Review: Just One of the Groomsmen (Cindi Madsen)

Just One of the Groomsmen
Author: Cindi Madsen
Publication Date: May 28, 2019
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Addison Murphy is the funny friend, the girl you grab a beer with—the girl voted most likely to start her own sweatshirt line. And now that one of her best guy friends is getting married, she’ll add “groomsman” to that list, too. She’ll get through this wedding if it’s the last thing she does. Just don’t ask her to dive for any bouquet.

When Tucker Crawford returns to his small hometown, he expects to see the same old people, feel comfort in the same old things. He certainly doesn’t expect to see the nice pair of bare legs sticking out from under the hood of a broken-down car. Certainly doesn’t expect to feel his heart beat faster when he realizes they belong to one of his best friends.

If he convinces Addie to give him a chance, they could be electric…or their break-up could split their tight-knit group in two.

Hiding the way he feels from the guys through bachelor parties, cake tastings, and rehearsals is one thing. But just as Tucker realizes that Addie truly could be the perfect woman for him—he was just too stupid to realize it—now she’s leaving to follow her own dreams. He’s going to need to do a lot of compromising if he’s going to convince her to take a shot at forever with him—on her terms this time.


It’s been a while since I have read a book by Cindi Madsen. I can’t even remember why really. I think there were maybe one or two books of hers that weren’t my thing, so I just didn’t pick up her next release or something. I’m really regretting that decision right now.

The title and cover of Just One of the Groomsmen caught my eye and my attention. I was really curious what being “just one of the groomsmen” meant. When I read the blurb, I knew I had to read. It sounded adorable! I love a good romance about best friends falling in love. I also loved the fact that Addie was “one of the guys” and how that affected the whole wedding.

Addie is one of my favorite characters I’ve read recently. She’s definitely not a demure little thing. She holds her own with the four guys she’s buddies with. I loved how she was both confident in herself, but also a little worried about being unnoticeable. I loved watching the wedding plans unfold through her eyes. It was also really entertaining when she figured out she might just have feelings for one of her best friends.

Tucker surprised me. There was more baggage in his past than I expected and it was interesting to see how that influenced the choices he made. What surprised me the most was that I expected him to be more oblivious than he was. He seemed to pick on things faster than Addie did. That was really cool. I loved that he loved Addie for who she was.

Addie and Tucker’s friendship was cool, but their falling for each other was amazing. The history they had made every little thing that went on between them mean that much more. I liked how they had to navigate their changes in feelings for each other. Not only did they have to worry about their own friendship, but the other three guys they were friends with too. It added that much more pressure to the situation and fun to the story.

As for those friends… I wanted to be friends with them, too! They had this tight bond that was just so cool. They all respected Addie and included her as one of the guys. They didn’t think she was any lesser than them in any way. I liked how everything played out between them all. I want to read books about each every one of them! (Is there a Shep and Lexi book I missed? I’m super curious about them now.) I liked how their different personalities stuck out even though they didn’t get a ton of times to show. I also loved how Lexi was instantly included and how Addie got to know her. Such good stuff in the friendship department in this book!

I can’t leave out the setting. This book was set in a small town. That small town had a life of its own with all the characters in it. I adored the gossiping women, Addie’s Nonna, and all the other people who made appearances. They made the book that much more fun!

Just One of The Groomsmen has to be one of the cutest contemporary romances I’ve read in a long time. It was right up there with my favorite Lauren Layne, Jill Shalvis, and Kristan Higgins romances. I absolutely adored it!

Review: Eleanor & Grey (Brittainy C. Cherry)

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Eleanor & Grey
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
Publication Date: April 8, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Greyson East left his mark on me.

As the young girl who first fell for him, I didn’t know much about life. I did know about his smiles, though, and his laughs, and the strange way my stomach flipped when he was near.

Life was perfect…until it wasn’t, and when we were forced to go our separate ways, I held on to our memories, let go of my first crush, and wished for the day I’d find him again.

When my wish came true, it was nothing like I imagined.

I couldn’t have known when I took the nanny position that it would be his children I looked after, that my new boss would be that boy I used to know, that boy who was now a man—a cold, lonely, detached man.

The smile and laugh I had loved so much were gone, now distant memories. Every part of him was covered in a fresh pain.

When he realized who I was, he made me promise to do my job and my job only.
He made me promise not to try to get to know him, not to recall the memories I’d treasured all this time.

