Hiatus Announcement: A Short Break

Hi, friends! I’m taking a short break from blogging for the next week or two beginning Monday, July 19th. I’m not really sure how long it’s going to be. I won’t be posting any new content during this time (unless I forgot a commitment). I may pop on to reply to or comment on posts, but it will probably be infrequently. No worries — I’m coming back soon! You haven’t gotten rid of me yet.

Review: Wreck (Ginger Scott)

Wreck
Series: Fuel, #2

Author: Ginger Scott
Publication Date: July 16, 2021
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC I received from WordSmith Publicity and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

**Wreck is the second book in the brother’s-best-friend, friends-to-lovers Fuel Series by Ginger Scott.

When Dustin Bridges left Camp Verde to try to make it on his own, he left half his heart behind. A life with Hannah Judge was just too dangerous. A mountain of chaos and violence was always aiming for the target on Dustin’s back, and that made giving up the only person he ever loved feel necessary.

But impossible isn’t a word Dustin believes in. Defying odds is what he’s good at. It’s how he’s survived. And when fate calls him home, he sees it as his chance to take back his girl, to make his heart whole and to put his makeshift family back together.

Just one thing. That family? And more importantly, that girl? They want nothing to do with him.

When Dustin left Hannah without a word, he broke a promise. More than that, he broke a bond. He broke Hannah. The life she saw in her future was gone in a blink, and in its place she grew a heart of stone and a craving for danger.

But isn’t danger what Dustin Bridges is really all about?


I couldn’t wait to read Wreck after the end of Shift. I have to admit I was nervous for Dustin and Hannah. Ginger Scott put them through a lot in Shift and I wasn’t sure what that was going to mean for them in Wreck — especially since it’s the second book out of three in the series. Since Wreck is the middle book in the series, I want to review it a bit differently. Instead of my regular review type, I’m going to give you the thoughts I wrote down while in the midst of reading it. For some reason, that makes more sense to me.

First impression: I loved how Wreck started out. The vibe was slightly different than Shift. A little less angsty and also more mature. I liked that a lot. It’s been four years, but Dustin and Hannah are both still reeling from the events of that first book. He knows he messed up. She hasn’t completely let go. When life throws them back together, the sparks are still there and so is the drama. I loved how Hannah’s family was heavily involved and what that meant when it came to Hannah and Dustin. I want them together!

Half way through: Okay. Who turned up the angst??? That sense of dread I had when I was reading Shift came back full force. I’m a little worried about the tentative bond between Dustin and everyone and how Las Vegas is going to impact that. I’m scared! Especially since I already know there’s a third book coming.

Final thoughts: I am both excited for Burn and angry at the way this cliffhanger left things at the same time. I saw it coming, but somehow still didn’t expect the way things left off. I’m angry at all of the characters right now. Some more than others. All I have to say is Ginger Scott better make up for that ending… and I know she will. Wreck answered some questions, but also managed to complicate Dustin and Hannah’s story more. I loved it! Now, hurry up and get here Burn! I need my HEA.

Review: Waylaid (Sarina Bowen)

Waylaid
Series: True North, #8

Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: July 20, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

It’s a tale as old as time: the bad boy meets the good girl. He makes a daring proposition. Then the boy gets a mysterious head injury and loses a year of his life…

The first time I meet Rickie, I don’t know what to make of him. The second time we meet, he doesn’t remember the six hours we spent together. Or standing me up afterward.

I’m not the same, either. I’ve got secrets. I’ve told lies. Bad boys aren’t my type, anyway. Even the ones with seductive gray eyes.

But now we’re roommates. Cue the awkward moments in the hallway when he’s wearing only a towel and a smile. He’s determined to win me over, and his talented hands weaken my resolve.

It’s all fun and games until my past rears its ugly head and his secrets come to light, shaking our fragile connection, maybe even breaking it…

Note: this is Daphne Shipley’s story. Contents include Vermonty ice cream flavors, nerdy awkwardness, tattoos, and a playboy grandpa.


Sarina Bowen is back with some True North magic. I love this series. I don’t know how she continues to come up with new and exciting plots to bring to the Shipley family and friends, but she does and it’s amazing. Each book is so different while maintaining the True North feel. I love that and I loved Waylaid.

