Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Genre: Women’s Fiction; Romance; LGBT+
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

From Taylor Jenkins Reid, “a genius when it comes to stories about life and love” (Redbook), comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Written with Reid’s signature talent for “creating complex, likable characters” (Real Simple), this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.


Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author I’ve always wanted to read a book by but hadn’t yet. I was very excited to get to read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and experience her writing. I had heard such great things about her books.

I was a little nervous about reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo because a couple of my trusted blogger friends were not impressed by it. After reading it, I can understand why this book may not be for some readers. It’s filled with uncomfortable situations and moments. Evelyn was unabashedly candid in the telling of her life story. She was unapologetic about the people she hurt or wronged. Some, if not all, of her decisions will disgust some readers. Evelyn was simply unlikable.

I wasn’t a fan of Evelyn’s, but I did appreciate her story. The methods she used to get what she wanted were brash, but she acknowledged that. Everything she did, right or wrong, made for an interesting tale. I wasn’t put off by most of her actions. I liked how they led to and explained her seven husbands. I truly enjoyed the journey through Evelyn’s life and loves.

Monique wasn’t much of a character at first. Her story loosely wove around Evelyn’s, and I also found it hard to like her. I don’t know that I ever ended up liking her, but I did end up respecting her. The things she learned about Evelyn and from Evelyn were profound. I loved that she put to use what she learned.

From the book blurb, the reader knows going into the story that Evelyn and Monique’s lives intertwine in some way. I never could have guessed how. It was definitely a twist I didn’t see coming. It was perfect and I really like what it did to the story line. It made the ending all that more perfect.

I may not have fallen in love with the characters of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but I was mesmerized by the story. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer capable of weaving a multifaceted tale. I loved her writing style, and I am looking forward to reading her other books.

Blog Tour Review: The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White

The Night the Lights Went Out
Author: Karen White
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery

Goodreads

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Flight Patterns comes a stunning new novel about a young single mother who discovers that the nature of friendship is never what it seems….

Recently divorced, Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to the Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple, Georgia. It’s not her first time starting over, but her efforts at a new beginning aren’t helped by an anonymous local blog that dishes about the scandalous events that caused her marriage to fail.

Merilee finds some measure of peace in the cottage she is renting from town matriarch Sugar Prescott. Though stubborn and irascible, Sugar sees something of herself in Merilee—something that allows her to open up about her own colorful past.

Sugar’s stories give Merilee a different perspective on the town and its wealthy school moms in their tennis whites and shiny SUVs, and even on her new friendship with Heather Blackford. Merilee is charmed by the glamorous young mother’s seemingly perfect life and finds herself drawn into Heather’s world.

In a town like Sweet Apple, where sins and secrets are as likely to be found behind the walls of gated mansions as in the dark woods surrounding Merilee’s house, appearance is everything. But just how dangerous that deception can be will shock all three women….

MY REVIEW:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

Every time I pick up a book by Karen White, I’m impressed. It’s like I forget what an amazing writer she is and how well she weaves a story. Those are just a couple of the reasons she is one of my all time favorite authors and on my auto-buy list.

The Night the Lights Went Out completely captivated me. In the beginning, it was the writing that did it. The southern setting of  Sweet Apple Georgia was beautifully described. I could hear the characters’ Southern accents as I read the book. Not too long after beginning, it was the plot that kept my attention. The four points of view that delivered it were very engaging.

First, there was Merliee. She was a recent divorcée trying to navigate her new world. She had recently moved into a rental house on Sugar Prescott’s land, and her children were attending a new private school. Merliee was trying to develop new friendships with other parents and Sugar. Trying to fit in was stressful for her. I found it very easy to relate to. Making friends in your adult years is really hard.

The second and third point of views were both Sugar’s. One was her current 90-something-year-old current day voice. Sugar was crotchety and stubborn, but a great person underneath her rough exterior. She saw people for who they really were. The old lady made me smile a lot. Sugar’s second perspective was told through stories of her past. Bit by bit, she unfolded the mystery of her life. I loved learning how Sugar become the strong, outspoken woman she was today from her history.

