Thursday, February 15, 2018

Review: Lake + Manning by Jessica Hawkins

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Title: Lake + Manning
Author: Jessica Hawkins
Series: Something In The Way #4
Version Reviewed: ARC, eBook
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

GoodReads Synopsis:
The final book in the Something in the Way series, a love saga.
Manning and I have what happily-ever-after is made of . . .
A home he built us on the unshakeable foundation we fought for.
A life of laughter carved out of heartache and betrayal.
A love story to stand the test of time.
But between a trust that can’t be broken, joy that can’t be bridled, and passion that would scorch the sun, the empty spaces are becoming more and more difficult to ignore . . .
Fears that keep Manning up at night as he slips from our bed.
Our complicated relationship with a man he respects and one I don't know how to forgive.
And a sprawling, beautiful home with one small room I'm afraid I'll never be able to fill.
Manning and I have what happily-ever-after is made of . . .
But I'll beg the heavens for just one thing more.
Man, oh man. Or should I say man, oh Manning? Hah, see what I did there? ;) Okay, okay but I couldn't resist.

I honestly don't think I have read a series that has hit me this hard in years.  From the very beginning of book one I was addicted, hung on every word, eager to find out what was going to happen next and how things would unfold for Lake and Manning. I was rooting for them from the first moment she saw him sitting on that brick wall. Throughout each book, I followed along the rollercoaster of a relationship that these two have and every single way that they have impacted the lives around them. It's been an emotional, insanely beautiful ride and I can't believe that it has just come to an end.

I wasn't sure how Jessica was going to end the great saga of Birdy and her Bear but I knew that there was no way I would be disappointed in how their story was going to turn out. This ride was too beautiful and too hard fought for it to turn out any way other than perfect.

Lake + Manning was was full of emotional twists and turns that unfortunately come about in real life and, though their relationship is insanely beautiful and meant to be, it's also been full of heartache and pain and this book was no different. Though I can't really relate to Lake in any other way, I found myself relating to her on a deeply personal level in this book as she ended up dealing with some of the same issues that I had in the early parts of my marriage. It was refreshing to have a main character that dealt with some of the same issues that I have dealt with in the past and one that felt so real and like a real woman with real world problems.

The way this book went was phenomenal. I really enjoyed the way that the author broke the story up and made it into different parts. It allowed the reader to truly discover the events of Lake and Manning's life and how they and their relationship changed over the course of many years.

I honestly don't know what else to say about this book other than it was simply beautiful. If you're a fan of starcrossed romance, or just romance in general, I highly suggest you read this series. I don't think you'll regret it.

Lake + Manning was a perfect end to a truly epic love story.

Rating: 5 Stars

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Behind The Screen: A Book Blogger Tag!

Image and book tag courtesy of the lovely Amber @ Du Livre!

Hi, I'm Darcus!
I run Rainy Days and Pajamas!
Here's a little bit about me.

When did you start blogging and what was your first review?
I first began blogging in June of 2011 but not on this blog. I started with a blog called Starcrossed Reviews (inspired by Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini!) but a few years later I decided I wanted to completely rebrand and I opened up Rainy Days and Pajamas! My first review (posted on Starcrossed Reviews) was Marked by PC & Kristin Cast.
Marked (House of Night, #1)
Who/what inspired you to start blogging?
I remember looking up information for a book one day and I randomly stumbled upon a book blog. I had been reading a Enjoying The Small Things for a while and I figured, hey, I read a ton of books so why not start a blog of my own!?  I was also in a pretty bad place, emotionally and mentally, at the time. I had just suffered an ectopic pregnancy after trying for years for a baby, my husband and I were living in a friend's basement, and I was dealing with crippling anxiety/depression. Book blogging became a sort of escape for me.

What is a blog-related goal that you have?
I honestly don't have many goals when it comes to book blogging. I enjoy reading, I enjoy helping out authors and sharing news and information about great books. And honestly, I really just enjoy doing my own thing. I guess if I had to pick something that I would like to work towards, it would be respect. I've been pretty lax about blogging since I started, not keeping a good schedule, not posting for weeks at a time, missing tours, not keeping deadlines, etc. But, in the last two years, I've managed to completely turn myself and my blog around in that area and I would eventually like to garner the respect of bigger authors and publishing companies.

What was your biggest blog-related accomplishment?
Other than getting myself back on track in every area that I mentioned above, there hasn't really been any great accomplishments. I've kind of unintentionally flown under the radar since I started out.

What types of posts do you enjoy writing?
I love love LOVE doing giveaways.

Where do you usually blog? What does your setup look like?
I would normally say in our office/library. I used to have it set up so beautifully and then we moved and I still haven't gotten my desk cleaned up and organized. But for my birthday this past year my husband built me a little desk that is the perfect size for my laptop and it scoots right up under the couch and is the perfect height for me.

What was your last 5-star read?
Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols.

What was your last 1-star read?
I very rarely give these ratings out. I seriously had to go all the way back to early 2015 to find my last 1-star rating. And it was Harriet The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. I was a huge fan of the movie growing up but when I read the book to my daughter, I vowed to never read it to her again (she can read it on her own when she's older, I don't believe in banning books, ya'll) unless she is mature enough to understand that Harriet was not of great character and didn't treat others well. She literally learned nothing  by the end of the book and was just a spoiled brat.

What are three words that make you pick up a book?
Yeah, that last one isn't technically a word, but I'm going to count it.

What is your Hogwarts house?

What is your favorite reading environment?
On a cozy couch or chair, light throw blanket, light rainy day with a window open.

What advice would you give to new bloggers?
Don't take everything too seriously. Read to have fun and try not to let blogging ruin your love of it. As much as you enjoy it, it can get tiring. 
Also, don't get so excited when you start getting free books that you request or accept way more than you can handle. You'll spend the rest of you book blogging experience regretting it, trust me.
Lastly, have fun and enjoy it!

Happy Valentine's Day & A Giveaway!

This graphic was designed by FreePik but edited by me to fit my content.

One winner will receive a $10 gift card to the Rainy Days and Pajamas used book shop.
Check out the current books and swag available for purchase here

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