But, sometimes, I saw the boy I’d once known in his stormy eyes. I saw the Greyson who smiled and laughed, who had stolen a young girl’s heart, and there was no doubt in my mind that this boy was worth fighting for.

I was given a second chance with the one who’d left his mark on me. All I hoped was that somehow I’d leave a mark on his soul, too.

**Eleanor & Grey is a complete Standalone novel**


If you haven’t yet read one of Brittainy C. Cherry’s books, I cannot even begin to explain how mesmerizing her writing is. She’s in a league with very few writers whose words come to life in the most beautiful, touching way. The only way I can think to describe it is to compare it to music that brings chills to your skin or tears to your eyes. Ms. Cherry’s words make me feel so much. While I am reading her words, I feel like her story is growing and taking place all around me. I felt this way while reading Eleanor & Grey.

Eleanor & Grey should have been named How Many Times Can Brittainy C. Cherry Make Me Cry in One Book? The emotions in this book! It’s a second chance romance, but Eleanor and Grey’s relationship is rooted in loss. All of that loss and grief hit me hard. Imaging myself in their places was so painful. It broke my heart over and over and over. Is it weird to say I enjoyed every minute of that? I shouldn’t have, but I did.

When Eleanor and Grey originally meet, there is an instant connection and understanding between the two of them. They have been in similar places in life. I adored the way Grey supported Eleanor. Their teenage like for each other is sweet and innocent. It was so adorable! I really wanted their relationship to keep progressing, but the loss of each other feels like a natural progression. I was sad for this change, but knew it was coming so I wasn’t mad.

Even reading the blurb, it was hard to know that Grey and Eleanor had lives apart for years. It felt a little weird to read about Grey’s relationship with someone else and his two daughters at first. I was surprised he wasn’t pining for Eleanor all of those years. Or maybe that’s just what I wanted him to be doing. The more I reflected on Eleanor and Grey’s time together, the easier it was to come to terms with that.

It wasn’t just Grey’s past I had a hard time imagining either. It was Eleanor’s, too. I could guess some of the reasons she grew as a person, but I really wanted more of a snapshot of what happened to her during all those times apart. Even though Eleanor mentioned some of the things that happened, I felt like I was missing a piece of her story.

I really liked that when Eleanor and Grey’s paths collide again, things have flip-flopped. It’s now Eleanor’s turn to support Grey. She brought in this breath of fresh air neither Grey nor I knew was missing. What developed from there was… Well, I’ll let you read the book and find out.

There were a ton of other amazing characters in Eleanor & Grey. Eleanor’s parents were too cute. I adored Claire and her supportive but suggestive ways. Grey’s daughters were perfect. Karla was that angsty teenager I like reading about, but hope I never have. Lorelei stole the show with her utter cuteness. The strength of all of these characters helped make this book the emotional masterpiece it was.

There was something so magical about this book. I mean, I feel that way about all of Ms. Cherry’s books, but this one really resonated with me. I felt Eleanor and Grey’s heartache and loss so deeply. I didn’t want to imagine being in their shoes, but that’s what I was doing. I was happy-sad when Eleanor & Grey ended. I was happy because I loved the book, but I was sad because I wanted more. I wasn’t done with Eleanor and Grey. It’s my favorite book by Brittainy C. Cherry yet.

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About Brittainy:
Author Brittainy C. Cherry is an Amazon #1 bestselling author.She has been in love with words since the day she took her first breath. She graduated from Carroll University with a Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts and a minor in Creative Writing.Her novels have been published in 18+ countries around the world. Brittainy lives in Brookfield, Wisconsin with her fur babies.

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Series Review: Pippa Grant’s Series That’s Not Actually A Series

Were you confused by the title of this series review? I completely understand if you were because what’s a series that’s not actually a series? Well, in this case it’s several books that are connected by a ton of characters. Rather than review them all separately, I am reviewing them here for you in READING ORDER. Not that you have to read them in this order — I didn’t. (See, series that’s not a series.) Here we go!


Mister McHottie ★ ★ ★ ★

This is the book that starts it all. Mister McHottie is a second chance/enemies to lovers/co-workers romance. As you can probably tell from that description, there is a lot going on. Ambrosia Berger simultaneously hates and is attracted to Chase Jett. He was her childhood nemesis and her brothers’ best friend. There is a ton of animosity between them that makes for a really entertaining love story. I thought this book was a lot of fun. This book introduces us to almost all of the future characters.

