WWW Wednesday: November 28, 2018

Welcome to WWW Wednesday!

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. The purpose is to share what I’ve reading lately. The three W’s stand for:

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


Recently Read

We ended up having a lot of home time because my daughter was sick this weekend and home from school the past 2 days. It gave me time to knock some books off my backlist. I read Beautiful Mistake, The Opportunist (Love Me with Lies, #81), Dirty Red (Love Me with Lies, #2, Thief (Love Me with Lies, #3), Bring Down the Stars (Beautiful Hearts Duet, #1), and Long Live the Beautiful Hearts (Beautiful Hearts Duet, #2).

Currently ReadIng

I am reading an ARC of Jock Rule (Jock Hard, #2).

I also started listening to This Will Only Hurt a Little. It’s…different. I’m not sure what I think of it yet. I was hoping it would be a little more upbeat.

Reading Next

I need to get back to reading Beartown. It’s pretty character driven and slow to get into, but I think I’m going to like it once I get past all the introductions.

What are you reading? Make sure to leave me your link below so I can check out your post. 🙂

Review: Only Love (Melanie Harlow)

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Only Love
Series: One and Only, #3
Author: Melanie Harlow
Publication Date: November 26, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

A gorgeous former Marine with a tortured soul.
The beautiful, compassionate therapist living next door.
A meddlesome grandma determined to get them together.

From USA Today Bestselling Author Melanie Harlow comes an all new standalone romance that will make you believe in the redemptive power of love.

I was expecting a proposal on my birthday, and I got dumped instead.

How could I have been so clueless?

Grams knew exactly how to distract me.

The “cute boy next door” who’s been helping her with yard work clearly needs a little therapy. Who better to call than her newly single therapist granddaughter?

She even fakes dementia to get me to visit, and now that I’m here she’s doing everything in her power to throw us together.

Not that I’m complaining. Ryan is the sexiest man I’ve ever met–I mean the full package, from the chiseled jaw to the massive shoulders to the rippling abs. (And yes, his package is full, and he knows exactly how to deliver it.) He makes me want to get out of my head and follow my heart. He makes me want to take chances I never thought I’d take.

He also makes me want to take my clothes off. A lot.

But he’s moody and challenging–one minute he’s an open book, and the next he’s completely closed off. He holds me like he’ll never let go, but insists he wants to be alone.

Some wounds are so deep, only love can heal them.

How can I convince him to let me try?


The blurb for Only Love is what attracted me to this book. It just sounded cute with the ex-Marine, Grams, and dumped on her birthday girl. I have only read one other book by Melanie Harlow that I loved, so I decided to give this one a shot. I ended up having some mixed feelings about it.

Only Love is the third book in the One and Only series. I didn’t realize that before I read it, but it didn’t seem to matter. It could easily be read as a standalone. Only Love follows the love story of Stella and Ryan. After Stella is dumped on her birthday, her Grams talks her into visiting her. Unbeknownst to Stella, Grams has decided to hook Stella up with her hot ex-Marine neighbor. Ryan’s not looking for a relationship, but neither he nor Stella can stop from acting on their attraction to each other. Soon the feelings they have for each other are making them uncomfortable in ways they didn’t see coming.

Only Love was a fun read. I loved the way it was set up. Stella and Ryan both got their own first person point of view. Grams also got to voice her thoughts here and throughout the book. It made for a very fun reading experience. Grams POV might have been my favorite because she was so sneaky! I loved that she had the best intentions and worked for the greater good.

Ryan was a complicated character. Melanie Harlow did his character justice. I would never want to be in Ryan’s shoes, but I can empathize better after reading his thoughts and feelings in this book. His reasons for shutting down his emotions were valid. I loved how Stella helped him feel again.

Honestly, I didn’t really like Stella. She was so rigid that I had hard time believing she was someone who could exist outside this book. I’m sure there are people out there who would identify in some way with her, but it wasn’t me. I was thinking back and wondering if maybe her character might have made more sense to me if I had read the first two books about her sisters?

The funny thing is that I liked Stella when it came to her relationship with Ryan. The care Stella put into her interactions with Ryan was so sweet. I liked how she truly listened to him and saw him. Stella walked Ryan through some tough moments, and it was touching. Ryan wasn’t always as nice and understanding as Stella, but he got it when it counted the most. I truly liked the relationship they ended up building together — even if I did think they had too much of an insta-love thing going on.

