Series Review: Beautiful Hearts Duet (Emma Scott)

When the Beautiful Hearts Duet released this past summer I wanted to read it, but I was hesitant. I know the power of Emma Scott’s writing, and I was scared to feel what her words would invoke. I also knew it had a love triangle of sorts, and I hate those. In the end, I gave in and read the duet because I knew it would be good and all of the reviews were coming in with high praise.

Bring Down the Stars ★ ★ ★ ½

I have to start out by saying that the acknowledgements and dedications at the beginning of this book had me in tears. That didn’t bode well for my emotions. I have to be honest and say I didn’t love this book. It made me mad because of the love triangle built on lies. I was so frustrated with Weston, Connor, and Autumn while reading it. Weston made me mad because of his dedication to Connor. Connor made me mad because of his attitude about just about everything and his poor decisions. Autumn I wasn’t really mad at. I was more irritated because I wondered how she could really be so blind…but then aren’t we all when we’re falling in love?

Overall, the writing was beautiful. The poems in this book…WOW. The emotions brought on by this book…WOW. The ending…DANG. There’s no way I could take a break between books 1 and 2.

Long Live the Beautiful Hearts ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I don’t even know that I have the words to tell you how much I loved this book. This one starts off emotional and strong. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but I ended up loving the direction Emma Scott took this story. I grew to really love Autumn, Weston, and Connor. How everything worked out wasn’t always easy, but it was perfect. The easy moments were almost too easy, but I didn’t mind that because I felt everything come full circle. Bravo, Emma Scott. You did your readers, yourself, and your precious daughter right.

Review: The Last Letter by Rebecca Yarros

The Last Letter
Author: Rebecca Yarros
Publication Date: February 26, 2018
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Beckett,

If you’re reading this, well, you know the last-letter drill. You made it. I didn’t. Get off the guilt train, because I know if there was any chance you could have saved me, you would have.

I need one thing from you: get out of the army and get to Telluride.

My little sister Ella’s raising the twins alone. She’s too independent and won’t accept help easily, but she has lost our grandmother, our parents, and now me. It’s too much for anyone to endure. It’s not fair.

And here’s the kicker: there’s something else you don’t know that’s tearing her family apart. She’s going to need help.

So if I’m gone, that means I can’t be there for Ella. I can’t help them through this. But you can. So I’m begging you, as my best friend, go take care of my sister, my family.

Please don’t make her go through it alone.

Ryan


So…I have found another favorite new-to-me author. Rebecca Yarros has me wanting to go back and read her backlist like now because The Last Letter was so, so good. I can’t even begin to do it justice with this review, so I am going to bullet point my likes and dislikes.

What I liked:

  • The letters. They start out each chapter and are perfectly tailored to the story and how it evolves.
  • The writing. It caught my attention from the beginning and never let go. Like I said above, Rebeca Yarros is new to me and I instantly connected to the way she puts words together. Every sentence is packed with emotion.
  • The plot. I won’t go into it too much, but it’s way more than what you read in that blurb. It was the perfect mixture or heartwarming and heartbreaking. Every moment had a purpose.
  • Ella’s children were so darn cute. Colt and Maisie were twins and their bond was too special. They also added something extra sweet to Ella and Beckett’s relationship.
  • Beckett Gentry. He had his moments of stupidity, but I loved his character.
  • I could go on and on, but I have to stop listing things because I would just give away the entire story.

What I disliked:

  • I didn’t connect as much as I would have liked to with Ella. I understood her reasoning for the way she acted, but her trust issues were almost too much for me at times. Especially towards the end.
  • Beckett’s moments of stupidity when he kept keeping that dang secret.
  • An event toward the end. I can’t say what it is, but I was sad the story went there. I get it, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Overall, The Last Letter was a really great book. It was a romance, but it was more than just a romance. It was a touching story about family, love, war, and life. Despite my few dislikes, I thought it was brilliant.

