Book Review: The Life We Wanted

As a member of Team Dearie: Kelsey Kingley’s ARC Team on Facebook, I was blessed with an advance reader copy of The Life We Wanted (expected to be released February 2019).  To say I was nervous was an understatement.  I am in a group of close quarters with the author, what if I hate this book?  How would I be able to write an honest review?  The day arrived and in my inbox was this book.  That day was only yesterday…

I finished this book in one day (honestly, around 4 hours of my day total).  I could not get enough.  This book was inspired by the song “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters and you will see how that intertwines throughout this story.  Music is amazing and this tale uses music as a muse for the story so well.

The story is about Tabitha Clarke and Sebastian Moore.  Tabitha is a successful real estate agent who just lost her parents and sister over the course of a year and gained custody of her 15 year old nephew.  Sebastian Moore is a successful drummer in a band and tours around the world and has a life of one night stands.  When Tabitha goes through her sister’s belongings after another fight with her nephew she discovers letters written by Sebastian and discovers he is her nephew’s father.  At her wit’s end she writes to him in hopes he can help her out and get through to her nephew, Greyson.

This story is told through alternating points of view between Tabitha and Sebastian.  I really liked how the story flowed this way.  We were not left with any unnecessary narratives and I really appreciated that.  I also appreciated the details that went in to describing each character (and I may or may not have a HUGE crush on Sebastian myself).

I would best describe this story as an edgy Hallmark tale (and in case you did not know, I LOVE Hallmark movies).  There is cursing throughout this book so if that is not up your alley, don’t pick up this book.  Is this book predictable?  Yes.  But, did it make me tear up?  Did it make me yell at the characters?  Yes and yes.  I became attached to Tabitha and Sebastian grew on me.  It truly is a wonderful romance tale that has left me wanting more.

I am in a total book hangover.  I am left day dreaming about Tabitha and Sebastian (and hope that one day we will get a sequel).  I know that this book is not for everyone so I won’t sugarcoat that.  If you love Hallmarky things that have an edge to them, THIS IS FOR YOU.  Stop what you are doing and run out to get this book.  It will leave your heart full and your face smiling.  So, despite the fact that I know this book isn’t for everyone, I am still giving it 5 stars.  Why?  Because *I* freakin’ loved it and that’s good enough for me!  If you are into this genre you will understand why I gave it 5 stars after you read it (and then come back and let’s talk all about it).




Title: The Life We Wanted

Author: Kelsey Kingsley

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Release Date: Anticipated February 1, 2019

ASIN: Will update when released

Link to Goodreads Page


First Line Friday

My first First Line Friday courtesy of Hoarding Books Blog.  I discovered this magic thanks to Crystal at Must Love Reviews, a blog I started to recently follow.  This week I picked a book from my Netgalley shelf that I just started reading.  Side note, props to me for actually picking a book from my post My Top 5 Kindle Books To Read In 2019!


Amazon Link

Goodreads Link

First Line:


No regrets.  Stupid name for a signature cocktail.  Brears had found the recipe online, this tequila-Baileys thing.  Seven shots plus the deejay speeding everything up plus the pink wine Leanza had drink before the ceremony were killing her bladder.


Ok, maybe I went beyond just the first line, but, I’m new to this so forgive me.  Make sure you check out Hoarding Books Blog and drop me a line with what you are currently reading right now!  PS, do we think drinking is heavily involved in this read?

Mini Book Review: Tough Truths


As I have previously discussed, I am currently in a leadership preparatory academy and this book was one of our first required readings.  It is a 104 page mini-book which is very insightful AND truthful.  I would recommend this book for anyone to read for some insight on how to deal with people, not just for those in a leadership position!

This book highlights 11 (there’s a bonus truth) tough truths which are remarkably all accurate.  I will never forget when I was going through a teacher leader academy a speaker told us: as soon as you step foot out of the classroom, you lose all credibly.  You no longer understand what it’s like in the classroom and you will be treated that way.

