Thirsty: An Eastside Brewery Novel by Mia Hopkins


source: free ARC via NetGalley/Randomhouse/LoveSwept
title: Thirsty: An Eastside Brewery Novel
author: Mia Hopkins/ Twitter
published: March 13, 2018
pages: 254
genre: contemporary steamy romance
first lines: You want a hero. Before we start, you should know-I’m not him. I’m not your hero.
rated: 3 out of 5  1heartred1heartred1heartred

My name is Salvador Rosas. Back in the barrio, my past is written on the walls: ESHB. Short for East Side Hollenbeck, my father’s gang—my gang. Hell, it’s a family tradition, one that sent both my brothers away. They used to call me “Ghost” because I haunted people’s dreams. Now I’ve got nothing going for me except a hipster gringo mentoring me in a new career. An ex-con making craft beer? No mames.

Still, people in this neighborhood look out for one another. That’s how I became Vanessa Velasco’s unwelcome tenant. Chiquita pero picosa. She’s little, but with curves so sweet they’re dangerous. I remember Vanessa from the old days, the straight-A student with big plans. Plans that were derailed by another kid stupid enough to think he was bulletproof. Now Vanessa knows better than to believe in empty promises. There’s fire in her . . . and if I touch her, I might get burned.

I’m trying everything I can to go straight. But when East Side Hollenbeck comes calling, I might have to risk it all to find out if there’s a future for Vanessa and me. Because she’s the only one who can quench my thirst for something real.

my thoughts:
You know how sometimes you don’t realize something right away? I’m trying to think of an example to elaborate further but it eludes me right now.

I have to say right off the bat that Mia Hopkins is a great writer, I enjoyed her writing style and Thirsty: An Eastside Brewery Novel drew me in from page one. This is one of those books you can read in one sitting, I read it in two. The story is told first person POV by Salvador Rosas a.k.a. Ghost. I requested this one from NetGalley because I saw it revolved around Latinos. Being Puerto Rican myself this book intrigued me straight away because the main characters are Latin and I enjoy good romance. I haven’t read a full on romance novel featuring Hispanics before. Like ever. I’ve never really come across any. And I read alot of romance, it is a favorite genre but the couples are usually white. So guess what happened when I finally found a romance novel centering on a Latino couple? Guess.


The hero is a gang-banger. Ghost is Mexican, he has recently finished serving a five-year prison stint for car theft. He’s a janitor now. And duh, this is all in the blurb I know. It didn’t dawn on me until I started reading. I decided to keep reading because like I said the writing was very good. I didn’t like the stereotypes here though and they did bother me. I think the author wrote a good book but it is just that for my first time reading a Latin centered romance, I didn’t like that the hero was a gang-banger. So, I read on and I actually enjoyed the story. I will say, it is a story about getting your life together so the plot was full of hope and redemption.

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Lord of Scoundrels (Scoundrels #3) by Loretta Chase

lord3source: purchased
title: Lord of Scoundrels
author: Loretta Chase
published: Avon (March 30, 1995)
pages: 384
genre: historical romance/classic romance
rated: 5 out of 5 A must read for fans of the genre.


Tough-minded Jessica Trent’s sole intention is to free her nitwit brother from the destructive influence of Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain. She never expects to desire the arrogant, amoral cad. And when Dain’s reciprocal passion places them in a scandalously compromising, and public, position, Jessica is left with no choice but to seek satisfaction…


Damn the minx for tempting him, kissing him… and then forcing him to salvage her reputation! Lord Dain can’t wait to put the infuriating bluestocking in her place—and in some amorous position, And if that means marriage, so be it!—Though Sebastian is less than certain he can continue to remain aloof… and steel his heart to the sensuous, headstrong lady’s considerable charms.

my thoughts:
I have had Lord of Scoundrels sitting in my Nook for many years and I finally got around to reading it. This one is a popular classic in the genre and I had heard nothing but good things about it so I finally dove in. Google “best historical romance novels” and you will probably see this book pop up. This is book 3 in Chase’s Scoundrels Series but can be read as a stand alone. I’ve read Loretta Chase before but this one is my favorite by far.

Look at the original 1995 cover, a tad bit orangey looking for my taste, but so dramatic.
Well, can I say “Oh my gosh, this book!” That about sums it up. It was so good, so entertaining and very swoon-worthy. Books like this are why I love reading romance. Great sexual tension between the hero and the heroine. Check. Alpha male who is gruff and rugged with unconventional good looks, and is often referred to as Beelzebub. Check. I love a hero/anti-hero with a dark-side like that. A heroine who can take care of herself. Check. Nice descriptive backdrop. Check. Plenty of plot twists to keep the story moving. Check.

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Crochet Kaleidoscope Shifting Shapes and Shades Across 100 Motifs by Sandra Eng

source: free ARC via NetGalleyF+W Media/Interweave
kalauthor: Sandra Eng / Instagram
title: Crochet Kaleidoscope: Shifting Shapes and Shades Across 100 Motifs
published: Interweave (January 31, 2018)
pages: 160
genre: crochet patterns/crafting
rated: 5 out of 5 stars

Stitch up a colorful kaleidoscope of crochet!

Explore a lively twist on crocheted motifs as you shift through various shapes and color combinations. From the traditional granny square to more complex forms, these faceted motifs are the building blocks to creating unique and stunning designs. Crochet Kaleidoscope will help make your projects pop with the perfect mix of color in every stitch.

