Friday, September 27, 2013

Washington D.C., Annapolis and a wedding

So I've been wanting to write this post ever since I came back... but my blogging muse is still MIA. Ugh. When is she coming back?! I miss her!! I seriously do LOL. However, I don't want to wait too long... so let's give it a try without her :)

One thing that I realized prior to this trip is that I need to learn to relax before leaving... I don't know what happened, but for the last few trips, I got so nervous and ended up having to run around like a headless chicken... it's just not fun ^_^; Although in my defense, this time around, there were a few details that were a bit iffy. First, we flew to Washington D.C., but the wedding was actually in Annapolis - it's about 40 miles away. Therefore, I had to rent a car and that's not my favorite thing to do. Also, my cousin from Germany was coming for the wedding, so we had to coordinate pick-up with him. Hotel rooms, how much money to give to the happy couple, what to wear, etc. So many things to plan and organize and guess who was in charge? Yep, yours truly. Then, there were a few changes of plans which necessitated modified reservations and so on... So yeah, I was a real bundle of nerves!

The trip was from Thursday to Sunday, with a rehearsal dinner at 6.30pm on Thursday and the wedding taking place at 6pm on Friday. I don't know about you guys, but Friday evening weddings are not very common for me. Then again, apparently, the bride and groom didn't really have a choice because the bride's paternal grandmother is very traditional and superstitious and the only good date to get married in September was that Friday LOL... and in the end, I think it was meant to be :P

Initially, the plan was for me and my sister to arrive in Washington D.C. at around the same time as my cousin, wait for him at the airport and then proceed to get the car and drive to Annapolis. Then, my sister asked about shopping... Now, me and my sister seem to have acquire a reputation for being shoppers LOL. I'm not saying it's undeserved, but really, we're not that bad :P I mean, if you go to a country or state that sells things cheaper than where you live, wouldn't you take advantage of it?! Anyway, back to the topic, shopping. There's a Premium Outlet not far from Annapolis and we wanted to go and I thought Friday would be good since the wedding only started at 6pm. However, my sister was adamant that we spend time as much time as possible with the family and so, instead of arriving around the same time as Oliver, i.e. 5.30pm... We got to Washington D.C. at 9am. LOL, okay, maybe we deserve our reputation... However, it worked out great because we got to shop to our heart content without dragging our cousin which I'm sure wouldn't have been interested anyway and then, spend time with the family the rest of the week-end :)

Here is my sister shopping :) We were actually on a mission because she was looking for high heels for the wedding. She saw a pair earlier this summer, but hesitated and missed her chance to buy them. Shen then found a similar model at DSW, so that's where we headed. She was also on the look-out for running shoes and have been searching for leather boots... Most of the time, we have goals and purposes while shopping :) We did stop at Barnes and Noble, but I didn't really have any books to buy ^_^;  We also hit Trader Joe's for dried mango... but I didn't buy enough! We only have two packs left... Luckily, I'm heading for the States soon again :)

My cousin's flight ended up being delayed and arrived at 6.30pm instead of 5.30pm. Poor guy because his itinerary was Luxembourg to Paris, Paris to Detroit and Detroit to Washington D.C. Yes, Detroit ^_^; Apparently, it's my fault because I told him to go to Ronald Reagan National Airport... I thought it was the bigger international airport, but turns out I was wrong. Oups ^_^; Then again, he paid about 500€ for his ticket, so he didn't mind. LOL. In any case, his flight being delayed worked out well because that meant we had time to do everything we wanted and also, miss the traffic. Once we picked him up, we rushed to the rehearsal dinner. It was great to see our relatives again!! After the dinner, we went back to the hotel and called it a night :P

The next morning, we went sight-seeing :) My relatives are mostly from Boston, but the groom's family is from Maryland IIRC. They chose Annapolis because the groom and bride wanted their wedding near the water. I guess what makes Annapolis stands out from other touristic towns around Chesapeake Bay is the US Naval Academy and that's what we ended up visiting. The tour was very interesting! It's just a pity we didn't have time to see everything.

