Review: Twice in a Blue Moon (Christina Lauren)

Twice in a Blue Moon
Author: Christina Lauren
Publication Date: October 22, 2019
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners and the “delectable, moving” (Entertainment Weekly) My Favorite Half-Night Stand comes a modern love story about what happens when your first love reenters your life when you least expect it…

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of young love and second chances.


Twice in a Blue Moon is one of Christina Lauren’s books that is on the emotional rather than humorous side of things. I appreciate how they are able to write both types of books well. I have to admit that Twice in a Blue Moon wasn’t my favorite of their books. I had some mixed feelings about it despite loving their writing.

This book basically had two parts. The first was in the past. Tate and Sam meet in London and quickly fall in love. I was thankful that Christina Lauren decided to give us this time all at once and not in flashbacks. It was nice to see how Tate and Sam’s romance started back then and how everything fell apart because of Sam’s actions. I didn’t completely connect to their relationship at this point in the story because it was two young adults falling in love almost instantly and I had a hard time believing that. I did like how it set up for the future, though.

The second part of this book was set in present day, approximately 14 years later. Tate is now a famous actress. She runs into Sam on the set of her film unexpectedly. It’s not a happy reunion because of Sam’s betrayal, but Tate at least will get some answers. This was my favorite part of the story. I liked how Tate had to navigate the her truths and decide what she wanted to believe when it came to the past and things going on in the present.

Where Twice in a Blue Moon lost me was the pace of the story. The first two weeks felt long because of the detail of them. The present felt like it flew by because of the way time jumped and how quickly the characters moved. It felt like things ended abruptly and there wasn’t a clear resolution. I still enjoyed this book despite that, but I think I could have loved it with a little more attention to the end.

Review: That Forever Girl (Meghan Quinn)

ThatForeverGirl_FBprofile-availnowbanner

That Forever Girl
Series: Getting Lucky, #2
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: August 27, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

USA Today bestselling author Meghan Quinn’s second book in the Getting Lucky series brings heart, humor, and heat back to Port Snow.

There are two little words every small-town man dreads:

She’s back.

Harper Sanders, the girl who was supposed to be my forever, has returned to Port Snow, Maine, for good—and she’s bringing back memories of our shared past.

We once had a bright future together, but when tragedy struck, I threw it all away and pushed her out of my life. People in our small town think I’m cursed, but I know better. I did it all to myself.

And now she’s creating a life of her own in the place where we first fell in love. I can’t fight my feelings for her—or the strong attraction that keeps pulling us together. But after all this time, can she forgive the past and fall in love with me all over again?

Everyone hopes to find that forever girl…I just hope I haven’t lost mine for good.


Meghan Quinn is one of my auto-buy authors. I pick up her books because I am a big fan of the humor in them, but every once in a while she sneaks in a story that’s more emotional than humorous. That Forever Girl was one of those books.

That Forever Girl is a second chance romance that has an enemies to lovers vibe. Rogan and Harper were childhood friends turned high school sweethearts. They were even engaged at one point until Rogan tore them apart. After they split up, Rogan returned to Port Snow while Harper toured the East Coast. Now Harper’s back in Port Snow and invading the quiet life Rogan made for himself. All he wants is for her to leave…or is it?

I have to admit this book started off a little weird for me. Rogan’s emotional state kind of drug me down. He had so much anger and hate inside of him. It was hard not to feel those emotions right with him. (Bravo to Meghan Quinn for emoting through her writing, though!) I couldn’t decide if I even liked Rogan and wanted him to win Harper back. It wasn’t until about half way through that I found some of that humor I was looking for to help pick up the feel of the story. It also helped once the past started to be divulged and I could understand Rogan’s state of mind.

The past was a cool aspect of this book. I am not always a big fan of flashbacks in books. Usually it takes too long for them to go anywhere or the scenes they give me detract from what’s going on in the present. The flashback chapters in That Forever Girl were good ones. They quickly showed how Rogan and Harper fell in love and then the demise of their relationship. The flashback chapters were actually pretty adorable for the most part. They also did a great job of helping move the story in the present forward.

