Review: The Girl in the Painting

The Girl in the Painting
Author: Max Monroe
Publication Date: February 28, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Ansel Bray, an artist known around the world for his tragic hiatus from the canvas.
Ansel Bray, a broody, handsome man not known by me, at all.

Long dark hair, blue eyes, and dimpled cheeks. I’ve never met her, but her image is imprinted in my mind. An angel muse who inspires me to paint again.

There is something about him. Something that spurs a need to be as close to him as possible. A need to find out why.
There is something about her. Something that draws me in. Something that urges me to find out what her presence means.

Why does the girl in his painting look so much like me?
Who is this girl, and why can I see her so vividly?

I shouldn’t fall in love with him.
I shouldn’t fall in love at all.

But fate plays her hand.
But fate has other plans.

The lines of my life will blur.
The needs of my heart will change.

What a beautiful mess we’ve made.


Just when I think I know Max Monroe’s writing, they go and change things up again. I have always been a fan of their contemporary romances. When they released the Stone Cold Fox trilogy I was shocked at how versatile their writing was. It blew my mind how well they did both romantic comedy and romantic suspense. With The Girl in the Painting they have gone in another direction that has me marveling at their writing talent. This book was more emotional that anything I have read of theirs before. I loved that. Is there anything they can’t write? I doubt it.

The Girl in the Painting is one of those books you have to experience for yourself. There was a touching and addictive plot. I guessed some of the things that happened, but other parts were a shock. Everything was so well executed. The characters were so colorful. Ansel came across loud and clear as the tortured artist. His story was both heartbreaking and inspiring. Indy was a woman who thought she was living until she met Ansel. Their connection to each other was palpable. I got lost in their story and the emotion of it.

I was so impressed by A Girl in the Painting. It wasn’t what I have come to expect from Max Monroe, but I loved it as much as I have loved some of my favorite books of theirs. I hope we get more emotional tales from this duo. I wouldn’t mind a book about some of the side characters from this story.

WWW Wednesday: February 27, 2019

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

This week I read Charming as Puck, Diary of a Bad Boy, The Girl in the Painting, and Hollywood Princess (Hollywood Royalty, #2).



Currently Reading

I am reading Space (Laws of Physics, #2).

Reading Next

Next up is an ARC of Heart of the Devil (Forge Trilogy, #3).

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit

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 is Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit.


1. Charleston, South Carolina
The Stranger on Montagu Street
Author: Karen White

2. Madrid, Spain
Spanish Lessons
Author: Jessica Peterson

3. New Zealand
Chasing Crazy
Author: Kelly Siskind

4. Greece
Finding You
Author: Jo Watson

5. Vermont
Bittersweet
Author: Sarina Bowen

6. Hawaii
Juniors
Author: Kaui Hart Hemmings

7. Australia
The Day I Stopped Falling for Jerks
Author: Max Monroe

8. Belize
Take Me Back
Author: Meghan March

9. New York
Hot Asset
Author: Lauren Layne

10. Road trip across North America
Mother Road
Author: Meghan Quinn

Review: Bennett Mafia (Tijan)

Bennett Mafia
Author: Tijan
Publication Date: March 4, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

There were always whispers about my roommate at Hillcrest Academy.

The wealthiest of the wealthy sent their kids to our boarding school, and Brooke Bennett had been at the top, though I never quite knew why. She was fun and outgoing, but she kept quiet about her family. The only things she showed me were photographs of her brothers.

I became fascinated with her second-oldest brother. Kai Bennett.

He was the most of them all. Smoldering. Hypnotic. Alluring.
Kai had eyes that pulled me in and a face that haunted my dreams.

Then I met him.

He came to our school with their father, and that’s when I learned what kind of family Brooke came from. They were mafia, and Brooke’s oldest brother was dead. Her father said accident, but Brooke said murder.

Three months later, her father died, and Kai became the head of the Bennett Family. Brooke left Hillcrest for good, and that was the last time I saw her.

Fourteen years later, I’m staring at her face on the television. Brooke is missing.

Two days later, Kai Bennett kidnaps me.


