Tuesday, September 27, 2022

REVIEW: A Familiar Stranger by A. R. Torre


Trust Alessandra Torre to write some twisted shizz. I think she must take pleasure in messing with our heads and taking us on a ride--things she definitely does in A Familiar Stranger. If you're a reader of her romances, then this may not be your read because even though there is definitely plot points that involve Lillian and relationships; this is more a story of deception and loneliness and boredom and anger and how all of those things result in some very interesting (poor) choices. 

So as the blurb explains, Lillian leads a fairly boring life. She's bored and frustrated and generally dissatisfied with everything. For fun she creates murder scenarios on Twitter and sometimes likes to imagine herself as someone living a more exciting life, like those of the people she sometimes writes obituaries for. This is exactly what she does when she encounters a man, David, in a coffee shop. She takes on the persona of Taylor and decides that to him she'll be a more carefree, well traveled, fun version of herself. What starts out as a friendly flirtation turns into an affair that fills her days with a freedom she's longed for for quite a while. The trouble with all of this, of course, is that she's married with a teenage son. Sounds pretty despicable, right? It totally is. But as you'll learn there are really only two characters who aren't terrible human beings in this novel. I won't reveal who they are but seriously, I detested almost everyone in this novel for most of the novel. Lillian's husband was a controlling jerk who did his own damage to their marriage and the other characters we meet each have their own issues as well. 

If you've seen other reviews for this novel you'll see that there are some readers who didn't care for the twist that we encounter about halfway through. I am not one of those. The twist didn't turn me off or disappoint me; I actually thought it was an interesting way to explore the rest of the story. The 'death' wasn't the mystery, you only have to pay attention to the table of contents to know that someone dies. It's the how and the why that is the fun part and while I had an idea of who was involved and why before everything was revealed, I nevertheless enjoyed it and found it a fun read.

A Familiar Stranger is a fun read, with twists and turns, characters you're going to enjoy disliking, and an ending that will tie up all the loose ends. It's a great weekend escape-give it a try. 

BUY IT HERE: https://amzn.to/3DT9B6h


Such a quiet and ordinary wife and mother. Who will even notice what she’s done?

Lillian Smith leads an unexceptional life, writing obituaries and killing time with her inattentive husband and disconnected son. Then she meets David, a handsome stranger, in a coffee shop. Lured into an affair, she invents a new persona, one without strings, deadlines, or brooding husbands.

Lillian has never felt so reckless, unpredictable, or wanted. But as her affair with David intensifies, she withdraws from everything that’s real, even her closest friend. When evidence of her life as a secret lover finds its way onto her son’s social media, she risks ruining much more than her marriage or reputation.

As lies beget lies, Lillian’s two worlds spiral dangerously out of control. And betrayals run deeper than she imagines. Because Lillian isn’t the only one leading a double life.

Monday, September 26, 2022

REVIEW: When in Rome by Sarah Adams



Having just vacationed in Rome, the title of this novel caught my attention and even though the MC and I visited different cities, I found myself intrigued. 

When in Rome is a sweet and clean romance about a pop star hiding from her life and a baker hiding his heart. Amelia coasts into Noah's front yard one summer evening and the rest is history. He grumpily extends the barest of hospitality to Amelia so that she has a safe place to stay while her car is being repaired and before you know it, she's his favorite thorn in his side and he's her favorite target of teasing. Neither of them are looking for the attraction or romance that flairs between them but since when does that matter? Uhhhhm, never. 

When in Rome is a cute romance that features a pop star, a small town, lots of hilarious characters and the potential for a few follow up books, if Noah's sisters get a chance at romance (which I think they should). If you're looking for a clean, sweet romcom, this is the perfect book for you. 



Opposites certainly attract for the stranded pop star and small-town baker in this charming slice of romance from the author of the TikTok sensation The Cheat Sheet.

