Release Day Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: Full Package by Lauren Blakely

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FULL PACKAGE by Lauren Blakely is Here!

A sexy and funny friends-to-lovers standalone romantic comedy, FULL PACKAGE is about a sexy, witty man as he falls head over heels for a woman, who just happens to be his roommate. It takes everything you love about a Lauren Blakely novel –witty dialogue, smoking hot sex scenes, and heartfelt moments –and puts them into one fantastic book! Told in the guy’s POV, with a creative look into Josie’s POV as well, FULL PACKAGE is the laugh-out-loud and insanely hot story of what happens when a sexy ER doc falls madly in love with his gorgeous roommate…and they’re forced to deal with all that simmering desire in a mere six hundred square feet of living space.

“Lauren Blakely has mastered the recipe for delightful and delicious. It’s called Full Package. I can’t find words to tell you how much I enjoyed this friends to lovers romance with enough sweet to melt in your mouth and enough spice to melt your panties.”

~ iScream Books

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“Lauren Blakely nailed it AGAIN. This man man is perfection! HOT, SWEET, FUNNY, SMART.”

~ Queen of Hearts

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✮✮✮FULL PACKAGE is here!✮✮✮

From the New York Times Bestselling author of MISTER O and BIG ROCK, comes a hot & hilarious new standalone romantic comedy…

I’ve been told I have quite a gift.

Hey, I don’t just mean in my pants. I’ve got a big brain too, and a huge heart of gold. And I like to use all my gifts to the fullest, the package included. Life is smooth sailing….

Until I find myself stuck between a rock and a sexy roommate, which makes for one very hard…place.

Because scoring an apartment in this city is harder than finding true love. So even if I have to shack up with my buddy’s smoking hot and incredibly amazing little sister, a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.

I can resist Josie. I’m disciplined, I’m focused, and I keep my hands to myself, even in the mere five-hundred square feet we share. Until the one night she insists on sliding under the covers with me. It’ll help her sleep after what happened that day, she says.

Spoiler-neither one of us sleeps.

Did I mention she’s also one of my best friends? That she’s brilliant, beautiful and a total firecracker? Guess that makes her the full package too.

What’s a man stuck in a hard place to do?

 

You can find this sexy standalone romantic comedy across all retailers!

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CAAmazon AUiBooks

Barnes & NobleKoboGoogle PlayAmazon Paperback

Audio (Sebastian York!)or via Audible

My Review: 

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

I’ve been excited to read Full Package ever since I read the synopsis. My all-time favorite relationship trope is best friends to lovers. There’s something so sweet about two people who already care for and respect each other falling in love. I could already imagine what humorous spin Lauren Blakely could put on the trope.

In Full Package, doctor Chase has just realized that he’s about to be the hospital staff room’s next resident. Every rental option he’s looked at has slipped out of his grasp. Luckily for Chase, his best friend Josie is looking for a roommate. Josie’s hot, but Chase has no doubts that he can keep his hands to himself. He doesn’t see Josie in a sexual way at all…or does he?

Lauren Blakely did exactly what I was hoping she would do with two best friends falling love. She created a story that was funny and extremely sexy, but also heartwarming. Her writing was just as amazing as always, but what really stood out about Full Package was its characters and their personalities.

Chase was a great narrator. I liked that he was a little bit cocky, but very down to Earth. He wasn’t the ladies man some of the other male characters have been in this series, and I enjoyed that. It made his perspective feel very fresh and new. I also really enjoyed the process Chase went through in admitting that maybe his feelings for Josie weren’t as platonic as he thought. Reading his perspective was so much fun!

I loved the little snippets I saw of Josie’s thoughts through her recipes. They were cute and gave me just enough knowledge of what her thoughts were about Chase. Although, I do have to admit, they did make me wish for dual point of view narration. I think she would have been an incredible narrator.

Josie and Chase had perfect chemistry. They understood each other in ways only best friends can. Their ability to let go with each other and act on their deepest desires made them an enviable couple. Their entire journey more than friends was entertaining and addicting.

Full Package was everything I love in a friends to lovers story. I highly recommend it and the entire series of connected standalone novels to anyone who enjoys lots of laughs and smiles while reading romances.

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“Fresh, fun, flirty, and fabulous.”

