Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books That Will Make You Laugh (or at least chuckle)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Ten Books That Will Make You Laugh (or at least chuckle). 


1. Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins

 Does being nobody’s fool mean that you’re nobody’s love?

Colleen O’Rourke is in love with love… just not when it comes to herself. Most nights, she can be found behind the bar at the Manningsport, New York, tavern she owns with her twin brother, doling out romantic advice to the lovelorn, mixing martinis and staying more or less happily single. See, ten years ago, Lucas Campbell, her first love, broke her heart… an experience Colleen doesn’t want to have again, thanks. Since then, she’s been happy with a fling here and there, some elite-level flirting and playing matchmaker to her friends.

But a family emergency has brought Lucas back to town, handsome as ever and still the only man who’s ever been able to crack her defenses. Seems like maybe they’ve got some unfinished business waiting for them—but to find out, Colleen has to let her guard down, or risk losing a second chance with the only man she’s ever loved.

 

 


2. Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

 The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she’s gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor’s nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy’s athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly…

In a delicious mix of silly and steamy, Alice Clayton dishes out a hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight…

 

 


3. January  – December by Aubrey Carlan

 It’s really simple. I needed money. A lot of money. One million dollars to be exact. The amount didn’t matter. All that mattered is that at the end of that price tag held my father’s life.

No money. No life.

The time limit was one year. On January 1st I had to pay up or my Father was going to be killed.

When you’re faced with an ultimatum like this, you do whatever you have to do.

And that’s exactly what I did.

The job…Exquisite Escorts. My role, serve as high priced arm candy to anyone that can afford the $100,000 price tag for a month of my company. Sex is optional (for me) and a 20% increase on the price.

***
Mia Saunders just barely escaped a paltry life back home in Las Vegas until she gets the call that her Father has been beaten to within an inch of his life for not paying his gambling debt. Problem is, the lone shark is her lousy, ruthless ex-boyfriend. Another guy in a long line of men she’d fallen head over heels for. Not anymore.

Mia’s mission is simple. Serve as a high-priced escort for her Aunt’s company and pay monthly against her Father’s bad debt. A month with a rich man who she doesn’t have to sleep with if she doesn’t want to? Easy money. At least that’s the way it was supposed to go.

Each installment in the Calendar Girl Serial will release every month throughout 2015. The stories will feature Mia, told from her perspective as she continues her journey as an escort to twelve clients in twelve different locations.

Warning: This book is designed for audiences 18+ due to language and graphic sexual content.


4. MacKenzie Fire by Elle Casey

 The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she’s gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor’s nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy’s athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly…

In a delicious mix of silly and steamy, Alice Clayton dishes out a hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight…

 

 


5. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

 Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.


6. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home by Rhoda Janzen

 A hilarious and moving memoir—in the spirit of Anne Lamott and Nora Ephron—about a woman who returns home to her close-knit Mennonite family after a personal crisis

Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. It was bad enough that her brilliant husband of fifteen years left her for Bob, a guy he met on Gay.com, but that same week a car accident left her with serious injuries. What was a gal to do? Rhoda packed her bags and went home. This wasn’t just any home, though. This was a Mennonite home. While Rhoda had long ventured out on her own spiritual path, the conservative community welcomed her back with open arms and offbeat advice. (Rhoda’s good-natured mother suggested she date her first cousin—he owned a tractor, see.) It is in this safe place that Rhoda can come to terms with her failed marriage; her desire, as a young woman, to leave her sheltered world behind; and the choices that both freed and entrapped her.

Written with wry humor and huge personality—and tackling faith, love, family, and aging—Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is an immensely moving memoir of healing, certain to touch anyone who has ever had to look homeward in order to move ahead.


7. Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl

 Ruth Reichl, world-renowned food critic and editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, knows a thing or two about food. She also knows that as the most important food critic in the country, you need to be anonymous when reviewing some of the most high-profile establishments in the biggest restaurant town in the world–a charge she took very seriously, taking on the guise of a series of eccentric personalities. In Garlic and Sapphires, Reichl reveals the comic absurdity, artifice, and excellence to be found in the sumptuously appointed stages of the epicurean world and gives us–along with some of her favorite recipes and reviews–her remarkable reflections on how one’s outer appearance can influence one’s inner character, expectations, and appetites, not to mention the quality of service one receives.

