Review: Varsity Captain (Ginger Scott)

Varsity Captain
Anthology: Hot Summer School Nights
Series: Varsity,#4 
Author: Ginger Scott
Publication Date: June 30, 2021
Genre: Mature YA, New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis: 

All new and exclusive enemies to lovers and bully romance short stories and previews by: L A Cotton, Siobhan Davis, Ashley Jade, Piper Lawson, Tracy Lorraine, Michelle Mankin, Daniela Romero, Ginger Scott, Ivy Smoak, Becca Steele, and Shantel Tessier. This will be a wide release with special preorder pricing. 100% of the e-book profit is being donated to The Smith Family, a national, independent children’s charity helping disadvantaged Australians to get the most out of their education, so they can create better futures for themselves. ***The e-book and the paperback will be available for a limited time only.*** 

About Varsity Captain:
This short story complements Book 1 in the Varsity Series, Varsity Heartbreaker. If you have read the series, you will enjoy getting a special POV from Lucas Fuller, getting to experience a few early scenes through his eyes. If you have not read the series, this will be a really fun way to start and will not give anything away. Also, this book will release as a full-length novel in the Varsity Series on October 15.


When I read Varsity Heartbreaker I really wanted Lucas’ point of view. Lucas was frustrating to say the least in that book. I just wanted to shout at him to give it up and admit to what was going on with him. The secrecy around his character was fabulous for the storyline with June, but I wish I would have had these chapters when I was reading that first book! I love that Ginger Scott is giving Lucas a book from his POV. I really enjoyed reading what was in his head. I can’t wait for the full book.

WWW Wednesday: June 30, 2021

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

It’s been HOT here in WA. We’re talking records highs of over 100. I’ve been reading a bunch and trying to stay cool. The last book I read was an ARC of Broken Hearts (Campus Nights, #3) by Rebecca Jenshak.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m reading an ARC of  Exposed (VIP, #4) by Kristen Callihan.

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I think my next book will be Jock Royal (Jock Hard, #4) by Sara Ney. I’m going to be spending time with family and some close (vaccinated) friends this upcoming holiday weekend, so I’m not sure how much reading I will get in. I also plan to be away from the blog during this time. It’ll be a quick break for me.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite New to Me Authors So Far in 2021

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: Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2021. A couple weeks ago we gave our Summer TBR. There were a bunch of the same books that would have crossed over for today’s topic, so I decided to do something else. My topic is:

Favorite New to Me Authors I Read in the First Half of 2021

1. Lex Martin
2. T.J. Klune
3. Chloe Liese
4. Kim Jones
5. Julia Quinn
6. Melissa Williams
7. S.T. Abby
8. Jaqueline Snowe
9. Katja Millay
10. Kate Canterbary

Series Review: The Walshes (Kate Canterbary)

The past couple of years I have been trying to read more books that have been hidden in the depths of my Kindle. One of those books was Kate Canterbary’s The Cornerstone (The Walshes, #4). Reading that book prompted me to go back and read the entire series from beginning to end. Since I have enjoyed the series, I wanted to share it with you. Here are some brief thoughts on each book in the series.

This is going to be a little out of order because I feel like starting with the book I read first and going from there.

The Cornerstone, book 4 – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is still my favorite book in the series. Shannon was this brilliant, hardworking woman who was known as being a witch with a capital “B”. She ran the show and Navy SEAL Will gave her a run for her money. He didn’t back down and knew when to take over. They kind of hated each other at the start, but their sizzling chemistry won out. There was a secret romance that involved a lot of texting. I loved every moment of their relationship. I also loved every character I met in Shannon and Will’s families. I couldn’t wait to read more! I know at some point I’ll reread this book. Also, I kind of have to mention that I love that I met Shannon first instead of having preconceived notions of her.

Underneath It All, book 1 – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Underneath It All is my second favorite in this series — and that’s a very close second. Lauren and Matt were adorable, but in a steamy kind of way. Lauren meets Matt when she hires him to help her find a building for her new school. Sparks flew from the minute they met and ignited a full on fire. Their chemistry was amazing, and I was surprised by the sweetness between the two of them. This was a great start to a series…if you want to start from the beginning.