~ Karen at Bookalicious Babes Blog

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Excerpt:

I point to the curved wooden stand with a hook at the top. “This. Explain this.”

Josie sets her hands on her hips. “It’s a banana holder.”

I give her a stern look. “I can read. I don’t need to know what. I need to know why.” I poke the object on the shelf at Bed Bath & Beyond, otherwise known as the Nexus of Unnecessary Things. Pretty sure there’s some kind of vortex or force field right smack dab in the middle of this store attracting all the weird, bizarre, and odd home goods. “Why can’t they sit on the kitchen counter? Or, how about in a bowl?”

“Maybe the bananas just like to dangle?” she suggests. “Hang free and all?”

Smacking my forehead, I go along with it. “Aha. That makes perfect sense.”

“I’m here to help.” She tugs on my shirtsleeve. “But can we please get to the sheet aisle? You can’t sleep on a naked mattress.”

“That may be true, but I could definitely sleep naked on a mattress,” I offer, and she laughs as we navigate through another sardine-packed aisle in the mammoth store.

It’s one in the afternoon, and I just moved in this morning. That took all of two hours. Spending my twenties in med school and as a resident gave me very little time for the acquisition of things, so most of my possessions fit in a duffel bag. I have very little. Not even sheets for a queen-size bed. Ergo, I’m spending Saturday at Bed Bath & Beyond, which is a bit like wandering through a Buzzfeed post titled “Ten Things I’ll Never Use.”

More like five hundred. Wait. Make that five hundred and one, because I just spotted the new number one item on the list.

“That,” I say as I make a beeline for a shelf of crème brûlée torches. Grabbing a silvery one, I hold it up. “Please say we can have a housewarming party, and you’ll make crème brûlée, and I can stride all proud and awesome into the kitchen,” I say, puffing out my chest and deepening my voice. “And I can light it with a torch, and we’ll all ooh and ahh at the manly fire I made when I lit up a dessert.”

She arches an eyebrow. “A manly fire?”

I nod vigorously. “And then you’ll let the guests take turns punching me in the face for being a total douche for owning a crème brûlée torch.”

She narrows her eyes. “You actually want people to punch you?”

I’m deadly serious as I answer her. “If I ever own a crème brûlée torch, you have carte blanche to punch me, Josie. You really should.” I drop the torch on the shelf and take her hand, clasping it tightly in mine. “Promise me. From this day forward. Promise you’ll punch me if I ever own a crème brûlée torch, a rotating tie rack, or more than one kind of cheese grater. This is part of our roommate pact.”

She grips my hand tighter, her green eyes glowing with stark seriousness. “I solemnly swear to pummel you under all the aforementioned circumstances. As proof of our friendship and roommate solidarity.”

“You’re a saint,” I say, then wrap a hand around her head and tug her close for a quick kiss on her forehead.

And hello, sweet, sexy scent of Josie. What is this delicious smell? Is it . . . oh fuck me.Cherries. My God, she smells like cherries. Like the perfect summer fruit. Like the naughtiest fruit. And I’ve got to wonder if that cherry scent is her face lotion, her shampoo, or her body wash?

Body wash.

My mind is adrift, and the word association begins. Because what goes with body wash but nudity?

Naked woman in the shower. Washing. Lathering. Soaping.

 Ah, hell.

Snap the fuck out it, Summers.

Add it to Goodreads here!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30283662-full-package

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And don’t miss Lauren Blakely’s other standalone Romantic Comedies!

BIG ROCK
MISTER O
WELL HUNG

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✮✮✮ Enter to win this amazing FULL PACKAGE GIVEAWAY!✮✮✮

Josie and Chase put together some of their favorite things just for you to celebrate the release of FULL PACKAGE!

The FULL PACKAGE is filled with:

$50 Gift Card to Lush: Fresh Handmade Cosmetics for fruity scented bath products that Chase loves so much.

$50 Gift Card to Sugarfina: A Luxury Candy Boutique where you can sample some of Josie’s favorite gourmet candy.

A lovely Coach Wristlet containing a $50 Amazon Gift Card for you to spend on whatever your heart desires.