Stud in the Stacks ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

It’s funny that this is the second book in the series and it’s also my second favorite book in the series. In Stud in the Stacks, Parker Elliot (best friend to Ambrosia Berger) needs a date to her high school reunion. She enlists hunky librarian and romance book loving Knox Moretti to play her boyfriend. The thing is that Knox doesn’t just want this to be a fake relationship. This book was absolutely adorable and hilarious. I loved Knox’s personality and his stance on romance novels. Parker’s attempts to keep things platonic was entertaining for sure.

The Pilot & the Puck-Up ★ ★ ★ ★

This was actually the second book I read in this series, and I enjoyed it. Joey Diamonte was a kick-butt chick who flew planes and took names. I didn’t always love her and her virgin status was a little weird to me, but all that didn’t matter. It didn’t matter because Zeus Berger was larger than life (in both description and action). The giant of a hockey player was awkward, caring, and shameless. Zeus was just so sweet. He made this book the delight that it was. I especially loved his relationship with his twin brother, Ares. Oh, and yes. Zeus is also Ambrosia’s brother from Mister McHottie.

Royally Pucked ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

This series has a little bit of everything: a billionaire, a librarian, a hockey player, and now a prince. Manning Frey wasn’t my favorite character from earlier in the series. He was just a bit of a nuisance. I wasn’t exactly sure what his deal was, and I was kind of confused since I had skipped ahead after The Pilot & the Puck-Up to read Ares Berger’s book. All my questions were answered with this read. I ended up really liking Manning and adoring Gracie Diamonte. Joey’s younger sister was a refreshingly real character mixed in with a prince. I loved this accidental pregnancy romance. Plus, a certain monkey is introduced.

Beauty and the Beefcake ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Beauty and the Beefcake is hands down my favorite book in this series. Felicity is an awkward, odd gal that I just loved. She got a little annoying at times, but that was because she was always talking — as herself or as her ventriloquist dummies’ voices. I’ve never had that experience before. What made this book even more special was Ares Berger. All of the other books make the dude seem like the biggest idiot on the planet. He may not have been the smartest, but he was more than who he was portrayed to be. I loved his personality and lack of words. His actions showed more than words ever could. I also can’t leave out his emotional support monkey. Yes, you read that right. Emotional support monkey. You’re just going to have to read this book to find out what that’s all about.

Rockaway Bride ★ ★ ½

Well, I guess they can’t all be favorites. This one did not start out strong for me. It was a little too — I don’t even know how to explain it. There was just so much build up and not enough knowledge of the characters from previous books to really tie into things emotionally from the start. It took me until about 52% into this book and a bunch of nuns to actually start enjoying Willow and Dax’s story. After that, it started to get exciting. When I was finally getting their connection, it was over. I expected to love this book, but didn’t.

Hot Heir ★ ★ ★ ½

I was super excited to read Viktor and Peach’s book. There was some tension stewing between them back in Royally Pucked, and I knew it would be romance gold. It didn’t start off super strong, but I really liked certain things about it: lamas, crazy castle, etc. Viktor and Peach were a cute couple. I thought it was going to go one direction, and it went another. Overall, it was a cute read.

The Hero and the Hactivist ★ ★ ★ ★

The Hero and the Hactivist was the last book I read of all of these books. I’m happy to say it ended things on a more positive note for me. This was Rhett Elliot (brother of Parker from Stud in the Stacks) and Parker’s bandmate Eloise’s book. It was a lot of fun. I liked how their different jobs shaped them and their romance.

Charming as Puck★ ★ ★ ★

Charming as Puck was really good! This was my first book by Pippa Grant. I loved her writing style. It was really funny. The one thing that did bug me was that I felt like it dragged along a bit at times. I can’t wait to read more of this series! This was my original review of this book before reading the rest of the series. I have to add that Nick Murphy (Felicity’s older brother and Ares’ hockey teammate) was an idiot, but I loved his how his relationship with Kami (Felicity’s friend) worked out. Plus, that donkey!

Overall thoughts:

This was a fun group of books to read. I definitely had my favorites: The Beauty and the Beefcake and Stud in the Stacks. I would recommend starting with those two if you don’t care about reading in order. The others weren’t quite perfection like those two, but they were good romantic comedies. The only book I wasn’t a fan of was Rockaway Bride.

Review: Hollywood Prince (Natasha Madison)

Hollywood Prince
Series: Hollywood Royalty, #3
Author: Natasha Madison
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Behind the “lights, camera, action” of Hollywood lies a world of deception, love, and seduction.