The fourth and final perspective was an anonymous blogger. The blogger claimed to have all the insight into what was happening in Sweet Apple. The blog gave insight into not just local business and construction happenings, but also social gossip. What showed up on the blog was scandalous.

All four perspectives wove into a couple of different fascinating mysteries. The first, I mentioned above about Sugar’s past. The second involves things that begin happening after Merilee makes some new friendships with parents from her children’s school. The mysteries weren’t too hard to figure out. I may have guessed some major plot twists early on, but it didn’t keep me from enjoying the book. It actually made the revelations all that more fun.

The Night the Lights Went Out was truly a great women’s fiction/mystery read. I enjoyed every minute I spent with it. I highly recommend reading it to anyone who enjoys great mysteries in a Southern setting.

excerpt:

A cluster of moms stood in the parking lot surrounded by high-end SUVs following first day drop-off at Windwood Academy.  The women appeared to be listening with rapt attention to the tall blond woman in the center of their semi-circle, her hair arranged perfectly beneath her white tennis visor, her long and lean limbs brown and glowy.  Merilee noticed this last part only because her ex-mother-in-law had given her a bottle of glowy lotion for her last birthday and Lily had told her it made her look sparkly like Katy Perry in one of her videos.  Merilee had thrown out the remainder of the bottle, realizing she wasn’t the type anymore to look glowy much less sparkly.

But the blonde definitely was.  Her whole body glowed.  Her face glowed.  Even the hair visible beneath the visor appeared to be lit from within.  The woman looked vaguely familiar, and Merilee realized she’d probably been one of the mothers she’d met at the open house the previous week.  She’d only been to the one let’s-get-acquainted event, her work schedule precluding any of the various parties that were held almost exclusively on weekdays when she worked.

Merilee was terrible with names, had been ever since she started dating Michael.  He was so good at it, always reminding her who everyone was when they were at a party, that she’d simply stopped trying.  She hoped she was only out of practice instead of permanently disabled.  Her children’s futures probably depended on it since Michael wouldn’t be there to make sure Merilee remembered the names of Lily’s friends who were or were not speaking to each other.  And which of Colin’s teachers appreciated his dreamy attitude and those who didn’t.  It had always been a game with them—her recalling every detail about a friend or teacher, details always overlooked by Michael—and then he’d fill in the missing part—the name.  But now she had to do it all on her own.

She smiled vaguely in the direction of the blond woman and her entourage and had almost made it to her van when she heard her name being called.

“Merilee?  Merilee Dunlap?”

Great.  The woman not only remembered her first name, but her last as well.  Forcing a warm smile on her face, Merilee turned.  “Oh, hello.  It’s good to see you again.”

The other women parted like the Red Sea as the tall blond walked toward Merilee and she remembered that the woman had been wearing a Lily Pulitzer sundress and two-carat diamond stud earrings when they’d met before.  But she didn’t remember her name.  “I thought that was you.  I looked for you in Mrs. Marshall’s homeroom.  I’m the room mother and wanted to welcome Lily myself.”

Merilee remembered the voice.  It was very Southern, heavily laced with dropped consonants and elongated vowels.  The most memorable part about it was that it sounded exactly like Merilee’s mother.

“We were running a bit late this morning.”  Feeling suddenly short and frumpy in her dark skirt and blazer, Merilee had the strong urge to explain.  “My son couldn’t find his new uniform shoes.  They somehow managed to find their way back into the box they came in and then got shoved so far under his bed that it took nearly twenty minutes to locate them.  And then Lily spilled her bowl of cereal and milk down the front of her skirt, and I had to quickly iron one of her other ones so she could wear it.”

