Review: Atheists Who Kneel and Pray by Tarryn Fisher

Atheists Who Kneel and Pray
Author: Tarryn Fisher
Publication Date: July 13, 2017
Publisher: Tarryn Fisher
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Yara Phillips is a wandering muse.

She dates men who need her, but always moves on to something new, never staying in one place for very long.

David Lisey is in need of a muse.

A talented musician lacking lyrical inspiration. When he first sees her, he knows he’s found what he’s been looking for.

Yara believes she can give David exactly what he needs to reach his full potential:
A broken heart.

David’s religion is love.

Yara’s religion is heartache.

Neither is willing to surrender, but religion always requires sacrifice.


Here’s the thing about reading a book by Tarryn Fisher: You never know what you’re going to get. No two of her books are ever the same. Her writing is always evolving and so are the ways she touches her readers.

Atheists Who Kneel and Pray is a romance. It’s probably the softest book Tarryn Fisher has written to date. By softest, I mean most romantic because this book has its edges. There is still pain and suffering, and there are still twists you might not see coming. I don’t want anyone to think Tarryn’s gone completely soft.

I can’t even begin to explain to you how I felt about this book. I was completely addicted to it from the very beginning until the very end. Atheists Who Kneel and Pray made me feel so many different emotions. I loved every moment I spent with it.

Review: Eye Candy by Jessica Lemmon

Eye Candy
Series: Real Love, #1
Author: Jessica Lemmon
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Jacqueline: As an adult woman–and the vice president of a marketing firm–I shouldn’t be waiting by my office window to ogle the mystery man who jogs by every morning at 11:45. Sure, he’s a gorgeous, perfect specimen of the human race, but I can’t bring myself to hit on a total stranger. However, my best friend-slash-colleague Vince Carson thinks I should do more than talk to the guy. In fact, he’s borderline obsessive about “getting me laid.” (His words.) But the more time we spend together, the more it’s clear: The one I’m falling for is Vince.

Vince: Jackie Butler’s got it bad for some pompous, over-pumped A-hole who struts his stuff past her window. That doesn’t bother me. I know she deserves nice things. What does bother me is that she friend-zoned me big-time last year, so I can’t ask her out myself. But what if I set her up with Mr. Steroids? Then, when he breaks her heart, I can swoop in and save her like the nice guy I am. Everything’s going according to plan . . . until we share a ridiculously epic kiss. And suddenly anything is possible.


I love Jessica Lemmon’s writing and books. She’s a go-to author for me when it comes to contemporary romances. I always look forward to her new releases. I was especially excited to find out what she had in store with Eye Candy. I loved the premise behind this book. Co-workers and friends to more? Yes, please!

Unfortunately, Eye Candy didn’t quite live up to my expectations. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel the sparks between Jackie and Vince or that I didn’t like them. I thought they were both fun characters who fit perfectly together. I absolutely loved Jackie and Vince together. What bothered me was the way they got together. I was all about the initial push Vince had for making Jackie ask the hot runner out, but once that part was over I didn’t like his “coaching”. It cheapened their experiences together for me. I also didn’t love the big problem in their relationship. Part of it felt like it fit their histories and part of it seemed kind of out there.

I hate sounding negative because I did have fun reading Eye Candy. It’s still a book I would recommend to contemporary romance fans. I’m planning on reading the next book in the series, Arm Candy. Personally, I just wish I would have fallen more in love with Jackie and Vince’s story.

Review: Ready to Run by Lauren Layne

Ready to Run
Series: I Do, I Don’t, #1
Author: Lauren Layne
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The Bachelor meets The Runaway Bride in this addictive romance novel about a reality TV producer falling for her would-be star: a Montana heartthrob who wants nothing to do with the show.

Jordan Carpenter thinks she’s finally found the perfect candidate for Jilted, a new dating show about runaway grooms: firefighter Luke Elliott, a known player who’s left not one but three brides at the altar. The only problem? Luke refuses to answer Jordan’s emails or return her calls. Which is how she ends up on a flight to Montana to recruit him in person. It’s not Manhattan, but at least the locals in Lucky Hollow seem friendly . . . except for Luke, who’s more intense—and way hotter—than the slick womanizer Jordan expected.

