book review

Because I Had To

Alright, we have taken a break from romance to bring you a book that hits you hard in the feels. Because I Had To is by David Bulitt and is a mystery/ psychological thriller that takes you down the roads you never wanted to go down but knew you had to.

 

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Heat- Not that type of book

Genre- Mystery/ Thriller/ Suspense

Overall Rating Rating- 5/6 Glass Slippers

Jess Porter has not had an easy life. The only person she felt that she could connect with is her father. But now he’s dead and she’s been adopted. However, things aren’t much better for her. After all, how can you possibly get through the day when your perfect twin sister has it all and you’re left with her scraps. She not only struggles academically but socially as well. Naturally, she has been seeing therapists for quite some time. But they don’t seem to be helping as she’s still cutting, still feeling broken, and still feeling unwanted. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. She begins this journey, moving to South Florida, trying to find her birth mother, and hoping that all of the jagged pieces of her life somehow fit together as she learns about some of the secrets of her past. But the question then becomes, will her secrets help her grow, or send her spiraling back down to the place of misery she’s been trying to claw her way out of.

This book especially spoke to me because I am a twin. My brother and I have been compared our entire lives but we are two very different people. I struggle with street smarts and he had issues academically. Our parents tried hard to treat us as two different people, but everyone else would always assume twins are exactly the same. Why couldn’t he get an A in English and why couldn’t I go around the corner from my house without getting lost. I felt that Bulitt accurately portrayed the struggle that you feel when you want to live up to someone else’s life but you just can’t.

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What made this story amazing, was how it didn’t just gloss over the nitty gritty and it wasn’t just teenage angst. Yes, there was plenty of that, but a lot of the issues that Jess was dealing with, are a lot bigger than we usually have to deal with at this age. You see her go through therapy fighting herself to get better.

Fun fact about Bulitt, he is in family law. This book drips of real life scenarios, real outcomes, and real law. I cannot stand it when there are inaccuracies in books and not one thing seemed fabricated or lacking research.

The problem with this book, though it is a quick read, is that it is a heavy read. I guess that’s the downside to handling issues like this. You definitely need to know what you’re starting before you get into it because it is not a fun and light romance. Though, sometimes you do need a break from those.

Give Bulitt a try and be ready to not only be wowed, but to be taken on a journey that may require a tissue or two. But don’t worry, Bulitt throws some funny moments in there from time to time to balance the harder times.

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outlander

An Outlandish Clan History Part4

Are you all caught up on the other three clan posts? Just in case, read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here! While these might not be the biggest clans, they’re your clans, each one sent to me through this blog, or your Facebook comments. Let’s dive right in and learn a little about Scottish clan history.

Clan MacLea/Livingstone

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  • Clan Motto: Cnoc Aingeil- Hill of Fire
  • Alternative Clan Motto: Ni mi e ma’s urrain dhomh- I shall do it if I can
  • Livingstone is the anglicized version of MacLea and came from an area of Scotland.
  • The chief of the MacLea clan has been traditionally called the heir of Siant Moluag. Saint Moluag was a Scottish missionary who is credited with evangelizing to the Picts and may have been the first patron saint of Scotland. He is still the parton saint of Argyll.
  • They weren’t so awesome when it came to battles. They lost almost every one they participated in, usually with heavy losses that decimated their population. Their inability to hold land and numbers for a prolonged period of time may be why they were not officially recognized as a clan until 2003.

Clan MacLaren

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  • Clan Motto: Creag an tuirc- The boar’s rock
  • They are said to be descended from the Fergud MacErc, the founder of the Dál Riate kingdom. Even if they weren’t, they still hold strong ties to the royal families of Scotland.
  • When the MacGregors and Campbells were driven from their lands in the 1500s, they settled in MacLaren lands. When the MacGregors began plundering MacLaren villages, the MacLarens asked the Campbells for help, as they continued to have a large number, but the Campbells refused unless the MacLarens pledged fealty to them.
  • They were very active in the Jacobite uprising of 1745, losing a large number as a result. They also fought at the infamous Battle of Culloden.

