Series Review: The Sweetest Thing by Sierra Hill

A while back I reviewed two of the books from Sierra Hill’s The Sweetest Thing series. I really enjoyed those two books, and I knew I wanted to go back and read the rest of the series. Last week I finally had time to make that happen.

Sweetness (#1) ★ ★ ★ ★

Sweetness is the story of a privileged college basketball player who falls in love with a girl whose life isn’t so easy. Ainsley has Cade changing his womanizing ways, but his past may come back to ruin their relationship. This book was a classic NA sports romance. I loved the ASU setting (I went there!), and the characters. It was a sweet romance with just the right amount of angst.

Sweet Girl (#2) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Sweet Girl was my favorite book in this series. Cade’s younger sister Kylah falls for his teammate Van. Things start out with a forbidden crush for Kylah as Van has a long distance girlfriend. When Van is betrayed, Kylah has the opportunity to go for her man. It was just super cute and sweet. It reminded me of first love and all of the things that come with it. I adored both Kylah and Van. (Oh, and Van lived in the same dorm I did in college! Talk about a blast from the past seeing its name in print.)

Sweet Summer Love (#3) ★ ★ ★ ½

This was the first book I read by Sierra Hill back in 2017. It’s about Cade’s roommate/teammate Carver. Carver is quite the ladies man. When he graduates from college and is drafted by the NBA, it returns him to his hometown of Seattle (Hey! I live here! Another reason to love this series!) where he’s reunited with Logan, the girl who broke his heart. I really enjoyed reading this book, but I had some issues with it. You can read my full review here.

Sweet Disaster (#4) ★ ★ ★ ★

Remember Kylah from Sweet Girl? Sweet Disaster is her wild twin sister Kady’s book. Kady takes an impromptu trip to Europe where she ends up stuck in Italy with no funds. She reaches out to Cade who hooks her up with Gavin who is playing basketball there. The two end up traveling together and falling in love. This book was sweet in a different way than Kylah’s book. It was about two people finally finding their person that they fit with. It was also sexier than the other books in the series.

Sweet Little Lies (#5) ★ ★ ★ ½

I read Sweet Little Lies back at the beginning of 2018. It is Ainsley’s best friend Mica and Cady’s roommate Lance’s story. Mica and Lance had insane chemistry. Their love story wasn’t as easy as ones in the prior books. Sierra Hill touched on deeper issues like interracial dating and addiction. I really loved the romance aspect of the story, but I wanted it to go deeper than it did on the addiction front. You can find my full review for this book here.

Thoughts on the entire The Sweetest Thing series:

Despite the ups and downs of the ratings of these books, I loved this series. It was classic NA college sports romance. Sierra Hill is a great writer. She includes just the right amount of angst in her love stories without going overboard. I especially loved this series because it’s set at my alma mater, ASU. I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a good new adult romance.

Series Review: Jackson Boys by Jen Frederick

Before I start my reviews for the Jackson Boys series, I need to give you a little background information in case you’re unfamiliar with Jen Frederick’s novels. The Jackson Boys series is a spin-off of the Woodlands series. Nathan and Nick are the offspring of Noah and Grace. Charlotte is the daughter of Bo and AnnMarie. You don’t have to read the Woodlands series prior to reading this book. The older characters show up, but their stories aren’t really revealed in this new series.

The Charlotte Chronicles
Series: Jackson Boys, #1
Author: Jen Frederick
Publication Date: December 8, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Charlotte Randolph was only fifteen when she fell in love with her best friend’s gorgeous older brother—but she wasn’t foolish enough to hope he could ever love her back. Nate Jackson always viewed her as a pesky kid…until the day she got sick. The one bright spot during her illness? He realized she was all grown up. But just when she allows herself to believe that dreams can come true, Nate disappears from her life, taking her heart with him.

Nate knows he lost more than his best friend when he deserted Charlotte to enlist in the Navy. He thought he was doing the right thing, sparing the girl he loves from the shame and humiliation of his actions. Nine years later, it’s time to right his wrongs. He returns home determined to win back his first love…only to find that Charlotte’s moved on without him.

But if there’s one thing that being a Navy SEAL has taught Nate? Never give up, even when all hope seems lost. And Nate’s never going to give up on Charlotte. Ever.

My Review:

The Charlotte Chronicles is one of those books where I feel like my rating for it doesn’t quite jibe with how much I enjoyed reading it. I loved Charlotte and Nate. Their story was emotional from the start. The writing was great, but the actual story didn’t flow as well as I wanted it to.