The Space Between, book 2 – ★ ★ ★ ★
The Space Between was a little slower start for me. There was more build up to Patrick and Andi’s relationship than the previous two books I had read, and I felt like it took me longer to warm up to them because of that. They started off in kind of an office mentor/mentee relationship that developed into a romance. I ended up loving their relationship and chemistry.

Necessary Restorations, book 3 – ★ ★ ★ ½
Necessary Restorations was good, but it had a some moments that weren’t my favorite. Sam’s manwhore ways were a little problematic. There wasn’t cheating, but some will put something that happens in the cheating category and it wasn’t especially fun to read. I did love Sam and Tiel together. I read this series out of order and started with book 4, so it was nice to finally understand some stuff that was going on. I also liked getting to know Sam and his inner workings. He had some major issues that I got wind of in The Cornerstone, so it was good to find out what was going on. I also didn’t realize there was another whole book for this couple, so I’m curious to see where it goes since these two still had some demons to deal with.

Restored, book 5- ★ ★ ★ ★
Restored was basically a necessary addition to Necessary Restoration after The Cornerstone. It brought Sam and Tiel back and gave some much needed answers to what was going down with them outside of Shannon’s perspective. I liked seeing where their relationship went and it upped the sweetness factor between Sam and Tiel for me.

The Spire, book 6 – ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
As I was binging The Walshes series, Erin’s story was one I was waiting for  the most. I blame that on reading Shannon’s book first and wanting to know what the deal was with 1) Shannon and Erin and 2) Erin and Nick. This book didn’t let me down. I am finally happy to know all about Erin, her history with Shannon, and her relationship with Nick. Erin and Nick together were adorable! I loved the fire between them and the emotional connection. I love how Nick saw beyond what Erin’s siblings saw. I especially loved the emails and all other communication between Erin and Nick. I was only happy their situation went on the way it did because of how much I loved that piece of it. The Spire made me very happy.

Preservation, book 7 – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I was a little nervous going into this book — especially after that prologue. I always understood why Riley would have a crush on Lauren, but I hated it. HATED IT. I was worried what he would do and what it would mean. I’m so happy Alex was thrown in Riley’s path before he did anything too stupid. I loved Alex and Riley together. I loved their story and the text exchanges that were included. I especially loved how the whole story wrapped up. It was perfect.

Thresholds, book 8 – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
All the Walshes in one place? Yes, please! It was so fun to get to catch up with my favorite characters during the holidays. Everyone was going through something different, but I loved the ways their lives still connected. I was going to say that I was especially happy for a certain couple’s updates, but I really loved all of them equally. Oh, and but I have to say there’s one new doctor’s POV that had me laughing out loud. I wanted his hijinks to continue.

Foundations, book 9 – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I adored this novella about Matt and Lauren. They have a new addition to their family and it shakes things up a bit. I loved the way they got things back on track. It was so Matt and Lauren. It was also very real and easy to relate to if you have had children. Now, can I get a solo novella for Will and Shannon, please? (Also, I wish this book would have had a white cover.)

Final thoughts:
The Walshes was a great series about a family who has been through some rough stuff together growing up, but has moved on in life as each of them find love. I adored the Walsh sibling and their partners. The side characters were really great, too. There could be some triggers with parental abuse for some readers, but there isn’t a ton of detail.  I am super excited to read more of Kate Canterbary’s books, especially Wes and Magnolia’s books. Overall, this series was a big winner for me.

Review: Shift (Ginger Scott)

Shift
Series: Fuel, #1
Author: Ginger Scott

Publication Date: June 25, 2021
Genre: Mature YA, New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC provided by WordSmith Publicity and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Dustin Bridges has always had two things he could count on—his fearless instincts behind the wheel and the support of his two best friends, Tommy and Hannah Judge.
Dustin brought the speed.
Tommy, the brains.
And Hannah . . . she was the glue that held everyone together.
Together, they were unstoppable.
From the dirt tracks of their youth to the late-night drag races under a desert moon as teens, the Judge siblings pushed and watched in awe as their friend edged closer to his dream. Always racing, always running. That was Dustin’s gift and curse. And while his life at home was unbearable, his world with the Judges always seemed perfect.
Growing up with people makes for a special bond. But sometimes life has a way of testing just how strong a relationship is. And falling in love with one of your best friends, not to mention your other best friend’s sister? Well, that can be the toughest test of all.
Heartbreak doesn’t know what it’s up against, though, because when there is a prize to be won, nobody bets against Dustin Bridges.

