Thursday, May 28, 2020

REVIEW: The Last Post by Renee Carlino


OUR REVIEW:

When I think about The Last Post, I think about Laya and Micah being in this bubble of grief, and longing, with a sense of hope encircling them. These two characters were, as all of the characters I’ve read from Renee Carlino are, quirky and interesting and a lot in their heads. These two in particular seemed to live more in their heads than in the world—the world seems to be too much many times and so a lot of the novel was them backing away, pondering and working through things and then trying to venture out into life again. Understandable for Laya and a little harder for me to figure out when it came to Micah. 

Laya was working through tragedy and grief and a sense of being doomed to losing those she loved. She felt so lonely to me and I just wanted to hug her and show her some happiness. Micah, on the other hand, was harder for me to grasp. He was going through that mid-20s crisis of finding himself and trying to find his space in the world—the one that felt like a life he wanted to live and that made him relatable. It was the way he engaged with Laya that I found so strange. I couldn’t understand why he was so unaware of how bizarre his good intentions were. 

Their relationship was also something unconventional and I can’t quite put my finger on what made it feel a little unusually disconnected? I don’t know. I think I was trying to see how they worked. What he felt for her seemed so deep so soon and I don’t think I truly understood what triggered it other than her beauty and his curiosity.If I were Laya I would’ve been a little freaked out by Micah. And if I were Micah I maybe would've tried alternate ways to express my feelings, earlier, rather than scare her by using her posts as a reference point??? 

These two had a lot of stops and starts before it seemed to click and it was in those in betweens that they both started understanding themselves and each other better. It made the ending, which really seemed like their beginning, sweet and earned because their path to getting there was so bumpy.

So to end this rambling weird review, I’ll say that this pair has got to be one of the most unusual pairings I’ve read —not because either is so strange or bizarre—but it’s the way they worked that was unusual and interesting. It’s unlike any other love story I’ve read. There are a lot of spaces between their meeting and their ending that I’d love to know more and understand them better, but maybe that wasn’t the point. Maybe the point was to see that on their own, and together, they figured some things out—one being that them being together was way better than being apart. 

I know these will be characters, like all of Renee Carlino's characters,I won’t forget and will wonder about them for a long time. 

BUY IT: https://amzn.to/2SXFiUq

SYNOPSIS:

In this evocative and poignant novel from the USA TODAY bestselling author of Blind Kiss and Wish You Were Here, a young widow in the midst of grieving her late husband through Facebook posts learns to heal and fall in love again.

“See you on the other side.”

Laya Marston’s husband, Cameron, a daredevil enthusiast, always said this before heading off on his next adventure. He was the complete opposite of her, ready and willing to dive off a cliff-face, or parachute across a canyon—and Laya loved him for it. But she was different: pragmatic, regimented, devoted to her career and to supporting Cameron from the sidelines of his death-defying feats.

Opposites attract, right?

But when Cameron dies suddenly and tragically, all the stages of grief go out the window. Laya becomes lost in denial, living in the delusion that Cameron will come back to her. She begins posting on his Facebook page, reminiscing about their life together, and imagining new adventures for the two of them.

Micah Evans, a young and handsome architect at Laya’s father’s firm, is also stuck––paralyzed by the banal details of his career, his friendships, and his love life. He doesn’t know what he’s looking for, only that there is someone out there who can bring energy and spirit to the humdrum of his life.

When Micah discovers Laya’s tragic and bizarre Facebook posts, he’s determined to show Laya her life is still worth living. Leaving her anonymous gifts and notes, trying to recreate the sense of adventure she once shared with her late husband, Micah finds a new passion watching Laya come out of the darkness. And Laya finds a new joy in the experiences Micah has created for her.

But for Laya, letting another man in still feels like a betrayal to her late husband. Even though Micah may be everything she could wish for, she wonders if she deserves to find happiness again.

Written with RenĂ©e Carlino’s signature “tender and satisfying” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Maybe in Another Life) prose, this warm and compassionate novel shows us how powerful the courage to love and live again truly is.

REVIEW: Varsity Heartbreak by Ginger Scott



We're celebrating the release of Varsity Heartbreaker (The Varsity Series, Book 1) by Ginger Scott! This is the first book in a new mature YA romance series! One-click yours now!


Varsity Heartbreaker (The Varsity Series Book 1) by Ginger Scott
Photograph by Wander Aguiar Photography http://wanderaguiar.com/
Cover Designer: Ginger Scott

OUR REVIEW:
Varsity Heartbreak reminds me so much of the very first series Ginger Scott wrote: The Waiting Series. It has that angsty sweet mature high school vibe. June and Lucas seem to love to antagonize each other--they're a hot mess and Ginger Scott loves to build that tension while you're trying to figure out what the heck happened between them to make these once BFFs and neighbors feel such strong dislike towards each other. Or is it hurt? Or is it something else? You'll get that answer but on the way there you'll get a taste of some bullying (another thing that reminds me of The Waiting Series), some intrigue, and some very intense young love, and of course, there's redemption..and it's sweet. Ahhhh first loves, man, they get us all sorts of twisted up and in our feelings.