Being a True North fan, I hate to admit that I didn’t remember who Rickie was before reading this book. I knew all about Daphne Shipley, but Rickie just didn’t stick with me. Which actually made me mad at myself when I figured out he was Dylan Shipley’s college roommate. Rickie was a complex character. I loved his happy go lucky attitude and his flirting with Daphne. Rickie wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, though. He couldn’t remember a year of his life and the lingering affects of that caused him a lot of grief and fear. I enjoyed how his loss of memories played out and what it meant when it came to Daphne. It gave a little bit of romantic suspense to this book, which was fun.

I have always been curious about Daphne. She had the giant crush on that previous character and then there was something that had happened to her that I wanted to find out about in Heartland. I loved that I got to know her better in this book. She learned a lot about herself, her goals, and her relationships. Daphne was a good person, but learning those things made her even better. Plus, I loved her with Rickie.

If you’re a fan of this series, you’re going to love seeing the Shipley extended family show up. There are some great moments. Some of my favorites involved Grandpa Shipley. Others involved Rickie and Dylan. Readers are going to be extremely happy with all the cameos.

One last thing I feel like I need to mention is that there are a flashback chapters in this book. I’m not normally a fan of flashbacks, but I loved how Sarina Bowen did them in this book. The few flashback chapters were in third person instead of first and that brought a different vibe to them that worked well.

Overall, Waylaid was another great addition to the True North series.

Review: Exposed (Kristen Callihan)

Exposed
Series: VIP, #4

Author: Kristen Callihan
Publication Date: July 13, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

Brenna

There are some people in life who know exactly how to push your buttons. For me, it’s Rye Peterson. We can’t spend more than ten minutes together before we’re at each other’s throats, which makes working together that much harder. Rye is the bassist for Kill John, the biggest rock band in the world, and I am his publicist. It doesn’t help that the man is gorgeous, funny, talented, and…never takes anything seriously. Avoidance is key.

But everything changes when he overhears something he shouldn’t: a confession made in a moment of weakness. Now the man I’ve tried so hard to ignore is offering me the greatest temptation of all—him.

Rye

Brenna James is the one. The one I can’t have. The one I can’t get out of my mind. Believe me, I’ve tried; the woman loathes me. I managed well enough—until I heard her say she’s as lonely as I am. That she needed to be touched, held, satisfied. And I could no longer deny the truth: I wanted to be the one to give her what she craved.

I convinced her that it would just be sex, mutual satisfaction with nothing deeper. But the moment I have her, she becomes my world. I’ve never given her a good reason to trust me before. Now, I’ve got to show Brenna that we’re so much better together than we ever were apart.

Things are going to get messy. But getting messy with Brenna is what I do best.


I loved this book. Like really loved it. There wasn’t one thing I didn’t like about Exposed. It was everything I’ve come to expect from Kristan Callihan. The writing and story were fantastic. Rye and Brenna had this enemies thing going on that has steadily built over the last three books and I finally got to find out what was going on in their heads. Their being enemies turned to lovers in the best, unexpected way. Rye and Brenna had a fierce chemistry between them, but also a deep emotional connection. I loved the way they understood each other and the sweet and supportive moments they shared. I was surprised by how vulnerable both characters were (but especially Rye). The fact that the whole Kill John family was there in the background supporting and loving them was icing on the cake. I couldn’t have been happier with this romance. I wouldn’t have minded if it went on for another 100 pages. The only thing I need now is a book for Whip. Please tell me we’re getting a book for him.

Exposed (VIP #4) by Kristen Callihan is now live!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/34QUjwl
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3wg2Sg1
Nook: https://bit.ly/3iC3atM
Kobo:  https://bit.ly/3gurUkP
Website: www.kristencallihan.com

   Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fOg0Sx

Meet Kristen

Kristen Callihan is an author because there’s nothing else she’d rather be. She has written New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestsellers. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. Her debut book, Firelight, received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence and was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, Best Book of Spring 2012 by Publishers Weekly, and Best Romance Book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she’s not writing, she’s reading.

