Books, Kindle Unlimited, New Release, Uncategorized

New Release: Crazy (The Gibson Boys #4) by Adriana Locke

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Title: CRAZY

Author: Adriana Locke

Series: Gibson Boys (Book 4)

Release Date: September 9, 2019

Synopsis:

Love is crazy.

Peck Ward, the sweet, small-town mechanic, isn’t sure it’s for everyone. Least of all him. His life is chaotic enough without adding the pressure of a relationship. Besides, unrequited love is a real thing and he’s kind of over it.

This works out perfectly until a certain someone throws a wrench—pun intended—into his plans. As they go from adversaries to friends to possibly something more, things get complicated. After all, they know how this story ends. It’s not with them together.

His easy grin is enough to win her over. Her unabashed personality does him in. But are they ready to accept the fact that sometimes you don’t find love where you’re looking for it? Sometimes you find it in the most unexpected, craziest places.

Buy here 

Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6VshqWqEkVtV43DDWlMDKK?si=Rh3YDT9ZTc22IulZD28f4w

Pinterest Board for Crazy: http://bit.ly/2k4zaea

Giveaway: https://gleam.io/QQXIA/crazy-release-giveaway

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Book Review, Books, netgalley, New Release, Romance

Review of Dating by the Book by Mary Ann Marlowe

Four out of five delightful stars

I really liked this book, from its nerdy references (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter) to the discussion of the more historical literary works (Jane Eyre, Little Women) as well as the peek behind the scenes of an author’s life, it was fun to read and very well written. There was also a bit of a mystery to solve, which I will not spoil, but it definitely kept me guessing and kept me reading!

That being said, this book should be considered less of a romance and more of a fantasy. Maddie, the heroine, had four men vying for her attention. Four! I can barely get one to show any interest, so I just had to chalk that up as a fantastical plot device. However, this was my first book by this author, and I requested it from Netgalley because I liked the summary, so I knew what I was getting into! I just had to suspend my disbelief a little bit.

I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that Maddie has a bit of an online flirtation going on with a reviewer she knows as Silver Fox, and I loved this aspect of the story! I think the “flirty exchanges with an online stranger” storylines are super sexy and fun. If only real life online dating went as well as what I read in books!

I also love books that make me say, out loud, “oh wow…” and this one did. I’m looking forward to reading this author’s other books and I’d encourage you to give this one a try! Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Buy Dating by the Book on Amazon here

Book Review, Books, Kindle Unlimited, New Release, Uncategorized

Our Ten Most Anticipated Summer Reads

Summer 2019

What We Are Reading

Well, July starts in a couple of days, so it’s past time for us to talk about the books that have us most excited this summer. Bekka and I generally have similar taste in books, but I think it will be fun to see how different our lists are! In no particular order, here are five of the books that I am looking forward to reading this summer!

Beth’s Summer Must Reads

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Summer of 69 by Elin Hilderbrand

“Four siblings experience the drama, intrigue, and upheaval of a summer when everything changedin New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand’s first historical novel”

There are certain authors that I can count on to release a book in the summer, and I don’t even have to know what it’s about in order to put it on my TBR list. Elin Hilderbrand is one of those authors. Her books primarily take place on Nantucket, which is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go but haven’t made it yet, despite the fact that my dad grew up in New England. Her books are wonderful written, moving and funny, and characters from her other books pop up from time to time. I love when authors do that! If you haven’t read her books, my favorites are The Blue Bistro, The Rumor, and Barefoot. Her Winter series is also very good. I’m especially excited to read this one, since it takes place during the summer of the year I was born.  Summer of 69 was released on June 18, 2019.

 

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Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins

“From the New York Times bestselling author of Good Luck with That comes a new novel about a blue-blood grandmother and her black-sheep granddaughter who discover they are truly two sides of the same coin.”

Kristin Higgins is another of the authors that I always read during the summer. She started off as a romance author, but has recently moved into women’s fiction. I enjoyed her romance books, but her past few books have been deeply moving and wonderful. She’s one of those authors that can make you laugh one minute and cry the next. I’ve read so many of her books, that I can’t even list my favorites! Life and Other Inconveniences will be released on August 6, 2019.