The woman gave her a warm smile from behind dark Chanel sunglasses as if she knew exactly what it was like to be a frazzled single mother.  “Bless your heart.  And on the first day at a new school.  You’ll get used to the routine, I promise.  It took me a whole month to realize that I should have a skirt and blouse for every school day plus one, and have Patricia have them cleaned and ironed as soon as my girls dropped them on the floor.”

Not exactly sure how to reslake, Merilee picked out the first confusing part of the sentence.  “Patricia?”

“My house manager.  I couldn’t live without her.  You know how crazy busy it is with all of the kids’ schedules.”  She reached into her large handbag that was more briefcase than purse, with a designer’s logo sprouting over its surface like kudzu.  “I was going to stick this in the mail to you, but since you’re here I’ll give it to you now.  It’s a sign-up sheet for parties and field trips—it lists everything for the year.  Just let me know your availabilities and ask Lily to bring it in to school and give to Bailey as soon as you can.  Bailey is very responsible and will make sure it gets to me.”  The woman smiled, her teeth perfect.  “Only sign up for four—every mother wants to be at every single event, but then it just gets crowded—plus there won’t be room on the bus for the kids.”

“Only four…” Merilee took the list and looked at it, almost letting out an audible sigh when she saw the woman’s name at the top of the page, Heather Blackford, Class Mother, followed by three different phone numbers.  Now she remembered.  Heather had a daughter in Colin’s class, too, both girls’ names starting with ‘B’.

“Yes.  And if you could turn it back in tomorrow that would be terrific.  I’ll have Claire put it all in a spreadsheet and I’ll email it to all the mothers.  Please write neatly—Claire has a way of butchering your name if she can’t read it.”

“Claire?”

“My personal assistant.  She’s only part time but I would simply die of exhaustion without her.”

The ladies behind her all nodded in understanding.

“Yes, well, I’ll take a look at it and get it back to you tomorrow.”  Merilee was already wondering how she was going to approach her boss to ask him for more time off.  The divorce and move had already eaten up all of her vacation time, and although Max was kind and understanding, everyone had their limits.

“And don’t forget the ‘I survived my first week of fourth grade’ party at my lake house this Saturday.  I’ll be handing out disposable cameras to all the moms and dads to take pictures throughout the year at our various events—I like to do little photo albums for all the kids and the teachers at the end of the year.”  She beamed, like it was just a small thing.  “Oh, and I took the liberty of signing you up for a dessert because we’re overrun with vegetables and dip and pimiento cheese.  I figured you’d know how to make something sweet.”

“Oh…”  Merilee simply blinked her eyes for a moment, wondering if Heather had meant to be insulting.

“Because you’re from South Georgia.  You mentioned that when we met.  You said I had the same accent as your mother.”

Feeing oddly relieved, Merilee said, “Yes, of course.  Where did you say you were from?”

“Here and there—but mostly Georgia.  I can always tell a native Georgian.  Hard to hide it, isn’t it?  It’s almost like no matter how far you go in life, all you have to do is open your mouth and somebody knows exactly where you’re from.”

There was something in the way Heather said it that made Merilee pause.  “Yes, well, I’ll call my mother today and ask her what she might recommend.”

“Wonderful.”  Heather beamed.  She pointed a key fob toward a black Porsche SUV with vanity plates that read YERSERV, and the rear door slowly raised.  As the other mothers oohed and ahhed appropriately, Merilee stared into the trunk where fourteen metallic gift bags with blue or pink tissue paper expertly pleated at the tops were arranged in neat rows.

Heather moved toward the car.  “A little lagniappe—that’s Cajun for ‘a little extra’ to all of my Yankee friends—for the first day of school.  My treat.  I thought we could each give our children a bag at pickup today and then head over to Scoops for ice cream afterwards.  I’ve already reserved the party room at the back of the store.  Claire is picking up the helium balloons this morning and will have it all decorated in Windwood colors.”