“This modern take on the Hepburn classic, Roman Holiday is a quick, fun, slow-burn rom-com.”—Abby Jimenez, bestselling author of The Friend Zone

Amelia Rose, known as Rae Rose to her adoring fans, is burned-out from years of maintaining her “princess of pop” image. Inspired by her favorite Audrey Hepburn film, 
Roman Holiday, she drives off in the middle of the night for a break in Rome . . . Rome, Kentucky, that is. 

When Noah Walker finds Amelia on his front lawn in her broken-down car, he makes it clear he doesn’t have the time or patience for celebrity problems. He’s too busy running the pie shop his grandmother left him and reminding his nosy but lovable neighbors to mind their own damn business. Despite his better judgment, he lets her stay in his guest room—but only until her car is fixed—then she’s on her own. 

Then Noah starts to see a different side of Rae Rose—she’s Amelia: kindhearted and goofy, yet lonely from years in the public eye. He can’t help but get close to her. Soon she’ll have to return to her glamorous life on tour, but until then, Noah will show Amelia all the charming small-town experiences she’s been missing, and she’ll help him open his heart to more. 

Amelia can’t resist falling for the cozy town and her grumpy tour guide, but even Audrey had to leave Rome eventually.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

REVIEW: Making the Match by Kristen Ashley

You don’t get to make decisions for me, Mr. Pierce.”
“You’re wrong, baby. I do.”

Making the Match, an all-new spicy, heartfelt and emotional second chance standalone romance in the River Rain Series from New York Times bestselling author Kristen Ashley, is available now!


As a huge fan of Kristen Ashley's, we never ever miss a chance to read her latest release so when Making the Match arrived on my Kindle, I immediately dropped everything and started reading. I went in blind, which meant that I totally forgot I was reading Tom's book and I remember thinking, hmmmm, how is she going to do it? How will she redeem him for me? I mean he cheated on America's Sweetheart! But as we all should know by now, Kristen Ashley knows what she's doing and within pages, I was rooting for him and by the end, I was verklempt in my emotions for him and his family. Gah. 

This story is the story of Tom and Mika. A love story of two adults who've lived through deep heartbreak and managed to find each other, again, when the time was finally right for them both. I loved everything about their story--from their first meeting, their subsequent interactions, and the reunion that almost wasn't. I liked Chloe's scheming, as well as Nora's (and now I really want to see her have a story). I loved meeting Cadence and reading about Sasha and Matt and Hale and, well, all of them. There was not one aspect of this love story that I didn't enjoy. And I'm not sure if I'm just emotional these days or what, but Mika and Tom had some scenes that just gutted me and the wisdom they shared with each other and other characters hit to the heart of me. There were moments I had to put my Kindle down and just take a minute to collect myself and think through how powerful some of those lines were. It's not everyday that I get a read like that and perhaps strangely, I enjoyed feeling all the feels--both the joy and melancholy.

Out of all the KA novels, this one is one I could see as a movie--it has all the makings of a must watch--love, betrayal, and redemption tinged in a little sadness and lot of sweetness. Both Tom and Mika seemed larger than life and completely ordinary and I couldn't get enough of them, whether it was their personal histories, their friends and lovers, or just their dope homes; I was in their thrall until the end and was truly sad that it had to end. 

As usual, I love the way KA structures her novels. The major conflict between our two main characters happens fairly early on and we get to savor their falling in love for the vast majority of the novel; you know that the tension will invariably be because of an outside source and that the resulting issue will not rock the relationship and will most likely be resolved quickly. Making the Match followed this structure and I found myself enjoying all parts of the story more because of it. Rather than focus on impending doom, I could focus on the relationships and storylines of all of the characters and because of that, I am now hoping we have a dozen more novels in this series because I'm in love with all of the characters. The end.

If you love second chance, single parent romance, pining, a couple over 40, redemption and forgiveness, this is the book for you.

Decades ago, tennis superstar Tom Pierce and “It Girl” Mika Stowe met at a party.

Mika fell in love. Tom was already in love with his wife. As badly as Tom wanted Mika as a friend, Mika knew it would hurt too much to be attracted to this amazing man and never be able to have him.

They parted ways for what they thought would be forever, only to reconnect just once, when unspeakable tragedy darkens Mika’s life.

