Review: A Wish for Us by Tillie Cole

From the author who brought you A Thousand Boy Kisses comes the new emotional novel, A Wish For Us.
A story of music. A story of healing. A story of love conquering all.

Nineteen-year-old Cromwell Dean is the rising star of electronic dance music. Thousands of people adore him. But no one knows him. No one sees the color of his heart.

Until the girl in the purple dress. She sees through the walls he has built to the empty darkness within.

When Cromwell leaves behind the gray skies of England to study music in the South Carolina heat, the last thing he expects is to see her again. And he certainly doesn’t expect that she’ll stay in his head like a song on repeat.

Bonnie Farraday lives for music. She lets every note into her heart, and she doesn’t understand how someone as talented as Cromwell can avoid doing the same. He’s hiding from his past, and she knows it. She tries to stay away from him, but something keeps calling her back.

Bonnie is the burst of color in Cromwell’s darkness. He’s the beat that makes her heart skip.

But when a shadow falls over Bonnie, it’s up to Cromwell to be her light, in the only way he knows how. He must help her find the lost song in her fragile heart. He must keep her strong with a symphony only he can compose.

A symphony of hope.
A symphony of love.
A symphony of them.

Review:

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

It’s been a while since a book has made me feel the way A Wish for Us did. A Wish for Us was one of those emotionally raw books. (I am admitting to tears with this book, folks. It takes a lot to make me cry while reading.) There were elements to the story that weren’t exactly new and that I could see coming, but those were eclipsed by the beauty of the story and the surprises it had in store.

I was completely entranced by Cromwell Dean and Bonnie Farraday. They were so different, yet perfect for each other. Cromwell and Bonnie truly saw and understood each other. It’s one of my favorite things when a book can bring a connection like theirs to life. I loved how they were bound together by music, and how music was brought to life in this book.

Now that I’ve mentioned the music piece, I have to talk more about it. I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced music quite like the way Tillie Cole used it in A Wish for Us. It was pure genius. This definitely wasn’t a regular rock star/musician romance. A Wish for Us had something amazing and extra special that made it stand out.

I absolutely loved A Wish for Us. It was beautifully written. I don’t want to say too much more about it. I don’t want to give anything away. It’s truly one of those books you have to experience for yourself, and one I’ll be thinking about a long time to come.

