What He Always Knew

What He Always Knew by Kandi Steiner

5 stars! 

Oh Kandi. My hat is off to you. Girl, you had me ugly crying by the end of this book. Granted I was happy because MY GUY WON! But the end still killed me and broke my heart. This is everything I look for in a book!

In this book we got what I had wanted to see in the first one, the other side of the story. I don’t want to give anything away, but the other side is just as heartbreaking as the one we saw in the first book. Like I said, I had my guy I was rooting for already. What’s funny is, I didn’t mind the other guy in the first book, but in this book I thought he was scum. Like, he made me ragey with his entitlement and he was a jerkface. I was literally skimming some of his chapters in this because I really didn’t like him.

I loved this book because it broke me and put me back together again. Kandi has a wonderful way with words and she delivers some of the best angst around. This is the book that you message your friends because you are dying to chat about it, and it’s the one you throw at your friends to make them read because they need to suffer right along with you.

Kandi Steiner is an author who three times in a row has not failed me, and I need to get my butt in gear and read her backlist asap.

This duet was amazing and I highly recommend it! This book is going in my top reads of the year!

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What He Doesn’t Know

What He Doesn’t Know by Kandi Steiner

4 stars! 

Many of you who follow my reviews should know by now my reading tastes fall under ANGST. Anything angst, I gobble it up!

So when Kandi Steiner, an amazing author known for ANGST, releases a duet that revolves around a love triangle, you bet your ass I was ALL OVER THAT SHIT.

I bought the book right away, there was only one problem: the second book wasn’t out yet. So, I sat on my ass and waited to start the first book until the second one was out. And I made it… almost. I made sure to preorder the second book so it would hit my kindle at 9pm (thank you PST) and I wouldn’t have to wait.

Well now it’s 11:30 pm, I have work tomorrow and I am DYING to start the second book! Clearly I didn’t think this through.

What He Doesn’t Know is about Charlie, a woman in a broken marriage who has lost herself. When a childhood friend and love Reese, returns to town and begins teaching at the same school she does, feelings are bound to blossom. But Charlie is torn, because despite everything, she loves her husband. But Reese may be the only one to turn Charlie back into the woman she was.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Kandi Steiner is an author I am always meaning to read more of. This book hit the spot perfectly in terms of reading mood and angst. I have my favorite guy, but I don’t want to say anything because I am worried he will not be picked. I desperately want to peek at the end of book 2 but also don’t want to cheat, so we will see how long I’ll last, shall we?

Anyways, both books are out now, so if you are intrigued go ahead and one click. There’s nothing to be scared of as they are both available and no waiting!

On Hart’s Boardwalk

On Hart’s Boardwalk by Samantha Young

4 stars! 

“By the end of this vacation you’ll never doubt my love for you again.” 

This is a novella that depicts the couple from Before Jamaica Lane about fourteen years later. Nate and Liv have a happy life with two beautiful kids, but while they love each other, Liv feels disconnected from Nate. When he discovers this, he whisks Liv away to the small seaside town in Hartwell, Delaware hoping time for the two of them will bring them back together.

“I can’t lose you, babe. You’d take my soul with you.” 

Nate and Liv are my favorite couple from this series, in fact Before Jamaica Lane is one of my all time favorite books EVER so I jumped on the chance to revisit this couple. I really enjoyed this sweet (with a hint of angsty) story between a couple who loves each other, but seems to have lost their way.

Young did a really good job combining her series, I’ve read the Hart’s Boardwalk books but I feel someone who hasn’t could easily fall into this book, nothing is confusing and the writing style makes reading it effortless. I did get really confused on the timelines, because if this is 14 years later (2013+14=2027) and yet it takes place at the same time as the other series (2017) it doesn’t make any sense. I know I should let it go, but it is something that bothered me a bit when I was reading it. I can’t help it lol.

If you read this, you will fall in love with Nate and Liv all over again. Seriously, look up relationship goals and you’ll just see their names in the dictionary.

Also, can we PLEASE get Emery’s book? I’ve been dying for it ever since The One Real Thing and the wait is killing meh!

“I don’t need to walk this boardwalk with my hand in yours to know we’ll last forever, Liv. I know we’ll last forever because I’m never letting you go.” 

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. 

The Nature of Cruelty

The Nature of Cruelty by LH Cosway

4 stars! 

“Cruelty is easy, and it breeds only misery. Kindness is harder, and you have to be brave to give it.” 

When Lana was a young girl she fell in love with her best friends brother, Robert. Very quickly, those feelings went away when Robert began to torment her, calling her names and saying cruel things.

