Show Us Your Books {August & September}

Hey y'all,

I have been in a serious reading rut over the last two months and I hope things will change as the weather finally cools off and my schedule calms down a bit since I love to read on my porch with a nice cup of tea on Sunday afternoons. Here are all the books I read in August and September, and warning, most were audiobooks since that is all I could fit in during the day.

Good Earls Don't Lie (Kindle Unlimited)

Good Earls Don't Lie (Earls Next Door, #1)From GoodReads: Lady Rose Thornton never expected to find a half-naked man in her garden. The handsome Irishman claims to be the Earl of Ashton, but was Iain Donovan truly robbed by thieves? Or is he merely an impoverished stranger lying to her? After losing everything in the potato famine, Iain is searching for a wife whose dowry will save his estate. The beautiful and charming Lady Rose, unable to walk because of an illness that stole her strength, agrees to help him find a wife, but only if he will help her learn to take her first steps. As their friendship takes root and blossoms into something more, secrets about Iain’s birthright threaten the growing feelings between them. He has no right to love a woman like Rose, who deserves a better life than he can give her. Rose believes that there is more to Iain than a broken past, and she brings light to his shadows.
I have loved Michelle Willingham romance novels in the past so I thought I would grab this one on Kindle Unlimited during my free trial. It took me a while to get into the story and over was just an okay romance for me. 2.5/5 stars.

What the Earl Needs Now (Kindle Unlimited)

What the Earl Needs NowFrom GoodReads: Lily Thornton waited two long years for the return of her beloved husband, the Earl of Arnsbury. But the man she married in secret has no memory of her.
After being tortured in India, Matthew Larkspur can hardly return to a normal existence. He cannot sleep at night, and he knows he is not the man Lily needs. A haunted darkness festers inside him, turning him into a beast who does not deserve the love of a beauty.
But beneath his tormented scars lies the man Lily has loved all her life. And she refuses to give up on him, especially when his wildness stirs her blood…

This is the squeal to Good Earls Don't Lie but Lily's story captivated me and I flew through this book. I loved the storyline of healing from trauma and how realistic the love story between Lily and Matthew was portrayed. I am just waiting to see if Willingham will write the third novel in the series about Lily and Rose's brother. 3/5 stars.

Becoming

Becoming - audiobook

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African-American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

This was my book club's August selection and no matter your political affiliation I think you should read this look into Michelle Obama's background, her role in politics, her role as the First Lady and the struggles her family has faced. 5/5 stars.

A Prince on Paper

A Prince on Paper (Reluctant Royals, #3)
From GoodReads: Nya Jerami fled Thesolo for the glitz and glamour of NYC but discovered that her Prince Charming only exists in her virtual dating games. When Nya returns home for a royal wedding, she accidentally finds herself up close and personal—in bed—with the real-life celebrity prince who she loves to hate.
For Johan von Braustein, the red-headed step-prince of Liechtienbourg, acting as paparazzi bait is a ruse that protects his brother—the heir to the throne—and his own heart. When a royal referendum threatens his brother’s future, a fake engagement is the perfect way to keep the cameras on him.
Nya and Johan both have good reasons to avoid love, but as desires are laid bare behind palace doors, they must decide if their fake romance will lead to a happily-ever-after.

This is the third book in the Reluctant Royals series (I read the first two books in July) and focuses on two of the friends of the main couple from the first book. I loved the story's focus on public versus private personas of the royals and how we sometimes can overlook major parts of someone's character. I loved the ending of the Liechtienbourg's referendum. 3/5 stars.


Before We Were Yours - audiobook

37670025. sx318 From GoodReads: Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize that the truth is much darker. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together—in a world of danger and uncertainty.
Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancĂ©, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions—and compels her to take a journey through her family's long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or redemption.

This book was heartbreaking since it is based off the true story of Georgia Tann and the Tennessee Children's home. The book discusses families, adoption, and secrets being revealed and has even prompted those that experienced the home to work with Wingate on a non-fiction book about the scandal. 4/5 stars.
Educated

Educated - audiobook

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag". In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard.
Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent.
Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

This is a haunting memoir filled with family, faith, and examining the power of knowledge. Education is a privilege and this book reminded me of how we can often take that for granted. 3.5/5 stars. 


Sisters First - audiobook

Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life

From GoodReads: Born into a political dynasty, Jenna and Barbara Bush grew up in the public eye. As small children, they watched their grandfather become president; just twelve years later they stood by their father's side when he took the same oath. They spent their college years being trailed by the Secret Service and chased by the paparazzi, with every teenage mistake making national headlines. But the tabloids didn't tell the whole story of these two young women forging their own identities under extraordinary circumstances. In this book they take readers on a revealing, thoughtful, and deeply personal tour behind the scenes of their lives, with never-before-told stories about their family, their adventures, their loves and losses, and the special sisterly bond that fulfills them.

This is a very anecdotal book that changes perspectives every chapter. While I liked learning more about Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, I didn't feel that I learned a lot from it or felt more connected to their family. It was a cute and quick audiobook about the family but not groundbreaking. 3/5 stars.

I am currently reading my book club's September book Firedark and listening to Dorothy Must Die.

What are you reading?
Life According to Steph
Linking up with Jana and Steph.

Best,
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7 comments:

  1. A Prince on Paper was probably my least favourite in that trilogy too.

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  2. I loved listening to Becoming. I cried multiple times.

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  3. Becoming was slow, but really good. I loved Educated.

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  4. I do want to read Becoming - hopefully sometime soon.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  5. yeah, a prince on paper was my least favourite of that trilogy. i think she's doing a spin off royal series, there was one king or prince or something mentioned in that last book? with the weird marriage or something? my memory is so great. but anyway lol i'm excited. Becoming was so good!

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  6. Becoming was really good, I bet the audio was great.

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  7. I loved Before We Were Yours and Educated and have been dying to read Becoming!

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Thank you for your sweet thoughts!