Review: Faker (Sarah Smith)

Faker
Author: Sarah Smith
Publication Date: October 8, 2019
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Debut author Sarah Smith nails this fun and sexy multicultural romance where two office foes hammer out their differences to build a love that will last…

Emmie Echavarre is a professional faker. She has to be to survive as one of the few female employees at Nuts & Bolts, a power tool company staffed predominantly by gruff, burly men. From nine to five, Monday through Friday, she’s tough as nails–the complete opposite of her easy-going real self.

One thing she doesn’t have to fake? Her disdain for coworker Tate Rasmussen. Tate has been hostile to her since the day they met. Emmie’s friendly greetings and repeated attempts to get to know him failed to garner anything more than scowls and terse one-word answers. Too bad she can’t stop staring at his Thor-like biceps…

When Emmie and Tate are forced to work together on a charity construction project, things get…heated. Emmie’s beginning to see that beneath Tate’s chiseled exterior lies a soft heart, but it will take more than a few kind words to erase the past and convince her that what they have is real.


Faker is Sarah Smith’s début novel, and it’s a strong one. I was very impressed with the writing. It pulled me in right away. I loved the banter between Emmie and Tate. Their relationship was definitely solid in the hate to love game. I liked how things changed for them in a way that felt natural. I enjoyed reading their romance.

There a couple of things that bothered me, though. One was Emmie’s attitude toward Tate. I got why she put up a front with him, but I didn’t always like the way she antagonized him. I loved that she played a part to keep her co-workers respecting her in a predominantly male workplace, but a lot of the time Tate didn’t deserve what Emmie was dishing out. The second thing that bothered me was the twist. It’s not a twist I like in romance novels. I was disappointed that the author took the story there because there were a couple of opportunities for other twists that would have been less…disturbing?

In the end, I did enjoy Faker. Things ended in a way that I was good with and that brought back some of the happier feelings I had in the middle of the book. Emmie and Tate’s relationship was really cute for the most part. I’m looking forward to see what is next for Sarah Smith.

Review: The Billionaire Book Club (Max Monroe)

The Billionaire Book Club
Author: Max Monroe
Publication Date: September 12, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The Billionaire Book Club Questionnaire

#1: Who is your least favorite character in the book?
Me—Caplin Hawkins. I am an absolute idiot.

#2: Who is your favorite character?
Gorgeous, addictive, insanely challenging Ruby.
She’s smart, driven, self-confident, and so beautiful, she makes my chest ache.

#3 What is your biggest takeaway from the story?
Ruby Rockford and I are meant to be.
I just have to prove it to her.

For the entirety of my adult life, I’ve been content.
Content in my single lifestyle, content in my stressful-but-extremely-successful job as the main corporate counsel for almost every Fortune 500 company in North America, and content in my playful, spontaneous ways.

I had no idea it was possible for someone to change my mind.

The endless women and work are no longer enough, and just as Ruby Rockford told me—it’s about time I grow up.

It’s going to take a strategic attack from more than a couple brilliant minds to win her affection, but luckily, I know exactly where to find the right guys for the job…
The Billionaire Book Club.

It’s safe to say that I, Caplin Hawkins, the man most women would call The Ultimate Player, have finally met my match, and man oh man, has my end game changed.

I’m coming for you, Ruby.
And soon, you’ll be coming for me, too.


There’s nothing like a Max Monroe romantic comedy. They know how to bring the laughs in the most ridiculously funny way, and they did it again with The Billionaire Book Club.

Cap has reminded me of a Thatch Junior since I first met him in The Billionaire Boss Next Door. He’s not quite as zany as Thatch, but what he lacks in zaniness he makes up for in confidence. Womanizer Cap has a lot of confidence. Not quite enough to make his cockiness a complete turnoff, but enough to know he’s going to have to prove himself to the amazing Ruby.

Ruby is a normal chick with the ability to stand her ground when it comes to Cap. She’s a law student who is juggling a bunch of stuff (some of it super cool). I liked how down to Earth she was. Her level personality leveled out the craziness of Cap’s in the story.

