Monday, September 20, 2021

REVIEW: Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glascow



Second Kathleen Glascow in the last few weeks and I'm waiting to read the only one of her novels I haven't read so that I can stretch out her reads for as long as I can. 

Girl in Pieces was a particularly relevant to me as I have a family member who has battled with self-harm and I know I've had too many students battling with it too. While my family member doesn't/didn't have the same relationship with self-harm that Charlie does, it still gave me so much insight into some of the thoughts and feelings that many may feel and that knowledge is immeasurably helpful. 

Charlie's journey was one that focused on not just her battle to heal (literally and figuratively) and embedded in that journey were stories of friendship, finding self-worth and self-confidence, grappling with the past and finding hope in the future. It also showed us that family isn't always the one that we were born into, but also the one that we choose and make for ourselves. Charlie's story was painful  and challenging, and yet it held so much hope and promise that I ended the novel feeling positive about Charlie's future.

As with both Glascow novels that I've read, I can't stop thinking about the characters. They now live in my heart and take up space in my head, and I just hope against hope that whatever they're doing, they're happy. That's the type of novel experience this was--one that just sticks with you. 

As a teacher of teens, I know that this novel may be triggering for some of my students on their own journeys of healing, but I hope to put it on my shelf soon, because I absolutely know that it is a novel that will also be so helpful for some in my classes.

SIDE NOTE: I enjoyed the unusually structured breaks between scenes and chapters and I love that the publisher/agent/editors encouraged a debut writer to take risks and not do the expected. Kudos to that team!



Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

A deeply moving portrait of a girl in a world that owes her nothing, and has taken so much, and the journey she undergoes to put herself back together. Kathleen Glasgow's debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.

REVIEW: The Devil and the Heiress by Harper St. George



Just like the first book in this series, The Devil and the Heiress leaves no detail unexplored. Harper St. George puts us in a world that is very far away and yet so very relevant; while no one I know has to be married off to create a presence in society, I do find that some of the issues that Violet and Christian must can be seen in the world today. The pressures of family and societal expectations and how your own needs and desires have to sometimes be pushed aside to meet those expectations, is something I know many people struggle with. 

These Crenshaw siblings are a delight, even if their parents are total a-holes. I love their fiery and independent spirits and their willingness to do whatever it takes to get what they want. Their romantic counterparts are equally interesting and delightfully flawed, stubborn, and swoony. Violet and Christian continue with those traits--their journey to their HEA made more interesting by the literal journey-- and I'm eager to see what happens next (with the hope that their parents finally get their comeuppance!). 


No one would guess that beneath Violet Crenshaw's ladylike demeanor lies the heart of a rebel. American heiresses looking to secure English lords must be on their best behavior, but Violet has other plans. She intends to flee London and the marriage her parents have arranged to become a published author--if only the wickedly handsome earl who inspired her most outrageously sinful character didn't insist on coming with her.

Christian Halston, Earl of Leigh, has a scheme of his own: escort the surprisingly spirited dollar princess north and use every delicious moment in close quarters to convince Violet to marry him. Christian needs an heiress to rebuild his Scottish estate but the more time he spends with Violet, the more he realizes what he really needs is her--by his side, near his heart, in his bed.

Though Christian's burning glances offer unholy temptation, Violet has no intention of surrendering herself or her newfound freedom in a permanent deal with the devil. It's going to take more than pretty words to prove this fortune hunter's love is true....

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

REVIEW: For Love or Honey by Staci Hart


For Love or Honey is such a treat. I consumed this novel in less than a day (which I always feel so guilty about because I know that it took months to write and I just inhaled it in a day, but I digress..) and was very put out when I got to the last page and there wasn't more. I would've gladly binged the next one and the next one, if they were available to read. 

So what made this such a fun experience? Wellllllll, first I love a good enemies to lovers trope and Jo and Grant most definitely start on opposite sides of fracking. They're both stubborn and tricky and the dialogue that comes from their run ins is perfect and hilarious. The way that each of them approach the other and try to get what they want...*chef's kiss*. Jo's tests and Grant's willingness to be put through them are also hilarious and build that romantic tension that we all love in Staci Hart's romcoms.

