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Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers #1) by Penny Reid

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Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers #1) by Penny Reid

Truth or Beard

Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!
Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life. His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…
But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.
Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-headed heart is she willing to risk?

I have been acting like some next level creeper-stalker person over this book… Ever since I read the excerpt for this story in the Shiver Anthology last year I’ve been counting down the months until I could get my hands on ALL of the story. So when I finally got hold of it last week I was a very VERY happy human. Since everyone knows my Penny Reid fan status (Big, HUGE fan) I’m going to try and keep this review less on the fan-girl side and more on the explaining why I’m fan-girling so much side…. So here goes!

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters most, in the end” – Ernest Hemingway

Truth or Beard is the first instalment in the series that Penny Reid has dedicated to the 6 Winston brothers who were first introduced to us in Beauty and the Mustache. I love this idea, I love how this series connects with the Knitting in the City series. I love how we are going to get a (much) more in-depth look at each brother and his story, because they were so intriguing in BatM. And most of all I love how I just know that Penny will take each brother and create a story that is as unique as he is. Starting here, with Duane.

I love Duane! Yes, he comes across distant and broody on the outside, but once I got into his head he was so much more. The depth of his feelings made him a complex character. For a lot of the book he was battling his own emotions as much as he was battling Jessica’s. He had big plans for the two of them and no matter what he wanted to make sure everything was planned and executed to perfection so that he could give her everything that he felt she deserved. However, what Duane didn’t take into account was that life can’t be organized perfectly, sometimes you just have to live and chase your dreams. He was so busy trying to do the right thing by everyone that he almost missed out on his own dream in the process.

He nibbled on my ear, whispering my name like it was a dirty word – but not a curse word – a dirty word. Something erotic and scandalous. I had an odd thought then, that I liked my name on his lips more when it was whispered.

Jessica was instantly likeable. I loved that she was busy obsessing over travelling and experiencing the world rather than obsessing over finding a husband and a white picket fence. She had long dreamed of all of the places she would go and she was determined. So determined, that when her heart started to travel on it’s own path she had no idea what to make of it or how to reconcile the fact that even if she hadn’t planned on love, it may have found her and if it had found her, then how on earth was she going to be free to embark on her childhood dream?

Penny Reid is super duper talented at dual POVs. She knocks it out of the park every time. The tone, the subtle details, these things really make all the difference when you’re the reader. She always gets it right and this book is no different. So I LOVED having the book set up like this, the story called for it. It really added to the back and forth between Jessica and Duane. The angst of not knowing what to do next with their feelings, the hotness of the hot looks, the intricacies of their relationship and themselves… All of these things were magnified from being able to look through both sets of eyes.

…I wanted to hold on to this moment for as long as possible, because it was the first time – and maybe the only time in my life – I felt truly seen, known and understood. And I wanted to give him everything in return. I wanted him to know I saw him. I knew him, too.

So! Like I promised, fan-girling moments aside… I  FREAKING loved this book! Penny Reid is an exceptionally talented writer who never shies away from writing exactly the type of story she feels like she needs to write. I’m positive this is why her books always hit the mark and why every time I read a new one I find it harder and harder to have a firm favourite. This is a definite must read whether you are familiar with Penny Reid’s work or not. This book… This freaking book It’s definitely made it into my top reads of the year that’s for sure,

ARC received in return for an honest review

Book Review – Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven

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WOW! wow wow wow. Bad Romeo put me through the emotional wringer from start to finish and I absolutely LOVED it. It was a true romance in every sense of the word, both heartbreaking and swoon-worthy in equal parts. But beware – it is pretty angsty. I am an angst lover so this suited me down to the ground. 

“My body is against his, and my hands are in his hair, and every single reason I should stay away melts as our mouths open to each other. It’s rough and desperate and full of passion I don’t want to feel. But this…this is where all the best memories of him live.”

The story switches back and forth between the past and the present day. The past tells us the story of how Cassie and Ethan met and came to be, and the present day revolves around their reconciliation after a period of around three years. I LOVED following their journey from the beginning and getting to experience those first precious moments of when they met, as well as all of their trials and tribulations along the way. 

Cassie and Ethan first meet in acting school, where they are cast as the star-crossed lovers in Romeo and Juliet. Sparks fly and tensions rise between them until they finally beak through the barriers they have set in place and fall into a passionate relationship. Cassie is a sweet girl with a positive outlook on life, and Ethan is a typical bad boy with a huge chip on his shoulder. Bit by bit they fall madly and deeply in love, until Ethans issues come to the surface and tear them apart leaving Cassie a devastated and heart-broken shell of herself.

