The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

5 stars! 

“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.” 

You ever read a book where you can’t stop reading into the night, then early hours in the morning, and you get to a point where it’s go big or go home and decide to lose sleep and finish the book? That was this book for me. Once I picked it up, I did not put this book back down until I was done. I DEVOURED THIS BOOK.

When Jude is seven, Madoc comes to her home and murders her parents for he is the true father of her older sister Vivi. Madoc takes Jude and her sisters to where the Fae live and assumes responsibility for their upbringing. Ten years later and Jude longs to prove herself among the fae, forever taunted and picked on because she is mortal. Jude wants to become a night for the High King and plans to compete in a tournament to prove herself.

But Jude faces an enemy every day, the youngest Prince Cardan, who has made it his mission to make Jude’s life miserable. So she does her best to defy him, and as a result she becomes entangled in the intricacies of court life.

“No matter how careful I am, eventually I’ll make another misstep. I am weak. I am fragile. I am mortal.
I hate that most of all.” 

I’ve never read Holly Black, she’s a new to me author. But after several recommendations from other readers I decided to get this one from the library and picked it up when I wasn’t sure what to read. From the first page I could tell this is a book I would love. Fae and fairies seem to be the big fad in YA right now and while I love that, there’s a lot of crap being churned out. This book isn’t like that, it’s amazing, terrifying, wonderful and heart pounding.

I loved that despite having a half fae sister the heroine of this book was an ordinary human. This so easily could have been Vivi’s book instead and while I really liked her, I think Jude was such a developed and compelling character. From the beginning I wanted to know what she would do next, how she would overcome her challenges. And while she’s not always making the best decisions or even likable, none of the characters in this book are.

This was a very fast paced and mesmerizing book. I’m already screaming for the next book and I have no clue when it’s going to be here. It’s that good.

“Most of all, I hate you because I think of you. Often. It’s disgusting, and I can’t stop.” 

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Wild

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

5 stars! 

“I’m a free spirit who never had the balls to be free.” 

Have you ever read a book you never expected to like and then end up loving it? I saw the movie Wild when it came out and loved it, but I was a bit apprehensive to read the book. I hate comparisons, but this book is always lumped in with Eat Pray Love and I fucking HATED that book and the woman who wrote it. But after reading lots of reviews of this book I decided to take a chance and I am so glad I did because I LOVED THIS BOOK!

Wild is the story of Cheryl, who after losing her mother at a young age lost her way. Drugs, adultery, she gave up caring what happened to herself. Until one day she got the idea to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Along the way she remembers her past, comes along interesting people and faces difficult challenges.

“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.” 

One of the best things about this book is Strayed’s writing style. I can’t remember the last time I just completely lost myself in a book and wasn’t paying attention to the page count or how far I had gotten. I simply was sucked into the story and her words.

Working for the public library I have patrons recommend me books all the time, a lot of the time saying that I would love it and what I don’t tell them is I already read the book and it wasn’t for me. So when this book came out I avoided it because of all the recommendations from strangers who didn’t know my reading tastes at all. But this is a book thatlives up to the hype. I’m already recommending it to people like my best friend and my mother and her friends.

I loved this story, but you will probably never see me going on a hiking trip like Cheryl because I like food, and plumbing and showers. Plus I’m a bit of a fatty and reject exercise as fun. But I admire her fortitude, but also know I could never do what she did. She obviously could have prepared more and is lucky to be alive in some circumstances, but she knew she needed to heal herself and she set about in her own way to do that and I admire it.

I highly recommend this book no matter what genre you enjoy most. If you don’t feel like reading it I recommend the movie, it’s one of my favorites.

“How wild it was, to let it be.” 

Deal Maker

Deal Maker by Lily Morton

5 stars! 

“My Jude. My best friend, my lover and my heart.” 

This book made me swoon! And I don’t friggin swoon!!!

Jude is a reluctant model, working the career because it pays well. When his apartment gets flooded, he needs a place to stay other than the sex filled apartment of his best friend. A fellow model gives him a tip, leading Jude to actor Asa.

Asa loathes models, everything they stand for. So when he takes Jude in he makes it clear he thinks Jude is dumb and self involved because of his profession. So Jude decides to make it interesting and plays along, fully intending to make Asa’s life hell…..

