Review: For Finlay by J. Nathan

For Finlay
Series: For You, #1
Author: J. Nathan
Publication Date: January 30, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Finlay Thatcher is a lost soul, guilt-ridden after the death of her twin brother. When Alabama’s football coach gives her the opportunity to work for him, she knows it’s her chance to move on, even if it means living her brother’s dream.

Caden Brooks is Alabama’s star quarterback. He’s got it all. The attention of adoring fans. A girlfriend who’d do anything to hold on to him. And a future in the pros. He’s getting along just fine until Finlay steps into his life, despising him at first sight and pushing his buttons like no other.

Unfortunately for Finlay, and her attempt to keep Caden at arm’s length, there’s nothing Caden loves more than a challenge. The problem with this challenge is she comes with a secret that has the power to destroy everything.


Recently, I read the second two books of the three in the For You series. The For You series are standalone novels. The characters overlap, but the main focus of each novel is the relationship between the main characters. Nothing is given away about any of the other couples’ stories. I really enjoyed For Forester and For Crosby, so I knew I needed to go back and read the book that started it all. I’m very happy I did because Finlay and Caden’s story wasn’t what I was expecting.

I have to admit that I didn’t love Finlay at the beginning. The memories she had of her relationship with her brother made me judge her harshly. I understood the reasoning for her actions, but knowing Cole died made them tough to stomach. As time went on in the present, I ended up loving her character. Despite her feelings about herself due to her brother, Finlay had a confidence and inner strength I admired.

Caden started off a little rough, too. I could tell he was going to be a good guy, but his initial attitude sucked. I didn’t appreciate his cocky college football quarterback attitude at the beginning. Caden became more endearing as the story went along. I really think it was how he interacted with Finlay and the choices he made along the way that made me respect  (and like) his character.

Finlay and Caden’s romance was a rocky one. It had so many ups and downs. The way Finlay and Caden solved their problems in this book was touching. I loved what they discovered with each other. How Cole was a part of that was really cool. That was my favorite part of this book. In a way, Cole helped Caden help Finlay heal.

Overall, For Finlay was a great new adult sports romance. It was fun to read. It wasn’t overly angsty or dark. Both characters had their challenges, but For Finlay felt uplifting. I loved the themes of this book, and the relationship between Finlay and Caden. Since I have already read the next two books, I can’t say this book made me want to read them, but I do hope there’s a fourth book in this series. Grady needs his own book.

Series Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

The past couple of weeks I’ve been reading the Pushing the Limits series by Kate McGarry. I’ve wanted to go back and read this series ever since I read the Thunder Road series. Rather than do individual reviews, I’m going to one big review for all of them.
Here we go!


Pushing the Limits (#1) ★ ★ ★ ★

I was impressed with Katie McGarry’s début novel. It didn’t feel like a début. It was so well written. Echo and Noah were adorable. They both had major family issues they were dealing with. Echo was recovering from an injury that she couldn’t remember. Her injury and memory loss unsettled her family, and caused all kinds of conflict between then. Noah lost his family, and he would do anything to get back the members he can. Echo and Noah were so different, but they related to each other in an important way. I loved how their relationship bloomed, and how they grew together and individually. I was especially fond of Noah. Pushing the Limits was a great start to the series.

Crossing the Line (#1.1) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Lila and Lincoln’s story wasn’t long enough in my opinion! I really, really wish Crossing the Line had been a full length novel. I loved Lila and Lincoln. How they met and kept in contact was so special. I wanted to know even more about their family lives and what made them who they were. They had such great back stories! I also wanted more of their futures.

Breaking the Rules (#1.5) ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

I don’t know why, but this was the hardest book in the series for me to read. It was hard to go back to Echo and Noah’s relationship. I loved those characters so much, and I guess I wanted to believe they got their happy ending after Pushing the Limits. It was hard to see them struggle again. I don’t mean I didn’t like the story because I did. I loved it. Echo and Noah’s story went in a direction I liked. Breaking the Rules was bittersweet to read, but I loved what Noah and Echo learned about themselves and their relationship.

Dare to You (#2) ★ ★ ★ ★

Dare to You is one of my favorite books in this series. I loved Beth and Ryan’s journeys. Both needed to take a look at their lives and families. Beth needed love, support, and guidance when it came to her mother. Ryan needed the same things, but in a different way. He needed to figure out what his dreams were outside of how he had been raised. Beth and Ryan learned so much together, and that’s what made this book so special.