As for Rogan and Harper’s second chance at love… It wasn’t a smooth journey. It was filled with ups and downs. I liked that because it mirrored a real second chance romance. It also gave them a lot of time to work through their problems. Once they did, I got the adorable romance I was expecting from Meghan Quinn. I loved the person Harper’s love made Rogan.

This wouldn’t be a Meghan Quinn novel if there weren’t some amazing side characters, too. They definitely showed up in this book. Once again, the Knightly brothers were the stars of the show. They had a group text that made me laugh. I also loved the advice they gave. It made me excited to find out which brother is getting the next book. I think I saw a couple of love interests for the last two brothers, and I can’t wait to find out how it all goes down!

I’m surprised to say this, but That Forever Girl is now my favorite book in this series. It is also going on my list of favorite Meghan Quinn books. She really impressed me with this book and all of the emotions she made me feel. I ended up truly loving Rogan and Harper’s romance.

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42600605-that-second-chance?ac=1&from_search=true

⭐⭐⭐FREE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED!!!!! ⭐⭐⭐
UNIVERSAL PURCHASE LINK: mybook.to/ThatForeverGirl
ThatForeverGirl_teaser-9-2
AUTHOR BIO:
USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.
M_Quinn_photo
AUTHOR LINKS:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meghanquinnauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7360513.Meghan_Quinn
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormeghanquinn/?hl=en
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorMegQuinn
Website: http://authormeghanquinn.com/

Review: I Hate You (Ilsa Madden-Mills)

I HATE YOU BLOG TOUR BANNER.jpg

I Hate You
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Publication Date: August 20, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

There’s a fine line between I hate you and I want you.
Once you cross it, there’s no going back.

Blaze Townsend: I hate you.
Charisma Rossi: I hate you more.

She’s been expecting this ever since their latest showdown. She had good reason.

Hottest guy she’s ever seen.
Former fling.
Dumped her in front of all her friends.
At her own party.

So no, she’s not about to forgive and forget just because he sits next to her in class. He thinks all he has to do is turn on those baby blues, and she’ll melt right back into his arms. Please. She’d be crazy to let this cocky player affect her again. (Tell that to her body.)

Charisma Rossi.
Nerd girl with a dash of bad.
The one who got under his skin.
The one he cut loose.

Blaze knows she’s the riskiest prospect at Waylon University, but none of the interchangeable girls he hooks up with have ever made him feel the way she did. There’s absolutely no way he can have the girl and the game.

So why can’t he stop trying to win her back?

Can this wide receiver score the girl or will he make the biggest fumble of his life?


I Hate You wrapped two tropes into one. It was both an enemies to lovers and second chance romance. Charisma and Blaze had a thing for three weeks last semester. Charisma thought it might have turned into a relationship (despite her rules to prevent one) until Blaze publicly dumped her at her sorority’s party. Charisma was devastated and still hasn’t quite recovered from the humiliation when the new semester starts. She’s turned that embarrassment into hate. Blaze may have been the one to break up with Charisma (for his own “good” reasons), but seeing her again makes him question his decisions. He hates her for the way she makes him feel. Seeing each other again promises a big explosion between the two.

There were so many things I loved about this book. First, the writing. Ilsa Madden-Mills is gifted in mixing just the right amount of drama and angst into a college romance. In this book, she actually went lighter in that area. I appreciated that because it gave the story a more lighthearted feel than some of her others.

Another thing I loved was the characters. Charisma was this feisty young woman who had lost her confidence in the breakup. I loved seeing her fight to get it back. It was easy to relate to her feelings after being dumped and the way she compared herself to other girls. Blaze knew he was a big shot on campus due to his football player status, but he had insecurities as well. His broke my heart. At first, they both had valid reasons for not being in a relationship. I liked that they had a common issue with different reasoning. I liked how they had to work out their issues together. Plus, they had amazing chemistry.