And last but not least, my entire Audiobook Collection minus Full Package on Audible. It is aurally delicious!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

http://laurenblakely.com/full-package-giveaway/

author-pic-lauren-blakelyAbout Lauren Blakely:

Since self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US over three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1.5 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that’s full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With thirteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than seventy times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone hit romances like BIG ROCK, MISTER O, WELL HUNG, and THE SEXY ONE which were all instant New York Times Bestsellers. In January she’ll release FULL PACKAGE, a standalone romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter.

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Newsletter ** Goodreads

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Seasons of Book Blogging Tag (2016 Edition)

I was tagged by Cristina @ My Tiny Obsessions for the Seasons of Book Blogging Tag. This tag was originally was created by Jordyn @ J. Bookish. Thanks for the tag, Cristina!


Rules and Regulations:

  • Thank the creator and the person who tagged you.
  • Begin with the month in which you have been tagged and move forward from there!
  • State the best gift you’ve ever been given after you answer the question for your birthday month.
  • Tag whomever you’d like when you’re finished.. or else you’ll be “it” forever.
  • Have fun, of course!

January begins a new year. Name a resolution you made this year and if you’ve kept it or not!

I don’t normally make resolutions. This year, I’m am planning on making some lifestyle changes, though. Less sodium, more water and more exercise. Little things lead to big things.


February is the month for relationships. Name your favorite book relationship: romantic, platonic, or familial, your choice!

 

Jamie & Wes are my favorite friendship and romantic relationship. I love those guys.


March is the month for luck and new beginnings. Name a book or series that you would like to re-experience as if you’d never read it.

 

Nine Minutes will be probably be my answer to this question for a very long time.


April is a spectacularly ordinary month. Name a book that was so over-hyped that it just could not live up to your expectations.

 

I had high expectations going into this book. I expected it to make me feel so many thing and touch me. All it did was disgust and irritate me.


May is the month when the flowers start to bloom. Name a book that was a pleasant surprise to you.

 

All you need to know is Frank Sanger is for me. He is for you. Frank Sanger is for everyone.


June is the time to take a break. Name a book or genre that you like to read when you just need to check out.

 

I like a humorous contemporary romance when I need to check out. The entire Billionaire Bad Boys series is perfect for that.


July is the time to celebrate your independence! Name a book that made you see fireworks. (Figuratively. Please don’t light books on fire.)

 

I think I saw fireworks when I got to know Zach. Love that guy!


August is the hottest month of the year. Pick an up-and-coming author that you think will be the next hottest thing.

 

I was so impressed by Amber Smith’s debut novel The Way I Used to Be that I will be shocked if she doesn’t reach a high level of success.


September is time for students to go back to school! Pick a book you read for school that you actually enjoyed.

Um…It’s been way too long since I read anything for school! The only books I remember reading in college weren’t that enjoyable. I guess I’ll have to go with Of Mice and Men since it’s the only high school book I remember reading now.


October is time to celebrate Halloween! Pick one character that you would love to dress up as for Halloween.

 

Inez would be a fun character to impersonate.

Oh, and the best gift I’ve ever been given. Hmm…Is it cheesy if I say my family? That would be it. Or I did get a really cool Electra beach cruiser bicycle for Christmas one year. That was awesome!


November is the month when we’re reminded of how much we have to be thankful for. Choose one book you’re grateful for having read and give a shout-out to the person who recommended it!

 

I will always be thankful to a group of Goodreads friends for recommending Bright Side to me. It’s an experience I won’t ever forget.


December is a time when friends and families come together and celebrate. Name one book you would give as a gift.

 

I think The Hard Count would be a great gift because so many different people could identify with it and enjoy it.


Sorry to be lazy, but I’m going to leave the tagging open to anyone who would like to join in. This is a fun one, perfect for any season!

 

2017 New Adult Reading Challenge

Hi, friends!

2017 is going to be so awesome when it comes to reading! I am so excited to have signed up for a new reading challenge. This year, I’m going to participate in the…

Cool, right?

The 2017 New Adult Reading Challenge was created by fellow book blogger Cátia @ The Girl Who Reads Too Much. This is the perfect challenge for me because I love NA books and want to read as many of them as possible. My goal will be to hit the New Adult Queen book goal. I think I can do it!