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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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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Review: The Left Side of Perfect / The Right Side of Forever by Meghan Quinn


The Left Side of Perfect
Series: The Perfect Duet, #1
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: August 30, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

For better or for worse,’til death do us part . . .

The better captured me; she’s who stole my heart.
And made me realize I couldn’t live without this woman.
The worse of her took my breath away–kicked me when I was down and twisted me into a million knots.

When I first met her, I thought she was someone I would never see again.
The second time I ran into her, it was a random coincidence.
The third?
I didn’t know it at the time, but she was the girl I was going to marry.

But life isn’t always perfect. You have to take the better and the worse–even if it means giving her up, having her slip between your fingers, and letting her walk away.

I’m getting married.

This is forever, ’til death do us part.

Review:

Writing this review is going to kill me because there are so, so many things I want to say about The Left Side of Forever and I can’t because I don’t want to spoil it! It’s driving me absolutely crazy. So here are the things I can safely say without ruining this book for anyone…

  • Meghan Quinn has a crafty way of making you want what you thought you didn’t want and would never want.
  • She played with my emotions. I loved this book, but my gut was aching while reading parts of it.
  • This book made me remember why I loved a certain character. He was better than I had him in my memory and that’s saying a lot. I have so much respect for this fictional character!
  • I liked one of the main characters WAY more than I expected to. This person wasn’t one of my favorite characters from the Blue Line Duet. The last I read of the person, I was like, No! Wait! What?” I didn’t get it. I do now.
  • My heart broke with some revelations. I was so crushed. I can’t even get into it because SPOILER!, but man!
  • I loved the new-ish characters. Although, one made me very nervous!
  • There are some AMAZING quotes that people are going to identify with and love. I can imagine that people are going to be using them a ton.
  • THE ENDING!!! I’m devastated. Not in the same way as I was with the Blue Line Duet. That was anger. This is sorrow.
  • I loved this book, and I’m so happy that I have the next book in the duet, The Right Side of Forever waiting for me to start right now.

I know this doesn’t tell you much. It’s not really supposed to. The Left Side of Perfect is one of those books you are going to have to read for yourself — and you’re going to want to! (Just make sure to read the Blue Line Duet FIRST!!!)

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The Right Side of Forever
Series: The Perfect Duet, #2
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: August 30, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

In sickness and in health, to love and to cherish . . .

It sounds so simple, to love someone unconditionally.
To give them your heart.

So why is she slowly eating away at my soul with every unanswered phone call, every unread text, and every door left unopened?

She said yes, and yet, in order for her to be with me . . . I need to let her go.

Review:

You know those books you finish and you feel like you don’t even have the words to describe how special they are? The Right Side of Forever was one of those books for me. It was perfect in every way. It made me smile and it made me tear up. It not only made me think of what the characters were going through, but of my own thoughts and actions. The Right Side of Forever brought the journey that started in the Blue Line Duet full circle. I finally understood all of Meghan Quinn’s plot choices and I wouldn’t have her change a thing. The amount of character growth and emotion that went into this book was amazing. The Right Side of Perfect was the perfect conclusion to this story and the one that really started four books ago.

Now, I just have one question for Meghan Quinn…Will she ever write a book about any of these other Air Force guys? I wouldn’t mind a Rowdy story. Just sayin’.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

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Review: The Downside of Love by Meghan Quinn

This isn’t a story about a love triangle. There is no triangle involved.

This isn’t a story about an accidental pregnancy. Although having a baby with her . . . I would.

This isn’t a story about lies and deception, even though at times I’ve lied to myself.

No, this is my story.

A story about sacrifice.

A story about a man who fell in love with the wrong girl.

A story I wish I never had to tell.

This is a story about the true meaning of the downside of love.

AVAILABLE NOW

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Review:

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

If you haven’t read The Upside of Falling (Blue Line, #1), stop right here. I’m not planning on posting spoilers in this review, but that book must be read prior to this one. You can find my review for The Upside of Falling here if you’re curious. Now, onto my review.