My frustration with The Charlotte Chronicles was how the story was set up. The only way I can think to describe it is that it felt like three books in one. It starts out when Nate and Charlotte are seventeen and fifteen. The story surrounding Charlotte’s illness is sad, but also sweet because of Nate. They have such a pure love for each other. It really made me fall in love with both of their characters.

While Charlotte’s fighting her illness, Nate takes off and joins the Navy. This begins what feels like a new book. It’s a bunch of letters from Charlotte to Nate while he’s serving. She writes him for YEARS with no response. Her letters are sweet, desperate, and heartbreaking. I am so angry with Nate throughout this section of the book because I have no clue what he’s thinking and I can’t believe he would abandon someone he loves so much during the hardest time in her life.

Time then fast forwards again. The story changes format again. It’s been nine years since Nate and Charlotte last communicated with each other. (I guess they had a few run ins during that time, so I don’t get why they didn’t talk then?) We’re back to both Nate and Charlotte’s perspectives, and they’re older so they almost feel like different people. Nate finally gets to explain himself. He basically ignored her for a VERY STUPID reason for NINE YEARS. I struggled with the length of time the characters were apart and the flow of the story. I think if it had been shorter this separation and reunion would have been more believable to me. I just couldn’t get over the fact that they both held on for almost a decade. Nate was so lucky Charlotte hadn’t moved on.

I think my issues with The Charlotte Chronicles wouldn’t have been issues if it wasn’t for that nine-year separation. I would have found it more understandable/believable had it been three or even five years. I did like everything else that happened in the story, so that’s why I feel so conflicted. It’s still a book I would recommend. I’m excited to read Nick’s book and get to know him more.

Be Mine
Series: Jackson Boys, #2
Author: Jen Frederick
Publication Date: October 3, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

At twenty years old, Lainey Wilson has made enough mistakes for a lifetime. She’s gotten herself knocked up by a cruel, uncaring man, lost her home, and found herself outside of a ramshackle bar with a crying baby and a broken purse.

When Nick Jackson, the Mustangs’ new rookie quarterback, swoops in like her savior, all she wants to do is fall into his arms. There’s just one problem… she’s sworn off football players and men for good.

He’s charming, eager, and sexy as hell, but Nick’s not the man for her. No matter what her body says.

Besides, she’s got bigger problems to fix such as how she’s going to feed her child, where she’s going to lay her head, and how to stay hidden from her ex. There’s no room for flirtation, a hand on the small of her back, or even the way he makes her daughter smile.

Nick Jackson isn’t in her plan now or ever.

Right?

My review:

Having read Be Mine immediately following The Charlotte Chronicles had me a little confused. Be Mine is Nate’s brother Nick’s and Charlotte’s friend Lainie’s story. In The Charlotte Chronicles, Lainey and Nick seem to have a frenemies thing going on. They were standoffish with each other, and Nick butted into Lainey’s life in weird ways. It made me expect an enemy to lovers story. That wasn’t what I got at all in this book.

Nick and Lainey actually had a very different start to their friendship/relationship than I was expecting. Nick and Lainey’s friendship actually came before Charlotte and Lainey’s. I didn’t find the animosity between Nick and Lainey that I thought I would. When it did pop up, I didn’t understand it. It was all on Lainey’s part, and didn’t make sense. Nick was nothing but a sweetheart to her when I thought he would have been a jerk at times. It threw me off — especially when the timelines for The Charlotte Chronicles and Be Mine overlapped. I don’t want to go into too much and ruin anything for anyone. If I hadn’t just read The Charlotte Chronicles the little changes might not have been so noticeable.

Despite all the questions that arose from reading the books back to back, I did really love reading Be Mine. It was an entertaining love story. Nick and Lainey were a cute couple with interesting obstacles to overcome. I liked the twists involving Lainey’s baby daddy. I loved Nick and Cassidy’s relationship. It also had a very sweet epilogue. Be Mine probably would have been a 5 star read for me if I hadn’t had so many little questions about the possible discrepancies between it and the first book.

Review: Can’t Text This by Teagan Hunter

Can’t Text This
Author: Teagan Hunter
Publication Date: October 11, 2018
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“Hi Monty. Wanna see my python?”

That’s how I ended up in the bathroom of some dive bar with a stranger.

Me, Monty Andrews, the quintessential virgin girl next door.

I was so out of my element, but there was no denying our explosive attraction, even via text.

