the danger to me, though, it's his charm. He's sliding his way into my heart and I'm afraid that he's going to be the one to break me.

Impulsive. Unthinking. Hot tempered.

I allow instinct to rule my behavior. If it feels good, do it, has been my motto because if I spend too much time thinking, I'll begin to remember exactly where I came from. At Central College, I've got fighting and I've got women and I thought I was satisfied until I met her.

She's everything I didn't realize I wanted and the more time I spend with her, the more I want her. But she's been hurt too much in the past and I don't want to be the one to break her. I know I should walk away, but I just can't.

My thoughts…

Our main character AnnMarie (AM to her friends) made the mistake one night after having too much to drink at a party with Lacrosse players. She ended up losing her virginity to one of these players, but can’t remember with which player or any of the details of what happened.  Because of that night, rumors started by the Lacrosse team that she was a whore, a slut and given the name Typhoid Mary.
One of the players, Clay, whose father knows AMs father, has it out for AM because she refused to be one of his conquests.  He spreads rumors and leaves her threatening notes to expose her to her father.  AM has stayed off main campus since the rumors started, she only attends class.  Unwilling to move to another University to start over (because her father was an alumni), she decided to stay and avoid instead.

Then we meet Bo, an ex-Marine, underground fighter and man whore.  AM must take the seat next to him in class, which she isn’t very happy about because of his reputation of using girls.  He noticed her before in another class, since she never paid any attention to him, he continued to the next wiling girl.   Slowly Bo starts to chip away at her walls, exposing the real reason why she’s closed off and stays away from campus.  He doesn’t care about the rumors or AM’s sexual past. Bo has no right to judge because he has had more than his share of sexual experience.

While he points out what she’s been doing by hiding, it exposes his own past and what has made him the way he is.  His father was abusive to his mother, and he thought that he could also become abusive to women… which he wasn’t.  He has an extreme respect for women, which he perfectly shown to AM.

AM decides that she must overcome the rumors and stand up for herself (and other girls) to finally be free to live her life on campus with her friends and those she cares about.  Bo stands by AM no matter what, they are falling in love and he will not give her up.

Why 3 stars… I got bored after the 50%,  I enjoyed the beginning half, which was the development of their relationship and after that I wasn’t no longer interest in what happened to either Bo or AM.  Unspoken is book #2 in the Woodlands Series.  I didn’t read the first book and I wouldn’t continue with the other books in the series.

Thanks for visiting and happy reading ~ Jovi

Review: The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Hardcover474 pages
Published May 17th 2016

For some people, silence is a weapon. For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield. Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with the lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory faces a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.

My thoughts ~

I think all of us, at the end of the day, just want to be real and want to be loved.  --Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Problem with Forever is about two teenagers with a seriously horrible past, Mallory Dodge (Mouse) and Rider Stark.  They are raised for more than a decade by abusive foster parents.  Not only was Rider her best friend, but he was her protector, he took beatings that she was meant to take. He sacrificed himself to protect Mallory and keep her safe at all costs. Eventually, they are removed from that horrible environment, but they are separated and taken in by different families. Four years later, they are reunited as Mallory goes from being home schooled into a local high school and she and Rider are reunited.

Even though they both moved into good homes, Mallory and Rider are anything but okay, they still have issues they are dealing with from the past.  Because of their traumatic upbringing, Mallory becomes as silent as a mouse, nickname given by Rider, she is unable to stand up for herself and has difficulties communicating with others.  As for Rider, he appears to be relatively unscathed but, things are not always as they seem.

I just loved Rider, not only because of how he cared for Mallory in the past, but because those actions continued through to present day. Rider stepped back into Mallory's life and became her protector all over again.

Mallory grew so much throughout the book and I was happy and tearful when she could stand in front of the class and give her speech.

One of my favorite reads of 2017.

Forever was something we all took for granted, but the problem with forever was that it really didn’t exist. –Mallory Dodge

Happy Reading ~ Jovi

Snoopy Cash Tin

In September, my women’s motorcycle riding group, Mountain Shadow Riders have planned a ride to the National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR).  It was suggested at our planning meeting to take a collection each month and deliver a check from MSR with the amount we have raised.  I’m really looking forward to our trip to the NMDR, we’re going to meet some of the furry rescued residents and tour the facilities. 

I volunteered to supply and decorate the little cash tin that we will use for collections at our monthly meetings.  Oh boy, I didn’t quite know at the time what I was getting myself into.  Once the tin was purchased from Hobby Lobby, I came home to realize I no longer have any crafting supplies. 

About four years ago, I decided to give up rubber stamping and basically purged everything except the rubber stamps.  For some reason, I couldn’t part with those little babies and I’m happy I didn’t because this little Snoopy stamp is one of my favorites and goes perfect with this occasion. 

The next day I found myself back at Hobby Lobby purchasing a black ink pad, Gamsol along with some blending stumps.  Thank goodness, I have a Close to My Heart Consultant that lives next door who allowed me to use some cardstock, designer paper and ribbon. 

Once I started coloring the image, I realized why I use to like to stamp… it was relaxing for me.  I even thought about stamping and laminating a supply of bookmarks for me or to give away to some of the book vloggers that I follow on You Tube… one can never have too many books or bookmakers, right?!  Maybe the stamping bug will catch me again in the future… we’ll see.

Happy Stamping ~ Jovi

Stamp:  Snoopy and His Sidekick (Stampabilities)