Another exciting part of this challenge is a Reading Bingo. I’m going to do my best to go for blackout and cross all of these boxes off. 🙂

Here are some of my ideas to complete the bingo card:

1. Book set in college –
2. Hyped Book –
3. Debut Novel –
4. 2017 Release –
5. New Adult best seller –
6. Book about friendship –
7. Book with music or art –
8. Book out of your comfort zone –
9. Book based on its cover –
10. Diverse novel –
11. A LGBT novel or with a LGBT characters –
12. New to you author –
13. Book you can finish in one day –
14. Start a series –  The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher
15. Book that makes you laugh –
16. Book set in the summer –
17. Book you knew nothing about –
18. A re-read –
19. Book about a road trip – The Mother Road by Meghan Quinn
20. Book recommendation –
21. One word title –
22. Book about sports – Sweet Home by Tillie Cole
23. Book on the bottom of your TBR –
24. Book with only male POV –

I’m going to leave the rest to surprise you, but I’ll also take recommendations!

Review: Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen

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Series: Brooklyn Bruisers, #2
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

He’s a fighter in the rink, but he’s about to learn that playing nice can help you score…

As team captain and enforcer, Patrick O’Doul puts the bruise in the Brooklyn Bruisers. But after years of hard hits, O’Doul is feeling the burn, both physically and mentally. He conceals his pain from his coach and trainers, but when his chronic hip injury becomes too obvious to ignore, they send him for sessions with the team’s massage therapist.

After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, Ari Bettini is in need of peace of mind. For now, she’s decided to focus on her work: rehabilitating the Bruisers’ MVP. O’Doul is easy on the eyes, but his reaction to her touch is ice-cold. Ari is determined to help O’Doul heal, but as the tension between them turns red-hot, they both learn that a little TLC does the body good…


Every time I hear Sarina Bowen is going to release another hockey romance I get so excited. I love the interconnecting series and players she has created. When I finished reading Rookie Move and read the preview for Hard Hitter, I knew it was going to be an exciting story.

Hard Hitter reintroduces the reader to two characters met in Rookie Move, but it can be read as a standalone novel. Ari is the Brooklyn Bruisers’ team masseuse who is enjoying being single after leaving a turbulent relationship. Patrick is the hockey team’s grumpy captain. When Patrick is forced to visit Ari for help with an injury, they begin to develop an attraction to each other. Soon their massage sessions are moving beyond the Bruisers’ massage room and into the bedroom.

As soon as I start a book by Sarina Bowen, I’m immediately drawn in by her writing. It’s fantastic. She has a way of making me instantly connect with her characters. I fall in love with them and can’t get enough of them. I felt that instant connection with Patrick and Ari. Ari was a breath of fresh air. Her positive attitude and upbeat personality brought a lightness to the story. She had her moments of negativity, but there was always hope underneath. Patrick was a different story. He was standoffish and reluctant to let anyone in. His history and what it brought to the story intrigued me. I wanted to know more about him.

Ari and Patrick’s relationship wasn’t a smooth one. The drama from both of their lives invaded their thoughts and prevented each other from truly letting the other in. I liked that the drama made their love story interesting and exciting, but it also made their connection feel weaker at times. I could understand why Patrick was quickly falling for Ari. She seemed to make most of his problems magically disappear. I didn’t always get what Ari saw in Patrick beyond their sexual attraction. It took him a long time to give her all of him.

Those little relationship things aside, I really enjoyed reading Hard Hitter. It was filled with action, lots of romantic moments and tons of sexy hockey players. Every moment is entertaining and I was left excited for what is next to come in the series. I can’t wait for Pipe Dreams and Lauren’s story. I’m really, really hoping Bowen continues this series for many books to come.

Review Tour: Dear Life by Meghan Quinn

We’re celebrating the release of DEAR LIFE by Meghan Quinn! Available on Amazon and #Free on Kindle Unlimited!

DEAR LIFE

NA Contemporary Romance
Designed by: Meghan Quinn
Photographer: Lauren Perry

Goodreads
AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2iBjcT9

 Synopsis:
Four lives. Four stories. Four sets of letters. Four brave souls in need of guidance while facing life’s greatest challenges.
The anonymously published Dear Life program is designed to help them step outside of their comfort zones, face their obstacles, and relinquish their demons…and prove their existence.
With their lives teetering between wanting more and losing it all, all four souls dive into the program as a New Year’s resolution, sending them on a crazy, life-altering journey.
Dear Life,
Please be kind.
Yours truly, Hollyn, Jace, Daisy, and Carter.

