Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Review: Toxic Game by Christine Feehan

April 2nd, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Purchased

Publication date: March 5, 2019

Publisher: Berkley

Series: Ghostwalkers #15

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

On a rescue mission in the heart of the Indonesian jungle, Dr. Draden Freeman and his GhostWalker team need to extract the wounded as quickly as possible—or risk spreading a deadly virus unleashed by a terrorist cell. When Draden gets infected, he forces his team to leave him behind. He won’t risk exposing anyone else. He intends to find the ones responsible and go out in a blaze of glory….

Shylah Cosmos’s mission is to track the virus and remain unseen. Her enhanced senses tell her that the gorgeous man eradicating the terrorists one by one is a GhostWalker—and his lethal precision takes her breath away. When he’s hit by a lucky shot, she can’t stop herself from stepping in, not knowing that by saving his life she’s exposed herself to the virus.

There’s no telling how much time Draden and Shylah have left. Racing to find a cure, they quickly realize that they’ve found their perfect partner just in time to lose everything. But even as the virus threatens to consume their bodies, they’ve never felt more alive.

My Thoughts

I started this series years ago and was totally addicted to it but I started to drift away from it at some point. The story lines just haven’t gripped me the way the early books did but I happen to pick up the recent books from the library and got sucked back in. I ordered this one on release day and it was a great pick.

I enjoyed both Peony’s and Draden’s characters and their situation makes you think about how would you behave in their situation. If you knew you were going to die a painful life, how would you spend your last days. I also liked how much Peony and Draden respected each other’s abilities. Often in these types of books the hero can easily tip over into too much macho, protect the lady despite how capable she is, type of personality. However, Draden struck that perfect balance. He had a few understandable moments of wanting to save Peony but I think those were understandable reactions so they didn’t feel overbearing.

Another great thing about this story is despite Peony and Draden having to be isolated due to their illness we still got to see several of the characters from earlier books. I always love seeing how the couples from earlier books are doing. All in all I am glad I came back to this series.

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Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance | No Comments »

Review: The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins

March 26th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Purchased

Publication date: February 28, 2017

Publisher: Savio Republic

Rating: ★★★½☆

About the book

Throughout your life, you’ve had parents, coaches, teachers, friends and mentors who have pushed you to be better than your excuses and bigger than your fears. What if the secret to having the confidence and courage to enrich your life and work is simply knowing how to push yourself?

Using the science of habits, riveting stories and surprising facts from some of the most famous moments in history, art and business, Mel Robbins will explain the power of a “push moment.” Then, she’ll give you one simple tool you can use to become your greatest self.

It takes just five seconds to use this tool, and every time you do, you’ll be in great company. More than 8 million people have watched Mel’s TEDx Talk, and executives inside of the world’s largest brands are using the tool to increase productivity, collaboration, and engagement.

In The 5 Second Rule, you’ll discover it takes just five seconds to:

Become confident
Break the habit of procrastination and self-doubt
Beat fear and uncertainty
Stop worrying and feel happier
Share your ideas with courage

The 5 Second Rule is a simple, one-size-fits-all solution for the one problem we all face —we hold ourselves back.

The secret isn’t knowing what to do—it’s knowing how to make yourself do it.

My Thoughts

I waffled between a 3 and a 4 star rating for this book because it’s a great concept and I can see how it can help but I’m not sure it required an entire book. I have listened to Mel Robbins on a couple podcasts so that may have also contributed to why the book felt so repetitive to me but I honestly feel like you can get the basics of this book from listening to Mel Robbins online.

Once she goes over the basics of why the 5-4-3-2-1 method works I felt like the bulk of the book were just examples of how people applied it to their lives. So if you are the type of person who gets inspired by reading real life testimonials you will probably enjoy this book. Otherwise, I think you can get by on watching her videos.

Memorable lines from the book…

“The counting distracts you from your excuses and focuses your mind on moving in a new direction.”

“The more that you believe that you are in control of your life, your actions and your future, the happier and more successful you’ll be.”

“Right before we’re about to do something that feels difficult, scary or uncertain, we hesitate. Hesitation is the kiss of death. You might hesitate for a just nanosecond, but that’s all it takes. That one small hesitation triggers a mental system that’s designed to stop you. And it happens in less than—you guessed it—five seconds.”

