Mini Reviews: Faking It, Keeper & One of Us Is Next

Faking It
Author: K. Bromberg
Publication Date: January 8, 2019
Publisher: JKB Publishing, LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Zane Phillips mistook me for his dog walker. It shouldn’t surprise me that the man with a suit more expensive than my rent would assume that I was there to serve him. The positive? I put him in his place. The negative? I missed my job interview because of it.

Now I find out he’s a rich Australian entrepreneur, and he wants to make up for tanking my interview. Yes, he’s impossibly hot – but he’s also an arrogant jackass—so . . . no thanks.

But after a little white lie I tell spirals out of control, I’m somehow offered the chance to play Zane’s girlfriend to help promote his new dating website – and the best part? He can’t say no because he’ll get caught in his lie too.

Little did I know this would entail sharing a tour bus with him for the next few months. The fact that the bus has just one bed isn’t the most ideal of circumstances, but this spokesperson gig might be the kick in the pants my career needs, so why not take a chance?

Famous last words.

Now I’m crisscrossing the country–and sharing that bed—with the one guy I can’t stand. And even worse, my traitorous body is wondering at every turn what it’s like to be down under the gorgeous Australian. But as the miles unfurl, so does our passion…and if I’m not careful, I might end up believing that fairytales really do come true.

My thoughts:

A fan of the fake relationship trope? Then you HAVE to read Faking It. It was pretty dang perfect. It had just the right amount of banter, chemistry, and fun. I smiled so much reading it. I’m seriously irritated with myself for not reading it sooner. Thank goodness I got it free in another author’s newsletter to push me to read it. I haven’t read very many of K. Bromberg’s books, but reading this one has me wanting to read more of them.

Keeper
Author: Harloe Rae
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“Will you help me remember?”

That’s the second thing I ask the stranger hovering just outside of my hospital room. To me, Decker Fredric is another nameless face in the crowd. To him, I’m a forgotten girl he hasn’t seen in years. But he agrees to be my crutch through the fog as if we were once friends.

Everything is a blank canvas spreading far and wide in front of me. Any direction I take, my steps stumble over the unknown. Decker becomes the only reliable constant in my life. I lean on him too hard, but he doesn’t seem to mind. His unwavering patience and guidance restore some semblance of normal I don’t recall having.

My attraction to Decker is instant, but he appears indifferent. Until the day his stare holds a bit too much heat. In return, I dare to let my touch linger. Our hugs cling tighter than a simple embrace should. But we have no business defying the distinct line cutting between us.

Decker Fredric was never mine to keep. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting him to be.

My thoughts:

I read this book solely because Debby told me I needed to. (Thanks, Debby!) It was my first book by Harloe Rae and I really enjoyed it. I will be reading more from her in the future. Keeper had a great mix of angst, longing, and sweetness. I am not usually a fan of an amnesia story line, but it worked well for me here. The only thing I would warn readers is that it might be a trigger for some readers with a couple of domestic violence scenes. (Not really a spoiler since it happens in the Prologue and sets the plot up.)

One of Us Is Next
Series: One of Us Is Lying, #2
Author: Karen McManus
Narrators: Marie Liatis, Holly Linneman, Fred Berman, Karissa Vacker
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Publisher: Listening Library
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

The highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestselling thriller everyone is talking about, One of Us Is Lying! There’s a new mystery to solve at Bayview High, and there’s a whole new set of rules.

Come on, Bayview, you know you’ve missed this.

A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one’s been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.

Until now.

This time it’s not an app, though–it’s a game.

Truth or Dare.

Phoebe‘s the first target. If you choose not to play, it’s a truth. And hers is dark.

Then comes Maeve and she should know better–always choose the dare.

But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it’s that they can’t count on the police for help. Or protection.

Simon’s gone, but someone’s determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there’s a whole new set of rules.

My thoughts:

I love Karen McManus’ writing. It’s so addicting. Add in some great narrators to help tell the story, and One of Us Is Next was an amazing listening experience. As for the actual story… I have to admit that it took me a couple of chapters to really get into it. Part of that might have been because I was listening. It was a little hard to follow all the different narrators at first. Once I was orientated and invested, I enjoyed the ride. I did kind of guess parts of the mystery, but it didn’t detour me from loving this book. It’s a must read if you loved One of Us Is Lying.

Review: That Secret Crush (Meghan Quinn)

That Secret Crush
Series: Getting Lucky, #3
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: February 11, 2020
Publisher: Montlake
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

USA Today bestselling author Meghan Quinn brings more humor and heart with the third novel of her Getting Lucky series: a story about breaking curses and laying your heart on the line.

