Mini Reviews: The Girl in the Love Song & 40-Love

The Girl in the Love Song
Series: Lost Boys, #1
Author: Emma Scott
Publication Date: June 7, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

At Santa Cruz Central High School, they called them the misfits, the outcasts, the weirdos. But most of us knew them as the Lost Boys…

Miller Stratton is a survivor. After a harrowing childhood of poverty, he will do anything it takes to find security for himself and his mom. He’s putting all his hopes and dreams in the fragile frame of his guitar and the beauty he creates with its strings and his soulful voice.

Until Violet.

No one expects to meet the love of their life at age thirteen. But the spunky rich girl steals Miller’s heart and refuses to give it back.

Violet McNamara’s life hasn’t been as simple as it looks. Her picture-perfect family is not so perfect after all. Her best friend Miller is her one constant and she is determined not to ruin their friendship with romantic complications.

But the heart wants what it wants. As Miller’s star begins to rise to stratospheric heights, what will it take for Violet to realize that she’s the girl in all of his love songs?

Lost Boys is a new series of interconnected, coming-of-age standalones from USA Today bestselling author Emma Scott, coming in 2020

My thoughts:

This book was VERY angst filled. More so than any other book I’ve read by this author. The level of angst was too much for me, honestly. Even though I loved the characters and the story, I had a hard time bringing myself to read it. After about 20% I ended up skimming through until Part 4 where I started reading again. I hate that I did that, but I didn’t want to not finish it. It really was a vbeautiful story with a fantastic ending.

40-Love
Series: There’s Something About Marysburg, #2
Author: Olivia Dade
Publication Date: May 16, 2020
Publisher: Hussies & Harpies Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

This match is no game.

When a rogue wave strips Tess Dunn of her bikini top, desperate, half-naked times call for desperate, please-cover-me-kids-are-coming-closer measures. Enter Lucas Karlsson, AKA that flirty Swede in the water nearby. When he prevents her bare buoys from being exposed to fellow vacationers, even an ocean can’t drown the sparks that fly.

Lucas, a former top-level tennis pro now giving lessons at the resort, fled there after the abrupt, painful end to his injury-plagued career. But he’s finally ready to move on with his life—and after a few late-night, hands-on sessions with Tess, he’s eager to prove he’s the ace she wants.

But this match comes with challenges: She’s forty, and at twenty-six, he’s barely old enough to rent a car. Worse, they only have two weeks together before Tess returns to her assistant-principal life in Virginia. During that brief time, they’ll have to play hard, take a few risks, and find out whether their chemistry is a one-shot wonder…or whether they’re meant to be doubles partners for life.

My thoughts:

I’m pretty new to Olivia Dade’s writing. This only my second book by her. I really like how she combines strong, relatable women with hot guys. It’s a nice change from perfect bodies all the time. I enjoyed this book a lot, but there were times where the MC’s hangups about her body and perceived self bugged me. I got over it, though, because I loved the guy who won her heart. It was a fun vacation read.

Review: Varsity Tiebreaker (Ginger Scott)

Varsity Tiebreaker
Series: Varsity, #2
Author: Ginger Scott
Publication Date: July 23, 2020
Publisher: Little Miss Write, LLC
Genre: Mature Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC provided by WordSmith Publicity and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Abby Cortez is a girl with goals, on the verge of turning eighteen and on the brink of stardom. Falling in love isn’t just something she doesn’t have time for, it’s something she doesn’t really believe in. Her rule? Date but never, ever fall.

Tory “Salvatore” D’Angelo loves falling in love…just not for real. The star basketball player at Allensville Public High gives his heart away one girl at a time then takes it back when he’s ready to move on. No serious feelings, no serious pain.

They’re both good plans until Abby’s jaded heart gets all tangled up with Tory’s hopeless one. A friendly rivalry grows into friendship, and long talks start to blur the lines.
Just one problem—Abby’s current boyfriend is Tory’s twin brother, Hayden.


Not going to lie… I was both excited and scared going into this one. I am not a fan of love triangles, and one involving twin brothers made me nervous. The only reasons I read it were I loved Tory in Varsity Heartbreaker and it was Ginger Scott’s book. Ginger Scott never does me wrong.

Varsity Tiebreaker was exactly what I needed it to be. Yes, there’s the whole Hayden – Abby – Tory thing, but it was done well. I never felt like I wasn’t sure who Abby was going to end up with. It was an emotional roller coaster for sure, but not in a bad way. It was a very good way.

