Top Ten Tuesday: Books for My Younger Self

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 for My Younger Self

Honestly, I just wish there had been a New Adult Romance category when I was between 18 and 25. It would have been nice to have those books to identify with. Here are some I think I would have loved at that age.

1. Left Drowning
Author: Jessica Park

2. Ugly Love
Author: Colleen Hoover

3. More Than This
Author: Jay McLean

4. You and Everything After
Author: Ginger Scott

5. One Tiny Lie
Author: K.A. Tucker

6. Making Faces
Author: Amy Harmon

7. Landon & Shay: Parts 1 & 2
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry

8. Dear Heart, I Hate You
Author: J. Sterling

9. Addicted to You
Authors: Krista & Becca Ritchie

10. Undecided
Author: Julianna Keyes

Review: The Wreckage of US (Brittainy C. Cherry)

The Wreckage of Us
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
Publication Date: September 8, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Never in a million years did I think it would be Ian Parker who saved me…

I know I should stay away from Ian Parker.

But when my drug-dealing stepdad kicks me out, I have nowhere to go. Squatting in an abandoned shed on Ian’s grandpa’s farm seems like as good a plan as any.

Ian finds me there, of course, and he insists on me moving into his spare room. I should say no, but the appeal of a roof and a warm bed is too much. Not to mention Ian’s brown eyes and strong arms.

We’re nothing alike, but the spark between us is undeniable. My life is finally looking up.

Until I call the cops on my stepdad and unintentionally get my pregnant mom arrested.

Now I have to sacrifice my dreams to take care of my mom’s baby. She’s the only family I have left. Meanwhile, Ian’s band is taking off; his dreams are coming true.

Ian is my one chance at love. I just hope he doesn’t become the one chance that got away.


I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. Brittainy C. Cherry has a way with words. There’s a beauty and magical quality to the words she strings together and the stories she creates. I get excited each time she releases a new book because I know whatever story is coming my way is going to move me. The Wreckage of Us did just that.

Hazel Stone broke me heart. Her childhood was not easy. Her drug lord step-father made her someone everyone avoided, and she made herself invisible behind black, baggy clothes and heavy make up. Despite everything that knocked her down, Hazel was determined to do and be better. She was determined to succeed. Her heart was so big and her character so strong.

I feel bad saying this, but I WAS NOT an Ian Parker fan to start out with. The dude made me mad with how he initially treated Hazel. I got his reasoning, but I didn’t care. He should have been better. I’m glad that he was better after working through some crap because he and Hazel fit so well together. I loved the way music brought them together. Their chemistry was as undeniable as their emotional connection. The things they went through because of music and fame were things I could imagine happening to a band and their loved ones in real life. So, yeah, thank goodness Ian wised up.

One of my favorite things about this book was the setting. Eres, Nebraska was a special place. I loved the descriptions and feel of it, especially Big Paw’s ranch. There were so many great characters in that community: the band, Big Paw and Holly, Leah just to name a few. The warmth of the community made it somewhere I wouldn’t mind living myself.

My least favorite thing was probably one crazy twist that I won’t say much about. It involved the darker side of the small town community, and just felt a little far fetched. That being said, I did appreciate where it took the story and how it shaped Hazel and Ian’s relationship.

Once again, Brittainy C. Cherry wrote a book that I couldn’t put down. It was filled with characters and a romance that I can’t stop thinking about. I’m truly hoping The Wreckage of Us is going to be the first in a series because I would LOVE each of Ian’s friends/band mates to get a book of their own. I don’t want to be done with The Wreckage or Eres, Nebraska.

Review: Midnight Sun (Stephenie Meyer)

Midnight Sun
Series: Twilight Saga, #5
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Publication Date: August 4, 2020
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.

This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?


I truly enjoyed being back in the Twilight Saga world. It was like hanging out with an old friend. No, scratch that. It was like hanging out with an old friend’s significant other and hearing about how they fell in love from his/her perspective. Pretty much what you knew, but with new insight. It wasn’t a completely fresh take, but it makes you love Bella and Edward’s love story that much more.

