Review: The Lie (Karla Sorensen)

The Lie
Author: Karla Sorensen

Publication Date: September 15, 2021
Publisher: Dutch Girl Publishing, LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Rule number 1 for the team owner’s daughter? Don’t date the players.

Especially not hotheaded tight ends with tattoos and impulse control problems.

That’s why Dominic Walker is completely off my radar. Sort of.

Babysitting the team troublemaker when he’s forced to volunteer for the foundation where I work means I can’t exactly avoid him.

I wish I had though. Because once I get to know Dominic, it’s almost impossible to ignore the feelings he brings out in me.

Pretty soon, I’m breaking all my rules. I just have to hope he doesn’t break my heart in the process. 


When I first started The Lie I thought, “Oh, no.” because I was not impressed with Dominic. He was a professional football player with a big chip on his shoulder. Getting to know him made the reasons for his attitude understandable, but still didn’t make him more likable. It wasn’t until he started pursuing Faith that he redeemed himself. Even then I was torn by his lie of omission. It should have been easy for him to come clean with Faith, but I got why he didn’t. Who wouldn’t want to someone to love them for who they were all the time? That being said, the hole Dominic dug for himself was deep.

I instantly loved Faith’s character. I can remember her as an adorable little girl in the Washington Wolves series, so it was fun to see her all grown up. Faith was someone most readers will see a little bit of themselves in. She some I would describe as being an average person lacking a little confidence in certain areas. I enjoyed seeing her relationship with her family and some characters from previous books. Faith had a lot going for her, and her relationship to Dominic added to her life rather than took it over.

Dominic and Faith had one of those relationships that’s magic on the page. There’s the spark, the emotional connection, and the chemistry that make for a great romance. I’m not normally a big fan of lies of omission like Dominic’s, but this romance worked for me. I loved the way the fall out was dealt with. It made their relationship stronger, and I liked knowing they could weather the tough times based on what they had built.

The Lie has me super excited for this series to continue. I cannot wait for Faith’s sister Lydia’s book.

WWW Wednesday: September 28, 2021

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

WHAT DID YOU JUST FINISH READING?

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I just finished an ARC of  Boyfriend (Moo U, #0) by Sarina Bowen. That #0 might have you confused a bit, but Bowen recently decided to expand her Moo U novella to a full length novel. I was here for it!

I have always wanted to go back and read some of Chantel Cleeton’s older books, so I am reading Fly With Me (Wild Aces, #1).

Unless I have to read more of Cleeton’s Wild Aces series, I am planning on pick up my ARC of Made in Manhattan by Lauren Layne. Part of me wants to save this one because I love LL so much, but I don’t know if I will have that control!

Top Ten Tuesday: Back to School

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 a FREEBIE. I decided to go with:

Back to School

Get ready for romance titles with school terms. This topic seemed fitting since school is now back in session, but also kind of wrong since these are romances between adults… Also, I need to point out NO student-teacher relationships here. Not all are even set in a school setting. It’s just certain words in the title. 

Elements of Chemistry by Penny Reid
The Dating Experiment by Emma Hart
The Learning Hours by Sara Ney
Earn Your Extra Credit by Meghan Quinn
The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams
Getting Schooled by Emma Chase
See Me After Class by Meghan Quinn
Professor Feelgood by Leisa Rayven
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Orientation by Kate Canterbary

Review: Never Saw Me Coming

Never Saw Me Coming
Author: Vera Kurian
Publication Date: September 7, 2021
Publisher: Park Row
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Meet Chloe Sevre. She’s a freshman honor student, a leggings-wearing hot girl next door, who also happens to be a psychopath. Her hobbies include yogalates, frat parties, and plotting to kill Will Bachman, a childhood friend who grievously wronged her.

Chloe is one of seven students at her DC-based college who are part of an unusual clinical study for psychopaths—students like herself who lack empathy and can’t comprehend emotions like fear or guilt. The study, led by a renowned psychologist, requires them to wear smart watches that track their moods and movements.

