Recent Reads and A New Years Resolution Update

One of my goals this year was to read more and boy have I! I dove into mysteries and a few romance novels so far this year and I wanted to tell you guys all about them! I’ve read a few and others were audio books. I hope you enjoy! Please leave any recommendations you have in the comments below. In addition to my book reviews, I will be giving you all an update on my New Years Goals. : )

  1. The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle. I got the recommendation from southerncurlsandpearls.com She’s an avid reader and I took a few of her suggestions. I finished this book in 2 days. I was hooked from the beginning. There are 32 chapters of romance, suspense and mystery. The Marriage Lie is a story about a couple that just celebrates their 7th wedding anniversary when tragedy strikes. A Seattle bound plane goes down killing everyone on board and amongst the passengers was Will, husband of our main character, Iris. Confused Iris searches for answers because surely there was a mistake. Will was supposed to be on a plane to Orlando. Why would he be on a plane to Seattle? The book leads you through a wife’s journey of figuring out what happened to her husband and trying to find answers but what she finds is unsettling. It’s a great read and it kept me interested the whole time.
  2. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen . I get daily deal emails from Audible and this read was only $1.95. I finished this book in a day. It is fairly short book. Each character is read by a different narrator which brings the story to life. It took me a little while to get into it. It’s a story about a girl named Catherine Morland. She spends half the book in Bath and the last half at the manor of the Tilneys in Northanger Abbey. I enjoyed the language used and the accents of the characters. The way in which these characters spoke drew me in the most. I got a little lost at times though. It’s a book about English pleasantries, social classes, titles, fortune, courtship, carriage rides and tea time. All in all it was pretty boring and I should have stopped after the first couple chapters. Not a recommendation.
  3. Shadow of the Lions by Christopher Swann. First and foremost I love how this book was written. The book starts right away with the disappearance of Matthias’s best friend Fritz. They are at the prep school, Blackburne, in Virginia when Fritz runs into the woods never to be seen again. The books darts forward 10 years later and keeps going back and forth from past to present. The flashbacks helped explain and clarify my questions. 10 years after Fritz disappears, Matthias is invited back to Blackburne to teach an English course. Throughout his time teaching Matthias is simultaneously trying to find answers about what happened to Fritz. As he’s looking for answers he finds truths that should have been left buried. There is so much detail in the beginning and it trails off at the end as if there is a hurry to wrap things up. Overall, a good read.
  4. Hollywood Scandal by Louise Bay is your classic boy falls in love with the girl next door book. Matt, who is a movie star from Hollywood, goes to Maine to shoot a movie. He’s notorious for getting into trouble and thinks that being out in Maine that trouble will not find him. Enter Lana. Lana is a small town girl who hates the spotlight and loves her little cottage by the water. The book gets into it pretty quickly about how they meet and form a relationship. There are very explicit sexual scenes and there are a lot of them. The book goes on about their time together while he is in Maine and how they work around him going back home to California. There is a weak cliffhanger, in my opinion, that has you guessing for a minute. All in all a quick easy read that was enjoyable.
  5.  The Girl On The Train  by Paula Hawkins I listened to this book on audible. It was read by 3 different women, all British, from each women’s perspective. The book starts from the perspective of Rachel, our main character. A women who takes the train into London everyday. On her journey she passes the same houses and stops at the same stops. Daily, she passes a house where a seemingly happy couple lives. She creates a life for them in her head but things are not always as they seem. One day Rachel passes that same house when she sees something. Rachel then inserts herself into the situation to try to help. Maybe she shouldn’t have. Each chapter starts with a date and it was a little difficult to keep up on where I was in the timeline but I caught up. Really great read!

Which book sounds like something you would like to read? Let me know in the comments below! Please leave any recommendations too, I’m on the hunt for my next book already. You can get all these reads on Amazon or through the audible website.

Update on my New Year’s Resolutions. You can see them all in this post here. My goals for the New Year are:
1. Recycle my closet and wardrobe – I’ve done really well at this. My new series, Inspiration Recreation, has been helping me to pull older pieces out of my closet and wear them in a new way. You can check out the series under the Blog > Fashion tab!
2. Stay organized and work ahead so I can have a consistent posting schedule – I bought a new calendar and planner from Brit & Co. and it has helped me tremendously! I have blog posts planned out until the end of July. I’ve never been this organized and it fells really good to stay on top of my posting and know how to plan ahead. I’ve been sticking to a blog post schedule of Tuesdays and Fridays. If things keep progressing as well as they are now I may switch up the schedule to include more!
3. Focus on my mental health – This one was huge for me this year. Even though we are only in the middle of March I feel so much better. I signed up for monthly massages at a place close to my house and I love it. I’ve been using my diffuser almost every night, I use essentials oils all the time for sore muscles or relaxation and I’ve been doing things for me that I really enjoy. Reading has also helped me escape from my anxiety.
4. Read more – As you saw above, I’ve read quite a few books and listened to others. It so nice to get away and get into a good book. I love diving into a fairytale or a mystery for a while to take my mind off of everyday life struggles. I signed up for Audible and you can too, here. They give great recommendations and you can create a wishlist of books that you want to listen to. It’s great!
5. Spend more quality time with my husband – Absolutely. My husband works on Saturdays so I’m usually at home by myself. I’ve devoted my Saturdays to style 608. I do not work on my blog during the week, only when Sean is not at home. It’s been so nice to stick to a schedule and really spend time with him. We’ve seen so many new movies this year, we signed up at the shooting range by our house so we can go shoot on Sundays, we started working on finishing our basement, we are now members of the golf course by our house so I ride along with him when I can, we’ve been out to lunches and dinners and have really been able to talk during the week. We’ve become so much closer and I have a new found appreciation for how hard my husband works. I’ve put the phone down at night and disconnect from social media and this has not only helped my mental health but it allows me to be a better listener.

Whew, this was a long one. I apologize for the lack of images but sometimes it’s really nice to sit down and just write it all out. As always, I appreciate you guys so much and thank you for sticking around and staying engaged. Thank you all so much for reading. Until next time,
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