Overall, Only Love was a fun read. I liked how the characters and their love grew throughout the story.

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Download your copy today!

AppleBooks | Amazon | Amazon Worldwide | Nook | Kobo | Amazon Paperback

Add to GoodReads

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About Melanie Harlow

Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.

Melanie is the author of the AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.
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Connect with Melanie

Facebook | Amazon | Bookbub | Pinterest | Instagram | Website

Stay up to date with Melanie by joining her mailing list: http://www.melanieharlow.com/subscribe/

Top Ten Tuesday: Some of Favorite Bookish Friendships

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 Platonic Relationships In Books (friendships, parent/child, siblings, family, etc.) Here are some of my favorite friendships in books.


1. Millie, Reid, Chris, Alex, & Ed
My Favorite Half-Night Stand
Author: Christina Lauren

2. Dill, Lydia, & Travis
The Serpent King
Author: Jeff Zentner

3. Ellen James & Amy Jackson
The Infamous Ellen James
Author: N.A. Alcorn

4. Georgia, Cassie, Winnie, Kline, Thatch, & Wes
Tapping the Billionaire
Author: Max Monroe

5. Knitting in the City Ladies
Neanderthal Seeks Human
Author: Penny Reid

6. The More Than Gang
More Than This
Author: Jay McLean

7. Garrett, Logan, Dean, & Tucker
The Deal
Author: Elle Kennedy

8. Frank Sanger & Everyone (I should say Sloane)
This Adventure Ends
Author: Emma Mills

9. The Addicted Gang
Addicted to You
Authors: Krista & Becca Ritchie

10. Paige & the Gang
The Start of Me and You
Author: Emery Lord

Review: 4th & Girl (Max Monroe)

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Tapping the Billionaire comes a hilarious and sexy standalone about fate, chance, and one heck of an epically awkward meet-cute.

4th & Girl
Author: Max Monroe
Publication Date: November 20, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

4th & Goal: A term used when the offensive team is on its final down and the goal line is the line to reach.

4th & Girl: A story where time is almost up, and the girl of his dreams is just barely out of reach.

Leo Landry, first round draft pick and the New York Mavericks newest starting cornerback, uses grit, concentration, and sheer determination to make his difference on the field.

But the mysterious girl of his dreams might be enough to break his cocky confidence.

Will Leo prevail with a last-minute 4th & Girl?


4th & Girl is the fourth book in the Mavericks Tackle Love series. This time new recruit Leo Landry gets the chance to fall in love with the woman of his dreams. He meets her in the most hilarious of ways, but doesn’t get her name. He’s forced to search for her, and she comes back into his life in yet another funny way.

Oh my goodness! Max Monroe has done it again! 4th & Girl is a romantic comedy gem. The laughs started from the very beginning and by the end I lost count how many times I laughed out loud. There were also some highly emotional and touching moments added into all of the fun. That is exactly what I expect when I pick up a book by this author duo.

Leo Landry was a little bit of a surprise to me. I was expecting him to be all confident and cocky due to being a college football star and now a professional player, but he was actually very well-rounded. I loved his humility and how he valued his family. He took his relationships and job seriously. Leo was one of those special romance characters that everyone is sure to be claiming as their next book boyfriend.

Gemma was also a great character. She felt like a real person because she was so easy to relate to. Gemma was trying to figure out life and what she wanted out of it. We have all been there at some point in our lives.

I adored Leo and Gemma’s romance. The fun of it was just so refreshing. I didn’t feel like I was reading just another sports romance. 4th and Girl was unique and quirky. I loved that. It also had some great emotional moments of truth between Leo and Gemma that were touching and added just enough deeper substance to their story.

Okay. There are some amazing secondary characters I can’t leave out of this review. Abby, Gemma’s best friend, was hilarious. I seriously need to know more about her. I am hoping Max Monroe will give her a book of her own even though the Mavericks Tackle Love series is ending. She’s just too funny of a character to never see again.

4th & Girl was such a joy to read. This review doesn’t even do it justice. It was so entertaining! Time flew by when I was reading it. Leo and Gemma’s romance was delightfully charming. From the way they met to the very end, I couldn’t get enough of them together. I was so sad to see this book and series end. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see what Max Monroe have up their sleeves next.

Note: 4th & Girl can be read as a standalone novel, but I don’t know why you would want to miss out on the hilariously witty writing in those first three books. This book and the entire series is so much fun to read. You really don’t want to miss out on any of it.

