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Review: Chance of a Lifetime by Jude Deveraux & Tara Sheets

In one century she loved him madly, and in another she wants nothing to do with him

In 1844 Ireland, Liam O’Connor, a rogue and a thief, fell madly in love with a squire’s daughter and unwittingly altered the future. Shy and naive Cora McLeod thought Liam was the answer to her prayers. But the angels disagreed and they’ve been waiting for the right moment in time to step in.

Now Liam finds himself reunited with his beloved Cora in Providence Falls, North Carolina. The angels have given Liam a task. He must make sure Cora falls in love with another man—the one she was supposed to marry before Liam interfered. But this Cora is very different from the innocent girl who fell for Liam in the past. She’s a cop and has a confidence and independence he wasn’t expecting. She doesn’t remember Liam or their past lives, nor is she impressed with his attempts to guide her in any way.

Liam wants Cora for himself, but with his soul hanging in the balance, he must choose between a stolen moment in time or an eternity of damnation.

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MY REVIEW

I honestly don’t know how I feel about this book, so just bear with me.

When I first came across this book, I instantly fell in the love with the cover and the synopsis. The cover was just so stunning and the synopsis just pulled at me, pretty much begging for me to read it.

For me, this book started off pretty promising. I liked the idea of the story and found it to be unique and refreshing. I loved the way Liam and Cora fell in love in 1844 and the tragedy of it. However, as the story went on, I felt like it lost some of its spark. I didn’t feel the connection with Liam and Cora in modern times. I didn’t get those feels and those moments of undeniable chemistry. Somewhere along the way, I lost my connection to this story and struggled to get it back. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me, but this story didn’t work for me at all.

Chance of a Lifetime sounded promising, but in the end it just didn’t work for me. While this book wasn’t a hit for me, I’m still glad to have checked it out and given it a chance.

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

Review Tour: The Wreckage of Us by Brittainy Cherry

Title – The Wreckage of Us

Author – Brittainy Cherry

Release Date – September 8, 2020

Publisher – Montlake

Never in a million years did I think it would be Ian Parker who saved me…

I know I should stay away from Ian Parker.

But when my drug-dealing stepdad kicks me out, I have nowhere to go. Squatting in an abandoned shed on Ian’s grandpa’s farm seems like as good a plan as any.

Ian finds me there, of course, and he insists on me moving into his spare room. I should say no, but the appeal of a roof and a warm bed is too much. Not to mention Ian’s brown eyes and strong arms.

We’re nothing alike, but the spark between us is undeniable. My life is finally looking up.

Until I call the cops on my stepdad and unintentionally get my pregnant mom arrested.

Now I have to sacrifice my dreams to take care of my mom’s baby. She’s the only family I have left. Meanwhile, Ian’s band is taking off; his dreams are coming true.

Ian is my one chance at love. I just hope he doesn’t become the one chance that got away.

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MY REVIEW

“The music felt realer with her help, it felt authentic. It felt as if Hazel Stone was the missing piece to my dream coming true. She was the muse I’d been praying for, and I hoped she’d keep helping me co-write songs that would change my life.”

“I’d give you every lyric that was inside of me to make your dreams come true, Ian.”

“I’m fighting for you whether you like it or not, Hazel Stone. Our love song isn’t over. We’re just getting to the chours, and I’m going to sing for you, for us, until forever.”

“He was it for me. He was the hook, the bridge, and the melody.”

4.5, You are my melody, Stars!!

Brittainy C. Cherry has done it again!! She’s brought beauty and passion to another unforgettable romance! There is seriously nothing this author can’t write that I won’t pick up. The Wreckage of Us takes you on an unforgettable journey of love and sacrifice. It’s a story that will be staying with readers long after it ends….

The Wreckage of Us captivates you from the very first page. From the moment I met Hazel, my heart broke for this poor misunderstood girl. Life has been anything but kind to her and she’s doing all she can to keep her head above water. She just needs one person to take a chance, even if that means she has to work with her enemy. On the outside, Ian’s life looks perfect. He’s got a great job, the perfect setup and he’s part of a band. But, when Hazel shows up to work on his family’s farm, he’s not having it. Hazel represents all the bad in his life that he tries to keep at bay. He’s tough on Hazel but quickly realizes that everything isn’t as it seems and that maybe, just maybe he’s misjudged, Hazel. Life has a funny way of putting people together when they need them the most. Hazel and Ian have a lot more in common than either one of them could have imagined. Will Hazel and Ian’s friendship turn into more? When life throws more curveballs at them than anyone should have to handle, will they make it out on the other side? Or will their lives be turned into wreckage? There’s only one way to find out….