Commence Operation Bang Each Other Out of Our Systems, because that was all it was—unfinished business.

I had no intention of falling back into the sheets with the tattooed, muscly, dirty-in-the-best-kind-of-way single dad over and over again…but I did.

Everything was going great—until we discovered I was his son’s teacher.


Everything I’ve been reading lately has been intense, dark, or emotional. I had been looking for the perfect fluffy love story and hadn’t been able to find the one to lighten my mood — or at least I hadn’t until I picked up Can’t Text This.

Can’t Text This is was so much fun! Robbie and Monty couldn’t be more different. He’s covered in tattoos and swears. She’s prim and proper. Robbie is all about textual innuendos and Monty’s curious but also apprehensive. It’s all fun and games until they fall for each other.

I absolutely loved everything about Can’t Text This. It was so adorable! The banter, whether over text or in person, was hilarious. The things these two came up with to text and talk about made me laugh so much. Robbie and Monty were just so cute. Their relationship had ups and downs, but they weren’t ones that broke me. They were ones that were easily resolved and added to the entertainment value.

Oh, I can’t leave out Xavier! Robbie’s relationship with his son was so sweet. I loved how he parented and how his friends had a part in Xavier’s life. I also liked how Robbie’s ex was dealt with. It made my heart so happy!

As you can tell from this glowing review, I really enjoyed Can’t Text This. It was the perfect contemporary romance to get me out of an emotional book slump. I loved it, and I really hope Teagan Hunter will continue on with this texting series. Maybe a book for Denver? I would read that!

If you’re into fun and fluffy romances, I would definitely recommend picking up Can’t Text This. It’s a standalone, but it has two related novels with several recurring characters. You don’t have to read Let’s Get Textual or I Wanna Text You Up before Can’t Text This. The only reason I would recommend reading them first is so that you don’t miss out on all the fun of those two books. Teagan Hunter does an amazing job hooking readers with hilarious text messages and then making them fall in love with her characters. It’s fun to see the characters again in each book.

Can’t Text This just went live, and it is available to read for FREE in KindleUnlimited. Check out some teasers for the book below.

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Other standalones in this series:

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

TEAGAN HUNTER is a Missouri-raised gal, but currently lives in North Carolina with her US Marine husband, where she spends her days begging him for a cat. She survives off coffee, pizza, and sarcasm. When she’s not writing, you can find her binge-watching various TV shows, especially Supernatural and One Tree Hill. She enjoys cold weather, buys more paperbacks than she’ll ever read, and never says no to brownies. For more information, please visit www.teaganhunterwrites.com.

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Mini Reviews: Unmaking Hunter Kennedy & Wasted Words

Lately, I have been attacking my Kindle TBR. I’ve been slowly going through all of the books on it, looking at reviews, and then selecting ones to read. Below are reviews for two of the books I chose to read recently.

Unmaking Hunter Kennedy
Author: Anne Eliot
Publication Date: October 17, 2012
Publisher: Butterfly Books, LLC
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

After a car accident–an event he considers a prank gone bad–pop star, Hunter Kennedy is forced to hide out with his aunt in small-town Colorado. He’s supposed to rest, heal his scars and attend high school in disguise until the press dies down. But he only wants to get back to work.

Worse, the girl who’s been assigned to make him over into a geek is a major geek herself. Vere Roth is a chattering pixie, a blushing tornado and a complete social disaster. He’s never met a girl who’s never-been-kissed, believes in romance and thinks Hunter’s a ‘nice’ guy.

Funny thing is…Hunter is nice around Vere because she’s his first real friend. He also can’t seem to stop sharing his secrets or keep her out of his heart. Knowing he’d never deserve a girl as sweet as Vere, he resigns himself to the friend zone, and helps his new bestie with her own makeover.

She tortures him daily for ridiculous guy advice on how to snag her life-long crush. A guy Hunter thinks is totally wrong for Vere, and sadly, one who has taken note of Vere’s transformation.

When Vere asks her best friend for some kissing advice, Hunter can’t resist…

And that’s when things get out of control…

My Review:

When I picked up Unmaking Hunter Kennedy, I was looking for a feel good read. That’s exactly what I got. You know those movies and books where a girl is turned from a major dork to a hot chick? Well, this is exactly the opposite. Hunter goes from celebrity to total nerd and it is priceless! I loved how he fell for Vere and how she slowly became aware of him. The banter was witty and the storyline was cute. It was sweet contemporary YA goodness! This was my first book by Anne Eliot and I’m so excited to read the rest of her back list.