In addition to Grant and Jo's storyline, I can't help but fall in love with all of the secondary characters--her family, the small town friends, neighbors, and gossips--added warmth and familiarity. And of course, the small community, despite the small town gossip and conflicts that can arise, is romanticized in a way that makes me *think* I want to immediately move to a small town (having grown up in a small town, I definitely don't want that at this point but it such a testament to her writing that I would even entertain the idea). 

Not only did I fall in love with Jo and Grant's love story, I found myself loving to hate Grant's dad and all the things he represents. Staci Hart can write the heck out of villain and his dad was e-v-i-l and I wanted to smack him every time he arrived on my page.

All of this to say that I was completely absorbed and entertained by For Love or Honey and I'm sad that it's over but I'm eager to read what comes next. 

For Love or Honey by Staci Hart is a brand new enemies to lovers rom - com, available NOW! This new release is the perfect weekend binge. Grab your copy from your favorite online retailer!

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"Leave me with this book, the characters and the bees and I’ll be one happy reader - probably forever." - The Chatty Romance Reader


When the devil comes to town, you have to meet him head on.

Which is exactly what I did when Grant Stone rolled into our small Texas town, driving a sports car I could fit in the bed of my truck, wearing a suit as black as his soul. He’s here to acquire mineral rights to half a dozen farms in town.

And there’s no way he’s getting mine.

I don’t make deals with the devil.

So when he challenges me to show him the small town ropes, my motivation is the prospect of seeing him make a fool of himself. He might have an angle, but if he thinks he can finagle me into endangering my bee farm, he’s got another thi ng coming.

Until the line in the sand is washed away.

My farm in danger. A town in upheaval. A man who will stop at nothing to g et what he wants.

And me in the middle.

When the devil comes to town, you have to meet him head on.

And when he sneaks into your heart, he’ll only break it.

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 for get 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 dri nking whiskey. When she's not writing, she's reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

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Monday, September 13, 2021

REVIEW: Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes by Alexa Martin

I've been enamored with Alexa Martin's writing from the first novel I've read of hers; her novels contain a great mixture of humor and emotion and friendship and romance. While Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes focuses more on the friendship aspect, there's definitely a nice dose of romance that is threaded throughout

As noted in probably many other reviews, this novel is really an ode to female friendship. Lauren and Jude, lifelong best friends, become roommates for a variety of reasons, we come to learn. Lauren needs to escape her overbearing parents and has some financial constraints and Jude needs to escape her overbearing mother and also has financial constraints. Naturally, it stands to reason that they would room together, despite the obvious differences in their lifestyles--Lauren is a single, working mom working on some issues with her ex and Jude is a social media star, working through some issues with her formerly famous mom. Despite those differences, as it often does in real life too, their friendship works with and through these differences and makes for a sweet living arrangement. Until it doesn't.

One of the things I really appreciate about this novel is that it doesn't idealize friendship. It shows the challenges and strains that exist and the worries and concerns we all have when our friends are in trouble. It shows Jude and Lauren love each other and struggle with each other and how even best friends have challenges that aren't easily overcome. Rather than write a novel that romanticizes best friends, Martin shows the strength that a true friendship has, even with all of the missteps and dumb things we do to sometimes sabotage things. 

I also enjoyed the ode to the repeated image of how powerful and wonderful being a woman, having strong female friendships ,and lifting up other women that this novel had. Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes was a slight shift from the novels Alexa Martin has written before and I enjoyed the experience. 



Two best friends say "I do" to living together, for better or worse, in this bold women's fiction novel from Alexa Martin.

Jude Andrews is famous. Well, at least on Instagram. Her brand is clean eating, good vibes, Pilates, and casually looking like a sun-kissed goddess. In real life, however, she’s a total disaster. She has a strained relationship with her fame-hungry mom and her latest bad decision emptied out her entire savings account.

Lauren Turner had a plan: graduate medical school and become the top surgeon in the country. But when she became unexpectedly pregnant, those plans changed. And when her fiancรฉ left her, they changed again. Now navigating the new world of coparenting, mom groups, and dating,  she decides to launch a mommy podcast with all the advice she wishes someone had given her.

