Review: Unforgiven (Jay Crownover)

I am so excited to celebrate the release of UNFORGIVEN by Jay Crownover with you today by participating in the blog tour! UNFORGIVEN is part of the Loveless, Texas series and you can grab your copy now. Join Jay’s Group for details about all of her titles.

Unforgiven
Series: Loveless, Texas, #2
Author: Jay Crownover
Publication Date: February 25, 2020
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series comes an irresistible and suspenseful romance between a tough Texas Ranger and his first love–a woman in danger who insists she doesn’t need his protection.
Hill Gamble is a model lawman: cool and collected, with a confident swagger to boot. Too bad all that Texas charm hasn’t gotten him anywhere in his personal life, especially since the only girl he ever loved has always been off-limits. But then Hill is assigned to investigate her father’s mysterious death, and he’s forced back to the town–and the woman–he left behind.
When Hill left Loveless, he broke Kody Lawton’s already battered heart. And now that he’s working on her father’s case, avoiding him is impossible. She can handle Hill and her unwanted feelings–until he puts his life on the line to protect her. Suddenly, Kody realizes that Hill could be taken away from her…for good.


I was immediately drawn into Kody and Hill’s story from the very beginning. They had such an emotionally charged connection that drew them together as well as kept them apart. I loved their dynamic and how they found their way to each other.

Kody and Hill’s romance almost felt like a side story compared to the romantic suspense plot of the story. So much was going on with the investigation into Kody’s father’s murder that it pretty much took over the entire book. I’m not really complaining about that. It was interesting.

What I am going to complain about it the ending. Was there really an ending? That was my question when the Epilogue suddenly began and then again when I closed Unforgiven for the final time. First, Kody basically just explained how things are working out for her with Hill. It wasn’t really an HEA in my opinion and left me disappointed and wanting more. Second, the romantic suspense aspect of the story wasn’t tied off. The Epilogue felt more like one big push toward the next book in that series. Granted, I am SUPER curious about that book now. So while I enjoyed reading Unforgiven, I just felt let down in the end.

Grab your copy of UNFORGIVEN today!

Amazon | Nook | Apple Books | Kobo

Add UNFORGIVEN to your Goodreads TBR here!

Grab your copy of UNFORGIVEN today!
Amazon | Nook | Apple Books | Kobo

———————

About JAY CROWNOVER:

  Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, The Point Series, Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road. Connect with her: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Reader Group IS-Blogger-1-1024x158

Review: One Big Mistake (Whitney Barbetti)

One Big Mistake
Author: Whitney Barbetti
Publication Date: February 27, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is an unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

One night together could ruin everything…

Keane Colburn was my best friend. Ever since childhood, we could always count on each other to be there no matter what—though when I confessed my love to him, things didn’t turn out as planned.

Thankfully, my little crush didn’t ruin our friendship. I shoved those feelings to the back of my mind, watching him chase after other girls and silently wishing it was me. I resigned us to friendship—that was more important than anything else.

But a drunken one-night stand changed everything. Because even though we vowed to forget about it, I couldn’t get it out of my head. And as old memories began to rise to the surface, our lives collided in ways we had never imagined.


I’ve been in this weird reading mood lately — almost a funk of sorts. I’ve read some good books and I’ve read some mediocre books. When One Big Mistake hit my Kindle, I thought, “This is the book I’ve been waiting for.” I don’t know how I knew it was going to get me out of my funk, but I was right. One Big Mistake WAS the book I was waiting for.

Why? Well, let me break it down without giving too much away.

This is a best friends to lovers story that starts off with an accidental bang…if you know what I’m saying. Keane and Navy have a lot of feelings to work through. Navy – her unrequited crush on Keane. Keane – not seeing Navy as someone other than a best friend. It’s all very cute, even when it was a little distressing.

Navy is a nice girl who tries to help everyone. She puts herself last. The little distressing I talked about before goes with this aspect of her personality. It is both one of the best and worst things about her. A few times I wanted to give her a good shake. Keane, on the other hand, is a much more relaxed character. He is kind of oblivious, but totally lovable. Together, they balance each other out in a good way. Their friendship and possible relationship is super sweet and all sorts of fun.

