Royally Matched

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ROYALLY MATCHED

By Emma Chase

Release Date: Feb 21, 2017

Review

4.5 stars!

“To thine own self be true.”

Royally Matched is the story of Henry the prince, next in line to the throne. Henry’s brother abdicated the throne for the woman he loves, and Henry has now been thrust into a role he is unprepared for and never thought he would have. With the new responsibility on his shoulders, Henry agrees to a bachelor type tv show where he is to look for the love of his life.

Sarah is a young librarian, technically a lady by name. When her family is approached to be a part of the tv series, her sister jumps at it and Sarah joins in to get out of a work obligation. But Sarah doesn’t want to participate in the game for the prince and comes as her sisters assistant.

Henry and Sarah become friends while filming and get to know each other. And as time goes by feelings begin to develop on both sides. But Sarah is unsure of herself and of Henry, and Henry has his own issues and obligations holding him back.

“If nightmares can come true, and sometimes they do…. then so can our happiest dreams.”

I think Emma Chase writes some of the best escapist romance out there. Normally a royal romance with sweet moments wouldn’t be my thing, but I loved every second of this novel. Chase is able to deliver a sweet and heartfelt romance and at the same time can be cheeky and poke fun at the real world.

I was able to devour this book fairly quickly, it’s a fun and lighthearted read. Sarah as a heroine was so cute and enchanting, I love when the girl who is normally overlooked gets noticed by the hero. There was a lot more to Henry than he let others see, and Sarah was very perceptive at reading him. Yeah sometimes he messed things up, like a true Chase hero, but ultimately he got his shit together and was able to pull it off.

If you’re looking for that perfect book to snuggle up to on a lazy Sunday, this is the book for you. Emma Chase is a constant delight and I cannot wait to read more from her.

“I’ve never had someone who was just mine, body and soul-mine to protect and hold and love. And that’s what Sarah is… she belongs to me now. We belong to each other.”

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review

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Excerpt

 

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry Charles Albert Edgar Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to force her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora goes on a much-needed safari holiday—and when the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit…and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

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Kindle: bit.ly/RoyallyMatchedKindle
Amazon Paperback: bit.ly/RoyallyMatchedAmazon
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IndieBound: bit.ly/RoyallyMatchedIndieBound

 

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About the Author:

Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

 

Website: http://authoremmachase.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorEmmaChase/?fref=ts

Newsletter: http://authoremmachase.com/newsletter/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/emmachse

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551005.Emma_Chase

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My Lady Jane

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows

4.5 stars!!! 
This book was:

I had my reservations going into this book. An inaccurate account of Lady Jane Grey mixed in with fantasy elements? I was not sold. In fact I almost passed it over. But when I opened it and my eyes landed on the dedication, I knew I had to read it.

“Dedication:

For everyone who knows there was enough room for Leonardo DiCaprio on that door.

And for England. We’re really sorry for what we’re about to do to your history.”

SOLD!

So, the plot. Jane is the cousin of King Edward and would like to spend all of her time with her nose in a book. Edward is dying of “The Affliction” and needs to pick a successor since he was too young and sick to leave an heir. When one of his advisors suggests Edward marry Jane off and name her child as an heir, Edward agrees. And so Jane is married to Gifford, who spends his nights as a man and days as a horse.

A horse you say? Oh, did I neglect to tell you that there are shapeshifters and in this book many people called Edians can transform into animals (not always at will). Soon it is discovered there is a plot to kill Edward in a strong power move, and it only gets more interesting from there…

“No horse jokes,” he said.
“My lord, I apologize for the horse joke. If you put down the book—unharmed!—I will give you a carrot.”
He brandished the book at her. “Was that a horse joke?”
“Neigh.”
“Was that a horse joke?”

So I was a history major in college and reading books with historical inaccuracies used to drive me CRAZY. But lately I’ve been loosening my grip and enjoying things not exactly accurate **cough cough REIGN cough cough** so with this book I straightened my back and LET IT GO.

Exactly Elsa!!!

