Series Review: Flawed Love (Lisa De Jong)

My friend Ari asked me if I had read any books by Lisa De Jong. I told her I had read and enjoyed her Ruin series. Ari said I had to read the Flawed Love series. I honestly think she just wanted to torture me. If you want to find out why I think that, check out my reviews below.

Lies Unspoken
Series: Flawed Love, #1
Author: Lisa De Jong
Publication Date: December 14, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

I tried hard not to fall for the bad guy.

My new roommate, Blake, is a jerk—an unemployed artist with a chip on his shoulder. I can’t stand him unless his hands are on me. He makes me desperate for him, and everything he makes me feel.

And then there’s my new boss, Pierce–successful, charming, and extremely good-looking. He goes after what he wants, but what does he see in me?

I try to stay away, but I end up in the arms of exactly who I was hiding from. And when I find out what’s being hidden from me, my heart twists in ways it never should.

I thought I knew him.
I didn’t.
The way he kissed me.
The way his hands traveled every inch of my skin.
I thought it meant something, but as it turns out, it was all lies unspoken.

My thoughts:

I don’t even know how to explain my feelings about this book. The writing is exceptional, and De Jong hit me in all the feels — both good and bad. I loved Lila and liked Blake. Their relationship was a disaster in the making, but I still managed to fall for them as a couple.

Things weren’t that simple, though. This is kind of a love triangle towards the end. I’m not a fan, so that’s when things started to get iffy for me. Lies Unspoken went places I didn’t want to go. Blake and Lila both disappointed me. I wasn’t a fan of the third wheel, Pierce. I didn’t like the feelings I got from him. There was just this underlying thing that kept me from liking his character.

Then, there was that cliffhanger. It kept me reading. That’s all I will say about that.

Love Unspoken
Series: Flawed Love, #1
Author: Lisa De Jong
Publication Date: October 17, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I lent my heart to the bad boy, and he did exactly what I expected he would. He broke it.

And the guy I should have been with—he’s still here. He tries to take my mind off everything I’ve lost while showing me what I could have. I’m ready for a new start, to fall in love again … to do what I should have done in the first place.

Everything seems perfect.

Then the past comes walking back in. I thought I was over him, but one look and I know that’s not true. We went through too much together for those feelings to completely fade away.

When my past and present collide, how am I supposed to choose? They both love me, and I love them.

A heart will be broken … and it could be mine.

My thoughts:

I hated this book. HATED. It took me places I didn’t want to go. It’s getting 3 stars for 3 reasons:

  1. Lisa De Jong is a talented writer. She wove a complicated tale.
  2. I understood Lila’s up and down feelings and why she made some of the dumb choices she did.
  3. The last couple of chapters and epilogue. They pretty much wiped away my anger.

So what didn’t I like?

Pretty much everything else. The love triangle was in full swing. I was not a fan of Pierce. He was controlling, jealous, and manipulative. Pierce would have done anything to get what he wanted: Lila. It didn’t matter what he knew her true feelings to be. He was more worried about having her for himself. The way Lila played to his demands made me angry. I was so fed up with them both for most of the story.

I do have one complaint about the end, too. There was supposed to be a novella about Blake’s sister. I don’t know that it was released and I really need it right now.

Overall thoughts on this series: If you like a good love triangle and aren’t scared off by OW/OM drama, this has some great angst and even better writing.

Mini Reviews: Books Off My TBR Backlist

Today is all about the mini reviews. I finally finished off my ARCs, so these are all books I’ve had on my TBR for quite a while. It was nice to get them off the list. I even have a series review included.

Love in Lingerie
Series: Unzipped, #1
Author: Alessandra Torre
Publication Date: January 16, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I hired her to fix my company, to bring Marks Lingerie back to life. I didn’t expect her to become my friend. I didn’t expect to fall in love with her.

The first rule of business is to never touch your employees. I think there is another rule about not falling for your best friend—a rule against imagining the curves of her body, or the way her breathing would change if I pulled down her panties and unzipped my pants.

Now, I can’t wait any longer. I’m tossing out the rules.

Damn the company.
Damn our friendship.
Damn my fears.

My thoughts:

Oh, boy. I don’t even know where to start with this book. On one hand, I loved it. The chemistry between the characters was off the charts. There was such a sweetness between them and a real friendship developed. On the other, it drove me absolutely crazy with all the angst, OW, OM, and the slowest of slow burns brimming with sexual tension. It was worth every minute of that frustration for how it ended — with a giant smile on my face and happiness in my heart.