Review:

Rating: 
Note: I received an ARC from WordSmith Publicity in exchange for an unbiased review.

I’m going to be honest. This book was not what I was expecting. All of the Meghan Quinn books I’ve read have been humorous contemporary romances. Dear Life was something completely different. Different wasn’t bad, though. Different was just different…and very, very good.

Dear Life is the story of four young adults. Hollyn, Jace, Daisy and Carter have all come to a crossroads in their lives. Each is dealing with something that disheartens them. All are on different paths until they are pushed together by Dear Life, a program that aims to help them surpass their demons and embrace life. Through group sessions, letters and newly cemented friendship, the four set about trying to leave their pasts behind.

The way Dear Life was set up was genius. It was told in four part first person narration and included letters each person wrote for the Dear Life program. Each of the four perspectives brought so much to the story. I loved getting to know each character and learning how their relationships overlapped. Jace was my favorite character. I could have read an entire book about him and his life. Hollyn was a close second. For some reason, their stories resonated most with me. I liked Daisy and Carter, too. I was just really pulled to Jace and Hollyn’s stories.

Dear Life was so incredibly touching. It was a novel about healing from the things life throws at you. It was beautifully written. There were so many moments that brought tears to my eyes. This book broke my heart in so many ways, but it also put it right back together. I loved this book so much! I can’t recommend it enough.

About the Author:

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.
Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.
Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!
Find me on Goodreads:

WWW Wednesday: January 4, 2016

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading but is now hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

The Three W’s are:

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

So here we go…


Currently reading:

My daughter and I are back to reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone now that school’s back in session.

Hard Hitter was released yesterday, and so I obviously had to read it right away. I needed a Brooklyn Bruisers hit!


Recently finished:

Dear Life
We Are the Ants
Falling for the Player
Franco (Bright Side, #3)
Corrupt Me (Philly Corruption, #1)
Pasadena
The Rule Maker (The Rule Breakers, #2)

Click on the book titles to read the reviews that I have already posted.


Reading Next:

I am finally going to be reading The Fifth Petal. When I requested it, I had no idea that it was The Lace Reader, #2. I just thought it was a new book from Brunonia Barry and she writes amazing books. Now, I’m even more excited to be reading it!

Review: Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick

Every Exquisite Thing
Author: Matthew Quick
Publication Date: May 31, 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Didn’t you ever just simply want to…stop?

Star athlete and straight-A student Nanette O’Hare has played the role of dutiful daughter for as long as she can remember. But one day, a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper—a mysterious, out-of-print cult classic—and the rebel within Nanette awakens.

As the new and outspoken Nanette attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, she befriends the reclusive author and falls in love with a young, troubled poet. Forced to make some hard choices that bring devastating consequences, Nanette learns the hard way that rebellion can sometimes come at a high price.


If you’re looking for that feel good YA coming of age story, this isn’t it. Every Exquisite Thing is a story of struggling to find oneself in the midst of an identity crisis. It’s raw and gritty and not always fun.

Nanette O’Hare goes through the motions of her life daily. She plays soccer and acts a certain way because everyone expects her to. When her favorite teacher gives her his favorite book, all of this changes. Nanette is no longer comfortable living life the way she always has. As she begins to explore her individuality, everything in her life begins to unravel leaving Nanette even more confused than she was before.

Every Exquisite Thing might have been a darker coming of age novel, but that didn’t take away from the reading experience. It was beautifully written and engaging. Nanette was such a complex character. She was constantly changing throughout the story and trying to find out who she was meant to be. I could identify with several of Nanette’s conclusions, and I found myself relating to her more than I expected to. I enjoyed every moment I spent reading this book, even when the story took turns that were uncomfortable.

Matthew Quick did a great job of creating a unique story of growing up in the age of conformity and learning to be okay with your own uniqueness. Young adult readers are sure to benefit from Nanette’s troubles and insights. Every Exquisite Thing was the first book I’ve read by Quick, but it definitely won’t be my last.