Excuse me while I take a few deep breaths. Shift was a high-octane read, and I haven’t quite come down from the ride. Ginger Scott upped the intensity with this book. The angst was almost overpowering for me at times. While I didn’t always love the intense feelings going on, I did love the story.

Hannah, Tommy, and Dustin have been friends almost their entire life. The three of them are bound together by racing. Dustin’s the driver, Tommy’s the brains, and Hannah’s the cheerleader. Tommy and Dustin are best friends. Tommy and Hannah are siblings. Hannah and Dustin are best friends… who both hope for more. It’s a tricky situation since Dustin is basically part of the family. His own family being so horrible he does everything he can to escape them. Things are messy and difficult, but somehow sweet between Hannah and Dustin. I loved them together, but this is a series where their story continues for two more books so…

I know that doesn’t really tell you much about this book. I’ll try to give you a little more without giving anything away. There’s a lot of family and friendship dynamics going on. There’s the love of racing and spending time at the tracks together. There’s bad people and stuff at play. Shift was a well crafted story (and romance) that left me wanting more — which I am so happy I know is coming soon! The only thing left to really say is buckle up. It’s going to be an intense ride you won’t want to miss.

 

𝐒𝐡𝐢𝐟𝐭, the first book in 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗙𝘂𝗲𝗹 𝗦𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀 by Ginger Scott is LIVE! Buckle your seatbelt, it’s gonna be a wild ride!

 

 

 

Purchase 𝐒𝐡𝐢𝐟𝐭 here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B097TTSBN8

Pre-order Wreck:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B097SBSX3J

Pre-order Burn: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B097SCCH12

 

 

Add them to your TBR!

𝗦𝗛𝗜𝗙𝗧: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58077726-shift

𝗪𝗥𝗘𝗖𝗞: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58077746-wreck

𝗕𝗨𝗥𝗡: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58077766-burn

 

 

Review: Small Town Pretender (Brighton Walsh)

Small Town Pretender
Series: Havenbrook, #5
Author: Brighton Walsh
Publication Date: June 24, 2021
Publisher: Bright Publishing LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Asher McCoy can win over a crowd with a husky note and a strum of his guitar, but proving to a judge he’s responsible enough to gain custody of his niece and nephew? Not so easy. His big idea—a fake marriage. And who better to play his doting bride than his longtime best friend? He just needs to get her home first…

Natalie Haven couldn’t get away from her suffocating hometown fast enough. For years, she’s fluttered around the globe as a freelance photographer. And if that unconventional job pisses off her daddy? Well, all the better. But when her best friend sends out an S.O.S., she heads back to the one place she swore she’d never land.

Except a fake marriage means a not-so-fake living arrangement, including only one bed. Nat’s witnessed enough women fall for Asher’s charms, but she refuses to be one of them. Because permanence isn’t in her blood. Not even for him.


Brighton Walsh’s Havenbrook series has cemented its place in my heart as one of my favorite small town romance series over and over again with each new book released. I absolutely adored this latest release, Small Town Pretender.

Nat and Asher’s book was everything I was hoping for. These two may have left town as teenagers, but they managed to keep their tight knit friendship over the years. The reason Asher had to try to get custody of his sister’s kids made me sad, but loved that it brought him and then Nat back to town. Their fake marriage turned real was so much fun to read. Nat and Asher had amazing chemistry that made the move from friends to more all the more believable. I just loved them together! They were a great couple and

It wasn’t as simple as both of them being together, though. Both Asher and Nat had lived somewhat of a nomadic life prior to their return to Havenbrook. I liked how they each, separately, had to think through the decisions regarding their careers. Being tied to Havenbrook through the kids was a huge deal to both of them. I was so glad that this aspect of the story wasn’t skipped over. It was important to both their characters.

As with the rest of this series, the Haven family also played a big part. I loved the sisterly dynamics and also the parental ones. Nat’s relationship with her family wasn’t always easy, and I was excited to see where things ended up between them all. I loved how they stepped up to help Asher and Nat through everything. The way they made those kids immediately part of the family made me so happy.