I, of course, adored Tory. That kid was a good kid. He might have been a little bit of a player in the past, but he had good intentions and morals. Tory tried to do right by his brother, Abby, and his family. His character is one I would be okay with my daughter dating when she gets older, and that’s saying a lot because the kid isn’t allowed to date until she’s thirty. 😉

Abby was a little more surprise to me than Tory. I liked her as June’s sidekick, but I loved her even more on her own. Her struggles were all over the place, and it was fun to experience her working everything out in her head. I liked the choices she made. I also loved her relationship with her mom.

Abby and Tory worked well together, and I loved the connection they had. Even if it took them a while to get everything figured out. That time gave me just the right amount of angst for this mature YA romance.

As for Hayden… I feel like I got enough of his story here to not necessarily need a book dedicated book for him. That doesn’t mean I don’t want one! I would really love for him to get his own happy ending. He and Tory went through so much, that it would be nice to see how thing really worked out for him. So, maybe a book 4? Please?

Overall, I adored Varsity Tiebreaker. It was a fun, slightly angsty YA sports romance that made me swoon. I enjoyed every minute of it. I also loved the preview for Varsity Rulebreaker. I am dying having to wait for October for that book!

 
Varsity Tiebreaker (The Varsity Series Book 2) by Ginger Scott
Cover Designer: Ginger Scott
 
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About the Author:

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, and A Boy Like You.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

Social Media Links:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GingerScottAuthor
Twitter: @TheGingerScott
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YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/GingerScottAuthor
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GingerScottAuthor/posts
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/GingerScott
Website: http://www.littlemisswrite.com

Review: Hard Pass (Sara Ney)

Hard Pass
Series: Trophy Boyfriends, #1
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: June 16, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

“Hard pass.”
That’s what the last girl I slept with said when she got her first sober glimpse of me. She laughed, walked out of my penthouse—and I never saw her again. It doesn’t matter that I’m a rich, professional athlete; what mattered was my face. Beauty might only be skin deep for some—but I know better.

“Pay up.”
That’s what the last girl I spoke to said over the phone when I made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. Desperate to sell a set of rare baseball cards, she’s clever and entertaining. I’m instantly smitten, but nowhere ready to reveal myself. Thank god she has no idea who I am—or what I look like.
I’m a professional athlete–how hard can playing the love game be?


I feel like my 3.5 star rating doesn’t accurately portray the happy feeling this book gave me. It had some of the same vibe as The Learning Hours (my favorite book by Ney) did in many ways and was all sorts of fun. I loved the way Noah and Miranda met, and the drama that unfolded because of Noah’s insecurities. They way the clicked and their instant attraction/chemistry was so cute. I even loved Noah’s self-appointed,annoying best friend, Buzz. Hard Pass was just one of those books that made me smile the entire time I was reading it.

Why only 3.5 stars then, you ask? Well, I needed more. It felt like one date and then BAM! Everything goes down and is wrapped up so quickly. I thought there could have been a little bit more of a story there. Or maybe I just wanted longer so that it wasn’t completely instant love between Noah and Miranda.

No matter what, it was still an adorable read. Almost had the feel of a mixture between the Douchebag series and the Jock Row series. I loved that. I hope the rest of the series is as cute!

Review: Hands Down (Mariana Zapata)

Hands Down
Author: Mariana Zapata
Publication Date: July 2, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Before he was Big Texas, he was Zac the Snack Pack.

Bianca Brannen knows time—mostly—heals all wounds. Including those your once loved ones might have unintentionally given you. (Those just take longer.)

She thinks she’s ready when a call has her walking back into her old friend’s life. Or at least as prepared as possible to see the starting quarterback in the National Football Organization. Before the lights, the fans, and the millions, he’d been a skinny kid with a heart of gold.

Waltzing out of Zac Travis’s life should be easy. Just as easy as he walked out of hers.


Sigh. I am so happy Mariana Zapata wrote Hands Down. I didn’t know I needed a story about Zac (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me) or Bianca (The Best Thing), but I am so glad I got one. Hands Down was a happy place for me. It was a a slow burn romance that I wanted to keep burning. I loved the way it combined friendship and love. There was also a great family aspect. This was one of those books that had it all. pussy888official

Now, if you’re familiar with Zapata’s writing you will understand what I’m talking about next. There are times this book is a little too wordy. There are times the words and thoughts feels redundant. I knew this was the way that it was going to be, so it was easy to look past for the amazing characters and their story.I just went with the flow, got lost in the story, and forgot that things could be a little repetitive and predictable. I did that, and I fell in love with this book.

