Bountiful

Bountiful by Sarina Bowen

4 stars! 

“The truth was that men didn’t date people like me. I was the girl they “hung out with” as Dave had put it last night. The bartender was a good time and fun in bed, but not a forever girl.” 

Sarina Bowen always writes the best romance! Bountiful is about bartender Zara and a sexy ginger named Dave. One summer for an entire month the two had a steamy fling, but then he left and he left something behind. Two years later Zara is a single mother and hasn’t been able to find Dave to tell him he’s the father.

Then one day, Dave shows up and Zara tells him he’s a father. But Dave’s past makes him doubt his parenting abilities and Zara doesn’t trust that he will stick around. The two have to work together to see if they can reach common ground.

“Nobody could make me feel inferior without my permission. I’d made my peace with single motherhood, and it didn’t matter what anyone said behind my back.” 

From the moment I opened up the book I fell in love with Zara and Dave. I love prickly heroines and Zara was awesome. Dave was equally awesome, every barb Zara threw his way he shrugged off and smiled. I wouldn’t say baby romances are my favorite subgenre, but I enjoy them and the angst they deliver all the same. Plus I think Bowen did an amazing job writing the parent/child dynamic and Nicole was just beyond adorable.

This book starts off with a bang, and then slows down in pacing a little bit near the middle. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I am so glad Zara got her own story and it was worth the wait. I just want to stay forever in the True North world and never leave. I hope we get more books in this world.

Sarina Bowen is an author I always recommend, she never disappoints. This is the book this fall that you want to curl up with a blanket and enjoy a heartwarming story.

“The Milky Way and Zara. My favorite two things about Vermont.”

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. 

Advertisements

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.

Facebook Twitter | Instagram

Into the Fire

Into the Fire by Jeaniene Frost

3.5-4 stars 

“It appears you’re right — I simply can’t go an entire day without murdering someone.” 

Gosh I wanted to love this book so bad, the first three books in the series were amazing, and while this one was enjoyable…. I merely liked it instead of loved it. I remember getting a newsletter about Frost’s family, I felt so much for this author. Her mom dying then repeated issues with her dad’s health, that’s more than anyone should have to take in. Knowing this, as a true fan would do, I understood and knew she needed to take her time to write this book and I think the wait was worth it. (FYI, this is all mentioned in an introduction of the book as well).

I had to reread the entire series before picking up this final book, as I had picked it up and by page 3 I was terribly lost. Hence an epic reread of some of the best PNR there is. No author has the voice that Frost has. So much witty humor and so much emotion packed into her books. There’s a reason I’ll read anything she publishes.

This fourth novel involves Vlad and Leila working to destroy the link between her and a powerful necromancer. Their bodies and lives are tied together, so if one of them dies, the other does too. But finding the necromancer proves to be more difficult than anticipated.

My favorite part of this book was the crossover of the character Ian. That man no doubt was the best part, bringing endless comic relief and making me laugh my ass off out loud in public. I swear this man needs his own spin off-ASAP!

The flawed aspect of this book is it’s almost information overload and focuses more on action than the romance and relationship between Leila and Vlad. I can understand why fans were let down by this book.

The Night Prince series is one you must read! Look past the god awful covers and you’ll discover one of your favorite romance couples!

Blood Guard

Blood Guard by Megan Erickson

3.5 stars 

I’m really only familiar with Megan Erickson’s co written cyber love series, this was my first book by her as a solo writer. I enjoyed it, but I am not eager to read the rest of the series.

Blood Guard is about a young woman named Tendra who discovers she’s meant to be a king vampire’s bride because of her bloodline. Her blood guard Athan, brother of the king, retrieves her from her normal life and tries to whisk her off to safety, but a rival vampire clan seeks to kill Tendra.

We got ourselves a breakdown review folks! What I liked and didn’t like about this book:

Liked:
-Tendra as a heroine, she was kick ass and was able to handle almost everything thrown her way. She processed things in her own way and was able to survive when most women in her situation wouldn’t be able to handle much of what was going on.

-Worldbuilding: Megan Erickson accomplished the difficult task of creating a believable urban fantasy setting with a hidden world of vampires and other creatures. She stuck to the basics but also made it distinctly her own.

-Brex: I am allergic to cats and I still wanted Brex by my side. Honestly after being tossed around in a duffel bag in this book, he reminded me of the Hurricane Harvey angry cat.

