Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Would Love to Meet

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s is Authors I Would Love to Meet.

So, I pretty much met most of the authors that would show up on this list at Book Bonanza this past summer. That being said, I was still able to come up with 10 more authors I would love to meet! 😉


1. Krista & Becca Ritchie

2. Christina Lauren

3. Whitney G.

4. Jen Frederick

5. Lauren Layne

6. Katie McGarry

7. Sara Ney

8. Emma Scott

9. Emma Mills

10. Brittainy C. Cherry

Series Review: Kiss and Make Up by Sara Ney

Kissing in Cars
Series: Kiss and Make Up, #1
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: January 26, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Will she, or won’t she…

Studious and (mostly) sensible, the only thing Molly Wakefield wants to do is get through Senior Year and graduate. Well, that and hit the beach in her spare time. Okay, fine – and go shopping every once in a while for a new dress… (and who could blame her?)

And things are going according to plan – until the day she spies Weston McGrath, handsome star athlete and scholar, spying on her in study hall.

A tad creepy? Maybe.
Thrilling? Absolutely.

You see, Weston McGrath happens to be one guy no one can get close to.

Despite her best efforts to avoid it (because let’s face it – the guy isn’t exactly “boyfriend material”) Mollly and Weston form a friendship.
And more….
Sort of.
But it’s a friendship that comes with a price – because Weston just cannot seem to stop screwing things up. Or saying all the wrong things. Possibly in that order…
And who has time for an 18 year old “fixer-upper” that should know better?
Not Molly.
Or does she?

Review:

Oh my goodness.This book was so dang cute! Molly and Weston were just too adorable. I loved how everything went down between them. All the embarrassing, does he/she or doesn’t he/she like me moments were true the high school crush experience. It was cringe worthy, but sweet. Kissing in Cars was just so much fun to read. I felt like I was back in high school myself. I cannot wait to read the second book in this series!


He Kissed Me First
Series:
Kiss and Make Up, #2
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: November 27, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“Trust me – If there’s one thing I’m not attracted to, it’s an arrogant, selfish and foul-mouth hockey player. I know what I want, and Matthew Wakefield isn’t it.” – Cecelia Carter

From the first moment they laid eyes on each other, all Cecelia Carter and Matthew Wakefield do is bicker. Fight. Even though he is her roommates brother, Cece just can’t stand the sight of him, and Matthew – well. He could never resist a challenge…

That can’t be a good combination, can it?
But sometimes, love happens when you least expect it.

Review:

I have mixed feelings about He Kissed Me First. On one hand, I loved Cecelia and Matthew’s banter. I loved what an idiot he was when it came to relationships and how everyone could see what he couldn’t. I loved how Molly and Weston from Kissing in Cars fit into the story and all of the new characters.

All of that was a lot of fun, but there were some things I wasn’t a big fan of. I didn’t really get Cecelia nor did I connect with her. She felt like a contradiction. Cecelia seemed liked the chick who didn’t care what she looked like, but then she had this uptight thing going on too. It just didn’t mesh well together. She had a major reaction to something Matthew said, but it wasn’t ever really explained and I didn’t get her reasoning. She just felt like this big mess while you knew what you were getting with Matthew.

Overall, He Kissed Me First was a fun read. I just expected a little more from it.


A Kiss Like This
Series: Kiss and Make Up, #3
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: May 31, 2015
Publisher: Sara Ney LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

ABIGAIL DARLINGTON IS AWKWARD…

She will never be “that” girl. You know the one: that girl on campus, confident in her own skin. Always saying the right things. Putting herself out there. Knows how to talk to a guy without stammering.

Nope. Shy but clever, and easily embarrassed, Abby is fine being the wallflower in her circle of outgoing, beautiful friends; she would rather read about a sexy book boyfriend than actually have a live, breathing one.

…BUT CALEB LOCKHART IS WORSE.