I let the rush of nicotine fill my lungs and closed my eyes. As my eyelids shut, I heard quiet music playing somewhere nearby. Classical. Mozart. My drunken mind immediately drifted off to when I was a little kid . . . “What do you hear, Cromwell?” my father asked. I closed my eyes and listened to the piece of music. Colors danced before my eyes. “Piano. Violins. Cellos . . .” I took a deep breath. “I can hear reds and greens and pinks.” I opened my eyes and looked up at my father as he sat on my bed. He was staring down at me. There was a funny expression on his face. “You hear colors?” he said. But he didn’t sound surprised. My face set on fire. I ducked my head under my duvet. My father pulled it down from my eyes. He stroked my hair. “That’s good,” he said, his voice kind of deep. “That’s very good . . .” My eyes snapped open. My hand started to ache. I looked at the bottle in my hand; my fingers were white as they gripped the neck. I sat up, my head spinning from the mass of whiskey in my body. My temples throbbed. I realized it wasn’t from the Jack, but from the music coming from further down the beach. I pushed my hair back from my face then looked to my right. Someone was only a few feet away. I squinted into the lightening night, summer’s early rising sun making it possible to make out the features of whoever the hell it was. It was a girl. A girl wrapped in a blanket. Her phone sat beside her, a Mozart piano concerto drifting quietly from the speaker. She must have felt me looking at her, because she turned her head. I frowned, wondering why I knew her face, but then—“You’re the DJ,” she said. Recognition dawned. It was the girl in the purple dress. She clutched her blanket closer around her as I replayed her accent in my head. American. Bible Belt was my guess, by her thick twang. She sounded like my mum. A smile tugged at her lips as I stayed mute. I wasn’t much of a talker. Especially when my gut was full of Jack and I had zero interest in making small talk with some girl I didn’t know at four in the morning on a cold beach in Brighton. “I’d heard of you,” she said. I stared back out over the sea. Ships sailed in the distance, their lights like tiny fireflies, bobbing up and down. I huffed a humorless laugh. Great. Another girl who wanted to screw the DJ. “Good for you,” I muttered and took a drink of my Jack, feeling the addictive burn slide down my throat. I hoped she’d piss off, or at least stop trying to talk to me. My head couldn’t take any more noise. “Not really,” she shot back. I looked over at her, eyebrows pulled down in confusion. She was looking out over the sea, her chin resting on her folded arms that lay over her bent knees. The blanket had fallen off her shoulders, revealing the purple dress I’d noticed from the podium. She turned to face me, cheek now on her arms. Heat zipped through me. She was pretty. “I’ve heard of you, Cromwell Dean.” She shrugged. “Decided to get a ticket to see you before I left for home tomorrow.” I lit up another cigarette. Her nose wrinkled. She clearly didn’t like the smell. Tough luck. She could move. Last time I checked, England was a free country. She went quiet. I caught her looking at me. Her brown eyes were narrowed, like she was scrutinizing me. Reading something in me that I didn’t want anyone to see. No one ever looked at me closely. I never gave them the chance. I thrived on the podium at clubs because it kept everyone far away, down on the dancefloor where no one ever saw the real me. The way she was looking at me now made nervous shivers break out over my skin. I didn’t need this kind of crap. “Already had my dick sucked tonight, love. Not looking for a second round.” She blinked, and even in the rising sun, I could see her cheeks redden. “Your music has no soul,” she blurted. My cigarette paused halfway to my mouth. Something managed to stab through my stomach at her words. I shoved it back down until I felt my usual sensation of numbness. I sucked on my cigarette. “Yeah? Well, them’s the breaks.” “I’d heard you were some messiah or something on that podium. But all your music comprised was synthetic beats and forced repetitive bursts of unoriginal tempo.” I laughed and shook my head. The girl met my eyes head-on. “It’s called electronic dance music. Not a fifty-piece orchestra.” I held out my arms. “You’ve heard of me. Said so yourself. You know what tunes I spin. What were you expecting? Mozart?” I glared at her phone, which was still playing that damn concerto. I sat back, surprised at myself. I hadn’t talked that much to anyone in . . . I didn’t know how long. I took in a drag, breathing out the smoke that was trapped in my chest. “And turn that thing off, will you? Who the hell goes to hear a dance DJ spin, then comes to a beach to listen to classical music?” The girl frowned but turned off the music. I lay back on the cold sand, closing my eyes. I heard the soft waves lapping the shore. My head filled with pale green. I heard the girl moving. I prayed she was leaving. But I felt her drop beside me. My world darkened as the whiskey and the usual lack of sleep started to pull me under. “What do you feel when you mix your music?” she asked. How the hell she thought her little interview was a good idea right now was beyond me. Yet, surprisingly, I found myself answering her question. “I don’t feel.” I cracked one eye open when she didn’t say anything. She was looking down at me. She had the biggest brown eyes I’d ever seen. Dark hair pulled off her face in a ponytail. Full lips and smooth skin. “Then that’s the problem.” She smiled, but the smile looked nothing but sad. Pitying. “The best music must be felt. By the creator. By the listener. Every part of it from creation to ear must be wrapped in nothing but feelings.” Some weird expression crossed over her face, but hell if I knew what it meant. Her words were a blade to my chest. I hadn’t expected her harsh comment. And I hadn’t expected the blunt trauma that she seemed to deliver right to my heart. Like she’d taken a butcher’s knife and sliced her way through my soul. My body itched to get up and run. To pluck out her assessment of my music from my memory. But instead I forced a laugh, and spat, “Go back home, little Dorothy. Back to where music means something. Where it’s felt.” “Dorothy was from Kansas.” She glanced away. “I’m not.” “Then go back to wherever the hell you’re from,” I snapped. Crossing my arms over my chest, I hunkered down into the sand and shut my eyes, trying to block out the cold wind that was picking up and slapping my skin, and her words that were still stabbing at my heart. I never let anything get to me like this. Not anymore. I just needed some sleep. I didn’t want to go back to my mum’s house here in Brighton, and my flat in London was too far away. So hopefully the cops wouldn’t find me here and kick me off the beach. With my eyes closed, I said, “Thanks for the midnight critique, but as the fastest-rising DJ in Europe, with the best clubs in the world begging for me to spin at their decks—all at nineteen—I think I’ll ignore your extensive notes and just keep on living my sweet as fuck life.”

Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.

Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.

Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.

