book review · Family

Awaken by Denese Shelton {Review}


Sierra is a successful real estate agent living a comfortable life. But she has a secret so painful that she has erected emotional walls around her heart that block anyone from getting close.

Then the dreams begin. In one, Sierra is running from the sound of dogs barking and men chasing her in the darkness; in another, she’s in a field, lashes coming down on her back; in many, she is a woman of faith named Dorothy, fighting for civil rights. Sierra tries to ignore the dreams and continue with life as usual―but the more she disregards them , the longer and deeper she sleeps, and soon the long nights begin to affect her work and sanity. Finally, she seeks the help she needs.

The more she works to understand the nature of and reason for her dreams, the more freedom Sierra feels in her own life. Doors to relationships with other people open. She meets a client that could be the love of her life. And soon, she has a decision to make: she can be who she has always been, living in fear; or she can be Dorothy, allow the dreams to show her who she really is, reconnect with God, and fill the void in her spirit.


When I first started this story I did not think that I would like it. It is not a genre that I ever read and the story itself just didn’t interest me or catch my attention. It was when I got to chapter three that my interest was finally piqued and I started to enjoy the story. This chapter begin to show that there was more to Sierra than what I was seeing in the first two chapters and that made me happy.

Sierra is a woman who thinks she has dealt with a terrible past by burying it deep within herself. She is also a woman who is willing to do what it takes to be successful even if it means ignoring your true passion. In my opinion, burying her secret and her desire to paint both contributed to the stress that she was experiencing with her dreams.  She was guarded that she didn’t even want to let her own family know what had happened to her or what was currently going on with her. She would not even allow herself to consider an alternate career choice even if it would be one that would make her happier.

This story shows how strong a lack of faith can affect your life and how keeping secrets can affect your life and your health. Sierra didn’t know how to be happy, she didn’t know what it was like to be carefree.

Steve, along with seeing a therapist allowed Sierra to see that there was more to life than just existing and being successful. She learned that it is okay to be happy, and it is okay to have someone in your life who knows about your past and is willing to grow with you. I was especially proud when Sierra opened up to her family about her secret and their response to it.

Even though this is not a book that I would have gone searching for, I believe that it served its purpose with me. I received this book from BookSparks as part of their Pop Up Blot Tour in exchange for an honest review. I am glad that I decided to finish this story even if it did start off uninteresting to me. I would like to see more work from this author. This novel was a great palette cleanser since I have been reading quite a few thrillers lately. Thank you again to BookSparks for this opportunity.


3.5 Stars


Available now in ebook and paperback

book review · Family

The Secret Lives of Royals by Shalini Dua{Review}

Goodreads Blurb:

Olivia can’t take it anymore. She’s had enough of the big city and it’s lack of fulfilling her dreams. Then, just when she’s about to give up and move home, out of the blue, she is offered her dream job. Olivia is suspicious but that could just be the New York in her. She decides not to pull at threads. Despite her best efforts to remain blissfully oblivious, the secret to her life upgrade is soon uncovered when she finds herself invited to be part of a secret society.

Olivia learns that there is a thin curtain separating our world from theirs. Just beneath the surface, an entirely different one exists. One that is controlled by those of Royal lineage. The chosen ones, the Royals, hold the fate of the world in their hands. Will Olivia be able to bear the weight of the crown?

Confessions of a Shopaholic meets The Adjustment Bureau, this contemporary fairytale is both relatable and aspirational. Taking a look at the current balance of media and power with a healthy dose of humor, fashion, food and wanderlust.  

My Review:

This book has a very rom-com feel to it. Which was okay for me because I am a sucker for a good romantic comedy. It put me in the mind frame of Princess Diary meets The Devil Wears Prada.

The book started off very enjoyable but then towards the middle it started dragging along and I felt that the ending was rushed.

Olivia is a very cute character with a decent storyline. Classic girl who hasn’t found her place in life and just as she is giving up, her life makes a drastic change. She has finally gotten over a college love and has fallen into the career of her life. While she is taking this new lifestyle in, her world becomes flipped upside down and of course that old love pops back up in the craziest place.  I was hoping that the forward at the beginning of the book would have had more of an influence throughout the story but it didn’t until the end. I admit that it did bring everything together just not in the way I wanted it to be brought together.

I would recommend this book at a good palate cleanser if you need to read something that doesn’t require much thought and you are in between books.

I received this book from Booksparks as part of their Pop-Up Blog tour.


2.5 Stars


This book is available in ebook and paperback