The end of The Upside of Love threw me for a loop. I wasn’t expecting things to go down the way they did. I was so shocked. I had some major feelings about how everything went down with Colby and Rory. I was really angry I was left hanging the way I was. The Downside of Love (and its early release) made up for all my frustration. I was pleasantly surprised by it. Meghan Quinn did amazing things with both her writing and her characters. Like the first book in the duet, it wasn’t what I was expecting. I didn’t think that was going to be a good thing, but it was. I loved how things ended up. I can’t imagine the Blue Line Duet characters’ story ending any other way now. It was an emotionally raw and thought-provoking read. Bravo, Meghan Quinn!

I do have one more thing to say. You’ll get this once you’ve read the book. I need more! That last scene has me wanting Meghan Quinn to make this a trilogy or maybe write a spin-off novel. I have to know if there a possibility…

Tucked away at the base of the Rocky Mountains lived a little boy with one singular dream: leave this broken and battered home and become someone.

Be somebody’s hero.

That boy was me—Colby Brooks. Except I’m not that same little boy anymore.

My dreams might still be the same, but my reality isn’t.

I’m smarter. Stronger. A man.

And I learned a long damn time ago, the only way to achieve my dreams was to avoid distractions—at any cost.

Focus. Resolve. Determination.

But all it took was one single night. One night and my entire life…changed.

One night had me colliding head first with the biggest distraction of my life; Rory Oaks.

Smart. Charming. Beautiful.

Rory changed everything.

Quickly, my one-track mind started to bend.

Each kiss faded decade-long dreams.

And with one single incident, I fly off course.

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About the Author:

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

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Blog Tour **Spoiler Free** Review: The Upside of Falling by Meghan Quinn

Tucked away at the base of the Rocky Mountains lived a little boy with one singular dream: leave this broken and battered home and become someone.

Be somebody’s hero.

That boy was me—Colby Brooks. Except I’m not that same little boy anymore.

My dreams might still be the same, but my reality isn’t.

I’m smarter. Stronger. A man.

And I learned a long damn time ago, the only way to achieve my dreams was to avoid distractions—at any cost.

Focus. Resolve. Determination.

But all it took was one single night. One night and my entire life…changed.

One night had me colliding head first with the biggest distraction of my life; Rory Oaks.

Smart. Charming. Beautiful.

Rory changed everything.

Quickly, my one-track mind started to bend.

Each kiss faded decade-long dreams.

And with one single incident, I fly off course.

Review:

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

I’m angry. I shouldn’t be angry, but I am. I knew this was a duet going in. I knew there would most likely be a cliffhanger. I wasn’t prepared for it. Not one bit. The ending wasn’t what I expected, and I can’t seem to get over it. The more I think about it, the angrier I get. I am not happy being left not knowing with this duet. I need to know what happens next! I need The Downside of Love NOW! I should probably have started this review at the beginning and not the end, so excuse me if it feels a little out of whack. It’s entirely because that’s how I feel. That’s how The Upside of Love has left me.

From the moment I began reading The Upside of Love, I fell in love with everything about it. I haven’t read a book by Meghan Quinn quite like this one. I loved how it was Meghan Quinn’s amazing writing, but different from what I’m used to from her. It wasn’t her normal romantic comedy. The Upside of Love felt like a typical new adult romance. It had broken characters whose troubled pasts threatened to keep them apart. I haven’t read a new adult romance like this in a while now, and I loved it.

The characters in this book were so special. Rory was this bright, happy person. She had her problems, but she was all positivity. Colby was the opposite. He wasn’t exactly dark, but negativity played a huge part in his life. Rory and Colby didn’t seem like they would fit together, but they did. I adored Rory and Colby. Their getting to know each other so dang cute. She brought something to his life that he was missing. Everything about their romance was so sweet and easy to relate to. I couldn’t get enough of them together. Then, I got to the end and you can go back to reading above if you want to remember how I felt about that cliffhanger.

The Upside of Love was a tender, sweet, sexy, amazing new adult romance. I loved almost every minute of it. (Nope, still not over that ending!) I cannot wait to get my hands on The Downside of Love to finish Rory and Colby’s story.