What happens when your secret crush isn’t so secret anymore?

I’ve had feelings for Eve Roberts for as long as I can remember, but because she also happens to be the twin sister of my best friend, Eric, I’ve never acted on my feelings and long ago resigned myself to keeping my crush under wraps.

But after a terrible falling-out with Eric involving a failed restaurant venture and plenty of blame on both sides, I’m back in Port Snow without my best friend and without any direction. But can you guess who’s here? Eve. And my attraction to her is as strong as ever.

As old feelings rush back, Eve and I find ourselves pulled together, whether we like it or not. Lines are crossed, secrets are kept, and we soon discover that the difference between love and friendship may not be so black and white, after all.

Everyone wants that secret crush to love them back…but will I be ready when she does?


If you wanted to know if the Getting Lucky series could get any better…the answer is YES. Yes, it could and it did with That Secret Crush. Going into this book, I didn’t remember anything about Reid Knightly. I didn’t even remember his character from the first couple of books other than his name. Well, Reid must have been saving all of his pizazz for his own book because he definitely stood out in That Secret Crush.

Reid was a man whose dreams had been crushed early on in adulthood. He just gave up and went with good enough. It made him cranky. I didn’t mind his crankiness, but what I loved was the the guy he was underneath it. He was teasing, fun, and joyful. The person who brought all of those qualities out in him was Eve.

Eve was the perfect love interest for Reid. Having grown up together (Reid’s best friend was Eve’s twin brother), they knew it each other so well and understood each other well. She could put up with sexual humor and moments of stupidity better than anyone. The only thing they didn’t know was their secret crushes on each other. It made their acting on their attractions that much more satisfying.

I don’t want to say too much more about this story. Honestly, I could go on and on about how much I loved it and why. I just loved how the entire romance and story around it played out. I loved how Meghan Quinn added in her rom-com humor through Reid’s character. It was all so much fun. That Secret Crush is definitely my new favorite in this series and moving toward the top of my list of all-time favorite Meghan Quinn books.

WWW Wednesday: February 19, 2020

Welcome to WWW Wednesday!

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. The purpose is to share what I’ve reading lately. The three W’s stand for:

What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Recently Read

I know, I know. It looks like I read a ton of books this week, but some were on the shorter side of things. I read Faking It and Keeper first. Then I binge read the Washington Wolves series (The Bombshell EffectThe Ex Effect, and The Marriage Effect) and the first book in its spin-off series, Focused. I finished off the week with Sweat (Sweetbriar Lake, #1).

Currently Reading

I was in a little bit of a funk after all those romances. I actually tried to start a couple other books, but nothing was holding my attention. I decided to  read Australia. It’s a romance compilation that benefits firefighters and wildlife of Australia. The short novellas are keeping my attention. Plus, they’re good!

I’m also listening to One of Us Is Next (One of Us Is Lying, #2).

Reading Next

I am thinking Where the Crawdads Sing will be next. I somehow managed to get both the audio and ebook from my library at the same time, so I’m not sure which way I’m going to experience it.

What are you reading? Make sure to leave me your link below so I can check out your post. 🙂

Cover Reveal: Taming Hollywood’s Baddest Boy (Max Monroe)

THBB - CR banner

Taming Hollywood’s Baddest Boy, an all-new steamy laugh-out-loud romantic comedy standalone from New York Times bestselling author Max Monroe, is coming March 12th and I have the cover!

Do people say they hate someone’s guts so that they can still fall stupidly, head-over-heels in love with the other parts?

Asking for a friend.

Taming Hollywood_s Baddest Boy(final cover)

Okay, fine. I’m not asking for a friend.

I’m asking for me—and I’m begging you to tell me that the practice of falling in love with your should-be-enemy is common.

Please tell me that I’m not the only person to track down a guy—who used to be Hollywood’s baddest bad boy before he left LA for good—at his off-the-grid cabin in Alaska, show up unannounced, and find him gloriously naked.

This probably happens all the time…right?

Tell me I’m not alone in my stupidity—that I’m not the only woman who would fall for gorgeous blue eyes and a sexy devilish smirk, even if they belong to a broody, mysterious jerk.

Please. Please. Please. Tell me I’m not alone in this.

For the love of everything, I need all the supportive girl power I can get if I’m going to convince Luca Weaver to come back to Hollywood—otherwise known as the place he hates so much that he ghosted Oscar-level success and escaped to no-man’s-land for the last eight years just to avoid it.