Now Lana is an adult and hasn’t seen Robert in six years, much to her relief. But when she moves in with her best friend for the summer, it turns out Robert will be there too. Except Robert seems different now and appears to want to make amends with Lana. But can Lana let go of the past and forgive Robert for all his wrongs against her?

“Sometimes you can be so deeply wrapped up in a person that the only way to deal with it is to use cruelty to push them away.” 

This is a Cosway book I’ve always been meaning to read and never got to. Lots of mixed reviews on this book, but Cosway has never let me down before and I decided to give it a try. I really loved the first 75% of this book! Lana’s struggles with trying to trust Robert and his intentions but also so wary, it made for a great emotional ride. In turn I loved seeing Robert try his hardest to show he changed and explain his past actions. To me, this was similar to Bully by Penelope Douglas, but I felt this hero had better justifications for his actions and he didn’t fill me with rage the majority of the book. Robert was apologetic, he wasn’t perfect but he tried to be good.

I felt the ending or last 25% of the book could have been much more developed, it felt a little in the wind in terms of story and the finish kind of came and went. The issues these characters had needed more work than what I as a reader saw, and I felt an epilogue could have helped with that.

This is a wonderful story, and one I enjoyed in the middle of a gigantic life book slump. Cosway is an author whose writing I just connect with and I always fear I will run out of books by her to read for the first time. You savor her works, not rush through them.

“Nothing worth having is easy. The same goes for people. The ones who take cold, hard guts to get inside of are the most worthy of all. The ones you have to fight for. 

Ryan’s Bed

Ryan’s Bed by Tijan

3 stars 

Three star reviews are always the hardest to write, because while I didn’t love this book I didn’t hate it. It just falls into the I enjoyed it but it’s fairly forgettable to me category.

Tijan’s books are a guilty pleasure for me, she dishes out the angst and drama and I sit there and spoon and spoon and spoon it right up and then look to my dealer Tijan for another hit. The woman knows how to write teenage issues for adult eyes, and she does it well.

I liked the premise of this book and the idea of it more than the execution, a girl who lost her sister and crawls into the bed of a boy she doesn’t know needing sleep. Recipe for an addicting story yes? Well, 50% from me. I loved the first half of this book and it totally fizzled out after halfway. I wasn’t impressed by Ryan, and having read 20+ Tijan books now there are so many aspects of the story that just started to blend in with all her other books. I want something fresh, not something I’ve read before.

Anyways, if you are a Tijan-mega fan I am sure this is the book for you. An enjoyable read, but one I probably won’t remember well in a couple of months.

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review 

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.” 

Roomies

Roomies by Christina Lauren

4.5 stars! 

“You’re too beautiful to be inexperienced in love.” 

Roomies is a charming book that sneaks up on you and grabs your heart! Holland has had a crush on subway musician Calvin for months who then saves her when she gets attacked on the subway. Recognizing his musical talent, she is able to get him his big break in broadway. There’s only one problem, he’s from Ireland and has been living in America illegally for the last four years.

Holland finds a crazy solution, she decides to marry Calvin so he can be in the show. Marriage of convenience turns into lovers, and maybe something more. But how can either of them know if this relationship is real?

I loved this book. It started off a bit slow at the beginning, but this is a story that BUILDS. By the end I was so in love with this couple and wanted them to find their happiness. I see a lot of reviews calling this book sweet, and I totally agree. But it did have small doses of angsty bits that gave my angst whore self the hit I needed to bring this rating up!

Holland was an amazing heroine, unsure of where she was in life and yet not at all annoying. She didn’t see herself clearly, others around her did and Calvin always wanted what was best for her, trying to put her needs before his as much as he could. To me this was also a slow build romance, starting out strangers then friends then lovers, then finally more. You need to have the patience for this couple because it’s well worth it.

This is a story you savor, one you think about when you set the book down and continue to think about once you’ve finished it. I highly recommend roomies, it’s a perfect book to curl up with.

“I think you might be the best girl there ever was.”
“I think you’re the best boy there ever was, too.” 

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. 

Brave

Brave by Jennifer L Armentrout

5 stars! 

Perfect ending to this trilogy!

Brave is the third book in the Wicked Saga, you need to have read Wicked and Torn before reading this book. So there may be spoilers about the other two books in this review, but no spoilers about this book specifically. Ivy has escaped the fae Prince Drake, being rescued by Ren and some good fae. Now she lives in a good fae haven, dealing with some serious PTSD from being held captive. Pulling away from her friends and loved ones, Ivy retreats into herself more and more. But with the threat of the Prince finding them and ending the world, she needs to shape up and get her act in gear to save the world.