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Posted in 3 Star Books, 4 Star Books | No Comments »

Review: Huge Deal by Lauren Layne

March 3rd, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Purchased

Publication date: February 12, 2019

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Series: 21 Wall Street #3

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the Book

An alpha among the wolves of Wall Street, Kennedy Dawson rose to the top of the pack by striking the right contracts at the right times. But there’s one deal that’s been giving him a run for his money—a pact to never again let his assistant, Kate, get under his skin. She may be smart, gorgeous, and sharp as a whip, but she’s definitely off-limits.

Kate Henley isn’t a banker, but she knows a thing or two about risk management—specifically, about managing her attraction to her smolderingly sexy boss. She already fell once, and Kennedy showed no sign of paying a return on her investment. So when Kennedy’s brother starts pursuing her, Kate figures she has the best of both worlds. Jack is charming, rich, very attentive, and the spitting image of his older brother.

It’s also making Kennedy think twice. But to win Kate’s heart, he’ll have to broker the deal of a lifetime…and prove he’s worth the risk.

My Thoughts

This is another winner of a series from Lauren Layne. I’ve enjoyed every single book and I was dying to read Kennedy’s story. I love Kennedy and watching Kate throughout the previous two books had me on pins and needles to see how she and Kennedy would finally come together. I honestly would love to be Kate. She’s cute, uber-competent but relatable in that she can be slightly socially awkward at times plus she gets the super sweet, sexy guy. There wasn’t quite the same amount of external drama going on as in the first two books. The story focuses mainly on watching Kennedy slowly become aware of Kate as more than just his capable assistant and wondering if he missed his chance with her. It was lovely watching the two of them dance around each other and finally come together. I am hoping we get to see Kennedy’s brother, Jack, get his HEA as well. He was one of my favorite supporting characters.

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Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Contemporary | No Comments »

Review: Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne

February 19th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Purchased

Publication date: August 25, 2015

Publisher: Loveswept

Rating: ★★★★☆


About the book

When Parker Blanton meets Ben Olsen during her freshman year of college, the connection is immediate—and platonic. Six years later, they’re still best friends, sharing an apartment in Portland’s trendy Northwest District as they happily settle into adult life. But when Parker’s boyfriend dumps her out of the blue, she starts to wonder about Ben’s no-strings-attached approach to dating. The trouble is, even with Ben as her wingman, Parker can’t seem to get the hang of casual sex—until she tries it with him.

The arrangement works perfectly . . . at first. The sex is mind-blowing, and their friendship remains as solid as ever, without any of the usual messy romantic entanglements. But when Parker’s ex decides he wants her back, Ben is shocked by a fierce stab of possessiveness. And when Ben starts seeing a girl from work, Parker finds herself plagued by unfamiliar jealousy. With their friendship on the rocks for the first time, Parker and Ben face an alarming truth: Maybe they can’t go back. And maybe, deep down, they never want to.

My Thoughts

Lauren Layne has quickly become one of my favorite authors and I love the best friends to lovers trope so this book really checked all the boxes for me. I loved Parker and Ben’s relationship both as best friends and as a couple. They were adorable together and the interaction between the two totally drew me in. I felt the pacing for the majority of the book was spot on and I finished this book in almost one sitting (I had to take a break to actually go to work. lol.).

The main reason I took one star off was Parker turned me off a bit towards the end when she is totally clueless about how her words really affected Ben. For two best friends who were supposed to be so in tune with each other and know each other so well, it took a woman Parker despised to actually get to the root of Ben’s insecurities. Knowing Ben like she is supposed to I expected Parker to have a bit more insight into Ben’s non-romantic feelings.

Ben on the other hand really held my heart because despite being good looking, great at his job and an overall sweetheart of a guy he still had his own insecurities. It was touching to see and added an extra layer of depth to his character that made me totally fall for him.

This is a quick read. Yes, it’s predictable but it’s oh so fun to read!

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Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Contemporary, New Adult | No Comments »

Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

February 13th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books
Source: Borrowed from the library
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Publication date: October 14, 2014

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

About the book

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international best seller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home – and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

My Thoughts

I never thought I would read this book. A friend had mentioned it a year or so ago and the thought of things that “spark joy” seemed a little too new age to me. However, after getting sucked into the Netflix series I was inspired to pull all my clothes out and even though I didn’t necessary use the joy method, just the inspiration to pull EVERYTHING out did wonders. There was stuff that hung in my closet and has been through multiple moves without ever being worn. I went through every piece of clothing and thought about did I really like it, did it fit and would I actually wear it vs just liking the style. I ended up getting ride of 3 trash bags worth of clothing and refolded everything using her method. That folding method alone was gold for me. Things fit so much nicer and now I can see all my clothing versus only the top 3 layers of shirts like when they were stacked up. It’s almost like having a new wardrobe now with all the clothes I had forgotten I had.

