The Distance Book Review

Happy Tuesday,

Tuesdays are one of my favorite days of the week because there are usually books to look forward being released and it’s usually my Friday! Unfortunately this week Tuesday isn’t my Friday but that’s okay because I can still drool over the books being released and talk about a book that I recently read. I would like to mention before I go further that I was given an advanced reading copy but my views are completely my own and not affected by being given a copy. So without further ado, let the ramblings begin!

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This is the story of three people from completely different parts of the world who don’t appear to have much of a connection. Then as the story progresses, these three people aren’t quite so disconnected as it would seem.

Cecilie is a fairly content thirty year old woman living in Tromso Norway which is a small town that many flock to for the lure of seeing the Northern Lights and during the Summer it rarely gets dark due to being so close to the Arctic Circle. She divides most of her time between helping out at the library and waitressing at the Hjornekafe while her Mother is busy traveling the country and her brother are busy with his own life though he’s tried several times to get her to come work at the Hotel he’s in charge of.  Whenever she feels low, she can usually count on her harp or best friend Grethe to cheer her up. Cecilie has a secret though and it’s breaking her heart knowing she can’t do much about it.

Hector is a young man living in Mexico who divides his time between his work as a cartoonist at his local newspaper, trying to stay out of trouble and also trying to keep up with his fiancee Pilar who is equal parts intense and dramatic. Hector feels it’s the right thing to marry his long time girlfriend even though his heart isn’t really into it. Instead of saying no when he should have after Pilar mentioned she would slit her wrists if Hector didn’t marry her, he decided to stay and stick it out. He also has a secret and his heart is really thousands of miles away with a young woman that he’s never met in person but has chatted with over the last several years and he was drawn to from the beginning. That young woman is Cecilie but for some reason can’t quite bring himself to leave Pilar and actually be happy.

Then there’s Kate who is an English woman living with three kids and a husband named George in Suffolk who would rather spend time at his office or watching t.v. than paying attention to his wife. To say Kate has been taken for granted is an understatement and when Kate finds out what her husband has been up to, he’s about to get a rude awakening. How Kate ties into the lives of Cecilie and Hector aren’t apparent at first but going further into the story, it is revealed that Kate once spent time with Hector whom she loved many years ago as a young woman in Mexico who was there to help out at a local orphanage. When she caught Hector making out with another girl, she decided to end her trip early and went home.

All three of these people are connected and over the years find a way to reconnect but in a variety of different ways. They all have been hurt and are trying to deal with difficult things in their lives. Sometimes the past has a way of showing up that can either be good, painful or a mixture of both. In this instance, it’s a mixture and it shows how some decisions can have last affects several years down the road.

This story also shows how powerful the lure someone can be even when they are thousands of miles away and how hard it can be to walk away even when trying to continue to connect can be just as painful.

I loved the descriptions of Norway particularly the area surrounded Tromso and would so love to be able to see such a beautiful place some day though I know it doesn’t usually get very warm but the Northern Lights would be well worth it.

I don’t think it was a good idea at all for Cecilie and Hector to keep up chatting especially once their romantic feelings came to the surface knowing that Hector was engaged to be married. I know it’s a heartache that many people have felt particularly being long distance and unsure if they will ever see that person they most want to be with. It’s such a tricky path to walk and so full of unexpected potholes that could leave both sides in a lot of pain.

Having read this book, I can understand why certain decisions were made and that Hector and Pilar really weren’t meant to be together. I am very happy though that Hector and Cecilia did realize what was really important and I was surprised by the ending. I’m so glad that things turned out the way they did and there was such a rollercoaster of feelings that this story brought out.

I could continue to ramble on about this story but I’d rather not give too much away for those who haven’t read it but are interested in checking the story out. If you enjoy reading about the beauty of Norway, the spice of Mexico and the power of love, you’ll enjoy this book. It truly is amazing what a random chat on the internet can sometimes turn into.

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed my bookish ramblings and it’s piqued your interest. Be sure to stop back in soon where I will be rambling about the next read and sharing my excitement. So until then, happy reading!

Slainte

~Meg

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A Year of Finding Happiness Review and Blog Tour

Happy Sunday my fellow bookworms,

I was recently very lucky to be asked if I would like to join in on a Blog tour about a book that takes place in Scotland and of course I couldn’t say no. Scotland has always drawn me in whether it be to read about such a beautiful country in the ancient times or the modern because it seems like such a magical place! I would also like to mention that my views on this book are completely my own and receiving a free digital copy does not influence my thoughts. So without further ado, get ready to hear my gushing over this book!