Eager to put the past behind him, Luke has zero intention of following this gorgeous, fast-talking city girl back to New York. But before he can send her packing, Jordan’s everywhere: at his favorite bar, the county fair, even his exes’ book club. Annoyingly, everyone in Lucky Hollow seems to like her—and deep down, she’s starting to grow on him too. But the more he fights her constant pestering, the more Luke finds himself wishing that Jordan would kick off her high heels and make herself comfortable in his arms.


Jordan Carpenter has spent her entire adult life running from her small town roots only to end up smack in the middle of another small town. She wants nothing more than to get back to her life in New York, but first she has to talk firefighter Luke Hollow into starring in her new reality TV show.

It should be easy, but Luke isn’t who Jordan imagined him to be. He’s not easily swayed by reality or fame. He’s actually a decent guy who has no interest in reliving his three failed attempts at getting married on TV. There’s more to his story than Jordan expected, and getting to know Luke has Jordan reconsidering her city girl ways.

Once again, Lauren Layne has proved to me why she’s one of my favorite contemporary romance writers. Ready to Run was a delight to read. This romantic comedy was a fresh take on the whole bride/wedding genre. It really was a combination of The Bachelor meets The Runaway Bride, but it didn’t feel like a copy of those two. Ready to Run was a story of its own. I loved very minute of it!

Jordan and Luke were such fun characters. They had an amazing love-hate relationship going on. Jordan was sassy and head strung. She knew what she wanted and had no problems going for it — until she got to know Luke. Luke was a total surprise to Jordan. He had the looks she was expecting, but his story wasn’t what it seemed. He resented Jordan invading his life, but he couldn’t stay away from her. They had some serious sparks and it made this romance exciting.

Ready to Run wouldn’t have been quite as entertaining as it was if it wasn’t for Luke’s amazing small town friends and Jordan’s big city sidekick. All of the people in Luke’s town had big personalities. They weren’t over the top, but perfect to showcase the tight-knit community Luke lived in. Jordan’s co-worker and bestie Simon added to the fun with pushing and prodding of her. Everyone was just so much fun!

Obviously, I had a fantastic time reading Ready to Run. It was exactly what I love in a contemporary romance, and it started out the I Do, I Don’t series in the best way possible. Bravo, Lauren Layne! I can’t wait to read the next book!

Review: Trust by Kylie Scott

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.                                                                                                                                                                         After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen year old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.                                                                                                                                 While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.                                                                                                                             An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.

Amazon US | Amazon Aus | Amazon UK | iBooks US | iBooks Aus | Kobo | Nook

My Review:

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Hmm…This was one of those books that’s hard to rate. It was a book I couldn’t put down, and yet, there were some things that bothered me about it. I’m going to break this review into things I loved about Trust and things I didn’t.

Things I loved:

  • I’ve read one other contemporary romance from Kylie Scott, but this book was way different from that one. It was way more raw and emotion filled. I don’t think I would have realized the two books had the same author if her name wasn’t on the front of the cover. I liked this darker novel more.
  • The explosive beginning of Trust was a great way to set up the entire book. The descriptions of everything that went on and Edie’s thoughts throughout the whole event were amazing. I loved how the incident changed Edie and set her on a different path.
  • Edie’s transition to public school opened so many new doors for her. I loved the new friends she made, and how it allowed her to reconnect with John. The friendship they developed slowly morphed throughout the story and I liked that path it took.

Things I didn’t love:

  • Edie was a “bigger” girl. She described herself as being flabby around the middle with thunder thighs. I could understand her body consciousness and thoughts relating to her body. I thought they represented true thoughts and feelings of a teenage girl who was larger in size than her peers. I appreciated that, but I also wanted more. If a writer’s going there with an overweight main character, I like to see some self-realization for the character. Maybe her body isn’t “perfect” in societal standards, but she comes to realize her body is just as beautiful as everyone else’s. I wanted something teenage girls who read this could learn something from body wise. I didn’t get that with this book.
  • It was a little weird was John’s character was a drug dealer. He was super popular and wanted by all the girls — for being a hot drug dealer??? That blew my mind. I get the cute part, but are drug dealers really super popular in high school these days? I don’t remember girls lusting after drug dealers in my high school years, but maybe I was oblivious to who was dealing drugs. Drugs and alcohol were prevalent in this book, and weren’t really a big deal.
  • Some moments I wasn’t sure I believed John’s attraction to Edie. It had nothing to do with her weight and everything to do with not having his point of view in this book. On one hand, John did a lot of sweet things for Edie. On the other, his only tell that he might have wanted more than friendship was the couple of times he checked out her boobs. Having his point of view included would have helped clear up John’s feelings a little better.

