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September Books I’ve Read

Happy best day of the month, day! Show Us Your Books is the day when my Goodreads summary jacks up to 130 recommendations, and I add 1 or 2 dozen books to my ever growing pile of TBR books.

I am trying to catch up on all the NetGalley books I got approved for so the coming months I expect to be reading quite a bit. I also figured out you could sort books on your Goodreads lists by page number so I might start with some short books to bring down the list quicker. Anywhozzle, on to what I read last month!!


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.

Five Stars

5 stars

Best Laid Plans – Allison Brennan is always one of my go to authors for a good read. I have read this series from the beginning so I feel invested in the characters which helps to feel engrossed in the story. Lucy has been through the imaginable and she is a character who just keeps fighting. She also always fights hard for other victims out there and so we are kindred spirits. Sean is her boyfriend and he lends his computer skills again to help her find the person who killed the Congresswoman’s husband. It is wound in gang war fight, espionage, prostitution and embezzlement so something for everyone. I am looking forward to the next book in this series which will be out in November.

** Tough Love – This is the third book in the Ultimate series and Vanity made a brief appearance in the second book. Vanity made a deal with Stack to accompany her to a wedding in exchange for a night of unattached sex. This worked out well for Stack since he didn’t want to get attached but he is finding it really hard to resist from wanting more from Vanity.
His family demands enough attention from him but when Vanity steps in like she has always known them it leaves him wanting forever. I just love how this group always steps in to help each other and creates their own sense of family with lots or teasing and pushing in the right direction. A little love, sex, annoying family, loser boyfriends, and hot MMA fighters who surround the ones they love and protect them.

four stars

4 stars

A Stolen Life – I knew only roughly what this story was about, and knowing more now after reading it, broke me. I like to live with a sense of naivete that people are good and don’t hurt each other. The exceptions to the rule do spoil that and Jaycee’s kidnapper is that kind of evil. I wanted to yell at her to be bold and to run but then I remember her age and it makes it that much worse. So heartbreaking what she went through but also inspiring that she survived and is helping others with her foundation. The writing was a little repetitive and childish but understandable since she was kidnapped at age 11, and without access to basic education. I can’t imagine have children with your abuser. I hope that she is at peace now.

** Take The Fall – This was a light and fun YA romance. One fateful night after a drag race Seth ended up taking the fall for something he didn’t do along with his best friend Jase leaving his girlfriend Rowan alone. Embarrassed and angry he pushes Rowan away. After a stint in the Marines he comes back for his grandmother’s funeral and determined to win Rowan back. She is a firecracker who doesn’t give in easily though even when she wants to. I read this book in a day, and looking forward to reading the rest in this series. Jase, Rowan’s brother and her best friend Piper, who is a buttoned up upper class woman looking to break free from her oppressive family showed some sparks.

** While You Were Gone – While this was a companion novel to Thought I Knew You I felt like it was a standalone book. Karen is in a place in her life where everything seems bleak. Dealing with her alcoholic mother in the middle of the night leads to her being less than stellar for her audition for the position at the orchestra she has been waiting for her whole career. The day isn’t over yet until her boyfriend decides he doesn’t want her anymore and is seeing someone else. Drowning her sorrows and meeting a man she clicks with was not the plan, getting in an accident wasn’t either but he stays by her side. She becomes giddy and attached to his energy and how they are together. One night brought them together but one night can bring it all tumbling down. Karen will have to decide which road to go. A short and quick read that made me wanting more from this author.

4 stars-1

The Forgotten Girls – I am not sure what I was expecting from the book but it totally was not what I imagined. It reminded me of Real Housewives of the OC, mixed with a Wes Craven horror movie. The elite town of Greenvale has an addiction problem with Adderall and the competitiveness of college admissions. Bella is a top detective and she has been paired with Mack who has been sidelined for his own addictions but is now getting a second chance, to find out why girls are dying in that town. The connection to a now defunct psych institution brings a horrific twist into the motives of a psychopath. I am glad this was the first in the series and looking forward to the next in the series.