“You are just too much,” one of the mothers said as the other women eagerly stepped toward the car and took a bag.

newly available in paperback:

Flight Patterns
by Karen White

FLIGHT PATTERNS tells the story of Georgia Chambers, a fine china expert who left her family years before and is forced to return home and repair the relationships she’s carefully avoided. To embrace her own life—mistakes and all—she will have to find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past and the secrets she was forced to keep.

about the author:

Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the Tradd Street series, The Night the Lights Went OutFlight PatternsThe Sound of GlassA Long Time Gone, and The Time Between. She is the coauthor of The Forgotton Room with New York Times bestselling authors Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. She grew up in London but now lives with her husband and two children near Atlanta, Georgia.

 

 

Review: Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

Alex & Eliza: A Love Story
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Publisher: G.P. Putnum’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via Goodreads in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

1777. Albany, New York.

As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.

Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

In the pages of Alex and Eliza, #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz brings to life the romance of young Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler.


I haven’t seen Hamilton. I don’t know much about Alexander Hamilton. What I do know is that I loved this take on his relationship with Elizabeth Schuyler.

I’m not one immediately pulled in by historical fiction. It usually takes me a while to get into the time period, but Alex and Eliza captured my attention from the start. It was beautifully written and completely enchanting. It may have been based in the past, but the writing felt fresh and new.

Everything about the characters made me want to know more about their story. Eliza was a strong, somewhat outspoken young woman of her time. The way she stood up for her beliefs was inspirational. Alex wasn’t quite the war hero he wanted to be, but his book smarts were impressive, as was the way he was infatuated with Eliza. I loved how Alex & Eliza began with their first meeting and impressions of each other, and then ended with their marriage. I’m not sure how much of Melissa de la Cruz’s account was real and how much she crafted, but the relationship felt like it naturally progressed. All of the little bits of drama were fun and important to the story.

Eliza and Alex weren’t the only stars of this story. I absolutely loved Eliza’s sisters. They had such strong personalities of their own. Their stories seemed just as important as Eliza and Alex’s. If Melissa de la Cruz were to write their stories, I would be quick to read them!

Alex & Eliza was a truly delightful read. It was a captivating historical love story that all readers are sure to enjoy.

Review: The Guests on South Battery by Karen White

30068929The Guests of South Battery
Series: Tradd Street, #5
Author: Karen White
Publication Date: January 10, 2016
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Mystery, Historical, Romance, Fiction
Note: I received an ARC from Berkley via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Karen White invites you to explore the brick-walked streets of Charleston, where historic mansions house the memories of years gone by, and restless spirits refuse to fade away…

With her extended maternity leave at its end, Melanie Trenholm is less than thrilled to leave her new husband and beautiful twins to return to work, especially when she’s awoken by a phone call with no voice on the other end—and the uneasy feeling that the ghostly apparitions that have stayed silent for more than a year are about to invade her life once more.

But her return to the realty office goes better than she could have hoped, with a new client eager to sell the home she recently inherited on South Battery. Most would treasure living in one of the grandest old homes in the famous historic district of Charleston, but Jayne Smith would rather sell hers as soon as possible, guaranteeing Melanie a quick commission.

Despite her stroke of luck, Melanie can’t deny that spirits—both malevolent and benign—have started to show themselves to her again. One is shrouded from sight, but appears whenever Jayne is near. Another arrives when an old cistern is discovered in Melanie’s backyard on Tradd Street.

Melanie knows nothing good can come from unearthing the past. But some secrets refuse to stay buried….


I was excited when I heard Karen White was going to be continuing her Tradd Street series. I was sure the fourth book, Return to Tradd Street, was going to be the end. That made me so sad because I loved every minute of this quirky series. Luckily, I was wrong!

The minute I began The Guests on South Battery, I was immediately sucked back into Melanie Middleton Trenholm’s world. It was fun to be back in her uptight mind, traversing around downtown Charleston, South Carolina. Despite getting married and having twins, Melanie hadn’t changed much. She still had her insecurities and anal-retentive compulsions. I enjoyed seeing how Jack, her husband, dealt with them. Their relationship was changing and progressing throughout the entire story and I loved that a lot.