 

 

 

 


8. In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins

 Emmaline Neal needs a date. Just a date—someone to help her get through her ex-fiancé’s wedding without losing her mind. But pickings are slim in Manningsport, New York, population 715. In fact, there’s really only one option: local heartthrob Jack Holland. Everyone loves Jack, and he won’t get the wrong idea…. After all, Jack Holland would never actually be interested in a woman like Em. Especially not with his beautiful ex-wife creeping around, angling to reunite ever since he rescued a group of teens and became a local hero.

But when the wedding festivities take an unexpectedly passionate turn, Em figures it was just one crazy night. Jack is too gorgeous, too popular, to ever end up with her. So why is she the one he can talk to about his deep, dark feelings? If Em is going to get her dream man, she’ll have to start by believing in him…

 

 

 


9. Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth About Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy

 Oh, the joys of pregnancy! There’s the gassiness, constipation, queasiness, and exhaustion, the forgetfulness, crankiness, and the constant worry. Of course, no woman is spared the discomforts and humiliations of pregnancy, but most are too polite to complain or too embarrassed to talk about them. Not Jenny McCarthy! In the New York Times best-selling Belly Laughs, actress and new mother Jenny McCarthy reveals the naked truth about the tremendous joys, the excruciating pains, and the unseemly disfigurement that go along with pregnancy. Never shy, frequently crude, and always laugh-out-loud funny, McCarthy covers it all in the grittiest of girlfriend detail. From morning sickness and hormonal rage, to hemorrhoids, pregnant sex, and the torture and sweet relief that is delivery, Belly Laughsis must-read comic relief for anyone who is pregnant, who has ever been pregnant, is trying to get pregnant, or, indeed, has ever been born!

 

 

 

 


10. Yes, My Accent is Real: and Some Other Things I Haven’t Told You By Kunal Nayyar

 Of all the charming misfits on television, there’s no doubt Raj from The Big Bang Theory — the sincere yet incurably geeky Indian-American astrophysicist — ranks among the misfittingest. Now, we meet the actor who is every bit as loveable as the character he plays on TV. In this revealing collection of essays written in his irreverent, hilarious, and self-deprecating voice, Kunal Nayyar traces his journey from a little boy in New Delhi who mistakes an awkward first kiss for a sacred commitment, gets nosebleeds chugging Coca-Cola to impress other students, and excels in the sport of badminton, to the confident, successful actor on the set of TV’s most-watched sitcom since Friends.

Going behind the scenes of The Big Bang Theory and into his personal experiences, Kunal introduces readers to the people who helped him grow, such as his James Bond-loving, mustachioed father who taught him the most important lessons in life: Treat a beggar as you would a king. There are two sides to every story. A smile goes a long way. And, when in doubt, use a spreadsheet. Kunal also walks us through his college years in Portland, where he takes his first sips of alcohol and learns to let loose with his French, 6’8” gentle-giant roommate, works his first-ever job for the university’s housekeeping department cleaning toilets for minimum wage, and begins a series of romantic exploits that go just about as well as they would for Raj. (That is, until he meets and marries a former Miss India in an elaborate seven-day event that we get to experience in a chapter titled “My Big Fat Indian Wedding.”)

Full of heart, but never taking itself too seriously, this witty and often inspiring collection of underdog tales follows a young man as he traverses two continents in search of a dream, along the way transcending culture and language (and many, many embarrassing incidents) to somehow miraculously land the role of a lifetime.


 

What books have made you laugh?

 

Review: Screwdrivered by Alice Clayton

Title: Screwdrivered

Series: Cocktail, #3

Author: Alice Clayton

Publication Date: September 2, 2014

Publisher: Gallery Books

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Humor

Goodreads Synopsis:

Readers back for a third round of the bestselling Cocktail series will enjoy a madcap romantic comedy about bodice ripping and chest heaving, fiery passion and love everlasting. Plus a dash of paperwork filing and horseshi—wait, what?

By day, Viv Franklin designs software programs. By night, Vivian’s a secret romance-novel junkie who longs for a knight in shining armor, or a cowboy on a wild stallion, or a strapping firefighter to sweep her off her feet. And she gets to wear the bodice—don’t forget the bodice.

