Review: Twice in a Blue Moon (Christina Lauren)

Twice in a Blue Moon
Author: Christina Lauren
Publication Date: October 22, 2019
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners and the “delectable, moving” (Entertainment Weekly) My Favorite Half-Night Stand comes a modern love story about what happens when your first love reenters your life when you least expect it…

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of young love and second chances.


Twice in a Blue Moon is one of Christina Lauren’s books that is on the emotional rather than humorous side of things. I appreciate how they are able to write both types of books well. I have to admit that Twice in a Blue Moon wasn’t my favorite of their books. I had some mixed feelings about it despite loving their writing.

This book basically had two parts. The first was in the past. Tate and Sam meet in London and quickly fall in love. I was thankful that Christina Lauren decided to give us this time all at once and not in flashbacks. It was nice to see how Tate and Sam’s romance started back then and how everything fell apart because of Sam’s actions. I didn’t completely connect to their relationship at this point in the story because it was two young adults falling in love almost instantly and I had a hard time believing that. I did like how it set up for the future, though.

The second part of this book was set in present day, approximately 14 years later. Tate is now a famous actress. She runs into Sam on the set of her film unexpectedly. It’s not a happy reunion because of Sam’s betrayal, but Tate at least will get some answers. This was my favorite part of the story. I liked how Tate had to navigate the her truths and decide what she wanted to believe when it came to the past and things going on in the present.

Where Twice in a Blue Moon lost me was the pace of the story. The first two weeks felt long because of the detail of them. The present felt like it flew by because of the way time jumped and how quickly the characters moved. It felt like things ended abruptly and there wasn’t a clear resolution. I still enjoyed this book despite that, but I think I could have loved it with a little more attention to the end.

Review: Down Too Deep (J. Daniels)

Down Too Deep
Series: Dirty Deeds, #4
Author: J. Daniels
Publication Date: October 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Following the sudden death of his wife, Nathan Bell has spent nearly two years burying himself in work and neglecting his biggest responsibility: his daughter. Overcome with guilt, he wants to connect with little Marley, but he doesn’t know how to do it alone. And then Jenna Savage throws him a lifeline.

A single mom of twins, Jenna is more than capable of taking care of Nate’s adorable two-year-old, and wants to help Nathan however she can. Soon, attachments are made, forcing Jenna and her kids into new territory. And the closer everyone becomes, the more right it feels.

Falling in love forces Nathan to face his biggest fear, and when hearts, both big and little, are on the line, the only thing scarier than needing someone is losing them all.


Down Too Deep was everything I was hoping it would be. I’ve been waiting for Nate to get a book forever and pairing him up with Jenna was perfect. It was especially fun because I already knew I loved both of these characters from previous books in the series. Nate is the owner of Whitecaps where both Syd and Tori worked and Jenna is Brian’s younger sister. These characters being surrounded by those special characters just made things that much better.

Jenna and Nate were so stinking adorable together. I could go on and on about how much I loved them together. It was cool to explore the things Jenna and Nate had in common. They were both single parents who loved their children deeply. They had different paths to becoming single parents, and both had some issues with that to work out, but it connected them in a way they wouldn’t have been otherwise. That was a really cool thing because it made this book not only about a romance but about family as well.

If you like kids in books, Down Too Deep has some incredibly adorable ones. Jenna’s twins Olivia and Oliver were part of what made this book shine. They had such great little personalities for kids. Same goes for Nate’s daughter Marley. She was such a cute toddler. I especially loved her for the way she adored Oliver. Combine the three of these kids and it’s cuteness overload.

I honestly couldn’t think of a better way for J. Daniels to end the Dirty Deeds series than with Nate and Jenna. The only thing better would be if the series didn’t have to end.

Review: Lake Redstone (J.D. Hollyfield)

Lake Redstone
Author: J.D. Hollyfield
Publication Date: July 22, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Casey doesn’t have much luck in the dating department, so when her girlfriends ditch their girls only weekend for a couple’s retreat, she’s forced to take desperate measures.

Refusing to be the only single one, she does what any quick-thinking girl would do:

She lies.

It was almost too easy hiring a stranger to pretend to be her hot, rich, successful boyfriend. What she didn’t plan on was him being hot, successful, and way too much trouble for her liking.

