The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang – Book Review

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36199084Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

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Most Anticipated Releases of 2019

most anticipated releases of 2019

If you’re still here, after all this time, reading my blog, kudos to you! I know that I have been the absolute worst when it comes to bookish things this past year, be it reading or blogging or bookstagramming (I DID NOT CLICK EVEN ONE PICTURE!!!!!). So, one of my resolutions for this year has been to be more active on these forums, but most importantly, to grow my blog from just a measly review blog and include more stuff. Which is why, I’m going to try to participate in more book memes, post more bookish lists, try to interview authors and so on. But also, I want to diversify my little corner on the internet to talk more about other things I like – movies, music, tv shows, and the like. So, lets hope that I am able to do it too!

In keeping with this resolution, I am finally, finally, finally getting around my first list for the year – my most anticipated releases. It gives my heart so much joy that so very many of these are diverse books, because yes, #WeNeedDiverseBooks is the absolute truth and I AM SO HAPPY THAT SO MANY OF THEM ARE RELEASING THIS YEAR!

Now, without further ado, let’s get to it!!

(Please note : This list is in no particular order and is just me rambling about books I am excited about!)

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Unzipped, Lauren Blakely – Release Day Review

100% of proceeds from the first 5 days of UNZIPPED sales go to California Fire Relief Charities!

What do you get when you mix a hot, a quirky heroine, and a hilarious meet-cute (featuring a boombox) that goes terribly awry? UNZIPPED!

Don’t miss this brand new standalone romantic comedy from #1 NYT bestseller Lauren Blakely! Brilliantly funny and spectacularly swoony, UNZIPPED—with its nod to the great silver screen romantic comedies—is available everywhere for your pleasure! Get your copy of UNZIPPED today!

✮✮✮UNZIPPED is here! Grab your copy today! ✮✮✮

Wanted: hot nerd seeks dating coach.

Picture this – I’m ready to win back the love of my life, and I’m going big this time. We’re talking boom box, sing her name in the rain, let the whole damn neighborhood know I’m good and ready this time around. After all, if you’re going to grand gesture the ever-loving hell out of a second chance, you need to pull out all the stops.

There’s only one little problem.

My college girlfriend isn’t the one who shows up when I play my “I’ll do anything to win you back” tune. The woman who flings open the second-floor window tells me my ex doesn’t live here anymore. But she’ll help me win her back. Anything for romance, anything for a guy so willing to go big for love. And that’s what I want at first. Until I get to know my new “romance coach” and discover she’s funny, clever, and keeps me on my toes. Now I don’t want to win anyone else’s heart. I want the woman who’s been helping me all along. Trouble is – she thinks I’m in love with someone else, and when we take off on a road trip, everything I think I know about women is about to be unzipped and turned inside out.

***

He’s the last person I ever expected to pop into my life, but he might be exactly what I need to save the thing that matters most to me. All I have to do is not fall for him.

Unzipped is a standalone romance!

Review

*Review copy received as a part of a blog tour. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased. *

Unzipped is the story of Tom & Finley, and how they meet in extenuating circumstances and decide to help each other get what they want. Tom, years after breaking up with his college girlfriend feels like he’s finally ready to make a commitment and so, he seeks her out, because she asked him to come find her when he had his “head on straight”. Equipped with advice from his well meaning, but clueless brothers, he shows up at his ex, Cassie’s apartment and plays a song on the boombox, a la Say Anything, hoping it’ll be the grand gesture that sends her running back into his arms.

But, who he actually serenades to is Finley, Cassie’s neighbour. Finley, who is on a deadline to come up with a funny story to tell in six episodes if she wants to save her dream show from being axed by the network that picked it up. I guess y’all can guess where this is going? Yes, Finley thinks that Tom is coming off too dorky and/or strong and decides to help him win back Cassie, and in the mean time, finds inspiration for her story.

As they spend more time together, they fall for each other, but does this mean they’ll get their Happily Ever After?

So, yes, a little cliche, but nonetheless interesting storyline that I absolutely adore. This is sort of a favourite trope of mine where the story begins with one of the MCs helping the other to win someone else over but then, these two end up falling for each other instead. I’ve always loved such stories, so picking this up was sort of a no brainer for me. And I’m glad I did!

This is such a cute, fun, quirky, and adorable story. You laugh out loud numerous times. Like, this story is in no way lacking in punch lines or one liners. I liked those a lot. And, I loved the banter – y, playful, flirtatious relationship Tom & Finley had that developed into more over the course of the story. Really, their back and forth and back and forth was really cute. I enjoyed that bit a lot. Even though I did feel like the puns and punch lines got a little too much after a while, because it felt like every conversation was littered with a lot of them and we could definitely have done with lesser of those.

Then, there’s the characters. Tom. Cute, sweet, adorkable nerd that he is, he has my heart. I loved how understanding and sweet he was. And then, reading about how he fell for Finley was just… It was awesome. Even though it started out as a mission to get Cassie back, he ended up falling for Finley and never did it feel like he was settling or that Finley was a rebound or second best. It just happened. He realised she was who he wanted to be with and I love that.

Then, there’s Finley. She’s smart as a whip and she’s always got a comeback for everything. I love how witty she is and her sense of humour is absolutely awesome. She’s one of the coolest female leads I’ve come across in sometime and I love her. One thing that I love most about her is how she was upfront with Tom about him and his story being her inspiration for her show. We always see in romance novels that one of the leads is struggling with their art and find inspiration in the other and translate that inspiration into their art but then everything goes to hell because the other lead thinks that all of it was a lie and a ploy to get the full story. But, that wasn’t the case here and I really, really, really love that!