 

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Gin Fling (Bootleg Springs #5) by Lucy Score and Claire Kingsley

“A slow grin spread across his face and I had to turn away from the wattage. It was like staring at the sun. The handsome sun that was making my core temperature rise and causing a hormone dump in my brain. — Shelby Thompson “

In order to get the most out of this book, you would need to read the first four books in the Bootleg Springs series, but I’d definitely recommend that! This series centers around the Bodine siblings and the disappearance of a young woman, Callie Kendall, that took place years ago in their hometown of Bootleg Springs, West Virginia. Lucy Score and her writing partner, Claire Kingsley, have split up the six books in this series, each taking three of the stories. Gin Fling is Lucy’s third Bootleg Springs book, and I can’t wait to get closer to finding out what happened to Callie Kendall. This book also reveals the relationship that develops between Jonah Bodine and Shelby Thompson. Gin Fling was released on June 25, 2019 and is available on Kindle Unlimited.

 

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Superfan (Brooklyn Bruisers # 6) by Sarina Bowen

Sometimes lady luck shakes your hand, and sometimes she smacks your face. Sometimes she does both on the same day.

Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series is about the lives of the players on a fictional hockey team. It occasionally crosses over with True North, another of Ms. Bowen’s series, but each book can be read as a standalone. I actually have a couple of books in this series that I haven’t read yet (Hard Hitter, Pipe Dreams, Overnight Sensation) so it looks like it will be a hockey summer for me! Sarina Bowen is one of my favorite authors, (her Man Hands series with Tanya Eby and her standalone titled Top Secret are amazing!)  I can’t wait to get caught up on the lives of Bruisers Patrick, Mike and Jason so I can see what trouble Silas is getting into! Superfan was released on June 25, 2019.

 

 

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Preservation (Walsh Series #7) by Kate Canterbary

Two lonely hearts. An arrangement of mutual benefit. One wild weekend. Some things have to fall apart before they can be put back together.

I read the first book in this 8-book series about the Walsh siblings a couple of years ago, and was excited to read the rest of them (I even bought book 2, The Space Between, right after reading the first book, Underneath it All), but other books always got in the way. When a 99 cent deal came along for Kindle Unlimited last month, I jumped on it and decided to read the rest of the Walsh family books while I had the chance. I’m so glad I did. Last week, I devoured books 3 and 5 (Necessary Restorations, and Restored, which were both about Tiel and Sam) and am currently reading (and listening to!) book 4 (The Cornerstone, which is Shannon and Will’s story). I am eagerly anticipating getting to Preservation, which is about the youngest Walsh sibling, Riley, but I’m not going to rush through the rest of the series because it’s way too good for that! The Walsh series is available on Kindle Unlimited.

 

Bekka’s Summer Must Reads

Every Spring I spend quite a bit of time combing through summer reading lists and “season’s best beach reads” to develop the perfect list. I talk to friends, I scour Amazon editor picks, Good Reads “summer” shelves, and popular magazine most-anticipated lists. Here’s what I’m reading this summer!!!

Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

The New York Times bestselling author of Pucked and The Good Luck Charm delivers a Hollywood happily-ever-after where a famous heartthrob falls for his ultimate fangirl.
 
“As charming as its title, but it’s also so much more… Fans of Jasmine Guillory’s The Wedding Date and Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient will love Meet Cute.” —The Washington Independent Review of Books
Read my review here.

 

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Belly has an unforgettable summer in this stunning start to the Summer I Turned Pretty series from the New York Times bestselling author of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (soon to be a major motion picture!), Jenny Han. – Amazon

I just finished this one and it is summer-rific! Transporting you back to what it was like to be a teenager dealing with changes, hopes, possibilities. Set at a beach house, you’ll get right into the feel of summer with this one. Stay tuned for a full review.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

From the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don’t have to be a good girl to be a good person.

Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love.  – Amazon

The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams

I added this one because all good summer book lists have a Beatriz Williams novel on it (sorry Beth, LOL).

Beatriz Williams, the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Wives, is back with another hot summer read; a dazzling epic of World War II in which a beautiful young “society reporter” is sent to the Bahamas, a haven of spies, traitors, and the infamous Duke and Duchess of Windsor.  – Amazon

 

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Named a “Must-Read” by TODAY, Us Weekly, Bustle, BuzzFeed, Goodreads, Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, Southern Living, Book Riot, Woman’s Day, The Toronto Star, and more!

 From one of Beth and my favorite author duos comes what I anticipate to be a hilarious and satisfying summer read. Read Beth’s full review here.

 

 

 

 

Because I just can’t help myself here are others that I am planning to read or have already:

The Mister by E.L. James

The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah

I Think You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Ready to Fall by Daisy Prescott (Recommended by one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Hunter)

Fifth Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen

Book Review, Books, Romance

Review of The Magnolia Chronicles: Adventures in Modern Dating by Kate Canterbary

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5 of 5 funny and relatable stars

I can tell how good a book is by how many times I use the highlight feature on my Kindle. For this book, I highlighted 32 passages. 32! I think it’s probably a record! And these were just the passages that resonated with me. If I also highlighted all the times that this book made me laugh out loud, that number would be much higher.

