Throwback Thursday: October 12th – The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick

The Butterfly Garden (The Collector Book #1)

by Dot Hutchison

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Blurb: Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…

My Thoughts:

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison is a captivating thriller. The collector a.k.a. “The Gardner” begins collecting girls and tattooing them with beautiful designs.  His plan is to keep them until they reach a certain age and then make them permanent fixtures in his garden for all to see. The girls know their fate, but it’s a mystery exactly how and when it will come about. Maya is one of those girls, and the brave one. The Gardener sees something special in her and it might be more than he can handle as she devises a plan of her own.

I liked the characters and felt they had good development. Maya is tough and the main character throughout the story as she’s interrogated by the FBI while giving her side of the story. The Gardener isn’t completely understood, but what serial killer is? Here we have a man who’s living a separate life in his fantasy garden, and it works. When reading the book, I had flashbacks to some of my favorites like The Silence of the Lambs and Kiss The Girls. 

I wasn’t sure if I liked the format of the writing, but still remained fairly fascinated with the story. I found it difficult to read at times and even nightmarish, especially when Keely comes into the picture. It’s definitely not a book everyone will enjoy as it contains rape, kidnapping, and other sick and twisted events, although it seemed that some details were spared and it wasn’t overly gory. There were many twists and turns and it didn’t feel predictable at all.

There is a weird twist toward the end, but unfortunately, the ending was too abrupt and I wasn’t thoroughly satisfied with it. I still give this one 5-stars for captivation and a unique story.

This is one of my favorites for 2016.

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: October 12th – The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison”

Throwback Thursday – October 5th- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick

Gone Girl

by Gillian Flynn

 

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Blurb: On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

My Thoughts:

Nick and Amy Dunne are preparing to celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary when suddenly, Amy disappears and as the investigation unfolds, it appears that the marriage wasn’t as perfect as it seemed. Others begin to wonder if Nick could be the perpetrator and the book will leave you wondering what really happened to Amy throughout.

I loved this book, and honestly, I couldn’t predict what was going to happen because the plot was completely twisted. I went in completely blind and that’s what I would recommend to everyone else. You will more than likely be shocked. It’s one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read, slow at times, but the story picks up and then you’re in for the ride. To me, the characters were fairly unforgettable!

I admire the way Gillian Flynn writes and I’m looking forward to reading more from this author. I mixed the book and audible for this one and I did enjoy the narration.

My rating on this one is 4 stars.

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You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Paperback: 422 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (April 22, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307588378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307588371

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday – October 5th- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn”

Throwback Thursday – September 28th – A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick:

A Little Life

by Hanya Yanagihara

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Blurb: When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity.

Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.

My Thoughts:

I started A Little Life sometime in January, but had to put it down a few times due to time restrictions on other books. Plus, this book is colossal. It’s a smidge over 700 pages.

I’ll start by saying that I can’t recollect the last time I felt so connected to characters in a story. I was so consumed with the four main characters seeing as how it’s nearly impossible not to fall in love with them, especially Jude and Willem. ♡ They’re so complex, it feels like you’re living the story and you’re associating with all of them. They’re memorable.

I cried a few times, and laughed a few times. The further I read, the more shocked I became, ending with a feeling of devastation. With that said, I thought it was written well and it kept my interest. There were a few times I put it down and walked away, but I had to come back.

I remember the first time I saw “Million Dollar Baby” with Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, and Morgan Freeman. I was sick about that movie for more than a day. In fact, the next day I still felt depressed. Well, that’s exactly how I’m feeling right now. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this book, but it’s going to take me a few days to get over it and I’ll never forget it.

I gave this book 5*****


You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Hardcover: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1St Edition edition (March 10, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385539258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385539258

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday – September 28th – A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara”

Throwback Thursday – September 21st – Panther in the Sun by John Comfort

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This week’s Pick is…

Panther in the Sun

by John Comfort

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Blurb…

“An enjoyable read . . . renders an anxious excitement as the undeserved hardships of a single American family unfold. . . . Truly, a story with a viewpoint and tradition not often told: that of the American Indian.”
–Chief Hatcher of the Waccamaw Tribe

After tragedy tears apart a Native American family, a father must endure harsh and unjust consequences and fight to find his children. We follow the separated lives of the father and his two sons as they make their way in an unforgiving and hostile world.

Panther in the Sun is a powerful story of courage, love, determination, and reconciliation.

John Comfort has drawn much inspiration from his grandfather, George Riser, whose ancestrally-diverse background includes Oglala Lakota Sioux bloodlines. George was an orphan, he endured great hardship during the Great Depression, and he fought as an elite Frogman in the island campaign of World War II.


My Review:

Panther in the Sun by John Comfort is a truly powerful story about a Native American (Panther in the Sun) and his family. Many events take place and they’re not predictable. The story is very fast paced and a brisk read. It’s full of suspense and surprises. I can truly see this turned into a movie.