Small Town Pretender was a great addition this series and I really, really hope it’s not going to be the end for Havenbrook. Maybe there are some friends that needs books or cousins that could pop out of the woodwork or something. I just don’t want to leave these characters and town behind!

 

Grab Your Copy Here:

Amazon | Apple | Nook | Kobo | Google Play

 
 
 

Meet Brighton Walsh

USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Brighton Walsh spent a decade as a professional photographer before taking her storytelling in a different direction and reconnecting with her first love—writing. 

She likes her books how she likes her tea—steamy and satisfying—and adores strong-willed heroines and the protective heroes who fall head over heels for them. 

Brighton lives in the Midwest with her real life hero of a husband, her two kids—one who’s already taller than her and one who’s catching up too fast—and her dog who thinks she’s a queen. Her boy-filled house is the setting for dirty socks galore, frequent dance parties (okay, so it’s mostly her, by herself, while her children look on in horror), and more laughter than she thought possible.

Connect with Brighton Walsh

Website | Facebook | Twitter | BookBub | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page | Newsletter 

Hosted By:

Review: Fortunate Son (Jay Crownover)

Fortunate Son
Author: Jay Crownover

Publication Date: June 22, 2021
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Ry Archer and Bowe Keller are as different as night and day. But that doesn’t stop the childhood frenemies from reconnecting whenever one of them needs some help tackling any of life’s major puzzles, like figuring out why getting what you always thought you wanted isn’t living up to all the hype. They might constantly rub each other the wrong way (except for the times when they rub each other the really-really right way), but there is no denying they’ve always made one hell of a great team. They manage to balance each other out… when they aren’t driving each other crazy.

For Ry, he thought he had the perfect girl, the one who was going to run headfirst into a methodically planned future. He was going to marry young and have the same kind of legendary, life-long romance his parents did… or so he believed. His girl was going to stand by his side as he chased his dream of being a professional football player all the way to the NFL.

He was wrong.

Now, Ry’s gotta figure out the difference between a bruised heart and a broken one, and the only person who can teach him the difference is Bowe.

Bowe always felt like she had to run before she learned to walk to keep up with her father’s musical legacy. He’s her hero, and she wants nothing more than to make him proud. Bowe’s about to figure out that maybe she wasn’t meant to be in a rock and roll band, and that it is entirely possible she let her father’s success cloud her idea of what making music should be. Bowe needs to find her own path to fame, and there’s a good chance she wouldn’t be brave enough or bold enough to start over if Ry Archer hadn’t pushed his way back into her life when she least expected it.

Some days they’re enemies. Other days they’re lovers. For a while, they were strangers. But now, it feels more like they might’ve always been soulmates.
Eventually, Ry and Bowe realize that letting go of an old dream and creating a new one is much easier to do with the right person by your side. 


It’s been a while since I read Marked Men and Saints of Denver, but I knew I had to read Fortunate Son the minute I heard it was being released. Then, I read the preview for it in Goldilocks and was hooked on Ry and Bowe. The wait became even more intense. Finally getting to read this book was both excitement and relief for me.

I loved Ry and Bowe’s story. These two had a tumultuous past, but that didn’t stop them for being there for each other. They had an innate connection that allowed them to look beyond what the other was portraying and see the truth. Ry was a character I loved because he was abandoning perfection and searching out his own truths. Bowe was just as special. I liked how Ry’s decisions affected Bowe and the direction it took her life in. They both had a lot to figure out on their own and it surprised me that it made them better together and not worse.

Sometimes Crownover’s books can feel more tell than show. This one headed towards that place, but ended up finding a nice balance between both show and tell. I think the tell worked because Fortunate Son felt like it could be the first book in a series and spent some time reintroducing me to important players and explaining new relationships. There is such a rich history between both the first and second generations, so it helped to have reminders and new information. It was also fun to get some cameos and updates on favorite past characters. I loved that they didn’t overshadowed the main characters in this book, but propped them up. I would hope if there are more books release in this series there wouldn’t be as much need for the explanations.