Jim was in a slump in his everyday life. He was bored and needed something to spice up his life. Accepting a gig to play the perfect boy toy was not what he had in mind, but it was too good to turn down.

What he didn’t plan for was the smokin’ little spitfire who hired him. It’s a con, a job, a fraud. But the more she’s in his presence, the more he realizes she may be more than just a ruse.

Three days at a lake house.

Two strangers who cause a lot of mayhem.

One little lie.


Lake Redstone is one of my favorite books of the summer. It’s a fake relationship romantic comedy that could easily be a movie — I seriously spent time thinking about which actor would play what character before I went to bed last night.

In Lake Redstone, single Casey’s much-needed girls trip to some place like Mexico turns into a couples trip to the lake. To avoid feeling like a reject, Casey puts up an ad for a fake boyfriend for the weekend. She has no idea she’s about to meet the guy of her dreams. Jim thought Why not? when he saw Casey’s ad. The worst thing that could happen would be that he could end up in a body bag. He’s pleasantly surprised by Casey, but also wonders just how crazy this beautiful woman is that she has to hire a boyfriend for the weekend.

J.D. Hollyfield’s writing sparkled in Lake Redstone. Her brand of humor is what set this book apart from other fake romance contemporaries. It was funny and sometimes bordered on ridiculous, but in the best way. I loved that she gave me both Casey and Jim’s point of views because knowing what both of them were thinking made the romance even stronger.

Casey the perfect hot mess. She had nothing but everything going for her all at once. Casey was the wild child of her group who enjoyed her life, but also felt like a failure when all her friends were thriving. I loved how her imperfections were what drew Jim to her.

Jim was a great surprise — to both Casey and myself. He fit in with her and her friends so easily. There wasn’t an awkwardness or anything of just having met these people. He also had a lot in common with Casey, and I loved how their relationship didn’t feel like instant love because of how well they could understand each other.

Back to those friends… I want to be in their friend group! They were so much fun! They were all so different and each had their own piece of crazy going on, but they were tight and really cared about each other. I especially loved Jim and Mick’s bromance. Gosh, it couldn’t get much better than that. Seriously, make this movie so I can see this bromance!

I just really loved this book so much! I want everyone who likes a good fake relationship romance to read it. The only thing I hesitated over while reading this book was that the end wrapped up a little too conveniently, but I still didn’t hate that. It was actually really cute.

Blog Tour: Handle with Care (Helena Hunting)

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“Lincoln and Wren had me flipping through the pages frantically, begging for more. Their chemistry was explosive, their love story both hilarious and tender.”- L.J. Shen, USA Today bestselling author

Handle With Care, an all-new romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting is available now!

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HE WANTS TO LOSE CONTROL.

Between his parents’ messed up marriage and his narcissistic younger brother, Lincoln Moorehead has spent the majority of his life avoiding his family. After the death of his father, Lincoln finds himself in the middle of the drama. To top it all off, he’s been named CEO of Moorehead Media, much to his brother’s chagrin. But Lincoln’s bad attitude softens when he meets the no-nonsense, gorgeous woman who has been given the task of transforming him from the gruff, wilderness guy to a suave businessman

SHE’S TRYING TO HOLD IT TOGETHER.

Wren Sterling has been working double time to keep the indiscretions at Moorehead Media at bay, so when she’s presented with a new contract, with new responsibilities and additional incentives, she agrees. Working with the reclusive oldest son of a ridiculously entitled family is worth the hassle if it means she’s that much closer to pursuing her own dreams. What Wren doesn’t expect is to find herself attracted to him, or for it to be mutual. And she certainly doesn’t expect to fall for Lincoln. But when a shocking new Moorehead scandal comes to light, she’s forced to choose between her own family and the broody, cynical CEO.

My review:

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

I had in my mind that I was going to do a bullet point review for Handle with Care listing my likes and dislikes. The thing is… I didn’t dislike anything about it. The Shacking Up series keeps getting better and better with each book. I loved Handle with Care. I guess I’m just going to have to gives you my likes.