The Wreckage of Us is a fantastic read from beginning to end. As I previously stated, I was sucked into Hazel and Ian’s story instantly. These two characters were so alike. Life had dealt both of them some pretty crappy cards and it was up to them to make the most of it. One of the things I loved was the slow-burning connection between Ian and Hazel. I am not gonna lie, I was not a fan of Ian in the beginning. He was such a jerk, and even knowing that he had his reasons for his actions. I’m happy to say, he did win me over in the end. And Hazel…How could you not fall in love with Hazel? She had the biggest, most beautiful heart. There isn’t anything she wouldn’t do or sacrifice for the ones she loved. Together, Hazel and Ian were the absolute perfect match. She was the missing piece he was searching for. His muse. His everything. They were made for each other. Two lost and kindred souls that had finally found their way home and would stop at nothing to find their happily ever after.

The road to happily ever after wasn’t an easy one for Hazel and Ian, but it was so worth the journey. I loved every bump in the road. Every sacrifice. Every moment that ripped out my heart and each moment that left me begging for more. Brittainy C. Cherry has a way with words unlike any other author I’ve come across in all the years I’ve been reading. Her words are everything and The Wreckage of Us is just the latest example of just how amazing her words are.

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

EXCERPT

A typical Eres Saturday night.

I wandered the ranch with a notebook and pen in my hand. I kept scribbling down lyrics and crossing them out before trying again to create something better, stronger—realer. I kept drumming my fingers against each other, trying to unlock the pieces that I was missing. As I paced back and forth, a voice broke me away from my mind.

“It’s the words.”

I looked up to see Hazel sitting in the rocking chair that Big Paw built for my mother years ago. I used to sit in Mom’s lap as she’d read me stories before bedtime all those years back.

There’d been times I thought about getting rid of the chair in order to forget that memory, but I hadn’t found the strength to let go just yet.

“What do you mean it’s the words?” I asked, walking up the steps of the porch. I leaned against the railing facing her.

She blinked and tilted her head in my direction. “Your words are trash.”

“What?”

“The lyrics to your songs, they are complete garbage, filled with clichés and bubblegum. Don’t get me wrong, the music style and tempos are brilliant. And even though it pains me to admit, your voice is so solid and soulful that you could be a star in a heartbeat. But your lyrics? They are pig shit.”

“I think the saying is horseshit.”

“After spending weeks in a pig pen, pig shit seems to truly sum up my feelings about your music. But my gosh, your voice. It’s a good voice.”

I tried to push off her insult, and tried to ignore her compliment, too. But it was hard. I had an ego that was easy to bruise, and Hazel was swinging her punches while also speaking words of praise. It was as if every bruise she made, she quickly covered with a Bandaid.

Insult, compliment, insult, compliment. Wash, rinse, repeat.

“Everyone else seemed to enjoy it,” I replied, tense with my words.

“Yeah, well, everyone else are morons who are drunk off their minds.”

“Oh? And you think you could do better?”

She laughed. “Without a doubt.” “Okay, Hazel Stone, master of lyrics, give me something to go with.”

She gestured toward the other rocker beside her—the one Dad used to sit in.

I sat down.

She pressed her lips together. “Okay. Give me one of your songs. One that you know is crap but are pretending isn’t crap.”

“They aren’t—”

“Lying isn’t going to get us far tonight, Ian.”

I narrowed my eyes and murmured a curse word before I began flipping through my notebook to find a song for Hazel to magically make better. “Fine. We can do Possibilities.”

“Hmm… What is it about?”

“A new relationship forming. I want to showcase those beginning feelings, you know? The fears and excitements. The nerves. The unknown. The—”

“First chapters of love,” she finished my thoughts.

“Yes, that.”

She took the pencil from behind my ear and took the notebook from my grip. “May I?”

“Please. Go for it.”