Jennifer Armentrout is one of those very few authors that my reading tastes click with. And I mean I love her books, every single time. Reading her books is like coming home to your bestie and falling effortlessly into that friendship mode. Does that make any sense? This series also feels like a gift to the readers, she takes time out of her busy publishing schedule to bring us a fun indie PNR series. It’s a readers treat!

Everyone loves Tink, let’s be real. Half the reviews on here are about him. And I ADORE TINK. I want to hug him and never let go! He reminds me a lot of Jenks from the Kim Harrison Hollows series. My dream book would have a collaboration between Tink and Jenks in their own book. MIND BLOWN! And his connection with a new character? Seriously amazing and I want Tink to get his own book. Like yesterday.

Ivy and Ren… *sigh*. Hashtag couple goals! Ren is amazing and the way he loves Ivy is even better. I didn’t want this book to ever end. I will be holding out for any and all spin offs that come from this series! And if you haven’t started this series yet because you were waiting for it to be done……… well it’s done so you have no excuse and should be reading book 1 right now instead of my review! I mean it!

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review 

Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin

Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin by Mariana Zapata

4.5 stars! 

“Not liking you is like fighting gravity.” 

After her boyfriend dumps her, Gabby is asked to go on tour with her twin brother selling merchandise for his band. Which would be fine, if she wasn’t insanely attracted to the lead singer of the other traveling band, Sacha. Three months and a bunch of countries, everyone will be tight together making for some interesting happenings.

“Because if I remember correctly, your text message said, ‘I just kicked the hottest guy I’ve probably ever seen in the ass.’ And I asked you what he looked like and you texted me back, ‘Like a double bacon cheeseburger I’d take a bite out of.” 

Mariana Zapata is an author who has never let me down. I’ve read six of her books and thoroughly enjoyed them all. She takes the time to develop her characters and her relationships, so everything feels more real. I love that she writes slow burn instead of instalove, I love seeing the journey her characters take when falling for each other.

Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin is an excellent book and falls in the middle of the spectrum, not my favorite Zapata and not my least favorite. It’s a solid rock star romance, but I also wondered why none of the band players were running around getting laid with everything that moved. Not that I want that, but I wonder if this was a more accurate depiction of the lifestyle where it takes place.

You need to start reading Zapata if you haven’t already. And if you have read some of her books, bump this one up the to be read list.

“He was the end to my beginning.” 

My Best Friend’s Ex

My Best Friend’s Ex by Meghan Quinn

3 stars 

Meghan Quinn is a relatively new author to me. I’ve seen her at lots of author events, Big Apple, Love N Colorado, Love N Vegas, etc… so she’s an author I’ve been meaning to read. When I saw this book was only $1.20 on Amazon, I snapped this baby up! And while I enjoyed it (remember peeps, I don’t consider a 3 a negative rating!!) I think my sense of humor doesn’t really mesh well with Quinn’s. It’s a little bit too much for me, I’m more of the sarcasm and one-liners kind of humor than in your face almost slap sticky.

I really did enjoy this book, mostly the second half because it was hotter and angstier than the first half. I think lots of readers would love this book and the story, it’s a good trope. I just wish we had seen more of the best friend, we only saw her at 48% and then a little bit near the end, we saw all of Emma’s other friends more than the “best” friend.

Many of my trusted book friends have told me to read Dear Life, and I think I will try that. This book was a lot of fun and that light read many readers are searching for. And I’m also glad I read a new to me author and broke outside of my comfort zone.

The Learning Hours

THE LEARNING HOURS

How to Date a Douchebag Book 3

By Sara Ney

Release Day: September 26, 2017

Standalone

He’s not a douchebag; but that doesn’t stop his friends from turning him into one.

MY FRIENDS WANT ME TO GET LAID.

So much so that they plastered my ugly mug all over campus, in bold printed letters:

Are you the lucky lady who’s going to break our roommate’s cherry?
Him: socially awkward man with average-sized penis looking for willing sexual partner. You: must have a pulse. He will reciprakate with oral. Text him at: 555-254-5551

The morons can’t even spell. And the texts I’ve been receiving are what wet dreams are made of. But I’m not like these douchebags, no matter how hard they try to turn me into one.

THIS ISN’T THE KIND OF ATTENTION I WANT.

One text stands out from hundreds. One number I can’t bring myself to block. She seems different. Hotter, even in black and white.

