Thursday, October 28, 2021

Mini-Reviews: THE GOOD LIE, THE GUILT TRIP, and THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE

 A collection of mini-reviews, quick thoughts, and books worth mentioning. Check them out!



THE GOOD LIE by A.R. Torre
Publication Date: July 20, 2021
Pages: 254
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Synopsis (link to Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I read THE GOOD LIE through my Kindle Unlimited subscription. 

Fans of murder mysteries, podcasts, and CSI type shows will really enjoy this book. I loved the "who done it" aspect with all of the theories, media responses, and kept/withheld information that kept my guessing. It was fun playing detective and trying to figure out the motives and who the real killer is.

THE GOOD LIE has a high level of creepiness that kept me on edge until the very end. It was so good and now I get to decide which book by A.R. Torre that I get to read next. I'm excited to read more by this author!



THE GUILT TRIP by Sandie Jones
Publication Date: August 3, 2021
Pages: 320
Source: Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Synopsis (link to Goodreads)

My Thoughts

THE GUILT TRIP was another book that I read with my book club. I love the play on the title - the trip of a destination wedding and all of the guilty parties.

THE GUILT TRIP read like a soap opera and the best possible way. It was full of drama, secrets, scandals, and misdirection. It offered a lot to be discussed and considered during our book club and it left us with some questions that we still don't have the answers too. THE GUILT TRIP was a great book club selection.



THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE by Stephanie Perkins
Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Pages: 287
Source: Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Synopsis (link to Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I've been a longtime fan of Stephanie Perkins and her YA contemporary books ever since I read ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, so of course I bought a copy of THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE when she wrote a thriller. I wanted to read her talent in a new genre. However, it took me a while to finally read it. (I've had the book on my shelf since 2017). Once I found out that the Netflix release day of the movie adaptation was coming up, I decided I needed to read it ASAP. And I thought I wanted to be creeped out, so why not? Well, it did creep me out for sure. It's definitely a gory thriller. It was so gory (more than what I've read in a long time) that I was almost hesitant to watch the movie. Almost. Let me just say that I was covering my eyes in just the few minutes and if I'm being honest I did that pretty much throughout. 

If you like horror and being freaked out, then this book is for you. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

New Release: FOURTH DOWN by Heidi McLaughlin

 



Fourth Down

(The Portland Pioneers, #1)

by Heidi McLaughlin 

Genre: Sports Romance/Contemporary Romance

Release Date: August 10, 2021


Synopsis:


From the New York Times bestselling author of Forever My Girl: The Motion Picture, Heidi McLaughlin delivers a contemporary romance that will leave you dancing in the end zone! 

 

Autumn LaRosa has been playing defense since the moment she met Julius Cunningham. After accepting a position as a meteorologist in Portland, she strives to make a good first impression. Then she meets the arrogant wide receiver who belittles her in front of her new friends. She could have walked off the sting of his bitter words, but he keeps showing up in her social circle. 

 

Now, she is determined to meet him at the line of scrimmage and prove she’s not one to back down. 

 

Julius Cunningham is well aware there’s a flag on the play after his harsh words to Autumn. The more he sees of Portland’s new weather girl, the clearer it becomes his judgments of her were unfounded. 

 

But how can he call a timeout on the animosity he created? 

 

When Autumn attends a charity event with the Pioneer players, she sees an opportunity too tempting to resist. Julius looks miserable being a part of the date auction, making it even more fun for Autumn to bid. Will she use the opportunity for some good old-fashioned payback? Or will this be their fresh start at the twenty-yard line? 

 

Get ready for the snap and sprint for the end zone because Autumn and Julius are headed for either a tackle or a touchdown!


Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ydpjU9
Apple: https://apple.co/3i8p9YE
Nook: https://bit.ly/2WvRWOw
Kobo:  https://bit.ly/3zKEKUd



Add to Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58090876-fourth-down



About Heidi:


Heidi McLaughlin is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of The Beaumont Series, The Boys of Summer, and The Archers.


Originally, from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband, two daughters, and their three dogs.


In 2012, Heidi turned her passion for reading into a full-fledged literary career, writing over twenty novels, including the acclaimed Forever My Girl.


Heidi's first novel, Forever My Girl, has been adapted into a motion picture with LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions, starring Alex Roe and Jessica Rothe, and opened in theaters on January 19, 2018, and is now available on DVD & Digital.