The story kept me engaged from start to end with the plot and the characters and it was a really fun read! I’d definitely recommend it to fellow romance enthusiasts!

Rating – 4 stars

Excerpt

As I peruse the scenes, the opening notes of a song filter from the front of my townhome. What the hell? Did I leave the streaming app open on my phone? I step away from the counter and head to the front door, looking for my phone, even though I swear I had it with me in the kitchen.

The song grows louder, and it’s not coming from my cell at all. It’s coming from outside. I peer through the peephole.

I jerk back.

Rub my eyes.

What the hell?

Am I really seeing what I’m seeing? I don’t think I had that much wine. I had one sip.

Fine, fine. One large sip. One very large, very hearty sip. All right, it was a gulp.

But I can’t possibly be hallucinating, can I?

I peek again, and holy smokes.

There’s a guy on my front lawn going full Lloyd Dobler.

The hair on the back of my neck stands on end, and my paranoid brain leaps three thousand steps ahead. Did he escape from Alcatraz? Is he going to bang down my door? Attack me?

I pivot and grab the baseball bat I keep handy. As the youngest sister of two older brothers, I’ve learned a few valuable lessons: boys are trouble, pizza is good cold, and always keep a baseball bat near the door and/or bed.

With my bat in hand, I scurry to the kitchen to grab my phone, then fly upstairs to the bedroom, taking the steps two by two.

I race into the bedroom, set the bat at my feet, and keep my phone clutched in my hand, ready to call 911 if need be. I pull back the white curtain a smidge.

And I nearly die laughing.

The song has stopped, and the Dobler wannabe is now kneeling on the ground, furiously hitting buttons on the boom box.

I peer around the curtain’s edge, and it’s like watching a sideshow act auditioning for my circus.

He hoists the boom box up above him again. A new tune plays. I cock my head, listening, and I cringe when I recognize the tune.

For real? Is he truly playing “Unzipped”? I could never stand that song when it was popular eight years ago. The music sounds like a can opener mating with a trombone. I wish he were playing Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes,” like Dobler did in the film.

But as I study the bizarre suburban male mating ritual, I decide to award him points for sheer balls. He also deserves bonus points because he chose to go without the super cheesy trench coat that Dobler wore. It worked for Cusack, but on anyone else that attire screams serial killer.

This guy seems harmless.

And admittedly, from my vantage point two stories above, he’s kind of handsome with the glasses, the thick, floppy hair, and the jeans that fit nicely. Strong jaw too.

Fine, fine. He’s more than kind of handsome. He’s 100 percent good-looking, in that hot nerd kind of way.

ORDER YOUR COPIES HERE!

✦Kindle US ➜ https://amzn.to/2E9muKE

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✦Kindle CA➜ https://amzn.to/2zPcNhF

✦Kindle AU➜ https://amzn.to/2zPd9ov

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✦ Nook ➜ https://bit.ly/2EdTBge

✦ Google Play ➜ http://bit.ly/UnzippedGplay

✦ Paperback ➜ https://amzn.to/2Eayo6X

✦ The audiobook is narrated by Joe Arden and Andi Arndt! ✦

✦Audible ➜https://adbl.co/2wncWWL

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS TODAY!

“UNZIPPED was such a fun and adorable half meet-cute-getting-to-know-you – half road-trip love story!! Run to your nearest amazon asap for your own Kyler Tom – this one is MINE!!!” ~Bianca, BJ’s Book Blog

“Packed with flirtatious banter and lighthearted humor, Unzipped is a rom-com that’s cleverly written, refreshingly self-aware, and just plain entertaining.” ~Yvette, Nose Stuck in a Book Blog

“I loved everything about this book. It was the perfect romantic comedy about 2 nerdy people who find love the unconventional way.” ~Sweetheart Reads


Lauren is donating 100% of the first five days of sales for UNZIPPED from all retailers to California Fire Relief Charities, so one-click and you’ll get a sexy, witty rom-com and help a good cause!


About Lauren Blakely:

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family, including her smoking hot and funny husband and her two brilliant and kind children. She has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs — she might have four dogs, or maybe five. If she’s lucky, she’ll soon have six dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 100 times, and she’s sold more than 2.5 million books. In December she’ll release UNZIPPED, in January BIRTHDAY SUIT, and in March BEST LAID PLANS. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Newsletter ** Goodreads

Christmas Sugar (Insta Spark #2), Melanie Moreland – ARC Review

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42972456Dylan Maxwell is a busy man. His no-nonsense approach to life and business keeps him balanced—and alone. His life is bland—devoid of any kind of sweetness or light.

An unexpected business trip close to Christmas, however, brings three people into his life he never expected.

An oversharing teenager.

A lisping little angel.

A sexy, unassuming woman unlike any he has ever met. Her bossy attitude challenges him, while her green eyes melt the frost around his heart.

They draw out something in him that he has never experienced.

Feelings. 

Are they the Christmas miracles he needs—or will he walk away from the sweetest gift he has ever been offered?

Love.

