Brooklynaire

Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen

4 stars! 

“Everything seems fine and ordinary. Or at least it did until I hit my head.” 

Brooklyn Bruiser fans, we finally have Nate and Becca’s story! And it was SO worth the wait!

Becca has worked for billionaire Nate since the beginning, before he earned all the money and fame. Over seven years the two have had a great friendship and worked really well together. And while both are attracted to the other, neither one of them knows it or will admit it.

When Becca injures her head on the ice, Nate steps in to help take care of her. Doctors cannot figure out exactly what is wrong, and it’s extremely frustrating for Becca who just wants to get back to work. Staying at Nate’s place, she does her best to work out the past few years and how they ended up where they are now.

“We work together all the time. I can’t be the girl who just casually sleeps with her boss.” 

The thing I love about Sarina Bowen is, I enjoy her books 99.999999% of the time. Her writing style just works for me. Brooklynaire was such a fun read and a great escape from reality. I spent the majority of my weekend reading this avoiding real life tasks like cleaning and leaving my house.

While technically this is the fourth novel in the Brooklyn Bruisers series, it can totally be read as a standalone. Believe me, I skipped book two (hides in shame). I loved this story and glad we finally got to see Nate and Becca’s side of things and why it took them so long to give up the ghost and get together.

Sexy, fun and entertaining, this is the book you want to one-click right when it releases right away!

“Everything worthwhile is complicated.” 

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

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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.” 

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. 

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorsamanthayoung

Twitter: @AuthorSamYoung

Instagram: @AuthorSamanthaYoung

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/samyoungauthor

 

 

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 

Citywide

Citywide by Santino Hassell

Full disclosure, I only read Rerouted. Before all of you jump on me, I am allowed to read what I want to read, and I honestly was only interested in Chris, Jace and Aiden. Not that I have to justify my reading choices to anyone, but I have no desire to read the other two novellas because those characters don’t call to me.

That being said, I LOVED Rerouted. I could read about these three men for, well, forever. I wish they had their own full length novel. It’s about Chris, a bisexual man who finds himself as the extra to a married gay couple Jace and Aiden. Jace and Aiden have been together 20 years and are polyamorous, but lately they only want one man to make them a trio. When a blackout leaves the three of them stuck together, it’s up to the couple to convince Chris he’s perfect for them.

As I said before, I loved this story. Chris I wanted to hug the entire time, I understood all of his insecurities and where he is coming from. It’s easy to want him to fall into his happily ever after, but some things needed to be worked out and I think Hassell did a great job of covering all those issues.

Citywide can technically be read as a standalone, but I think maybe you should read Third Rail a short story first to get some background.

Autoboyography

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

4 stars! 

“His smile ruins me.” 

This book follows Tanner, an eighteen year old bisexual Jewish kid who moves from liberal Palo Alto to the mormon town Provo, Utah when he was fifteen. His parents ask him to go back into the closet fearing the community won’t accept him. And he does, for three years. But then he meets his new TA Sebastian, the son of the local Bishop. And it doesn’t take long for him to fall completely in love.

“Love fails for a million reasons – distance, infidelity, pride, religion, money, illness. Why is this story any more worthy?
It felt like it was. It felt important. Living in this town is suffocating in so many ways.
But if a tree falls in the woods, maybe it makes no sound.
And if a boy falls for the bishop’s closeted son, maybe it makes no story.” 

This book struck close to home. I’ve been thinking a lot before writing this review because I don’t want to offend anyone with it, so let me be clear. I am a fairly liberal person, and I am not a fan of any organized religion. While I grew up in Southern California, there is a small Mormon community in my home town. I grew up with Mormon kids who I knew were gay, that almost everyone knew were gay and yet they couldn’t admit it (and I know because they later came out after high school). I remember when Prop 8 happened, one of those kids kicking a sign his own father had put on his lawn. It’s something I’ll never forget. To me, love is love, and as long as no one is hurting anyone, everything is okay. So when reading this book, a lot of this was going through my head. Now this isn’t to say I hate Mormons or organized religion, but it’s difficult for me to accept something that doesn’t promote love.

Off my pedestal now, this was an amazing love story. Knowing up front what Tanner and Sebastian face, you can predict what challenges they would face. But this book wasn’t predictable, and I was rooting for these two boys the entire time. I think this is a book that teens need and I wish we had when I was a teen. I highly recommend this book and I hope you give it a chance.

“I don’t actually care if you break my heart, Sebastian. I went into this knowing it could happen and I gave it to you anyway. But I don’t want you to break your own. You have so much space in your heart for your church, but does it have space for you?” 

One of Us is Lying

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

4 stars! 