She began scribbling, crossing things out, adding things in, doing whatever came to her mind. She worked like a manwoman, falling into a world of creativity that I didn’t think she’d held inside of her. The only thing I knew about Hazel Stone was where she came from, and the clothes she wore. I hadn’t known anything else, but now she was pouring herself out on the page, and I couldn’t wait to see what the hell she was scribbling.

She took a breath and handed the notebook back to me. “If you hate it, no harm, no foul,” she said.

My eyes darted over the words. “It’s possible this is forever ours. It’s possible we’ll reach the stars. We’ll fight for this, we’ll make it real. Is it possible, possible, to show you how I feel?

“Shit.” I blew out a breath of air. “Hazel…that’s… It’s like you crawled into my head and read the thoughts I couldn’t decipher. That’s the chorus. That’s it.”

Interview with Brittiany Cherry

The Wreckage of Us takes place in the inauspicious town of Eres, Nebraska. Not exactly a place where happily-ever-afters are made. What made you choose this setting?

I wanted to tell a story about a small town that was overlooked by the world as a whole. Most people would overlook a town like Eres, Nebraska, but there are still people who are living, who are loving, and who are struggling in these small towns. I wanted to show their stories, and how even though the rest of the world may not see them, that they still matter. They deserve their happily ever afters just as much as the rest of the world.

Hazel, your heroine, is newly eighteen when her criminal step-father throws her out of the house. She literally has nothing when the story begins—not even her mother’s support. What choices does Hazel make? Do you agree with them?

Hazel chooses to find a job in order to help her mother from a distance. I think she acts on impulse, not exactly thinking things through. She doesn’t get the opportunity to think far into the future, she only has right in that moment. Second by second. I do agree with her choices in a way, since she isn’t harming anyone with these choices. She is just doing her best to make it to the next day.

Forget about healing, Hazel is in survival mode. What keeps her going?

Her twisted love and care for her mother is keeping her going—along with her unborn sister. She knew what it was like to grow up in her household, and she wouldn’t want her little sister to go through those same kind of struggles. So, that pushes Hazel to keep moving forward and fighting for her family.

Your hero is a very interesting mix of both the town’s “golden boy” as well as the town’s “bad boy”. Ian is…complicated. How did you get to know him? How does Hazel get to know him?

I believe Hazel and I both got to know Ian the same way—piece by piece. He has a wall of protection up from the world due to the trauma he experienced as a child. Being abandoned by his parents really did a number on Ian’s trust. Yet, the beautiful thing about Ian is when he loves, he loves fully. He does everything he can to make sure those he loves are taken care of. Once his pieces are discovered, he makes a beautiful complete puzzle.

Music is Ian’s whole life. He sees it as his escape, a way out of the stifling Eres, Nebraska. However, he struggles with his emotions and allowing himself to really feel the music he is making. What needs to change for him? 

He needs to tap into his darkest struggles. He has to go to the edge of his anger, his hurts, and express those feelings on the page in front of him. Ian holds so much in that it becomes a creative block in a way. Once he starts breaking those walls down—with the help of Hazel—he discovers his real creativity. He finds his voice, he finds his songs. He finds himself.

Hazel and Ian are an unlikely pair. They really get on each other’s nerves and they want different things out of life. Yet despite their differences, they find a connection. What is the spark that brings them together?

I think it’s loneliness. They grew up without having the true love of their parents. And in the town of Eres, drugs are a big issue. Those drugs affected both of their parents lives in different ways, but it’s a connecting factor for them both. They are able to connect with one another because they both know what it’s like to hurt so deeply and dream of a parent’s love.

The theme of “impossible love” runs through your novels. Two people that can’t possibly make it work realize that they don’t want anyone else but each other. What excites you about these types of stories.

I think there’s something so exciting about a love worth fighting for. When the passion is given from not only one side of the equation, but both the hero and heroine know the feelings they have run deep. Sure, there are struggles, like there are in everyday life, but they know they wouldn’t want to struggle with anyone else in the world. They fight for their happily ever after, no matter what. And that, in my mind, is what makes the impossible love become possible and true. That’s what gives us the happily ever afters that we as readers crave.

Currently our country and the world are going through unprecedented crisis. The arts have become so important for people to feel a sense of normalcy. As a writer, how do you hope your story affects your readers?