Up there is the picture of my aunt - mother of the bride - and her brother. It's funny how relaxed she was LOL. We thought she'd had lots to do, but nope... I guess that's the advantage of a wedding away. So as usual, she played our guide and figured out what we'd do and where we'd go :)

Soon, it was time to get ready for the wedding :) Here are some pictures!

Earlier, I said that it was meant to be because it was a lovely wedding and the weather was simply perfect for it :) Warm, but not too hot and sunny. What more can you ask? The venue was also very nice and they were able to get the dance floor (wasn't sure initially given the number of guests). First picture is me, my sister and my cousin from Germany. In the second cousin, my older second cousin with her two kids. The picture with the older couple is the bride's maternal grandparents. The older gentleman is my maternal grandmother's older brother. My cousin walking my aunt down the aisle. My older second cousin's kids were the flower girl and ring boy. Groom waiting for the bride... I was surprised because I thought the groom would be decked out in his uniform as he's part of the Army (National Guards). However, for him to wear his uniform, that means they would have had to hold a military wedding with a series of requirements and they didn't want to. The bride is also my second cousin :) Isn't she gorgeous! I loved her dress! It suited her perfectly! And guess what? It had pockets! Which my sister thought was amazing LOL.

What is cute about their story is that she's only 23 years old, but they've been together for 9 years! They met when both families were on vacation at the beach :) They kept contact, did the whole long-distance relationship thing and when she graduated from college, she moved in with him and found a job in the area. 9 years! Although they are young, I do think they're going to make it work :)

The wedding was very simple and it fit them perfectly. What was cute is that the bride is a big fan of Star Wars and was able to add a few touches of her fangirlness to her wedding :) There was a photo booth at the wedding which I think is now the trend :) And plenty of Star Wars props to play with. Her party favors were chocolate shaped in Star Wars icons - Darth Vader, Yoda, etc. And you can't see, but on the wooden stick of the programs, on one side there was the symbol of the Empire and the other, the Rebellion. Cute :)

 The kids were really the life of the party :) It was just sooo cute to see them all dance! And instead of the throwing rice at the bride and groom's departure, we lighted up sparklers!

While I thought it was weird to have the wedding on Friday, it was kind of cool at the same time because it gave us a lot of free time to do stuff for the rest of our trip :) So we did what we wanted to do: hang out with the family :)

Then on Sunday, it was time to leave... and we managed to squeeze in a little bit of sight-seeing. We went to the memorial monuments with my cousin before dropping him off at the airport. And after that, we went to the Smithsonian museums.


And that was it :) Everything went super, the weather was gorgeous and we managed to do everything that we wanted! Well except seeing the White House, but next time! LOL.

On that note, two more pictures I'd like to share with you guys :) The first was taken 11 years ago!! The two ladies with us in the pictures are the bride's sisters :) How time flies...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Hi everyone!

Wassup? Didn't mean to disappear, but I got really busy... Last week-end was the wedding, so I went to Washington D.C./Annapolis. Had a great trip and spent some quality time with relatives I haven't seen for a while :) More on that later, with pictures :P

Anyway, I spent the couple of days before the trip running around like a headless chicken. I need to learn how to relax before a trip, because seriously, it's getting ridiculous... That's mainly why I haven't blogged. That, plus the fact that my blogging muse is still gone. Sigh. Hopefully, she'll come back soon!

In the meantime, I have a buddy review with Ames up over at Breezing Through. The book is The Distance Between Us, a YA novel by Ms West. I picked it up because I really enjoyed her debut novel, Pivot Point :) To find out what I thought of The Distance Between Us, click here :)

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
published by Harpercollins Publisher (Harper Teen) in July 2013
Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.
Genre: YA, contemporary
Series: None

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Monthly Reads - April 2013

Hey everyone! How have you been? Sigh, sorry for the lack of posts and reviews! I just don't know where time goes ^_^; It feels like I've been running the whole week: doctor appointment, garage appointment, haircut appointment... Even at work, doing this and that, catching up on things. Bleh... and of course, I cut myself again :( Same thumb, but not the nail this time... so I guess that's something ^_^;

Anyway, I'm so far behind in reviews and so on, but I'm still trying to catch up :) And that's why you get my April recap... in September! Enjoy! :P