4th & Girl, an all-new standalone romantic comedy in the Mavericks Tackle Love series from Max Monroe, is available now!

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Download your copy today!

Amazon | AppleBooks | Amazon Worldwide | Nook | Kobo | Google Play

Add to GoodReads

About Max Monroe:

A secret duo of romance authors team up under the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you sexy, laugh-out-loud reads.

Max Monroe is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than ten contemporary romance titles. Favorite writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half. This is their most favorite adventure thus far.

Connect with Max Monroe:

Website | BookBub | Amazon | Facebook | Instagram

Stay up to date with Max Monroe by joining their mailing list today: https://www.authormaxmonroe.com/newsletter

Review: Once Upon a River (Diane Setterfield)

Once Upon a River
Author: Diane Setterfield
Publication Date: December 4, 2018
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Historical
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the Thames. The regulars are entertaining themselves by telling stories when the door bursts open on an injured stranger. In his arms is the drowned corpse of a little child.

Hours later the dead girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life.

Is it a miracle?

Is it magic?

Or can it be explained by science?

Replete with folklore, suspense and romance, as well as with the urgent scientific curiosity of the Darwinian age, Once Upon a River is as richly atmospheric as Setterfield’s bestseller The Thirteenth Tale.


Once Upon a River is not the typical book I would read. It’s a historical fantasy that’s highly character driven. The reason I picked it up is because of my love for Diane Setterfield’s first book, The Thirteenth Tale. While this book didn’t quite reach my love for that book, I still found it an interesting and engaging read.

Once Upon a River feels like reading a folktale. It’s set along the Thames river, and revolves around the mystery of a girl who is plucked from the river. At first, she seems to be dead. Then, she is alive. More than one person claims she is theirs. No one really knows what to make of it all. It’s a giant mystery that slowly unravels through multiple points of view over time.

To be honest, it took me a few chapters to really get into this book and it’s story. There is a lot of detail and many characters to follow. Once I was invested in the story and the mystery of the little girl, I was hooked. I wanted to know what happened to her and what part all of the people played. I won’t go into the plot more because I don’t want to give anything away, but I was impressed by the outcome and the revelations. I had some ideas of what had happened, but very few of them were true. Once Upon a River ended up surprising me and I loved that!

I feel like I need to point out that this is a story that builds gradually over many pages. At 480 pages long, Once Upon a River is not a short book. It’s slower paced and takes a while to build momentum. While some might shy away from reading it for those reasons, I actually found myself liking how it built and the time it took to tie everything together. That’s not something I normally say, as I like faster paced reading experiences. Overall, Once Upon a River was a well written and plotted book.

WWW Wednesday: November 21, 2018

Welcome to WWW Wednesday!

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. The purpose is to share what I’ve reading lately. The three W’s stand for:

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


Recently Read

This week it was time to get back to ARCs. I read 4th & Girl (Mavericks Tackle Love, #4), Game On (Aces Hockey, #8), Once Upon a River, and The Last Letter.


Currently ReadIng

I am reading Beartown.

I also started listening to another book in the King series that I started a few weeks ago, Up in Smoke (King, #8).

Reading Next

It’s back to my backlist TBR. I am not sure what I will pick up next. It depends on my mood.

What are you reading? Make sure to leave me your link below so I can check out your post. 🙂

4th & Girl Release Blitz

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Tapping the Billionaire comes a hilarious and sexy standalone about fate, chance, and one heck of an epically awkward meet-cute.

4th & Girl, an all-new standalone romantic comedy in the Mavericks Tackle Love series from Max Monroe, is available now!

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I’m Leo Landry, one of the best shutdown cornerbacks in the nation, and the New York Mavericks’ first round draft pick.

If James Bond spent his days running drills and his nights shutting out quarterbacks, he’d dream about being me. But professional football is on a whole other level from college, and as the new guy, I’ve got everything to prove.

No problem.

All I’ve got to do is focus, right?

Too bad life’s got other plans.

Blond hair, long lashes, and criminal blue eyes, there’s a pint-sized bombshell that I can’t stop thinking about.

I don’t even know her name, but she’s completely screwing up my game plan.

It’s too late to turn back now though. I have my eye on the prize, and I won’t settle for anything less.

4th down and only one goal in my sightsthis pretty little mystery girl.

