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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



**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


  1. The cover of house trained alone makes me want to read it – sounds like a great story too! I feel like it’s a great lifetime movie in the making lol! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  2. I need to get through some Netgalley books, I’m hoping to do that on my upcoming vacation!

  3. oh no, pretending to dance is on my kindle (has been for aaaaaaaaaaages) and i am not hearing good things. hopefully i can knock it out soon. i keep going to start it but it doesn’t grab me, which makes me wonder why i requested it. i was like okay, no more netgalley, and i went to netgalley yesterday to see how many i had to read and accidentally requested 6 more. OOPS!
    house trained sounds super cute! so does should’ve said no 🙂 added them to my list.

    • Haha! That happens to me every time I login. Either a second book to one I’ve read comes out or I just like something when I go in to post a review.

  4. Linda Sheridan says:

    Good reviews! Thanks! I love that I can look back on these when I finally decide to read something other
    than my phone or computer.

    Have a great day!

    Love Steph’s Momma

    • It is always good to go back and see what i’ve read but also what others recommend too whenever I am in need of a book.

  5. i’ve not heard of any of these, so i love hearing your reviews–what made the cut and what to def skip. thanks kerry!

  6. I keep seeing the cover for Pretending to Dance (it probably just sticks out since it’s so distinctive). Good to know it isn’t really worth the time.

    • Yes it pulled me in with the cover and the present day stuff was good but the younger self sections really annoyed me.

  7. I have several NetGalley books I need to attend to. Glad you were able to get through yours before Erin’s challenge!

  8. OK – you know I gotta ask – does the dog die in Housetrained? … that cover makes me want to read it, but I aint spending on time reading for a cry over a dog. I cant handle it.

    • Haha! No, he doesn’t die. He is alive and well throughout the whole book. Spoiler alert he is even a hero at one point. 😉

  9. Thanks for the reviews. Interesting picks. I’d buy “Second Chance Christmas” just for the cover lmao

  10. How do you make all this time to read these books?! You must be fast, haha! You always seem so busy with art projects/work/Seamus =] I wish I would make myself read more.


    • I think because I get up really early with Seamus I have free time before I have to get ready for work to read, and I read for a good 15-20 minutes before bed. Mostly I get in a few hours on the weekend though which helps.

      Breaking it out into different 15-20 minute sessions adds up without being overwhelming.

  11. Should have said No and Second Chance Christmas both sound very interesting. ON my list now.

  12. Most of the time I can’t read any sort of book that includes an animal because they make me sad, but House Trained sounds like an animal book that I can read! I’ll definitely be adding it to my TBR list!

  13. House Trained sounds cute. I completely agree with you on the too much phone sex in Everything Left Unsaid but the rest of the story line was so good it kept me reading. When We Fall was such a typical good girl bad boy book for me, I agree with your three stars though because it passed the time just fine.

    • House trained was really cute. I really did like the characters but I guess I am so over the whole virgin thing, it’s an awkward time not a sexy time. Yes I would totally put it in Steph’s category of it passed the time just fine.

  14. Oh and I meant to mention that I hate pet names about 98% of the time that authors use so I completely understand your frustration there!

  15. I’m always so impressed by how much you read in such a short time! I was proud of myself for finishing 1 book over my Christmas break. Now I’m about halfway through the one I started after 😛

    Green Fashionista

  16. I think I’d really enjoy House Trained. I’ll add it to my list.

  17. You read A LOT this month! As always, thanks for the shout out 🙂

  18. I think the third “Everything I Left Unsaid” book will focus on Joan and Max. I didn’t even do a post this month; I think I only finished one book.

    • I would like to read Joan’s story, they would totally push each others buttons. It is hard what you just aren’t feeling it. Hope you next book gets your reading again, sometimes a break is nice.

  19. Ericka says:

    I’m not familiar with these, but I may have to check a couple of them out based on your reviews when I get the hankering for a romance.

  20. I’ve seen the Keefe books everywhere, Everything I Left Unsaid sounds good and I’m also adding Should’ve Said No and When We Fall to my TBR!! Good luck on your challenge!!

  21. I need to finish up my books for the SCWBC15 in order to get started with Erin’s challenge (or at least TRY to finish them!).

    Have you read any of Diane Chamberlain’s other books? I have a couple on my “To Read” list (though not the one you listed here), and I was wondering if this just happened to be a dud or if they’re just not worth reading in general.

    • I know the feeling I am trying to clean up some ARC books myself so I am mixing a few of each. This was my first from hers though I checked and have two others of hers on my TBR list. I will give them a try and hope it was just that one book.

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