Mini Reviews: Doughn’t Let Me Go, Fake It ‘Til You Break It, Bad Business & AWK-WEIRD

Doughn’t Let Me Go
Series: Slice, #3
Author: Teagan Hunter
Publication: February 6, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

It was just supposed to be one night.

No kissing. No feelings. A wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am tangle in the sheets and we go our own ways.

Only it’s a small town, and I was bound to run into the irresistible Porter Jones again.

I just didn’t expect it to be at my job interview…which he’s conducting.

Now the live-in nanny to his adorable seven-year-old daughter, I’m doing my best to avoid falling for his charms.

Except it’s much harder than either of us anticipated.

What’s a few romps between friends?
No kissing. No feelings. Just fun.

Sounds simple, right?
Right…

My thoughts:

The Slice series just gets better and better with each book. I adored Doughn’t Let Me Go. It was both funny and sweet. There were so many little tugs at my heart from both Porter and Dory’s back stories. I loved Porter’s relationship with his daughter and how Dory fit into that. Everything was just so perfect! Porter and Dory’s story was just what I hoped it would be.

Fake It ‘Til You Break It
Author: Meagan Brandy
Publication: February 5, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Mature YA, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Fake.
That’s what we are.
That’s what we agreed to be.

I thought it would be harder, convincing everyone our school’s star receiver was mine and mine alone, but we played our parts well.

So well, the lines between us began to blur until they disappeared completely.

The thing about pretending, though, someone’s always better at it, and by the time I realized my mistake, there was no going back.

I fell for our lie.
And then everything fell apart.

It turned out, he and I were never playing the same game.

He didn’t have to break me to win.
But he did it anyway.

My thoughts:

Fake It ‘Til You Break It is hands down my favorite book I’ve read by Meagan Brandy. While it was angsty and drama filled like her previous books, it also felt less crazy and lighter. The fake relationship between Demi and Nico was actually super cute and I loved their transition from almost enemeies to boyfriend/girlfriend. There were still some a little out there twists and absent parents, but while I noticed those things they didn’t ruin my reading experience. I appreciated that there wasn’t some crazy cliffhanger. This is Meagan Brandy’s best book yet. I’m hoping she writes more romances like this one.

Bad Business
Series: Bad Boys of Sports, #2
Author: Nicole Edwards
Publication: March 27, 2018
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

This player’s got a lot to learn if he wants to score . . . with the boss’s daughter.

Stone: Football is more than a game to me. It’s my calling. Becoming the Dallas Wranglers’ starting quarterback before I retire is a dream come true, but with a few wins under my belt, suddenly everyone wants a piece of me. And even though being in the spotlight has its perks—beautiful women, star treatment, more beautiful women—what really gets me sweating is the watchful gaze of my sexy-as-hell PR coach, Savannah Andrews. The catch? Her father is kind of my boss. . . .

Savannah: In my family, football is big business. When your dad owns an NFL franchise, you learn a thing or two about schmoozing, and from what I can tell, it’s not a skill in Jason Stone’s playbook. Sure, the veteran quarterback is literally larger than life. With broad shoulders, muscles on muscles, and a mouth made for kissing, he may be one of the hottest men in the league—and I should know. I’ve turned down enough players to start my own all-star team. But those guys just wanted to get close to my father. Meanwhile, Stone is getting temptingly close . . . to me.

My thoughts:

I had a hard time rating this book. I loved the instant chemistry between the characters and the general story line. What kept me from rating it higher was that it was kind of anti-climactic. There was a build up to drama that just kind of fizzled out. The love story was so good, though.

AWK-WEIRD
S
eries: Ice Knights, #2
Author: Avery Flynn
Narrators: Tim Paige, Kelsey Navarro
Publication: October 11, 2019
Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

There’s more to me than just being awk-weird. I own my own flower shop, have some great friends, and I have my eye on adopting the most adorable kitten. But sadly, hot guys don’t tend to be blown away by my trivia-spouting, dorky self.