I also loved how Karen White brought back all of my favorite characters from the entire series. She gave them each the perfect part in this story. There were also some great new characters introduced. They added some cool twists to the mystery of the story and brought a new depth to the recurring characters and their histories. I especially liked Jayne and her role in The Guests on South Battery.

My favorite thing about The Guests on South Battery, though; was the mystery of the story. I was fascinated by Jayne randomly inheriting the house on South Battery. I was dying to know why the previous owner chose her the entire time I was reading. I knew the ghosts inhabiting the house were somehow involved in the answer, but I never would have guessed why.

My only little issue with The Guests of South Battery was Melanie’s insecurity surrounding her post-baby life. She’s always been insecure, but there was denial she was going through that was a little odd. I didn’t like the way those around her acted about it. They were all controlling a part of her life and I didn’t really understand why. It was almost like I was missing a piece of their interactions or something. It didn’t make me dislike the book, but I just found it a bit…odd.

Once again, Karen White has written a beautifully crafted mystery. I truly loved reading The Ghosts on South Battery and being back in Charleston with the Middletons and the Trenholms. It was such a fun ghost story/romance/mystery. I especially loved the ending and how I felt that it left things open for the possibilities of more books in the series. I highly recommend the entire Tradd Street series to readers who like mysteries with a historical touch.

Review: Swelter by Nina G. Jones

Swelter
Author:
Nina G. Jones
Publication Date: January 1, 2015
Genre: Historical Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

I married the right brother.

At least that’s what I tell myself at night, when I stare at the ceiling and listen to the rhythm of the grandfather clock down the hall. It never feels like the mere passage of time, but a countdown towards something inevitable.

Bobby Lightly is selfish, irresponsible, and careless. I haven’t seen him since the day I married his brother. He slipped out during the wedding reception without a word.

A year later, I heard Bobby was drafted to Korea. He never said goodbye. Never sent a letter. We had all come to terms with the fact that he was probably dead somewhere, either a victim of the war or its aftermath.

That is, until in the midst of an unrelenting heatwave, he showed up at the doorstep of the house I lived in with his brother.

Everyone thinks I’m cruel. Everyone thinks I should be easy on him. They think I don’t understand him. They all think I hate him.

But what no one understands is that it was Bobby who broke my heart.

And I think he’s back to do it again.


This year I’ve been buddy reading through The Huffington Post’s Oh, You Little Heartbreaker! The Ultimate List of Ugly Cry Novels with some Goodreads friends. We’re tackling one each month and this month’s pick was Swelter.

Swelter takes place in 1950’s and is told from Lilly Lightly’s point of view. Lilly is an unhappy housewife trying make it through the sweltering summer months of 1957. Life with her childhood sweetheart Rory is nothing like she thought it would be. There’s a friction between the two that the rising summer heat is exacerbating. The return of Rory’s “dead” brother Bobby only makes things worse.

On the surface, it would seem that Lilly hates Bobby. He left Rory and Lilly when they needed him the most. But deep down, there’s more to Lilly’s anger than anyone knows. When Bobby left, he took the happiest pieces of her with him. His return from has only confirmed to Lilly what she always knew: She married the wrong Lightly. Now, Lilly is forced once again to choose between the two brothers who love her.

Swelter was a bit of a surprise to me. I didn’t realize that it was a historical romance before I started it. I really enjoyed the time frame of the story and how it shaped the love triangle between Lilly and the Lightly brothers. I was surprised at how sexy parts of it were for the era. I just imagined all sexual relationships were more demure in that time. Guess I was wrong. 😉

Another thing I really enjoyed about this book was the way the story was written. I didn’t like that the love triangle was between two brothers or that it involved cheating, but I thought the author made the choice of who to root for easy. One brother always outshone the other. I also loved the twists and turns I wasn’t expecting near the end.