Overall, Trust was a book I truly enjoyed reading. It was dark, mature YA romance with a great cast of characters. I would love for this book to lead to a series. I was really interested in Anders and Hang’s relationship, and would love to learn more about them.

TRUST by Kylie Scott (Official Book Trailer) from FILM 14 on Vimeo.

Excerpt:

“You were going to give it up to Duncan Dickerson?” he sneered. “Are you serious?”

I halted, staring at him. This was not good. “How do you know about that?”

“Anders overheard you and Hang talking.”

“Bastard.”

“Well?” he demanded, acting all authoritarian. Idiot.

“To be fair, I didn’t know his last name was Dickerson,” I said. “That’s unfortunate. Though, I wasn’t actually planning on marrying him, so . . .”

“Not funny.”

I shrugged.

“You barely know the guy.”

“Um, yeah. None of your concern. We’re not talking about this.” How mortifying! My face burned bright. People should just gather around and cook s’mores. “I appreciate that we’re friends. You mean a lot to me. But this is going to have to fall under definitely none of your damn business, so go away please.”

“We’re talking about it.” He advanced a step.

“No we are not.” And I retreated.

“You were going to let a complete stranger touch you.” Advance.

Retreat. “People do it all the time. You do it all the time.”

“But you don’t,” he said, taking the final step, backing me up against the side of his car and getting all in my face. “Edie, this is your first time we’re talking about. Isn’t it?”

“Yes, and it’s going to be messy and painful and probably horribly embarrassing and I just want it over and done with.” I tried to meet his eyes but failed, settling for a spot on his right shoulder. “You’re not a girl; you wouldn’t understand. Also, last time I checked, you’re not the gatekeeper of my hymen, John Cole. So back the fuck off.”

He said nothing.

Deep, calming breaths. “Look, someday I’ll meet someone I really like and we’ll have a deep and meaningful relationship and go at it like bunnies. But I don’t want to be the dumb virgin in that scenario.”

He slowly shook his head.

“Also, I do not want to die a virgin.”

“What? What the hell are you talking about?”

“Hey, you and I both know death can occur at any time.”

“This is crazy.”

“I’m seeing a therapist!” I told his shoulder. “I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m a little bit messed up these days. It’s hard for me to trust people. That’s not going to change anytime soon.”

He screwed up his face at me. “Wha—”

“I’m just trying to be practical.”

“Well, you’re being ridiculous. None of this makes sense.”

“It does to me.”

Again, he said nothing.

In fact, he said nothing for so long that I finally looked him in the eye. The anger had left him, replaced by an emotion I didn’t recognize. Worst of all, he still smelled like summer. A little sweat and the open night air, everything I loved. Liked. I meant liked.

“What?” I said, finally.

He let loose a breath. “I’ll do it.”

About the Author:

kyliescottimageKylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from http://www.kylie-scott.com/.

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Mini Romance Reviews: Hot Cop, Sex Symbol and Dr. ER

Good morning! Today, I have three mini reviews for three hot romances for you!


Hot Cop
Authors: Laurelin Paige, Sierra Simone
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Everafter Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

You have the right to remain sexy.

Anything you say can and will be used to get you in my bed.

You have the right to use my body to give yourself a delirious, life-changing orgasm.

If you have trouble…don’t worry, I’m a bit of an expert in that department.

There’s nothing ‘thin’ about my blue line, if you catch my drift, and trust me, I know how to put those handcuffs to good use.

***

Livia Ward wants a baby before she’s thirty.  And even though Officer Chase Kelly is exactly the kind of cocky jerk this librarian has sworn off, he is undeniably hot.  Both of them think they can give each other what they want–a few nights of fun for Officer Kelly, a no-strings baby for Livia–but this hot cop is about to learn that sex, babies, and love don’t always play by the rules.

