Friday, April 29, 2016

Review: UNDO ME by M. Robinson

The Good Ol' Boys #3
by M. Robinson
Publication Date: February 16, 2016
Pages: 294
Source: Purchased
Purchase Amazon | B&N

from Goodreads

I fell in love with her when I was seventeen.
She brought me to my knees when I was twenty.
I loved her against reason.
I loved her against hope.
I loved her against all odds.
Now she's back, a constant reminder of what I lost, what could have been.
I hate her. 
I resent her.
I still love her. 
Can I forgive her...
Will she be my end once again or my beginning?

STANDALONE within a series. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Strong language and sexual content, not intended for readers under 18.

My Thoughts

COMPLICATE ME was filled with heartache and angst. UNDO ME is in a completely different realm - complete and total devastation.

Aubrey was one of my favorite characters in COMPLICATE ME and I was really looking forward to knowing her story. She didn't have a major role in the second book of the Good Ol' Boys series, FORBID ME, but the glimpse that I did get to see, I knew her story was going to be rough. And oh man was it. 

I loved finding out how Aubrey and Dylan met - she was fiesty and defending her friend, and then learning how they eventually got together. The tender moments between them were my favorites like when Dylan would make Aubrey place her hand over his heart so that she could feel his heartbeat for her. To calm her. To reassure her. His love for her exuded from him.

But when things fell apart (can't really say why because SPOILERS), Dylan was the womanizer, the jerk, and sometimes unforgivable. And Aubrey had her own role in their demise and secrets that she kept for far too long. I wondered how would their love be redeemed? How could their love survive?

I'm not always the fan of the Alpha Male - yes they love their women hard, but the women they don't love are just casualties left in their wake. Sometimes that is difficult for me to read. I would be like how Aubrey is at the beginning of UNDO ME - telling Dylan off - in fact, I was that girl. For now, I'll just take these boys (men) in books, thank you very much.

I read the first books in the series one right after the other and I am thankful that book four, CRAVE ME, isn't out yet. I needed this time to breathe. I need the time for my emotions to regulate, for my heart to heal. Time to recover. Because there is a lot of sorrow in UNDO ME for sure. 

I joke and say that I curse my friend for recommending these books to me because I am destroyed. And yet, I give her much love because she's introduced me to books that I couldn't put down. She knew that I would like them and she was right.  

Disclaimer:  I purchased a copy of this title for my personal library and am providing my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way for providing this review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Review: COMPLICATE ME by M. Robinson

The Good 'Ol Boys #1
by M. Robinson
Publication Date: September 12, 2015
Pages: 362
Source: Purchased
Purchase Amazon | B&N

from Goodreads

It was complicated, it was also just the beginning.
A decision.
A simple choice.
There is always that one moment in life where things could have been different. That one moment where you could have chosen a path that would lead you down a certain road. 
A different life. 
It was easier to pretend that we were still best friends, and that she was my girl and I was her boy. 
Pretending was better than knowing the truth...
I. Ruined. Us.
I had her. 
I lost her. 
I love her.
All I did was complicate us.

STANDALONE series. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Strong language and sexual content, not intended for readers under 18.

My Thoughts

I don't think it's possible for two people to break each other's hearts more than Lucas and Alex did in Complicate Me. Lucas (Bo) and Alex (Half-Pint) had a tumultous relationship that spanned their childhood and early adulthood. The book had my heart permanently lodged in my throat while I read it. OK, not literally, but it definitely felt that way.  

Once I started reading Complicate Me, I honestly couldn't stop. I read through most of the night and only put the book down when I couldn't physically keep my eyes open. 

I loved that it was set in a small beach town in North Carolina - I spent some time there in my late teens (and still visit there every few years). I loved the dynamics of the friendships between Alex and the boys she grew up with. Aubrey was a favorite character from this book and I can't wait to read her story in a future book of this series. 

I read Complicate Me on the recommendation from a friend who knows I love young adult characters, romance books, and books that make me cry. She loved Complicate Me and wanted to make sure that I had the chance to experience Alex and Lucas's story. Oh, I did. I'm so glad that I listened to her. Even though this book hurt my heart and I was on the verge of tears for a majority of the time I read it, I still loved it. 