Jude and Lauren don't have much in common, but maybe that's why they've been best friends since the third grade. Through ups and downs, they've been by each other's sides. But now? They’re broke, single, and do the only thing that makes sense—move in together, just like they talked about when they were teenagers. Except when they were younger, the plan didn't include a five-year-old daughter and more baggage than their new townhouse can hold.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

NEW REVIEW: Saint by Sierra Simone


  SAINT by Sierra Simone Release Date: September 7th 
Genre/Tropes: M/M/Second-chance romance/Brothers Best Friend/Forbidden Romance   
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Saint is a meditation. It's a revelation. It's heaven and hell. Joy and agony. It's ahhhhhmaaaaazing. It's been a while since I've been in the world of the Bell brothers and what a world it is. Gah. While I found the previous two novels in this series to be unique and impossible to put down, Saint was so unexpectedly compelling that it was almost shocking to me. I wish I could adequately express exactly my reading experience but how do you put into words the image of me just staring off into space contemplating the various dilemmas presented and eventual conclusions that Aiden (aka Father Patrick) came to? Honestly. Sierra Simone actually made me miss going to church and I cannot tell you the last time I actually had that thought (literally-decades). 

The barrier to an Aiden and Elijah happily ever after, as you can see from the synopsis, are challenging (understatement, right). I mean the brother's best friend...we can work around that. The engagement? Those can be broken. Being in an exclusive relationship with God. Ummmm, how's that gonna work? Well as Sierra Simone has shown us time and time again, there's no such thing as too challenging in her book worlds. She takes each of these issues and, in a sometimes anxiety inducing way, manages to have her characters figure it out. No lie, there were times when this process of getting to the HEA was painful, but there were also times when it was delightfully naughty, or incredibly thoughtful, and most definitely there were times when it felt like pure joy. 

Out of all the novels in this series, I think this one might be my favorite (so far). I loved contemplating the questions that Aiden's dilemmas posed. I also loved the hints of answers that are given. And I especially loved the various conversations and opportunities to consider all of the ways religion and its institutions work or don't work for us. The removal of the suffocatingly strict binary that often times seems (seemed) like the only choice was a beautiful thing and I so very much enjoyed exploring the ideas that surrounded the removal of that binary. 

At this point, I'm rambling and it only probably makes sense to me. So I'll end where I began. This novel, Saint, was a revelation. A meditation. Heaven and hell. Joy and agony. And I'm jealous of all of you who get to read it for the first time.

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  Blurb: I can’t have Elijah Iverson.   I can’t have him because he’s my older brother’s best friend. I can’t have him because I broke his heart five years ago; because he’s now engaged to someone else—someone kind and dependable who deserves his whiskey eyes, his soft mouth, his fierce intellect.   I can’t have Elijah because I’ve chosen God instead.   The Bell brothers, though . . . well, we don't exactly have the greatest track record with vows. But I’m determined to do this monk thing right—to pledge myself to a cloistered life and spend the rest of my years in chastity and prayer. But now Elijah’s here. He’s here and he’s coming with me on my European monastery road trip, and between the whispered confessions and the stolen kisses and the moments bent over an ancient altar, my vows are feeling flimsier by the day.   And vows or not, I know in my heart that it would take more than a good and holy monk to resist Elijah Iverson right now. It would take a saint.   And we all know that I’m no saint.   (This is the third full-length standalone in the Priest Collection, featuring Father Bell's brother, Aiden Bell. You do not have to read Priest or Sinner to read Saint.)           

  About the Author: Sierra Simone is a USA Today Bestselling former librarian (who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk.) She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City. 
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Monday, September 6, 2021

NEW REVIEW: Chasing Serenity by Kristen Ashley

Chasing Serenity, an all new sexy and swoony opposites attract standalone romance from New York Times bestselling author Kristen Ashley, is available now!


Chasing Serenity was yet another Kristen Ashley novel that I inhaled in a matter of hours. Chloe and Judge were exactly what I wanted when I started reading. 

Chloe was equal parts frustrating and adorable and strong and vulnerable. Judge was equal parts wonderful and wonderful...As I'm sitting here typing this I'm realizing that I don't see anything not to like about him. Hmmmm. He's warm, understanding, smart, confident, good sense of humor, observant. Hmmmm. Interesting. It's unusual that I find a character that is *that* good, but really he is. Judge was really the perfect counterpart for Chloe. She was carrying the whole world on her shoulders and had an armor of chainmail and steel that made it impossible for the average man to get through. Luckily for all of us, Judge immediately calls her on her BS and she does the same for him. 