Kirkpatrick

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  • Clan Motto: I make sure
    • They do not have a registered, nor an adopted tartan.
  • They are an armigerous Lowland clan, although the term is meant to be used loosely as they have never been recognized, and their name has been interchanged with Kilpatrick throughout history. They have also been septs of the Douglas and Colquhoun and they got their name from Saint Patrick.
  • Roger Kirkpatrick, the cousin of William Wallace and the cousin and attendant of Robert the Bruce. He saved Bruce several times and is credited for leading his men to overtake several castles from the English. After Bruce was crowned, he gifted the crest and motto to Kirkpatrick, which has since been adopted by the clan.

Clan MacInnes

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  • Clan Motto: Ghift dhe agus an righ- By the grace of God and King
  • MacMaster is a variant, as are dozens of other names, and were one of the first clans to settle in Scotland from Ireland. It is possible that these small sects fell under the Macinnes protection and were then adopted.
  • They were accomplished seamen, but moved off of the western coast towards Argyll when the viking raiders became too much for them to handle. Still, they could not escape the vikings and formed an alliance with other small clans known as “Siol Gillebride”,  or the “Seed of the Servant of St. Bride”, under the leadership of a Celtic-Norse warrior named Somerled.
  • The last chief dies in the 14th century and in the 16th, the remaining members of the clan moved the Sleat in the Isle of Skye. They were adopted loosely into some larger clans, such as the Campbells and Mackinnons, and fought on both sides during the Jacobite uprising.

Clan Maxwell

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  • Clan Motto: Reviresco- I grow strong again

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  • Maxwell is another Lowland armigerous clan without a chief.
  • The name comes from “Maccus well”, a poor part of the River Tweed and an old Norse king Maccus.
  • The Lord John Maxwell was very Catholic and participated in the attempts to restore Mary Queen of Scots to the throne. It didn’t go well, but even after Mary was executed, John petitioned Spain for help in restoring Catholicism in Scotland…that didn’t go well either.
  • One of the last Maxwell Lords, William, was a proud Jacobite supporter. After he was captured in battle and imprisoned in the Tower of London, he escaped in such a move way. His wife dressed him up as a servant woman and they just walked right out of there and into Rome like a boss.
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Actual historical footage of William’s escape

The Malcolm/MacCallum Clan

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Clan Motto: In Ardua Tendit- He aims at difficult things

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  • The MacCallums were a separate clan until the 18th century when the MacCallum chief inherited the Malcolm estate, uniting the clans. MacCallum comes from the Gaelic “Mac Ghille Chaluim”, which means, “son of the disciple of Columba”.
  • The clan largely stayed out of large wars and battles, only participating in small skirmishes between clans.
  • Book readers will recognize a variant of this name 😉 BTW here’s a gif of our fav man with Malcolm in his name…
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yes, please

The Hay Clan

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  • Clan Motto: Serva Jugum- Keep the Yoke
  • War Cry: A Hay! A Hay!
  • The Hay clan came from Normandy, with the original name of Haye. They settles throughout Scotland.
  • They were staunch Catholics and fought Protestant rule throughout history, constantly trying to overthrow Queen Elizabeth with Spain’s help and even trying to convert King Edward I. There were even Hays involved in the Hundred Year’s War under Joan of Arc.
  • They supported the Jacobites in both rebellions, but became loyal British citizens when they failed.

Clan Rose

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  • Clan Motto: Constant and True
  • Unrelated to Clan Ross, they came from the de Bisset and the de Bosco families of Ros Normandy.
  • They were very politically savvy. They expanded their lands through good marriages and royal favor. They were very close to Robert the Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots. It’s said that her own son, King James VI, thought of Hugh Rose, the chief, as a father. But the clan was split during the Jacobite rebellions. Since many of them supported the British, they didn’t have many issues after the rebellion ended.
  • Kilravock castle housed the chiefs of Clan Rose from the 13th century until 2012, when it was gifted to a Christian group.

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Clan MacQuarrie

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  • Clan Motto: An T-arm Breac Dearg- The Red Tartaned Army (Also used as a war cry)
  • Clan Motto #2: Turris fortis mihi Deus- God is to me a tower of strength

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  • They are one of the oldest of the Highland clans and are descended from both the kings of the Picts and the Dál Riata. In fact, they can be traced back to Kenneth MacAlpine, who was the first King of Scotland.
  • They owned many islands in the Scottish Hebrides and had powerful allies in Clan MacLean.
  • Since they don’t have an active chief, and haven’t since the 1700s, they’re technically an armigerous clan. The last chief had crazy debts and sold off a bunch of clan lands, then joined the British army. So if you’re a part of this clan and want to do some digging, see if you’re in the line and can prove a direct link back to a former chief. This Clan is too interesting to let go on without a chief.
  • BTW here’s a pic of Taran MacQuarrie, the leader of the Watch, who was hanged at Wentworth Prison. He wasn’t in the books, but was created for the TV series.