However, after seeing her in person, I know she’s not the girl for me. But my friends won’t let up–they just don’t get it. Douchebags or not, there’s one thing they’ll never understand: GIRLS DON’T WANT ME.

Especially her.

LINKS:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2eUg3jU
Amazon UK:: http://bit.ly/LearningZonUK
iBooks: http://bit.ly/LearningiBooks
B&NOBLE: http://bit.ly/LearningBN
KOBO: http://bit.ly/LearningKobo

Review:

4.5 stars 

So, we are not allowed to reveal the “douchebag” this book is about, so I am gonna do my best without spoiling everyone (even though it’s pretty difficult). This all starts when a member of the wrestling team is getting hazed by his teammates. As a part of the hazing, they decide to put up posters advertising his need to get laid. Suddenly, this hero is getting hundreds of text messages, but one of them stands out among all the trash.

While I can’t say who the hero was, this is who I pictured the heroine as:

Sarah Ney had delivered one of my favorite new adult romance series! For some reason, the college romances seem to have disappeared from the romance genre recently, and I feel like Ney is the only one keeping it alive. I am so grateful she is, because I love college romances! And the douchebags are some of the best heroes there are!

What I can say, is I really loved the hero and the heroine. Both are flawed and don’t always know what they’re doing, or to articulate how they feel. But together they were perfect. This book was also super hot! Steamy romance fans you will be pleased. There were also some small doses of angst that I appreciated, but being me I wished there was a tad but more.

If you haven’t picked up the douchebag series yet, now is the time! It’s perfect for fall weather and curling up with a coffee/tea and these books.

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. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.

She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog.

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Temporary

Temporary by Sarina Bowen and Sarah Mayberry

4 stars! 

“He wasn’t looking to strike up a thing with a cash-strapped temp who acted as guardian to her teen sister, and I was not looking to have a fling with a playboy ladies’ man I found way, way too likeable.” 

Grace is raising her teen sister and needs a good job, which is why her new temp gig at a renowned company means she has to do amazing work. Given the task of handling the assests of a deceased family member of the company, Grace is expected to itemized and get the value of a giant art and wine collection.

Callan is the nephew of the deceased, and he encounters Grace in his uncle’s apartment. An agreement is made that Callan will work with Grace but not interfere or hinder her progress. But Callan has an alterior motive, he believes his uncle has a new and updated will, which could potentially end up with Grace losing her position.

The attraction between Callan and Grace is obvious, they both feel it. But Grace needs this job, and she cannot risk losing it all for a hunky Australian.

“Don’t get used to it. This is only temporary.” 

I always know when I read a Sarina Bowen book, I’m going to get something good! I’ve never read Sarah Mayberry before, she’s a new to me author. But I honestly couldn’t tell which author wrote what, so bravo to this writing duo! That’s the mark of an amazing writing team, I cannot wait to read more from these two.

I loved this story, it was so simple and yet it worked really well. Two people working together in close quarters doesn’t mean things will always be easy, but it does lead to some serious sexual tension. This was a really refreshing read, and it pulled me out of a book slump where I had quit 3 books before it! That’s how well done this book is.

Filled with steam, longing, and a little bit of angst, this is the book you need to read to keep you warmed up inside this fall!

“I will not get naked with Callan Walker during business hours. I will not get naked with Callan Walker during business hours. 

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

Fallen Heir

Fallen Heir by Erin Watt

3 stars 

“You are charming, Royal. That’s the problem.” 

First things first: do NOT come at me asking for spoilers or posting about them in the comments of this review. I will not answer any spoiler questions, and I will delete any comments giving away spoilers or asking for them. You’ve been warned!

Secondly: People, please do not hate me. I wanted to love this book, I did.

Erin Watt books are like a drug, you get a hit of that first amazing one, and you keep on reading them hoping for that same high you got the first time. I loved Paper Princess and Broken Prince, but I haven’t really clicked with any of their books since. I was hoping Fallen Heir would be different, since I loved Easton in the first three Royal books, I was so excited to read his story. I kept reading this series because I know Erin Watt is capable of amazing stories and characters, and because of their first two books they published I will pretty much always read their books.

Fallen Prince is the story of Easton and Hartley. Easton is the brother that’s a mess, in fights, sleeping around, getting into trouble. Now that his brother Reed is off at college and his twins are tied up in their girlfriend, there’s really no one around to keep Easton in check. The first week of school he meets Hartley, a girl who isn’t his type but one that he’s intrigued by. Hartley wants nothing to do with Easton, she’s just trying to get by without any problems. But the more Hartley resists Easton, the more he wants her.