Wasted Words
Series: Austen, #1
Author: Staci Hart
Publication Date: May 19, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Some universal truths refuse to be ignored.

Peanut butter and jelly are a match made in heaven. Spaghetti and meatballs are best friends forever. And guys like Tyler Knight don’t go for girls like Cam Emerson.

She knew from the second she met him that he didn’t belong on her bookshelf, the six-foot-six ex-tight end with a face so all-American, it could have sold apple pie. So she shelved him next to the supermodels and rock stars and took her place on her own shelf — the one with the flannel-clad, pasty-faced comic book nerds. Most of her boyfriends have existed between the pages of books, but rather than worrying over her own lacking love life, she puts all her energy into playing Cupid, using her job at the book bar, Wasted Words, as her stomping ground.

Tyler Knight always looks on the bright side. His career-ending injury turned into a job as a sports agent. A horrible breakup led him to Cam, his quirky, smart roommate who is far more beautiful than she realizes. She’s made it perfectly clear she’s not interested in him — not like that at least — but if she ever changes her mind, he won’t hesitate. Because he doesn’t see the lines she’s drawn between them, as much as she insists that they’re there. Deep down he knows that despite their differences, they’re a match well made.

*A romantic comedy inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma*

My Review:

So here’s the thing. I started out loving Wasted Words. The setting was unique and cool. Cam and Tyler seemed like such cool characters. There was this feel good vibe that had me excited to find out what was to come. I got a little over half way through the book, and I was thinking things were going to go the way I hoped. That was when Cam’s insecurities and judgemental attitude took over and completely ruined things for me. I understood her, but I couldn’t stand her. I was cringing over her actions. She did end up making up for them, but I had a hard time getting over it. The ending turned out to be super sweet and fun, so that helped. Overall, Wasted Words was a sweet but sometimes annoying read.

Review: Love, Sincerely, Yours by Meghan Quinn and Sara Ney

Love, Sincerely, Yours
Authors: Sara Ney, Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Dear Mister…**strike out** no, too formal.
Hey there sweet cheeks *strike out* no, too forward.

To whom it may concern,
Full disclosure; before we move forward with this email, I would like it to be known that I have consumed an adequate amount of alcoholic beverages to intoxicate myself tonight. Three margaritas, two shots, and one beer—because it was free.
I think it’s important to be open and honest with your co-workers, don’t you?
So here I am, being honest. Drunk but honest. Or just drunk with lust? You decide.
I like you so much it’s clouding my judgment and making me do things I never would sober. Like write this letter.
I have a hopeless, foolish, schoolgirl crush on you when you are the last person on earth I should be falling for. Did you know people around the office call you a sadist? An egomaniac. An insensitive, arrogant prick. Your bark is worse then your bite, and you don’t scare me. The fact is, I’d love that bite of yours to nip at my bare skin while we’re both wearing nothing but sheets.
For once I want you to look at me as more than one of your employees.
And as long as we’re being honest, that navy blue suit you wear? With the crisp white shirt? It really makes me want to loosen your tie and show you who’s boss.
Love,
Sincerely,
Yours.


Love, Sincerely, Yours is one of those books where I just want to write “I LOVED EVERY MOMENT OF IT!” and be done with my review. There’s no way I can convey how much fun I had reading this book by simply describing the plot and/or characters. It was one of those books that made me truly happy while reading it. I can only imagine what my face looked like while reading Love, Sincerely, Yours. I must have had a permanent grin on my face. It was one of those rom-com gems.

For your sake, I’m going to go into more detail. Love, Sincerely, Yours was an office romance. Rome Blackburn is the boss everyone loves to hate. He’s cocky, confident, and expects loyalty and perfection from his employees. Peyton Lévêque works for Rome’s company. She’s confident, sassy, and intelligent. In all the time she’s worked for him, she’s lusted over the arrogant prick, but he’s never noticed her. One night, in an alcohol induced confidence, Peyton anonymously sends Rome a sexy email to get his attention. Angry and slightly turned on, Rome goes on a quest to discover which employee sent it.