The only reason this book wasn’t a 5 star was because of all of the mystery around what was behind the door in the apartment. I easily guessed it, but I expected it to be something even worse. I don’t know. I just wasn’t a fan of that part of the story for some reason.

Crash Into You (#3) ★ ★ ★ ★

Here’s the thing… I loved Isaiah and Rachel together. Everything about their relationship was so sweet and cute. I adored how he treated her and stuck by her. I also loved getting to know Rachel’s family. There were several of her brothers I would love to read more about. What I didn’t love about this book was the street racing thing. That’s a personal preference. I’m just not into it. It didn’t have too much of an impact on my enjoying this story, though. Isaiah and Rachel were just that perfect for each other. 😉

Red at Night (#3.5) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Katie McGarry kills me with these Pushing the Limits novellas. I love them so much, but I always want more story from them!!! Stella and Jonah had such a great, little story. I loved their connection to each other and how it changed both of their lives.

Take Me On (#4)★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Take Me On was another one of my favorites in this series. Haley and West’s story was so much fun to read. I loved seeing the transformation in both their characters throughout the book. West’s were more apparent during the book, while Haley’s came more toward the end. They learned a lot from each other, and it made their relationship stronger. I especially loved West’s discoveries about himself and his family in Take Me On.

Chasing Impossible (#5) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This series got better and better as it went along. I loved Chasing Impossible! Logan and Abby totally surprised me! I knew they had great chemistry and already had a little bit of a relationship. What I wasn’t expecting was their back stories! Both surprised me. I loved what the newly revealed did to the story. Chasing Impossible was so much fun to read! This was definitely my favorite book in the series.


Overall, Pushing the Limits was an amazing series. I loved every moment I spent with it. I could go on reading books about every single character in it. I highly recommend reading it.

Review: Something So Unscripted by Natasha Madison

Title: Something So Unscripted
Author: Natasha Madison
Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: April 2, 2018
Cover Design: Melissa Gill at MGBookCovers
 
 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Oh my goodness the feels in this book! Natasha Madison slayed me with this one! Something So Unscripted is a book that will have your emotions on red alert.

Zack’s life has exploded in the past year. First, his five-year old son Jack is diagnosed with cancer. Then, he finds his wife cheating on him with his teammate. Instead of feeling sorry for himself Zack drops the dead weight, trades teams, and moves to New York where the best doctors are for Jack. One of those doctors is Zack’s new teammate Max’s younger sister, Denise. Denise is the perfect doctor for Jack, and she might just be the perfect woman for Zack.

There were so many things to love about Something So Unscripted. Natasha Madison’s writing was as brilliant as always, but this book stood out from her others. It was so emotionally complex. I loved where she went with this one. Even when it was tugging on my heart-strings, it was still fun to read.

The characters in this book were outstanding. Zack was an awesome father. His dedication to his son was exactly what it should have been. I loved how Jack was his first priority and everything else came after. I loved how he dealt with his wife on everything regarding Jack. Denise was also special. I can only imagine what being an oncology doctor for young children would be like. The care she showed the kids and their families showcased what an amazing woman she was. I especially loved how she adored Jack. Their relationship was so special and sweet. It was more important to me than Denise’s relationship with Zack.

As for Jack…he completely stole the show. That kid was so freakin’ adorable. He may have had cancer, but he didn’t let that get him down. He shared his light with everyone. His part in this romance was something special. I loved him so much!!!

I can’t leave out all of the other awesome characters. Max and Matthew were back harassing each other and now Zack. Their wives and families also made several appearances and made this book feel family oriented. I loved seeing them all again!

There wasn’t anything I didn’t love about this book! Well, maybe the whole Zack and Jack name thing. They rhyme and I kept getting them confused! LOL. But seriously. Something So Unscripted was utter perfection right through to the epilogue (LOVED it!!!). It was such a great story. I really, really hope this isn’t the end of this series. I want need more books!

One of the most EMOTIONAL romances I’ve read this year! Natasha Madison continues to AMAZE ME with every new release! – Shayna Renee 


Something so Unscripted is so much more than a love story, it is an all-encompassing, engrossing and engaging novel about, love, life and all the moments that make life special. – Denise Shh Mom’s Reading


Something So Unscripted is positively the most amazing book I’ve read. It gives the most heart wrenching story that will leave breathless. – Book Haven Book Blog

Zack

Finding my teammate in bed with my wife made the decision I had been fighting with for years easier.

It’s time to move on. 

A fresh start and a new NHL team in a big city. Most importantly, it’s my son Jack’s best shot. 

