I'm from Houston, not sure if that matters or not, but this was my first trip to Canada. My husband and I were only in Toronto for two days so my list of things consisted of attractions we could only experience in Canada. The Aquarium did not make my list. I figured if I've seen one then I must have seen them all and I'm more afraid of everything that can eat you in the ocean than interested in getting to know the different creatures.
Since this was a trip for my husband's birthday though, I gave him full reigns with our itinerary once we got there and had printed out a TripAdvisor list with the top things to do in the area while circling a few of my favorites. Although, the aquarium was on the list, it was not circled or researched any further. Once we checked into the Delta Marriott and made it up to our room, he noticed the roof of the aquarium and replaced the visit up the CN Tower with the aquarium. This was our first stop and I was hoping it'd only take thirty minutes because we had breweries and the hockey hall of fame (more fun things) to see.
Ha. We spent over three hours walking around and my husband ended up having to pull me along because I became mesmerized. I stopped at the vertical tunnel of fish swimming sychronized and was envisioning Finding Nemo as they made shapes together and I was taking videos of the shark exhibit from the entry because it looked so scary and shallow and I was glad to be on the other side of the building. I had no idea there would be a tunnel that would surround you with the sharks and sea life. They had interactive exhibits where you could pet sharks and get a manicure from shrimp. I had a blast and felt like a kid. I immediately wanted to fly my two nieces up there, so I could experience the bewilderment again through their eyes.
I thought Seaworld was cool until now...take me back to the Toronto Aquarium!
First love. Second chance? As the daughter of a hoarder, Phoenix Fuller had a tough childhood. So when the handsome, popular Riley Stinson became her boyfriend in high school, she finally felt as though she had something to be proud of. Phoenix was desperate not to lose him-especially once she found out she was pregnant. Yes, she might have acted a bit obsessive when he broke up with her. But she did not run down the girl he started dating next. Unfortunately, there was no way to prove her innocence. Now, after serving her time in prison, Phoenix has been released. All she wants to do is return to Whiskey Creek and get to know her son. But Jacob's father isn't exactly welcoming. Riley doesn't trust Phoenix, doesn't want her in Jacob's life. He is, however, ready to find someone to love. And he wants a good mother for his son. He has no idea that he's about to find both!
Published March 31st 2015 by Mira Book
This Heart of Mine can be a stand alone book and it stands alone. I've seen books incorporate a past love child as well as reconnecting relationships that didn't work out in the past, but nothing quite like this. This is a whole new spin on making it work. There is a rivalry among friends that leaves you guessing who she will end up with and I would have been truly fine with either candidate.
This story didn't focus on love, which was unexpected and made it so unique. It was centered on a woman's drive to rebuild her broken life and as she went along love just so happened to bloom. She has a handful of hard battles to face with the brother of the girl she supposedly murdered wanting to run her out of town, hopefully convincing her son and those around her of her innocence, and beginning to try to build a relationship with her son. She had not been able to work and barely even drove before going into jail, so she has a lot to make up for when she got out.
She is filled with a lot of self-doubt and hesitancy, which gets a bit frustrating at times how unsure she is with every situation she is presented with. This love story picks up right where it left off in its high school daze, but this time instead of listening to his family, he has the chance to stand up and defend his love which he does quite chivalrously.
This story has some love, action, suspense and mystery (even a murder), but mostly the drive Pheonix has towards her uphill battle is the most mesmerizing and memorable part of this story. She's not head strong and stubborn facing this town that despises her, but she has her way of still getting things done which made her more realistic and relatable. I gave This Heart of Mine four out of five stars.
Genre: Historical Romance / Christian
Publisher: Revell / Baker Publishing Group
Date of Publication: March, 2017
Number of Pages: 352
Bestselling author Amanda Cabot takes readers back in time to the 1880s Texas Hill Country in her new historical romance novel, A Stolen Heart. This is the first book in a brand-new series packed with tension, mystery, and a tender love story that readers won’t soon forget.
Cimarron Creek seemed like an idyllic Texas town. But as soon as former schoolteacher Lydia Crawford stepped onto its dusty streets, she noticed a deep-seated resentment of Northerners—like her.
That won’t get Lydia down, though. She looks forward to the day when she reunites with her fiancé—until she discovers her fiancé has disappeared without a trace and has left behind a pregnant wife. The handsome Cimarron Creek sheriff urges Lydia to trust him, but she is having a hard time trusting anyone in a town where secrets and suspense prevail.
Cabot weaves an elegant tale of pure love amidst heartache. With an absorbing plot and engaging characters, A Stolen Heart is a springtime showstopper fit for every historical romance reader.
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Gabe Wilde has never been more ready for a change. Thirty-three and in the midst of a divorce, he’s packed up his second-grade daughter and come home to Birch Bay, Montana. New house, new career, new life. Only, with changes come stress. His daughter is struggling with the transition to their new norm—and Gabe is out of ideas as to how to help.
Erica Bird is mired in her own worries. After impulsively leaving the teaching job she loved, she may finally be free from her cheating ex, but separated from her family and everything she’s ever known, second guesses linger. Substitute teaching in Birch Bay is fine for the time being, but what will her future hold?
When Gabe’s daughter winds up in Erica’s class, the two meet—or rather, reunite. Neither has forgotten their college romance or the tender feelings they once shared, but will their complicated pasts destroy their second chance? Or will old desire lead to a new love when each needs it most?
