WWW Wednesday: November 17, 2021

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

WHAT DID YOU JUST FINISH READING?

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I read Real (Real, #1) by Katy Evans because Bea recommended it on her blog as one of her all time favorite romances. I don’t regret it at all!

I’m following Real up with its sequel Mine (Real, #2) by Katy Evans. I might end the series here or pick the rest up at a later point. We’ll see.

My next read with probably by Fall From India Place (On Dublin Street, #4) by Samantha Young. I’ve been listening to this series recently, but my library only had the ebook.

Top Ten Tuesday: If You Liked This, Try That

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is: Books to Read If You Love/Loved X. We’re switching it up a tad with:

If You Liked This, Try That

THIS            ⇒         THAT

Review: Bend in the Road (Sara Biren)

Bend in the Road
Author: Sara Biren
Publication Date: September 28, 2021
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A teen rock star returns home to Minnesota and finds himself falling for a local farm girl in this steamy YA romance

Seventeen-year-old Gabe’s life is a mess. His debut album—produced by his rock star dad—made him an overnight sensation, but his second album tanked, he just got dumped by his on-again, off-again girlfriend, and he’s desperate to come up with the money he needs to fix a major screwup. The only place he can be free from the paparazzi and rumors is the family farm—the farm that seventeen-year-old Juniper’s family has managed since before she was born. When Juniper learns that Gabe’s about to inherit the farm, she worries that he’ll sell it. She comes up with a plan to get close to him and stop that from happening. At first, Juniper and Gabe couldn’t be more at odds, but the more time they spend with each other, the more they grow to like each other. Can they set aside their differences to do what’s best for the farm—and each other? Or will all the drama and secrets tear them apart?


Sara Biren may have only have released two books prior to Bend in the Road, but those two books made her an auto-buy author for me. I adore her writing style, the heart she brings to her stories and characters, and the places she makes me fall in love with.

I was immediately pulled into this story. I loved the fallen teen rock star returning to his grandmother’s farm to hide from his mistakes and celebrity status. The farm and small Minnesota town setting brought a warmth to the story even when the weather was cold outside (my location and in the story). I adored all of the characters and the plot had me flying through pages to find out what was coming next for Gabe and Juniper.

Gabe was a troubled seventeen year-old. Despite being famous, life hadn’t done him many other favors. He had his talent, but his relationships were kind of messy and he was in a tough spot with money. I liked that he was tying to right a wrong, but the way he was going about it had him and me both worried. I loved the way he blossomed at the farm and how his friendships and relationship with his father grew and brought him the peace he was looking for.

Juniper was a young woman who couldn’t imagine life outside of her beloved farm. As the daughter of the farm’s manager, all of Juniper’s memories of her father are there as well as her family’s livelihood. Gabe showing up and possibly selling her favorite place wasn’t something she was okay with and she wanted to do everything she could to keep it, even if that meant giving up her hatred of Gabe and being his friend.

Gabe and Juniper had a fun enemies thing going at the beginning of the story. Their disdain for each other was perfect. The type of relationship they had changed slowly throughout the story. I loved getting to see the progression through the stages of enemies to friends to more than friends. Things might have started out rocky for them, but they ended up sweet. I also loved how through their relationship they both came to some realizations about themselves and their decisions. That growth made their story all the sweeter.

This book wouldn’t have been quite as fun without the friendships and the small town they were made in. Ted and Amelia cracked me up. So did Bunny and Youa. I even liked Chloe Horrible. Then, there were the parents. I loved how Laurel was supportive of both Juniper an Gabe. Chris hadn’t always been the best dad to Gabe, but I loved seeing him show up in this book.

So, yeah. I really loved this book. I could picture everywhere Juniper and Gabe went. I sympathized with them both. I adored them as enemies, friends, and then more. Their growth as not just a couple, but people made me happy. This entire book was fun to read. It’s made me even more excited for Biren’s next book. It can’t come soon enough for me.

Review: The Pact (Max Monroe)

The Pact
Series: Winslow Brothers, #2
Authors: Max Monroe
Publication Date: November 13, 2021
Publisher: Max Monroe LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis: 

“I need a ride,” I said to a sexy stranger on a Harley.

Three hours later? A six-foot-tall Marilyn Monroe was officiating our Vegas wedding at the Happy Chapel.

But it’s not love—it’s business—a marriage pact made out of desperation so my career doesn’t go up in flames.

Sure, Flynn Winslow is a hot, broody, mysterious man that women all over the globe would sell their souls to land for real, but I have my eyes on the prize and our marriage arrangement will end in three months with no strings attached.

Right?

Or will it all go out the window when I have to move in with Mr. Mysterious and our fake marriage starts to feel remarkably real?

I wish it were as easy as telling myself, Do not fall in love with your fake husband, Daisy, but apparently, when feelings get involved, not everything that happens in Vegas knows how to stay in Vegas.