One thing I really liked about Varsity Heartbreak is how Ginger chose to end it. She doesn't leave you hanging but she doesn't move you forward too far. She leaves it really very realistic and appropriate for the storyline and age of these characters.

This cast of characters is interesting and funny and if the taste of book 2 is any indication, this series is going to be a roller coaster of emotions. You guys are really going to enjoy this new series and the fun escape it provides.


Purchase Varsity Heartbreaker
Amazon US —> https://amzn.to/3aSWik0
Amazon UK —> https://amzn.to/2XwPRi4
Amazon AU —> https://amzn.to/2TL6VzP
Amazon CA —> https://amzn.to/2X54ave


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

Varsity Heartbreaker
Book 1 in The Varsity Series by Ginger Scott

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

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

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

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

EXCERPT:
There’s a camera crew on the field—a real one, not our student-run Internet show. They’ve positioned camera guys on either side of the banner being stretched out by a tower of cheerleaders. When the team trickles out, everyone in the student section—which has basically grown to be two-thirds of the stands—gets on their feet to scream. Abby is standing in front of me and she turns, catches me not doing my part, and points in that threatening way she has.

“Fine,” I mouth, cupping my hands around my lips and shouting, “Go Eagles!” as loud as I can. The sheer volume of my own voice, the togetherness of this moment, all of it—it infects me. My smile quits being pretend, and I get caught up in my role. I have a part to play, albeit probably not as important as everyone thinks, but for the next three hours, I will be a superfan. For the next three hours, nothing matters more than winning this game and destroying some school from South Bend.

The young men on the field shout in unison, growling with testosterone and pounding into each other, smacking helmets to helmets and gripping at facemasks to amp up their game faces. They explode through the banner, confetti covering the corner of the field as it’s fired from a few cannons held by some of our cheerleaders. Lucas is the first to break through, holding an American flag as he sprints straight down the center of the field, his co-captains running behind him with two Eagles flags.

My All-American boy.

He was so much younger the last time I saw him run like this. He was a leader that seemed too small to lead, but now—now he’s the guy with the V that cuts down his abs and whose arms completely fill out the sleeves of his jersey; whose neck doesn’t seem so pencil-thin anymore. His sweaty hair is swept to either side, and the black lines swiped under his eyes somehow make him seem like this superhero.

A hero who abandoned me when he got popular and when my life fell to shit, I remind myself.

The team captains are met by one of the coaches at the fifty-yard line. He takes their flags to fold them while the boys huddle up to pray. It’s such a blatant disregard for the separation of church and state, yet it seems nothing could be more important than this bonding happening in front of us all. More than the quiet power of the moment, though, is that Lucas is the one leading the prayer. Arms over shoulders, circles standing within circles, these boys who I’ve seen do the most unchristian-like things give respect to his words. I wish I could hear him or be close enough to read his lips. Some of the boys look up to the sky, a few of them holding their helmets high while their heads lower. Lucas’s eyes are closed, and there’s an innocence in his features, that much I can see from here. They all start clapping and an echoing “Amen” accompanies their formation of a tighter circle until the clapping becomes thunder and soon . . . fuel.

Lucas is the last to walk away from this private spot on the field. His head down, I recognize the familiar invisible weight on his shoulders. Even as kids, he always felt so damn responsible for everything and everyone. Especially for me. He rode his bike through rain to sneak me my favorite candy bar when my parents were fighting downstairs. And he insisted we fall asleep still on our phone call to each other if I felt scared or off. He sensed things when I didn’t share. He took burdens from me, whether I wanted him to or not, and shouldered them until he was sure my smile was real again.

I miss him. I miss him so fucking much.

I press my palms into my eyes while my friends aren’t looking, and manage to stop myself from feeling all of this somewhere so public. In less than a minute, the game takes over and distracts me from anything other than the anticipation and hope that brews in my belly every time Lucas throws the ball. He’s gotten better. I understand why his opportunity window is so big. There’s an easiness to the way he moves, and it’s more than instinct. He has plenty of that, though, after throwing the ball down our street to his dad every night—a million which ways and for hours on end. They haven’t thrown since freshman year, but that’s probably because Lucas has outgrown what his dad can give him.


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

About the Author:


Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, and A Boy Like You.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

When she's not writing, the odds are high that she's somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork 'em, Devils).

Social Media Links:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GingerScottAuthor
Twitter: @TheGingerScott
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/thegingerscott/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/GingerScottAuthor
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GingerScottAuthor/posts
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/GingerScott
Website: http://www.littlemisswrite.com

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

REVIEW: Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan


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“This thoroughly modern soulmate story blew me away!” -- Talia Hibbert, USA Today bestselling author
Queen Move, an all-new passionate and unforgettable friends-to-lovers romance from RITA® Award-winning and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Kennedy Ryan, is available now!

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OUR REVIEW:

Queen Move is such a fantastic blend of old + new Kennedy Ryan. There are parts of it that feel like the Kennedy Ryan of the Grip and Kingmaker series and parts that feel like The Bennetts and Soul Series. There are parts that are bold and unwavering in showing the world what it's like to be a powerful woman of color in a predominantly white man's world and parts that are shimmery and soft and romantic.