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Buy Links:

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A Year of Finding Happiness Blog Tour poster

My Thoughts:

This is the story of a man named Greg who lives in a small Scottish town known as Clachan and is trying to deal with the grief of losing his beloved girlfriend Mairi who went climbing and though her body was never found, was presumed dead about six months later. Greg is a shell of a man as he tries to just get through the days with his faithful dog Angus as his side and trying to keep busy working at a local bar or doing odd jobs. The hardest part for him is not being able to properly deal with Mairi’s death because there wasn’t a body found and he’s not sure if that pain will ever go away. Then one day a beautiful brunette walks into the bar that he’s working at, he finds himself drawn to her and proceeds to make a complete idiot of himself by talking rather gruffly to her because he’s scared of his attraction and afraid to get close to someone again. Little does he know how that beautiful woman will turn his world upside down.

Mallory came to Clachan to live with her fiance in the hopes of making a home in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. She’s rather annoyed by the not so welcome greeting she receives from Greg but doesn’t let that stop her from trying to make a go at a possible life in Scotland with her soon to be husband at her side. Unfortunately, her fiance Sam gets into an accident on a rainy evening on his way to be with her and is killed which sends all of her plans out the window. Her friends and family rally around her to try to offer support as she tries not to fall down the well of despair. She finds an unlikely friendship with the rather gruff Greg who happens to find her wandering down by the shore one night in no shoes and at the point where she’s reached the limit of what she can take.

These two lost souls are from different worlds and yet they find a kinship in their grief of losing their significant others and a connection that slowly starts to deep the more they spend time in each other’s company. Both have gone through the kind of grief that no one should have to deal with and find support among the people in the small town in Clachan.

As their friendship progresses, they try hard to find their growing attraction for each other but can’t help growing closer particularly with Greg serenading Mallory with his lyrics at a bar they work at together and their understanding of the power of grief. Just when things seem to slowly be falling into place including Greg having a chance to become famous with his life long dream of being a singer, someone from Greg’s past will show up to throw a wrench in the monkey works and could tear the fragile connection of Greg and Mallory.

It will take courage, honesty, and the power of love to determine whether these two people are able to work past obstacles or for fate to choose to keep them apart.

This was truly a wonderful book and my heart ached for the grief  Greg as well as Mallory were going through. I can’t even imagine how painful it would be to lose a significant other and I just wanted to see these two finally get some happiness.

I adored Angus who is such a sweetheart and seemed happiest at his Master’s side. I wanted to reach through the words and cuddle the very sweet dog who seemed to love everyone.

I also loved the variety of songs that were mentioned in this book and several of whom I hadn’t heard before. It was wonderful to be able to listen to the songs while reading this book and to imagine I was right there to see this story unfold and root for a happy ending. Also I could almost imagine seeing the beautiful scenery and getting caught up in the beautiful country of Scotland. It’s on my bucket list of countries to hopefully see some day.

I’m so very glad that I was given a chance to read this book and now I really want to read the other book which is called A Seaside Escape that was published before this story and is Mallory’s version of the events.

If you enjoy reading about the Scottish Highlands, adorable dogs, adventure, some Scottish slang and the power of love, you’ll enjoy this book. Though it is heartbreaking at times, it is also equal parts adorable and funny which all make a great story!

So I hope you’ve enjoyed my bookish ramblings and my thoughts have maybe inspired you to check out this book. I could continue to rave about this book but I would rather not spoil things and hope you’ll take a moment to check it out if you are so inclined. Thank you so much for stopping by and I will return soon with more ramblings.

Happy Reading!

Slainte

~Meg

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Highlanders, Amy Jarecki and Forever Summer Reading, Oh My!

Good morning,

I’m so happy to have been asked to take part in the Forever Summer Reading Blog Tour and being sent an early copy of The Highland Chieftain by Amy Jarecki. Before I start, I would like to say that my reviews are strictly my own and being given a copy of Highland Chieftain does not reflect my thoughts. So with that being said, I hope you’re ready to hear some gushing about Highlanders as well as what I like to carry in my beach bag! Also be sure to check out the awesome giveaway that is going on!

What’s In My Beachbag?