Anyways, this book was so friggin funny. When compared to Monty Python I was worried, because that isn’t my humor. But to me this was more along the lines of Princess Bride humor, or more subtle British humor. There were many times when reading this book I chuckled out loud. And that doesn’t happen very often as I have RBF. (Resting book face).

I can only imagine the amount of fun the authors had writing this, I had so much fun reading it. Honestly, there isn’t another book out there I would be able to compare it to. History, humor, shifters and murder? Not a combo I would have guessed would work. But it did!

It’s one flaw? Way too damn long. Almost 500 pages dude.

If you need to read something a little bit different, something that will put you in a good mood, this is your book.

“You’re wrong,” Lord Dudley said. “You’ve always been a fool.”

“The fool thinks he is wise,” G retorted. “But the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day

4 stars!

Do you know Felicia Day? If so, where do you know her from? Personally, I am a crazy Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan since the age of 11, so I always knew her as that potential slayer in season 7. Other people may know her from the tv shows Eureka and Supernatural, or for her own show The Guild.

So as I have mentioned in other reviews, I made a New Year’s Resolution to read more types of books and genres other than romance this year (as I used to read ALL genres at one point). So while I was watching Supernatural one day I saw this actress and thought, “Hey, didn’t she write a book?” and promptly requested it from the library.

I lost track of the amount of times this book made me laugh. Felicia has a very strong and present voice, and I felt like I could hear her voice talking to me while I was reading. From her childhood being raised in homeschool, to her college experiences, and her efforts to make her show The Guild.

My favorite part of this book was the parts about her childhood and college experience. I found I could relate to some of what she was going through, despite our very different upbringing. Some of the parts about gaming went way over my head, because I’m not a gamer. Wish I was, but I am terrible at video games. They get too hard and I give up, hence I prefer books.

If you’re looking for a fun, quirky, different kind of reading experience, this is the book for you. Now I am off to go and watch The Guild. 😀

Truth or Beard

Truth or Beard by Penny Reid

4.5 stars!!!

“Everything is temporary, Duane. This,” he gestured to our surroundings, “this is temporary. Even mountains fall. Nothing lasts forever. You got a chance at happiness, even for a week, a month, a year? You grab it and you hold on to it for as long as it lasts.”

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Jessica has always known that she would leave her small town life and travel the world. After graduating from college, she has taken a detour back home for a while where she teaches to save up money and pay off her student loans. She’s also always had a crush on a Winston boy, Beau to be exact. When she runs into him at a town get together, the two end up hitting off and getting steamy. Except for one problem, it isn’t Beau but his twin brother Duane who Jessica hates, or at least she thought she did.

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I have yet to read a Penny Reid book I didn’t like. The majority of them I tend to love. Mostly because of Ms. Reid’s sense of humor, and the fact that she assumes the reader is smart (which I appreciate). She’s an author I can honestly say that I would read any book, no plot description required. In fact, Ms. Reid could hand me an essay on a description of paint drying and I would happily read it.

Truth or Beard doesn’t disappoint, and I loved getting to know Duane and Jessica. The two of them bantering was my favorite part of this book. Fighting or friendly conversation, spoken out loud or inner monologue, I had a smile on my face the entire time.

For example, my two favorite quotes from the book:

“Have you ever seen someone and thought to yourself, Whoa, he’s hot! I’d like to screw his brains out. And then, you talk to the guy and realize someone already has?”

“There will be no bananas!” “There will be entire tropical rainforests of bananas! And coconuts!” I gestured to my breasts. “And, hopefully, bananas rubbing against coconuts.”

I myself have thought that first quote many a time.^^^

I like the idea that the surly brother got a chance at the girl. Beau and Duane are similar as twins, but Jessica very obviously saw the differences in both. I also like that Penny Reid has the heroes of her books fall for the girl off screen. That way going into the story, they begin with pursuit straight away instead of the fumbling process of how to pursue a girl upon discovering their feelings. That make any sense? I also like the idea of a man liking a girl without her knowing it. It gives me warm and fuzzy feelings.

