Review: Destructive (Jay McLean)

Destructive
Series: Combative, #3
Author: Jay McLean
Publication Date: January 6, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Suspense

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Some villains are made.
Some villains are born.
And some villains aren’t villains at all.

Nate DeLuca was born into a life he didn’t want.
Forced to walk a path that was already chosen for him.
Grandson to a mob boss, he’s forever torn between his duty, his honor, his legacy, and the truth.
But the truth is never simple, and it’s not at all what it seems.

In a world full of secrets, heartache, and betrayals, Nate only has one thing on his mind: redemption.
But with redemption comes destruction.
And that destruction might cost him his heart.

***

Three Lives.
Two Loves.
One ticking time bomb…
Tick tock.


Destructive is the third and final book in the Combative series. Each book builds on the last, so you don’t want to jump ahead because you will miss out on the build up and all the good stuff. You can find my review for the first book, Combative, here.

Woah.

If Combative left me slightly confused with its cliffhanger and Redemptive left me mind blown, then Destructive left me fulfilled. It was everything I didn’t know I wanted, but needed from Jay McLean and her characters. It tested everything I thought I knew about Nate, Ky, Madison, and Bailey. There were so many revelations, so many moments of clarity. It took McLean years to wrap up this story, and I now understand why. It both shocked and amazed. What a way to end such an explosive trilogy!

Review: Call Down the Hawk (Maggie Stiefvater)

Call Down the Hawk
Series: Dreamer, #1
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQ+

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The dreamers walk among us . . . and so do the dreamed. Those who dream cannot stop dreaming – they can only try to control it. Those who are dreamed cannot have their own lives – they will sleep forever if their dreamers die.

And then there are those who are drawn to the dreamers. To use them. To trap them. To kill them before their dreams destroy us all.

Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality.

Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it.

Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer . . . and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed. . . .


The first two chapter of Call Down the Hawk had me wondering if maybe I had outgrown this this author. I just wasn’t pulled in as I expected to be. Once I got to the first chapter that was actually Ronan, I was pulled back into his world. I became interested in the story and what was to come. I was glad I didn’t simply give up on this book because there was so much to love about it.

Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is as enchanting as always. Her dream world, while sometimes overly descriptive, is mesmerizing. I got bogged down a bit by all those descriptions and the almost 500 pages felt long at times, but the underlying story was so good that I didn’t care.

I loved being back with Ronan. I liked getting deeper into his thoughts and opinions. His world was more than I was expecting. I was happy we got to see some of the other Raven Cycle characters through his POV. (Though, not as many moments as I was hoping for.)

As for the other Lynch brothers… I loved them. Declan wasn’t my favorite character in the other series, but he opened my eyes in this book to the good parts of him. He ended up being one of my favorite characters. Matthew… Well, who doesn’t love Matthew?

There were a couple new main characters in Call Down the Hawk. At first meet, I was a little confused by Jordan Hennessy and Carmen Farooq-Lane. It took some time to build their stories, but I loved how they were woven into the Lynch brothers’.

When I got to the end of Call Down the Hawk, I had two feelings. I both wanted more and was relieved that it was over. It feels weird to say that, but I needed a break after so many pages. I’m very curious about where this story is taking us. I’m both relieved I have to wait a bit for the next book and chomping at the bit to find out what’s next. Weird, but true.

Review: The Wives (Tarryn Fisher)

The Wives
Author: Tarryn Fisher
Publication Date: December 30, 2019
Publisher: Graydon House
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Imagine that your husband has two other wives.

You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.

But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket—an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another of the wives.

You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretenses, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you really are. Then, Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realize she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.

Who exactly is your husband, and how far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life?

And who is his mysterious third wife?


What. The. Heck. No, seriously. What the heck?

I’m exhausted from reading The Wives. It is a great example of why I love Tarryn Fisher’s writing. She’s so crafty in her delivery. It may start out in a sleepy thriller sort of way, but when things start to go down THEY GO DOWN. I was on edge for the entire second half of the book. Surprises were lurking behind every corner, people! Just when I thought I had finally figured freaking Thursday and the story out, BAM! I was proven wrong again… and again… and again. I want to say I loved every minute of this thriller, but I can’t — only because my stress level was way up there. My nerves are frayed in the best way.

