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

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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 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

Books, New Release, Romance

Review of “Next in Line” by Amy Daws

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5 of 5 pun-loving stars

Sam has his family, and his business, and his best friend Miles. He’s a pretty solitary guy, and isn’t interested in a relationship. But when he comes to the rescue of a “damsel in distress” in his favorite bait shop, his life changes in a way he didn’t expect.

Maggie is at a bit of a crossroads in her life, (which I can relate to). She thought her life was going in one direction and suddenly she’s looking at a very different future than she expected. She decides to go on a bit of a voyage of self-discovery, and gets more than she bargains for.

Next in Line was my first Amy Daws book, and pardon the fish pun, but I am hooked! It’s a Best Friend’s Little Sister story, but there’s so much more to it than a simple trope. First of all, ice fishing! Have you read a book whose opening scene takes place in a Bait & Tackle shop? Because I haven’t! Secondly, the couple in question does not know they have a common interest until chapter 5. Third and finally, Maggie’s main goal throughout most of the book is getting her ex-boyfriend back! Of course, things turn out much differently than she expects and we are all better off for it.

Next in Line is the second in a series whose first book is titled Wait with Me. Each can be read as a standalone, available to read for free through Kindle Unlimited.

Buy Next in Line on Amazon

Thanks to Amy Daws for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Books, Romance

Review of Finally Mine: A Small Town Love Story by Lucy Score

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5 of 5 Small Town Stars

Finally Mine is the second book in a series about the couples in a small town called Benevolence. The first is called Pretend You’re Mine, which was the first Lucy Score book that I ever read. I have been fortunate enough since then to have become a member of her ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) team, and am so happy to have been given the chance to read Finally Mine!

I have to admit, I wish I could have gone back to read PYM before reading FM, but due to time constraints (not to mention the SNEAK ATTACK of this book on us unsuspecting readers!), I was not able to. (I did find a paperback copy of PYM at a used bookstore the other day, though, so a re-read is in my future.)

It had been so long since I’d read PYM, that I only had vague recollections of what happened in that book. I do remember a fun polar plunge and a very sexy office scene, and a mention of Gloria and Aldo here and there, but other than that, I could have used a refresher.

That being said, you could totally read this book as a standalone, without having read PYM. It would give you some spoilers about things that happen in PYM, but I don’t see it as a big problem. I actually loved that it wasn’t really a sequel, as it took place around the same time as the events in PYM were taking place. (Penny Reid does that with her Winston brothers series, and I really enjoy that.)

The bottom line: Aldo and Gloria have a complicated history, which is one of my favorite kinds of couples. They are both damaged, in more ways than one, and the real heart of this book is whether each of them can see past their scars (not wounds!) and allow themselves to love and be loved.

As an Army brat, I really liked the military aspect of this story. There’s also the Small Town feel that Lucy is so good at (see her Blue Moon series), as well as some very fun sexy times. Not every author writes these well, but Lucy really does! This particular book delved into some interesting issues surrounding sexy times, which I won’t spoil, but it was very well handled and I enjoyed it very much.

I will admit that I do hate that inevitable moment when the couple “breaks up,” and I *really* hate when it’s because one or the other of them is being an idiot, and that’s what happens here. But I understand that the conflict has to happen so that they can have their reunion and subsequent HEA.

Lucy Score is one of my favorite authors. She is crack-me-up funny, but oftentimes, she will hit you with a life lesson that is simple but profound. For example, “It doesn’t matter what happens to you. In the end, all we are is our ability to love. That never gets taken away or diminished.” and, “Without pain, there is no joy.” Phew. Deep!! Her writing made me tear up multiple times in this book. I love when that happens.

This may be my new favorite Lucy Score book, and I was especially excited to see that we will be going back to Benevolence sometimes next year to see Lincoln Reed meet his match!

Buy Finally Mine on Amazon, or read for free with Kindle Unlimited!
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