Three years later they are once again on-stage playing young lovers, however, this time it is Cassie with the issues and Ethan is the one determined to make up for his past mistakes and win back Cassies love. It may be too little too late for Cassie though who struggles daily to cope with the gaping hole Ethan left in her heart.

“I want things to be different. If you want me to apologize, I’ll do it until I lose my fucking voice. I just want things to be right between us. Talk to me. Help me fix this.

“You can’t.”

I absolutely LOVED how well the author has captured the tension, heartbreak and passion between Casssie and Ethan. I could feel every moment and was completely absorbed in their story. Angsty? Yes, but it is also such a beautiful and believable story of young love and loss, and how to cope when the person who crushed you beyond repair suddenly reappears in your life. 

Bad Romeo is Part One of a two part book series and it DOES end on a cliffhanger (I know, I know), but trust me; you want to read this story. Lovers of romance everywhere will be a puddle of emotion on the ground by the end of it. Book two, Broken Juliet, is out in April 2015, so not long to wait. And I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the rest of Cassie and Ethan’s story. 

*ARC received via Netgalley

 

Recommendations – Fantasy, Urban Fantasy & Paranormal

Urban Fantasy is one of our absolute top genres. It’s always so exciting and FUN! Below are some of our faves. Feel free to share yours with us too! We love finding more UF to read.


Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning

Both my BBH (Better Blogging Half) and I absolutely loved this series. It’s set in Dublin among the Fae (seelie and unseelie), humans, and other random supernaturals. We follow heroine Mac as she tries to discover who (or what) killed her sister. Mac is a total toughie, you will adore her and our hero – Jerricho Barrons. Dangerous and smoking hot. Sigh. Need I say more?

 

Jane True Series by Nicole Peeler

Jane will forever have a special place in my heart.  It was Jane that elevated my BBH and I from best buds to ultimate soul mates. Well Jane, food and diet coke. Anyway, the point is WE LOVE JANE! Set in small town America (to start with) Jane discovers she is half selkie and from there things take a turn for the crazy. This series follows Jane and her friends as they try to right the wrongs in their world and save their people. There are some truly creepy characters (Graeme and the harpies – ick), and some truly awesome ones (pretty much everyone on Team Jane).

 

Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews

Kate Daniels is a badass. Born to an evil God of a father and raised on the run by his head assassin, she has been taught from the day she was born that her job is to eventually take down her father.  In the meantime, she pretty much spends all her time kicking ass and taking names. This series is set in a post-apocalyptic world, where the technology overloaded and magic fought back. Survival is really based on luck of the draw and whether the technology is running things on the day or the magic. A big part of this story is Kate’s budding romance with the Lord of the Beasts, Curran. Their chemistry is out of this world  – definitely worth reading!

 

The Fae Chronicles by Amelia Hutchins

BBH and I actually disagree on this one. Not hugely but the main problem for us in this series is the sheer amount of smut kind of brings down what would be a really good story. I read it anyway because I love the fae, but it was too much for BBH. Understandably. However a lot of people get into that stuff (reow!) so if that’s you then you will love this series even more. It’s basically a story about a girl, Synthia, whose been brought up to believe she’s one thing only to discover that her entire world is not as it seems, and she is not at all who she thought she was. There are SO many twists and turns in these books. Everyone deceives everyone else, which is kind of amazing since the fae technically can’t lie in this world. But they do manage to twist the truth to suit themselves when ever they like and really, you would expect nothing less from the fae.

 

Charley Davidson Series by Darynda Jones

Charley is who I wish I could be when I’m having an argument with someone. You know how often you won’t think of the prefect retort until you have walked away? Or have been walked away from, as the case may be. She’s so quick witted it’s ridiculous. I even, on occasion, found myself having to read a line twice to pick up the joke. Charley Davidson is the Grim Reaper. She uses this to her advantage by having her own private detective business. She runs around solving crimes all over the show and often gets herself into dire situations. Chuck in Reyes Farrow, insanely hot and broody Son of Satan, and it’s a good time all around really. 

