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Monthly Archives: December 2014

Book Review: Erased by K.Webster and Elle Christensen

Joss Parker’s life is a fairytale come true. She’s a concert pianist in New York who lives with her longtime boyfriend and is close with her fiercely protective father—until one fateful night when she is taken in the middle of the night.

In a desperate attempt to access a program that could be a threat to national security, her ability to play the piano is threatened. Her world comes crashing down when her father puts his need to protect a program over his own daughter.

At the last minute, Joss finds herself whisked away by an unlikely ally. 

She later lands in the protective custody of none other than small-town bad boy and bar owner Derek Slade. Slade is entrusted to look after Joss and see to it that she hides behind her new persona, Jill, so that bad people don’t find her ever again.

Joss has been erased. Joss is now Jill.

As Joss trades her blond locks for Jill’s mahogany ones, she also takes on the strength of her new persona. Jill is someone who doesn’t put up with crap. Jill doesn’t trust easily. Jill must protect the broken heart of Joss.

Joss and Slade battle an intense attraction, but she isn’t the only one with secrets. Behind Slade’s silver eyes are mysteries he’s unwilling to share. Slade knows better than to get involved with Joss, yet he finds it nearly impossible to push her away. 

What happens when Slade crosses the line of protector? Can he protect her when the evils of both of their pasts come back to haunt them?

My Review

An amazing debut novel by author Elle Christensen! When I heard that K. Webster and Elle Christensen were teaming up to write a novel, I was super excited. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book, and I was not disappointed!!

Erased follows the story of Joss and Derek. Joss’s life seems perfect, a dream come true. She has her dream job, boyfriend and protective father. Everything is perfect until one night. This one night, her entire life will change. She will find that people are not who they seem to be. Someone she’s known and trusted her entire life wants access to a program and Joss is the key to getting that program. But, her father isn’t willing to give up the information needed and at the last minute, Joss is saved by an unlikely person…..Joss finds herself in a small town with Derek Slade. Slade’s job is give Joss a new life and keep her safe. Joss no longer exists. Joss has now become Jill…..As Joss starts her life over as Jill, she’s suddenly taking charge of things. She’s stronger, feistier, and doesn’t put up with anything. She doesn’t trust anyone and will protect her heart at all costs. The last thing Joss ever planned on, was falling for her protector, Slade.  Their attraction is instant and intense. But, Slade has secrets and the lines of protector become blurred. Will they give into their attraction? What will happen when the past catches up with the both of them??

I was hooked on Erased from the very first page. The plot and  writing kept me completely captivated. I got lost in the suspense and the mystery of the story. I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. The characters were easy to connect with and had scorching chemistry. I couldn’t get enough of Joss and Derek. I loved the push and pull of their relationship and watching them try to fight their attraction! Derek was the perfect dirty talking bad boy. Let’s just say, the two of them together: SCORCHING!!

“I just want to stay here forever, block out the real world and fuse our bodies together, living as one, making up for those jagged pieces we are on our own”

Erased was a quick and easy read for me. It was impossible to put down. I devoured this book in about 4 hours!! It had it all for me: angst, action, romance, suspense, and lots of sexy times.  This is one of those books that once I was finished, I immediately wanted to read it over again. That’s how much I enjoyed it. Erased is the debut novel by Elle Christensen and  adding K. Webster into the mix, makes for one exciting read! Elle Christensen is definitely an author to watch out for. 

*I recieved an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

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Release Day Blitz and Review: Path of Destruction by Elizabeth Lee and Caisey Quinn

Title: Path of Destruction (Broken Heartland #2)

Author: E. Lee and C. Quinn

Age Group: Upper YA/NA

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: December 24, 2014

Goodreads

Amazon

 

Synopsis 

They ignored the warning signs and it cost them everything… 

At the end of a life-changing summer a devastating tornado hit the small town of Hope’s Grove, Oklahoma.

While the brick suburban mansions of Summit Bluffs saw very little damage, their occupants weren’t so lucky. As the members of both communities struggle to put the pieces of their lives back together, lies will be told, truths will be revealed, and nothing will ever be the same. The road to recovery is long and paved with past hurts and future heartbreaks.