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Part Time Lover, Lauren Blakely – Book Review

 

 

PART-TIME LOVER promises full-time satisfaction…

What do you get when you mix a charming British hero, a temporary marriage of convenience, and a smart & sassy heroine? PART-TIME LOVER, the brand new, standalone rom-com from #1 New York Times bestseller Lauren Blakely! Get your copy of PART-TIME LOVER now!

 

 

✮✮✮PART-TIME LOVER is here! Grab your copy today! ✮✮✮

I’ll say this about Christian — he made one hell of a first impression. When I first saw the strapping man, he was doing handstands naked on a dock along the canal. His crown jewels were far more entertaining than anything else I’d seen on the boat tour, so I did what any curious woman would do — I took his photo. I might have looked at the shot a few dozen times. Little did I know I’d meet him again, a year later, at a secret garden bar in the heart of the city, where I’d learn that his mind and his mouth were even more captivating. But given the way my heart had been trampled, I wanted only a simple deal — No strings. No expectations.

Our arrangement worked well enough until the day I needed a lot more from him…

***

Let me just say, this whole part-time lover thing was her idea. I’d have gone all-in from the start, but hey, when a gorgeous, brilliant woman invites you into her bed, and only her bed…well, I said yes.

But then, one hysterical phone call from my brother later, begging me to find myself a wife so grandfather’s business stays in the family, and I need a promotion with Elise. Turns out a full-time husband suits her needs too, and a temporary marriage of convenience ought to do the trick, until we can simply untie the knot…

As long as no one finds out…
As long as no one gets hurt…
As long as no one falls in love…

But our ending was one I never saw coming.

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*ARC received as a part of a blog tour. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Part Time Lover, follows the story of Christian and Elise and how the two fall in love in unconventional circumstances. They first meet on a cruise when Christian is doing naked handstands on the deck. They make plans to go out on a date, but aren’t able to, because of a mixup. They meet a year after that and then start dating, even though they both decide it’s not serious and they’re just having fun and enjoying each others’ company. But, circumstances arise and Christian needs a wife to save his grandfather’s company and prevent it from being sold. So, Elise agrees to help and they decide to stay married for a few months after which Christian and his brother will be able to save the company. But, when their time is up, are they ready to let each other go?

Now, I’m sure that you’ve read the ‘marriage for convenience’ trope a million times, but there are a few things that make this one so much better than those. Number one, Christian needs a wife, but he isn’t paying Elise to be one. He actually doesn’t even want Elise to be dragged in the middle of all this, but Elise insists, because she likes Christian and she wants to help as she knows how much this company means to him.

Also, they aren’t lying to anyone. All of Christian and Elise’s close friends and family – the people who matter – know that they’re getting married only for the sake of the company and nothing else. I absolutely loved this. Most of the books with such a trope have the couple lying to everyone in their life and hiding the truth behind their relationship, but not here. They’re both upfront about it. It’s really a refreshing change.

Of course, there’s also no hate to love or dislike to love trope and the heroine does not think that the hero is just a spoilt brat who is doing all this for money. Elise understands Christian’s motivations and she doesn’t make a fuss about it.

Elise is a smart, no nonsense woman who doesn’t put up with anyone’s shit. She’s witty and sassy and blunt. I really liked that about her. Like, she always has the right comeback for everything, especially where Christian is concerned and that was absolutely awesome. She’s also really helping and caring by nature. She agrees to be Christian’s wife after only meeting him a few times because she cares about him and she wants to help him.

Christian is a dreamboat. He’s smart and suave and sexy and says all the right things at the right time. He’s carefree and funny and lives life as it comes. One thing that I love about him is that though he is persistent, he is always respectful and he knows his boundaries. He never oversteps and though he desperately wants more with Elise, he respects her wishes when she says she’s not looking for anything serious and goes with the flow.

Their relationship is great. Flirty and witty banter with a lot of one liners and smartass comebacks are the foundation of their relationship and that is awesome. They have great chemistry and it translates really well on page. You can’t help but root for them.

But, I did find it boring in parts, and skimmed here and there, because I felt like the author was dragging the story a little. At times it felt like in the interaction between Elise and Christian, she was trying too hard for both of them to come across as funny.

But, overall, it was a nice read and I enjoyed it.

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~Christian~

A year ago

I stroll up the hilly yard toward my house, passing my brother, Erik, who stands close to the porch. “Did you scare them all away? Admit it—they cringed in terror, scary movie—style.”

I slash an arm through the air. “Whole boatload of them. Tears, shrieks of horror. Wailing.”

He cringes dramatically.

“Toss me a towel, will you? Or do you want to continue to admire your more fit and handsome younger brother?”

Erik scoffs and throws the towel over the porch railing, away from me.

I shrug. “I’ll just go inside, and you can check out my arse.”

“You can count on me never ever checking out your arse.”

I grab the handle on the sliding-glass door and head inside to one of my homes. You can’t beat a home on the water. But then, a flat in Paris is hard for me to say no to as well. Good thing I get to have both.

I grab the pair of boxer briefs I left on the couch and tug them on as Erik follows me inside.

“Seriously. How did it go?”

“Exceptionally well. I landed a date tonight.”

“Bastard. You’re not supposed to get dates when you flash the tourists, and especially not when your beloved brother is only in town with you for a few days.” Most of the time Erik’s in London, where we were raised.

“Jealous much?” I ask, heading for the fridge and pouring a glass of cold water.

Erik flexes a bicep, then another, posing like he’s Mr. Olympia. “I’ve scored plenty of dates with this fabulous physique. Just none lately.”