Kat Fight
Author: Dina Silver
Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: DNF @ 16%

Synopsis:

The seriously funny, fabulously flawed Kat Porter has arrived, and she may just steal your heart—not to mention your boyfriend. Readers everywhere will revel in this sharp-witted, well-meaning whirlwind in author Dina Silver’s hilarious new novel, Kat Fight. In her quest for love, Kat makes every wrong turn, juggling two men, one best friend, and her own deeply confused heart’s desires.

Kat Porter is a consummate romantic, eager for her chance to find love and commitment. But after her boyfriend of four years, Marc, begins to grow apathetic and sends her calls straight to voicemail one too many times, Kat finally musters the courage to confront her so-called sweetheart, who seems more interested in dodging her than courting her. Though she’s no fan of ultimatums, Kat is at the end of her considerable wits, and lobs a massive one his way, completely confident that he’ll make the right decision when faced with losing her. He doesn’t.

With radio silence from Marc, Kat’s lifelong dream of finding a husband and forging a family is decidedly on the skids. That’s when her childhood friend Julie steps in, forcing Kat on a blind date to help her move beyond the break-up. Not only does Kat botch the setup, she instead finds herself in hot pursuit of Julie’s love interest, Ryan Sullivan. A man who, in addition to literally taking her breath away, is the living, breathing personification of everything Kat wants in a husband.

Can Kat connect with the man of her dreams without hurting two of the people she cares most about? At the same time, she must also contend with the quips of her beloved catty coworker Adam, her bi-polar boss Brooke, and a string of comic, unpredictable plot twists. All the while, Kat’s cheeky perspective and generous heart will leave readers adoring every moment of her journey while chuckling and cheering for the ever cute, razor-sharp Kat as she fights to land the love of a lifetime.

My thoughts:

I picked this book up at Book Bonanza 18 after talking with the author. She told me it was loosely related to how she met her husband and that it was a romantic comedy. That sold me on it, and I really wanted to love it because she was so lovely. I don’t know if it’s my mood or what, but I couldn’t get into the writing style. The MC drove me nuts. There was just something about the tone of her thoughts… I just didn’t feel like spending any more time with her, so I gave up at 16%.

Crash
Series: Crash, #1
Author: Nicole Williams
Publication Date: July 18, 2012
Genre: Mature Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Southpointe High is the last place Lucy wanted to wind up her senior year of school. Right up until she stumbles into Jude Ryder, a guy whose name has become its own verb, and synonymous with trouble. He’s got a rap sheet that runs longer than a senior thesis, has had his name sighed, shouted, and cursed by more women than Lucy dares to ask, and lives at the local boys home where disturbed seems to be the status quo for the residents. Lucy had a stable at best, quirky at worst, upbringing. She lives for wearing the satin down on her ballet shoes, has her sights set on Juilliard, and has been careful to keep trouble out of her life. Up until now.

Jude’s everything she needs to stay away from if she wants to separate her past from her future. Staying away, she’s about to find out, is the only thing she’s incapable of.

For Lucy Larson and Jude Ryder, love’s about to become the thing that tears them apart.

My thoughts:

Crash was a mess of craziness that I somehow found myself addicted to. So much happened that wasn’t quite believable. I could see most of the twists coming, but that didn’t stop them from being impactful. Neither Lucy nor Jude was all that likable. Lucy drove me nuts with her inner dialog and the way she reacted to stuff. Jude was crazy controlling and made the worst decisions. So why did I give this book 4 stars? What made this such a great read for me was the relationship between the main characters. The way they were together made me root for them. They truly brought out the best parts of each other. For some reason, that was enough to make me enjoy this book.

Clash
Series: Crash, #2
Author: Nicole Williams
Publication Date: September 1, 2012
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Their Romeo-and-Juliet-level passion is the only thing Jude and Lucy agree on. That, and fighting all the time…

Also not helping? Lucy’s raging jealousy of the cheerleader who’s wormed her way into Jude’s life.

While trying to hang on to her quintessential bad boy and also training to be the top ballet dancer in her class, Lucy knows something’s going to give… soon.

How can she live without the boy she loves? How can she live with herself if she gives up on her dreams? If Lucy doesn’t make the right choice, she could lose everything.