When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.

Author Links

 

 

Mini Reviews: Salt to the Sea & More Than Word

Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Narrators: Jorgeana Marie, Will Damron, Cassandra Morris, Michael Crouch
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The author of Between Shades of Gray returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war’s most devastating yet unknown tragedies.

In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

Told in alternating points of view, and perfect for fans of Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning , Erik Larson’s critically acclaimed #1 New York Times bestseller Dead Wake, and Elizabeth Wein’s Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity, this masterful work of historical fiction is inspired by the real-life tragedy that was the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff–the greatest maritime disaster in history. As she did in Between Shades of Gray,, Ruta Sepetys unearths a shockingly little-known casualty of a gruesome war, and proves that humanity can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.

Review:

Salt to the Sea is my first Ruta Sepetys novel. I was so very impressed by it. It was such a heartbreaking, beautiful story. I loved the way it switched back and forth between the characters. The way their sad stories intertwined was special. I truly loved listening to the way the narrators brought life to the story. Whether you read or listen to this book, you’re in for an amazing book.


More Than Words
Author: Mia Sheridan
Publication Date: June 12, 2018
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

The moment she met Callen Hayes, eleven-year-old Jessica Creswell knew he was a broken prince. Her prince. They became each other’s refuge, a safe and magical place far from their troubled lives. Until the day Callen kissed herJessica’s first real, dreamy kiss—and then disappeared from her life without a word.

Years later, everyone knows who Callen Hayes is. Famous composer. Infamous bad boy. What no one knows is that Callen’s music is now locked deep inside, trapped behind his own inner demons. It’s only when he withdraws to France to drink his way through the darkness that Callen stumbles into the one person who makes the music return. Jessica. His Jessie. And she still tastes of fresh, sweet innocence . . . even as she sets his blood on fire.

But they don’t belong in each other’s worlds anymore. There are too many mistakes. Too many secrets. Too many lies. All they have is that instinctive longing, that need—and something that looks dangerously like love.

Review:

Years ago, I read Archer’s Voice. That book broke me. I have several other of Mia Sheridan’s books, but have yet to read them. I guess I’ve been scared of the emotional impact. I decided to brave her writing again with More Than Words. There were several things I loved about this book. That initial connection between Jessie and Callie was so sweet. I loved that fate brought them back together, and that they got more than one chance to be together. I also loved how Jessie’s job and her interpretations paralleled with her relationship with Callen. The only thing I wasn’t a big fan of was Callen’s womanizing and drinking. I guess I’m just over that in romances right now. It made it harder for me to emotionally connect to Jessie and Callen’s relationship. Other than, I enjoyed reading More Than Words.

Review: Roomies by Christina Lauren

Roomies
Author: Christina Lauren
Narrator: K.C. Sheridan
Publication Date: December 5, 2017
Publisher: Simon Schuster Audio
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

From subway to Broadway to happily ever after. Modern love in all its thrill, hilarity, and uncertainty has never been so enjoyable as in New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren’s (Beautiful Bastard, Dating You / Hating You) new romance.

Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

For months Holland Bakker has invented excuses to descend into the subway station near her apartment, drawn to the captivating music performed by her street musician crush. Lacking the nerve to actually talk to the gorgeous stranger, fate steps in one night in the form of a drunken attacker. Calvin Mcloughlin rescues her, but quickly disappears when the police start asking questions.

Using the only resource she has to pay the brilliant musician back, Holland gets Calvin an audition with her uncle, Broadway’s hottest musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until his reason for disappearing earlier becomes clear: he’s in the country illegally, his student visa having expired years ago.

Seeing that her uncle needs Calvin as much as Calvin needs him, a wild idea takes hold of her. Impulsively, she marries the Irishman, her infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves and Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway—in the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting—will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?


This book was utterly addictive. I couldn’t stop listening to it. This is only the second book I’ve read by Christina Lauren, but I can already tell she is going to be one of my new-to-me favorite writers this year. The stories she spins and the way she writes are amazing. I loved pretty much everything about Roomies.

Let me start with Holland. I haven’t been through any of the things she went through in this book, but I identified with her. Holland came to a realization that she was a secondary character in her own life. That hit home with me. Being a stay at home mom for years, I have felt like that so many times. My life revolves around everyone else. It’s their show, and I’m just part of it. It’s a weird feeling to have, and Christina Lauren put it into words with Holland. I was so impressed by that! I mean, I loved pretty much everything about Holland, but that stood out to me so much.

