Review: Heartache and Hope (Jay McLean)

Heartache and Hope
Series: Heartache Duet, #1
Author: Jay McLean
Publication Date: June 28, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Ava Diaz needs saving.
She just doesn’t know it yet.
Just like she doesn’t know a thing about the boy she sits next to on the first day of senior year.
He thinks she’s a brat.
She thinks he’s entitled.
Maybe first impressions don’t always last…
Because Connor Ledger’s about to save her.
He just doesn’t know why.


From the blurb, it sounds like Heartache and Hope is an enemies to lovers (for a lack of better word for a YA book). The line “Maybe first impressions don’t always last…” is accurate and this story quickly shifted away from that trope. Heartache and Hope was really about two high school students who have heavy burdens to carry. Ava and Connor should both be avoiding distractions, but they can’t get past their attraction for each other. Their relationship can’t be what a normal high school relationship should be, so there’s some heartache and some hope.

Since this is a duet, I don’t want to say too much about the plot. What I will tell you is that Jay McLean is back in a big way. She’s given us an emotionally charged romance filled with angst. There are so many ups and downs my head was spinning. I have to admit the angst was hard for me at times — but that’s because of some stuff I have going on in the background, not the book.

Ava and Connor… Man, their lives were tough. They each had something big they were dealing with and I was actually pretty amazed at how they handled things. I don’t know that I always agreed with their decisions, but I understood them. They were a very sweet couple.

As for the rest of the gang, there were characters I loved and characters I loved to hate. Trevor, Rhys, and Corey were my faves. Peter needs to go. I don’t like him and his being involved in the story makes me nervous.

Heartache and Hope ends in a cliffhanger. It wasn’t one that completely shocked me, but it did make me wish I already had the second book to read. I’m very curious to find out where things are going to go for Ava and Connor. I’m not just talking their romance. I am curious how life is going to evolve for them separately as well.

Review: One Little Lie (Whitney Barbetti)

One Little Lie
Author: Whitney Barbetti
Publication Date: June 27, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Blurb:

Adam Oliver hated me. Loathed my very existence. He had every right to, but that didn’t make my life any easier the afternoon I had to rescue him on the side of the road. But worse than rescuing a guy who hated me to his core was the lie I told my parents. Because I’d just told them that my long-term boyfriend was finally back in town. My long-term boyfriend who didn’t actually exist. The one named Adam Oliver—the guy I’d crushed on all through high school. So the real Adam had no idea that he and I were engaged in a years-long, committed, serious relationship. And, somehow, some way, I needed to convince him to play along with my one little lie.


I have been obsessed with Whitney Barbetti’s writing since I read her Mad Love duet. I was so impressed by that duet that I read some of her back list books. I’ve also kept an eye out for her new releases. When I read the blurb for One Little Lie I knew I had to read it. I love enemies to lovers romances and this one sounded pretty epic with that one little lie.

Ms. Barbetti’s writing was just as addictive as I remembered it being. I was immediately wrapped up in the characters and the emotions of the story. The tension between Hollis and Adam was palpable. The angst… There was just the right amount of it. I didn’t feel too overwhelmed by it. It was spread pretty evenly throughout the book and only really amped up in the right moments. There was also a ton of fun banter to even things out and bring a lighter feel when needed.

I really loved both Hollis and Adam. Hollis was the good girl from a rich family that did as she was told. She didn’t seem to have much of a backbone, hence the one little lie. I liked how she grew throughout this book and learned to be her best self. Also, her crush on Adam was super cute. Adam was Hollis’ opposite. He was a guy who dealt with the hardships life tossed at him. He stood up for his beliefs without worrying what others thought. He also had this huge chip on his shoulder.

Hollis and Adam’s fake relationship felt different from ones I have read before — even the enemies to lovers one. I think that’s because it felt more slow burn. It wasn’t just slow burn in the romance department. It was slow burn in the tension between the characters and Adam getting over his feelings of being wronged by Hollis. He really held onto his preconceived notions for a long time. I liked that because it made the story feel more real. People can hold grudges. They don’t always hold them for very long in books. Adam was the exception and his reasoning was easy to relate to.