I thought Chasing Serenity was an interesting continuation of After the Climb.  While it features Chloe, a daughter of Imogen, the stories of Imogen and Bowie, and Corey play an important part in the development of Chloe and Chloe's story. It was neat to see it so interconnected. I liked that this was a love story but it was also a story about family and family dynamics. And also, the definition of family and how sometimes our friends are more of a family than our blood relatives. 

As with all of Kristen Ashley's novels, food and fashion and interiors are almost characters as they play a huge role in defining people and places. There also hilarious instances of banter and inner monologues and swoony romance. But most of all, for me, this novel, like all of her novels, is like putting on my favorite oversized, cozy cardigan--it's comfort; it's warm; it's hard to put down.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley brings a new novel in her River Rain series…

From a very young age, Chloe Pierce was trained to look after the ones she loved.

And she was trained by the best.

But when the man who looked after her was no longer there, Chloe is cast adrift—just as the very foundation of her life crumbled to pieces.

Then she runs into tall, lanky, unpretentious Judge Oakley, her exact opposite. She shops. He hikes. She drinks pink ladies. He drinks beer. She’s a city girl. He’s a mountain guy.

Obviously, this means they have a blowout fight upon meeting. Their second encounter doesn’t go a lot better.

Judge is loving the challenge. Chloe is everything he doesn’t want in a woman, but he can’t stop finding ways to spend time with her. He knows she’s dealing with loss and change.

He just doesn’t know how deep that goes. Or how ingrained it is for Chloe to care for those who have a place in her heart, how hard it will be to trust anyone to look after her…

And how much harder it is when it’s his turn.

Fall in love today!
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About Kristen Ashley

Kristen Ashley is the New York Times bestselling author of over sixty romance novels including the Rock Chick, Colorado Mountain, Dream Man, Chaos, Unfinished Hero, The ’Burg, Magdalene, Fantasyland, The Three, Ghost and Reincarnation, Moonlight and Motor Oil and Honey series along with several standalone novels. She’s a hybrid author, publishing titles both independently and traditionally, her books have been translated in fourteen languages and she’s sold over three million books.
Kristen’s novel, Law Man, won the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award for best Romantic Suspense. Her independently published title Hold On was nominated for RT Book Reviews best Independent Contemporary Romance and her traditionally published title Breathe was nominated for best Contemporary Romance. Kristen’s titles Motorcycle Man, The Will, Ride Steady (which won the Reader’s Choice award from Romance Reviews) and The Hookup all made the final rounds for Goodreads Choice Awards in the Romance category.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2021

NEW REVIEW: A Small Hotel by Suanne Laqueur



A few Christmases ago I dug into my first Suanne Laqueur novel and from there went through everything on her backlist as quickly as I could. I've enjoyed every single thing she's written and A Small Hotel is another absorbing read that I now want to give to all of my reader friends. 

I'll be honest, I am usually pretty strategic when I read her novels because I know these two things to be true:

1. It's going to be an emotional reading experience so I need to have the mental space for that kind of journey.

2. I'm going to be useless to do anything else while I'm reading her novel.

A Small Hotel continued with those two truths--it was emotional and I was absolutely worthless when it came to doing life things. Within the first pages I was completely taken with the entire Fiskare family. Their familial bonds, their kindness, how they were each other's friends and confidantes and while also their siblings/uncle/father. Their bond reminded me a lot of my own family and extended family and it just felt like home to me; being in this world she created was warm and loving and familiar. I recognized so much of our family in theirs, which only made my investment in the narrative of Kennet and his observations about life, his family, his love, the war, and the world that much more. I fell in love with everyone he did, I laughed for him, at him and with him, and was devastated when he was. 

Suanne Laqueur's attention to detail, the obvious investment of time to research, and basically the entire construction and craftmanship of the novel from characters to dialogue to plot were all done exceedingly well. Because of all of this, reading A Small Hotel was just such a treat and it was really hard to get to the end and know there wasn't another page to read. 

It looks like this may be the first of several novels with this family and to say that I'm eager and excited to read whatever comes next, is a huge understatement. If you are new to Suanne Laqeuer's writing, start now and start here; I think you'll love A Small Hotel. 


An American Family. A World War. A First Love. A Small Hotel.