Star goaltender for the University’s hockey team, Caleb is quiet and broody, preferring the solitude of his orderly, regimented life. He doesn’t like, or need people—and plans to keep it that way. One more year left of hockey and he’ll be long gone.

AWKWARD NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD.

Both their lives change the day that Abigail falls for Caleb. Well, falls directly on top of him, to be accurate. Because sometimes we don’t settle into love.

We fall there.

Review:

As you can see above, this series so far has been a little hit or miss for me. A Kiss Like This was giant hit for me. I absolutely ADORED this book. Sara Ney’s writing feels more timeless and current in this book. I can really see how her writing evolved to what it is today. I loved it.

A Kiss Like This was awkwardly sweet and romantic. Caleb and Abigail were just too dang cute for words. Neither of them knew what the heck they were doing when it came to a relationship and it was romance gold. I can’t even…I just want to keep going on and on about how freaking adorable and amazing this book was. A Kiss Like This was such a great, classic NA romance. I absolutely loved it!

Review: Not Until You by Corinne Michaels

Not Until You
Author: Corinne Michaels
Publication Date: October 1, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I have two rules in life:
1. No relationships, falling in love or attachments.
2. No sleeping with clients of my interior design firm.

Since the last guy turned out to be married, they’ve been easy to follow.

Until him.

Callum Huxley is a ridiculously sexy Brit, and the connection we have the moment our eyes lock scares the ever-loving hell out of me. Thank God I came to my senses before going back to his hotel where I would’ve ended up naked, panting, and unable to forget him.

Thinking I walked away from that night unscathed was stupid. Sure enough, at the biggest meeting of my career waits the CEO of Dovetail Enterprises—him. It might be the most embarrassing moment of my professional life. And breaking my no-client rule might just be the hottest moment of my personal life.

Learning to trust has never felt so good, but falling has never hurt so bad.


For some reason I didn’t realize prior to starting Not Until You that this was Nicole’s story. Nicole is one of four friends. We met her in books about Heather (We Own Tonight) and Kristin (One Last Time). She was easily my favorite side character in both books. Nicole’s story is one I’ve wanted since I first met her character.

Nicole is one of those characters you can’t wait to fall in love. She’s feisty, unapologetic, and has no interest in relationships. I loved that she was a strong, confident woman who ran her own business. I also loved her backstory. It was a little surprising and made her outlook on relationships completely understandable.

Callum may be my new favorite male character created by Corinne Michaels. It’s hard for me to put a finger on why exactly. I just liked his personality. I also really liked how he was able to break through all of Nicole’s rules about on dating and love. He was the perfect guy for Nicole.

Nicole and Callum’s relationship was a lot of fun. It felt like something that could happen in real life. It all played out so organically. They had great chemistry. I loved the ups and downs they went through. Their story was a little predictable, but I was okay with that because it was so well written.

One of my favorite things about this book was getting to read about Nicole and all of her friends again. I love their support of each other through thick and thin. They always have each others’ back — even when they’re doing something that makes the other mad!

Overall, Not Until You was a great contemporary romance about a couple in their 30’s. It can be read as a standalone, but why would you want to miss out on the first two books?

Review: Fear Us by B.B. Reid

Fear Us
Series: Broken Love, #3
Author: B.B. Reid
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: B.B. Reid
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

KEENAN
It’s been four years since I ran away—from home, my brother, and my maybe father. I created a life free of expectations while pretending I wasn’t being hunted by all of the above. I managed to stay under the radar all this time… or so I thought. When big brother shows up and saves my ass, I’m forced to face everything I left behind, including her.

SHELDON
It’s been four years since I became another statistic. I made a lot of mistakes when it came to Keenan Masters. The first was loving him at all. He took something from me the night he left, and when I told him I still loved him, he told me he’d always hate me. After that, I learned how to be okay… until he came back. Gone was the boy who always knew how to make me laugh, and in his place was a cold, arrogant monster.


