Review: Roommates by Erin Leigh

27252726Roommates

Author: Erin Leigh

Publication Date: October 24, 2015

Genre: New Adult

Synopsis:

Natalie Banks has lived a sheltered life. She’s done everything her parents have asked of her, but that’s about to change. At 22, Nat has a new job and a new apartment. She’s ready to live a little.

Thanks to hard work, determination and his family, Brady Coldwell’s hockey dreams are coming true. He’s going to do everything he can to make his hockey career a success.

When a little mistake pairs Natalie and Brady up as roommates, each is determined to make it work. The location and price of the apartment is just too good to give up. Natalie and Brady are sure they can be platonic roommates…or can they?


My rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars


I have to admit, I’m a sucker for a good NA hockey romance. There are so many amazing ones out there! I can’t help myself when I see one. I have to read it. Luckily, Roommates was on sale for $1.99 during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend.

I wasn’t quite sure what to think of Roommates at the beginning. Natalie came off a little pretentious at first. After getting into the book a bit I understood that is was just setting up her home life but it made her seem so entitled at first. That combined with Brady’s man-whore ways made me wonder how Roommates was going to make me fall in love with these two characters and how they were going to fall for each other.

I didn’t have to wait long. The story quickly became very cute and fun to read. I loved watching good girl Nat struggle with doing what she wanted versus what was expected of her. Rooming with super hot Brady sure didn’t make it easy on her!

Brady…Well, like I said, I didn’t like him at first. He was such a hockey playing man-whore. His trysts grossed me out. (Although, I do have to admit they were a little funny.) BUT Brady was actually a decent guy . He ended up redeeming himself pretty quickly and I adored the way he was with Nat.

The secondary characters in the book were entertaining to read as well. I loved Nat’s co-workers and her best friend. Brady’s hockey buds were probably my favorite, though. I loved reading their take on Brady’s attraction to Natalie. (I would love a sequel with any of these characters!)

As for the hockey part of the story, I loved the way the author included actual game scenarios and not just players. Brady was just as hot and fun on the ice as he was off of it.

Overall, Roommates was a great NA romance. I couldn’t put it down and read it in one day. It would have gotten 5 stars from me if I didn’t have to read a couple of Brady’s sexual encounters with puck bunnies. (Just, ewwww!)

Day 3: 12 Days of Christmas Blogging

 

Day Three: Favorite Christmas Recipe/Food

I was nominated by Michelle to do this challenge! The challenge was created by StephJ! They have amazing blogs that you should check out.


The Rules:

  • Include the photo below in each blog post
  • You may start at any point in December
  • Use the topic supplied for the post of that day
  • Make sure all posts are in December, but they don’t have to be posted consecutively (lets face it it’s a busy time)
  • Nominate 3 people after each blog to start the challenge
  • Have fun!

12 days of christmas blogging


 My Favorite Christmas Recipe:

 

I probably should have included my favorite Christmas recipe in my favorite holiday traditions yesterday. My favorite recipe/food tradition started when I was in junior high. Every year, my oldest friend Bettina would come over and we would bake sugar cookies. After high school, it became a tradition for me to make the cookies for Christmas Day dessert every year. Now, my daughter helps me make them. Here is the most current recipe I use. It’s from Sweetopia. I’ve frosted them with everything from store bought frosting, homemade buttercream and Sweetopia’s Royal Frosting.

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups butter (at room temperature)
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
seeds from 1 vanilla bean (or 3 tsp vanilla)
5 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Instructions:
1.Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer on low tomedium speed. (Use the paddle attachment). Mix until thoroughly incorporated – forabout one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula and mixagain for a few seconds more.Over mixing the butter and sugar in this step will cause too much air to be incorporatedinto the dough. If you’d like a light and fluffy cookie, that’s ideal, however the dough will spread more during baking;
not ideal if you’d like the cookie to hold its shape.
2.Add eggs slowly and mix. Scrape down the bowl with your spatula at least once andmix again.
3.Cut open your vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out. Add to mixing bowl. Alternatively, add liquid vanilla extract. Stir briefly.
4.Sift your dry ingredients together. (Flour, baking powder and salt).
5.Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl. Place a large tea towel or two small teatowels between the edge of the bowl and the electric mixer so that the flour won’tescape. Mix on low speed for 3o seconds. Remove the tea towels and observe the doughmixing; when it clumps around the paddle attachment it’s ready. It’s also important atthis stage not to over mix the dough (the glutens in the flour develop and the dough can become tough).
6.Roll the dough out between 2 large pieces of parchment paper. Place on a bakingsheet and into the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.
7.Roll out the dough further if you need to, and cut out cookie shapes. Place onparchment paper-lined baking sheet. Re-roll scraps and repeat.
8.Put cookie dough shapes back into the fridge for 10 minutes to 1 hour to chill again.They will then hold their shape better when baked.
9.Preheat your oven to 350°F or 176°C.
10.Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes or until the edges become golden brown. The bakingtime will depend on the size of your cookie.
11.Let cookies cool to room temperature and decorate!
 