A couple other things to come play in this book. Family has a big impact. Keane’s family issues are subtler in this book, but just as important as the family drama going on in Navy’s life. Navy’s sisters…Oh please, dear God. Do not let my daughter act like them when she gets older!

One thing that surprised me was I expected other friends to be a bigger part of this book.  This books is related to One Little Lie and I just expected those characters to be a larger part of the story. They all weren’t, but at least Tori played a little part. Navy’s interactions with her were priceless and important.

Overall, One Big Mistake was a great best friends to lovers romance. I could tell Whitney Barbetti put a lot of thought into the actions and reactions of Keane and Navy. Their relationship felt like something that could truly happen in real life between best friends. I loved every minute of it.

Review: The Honey-Don’t List (Christina Lauren)

The Honey-Don’t List
Authors: Christina Lauren
Publication Date: March 24, 2020
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

From the “hilariously zany and heartfelt” (Booklist) Christina Lauren comes a romantic comedy that proves if it’s broke, you might as well fix it.


Over the past couple of years, I have become familiar with pretty much all of Christina Lauren’s books. Some have been major hits for me, while a couple have been misses. The last book of theirs I read was on the wanting more from it side of things, so I decided to go into The Honey-Don’t List with zero expectations. I didn’t even read the blurb before starting it. I’m glad I did this because my mind wasn’t expecting it to be anything like any other book they had written before…and it wasn’t.

The Honey-Don’t List was written in a way I liked. It started out with a police interview that grabbed my attention and gave me a little mystery. Then the story went back in time to where everything all began to slowly start to unravel that mystery with Carey and James’ point of views.

Carey and James’ story was more than just a romance. (In fact, the romance was on the light side in this book. It was still CL steamy, but took a back seat to everything else going on.) It was about two people in a horrible position due to their employers. The Tripps’ dysfunctional relationship took Carey and James on a wild ride that was certainly entertaining in the way you would expect things to be behind a reality TV show. I would be the first to admit that the Tripps tended to overshadow anything going to on with Carey and James’, but to me that was almost perfect because that’s how the relationship between the Tripps, Carey, and James was.

While I loved reading The Honey-Don’t List, I did have a couple of small gripes. One, things with the Tripps was left a little too open ended for me. Two, while I got just enough of Carey and James, I wouldn’t have minded a whole lot more of them. I have a feeling the amount of time spent on their relationship might be a make it or break it thing for some readers. BUT, like I said, I loved The Honey-Don’t List. It was fun and fresh and had some great humorous moments. That’s really what I expect when I sit down with a new Christina Lauren book.

WWW Wednesday: February 26, 2020

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 finished Australia and read Follow.

I finished listening to One of Us Is Next (One of Us Is Lying, #2). I also listened to Where the Crawdads Sing.

Currently Reading

I’m reading an ARC of One Big Mistake.

Reading Next

I have no idea what I’m going to read next. I’ve been mood reading, but I’ve also been in a weird reading mood.

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Follow On Social Media

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:

Characters I’d Follow On Social Media

Here are some of the characters I would follow on social media if they were real life people and why.

1. Frank Sanger
This Adventure Ends

Frank Sanger isn’t just the life of the party, he IS the party.

2. Kate
Bright Side

I feel like Kate would be all about creating positivity in the world.

3. Gus
Gus

Well, for one, Gus is a famous musician. He would also bring the world positivity like Kate.

4. Connor Cobalt
Fuel the Fire

I just imagine a lot of sarcasm and interesting facts.

5. Logan Kade
Fallen Crest High

Logan would bring the funny and make me laugh.

6. Farrow Keene
Lovers Like Us

I almost put Maximoff on this list instead, but I think Farrow’s social media would be more interesting. Plus, it would probably include a lot of Maximoff.

7. Daisy Jones & The Six
Daisy Jones & The Six

I would follow each band member separately and as a group. I would want to keep an eye to find out if they were coming to  my town.

8. Blake Riley
Good Boy

I can only imagine what a hockey player with a sense of humor would impart as wisdom to the world.