I’ve only read a few of Kate Canterbary’s books, and I’ve enjoyed them all, but I think this is my favorite so far. It was originally released in her newsletter as a serial, but I have zero patience, so I waited until it was released as an entire book before I read it. I am currently in the same boat as Magnolia was at the beginning of the book: trying to find a good man. As she says at one point, “It shouldn’t be this difficult.” And yet, it is! Every woman (and man) has their dating horror stories, and many of Magnolia’s made me laugh out loud, and others made me cringe while also being grateful I haven’t had to deal with the men she that had!

Of course, the story delves a bit into the fantasy realm, when she finds not one, but TWO good men to date, and they are are ok with her dating both of them at the same time. (But I guess that’s why we read, to escape reality! 🙂 ) I don’t hold this against her, though, because given the opportunity, I’m sure I’d do the same thing!

The book is so cleverly written (many chapters begin with the words “my date was…” ), and so funny, (“The weekend rolled around but I forgot all about baking. It was probably a blessing in disguise since my sweet breads only rose about half of the time. That seemed like a fair statement on my ability to function as an adult too: fifty percent meeting expectations, fifty percent blobbing around like thick, doughy uselessness.”) and so relatable (“dating was draining my soul.”)

I also enjoy that her books are based in Boston, unlike so many stories that take place in New York. Don’t get me wrong, I love NYC, but the change in venue is refreshing. There’s just something so fun about a woman who has a tiny dog named Gronk! I’ve read some other reviews, and one problem some readers had with it is the lack of actual sexy times, which KC is VERY good at writing. I don’t think this book suffered from their omission, but I was surprised by it.

I am looking forward to reading it again, and I’ve also been inspired to read the rest of the Walsh series. (I’ve only read the first one, Underneath It All, and part of the second, The Space Between, as well as a separate standalone, Coastal Elite, which is actually the KC book that started it all for me!)

Buy The Magnolia Chronicles

Book Review, Books, New Release, Romance, Uncategorized

Review: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

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4 of 5 original stars

I’ve blogged about my love for books by Christina Lauren in the past. I try to read their new ones as soon as they come out. I was able to snag this book pretty quickly at my library and dove into it right away. It’s an Enemies-to-Lovers story, with a bit of Vacation Fling thrown in for good measure. Enemies-to-Lovers is not my favorite trope, but since it was a CL book, I knew that I would enjoy it. And I was right.

The story begins at the wedding of Olive’s twin sister and Ethan’s brother, where suddenly the entire wedding party comes down with food poisoning, save Olive and Ethan. Since the bride and groom can’t go on their honeymoon to Maui, they insist that Olive and Ethan go instead. The problem is, they can’t stand each other, but how can they pass up a free trip to Hawaii? (It is free for Olive and Ethan, but was also free for Olive’s sister, Ami, who won it in a contest. But that’s a whole different part of the story!) They go on the trip, and are determined to keep to themselves and avoid each other at all costs, but of course, that’s not the way things end up.

If you’ve never read a CL book, I’m here to tell you that these two ladies write funny, funny stuff. I read most of this book on a bus full of middle school choir students on the way to/from an amusement park, and I kept chuckling and snorting loudly, and I do not apologize for that! My favorite ongoing joke is that at the beginning, Ethan pretends he doesn’t know Olive’s name, even though they’ve known each other for years, and calls her “Olivia” every time he sees her. But once they have gotten to know each other a little better, and like each other a little more, the two of them start calling each other by different names as more of a term of endearment than a show of disrespect. It made me laugh out loud every time. Olive and Ami’s huge, all-up-in-their-business family adds lots of hilarity, as well.

I’ve stated before that I often have an issue with the conflict a couple goes through in romance novels. A lot of the time, it arises over a stupid misunderstanding, or something that one person overhears, then proceeds to make an incorrect assumption. The conflict that Olive and Ethan go through is not only completely understandable, it’s also entirely unique to this story. (That’s the thing about a CL book: even if the trope is familiar, their treatment of it is one of a kind.) You can empathize with both characters, and see why each of them feels the way they do, and can’t figure out how the situation is going to be resolved. Again, being a CL book, I would be very surprised if ANYONE was able to guess their path to resolution!