My thoughts:

Clash wasn’t as crazy as Crash, but it had its moments. There are 3 things that had me giving this one 4 stars:

  1. Reformed Jude is a lovable Jude.
  2. There was one of the best cat fights in a book I have read yet.
  3. Lucy frustrated the heck out of me with the immature choices she made, but at least she knew she was the problem.

Crush
Series: Crash, #3
Author: Nicole Williams
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Football glory. A giant diamond. A wandering eye.

Jude and Lucy are happily engaged . . . but that doesn’t mean life’s a bed of roses.

Once again, Jude and Lucy are torn apart by football training and a summer job that creates new tensions. This time Jude’s the one with trust issues. Will Lucy’s life-changing news bring them back together or end their relationship for good? Can love triumph forever?

My thoughts:

Oh, boy. Lucy took her brand of crazy to another level here. To be honest, it was SO HARD to read this book because of her insecurities and immaturity. It was hard to believe four years had passed since the last book for her. Which was sad because Jude had matured beautifully for the most part. The only reason this book was worth reading was for the HEA Jude and Lucy finally got. That was super cute.

Review: Varsity Heartbreaker (Ginger Scott)

Varsity Heartbreaker
Series: Varsity, #1
Author: Ginger Scott
Publication Date: May 28, 2020
Genre: Mature Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC from WordSmith Publicity and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Lucas Fuller is a lot of things.
He’s the boy next door.
He’s the first crush I ever had.
He was my first kiss.
He’s also the only person who has ever broken my heart.

For two years, I’ve wondered what happened to the us I used to know.
We were best friends, and then suddenly…we weren’t.
I tried to run away from it. I even changed schools just to make the hurt disappear.
But no matter how hard I tried to not think about Lucas, I just couldn’t stay away from the high school quarterback with perfect blue eyes and so many secrets.

I’m back. We’re seniors now. We’ve grown—all of us. And Lucas Fuller might be different, but I’m different too. This is my time to take risks, to experience life and to fall in love for real.

I want Lucas Fuller to be a part of my story, but I know for that to happen, I need to know the truth about our past.


One of the things I have always loved about Ginger Scott’s writing is that she evolves with each book. It’s like she’s five different writers in one body. To me, that proves how talented a writer she is. I feel like each new release has gotten edgier and spotlighted something different but just as important as the last. While I love that, I have to admit that I have missed her mature YA/NA contemporary sports romances. There’s just something so pure and fun about them. Needless to say, I was SUPER excited when I learned she was returning to that type of romance novel with Varsity Heartbreaker.

Varsity Heartbreaker was exactly what I needed during this crazy time. It got me out of a major book funk. I loved the whole vibe it had going on. It was slightly angsty, but not overly so. June dreads going back to her old high school where her ex childhood best friend and next door neighbor, Lucas, reigns. Her new best friend Abby pushes her to broaden her horizons, which puts her in the same orbit as Lucas. The plot was messy in the best way with a slight mysterious feel wrapped around what went down to make Lucas abandon his friendship with June.

I loved June. Her teenage embarrassment, frustration, and crush were spot on. I usually like my romance novels to have dual points of view, but this one was perfect with just her. I loved being in her mind and experiencing her figuring things out.

Lucas was frustrating to say the least. For much of the book I just wanted to shout at him to give it up and admit to what was going on with him. I’m not complaining about that, though. The secrecy around his character was fabulous for the storyline and June.

With everything going on with June and her feelings toward Lucas, I was surprised that there was actually something (I dare say) even better than their romance going on in this book. I think I might have loved the friendships even more. June and Abby’s was fun. Lucas and Tory’s seemed like a great bromance. The one that really got me, though, was June and Tory’s friendship. That one made me smile so hard and laugh quite a bit. If I was SUPER excited about Varsity Heartbreaker, I don’t even know how to describe how excited I am for Tory’s book. Thank goodness it’s coming up next!

As you can tell, I loved Varsity Heartbreaker. I would bet on the fact that it’s going to be a hit with fans of Wild Reckless, Waiting on the Sidelines, and This is Falling. Or with anyone who loves a mature YA sports romance. It was a great read, one I didn’t want to be over. If I was a cheerleader, I would do some sort of cheer here for Ginger Scott and what a winner she and this book are.

Purchase Varsity Heartbreaker
 
 
 
Head over to Goodreads and vote for Varsity Heartbreaker as a May 2020 Most-Anticipated Romances!
 