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The Erskine Clan

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  • Clan Motto: Decori decus addit avito- He adds honour to that of his ancestors

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  • They got their name from an area called Erskine, which may mean “green rising ground” in ancient British.
  • They were very politically influential. Great supporters of the Bruce clan, they intermarried, gained great favor, and many Erskkine leaders were given political power within the cabinet when Robert the Bruce was named king. They also had a great hand in putting Robert II, Robert the Bruce’s grandson, on the Scottish throne. That means they basically created the Stewart line of succession.
  • John Erskine, the leader of the clan during the Jacobite rebellion was known for changing his alliances like the wind, to keep his clan in favor of the winning side. At one point, he went to London, where he felt slighted by the English king. So John was all all “F*ck them!” and went home and immediately raised an army for the Jacobites.
  • It’s said that John Erskine now haunts Culross Palace, an old holding of his BFF the Bruce Clan. The palace, and the surrounding area, was used for shooting locations for Outlander. This includes Geillis’s parlor, the village of Crainsmure, and the herb garden the two time traveling women meet.

The Hunter Clan

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  • Clan Motto: Cursum Pericio- I have completed the course

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  • The Hunters are of viking stock. They came with Rollo to Paris in 896 and stayed on in the area, following the powerful nobles of Normandy, but went to Scotland with King David I in the 1100s, where they finally settled.
  • The Hunters were largely gifted their land and didn’t participate in cattle raiding and the usual clan skirmishes. They were appointed the keepers of the royal forest, and this duty kept them fairly busy. They also didn’t participate in larger battles and many of their leaders ended up well educated.
  • Hunterston Castle has been the clan’s seat for over 800 years. Finally, a clan that holds on to their castles!

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Clan MacEwen/Ewen

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  • Clan Motto: Reviresco- I grow strong again

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  • There are five MacEwen septs and two of them are under Campbell and MacDougall leadership. Their tartan is even very similar to that of Clan Campbell.
  • Because they were so divided, the clan was chiefless for a number of years, making it an armigerous clan. But a chief was selected in 2016, the first since 1493, so that may change in the near future.

Names asked for, but lacking strong Scottish clan presences outside of being a sept: Wotherspoon, Miller, McHugh (Irish clan), Brennen (Irish Clan), McMahon (Irish Clan), McCole (mainly Irish), Harvey (members of Clan Keith), McCracken (sept of the Macnaghten), Mackie, Gates, Nichols (sometimes associated with Clan MacLeod), Aitken, and Oliver…all awesome names! If your name was one of those listed, and you’d like to privately discuss your name and get some history, let me know and I’ll be sure to tell you what I have!

That’s all for today, and my list! If there’s enough interest, I’ll do another post, so don’t be afraid to post your clan name in the comments for me to review. And read all of our Outlander posts here!

Sarah and I both have books out now, so if you like our posts, you’ll probably love our books! First Semester is a thrilling college romance that you can get HERE. Queen of Emeralds is a historic romance set in the highlands that you can get HERE.

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book review, outlander

Name That Episode!

We’ve tested your book one knowledge, but how well do you remember the Starz series? With season three right around the corner, we know you’re probably rewatching the first two as you read this post. So, let’s see how well you paid attention! Match the picture with the correct title and double check it at the end of the post to see if you’re an Outlander TV master.