Let's start with Kimba. I love how Kennedy Ryan writes women. She creates these powerfully strong heroines--really admirable women--and shows us how even the most badass of us all can still be human. I cannot think of one female protagonist of Kennedy's who I don't think is WOWOWOWOW. Truly. But Kimba? Kimba is one bad ass woman and I just really, really, REALLY think the world of her. I loved her confidence and yet I also loved that she still had this soft underbelly like many of us do.

And Ezra? Gah. Ezra is going to have hordes of women in love with him. Just as Kennedy writes amazing female characters, she writes really wonderfully nuanced male characters as well. In this case Ezra is powerful and confident but also just a huge softy for Kimba. He exerts just enough alpha to have you swooning and the right amount of softness and sweetness to be appealing without being weak. Loved him.

As with all of Kennedy's novels, she gives us some things to consider-- women + women of color making waves and taking their rightful places in the world, biracial characters showing us the struggle of feeling like they're too much or two little of something, infidelity, bigotry, marriages of mixed faiths, and being involved in a relationship that doesn't always look like or seem like what people assume it should. So many things to consider--and in Kennedy Ryan's hands all of these things are woven in seamlessly, with nuance, and they give interesting texture to the romance of Kimba and Ezra. I love that Kennedy is fearless in what she asks her characters to do and her readers to consider. I love that she never shies away from anything--she just goes for it.

Another thing I enjoyed about Queen Move was the focus on family. It was rich with family--blood family and those who you make a part of your family--and it starts when Ezra and Kimba are just babies. Their history sets you up for the almost instant connection they have years later. You're rooting for them to connect and hating that they may not. Kennedy keeps you guessing ..it's only at the last sentence can you breathe a sigh of relief, hoping that you may see them again through the eyes of a secondary character you meet in the novel. I should also note that Ryan also captures the humor and bickering of siblings and the challenges of coming back home after you're grown so perfectly. I was laughing and feeling Kimbra's frustration because I've been there myself!

Anyone who knows us knows we have been on the Kennedy Ryan bandwagon from the get go. We've enjoyed reading, discussing, and sharing her novels with readers and have loved watching her career and writing grow and flourish. So I say with no doubt: Queen Move is going to hit the best seller list and stay on it, I'm sure.


The boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can't have…
Dig a little and you'll find photos of me in the bathtub with Ezra Stern. Get your mind out of the gutter. We were six months old. Pry and one of us might confess we saved our first kiss for each other. The most clumsy, wet, sloppy . . . spectacular thirty seconds of my adolescence. Get into our business and you'll see two families, closer than blood, torn apart in an instant. Twenty years later, my "awkward duckling" best friend from childhood, the boy no one noticed, is a man no one can ignore.
Finer. Fiercer. Smarter. Taken.
Tell me it's wrong. Tell me the boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can’t have. When we find each other again, everything stands in our way--secrets, lies, promises. But we didn't come this far to give up now. And I know just the move to make if I want to make him mine.
**QUEEN MOVE will have the special release week price of $3.99. After that, the price will increase.**

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Download your copy today! Amazon: https://amzn.to/2V4HLvZ 
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2JGiqD7 
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Audio COMING SOON!
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QUEEN MOVE CHAIR AN TEASER
Excerpt:
“You’re fucking brilliant.”
“Huh?” Ezra asks absentmindedly, paying more attention to the flame under his pan than to my compliment. “What’d you say?”
“I said you’re brilliant.” I hold up the iPad I’m using to read his manuscript. “Your book, the YLA story, is incredible, Ez.”
“Oh. Thanks.” He flashes me a smile and then goes back to his French toast. “The key to getting this right is the milk-to-bread ratio.”
I hop off the counter and walk over to stand beside him at the stove. “Would you forget about your French toast for a minute and listen to me?”
“But it’s stuffed French toast.” He takes the pan off the burner and pulls me into his arms. “And I could listen to you all day. What were you saying? Something about me being a handsome, sexy genius?”
“Um…those weren’t my exact words.” I laugh up at him.
“I could have sworn that’s what you said, and I’m never wrong.” He slides his hands over my ass in a pair of his boxer shorts. “Some even say I’m fucking brilliant.”
“They probably just like your big dick,” I whisper and blink up at him as innocently as I can manage.
“I get that a lot.” He drops a kiss on my head and turns back to his French toast. I lean down to rest an elbow on the counter and watch him work.
“A lot?” I ask teasingly. “Have there been a lot?”
He pauses mid-toast-flip and slants me a glance. “Are you asking how many people I’ve had sex with?”
“I mean, it’s none of my business. If you don’t want to—”
“Eight.”
Eight?
Lord above, only eight?!
“Oh.” I straighten and rest my hip against the counter. “What a, um, single-digit number that is.”
“What about you?”
What about me? I’m tabulating years of hook-ups, one-night stands, fuck bois and carrying the one.
“If you don’t want to,” he says, cracking an egg into a bowl, “it’s fine. I don’t care how many people—”
“I don’t know.”
He glances up from whisking eggs, a small frown puckering his dark brows. “You don’t know what?”
“My number. I don’t know how many people I’ve been with.”
He resumes whisking, his frown clearing. “Oh.”
The whisking eggs and whirring refrigerator are the only sounds in the kitchen. I’ve never been embarrassed by my choices. I enjoy sex. I’ve had it with a lot of people. People I really liked…or tolerated…but didn’t want to commit to. I’ve always been safe and never mean about it. I was upfront, and when someone wanted more, I let them know “more” wasn’t an option.
“I just never…” I cross my arms over my stomach, fold one bare foot over the other. “I haven’t been interested in committed relationships. There hasn’t been anyone I wanted that with.”
“Tru.” He stops whisking and gives me the full impact of his undivided attention. His eyes are placid blue. No shadows or undercurrents. “I don’t care.” Ezra pushes the bowl aside and faces me. “But there is something I feel like we should be clear on regarding how you’ve handled sex in the past.”
Here we go.
“You’ve never wanted to commit before,” he says.
“Right. I’ve never wanted any strings attached.”
“I know I said we could be just sex, no emotional attachments.” He shoves his hands in his pockets. “But I feel like I have to be honest with you. Having you back in my life has been…it’s been exactly what I need, and what I felt last night… I’ve never felt that way before.”
I’m not even sure my heart is beating, but it also feels like there’s a tumult in my chest. “What are you saying, Ez?”
His mouth flattens into a hard line and his jaw hardens to stone. “I want strings.”
“Y-you do?”
“I want strings.” He links our fingers, strokes his thumb across my palm. “Ropes, if necessary. I want anything that keeps you with me and me with you and tells everyone else don’t even think about it.”
I’m stunned and incredibly turned on, but that doesn’t take much where Ezra’s concerned.
“You…you do?” I ask faintly…again.
“I wouldn’t do well sharing you.”
About Kennedy Ryan
KennedyRyan