 

The Forever Evermore Series by Scarlett Dawn

King Hall — where the Mysticals go to learn their craft, get their degrees, and transition into adulthood. And where four new Rulers will rise and meet their destinies. A Shifter Queen, Vampire King, Mage Queen and an Elemental King all come together to make for a crazy and interesting world. I couldn’t put this series down!

 

The Forged by Magic Series by S. L. Gavyn

Don’t be put off by the cover of the first book in this series, Brimstone. It’s a little odd, even for Urban fantasy but this series is awesome. We follow heroine, Genivieve Belaveau, as she fights her way through an exciting world packed filled with fey, vampires, elves and shifters, to name a few. This series has the perfect combination of both romance and action and Vieve is a heroine everyone will love!

 

The Malediction Trilogy by Danielle L. Jensen

So far only the first book in this series is out, Stolen Songbird. It was a great start to this fantasy series and the world the books are based in is both engaged and fascinating with the primary creatures being trolls (at this stage). I can’t wait for the next installment in this series! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo credit: Lindsay Dole via photopin cc

Book Review – Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City #4) by Penny Reid

This book was received from the Author in return for an honest review

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Welcome to my current obsession!!! I’m a relative newcomer to Penny Reid fandom, but from the very first book of hers I read (Neanderthal Seeks Human) I was obsessed… Every new story I read of hers I am SURE that there’s no way she could possibly top it… no way I could love anything more than what I just read. Turns out, I should know better by now.

Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.

I wasn’t too sure what to expect with this one. I had seen it be posted that this book was ‘different’ to her other ones, then I saw readers posting that they were crying over it and I was really starting to wonder what I was getting myself into! Turns out, that yes, this book is different, yes I did cry, but yes, in actual fact, this book is my absolute favourite of this series to date. Penny Reid doesn’t just write one type of story, or one type of character, she doesn’t even write with just one type of formula, this book proves that without a doubt.

Yes, I was a creeper, but I didn’t care. Drew brought these compulsions out in me, so he could just suffer through my leering and take it like a man.

The story of Ashley and Drew is, to put it as simply as it can get, beautiful. There is still quirky laugh out-loud humour; there are also still the one million and one things that I stop to search Google/Wikipedia about. (In this case it was mostly Nietzsche) But there is no argument that this book is all about heart, about the swoon-worthy romance, the poetry and the butterflies in my stomach that just would not quit. I’ve come out of this book with ridiculously high romantic ambitions. It’s a problem.

Meanwhile, there was a wild boar of need within me; one that he’d awakened with his quick silver eyes, poetic words, velvet baritone, heroic deeds, and expertly choreographed kisses. He’d left me to drown in want.

The situation that Ashley is in is impossible. This background, this reason why she has returned home really makes what could’ve been a relatively simple ‘girl meets boy’ situation into something which has so many layers of emotions, improbabilities and impossibilities and while this meant that I spent a great deal of time trying to not sit there and sob, it did mean that we got to explore this romance from the perfect imperfections of the universe’s timing… because as we all know, when has the universe EVER timed things to be easy. Ashley as a character is sweet and sassy all at the same time. Sometimes she definitely underestimates herself. She is loyal and it has to be said, she can be very, very stubborn. Watching her work through everything that had encouraged her to leave her small town and everything that encouraged her to return was truly like watching a friend, because that’s what she became. Oh and how awesome was it to get to see the rest of the knitting group! Honestly those girls (and men) just inject so much inappropriate fun into whatever situation they’re in; their appearance was always a nice distraction from the reality of what Ashley had to deal with.

“Tell me what you need.” He said between raining soft kisses against my hair, temple and cheek. “I’ll do anything for you.”

There is no way I could attempt to review this book and not cover the menfolk. Oh my goodness the men! Drew was written like every girls fantasy should be. He was a big Viking of a man (yes, Viking! Actually make that gorgeous Viking!) But not only is he beautiful and swoon-worthy on the outside, he’s also beautiful and swoon-worthy on the inside. I swear I was close to spontaneous combustion by the end of the book. Then we have Ashley’s brothers. Her 6 brothers… While I can understand how 6 brothers could possibly drive a girl insane, I loved them. They each brought so much to the story in their own way (although the bathroom schedule is something no sister should EVER have to be aware of!) I have too many amazing moments to list, but possibly my absolute favourite moment with any of the Winston brothers was the scene where Jethro made sure that Ashley knew that he’d ‘always do what was best for her’ I won’t give away what the circumstances were around that statement but it was just perfect. Oh, and in case we are in any doubt about these brothers… here is what Penny Reid pictures them to be…

So if you already are a fan of the Knitting in the City series then I know you’ll read this and love it. If you’re not familiar with this author and/or series and are wondering what all of the fuss is about then I suggest you get reading. If you love your romance to be different from the norm then this book and this series are definitely for you.