I’m completely addicted to the Broken Love series, and yet I’m a little disappointed in the direction it has continued to go. The first two books in the series, Fear Me and Fear You, were great with the exception of Lake and Kieran’s abusive relationship. That relationship made me so mad. I wanted to love them together, but I couldn’t. I was really, really hoping that Keenan and Sheldon’s book was going to be different. Was it? No, not really.

Fear Us takes place four years after Fear You left off. It’s important to have read the first two books prior to Fear Us because a big part of the story is woven around situations that take part in the past. Everything leads up to where Keenan and Sheldon are now. I had a feeling I knew where Keenan and Sheldon’s story was headed — I just didn’t know it was going to be so twisted and maddening.

Keenan pretty much turned himself into a version of Kieran. That made me sad for a couple of reasons. One, I liked who Keenan was for the most part prior to anger taking over his life. He was tough like Kieran, but he had a jovial sweetness to him. I missed that Keenan. I didn’t want mean Keenan. Two, I was done reading about a volatile, abusive relationship. I mean, why do all these guys have to be so abusive? Why can’t they be alpha without the intimidation and forcefulness? The things these brothers have done make me sick to my stomach.

I was proud of Sheldon in so many situations in this book. She didn’t back down to Keenan when it came to some of the most important things. I do wish she wouldn’t have given into Keenan in other ways, but I guess it does show the reader how love can make people stay/put up with situations they shouldn’t.

What surprised me the most in this book was Ken. It wasn’t Ken’s character so much as how Kieran’s relationship with Ken was depicted. I was surprised by how much I liked that part of the story. It made Kieran seem like less of a monster to me. I could almost — not really — forget his past.

My favorite thing about Fear Us was the same thing as the first two books. I loved the mystery/suspense plot that continued. It kept me wondering how everything was going to play out for this group of friends.

So…Plot good. Abusive relationships bad. I know that’s how the whole series is going to be. I should get over the abusive part, but I can’t. I won’t. It’s just too wrong…but I need to know how everything is going to shake out in the end, so I will keep reading.

Review: Fear You by B.B. Reid

Fear You
Series: Broken Love, #2
Author: B.B. Reid
Publication Date: March 11, 2015
Publisher: B.B. Reid
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

What happens when she’s had enough?

Lake Monroe has given in to her childhood tormentor too many times. She knows it, he knows it, and even their enemies know it. When he returned after being found guilty of a crime he didn’t commit—a crime he thought she set him up for, he returned darker than ever, demanding her body and her submission. To survive him, she knew she had to give in to fear once more or suffer the deadly consequences…

But Lake experienced what it was like to submit to the dark and demanding boy who invaded her dreams. Now she’ll experience what it’s like to fight him.

What happens when he wants more?

Keiran Masters has a past that is both shocking and dark. Once enslaved, he now has demons he can’t escape—demons that have followed him for ten years, demons he blames his beautiful obsession for. He promised to make her pay. He promised to make her break…

But after Keiran had conquered her body and tasted her submission, he found a new addiction instead—one he has no intention of giving up.

As secrets unfold,
Identities are revealed,
Danger closes in,
And they both discover what it really means to fear…


Fear You is the second book in the Broken Love series. It begins where the first book, Fear Me, left off. Without reading book one, you won’t understand the plot or the relationship dynamics. Just a warning: This book contains sensitive themes that will be disturbing to some readers. You can check out my review for Fear Me here, if you’re curious.

Like I said above, Fear You continues Lake and Keiran’s story. They’re not on good terms–not that they ever truly were on good terms. Lake has to deal with the fall out for what she’s done to Keiran. He’s back to torment her, but this time she feels she has the power to stand up to him. It is hard because Keiran is relentless. He’s not willing to give Lake up. She’s his obsession.There’s also the matter of Keiran’s past haunting both Lake and Keiran. His demons have shown up, and it puts both of them in danger.