It’s the summer of 1941. Europe is at war, but New York's Thousand Islands are at the height of the tourist season. Kennet Fiskare, son of a hotel proprietor, is having the summer of a lifetime, having fallen deeply in love with a Swedish-Brazilian guest named Astrid Virtanen. But the affair is cut short and the young lovers permanently parted, first by Astrid’s family obligations, then by America’s entry into the war.

The rigors of military life help dull his heartache, but when Kennet’s battalion reaches France, he is thrown into the crucible of front line combat. As his unit crosses Europe, from the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium to Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, Kennet falls into a different kind of love: the intense camaraderie between soldiers. It's a bond fierce yet fragile, vital yet expendable, here today and gone tomorrow. Sustained by his friendships, Kennet both witnesses and commits the unthinkable atrocities of warfare, altering his view of the world and himself. To the point where a second chance with Astrid in peacetime might be the most terrifying and consequential battle he’s ever fought.

With her signature blend of soul-stirring prose and emotional complexity, Laqueur takes readers on a journey through events that shape an American family’s weakest moments and finest hours. A Small Hotel illuminates the experience of ordinary people thrown into extraordinary circumstances, and their once-in-a-generation camaraderie, courage and resiliency. It’s a novel for the world, a heartbreaking, uplifting story of family, love and human endurance.

Monday, August 23, 2021

REVIEW: There With You by Samantha Young



There With You is the second novel in a series of interconnected novels. In this particular book we are following the love story of Thane and Regan, siblings to Lachlan and Robyn. Y’all, I enjoyed this novel so much. I loved that Samantha Young got me to actually like someone I really didn’t like in book one. And not only did I like her, I loved her whole arc—from seemingly shallow, flighty girl to this really warm, smart, brave woman—all things that were always there, just hidden by years of feeling forced to be something she wasn’t. 

I also really enjoyed Thane’s growth as well, even though he pissed me off time and time again.

Everything about this novel—the plot, the romance, the characters and secondary character were exactly what I wanted to read. It was at times funny, other times serious or just sad, sexy, and an HEA that felt right. I couldn’t put it down and am so eager for the next Adair to fall in love—can’t wait to see what Young does next!

There With You by Samantha Young is now live!

For Regan Penhaligon, there's no better place to run to than the exclusive Ardnoch Estate in the remote Scottish Highlands. Her impulsive behavior has finally caught up with her and Regan's visit with her sister, Robyn, is an opportunity to hide from someone who has grown dangerously obsessed with her.

Determined to make amends for her mistakes, Regan plans to repair her relationship with Robyn by staying close. And when an offer of help comes from Thane Adair, Regan gratefully accepts.

Widower, Thane, needs a new nanny housekeeper for his two young children and when they bond with Regan Penhaligon, he offers her the job. But as the weeks pass and the complex American reveals who she really is, Thane struggles with his growing attraction to her.

Regan never expected to feel so intensely for Thane, but she can't deny her passion for him or her love for his children. When someone from Thane's past threatens his family, Regan wants to be his pillar of support. However, his continued inability to trust her might just destroy their chance at future happiness... and the person who drove Regan to Ardnoch might snuff out her chance for any future at all.


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Meet Samantha

Samantha is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over forty books, several of which have been nominated for Goodreads Choice Awards. She writes adult contemporary and paranormal romance, YA urban fantasy and YA contemporary fiction. Her books have been published in 28 languages in 30 countries. She resides in Scotland.

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Friday, August 13, 2021

REVIEW: Battle Royal by Lucy Parker


If you know me, you know I'm a HUGE FAN of The Great British Baking Show and this novel definitely gives me those vibes--with a lot more humor and A LOT more terrible contestants. Everything about this novel that works for me:

*enemies to friends to lovers


*royal families and intrigue

*grumpy cat

*romance + comedy + with a nice undercurrent of emotion

There's really so much to enjoy about this novel--but especially the evolution of Sylvie and Dominic's relationship from contestant and judge to co-judges to competitors for a contract to friends to lovers. And in Lucy Parker's hands the plot, banter, secondary characters, and overall atmosphere are balanced well. I found myself laughing and smiling a lot--with lots of happy swoony sighs to go along with those laughs. I can't help but hope that we get to revisit this world with some of the secondary characters she introduced--I'm really not ready to let it go and I'm ALWAYS down for more of anything Lucy Parker writes. 