#1

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  • Through a Glass, Darkly
  • La Dame Blanch
  • Prestonpans
  • Useful Occupations and Deceptions

#2

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  • By the Pricking of My Thumb
  • The Fox’s Lair
  • Untimely Resurrection
  • The Reckoning

#3

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  • Faith
  • The Hail Mary
  • Vengeance is Mine
  • Best Laid Schemes

#4

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  • Untimely Ressurection
  • The Hail Mary
  • Je Suis Prest
  • Vengeance is Mine

#5

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  • Je Suis Prest
  • The Way Out
  • Castle Leoch
  • Both Sides Now

#6

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  • The Reckoning
  • La Dame Blanch
  • The Hail Mary
  • The Way Out

#7

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  • Dragonfly In Amber
  • Not in Scotland Anymore
  • Sassenach
  • Through a Glass, Darkly

#8

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  • Prestonpans
  • Vengeance is Mine
  • Je Suis Prest
  • The Garrison Commander

#9

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  • To Ransom a Man’s Soul
  • Untimely Resurrection
  • Best Laid Schemes
  • The Garrison Commander

#10

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  • The Way Out
  • Faith
  • Not in Scotland Anymore
  • Both Sides Now

#11

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  • Sassenach
  • The Reckoning
  • The Way Out
  • The Devil’s Mark

#12

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  • Castle Leoch
  • Rent
  • The Wedding
  • The Fox’s Lair

#13

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  • To Ransom a Man’s Soul
  • The Devil’s Mark
  • Dragonfly in Amber
  • The Watch

#14

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  • Untimely Ressurection
  • La Dame Blanch
  • To Ransom a Man’s Soul
  • Prestonpans

#15

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  • The Garrison Commender
  • To Ransom a Man’s Soul
  • Vengeance is Mine
  • Rent

#16

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  • Castle Leoch
  • Vengeance is Mine
  • The Hail Mary
  • Dragonfly in Amber

#17

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  • Rent
  • Castle Leoch
  • Lallybroch
  • The Watch

#18

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  • Lallybroch
  • The Watch
  • By the Pricking of My Thumbs
  • The Reckoning

#19

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  • Castle Leoch
  • The Search
  • The Devil’s Mark
  • Both Sides Now

#20

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  • Not in Scotland Anymore
  • La Dame Blanch
  • Best Laid Schemes
  • Useful Occupations and Deceptions

#21

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  • Rent
  • The Hail Mary
  • Prestonpans
  • Je Suis Prest

#22

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  • Both Sides Now
  • The Garrison Commander
  • The Hail Mary
  • The Watch

#23

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  • Not in Scotland Anymore
  • Through the Looking Glass Darkly
  • La Dame Blanch
  • Best Laid Schemes

#24

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  • The Fox’s Lair
  • Wentworth Prison
  • To Ransom a Man’s Soul
  • Vengeance is Mine

#25

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  • To Ransom a Man’s Soul
  • Through the Looking Glass Darkly
  • Castle Leoch
  • Je Suis Prest

#26

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  • Lallybroch
  • Faith
  • Best Laid Schemes
  • The Search

#27

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  • The Gathering
  • The Reckoning
  • The Devil’s Mark
  • The Way Out

#28

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  • The Wedding
  • Lallybroch
  • Rent
  • The Fox’s Lair

#29

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  • Rent
  • The Gathering
  • The Hail Mary
  • The Wedding

All Done! Now, get your answers together and compare them with our answers below. Each right answer gets you one point. Are you ready to see what you got?

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Are you sure?

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#1. La Dame Blanch, #2. By the Pricking of My Thumb, #3. Best Laid Schemes, #4. The Hail Mary, #5. The Way Out, #6. The Reckoning, #7. Through a Glass Darkly, #8. Prestonpans, #9. The Garrison Commander, #10. Faith, #11. Sassenach, #12. The Fox’s Lair, #13. The Devil’s Mark, #14. Untimely Resurrection, #15. Vengeance is Mine, 16. Dragonfly in Amber, #17. Rent, 18. The Watch, #19 Castle Leoch, #20. Useful Occupations and Deceptions, #21. Je Suis Prest, #22. Both Sides Now, #23. Not in Scotland Anymore, #24. Wentworth Prison, #25. To Ransom a Man’s Soul, #26. The Search, #27. The Gathering, #28. Lallybroch, #29.The Wedding

Wow, that’s a lot of episodes! Have you tallied up your score? Let’s see what level of episode knowledge you’ve mastered!

0-7 Points-Time to Rewatch Before Season Three!

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8-17 Points-You Know Your Way Around the Highlands

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18-29 Points- A True Master…Do You Work for Starz?!

