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.

Review: Again Again (E. Lockhart)

Again Again
Author: E. Lockhart
Publication Date: June 2, 2020
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★

Synopsis:

In this novel full of surprises from the New York Times bestselling author of We Were Liars and Genuine Fraud, E. Lockhart ups the ante with an inventive and romantic story about human connection, forgiveness, self-discovery, and possibility.

If you could live your life again, what would you do differently?

After a near-fatal family catastrophe and an unexpected romantic upheaval, Adelaide Buchwald finds herself catapulted into a summer of wild possibility, during which she will fall in and out of love a thousand times—while finally confronting the secrets she keeps, her ideas about love, and the weird grandiosity of the human mind.

A raw, funny story that will surprise you over and over, Again Again gives us an indelible heroine grappling with the terrible and wonderful problem of loving other people.


I’m a fan of E. Lockhart’s earlier releases, and have been eagerly awaiting the chance to read Again Again. It was one of my most anticipated YA books of this spring, and I had high hopes for it. Usually I love the way Lockhart switches up her writing style with every book, but it didn’t work for me here.

I’m sad to say hated the structure of this book. Again Again was trying to do too much. It was this odd blend of a “normal” writing style, prose, texts, and another dimension in bold letters. The prose felt out of place, even though Adelaide is into poetry. I found myself wanting to skip over the broken sentences. The bold dimensional stuff felt redundant, even though I knew what it was trying to accomplish after a bit. I liked the texts, but added in with everything else it just felt like just another thing added to make the story different. All of that made it hard to focus on what was actually going on with the story.

I am frustrated about that. There is a great story about Adelaide and her brother Toby somewhere within all this other extra stuff. It’s a story about addiction and family. Even the romance of the story felt like it took away from time I would have rather spent with Adelaide and Toby’s relationship than everything else going on here.

Hopefully, the frustration with Again Again is just a me thing. I hope other readers enjoy what this book has to offer more than I did.

Mini Reviews: Books Off My TBR Backlist

Today is all about the mini reviews. I finally finished off my ARCs, so these are all books I’ve had on my TBR for quite a while. It was nice to get them off the list. I even have a series review included.

Love in Lingerie
Series: Unzipped, #1
Author: Alessandra Torre
Publication Date: January 16, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I hired her to fix my company, to bring Marks Lingerie back to life. I didn’t expect her to become my friend. I didn’t expect to fall in love with her.

The first rule of business is to never touch your employees. I think there is another rule about not falling for your best friend—a rule against imagining the curves of her body, or the way her breathing would change if I pulled down her panties and unzipped my pants.

Now, I can’t wait any longer. I’m tossing out the rules.

Damn the company.
Damn our friendship.
Damn my fears.

My thoughts:

Oh, boy. I don’t even know where to start with this book. On one hand, I loved it. The chemistry between the characters was off the charts. There was such a sweetness between them and a real friendship developed. On the other, it drove me absolutely crazy with all the angst, OW, OM, and the slowest of slow burns brimming with sexual tension. It was worth every minute of that frustration for how it ended — with a giant smile on my face and happiness in my heart.

Kat Fight
Author: Dina Silver
Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: DNF @ 16%

Synopsis:

The seriously funny, fabulously flawed Kat Porter has arrived, and she may just steal your heart—not to mention your boyfriend. Readers everywhere will revel in this sharp-witted, well-meaning whirlwind in author Dina Silver’s hilarious new novel, Kat Fight. In her quest for love, Kat makes every wrong turn, juggling two men, one best friend, and her own deeply confused heart’s desires.

Kat Porter is a consummate romantic, eager for her chance to find love and commitment. But after her boyfriend of four years, Marc, begins to grow apathetic and sends her calls straight to voicemail one too many times, Kat finally musters the courage to confront her so-called sweetheart, who seems more interested in dodging her than courting her. Though she’s no fan of ultimatums, Kat is at the end of her considerable wits, and lobs a massive one his way, completely confident that he’ll make the right decision when faced with losing her. He doesn’t.

With radio silence from Marc, Kat’s lifelong dream of finding a husband and forging a family is decidedly on the skids. That’s when her childhood friend Julie steps in, forcing Kat on a blind date to help her move beyond the break-up. Not only does Kat botch the setup, she instead finds herself in hot pursuit of Julie’s love interest, Ryan Sullivan. A man who, in addition to literally taking her breath away, is the living, breathing personification of everything Kat wants in a husband.