When one of the students in the study is found murdered in the psychology building, a dangerous game of cat and mouse begins, and Chloe goes from hunter to prey. As she races to identify the killer and put her own plan into action, she’ll be forced to decide if she can trust any of her fellow psychopaths—and everybody knows you should never trust a psychopath.

Never Saw Me Coming is a compulsive, voice-driven thriller by an exciting new voice in fiction, that will keep you pinned to the page and rooting for a would-be killer. 


Never Saw Me Coming is a book that wasn’t on my radar until I saw Stephanie and Yvonne review it. Their reviews and the blurb had me intrigued. I was fascinated by the fact that Chloe was a psychopath headed to college to kill Will while also being just one student who is part of a clinical study for psychopaths. All those psychopaths had to lead to a great psychological thriller, right? The answer is yes. Yes, they did.

I loved the way Never Saw Me Coming was written. Chloe was our main POV written in first person. Most of the chapters were hers and that worked well. The other two big players were Charles, a wealthy upperclassman in a fraternity, and Andre, another freshman. Both were part of Chloe’s program and had just as much to hide. The rest of the POVs were a few people surrounding them who added to the story in an important way. I loved reading everyone’s thoughts. The way they processed information, emotions, and what was going down was very interesting. The relationships between the Chloe, Charles, and Andre were some of my favorite parts to read. The dynamic and how they saw each other fascinated me. 

Another thing I appreciated about Never Saw Me Coming was the plot. It was very thought out on the author’s part. The twists and turns kept me wondering what was happening and where the story was going. It’s a rare thing for me to have not guessed the killer before it is revealed, and I guessed wrong here. Or maybe I just never really truly guessed because I was experiencing things with the characters. That’s one of the main reasons this book is getting a full five stars from me. 

As much as I loved this book and felt that it came to a fulfilling end, I would like a sequel. Or maybe a spin off. I wasn’t quite as done with some of the characters when everything was all said and done. I guess that tells you what a well crafter book this was. If you like a twisted psychological thriller, I would recommend this one. 

Mini Review: The Legacy (Elle Kennedy)

The Legacy
Series: Off-Campus, #5
Author: Elle Kennedy
Publication Date: September 21, 2021
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

The international bestselling Off-Campus series returns with a collection of four novellas by New York Times bestselling author Elle Kennedy! This brand-new installment provides the much-anticipated answer to the question: where are they now?

My thoughts:

The Off-Campus series is one of my favorite NA sports romance series of all time. When I heard Elle Kennedy was giving us a “Where are they now?” novel, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

The Legacy was four parts, one for each couple. The first part was Logan and Grace’s and they need some spontaneity dedicated time together. (You might be familiar with a large part of this one because Kennedy released it as a novella.) The second part is all about Dean and Allie and a possible engagement. The third part is a much needed vacation alone and big decisions for parents Tucker and Sabrina. The fourth and final part is about a secret Hannah is keeping from Garrett. All four parts include hilarious moments between the guys (and the girls), a creepy and possibly haunted doll, and sweet moments between our couples. We get to find out what they’re all doing and where their relationships are headed, but Kennedy leaves it open enough that she could write more in the future.

It was fun to be back with the gang. I laughed and smiled a lot.  Fans of the series will love The Legacy simply because they get to be back with some of their favorite characters.

Review: The Love Hypothesis (Ali Hazelwood)

The Love Hypothesis
Author: Ali Hazelwood
Publication Date: September 14, 2021
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope. 


If you are a romance fan, chances are you’ve at least seen the cover for The Love Hypothesis if not heard the hype surrounding it. I hate to admit it, but I was hesitant to read it. I had kind of been avoiding it because of said hype and the fact that illustrated covers tend to dupe me at times. Basically, I wasn’t planning to read it. Then, the 5 star reviews started rolling in. Some of my most trusted blogger and reader friends started reviewing it. All said it was worth the hype. What I was reading in reviews made me change my mind, so I read it. IT WAS SO WORTH THE HYPE. So worth it.