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Let us know how you did on the quiz! And check out our Outlander page here for more Jamie and Claire goodness to see you through the Droughtlander. And if you’re interested in some lovely jewelry, we did a product review this morning for a really great subscription box! Check it out here!

Sarah and I both have books out now, so if you like our posts, you’ll probably love our books! First Semester is a thrilling college romance that you can get HERE. Queen of Emeralds is a historic romance set in the highlands that you can get HERE.

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book review, Product Review

Style by Kenlee

We’ve done a few product reviews, as you can see in our Lover’s Lane page here, but today we have a special treat in the form of an amazing product review of a subscription box. Style by Kenlee provides you with a set of jewelry every month. This particular box includes a bracelet, necklace, and a set of earrings.

Overall Review: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Kendall and Kylie are sister-in-laws, but consider each other long-lost-sisters. They’re from a small town in Alberta, Canada where they have developed skills that make  them a perfect match. Kylie has a background in online marketing, and though she does have a love of fashion and style, Kendall is the fashion expert of the duo.

Their business started in late October of 2016 and just launched their first set of accessory boxes in January. This set is what we’re reviewing and we have a lot to say about this amazing shop!

Kelsey’s Thoughts

I’m all about this box. The ladies at Style by Kenlee are amazing, the packaging is adorable, and the pieces were durable, stylish, and won’t break the bank! They were lightweight, but well made, created with the current fashion trends in mind. My favorite piece was the bracelet, but the earrings were a close second! The necklace is also something that I’m pretty excited to break out in the spring when I can pair it with a cute tank and a peasant skirt!

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I mean, get a look at these earrings! They feel like nothing on and contain two wishes per orb. They’re whimsical and charming with just a hint of fantasy. Let me just show you how good this jewelry makes me look before Sarah gives you her in depth review with some lovely closeups of the other pieces we received.

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Sarah’s Thoughts

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First of all, the box was personalized and a beautiful color. These ladies wasted no expense with their branding, and it made it all the more special. When I opened the box, I was floored at how intricate the wrapping was. Each piece of jewelry was wrapped up delicately in paper to match the box and taped together with a red heart sticker.
The first piece of jewelry that I opened was a necklace.
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What I like about this necklace is that the string is made of leather. I have an issue with nickle in some jewelry. This was perfect. To make it better, the necklace was adjustable. You could elongate it and have it dangle low on your abdomen or tight on your neck like a choker. Since both of these styles are very in fashion right now, it’s almost like two necklaces for one.
The next thing I opened was the bracelet.
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I am not the biggest fan of bracelets on a regular basis because of all the typing I do. When the bracelet hits the keyboard, it bothers me. As a result, I don’t really have any to put on when I’m going out. What I like about this bracelet, besides how the leaf goes with the tree, is that it’s versatile. I feel like I cold wear this with almost anything, from a woodland fairy themed outfit, a casual blouse with jeans, or a fancier flowing skirt. Since it’s also leather, I can wear it all the time. It’s also very light to the point where I almost don’t notice it’s on.
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I absolutely loved the box and loved the ease of it all. Since I don’t wear a lot of accessories, I don’t have the easiest time picking them out or knowing what is best. I LOVE the idea of having two fashionable ladies picking for me. Plus, the boxes are only $24.99 a month. That’s 24.99 for three pieces of jewelry. Last time I heard of a deal like that, I was in Claire’s, shopping with my allowance, and not paying any bills.

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Like what you see? Well, Style by Kenlle has provided us with a coupon code for your first month. If you use the code, GETMYFASHIONFIX, you’ll get your first box for only $19.99! These pieces are worth more than that, so it’s a super bargain!
Plus, they ship worldwide. Fashion doesn’t stop because you live in a different country!
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There’s more! So, you’ve got the jewelry, what if you don’t know what to do with it or you want to try a different look but you aren’t sure where to begin, the girls do weekly Facebook Live posts on how to style the accessories they’re sending or that they’ve sent that month. This to me is the best part of the deal. It’s like having a personal stylist in your jewelry box. The girls at Style by Kenlee have been so nice and responsive, that if you had a question, then I’m sure they’d love to give advice if there is a question you have about any of the jewelry.
Interested in subscribing? Click here and start off 2017 with a new style! But you can also take a look at their Facebook page here and their Instagram page here, to see what kind of pieces they’re working on for their next box. And take a look at their Twitter page here! And, remember to use your special coupon code at the Style by Kenlee website here, because don’t you deserve a treat?
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Are you interested in having us represent your product and take a place on Lover’s Lane? Let us know here! We’d love to see what you’re working on.