I did have one big beef with this book in the form of nicknames. How many nicknames for a character are too many? I have never thought about this before, but one. One nickname is more than enough. There were WAY TOO MANY nicknames in this book. For Zac: Big Texas and Snack Pack. Probably only needed one of those, but I guess both worked. It was Bianca’s nicknames that killed me: Bibi, Little Texas, Blanca (just a jerky boss, but added to the number), and kiddo. Yes, KIDDO. That one right there is what killed me. Zac called Bianca “kiddo”. Yes, it was leftover from childhood, but STILL. They hadn’t seen each other in 10! years! That one needed to go. At least before they began a relationship. ICK.

Anyways. After finishing Hands Down, all I could think was that I wanted another new book by Mariana Zapata like now. I enjoyed this one so much, and finishing left me feeling both happy and sad. I think I’m going to have to either re-read this one soon or another one of hers.

Series Review: Love (Jillian Dodd)

Vegas Love
Series: Love, #1
Author: Jillian Dodd
Publication Date: November 2, 2015
Publisher: Jillian Dodd, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A sexy celebrity stand alone romance by USA Today bestselling author, Jillian Dodd.
Hollywood actress, Ashlyn Roberts, just had the worst week of her life. Her ex released a sex tape of them and just when she was convinced her current boyfriend was a keeper for standing by her side, he breaks up with her at a friend’s wedding. She’s planning to drown her sorrows in booze when she meets a sexy stranger as she’s leaving the wedding and they end up in Vegas, married.

Cash Crawford is offered a dream job working with his brother as a junior talent agent. He’ll put his shiny new law degree to good use and make a bunch of money in the process. His first task is simple: Keep Ashlyn Roberts out of trouble and don’t sleep with her.
Which might be kind of tough, since they definitely consummated their Vegas wedding.

Will this one night stand end in the quickie divorce they promised each other? Or will they realize they got lucky in love.

My thoughts:

Vegas Love is a book that sat on my Kindle for years after I downloaded for free. I’m not sure why I never picked it up, but when I started the New-to-Me Author Summer Bingo challenge it fit perfectly for one of my bingo squares. I’m glad it did because I enjoyed it so much!

What did I love about it? Ashlyn and Cash were hilarious together. Their whole night in Vegas had me cracking up. They were perfect for each other from the moment they met. I also loved how sweet Cash was and how he took care of Ashlyn so many times. Cash’s family was so much fun, too. They added to all the sweetness of the story.

What didn’t I love? At times, I had a hard time equating Ashlyn to who Cade said she was. Some of her habits didn’t line up with what I thought based on her mother’s problems, but I guess everyone deals with things differently.

Overall, this was an entertaining romance that had me swooning and hurrying to download the next book from Kindle Unlimited.


Broken Love
Series: Love, #2
Author: Jillian Dodd
Publication Date: June 21, 2016
Publisher: Jillian Dodd, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Can you get a second chance at first love?

After years of crushing and many failed seduction attempts, Palmer Montlake had finally scored the sexy Cade Crawford. Both a little drunk when they got back to her place, they were frantic with need, their desire intense. But as the night progressed, the hot-mess hookup morphed to sweet lovemaking. The kind neither had ever experienced.

But they were destined for heartbreak. She was his best friend’s little sister. He was her talent agent. And they were dating in secret. When they got into a wicked fight and broke up, all hell broke loose. The kind neither have recovered from.

Six years later, they still hate each other. But the universe seems to keep throwing them together. When they catch the bouquet and garter at a mutual friend’s wedding, sparks fly between them — their chemistry undeniable.

Will they get a second chance? Or will they be left with a broken love?

The Love Series is a series of standalone novels featuring a different sexy Crawford sibling. They can be read by themselves. However, if you do wish to read them all, they are best enjoyed in order.

My thoughts:

This second book was cute. I’m not normally one for flashbacks, but the ones in here helped give the story of the first time Palmer and Cade were together so I didn’t really mind them. It actually helped solidify their current relationship, which would have felt very insta-lovey without them. I loved both the characters and couldn’t wait from them to get everything worked out. Palmer and Cade’s second chance at romance was fun and sweet read.

Overall, Love was a fun series. I will be reading more of Jillian Dodd’s books in the future. I do have one question, though. Does anyone know if Fake Love (Love, #3) will ever be released? I saw it on Goodreads, but couldn’t find any information about it. I would love to read it!