It’s always fun to see characters from previous books in a series, and a bunch showed up in this one. I liked that I could remember them and catch up, but they didn’t take up a lot of time and you wouldn’t miss anything if you hadn’t read the first couple of books. My favorite returning character had to be Vampire Bill. (A parrot, not a real vampire.) He brought his touch of humor with him and made me laugh.

The English series used to be my favorite by Ilsa Madden-Mills, but I Hate You has now dethroned it. This book was new adult college romance magic. I loved everything about it.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KF0tWN
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/IHateYou

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2ZhXn09

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. . Ilsa head shot-2

Connect with Ilsa

Join her Unicorn Girls Group on FB, the best way to keep up: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ilsasunicorngirls/

Sign up for phone alert for book releases (max of 4) Text ROMANCE to 21000

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nY2pxT
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ilsamaddenmills/
Stay up to day with Ilsa by joining her mailing list: http://www.ilsamaddenmills.com/contact
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2EESfM9
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2GaR6cn
Book+Main:
https://bookandmainbites.com/ilsamaddenmills

Mini Reviews: YA Contemporaries

Summer has put me in YA contemporary romance reading mood. I love that because it’s given me the opportunity to read some books off my TBR that I hadn’t been in the mood for. Here are three short reviews for a few of the YA contemporaries I’ve read recently.

The Stand-In Boyfriend
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

The Stand-In Boyfriend is one if those fun YA fake relationship books. Popular soccer star Chase gets Livy to be his fake girlfriend so he can keep an ex away and she can make her best friend / crush notice her. Chase isn’t exactly truthful in his pact with Livy, though, and as days go by their fake relationship starts to feel real. It was cute, but pretty angsty. Livy’s feelings for Jessie drove me nuts when I saw how he treated her. Chase’s dishonesty with Livy drove me crazy because he was such a great guy. I wanted to whack Livy over the head a couple of times because of the decisions she made. Even though it all drove me a little nuts, I was completely invested. I adored Livy and Chase together and was rooting for this fake relationship to become real. The end of the story made up for all the frustration I felt. I’m really excited to read more from this series. (Thanks to Stephanie for recommending this book!)

Fake It Till You Break It
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

Another fake relationship.. I picked up Fake It Till You Break It on my quick visit to Powell’s City of Books in Portland, OR. I loved Jenn P. Nguyen’s The Way to Game the Walk of Shame, so I knew I wanted to read her sophomore novel. It was just as cute as that first book. I loved how Mia and Jake’s relationship went from enemies who were forced to play nice to fake relationship to maybe more. It was such a fun, quick read. It was perfect for summer.

Second Chance Summer
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

I hate to admit it, but Second Chance Summer is one of the books that has been on my Goodreads TBR the longest. Everyone always says how emotional it is and to have tissues ready. That put me off for a long time. I wanted to be in the right frame of mind. When I finished Nguyen’s book, I wanted to keep my YA binge going so I immediately dived into this one without giving it a second thought. There were definitely sad vibes throughout and it had me sobbing at the end. It also had an air of mystery revolving around Taylor’s past…which I loved but thought was weird because could she did at 12 years old that would be this lasting? Overall, it was a deeply touching read.

Review: Letters to Molly (Devney Perry)

Letters to Molly
Series: Maysen Jar, #2
Author: Devney Perry
Publication Date: June 18, 2019
Publisher: Devney Perry
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Molly Alcott didn’t expect to open her mailbox one summer morning and find an old letter stuffed between bills and a supermarket flyer. Penned in familiar handwriting, dated over fifteen years ago, the letter was written to Molly after her first date with the man she’ll never forget.

Week after week, new letters appear. Each marks an event in the history of their epic love affair. Each heals a wound. Each holds the confession of the man who still owns Molly’s heart.

The letters are full of promise, hope and love, but truth be told, Molly wishes she could unread them all.

Because the man who wrote these letters is not the one sending them.