Yeah, don’t worry—that smoke you’re smelling isn’t your house catching fire as you read this…it’s just my career and what was previously known as my heart going up in flames.

Gah. Is it just me, or am I totally, completely, and utterly screwed?

Add TAMING HOLLYWOOD’S BADDEST BOY to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2U46YI7

Be notified FIRST When Taming Hollywood’s Baddest Boys is live: http://bit.ly/2HzGmau

About Max Monroe

A duo of romance authors team up under the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you sexy, laugh-out-loud reads.

Max Monroe is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than ten contemporary romance titles. Favorite writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half. This is their most favorite adventure thus far.

Connect with Max Monroe
BookBub: http://bit.ly/3bJFJJh
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ReoxkK
Facebook: http://bit.ly/31XxggS
Instagram: http://bit.ly/39wuCkW

Stay up to date with Max Monroe by joining their mailing list today: http://bit.ly/2HzGmau
Website: https://www.authormaxmonroe.com/

Top Ten Tuesday: The Last Ten Books That Gave Me a Book Hangover

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is:

The Last Ten Books That Gave Me a Book Hangover

Funny thing… I submitted this topic when I was in a book hangover. Now, I can’t remember which book it was. LOL. All of these are books that gave me that good kind of hangover.

1. Landon & Shay: Part 2
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry

Brittainy C. Cherry always leaves me with a book hangover. It’s the rawness of her stories. I’m just never ready to let go.

2. The How & the Why
Author: Cynthia Hand

I was emotionally exhausted after this book. It was so good.

3. Enemies
Author: Tijan

Tijan’s books are like a good cookie. I’m just never ready to be finished.

4. When We Left Cuba
Author: Chanel Cleeton

I was lucky to be able to binge read When We Left Cuba right after Next Year in Havana. When I was done, I just wanted more. The next book isn’t out until this spring. 🙁

5. The Kingmaker
Author: Kennedy Ryan

Two words: massive cliffhanger

6. The Simple Wild
Author: K.A. Tucker

It was just so good!

7. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
Author: Bryn Greenwood

Disturbing, yet so well written.

8. The Reckless Oath We Made
Author:Bryn Greenwood

Greenwood really just challenges my beliefs and it’s exhausting in a good way.

9. Collared
Author: Nicole Williams

At first glance at the cover and title, some might think this is a book about BDSM. It’s not at all. It’s actually a story about a girl who was kidnapped and then found years later. It’s really emotional.

10. Cowboy Villain Damsel Duel
Author: Ginger Scott

This one messed with my mind and left me awed.

Mini Reviews: Doughn’t Let Me Go, Fake It ‘Til You Break It, Bad Business & AWK-WEIRD

Doughn’t Let Me Go
Series: Slice, #3
Author: Teagan Hunter
Publication: February 6, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

It was just supposed to be one night.

No kissing. No feelings. A wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am tangle in the sheets and we go our own ways.

Only it’s a small town, and I was bound to run into the irresistible Porter Jones again.

I just didn’t expect it to be at my job interview…which he’s conducting.

Now the live-in nanny to his adorable seven-year-old daughter, I’m doing my best to avoid falling for his charms.

Except it’s much harder than either of us anticipated.

What’s a few romps between friends?
No kissing. No feelings. Just fun.

Sounds simple, right?
Right…

My thoughts:

The Slice series just gets better and better with each book. I adored Doughn’t Let Me Go. It was both funny and sweet. There were so many little tugs at my heart from both Porter and Dory’s back stories. I loved Porter’s relationship with his daughter and how Dory fit into that. Everything was just so perfect! Porter and Dory’s story was just what I hoped it would be.

Fake It ‘Til You Break It
Author: Meagan Brandy
Publication: February 5, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Mature YA, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Fake.
That’s what we are.
That’s what we agreed to be.

I thought it would be harder, convincing everyone our school’s star receiver was mine and mine alone, but we played our parts well.

So well, the lines between us began to blur until they disappeared completely.

The thing about pretending, though, someone’s always better at it, and by the time I realized my mistake, there was no going back.

I fell for our lie.
And then everything fell apart.

It turned out, he and I were never playing the same game.

He didn’t have to break me to win.
But he did it anyway.