Didn’t like:

-The big one people. I didn’t care for the romance. I wasn’t sold on Tendra and Athan’s love. I don’t feel it was developed well and that it was rushed. It felt like the majority of the book they were just surviving and then BOOM sexy times. And that’s where the book kind of lost me because I wasn’t really rooting for the main couple (at least not at appropriate fangirl levels) so I began to not really care about the story. So the last 25-30% of the book was meh for me.

Anyways, this is a sexy and steamy vampire romance readers will love! While it wasn’t my favorite, I can appreciate that this book is better than a lot of PNR romance out there.

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. 

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. 

The Time in Between

The Time in Between by Kristen Ashley

4.75 stars! 

“Promise, Cady. Stick with me, no matter what.” 

Kristen Ashley is BACK! This book is just like her old ones, full of magic and romance that digs its way into your heart!

The Time in Between is the story of Cady and Coert, two people who were in love eighteen years before, but lies and bad circumstances came between them and broke them apart. Now, years later, Cady’s husband has died, and he stipulated when he died that Cady had to move to Maine in order to reconnect with two men in her life, her brother, and Coert. Once there she buys a lighthouse and renovates it, biding her time to approach Coert, who is the local sheriff. Except Coert is angry and wants nothing to do with her.

“With him right there, nothing else mattered, nothing else even existed. This was simply where I was supposed to be. No matter what.” 

I have to admit, I was a bit nervous going into this one, mostly because some of the newer releases by Kristen Ashley just really weren’t my thing. BUT this is the Magdalene series, and I adored the first two books in this series, so I went in with an open mind. And what I got was a beautiful second chance romance story that by the end, brought that little bit of sappy mist to my eyes.

Second chance romance is sort of my Achilles heel of subgenres, I just love the idea of two people who lost their way get another chance to make things right between them. Cady and Coert have a lot of issues that bled over from their past, and while it was a rocky start when the two of them reunited, it got smoother as time went by. In fact, once they made up their minds, they did the adult thing and didn’t bring the past into their current relationship to haunt them. They moved on, and moved to something special.

My one small criticism and why I cannot give this a full 5 stars, is this book is SO LONG. Like I was reading it for four days! It took me four days to read the first Game of Thrones novel and that thing is enormous!!! I wish it had been a tad bit shorter because sometimes when reading it, it felt like I was tackling a mountain! But don’t let the length avert you from this gem, by the end I had happy tears in my eyes and was declaring my love for this magnificent book.

This story will stay with you a long time, and you will fall in love with Cady and Coert!

“Love you.”
“Love you most.” 

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review 

The Forbidden

The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas

4.5 stars! 

THIS IS THE KIND OF TABOO I ENJOY IN MY BOOKS 

So, Jodi Ellen Malpas and I have never really clicked. By that I mean, other than this book, I read 4 other of her books and didn’t like them. BUT, this book just called to me. That and I found out one of my trusted book friends liked it so I knew I had to try it. And I’m glad I took that risk because I absolutely loved it!!! It just shows how versatile and talented JEM is as an author, that she grows and creates stories for different types of readers.

I won’t say much about the plot, go in blind and with an open mind. I think this book works so well because everything that happens is rooted in love, true love. I loved the heroine, she was kind, honorable and thought of others always before herself. She really did think everything through and the consequences of her actions, she was aware. I loved Jack, he’s what made the book for me. Normally JEM heroes have me yanking my hair with frustration, but Jack is something special. He never made me angry, and I understood the choices he made and why, even if I didn’t agree with him.

This book sold me, I was sold on their love, their story, and the hope for this couples future. I even read all the sex scenes and didn’t skim them! (Which if you really know me, I always skim the sex scenes. I’m here for the angst LMFAO). Apart from some rush and OTT at the end, this book was everything I didn’t even know I wanted. You need to throw aside your reservations and read this book!

Beard in Mind

Beard in Mind by Penny Reid

4 stars! 

“People, all people, are blinded by their own expectations.” 

Beard in Mind is the fourth book in the Winston Brothers series and can be read as a standalone novel. This book follows Beau Winston, twin brother of Duane from the first book, and Shelly, sister of Quinn from the Knitting series. Beau and his brothers Duane and Cletus own and run a mechanic shop in town. With Duane leaving the country soon to travel with his girlfriend, Cletus hires a new mechanic, the beautiful and cold Shelly Sullivan.