Good thing I’m at my best when the pressure’s on.

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Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2qh4CW4

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2CQ11pq

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/4thandGirl

Nook: http://bit.ly/2Jp24xM

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2JpWjA7

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2Jt0iMb

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2CS8kgb

Start the series of standalones today!

Wildcat

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2S1QT11

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2DKtnCQ

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/Wildcat

Nook: http://bit.ly/2QRAs7y

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2Q5Mi0C

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2zZY6aI

Audible: https://amzn.to/2FtPsaw

Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/2RYPV5S

About Max Monroe:

A secret duo of romance authors team up under the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you sexy, laugh-out-loud reads.

Max Monroe is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than ten contemporary romance titles. Favorite writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half. This is their most favorite adventure thus far.

Connect with Max Monroe:

Website: https://www.authormaxmonroe.com/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/max-monroe

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ReoxkK

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormaxmonroe/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormaxmonroe/

Stay up to date with Max Monroe by joining their mailing list today: https://www.authormaxmonroe.com/newsletter

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Things I’m Thankful For

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 Thanksgiving/Thankful Freebie. I’m going with Ten Things I’m Thankful For.


1. My Husband

You know how people say relationships / marriage are hard work? That’s not the case for me. My husband is amazing and I’m so thankful to have him in my life. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner or a better father for my child. I am so grateful for the love and support he gives me.

2. My Daughter

Every day I’m thankful I got to the chance to be her mother. She’s the coolest 10-year-old I know. She’s a whole lot sweet and a little bit sassy. I’ve been so lucky to be her mom.

3. My Family

The older I get, the more appreciative I am of my family. I was truly blessed with an amazing mom, dad, and sister. I also have a great extended family including other relatives and the ones I added when I married my husband.

4. My Friends

Good friends are important. I have several of them. I have my two oldest, closest friends. They are there for me when I need it, and we support each other in everything. Then, I have my “mom” friends. These are ladies who I met when my daughter was in preschool. Our kids have become close and so have we. It’s nice to have these ladies in my life. Finally, I have what one of my friends dubs “The Wives Club”. It’s a bunch of my husband’s friends’ wives. We’ve gotten close the last couple of years. We even started our own book group.

5. Blogger Friends

I had no idea how much I would come to appreciate the people I met while blogging. It’s so nice to have friends to talk about books with.

6. Books

How can I not be thankful for books? They take me on journeys I wouldn’t experience otherwise. They cure boredom, entertain, and inform.

7. Good Music

Everyone’s idea of good music is different, but I’m thankful for the music I love. It is the background to life. It is mood enhancing.

8. The Internet

What did we do before the internet? How would I help my daughter with her math homework or answer her weird questions? How would I be able to look up facts about actors while watching T.V.?

9. My New Puppy

She makes me smile! I thought I wasn’t ready for another dog when we got her, but she has brightened up my life. Now, if she would just hurry up and be potty trained…

10. Indoor Plumbing

This may seem like an odd thing to be thankful for, but I am. Every time someone asks if you want to go back in history for some reason, I always think only if there’s indoor plumbing.

Mini Reviews: The Wrong Game & Game On

The Wrong Game
Author: Kandi Steiner
Publication Date: October 18, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Two season tickets.
One genius idea.
Zero interest in a relationship.

The plan is simple: a brand new, hot, preferably funny, definitely single male will fill one of those seats for every Bears game at Soldier Field. And I’ll fill the other.

I can’t think of a better way to use the season passes I’d bought for my ex-husband. I am a woman of plans, and this one’s foolproof.

Until Zach Bowen offers to be my practice round.

He’s infuriating. Presumptuous and overbearing. And absolutely, undeniably gorgeous. Any woman with a heartbeat would be attracted to him, and mine picks up speed every time he speaks.

But as I said, I’m a woman of plans — and I’m not backing down on this one.

One night. One game. And then, his time’s up.

He can try to change the rules, but here’s the truth: he can’t win if he’s playing the wrong game.

My thoughts:

You know how some books are just a delight to read? That’s how The Wrong Game was for me. It was a well written, adorable story about two people finding love after heartbreak. I laughed hard, but I also teared up at times. The characters were so fantastic! I loved Gemma’s insecurities and fear of love. I adored Zach and his softer side. I loved them together. I couldn’t get over how perfect their story was. Oh! I also have to add that I thought the way the sport of football was worked into this one was unique and so, so good! The Wrong Game had everything I love in a contemporary romance.