So when a Thor-lookalike who happens to be a professional hockey player hits on me at my bestie’s wedding rehearsal party… You better believe I climbed that tree like a cat. And the fact that it happened not once, not twice, but three times? Yeah, that’s pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a woman like me.

There’s zero chance I’ll end up ever seeing him again…right?

Until the pregnancy test comes up positive. What happens next?

Oh my God, I wish I knew…

My thoughts:

This book wasn’t awkward or weird. It was totally adorable from beginning to end. I loved Tess and Cole. It was just such a cute romance. I couldn’t stop listening to it.

Review: Dear Ava (Ilsa Madden-Mills)

Dear Ava - BT banner

Dear Ava
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Publication Date: February 3, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

WSJ bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills delivers a sizzling enemies-to-lovers romance.

The rich and popular Sharks rule at prestigious, ivy-covered Camden Prep. Once upon a time, I wanted to be part of their world—until they destroyed me.

The last thing I expected was an anonymous love letter from one of them.

Please. I hate those rich jerks for what they did to me. The question is, which Shark is my secret admirer? Knox, the scarred quarterback, Dane, his twin brother, or Chance, the guy who dumped me . . .

Dear Ava,

Your eyes are the color of the Caribbean Sea.
Sh*t. That’s stupid.
What I really mean is, you look at me and I feel something REAL.

It’s been ten months since you were here, but I can’t forget you.

I’ve missed seeing you walk down the hall.
I’ve missed you cheering at my football games.
I’ve missed the smell of your hair.

And then everything fell apart that night.

Don’t hate me because I’m a Shark.
I just want to make you mine.
Still.

Not part of any other series. Dark high school romance. Recommended for 18+.


I ended Dear Ava with a giant smile on my face. I know that’s beginning at the end, but it’s important because I started this book feeling sad. If you have read the preview to Dear Ava in Team Player 2, you will understand this. Ava’s been dealt some horrors to deal with, and returning to school is not something she is doing lightly. The attention Knox, one of the people who could be responsible for her troubles, is putting on her is both scary and exhilarating. Their story is both romantic and stressful due to the angst and subject matter. All that stress was worth it in the end, though. I loved the way everything played out.

 

DEAR AVA AN

Download your copy today or read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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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.

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Review: Echoes Between Us (Katie McGarry)

Echoes Between Us
Author: Katie McGarry
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Echoes Between Us is bestselling author Katie McGarry’s breakout teen contemporary novel about a girl with everything to lose and the boy who will do anything to save her.

Veronica sees ghosts. More specifically, her mother’s ghost. The afterimages of blinding migraines caused by the brain tumor that keeps her on the fringes and consumes her whole life haunt her, even as she wonders if it’s something more…

Golden boy Sawyer is handsome and popular, a state champion swimmer, but his adrenaline addiction draws him to Veronica.

A girl with nothing to live for and a boy with everything to lose–can they conquer their demons together?


Katie McGarry is one of those authors who I will read whatever she writes. She could write a book about aliens on Mars and I would be all in (Not something I would ever plan to read.). There’s a magic to her writing that pulls me in and makes me fall in love. That’s exactly what happened with Echoes Between Us. It blew me away. Here’s why.

  • Katie McGarry’s writing was as amazing as ever. The story in Echoes Between Us was spellbinding. I read it in two sittings. I would have read it in one, but sleep is important.
  • It pretty much took me most of the book to figure it out, but many of the characters are also from McGarry’s Only a Breath Apart. Once I did, I wish I had remembered that from the start. I loved how the two stories meshed a bit.
  • I loved the emotion of the story. Vi and Sawyer are dealing with some big, emotional things personally and it makes the connection they form so special.
  • The whole ghost aspect was so cool!!! It also creeped me out a bit, but I’m a wimp.
  • There were some twists and surprises I honestly didn’t see coming. That might have been because I was so wrapped up in the story.
  • How everything played out. I just loved this entire book. It’s selfish to say this, but I hope that we get another book with this same setting and group of friends.

Honestly, there wasn’t anything I didn’t love about this book. It was classic Katie McGarry and I couldn’t ask for anything more or different. Fans of her writing will love this book.

