Fighting Dirty | Book Tour | Review | Excerpt | Giveaway

 Nothing gets me more excited that getting to share books with you, reading is such a part of my daily life and I hope it gets you motivated to read more too.  I also love when a book totally surprises you which this one did. Yes, it’s a romance, but there is some real depth. The two main characters really didn’t pull punches with each other but also supported each other. 

I was contacted by the publisher to get a free copy of this book which a chance to review and I didn’t even blink before saying yes. The publisher was also kind enough to host a giveaway for a $50.00 Amazon eGift Card. Checkout the giveaway at the end of the post. Hope you give this book a chance, this is the fifth book in the series but I haven’t read the others so could totally be read as a standalone book, though I want to go back and read the others. 

 

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Review: I found myself almost going into this book thinking it was going to be just a light cheesy romance. I am so glad I was wrong. I liked it more because the characters were real, flawed and deeper than they looked. JL was the rebel with a good heart, who gave people almost too many chances. She turned down Enzo many times since his preppy buttoned up look just seemed boring. Enzo surprised her more with each day and how open he is. There was a moment in the book between JL and her mother that could have ruined the book but it was handled well and honest, that made me appreciate the book more. 

It’s full of fun and laughter, romance, and heart. A little bit of everything. 

 

Excerpt:

 “What made you change your mind about going out with me?” he asked as they crossed the parking lot. “Not that I’m complaining. But you’ve been saying no for almost a year.”

“Truth?”

“Always.”

“You always seem so predictable, but you doing this . . .” She shook her head. “I guess it made me see you in a different light.”

He held her car door open for her as she tucked the canvas facedown in the backseat and then got in the car. “I’m glad it took me completely humiliating myself to get you to go out with me. Maybe I won’t kill your brother for this ridiculous bet, after all,” he said. “I’ll make reservations at the Tackle Box and pick you up at eight tomorrow.” When she looked at him for a moment too long, he said, “You don’t like the Tackle Box?”

“Do you work tomorrow?” she asked as she got back out of the car.

“Yes.”

“That was a dumb question. You’re always working. Let me rephrase the question. Can you take the day off tomorrow?”

Enzo quickly thought about all the teleconferences he had scheduled and all the reports he had to do. “I can.”

“Okay, so I’ll pick you up at eight.”

“Uh . . . I don’t understand.”

“Eight in the morning,” she clarified. “I asked you out, so I pick. That’s the deal, okay? It’s my treat. I pick where we go and what we do.”

“I don’t think—”

“You hate giving up control, don’t you?” she asked wryly, already knowing the answer. “Don’t worry so much. Just be ready. It’ll be fun—spontaneous. You’ll like it. I promise.”

He let out a breath. “Fun and spontaneous isn’t something I’m very comfortable with,” he admitted. But then he decided, What the hell? He’d already survived taking the biggest leap of faith of his life by moving from Brazil to Florida, something that was so completely out of character his parents thought he was still mourning the end of his marriage. So, going on a date with a beautiful woman and letting her take the lead . . . what could possibly go wrong?

“Okay, fine. I’ll text you my address,” he said as he leaned in and kissed her cheek. She folded herself into her crappy fifteen-year-old Honda Civic, which was mostly red, except for some patches where the paint had chipped off. The bumper was held together with a hot-pink bungee cord, and there were bumper stickers plastered everywhere. He couldn’t picture her with any other car but this one; somehow it suited her perfectly. But she was absolutely out of her mind if she thought he’d be going anywhere with her in that clunker tomorrow.

 

Buy Links: Amazon | B & N | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo

Goodreads Link to the book: Book Link | Series Link

 

 

Author Info: 

 

Sidney Halston lives her life by one simple rule: “Just do it.” And that’s exactly what she did. At the age of thirty, having never written anything other than a legal brief, she picked up a pen for the first time to pursue her dream of becoming an author. That first stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Halston lives in South Florida with her husband and children.

Sidney

Author Links: Facebook | Twitter | Website | GoodReads

 

 

 

Giveaway:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What is the last book you read? 

Will you give this book a read?

 

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December Books I’ve Read

In preparation for Erin’s Challenge I wanted to finish up some of the ARC’s I received so I could dig into the challenge books. So a lot of this was catching up. No five stars this month, but some overall pretty decent reads. Hopefully you find a book or three to add to your to be read pile. 

