Review: Southern Storms (Brittainy C. Cherry)

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Southern Storms
Series: Compass, #1
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
Publication Date: April 2, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

All I wanted to do was run away, I never expected to crash into his arms…

After leaving the city life behind to escape my loveless marriage, I moved to small town Havenbarrow for a fresh start.

What I didn’t expect was to find myself drawn to the town’s black sheep.

They called him troubled. Cold. A man with a dark past.

What everyone seemed to miss about Jax was the splashes of light in his eyes. The random acts of kindness he performed when no one was watching. The way he made me smile and laugh.

Jax helped unpack the baggage I’d been carrying around with me. He was patient with my pain and gentle with my scars. He was the stillness during my hurricane.

Yet when both of our pasts came back to haunt our present days, we realized quickly that sometimes love stories didn’t end the way we’d hoped.

Sometimes you were left with only the damage from the storm.

*Book One in New Compass Series of Standalone Novels.


I hate to admit it, but I was hesitatnt to crack open Southern Storms — now, don’t get me wrong. It had nothing to do with the book and everything to do with how I have been feeling with the turmoil the world is in at this time. My emotions were already high, and I feared Ms. Cherry’s emotional writing style might just cause me to break. I was completely wrong about that. Even though Southern Storms hit me emotionally in tough ways, it also built me back up and filled my emotional cup, something I so very badly needed.

Jax and Kennedy… I feel like I can’t even begin to tell you how beautiful their love story was. They were both so broken, but also resilient. Neither of them knew that until the other helped prove it to them. They both just needed someone to lean on who understood. I don’t want to say much else because I don’t want to give anything away. Just know that this was a beautiful story about second chances in finding both oneself and love.

I did have a couple of small things that bugged me (maybe they will be changed prior to publication). One was a shock I got in one scene. It felt so out of character for Kennedy, but then it was explained and I got it. It just shocked me in a weird way. Not sure if I liked the direction or not, I still can’t decide. The other thing was revolving around Kennedy’s divorce. I felt like I needed something final about it…which will probably only make sense once you read the book. Nothing big, but I was left wondering about it.

Overall, Southern Storms was another brilliant, heartwarming novel by Brittainy C. Cherry. She continues to be a sorceress of words. Every story she writes pulls me under her spell, and Southern Storms did just that. I don’t know how to describe her writing other than magical. I can’t wait to find out what is next for the Compass series. (I kind of feel like maybe Amanda deserves a book next?)

 

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About Brittainy

Author Brittainy C. Cherry is an Amazon #1 bestselling author.

She has been in love with words since the day she took her first breath. She graduated from Carroll University with a Bachelor Degree in Theatre Arts and a minor in Creative Writing.

Her novels have been published in 18+ countries around the world. Brittainy lives in Brookfield, Wisconsin with her fur babies.

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Review: Legacy of Lies (Whitney G.)

Legacy of Lies
Series: Empire of Lies, #3
Author: Whitney G.
Publication Date: April 1, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

We’re in this together—lie for lie, truth for truth.

We’ve both been damaged by our pasts, both terrified of building a future…

Still, there’s a sliver of hope for the both of us—if one of us is willing to fold first.

He’s the king of lies, I’m the queen, and together we’re going to build one hell of a legacy…


I feel like I need to gush about the entire Empire of Lies trilogy before I even go into a review for just Legacy of Lies. This trilogy of novellas is nothing like what I’ve read from Whitney G. before. Yes, it’s her talented writing that pulls you in and never lets you go. What it’s not is her typical contemporary romance. This trilogy is darker, twistier, and edgier. I loved each installment, but moreover, I loved them all together. Five star review for the entire series! That being said, here’s how I felt about Legacy of Lies.

Legacy of Lies picked up right where Queen of Lies left off. I had an idea of where things were going, but it didn’t exactly go as planned — I probably felt how Michael felt about Meredith’s decisions. Things got crazy and went where I wasn’t expecting. I loved it. I loved how everything played out for Michael and Meredith. They got the ending they deserved, and I got the ending I wanted.

Review: More Than Maybe (Erin Hahn)

More Than Maybe
Author: Erin Hahn
Publication Date: May 12, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.

Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out-of-this-world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?


More Than Maybe was the first book I have read by Erin Hahn, but it definitely won’t be my last. I was so, so impressed with it. The writing was fabulous and pulled me in from the start. I immediately fell in love with Luke and Vada. They were fun characters on their own, but together they were freaking adorable! The build up to their relationship was so dang cute, I almost couldn’t handle it. I loved the way music was woven into the story. More Than Maybe was EXACTLY what I’m looking for when I pick up a YA contemporary. I can’t wait to read more from Erin Hahn.