Ouch.  But truthful.  I can attest I have said that very line about people who were trying to tell me things that were not current classroom teachers.  This book helps prepare and help out leaders who are struggling.  One prime example is the tough truth that great leaders aren’t very much liked.  If and when the day comes when I step into a larger leadership role I will have to face that tough truth that no matter what, people will not like me, they will talk about me behind my back; that’s just part of the job.

Maloney does a fantastic job at keeping this book short and sweet.  With every truth she highlights a brief example so one can really understand what she is saying.  I think that helps drive home her point that great leaders insist on excellent, pristine communication.

I am giving this book 5 stars.  It is a great read to pick up if you’re struggling with others around you.  It puts into perspective not only leadership truths, but, life truths in general.  Leader or not, Maloney delivers great life lessons tips, especially those dealing with other people.  This is a great book to consult during some tough times to give a gentle reminder on how we can be perceived in life.  Fantastic read for all!




Title: Tough Truths: The Ten Leadership Lessons We Don’t Talk About

Author: Deirdre Maloney

Publisher: Business Solutions Press

Release Date: October 1, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0984027323

Buy It On Amazon

Top Ten Tuesday

Another TTT courtesy of That Artsy Reader Girl!  This week’s topic is…

New To Me Authors I Read In 2018

2018 is the year I really took back reading as a hobby so I have a LOT of new to me authors I read over the course of a year!  I suppose I did not realize how many new favorites I acquired over the year until I sat down to do this list!  I am listing these authors in no particular order, just the way they pop into my head!  Please note, I did not include any authors that had a debut novel in 2018 as they would be new to everyone, I only included authors with published works in 2017 or earlier!  Enjoy!

1. Elin Hilderbrand

I was first introduced to Elin Hilderbrand when a colleague gave me The Perfect Couple to read.  I.  Was.  Hooked.  Since then I have read Winter In Paradise and bought all of her Winter Street series books I plan on binge reading.  I also have another book coming in the mail too.  What can I say?  I’m into her!

2. David Baldacci

My father LOVES Baldacci.  He has read almost every single one of his books and has kept them all.  I started off by reading his book The Hit and I couldn’t stop.  I am in love with Will Robie and this series.  I just finished reading the first book in the series, nothing like reading them out of order or anything, ha.  I hope to make a big dent in his books in 2019, especially with the box of 25 or so my dad lent me!

3. Kerry Anne King

I first learned of Kerry Anne King thanks to Amazon First Reads.  I read her book Whisper Me This and was blown away.  I borrowed I Wish You Happy from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library and just recently her first book, Closer Home, went on sale on the Kindle so I snatched it up!

4. Ruth Ware

From the same colleague who introduced me to Hilderbrand, I learned of Ruth Ware.  She learned I was going on a cruise so she said I had to read The Woman In Cabin 10.  Don’t worry, I had no such experiences like this book on my cruise this past summer!  I picked up The Lying Game from a thrift store for 97 cents (what a find)!! I can’t wait to read more from her!

5. Jenny Han

Oh Netflix, you were the ones who turned me on to Jenny Han.  I *LOVE* to read a book and then watch the movie it was based off of so when I heard about To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before I had to read it.  Mistake.  As soon as I read that I had bought the next 2 in the series and finished them up within 2 days.  All of her other books are on my TBR pile!  PS, I loved the book so much I refuse to watch the movie!

6. Iris Johansen

I was on eBay when I stumbled across a book by Iris Johansen called Killer Dreams.  LOVED IT!  Now I am collecting all of her Eve Duncan books, slowly but surely, and can’t wait to read more from her!  When I mentioned I was looking for books by her my grandmother replied with, “Oh, she’s good!”  Well thanks for not letting me sooner Gram!

7. Kylie Brant

I learned of Kylie Brant thanks to Amazon First Reads and her book Pretty Girls Dancing.  Every month I make sure to get my free book and eventually I get around to reading them.  I wish I read it as soon as I bought it as this was a page turner.  I cannot wait to read more from her!

8. Sarah Pekkanen

I first read Sarah Pekkanen when I read my very first advance reader copy of The Wife Between Us.  I know it was a joint effort with Greer Hendricks but what I did not realize until just recently is that Pekkanen has written novels before!  I loved this story and loved what came from her mind, I can’t wait to read more!