I adored The Love Hypothesis. I was immediately pulled into Olive’s world. I’m not the biggest fan of third person narration, but it worked for me here. Olive, with her doubts and insecurities, was totally relatable. I loved how she wanted to make sure her friends were happy, but also felt for her with what she was willing to do to make sure that happened. Olive was a smart, nice, and overall good person. I loved her.

I also loved Adam. He might have been the most hated professor on campus with his blunt deliveries, but I loved that he was unapologetic about it and was trying to better the grad students. What I loved most about him, though, was how he treated Olive with so much care.

Olive and Adam were cuteness overload. I couldn’t get enough of their fake relationship — especially the more real it got. Their interactions were constantly making me swoon. I could go on and on about how perfect Olive and Adam were for each other.

As with any good romance novel, there were some amazing side characters. Olive’s best friend Anh and her pushiness cracked me up. Malcolm and basically everything he did made me smile. Adam’s friend Holden was another fun character. I wouldn’t mind a book for either Anh or Malcolm. I would love for this to be a series! I don’t know if that’s planned, but it would make me happy.

I was a little worried going in that all the STEM and academia stuff might overwhelm the story, but it was worked so well into the story and felt subtle despite it being a major topic. It was actually kind of fun to learn more about the grad school and academic life since I didn’t go that route. And I loved how Olive and Adam’s love of science and experiences in the field brought them closer together.

Yeah…I could probably go on and on about this book. It’s definitely a new favorite debut romance novel and one that you will most likely find on my list of favorite books for 2021.

WWW Wednesday: September 22, 2021

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

WHAT DID YOU JUST FINISH READING?

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I finally got to finish the Dirty Empire series by K.A. Tucker with Fallen Empire

I’m reading an ARC of Canary by Tijan. 

I cannot wait to go back to one of my favorites series of all time and read The Legacy (Off-Campus, #5) by Elle Kennedy! 

Review: Kiss and Don’t Tell (Meghan Quinn)

Kiss and Don’t Tell
Authors: Meghan Quinn

Publication Date: September 21, 2021
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

From USA Today bestselling author and the author of The Highland Fling, comes a brand new hockey romance about a wayward traveler falling in love with her ex-boyfriend’s half-brother. Steamy and unapologetically witty.

Five hockey players, a cabin in the woods . . . and little old me, Winnie Berlin.

Sounds like the start of a fantasy, right? But it’s not. It’s my reality.

It all started when I got lost in the middle of the Canadian Rockies. A wicked thunderstorm sent my car mud sliding into a ditch and for a girl whose survival skills involve finding the nearest Starbucks, I was in deep trouble.

Forced to abandon my car in search of help, I stumbled upon a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Soaking wet, irritated, and in desperate need of a hot shower, I knocked on the door for help only to be greeted by five boisterous, burly, and insanely attractive men.

Not just men.

Professional hockey players.

I hit the motherload of fantasies, right? Wrong.

Because as it turns out, one of them is my ex-boyfriend’s half-brother. And when I end up crashing in their spare bedroom for the night, things take a very unexpected turn.

I’m not sure any amount of survival skills can protect my heart from Vancouver Agitators star goalie, Pacey Lawes. But as long as we kiss and don’t tell, maybe everything will be okay . . .


Every time I go to write a review for one of Meghan Quinn’s books I want to gush about her writing in general. Her books are my happy place. I honestly don’t know how she’s able to write so many books so quickly without them starting to feel redundant, but she manages to create unique characters and romances that make me laugh and swoon each time. I’ve been especially impressed with her new releases this year. I’ve always enjoyed her writing, but I feel like it’s gotten even better — if that’s even possible. But anyways. What I’m really here to do is review her newest release, Kiss and Don’t Tell.