Are you ready for Hollywood Royalty?
Carter
A blonde, a brunette, a redhead…he can have his pick of them all on any given night and he knows it. They wait, hoping he looks up and gives them his signature smirk, choosing them over the others because that’s his game.

Except now he’s signed the contract of a lifetime, one with a pesky little clause that says his zipper must stay up and his playboy image has got to tamp down. It’ll be fine—a piece of cake, even—he can do this and he’s almost convinced himself of that … and then she walks in the room

The new PR girl whom they’ve hired to change his image, she’s the star of all his dreams, but there’s one tiny little problem … she can’t stand him and all of his player ways.

He knows he only has thirty days to show her why they call him Hollywood’s Prince. He’s up for the challenge, so game on.


I was a big fan of the first two books in the Hollywood Royalty series, so it pains me that I did not love Hollywood Prince as much as I was hoping. That’s not to say I didn’t like reading it. I did. There were just some things I had trouble with.

What I loved about Hollywood Prince was Erin. Her story was so much fun. She’s an intern trying to prove herself at her PR firm when she is given the hardest client’s image to transform. Erin really wants to advance in the company, so she’s going to do her best to rehab sex addicted Carter. Since this is a romance, Erin falls in love with the “bad boy” the more she gets to know him and who he really is. That whole apart of the story was enjoyable. I liked how Erin was a sweet person, but also had a strong presence when it came to her job. I just wish she had someone else to fall in love with.

Carter was my issue with this book. His bad boy stuff didn’t work for me. I didn’t connect with his character and wondered many times how Erin did. I guess she could see past his attitude and past when I couldn’t. Carter made way too many excuses. I don’t know that I could have gotten past the number of women he had been with. He was with like 12 different women in a 10 day period or something. Personally, that’s a huge turn off. It’s one thing when someone knows their crush is a bad boy and has gotten around. It’s another thing to know exactly how much and who he’s gotten around. What made me even more uncomfortable with the situation was that Erin and Carter didn’t talk about safe sex prior to doing the deed. There was no talk of testing. That’s insane to me with all the action Carter got and how smart Erin seemed. The only time I found myself liking Carter was right toward the end when he became a completely different person.

Let me get back to the other things I loved about Hollywood Prince. There was a little bit of a mystery about who Erin’s dad was. I was curious the entire time and looking for clues. When it all came out, one of my guesses was right! I loved the build up to this and what it meant for Erin and Carter. I really love Erin’s dad.

Which reminds me of something I didn’t get. I didn’t get Erin’s choice to become involved with Carter while working with him, but understood why the story went there. Sometimes I just wonder how smart women make such stupid choices and risk the careers they’re working so hard for. That wasn’t really what I didn’t get about the whole thing, though. What I didn’t get was that Erin’s boss wasn’t upset with her for her choice. Neither were her co-workers. I thought it should had been a big deal. Other things in the story eclipsed that, I guess.

What I think I’m trying to say is that while I didn’t like every part of this book, overall I enjoyed reading it. If you liked the previous two books, you will most likely have a good time reading this one. It just wasn’t the perfect book for me.

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Review: Hook Shot (Kennedy Ryan)

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Hook Shot
Series: Hoops, #3
Author: Kennedy Ryan
Publication Date: March 2, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

A deeply emotional standalone romance set in the worlds of professional basketball and high fashion.

Divorced. Single dad. Traded to a losing squad.
Cheated on, betrayed, exposed.
My perfect life blew up in my face and I’m still picking up the pieces.
The last thing I need is her.
A wildflower. A storm. A woman I can’t resist.
Lotus DuPree is a kick to my gut and a wrench in my plans
from the moment our eyes meet.
I promised myself I wouldn’t trust a woman again,
but I’ve never wanted anyone the way I want Lo.
She’s not the plan I made, but she’s the risk I have to take.

A warrior. A baller. The one they call Gladiator.
Kenan Ross charged into my life smelling all good, looking even better and snatching my breath from the moment we met.
The last thing I need is him.
I’m working on me. Facing my pain and conquering my demons.
I’ve seen what trusting a man gets you.
I. Don’t. Have. Time. For. This.
But he just keeps coming for me.
Keeps knocking down my defenses and stealing my excuses
one by one.
He never gives up, and now…I’m not sure I want him to.