** A Million Miles Away – Peter is the boyfriend of Michelle, Kelsey’s twin sister and when she dies in an accident Peter is already overseas in Afghanistan serving in the military. Kelsey in her grief can’t bare to tell him about her death. Instead she strikes up a relationship with him that changes her world. I felt a visceral pain in the telling of the story and while some of Kelsey’s choices were selfish they were at times to protect others, and at times to protect herself. I really enjoyed seeing Kelsey grow and find herself.

 three stars

3 stars

** Trust No One –  I really struggled with this book. The beginning was really good and I really like the premise of a crime author who develops Alzheimer and starts to doubt whether his novel was based on memory or just his imagination. Each time he escapes from his nursing home a new woman is found dead. The ending really picked up but I was able to guess some of it, which was a little disappointing. I started to just want it to be over which is why I could only give it three stars.

The Wrong Man –  I listened to this as an audiobook and I feel like i would have liked it more had I read it. I lost some of the storyline and some of the pace of the story. Kit ends up having a one night stand with a guy she meets on vacation. He happens to live in her city and once she returns he ends up wanting to reconnect, the problem is when she shows up to his apartment it isn’t the same man, and just a short while later he ends up dead. She is followed and her life is turned upside down, and the only way to get her life back is to find the man from her vacation.

 **The Escape – The sheriff’s daughter Avery comes upon a boy from school covered in blood, she was a part of the search party to find the two boys who went missing after a hike in the woods. Fletcher, was beaten and covered in blood. He is visibly shaken and scared. His friend Adam is found dead just a day later. The mystery of finding out who did it, makes it tough when Fletcher can only remember snippets from his days in the woods. Avery is determined to help Fletcher remember what happened. I would have given this 4 stars but the end was a little predictable.

** The Good Neighbor –  In a quiet cul-de-sac nothing is as is seems. Sarah is woken in the middle of the night and her life is never the same again. Amid her new life she realizes her friends held secrets big enough to destroy her, the girl across the street was a thief, and even her husband just might not be what he seems. The ending left a few questions which bothered me a bit but otherwise it was a quick read, and kept me engaged.

Two stars


** Break Your Heart – This was an average teacher student romance. It was college aged so I figured I would be okay with this story line. Consenting adults making a choice, so long as the teacher didn’t abuse his power right? Wrong. The whole brooding, clandestine meetings, and such just made me lose interest. The teacher’s character was so underdeveloped I didn’t get a sense of him or his motives. It could have been so much better with some depth.

 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. girl how do you have the time? i admire your monthly posts on these book reviews. you rock!

    • Haha! I read in the morning and before bed every day. I also fit in a few hours each day on the weekends which helps. I usually choose reading over TV. Thank you!

  2. I read The Escape too and I agree with your thoughts on the ending. I had pretty much guessed that was what was happening. I will have to add Tough Love to my list! Sounds really good!

  3. I think I have The Good Neighbor and Forgotten Girls on my kindle to read. I should look.

  4. Student teacher college romance sounds good, but not interested if there isn’t any depth to the character, boo. Congrats on passing your 80! I’m trying to get caught up with my Netgalley, too and they keep sending me other ones I want to read, lol! I think I added Trust No One, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get to it. Love the Ultimate Fighting Series!!

    • Yeah it was very flat and it came across very childish and flat. I think I may even hit 100 this year! Woohoo! I know, once I feel like I am getting close they come out with some awesome books. First world problems I tell ya!! I can’t wait for the next book in the UFC series.

  5. Can i just say I love the way this whole post is laid out?! It’s super pretty! 🙂 I have A Stolen Life but keep pushing it to the back of the shelf. Take the Fall and While You Were Gone sound like nice, light reads. Thanks for the suggestions!

    • Why thank you very much! A Stolen Life is a hard one to read but it was good. Yes, both were nice and light which I needed after some heavier reads.

  6. ew break your heart does not sound like my kind of book.
    the lucy kincaid series is on my list! i hope i get to it one day lol

    • I thought it would be better but it was just all kinds of weird. Totally skip it. I hope you do too, it is graphic at times in what she went through but she is a kickass character.

  7. I have the Lori Foster series on my to read list already, along with Trust No One. I think Take the Fall sounds like an interesting read so I am going to add it. Hurray for Netgalley, I have a few books to catch up on there as well! Who knew you could sort goodreads by number of pages. Perfect!

    • I love the Lori Foster series, strong alpha males who are respectful of woman and protect each other. What is not to love?! I think NetGalley is the greatest thing ever! It was such a nice feature and will help me read some book quickly then the rest.

  8. I’m intrigued by The Forgotten girls… you had me at “real housewives” 🙂

    • It was for sure the upper wealthy, first world problems and the things they do to hide their deviousness to get ahead.

