★ Blog Tour & Giveaway ★ Review of Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

Welcome to my stop on the Crown of Coral and Pearl Blog Tour and Giveaway! Thanks for coming and I hope you enjoy the visit!

Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford
Crown of Coral and Pearl #1
Published on 27 August 2019 by Inkyard Press

For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…
Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.
Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen… and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.
In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.

I just need to get this out of the way before anything else. Dude is a freaking sociopath. My entire family knows this because I spent the entire time I read this book cursing about that "fudging (edited) sociopath".
Crown of Coral and Pearl has had me excited to read it for nearly an entire year now and to have had the opportunity to read an ARC and review it for this tour is an immense honour for me. You could tell by the amount of squealing and screeching that could be heard throughout the Orlando area when I got the news. My neighbours know when I've got a good book, okay? And Crown of Coral and Pearl was a good book, y'all.

"Your mother taught you to believe your scar made you ugly, but it has made you brave."
I applaud Ms Rutherford. Her writing is vivid and captivating. In Crown of Coral and Pearl, she created characters that drew me in and held me captive every step of the way. I loathed Zadie and Nor's mother with every fibre of my being and I felt not just pity for Lady Melina but also a deep respect for the woman's bitter (ah, so bitter) resolve. Throughout the story, you can see Nor's character develop from a naive girl with a brash sense of bravery, where she acts without weighing risk and outcome, to a judicious and indomitable young woman who understands what she's risking when she rebels. I was actually on edge at several parts of this story, worrying my nails away, as I held my breath. Because of scenes involving a certain fictional sociopath, I have no nails left, y'all.

"Sorrow is good for the soul.....Those who have never known pain or adversity are as shallow as the waves lapping on the shore.
And what is wrong with being shallow?

What lies beneath the surface of shallow waters? Nothing. It's only when you go deeper that the ocean comes alive. The deeper you go, the more mysteries and surprises await."
Crown of Coral and Pearl was an amazing read for me. To save her sister and her country, Nor volunteers to take the injured Zadie's place as Prince Ceren's bride, knowing she'd never see either again. She goes in the hopes of making Varenian lives better but quickly learns that the shark, jellyfish, and blood coral she grew up diving around pales in comparison to her intended and his court. The only ones she somewhat trusts in Ilara are Prince Talin, Lady Melina, and her lady's maid, Ebb. Right from the start, Nor (and me!) can sense something off with Ceren and begins to understand the new depths she's found herself in. 
"Mother always made Varenia sound so perfect. She said there was no violence or crime. I imagined it as a paradise. And when I came to visit, that's what I saw. I saw you."
The romance within Crown of Coral and Pearl is woven throughout, but it doesn't overshadow the actual story, the love one Varenian girl has for her sister and her country and what she'll do to save them both. I hardcore ship Talin and Nor, y'all. I'm not really a big 'forbidden love' triangle mess fan but sign me up! Talin first sees Nor when he visits Varenia before the girls switch places and when he meets Nor masquerading as Zadie on her way to Ilara, he suspects the truth and begins to fall more and more for her throughout the story despite her being destined for his brother. Nor begins to understand Zadie's reckless actions that lead to the switch the more she's around Talin. Ebb is the ultimate fangirl and does as much as she can to help the pair get together. We are all Ebb, okay.
"It's like a tiny star marking you as something special for anyone too senseless not to know it."
Overall, I'm giving Crown of Coral and Pearl all 5 of my bright and shiny stars. It gets 1 flame for the romance, no hot and heavies, just a light, slow burn throughout. I am absolutely in love with CoCaP and I cannot wait to put a physical copy on my shelves. I'm also willing to pledge fealty to Thalos to read the sequel when it's ready. I'm just saying. Trigger and content warnings to follow for anybody who might have a need. If you've a question about them, feel free to message me on Twitter or Instagram! Thank you to Mara Rutherford, Inkyard Press, and the Fantastic Flying Book Club for allowing me to be a part of this tour!

