Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books of 2018 So Far

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.


Best Books of 2018 So Far

I feel like I shouldn’t even do this post since I haven’t been around for 3 whole months, but here goes with my short list.

Which books made your list?

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Review: A Devil in Scotland

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: A Devil in Scotland
Author: Suzanne Enoch
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: January 2018
Length: 311 pages
Series?: No Ordinary Hero #3
Genre: Historical, Romance

1806, Scotland: Wild, reckless Callum MacCreath is in no hurry to become someone’s husband. But when his responsible, steady older brother Ian announces his engagement to their childhood friend Rebecca, Callum makes a startling discovery: he wants the lovely young lass for himself. But it’s too late, and when Ian banishes him for his duplicity, he’s only too happy to leave Scotland forever.

1816: Marrying Ian was the practical, logical thing for Becca to do. But once Callum sailed away to America, she missed his rakish charm and lust for life. Now, ten years later, Becca is a widow when a much-changed Callum returns to his Scottish homeland. Will he remember their spirited, fiery connection, or does he blame her for his brother’s unexpected death? This time neither of them can deny their scorching attraction, but will their hearts be burned in the blazing heat of scandal?

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

my review

My Thoughts 

This is the third book in the series and while it can be read as a stand alone, there will be confusion as to why in the prologue Callum threatens the Duke of Dunncraigh seemingly unprovoked. It is all made clear in the previous book, My One True Highlander. You can read my review here.

The prologue characterizes Callum MacCreath as a drunk womanizer. At the time, he was. Upon learning his childhood friend, Rebecca, is going to marry his older brother, he insists and then insults her to marry him. His behavior is so despicable that he is banished, at which time he threatens the Duke of Dunncraigh that if anything happens to his brother or Rebecca, he’d be coming for him. Callum makes his way to America, to Kentucky, and builds himself a whiskey empire in his decade-long absence. During this time, Ian MacCreath sends continuous letters to Callum that are ignored. Never hearing word from him, Rebecca accepts the help and friendship of the Duke and his son after her husband’s death, soon followed by the loss of her father. The Duke and his son have set their sites on the widow and her home.

Everything they thought would happen comes to an abrupt halt when Callum does return to claim his inheritance. Despite burning every unopened letter from Ian, Callum cannot ignore a news story about his brother’s death. His brother’s death that he finds highly suspicious.

With his return, Callum does find that his brother and Rebecca had an enjoyable life. The inquisitive Mags, their daughter, is just as determined as her newly discovered uncle. It takes Callum aback. He wants to do nothing but kill the murderers and avenge his brother, despite their disagreement and Callum’s long-held anger. Though she was the love of his childhood, Callum does not trust Rebecca or her innocent act and he treats her so. While he firmly believes he knows his brother was murdered, nobody else does. It appears that Callum is still the hot-headed, irrational young man he left Scotland as. Rebecca refuses to leave without her daughter, and Callum will not allow Mags to be taken away, so they have to find a way to live together. As Callum continues to be present in her home, the feelings they had both let go of a decade ago resurface. Callum knows he must convince her and protect her, and prove himself to her that he is not the impulsive, reckless idiot that he was before. She does concede that if Callum can find proof that Ian was murdered, she will support him.

Rebecca’s choices made sense. She chose the reliable older brother, rather than the brash younger brother. When he returns, Rebecca is also suspicious of him. Regardless of her suspicions of Callum, he wins the heart of not only Mags, but also several members of the household. He is tenderly attached to Mags, who adores him and his wolf Waya. The wolf pack have been together since he nursed Waya back to health as a pup. Like Callum, Waya is ferociously protective and loyal. Rebecca’s heart begins to warm to the prospect of having him around. At first she was stringently against levirate marriage – something Callum brings up a several times – but as their situation continues, her unease grows.

When it becomes clear that Callum is on to something and his notion of murder is not as far-fetched as everyone believes, he must choose between building a life with her over his striking vengeance. It is not an easy choice, and Callum struggles heavily under the weight of what he must do. The evidence has finally been uncovered and things seem to fall into place. Until a desperate Dunncraigh inserts himself and takes drastic measures to steal the hope for their future.

I loved the way Callum and Rebecca fell into love together, despite (or maybe in spite of?) the surrounding circumstances. I adored Mags and her delightful “wolf pack”. They all fell into family life so easily and naturally. A fast-paced, conflict-filled story that is hard to pass up!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Suzanne was born in Southern California sometime in the latter half of the 20th century. In the way that some people are born knowing they want to be astronauts or cellists, Suzanne always knew she wanted to be a writer. Early dreams of becoming a zoologist and writing true stories about her adventures in Africa were crushed, however, after she viewed a television special about the world’s most poisonous snakes; she did NOT want to write about how she’d been bitten and lost a limb to a cobra. Thankfully at the same time the movie “Star Wars” premiered, and she realized that she could make up adventures and write about them, and not be eaten by deadly predators while doing research.

She dabbled in romantic fantasy writing for a year or two after graduating with a degree in English from the University of California, Irvine, until her affection for traditional Regency romances led her to write one for fun. After several encouraging rejections from publishers, she snared the interest of the world’s best and most patient literary agent, who advised her to revise the manuscript. This ultimately led to the publication of her first book, The Black Duke’s Prize, from Avon Books in the Spring of 1995.

Suzanne is known for her humorous characters, sexy bad boys, and whip-sharp, witty dialogue. She currently resides in Placentia, California with several hundred guppies and various other tropical fish, and handful of very loud, spinach-loving finches. And her collection of action figures and statues from “Star Wars”, “Lord of the Rings”, “X-Men”, and “Pirates of the Caribbean”. Everybody needs some inspiration, after all.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Book Blogger Hop ~ ONE Book

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The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week poses a book-related question. The hop starts on Friday and ends on Thursday. The purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers.