“That would be because you’re married, you tosser.”

He flashes a dimpled grin. He’s so ridiculously in love with his wife, it’s nearly disgusting. He could be the poster child for man-who-falls-arse-over-elbow-for-a-woman. That’s something I can’t say for all the men in my family.

“I’m like Grandfather, happy as a clam.”

I furrow my brow. “How does anyone know clams are happy? Is there a study on clam happiness? We all assume they’re rays of sunshine, but how do we know?”

He scratches his chin. “Good question.”

“I bet they aren’t happy at all. I bet they feel nothing. Is that what happiness should feel like? Nothing?”

He sighs. “Aren’t you philosophical today?”

“Maybe. It happens every now and then.” I take a drink of the water. “But what can you do? Sometimes deep thoughts stray into my brain, and I can’t help it.”

“Best to get them out of your head if you have a date tonight.”

“Perhaps she likes thinkers,” I suggest.

“So who is she? Did you exchange numbers on the dock? Or did you, I don’t know, play charades with your appendages swinging in the breeze?”

“Yes. I can do Morse code with my dick.”

“Such a useful skill,” he deadpans.

“We did it the old-fashioned way. Picked a spot to meet and a time.”

He raises his chin. “And why her? Of all the ladies on all the tours you’ve ever flashed, you haven’t asked one out before. Not that you’ve told me about anyway.”

I let my brain rewind to the petite brunette with the big sunglasses who ogled me unabashedly from the side of the boat. She was pretty, that much I could tell even from fifty feet away.

But pretty alone isn’t enough. Pretty is a dime a dozen. I’ve dated women who aren’t pretty, but are witty, clever, and keep me on my toes. I like those traits just as much. Perhaps more. But I’m not opposed to pretty either.

Obviously.

“She was bold. She called out bravo. She said it louder than anyone ever has.”

“So she knows how to read your Morse code.”

“She’s welcome to read Morse code on me anytime. Come to think of it, she can even treat me like I’m fruit at the market.”

Erik laughs. “In some countries, they don’t let you touch fruit at the market.”

I gesture to my body, from my chest down to my legs. “In the fine country of Christian Land, it’s highly encouraged for the bold brunettes to touch the fruit.”

 

ORDER YOUR COPIES HERE!

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https://amzn.to/2ksyZWH
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✦ Kindle AU ➜
https://amzn.to/2sm6Jsu
✦ iBooks ➜
http://blkly.pub/PT-Lover-iTunes
✦ Kobo ➜
http://blkly.pub/PT-Lover-Kobo
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http://blkly.pub/PT-Lover-Nook
✦ Google Play ➜
http://blkly.pub/PT-Lover-GP
✦ Amazon PB ➜
http://blkly.pub/PT-Lover-PB

 

 

 

 


✦The audiobook is narrated by Shane East and Grace Grant! ✦
✦ Audio ➜http://blkly.pub/PT-Lover-Audible OR http://blkly.pub/PT-Lover-Audio


 

 

 

 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS TODAY!

 

“Characters that are as bold and carefree as they are vulnerable and introspective, banter that’s rife with wit, humor, and innuendo, and a teasing, agonizingly slow-building romance make Part-Time Lover a gripping love story. From start to finish, Part-Time Lover will have you laughing and swooning and falling in love with love.” -Yvette, Nose Stuck in a Book

 

 

 

 

“Jam-packed with Blakely’s keen attention to detail, her fabulous sense of humor and a sexy, sweet, consuming romance, Part-Time Lover was a heart-fluttering, full of hope joy to read.” -Red Cheeks Reads

 

“…a beautiful, compelling, alluring story of opening up your heart again to love and all the possibilities of it.” –Bookish Aurora

 

 

 

✮✮✮Get full-time satisfaction with this PART-TIME LOVER giveaway! ✮✮✮

Let’s celebrate the release of Christian and Elise’s romance
with a Kate Spade Tote ($200 value) and $50 Gift Card to Sephora for your own ScentsualFragrance!

 

https://laurenblakely.com/part-time-lover-giveaway/

 

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A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 95 times, and she’s sold more than 2.5 million books. In June she’ll release PART-TIME LOVER, a sexy new standalone romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Newsletter ** Goodreads

 

The Wright One, K. A Linde – Book Review

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A new sexy contemporary romance duet from USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde…

Secrets swarm all around.
My world is crumbling under the strain.
I don’t know if we can survive this.
My heart is in the Wright place.
But is his?

The Wright One is the last book in the Wright Love Duet that began in The Wright Love. Find out if Sutton and David survive their world of secrets in the conclusion to the Wright Love duet!

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Amazon USAmazon UK iBooksB&NKoboGoogle Play

*ARC received as a part of a blog tour. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

The Wright One picks off right where The Wright Love left off, and is the conclusion of the duology. This story deals with the aftermath of David’s lies to Sutton and her family and how they overcome it all.

What I liked about this was that while Sutton sort of made David work for it, she wasn’t unreasonable and she didn’t take things farther than necessary. Yes, she lashed out in the beginning, but only because she was hurt and upset. But then, when she thought about it with a clear head, she decided to give David a chance to explain before making decisions. And only when she was satisfied that his motives were pure did she agree to date him again.

The loss of her late husband still pricks Sutton and it’s handled really well through the book. It doesn’t overshadow Sutton’s present, but is always a part of her and the way she deals with her grief is believable and you can’t help but sympathize with her.