To stay connected with Heidi visit www.facebook.com/authorheidimclaughlin or heidimclaughlin.com



Social Media:

Website: http://heidimclaughlin.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHeidiMcLaughlin/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeidiJoVT/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heidimclaughlinauthor/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6568302.Heidi_McLaughlin 

Goodreads Group: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/184432-heidi-s-hangout
Text GETHEIDISBOOKS to (833) 926-1009
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/HeidisNewsletter 

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/heidi-mclaughlin


Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Review: HOW SWEET IT IS by Dylan Newton

 


HOW SWEET IT IS
by Dylan Newton
Publication Date: July 13, 2021
Publisher: Forever
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher

Synopsis
 
What happens when the queen of romance falls for the king of horror--you get "a hilarious rom-com comp," perfect for fans of Beach Read. (Kirkus, starred review)

Event planner Kate Sweet is famous for creating the perfect happily-ever-after moment for her clients’ dream weddings. So how is it that her best friend has roped her into planning a bestselling horror writer’s book launch extravaganza? But the second Kate meets—or rather, accidentally maims—the drop-dead-hot Drake Matthews, her well-ordered life quickly transforms into an absolute nightmare.

Drake Matthews is tired of the spotlight and tired of his reputation as the Knight of Nightmares. He's really a nice guy! But he’s not prepared for Kate, a fearless agent of chaos in steel-tipped stilettos, or for that sweet sting of attraction he feels for her. She’s inspiring him to take his writing in a whole new direction—one that no one expects. Because now Kate and Drake are changing up the rules, and this plot twist might just surprise everyone . . . including themselves.

MY THOUGHTS

HOW SWEET IT IS is a perfect title for this hilarious, charming, and oh so sweet romantic comedy. I wanted to read this book as soon as I learned that the main characters were a writer and an event planner - both who undoubtedly have many stories to tell. And, I mean, how can you not want to read a story about the Queen of Happily Ever Afters and the Knight of Nightmares? 


What I Loved:
Kate and Drake's unforgettable, awkward, but also sexy first meeting 
Kate and Drakes tale from the crypt
Kate and her spreadsheets and specialty "Aww" moments
Drake's real life moments of inspiration

The thing I love most about this book is how happy I felt while reading it. And it's weird that I was actively aware of this happiness. I smiled constantly and laughed out loud as Drake and Kate stumbled their way through their working relationship and fell for each other. 

Memorable Quote:

"Real women were so much harder to read than heroines in novels, and trying to act like a book hero, with all the right words spoken at just the right time, was impossible."

If you ask me, Drake did just fine figuring out how to be a book hero.

HOW SWEET IT IS is absolutely adorable and a must-read romantic comedy. I loved it!!


Disclaimer: I received this ARC from the publisher for review consideration. I was not compensated in any way other than the ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.


Friday, July 23, 2021

Mini-Reviews: CRAZY STUPID BROMANCE, LOVE HER OR LOSE HER, and MY EVERYTHING

 A collection of mini-reviews, quick thoughts, and books worth mentioning. Check them out!


CRAZY STUPID BROMANCE by Lyssa Kay Adams
Publication Date: October 27, 2020
Pages: 342
Source: Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5
Synopsis (link to Goodreads)

My Thoughts

Could this one be my new favorite of the series? Yes is could!

Friends to more is a favorite trope - Alexis and Noah figuring out their friendship and admitting that there was more to it made me so happy. And getting to more of the personalities of the Bromance Book Club members was a wonderful bonus.

What I loved:
1. Mack and his friends planning his wedding to Liv. It's all about the details.
2. Alexis cat, Beefcake: "He had an unkempt, murderous look about him, as if he'd just gone a few rounds inside a clothes dryer and liked it" (pg 23). And he brought his own level of drama. 
3. Alexis's cafe as a safe communal space for women to support each other.

I love this series for all of the laughs that it has given me. Can't wait for book #4!



LOVE HER OR LOSE HER by Tessa Bailey
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
Pages: 336
Source: Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Synopsis (link to Goodreads)

My Thoughts

Tessa Bailey's LOVE HER OR LOSE HER had a much different feel from FIX HER UP - the first book of the Hot and Hammered collection. The heat level is just as high and the heart is definitely there, but the story of a troubled marriage stirs up a wide range of emotions. LOVE HER OR LOSE HER pulls on all of the heart strings and leaves readers wanting only the best for Dominic and Rosie as they experience their second chance at a lasting love.

Memorable Quote:
"Lately I’ve learned that letting something feel crazy, not rejecting the unfamiliarity of a situation . . . can lead to something amazing.”

This book made me laugh many times over and there were moments it touched my heart and made me cry. LOVE HER AND LOSE HER explores the different languages of love. Dominic's love for Rosie was deep and true and he would do anything for her. It was beautiful. He began to understand her and the ways she needed him to love her - not just as a provider. She needed actions of love, she needed his words of love. Experiencing them falling in love with each other again was magical. I loved it!!