Earlier this year I had the pleasure of reading my first book by Devney Perry, The Birthday List. That book made me an instant fan of Perry’s writing. She’s in a special group of authors whose writing moves me, makes me feel genuine emotion. Perry did that with The Birthday List and she’s done it again with its sequel Letters to Molly.

Letters to Molly is a different kind of second chance romance. It’s the story of a divorced couple in their late 30s. They have been divorced for six years when letters Finn wrote Molly during their relationship start showing up in Molly’s mailbox. The letters, along with some other stuff, shake the fragile balance Molly and Finn have set up when they swap kids or interact in social settings.  The letters stir up old feelings that have both Molly and Finn examining their past and what led to their demise.

What did I love about Letters to Molly? Everything.

As someone closer to Molly and Finn’s age, I appreciated that Perry didn’t make them seem like “old” people. So many times authors who write characters over 35 make them sound much older than they are. I still feel like a 20 something sometimes and this book made the characters feel young but also gave them the needed maturity of their age.

I have never been divorced, but I could still find things about Molly and Finn’s relationship to relate to. There were things about Molly and Finn’s story that made me think about how my own relationship weathers hardships and changes with the addition of children, etc. Relationships evolve over time and communication is key. I liked how that was a big piece of this puzzle, and how the letters Finn wrote to Molly made that stand out. Finn and Molly wanting to do better made me think about how I can do better in my own marriage.

One of the things that really got me thinking while reading this book was the subject of blame. Finn and Molly both had ideas of who and what was to blame for the demise of their marriage. Being the age that I am, I have seen several friends go through divorce. It’s easy to point blame at one person for a divorce. I always try to remind myself that there are always two people involved in a relationship. Letters to Molly was a great reminder of that. There are always two sides to a relationship or story. This book did a great job showcasing that.

Letters to Molly probably sounds like a really heavy book the way I’m describing it. It was…and it wasn’t. It was actually a very inspiring read. It had heart even when I felt like it might gut me. It was such a beautiful story. I’m so happy Perry’s fan pestered her to write Finn and Molly’s story. I loved it even more than The Birthday List and that’s saying a lot.

Series Review: The Ones Who Got Away (Roni Loren)

My blogger friend Ari has been after me to read Roni Lauren’s The Ones Who Got Away series for a while now. With a bunch of ARCs off my TBR shelf and the fact that the third book in this series showed up from the library, I decided to finally jump in and binge read the series.

What’s it all about?

This series is about four friends. Olivia, Rebecca, Taryn, and Kincaid were not friends in high school, but after they survived a high school shooting they formed a bond. Time has gone by and they haven’t quite kept in touch as much as they promised. All of that changes with a documentary to commemorate the anniversary of the Long Acre tragedy. Now they’re back to make good on things they promised themselves and the students lost in the shooting.

The Ones Who Got Away, book #1 – ★ ★ ★ ½

The first book is Olivia’s story. Liv was the poor girl in high school who didn’t quite fit in, was a little wild and looked the part. Back then, she had a secret romance with popular football player Finn. That ended with the tragedy. When the documentary pulls adult Liv and Finn back to Long Acre, they find that their attraction to each other never went away.

Liv and Finn’s second chance romance was sweet. Both had turned into hardened versions of their younger selves. I loved that being together softened some of those hard spots. I also loved how they were given the chance to right wrongs between them and be the positive influences on each other to finally help them deal with their loses and move on.

The One You Can’t Forget, book 2 – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

First we got Liv’s story, now it’s time for Rebecca’s. Rebecca is a divorce lawyer who is good at her job. She works for her dad and lacks passion in her life. That changes when Rebecca is saved from a mugging by a dog and a chef named Wes. Rebecca quickly realizes Wes is man whose ex-wife she helped. Wes and Rebecca don’t like each other, but they have a chemistry they can’t step away from. The more they learn about each other, the more they realize maybe they aren’t the people they thought they were.