YA Mini Reviews: Eyes on Me & I Know You Remember

Eyes on Me
Author: Rachel Harris
Publication Date: March 26, 2019
Published: Entangled: Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Look up the word “nerd” and you’ll find Lily Bailey’s picture. She’s got one goal: first stop valedictorian, next stop Harvard. Until a stint in the hospital from too much stress lands her in the last place a klutz like her ever expected to be: salsa dance lessons.

Look up the word “popular” and you’ll find Stone Torres’s picture. His life seems perfect—star of the football team, small-town hero, lots of friends. But his family is struggling to make ends meet, so if pitching in at his mom’s dance studio helps, he’ll do it.

When Lily’s dad offers Stone extra cash to volunteer as Lily’s permanent dance partner, he can’t refuse. But with each dip and turn, each moment her hand is in his, his side job starts to feel all too real. Lily shows Stone he’s more than his impressive football stats, and he introduces her to a world outside of studying. But with the lines blurred, can their relationship survive the secret he’s been hiding?

My thoughts:

I have had my eye on Eyes on Me since I read Lenore at Celebrity Reader’s review of it. It just sounded like such a fun and cute read. I am happy to report it totally was! There were so many great things about it. I loved the characters and their story. Lily and Stone were two very different, complex characters. They had issues like anxiety, stress, money problems, and living up to expectations. Despite those tough topics, the story was still able to be light and fun in the way I love YA contemporaries to be. My only little issue with it was that at one point it slowed down a bit for me. No worries, though. It picked right back up for a swoon worthy ending.

I Know You Remember
Author: Jennifer Donaldson
Publication Date: October 8, 2019
Publisher: Razorbill
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Jennifer Donaldson is back with another twisted thriller perfect for fans of One of Us Is Lying and Gone Girl.

Zahra Gaines is missing.

After three long years away, Ruthie Hayden arrives in her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska to this devastating news. Zahra was Ruthie’s best friend–the only person who ever really understood her–and she vows to do whatever it takes to find her.

Zahra vanished from a party just days before Ruthie’s return, but the more people she talks to, the more she realizes that the Zahra she knew disappeared long before that fateful night. Gone is the whimsical, artistic girl who loved books and knew Ruthie’s every secret. In her place is an athlete, a partier, a girl with secrets of her own. Darker still are the rumors that something happened to Zahra while Ruthie was gone, something that changed her forever…

As Ruthie desperately tries to piece together the truth, she falls deeper and deeper into her friend’s new world, circling closer to a dangerous revelation about what Zahra experienced in the days before her disappearance–one that might be better off buried.

In her stunning follow-up to Lies You Never Told Me, Jennifer Donaldson once again delivers a propulsive thriller with a masterful twist, skillfully creating a world where nothing is quite as it seems.

My thoughts:

I loved Jennifer Donaldson’s début novel, Lies You Never Told Me, so I was super excited to read I Know You Remember. I Know You Remember was a great YA thriller. It was complex in the way that an adult thriller would be with twists, turns, and things to make me question if my ideas were right or wrong. Even the suspicions I had that were right still managed to throw me for a loop. Stuff happened that I wasn’t expecting and it was awesome. Overall, it was a great YA thriller.

Duet Review: Black Sheep & White Knight (Meghan March)

Good morning! Today, I am reviewing both books in Meghan March’s recently released Dirty Mafia Duet.

Black Sheep
Series: Dirty Mafia Duet, #1
Author: Meghan March
Publication Date: August 27, 2019
Publisher: Meghan March LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Meghan March comes a story of untold truths and one man’s redemption in the Dirty Mafia Duet.