Fear You was a little easier for me to stomach than Fear Me. The abusive relationship between Lake and Keiran was still there, but I got some answers I needed. I now understand why Keiran is the monster he is. I still hate it, but I understand it. Lake stood up for herself as much as she was able to without completely giving in to Kerian, so I appreciated that. There were actually a few loving moments in Fear You that bordered on sweet. I still believe they both need years of counseling and that this book needs a warning about abusive relationships and where to get help if you’re in one. Basically, Keiran and Lake’s messed up relationship was pretty close to what it was in Fear You. It was horrible and no one should live that way.

What was outstanding about Fear You was the writing itself. It was utterly addictive. The story that was wrapped around Keiran and Lake’s twisted love affair was so good. It was suspenseful and kept me wondering how it would all play out. It is the only reason I kept reading this series other than to hope I would get to see Lake and Keiran get some therapy. I couldn’t believe some of the twists B.B. Reid came up with. I loved how the plot wrapped up — with the exception of Sheldon and Keenan’s arc. They moved into dangerous territory. Fear Us, the next book in this series, is theirs and I’m worried it’s going to be another Fear Me / Fear You situation. I don’t know that I can handle another abusive relationship like Lake and Keiran’s. I guess I’ll find out since I’ve already started reading the third book.

Review: Fear Me by B.B. Reid

Fear Me
Series: Broken Love, #1
Author: B.B. Reid
Publication Date: January 26, 2015
Publisher: Bebe’s Reads LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I don’t believe in fairy tales and Prince Charming.

I believe in fear.

He taught me how to be afraid.

We first met on a playground on a wonderful summer day. It was the first time he hurt me and it wouldn’t be the last. For ten years, he’s been my tormentor and I’ve been his forbidden. But then he went away, and yet I was still afraid.

Now he’s back and wants more than just my tears. You see…he thinks I sent him away so now he wants revenge…and he knows just how to get it.

Warning: Fear Me contains sensitive themes.


Before I get into the nitty-gritty of my review, I feel the need to preface it with a few statements. B.B. Reid is a talented writer. She infuses her writing with passion and emotion, making her books highly addictive. I read Fear Me in one evening because I couldn’t put it down. It had some amazing twists and unforgettable characters. I feel the need to tell you these things because my review isn’t going to sound super positive. If you read the blurb above, you will notice the warning that this book contains sensitive themes. It truly does, and some of my negative thoughts revolve around those. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Fear Me is a book I downloaded for free. I had never read a B.B. Reid book before, and I wanted to give her books a try. Prior to actually starting Fear Me, I read reviews from some sources I trust. They were all super positive four and five-star reviews. One was by an author talking about how this book could disturb some but to remember it is fantasy. It’s not a real life situation. That made me even more curious, so I decided to give Fear Me a shot.

Fear Me is told from Lake Monroe’s first person point of view. From the beginning, Lake is filled with fear. Her childhood tormentor is returning to town for their senior year of high school. All Lake can do if try to fly under the radar and hide from Keiran Masters. Too bad Keiran isn’t going to let her do that. He has a plan to extract revenge against Lake, and she is going to be his unwilling participant. As Keiran sets his plan in motion to torment her, the fear Lake has of him forces her to abide by Keiran’s rules. She’s forced to give him everything he wants.

**Possible SPOILERS AHEAD (for sensitive themes not the plot)**

This book was royally messed up. It’s probably one of the most messed up books I’ve read. The things that happen in this book are so very wrong. Keiran uses Lake’s fear and her attraction to him to his advantage. He forces her to do things that should put him behind bars. He sexually assaults her constantly throughout this book and basically holds her captive. I hated the way his actions were romanticized. Stolkholm Syndrome is the only way to describe Lake’s feelings toward Keiran. Their entire “relationship” was sick, and I honestly don’t get how readers can can “ooh and aah” over their relationship or swoon over Keiran’s character. Under all his anger and aggression he might have loved Lake, but his actions were not loving and they were downright illegal. Keiran was controlling, manipulative, and savage.