1) The Wanderer by Robyn Carr: B

2) The Rising by Kelley Armstrong: B+

3) What She Wants by Sheila Roberts: B-

The blurb of this book caught my attention because it mentions a bunch of guys reading romance novels and their poker night transforming into a bookclub night... LOL, you have to agree it's a little bit intriguing right? :) And the blurb is pretty close to the real story. Our hero, Johnathan Templar, is the resident geek squad of Icicle Falls. He's been in love with Lissa Castle forever, but she never noticed him. Their high school reunion is coming up soon and Johnathan believes it to be his last chance to make an impression... but how? He then stumbles over his sister's romance novels... Why do women read them? The next thing Johnathan knows, he's devouring them one after another and getting ideas. When his poker buddies find the books, they laugh at him at first... but soon, they too need advice as Adam just got kicked out by his wife who thought he took her for granted and Kyle cannot make an impression on the lady of his choice.

I thought What She Wants was a cute book. I mean, it has men reading romance novels for advice and ideas LOL. Personally, I do not know to what extent romance novels could help a guy in real life, but it's still nice to imagine :) What made this book for me was Johnathan. He was such a nice guy and the efforts he put in to catch Lissa's attention was adorable. Also I like that Ms Roberts didn't turn Johnathan into a comedic cliché. What I mean is that he didn't read one novel, get a good idea and immediately tried it out and have it failed on him. Instead, it was more like a study and a long progress. In any case, it was just cute and Lissa is a really lucky gal... Not sure she totally deserves him though. I also liked Adam's storyline because it showed him not to take his wife for granted. I think it's a lesson that everyone has to learn in a marriage. I liked that she had the guts to kick him out, to make him understand where their marriage was heading. Out of the three story, Kyle was the least interesting... I think it's because to a certain extent, he was so superficial, only caring about looks. He overlooked Mindy who was interested in him because she wasn't as hot as his crush, although she was smarter and nicer.

In any case, a cute book... although I think it's more fiction (women's fiction even though it's guys ^_^;) than contemporary romance as there aren't that many interaction between Johnathan and Lissa. It's more focused on Johnathan and his evolution than the romance itself.

4) Lush by Lauren Dane: B

Mary Whaley is a successful and busy caterer who also run a supper club. Through her celebrity friends, she meets Damien Hurley who is part of a really popular band that he started with his brothers out of high school. The two meet, are attracted to each other and try to figure out how to make this relationship work.

Lush was a pretty good book. I really enjoyed Mary and Damien's relationship and liked how their romance evolved, how they took it "slow" and how Damien gave Mary her space and proved himself to be a good bet. I liked that the romance wasn't about the age difference or Damien's celebrity status... They had to figure things out because they were two adults living in different cities with extremely busy schedule, but they made compromises like two mature persons.

What held this book back in my opinion were the secondary characters and the lack of conflict. I found Mary's best friends to be annoying, because I thought they had too much input and were too quick to distrust Damien. One of them said she just wanted Mary to be as happy as she was and to find the man she deserved and that just put me on the edge... It just sounded so condescending in my opinion. It's good to be protective of your friends, to care, but at the same time, you need to be supportive. Sometimes, your friend needs to make her own mistakes and the last thing she wants is you standing by, ready to say "I told you so." What annoyed me as well is that all she had to based herself on was the gossips from the rag sheets. Ugh. The other issue was the lack of conflict. I actually didn't mind the lack of conflict... but because of it, one little issue turned into a huge thing, just so Ms Dane could wrap up the story and give the H/H their happy ending. Based on the rest of the story, I felt this conflict was very forced because Damien had proven himself to Mary and she should have trust him instead of the gossips. For her to react the way she did, it just went against character it seems... and that's too bad because it lessened the enjoyment of the book a bit.

