Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Courage to Change - My Review for THE FOREVER GIRL by Jill Shalvis

 Title: The Forever Girl

Author: Jill Shalvis

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

Publication Date: January 12, 2021

Source: ARC from the publisher through Edelweiss



New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis does it once again with a heartfelt story of family, forgiveness, and secrets that have the power to change the course of more than one life.

When Maze returns to Wildstone for the wedding of her estranged bff and the sister of her heart, it’s also a reunion of a once ragtag team of teenagers who had only each other until a tragedy tore them apart and scattered them wide.

Now as adults together again in the lake house, there are secrets and resentments mixed up in all the amazing childhood memories. Unexpectedly, they instantly fall back into their roles: Maze their reckless leader, Cat the den mother, Heather the beloved baby sister, and Walker, a man of mystery. 

Life has changed all four of them in immeasurable ways. Maze and Cat must decide if they can rebuild their friendship, and Maze discovers her long-held attraction to Walker hasn’t faded with the years but has only grown stronger.



Multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is ... mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's bestselling, award-winning heartwarming and full of humor novels wherever books are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures. Her most recent book, ALMOST JUST FRIENDS, was just published last month and her next book, THE SUMMER DEAL, comes out in June.
www.facebook.com/jillshalvis
www.twitter.com/jillshalvis
www.instagram.com/jillshalvis
http://jillshalvis.tumblr.com/
or email her at contact@jillshalvis.com

Jill Shalvis's Wildstone series is a collection of standalone stories, interconnected based on the location. Wildstone is a perfect small town in California, near the ocean, and away from the fast-paced larger cities. I have loved each story in the series. They each feel different and are uniquely individual.

In The Forever Girl, Caitlin, Maze, Heather, and Walker have a bit of a traumatic past but have stayed connected. When Caitlin invites them all to her wedding, old flames are rekindled, new romances spark and Caitlin finds herself questioning her entire life.

I absolutely adored every character in this story. If I had one complaint, it would be that I would have loved a separate book about each of the main characters telling their romance/story individually rather than all together at once. It in no way detracts from the story, I'm just being selfish and wishing for more.

I say it all the time, but Jill Shalvis is an auto-buy/must-read author for me. She just has a way of creating worlds I want to visit. Her stories are perfect for when you need a little humor with a little heat and a whole lotta heart.

5 Out of 5 Stars


Sia - Courage to Change

Maze, Caitlin, Heather, and Walker all need to make changes in their lives and I just feel like this song calls out to each of them offering them the courage to take the first steps.


Cover Reveal USED a novel by Kate Dunbar

This is all of me. The good, the bad, the used, and the broken…

Heartbreakingly beautiful and completely engrossing, A young woman's life takes a disturbing and utterly fascinating turn as the past she's put behind comes back to haunt her.  USED is packed full of twists, turns, and a gripping romance sure to leave readers emotionally spent and asking for more.

USED, a brand new standalone romantic suspense from debut author Kate Dunbar, will be releasing on March 8, 2021 on all retailers! Don’t miss the fantastic cover below, and pre-order your copy today!

“USED was amazing. Like seriously amazing. I can't remember the last time I hated to put a book down so I could go to sleep and then immediately pick it up to finish it the next morning. And yet, here we are and that's what I did.” ~ Samantha Chase, New York Times Bestselling Author 

“Rarely have I read a book so vividly described, so rich with emotion, that I felt like I lived it. USED is the kind of book that engages your heart and takes you on a journey that leaves you hopeful and empowered by the end.” ~ Erika Kelly, Award Winning Author of the Rock Star Romance Series


Photography by K Keeton Designs
Cover Design by Uplifting Author Services 

Model: Cameo Hopper


About USED (Coming 3/8/2021):


At the age of seventeen, after a decade of lies, hurt, and severe abuse by her brother Lucas, Sabra Valentine is able to breathe.

Lucas is behind bars thanks in large part to Sabra's quick thinking and self-preservation-even if that's one more secret she has to keep.

Now, seven years later, life is moving forward, and Sabra is starting to heal, live, and love again with her friends and Trevor Collins by her side. He's tall, dark, and sexy, and he doesn't fall for Sabra's games. The future is finally looking bright-until one phone call shatters everything.

Used is a romantic suspense with domestic thriller elements. Please be aware that there are topics that may be triggers for some readers, and this work is meant for mature readers.



PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!


✦Amazon US ➜ https://amzn.to/2LJCEQV

Amazon Intl https://geni.us/4fBU5
✦Apple ➜ http://apple.co/3nDaQuK

✦Kobo ➜ http://bit.ly/39s8hGz

✦Nook ➜ http://bit.ly/2LMTD4z

✦Audio ➜ COMING SOON!

