Uncaged by Paige Notaro

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Set in: Mexico
Summary: GEORGIA: I just wanted to escape my past. Instead, I was kidnapped and sold to a monster in Mexico. The creep wants me to give myself to him willingly, and his methods are working. But then, he takes me to an underground arena and I see a man who knows what it means to fight back. They call him deadly, but to me, he looks like life. Those muscles could set me free in more ways than I dare dream. If only I could reach him.

ANDRE: In this town, I reign supreme. Even Cartel kingpins fear my strength. They drown me in riches to see it on display. I know the truth. I’m nothing more than a mutt rolling around for treats, chained here by the weight of my past. Then I met her – the broken pixie who saw me as a man to trust. I thought freeing her would mean my redemption. She might just turn out to be my salvation.

*Warning*

Uncaged is a standalone full-length romance set in the dangerous border town of Juarez, Mexico. This book contains strong language, sexual situations and violence. Mature audiences only.

I know what you are thinking, Jen how many fighter romances are you going to review this year?  Well friends, a lot especially when they are based in fun locations like Juarez.

Juarez?  Isn’t it dangerous there.  Yes, it is, at least now.  Juarez is a city I visited frequently before the cartels took over, I loved Juarez.  Things are starting to look up for Juarez, and I would be lying if I didn’t say I am ready to cross the border and visit again.  Last time I went I was 19 and I remember the border crossing and I still smile, it was a trip I took with Grandma.  Now that she is gone, it is a trip I remember fondly.  The Spanish architecture, the missions.

Well I am sure you are not reading the post for me to talk about Juarez.  The book is a fast paced ride through Juarez.  There is an ick factor, sadly the sex trade is prevalent in this book.   I have to give the author credit, this is a topic that people just don’t want to talk about.

The illegal sex trade needs to be spoken about, it is happening, every single day. 

This is why this book is different, typically in fighter romances the main character is running from an abusive ex, or an abusive family.  Georgia is running from the man that kidnapped and bought her. 

It is disgusting, and hard to read, but people it happens.  I am someone that will always appreciate a book if an author is willing to talk about a disgusting subject that happens every day.

The story line is fast paced and I found myself up at 1 in the morning tapping my kindle to get to the next page as fast as possible.  I loved both Andre and Georgia, I also loved how they did not fall into “Romeo & Juliet” love overnight.   Sure there was attraction, but not that crazy love that a lot of authors force on you.  It was well paced, and I loved feeling it develop.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I recommend you give this book a shot, especially if you love fighter romance.

I also recommend the book if Juarez is something you remember fondly and hope to get back too soon.

The Amazing Journey by Grady Hicks

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Summary: 28 Days-24,000 miles-22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites-12 Cultures and Beliefs-1 Amazing Journey The Amazing Journey is a fast-paced, true story of Grady and Austin Hicks, a father and son who travel the world for twenty-eight days before Austin attends college. Austin is the first of three Hicks children who embark on this globe-trotting tradition with their father. In the spirit of adventure, their route and activities are kept secret-even from family. They complete daily, self-imposed Journey Tasks that deliberately immerse them into cultural authenticity, and far outside their comfort zones. As the journey unfolds, it becomes clear that these travelers are in store for much more than unfamiliar landscapes. From foreign militaries to spiritual clairvoyance, from serious illness to unnerving dares, The Amazing Journey reminds us to connect with people-be it those closest to you or those across the world-to test your limits, and to trust the Journey.

Paperback: $13.99 U.S. $17.50 CAN ISBN 13: 978-0-9864208-0-1
Hardback: $22.99 U.S. $27.25 CAN ISBN 13: 978-0-9864208-1-8
E-book: $9.99 ISBN 13: 978-0-9864208-3-2
TRAVEL / Special Interest / Family / Adventure

OH how I envy Grady & Austin. My original idea was to interview Mr. Hicks about his adventure, but as I am a claims adjuster in the Dallas area, we have had massive flooding that resulted in my extra time being dedicated to those that have lost everything. My saving grace was reading this adventure on my lunch break. Grady and Austin have accomplished what I dream of, to travel around the world jump outside of their comfort zones. I smiled, I laughed and I even talked about segments of the book with my co-workers.