RITA® Award Winner, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestseller, Kennedy Ryan writes for women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts
Kennedy and her writings have been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour and many others. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but has a special passion for raising Autism awareness.The co-founder of LIFT 4 Autism, an annual charitable book auction, she has appeared on Headline News, The Montel Williams Show, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for ASD families. She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son.

Connect with Kennedy

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REVIEW: One Day in December by Josie Silver


OUR REVIEW:
I'm certain I can't be the only one who reads wintry reads just as spring is sliding into summer, right? Even though I'm longing for lounging in and around the pool, I cozied up to One Day in December for one last hurrah with winter and I'm glad I did. It gave me the angsty read I was craving. The search for love, the enduring friendships, the kinda sorta love triangle, the unrequited love, the undercurrent of longing and the roller coaster of life with these characters that spanned years and years was just what I needed to escape into this week. Added bonus? It's set in England!

If you're looking for a romance that going to make you work for that HEA, this one is for you.

BUY IT: https://amzn.to/2FfKPOn

SYNOPSIS:

Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn't exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there's a moment of pure magic...and then her bus drives away.

Certain they're fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn't find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they "reunite" at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It's Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

REVIEW: QUINTESSENTIALLY Q BY PEPPER WINTERS

“All my life, I battled with the knowledge I was twisted… fucked up to want something so deliciously dark—wrong on so many levels. But then slave fifty-eight entered my world. Hissing, fighting, with a core of iron, she showed me an existence where two wrongs make a right."

Tess is Q’s completely. Q is Tess’s irrevocably. But now, they must learn the boundaries of their unconventional relationship, while Tess seeks vengeance on the men who sold her. Q made a blood-oath to deliver their corpses at Tess’s feet, and that’s just what he’ll do.

He may be a monster, but he’s Tess’s monster.


Paperback376 pages
Published December 13th 2013 by Createspace
Source: Purchased

Add to Goodreads 
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Our Review---
Wow. We recently read Tears of Tess and there was absolutely no way we could wait even a week before we started Quintessentially Q. We asked out twitter friends if they wanted to buddy read with us, set a date, downloaded the book and waited for Monday to get here. Then, I discovered that I am the ABSOLUTE WORST buddy reader ever. Once I got to chapter 6 (we were only supposed to go to chapter 5) I could NOT stop...until about the 65% range and then I had to stop because I thought I might die. Suddenly in that 65% range I decided that I could stop and let my buddies catch up..maybe grade a few research papers..read another novel. I was SO ANXIOUS. So I waited. One day. Maybe two days. Then I said SCREW IT and I threw in the towel and finished the book. I just couldn't put it off anymore. It was killing me slowly. I HAD to know how it was going to turn out. The 70-80-ish %'s were torture for me. Lots of deep sighs. Then I sped through to the end and now I feel I MUST HAVE book 3. NOW.

There are waaaaaay too many ways to spoil this novel and I have zero desire to spoil it so I'll just say a few things and let you decide if it's for you.

1. There are parts that are agonizing. Sometimes it's the emotion, sometimes it's the graphic nature of scenes, sometimes it's the imagining of it all.