Four years ago, Sylvie Fairchild charmed the world as a contestant on the hit baking show, Operation Cake. Her ingenious, creations captivated viewers and intrigued all but one of the judges, Dominic De Vere. When Sylvie's unicorn cake went spectacularly sideways, Dominic was quick to vote her off the show. Since then, Sylvie has used her fame to fulfill her dream of opening a bakery. The toast of Instagram, Sugar Fair has captured the attention of the Operation Cake producers…and a princess.


Dominic is His Majesty the King’s favorite baker and a veritable British institution. He’s brilliant, talented, hard-working. And an icy, starchy grouch. Learning that Sylvie will be joining him on the Operation Cake judging panel is enough to make the famously dour baker even more grim. Her fantastical baking is only slightly more troublesome than the fact that he can’t stop thinking about her pink-streaked hair and irrepressible dimple.


When Dominic and Sylvie learn they will be fighting for the once in a lifetime opportunity to bake a cake for the upcoming wedding of Princess Rose, the flour begins to fly as they fight to come out on top.

The bride adores Sylvie’s quirky style. The palace wants Dominic’s classic perfection.

In this royal battle, can there be room for two?

Sunday, August 1, 2021

NEW REVIEW: Burn by Ginger Scott



๐๐ฎ๐ซ๐ง, the final book in the Fuel Series by Ginger Scott, is LIVE! This second-chance romance completes this angsty, steamy, new adult trilogy.


Court: Buckle your seat belt, you are about to go from 0 to 100 in this epic conclusion of the Fuel series. It's one of those books where as soon as you start it, you won't stop until you've finished it. I honestly don't know how to put into words how this book (the whole series) has impacted me that would do it justice. From the first moment, Dustin and Hannah have grabbed my heart and put it through a torturous journey with their ups and downs, but these two have a deep soul connection, that can't be broken, but doesn't mean it can't be hurt. Burn is a race around the track, with every lap you're not sure how it's going to end until the final lap and they cross the finish line. Dustin and Hannah are worth the edge of your seat, heart racing, nail biting, gut-wrenching emotional speed race. These two have been through a lot and this final book will be the final test to see how these two figure things out or if it's too late. I don't want to say anything else except, you need to read this conclusion. It's everything!

Shel: I'll just jump in here to add that not only did I manage to forgive so many of the characters but I also got a sense of why they did what they did. For me, that's one of the beauties of this final novel--that sense of understanding and sense of closure. I was irrationally angry at Hannah and, honestly, her parents, and even Dustin sometimes and so their redemption was so satisfactory. 

Shel: All loose ends where tied up and the HEA was perfect for Hannah and Dustin. I adored this series and if you've been waiting for the final book to release, now's the time to grab the series and get ready to binge!

Purchase ๐’๐ก๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญ (1) here:

Purchase ๐–๐ซ๐ž๐œ๐ค (2):

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“The whole Fuel Series is one I rate alongside the best I have ever read. It’s one I will read over and over.” – The Saucy Bookshelf


Dustin Bridge’s world is about speed. About the edge. His life has been carved by cutting corners and making moves, following impulsive decisions while weighing the facts at hand.

On the track, that has never steered him wrong.

In life, though? That’s another story.

On the cusp of greatness, the world’s up-and-coming racing star seems to be living the perfect story. A hero to his hometown. A partner to his best friend. A man poised to take the throne, to become the greatest, and to reap the rewards and attention that come along with it.

He’s been branded the track’s most eligible bachelor. And rarely does he cross a finish line without a dozen screaming, adoring women brandishing his name on glitter-covered T-shirts across their chests, just hoping he’ll break his own rules and take one of them to bed.

But he won’t. As loose as Dustin may be on the road, he’s become disciplined in life. He let love in completely—once. For one person. Hannah Judge. And she wrecked him.

And now, she’s back.


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Tuesday, July 20, 2021

NEW REVIEW: Totally Folked by Penny Reid


One unforgettable night leads to an unlikely shared connection, and unlikely connections never go unnoticed by the good folks in Green Valley, Tennessee. . .

Totally Folked an all-new small town romantic comedy filled with humor and heart from New York Times bestselling author Penny Reid is available now!