Every family has a black sheep.
In the infamous Casso crime family, that black sheep is me—Cannon Freeman.
Except I’m not a free man. I’ve never been free. Not since the day I was born.
I owe my loyalty to my father, Dominic Casso, even if he won’t publicly acknowledge me as his blood.
I’ve never had a reason to go against his wishes… until I met her.
Drew Carson turned my world upside when she walked into my club looking for a job.
Now, my honor and my life are on the line.
Going against my father’s wishes might buy me a bullet straight from his gun, but black sheep or not, it’s time to make my stand.
She’s worth the fallout.

My thoughts:

Meghan March has been on fire recently! Well, actually her whole writing career. It’s not something new. Her books keep getting better and I have no idea how she can keep coming up with ways to surprise me, but she does.

Black Sheep was such a great read. I was on the edge of my seat from the very beginning. I was worried for Drew and her quest. I was curious to find out more about Cannon and his history. Drew and Cannon falling for each other made everything all the more tense, but also added tenderness to the story. The beginning of their story was a wild ride right up until the classic, shocking Meghan March cliffhanger. I’m so relieved to have White Knight waiting to be read next.

One thing I want to mention before finishing up this review is that Cannon is from the Dirty Billionaire Trilogy. You don’t necessarily have to read that series prior to this one, but I would recommend it. There’s some history there you might want to have ahead of time.

White Knight
Series: Dirty Mafia Duet, #1
Author: Meghan March
Publication Date: August 27, 2019
Publisher: Meghan March LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I never expected to be anyone’s white knight. That’s not a role I’ve ever played.
But when the Casso crime family shifts into uncharted territory, they’re looking for a new hero, and they’re looking for me—Cannon Freeman, the black sheep.
But my time in disgrace is at an end.
It’s my turn to rise up and save the people who matter most to me.
Even if my family has never given a damn about me, I will not let them fall.
More than anything, I will not let her fall.

White Knight is the second book in the Dirty Mafia Duet and should be read after Black Sheep, book one.

My thoughts:

Things are never quite as they seem. Meghan March proved that with the final installment of the Dirty Mafia Duet. It was explosive from the moment it started and the action kept coming.There fantastic twists and turns to this story and I loved absolutely all of it. I couldn’t get enough of Memphis and Cannon. I would have easily read another hundred or so pages about them. This is a duet you won’t want to miss if you’re a Meghan March fan.

Review: The Sinclair Heir (Eliot Scott)

The Sinclair Heir
Series: The Feud, #2
Author: Eliot Scott
Publication Date: October 24, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC from WordSmith Publicity and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Everyone knows when a Sinclair boy loves a Wallace girl people die.

The first time JoJo Wallace smiled, she had my heart. When we kissed,
she owned my soul.
And when she gave me her everything, I took it…consuming her when I had
no right.

At first, we were just kids falling in love. We didn’t know about the
generations-old feud between the Wallaces and the Sinclairs. I also
couldn’t imagine Jojo’s destruction had been planned by my father when
we were babies. To Father, the feud came first. I was simply bred to
participate. My love for Jojo became his weapon, and to keep Jojo alive,
I became the perfect son.

* The Feud Series is an adult/coming-of-age, enemies-to-lovers romance and contains mature themes not suitable for readers under 18*


The Sinclair Heir is the continuation of JoJo Wallace and Alex Sinclair’s story which started in The Wallace Girl. If you haven’t read that book, you will need to read it before reading this one for everything to make sense. This review is spoiler free, so you can keep reading to find out what I thought even if you haven’t read The Wallace Girl.

I was so glad I had The Sinclair Heir ready and waiting to read immediately following The Wallace Girl. I really needed to know what was going to be next for JoJo and Alex. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long. Things immediately started happening at lightning speed from page 1. That was actually a surprise considering how slowly revealed and angst filled things were in the first book. I kind of missed that vibe in this book. If The Wallace Girl was all history and build up, The Sinclair Heir was all romantic suspense and action.

A ton of stuff happened in this book. A. Ton. JoJo and Alex were still fighting the forces of evil in their lives. The stakes got even higher and the romance even hotter. There were reveals left and right. Some of those reveals I was shocked by, others I could see coming from the beginning of The Wallace Girl. Whether I knew were coming or not, all created an enthralling tale.