I had many emotions while reading the book and found it extremely impelling. This is the kind of book you sit down to read, and you don’t get back up for a really long time! You start to read and then remain because the story is that engaging.

I love the cover, writing style, and storyline. I loved it from beginning to end and I’m hoping for another book!

Thanks to the author, John Comfort, for sharing a copy with me.

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You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: bookgenesis press (October 4, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0996947043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0996947046

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday – September 21st – Panther in the Sun by John Comfort”

Throwback Thursday – September 14th -The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This week’s Pick is…

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel 

by Louise Murphy

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Blurb: In the last months of the Nazi occupation of Poland, two children are left by their father and stepmother to find safety in a dense forest. Because their real names will reveal their Jewishness, they are renamed “Hansel” and “Gretel.” They wander in the woods until they are taken in by Magda, an eccentric and stubborn old woman called “witch” by the nearby villagers. Magda is determined to save them, even as a German officer arrives in the village with his own plans for the children. Combining classic themes of fairy tales and war literature, this haunting novel of journey and survival, of redemption and memory, powerfully depicts how war is experienced by families and especially by children, and tells a resonant, riveting story.

My thoughts…

It’s nearly the end of the Nazi occupation of Poland and a father must abandon his children near a forest so that they can search for safety from the Germans. On the journey, they meet Magda, the so-called village witch. Magda is willing to risk her life and others to keep the children safe.

“The wheel turns. Blue above, green below, we wonder a long way, but love is what the cup of our soul contains when we leave the world and the flesh. This we will drink forever. I know. I am Magna. I am the witch.”

Hansel and Gretel has been a favorite fairy tale since childhood. It was most definitely one of the scariest. The way the author has taken the fairy tale, re-imagined it, and paired it with the evil nightmare of WWII is fascinating. The story feels so authentic. It’s incredible to me how the author has a way of keeping to the original story of Hansel and Gretel throughout, consistently hovering around elements true to the original fairy tale.

The story itself is dark and twisted and highlights the true evil doing against the Jewish, Gypsies, and dissidents during WWII. It was nothing like what I expected. I had an idea of the plot, but there’s so much more to the story. Parts of the story were so hard to get through, but I loved the characters especially Magda, Nelka, Telek, Hansel, and Gretel. Magna was surely my most prized character. The beautiful prose and specific elements reminded me of The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, which is one of my favorite books of 2017.

There are discussion questions and an interview with the author at the conclusion which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m not sure why it’s listed as having 320 pages. My book has 297 plus a few more for interview and discussion.

This book gets 5-stars from me…

5 Sterne


 

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Paperback: 297 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; First Edition edition (July 29, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142003077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142003077

 

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Continue reading “Throwback Thursday – September 14th -The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy”

Throwback Thursday – September 7th – The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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-This week’s Pick-

The Kind Worth Killing

by Peter Swanson

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The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson is a psychological thriller that will have you guessing until the end!

Just who are the kind worth killing?

If you haven’t read this book, I recommend skipping my review and the blurb. There aren’t any big spoilers here, but going in blind is probably the best…

The story starts out with Lily and Ted. The two strangers come together for a game of truth which turns into a plan for murder. Lily has a history and Ted has issues with his wife. Lily jumps in the driver’s seat and one thing leads to another. The two strangers plan an arrangement to wreak havoc, but what will be the outcome?

Of course, I went into this blind and had no clue what I was getting into which is what I recommend to others. EVERYTHING you think you’ve figured out, you haven’t.

There are some major twists and turns which kept my interest from the beginning to end. The story fully grasped me and didn’t let me go. The absolute only issue I had was the ending which I both loved and hated. Give me MORE!

This is one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read. I picked it up on audible and enjoyed all four narrators. I’d like to thank my friend Basia for recommending it! 5*****

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  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 10 hours and 18 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Audible.com Release Date: February 10, 2015
  • Whispersync for Voice: Ready
  • Language: English

You can find this on Amazon and Goodreads

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday – September 7th – The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson”

Throwback Thursday – August 31st – My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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-This week’s Pick-

My Sister’s Keeper

by Jodi Picoult

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Leave it to Jodi Picoult to captivate me from cover to cover. I read this in 2005 and remember that I couldn’t put it down until the final shocking end.

Sara’s daughter Kate is sick. She has leukemia and Sara will do whatever it takes to keep her alive. When Anna is born, she quickly becomes her sister Kate’s savior, but as time goes on, Anna wants a life of her own.

“If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one? Or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone?…I didn’t come to see her because it would make me feel better. I came because without her, it’s hard to remember who I am.” 

A life is at stake and family relationships spin out of control when Anna files a lawsuit against her parents to be removed from the situation. Who is it that’s right when not one of them is sure of their own decisions on this controversial matter?