She still thinks about her son before taking any major decisions about how doing something will affect him and that is so nice to see. But, she doesn’t let the fact that she has a kid overshadow every other part of her life. Her ex in – laws, especially her late husband’s mother gives her a lot of flake for it and taunts Sutton on more than one occasion.

But then, just before the climax, she starts second guessing her earlier decisions and makes a mess of things for everyone and it’s just a little annoying because it’s all mostly because of her mother – in – law and how she sees Sutton. Sutton gives that woman a little too much power over her life and I don’t like that. I mean, I understand that she feels like she owes them – they’re her dead husband’s parents and her son is their grandson, who they both adore. So, yes. I get that. But her giving in to that pressure was something I definitely didn’t like.

David is still his amazing, understanding self. But we see a new side to him and more of his past is revealed which made me see him in a completely new light. It makes his actions so much more believable and understandable. We also see his mom and sister and his budding equation with both of them makes me really happy. So many changes in his life and he takes it all in stride. And, he loves all the Wrights so much – they’re like his family and it reflects in his actions. I really did love that.

Of course, the drama and then the grand gesture in the end were inevitable. I did love it though. It gave such a satisfying end to the story and it was absolutely amazing.

If we compare, the first book was definitely better, but this one is great as well and I had fun reading it.

All in all, this is a delightful read and I definitely recommend it to everybody who loves romance.

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A sexy new contemporary romance duet from USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde…

I have the perfect life.
Until the day my husband tragically dies.
Being a single mom and widow was never part of the plan.
When David Calloway enters my life, I have no room for love in my heart.
But he’s determined to do right by me.
Could he be the Wright love?

The Wright Love is the first book in the Wright Love Duet, and Sutton and David’s story will conclude in The Wright One—coming May 29th! Get ready for your newest binge read.

Amazon USAmazon UK iBooksB&NKoboGoogle Play

1459165672531

K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifteen novels including the Avoiding series and the Record series. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, geeking out over Star Wars, binge-watching Supernatural, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE / BOOKBUB

Between The Raindrops, Sydney Logan – Book Review

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39103682Seventeen-year-old Scout Ramsey’s life is a mess. With a dead father and a junkie mom, she can’t imagine things can get worse.

Then her mother tries to sell her for a bag of meth.

After her mom’s arrest, Scout’s forced to switch schools in the middle of senior year. Scared and alone, she pours her heart into her journal and dreams of the day she turns eighteen.

For Wyatt Campbell, senior year is predictable purgatory. Then the new girl steals his seat in history class, and suddenly, school’s not so bad. They bond through their love of music, and Wyatt finds himself falling hard for the journal-loving girl with the sad blue eyes.

Wyatt’s heard the rumors. He knows Scout’s had it rough.

He’s determined to be the one thing in her life that’s easy.

In this captivating teen novel, Sydney Logan weaves a touching story that tackles the heartbreak of addiction, the power of forgiveness, and the wonders of first love.

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*ARC received from author in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Trigger Warning : Drug abuse, physical abuse, threatening of sexual abuse, mentions of human trafficking.

Between the Raindrops follows the story of 17 year old Scout and her struggles after her junkie mom is jailed and she starts living with her abusive uncle. Everything in her life is in the dumps – her mom, her new home, her uncle, she’s forced to go to therapy and the people at her new school are quick to spread rumours. The only respite in her otherwise bleak life is in the form Wyatt, the cute but mysterious boy she shares most of her classes with and his exuberant sister Zoie, who declares Scout her best friend after their first meeting. Things start looking up for Scout after she befriends the Campbells but everything changes when she finds out that her mother is being released from prison and wants Scout in her life again.

Scout is a good protag. She’s got so much negativity in her life but she still keeps her head up and doesn’t curse at everything and everyone for her misery. She makes do with what she’s got and doesn’t complain. At all. But, that continues to her therapy sessions and she’s very reluctant to share anything with her therapist. Because of all that’s happened to her, she suffers from anxiety and panic attacks so much so that even the touch of a man makes it difficult for her to breathe. But, somehow, Wyatt is the miraculous exception to this rule because she doesn’t react badly when he touches her. Scout is bewildered by this and when she tells her therapist about this, the woman is stumped as well. However, they decide to go into more detail about why Scout didn’t feel negative effects of Wyatt’s touch during their sessions to understand it. I was really looking forward to that, but they never do discuss why it might be that Wyatt’s touch doesn’t affect her badly. I mean, this is the classic ‘love cures mental illness’ spiel and really, I AM OVER IT. That is so not true. Someone cannot just miraculously cure it. You have to work towards getting better – every single day. It is not magic. But, that is kind of how it is portrayed in the book.

I do love how Scout stands up to her mother, though. She doesn’t take any flake from the lady and tells her in clear terms that they can have a relationship only if her mother is clean. She’s rightfully angry at her mom for abandoning her the way she did and she lets her mother know it too. But, as much as she wants, she can’t hate the woman because she is, after all, Scout’s mother – and before her father passed away, Scout’s mother had been an amazing mom. I still love how Scout did what she did and put herself first after putting her mother first for a long time. She did what was best for her and not her mother and that is the way it should be. So, kudos to Scout for that.

Then, there’s Wyatt. Wyatt is a sweet, caring boy who is intrigued with Scout since the first time he sees her. She’s the new girl and she’s as smart as he is, sharing all his AP classes. They spend time together when she starts working at the same diner as him and he starts liking her. Soon, the two of them are in a relationship and Wyatt does everything he can to make Scout smile, especially cause she smiles so little.