Connect with Kristen

Website: www.kristencallihan.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/kristen_callihan
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kristen_callihan/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kris10Callihan
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kristen-callihan

 

Review: Broken Hearts (Rebecca Jenshak)

Broken Hearts
Series: Campus Nights, #3

Author: Rebecca Jenshak
Publication Date: July 13, 2021
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

She’s a figure skater. He’s a hockey player. Things are about to heat up on the ice.

 

Rhett Rauthruss is single for the first time in six years. He’s fresh off a long-term, long-distance relationship and ready to make the most of what’s left of college.
Party with his boys, get to the Frozen Four with his team, and maybe play the field for a change.

Sienna Hale knows a thing or two about heartbreak. She’s a college athlete about to skate for the last time, and nothing is going to throw her off course. Not her worries about finding a job after college, not the whispers of last year’s accident on the ice, and not the cute hockey player who keeps asking her out.

 

They think they want different things, but when it heats up between them, there’s no denying they have something in common–even if it’s just for a night. 


If you’re a fan of the Campus Nights series you know just how excited I was to get Rhett Rauthruss’ story. He’s been a prominent side character in this series from the beginning and one of my favorite characters in it. Rhett’s always been a curiosity because of his dedication to his long distance girlfriend, Carrie. In the last book they broke up, and I wanted to know what truly happened between them through Rhett’s eyes. Those loose ends were tied up in Broken Hearts, but I honestly didn’t care about what happened between him and Carrie anymore once I met Sienna.

From their first bumpy meeting, I knew Rhett and Sienna’s romance was going to be fun. Rhett and Sienna didn’t exactly get off to the best start, and that made the time they took to get to know each other very entertaining. It took Sienna a little longer to figure out what I already knew: Rhett was a nice, stand up guy. Sienna was just as nice of a person as Rhett. They had a lot in common being athletes in their senior year of college. I loved how Sienna being a figure skater contrasted with Rhett being a hockey player. Their relationship felt natural with their chemistry and emotional connection. I loved how their story played out on and off the ice.

Something that made this book feel even more special was seeing some of my favorite characters from the previous books. Heath, Adam, and Mav all supported Rhett and Sienna through this book. Don’t worry — their ladies make appearances, too. It’s always so much fun to be with this gang again.

I feel like I have a lot more to say about Broken Hearts, but can’t because I don’t want to spoil it. There are some great emotional ups and downs for both Rhett and Sienna in this book. Fans of this series are going to love everything Rebecca Jenshak throws at them.

Broken Hearts by Rebecca Jenshak is now live!

Download today on Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, Barnes & Noble!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3gi7wDE
Apple Books: https://apple.co/31YTMHj
Nook: https://bit.ly/2PrYQBk
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3fFqdCs

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3yDpU27

Meet Rebecca

Rebecca is a new adult romance author, caffeine-addict, and lover of all sports. She’s a Midwest girl at heart, but currently resides in Arizona.

Connect with Rebecca

Website: https://www.rebeccajenshak.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16681160.Rebecca_Jenshak
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Rebecca-Jenshak/e/B074F258NP/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rebeccajenshak
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1523746940998401
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rebeccajenshak
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/rebeccajenshak
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rebecca-jenshak

Review: The Bold and the Bullheaded (Willow Aster & Laura Pavlov)

The Bold and the Bullheaded
Series: The G.D. Taylors,#2
Authors: Willow Aster, Laura Pavlov
Publication Date: June 21, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis: 

𝐴 𝑏𝑢𝑙𝑙ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑑𝑒𝑑 𝑎𝑙𝑝ℎ𝑎. 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑏𝑎𝑛𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑚𝑦 𝑒𝑥𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑒. 𝐼 𝑐𝑎𝑛’𝑡 𝑒𝑠𝑐𝑎𝑝𝑒 ℎ𝑖𝑚 𝑛𝑜 𝑚𝑎𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑟 ℎ𝑜𝑤 ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑑 𝐼 𝑡𝑟𝑦.

Emma…
I don’t do feelings.
Especially not with an arrogant, broody Taylor brother.
But one moment of weakness on an elevator wrecks me.
I curse his name.
I curse said elevator.
Yet I find myself wanting to be trapped in a small space with Spence Taylor again.
And don’t even get me started on his day job.
The man can do just about anything with those hands.
Those big hands, and er—big feet.
I digress.