When a phone call brings news that she’s inherited a beautiful old home in Mendocino, California from a long-forgotten aunt, she moves her entire life across the country to embark on what she sees as a great, romance-novel-worthy adventure. But romance novels always have a twist, don’t they?

There’s a cowboy, one that ignites her loins. Because Cowboy Hank is totally loin-ignition worthy. But there’s also a librarian, Clark Barrow. And he calls her Vivian. Can tweed jackets and elbow patches compete with chaps and spurs? You bet your sweet cow pie.

In Screwdrivered, Alice Clayton pits Superman against Clark in a hilarious and hot battle that delights a swooning Viv/Vivian.

Also within this book, an answer to the question of the ages: Why ride a cowboy when you can ride a librarian?


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


Screwdrivered is the third book in Alice Clayton’s Cocktail series. While Wallbanger and Rusty Nailed told Caroline and Simon’s story, Screwdrivered is the story of Simon’s high school friend, Viv Franklin.

On the exterior, Viv looks tough. She’s got piercings, tattoos and isn’t intimidated by much. On the inside, Viv is a sucker for romance. So much so, that Viv believes her life is a romance novel. When Viv suddenly and surprisingly inherits a house in the sleepy town of Mendocino, CA, she sees it as a sign. She quickly pulls up roots and moves across country in search of her destiny.

What Viv finds in California is definitely romance novel worthy. There’s a hired cowboy who ties her tongue and makes her panties melt. Viv is convinced her personal romance novel is set to star hunky Hank.

Hank isn’t the only one working Viv into a tizzy, though. There’s also Clark, the local librarian. It’s his purpose to drive Viv nuts with his stuffy words and rules for what she can and can’t do to her new historic home. The more they fight, the more Viv finds herself thinking about the buttoned up librarian. Maybe a cowboy isn’t who she rides off into the sunset with.

I really enjoyed reading Screwdrivered. It wasn’t quite as funny and endearing as Wallbanger was, but it definitely made me smile a bunch. I loved Viv and her penchant for romance novels. She was great at making a fool out of herself in the sake of romance. Her reactions to Hank were hilarious. I also loved her interactions with Clark. The combination of their arguing and sexy banter was so cute.

Another fun aspect to the story was the house remodeling. It brought in my old friends Caroline and Mimi. I loved seeing them again!

The only thing I didn’t really care for in Screwdrivered was the amount of romance novel moments and dreams going through Viv’s head. It got a little old. I found myself skimming through some of those parts towards the end of the novel.

Overall, I found Screwdrivered to be another cute and fun romance from Alice Clayton.

 

Review: That Thing Between Eli & Gwen by J.J. McAvoy

Title: That Thing Between Eli & Gwen 

Author: J.J. McAvoy

Publication Date: April 21, 2016

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Note: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

**A multicultural new adult romance from bestselling author, J.J. McAvoy**

Eli Davenport thinks he’s found the perfect woman to be his wife. She’s a doctor, like he is. She’s brilliant, like he is. And she’s wealthy, like he is.

Guinevere ‘Gwen’ Poe thinks her fiancé is the perfect man. He’s handsome, successful and he was her first…

But when Eli’s bride runs off with Gwen’s fiancée on his wedding day, they are left to pick up the broken pieces of each other…


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Where has author J.J. McAvoy been all my life? Seriously. Get ready for a gushing review. I absolutely loved this one.

That Thing Between Eli & Gwen begins on the worst day of Eli and Gwen’s lives. Eli is supposed to be marrying the woman of his dreams. Gwen is supposed to be enjoying the company of her fiancé. Before either of them can distinguish what is happening, the loves of their lives are running away from them, toward each other.

Humiliated and angry, Guinevere and Eli are left to recover in their own ways. Guinevere throws herself into her art. Eli throws himself into his work. Both would be happy to never see each other again to avoid be reminded of the worst day of their lives.

But they’re not that lucky. Or maybe they’re too lucky. Fate has decided to throw them together in more ways than one. Soon, Eli and Guinevere are leaning on each other to deal with the thing only they can understand. As their friendship blossoms, so does their attraction to each other. To their surprise, the worst day of their lives might actually lead to some of the best.

