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Category Archives: 3.5 Stars

Release Blitz with Review: Skin Deep by Bella Di Corte

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Release Blitz with Review: Skin Deep by Bella Di Corte


SKIN DEEP by Bella Di Corte is LIVE!

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Life in three steps: Go to college. Get a job. Marry the girl of my dreams.

I went to college, then got a job with one of New York’s most notorious gangsters.

The girl? I lost her to a man who didn’t deserve her.

So when one of Italy’s most famous women made me a proposition to help me win her back, I couldn’t refuse her offer.

Georgina “Gigi” Dolce wasn’t the shallow Italian principessa I took her for, though—and she was out to wreck my well-laid plans.


Harrison Ryan thought he had me all figured out.

Because the world called me “beautiful,” he assumed I only ran skin deep. But he had no idea who I was beneath the surface.

How I craved to be loved by someone loyal and unwavering like him. How far I would go to claim that love for my own.

And when I wanted something, I considered it mine.

I wanted him.


Skin Deep follows the story of Gigi and Harrison. When we first meet up with Harrison, he’s a man with a plan. Go to college, get a job, and marry the girl of his dreams. Unfortunately for Harrison, the girl of his dreams found herself with a man that didn’t deserve her. So, when Gigi comes up with a plan to help him win his girl back, he’d be stupid to refuse….

Overall, I thought this book was an ok read. I was intrigued by the plot and was curious to see how it would all come together. The chemistry between Harrison and Gigi was instant and definitely steamed up the pages. All that being said, I won’t lie, it did take me a little while to really get into the story. Things just didn’t click for me as quickly as I had hoped they would, in fact, I found myself putting this book down quite a few times. However, I’m glad I stuck with it and kept reading. The more I read, the more I had to see Gigi and Harrison’s story play out. And in the end, I was happy to have kept reading.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: It Takes a Villa by Kilby Blades

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Review: It Takes a Villa by Kilby Blades

For the reasonable price of $1, Natalie Malone just bought herself an abandoned villa on the Amalfi Coast. With a detailed spreadsheet and an ancient key, she’s arrived in Italy ready to renovate—and only six months to do it. Which seemed reasonable until architect Pietro Indelicato began critically watching her every move…

From the sweeping ocean views to the scent of the lemon trees, there’s nothing Pietro loves more than his hometown. And after seeing too many botched jobs and garish design choices, he’s done watching from the sidelines. As far as he’s concerned, Natalie should quit before the project drains her entire bank account and her ridiculously sunny optimism.

With Natalie determined to move forward, the gorgeous architect reluctantly agrees to pitch in, giving her a real chance to succeed. But when the fine print on Natalie’s contract is brought to light, she might have no choice but to leave her dream, and Pietro, behind.

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It Takes a Villa transports readers to the beautiful and unforgettable Amalfi Coast where Natalie has just gotten herself the deal of a lifetime. Armed with a 6-month renovation plan and a detailed spreadsheet, Natalie’s ready to make her dreams come true. However, with local architect, Pietro, watching her every move, things don’t go quite as planned.

It Takes a Villa pulled me in from the very first page. I loved the idea of this story and all of the complications that could arise from renovating in a foreign country. I thought the author did a really good job with her description of things and found it very easy to visualize everything.

I adored Natalie’s ambition. She was tough and didn’t let much knock her down. Pietro loves his hometown and will do whatever it takes to stop renovators from ruining his town. Together, I thought that Pietro and Natalie had some wonderful chemistry. I enjoyed the tension between the two of them. If I had any complaints it would be the slow-burning romance. I’m not the biggest fan of slow burns, but when done right, I really find them enjoyable. Unfortunately, this one didn’t work for me. In other words, the slow burn was too slow for this reader.