Excerpt:

Head turned down, pushing the sleeves of his white Henley up his arms, he swaggers toward me. His jeans hang low on his hips, held up by the same brown belt he wore the other night. His narrow waist directs my eyes to the center of his jeans, and I can’t help wonder what might be behind the crotch of his pants.

And then there is his chest. Barrel like, broad and prominent. His thick biceps showcase his strength, and the fabric of his shirt stretches over his shoulders and forearms. Having spent a lot of time at the gym, I’ve seen every body type, but Colby’s is different. He’s strong, built, but not like a body builder. His body seems to suggest the only kind of weight he’s been lifting is his own body, pushup after pushup. I can’t imagine there being barbells in his workouts, but I can imagine logs, cadets, and heavy machinery. He has working muscles, the kind you earn from hard, dedicated work on the field. In a word? Impressive.

Walking up to Stryder, he grips his friend’s shoulder and says something into his ear. A smirk crosses Stryder’s face before he moves over to our side of the bowling alley and takes Colby’s place.

Is he leaving? Already?

Might as well at this point. It’s not like he’s going to talk to me, not after my pathetic attempt at a bet. I should have known I was going to hang out in the gutter all night. It’s where I usually am when I’m bowling. I blame the ball. The thing has a vendetta against me.

Sighing, I prop my chin in my hand and watch Stryder expertly toss his ball down the lane, getting a strike . . . once again. And just like every other strike, he pumps his arm up in the air and celebrates. We get it, you’re good, no need to—

“Hey.”

That voice . . .

Stunned, eyes wide, not able to move, not wanting to scare him away, I keep my eyes trained forward, soaking in that beautifully deep voice of his for a brief moment before saying, “Hey.”

“Can I sit here?”

Still keeping my eyes trained forward, I say, “Sure.”

My body tingles with awareness of how close he is to me, that fresh laundry scent invading my senses, prickling the little hairs on my arm. My body leans toward his, wanting a little more, searching for anything else he might give me. I don’t know why he’s choosing to engage me in conversation, but I’m sure as hell not moving while he does.

“Sorry about tonight,” he says and he actually sounds sincere.

“Why are you sorry?” I mumble.

Reaching around, he takes my cheek in his hand. The callouses on his palm rubbing against my skin is a welcome sensation. As I’m turned toward him, I steady my breathing. I’m having a hard time slowing my heart rate because of his close proximity, and the unexpected touch shooting a wave of heat through my veins.

“I’m sorry you didn’t get to ask me any questions. I didn’t think you were going to suck that bad.” A playful smile tugs at his lips, and my heart sinks to the floor. Oh God, he’s so gorgeous, especially when he smiles.

Matching his smirk, I say, “I didn’t think I was going to suck that bad either.”

“I feel bad.”

“You should.” That garners a laugh, deep and throaty, the sound cloaking me like a shield, protecting me from the outside world, bringing me into a little bubble where we are the only two that exist.

“Ask me a question.”

Shocked, I swallow hard and say, “Really?”

He nods and holds up his fingers. “You get three.”

“Oh, three? Wow, I feel like you just gave me the key to your soul.”

Rolling his eyes, he adjusts his stance on the barstool and leans back, giving us some space, our knees still knocking into each other. “Easy killer; it’s just three questions.”

“Yeah, three questions I didn’t have before.” Tapping my chin, I try to think of good questions, but now that I have him willing and waiting, nothing comes to mind. I wasn’t prepared for this, he caught me off-guard, and now I feel I can’t be strategic about my probing. “Hmm . . . what do you like to do on the weekends?”

“Jump,” he answers.

Searching his eyes, lips quirked, I say, “Uh, you’re going to have to be more specific than that. What kind of jumping are we talking here? Like jump roping? Because that seems kind of weird to do on the weekends, and if you tell me you’re in some kind of jump-roping club at the academy, I’m not going to believe you.”