Spence…
Emma Kingsley is the most infuriating woman I’ve ever known.
Stubborn, arrogant, and sexy as sin.
She drives me crazy.
And she’s determined to hate me.
The funny thing is—I can’t get enough.
But the woman has more walls up than the royal palace.
Lucky for her, I make a living tearing down walls.
And I just found my favorite project.
Time to renovate, Queenie.


I gave the first book in this series, Wanted Wed or Alive, 5 stars for being a rom-com that was cute, funny, and sweet. If I could, I would give The Bold and the Bullheaded even more stars because not only was it all those things, but it had a super fun enemies to lovers aspect going on. Emma was holding onto that enemies thing with Spence far longer than most characters do in that relationship trope. It gave this book an edge and emotional pull I was expecting but loved.

Emma was a strong female character. She had worked hard to become the lawyer and person she was. Her past held her back in ways, but Spence knew how to break through that and push her out of her comfort zone. Spence is the oldest of the Taylor siblings and has the personality to back that. I loved seeing how Emma softened his edges. They were great together as a couple and their chemistry was fire.

My most favorite thing about this book was that it made me laugh so G.D. hard. There were things that popped back up from the first book and then new things that added to the hilarity. I would love to quote some stuff for you, but I don’t want to give anything away. All I can say is that if you enjoy rom-coms, I would highly recommend this book and series. It’s a new favorite of mine. I’m so glad there are 3 more siblings Aster and Pavlov can write books for because I want them now!

Reviews: Jock Royal (Sara Ney)

Jock Royal
Series: Jock Hard#4 
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: June 22, 2021
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis: 

IT’S EASY TO TAKE ONE DARE WHEN YOU THINK IT’S HARMLESS.

Ashley Dryden-Jones is the best rugby player on the field—when I take a dare I instantly regret, I had no way of knowing he was a gentleman. An athlete. British with no plans to stay in the States.

He makes me forget myself, bruises, 5 o’clock shadow, accent and all.

He makes me forget I cannot crawl into bed with him at night—or get drunk and throw caution to the wind for once in my overly cautious life.

Because he’s my new roommate.

ONE STUPID BET LEADS TO ONE UNFORGETTABLE NIGHT.

When I win a trip to Vegas I need a plus one; he’s the strapping, strong and responsible choice. Besides—I’ve never been anywhere and he has.

He is the best friend I didn’t know I needed.

Ashley is one of the good ones—but I’m about to find out how bad this good boy can be. 


Jock Royal is a hard book for me to rate. I could have easily slapped on a 5 star rating by how much fun I had reading it. It had Sara Ney’s trademark humor (which I enjoy) and there wasn’t a ton of drama or angst. Ashley and Georgia were great characters and I loved their chemistry. Reading it made me happy and that says a lot.

Why did I end up giving it 4 stars then? There were a couple of times the flow of the story didn’t feel smooth due to some passages of time. It wasn’t anything bad, but I did notice it. The book could have been longer with those time frames filled in and I wouldn’t have complained about having to read more pages. I was that invested in Ashley and Georgia. Also, Georgia thought Ashley spoke in dated English and it made me wonder if people of his status and age actually talked like that? The fact that so much attention was drawn to it made it weird. I can’t answer whether or not the language fits, so it didn’t detract much from my rating. I would be curious to know what English readers think. I can get over these things that bugged me in the long run because this rom-com left me in a good mood, so 4 stars it is.

Review: On a Wednesday (Whitney G.)

On a Wednesday
Series: One Week, #2
Author: Whitney G.
Publication Date: July 7, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 
Synopsis:
We met on a Wednesday.
Became enemies, then lovers, on a Wednesday.
And we made a final promise before saying goodbye, on a Wednesday …
Kyle Stanton is the cockiest playboy who has ever set foot on this university’s campus.
He’s also the last person on earth that I want to interview for my senior thesis since:
1) I haven’t forgotten how he left me hanging for a group project during our freshman year. 2) He has a tendency to believe that any woman who breathes in his direction wants him. 3) Did I mention how infuriatingly cocky he is?
If I hear him utter the phrase, “No need to stare, I’ll let you ride it up close and personal, just say the word,” one more time, I will scream.
At least, those are my initial impressions until he proposes “a perfect deal” that works in our best interest. Until one filthy kiss changes everything, and he shows me a side of himself that makes me fall in love.
We only have one semester left together, though …
He’s bound for the professional football league, and I’m bound for London.
We promise to remain long-distance “friends,” but a brutal argument tears us apart, and we haven’t spoken to each other since.
Until now.
We met on a Wednesday.
Became everything, then nothing, on a Wednesday.
And now he’s shown up to my engagement party, all these years later, on a Wednesday …
On a Wednesday is a standalone inspired by Adele’s “Someone Like You.”