Can Kat connect with the man of her dreams without hurting two of the people she cares most about? At the same time, she must also contend with the quips of her beloved catty coworker Adam, her bi-polar boss Brooke, and a string of comic, unpredictable plot twists. All the while, Kat’s cheeky perspective and generous heart will leave readers adoring every moment of her journey while chuckling and cheering for the ever cute, razor-sharp Kat as she fights to land the love of a lifetime.

My thoughts:

I picked this book up at Book Bonanza 18 after talking with the author. She told me it was loosely related to how she met her husband and that it was a romantic comedy. That sold me on it, and I really wanted to love it because she was so lovely. I don’t know if it’s my mood or what, but I couldn’t get into the writing style. The MC drove me nuts. There was just something about the tone of her thoughts… I just didn’t feel like spending any more time with her, so I gave up at 16%.

Crash
Series: Crash, #1
Author: Nicole Williams
Publication Date: July 18, 2012
Genre: Mature Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Southpointe High is the last place Lucy wanted to wind up her senior year of school. Right up until she stumbles into Jude Ryder, a guy whose name has become its own verb, and synonymous with trouble. He’s got a rap sheet that runs longer than a senior thesis, has had his name sighed, shouted, and cursed by more women than Lucy dares to ask, and lives at the local boys home where disturbed seems to be the status quo for the residents. Lucy had a stable at best, quirky at worst, upbringing. She lives for wearing the satin down on her ballet shoes, has her sights set on Juilliard, and has been careful to keep trouble out of her life. Up until now.

Jude’s everything she needs to stay away from if she wants to separate her past from her future. Staying away, she’s about to find out, is the only thing she’s incapable of.

For Lucy Larson and Jude Ryder, love’s about to become the thing that tears them apart.

My thoughts:

Crash was a mess of craziness that I somehow found myself addicted to. So much happened that wasn’t quite believable. I could see most of the twists coming, but that didn’t stop them from being impactful. Neither Lucy nor Jude was all that likable. Lucy drove me nuts with her inner dialog and the way she reacted to stuff. Jude was crazy controlling and made the worst decisions. So why did I give this book 4 stars? What made this such a great read for me was the relationship between the main characters. The way they were together made me root for them. They truly brought out the best parts of each other. For some reason, that was enough to make me enjoy this book.

Clash
Series: Crash, #2
Author: Nicole Williams
Publication Date: September 1, 2012
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Their Romeo-and-Juliet-level passion is the only thing Jude and Lucy agree on. That, and fighting all the time…

Also not helping? Lucy’s raging jealousy of the cheerleader who’s wormed her way into Jude’s life.

While trying to hang on to her quintessential bad boy and also training to be the top ballet dancer in her class, Lucy knows something’s going to give… soon.

How can she live without the boy she loves? How can she live with herself if she gives up on her dreams? If Lucy doesn’t make the right choice, she could lose everything.

My thoughts:

Clash wasn’t as crazy as Crash, but it had its moments. There are 3 things that had me giving this one 4 stars:

  1. Reformed Jude is a lovable Jude.
  2. There was one of the best cat fights in a book I have read yet.
  3. Lucy frustrated the heck out of me with the immature choices she made, but at least she knew she was the problem.

Crush
Series: Crash, #3
Author: Nicole Williams
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Football glory. A giant diamond. A wandering eye.

Jude and Lucy are happily engaged . . . but that doesn’t mean life’s a bed of roses.

Once again, Jude and Lucy are torn apart by football training and a summer job that creates new tensions. This time Jude’s the one with trust issues. Will Lucy’s life-changing news bring them back together or end their relationship for good? Can love triumph forever?

My thoughts:

Oh, boy. Lucy took her brand of crazy to another level here. To be honest, it was SO HARD to read this book because of her insecurities and immaturity. It was hard to believe four years had passed since the last book for her. Which was sad because Jude had matured beautifully for the most part. The only reason this book was worth reading was for the HEA Jude and Lucy finally got. That was super cute.