2. There are parts that are heartbreaking: heartbreakingly sad and heartbreakingly tender

3. There are sighs: of relief, of frustration, of anger, of sadness, of contentment.

4. It might make you uncomfortable. I once again question myself. Why am I reading this? Why do I like this? DO I LIKE THIS? Turns out I do. I don't know why. Or maybe I do. I like the duality of the characters. I like their struggles. I like that they are like and unlike me. I like to think when I read. I like my buttons to be pushed. I thought. I was pushed. Good stuff.

Looking forward to the final book!

About the Author---
Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex… her books have sex. 

She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends. 

Her debut book Tears of Tess will be followed with Quintessentially Q. You didn’t think Q could stop so soon, did you? Her other two titles, Last Shadow and Broken Chance will be coming soon. 

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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

REVIEW: A Secret for a Secret by Helena Hunting


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“Helena Hunting delivers a smart, funny, emotional story that grabs you from page one.” — Ilsa Madden-Mills, Wall Street Journal bestselling author

A Secret for a Secret, an all-new must read forbidden standalone romance that is sure to have you swooning from the start by New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting, is available now!

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OUR REVIEW:

I think A Secret for a Secret is my favorite of this series (do I say that every time?!). Maybe it was because I wasn’t certain if reading about straight laced King would be as entertaining as it was, but it was. The humor, as always with Helena Hunting, was pitch perfect and the romance was sweet and in these crazy times, it was just what I wanted to escape into.

King, if you recall from the other books, is just as good as he appears to be; he’s got to be one of the kindest and most patient and understanding male characters I’ve come across in a long time. And he’s not perfect, but even in his toughest moments, his default was something I wish I could be more like. His appreciation and adoration of Queenie was everything you’d want and expect in the character so it was no surprise that she fell for him. 

As put together as King was, Queenie was not. Sort of. I mean, yeah, she was literally a mess and she had a ton of baggage but she didn’t give herself enough credit for many things and the more the novel progressed, the more it became apparent that she was a lot tougher on herself than she needed to be. 

Together these two characters and their funny and sweet love story were exactly the escape from this quarantine that I needed. And if I’m guessing correctly, it looks like we may have one more book coming and let me tell you, I am here for it!

From New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting comes a new romance about trading secrets, breaking the rules, and playing for keeps.
My name is Ryan Kingston, and I’m a rule follower. I’ve never been in a fistfight. I always obey the speed limit. I don’t get drunk, and I definitely don’t pick up random women at bars.
Except the night I found out that my whole existence has been a lie.
I got drunk. And picked up a stranger.
Her name was Queenie, and she was everything I’m not: reckless, impulsive, and chaotic. We did shots and traded secrets. And ended up naked at my place.
She left me a thank-you note in the morning and her panties as a parting gift. But no way to contact her.
Six weeks later I’m sitting in the first official team meeting of the season, and there she is. I neglected to mention that I’m the goalie for Seattle’s NHL team.
And Queenie? Turns out she’s the general manager’s daughter.

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Download your copy today or read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2Q3mzDU