I cannot get Bennett Mafia out of my head! Every time I read a book by Tijan, I’m stuck thinking about it for days. Her words and worlds are so addicting and emotionally impactful. It doesn’t matter if I like or dislike one of her books, I’m always left with something to work out in my mind. It happened again with this book. I can’t say that I fell head over heals in love with it, but I did really enjoy it. There were just a couple of things that I had a hard time digesting.

I was impressed with the tale Tijan told in Bennett Mafia. This book was more than just a dark romance. It had all the angst and emotional turmoil of one, but it also had some twists that reminded me of a thriller. Bennett Mafia took me on a ride. I loved that. So many things happened that I didn’t expect. It was great!

Kai and Riley were interesting characters. Riley was a tortured soul who tried to do good. She didn’t let many people in, and I found myself having a hard time getting close to her in the beginning. Once I got into her head and felt the frustration and indecision she was going through, it was easier to connect with her — which was important since she was our only narrator. Kai wasn’t really the book boyfriend type, but he was the perfect mafia king. He was demanding and intense. I would have loved to have had his point of view to know what he was thinking. Both Kai and Riley were methodical. Everything they did had a purpose. They were both very good at hiding emotions and doing what needed to be done. I think that’s why it took me a while to love both of them. I had to get past the walls they had erected just like the people in the book did.

Kai and Riley’s relationship wasn’t one made in heaven. It would be more accurate to say it was made in hell with the mafia thing and all. Their relationship made me uncomfortable at times. Not for the reasons I would have originally expected. I had a hard time buying into it. They had an immediate and intense physical attraction to each other. Their sexual tension and chemistry was strong. That’s where things kind of stopped for me, though. I didn’t feel the emotional connection between them for much of the book. I felt like the building blocks of that love or the moments they could have forged that bond weren’t really there or strong enough for me until the end. That made some of the choices they made not feel as true to me. I don’t want it to sound like I didn’t like Kai and Riley together. I did. I just wanted more from them, I guess. I wanted to feel for their relationship what I did for Samantha and Mason or Ryan and Mackenzie or Jesse and Alex.

Another thing that was uncomfortable for me was some of the brutality to the story — which I expected from a book about the mafia. I cringed through those parts as they propelled the plot forward. That kind of stuff isn’t my favorite to read, but I can handle it when I appreciate a story line. Those heinous acts were important to and perfect for Bennett Mafia.

Despite these things, I found myself addicted to the story. I always wanted to know what was going to happen next. I loved how things unraveled and became known. I also really loved the side characters. The Bennett family was so interesting and surprisingly lovable. Bennett Mafia may not have been my favorite Tijan romance, but it was my favorite Tijan suspense story.

Review: Boys of Brayshaw High (Meagan Brandy)

Boys of Brayshaw High
Series: Brayshaw High, #1
Author: Meagan Brandy
Publication Date: January 15, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Young Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“Girls like you aren’t exactly welcomed at a place like this, so keep your head down and look the other way.”

Those were the exact words of my social worker when she dropped me in my newest hellhole, a place for “troubled teens”.

I didn’t listen, and now I’m on their radar.

They expect me to play along in their games of hierarchy, to fall in line in the social order they’ve deemed me fit.

Too bad for them, I don’t follow rules.
Too bad for me, they’re determined to make sure I do.

Inconceivably attractive and treated like kings…these are the boys of Brayshaw High.

And I’m the girl who got in their way.


The Boys of Brayshaw High is a book I picked up solely because Kayla told me it was similar to Fallen Crest High by Tijan. I’m a sucker for that series, so I knew I had to read it. I have to agree that it had a similar feel as FCH, so if you like that series you will most likely like this book. Now for more about this book.

I have some mixed feelings about The Boys of Brayshaw High. You can probably tell that from my 3 star rating. I liked it, but there were some things that made me shake my head. I didn’t always appreciate where the story went. There was one particular cabin incident that had me rolling my eyes and disgusted. Not because I couldn’t handle what was going on, but that it didn’t fit in the way it was supposed to in my opinion. I also found one of the twist’s timelines to be a bit confusing based on the characters’ ages and what year they were in high school. (Oh, and speaking of high school, this book might be YA aged but it was definitely new adult.) My biggest issue was probably that I didn’t connect to Raven for a really long time. I found her interesting, but a little off-putting. Honestly, her attitude sucked. I got why and got used it, but I couldn’t get used to some of the dumb decisions she made.