Overall, I thought this book was an ok read. I enjoyed the setting, the renovation drama, and the intrigue along the way. The chemistry and tension between Pietro and Natalie was on point, but for me, the slow burn fell flat.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Blog Tour with Review: THE NO-SHOW by Beth O’Leary

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Blog Tour with Review: THE NO-SHOW by Beth O’Leary

“The attention to detail adds depth to each character—even Joseph will win readers over—and the twisty plot keeps readers both guessing what will happen next and rooting for happy endings across the board. This is a knockout.”Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

“With thoroughly likable characters—even Joseph becomes appealing—this plot-driven novel is fast-paced and engaging throughout. Full of both humorous and heart-wrenching moments, the novel is packed with the perfect mix of contradictions to keep it engaging… An expertly plotted romantic surprise about self-forgiveness and second chances.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Beth O’Leary is that rare, one-in-a-million talent who can make you laugh, swoon, cry and ache all in the same book . . . surprising and deeply satisfying.” —Emily Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read

“Achingly clever.” —Sophie Cousens, New York Times bestselling author of I Just Haven’t Met You Yet

“Even as it taps beautifully into emotions and experiences that feel so universal, The No-Show is fresh, surprising, and oh-so-clever. It made me laugh, brought me to tears, and kept me reading late into the night. It’s the kind of book that leaves an impression on your heart. A truly special read.”—Holly Miller, author of The Sight of You

“Sweepingly romantic, bursting with character, and so, so clever I gasped out loud. Many writers make you feel good, but O’Leary also makes you think.”—Gillian McAllister, Sunday Times bestselling author of That Night

“A rom-com with a side of mystery.” —PopSugar

On April 12, Berkley is proud to publish THE NO-SHOW by bestselling author Beth O’Leary.

In 2019, O’Leary made a splash with her debut, The Flatshare, which sold over half a million copies. The book became one of the year’s most popular reads, receiving glowing praise from People, USA Today, Real Simple, Bustle, Refinery29, and so many more. The Hollywood Reporter recently announced the adaptation news for The Flatshare, naming Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey, Brave New World) and Anthony Welsh (The Great) as stars in the upcoming series.

Now, O’Leary returns with her most ambitious novel yet. THE NO-SHOW is a brilliantly sharp romantic comedy that manages to bring the laughs, while simultaneously breaking your heart—don’t miss the book that Publishers Weekly declared a “knockout.” Fans of romantic comedies and smart, feel-good women’s fiction will adore this highly anticipated title.


THE NO-SHOW begins on Valentine’s Day with three seemingly unrelated women realizing they’ve all been stood up by the man of their dreams… which just so happens to be the same man. Siobhan is a quick-tempered life coach with way too much on her plate. Miranda is a tree surgeon used to being treated as just one of the guys on the job. Jane is a soft- spoken volunteer for the local charity shop with zero sense of self-worth. But where is Joseph Carter? More importantly, who is Joseph Carter? Is there more to him than meets the eye?

Once they’ve each forgiven him for standing them up, they let him back into their lives and are in serious danger of falling in love with a man who seems to have not just one or two but three women on the go………………………………………………………………….. Will they each untangle

the truth before they all get their hearts broken?

While it may seem like The Other Woman, the story reads more like One Day. The story is woven together perfectly while still highlighting how messy and nonlinear life can be. THE NO-SHOW offers readers the chance to experience how time passes, people change, and life goes on, with such authenticity that each scenario easily could have happened off

the pages and in the real world. It’s a beautiful reminder that there’s power in claiming your feelings and that happiness looks different for everyone.

O’Leary is a #1 bestselling author in the UK, and the reason why is on full display for THE NO-SHOW. Her latest is a smart, utterly captivating new romance that readers will devour this spring.

Paperback | ISBN: 9780593438442 | $16.00 Available in E-book | E-book ISBN: 9780593438459

Available in audiobook | Audiobook ISBN: 9780593558683


3 women stood up on Valentine’s day by the same man….need I say more. The plot of this story sounded so fresh and so unique. I had to pick up this book and see what the fuss was about.

The No-Show follows the story of Joesph and the three women he’s seeing. None of them know about each other and are stood up on Valentine’s Day for reasons yet to be revealed. This story is told from the points of view of the three women in Joesph’s life. To me, this was really intriguing. I thought it helped the reader connect to the characters and it made you want to know more about Joesph and the reasons behind his actions. Could he be redeemed for his behavior/actions?? You’ll have to read for yourself to find out….

The No-Show was a completely unexpected read. I went into this book thinking it was a rom-com and was a bit disappointed that it was not in fact a romantic comedy. Sure there were some humorous moments, but this book read more like women’s fiction than a romantic comedy, in my opinion. Despite that, I did find this story to be written well and very intriguing. I really enjoyed the characters and was curious how everything would come together in the end. The plot twist definitely caught me by surprise and connected all the missing dots for this reader.