Review: Four Days of You and Me (Miranda Kenneally)

Four Days of You and Me
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publication Date: May 5, 2020
Publisher: Sourcefire Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A new swoon-worthy romance following a couple’s love story on the same date over four years.

Every May 7, the students at Coffee County High School take a class trip. And every year, Lulu’s relationship with Alex Rouvelis gets a little more complicated. Freshman year, they went from sworn enemies to more than friends after a close encounter in an escape room. It’s been hard for Lulu to quit Alex ever since.

Through breakups, make ups, and dating other people, each year’s class trip brings the pair back together and forces them to confront their undeniable connection. From the science museum to an amusement park, from New York City to London, Lulu learns one thing is for sure: love is the biggest trip of all.


Four Days of You and Me was a fun book that was able to pull me in and keep my attention where other books couldn’t in these crazy times. It had an upbeat feel and didn’t go so deep in emotions that I wanted to shy away from it. (Sad, I know, but these times make me crave light and easy.)

What I liked about Four Days of You and Me:

  • Like I said, it was pretty much upbeat the most of the time. Even when the characters had struggles, it had that sweet contemporary feel.
  • Lulu was a great character. She was a bit of an outcast, but I liked that about her. I guess that part was a little cliche, but I didn’t mind.
  • While I wasn’t 100% happy with the way Alex treated Lulu, I did think he really liked her. I loved when he showed his kindness and love. He frustrated me a lot in his boyish ways, but he was a boy in high school so it was exactly how it should have been.
  • It took me a while to get used to the format of a day of school field trips each year and then flashbacks in between. I liked the way it was set up for the most part.

What wasn’t my favorite:

  • The flashbacks were cool because I felt like that’s when I got to see snippets of their day to day relationship, but it also made me crave more of those times. I wanted to see their relationship actually unfold, and I was robbed of that.
  • I needed an epilogue that took place one year after.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Four Days of You and Me. It was a light YA romance that was almost everything I needed in these dark times.

Review: Chasing Lucky (Jenn Bennett)

Chasing Lucky
Author: Jenn Bennett
Publication Date: May 5, 2020
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Budding photographer Josie Saint-Martin has spent half her life with her single mother, moving from city to city. When they return to her historical New England hometown years later to run the family bookstore, Josie knows it’s not forever. Her dreams are on the opposite coast, and she has a plan to get there.

What she doesn’t plan for is a run-in with the town bad boy, Lucky Karras. Outsider, rebel…and her former childhood best friend. Lucky makes it clear he wants nothing to do with the newly returned Josie. But everything changes after a disastrous pool party, and a poorly executed act of revenge lands Josie in some big-time trouble—with Lucky unexpectedly taking the blame.

Determined to understand why Lucky was so quick to cover for her, Josie discovers that both of them have changed, and that the good boy she once knew now has a dark sense of humor and a smile that makes her heart race. And maybe, just maybe, he’s not quite the brooding bad boy everyone thinks he is…


Chasing Lucky started out strong for me. I really loved the whole curse thing that was going on and what it meant for Josie and her mom to move back to Beauty, Rhode Island. I do have to mention that I was thrown off pretty quickly, though. There was an unexpected time jump and I wasn’t quite prepared for it. I don’t know if that was the weird formatting of the ARC I received or that it felt weird in general. Once I got past that initial shock, I was back to navigating the story easily.

Josie had A LOT going on in her life. She didn’t quit trust her mother. Her old best friend, Lucky, confused her with the way he kept her at a distance…until they were back to being friends. People in town judged and treated her wrong. Her cousin had boy problems. It was a lot for both Josie and me. It was so much to take in that I found myself being bogged down by it all. I honestly would have rather had less to focus on so that one or two major things could have been dealt with deeper. What I really loved about this book was Josie and Lucky. I would have rather just read about them without so much other stuff. The middle of this book just dragged for me because of all of it.

That being said, once I hit about 75% great, interesting things started happening. I loved the book from this point on. I loved where Josie’s relationship with her mom went. I loved Josie and Lucky deciding friendship wasn’t the only thing between them. I could have used more information about her cousin. The last 5% was the best part of the book.

Overall, I liked this book. I wish I would have loved it. It had some strong bones, it just needed a little simplifying.

Review: Not According to Plan (A.M. Madden)

Not According to Plan
Author: A.M. Madden
Publication Date: March 23, 2020
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (Amara)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

For one night of my life, I dared to do something reckless.
My birthday. A bar. Karaoke. And a man so hot he could melt the sun.
Sparks flew. Lust took over.

For one night of my life, I felt alive.

Then I was back to my “boring” life. Career-driven. Goal-oriented. Always planning ahead.

But nothing could have prepared me for the positive pregnancy test. We weren’t that reckless.

There goes my “boring” life. And what happens when I tell the father?