Excerpt:
“You think our GM got himself an assistant?” I follow his gaze to the front of the room. Standing at the desk with her back to us, arranging papers, is a woman with wavy chestnut hair that nearly reaches her waist. “Maybe an intern?” She’s wearing a navy dress that conforms to her very feminine form. I trace the dip of her waist and the curve of her hip, skimming down to where the hem of her dress hits the bend in her knee. Her calves are bare, athletic, and toned, and her heels boast a little bow on the back. Classy, yet sexy. “Possibly.” “I hope the eye candy is gonna be permanent,” someone at the table behind us says, loud enough for everyone close by to hear. “I wouldn’t mind if she helped me with my jockstrap,” one of the other guys chimes in, eliciting a loud chuckle from the rest of the table. I glance over my shoulder and pin them with an unimpressed glare. I recognize Foley from Tampa, and Dickerson is an LA trade. They’re notorious womanizers. “Watch your mouth and have some respect. That’s someone’s daughter.” “Take it easy, King. It’s not like we’d actually say that to her face,” Foley says. I don’t have an opportunity to reprimand him further because the GM, Jake Masterson, and our head coach, Alex Waters, enter the room through the side door. The GM crosses over to the woman, whose back is still turned to us, and he gives her a smile that seems . . . overly warm. He leans in and squeezes her shoulder as he says something with his mouth close to her ear. “Maybe she’s not his assistant. Maybe she’s his new girlfriend, ’cause that looks pretty damn friendly to me.” Bishop jams a sausage link into his mouth. “Maybe,” I agree. She turns slightly, giving me a glimpse of her profile. Her cheeks are flushed pink. I blink a couple of times, because she seems incredibly familiar. “I think I know her,” I mumble, more to myself than to Bishop. “Not as well as our GM does, by the look of things.” It hits me like a puck in the chest without pads on. I do know her. Queenie. My one-night stand who bailed the next morning and left a Post-it and panties hanging from my doorknob. Destroyed panties. “Oh God.” Did I sleep with the GM’s girlfriend? Memories come barreling into my brain, and I want to sink into the floor. My behavior that night was highly atypical. Everything about that night was. I chalked it up to the alcohol, the family drama, and the fact that she seemed to be a very eager and willing participant in our adventures. Do not think about the things you did to her. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought about Queenie and our night together. I’ve even considered driving by the bar where we met, but I don’t know if she’s likely to show up there. And it’s not as if I can ask the bartender about her without looking like a creep. Besides, if she wanted me to have her number, she would’ve left it. “Are you okay? You look like you’re about to hurl,” Bishop asks. I cover my mouth with my palm, not because I’m going to be ill but to hide the fact that it’s hanging open and I can’t seem to close it. Although my stomach is starting to do those awful somersaults that will soon turn into full-on nausea. The kind I used to get when I’d first hit the ice for a game. This is bad. Really bad. I’ve never had a one-night stand before. I’ve always been in committed relationships, and I prefer to get to know my bed partners before they actually get into bed with me. Teen pregnancy was pretty common where I grew up in Tennessee, because there wasn’t much else to do apart from playing sports or getting into trouble with drugs and alcohol—my brother, Gerald, went the latter route. I obviously fit into the sports category. By the time I became a teenager, my parents had finally learned their lesson. It was drilled into me to never become that kind of statistic, or to turn my girlfriend into a mom before she was ready to take on more than senior-level algebra. Ironic how my actual mother would’ve been one of those girls had my grandparents not made the choices they had. “King?” Bishop nudges me. “You’re staring, man.” Jake whistles with his fingers, causing the woman beside him to cringe but then quickly school her expression into an uncertain smile. “Who’s ready for a new season?” He’s rewarded with a chorus of cheers from the players. Waters stands off to the side, clapping enthusiastically. He generally runs all team meetings, but Jake is a hands-on GM, so he always manages first meeting intros before he hands it over to our coach. Jake waits for everyone to settle down and take their seats before he continues. “Gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to my personal assistant, Queenie.” He throws his arm over her shoulder and pulls her into his side. A hot spike of anger rushes down my spine—it’s a foreign feeling. I’m usually very level headed. But not right now. It’s obvious by the way Jake and Queenie interact that there’s a relationship there. Is she a cheater? Did she make me one? There’s a definite age gap. He’s young for a GM, but he’s in his forties, and I’m pretty sure she’s in her mid twenties. “She also happens to be my daughter, so don’t get any ideas, boys.” He somehow manages to wink and glare at the same time. And it just went from bad to worse. My one-night stand isn’t my GM’s girlfriend; she’s his daughter.
HelenaHunting

About Helena Hunting New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She's writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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Friday, May 15, 2020

FIRST LOOK: Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan

“Combining sweet nostalgia with the important issues Kennedy never shies away from, Queen Move is nothing less than wonderful. I couldn’t put it down and never wanted it to end!”

-- Alexa Martin, Author of Intercepted

Queen Move, an all-new powerful second chance standalone from Wall Street Journal bestselling and RITA® Award-winning author Kennedy Ryan, is coming May 26th and we have your FIRST LOOK!

Queen Move_FNL_sized copy

Make sure to enter on Kennedy’s site to win a QUEEN BOX, stuffed with a signed paperback and all the things you’ll need to treat yourself like a queen!

Prologue

Kimba
Two Years Before Present
Is there anything sadder than a daddy’s girl at her father’s funeral? My mother’s quiet sniffs a few seats down give me the answer. A grieving widow. “He was a good man,” someone in the long line of mourners offering condolences whispers to her. Mama’s head bobs with a tearful nod. In this day and age, she still wears a pillbox hat and veil. It’s black and chic like Mama, channeling tragic Jackie Kennedy or Coretta Scott King. My father was not just a good man. He was a great man, and everyone should know he leaves behind a widow, grieving deeply, but ever-fly. I squeeze the funeral program between my fingers, glaring at the printed words. Joseph Allen leaves behind a wife, Janetta, three children, Kayla, Keith and Kimba, and six grandchildren. He leaves behind. Daddy’s gone, and I don’t know how to live in a world my father does not inhabit. The casket is draped with sweet-smelling flowers in the center of the funeral tent. When we leave the cemetery, it…he will be lowered into the ground with unfathomable finality, separated from us by white satin lining, six feet of dirt and eternity. Kayla, my older sister, sobs softly at the end of our family’s row. Her four children watch her carefully, probably unused to seeing their unshakeable mother shaken and reduced to tears. Even I’d forgotten how she looks when she cries—like she’s mad at the wetness streaking her cheeks, resentful of any sign of weakness. It’s not weak to cry, Daddy used to say. It’s human. “But doesn’t the Bible say even the rocks will cry out?” I’d challenged him when I was young, loving that something from Sunday school took. “So maybe tears aren’t just for humans.” “You’re getting too smart for your britches, little girl,” he’d said, but the deep affection in his eyes when he kissed me told me he was pleased. He liked that I asked questions and taught me to never accept bullshit at face value. I miss you, Daddy. Not even a week since his heart attack, and I already miss him so much. Humanity blurs my vision, wet and hot and stinging my eyes. I want this to be over. The flowers, the well-dressed mourners, the news cameras stationed at a distance they probably deem respectful. I just want to go to the house where my parents raised us, retreat to Daddy’s study and find the stash of cigars that only he and I knew about. Don’t tell your mother, he used to whisper conspiratorially. This will be our little secret. Mama hated the smell of cigars in the house. “Tru.” Who would call me by that name? Now, when the only people who use it, my family, are all preoccupied with their own pain? A tall man stands in front of me, his thick, dark brows bunched with sympathy. I don’t know him. I would remember a man like this, who stands strong like an oak tree. A well-tailored suit molds his powerful shoulders. Dark brown, not quite black, hair is cut ruthlessly short, but hints at waves if given the chance to grow. His prominent nose makes itself known above the full, finely sculpted lips below. His eyes are shockingly vivid—so deep a blue they’re almost the color of African violets against skin like bronze bathed in sunlight. No, a man like him you’d never forget. Something niggles at my memory, tugs at my senses. I’d never forget a man who looked like this, a man with eyes like that…but what about a boy? “Ezra?” I croak, disbelief and uncertainty mingling in the name I haven’t uttered in years. It can’t be. But it is. QUEEN MOVE FIRST LOOK