Another great thing about One Little Lie was the secondary characters. I loved how Hollis and Adam were connected through their friends. I really liked Keane and Navy. I’m hoping they will each get a book. I also really loved Adam’s sweet relationship with his sister Casey and his grandmother.

There wasn’t anything that I didn’t like about One Little Lie. It was just such a great enemies to lovers romance. You won’t want to miss it if that trope is your jam.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US | Amazon Worldwide

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Review: The Accidental Girlfriend (Emma Hart)

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The Accidental Girlfriend
Author: Emma Hart
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Top Tip: Don’t put out an online ad offering your services as a fake date. Someone will take you up on it.

And it won’t just be for one night.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I ended up being Mason Jackson’s fake girlfriend.

He didn’t even want me to be. No—his sister was solely responsible for me being his date for his ten-year high school reunion.

Now, she’s responsible for telling his parents our relationship is real.

We have no choice. We have to act like this isn’t all a mistake, like it’s not all fake, like we’re totally, completely, utterly, head-over-heels in love with each other.

Simple, right?

Wrong.


Things have been stressful the last couple of weeks, and I have been looking for a book that would take my mind off things. The Accidental Girlfriend was the perfect book to do just that. It was an incredibly funny romantic comedy.

Lauren was a character — literally and figuratively. She had this self-proclaimed odd sense of humor. I dug it. Her comments had me cracking up constantly. What made this even better was that Mason got it. Where others might have found Lauren certifiable, Mason had a similar sense of humor. It made their witty banter even more enjoyable and made their chemistry undeniable. I couldn’t get enough of them together. The way everything went down between them was perfection.

Not only were Lauren and Mason romantic comedy gold, the supporting characters were just as funny. Lauren’s friends were funny and made for a great team, but Mason’s family almost stole the book. Oh my goodness. Pru and the old men killed me. They were priceless. I just couldn’t get enough of their antics!

If you want a funny romantic read, you must read The Accidental Girlfriend. It might just have eclipsed Miss Fix It as my favorite Emma Hart book. It’s made me excited to see what’s coming next from her.

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Download your copy of The Accidental Girlfriend today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HQvW8q

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2uxT9DN

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Nook: http://bit.ly/2WDf3S9

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2OxtYdD

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Emma Hart is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels and has been translated into several different languages.

She is a mother, wife, lover of wine, Pink Goddess, and valiant rescuer of wild baby hedgehogs.

Emma prides herself on her realistic, snarky smut, with comebacks that would make a PMS-ing teenage girl proud.

Yes, really. She’s that sarcastic.

EmmaHart

Connect with Emma

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmmaHartBooks/

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Website: https://www.emmahart.org/home

Review: Let Go (Allie Winters)

Let Go
Author: Allie Winters
Publication Date: June 30, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

She keeps her heart locked up tight

Putting yourself out there? Getting close to others? No, thanks, I’ll pass. It’s safer to keep to yourself. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way. So when I accidentally tell the muscled hunk I’ve been secretly drooling over all semester how I really feel about him, it’s not like I meant for him to take an interest in me. I don’t want a boyfriend. Not even when it turns out he’s so much more than just brawn.

My goal for so long has been simple – get into grad school. And when I get a dream TA position at the beginning of the new semester that will help me achieve just that, I’ll have to forget about him now that he’s my student. Easy, right?

He wants her to let go of all that control

I can’t get her out of my head – the shy, sexy brunette that’s trying so hard to keep me at a distance. I can be patient, though. Anything to break through that reserve and get under her shields. But just when I thought I’ve succeeded, she’s off-limits. Say hello to my new TA. Even though I’m hot for teacher, there’s no way she would risk this opportunity. Right?


I had a hard time melding all of my thoughts for Let Go into a review, so I’m going to be breaking things down by the good, the bad, and the confusing. Here we go!

The good:

  • Let Go is Allie Winters’ debut novel. Her writing was good. What happened in Let It Go felt like something that could happen in real life. The descriptions were great and she was able to blend both seriousness and humor into one story. It was filled with awkward moments that were priceless. I can imagine that over time Allie Winters’ writing is really going to shine.
  • Charlotte and Luke’s relationship was cute. I liked them together. She was kind of weird and uptight, and he was more relaxed and fun. Luke balanced Charlotte out in a lot of great ways.