**** Triggers and Content Warnings contain very mild spoilers to provide an accounting of instances so that readers can make an informed decision before reading, if you'd like to avoid these, scroll to the author bio section ****

Trigger and Content Warnings - abusive mother (verbal, emotional, mental, and one instance of physical), violence towards women, killing of an animal (not a pet, two different instances, short creepy sadistic instance of cave salamander and battle with a monster-beast), and blood (just gross even by my standards, ew)

Mara Rutherford began her writing career as a journalist but quickly discovered she far preferred fantasy to reality. Originally from California, Mara has since lived all over the world, from Russia to Peru, along with her Marine-turned-diplomat husband and two sons. A triplet born on Leap Day, Mara holds a Master's degree in Cultural Studies from the University of London and would rather study the folklore of her next post than the language (which she has found is a lot more fun but not nearly as useful). She is a former Pitch Wars mentee and three-time mentor. Her debut YA fantasy, CORAL AND PEARL, will release from Harlequin Teen in Fall 2019.

Be sure to enter the giveaway on the tour's homepage!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Okay, folks, that's it for today. I'm exhausted and there's a new drama I'm addicted to (Go, Go, Squid! if you're interested) and I'm almost finished it. My charity for this week is Amazon Watch, which is one of the charities that is dedicated to protecting the Amazon and supporting its indigenous people. Until next time, have a happily ever after!

Top Ten Tuesday ★ 9

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to The Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works: 

I assign each Tuesday a topic and then post my top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join me and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information. You’ll find the schedule of upcoming TTT topics below so you can plan ahead. I’ll post a Linky here on the blog each week so you can link up your post (if you want). If you don’t have a blog, post your picks in the comment section below! Have tons of fun talking books and getting to know your fellow bloggers!

NOTE: If a weekly topic is listed as a “freebie”, you are invited to come up with your own topic. Sometimes I will give your topic a theme, such as “love”, a season, or an upcoming holiday. That just means that you can come up with any topic you want that fits under that umbrella.

 - Jana of The Artsy Reader Girl

Ten Tropes I Squee Over

Alpha Heroes/Heroines
I know, okay. I know. But, hear me out. You can have your cake and eat it too, I've read it, and I've dated it. You can have an alpha type personality and not be a douche. They're hard to write and even harder to find off of the page, but they exist. I should talk about that sometime, I'm making a note in the planner now.
Predestined Soulmates
If you look at my Kindle library and my Kindle Unlimited/Prime Reading rental history, you'd find that I either own or have borrowed a very large portion of Amazon's offerings of books that centre on the soulmate trope. I think it's a beautiful concept to have that person/s* out there in the world that is meant for you and you're meant for them.
* I fully support healthy polyamorous relationships and believe that if soulmates are real, there are poly matches
The Nobody Who Saves the Kingdom/World/Universe
I won't even apologise for this one. It's always been my dream to help save the world, so excuse me while I live out my dream in my books. Captain Planet thanks you.
Popular Jocks falling for Unpopular Geeks
If I'm reading on Wattpad, this is my trope. I am absolute trash over this dumpster fire.
Shop Owner Romance
Who wouldn't adore a story where, over time, a customer and a baker fall in love? I think it's the cutest trope and I will defend it with my last breath!
Sharing is Caring
Usually referred to as the 'One Bed' trope where for some odd reason two people wind up having to share a bed, or an apartment, or a hotel room, or air b&b (is somebody writing that one for me?). I love this. It's so freaking awkward and I love awkward. Let me get some popcorn and I can delight in someone that isn't me being in an awkward situation for once.
The Ultimate Evil vs Ultimate Good
With my autism, I struggle a lot with "grey" so good vs evil storylines where you're on one side or the other, is a good safe space for me to hide in. I try not to read a lot of it though because the world is not one or the other and I do not need to relearn that, thanks.
Hero with a Troubled Past
I love a hero with a Past. Just send it to the printer, that book needs to come home with me. Angsty protags are my babies. You got issues, I got issues, damned straight my book's mains are going to have issues. Don't make them unlikeable because of the Troubled Past, but give me the draaaaama!
Bodyguard Romance
Fine, I admit it. I am three bunnies in a trenchcoat obsessing over overly muscled hero-type people. Don't judge me.
Reluctant Heroes

I'm here for the "I recycle, isn't that enough?" heroes. Not the whiny "why me?" reluctance, but the PhD in Laziness reluctance. Scoff and heavy sigh and do the acts of heroism anyway.

Okay, y'all. That's it for this Top Ten Tuesday and I hope to see what some of y'all are up to with yours. Do y'all like any of these too? Let me know in the comments, duckies!
Until next time, have a happily ever after!