Keeping their plans secret was brilliant, it was secret between father & son, and I loved exploring what they did on their secret adventure. I laughed at Grady’s take on sky diving (I agree, he is MUCH braver than me!). I loved how they planned their adventure on The Amazing Race, a show I also love.

What I enjoyed most about this story is the way that Grady expressed travel changes you. Travel is so much more than seeing the Eiffel tower and ancient ruins, it is stepping out of your comfort zone, finding who you are, immersing yourself into a different way of life. Travel changes you, and you can see the change in this memoir.

“I’m trying to prepare you for something deeper than a long weekend in Jamaica.”

This is the line that hooked me, and made me a fan of Grady. Grady get’s it, and he is preparing his son for the journey. Travel is a journey. That is why this book is amazing, Grady gets that.

I read travel memoirs I thrive on reading travel memoirs, because I love reading about experiences of other’s that travel because it gives me the satisfaction of knowing I am not alone when I preach that true travel changes you. This beautiful book does that, because not only do you see the change in Grady you see Austin change through his father’s eyes.

I can’t wait to read about the next adventure Grady is going to have with his daughter, starting in 10 days! I really hope he tweets when he can (yes I follow him on twitter now). The travel community really needs to read this book, you will not be disappointed.

This 5 star book is a heart warming story that shows the true meaning of travel. Change.

PS: Grady I am in the Dallas area! I would love to meet you & discuss your travels in further detail! I can’t wait for your next book!

Grady Hicks

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Grady is a native Texan whose family has lived and
worked in North Texas since the 1850s. He is an avid
traveler who has made his home base in Arlington,
TX, where he returns to relax in the backyard with his
family and to plan his next destination. He lives with
his wife of 27 years, Belinda. Their three children now
attend university, majoring in mechanical engineering,
business communication, and elementary education.
Grady is currently writing the second book in The
Amazing Journey series and planning the global
adventure that will become the third book.

Wordless Wednesday

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Taking the RTW Plunge

I am going to take a RTW trip…

…. not for awhile but I have decided  I am at the point in my life it is time to step out of the dreaming stage and start planning.

I am not going in the next year or two years, I have a LOT of things I want to take care of like debt, saving money, setting up finances so I can make sure I am set when I am on the road.

As I am starting my plan, significantly in debt & with zero savings I am in the very beginning stages but I am excited that I am finally taking the plunge. Like others before me, I wish I was in the circumstance that I could leave tomorrow but for many factors that I will share in the future that is not my certain circumstance.

As I have plenty of time, I am going to share posts about how I am saving, what I am doing, how I am reducing debt and how I am planning. I am also going to share what I have saved, what I did and give you my united miles count & Marriott points count. I think I am going to hoard my points for splurges on the road but knowing me, I will likely cash them in.

As this is my first post about my plans I don’t have much to report except that I am planning on taking the plunge and taking off to explore the world to pursue a dream.

So where do I start?

Make a list of things I would love to do on my trip.

Make a budget to pay down debt.

Start saving money just for this trip.

I just made my plan to start the debt pay down and saving money. Let’s hope it is successful, I have opened a money market account and I am going to start stashing cash away into that account so I can also earn some interest while I am saving. I also have my other travel account that I am currently saving for other vacations.

I am prepared to live tight but not at the sake of sacrificing life in general. Once my debt is paid way down I might reevaluate this statement, but for now I am going to be aggressive but not to the point I will have a mental breakdown. Once I have no debt then the trip really feel like a reality but for now I am going to be aggressive but not loose my sanity. I know this is not for everyone, but this is what I need. Once my debt is gone, this is when I will set the official date of departure, I have some dates I am toying with, but not really ready to make any formal announcements just yet.  I feel it will be easier setting my date once I am debt free.

I am also making a list of things I want to do on each continent, I think part of the fun is planning, and that is what I am going to do I have plenty of time.  My main goal right now is to establish savings and pay down debt.

Please share what you did in the very beginning stages of RTW trip planning? I am open to ideas & suggestions

Feature Image Credit: Image was taken from Camille in Wonderlands

Just escape the cubicle already

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