Review: Paper Hearts by Ali Novak

Paper Hearts
Series: The Heartbreaker Chronicles, #2
Author: Ali Novak
Publication Date: July 4, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

“I’m sorry,” he said, slowly untying the ribbon that held his mask in place. “It’s just-I didn’t want you to think of me any differently.”

Somehow I kept my mouth from falling open. I knew his face, but my mind couldn’t accept that he was the person looking down at me.

“My real name is Alec.”

Felicity has her entire future planned. Ever since her older sister ran away, she’s had the full weight of her mother’s expectations on her shoulders. So she works hard to get straight As and save for college.

Except sometimes the best things in life are unplanned-like when Felicity meets a handsome, masked stranger while she is volunteering at a charity masquerade ball. She never thought he’d flirt with her. And she certainly never thought he’d turn out to be a member of the world-famous Heartbreakers band, Alec.

Then Felicity uncovers a shocking family secret. Suddenly, she, Alec, and her two best friends are off on a road trip to find Felicity’s missing sister. And she’s about to discover that unexpected turns have a peculiar way of landing her right where she needs to be…


If you’re like me, you’ve been waiting for Paper Hearts from the moment you finished The Heartbreakers. I fell in love with the band and couldn’t wait to spend more time with them.

I really enjoyed reading Paper Hearts. Ali Novak’s writing was just as amazing as it was in her first two young adult novels. Paper Hearts was fun, cute, and filled with just the right amount of teenage angst. Being back with the band was exciting, and the new characters introduced fit right in with them.

Paper Hearts was written from Felicity’s point of view. It was really more Felicity’s story than Alec’s. Felicity was a smart young woman who hadn’t recovered from her sister running away four years ago. Her goal in life was to make her mother happy in a way her missing sister couldn’t — even if it meant giving up her own dreams. Felicity was determined to go to Harvard until she met Alec and discovered there was more to her sister’ disappearance than she thought.

I loved seeing the world through Felicity’s eyes. She knew the value of both money and friendship. Felicity took neither for granted. Her coming of age journey was emotional. She was the perfect person for Alec to fall for because she was so down to Earth. His celebrity status didn’t faze her.

Alec seemed like a very sweet young man. I didn’t get to know him as well as I wanted to. He was a little bit of a mystery, which added a great aspect to the story but left me feeling like I didn’t really get to know him. I would have loved to see inside his head.

Felicity and Alex together…Honestly, I’m not sure I can say I loved them together. I didn’t get to see enough of their relationship. It was in the beginning stages during Paper Hearts, and they were still trying to find their footing with each other. They seemed like a good pair based on their initial conversations and their friends’ thoughts. I do have a feeling I would have loved them together if the story included more of their relationship after the book’s ending.

One thing I wish Paper Hearts included was more time with the rest of The Heartbreakers and Stella. When all the band members are together, there’s a magic that happens. Everything becomes fun and exciting. I lived for those moments in Paper Hearts. I loved the way Felicity, along with her friends Boomer and Asha, fit in so well with the members of the band. Every character was cool and fun on their own, but together they were entertainment gold.

Paper Hearts was a great YA contemporary romance. It’s filled with an exciting celebrity romance, crazy friendships, and an exciting and emotional adventure. Fans of The Heartbreakers will love catching up with their favorite boy band.

Cover Reveal: The Last Guy by Ilsa Madden-Mills & Tia Louise

I’m so excited to share with you the cover for Ilsa Madden-Mills & Tia Louise’s upcoming book, The Last Guy! Check out the cover and blurb below!

One Uptight Reporter.
One Ex-NFL Star.
Too Much Fireball.

The Last Guy is a new standalone romance from Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Ilsa Madden-Mills & International Selling author Tia Louise.  Meet Cade Hill on June 12th!

Add to your TBR here: http://bit.ly/2qTJrer

 Get an email alert when THE LAST GUY goes LIVE on Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TLGSignup

By: Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise
Photographer: Wander Aguiar Photography
Model: David Wills
Designer: Shanoff Formats

Blurb

From Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and international bestselling author Tia Louise…

The first rule of office romance is don’t do it—especially if your dream is to hold the anchor spot on the nightly news and your boss is trying to get you fired.

But one look at Cade Hill, the sexy new sports director, and uptight reporter Rebecca Fieldstone is daydreaming about other things.

Sex in his office…

Sex in the on-set kitchen…

Sex in the supply closet…

She can’t stop thinking about the former NFL quarterback and how perfect he’d look between her sheets—except he’s an arrogant jerk with a huge…ego.

He’s the last guy she’d ever have a one-night stand with.

Cade Hill draws a thick professional line on office romance—until it comes to the hyper-focused Rebecca. He wants her, and he gets his wish when a chance encounter has them having the hottest sex of their lives.

