Booksessed: The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst. (And a giveaway!)

[Editors note: Want to win a copy of The Marriage Bargain? Check out the giveaway at the end of the post! And thanks to Angie for this review. Sorry I took so long to post it!]

This is a very long overdue review. I actually read The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst quite a while back, and it’s definitely a good book to read between the moodier/darker ones (you know, like the Fifty-esque books) because it is so damn funny and full of witty banter. I would catch myself ACTUALLY laughing out loud.

Booksessed: The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst. #booksessed #girlyobsessions

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Booksessed: The Bronze Horseman.

Before there was Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey, there was The Bronze Horseman, written by Paullina Simons. And before Edward Cullen or Christian Grey ever entered my fictional boyfriend fantasies, there was Alexander Belov. I’ve been obsessed with The Bronze Horseman since I first read it (and could not put it down), somewhere around 2007, and it has stayed with me ever since. It’s a breathtaking historical fiction; a sweeping saga with an epic, intense romance. And since it’s Valentine’s Day, it seems like a good time to finally share the obsession. This is how I like my history, by the way. Disguised as a love story. My mother-in-law introduced me to this book – a paperback copy she smuggled into the States from the UK. And I say smuggled because, for some reason, this book wasn’t available in the States until late 2009. But since I got my hands on it, I’ve lent it to everyone I know. If you’re a fan of romance, and romantic heroes, I suggest you get this book. Immediately. Alexander will be the perfect Valentine’s date, I promise.

Booksessed: The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. #booksessed #romance #girlyobsessions

The Bronze Horseman is part of a trilogy, a very long trilogy, each book averaging around 700+ pages. I don’t like to give spoilers in my book posts, but with this much substance, it’s hard to give a synopsis without giving too much away. The trilogy continues with Tatiana and Alexander and ends with The Summer Garden. Even though I loved all three, none can compare to The Bronze Horseman. And good news for fans of the book – it seems like a movie adaptation is finally in the works. There were rumors that it would be made a few years ago, but the studio who was working on the project let the rights expire. Since then, the rights have been optioned by another studio, and Paullina herself has written the script. So there is a chance that we’ll finally see this on the big screen sometime in 2015. Although I have no idea who they could cast as Alexander! Seems like an impossible task. Although, they did a good job with Edward and Christian, so there’s hope…

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Booksessed: The Wanted Series by Kelly Elliott.

Editors note: Angie sent me this post months ago and I am just now getting it up. (I’m so sorry for the delay, Angie. You’ve been incredibly patient, a quality myself I do not posses.) Stay tuned for more posts from Angie, which I promise will be posted in a more timely fashion!

Hello, obsessors! So, I have been up to a lot of stuff reading since my last post, but one of the books really stood out – Faithful by Kelly Elliot. Faithful is the third book in the Wanted series, so I’m going to do three mini reviews to introduce you to all the books. (That is, if I can remember the details from when I read Wanted!)

Booksessed: Wanted by Kelly Elliott. #booksessed #goodreads #girlyobsessions

Wanted is a lovely book, but it’s also a bit disturbing. I say that because Ellie, the main character, was verbally abused by her mother into thinking she would never be wanted (hence the name.) I believe her words were something like, “You will never be wanted by anyone…remember that Ellie darlin’, remember that…” As a result of the abuse, Ellie had a hard time letting go of her past. And when it came to relationships, Ellie would deny her feelings for fear of getting hurt.

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Booksessed: Tearjerkers.

Sometimes girls just enjoy a good cry. Whether it be a movie (Beaches kills me each time I watch it) or a book, I think there is something therapeutic about shedding a tear or two every so often. Recently my book club read a book that caught me off guard when I found myself SOBBING during the last 100 pages or so. Literally, I had to put the book down and collect myself before continuing. Now my husband will probably tell you that I am known to cry at Hallmark commercials; I say I’m just a very empathic person. But it’s been a while since I cried THIS hard while reading something so I decided to write a post dedicated to those novels. Do you have your tissues handy? Here we go…

Booksessed: The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman. #girlyobsessions

Most Recent: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

SYNOPSIS: After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

REVIEW: I read this book rather quickly. I couldn’t put it down after about halfway through. I found the storyline so compelling and you knew that something had to happen because people just can’t take babies. The story shook me to the core and made me question my beliefs. Before reading this, I had an idea of right and wrong. After reading it, I’m not sure what I would have done in their situations.

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Booksessed: Breathe by Abbi Glines.

Hello obsessors! I am the newest contributor to Girly Obsessions! My name is Angie and I will specialize in something in particular. Can you guess what it is? Let me give you a few hints. I get to be with a different guy every night, sort of. I get to be part of some pretty awkward situations and I fall in love with every one of these. And it involves crying. A LOT of crying. Any guesses? Well… I will be reviewing BOOKS! This is like a dream come true. I read every spare moment I have – before I get ready for the day, when I come back from college, when I come home from work. But I don’t read when, wait, when DON’T I read? Ok, seriously, I don’t JUST read. (Did I just admit that?) I also like to watch TV and movies. Like a lot of TV and movies (like Beauty and the Beast, 2 Broke Girls and New Girl).