“She’s a princess and you’re a jock,” he says. He thrusts his chin toward Bronwyn, then at Nate. “And you’re a brain. And you’re a criminal. You’re all walking teen-movie stereotypes.” 

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars…..

Yeah, I’d actually have to agree with this assessment. One of Us Is Lying is a book I was intrigued by when it came out but didn’t make the time to read. That’s why I love the Goodreads Choice Awards, because it helps me pick up books that would have been on the tbr list forever.

Anyways, this book is about a jock, popular girl, brain, and a criminal who get detention with their school’s version of gossip girl. Except by the end of detention, Simon aka gossip monger, ends up dead. Now the four students there with him are suspected of murder, and all of them have secrets no one could ever have expected.

“I guess we’re almost friends now, or as friendly as you can get when you’re not one hundred percent sure the other person isn’t framing you for murder.” 

I ended up really enjoying this one, the murdery side of teen books don’t really appeal to me, but this book was more focused on the characters and their development than the mystery plot. Some things were fairly predictable, but they were in a way that I liked it. Does that make any sense? I liked all four main characters equally, each of them had something interesting to bring to the table. One of them had to grow on me but by the end I liked them.

I think this book is perfect for teens who love shows like Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl. Perfect for the relucant readers and those who would like a murdery John Hughes movie, if one existed.

“Things’ll get worse before they get better.” 

It Happened One Autumn

It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas

4.5 stars! 

“The next time you face a room full of strangers . . . you might tell yourself that some of them are just friends waiting to be found.” 

The Wallflowers are so good!!! I think this book is my favorite in the series so far (yes, I have read Devil in Winter already). I liked the chemistry between the main characters in this one the most so far, that hate to love you tension. This book is the story of Lillian and Westcliff, a brash and outspoken American and a formal, follow the rules Englishmen. Right off the bat they cannot stand each other, but as time goes by they realize their hatred for each other might be something more.

“I can’t get it out,” she said.
“Just pull at it.”
“It hurts. It’s throbbing.”
“Pull harder.”
“I can’t! It’s truly stuck. I need something to make it slippery. Do you have some sort of lubricant nearby?”
“No.”
“Not anything?”
“Much as it may surprise you, we’ve never needed lubricant in the library before now.” 

I’m not normally one for historical romance, but Lisa Kleypas has that magic about her writing. It’s never cheesy to me (and I loathe cheesy historical), and never do I roll my eyes at the language or the diction. It’s an amazing escape from reality, a foray into the lives and loves of the past.

I’m also going to add, when Lillian and Westcliff do finally give in, BOOM WENT THE OVARIES! You wanna read it now, don’t you?

“There is nothing on earth more beautiful to me than your smile…no sound sweeter than your laughter…no pleasure greater than holding you in my arms.” 

Third Rail

Third Rail by Santino Hassell

4.5 stars! 

I love love love the five boroughs series by Santino Hassell! This threesome of characters, Jace, Chris and Aiden are among my favorites, I’ll read anything about them. Honestly I wish there was like a 500 page book about them, but I’m just plain greedy. Third Rail is a collection of short stories about them in chronological order, because they get another story in Hassell’s Citywide coming out November 2017.

This book was HOT. I mean, Santino’s books always are. But an MMM threesome? Yeah. Enough said.

I believe this can be read as a standalone, other characters are mentioned but it’s not confusing. This book should also be free, so grab it while you can!

An ARC was provided 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.” 

Dear Aaron

Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata

4 stars! 

Full confession, I totally went into this book knowing mini spoilers. By that I mean I knew the majority of the first half of the book was in epistolary form aka written in emails, IMs and texts. I think it helped knowing that going in, because if I hadn’t I think I would have quit this book, and that would be a damn shame.

Dear Aaron is a love story between a soldier and his assigned pen pal. Ruby and Aaron meet via email when he is deployed in the Middle East through a letters to soldiers program. Over time, they become very good friends and some feelings develop, at least on one side.

I really don’t want to say more than that, go into this knowing it’s a slow burn, the first half the interactions are all written, and that it’s a long book and you’ll be good. Mariana Zapata writes the best slow burn romance. Hands down. You want a romance you’ll long for? Turn to this woman’s books. And while this one was on the sweeter side for me, I still found myself smiling as I was reading it.

This book was really a double edged sword for Zapata, and by that I mean the way it’s written is a tough balance. Too much written interaction and it’s too long, not enough and then people would complain it’s not developed enough. While it’s not perfect, I think she did an excellent job in building the relationship she did and that many readers will enjoy it.

I’m off to read the rest of Zapata’s books! I have two more to go until I run out and will sit here waiting for her to publish more!