Review: Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Screen Shot 2020-01-23 at 6.49.08 PMTitle: Things You Save in a Fire
Author: Katherine Center
Page Count: 320 pages – Hardcover edition, but I listened to the audiobook
Release Date: August 13, 2019

Synopsis:

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?

Review

This book was nominated for the Romance category for 2019 Goodreads Choice award, which sort of inspired me to pick it up, but it is so much more than just a romance novel! I love TV sitcoms like Grey’s Anatomy, Chicago Fire, etc. and I think its hard to find good books with characters who are doctors, firefighters, or paramedics. Things You Save in a Fire revolves around veteran firefighter Cassandra and rookie firefighter Owen.  The reason Cassie and Owen meet is because Cassie has just moved to Boston from Texas after a very public mauling of a councilman at an awards ceremony. Granted, he groped her–but no one saw that behind the scenes. But Cassie makes the move to save her career and moves in with her mother sort of against her will at her mother’s desperate request. It is this move that will change Cassie’s life and teach her lessons about love, forgiveness, and moving on.

Cassie was a super stubborn character and at times I got sick of how she treated her mom or how she shunned some of the men around her, but I get it. She is a woman in a “man’s profession.” She has to have rules and boundaries, and really, she is a badass. She has earned her way up and she will not let anything take her back down. Owen is probably my new bookish McDreamy. Seriously, this guy is the funniest, sweetest book boyfriend. And he’s a fire fighter so….what’s up! I even loved how he handled the conflict in this book and thought he was an all-around great fit for Cassie. Last but not least, the story overall was just so charming and well-written, I absolutely recommend it. I don’t always read contemporary romances but when I do, this is what I want to read!

Did you read any of the Goodreads Choice 2019 books last year? What were your faves?

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Tag Tuesday: New Year Book Tag

Happy 2020 everyone! Dorka over at Berries & Books is keeping this tag alive–she’s done it for three years straight now so hats off girl! I think this is my second year doing this one so here goes!

Question #1: How many books do you plan to read in 2020?
I set my goal at 50 this year, after falling just short of my goal of 75 for the past two years straight. This year I want to go a little bit more low-key and exceed it and just feel good about things. I feel good about that.

Question #2: Name five books you didn’t get to read last year but wanna make a priority in 2020.
The biggest two that I didn’t get to were the Six of Crows duology. I really want to prioritize them this year because–hello–Grishaverse coming to Netflix. Also on my list are Serpent and Dove, A Sorcery of Thorns, and

Question #3: Name a genre you want to read more of.
I always try to keep a good balance of genres but I want to get back into urban and paranormal fantasy. That’s sort of what got me back into reading a while back, ironically.

Question #4: Three non book related goals for 2020?
Start a bullet journal, pick up my ukelele, and manage my finances better (eek!)

Question #5: What’s a book you’ve had forever that you still need to read?
My brother and (now) sister-in-law bought me the Darker Shades of Magic trilogy four, maybe even five Christmases ago now? And I need to read those! Not just for that reason, but I want to read them too, of course!

Question #6: One word you’re hoping 2020 will be?
Stress-free! (that’s one, hyphenated word, right??)

As for tagging, I think you should all do this one if you haven’t for 2020 yet. I know January is scooting along quickly but there is always time to collect your thoughts and gain some shelf control. Happy reading!

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January 8: WWW

Halfway through the week! I love it! Life has been so nice having shortened weeks for almost a month now but here we are, back to the full grind. *sigh* For those of you who don’t know, this meme is hosted by Taking on a World of Words, and it involves three simple questions which are as follows:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

~ The Currents ~

I am so close to finishing 2 books at the moment: the comic vol. 1 of Sabrina the Teenage Witch as well as a really good YA fantasy called Unspoken. On top of those, I am about a third of the way through the audiobook of Ninth House so I have quite the reading load going on here.

~ The Recents ~

Honestly nothing was too terribly recent, I hate to say. I did sneak in one last holiday read just as we were finishing up our Christmas celebrating and that was Christmas Camp. Other than that though, I hope to have much more to report on this question next time around!

~ The Upcoming ~

This is where the fun really is. I have a couple anticipated reads from the library that I am looking forward to getting to plus a couple egalley/ARCs to get to soon. First off I need to read The Night Country by Melissa Albert, which released yesterday. I am really excited for that one. I need to see how the sequel to The Hazel Wood  turns out!

What is one current, recent, or upcoming read that you have on your list?

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Happy New Year! Cheers to 2020!

Happy New Year and new decade everyone!