What made this book so much fun were the two relationships going on at the same time during this book. There was Rome and Peyton’s employee/employer relationship that was sort of a love-hate thing. Then there was Rome and his email relationship with “Yours” that was also a love-hate sort of thing. Rome was filled with so much anger and curiosity. Everything Peyton did drove him absolutely nuts. Everything Rome did made Peyton irritated. Rome would act like the jerky boss he was and Peyton had no problem flipping what he was dishing out right back at him. Yet both were secretly infatuated with each other. They had this off the charts chemistry.  It made for great banter, attraction, and an overall fun experience. The fact that Peyton was his sexy secret tormentor made it all that more exciting to read.

I honestly don’t have anything very negative to say about Love, Sincerely, Yours. There was one little character that shows up only once and then was kind of left out of the epilogue, but I’m wondering if maybe that was fixed before the final book was released. It was something that I noticed, but had forgotten about until I was discussing the book with friends. Otherwise, I absolutely ADORED this book.

I hope I have convinced you to read it. I highly recommend this book if you love witty dialog, hilarious confrontations with loads of sexual tension, and fun office romances.

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EXCERPT:

I open the company messenger app on my phone and scroll through the executive names, knowing full well I’m about to break a policy. It’s the company’s phone, and the company’s app, and I’m about to use it for personal use. To flirt.

With my boss.

I close my eyes, find his name—next to it is a little, green dot, which means. . .

He’s on the app.

I’ve never talked to him live before so this is a huge step, but then again, it might be more fun to get his initial reactions to my comments.

Debating it for all but two seconds, I type out a message to him, making sure I’m signed on under my LSY persona.

HandsRomingMyBody: Hey you.

My text turns into a new message on the app and I wait on bated breath to see if he will respond. Nerves prickle up my spine, my fingers feeling numb, my mind playing mutiny with my heart just as little dots appear letting me know he’s typing.

Oh God, I don’t think I’ve been more excited.

Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.

She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog.

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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: My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

My Favorite Half-Night Stand
Author: Christina Lauren
Publication Date: December 4, 2018
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author that “hilariously depicts modern dating” (Us Weekly) comes a sexy romantic comedy about online dating, and its many, many fails.

With a world-famous speaker at their university, Millie Morris and her four woefully single male colleagues make a pact that they’ll all find dates. Unfortunately, Millie has more success helping them make matches online than she does navigating the onslaught of lewd pics in her own feed. But when she creates a fictional name for a new account, Millie finds herself vying for the online attention of a man she sees every day in the flesh.


2018 has been a great year for Christina Lauren. They have graced readers with the emotionally gripping Love & Other Words and the hilariously entertaining Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating. Now they are releasing their third book of the year, My Favorite Half-Night Stand.

My Favorite Half-Night Stand had a lot to live up to after the two completely different and amazing books Christina Lauren released earlier this year. To be completely honest, it wasn’t as good as Love & Other Words or Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating. I’m not saying that to drag My Favorite Half-Night Stand. It was still a great book. There were just some things that drove me a little batty at times.
The story starts off with the reader getting to know five friends and co-workers: Millie, Reid, Chris, Alex and Ed. Millie is the only girl in the group of guys, and she’s never thought of having anything, but a platonic relationship with any of the guys…until that one night when suddenly she’s noticing things about Reid she hasn’t noticed before. Just when Millie is considering new feelings for Reid, the group decides to sign up together for online dating. As they create profiles and being receiving matches Millie, Millie decides to create an account with a fake name. She’s immediately matched with Reid under her new persona. Unsure of how to proceed, not-Millie sends Reid a message and what follows could be a reality television show.
Let me start out with my favorite thing about My Favorite Half-Night Stand. I adored the friendships. They were so special. Millie and the guys had this amazing camaraderie and support system going. I loved how they played off each other. I honestly could read a separate book about each and every one of them. I was kind of sad that I only got Millie and Reid’s story because I wanted to know more about all of them.
Another thing I loved about this book was that it was written in dual point of view. I loved being able to see what was going on in both Reid and Millie’s heads at different times. I think if I only had Millie’s perspective, I would have been angry a lot of the book.
Okay, I have to deviate from what I liked to what I didn’t like after mentioning Millie’s POV. Millie drove me batty. I couldn’t believe for someone so smart she made such a horribly mean decision. She deserved what ended up happening to her relationship with Reid and her friends. I understand why she did what she did, but I didn’t like it. I didn’t really like her…until the end. Once she finally let all those bottled up emotions out and became real, I loved her. I wish I would have loved her the entire time.
Back to things I loved! REID! The guy was amazing. He had patience of a saint when it came to Millie. I was surprised given how emotionally in touch he was that he was okay taking what Millie would give him for as long as he did. I loved reading his thoughts and his online dating communications. He was the main star in this book for me — quickly followed by all of his friends.
I want to keep gushing about the friendships in this book! Partly because I love them, party because without them this book might have tanked for me in the middle when Millie was being dumb. I’m really happy they helped carry that middle because I absolutely adored the end of My Favorite Half-Night Stand. It was so sweet and vulnerable. It pretty much made me forget how irritated I was with the decisions Millie made before it and made me like her. The ending brought the story full circle in the best way possible.
So while My Favorite Half-Night Stand wasn’t a Love & Other Words or a Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, it was a good romance with some of the best side characters I have read in a long time. It is worth reading simply for the friendship aspect.

