Saturday, December 31, 2016

Book Review: You First by Stephanie Fournet

Driven. Private. Insanely talented.

Gray Blakewood is the most successful crime writer under the age of thirty—and he has a secret that could cost him his life.

He just wants to finish his latest novel before his world unravels, and the last thing he needs is a beautiful distraction.

Meredith Ryan, his new personal assistant, has seen more than her fair share of hard knocks. And, still, she’s the sweetest person he’s ever met.

She deserves a lifetime of happiness—which he can’t offer.

But he can’t seem to stay away.

Once again, Stephanie Fournet knocked it out of the park!! I read my first Fournet book in March of this year and I said that it wouldn't be my last. Now that one, (Leave a Mark) was absolutely amazing and while I knew that any other book by this author would be just as fabulous, I had no clue that something could be better than that first one. Well, this one was better. Better than better. 

Just one of the awesome strengths that Fournet has as a writer is her ability to create these amazing characters. All of them have always been these completely developed, fully fleshed out, realistic characters. It feels like you're reading about someone you know. I haven't found that very often in my reading. The great part is that these characters pull you in before you even know what is happening. It's almost as if you are a part of the story as well because you feel like you totally connect with them and what is happening around them. I really enjoyed getting to know Meredith and Gray. I wish this book was part of a series because I'd love to read more about them. I just couldn't seem to get enough. 

I've loved characters before but it was nothing like the adoration I felt for Meredith. She's this super strong, independent and selfless girl who you can't help but love and root for. Even though Meredith and I have absolutely nothing in common, I felt like we were on the same page. How amazing is that?!? To feel a connection where there is nothing to support or sustain such a feeling. Awesome.

And Gray. He was the perfect balance of stubbornness and caring and protectiveness that I'm pretty sure all ladies are looking for. I couldn't get enough of Gray. If the author ever wants to write a little novella just on Gray and how he looks while he's sitting in front of his fire with the dogs at his feet as he writes, I would totally be first in line to pick that up. 

The story itself was both sad and hopeful. Gosh, my emotions were all over the damn place with this book. I was happy, then sad, then happy again and then pissed, then laughing, then swoony and then pissed again and around and around and around. The story will really keep you on your toes. You think you know what is going to happen next and I'll tell you, you're completely wrong. If you're looking for something to read that will really resonate with you, this is it. I highly recommend that you give this one a read because it is absolutely amazing. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available Now

Friday, December 30, 2016

Book Review: Dare Me (Dare Me #1) by Rebecca Shea

Five coworkers.
Four drinks.
Three glances.
Two fleeting smiles.
One dare.

A dare that will change my life.

That’s all it takes to send me plummeting into the arms of the mysterious Holt Hamilton. Behind his crystal blue eyes is a secret, one that screams danger but calls to me anyway.

My name is Saige Phillips.

I never walk away from a dare.


This one was a little difficult to read at times. The things that our main character, Saige, has to live with and go through are more than horrendous. While it was sad to see her struggle with things in her life, it was also interesting to watch her try to pick herself back up. 

I think that's one of the things that I love about reading ... you get this opportunity to live through someone else for a short time period and see how they would handle things. It may not be something that you'll ever go through in your lifetime but it is always food for thought. 

Until this book, I had never read anything by Rebecca Shea before. I really didn't know what to expect when I started delving into the pages but it was a really pleasant surprise to find an author who so completely created characters. There was nothing missing - I never had to sit and wonder why a character was behaving the way that they were or why they thought the things that they did because Shea laid the groundwork out for her audience and fleshed these characters out. By the time I reached the last page, I felt like I knew these characters better than I do some of my friends. Which is good ... and sad ...

The book moves along at a great pace and the story flows from one plot point to the next without any hiccups or slow-downs. Because of that, it was a fast read and one that took me just a short while to finish. And can I say how very much I liked Holt. Dude. Well, he was a bit of an a-hole. Speaking of a-holes, cats do this thing where they're rubbing on your hand and then they will bite the shit out of you and then lick the spot where they bit you  - my reading relationship with Holt is like that ... I really liked him and then I hated him but then quickly the hate dissipated and I loved him again.  