Along with a collection of 100 fresh motifs, this book includes a complete guide to choosing yarn colors, what order to put them in, and how many to include. Plus, get five home decor and accessory patterns including a table runner, pillow, and rug from crochet designer and author Sandra Eng. You can shift shapes and shades to make the perfect piece for your home.

Every turn of the crochet kaleidoscope allows you to get creative with color and apply your own unique personality to your crochet motifs.

my thoughts: I have to say pattern designer Sandra Eng is a wonderful fiber artist and I love her creativity. She says she has a passion for geometry and it is apparent in her work. I was familiar with her crochet through her Instagram account so when I saw that Crochet Kaleidoscope: Shifting Shapes and Shades Across 100 Motifs was available for request through NetGalley, I jumped at the chance.

“Crochet Kaleidoscope was born out of my love of crochet, color and geometry. While most of you likely share my love of crochet and color, my fascination with geometry is perhaps somewhat more obscure. Nevertheless, I imagine that many of you also find delight in the ways you can combine crocheted shapes to create intricate and exquisite tapestries.” -Sanda Eng

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Survive the Night (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit #3) by Katie Ruggle

source: free ARC via Netgalley and Sourcebooks
title: Survive the Night (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit 3)
author: Katie Ruggle{Twitter}
surpages: 352
published: February 6th 2018 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
genre: romantic suspense
first line: “Alice!”
rated: 3 out of 5

He’s always been a haven:
For the lost. The sick. The injured.
But when a hunted woman takes shelter in his arms, this gentle giant swears he’ll do more than heal her battered spirit—he’ll defend her with his life.

K9 Officer Otto Gunnersen always had a soft spot for anyone in need. As Monroe’s very own Dr. Doolittle, he dedicates himself to rehabilitating the injured souls that cross his path—but for all his big heart, he’s never been in love.

Until he meets Sarah Clifton’s haunted eyes. Until he realizes he’ll do anything to save her.

All Sarah wants is to escape a life caught between ambitious crime families, but there’s no outrunning her past. Her power-mad brother would hunt her to the ends of the earth…but he’d never expect Sarah to fight back. With Otto and the whole of Monroe, Colorado by her side, Sarah’s finally ready to face whatever comes her way.

It’s time to take a stand.

my thoughts:
Survive the Night is book three in the Rocky Mountain K9 Unit series Katie Ruggle and as soon as my dog loving self saw the awesome cover and read the blurb my attention was peaked. This author has the “hot cops with dogs” book cover market mastered by the way, take a peek at her website to see for yourself. This installment had its good and its bad parts and I would like to read the first in the series to get a little more backstory. I’m going to pick this one apart a little. This review contains minor spoilers.

This third installment starts off with Alice being held captive by her brother who is planning on marrying her off to a man from the Jovanovic family against her will. He is using her as a pawn. A mysterious man helps Alice escape from her brother’s highly guarded house and she ends up in small town Monroe, Colorado under a new name, Sarah Clifton. Her escape contact connects her with Jules and Grace along with a couple of police officers from the Monroe P.D. Sarah is to live with them until her brother and his goons are captured and she can consider herself officially safe. Jules and Grace were also on the run at one point and victims of the Jovanovic clan.

Enter canine officer Otto Gunnersen who is a viking type teddy-bear who rescues stray animals and cares for them at home. He has a horse, a goat, a cat and a pit-bull mix among others.

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Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick

IMG_6091 (413x550)source: free review copy via LibraryThing
title: Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own
author: Kate Bolick
published: April 21st 2015 by Crown
genre: memoir/non-fiction
pages: 352
rated: 4 out of 5 stars

“Whom to marry, and when will it happen – these two questions define every woman’s existence.”
So begins Spinster, a revelatory and slyly erudite look at the pleasures and possibilities of remaining single. Using her own experiences as a starting point, journalist and cultural critic Kate Bolick invites us into her carefully considered, passionately lived life, weaving together the past and present to examine why­ she – along with over 100 million American women, whose ranks keep growing – remains unmarried.

This unprecedented demographic shift, Bolick explains, is the logical outcome of hundreds of years of change that has neither been fully understood, nor appreciated. Spinster introduces a cast of pioneering women from the last century whose genius, tenacity, and flair for drama have emboldened Bolick to fashion her life on her own terms: columnist Neith Boyce, essayist Maeve Brennan, social visionary Charlotte Perkins Gilman, poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, and novelist Edith Wharton. By animating their unconventional ideas and choices, Bolick shows us that contemporary debates about settling down, and having it all, are timeless – the crucible upon which all thoughtful women have tried for centuries to forge a good life.

Intellectually substantial and deeply personal, Spinster is both an unreservedly inquisitive memoir and a broader cultural exploration that asks us to acknowledge the opportunities within ourselves to live authentically.

my thoughts:
Where to begin?
I acquired an ARC of Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick via LibraryThing back in 2015 and as I have mentioned on my blog recently, I am really trying to get through all my review books this year. So I happily grabbed this one off my shelves and I dove right in. Isn’t the cover pretty?

I have to say straight away that Kate Bolick is a talented writer and that I loved her writing style. She drew me right in, especially as she wrote about her love of being alone and of reading and of books and about her literary heroines. I enjoyed reading about her work as an editor and book reviewer and her New York City life as well.

“I’ve always known that a book will find you when you need to be found; in New York I learned that so did history.”
p.65, Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick

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