Years later, the impossible happens.

A time comes when they’re both unattached.

But now Tom has made a terrible mistake. A mistake so damaging to the ones he loves, he feels he’ll never be redeemed.

Mika has never forgotten how far and how fast she fell when she met him, but Tom’s transgression is holding her distant from reaching out.

There are matchmakers in their midst, however.

And when the plot has been unleashed to make that match, Tom and Mika are thrown into an international intrigue that pits them against a Goliath of the sports industry.

Now they face a massive battle at the same time they’re navigating friendship, attraction, love, family, grief, redemption, two very different lives lived on two opposite sides of a continent and a box full of kittens.

Fall in love with Tom and Mika!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3NtcNqL
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Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/38BrcCN

About Kristen Ashley
Kristen Ashley is the New York Times bestselling author of over eighty romance novels. She’s a hybrid author, publishing titles both independently and traditionally, her books have been translated in fourteen languages and she’s sold millions of books.
Kristen recently released GOSSAMER IN THE DARKNESs, a novella with 1,001 Dark Nights based in Kristen's Fantasyland universe.
In September 2022, she'll publish the fourth in the River Rain Series, the story of Tom and Mika, MAKING THE MATCH. She also has upcoming books in her Wild West MC romance series, and her romantic thriller series, Misted Pines.
Kristen, born in Gary and raised in Brownsburg, Indiana and was a fourth-generation graduate of Purdue University. Since, she has lived in Denver, the West Country of England, and she now resides in Phoenix. She worked as a charity executive for eighteen years prior to beginning her independent publishing career. She now writes full-time.
Although romance is her genre, the prevailing themes running through all of Kristen’s novels are friendship, family and a strong sisterhood. To this end, and as a way to thank her readers for their support, Kristen has created the Rock Chick Nation, a series of programs that are designed to give back to her readers and promote a strong female community.
You can learn more about Kristen and the Rock Chick Nation on her website: www.KristenAshley.net

Connect with Kristen
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Monday, September 19, 2022

REVIEW: Memories of a Life by Jewel E. Ann



Memories of a Life picks up right where Pieces of a Life ended and just like the first novel, it combines the narrative of the past with the action of the present. As we know from the cliffhanger ending of the first novel, Josie disappears. In the beginning of this novel, we get to see how Colten first learns of Josie's disappearance and then the aftermath. Without spoiling things, I'll just say that I was not prepared for how things went down. I assumed certain things would happen on a certain timeline but none of it went down like I thought it would--which was actually pretty cool. 

The first almost half of this novel really belonged to Colten and his heartache and healing, the second half merged Josie and Colten and filled in some missing information as well as furthered some serious angsty moments for both the characters and me! And since you're a romance reader who knows that we'll get that HEA, it definitely happens but if I have one smidgeon of a complaint, it's that it happens in a blink of an eye and I wish I could've enjoyed it a little more, though the epilogue is very satisfying. 

This duet is the first I've read in this Life series and I was quickly taken with Josie and Colten's stories and interested in all of the strange things that happened along the way. If you're like me and you haven't picked up a Jewel E Ann novel in a while, this duet is the perfect angsty, romance to get back into her books. 

Memories of a Life: Colten & Josie: Part Two by Jewel E. Ann is now live!

The girl I met when we were nine is now the woman who said "yes" to being my wife.

But Josie's not planning our wedding; she's too consumed by things that happened over a century ago.

She has terrible dreams and unrelenting visions of the unspeakable. I believe her, but I don't understand her.

If I can't understand her, I can't stop her.

If I can't stop her, I can't save us.

And without us ... well, I can't imagine that world.

Download today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3RDWTMS

Amazon Worldwide: https://mybook.to/MoaL

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3McgTTa

Start Part One, Pieces of a Life now!


Meet  Jewel E. Ann

Jewel is a Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author with a quirky sense of humor. When she's not saving the planet one tree at a time, you can find her role modeling questionable behavior to her three boys, binge-watching Netflix with her husband, and writing mind-bending romance. 