9. Cletus Winston
Beard Science

Cletus is crazy and smart in a peculiar way. I truly wonder what he would post. I can only imagine it would be entertaining.

10. Banner Regent
Real Good Man

I just like Banner’s personality. I imagine she would be fun to follow for a bunch of different reasons.

Series Review: Washington Wolves (Karla Sorenson)

A couple of weeks ago I received an author’s newsletter with a free book download. That book was Karla Sorensen’s The Marriage Effect. I love a good fake relationship and the blurb sounded super cute. I read it, and from there I was hooked. I had to read the entire series. Here’s my mini reviews for each book.

The Marraige Effect (book 3) – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I’m starting a little backwards, but since book 3 was my first by this author and of this series it’s where I feel I should start. I absolutely adored this book. Not only did it have a fake marriage of convenience, but it had a gruff and grumpy hero with a heart of gold. Logan Wade was a stand up guy who kept his professional football playing self out of the media. He had custody of his four younger sisters and that was the most important thing to him. I loved how falling for his fake wife, Paige, changed his and his sister’s lives. It was such a quick, sweet read that I knew I had to go back to where the series started.

The Bombshell Effect (book 1) – ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Since I had already read book 3, I kind of knew how this book was going to end up. What I didn’t know was how much fun it was going to be to experience Luke and Allie fall in love. Things started off on the wrong foot for them, but that made the story all that more entertaining. I loved their romance, how fierce of a dad Luke was, and how Allie stood up for herself. The Bombshell Effect was a strong start to the series — I almost wish I had read it before The Marriage Effect.

The Ex Effect (book 2) – ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

It can be tricky to pull off a book about someone falling in love with their sister’s ex-fiancé, but Karla Sorensen wrote this trope beautifully. The taboo of the situation wasn’t entirely left out, but the time between the relationships and the actual relationship between Ava and Matthew made it more than okay in my book. I loved them and I loved their love story. I was sad to be finished with this series (since I started with book 3).

But wait…

I wasn’t exactly finished with the world of the Washington Wolves. There’s a spin-off series!!! And it’s about Logan Wade’s sisters! There’s only one book out so far, but of course I had to finish my binge with it. Here’s a review for Focused.

Focused ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

In The Marriage Effect (Washington Wolves, #3), we met Logan Wade’s younger sister Molly. Molly may have been 16 in that book, but she’s all grown up now and working for the Washington Wolves organization. Her job has just reunited Molly with someone from her past, Noah. Neither of them are excited to work with each other, but the work time they have to spend together leads to something more. I have to admit I really loved this book and the romance at heart. Both of these characters had grown from their previous interactions in Logan and Paige’s book, and I enjoyed seeing how that shaped them and their new romance.

If you can’t already tell from these four mini reviews, I absolutely loved spending time with these characters. I cannot wait for books for Logan’s other sisters so I can keep revisiting this world.

Mini Reviews: Faking It, Keeper & One of Us Is Next

Faking It
Author: K. Bromberg
Publication Date: January 8, 2019
Publisher: JKB Publishing, LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Zane Phillips mistook me for his dog walker. It shouldn’t surprise me that the man with a suit more expensive than my rent would assume that I was there to serve him. The positive? I put him in his place. The negative? I missed my job interview because of it.

Now I find out he’s a rich Australian entrepreneur, and he wants to make up for tanking my interview. Yes, he’s impossibly hot – but he’s also an arrogant jackass—so . . . no thanks.

But after a little white lie I tell spirals out of control, I’m somehow offered the chance to play Zane’s girlfriend to help promote his new dating website – and the best part? He can’t say no because he’ll get caught in his lie too.

Little did I know this would entail sharing a tour bus with him for the next few months. The fact that the bus has just one bed isn’t the most ideal of circumstances, but this spokesperson gig might be the kick in the pants my career needs, so why not take a chance?

Famous last words.

Now I’m crisscrossing the country–and sharing that bed—with the one guy I can’t stand. And even worse, my traitorous body is wondering at every turn what it’s like to be down under the gorgeous Australian. But as the miles unfurl, so does our passion…and if I’m not careful, I might end up believing that fairytales really do come true.