I hope my stories give my readers hope. I hope it reminds them that even throughout the storms, the sun will always shine once the clouds move to the side. There’s beauty in the storms, too, if you are willing to look hard enough. There are lessons of self that can be learned, and I think my characters discover that from time to time. I just hope to showcase that this is still a time to believe in happily ever afters, and that the world’s story as a whole, is far from over. We still have so much beauty to still discover. We still have so much light to find. And those facts alone, give me hope, and I hope my stories do the same for readers. I hope I give them light.

How has our current situation affected projects you are working on now? (Any spoilers you can tell us about what is up next for you?)

I’m finding myself more forgiving of my writing pace! I fell off for a while, and found it hard to be creative, but now that I am in a groove, I am finding writing fun again. It’s my great escape from the issues around me. Words save me day in and day out, and I’m thankful for that. Up next for me is my second book in my Compass series, which is entitled Eastern Lights. It’s my first ever romantic comedy, that is filled with so much heart. I think readers are going to love getting to know Connor and Aaliyah’s story!

About the Author

Brittainy Cherry has been in love with words since she took her first breath. She graduated from Carroll University with a bachelor’s degree in theater arts and a minor in creative writing. She loves to take part in writing screenplays, acting, and dancing—poorly, of course. Coffee, chai tea, and wine are three things that she thinks every person should partake in. Cherry lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her family. When she’s not running a million errands and crafting stories, she’s probably playing with her adorable pets.

Social Media Outlets

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BrittainyCherryAuthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/brittainycherry

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bcherryauthor

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Review: The Wedding Date Disaster by Avery Flynn

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Hadley Donavan can’t believe she has to go home to Nebraska for her sister’s wedding. She’s gonna need a wingman and a whole lot of vodka for this level of family interaction. At least her bestie agreed he’d man up and help. But then instead of her best friend, his evil twin strolls out of the airport.

If you looked up doesn’t-deserve-to-be-that-confident, way-too-hot-for-his-own-good billionaire in the dictionary, you’d find a picture of Will Holt. He’s awful. Horrible. The worst―even if his butt looks phenomenal in those jeans.

Ten times worse? Hadley’s buffer was supposed to be there to keep her away from the million and one family events. But Satan’s spawn just grins and signs them up for every. Single. Thing.

Fine. “Cutthroat” Scrabble? She’s in. She can’t wait to take this guy down a notch. But somewhere between Pictionary and the teasing glint in his eyes, their bickering starts to feel like more than just a game…

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MY REVIEW

The Wedding Date Disaster is a refreshing and fun take on the enemies to lovers / fake relationship troupe. This is my first book by this author and it certainly won’t be my last!

The Wedding Date Disaster follow the story of Hadley and Will. Will thinks he knows what kind of girl his brother’s best friend, but he couldn’t be further from the truth. His assumptions are way off base, but try telling an alpha type that he’s wrong! He won’t believe you. Will tries to get his brother Web to see the light, but Web isn’t having and neither is fate. You see, Web is supposed to accompany Hadley to her sister’s wedding back home in Nebraska. Only, Web ends up really sick, so Will takes his place. Now, Hadley and Will are stuck pretending they are a couple and trying desperately to not kill each other. But you know what they say, those who fight the most have the greatest passion. The passion and tension between Hadley and Will is off the charts. Will these two give into their unexpected feelings or will Will’s assumptions come back to bite him? There’s only one way to find out….

Overall, I thought this book was a really fun read. I found the author’s take on this troupe to be fun and refreshing. Enemies to Lovers and Fake Relationships are my jam! And I couldn’t get enough of this one. I mean, Will and Hadley had tension in spades. Their chemistry burning off the pages. I will be the first to admit that Will drove me a little crazy with his hangups on Hadley, and I for one could not wait for him to get his head out of his butt. His heart was in the right place, and had been burned in the past. Hadley was easy to relate to. She loves her family even though they make her crazy. I loved seeing Hadley come into her true self and not be afraid to be the person she was always meant to be.

The Wedding Date Disaster is the kind of book that you can easily read in a single sitting. The characters and supporting cast are fun and entertaining. This book more than delivered in the enemies to lovers story line. I loved the drama and pull. I loved the angst and family moments. In the end, this book hit all the marks I was looking for and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Hadley and Will’s story come full circle.