Review: The Map from Here to There (Emery Lord)

The Map from Here to There
Series: The Start of Me and You, #2
Author: Emery Lord
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Acclaimed author Emery Lord crafts a gorgeous story of friendship and identity, daring to ask: What happens after happily ever after?

It’s senior year, and Paige Hancock is finally living her best life. She has a fun summer job, great friends, and a super charming boyfriend who totally gets her. But senior year also means big decisions. Weighing “the rest of her life,” Paige feels her anxiety begin to pervade every decision she makes. Everything is exactly how she always wanted it to be–how can she leave it all behind next year? In her head, she knows there is so much more to experience after high school. But in her heart, is it so terrible to want everything to stay the same forever?

Emery Lord’s award-winning storytelling shines with lovable characters and heartfelt exploration of life’s most important questions.


The Map from Here to There is the sequel to Emery Lord’s beloved The Start of Me and You. It begins at the end of summer before Paige’s senior year of high school. Paige is excited for Max to return from Italy and for them to start their relationship and senior year together. The only thing standing the way of Paige’s happiness is the pressure of choosing a college and what that means for her new relationship with Max.

I’m just going to be blatantly honest with you all. I did not love this book as much as The Start of Me and You. It had some of the things I loved from that book: Paige and Max, Emery Lord’s addictive writing and the feels it gave me, all the friendships, the families, new characters to like, dealing with mental health issues. All of that should have been a recipe for success, but this was a case of the first book ending perfectly and the second book trying to mess with everything. I loved that the story was valid and very realistic, but Paige’s anxiety made me anxious and sad, and her actions made me irritated. I just wanted to love it and I didn’t love the feelings it gave me. I had to push myself to through parts of the middle to get me back to the things that made me love the first book so much.

BUT (and that’s a big but) I recognize that The Map from Here to There wasn’t written for me. I’m not a teenager. I can see a ton of value in this book for a teenager. It deals with a multitude of issues relating to senior year, picking colleges, relationships that might change with choices made for the future. It also does a good job portraying stress, anxiety, and being overwhelmed by the future. So while it wasn’t my favorite read, I see a need for it. I see younger people connecting with and enjoying it more than I did and absolutely loving it.

Review: Regretting You (Colleen Hoover)

Regretting You
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publication Date: December 10, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us comes a poignant novel about family, first love, grief, and betrayal that will touch the hearts of both mothers and daughters.

Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.


I’m always curious as to what Colleen Hoover is going to write next. She always surprises me with the directions and choices she takes. I was excited to hear she was headed back to romance after Verity, but I was curious as to what type of romance she was going to give us. Even after reading Regretting You, I’m still not exactly sure how to describe it to you.

Regretting You is a book that’s hard to put into one book category. It’s kind of like an all-in-one Colleen Hover novel. One point of view is an adult contemporary romance with hints of women’s fiction character growth sprinkled in. The other straddles the line between YA and NA contemporary romance. There’s even a bit mystery involved. The overall effect is a great novel about… Well, a lot of stuff. Stuff you will have to read the book to find out about. 😉

What did I think of Regretting You? I had a lot of thoughts about it. Lame, I know. I just can’t share too many of them without giving too much away. I will say this:

  • Colleen Hoover’s writing always makes me feel something and think hard about the messages she’s giving. I felt a ton of emotions while reading Regretting You and I’m still processing them.
  • I was caught up in the story from the very beginning. There’s a lot of good stuff happening in it. Even when I found it predictable, I still enjoyed it.
  • The mother-teenage daughter dynamic was STRONG in this one, people. I’ve been a teenager and I’ve been a mother, and I can confirm that both POVs delivered were on point. That dynamic… Whew! It was so real and vibrant! Even when I wanted to give Clara or Morgan a good shake, I still loved them.
  • I liked how grief was depicted and dealt with.
  • The love stories were complicated, but easy to swoon over.
  • Like I said, I loved Clara and Morgan, but sometimes Miller, Jonah, and Miller’s grandpa stole the show. They just kind of added an extra something that made this book. Miller especially.
  • The end was one of my favorites I’ve read in a while. It was a great reward for all CoHo put me through while reading this book. After you read this book, I want to gush with you over it!
  • If you’re like me, you’re going to have a few unanswered questions at the end, but you will feel okay with that even though it drives you slightly nuts. LOL

So, yeah. I guess you could say I loved reading Regretting You.