They ignored the warning signs, and one of them didn’t make it out alive. The four that remain know they’d be crazy to think the storms are actually over.. 

Because it’s just when you think you’re safe that you find yourself right in the path of destruction.

 

EXCERPT

Prologue – Cameron

I’d always heard that your entire life flashes before your eyes right before you die. Now, I can honestly say that it’s true. Well, almost true. It’s more like your mind flips through a mental photo album of all the things you’d done and the people you’d met—a birthday party, the first time you drove, someone’s face when you told them they’d never be as pretty as you, your mother’s reprimanding glare when you didn’t win the pageant title you were supposed to, you as a little girl waiting on the front steps for your father to come home—it’s all there. The good, the bad, the ugly. All of it.
 

You can try to focus on the good—like the face of the person you loved—but it’s no use. Whether you want to or not, you see it all. It must be God’s way of letting you see what he saw so you aren’t surprised when you end up on the other side in Hell. Which is exactly where I’d assumed I’d just booked a first class ticket too.

I was too weak to fight it—to argue that I was in fact a good person—once the storm decided that I was going to be one of its victims, there was nothing I could do but try to hold on to the face of the one person I was sure I’d never see again.

Served me right. I shouldn’t have waited to tell him how I felt. I should have told him the moment I felt it. The moment I realized that despite what I’d done in my past, I was a better person just for loving him.

As the darkness and quiet started to surround me, I knew that it was too late to beg for forgiveness now. Instead, I just closed my eyes and prayed for mercy.


My Review

What an amazing sequel to Storm Warning. Do Not Read Path of Destruction if you haven’t read Storm Warning….. Path of Destruction picks up right where the last book left off. Lives have been forever changed. Lives have been lost and now those left behind must deal with the aftermath.

“Once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through and how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked into it.”

“She wasn’t Kyle Mason’s sweet little sister anymore. Wasn’t EJ or Coop’s Ellie May, wasn’t that tomboy that ran around town and watched trains. She’d lost herself, lost the girl who’d given herself to a boy she’d thought loved in her now destroyed pickup truck. She was a shell, an empty shell. And she didn’t give a solitary damn what anyone in this pretty plastic place thought about it.”

I don’t want to give anything away, so I will just say this: Path of Destruction took me on one heck of a roller-coaster ride of emotions. My heart broke for all the loss that was experienced in this book.  I knew lives were going to be lost, but I wasn’t prepared for what was coming. 

This story was well written and completely captivating.  Path of Destruction is told from multiple pov’s and I loved seeing how all their stories were interconnected. The characters were very easy for me to connect with and their emotions were very palpable.

Path of Destruction was a quick and enjoyable read. I was hooked from the very first page and couldn’t read it fast enough. This is a story about love, loss, lies and tragedy. And I will warn you, it ends with one heck of a cliffhanger. I can’t wait to see what will happen next. I hope that the truth will finally come out and that these characters will get some peace and a HEA ending. 

*An ARC copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review*

*Quotes taken from ARC and may differ from final copy*


GIVEAWAY:

(5) Print Copies of STORM WARNING

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Check out the first book in the series for $.99!

Title: Storm Warning (Broken Heartland #2)

Author: E. Lee and C. Quinn

Age Group: YA

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Published: December 12, 2013

Goodreads

Amazon | BN

 

Synopsis

Sometimes you can’t see the storm coming until it’s too late…

Severe Storm Warning Tip #1:

Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.

Severe Storm Warning Tip #2:

If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

Severe Storm Warning Tip #3:

They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.

Situated just outside of Oklahoma City, Calumet County is divided into two drastically different communities: Hope’s Grove and Summit Bluffs. One is the small backward town where dirt roads lead the way to field parties and railroad tracks. And the other, a sprawling suburb where paved drives lead to the landscaped lawns of the wealthy and over privileged.

For five teenagers smack in the middle of Tornado Alley, summer is heating up fast. The winds of change are blurring the invisible line that divides the rich and the rural.

One has a secret.

One has a crush.

One has been lying.