A few notes about the recipe:
*Butter – The butter needs to be soft, or room temperature. I leave mine out the night before I do my baking. If you forget, you can grate the butter on the largest hole of your box grater, so that the sugar and butter will mix together better.
*Baking powder – I hardly use any baking powder in my recipe because the dough willspread and rise more during baking, thereby making the shape of the cookie less crisp.

 


Nominees:

Sky @ Bookish Night

Cristina @ My Tiny Obsessions

Dimple @ enthrallingdimple

 

Dashing Through the Snow Book Tag

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I was tagged by Tasha for the Dashing Through the Snow Book Tag. Thank you, Tasha! If you haven’t checked out her blog, you should! Such great posts. 🙂

Here we go…


1.Name a book you would like to see under the Christmas tree.

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I think Kunal Nayyar is hilarious. I would love to read this!

2.Name a book you’ll be reading during the Christmas season.

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I actually already read this Christmas-time book, but I’m not sure if I will read any more Christmas-themed book or not this season.

3.Name your favorite Christmas movie.

It’s not truly a Christmas movie, but it’s one I watch every Christmas season and I love it.

4.Do you like snow?

Yes and no. It’s pretty and fun for a day. Otherwise, I don’t like it. I hate driving in it and it’s just so…cold.

5.Name a character you would like to spend your Christmas day with.

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It’s not a book character, but I would love to spend it with Fat Amy from Pitch Perfect.

6.To give or receive.

Give. At this point in my life, it’s much more rewarding to give a gift than to receive.

7.What fictional place would you like to spend Christmas at?

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It’s not really fictional as in it’s not real, but anywhere in Hawaii would be great!

8.Fondest Christmas memory?

Just spending them all with family.

9.Can you say Christmas tree ten times fast in a row (pronouncing it correctly)?

Yes, I think so.


 

My Nominees:

Analee @ Book Snacks

Cristina @ My Tiny Obsessions

Dimple @ enthrallingdimple

Jesse @ Books at Dawn

Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts

 

 

Day 2: 12 Days of Christmas Blogging

Day Two: Favorite Christmas Tradition New or Old

I was nominated by Michelle to do this challenge! The challenge was created by StephJ! They have amazing blogs that you should check out.


The Rules:

  • Include the photo below in each blog post
  • You may start at any point in December
  • Use the topic supplied for the post of that day
  • Make sure all posts are in December, but they don’t have to be posted consecutively (lets face it it’s a busy time)
  • Nominate 3 people after each blog to start the challenge
  • Have fun!

12 days of christmas blogging


 My Favorite Christmas Traditions:

 

I’m going to share my lifelong holiday traditions because I’ve loved all of them!

When I was little, my family would make the drive from Seattle, WA to Nampa, ID for Christmas every year. We would stay at my Grandma Faye’s and celebrate on Christmas Eve with my mom’s side of the family. There was always lots of pie and Christmas cookies. We were forced to eat squash (ick) before we could have either. Oh, the things you remember…

As my sister and I got older, we started spending Christmas at home. On Christmas Eve, we would:

  1. Eat dinner.
  2. Go drive around looking at Christmas lights.
  3. Read the Christmas story from the Bible.
  4. Open Gifts
  5. Go to the Christmas Eve Candlelight service at church.

On Christmas morning, Santa came and we spent the day with my mom’s brother’s family.

After meeting my husband, our holiday traditions have changed

Since meeting my husband, we usually spend Christmas Eve with his dad’s side of the family. It’s usually a buffet style meal and then gift opening for the kids.

On Christmas day, my little family celebrates on our own before my parents, sister and her family, my mom’s cousin and my husband’s mom, step-dad and grandmother come over for brunch. Everyone brings a dish to share. We eat, let the kids open gifts and then put on a Christmas movie for the kids.

