Tuesday, March 15, 2022

It's Release Day: LOVE ON THE LAKE by Helena Hunting


by Helena Hunting
Publication Date: March 15, 2022

Can Aaron love her, even when she can’t love herself? 

Love on the Lake, an emotional small town, standalone romance from New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting is live now!

Teagan Firestone has always been the dutiful daughter, especially since her mom died. But as her father finally begins to move on, it’s her turn to do the same. Her destination: Pearl Lake, a close-knit community with an entrepreneurial spirit and secrets of its own.

One of them is Aaron Saunders, who dropped out of college to work construction for Pearl Lake’s upper class. He’s a mystery and has a playboy reputation—that is, until he meets Teagan. Neither of them is looking for love, but in a town this small, it’s hard not to let your heart get involved.  

As their romance heats up, Aaron’s elusive past comes to light and Teagan is there for him, bringing them even closer together. But when Teagan is forced to face her own demons, her inability to accept the support of friends and family threatens the life she’s worked so hard to build. 

Can Aaron love her, even when she can’t love herself? 

Fall in love today exclusively on Amazon or read FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3sv3Rbd

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/LoveonLake

Audio CD: https://amzn.to/3g870sK

Paperback: https://amzn.to/3sn7Lmo

Add Love on the Lake to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3iU4rfi

About Helena Hunting 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy. 

Connect with Helena

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Website: http://www.helenahunting.com/

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Review: IN A NEW YORK MINUTE by Kate Spencer


by Kate Spencer
Publication Date: March 15, 2022
Publisher: Forever
Pages: 304
Source: Publisher

A clever, tender, and romantic novel for readers of Christina Lauren, Jasmine Guillory, and Sophie Cousens, this laugh-out-loud debut is a perceptive reminder that fate can have a sense of humor, and that love can happen…In a New York Minute.

Franny Doyle is having the worst day. She’s been laid off from her (admittedly mediocre) job, the subway doors ripped her favorite silk dress to ruins, and now she’s flashed her unmentionables to half of lower Manhattan. On the plus side, a dashing stranger came to her rescue with his (Gucci!) suit jacket. On the not-so-plus side, he can’t get away from her fast enough.

Worse yet? Someone posted their (entirely not) meet-cute online. Suddenly Franny and her knight-in-couture, Hayes Montgomery III, are the newest social media sensation, and all of New York is shipping #SubwayQTs.

Only Franny and Hayes couldn’t be a more disastrous match. She’s fanciful, talkative, and creative. He’s serious, shy, and all about numbers. Luckily, in a city of eight million people, they never have to meet again. Yet somehow, Hayes and Franny keep running into each other—and much to their surprise, they enjoy each other’s company. A lot. But when Franny’s whole world is turned upside down (again!), can she find the courage to trust in herself and finally have the life—and love—she’s always wanted?


I wanted a fun book to start off my 2022 and that's why I picked IN A NEW YORK MINUTE as the first book to read this year. There was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm surrounding it, that as soon as it was available to request for review, I clicked that request button. IN A NEW YORK MINUTE gave me all of the laughs that I needed, and this story is exactly what I wanted.

What I Loved:
  • So much, where do I even begin? Getting to spend some days in New York with people who love their city
  • Franny drips Italian ice on herself and just rubs it into her shirt without a thought. This was relatable and Franny joined the ranks of one of my favorite characters. 
  • idea of #subwayQTs and everyone's imagined stories
  • Franny's friendships with Cleo and Lola and how they show up for each other literally and figuratively
  • The moments when Franny and Hayes began falling for each other - especially the moment when Franny recognizes Hayes's awkwardness as just part of who he is and she finds it endearing

Memorable Quote:

"This is your journey."

"Please do not use that word around me ever again," I said with a laugh . . . 

I really felt this. I'm so over the use of the word "journey" that it's starting to become comical and trite. 

IN A NEW YORK MINUTE was the best book I could have selected to start off my year. I've already recommended it to so many friends and I'm excited that it's finally published and now they have the chance to read it and we can chat about it. IN A NEW YORK MINUTE is a favorite book of 2022. I just love it!!! 

Disclaimer: I requested 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.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Review: FURIA by Yamile Saied Mendez


by Yamile Saied Mendez
Paperback Publication Date: February 15, 2022
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher

An #ownvoices contemporary YA set in Argentina, about a rising soccer star who must put everything on the line—even her blooming love story—to follow her dreams.

In Rosario, Argentina, Camila Hassan lives a double life.

At home, she is a careful daughter, living within her mother’s narrow expectations, in her rising-soccer-star brother’s shadow, and under the abusive rule of her short-tempered father.

On the field, she is La Furia, a powerhouse of skill and talent. When her team qualifies for the South American tournament, Camila gets the chance to see just how far those talents can take her. In her wildest dreams, she’d get an athletic scholarship to a North American university.

But the path ahead isn’t easy. Her parents don’t know about her passion. They wouldn’t allow a girl to play fútbol—and she needs their permission to go any farther. And the boy she once loved is back in town. Since he left, Diego has become an international star, playing in Italy for the renowned team Juventus. Camila doesn’t have time to be distracted by her feelings for him. Things aren’t the same as when he left: she has her own passions and ambitions now, and La Furia cannot be denied. As her life becomes more complicated, Camila is forced to face her secrets and make her way in a world with no place for the dreams and ambition of a girl like her.