Anyway, great plot and character development. Shea set it up to where any of the secondary characters could be the main focus in the next book and I can't wait to see who it will be about!

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available Now

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Book Review: Wrecking Ball (Hard To Love #1) by P. Dangelico

Cam DeSantis’ life is a hot, steaming pile. How else would you describe losing your husband, your job, and your money all at once? Desperate times call for desperate measures, so when salvation comes in the form of one intolerable a-hole, who just happens to be the starting quarterback for the vaunted NY Titans, she has no choice but to accept his offer as a live-in nanny slash teacher for his eight year old nephew. Now all she has to do is find a safe place in her mind to hide whenever she feels the need to throat punch him into tomorrow…which is often.

Calvin Shaw has zero interest in women. Wait, wait––let me rephrase that. He loves women, he just doesn’t want anything to do with ‘um. Not since his wife, presently ex-wife, got knocked up by the guy she was cheating on him with. Problem is...there’s one living in his house. And he doesn’t know what’s worse, that he promised to be civil, or that he’s attracted to her.


To say that I absolutely adored this book would be a gross understatement. Kinda like me saying that I "hardly ever" wait until my kids go to bed and then break out the good snacks and go eat them in the car in shame. Yeah. So I more than adored this book. I loved every stinking period and comma on these damn pages. 

I was NOT expecting it to be so funny!! It was hilarious in parts and then gut-wrenching in others and it was an amazing mix of both of these in between. I immediately connected with the main character, Cam. Cam is my spirit animal. I hope to be like her when I grow up. She's sassy and spunky and just a tad bit crazy. I thought that her relationship with the leading man, Calvin was adorable. Holy shit, he was an amazingly huge asshole when these two first met and I was kind of waiting for her to set him on fire, if I'm being completely honest. I would seriously debate doing that myself if Calvin had talked about me the way he did about Cam. That man is lucky he's fictional. 

The story moved along at a great little clip, never pausing to let the reader get bored or tired of anything. My attention is sometimes hard to keep but not this time. I was totally entertained the entire time I was reading this book. Not that I was reading for that long ... I sped through this book and then wanted to smack myself for blowing through it and not taking my time because before I knew it, it was over and I had to move on to the next novel. 

This is an author that I will ALWAYS follow. I really hope that the rest of the series is this funny and romantic and sweet and infuriating. My emotions were really all over the place with Wrecking Ball and I wouldn't have it any other way. Such a great book and so much more than the blurb leads you to believe. I hope I forget about it so I can experience this one all over again. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available: January 19th, 2017

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Book Review: A Sure Thing (The Donnigans #1) by Marie Harte

Meet the Donnigans
With the eldest Donnigan brothers adjusting to civilian life, their younger sister constantly in trouble, and their little brother clueless about life in general, falling in love is the last thing on anyone's mind...

Can this Bossy Badass Marine...
The Marine Corps was everything Landon Donnigan ever wanted in life...until a bullet sent him home with a medical discharge. Teaching a self-defense class at the gym is old-hat for a marine, but when he meets sexy Ava Rosenthal, his combat skills are useless for protecting his heart.

Be her Mr. Right?
Ava can take care of herself and likes quiet, bookish men-not muscular warriors who think women need to be coddled. But Landon is more than he seems, and when they come together, the results are explosive.


This is the first book that I've read by Marie Harte and it won't be the last. I checked out the average rating for this book after I was done and I was a little shocked! The rating really isn't that high and if I could give this half stars, it would have been a 4.5 book for me. I REALLY enjoyed this one. Maybe too much ... 

I instantly fell in love with Landon and it wasn't too many pages later that I began to just adore Ava. And what a couple!! Landon is cocky as hell and as irritating that that trait is, it was beyond hot. He's this sexy dude that you just can't stay away from. Ava was sweet and sassy and knows exactly what she wants and what she doesn't in every aspect of her life. 

When you put these two together, you get nothing but sparks. Landon irritates the ever loving shit out of Ava and I couldn't help but grin like an idiot every time that he did something because it just reminded me so much of my husband. That man knows how to push my damn buttons and not always the good ones. Watching the love story unfold was just all-encompassing with this book. I couldn't put it down and I blew through it in less than a day. Our kids didn't get showers and I have no clue if they ate lunch, but I finished this book! It's all about priorities. 