Jess and Duane didn’t have an easy love story, but they had one that I felt deep in my bones. I got a little frustrated of the yes or no aspect of their relationship, but only a little! (I may or may not have mentally been yelling at them to get their shit together, and then get with each other).

The Winston brothers as a group I also loved about this book. I cannot wait until each of them gets their story. Cletus is a crowd favorite and I want to pinch his cheeks. I also desperately want to read Billy’s book (which is last, sobs).

Basically I highly recommend reading anything Penny Reid writes, including this book. I am a stickler for reading things in order so I recommend doing it that way, but this book can also be enjoyed as a standalone novel. Happy reading!

“Is this place home?”
“No, Duane .. You are.”

Friends Without Benefits

Friends Without Benefits (Knitting in the City #2) by Penny Reid

4.5 Italian stars

“Nothing is more frustrating than being attracted to someone who is a complete jerk – except for maybe also caring about that person despite continued abuses. I was such an idiot.”

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Penny Reid just gets better and better with every book I read by her! After finishing a book that didn’t work for me, I needed to dive into something I knew I would love, so I turned to my spirit animal Penny Reid. Yes you read that right, Penny Reid is my spirit animal. Go and find your own!

Friends Without Benefits is the story of Elizabeth and Nico. The two of them grew up together, and Nico was a bit of a bully to Elizabeth when they were younger. The loss of a mutual friend in high school leads to emotions Elizabeth didn’t expect so she bailed and never contacted Nico again. Now, ten years later, he and his mother walk into the hospital she works at to get Nico’s niece on a clinical trial that will help her.

The two have an attraction which Elizabeth fights. But will childhood love prevail? Or will Nico lose the girl he was meant to be with?

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It’s obvious I love Penny Reid and her books. Some I like more than others and this one fits that description. I love the idea that Nico was a lovestruck kid for most of their lives and knew from an early age who his soulmate was. Elizabeth is a tough nut to crack but once someone is in her heart, they are there forever.

Elizabeth is dealing with a bit of loneliness now that her best friend and roommate Janie has found the love of her life. Considering her options lovers wise she is thrown for a loop when Nico reappears. It was perfect timing that he came back into her life because she ended up focusing more on him and his family.

“I wasn’t a hypocrite — well, everyone is a hypocrite, but I was trying hard to be less of one.”

I loved Nico, I loved Elizabeth, Angelica, Rose and more. The angst was deliciously sweet and knitted carefully into the story <— see what I did there? 😛 If you are looking for a book that will make you smile, laugh and believe in the power of true love, this is the book for you.

“You can’t tell me that I don’t know you. I see you. I see you better than you see yourself. And everything about you is beautiful.”

Five Ways to Fall

Five Ways to Fall (Ten Tiny Breaths #4) by K. A. Tucker

4.5 stars!

“If you have to fight over a guy, he’s not worth it. Go for the one who’s waiting for you.”

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The fourth and final book in this series, Five Ways to Fall is the story of the bouncer Ben from Penny’s, and wild child Reese. The two meet while on vacation in Cancun, and a horribly embarrassing sexual encounter ensues, leaving Ben wondering where the girl with purple streaks in her hair went. A few weeks later and Ben shows up to his new job as a lawyer and discovers Reese is a paralegal at his new firm.

The two embark on a snarky friendship, with Ben being his usual horny self and Reese fending off his advances. Reese recently divorced her husband who she caught cheating on her, and well, she lost her shit. Trashed his apartment and escaped charges being filed against her, Reese is putting her life back together by working for her former stepfather. So while Reese isn’t looking for any kind of relationship, Ben is looking for someone with no strings attached. The friendship between the two remains borderline “with benefits” status.

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I gotta say, I really loved this wrap up to the series. The first three books had such a serious tone, and having Ben and Reese as the main characters added a lightness that weren’t in the previous books. After meeting Ben in book 1, I always hoped he would get a girl who would tie him down, and Reese was his perfect match. She was wild enough to keep him on his toes, she didn’t take his crap and called him on his corniness at times. The two of them loved spending time together and didn’t play games. They saw what they wanted and went after it.