The reason why I’m putting spoilers in my review for Fear Me is that I am uncomfortable that younger new adult readers may pick it up due to the new adult tag. I’m scared they’re going to romanticize Keiran and the things he does. No one should be in a relationship like this book portrays. Fear Me needed more than a warning that it contains sensitive content. It needed a statement saying that if you’re in a relationship anything like the one portrayed in this book, you should contact a help line with the phone number included.

Keiran’s not the only monster in this book. His friends aren’t much better. His cousin Keenan is a cheater whose girlfriend, Sheldon, looks past his indiscretions. He has no problem aiding Keiran in his torture of Lake. Dash is Keiran’s best friend who is also willing to help in any way. Then, there’s Quinton who helps keep an eye on Lake. They’re like the male equivalent of high school mean girls but only worse.

High school. That’s another thing that blows my mind about this book. It’s set in freaking high school. None of these guys act or are described as looking like high schoolers. They’re bigger and badder than that. They have power over people like I can’t even fathom. The things they get away with…it’s unbelievable. Maybe that’s what makes them so interesting?

One thing I feel like I need to comment on was that this was another one of those books where the characters are still in high school but the parents and guardians are rarely seen or heard from. They leave for extended periods of time and leave their kids home alone to attend school, etc. It makes all the things the characters do easier. They don’t really have to hide what’s going on from authority figures. I kept wondering who leaves their kids home all the time like this? My parents didn’t. My friends’ parents didn’t. I won’t leave my kid like that. Maybe some do. It just seemed way too convenient for the plot. I wish they had been around so it would have been harder for the kids to get away with stuff.

**END SPOILERS**

Now, I know what you’re wondering. If it was so horrible, how can I even give it 3 stars? Like I said earlier, B.B. Reid is a talented writer. I may have hated everything that was involved in the relationship Kieran and Lake had, but I was mesmerized by the story woven around it. It was a suspenseful mystery. There were so many secrets to uncover. There were so many fascinating revelations. Lake had amazing friendships with Willow and Sheldon. If Kieran hadn’t been such a monster, I probably would have loved this book. Despite my uncomfortable feelings regarding the sensitive subject matter, I have to read the next book. I need to know Lake that is going to be okay. I’m hoping Kieran gets the help he seriously needs. I guess I need some closure.

Series Review: Infamous by N.A. Alcorn

The Infamous Ellen James
Series: Infamous, #1
Author: N.A. Alcorn
Publication Date: February 18, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Meet twenty-eight year old Ellen James. A sarcastic, feisty, foul-mouthed ER Nurse. She is snarky, sassy, and sometimes crudely inappropriate. After a terrible breakup with her fiancé, Ellen has promised herself that she will never make the mistake of falling for another man again… and physicians, well she’s more than written them off.

Once she meets sexy Trauma Surgeon, Dr. Trent Hamilton, this promise is unbelievably hard to keep. This too-hot-for-Ellen’s-own-good man is undeniably sexy and down-right irresistible. He leaves her breathless, speechless, and irritatingly turned on. He makes her fantasize about him in all kinds of dirty, inappropriate ways.

With the help of her obnoxious, and often times hilarious best friend Amy, Ellen will find herself in several crazy, embarrassing situations.

This is a story of friendship, love and how one very sarcastic woman can find the strength to pick up the pieces after having her heart broken.

In her first novel, N.A. Alcorn provides interesting takes on the word vagina, while giving you a reason to re-think your next visit to the Emergency Room. This book is bound to make you laugh, smile, and provide you with enough sarcasm to choke your grandmother. No, N.A. doesn’t want anything bad to happen to your Grandma Ruth, but she does want you to strongly consider re-naming your vibrator after a guy who’s at the top of your spank bank rotation. Be prepared for dripping juice-boxes, awkward pelvic thrusting, and a little suspense to keep your snatch on edge.

My review:

If you didn’t know, N.A. Alcorn is one half of Max Monroe. When I found out this summer who these authors were, I decided I had to read their individual works. I had several people recommend The Infamous Ellen James to me. I am so happy they did because I loved this book so much!!!