Review of Sweet Wild of Mine by Laurel Kerr

Sweet Wild of Mine by Laurel Kerr
Where the Wild Hearts Are #2
Published 28 May 2018 by Sourcebooks Casablanca

Love runs wild at the Sagebrush Flats Zoo...
In a bid to revitalize his career, bestselling author Magnus Gray has come to Sagebrush Flats to write about the local zoo's latest rescue―an orphaned baby polar bear. But Magnus dreads the drama of small towns and is bullishly determined to keep to himself.

June Winters is a people person, and delights in welcoming Magnus to Sagebrush Flats, though it seems unlikely she can get the handsome stranger to crack a smile. Then a mishap with an open gate forces Magnus and June to deal with a stampeding flock of fainting goats, an adorable but clingy polar bear cub, a cranky pregnant camel, and two star-crossed honey badgers. Never mind small town drama―the lively animals may just convince these two that opposites really do attract...

Sweet Wild of Mine is Ms Kerr's second novel and she leaves behind the bully-to-lover trope I hated in Wild on my Mind and gives me an antisocial animal-loving Scotsman by the name of Magnus Gray as a gift! Y'all already know I've hugged this book in that creepy obsessive manner I have, okay. I actually read Sweet Wild of Mine first, so let me tell you why I love this book. Make yourself some tea, get your comfy blanket, and settle in for a read. I'll wait.
Magnus is sent to Sagebrush Flats by his publisher in a last-ditch effort to salvage his writing career as he volunteers his time and experience at the zoo, raising a polar bear cub. The first person he meets in Sagebrush Flats is June Winters, the All-American vivacious chatterbox that is Katie Underwood's best friend. June tries to be her usual overly-friendly self and invite the lone diner to join the celebration going on across the restaurant. It wasn't exactly a case of love at first sight for them, I mean, Magnus' first words to June were "Fuck off" in a last-ditch effort to escape the woman without letting his stutter slip out. But eventually things finally work out in a give-and-take manner and there is all the happily ever afters. And a matchmaking honey badger, let's face it, I'm totally in it for the honey badger and the Scotsman. I make no apologies!
Some quick thoughts on Sweet Wild of Mine. My heart broke repeatedly hearing about Magnus' childhood and the history surrounding his speech dysfluency. That man needs a hug or two, y'all. June's exuberantly extroverted self is a bit pushy, but in this instance, it works out well. June just keeps pushing her way into Magnus' life (not altogether altruistically) and helps Magnus realise that a stutter does not make him defective in any way and that it's no reason to cut himself off from the world like he does. The way Magnus steps out of his curmudgeonly role and helps June with her grandmother time and time again made me "aw" out loud every time. Bowie makes up for his role at Katie's bully by letting a completely hammered Magnus FaceTime with Frida, Sagebrush Flat Zoo's resident grizzly, in the middle of the night. That's how guys do the bonding thing, right?
Ms Kerr's writing left me with all the feels yet again (yes, again, I had so many feelings with Wild on my Mind despite the bully element!) and I was left craving more. Ms Kerr goes the extra mile in her writing by doing so much research into the animals and the places mentioned in her books, and you can tell in her vivid descriptions. Ms Kerr's expressive writing plays a major part as to why I bought extra copies of both books in this ongoing series and sent them to my grandmother. If you love poignant scenes that leave you bursting at the seams with emotions, this is a book you'll fall in love with.
Now, I want to throw in a couple Trigger Warnings. Please practise self-care in your reading if you choose to read this.
Child abuse - Magnus was abused by his father and he has minute flashbacks (not scenes) and does a couple descriptions of the abuse.
Spousal abuse - there is a very brief conversation touching on this subject towards the end of the book.
Overall, I'm giving this book all 5 of my bright shiny stars and 3 flames for sexytimes. I truly and honestly cannot wait for the third book to be available and am ready to get my pre-order in on this one. Also, thank you to the Sourcebooks Casablanca and their facebook giveaway I won that included my copy of Sweet Wild of Mine, it probably would have taken me months to get to this book if it hadn't fallen off of my bookcase on my head one morning.

Laurel Kerr is a full-time romance writer and mom, who occasionally still dabbles in the practice of law. Her debut novel, Wild on My Mind, reached the Golden Heart® finals under the title of Volunteering Her Heart in 2016. Laurel Kerr was also a 2017 Golden Heart® Finalist for a historical manuscript. She lives in Pennsylvania with her daughter, husband, and loyal Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. 