Connect with Jewel

Website: https://www.jeweleann.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7505427.Jewel_E_Ann

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jewel-E-Ann/e/B00IJYHDIG/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjeweleann

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Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@jeweleannauthor

REVIEW: How the Wallflower was Won by Eva Leigh



Who knew I loved the whole marriage of convenience trope as much as I am? In the case of How the Wallflower was Won, Eva Leigh throws together two seemingly opposite characters, Finn and Tabitha, and almost immediately the sparks fly (despite their ongoing denial). He needs a wife in order to keep his friends and himself on the family bankroll; she needs a husband to be considered for an influential society club that has a powerful hand in politics and legislation. While they weren't originally meant for each other, they end up together and really are the perfect match, despite what their stubborn and intrusive thoughts say. For most of the novel they both fight the deep emotion that they feel for each other, which of course makes you want to shake them, but when they finally get it together, it's so very sweet. 

Eva Leigh is still a new to me author and I'm finding that her characters and their dilemmas always keep me interested, entertained, and looking for the next read.



USA TODAY bestselling author Eva Leigh continues her Last Chance Scoundrels series with a steamy romance between two opposites—a rogue with a taste for wagers and a bookish wallflower—who marry for convenience... but neither bet on falling in love.

Finn Ransome is an expert on Lady Luck, which is why he refuses to take a chance on love. Experience has taught him that he’s happier at a gaming table than around people he will, inevitably, disappoint. However, the clock is ticking on his father’s matrimonial demands. But the only woman to catch his eye is a bluestocking who would never consider a rogue like him.

After a disastrous first Season, Tabitha Seaton decided to focus on books instead of ballrooms. She hopes to join the Sterling Society, a collective of the most brilliant, influential minds in London. Except, they will never admit an unmarried lady. Now Tabitha needs a husband, and a notorious, handsome gambler may be her best bet.

Finn and Tabitha are opposites who have no intention of wagering on a love match, and a calculated marriage of convenience solves all their problems—with no risk to their hearts. Once married, however, their potent attraction boils over into a deep passion that neither expected. When a painful mistake drives the new lovers apart, Finn will risk it all to prove a scoundrel and a wallflower are a winning pair...

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

REVIEW: Pieces of a Life by Jewel E Ann


 It's been a while since I've picked up a novel by Jewel E. Ann and I cannot for the life of me think of why that is. The last series I read of hers was hard to put down, just as Pieces of a Life is. In this first novel of a duet we follow the story of Josie and Colton. They're childhood best friends, first loves, and definitely not friends 17 years later. The why of that is revealed to us in flashbacks from both Josie and Colton's viewpoints as to what exactly happened and why. Mixed between those chapters are who they are now. It's the chapters from their childhood and young adulthood that really solidify the angsty bits that come later. They're so connected and integral parts of each other's lives that all the strong feelings 17 years later make sense. 

I can't lie, I really appreciated Josie's infuriating stubbornness. I liked her tenacity and her grudge, even if it maybe was a little over the top. I have a thing for my heroes and heroines really digging in when they feel wronged, and she most definitely felt that way. That being said, I liked Colton's refusal to let her stubbornness get in the way of anything they could have in their adult lives. So all in all, I really enjoyed their back and forth; they could equally give and take a lot of grief from the other one, seemingly in stride. They both have really strong personalities that clash in the most perfect way. 

Being new to this Life series, I didn't know that I was not just reading an intense romance but also a story that has a mysterious, otherworldly experience to it and I'm curious and not quite sure what to make of it, especially how book one ends. I suspect that book two will get more twisty and intense before it's all said and done, if the prologue is indicative of anything and I can't wait. Hurry up, book two!

Pieces of a Life, part one in an all new duet in the Life series by Jewel E. Ann is now live!


The summer before fourth grade, Colten Mosley moved into the house across the street from mine, and we became inseparable.

He played the piano and baseball.
I had a penchant for dead things while at the same time imagining what it would be like to kiss Colten.
We were filled with curiosity and overly active imaginations.