But, she soon becomes his entire world and she’s all he cares about. Granted, she’s been going through a lot, but Wyatt worries about everything when it comes to her. He panics if he doesn’t know where she is for a minute. Now, with everything going on in her life, I can kind of understand why he would be worried, but he starts smothering her. And, his parents notice. They waste no time in getting him therapy because they realize that everything that is happening with Scout is affecting him adversely too. This was one of the things I loved about the book. Normally, when a boyfriend/husband/fiance becomes overprotective or overbearing towards their better half because of something bad that’s going on in her life, it’s expected that the woman just take it because the guy is doing it out of love. But, that wasn’t the case here. Wyatt’s parents immediately recognized his problematic behaviour and they made him get help because what he was doing was not right. I LOVED THIS PART A WHOLE LOT.

Zoie is also a great character and I love how she supports Scout no matter what happens and vice versa. Zoie had a few issues during the course of the book and Scout was the first person she turned to for help. Scout was there for Zoie through the whole thing and really gave her all the moral support Zoie could ask for. It was really touching.

The Campbell parents were also welcoming and understanding and they were there for Scout whenever she needed it, especially Wyatt’s mom, Gina. She really took Scout in and loved her like her own daughter. The bond between them was so beautiful and I adored it.

As a whole, this book deals with a lot of heavy stuff, but I really wish that it was handled in a better way, especially the mental illness aspect.

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The Brightsiders, Jen Wilde – Blog Tour

The Brightsiders
Jen Wilde
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: May 22nd 2018
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Young Adult

A teen rockstar has to navigate family, love, coming out, and life in the spotlight after being labeled the latest celebrity trainwreck in Jen Wilde’s quirky and utterly relatable novel.

As a rock star drummer in the hit band The Brightsiders, Emmy King’s life should be perfect. But there’s nothing the paparazzi love more than watching a celebrity crash and burn. When a night of partying lands Emmy in hospital and her girlfriend in jail, she’s branded the latest tabloid train wreck.

Luckily, Emmy has her friends and bandmates, including the super-swoonworthy Alfie, to help her pick up the pieces of her life. She knows hooking up with a band member is exactly the kind of trouble she should be avoiding, and yet Emmy and Alfie Just. Keep. Kissing.

Will the inevitable fallout turn her into a clickbait scandal (again)? Or will she find the strength to stand on her own?

*ARC received as a part of a blog tour. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Trigger Warnings : Abusive Parents

The Brightsiders, follows the story of teen rock band The Brightsiders and it’s three members – Emmy, Alfie and Ryan, but mostly Emmy. The book starts with Emmy and her girlfriend, Jessie, getting in trouble for underage drinking when they drunk drive and get into an accident. Circumstances are such that Emmy doesn’t have any option but to move into her parents’ house again – the one place she swore she’d never step foot in again. Her friends are worried about her, the press is hounding her, her manager is unhappy with her, she breaks up with her girlfriend and her parents are still the same – high on alcohol and drugs and living their glory days. So, in short, Emmy’s life sucks. She just needs the press attention to fizzle out so that she can move out, but that ain’t happening any time soon. But, when her parents get too much and take one too many things fir granted, she moves in with her friend, Chloe. Life starts looking up after that with her friends surprising her with a cruise in Hawaii and then there’s this new thing she’s got going on with Alfie, her best friend since forever. But, will things keep looking up?

What I loved about this book was the sheer amount of queer characters it had. I mean, I can’t remember one person from Emmy and her friends who’s straight. I think the only straight people in this book are Emmy’s parents, and maybe Sal, the band manager. I mean, there’s so much diversity, I can’t even. And, none of these sexual identities are used as plot points, so that’s a bonus. I loved that.

Emmy, the lead, is a great character. She’s only 17, which means she’s making a ton of mistakes, but the good thing is that she’s learning from them and growing as a person with each hurdle. She faces. I mean, gods, she messed up so very many times in the book, but I love that she did, cause, hello! She’s a teenager. She doesn’t know everything. But, she’s a good person. She’s got her heart in the right place and she always tries to do her best in everything and that’s what matters most. She does her best to be a supportive friend and she listens when someone needs to talk. She tries to find joy in everything around her. She absolutely loves her fans. So, yes. She’s a very good character.

Then, there’s Alfie. His portrayal really awed me. This was the first time I read about a musician who was dealing with anxiety and it was so awesome. I mean, we all think that these rockstars are such confident people with all their swag, but that wasn’t the case here. Alfie was dealing with severe anxiety and performing used to give him panic attacks when the band first started. But, therapy helped him. So, yes. It was nice to see that. I loved him as a friend. So kind and accommodating and comforting and understanding. He was there with Emmy through everything and helped her and supported her.

There was also a lot of drama. Emmy’s parents were straight up a**holes. They didn’t care for her one bit and weren’t above selling personal details of her life to the press. They found faults in everything she did and their sense of entitlement really had me so mad I wanted to hit them at one point. Ughhhhhh. But, I wish their characters were more fleshed out. Like, we understood their motivations for behaving that way with their daughter, but nothing of the sort of was explained in the book.

Also, a lot of drama between Emmy and Alfie could have been avoided if they’d just been honest about their feelings and talked to each other. I mean, I get that they were both scared, but they’d been the best of friends for a very long time and they shouldn’t have had such communication issues.