 
Q&A with Author Colleen Hoover
 

You are ‘label-less’ in the fact that you write in several genres. Readers never know what to expect next. If someone asks, how do you label yourself?

When I self-published my first novel I had no idea what genre to put it in. I thought I had written a drama but it turns to that I had written a romance. I’ve learned a lot since then, but I still don’t put a lot of weight in genre when I write. When your best friend is begging you to read a book, it’s not going to matter what genre it is when someone you trust is passionate about the story.

To keep all of your stories and characters straight, you must be very organized.

I’m the most disorganized person you will ever meet! I have no schedule. I can’t wake up before nine in the morning. I probably don’t go to bed until like three in the morning. I usually work about 16 hours a day.

What happens if you get blocked when you are writing?

If I get stuck writing, I go for a drive and play music. Music really helps me plot. I love The Avett Brothers, X Ambassadors, Airborne Toxic Event…I could go on and on.

What can you tell readers about your latest release Regretting You?

I would spoil it if I told you about it! Most of my books are like that. I can’t say what they are about or it spoils it. But I can say that Regretting You is told from a dual point-of-view centered on the inner lives of both a teen and adult protagonist.


Sounds like lots of different types of readers will be interested!

Absolutely. I wanted to write a book that bridged the gap between young adult and contemporary romance so that mothers can read with their daughters. I think it’s exciting to see people sharing reading experiences. 

 
 

Author Biography
 
Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of several novels, including the bestselling women’s fiction novel It Ends with Us and the bestselling psychological thriller Verity. She has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance three years in a row—for Confess (2015), It Ends with Us (2016), and Without Merit (2017). Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Hoover and her family founded the Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service that offers signed novels donated by authors. All profits go to various charities each month to help those in need. Hoover lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Visit www.colleenhoover.com.
 
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YA Mini Reviews: Girl at Heart & One of the Girls

Today, I’m sharing with you two YA contemporary sports romances I read recently. I put them in this mini review together because while they’re written by two different authors, they are part of the same Roosevelt High School world/series.

Girl at Heart
Author: Kelly Oram
Publication Date: November 4, 2019
Publisher: Bluefields
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

As the daughter of a successful Major League pitcher, Charlie Hastings has baseball in her blood. Unfortunately, being the only girl on her high school baseball team, Charlie has always been just one of the guys.

When her best friend, and secret love of her life, asks another girl to the prom, Charlie is devastated. She’s tired of being overlooked by boys because she’s not like other girls. Suffering a massive identity crisis, she decides to hang up her cleats and finally learn how to be a girl.

But with only two weeks until the state championships, the Roosevelt High Ravens can’t afford to lose their star catcher. Team captain Jace King makes her a deal: Don’t quit the team, and he’ll help her become the girl she’s so desperate to be. After all, he’s got four sisters, one of whom happens to be a cheerleader. He knows a thing or two about girls. (And if he can win her heart in the process, all the better.)

From the bestselling young adult author of Cinder & Ella, V is for Virgin, and the Avery Shaw Experiment comes a new sweet romance that’s sure to leave you with all the feels! Girl at Heart is a clean and wholesome sports romance that will leave you with warm fuzzies and an itch to watch a baseball game.

My thoughts:

First, can I just love on this cover? The colors are all so pretty together and it’s just so adorable. It fits the book so well. As for what’s inside the book… I loved every minute of Girl at Heart. It’s the story of a girl who is on the high school boys’ baseball team. She’s always been “just one of the guys”, but Charlie wants to be seen as a girl. Girl at Heart is a really sweet story about Charlie finding herself and falling in love. I was surprised by the emotions I felt while reading it (I teared up and had to stop myself from sobbing, guys.) and the way things played out. It was more than I expected it to be. That shouldn’t have been a shock since I’ve read and loved Oram’s books before, but it was. I loved it so much that when I saw there was another book set in this world with characters I recognized, I knew I needed to read that book, too.