  9. I really enjoyed Trust No One. It was just weird and messed up enough.

    I can’t read the Jaycee Dugard book. From what I do know of her story, it’d be too much to handle. But the book Room reminds me of her story and I read that so it’ll have to be good enough.

    • It was a good premise for sure, I liked it, it just lost me in some places. It was very troubling and she writes it with a chilling separation from it almost as if it didn’t happen to her. Like she needed to in order to cope but it was so heart breaking so I completely understand not wanting to read it.

  10. Wow, you read a lot of books, lady! They are all unique genres and I’ve put many on my want to read list.

    • Haha! Thanks! I hope you like the ones you added. I do like to switch it up especially if there is a really hard book, with something a little lighter.

  11. The Wrong Man seems interesting and I am adding the Jaycee Dugard book (if I haven’t already)… I just can’t imagine what she has been through. I bet it’s a lot like reading Elizabeth Smart’s book.

    • It was interesting, the audiobook part was hard for me since I think my attention drifted too much. I think it would be very similar but Jaycee was captive for a much longer period. It was devastating to read.

  12. I had no idea you can sort books by page number on goodreads! Thanks so much for that tip…..this may help me reach my book goal for the year! I have never read Brennan before but have added some of her books to my to read list. I have Trust No One on my to read list, but after your review may end up taking it off.

    • Yes, so nice to just breeze through the ones under 100 pages. I just really like her style of writing and the series is so interconnected and gets better the more you know the members of the family. I had a few friends who liked it better than I did, I think it was just a little chaotic and work was chaotic at the time so it was overwhelming but it makes sense with the character having Alzheimer.

  13. I read A Stolen Life and nearly cried a few times. That poor girl.

    I recently finished The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. I liked that one.

  14. I just pinned like six books to read – now….to read them!

  15. I’d read one Lucy Kincaid book before but I just went ahead and added the rest of the series to my list… thanks for the reminder!
    A Stolen Life was intense.

    • Very welcome. The series just gets better with each book. It was so intense I can’t believe she had to endure that for so long.

  16. I also add a gagillion books to my TBR after this link up. Yay! A Stolen Life and The Forgotten Girls sound the most interesting to me.

  17. Girl, you read so much! I love it. I have been wanting to read A stolen life but I feel like I need to be in the right mood for it as I’m sure it’s a difficult read.

    • Thanks. Yes, it is a really hard book to read, but it was good to see how well she coped with what happened and that she is helping others.

  18. I really need to use that Goodreads filter! Several of these sound amazing!

  19. Definitely adding some of these to my reading list – especially the good neighbor! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  20. Oh! I read A Stolen Life. You’re right, so heartbreaking. Every page brought fresh waves of things I just can’t wrap my head around. Poor girl. I’ve added The Forgotten Girls and Best Laid Plans to my list – I realise these choices make me look like a bit of a dubious character… I think I need to branch out into a new genre!

  21. I went to add several of these on goodreads and already had them. That happens to me all the time! I liked your opening sentence to start the post…I giggled because it is so true.

  22. I’m totally a cover judger and While You Were Gone looks and sounds like my type of book.
    I think I downloaded A Good Neighbor as my Kindle First book and now I’m afraid I’m going to be disappointed..

    • I think it was good I just won’t go into with a lot of expectations and just let it surprise you. It wasn’t bad it just wasn’t great.

  23. I want to read while you were gone! Its on my list. Also Ive been so busy my reading has taken such a kick. I cant wait to curl up with a book before bed tonight!

  24. I am interested in the Jaycee Dugard story but I think it would have to be followed by something light and fluffy.

    • Yes, for sure need something light and fluffy after to balance it out. It is really heavy but it was nice to read that the experience didn’t break her.

  25. Man that Jaycee Dugard story is HEAVY. Not sure I can read the book but she’s amazing. Great hearing her speak and give others strength.

  26. I love having a go-to author (or five, or ten). I don’t think I’ve read any Allison Brennan so I’ve added the first in the series to my list!

    • Yes it’s always nice when you can trust that you are going to like what they put out. I really like her series and they get better the more you read as she does well to build up more of the backstory of each supporting character.

  27. I’ve been meaning to read A Stolen Life forever, but I can’t make myself do it. I don’t know many of the details and feel like it’d be really hard to read. I’m adding The Forgotten Girls to my list!

    • It was a hard to read book and she sounds almost detached in the telling of it, but I guess that is probably a defense mechanism. Hope you like The Forgotten Girls.

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