The bad:

  • Let Go started out slow. The first couple of chapters are Charlotte’s thoughts and stuff that happens to her without any real interactions from Luke. I found Charlotte annoying in those first couple of chapters. It wasn’t until Luke and Charlotte actually interacted that I became invested. It would have been nice if that would have happened in the first chapter.

The confusing:

  • This felt almost like two books in one. When you read the blurb, it sounds like a student – TA romance. I actually forgot all about that part of the blurb because the first 44% was Charlotte and Luke building up to a relationship. Then at 44% the student – TA thing popped up. It was slighting jarring.
  • The switch at 44% also brought with it a different feel to the book. The only way I can think to describe it is that Charlotte’s character quickly changed a bit. She was more awkward in the first part. In the second she became more mature and adventurous. It’s not that I didn’t like this Charlotte, I just wasn’t completely sold on the change.

Back to the good:

  • Luke was the character who shined. He was the constant in this book. His feelings and thoughts never wavered. I liked how pure his intentions were and how he pushed Charlotte a bit.
  • Looking back on the entire book, I can say I really enjoyed Luke and Charlotte’s relationship. There were so many funny and entertaining things that happened or were said. Like I said before, it was cute.

Overall, I would say I enjoyed reading this book despite feeling a little thrown off by some of it. My favorite thing about it was how humorous and close to real life it was.

WWW Wednesday: June 26, 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

 I read ARCs of Heartache and Hope (Heartache Duet, #1), Let Go, and The Accidental Girlfriend. I also read A Pizza My Heart (Slice, #1).


Currently Reading

I am reading an ARC of One Little Lie.

Reading Next

I am not sure what I will read next. I’ve definitely been mood reading lately.

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

Cover Reveal: My Brother’s Billionaire Best Friend (Max Monroe)

MBBBF - CR banner.jpg

One minute, I’m a woman trying to find her way in the world, and the next, I’m the sender of six of the most embarrassing text messages that have ever been sent in the history of time—or the cell phone.

Whatever.

My Brother’s Billionaire Best Friend, a hilarious romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Max Monroe, is coming July 18th and we have the fantastic new cover!

MBBBF_Cover.jpg

Mabel “Maybe” Willis died a virgin at the very young age of twenty-four.

She leaves behind her parents, Betty and Bruce, her brother, Evan, a laptop filled with one too many Jason Momoa memes, and a Kindle library with more books than one human being could ever finish in a lifetime.

Cause of death: a text message.

Okay. So, I didn’t die.

But I may as well have.

One minute, I’m a woman trying to find her way in the world, and the next, I’m the sender of six of the most embarrassing text messages that have ever been sent in the history of time—or the cell phone. Whatever.

We’re talking code red, send a flipping mayday, the apocalypse is coming kind of texts.

And I didn’t just send them to some random person I’ll never see again.

No. That would be too easy.

I sent them to Milo Ives.

The man who played a starring role in all of my teenage fantasies—and my brother’s lifelong best friend.

And, boy oh boy, has he grown up.

He’s hard-bodied, blue-eyed, jawline-of-stone handsome, crazy successful, and has more money in his bank account than my brain can fathom.

Deflower me, please? I said.

Yeah. Send help.

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/317HY3w

About Max Monroe:

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

Connect with Max Monroe:

Website: https://www.authormaxmonroe.com/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/max-monroe

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ReoxkK

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormaxmonroe/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormaxmonroe/

Stay up to date with Max Monroe by joining their mailing list today: https://www.authormaxmonroe.com/newsletter

Review: Superfan (Sarina Bowen)

Superfan
Series: Brooklyn Brusiers, #6
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Sometimes lady luck shakes your hand, and sometimes she smacks your face. Sometimes she does both on the same day.

Three years ago I met the most amazing girl in the world. We were both down on our luck. Then I got that call—the one that tells you to get your buns on a plane to go meet your destiny.

But the girl was left behind. I didn’t have her phone number, and she didn’t know my real name.

While I became a professional hockey player, she became a superstar, with platinum records and legions of fans. And a slick, music producer boyfriend who treated her badly.