“Everyone is entitled to love who they want, and people aren’t weird just because of who they love. No one is weird.” 

After really enjoying Rule Breaker last year, I knew I wanted to read Jude’s story. And wow, personally I think Lily Morton outdid herself! While my tastes run toward angsty, I fell in love with this sweet and swoon-worthy story. Jude and Asa were amazing together, I had a constant smile on my face when reading this book.

Lily Morton is an author I will be automatically one clicking in the future. If you love MM romance you need to start reading her books ASAP!

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” 

Down by Contact

Down by Contact by Santino Hassell

4 stars! 

“It was perfect. He was perfect. We were perfect together.” 

Adrian and Simeon are enemies on rival football teams. They snark at each other during games, call each other out on social media and can’t stand the sight of each other. Simeon is a openly gay football player and Adrian seems to be anti-gay. When the two of them get into trouble on the field they are forced to spend time together working for a charity, where they both learn there is more to the other than they originally thought.

“All this time, I’d not only been starving for his body—I’d been deprived of his kisses. Now I couldn’t get enough. 

Santino Hassell became one of my all time favorite authors very quickly this past year. A very talented writer, he never delivers the same story twice and never the same character twice. That’s what I love about his books, they always bring something new to the table. Football isn’t my sports romance genre of choice usually but I that didn’t even cross my mind when reading this book, the game was important but it also didn’t overwhelm the story which I appreciate.

Simeon and Adrian were both such amazing characters, I loved both in different ways and for different reasons. While they may have started out hating each other, I loved being on the journey of understanding and acceptance with them and thought they had a very beautiful love story.

“I need you to tell me I won’t ruin your career by being in your life. Because no matter how hard I try to be discreet, I know somehow . . . I’ll screw it up. ’Cause that’s me, boo. I’m a mess. A loveable mess, but still a goddamn mess.” 

ARC provided by the publisher via netgalley. All/any quotes in this review came from an advance unedited copy and may be subject to change in the final product. 

Man Hands

Man Hands by Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby

3.5 stars 

Man Hands is about divorcee Brynn, when she divorces from her husband she’s left with a very low self-esteem. Her friends take her to a party and convince her to kiss the first man she sees, and she does exactly that. And she ends up doing more than that with him, then running off when it’s done.

But the hookup returns, and she learns his name is Tom. And Tom has an unusual proposition for her.

Let me start off by saying this book is VERY funny. Sarina and Tanya hit the humor spot really well. And this book was FILLED with sexy times. But I felt the romance wasn’t developed very well and wish we had more of that than sex scenes.

Plus when I thought home renovation tv personality I thought of Chip Gaines from Fixer Upper and sorry not sorry, I don’t find him attractive.

ARC provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review 

The Queen & the Homo Jock King

The Queen & the Homo Jock King by TJ Klune

3.75 stars 

This is TJ Klune at his funniest! This book had me bursting out laughing and then taking snapshots of the kindle screen and sending it to my friends!

A very unconventional love story, I think the only other drag queen romance I’ve ever read was Painted Faces by LH Cosway and that was verrryyy different from this one.

Other than really loving it, I had some issues with it. For one, I was dying for the romance between Sandy and Darren and what we got with this book was a book about Sandy and everyone BUT Darren which was a tad disappointing. I wanted to see more of the two of them together. And sometimes it was a bit over the top with shenanigans that completely wiped out the plot of the book. Hence why I am giving this 3.75 stars and not a higher rating…

But still a very solid and funny book. Klune is an excellent writer and I am excited to read more by him in the near future.

Tell Me It’s Real

Tell Me It’s Real by TJ Klune

This gets 5 stars because it make me LAUGH. Like so hard!!! In places you shouldn’t laugh out loud, like public!!!! That and it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

TJ Klune is an author I have come to love and reading more of his work just showed me what a talented author he is. He can write funny, he can write serious, he can write steamy. He just never fails to disappoint! Next time I am in a massive book slump again, I am turning to his books for help.