Review: The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting

The Good Luck Charm
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: August 7, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Sports
Note: This received this book from the publisher. This review is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Is it love, or is she just his good luck charm?

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting absolutely delights with this witty and fun standalone contemporary romance.

Lilah isn’t sure what hurt worse: the day Ethan left her to focus on his hockey career, or the day he came back eight years later. He might think they can pick up just where they left off, but she’s no longer that same girl and never wants to be again.

Ethan Kane wants his glory days back. And that includes having Lilah by his side. With her, he was magic. They were magic. All he has to do is make her see that.

Just when Lilah might finally be ready to let him in, though, she finds out their reunion has nothing to do with her and everything to do with his game. But Ethan’s already lost her once, and even if it costs him his career, he’ll do anything to keep from losing her again.


The Good Luck Charm is a special second chance romance. Ethan and Lilah were first best friends and then high school sweethearts. When Ethan broke up with Lilah eight years ago to pursue a career in the NHL, they were both devastated. Lilah tried her best to move on. She created a whole new life for herself — a life that came crashing down around her the same day Ethan returned to town. Ethan wants nothing more to have Lilah back in his life, but Lilah’s not the same girl she was all those years ago. She’s not willing to be that girl again, and she’s not so sure she could stand to lose him again. Ethan is willing to do anything to prove to Lilah that they belong together.

Ethan and Lilah were a couple who deserved a second chance. From the moment I met them, I could tell how deeply their friendship and love ran. They may have been apart for eight years, but their chemistry was so strong they immediately fell back in sync with each other. Their romance was sassy and fun, but it was also filled with strong emotions. The ups and downs in this book felt like ones that could possibly happen in real life. I loved how Ms. Hunting was able to mix her witty dialog and sexy scenes with ones filled with angst.

One of the things I liked about this book was how easy it was to relate to Lilah and her concerns about losing herself in Ethan. Ethan was a larger than life hockey player whose confident personality easily overtook Lilah’s quieter demeanor. He went big while she went smart about things. That meant that sometimes Ethan didn’t hear what Lilah needed. She was quick it cave into his demands because she loved him. It’s easy to give up parts of yourself for someone you love. I liked how she dealt with it all. It took strength and courage on her part. Some might feel Lilah’s character was too much of a pushover, but I felt that she was actually a very strong person who just didn’t want to lose someone she loved so much. I also liked how this situation affected Ethan and gave him some new insight into their relationship.

Another thing I loved about this book were all the side characters. Ethan and Lilah’s families added so much to their story. I loved how involved they were in it. It made me want their stories as well — especially Carmen’s.

The Good Luck Charm is now my favorite book by Helena Hunting. In my opinion, it was contemporary romance gold.

Review: Faux Pas by Natasha Madison

Faux Pas
Author: Natasha Madison
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Meghan
Five days in Paris sounded like a great idea for three friends. Especially when amazing wine was in play.

It didn’t matter that our rented “apartment” only had one bed, and barely enough space to breathe. We were in Paris and our motto was c’est la vie.

Nothing would faze us, not even the rude waiter at the first restaurant we went to, or the insanely hot manager who was insulted when a bottle of wine was returned.

Nothing could bring me down or knock me off my path to the best vacation of my life.

Alex

I had six days in Paris and then I’d go back to my wine vineyard. It was smooth sailing until three “Americans” came into the restaurant and returned my newest full-bodied, savory creation.

I ignored her until she stormed out of the restaurant looking for a taxi at one in the morning. I couldn’t leave her wandering around the streets of Paris, could I?

I’d give her a ride, make sure she was safe, and my duty would be done. Except, was it?

Something about her pulled me.

This could be a vacation fling. After all, there is no real reason for her to know my interesting secret.

I’m France’s most eligible bachelor.