Holland’s fake relationship with Calvin was simply magical. There was humor in the way she practically stalked him and then ended up his wife. (Stalking isn’t cool, but it wasn’t her intent to stalk him so this didn’t bug me.) I loved the way they quickly got to know each other, and how the spark between them grew. They may have done things out-of-order, but it was the perfect order for them.

I feel like I should say more about Calvin, but all I can think of is that I loved the dude. Really, he was perfect. He’s bound to be everyone’s book boyfriend. I only wish I had gotten his point of view. That would have made this story even better than it already was.

My one teeny tiny complaint is that I felt like the last big problem in this story went on a lot longer than it needed to. Holland was strengthening herself in so many ways, but in this one way she fell flat. She was so passive about something I thought she would be more aggressive about.

Since I listened to Roomies rather than read it, I need to tell you about the narrator. K.C. Sheridan was amazing! I loved the sound of her voice and how she voiced the characters. I especially loved her portrayal of Calvin and his Irish accent. It was so good!

As you can tell, I enjoyed Roomies a great deal. I highly recommend reading or listening to it if you enjoy contemporary romances, especially those with fake relationships.

Review: Emerald by Elle Casey

Emerald
Series: Red Hot Love, #2
Author: Elle Casey
Publication Date: April 12, 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

A million reasons to go home. One hot reason to stay.

Emerald Collins is nothing like her strong-willed sister Amber. When she found out her father was a member of the legendary rock group Red Hot, sensitive Em was determined to carry on as normal—she had no interest in finding out more about her dad or leaving her quiet sanctuary in Maine.

But while visiting Amber in New York, Em meets Sam, a tortured, sexy, and utterly unsuitable musician. Sam and Em are used to life behind the scenes but their undeniable attraction is about to put them right in the spotlight.

When Sam reveals a shocking secret about his past, Emerald has to make a choice. Will she follow her head and return home or is the magnetism between them and the excitement of the big city enough for her to follow her heart?


Emerald is not happy with her sister Amber for moving to New York to work for the band her father is in. They had an agreement not to let the band into their lives, but that’s something Amber seems to have forgotten now that she’s in a relationship with the band’s new guitar player Ty. Emerald is determined to avoid anything to do with the band. She’s able to do just that until Amber forces her to visit New York.

In New York, Emerald meet’s Ty’s brother Sam and they instantly hit it off. They have a lot in common, and Emerald decides Sam might just make this trip to New York worth it. Things are going perfectly until Sam’s secret calls him back to Los Angeles. Emerald has to decide if his secret is too much for her and the short time she’s had with Sam is over, or if she can open her heart to new adventures.

I have to admit that I didn’t love Amber. I liked it, but her personality really put me off. I was curious as to where the series would continue to go, so I wanted to read Emerald. I was hoping I would enjoy this sister’s personality and therefore the book more.

Emerald was easier to digest than Amber. Her personality was quieter, less in your face. I loved that she felt such a deep connection to her upbringing, and wasn’t so quickly swayed from that way of life. I did get frustrated with her stubbornness at times, but I understood it. I felt she had a genuine connection with Sam. I enjoyed how their love bloomed.

Sam was a surprise. I don’t know what I expected from his character, but it wasn’t what I got. He was a really great guy. Sadie proved that. The whole story around Sam and Sadie was sad, but sweet. I really liked it, and I liked how it fit with Sam and Emerald’s story. It made me like Emerald even more.

I do have a couple of complaints about Emerald. One was the insta-love. Everything happened within a week or two, and it felt too fast for me. I needed more time for Sam and Emerald’s love to grow. I guess I sort of got that with the epilogue, but I needed more. The other thing that bugged me a bit was the father storyline. I don’t want to give it away, but I still feel unresolved with it. I’m scared Rose’s book won’t give me what I want.

Emerald was a fun, fast paced romance. I had some frustrations with it, but overall I enjoyed reading it. It continued to keep me interested in the series storyline, and I am very interested to find out what comes next.

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: The Silent Waters by Brittainy C. Cherry

The Silent Waters
Series: Elements, #3
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
Publication Date: September 22, 2106
Publisher: BCherry Books
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Moments.

Our lives are a collection of moments. Some utterly painful and full of yesterday’s hurts. Some beautifully hopeful and full of tomorrow’s promises.