You may notice the adults don’t open gifts. One of my favorite traditions is that instead of exchanging gifts between adults, we pick a charity and donate instead. We’ve donated diapers to local drug addicted babies, food to a local food bank, money to Northwest Harvest, money to the National MS Society and the last few years we have donated gifts picked from the giving tree (a Christmas tree with tags of wants/needs) for students at my daughter’s school. I love the feeling of knowing we’re helping someone else instead of ourselves.


Nominees:

 

Ashley @ Socially Awkward Bookworm

Erika @ Erika in Bookventureland

Giselle @ Hardwork Boulevard

12 Days of Christmas Blogging Challenge

 

Day One: List Your Favorite Things About Christmas

I was nominated by Michelle to do this challenge! The challenge was created by StephJ! They have amazing blogs that you should check out.


 

The Rules:

  • Include the photo below in each blog post
  • You may start at any point in December
  • Use the topic supplied for the post of that day
  • Make sure all posts are in December, but they don’t have to be posted consecutively (lets face it it’s a busy time)
  • Nominate 3 people after each blog to start the challenge
  • Have fun!

12 days of christmas blogging


My Favorite Things:

  1. Spending time with my extended family: my parents, sister and her family, my husband’s families.
  2. Christmas music playing everywhere you go (Sorry to my retail friends that have to listen to it all month!).
  3. The giving tree at my daughter’s school. I love being able to giveback to students at my daughter’s school.
  4. Being Santa. I never knew this could be so much fun. I only have a year or two left of this.
  5. Christmas decorations. They just make everything look happy.
  6. Christmas cookies. YUM.
  7. School holiday performances.
  8. Holiday television specials.

I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff but I need to save things for the next 11 days!


 

Nominees:

Annemieke @ A Dance with Books

Jesse @ Books at Dawn

Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts

 

ARC Review: More Than Once

26918316More Than Once (Chasing the Dream #4)

Author: Elizabeth Briggs

Publication Date: November 30, 2015

Goodreads Synopsis:

She’s trying to be good. He loves it when she’s bad.

Andrew West is done being the nice guy. After a marriage proposal gone wrong, he’s started over in a new city and he’s never risking his heart again.

Becca Collins is done being the bad girl. After quitting the band she played bass for, she’s going to prove to her family that she’s really changed.

When Becca’s dumped by her boyfriend and fired from her job on Christmas Eve, all seems lost, until she runs into a former one night stand—Andrew. To impress her parents, Becca convinces him to pretend to be her perfect boyfriend for their holiday dinner.

After Andrew shows Becca he’s all bad boy in the bedroom, neither wants to pretend anymore. But when Becca’s invited to rejoin her band for a show and Andrew’s forced to face his ex, they both wonder if they’re ready to take a leap again—or if they’re doomed to fail in life and love a second time.

 


My rating: 4 / 5 Stars


More Than Once is a  fun and steamy second chance romance. It’s filled with a ton of hot sex and sweet interactions. I loved the way Becca was a bad girl trying to be good and Andrew was a good guy trying to be bad. It was cute watching them discover they could be both with each other.

More Than Once is a great NA romance to put you in a good holiday mood.

**I received an electronic copy of More Than Once from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Other books in this series:

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Review: Six of Crows

23437156Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publication Date: September 29, 2015

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.


My rating: 5 / 5 Stars


Six of Crows in one word: EPIC.

I read somewhere that Six of Crows is Oceans 11 meets A Game of Thrones. I couldn’t agree more. The plot was amazing. It had a criminal mission like Oceans 11 and a cool world and multiple view points like A Game of Thrones. There were also so many surprises I didn’t see coming. And I love being surprised!

What really made this book outstanding, though; was its characters. They were all so different and interesting. I loved reading their backstories. I couldn’t help but fall in love with them. It didn’t matter that they were criminals. I wanted them to succeed and find the happiness they were all searching for.

Six of Crows is surrounded by a lot of hype. In my opinion, it’s worthy of said hype. I more than loved this book. I don’t have the words to even describe how I felt about it. I’m going to be telling everyone (inlcuding you!) to READ.THIS.BOOK.

Side note: I borrowed an electronic copy of Six of Crows from my local library. I really wish I would have borrowed a physical copy for two reasons:

1) I would have liked to have been able to flip back to the maps at the front of the book while reading the story.

2) I didn’t realize the story was going to end at 85% completion. There are acknowledgements and a sneak peak of Bardugo’s The Grisha Trilogy at the end. I thought I had more story but got a cliffhanger instead!