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

Review: Hidden (The Texas Murder Files #1) by Lauren Griffin

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When a woman is found brutally murdered on Austin’s lakeside hike-and-bike trail, investigative reporter Bailey Rhoads turns up on the scene demanding access and answers. She tries to pry information out of the lead detective, Jacob Merritt. But this case is unlike any he’s ever seen, and nothing adds up.

Bailey has a hunch the victim wasn’t who she claimed to be and believes this mugging-turned-murder could have been a targeted hit. When she digs deeper, the trail leads her to a high-tech fortress on the outskirts of Austin where researchers are pushing the boundaries of a cutting-edge technology that could be deadly in the wrong hands.

As a ruthless hit man’s mission becomes clear, Bailey and Jacob must embark on a desperate search to locate the next target before the clock ticks down on this lethal game of hide and seek.

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MY REVIEW

Hidden is an exciting and fast paced thriller that is sure to keep readers on their toes….

One of the first things that drew me into this book was the cover. It was absolutely stunning. I loved the colors and style. I certainly wanted to find out more. Hidden is my first book by Laura Griffin and it most certainly won’t be my last.

Hidden follows the story of Bailey and Jacob. From the moment I picked up this book, I was completely and totally sucked in. I was pretty annoyed that I had things to do and couldn’t sit and devour this book like I had wanted. That being said, I took advantage of every free minute I had and couldn’t help but get lost in this story.

Bailey is an investigative reporter, who turns up at a crime scene looking for answers. She looks to the lead detective Jacob, hoping that he can shine some light on the case. However, this murder is unlike anything he’s dealt with before. Bailey isn’t afraid to follow her instincts to uncover the truth, even if that means putting herself in harms way. In the end, Jacob and Bailey find themselves searching for a ruthless killer. Will they find their suspect before it’s too late??? There’s only one way to find out…

Hidden was a fantastic read from beginning to end. I loved the mystery and suspense of the story. There was never a dull moment and I was kept on the edge of my seat. The game of cat and mouse kept me totally engrossed in this story and I couldn’t wait to see how all the pieces would come together in the end. I really enjoyed the chemistry and romantic moments between Bailey and Jacob. I think it added a lot to the story and gave some much needed relief to the suspenseful plot.

All in all, I’m glad to have checked this book out. It had my heart racing the entire time and I’m excited to check more out from this author in the future.

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

Review: Vitality by Crysta Levere

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She’s fighting for life. He’s fighting for death.

What does it take to live? What does it take to love?

To Ava, love is about as real as fairy tales. But it might be that fairy tales, myths, and magic have some truth to them after all — as well as the monsters that lie in the shadows. Or she could just be completely out of her mind.

After a mental breakdown and a move to a new town, everything changes when Ava clashes with a stranger with eyes as black as midnight and a terrifying sinister air. Her wishes to feel something again become granted. But Ava soon learns that not only is he as cold as he is beautiful, but he brings something out of her, stronger than ever, like fuel to fire — something she’s desperate to bury. He haunts her dreams and waking life, and staying away becomes harder than she could have ever imagined, risking her life, her humanity, and the people that she cares about. Not to mention the fate of the world.

A violent passion. A dangerous bond. A nightmare that will change everything.

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MY REVIEW

Vitality is the promising debut novel from author Crysta Levere. Vitality follows the story of Ava and Layton.  After suffering a mental breakdown, Ava decides she needs to move and have a fresh start. She instantly becomes friends with her roommate Dalilah. Dalilah brings Ava into her circle and gives her the friendship that Ava hopes will help her move on. Everything changes for Ava when she meets a mysterious stranger named Layton. He’s beautiful yet cold. He brings out a side in Ava that she didn’t know existed. Layton is everywhere, even her dreams and staying away is proving harder than Ava thought….

Overall, I thought this book was an ok read. I found the plot to be promising and original. I liked the darker tone that this book gave off. I thought this story was written well and I liked that it wasn’t your typical vampire romance. I thought the characters were interesting and they definitely left you wanting more. I also appreciated the way the author dealt with the heavier subjects and the plot did hook me from the beginning.