“Have you always loved yourself this much?”
“I had an awkward year in ‘ninety-nine, but I got over it quick.”

I loved the development of the relationship between the two of them. They genuinely didn’t mean for anything more serious, but as they spent more time together that changed. There was also very low angst in this book which was very much appreciated. I don’t think over the top drama was this couple’s style and to add any in this book wouldn’t have done right by them. And I have to say KA Tucker is fantastic at writing characters with so much depth, I honestly felt like Reese and Ben were real people I would know.

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This was an all out genuine friends to lovers story. Yes there was an attraction between the two, but with the development of feelings it was a wonderful slow building romance. This was the perfect end to one of my favorite new adult series.

**sidenote: I really want Nate to get his own book. Is that at all possible?

“I want your womanizing mama’s-boy football-player butt all to myself and if I catch you with any Twinkies or beautify queens or anyone else, you’d better run fast because I will hunt you down.”

Neanderthal Seeks Human

Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City #1) by Penny Reid

3.75 really cute stars!!!

“She said I owned the clothes of a radiologist and the shoes of an OBGYN; which is like the medical doctor equivalent of saying that I dressed like a librarian with a propensity of fuckmeboots.”

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This is my second Penny Reid book and it was a lot of fun! I had originally only read The Hooker and the Hermit, and now it’s very clear to me who wrote what in that book now that I’ve read books by both authors.

Neanderthal Seeks Human is about Janie who just broke up with her boyfriend, spilled coffee on herself, broke her shoes and got fired from her job. She is escorted out of her office building by a security guard also know to her (privately) as McHotPants. Janie is a bit socially awkward, she has a tendency to spew out random facts at the drop of a hat. But Janie is really smart, and a bit aloof as to how pretty she is. A series of chance meetings with McHotPants aka Quinn, lands Janie a new job. And that’s all I will say for now…

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I really liked Quinn as a hero. He wasn’t the most decisive guy, but he seemed to really like Janie for who she was and was genuinely interested in all of her random factoids. It also took him forever to show Janie he liked her, but to be fair, she was oblivious to many things throughout the book. And I liked that about Janie, because quite honestly, it made her relatable (to me, because I am super oblivious quite a bit of the time as well).

“I decided, as I succumbed to sleep, that men should come with manuals, subtitles, and reset buttons.”

This book had fairly low angst and no over the top drama, which many of you enjoy. The one thing it really needed though was a little bit more steam and a little less fade to black.

At times I found myself laughing out loud in places I shouldn’t have. There is a very funny knitting group meeting near the end that I could not stop laughing at and had to set my kindle down before I dropped it. I also spent a lot of time reading this when I should have been doing grad work, so it’s highly addictive too.

Give it a chance! It’s a great read for when you don’t know what to read next 🙂

The Will

The Will by Kristen Ashley

4 stars!

” If you learn to accept yourself just as you are, learn to laugh at your quirks instead of hating them, show the world all that’s you without tryin’ to hide things that are not even a little unattractive, that makes you more attractive. What you got is a fuckuva lot. You own all of it and let it all hang out, you’ll go off-the-charts.”

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It’s been a while since I’ve read a Kristen Ashley book. When I saw that pretty much all of my Goodreads friends were unanimous in loving this book, I decided to jump back in with this one.

The story begins with Josie at the funeral of her beloved grandmother. Josie hasn’t been back to Magdalene in years, as she was trotting the globe as an assistant to a famous photographer. Losing her Gran meant she had lost what was left of her family.

At the reading of her Gran’s will, Josie discovers that her Gran has left Josie to Jake Spear. The former boxer and town strip club owner. At first Josie is horrified, by the idea and by Jake’s profession, but over time and by getting to know him, Josie discovers there is more to Jake than meets the eye.

“Life is like a boxing match. Defeat is declared not when you fall but when you refuse to stand again.”

I was hesistant going into this book, as I’m in my mid-twenties and the main characters are in their forties. I was worried I wouldn’t be interested in their romance or lives, but then I remembered how amazing Ashley’s Sweet Dreams was, also about a couple in their forties, and decided to give this a chance. While this book does focus on issues that people in their forties face, like former lovers, ex wives, children and more, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book because it held strong themes offamily, love, survival, and finding one’s place in life when things change abruptly.