While I enjoyed this book, for the most part, it wasn’t without its share of issues. I touched briefly on the categorization of this book genre-wise. I still feel that this book should be classified as women’s fiction. My other issues with the story were the pacing and overall timeline. Let’s start with the pacing. For me, this book started off rather slow and took me a while to get into. Don’t get me wrong, the story was very interesting, it just took a while to get into the flow. But, once I did get into the story, I found myself hooked and wanting to know more. Now, for the timeline. The timeline was a bit confusing to me. The chapters were broken up by character name instead of the number and didn’t indicate whether or not we were in the past or present. I think including “past” or “present” with each chapter heading would have made things a lot easier to understand and follow.

Overall, I thought this book was an ok read. It has been on my radar for a while and despite the issues I had, I’m certainly glad I checked it out. This is my first book by this author and I look forward to discovering more from her in the future.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via Berkley Publishing and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*


Beth O’Leary is a Sunday Times bestselling author whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages. Her debut, The Flatshare, sold over half a million copies and changed her life completely. Her second novel, The Switch, has been optioned for film by Amblin Partners, Steven Spielberg’s production company. Beth writes her books in the English countryside with a very badly behaved golden retriever for company. If she’s not at her desk, you’ll usually find her curled up somewhere with a book, a cup of tea, and several woolly jumpers (whatever the weather). Learn more at, and follow O’Leary on social media:

Instagram: @betholearyauthor |


Review: Edgewood by Kristen Ciccarelli

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Review: Edgewood by Kristen Ciccarelli

Can love survive the dark?

No matter how far she runs, the forest of Edgewood always comes for Emeline Lark. The scent of damp earth curls into her nose when she sings and moss creeps across the stage. It’s as if the woods of her childhood, shrouded in folklore and tall tales, are trying to reclaim her. But Emeline has no patience for silly superstitions.

When her grandfather disappears, leaving only a mysterious orb in his wake, the stories Emeline has always scoffed at suddenly seem less foolish. She enters the forest she has spent years trying to escape, only to have Hawthorne Fell, a handsome and brooding tithe collector, try to dissuade her from searching.

Refusing to be deterred, Emeline finds herself drawn to the court of the fabled Wood King himself. She makes a deal—her voice for her grandfather’s freedom. Little does she know, she’s stumbled into the middle of a curse much bigger than herself, one that threatens the existence of this eerie world she’s trapped in, along with the devastating boy who feels so familiar.

With the help of Hawthorne—an enemy turned reluctant ally who she grows closer to each day—Emeline sets out to not only save her grandfather’s life, but to right past wrongs, and in the process, discover her true voice.

Haunting and romantic, Kristen Ciccarelli’s Edgewood is an exciting novel from a bold, unforgettable voice in fantasy.

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Edgewood is a truly unique young adult, fantasy novel.

Edgewood is a well-written and intriguing story that spins quite the web of mystery. I enjoyed the mysterious woods and all of the secrets they held. I loved trying to figure out who you could trust or not. This book does dive into some pretty tough issues such as memory loss and I think the author did a really great job with the way she not only handled them, but the creative spin she put on them.

My only complaint about this book is that I wish the pacing had been a little more on point. There were some parts where the story seemed to drag a bit. And I do wish that the romance between Emeline and Hawthorne had been fleshed out a little more. Yes, their romance was definitely a slow-burning one, but they really left me wanting more.

Even though I did have a couple of issues with this book, I did find it to be an enjoyable read. I really liked all of the fantasy elements and the world this author created. I thought the author was really creative with the way the tough issues were handled.

This is my first book by this author and I would definitely be interested in checking out more from her in the future.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review* 

Blog Tour with Review: Chasing Serenity by Kristen Ashley

She’s high heels, he’s hiking boots . . . and they’re perfect together.

Chasing Serenity, an all new steamy and emotional opposites attract stand-alone from New York Times bestselling author Kristen Ashley is available now!

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley brings a new novel in her River Rain series…

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley brings a new novel in her River Rain series…

From a very young age, Chloe Pierce was trained to look after the ones she loved.

And she was trained by the best.

But when the man who looked after her was no longer there, Chloe is cast adrift—just as the very foundation of her life crumbled to pieces.