Right off the bat, due to a misunderstanding, the two don’t get along. Beau doesn’t like Shelly’s demeanor toward him and her unfriendliness toward customers. Shelly is highly intelligent and Beau had insulted her. But, at the end of the day, Beau is a good and friendly man and he makes the effort with her, discovering her secrets and becoming her friend. But eventually they both want more, and Beau’s brother Cletus stands in the way of that.

“I don’t think Beau Winston would purposefully hurt anyone.” 

I know when it comes to a Penny Reid novel, I can always expect the unconventional romance. You don’t get the same old story when you read one of her books, you get something unique, and something special. It’s why she’s an auto buy author for me, the woman has never let me down. In a time where many authors are spitting out repetitive and unoriginal stories, Penny Reid offers something more to readers with her work.

This book made a few observations about society without being preachy about it. The most obvious, being the cultural norm of how we perceive OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder, and the misunderstanding of what the actual disorder it. The heroine, Shelly, has it, and it’s an everyday struggle that she has to conquer, that she works hard at, but it makes her misunderstood to those around her. It has something interesting for the reader to take away and think about, maybe not use the phrase so casually in conversation.

The second one I noticed, which is less obvious, is the subject of rape culture. Shelly is a beautiful woman, and because of that, many men think it’s okay for them to hit on her/assume they have the right to do so, and it isn’t. Just because someone is beautiful, doesn’t mean it’s okay to assume you can make advances on them or touch them without permission. Granted, Shelly’s sharp wit and intelligence proved no match for whatever man came her way, but just because she can handle herself still doesn’t mean it’s okay.

I liked Shelly and Beau equally, neither one of them drove me crazy or made stupid decisions. They each had some issues to work on and work through, and they made the decision to include each other in their problems. It doesn’t mean that being together solved everything, but now they had someone to support them throughout what was happening. As a couple, they didn’t seem to have that spark between them. Personally, while I liked them together, I didn’t feel the attraction between the two like I had for other couples in this series. And at times, I felt this book was more about the side characters than them as a couple. Which is fine, I loved the side characters, but to me, something lacked.

If you haven’t read the Winston Brothers series yet you need to. If you haven’t read a Penny Reid book yet, I can’t even with you right now. The series only has two books left, making me just one book closer to my love Billy!!! I need Billy ASAP!

“Don’t let anyone in your life who isn’t the best, and don’t hesitate walking away from a person who can’t give you what they need.” 

ARC provided by the author 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. 

Royally Endowed

Royally Endowed by Emma Chase

4.5 stars! 

“I feel more alive just standing next to him, than I have around anyone else.“ 

Royally Endowed is the story of bodyguard Logan, and the girl he is to protect, Ellie. Ever since Ellie’s sister began dating a prince, a bodyguard was required to keep her and her family safe. Logan is assigned to her by the Prince is Wessco himself.

Spanning over a few years, we see the progression of a friendship based on respect and understanding between Logan and Ellie, and as the two get older, something more begins to form. But Logan’s job means the world to him and he doesn’t want to compromise that. Ellie is the perfect woman for him, but will there ever be a perfect time for the two of them to be together?

“Subtlety, thy name is not Logan St. James.“ 

This book came to me at exactly the right time, I needed something fluffy, funny and sexy in my life. I’ve been having a hard time finding books I loved, and this one broke the pattern! This is the book you turn to when all other books fail to make you smile. I cannot go on enough on how refreshing it was to read this story, how much I loved the characters and the plot. Some things may seem a bit tropey, but it just works.

Bodyguard romances seem to be the new trend in romance and I am totally on board with this. I feel it adds a touch of the forbidden to otherwise safe romances, kind of like the office romance where there’s a chance someone could get fired. The other side of it for me, is that protector role. We get that tiny bit of alpha, wanting to protect someone and keep them safe, but it’s their job which makes it not so creepy to me than some random dude going all Tarzan on a woman.

Full of humor (seriously, I laughed out loud quite a few times reading this), tenderness, and a touch of magic, Royally Endowed is the perfect end of summer book. It’s my favorite in this series and I am honestly excited to see what Emma Chase has in store for us readers in the future.

“Happy endings are for all of us.“ 

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review 

Illegal Contact

Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell

4.5 stars! 

“I’m your boss. You’re my assistant. We’re not anything else.” 