This ‘faux pair’ is almost a faux pas…


Okay. Get ready because I’m going to review Faux Pas in a way I haven’t reviewed a book before.

In the beginning I was like, “Oh, no.”

Why? Well, I have to admit that Ms. Madison’s books haven’t all big 5 star hits for me lately. Her last few books have left me a little unsettled as to whether she’s an author I want to continue to automatically read with each new release or if I want to wait for reviews first. I’ve had a harder time getting into her stories and liking the characters right off the bat. It’s weird to me because I loved her Something So and Tempt series so much. Those two series almost feel like they were written by a different author — an author I prefer to the one who has written the latest releases. I feel bad saying that. I know each author evolves as they continue to write.

As for what exactly made me say “Oh, no.” about Faux Pas, it was a number of things. There was a flashback pretty early on that I wish had a been a prologue. It felt weird within that first chapter. The writing didn’t feel as smooth as I’m used to in a Natasha Madison book. I didn’t like Meghan and her two friends. They seemed so catty and not people I would want to be friends with — which sucked because the book was all about Meghan and her friends eating their way through Paris at this point. There was barely any interaction between the Meghan and Alex during the first 25% of the book. We barely got any Alex at all. All of those things had me wondering if I was going to like this book.

Then came the glorious middle.

Once Alex and Meghan started interacting, Faux Pas got so much better. It felt more like those other series I mentioned loving by Natasha Madison. There was less of Meghan and her friends and more of Meghan and Alex. Her friends became more side characters that were supposed to be at this time and less out there. I enjoyed the chemistry Meghan and Alex had at this point. It was fun to see how their relationship developed, and how the two handled all the problems that came their way.

I wish the beginning of this book would have been like the middle. The writing flowed better and the characters felt like real, more normal people.

And then it ended???

Yes, those are question marks after ended. Just when I was really loving Faux Pas it abruptly ended. I was like, “Wait! That’s the end?” It just felt like an odd end to me. There was a sweet epilogue after the end that I loved, but it felt like a huge jump from where the story ended for me. I felt let down.

For the most part, I really enjoyed Faux Pas. It makes me a little sad that I didn’t immediately fall in love with it because if I hadn’t been reading it to review I might have given up early on and not finished it. That would have been bad because it was definitely worth reading. I ended up loving Alex and Meghan’s love story. Natasha Madison is still going to be an author I reach for when a book is released.

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About the Author:

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…
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Series Review: Kiss and Make Up by Sara Ney

Kissing in Cars
Series: Kiss and Make Up, #1
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: January 26, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Will she, or won’t she…

Studious and (mostly) sensible, the only thing Molly Wakefield wants to do is get through Senior Year and graduate. Well, that and hit the beach in her spare time. Okay, fine – and go shopping every once in a while for a new dress… (and who could blame her?)

And things are going according to plan – until the day she spies Weston McGrath, handsome star athlete and scholar, spying on her in study hall.

A tad creepy? Maybe.
Thrilling? Absolutely.

You see, Weston McGrath happens to be one guy no one can get close to.

Despite her best efforts to avoid it (because let’s face it – the guy isn’t exactly “boyfriend material”) Mollly and Weston form a friendship.
And more….
Sort of.
But it’s a friendship that comes with a price – because Weston just cannot seem to stop screwing things up. Or saying all the wrong things. Possibly in that order…
And who has time for an 18 year old “fixer-upper” that should know better?
Not Molly.
Or does she?

Review:

Oh my goodness.This book was so dang cute! Molly and Weston were just too adorable. I loved how everything went down between them. All the embarrassing, does he/she or doesn’t he/she like me moments were true the high school crush experience. It was cringe worthy, but sweet. Kissing in Cars was just so much fun to read. I felt like I was back in high school myself. I cannot wait to read the second book in this series!


He Kissed Me First
Series:
Kiss and Make Up, #2
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: November 27, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“Trust me – If there’s one thing I’m not attracted to, it’s an arrogant, selfish and foul-mouth hockey player. I know what I want, and Matthew Wakefield isn’t it.” – Cecelia Carter

From the first moment they laid eyes on each other, all Cecelia Carter and Matthew Wakefield do is bicker. Fight. Even though he is her roommates brother, Cece just can’t stand the sight of him, and Matthew – well. He could never resist a challenge…

That can’t be a good combination, can it?
But sometimes, love happens when you least expect it.