MY EVERYTHING by Heidi McLaughlin
Beaumont Series 1.5
Publication Date: July 1, 2013
Pages: 88
Source: Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5
Synopsis (link to Goodreads)

My Thoughts
(originally posted 10/11/2016)

When I read FOREVER MY GIRL, Nick Ashford wasn't a character who I could like. From the get-go, I wanted Josie and Liam to find their way back to each other and Nick was one of the obstacles keeping them from rediscovering their love. It was easy to see him as the "villian" of the story. But he wasn't. Not really. His actions were out of desperation of losing Josie's love and Noah.  I didn't truly understand that until I read MY EVERYTHING.  

I loved that the story mainly takes place outside of Beaumont and focuses on Nick rebuilding his life and finding love after he meets Aubrey. I LOVED her character immediately. Her youthfulness was invigorating and she came into Nick's life at just the right time. While this novella is pretty short, just 88 pages, their love story is captivating. 

I'm glad that we get a chance to see a different side of Nick in MY EVERYTHING. This novella is a great addition to the Beaumont Series.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

New Release: UP ALL NIGHT: 13 Stories between Sunset and Sunrise

 

UP ALL NIGHT: 13 Stories between Sunset and Sunrise
edited by Laura Silverman
Publication Date: July 13, 2021
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher

Synopsis
 
When everyone else goes to bed, the ones who stay up feel like they’re the only people in the world. As the hours tick by deeper into the night, the familiar drops away and the unfamiliar beckons. Adults are asleep, and a hush falls over the hum of daily life. Anything is possible.

It’s a time for romance and adventure. For prom night and ghost hunts. It’s a time for breaking up, for falling in love—for finding yourself.

Stay up all night with these thirteen short stories from bestselling and award-winning YA authors like Karen McManus, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nina LaCour, and Brandy Colbert, as they take readers deep into these rarely seen, magical hours.

Full contributor list: Brandy Colbert, Kathleen Glasgow, Maurene Goo, Tiffany D. Jackson, Amanda Joy, Nina LaCour, Karen M. McManus, Anna Meriano, Marieke Nijkamp, Laura Silverman, Kayla Whaley, Julian Winters, Francesca Zappia

MY THOUGHTS

My sleep schedule is completely off, so it’s very fitting UP ALL NIGHT is my current late night read. This part of the description:  “It’s a time for romance and adventure. For prom night and ghost hunts. It’s a time for breaking up, for falling in love, for finding yourself” is what ultimately persuaded me that I needed to read this short story collection.  Plus I was reading contributing author Karen McManus’s latest book, THE COUSINS, when I learned of UP ALL NIGHT, and I was enjoying her book so much, I was convinced.


One thing that excites me about UP ALL NIGHT is that most of the authors are new-to-me. With the exception of Nina LaCour (LOVE HER BOOKS) and Karen McManus, I have the opportunity to find new authors to read. That’s one of my favorite things about short story collections is discovering new-to-me authors and getting the chance to read the words on some favorites too. 


As an adult reading UP ALL NIGHT, there is a sense of nostalgia for my high school years. I have fond (and not-so-fond) memories of late night adventures with my friends and these stories take me back to those moments when everything felt significant and you were living in the moment. 


And that’s another thing that I love about reading, and reading these stories specifically, is that it can ignite a spark of creativity. This UP ALL NIGHT collection gives me the urge (and maybe some courage) to pick up a pen and write some of my own stories. 


I’ve read a handful of these stories and am sure that I’ll read the rest soon enough. These sleepless nights are becoming all too common. Thank goodness for books.


Disclaimer: I received this ARC from the publisher for review consideration. I was not compensated in any way other than the ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Mini-Reviews: COWBOY COME HOME, HOW TO FAIL AT FLIRTING, and ENJOY THE VIEW

 A collection of mini-reviews, quick thoughts, and books worth mentioning. Check them out!


COWBOY COME HOME by Carly Bloom
Publication Date: March 31, 2020
Pages: 512
Source: Netgalley | Giveaway
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Synopsis (link to Goodreads)

My Thoughts

Carly Bloom delivers just the right amount of humor in this cowboy romance. Claire and Ford are so stubbornly adorable that you want all of the banter and bickering, but you desperately want all of their heated kisses more.

I especially enjoyed experiencing the friendships between men - all of the teasing and friendly taunting to get a rise out of each other. I couldn't help but laugh out loud at their antics. 

A Favorite Quote:
"Hey, I'm sorry if I'm flip and irreverent. It's what I do when I get nervous. Which is very unfortunate. You deserve a friend who can provide real comfort instead of just farting out of her mouth."
We all have this one friend and we love them for it.

Things that made me laugh:
The backstory of Ford's name
The "Sunday safety pin"
Claire's sparkly show chaps 
The characters have a book club and there's one reader who didn't finish the book (that's real life y'all)

What I loved most about COWBOY COME HOME is that it's not just a second chance romance. It's about family and finding a place to belong. And it's about community and taking care of each other, and you can't help but feel like you're a part of it all.