I’ve had many moments in my lifetime, moments that changed me, challenged me. Moments that scared me and engulfed me. However, the biggest ones—the most heartbreaking and breathtaking ones—all included him.

I was ten years old when I lost my voice. A piece of me was stolen away, and the only person who could truly hear my silence was Brooks Griffin. He was the light during my dark days, the promise of tomorrow, until tragedy found him. Tragedy that eventually drowned him in a sea of memories.

This is the story of a boy and girl who loved each other, but didn’t love themselves. A story of life and death. Of love and broken promises.

Of moments.


Brittainy C. Cherry is an author who was recommended to me a couple of years ago by some Goodreads friends. They knew I would like her emotional tales, and I didn’t let them down. I’ve been slowly reading the Elements series since then, and I was super excited to get The Silent Waters when it was on sale recently. I truly enjoyed reading this book.

The Silent Waters starts out in a very adorable way. Maggie and her father are moving in with her father’s new girlfriend and family. Upon moving in, Maggie meets her new stepbrother’s best friend, Brooks. Maggie immediately takes a liking to Brooks and the story is cuteness overload. Then, something horrible happens and everything is suddenly dark in this story. Even when rays of light seep into Maggie’s life, darkness prevails. Maggie’s only light is Brooks. When Brooks sinks into his own darkness, Maggie will have to find a way to be his light.

Maggie was a character I wasn’t sure I was going to like at first. Just like Brooks, I thought she was kind of annoying. It was perfect since she was a little kid, and little kids can be annoying. As she got older, she became a caring young woman with a lot of problems. I loved her then, but I also wondered where the help she desperately needed was. I don’t know how Maggie was allowed to go on with the way things were as long as she was.

Brooks was an amazing guy. He had such patience and tenderness. His connection with Maggie was utter perfection. I loved that he always tried to do what was best for her and them as a couple. He was my favorite character in this book.

My favorite thing about this book (besides Brooks) was the family dynamic. The Silent Waters showed exactly how each member of Maggie’s family was affected after what happened to her. Each responded in a different way. Their personalities and actions changed with time, just how I would expect them to in real life. There was an honesty to what they were all going through. If I had to pick a favorite character (besides Brooks), it would Maggie’s dad. He filled my heart with hope and love each time he said,

“The world keeps spinning because your heartbeat exists.”

I love that saying so much. I want to start saying it to my daughter every night now. It’s beautiful.

This is the third book I’ve read by Brittainy C. Cherry, and it’s the third book by her that I’ve truly enjoyed. She’s a master at creating stories filled with deep emotions. Every page she writes pulls at my heart-strings. If you like moving romances, I highly suggest you check out this book and series.

Blog Tour Review: More Than a Feeling by Erika Kelly

MORE THAN A FEELING - Tour banner

From the award-winning author of TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT comes the final full-length standalone contemporary romance in Erika Kelly’s red-hot Rock Star Romance series, MORE THAN A FEELING. A steamy and emotional story about a loner rocker finding his perfect duet, MORE THAN A FEELING finds the perfect pitch and will leave you with more than a song in your heart! Order your copy of MORE THAN A FEELING today!

MORE THAN A FEELING - cover

About MORE THAN A FEELING:

From the award-winning author of TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT comes the final story in her red-hot Rock Star Romance series, about a loner rocker finding his perfect duet.

When Cooper Hood left Snowberry, Montana ten years ago, he swore he’d never go back to the town that painted him with the same brush as his addict mother. But right in the middle of his band’s national tour he gets a call to come home: his mom’s got a whopper of a secret to reveal.

Daisy Charbonneau’s in trouble. The talent she hired for her resort’s annual Huckleberry Festival just bailed on her, and she’s desperate to find a replacement act. Luck turns her way when she discovers her high school crush is back in town—and he happens to be a rock star.

As they work together, a crush deepens into so much more, but who falls in love in two weeks?

Especially when Cooper’s never coming back to town, and Daisy’s never going to leave it.

 MY REVIEW:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: I received an ARC from InkSlinger PR in exchange for an unbiased review.

If you like rock star romances, you really need to read Erika Kelly’s Rock Star Romance series. I’ve been a fan of her writing ever since I read the first book, You Really Got Me. I fell in love with the band members of Blue Fire, and have enjoyed watching each of them fall in love throughout the series. Each in the series was better than the last, and that’s saying a lot because they were all adorably fun reads.