His lips curve up as he scratches the side of his jaw. “Jump out of airplanes.”

Oh.

Oh.

That’s . . .

Uh, that’s really hot.

“So you just casually jump out of airplanes?”

“I’m part of the Wings of Blue, the academy’s parachute team. We jump every day, at least two to three times a day after class and before dinner, depending on wind and ceiling limits. On the weekends, some of the guys, including Stryder and me, go to Springs East Airport and do civilian jumps. The more jumps we get in, the higher the chance we’ll be considered for big demonstrations, like parachuting into football games and major sporting events for the Rockies and Broncos.” Ummmm. Did anyone else just hear how many words he gifted me? And seriously? Does the man have no clue how incredibly sexy he is when he talks about something he loves? The expression on his face . . .

“Wow, that’s . . . that’s really hot.” I chuckle. “Sorry, I don’t mean to fangirl over your parachuting, but I guess I wasn’t expecting that answer. You just jump out of planes?”

He slowly nods. “Every day.”

“Anything to get you up in the clouds, huh?”

“Yeah,” he answers shyly, rubbing his jaw. “Okay, next question.”

PURCHASE NOW!

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THE DOWNSIDE OF LOVE – July 5th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

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Review: Getting Hotter by Elle Kennedy

Getting Hotter
Series: Out of Uniform
Author: Elle Kennedy
Publication Date: January 29, 2018 (re-release)
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Military
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

A good bad boy is hard to find…

Seth Masterson has been lusting over Miranda Breslin since the moment he saw her on a Vegas stage. Now that he’s been asked to watch out for her as she opens a dance studio in San Diego, he’s all over it, figuring it’s his chance to get her in his bed. Except the stubborn single mom seems determined to deny their sizzling sexual chemistry. In typical SEAL fashion, Seth makes it his personal mission to prove her wrong.

Miranda got over her attraction to bad boys about the time one of them knocked her up at the age of eighteen. Seth’s mocking gray eyes and military-buff bod, though, are pure and utter temptation. And when a flooded apartment forces her and her twins to move in with him, she can no longer resist the urge to set off some serious fireworks between the sheets.

But any involvement with Seth will be strictly physical—and temporary. So when Seth decides permanent is what he wants, Miranda must steel her defenses before she does something incredibly foolish…like fall in love.


I’ve been a fan of Elle Kennedy’s new adult romances for years, but I don’t think I’ve ever read one of her contemporary romances. Getting Hotter was the first for me, and I really enjoyed it.

Unlike Kennedy’s new adult books that are written in first person, Getting Hotter was written in third person. Third person is not my favorite way for a book to be written in, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to like that. I honestly didn’t really even notice it. Kennedy’s writing is so well done, that it felt like I was reading in first person. I was able to connect quickly with her characters and fall almost immediately in love with them.

Miranda was one tough chick. She was a single mom to twins she’s birthed when she was eighteen. Miranda had to work hard to support herself and her family. She worked two jobs and wasn’t willing to waste her time on someone who wasn’t worth it. I loved how she valued herself.

Seth was also tough, but in a different way. He was a Navy SEAL, so he had the whole badass strength going on for him, but he was tough mentally. Seth was able to wall a part of himself off. That wasn’t a great thing, but I loved seeing Miranda break down his defenses. They were a great match. I loved them together, and their chemistry was palpable.

One of the components to Seth and Miranda’s relationship was the fact that she was a single mother. That wasn’t Seth’s favorite thing. It was hard reading his interactions with the twins at first. Those two six year-olds were hard not to fall in love with. They were so dang cute, and one of my favorite things about this story. I loved how Seth slowly started to fall for them as hard as he fell for their mother.

My only disappointment in Getting Hotter was Dylan’s part in it. Dylan was Seth’s roommate who also had a side story of his own going on in the book. I wasn’t disappointed in the side story. It was exactly the opposite. I wanted more of it, and I was left hanging. His story had barely began when Getting Hotter ended. I was bummed by that. At least I know it means there is more to come for him in a future release. 😉

Getting Hotter was a fun, steamy contemporary romance. I loved the characters and their story. I’m looking forward to going back and reading more of this series.