So the question on everyone’s mind is: what are your goals or resolutions for 2020? I have a couple ideas for myself but I’m not a huge resolution-maker. Here are just a couple of off-the-bat goals I want to work on this year:

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  1. Start a bullet journal. I have never done one before but I have never found a planner that quite works for me. I am hoping that a bullet journal will be good for keeping me organized and creative.
  2. Pick up some ukelele skills! I received a uke for Christmas last year but I still haven’t done anything with it–and I mean nothing!! So seriously, I need to learn at least 2-3 chords and 2-3 songs. The more the better!
  3. Read more books that I already own. My shelves are absolutely out of control. I am filling boxes with books that don’t even touch my shelves and putting them into storage. That’s not okay! So I really need to prioritize reading what I have and ARCs that I commit to.
  4. Clean and organize more. My husband and I have been living in an apartment for about two years longer than we originally thought we would. Between the two of us we’ve accumulated so much stuff that we really don’t need to hang on to. At the time we think of it as cute and sentimental but really its piling up, crinkling up, stinking up, whatever. So we really need to go through and sell, donate, or throw.

And those are the first of my goals for the year. They’re pretty generally and not completely book or reading related but I certainly have those goals as well so stay tuned!

What goals do you have for 2020?

The Sunday Review: Christmas Camp by Karen Schaler

39893648Title: Christmas Camp
Author: Karen Schaler
Page Count: 336 pages – ebook edition
Release Date: September 3, 2019

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I thought this looked and sounded (from the synopsis) like a cute holiday book that I would skate through quickly and enjoy immensely. Plus with the word “Camp” in the title, I had to read it! I’m a sucker for camps and retreats! Apparently though, Hallmark/Lifetime/Netflix mushy writers should stick to their screenplays. At least for me. Reading the author’s bio, “Christmas Karen” Schaler has also written screenplays for Netflix’s THE CHRISTMAS PRINCE (which I did enjoy!), Hallmark Channel’s Christmas Camp (I haven’t seen this), and Lifetime’s Every Day is Christmas (also never heart of it). While the idea of this book was classic holiday family and romance cozy, it fell a little short for me. Here is why:

In this book, Haley Hansen’s Christmas is booked–in the Caribbean. And that’s the way she likes it. She prefers to take her laptop, her work and her parents and avoid the holiday hustle and just relax on the warm beach. This year is different because her advertising company is trying to land a deal with a huge toy company. Big problem though. The theme of the ad campaign? Christmas spirit, and Haley has none. What’s more is that landing this campaign could earn her a spot as partner in the company. She would do anything–even head to Christmas Camp–to get this deal.

brooke-cagle-czbB0aPh_V0-unsplashMeanwhile Jeff is the oh-so-handsome, successful architect in Boston and son of the owner of Christmas Camp. He recently lost his mother and his aging father, Ben, is now running Christmas Camp basically on his own. I’ll let the rest of the details here unfold themselves for you all.

Christmas Camp is, I think, just about the first book ever where I didn’t find the male love interest charming or very interesting. He almost seemed sort of villainous for most of the book. I guess that’s what made it even more refreshing for Haley to be a hard-working girl (woman) throughout the book. She really did have some good growth and that really was heart-warming. From the very beginning I didn’t think she was a bad character…so what if she didn’t love Christmas?? I mean, everyone can choose to celebrate, or not, in their own way. Isn’t it kind of bogus (illegal?) for a company to basically require her to have Christmas Spirit?? I guess that’s a whole different debate. But anyway. The book was decent. Obviously several different ways to look at things so if you’re into that, go for it!! One last thing I will add is that there are a couple of good side characters, but the dog is probably the best character in the book.

Book soundtrack: The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole

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#Blogmas :December is the month for ebook bargains!

Hi everyone! So I have noticed that I have been grabbing up bargain after bargain ebook on Amazon and I have actually had to hold myself back because there are more that I sort of want, but I know that I just won’t get to for a long while. I thought I would go ahead and post a list of what I have picked up so far in December:

1533de298cd56ff91657319fdc1e13abThe Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

purchased 12/2/19 for $0.99

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

purchased 12/2/19 for $2.99

Blood Heir by Amelie Wen Zhao

purchased 12/14/19 for $5.99

The Beholder by Anna Bright

purchased 12/21/19 for $2.99

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

purchased 12/25/19 for $2.99

The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

purchased 12/25/19 for $1.99

So that’s about $18 for six books this month! I am completely happy with that! The couple of other titles I am still looking at snagging for a good deal and maybe you’d like to consider too: Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan (currently $1.99), Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron (currently $1.99), Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford (currently $2.99), Shadow Frost by Coco Ma (currently $0.99),  Final Girls by Riley Sager (currently $1.99), and Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye (currently $1.99). Just to say again, all of these deals were found on Amazon and may not still be valid, but if you’re interested, its always worth checking, right?