In More Than a Feeling, the fourth and final book, Blue Fire’s Cooper Hood is forced to return to the small Montana home town of his youth. Cooper hasn’t set foot there since he left home all those years ago. There’s nothing but bad memories there for him. The only reason he’s come back is the promise of a secret his mom wants to reveal to him.

When Cooper arrives, he realizes there was one bright spot in his youth: Daisy Charbonneau. Daisy is just as beautiful and nice as she was when Cooper was a kid. When he learns she needs help finding a musician to head the local Huckleberry Festival, Cooper can’t stop himself from volunteering to help her find one. Working with Daisy only reminds Cooper of the giant crush he had on her as a teenager. And it seems Cooper wasn’t the only one with a secret crush. As Daisy and Cooper work together, their relationship heats up. The only problem is Cooper doesn’t plan on staying in Montana and Daisy never plans to leave it.

More Than a Feeling was such a fun second chance romance. Like most contemporary romances, It was written in third person dual points of view. This isn’t always my favorite style of narration, but Erika Kelly knows how to make it work and work well. Each character had their own voice and personality. Even though it wasn’t written in first person, I felt like I was in the characters’ heads.

Cooper and Daisy were soul mates. They saw through each other and knew what the other needed. I loved how returning to town and reconnecting with Daisy had Cooper re-examining his childhood experiences and learning new things about himself. It wasn’t just Cooper that had some examining to do, though. Cooper helped Daisy realize some thing about herself, too. I loved how the give and take truly balanced out in this book.

Another thing I really loved was how the characters treated each other. There was so much respect and care between them. Daisy and Cooper were so cute together. Well, when they weren’t burning up the sheets. Then, they were more than just cute. They were hot!

If you’re looking for a great contemporary rock star romance, you should pick up More Than a Feeling or any of Erika Kelly’s other books in her Rock Star Romance series. They’re all super sexy and fun. I highly recommend them.

Order MORE THAN A FEELING Today!

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And don’t miss the first three standalone titles in The Rock Star Romance Series!

 YOU REALLY GOT ME

 I WANT YOU TO WANT ME

 TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT

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 Erika Kelly’s MORE THAN A FEELING – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule

March 27th

A Novel Glimpse – Review

Beware Of The Reader – Review & Excerpt

My Slanted Bookish Ramblings – Review

The Reading Cafe – Review & Excerpt

March 28th

ageordielass honest blog on reviews – Review

Mes Livres – Review & Excerpt

SBB Reviews – Review

Textteaser Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

March 29th

All Things Dark & Dirty – Excerpt

Ashley Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Loves Great Reads Blog – Review & Excerpt

This Wacky Momma Reads – Review

March 30th

A Sky Filled with Sparkling Stars – Excerpt

Bookishly yours – Review & Excerpt

Jodie’s W.I.N.E. List – Review & Excerpt

Pretty Sassy Cool – Review & Excerpt

March 31st

Babbling Chatter Reads – Review & Excerpt

Krista’s Dust Jacket – Review & Excerpt

Obsessed with Romance – Review & Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

April 1st

Author Zoe Forward – Review

Brittany’s Book Blog – Excerpt

For the Love of Books & Alcohol – Review

Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess – Review & Excerpt

April 2nd

Crazy Chaotic Book Babes – Review

Once upon a romance blog – Review & Excerpt

Quesarasera Book Blog – Review

The Butterfly Reads – Review & Excerpt

April 3rd

Books & Boys Book Club – Excerpt

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

iScream Books – Review & Excerpt

Oh My Growing TBR – Review & Excerpt

April 4th

Jack of All Trades, Master of None – Review & Excerpt

Marieke’s Books – Review & Excerpt

Renee Entress’s Blog – Review & Excerpt

Sofia Loves Books – Review

April 5th

Four Chicks Flipping Pages – Review

Lightning City Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Peace Love Books – Review & Excerpt

April 6th

Adventures in Writing – Excerpt

Dog-Eared Daydreams – Review & Excerpt

Friends Till The End Book Blog – Excerpt

Miss Betty’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

April 7th

Melena`s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Pretty Little Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Short and Sassy Book Blurbs – Review

