Monthly Favorites: September

mll blog

Welcome to my monthly wrap up! I used to do a wrap up of things happening on the blog, but this time I want to share my favorite things from around the web, including author news and favorite blog posts from my friends! This may vary between a few items some months and several things that deserve highlighting other months, depending on what’s caught my eye. Enjoy!

# of books read this month: 4
favorite book of the month: To Have and to Hold by Betsy St. Amant, Katie Ganshert, and Becky Wade
my favorite post of the month: 7 Unforgettable Marriage Proposals
# books acquired: 6
# books added to my TBR: 6

I don’t have much to highlight this month, but here are a couple things that stood out to me!

Rachael @ Rachel’s Reads is a blogger I recently discovered. She has the most hilarious post that combines Jen Turano and Phantom of the Opera. It got a pretty good laugh out of me, and we all know how much I love POTO, right?!?!

Becky Wade is busy working on her next novel, True to You. Yay!

My Most Anticipated Releases in October:

What were your highlights in September?

7 Unforgettable Marriage Proposals

book-marriage-proposals

I must begin today’s post with a nod to Rissi from Finding Wonderland and her recent post on 14 Memorable and Swoon Worthy Proposals in Period Drama [check it out!].

Her post about period drama proposals inspired me with this idea to share some of my personal favorites. Proposals are some of my favorite scenes in a good novel. The progression of a couple’s relationship culminates in what should be a beautiful proposal scene. After which, their lives continue in eventual wedded bliss and their happily ever afters (obviously and hopefully).

Just so you know, research for this post consisted of rereading my favorite scenes from some of my favorite books. That’s my kind of research.

Without further ado, here are the most memorable proposals I’ve read during my blogging years.

*Spoilers are ahead, so consider yourself warned!!*

Top 7 Book Proposal Superlatives

1. Most Thoughtful Proposal: Once Upon A Prince By Rachel Hauck

“I wanted to get engaged under this tree. Soft white lights swinging from the branches. Maybe a string quartet playing over there. Something special, romantic.”

At the beginning of Once Upon A Prince, Susanna tells a stranger her dreams of a perfect proposal under the Lover’s Oak after the future she has imagined has disappeared. Little did she know that the stranger would change her life forever. And he would propose exactly the way she always imagined it.

2. Most Heart-Wrenching Proposal: In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin

“”Don’t offer you what? Love, marriage, a home? I am. I’m offering you all of that.”

After so much back and forth with Roger and Kay, Roger finally comes to his senses and realizes he loves Kay. And Kay doesn’t believe it and tries to run. What ensues is SO GOOD and it HURTS MY HEART but I painfully read all the way through because I needed to know if they would finally make it. They are one of my favorite couples and I was so happy at the end of this scene.

3. Most Premature Proposal: Together at the Table by Hillary Manton Lodge

“Thank you, everyone, for coming and helping me celebrate this amazing woman.”

So there are two love interests in Together at the Table (although we all know who Juliette was meant to be with), and because of this I will stay somewhat vague about which guy this proposal involves.

He proposes in front of a gathering of friends and family, and that alone would make me uncomfortable. I wouldn’t want to be on display like that, and imagine the pressure to say yes when you’re surrounded by all those people. Don’t want to do anything disappointing or embarrassing, right? As much as I like this character, he just wasn’t right for Juliette, and I felt so bad for him. (Maybe he’ll get his own story someday? Fingers crossed.)

4. Most Spontaneous Proposal: Together at the Table by Hillary Manton Lodge

“I’ve always wanted to get married on a weekday.”

Might as well put both proposals from this book back to back! This one is adorable and I just love everything about is. Juliette finally reunites with the love of her life and they are just the best. They decide they don’t want to part ways again, and then he proposes. Just like that. And she says yes. When you know, you know, right?

5. Most Persistent Proposal: A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander

“I told myself the next time I saw you, whenever, wherever that was, I was going to tell you.”

The word persistent almost feels like it has a negative connotation to it, but I definitely mean this in a positive way. Marcus has this unwavering love for Eleanor and understands her fears. The first time he asked, I personally would have said yes, but Eleanor refused. He proposed a total of four times before getting his bride, and that my friends, is a steadfast man who knew what he wanted and was willing to go the distance.

6. Most Cringe-Worthy Proposal: Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

“I thought up a million reasons to stay away, but I love you.”