Ellen was outrageous. If she was my friend, she would have the nickname Crazy Ellen. She’s that friend who doesn’t mean to do dumb, crazy, funny stuff but always ends up making a scene. The things that happened to her are only things that could happen to Crazy Ellen. (I have a friend like this in real life, so I feel like I could totally see everything going down the way it did!)

Ellen wasn’t alone in her craziness. Ellen had her best friend Amy Jackson to back her up. Some might say Amy is even crazier than Crazy Ellen. (That’s something I will have to come back to when I review Avoiding Amy Jackson.) Ellen and Amy had the best friendship. They got into some insane trouble, but they always had each other’s backs.

Since Ellen was so fabulously outrageous, she needed a special man to fall in love with her. Dr. Trent Hamilton was that man. He wasn’t afraid to embrace the craziness of falling in love with Ellen. He saw her for the true gem she was.

One thing that really surprised me about The Infamous Ellen James was the serious place it went towards the end. It was all fun and games until something major happened. Then it became more emotional. I liked that N.A. Alcorn was able to take a book that was extremely fun and flirty and make it something deeper and more emotional.

The Infamous Ellen James was laugh out loud hilarious. I cannot even put into words how much joy this book brought me. I loved everything about Ellen and Trent. Their story of falling in love was a crazy good time. I can’t believe this was N.A. Alcorn’s first novel. It was so good!


Avoiding Amy Jackson
Series: Infamous, #2
Author: N.A. Alcorn
Publication Date: February 18, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Meet Amy Jackson. An outspoken, raunchy, in-your-face, loudly inappropriate ER Nurse who makes a career out of indulging.

One-night stands have always been her thing.

Commitment and relationships are two words that are not in her vocabulary.

Amy doesn’t have dreams of soul mates and white picket fences. She adamantly refuses to even consider the idea of getting married and starting a family. She’s also obstinate in allowing a certain physician to get on her good side…

James Williams. A cocky, smug, too-damn-good-looking orthopedic surgeon who has his sights set on the very feisty Amy Jackson. He is more than intrigued and ready to do whatever it takes…

“I want this woman. I’m the type of guy who will fight for what he wants until he gets it. I will take my time with Amy. I won’t rush her. I will continue to slowly slide myself into her life until she realizes that I belong there. And then…I won’t let her go.”

My review:

N.A. Alcorn gives a bit of preview of what’s to come in Avoiding Amy Jackson in The Infamous Ellen James. I’m happy she did that because the Amy and James’ story was… Well, I’m not even sure how to describe it! Amy was so angry wi James for turning down her offer of a one night stand that she decided to hate him. She was mean and rude to him. For some really crazy reason, he still wanted to be with her. I didn’t get it, but it made for a great story!

Amy Jackson and Ellen James are two peas in a pod, so I was worried this book could feel like a repeat of the last. It wasn’t. Amy was just as crass as Ellen, but she had her own issues. She didn’t believe in love and she was all about the one night stand. That was bothersome at times to me, but as her issues slowly revealed themselves I began to understand her decision-making process. It didn’t make me feel any better about her actions, but at least I could understand them. She had a lot of pain inside, and seeing how everything played out made me like her more as a person than I did at the beginning.

James was an idiot. Or an extremely patient and nice guy. It’s hard to determine which based on his holding out for Amy. I’m not quite why he continued to pursue her when she was so nasty to him. I did like how he waited her out and used some sneaky tactics to make her fall for him. He was really very sweet to her, and I loved how he treated her. I just didn’t completely get why he did it. That’s okay, though. It made for a great romance.