Max Monroe + Married in Vegas to a stranger + Fake relationship = An entertaining and totally swoon worthy romance

Is that enough for a review? Because I feel like it is. Just in case it’s not…

Flynn Winslow is my new favorite Winslow brother. We’ve really only got Jude so far, so I can’t be say whether this will hold up over the course of the series, but I’m betting it will. His silent, stoic nature made him a mystery to many of those around him, and it made me a big fan. I loved his quiet ways. Daisy, on the other hand, was a talker. She was a person who wore her emotions on her sleeve and had a little bit of a nervous energy swirling around her. I loved Flynn’s ability to know what Daisy needed emotionally before even she did and how to quiet her mind. Daisy, in return, knew how to get Flynn talking. They balanced each other out very nicely. Plus, their chemistry was insane. I adored them as a couple. The Pact shows once again why Max Monroe romantic comedies are some of the best.

WWW Wednesday: November 10, 2021

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

WHAT DID YOU JUST FINISH READING?

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

The last book I read was an ARC of Jonah Bennett (Bennett Mafia, #1.5) by Tijan. It’s always fun being back in her worlds.

I’m currently reading an ARC of Set on You by Amy Lea. This was a random NetGalley request I made and my first time reading this author. 

I made another random NG ARC request for The Paid Bridesmaid by Sariah Wilson. It’s also the first time I’m reading Wilson’s books.

Top Ten Tuesday: Quotable Books I’ve Read in 2021

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is: Memorable Things Characters Have Said (quotes from book characters that have stuck with you). I am horrible at remembering quotes, so instead my topic is:

Quotable Books I’ve Read in 2021
The Song Book of Benny Lament by Amy Harmon
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune
Never Saw You Coming by Erin Hahn
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
The Things We Leave Unfinished by Rebecca Yarros
Isn’t It Bromantic? by Lyssa Kay Adams
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Rush by Emma Scott
True Love Story by Willow Aster

Series Review: Here’s To (Teagan Hunter)

If you’re like me, you found Teagan Hunter’s books starting with Let’s Get Textual and read from there. I had wanted to go back and read through her backlist, but just hadn’t had time. I finally found the time, and I am so happy I did! Here are mini reviews for each book in her Here’s To NA contemporary romance series.

Here’s to Tomorrow
Series: Here’s To, #1
Author: Teagan Hunter
Publication Date: February 9, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

I flew through Here’s to Tomorrow. It was exactly what I would expect from a NA romance written in 2015. It was sweet and made me fall in love with the characters and their romance, but there was also an intense climax that hit the heart strings. I loved Rae and Hudson. Hudson’s daughter, Joey, was exactly the type of little kid I enjoy reading about. I also loved Rae and Hudson’s friends. There were so many funny moments and pop culture nods to entertain me. I gave this book 5 stars because I had such a great time reading it, and because I know I would have had I read it at release.

Here’s to Yesterday
Series: Here’s To, #2
Author: Teagan Hunter
Publication Date: August 18, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts:

I’m not one for books where someone falls in love with their ex’s sibling, but this one worked for me. I have to credit Hunter because she set up Tanner in such a way that I didn’t like him and gave such a good look at Maura’s thoughts that I was rooting for Maura and Tucker. I’m happy about that because Maura and Tucker had chemistry and an emotional connection I loved. Plus, I loved both of these characters, especially Tucker. I also loved the way the dual POV were set up in this one. It was unique and fun.

Note: You might notice that I reviewed book 2 before book 1.5. I did that because that was how they were place and I read them in the box set for this series.

Here’s to Forever
Series: Here’s To, #1.5
Author: Teagan Hunter
Publication Date: February 18, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts:

This novella was so angsty! Rae and Hudson go through some heavier stuff and it made me sad that had to happen, but it also led to some sweet moments. I ended up loving how it wrapped up.

Here’s to Now
Series: Here’s To, #3
Author: Teagan Hunter
Publication Date: November 11, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts:

I loved Gaige. I loved his backstory, which I didn’t pick up on in the previous books. It was interesting only having his POV and how that made the story play out. It worked for me with the exception of one thing: the 6 months. You’ll know what I mean if you read this one. Gaige and Haley’s friendship/relationship started out in a cool way and I enjoyed how it progressed. I loved everything about the book with the exception of those 6 months. I still feel like I missing them.

Overall thoughts on this series:

I went into this series not really knowing what to expect. Sometimes backlist series show the evolution of an author’s skills and they aren’t as good as the newer stuff the author is writing. That is not the case with this series. I was very impressed with it. It’s classic new adult romance, which I love. I enjoyed every minute binging this series. I’m a little sad Perry isn’t likely to get a book, but even without it, this series went out on a good note. I would recommend it.

Review: The Attic on Queen Street (Karen White)

The Attic on Queen Street
Series: Tradd Street, #7
Author: Karen White
Publication Date: November 2, 2021
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Paranormal, Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Return to the house on Tradd Street one last time in this hauntingly spectacular finale to the bestselling series featuring psychic medium Melanie Trenholm.