It would be both of our best shots. 
Denise

After a bad childhood, I made sure I would succeed, so I lived for my job. 

The problem is I die a little with each patient I lose. It’s part of my career at Hudson Children’s Oncology Hospital, but it doesn’t make the sting of loss any easier. 

Seeking anything other than a life saved isn’t on my agenda until a NHL player walks into my hospital with his son. 

We’re officially off script the moment we meet. 

If this love is anything, it’s unscripted.

 
“Zack.” I hear her voice and just look at my wife. The woman who said she would love me in good times and in bad yet is currently holding a sheet to cover her naked body. The four-carat engagement with matching eternity wedding ring glistens in the light. “It’s just …” she starts to say, and I look over at the man in bed next to her. In our bed. 

“It’s over.” I say the two words I swore I wouldn’t say no matter how hard it got. No matter how much I saw her push me away, no matter that I always suspected she was cheating on me. Then I look over at the man who I called a brother, the man who stood by my side on and off the ice. “You’re scum.”

“It just happened,” Colton says, getting out of the bed. At least he’s wearing boxers. His knee is still wrapped from the operation he had last month, which is why he wasn’t on the road with us, which is how I surprised them.

We were on the road for the whole week and due back tomorrow, but I hightailed it out of there to get home to my family and my son. “It just so happened you walked into my house and slept with my wife?” I ask him, and I have to wonder why I’m not more pissed, why I’m not more angry with them. “You come here and sleep with my wife with my son under the same roof.”

“Zack,” my wife says, and I look over at her again. Tears are rolling down her cheeks, her perfectly made up face now streaked with the black mascara she always wears. “Please let’s …”

I shake my head, putting my hands in my pockets. “Let’s what? Let’s talk about this?” I throw my head back and laugh. “Let’s talk about the fact that our son is in his room dying. Let’s talk about the fact that instead of helping him, you’re just helping yourself. Let’s talk about the fucking fact that instead of being there by his side with me, you chose to escape the fucking reality that our son won’t make it to six years old.”

“No.” She shakes her head, and I know that I’ve about had it.

“I’ll give you an hour,” I tell them both. “One hour and I want you packed and at the door when I come back.”

“But—” she says.

“But nothing, Chantal. You did what you had to do for you, and now I’m doing what I need to do for our son.”

I turn and walk out of our bedroom, then down the winding staircase that leads to the big brass front doors. Once outside in the warm Arizona air, I take my phone out of my pocket and call the only person I know who has my back no matter what. My agent and best friend, Jamie.

He answers after one ring, and it doesn’t surprise me he sleeps with his phone in his hand. “What’s up?” he says, his voice sleepy since it’s four a.m. in New York.

“I want out of Arizona, make the trade. Call the powers that be; I want out,” I tell him, getting into my Range Rover.

“You can’t just demand that,” he says, and I hear sheets rustle.

“Just walked in on Colton fucking my wife, so you can bet your ass I can. Make it happen. Call New York because it’s the only place I’ll go. I don’t care if I take a pay cut.”

“That fucking scumbag,” he says. “I’ll call them now.”

“Jamie, there is a top-notch doctor who specializes in cancer in New York. Max Horton’s sister,” I tell him quietly and slowly drive out of my gate.

“I’ll make it happen,” he says softly. “I’ll let you know what they say.”

“Jamie, I’m leaving here in a week regardless of what they say,” I tell him and disconnect the call. 

“One week,” I say to myself. “One fucking week.”
 
When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…
 HOSTED BY:

 

Mini Reviews: Playing Hurt, My Way Back to You

Playing Hurt
Series: Aces Hockey, #6
Author: Kelly Jamieson
Publication Date: July 17, 2018
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

He’s playing hurt. She’s laying low. And they’re both flirting with disaster.
 
“Kelly Jamieson is my go-to author for hockey romance.”—Jami Davenport
 
Chase: The last thing I’d ever want to do is let my team down. After overcoming my bad-boy reputation, I was dominating on the ice. But things aren’t going so well this season, and even my parents think I’m partying again. Now I’m really worried about my career. The only bright spot in my life is the Twitter flirtation I’ve struck up with pop princess Jordyn Banks. Turns out she’s a huge hockey fan—and she’s willing to wager a date on her favorite team. . . .