Now back to Ellen…I was happy she and Trent played such a big part in Amy and James’ story. It gave me the opportunity to get a little more of their love story. It was also fun to see Ellen and Amy back in action together. I also can’t leave out Ellen’s sister Lizzy. I loved the sneak peek at what was going on there. I was excited to see that Lizzy had a book coming — until I remembered that Max Monroe said they’re only writing books together right now and Avoiding Amy Jackson was released in 2014, so I might not get Lizzy’s story. 🙁

Avoiding Amy Jackson may not as been as amazing a read as The Infamous Ellen James for me, but it was still very good. It had humor, deep emotions, and a sweet love story. I’m crossing my fingers that N.A. Alcorn will eventually give me that third book in this series about Lizzy. I’m dying to read it and find out what else is to come in the Infamous world.

Review: The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred

The Sweet Gum Tree
Author: Katherine Allread
Publication Date: May 12, 2005
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction, New Adult, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Sweet tea, corn bread, and soup beans—everyday fare for eight-year-old Alix French, the precocious darling of a respected southern family. But nothing was ordinary about the day she met ten-year-old Nick Anderson, a boy from the wrong side of town. Armed with only a tin of bee balm and steely determination, Alix treats the raw evidence of a recent beating that mars his back, an act that changes both of their lives forever.

Through childhood disasters and teenage woes they cling together as friendship turns to love. The future looks rosy until the fateful night when Frank Anderson, Nick’s abusive father, is shot to death in his filthy trailer.

Suddenly, Nick is gone—leaving Alix alone, confused and pregnant. For the next fifteen years she wrestles with the pain of Nick’s abandonment, a bad marriage, her family and friends. But finally, she’s starting to get her life back together. Her divorce is almost final, her business is booming, and she’s content if not happy—until the day she looks up and sees Nick standing across the counter. He’s back…and he’s not alone.

Once again Alix is plunged into turmoil and pain as Nick tries to win her love, something she resists with all her strength. Only one thing might break the protective wall she’s built around her emotions—the truth about Frank Anderson’s death. But when that truth comes out and those walls crumble, neither Alix nor Nick is prepared for the emotional explosion that could destroy as well as heal.


The Sweet Gum Tree is not a book that I normally would have picked up. Honestly, the cover and title wouldn’t have appealed to me. Luckily, I read a review of it by Stephanie. Her review made The Sweet Gum Tree sound so interesting. I decided I wanted to read it and requested it from my local library. I’m so happy I did! I ended up really enjoying this book. I didn’t want to put it down. I read it one night, and stayed up super late to finish it.
When I first started reading The Sweet Gum Tree, I wondered what I was getting myself into. While the story was written in my favorite first person narration, it was told straight to me by the main character Alix rather than experiencing it with her. That felt really odd to me. I got used to it and kind of forgot about it. It didn’t ruin the book for me.

I loved the setting of The Sweet Gum Tree. I’m a big fan of books set in the southern United States. This one was even more special with it being set in a small town. I could easily imagine how closely tied together all of the characters were.

I really liked how the story started when Alix was a young girl and grew with her until adulthood. This was done in a great way. I got just enough of her story at important times in her life to understand how she ended up where she was an adult. I loved seeing how her relationship with Nick in all those years changed Alix. I adored Alex and Nick’s love for each other. It was so sweet and it grew from a very special friendship.

What drove me nuts about The Sweet Gum Tree was the lack of communication between the characters. That caused the majority of the problems, and showed just how immature the characters were — even into adulthood. Another thing that was a little frustrating was all the cheating involved in the story. It wasn’t described, so that wasn’t the problem. It was the way that the characters all reacted to it. It seemed like no big deal and was easily forgiven. That was just so odd.

Overall, The Sweet Gum Tree was a surprisingly addictive read. It wasn’t perfect in my eyes, but that didn’t matter. It drew me in, kept my attention, and left me satisfied in the end. If you’re a fan of women’s fiction, books set in the South, or books set in a small town, you might want to give The Sweet Gum Tree a try. It’s a special book.

Review: Road-Tripped by Nicole Archer

Road-Tripped
Series: Ad Agency, #1
Author: Nicole Archer
Publication Date: August 21, 2016
Publisher: Twist Idea Lab, LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

What’s worse than driving a phallic-shaped RV across the country with a coworker you hate? Falling in love with them.