One of the Girls
Author: Robin Daniels
Publication Date: June 20, 2019
Publisher: Bluefields
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

FROM ENDZONE TO FRIENDZONE…

Senior Nick Moody is the second string quarterback on Roosevelt High School’s championship football team. He’s crushed on Mia for years, but she doesn’t know he exists. It’s time to come off the bench and into the game. Nick refuses to graduate without getting the girl or the glory.

Mia Ashlock is the remarkably kind cheer captain. She’s a yes girl, and her penchant for people pleasing always leads to bad relationships. After being humiliated in a very public dumping, her teammates decide to break her bad habit with a ban on boyfriends.

When Nick sees a poster, advertising cheer tryouts, he has a crazy idea: quit football and become a cheerleader. It’s perfect! He can get close to Mia and steal the spotlight, using his true and hidden talent—gymnastics. Nick and Mia have instant chemistry, but it does him little good. If Mia’s zero dating rule weren’t bad enough, the team treats him less like boyfriend material and more like one of the girls. Breaching the friendzone will be much harder than he thought.

Content: This book contains kissing along with limited/mild swearing and minimal inuendo/crude humor. No explicit language or references to sex.

My thoughts:

Like I said above, this book is connected to Oram’s by the setting and some characters. It actually came out first, but it doesn’t matter which order you read them in. I had never read a book by Robin Daniels before, but I want to read more of them now. I loved One of the Girls just as much as Girl at Heart. This book was opposite that one as it was a boy joining the cheerleading squad. Nick was joined to use his gymnastics skills and to win cheerleading captain Mia’s heart. It was so sweet and definitely a feel good story.

I really, really hope there are more books to come set at Roosevelt High. Whether they’re from Daniels, Oram, or another author, I would happily read them.

Review: The One for You (Roni Loren)

The One for You
Series: The Ones Who Got Away, #4
Author: Roni Loren
Publication Date: December 31, 2019
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The highly-anticipated fourth book in Roni Loren’s unforgettable The Ones Who Got Away series.

She got a second chance at life.
Will she take a second chance at love?

Kincaid Breslin wasn’t supposed to survive that fateful night at Long Acre when so many died, including her boyfriend—but survive she did. She doesn’t know why she got that chance, but now she takes life by the horns and doesn’t let anybody stand in her way

Ashton Isaacs was her best friend when disaster struck all those years ago, but he chose to run as far away as he could. Now fate has brought him back to town, and Ash doesn’t know how to cope with his feelings for Kincaid and his grief over their lost friendship. For Ash has been carrying secrets, and he knows that once Kincaid learns the truth, he’ll lose any chance he might have had with the only woman he’s ever loved.


Roni Loren saved the best for last with The One for You. It is by far my favorite book in The Ones Who Got Away series. I want to say there was something so special about it, but it wasn’t just one thing. It was the whole package.

Kincaid has always been the character who stood out for me throughout the whole series. She’s the reason why I kept reading the series because I didn’t want to miss out on anything that led up to her book. I was greatly rewarded for keeping up with the series because Kincaid’s story was EVERYTHING. She thought she lost everything that fateful night of the shooting. While she did lose someone very important to her, she didn’t lose everything. I loved how it took her estranged best friend Ash turning up in town to show her that.

Ash… I didn’t expect his back story to be as important to me as Kincaid’s, but it was. He was such a great guy. He was generous and kind. Ash truly wanted the people he loved to be happy, even if it was at his own expense. His friendship with Kincaid and the direction it took in this book warmed my heart. It was the type of best friends to lovers / almost second chance at love story a romance reader loves.

I truly adored The One for You. It brought the entire The Ones Who Got Away series full circle and ended it in the best way possible. Kudos to Loren for giving us the story we have been waiting for.