Gavin Brawley is one of the NFL’s biggest players, and after an assault charge he’s been confined to his home for six months, monitored by an ankle bracelet. Being benched means Gavin needs to hire an assistant to manage his entire life, something he’s not exactly happy about.

Noah Monroe is in desperate need of a job, after him and his father lost theirs they need to make ends meet. The last thing Noah wants is to be a PA to a cranky NFL player, but despite his reservations, he takes the job.

Tension is high between the two of them, and things don’t start off smooth. But the more time they spend with each other, the better it gets until a tentative friendship and mutual respect is formed.

“Better to have an insolent nerd with no interest in football than a kiss-ass fan who will tell all to all their friends.” 

Illegal Contact is the sports romance you’ve been waiting for! Football is never my first choice (like ever), so I was surprised when I ended up loving this football romance. Well, I shouldn’t have been because Santino Hassell is everything that’s good in the MM romance genre. The voice he gives to his characters is so strong, Noah and Gavin felt like real people to me, one’s I could turn my head and talk to.

This is an I hate you/I love you kind of romance. The beginning starts out with much badgering and barb trading, but I loved the journey from dislike to mutual admiration. They always say there’s a thin line between love and hate and this book encapsulates that phrase excellently. I loved Noah and Gavin equally, neither one of them got on my nerves at any point and I was rooting for them both to get what they want.

This is the next big series in MM romance, so you’d be an idiot not to pick up this book!

“You are trustworthy. And I’m tired of always hiding.” 

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review 

First and First

First and First by Santino Hassell

5 stars! 

“There’s not one way to to live or to love, and whoever tries to tell you any different will probably be dead in a decade or two anyway, so screw them!” 

Santino Hassell has easily become one of my favorite authors in the last year, and it’s because he delivers amazing books like this one! First and First is everything I never knew I wanted.

First and First is about Caleb, a thirty six year old former CFO having trouble finding himself after losing his ex to another man. Oli is a programer whose sex life is open and adventurous. On New Year’s Eve at a party, the two ending up spending a night of mind blowing sex with each other, spinning Caleb’s world and causing him to rethink who he’d always assumed he was.

It’s clear that Oli is not up for a relationship, but Caleb finds more and more often they are spending time together. Oli encourages Caleb to be more free with how he is, yet Caleb still struggles with anxiety at points. A companionship forms, but Caleb knows not to expect anything from Oli….. but should he?

“I said I wasn’t your Prince Charming. You don’t enjoy being banged like a ragdoll because I pranced into your life. You didn’t discover hot sex just because I happen to exist. I don’t want you thinking of me as your savior. As someone you’re beholden to because now you know what you like. You told me what to do that night. You were just drunk enough to stop caring about what I would think of you.” 

I loved this book, if the 5 star rating isn’t clear enough. I love the way Hassell writes, how his characters are flawed and yet so lovable. Caleb at many points in this book spoke to my heart, his struggles with anxiety, his self doubt. After spending so many years hiding what he was it made him insecure, which affected his relationships and his sex life because he never learned how to be himself until now.

Oli is a bit of a mystery, I really liked him for David, but without dual POV it was difficult to gage what he was feeling and thinking. Our perspective was only what Caleb saw, and at times what Caleb thought about Oli instead of Oli himself.

Lately I tend to not enjoy books with erotic tones because I feel there is more sex than plot: Santino’s books are the exception to this because he gives readers an amazing combo of hot and plot every single damn time. It’s like the perfect recipe for my reading tastes, the best of both worlds.

This book can be read as a standalone, it features characters from the two previous novels. So while you can read it as a standalone, I do recommend that you maybe consider reading book 2, as those characters are in this a bit more and it could help with context.

An amazing read, I stayed up until 2 am to finish it. I cannot wait to devour more of Santino Hassell’s books.

“But regardless of what you think of yourself, when I look at you, I see someone beautiful. Someone who makes me insane, because all I can fucking think about is touching you. Being close to you. Being inside you. And there’s a reason for that, baby.” 

Trust

Trust by Kylie Scott

2 stars 

It really pains me to say this, but I did not enjoy this book. Kylie Scott is a go-to author for me, she’s written some of my favorite romances ever, but this one fell flat for me.

Trust is about Edie, a seventeen year old who finds herself a hostage in a convenience store robbery. Having just popped in for a few things, the entire encounter changes her life and leads to her decision to leave private school and her so called friends behind and attend public school.