Edward isn’t my favorite Twilight Saga character. I would probably be in the “Team Jacob” camp. Midnight Sun had me appreciating Edward in a new way. I was surprised by how much I ended up liking him. He wasn’t the most pleasant at times, and that was kind of refreshing. His opinions of Bella throughout the book delighted me. I also loved the deeper look it gave me into the rest of the Cullens as well.

Had I read Midnight Sun around the same time as I read the rest of the Twilight Saga, I probably would have rated this book even higher. What kept me from doing so was that so much of the content felt recycled. Yes, I loved seeing things through Edward’s eyes. I just wish more of it would have not be a rehash of events that took place. It was like Meyer combined his new thoughts with everything that went down in the original. That made for a LONG book. 662 pages was too many in my opinion. Maybe I just feel that way because I read the hardback, and it was freaking HEAVY.

I read somewhere that Meyer may or may not keep writing the series from Edward’s POV. I’m down for that. I would read them. I had fun being back in this world again. I would actually love if Meyer wrote New Moon from Jacob’s POV. I also wouldn’t mind a book about Alice. Twilight Saga fans don’t ask for much, do they? 😉

Review: Well Played (Jen DeLuca)

Well Played
Series: Well Met, #2
Author: Jen DeLuca
Publication Date: September 22, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Another laugh-out-loud romantic comedy featuring kilted musicians, Renaissance Faire tavern wenches, and an unlikely love story.

Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it’s been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she’ll even find The One.

When Stacey imagined “The One,” it never occurred to her that her summertime Faire fling, Dex MacLean, might fit the bill. While Dex is easy on the eyes onstage with his band The Dueling Kilts, Stacey has never felt an emotional connection with him. So when she receives a tender email from the typically monosyllabic hunk, she’s not sure what to make of it.

Faire returns to Willow Creek, and Stacey comes face-to-face with the man with whom she’s exchanged hundreds of online messages over the past nine months. To Stacey’s shock, it isn’t Dex—she’s been falling in love with a man she barely knows.


Jen DeLuca’s Well Met was one of my favorite debut novels I read in 2020. I remember finishing it and being excited about what could possibly come next from the author. I was hoping it would be a second book set in the same world, and I lucked out because it is! I was so excited to go back to the Faire world DeLuca created and get to know some of the characters better.

Well Played was even better than Well Met. DeLuca’s already strong writing has only gotten better in her sophomore book.  The feelings she had me feeling… so much emotion!!! I felt like I was Stacey through so much of this book. It was a little overwhelming — in the best way.

I loved Stacey and every minute I spent with her. I also really loved her love interest. The way they got to know each other over emails and texts was a big plus for me! To be honest, I figured out right away who “Dex” really was. The blurb and some stuff at the beginning of the book kind of give it away. I would have liked it to have been more of a surprise, but  it didn’t diminish how much I enjoyed this book too much because I immediately liked the guy.

It was also fun to see some of the other characters I met in Well Played show up again in Well Met. I enjoyed finding out how Emily and Simon were doing. I loved knowing that Mitch was up to his old tricks. All these great characters had me wanting even more books in the Well Met series.

Well Played was such a cute romance novel. I feel like I am not adequately telling you how cute and fun it was. I think other readers are going to love this book.

Surprise Cover Reveal: Nate (Tijan)

Nate, an all-new enemies-to-lovers standalone from the Fallen Crest universe from New York Times bestselling author Tijan is coming February 9th, 2021, and we have the smoking hot cover!

nate cover

Full synopsis to come!

nate cr

Pre-order your copy today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3jO0yXh
Apple Books: https://apple.co/31O7rRU
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/nate
Nook: https://bit.ly/2Gooj9O
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3jERrYO
Barnes and Nobles Paperback: https://bit.ly/2F0BLzN
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2ERDc3E

Add NATE to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/32Pp82L

Celebrate the reveal with this MEGA Swag Pack Giveaway → https://bit.ly/3jHaH85

nate teaser

Don’t miss out! Always Crew is OUT NOW!
Download your copy today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3if3T1q
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2BN6H5h
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/alwayscrew
Nook: https://bit.ly/2ZAggNd
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2YKEC7K
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2BOv7Lx