Jordyn: Even though I’m an L.A. fan now, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Aces, since I grew up in Chicago. Then I lose a bet to Chase Hartman, and suddenly I’m up close and personal with a pro athlete who’s anything but soft. Not only is Chase the hottest guy I’ve ever met, he’s secretly super sweet. As if I had time for a relationship . . . yeah, right. But when I suddenly have nothing but time on my hands, he’s the only one who understands. Now, with both of our careers at stake, Chase is tempting me to put my heart on the line too.

Review:

Playing Hurt is my new favorite Kelly Jamieson book! I absolutely loved how Jordyn and Chase’s interactions started over Twitter. Their flirting was cute and funny. I could imagine a real relationship starting between two celebrities exactly this way! It was so much fun! Once they actually meet in real life, the story gets even better. Chase and Jordyn really had to work to make their relationship work with the spotlight on them. It wasn’t easy. I enjoyed how each had their own struggles and things to deal with. Their growth individually made their relationship stronger. I loved how it all played out. Playing Hurt was truly a delight to read.


My Way Back to You
Series: Second Chances Duet, #2
Author: Claire Contreras
Publication Date: March 15, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Book 2 in the Second Chance Duet . . .

Love isn’t always about timing.
Sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and roll with it.

I admit I wasn’t ready.
I know you don’t want to look at me, let alone talk to me, but please, let me explain.
Let me tell you all the ways my heart broke when you walked away.
Let me show you what our years apart have done to me.

Give me a chance to find my way back to you . . .


My Way Back to You begins a while after the cliffhanger from The There Was You. It’s a little disorienting for a couple of chapters figuring out where the story was now, but once I had everything straight I was pulled into the story. I liked it a lot better than the first book. That book was one big set up for this one. I wish they had been one book with some of it condensed down because My Way Back to You was really the fun, meaty part of the entire duet. I really enjoyed reading this one. The only thing that I would have changed in this one was that there should have been more time of anger between Rowan and Tessa. They forgave each other too quickly and easily in my opinion. Still, it was a good read.

Review: Licks by Kelly Siskind

Licks, an all new standalone Second Chance Romantic Comedy by Kelly Siskind is NOW AVAILABLE!

36 hours is a short spell when racing the clock.
2,160 minutes is an eternity for old friends to fall in love…

August Cruz is the only man I’ve ever loved.
He’s the one who got away.
He’s the one I totally screwed over.

Now he’s standing on my doorstep, nine years later, but he’s not the only thing that turns up. My mother’s lost diary is in my hands, and it might lead me to my father. A possibility I wished for one year ago, at my last birthday.

I have 36 hours to fulfill that wish.
I have 36 hours to drag August on a wild scavenger hunt.
I have 36 hours to protect my heart before I lose him again…because there’s something he’s not telling me.

LICKS is a full-length, standalone Sexy Second Chance Romance with a swoony Happily Ever After.

REVIEW:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

If you’re a fan of second chance romances, you’ll want to read Licks. It’s unlike any second chance romance I’ve read before. It takes place over 36 hours and is a mad dash to achieve Gwen’s birthday wish. Gwen wants to find her father, and the only person she wants to help her is her ex-best friend August. Gwen and August have a convoluted past. Each harbored a secret crush on the other growing up, but one giant mistake ruined their friendship and the possibility of anything more. They didn’t talk for nine years, but now August is back to help make Gwen’s dream come true.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started Licks. Every book in this series has been so different, yet encompassed the same goal of achieving the birthday wish. Licks was my favorite of the three books in the series because it was so cleverly written. It was full of surprises. I expected Gwen and August to fall in love again, but I didn’t expect them to have to forgive and forget things that were so painful. I also didn’t expect the outcome of Gwen’s wish. The entire story was so cool and fun to read.

I do have to mention that at a couple of points in the story I questioned Gwen’s sanity. She had some weird thoughts about August knocking her up that rubbed me a little wrong. She wasn’t acting on them or anything, but it kind of weirded me out. Maybe it was just the intensity of them. But really, it was such a small thing and didn’t really change my reading experience.

Licks was a great read. It was a fun, fresh take on a second chance romance. It was also an outstanding ending to an entertaining series.

Grab Your Copy Today!

Free in Kindle Unlimited
Add to Goodreads – https://bit.ly/2GEuXr7

About Kelly Siskind

A small-town girl at heart, Kelly moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in northern Ontario. When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head. She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings—gummy bears heal all. She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.

