Book Review: “What Passes As Love” by Trisha R. Thomas

Hello there!

For the last two months, I’ve been on what I thought would be a never-ending cycle of finding something to read to only abandon it later. I have been searching for my next great book (series) to at least excite me for a time, but l haven’t found anything like I had with the ‘Celtic Blood’ series, that is, until I found this little beauty.

I still don’t know what made me obsess over it when I saw it, because I had been scrolling through the new releases on Kindle Unlimited for days, and I just thought I would give it a try and then all of a sudden I was done with it in less than a week! Obviously, it was what I needed after so many over-the=top romance books. I was back on my trustee subject: historical fiction and I was able to dive deeply into it while suffering through chronic back pain. It was what I needed to get past everything for a time.


1a7cbc8f6d86c49b245ceb17902c1aa4

A young woman pays a devastating price for freedom in this heartrending and breathtaking novel of the nineteenth-century South.

1850. I was six years old the day Lewis Holt came to take me away.

Born into slavery, Dahlia never knew her mother—or what happened to her. When Dahlia’s father, the owner of Vesterville plantation, takes her to work in his home as a servant, she’s desperately lonely. Forced to leave behind her best friend, Bo, she lives in a world between black and white, belonging to neither.

Ten years later, Dahlia meets Timothy Ross, an Englishman in need of a wife. Reinventing herself as Lily Dove, Dahlia allows Timothy to believe she’s white, with no family to speak of, and agrees to marry him. She knows the danger of being found out. She also knows she’ll never have this chance at freedom again.

Ensconced in the Ross mansion, Dahlia soon finds herself held captive in a different way—as the dutiful wife of a young man who has set his sights on a political future. But when Bo arrives on the estate in shackles, Dahlia decides to risk everything to save his life. With suspicions of her true identity growing and a bounty hunter not far behind, Dahlia must act fast or pay a devastating price.

taken from Goodreads.

When you first get into it, you will see a “Part I” page and I was unsure what this would mean while I passed each section. It wasn’t until I was finished did I realize why the author needed to spread things out into three acts.

You first a young Dahlia Holt, a sweet and resourceful girl who is swept up in the deep south, raised by her fellow slave family and the Holt family. Lewis Holt seems like every other slave owner of his time, but he has some secrets. One of which is that Dahlia is his daughter, so he has her come to the house to live along her sisters Annabelle and Leslie, and beloved grandmother but she’s also there to help serve them as well. Dahlia is somewhat unique as she is biracial so she could pass as both white and black, but choosing which side to be is proving harder to do than she thought. She has a friend though. Another slave, by the name of, Bo. They live separate lives on different parts of the plantation, but neither one are free.

In the second part, Dahlia goes out with Mother Rose and her sisters as they enjoy a day out into the city.

You want everyone to see through your eyes, but your eyes ain’t like the rest.

It’s there that Dahlia strays away from her family and finds two men, or well, they find her. They seem nice as regular gentlemen but Dahlia isn’t too convinced as she’s been warned to be careful around strangers, but she seems enchanted by Timothy, who wants to protect her when the city erupts in a panic over a robbery and she knows she needs to get back to the carriage, she is pulled by Timothy to escape with him and his brother Ryland. She sees this as an opportunity and takes it. Unfortunately for Dahlia, this was the only easy part of her journey.

As the final section begins, we see Dahlia finally make her way beyond what she knew about herself, the people she’s come to love and trust and find a solution on her quest for ultimate freedom.

There are not many books that allow me to dwell on the past, my American history, because it is disgusting on how my ancestors treated slaves – although I’m not sure how many family members in fact owned anyone, but there is a big possibility that it happened and it’s just better to understand that aspect of it. This book is a good insight on what it was like to be owned, and the prospect of being a women in those times and the fear of being raped by the master or overseer, having to serve ignorant people, and the thought of running away only to be brought back to harsher conditions than before.

If you are a fan of historical fiction, I highly suggest you check out this book. You will love it just as much as I did, trust me! It will make you think about everything once you finish, both about the book itself and how you love and treat people too.

Have you read “What Passes As Love” by Trisha R. Thomas yet? If you have, what to like about it? What section was your favorite too?