Those Crazy Book Chicks – Excerpt

April 8th

Abibliophobia Anonymous Book Reviews – Excerpt

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

Miranda’s Library – Excerpt

Movies,Shows, & Books – Excerpt

Erika Kelly - author picAbout Erika Kelly:

Award-winning author Erika Kelly has been spinning romantic tales all her life–she just didn’t know it. Raised on the classics, she didn’t discover romantic fiction until later in life. From that moment on, she’s been devouring the genre and has found her true voice as an author. Over three decades she’s written poems, screenplays, plays, short stories, and all kinds of women’s fiction novels. Married to the love of her life and raising four children, she’s lived in two countries and seven states, but give her pen and paper, a stack of good books, and a steaming mug of vanilla chai latte and she can make her home anywhere.

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Newsletter Signup ** Erika Kelly Goodreads

 

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Mini Reviews: Unraveled, Unrequited and Unwritten by Jen Frederick

I was finally able to finish my series binge of Jen Frederick’s Woodlands series this past week. Rather than post each review separately, I am going to post all three reviews at once. So, here we go!


Unraveled
Woodlands, #3
Publication Date: January 18, 2014

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Twenty-five-year-old Sgt. Gray Phillips is at a crossroads in his life: stay in the Marine Corps or get out and learn to be a civilian? He’s got forty-five days of leave to make up his mind but the people in his life aren’t making the decision any easier. His dad wants him to get out; his grandfather wants him to stay in. And his growing feelings for Sam Anderson are wreaking havoc with his heart…and his mind. He believes relationships get ruined when a Marine goes on deployment. So now he’s got an even harder decision to make: take a chance on Sam or leave love behind and give his all to the Marines.

Twenty-two year old Samantha Anderson lost her husband to an IED in Afghanistan just two months after their vows. Two years later, Sam is full of regrets—that she didn’t move with her husband to Alaska; that she allowed her friends to drift away; that she hasn’t taken many chances in life. Now, she’s met Gray and taking a risk on this Marine could be her one opportunity to feel alive and in love again. But how can she risk her heart on another military man who could share the same tragic fate as her husband?

My review:

I absolutely loved this military romance between an army widow and a Marine. There was so much depth to the story. It was all about healing and living the best life possible. I liked that it brought me back to the Woodlands, but wasn’t about one of the main guys who lived there. It gave the story a completely different feel than the rest of the series.

Sam was a really complex character. I could feel the two different sides of Sam. One side was an older Army widow who feelings of guilt and heartache. The other side was a twenty-two year-old young woman who wanted to be an adventurous young adult. Meeting Gray was the best thing that could have happened to her. I love the ability to heal being around him gave her. I loved Gray. He was a good guy with his own cross to bear. His wasn’t as hard as Sam’s, but it threw some great twists in their story.

Unspoken is still my favorite Woodlands book, but Unraveled is a close second. I can see the progression and improvement in Jen Frederick’s writing with each book.


Unrequited
Woodlands, #4
Publication Date: April 13, 2015

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Winter Donovan loves two things: her sister and her sister’s ex boyfriend. She’s spent her whole life doing the right thing except that one time, that night when Finn O’Malley looked hollowed out by his father’s death. Then she did something very wrong that felt terribly right.

Finn can’t stop thinking about Winter and the night and he’ll do anything to make her a permanent part of his life, even if it means separating Winter from the only family she has.

Their love was supposed to be unrequited but one grief stricken guy and one girl with too big of a heart results in disastrous consequences.

My review:

I’m not the biggest fan of romances between a woman and her sister’s ex, but this one works. I think it helped that I didn’t like Ivy, Winter’s sister. She was a hag. The more I found about Ivy and Finn’s previous relationship, the more Winter’s relationship with Finn the less it bothered me.

Winter was a sweet young woman. She cared a lot about people. I really liked her and how she tried to put the good of her family first. I loved her when she grew a backbone and stood up for what she wanted. Finn was a cool guy. He’d had some tough blows in life, but he also did what was needed. I loved Winter and Finn together. Although, I did get tired of hearing about her nipples.

Overall, Unrequited was a fun read and strong addition to the Woodlands series.


Unwritten
Woodlands, #5
Publication Date: March 6, 2017

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

After years of trying to hit it big with his band, Adam Rees’ dream is finally about to come true. A new lead singer brings with him a hot tour invite, but with a catch—his sister has to come with them. Despite an off-limits edict, Adam is instantly attracted the smart and beautiful Landry. But if he wants to claim his woman, it might be at the expense of all his ambitions.