My thoughts:

Fake It ‘Til You Break It is hands down my favorite book I’ve read by Meagan Brandy. While it was angsty and drama filled like her previous books, it also felt less crazy and lighter. The fake relationship between Demi and Nico was actually super cute and I loved their transition from almost enemeies to boyfriend/girlfriend. There were still some a little out there twists and absent parents, but while I noticed those things they didn’t ruin my reading experience. I appreciated that there wasn’t some crazy cliffhanger. This is Meagan Brandy’s best book yet. I’m hoping she writes more romances like this one.

Bad Business
Series: Bad Boys of Sports, #2
Author: Nicole Edwards
Publication: March 27, 2018
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

This player’s got a lot to learn if he wants to score . . . with the boss’s daughter.

Stone: Football is more than a game to me. It’s my calling. Becoming the Dallas Wranglers’ starting quarterback before I retire is a dream come true, but with a few wins under my belt, suddenly everyone wants a piece of me. And even though being in the spotlight has its perks—beautiful women, star treatment, more beautiful women—what really gets me sweating is the watchful gaze of my sexy-as-hell PR coach, Savannah Andrews. The catch? Her father is kind of my boss. . . .

Savannah: In my family, football is big business. When your dad owns an NFL franchise, you learn a thing or two about schmoozing, and from what I can tell, it’s not a skill in Jason Stone’s playbook. Sure, the veteran quarterback is literally larger than life. With broad shoulders, muscles on muscles, and a mouth made for kissing, he may be one of the hottest men in the league—and I should know. I’ve turned down enough players to start my own all-star team. But those guys just wanted to get close to my father. Meanwhile, Stone is getting temptingly close . . . to me.

My thoughts:

I had a hard time rating this book. I loved the instant chemistry between the characters and the general story line. What kept me from rating it higher was that it was kind of anti-climactic. There was a build up to drama that just kind of fizzled out. The love story was so good, though.

AWK-WEIRD
S
eries: Ice Knights, #2
Author: Avery Flynn
Narrators: Tim Paige, Kelsey Navarro
Publication: October 11, 2019
Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

There’s more to me than just being awk-weird. I own my own flower shop, have some great friends, and I have my eye on adopting the most adorable kitten. But sadly, hot guys don’t tend to be blown away by my trivia-spouting, dorky self.

So when a Thor-lookalike who happens to be a professional hockey player hits on me at my bestie’s wedding rehearsal party… You better believe I climbed that tree like a cat. And the fact that it happened not once, not twice, but three times? Yeah, that’s pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a woman like me.

There’s zero chance I’ll end up ever seeing him again…right?

Until the pregnancy test comes up positive. What happens next?

Oh my God, I wish I knew…

My thoughts:

This book wasn’t awkward or weird. It was totally adorable from beginning to end. I loved Tess and Cole. It was just such a cute romance. I couldn’t stop listening to it.

Ten Sweet Reads for Valentine’s Day

As you know, I am a big fan of romance novels. Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I’m going to share with you some romance novels that fall into what I would call the “sweet” category. All of these are guaranteed to put a smile on your face and leave you feeling warm and happy. There’s little to no angst in these love stories.

1. Girl at Heart
Author: Kelly Oram

My first recommendation is actually a YA romance. Girl at Heart is the story of baseball playing tomboy Charlie who wants nothing more than to be one of the girls in the eyes of her best friend. It’s super cute and I adored it.

2. Just One of the Groomsmen
Author: Cindi Madsen

Here’s another “tomboy” romance. Addison is best friends with 3 guys. When one gets engaged, she’s asked to be one of the groomsmen. Little does she know, one of the other groomsmen has his eyes on her.

3. Jock Row
Author: Sara Ney

When people hear NA romance, they usually think angst. This book (and series) has none. It’s just a very sweet sports romance.

4. Beauty and the Beefcake
Author: Pippa Grant

Awkard, smart girl + the beefcake = hilariously heartwarming.

5. The Accidental Girlfriend
Author: Emma Hart

A fake date that turns that can’t be for just one night. This was an incredibly funny romantic comedy.

6. Stroked
Author: Meghan Quinn

Seriously hilarious with a third POV from a Paris Hilton – type diva.

7. Sundays are for Hangovers
Authors: J.D. Hollyfield & K. Webster

An enemies to lovers story about two very different neighbors that will make you laugh.

8. First & Then
Author: Emma Mills

Emma Mills is another author who writes sweet YA contemporary romances to swoon over.

9. The Allure of Julian Lefray
Author: R.S. Grey

This giggle worthy romance will light up your life.

10. The Distance Between Us
Author: Kasie West

Kasie West is known for her super sweet YA contemporaries. This list wouldn’t be complete without one of her books.

Well, there you go. Ten sweet romances to make you swoon this lovey-est of love days.