One will get caught.

And one might not make it out alive.

They’re from two different worlds…but one summer is about to change everything.

 

Series info:

Whether you believe in destiny, divine intervention, or just plain ol’ dumb luck, several things happened in 2013 that caused E. Lee and C. Quinn’s paths to cross. It may have been that the stars aligned perfectly, or the fact anytime Luke Bryan was mentioned on a social media site both of them were tagged, or maybe it was just that their small town roots and country girl attitudes were magnetically drawn together—calling out to one another, “Y’all should write a book!” Despite geography keeping them apart—Lee in Illinois and Quinn in Alabama—they did. Thanks to three-hour phone calls, ridiculous amounts of online chats, and umpteen Google Docs—Storm Warning is the first book in their edgy new Young Adult series, Broken Heartland.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

About The Authors

Born and raised in the middle of a Midwestern cornfield (not literally, that would be weird), I’ve spent my entire life imagining stories. Stories where the right guy always gets the right girl, first kisses are as magical as they are on the big screen and anything is completely possible if you believe.

Although this journey began years ago, it recently took on a whole new life. After years of devouring hundreds of Romance, YA and New Adult novels, I had an epiphany… I should write a book. And I did it!

If I’m not reading, writing, enjoying drinks with my amazing group of girlfriends or chasing around a sarcastically funny kid, I’m probably watching television shows that were created for teenagers, while my husband teases that I’m too old to watch them.

Connect with Elizabeth:

Facebook | Twitter | Website

Caisey Quinn lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, daughter, and other assorted animals. She is the bestselling author of the Kylie Ryans series as well as several New Adult Romance novels featuring country girls finding love in unexpected places. You can find her online at www.caiseyquinnwrites.com .

Website: http://www.caiseyquinnwrites.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7041163.Caisey_Quinn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCaiseyQuinn

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CaiseyQuinn

Merry Christmas from Once Upon a Book Blog!! xx

Posted on

We just wanted to take a quick moment to wish you and your family a safe and happy Christmas. We appreciate the support all of you guys have showed us during the year and we’re looking forward to another exciting year to come. During the holiday period we will be taking a couple of weeks off to spend time with our families. It’s summer here in New Zealand so this will mean plenty of eating, drinking and beach time! And, of course, a few good books 😉

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year guys!! See you in 2015!

Love,

Kristal, Charmaine and Amy xxx

Blog Tour and Review: Lies Unspoken by Lisa De Jong

Meet Lila & Blake in this unexpected love story! 

LIES UNSPOKEN IS LIVE!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1yC0yvH

iTunes: http://bit.ly/13ibG7q

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1yC0Q5P

 

RELEASE DATE: December 14th, 2014

I tried hard not to fall for the bad guy. 

My new roommate, Blake, is a jerk—an unemployed artist with a chip on his shoulder. I can’t stand him unless his hands are on me. He makes me desperate for him, and everything he makes me feel. 

And then there’s my new boss, Pierce–successful, charming, and extremely good-looking. He goes after what he wants, but what does he see in me? 

I try to stay away, but I end up in the arms of exactly who I was hiding from. And when I find out what’s being hidden from me, my heart twists in ways it never should.

I thought I knew him.
I didn’t. 
The way he kissed me.
The way his hands traveled every inch of my skin.
I thought it meant something, but as it turns out, it was all lies unspoken.

Excerpt

Without warning, his lips crash into mine. At first I fight it, pushing hard against his chest, but he tastes like whiskey. Woodsy and smoky like a campfire, matching the intensity of his kiss. He melts away my anger with his mouth, leaving days’ worth of unrealized sexual tension in its wake.

He tastes.

I lean into him.

He sucks.

My knees go weak.

He isn’t something I wanted. Not three weeks ago. Not even three minutes ago. But as his hands slide up my back, coming up to circle my neck, I’m drowning in want. He tilts my head back to allow himself better access. My tongue tangles with his. Never in a million years did I envision this … how much pleasure I would feel from a simple touch. I guess sometimes we have to have our desires at our fingertips to realize their true depth.