I'm sure at some point in previous books I strongly disliked Jackson James but as the Winston brothers' stories continued, I definitely got the feeling that there was more to this Deputy Sheriff than what I knew, so when I saw that Totally Folked was going to be featuring him, I knew, just knew!, that Penny Reid was going to have me fall in love with him. Spoiler Alert: I did. 

Totally Folked follows the love story of two complicated people: Jackson James, Deputy Sheriff extraordinaire, and Raquel Ezra, superstar actress and their sometimes frustrating and ultimately rewarding quest for something real. Ever heard of that saying "still waters run deep"? Well, I think that fits Jackson quite well--he's always so outwardly calm, self-possessed, and never out of control. It seems as though he has an almost perfect response to everything and confidence for days but dude has some things he's working through, once you get a peek into that beautiful brain of his. It's through these inner dialogues that we see how deeply some things cut. He hangs on to these as constant reminders to do better, be better, do more, be more and sometimes I was just exhausted for him. I can't imagine trying to be that good all the time. But he was. He was so good. Thoughtful. Reflective. I don't know how anyone couldn't just adore this character. Sure he was flawed--but not in ways that were evil or intentionally hurtful--but it was those flaws that made him human and made you want to seem him succeed, even when he was stubborn and you just wanted him to do or ask for the things he wanted.

Raquel, superstar actress supreme, was equally delightful. She was ...well, what's the opposite saying from "still waters run deep", is there one? From page one, she grabbed my attention with her hilarious running commentary, her outward appearance of confidence and inward uncertainty, and her ability to take risks and follow her heart. I so very much enjoyed her character; she was so easy to love. Similarly to Jackson, the world had a perception of who she was: respected actress, sex symbol, and on top of the world, yet involved with a twat waffle and sure, many of those things were true but those were just these surface level things; she's so much more as her visit to Green Valley revealed to us all. The novella prequel shows glimpses of how much more she is (if you haven't read it, read it!) and the novel digs in deeper to show us more about her insecurities and her strength. I loved how the longer she was in Green Valley, the more she clearly she could see herself and her choices. I loved how she firmly took control of things, even when her inner monologue expressed fear or doubt, and she refused to be pushed around. Speaking of inner monologue, OMG hers was hilarious; I feel like I laughed on almost every page. I really loved her journey for her. She was already a strong person to begin with but to see her evolution in recognizing what she could do and ask for and expect was glorious.

So naturally, when you put these two amazing characters together, it all works out beautifully, the end. Right? HAHAHAHA. Nope. Lots of fun but lots of stubbornness and frustration for the characters (and us), which made reading to the end so enjoyable. I had a really hard time putting this book down for even a few minutes because I needed to see what ridiculous thing would be said or what frustrating turn they'd take next. I needed to see what would happen the next time their sparks collided. I needed to know how they'd resolve things they'd built up in their heads, often making problems for themselves. Needless to say, I was pleased with the outcome, though admittedly sad to reach the end. I want more of these two and I can only hope that the next book in this series gives me more glimpses of these two.

Speaking of glimpses of favorite characters, I was delighted to see more of Cletus, Sienna and Jet(hro), and to get to know Charlotte. Their scheming and mischievousness added more hilarity and giggles. Honestly, every time Cletus shows up, I get ridiculously excited. I love him so much. Anyway, I'm looking forward to Charlotte's book which is coming up next and I am thrilled; the first look guarantees I will be all in for her adventure. In the meantime, I look forward to all of the great things Penny Reid has coming for us and even though it's hard to wait, I know that the wait will be worth it.  

Jackson James follows the rules. He has to. He’s a sheriff’s deputy in a super small town with a super big personality. However, strict adherence to the law during the day has been enjoyably balanced by rakish rules at night. Jackson, typically happy to protect and serve (and serve, and serve), starts questioning the value of wayward evenings when they begin to feel more like being waylaid rather than getting laid. Could it be that Green Valley's most eligible—and notorious—bachelor longs for something (and someone) real?

Mega movie star Raquel Ezra follows only one rule: always leave them wanting more. Strict adherence to this single rule has served her well. Studio execs, reporters, audiences, fans, lovers—no one can get enough of the smart, savvy, and sexy bombshell. But when “generous offers” begin to feel more like excessive demands, years of always leaving has the elusive starlet longing for something (and perhaps someone) lasting.