Review: Varsity Heartbreaker (Ginger Scott)

Varsity Heartbreaker
Series: Varsity, #1
Author: Ginger Scott
Publication Date: May 28, 2020
Genre: Mature Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC from WordSmith Publicity and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Lucas Fuller is a lot of things.
He’s the boy next door.
He’s the first crush I ever had.
He was my first kiss.
He’s also the only person who has ever broken my heart.

For two years, I’ve wondered what happened to the us I used to know.
We were best friends, and then suddenly…we weren’t.
I tried to run away from it. I even changed schools just to make the hurt disappear.
But no matter how hard I tried to not think about Lucas, I just couldn’t stay away from the high school quarterback with perfect blue eyes and so many secrets.

I’m back. We’re seniors now. We’ve grown—all of us. And Lucas Fuller might be different, but I’m different too. This is my time to take risks, to experience life and to fall in love for real.

I want Lucas Fuller to be a part of my story, but I know for that to happen, I need to know the truth about our past.


One of the things I have always loved about Ginger Scott’s writing is that she evolves with each book. It’s like she’s five different writers in one body. To me, that proves how talented a writer she is. I feel like each new release has gotten edgier and spotlighted something different but just as important as the last. While I love that, I have to admit that I have missed her mature YA/NA contemporary sports romances. There’s just something so pure and fun about them. Needless to say, I was SUPER excited when I learned she was returning to that type of romance novel with Varsity Heartbreaker.

Varsity Heartbreaker was exactly what I needed during this crazy time. It got me out of a major book funk. I loved the whole vibe it had going on. It was slightly angsty, but not overly so. June dreads going back to her old high school where her ex childhood best friend and next door neighbor, Lucas, reigns. Her new best friend Abby pushes her to broaden her horizons, which puts her in the same orbit as Lucas. The plot was messy in the best way with a slight mysterious feel wrapped around what went down to make Lucas abandon his friendship with June.

I loved June. Her teenage embarrassment, frustration, and crush were spot on. I usually like my romance novels to have dual points of view, but this one was perfect with just her. I loved being in her mind and experiencing her figuring things out.

Lucas was frustrating to say the least. For much of the book I just wanted to shout at him to give it up and admit to what was going on with him. I’m not complaining about that, though. The secrecy around his character was fabulous for the storyline and June.

With everything going on with June and her feelings toward Lucas, I was surprised that there was actually something (I dare say) even better than their romance going on in this book. I think I might have loved the friendships even more. June and Abby’s was fun. Lucas and Tory’s seemed like a great bromance. The one that really got me, though, was June and Tory’s friendship. That one made me smile so hard and laugh quite a bit. If I was SUPER excited about Varsity Heartbreaker, I don’t even know how to describe how excited I am for Tory’s book. Thank goodness it’s coming up next!

As you can tell, I loved Varsity Heartbreaker. I would bet on the fact that it’s going to be a hit with fans of Wild Reckless, Waiting on the Sidelines, and This is Falling. Or with anyone who loves a mature YA sports romance. It was a great read, one I didn’t want to be over. If I was a cheerleader, I would do some sort of cheer here for Ginger Scott and what a winner she and this book are.

Purchase Varsity Heartbreaker
 
 
 
Head over to Goodreads and vote for Varsity Heartbreaker as a May 2020 Most-Anticipated Romances!
 

Pre-Order books two and three in the series here!
Varsity Tiebreaker – https://amzn.to/2zluA2u
Varsity Rulebreaker – https://amzn.to/3bgh7pN

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.

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
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/thegingerscott/
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: Say Yes Summer (Lindsey Roth Culli)

Say Yes Summer
Author: Lindsey Roth Culli
Publication Date: May 12, 2020
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Netflix/Hallmark Channel rom-coms, this is the story of a girl who decides to give in to the universe and just say yes to everything, bringing her friendship, new experiences, and, if she lets her guard down, true love.

The perfect book to kick off summer! For as long as Rachel Brooks can remember, she’s had capital-G Goals: straight As, academic scholarship, college of her dreams. And it’s all paid off–after years of following the rules and acing every exam, Rachel is graduating at the top of her class and ready to celebrate by . . . doing absolutely nothing. Because Rachel Brooks has spent most of high school saying no. No to dances, no to parties, and most especially, no to boys.