Book Review: “Jane Doe” by Victoria Helen Stone

Howdy!

So, this week is all about reviews. I had two other plans for what I could talk about for today, but I just decided to scrap them and give you this one to round up a very busy time for books!

This month, I was able to enjoy some Prime Reading and as much as I had hoped that Margaret Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale would still be listed on the site as part of the choices you can read, it wasn’t so I had to find something else and as I scrolled through all of these books, I finally saw a familiar cover. Before we continue though, I have to mention that I am not really into suspense thrillers in both books and films. I have watched What Lies Beneath, Escape Room, and Play Or Die recently and really enjoyed them but I never finished Paula Hawkins’s The Girl On The Train so I was a bit hesitant but once  I read the description of the story, I instantly hooked!


36531070._SY475_

A double life with a single purpose: revenge.

Jane’s days at a Midwest insurance company are perfectly ordinary. She blends in well, unremarkably pretty in her floral-print dresses and extra efficient at her low-level job. She’s just the kind of woman middle manager Steven Hepsworth likes—meek, insecure, and willing to defer to a man. No one has any idea who Jane really is. Least of all Steven.

But plain Jane is hiding something. And Steven’s bringing out the worst in her.

Nothing can distract Jane from going straight for his heart: allowing herself to be seduced into Steven’s bed, to insinuate herself into his career and his family, and to expose all his dirty secrets. It’s time for Jane to dig out everything that matters to Steven. So she can take it all away.

Just as he did to her.

taken from Goodreads

So, I started reading this book, knowing that there would a big chance that I could be wrong and I would hate this, but thankfully I didn’t!

I was actually flying through it because I was loving the main character Jane. She explains everything from her childhood to how she basically self-diagnosed herself as a sociopath. I love watching some true crime shows on Investigative Discovery and it was interesting to see how her mind worked. I love to observe people and learning how to read their body language but this goes all in and it was so addicting! She also talks you through her reasons why she wants revenge on this guy, and this is where you really see this side of her really start to unfold, because she’s very honest about everything. I like that fact she isn’t a whiz at everything, like she says in the book, she can’t break into safes and vaults.

There are some strong religious views; a man has more authority, he owns everything and the only thing the women are suppose to do is be there for him and take care of the children and their home. A man can be forgiven by the Lord with little to no punishment whereas a woman has to pay for her sins automatically. I know there are a lot of people out there who still live and preach this way, but I have issues with it. I have always had questions about this lifestyle, but after taking a few days to think about it, I thought maybe I am a little bit of a feminist than I originally thought, because I believe in equality in relationships and if you are doing something against God, whether you are a man, woman, trans, gay, disabled you should all be punished for those choices. That’s my say on it.

Overall, the book itself was so good! I wasn’t even halfway finished with it before I basically announced it to anyone within ear shot that it was my favorite book of the year and at the moment, I have read four others so this is a pretty big deal for me! If you don’t normally go for these types of books, I definitely think you should at least to try to find it at your local library or if you have Prime Reading too, you can check it out there to see if you are proven wrong like I was!

Have you read Victoria’s novel “Jane Doe” yet? If you said yes, what did you like or hate about it? Let’s chat below!

snowflake

Book Review: “Ride Me Dirty” by Vanessa Vale

Howdy!

I bet you didn’t think you would get two reviews in one week, huh?

For today, we stray away from the disability/contemporary type of books for a bit and go straight for the 18+/erotica novels! If this isn’t your cup of tea then you can skip it.

I found this book in December. It was part of my “free” purchase spree I took part in and out of the five that I thought would be interesting, this was the only romance book to survive. If you are a lover of erotica books like me, you might have a favorite theme. Some people like outlaw types, billionaires, rock stars (like moi!) or Doms. This one talks about cowboys.

No horses were harmed creating this blog post. 😉


27774596._SY475_

They’re going to claim her. Together.

She just doesn’t know it yet.

Catherine’s life is in New York. The property she’s inherited is in Bridgewater, Montana. Going back to the town she visited every summer as a child stirs up long forgotten memories and a girlhood crush, on not one teen-turned-hot-cowboy, but two. Cousins Jack and Sam Kane. Fortunately for her, in Bridgewater, one cowboy’s never enough.