So, getting back to the point of this post – BOOKS! There’s so many of them that it’s so hard to choose what to read next. So after changing the subject of this post like a million times, and trying to stop reading so I could write this post, I decided on BREATHE by Abbi Glines. This book isn’t an erotica. The reason I say so is because back in November, back when my life started and ended with TV, I read 50 Shades of Grey. And I ended up in a book depression because there was no more Christian Grey. I read it again and again until I knew the words by heart. But thanks to Ashley, I started reading Gabriel’s Inferno and Bared to You. She kind of saved me. And after a brief discussion with her, she said I could write about any book as long as it went with the theme of the blog: OBSESSIONS. So right now my obsession is Abbi Glines.

The first book I read by her was BREATHE (part of the Sea Breeze Series). It is the story of young Sadie White who lives with her pregnant mother, Jessica. Sadie doesn’t know who her dad is and she doesn’t care, and for her whole life she’s had to take care of herself and her mother. Now she will have to take care of someone else as well, the baby. Jessica has Sadie take over her job as part of the staff at a huge house on a private island. When Sadie gets there, she finds out that the house belongs to teen heart-throb, Jax Stone. She doesn’t know many of his songs; she has only seen him on TV a couple of times due to her busy life. Sadie and Jax develop feelings for each other throughout the book, and they go on a few nice dates. Sadie makes friends with her work colleagues and finally feels like things in her life are NORMAL. But… it never lasts. Jax is only staying in Sea Breeze for the summer, and as soon as summer ends, he has to go back to his life. And Sadie has to go back to hers, even though she still chooses Jax. But the way they end things is not good. The media finds out about them, and Jax thinks it’s best if they break up because he knows that the media will eat her alive. Sadie is heartbroken but she doesn’t have time to be, because her mom Jessica is going to have her baby.

Booksessed: Breathe by Abbi Blines. #50shadeswithdrawal #girlyobsessions

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The other books I read.

Last Friday we continued our blog swapping series with the ladies over at A Good Hostess. Below is a preview of my post.

So if you read my blog, you know that I have a slight obsession with erotic fiction. One of my best friends said to me, but it’s so not like you, to which I said, no, I think it actually kind of is. It’s a recent development that started with 50 Shades (shocker) and grew into a full on obsession (thanks to Amazon’s related recommendations) and now I can’t stop. In fact, I already have two posts dedicated to what to read if you’re going through 50 Shades withdrawal (Part 1 and Part 2), and have a third and fourth on the way. And as I referenced in Part 2, between all my erotic reads (umm, 18 so far?), I have read some more classic fiction, and I wanted to share three that I liked!

In the Kingdom of Men by Kim Barnes The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

In The Kingdom of Men by Kim Barnes (liked)
The opening lines of the book are what drew me in: Here is the first thing you need to know about me: I’m a barefoot girl from red-dirt Oklahoma, and all the marble floors in the world will never change that. Here is the second thing: that young woman they pulled from the Arabian shore, her hair tangled with mangrove – my husband didn’t kill her, not the way they say he did. What I loved about this book was the subject matter. The story begins in 1967, when Gin, a poor girl from Oklahoma, marries the hometown golden boy, Mason. Their life is turned upside down when he is offered a job with the Arabian American Oil Company in Saudi Arabia. They move into a gated compound where they can live an opulent American lifestyle amongst strict religious and social standards. I really liked the relationships between the characters in this book – trying to strike a balance between classes and genders in a world where they don’t really mix. What I didn’t love about this book: the ending. I was so emotionally involved with all the characters and plot lines, and it just…ended. No resolution. Damn that’s frustrating! But overall, I liked it enough to recommend it.

Check out the rest of my post to read my thoughts The Shoemakers Wife and The Tea Rose. Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

50 Shades withdrawal? I have the cure. Part 2.

Well, thanks to the popularity of our previous 50 Shades Withdrawal post (thanks, Google), I was given even more fabulously sexy book recommendations. So I’ve read a few SEVEN more on the list and thought it was time to share! And in case you care, I have read a few other books on my must-read list in between all the romances, including In The Kingdom of Men (great story but no closure), The Shoemakers Wife (loved it) and The Tea Rose (really loved it).

As you may know, I interviewed Bared to You author Sylvia Day a few months ago. It was so lovely to chat with her, and to be totally honest, reflecting upon all these books I’ve read (which are all kind of blending together) Bared to You has risen to the top of my list. I’ve re-read it several times and I am beyond excited for the sequel Reflected in You, which will be released on October 2nd. Can’t wait!!

Ok, let’s get down to business! And don’t forget to check out Part 1Part 3 and Part 4 of this list!

Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens 50 Shades Effortless by S.C. Stephens 50 Shades

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Got 50 Shades withdrawal? I have the cure.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know we’re obsessed with 50 Shades. So when I finished the series, as much as I wanted move on to another book on my very long must-read list, I just found myself wanting more sex romance. There is something about these sexy, clingy, codependent, modern romances that I can’t get enough of. And the powerful, controlling, non-committal men with issues and the women they are so desperate to be with, and be saved by, that they completely change their ways.

So, thanks to the Kindle store’s recommendations (and the Goodreads 50 Shades Support Group), I found a lot of books similar to 50 Shades. And I’ve taken it upon myself to read FIVE of them so I can provide a recap for you. You’re welcome. (I know, I have issues.)

Here’s my take on what I’ve read so far. More to come, I’m sure.

UPDATE: Check out more sexy reads in Part 2Part 3, and Part 4.

Beautiful Disaster Jamie McGuire book cover Bared to You: A crossfire novel Sylvia day book cover Love Unscriped book cover Tina Reber

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