My review:

I was excited to learn Laurelin Paige and Sierra Simone were releasing another book together. I read Porn Star when it came out, and thought it was a lot of sexy fun. Hot Cop was just as fun. I loved the dynamic between the characters, their witty banter, and the off the charts hot sexy times. Man, those sexy times were great!

There was one little negative thing that kept popping up in my mind while reading Hot Cop. It reminded me of another new release that I recently read. Both books have women who are looking for a sperm donation and use it as a bargaining tool to satisfy the guy’s need to have sex with them. They weren’t exactly the same story, but they were pretty similar. I couldn’t help comparing the two, but I loved both books so I’m not sure why I’m even pointing it out.

This book was a great romantic escape. It’s not a book you’ll want to read when little eyes can peek over your shoulders, but that’s part of the fun of it!


Sex Symbol
Author: Laurelin Paige
Publication Date: June 28, 2017
Publisher: Paige Press LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Micah Preston is Hollywood’s #1 sex symbol.

A rich and famous actor who has sworn off any serious relationships, the playboy is the media’s favorite bachelor.

But he wasn’t anybody when Maddie Bauer met him seven years ago. Then he was just the hot guy at the party who gave her an amazing orgasm and never called her again.

Now her job as a camera assistant has landed her on the set of his latest movie, and despite her vow to ignore his charm, she finds him pulling her focus.

She just has to make it through the shoot without landing in his bed. But when the legendary bad boy sets his sights on her, how can she possibly resist?

The book was previously published under the title Take Two.

My review:

Sex Symbol was an entertaining celebrity romance. Maddie and Micah had met at a party in their early twenties and immediately hit it off. He promises to call her after the party but doesn’t because his agent suggests he stay single to make it to super stardom. Years go by before they see each other again, but the spark is still their between them.

I loved the way Sex Symbol started out with Maddie and Micah meeting in their early twenties. They had that instant-attraction thing, but I could also feel a real connection between them. (I almost wished seven years hadn’t gone by between their contact because I think there could have been a fun story that way, too.) Their reconnection 7 years later was full of sexy fun. I really enjoyed how their story played out. It’s another book I’d recommend if you’re looking for hot sexy times.


Dr. ER
Series: St. Luke’s Docuseries, #2
Author: Max Monroe
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Max Monroe LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Dr. Erotic.
That’s what they’ve decided to call me, Scott Shepard, the head of St. Luke’s Hospital Emergency Department.
Just thinking about it makes me smile.
As the new face of the reality docuseries, The Doctor Is In, I plan to take his power and recognition right to the streets of New York City and into the pants of willing women.

Well, that was my plan.

Until her—feisty, beautiful, and addictively sexy Harlow Paige.
A gossip columnist that just loves writing about yours truly, she’s everything I thought I never wanted and then some.
She drives me crazy.
Problem is, she doesn’t want to be anything when it comes to me—not friends, not lovers, not even adversaries.
God, I love a good challenge.
Get ready, Harlow. Love is contagious.

My review:

I can’t get enough of Max Monroe’s writing. They are my favorite romantic comedy duo at the moment. Everything they write has me laughing uncontrollably. Dr. ER was witty, fresh and so sexy! I have no how they come up with the stuff they do, but I love it!

Dr. ER. Scott’s pursuit of Harlow was so much fun to read. His cocky confidence in his abilities was perfect for Harlow. She had spunk and wasn’t going to let his ego get away from him. Their strong personalities could have clashed, but instead created an insane chemistry.

One thing that really surprised me about Dr. ER was the twist in the story. I wasn’t expecting it. There were signs, but I somehow I missed them. I liked where the twist took the story.

If you’re looking for a humorous romantic read filled with a lot of amazing sexy times, look no further than Dr. ER or any of Max Monroe’s books.

Review: After We Collided by Anna Todd

After We Collided
Series: After, #2
Author: Anna Todd
Narrator:  Elizabeth Louise, Shane East
Publication Date: November 25, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Tessa has everything to lose. Hardin has nothing to lose;except her. Life will never be the same…

After a tumultuous beginning to their relationship, Tessa and Hardin were on the path to making things work. Tessa knew Hardin could be cruel, but when a bombshell revelation is dropped about the origins of their relationship – and Hardin’s mysterious past – Tessa is beside herself.