 

My rating system:
Five Stars: Blew me away, made me want to stay up till 3am to finish, would read again and again or I didn’t find anything I would want to change.
Four Stars: Really good book, fast paced or thought provoking, but may have dragged a bit or left something unresolved
Three Stars: Okay, didn’t thrill me but didn’t disappoint me either.
Two Stars: I almost didn’t finish, it may have irritated or offended me in some way.
** – Item was received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I pull no punches though, so you get all my opinions good or bad.
NOTE: I may not care for a book or I may love a book and my reactions are based on my experiences and tastes. Please don’t let my opinions deter you if a book really intrigues you, and know all opinions are my own.

 

four stars

 

  4 stars

 

**House Trained –  Alex decided at an early age that kids just wasn’t something she wanted in life, but being a dog mom was important to her. She loves her life with her husband and dog Marie. Her house is designed like an interior designer would want it to look, because she is one.

Her perfect looking life is disrupted when a young girl shows up claiming to be her husbands daughter and she wants to move in, with her own baby in tow. This throws up so many disruptions and throws Alex off balance. The love and attention her dog Marie shows the newcomers leads Alex to her own acceptance. Laugh out loud moments, that any dog mom can appreciate.

**The Truth About Him – I liked that Dylan’s character was more fleshed out and that more of his past was revealed, which was a little lacking in the first book. He comes to terms with some of his childhood and while he may not get over it he let some of it go.

The side characters from the first book make appearances and hopefully set up for a third book. I liked that both characters were damaged and Dylan fought his normal response to run away from relationships.

**Everything I Left UnsaidWhile the story is a little much with the phone sex angle I was pulled in by the characters. It has a deeper story regarding abuse and a woman’s choice to break away. That moment when a new relationship starts and you are just so excited to get to know each other was the feeling of this book.  The secondary characters were a good addition to the story. 

The guy on the other end of the line is Dylan, he is scarred inside and out. He is determined to live his life on the mountainside without the entanglements of anyone. He can’t keep away from Annie though. This book ends on a cliff hanger so be forewarned. 

**Should’ve Said No – I liked the banter between the two main characters and it just goes to prove not to judge a book by its cover. Lindsey is starting over in Thistle Bend after being laid off a year ago. The handyman extraordinaire Carden, is also a successful businessman. The problem is he is also a part of the family that has been feuding with her family for over a 100 years. Lindsey is determined to get to the bottom of the scandal so the families can move on and her new job isn’t short lived. 

 

 three stars

3 stars

 

 

**Can’t Hold Back – I am not sure of anyone who willing gives up someone they feel a connection with, especially to their sister but that is just what Alia did.  A few years later Nate is seeking recovery from a pain pill addiction after an injury with in combat. Alia is now a massage therapist helping to relieve the pain from combat soldiers. 

 The patient and therapist line is not supposed to be crossed but they push the line with their chemistry. I struggled with a lot of the decisions that were made by both characters so I didn’t like it as much as I could but still an enjoyable read.

**When We Fall – 

This is the secod book in the Take The Fall series. I was excited for the story of straightlaced Piper and bad boy Jase. While Piper has lived a privileged life she hasn’t had much love and her parents have cut her off, because she won’t marry the country club boy they deem worthy.

Piper has had her eye on Jase since she was young, though he has only seen her as his sister’s best friend. Jase is trying to get his life back after serving time in jail. Co-owner of a tattoo shop but he can’t shake his reputation. When Piper moves in Jase can’t seem to stop wanting what he knows he shouldn’t want. 

 

**Calling Me: The Complete Series – 

I liked being able to read this series from start to finish. Ashleigh has had feelings for her best friends brother Luke for years. Luke is commitment phobic and comes to the realization one day that Ash, is more than his sisters best friend. Ash proceeds to put Luke through the ringer to declare he is in fact in love with her and wants happily ever after with her.

While I love a good friends to lover’s story this dragged a little for me. The characters were likeable for the most part but it fell a little flat for me.

**Second Chance Christmas – This was a military romance that details a broken engagement and a reconcoliation. Colton is injured and the hospital contacts Emma she decides to help him. She once chose her career over him but wonders if she should have been more open to compromise. 

This book had some good potential however the use of nether regions and pet names (bear and buttercup) that got thrown in randomly was a bid off putting.

 

Two stars

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**Pretending to Dance – It took me so long to get through this book. If it wasn’t for present Molly’s story it would have been a DNF.  Molly has been wanting to adopt but she hasn’t been honest with her husband. She needs to resolve her childhood before making the adoption final. The childhood parts took up the majority of the story and while I was reading I kept saying to myself “What does this matter?” I couldn’t see the point in much of the story. It seemed like a lot of filler.

 

 What books have you read this month? 

Will you add any of these books to your list? 