We were also forbidden to be more than friends.
But that didn't stop us.

Weeks before graduation, he annihilated my heart, and it's been seventeen years since the day I knew I'd hate him forever.

Now he's back in my life--a single dad and a homicide detective looking over my shoulder while I perform autopsies as one of Chicago's most gifted forensic pathologists. Then fate throws us a curveball.

Colten saves my life, but he can't erase the images that now keep me awake at night. And I can't explain them.

Am I still the girl he's always loved? Or nothing more than pieces of that life?

Download today on Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/38WiQpr

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3apPlwn

Nook: https://bit.ly/38Liim8

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Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3tdytQ1

Pre-order Memories of a Life releasing 9/27



Meet Jewel E. Ann

Jewel is a Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author with a quirky sense of humor. When she's not saving the planet one tree at a time, you can find her role modeling questionable behavior to her three boys, binge-watching Netflix with her husband, and writing mind-bending romance.

Connect with Jewel

Website: https://www.jeweleann.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7505427.Jewel_E_Ann

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jewel-E-Ann/e/B00IJYHDIG/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjeweleann

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/485996228236493

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorjeweleann/

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Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jeweleannauthor/

Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@jeweleannauthor

Monday, September 12, 2022

REVIEW: The Agathas by Kathleen Glascow and Liz Lawson



The Agathas is a young adult whodunit that will entertain you as you try to follow the clues to who murdered a popular girl in a small affluent town. The story is told through the alternating perspectives of Alice and Iris. Alice comes from affluent parents who are almost completely absent in her life, other than providing monetary support and paying for a caretaker who actually cares for her. Iris comes from a single working parent household, a household she's determined to protect and support. So obviously, these two are completely opposite in many ways...most ways, really, but they unite to try to solve this murder and go from frenemies to true friends. As Alice uses Agatha Christie's methodology and Iris uses her friends and their broad knowledge base, they go step by step through the events leading up to the death, relentlessly trying to get to the bottom of what happened. There's humor and emotion and twists and The Agathas left me with hope that we'll see these characters team up again.



NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Who killed Brooke Donovan? It’s the biggest mystery of the summer, and everyone in Castle Cove thinks they know what happened. But they're wrong. Two unlikely friends come together to solve the case in this fast-paced, fun, modern Agatha Christie inspired thriller.

"Part Agatha Christie, part Veronica Mars, and completely entertaining." —Karen M. McManus, #1 New York Times bestselling author of One Of Us Is Lying


Last summer, Alice Ogilvie’s basketball-star boyfriend Steve dumped her. Then she disappeared for five days. She's not talking, so where she went and what happened to her is the biggest mystery in Castle Cove. Or it 
was, at least. But now, another one of Steve’s girlfriends has vanished: Brooke Donovan, Alice’s ex–best friend. And it doesn’t look like Brooke will be coming back. . .
Enter Iris Adams, Alice’s tutor. Iris has her own reasons for wanting to disappear, though unlike Alice, she doesn’t have the money or the means. That could be changed by the hefty reward Brooke’s grandmother is offering to anyone who can share information about her granddaughter’s whereabouts. The police are convinced Steve is the culprit, but Alice isn’t so sure, and with Iris on her side, she just might be able to prove her theory.
In order to get the reward and prove Steve’s innocence, they need to figure out who killed Brooke Donovan. And luckily Alice has exactly what they need—the complete works of Agatha Christie. If there’s anyone that can teach the girls how to solve a mystery it’s the master herself. But the town of Castle Cove holds many secrets, and Alice and Iris have no idea how much danger they're about to walk into.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

REVIEW: Court of the Vampire Queen by Katee Robert



I have to admit that I have a thing about vampire novels; ever since I read the Interview with a Vampire series by  Anne Rice, I pick up vampire novels in the hopes that they'll sweep me into a world of otherworldly creatures and make the real world fade away. (And to be honest, it's been so long since I've read that Anne Rice series, I have no idea if it holds up, but I do remember being completely absorbed by it way back when). Anyway. Court of the Vampire Queen definitely holds up. It's got that balance between a world that we can all recognize and then one that is completely foreign...but not so foreign that we feel lost. This is probably because Katee Robert does such a good job of making us care about the lives of Mina, Malachi, Wolf, and Rylan. While a large part of their story involves them trying to figure out how to escape Mina's evil father with their lives intact (and then overtake him with their lives intact), it also delves into tapping into who you are, who you want to be, and how you want to live your lives. Each of these characters is battling a past that threatens to overtake the happiness of their futures and together they help each other figure some things out. 