However, there were some things that bothered me about this book. While I felt that the story was written well, there were times where I was left utterly confused. I didn’t really know what was going on and that felt a bit distracting to me. Now, being left in the dark, isn’t always a bad thing, but there is a big difference with being left in the dark and feeling utterly confused. My other issue, and to some, it might seem like a silly one, was that Ava kept going to her locker. Now, if she was in high school, this wouldn’t even be an issue, but she’s in college–there are no lockers in college. And that little aspect just drove me nuts. My last issue was that when it came to the characters, I wanted more. Don’t get me wrong, I found all of the characters enjoyable and I liked what we got from them, I just wanted a little more depth and connection, especially with Ava and Layton.

Overall, I thought this book was an ok read. It wasn’t a hit or miss for me, just somewhere in between. I think that this book wasn’t bad for a debut novel and I do feel that the author has a ton of potential. Vitality is an intriguing story with a different twist on vampire romance. While I did find some aspects of the story confusing, I will say that Vitality does deliver with the unexpected twists and turns, and an ending that I certainly didn’t see coming. So, even though this book wasn’t a 100% hit for me, I will say that the ending left me intrigued enough that I’d like to see what happens in the next book.

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

Review: Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards #1) by Janella Angeles

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In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.

As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.

The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost

The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told

The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide

Where Dreams Descend is the startling and romantic first book in Janella Angeles’ debut Kingdom of Cards fantasy duology where magic is both celebrated and feared, and no heart is left unscathed.

MY REVIEW

Where Dreams Descend is the debut novel from author Janella Angeles. With a unique and intriguing plot, readers are sure to devour this book in just a single sitting.

When I first stumbled upon Where Dreams Descend, I was immediately intrigued by the cover. It was really unique and had me wanting to know more. So, of course, when I read the synopsis for this story, I knew I had to get my hands on it.

Where Dreams Descend is a promising debut fantasy novel. It’s well written and I really liked the world this author created. I found the characters to be interesting, and I definitely wanted to know more. This story had a ton of fun elements to it. I loved the intrigue, the magic and the darkness of the characters past. For the most part, the story was paced well and the fact that the chapters were pretty short, led me to devour this book rather quickly.

What can I say about Where Dreams Descend? The characters are strong and their world is fascinating. There is a love triangle, which of course kept things interesting. The Phantom of The Opera & Moulin Rouge vibe was a definite hit for me. There’s magic and intrigue. Moments that will keep you guessing and leave you with a million and one questions.  And of course,  an ending that will leave you dying to know what happens next.

If you’re a fan of YA Fantasy and are looking for something a little different, this book is for you. This series has a ton of potential and I’m looking forward to seeing how it will all come together in the end.

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

Review: Not My Romeo by Ilsa Madden-Mills

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Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills delivers a smart and sexy contemporary romance about a smoking-hot professional football player and the small-town girl he can’t resist.

We start off with a lie on Valentine’s Day.

My blind date isn’t the studious guy I expected: he’s a drop-dead gorgeous player with sinful amber eyes. Somehow we end up at his penthouse. I blame the gin and tonic.

The next day I learn he’s Jack Hawke—bad-boy professional quarterback with a murky past. The NDA he has me sign should be a warning that he isn’t a regular person. Please. I sign it Juliet Capulet, so goodbye, famous football player with abs of steel, and good luck tracking down this small-town librarian.

But Jack keeps showing up in places I least expect him. Just when I’m sure he’s gone, he waltzes into my community theater and wins the part of Romeo to my Juliet. How’s a plain, mostly innocent girl like me supposed to resist a man like him?

Is Jack my real Romeo…or will this gorgeous football player only break my heart?

MY REVIEW

Being at the right place at the wrong time never sounded so good!!

Not My Romeo follows the story of Jack and Elena. When we first meet up with these two, it’s Valentine’s Day. Elena has agreed to a blind date but has no clue what the guy looks like. She only knows the basics and that he’s wearing a blue shirt. That’s where Jack comes into play. A simple case of mistaken identity. He knows he should tell Elena the truth, but it’s so refreshing to him that she has no clue who he is. Jack and Elena spend an unforgettable night together. Too bad, everything went totally wrong the next morning….