 

Linking up with Steph and Jana for this months reads. 

 

Life According to Steph
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DIY Photo Project and Seamus Update

Since this weekend was very mellow and I basically just ran around doing a bunch of chores and meal prep it isn’t very blogworthy so I am going to spare you. Instead I’ll finally post the photo wall I promised a few two people I would share. 

I struggle with printing out my pictures, I mostly just back them up on an external hard drive so it was nice to finally get some printed and up on the wall. 

DIY Photo Project-1
Supplies: Qty 1 – 1x2x6 Board ~ Qty 3 – 1x3xR/L (random length – it was roughly 8 feet) ~ Qty 22 1-1/4 inch self drilling wood screws ~ Wood stain of choice ~ stencil if desired ~ photo hanging hardware ~ Qty 8 Bull Dog clips ~ Qty 8 Furniture nails in black ~ White paint for stencil (optional)

Tools: Screwdriver or Drill ~ Hammer ~  Level ~ Paintbrush or foam brush 

Cut List: From the 1x3xR/L boards cut 8 at 24″ and 3 at 32″. With the 1x2x6 board cut 2 at 26″ *SEE NOTE ONE

*Note One: Most boards might be advertised a specific length or width but in fact are actually a smidge smaller. Before you have the 1x2x6 board cut be sure and lay out all the 1×3 boards and measure the length then cut the 1x2x6 board to 1/2″ shorter so it doesn’t hang over the sides. 

*Note Two: I have had my issues with Lowe’s and Home Depot cutting wood. I got gift cards to Home Depot for Christmas so I got wood cut there and the cashier tried to tell me that they can charge per board cut depending on who cuts the wood! Say what? You either charge or you don’t. Needless to say I prefer Lowe’s since it is less hassle and FREE. Just my opinion though, just ask before they cut. If they screw up know you can return the wood. 

*Note Three: It would be cheaper to get a fixed length board. Again I am not used to Home Depot and didn’t realize the cost per board was by the foot not by the board. Live and learn. 

*Note Four: I am including links to some items to help you find the same if you do the project. These are not affiliate links they are just to help you find same/like items. 

 

Directions: Lay out the 1×3 cut boards (if there are any markings you don’t want to be seen be sure to keep that facing you) spacing out the longer lengths. I did about 2-3 of the 24″ length boards then a 32″ board and repeated. These don’t have to be exact just go with what you like. Once you like the look, place the two 1×2 cut pieces on top, one at the top and one at the bottom.

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I chose to use the self-drilling wood screws since this prevents you from having to pre-drill holes. Place a screw roughly in the middle of each board and secure. 

Flip the board over, you are ready to stain. I used the Rust-Oleum wood stain in American Walnut.

stain
Once your stain is dry you can add the stencil if you chose to use one. I used my Silhouette to cut out my stencil but a pre-cut one from a craft store will do too. Tip: Buy the sample paints for small projects, they are about $3 and they can even tint them if you like. I used a plain white I had left over. 

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Next add your clips and furniture nails, I pushed the nails into the wood as a pilot hole then removed. Place the nail in just the back clip hole and push in or use a hammer.  Stagger them in all directions, depending on where you want your pictures to hang. 

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Add your hanging hardware to the back of the board using a level to make sure it’s straight. I measured from the middle of the rings and then attached the wall brackets using that measurement. These are both good for up to 50 pounds of weight, so very sturdy. 

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Add your pictures to the clips, hang on the wall and you are done! 

DIY Photo Project-2
Seamus Sightings

Seamus did amazing at the vet on Saturday. He finally got his sutures out and he didn’t flinch, even the vet was impressed since it’s such a sensitive area. His biopsy results came back, and it is a mast cell tumor which means it is cancerous. He has a Grade two which is a lower grade. According to PetMD: Grade 2 cells are intermediately differentiated with a potential for locally invasive metastasis.  So while the prognosis isn’t great it is not bad either.

Basically if it is going to grow back it will grow back in the same spot, we are scheduling appointments once a month for the next six months and keeping an eye on it. If it grows back he will have surgery again. They can’t be overly aggressive the first time for worry they can take too much and damage the function of his urinary tract and surrounding tissues. Life expectancy shall it not come back is 2 or more years so fingers crossed.

As you can see he is his same old goofy self, he is much stronger than me that’s for sure. 

Seamus
 

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How was your weekend? 

 

Linking up with Biana from B Loved Boston.