It’s just a hook-up, she says.

When can we do it again? he says.

With Rebecca determined to keep Cade in the friend zone, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Cade to convince her he’s the last guy she’ll ever want.

THE LAST GUY is the first white-hot CONTEMPORARY ROMANTIC COMEDY from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise. It features Fireball-fueled hookups, Doritos Locos Tacos, attack monkeys, toddlers in tiaras, and one fabulous drag queen. Prepare for frantic clicking (or page flipping!) and smoking-hot sexytimes all the way to the out-of-this-world happily-ever-after.

About the Authors

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and the “Queen of Hot Romance” Tia Louise are not a secret duo, but simply themselves.

Great friends, former English teachers, and southern gals in real life, they’ve teamed up to bring you laugh-out-loud naughty romances with strong leading ladies and sexy alpha males who know how to please their women—and who sometimes you just want to slap.

 Ilsa’s Amazon Page: http://amzn.to/2rf1oow
Ilsa’s BookBub Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ilsa-madden-mills

Tia’s Amazon Page: http://amzn.to/2rRxJy2
Tia’s BookBub Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tia-louise

GIVEAWAY

Win a SIGNED paperback ARC of THE LAST GUY + $50 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share link:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/aa97699929/

WWW Wednesday: May 24, 2017

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading but is now hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

The Three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So here we go…


Currently reading:

I lucked out and got an e-copy of The Names They Gave Us from the library, so that’s what I’m going to start reading today.


Recently finished:

This week I was on a new adult kick. I read:

Into Your Arms (Squad Stories, #1)
A Girl Like Me (Like Us, #2)
My Best Friend’s Ex
The Silent Waters (Elements, #3)

I’ve also been completely addicted to an audio book series this past week. I couldn’t stop from listening to Broken and Screwed. It took over my life! Every time I was in the car, cleaning the house or doing whatever, I was listening. Then, I had to continue my Tijan audio book obsession and listened to Kian.

Broken and Screwed, (Broken and Screwed, #1)
Broken and Screwed 2, (Broken and Screwed, #2)
Kian

Click on the book titles to read the reviews that I have already posted.


Reading Next:

Next up is probably Falling for the Fake Fiance (Snowpocalypse, #2).

Review: Prom Queen by Katee Robert

Prom Queen
Series: Bad Boy Homecoming, #3
Author: Katee Robert
Publication Date: June 27th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

A high school reunion is about to get down and dirty and a whole lot more complicated in this new erotic romance from NYT Bestselling Author Katee Robert.

Jake Davis had it all in high school—a scholarship to his college of choice, a promising football career, and the gorgeous prom queen for a girlfriend. And then he lost it all when he was injured right after graduation. Ten years later, he’s mostly made his peace with that, and now runs a company that provides women with dates for special events. Imagine his surprise when he discovers that the ex who left him in the dust needs a fake boyfriend for their high school reunion…

Jessica Jackson used to be the mean girl to end all mean girls. But life didn’t turn out like she’d thought it would, and now she’s twenty-eight, single, and works as an insurance agent to A-listers instead of being the A-lister like she’d always dreamed. She can’t go back to her home town and admit just how thoroughly she’s failed, so she lets her friends set her up with a fake date for the reunion.

The second Jessica realizes that her fake date is Jake, she tries to call the whole thing off. The problem is the chemistry between them is even hotter now than it was when they were teenagers. Against her better judgment she lets herself get drawn into Jake’s arms again—and into his bed. But time doesn’t heal all wounds—sometimes, it actually makes them worse—and if Jessica and Jake can’t learn to forgive each other, their second chance might not last the weekend.


What drew me to Prom Queen (besides the sexy cover) was the blurb. I love second chance romances, and this one sounded like so much fun! I mean, who wouldn’t want to know what happens when a former prom queen unknowingly hires her ex-boyfriend to be her date to their class reunion? I certainly wanted to know.

Prom Queen really was a fun second chance romance. It was a quick read filled with tons of passion. It didn’t take long for Jake and Jessica to realize their attraction to each other hadn’t waned over the ten years they’d been apart. It had only grown and become more mature. It wasn’t simple to fix their problems, but I loved the way they worked through it together.

I loved both characters, but Jessica’s back story stood out to me. She was the quintessential mean girl in high school, but it wasn’t because she thought she was better than everyone else. Jessica was only trying to be the girl her mother wanted her to be. Being perfect wasn’t easy for Jessica, and over the years she had transformed herself into who she wanted to be. This was a great addition to the sexy story.

My only teeny tiny complaint was how quickly this story wrapped up. I would have loved for it to gone on a little longer, and for Jessica and Jake to have spent more time working things out. Otherwise, I thought Prom Queen was an excellent second chance romance.