When his lips leave mine, his hands stay. We went from one extreme to another so quickly … I’m not sure what will happen when he pushes the brakes. His face is close, like he wants to kiss me again, but his hands fall away from me instead.

“Don’t—”

One step back.

“Ever—”

Another step.

“Let me—”

Another step. His back hits my bedroom wall.

“Do that again.”

As he exits the room, I’m left wondering what the heck just happened. That kiss took all the cells in my brain and tangled them. I never imagined this, and I hate to admit it but I liked it. 

My Review

Since I finished this book, I’ve been trying to find the words to write this review. This book brought out feelings in me that I haven’t experienced while reading in a long time. This is my first book by Lisa De Jong and I am totally kicking myself for waiting so long to read her books. 

Lies Unspoken follows the story of Lila and Blake. After going through a tough and devastating break up, Lila decides it’s time for a change in scenery. She goes to Chicago to pursue her dreams and is lucky enough to be able to sublet her best friends apartment for a while. Little does she know that she will have a roommate. A roommate who will completely challenge her. Blake is the epitome of bad boy. Everything about him screams that Lila should stay away, but staying away is always harder than one thinks. They try and boy do they ever try to deny the chemistry that is between them, but that denial is not in the cards for them. Add in the sexy CEO who is waiting, just waiting for the right moment to make his move and you have the recipe for an amazing book.

I’ve been on an angsty read kick lately and this book didn’t disappoint at ALL! I fell in love with Lila and Blake instantly. Blake was a jerk; a broody artist with a ton of secrets. I wanted to hate Blake! God I really wanted to, he was such an ass at times! But then I was given  these moments, these swoon worthy moments and little glimpses as to who Blake is and why Blake is the way that he is and it  made me forget why I wanted to hate him.

“He’s going to be my vice and virture all in one-my wrongdoing and my good deed”

And the chemistry……Holy Heck!! The chemistry between Lila and Blake was scorching. The more they tried to fight and deny their feelings, the more I knew this was going to be explosive! 

“I’m left wondering what the heck just happened. That kiss took all the cells in my brain and tangled them. I never imagined this,, and I hate to admit it but I liked it’

I enjoyed every minute, every push and pull of Lila and Blake’s relationship. I found myself rooting desperately for them to find a way to make this thing that they had work!

Lies Unspoken is one of those books that once you read the first page, you will be sucked in. I know I was. It was impossible for me to put this book down. I just devoured every single word.

Lies Unspoken is sexy, full of angst, heartbreak, lies and misunderstandings. This book will take you on one heck of an emotional roller-coaster ride and will leave you with a brutal cliffhanger ending! There is a silver lining here and that is that the wait for book 2 isn’t too long. Book 2 comes out in March and I CAN NOT wait to get my hands on that book!! Lies Unspoken is definitely one of my top reads of 2014!

*I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

 

About the Author:

Lisa De Jong is a wife, mother and full-time number cruncher who lives in the Midwest. Her writing journey involved insane amounts of coffee and many nights of very little sleep but she wouldn’t change a thing. She also enjoys reading, football and music.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

GIVEAWAY

$50 Gift Card (your choice of book retailer)

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Book Review: From My Heart by Breigh Forstner

Everyone has secrets and demons that they hide…

Bryn is now happily dating Cale, who is not only her boyfriend but band mate in Everlasting. After the aftermath of an event gone wrong, Bryn is struggling to pick up the pieces and discover herself while Cale is struggling with something entirely different. What lifts up her spirits is her two best friends, Gina & Bethany, are riding along on the tour bus as the official “Everlasting Groupies.”

The thing he thought he had under control in his life had come back to strike with a vengeance. His battle to keep himself sane while focusing on a new tour is killing him inside. He is doubting that Bryn should even be with him, but once his secret gets out to her, he knows she won’t ever trust him again. 

Join Bryn, Cale and the rest of the crew from “Everlasting” as they embark on their next tour, facing plenty of cat fights,drama on stage and off, and lies that could possibly tear up the band, and their relationship, for good. 

This is the conclusion *FOR NOW* of Bryn and Cale’s story.