Keep Going!
Read the REST of the prologue and enter the QUEEN BOX giveaway on Kennedy’s website:→ https://bit.ly/35U65FL

**QUEEN MOVE will have the special pre-order and release week price of $3.99. After that, the price will increase.**

Pre-order your copy today! Amazon: https://amzn.to/2V4HLvZ
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Synopsis
The boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can't have… Dig a little and you'll find photos of me in the bathtub with Ezra Stern. Get your mind out of the gutter. We were six months old. Pry and one of us might confess we saved our first kiss for each other. The most clumsy, wet, sloppy . . . spectacular thirty seconds of my adolescence. Get into our business and you'll see two families, closer than blood, torn apart in an instant. Twenty years later, my "awkward duckling" best friend from childhood, the boy no one noticed, is a man no one can ignore. Finer. Fiercer. Smarter. Taken. Tell me it's wrong. Tell me the boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can’t have. When we find each other again, everything stands in our way--secrets, lies, promises. But we didn't come this far to give up now. And I know just the move to make if I want to make him mine. KR W Bckg Verti
About Kennedy Ryan A RITA® Award Winner, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author, Kennedy Ryan writes for women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts. Kennedy and her writings have been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour and many others. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but has a special passion for raising Autism awareness.The co-founder of LIFT 4 Autism, an annual charitable book auction, she has appeared on Headline News, The Montel Williams Show, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for ASD families. She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son.
Connect with Kennedy
Facebook Reader Group: http://bit.ly/2GY6eyb
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Blue Box Press

Thursday, May 14, 2020

REVIEW: Thief by Tarryn Fisher

Note to Self

Love is patient; love is kind.
Love doesn't boast or brag.
There's no arrogance in love;
it's never rude, crude, or indecent-it's not self absorbed.
Love isn't easily upset.
Love doesn't tally wrongs.
Love trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what.
Love will never become obsolete.
I'll fight for her.

Thief


Caleb Drake never got over his first love. Not when he got married. Not when she got married. When life suddenly comes full circle Caleb must decide how how far he is willing to go to get the aloof and alluring Olivia Kaspen back. But for every action in life there is a consequence, and soon Caleb finds out that sometimes love comes at an unbearably high price.

BUY IT: Amazon | B&N


I'm so sad that I'm finished with this series. I lived it and breathed it and slept with it for days. I talked about it with Courtney and Jennifer and Jaime. And, I've resisted writing this review because it feels like once I write this, it's over and that means no more Tarryn Fisher books for a while. *sobs*

Going into Thief I was very curious about what the hell was going to happen with Leah, Caleb, Olivia, and Noah. With the exception of Noah, they'd all manipulated and lied so much that at some point in the series they'd all been on my shit list. I'll admit that going in to Thief I was prepared to not like Caleb and there are some things I didn't really appreciate about him like:

  • He kept shit going with Leah again and again even though he KNEW IT WAS A BAD IDEA. Dude, listen to your instincts, quit feeling like your guilt outweighs the right thing to do, and hold her ass accountable. Or..novel idea...walk the fuck away. Yes, she did some crazy ass shit but by humoring her and staying with her time and time again--she thought you were okay with it. And the thing is? He was intuitive enough to know all of this and yet he still let himself get sucked into her bullshit.

  • Quit lying. They all lied but since he was the "prize" for Leah and the soulmate of Olivia's--his lies seemed worse to me. Had he just been honest and fought for what he wanted and refused to play the games or let them play games, we wouldn't have books 2 or 3. So screw that. Don't listen to me, I liked reading books 2 and 3.

  • Fight for Olivia. She wanted you to and you kept walking away. FUCK. And quit hooking up with women who aren't Olivia. SHIT.
...and now I realize I'm talking as if he was a real person and not a character in a book. *smh--at myself* 

Tarryn did a great job of making me like him and while also being annoyed with him. He was smug and so sure and yet sweet and loving and kind and insecure when it came to Olivia. 

