Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Tropes

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:

Favorite Tropes

I think I pretty much love all of them, but here we go…

1. Friends to lovers

2. Enemies to lovers

3. Second chance at love

4. Fake relationships

5. Secret babies

6. Office romances

7. Childhood friends

8. Falling for their sibling’s best friend

9. Sports romances

10. Roommates

What tropes did I forget? I know I forgot some…

 

Release Blitz: The First Girl Child (Amy Harmon)

THE FIRST GIRL CHILD
by AMY HARMON

Release Date: August 20, 2019

Blurb:

From the New York Times bestselling author comes a breathtaking fantasy of a cursed kingdom, warring clans, and unexpected salvation.

Bayr of Saylok, bastard son of a powerful and jealous chieftain, is haunted by the curse once leveled by his dying mother. Bartered, abandoned, and rarely loved, she plagued the land with her words: From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok.

Raised among the Keepers at Temple Hill, Bayr is gifted with inhuman strength. But he’s also blessed with an all-too-human heart that beats with one purpose: to protect Alba, the first girl child born in nearly two decades and the salvation for a country at risk.

Now the fate of Saylok lies with Alba and Bayr, whose bond grows deeper with every whisper of coming chaos. Charged with battling the enemies of their people, both within and without, Bayr is fueled further by the love of a girl who has defied the scourge of Saylok.

What Bayr and Alba don’t know is that they each threaten the king, a greedy man who built his throne on lies, murder, and betrayal. There is only one way to defend their land from the corruption that has overtaken it. By breaking the curse, they could defeat the king…but they could also destroy themselves.

Purchase links:

📱 https://amzn.to/2XKVIQe
📖 https://amzn.to/2XMYYdH
🎧 https://amzn.to/2yBNSx5

About the author:

Amy Harmon is a Wall Street JournalUSA Today, and New York Times Bestselling author. Amy knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story. Her books are now being published in seventeen different languages, truly a dream come true for a little country girl from Levan, Utah.

Amy Harmon has written fourteen novels – the Washington Post bestseller What the Wind Knows, the USA Today bestsellers The Bird and The Sword, The Smallest Part, Making Faces and Running Barefoot, as well as the #1 Amazon bestselling historical From Sand and Ash, The Queen and The Cure, The Law of Moses, The Song of David, Infinity + One, Slow Dance in Purgatory, Prom Night in Purgatory, and the New York Times bestseller, A Different Blue. Her next novel, The First Girl Child, a historical fantasy romance, will be released August 20, 2019 by 47North.

Find Amy online:

Website: www.authoramyharmon.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoramyharmon
Facebook fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/amyharmon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/aharmon_author
Instagram: https://instagram.com/amy.harmon2/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Amy-Harmon/e/B007V3HXUY
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5829056.Amy_Harmon
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/amy-harmon
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/P5AJP
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authoramyharmon/

Rafflecopter for two $100 Amazon gift cards:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1c4d5b7c65

Review: Crew Princess (Tijan)

Crew Princess
Series: Crew, #2
Author: Tijan
Publication Date: August 19, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Being crew is walking between two worlds.
One world is normal: Prom. Parties. College.
Those are the concerns they worry about.

In our world, we deal with other situations.
Cops. Drugs. Brawling.
That’s a typical day for us.

But what if it wasn’t?

What if there came a day when you stopped?
When you considered letting your enemies win?
When you didn’t fight back?
When you chose a different path?

First I lost my family. Then I got the Wolf Crew.
I couldn’t lose them too.

But what happens when Cross, Zellman, and Jordan keep going…
…and I don’t?


I thought I knew what I was getting into before started reading Crew Princess. I did, but I also didn’t. Crew Princess was everything Crew was, but it was also more. Tijan was so smart in the way she put this story together. Even when I thought I knew what was going on, I didn’t. The twists in this book were epic. The crew drama was non-stop.

I was truly blown away by Bren’s character development in this second book. Once she started acknowledging her feelings and what was going on inside of her, she became even more powerful. It changed the way she thought and acted. I loved how that extended to her relationships with everyone. I loved how Bren getting to know herself better made her relationship with Cross stronger. Their relationship is a big part in this series, but it’s not the main thing. I loved how everything happening around them made them stronger as a couple. I also enjoyed how it changed her family dynamics with Channing and Heather a bit.