I adore Kennedy Ryan’s writing, but I have to admit I am always a little nervous to pick up one of her books. I know from experience that my heart and mind are going to be slayed by what I read. I also know that I’m going to love whatever story and lesson Ms. Ryan is dealing out.

Hook Shot was rollercoaster of emotional ups and downs. I think the author was trying to give me a heart attack at times. She took these two amazing characters and threw them into some gorgeous and some troubling situations. There were moments when I wanted to cry from both happiness and sadness. There were moments I was shocked by the twists thrown my way. Ms. Ryan put so much heart and soul into this book. She made Hook Shot is my favorite book in this series

Lotus was as magical as I hoped she would be. I didn’t always love her in the previous HOOPS novels, but I think I was just missing some pieces. I knew Lotus’ story, but didn’t know everything. Her past was devastating and shaped her in important ways. Lotus’ past gave her this hard exterior that I loved seeing Kenan crack. Inside, she had this softness that was beautiful.

What I liked most about Kenan was that he could have been a real person. He wasn’t perfect, but he was a guy who strove to be the best person he could be. I loved how he approached situations with caution and wanted to do good to those closest to him. I loved his relationship with his teenage daughter, Simone. Their relationship wasn’t smooth sailing, but I liked how Kenan’s reactions proved the type of person he was. I also liked that Kenan didn’t let his basketball fame change him. He was just really cool, a good partner, and a good dad.

Kenan and Lotus together — GAH! That chemistry was so dang hot! They got each other on this basic level that made them connect in the coolest way. I don’t even know how to describe them except for that they were made for each other. They were undeniable soul mates. It was so, so beautiful the way they supported each other in all of the ups and downs that orchestrated by their creator. I just loved them together.

One of the things I loved and hated about this book was Kenan’s ex-wife, Bridget. Grrr… She was a great character, but that woman made me so mad! She hurt everyone around her to try to get what she wanted. Her point of view wasn’t necessary, but I wish it would have been included in a couple of places. I would have liked to have been in her mind to know what was driving her decisions. I don’t feel like I ever got the answer on some of her whys.

Hook Shot was an outstanding read by one of my favorite authors. No one does relationships and drama like Kennedy Ryan. The heart she gives her characters and their stories is something to be experienced. She had some wonderful surprises in store for her readers with this book.

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A Top 25 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy Ryan writes about women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts. She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine and Frolic, Kennedy’s writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Atlanta Autism families, she has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for families living with autism. KR W Bckg Verti

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Review: The Roommate Agreement (Emma Hart)

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Let your homeless best friend stay with you, he said. Being roommates will be fun, he said. It’s only temporary, he said.

He never said I’d fall for him.

The Roommate Agreement
Author: Emma Hart
Publication Date: March 26, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A brand new best-friends-to-lovers romcom from Emma Hart.

Let your homeless best friend stay with you, he said. Being roommates will be fun, he said. It’s only temporary, he said.
He never said I’d fall for him.

You know what isn’t ‘temporary?’ The endless stream of dirty socks in my bathroom and empty food packets under the sofa—and don’t even get me started on the hot guys who take over my living room every Sunday to watch sports.
I can’t take anymore.
So I propose a roommate agreement. One that will bring peace and order back to my life, complete with rules that might just stop my newfound crush on my best friend in its tracks.
After all, there’s only so many times you can see your best friend naked before you start to lose your mind.

Rules. They’re meant to be broken… Aren’t they?


The Roommate Agreement is a messy story about best friends who live together and are secretly in love with each other. It’s a messy story because both characters are a mess and the entire thing felt chaotic and out of control.

To be honest, I didn’t particularly like The Roommate Agreement when I started it. I felt confused by it. Shelby and Jake were already living together and they drove each other nuts — and not in a good way. She complained about his housekeeping skills and the things he did made her so angry. Jake seemed to be somewhat oblivious to Shelby’s frustrations or just didn’t care. It felt more like Shelby and Jake were going to kill each other rather than fall in love. They irritated each other so much that when they started waxing on about their secret crushes on each other inside their heads, it didn’t feel right.

I also had a hard time connecting to the characters. Shelby and Jay were individually a freaking mess. Shelby was a walking contradiction. She was a writer who let her personal hygiene get sketchy while getting on Jay for absolutely every lazy thing he did. I would have been as annoyed as she was, but it felt like before the book started she was enabling him. I don’t know. I just had a hard time believing someone who wanted everything so clean and tidy would go five days without washing her hair and not care if she got stinky. Jay also didn’t sit perfectly with me either. He ran a gym, yet couldn’t do his own laundry or pick up after himself? He had very attentive parents. I don’t see them not teaching him simple life skills and then entrusting a business to him. With all the complaining about each other, I just didn’t get the attraction.