5) Assassin's Gambit by Amy Raby: C-

6) Wrecked by Shiloh Walker: C

Ugh... I don't know how to summarize the story of this book. Okay, basically, you have Abigale Applegate and Zach Barnes who were child stars on a very popular sitcom when they were teens, but that was years ago. Both of them willingly walked away from Hollywood lifestyle and are happier for it. They have remained best friends throughout the years, although the truth is Zach has been in love with Abby forever. When she gets dumped by her boyfriend because he thinks she's wasting her time not acting, Abby decides she needs an affair. Not a relationship, just sex... and when Zach finds out through the "Wreck" journal he gave her, he volunteers himself - he's not about to let another man get the chance and he hopes that finally, Abby realizes that he's in love with her.

The truth is that Wrecked started out really promisingly. Who doesn't like the best friends to lovers theme? Especially when the set up is great, the premise has potential and best of all, the best friends have tons of chemistry! I really believed in Zach and Abby's friendship, really felt his unrequited feelings for her and had no problem imagining them together... And perhaps that was the issue. Because once Abby and Zach started having sex together, it became boring for me... It was just too obvious that the two should be together and everything that stood in the way was just frustrating ^_^; I was annoyed at Abby for being so oblivious to Zach feelings all this years - I mean, everyone knew! It got even worst when she realized she was in love with him and wondered how it would affect their relationship!! I was also annoyed at Zach for not stepping up, not pushing to the next level. It took forever for him to get Abby to notice him in a different way and now he's going to wait again till she comes around? Right... and instead of sharing his feelings with Abby, he resorted to growling at everyone :( It's just too bad because as I mentioned, the premise was really promising, but it failed to keep me engaged.

7) Love Irresistibly by Julie James: B+

8) The Chocolate Rose by Laura Florand: C+

9) Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts: B-

10) The Good, the Bad and the Witchy by Heather Blake: B-
Upcoming Review.

11) Love Me to Death by Allison Brennan: B

I'm always in the mood for a good romantic suspense; however, nowadays, it's hard to come across RS books that fit the type I want to read... Anyway, I read Ms Brennan before but never really got into her, but I thought I'd give her another chance with this series because it involved the FBI. Our heroine, Lucy Kincaid, went through something horrific 6 years ago, but she survived it... and now, she wants to become a FBI agent. While she's waiting to see if she is accepted, she's volunteering with a victim's rights group and works undercover online to lure sex offenders so they can be caught. Everything is going well... till they don't. One of her attackers was recently released from prison and not long after, found dead. She wasn't aware of the plea bargain and so, her trust is shaken... It doesn't help she's a suspect and the last sex offender she tried to lure didn't show up to her meeting, but did end up dead as well. Not knowing where to go, she turns to Sean Rogan, one of her brother's partners for a security firm.

I've been in the mood for romantic suspense that features investigative work, preferably with cops or FBI agents... and while Love Me to Death didn't totally fit my criteria, it was definitively a good book. The mystery was solid and interesting although at times, it felt like there were too many storylines going on. Personally, I think the one about Lucy's stalker was superfluous. It served to misdirect, but at the end of the day, didn't bring that much to the table. Still, Ms Brennan did a great job at tying everything up together in the end. I liked that Lucy didn't fall in love with the person in charge of the investigation - it's refreshing LOL. And I thought that Sean was an interesting love interest for Lucy. In a way, he's a bit of her opposite, not being afraid to break the rules to get what he wants and ironically, that seems to complement Lucy :P He at least knows how to be normal around her which is what she needs. As for Lucy, she was definitively a solid character. After what she went through, she put back her life together, went to college and is pursuing her vocation - a true survivor. Unfortunately, while I admire her for being a survivor, I also had a lot of difficulty relating to her because of what and how much she went through. It just seems so out there, so unbelievable that I kind of feel disconnected to her tragedy :(

Something else that lessened my enjoyment of Love Me to Death is that I'm not sure I could qualify this book as the "first" book in a series. It was clear to me while reading Love Me to Death that there was a book somewhere that I haven't read and indeed, after some research, I found out that Love Me to Death was a spin-off continuation of Fear No Evil. Ms Brennan tried to sum it up; however, there were too many undercurrents in the book and I knew I was missing some of Lucy and other secondary characters' backstories. Quite frankly, it sucked :(


Books bought: +12
Books read: -11
TBR pile: +1

Contemporary Romance - 6
Romantic Suspense/Mystery - 1
Cozy Mystery - 1
Young Adult - 1
Fantasy romance - 1
Women's Fiction - 1


Wow, first month of the year that I've "added" books to my TBR pile... but then again, April was such a good release month! I'm actually surprised that I haven't read more books LOL. However, as long as my number of reads hits double digits, I'm happy :)

I think April really showed this year's trend of what I've been reading. For some reasons, I'm really into contemporary romance this year... and when I don't have any contemporary romance books to read, I kind of look for something to read ^_^; I hope I get out of this mood soon.