Her social media links are :: Facebook|Instagram|Twitter 

If you've noticed my odd postings, hey, congratulations, you're a regular reader of my blog! But in all seriousness, my life is a hot mess as usual, and I'm also looking for new doctors and a new apartment or house to rent, and I've been hemming and hawing over moving my review day to Saturday or Sunday. And this weekend, I've gotten to enjoy a lovely allergy reaction. Lots of vomiting and an endless nosebleed. I feel like reconstituted sludge.
My charity of choice for this review post is Polar Bears International and they also have a list of "Artic Ambassadors" where you can visit and learn more about our ice-loving friends.
Until next time, have a happily ever after!

Down the TBR Hole ★ 15

Down the TBR Hole is a bookish meme created by Lia @ Lost in a Story.
Down the TBR Hole 411
Down The TBR Hole is a meme that revolves around cleansing your TBR of all those books you’re never going to read and sort through it all to know what’s actually on there. Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well that’s going to change!
It works like this:
• Order on ascending date added.
• Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
• Read the synopses of the books
• Decide: Keep it or should it go?

We're back again with the segment known as Down the TBR Hole! Fasten your seatbelts, keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times, Once Upon a Time, I Read a Book and its owner is not responsible for any additions to your TBR list and is indemnified in any book-buying that occurs as a result.

Dating by the Book by Mary Ann Marlow
Is love just something you find in books?
Six months ago, writer and bookstore owner Maddie Hanson was left at the altar. Since then, she’s had zero interest in romance—despite the fact that she runs a book club full of sexy eligible bachelors. But when her latest novel is panned by an anonymous blogger who goes by the name Silver Fox—and who accuses her of knowing nothing about passion—she decides to prove her nemesis wrong by seeking a romance hero in real life . . .
There’s the smoldering rock musician, the bookish college professor, and her competitive childhood friend who may want to steal her bookstore more than her heart. Even Silver Fox is getting in on the action, sending Maddie alarmingly—and intoxicatingly—flirtatious emails. And that’s not all. Her ex wants her back.
Now Maddie is about to discover that like any good story, life has twists and turns, and love can happen when you least expect it—with the person you least expect . . .
I see-saw with this one, y'all. The synopsis reads like a reverse harem but it doesn't say it is, and I'm afraid I'll go into it yes-ing all of these guys and be devastated when it's ho-hum hetero monogamy (no offense) but it sounds entertaining and I can't say no so I'm keeping this one on my TBR!

Time Sight by Lynne Jonell
Castles, battles, the ancient Scottish Highlands, and a boy who is determined to bring everyone safely home combine in this absorbing middle grade time-travel adventure.
Will's mother is in danger overseas, and his father must find her, so Will and his little brother are packed off to relatives in Scotland. Will feels useless. He can't save his mother. He can't help his father. And when he tries to amuse his brother on the plane ride, he can't even locate the images in Jamie's book--the hidden pictures that everyone else can see. Once at the family's ancestral castle, though, Will tries again. And as he delicately adjusts his focus, suddenly his eyes tune in to a different visual frequency--the past.
Looking back five hundred years is interesting . . . at first. But when Jamie impulsively leaps through the opening in time, Will and his cousin Nan must follow, into a past so dangerous that Will isn't sure how he will get everyone safely home.
I'll be honest, I added this because I love Scotland. I'm removing it because I freaking hate time travel. It's that easy.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
The first ten lies they tell you in high school.
"Speak up for yourself—we want to know what you have to say."
From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication.
In Laurie Halse Anderson's powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.
Speak was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature.
Is it weird to be afraid of a book? I'm afraid of a few of them. Including Speak. I loved the movie adaptation (I didn't know it was an adaptation or I'd have read the book first) and it was really helpful for me dealing with my own assault. Trees, right? But I'm terrified of the book. I want to read this, but I read books to escape my problems, this book doesn't have a rape take place in the story, the rape and what comes after is the story. I've spent most of my thirty years of life mastering the art of avoidance in one way or another, this is the complete opposite of avoidance. I don't even think this whole bit makes sense, but whatever, I'm keeping this on my TBR list, and on my shelf, it'll have it's day one day.

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta'an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She'll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he's falsely accused of killing Rhee, he's forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation - and his life.
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly must confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.
I don't know, the cover called to me, the synopsis kept me, now I'm in it for the long haul. I'm keeping this one on my TBR list!

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?
Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy's counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family--especially her teenage son--as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other's trust, and come to see that what they've been taught their whole lives about others--and themselves--might be wrong.
With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion--and doesn't offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.
Now see, I know this book is going to piss me off because just the synopsis is pissing me off. (I can say that, it's my blog,). Why did it get on my TBR in the first place? Reading is supposed to be calming and good for avoiding the crash-and-burn for me. I'm removing this one from my TBR.