Review: Getting Played (Emma Chase)

Getting Played
Series: Getting Some, #2
Author: Emma Chase
Publication Date: October 8, 2019
Publisher: Emma Chase, LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Dean Walker is all about keeping life simple. He’s effortlessly talented and intelligent—spending his summers playing drums in the local band and the rest of the year teaching high school in the same Jersey town where he grew up. He likes his love life simple too, enjoying the commitment-free hook-ups his good looks and sexy charm have always made oh so easy.

Then he meets Lainey Burrows. And his simple, easy life gets turned upside down.

One wild one-night stand was all it was ever supposed to be, so Lainey is shocked when she discovers that her sizzling summer fling is also her son’s new math teacher. But that’s nothing compared to the most unexpected twist of all—their hot hook-up left Lainey knocked up, and now they’re about to become parents. Together.

What ensues is an addictive, insatiable, sweet and tender romance that won’t be simple, but it will be more than worth the fight.


I hate to admit this, but I wasn’t in a hurry to read Getting Played. It’s been about a year and a half since the first book in the Getting Some series, Getting Schooled, was released and I had forgotten how much I loved the setting and characters of the series. I’ve been in this mood for romantic comedies lately, saw Getting Played on my TBR, and decided to read it. I’m so, so happy I did because Getting Played was SO MUCH FUN!

What did I love about Getting Played? Everything. I loved the way Lainey and Dean originally met. I loved the way they became re-acquainted — Lainey pregnant and Dean as her teenage son’s math teacher. All of the dynamics between them were so entertaining. Plus, both Dean and Lainey were easy characters to love. Lainey was confident, driven, and self-sufficient. Dean was a little cocky, both a nerd and a jock, and a nice guy. There was just the right amount of humor and sweetness in their love story. Add in Grams, Jason, and the rest of the gang and I couldn’t ask for more.

I loved every minute I spent devouring Getting Played. Emma Chase hit a home run with this book. I really hope there’s more to come in this series and soon!

Mini Reviews: Reign of Brayshaw, I Knead You Tonight, & The Simple Wild

Reign of Brayshaw
Series: Brayshaw, #3
Author: Meagan Brandy
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Young Adult?

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“Trust only those who earn it.”

A sentiment I follow without direction but holds more consequence than ever before.

One decision, five lives, three futures.
This is what’s at stake.

One night, one choice, four broken Brayshaws.
That is where we’re headed.

Unless I stop it.
I 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 to stop it.

I have to remind him of what he’s chosen to forget.

My town. My choice. 𝘔𝘺 ending.


This is the third book in the Brayshaw Series, and the conclusion of Maddoc and Raven’s story.

My thoughts:

I don’t know, you guys… This series has been a solid 3 star for me the entire way through. Sometimes I love the crazy, over the top drama. Other times, I’m just not into it — it’s too crazy. Reign at Brayshaw straddled the line towards too crazy. There were some great shocking moments. Some of them rubbed me wrong, some made me happy. What it comes down to is that a lot of what happened made me slightly uncomfortable since it takes place in a high school world. None of it was believable or even okay for KIDS who hadn’t even graduated from high school yet. Maybe college, but high school no. Some things were way too romanticized and I would be having a big talk with my teen about some of it if I knew they were reading this book. I do have to say the unraveling of all the mysterious stuff was fascinating, though.


I Knead You Tonight
Series: Slice, #2
Author: Teagan Hunter
Publication Date: October 17, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I hate Drew Woods, and she hates me.

Even so, I’m not the cold jerk most make me out to be, and I have no problem moving the single mom and her baby into my home. I do, however, draw a line when it comes to acting on the way her loose lips make me feel.

Alive.

She’s too mouthy, too prying, and her curves are way too distracting.

I might have lost my way after a nearly fatal car accident, but I’m not stupid. Giving in to Drew would be a short-lived fix for this pain I’m saddled with, and I knead something permanent.

I’d be insane to think what we have could be anything other than temporary…right?