The Roommate Agreement started to win me over when Shelby and Jay started to move from friends/roommates to more. Shelby and Jay were cute once they decided to make their feelings known and act on them.  I liked how they decided proceed with their relationship. They ended up having way more chemistry than I expected after the beginning. It was fun how their families and friends got involved. Jay’s grandma was a hoot. I also loved his mom and dad. Shelby’s parents were equally as fun. It was also cool that their other best friends were in a relationship and how that affected theirs. I liked the relationship part of the book. I would have liked more of it and less of the roommate part.

So, yeah… This was an extremely hard book to rate for me. It felt chaotic and I was unsure if I was going to like it. I probably would have given it two stars if it hadn’t ended so strongly.  I guess it won me over in the end.

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About Emma Hart

Emma Hart is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels and has been translated into several different languages. She is a mother, wife, lover of wine, Pink Goddess, and valiant rescuer of wild baby hedgehogs. Emma prides herself on her realistic, snarky smut, with comebacks that would make a PMS-ing teenage girl proud. Yes, really. She’s that sarcastic. EmmaHart.jpg

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Mini Reviews: Books Off My TBR

Recently, I had the chance to read several books off of my TBR. This post is dedicated to those books.

The Birthday List
Series: Maysen Jar, #1
Author: Devney Perry

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The Birthday List was a very beautiful book about the heartache associated with the tragic loss of the person you are supposed to grow old with. It was a book about moving on from grief, taking things one step at a time, really living, and opening yourself back up for love. Poppy chose to do all of this by completing her deceased husband’s birthday list (think bucket list). She had no idea that attempting to complete Jamie’s list would put Cole, the officer who dealt the blow of Jamie’s death, in her path again. When Cole learns what Poppy is going, he offers to help with the birthday list. As they check experiences off Jamie’s list, they fall in love.

The Birthday List was a bittersweet romance filled with so many touching moments and wisdom to take in. I totally get it now, all the rave reviews I have read for Devney Perry’s books. I have wanted to read her books for some time now, but I put them off because I was afraid of how emotional they might be. I’m sad I did that. Devney Perry’s writing was so beautiful and touching. I’m so happy I finally gave in and picked up The Birthday List. I can’t wait to read more of her books in the near future.

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss
Author: Kasie West

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

I am a big fan of Kasie West’s adorable contemporaries. Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss wasn’t my favorite of her books, but I did really enjoy it. The movie set setting and plot were a lot of fun. I loved how Donovan was Lacey’s tutor. They were so cute together. I would have loved to have spent more time with them as a couple. It was also cool that Lacey’s dad was so involved in this story. Oh, and I can’t leave how that it was fun to see Abby and Cooper from Love, Life, and the List again. (Yes, Lacey is that actress friend!) Overall, this was a great contemporary read.

Charged
Series: Saints of Denver, #2
Author: Jay Crownover

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

I have owned this book FOREVER. I didn’t immediately pick it up because I hadn’t read book 1 yet. I wanted to read them in order, so I finally read Built last month. I liked it a lot and was excited to read Charged. Charged was even better than Built. I loved it from the moment I started reading it. Avett and Quaid were opposites, and yet their personalities fit together nicely. Quaid was all buttoned up and Avett was a whirlwind. I loved how they balanced each other out. I also really enjoyed the little bit of suspense we got in this story. Charged is definitely my favorite Jay Crownover book yet. I can’t wait to read the rest of this series.

Make Me Bad
Author: R.S. Grey

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Make Me Bad was simply adorable! I loved the premise of the story. It was about a twenty-five year-old librarian who was sheltered by her father and older brother. She wanted to step outside the boundaries they created for her and experience life. Who else would be better to help her with than the guy her family forbade her from? Fancy pants lawyer Ben Rosenberg is more than happy to help gorgeous Madison go “bad”. He can’t seem to get the sweet girl off his mind. He would do anything to spend time with her. Can’t you just tell how fun this book is from that description? Madison was adorable and Ben was the perfect guy to help her spread her wings. If you’re looking for a fun, feel good story this book is for you.

Review: Meet Cute (Helena Hunting)

Meet Cute
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of Pucked and The Good Luck Charm delivers a Hollywood happily-ever-after where a famous heartthrob falls for his ultimate fangirl in this sexy standalone romantic comedy.