Now, for the first time in her life, there’s nothing stopping Rachel from having a little fun–nothing, that is, except herself. So when she stumbles on a beat up old self-help book–A SEASON OF YES!–a crazy idea pops into her head: What if she just said yes to . . . everything?

And so begins a summer of yes. Yes to new experiences and big mistakes, yes to rekindled friendships and unexpected romances, yes to seeing the world in a whole new way. This book is a fresh and fun take on the coming-of-age novel that explores the quintessential themes of growing up: taking risks, making mistakes, and, of course, love. And who knows? Lindsey Roth Culli’s hilarious and heartwarming debut may just inspire your own SAY YES SUMMER.


Not going to lie. It was the “Perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Netflix/Hallmark Channel rom-coms…” that got me wanting to read Say Yes Summer. I was excited to for a great YA summer read. I probably should have read the reviews first. If I had, I would have known this book wasn’t for me.

Say Yes Summer has something I hate in romances: the dreaded love triangle. Love triangles frustrate me. I don’t like people in real life dating two people at once, so I am not a fan of it in books either. It makes a book an uncomfortable read for me. So, even while I was enjoying other parts of this story, I couldn’t completely let go and enjoy the majority of it.

I also had a problem with the way Rachel’s family responded to her making small changes. They were really judgemental. I didn’t see what the big deal was. They acted like she completely changed when she hadn’t.

What did I like about this book? Well, I liked that Rachel was at a crossroads in life and was using it to try new things. I loved that she was reconnecting with a friend who had disappeared from her life earlier. I liked Rachel in general. That was pretty much it.

So, yeah. I think this was more of this book not being for me and not a reflection of how well it was written or anything. The author did a nice job with the writing.

Review: I’ll Be the One (Lyla Lee)

I’ll Be the One
Series: I’ll Be the One, #1
Author: Lyla Lee
Publication Date: June 16, 2020
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQ+
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The world of K-Pop has never met a star like this. Debut author Lyla Lee delivers a deliciously fun, thoughtful rom-com celebrating confidence and body positivity—perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Julie Murphy.

Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.

She’ll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she’ll do it better than anyone else.

When Skye nails her audition, she’s immediately swept into a whirlwind of countless practices, shocking performances, and the drama that comes with reality TV. What she doesn’t count on are the highly fat-phobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry, her sudden media fame and scrutiny, or the sparks that soon fly with her fellow competitor, Henry Cho.

But Skye has her sights on becoming the world’s first plus-sized K-pop star, and that means winning the competition—without losing herself.


The first thing that drew me to I’ll Be the One is the fabulous cover. The colors and the model just pop off it. There’s such joy in the model’s face, that I couldn’t help be drawn to this book. I wanted to feel her joy and know what she was so happy about. The second thing that caught my attention was blurb. I loved that there was going to be a message about body positivity. Third, I know very little about K-pop and I wanted to learn more.

Skye Shin was a character who couldn’t help but shine. She was upbeat and positive when she could have been sullen and feeling sorry for herself. I loved that she didn’t let her weight define her or hold her back from her dreams. That’s a super important thing for teens who are reading this book to takeaway from it — adults, too.

The relationship between Sky and her mom fascinated me. I got where Skye was coming from, but I could also see where her mom was too. (Not that I agreed with how she conveyed her opinions most of the time.) It really made me think about how I talk to my own preteen daughter about weight or really anything. I liked how their issues were examined and how things ended up at the end.

Henry… I loved his character. He was slightly mysterious and very sweet. Skye’s friendship/relationship with him was exactly what she needed and I loved how it had drama, but wasn’t crazy over the top. The way the competition fueled their interactions was really cool. Plus, Snowball. That dog was awesome.

Skye also had some amazing friends in this book. They all lifted Skye up and kept her going when parents, competitors, judges, and people in general judged her. I especially loved Lana.

Earlier I said something about wanting to learn more about K-pop. I don’t know that I really learned a lot about it in this book. Most of the plot was based around the competition TV show and not K-pop specifically. I did like the competition. It reminded me of a combination of So You Think You Can Dance and The Voice. What did I end up learning more about was Korean culture. I loved that.

I could go on and on about how fabulous I’ll Be the One was. I adored every minute of the time I got to spend with Skye and her friends. I cannot recommend this book enough!

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

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Ilsa head shot-2

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.