9. Fiona Barton

I learned of Fiona Barton thanks to Netgalley and the advance copy I got of The Suspect.  I love thrillers and I love an author who can write an amazing one.  I will be checking out her previous work for sure.

10. Lisa Wingate

Another colleague turned me on to Lisa Wingate when she lent me Before We Were Yours.  The book made me emotional and every now and then I love my heartstrings to be pulled and tugged at when I read.  She has a beautiful way with words!


I am amazed with all of the new authors I was exposed to in 2018 and I am excited to see who I will discover in 2019!  Although I already have a lot of works by these authors in my current TBR pile, I will be sure to spice things up with new authors too!  Any of these your favorite authors as well?  Did you discover any of these authors in 2018 as I did too?  Thanks for visiting!

Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday comes courtesy of Lauren’s Page Turners.  I thought this was a neat idea so each Monday I will randomly pick a book on my Goodreads to read shelf.  Every Monday will have a cover picture and Goodreads description.  If you have read the book, let me know!  I will move it up on my TBR list!  Maybe this will also help me tame down my to read shelf!

Quick Goodreads Stats

305: To Read Shelf

57: Read Shelf

1: Read 2019 Shelf

My Pick This Week


The Life We Wanted by Kelsey Kingsley

Expected Release: February 1, 2019

Current Goodreads Rating: 5 stars (4 reviews)

Goodreads Summary

“You have too many rules.”
“And you don’t have enough.”

Sebastian Moore thought he had it all.

A drumming gig with one of the world’s biggest up-and-coming stars. The looks and charm to get him any woman he laid his eyes on. All the friends he could ever ask for.

But something was always missing.

That is, until he receives a letter, telling him that he’s a father to a fifteen-year-old boy.

Now, with the addition of his son, a love interest he never expected, and a whole new set of responsibilities, Sebastian finds himself happier than he’s ever been.

But old habits die hard, and when life finally gives him everything he wanted, he’ll have to find a way to keep his past from ruining the present.

My Thoughts

This week I organized my want to read shelf by picking the book with the highest rating.  This book only has 4 current reviews and it is not yet released.  I am actually on Kelsey Kingley’s Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) team, Team Dearie, as of January 6th and I will be receiving an advanced copy of this book shortly to read and review (so look for that SOON).  I thought it was appropriate my first Goodreads Monday will be a book I *WILL* be reading very shortly!  I’m super excited now!  I also love the plot and that makes it all that much more exciting!


I hope you have enjoyed my first Goodreads Monday and you’ll think about doing it too!  If you have done it, leave the link to your post (not your actual blog) at the link below. Put your name, @, and the name of your blog!  Let’s get through those massive TBR piles together!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


Next week I will have YOU decide which book I will pick.  Simply pick a number between 1 and 305 and I will pick that number on my to read shelf and do that book!  Let me know if you are looking forward to reading this pick too!

Book Review: The Innocent

My first read of 2019!  My first box checked on the 2019 Popsugar Reading Challenge as well!  I actually started this book in 2018 and had every intention of finishing it in 2018, however, life happens and here we are 2 weeks in to January and I just finished it.  Oh well, at least I get to check off a box for the challenge!


I would like to note that I read his book The Hit first, not realizing it was part of a series.  I am glad I read this book next so I could get a little background on some of the characters that were present in that book.  But on to this amazing read!

This is the book where we first meet agency employee Will Robie.  He gets called out to make a kill and when he walks in to an apartment where it’s a young mother, he freezes and can’t do it.  Something seems off.  Bullets fly through the window, killing the mother and her child, and threatening Robie’s life.  It turns out Robie’s gut feeling was right and the young mother should have never been killed.  Now Robie is being hunted by someone in his own agency to be taken out.

Who went rogue within his agency?  This book takes us on a twisty, turny tale to find out.  Along the way Robie ends up helping a 14 year old, Julie, who has just lost both of her parents.  He notices a man about to kill her on a bus and when he intervenes, saves her life.  They both get off the bus and as soon they do it explodes, killing everyone on board except them.  What is going on?