That Thing Between Eli & Gwen caught my attention from the very beginning and never let go. It was so much fun to read. I assumed Eli and Guinevere would instantly like each other, but it was actually the opposite. They couldn’t stand each other. Eli was an uptight jerk and Guinevere was this sweet free spirit. Those qualities made the banter between them was hilarious. I was surprised how much it made me laugh.

Their dislike for each other couldn’t last forever, though; and when they finally acted on their attraction — fireworks! Man, was it hot! I loved what Eli and Guinevere brought out in each other. Guinevere softened Eli a lot. Eli proved to her that money didn’t necessarily make one a snob. They both learned that maybe there is more to love than they thought. The changes in them didn’t stop their witty banter, only morphed into something sexier.

I loved this book so much!!! I really didn’t want it to end. It was just such a fun, sweet, steamy read. There was even a little twist toward the end that I didn’t see coming. I am so excited to have found a new New Adult author to fall in love with! I can’t wait to read more from J.J. McAvoy. (Please, please let her write a spin-off staring Eli’s younger brother Jake!)

If you like NA romances, definitely put That Thing Between Eli & Gwen on your TBR list.

 

 

Blog Tour & REVIEW: The Three-Week Arrangement by Sarah Ballance

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THREE-WEEK ARRANGEMENT
by Sarah Ballance
Chase Brothers, #3
Publication Date: April 4, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Entangled Lovestruck

The Three-Week Arrangement Cover

Purchase: Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Synopsis

Ethan Chase isn’t interested in dating. After losing the woman he loved more than life itself, he’d much rather ride solo, but his family is dead set on fixing him up. To get them off his back, he hooks up with ultra-adventurous, ultra-temporary adventure photographer, Rue Campbell. All he has to do is survive three weeks in her orbit and he’ll be single again, only without the pitying looks and pressure to move on.

Rue is literally counting the days until her plane leaves New York City. The last thing she wants is a relationship, but being Ethan’s pretend girlfriend can’t hurt, right? Wrong. With Ethan, there’s no faking anything—in or out of the bedroom. With the sheets burning hot and the clock ticking on their arrangement, Rue realizes she’s falling for a man guaranteed to derail her goals…and break her heart.

Review


★ ★ ★ ★ ★


The Three-Week Arrangement was everything I like in a contemporary romance. It was fast-paced (I think I read it in one sitting!), funny and sweet. Ethan are Rue were both dealing with deep issues, but the story never felt angsty or depressing. It always felt upbeat.

Rue was such a pleasure to read. I loved the situations she created to bring Ethan out of his shell. She had me laughing so many times. Ethan felt so real and raw. I don’t want to even imagine what losing a spouse would be like, but I could see myself feeling like he did. The way he slowly became aware of his thoughts and feelings for Rue was really beautiful. I loved that part. They were just too cute together!

I obviously haven’t read the first two books in this series, but I want to after meeting Ethan’s family. His brothers made me smile. I would love to read more of their brotherly dynamic.

The Three-Week Arrangement was such a cute story. I absolutely adored it and would recommend it to other contemporary romance readers. It’s one that’s guaranteed to make you smile.

 

Teaser 5

Excerpt

 Rue’s brow furrowed. “This isn’t easy for you, is it?”

Against all odds, the knot in Ethan’s chest loosened. “No. But it shouldn’t be this hard. Especially considering this isn’t personal.”

She blinked. “I saw you in your underwear. It’s personal.”

He cringed. “I need a do-over on that moment. And that’s not what I meant.” He withdrew one of his business cards from his wallet, which had fortunately been sheltered from the brunt of the spray that afternoon, and handed it to her. “I’ll run interference with Boyd, and I won’t sell your underwear. You try to keep a straight face when I introduce you to my family as my girlfriend, and don’t hold whatever my brothers say against me.”

She studied the card for a moment. When she looked up, her expression was serious. “Are you going to freak out next time I touch you?”

“I freaked out?” Hell yes, he had, though he’d merely frozen. She couldn’t know that his arm still tingled—even more so now that she’d actually said she was going to touch him again. He hadn’t expected that, but he should have. There was no way they’d pull off dating if he avoided physical contact.