Overall, April was a good month, although nothing really stood out...

How was yours? Do you even remember? LOL.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Hauling Sunday CXIX

Phew, what a difference does a week make! This week was much better... Actually, not much was going on LOL. My thumb is healing up nicely, work was okay... Noticeable things that happened is that I finally passed level 410 of Candy Crush after being stuck on it for about 2 months! Yay! Then again, credit doesn't go all to me, Candy Crush actually made the level much easier... but I doubt anyone will complain LOL.

Oh, I went shopping yesterday and found a dress for the wedding. Finally!

Honestly, I wasn't sure about it when my sister first showed it to me, but once I tried it on, it fit well :) So sold! LOL. This is actually what I've been looking for, a summer-y dress... So I'm just happy to have found one... Although ultimately, I don't know if it'll be chic enough for the wedding ^_^;; The invitation says casual, but the people showing up... So we'll see :)

All right, now onto the books :)

Interestingly enough, this week is all about self-published ebooks which is a rare thing for me. First is Snow-Kissed, a short story from one of my favorite author, Laura Florand. If I'm not wrong, this one is not set in Paris which will be interesting :) But it still involves food!

I read a good review somewhere for Stay with Me by Elyssa Patrick and the next blog I visited was Brie's and there was a giveaway for Stay with Me. Have to love those coincidence! Even better, I won! Woohoo!

Last but not least is Letters to Nowhere by Julie Cross :) I read Li's review, who by the way loved it, and was intrigued. Then, Brie told me she believed I would love this book... So yep, got it! And of course, they were right, I loved Letters to Nowhere!

So that was my week! What about yours?

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Review: Her Favorite Rival by Sarah Mayberry

Disclaimer: I've received Her Favorite Rival as an eARC from Netgalley

Her Favorite Rival by Sarah Mayberry
published by Harlequin (SuperRomance)
A new meaning for office politics Audrey Mathews has worked hard to get here. Now she's up for a promotion and nothing will stand in her way—including Zach Black. He's hot, smart and the competition. When they're assigned to the same project, she's shocked at how much she actually likes about him…and how much she misjudged him.

Before long Audrey is seriously falling for Zach—and indulging in an affair that's against company policy. And the stakes rise when it's clear only one of them can get ahead. So where do they draw the line between competition and love? Especially when she doesn't want to lose either the promotion or the guy….
Genre: Category romance, Contemporary romance
Series: Connected to Her Favorite Temptation

The Story: Audrey Mathews and Zach Black both work as buyers in the merchandising department of Makers Hardware. They know that they are each other's competition for the next promotion; Audrey has the experience and Zach, the education... and both want it badly. For Audrey, it's proof that she's put her life back together after some tumultuous teenage years where she ran away from a family that could provide everything to her. As for Zach, it's an indication of how far he's come in life, how much he's overcome given his underprivileged background and the poor hand he's been dealt in life. However, when the new CEO shows up, all bets are off and first, they have to weather through the new changes. Then, they have to put aside their rivalry in order to put together a competitor analysis - the perfect opportunity to show the new administration their worth. As the barriers between them come down, Audrey and Zach find that they actually like and are attracted to each other... but what about the promotion?