  • Lincoln Moorehead. This burly mountain man had a heart of gold. He always tried to do the right thing. I loved how he spent his time giving back to others.
  • Lincoln wasn’t perfect, though. He had faults. He was especially good at goading his brother Armstrong, which I approved of.
  • Armstrong is probably one of my most hated characters, and he’s rightfully gained that title over the course of the series. He was especially fun to hate in Handle with Care.
  • Wren Sterling. Anyone who can bring Armstrong to his knees they way she could deserves applause. Plus, she was just a nice person.
  • Lincoln + Wren = insane chemistry. I loved the whole office romance vibe they had going on. The fact that she was his “handler” made it even more fun.
  • All of the surprised Helena Hunting had in store for the reader.
  • G-mom. I loved that old lady.

My list of positives about Handle with Care could probably go on longer. It was just such a fun read. I loved being back in this world of characters. I’m really hoping Helena Hunting will continue this series a little longer.

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About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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Review: Handle with Care (Helena Hunting)

Handle with Care
Series: Shacking Up, #2
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: August 27, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

HE WANTS TO LOSE CONTROL.
Between his parents’ messed up marriage and his narcissistic younger brother, Lincoln Moorehead has spent the majority of his life avoiding his family. After the death of his father, Lincoln finds himself in the middle of the drama. To top it all off, he’s been named CEO of Moorehead Media, much to his brother’s chagrin. But Lincoln’s bad attitude softens when he meets the no-nonsense, gorgeous woman who has been given the task of transforming him from the gruff, wilderness guy to a suave businessman

SHE’S TRYING TO HOLD IT TOGETHER.
Wren Sterling has been working double time to keep the indiscretions at Moorehead Media at bay, so when she’s presented with a new contract, with new responsibilities and additional incentives, she agrees. Working with the reclusive oldest son of a ridiculously entitled family is worth the hassle if it means she’s that much closer to pursuing her own dreams. What Wren doesn’t expect is to find herself attracted to him, or for it to be mutual. And she certainly doesn’t expect to fall for Lincoln. But when a shocking new Moorehead scandal comes to light, she’s forced to choose between her own family and the broody, cynical CEO.


I had in my mind that I was going to do a bullet point review for Handle with Care listing my likes and dislikes. The thing is… I didn’t dislike anything about it. The Shacking Up series keeps getting better and better with each book. I loved Handle with Care. I guess I’m just going to have to gives you my likes.

  • Lincoln Moorehead. This burly mountain man had a heart of gold. He always tried to do the right thing. I loved how he spent his time giving back to others.
  • Lincoln wasn’t perfect, though. He had faults. He was especially good at goading his brother Armstrong, which I approved of.
  • Armstrong is probably one of my most hated characters, and he’s rightfully gained that title over the course of the series. He was especially fun to hate in Handle with Care.
  • Wren Sterling. Anyone who can bring Armstrong to his knees they way she could deserves applause. Plus, she was just a nice person.
  • Lincoln + Wren = insane chemistry. I loved the whole office romance vibe they had going on. The fact that she was his “handler” made it even more fun.
  • All of the surprised Helena Hunting had in store for the reader.
  • G-mom. I loved that old lady.

My list of positives about Handle with Care could probably go on longer. It was just such a fun read. I loved being back in this world of characters. I’m really hoping Helena Hunting will continue this series a little longer.

Review: That Forever Girl (Meghan Quinn)

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That Forever Girl
Series: Getting Lucky, #2
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: August 27, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

USA Today bestselling author Meghan Quinn’s second book in the Getting Lucky series brings heart, humor, and heat back to Port Snow.

There are two little words every small-town man dreads:

She’s back.

Harper Sanders, the girl who was supposed to be my forever, has returned to Port Snow, Maine, for good—and she’s bringing back memories of our shared past.

We once had a bright future together, but when tragedy struck, I threw it all away and pushed her out of my life. People in our small town think I’m cursed, but I know better. I did it all to myself.

And now she’s creating a life of her own in the place where we first fell in love. I can’t fight my feelings for her—or the strong attraction that keeps pulling us together. But after all this time, can she forgive the past and fall in love with me all over again?

Everyone hopes to find that forever girl…I just hope I haven’t lost mine for good.


Meghan Quinn is one of my auto-buy authors. I pick up her books because I am a big fan of the humor in them, but every once in a while she sneaks in a story that’s more emotional than humorous. That Forever Girl was one of those books.