“You sure you want to do this?”

The question had him thinking she could read him a little too well for his own good, but it wasn’t a stretch to think he’d have trouble with this step. If it was easy, he wouldn’t be negotiating with her.

“Yeah,” he said. “I’m sure.” The words hurt to utter, but he’d get over it. He couldn’t begin to explain what seeing his parents’ joy had done for him. But he wouldn’t have to, because if Rue wanted to keep Boyd Von Whatever out of her hair, she needed him as much as he needed her. Once his family realized he was capable of moving on, they’d back off and let him do things his way, and with Rue leaving the city in just three weeks, he had the perfect out to this non-relationship. “I’m sure if you’re sure.”

“I think I can handle hanging out with you if it means getting Boyd off my back.”

“I’m glad it won’t be torture,” he said dryly.

“Oh, I didn’t say that.” Her gaze, intentionally or otherwise, took a slow tour south and lingered before she remembered where his face was. “It’ll be torture all right,” she said, blue eyes dancing. “The very best kind of torture, but if it means you’ll take me to the gala, you’re on.”

“Then it’s a date.” The words were harder than Ethan expected. He forced a smile as he let himself out of her house, but it fell as soon as the door shut behind him. He stared down the street, in the direction his life had once been and couldn’t help but wonder.

What the hell had he done?

Teaser 1

 

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE CHASE BROTHERS SERIES…

Five Things I Love About You Book #1

Purchase: Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Synopsis: California landscape artist Estelle Donovan hates big cities. Between the grime, the smell, all the drab concrete, and the suffocating summer heat, how can anyone breathe? Housesitting her brother’s New York apartment, complete with broken elevator and smoking air conditioner, is her kind of hell. It’s only for two weeks, though. What could possibly go wrong?

Dumping a jar of pickles on the hot girl at the grocery store wasn’t Crosby Chase’s finest hour, nor was getting bitten in the butt by the demonic cat on her fire escape. But he is going to change her mind about his beloved city, damn it. In fact, if they could just make it five minutes without falling into bed, he bets Estelle he can find five things she’ll love about New York.

Falling in love wasn’t part of his plan. And with an entire country between them, Crosby realizes he doesn’t need five reasons to make Estelle love New York.

He needs one big reason to make her stay…

Each book in the Chase Brothers series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.

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For Seven Nights Only Book #2

Purchase: Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Synopsis: Kelsie Reed is over bad luck and bad men. Newly dumped, she’s now the pathetically single maid of honor in her sister’s wedding—and her ex is the best man. Her bad luck continues when a plumbing meltdown in her apartment sends her sexy neighbor running to her rescue. He’s got “serial dater” written all over him, which is unfortunate because the man is hot.

Sawyer Chase loves women, but settling down? He’ll leave that to his brothers. But when Kelsie confesses she’s a dating disaster and is about to become the laughing stock of her family wedding, Sawyer takes control. He’s got one week to teach her how to land the man of her dreams, and he’ll do it on her terms: no touching, no kissing, and definitely nothing more.

But some rules need to be broken, especially when, for once, there’s something on the line worth fighting for…

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ABOUT SARAH BALLANCE

Sarah Ballance

Sarah and her husband of what he calls “many long, long years” live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids, but nevertheless, you’ll find her writing sexy contemporary romance for Entangled Publishing until they throw her out. To learn more, visit http://sarahballance.com.

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Review: The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

Title: The Beginning of Everything

Author: Robyn Schneider

Publication Date: January 1, 2013

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Goodreads Synopsis:

Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.


★ ★ ★ ★ ★


I started reading The Beginning of Everything when I was on a Disneyland vacation last week. It was perfect timing because this book is set in California and actually begins with a look back to an outing to Disneyland for Ezra and his best friend, Toby. I couldn’t have planned it better! It made it so easy to imagine the setting.

The Disneyland trip marked the end of twelve-year-old Ezra’s childhood friendship with Toby and began the rise of Ezra’s popularity. Due to a tragic accident, high school senior Ezra has lost what made him popular and the friends who were along for the ride. Now, Ezra feels alone in his crippled body. He has to learn how to navigate his last year of high school with everyone watching him. I immediately felt bad for the Ezra. High school isn’t easy and his personal tragedy made things even harder for him. I did love that his loss enabled him to reconnect with Toby, who was a really awesome friend. I also liked how his change is social status had him reevaluating his thoughts on who he was and who he wanted to be.