  • I love this tote from Barnes and Noble which shows off my love of being a bookworm
  • Banana Boat Sunscreen so I don’t burn while getting lost in a book
  • Lip balm to soothe my chapped lips from the wind
  • Kindle so I can carry hundreds of books around without the weight
  • A portable charger so I can charge up my phone and Kindle
  • Tea to keep me hydrated. Lately I’ve been craving Lipton Green Tea which is very refreshing
  • A pair of sunglasses that fit right over my glasses and are magnetic so I don’t have to worry about losing them and I can still read!
  • My bookish towel that I recently received in an OwlCrate box to lay on
  • Nora Robert’s Island of Glass book which is third in her Guardian’s Trilogy and takes place mostly in Ireland.
  • Comfortable sandals as during the Summer I like to let my feet air
  • Lastly my copy of Amy’s newest book because who doesn’t want to take a Highlander with them to the beach?!

 

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Take a look at that cover! Not only is the detail amazing on the Highlander himself in his colorful tartan but I love that backdrop of the Highlands. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to have your own copy July 31st! You can pre-order here:

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My Thoughts:

This is the story of Mairi MacKenzie and Laird Duncan MacRae who have known each other for many years though mostly in passing. After Mairi’s engagement to the Earl of Seaforth is broken off, she’s humiliated and wanting to find a place to lick her wounds so to speak. Though Duncan (Dunn to those he considers a part of his group) offers for her shortly after being jilted, her Dad convinces her that it wasn’t sincere and convinces her to travel with him to a gathering of the Clans.
Dunn’s offer was actually not made out of pity and he’s carried a torch for Mairi for many years but been unable to act upon it until now.
When Mairi decides to take a walk in the woods one day, she has no idea that her world is about to be turned upside down nor that Dunn could very well be the man that she was truly meant to be with.
This is the tale of two unlikely people who find themselves on the run from English dragoons, learning a lot about each other, trying to evade several pesky people including Mairi’s scheming Dad, the captivating beauty of the Highlands in the early 1700s and the power of love.
I was hooked on this story from the moment I picked it up and even though I have now finished it, the story will stick withe for a long time to come. I loved getting to know these two amazing people, the romance, the power of Scottish clans coming together to protect their own and a particularly heartwarming event that takes place near the end of the book.
Whether you have read previous books by Amy Jarecki, this is your first foray into her world or just love all that’s to be had in the Scottish Highlands in the 1700s, I think you’ll enjoy this book just as much as I have! This kind of book reminds me of just how much I enjoy reading about Scotland particularly in the 18th Century and the lure of braw Scottish men in kilts. I can’t wait to see what next Amy has in store for her Highlanders!

If you couldn’t tell, I enjoy reading about Highlanders and Scotland! This is number four in her Lords of the Highlands series and the rest of them are available to read if you haven’t so far. Speaking of Amy, I was fortunate to ask her a few questions including what’s in her beach bag and what she enjoys doing during the Summer! She just also happens to enjoy books that I enjoy and I was so happy to see some of them on the list.

What’s in my Beach Bag | Amy Jarecki

 

I have a pool in my backyard and I throw on my suit and dive in. But when I’m on vacation, I love long walks on the beach. And as a Scottish/Irish descendant I’m super fair and need mega sun protection. This summer I’ll be toting these along to make sure I enjoy every day burn-free:

 

Cat Eye Sunglasses: This year I chose red retro glasses for a trendy look. Love them!

 

Bella Straw Hat: I like wide-brimmed hats with a touch of bling. This one caught my eye!

 

Blencot Cover Up: A bit of frill and shoulder coverage makes this cover up tempting. And the price is right!

 

Neutrogena Beach Defense: Why didn’t they have spray-on suntan lotion when I was a kid? I love the ease and thorough coverage of a spray.

 

Olivia Miller Embellished Strap Sandals: Taking my bling all the way to my toes, these rhinestone flip-flops are perfect for strolls along the beach or the boardwalk. Yes, please!

 

BEACH BOOK PICK: Wilde in Love by Eloisa James. James is absolutely delightful—in person or on the page. Her books are fun and light, just the perfect indulgence for a day on the beach!

 

Amy Jarecki’s Summer Reading List

 

Summer is when I drive to visit my mother in Oregon and listen to audio books. In general I travel more, and there’s nothing that passes the time spent on a plane better than reading! Here are some of my favorites:

 

Bedding the Highlander by Sabrina York:

 

You can’t go wrong with a book by Sabrina York and this Bookshots novella is a delight. I listened to the audio which was very nicely narrated Euan Morton. This book is action packed and full of steam as sworn enemies Katherine and Ben find love in medieval Scotland.