This book was so close to perfection and with how Harte set all of these characters up, I'm excited to see who the next book in the series is going to be about. I think I may have found a new series to stalk. Good book, amazing sparks and a couple of characters that are at the top of my favorites list for the year. I just wish I had read it sooner.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review *

Available Now

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Book Review: Never Too Late (Appleby #1) by Alyssia Leon

Sweet village girl, Molly King, has always lived for others. But when her beloved shows up with a stunning new fiancee on his arm, and her childhood home is sold out from beneath her, Molly’s world crumbles.

Billionaire developer, Jake Hennessy, craves escape from a love that destroyed him. Appleby village in the beautiful English countryside is the perfect distraction. That is until hot attraction flares and Molly turns out to be an even greater distraction. Now all he craves is a few nights with her. No love. No complications.

In the middle of village gossip and scandal, Molly struggles to rebuild her life. But Jake is a dangerous temptation who will demolish both her heart and her home. When he leaves Appleby, Molly and her grandmother will find themselves out on the streets.
Can she resist him or will she lose everything?


When I first picked this book up and started reading, I honestly thought that it was a historical romance novel. Not sure if that is good or bad but this book is totally NOT a historical romance. I was super confused when one of the characters started talking about email and then I had to go back and reread the first part of the book and wonder if I had missed some flashing indicator that told me this book was taking place in the now. 
I liked this book ... I thought the characters were good and I really liked the idea behind the story. That was all good. What wasn't all good was how wordy I thought this book was. I understand wanting to weave this story and the more details the better because that means everything was fleshed out. Got it. But this was beyond that. There was just too much. Too much dead time in the story because of all of these extra words and that brought my excitement for the story way down. 

It was actually kind of sad. I LOVED the romance between Jake and Molly. I liked the push and pull that was going on between them and let's just be honest ... Jake was awesome. He was bossy and sexy and romantic and sweet and I just couldn't get enough of him. Molly was also great. But the words between them on the pages became oceans and then it was just too much for me to overcome. 

The ending came as a bit of a surprise ... the rest of the book was strung along with all of these extra descriptions and words and then you get to the end of the book and it was very cut and dry and there was no beating around the bush for that last part! It was straight to the point almost as if one person edited everything in the book except the last few pages and another person did that part. It was weird! I wish the entire book was written as the last part was. 

I liked the book, I just wish that it moved at a more steady pace so that it would keep my interest. Dang it. The characters were so great! I hate that it turned out like this.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available Now

Book Review: So Twisted (Bad Behavior #1) by Melissa Marino

Sometimes it feels good to be a little bad.

Callie has found the perfect job. As nanny for a single dad and his adorable daughter, she can pay off her student loans and live in a nice house in the heart of Chicago. There's just one problem-her new boss. Definitely no dad bod here. Just six-plus feet of raw, sexual energy. Whoever heard of a dad being so hot?

From the sparkle in his daughter's eyes, Aaron can see that hiring Callie was a good decision. But Callie's breathtaking smile and long legs have him thinking about his own needs. Aaron knows it's a bad idea to get involved with the nanny, but it's been years since anyone has captivated him like Callie.

When living under the same roof proves too tempting to resist, Callie and Aaron discover a mind-blowing passion unlike anything either has experienced. But with a curious child and a nosy family in the mix, their secret, no-strings fling soon turns into a twisted, tangled knot . . .


This is the first book that I've read by Melissa Marino and once again, I was pleasantly surprised with a new (to me) author this year! I don't know how I keep getting lucky with all of these books but I love it! 

It's not very often that I have absolutely no notes that I've written for a book. Usually, I have oodles of notes and then I have to pick and choose what I'm going to gripe about. But this time, nada. And that's because I didn't stop reading long enough to even write anything down. It doesn't hurt that I loved every moment I had with this book. This book is a prime example why I love these romance novels so much. They make me laugh and swoon and they are both heart-wrenching and completely romantic. This one was no exception. 

