Wednesday, January 31, 2024

REVIEW: Rock Chick Reawakening by Kristen Ashley


 Within one chapter I was texting Courtney to tell her that I now wanted to reread the entire Rock Chick Series because being in that world for just one chapter reminded me of how much I absolutely ADORE this series and these characters. In Rock Chick Reawakening we finally get the story of Darius and his love, Malia. We get to see flashbacks to them in high school all the way up to modern day and I loved their story. I felt like I finally understood Darius better and to see how much he sacrificed to protect and take care of those he loved made me love him. Malia was equally wonderful and strong and hilarious and was a fantastic addition to the lady loves of the Hot Bunch. 

This newest addition to the series was something I didn't know I needed and am so glad was written. I'm a complete and utter sucker for the Rock Chicks and cannot wait to start rereading the series for the umpteenth time. 




A flashback in Kristen’s Rock Chick series, Rock Chick Reawakening shares the tale of the devastating event that nearly broke Daisy, an event that set Marcus Sloan—one of Denver’s most respected businessmen and one of the Denver underground’s most feared crime bosses—into finally making his move to win the heart of the woman who stole his. Book 9 of the Rock Chick Series is a story that travels back in time to share the story of beloved character, Daisy and her honey bunches of love, Marcus…

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

REVIEW: The Disappearance of Astrid Bricard by Natasha Lester



I love everything about this book. I love the story of three generations of women fighting their damnedest to live their dreams. I love reading about their passions and their upbringing and what made them the flawed and amazing women they are. I love coming to understand their choices better and I love the men who truly loved them, even when it seemed more to the Bricard women felt that it hurt them. I especially loved the social commentary woven throughout and that Natasha Lester clearly did a deep dive into the world of these women. All aspects of this novel held me in its thrall and I didn't come up for air until I was finished. I will be recommending this to all of my reading friends. 


In 1973, fashion icon Astrid Bricard disappeared at the legendary Versailles designer show-down. All that remained was a scrap of fabric...and a family unraveled.
Everyone remembers her daringly short, silver lamΓ© dress. An iconic photo capturing an electric moment , where emerging American designer Astrid Bricard is young, uninhibited, and on the cusp of fashion and feminism’s changing landscape. She and fellow designer Hawk Jones are all over Vogue and the disco scene. Yet she can't escape the legacy of being the daughter of Mizza Bricard, infamous "muse" for Christian Dior.  Astrid would give anything to take her place among the great houses of couture—on her own terms. 
I won’t inspire it when I can create it.

But then Astrid disappeared…

Now Astrid's daughter, Blythe, holds what remains of her mother and grandmother's legacies. Of all the Bricard women, she can gather the torn, shredded, and painfully beautiful fabrics of three generations of grief, heartbreak, and abandonment to create something that will shake the foundations of fashion. The only piece that's missing is the one question that no one's been able to answer: What really happened to Astrid?

Monday, January 22, 2024

REVIEW: The Break Up Tour by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka


If you're a Taylor Swift fan, I *think* you may find glimpses of what these authors envisioned her life may be like-ish. The Break Up Tour is about Riley, a singer songwriter who has just hit mega stardom, and Max, her former lover, fellow musician, who is currently running his parents' business-a retirement home.  These two have been estranged for a decade, when Max decided to skip the 'tour' Riley planned so that he could help with the family business. Once she left, they didn't reconnect until now. She's coming off a break up and on impulse, tracks Max down to see if he'd come play the song she wrote about him when she goes on tour. He reluctantly agrees and the push/pull that these two always have flourishes as they tour, despite both of them being hesitant to indulge in whatever this thing is. There's drama and feelings and love and forgiveness which all adds up to their HEA. 

To be honest, the first half of the novel felt like it was trying really hard to be poetic and lyrical and interesting and it was distracting. But, as things became more interesting between Max and Riley, the novel seemed to settle down and it became easier to read. 


A rising-star musician has a second chance at love with an old flame she remembers all too well in this swoony romance from the acclaimed authors of The Roughest Draft.

Riley Wynn went from a promising singer-songwriter to a superstar overnight, thanks to her breakup song concept album and its unforgettable lead single. When Riley’s ex-husband claims the hit song is about him, she does something she hasn’t in ten years and calls Max Harcourt, her college boyfriend and the real inspiration for the song of the summer.

Max hasn’t spoken to Riley since their relationship ended. He’s content with managing the retirement home his family owns, but it’s not the life filled with music he dreamed of. When Riley asks him to go public as her songwriting muse, he agrees on one condition: he’ll join her band on tour.

As they perform across the country, Max and Riley start to realize that while they hit some wrong notes in the past, their future could hold incredible things.
And their rekindled relationship will either last forever or go down in flames.