Ezra’s new social circle also enabled him to get to know the new girl, Cassidy. She was different from anyone else at school. Cassidy was beautiful and smart. She helped Ezra figure out some very important things about life. But Cassidy was a little mysterious. She had her own demons, and she wasn’t willing to share them with Ezra. I immediately liked her, but was weary of her because of this. I could easily guess what Cassidy’s demons were, but I didn’t expect them to have the effect they did.

I loved every minute of reading The Beginning of Everything. Robyn Schneider’s writing style is amazing and so beautiful. She took a story that could have been depressing and somehow made it uplifting and humorous. Her characters were so easy to connect and empathize with. I loved Ezra and truly enjoyed getting to know his friends. I really didn’t want the story to end.

 

ARC Review: Nobody But You by Jill Shalvis

25712281Title: Nobody But You

Series: Cedar Ridge, #3

Author: Jill Shalvis

Publication Date: March 29, 2016

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

SOMETIMES YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN…

After an overseas mission goes wrong, Army Special Forces officer Jacob Kincaid knows where he must go to make things right: back home to the tiny town of Cedar Ridge, Colorado. All he needs to scrub away his painful past is fresh mountain air, a lakeside cabin, and quiet solitude. But what he discovers is a gorgeous woman living on a boat at his dock.

Sophie Marren has nowhere else to go. She’s broke, intermittently seasick, and fighting a serious attraction to the brooding, dishy, I’m-too-sexy-for-myself guy who’s now claiming her dock. Something about Jacob’s dark intensity makes her want to tease—and tempt—him beyond measure. Neither one wants to give any ground . . . until they realize the only true home they have is with each other.


★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Jill Shalvis has been one of my favorite contemporary romance authors for several years now and books like Nobody But You are the reason why. It was witty, heartwarming, sexy and a whole lot of fun.

I have been interested in getting to know our hero, Jacob Kincaid, since I first heard of his disappearance from the Kincaid family in Second Chance SummerMy curiosity was peaked even more after getting to know his twin in My Kind of Wonderful. Jacob didn’t disappoint. He was ruggedly handsome, a little cocky, loyal and kind of sweet. Jacob wasn’t perfect, though. He had his insecurities where he stood with his family.

Jacob couldn’t have found a better match than he did in Sophie Marren. She was a sexy, redheaded spitfire who had turned her back on love after a failed marriage. Sophie was adrift in life, trying to find out where her path should go. Luckily, it lead her right to Jacob.

While Jacob tried to make up his disappearance from their lives to his family, Sophie was just trying to make it day to day. Sophie didn’t let Jacob hide from his past mistakes and Jacob helped Sophie find her way. They were unbelievably cute together and their sexual chemistry was hotter than hot.

I absolutely adored Nobody But You. I didn’t want to put it down, but I also didn’t want it to end. I loved it that much. I’m really, really hoping we get another Cedar Ridge novel. I would love a book about Kenna.

Nobody But You is a must read for contemporary romance readers and Jill Shalvis fans. It can be read as a standalone, but having the background from the first two books might make some of the family dynamic more clear.

**I received an electronic copy of Nobody But You from NetGalley and the author in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Elastic Hearts by Claire Contreras

elastic heartsTitle: Elastic Hearts

Series: Hearts, #3

Author: Claire Contreras

Publication Date: March 20, 2016

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

Victor Reuben.
Most sought out divorce attorney in LA.

Nicole Alessi.
Soon to be ex-wife of Hollywood’s biggest star, Victor’s latest client and his boss’s daughter.

In such a high profile divorce, they can’t afford any extra drama. Luckily, neither one of them has anything to hide.
Unless you count the mind blowing sex they had…
Once…
Twice…
Three times all those years ago.

As long as they leave the past where it belongs, they’ll be fine. But with her wearing those tight dresses and him giving her those heated glances, keeping their hands to themselves is proving to be more difficult than either one of them realized.