After the devastating events of the past few months, the last thing Melanie Trenholm wants is to think about the future.  Why, when her husband, Jack, has asked for a separation—a separation that might have been her fault?  Nevertheless, with twin toddlers, a stepdaughter leaving for college soon, a real estate career to resume and a historic home that is still being restored, Melanie doesn’t have much time to wonder where it all went wrong—but that doesn’t stop her from trying to win her husband back.
 
Their relationship issues are pushed aside, however, when longtime nemesis, Marc Longo, comes to them with a proposition:  allow their Tradd Street house to be used as the filming location for the movie adaptation of Marc’s bestselling book, and he will help Jack re-establish his stalled writing career. Despite Melanie’s hesitation, Jack jumps at the chance.  But Melanie’s doubts soon prove to be well founded when she uncovers ulterior reasons for Marc wanting to be back in their house—reasons that include a hidden gem so brilliant that legend links it to the most infamous jewel of all, the Hope Diamond.
 
But Melanie has an unexpected ally in protecting the house and its inhabitants—the ghost of a Civil War era girl warns her of increasing threats to her family. But she’s not the only spirit who is haunting Melanie.  A malevolent ghost seems determined to stop Melanie from investigating the decades-old murder of a friend’s sister, and this spirit will stop at nothing to protect its secrets—even from beyond the grave.
 
Melanie and Jack must work together to find the answers before evil spirits of past and present destroy everything they love.


Not going to lie… I was a little worried before I started reading this book. The last book, The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street, left me with some mixed feelings. The manipulation of Melanie by her family and her actions really bugged me. So much so that it was my least favorite book in the series by far. I started to feel like maybe this series was headed somewhere I didn’t want to go. Luckily, I was wrong. Karen White’s writing immediately pulled me in and never let me go. I was once again charmed by the Charleston, South Carolina setting and the characters and ghosts inhabiting it.

Melanie is going through a tough time in The Attic on Queen Street. Her marriage is in crisis. Jack has moved out and Melanie is trying to figure out how to make the changes she needs to repair things with him. She’s got twin toddlers and a high schooler to worry about. To add to the mess, Marc Longo is filming his stupid movie at her house and there is a ghost who needs her help in her friend Veronica’s attic on Queen Street. Melanie has a lot to take care of, and I loved all the ups and downs in this book.

If Melanie drove me nuts in the last book, she had my sympathy in this one. She was truly trying to work on herself despite dealing with a ton of grief and confusion. I loved that she was willing to work on her “flaws” and make herself a better person. Melanie learned so much about herself, and in turn how to navigate her crazy life better.

Jack… I normally love Jack because of how he loved Melanie and all her extra-ness. I could feel his love for her in this book as well, but he was the one who drove me batty this time around. I was just as confused over some of his actions as Melanie. I want to say more, but won’t give anything away, so I will say I thought the Melanie-Jack issue and romance stuff wrapped up well.

All of the side characters did better this time around. They still tried to influence Melanie, but it felt more positive and less preachy. They also all stepped up and supported her in helpful ways. I loved seeing her bond with her mother and half-sister strengthen. Jack and Melanie’s twins were just as adorable as ever. And Nola was growing up and learning some important lessons. I even loved how horrible Marc and Rebecca were.

As for the mystery, there were two going on at the same time. Both were interesting and entertaining. I especially enjoyed trying to figure out what was going on in the attic of Veronica’s house. I guessed the answer before it was revealed, but still loved how it all played out.

I absolutely loved this final book in the Tradd Street series. It completed things in the best way. It’s a little bittersweet that the series is ending because I had forgotten how much I love the setting and all of the characters. I’m super excited that White is writing a spin-off with Nola and Beau in New Orleans. I just know it’s going to be fun!

WWW Wednesday: November 3, 2021

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

WHAT DID YOU JUST FINISH READING?

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I just finished up reading Teagan Hunter’s backlist with If You Say So.  

I am reading Swoon by Lauren Rowe. 

My plan is to read Bend in the Road by Sara Biren. This is one of my most anticipated books for the year.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is: 

Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading

Reasons why I chose these books:

Twilight – It seems like everyone cut their reading teeth on Twilight back in the day, so why not keep with the tradition?

Fifty Shades of Grey – Same as Twilight, but for the older crowd.

Daisy Jones and The Six – I feel like the unique documentary style writing and the realness of the story will sit well with some new readers. It will move faster than other types of stories.

Ugly Love – There is both a simplicity and complexity to Colleen Hoover’s writing that I feel will resonate with new readers. 

One of Us Is Lying – I think this YA mystery is fast paced and entertaining enough to keep even the newest bookworm’s attention.

The Raven Boys – This is another YA book that both teenagers and adults will like. The beginning intrigues so much that the reader will want to know what will happen next.

I Can Be A Better You – This book is kind of scandalous in ways I think it would keep even a non-reader’s attention. 

Making Faces – The beautiful writing and a touching story are bound to captivate.

The Deal – I just think this college romance would appeal to non-readers.

Paper Princess – I feel like the beginning of this one would reel someone in and keep them coming for more. 

What do you think? Have you read these and would you agree?