Review: Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata

Dear Aaron
Author: Mariana Zapata
Publication Date: June 10, 2017
Publisher: Mariana Zapata
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Ruby Santos knew exactly what she was getting herself into when she signed up to write a soldier overseas.
The guidelines were simple: one letter or email a week for the length of his or her deployment. Care packages were optional.
Been there, done that. She thought she knew what to expect.
What she didn’t count on was falling in love with the guy.


This book made me swoon so dang hard. Normally, I like my characters to instantly have chemistry that leads quickly to sexy times, but I was all about the slow burn romance in Dear Aaron.

The way Mariana Zapata set this story up was amazing. I absolutely loved how Dear Aaron began with a series of letters between Aaron and Ruby. It was easy to see the friendship and camaraderie developing between them. They exchanged so much about their days and themselves with each other. Their silent attraction grew and grew for the first half of the book through those letters and then online chats. I could have read the entire book through their online communication with each other.

Then, Aaron and Ruby’s mode of communication changes. The story switches from letters and chats to Ruby’s point of view. I loved this change. It gave me even more insight into the characters. I wish more of the story would have been done this way. I wanted more of Aaron and Ruby’s story through her eyes. There wasn’t enough of that part for me.

I loved both Ruby and Aaron so much. Aaron because he was what every girl dreams of. He was the perfect combination of strong and sweet. He wasn’t perfect, but his imperfections are what made him special. It also helped that he was hotter than sin. Ruby was that nice, shy girl who doesn’t know how gorgeous she actually is. She had some annoying self-confidence issues, but they made her more real and genuine. These two characters truly brought out the best in each other.

I wasn’t ready to be done with Aaron and Ruby’s story when it ended. Honestly, I could have read another 400+ pages about them. I loved Dear Aaron that much. I have some other books I need to read next, but I really, really want to go devour Mariana Zapata’s backlist right now! I’m pretty sure I’m going to be her new biggest fan.

Review: Wrecked by J.B. Salsbury

Wrecked
Author: J.B. Salsbury
Publication Date: July 18, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

When you can’t trust yourself, how can you ask anyone else to?

It’s been months since Aden Colt left the Army, and still the memories haunt him. When he moved into a tiny boat off the California coast, he thought he’d found the perfect place to escape life. Then Sawyer shows up and turns his simple life upside down. Beautiful and sophisticated, she seems out of place in this laid-back beach town. Something is pushing her to experience everything she can-including Aden. But as much as he wants her, starting a relationship with Sawyer puts them both at risk. For Aden, the past doesn’t stay there; it shows up unexpectedly, uncontrollably, and doesn’t care whose life it wrecks.


Sawyer’s sister is on her death-bed in Phoenix. She requests that Sawyer go to San Diego to pack up her stuff and bring it home. Celia asks that Sawyer pretend to be her so that none of her friends know she’s dying. She can’t bear them thinking of her wasting away. It’s not something that will be hard to do because Sawyer and Celia are identical twins.

In Celia’s world, Sawyer has to be someone she’s not. She has to be more carefree, less rigid. She uses the flip of a coin Celia gave her to help her make decisions. Most of those decisions revolve around a troubled ex-Army soldier she meets. Both Aden and Sawyer have troubles they’re trying to escape in each other’s arms. Sawyer quickly falls for Aden, but he has no idea who she really is. He doesn’t even know her real name.

This was my first experience reading a J.B. Salsbury novel. I liked her writing style. It included both Sawyer and Aden’s first person perspectives, which was very helpful in understanding what each character was going through.

Another thing I liked was the plot. I thought it was fun that Sawyer had to be Celia and let go. I don’t think I could have held onto that secret as long as she did, but I understood why she did it. I also liked the PTSD part of the story. Aden’s struggles with it were very real and disturbing. I wanted help for him so badly.