My thoughts:

A fan of the fake relationship trope? Then you HAVE to read Faking It. It was pretty dang perfect. It had just the right amount of banter, chemistry, and fun. I smiled so much reading it. I’m seriously irritated with myself for not reading it sooner. Thank goodness I got it free in another author’s newsletter to push me to read it. I haven’t read very many of K. Bromberg’s books, but reading this one has me wanting to read more of them.

Keeper
Author: Harloe Rae
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“Will you help me remember?”

That’s the second thing I ask the stranger hovering just outside of my hospital room. To me, Decker Fredric is another nameless face in the crowd. To him, I’m a forgotten girl he hasn’t seen in years. But he agrees to be my crutch through the fog as if we were once friends.

Everything is a blank canvas spreading far and wide in front of me. Any direction I take, my steps stumble over the unknown. Decker becomes the only reliable constant in my life. I lean on him too hard, but he doesn’t seem to mind. His unwavering patience and guidance restore some semblance of normal I don’t recall having.

My attraction to Decker is instant, but he appears indifferent. Until the day his stare holds a bit too much heat. In return, I dare to let my touch linger. Our hugs cling tighter than a simple embrace should. But we have no business defying the distinct line cutting between us.

Decker Fredric was never mine to keep. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting him to be.

My thoughts:

I read this book solely because Debby told me I needed to. (Thanks, Debby!) It was my first book by Harloe Rae and I really enjoyed it. I will be reading more from her in the future. Keeper had a great mix of angst, longing, and sweetness. I am not usually a fan of an amnesia story line, but it worked well for me here. The only thing I would warn readers is that it might be a trigger for some readers with a couple of domestic violence scenes. (Not really a spoiler since it happens in the Prologue and sets the plot up.)

One of Us Is Next
Series: One of Us Is Lying, #2
Author: Karen McManus
Narrators: Marie Liatis, Holly Linneman, Fred Berman, Karissa Vacker
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Publisher: Listening Library
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

The highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestselling thriller everyone is talking about, One of Us Is Lying! There’s a new mystery to solve at Bayview High, and there’s a whole new set of rules.

Come on, Bayview, you know you’ve missed this.

A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one’s been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.

Until now.

This time it’s not an app, though–it’s a game.

Truth or Dare.

Phoebe‘s the first target. If you choose not to play, it’s a truth. And hers is dark.

Then comes Maeve and she should know better–always choose the dare.

But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it’s that they can’t count on the police for help. Or protection.

Simon’s gone, but someone’s determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there’s a whole new set of rules.

My thoughts:

I love Karen McManus’ writing. It’s so addicting. Add in some great narrators to help tell the story, and One of Us Is Next was an amazing listening experience. As for the actual story… I have to admit that it took me a couple of chapters to really get into it. Part of that might have been because I was listening. It was a little hard to follow all the different narrators at first. Once I was orientated and invested, I enjoyed the ride. I did kind of guess parts of the mystery, but it didn’t detour me from loving this book. It’s a must read if you loved One of Us Is Lying.

Review: That Secret Crush (Meghan Quinn)

That Secret Crush
Series: Getting Lucky, #3
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: February 11, 2020
Publisher: Montlake
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

USA Today bestselling author Meghan Quinn brings more humor and heart with the third novel of her Getting Lucky series: a story about breaking curses and laying your heart on the line.

What happens when your secret crush isn’t so secret anymore?

I’ve had feelings for Eve Roberts for as long as I can remember, but because she also happens to be the twin sister of my best friend, Eric, I’ve never acted on my feelings and long ago resigned myself to keeping my crush under wraps.

But after a terrible falling-out with Eric involving a failed restaurant venture and plenty of blame on both sides, I’m back in Port Snow without my best friend and without any direction. But can you guess who’s here? Eve. And my attraction to her is as strong as ever.

As old feelings rush back, Eve and I find ourselves pulled together, whether we like it or not. Lines are crossed, secrets are kept, and we soon discover that the difference between love and friendship may not be so black and white, after all.

Everyone wants that secret crush to love them back…but will I be ready when she does?