Then she runs into tall, lanky, unpretentious Judge Oakley, her exact opposite. She shops. He hikes. She drinks pink ladies. He drinks beer. She’s a city girl. He’s a mountain guy.

Obviously, this means they have a blowout fight upon meeting. Their second encounter doesn’t go a lot better.

Judge is loving the challenge. Chloe is everything he doesn’t want in a woman, but he can’t stop finding ways to spend time with her. He knows she’s dealing with loss and change.

He just doesn’t know how deep that goes. Or how ingrained it is for Chloe to care for those who have a place in her heart, how hard it will be to trust anyone to look after her…

And how much harder it is when it’s his turn.

Fall in love today!


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“Life was not easy. You suffered for what you earned. Worked for it. Cheated for it. Stole for it. Whatever you had to do to get it.”

Chloe Pierce was trained by the best to look out for the ones she loves. But when that special someone passes, Chloe’s foundation breaks into pieces. If that wasn’t enough, she just has to bump into Judge Oakley. He’s her opposite in every way and drives her absolutely crazy. Each encounter with him ends up in disaster. Unfortunately for Chloe, Judge likes a challenge and isn’t going to back off anytime soon…

It’s no secret that I am a huge Kristen Ashley’s books, so when I heard about Chasing Serenity, I couldn’t get it in my hands fast enough.

Chasing Serenity follows the story of Chloe and Judge. Now, I’m going to be 100% honest, I did not love Chloe in the beginning. While I admired her independence, she was super rude, high maintained, and completely unlikeable. Judge certainly had his work cut out for him when it came to Chloe. But, Judge likes a good challenge and Chloe is unlike any woman he’s ever encountered. Together these two couldn’t be more opposite if they tried. Their relationship was slow to develop, but in the end had me rooting for their happily ever after.

While I did find Chasing Serenity to be an enjoyable read. I did have a few issues with this book. The first one being the pacing. The pacing in the beginning was extremely slow to the point that it was hard to stay focused. I found myself getting easily distracted and have no problem taking a break, which is not the norm for me when it comes to a KA read. That being said, the pacing does pick up after you reach the 50% mark. So, be aware that this book starts off on the slow side and the romance is very slow building. My other issue was the drama. Yes, I know that KA books tend to be a little over the top, but this book had way too much drama for this reader. To be quite honest, I feel like this book was missing the signature KA flare that I have come to know and love.

In the end, I think that Chasing Serenity is going to be one of those books that will be a hit for some, and a miss for others. And for this reader, it was just an ok read. Did I enjoy it? Once the pace picked up, I couldn’t put it down, but getting there just took forever for me. Did I like Chloe and Judge’s story? Yes, I found it entertaining and even though Chloe drove me absolutely nuts, in the end she won me over.

So, even though this book wasn’t a 100% hit for me, I’m still glad to have checked it out and look forward to the next adventure Kristen Ashley has lined up for us readers.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*


Considering the fact he’d brought in a coffee for his buddy, Rix, who managed the store, Judge was down on the floor where Rix’s office was, not on the top floor where his was, so he saw her when she walked into the shoe section.

He’d dated Meg.

And before Meg, there was Jess.

And before Jess, there was Kimberly.

They all had different color hair, Meg and Jess were tall, Kim was not.

But even so, Judge had a type.

He knew it.

And that woman who’d strolled up to the shoe displays?

She was his type.

Multiplied by a thousand.

Christ, she was beautiful.

And bad news.

He could tell that last by the outfit, including her ridiculous, high-heeled booties.

He’d worked at River Rain Outdoor stores for nine years—starting as a sales associate when he was still going to college and advancing to director of the Kids and Trails program.

In all that time, he didn’t think he’d ever seen a woman walk into any of their stores wearing shoes like hers.

And when he came down again a half an hour later to hit Rix’s office to make some copies because the copier in the corporate offices at the top level was busted, he noticed she was still there.

He also noticed he had further evidence she was bad news.

That evidence?

The sheer number of boxes of boots that she was trying on scattered around her.

She looked like she’d not set foot on a hiking trail in her life.

And she looked like she was there because she’d already trolled through all the boutiques around the square, but this hadn’t assuaged her shopping fix, because nothing really did.

Therefore, there was a possibility, after making a member of staff bring her fifteen pairs of shoes, she’d walk out not buying anything.

She’d do this not thinking a thing of it.