Now that I have those things off my chest, let me talk about what I loved about The Boys of Brayshaw High. Meagan Brandy’s writing is addictive. It had the perfect amount of angst and the emotions flowed with the story. I found myself completely caught up in all of the drama. That’s one of the things I loved most about this book — the drama. It was all over the place and kept up right until the end. I also enjoyed the twists Ms. Brandy included. I didn’t see most of them coming. I was surprised by the cliffhanger ending — which makes me mad because I didn’t realize this was a newly released book and the rest of the series isn’t out yet. Dang it!

While I didn’t always like Raven, I found her to be a great character. The chip she had on her shoulder was certainly justified. I hurt for what she had been through growing up. I hated how people treated her and slut shamed her based on her mom. (Normally, I would cringe at all the slut-shaming, but it did work with the nature of this story line.) Raven’s relationship with the Brayshaw boys was a lot of fun. I loved the steps she went through to figure out her relationship with them. It was so explosive and gritty.

The Brayshaw Boys were another one of the best things about this book. They were horrible, but also surprisingly appealing characters. I totally got why they had Raven all messed up in the head. Royce was the fun-loving one. He made me smile with his nicknames and antics. Captain was the quiet, sullen one. He had a nice sweet side. Maddoc was…mysterious. He was the leader of the pack. I couldn’t decide if I loved or hated the guy half the time. He was so cruel, and yet he had some tender moments that I couldn’t look past. I loved that he also got a point of view in this book. It would have been enough to have just Raven’s, but his brought something extra special to the mix. One thing I need to say is that I didn’t get enough answers when it came to these guys. I understand that now since two books are still coming in this series, but I’m back to being angry that they aren’t released yet because I can’t stand the mystery!

There is so much more to this book than what I’ve included in this review. It’s really hard to explain all the dynamics and crazy stuff that happens because I don’t want to spoil anything. Just know that if you love a gritty, darker, angst-y romance then you should be right at home with The Boys of Brayshaw High.

Series Review: 2 Lovers (K. Webster & J.D. Hollyfield)

Today, I’m reviewing the first two books in the 2 Lover series by K. Webster and J.D. Hollyfield. I haven’t read the third book yet, but hopefully soon.

Text 2 Lovers
Series: 2 Lovers, #1
Authors: K. Webster, J.D. Hollyfield
Publication Date: January 24, 2017
Publisher: J.D. Hollyfield
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

It’s the start of nothing good.
I fired off a storm of raunchy text messages…to the wrong number.
And he replied.
Him: Show me a picture.
Him: Tell me your name.
Why does the lure of anonymity have me craving to indulge a stranger?

It’s the start of everything right.
I received a slew of text messages…when everything in my life was wrong.
And she made me laugh again.
Her: You’re probably a creeper.
Her: Possibly a stalker.
Why do I have the overwhelming need to find this stranger who saved me and make her mine?

Him: Take a chance with me.
Her: This is crazy.
Him: I need to see you.
Her: What are we doing?
Him: We’re about to find out.

Her: PHOTO ATTACHED
Him: PHOTO ATTACHED

My thoughts:

Oh, boy. I am not sure how I’m going to explain my feelings for Text 2 Lovers. I’ve wanted to read it for a while now. I love the whole accidental texting and then falling for each other thing. It has worked well for me in other books. It started off working well for me in Text 2 Lovers, too. Then, all of a sudden it became a hot mess.

I loved how Text 2 Lovers began with Dani accidentally sending Ram crazy texts when she thought she was texting her ex. I loved how he responded. It was all so funny and cute. Dani was this overly apologetic and nice person. It was both a great thing about her and her biggest problem. It reminded me a bit of younger self. Ram was a great guy who was very forward. He had some work related stuff he was working through. How they ended up meeting in person and all the things that went with their relationship were adorable. They made a sweet couple.

What I couldn’t stomach was how quickly their texts changed from innocent to racy. Maybe I’m just too old and married to get how someone with such an innocent vibe like Dani would be comfortable taking the step into sharing some very personal moments, pictures, and conversations. It just didn’t work for me. I loved everything else about this story, though.