But fate wasn’t done with us yet. When Delilah turns up at a hockey game, I can’t resist making contact. The internet swoons when I ask her out on a date.

She might not remember me. But her jerkface ex does. He’ll do anything to keep us apart.

Good thing athletes never give up. This time I’m playing for keeps.


Reading a Brooklyn Bruisers book by Sarina Bowen is like meeting up for a coffee date with an old friend. There’s this comfort to them both, but also excitement and fun. The setting and characters aren’t entirely new, but their story is. Reading Superfan made me so happy!

I loved Superfan from the very beginning. (If I’m being honest, I knew I was going to love it from all of the Silas and Delilah hints dropped in the previous books in the series.) I loved how it started with fame, television, hockey, and Twitter. It was just so much fun! I also enjoyed how it took me back to Silas and Delilah’s first meeting and the kiss that started it all. The set up for Silas and Delilah’s story was perfect.

Despite having the feeling I was going to love Superfan, I was a little nervous about Delilah’s rock star status. Rock star romances can be hit or miss. Superfan was definitely a hit. Being a rock star didn’t consume Delilah. Even though she was a hit singer, she was very down to Earth. What she did for a living didn’t have a too much of an impact on her personality when it came to her interactions with people. That made her character all that more likable. Delilah was super sweet. I loved her.

Silas was cute. His obsession with Delilah’s music is even more adorable now that I know all the reasons behind it. He was also a nice guy who truly cared about people’s well being. He showed that over and over again when it came to Delilah. I loved that he wasn’t a macho, cocky guy despite being a professional athlete. There really wasn’t anything not like about Silas.

In some ways, Silas and Delilah’s relationship felt like a slow burn romance because of the bits of the past included. In reality it was more of an instant love. They had this instant chemistry and connection. Some of their first interactions in the present almost seemed too fast and out of character for them. The more time I got to see them together, the more I understood that their feelings for each other may have been instant but they were lasting. Silas and Delilah truly did take time to get to know and trust each other, too. So, yeah. Their connection was instant, but their love was almost slow burn.

One of the pleasures of reading a series with this many books is the little snippets of old character friends one gets to see again. I adored getting to see Castro and Heidi again. Georgia and Leo, too. They all helped Silas in some fun ways. Oh! I can’t leave out Nate and Becca. Those two were made me smile so much!

There were also some new friends I found myself loving. First of all, Becky. Can Becky or Sarah get a book? Please, Sarina? I think your next Bruiser needs to fall for one of those girls. I also really liked Charla the manager. She was a force.

Superfan was just so much fun to read. I loved being back with this family of characters. Silas and Delilah added another couple to my favorites list with their story. It was just so dang sweet! I know there’s already several Brooklyn Bruisers books, but it’s a series I don’t think I will ever get tired of. I hope there are more books to come. Cough Bayer Cough

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Summer 2019 TBR

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

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

Books On My Summer 2019 TBR

Here are some of the books on my TBR backlist that I hope to read this summer.


1. Second Chance Summer

2. Flight Patterns

3. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

4. Gemina

5. The Hate U Give

6. From Sand and Ash

7. The Edge of Never

8. Amour Amour

9. He Will Be My Ruin

10. Fighting Redemption

Review: Teardrop Shot (Tijan)

Teardrop Shot
Author: Tijan
Publication Date: June 24, 2019
Publisher: Tijan
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

I asked for his criteria for bed buddies-that’s the PG version.

He swore at me and said he didn’t do groupies. And just like that, our friendship was off to a great start.

Reese Forster was the starting point guard for the Seattle Thunder.

Gorgeous. Cocky. Loved by the nation.

He’s also attending preseason basketball training camp where I used to work.

Correction: where I work again, because I was fired from my last job.

And dumped.

And I might have a tiny bit of baggage, but that’s normal. Right?

Reese and I shouldn’t have become friends. We shouldn’t have become roommates.

And we really shouldn’t have started sleeping together … (Except we did.)

I’m adorably psychotic. He’s in the NBA.
This is not a disaster waiting to happen, at all.