Landry Olsen has had success at every stage of her life, except when it comes to men. She’s put her heart on the shelf, but one look at Adam and she’s a goner. The hot rocker heats her from the inside out, and she wants him as much as he wants her. The only thing standing in their way of their happiness is Landry’s brother—she ruined his musical hopes before, and she won’t do it again. Even if it means saying no to the one guy who makes her believe in love again.

There’s no fruit more tempting than the forbidden kind…


I’ve read several rock star romances that are similar to Unwritten in the past year. It’s basically a tour bus romance. Unwritten stands out from the rest based on Jen Frederick’s awesome writing and the love I already had for Adam prior to reading this book.

What made Unwritten stand out from other rock star tour romances was Landry’s reason for being on tour with FMK. I won’t giveaway why she’s forced to go on tour with her brother and his band, but I thought it added a lot to the story. My favorite part of this book was getting to know Adam better. I didn’t know all the layers he had. It was interesting to hear what people in his industry thought of him and his past. I also really enjoyed the forbidden aspect of Adam and Landry’s relationship. It was a lot of fun and super hot!

The only thing I would have liked was if Adam and Landry spent more time in the Woodlands. The few glimpses I saw of the old gang were fun, but I need more of them and less of the new characters.


Overall, the Woodlands series is a really great read. You can find my reviews for the first two books by clicking on the links below.

Undeclared (Woodlands, #1) and Undressed (Woodlands, #1.5)
Unspoken (Woodlands, #2)

Review: Lost Stars by Lisa Selin Davis

Lost Stars
Author: Lisa Selin Davis
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Note: I won a copy of this book from Rockstar Book Tours.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Before her older sister, Ginny, died, Carrie was a science nerd, obsessively tracking her beloved Vira comet. But now that Ginny is gone, sixteen-year-old Carrie finds herself within the orbit of Ginny’s friends, a close-knit group of seniors who skip school, obsess over bands (not science), and party hard.

Fed up with Carrie’s behavior, her father enrolls her in a summer work camp at a local state park. Carrie actually likes the days spent in nature. And when she meets Dean, a guy who likes the real Carrie—astrophysics obsessions and all—she starts to get to the heart of who she is and who she wants to be.


Lost Stars is a story about a young woman learning to accept the cards life has dealt her.

Nothing is as it should be in Carrie’s life. Her sister’s dead, her mom’s MIA, and her dad is just plain mean. All that Carrie has left to make her world a decent place are her sister’s friends. They’ve taken her under their wings, and been there when she needed them. Those same friends have helped Carrie discover ways to avoid dealing with her sister’s death. But those ways now have Carrie stuck in a summer work program. It’s not Carrie’s ideal summer, but things start to look brighter when Carrie meets her new neighbor, Dean.

Carrie was one of those characters I wanted to love, but didn’t. I couldn’t connect with her. She acted immature, and her attitude sucked. I understood the way she dealt with her life, but her attitude made her unlikable. I couldn’t see a spark of anything that made me like her until the very end. Not that she didn’t have any good qualities. I loved how smart and into science she was. I wish I would have experienced a more happy Carrie with her focus on that.

I liked Dean and the little bit of mystery behind his character. His acceptance of Carrie from the beginning was really cool. I loved what he brought to the story and the push his presence gave her. I do kind of wish it hadn’t taken a boy to start Carrie in the right direction, though.

What I loved most about Lost Stars was the ability to see the growth Carrie made throughout the story. This book was truly about a girl who lost her way and found it once she was willing to look beyond herself to realize not everything was about her. It’s an important life lesson for young adults to learn, and I liked how it was presented in this story. It’s sure to resonate with many readers.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Ed Sheeran Songs That Need To Be Turned Into A Romance Novel.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is a FREEBIE. Since I’m obsessively listening to Ed Sheeran’s new CD ÷, I decided to go with the topic Ten Ed Sheeran Songs That Need To Be Turned Into A Romance Novel. 


1. Dive

2. Perfect

3. Happier

4. New Man

5. Thinking Out Loud

6. Nina

7. One

8. How Would You Feel (Paean)

9. Don’t

10. Say You Love Me (written by Ed Sheeran)


So, yeah, this was basically just me sharing my love for Ed Sheeran and trying to relate it to books.

You’re welcome.