The one thing I wish this book had was Cross’s point of view. He had some stuff going on, and I would have loved to have known what was going through his mind. I mean, the story was still amazing without it. It just would have added to the fun.

This review doesn’t feel very smooth to me, but I’m blaming it on Tijan. She wrapped things up at the end of this book, but she also blew Bren’s story wide open. I’m still contemplating all of the things that could be coming in Crew 3. And that’s how a master storyteller does it, people!

Crew Princess Giveaways: http://www.tijansbooks.com/giveaways.html

Mini Reviews: YA Contemporaries

Summer has put me in YA contemporary romance reading mood. I love that because it’s given me the opportunity to read some books off my TBR that I hadn’t been in the mood for. Here are three short reviews for a few of the YA contemporaries I’ve read recently.

The Stand-In Boyfriend
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

The Stand-In Boyfriend is one if those fun YA fake relationship books. Popular soccer star Chase gets Livy to be his fake girlfriend so he can keep an ex away and she can make her best friend / crush notice her. Chase isn’t exactly truthful in his pact with Livy, though, and as days go by their fake relationship starts to feel real. It was cute, but pretty angsty. Livy’s feelings for Jessie drove me nuts when I saw how he treated her. Chase’s dishonesty with Livy drove me crazy because he was such a great guy. I wanted to whack Livy over the head a couple of times because of the decisions she made. Even though it all drove me a little nuts, I was completely invested. I adored Livy and Chase together and was rooting for this fake relationship to become real. The end of the story made up for all the frustration I felt. I’m really excited to read more from this series. (Thanks to Stephanie for recommending this book!)

Fake It Till You Break It
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

Another fake relationship.. I picked up Fake It Till You Break It on my quick visit to Powell’s City of Books in Portland, OR. I loved Jenn P. Nguyen’s The Way to Game the Walk of Shame, so I knew I wanted to read her sophomore novel. It was just as cute as that first book. I loved how Mia and Jake’s relationship went from enemies who were forced to play nice to fake relationship to maybe more. It was such a fun, quick read. It was perfect for summer.

Second Chance Summer
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

I hate to admit it, but Second Chance Summer is one of the books that has been on my Goodreads TBR the longest. Everyone always says how emotional it is and to have tissues ready. That put me off for a long time. I wanted to be in the right frame of mind. When I finished Nguyen’s book, I wanted to keep my YA binge going so I immediately dived into this one without giving it a second thought. There were definitely sad vibes throughout and it had me sobbing at the end. It also had an air of mystery revolving around Taylor’s past…which I loved but thought was weird because could she did at 12 years old that would be this lasting? Overall, it was a deeply touching read.

Review: On the Corner of Love and Hate (Nina Bocci)

On the Corner of Love and Hate
Series: Hopeless Romantics, #1
Author: Nina Bocci
Publication Date: August 20, 2019
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

For fans of Christina Lauren and Lauren Layne comes a delightfully sassy and sexy romance about a campaign manager who reluctantly works with the local Lothario to help revamp his image for the upcoming mayoral elections, only to discover that he’s hiding something that can turn both their lives upside down.

What’s a campaign manager’s worst nightmare? A smooth-talking charmer who’s never met a scandal that he didn’t like.

When Emmanuelle Peroni’s father—and mayor of her town—asks her to help rehab Cooper Endicott’s image, she’s horrified. Cooper drives her crazy in every way possible. But he’s also her father’s protégé, and she can’t say no to him without him finding out the reason why: Cooper and her have a messy past. So Emmanuelle reluctantly launches her father’s grand plan to get this Casanova someone to settle down with and help him lose his lothario reputation.

Cooper Endicott wanted to run for Mayor, but he never wanted the drama that went with it. Now that he’s on the political hamster wheel, the other candidates are digging up everything from his past. Even though he’s doing all the right things, his colorful love life is the sticking point for many of the conservative voters. He wants to win, badly, and he knows that if he wants any chance of getting a vote from the female population, he needs to change his image. The only problem? He might just be falling in love with the one person he promised not to pursue: the Mayor’s off-limits daughter.

A perfect blend of humor and heart, On the Corner of Love and Hate is the first in a new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Nina Bocci.


Today, I have a book I’m excited to share with you for a couple of reasons. If you’re a romance blogger like me, you have probably communicated with Nina Bocci or at least heard of her in some way. It’s always exciting to see a name you’re familiar with publish a book. Or maybe you’re like me in another way and became a fan of Nina Bocci’s writing with her collaboration with Alice Clayton on Roman Crazy. Either way, I was excited for On the Corner of Love and Hate for both of those reasons. Here is what I thought of Nina Bocci’s solo début.