I liked this book, but I think I could have loved it if the blurb had been more honest. There’s more at play here than just a women accidentally getting pregnant with a one-night stand’s baby. Max, the baby daddy, actually has another baby coming soon as well in another state. (Not really a spoiler because it’s told to the reader almost immediately. Also, no OW drama.) So the real drama surrounds that and figuring things out. I grew frustrated with Jade quickly. I didn’t want her to have to give up the way she wanted her life, but I did think she could have looked the bigger picture and what Max was facing. Cute love story, but not one that had me swooning over it.

Review: Taming Hollywood’s Baddest Boy (Max Monroe)

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Taming Hollywood’s Baddest Boy
Author: Max Monroe
Publication Date: March 10, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Do people say they hate someone’s guts so that they can still fall stupidly, head-over-heels in love with the other parts?
Asking for a friend.

Okay, fine. I’m not asking for a friend.

I’m asking for me—and I’m begging you to tell me that the practice of falling in love with your should-be-enemy is common.

Please tell me that I’m not the only person to track down a guy—who used to be Hollywood’s baddest bad boy before he left LA for good—at his off-the-grid cabin in Alaska, show up unannounced, and find him gloriously naked.

This probably happens all the time…right?

Tell me I’m not alone in my stupidity—that I’m not the only woman who would fall for gorgeous blue eyes and a sexy devilish smirk, even if they belong to a broody, mysterious jerk.

Please. Please. Please. Tell me I’m not alone in this.

For the love of everything, I need all the supportive girl power I can get if I’m going to convince Luca Weaver to come back to Hollywood—otherwise known as the place he hates so much that he ghosted Oscar-level success and escaped to no-man’s-land for the last eight years just to avoid it.

Yeah, don’t worry—that smoke you’re smelling isn’t your house catching fire as you read this…it’s just my career and what was previously known as my heart going up in flames.

Gah. Is it just me, or am I totally, completely, and utterly screwed?


If I had to sum up Taming Hollywood’s Baddest Boy in one word it would FUN. Everything about it was fun. If you’ve read Max Monroe before you know they excel at humor, and things got humorous in the best way possible in this book.

Taming the Hollywood’s Baddest Boy starts off on the enemies to lovers side of things. The banter is right on par with that trope. Billie and Luca had instant chemistry, which was aided by the fact that they both had stubborn sides. Pushed together by an unplanned camping trip together in the Alaska wild, their hate to love relationship accelerated quickly, but not unbelievably. Every moment between them was swoon worthy. I didn’t even bat my eye at their problems because I knew the make up was going to be perfectly fulfilling.

I honestly don’t know what else to say about Taming Hollywood’s Baddest Boy other than to shout “FUN!!!” It’s the type of book to read when you want to escape from all the unpleasant news or problems of today. It was exactly what I’ve come to expect and depend upon from the collaborative genius of Max Monroe.

Taming Hollywood’s Baddest Boy, an all-new laugh-out-loud standalone romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Max Monroe, is available now!

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About Max Monroe

A duo of romance authors team up under the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you sexy, laugh-out-loud reads.

Max Monroe is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than ten contemporary romance titles. Favorite writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half. This is their most favorite adventure thus far. ​

Connect with Max Monroe

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Review: The Trade (Meghan Quinn)

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The Trade
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: March 12, 2020
Genre: Contemporary, Sports, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Can you pinpoint a time in your life where you realized you are completely and utterly screwed?

I can. I got the dreaded phone call, the one every baseball player hopes and prays never comes.

I was traded. Yeah, that phone call.

Traded from my long time team of over ten years. And not just to any team, but my childhood rivals; the Chicago Rebels.

Completely and utterly screwed, right? Wrong. The trade was the least of my concerns.

I met a girl. Natalie. Man, she’s perfect.

I swore I would never get involved with anyone during the season. Too complicated. But can you believe I have zero restraint when it comes to this girl? I couldn’t get her out of my head and the more I talked to her, the more I realized I needed her in my life.

So what’s the problem? Why am I screwed? Because, Natalie, the girl I can’t stop crushing on, yeah . . . she’s married.

At least, that’s what I was told . . .


The Trade wins. It’s officially my favorite book in this series.

There wasn’t anything I didn’t love about it. Cory F-ing Potter was easily became one of my favorite Meghan Quinn heroes. I loved him from the beginning for his respect of Natalie’s relationship status and he continued to grow my impression of him. He had his moments of stupidity, but all in all he was a great person. Same for Natalie. She was sweet and her insecurities were easy to identify with. They way Corey and Natalie clicked personality wise is too cute for words. The way the got each other made for some EXPLOSIVE chemistry.