Thursday, January 18, 2024

REVIEW: Wayward Son by Jay Crownover



I've really enjoyed this series of the second generation of the Marked Men series. The children of our favorite couples have made things interesting and I know these aren't making Jay Crownover a ton of money, I am sad that there won't be more, even though I understand why she's doing what she's doing. 

In Wayward Son, we get the love story of Aston and Zowen and maybe I'm an idiot, but I definitely did not anticipate their story going to way it did. It starts off with something completely unexpected and then the rest of the novel really centers on that. Rather than focus on that incident, let's focus on what makes this one so highly rated. In my opinion, it's how quickly these two figure things out (so not too much angsty waiting for them to make moves) and then how the rest of the novel allows for them to explore this new version of their relationship as the adults they've grown into. Of course, as with all of these novels, there's an impending doom type situation that puts some added tension and pressure on things but Zowen and Aston really work through it. Instead of allowing things to create chaos on their relationship, they work together to problem solve and help each other through the things that are plaguing them. 

Something about this novel just grabbed my attention from the first chapter and held it. Maybe it was how much they each longed for the other. Or maybe it was how they didn't let stupid stuff mess things up. Or perhaps it was their chemistry or how they felt like true partners. Maybe it was how they had each other's backs or knew when to push things a little. It was definitely all of this and I flew through the pages, completely satisfied with their story and very sad to see this series end. 


π–πšπ²π°πšπ«π 𝐒𝐨𝐧 by NY Times & USA Today bestselling author Jay Crownover is LIVE!!! This is the final book in The Forever Marked series and can be read as a stand alone.

1-CLICK Your Copy Now!


Add to your GR TBR:

What to expect:

✔️Forced Proximity 


✔️Opposites Attract

✔️Friends like Family 

✔️Second Chance 


✔️Happy Ever After


She’s the only girl he’s ever loved.

Zowen Archer has been in love with Aston Wheeler for as long as he can remember.

She’s perfect, except for the glaring fact that she fell in love with his best friend instead of him. For years, he loved her from afar with zero expectation. He told himself that as long as Aston was happy, his feelings for her didn’t matter.

However, Aston isn’t nearly as happy as she seems. And by the time Zowen figures things out, his life takes a drastic turn for the worse.

Now that Aston is single and laser-focused on making up for the lost time between the two of them, Zowen is doing everything in his power to avoid her. He’s convinced that if she never wanted him when he was at his very best, there is no chance in hell she could care about him now that he’s at his absolute worst.

He’s the only boy she’s willing to wait for.

Time has never been on Aston Wheeler’s side.

She spent too long pretending to be someone she was not. She lost herself in a first love that everyone, except her, thought was perfect. She wasted a lot of time trying to convince herself that she should be happy when she was anything but. She watched for years as the one person who made her feel like her true self drifted further and further away.

Finally, when she’s ready to reach out and grab the one-of-a-kind love that Zowen Archer has always silently promised her, it’s too late. Zowen is taken away, and when he reappears in her life, he makes it clear there’s no going back to whatever they might have been.

Good thing for Zowen that Aston is patient and doesn’t mind waiting for him to have a change of heart. It’s the least she can do after all the time he spent waiting for her.

Find more books by Jay Crownover here:

Monday, January 15, 2024

REVIEW: Check & Mate by Ali Hazelwood



Ali Hazelwood's seem to always be a good time so when I saw Check & Mate on my library's Libby app (I highly recommend using this app, by the way), I immediately requested it. Because I was so quick to request it, I didn't have to wait long to get it and then I immediately consumed it in the matter of 24 hours. I'm sure the person next in line to get it was happy to see it was ready to read and will probably also read it quickly. You really can't help it; the characters of Nolan and Mallory and the conflicts they find themselves in are so dang readable. I don't think I've ever been as interested in chess as I was watching The Queen's Gambit and this novel came along and reignited my admiration for those who play it. Playing chess is way beyond my attention span and ability to think so far ahead about my moves and someone else's. 


Mallory and Nolan make an interesting pair. She's in full denial and he's in full acceptance of ...well, so many things. Mallory is so busy taking care of her family and trying to make amends for something she feels personally responsible for that she's forsaken everything that makes her happy and who she is. Nolan seems to have come to terms about the uncomfortable truths in his life and is now living a life that makes him happy. So polar opposite, right? Right. But as they get to know each other, spend time with each other, and fall for each other, his knowing himself so well, ends up sparking an evolution in Mallory, even if that wasn't his intention or her desire. 

While this is listed as a YA novel, it seems more NA to me? But no matter how it's categorized, it's a fun, sweet, sexy, and interesting romance that will be hard to put down until you get to the end. As a matter of fact, I'm still thinking about these two and wondering how they're doing, hours after I finished their love story.  Definitely an enjoyable read.


n this clever and swoonworthy YA debut from the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis, life’s moving pieces bring rival chess players together in a match for the heart.