Oh! I have to mention one of the other things I loved! The side characters were amazing. Dani’s best friend, Andie, cracked me up. I loved her crazy self. Ram had an awesome older brother, Roman. Roman was all uptight. Andie + Roman = magic. I was so happy to see there was a second book about them. I have high hopes for that one.

Overall, Text 2 Lovers was a good read. I had a couple of issues with it, but ended up enjoying it anyways. It’s worth reading — even if only for the introduction to Andie and Roman. I have a feeling their book is going to be so much fun!


Hate 2 Lovers
Series: 2 Lovers, #2
Authors: K. Webster, J.D. Hollyfield
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

She hates him and his big head.
He likes her and her big t*ts.

She hates him because she somehow ends up naked every time she sees him.
He likes her because she somehow ends up naked every time he sees her.

She hates him because the big oaf knocked her up with his kid.
He likes her because she’s carrying his child.

She hates the way he gets inside her head.
He likes the way she lets him see glimpses of her heart.

Andie: I hate you.
Roman: I know…but I’m going to change that.

My thoughts:

With the Andie/Roman cliffhanger that ended Text 2 Lovers, I had to pick up Hate 2 Lovers immediately. I loved Andie and Roman’s dynamic so much in that first book. I couldn’t wait to see what was going to become of their crazy interactions.

Hate 2 Lovers was everything that I had hoped it would be. First, it was hilarious. Andie was just so much. She’s over the top even more than she was in the last book. I couldn’t get enough of her crazy antics. Second, it was sweet. Despite his outer grumble, Roman had a soft and gooey center. He would have done anything for Andie, and it was so sweet! Third, there was all sorts of crazy drama that made the story entertaining. I would like to say I think both Andie and Roman learned some valuable lessons in some tough ways. Finally, it made me want to read the third book — about a couple I actually wasn’t interested in at all.

I guess what I’m saying is the writing was exceptional all around. Bravo to K. Webster and J.D. Hollyfield for this incredibly fun contemporary romance.

Diary of a Bad Boy Cover Reveal

 

 

 

 

Dear Diary,

I might have gotten myself into a wee bit of trouble—and I’m not talking about the “court mandated community service,” or “therapy sessions from bashing a bloke in the head” kind of trouble.

I wish it were that simple.

Nope. I’m talking about the “falling in love with one of my client’s daughters,” kind of trouble . . .
The kind of problem I can’t talk my way out of when the truth gets out.

How I ended up with her phone is a long story—and when she called to get it back, I took things a bit too far. One innocent exchange wound up leading to so much more.

Fun, new, and totally immune to my charm, Sutton is different. And I had no idea she was the daughter of Foster Green.

Blame it on the dark colored stout running through my veins, pushing me toward one bad decision after another. Pushing me toward her even though I know right from wrong; even though she’s my client’s daughter.

Dating her might be the best or worst decision I’ve ever made. Only time, whiskey, and one more roll around the mattress with her will tell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.

Facebook | Follow on Goodreads | Website | Amazon Author Page | Instagram | Follow on BookBub

Review: Motion (Penny Reid)

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Motion, the first in the all-new Laws of Physics Trilogy from Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author Penny Reid, is available now!

Motion
Series: Laws of Physics, #1; Hypothesis, #2.1
Author: Penny Reid
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Publisher: EverAfter Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

One week.
Home alone.
Girl genius.
Unrepentant slacker.
Big lie.
What’s the worst that could happen?

Mona is a smart girl and figured everything out a long time ago. She had to. She didn’t have a choice. When your parents are uber-celebrities and you graduate from high school at fifteen, finish college at eighteen, and start your PhD program at nineteen, you don’t have time for distractions outside of your foci. Even fun is scheduled. Which is why Abram, her brother’s best friend, is such an irritant.

Abram is a talented guy, a supremely gifted musician, and has absolutely nothing figured out, nor does he seem to care. He does what he feels, when he feels, and—in Mona’s opinion—he makes her feel entirely too much.