Talk about an embarrassing introduction. On her first day of law school, Kailyn ran – quite literally – into the actor she crushed on as a teenager, ending with him sprawled on top of her. Mortified to discover the Daxton Hughes was also a student in her class, her embarrassment over their meet-cute quickly turned into a friendship she never expected. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming either…

Now, eight years later, Dax is in her office asking for legal advice. Despite her anger, Kailyn can’t help feeling sorry for the devastated man who just became sole guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister. But when her boss gets wind of Kailyn’s new celebrity client, there’s even more at stake than Dax’s custody issues: if she gets Dax to work at their firm, she’ll be promoted to partner.

The more time Kailyn spends with Dax and his sister, the more she starts to feel like a family, and the more she realizes the chemistry they had all those years ago is as fresh as ever. But will they be able to forgive the mistakes of the past, or will one betrayal lead to another?


What is the first thing that comes to mind when you look at the cover and title of Meet Cute?  Is it adorable romantic comedy? That’s what came to my mind when I looked at it. As amazing and adorable as the Meet Cute cover and title are, I feel like they did a disservice to the story inside. Meet Cute isn’t a romantic comedy. It’s an emotional contemporary romance with a couple of funny moments. I guess the blurb kind of lends itself to that, but based on the cover I was expecting a more upbeat story. I’m writing all of this because I think a lot of Helena Hunting fans are going to be surprised (and maybe slightly disappointed) like I was. Not that there weren’t some great things about this story. I was just expecting something happier.

Meet Cute started off funny and cute enough. I loved how Kailyn met Dax. I would have loved more of the start of their friendship-ish relationship in college. Things took a turn quickly and fast forwarded to their adult lives, which became complicated and entwined with the death of Dax’s parents. At this point, things became sad and depressing. Dax and his teenage sister were left behind. The things they had to go through were tough — like I would expect. Even though there was a sadness, I actually really enjoyed this scenario. I loved seeing Dax become a father figure to his sister and realign his priorities. Their bond was very sweet. I liked how Kailyn fit into this as well, but that also kind of leads to my biggest issue with this book…

Kailyn and Dax are supposed to be lawyers at the top of their law school class. Both have shown in their fields. They are smart adults who should know how and strive to make ethical choices. They don’t in this book. I was shocked and frustrated by the choices Kailyn and Dax made. I was shocked that both would make decisions that could have and should have affected what was going on with custody of Dax’s sister. It all made me so mad and irritated. I was especially frustrated with how Kailyn handled the situation. I was so irritated that I just wanted to be done reading the book at times.

I want to say I loved Kailyn and Dax together, but I didn’t care about their relationship that much. I loved what made Kailyn truly start to fall for Dax and some of the moments they had together, but Kailyn’s actions drove me nuts. Their relationship was also overshadowed by other relationships in this book. I loved the supportive relationship Kailyn formed with Emme. I loved Emme and Dax’s relationship. I loved how the three of them made a family at times. Those relationships put Kailyn and Dax on the back burner for me.

One of the things I loved about Meet Cute was the custody dispute between Dax and his aunt Linda. I knew where it was going, but that didn’t bother me. I thought it was well written and executed.

As you can probably tell, Meet Cute had a lot of ups and downs. By the time I got to the end of it, I was ready for it to be over. Then, came the epilogue. It was like being transported back to the beginning of the story where all the cute and fun stuff happened. The ending was adorable, but it didn’t fit. To be honest, it felt like an entirely different book was wrapping up. It was a shock to the system. One that I enjoyed, but felt out-of-place. It made me wish the entire book had been like the beginning and the end. Which is sad because while I wouldn’t say I loved Meet Cute, I felt the emotional story of Dax and Emme was important. I don’t know. I guess I just wish Helena Hunting had decided which direction to go with this novel and stuck with it. Emotional and funny can go together, but they need to be better infused for that to work.

Review: Space (Penny Reid)

SPACE_BT.jpg

Space
Series: Laws of Physics, #2
Author: Penny Reid
Publication Date: March 11, 2019
Publisher: EverAfter Romance
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

One week.
Private cabin.
Famous physicist.
Still an unrepentant slacker.
What’s the worst that could happen?