The Sinclair Heir was a great end to what The Wallace Girl started. I really enjoyed what a collaboration between Ginger Scott and Anne Eliot brought to the table. I’m hoping this is just the first of many collaborations between the two authors.

The Feud Series is complete and waiting for you! Grab The Wallace Girl AND The Sinclair Heir today! Both books are in Kindle Unlimited!
 
 
 

AVAILABLE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED
The Wallace Girl
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2MVBXRx
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2VJPQ9b
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2prcOpn
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/33uX9Ev

The Sinclair Heir
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2OOGXcZ
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2OQxm5E
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2VHvw8m
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/31cNlxi

 

Authors:

Eliot Scott is the writing duo of bestselling authors Anne Eliot and Ginger Scott
Find Ginger Scott at http://www.littlemisswrite.com/
Find Anne Eliot at https://www.anneeliot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorEliotScott/

Review: The Wallace Girl (Eliot Scott)

The Wallace Girl
Series: The Feud, #1
Author: Eliot Scott
Publication Date: October 17, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC provided by WordSmith Publicity and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

A feud that spans generations. A love doomed from its very beginning.

I fell in love with Alex Sinclair when we were kids. Our love was
innocent and it was real. It was also dangerous.

We didn’t know our families were like oil and water, or that the
Wallaces and the Sinclairs hid dark secrets that involved us. We also
didn’t understand how deep the poison ran. When I found out the
truth–when Alex forced me to leave town–I was devastated. Destroyed.
But that was all part of the plan. The Sincliars’ lust for pain and
torture at a Wallace’s expense made it impossible for me to
stay…impossible to save Alex.

Mr. Sinclair is dead now, and Alex is the new heir. I’ve been waiting
for this. It’s why I’ve come back.
I’ve my got own secrets now, and if Mr. Sinclair’s gone, Alex’s heart
and soul are up for grabs.
He and I can end this feud. Because Alex? He’s not one of them. Never
has been. He’s mine. He loves me.

I only need to remind him of that.

* The Feud Series is an adult/coming-of-age, enemies-to-lovers romance and contains mature themes not suitable for readers under 18*


I’m a huge Ginger Scott fan. I’ve read everything she’s published to date. I’ve only read one of Anne Eliot’s books, but I really enjoyed it. I was interested to see how their writing would mesh together. I was very pleased. The collaboration was so smooth. It felt like it was written by one author.

The Wallace Girl story was shrouded in mystery and secrets. The drama and fear surrounding them was palpable. Some secrets were better kept than others, but all were impactful. I don’t always love books that jump back and forth each chapter between past and present, but this one worked for me. There was so much to learn and experience. I enjoyed that part more than I expected.The angst the story produced kept me on edge the entire time I was reading The Wallace Girl.

JoJo Wallace and Alex Sinclair were fascinating character. She was this brave, nice girl who turned into a strong woman willing to fight for Alex. Alex was a man I wanted to hate, but couldn’t because of the boy I got to know. Honestly, I felt sorry for the dude. He was pretty miserable and understandably. I can’t really go into more, but the plot of this story was the reason for Jojo and Alex’s problems was addictive, mysterious, sad, and infuriating. I was fascinated by it all.

The only thing I didn’t love was the Tacoma setting. I live about 20 minutes north of Tacoma. I’ve spent a ton of time there and I hate to say it, but I felt a little lost looking for things I could identify. Some of the older and revamped buildings and the tide flats felt familiar, and yet they didn’t. The Tacoma described in this book almost felt like a small town or city surrounded by wilderness. I kept trying to imagine where that lake would be and came up blank. I mean, I like that they went Tacoma instead of Seattle. I just wish it felt like the Tacoma I know.

When I got to the end of The Wallace Girl, I was extremely glad to have The Sinclair Heir waiting to be read. I had so many questions when I finished, and I can’t wait to get answers. I also can’t wait to see how everything is going to turn out for JoJo and Alex. Bravo to Eliot Scott for creating a duet that has me hungering for more.