Penny Reid really does write smart romances. This one was so smart that it was over my head at moments. laughs I only wish I was joking! I feel like I need to go back to science classes for this one, people! It doesn’t help that I didn’t have to take physics… Anyways.

Motion was a fun read. It had all the elements I love in a Penny Reid romance. Her writing is just as entertaining and fresh as always. The characters were original and quirky in the best ways. I was sucked into the story from the very beginning. There was way more going on than the blurb lets on, and couldn’t wait to find out how uptight Mona was going to deal with everything that came her way.

If I had to describe Mona, it would be as Janie 2.0 (Neanderthal Seeks Human, Knitting in the City #1). She was incredibly smart, liked things a certain way, and talked in a way that reminded me of Janie. Where with some authors I might say, “Didn’t I already read about this character in another book?”, Mona didn’t feel like a copycat version of Janie. She had her own personality, but was close enough to Janie that I felt an immediate connection to her. If that makes sense?

Abram… Well, I would have loved to been in his head. We didn’t get his point of view this book, and I was a little sad about that. I was very interested in his disposition. He was all laid back musician, but he pretty by the books. I found him almost as interesting as Mona did. I would have loved to have known more about what he was thinking.

Mona and Abram had this incredibly fun dynamic going on. I can’t tell you exactly what it was because I don’t want to spoil it, but it was highly entertaining. From the minute I started reading it, I was like “Uh oh. This can’t be good…” I say that in a good way. There was so much fun to be had! I say that in a good way! I loved reading Mona’s reactions to her feelings about Abram. I do have to say that I wasn’t at all satisfied with how their time together played out, BUT that’s only because it ended in a big old, whopping cliffhanger. (DANG IT!)

Now that I’ve read Motion, I can’t wait for Space. I really, really, really want to know what’s next in Mona and Abram’s world. I can only imagine what’s going to happen… I am also very interested in going back and reading a few of the Penny Reid books that I haven’t read yet because I know some of the characters from this book are in those books.

Overall, Motion was a great smart romance — cliffhanger and all. I can’t wait to get my hands on Space!

Laws of Physics is the second trilogy in the Hypothesis series; Laws of Physics parts 1 (MOTION) & 2 (SPACE) end with a cliffhanger.

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Download your copy today!


Amazon: https://amzn.to/2T5iZt
AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2QYvTaB
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/Motion
Nook: http://bit.ly/2R1mpvn
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ASuOfq
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2DoH8pv
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2T4ebo9

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Enter the Giveaway:

MOTIONBT.jpg

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Pre-order the rest of the series today!

Space

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2SL7P09
AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2WOXsrj
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/SpacePR
Nook: http://bit.ly/2I1Rekw
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2GzSvwS
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2RRny94
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2tfBT5C

Time

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Gk59Aq
AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2MYQ73J
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/TimePR
Nook: http://bit.ly/2TFwsIH
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2RTODZD
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2Sm1Zmu
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2WSQbXe

Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Connect with Penny:

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2AXQQxj
GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2sCQ1pi
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Stay up to day with Penny by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2szN34G
www.pennyreid.ninja

WWW Wednesday: February 20, 2019

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

This week, I read some of the books off my TBR.  I read Whatever Life Throws at You, Beautiful Stranger (Beautiful Bastard, #2), Work in Progress (Red Lipstick Coalition, #3), and Built (Saints of Denver, #1). I also read one ARC: Bennett Mafia.


Currently Reading

I am reading I Owe You One.

Reading Next

I don’t really have a plan on what I am going to pick up next. We’ll see what I feel like reading.

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

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 is Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads. 


1. Stacking the Deck
Author: C.L. Collier
5 Ratings

2. 25: Angels and Assists
Author: Mignon Mykel
62 Ratings

3. Saving Me
Author: Sadie Allen
141 Ratings

4. Sleepover
Author: Serena Bell
217 Ratings

5. Reckless King
Author: Maya Hughes
291 Ratings

6. Sweet Girl
Author: Sierra Hill
295 Ratings

7. Stripped
Author: Zoey Castile
374 Ratings

8. Six Feet Under
Author: Whitney Barbetti
429 Ratings

9. For Crosby
Author: J. Nathan
451 Ratings

10. 4th & Girl
Author: Max Monroe
577 Ratings