I started to adore the main characters, Callie and Aaron, almost immediately. Both characters were superbly written and because of that, I was able to just fall into the story as I was falling in love with their story. The tension between these two was almost palpable and you could feel the hope and yearning just coming off of them in waves. The taboo position that they were in (nanny and daddy) didn't feel overplayed as it does in other novels similar to this one and how refreshing was that?!? It's nice to not be able to guess what is going to happen next in a contemporary romance novel. I mean come on, we all know what is going to happen at the end. It's no question. But the journey to get there, the journey that Marino takes you on was one of my favorites for the year. 

I could go on and on about the characters and the steady pace that this novel takes and how there's never a dull moment within these pages but I won't. I'll just say this: Marino is one of my favorite authors now and this book is one of my favorites for the year. I'm excited to see what else this series has to offer and I'll be first in line to get my hands on it. Such a great book and what a sweet trip it took me on. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available Now

Book Review: Addicted to You (Port Lucia #1) by Renita Pizzitola

In a sweet, sexy novel for fans of Abbi Glines, Monica Murphy, and Christina Lauren, the author of Just a Little Kiss tells the story of two friends who each want more—and the love triangle that’s holding them back.

In the sleepy fishing town of Port Lucia, everyone knows everyone, but Isla Diaz really knows Colby Callahan, with his blue-gray eyes and the tousled brown hair always tucked sexily into his cap. After all, Isla has been crazy about Colby ever since she can remember—even if he treats her like a kid sister. Now, without her best friend, Felicity, around, Isla spots a golden opportunity to take things to the next level . . . or at least wrangle a kiss out of Colby.

By random chance, a tropical storm is headed toward the coast, leaving them stranded together overnight—and there’s nothing to do but drink. As the evening wears on, Isla gets the feeling that her not-so-secret crush may finally release her from the friend zone. With her dreams finally coming true, Isla isn’t about to pump the brakes, but is this just a one-time thing? What if the next morning, she needs more than Colby’s prepared to give?

Little does she know, Colby would like nothing more than a real relationship with Isla. She’s always been the one. But there’s a very good reason he’s been keeping his distance. Someone else loves her too, someone who also means the world to Colby: his brother.

I was pleasantly surprised with this book! I've never read this author before but I will again! I haven't been reading many New Adult Romance novels lately and this book makes me question that decision. This review is going to be a bit short ... I don't want to give away anything in the plot and the more I talk about it, the more likely that is going to be. 

Renita Pizzitola seems to channel her inner young lady. She writes about boy troubles like she just went through them the other day and they are fresh in her mind. It really brought me back to my teenage years and the crushing second-guessing that girls seem to do when a cute young man is involved. The characters - especially Isla - were refreshingly realistic and wonderfully well written. It's because of the characters and how completely they were fleshed out that I kept coming back to the story and it stayed with me for a while after I read it. 

The ending though ... was a bit sappy sweet. I didn't think that it fit the rest of the book in the tone that it was but it wasn't so off kilter that it ruined the book. It just didn't feel right to me. 

And the epilogue ... it was completely surprising to not have the epilogue be from Isla's POV but I absolutely adored the change in pace. I loved it and it kind of redeemed the ending for me. 

I've already added more of Pizzitola's books to my ridiculously long TBR pile but I'm pretty sure that I'll be getting to them sooner rather than later. Glad I've found another author to follow.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available Now

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Book Review: Infinity (The Infinity Division #1) by Jus Accardo

There are three things Kori knows for sure about her life:

One: Her army general dad is insanely overprotective.

Two: The guy he sent to watch her, Cade, is way too good-looking.

Three: Everything she knew was a lie.

Now there are three things Kori never knew about her life:

One: There’s a device that allows her to jump dimensions.

Two: Cade’s got a lethal secret.

Three: Someone wants her dead.


When I saw that Jus Accardo had a new book out, I almost did a little dance. I adored another book that I had read by her (Rules of Survival) and I had super high hopes for this one even though it was science fiction. Nothing wrong with scifi but that genre seriously hates me. It seems like no matter what I read from that section, it just doesn't work out. I figured if anyone could break me out of that bad never-ending funk, it would be Accardo. But it just didn't end up like that even though I wanted it to. 