Review: Franco by Kim Holden

Franco
Series: Bright Side, #3
Author: Kim Holden
Publication Date: December 29, 2016
Publisher: Do Epic LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Franco Genovese is the drummer for world-renowned American rock band, Rook. He’s got it all. A killer smile. Tattoos. Talent. Razor sharp wit and humor. And a heart as big, and generous, as they come.
Life is good. Steady. Uncomplicated. Just the way he likes things.
Until one night at an unassuming L.A. bar changes everything.
Enter Gemma Hendricks.
She’s a successful young architect from Northern England with an adorable smile, sarcasm for days, and an unparalleled trusting heart.
The attraction is instant.
So is their friendship.
It’s also temporary because they’ll both be heading home, thousands of miles apart from each other, in a few days.
Or is it?
There’s something Gemma wants more than anything else.
And when Franco propositions her to provide what she’s looking for, everything changes.
Will it transform friendship into love, or will it be their ruin?


Franco was a bittersweet return to the Bright Side world. Being back with the gang was everything I hoped it would be. The story was fresh and new, but laced with important pieces of the past. There were some important events for the band members of Rook that it was awesome to be a part of.

Getting to know another member of Rook was incredibly fun. Franco was just as cool a character as I expected him to be. He had the rock band drummer edge with his tattoos and shaved head, but he was also down to Earth and a nice guy. Franco was someone I would be happy to call a friend. I loved his relationship with Gemma and how it evolved.

Gemma is one of the coolest characters I’ve read in a long time. She was the perfect match for Franco, but I would have read a book about her with anyone. There was just something so effortlessly cool about her. She had such strength, but there was also a tender side to her.

I absolutely loved Franco and Gemma’s journey and everything it encompassed, but one of my favorite things about Franco was how it dealt with all of Rook’s members and Kate. Every mention of their times together broke my heart a little bit while building it back up at the same time. I loved seeing where Gus was at this point. The epilogue was especially sweet and unexpected.

Franco was another exceptional novel by Kim Holden. I loved every moment of it, and I am hoping and praying that she continues to expand the series. I would love for each member of Rook to tell their story. (I’d also love to get to know more about Kate’s college friends.) If you’re a fan of this series, you have to read Franco! And if you’ve never experienced Bright Side, what are you waiting for?!?!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten 2017 Debuts I’m Excited For

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Top Ten 2017 Debuts I’m Excited For.

I’m going to be honest. I had a hard time with this topic this year. I found it hard to find début novels for genres other than YA or adult fiction. I tried to Google 2017 début romance authors, but didn’t really get anything. So these titles are the ones I found that I would like to read. All titles link to the books’ Goodreads page.


1.Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock

Jenny met Chance for the very first time when she was assigned as his partner in their Junior Communications class. But one clever lie to rescue a doomed assignment later, and the whole school was suddenly convinced that Little-Miss-Really-Likes-Having-A’s and the most scandalous heartbreaker in school have been best friends forever.

It’s amazing how quickly a lie can grow—especially when you really, really want it to be the truth. With Jenny, Chance can live the normal life he’s always kind of wanted. And with Chance, Jenny can have the exciting teen experiences that television has always promised her. And through it all, they hold on to the fact that they are ‘just friends.’ But that might be the biggest lie of all.

2.One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

3.Wait for Me by Caroline Leech

The perfect blend of sweet romance and historical flavor, Wait for Me, from début author Caroline Leech, brings a fresh new voice to a much-loved genre.

It’s 1945, and Lorna Anderson’s life on her father’s farm in Scotland consists of endless chores and rationing, knitting Red Cross scarves, and praying for an Allied victory. So when Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, is assigned as the new farmhand, Lorna is appalled. How can she possibly work alongside the enemy when her own brothers are risking their lives for their country?

But as Lorna reluctantly spends time with Paul, she feels herself changing. The more she learns about him—from his time in the war to his life back home in Germany—the more she sees the boy behind the soldier. Soon Lorna is battling her own warring heart. Loving Paul could mean losing her family and the life she’s always known. With tensions rising all around them, Lorna must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice before the end of the war determines their fate.

4.The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren

Last summer, Lucy’s and Ben’s lives changed in an instant. One moment, they were shyly flirting on a lake raft, finally about to admit their feelings to each other after years of yearning. In the next, Trixie—Lucy’s best friend and Ben’s sister—was gone, her heart giving out during a routine swim. And just like that, the idyllic world they knew turned upside down, and the would-be couple drifted apart, swallowed up by their grief. Now it’s a year later in their small lake town, and as the anniversary of Trixie’s death looms, Lucy and Ben’s undeniable connection pulls them back together. They can’t change what happened the day they lost Trixie, but the summer might finally bring them closer to healing—and to each other.