My Opinion: Ever since Her Best Worst Mistake, Ms Mayberry has been on my auto-buy list of authors and I look forward to her new releases, especially the SuperRomance ones. What I like about her books is that they are always very different from one another - the characters, but also the premises. So when I read the blurb of Her Favorite Rival, I was curious to see what would happen, how would Audrey and Zach juggle a budding romance and their ambitions. So when Her Favorite Rival was available on Netgalley, I did not hesitate to request it :)

Not surprisingly, Her Favorite Rival turned out to be an enjoyable read :) Once again, Ms Mayberry did a very good job with the characters, making them interesting and complex. I especially liked Zach and totally understood why Audrey was drawn to him LOL. Who wouldn't fall for a charming, handsome and successful man who raised above the circumstances and made a good life for himself? In addition, what Zach achieved and the way he handled his mother's situation are both admirable and speak volumes about his character. I thought his emotional conflict concerning his mother was very interesting and loved that Ms Mayberry developed on it, loved that she actually had the guts to address it as it's quite a sensitive matter. What I liked about the way Zach handled the situation is that it shows that he feels, that there is someone under the sophisticated veneer. Zach had to detach himself from his mother in order to cope, but at the same time, didn't completely give up on her. All these years, he kept taking care of her and part of it was duty, another part was to make himself feel better, but deep down, I think it's because he cared and loved her. To me, Zach was such a great character... and as a result, I found it hard to root for Audrey. In the story, Audrey's parents are both doctors and while it doesn't equate a perfect, loving life, they were at least able to provide her a comfortable life. However, in her teenage years, Audrey ran away from home to be with her boyfriend and lived on the streets for eighteen months. She craved her parents' love and attention and since she couldn't get it from them, she got it from her boyfriend. She made a mistake and is still paying for it now as her relationship with her parents isn't the greatest and I feel for Audrey... It sucks that you've made one mistake (albeit a big one ^_^;) and after all this year, are still held accountable for it, even though it's obvious that Audrey has turned a new leaf. They made her feel guilty and inferior and it's not something you should ever feel in the company of your parents. However, in comparison with Zach, deep down, I can't help but think Audrey is reaping what she sowed. She's the one who had all the opportunities and blew it and therefore has to live with it. I have to commend though that most of the time, she does which is good... but there are some occasion, she doesn't and I didn't like her then... For example, she was so judgmental of Zach when she thought he was born with a silver spoon and that really pissed me off. Not because it wasn't true, but because what right did she have to be jealous of him because he supposedly had it all handed to him while she had to do it the hard way? Technically, the reason she had to do it the hard way is her own fault! I'm not sure I'm explaining myself well, but in any case, you get the gist, Audrey bothered me a little. That and her wishy-washy attitude at times.

When it comes to Audrey and Zach's relationship, I liked it because they both displayed so much maturity. They could handle being lovers and co-workers and there was no stupid drama or misunderstanding. Once they got to know each other, they admire and respect one another and that was nice to see, refreshing. I liked that both applied for the promotion and that they were supportive and rooting for one another. It was nice that the competing for the same position wasn't the crux of the story or the romance :) However, as much as I liked the relationship, I feel the romance was a bit bland exactly because there was no crux ^_^; I don't mean that I wanted Ms Mayberry to take that direction because I'm glad she didn't transform Her Favorite Rival into a typical story... but at the same time, there was no spark, no conflict, no omph to be found. Audrey and Zach's romance just seemed to happen, as if they were two pieces falling into place, that even a little bit of banter or flirtation between the two would have lifted it up... And the writing style didn't help because I feel we were told more than shown. Come to think of it, Her Favorite Rival was very low in conflict. Ms Mayberry created characters with very complex background and circumstances, but none of their baggage was resolved... There's not much that could be done with Zach's situation, but I would have appreciate more closure for Audrey's relationship with her parents and sister.

One other issue that I had with Her Favorite Rival is Audrey's complete change of attitude when she found out about Zach's background. Initially, Audrey thought that Zach came from a privileged background based on his lifestyle and clothing and so, she thought he skated through life, that everything has been handed to him. However, when she found out that it was actually the opposite - that he came from a very poor neighborhood and had to work for everything, her opinion of Zach completely changes. Suddenly, she gains respect for him... It really bothered me because I'm not sure of the message Ms Mayberry is trying to convey. Of course, Zach having to work for everything makes his accomplishments even more impressive and admirable... but had he been from a privileged background, would it negate everything? Does it mean he wouldn't have to have work hard to get in the position that he was in? Okay, yes, it does happen that some rich kids get the position because of their family name... but say Zach was rich and had had worked hard to get where he was, wouldn't it still have been commendable? Is having money wrong? So yes, I was very annoyed with Audrey's reaction and honestly, it didn't endear her to me.