Mona’s meticulously planned allotment of relaxation is thrown into chaos by the unscheduled appearance of her older brother’s band of friends, including the one person she’d hoped to never face again. Abram still makes her feel entirely too much, which is one of the reasons she disappeared after their one week together. But now, trapped on a mountain of snow and things unspoken, Mona will have to find a way to coexist with Abram, chaos and all.


If you aren’t familiar with the Laws of Physics series, it starts with Motion. In Motion, we meet Mona and Abram. Genius Mona is pretending to be her twin sister, Lisa. “Lisa” is under her brother’s best friend’s watchful eye for her wild ways. Abram and “Lisa” connect in a way neither of them planned. Some stuff goes down and there’s a major cliffhanger. (If this sounds at all interesting, hurry up and pick up Motion)

Why I did I just tell you all that? Well, Space is the continuation of Mona and Abram’s story. It’s been a couple of years since Mona and Abram saw each other. Both have regrets from their time together. They have to work through a bunch of stuff. It’s uncomfortable and note easy for either of them to do, especially around so many people.

PENNY REID!!! You’re so amazing, so how can you be so cruel? I loved Space so much. It was so freaking sweet and funny and good. It was also stressful in the best way possible. The cliffhanger wasn’t exactly shocking, but it did leave me needing MORE.I need Time like NOW! I couldn’t get enough of Mona and Abram. Fans of Penny Reid’s books are going to love this smart romance series.

Laws of Physics is the second trilogy in the Hypothesis series; Laws of Physics parts 1 (MOTION) & 2 (SPACE) end with a cliffhanger.

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Start the series today!

Motion

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Time

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Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

authorphoto

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Review: Team Player (Julianna Keyes)

Team Player
Author: Julianna Keyes
Publication Date: March 28, 2019
Publisher: Julianna Keyes
Genre: Contemporary, Sports, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Don’t hate the player…

BOTTOM NINE
Gwen Scott wants to love her job with the Charleston Thrashers, the MLB team she’s worshiped since she was a kid, but she can’t. Hateful colleagues and mind-numbing work make her days unbearable—until her head for baseball gets her exclusive access to the Thrashers’ clubhouse and she comes face-to-face with Tyler Ashe, the team’s sexy shortstop and baseball’s most ineligible bachelor.

BASES LOADED
Ty has sworn off relationships in order to focus on his all-star career, but with his best friend gone, his team struggling, and the press blaming him for every loss, the most recognizable man in the majors is in a slump. Until he starts spending his time off the field with a stern blonde who recites baseball stats for kicks and sees through his arrogant façade.

TWO OUT
As the Thrashers’ season gets into full swing and Gwen adjusts to her new job, their fun banter and friendly teasing turns into stolen kisses and countless steamy nights. The team’s strict policy against player-staff relationships throws a curve ball into the mix, but they can’t hide from their feelings any more than the most famous man in baseball can hide from the spotlight…


Team Player is a classic contemporary sports romance. It’s written in third person dual point of view. While that’s not my favorite type of narration, it was well done. I almost didn’t notice it was third instead. I loved how each chapter started off with a fun Tweet that applied to what was coming up.

There was a lot of stuff going on in this book. Gwen was dealing with her aunt’s death and trying to hold onto her job with the Thrashers. Her attraction to Ty wasn’t something she was ready to face. Ty wasn’t quite ready for Gwen either. His baseball career hasn’t been the same since his best friend abandoned him. Despite all of this, they don’t want to fight their attraction and start to secretly see each other. The secrecy of their relationship adds a bunch of other things for Gwen and Ty to deal with.

Gwen and Tyler were both similar and completely opposite people. Gwen was quiet and spent a lot of time trying to fly under the radar. Tyler was a cocky athlete who was always in the spotlight. Surprisingly, both of them were loners. Neither had a good support system or friends. I thought that was weird and a little too convenient, but it was one of the things that helped them connect to each other. They had great chemistry. I loved their quiet moments together — especially how they watched a baking show together.

I think what shocked me most about Team Player was that it wasn’t the couple or the romance that was my favorite thing about the book. I loved other stuff more. I thought Gwen and Ty’s backstories were really good and important. I wish they had gotten a little more focus. I loved reading about Gwen’s relationship with Marge and how it shaped her life — especially when it came to her job with the Thrashers. The dynamic in Gwen’s office was fun and fresh. I loved how smart she was when it came to her job. I adored all of the Thrashers’ players. Ty’s teammates were hilarious. They made his character feel more “real”. I would love books about a couple of them. (Preferably in first person…) Overall, Team Player was a fun contemporary sports romance.