I really loved Ruby and Cap’s story. Cap was chasing Ruby in a way that is guaranteed to make bookworms happy. It all revolves around that club mentioned in the title of the book. With the help of his book club, Cap woos Ruby in ways he’s not expecting. It was sweet, funny, and cute. (It reminded me a little of The Bromance Book Club, but in a happier way.)

As for that book club, there are some billionaire members you probably already love making some cameos. They add to the humor and it’s pretty priceless. Oh! And I have to mention Ruby and Cap’s parents. They were to die for. So perfectly fitted to Cap, Ruby, and the story.

Overall, this was just a super fun, hilarious romance. It’s another A+ novel for Max Monroe. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

WWW Wednesday: September 11, 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

 The past week was all about getting back into the swing of things with school and the soccer season starting for my daughter. My husband and I finished binge watching season 2 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, so I am back to reading in the evenings instead of watching TV. This week I read an ARC of Beard with Me (Winston Brothers, #5.5), The Reckless Oath We Made, This is Love (This Is, #3), The Girl in 6E (Deanna Madden, #1) and Malum:Part 2 (Elite Kings Club, #5).


Currently Reading

I started reading an ARC of Faker, but then I got an ARC of The Billionaire Book Club. I switched over to reading that because my review is due in a few days. Once I’m finished, then I’ll read the rest of Faker.

Reading Next

Next up will be the 5th book in the Like Us series, Sinful Like Us.

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My TBR I’m Avoiding Reading and Why

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 TBR I’m Avoiding Reading and Why

These are all books I own, but haven’t picked up for some reason.

1. From Sand and Ash

I love Amy Harmon’s books and I love historicals when I read them. For some reason the combination of the emotions and the historical aspects scare me with this one. I need to buck up and read it.

2. The Hate U Give

It’s the hype and the sheer size of the hardback I have. I also know it’s going to give me major feels after reading On the Come Up.

3. Theives 2 Lovers

The first book in this series was okay. The second book I loved. I don’t know what’s keeping me from picking this one up. I liked the preview of it… Mood, I guess.

4. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

I want to read it, but I won it and it’s a hardback. I prefer reading on my Kindle. I am going to read it ASAP, though, because I just read another of her books and loved it.

5. Against All Odds

This book made the Huffington Post’s Ugly Cry book list a couple of years ago. I had planned to read all of the books on the list, but didn’t finish. I am basically scared this one will make me sad.

6. Fighting Redemption

And another on that list…

7. Next Year in Havana

This is another case of I want to read it, but have the physical copy. I will read it soon, I swear!

8. Midnight Lily

I’ve wanted to read all of Mia Sheridan’s books since I read Archer’s Voice. I have been too scared of the emotions to pick this one up.

9. He Will Be My Ruin

I love K.A. Tucker’s writing, I just have to be in the right mood for a thriller. Maybe this will be my next book club pick.

10. Flight Patterns

I love Karen White’s writing. I don’t know why I haven’t picked this one up. I guess I just haven’t been in the mood.

Review: The Reckless Oath We Made (Bryn Greenwood)

The Reckless Oath We Made
Author: Bryn Greenwood
Publication Date: August 20, 2019
Publisher: J.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

A provocative love story between a tough Kansas woman on a crooked path to redemption and the unlikeliest of champions, from the New York Times bestselling author of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things.

Zee is nobody’s fairy tale princess. Almost six-foot, with a redhead’s temper and a shattered hip, she has a long list of worries: never-ending bills, her beautiful, gullible sister, her five-year-old nephew, her housebound mother, and her drug-dealing boss.

Zee may not be a princess, but Gentry is an actual knight, complete with sword, armor, and a code of honor. Two years ago the voices he hears called him to be Zee’s champion. Both shy and autistic, he’s barely spoken to her since, but he has kept watch, ready to come to her aid.

When an abduction tears Zee’s family apart, she turns to the last person she ever imagined–Gentry–and sets in motion a chain of events that will not only change both of their lives, but bind them to one another forever.