However, he noted some of the boots she was trying on were riding boots, and Judge could see that round ass of hers in the saddle on top of a horse.

Wearing a riding habit.

Even if she was trouble, and he had not the slightest interest (or he was telling himself that), he couldn’t keep his eyes off her.

Because he was a moron.

That said, she caught his gaze every time.

So he was looking.

But so was she.

His instincts proved true when he came down for the third time with more to copy, and he again walked through the shoe section to get to the office in the back. Doing this close to where she was seated, still trying on boots, because, yes, in the fifteen minutes between then and now, he had not stopped being a moron.

And again, she caught his gaze.

He had no clue why, but as her gorgeous hickory brown eyes hit his, he muttered, “Nice booties.”

Her back shot straight, and she demanded, “What did you just say?”

About Kristen Ashley

Kristen Ashley is the New York Times bestselling author of over sixty romance novels including the Rock Chick, Colorado Mountain, Dream Man, Chaos, Unfinished Hero, The ’Burg, Magdalene, Fantasyland, The Three, Ghost and Reincarnation, Moonlight and Motor Oil and Honey series along with several standalone novels. She’s a hybrid author, publishing titles both independently and traditionally, her books have been translated in fourteen languages and she’s sold over three million books.

Kristen’s novel, Law Man, won the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award for best Romantic Suspense. Her independently published title Hold On was nominated for RT Book Reviews best Independent Contemporary Romance and her traditionally published title Breathe was nominated for best Contemporary Romance. Kristen’s titles Motorcycle Man, The Will, Ride Steady (which won the Reader’s Choice award from Romance Reviews) and The Hookup all made the final rounds for Goodreads Choice Awards in the Romance category.

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Review: Custom Love (Fast & Fury #3) by Chantal Fernando

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Review: Custom Love (Fast & Fury #3) by Chantal Fernando

The thrilling conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Chantal Fernando’s Fast & Fury series, fully loaded with intense emotions and edge-of-your-seat suspense.

All she wanted was the truth.

All he wanted was to be left alone.

Nadia has always been in charge of her life. As a private investigator, she makes her own hours and only takes on cases that she wants to work on. But when a family friend asks her to look into a case, she instantly regrets it—it hits far too close to home.

The last thing she wants to do is rip open old wounds. Especially Trade’s, the single father she’s been spending time with. It isn’t long before she’s falling not just for him, but for the kids he’s trying so hard to protect.

But the little voice in Nadia’s head tells her that something isn’t right, and she’s determined to find the truth. Using her connections to the Knights of Fury MC and the Fast & Fury motorcycle garage to gather evidence, Nadia uncovers evidence of a conspiracy that will leave everyone shaken—and force her and Trade to do whatever it takes to keep their new family safe.

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All she wanted was the truth. All he wanted was to be left alone….Nadia is so stranger to taking care of herself. She likes things her way and in her control, and that goes for her work life too. But when a dear friend asks her to look into a case, this particular case hits too close to home. The last thing she wants to do is hurt the group of friends she now calls family. But in Nadia’s line of work, she’s learned to trust her gut. In her quest to find the truth, Nadia will find more than she ever bargained for…

Custom Love is the third book in the Fast & Fury Series and it follows the story of Nadia and Trade. Trade’s world was turned upside down when the love of his life was murdered. All he’s wanted to do is move on and forget the bad card life had dealt him. Unfortunately for him, his old wounds are about to blown wide open. When Nadia gets asked to take a look at a case that most would like to forget, she has no choice but to look into it. However, in her quest to find the truth, she finds herself getting closer to Trade and falling for a man she shouldn’t be falling for….

Overall, I thought this book was a really enjoyable read. Trade and Nadia were a force right from the start. I enjoyed their chemistry and banter. I loved that Trade was tough on the outside, but had a heart of gold was an amazing father. I thought Nadia had a lot of good character. She would do anything for her friends or those she loved. She had a big heart and would never purposely hurt someone. I liked how honest she was with Trade and how she tried to navigate the uncharted waters of their relationship. The road to happily ever after wasn’t an easy one for these two, but I had a good time reading their story and seeing how they sorted it all out.

As much as I enjoyed this story, I did have a couple of issues with it. There were some passages that I felt were a bit repetitive and it was kind of distracting at times. My other issue was that I felt like parts of the story were rushed. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed this story and could have easily have enjoyed another 100 pages of it. So, it kills me that certain parts were rushed.