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer Lovin’

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Summer Reads Freebie: In preparation for Memorial Day (which is always the unofficial summer kickoff for me), let’s rec some summer/beach reads: books to go in your beach bag, best books set in summer, books with summer-y covers, best beach reads for people who don’t enjoy contemporary/realistic reads, best beach reads for fans of X genre, etc. etc. 

My list is going to be full of books set in the summer. These are favorites of mine, hence the title Summer Lovin’. I could have chosen several books by many of these authors, so I limited it to one book per author. This list includes both YA and NA books. All covers link to the book’s Goodreads page.


1. Since You’ve Been Gone
Morgan Matson

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um…

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane’s list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait…what?


2. Co-Wrecker
Meghan Quinn

What do ice cream and Sadie Montgomery have in common? They’re both ice cold, but one taste is never enough.

I wanted to be friends — I would have even settled for her seeing me as anything but a nerd — but there was no getting through. So just like any hard-headed, red-blooded man out there, I made up my mind.

I’d make my coworker fall for me.

I’d like to say it was simple, but like every other epic love story, all it took was one drunken night and a lot of naked courage to get the girl. For a moment, at least.

Love with a coworker is never simple, especially since Sadie’s trying to keep us on the low. Not to mention her persistent ex-boyfriend who won’t leave her alone. But I’ve never been good at giving up, and I don’t plan to start now.

The whole thing is a recipe for a rocky road, but I plan to eat the whole gallon, no matter how bad the brain freeze.


3. The Last Thing You Said
Sara Biren

Last summer, Lucy’s and Ben’s lives changed in an instant. One moment, they were shyly flirting on a lake raft, finally about to admit their feelings to each other after years of yearning. In the next, Trixie—Lucy’s best friend and Ben’s sister—was gone, her heart giving out during a routine swim. And just like that, the idyllic world they knew turned upside down, and the would-be couple drifted apart, swallowed up by their grief. Now it’s a year later in their small lake town, and as the anniversary of Trixie’s death looms, Lucy and Ben’s undeniable connection pulls them back together. They can’t change what happened the day they lost Trixie, but the summer might finally bring them closer to healing—and to each other.


4. What I Need (Alabama Summer, #4)
J. Daniels

Riley Tennyson has made a huge mistake.

At least, that’s what she keeps telling herself.

Showing up to her brother’s wedding pissed off and newly single, Riley seeks comfort in solitude and an open bar, until the gorgeous and irresistibly charming CJ Tully makes her a better offer―a wild night with the master of smooth-talking where nothing is off limits.

Riley does what any single woman would do, and a connection is made. One neither one of them can ignore. But when she comes home to the boyfriend she no longer thought she had, Riley buries her secret and begs CJ to do the same.

Forget about each other. It was a mistake. That’s all it was… right?

Desires are hidden. Distance is kept. Until one night CJ makes the ultimate sacrifice, and Riley can no longer avoid the man she can’t stop thinking about.

Not with him sleeping down the hall…


5. Pasadena
Sherri L. Smith

Bad things happen everywhere. Even in the land of sun and roses.

When Jude’s best friend is found dead in a swimming pool, her family calls it an accident. Her friends call it suicide. But Jude calls it what it is: murder. And someone has to pay.

Now everyone is a suspect—family and friends alike. And Jude is digging up the past like bones from a shallow grave. Anything to get closer to the truth. But that’s the thing about secrets. Once they start turning up, nothing is sacred. And Jude’s got a few skeletons of her own.


6. Settling the Score (The Summer Games, #1)
R.S. Grey

As an Olympic rookie, Andie Foster has spent far more time in her cleats than between the sheets. For 21 years, her Friday nights have consisted of blocking shots rather than taking them. But now that she’s landed in Rio, she’s ready to see for herself if the rumors about the Olympic Village are true:

• The athletes are all sex-crazed maniacs…
• The committee passes out condoms like candy…
• The games continue long after the medals have been handed out…

As Andie walks the line between rumor and reality, she’s forced into the path of Frederick Archibald, a decorated Olympic swimmer and owner of a sexy British accent–too bad he’s unavailable in a way that “it’s complicated” doesn’t even begin to explain.

In other words: off limits.

It doesn’t matter that he has abs that could bring peace to the Middle East and a smile that makes even the Queen blush; Andie fully intends on keeping her focus on the soccer field. But the Village is small. Suffocating. Everywhere Andie goes, Freddie happens to be there–shirtless, wet from the pool, and determined to show her a whole new meaning of the phrase “international affairs”.


7. When We Collided
Emery Lord

We are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know…

Jonah never thought a girl like Vivi would come along.

Vivi didn’t know Jonah would light up her world.

Neither of them expected a summer like this…a summer that would rewrite their futures.

In an unflinching story about new love, old wounds, and forces beyond our control, two teens find that when you collide with the right person at just the right time, it will change you forever.