I’ve been sitting here staring at the computer screen trying to figure out what to say about The Reckless Oath We Made. I keep thinking about the blurb and the “provocative romance” label. Those two words describe this book, but not in the way some might think. It was provocative in the causing a strong reaction way, not the deliberately sexy sort of way. It had a sweet but infuriating romance. I don’t know that I would place it firmly in the romance category, though. The Reckless Oath We made was more of a mystery in some ways. Zee’s sister LeReigne has gone missing. Zee is on a mission to find her without the help of the police. Instead, her stalker/self-appointed “champion” Gentry is going to help her. Despite being two incredibly different people, they fall in love along the way.

I was addicted to Bryn Greenwood’s writing from the moment I started The Reckless Oath We Made. There was such beauty in words that could be so ugly at times. The way she crafted and directed the story kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was next. I loved the way she told this story through multiple points of view. Not only did we get Zee and Gentry’s POVs, but also several other characters’. All of those POVs gave a greater depth to this story and an even greater idea of who Zee and Gentry were and the things that happened.

Zee was a calculating, hard woman whose personal opinion of right and wrong is fluid. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to get her sister back. Some of the things she was willing to do did not sit right with me, but they made this book what it was. Gentry was an old soul with a strong sense of right and wrong who is determined to help his lady. He’s not only autistic, but schizophrenic. He speaks in Old English. (Even his POV is in Old English, which was a little frustrating at first.) Zee and Gentry were an odd combination that somehow worked in the most beautiful way. They saw each other in ways others missed. Their romance was inconceivable at first, yet totally understandable as things progressed.

The journey The Reckless Oath We Made took me on was not for the faint of heart. It was a beautifully ugly story. One that made both cringe and smile. It was weird and uncomfortable, yet totally enthralling. I really loved it. It reminded me of a Tarryn Fisher novel, which didn’t surprise me all that much since I decided to read this book based on Ms. Fisher’s recommendation of it on social media.

Review: Well Met (Jen DeLuca)

Well Met
Author: Jen De Luca
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

All’s faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author, Jen DeLuca.

Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?

The faire is Simon’s family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn’t have time for Emily’s lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she’s in her revealing wench’s costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they’re portraying?

This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can’t seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon, or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek.


Well Met is a book I picked up because all of my romance reader friends have been raving about it. Since they all loved it, I figured I would as well. I was right! It was so good. I couldn’t believe Well Met is Jen DeLuca’s début novel. It was so well written. It felt like a book by a seasoned author. It packed so much emotion — it even brought tears to my eyes. I was impressed by this début.

Normally, I like my romances to have dual points of view. Well Met didn’t have that. The entire story was told through Emily’s eyes. I was surprised at how well this worked for me. I think it’s because the romance, while a big part, wasn’t the complete focus of the story. It was more about how Emily was healing from a break up, moving to a small town, reuniting with her sister and niece, and working through what was next for her. I loved experiencing her figuring it all out.

I have to admit I was a little apprehensive about the Renaissance Faire theme. I wasn’t sure if this setting would work for me or not. It did. I found myself loving the scenes at the faire. They added another level to Emily and Simon’s relationship that I wasn’t expecting.

As for Emily and Simon… I really liked them together. I liked them together so much that I was a little sad that there wasn’t as much to it as I was hoping. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of deep and important moments between them. It’s hard to explain, but their romance was a slow burn that felt kind of like insta-love. It took a while for them to get together, but they were in love the minute they were finally together. I felt like I missed something in between those stages. Maybe I just had a hard time combining their acting at the faire with their real life romance.

Overall, this was a strong début novel. It was filled with memorable characters and a great story line. It’s made me very excited to find out what’s next for Jen DeLuca. Selfishly, I’m hoping this novel becomes a series and I get to know more of the other characters better.

Review: Jock Road (Sara Ney)

Jock Road
Series: Jock Hard, #3
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: September 5, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

EAT. SLEEP. FOOTBALL.

Those are Jackson Jennings, Jr’s three mantras . His entire life, he’s been a trained athlete with only one end-game: the Pro’s. No girls. No parties. No alcohol.

EAT. SLEEP. FOOTBALL.

Repeat.

Every Friday night, Triple J cruises the strip on campus, bored, lonely and conditioned not to party. But the night he meets Charlotte Edmonds on the side of the road, he wonders if his three mantras will ever be enough.

BIG. DUMB. JOCK.