What I liked:

  • I knew I liked Nina Bocci’s writing based on what I read in Roman Crazy. I wasn’t sure how that would translate to a solo novel. I was very happy to find that her writing felt just as strong by itself.
  • Emma was a strong female character. She was successful in life. She didn’t need a man to hold her hand through life. I liked that when she finally had a man in her life, it was because she wanted one instead of needing one.
  • Emma’s family. Her relationship with her dad was sweet, but her relationship with her mom was sweet and funny. I loved the texts they shared.
  • Emma’s friends were adorable! I loved Nick and Henry! I can’t wait to see them again.

What I disliked:

  • There was too much going on. There were three big things going on all at once and it was a little overwhelming. I didn’t know where to focus my attention: the mayor’s race, Emma’s tense relationship with Cooper, or Whitney?
  • The lack of Cooper’s point of view. Honestly, I wasn’t a fan of Cooper because all I got to see through Emma were the bad things. Even when she moved from hate to love, it was hard to understand why. There wasn’t much to show their love for each other. It was so slow burn, the romance was almost non-existent.

Overall, On the Corner of Love and Hate was a strong solo début for Nina Bocci. It made me excited to find out what’s next in the Hopeless Romantics series.

GIVEAWAY

Cover Reveal: Jock Road (Sara Ney)

Book 3 in the Jock Hard Series Releases September 5th! 

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.

PRE-ORDER HERE:

Will be FREE in KU

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: August 14, 2019

Welcome to WWW Wednesday!

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. The purpose is to share what I’ve reading lately. The three W’s stand for:

What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Recently Read

 This week was a mix of ARCs and books off my TBR. I read The Stand-In Boyfriend (Grove Valley High, #1), Crew Princess (Crew, #2), That Forever Girl (Getting Lucky, #2), Fake It Til You Break It, and Second Chance Summer.


Currently Reading

I’m now reading an ARC of I Hate You.

Reading Next

I will most likely read an ARC of Butterfly in Frost next.

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

Review: The Guy on the Right (Kate Stewart)

The Guy on the Right
Author: Kate Stewart
Publication Date: July 25, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Strike One-My mother named me Theodore after her favorite chipmunk.

Not cool, Mom.

I‘ve spent most of my life answering to Teddy, because I couldn’t make Theo work.

Except for here. College. The place where all bets are off, and I’ve managed to redeem myself.
There’s only one problem, my new roommate, Troy, is football royalty and looks like he stepped off the set of an Abercrombie shoot.

Doesn’t matter, I cook a mean breakfast for his panty parade, and we get along well.
And anyway, this year I got the girl. And she’s perfect.

That’s right. Theodore Houseman, former band geek, now marching band rock star has finally landed the girl of his dreams.

Everything is perfect.

That is, until Troy takes a good look at her.

I’m not going down without a fight. As a matter of fact, I’m not going down at all. As glorious as these days may be for my all-star roommate, Laney is my end game.

I may not know much about play strategy, but I’ve been the good guy my whole life. I’ve been listening and I know exactly what women want. Framed in a picture standing next to me, Troy may seem like Mr. Perfect, but he’s underestimating the guy on the right.

Spoiler alert: In this story, the underdog is going to win.


You know what The Guy on the Right made me think? I miss the romantic comedy movies of the 80’s and 90’s. This book could easily have been a current day romantic comedy movie. It should be because it had everything one of those movies back in the day had. It was so freaking adorable and swoon worthy that I can barely stand it. Reading it made me so happy. Why? Get ready for some serious gushing!

I have only read one other Kate Stewart book and while I thought it was okay, I didn’t search out any of her other books. When I saw the title and cover for The Guy on the Right, I was intrigued. I read the blurb and thought I might want to read it. Then, I read a friend’s review and knew I had to read it. I’m so glad I did because it was so hilarious and sweet and cute.

Theo was fabulous. Who wouldn’t root for an underdog as fantastic as him. He may not have the body or looks his football playing, womanizing roommate has, but Theo doesn’t need those things when he has that awesome personality. Theo was a decent human being, and that’s what made him shine. Band geek does not equal nerd in this equation.