In this contemporary version of Vanessa Vale’s USA Today bestselling, Bridgewater Ménage series, Catherine is forced to choose the life she really wants: the big-city lawyer or the small town cowgirl with two men who want to take her for a very dirty ride.

taken from Goodreads.

I live in a city that is surrounded by corn, soy beans, and wheat farmers. I also have family members who enjoy watching Westerns on a weekly basis.  So, I’ve never really enjoyed stories focused on cowboys and/or farmers.

Despite all of that above, I still read and quite enjoyed myself!

I don’t think it was the country lifestyle that turned me on (no pun intended) to be honest with you, I think it was the fact that there were two men involved here. Sam and Jack Kane.

giphy

I was pretty jealous of Catherine by the time I ended it.

                                                             ————————————-

It starts innocently enough with a young woman, a lawyer fighting to climb the ranks at her firm, has to go to Bridgewater, Montana to asset her uncles property. On her flight there, a very fine gentleman sat next to her and fantasies start forming in both of their minds about what they wanted to do to each other. When they arrive, Catherine and Jack part but they don’t go far. Catherine has been there before when she was younger, but she is taken aback after finding out a very common practice among everyone in town.

The majority of the women are married to two men!

At first, you’d think this is an awful thing to do, because let’s face it, men can be very disgusting at times! However, the main reason why people do it is so someone is there for the other person. The real term is polyamory, “a lifestyle to being open to the possibility of people having more than one loving, intimidate relationship at a time, with a full knowledge and consent by all partners involved.” I knew of it before I started reading the book, but never considered it until I finished but it is a glorious idea, but I don’t know if I’m only agreeing with it because of my love of Sam and Jack.

There were things I liked about it–obviously–but there were a couple of misspellings that I caught every once in a while. And considering I am awful about spelling words wrong all the time, sometimes I do not notice them right away! However, I have become Grammar police when I do spot some mistakes throughout a story. If it happened in every chapter, I wouldn’t be here saying all of this great stuff about it. I would have deleted it right away, because I hate seeing them all over the place! Thankfully, they were only in two spots. Overall, the story was great and the sex scenes were AHH-mazing too!

Have you read anything by Vanessa Vale? If you read this book, what were your thoughts about it? Did you enjoy it too?

snowflake

The Cake Flavored Book Tag!

Howdy!

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a tag, and I’ve been searching for fun things to post on here that wouldn’t consist of me doing a lot of thinking (much less move around!) so I have been reading other blogs in the last month and I have somebody who loves tags just as much as I do, and that is Shaa and she is a book blogger, so majority of the tags she’s done are about her favorite books. I checked it out, and I thought this would be a really fun thing to do. It is similar to the Books & Cookies tag I did a couple of months ago, but this is about cakes so how I can turn this down?!

Chocolate – A dark book that you loved

I thought about this question quite a bit because the word “dark” can literally mean different genres. At least I think it does, so I came up with two books that I think are “dark” in every sense of the word and they are Helter Skelter: The True Story Of The Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry and Night by Elie Wiesel. I remember reading both books in my Novels class and was absolutely floored by the horror each one discussed so that’s my answer.

Vanilla – A light read

This one was somewhat easier on me. However, there is more darkness to the story, but it is a very short book. I read this story while I was in my Short Stories class, literally a semester after completing the Novels course! It is The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It’s about 64 and a really haunting read if you’re into that sort of thing!

Red Velvet – A book that gave you mixed emotions

Oh boy! There’s only one book that belongs with this question and it is The Ring and The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz. I thought the story of Princess Marie-Victoria was really good but unfortunately there was way too much information and far too many characters to keep up with so I had a love/hate relationship with the book itself.

Strawberry – A sweet book

A sweet book. Hmmmm…. I think I would have to say To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I really loved that book. It just brought me back to my high school days and I really enjoyed being able to look back at those memories with a smile instead full of regret as I use to do! I really need to get back to reading the sequel sometime. I might wait to reading it in the summertime. That sounds like a good idea!