At her new public school, Edie begins to cross paths with John, a boy who was stuck during the convenience store robbery himself. Because of their bond from the tragic night, they begin to form a friendship that means a lot to the both of them. Edie begins to make other, more loyal friends at her new school as well, and things seem to be looking up. But as can be expected, feelings for John begin to form, but does John like her back?

This book started out really strong, but then around 30% slowed down a bit for me. The pacing was a bit off throughout most of the book, and with an unclear plot for most of it. That combined with a rushed ending made it difficult for me to truly enjoy this book. I also didn’t care for John, he and Edie seemed to have zero chemistry, on top of his lack of personality. He wasn’t developed well enough.

I loved that we got a plus sized heroine, Kylie Scott has always shown readers that beauty is more than a skinny body. I respect that she challenges traditional standards of beauty. Plus sized women are often seen as undesirable, and that’s just not true. I also liked the friendship between Edie and Hang, I love seeing stories that portray healthy and supportive female friendships.

According to the Goodreads definition “Young-adult fiction (often abbreviated as YA) is fiction written for, published for, or marketed to adolescents and young adults, roughly ages 13 to 18.” Considering this book contained graphic sexual content that I in my job as a public librarian would not feel comfortable handing to someone 13-15 years old (and 16 is stretching it), I do not consider this YA. I’ve seen lots of reviews citing this as “YA I actually like to read, and I don’t like YA”. Well….. that’s because it’s not YA. This was a contemporary romance novel meant for readers 17 and up. That’s my professional opinion, I understand if you disagree with me.

Obviously I am in the minority when it comes to this book, there are a ton of favorable reviews out there and I encourage you to read them. Also, everyone has different reading tastes, mine fall pickier than others, so I think you should pick up this book and decide for yourself.

ARC provided by the author via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review 

After All

After All by Karina Halle

4 stars 

After All is a standalone spin off of the book Before I Ever Met You, with characters featured in that book. Alyssa is a curvy and sassy office assistant, Emmett an actor making his comeback. They are both part of the bridal party for their friends Will and Jackie, and they meet the day of the wedding. Right off the bat Emmett is attracted to Alyssa, he loves her prickly and spitfire personality, and Alyssa is attracted to Emmett against her better judgement. The two end up having a one night stand and expect to never see each other again. But a tabloid gets pictures of the two of them at the wedding, and they look like a couple. So Emmett, needing some good PR, asks Alyssa to be his fake girlfriend. From there, the lines get blurred.

I always enjoy Karina Halle romances, she never fails to deliver a great story. I loved Alyssa as a heroine, she didn’t fit into the typical role being abrasive and outspoken, as well as being a size ten. It goes to show that not every heroine is a simpering girl that plays doormat to the hero. Alyssa held her own, she knew when to push and when to let go, and I admired her. Emmett is a complicated hero with a damaged past, just the kind of guy readers enjoy to watch fall in love. He challenged Alyssa and thought she was beautiful.

I’m glad we got this story from Halle, it was a nice surprise to get a second book in the BIEMY univserse. I know Tiffany has a boyfriend, but I cannot help but want to get a book for her too. Make this book your next summer romance read!

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review 

Until It Fades

Until It Fades by KA Tucker

3 stars 

“Something good will come from the bad. It always does. That’s how life balances itself out. That’s how people keep going.” 

Single mother Catherine is driving home from a disastrous blind date when she comes upon a car crash, and she saves the life of the passenger inside. It turns out the man she saved is a hockey star and a celebrity. Having already been through a scandalous affair with her teacher when she was a teen, she doesn’t want any of the media attention that comes with the accident and tries to remain anonymous. But her identity is blown, and that’s when she meets Brett Madden and the connection between them is immediate.

“I promised myself I’d be smarter.” 

K. A. Tucker is a great writer, she has the ability to suck you into a story effortlessly. I thought this was an interesting story, a girl who made mistakes in her past and does everything she can to overcome them. Catherine was a great, strong female protagonist and she was someone the reader could admire. Brett seemed like a really sweet guy and exactly what she needed.

The pacing of this book was very slow, we didn’t even see that much interaction between the main couple until about 60% in. Cinderella story tropes aren’t my favorite, on top of that this book was very sweet so it just didn’t match with my personal tastes. I think a lot of readers will really love this book and this story, so I encourage you to pick it up and decide for yourself.

“No wonder people want the happily ever after between us. I want the happily ever after.” 

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review