Overall, Swelter was a really good book. The writing was exceptional and the storyline was addicting. I read the entire book in one day. I would recommend Swelter to readers who enjoy a heart wrenching historical romance and don’t mind cheating.

Review: ’89 Walls by Katie Pierson

’89 Walls
Author: 
Katie Pierson
Publication Date: June 5, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Historical Fiction
Note: I received this book from the author via Goodreads in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

College is not in the cards for Seth. He spends his minimum wage on groceries and fakes happiness to distract his mom from the MS they both know will kill her. It’s agony to carry around a frayed love note for a girl who’s both out of his league and beneath his dignity.

Quinn’s finishing high school on top. But that cynical, liberal guy in her social studies class makes her doubt her old assumptions. Challenging the rules now, though, would a) squander her last summer at home, b) antagonize her conservative dad, and c) make her a hypocrite.

Seth and Quinn’s passionate new romance takes them both by surprise. They keep it a secret: it’s too early to make plans and too late not to care. But it’s 1989. As politics suddenly get personal, they find themselves fighting bare-fisted for their beliefs—and each other—in the clear light of day.


’89 Walls is kind of a hard book to review. It’s categorized as YA, but so much of the story screamed adult fiction to me. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think the multitude historical references may be off-putting to some young adults looking for a coming of age contemporary romance. I grew up in the 80’s and even I found myself overwhelmed by the multitude of historical references peppered throughout the book. They set the timeline and political nature of the characters, but distracted from my emotional connection to the story.

That being said, Katie Pierson’s writing is very good. I never would have guessed this was her début novel. I applaud the way she dealt with some very tough political, social and personal issues. She didn’t shy away from anything.

My favorite thing about ’89 Walls were the relationships between all of the characters. Seth and Quinn had a deep connection for a couple of teenagers on the verge of adulthood. I loved that each stood their ground on their beliefs, but were willing to learn, grow and possibly change their minds. Their relationship wasn’t without turmoil, but the outcome of their problems made them stronger together and apart.

The story wasn’t just about Seth and Quinn’s relationship, though. It also focused on their relationships with their respective parents. Both were close to their parents and wanted to make them happy, but it wasn’t always possible. Seth and Quinn were fighting for their adulthood and freedom to make important choices in their lives. I loved they way they discovered how to balance their need for independence with their desires to make their parents proud.

Overall, ’89 Walls was a strong début novel. It’s filled with both political and emotional gems. I think readers who were teenagers in the late 1980’s will love and identify with the story.

Release Day Blitz & Review: Red Hot Holidays Anthology

Forget shopping. Forget wrapping. Spend the holidays with these 17 gorgeous alpha males.

They have something they’d like to put in your stockings, because they’re definitely on Santa’s naughty list in these 17 all-new stories.

red hot holidays COVER

AVAILABLE NOW

Amazon.comBarnes & NobleiTunes

About the Book:

NYT, USA Today, and top-selling authors have banded together to bring you 17 all-new, sweet to sexy books about love, romance, and the holidays.

Take a break and rip open this boxed set to cuddle up with these romantic comedy, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance books. These authors have pulled out all the stops, bringing back some of your favorite characters from their bestselling series for one more bite at the fruitcake or penning stories about new characters and new love!

For a limited time, you can pick up all 17 of these naughty men for a really great price! Over 1000 pages of love, laughter, and romance! From billionaires and filthy rich rock stars to undercover police and bear shifters, we’ve gathered all 17 passionate stories in one big box with a bow on top. This heart-pounding collection is filled with confident, sexy, and romantic men you’ll want to spend the holidays with.

AVAILABLE NOW

Amazon.comBarnes & NobleiTunes

My Review: 5 out of 5 stars!

The Red Hot Holidays Anthology is a hot and steamy set of books to get you into the holiday spirit. There is a little something for everyone: contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, second chance romance and more.