All that being said, I still feel that Custom Love is a solid read. It was fun to get lost in and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know these characters as I’ve explored the Fast & Fury Series. I’m sad that this is the final book in this series, but hope that the author will do another spin-off as I’m not ready to say goodbye to all of these characters just yet.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: The Kings of Kearny by Navessa Allen

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Review: The Kings of Kearny by Navessa Allen

Jakob Larson is going to be the death of me.

That’s what I think every time he strides into my bar.

The Kings of Kearny run this small Texas town, and Jakob is their chief enforcer.

The Viking, they call him. He’s a criminal. As dangerous as he is sexy. The kind of man who makes my inner cavewoman sit up and take notice.

Him big. Make strong babies. Bring home mammoth for dinner.

I’m ready to indulge her desires, but just for one night. Unfortunately, Jakob has other plans.

Someone in town is breaking one of the cardinal rules set by the leader of The Kings. And Jakob thinks they’re using my grandmother’s nursing home as a front for their illicit activities.

Now I’m neck-deep in trouble with him, and every time I think I’ve figured out what’s really going on, Jakob reveals another piece of the puzzle.

I need to figure out how far I’m willing to go to protect this town. How far I’m willing to go with Jakob.

Because if I fall for him, there’s no going back. No hope for a peaceful ending.

But Jakob is the kind of man who makes me think that peaceful is overrated, and that descending into darkness with him could lead to something even better than a Happily Ever After. 

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The Kings of Kearny is a fun and entertaining read that is sure to entertain readers right until the very end…

The Kings of Kearny follows the story of Krista and Jakob. Krista is new in town and is working at a bar owned by the kings. All Krista wants to do is work hard, keep her head down, and keep on an eye on her grandmother. Unfortunately for Krista, when Jakob gets wind of a potential drug operation at the nursing home that Krista’s grandmother resides in, Krista’s whole world is about to be turned upside down.

Overall, I thought this book was an enjoyable read. I love discovering new authors and have a weakness when it comes to biker romances, so I couldn’t resist giving this one a try. I thought the plot of this book was exciting and refreshing. I liked how the kings were all ex-military and how they looked out for one another. They were totally bada$$ in every way that mattered. I really dug Krista. She was feisty and an unbelievably strong character. I liked that she wasn’t afraid to take care of herself, and didn’t need a man to save her. Poor Jakob had his work cut out for him with Krista. She gave him a run for his money and wasn’t afraid to take him on. Jakob may have had alpha tendencies, but he definitely knew when to give Krista her space and handle herself.

If I had one complaint about this story, it’s that I felt it was rushed in quite a few places. There is so much going on in this book and so many moments or people touched on. I wished that certain moments had been delved in deeper and fleshed out more, especially when the other biker gang came in to play. Some moments felt like more of an afterthought. Now, I don’t know if maybe it was done on purpose. I’m not sure if there will be another book to follow up this one, but it felt to me like there some unfinished business.

The Kings of Kearny ticked off most of my boxes when it comes to MC Romance. This book had insta-love and great banter. It had some action packed moments and a quiet intensity to it. While I did have some issues with this story I think this author has a lot of great potential and I’m looking forward to checking out more from her in the future. All in all, The Kings of Kearny is an easy read and I had a lot of fun getting to know these characters.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Lizzie & Dante by Mary Bly

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Review: Lizzie & Dante by Mary Bly

The insightful, audacious, and deeply romantic story of a woman whose life turns upside down after she meets an enigmatic chef on vacation in Italy–perfect for fans of Beautiful Ruins or Under the Tuscan Sun .

On the heels of a difficult break-up and a devastating diagnosis, Shakespearian scholar Lizzie Delford decides to take one last lavish vacation on Elba, the sun-kissed island off the Italian coast, with her best friend and his movie-star boyfriend. Once settled into a luxurious seaside resort, Lizzie has to make big decisions about her future, and she needs the one thing she may be running out of: time.

She leaves the yacht-owners and celebrities behind and sneaks off to the public beach, where she meets a sardonic chef named Dante, his battered dog Lily, and his wry daughter Etta, a twelve-year-old desperate for a mother. While Dante shows Lizzie the island’s secrets, and Etta dazzles with her irreverent humor, Lizzie is confronted with a dilemma. Is it right to fall in love if time is short? Is it better to find a mother briefly, or to have no mother at all? And the most difficult question of all: What if falling in love inevitably leads to broken hearts?