I feel like Tijan heard my prayers and answered with Teardrop Shot. I have been rereading and revisiting her published books over and over again this spring. I love the affect her writing has on my emotions, and I have been really into that lately. Teardrop Shot gave me a new book of Tijan’s to fall in love with.

What made me love Teardrop Shot? Pretty much everything about it. It had that Tijan infused emotion I was begging for. What impressed me was that the heavy emotions didn’t take over and make this book depressing. There was a lightness and fun to it despite what the characters were feeling. It was uplifting rather than depressing.

When I first met Charlie’s character I was a little worried I wasn’t going to like her. She was odd. Charlie grew on me quickly, though. She had this question thing going on that I adored. It kind of made the book. Her truths truly surprised me and shaped this story in an unexpected way that I loved. I have to admit I shed a few tears over what went down with Damien.

Reese… You’re going to love him. That’s probably all I need to say about him.

Another major player in Teardrop Shot were the settings. I loved the camp setting. It made for such a great introduction between Charlie and Reese. Plus, it enabled me to get to know both Charlie and Reese’s friends at the same time. Those friendships were so special and fun. The only bad thing about camp was Charlie’s boss. I hated that guy!

Teardrop Shot also took us to Seattle. Being from Western Washington, it was fun to see Seattle get a basketball team. We (the people of Seattle) are still not happy with the Sonics’ move to Oklahoma. Which leads to me to my biggest beef with this book — Tijan, how could you make the team name the Seattle Thunder?!?! That was just wrong! It’s either got to be the Sonics or a made up team.

I guess I can forgive that Seattle Thunder thing, though, because I loved every minute I spent with Teardrop Shot. It’s a must read if you like sports romance.

Giveaways:

$50 Gift Card Giveaway: 

Review: In It to Win It (Kelly Jamieson)

In It to Win It
Series: Wynn Hockey, #2
Author: Kelly Jamieson
Publication Date: July 23, 2019
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

JP Wynn: I admit, I’ve made some bad choices—on and off the ice.
Now all I want to do is show my team I can control my emotions while I’m playing and redeem myself with my family, especially with my brother, Théo.
I hate that I hurt him and I’m determined to stay out of trouble.
But the hot bridesmaid at Théo’s wedding is tempting me into another bad decision.
A little flirting and a hook up with Taylor seem harmless . . . until Manny Martinez jumps me on the dance floor and starts beating the crap out of me.
And just like that I add one more bad decision to my résumé.

Taylor Hart: I always thought hockey players were hot. Now I think they’re crazy.
Manny broke my heart when he got traded to another team and left without even a goodbye.
Then he showed up at my best friend’s wedding. All I wanted to do was show Manny that I was over him.
And the groom’s sexy brother, JP, seemed more than willing to be my distraction.
But after the way everything went down, I want nothing to do with any of them.
Easier said than done. Especially when Lacey’s new brother-in-law is always around. . . .
And I keep thinking about the wedding night, when we snuck away to his room for the best sex of my life.


When I read the first book in the Wynn Hockey series, there were two things I wasn’t impressed with: JP Wynn and the big Wynn family tree I had to learn. I’m happy to say both of those issues were resolved in In It to Win It.

In It to Win It is JP’s book. JP wasn’t the jerk I wasn’t expecting him to be after getting to know him in book 1 as the guy who stole his brother’s girl. He was just a guy who made some poor decisions. I loved how this book had him examining his actions and trying to do better. I loved how he actively worked on making his relationship with his brother better. I also liked his choice in women.

Taylor as JP’s love interest was a surprise to me. Last I knew she was into Manny. I had been pulling for her and Manny, so I wasn’t sure I would buy into a relationship between her and JP. She was just too nice. Once I started this book, I totally got her reasons for hooking up with JP. Taylor and her motives were so easy to relate to. I also found myself a fan of their chemistry and relationship. I loved how it grew — even when it was filled with so much up and down drama that sometimes I felt like I was getting whiplash.

As for the crazy Wynn family tree, now that I knew what was going on with them, it took less explaining and time away from the story. I loved seeing bits and pieces of the family. They became more endearing. I can’t wait to see how some of those relationships work out and the single family members find love.

Overall, In It to Win It was another fun contemporary hockey romance by Kelly Jamieson. I would recommend it to sports romance lovers.