Pre-Order books two and three in the series here!
Varsity Tiebreaker – https://amzn.to/2zluA2u
Varsity Rulebreaker – https://amzn.to/3bgh7pN

About the Author:

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, and A Boy Like You.

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, and A Boy Like You.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

Social Media Links:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GingerScottAuthor
Twitter: @TheGingerScott
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/thegingerscott/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/GingerScottAuthor
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GingerScottAuthor/posts
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/GingerScott
Website: http://www.littlemisswrite.com

WWW Wednesday: May 27, 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

Happy belated Memorial Day to those in the U.S. Thank you to all who have served this country! This was the first Memorial Day in 11 years that we didn’t go camping with all of our friends due to COVID-19. It was sad, but what can you say? We’ve all missed out on so many things.

At least we have good books to read! This week I finished up both Clash (Crash, #2) and The Sundown Motel from last week. Then I read Crush (Crash, #3), Jock Blocked (Copper Valley Fireballs, #1), Liar, Liar, Hearts on Fire (Bro Code, #3), Lies Unspoken (Flawed Love, #1), Love Unspoken (Flawed Love, #2), and an ARC of Again Again. It looks like a lot, but most of them were fairly short reads.



Currently Reading

I’m reading Fool Me Once.

Reading Next

My plan is to continue to knock books off my TBR and read Playing for Keeps (Hot Jocks, #1).

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

Cover Reveal: The Change Up (Meghan Quinn)

THE CHANGE UP COVER REVEAL!!

The Change Up by Meghan Quinn

Release Date: June 11th

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Photographer: Michelle Lancaster

Cover Design RBA Designs

MQTheChangeUpBookCover55x85_HIGH

BREAKING NEWS: The Bad Boy of Baseball, Maddox Paige, is totally and utterly whipped.

Okay, that might not be the headlines in the newspaper this morning, but it’s the reality of my current situation.

It all started a month ago when I received a call from my best friend, Kinsley. She got a new job in Chicago and needed a place to stay. I’ve known the girl since I was five, what harm would it be to have her stay at my place for a while?

Ha! Total disaster.

Now instead of going out every night with my teammates, I’m couch surfing and sketching endless photos of my best friend . . . but that’s the least of my concerns.

The disaster, you ask? I’m rapidly falling head over cleats in love with my best friend, my roommate, and my number one fan.

And she has no idea . . .

THE CHANGE UP RELEASES JUNE 11TH!

Add to your Goodreads TBR: https://bit.ly/3cSOfWv

Pre order your copy here: mybook.to/TheChangeUp

MQTheChangeUpBookCover55x85_BW_300 (1)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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.

M_Quinn_photo

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

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Great Opening Lines

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:

10 Great Opening Lines

Here are some fun opening lines.

1. The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater

“Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’d been told that she would kill her true love.”

2. Ugly Love
Author: Colleen Hoover

“Somebody stabbed you in the neck, young lady.”

3. Bad Penny
Author: Staci Hart

This one is inappropriate, so if you’re curious you can go to Amazon and use their First Look to see the first sentence. It caught me so off guard that  laughed.

4. How to Walk Away
Author: Katherine Center

“The biggest irony about that night is that I was always scared to fly.”

5. Ilsa and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins

“It’s midnight, it’s sweltering, and I might be high on Vicodin, but that guy—that guy right over there—that’s him. The him.”

6. The Lace Reader
Author: Brunonia Barry

“My name is Towner Whitney. No. That’s not exactly true. My real first name is Sophya. Never believe me. I lie all the time”

7. Landon & Shay: Part 1
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry

“I never meant to be a monster, but sometimes I wondered if certain people were born that way, born with a darkness that oozed into their bloodstreams and infected their souls.”

8. Delicate Monsters
Author: Stephanie Kuehn

“A ropes course was a shitty place for self-discovery.”

9. Dr. Strange Beard
Author: Penny Reid

“Most people have approximately eleven or twelve stories, and that’s it.”

10. God-Shaped Hole
Author: Tiffanie DeBartolo

“When I was twelve, a fortune-teller told me that my one true love would die young and leave me all alone.”

Review: The F List (Alessandra Torre)

The F List
Author: Alessandra Torre
Publication Date: April 29, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

There was a lot I did to get to this point, to get 42 million followers. Some of it I was proud of, most of it I wasn’t.