On a Wednesday was another fun read from Whitney G. We finally get Grayson’s (On a Tuesday) college teammate and friend Kyle’s story.

Kyle’s story is pretty entertaining. I can’t say that I immediately loved Kyle. Cocky is an understatement when it comes to his personality. It took Courtney getting to know what was underneath his attitude to like him as a character. I still would have liked to see both his and Courtney’s characters fleshed out a little more, but there was enough to get to know them well. Courtney was way easier to like. The two of them together were pretty sweet. I liked how their relationship/friendship advanced. Their movie stuff made me smile a lot.

There were a couple of things that had me considering a 3.5 star instead of 4 star rating. I had mixed feelings about the jumping back and forth between present and the past. I liked both timelines, but I’m not a big fan of flashbacks. The way the timelines were intertwined worked for me, but I might have liked it more if things happened chronologically. It would have taken some of the surprise out of the fallout, but I don’t know that I would have minded that. The other thing was that whole cocky Kyle thing I mentioned. I ended up giving this book a full 4 stars because these things didn’t bother me as much once I made it to the adorable ending. Everyone and thing came full circle and I loved that.

So, yeah. Overall, I really enjoyed On a Wednesday. It fit this series well and made me swoon at the end.
Purchase Now:
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
Affiliate links used. If you purchase something through these links, the affiliate may get awarded a commission for that purchase at no additional cost to YOU.

WWW Wednesday: July 7, 2021

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

The last book I read was an ARC of On a Wednesday 2(One Week, #) by Whitney G.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m reading Next in Line (Cake, #6) by J. Bengtsson.

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I want to read The Grumpy Player Next Door by Pippa Grant next.

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Instead of doing the Top Ten Tuesday post for today, I decided that I’m going give you all the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag instead. Here we go!

Best Book so Far in 2021 

This is really tough because I feel like I’ve read some great books this year. Not all of them were released this year, so I’m going with one that was.

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2021

I can’t choose between these two!

New Release You Haven’t Read But Want To

I didn’t realize we were getting another book for this series until recently, so it wasn’t on my radar to read.

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year

I’m excited for so many books that it’s hard to pick one. This might be the one I want to read the most, though.

Biggest Disappointment of 2021

I’m going to be honest. This book was sitting on my Kindle for years. I have mixed experiences with this author’s books. I was hoping this would be a positive one, but I could not stand the dude and the way he thought/talked. I didn’t make it past the first couple of chapters.

Biggest Surprise

I don’t know how to choose between In the Company of Killers and The Mindf*ck series for biggest surprise. Both are dark romantic suspense that are thrillers with big twists that I didn’t see coming. The first involves a group of killers and the second involves a serial killer who falls for an FBI agent.

Favorite New To Me Author(s)

I actually did a post for this exact prompt last week for TTT. Here’s my list.

1. Lex Martin
2. T.J. Klune
3. Chloe Liese
4. Kim Jones
5. Julia Quinn
6. Melissa Williams
7. S.T. Abby
8. Jaqueline Snowe
9. Katja Millay
10. Kate Canterbary

New Favorite Character

LUCY! Who knew the Prince of Darkness could be so freaking funny?

Book That Made You Cry 

This book had all the feels.

Book That Made You Happy 

So many books have made me happy this year…Probably because I read a lot of romantic comedies. I’m going with one of the most recent ones because I adore Meghan Quinn’s writing and she couldn’t have given Walker a better story.

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought So Far This Year

I just love this cover. I only have it on ebook because I don’t buy many physical books.

What Books Do You Need to Read By The End of Year

I already have this book because I love Katie McGarry’s writing. This is a different genre for her, so I haven’t exactly jumped on reading it yet. I should.

So that’s it. The end. Feel free to do this tag if you want.