Review: Charming Like Us

Charming Like Us
Series: Like Us, #7
Authors: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Publication Date: June 23, 2020
Publisher: K.B. Ritchie
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ+

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

As the hottest bodyguard on Security Force Omega, Oscar Oliveira has no trouble finding a warm body at any odd hour. But he’s ready for more.

And for the first time in this ex-pro boxer’s life, he just got rejected. For a kiss.

Oscar’s friends warned him not to fall for the straight guy, but flirty, sexy-as-hell Jack Highland made that difficult. Now Jack has Oscar’s sweater. His belt. His bandana. And Oscar seriously wants them back.

As for Jack – well, Jack wants a lot of things.

But for the first time in this confident filmmaker’s life, he’s absolutely 100%… confused. Add another ultra-complication in a sea of complicated: Enter Charlie Cobalt.

The enigmatic famous one that Oscar is sworn to protect wants his own show, and he’s asked Jack to film it. A Charlie-centric docuseries will force Oscar & Jack to share the same air again.

Option 1: Ignore each other.
Option 2: Flirt, aw yeah. And act like the rejection never happened.
Option 3: Confront each other about the rejected kiss.

With options on the table and their romantic lives unsettled, both Jack & Oscar are concerned about why Charlie wants his own show. And the longer filming lasts, the more tumultuous their personal & professional worlds become.

Chaos reigns when you’re around the Cobalts, and Jack & Oscar are swept up among the most destructive one.


Finally! Another Like Us book. The wait hasn’t been that long, but it felt like years for some reason. I missed being in the midst of the Hale-Meadows-Cobalt family drama. I was so excited to read this one and here are my thoughts now that I have…

What I loved:

  • Krista & Becca Ritchie’s writing. It always feels a bit like coming home.
  • Getting to know both Oscar and Jack better. Jack was probably my biggest surprise. I think it’s because I can remember not liking him when he first dropped into the Hale-Meadows-Cobalt world. He’s proven himself over the span of many books, but this book made me love his character even more.
  • How Jack’s change of feelings and exploration of self went. How his family and friends supported him.
  • Oscar and Jack as a couple. Very cute.
  • Seeing so many favorite characters. It was especially fun to get some hints at what’s to come in the next three books.
  • Charlie could have been part of that last bullet, but he deserves his own. I felt like I learned the most about him in this book than I have over the last six. If I wanted a book about him before, I want it even more now.

What I wasn’t so sure about:

  • There is one part of this book that felt like it maybe should have taken place somewhere like Las Vegas instead of New York. It was kind of thrown in and was a big surprise, but I wasn’t sure that I was 100% behind it.
  • It felt a little weird that this book wasn’t about a Hale, Meadows, or Cobalt clan member. I didn’t mind much because Charlie was so present and Oscar and Jack are so prevalent throughout the entire series, but it did give the book a little bit of a different feel.

Overall feelings? It was a fun ride. I am excited to find out what’s next in this world. Bring on book 8!

Series Review: Game On (Kristen Callihan)

 I picked up The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan because I needed the first book in a series by an author I hadn’t read yet for the New to Me Author Summer Challenge. When I did that, I had no idea it would turn into a binge read. Thanks to the challenge, I have found a new sports romance author to love. Here are my mini reviews for each book in the series.


The Hook Up (Book 1) ★ ★ ★ ★

I really enjoyed Drew and Anna’s story. He was a cocky football player looking for more. She was a girl who didn’t see herself as the bombshell she was and didn’t want a relationship. They had great chemistry. I do have to say that at times this book felt a little long, but the pay off was well worth it.

The Friend Zone (Book 2) ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Wow. I’m impressed. This is one of my new favorite friends to lovers books. Between the texts and the chemistry, I was sold. I loved Ivy and Gray together. This will be my favorite book in the series, I just know it.

The Game Plan (Book 3) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Did I say The Friend Zone would be my favorite? Well, The Game Plan surpassed it.  I loved Dex and Fiona just as much as I loved Ivy and Gray. Dex and Fiona surpassed them based on their chemistry and emotional connection, though. That emotional connection was something else.

The Hot Shot (Book 4) ★ ★ ★ ★

Don’t let the 4 stars fool you. I enjoyed this book almost as much as the last two. When it comes to rating it, I felt like I had to give it less because it was missing something the last two had. Not sure what it was because I loved Finn and Chess. The way they started out as friends was cute. Their relationship drama didn’t seem to be as big as the past three books, which I was thankful for, but it was there. It was a great addition to the series.