Charlie has no time for Jackson’s antics. Not when he’s stealing her food or teases her to no end, making her tingle in all the right places. But if she’s ever going to have a boyfriend, she’d choose one who isn’t a Neanderthal. One with manners and actual time to spend with her. Not a hulking man-child who cruises the strip at night, in his Big. Dumb. Truck.


Cute. There isn’t a word to better describe Jock Road. It’s a cute college romance between a big, dumb jock and a girl who wants nothing to do with him. Or at least that’s how it starts out. Jackson (or Triple J as he’s sometimes called) isn’t all that dumb. He’s actually sweet and has Southern charm to boot. Charlotte (or Charlie as her friends call her) just thinks Jackson’s an oaf until she gets to know him. Jock Road is really all about Jackson and Charlotte getting to know each other, dealing with their preconceived notions and pasts, and falling in love.

I loved Charlotte and Jackson. They had some great almost enemy type banter going on at first. Then things started to get cute with some fun text messages. In the end, there was a very sweet and slightly deep love story. The progression of their relationship felt normal and not at all instant. I loved that about it.

I really love what Sara Ney has done with this Jock Hard series. Every book, including this one, is super cute and funny. There’s little drama and no angst. The entire series is pure fun. I loved this addition to the series.

Available HERE:Amazon
Free in KU

Meet the Author:
 
Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives in the Midwest, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British. 
 
For a list of cities/venues Sara will be signing at, or to purchase signed books, please visit her website at www.authorsaraney.com
Hosted By:

WWW Wednesday: September 4, 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 spent the long weekend enjoying the beauty of Cannon Beach, Oregon. We camped and played on the beach. It was so much fun. Now, it’s back to reality and the start of school. I can’t believe it, but my kiddo is starting 6th grade and junior high. Time flies. I didn’t read that much this week — not only because of camping, but because we have been binge watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The only book I read was Jock Road (Jock Row, #2).

Currently Reading

I’m now reading Well Met.

Reading Next

I am planning on picking something off my TBR based on my mood, so I’m not exactly sure what will be next.

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed That Are Outside of My Comfort Zone

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 I Enjoyed That Are Outside of My Comfort Zone

1. Six of Crows

2. The Raging Ones

3. The Girl With All the Gifts

4. Ready Player One

5. Red Queen

6. The Ghosts of Heaven

7. Sugar Skulls

8. The Bird and the Sword

9. Waking Olivia

10. Scoring Wilder

Review: Twice in a Blue Moon (Christina Lauren)

Twice in a Blue Moon
Author: Christina Lauren
Publication Date: October 22, 2019
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners and the “delectable, moving” (Entertainment Weekly) My Favorite Half-Night Stand comes a modern love story about what happens when your first love reenters your life when you least expect it…

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of young love and second chances.


Twice in a Blue Moon is one of Christina Lauren’s books that is on the emotional rather than humorous side of things. I appreciate how they are able to write both types of books well. I have to admit that Twice in a Blue Moon wasn’t my favorite of their books. I had some mixed feelings about it despite loving their writing.

This book basically had two parts. The first was in the past. Tate and Sam meet in London and quickly fall in love. I was thankful that Christina Lauren decided to give us this time all at once and not in flashbacks. It was nice to see how Tate and Sam’s romance started back then and how everything fell apart because of Sam’s actions. I didn’t completely connect to their relationship at this point in the story because it was two young adults falling in love almost instantly and I had a hard time believing that. I did like how it set up for the future, though.

The second part of this book was set in present day, approximately 14 years later. Tate is now a famous actress. She runs into Sam on the set of her film unexpectedly. It’s not a happy reunion because of Sam’s betrayal, but Tate at least will get some answers. This was my favorite part of the story. I liked how Tate had to navigate the her truths and decide what she wanted to believe when it came to the past and things going on in the present.

Where Twice in a Blue Moon lost me was the pace of the story. The first two weeks felt long because of the detail of them. The present felt like it flew by because of the way time jumped and how quickly the characters moved. It felt like things ended abruptly and there wasn’t a clear resolution. I still enjoyed this book despite that, but I think I could have loved it with a little more attention to the end.