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Publication Date: February 28th 2017 by Montlake Romance
Current GoodReads Rating: 4.52 Stars
STAYING FOR GOOD
Most Likely Series, Book Two
Montlake Romance, Contemporary
January 24, 2017, First Edition
Paperback & Kindle
Zoe Brown may have been voted Most Likely to Never Leave River Bend, but the paper-thin walls and suffocating air of her family’s double-wide trailer were not what she wanted for her life. Other than BFFs Melanie and Jo, the only thing that kept Zoe sane during high school was her boyfriend, Luke.
She didn’t just leave, she escaped—turning her back on the shame of her black-sheep siblings and imprisoned dad. Now a celebrity chef in Dallas, she can afford all the things she never could have growing up. But when she returns to rustic, ruggedly beautiful River Bend, Zoe has to face all that she abandoned—including Luke.
While Luke was a refuge for Zoe in the past, he knows they inhabit totally different worlds now. Anchored by his parents and his job as a mechanic in his father’s shop, Luke never felt the urge to leave River Bend—until Zoe’s return.
But when the two rekindle their old flame, Zoe is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: remain in River Bend and confront her past before it destroys her, or say good-bye to everyone she’s ever loved…again, this time for good.me for good.
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I’m ready for the next book in the series! I loved this book. Catherine is an author that when she has a new release, her book bumps others down and become first priority on my to read list.
Staying for Good was the perfect pace, the perfect depth, and had the perfect balance.
Author: Carrie Pulkinen
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: November 18, 2016
Jules Hume lives in a world where magic is a myth and supernatural creatures are fiction—or so she thinks. As a strong, independent woman, a relationship is the last thing she needs. Then she meets Ian Kincaid, a mysteriously sexy bachelor with otherworldly charm. She's instantly enamored of him, drawn by an inexplicable magnetism. Ian awakens something magical inside her, opening her mind to things she never thought possible. Things that shouldn't be possible. But Ian has secrets Jules is better off not knowing. The truth will tear her world apart, making her question everything she once knew to be real.
NOT QUITE PERFECT
Not Quite Series, Book Five
Montlake Romance, Contemporary
September 20, 2016, First Edition
Paperback & Kindle
New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee delivers the fifth heartwarming, flirty novel in the wildly popular Not Quite series.
Mary Kildare knows how to read people. It’s both why she makes a great therapist and why she refuses to trust the average bachelor. Staying fiercely independent has been her primary relationship strategy—until wealthy playboy pilot (and commitmentphobe) Glen Fairchild reappears in her life. After a yearlong teasing tug-of-war, Mary and Glen test the waters of attraction, only to find that their physical chemistry runs deeper than flirtation.
At first, a bicoastal romance suits them both—especially since Glen can swoop in and whisk Mary away on one of his company’s planes. But no matter how close they get, they’re still three thousand miles apart. And when Mary’s life is threatened, Glen realizes the one luxury he doesn’t have is time. Can he close the distance between them before it’s too late?
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A WIFE OF NOBLE CHARACTER
by Yvonne Georgina Puig
Genre: Women's Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
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Date of Publication: August 2, 2016
Number of Pages: 320
Thirty-year-old Vivienne Cally is wealthy in name only. Orphaned as a child and raised by a cold but regal aunt, Vivienne was taught to rely on her beauty and Texas tradition, and is expected to marry a wealthy and respectable man who will honor the Cally name. Friends with Houston's richest and most prominent families, she's a beloved fixture at the social events big and small, and suffers no shortage of access to some of the city's most eligible bachelors. Preston Duffin has known Vivienne and her set since childhood. He's never shared their social aspirations or their status but is liked and respected for his sharp wit and intelligence. About to graduate from a prestigious architecture program, he is both fascinated and repelled by this group of friends he sits on the cusp of. He's long admired Vivienne's beauty and grace, but isn't sure he holds any place in such a traditional life. Intrigued by Preston's ambitions and the extent to which he challenges the only way of life she's ever known, Vivienne both courts Preston's attention, and rebuffs his critiques of her predictable and antiquated priorities and values.
Inspired by Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, Yvonne Georgina Puig's A Wife of Noble Character shares the original novel’s astute social commentary at the same time that it illuminates the trappings and rewards of coming of age that are wholly unique to the twenty-first century. Charming and shrewd at once, this Texas love story takes readers from Houston to Paris and Switzerland and back again, and will speak to both fans of Wharton and anyone who has every struggled to find their way in life.
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About The Author
Yvonne Georgina Puig's fiction and essays have appeared in Salon, Variety, Los Angeles Magazine, and The Texas Observer, among others. She holds a Masters in Professional Writing from USC. She lives in Santa Monica with her husband.
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Championship bull rider Nick Wilde is the face of Montana Pro Rodeo, with all the acclaim and fans he can handle. But is that enough? Contemplating his next career move, he’s come home to his family’s cherry orchard—and to his childhood crush, helicopter pilot Harper Stone. But Harper’s not quite the sexy, badass girl he once lusted after. Recently widowed, she’s broken in two. Wanting to help her move on, Nick finds himself aching for the kind of stability he never had as a child.
True love comes once if you’re lucky, and Harper already had her shot. An accident took her husband eighteen months ago and left only pain and guilt in his place. Now Nick is waking up her body and heart to everything she might still have to gain…or lose. A second chance is more than she thinks she deserves. But with a man like Nick doing the persuading, maybe it’s time to try.
Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published August 23rd 2016 by Montlake Romance
Current Goodreads Rating: 4.58 Stars