Mallory Greenleaf is 
done with chess. Every move counts nowadays; after the sport led to the destruction of her family four years earlier, Mallory’s focus is on her mom, her sisters, and the dead-end job that keeps the lights on. That is, until she begrudgingly agrees to play in one last charity tournament and inadvertently wipes the board with notorious “Kingkiller” Nolan Sawyer: current world champion and reigning Bad Boy of chess.

Nolan’s loss to an unknown rook-ie shocks everyone. What’s even more confusing? His desire to cross pawns again. What kind of gambit is Nolan playing? The smart move would be to walk away. Resign. Game over. But Mallory’s victory opens the door to sorely needed cash-prizes and despite everything, she can’t help feeling drawn to the enigmatic strategist....

As she rockets up the ranks, Mallory struggles to keep her family safely separated from the game that wrecked it in the first place. And as her love for the sport she so desperately wanted to hate begins to rekindle, Mallory quickly realizes that the games aren’t only on the board, the spotlight is brighter than she imagined, and the competition can be fierce (-ly attractive. And intelligent…and infuriating…)

Monday, January 8, 2024

REVIEW: Burn For You by J.T. Geissinger


It's been a while since I've read a J.T. Geissinger novel and after reading Burn For You, I'm asking myself why. This novel, a fun take on Beauty and the Beast, is based in New Orleans (you know I love that!), has lots of humorous banter and inner monologues, and an obvious chemistry between the two main characters. 

Because it was so entertaining, I flew through the pages in a matter of hours. I remember looking down at one point being surprised at how far along I was. I happened to be reading a much heavier, psychological novel at the same time as I was reading this and Burn For You provided a much needed reprieve from the heart heavy novel that I was also reading. That's not to say that Burn For You didn't have it's more serious moments, because it did and they worked well within the framework of what was happening, but overall the sheer grumpy sunshine of it all really shined. 



Jackson “The Beast” Boudreaux is rich, gorgeous, and unbelievably rude to the staff at Chef Bianca Hardwick’s New Orleans restaurant. Bianca would sooner douse herself in hot sauce than cook for Jackson again, but when he asks her to cater his fund-raiser, Bianca can’t refuse, knowing the cash will help pay her mother’s medical bills. Then Jackson makes another outrageous request: Marry me. The unconventional offer includes an enormous sum—money Bianca desperately needs, even if it does come with a contract—and a stunning ring.

The heir to a family bourbon dynasty, Jackson knows the rumors swirling around him. The truth is even darker. Still, he needs a wife to secure his inheritance, and free-spirited, sassy Bianca would play the part beautifully. Soon, though, their simple business deal evolves into an emotional intimacy he’s built walls to avoid.

As the passion heats up between them, Bianca and Jackson struggle to define which feelings are real and which are for show. Is falling for your fake fiancΓ© the best happy ending…or a recipe for disaster?

Monday, January 1, 2024

REVIEW: Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward



Beautifully written and unrelenting. I have no idea how Jesmyn Ward inhabited the headspace of Annis for as long as she must have in order to write this novel; it must have been excruciating at times. I found that I could only read a few chapters at a time before my heart needed a break because the story of Annis, her mother, and grandmother, as well as the women she shared space with was filled with deep love, horror, and devastation. It was only at the end that there was a sense of hope and hints of happier days to come. 

This will be a hard read for anyone who picks it up and I'm still suggesting it to anyone who will listen. Poetic, heart wrenching, beautiful, and wise--I hope this novel wins all the prizes. 



OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • Instant New York Times Bestseller • From Jesmyn Ward—the two-time National Book Award winner, youngest winner of the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, and MacArthur Fellow—comes a haunting masterpiece, sure to be an instant classic, about an enslaved girl in the years before the Civil War.

“‘Let us descend,’ the poet now began, ‘and enter this blind world.’” —
Inferno, Dante Alighieri
Let Us Descend is a reimagining of American slavery, as beautifully rendered as it is heart-wrenching. Searching, harrowing, replete with transcendent love, the novel is a journey from the rice fields of the Carolinas to the slave markets of New Orleans and into the fearsome heart of a Louisiana sugar plantation.
Annis, sold south by the white enslaver who fathered her, is the reader’s guide through this hellscape. As she struggles through the miles-long march, Annis turns inward, seeking comfort from memories of her mother and stories of her African warrior grandmother. Throughout, she opens herself to a world beyond this world, one teeming with spirits: of earth and water, of myth and history; spirits who nurture and give, and those who manipulate and take. While Ward leads readers through the descent, this, her fourth novel, is ultimately a story of rebirth and reclamation.
From one of the most singularly brilliant and beloved writers of her generation, this miracle of a novel inscribes Black American grief and joy into the very land—the rich but unforgiving forests, swamps, and rivers of the American South. 
Let Us Descend is Jesmyn Ward’s most magnificent novel yet, a masterwork for the ages.

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