 

My Review

Wow! What a ride! From My heart picks up pretty much right where the last book ended. We were left with so many questions, wondering how everyone was doing and how everyone would cope with the things that have happened……..

From My Heart took me on one crazy journey. Cale and Bryn are trying to find themselves. And are learning how the decisions they make, impact their life. Being a rockstar didn’t make things any easier. Cale was struggling to battle his addictions and he made some pretty terrible choices.  And some of Bryn’s choices weren’t much better. I’m not a big fan of cheating, even if it’s just a kiss. Bryn and Cale’s relationship was one interesting one. At times, it might have even seemed a little toxic. When things were going good, man were they good. But, when they weren’t….you better watch out. Never a dull moment, that’s for sure. It leaves you wondering if love is enough??

I’m not going to say anything else, because I don’t want to spoil the story for you. Overall, I did find From My Heart to be very enjoyable. It was a quick and easy read for me. The story was captivating and kept we wanting to know more.The characters were complex and their struggles were very real.  I loved all the drama, angst, secrets/lies and romance. I think the story wrapped up pretty nicely, but did leave room for another possible book. Breigh Forstner is still a pretty new author to me, and I’m looking forward to reading more from her in the future.

*An ARC was provided to me in exchange for an honest review*

*Teaser Credit: Via author’s FB page*
 

Book Review: Holly Lane by JB Morgan

Synopsis

Hollie + Layne = One trip. One week. One chance meeting that they’ll never forget. Two hearts. Two different places, and one event that could change it all.

Hollie goes off on her senior class trip with her best friends expecting some fun in the sun before starting life after high school. She didn’t expect to meet Layne.

Layne is stationed in Hawaii, anticipating his next deployment. He doesn’t expect to meet a girl that will change his life.

This Christmas, take a stroll down Holly Lane where you’ll discover the unique journey of friendships, a town full of holiday joy, and the healing power of love. 

Note: This is not a heavy book. It’s light, has swoony romance, filled with humor and great friendships with some holiday magic thrown in. 


My Review

I’ve been thinking of what I was going to say in this review for a few days now,  and I’m still struggling to find the right words. Holly Lane is the debut novel for author JB Morgan and is a clean, refreshing romance novel. 

Holly Lane follows the story of Hollie and Layne. Hollie goes to Hawaii on her senior trip. Her last hoorah with her girlfriends before everyone goes away to college.  What she doesn’t anticipate is meeting Layne…..Layne is stationed in Hawaii and is enjoying some R&R before his next deployment.  What he doesn’t expect to have his dream girl crash into his life…….

From the moment I started reading Holly Lane, I knew I was reading something special. I immediately fell in love and connected with the characters. Even the side characters are ones that you don’t want to miss!

Hollie, I loved how good of friend she was and how she was always looking out for others. She was so adorable. The “mom” of the group and awkward . I loved getting to know her and seeing her “crash” into Layne’s life 🙂

Layne……what can I say about Layne??? He is the definition of swoon.

“Hollie, I’ve been waiting to tell you how much I love you until this special day. It’s the staying kind, sweetheart. As long as I walk and breathe on this Earth, you will always be mine. You own my heart and soul, and I want you to know that you are always with me in my heart, no matter what comes our way”

His character was mature, funny and at times dorky. There were so many times that I found myself laughing so hard because, I just couldn’t believe some of the things that he would say. And I think those little dorky things are what made him feel real. It was so refreshing to read a story about a good guy who knew what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to take risks.  He was the perfect balance for Hollie. He made her take risks and live life for herself.

I really enjoyed the time that Hollie and Layne spent together in Hawaii. So many funny things happened during that week and  I LOVEDLOVED watching them fall in love. I was so sad when their time together would come to an end. My heart broke right along with Hollie. I was rooting so hard for them to be able to make a long-distance relationship work…..

I don’t want to say anything else because I don’t want to spoil the story. But, I will say this: the story is amazing. I laughed,  I cried, I swooned-boy did SWOOON!! I felt so many emotions while reading this book and had the biggest smile on my face when I got to the end. 