I loved the slow building romance between Josie and Jake, along with the little misunderstandings Josie had about Jake’s interest. Josie’s relationship with Jake’s children was beautiful; she helped them without ever forcing her way in or being overbearing. She didn’t try to be cool or someone different for their sakes, instead she was herself and showed constantly how much she cared about them and their well being.

The side plot with Henry made me kind of sad, I really hope he gets his own book or at least a mention of an HEA. I know he’s the one who fucked things up with Josie, but come on. Men tend to not think things through all of the time. A lot of the time.

“You see, a woman who knows herself and her worth knows that her time is valuable and her heart is precious. She doesn’t give either to a man who can’t respect the gifts he’s being offered.”

****MINI SPOILER AHEAD THAT I’M NOT TAGGING****
I only had two things I didn’t really like about this book. One was the side plot about Conner and his five high school girlfriends. It didn’t really make sense to me that Kristen Ashley would develop Ellie just to have them break up, with Conner being less than understanding of Ellie’s position her parents put her in, just to find another different girlfriend by the end. I would rather have had Ellie not exist and use Sophie instead. It just seemed like a waste of plot to me, but I guess I’m just being nit-picky.

The other thing I REALLY did not like was the way Josie talked. It drove me up the wall! She sounded like a pretentious snob and everyone was like, “oh you talk weird, that’s cute”. I’m over here like, “um, no. She sounds incredibly rude and condescending” but whatever. Despite the way she talked, I still really liked Josie mostly because she had a heart of gold and when you were someone she cared about, she took care of you.

This book really did feel like one of Kristen Ashley’s older works, and was a great romance that was well developed and not cheesy, which worked perfectly for me. That friggin epilogue had me crying giant ugly tears. Damn you KA! Right in the damn feels.

“It’s never too late to reach for happiness and no matter what life has done to you, it’s never too late to find it.”

Willing Captive

Willing Captive by Belle Aurora

5 stars!
OMG I LOVED THIS!!!!!!!!

“I never realized how much I hate my life. Not until he showed me beautiful.”

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Literally couldn’t put this one down. I cannot believe I waited so darn long to read this book! If it hadn’t been for all of the awesome reviews my Goodreads friends had posted I probably never would have. That’s the power of Goodreads.

Every once in a while you unexpectedly discover a great book, and this is one of those books. Despite the disclaimer saying this is NOT a dark read, I was very hesitant about reading this book based on the title and cover. Captive books usually aren’t my thing. This book is in fact a story of finding oneself, and pretty darn funny as well.

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Lily is a sheltered rich girl but her life didn’t start out that way. When Lily and her sister were preteens her dad’s company experienced a boom in business leaving his filthy rich. With the rise in business, so were the rise in threats to the family. More and more Lily found herself with a good book in her room than out with her friends.

One night intruders break into her family mansion and abduct Lily and her sister. I won’t say much more except that not everything is as it seems.

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The mystery in this book was very well done. I always felt the undertone of suspense, even when the main characters were more relaxed in their surroundings. The author did a good job of maintaining the “what’s going on?” issue because she left the reader in the dark for the most part.

I loved both Lily and Nox so much! Normally I like one main character more than the other, but Belle Aurora did such a wonderful job developing her MC’s.

Lily was a great blend of cute and tough. It took her getting kidnapped to realize she wasn’t living her life, that she had been spending it locked away. It became her dream to break out of her situation and live free.

““Books… I can’t live without books. To me, a book is better than any movie. All I need is a good book, my imagination, and I am set free. I’m in literature heaven.”

Nox, he was a badass. He had his sweet moments but for the most part he didn’t take anyone’s shit. He was a bit of a jerk at the beginning of the book, but his devotion to Lily and her safety were what made him swoon worthy. I also think Nox’s issues near the end of the book was great. It made it more believable than him miraculously surviving. He struggled greatly to get back to Lily, a changed man, but a man still in love with her.