I’m not going to lie, I was surprised at how much I liked Rebecca’s story. I wasn’t a big fan of her character in the first book. I ended up really liking her in this book. She and Wes had this great enemies to more thing going on. I loved how much both Rebecca and Wes grew in this story. Rebecca found her passion and Wes learned to let go of his past. There was also an interesting story with one of Wes’ culinary students that I thought made this story even more emotional and important. The One You Can’t Forget ended up being my favorite in the series.

The One You Fight For, book 3 – ★ ★ ★ ★

Taryn didn’t really stand out for me in the first couple of books. I didn’t really remember anything about her. This book made her shine, though. I loved her relationship with Shaw. I can’t believe that Roni Loren was able to pull off uniting the brother of a school shooter and one of the victim’s sisters. It was pretty amazing the way she did that — and in a way that was respectful and honest. I really liked this book.

Overall…

I kind of just gave you a basic wrap up of my thoughts on the love stories of each book. What I left out was the role of the friendships in them. I really loved how the women rallied around each other. They gave advice and pushed each other out of their comfort zones. The event that bonded them was ugly, but the friendships that came out of it were lifelong.

I feel like need to point out this entire series is written in third person. That’s not my favorite, but it worked because Roni Loren is a talented writer. I didn’t even notice it. That’s high praise from me.

The only thing that I would complain about in these books is that they were slower reads for me. There were lulls in each book that had me pushing myself to read. I don’t know if it was the length of the books or just me at the moment. These were all very emotional and maybe binging them took more out of me than I expected.

Finally, my favorite thing about this series is that it wasn’t about the actual shooting. It was about the aftermath years later. I was shown how the characters tried to move on, their challenges, and feelings about everything. That was smart because it brought to attention something that isn’t done in books on the subject very often or at all.

Now, I just need that fourth book to come out…

Review: The Girl He Used to Know (Tracey Garvis Graves)

The Girl He Used to Know
Author: Tracey Garvis Graves
Narrators: Fred Berman, Kathleen McInerney
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Historical, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game–and his heart–to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.

Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.


The Girl He Used to Know was one of those books I wanted to read but didn’t really see myself getting to any time soon. After reading some great reviews for it, I decided to request the audiobook version so that I could fit it into my reading schedule faster. I’m happy I did that because I enjoyed listening to it.

The way this story told made it perfect for audio. Both Annika and Jonathan had their own points of view. Annika’s was set in both her 1990’s college years and 2001, but Jonathan’s was only in 2001. I liked that because of the way the story was set up and how the revelations were given. I think limiting Jonathan’s POV gave Annika’s more depth. It just worked so well.

Another great thing about the audio was the narrators. The narrators of The Girl He Used to Know were fantastic! Fred Berman embodied the calm Jonathan well. He (along with the author) gave him a tenderness that I loved. I was especially impressed with Kathleen McInerney as Annika. I couldn’t imagine Annika read any other way. She took on every essence of the character and made her feel like a real person.

As for the story itself, I liked it a lot. Annika was on the autism spectrum. The way her thoughts, emotions, and reactions were processed was interesting and a learning experience in a way. I loved seeing how she related to people and relationships with them. Her relationship with Jonathan fascinated me. I was even more interested in how Jonathan reacted to things she did and didn’t do. I loved that he loved her for the things that made her Annika. It was such a sweet love story with so many surprises.

Annika’s relationships with the other people around her also interested me. I loved her relationship with Janis and her mom. I also loved how her relationship with her brother, Will, played out. The relationships that were harder to like were those with people who didn’t understand her or treated her badly. I hated when she was hurt, but it also made me think a lot.