Add ALWAYS CREW to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2BkteWY

About Tijan
Tijan is a New York Times Bestselling author that writes suspenseful and unpredictable novels. Her characters are strong, intense, and gut-wrenchingly real with a little bit of sass on the side. Tijan began writing later in life and once she started, she was hooked. She’s written multi-bestsellers including the Carter Reed Series, the Fallen Crest Series, and the Broken and Screwed Series among others. She is currently writing a new YA series along with so many more from north Minnesota where she lives with a man she couldn’t be without and an English Cocker she adores.

Connect with Tijan
Amazon: https://amzn.to/30oxe0f
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2vreAub
Facebook Reader Page: https://bit.ly/32hsdsq
Twitter: http://bit.ly/2Vx4DpD
Instagram: http://bit.ly/2PyLhwy
Reader Group: http://bit.ly/38bz8nQ
Audiomen Group: https://bit.ly/3bFFKgB

WWW Wednesday: September 2, 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

Last week of summer. Tomorrow is the first day of school for my daughter. It’s a different start to the year with it being 100% distance learning. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it! I don’t know that I’m ready for summer to be over.

As for reading… I finished reading Midnight Sun from last week, The Reed Rivers Trilogy, an ARC of Well Played (Well Met, #2), and the Wait With Me series. Looks like a lot of books, but that trilogy was actually novellas and more like one book.

Currently Reading

Right now, I’m reading Lies & Lullabies (Hush Note, #1). I’m also reading an ARC of Blacklisted (Loveless, Texas, #3).

Reading Next

I’m going to read an ARC of The Set Up next.

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Made Me Hungry

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:

Today’s topic is:

Books that Made Me Hungry

These are basically books with chefs, restaurants, or food in them.

1. Cream of the Crop
Author: Alice Clayton

2. The Opposite of You
Author: Rachel Higginson

3. Man Hands
Authors: Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby

4. Garden Spells
Author: Sarah Addison Allen

5. Beard Science
Author: Penny Reid

6. Sweet Addiction
Author: J. Daniels

7. Bittersweet
Author: Sarina Bowen

8. Sweet on You
Author: Kate Perry

9. Master Baker
Author: Pippa Grant

10. Burn for You
Author: J.T. Geissinger

Review: Must Love Dogs…and Hockey (Kelly Jamieson)

Must Love Dogs…and Hockey
Series: Bears Hockey, #1
Author: Kelly Jamieson
Publication Date: September 8, 2020
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Lilly:  My life is like the love child of a train wreck and a dumpster fire right now. I’ve been canned, my professional reputation is shredded, and now I’m walking dogs to make ends meet.
But I still believe everything will work out. Somehow.
Then a dog at the park attacks my friend’s dog. At first, I’m ready to give the owner hell—but it turns out he’s in desperate need of doggie daycare. I figure, why not? I love dogs and I need the cash.
Too bad his cocky bad boy attitude annoys me. He’s too damn cute for his own good. And I’m not talking about the dog.

Easton: My coach is riding my ass and I’m not handling it well. When I’m saddled with an abandoned pooch, my teammate thinks a dog will keep my temper in check. I think I have enough problems already.
But when my new dog gets into a tussle that leads me to meet a smoking hot chick who knows how to handle the rascal, I start to think pet ownership isn’t all bad. At least it gives me an excuse to see Lilly again. . . .
Neither of us are interested in a relationship. First they steal your bed, then they steal your heart. And I’m not talking about the dog.


Before I start my review, I just have to say I’m really digging this cover. With so many authors going illustrated covers, this cover made me want more like. I absolutely love the couple loving on the dog. Plus, the green props. A+ cover in my book.

As for the story, it was as cute as the cover. I adored the way Easton became a dog owner. The way Otis wrapped his legs and heart around Easton made me so happy. Everything involving that dog was magic. I loved that Otis was responsible for Easton meeting Lilly and, therefore, what came after.