Kiss and Don’t Tell was a beautiful beginning for what’s bound to be an amazing hockey romance series. Pacey and Winnie were adorable. I could feel the instant connection between them from the moment Winnie randomly showed up on the “cabin” doorstep. I loved how their relationship built and gave us a little bit of a slow burn feel. What could have easily felt like an instant love romance based on their strong chemistry and attraction was filled with moments of fun, sometimes awkward, getting to know each other. I loved getting to know Pacey and Winnie right along with them. I know readers are going to swoon over Pacey wooing Winnie.

In the blurb, you might have noticed that Winnie shows up to the cabin where Pacey and his 4 teammates are. Well, readers are also going to love the goalie extraordinaire’s teammates/buddies. Every single one of those guys better be getting a book! They all had such fun personalities and their interactions were hilarious. I loved how they weren’t just teammates or friends, but family really.

Pacey wasn’t the only one with great friends. Winnie’s besties Max and Katherine were great characters. Max was the fun one and Katherine…well, she was intense. I loved how the three of them balanced each other out. I really hope Katherine gets matched with one of Pacey’s friends at some point…

I do have to admit that there was one part of this book that made me slightly uncomfortable. I am not a fan of romances where the hero or heroine has been involved with their match’s sibling. Winnie’s ex-boyfriend, Josh, was Pacey’s half-sibling. There is some stuff that goes along with the relationship between Pacey and Josh that made this story work for me better than it might have otherwise, but how Pacey deals with part of it sat in the back of my mind bugging me a bit. It wasn’t a huge deal and it didn’t ruin this book at all, but it wasn’t my favorite.

Overall, I adored Kiss and Don’t Tell. Winnie and Pacey’s romance made me heart happy. I wouldn’t have minded reading even more about them. I guess I’ll just have to hope we get to see them again in future books.

     

AVAILABLE NOW!!!
(AND IN KU!)
Amazon: http://mybook.to/KissandDontTell
Audio, Releasing 9/22: https://adbl.co/3BJqaxk      
Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58637781-kiss-and-don-t-tell  

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.  Connect with Meghan:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meghanquinnauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7360513.Meghan_Quinn
Instagram: https://instagram.com/meghanquinnbooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorMegQuinn
Website: http://authormeghanquinn.com
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/meghan-quinn
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LitE4x  

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall 2021 Releases I Can’t Wait to Read

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: 

Fall 2021 Releases I Can’t Wait to Read

You’ll Be the Death of My by Karen M. McManus
Indigo Ridge by Devney Perry
Bend in the Road by Sara Biren
Hate Me Under the Mistletoe by Kelly Jamieson
Main Street Dealmaker by Brighton Walsh
Infamous Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie
Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune
Boyfriend by Sarina Bowen
The Attic on Queen Street by Karen White
Canary by Tijan

Mini Reviews: Tin Queen & Relentless

Tin Queen
Series: Clifton Forge, #6
Author: Devney Perry

Publication Date: August 31, 2021
Publisher: Devney Perry LLC

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts:

I liked Emmett and Nova’s romance. It was steamier than the past books based on the nature of their relationship being primarily a physical one, but that fit well and it wasn’t overly steamy. I liked what being Tucker’s daughter meant for Nova and how that storyline went. Same for Emmett and his late father. The only thing that kept me from loving it was that I felt like the last book was more captivating. It made this one seem like a weaker end to the series. Still a good time and totally worth reading, though!

Relentless
Series: Mason Family, #4
Author: Adriana Locke

Publication Date: September 3, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts:

I liked Relentless, but it was missing something for me. Oliver and Shaye were both great characters with interesting pasts. The chemistry was there. It was just something in the execution of the story. I’m not sure what it was, but it left the book feeling kind of blah. It mas missing something to make it stand out from the rest of the series, I guess. I would say it is worth the read if you’re looking for something light and fluffy or are a fan of the series.