Follow Kelly Siskind

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Review: What I Never Knew I Wanted by C.L. Collier

What I Never Knew I Wanted
Series: What I Never Knew, #2
Author: C.L. Collier
Publication Date: April 2, 2018
Publisher: C.L. Collier LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

When I went to California to fulfill my mom’s last wishes, I got more than I bargained for. Not only did I meet family I never knew I had, I also met Dax. Our long distance relationship hasn’t been easy, but when tragedy strikes, my priorities become clearly defined. My mom may be gone, but as I rush to the one I love, her dreams for my future replay on a loop through my mind. She wanted me to open my heart to love and have a family of my own. Now, I don’t know if I’ll ever get that chance.


What I Never Knew I Wanted is the conclusion to Amanda’s story that began in What I Never Knew. (In order to enjoy this book to the fullest, you will want to read that book first.) Amanda is reeling from the shock she received at the end of the first book. In this book, she deals with the stress of what happened. Amanda’s also moved on from focusing on her mother’s death to navigating what it means to be in a relationship with Dax. Amanda has some tough decisions to make, and more surprises along the way make things even more difficult. The one thing that holds Amanda together is Dax’s love.

I really enjoyed What I Never Knew I Wanted. While the last book felt more like women’s fiction, this one felt more like a contemporary romance. It still had moments of reflection on Amanda’s mother, but it was more about Amanda and Dax. I loved that. Amanda and Dax’s romance was so sweet. I loved how they navigated a long distance romance and made each other a priority. They faced some tough hurdles, but were made stronger by them.

The only thing that threw me off a bit in What I Never Knew I Wanted was the ending. It was a little abrupt. I was waiting for another big dramatic moment, but it didn’t come. All of a sudden I arrived at the epilogue. It wasn’t that I didn’t like that, I just wasn’t expecting it. I think that’s because I know there is a third book. I thought that one was going to be about Amanda and Dax, but maybe it will be about another couple? (I’m hoping Laura and Chris!) I did love how the book ended, though. Amanda and Dax’s happily ever after was perfect.

Series Review: The Bennetts by Kennedy Ryan

When I read my first KENNEDY RYAN book, I knew I was going to go back and read all of her other books. I was finally about to read her THE BENNETTS series. Rather than review them all separately, I am reviewing them all in this post.

When You Are Mine (Book1) and Loving You Always (Book 2)
Publication Dates: January 1, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

(I’m reviewing the first two books together because they’re basically one story.)

Synopsis #1:

Forever is a heartbeat away . . .

Kerris Moreton knows how to make things work. Bounced from foster home to foster home as a kid, she adapted; when opportunity arose, she thrived. Now, about to open her own business and accept a marriage proposal, Kerris is ready to build the life she’s always wanted. The only thing missing? A passionate connection with her would-be fiancé, Cam. Kerris wants to believe that sparks are overrated-until Walsh Bennett lights her up like the Fourth of July.

. . . but what about love?

As one of the East Coast’s most eligible bachelors, Walsh enjoys financial independence, fulfilling work with his family’s nonprofit, and plenty of female attention. But lately he’s been distracted by the one woman he can’t have. Lovely to look at and even sweeter to know, Kerris is the soul mate Walsh never thought he would find. The problem is, his best friend found her first . . .

Synopsis #2:

Kerris Moreton should be the happiest woman in the world: She has a successful business and is about to start the family she’s always wanted. But the man of her dreams-the one whose green eyes see straight into her soul and whose gentle hands make her body hum with pleasure-is not hers.

Each secret moment with Walsh Bennett serves to remind Kerris of what she’s missing. And every stolen hour makes it harder to see her future without him. But being with Walsh would betray a sacred promise and upend her perfect life. When tragedy strikes, the razor’s edge between love and loyalty grows sharper than ever. And Kerris must decide where her heart will fall . . .

REVIEW:

I’m not a big fan of love triangles (especially involving friends/family), so these two books aren’t my favorite Kennedy Ryan has written. I wanted Walsh and Kerris to end up together, but I felt really horrible for Cam. Even when he was being a not so good person, I felt like Cam was betrayed in terrible way. I liked how everything worked out in the end, but I still felt bad for Cam.

One thing I want to mention is that these books are written in third person unlike Ryan’s newer books. That wasn’t my favorite, but I was impressed that she was still able to put the same amount of emotions into her characters and their problems that way. Once I got used to the third person, I barely noticed it.

Overall, When You Are Mine and Loving You Always were good books. The love triangle was done is a way that didn’t leave me stressing out about who Kerris would end up with. Her path always felt right. I adored her, Walsh, and even Cam. I was happy to find out the next book is Cam and Jo’s.


Be Mine Forever (Book 3)
Publication Date: February 3, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Can a secret crush . . .