I really want this book to do well. I need it to do well so that Crownover will release Prodigal Son. I have SO MANY QUESTIONS about Remy and Hyde. It’s not even funny. I also need a book for Aston and another for Daire. I need this new (but also kind of old) world to continue. I truly enjoyed every minute I spent with Ry and Bowe in Fortune Son. I’m delighted Jay Crownover decided to write this book.

 

Purchase your copy of FORTUNATE SON today!

Amazon  |   Nook    |  Apple  |  Kobo

Purchase in Paperback

Add FORTUNATE SON to your Goodreads TBR here!

 

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Intense Romance Reads

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: Bookish Wishes. That’s a harder topic for me than it seems. The only wish I could think of would be for Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen to write more books together. Crossing my fingers they surprise me someday soon. Instead my topic today is:

Ten Intense Romance Reads

A while ago my blogger friend Nick did a post with some friends on Angst in Romance. I thought it was a fun post and felt inspired, so I thought I would share some intense romances that brought the angst for me.

Review: What You Left Behind (Jessica Verdi)

What You Left Behind
Author: Jessica Verdi
Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead, he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.

The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic—and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions, and Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past?


What You Left Behind sat on my Kindle for 6 years (SIX YEARS!!!) before I picked it up. At first, I wasn’t looking for a book that sounded so emotional. Then, it got lost in the depths of my Kindle. It was brought back to mind when two of my friendly bloggers read it this past year. Both of them enjoyed it, and so my interest was renewed. I’m now mad I waited so long to read it.

This book was  addictive, but it was also emotional torture. Ryden is going through so much: grief from losing his girlfriend, being a new single teen father, having to give up so much, and the belief he was responsible for his girlfriend’s death. It was a lot to take in — especially because Ryden wasn’t handling it very well. He has the idea that Meg’s journals and finding his long lost father will help him become the father he should be. I felt for him, but he drove me up the wall. What he really needed was someone to give it to him straight. I know he was trying to avoid just that, but his delusions made me mad and sad.

Meg wasn’t alive in this book, but her presence was felt through her journals and Ryden’s memories. The memories were sweet and made me love Ryden and Meg together, but the reality the journal gave made those memories bittersweet. Some of the revelations made me upset with Meg. I didn’t leave this book with happy feelings about the decisions she made.

There were other characters in this book that helped make this story the great read it was along with Ryden and Meg. Ryden’s mom was an amazing lady. Alan was a great friend. Meg’s younger sister was a great addition. I had some so-so feelings about Joni, but her character served an important role and I actually loved what she said in the end. Two characters I didn’t love were Meg’s parents. There were several reasons, but I wish their had been some sort of arc involving them.

Overall, What You Left Behind was an impactful read. It’s one I’m going to be thinking of for a long time to come. I didn’t always love it, but I feel like it’s a book teenagers should read. The truths Ryden faced about having a baby in high school are very real.

Review: Broody Billionaire: The Wes Lancaster Collection (Max Monroe)

Broody Billionaire: The Wes Lancaster Collection
Series: Billionaire Bad Boys, #3
Author: Max Monroe
Publication Date: June 19, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The next awesome collection in our Billionaire Bad Boys Series!
Sexy-as-sin, broody and mysterious, Wes Lancaster is the ultimate billionaire bachelor.
Meet the broodiest billionaire of all time in one sexy, steamy, downright hilarious, and binge-worthy romantic comedy collection.
This collection includes the following three books:
*Scoring the Billionaire
*Scoring Her
*And a BRAND-NEW novella, Red, White, & You

I read Scoring the Billionaire and Scoring Her back in 2016. I loved both of those books. If you’re interested in reading my thoughts on those two parts of this collection check out my reviews:

What I really read Broody Billionaire: The Wes Lancaster Collection for was the brand new novella Red, White, & You. I could not wait for another new way to catch up with Wes, Winnie, and the entire gang. It was honestly everything I have come to expect from this series: sweet, witty, hilarious, and oh so Thatchtastic. It was fun getting to find out what Wes, Winnie, and Lex were up to these days. I also enjoyed how Winnie’s brothers were involved since we’re getting a new series about them. This novella was just a great time — perfect for summer with it’s Fourth of July timing. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Well, other than it being a full length novel since I can never get enough of these characters.