Review: For the Win (Kelly Jamieson)

For the Win
Series: Wynn Hockey, #4
Author: Kelly Jamieson
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Harrison Wynn
Even though I’m the oldest player on the farm team, I’m playing my heart out this year to prove that I have what it takes to play in the NHL.
Everyone expects me to live up to my dying hockey hero dad’s legacy, but my chances are receding every season.
What I need is to focus, but the team’s new yoga instructor is a major distraction; I’ve had my eye on her from the first time we met.
Except she’s not interested—okay, maybe actively disinterested—since I accidentally dumped her into the ocean during our paddleboard yoga class.
How can I prove to her—and to the NHL—that I’m worth taking a chance on?

Arya Ross
Men are the last thing I need in my life.
Yoga is my priority; it helps me center myself and heal my soul.
But I can’t turn down the once-in-a-lifetime offer to be the personal yoga instructor for the local hockey team.
Sure, there are some cute players—including Harrison Wynn, who seemingly won’t take no for an answer, and whose boyish smile and sexy charm are hard to resist.
He seems genuine, and I wonder . . .
Can I put my past behind me to start a future with him?


The Wynn Hockey series started out a little bumpy with the amount of family member characters to sort through, but I feel like it’s finally hit its stride with the third and fourth book in the series. I really enjoyed reading For the Win. I loved how Harrison and Arya met and fell in love. Both had personal issues to work through. Harrison had family problems and his hockey career. Arya had a scary incident from her past that kept her from moving forward. I loved how those issues didn’t get magically better because of their love for each other, but that their love pushed them to finally deal with the issues. That doesn’t always happen in romance. A lot of time the love saves the day. I appreciated the difference with this book.

Cover Reveal: One Big Mistake (Whitney Barbetti)

Cover Reveal for One Big Mistake
OneBigMistake_Paperback.v5.jpg
One Big Mistake by Whitney Barbetti
Release Date: February 27, 2020
Cover Designer: Najla Qamber Designs
A friends to lovers romcom
Blurb:

One night together could ruin everything…

Keane Colburn was my best friend. Ever since childhood, we could always count on each other to be there no matter what—though when I confessed my love to him, things didn’t turn out as planned. Thankfully, my little crush didn’t ruin our friendship. I shoved those feelings to the back of my mind, watching him chase after other girls and silently wishing it was me. I resigned us to friendship—that was more important than anything else. But a drunken one-night stand changed everything. Because even though we vowed to forget about it, I couldn’t get it out of my head. And as old memories began to rise to the surface, our lives collided in ways we had never imagined.
Available in Kindle Unlimited on February 27, 2020.

Cover Reveal: Queen of Lies (Whitney G.)

THE COVER FOR QUEEN of LIES,
the second book in the Empire of Lies Series
releasing on February 27th.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Reasonable Doubt & Turbulence, comes part two of a sexy and thrilling serial. 
The woman I fell in love with is a walking contradiction…

She’s sexy as hell, yet infuriating. Hopelessly in love with me, but carefully plotting to get the hell away. 

She honestly thinks that I’m the ‘king of lies’?

Well, she f-cking fooled you…

She’s the queen
 
—-
 
AMAZON        APPLE BOOKS         B&N

Need to catch up?  
KING OF LIES is the first episode in the Empire of Lies Series
The man I fell in love with is a f-cking liar…
I don’t have much time to reveal all the details, but I will say this: The “Woman disappears after wedding” and “Woman flees after honeymoon” headlines are lying.
I’m not missing.
I didn’t run away after my wedding.
I would’ve never run away right after our amazing honeymoon.
My husband has taken me.
No, correction: He’s kidnapped me because he claims that “its what’s best.” That I’m a mere pawn in his twisted game of chess.
Despite the fact that my heart is still tethered to his, or the fact that he’s still the most gorgeous and beautiful man I’ve ever met in my life (he can still make me wet with a single sentence), I have to focus on getting away from him.
I have to accept that he’s no longer the man I fell in love with.
He’s the king of lies…
AMAZON        APPLE BOOKS        B&N
 
Whitney G. is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author. Her books have been published in twelve languages.

Whenever she’s not penning a new novel, you can find her blogging about self-publishing at The Indie Tea, drinking hot coffee, or traveling the world in sweater boots.

You can connect with Whitney on Instagram and Facebook.
Instagram: @whitneyg.author
Twitter: WhitGracia
Don’t forget to sign up for Whitney’s monthly newsletter here: http://bit.ly/1p9fEYF
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