Book Review – See How She Fights (The Chronicles of Izzy #2) by Michelle Graves

I was still floating in a cloud of Izzy and Kennan love from the first book in this series when I dove straight into this one. (You can read my review for See How She Runs HERE) I literally finished SHSR and jumped straight onto Amazon to download this one. I HAD to know where this story was going to go next and of course I had to get more of Izzy and Kennan…

She thought it was over.
She thought her life was finally her own.
She was wrong.

Izzy is thrust back into the world of Seers and Guardians. With a summons from the Council she can’t ignore, Izzy heads back into the fray. Now, it is up to her to figure out why Seers are being sacrificed, carved up, and left for ruin. If she doesn’t find the person orchestrating the deaths, she may well be next.

If that wasn’t enough, her powers have started to expand exponentially. Kennan is keeping secrets. Moreover, a strangely familiar Symbol-smith starts wreaking havoc on her precariously balanced world.

Will Izzy survive this latest crisis? Will she stop fighting destiny and accept her fate? Find out in See How She Fights.

So like the blurb goes, Izzy has to re-immerse herself in all things Seer, not only that, but she also has to leave the beginnings of her future perfect life and attend the Council whom have summoned her. To put it mildly both Izzy and Kennan are VERY unimpressed with this development. After everything how could this be a fair situation?! As she will soon learn, a lesson in the reality of fairness is one of the numerous lessons Izzy will learn by the end of this book.

When I reviewed the first book I mentioned it was mostly romance and built up towards action near the end and I LOVED it… Well this book is mostly action with the romance to sweeten the story… and guess what? I LOVED it!!! I love that this is a series that doesn’t just follow the same familiar formula for each book. Instead the story flows and the books are what they need to be to tell the story, at the start that was a romance, detailing the background, the characters and the romance. Now that we’ve moved into this book we can focus on the fast paced action which is (to put it simply) awesome. Luckily though, we don’t lose the romance, we just have to learn to share Izzy and Kennan with the world, for better or for worse…

Izzy has to deal with some horrific happenings, violent bloody crimes are being committed against seers and before long she has been dragged right into the middle. She needs to fight and stay one step ahead, just so she can stay alive. The things that were happening both to Izzy and around Izzy were intriguing and more than a little disturbing. I was definitely with Izzy and her intense frustration at the beings around her, they can see into the future, read minds, jump into the dreaming but they are so damn vague! A little heads up once in a while would’ve probably helped Izzy from feeling like she had missed out on reading a Seer instruction manual, but then I guess, where’s the fun in that? Make no mistake, going into this book Izzy hasn’t developed and understood half of what she needs to. This is a drag out, dirty dealing, fight to bloody knuckles, scream in your sleep story, yet I loved that despite everything, Izzy still retained one of her traits the I love the most about her, her snark. Only Izzy could pull off sassy conversations with a sacrificed seer spirit…

“this sucks,” I said, frustrated.

“You’re telling me. At least you still have your eyes. Oh, and your life,” Ren griped.

“Seriously, if you are going to be haunting my visions, could you at least be a little nice?…”

Once again Michelle Graves strikes the character chemistry just right, I loved the developing friendship between Izzy and Molly (everyone needs a BFF!) I laughed at the fiery feisty relationship between Ian and Molly and I melted at the love between Izzy and Kennan. It’s also in this book that we are introduced to a few more book boyfriend contestants. The first being Conall, sometimes too formal, way too gruff and fiercely loyal, he half the time rubs Izzy the wrong way and the other half of the time he’s trying to help Kennan reign in the carnage that inevitably follows her around. Also, another manly man of note we meet Aberto. Ancient and mysterious, he doesn’t throw a spanner in the works for Izzy and Kennan as such, but there is a lot more to him than what originally meets the eye. Along the way we start to get to slowly unravel his secrets, although very vaguely (there’s a theme here!)… and the big tough guy vs big tough guy interactions between him and Kennan, as well as his confusing relationship with Izzy are pretty much everything you could ever need for that little bit of tension every story needs.