That Forever Girl is a second chance romance that has an enemies to lovers vibe. Rogan and Harper were childhood friends turned high school sweethearts. They were even engaged at one point until Rogan tore them apart. After they split up, Rogan returned to Port Snow while Harper toured the East Coast. Now Harper’s back in Port Snow and invading the quiet life Rogan made for himself. All he wants is for her to leave…or is it?

I have to admit this book started off a little weird for me. Rogan’s emotional state kind of drug me down. He had so much anger and hate inside of him. It was hard not to feel those emotions right with him. (Bravo to Meghan Quinn for emoting through her writing, though!) I couldn’t decide if I even liked Rogan and wanted him to win Harper back. It wasn’t until about half way through that I found some of that humor I was looking for to help pick up the feel of the story. It also helped once the past started to be divulged and I could understand Rogan’s state of mind.

The past was a cool aspect of this book. I am not always a big fan of flashbacks in books. Usually it takes too long for them to go anywhere or the scenes they give me detract from what’s going on in the present. The flashback chapters in That Forever Girl were good ones. They quickly showed how Rogan and Harper fell in love and then the demise of their relationship. The flashback chapters were actually pretty adorable for the most part. They also did a great job of helping move the story in the present forward.

As for Rogan and Harper’s second chance at love… It wasn’t a smooth journey. It was filled with ups and downs. I liked that because it mirrored a real second chance romance. It also gave them a lot of time to work through their problems. Once they did, I got the adorable romance I was expecting from Meghan Quinn. I loved the person Harper’s love made Rogan.

This wouldn’t be a Meghan Quinn novel if there weren’t some amazing side characters, too. They definitely showed up in this book. Once again, the Knightly brothers were the stars of the show. They had a group text that made me laugh. I also loved the advice they gave. It made me excited to find out which brother is getting the next book. I think I saw a couple of love interests for the last two brothers, and I can’t wait to find out how it all goes down!

I’m surprised to say this, but That Forever Girl is now my favorite book in this series. It is also going on my list of favorite Meghan Quinn books. She really impressed me with this book and all of the emotions she made me feel. I ended up truly loving Rogan and Harper’s romance.

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42600605-that-second-chance?ac=1&from_search=true

⭐⭐⭐FREE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED!!!!! ⭐⭐⭐
UNIVERSAL PURCHASE LINK: mybook.to/ThatForeverGirl
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AUTHOR BIO:
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: Butterfly in Frost (Sylvia Day)

Butterfly in Frost
Author: Sylvia Day
Publication Date: August 27, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon Sylvia Day comes a hotly anticipated and passionate new love story.

Once, I would never have imagined myself here. But I’m settled now. In a place I love, in a home I renovated, spending time with new friends I adore, and working a job that fulfills me. I am reconciling the past and laying the groundwork for the future.

Then Garrett Frost moves in next door.

He’s obstinate and too bold, a raging force of nature that disrupts the careful order of my life. I recognize the ghosts that haunt him, the torment driving him. Garrett would be risky in any form, but wounded, he’s far more dangerous. I fear I’m too fragile for the storm raging inside him, too delicate to withstand the pain that buffets him. But he’s too determined…and too tempting.

And sometimes hope soars above even the iciest desolation.

Emotional and heartrending, Butterfly in Frost marks a brilliant return by global sensation Sylvia Day, the #1 international multimillion bestselling author of the Crossfire saga.


I honestly don’t know where to start with this book. I’m kind of confused how I feel about it. On on hand, it was pretty brilliant. On the other, I found it lacking at times. I guess I’ll begin with my first impressions of Butterfly in Frost.

  • Sylvia Day is a beautiful writer. Her words pull me in immediately and won’t let me go.
  • Both Teagan and Garrett were complicated characters with complicated pasts. I wanted to know more the entire time I was reading. I liked that it was a fast-paced story, but it was almost too fast-paced. I felt like I was missing something, like time jumps. I couldn’t get a handle on it.
  • I liked the relationship Teagan and Garrett built, but I couldn’t quite get a grasp on how quickly it moved. It was so instant attraction that it was off-putting. I didn’t get how Teagan could be okay with how quickly Garrett became practically obsessed with her. It almost felt creepy.
  • I loved the cameos of some of my favorite Sylvia Day characters.
  • The greater Seattle area setting: When I first started reading this book, I was impressed by the detail Day gave the area Teagan’s house is in. She beautifully described the Redondo area. It’s this gorgeous little pier area with and across the street and up the hillside are some beautiful old (and some new) homes. It’s a little gem on Puget Sound. I can say this because I grew up not 10 minutes from Redondo and I have spent many hours there.