The fact that we get some very fun moments with cameos from the couples in the previous book made this book even more entertaining and fun to read. There wasn’t anything not to love about The Trade. Bravo, Meghan Quinn!

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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.

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Review: Creole Kingpin (Meghan March)

Creole Kingpin
Series: Magnolia Duet, #1
Author: Meghan March
Publication Date: March 10, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Meghan March goes back to New Orleans and the world of Lachlan Mount with a dangerous and bold new anti-hero.

The thing about ghosts is they’re supposed to stay dead.

That’s exactly what I am, but I can’t stay away from Magnolia Marie Maison for one more day, let alone another year.

We’ve already got fifteen of those between us.

As it stands, she’ll want to kill me as soon as she lays eyes on me. And knowing her, she’s completely up to the task.

But I’m a man on a mission, and I’ve got everything riding on this.

So, here I come, Magnolia. This ghost is ready for whatever you got.

After all, there’s only one way I want this to end—’til death do us part.


I don’t know how Meghan March does it. Each book and series better than the last. From beginning to end, Creole Kingpin had me transfixed. I loved being back in March’s New Orleans setting with Magnolia, I character who has intrigued me from the minute I learned her name. Add in Moses, the villain from the Legend Trilogy who I wasn’t exactly a fan of, and things were crazy good.

Magnolia had a rough and not exactly lawful past life. She is ready to leave it all behind. Her navigation out of that world and the resurrection of Moses in her life was so much fun to read about. Add in a little dangerous mystery, and Creole Kingpin was the best kind of ride.

I would leave my review at that, but I HAVE to mention Moses some more. I didn’t think I could love him based on his relationship with Legend. I did, though… His relationship with Magnolia made me see him in a completely new way. I loved it.

So… This is a duet. You know what that means in a Meghan March book, right? CLIFFHANGER. This one went a direction I wasn’t expecting. It left me more curious than shocked, and I’m dying to know what’s going to be revealed in Madam Temptress.

Creole Kingpin is the first book in the Magnolia Duet. Magnolia’s story concludes in Madam Temptress releasing April 14, 2020.

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About the author:

Making the jump from corporate lawyer to romance author was a leap of faith that New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Meghan March will never regret. With over thirty titles published, she has sold millions of books in nearly a dozen languages to fellow romance-lovers around the world. A nomad at heart, she can currently be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, living her happily ever after with her real-life alpha hero.

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Review: Bench Player (Julianna Keyes)

Bench Player
Series: Charleston Thrashers, #2
Author: Julianna Keyes
Publication Date: March 30, 2020
Publisher: Julianna Keyes
Genre: Contemporary, Sports, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

ALLISON

As Public Relations Manager for the Charleston Thrashers, I’m responsible for protecting the team’s reputation. But after our right fielder gets sent to prison and we lose the World Series, my own reputation takes a huge hit. There’s only one way I can save my job: by revamping Connor Whitman’s tarnished ex-con image. Keeping my eye on the ball isn’t a problem until I discover what’s underneath his unkempt exterior—a man who’s unexpectedly vulnerable and distractingly sexy. Now, my professionalism is sailing far into foul territory.

CONNOR

I’ve served my time, and now I’m determined to reclaim my spot in the Thrashers’ outfield. Unfortunately, the new General Manager doesn’t want an aging ex-con on the roster, so I have no choice but to go along with Allison’s annoying scheme. Her bossiness drives me crazy—but so do her legs and her hair and her all-too-rare smiles. I can’t afford to fall for anyone when my focus needs to be on baseball, but love is a game I’ve never played before, and for the first time ever, I’m out of my league.


After reading Team Player, I was excited to hear there was going to be a second book in the Charleston Thrashers series. Bench Player was a great sports romance read. It had an almost enemies vibe going on at first, which then turned into a sort of forbidden lovers thing. Both of those tropes were done well and made the romance all the more fun.

I loved Allison. She was tough as nails, but also had a softer side. I loved her relationship with her grandfather. It was adorable! It might have almost been sweeter than her relationship with Connor…

Connor was a character I haven’t read before  in a sports romance. Sure, I’ve read about players who need some sort of image overhaul, but I don’t think I’ve ever read the ex-con angle before. I loved how it changed him. He was standoffish at first and had every reason to be. I loved seeing his character growth over the course of the story, and how his relationship with Allison changed how he saw a few things.

Allison + Connor = Fire! I loved their banter and chemistry. They seemed too opposite to make sense at first, but then that was what made them make sense together. I loved the ups and down they went through to get to their finish line.

The only thing I didn’t like in this book was something close to the end. It made me sad. I just wish the story hadn’t gone there. I felt like it maybe it didn’t need to.

Other than that one thing, I loved this book. I’m really hoping this series continues as there are a couple more players I would love to see get their own story.