After reading a CNN article talking about how the show naturally own scratches the surface I figured I should give the book a chance because I do want to tackle the other parts of my house. I borrowed it from the library and while the sparking joy still seems a little too out there for me she does offer some other practical nuggets. I used to do the I’ll tidy one spot or get rid of one item at a time method of tidying my house and it never works. Reading her reasoning about why this doesn’t work really does make sense and it has inspired me to go home and want to tackle each of the areas she talks about.

All in all, this was an easy read, some good tips and was inspirational to kick off a tidying bug.

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Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Blog Tour: In the Dog House by Traci Hall Excerpt + Giveaway

February 11th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

About the Book:

Ten years ago, Jackson Hardy joined the Marines, leaving behind a woman he still dreams about. When he’s called home to care for his ten-year-old nephew, no one is more shocked than he to run into Emma again. Or to still have those same feelings. But Jackson isn’t looking for love, and neither is Emma, especially not with him. His precocious nephew, though, and a retriever named Bandit, are about to change that.

So what if Emma Mercer is an overachiever? She has plans to get her doctorate in psychology and create a no-kill shelter for the EST dogs she trains. Which leaves absolutely no time for romance. She’s fine with a furry family—dogs don’t teach you to love and then rip your heart to shreds. But young Matty’s situation tugs at her heartstrings and there’s no way she can’t help him…and Jackson.

She may have hotter-than-ever chemistry with the soldier, but forgetting the past isn’t easy.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | AppleBooks | Kobo

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“I’ll tell you a secret,” he said in her ear. “You are the woman I dream about, when things are quiet and I’m looking up at the stars. It’s you, on our place at the beach, snuggled together under a blanket.”

Her heart cracked at his admission. “Why?” Why hadn’t he told her that before now?

He wouldn’t let her turn around to look at him as he finished his confession. “I knew that I’d hurt you that day, and I never forgave myself for it. I promised that I would be the best soldier I could be, to make the sacrifice worthwhile.”

It was a good thing that she was sitting down already, because his words took all strength from her body and left her speechless. Vulnerable.

Tears spilled over and splashed on his hand. “Em?”

His eagle tattoo flexed as he shifted and tightened his arm around her, but she hid her face. “Why didn’t you talk to me about this?”

He scooted backward and came around to face her, on his knees, sitting back on his heels. “It wouldn’t have changed anything, don’t you understand? But I never stopped loving you.”

He tilted his head so that their mouths were inches apart, his eyes staring deep into hers as if demanding that she see his feelings for her—and she did. It made her head swim, and she clasped his shoulder to steady herself. The shield around her heart buffeted in the storm of her emotions.

“I’ve never met anyone like you.” He feathered his lips across hers, and Emma sighed at the longed-for contact of his mouth. They kissed, and she didn’t care who watched in the crowd. She reveled in the rightness of it, ignoring the wrong.

“Just being here with you eases something in me.” He tucked her close.

As if by silent agreement they watched the world from their blanket, content to be together for this moment with no expectations.

As the sunset faded to dusk and then into night, the white caps of the Cascades glowed in the moonlight. By nine, the music stopped, and the fireworks were set to begin. Jackson made sure they sat hip to hip. Her body hummed at the heat of his thigh next to hers, the touch of his pinky finger skimming her hand. Casual. Electric. God, how she craved more.

Fireworks sparked before them, and she jumped back, her hand to her throat as she laughed nervously. Bandit and Matthew raced over to the blanket, Bandit dropping the slobbery Frisbee in her lap.

Jackson met her gaze, a smile dancing along that sexy mouth, his eyes promising a million pleasures—later.

Later. Emma grinned and hugged Bandit close. She didn’t know what the future might bring, and even if it wasn’t a happy outlook, she couldn’t turn her back on what she felt right now. One day at a time


  • $15 Amazon Gift Card

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Meet the Author:

My name is Traci Hall and I love to write…sounds like the beginning step of a program!However, I am not sorry that I love to write, so I guess I’m in it for the long haul. Finger cramps, slumped back and numb feet from sitting all day aside, there is nothing I would rather do than tell stories. Hearing back from readers makes it all worthwhile.

Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Posted in Blog Tour, Contemporary, Romance | No Comments »

Review: Still of Night by Jonathan Maberry

February 8th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books
Source: Purchased
Publisher: JournalStone
Publication date: November 9, 2018
Series: Dead of Night #3

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

The dead rose. We fell. 