This proposal scene is probably the most painful to read. These characters are ones I really, really love, and I would even say this is my favorite book. And this scene is so sad because of all the misunderstandings and secrets that have yet to be revealed. This scene crushes their relationship and it is burned into my brain as one of the most memorable proposals I’ve read to date. Add in the infamous words of Elizabeth Bennet, and this is a scene that will be seared into your memory forever.

7. Most Unprepared Proposal: A Sparrow in Terezin by Kristy Cambron

“I’ve never come close to asking a woman to marry me before. I don’t know how to do it.”

I know how Liam bumbles over his proposal. He doesn’t know what to say but you can tell he has so many emotions bubbling up. This moment happens right before Liam and Kaja part ways, the unknown stretching before them. It is a desperate moment, but they have loved each other for a long time, which makes this scene beautiful and poignant.

And that’s a wrap! I’d love to hear about some of your favorites below!

What are your favorite proposals?

Review: To Have and To Hold | A Novella Collection

To Have and to Hold: Three Autumn Love Stories 
By Betsy St. Amant, Becky Wade, and Katie Ganshert
Zondervan, 2016

Overall Thoughts on the Collection:

This novella collection was fabulous. I enjoyed each story and am so glad I decided to pick this one up. I have grown to love Becky Wade’s writing, and I was also interested in Betsy St. Amant and Katie Ganshert’s work, so this was a no-brainer.

Love Take the Cake by Betsy St. Amant

This was a super cute novella. I loved that Charlotte owned a bakery, and that it was called The Dough Knot. I mean, how cute is that? And I’ve recently developed a interest in foodie novels (I blame Hillary Lodge Manton, who wrote the Two Blue Doors series), so I was definitely loving all the descriptions of cookies, pastries, and lots of wedding cake.

The Perfect Arrangement by Katie Ganshert

Amelia and Nate’s meet-cute was the best. It was, quite literally, an accident. Amelia is adorable and I really felt for her. They end up emailing back and forth for a good portion of the novella, and I absolutely loved it. They made me smile. I happen to adore novels that largely involve letters (epistolary novels). And these emails were perfect. I can easily say this novella is so good, I would put it in my top 3.

Love in the Details by Becky Wade

This one was about Josh and Holly, who broke up years ago and only re-enter each others lives because of a friend’s wedding. So the tension is very strong when they first run into each other. And Holly is a writer, which I really liked reading about. One aspect I really liked was how, even though they broke up years ago, they both had been following each others careers. This novella is also in my top 3 now. And if you’re wondering what the third is now that I’ve named two of these favorites, the third is Melissa Tagg’s Three Little Words.

What are some of your favorite novellas?

13 Bookish Quirks About Me

All readers have certain quirks of their own, don’t they? I like to think I’m not alone in all of these, but even if I am, these are some fun facts about my reading habits.

1. I resist reading my favorite authors’ books when they are newly released because I know I will have to wait another year before the next one. I’d rather wait a few months and then read the new book, because then I feel like I have less time to wait for the next book. But I obviously buy it right away.

2. I love the moment while reading when you find the book title in the story. It always makes me secretly smile to myself for having found it. I also always double check the cover to make sure it matches the title exactly.

3. I will use just about anything as a bookmark: scrap of paper, receipt, clothing tag, napkin. And all my actual bookmarks are in a box that I occasionally pull out to admire.

4. I can spend over an hour in a bookstore and leave empty-handed.

5. My bookshelves are organized first according to publisher, then alphabetically by author last name, and then in the order of publication date. Apparently, I like to be complicatedimg_18436. I like to clean out my shelves pretty regularly. I don’t like to keep the books I don’t like. I’d rather have a few shelves loaded with books I love than a room full of mediocre ones. The ones I don’t like get passed along to friends, in the hopes that they will enjoy what I did not.

7. I don’t like hardback books. Just no.

8. I love when books make me respond outwardly. I’m typically a quiet, keep-to-myself reader, so when a book can pull a laugh, a goofy smile, or tears out of me, that is a special book.

9. Sometimes, if I’m unsure if I’ll like a book, I will check it out of the library to avoid the commitment of buying it. If I end up loving it, I’ll buy my own copy.

10. Personal interactions with authors (via email) always make me love their books even more. Seeing their passion and inspiration makes me more excited about their work.

11. The Help and The Hunger Games are the only book-to-movie adaptations that are as good as their source material.

12. I’ve never listened to an audiobook. I just don’t know if they’re for me. What if the pace throws me off? What if I want to reread a passage I especially liked? Or what if my mind wanders and I miss scenes and need to go back?

13. I totally judge books by their covers, and most of the time, I get it right.

So tell me, what are your bookish quirks? Do you relate to any of mine?