Jo Walsh has loved Cameron Mitchell for as long as she can remember. Whether front and center in her life or on the periphery, the tall, brooding artist has made his presence seductively and irresistibly known. But whenever they start to get close, Cam pulls away. Jo’s tired of keeping her feelings in a box Cam is afraid to open. If he wants her, he’ll have to prove it. And if he doesn’t, Jo will need to know the real reason why . . .

. . . become the love of a lifetime?

How do you walk away from your soul mate? Cam wishes he knew. No matter how far he runs from Jo, he can’t resist looking back at the silver eyes that seem to see right through him. But as well as Jo thinks she understands Cam, the dark truth about his past is something she shouldn’t have to handle. Cam’s sure that setting Jo free is the right thing to do. Too bad his heart has other ideas . . .

REVIEW:

I’m still not a fan of the third person, but Be Mine Forever is classic Kennedy Ryan. It’s deep, dark, gritty, and emotional. It’s also sweet. Despite being kind of a jerk, Cam has a heart of gold. He doesn’t want to drag anyone into his problems, especially someone as special to him as Jo. I loved how he let his guard down with her eventually. Cam had some tough things to overcome and I loved that Jo was such a great support. Jo was such a kind hearted person as well as a strong, determined woman. I loved Cam and Jo together. I loved this book.


Until I’m Yours (Book 4)
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

The world knows her face . . .

Mean girl. Goddess. Bitch. Supermodel Sofie Baston has earned those labels . . . yet they don’t scratch the surface of who she really is. Before she can follow her own dreams, Sophie must do her daughterly duty and reel in a “fish” for her father’s business-a tall, brown-eyed entrepreneur who immediately hooks her. He’s a big guy with an even bigger heart . . . but will that heart be open to Sofie once her darkest secret is revealed?

. . . but only one man knows her heart

To Trevor Bishop, Sofie is a beautiful mystery he would gladly spend his life solving. He figures her tough demeanor is armor against a world that’s hurt her too many times. Then Sofie’s deepest wounds are reopened by the powerful, ruthless man who made them. When she musters the courage to take him down, her world shatters. Now Trevor is determined to help Sofie pick up the pieces so they can build a future together. The challenge will be convincing his ice princess that it’s safe to melt in his arms . . .

REVIEW:

This was my favorite book in the series! I’m really surprised because I was not a fan of Sofie from the first two books. She was really horrible, and I found it hard to think she could redeem herself. Getting to know the real Sofie made me fall in love with her. She was as mean as she seemed, but how she ended up being that way made a lot of sense. It also helped that Sofie also had a big heart. Sofie just needed to be loved. She found a special connection with Trevor. I loved him and how he supported her. I’m happy she got a sweet, but emotional story.

Another reason this was my favorite book was because it was in first person!!! The past three books were in third person. It was so much easier to connect with Sofie in this one because of the first person narration. Thank goodness Kennedy Ryan switched things up. I loved seeing how her writing evolved from the first book to the last.


Overall, I enjoyed reading The Bennetts. It was an emotionally charged series. That made it hard to binge read at times, but I’m happy I did. I loved seeing the evolution of the characters throughout the entire series. I also loved seeing Kennedy Ryan’s writing grow.

**One thing I do feel the need to point out is that this series may have some big TRIGGERS for some people. Three of the main characters in this series were raped in the past, so each book has something about that. (You might think that would make the books feel redundant, but it surprisingly didn’t.)

Review: Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Autoboyography
Author: Christina Lauren
Narrators: Deacon Lee, Kyle Mason
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Simon Schuster Audio
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQ+

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this funny and poignant coming-of-age novel from New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren about two boys who fall in love in a writing class—one from a progressive family and the other from a conservative religious community.

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.


Wow, guys…

I wasn’t expecting to feel the way I did about this book.  I didn’t really have any expectations going into Autoboyography other than it was going to be a fun YA contemporary. That’s not what it was at all. Reading it was an experience I am grateful to have had. The duo behind Christina Lauren wrote a profound story about love, family, friendship, and faith. I’ve listened to a couple of their other adult books, and while those were fun, they never hit me like this one did.

Autoboyography was about Tanner, a high school senior who is bisexual. Tanner’s kept his sexual orientation a secret since moving to Provo, Utah due to the stigma it has in the predominantly Mormon city. It wasn’t hard for Tanner to hide until he met his writing class TA. One look at Sebastian and Tanner is infatuated. Tanner’s not the only one either. Sebastian seems to be just as into Tanner. The problem is Sebastian is a devout Mormon. A relationship with Tanner is completely against everything Sebastian has been taught.