“You remember what you said this morning? About it being totally stupid to fall in love with me?”
At that, my eyes open. He adds quietly, “Then you should start calling me a fuckin’ moron.”

This book is humorous, suspenseful and delightful and I encourage anyone and everyone to read it.

“Doesn’t matter where you are, baby. I’ll come for you. I’ll come for you.”

Within These Walls

Within These Walls by J. L. Berg

3.5 stars!

“The truth is, you are far from normal. You are light-years away from the word. You are exceptional. The word normal would be an insult to your very nature.”

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Another sweet new adult romance! I decided to read this book after seeing multiple friends giving 4 star ratings so I gave it a chance. While it’s not the most original book around, and I predicted the majority of the plot, this was still an incredibly fun read.

Lailah Buchanan has a congenital heart disease, her heart is too large for her body. Lailah has spent a lifetime in hospitals and longs for a more normal life outside the constricting medical walls. Jude is a CNA, he took the job at the hospital after a tragic accident three years ago in which his fiance was killed. Jude is a shadow of his formal self and lives day to day. Upon being switched to the cardiac wing, Jude meets Lailah and the two become fast friends. Over time, the two begin to develop stronger feelings.

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It’s funny that I enjoyed this book so much, I actually can’t wrap my mind around it. It has a bunch of aspects in it that I don’t normally like.
-predictability–> check
-instalove–> check
-cheesiness (but not a lot)–> check
-recycled plot–> check

…and yet, this was so good! All of these aspects were easy to ignore, the book as a whole being delightful. I honestly think this is a testament to J. L. Berg as an author, because I fell in love with both Jude and Lailah and was rooting for them as a couple the entire book! This is very much a feel good romance for those of you out there looking for a lighter book to brighten up your day.

Lailah as a main character was perfect; she had been dealt a shit hand in life, and yet she still wanted to live it to it’s fullest. Things that we all take for granted everyday, like the ability to walk through sand or go to a school dance, these are all things that Lailah strived for because her condition took away these small pleasures from her. And Jude was the perfect man to help her find a way to live her life.

Fans of sweet romantic new adult reads, this is the book for you! Everyone else, give it a try!

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Six of Hearts

Six of Hearts by L. H. Cosway

4 stars!

“People love shit that’s all obscure and mysterious.”

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Well, this is a book bandwagon I’m glad I jumped into. There’s been so many positive reviews written about this book since it’s release, and to be honest, I tend to stay away from the flavor of the month book because most of the time, I end up disappointed. That’s not the case with this book.

Placed in Ireland, Matilda works as a secretary for her father in his small law firm. One day the illusionist Jay Fields walks in and proceeds to turn their world around. A slanderous article has been published about Jay, and he wants Matilda’s father to assist him with the lawsuit. On top of this, Jay has rented a room with her father and is now living with the two of them for an indefinite amount of time.

“Note to self: Never try to out-trick a trickster.”

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I honestly put this book down around 17% because the pacing was slow and other shinier books were calling to me. But with the urging of many of my GR’s friends, I returned to this book to finish what I started. Around 22%, the book began to pick up some speed. At the beginning I really had to overlook how weird this book was set up. It all made sense by the end, but for me this dude just waltzed into these peoples’ live and made himself at home.

I really loved Matilda as the heroine. She was a little insecure from her dating inexperience, but it was charming and not at all annoying. Jay, well, we all know Jay is amazing. And I don’t want to inflate his ego so I will not continue.

About 50% of the way into the book I was growling with frustration. What was Jay’s game? Were he and Matilda friends? Dating? FWB? Give me a label people!!!! I call this point of the book the Frustration Game, as in:
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I mean really, he performs oral on her and then is all like “I can only be friends” to Matilda. Blow me asshole. Stop giving me whiplash!! Luckily, around 60% all that shit was remedied.

Was it my favorite book of the year? No. Was it a fun and entertaining read? Yep! The banter was witty, the chemistry off the charts, and the side characters very well developed. I call this book a success!

“I might tell you that you’re mine, but you need to understand that it goes both ways. I belong to you, too.”