8. The Year We Fell Apart
Emily Martin

Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.

Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.

While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.

As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.


9. On the Fence
Kasie West

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she’s spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can’t solve Charlie’s biggest problem: she’s falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.


10. Along for the Rise
Sarah Dessen

It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

Review: Broken and Screwed 2 by Tijan

Broken and Screwed 2
Series: Broken and Screwed, #2
Author: Tijan
Narrator: Jillian Macie
Publication Date: July 21, 2015
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Alexandra is pissed about her parents abandoning her. She’s beyond pissed that her friends did the same. She’s enraged because things are unclear about her brother’s death now. So her first stop is at Jesse’s house to demand answers. She wants to know why her brother was friends with the criminal crowd before he died and she knows he holds the answers. But when she sees him, she doesn’t get the answers she expected. Instead, she finds out that their chemistry never faded and soon heats up again! Some habits die hard. Soon Jesse and Alex are back to their ways of sneaking around. He’s a near-celebrity at school and she doesn’t want to deal with the backlash of being his girlfriend. Alex is tired of being hurt so she’s learned the lesson not to confide and lean on others. However, she can’t seem to help herself when it comes to Jesse Hunt. The big question isn’t if she will survive if their relationship goes public, it’s if she will survive when the real truths about her family and brother come out? Or when she learns that Jesse knows more than what he’s told her?


I am officially obsessed with Tijan’s writing. I couldn’t stop listening to this audio book. I found excuses to drive places, stuff to clean, and listened to it instead of music at the gym. I was beyond addicted. Broken and Screwed 2 took over my life.

Broken and Screwed 2 continued Alex’s heartbreaking tale of abandonment. She’s slowly lost everyone she’s ever cared about. She’s bitter, but she’s also ready to move on and start a new life. Alex is going to college. The same college as Jesse. And he’s going to give her the answers she needs about her brother’s death.

Only things aren’t that simple. Alex quickly falls back into her sexual relationship with Jesse, but insists on keeping it a secret. She wants to blend in at college and being seen with THE Jesse Hunt won’t help. Plus, Jesse’s still not giving Alex the answers she needs.

Being in Alex’s head was a little easier in this book than the first one. She still had all of her negative thoughts and pain, but she also made some great discoveries. I liked her more than I did in the first book. I still wanted to throttle her at times for stupid decisions she made, but I liked the growth she went through.

Jesse really redeemed himself in this book. Getting to read more of him, and see him around Alex more made it easier to imagine what he was thinking. I still would have loved his point of view, but I loved the mystery not having it gave Jesse and what he was hiding. I was surprised at what an amazing guy Jesse really was.

Luckily, Angie and Marissa weren’t around much in book 2. Their scenes were minimal, but they played a huge part in the story. I liked that they weren’t around much. Alex made some new college friends who she could be herself around. Beth and Hannah weren’t as annoying, and they added some interesting drama. Plus, there were all of Jesse’s roommates and their girlfriends. I adored those characters. They made the story so much fun. I was especially surprised to find myself liking Chord. I seriously fell in love with that jerk in this book. He was so good to Alex and also to Jesse. Chord needs his own book.

Broken and Screwed 2 was even better than the first book. I loved the college scene and all the life events Alex went through. Tijan knew exactly when to throw in the twists and turns to keep the story going. I was pleasantly surprised how the mystery surrounding Ethan’s death played out.

I’m happy I chose to read Broken and Screwed 2, even though Broken and Screwed left me feeling completely unhinged. I needed this book for Alex and for myself. I highly recommend this series to anyone who likes an angst filled new adult romance. It’s well written and highly addictive.

Now, what Tijan book can I get my hands on next…

Preorder Blast: A Girl Like Me by Ginger Scott

A Girl Like Me by Ginger Scott
Like Us Duet, #2
A mature YA romance, and a little something more…
Release day: May 26, 2017

Goodreads

Purchase links:
Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | BN

BLURB:

I’m not supposed to be here.

Death has come for me more than once, and each time it’s been a boy who’s stood between me and my final breath.

I called him Christopher when he saved me as a child. When he came into my life again, only months ago, I knew him as Wes. Just as he did the time before, he disappeared the moment he made sure I was out of harm’s way; as if I didn’t need any more saving.

This time, though, death left me with a reminder of how powerful it is. I know it meant to strip me of my spirit again, but it failed.

Even so, I know I need Wes to survive. Our souls are woven together somehow, our every breath in sync. I feel it, even though everyone says I shouldn’t.

The world thinks he’s missing.
His loved ones don’t want to believe he’s dead.
Only I know just how special he is.

I’m going to find him and bring him home, where he belongs. Together, we’ll face impossible—we’ll rewrite our ending.

And when the bad guys come calling, we will always win.