Game On
Series: Aces Hockey, #8
Author: Kelly Jamieson
Publication Date: January 15, 2019
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary, Sports, Romance, Ficiton
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Cam Brickley and his pro hockey teammates bet on everything: who can win five faceoffs in a row, who can do forty pushups in less than a minute, who can eat a ghost pepper without puking. But when his buddies bet him he can’t date the same woman—like, say, the hot blonde over at the bar—for two months and not fall in love, he’ll take that bet all day. Then he’ll laugh all the way to the hockey arena, where they’ll be washing his jock straps for the rest of the season, because Cam’s never giving up his bachelor lifestyle.

Olivia Lockwood, heiress to the Lockwood Industries fortune, is used to people using her for her money and family connections. When Cam Brickley hits on her in a club, Olivia’s first instinct is to brush him off. But he couldn’t be using her for her money, since he has more than enough of his own. Cam’s gorgeous and built, and it would be no hardship to go out with him . . . besides, he’d be the perfect spokesperson for the children’s charity she works with. Maybe it’s time for her to start using people.

Cam and Olivia are both in it for something. What they don’t know yet is that they’re playing for keeps.

My thoughts:

Game On secured its way into my heart from almost the very beginning with the puking. Yes, you read that right. The puking. It was so close to an experience my now husband while dating that my heart was instantly won. As Cam and Olivia continued to date, I was even more sold. They might not have planned on falling for each other, but they were perfect together.

The only thing I wasn’t a big fan of was the big ending between Cam and Olivia. It felt too rushed,  but I understand why it was done the way it was since this is the last book in the series.

Overall, this book was such a fun sports romance to read. It was so smart and witty. I really love where Kelly Jamieson has taken this series, and I am sad it’s over.

Review: The Fire Between High & Lo (Brittainy C. Cherry)

The Fire Between High & Lo
Series: Elements, #2
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
Publication Date: March 25, 2016
Publisher: BCherry Books
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

There once was a boy, and I loved him.

Logan Francis Silverstone was the complete opposite of me. I danced while he stood still. He was quiet, and I was always running my mouth. He struggled to find a smile while I refused to frown.

The night I saw the darkness that truly lived inside of him, I couldn’t look away.

We were broken together, yet somehow whole. We were wrong together, but always right. We were the stars that burned across the night sky, searching for a wish, praying for better tomorrows.

Until the day I lost him. He threw us away with one hasty decision—a decision that changed us forever.

There once was a boy, and I loved him.

And for a few breaths, a few whispers, a few moments, I think he loved me, too.


The Fire Between High & Lo is a book that has been on my TBR for a few years now. It is the last book I needed to read in the Elements series. I am happy I finally got to read it because it was an experience I enjoyed.

From the beginning, The Fire Between High & Lo hit me hard emotionally. The story followed Alyssa and Logan through their friendship, falling in love, falling apart, and finding each other again. It wasn’t a simple or happy story. Alyssa and Logan were not perfect people. Drug abuse and poor decisions played a huge part in everything they went through. Alyssa and Logan’s experiences were high emotion and filled with angst. I felt every one of their feelings in only the way a truly outstanding writer can make me feel. I didn’t always love what I was feeling, but I loved that I could be made to feel that way.

While Alyssa and Logan’s relationship was the most important and center stage, there were several other relationships that made this book. Logan’s relationship with his brother, Kellan, was beautiful. Beautiful doesn’t really even describe it, but I couldn’t come up with another word. They way the supported each other was everything and added another great layer to this story. I also loved Kellan’s relationship Emily. Emily wasn’t fond of Logan, so it added some extra drama. Plus, Kellan and Emily had some stuff to get through of their own that touched me and made me love this story even more than I already did.

One relationship in this book frustrated me, though. Logan’s relationship with his mom made me sad. Julie was a mess. No, wait. She was more than a mess — she was a rotten person. I am sure underneath it all Julie had a good heart, but drugs took that away. She didn’t deserve any of the attention or devotion her children gave her. She made me so mad. I just didn’t understand how her children could be so forgiving and loving.

Brittainy C. Cherry is one of those authors who excels at bringing on “the feels”. She did an exceptional job at showing how families and relationships can be affected by drug abuse. While this wasn’t the happiest of books, I truly loved reading it.