 See what happens when a college student gets an education in the forbidden by visiting Sarah’s page here! And read about Kelsey’s Scottish historical series and her contemporary millionaire romance here!
book review

Perfectly Imperfect

I know, another book review! We’ve had a lot of fun things come though our emails lately. So, let’s talk about Perfectly Imperfect by Gabriela Cabezut! It’s a nostalgic college romance that leaves you wondering if first love is always true love.

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Heat Level: ♥♥

Overall Rating: 5/6 Glass Slippers

Genre: New Adult Romance

Farah Dent has been away for her freshman year of college in California for a year. But the summer holiday beckons her home to Boston, as does her best friend Cassie, who is marrying her main man Ryan. It should be fun time; long hot months, days planning a wedding with her BFF, and nights out on the town as a new adult. But one thing threatens to spoil Farah’s time at home. Her ex boyfriend, Chris Lawson.

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She would be happy to never see him again, even though the only reason they broke up was the vast distance between them after high school ended. However, he’s everywhere she turns in their small town, including her photography class. And when it turns out they’re both in Cassie and Ryan’s bridal party, they’re thrust together, for what seems like forever. Can they sort out their differences for their best friends special day? Will they come together and salvage their friendship? Or at the end of the summer, will Farah leave a piece of her heart back in Boston?

This was a nice, lighthearted romance and a very easy read. The characters sounded a little young at times for my taste, but I suppose that’s college freshman for you! The storyline was believable, Farah likable, and her growth in this book was better than I expected. Nothing like a hometown romance to get you in the mood to cuddle up with a good book.

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book review

Confessions of a Nerdoholic

It’s no secret that I find Savannah Blevin’s books totally worth the read. I’ve done her whole hockey romance series and couldn’t find a fault. So when I heard she had a new book coming, I reached out and demanded a spot on her review team. So let’s take a look at Confessions of a Nerdoholic!

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Heat Level: ♥♥♥

Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Genre: New Adult Romantic Comedy

Much like many of us, Eloise Duncan has a type; tall, handsome, bespectacled, and clothed in video game t-shirts and skinny jeans. Give the guy a book, and that nerd is right up Eloise’s ally. She spies the perfect specimen in the library, making for more than a few distracted study sessions, which is bad news for Eloise, since she’s failing her anatomy class. If she flunks out, her dad will force her to move to the other side of the country and give up the college she loves and the bakery she works for.

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Oliver Edwards is just the man Eloise needs to see…about passing anatomy. He trades tutoring for some of her famous baked goods, but more than an oven will be heating things up when they take anatomy, add in some chemistry, and end up with a big bang. But when Eloise’s father threatens to make good on his promise, the pair are suddenly on a deadline with a possible end to their romance in sight.

As always, Blevins mixes comedy and romance to create something fun and sweet that isn’t over the top or corny. There’s also just the right amount of heat to warm up your winter, without making you feel like a perv! You can identify with Eloise, who is just a little bit different than the other girls, and you swoon over Oliver, who offers everything a romance hero should be in a nerdy little package that’s both hot and intelligent. Overall, I recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for a little laugh with their literature.

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Look what contemporary romances Sarah is working on here and read about Kelsey’s Contemporary and Scottish historical romances here!

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book review

Hair Like Claire

We’ve told you where to find clothes like Claire, where to find jewelry like Claire, and now it’s time for hair!

I put together a little video tutorial with some three hair styles. This is my first tutorial, I’m super nervous, so please bear with me. I like to do my hair up in different updos and buns for work, so I decided to do some Outlander inspired hairstyles. The first is an elaborate set of twists based off the hairstyles from the French Court. Next we have an easier bun with braids. Finally, we have a simple version of a French twist.

Let me know if you have any pictures of your Outlander inspired hair styles, I’d love to see them!

 

Check out our Outlander page for more fun articles!

Sarah and I both have books out now, so if you like our posts, you’ll probably love our books! First Semester is a thrilling college romance that you can get HERE. Queen of Emeralds is a historic romance set in the highlands that you can get HERE.

 

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