This book is a strong 3 stars for me, I enjoyed the story and was able to keep my attention on it, but the more I thought about the book, the more issues I had with it. But first, the way Erin Watt wrote Easton’s POV was amazing, it never not once felt like women trying to write from the perspective of a man, it just flowed and felt like Easton on his own. Not many authors are good at accomplishing the male POV in a way that’s believable, but Erin Watt does it flawlessly. The pacing was also really great, at no point was I bored or wanted to put the book down.

I did like Hartley, but I never understood why she liked Easton. Maybe because we only get his POV most of the book (and the downward spiral he was on it would have been nice to maybe have a break from his POV) but I felt like we didn’t get to know Hartley. Especially since everything Easton did in regards to her seemed like a colossal mess up or a mistake. So I really wish we had gotten to know the girl a lot more, instead all we have is Easton’s slightly skewed perspective of her to go on.

The ending was a bit too much for me, it felt like a parody of a soap opera with all of these bombs being dropped. It actually made me not want to read the next book, instead of wanting to read it right away. It felt like the authors were trying to top themselves with the shock value and it was just a step too far.

Anyways, for the most part I enjoyed this book, just some issues I couldn’t look past dragged the rating down. Lots of people are going to love this, so if you are on the fence, read it anyway. Erin Watt is a talented duo and I am sure they will bring us some amazing books in the future.

ARC provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review 

Wild Card

Wild Card by Karina Halle

4 stars! 

“Just because someone has a broken heart, it doesn’t mean the heart doesn’t work anymore.” 

Six years ago, Rachel left the town of North Ridge and fled to the city of Toronto, heartbroken and alone. Now she’s returned to her hometown because she’s learned her mother has cancer. With a career and a boyfriend to get back to, Rachel is eager to avoid her past, mostly her ex Shane, the man who destroyed her six years earlier.

Shane mad a choice years ago, and it’s one he’s always regretted. Shane works on his father’s ranch, a country boy with a dog and his truck. Now that Rachel is back in town, it brings up many memories for Shane. And while he tried to give her space, it becomes clear the two need closure. But Shane wants Rachel back, and he’s gonna fight for her.

“The fault of man is that we never live long enough to be the person we want to be.” 

Second chance romance is like catnip for me, I cannot get enough of it! Karina Halle delivers an emotional and intense romance between two people who were ripped apart too early in their love story. Rachel and Shane had such a sweet and innocent romance, childhood friends to lovers, later to be ripped apart. You couldn’t help but root for them to be together.

I really liked Shane and Rachel as individuals as well as a couple. Rachel is a driven young woman who does the right thing even when she’s been wronged by those who love her. All Rachel really wants is security and for someone to love her. Shane is a quiet yet bold cowboy, a man living a simple life but he knows what he wants and he will tear about the earth for it.

A romance many readers will love, I cannot wait to meet the rest of the men in the North Ridge series!

“My heart would always return to him.” 

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

Amnesia

Amnesia by Cambria Hebert

3 stars 

“The sun sees your body, but the moon sees your soul.” 

Amnesia is the story of a small town, where one evening a young woman washes up on the shore of the lake. Eddie, who works at the local grocer, finds this young woman and runs her to the hospital. Once she wakes up a few weeks later, she has no memory of who she is and what had been done to her leading up to her ending up in the water.

Eddie becomes obsessed with Amnesia (as she chooses to call herself) as she reminds him of someone from his past. The two spend a lot of time together, but he’s advised by her doctors to keep his suspicions a secret. Also, someone in town doesn’t appear to be happy that Amnesia is around, and has been watching and threatening her.

“Nothing can stay paused forever. Eventually, you have to hit play.” 

I’ve only ever read the book #Nerd by Cambria Hebert, and I enjoyed it very much. Plus, she’s an absolute sweetheart in real life so I’ve always been meaning to read more of her books. Rave reviews and an interesting memory loss premise are what attracted me to this book. That and an outstanding cover. The book really started out strong, sucking me into the story. Where it fell a bit flat for me was it slowed down about halfway through and seemed a bit too long.

On top of that we have a cliffhanger ending, and I kind of already have my theories what will happen in the next book. I would have been happier with a longer book and gotten all the answers right away than wait for a second book. Plus the romance was a bit too sweet for my personal tastes, but that’s just me.

If you want to read something different and well written, this is the book for you. Suspenseful and filled with kind hearted characters, many reader will love this mystery small town love story. It honestly reminded me of a Nora Roberts type novel.