The Wallace Girl by Eliot Scott is LIVE and on sale for #99cents! Grab yours today! Don’t forget to pre-order The Sinclair Heir!


 
The Feud Series: The Wallace Girl & The Sinclair Heir is a steamy adult romance saga by Eliot Scott. (Eliot Scott is the writing duo of bestselling authors Anne MacFarlane-Eliot and Ginger Scott)
 

AVAILABLE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2MVBXRx
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2VJPQ9b
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2prcOpn
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/33uX9Ev

You can also pre-order The Sinclair Heir, book 2 in The Feud Duet, now for Apple and Nook. This book will only be available on Apple and Nook in pre-order, so grab it while you can!

APPLE Sinclair Heir Preorder – https://books.apple.com/…/bo…/the-sinclair-heir/id1482043055
BN Sinclair Heir Preorder – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-sinclair-he…/1133910330
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2OOGXcZ
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2OQxm5E
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2VHvw8m
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/31cNlxi

Connect with the Authors:
Find Ginger Scott at http://www.littlemisswrite.com/
Find Anne Eliot at https://www.anneeliot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorEliotScott/

Review: The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street (Karen White)

The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street
Series: Tradd Street, #6
Author: Karen White
Publication Date: October 22, 2019
Publisher: Berkley Books
Genre: Holiday, Mystery, Paranormal, Fiction, Contemporary
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

The Christmas spirit is overtaking Tradd Street with a vengeance in this festive new novel in the New York Times bestselling series by Karen White.

Melanie Trenholm should be anticipating Christmas with nothing but joy–after all, it’s only the second Christmas she and her husband, Jack, will celebrate with their twin babies. But the ongoing excavation of the centuries-old cistern in the garden of her historic Tradd Street home has been a huge millstone, both financially and aesthetically. Local students are thrilled by the possibility of unearthing more Colonial-era artifacts at the cistern, but Melanie is concerned by the ghosts connected to the cistern that have suddenly invaded her life and her house–and at least one of them is definitely not filled with holiday cheer….

And these relics aren’t the only precious artifacts for which people are searching. A past adversary is convinced that there is a long-lost Revolutionary War treasure buried somewhere on the property that Melanie inherited–untold riches rumored to be brought over from France by the Marquis de Lafayette himself and intended to help the Colonial war effort. It’s a treasure literally fit for a king, and there have been whispers throughout history that many have already killed–and died–for it. And now someone will stop at nothing to possess it–even if it means destroying everything Melanie and Jack hold dear.


I’m always excited when I hear Karen White is releasing a new book. It’s even more exciting when that book is part of a series I have loved and has a holiday theme.

If you’re not familiar with Karen White or the Tradd Street series, it revolves around Melanie Trenholm and her ability to communicate with ghosts. Melanie lives in Charleston, South Carolina where the rich history of the area makes for some interesting paranormal interactions. There’s also some romance (Melanie & Jack), family relationships, and mystery to add to the fun. I will warn you that you can’t just see the words “Christmas Spirits” in the title and jump right into reading this book because you want holiday themes. While the mystery is new, the characters and their relationships are not. You would be completely lost. I have good news for you, though — the Tradd Street series is a fun read and you won’t be mad if you go back and read it from the start.

So, what did I think of The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street? I had some mixed feelings. I’m going to lay them out for you in a way that makes sense to me.

The writing: Karen White’s writing never fails to pull me in. It did have moments where things felt slow to me, but I think that’s because of some of the feelings I had for one of the characters. Otherwise, Karen White left me on the edge of my seat wondering how it was all going to turn out.

The characters: Melanie is same old Melanie. She’s quirky. In all of the other books that worked for me. In this one, it did and it didn’t. I just feel like her character needed to mature a bit. Melanie’s stayed stagnant throughout the entire series. Now, she’s married with children and her family and friends are still having to manipulate her to act like an adult at times. I did love how all of her relationships and the relationships around her have grown. It was fun to see how the gang reacted to her.

The mystery: This was my favorite part of the book. As always, I was enthralled with the mystery and how the ghosts related to it. It’s what kept me reading when Melanie was driving me nuts. I refuse to say more because I’m not giving anything away.