(Almost) everything about this book was heartbreaking. From the moment their story begins, the writing is on the wall. Things will not be easy for Tanner and Sebastian. While Tanner has accepted his identity, Sebastian has not. His family and his religion does not allow him to. The closer they become, the harder life is for both of them. I was sad for Tanner (and Sebastian) so many times. I wanted a happy ever after for them, but I could never be sure that was going to happen for them. Their lives were so different. Their journeys, together and apart, were tough. I loved them and just wanted everything to be magically better for them.

My favorite character in Autoboyography wasn’t either of the main characters. It was actually Tanner’s dad. He had an openness to him that I hope my daughter will eventually find in me. He accepted Tanner for who he was and wanted to the best for him. That didn’t stop him from giving advice and establishing boundaries. In fact, it was his advice and guidance that I loved the most. His statements were so profound, truthful, and beautiful.

To be honest, I felt like I learned a lot about the Mormon religion/culture that I didn’t know before. Some things I had heard of, but others were new to me. I liked that while Autoboyography pointed out short coming regarding the religion’s lack of accepting diverse relationships, it was also respectful of the religion. It not only hit on its short comings but the positive aspects of it as well. The book didn’t bash the religion, just questioned aspects of it through Tanner and Sebastian’s characters.

The one thing I didn’t love about this book was Tanner and Autumn’s relationship. While their friendship was cute and totally supportive, I didn’t like part of it. It’s very apparent Autumn is in love with Tanner. They both try to ignore this so they can save their friendship. There are times when their friendship was uncomfortable for me because I felt that they shouldn’t really be friends. I felt that it was a lopsided friendship. Maybe that was just because Autumn didn’t have a POV, but I felt like it was an unhealthy relationship for her.

Sorry if this review feels a little discombobulated. I loved this book so much, and it’s really hard to put all of my thoughts and feelings into words. I really want everyone to read Autoboyography. It was a beautiful book.

Review: Marriage of Inconvenience by Penny Reid

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Marriage of Inconvenience, an all new romantic comedy standalone in the USA Today bestselling, Knitting in the City Series by Penny Reid, is available NOW!

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There are three things you need to know about Kat Tanner (aka Kathleen Tyson. . . and yes, she is *that* Kathleen Tyson): 1) She’s determined to make good decisions, 2) She must get married ASAP, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Being a billionaire heiress isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it sucks. Determined to live a quiet life, Kat Tanner changed her identity years ago and eschewed her family’s legacy. But now, Kat’s silver spoon past has finally caught up with her, and so have her youthful mistakes. To avoid imminent disaster, she must marry immediately; it is essential that the person she chooses have no romantic feelings for her whatsoever and be completely trustworthy.

Fortunately, she knows exactly who to ask. Dan O’Malley checks all the boxes: single, romantically indifferent to her, completely trustworthy. Sure, she might have a wee little crush on Dan the Security Man, but with clear rules, expectations, and a legally binding contract, Kat is certain she can make it through this debacle with her sanity—and heart—all in one piece.

Except, what happens when Dan O’Malley isn’t as indifferent—or as trustworthy—as she thought?

Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

FINALLY! It’s Dan and Kat’s book! I have been waiting for this book ever since I binge read the series back in January. (I know, I know. I’m late to the Knitting in the City party.) Their attraction to each other and lack of relationship has been taunting me since I met them.

Marriage of Inconvenience might just  be my new favorite Knitting in the City book. That’s saying a lot because it surpassed Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4) as my favorite. That book is perfect because it’s a crossover of the Knitting in the City and Winston Brothers series. It set that standards really high, but Marriage of Inconvenience managed to surpass it! I loved this book!

Dan and Kat’s adorable chemistry lived on. Their marriage may have begun as a sham, but the real feelings they had for each other made it real very quickly. Dan and Kat had a lot to learn about each other, and a lot of trust to build. I loved the steps they took to build that trust and love. I found it so sweet and swoon worthy. Their connection really shined in this book.

I also enjoyed how Dan and Kat’s love story was woven around a dangerous mystery. There were so many parts and pieces to it all. I loved how it was set up, and all the characters involved. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what was going to happen!

I haven’t mentioned them yet, but don’t worry — all of the regular characters are there to give Dan and Kat their support. There are so many great friendship moments between the Knitting in the City friends.