Weekending
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Surprise I’m Alive

So ya I’ve been away for awhile. I know you didn’t miss me, there are a ton of other blogs to read but I will give you the condensed version of what I have been up to…

Christmas was awesome, I got a brad nailer and a gift card to Home Depot so I also got a impact driver and a corner sander. I added some brackets to my floating shelves, and cleaned up my office. I cleaned a bajillion loads of laundry, travelled a bajillion miles back and forth to vet appointments, and watched a bajillion episodes of Homeland and Blacklist. 

The main reason I was MIA was because of Seamus so a little update on him: Noticed him scooting on the carpeted so picked him up and noticed blood on his naught bits. Rushed him to the emergency vet. They couldn’t control the bleeding but recommended blood work and chest x-rays. Regular vet visit for blood on Monday, surgeon consult on Tuesday, second opinion on Wednesday before Xmas. Surgery on the 28th and took him home on the 29th. I had post-op appointment this Saturday and the bleeding has stopped, he is healing nicely and I go back on Tuesday to check the sutures and hopefully get the biopsy results, then next Saturday to have sutures removed. He is his happy go lucky self and seems to be pain free! Phew all caught up? 

Thanks to all who kept him in your thoughts, it did wonders. 

I Did

christmas

 I ended up staying home on Christmas Eve due to Seamus being on meds and not being able to be around loud groups, but Christmas day was with the family. The nieces were adorable and so full of excitement, they just love getting all dressed up. I ended up rushing back home though since Seamus swelled up overnight so I wanted to be around in case I had to rush him in to the ER vet, luckily it went down by the next day. 

New Years was very low key, and I had a glass of champagne and red moscato which was a Christmas gift to ring in the new year. The flowers in the picture were a gift from my Mom. 

I conquered

DIY

 

This was such a fun easy project though I split it up into multiple days because I was lazy. Haha! I love how it turned out, and will kick me in the pants to change out the photos every so often. 

 

Seamus Sightings

cone life

The cone life! I tried not to laugh when he bumped into every wall and the coffee table corners, I swear. 

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I slept on the couch because he wasn’t allowed to go up the stairs and I wanted to be there in case he was in pain, needless to say he was in my face very early. 

 

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He was so excited for his walk on Sunday he wouldn’t sit still for a picture. This was his hurry up Momma let’s go, face. 

 

What have you been up to? 

Did you party it up for New Years? 

 

Linking up with Biana from B Loved Boston.

Weekending
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Long night, more hugs

Can you believe we are in the week of Christmas? This year has just flown by. This weekend started to feel like Winter, very windy and chilly. It was a good weekend to stay indoors. I most likely won’t post again this year except to post my favorite books of the year with Steph and Jana on the 29th, so be sure and enjoy the holidays with your families. I’ll still be posting on Instagram so be sure and follow over there. 

I Did

spa

 

Saturday started off really well, I treated myself to a 60 minute massage. The stress of the last few months, really did a number on my body, she worked mostly on my shoulders and she told me how tight and knotted it was so I booked more appointments. It is so important to take care of yourself, even though it is hard to sometimes.

After the massage I was so relaxed but I wanted to finish up some small gifts I needed to get.

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While I did manage to finish my shopping, I struggled to manage not to buy some stuff for myself.  The wrap/poncho will come in handy now that it is colder here. I also got a nice crossbody bag. 

 

Sunday afternoon I did a ton of food prep. Some spaghetti squash, taco meat, steak, and a zucchini onion and ground chicken with some tomato sauce mixture. I am ready for the week. Not shown: cut up some cantaloupe and some mashed sweet potatoes. 

 

Seamus Sightings

The biggest and hardest news from the weekend deals with Seamus. Saturday night he came in from the backyard and he was grumbling and rubbing his bum on the carpet. When I picked him up I noticed a great deal of blood from his crotch. I rushed out to the emergency vet hospital at just after 9pm. We left shortly after midnight and the diagnosis was an infection from a trauma (from a scratch or rubbing) or a tumor/cancer.

They sent me home with antibiotics and pain meds. I need to get him an appointment with my normal vet today for blood tests and an ultrasound to check the tumor and determine if it’s cancer. Since they couldn’t stop the bleeding because of the location I had to run out for some diapers/weiner wraps. It really helped since it kept it secure and seemed to be more comfortable for him. 

I have a tentative appt with a surgeon in case the tumor needs to be removed and biopsied, I am hoping it won’t get to that point. 

Please keep him in your thoughts and hope for the best. Needless to say I have been a blubbery mess and I just want my little muffin to be okay. Even with everything he has been through he still kept his smile. A lesson we could all learn and remember. 

 

Seamus

 

How was your weekend? 

 

Linking up with Biana from B Loved Boston.

Weekending
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