Disclaimer:  I purchased a copy of this title for my personal library and am providing my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way for providing this review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Review: ROMANCING THE NERD by Leah Rae Miller

by Leah Rae Miller
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Published by Entangled Teen
Pages: 352
Genre: YA Romantic Comedy
Source: YA Reads Blog Tours, Publisher via Netgalley
Purchase Amazon | B&N | i-Books | Kobo


Dan Garrett has become exactly what he hates—popular. Until recently, he was just another live-action role-playing nerd on the lowest rung of the social ladder. Cue a massive growth spurt and an uncanny skill at taking three-point shots in basketball and voilĂ ...Mr. Popular. It's definitely weird.

And the biggest drawback? Going from high school zero to basketball hero cost Dan the secret girl of his dorky dreams.

A band geek with an eclectic fashion sense, Zelda Potts's “coolness” stat is about minus forty-two. Dan turning his back on her and the rest of nerd-dom was brutal enough, but when he humiliates her at school, Zelda decides it's time for a little revenge—dork style. Never mind that she used to have a crush on him. Never mind that her plan could backfire big time.

It's time to roll the dice...and hope like freakin' hell she doesn't lose her heart in the process.

My Thoughts

As a fan of Leah Rae Miller's THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD, I just knew that I would have to read ROMANCING THE NERD. Dan and Zelda's story is sweet and hilarious. It was fun to experience their comical disaster of a courtship filled with misunderstandings, catfishing, and even some kissing.

What I liked:
  • How, as the reader, I was in on the secrets and secret crushes  
  • How much this book made me laugh out loud
  • More LARPing!
  • How Dan and Zelda embrace the things they love and how their hobbies reflect so much of their personalities
  • The sweet laundry room incident
  • Dan asserting himself to his dad - what do you mean he can't eat any pizza?
  • Maddie and Logan of THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD are in it!

Favorite Quotes:

"Anyway, what specifically don't you like about having people like you?"
I shrug, "It's such a hassle. I have to be, like, nice to them. It makes me uncomfortable, as you can imagine." - Dan (in a nutshell)

"Does OF Mice and Men really teach us something that we can't learn by reading something more contemporary and relatable? In fact, I'm almost positive I read a Star Trek novel that tackled some of the same ideas as OMaM." - Dan 

"Nowhere. I definitely wasn't going to make popcorn. Definitely not doing that." - Maddie, as she witnessed a run-in between Dan and Zelda

ROMANCING THE NERD is a cute book and it made me smile a lot. It reminded me of how much a loved the humor in the first book of the series and it is written just as well in ROMANCING THE NERD. I'll be sure to read both of the books again  . . . and eat a big bowl of popcorn while I do.

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

LEAH RAE MILLER, Mother, wife, and YA author living on a windy hill in Louisiana. I love fuzzy socks, comic books, cherry coke, and brand new office supplies. THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD released Summer 2013 and ROMANCING THE NERD released in Spring 2016 from Entangled Teen.

Author Website:
Author Twitter: @LeahR_Miller


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: PAPER PLANES and Other Things We Lost by Mindy Hayes & Michele G. Miller

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

PAPER PLANES and Other Things We Lost
by Mindy Hayes and Michele G. Miller
Expected Publication Date June 2016

On June 18, 1993, Flight 397 crashed off the coast of Long Island. But this story isn’t about the crash. Not completely.

This is a story about two high school seniors living very different lives, who share one connection: they both lost parents on that fateful flight.

Slowly, letters bridge the gap between California and Pennsylvania as Ruby Kaminski and Brett Pratt find a way to remember the past while looking toward the future.

This is a story about hope, paper planes, and the other things they lost.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Review: DIRTY by Kylie Scott

Dive Bar #1
by Kylie Scott
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Format: Audiobook
Produced by Macmillan Audio | Narrated by Andi Arndt
Source: Publisher
Purchase Amazon | B&N | i-Books

from Goodreads

The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a broken hearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that comes with her.