Marriage of Inconvenience was a whole lot of fun to read. As always, Penny Reid’s writing was funny, fresh, and smart. It made me laugh and it made me swoon. It also taught me a lot! I learned so much between the chapter headings and several big words I had to look up. (I was thankful for my Kindle dictionary function!) I truly loved every moment I spent with this book. I know fans of this series will love it, too.

Excerpt:

Staring at his chin, because I couldn’t quite lift my eyes any higher, I cleared my throat. “Should we get ready for bed?”

“Sure,” he said, his voice a rumble. Dan’s eyes were on me, I felt the weight of them.

My hands came to the hem of my skirt and I hesitated, feeling winded for some reason. Sneaking a glance at him, I immediately wished I hadn’t. His gaze was watchful, but it was also unmistakably hot in a way that seemed at once both avaricious and accusatory. The vice tightened around my lungs.

Kiss him! Just freaking kiss him! You want numbered steps? Fine. You kiss him- check. He kisses you back- check. Then you make out- check. Check the boxes.

I licked my lips, balling my hands into fists at my sides again, preparing to follow my hasty list.

But then he said, “Undress me.”

My breath caught. On instinct, my eyes lifted and collided with his in much the same way our bodies had collided at the top of the stairs just moments ago. Jarring. Startling. Thrilling. This time I couldn’t look away because this time I was falling. He made no move to catch me.

“What? What did you say?”

His eyes narrowed, which served only to increase the intensity of his gaze from smolder to inferno. “Take my clothes off.”

I stared at him, licking my lips again, and shaking my head. That wasn’t one of my steps.

Lifting my chin, I moved to kiss him. He leaned to the side, evading me even as his eyes dropped to my mouth.

“Take off my shirt and I’ll give you a kiss.” He’d used his naughty-secret voice.

An explosion of heat erupted in my belly, and now I was hot all over. I couldn’t figure out if the heat was embarrassment or arousal or both.

He didn’t give me a chance to figure it out. His hands lifted and he undid his cuffs; then they moved to the top button of his shirt.

“You better take over,” he said darkly, “or else you’re not getting that kiss.”
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Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Review: Alphas Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Alphas Like Us
Series: Like Us, #3
Authors: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Publication Date: March 13, 2018
Publisher: K.B. Ritchie
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQ+

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

His Bodyguard. His Love.

Maverick, know-it-all bodyguard Farrow Keene knows publicly dating American royalty comes with a great cost. Everyone wants a piece of their relationship. And as a protective boyfriend, he’s not here for the malicious hands that grab at their love life and seek to rip them apart.

But Farrow is confident — he’s confident that he could’ve never prepared for the storm to come.

Keep him safe.

Maximoff Hale isn’t a big fan of change. And to regain the charity CEO position he lost, he agrees to a task that he’s always rejected. One that could uproot his unconventional world.

But Maximoff is afraid — he’s afraid of the consequences that could destroy his boyfriend and his family.

Keep him safe.

Changes are on the horizon.
Big.
Messy.
Complicated.
Changes.

Maximoff & Farrow will fight for their forever. And with every breath, they promise that their love story won’t end here.

​​The Like Us series is a true series, one continuous timeline, that follows a family of wealthy celebrities and the people that protect them. You must read Books 1 and 2 before reading Alphas Like Us.


I’ve been waiting to get my hands on Alphas Like Us ever since the end of Lovers Like Us. That ending made me so happy, and I couldn’t wait to see where Maximoff and Farrow’s relationship would go from there.

I’m happy to say that I loved where it went. Alphas Like Us was almost everything I hoped it would be. I loved how Maximoff and Farrow acted as a real couple. I enjoyed how they supported each other through everything and the tenderness they showed. I also liked how Maximoff and Farrow navigated fans and the media. Everything that happened to them in this book felt like it had potential to happen in real life to a celebrity couple. Alphas like Us gave Maximoff and Farrow the chance to grow in their relationship and themselves. I loved being part of that experience.

My only disappointment in Alphas Like Us was that so many questions were left in regards to some of the Hale-Cobalt-Meadows siblings. I wanted some resolution for them now, but those resolutions were left for future books. It made me sad because I wanted to know how things end up for them sooner rather than later! That being said, I know I’m going to answers in the future with Jane’s upcoming book. It’s just torture having to wait!

Alphas Like Us was definitely my favorite book in the Like Us series so far. The first two books felt like a build up to this book, and the pay off was so worth it. I ended up loving Maximoff and Farrow more than I did before. I can’t wait to see them again in Jane’s upcoming book.