One of my favorite stories in the Red Hot Holidays Anthology was Noel by J.C. Valentine. Noel was a nurse trying to avoid falling for her patient, hot cop Hunter. His hot body has her in a tizzy, but she’s going to stick with her oath of not dating patients…or she thinks she is until Hunter convinces her otherwise. Noel was a really fun, steamy read.

My other favorite was Winter Tryst by Mira Bailee. It was a short and sweet second chance romance where a man realizes the mistakes he’s made over the past year with his soon-to-be ex-wife.

Those two were my favorites in the anthology, but all of the others were really good as well! A Cub for Christmas by Ella Dominguez was a fun story about an older woman falling for a younger man. Give and Take by Daisy Prescott was a cute story taking place on Whidbey Island that gives a look at the exciting Christmas happenings of several friends. Black Christmas by JC Andrijeski was an interesting Christmas tale about a couple that is apart but that can read each others minds to communicate and be intimate.

Those are just some of the incredibly fun Christmas-time stories that make up this anthology. I would highly suggest reading the Red Hot Holidays Anthology to put you in the holiday spirit! It’s only $0.99!

Stories Included Are:

Perfectly Kissed ~ Lacey Silks Mistletoes, sneaky best friend and an old lady, coerce best friends and former lovers, Millie and Dave, to reunite for Christmas Holidays.

Montreux ~ Blair Babylon Wulf von Hannover and Rae Stone are about to marry in Montreux, but Wulf’s aristocratic father makes one last attempt to derail the wedding.

Home Bound ~ Olivia Rigal and Shannon Macallan Trapped by a storm, a voluptuous architect and a sexy TV news reporter melt the ice by a roaring fire.

A Band of Heather ~ Sarah M. Cradit Colleen and Noah belong to two very different worlds, but a band of heather changes their lives forever.

Christmas on the Run ~ Daizie Draper Wannabe rock star Tristan runs from a dangerous bookie and falls for the girl he’s only using as his perfect escape.

Noel: A Blue Collar Christmas ~ J.C. Valentine Nurse Noel Walker doesn’t date patients, but Officer Hunter Davis won’t give up until he slaps the cuffs on.

Black Christmas ~ JC Andrijeski Quintin Black vanishes, leaving Miri alone after a harrowing ordeal in Thailand. Will she forgive him in time for Christmas?

Winter Tryst ~ Mira Bailee One destroyed marriage. Two broken hearts. When Sean visits Lyla to say goodbye, winter’s magic forces the lovers to face the painful truth.

Give and Take ~ Daisy Prescott You never know who will show up at the Sip ’n Stroll in Langley. Someone’s pregnant. Someone’s engaged. And someone’s getting a puppy.

Slow and Steady ~ V. J. Chambers When danger interrupts Christmas shopping, Leigh and her husband Griffin sizzle.

Take Me Home ~ Alison Foster All my Christmas wishes were snatched away by an evil brute. What can you do when the man you hate most makes your mouth water?

Bearfield Snowed In ~ Jacqueline Sweet A hunter tracking her prey finds herself snowed in with a sexy shifter. Is he her mortal enemy or her fated mate?

My Cowboy Soldier ~ Gillian Cherry Holidays draw lovers and families together, except when war tears them apart.

A Cub for Christmas ~ Ella Dominguez This May-December romance burns up the pages when Aricelli realizes that unwrapping her Christmas package is only half the fun.

Rosy Cheeks ~ Amity Wilde Good things sometimes come in unlikely packages. When an online flirt stumbles into Karen’s very real life, he might be just what she needs.

A Beary Merry Christmas ~ Jazzmyn Wolfe After a season of frustration and pain, will curvy Kassandra and Brendan finally have a beary merry Christmas?

Alec’s First Christmas ~ Felicia Tatum Daphne and Zander welcomed their baby Alec, and his first Christmas has magical surprises.

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