A transporting, all-consuming story about love, courage, and Italian wine, Lizzie & Dante demands to know how far we should travel to find a future worth fighting for.

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Actual Rating is 3.5 Stars!

Lizzie & Dante follows the story of Shakespearian scholar, Lizzie. On the heels of a difficult break-up and devastating heath diagnosis, Lizzie decides to take one last vacation to Elba with her friends. Lizzie knows she’s got some important decisions to make about the future and is quickly running out of time. The last thing she planned on was meeting Dante and his twelve year old daughter, Etta. For once, everything Lizzie ever wanted is right within her grasps, but time is a vicious and cruel character. Will Lizzie take a risk on love and happiness and enjoy the time she has left or will Lizzie let fear control her decisions? There’s only one way to find out….

Lizzie & Dante is a beautiful story that will take readers on one heck of a journey. It’s impossible to not fall in love with the characters, the setting, and of course the food. I adored Lizzie and her friends. I thought Dante was just amazing. Lizzie didn’t plan on finding love when she went to Italy, but love found her anyway. When Lizzie told him about her diagnosis, he didn’t get scared away. If anything, it made him want to fight harder for what little time they had left. And then you have Etta. Etta really stole the show for me. She was funny and had a huge heart. Her pov at the end, left me with tears in my eyes.

All in all, I found this book to be a really beautiful story. The reason for the low rating is for the pacing. As much as I loved these characters, I do feel that because of the slower pace for the first half of the book, it took me far too long to get invested in the story. Sadly, I am the type of reader that will get distracted easily, so the pacing needs to be on point right out of the gate. That being said, I am happy to report that the pacing did pick up for the second part of the book and once I was locked into Lizzie’s story, I never looked back.

Lizzie & Dante is a heartwarming tale of love and enjoying each moment life has to offer. This story made me laugh and swoon and at times, I had tears in my eyes. The pacing was the only issue I had with this story, and that was definitely a “me” problem. I do think this story has a lot to offer and will be enjoyed by many. So, keep tissues on hand and definitely give this book a try.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Release Blitz with Review: The Wedding Game by Meghan Quinn

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Release Blitz with Review: The Wedding Game by Meghan Quinn

The Wedding Game by Meghan Quinn 

Release Date: March 1st

Genre: Romantic Comedy

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USA Today bestselling author Meghan Quinn’s latest bauble is the charming story of a crafting queen battling a jaded divorce lawyer on a wedding reality show.

Luna Rossi is a veritable crafting genius—she can bedazzle and bead so hard her Etsy site is one of the hottest in the world. So it’s only natural that Luna would convince her brother and his husband-to-be to compete on The Wedding Game, a “do-it-yourself” TV show, for the title of Top DIY Wedding Expert.

As a jaded divorce lawyer, Alec Baxter scoffs at weddings and romance. But when his recently engaged brother begs him to participate in The Wedding Game, Alec grudgingly picks up a glue gun and prepares for some family bonding.

Both fierce competitors, Luna and Alec clash on national TV as harsh words and glitter fly with abandon. But as they bicker over color swatches and mood boards, they find themselves fighting something else: their growing mutual attraction. While Luna is torn between family loyalty and her own feelings, Alec wonders if he might have been wrong about love and marriage all along…

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The Wedding Game is the latest romantic comedy from author Meghan Quinn and it follows the story of Alec and Luna. Luna loves to craft and is considered to be a crafting genius. So when she hears about The Wedding Game TV show, she can’t help but convince her brother to compete. That brings us to Alec. Alec is the jaded divorce lawyer who could care less about romance and weddings. But when his brother begs him to participate in The Wedding Game TV show, he can’t say no. Alec wants to make amends with his brother and will do whatever it takes to make things right….

I thought this book was an ok read. The Wedding Game started off really promising. I loved the idea of this story. I thought it was fresh and unique. I enjoyed the banter, humor, and chemistry between Alec and Luna and looked forward to seeing what would happen next. That being said, as I got further along in the story, I feel like the pacing was off. I started to find myself distracted and had a hard time focusing. I don’t know, it just felt like something was missing. I guess you could say I had a very love/hate relationship with this book.