All of these thoughts were churning in my head the entire time I was reading. Then, WHAM! Plot twist. I didn’t see it coming and suddenly everything made sense to me. The story was over pretty quickly after that, and I was left feeling a little unsettled. I needed more of a wrap up or something.

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Author Biography

Sylvia Day is the #1 New York Times, #1 USA Today, #1 Sunday Times, #1 Der Spiegel, and #1 international bestselling author of over twenty award-winning novels sold in more than forty countries. She is a #1 bestselling author in twenty-eight countries, with tens of millions of copies of her books in print. Visit the author at www.sylviaday.com.

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Review: I Hate You (Ilsa Madden-Mills)

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I Hate You
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Publication Date: August 20, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

There’s a fine line between I hate you and I want you.
Once you cross it, there’s no going back.

Blaze Townsend: I hate you.
Charisma Rossi: I hate you more.

She’s been expecting this ever since their latest showdown. She had good reason.

Hottest guy she’s ever seen.
Former fling.
Dumped her in front of all her friends.
At her own party.

So no, she’s not about to forgive and forget just because he sits next to her in class. He thinks all he has to do is turn on those baby blues, and she’ll melt right back into his arms. Please. She’d be crazy to let this cocky player affect her again. (Tell that to her body.)

Charisma Rossi.
Nerd girl with a dash of bad.
The one who got under his skin.
The one he cut loose.

Blaze knows she’s the riskiest prospect at Waylon University, but none of the interchangeable girls he hooks up with have ever made him feel the way she did. There’s absolutely no way he can have the girl and the game.

So why can’t he stop trying to win her back?

Can this wide receiver score the girl or will he make the biggest fumble of his life?


I Hate You wrapped two tropes into one. It was both an enemies to lovers and second chance romance. Charisma and Blaze had a thing for three weeks last semester. Charisma thought it might have turned into a relationship (despite her rules to prevent one) until Blaze publicly dumped her at her sorority’s party. Charisma was devastated and still hasn’t quite recovered from the humiliation when the new semester starts. She’s turned that embarrassment into hate. Blaze may have been the one to break up with Charisma (for his own “good” reasons), but seeing her again makes him question his decisions. He hates her for the way she makes him feel. Seeing each other again promises a big explosion between the two.

There were so many things I loved about this book. First, the writing. Ilsa Madden-Mills is gifted in mixing just the right amount of drama and angst into a college romance. In this book, she actually went lighter in that area. I appreciated that because it gave the story a more lighthearted feel than some of her others.

Another thing I loved was the characters. Charisma was this feisty young woman who had lost her confidence in the breakup. I loved seeing her fight to get it back. It was easy to relate to her feelings after being dumped and the way she compared herself to other girls. Blaze knew he was a big shot on campus due to his football player status, but he had insecurities as well. His broke my heart. At first, they both had valid reasons for not being in a relationship. I liked that they had a common issue with different reasoning. I liked how they had to work out their issues together. Plus, they had amazing chemistry.

It’s always fun to see characters from previous books in a series, and a bunch showed up in this one. I liked that I could remember them and catch up, but they didn’t take up a lot of time and you wouldn’t miss anything if you hadn’t read the first couple of books. My favorite returning character had to be Vampire Bill. (A parrot, not a real vampire.) He brought his touch of humor with him and made me laugh.

The English series used to be my favorite by Ilsa Madden-Mills, but I Hate You has now dethroned it. This book was new adult college romance magic. I loved everything about it.

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About Ilsa Madden-Mills

Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies. Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4. A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero. She’s addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online. . Ilsa head shot-2

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Review: Crew Princess (Tijan)

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

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

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

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

But what if it wasn’t?

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Mini Reviews: YA Contemporaries

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

The Stand-In Boyfriend
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

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

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

My thoughts:

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

Second Chance Summer
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

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