Lilly and Easton were both interesting characters, mostly due to their pasts. Those pasts weighed them down a lot. I liked how they reminded me and seemed to be based off a couple of real life events. That could have made the feel to this story on the angst ridden side, but it didn’t. I liked how light the story still felt despite what the characters were dealing with. Lilly and Easton’s romance had this nice, natural feel to it. Everything seemed to happen just as it should, in a cute way. When things went wrong (because you know they do at some point in a romance usually), I felt their heart ache, but I still felt happy because I knew good things were to come. The romance between them was so cute and well written.

I did have a few of things I wanted more of from this book. The first was regarding everything that went down inside the hockey organization. That was such a big deal, and I think I wanted to feel the explosiveness of the situation rather than just be told how it all went down in the end. Same with Lilly’s court case. Maybe that would have made this book heavier than I wanted, though. I don’t know. I guess I just wanted to feel more in touch with those two events. Oh! I also wanted to know what was up with Lilly’s freaking dad. That kind of resolved, but we never got to know the why of it all. That was frustrating.

That being said, this truly was a fun, new hockey romance series from Jamieson. I like how it started, and I can’t wait to find out what’s coming next in it. I’m guessing a certain someone’s book who was mentioned at the end. I am loving that idea. I also very much want a Cookie book. How could I not with a hockey player nicknamed Cookie. Makes me think of a giant teddy bear.

New-to-Me Author Summer Bingo FINAL UPDATE

My blogger friend Jessica over at Reading with Jessica has set up a summer bingo challenge with Jana at Artsy Reader Girl. I am going to attempt to play along this summer. I’ll update you with how I’m doing periodically.

NEW-TO-ME AUTHOR SUMMER BINGO

The Basics:

  • This event lasts from June 1st-August 31st.
  • You can only count books towards the bingo card if you have not read that author before.
  • Each book only counts for one bingo spot. You can’t use one book for multiple spots.
  • A bingo can be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal.
  • Feel free to use any genre for this challenge. Multiple genres even!
  • Use the hashtag #nasbingo to share updates on social media/blog posts.

Bingo Card:

Where you can join:

*FINAL UPDATE*

Completed Bingo squares are off. Titles are linked to my reviews.

My TBR: COMPLETED!!!

Recommended by a friend: Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade
Over 400 pages long: One More Step by Assorted Authors – 658 pages and I’m kind of cheating here because this is an anthology. I have read some of the authors, but many were new to me. At least 15 out of 25. It counts, right?
Features a vacation: Vegas Love by Jillian Dodd
First in a series: The Hook Up (Game On, #1) by Kristen Callihan
Standalone: The First Score by Amie Knight

Extra Squares Marked Off:

A Holiday is Celebrated: Worth the Fall (The McKinney Brothers, #1) by Claudia Conner
Contemporary: Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters, #1) by Talia Hibbert
Summer 2020 Release: Living at the Frat House by Penny Wylder
Hyped: The Roommate by Rosie Danan
One Word Title: Smitten by Lauren Rowe
Buddy Read: The Match by Sarah Adams
Your Favorite Genre: Filthy Forward by Kelsey Cheyenne
Lesser Known: Work Song by Danielle Allen
★: the Boss by Cynthia Page
Under 200 Pages Long: Go Deep by Rizley Adams
Reader’s Choice : That Man Next Door by Nadia Lee

16/25… Not too shabby!

Mini Reviews: Until Her/Him Series (Aurora Rose Reynolds)

Over the past couple of years, I’ve randomly read some of the Until Her/Him series books by Aurora Rose Reynolds. I decided to finish up the series and give you mini reviews for each book in this series. You will notice that reviews for Until July (#1) and Until June (#3) are sparse. Those are books I listened to and reviewed on Goodreads in the past. Also… One thing to know is that this series is related to the Until series. That original series is also good, and I would recommend reading it first because it’s the parents of these characters. There’s a lot of history and good stuff.

Until July
Series: Until Her/Him, #21
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Publication Date: September 25, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

This was my first Aurora Rose Reynolds book. I really enjoyed it! I also enjoyed the narrator. I am looking forward to reading more in this series.