By the end of this book I was feeling completely and utterly on edge and I knew this story was far from over. I definitely didn’t have a feeling that all was lost, but there sure will be a lot of obstacles to come, of that I am certain. Like I said, I loved the first book, it was so good to have a strong start to the series… But this second book has nabbed the top spot out of the two for me… Everything about it was just perfect and made sure I could literally not put it down. Which is why I jumped straight onto Amazon after I finished this one and one-clicked the next… It’s an addiction and I’m not even sorry…

 photo credit: nicole.pierce.photography ♥ via photopin cc

Book Review – The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) by Deborah Harkness

We all know I’ve been obsessed with this series the last few months. Yes, I was a late comer to this story, but for me this has been a good thing as it’s meant I haven’t had to do any torturous waiting between installments! (I’m SO impatient!) I was really looking forward to seeing how Deborah Harkness managed to tie everything up.

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

There is always a lot of detail in these books. That’s a big reason why I do love them. When it’s right for the story, I just soak it up. This last installment is no different. You can tell that every scene, every setting, every single part of this book was carefully constructed and built up through layers of description. You really can picture everything. Yes, this does make for a longer book, but I’ve always believed that not every book needs to be quick and to the point. Sometimes you just want to be able to experience every single thing that the story has to offer and I definitely did that here.

Diana and Matthew have just come back from the past, landing right in the middle of a beginnings of a war amongst the creatures. After not managing to achieve everything that they really needed to in the 1500’s they have a lot of ground to cover. Not to mention a lot of personal drama to contend with as well. I’m not kidding when I say that literally almost every event and every character is accounted for in this book.

The two of them continue on their epic love story as expected. However I am glad that they were sent off in opposite directions a few times to tackle their various tasks, because as much as I love them together, their story definitely benefited from their time apart. Not only because it allowed us to cover more (much needed) ground story wise, but it also meant we got to see more of both Diana and Matthew, without them relying on the tight duo act that they had been in pretty much the whole previous book. This made for an interesting change in dynamic…

‘Remember that in the difficult days to come, as the darkest de Clermont family secrets are exposed to the light. Remember that and you will show them all that you are Philippe de Clermont’s daughter in more than name.

As far as the other characters went, they were all accounted for and then some. Pretty much everyone who has appeared in the books at some point was covered in one way or another. I loved Ysabeau and Marcus just as much as ever and even though Philippe wasn’t really present in this book at all, thanks to his legacy he hovered in the background as one of the more main characters of the story. There were a few surprises along the way, both in appearances and in story lines. But for me the biggest surprise was how much I ended up loving Gallowglass. He absolutely was the standout in this book. I loved following his storyline and he is definitely the one I feel that I would love to follow on and find out what happens next. I have always liked him as a character but this book made me love him. In fact I would hands down say that out of the trilogy he would, along with Philippe and Ysabeau become one of my favorite characters.

But secrets are unreliable allies. They allow us to believe we are safe, yet all the while they are destroying us.’

Since this is the final book in the trilogy I can’t say too much or I’ll give away A LOT of plot, which would be such a shame since it has been such an epic journey to get here. What I will say is although I found that everything was covered, and there were definitely surprises along the way. I felt like the conclusion to the manuscript storyline, the one that started this trilogy was not quite as ‘epic’ as I thought it was going to be. I’m not sure if it’s because I had built it up in my head that there must be some type of huge revelation, or if after following 3 very long books on the subject I thought it would be earth shattering, and maybe it was? But to me it was an ending, it was a very well thought out, well executed ending, but maybe not as full of fireworks as I thought it was going to be. However in saying that I was pretty blown away with the direction that the blood rage storyline took, I loved how dark and twisty it got. Who would’ve thought that the real danger to Matthew and Diana would’ve come from within their own line and not the numerous other happenings surrounding them? It is a testament to the writing that while I was reading this final book I could see everything start to slot into place from the previous two books… Suddenly little things made sense… or niggles that I had started to shake themselves out. With these books, there is always a reason for everything…

It’s really hard to break this book (let alone this series) down into a review and give you everything I loved and everything I didn’t love so much about it. I feel like here I need to say that overall this series was an amazing read. I loved how much was packed into each book; I loved the subject matter and the characters. They are long reads yes, but if you are anything like me and enjoy romance mixed with a bit of supernatural and some amazing story telling talents then you should definitely give them a go.. Of course, if you’ve already read the first 2 books then you don’t need this review to convince you to read the last one. Your curiosity would’ve already convinced you to do so, because this is not a story that can be left unfinished…