Lydia Green doesn't know whether to burn down the church or sit and cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it's with his best man is another thing all together. She narrowly escapes tying the knot and meets Vaughan only hours later.

Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessman she thought she'd marry. This former musician-turned-bartender is rough around the edges and unsettled. But she already tried Mr. Right and discovered he's all wrong-maybe it's time to give Mr. Right Now a chance.

After all, what's wrong with getting dirty?

My Thoughts

When DIRTY on audiobook was presented to me for review, I was more that happy to give it a shot because Kylie Scott is a new-to-me author. DIRTY is the first in a new series, and I've been on an audiobook kick lately, so I thought, why the heck not? I freaking loved this book! Andi Arndt did a fantastic job portraying Lydia with just the right amount sass and humor.

The shocking opening scene immediately caught my attention - how could it not? Then Vaughan discovers Lydia in his shower, fully dressed - wedding gown and all, and Lydia sees all of Vaughan - that's an image burned in my brain that I will likely never forget. I knew that if the beginning of the book was this attention grabbing and hilarious, then the rest of the book would be just as entertaining. And I was right! As soon as I finished listening to it, I started listening to it again. Yes, sometimes I skipped to my favorite sexy parts. (Don't judge)

I loved Lydia. She's smart and sassy and, in light of recent events, she is a bit uncertain about herself and choices. But ultimately she knows what wants and who she wants and has no problem going after him. 

And Vaughan - the former musician-turned-bartender - is tough and sexy and not a jerk! His appreciation for the fuller figured female form is adds another check in the plus column for him. He has some of his own stuff to work through and Lydia fell right into his life at just the right time to make it the right amount of complicated.

My Favorite Quote: "You're my favorite person on the planet," I told him honestly. - Lydia

Listening to DIRTY now has me seeking out more books by Kylie Scott and more books narrated by Andi Arndt. My TBR list is about to get a lot longer. AND, to add to the fun, the author has created a DIVE BAR board on Pinterest that enhances the visual experience of DIRTY with some rough and tumble men, gorgeous women, and there are some great beverage recipes for the 21 and older crowd.

DIRTY is a funny and sexy and entertaining start to a new series. It makes me want to pull up a stool at the Dive Bar and have a drink. I loved it!!!

Disclaimer:  I received this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I've purchased a finished copy of the e-book and the audiobook for my personal library. I was not compensated in any way other than the audiobook provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, April 18, 2016

PIECES OF YOU AND ME by Erin Fletcher - Review and Giveaway

by Erin Fletcher
Publication Date: April 18, 2016
Published by Entangled Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, contemporary romance
Source: GoodnChoice Reading Promotions; Publisher via Netgalley

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains references to drinking, addiction, and just the right amount of angst. You’ll want to save this tortured hero, while at the same time, not want to change a single thing about him!

Five years.

That’s how long I’ve been gone. Since I left my best friend—the girl I loved—behind.

Five seconds.

That's how long it takes to realize I am completely, utterly, screwed. Because now that I’m back, my childhood crush has turned into so much more.

Rylee has changed. We both have. And now I’m drawn to her in a completely different way. To her smile. Her touch. To reliving old memories and making new ones. To the happiness she’s always given me that I haven’t felt since I left.

But her friends are hell-bent on keeping us apart. My dad is one drink away from destroying both of our lives, and maybe I am, too. It’s only a matter of time before I have to leave again, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. I never get a choice.
The one choice I can make? Stay away from Rylee. Because if I don’t, I’ll break her heart—and mine—all over again.

My Thoughts

Stories about first love are some of my favorites to read. That is what drew me to read PIECES OF YOU AND ME (and I love the title). It's about friendship and young, tortured, and inevitable love. It was a fun read with some really special sweet moments between former best friends who become more.