Tell Me It’s Real has possibly one of the worst book covers ever, which is why I’ve waited so long to read it. But this is one of those books where you have to look past the awful cover to get to the amazing inside of the book. Paul is a husky guy, insecure and settled in his life. Until he meets the stunningly beautiful Vince who is interested in Paul right away. Except Paul thinks Vince is playing a joke on him, never thinking Vince could be actually interested.

Loved this book, obviously from my 5 star rating. Again, it had me laughing out loud in public, a rare feat for me as I try to remain stoic when reading. I highly recommend this book!

Off Base

Off Base by Annabeth Albert

3.5 stars 

I’ve been seeing lots of goodreads friends reading this series and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. Lots of mixed reviews on this first book, but I am excited to read more in this series, it seems to get better.

Off Base is about closeted Navy Seal Zack and young professor Pike. The two know each other through personal friends and under random circumstances the two become roommates. The attraction has always been there, but Zack doesn’t want to admit he likes men and Pike is not eager to be some man on the down low. But living in close quarters means things are bound to explode.

I really enjoyed this story, it’s one that got better as you kept reading. The beginning was a bit jarring because the characters were kind of thrown at us and together really quickly, a bit too quickly in my opinion. But once they were together the book really worked and I started to like the characters a bit more.

I’m definitely eager to read the other books in the series, this was a cute start but I felt like I needed to have read other books by this author first to understand some of the characters. Like I was missing something.

Lovers Like Us

Lovers Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie

3.5 stars 

I always have the hardest time writing 3 star reviews. The book didn’t suck, but it also wasn’t amazing either. Let me put it this way, I started reading this book when it came out on Halloween, and only just now finished it right before Christmas. I liked it enough to finish, but not enough to read in one sitting.

KB Ritchie are among my favorite authors, in fact I think this is the lowest rating I have ever given their books. So while I enjoyed this book to some extent, I am also a bit sad because usually they are 4 or 5 star authors for me.

Lovers Like Us is the second book in the Like Us trilogy, and I really loved the first book but this one dragged on a bit and was very confusing at times. I honestly couldn’t remember everyone’s names in all the extended family and bodyguards, so it was hard for me to assign a look or a personality for each character. There were so many! It felt like work and I read for pleasure, I don’t want it to be work. Opposite of that, I am in love with the Cobalt children and will continue reading this series solely for Jane’s book and for Charlie’s if they come along in the future. Charlie wormed his anti-hero self into my heart and I am dying for that man’s book!

What saved this book for me was the last 40% picked up a lot, whereas the first 60% was slow for me. Lots of banter, staring, not admitting things to each other. It didn’t click with my reading tastes. I wanted a more plot heavy story and got a more dialogue driven one.

As I said I still love the Ritchies and will read anything they read. These are two authors who I wholeheartedly believe need a lot more recognition in the romance and book world. I just won’t be jumping on Alphas Like Us like I normally would a KB Ritchie book.

Scandal in Spring

Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

3.5 stars 

I’ve been going through a massive reading/reviewing slump lately. I think this book was a massive victim of that slump. I hoped a Wallflower book would pull me out of it, but alas it didn’t. There’s nothing wrong with this book, I just failed to connect to it. My fault and not the author’s.

This book is about the youngest wallflower Daisy, whose father declares a match for her when she doesn’t procure an English husband. Unfortunately, Daisy hates the American businessman her father chose, despises him in fact. But sometimes the person we least suspect is the perfect person for you!

Anyways, I liked parts of this book but wasn’t feeling it. I loved the first 3 books in this series, and I will happily read more by Kleypas in the future.

Fallen Crest High

Fallen Crest High by Tijan

4 stars! 

“People are snakes, you just have to figure out their different colors, but they’re all the same. Everybody wants something.” 

I read Fallen Crest for the first time over four years ago and felt the need for a refresher! I never finished the series and wanted to get back to it, but needed to start from the beginning again. This is about teenager Sam whose mom dumps her dad and gets a newer richer man. The downside of this is Sam moves in with two stepbrothers who hate her, and who dictate all the social rules in their town.

I can’t say much more than that without spoilers, but this is a guilty pleasure soap opera story you don’t want to miss out on! Filled with angsty teens, gossip girls, alpha males and so much family dysfunction you’ll think your own family is normal! And I love every second of it! Seriously though, if you need a reality escape, this is the book for you.