If you are looking for a clean, sweet, swoon-worthy romance; you will not be disappointed. This story is light, heartwarming with some angst and good romance. Holly Lane is a great story of first love, the power to overcome tough times and real, true love. And JB Morgan did an amazing job of staying true to her characters. I don’t know what else to say other than I loved it! I’m looking forward to reading more from J.B. Morgan in the future.

Before I leave, I will leave you with a few of my favorite quotes:

My Dearest Hollie,

Saying hello to you was the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I never want to say goodbye. Missing you like crazy.

-Layne”

“My gift to you this year, sweetheart, is me” He slightly changes the words. “I’m the forever kind sweetheart. There will never be and end with me as long as I walk and breathe on this earth. I didn’t want to leave you, believe me, but life throws some wicked curve balls that knocked me out of the game for a while”

*An ARC copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review*

*Teaser Credit: Via Author’s FB Page

Blog Tour & Book Review – Books, Blogs & Reality by Ryan Ringbloom

Books Blogs Reality Book 

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Books, Blogs, & Reality

by Ryan

Ringbloom

Publication Date: October 24, 2014

Genres: Contemporary, Humor, New Adult, Romance

Purchase from AmazonPurchase from B&NPurchase 

from Kobo

Books Blogs Reality Cover

Synopsis:

Life can suck…

When reality becomes overwhelming, seeking comfort in fictional fantasies keeps hope alive. And while

this escape may be a little delusional, it’s also therapeutic.

Sharing secrets is daunting, but virtual friends don’t often judge and they are always ready to share a

glass of wine…or three…while typing out life’s latest endeavors.

Brooke believes obstacles only add to romance, not detract. Rachael longs for a more intense

relationship, or so she thinks. Lizzie misses the excitement in her life, but sometimes new situations find

you when you’re not even looking. And Jess believes a tiger can change his stripes. It can’t.

Bound by a shared passion for blogging about happily ever afters, these four young women use

keyboard therapy to work through their expectations, anxieties, and inadequacies, all with the hopes of

achieving the perfection found in romance novels.

Completely blinded by what they think life should be, they navigate their unique paths in search of what

they envision is right. But when reality taunts them with persistent curve balls, will they be strong

enough to choose wisely? Or will their happy endings escape them?

Add to Goodreads

About the Author

Ryan Ringbloom

Ryan Ringbloom is a YA/NA author who lives for anything Romance. The

passion, love, angst, awkwardness… she loves all of it. When Ryan needs a break from reality she sneaks

off to read a romantic story or write one of her own. Drinking coffee, reading Tweets and hugs from her

five year old are the best part of her day.

Feel free to contact her, she would love it!

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REVIEW

This story is everything I love in a good romance/chick-lit read. When I sit down to read this type of genre I need to not want to put it down, and this book absolutely had me enthralled from the start. In fact, I started and finished it in just one sitting!

In this story we follow 4 women, all book junkies & bloggers and all part of a tight online friendship foursome. I love how the author captured the intricacies of online relationships. How we can spill some of our most intimate and mundane thoughts and life events to these people we have never met, yet still feel a connection with.

The book was very cleverly broken down so we get a good sense of each woman’s character. They all are clearly very different… different lives & different personalities. The back and forth between the four of them in cyberspace was SO entertaining. It had me giggling a lot of the time! I really enjoyed how their online catch-up were interspaced between what was really going on in each of their lives, things aren’t always so rosy in the real world that’s for sure!

There was a lesson to be learnt for each of the ladies in this book. While sometimes I found myself (good-naturedly) eye-rolling them, I quickly realized I had a soft spot for each one of them as I watched them navigate their romantic issues and dish out advice to each other. I could never pick a favourite, and that for me really proves the amazing job that this author has done in MAKING me love all of her characters. Not an easy feat at all!

This book has everything you need for an entertaining read. I love that I read a book that has variety, that had me laughing pretty much the whole way and that managed to wrap up the storylines so I felt content, something that is definitely not always a sure thing. It was a nice quick read and definitely one of the better books of this genre that I’ve read this year. Definitely a highly recommend for a weekend where you want to sip a hot chocolate and play voyeur…

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