Laney was a hilarious hot mess. She was kind of all over the place in the best ways. She shocked and surprised me as much as she did Theo. One of the things I liked best about her was her ability to look past people’s outer appearances to find out what was inside them. Her self-imposed Batman ban helped that, but I think she would have done that anyways.

Theo and Laney’s relationship had the best start. Their tight friendship was incredibly fun. Attraction always simmered beneath the surface, but I loved that they really got to know each other before they acted on any of it. Everything they experienced together gave this romance a deeper feel. No instant love here.

*LOVE TRIANGLE SPOILER* There was a love triangle that wasn’t truly a love triangle. Troy, Theo’s meathead roommate is mentioned in the blurb. It makes it seem like there could be a love triangle, but not to worry — there isn’t really one. Troy does have a part in things, but “the underdog is going to win.”

I could probably go on an on spouting off things I loved about this book, but I think I’m going to stop here with specifics and just say one more thing. You need to read The Guy on the Right NOW!

Review: Finding Me (Kelly Gunderman)

Finding Me
Author: Kelly Gunderman
Publication Date: July 30, 2019
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Can you ever truly love someone who robbed you of everything?

Sixteen-year-old Claire Williams spends most of her days feeling angry and alone. After a car accident took her mother and Claire’s ability to walk, life in a wheelchair is the new normal.
When she’s sent to live with her grandmother, away from school and friends, Claire has a chance for a fresh start. Just when Claire thinks she can handle things, she runs into Todd – the son of the man who caused the car accident.

At first, Claire wants nothing to do with him, but the more time they spend together, the more she hates to admit her feelings. She’s slowly falling in love with Todd.

Now, Claire’s father wants to move and take Claire with him. But she can’t go. Not now when everything is falling into place, and she’s just now finding herself. Claire’s defiant. She won’t leave Greenwood, her new friends, her grandmother, or Todd.

Can Claire find the strength to let her dad go on with his life while leaving her behind to live hers, or will she allow the guilt and shame of surviving the accident pull her back under?


When I first started blogging, one of my first blogger friends was Kelly from Here’s to Happy Endings. When she mentioned she was publishing a book, I was excited to read it. Her book reviews are always so eloquent. I imagined the writing I enjoyed in them would transfer well to a book. Even so, I have to admit I was a little nervous before reading Finding Me since I personally know the author.

Claire is a sixteen year old who lost both the use of her legs and her mother in a car accident. She’s forced to change schools when her father dumps her on her grandmother’s doorstep. Starting a new school and making friends is hard enough without the added pressure of being around Todd, the son of the man who put Claire in a wheelchair and killed her mother. Claire’s just made friends and figured out that she might have more in common with Todd than she thought when her father reappears and wants her to move away with him. It’s all more than Claire thinks she can handle.

Claire’s story was emotionally packed. Her world had completely crumbled two years ago, and she was already having to rebuild it a second time since then. All of her relationships were changing. Some were in a good way, others in a bad one. Throughout everything, Claire had this quiet strength. She didn’t always hold it together, but she grew and fought for herself. She was a lot stronger that she thought she was. I loved the progression of her character.

I have to go back to that first comment I made about Claire’s story being emotionally packed. Finding Me was filled with emotion. Moments in Claire’s story brought tears to my eyes. I feel that it’s important to mention this because that doesn’t happen often. I was pleasantly surprised Kelly was able to do that with her first book.

As for the rest of the characters, they were perfect for this story. I loved Claire’s new friends Lisa, Mark, and Dillon. I also liked Todd and how he fit into the forgiveness aspect of Claire’s story. I adored Claire’s close relationship with her grandmother. I even found myself liking bubbly Sara. The only person I didn’t like was Claire’s dad. My dislike for him surprised me because his character was someone I didn’t expect.

The one thing that made me think a bit when reading this book was Claire being in a wheelchair. I had to remind myself that she had been in one for a couple of years now, so maybe some of the daily details of her life in the wheelchair wouldn’t be a big deal to her anymore. There were some mentions of the things that had to be accommodated for, but I guess I thought there would be more frustration or emotional reaction to them.

Finding Me was a great début novel. I was impressed with the writing. Sometimes the writing in a début novel can rely a lot on telling instead of showing, but that wasn’t the case here. It was as good as I was expecting it to be. There was plenty of dialog, the writing moved at a pace I liked, and I was completely pulled into Claire’s world. I can’t wait to see what Kelly writes next.