Overall, I think this book will be a hit for some and miss for others. The Wedding Game had a lot of good moments, but it wasn’t a 100% hit for me. And while it wasn’t a 100% hit for me, I’m still glad I checked it out and gave it a try.


“Are you ready?” Farrah says, coming from behind me and massaging my shoulders. I move my head side to side while we both hop up and down. “Did you do those finger exercises I told you about?”

I flex my fingers and nod. “Yup, all warmed up.”

“Do you have your game face on?” Farrah spins me around and grips my shoulders as I mean mug it at her. “Ooo, you’ve been practicing in the mirror. I can tell.”

“When I brush my teeth. I really feel like I’ve mastered the scowl.”

“Honey, you mastered the scowl years ago. Now you’re just coming into your own with it.” She holds up her hands, and I start boxing into them as we leap around the apartment. “Quick on your feet, quick on your feet.” Farrah swings her hand at me, and I duck. “Focus, hone your attention.”


“Tell me, who’s going to kill it today?”

“I am.” I bob back and forth and then give Farrah a one-two punch to her hands.

“Who’s going to do anything necessary, even sit on someone’s face if you need to, in order to win today’s challenge?”

“I am. Show no mercy. My ass is coming for your face.”

Farrah pauses, winces. “I’m not sure I like that.”

“Just go with it.”

“Okay, Luna’s ass is coming for your face.” She shrugs. “Next week let’s work on your trash talk.”

“Might be necessary.”

Circling again, I box at Farrah’s hands, feeling light on my feet and ready for anything that comes my way. “You’re going to ignore all conversations from Mr. Snobby Shoes.”

“I don’t even know he exists.”

“Your eyes are on the prize. And what is that prize?”

“Giving Cohen and Declan the best wedding possible.”

“Exactly.” She lowers her palms. “Quick, flash me your hands.”

I lift my hands, and she inspects them carefully.

“You lotioned—good. Nails are clipped to a perfect length, and those fingers are stretched and strong. Rotate your wrists for me.” She lowers her ear to my wrists as I circle them around. “Perfect, no cracking, no tension.” She points to the ground. “Fast feet.”

My feet start bouncing up and down, like in those football movies, and I hold my hands at my hips, ready for the call . . .

“Draw!” Farrah shouts.

I pull my glue gun from my hip and point it at her. “You’ve been glued.”

Farrah claps her hands. “Reaction time was spot on. You’re ready.”


She nods. “You got this, girl. This competition is yours for the taking. And remember what we talked about: don’t focus on what you think will win . . .”

“Focus on what will bring Cohen and Declan joy.”

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Review: Wraith by Renee Rocco

Review: Wraith by Renee Rocco

Welcome to the new world order—where the villains have become the heroes.

Once upon a time… Yeah, no. Let’s stop right there. This isn’t a fairytale. I’m not exactly Prince Charming. And I haven’t forgotten the day Jamie Ellis left town in handcuffs. But that feels like lifetimes ago. My high school crush is all grown up and she’s married to the man who’s holding me prisoner. Drugged and tortured, I’ve become a monster who’ll stop at nothing to rip David Crane’s world apart.

When I left Mayhem at sixteen, a piece of my heart stayed behind with the charismatic bad-boy I’ve loved since kindergarten. But I’m a product of a life gone wrong, and I married David hoping for a better future. Now that I know the depth of my husband’s depravity, I’ll risk everything to ruin his carefully crafted empire—because if Wraith and I want our happily ever after, we’re going to have to fight for it…

Wraith is a complete standalone in the Masters of Mayhem series.

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Wraith is the first book in the Masters of Mayhem series and follows the story of Wraith and Jamie. Their story is gritty and intense and is anything but a fairytale. This is my first book by Renee Rocco and it won’t be my last. Renee Rocco delivered a dark, second chance romance that sucks the reader in and has them unable to put Jamie and Wraith’s story down.

As I previously stated, Wraith is a dark and gritty story. It is descriptive and intense. It might be too much for some viewers. I’m not gonna lie, some of these scenes were even hard for me to read. Intensity aside, I think this book was well written and will definitely intrigue the reader. Wraith and Jamie are beautifully broken and are in for the fight of their lives….

Overall, I thought this book was crazy and intense. This is my first book by this author and I’m looking forward to discovering more of her books.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*