Conclusions?

I really hope we get more books in the Game On series and soon. I loved every minute I spent binging this football romance series. I see a ton of possibilities in this football world for future stories.

Review: The Dare (Elle Kennedy)

The Dare
Series: Briar U, #4
Author: Elle Kennedy
Publication Date: June 16, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Sports, Romance, Contemporary
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

College was supposed to be my chance to get over my ugly-duckling complex and spread my wings. Instead, I wound up in a sorority full of mean girls. I already have a hard time fitting in, so when my Kappa Chi sisters issue the challenge, I can’t say no.

The dare: seduce the hottest new hockey player in the junior class.

Conor Edwards is a regular at Greek Row parties…and in Greek Row sorority beds. He’s the one you fall for before you learn that guys like him don’t give girls like me a second glance. Except Mr. Popular throws me for a loop—rather than laughing in my face, he does me a solid by letting me take him upstairs to pretend we’re getting busy.

Even crazier, now he wants to keep pretending. Turns out Conor loves games, and he thinks it’s fun to pull the wool over my frenemies’ eyes.

But resisting his easy charm and surfer-boy hotness is darn near impossible. Though I’m realizing there’s much more to Conor’s story than his fan club can see.

And the longer this silly ruse goes on, the greater the danger of it all blowing up in my face.


Elle Kennedy is one of my favorite authors and, while I eagerly anticipate every one of her new releases, I also hold her to a high standard when it comes to her books. With every new release, I’m holding my breath hoping she’s going to knock it out of the park. She’s always done that for me, and continued to do that with The Dare.

The Dare was one of those super swoony new adult sports romances. It had just the right amount of sports moments, teammate camaraderie, character chemistry, and character backstories to create problems. What really stood out in The Dare, though, were the characters themselves. Taylor and Conor were characters that were easy to love.

Taylor is one of my favorite Elle Kennedy characters ever. She is perfectly imperfect. She gets in her own way a lot. Taylor is a bigger girl. She has body issues that she lets crossover to every aspect of her life. The way they are portrayed resonated with me. I would have been able to identify with her as a college student, and I’m able to relate as an adult, too.

Conor also got added to my list of favorite characters. He was nicer than I was expecting from the get-go. I mean super nice. He was still a cocky hockey player, but he had layers and some deep insecurities of his own. I loved what his relationship with Taylor did for both of them.

That relationship…sigh. It was so sweet. I loved the pace at which everything progressed between them. The trust they built in each other was what I would expect in a real relationship, so to see it on the page was cool. Everything they went through together matured them from college kids to adults. I just really loved them as a couple.

What else can I say? As with all the other Briar U and Off Campus books, we get to see more of some of our favorite characters. They had special roles in this book, and it was fun to see them again. Other than that, I guess you’re just going to have to read The Dare for yourself. Trust me, you are going to want to! It was one of my favorites in this series.

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Review: Rich Prick (Tijan)

Rich Prick
Author: Tijan
Publication Date: June 15, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

He walked into school on his first day and owned it.
I guess that’s what happens when you’re a prick, rich, and you’re best friends with the ruling school’s king.
Also didn’t hurt he’s drop dead gorgeous.
That’s all fine.
I mean, I have nothing to do with them.
I’m a loner, invisible, and that’s how I wanted it to be.
I was even proud of it, until I wasn’t.
Until I saw a girl kneel before him.
Until I couldn’t look away.
Until he caught me watching.
His name is Blaise Devroe. My name is Aspen Monson.
He only knew how to get, command, and demand attention.
I knew how to do everything but that.
And this is our story.


Rich Prick is a book that’s harder for me to describe. I’m not sure why. It’s a standalone novel, but it has ties to the Crew and Fallen Crest High worlds. You don’t have to read either of those series to read Rich Prick, but it wouldn’t hurt. For me, it was a book that drew these worlds closer together and tied of a TON of questions I’ve had for a long time.

Blaise is a Mason-esque character. He’s one of those super popular guys who runs Fallen Crest Academy, and yet he isn’t one to bow to peer pressure. He has some deeper issues than Mason did, but his character provides the same level of comfort. I liked his character a lot, and loved how he worked on himself throughout this book. I also enjoyed seeing Blaise’s family situation from his perspective that I saw a different way in Crew. That involved new experiences and changes in his relationship with his half-siblings and father.