Dirty Rowdy Thing

Dirty Rowdy Thing (Wild Seasons #2) by Christina Lauren

4 stars

“Finn could break your vagina and be just handy enough to put it back together.”

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Dirty Rowdy Thing is the story of Harlow and Finn. Harlow is the daughter of Hollywood royalty and Finn is a Canadian fisherman. In the last book Harlow and Finn got married alongside Mia and Ansel in Vegas, but after a 12 hour sex romp they went ahead and got an annulment. There were no hard feelings between them, Harlow even visited Finn up in Canada for another sex trip. One which after they were done, he promptly called her a cab.

Fast forward a couple months later and Harlow runs into Finn in a Starbucks in her hometown in San Diego. Finn is in town on “business” and staying with their mutual friend Oliver for an indefinite amount of time. Harlow and Finn come to the decision that they should continue their friends with benefits scenario. But it’s not long until they begin to feel more for each other.

Well, this book was certainly dirty. Especially Finn and his dirty talk and affinity for tying Harlow up. I liked this a lot more than the last book because the last book was all about role playing. And I HATE role playing. This is what I see when I think of role playing:

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And this is what I see when Finn ties people up:
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Much classier, yes?
I digress.

Unlike the last book I really liked the characters for who they were in this book. Harlow is a strong, confident and loyal woman. She may be privileged but she’s not spoiled. Harlow doesn’t always have to understand her friends to love them. I liked that she was a fighter and had a bit of a vulnerability about her. She was also freaking funny.

“Come in. Sit anywhere but on the bed. Don’t look cute, don’t get undressed, and don’t touch my underwear.”

Finn is a stoic guy, but very insightful. He’s a caring friend if not always vocal about it. He also see’s Harlow for who she really is, except when he’s teasing her about what he knows she isn’t.

Like the first book, this book has the main characters keeping secrets from each other. I won’t tell you the secrets because that would be spoilering, but I felt the characters made similar types of mistakes in this book that Ansel and Mia made. Just on a different level.

***SPOILERS AHEAD BEWARE***

My only issue with this book? Finn at the end. For those of you who’ve read this, you know what I’m talking about.
Seriously?? He got mad at Harlow for trying to save his job? And then he leaves town? Without saying goodbye when she might be pregnant? No bro. Not cool bro. And then he was a total dick to her when she went to Canada. This book is officially filed under not enough groveling. She took him back way too easily.

The ending was a bit abrupt, I would have liked to see an epilogue. But I guess I’ll have to wait until 2015 for that. Boo!

Mai Tai’d Up

Mai Tai’d Up (Cocktail #4) by Alice Clayton

4 stars!

“Everybody’s dealing with some stuff, darlin’. Sometimes it’s just nice to deal with it while looking at a gorgeous hunk of man.”

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Chloe has just done the unthinkable. She left her fiance at the alter. Well, not the alter exactly, but she called off her engagement the day of the wedding. All her life Chloe has been the perfect daughter and she saw herself well on her way to becoming the perfect wife. The only problem with it all? She wasn’t happy, she wasn’t being herself, and most importantly she wasn’t in love.

Spur of the moment after calling off the wedding, Chloe moves from San Diego to Monterey, California where she proceeds to convert a barn into a pitbull rescue.

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^^^Look at how cute those dogs are!!!

In starting the rescue, Chloe becomes friends with the local vet Lucas. Lucas is a hot ginger, and the two have a fast attraction to each other. The only problem? Lucas’ fiance just left him…. at the alter. Understandably, Chloe is a little less than truthful about how she and her fiance ended things.

Over time Lucas and Chloe become close friends with the possibility of something more. But Chloe doesn’t want to be a rebound girl for Lucas, she wants more.

I really liked this last (latest?) edition to the Cocktail series. Alice Clayton wrote a character who was on a search to discover who she really was, and I consider that the main plot more than the romantic one. There were many giggle worthy moments, and I pretty much had a smile on my face the entire time I read this book.

This is a fun read, like all of Clayton’s other books, but there were 2 itty bitty little things that bugged me. Just a little bit.