My thoughts:

I freaking loved this I Knead You Tonight. Dare I say that it could possibly be my new favorite Teagan Hunter book? Yes, I would. That’s a big deal because I adored Let’s Get Textual. There was just something about this book, though. The enemies to lovers aspect was spot on. Drew and Winston had some of the best banter. I loved the way they hated each other. 😉 I was completely shocked by Winston’ character. There was definitely more than I thought going on with that dude from the previous book, and he proved himself in some of the best ways. I couldn’t get enough of this romantic comedy, and I need Teagan Hunter to hurry up and release the next book in this series. I need it NOW.


The Simple Wild
Series: Wild, #1
Author: K.A. Tucker
Publication Date: August 7, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.

My thoughts:

I’m kicking myself right now because The Simple Wild has been sitting on my bookshelf for almost a year now. I’ve wanted to read it, but I shied away from actually picking it up. I wish I wouldn’t have. It’s hands down one of my favorite books I have read in 2019. I loved everything about it: the writing, the setting, the characters, the plot, the romance, the emotions…just everything. The Simple Wild was just so dang beautiful. I was sad when it ended because I wanted to be lost in its world for a lot longer.

Review: Making a Play (Abbi Glines)

Making a Play
Series: Field Party, #5
Author: Abbi Glines
Narrators: Ali Andre Ali, Caitlin Davies
Publication Date: August 20, 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Ryker Lee is finally enjoying his senior year—he has great friends, hangs out with hot girls, and is on track to get a football scholarship that will set him up for college. Despite this, a small part of him wonders if there’s more to life than parties and meaningless hookups—and if football even means as much to him as it does to his fellow teammates. And when he meets the new girl at school, his world totally changes…

Aurora McClay is new to Lawton. She’s grateful that her twin brother, Hunter, is star of the football team and can help her adjust to her new school, but she’s not grateful at how overprotective he is over every person she meets. Just because she is deaf does not mean people have to treat her differently. When she meets Ryker Lee, the two of them spark an instant and intense chemistry, one that proves to be controversial not only because of Ryker’s reputation as a player, but also because of Aurora and Hunter’s father’s bigoted views about who Aurora can and can’t date.

Aurora and Ryker know in their hearts that they are meant for each other. But can their relationship endure the turmoil of rumors and prejudice?


There’s something about the Field Party series that keeps bringing me back to it despite the fact that each book isn’t as good as the one before it. It’s the small town, Friday Night Lights vibe of it and wanting to know what happens to the characters I love from the previous books. Making a Play is my least favorite book in the series so far. I didn’t completely dislike it, but I had a few issues with it that kept it from being great.

Let’s talk about the things I loved first.

  • The narrators did a great job bringing this book to life. It was a quick listen and I was instantly pulled in.
  • Aurora was deaf and I enjoyed reading about how she lived her life to compensate for not being able to hear. I loved how her confidence grew in this book relating to that.
  • Aurora and Hunter had a great twin relationship. I loved the dynamics of it in their family.
  • I didn’t think I would like Ryker as much as I did. He has definitely grown up some. I loved how he treated Aurora and the things he did for her and their relationship.
  • Nash and Tallulah were adorable.
  • Aurora is white and Ryker is black. Aurora’s dad did not want his daughter dating a black boy. I was impressed that Abbi Glines tacked racism in this book.

All of that was great, but…

  • Most of the stuff happens within a matter of a couple of weeks. Weeks. It just wasn’t believable. I loved how Ryker fell for Aurora, but I wish it had been over months rather than weeks. It was insta-love and not the good kind.
  • Remember how I liked that racism was tackled? Well, it wasn’t done as well as it should have been. Aurora’s dad got over his prejudices a little too quickly in my opinion. Again, if this book had taken place over months rather than weeks maybe changes in his beliefs would have been believable. It just wasn’t.

Even though Making a Play wasn’t my favorite book in this series, I still enjoyed listening to it. It brought me back to a town and group of characters I love. Anyone who has read and loved the previous books in the Field Party series will want to read it. I’m curious whether there will be more books in this series because I would like to read a book about Hunter.