Cheesecake – A book that you would recommend to anyone

Oh jeez. I have a lot of books that I would recommend to people, but I think if anyone wants to experiment with the erotica genre, and use something else besides Fifty Shades; maybe you consider Roxy Sloane’s novella series The Invitation. The first book is just 50 pages but it’s page turner and if you love British men, this will be right up your alley, trust me!

Coffee Cake – A book that you started but never finished

On my Goodreads profile, I have a total of five books that I’ve started by never finished but I think the two that have bothered me the most are Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Aszkaban by J.K. Rowling and Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. The reason why I haven’t finished HPATPOA is because the movie has probably been my favorite out of the entire series, so I have trouble with comparing them side by side thus I’ve never been able to complete it. The other one is mostly because I go in and out of fantasy/magic genre. Originally, I stopped because I wanted a break… oops!

Carrot Cake – A book with great writing

Personally, I think there are at least three books that have had really great writing and they are: The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (again!), Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, and Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. The reason why I’ve chosen these three stories are because I thought they each have their good notes, but the one common bond they all share is that you can clearly picture everything that is going on within the story. I have a permanent image and to each one of them.

In The Yellow Wallpaper, I still have a sense of grief and am completely terrified to see anything on my walls. Whereas Me Before You brings me hope of understanding emotionally and physically as a  disability person. And finally, Red Queen means a lot for me. The fact that the writing itself was so vivid that I could see Mare running away, basically ducking and jumping out of a window; this somehow made me want to write a story with that much action and detail.

If you like mixing cake with books, you should do this tag too! Link it back to me if you remember, okay? Have you read any of the books I listed above?

Why I’ve Never Joined A Book Club

dance

Howdy!

Today’s post is going to be a little interesting as it’s something that I’ve never discussed. You have a group of people who are interested in usually the same genres as you, or they could differ with each month or whatever, and after you’ve finished reading, you all get together and discuss what you thought about it. I think that’s a wonderful thing to do!

I’ve watched The Jane Austen Book Club a few months ago and really enjoyed seeing the lives of these women (and one random dude) get closer and unfold as they read all six of her novels. I am looking forward to seeing Book Club with Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, and Mary Steenburgen when it comes out on DVD. They’re reading Fifty Shades of Grey and that just cracks me up! I’ve also found a book that also talks about it too, called The Accidental Book Club by Jennifer Scott. It’s been on my TBR list forever!

Funnily enough though, I’ve never joined a book club in my life. They always seem like a cool thing, but I have way too many issues to be able to do it. whether the excuse is my disability or can’t afford the book(s) itself.

I remember a time when I was a kid, once school was out, my mom and nana tried to get Blondie and I interested in reading, so they would sign us up for the library’s summer reading program. I absolutely hated it! I would constantly lose my place and stumble on my words, I’ll be honest, reading was my worst enemy. Once I started my freshman year though, something changed where I was allowed to read silently to myself. There were times when I had to read aloud in class, but thankfully it was mainly when we were attempting to read Shakespeare. The whole class was having trouble, it was just us who had issues with reading in general!

I don’t know if this counts, but I did take a class during my junior year of high school, called “Novels” and the teacher picked out four books for us to read, but I’ve also believed there was five, I just can’t remember it! The novels were: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Silas Marner by George Eliot, Night by Elie Wiesel, and Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry. This class was only a semester and no, I didn’t have the class around Halloween, the creepy tones just happened by accident I think!

That’s the only “club” that I can say I’ve ever been in, but in a way you were forced to take the class if you need one or two English classes to build up credits, so even though the class itself was fun and everything, it was too structured. It wasn’t the teacher’s fault, he was awesome and he made it fun for us. They had an actual book club, but it was during lunch period and as much as I really wanted to participate, I just never had the guts to do it.

Now you’re probably wondering if I’ve ever thought about creating my own club. Well, honestly I’ve never given it any thought about it because who would join it? Besides it would have to be hosted online because I have no other option. I also don’t know about the various genres, because honestly I like only a select few and unfortunately not a lot of people enjoy them.

What about you, have you ever joined a book club before? If you have, what was your experience with it? Did you enjoy it as much as you thought you would? 

snowflake