5.The Strays by Emily Bitto

On her first day at a new school, Lily meets Eva, one of the daughters of the infamous avant-garde painter Evan Trentham. He and his wife are attempting to escape the stifling conservatism of 1930s Australia by inviting other like-minded artists to live and work with them at their family home. As Lily’s friendship with Eva grows, she becomes infatuated with this makeshift family and longs to truly be a part of it.

Looking back on those years later in life, Lily realises that this utopian circle involved the same themes as Evan Trentham’s art: Faustian bargains and terrible recompense; spectacular fortunes and falls from grace. Yet it was not Evan, nor the other artists he gathered around him, but his own daughters, who paid the debt that was owing.

6.The Reminders by Val Emmich

Grief-stricken over his partner’s death, Gavin sets fire to every physical reminder in the couple’s home. A neighbor captures the ordeal on video, turning this unsung TV actor into a household name. Now, Gavin is fleeing the hysteria of Los Angeles for New Jersey, hoping to find peace with the family of an old friend. Instead, he finds Joan.

Joan, the family’s ten-year-old daughter, was born with the rare ability to recall every day of her life in cinematic detail. In seconds, she can tell you how many times her mother has uttered the phrase “it never fails” in the last six months (27) or what she was wearing when her grandfather took her fishing on a particular Sunday in June years ago (fox socks). Joan has never met Gavin until now, but she did know his partner, Sydney, and waiting inside her uncanny mind are half a dozen startlingly vivid memories to prove it.

Gavin strikes a deal with Joan: in return for sharing all her memories of Sydney, Gavin will help Joan win a local songwriting contest she’s convinced could make her unforgettable. The unlikely duo sets off on their quest until Joan reveals unexpected details about Sydney’s final months, forcing Gavin to question not only the purity of his past with Sydney but the course of his own immediate future.

7.Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach

Ava Antipova has her reasons for running away: a failing family vineyard, a romantic betrayal, a mercurial sister, an absent father, a mother slipping into dementia. In Paris, Ava renounces her terribly practical undergraduate degree, acquires a French boyfriend and a taste for much better wine, and erases her past. Two years later, she must return to upstate New York. Her twin sister, Zelda, is dead.
Even in a family of alcoholics, Zelda Antipova was the wild one, notorious for her mind games and destructive behavior. Stuck tending the vineyard and the girls increasingly unstable mother, Zelda was allegedly burned alive when she passed out in the barn with a lit cigarette. But Ava finds the official explanation a little too neat. A little too Zelda. Then she receives a cryptic message from her sister.
Just as Ava suspected, Zelda s playing one of her games. In fact, she s outdone herself, leaving a series of clues about her disappearance. With the police stuck on a red herring, Ava follows the trail laid just for her, thinking like her sister, keeping her secrets, immersing herself in Zelda s drama and her outlandish circle of friends and lovers. Along the way, Zelda forces her twin to confront their twisted history and the boy who broke Ava s heart. But why? Is Zelda trying to punish Ava for leaving, or to teach her a lesson? Or is she simply trying to write her own ending?
Featuring a colorful, raucous cast of characters, Caite Dolan-Leach s début thriller takes readers on a literary scavenger hunt for clues concealed throughout the seemingly idyllic wine country, hidden in plain sight on social media, and buried at the heart of one tremendously dysfunctional, utterly unforgettable family.

8.The Guinevers by Sarah Domet

In the vein of The Virgin Suicides, a dazzling début novel about four girls inexplicably named Guinevere, all left by their parents to be raised by nuns, and the year in which their tightly knit Guinevere family implodes when four comatose soldiers arrive.

Vere, Gwen, Ginny, and Win come to The Sisters of the Supreme Adoration by different paths, delivered into the rigorous and austere care of Sister Fran. Each has their own complicated, heartbreaking story that they safeguard. But together they are the all-powerful and confident The Guineveres, bound by the extraordinary coincidence of their names and girded against the indignities of their plain, sequestered lives. Together, they learn about God, history, and, despite the nuns’ protestations, sex. They learn about the saints whose revival stories of faith and pain are threaded through their own. But above all, they plot their futures, when they can leave the convent and finally find a true home. But when four comatose soldiers, casualties of the War looming outside, arrive at the convent, The Guineveres’ friendship is tested in ways they never could have foreseen.