Until Jax
Series: Until Her/Him, #2
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Publication Date: September 25, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

I liked this book, but I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. Jax was the alpha sweetheart I knew he would be. Ellie was sweet and slightly naive despite growing up in a tough situation. Her daughter, Hope, was adorable. The three of them were great together. I think things just started out bumpy for me since it had been a long time since I read book #1. I felt like the story started off as a continuation of that first book, which it kind of was, and I was a little lost. Once I caught up, it was easier for me to understand their instant love.

Until June
Series: Until Her/Him, #4
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Publication Date: May 24, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

This was really fun to listen to. I liked it even more than the first book in the series. I loved the second chance romance aspect of it. June and Ethan were a great couple and I loved their chemistry.

Until Ashlyn
Series: Until Her/Him, #4
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Publication Date: December 27, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

I loved this book from the start. Things that start in Vegas are always fun, and this book didn’t disappoint. I loved the sort of enemies to more romance. I think what made it stand out amidst this series is that Ashlyn had a strong personality. She didn’t come across as weak at any point. She was just as alpha as Dillon. What was great about Dillon was that he had that alpha thing going, but it didn’t feel as over the top as some of the other guys. I think it was that both characters were the strong type. Anyways. The drama was slightly crazy, but the romance was on point.

Until Sage
Series: Until Her/Him, #5
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this one going in. I didn’t have the best impression of Sage from Until Jax and I thought Kim might deserve a better person. Sage impressed me, though. He was willing to admit when he was wrong, and was there for Kim every time she needed his support. Their love story was the least dramatic of all of the ones I’ve read, and I liked that. I was also a big fan of how they were both adoptees and the differences in their stories.

Until Harmony
Series: Until Her/Him, #6
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Publication Date: December 27, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

This series is on a roll for me! I loved Harmony and Harlen’s story. Harlen seemed to have an alpha side, but he was more reserved. I liked that. Harmony was sweet and they made a great match. I also liked that the drama in this one felt underplayed compared to the love story.

Until Cobi
Series: Until Her/Him, #7
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Publication Date: November 27, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

My thoughts:

Until Cobi could have easily been another five star for me in this series. There were a couple things keeping that from me. I’m used to their being a lot of drama in these books, but this one surpassed the others by far. Crazy, bad stuff kept happening to Hadley. So many things that it become not only unbelievable, but took away from the romance going on here. Also, I know all the Mayson men are domineering, but Cobi went about it in a way that actually bothered me in the beginning. He didn’t take no for an answer. His reasoning was that he could “read” Hadley. He was pretty much always right, but at the same time “go away” should mean “go away” no matter what you’re reading off a person.

Until December
Series: Until Her/Him, #8
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Publication Date: July 30, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

My thoughts:

I really loved this addition to the series. December and Gareth were adorable together. I loved what a “plain” and “normal” person December was. I loved Gareth and his relationship with his kids. How their lives tied together was so sweet. The only thing was how FAST this couple got together. I mean, all of these books have insta-love, but this one felt especially fast even though I loved it.

Until Talon
Series: Until Her/Him, #9
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Publication Date: August 24, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

My thoughts:

Is it crazy that I don’t ever get tired of this series? I love the formula Aurora Rose Reynolds uses for it. It’s just plain fun. Talon and Mia were adorable together. I especially enjoyed that this one was lighter on the drama — but don’t let that fool you! I didn’t see the twist coming. I only had it half right! I also loved Mia’s sister and her girls. I am super curious about what will be next for her sister and Winston, but I also really want a book about Bax. I can’t wait to see what’s next in this series.

Overall comments about this series:

This was a fun series to binge on. It’s definitely heavy on instant love and alpha male characters. If either of those things bother you, skip this series. (There is a combined thread regarding the instant love that ties each book together in a way. It’s called “the BOOM” and it made the instant love more acceptable to me.) Otherwise, they are quick reads (all under 300 pages each) that have sweet romances with a hint of suspense added in. Also, the women in the Mayson family were probably my favorite in this series. That felt so different since the first Until series focused on the original Mayson brothers.