It won’t be long before the paparazzi start to smell smoke, and where there’s smoke…


 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


The first book I ever read by Claire Contreras was Kaleidoscope Hearts. I saw Colleen Hoover recommend it on her Facebook page when it was released and decided to read it because I was just getting into reading the New Adult genre. I loved Kaleidoscope Hearts. It was so emotional and brilliant. It made me fall in love with Claire Contreras’ characters and her writing. I was so excited when I saw Elastic Hearts was being released. I couldn’t wait to see what was in store for Estelle’s brother, Victor.

Elastic Hearts was a different type of second chance love story than the first two books in the series. It wasn’t based on an old, deep connection between the main characters. Victor and Nicole’s connection was based on a couple of hook-ups they had a few year ago. Now, they were being thrown together in a lawyer-client situation without anyone knowing about their connection or attraction. They had to pretend it didn’t exists. I liked this change. The secrecy around their hook-ups relationship made the story more exciting. It also put me on edge a couple of times wondering if they were going to end up in trouble.

Victor Reuben is going to be many ladies’ new book boyfriend. (I call dibs!) He was just right parts cocky and sweet. Victor knew what he wanted from life and went for it. When his wants changed, he wasn’t afraid to admit it and go for it — even if he did it cautiously. Nicole was a fun surprise. I expected her to be more confident than she was having been married to a movie star. Her little insecurities made her very relatable. I loved watching Victor and Nicole trying to keep things professional. I’m so happy the story was told in dual points of view, so I could see what was going on in each of their heads.

Elastic Hearts is one of my favorite New Adult releases of 2016 so far. It put a smile on my face the entire time I was reading it. It was witty, smart and sweet. I didn’t want to put it down and I’m sad it’s over. (Although, I can’t wait to see what’s going to come next from Claire Contreras!)  I would highly recommend Elastic Hearts and the entire Hearts series to New Adult readers who enjoy emotional stories filled with amazing characters.

 

Review: Porn Star by Laurelin Page & Sierra Simone

26259196Title: Porn Star

Authors: Laurelin Page, Sierra Simone

Publication Date: March 8, 2016

Genre: Erotic Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Humor

Goodreads Synopsis:

You know me.

Come on, you know you do.

Maybe you pretend you don’t. Maybe you clear your browser history religiously. Maybe you pretend to be aghast whenever someone views the x-rated website porn7 in your presence, or even mentions the word porn in your ear shot.

But the truth is that you do know me.

Everybody knows Logan O’Toole, world famous porn star.

Except then Devi Dare pops into my world, and pretty soon I’m doing things that aren’t like me—like texting her with flirty banter and creating an entire web porn series just so I can get to star in her bed. Again. And again.

With Devi, my entire universe shifts, and the more time I spend with her, the more I realize that Logan O’Toole isn’t the guy I thought he was.

So maybe I’m not the guy you thought I was either.


 ?????


I feel a little embarrassed writing this review. By the title, it’s easy to guess what this book is about. (A porn star, if you had any doubts.) It’s like admitting I did something naughty. I don’t usually feel embarrassed when admitting I read an erotic romance every once in a while, but there’s something about admitting I’m reading about a porn star that just takes it to the next level. Don’t judge me. 😉 But anyways. On with the review.

I wanted to read Porn Star the minute I read the book blurb. I love reading books through the eyes of cocky male main characters. There’s always a humor behind their personalities that I enjoy. Logan O’Toole was no different. He knew he was a stud (Do people even use that term anymore?) and he was using it to his monetary advantage. His plans are to rock the porn star world until he’s old and gray. I looked through websites like fulltube.xxx and he is everywhere on there.

Then, he reconnects with the one porn star he’s been secretly obsessing over since the first and last time they did a scene together. Devi Dare stars in his fantasies every night and Logan is desperate for a chance to work with her again. His new project gives him that chance to do exactly that.

But when Logan and Devi connect on a deeper level, neither of them is sure whether their relationship will be able to survive their porn star careers.

Porn Star was off the charts steamy. Due to the nature of the characters’ jobs, there are many types of sex in this novel and several different partners. That’s something a reader should take into account when picking this one up. If you don’t want to see your MCs with other people, this one’s not for you. I liked the way both MCs were upfront about the issue of consent and deeming what they felt comfortable with.