However, this was a fun read and entirely too addicting because I was unable to put it down once I started reading. Definitely recommend it!

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Author Bio:

Jen Wilde is a writer, geek and fangirl with a penchant for coffee, books and pugs. She writes YA stories about zombies (AS THEY RISE), witches (ECHO OF THE WITCH) and fangirls (QUEENS OF GEEK). Her debut series reached over three million reads online and became an Amazon bestseller. Her next book, THE BRIGHTSIDERS, comes out May 2018, and GOING OFF-SCRIPT releases Summer 2019.

When she’s not writing, Jen loves binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix, eating pizza, traveling to far away places and going to conventions in Marty McFly cosplay.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Twitter

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Aiden (Vested Interest #2), Melanie Moreland – Book Review

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37748931Haunted by memories of his past, Aiden plays the part of the happy-go-lucky friend. Always ready with a teasing smile or a joke, he is good at hiding his pain.
Using his impressive physique as a shield, he keeps his past buried beneath his rugged exterior.
Except, one woman sees through his façade.
Her green eyes see too much, even as her body tempts him.
Even as his heart yearns for her.
Cami is determined to make him realize that he is worthy of being loved.
He pushes her away at every turn, yet finds himself unable to keep her at arm’s length.
Who will win this battle of love?

 

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*ARC received in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Aiden is the second book in the Vested interest trilogy and follows the love story of Aiden and Cami. They both have developed feelings for each other in the first book of the series, Bentley (which is not connected to this book except for a few references. You can read my review for it here – Bentley, Melanie Moreland – Book Review) but instead of getting into a relationship, they’re in a friends with benefits arrangement because Aiden is of the opinion that he is not boyfriend material and would not be able to give Cami what she needs were they in a relationship. Also, he has issues from childhood because of his dyslexia and his parents mistreating him which makes him difficult to trust people. So, will Cami and Aiden have their happily ever after?

I’d already liked both Cami and Aiden from the first book, but in this one, I started liking them more. They’re both great characters who aren’t perfect and are trying the best they can. I like how the story shows both of them messing up because they’re so stubborn and making mistakes.

Cami is absolutely awesome. I love how she cares for her friends and family. She’s sweet and kind and stubborn and understanding. She never pushes Aiden even though she really wants to know more about him. But, she’s always open about her feelings to him. She tells him she likes him and wants to be with him and when Aiden rejects the idea, she lets go. Yes, there are several occasions where she tries to get him to open up and tell her about his past, but she doesn’t push him to be with her and gives him space whenever he needs it, even though it hurts her terribly when he’s distant with her. Cami is always looking out for her friends and making sure they’re okay. At the same time, she’s also dealing with her own personal issues in the best way she can. For that, I admire her.

Then, there’s Aiden. I like the way he was honest to Cami about how he didn’t do relationships and he never lied to her or led her on. He genuinely, deeply cared for her and he always made sure to do everything in his power to make sure she was okay. He was a supportive friend throughout the story and his relationship with Bentley and Maddox was amazing. That being said, I didn’t like how he didn’t tell Cami the reason behind his reluctance to pursue a relationship for almost the entirety of the book. He refused to acknowledge the depth of his feelings and unnecessarily hurt Cami even though it was his issues that were creating problems. I feel like a lot of hurt and heartache for both of them could have been avoided if Aiden had told Cami everything right from the beginning, or you know, as they started getting closer. He didn’t tell her till the last possible moment and it was only after Cami almost died that he decided to do it.

I like that we saw more of Bentley and Emmy in this book. Those two were still adorable and cute as ever and I really loved this peek into their relationship after the events of Bentley. Of course, Maddox and Dee were an added benefit. I loved both of them too.

Aiden wasn’t as satisfying as Bentley was for me, but it was a good read nonetheless.
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Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

Piece of Work, Staci Hart – Book Review

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Piece of Work, an all-new sexy and hilarious romance from Staci Hart, is available NOW!

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Marble isn’t the only thing that’s hard at this museum.

His body is as chiseled as Adonis. His lips are as sculpted as David. And his ego is the size of the Guggenheim.

You know the type—wolfish smile and the gravity of a black hole. The kind of man who sucks all the air from the room the second he enters it. My cocky boss thinks this internship was wasted on me, and he doesn’t hesitate to let me know.

But he’s wrong, and I’m going to prove it to him. If I can stay away from his devil lips, that is. Lips that cut me down and kiss me in the same breath, leaving me certain he’s on a mission to ruin my life.

And maybe my heart.

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2rEZono

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/PieceofWork

Add to GoodReads: https://bit.ly/2pT693W

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*ARC received as a part of a blog tour. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Piece of Work follows the love story between Rin, a student on an internship at the Met before she starts working on her PhD dissertation and her boss, Court. They’re both passionate about art and bond over their mutual appreciation of it. They start seeing each other soon after Rin starts working at the Met, but Court is unable to lay his demons to rest and move forward with her in a way they both want to, which obviously, is the cause of a lot of misunderstandings between them. Will Court ever be able to look past his fears and be with her is the question.

What I love most about this book is the presence of art. And musuems. I love them both and the backdrop for this story was absolutely perfect. It’s so amazing, I couldn’t help love it immediately.