I couldn’t put the book down. The book is written with multiple character viewpoints and the story unfolds quickly. Picoult has the capability of twisting a story so far that you can never figure out what’s ahead or how it’ll end.  I love the way she writes and she’s one of my favorite authors. This is just one of my favorite books by her.

My rating for this book is 5*****

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Blurb: Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate — a life and a role that she has never challenged… until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister—and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

A provocative novel that raises some important ethical issues, My Sister’s Keeper is the story of one family’s struggle for survival at all human costs and a stunning parable for all time.

You can find the book on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Series: Picoult, Jodi (Large Print)
  • Hardcover: 712 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Large Print edition (May 18, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743486196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743486194

Here’s the movie trailer below. I thought the movie was good, but enjoyed the book much more…

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday – August 31st – My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult”

Throwback Thursday – August 24th 2017 – Twilight

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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-This week’s Pick-

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

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I could read this book over and over again. After seeing mixed reviews on it and reading that many people complained about the writing and characters,  I bypassed it for awhile, but I had to read it. I’m a long time Anne Rice fan and LOVE vampire stories.

I fell in love with this book from the first chapter…

“In the Olympic Peninsula of northwest Washington State, a small town named Forks exists under a near-constant cover of clouds. It rains on this inconsequential town more than any other place in the United States of America. It was from this town and its gloomy, omnipresent shade that my mother escaped with me when I was only a few months old. It was in this town that I’d been compelled to spend a month every summer until I was fourteen. That was the year I finally put my foot down; these past three summers, my dad, Charlie, vacationed with me in California for two weeks instead.”

Bella is moving to Forks, Washington, to live with her dad. Forks is a small town and dreary for the most part. Bella doesn’t have a great relationship with her dad as she was raised by her mom, plus she’s the new girl in town and doesn’t know anyone. Bella’s new life is fairly boring until the Cullen family comes into the picture.

“I stared because their faces, so different, so similar, were all devastatingly, inhumanly beautiful. They were faces you never expected to see except perhaps on the airbrushed pages of a fashion magazine. Or painted by an old master as the face of an angel. It was hard to decide who was the most beautiful – maybe the perfect blond girl, or the bronze-haired boy.”

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Bella is fascinated by the Cullens and ends up with an assigned seat next to Edward in Biology class. Edward acts strangely…

“I peeked up at him one more time, and regretted it. He was glaring down at me again, his black eyes full of revulsion. As I flinched away from him, shrinking against my chair, the phrase if looks could kill suddenly ran through my mind.”

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It’s so mysterious. Why is Edward acting so strangely around her? Bella is fascinated by him and as the story moves forward, there’s no telling the upcoming circumstances Bella will be dealing with.

This may not be the beautiful prose that many people are looking for, but the plot and characters were enough to captivate me. I loved everything about it and flew through it. I couldn’t wait to read the next book.

My rating on this book is 5*****


 

Blurb: About three things I was absolutely positive.

First, Edward was a vampire.

Second, there was a part of him—and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be—that thirsted for my blood.

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

In the first book of the Twilight Saga, internationally bestselling author Stephenie Meyer introduces Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, a pair of star-crossed lovers whose forbidden relationship ripens against the backdrop of small-town suspicion and a mysterious coven of vampires. This is a love story with bite.

  • Series: The Twilight Saga, Book 1 (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (September 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316015849
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316015844

Find it on Amazon

Continue to see movie info…

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday – August 24th 2017 – Twilight”

Throwback Thursday – Our Guys – August 17th

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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-This week’s Pick-

Our Guys: The Glen Ridge Rape and the Secret Life of the Perfect Suburb

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I had to read this book for a college sociology class and I had zero expectations in enjoying the book given the content of it. It’s true that it’s difficult to read at times, but the writing pulled me in and I had to know what was going to happen to the group of people responsible.

What’s no surprise to me, even after reading this years ago, is that this behavior is still relevant today. There are people willing to overlook their child’s behavior and they’ll do whatever it takes to protect them. In this case, it was an entire community.

They did make this into a lifetime movie which can be seen on YouTube, but the book is way better. The book also contains real pictures of the people involved.

I would recommend not even reading the blurb on this one. Just jump in and read it…My rating on this one is 5*****

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Continue reading “Throwback Thursday – Our Guys – August 17th”

Throwback Thursday – August 10th

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Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. If you’d just link back to her@It’s Book Talk she’d so appreciate it!

I’ve been seeing this one around for a while now and became inspired by my friend Noriko@DiaryofaBookfiend this morning after she picked a book that really brought back some memories. I thought it would be fun to bring back a book from last year that I enjoyed. This is my first Throwback Thursday and I chose a book that will always be a favorite. I hope that you might find an interest in it as well.

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Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Blurb: The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

  • Series: Beautiful Disaster Series
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Original ed. edition (August 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476712042
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476712048

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday – August 10th”