The thing that surprised me the most about The Girl He Used to Know didn’t really have anything to do with the relationships of this book. This book has a 2001 setting. I didn’t really connect that to September 11th when I started reading. That horrible date in history and the days after are featured toward the end of this book. It might be too much or too soon for some readers. For me, having lived through that time and remembering it now, it was a little hard. It brought back waiting to hear from my close friend who was a United Airlines flight attendant at the time and my husband (then fiancé) who was in Pennsylvania not too far from where the plane went down there. Those worries and disbelief of what was happening being replayed in my head was a little jarring.  It was also fascinating because I felt like the author gave a different look at the topic than some of the other books I’ve read who have broached that time frame. It was uncomfortable, but also something I respected the author for going there and bringing back into focus what people went through at that time in history (like how books do with WWII). It’s important to remember.

Overall, I found The Girl He Used to Know to be an emotional and unique listening experience. I would definitely recommend it.

Review: Fixing Us (Miranda Elaine)

Fixing Us
Series: Fixing, #3
Author: Miranda Elaine
Publication Date: May 16, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Gabriel Starr is the love of my life, even if he breaks my heart time and time again.

Like a fool, I keep going back, so I’ve made a promise to myself—one final night and then I’m done.

One night of passion.
No pressure. Most importantly, no future.

One month later, a positive pregnancy test tells me different.

Our only option is to raise this baby as friends, but how can we make it work when we can’t even keep our hands off each other?

We finally have the chance to be the family we never imagined we could be.
But first we need to focus on Fixing Us.


Fixing Us is the third book in the Fixing series by Miranda Elaine, but it’s the first book I have read by this author. What originally drew my attention and made me want to read Fixing Us was the blurb. I was very interested how things were going to work out for high school sweethearts turned exes turned hook ups to have a baby together and, of course, fall back in love. As you can tell by my 5 star rating, it worked out well for them and me.

Leigh Ann and Gabe were high school sweethearts until Gabe ruined their plans for a life together after graduation. Despite their breakup, Leigh Ann and Gabe have had a hard time staying away from each other — it’s a small town and all that. They have never been able to work out their differences, but that doesn’t stop them from hooking up when the need arises. That is what has finally got them into trouble 10+ years after high school. One night of passion has turned into an unplanned pregnancy. It’s life changing for both Leigh Ann and Gabe, but in different ways. Leigh Ann was ready to move on. Now she’s tied to Gabe for at least 18 years. Gabe never planned to have a family. Now he has to come to terms with the fact that he will. Leigh and Gabe have a lot to figure out in the 9 months before their baby is born.

I was fascinated by Leigh Ann and Gabe’s relationship. It had this air of sadness. It was easy to tell they both truly loved each other, but they had different ideas and plans for life. I felt bad that Gabe thought about himself the way he did, but I also applauded him for trying to do what he thought was right. I loved the moments where he learned and grew. Leigh Ann I just felt horrible for. That woman was trapped by her love for Gabe. I could empathize with her about trying to move on. Despite what he said or did at times, Gabe didn’t really allow for it. That didn’t mean that Leigh Ann didn’t have strength. She was an incredibly strong, smart woman. I was actually impressed by the way she handled everything — especially her unplanned pregnancy. Leigh Ann and Gabe were just in this weird, uncomfortable non-relationship that was complicated even more by the pregnancy. It all felt true to a real life relationship and situation. I loved how their relationship evolved and how everything worked out in the end.

I was super impressed with Fixing Us. This is Miranda Elaine’s third book, but her writing feels more seasoned than that. She made each of her characters shine with their distinctive voices. The story moved smoothly and kept me enthralled. The biggest compliment I can give this book is that it made me feel everything the characters were feeling. When a book can do that, I’m impressed. I will definitely be going back and reading the first two books in this series. I am excited to learn more about those characters.

If you’re interested in reading Fixing Us, it can be read as a standalone novel. Characters from the previous books show up, but I wasn’t confused by that. This book had a story of its own.

Review: That Second Chance (Meghan Quinn)

That Second Chance
Series: Getting Lucky, #1
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

USA Today bestselling author Meghan Quinn delivers a smart and cheeky romance about love’s power to lift hearts . . . and curses.

It was supposed to be an innocent night, celebrating my brother’s birthday. Nothing was supposed to go wrong. We’d vowed to be on our best behavior after all . . .