9.Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger

When a disguised pop star and his #1 Twitter fan arrange to meet in real life, fake identities are revealed, and what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish turns deadly. Follow Me Back is a romantic thriller for the online generation, told through a combination of police transcripts, Twitter DMs, and a dual POV narrative.

10.Strawberry Wine by Darly Jamison

How do you know if a first love is made to last?”
Addison Monroe was eighteen when she fell for Jake Grady, a college student working on her family s farm for the summer. With his sapphire eyes and killer smile, Jake could have had any girl in Lakeside, Georgia. But he wanted Addy, and for those brief, wonderful months before circumstances drove them irrevocably apart they belonged to each other.
Ten years later, Addy is engaged to a doctor and working in Atlanta as a physician s assistant. Life feels full and satisfying. Yet memories of that long-ago summer and wine-flavored kisses are hard to shake. On a return visit to Lakeside, Addy crosses paths with Jake again, and soon finds herself at an unexpected crossroads. So much has changed, and Addy has chosen another route. And the magic of first love can never be rekindled…can it?


Did any of these books make your list? Or are you now excited for them?

Review: Sweet Obsession by J. Daniels

Sweet Obsession
Series: Sweet Addiction, #3
Author: J. Daniels
Publication Date: September 21, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Author’s Note: Sweet Obsession can be read as a standalone novel.

Everyone knows Brooke Wicks loves to have a good time. She’s not interested in getting serious, settling down, or limiting herself to one man. So when she meets the sexy, irresistible Mason King, she sees another opportunity to let loose and go wild. But the gorgeous Aussie isn’t interested in just a quick fling with Brooke, and if she wants to get into his bed, she’s going to have to do it on his terms.

Loving fast and hard has always been Mason’s philosophy. He doesn’t want a meaningless connection, he wants it all, and he wants it with Brooke. When she makes her one desire known—to hit it and quit it—Mason wages a plan to ensure Brooke keeps coming back for more. Or so he hopes.

Getting her attention was the easy part. Keeping it might be damn near impossible.

Sweet Obsession is where the Sweet Addiction series meets the Alabama Summer series.


Sweet Obsession takes place a few years after Sweet Possession and it can be read as a standalone novel because it doesn’t really give away too much of the stories from the first couple of books. Instead of being about Dylan and Reese, it’s all about Brooke and Mason. If you’ve read J. Daniels’ Alabama Summer series, you may recognize the name Mason. (Think hot yoga instructor.) I loved the way these two series were meshed together. That was smart on the author’s part.

Brooke wasn’t my favorite character in the previous Sweet Addiction novels. Honestly, I thought she was kind of trashy. She definitely wasn’t someone I would seek out as a friend unless I was looking for a little entertainment. The situations she put herself in definitely brought on the laughs, but they didn’t endear her to me. I was wondering how J. Daniels was going to get me to fall in love with Brooke’s character. Now, I have the answer to that.

Brooke’s story is very important to today’s young women. I was lucky and didn’t have to live through today’s dating scene, but I am sure it has created a ton of “Brookes”. With the way sex is viewed now, so many women don’t realize they’re worth more than just sexual hook ups. Brooke was the perfect example of this. I love how the author dealt with Brooke’s feelings and fears.

J. Daniels created the perfect mate for Brooke in Mason. It was fun to get Mason’s story after briefly getting to know him in the Alabama Summers series. Mason saw Brooke for who she was. He knew there was more than met the eye and wasn’t willing to give her what she thought she wanted. Mason wanted to give her more. It was so sweet.

What really stood out about Sweet Obsession was the sexual intimacy aspect of the story. It was just as sensual and emotionally intimate as the rest of the series, but the pace of it was a little slower. There was almost a slow-burn aspect to Brooke and Mason’s relationship. It was perfect for the story.

Sweet Obsession was a fun addition to the Sweet Addiction series. It had the same entertaining humor and engaging drama as the rest of the series. I highly recommend this book and series to anyone who enjoys contemporary romances. I’m crossing my fingers for a fourth book in the series. I really need a Joey book.