I loved how great he was with Estella. 
I loved his jealousy of Noah and his grudging respect for him.
I loved seeing how he saw his mother and stepfather.
I appreciated his honesty, even when it showed unsavory characteristics about him. Seeing how he viewed his history and Olivia and Leah and why he did what he did definitely confirmed that he was a dick, in some instances, and that sometimes I was wrong and he actually was doing the 'right' thing...even if I hated what that was.

I'm sorry I'm giving a shitty, vague review here. I guess I just am having a hard time wrapping my brain around the end of this series--that it's over--and I'm trying to not be spoilery (failing at that). So here's what I really want you to know:

I am happy that the ending of this series felt finished and yet I'm sad that it's over. Tarryn Fisher wrote the hell out of this series--I felt the thrum of emotion--love and hate and angst and despair--underneath and between the spaces on the page. I loved the humor and anger and love and commitment and the entire rollercoaster that I was on while reading this series. It's been a while since I've felt compelled to marathon a book series like this (and had time to do it) and it confirmed for me that I am a Tarryn Fisher fan for life. Whether she's writing romance or psychological mind fucks, I am with her 100% of the way. 

Thank you for writing, Tarryn Fisher. 





ABOUT TARRYN FISHER: 

I would like to write a novel that every, single person loves, but not even J.K. Rowling could do that. Instead, I try to write stories that pull on people's emotions. I believe that sadness is the most powerful emotion, and swirled with regret the two become a dominating force. I love villains. Three of my favorites are Mother Gothel, Gaston and the Evil Queen who all suffered from a pretty wicked case of vanity (like me). I like to make these personality types the center of my stories. 
I love rain, Coke, Starbucks and sarcasm. I hate bad adjectives and the word "smolder". If you read my book-I love you. If you hate my book-I still love you, but please don't be mean to me; I'm half badass, half cry baby.

Find her: Website | Twitter | FB


NEW: The Hunter by LJ Shen

Hunter - BT banner

The queen of enemies-to-lovers strikes again. I devoured every page, hooked on the sizzling chemistry between Hunter and Sailor. A ten star read." --Parker S. Huntington, Wall Street Journal bestselling author

The Hunter, an all-new compelling and must-read contemporary romance from USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen is available now!

HUNTER_FINAL 4.35.30 PM

Boston’s debauched elite is going up in flames, and it’s the Fitzpatrick family that set it on fire.
Hunter
I didn’t mean to star in a sex tape, okay?
It was just one of those unexplainable things. Like Stonehenge, Police Academy 2, and morning glory clouds.
It just happened.
Now my ball-busting father is sentencing me to six months of celibacy, sobriety, and morbid boredom under the roof of Boston’s nerdiest girl alive, Sailor Brennan.
The virginal archer is supposed to babysit my ass while I learn to take my place in Royal Pipelines, my family’s oil company.
Little does she know, that’s not the only pipe I’ll be laying…
Sailor
I didn’t want this gig, okay?
But the deal was too sweet to walk away from.
I needed the public endorsement; Hunter needed a nanny.
Besides, what’s six months in the grand scheme of things?
It’s not like I’m in danger of falling in love with the appallingly gorgeous, charismatic gazillionaire who happens to be one of Boston’s most eligible bachelors.
No. I will remain immune to Hunter Fitzpatrick’s charm.
Even at the cost of losing everything I have.
Even at the cost of burning down his kingdom.

hunteravailablenowfb

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/hunterlj
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Excerpt

“Why?” I asked, blinking at him in confusion. I had two left legs and the coordination of roadkill. I couldn’t dance if my life depended on it. I’d tried dancing at the only party I’d ever gone to—sophomore year—and was subjected to such thorough humiliation. People took videos of me dancing and forwarded it to half my school. Saggy Sailor, they’d graffiti-ed on my locker. Apparently, my back looked hunched and droopy when I danced. “Because…” He tilted his chin down, his voice low, smoldering. “You’re obviously bored, and my family is watching us, and I’m partial to fondling you.” “It’s the dress,” I muttered. “I’d actually prefer fondling you out of it.” I sliced my gaze sideways, noticing that Aisling and Persy hadn’t picked up on my exchange with him. They were now watching a video, probably of the reality show they were arguing about. Even though Hunter was just after a friendly dance to show his family we were getting along, I couldn’t unglue my butt from my chair. “No fondling.” I crossed my arms over my chest, buying time. “No promises. Get up.” “Did you tell anyone we live together?” I accused, my eyes narrowing into slits. He stared at me, wide-eyed, mouth parted. “Negatory.” “Did you tell anyone we were dating?” “This is the lamest twenty-questions game I’ve ever participated in. No. “Well, people are talking about us.” “That’s what people do. They fill the air with useless words to entertain each other. It’s called gossip, and it sucks all the asses in the world. Doesn’t mean it was me. Our building employs more than a hundred people. All of them work for my father. That means he’s spreading whatever the hell he wants to spread.” LJShen
About LJ Shen L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon #1 best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult and YA romance. Her books have been sold to twenty different countries. She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.

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