✦Goodreads ➜ https://bit.ly/38AlFct

 

Heartbreakingly beautiful. This book isn’t about angst and pain. It’s about a fighter-a survivor-that we all attain to be. The story tears you apart in the best ways and builds you back up in the most beautiful.” ~ Nichole Chase, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author


“Used is a raw, heart-wrenching story of surviving trauma, but it's also so much more. It's a romantic, emotionally gratifying tale of unflinching, all-in love. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.” ~ Brenda Rothert, Author

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USED is being narrated by Stella Hunter and will be available March 8th! Stay tuned

for all the pre-order information! Sign up for Kate’s newsletter to get the

latest audio news! www.katedunbar.com


About Kate Dunbar:


Kate Dunbar is a wife, mom of three, and obsessive tea drinker who loves a great story. She’s passionate about people and

learning what makes them tick. You can find her eavesdropping, people watching, and living her best life wherever the winds take her.

Website: https://katedunbar.com/

Facebook: https://fb.com/KateDunbarAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kdunbarwrites 

Newsletter: https://katedunbar.com/ 

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/3q6SqEa 


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Lucky - My Review of The Honey-Don't List


Title: The Honey-Don't List
Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: 3/24/2020
Source: ARC from publisher through Netgalley



https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07V1JKRF4/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=ficwishes-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07V1JKRF4&linkId=094c48bd072e56c465a477bc99c0b9dbhttps://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-honey-dont-list-christina-lauren/1132405105?ean=9781982123918https://www.bookdepository.com/Honey-Dont-List-Christina-Lauren/9781982123918?ref=grid-view&qid=1585081170944&sr=1-1https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781982123918

Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

From the “hilariously zany and heartfelt” (Booklist) Christina Lauren comes a romantic comedy that proves if it’s broke, you might as well fix it.

From the New York Times bestselling author behind the “joyful, warm, touching” (Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author) The Unhoneymooners comes a delightfully charming love story about what happens when two assistants tasked with keeping a rocky relationship from explosion start to feel sparks of their own. 


Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced fourteen New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 30+ languages. (Some of these books have kissing. Some of these books have A LOT of kissing.)


We don't respond to private messages here, so please contact us via twitter (@seeCwrite for Christina and @LolaShoes for Lauren) or our site. Thank you!!



The Honey-Don't List is by no means my first Christina Lauren novel, but it may be the most unusual. Not that the book was unusual, but the experience of reading it was. Ok, I'm not really doing a good job of explaining this so let me try again.

The Honey-Don't List was a five-star read from me when I was only expecting it to be 4 stars at most. Having read and liked other stories from this incredible writing duo, I was prepared to enjoy myself, but this went above and beyond. The title and cover had me expecting something completely other than what I got. I was expecting a light-hearted read with some zany antics and this was so much more than that. The depth of characters and the story completely blindsided me and I loved it.

As a fan of HGTV, I loved reading about what could possibly happen on the other side of the screen. I enjoyed the creative processes and the ways that Carey and James had to work together to make a successful show as well as work to save the reputation of their employers is so much fun. We knew from the beginning that things were going to blow up spectacularly, but it is so amazing when it happens. I feel like the whole story was handled expertly.

Yes, this was a little bit of a departure from the typical Christina Lauren, it was a welcome one and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

5 out of 5 stars





Chelsea Cutler - Lucky

If We Never Met - My Review of If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane


Title: If I Never Met You
Author: Mhairi McFarlane
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: 3/24/2020
Source: ARC from the publisher through Edelweiss




https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TD5CV8S/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=ficwishes-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07TD5CV8S&linkId=6f1627e5f3e00bf62d39fad739503b2chttps://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/if-i-never-met-you-mhairi-mcfarlane/1132188583?ean=9780062958501https://www.bookdepository.com/If-I-Never-Met-You-Mhairi-McFarlane/9780062958501?ref=grid-view&qid=1585059985149&sr=1-2https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062958501https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51213487-if-i-never-met-you?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=uXEEbzaYsd&rank=1

If faking love is this easy... how do you know when it’s real?

When her partner of over a decade suddenly ends things, Laurie is left reeling—not only because they work at the same law firm and she has to see him every day. Her once perfect life is in shambles and the thought of dating again in the age of Tinder is nothing short of horrifying. When news of her ex’s pregnant girlfriend hits the office grapevine, taking the humiliation lying down is not an option. Then a chance encounter in a broken-down elevator with the office playboy opens up a new possibility.

Jamie Carter doesn’t believe in love, but he needs a respectable, steady girlfriend to impress their bosses. Laurie wants a hot new man to give the rumor mill something else to talk about. It’s the perfect proposition: a fauxmance played out on social media, with strategically staged photographs and a specific end date in mind. With the plan hatched, Laurie and Jamie begin to flaunt their new couple status, to the astonishment—and jealousy—of their friends and colleagues. But there’s a fine line between pretending to be in love and actually falling for your charming, handsome fake boyfriend.

Mhairi was born in Scotland in 1976 and her unnecessarily confusing name is pronounced Vah-Ree.

After some efforts at journalism, she started writing novels. It’s Not Me, It’s You is her third book. She lives in Nottingham, with a man and a cat.
 
I've read books by this author with before with mixes results, but something about this synopsis called to me and I'm really glad I answered that call.

Laurie's world is rocked when her long time boyfriend not only doesn't propose, but breaks up with her. He says he's not ready to get married. She soon finds out that he already has a girlfriend and that they are expecting a baby. Everything that Laurie thought she knew has been flipped on its head.