Which leads to my major problem with Wrecked. I thought the PTSD was a great topic to tackle, but I was disappointed in how it was dealt with at times. I liked how Sawyer “helped” Aden feel comfortable and get through some of his attacks. I did not like how Aden was not pushed to seek treatment. It especially disturbed me after one scene. Sawyer quickly dismissed the problem and ignored what happened. That bothered me. Even in the end, I didn’t feel like I got enough resolution when it came to Aden’s PTSD. It was severe and I wanted more explanation to how he was able to deal with it.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Wrecked, and I’m looking forward to reading more from J.B. Salsbury.

Review: Armada by Ernest Cline

Armada
Author: Ernest Cline
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Publication Date: June 14, 2015
Publisher: Random House Audio
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

A cinematic, inventive, heartwarming, and completely nerdtastic adventure from the best-selling author of Ready Player One.

Zack Lightman is daydreaming through another dull math class when the high-tech dropship lands in his school’s courtyard-and when the men in the dark suits and sunglasses leap out of the ship and start calling his name, he’s sure he’s still dreaming. But the dream is all too real; the people of earth need him. As Zack soon discovers, the video game he’s been playing obsessively for years isn’t just a game; it’s part of a massive, top-secret government training program, designed to teach gamers the skills they’ll need to defend earth from a possible alien invasion. And now…that invasion is coming.

Soon Zack and a handful of top gamers find themselves in a bunker beneath the Pentagon, hearing about our planet’s vast secret history over the last forty years-ever since a NASA probe first discovered evidence of intelligent life in our solar system, hidden beneath the ice of Jupiter’s moon, Europa.

As he and his companions prepare to enter their ships and do battle, Zack learns that the father he thought was dead is actually a key player in this secret war. And together with his father, he’ll uncover the truth about the alien Europans, race to prevent a genocide, and discover a mysterious third player in the interplanetary chess game he’s been thrown into.


I’ll be the first to admit I am not a science fiction fan. A couple of months ago, I listened to the audio book of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. I loved that book, but I had no idea he had written another novel. It wasn’t until I saw another blogger saying she was going to read it that Armada was on my radar. I immediately looked it up, and when I saw Wil Wheaton was once again narrating, I requested the audio book from the library.

When I first started listening to Armada, I was hit with familiarity. Armada was reminiscent of Ready Player One from the beginning. Wil Wheaton’s narration sounded similar, and sometimes I had to remind myself that this was a new character and story. His voice was once again perfect for the genre, though. I couldn’t imagine anyone else narrating. I think he should continue to do all of Ernest Cline’s audio books.

Another thing that felt familiar was the writing. Ernest Cline once again centered the story around video games and a young adult male character. I liked Zack. Like Ready Player One‘s Wade Watts, Zack was a high school senior on the verge of graduating. He was just as obsessed with video games as Wade was. The difference between the their stories was their missions. Instead of fighting for a fortune, Zack was fighting to save the universe.

Here’s where I have to admit that I wasn’t into Armada‘s deadly alien invasion story line as much I was into Wade Watt’s quest in Ready Player One. This has nothing to do with it being good or bad. It has everything to do with me not being into aliens. I didn’t really care about Zack’s plight to save Earth and humanity. What I did love, though, were the relationships in this story.

There were so many amazing relationships going on in this book. First, there was Zack and his mom. I loved the easy relationship they had. Then, there was Zack and his schoolmates, friends and fellow alien fighters. The moments Zack spent with them lead to some really great revelations. But the relationship I liked the most was the one Zack had with his dead father and his dead father’s things. That probably sounds weird, but so much of this story was wrapped up in Zack’s dead father’s past and suspicious journal entries. I learned a lot about Zack in those moments, and he did, too.

Overall, I really enjoyed listening to Ernest Cline’s Armada. It was well written, well narrated and addicting to listen to. It wasn’t quite as good as Ready Player One, but I could appreciate it for what it was. Anyone who enjoys video games, aliens and references to old alien movies is bound to love it.