Book Review, Books, New Release, Romance, romantic suspense, series, smartypants romance, Uncategorized

Book Review: Code of Honor, Smartypants Romance Cipher Security book 2, by April White

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5 of 5 suspenseful stars

Since this was a Smartypants romance book, chances were good that I would like it. However, I was happily surprised that I LOVED it! I haven’t read any other books by this author, so I’m definitely looking forward to going back to the first book in the Cipher Security series, Code of Conduct.

I used to read a lot of mysteries and suspense stories: Mary Higgins Clark, Patricia Cornwell, Anna Rivers Siddons, Nevada Barr. Since getting back into romance books, I haven’t read a lot of suspense, but Code of Honor is a nice mixture of the two. Is it a romance book with suspense, or a mystery with a side of romance? Either way, I loved it. It was fast-paced, and interesting, and fun, with a dash of sexy sprinkled here and there. I liked Anna and her relationship with her twin sister, Collette. I loved Darius, and the peek into Iranian culture that his character and his family gives us. I loved that Anna referred to him as a Disney prince throughout the story. It really did paint a lovely picture.

The thing I like best about books from Smartypants Romance is that they often contain characters we love from the Penny Reid Universe, in this case, Cipher’s two big kahunas, Quinn and Dan. April White captures them both perfectly, and as I read Dan’s lines, I could hear them as if they were spoken by Stephen Dexter, who narrated Dan and Kat’s book in the Knitting in the City series, Marriage of Inconvenience. It was a wonderful, unexpected bonus.

When I finished the book, I was all set to give it four stars. Then I read the acknowledgments, which bumped it up to five stars for me, because the mystery in the book was based on REAL LIFE EVENTS. Now I want to read the book all over again, after I’ve read Code of Conduct, of course! Thanks to the author for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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Book Review, Books, New Release, Romance, series, Uncategorized

New Release! Sugarcoated, book 1 in a new series by Erin Nicholas!

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5 of 5 scrumptious stars

I love Erin Nicholas. Her books are the perfect combination of sweet and sexy. This lady knows how to write, and her characters never have conflicts that are the result of a stupid misunderstanding. The strife that their relationships go through – and overcome – comes from a more organic place, and it always makes SENSE. I always roll my eyes in disgust when one character in a story overhears the other, or discovers something on their laptop, or finds out something important before their significant other has the opportunity to tell them. Erin Nicholas could have done any of these things in Sugarcoated, which is the first book in her new Hot Cakes series. But she DIDN’T.  And I love her for it.

Sugarcoated is the story of Zoe and Aiden. They’ve known each other since they were kids; they grew up together. Aiden is Zoe’s brother Cam’s best friend, and he practically lived with them after his mom passed away. Zoe runs the bakery that has been in her family for many years. Aiden is back in town after moving away to run a very successful business with four of his best friends. He’s back for two reasons: because he loves Zoe and wants to have a future with her, and he and his friends are buying the pastry factory that Zoe and her family sees as their number one competition. It’s a very interesting premise for a story, and Erin Nicholas handles it so well.

I just loved this book. It was so well-written, and the storyline was fun, and sexy, and sets up nicely the rest of the books in the series. If you haven’t read her Sapphire Falls series, that is definitely the place to start. There are enough books in that series to get you through this lockdown quarantine business!!

Buy Sugarcoated on Amazon

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

Book Review: New release “Damn Wright,” book 2 in The Wrights series by Skye Jordan

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The first ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) team I was ever a part of was Skye Jordan’s, back when she was writing her Rough Riders hockey novels (which I LOVED). I’m happy to still be reading and reviewing her books, although it’s been a while for me. Somehow I missed the first book in this series, So Wright, and I can’t wait to read it!

Skye Jordan is really good at creating story lines that you haven’t read before. In this book, Emma and Dylan have a very complicated history, and those are my favorite kind of stories! When you start reading, you think there is no way that they will be able to overcome their history, and I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that you would be wrong about that. 🙂

There was a moment in this story where one character finds out something about the other character before he/she has a chance to tell them, and I really hate that because I feel like it’s overused. I know that lack of communication is a real thing in relationships, but it frustrates me when characters in books get into trouble because they won’t simply TALK TO EACH OTHER! It turns out okay, of course, but I like when the issue causing conflict for the couple is more natural, and not such a cliche. The ending was a little predictable, but it was still a good read.

Thanks to the author for the opportunity to read and review this book. I’m thinking that the next book is about Dylan’s sister, Gypsy, which will be fun, because I know there must be a good story there!

Purchase Damn Wright on Amazon here, or read for free through Kindle Unlimited!

audiobook, Books, Hot Sale, Romance, series, Uncategorized

HOT SALE! Speakeasy by Sarina Bowen

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LIMITED TIME ONLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Buy this book before the price goes up on March 14!

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Book 5 of the wonderful True North series by Sarina Bowen, Speakeasy, is on sale for 99 cents, and you can add the Whispersync audio from Audible for $1.99! I LOVE audiobooks, but I’m very particular about  my female narrators. Sometimes I’ll listen to the male-narrated audio sections, then read the ones that are narrated by the female. Weird, maybe, but it’s how I roll. It’s easy with whispersync! It keeps track of where you are in the audiobook and automatically switches to that spot in the kindle version, and vice versa. Pretty nifty trick.

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This is not my favorite book in the series (I think that belongs to book 4, Bountiful, which I’ve only listened to, not read) but for 99 cents, why not take the chance??