I loved it!!!


HOW TO FAIL AT FLIRTING by Denise Williams
Publication Date: December 1, 2020
Pages: 343
Source: Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Synopsis (link to Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I purchased HOW TO FAIL AT FLIRTING to read along with an online book club. I missed the book club, but I'm so glad that I bought the book anyway.

What I loved:
1. Naya is a lover of lists: ways to flirt, but also ways to get what she wants and ways to put herself out there
2. The Super-steamy love scenes, and there were plenty of them. They were so good that you can't help but want even more.
3. Naya has some wonderful friends who she could count on. They're honest with her and they keep her honest too.

Uh-oh, someone's falling:
"A few days, a few days, a few days. Enveloped in his warmth, I had to remind myself what this was, because he felt like safety, like home, like more."

I fell hard for this book and am already looking forward to the author's next book.




ENJOY THE VIEW by Sarah Morgenthaler
Publication Date: Januray 19, 2021
Pages: 352
Source: Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Synopsis (link to Goodreads)

My Thoughts

It was so much fun to return to Moose Springs and finally get to know about the mysterious Easton and what was the best part is that Easton isn't so mysterious after all. He's charming, funny, and definitely the kind of guy you want to know.

ENJOY THE VIEW is full of danger and risks and scenerios that really gave me an adrenaline rush. I could feel my own anxiousness at the possible danger at any moment.

Favorite Quote:
"You're my kind of confusing."

There were many almost first kisses between River and Easton, and then finally, finally the first kiss and it was incredible.

I've enjoyed every book of this series and truly hope that I get the chance to visit Moose Springs again. It's just so fun there!

Friday, May 21, 2021

Mini-Reviews: ECHOES BETWEEN US, MISTLETOE AND MR. RIGHT, BE STAIGHT WITH ME

 A collection of mini-reviews, quick thoughts, and books worth mentioning. Check them out!


ECHOES BETWEEN US by Katie McGarry
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
Pages: 384
Source: Netgalley| Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Synopsis (link to Goodreads)

My Thoughts

One of my favorite things about Katie McGarry’s books is how she makes readers care about the characters whole-heartedly. It’s easy to get caught up in their lives, care about their struggles, and what happens to them. And this is what happened with Veronica and Sawyer in ECHOES BETWEEN US. They both are dealing with serious, heartbreaking things.


The ghost hunting, hauntings, and the urban legends made it eerie and thrilling. There is this one scene in a graveyard and the moments leading up to it that gave me some awesomely creepy chills.  


I want to know more about Glory. She definitely needs her story told. Fingers crossed, some day.


ECHOES BETWEEN US brought out all the emotions as the characters dealt with love and death, fear and grief. It is a love story and a story about friendship, family, and letting people be there for you when you need them the most. 


I loved it. Just like I knew I would.






MISTLETOE AND MR. RIGHT by Sarah Morganthaler
Publication Date: October 6, 2020
Pages: 400
Source: Netgalley | Purchased Copy
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Synopsis (link to Goodreads)

My Thoughts

Traveling to Moose Springs in THE TOURIST ATTRACTION was a lot fun, so I was more than happy to revisit the town and everyone who lives there in MISTLETOE AND MR. RIGHT. 


I loved catching up with the townspeople of Moose Springs as they prepare for the holiday season and try to figure out how to protect their community from the influx of tourists and a mystery moose set on destruction.


I loved reading MISTLETOE AND MR. RIGHT for the laughs and for the romance and all of the unexpected moments of ridiculousness. While this book is set during Christmas, I don't consider it only a Christmas-time read and it can be read and enjoyed any time of the year. 


It was fun to visit Moose Springs and I can’t wait to go back.






BE STAIGHT WITH ME by Emily Dalton
Publication Date: May 19, 2020
Pages: 240
Source: Netgalley | Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Synopsis (link to Goodreads)

My Thoughts

This memoir-in-verse shares the story of college life and all of the experiences of becoming who you are and who you're going to be. It's a story of love and of friendship and living those moments that seem ordinary, but really mean everything.

One thing that is striking about this book that comes across beautifully is the realization that sometimes you are in the midst of a love story that you didn't expect, but it's still real. It's love. And it matters.

BE STRAIGHT WITH ME had me all up in my feelings because it also tells the story of a friendship that's lost when the love is no longer shared.

Before I even finished reading the review copy of BE STRAIGHT WITH ME, I knew this was a book that I had to add to my personal library. It really touched my heart.

*******************************************************
Disclaimer: I requested e-ARCs of these titles from the publisher for review consideration. I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. I've purchased finished copies of these three books for my personal library. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

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