That being said, hope you found yourself a deal on a new read today also! Or maybe you know of a bargain going on to share. Any recommendations? I’d love to know about it! Thanks in advance!

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#Blogmas 2019…the mostly non-existant

Happy December, everyone!

Well, December 17th. It has been a pretty rough couple of months for me and I have needed to step back from the blogging for a moment or two. Work was stressful, I have read a couple of good books, and Thanksgiving was fortunately pretty relaxed. I hope that many of you can say positive things about your lives and your reading time.

nookSo getting down to business, for the past two years I have participated in a phenomenon called “Blogmas.” Now anyone who doesn’t know, Blogmas is for both bloggers and vloggers alike, and the goal is for us to post at least once a day for all 25 days leading up to Christmas! We can post about anything we like, but ideally, we should be posting some holiday cheer along the way. Now, I am already behind but I enjoy posting and participating by blog/vlog hopping so I am putting the hashtag on it and calling it a post!

I look forward to sharing a little bit of holiday cheer with you all and I plan on blog hopping and leaving some tidings with you as well. Until next time….happy reading!

Are you doing any reading or writing challenges this month to close out the year?

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#BEWinter19 : A Very Potter Christmas

Today’s prompt for Bookending Winter is “A Very Potter Christmas,” hosted by Broken Soul Reviews, and who am I to pass up a Potter prompt?? If you’d like to join in on this amazing quarterly event hosted by Cuppa Clo and Fictionally Sam, you can check out the event main page here. But enough chit-chat. On to the prompt!

Question #1
Which Harry Potter book was your favorite and why?

originalI have always said that Prisoner of Azkaban was my favorite because of the Marauders and the details left out of the movie about their backgrounds and stories. I just love meeting Sirius and all of the intricacies of that book. However, I am re-reading the series as an adult and I just finished book 5 and so far I am surprised to say that Order of the Phoenix is my new favorite. Talk about details and little humors that I have never appreciated before! There are so many characters in this book that really shine–the Weasely twins, Luna, Ron…unfortunately almost everyone but Harry.

Question #2
Which Harry Potter characters are your favorites and why?

Not necessarily in specific order I love Dumbledore and I hate hearing when people give him grief. Since the very beginning (and now, with ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ apparently before the beginning even! what?!) Dumbledore was the man with the plan. He always made sure Harry was taken care of, he was always doing his research, he was always doing his best to stay five steps ahead, and he was incredibly criticized all throughout. Next up is Molly Weasley for being a badass mum to her own children and anyone/everyone her kids brought home. She has the biggest, warmest heart but also is so strong and and kick butt when she needs to be. She is everything I would want to be as a mother. A lot of similarities here with Minerva Mcgonagall. Not only is she a softie for her students at heart, she is incredibly brave, wise, and strong. Honorable mentions for other favorites go to Harry, book Luna, Hagrid, and Lupin.

Question #3
Who are you taking to the Yule Ball?

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Thanks for stopping by today! Feel free to share any of your answers in the comments! I want to know especially who your date to the ball would be–either pre- of post- puberty, lol!!

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October Wrap-Up/November Goals

So this was definitely, definitely not my most successful October ever, unfortunately. I didn’t read and finish as many books as I had planned, I didn’t blog as many posts as I had hoped. I don’t know what happened but I just didn’t finish out the month quite where I wanted to. Let’s see what the results were….

– BOOKS READ –

The Last to Die … 10/3/19 … ★★☆☆☆
The Institute … 10/8/19 … ★★★★★
Pumpkinheads … 10/13/19 … ★★★★★
The Chestnut Man … 10/24/19 … ★★★★☆
Witches of East End … DNF … ☆☆☆☆☆

– BOOKS HAULED –

74348432_707135956451018_7844982637746716672_nSub Boxes
Into the Crooked Place
by Alexandra Christo
The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Swaps/Gifts
The Babysitters Coven by Kate Williams
BookOutlet Haul
Beware the Night by Jessika Fleck
Consumed by J.R. Ward
George and Lizzie by Nancy Perl
Girls With Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Pearl
Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before boxed trilogy
Digital Snags
Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte
Invictus by Ryan Graudin
The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

In my update last month, I mentioned that I was cleaning and rearranging my bookshelves a bit. Well I mostly did that. I haven’t gotten everything quite put back the way I’d like it yet–its still a work in progress but its close. It will happen soon enough. And so that will carry on into November. Also, since I didn’t get all of my posts finished and posted for the BookEnding Autumn event, a couple of those prompts just might carry over into this month as well. The ones that aren’t too spooky, that is. Just fall-ish ones. Plus I’m trying out the #thankfulathon on Instagram for the first time this year so I’m trying to reflect on books and habits and general life topics that I am thankful for.

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