Copywriter Callie Murphy has a bad attitude, a vicious tongue, and a serious aversion to Shimura Advertising’s resident manwhore, Walker Rhodes. Know where he can stick his good looks and Southern charm? She can think of a few creative places. Avoiding him wouldn’t be a problem, except her boss threatens to fire her if she doesn’t go along with him on their RV client’s cross-country tour.

Burnt-out art director, Walker, is sick of his job, tired of women, and in a big old creative rut. The upcoming client road trip is just what he needs to shake things up and rediscover his lost passion. But his plans go south when his partner drops out at the last minute, and Callie, the foul-mouthed tiny terror, takes her place. Unless he can find a way to thaw his icy coworker, he’s looking at two months of pure hell.

Road-Tripped is a stand-alone novel and the first book in the Ad Agency Series.


Callie Murphy is not a fan of her co-worker Walker Rhodes. The guy is a manwhore working his way through all of the gorgeous woman they work with. Callie has no desire to be one of those women, so she stays as far away from his pretty face as she can. That lasts until Callie is forced to go on a cross-country RV trip with Walker to save the company they work for. Walker isn’t exactly happy to be stuck traveling with prickly Callie either. Living and traveling with each other day in and out shows them sides of each other they weren’t expecting. Maybe there’s more to the other than either of them anticipated.

I’m not sure what inspired me to download Road-Tripped or when I even did it, but I’m so happy I did! This was a book that was sitting on my Kindle for who knows how long. I didn’t have any ARCs to read, so after looking through all of the titles I own and I haven’t read yet I decided to pick it up. I was pleasantly surprised by it.

Callie and Walker were adorable! They had amazing chemistry like only enemies to lovers characters can have. They were both holding onto so many negative things. It was nice to see them run through all of their emotions together and apart. Their characters grew so much. I loved how they ended up growing together. Their experiences on their road trip were simply magical.

The one thing that would have made this book even better was if it had been in first person. Don’t get me wrong, I barely even noticed the third person narration after the first couple of chapters. It worked well. I just prefer first person narration. I felt that I would have connected even more with Walker and Callie if their thoughts and feelings were in first person. Still, like I said, I barely noticed it was in third while reading.

Overall, Road-Tripped was a great romantic read filled with humor and emotion. It is one of my favorite road trip books yet. I am very excited to read more of Nicole Archer’s books.

Royally Yours Cover

Check out the cover for ROYALLY YOURS by EMMA CHASE!

Blurb:
New York Times bestselling author Emma Chase returns with a sweet and sexy standalone in the Royally Series.
Princess Lenora Celeste Beatrice Arabella Pembrook had an unusual childhood. She was raised to be a Queen—the first Queen of Wessco.
It’s a big deal.
When she’s crowned at just nineteen, the beautiful young monarch is prepared to rule. She’s charming, clever, confident and cunning.
What she isn’t…is married.
It’s her advising council’s first priority. It’s what Parliament is demanding, and what her people want.
Lenora has no desire to tie herself to a man—particularly one who only wants her for her crown. But compromises must be made and royals must do their duty.
Even Queens. Especially them.
**
Years ago, Edward Langdon Richard Dorian Rourke, walked away from his title and country. Now he’s an adventurer—climbing mountains, exploring jungles, going wherever he wants, when he wants—until family devotion brings him home.
And a sacred promise keeps him there.
To Edward, the haughty, guarded little Queen is intriguing, infuriating…and utterly captivating. Wanting her just might drive him mad—or become his greatest adventure.
**
Within the cold, stone walls of the royal palace—mistrust threatens, wills clash, and an undeniable, passionate love will change the future of the monarchy forever.
Every dynasty has a beginning. Every legend starts with a story.
This is theirs.

ROYALLY YOURS will be available on October 30th!

Preorder:
→iBooks: http://bit.ly/RoyallyYoursiBooks
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→Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2NNoIET
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