Jamie is a player, a ladies man, and as such, he tends to ruffle feathers amongst his work colleagues. When he and Laurie begin to talk about their respective problems, they come up with a singular solution: a fake relationship.

This book had a lot of the usual things you find in fake relationship storylines, jealousy, misunderstandings, hurt feelings, but with the added bonus of McFarlane's wit and charm. I quickly bonded with the characters and felt Laurie's frustrations with her job and the limited choices she felt she had. Jamie was appealing without being too in your face with it. His attractions were subtle, but many. 

Despite somewhat being able to predict where the story was going, I was completely enthralled with the characters and had myself a really good time reading this book.

4 out of 5 Stars


John K - If We Never Met

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

I Want More - My Review of In Five Years by Rebecca Serle



Title: In Five Years
Author: Rebecca Serle
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: 3/10/2020
Source: ARC from publisher through Netgalley



Where do you see yourself in five years?

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Cohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.



Rebecca Serle is an author and television writer who lives between New York and Los Angeles. Serle most recently co-developed the hit TV adaptation of her young adult series Famous in Love, now on Freeform. She loves Nancy Meyers films, bathrobes, and giving unsolicited advice on love. She can be found on twitter: @RebeccaASerle 


Oh Wow! When it started, it reminded me strongly of One Day in December by Josie Solver and I was pissed off because I really loved that story. Well, I’m happy to report that this is NOT the same. In Five Years is such a unique love story and is beautifully heartbreaking.

I simply cannot say enough words about this story. It is now more than a month since I read it and it still affects me physically to think about it.

Dannie has a dream in which she wakes and she is with a man that is NOT her fiancee. When she wakes in her real life, Dannie attempts to move forward as if nothing happened. That is until she runs into her dream man in real life. Is this a premonition? Is this man her future? How could her dream possibly come true without destroying the lives of EVERYONE around her, but really how could Dannie turn her back on the possibilities her dream presented?

This story is so incredibly moving. The characters are sooooo completely relatable. Dannie could be any one of us. Bella is definitely the kind of best friend we would all be blessed to have.

While there is some romance in the story, it is not center stage. Unless you count the romance the author obviously has with the city of New York. She constantly takes us on a lovely journey to what I have to imagine are her favorite locations within the city. This is definitely a love letter to The Big Apple.

Dannie has spent years camouflaging herself, fitting into her surroundings and with those closest to her. She has done this for so long that she has lost a lot of herself. Running into her dream man stirs up her real self and causes her to begin living her true life. Lives are disrupted and feelings are hurt, but this is a journey that Dannie has to make before she loses herself completely.

This is not the story you think it is nor is it the love story you might wish it to be, but it is nonetheless the love story that needs to be told. I was so grateful to receive an advanced copy of In Five Years from the publisher.

5 out of 5 Stars



Kaleo - I Want More

Monday, March 9, 2020

Seven Nation Army - My Review of Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams


Title: Undercover Bromance
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: 3/10/2020
Source: ARC from publisher through Netgalley



Braden Mack thinks reading romance novels makes him an expert in love, but he’ll soon discover that real life is better than fiction. 

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.

Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club.

Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club assists Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart... even though she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned.



Lyssa Kay Adams is the pen name of an award-winning journalist who gave up the world of telling true stories to pen emotional romances. She’s also a diehard Detroit Tigers fan who will occasionally cheer for the Red Sox because her husband is from Boston.

Lyssa lives in Michigan with her family and an anxiety-ridden Maltese who steals food and buries it around the house and who will undoubtedly be a character in a future book.

Things Lyssa loves: Baseball pants, mashed potatoes, and that little clicking sound that scissors make on the cutting table at fabric stores.

Things she doesn’t love: Mean people, melting ice cream cones, and finding food in her underwear drawer.

Keep up with Lyssa on Twitter at @LyssaKayAdams. Please note: She mostly tweets about baseball pants and mashed potatoes.




Charming, witty, full of action, and utterly relevant in this post #metoo world.

As much as I adored The Bromance Book Club, I knew I absolutely had to have book 2. 

We first met Liv in book one and knew that she was going to be a force to be reckoned with. She certainly didn't disappoint. In a male-dominated world of chefs and high-end kitchens, Liv has made a name and a place for herself. When she witnesses some less than appropriate behavior from her celebrity chef boss, she ends up losing her job.

Her quest for revenge requires help and she reluctantly turns to Braden Mack. Braden is more than willing to help Liv with her task. He is also willing to offer her a job and whatever else she might be up for, but Live turns him down. She has worked hard to get to where she is and definitely wants to move forward on her own merit and not receive handouts.

As the title suggests, Undercover Bromance involves some intrigue and sneaking around. Braden and Liv grow closer and discover lots about each other and themselves. They also begin to uncover more of Liv's former boss's despicable deeds. Unfortunately, they struggle to find anyone willing to speak up.

As I said, this story is so utterly relevant. People need to hear this story, even though it is told in a humorous way.

Thank you to Berkley for providing an Advanced Copy. 

4 out of 5 Stars


The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army