When Raquel abruptly returns to the quirky Tennessee hamlet, her path crosses with the delectable deputy with whom she spent one unforgettable night. Unfortunately, scandal and intrigue soon follow. Raquel and Jackson must decide which is more important: following their rules? Or, at long last, finding something real.

TOTALLY FOLKED is a standalone, contemporary romantic comedy novel and book #1 in the Good Folk: Modern Folktales series.

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

Connect with Penny
Twitter: @ReidRomance
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Sunday, July 18, 2021

NEW REVIEW: Wreck by Ginger Scott


๐–๐ซ๐ž๐œ๐ค is LIVE! This is the second book in the brother’s-best-friend, friends-to-lovers Fuel Series by Ginger Scott. Don’t miss this angst-filled read! 

★★★★★ "I’m just going to put and say it—Wreck totally wrecked me! Dustin and Hannah completely tore my heart into pieces.” – The Lovely Books

Purchase ๐’๐ก๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญ (1) here:

Purchase ๐–๐ซ๐ž๐œ๐ค (2):

Pre-order Burn (3):


Shift, book 1 in this series had me all up in my feelings, especially at the end. So, of course, I was eager to start Wreck and I was NOT disappointed. Not only did we get to see the fireworks between Dustin and Hannah when they finally see each other again, but we also get to see them figure some things out. The figuring out part was sweet and revelatory--we got more information about what's been happening with them in the last four years (as well as what Bailey and Tommy have been up to), some interesting information about some family stuff, and then we plunged right into the here and now and their continuing love for each other. 

New conflicts.

New sources of OMG!!! Angsty angst-fest.

And KA-PLOW! Another freaking ending that has me so very eager for book 3, Burn. I know logically that this is a romance and we'll get to that HEA at some point but I suspect that Ginger Scott is going to torture us..ahem, her characters, a little more before we get there.

Buckle up, y'all and get ready for an emotional, fun, and quick read that will have you begging for more.

When Dustin Bridges left Camp Verde to try to make it on his own, he left half his heart behind. A life with Hannah Judge was just too dangerous. A mountain of chaos and violence was always aiming for the target on Dustin’s back, and that made giving up the only person he ever loved feel necessary.

But impossible isn’t a word Dustin believes in. Defying odds is what he’s good at. It’s how he’s survived. And when fate calls him home, he sees it as his chance to take back his girl, to make his heart whole and to put his makeshift family back together.

Just one thing. That family? And more importantly, that girl? They want nothing to do with him.

When Dustin left Hannah without a word, he broke a promise. More than that, he broke a bond. He broke Hannah. The life she saw in her future was gone in a blink, and in its place she grew a heart of stone and a craving for danger.

But isn’t danger what Dustin Bridges is really all about?


*Burn completes their love story in their mid 20s. Coming July 30th!

Add them to your TBR!




Find more books by Ginger Scott here:

Thursday, July 15, 2021

REVIEW: The Auction by Tiffany Reisz


Reading the off-shoots of The Original Sinners Series is always a good time; you get to see some of your favorite characters from the series while seeing them engage with someone new, or someone you haven't seen in a while. In The Auction, a novella, we get to read about Daniel and Anya and how they fall for each other in the weeks leading up to their being auctioned off at Kingsley's annual charity auction. Their first meeting is awesome--lots of snark and wit and you just KNOW that's going to make for a fun time. There's a lot of great banter between Daniel and all of the characters, lots of steamy kink, and for such a short read, a lot of emotional moments. It never surprises me that I enjoy Tiffany Reisz's novels--they're always so well done--and I rather enjoy that picking up any of the books in this series feels like coming home; the characters feel familiar and interesting and engaging. 


SYNOPSIS: You’re invited to New York City’s hottest dating event: Kingsley Edge’s annual King’s Trust Charity Auction.

New on the auction block this year is Daniel, a wealthy widower and Dominant. However, he happens to have his eyes on another first-timer in the club’s auction: Anya, a strikingly beautiful virgin submissive from his native Canada.

Too bad Anya hates him on sight. Or does she? There’s a fine line between hatred and burning passion, and Daniel is determined to bring Anya across it. Now let the bidding begin….


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