“In that moment, I realized that he always had that effect on me. The ice façade I reigned over myself was plucked away whenever his attention was on me. He reached over and took it away like I was a baby with candy.” 

The Hook Up

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✮✮✮From New York Times bestselling author Kristen Ashley, comes the first standalone title in the exciting, new Moonlight and Motor Oil series, THE HOOKUP! A rich, emotional love story, THE HOOKUP is available now!✮✮✮

Jump into THE HOOKUP and grab your copy today!

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About THE HOOKUP (Moonlight and Motor Oil Series #1):

When the new girl in town, Eliza “Izzy” Forrester decides to hit the local drinking hole, she’s not ready to meet the town’s good, solid guy. She’s definitely not prepared to engage in her very first hookup with him.

Then Izzy wakes up the next morning in Johnny Gamble’s bed and good girl Izzy finds she likes being bad for Johnny.

Even so, Izzy feels Johnny holding her at arm’s length. But Johnny makes it clear he wants more and Izzy already knows she wants as much of hot-in-bed, sweet-out-of-it Johnny Gamble.

Floating on air thinking this is going somewhere, Izzy quickly learns why Johnny holds distant.

He’s in love with someone else. Someone who left him and did it leaving him broken. Whoever was up next would be runner up, second best. Knowing the stakes, Izzy will take what she can get from the gentleman that’s Johnny Gamble. And even knowing his heart might never mend, Johnny can’t seem to stay away from Izzy.

Until out of nowhere, his lost love comes back to town. He’s not going back, but Johnny still knows the right thing to do is let Izzy go.

And Izzy knew the stakes, so she makes it easy and slips though his fingers.

But that’s before Johnny realizes Eliza moved to town to escape danger that’s been swirling around her.

And that’s why Johnny decides to wade in.

That and the fact Eliza Forrester makes breakfast with a canary singing on her shoulder and fills out tight dresses in a way Johnny Gamble cannot get out of his head.

My Review:

4 stars! 

The Hook Up is about good girl Izzy, the girl who doesn’t do anything reckless or have one night stands. That is, until she meets Johnny Gamble. Johnny is her first hook up, and an unexpected evening turns into more unexpected nights and days together. Until the love of Johnny’s life comes back to town, and Izzy needs to let go. But, something unexpected might lead to more of the same and Johnny may be back sooner than Izzy thinks……

I really enjoyed this newest book by Kristen Ashley, I never tire of her books. There are some authors that just click with me as a reader, and Ashley has a forever fan in me. This story wasn’t as antsy as I was hoping for, but I am an angst whore that needs heavy doses so I think the rest of you will fare just fine. I don’t like to compare Ashley’s work, but this novel easily could fit into the Colorado Mountain Man series, it just had that feel to it.

Curl up this holiday season with a fuzzy blanket and this cozy story! You won’t regret it!

An ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review 

Pick up your copy of THE HOOKUP today!

Amazon:http://amzn.to/2zdNsLs  

Barnes & Noble:http://bit.ly/2ysCvYW  

Kobo:http://bit.ly/2ysFiSk

iBooks: http://apple.co/2kSwuQC

GooglePlay:  http://bit.ly/2ySCuKH

  

Add to your Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36408499-the-hookup 

 

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EXCERPT:

“Izzy?” she answered.

“Hey, I’m home,” I told her.

“Okay, well…how are you?”

How was I?

Johnny’s behavior explained by the sad fact it was the anniversary of his father’s death, but still explained, and he was coming over for dinner the next night, not to mention, after not being affectionate (at all, unless you counted sitting me on the countertop, which I kind of did) after the last time we’d had sex, he made out with me at the door of my car for a good, long, happy while—I was great.

“I’m great,” I told her, opening Serengeti’s stall and moving in, lifting a hand to pat her jaw while she moved her nose to snuffle my neck and blow at my hair.

“Damn,” Deanna muttered.

My hand arrested on Serengeti and I focused on Deanna.

“What?” I asked.

“Damn,” she repeated.

“Damn what?” I asked.

“Well, just to say Johnny Gamble is Johnny Gamble.”

A specific area in my chest squeezed at the way she imparted that obvious but still confusing information.

“What’s that mean?” I asked.