Review:

I have mixed feelings about He Kissed Me First. On one hand, I loved Cecelia and Matthew’s banter. I loved what an idiot he was when it came to relationships and how everyone could see what he couldn’t. I loved how Molly and Weston from Kissing in Cars fit into the story and all of the new characters.

All of that was a lot of fun, but there were some things I wasn’t a big fan of. I didn’t really get Cecelia nor did I connect with her. She felt like a contradiction. Cecelia seemed liked the chick who didn’t care what she looked like, but then she had this uptight thing going on too. It just didn’t mesh well together. She had a major reaction to something Matthew said, but it wasn’t ever really explained and I didn’t get her reasoning. She just felt like this big mess while you knew what you were getting with Matthew.

Overall, He Kissed Me First was a fun read. I just expected a little more from it.


A Kiss Like This
Series: Kiss and Make Up, #3
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: May 31, 2015
Publisher: Sara Ney LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

ABIGAIL DARLINGTON IS AWKWARD…

She will never be “that” girl. You know the one: that girl on campus, confident in her own skin. Always saying the right things. Putting herself out there. Knows how to talk to a guy without stammering.

Nope. Shy but clever, and easily embarrassed, Abby is fine being the wallflower in her circle of outgoing, beautiful friends; she would rather read about a sexy book boyfriend than actually have a live, breathing one.

…BUT CALEB LOCKHART IS WORSE.

Star goaltender for the University’s hockey team, Caleb is quiet and broody, preferring the solitude of his orderly, regimented life. He doesn’t like, or need people—and plans to keep it that way. One more year left of hockey and he’ll be long gone.

AWKWARD NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD.

Both their lives change the day that Abigail falls for Caleb. Well, falls directly on top of him, to be accurate. Because sometimes we don’t settle into love.

We fall there.

Review:

As you can see above, this series so far has been a little hit or miss for me. A Kiss Like This was giant hit for me. I absolutely ADORED this book. Sara Ney’s writing feels more timeless and current in this book. I can really see how her writing evolved to what it is today. I loved it.

A Kiss Like This was awkwardly sweet and romantic. Caleb and Abigail were just too dang cute for words. Neither of them knew what the heck they were doing when it came to a relationship and it was romance gold. I can’t even…I just want to keep going on and on about how freaking adorable and amazing this book was. A Kiss Like This was such a great, classic NA romance. I absolutely loved it!

Review: Not Until You by Corinne Michaels

Not Until You
Author: Corinne Michaels
Publication Date: October 1, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I have two rules in life:
1. No relationships, falling in love or attachments.
2. No sleeping with clients of my interior design firm.

Since the last guy turned out to be married, they’ve been easy to follow.

Until him.

Callum Huxley is a ridiculously sexy Brit, and the connection we have the moment our eyes lock scares the ever-loving hell out of me. Thank God I came to my senses before going back to his hotel where I would’ve ended up naked, panting, and unable to forget him.

Thinking I walked away from that night unscathed was stupid. Sure enough, at the biggest meeting of my career waits the CEO of Dovetail Enterprises—him. It might be the most embarrassing moment of my professional life. And breaking my no-client rule might just be the hottest moment of my personal life.

Learning to trust has never felt so good, but falling has never hurt so bad.


For some reason I didn’t realize prior to starting Not Until You that this was Nicole’s story. Nicole is one of four friends. We met her in books about Heather (We Own Tonight) and Kristin (One Last Time). She was easily my favorite side character in both books. Nicole’s story is one I’ve wanted since I first met her character.

Nicole is one of those characters you can’t wait to fall in love. She’s feisty, unapologetic, and has no interest in relationships. I loved that she was a strong, confident woman who ran her own business. I also loved her backstory. It was a little surprising and made her outlook on relationships completely understandable.

Callum may be my new favorite male character created by Corinne Michaels. It’s hard for me to put a finger on why exactly. I just liked his personality. I also really liked how he was able to break through all of Nicole’s rules about on dating and love. He was the perfect guy for Nicole.

Nicole and Callum’s relationship was a lot of fun. It felt like something that could happen in real life. It all played out so organically. They had great chemistry. I loved the ups and downs they went through. Their story was a little predictable, but I was okay with that because it was so well written.

One of my favorite things about this book was getting to read about Nicole and all of her friends again. I love their support of each other through thick and thin. They always have each others’ back — even when they’re doing something that makes the other mad!

Overall, Not Until You was a great contemporary romance about a couple in their 30’s. It can be read as a standalone, but why would you want to miss out on the first two books?