I knew from her last name that Ashton was going to be Nate’s younger sister. I didn’t pick up her connections to Crew right away, but once I did, I became even more curious about her. She was a weird chick. Or at least she seemed weird until I got into what shaped her. She didn’t have an innate toughness that other Tijan girls do. She was more emotionally delicate. I liked how different that made her.

I really loved Ashton and Blaise together. Tijan excels in creating couples who build each other up. I always want to root for them and see them come out on top of all the drama. Yes, Rich Prick has that drama and angst one expects from Tijan. I liked how that tension was woven throughout the story. Not one moment felt too heavy.

Rich Prick is going to give Tijan fans something they didn’t know they needed. I didn’t know I needed Ashton and Blaise’s stories until I read this book. Now, I’m even more excited for Nate’s book and Always Crew. I love how these worlds keep growing and intertwining.

Mini Reviews: Wild at Heart, Black Lies, Alex in Wonderland

Wild at Heart
Series: Wild, #2
Author: K.A. Tucker
Publication Date: February 18, 2020
Publisher: K.A. Tucker
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Calla Fletcher returns to Toronto a different person, struggling to find direction and still very much in love with the rugged bush pilot she left behind. When Jonah arrives on her doorstep with a proposition she can’t dismiss, she takes the leap and rushes back to Alaska to begin their exciting future together.

But Calla soon learns that even the best intentions can lead to broken promises, and that compromise comes with a hefty price—a log cabin in interior rural Alaska that feels as isolating as the western tundra.

With Jonah gone more than he’s home, one neighbor who insists on transforming her into a true Alaskan, and another who seems more likely to shoot her than come to her aid, Calla grapples with forging her own path. In a world with roaming wildlife that has her constantly watching over her shoulder and harsh conditions that stretch far beyond the cold, dark, winter months, just stepping outside her front door can be daunting.

This is not the future Calla had in mind, leaving her to fear that perhaps she is doomed to follow in her mother’s fleeing footsteps after all.

From the internationally best-selling author of The Simple Wild comes the continuation of a woman’s journey to Alaska and a life she never imagined for herself.

My thoughts:

While Wild at Heart didn’t quite have the magic of The Simple Wild, I did end up enjoying it a lot. Calla drove me crazy with her one foot out the Alaskan door routine, but I loved her growth over the entire journey. Her relationship with Jonah continued to be the star, right along with the Alaskan wilderness and the cast of characters who live there.

Black Lies
Author: Alessandra Torre
Publication Date: August 14, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Brant:
Became a tech billionaire by his twentieth birthday. Has been in a relationship with me for 3 years. Has proposed 4 times. Been rejected 4 times.

Lee:
Cuts grass when he’s not banging housewives. Good with his hands, his mouth, and his body. Has been pursued relentlessly by me for almost 2 years, whether he knows it or not.

Go ahead. Judge me. You have no idea what my love entails.

If you think you’ve heard this story before, trust me – you haven’t.

**This is a STANDALONE full-length novel. It is not part of a series, and does not contain a cliffhanger.**

My thoughts:

Wow. Black Lies was a RIDE. This is no ordinary love triangle. It’s dark, twisted, and sexy. I had so many guesses as to what was going on. I was on the right track 3/4 of the time, but dang! Talk about a book that makes you want to throw your Kindle!

Alex in Wonderland
Authors: Max Monroe
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Dark Romance, Fairytale Retelling

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Max Monroe comes a new, sexy, and exciting twist on a favorite fairytale.

I’m Matt Hadder.
I’ve been called ruthless, savage—even brutal—by the men and women who work for me. And I’ve earned my reputation.

Wonderland Inc., a party planning organization for every major player in the world, is Oz, and I’m its Wizard. I can make anything—drugs, prostitutes, deals—appear for a night and disappear just as quickly.

This doesn’t make me good or bad—it makes me essential.

Wonderland Inc. was my life, until a beautiful contradiction of innocence and impurity, obedience and rebelliousness named Alex Little stepped in and turned both of our worlds upside down.

Welcome to Wonderland, Alex.
A place where everything appears normal.
But we’re all mad.

My thoughts:

Well, this was different from every other Max Monroe book they have released. It was darker in it’s almost mafia-like storyline. Alex’s Wonderland was definitely more scandalous than Alice’s. It was also more provocative than their other books. It took a long time for the story to build, but once it did it was explosive. I loved Alex Little, and Matt Hadder grew on my quickly despite his brutish nature. Overall, it was one of those good boundary pushing reads. I think it was supposed to be a series (not sure if it still will be), and I would definitely read more.