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Speakeasy Links
Amazon: http://geni.us/AmazonSpk
Apple: http://geni.us/iBooksSpk
Kobo: http://geni.us/KoboSpk
Nook: http://geni.us/SPKnook
Audio: https://geni.us/AudioSpk

Books, Free book, Romance, series

FREE BOOK – Payback by Amy Daws – Today only!

Payback by Amy Daws is FREE for a limited time!! If you’ve read Blindsided, this is the story of Mac’s best friend – but both can be read as standalones!

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ALLIE HARRIS WANTS PAYBACK.

Her cheating ex deserves to see her living her best life; a one-night-stand with a hot South African soccer player would be the perfect revenge. Right?

Wrong. Allie is so, so wrong.

ROAN DEWALT HAS ALL THE MOVES.

On and off the field he’s at the top of his game. Roan respects hard-work, dedication—and follow through. He’s not a one and done kind of man, and he’s far from being done with Allie Harris.

One sexy night and two years later, Allie’s job brings her back to town. Opportunity for the perfect replay Roan has been fantasizing about since they slept together.

THE PROBLEM?

Allie Harris has a secret; one she’s been keeping from Roan all this time. Digital proof of their one night together—taken without his consent.

Will Allie’s payback plan come back to bite them both? Or can she erase her past mistake and embrace a new future with Roan?

#OneClick now: https://geni.us/AmyDawsPayback

#Payback #AmyDaws #Free

Book Review, Books, Kindle Unlimited, Romance, series, Uncategorized

Book Review: Insatiable by Melanie Harlow, Cloverleigh Farms book 3

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4 of 5 swoony stars

Several years ago, Melanie Harlow was one of the first authors that I fell in love with when I started reading romance again after a long hiatus. Her book Some Sort of Love, from the Happy Crazy Love series, is still one of my favorite books. Melanie Harlow is from Michigan, like me, and I enjoy the references to places that I’m familiar with in each of her books.

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I enjoy this newer Cloverleigh Farms series. I’ve read books 2 & 3, both of which have couples with a complicated history. In book 3, Insatiable, Noah and Meg have been best friends since childhood. He’s always been her protector, and even saved her life once. Although he has had more romantic feelings for her in the past, he’d never acted on them because he didn’t want to ruin the wonderful friendship that they had.

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When Meg comes back to town for her sister’s wedding, after years away, she asks him why he never made a move on her…and you can guess what happens next!

One of the things I loved about Some Sort of Love was that hero, Levi, was the single dad of a son who was on the autism spectrum. As a mom of a special needs child, I don’t find families of special needs children represented much in books of any genre, so it is refreshing to find them in several of Melanie Harlow’s books. In this story, Noah’s twin brother, Asher, has cerebral palsy, which is what my son has. You get to read about the way his family cares for him, the blessings and the struggles, and also the doubts that his mom has in allowing other people to help care for him. I could definitely relate to that!

Melanie Harlow is GREAT at writing sexy times, and she never resorts to a stupid misunderstanding when it’s time for the Moment of Conflict, which makes her far above several of the authors I’ve read lately! I’m looking forward to reading the other books in this series: Irresistible, which is book 1, and the remaining books that I assume are coming, since there are 5 sisters in the Sawyer family, and April and Sylvia’s stories have yet to be told!

Read Insatiable in Kindle Unlimited

Books, Kindle Unlimited, New Release, Romance, smartypants romance, Uncategorized

Book Review: New Smartypants Romance Release Crime and Periodicals, Green Valley Library book 2

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4 of 5 nerdalicious stars

Any book that has a reference to my favorite literary hero, Samwise Gamgee, gets a thumbs up from me! This was my first Nora Everly book, and she has earned a reader for life. There was so much to love in this book.

1. So. Much. Nerdiness! Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars…and some that even I didn’t know, and I consider myself to be pretty nerdy. Sabrina is an uber-nerd, she doesn’t apologize for it, and I could really relate to that!

2. Single dad. I love a good single dad story, and one where said dad accepts and loves the child/ren of the woman he adores is even better. Wyatt is a fantastic hero, and I really enjoyed his relationship with his own children, as well as his extended family.

3. Special needs child. This may seem like a weird thing to be a plus, but when you’re the mom of a special needs child yourself, it means a lot to see one as a main character. Sabrina’s nephew, Harry, who she is in the process of adopting, is on the spectrum, so his special needs are different than those of my son. But all special needs moms/dads are on the same team.

4. All the Winstons! If you have read Penny Reid’s Winston brothers series, then you will love this book. (And if you haven’t, I’m surprised you even found your way to Crime and Periodicals. Get yourself a copy of Truth or Beard, immediately! You won’t regret it.) Sabrina runs into Winstons everywhere she turns, much to her chagrin, and almost every time, their interactions end up being embarassingly and unintentionally hilarious!

5. A main character with anxiety. I don’t think Sabrina ever puts an official diagnosis to her anxiety issue, but it is a major part of her life. My daughters struggle with anxiety to differing degrees, and it was informative and interesting to see the way it affected Sabrina’s everyday interactions. She works hard to overcome it, making it a big part of her storyline and character development.

6. I love a story that can make me laugh one sentence and tear up the next. This is one of those.

You don’t have to have read any of the other Smartypants Romance books to enjoy this one. In fact, I read Green Valley library book 3, Prose before Bros, before I read this one. (Review earlier in the blog! Check it out!) The books in the Smartypants Romance collection are written by different authors, and the storylines do not overlap, so you can start anywhere. I’d totally recommend Crime and Periodicals!

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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 changed, in 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