“He’s Johnny Gamble of Gamble Garages. Did he tell you that?”

No he didn’t tell me that.

And suddenly I was embarrassed about something that I hadn’t liked all along.

But it was worse since Deanna knew more about a man I’d slept with than I did.

Serengeti was getting fidgety, so I used my hand on her to lead her out of her stall, and once in the corridor, she trotted out the open bay at the back, directly into her pasture.

I moved to Amaretto as I shared with Deanna, “No, he didn’t tell me that. I mean, we talked but we were also doing other things.” I let that lie. It did, weighty between us on the phone, before I went on, “I don’t know what that means.”

Even though it seemed like I did. Something seemed familiar about that.

“You haven’t lived here long enough,” she murmured while I opened Amaretto’s stall and moved in for some quick pats before I let him loose. Louder, Deanna said, “You know the gas station in town?”

Oh yes.

That was where I’d seen it.

“He owns that?”

“That and seven more of them across three counties. None in the city, just in the counties. Some of them are like mini-mart stores. All of them sell gas and do work on cars.”

Wow.

That was impressive.

 

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About Kristen Ashley:

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing’s changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.

 

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Best Books of 2017

Best books I read in 2017

It’s that time of year! These are the best books I read in 2017, publication date does not matter and the books are listed in alphabetical order by title. So many amazing reads this year!!!!

I am giving the synopsis and a link to my review. These books are so amazing, you need to read them yourself to really know.

Axios by Jaclyn Osborn

Synopsis:

I am Axios of Sparta, and I was born to kill. At age seven, I left home to train with other boys where we were taught obedience, solidarity, military strategy, and how to withstand pain. My harsh upbringing stripped me of my weaknesses and forced me to become strong. Ruthless.

But, I craved something greater—a life I could never have.

Against all odds, and the toughest training a warrior could endure, I found an unexpected love in the arms of a fellow Spartan. He was the very air I breathed and the water that sustained me. Fighting side by side with him, we were invincible. Where he went, I followed.

However, there was no place for love in Sparta. Feelings were for the weak. The only life for a Spartan was one of battle and brutality with no guarantee of tomorrow. In times of war, all men were put to the test, but the greatest challenge for us was not one of swords and spears, but of the heart.

My review of Axios: click here

 

Dating-ish by Penny Reid

Synopsis:

There are three things you need to know about Marie Harris:
1) She’s fed up with online dating,
2) She’s so fed up, she’s willing to forego the annoyance and consider more creative alternatives, and
3) She knows how to knit.

After the most bizarre and irritating first date in the history of human kind, Marie is looking for an alternative to men. With the help of her friends, she quickly identifies a few possibilities:

Need a cuddle? Use a professional cuddler. Need affirmation? Get yourself a life coach. Need an orgasm? Try orgasm meditation! Why does she need the hassle of a romantic partner when she can meet all her needs with paid services?
But then her irritating date resurfaces. And he’s not at all the person she thought he was. And he suggests a different—and crazier—solution to her dilemma . . .
As everyone knows (or will soon come to realize), traditional relations between humans are a thing of the past. Robots are our future. And if robots are our future, then why do we need other people at all?

My review of Dating-ish: click here 

 

Drive by Kate Stewart

Synopsis:

Music . . . the heart’s greatest librarian.

The average song is three and a half minutes long; those three and a half minutes could lead to a slow blink, a glimpse of the past, or catapult the soul into heart-shattering nostalgia.

At the height of my career, I had the life I wanted, the life I’d always envisioned. I’d found my tempo, my rhythm. Then I received a phone call that left me off key.

You see, my favorite songs had a way of playing simultaneously. I was in love with one man’s beats and another’s lyrics. But when it came to the soundtrack of a life, how could anyone choose a favorite song? So, to erase any doubt, I ditched my first-class ticket and decided to take a drive, fixed on the rearview.

Two days.

One playlist.

And the long road home to the man who was waiting for me.

My review of Drive: click here 

 

Fast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

After a decade of serving in the Army, everyone still expects me to be Dominic ‘Nicky’ Costigan–the skirt-chasing player. They don’t know I’ve been spending my days trying to figure out my post-military life. Including how to pick up guys.