Hardin will always be Hardin. But is he really the deep, thoughtful guy Tessa fell madly in love with despite his angry exterior; or has he been a stranger all along? She wishes she could walk away. It’s just not that easy. Not with the memory of passionate nights spent in his arms. His electric touch. His hungry kisses…

Still, Tessa’s not sure she can endure one more broken promise. She put so much on hold for Hardin – school, friends, her mom, a relationship with a guy who really loved her, and now possibly even a promising new career. She needs to move forward with her life.

Hardin knows he made a mistake, possibly the biggest one of his life. He’s not going down without a fight. But can he change? Will he change… for love?


I am honestly shocked I continued reading this series after how I felt about the first book in the series, After. I only continued because the cliffhanger ending caught my interest. I had to know what was next.

The beginning of After We Collided surprised me. I actually enjoyed it. I think maybe it was due to the fact that both Hardin and Tessa were miserable being apart from each other. I liked how they went about their separate ways. And then they reconnected…

Ugh. How many different times and ways can Tessa and Hardin break up only to make up over and over again? This is still a horribly abusive, messed up relationship. I should want them to be together since that’s where this series is heading, but I don’t. I want Tessa to move on. F’ing Trevor is looking like a decent choice, but Zed has to go.

Tessa may be a smart girl, but she makes the dumbest decisions. Her relationship with Hardin causes more pain than a relationship should, and she keeps coming back for more. Then, there’s her almost relationship/friendship with Zed. Why would she confide in Zed about Hardin when Zed’s interested in her? He’s not going to give her good advice. She needs a real friend to knock some sense into her.

Hardin is deeply troubled. He needs psychological help. I want him to get some therapy. After that, maybe he can meet someone other than Tessa and start a healthy relationship. I did appreciate getting his point of view in this book, though. It almost — and I mean almost — made me like him. He spent too much time being a jerk and making horrible decisions for me to like him.

Like I said before, Zed needs to go. The Hardin-Tessa-Zed love triangle made me sick. I really hated it. It adds even more unnecessary drama. Plus, Zed’s just as bad as Hardin. He was in on the bet thing. He creates drama on purpose. How does Tessa not get it?

I don’t know if I can continue this series any further. Tessa and Hardin’s relationship is so volatile and unhealthy. Listening to the story can be addicting, but it’s also stressful. But who am I kidding? I’ll keep reading because I just have to know what more Anna Todd could come up with next for these characters who don’t seem to learn from their actions.

Review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Alex, Approximately
Author: Jenn Bennett
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.


Alex, Approximately has been on my radar since prior to its release. First, it was the adorable cover that caught my eye. Then, it was all the amazing reviews it was getting. Almost every blogger was raving about it. I knew I had to read it, so I requested it from the library. It only took two and a half months for my hold to come through, but I finally got to read it.

The book blurb pretty much gives the story away for Alex, Approximately. That should ruin the story, but it doesn’t. It only adds to the fun of it. While you know who Porter and Bailey really are, they don’t. Their relationship progresses naturally from enemies to friends to more. It was cute and sweet and oh so much fun to read.

This book is the perfect summer read. It’s set in a beach side town filled with great destinations, shops and the beach itself. Even Bailey’s accessories are somehow perfectly fitting for the scene. The setting adds so much to this story, and made me crave a trip to the beach.

Bailey has personality. She had her own style, her love of old movies and an evading tactic that made her stand out. Despite being an introvert, she shined the most in social situations. Maybe it was her awkwardness in them that made those moments so much fun to read. The best ones were with Porter. He brought out the best and the worst in Bailey.

Porter was a gem. I couldn’t help but love him. He could be a jerk, but it was in a slightly cocky way that felt perfect for a teenage boy. There was also a softer side to him that came out around Bailey. I loved how he was always trying to protect her. He was just so dang charming!

Alex, Approximately had more going for it than just Porter and Bailey’s romance. It was filled with important friendships and family dynamics. Bailey quickly made a new friend in Grace. They really clicked and I loved watching their friendship develop. Bailey was also rediscovering her relationship with her father, and each moment they spent navigating it was fun. I did wish I got to see a little bit of her mother, but her father more than made up for that. Porter’s relationship with his family was also included and I loved meeting all of them.

I loved everything about Alex, Approximately. If you’re looking for a cute summer YA contemporary romance, this is one you shouldn’t pass up.