I'm not entirely sure what it is about science fiction that I just don't seem to mesh with. No clue. I used to read Michael Crichton all the time! Maybe he ruined the genre for me. No clue. So anyway, when I saw the blurb for this one, I jumped on it. It sounded super intriguing and like a story I could fall into and not get hung up on the scifi aspects. And that's what happened at first ...

I just loved Kori when I started the book. I thought that she was a little spitfire, super spunky with a bullheadedness that I couldn't help but relate to. Not that I'm bullheaded. Unless you ask my husband and he's wrong. He's always wrong. The aspects of Kori's character that I adored at first quickly became something that was just irritating. Stay with me for a second, this is going to get gnarly but when I was thinking about her character, I was thinking about the wreaths that I used to make. Like I said, stay with me ... so I would make these mesh wreaths and the best way to do it was to make it as gaudy as possible with ribbon and extra crap you throw on it. It's ugly as hell at this point but the way to make it perfect is to add one more aspect ... more ribbon or something big and sparkly ... just take it one more step past gaudy. Then all of the sudden it all makes sense and it's gorgeous. It felt like Kori was like my wreaths ... she had all of these attributes and it made her a little over the top but if she was taken one step further in her character development, I think that she would have been perfect. I just always felt that something was missing with Kori. No clue what it was, but there was a hole that needed filling. 

You know, I didn't really like any of the other characters either. I didn't connect with them on any level and while I liked most of them at first, it wasn't enough to keep it going throughout the entire book. Unfortunately, the characters broke this book for me. It ended up not being anything to do with the science fiction stuff in the book, it was only the characters. I wanted to either love them or hate them or feel SOMETHING. But I didn't. I felt indifferent. And it killed the book. 

I am most definitely almost completely alone with my feelings on this. This is a really highly rated book from an amazing publishing house. We just didn't fit this time. Maybe the next one. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available Now

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Book Review: Her Unexpected Engagement (Checkerberry Inn #2) by Kyra Jacobs

Sometimes you’ve got to fake it ‘til you make it…

Stephanie Fitzpatrick wanted out of the spotlight after her pro-golfer husband was caught on camera cheating. But when she returns to Michigan for a job interview and some much-needed R&R, a fib told by her well-meaning sister has her looking for a temporary fiancé, or she can kiss her new start good-bye.

Desperate to hide the truth, she goes to the one man who can help—her former best friend.

Miles Masterson is relieved to see the Checkerberry Inn beginning to thrive once more. Not only does it ease his mind about his grandmother’s financial future, but also about his decision to finally escape town. But then one all grown up and sexy as hell friend from the past shows up needing rescue. Now the temptation to change the “temporary” arrangement into something more is making it harder to think about leaving.


This is the first time in a very long time that I've gone against my rule of not reading a book in the middle of a series when I haven't read the books that came prior. I think I was pulled in by the statement on Goodreads that reads: Each book in the Checkerberry Inn series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order. I think that this is what did the story in for me. I'm not completely sure why I wasn't a fan, but I really do suspect that it's my own damn fault for not sticking to my rules. 

It kind of goes without saying that I absolutely adore any book that comes from Entangled and any of their zillion imprints. I know that when I pick up one of their books that I will just love it but that most definitely didn't happen this time. 

I'm not sure why I didn't like this book ... the characters are okay, the plot was okay, I kept reading ... although reluctantly at times ... maybe it has something to do with the characters. They really didn't stand out for me. I read this book over a week ago and I honestly had to look up the names of the characters so that I could write this review. That's not a good thing. I want characters to grab me by my metaphorical balls and take me for a ride! That didn't happen. I want to be swept up in the story and lose track of time because I'm so immersed in the book. Now, that didn't happen either. I actually found the pace of the story to be VERY slow. Painfully slow. I just wanted to smack it on the ass and get it moving along. 

I guess I figured out why I didn't like the book, didn't I. The pace was too slow for me, the characters didn't stand a chance in my memory and the story didn't keep me coming back for more. And that's okay, some readers like a slower paced book that they can sink into but I'd rather have it moving a bit faster and drum up some excitement while the pages fly past me. I'm not too sure that this author is the right one for me.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review * 

Available Now