But it only took one rowdy night with my brothers to flip my world upside down. One unlucky encounter saddled us with a family curse and the promise of doomed relationships. I laughed it off immediately. “Yeah, right,” I thought. “A love curse. Ha!”

Boy, was I wrong.

Word spreads quickly in a town like mine; rumors about that night soon made us the most eligible yet untouchable bachelors in Port Snow, Maine. As a subject of endless gossip and speculation, I could kiss my dating life goodbye.

It would have stayed that way if Ren Winters, the new girl in town, hadn’t crashed into my life. Brave, beautiful, and smart—her vivacious thirst for a fresh start has given me hope that maybe, just maybe, I can have one too.

Everyone wishes for that second chance . . . but could this really be mine?


I have been eagerly waiting for That Second Chance since I read Two Wedding Crashers. I was eager to get back to Port Snow and those Knightly brothers. And what a fun return it was!

Meghan Quinn is one of the most versatile romance writers. There really isn’t a style she can’t write. I have adored her romantic comedies, become shattered by her deeply emotional contemporaries, and now relaxed with her classic contemporary romance. That’s what That Second Chance was in my opinion, a classic contemporary romance. I would put this book in the same category as a good Lauren Layne or Jessica Lemmon romance. It was a fun read. There were some deeper emotional things going on for the characters, but I never felt a deep level of angst. I appreciated that.

Okay, back to those Knightly brothers. That Second Chance was a great introduction to them. I’m happy Meghan Quinn started with the eldest brother, Griffin. I loved Griffin. He was the eldest who was so put together and did everything for the right reasons. His story started off a little sad. Griffin had previous lost his childhood sweetheart and wife (I am the only one who wished they also got a book about this relationship? You know, kind of like Meghan did with her recent duets?). He wasn’t looking for love, but it when he was least expecting it. This story was about Griffin moving on from the past and learning to love again. He was lucky to do so with Ren Winters.

Ren was sunshine in a subtle way. Like when the clouds just start to move out. She had this easy-going quality despite having been through some tough stuff herself. (Again, I wish there was a book about Ren before because I was curious about what happened prior and her parents and a lot of stuff.) I liked what she brought both Port Snow and Griffin.

Ren and Griffin’s relationship was sweet. It moved slowly and quickly all at the same time. They developed this cute friendship first. Nothing can go completely smooth in a romance novel, though, so it was fun to experience them navigating all of the issues that came from their backgrounds and thoughts. It was also fun that it happened in such a small town setting. I loved how Griffin’s family didn’t hesitate to butt into their budding relationship. That Second Chance was a lovely small town contemporary romance. 

Back to those other Knightly brothers. I liked the glimpse of each character I got. They may have looked similar, but they had distinct personalities that I’m very excited to get to know in their upcoming books. I just know Meghan Quinn has great love stories coming for us.

Get To Know Author Meghan Quinn

  1. In the past few years you have written dozens of novels! First off, how do you find the time? And second, how has becoming a bestselling author changed your life? 

I have the best partner in life ever that helps out with everything around the house, including the kids. I also have a very overactive imagination so when I get into a scene, my fingers fly, giving me high word counts in a short amount of time. Even though it looks like I’m working all the time, I make sure to make time for my family, ending every day at five at night. And hitting the USA Today bestselling list was a huge goal of mine I had ever since I started writing. It meant everything to me.

  1. What can you tell us about the first time you sat down to write with the goal of completing a novel? 

I was a maniac. I wrote the book in a week. Yes, a week. It was insane. I had so much to say because I was thinking about it consistently while commuting an hour and twenty minutes one way to work. When my fingers hit the keyboard, it al flew out of me.

  1. What is the best part about being a romance author? What is the most difficult part? 

The best part is constantly being able to create, break it up, and then find it again. It’s such an old, classic formula, but it’s my favorite of all time. The most difficult is trying not to gross people out with terminology during sex scenes. There are only so many words that are on the OKAY list. Sometimes it can be restricting. 