So yes, I did have some issues and complaints about Her Favorite Rival, but despite them, I still liked the book. If you want to read about two interesting and mature H/H, you'll want to pick this one up :) Plus, it is Ms Mayberry after all :)

My Grade: B-. Another enjoyable book from Ms Mayberry, but not a favorite.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Hauling Sunday CXVIII

Hi everyone! :) How is your week-end going? Mine so far has been relaxing which is exactly what I needed after a couple of bad days :( Before I share my woes with you all though, today is September 1... So guess what? Yep, Ames and I have our New Releases post up over at Breezing Through :) Check it out. And if we forgot some good books coming out, let us know!! Because so far, September looks like a lean month ^_^;

Now, onto the books I got this week! :P It was a pretty good week as you can see LOL.


Heart of Venom, The Arrangement and The Hero were pre-orders that I've made at Book Depository a couple of months ago. It was nice that they arrived during release week :) Usually, I'll receive them a week after. In any case, I have already read them all :P I bought If You Can't Stand the Heat at the bookstore when I went to renew my membership to Chapters/Indigo irewards program and got a nice 20% off on it. Finally, One Night with a Cowboy is an e-book I bought over at Kobo with a 35% off discount, yay! I read Ms Johnson for the first time in the anthology He's the One and really enjoyed her story, Fish Out of the Water, and wanted more :P

As I said, good week right? Well at least, book-wise... What did you get?

If not for the books, my week would have been quite bleak... I'm going to vent a little, so feel free to skip LOL. Still reading? Brave people :P Well first, I cut myself at work again on Thursday... This time, it was a weird cut because it's actually my nail... The problem is that it hasn't cut through either...

Good news is that it no longer really hurts... Bad news is that I don't really know what will be happening to my nail... someone told me that when it bleeds under, then it'll fall. Guess I'll have to wait and see.

I've been monitoring prices for round-trip flight for my trip to Annapolis. Was going to buy them last week, but we didn't... and on Friday, the prices went up. Ugh. My parents are also planning a trip soon and I didn't have time to buy their tickets on Friday morning... but throughout the day, the price increased! So that was double bummer. My sister and I found another option for our trip to Annapolis, using our miles... so that works out good. As for my parents, there is still some time left to buy their tickets and I'm hoping it's the "week-end effect" that drove the price up and that it'll come down mid-week. But yeah, Friday was very frustrating.

As if that wasn't enough, I've been having some car issues. My AC system has been down the whole summer... and with the season coming to an end soon, it hasn't really been on list of priority to repair. However, I have no control on the cool air either :( It'll sometimes work and then, lose its coolness or just not work at all... We've had rain a few times this week and it's been very humid... Having no control on cool air means that my windows have been fogging up and that's exactly what happened on Friday... It was bad ^_^; So now, getting it fixed has just become a priority, especially since I'm planning a road-trip in October. I can already hear the ca-chink sound of dollar signs, sigh. So on Friday evening, I came home and it was raining really hard with my windows fogged up... Not good. Later, I was going to join my sister at the restaurant, so I decided to take my parents' car, just to be on the safe side. I was a bit surprised because the car was making a weird sound "blop, blop, blop"... So I drove into a parking and got down to take a look... and sure enough, flat tire. Sigh. Apparently, my mom who had driven the car earlier already heard the sound, so it happened while she was driving. Getting on the car, I didn't feel anything different... the car wasn't leaning dramatically to one side or anything. I called my dad and we tried changing the tire to the spare one, but the bolts were screwed really tight. Plus, the tire iron/lug wrench got scraped, so it wasn't possible to do anything with it. So I called for a tow service at 9pm. They told me I'd have to wait for 1.5 hours. Sure, fine, didn't really have a choice... They showed up at 11.30pm ^_^; And luckily, my car had come with my car because the tow guy didn't have a tire iron that fit my dad's car's bolts! So got mine out and it fit! Hallelujah!

Last Friday wasn't Friday 13th, but it sure felt like it...