There was a group of us, all internet celebrities, and everyone wanted in, which is how six of us ended up living in this mansion, a camera always on, the public always watching. Two months and nine carefully scripted TV episodes that would get us more of the three F’s we were desperately chasing.

Fame. Fortune. Followers.

I knew my role. I was Emma, the unlikeable one. The dark villain with the devious smile. The package of dynamite that would blow up any chance of peaceful living and harmony.

Cash knew his role. He was the good guy. The lovable one. The one that everyone, even the darkest cast member of them all, would fall in love with.

They were supposed to just be roles.
None of it was supposed to be real.

My heart didn’t get that memo.


If you’re looking for a fun book to take your mind off things, look no further. You’ve found it. The F List is a uniquely written take on two celebrity influencers who hate each other. They end up on a reality show together, and it was non-stop entertainment.

I loved the way this book was written. It gave us both Emma and Cash’s thoughts. They told us what it took to get where they are.  It gave us quotes from people around them. All of this made for a dramatic (but not too dramatic) look at everything that went down. It was all sorts of crazy fun.

Emma and her whole back story drew me in. I didn’t necessarily like her all the time, but somehow she managed to win me over anyways. Cash was instantaneously likable. His situation was very different from hers. Every moment between them would have been true camera gold — if they were real people. It was real book gold as it was. I could totally see this book being made into a TV series or movie. It would be perfect for that.

So, like I said, if you’re looking for a fun way to escape, read this book. If you like reality TV, read this book. If you’re big into Instagram influencers, read this book. I would just recommend reading this book. It’s so entertaining.

Review: Dirty Charmer (Emma Chase)

Dirty Charmer
Author: Emma Chase
Publication Date: May 19, 2020
Publisher: Emma Chase LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Abigail Haddock is stunning, sensible, and some would say…stuffy. But it’s not really her fault. She was raised in one of Wessco’s oldest, most affluent, aristocratic families—“stuffy” is their middle name. So is successful. Abby’s working overtime to distinguish herself as a top-notch physician, just as her family legacy demands.

She doesn’t have time for nonsense.

Tommy Sullivan’s all about nonsense.

Sure, he’s an elite bodyguard with lethal skills and co-owner of the renowned, S&S Securities Firm—protector of the wealthy and titled. But he’s also rowdy, fun and thoroughly irresistible.

Tommy knows how to have a good time, and he’s never seen someone more in need of a good time than Abby. The lass needs long, wet, filthy kisses—STAT—and he’s just the man for the job.

It doesn’t take long for a wildly sexy, sinfully satisfying, no-strings attached arrangement to turn into something more. Something sweet and addictive and real. But Tommy and Abby are too royally stubborn to admit it.

Opposites attract, everyone knows that. But can they last—can they love…for forever?


I think it’s safe to say that Tommy Sullivan is probably Emma Chase’s most popular side character. We have all been waiting for his book for what seems like forever. Well, I’m here to tell you that Ms. Chase did not let us down with Tommy’s book. It was everything I could have hoped for.

Tommy was just as delightful as expected. He is hilariously cocky and puts himself out there just like I expected him to. His story started out in the cutest, funniest way. I loved how loyal he was. I also loved how sweet he was underneath all his self-confidence.

Abby was the perfect love interest for Tommy. Where he was all go with the flow, she was all buttoned up. She definitely needed his lightness more than he needed her strictness, but they somehow balanced each other out perfectly. I really loved them together.

So much happened with the plot in this book. I loved the ups and downs. It was somehow both funny and serious. That’s a compliment to Emma Chase’s writing. Reading Dirty Charmer reminded me how much I love her books. I know I just finished this one, but I can’t wait to find out what’s next!

Oh! I can’t forget. If you’re a fan of her Royally series, you’re going to love some of the cameos in this book. Plus, there’s Tommy’s whole family to meet. There’s just so much goodness to enjoy.

Dirty Charmer by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Emma Chase, is LIVE! 

Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3bhKvge
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/DirtyCharmerEC
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2yin2wW
Audible: https://amzn.to/3al44Tu
Nook: https://bit.ly/2yo1IWQ
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3euQhgI
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3ezCZj5

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3er0GKd

About Emma:

New York Times bestselling author Emma Chase writes contemporary romance novels known for their clever banter, emotional, and sexy, swoonworthy moments. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages around the world. 

Emma lives in New Jersey with her amazing husband, two spirited children, and two adorable, but badly behaved, dogs. She has a long standing love/hate relationship with caffeine. 