If I’d been reading the kindle version, I would have been highlighting the crap of out this book. That’s how I know it’s an excellent story. If it were written by any other author/s, this book would have deserved 5 stars. But CL has ruined me for other books, and even their own work, as far as ratings go. It has to be a book like Roomies or Love and Other Words to earn a 5-star rating from me. While this book was original and funny, it didn’t grab at my emotions like the two aforementioned books did, (although I did cry a couple of times at the end.)

Bekka and I each have gotten an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of Christina Lauren’s next book, Twice in a Blue Moon, which isn’t out until October. She’s read it already, and after I’ve read my copy, we will do a dual review. Looking forward to that!

Purchase The Unhoneymooners

Uncategorized

Review of The Promise of Us, Sanctuary Sound #2 by Jamie Beck

This is the second in the Sanctuary Sound series about three childhood friends. I enjoyed this story, though it took a while for me to get into it. If I had to classify it, I’d say it was a friends-to-enemies-to-lovers book. I love a couple with a complicated history!

Logan is the big brother of Claire’s childhood friend, Peyton, and she has had a crush on him since the moment she laid eyes on him. After Claire and Peyton’s relationship suffers insurmountable damage, it seems that Claire and Logan’s will, too. But this story is about how they make their way back to each other, and it’s both beautifully written and has its laugh out loud moments. Jamie Beck does it again.

Buy The Promise of Us on Amazon or read for free in Kindle Unlimited

Book Review, Books, New Release, Romance

Review: Well Suited, Red Lipstick Coalition #4 by Staci Hart

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5 out of 5 interesting and unusual stars

I’ve been reading a lot lately, but haven’t reviewed a book in quite a while. My review of Midnight Valentine doesn’t really count, because I basically copied and pasted my initial review to the blog, so there was no original thought required. 🙂

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Staci Hart is an exceptional writer, and I’ve enjoyed every one of her books. The whole Red Lipstick Coalition series is delightful and charming and fun. I love books that take place in New York City. At one point, Theo takes a walk through the city, and I could see all the places in my mind’s eye.

Each book can be read as a standalone, if you’re not ready to invest the time in an entire series. (Naturally, I think once you’ve read one, you’ll want to read them all!) My favorite is still book 2, Player, because it’s about Broadway musicians, but this fourth book is wonderful. Of course, by the final book in a series, you know the supporting characters really well, having already read their stories. It’s lovely to see Val and Sam, Rin and Court, and Amelia and Tommy play a role in the telling of the coming together of Katherine and Theo.

We’ve known Katherine since book 1, Piece of Work, and she is, as they say, a quirky bird. (Probably not coincidentally, Staci Hart is known as @imaquirkybird on Twitter!) Katherine likes rules, and order. She likes to make plans, and she’s happiest when things go according to her plans! I had a bit of trouble relating to her in the first three books, because she can be a little off-putting, what with her spouting facts and speaking in a very clinical manner, but I can really relate to this aspect of her personality.  I, too, like when things go the way I’ve planned them!

You can imagine that she’s thrown for a bit of a loop when she discovers that she’s unexpectedly pregnant by the brother of her friend Amelia’s husband, with whom she had a one-night stand. She doesn’t believe in love and relationships, but she wants to give her baby the best possible life, so she and Theo enter into a sort of understanding, complete with rules and expectations.

If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know how everything feels completely out of your control: your body, your emotions, your circumstances, and your best-laid plans. Katherine feels this way, and she really doesn’t like it! It was quite funny to read about how much she had to change the way she looked at the world, and see her frustration with having to learn to let go of the rules and expectations she had put on herself, her life, and her relationship with Theo.

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Speaking of Theo, I think he’s my favorite of the RLC heroes. I was a little jealous of Katherine, reading about how he anticipated her every need and cared for her and their unborn baby with such devotion, putting up with her quirks and all of the disorder that pregnancy brought to Katherine’s orderly emotions. He was exactly what “Kate”, as he and only he is allowed to call her, needed, even if she couldn’t see it.

Every couple has its moment of difficulty, and I often find myself getting stressed out as I see it approaching. (Sometimes I have to stop reading altogether for a little while!) I really hate when the cause is something stupid, like a disagreement or a misunderstanding which could have been avoided if the couple had simply talked to each other. When Kate and Theo reach this point in their story, it makes complete sense, because they really are two very different people with completely separate outlooks on love and relationships; and I wasn’t anxious about the cause or whether or not they would be able make their way back to each other. I was certain that they would, and not in a “it’s a romance book, and the fourth in a series, no less; of course they’re going to make up!” It’s because these two characters were so perfectly written, that it would not have made sense for them to end up any other way, and I trusted Staci Hart to get them there.

Buy Well Suited on Amazon, or read for free through Kindle Unlimited

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