But let's not overlook the pure fun. They're vampires. Sexy vamps. And did I mention that this is a reverse haram virgin situation? Because it is. Lots of steam. Lots of humor. Lots of world building. I had a ton of fun reading it and the only reason I knocked a star off is because I wanted a little more at the end--more in the compound, more of the aftermath. Otherwise this was a quick, sexy, fun escape. 

BUY IT: here.


Three Powerfully Alluring Vampire Men

And One Queen to Rule Them All

All Mina ever wanted was to escape her father's control. Half human, half vampire, she lived eternally torn between two worlds, never fully experiencing the pleasures of either―until her father chose her as the pawn in his latest political move, gifting her to the darkly powerful and dangerously seductive Malachi Zion.

Malachi is not a vampire to be trifled with. He rules with an iron fist and has a reputation for the darkest of sins. But the longer Mina spends with him, the more she realizes he's not the monster she first thought―and as fear bleeds into lust, then trust, then something more, Malachi opens Mina up to a world she never knew could be hers for the taking: including the love of Malachi's two closest friends and companions.

Now surrounded by all three men, the center of their shockingly seductive world, Mina may finally have the power to face down her father and take back the life―and crown―that by all rights should be hers.


Author Note: For all tropes, tags, and CWs, please check the author's website. Court of the Vampire Queen is the compilation of the Bloodline Vampires trilogy (Sacrifice, Heir, and Queen).

Monday, September 5, 2022

REVIEW: LIzzie Blake's Best Mistake by Mazey Eddings



While Lizzie Blake's Best Mistake has many recognizable features to us romance readers and lovers, the thing that made this novel really unique was being in the mind of Lizzie Blake. I've never experienced being in the mind of a character who has ADHD and if what I read is anything close to what some experience, hat's off to them! As someone who is neurotypical, it was was interesting, and sometimes challenging, to wrap my brain around how Lizzie walked through a normal day--what seemed like tasks I wouldn't really question or do grudgingly, but do fairly uncomplicatingly enough,  could be obstacles to productivity to her. Honestly, reading Lizzie's parts gave me a lot to think about when it comes to how the world understands adult ADHD and the unseen challenges and beauty that that diagnosis can be--I truly had to check myself and I love it when a novel requires that of me. I also really enjoyed the whole set up with Rake. From the one night stand to the surprise pregnancy, their dynamic was fun and funny to read. 

Lizzie Blake's Best Mistake was a thoughtful, laugh out loud romance that I think you should pick up and devour this weekend. 

Lizzie has made endless mistakes. Kitchen fires, pyramid schemes, bangs (of the hair and human variety), you name it, she’s done it… and made a mess of it too. One mistake she’s never made is letting anyone get closer to her than a single hook-up. But after losing yet another bakery job due to her uncontrolled ADHD, she breaks her cardinal rule and has a two-night-stand that changes everything.

Once burned, twice shy, Rake has given up on relationships. And feelings. And any form of intimacy for that matter. Yet something about charming, chaotic Lizzie has him lowering his guard. For two nights, that is. Then it’s back home to Australia and far away from the pesky feelings Lizzie pulls from him. But when Lizzie tells him she’s got an unexpected bun in the oven, he’ll do whatever it takes to be a part of his child’s life… except be emotionally vulnerable, obviously. He’s never going to make that mistake again.

Through a series of mishaps, totally “platonic” single bed sharing, and an underground erotic baking scheme, Lizzie and Rake learn that even the biggest mistakes can have the most beautiful consequences.

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