Connect with Emma:

You can find Emma at https://authoremmachase.com
Facebook: http://bit.ly/AuthorEmmaChaseFB
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/AuthorEmmaChaseGR
Instagram: http://bit.ly/AuthorEmmaChaseIG
Twitter: http://bit.ly/AuthorEmmaChaseTw
Amazon: http://bit.ly/AuthorEmmaChaseAmz
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/AuthorEmmaChaseBB

Review: Tools of Engagement (Tessa Bailey)

Tools of Engagement
Series: Hot & Hammered, #3
Author: Tessa Bailey
Publication Date: September 22, 2020
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis:

In Tessa Bailey’s latest rom-com, two enemies team up to flip a house… and the sparks between them might burn the place down or ignite a passion that neither can ignore!

Hair, makeup, clothing, decor… everything in Bethany Castle’s world is organized, planned, and styled to perfection. Which is why the homes she designs for her family’s real estate business are the most coveted in town. The only thing not perfect? Her track record with men. She’s on a dating hiatus and after helping her friends achieve their dreams, Bethany finally has time to focus on her own: flip a house, from framework to furnishings, all by herself. Except her older brother runs the company and refuses to take her seriously.

When a television producer gets wind of the Castle sibling rivalry, they’re invited on Flip Off, a competition to see who can do the best renovation. Bethany wants bragging rights, but she needs a crew and the only member of her brother’s construction team willing to jump ship is Wes Daniels, the new guy in town. His Texas drawl and handsome face got under Bethany’s skin on day one, but the last thing she needs is some cocky young cowboy in her way.

As the race to renovate heats up, Wes and Bethany are forced into close quarters, trading barbs and biting banter as they remodel the ugliest house on the block. It’s a labor of love, hate, and everything in between, and soon sparks are flying. But Bethany’s perfectly structured life is one kiss away from going up in smoke and she knows falling for a guy like Wes would be a flipping disaster.


I have been waiting for Tools of Engagement since the moment I finished Love Her or Lose Her. I got a glimpse of the dynamic between Wes and Bethany and was so excited for their story. It didn’t let me down. Tools of Engagement was my favorite in the Hot & Hammered series.

What made Hot & Hammered so good? Quite a few things. First, I LOVED the banter. There was a whole I’m going to be mean to you because I actually like you thing going on. It was childish, but totally worked. It made the banter super fun because I could appreciate how ridiculous Wes and Bethany were being. Bethany especially. The banter made their swoon worthy relationship that much more fun.

The next thing that stood out to me was Bethany’s character. I don’t have much in common with her, but I could see a lot of women in her. She strove for perfection to the point where she couldn’t let loose or be herself. She had everything the way she thought it should have been, but was missing the big picture. I loved how she figured out the perfection was required.

Then, there was Wes. He would definitely make my list of favorite male characters. He might have only been 23, but he came across much older and more mature. I loved how he antagonized Bethany. It wasn’t done to be mean, but to light a fire under her. I also loved how he was with his niece, Laura. That relationship showed what a good person he was.

I can’t leave out the group of women and how they come together to support each other. That’s been one of the coolest aspects of this series. It wasn’t quite as heavily featured in this book, but it was there to support Bethany when she needed it.

Finally, there was the whole competition between Bethany and her brother Stephen. I liked not only what it did for Bethany’s relationship with Wes, but with Stephen as well.

Tools of Engagement was truly a fun romantic read filled great banter, humor, the sweetest of romances. If you’re a fan of this series, you won’t want to miss out on it.

WWW Wednesday: May 20, 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

Another week of reading. There’s not much else going on, so I’ve been doing A LOT of it. I read an ARC of Say Yes Summer, The F List, Love Bank (Jobs from Hell, #1), Love in Lingerie (Unzipped, #1), an ARC of Hot Mess, an ARC of Varsity Heartbreaker (Varsity, #1), and Crash (Crash, #1).

Currently Reading

I think I’m going to start reading the next book in the Crash series, Clash. I’m also reading The Sun Down Motel. That one is slow going because it’s a physical book. The font is small and it’s on the creepy side, so it’s a daytime only read.

Reading Next

Well, I would keep binging the Crash series with Crush, but I’m waiting on my library hold for it. I’m #1 in line, so anytime in the next 3 weeks I guess… I’m not sure what I’ll pick up next if I don’t have that book to start. I’ve definitely been mood reading, so I will probably continue to do so.

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