Besides revolving around the porn industry, there was also a very sweet love story between Logan and Devi. Their chemistry and connection was instantly recognizable. The way they treated and respected each other was important to this story. I loved watching them fall for each. The impact their relationship had on their careers was interesting to read about. I wondered with them how falling for each other would change what they may or may not be willing to do in front of the camera. If you like this there is plenty of video to watch on TubeV, my friend says they have the best videos.

Not only was Porn Star steamy and sweet, it was funny. As I said before, Logan’s cockiness brought out a natural humor. He could look at his career with a little bit of hilarity. His banter with Devi was also hilarious (and a little dirty). It was so much fun to read.

If you’re looking for an erotic romance that will make you laugh as well as fan yourself, I would highly recommend Porn Star.

 

 

 

 

ARC Review: My Kind of Wonderful by Jill Shalvis

25317360My Kind of Wonderful (Cedar Ridge #2)

Author: Jill Shalvis

Publication Date: December 22, 2015

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis: Bailey Moore has a clean bill of health and new lease on life. She’s going to do things she never imagined she would be able to do. One of those things involves painting a mural. Luckily, she’s been contracted to do just that in Cedar Ridge, Colorado.

As soon as Bailey steps foot in Cedar Ridge, she meets Hudson Kincaid. Hudson’s the town cop/head of the ski patrol and a member of the family that contracted her to paint the mural. He’s also sexier than sin. Bailey quickly adds Hudson to the top of her to-do list.

Hudson Kincaid doesn’t have time for any distractions — especially the female kind. He’s way too busy with the ski patrol, being a cop and helping his family run their ski resort. But Hudson can’t resist brave and determined Bailey. She looks like a delicate flower, but the fire in her calls to him. Plus, he knows it’s only for now. Bailey’s got too much to do herself.

When their feelings for each other start to become more than just for today, Bailey and Hudson will have to decide whether to take a chance at forever.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


I get excited every time I see Jill Shalvis is coming out with a new book. I know I can always count on her to write a contemporary romance that is going to make me smile. My Kind of Wonderful did exactly that.

My Kind of Wonderful is the kind of story I want to read when I reach for a contemporary romance. The storyline was cute and humorous. I loved Bailey and Hudson wanting each other but not wanting to fall in love with each other. It was steamy and sweet all at the same time. Jill Shalvis created lovable characters who I couldn’t help but root for.

Hudson and Bailey weren’t the only fun characters, though. Every character in My Kind of Wonderful added so much amusement to the story. The entire Kincaid family was entertaining. The way they interacted with each other was comical. Things got even funnier when you added in all of the people they came in contact with on the mountain.

If you’re looking for a lighthearted contemporary romance to put you in a great mood, I would highly suggest My Kind of Wonderful. It’s the second in the Cedar Ridge series and can be read after Second Chance Summer or as a standalone novel. You can find my review for Second Chance Summer here.

**I received an electronic ARC of My Kind of Wonderful from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Other books in this series:

23435151

Review: Sustained by Emma Chase

Sustained (The Legal Briefs #2) by Emma Chase

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

Publisher: Gallery

Synopsis:

Jake Becker is a hot-shot Washington D.C. defense lawyer on his way to making partner. His cold demeanor helps him win cases. It also helps deter women that think he could be more than a one-night stand.

Jake’s not interested in having a wife or family. Having a girlfriend isn’t even on his radar. He’s content with a revolving door of women and his busy work life. Or so he thinks until Chelsea McQuaid and her seven nieces and nephews bump into his life.

All of a sudden, Jake finds himself involved in the McQuaid’s family life. If he’s not saving one kid from trouble, he’s taking one to a class. And it’s all worth it to see Chelsea McQuaid smile.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Sustained was so much fun to read. I absolutely adored it. I loved that the story was told from Jake’s POV. His thoughts were hilarious! I loved how cocky and sure of himself he was. I also loved the sweet side of him that wanted to help Chelsea and the rest of the McQuaid family. I would have fallen in love with him too, if I was Chelsea.

I also loved each and every one of the McQuaid kids. Emma Chase created an amazing and fun bunch of kids. I don’t think I could pick a favorite if I tried. Their interactions with Jake were so much fun to read.

This book was just so sweet! I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a contemporary romance that will leave them in a happy mood.