Total Books Kept 3
Total Books Removed 2

I'm spending time revamping the site and putting together a proper schedule so I have a better handle on things here. With the book-buying ban in place, I get to finally dive on into that TBR and start knocking some of the residents off and moving them over the Read List! In between tours that is. Why do I keep signing up for these? I hate time constraints. They make me twitchy.
I've started knitting another Mitred Squares Blanket. When I've finally got some real progress to show for it, I'll take some photos and do a little post about it. Because, my blog. I donated the last one to a senior living facility, But I think I might keep this one for a couch blanket. Keep me cosy while I read!
Anyways. Have I added to your TBR list? Have I made any mistakes in removing books? Let me know in the comments! Until next time, readers, have a happily ever after!

Stacking the Shelves ★ 11

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

I've put myself on a strict book-buying ban for the time being so I can put together the funds for Manatee's x-rays, tests, and surgery, and put money towards any possible treatments he might need in addition later. If he doesn't need any other treatments, whoo! and I have extra funds to add to the dog cash cache. #SeniorDogFund

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I won a giveaway over on the @sourcebookscasa Facebook page for the month's publications and some are by some authors I haven't encountered, some are by some authors I enjoy, and one is by someone I used to enjoy on wattpad! 😮 I read Isabelle Ronin's work waaaaaay back in the beginning and I'm so glad to see her books are out in the world for everybody to enjoy. (AAAAH! The book babies are all grown up!) ♥️ And(!) Lucy Gilmore's book #PuppyLove is about a #servicedoghandler, a #servicedogtrainer, and a #servicedog AND I WILL LOVE THIS BOOK FOR THIS ALONE! 😍😍 #bookmail #sourcebooks #sourcebookscasablanca #romancebooks #sweetwildofmine #thecowboymeetshismatch #smoothmoves #wickedhighlandways #spitfireinlove #sealwolfsurrender #books📚 #bookishlove #literarygirl #litlove #booksmakemehappy
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I won a whole month's worth of releases from Sourcebooks Casablanca in a Facebook giveaway and I'm trying to slip them into my planner schedule as I go but I thought I'd put a lovely "hey look at these books and if you like them buy them" post together for the start of my book-buying ban. So here they are!

Sweet Wild of Mine by Laurel Kerr
Love runs wild at the Sagebrush Flats Zoo...
In a bid to revitalize his career, bestselling author Magnus Gray has come to Sagebrush Flats to write about the local zoo's latest rescue―an orphaned baby polar bear. But Magnus dreads the drama of small towns and is bullishly determined to keep to himself.
June Winters is a people person, and delights in welcoming Magnus to Sagebrush Flats, though it seems unlikely she can get the handsome stranger to crack a smile. Then a mishap with an open gate forces Magnus and June to deal with a stampeding flock of fainting goats, an adorable but clingy polar bear cub, a cranky pregnant camel, and two star-crossed honey badgers. Never mind small town drama―the lively animals may just convince these two that opposites really do attract...
Yes, this is book 2 of the Where the Wild Hearts Are series I've been talking about and the review has been due for a bit. It's on my other page right now actually. But lookit!

SEAL Wolf Surrender by Terry Spear 
For a shifter with no interest in she-wolves...he sure is territorial.
Wolf shifter and former Navy SEAL Brock Greystoke isn't interested in she-wolves. The last one in his life ambushed him with the intent to kill. So when he's tasked with helping his cousin's friend get to a wedding, he has no intention of getting involved with her...
She-wolf Natalie Silverton has inadvertently crossed a group of dangerous criminals, and she's in dire need of a bodyguard. Good thing Brock is there to protect her. At every turn, their work--and play--brings them closer to catching the criminals and to each other, but Brock will have to get them out of this alive if he has any hope of winning Natalie's heart.
This sounds like a mash-up of a couple well-enjoyed tropes so I'm going to have fun checking this one out when I get the chance!
Smooth Moves by Marie Harte 
Ex-Marine Cash Griffith is a beacon for trouble. Working for the family moving company, he does his best to keep a low profile, but he can’t help finishing a fight someone else starts. There’s one person at work who annoys and baffles him. But if he even thought about taking her on, she’d put him down. Hard. Which is a real problem, because Cash wants nothing more than to tangle with sexy Jordan Fleming.
The ex-Army MP has her hands full with her new job and her rebellious teenage brother. Getting him through summer school is a chore. Figuring out what to do with her life now that she’s a civilian is disheartening. But one thing she lives for—doing battle with the obnoxious, arrogant, incredibly hot Marine at work.
Their battles turn into true camaraderie, then into something more. Helping each other out with family problems, Cash and Jordan learn to trust each other. One kiss leads to another, and friendship starts turning to love. But when dangerous secrets come to light, their bond will either break or strengthen into a future they both deserve.
I think this is both a Grams and Me book so I'm also going to share this one with her. My grandmother is really benefitting from my book life, tbh. *shrug*
Spitfire in Love by Isabelle Ronin 
From the International Phenomenon with over 200 Million Reads on Wattpad
She's never at a loss for words.
He's determined to have the last one.