The end: I loved how the mystery wrapped up. It was perfection. All of the pieces of the puzzle revealed themselves in a great way and fit perfectly. What I didn’t love was how everything else ended. There was a cliffhanger that irritated me. I got it, but it wasn’t a fun way to end the book. Now I have to wait for the next book and I’m hoping it’s not going to be a long wait.

As you can see, there were some great things and some that drove me nuts. If you’re a fan of this series, you are going to want to read it no matter what.

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

*Spoiler Free* Review: Better Than This (Beth Flynn)

Better Than This
Series: A Nine Minutes Trilogy Spin-Off, #3
Author: Beth Flynn
Publication Date: July 8, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Mystery

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Time doesn’t heal all wounds. Sometimes they just scab over.

Haunted by memories of a failed marriage, trauma surgeon Barbie Anderson escapes to her hometown for a fresh start. But the quaint community of Pumpkin Rest has memories and failures of its own that should stay buried.

When Barbie runs into ex-con biker Jake Chambers, he stirs up anger and resentment in her that she doesn’t want to face. He reminds her of the one man she’s never gotten over and dredges up decades-old heartache. With his rugged criminal exterior and gentlemanly demeanor, the silver fox may have the other women in Pumpkin Rest falling at his feet, but not Barbie.

She refuses to let her guard down and have her heart broken again. When a series of revelations come tumbling forth, Barbie is forced to confront her past and trust Pumpkin Rest’s most sought-after bachelor where she’ll soon learn that love wears many faces.

Will secrets from the past destroy their future or will old wounds finally heal, allowing her to love again?


Before I begin my review of Better Than This, I feel the need to point people in the right direction if they are not familiar with Beth Flynn’s writing. Beth Flynn has an insanely good dark romance / psychological thriller trilogy called Nine Minutes. It’s really the place you need to start when reading her books. Every book that comes after the original Nine Minutes has been slowly revealing itself since then. Better Than This doesn’t exactly continue storylines from the original trilogy, but there are some surprise references to people and events from it that build to make this book what it is. I highly recommend starting with Nine Minutes and reading Ms. Flynn’s books in the order they were released. If you’re interested in my review for the first book, you can find it here. Now for my review…

Better Than This had a slightly different feel than Beth Flynn’s other novels. This one didn’t jump around in time as much. There were a few scenes that took us to the past, but the majority of the book was in the present and focused on Barbie and Jake’s romance. Barbie and Jake’s romance differed from others in this series because it was a more mature romance. The characters are in their 50’s. It’s not very often I come across a romance with characters this age that feels fresh and not antiquated. The characters had moments where they felt the things you feel when you grow older, but they also had a youthfulness to their thoughts. Getting older myself, I liked this because you still feel like you’re young at heart even when your body isn’t. Barbie and Jake’s romance was also more of a slow burn than the other novels in this series. Given their age, that was surprising. I liked the reasoning behind it.

Now that I’ve said Better Than This was mostly romance based, I need to backtrack a little on that statement. If you have read Beth Flynn’s books, you know that it’s not all about the romance. I probably shouldn’t have said it was. There’s always a gigantic mystery to unravel. That’s another thing that made this book (and all of her others) so special. I was constantly playing detective. Each little hint had me thinking back to things that had been said or done. Usually it just left me with more questions than answers, but it was so much fun and kept me glued to this book.

When I started reading Better Than This I was very curious to find out how Barbie and Jake tied into the original Nine Minutes Trilogy. They weren’t characters I remembered, but there are so many characters I could have easily forgotten them. I kept waiting for some clue to connect them. In true Beth Flynn fashion, things took a while to come together. That’s what’s so amazing about her writing, though. Every little twist, turn, and revelation gives you some new piece of information to fit together. The result is a fabulous puzzle and a huge pay off. I definitely got one of those with this book. Some of my lingering questions from previous books were answered and it was utterly satisfying. There are still more questions now, but I’m hoping Beth Flynn will keep the spin-offs coming and the next book will answer them.