I was highly intrigued the whole story.  It was interesting to see how various events intertwined together and how Robie and Julie end up needing each other.  It was thrilling, intoxicating, and a joy ride that I did not want to see end.  It was action packed

Overall I am giving this book 5 stars.  When I read a book and go, “just one more chapter,” for 5 or so extra chapters, it’s a great read.  I enjoyed how Robie and Julie worked together and the ending was one I did not see coming.  Not even from a mile away.  It just came out of left field for me.  Wow.  It also left any loose ends tied up and made me smile.  I cannot wait to read the 3rd book in this series!  Any fellow David Baldacci fans out there?


Title: The Innocent

Author: David Baldacci

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Release Date: April 17, 2012

ISBN-10: 1455519006

Buy It On Amazon

Emotional Intelligence 2.0

This is going to be a unique post.  I am currently going through a leadership preparatory academy and we have a slew of books that we will be reading.  One of the first books we are reading is Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves.


I thought discussing my results here first may help me in class this week.  Currently we have only been assigned to read pages 1-55 of this book.  The first thing the book asks you to do in Chapter 1 is to take the test.  This is going to be a book we read throughout the academy and at the end we will retake the test and see if we have grown emotionally.  Pretty interesting stuff, right?  If you are interested in doing this yourself (and maybe take a journey with me) the book is available here: $11.45 at Amazon.  The book includes a link to take the test twice! (*I am not affiliated with Amazon and get nothing for including the link in my post, it is purely for you to easily find this book courtesy of me.)

The test was very quick.  You rate yourself and then bam, results are calculated.  Here are mine:

Overall Emotional Intelligence: 79

Personal Competence: 78

The collective power of your self-awareness and self-management skills. It’s how you use emotional intelligence in situations that are more about you privately.

Your ability to accurately perceive your emotions and stay aware of them as they happen. This includes keeping on top of how you tend to respond to specific situations and certain people.
Your ability to use awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and positively direct your behavior. This means managing your emotional reactions to all situations and people.

Social Competence: 79

The combination of your social awareness and relationship management skills. It’s more about how you are with other people.

Social Awareness
Your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and get what is really going on. This often means understanding what other people are thinking and feeling, even if you don’t feel the same way.
Relationship Management
Your ability to use awareness of your emotions and the emotions of others to manage interactions successfully. Letting emotional awareness guide clear communication and effective handling of conflict.


What does this mean?

Here is what those numbers mean according to them:

These scores are much higher than average and indicate a noteworthy strength. These strengths probably come naturally to you, or exist because you have worked hard to develop them. Seize every opportunity to use these emotionally intelligent behaviors to maximize your success. You are highly competent in this skill, so work to capitalize on it and achieve your potential.
This score is above average. However, there are a few situations where you don’t demonstrate emotionally intelligent behavior. There are many things you’ve done well to receive this score and a few that could be better with some practice. Study the behaviors for which you received this score and consider how you can polish your skills.

You are aware of some of the behaviors for which you received this score and you are doing well with them. Other emotionally intelligent behaviors in this group are holding you back. Lots of people start here and see a big improvement in their emotional intelligence once it’s brought to their attention. Use this opportunity to discover the difference and improve in the areas where you don’t do as well.


How did I take this?

I can tell you right now, I need to improve upon my emotional awareness.  It is easy to react emotionally and as I have been taking a leadership journey for a few years now, I have started to see how emotions are raw, powerful, and everywhere.  It is difficult to keep emotions out of decision making, especially when you are dealing with other people, however, it is all about learning who you are working with and what needs to get done.  The good news is I am already aware of this so all I need to do is intentionally focus more and continue to hone in on it.  With a little more confidence, I should be good to go.  I am excited to learn more about this in general.

So far, this book discusses the 4 main skills of emotional intelligence and what they mean.  I am going to honor their wishes and read this book as they assign it in this program, I think it will be part of my continuing growing process as a leader (I will leave a full, appropriate review of this book when I am finished).  If any of this has interested you I would highly recommend this book as an insightful read!  If you have read it, let me know what you took away from it overall and if it has helped you out at all!  Thanks for reading!