  1. What draws you to writing romance novels? Specifically why is it important that your characters have happily-ever-afters? 

Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved love. Instead of going out in high school, I would stay at home and watch romantic comedies. I was fascinated with falling in love and the heartbreak, and then the make up. I love everything about it. I think we all deserve a HEA, why not give it to our characters too?

  1. Even though you include realism and heartbreak in your books, the thing readers really takeaway is sense of fun you pack into the novels. How is it you (and your characters) are able to find humor in everyday things? 

I’ve always found myself to live in the clouds, in a land of cupcakes and fun, it’s just my personality so whenever I’m in a situation, I usually can find the fun in it and of course, I’m really good at embellishing. 

  1. Give us a quick snapshot of your newest novel That Second Chance

Four brothers, small town romance, all single, all cursed. Will they be able to find love, even though they’re the most eligible yet untouchable bachelors in Port Snow, Maine?

  1. What makes Ren and Griff’s story special to you? 

Their meet cute is probably one of my most favorite of all time. Wayward moose, volunteer firefighter, a crazed woman new to town, looking for help. It’s all charming, funny, and perfect. 

  1. What’s next for this series? 

Rogan!!! AND OH MY GOD!!! His story is . . . gah! I can’t even tell you how in love with it I am. There is mystery, intrigue, questions that need to be answered and so much swoon you might just fall off your chair while reading. 

Author Biography

USA Today bestselling author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. An author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.

Social Media Links

Website: https://authormeghanquinn.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormeghan.quinn
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorMegQuinn
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7360513.Meghan_Quinn

Rafflecopter Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/07c2363f225

Review: 99 Percent Mine (Sally Thorne)

99 Percent Mine
Author: Sally Thorne
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Crush: a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach…

Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.

When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.

Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that’s inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.


99 Percent Mine was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019. I read Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game last year and adored it. I was bummed when I started reading a lot of reviews saying this book didn’t even compare to The Hating Game. Despite the negative hype, I decided to read 99 Percent Mine anyways.

I have to admit that 99 Percent Mine didn’t start off in the best way. Darcy, the main character, rubbed me the wrong way immediately. The vibe she gave off was not a good one. Darcy’s very brash and bitter. It was hard to connect to her for a large part of the story because her motivations are completely unclear. Even when they are, they seem juvenile. She always seems to be punishing herself in negative ways.

When Tom, Darcy’s childhood friend, shows up things start to get even more confusing. I don’t understand the dynamic between them. There’s not really much to tell me what happened between them in the past. It takes a while to learn that information, and when I finally do, I have no clue why Tom is attracted to prickly Darcy. He is this nice, quiet guy. If Darcy is a jalapeno pepper, Tom is milk.

Another negative factor in 99 Percent Mine is Jamie. Jamie is Darcy’s twin brother. He’s a complete jerk. He is so horrible. Darcy acts like he’s the better person, but he’s not. Jamie makes Darcy look less bitter and I actually felt bad for her when it came to him.

The entire first half of this book was filled with negative emotions and characters. I wasn’t having a great time reading, but I was curious enough to find out what made these characters tick. I’m glad I kept reading because the second half of the book was much better than the first.

I was surprised to find Darcy growing on me. I think that can be attributed to the revelations about her life, her illness, and her friendships. Once I understood her, she became more palatable. I wish some of the information would have been revealed early on. I also found myself liking Tom and Darcy’s dynamic. I could finally see what drew them to each other. I loved Darcy’s friendship with Truly and would have liked seeing more than that. I even, at the very end, started to like Jamie.

99 Percent Mine started out rough, but it ended up winning me over in the end. It wasn’t my favorite book, but I didn’t hate it. It’s one that if you push through the awkward, uncomfortable beginning, you will find a sweet love story and a TON of character growth. My advice going into reading it would be to go in with lower expectations (if you have read The Hating Game) and not give up on it too soon.