I really like Rin. She’s an awkward, tall, Korean – American girl who’s learnt to blend into the shadows so that people don’t see her. But, since she’s started working at the musuem, the reactions of Bianca, her direct supervisor, and their boss, Court, make her rethink her stance on the whole ‘I’m better of unseen’ thing she’s got going on. So, with the help of her friends and a personal shopper, she gives herself a makeover. It’s so nice to see how she comes into her own, how she gains poise and confidence as the story unfolds and all of it started with her putting on red lipstick to go to work. The story doesn’t say how it’s nevesaary to wear make-up to be confident or good at your job, but it shows how that little change sparks a difference in Rin’s life. The concept of feminism. Is explained so amazingly in this, especially with regards to Rin’s choice to put on makeup and I love it! Rin is smart and stubborn and headstrong and she doesn’t give up easily. I really like her and how she stands up for herself, especially in front of her bosses.

Then, there’s Court. I really sympathized with him because what happened in his previous relationship was not something you can get over easily, but I didn’t like how he became so jaded and started accusing Rin of doing the same to him and how she was only interested in his affluent and impressive and wealthy family name and not him. Granted, he soon learnt his mistake and apologized to her, but it still struck me the wrong way that he just assumed she didn’t have good intentions to begin with, without any fault of her own. Every time their relationship moved forward, Court would get scared and take two steps back and frankly, after sometime, it got annoying. I know he was scared and he didn’t want to hurt Rin, but he was doing it anyway by being so indecisive what he actually wanted. His heart was in the right place all the time and he really cared about Rin, even fell in love with her, but he didn’t do anything about it till the very end, when he had plenty opportunities before. He just kept clinging on to what had happened in his past and though he acknowledged that Rin was nothing like his previous girlfriend, he still didn’t try to take a step forward, too hell bent on protecting his heart. That’s what made the maddest. Like, he was just running around in circles and I really wanted him to come to grips with the situation a lot sooner than he did.

I really enjoyed the portrayal of lasting friendships in this one. I mean, all of Rin’s friends are absolutely awesome and I really love how they had her back throughout everything that happened and how they encouraged her and supported her in everything she did.

All in all, a really fun read with a few swoony and heart-warming moments sprinkled along the way.


He smirked and flipped up his sunglasses.
Bastard.
“You’re early,” I clipped.
“I would have had my assistant text you, but she’s currently bedridden.”
You could have texted me.”
“I didn’t have your number,” he said simply.
“Oh.”
His eyes shifted to look behind me, and I turned to find my friends standing me in a row with my suitcase in front of them, my messenger bag on top, and fake smiles on all their faces, lips together, their judgment about as quiet as a foghorn.
“These your roommates?”
“Yup,” was all I said as I turned and took my suitcase, hugging each of them down the line with promises to text when we landed. And then I turned to Court, rolling my suitcase in front of me like like a riot shield.
I tried to pick it up to carry it over the threshold, but it was heavy, and before I could get far, he’d swept it out of my hands like it was a loaf of bread and not fifty pounds of mascara and shoes.
I waved at my friends, who offered encouraging smiles and hand gestures, and I closed that door, immediately regretting every decision I’d made to bring me to the moment I turned around.
He stood at the door to the backseat, holding it open for me like a gentleman, which I knew he was not. But the look on his face of regret and deference, under the hard shell of his brooding, was almost too much to bear.
So I did the only thing I could.
I ignored him.
I ignored his gorgeous lips as they tilted and the sleek cut of his jaw as I walked past him. I ignored the sight of his long legs as he climbed in next to me and the smell of him that made me want to grab him by the lapels of his jacket and bury my nose in his chest.
The driver took off, and I busied myself in my bag, looking for my headphones and book.
His eyes were on me. I pretended like I didn’t notice.
“You’re not wearing lipstick,” he stated.
Headphones, headphones, headphones. “It’s an international flight, Court. Of course I’m not wearing red lipstick for a ten hour flight.”
A pause. “Rin, I—”
Aha! I popped in my earbuds the second they were in hand.
His lips flattened, his face unamused. Rin, his lips said, but I smiled and shrugged, pointing to my ears.
“Noise canceling,” I said way too loud.
His chest rose and fell with a sigh I couldn’t hear—I’d already turned on music, a playlist we’d built the night before geared toward resisting douchery and unwanted-slash-totally-wanted advances—and he reached into his own bag, a leather affair at his feet, his hand disappearing into the bag and reappearing with a book, which he handed to me.
He watched me with his expression shrouded as I paused, my eyes on the offered book. An image of Penitent Magdalene by Tintoretto filled the cover, and I met his eyes, pulling my earbuds out by the cord.
“I thought you could use this. For your proposal,” he said, giving nothing away. “I…A colleague of mine wrote it, so if you have any questions, I can connect you. If you want.”
I took it from his hand, surprised and disarmed. “Thank you,” was all I said. He opened his mouth as if to speak again, but closed it, and with a nod, he reached back into his bag for his own book. Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake.
I put my earbuds back in place, trying not to bite my lip, but it found its way between my teeth despite the effort at the sight of him sitting there, dressed like that, reading Margaret Atwood. After giving me a thoughtful gift, a book he knew I would want, one I would need for my dissertation.
Court Lyons made about as much sense to me as a scrambled up Rubik’s Cube.
I leaned against the door as I flipped through his gift, doing my best to sort through the rush of questions and confusion as Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s sang about being cheated by the opposite of love. And I found I knew exactly the feeling.

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey.
From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

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