What I Liked:

  • The fierce loyalty of friendship - especially Mya's relationship with Rylee - Mya may have stepped out of line when protecting Rylee, but it always came from a good place
  • The parents giving "the talk" - Rylee and Chase aren't kids anymore
  • Teachers who care
  • The history of the composition books and how Chase and Rylee opened up to each other through the books
  • All of the moments when Rylee wouldn't give Chase an inch. She believed in him and in them 
Favorite Quotes/Moments:

Rylee misinterpreting the signs:
"Chase ..."
"I want you . . ."
I closed my eyes. "Okay." 
But after a moment, I didn't feel his mouth on mine, so I opened my eyes. He was grinning down at me, almost like he was struggling to hold in a laugh. "I want you to come with me."

The inevitable:
"God I missed you," he said.
"It wasn't that long."
"It was too long."

So sweet!

I would have liked to know more about what happened with Chase during the five years he was out of Rylee's life - especially his relationship with his stepdad Mark. There is more to that story that needs to be told. Chase had a lot of pain that he wasn't dealing and knowing his past would have helped me know him a little bit better.

PIECES OF YOU AND ME is another book from the Entangled Crush imprint that I have come to enjoy. It is the first book by Erin Fletcher that I've read and am looking forward to reading more of her books (I already have her first book on my e-reader, so I'll get to it soon!) Rylee and Chase's story was a pleasure to read and I would love to see them in future books! 

Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC from PUBLISHER in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Quotes are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may differ from the final published version. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Erin is a young adult author from North Carolina. She is a morning person who does most of her writing before sunrise, while drinking excessive quantities of coffee. She believes flip-flops qualify as year-round footwear, and would spend every day at the beach if she could. She has a bachelor's degree in mathematics, which is almost never useful when writing books.



Friday, April 15, 2016

SIGNS OF LIFE by Selene Castrovilla - Review and Giveaway

Rough Romance #2
by Selene Castrovilla
Expected Publication Date: June 21, 2016
Published by Last Syllable Books
Pages: 406
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Add to Goodreads
Purchase Amazon | Barnes & Noble


The tables are turned with a vengeance in this tour de force love story. Nearly a year has gone by and now it’s Dorothy who is fragmented and lost, while Joey keeps the promise he had made her to better himself—even though she’s gone. Joey talks about what is happening in the present while Dorothy describes what happened before— in the moments and hours after the Glock dropped. This time the stakes are even higher, as Joey forces himself to move forward while Dorothy is frozen in place. But when he learns of a devastating decision, Joey races to find her before it is too late. Truth, consequence, repercussion and modern medicine collide as pieces converge in this psychological, thrilling story, which begs the question: Can love really conquer all?

My Thoughts

MELT, the powerful first novel in the Rough Romance series, is "gripping and moving and so satisfying". It wasn't until Selene Castrovilla announced a follow-up novel that I realized that I wanted more of the Joey and Dorothy's story. I began to wonder where she would take the story and I admit that it is a place that I never imagined. SIGNS OF LIFE is thought-provoking and emotionally charged and will have readers on edge until the very last sentence.

Like my experience after reading MELT, I was left in a daze after finishing SIGNS OF LIFE. My heart was broken and I experienced all the feelings. Some parts I had to fly through to discover what would happen - I couldn't read it fast enough. I definitely had to read it again and I'm positive I will continue to reread it. SIGNS OF LIFE is a book that has to be absorbed.

Memorable quotes: (I had to pick just a few because so much of the book is highlighted, seriously)

"Everything we say to people we love should make them feel good. Because it might be the last thing we get to say to them." - Joey

"But when you're raised in a situation, you see it differently. It's the way things are. It's your world." - Dorothy

"Too bad Faulkner's dead. He' be totally inspired by my story."  - Joey

"The way the world is, I'm surprised there's not more people out there like us. Maybe they just hide it better." - Joey

MELT was one of my top recommended books when it was published in 2014. I couldn't stop talking about it and pushed it on all my friends and readers. A lot of them did read it, and like me, they were moved by Joey and Dorothy's story. I know that I will recommend SIGNS OF LIFE just as much, and I hope they continue to read about Joey and Dorothy. It is so worth the journey.

Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Quotes are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may differ from the final published version. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

About Selene Castrovilla
Selene Castrovilla is the award-winning author of multiple narrative nonfiction picture books and young adult novels. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and a BA in English from New York University. She lives on Long Island with her two sons and too many cats. Visit her website:

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest

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