When I meet Luke on a hookup app, he makes it clear it’s for one-night only. That’s fine with me, because I’m down to see what this silver fox can do. But after I arrive at his doorstep, it doesn’t take long to realize we have serious chemistry, and we end up meeting again.

He’s got more walls around his heart than a military base, but I think he’s as addicted to me as I am to him. He can’t resist me for long. I mean, who can? Except Luke’s rules exist for a reason, and when I test his limits, things get complicated. Maybe too complicated.

My review of Fast Connection: click here

 

First and First by Santino Hassell

Caleb Stone was raised on the Upper East Side, where wealth and lineage reigns, and “alternative lifestyles” are hidden. It took him years to come out to his family, but he’s still stuck in the stranglehold of their expectations. Caleb knows he has to build his confidence and shake things up, but he doesn’t know how… until Oliver Buckley enters the picture.

Oli is everything Caleb isn’t—risk-taking, provocative, and fiercely independent. Disowned by his family, Oli has made his own way in the world and is beholden to no one. After a chance encounter on New Year’s Eve, Caleb is smitten.

As Caleb sheds the insecurities that have held him back for years, he makes bold steps toward changing his career and escaping years of sexual repression. But for Caleb to take full control of his life, he has to be brave enough to confront his feelings and trust Oli with his heart.

My review of First and First: click here

 

Goodbye Paradise by Sarina Bowen

In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.

But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.

It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.

Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.

Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?

My review of Goodbye Paradise: click here

 

If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L Armentrout

Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She’s ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications and to maybe let her childhood best friend Sebastian know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be epic—one of opportunities and chances.

Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything.

Now Lena isn’t looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian might never forgive her for what happened.

For what she let happen.

With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when her and her friends’ entire existences have been redefined? How can she move on when tomorrow isn’t even guaranteed?

My review of If There’s No Tomorrow: click here

 

The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young

I know how to watch my back. I’m the only one that ever has.

India Maxwell hasn’t just moved across the country—she’s plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It’s taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she’s living in one of Boston’s wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom’s fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister’s clique of friends, including Eloise’s gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.

But India’s not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school’s golden couple, aren’t all they seem to be. In fact, everyone’s life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what’s left are truths that are brutal, beautiful, and big enough to change them forever…

My review of The Impossible Vastness of Us: click here

 

Infini by Krista and Becca Ritchie

“Don’t have a best friend that’s a girl” — this was the advice from my older cousin. I didn’t take it. Because he followed with, “friends don’t f*ck friends. And you’ll want to f*ck her.”

It was terrible advice.

My cousin should’ve told me that being best friends with Baylee Wright — since she was twelve — would be the best and worst decision of my life.

He should have told me to protect her from what was coming.

He should have told me that when a darkness crawled towards us, there’d be no safety net.

Now I’ve signed back on to the same Vegas acrobatic show as Baylee, working together for the first time in years. And she tells me that she’s having trouble in a certain “area” of her life — because of our past.

“You can help me fix it,” she says.

And then she hands me a list.

My review of Infini: click here

 

The Queen and the Cure by Amy Harmon

“There will be a battle, and you will need to protect your heart.” 

Kjell of Jeru had always known who he was. He’d never envied his brother or wanted to be king. He was the bastard son of the late King Zoltev and a servant girl, and the ignominy of his birth had never bothered him.

But there is more to a man than his parentage. More to a man than his blade, his size, or his skills, and all that Kjell once knew has shifted and changed. He is no longer simply Kjell of Jeru, a warrior defending the crown. Now he is a healer, one of the Gifted, and a man completely at odds with his power.

Called upon to rid the country of the last vestiges of the Volgar, Kjell stumbles upon a woman who has troubling glimpses of the future and no memory of the past. Armed with his unwanted gift and haunted by regret, Kjell becomes a reluctant savior, beset by old enemies and new expectations. With the woman by his side, Kjell embarks upon a journey where the greatest test may be finding the man she believes him to be.

My review of The Queen and the Cure: click here

The Queen of All that Dies by Laura Thalassa 

(side note, this entire series was a best of 2017^^^)

In the future, the world is at war.