Not My Romeo was a fun and refreshing read. Elena and Jack were easy to root for and connect with. I loved the mistaken identity and small-town girl vibe. Jack started off completely arrogant and wasn’t afraid to go after what he wanted. He was a bad boy and completely irresistible. Elena was a fantastic character. Sure she seemed a little quiet and innocent. She is a librarian after all. But, there is so much more to this girl than meets the eye. When she falls in love, she goes all the way in. Together these two amazing together. I loved the push and pull and couldn’t help but root for these two to find their way to a happily ever after. Speaking of happily ever afters, no romance would be complete without a few bumps in the road. Jack and Elena’s story pulled at my heart and had me anxious to see how it would all come together in the end.

Not My Romeo was a terrific read from beginning to end. I loved the plot and fell head over heels for the characters. This story is filled with romance, angst, frustration, and some seriously sexy good times. All in all, a wonderful book to spend your day getting lost in.

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

Review: More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn

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Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.

Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out-of-this-world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?

In More Than Maybe, Erin Hahn’s swooniest book yet, Luke and Vada must decide how deep their feelings run and what it would mean to give love a try.

Buy this book: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250231642

MY REVIEW

I fell in love with Erin Hahn’s writing when I read her debut novel You’d Be Mine. So, when I heard that More Than Maybe was coming out, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and see what Erin Hahn brought to us in her Sophomore novel. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed. More Than Maybe is a sweet and swoon-worthy young adult novel. I found this story easy to connect with. I was reminded of simpler times and the sweetness of young love.

Erin Hahn gave us addictive writing and amazing characters in More Than Maybe. Yes, Luke and Vada had some insta-love going on, but it totally worked. You could feel the connection between the two of them and it was clear as day that these two were destined for one another.

I really enjoyed More Than Maybe and I loved getting swept up in the story this author created. It was fun. It was sweet. It was swoon-worthy. I just loved the music and the refreshing story-line. If you’re looking for a light-hearted young adult romance, then look no further. I hope you’ll check out More Than Maybe and that you will fall in love with these characters just as I have.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

ERIN HAHN is the author of You’d Be Mine and More Than Maybe. She teaches elementary, would rather be outside and makes a lot of playlists. So many playlists in fact, that she decided to write books to match them! She married her very own YA love interest who she met on her first day of college and has two kids who are much, much cooler than she ever was at their age. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, aka the greenest place on earth and has a cat named Gus who plays fetch and a dog named June who doesn’t.

Author website: https://www.erinphahn.com/

Author Twitter: @erinhahn_author

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17130322.Erin_Hahn

Author Instagram: @erinhahn_author

Review: A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost

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In these hilarious essays, the Saturday Night Live head writer and Weekend Update co-anchor learns how to take a beating.

Colin Jost has six sets of stitches on his face alone. He’s been punched in at least four different sketches on Saturday Night Live, including once by his boss, Lorne Michaels. But if there’s one trait that makes someone well suited to comedy, it’s being able to take a punch—metaphorically and, occasionally, physically.

From growing up as an overweight kid in a family of firefighters on Staten Island to commuting three hours a day to high school and “seeing the sights” (like watching a Russian woman throw a stroller off the back of a ferry) to attending Harvard while Facebook was created (and choosing comedy instead!), Colin shares how he has navigated the world like a “slightly smarter Forrest Gump.”

You’ll also discover things about Colin that will surprise and confuse you, like how Jimmy Buffett saved his life, how Czech teenagers attacked him with potato salad, how an insect laid eggs inside his legs, and how he competed in a twenty-five-man match at Wrestlemania (and almost won). You’ll go behind the scenes at SNL (where he’s written some of the most iconic sketches and characters of the past fifteen years) and Weekend Update (where’s he’s been “the white guy next to Leslie Jones.”) And you’ll experience the life of a touring stand-up comedian—from performing in rural cafeterias at noon to opening for Dave Chappelle at Radio City Music Hall.