There he was with his piercing blue eyes and Lucifer black hair.
He was leaning against the wall, a lollipop in his mouth, hot as hell and twice as dangerous.

Kara Hawthorne never backs down, especially when it comes to protecting her family.
She looked so soft, harmless, like a pretty kitten, but she was as safe as a ticking time bomb.
My sweet, sweet Spitfire.

Cameron St. Laurent isn't intimidated by the feisty woman at his doorstep. And when she asks him for the impossible, Cameron knows just how to sweeten the deal...
The two combustible personalities are faced with unavoidable off-the-charts chemistry. But when Cam's dark past shows up, he'll have to slay his demons and lay himself on the line to win Kara, body and soul.
I've been following the Chasing Red series since it was a baby on Wattpad and when I opened the box from Sourcebooks Casablanca it was bothering me so much that I couldn't figure out why this book seemed so familiar. (It's been a while!) And then, it hit me! There was squealing because OH MY DEITIES! 
The Cowboy meets his Match by Margaret Brownley 
His first mistake was marrying her.
His second was falling in love.

Chase McKnight will do anything to secure his family's ranch—but marriage to a complete stranger? That's a hard pill to swallow. Yet the will is clear: Chase needs a wife by his side if he wants to keep his home, so he meets his veiled lady at the courthouse steps and reluctantly says "I do."
Too bad he married the wrong bride.
When Boston runaway Emily Fields agreed to marry a Texas stranger to escape her family's scandal, she wasn't prepared to get hitched to the wrong cowboy! Stuck in a secret compromise, she has one year to learn the ways of the ranch and convince Chase's family they're happily married. But when the lie becomes true, the past catches up to them and they must save the love they never expected...
I'm not a western romance fan, despite my dream of owning a farm of my own. But my grandmother is and she's enjoying this copy of Margaret Brownley's latest!
Wicked Highland Ways by Mary Wine 
Brenda Grant has no desire to marry. Ever since her first, horrible marriage she's made herself into a hellion of a woman to keep men from wanting her. But the Campbells, her previous husband's family, are determined to find her a new husband.
Highland Chief Bothan Gunn is smitten by the woman who won't be tamed. It takes all Brenda's willpower to resist the brawny Highlander who takes her to safety. But as they spend time together—and grow ever closer—Brenda finally finds the freedom she's been longing for all along.
I'm sorry, did you say kilt? I have a problem, I know I do. I hope to remedy this by moving to Scotland. Leave me alone with my kilted people. 
Puppy Love by Lucy Gilmore
A brand new series from debut author Lucy Gilmore, featuring service puppies who might just be matchmakers in the making...
Sophie Vasquez runs Puppy Promise, a service puppy training organization. Sophie's always been treated as the frail baby of the family—a thing she hates but doesn't know how to change. Until, that is, she meets her newest client.
Harrison Parks is a wildfire firefighter who isn't allowed back in the field unless he finds a service dog. Reluctantly, he agrees, never expecting to be assigned a skittish Pomeranian and the equally skittish woman who's supposed to wrangle them both into order. As it turns out, they all have something to prove…and more than enough room in their hearts for a little puppy love.
This is the book that prompted my entering the giveaway! A romance involving a service dog! Be still my heart! Lucy Gilmore did what I've been dreaming of for decades, romance book with service dogs. All the yeses.

After this posting of Stacking the Shelves, I'll just be reaching into the back reaches of my kindle library for a while so I can stay true to my book-buying ban. I'm going to try to think up a couple more things to add to the blog, so stay tuned! Until next time, have a happily ever after!

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