1) Some other reviewers have pointed this out, there needed to be an epilogue. I was not thoroughly happy with the point at which the book ended. We needed a little more!!

2) I’m sorry but after how Lucas humiliated Chloe at the airport when she made the big romantic gesture? He needed to grovel waaaaaaaaayyyyyy much more than he did to get her back. Just saying. #petpeeve

Ms. Clayton has written herself a spot into my auto-reads/purchase books. Give this one a try y’all!

Maybe Not

Maybe Not (Maybe Someday #1.5) by Colleen Hoover

3.5 stars!

“It’s hard to fall in love with assholes, Warren.”..
“Maybe you just haven’t met the right asshole yet.”

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This was super cute!!!!!! I wasn’t the biggest fan of Maybe Someday, but when I read so many positive reviews on this novella, I had to give it a shot and I’m glad I did! I ended up like it more than Maybe Someday.

Maybe Not is the short story of Ridge and Sydney’s roommates, Warren and Bridgette. In this we get to see how they meet, how an attraction builds and then eventually a sexual relationship (and boy do these two hit the sack). There isn’t much in terms of a hard plot, but it did focus on the building of a relationship between two people and I really enjoyed reading their journey.

Not much more to say except this book is good for some laughs and for some feels. I highly recommend if you need something light yet fulfilling to read.

“The only difference between falling in love and being in love is that your heart already knows how you feel, but your mind is too stubborn to admit it.”

Magic Bleeds

Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels #4) by Ilona Andrews

4.5 stars!

“I can’t give you the white picket fence, and if I did, you’d set it on fire.”

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I’m a giant fan of urban fantasy. I read all kinds of genres of books, but when I read urban fantasy I get a feeling of being at home. The Ilona Andrews writing team created a universe where when I’m having a bad day or want to have a good time, I can open a paperback, and escape there effortlessly and happily. And that’s exactly what I did with this book. I recently had some crap come up in my personal life, and when I had the chance I transported myself into this world of mercenaries and werebeasts and didn’t want to come back out. So massive kudos to the authors, you did your job right.

In magic flare zone Atlanta, Kate Daniels is stood up. That’s right, she cooked the Beast Lord Curran dinner, and he never showed. Flash forward about a month or so and the two are at each others’ throats. On top of this, there’s a strange shaman who keeps showing up in bars and casinos and trying to magic blast the place with plague and disease. It’s not long before Kate gets called onto the case, and when she does she finds she might be more connected to it than she expected.

This was the best book of this series for me so far. The plot was thrilling, the banter was witty and humorous, and I couldn’t put the darn book down even when my eyelids were slowly closing due to a need for sleep.

My favorite part of the book? The pranks Kate and Curran were playing on each other. When she covered his bed in catnip and he glued her ass to her office chair? Priceless. The addition of the attack poodle to Kate’s daily life only made the story more entertaining.

“….I think a dog is a great idea. I just never pictured you with a mutant poodle.”
“He isn’t a poodle. He’s a Doberman mix.”
“Aha. Keep telling yourself that.”

Also, another reason why this book was awesome? It’s the hook up book! Yes, the Kate and Curran relationship finally comes to a explosive collision in this book and it was all it was cracked up to be.

“I miss you. I worry about you. I worry something stupid will happen and I won’t be there and you’ll be gone. I worry we won’t ever get a chance and it’s driving me out of my skull.”

This was also the book where I finally stopped skimming when it came to the plot. By this I mean the underlying issue or mystery. As much as I love the other books and their stories, there were points when I skimmed. That didn’t really happen in this book. All of Kate’s investigations had me utterly enthralled, and the parts with Kate and Erra was like watching an interrogation between a smart ass and a sociopath (it would make great television, just saying).

And that ending? When they finally got to flip it and Kate took care of Curran when he was injured? Heartwarming. It gave the viewer a small glimpse of what Curran goes through when Kate was injured or sick.

“You don’t pick the family you’re born into. You pick the one you make. I already chose my mate and glued her ass to the chair to make sure she knew it.”