For every accomplishment (hosting the Emmys), there is a setback (hosting the Emmys). And for every absurd moment (watching paramedics give CPR to a raccoon), there is an honest, emotional one (recounting his mother’s experience on the scene of the Twin Towers’ collapse on 9/11.) Told with a healthy dose of self-deprecation, A Very Punchable Face reveals the brilliant mind behind some of the dumbest sketches on television and lays bare the heart and humor of a hardworking guy—with a face you can’t help but want to punch

MY REVIEW

A Very Punchable Face is by far and away, totally different from my normal day to day reads. I am a romance reader who loves nothing more than a happy ending. So, for me to pick up a Non-Fiction book is a pretty big deal. When I stumbled upon A Very Punchable Face, my first thought was “Hey, look! Colin Jost wrote a book”. After reading the synopsis, I couldn’t help but be intrigued. I mean, this book just sounded absolutely amazing. So, I put my reservations aside and decided to read a book outside my norm, and I have to tell you, I am so glad I did.

From the moment I picked up this book, I was hooked. I didn’t want to put it down. It was so well written and entertaining. From the titles of the chapters to the content within the pages, I just couldn’t get enough. I loved reading about Colin’s life and his journey to SNL. Colin had a lot of personal struggles early on and it was fascinating to see how he became the Colin that makes us laugh weekly on SNL. I loved learning about his family and getting to see a side of him that we wouldn’t normally see. I loved how Colin owned the mistakes he made in his life and was able to make fun himself in the most embarrassing moments.

A Very Punchable Face is genuine, yet funny at the same time. His story is easy to relate to and gave the humor that I was hoping and looking for. For someone who rarely reads this genre, I can tell you that I had the absolute best time reading A Very Punchable Face. I laughed. I cringed. I had a smile on my face the entire time. All in all, a fantastic read from beginning to end. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys humor and loves to laugh.

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

Review: Lead Me Back by C.D. Reiss

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A twist of fate proves wildly explosive in New York Times bestselling author CD Reiss’s smart and sexy Hollywood romance about the cost of running from your past to get to your dreams.

Cutting all ties, Kayla Montgomery drives cross-country to Los Angeles. New start. New life. And an unexpected new job: assistant to Justin Beckett.

The Justin Beckett.

The boy band rebel with the cocky attitude and dreamy bed head who casts a spell over his fans and tests the patience of his handlers.

Now at the peak of Mount Adulthood, he has to build a clean-cut, movie star image. It’s in his contract. No partying. No attitude. No groupies.

To tie it together, he needs a normal girl.

Suddenly, Kayla’s swept up in Justin’s glamorous world, and his arms. But the most dizzying thing is Justin himself. Sweet, generous, reliable, and as eager to shed his past as Kayla is hers.

About that…

Those ties she thought she’d cut? They’ve followed her across the country with her secrets in tow, and they’re about to test Kayla’s courage, Justin’s loyalty, and a love that wasn’t part of the deal.

MY REVIEW

“You already own me,” I said. “So you might as well just take me.”

Lead Me Back follows the story of Kayla and Justin. When we first meet up with Kayla, she’s moved out to LA for a fresh start. Kayla even went as far as to change her cell phone number. She had no idea that changing her number would turn her whole world upside down. You see, her new number used to belong to The Justin Beckett. Justin is a former musician, turned actor. He’s had a lot of bad press and is looking to reinvent his image. Fate throws Justin and Kayla together in the most unexpected way. Soon Kayla finds herself swept up in Justin’s glamours world. Will Kayla get the fresh start that she’s looking for or will her past catch up with her? There’s only one way to find out…

I thought this book was an ok read. I was hooked on Justin and Kayla’s story from the very beginning. I really liked how the two of them were brought together and how they stayed a part of each other’s life. Justin needed Kayla’s help to deliver messages that she might receive on her phone, so he offers her a job to help her get her feet off of the ground. I liked the banter between the two of them. Kayla was a no nonsense type girl and wasn’t afraid to tell Justin no. I really appreciated the way the author dealt with Kayla’s past. She made her very real and easy to relate to. And while Justin was cocky and annoying at times, he was really a good guy. Together I thought these two made a nice couple. They had some great banter and interactions. They had a good friendly foundation and a slow burn type of romance. The two of them definitely steamed up the pages together. That being said, I did wish that there was a little more romance and chemistry between Justin and Kayla. Don’t get me wrong, I liked them together, I just wanted more feels and to feel more of a connection to them.

Overall, Lead Me Back was a quick and easy read. I was able to finish it in just a single sitting. Even though I wanted a little more from Justin and Kayla in the romance department, I still enjoyed getting swept up in their story.

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