For the last decade, King Lazuli of the Eastern Empire has systematically taken over the world. No one knows much about him other than a series of impossible facts: he cannot die, he has not aged since the conflict began, and he wants to rule the world.

All Serenity Freeman has known is bloodshed. War has taken away her mother, her home, her safety. As the future emissary of the Western United Nations, the last autonomous region of the globe, she is responsible for forging alliances where she can.

Surrender is on the horizon. The king can taste it; Serenity feels it deep within her bones. There is no other option. Now the two must come face to face. For Serenity, that means confronting the man who’s taken everything from her. For the king, it means meeting the one woman he can’t conquer. But when they meet, something happens. Cruelty finds redemption.

Only in war, everything comes with a price. Especially love.

My review of The Queen of All that Dies: click here

 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

My review of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: click here

Halfway to the Grave

Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

5 stars 

This is a book I read before I started reviewing and blogging, and it’s oh so special to me. Cat and Bones are my favorite PNR couple, and when I recently got myself into a horrifyingly bad book slump, I turned to them for help. I’ve read this book so many times I’ve lost count, but I always find something new to appreciate I may have never noticed the first time around. I am so very tempted to continue rereading the rest of this series, and switching to PNR books only for a while. They are my first love of the romance genre, maybe I need to go back to my roots…..

Villain

Villain

Cover Design by Samantha Young

 The sexy and emotional companion novella to the New York Times bestselling romance HERO.

 Nadia Ray is not just a broadcast meteorologist. She’s Boston’s morning television It Girl. Successful and independent, she’s put a past she’s ashamed of behind her and is forging a future she can be proud of. However, when her new boss discovers her secret he blackmails her, intent on using Nadia’s popularity to make them the number one morning show in Massachusetts. He wants her to be part of uncovering the city’s biggest scandal – a secret billionaire Caine Carraway is hiding.

Soon Nadia is thrown into the path of Caine’s best friend: sexy, wealthy bachelor Henry Lexington. But she doesn’t encounter the dashing high society gentleman Henry is purported to be. Instead she’s faced with an insulting and defensive villain who misjudges her at every turn.

When Henry finally realizes the truth, and decides to make amends, Nadia wants nothing to do with him. But she underestimates his determination and charm and soon they find themselves embroiled in an intense, passionate affair.

An affair Nadia knows must come to an end before their feelings grow any deeper and he discovers her secrets.

After all, Henry Lexington isn’t the only one who played the part of a villain once…

My review:

4 stars!! 

“I acted like my story deserved a hero. But only a heroine deserves a hero. And I wasn’t a heroine. I couldn’t be. The truth was in someone else’s story… I was a villain.” 

Villain is the story of Nadia, a broadcast meteorologist. When her boss blackmail’s her into doing some deep digging into a wealthy man, his best friend Henry decides to fight back. Sparks fly, and hatred of each other evolves when Nadia and Henry realize they are both not what they seem.

But Nadia has a past that can threaten any relationship before it starts. That combined with severe trust issues promises an emotional and bumpy ride for these two.

“Grand gestures and fireworks are part of our lives; they’re not extraordinary to us. But when we get home and we close the door behind us and it’s just you and me…. that’s our extraordinary, right?” 

I love romances where the guy chases the girl. There’s just something so amazing about a man who knows what he wants and goes after it. Nadia was so unsure things would work and he never wavered. There were moment when this story seemed as if it would be cliché and predictable, but it had just enough angst and humor to push it over the edge and make it something a little bit more than the usual.

I read Samantha Young because she never fails to deliver me a satisfying story, and I will read her books as long as she keeps writing them because of this. A truly talented writer, I hope she never stops.

“I was born into a life of privilege… but I never knew true wealth until I met you.” 

ARC provided by the author. All/any quotes in this review came from an advance unedited copy and may be subject to change in the final product. 

 

Out December 5th in digital edition.

 

Preorder Links:

AMAZON US – http://amzn.to/2giFLfF
AMAZON UK – http://amzn.to/2yxhpZz

KOBO US – http://bit.ly/2i1siJr

KOBO UK – http://bit.ly/2yQpdGp

iBOOKS UK & US, & GOOGLE PLAY Links Coming Soon!

 

 

Connect with Samantha Young online:

Website:http://authorsamanthayoung.com

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