 

Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas:

 

I just finished reading Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas, and this book has it all! It will put you right in the middle of the late 19th century as if you were really there. It is full of unexpected twists and turns and marvelous characters. Brava, Lisa, brava!

 

The Hellion by Christi Carlisle:

 

I actually listened to The Hellion on audio while I was driving to the RT Book Lover’s convention in Reno. Caldwell adds a unique twist to the Regency genre with this book by introducing characters on the fringes, characters of low birth who are on the outside of the ton, looking in. I enjoyed this “listen” and the way two enemies become lovers. If you’re tired of dukes and duchesses and want something new, read The Hellion!

 

The Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn:

 

I adore Julia Quinn. Read. Her!

 

The Highland Warrior by Monica McCarty:

 

This is one of McCarty’s earlier books, but a fantastic tale of enemies to lovers. After making a truce, passionate nights turn into a love that cannot be ignored!

 

Too Scot to Handle  by Grace Burrowes:

 

Burrowes is one of the most historically accurate authors I have ever read, moreover, she is a good person who is devoted to helping others. In Too Scot to Handle, you’ll find a Scottish hero who doesn’t quite fit into London and the ton, and an orphan-loving heroine who has a heart as big as the Atlantic. Together they face enemies and potential ruin as their love blossoms into to a happily ever after!

 

 

The Highland Chieftain, part of the Lords of the Highlands series, will be available on July 31, 2018.

 

Book link: https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/amy-jarecki/the-highland-chieftain/9781538729588/

 

About Amy Jarecki: Award winning and Amazon All-Star author, Amy Jarecki likes to grab life, latch on, and reach for the stars. Reinventing herself a number of times, Amy sang and danced with the Follies, was a ballet dancer, a plant manager, and an accountant for Arnott’s Biscuits in Australia. She’s married to a mountain-biking pharmacist and has put four kids through college. Learn more about Amy and her books at amyjarecki.com.

 

#ForeverSummerReading giveaway

 

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Thank you so much for dropping by and I hope that you’re having a wonderful Summer! I would also like to thank Amy so much for taking time out of her busy schedule to drop in and Forever Romance for their generosity! Be sure to stay hydrated, keep cool, and hopefully get plenty of reading time in. Best of luck to all of the entrants!

Until next time my fellow bookworms,

Slainte

~Meg

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Reviewing The Distance Between Us

Good afternoon,

Summer seems to be just flying by and on the particularly hot days, I stay inside where it’s cool and I can curl up with my books. Speaking of books, I recently curled up with one that was released on July 1st and I’m here to give you my thoughts. I’m also a part of the tour which is exciting and I love an excuse to talk about books!

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Isn’t that cover so pretty! I think it’s lovely! Now on to the review!

This is the story of an English Mom and Wife named Tasha who has been married for eleven years to Charlie and has a full plate with three kids – Flora, Bella and Max. Charlie is often gone with work so it’s left up to Tasha to do most of the parenting. She  loves her kids and husband though lately hasn’t been feeling appreciated and she’s exhausted trying to juggle her many roles.

When a new handsome neighbor named Javier moves in and starts paying attention to her in the way that her husband seems to have forgotten to be romantic to his wife, she finds herself drawn to the man. One thing leads to another and Tasha cheats on her husband with Javier. She regrets what she does and tries to sweep it under the rug so she can get back to being a mother and wife. The guilt eats at her and eventually Charlie finds out. Tasha then proceeds to go out of her way to make amends though I think tries a bit too hard.

I do think it’s great that they both decided to separate for a bit to have some time away from each other. When such a big revelation happens, it’s important to take a step back to think things over and decide if it’s worth trying again or going separate ways.

Though I don’t agree with some of the decisions Tasha made, I can see why she made certain choices and I can’t even imagine how hard it would be to find oneself in such a sticky situation.

Both Charlie and Tasha decide to make amends eventually which of course makes the kids happy and though they are fictional people, I really hope it works.

Overall I really enjoyed the story and having a window into a life that is full of complications, love, heartbreak and a determination to learn from mistakes.

I’m so glad to have gotten a chance to read this book and I look forward to reading more by Georgie!

Thank you so much for dropping in to view my thoughts on this blog tour and I hope you’ve enjoyed it! Be sure to check back soon and I’ll hopefully be better at updating sooner.

Happy Reading!

~Meg

 

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