If you wanted to know if the Getting Lucky series could get any better…the answer is YES. Yes, it could and it did with That Secret Crush. Going into this book, I didn’t remember anything about Reid Knightly. I didn’t even remember his character from the first couple of books other than his name. Well, Reid must have been saving all of his pizazz for his own book because he definitely stood out in That Secret Crush.

Reid was a man whose dreams had been crushed early on in adulthood. He just gave up and went with good enough. It made him cranky. I didn’t mind his crankiness, but what I loved was the the guy he was underneath it. He was teasing, fun, and joyful. The person who brought all of those qualities out in him was Eve.

Eve was the perfect love interest for Reid. Having grown up together (Reid’s best friend was Eve’s twin brother), they knew it each other so well and understood each other well. She could put up with sexual humor and moments of stupidity better than anyone. The only thing they didn’t know was their secret crushes on each other. It made their acting on their attractions that much more satisfying.

I don’t want to say too much more about this story. Honestly, I could go on and on about how much I loved it and why. I just loved how the entire romance and story around it played out. I loved how Meghan Quinn added in her rom-com humor through Reid’s character. It was all so much fun. That Secret Crush is definitely my new favorite in this series and moving toward the top of my list of all-time favorite Meghan Quinn books.

WWW Wednesday: February 19, 2020

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 know, I know. It looks like I read a ton of books this week, but some were on the shorter side of things. I read Faking It and Keeper first. Then I binge read the Washington Wolves series (The Bombshell EffectThe Ex Effect, and The Marriage Effect) and the first book in its spin-off series, Focused. I finished off the week with Sweat (Sweetbriar Lake, #1).

Currently Reading

I was in a little bit of a funk after all those romances. I actually tried to start a couple other books, but nothing was holding my attention. I decided to  read Australia. It’s a romance compilation that benefits firefighters and wildlife of Australia. The short novellas are keeping my attention. Plus, they’re good!

I’m also listening to One of Us Is Next (One of Us Is Lying, #2).

Reading Next

I am thinking Where the Crawdads Sing will be next. I somehow managed to get both the audio and ebook from my library at the same time, so I’m not sure which way I’m going to experience it.

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

Cover Reveal: Taming Hollywood’s Baddest Boy (Max Monroe)

THBB - CR banner

Taming Hollywood’s Baddest Boy, an all-new steamy laugh-out-loud romantic comedy standalone from New York Times bestselling author Max Monroe, is coming March 12th and I have the cover!

Do people say they hate someone’s guts so that they can still fall stupidly, head-over-heels in love with the other parts?

Asking for a friend.

Taming Hollywood_s Baddest Boy(final cover)

Okay, fine. I’m not asking for a friend.

I’m asking for me—and I’m begging you to tell me that the practice of falling in love with your should-be-enemy is common.

Please tell me that I’m not the only person to track down a guy—who used to be Hollywood’s baddest bad boy before he left LA for good—at his off-the-grid cabin in Alaska, show up unannounced, and find him gloriously naked.

This probably happens all the time…right?

Tell me I’m not alone in my stupidity—that I’m not the only woman who would fall for gorgeous blue eyes and a sexy devilish smirk, even if they belong to a broody, mysterious jerk.

Please. Please. Please. Tell me I’m not alone in this.

For the love of everything, I need all the supportive girl power I can get if I’m going to convince Luca Weaver to come back to Hollywood—otherwise known as the place he hates so much that he ghosted Oscar-level success and escaped to no-man’s-land for the last eight years just to avoid it.

Yeah, don’t worry—that smoke you’re smelling isn’t your house catching fire as you read this…it’s just my career and what was previously known as my heart going up in flames.

Gah. Is it just me, or am I totally, completely, and utterly screwed?

Add TAMING HOLLYWOOD’S BADDEST BOY to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2U46YI7

Be notified FIRST When Taming Hollywood’s Baddest Boys is live: http://bit.ly/2HzGmau

About Max Monroe

A 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
BookBub: http://bit.ly/3bJFJJh
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ReoxkK
Facebook: http://bit.ly/31XxggS
Instagram: http://bit.ly/39wuCkW

Stay up to date with Max Monroe by joining their mailing list today: http://bit.ly/2HzGmau
Website: https://www.authormaxmonroe.com/