If you were stranded on a deserted island, which ONE book could you not live without? (submitted by Megan @ Ginger Mom & the Kindle Quest)

 

Easy. It would be Outlander. I could re-read that book a million times and never tire or bore of it. It is such an intricate piece of writing rich in many of the genres we like all rolled into one.

 

** I am currently outside of the U.S. and will not be able to see or reply to comments or visit back until I return after July 10th.

Discussion: Returning to Reading

Returning to Reading

I am now two weeks into returning from my hiatus. I knew that would be a bit of a tough thing to do after being gone for two three months. It wasn’t too bad once I got started and into the groove of things with writing and scheduling, checking what’s left, drafting posts that aren’t quite ready to schedule yet.

I knew the hard part would be picking back up a book.

I stopped reading entirely mid-March. I just could not bring myself to even bother with everything imploding in my life. How? How is this possible when I LOVE reading? It has always been my escape from all the crap and shit in my life, which started at a young age. How could I turn away from the one thing I always turn to in times of stress and crazy events?

I don’t even know the answer. All I can think is that my anxiety level was so high, I just couldn’t.

Now that I am moved (again) and fully settled in except for a couple of very minor things, the bullet journal process is smoothed out, and I’ve gotten the blog up and running again, I decided I was ready to tackle books again. I left off not far into what seemed a promising book.

And I was scared.

Was it that I didn’t want to give up any more time from the things I was already doing (bullet journal, blog, TV, games)?

Was I in a slump and that’s why it was so easy to give up books?

I still remembered the premise of the book and what happened so far, which wasn’t much. So what was the deal? It wouldn’t be hard, I told myself.

I had to slowly, methodically choose a time for reading. A time in the quiet hours of the morning or night to put down the phone, turn off the TV, and just cuddle in with the first rays of sunshine beaming in or the occasional headlights flitting by.

I had to fall in love with reading again.

 

Have you ever fallen out of love with reading? How did you fall in love again?

WWW Wednesdays (7.4.18)

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This is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. To join in answer the following three questions and hop over to Sam’s and leave your link.

Happy 4th of July!


What are you currently reading?

I just started reading Cactus Rose on Sunday afternoon. I left this morning for my cruise, so with all the preparations and packing I did not get too far into the book, but I am looking forward to it! The cover makes me think of a desert romance, which is just perfect for a hot, dry Texas summer.
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Rosie Saladay needs to get married—fast. The young widow needs help to protect her late husband’s ranch, but no decent woman can live alone with a hired hand. With the wealthy Wesley Morris making a play for her land, Rosie needs a husband or she risks losing everything. So she hangs a sign at the local saloon: “Husband wanted. Apply inside. No conjugal rights.”

Delmar Grant is a sucker for a damsel in distress, and even with Rosie’s restrictions on “boots under her bed” stated firmly in black and white, something about the lovely widow’s plea leaves him unable to turn away her proposal of marriage.

Though neither planned on falling in love, passion ignites between the unlikely couple. But their buried secrets—and enemies with both greed and a grudge—threaten to tear them apart. They’ll discover this marriage of convenience may cost them more than they could have ever bargained for. 


 What did you just finish reading?

I finished Unmasking Juliet, finally! I attacked the book with a vengeance to get back to reading, and I was pleasantly surprised with what happened next! The writing is artfully crafted. I loved the scene in the sunflower garden. A family feuding chocolate world that grounds to a halt over a contract with a major distributor and chocolate contests.

I can’t wait to see which classic Wilson turns into a retelling next. She is so good at it!


What do you think you’ll read next?

24647891I think I am going to stick to the original plan and read Help Yourself next. It will be a good change of setting from ranch life in Cactus Rose. Set on the Atlantic coast, the main character must complete a series of life-improving tasks to earn her windfall inheritance while her crudgy uncle wants to steal it from her. Go read the Goodreads description. This will prove to be hysterically humorous, I just know it.


 How about you? What are you reading this week?

Leave a comment with your answers! Share the link to your WWW Wednesday post OR leave your answers in the comments if you don’t have a blog. Happy Reading! 🙂

 

** I am currently outside of the U.S. and will not be able to see or reply to comments or visit back until I return after July 10th.

Task it Tuesday: Restarting From Ground Zero

Welcome to Task it Tuesday, created by the fabulous Geeky Blogger and adopted first by Because Reading and now by Bloggiesta!

What is Task it Tuesday? Task it Tuesday is a weekly meme dedicated to the list makers of the blogging world 🙂 It’s all about being productive and organized – on your blog and in real life (if you so chose). By sharing our lists we get instant accountability partners and also get ideas of things to add to our lists (or sometimes ways to tackle tasks more efficiently).

Task it Tuesday: Restarting From Ground Zero

While summer break began June 2nd, I have been teaching summer school for the last three weeks and getting settled into my new house. I am now on sturdy footing and reading to do the full haul of all the housekeeping tasks that have been neglected in the last 3 months.

  • BUJO: Check & Update Monthly Task List
  • BUJO: Update reading challenge lists
  • BLOG: Check & Update Challenge pages
  • BLOG: Schedule all My Favorite…posts through mid-August
  • BLOG: Draft & Schedule new discussion post for August
  • BLOG: Draft & Schedule new BUJO post for end of July
  • BLOG: Empty email – entirely, no hoarding (file or delete!)
  • BLOG: Draft July Monthly Chit Chat
  • BLOG: Update Review Archives
  • BLOG: Update Spreadsheet
  • SCHOOL: Format Unit 1 Test for on level class & send to print shop

I’m leaving for my cruise tomorrow and won’t be back until the 10th, so I’m going to give myself a couple weeks to tackle these tasks. Maybe I’ll be ready for Mini Bloggiesta.