But not everyone thinks the war for survival is over. Heroes rise in times of crisis, and STILL OF NIGHT tells their stories… 

DAHLIA -a bullied high school girl with a love for edged weapons goes from victim to powerful leader as the zombie apocalypse sweeps through her world. 

RACHAEL ELLE -continues her journey from comic-con cosplayer to actual hero as she encounter a community with a dark and terrible secret. 

CAPTAIN JOE LEDGER and his best shooters, TOP and BUNNY, head to an overrun San Diego to try and save a possible cure for the virus that is bringing the dead back to unnatural life. 

And in the wilderness, Joe, Dahlia, and Rachael Elle will come face-to-face with savage gangs, an army of the living dead, and the mysterious and deadly OLD MAN CHURCH. 

The final battle unfolds in a little town called Happy Valley, where the residents have found their own unique and terrible way to survive the end of the world. But a war is coming, and no one will escape the last great war between the living and the dead. 

STILL OF NIGHT is the fourth book in NY Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry’s bestselling DEAD OF NIGHT series. George A. Romero called DEAD OF NIGHT and its sequel, FALL OF NIGHT, “The official prequel to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD as far as I’m concerned.” 

My Thoughts

I love all of Jonathan Maberry’s books. Whether they be his YA Rot & Ruin series, the adult Joe Ledger books or the Dead of Night series, they are all favorites of mine. The only reason I didn’t give this one 5 stars was that it had a few short stories before leading into the main book and while I loved the main story not all of the short stories hit the mark for me. The main one I had issue with was Rachael’s story. I had enjoyed her first appearance at a Comic Con but I couldn’t get into her short story or feel it really added anything to the over arcing storyline. I did enjoy seeing her in the longer story when she meets up with Joe Ledger so it might have just been the style of the short story.

Other than that I loved the rest of the book. I was a little leery about Dahlia but watching how her character evolves is amazing especially once we she comes under Mr. Church’s tutelage. And speaking of Mr. Church, I was so excited to see him make an appearance in this book. As I mentioned above I love the Joe Ledger series and seeing some of those characters weaving into this series has been great. I’m hoping at some point we see more of what happens with Top and Bunny.

I also really enjoyed reading the overview of the timeline of where all the series fell and it makes it that much more amazing see where Joe Ledger had started off and his experiences through out this entire zombie apocalypse. He really ties all the series together so nicely and I really look forward to more books.

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Review: The Wrong Highlander by Lynsay Sands

February 6th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books
Source: Received for review
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication date: January 29, 2019
Series: Highland Brides #7

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book

Lady Evina Maclean has heard much about Rory Buchanan’s skill as a healer. What she hasn’t heard is how good the brawny Highlander looks bathing in a waterfall. But Evina can’t afford the distraction, for her ailing father urgently needs care. Only when she’s rendered Buchanan unconscious and dragged him back to her family’s castle does the truth emerge—it’s not Rory she’s kidnapped but his brother Conran.

Other ladies try to ensnare Conran with flattery. Evina hits him over the head with the hilt of her sword to save her kin—and Conran likes the spirited redhead all the more for it. He’s learned enough from his brother to heal Evina’s father, but there are other dangers swirling around the Maclean clan. And while the beautiful, independent lady has sworn not to marry, this wrong Highlander may be just the right man for her.

My Thoughts

Hard to believe this is book 7 in the series. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and this one didn’t disappoint. Where as some series become stale after the first books the Highland Brides series definitely doesn’t suffer from this.

Both Conran and Evi were likeable characters and I loved watching the interplay between the two. Evi is an independent woman who is still able to admit when she is wrong which I loved. So many headstrong female characters feel the need to stand by idiotic actions just to prove they’re independent. Evi is candid and I really admired her. While Conran didn’t knock Aulay down from being my favorite of the brothers he was still a fun character. He had a good heart though a bit clueless when it comes to dealing with women in certain matters but luckily Aulay shows up and sets him straight.

The story line itself moves along at a good pace though the mystery of who is threatening Evi was more of a background plot for me. I enjoyed more watching Conran and Evi circling each other and finally falling for one another. The supporting cast of characters was wonderful. I laughed over some of Evi’s father’s antics and we got to see the other Buchanan siblings and their spouses which I loved. Really an enjoyable story and one of my favorites from the series.

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Posted in 5 Star Books, Books, Historical Fiction, Romance | No Comments »

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