Neanderthal Marries Human (Knitting in the City #1.5) by Penny Reid

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Sooooo you all knew after I read Neanderthal Seeks Human a few weeks back that I was DYING of anticipation to read Neanderthal Marries Human. And I had high hopes. High, high hopes! And I am happy to report this book was EVERYTHING I hoped it was going to be and more. This book is another slam dunk for Penny Reid and her writing genius and I just want to issue a disclaimer now: After reading these two books I can honestly say I will now read ANYTHING Penny Reid writes, literally anything. I am officially obsessed and I can’t hold it in. Sorry.

There are three things you should know about Quinn Sullivan: 1) He is madly in love with Janie Morris, 2) He’s not above playing dirty to get what (or who) he wants, and 3) He doesn’t know how to knit.

After just five months of dating Janie, Quinn—former Wendell and unapologetic autocrat—is ready to propose marriage. In fact, he’s more than ready. If it were up to Quinn, he would efficiently propose, marry, and beget Janie with child all in the same day—thereby avoiding the drama and angst that accompanies the four stages of pre-matrimony: engagement, meeting the parents, bachelor/bachelorette party, and overblown, superfluous wedding day traditions. But Janie, much to Quinn’s dismay, tosses a wrench in his efficacious endeavors and challenges him to prove his devotion by going through the matrimonial motions, no matter how minute and mundane.

Will Quinn last until the wedding day? Or will he yield to his tyrant impulses?

Regardless, one thing is for certain, Quinn Sullivan will have to learn to expect the Spanish Inquisition (i.e. the unexpected) if he plans to have and keep Janie Morris as his wife.

Ok so as the blurb says, Janie and Quinn are getting married. (Eeeep! Happy dance!) This timeline follows on pretty much directly from where we left them in NSH. Which is perfect really because I reeeeeally wanted to continue on the Janie/Quinn storyline and I didn’t want to miss a thing. And we don’t miss anything. Not a single thing. Thanks to NSH giving us a lot of background story it really felt like we could sit back and just focus on Janie and Quinn’s relationship.

Proposing is like giving someone your dick and a sharp knife, then waiting to see what they do next.

I really loved how in this book it we got to read from both Janie AND Quinn’s point of views. It was mostly Janie but the odd chapters where we got to hear the story from Quinn really made sure that this book was focussed on both characters. I LOVE when you get to get into the mind of multiple characters and in this book the split between the two telling the story is just right. I definitely still wanted mostly Janie because I just love her to bits and it is after all, her story that I started to follow so I didn’t want to share her page space too much. I love that she was still essentially the Janie we knew at the end of the last book, just this time we scratched beneath the surface even further. And Quinn, his voice was just spot on. He was so essentially Quinn-ish in his chapters it really bought variety and a certain edge that the story really benefited from. I also loved how between them they both didn’t just keep rehashing the story, each of them kept the pace going and the parts of the story that were assigned to Quinn to tell were perfectly selected. Only he could’ve narrated that Vegas scene (well ok, doubly so since I don’t think Janie was in any state to speak but still!)

Oh and I haven’t forgotten the other characters! I love that they are all back for this instalment and are just as awesome as ever. There were some very poignant family related developments on both sides and as far as the knitting girls go, the scene in Vegas at the beauticians has to be one of the best ‘girl talk’ moments in the book. Who knew there were so many creative terminologies for waxing ones lady garden? Also Dan was another favourite of mine and I’m so glad we got to see a bit more of him in this book

Some people say, “I can’t – I can’t even…” Some people say, “bitch, you crazy.” Some people say, “I have no words.” Dan just glances at the ceiling and takes a deep breath.

As you probably can tell from my above ramblings, this story was very character focussed. That doesn’t mean that there was little/no storyline because there definitely was. But I really feel that this book did exactly what it needed to do, it continued with the story of Janie and Quinn. After all I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that after NSH I desperately wanted more about these two characters and this book certainly delivered that. Both NSH and NMH have now been allocated to my ‘Best Books Ever’ list and I am DEFINITELY going to read them again because I know they won’t lose any of their charm no matter how well acquainted I become with them. Now please excuse me… I’m just off to add all of the other books in this series onto my wish list…

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