FURIA is a book that I would have read time and time again as a teen. Camila Hassan is fierce. She is confident. She's a dreamer. And she goes after what she wants. 

After my second reading of FURIA, I shared Camila's story with a reader friend, and I couldn't contain my enthusiasm for how good this book is. It has it all. It's about friendships and family, competition and ambition, and love and respect. I loved reading about Camila playing fútbol and all that she did to make that a possibility for herself when her family's focus was on her brother or on themselves.

I love the romantic elements between Camila and Diego and the moments that they share together. And I like that this isn't the driving plot of the story. It was wonderful to go along with them on their dates and be with them as they spent time together and explore their friendship and the opportunities presented to them.

But FURIA isn't just about fútbol and fun. It shows the realities of the real world where women aren't safe and their guard is always up. For Camila, this is even a reality in her own home. 

The reader will always be aware that Camila doesn't need to be saved. She's going to save herself. And once her secret of being a fútbol player is revealed to her mother, she is unstoppable. Camila knows who she is and is ready to let everyone else know it too. 

Camila Hassan is an unforgettable character and I loved getting to know her in FURIA. I may not always remember the details of her story, but I know I will remember her.

Disclaimer: I requested a promotional copy from the publisher for review consideration. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Select Praise for Furia



One of BuzzFeed’s Must-Read Books of 2020

A Cosmopolitan Best Book of 2020

Named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2020

A SheReads Best Book of 2020

A New York Public Library Best Book of 2020

“This book will set your dreams on fire . . . It’s fabulous.” 
Reese Witherspoon

“An engrossing #OwnVoices novel.”


Furia will resonate with anyone who has ever struggled to follow their own dreams amid parental expectations and societal pressures.”


“Saied Méndez captures both the breathless beauty of fútbol and the depth of its political power… A thoughtful, vibrant addition… [with] incorrigible passion.”

Chicago Review of Books

“A powerful, contemporary YA novel about a rising soccer star who must put everything on the line to make her life her own. Perfect for fans of The Poet X and

 I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter.”

—Barnes & Noble, B&N Reads

“In Yamile Saied Méndez’s YA debut, the Argentinian-American writer tackles tough issues like feminism, personal growth, abuse, and more.”


“A vivid Argentinian setting provides the backdrop for romance, sports heroism, and a powerful story of a girl trying to create her own identity in the world.”

A Mighty Girl

“[A] high-energy #OwnVoices novel.”


“With a mix of Spanish words, vivid dialogue, and rich description, Mendez paints a realistic image of a young woman battling to become herself against the odds… This inspirational story is an important read for young adults everywhere to witness the dynamics and pressures for a young Argentinian.”

School Library Journal

“A feminist story of pursuing your dreams… An engrossing story about using your talent and pursuing your goals with messages about gender equality and the complexities of love. Highly recommend for people who enjoy powerful #ownvoices stories.”

YA Books Central

“There’s a satisfying intensity about the way soccer infuses everything in Camila’s life.”

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“The book you wish you had when you were in high school.”

Dead Darlings

“[A] fiery and inspiring YA debut… A novel rich in cultural surroundings, motifs and age-appropriate wisdom, is a must-read. It matters little whether you love fútbol or the U.S. equivalent because Furia cannot be defined by one category of literature, just as Camila herself cannot be defined by the larger society she finds herself in, nor the practical desires of her mother and father, nor anyone who manages to get in her way. She is Furia, a fútbol player too headstrong, and a force too mighty to be ignored.”

Daily Utah Chronicle

“In this stirring novel by Argentine American author Méndez, passion for sports and personal growth intersect in Camila’s powerful, feminist first-person narrative about her experiences as an ambitious athlete, a teenager deeply in love, the daughter of an abusive father at the point of taking charge of her own life, and a young woman finding her voice in a deeply sexist, patriarchal society… A riveting coming-of-age story.”

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“In this stirring novel by Argentine American author Méndez, passion for sports and personal growth intersect in Camila’s powerful, feminist first-person narrative about her experiences as an ambitious athlete, a teenager deeply in love, the daughter of an abusive father at the point of taking charge of her own life, and a young woman finding her voice in a deeply sexist, patriarchal society… A riveting coming-of-age story.”

Publishers Weekly, starred review

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Review: CRUSHING by Sophie Burrows


CRUSHING by Sophie Burrows
Publication Date: January 11, 2022
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Pages: 160
Source: Publisher

She’s lonely and searching for connection. He’s lonely and afraid to reach out.

Life in the big city means being surrounded by connections—making them, missing them, and longing for them. But is finding someone else really the answer to their problems?

Crushing, the stunning debut graphic novel from Sophie Burrows, is a story told in silence; a story without words but bursting with meaning; a story about loneliness and love.

Achingly beautiful, quietly defiant, and full of subtle wit and wisdom, Crushing is a unique meditation on the human condition in the twenty-first century, and a timely examination of young adult life in an age of isolation.


Graphic novels have become a comfort go-to for me during times that I've found it difficult to get lost in reading, but still want to experience the joy of a good story. There is something very soothing about CRUSHING and getting caught up in this story told mostly in pictures and imagining the inner thoughts of the characters as they move through their world. 

The characters' stories are both sad and joyful as they relate to the people who come into their lives. Each storyline shows that we are all just complex creatures trying to find our way. I found it all so relatable - the desire for connection, seeking it out, but also shying away from it when you feel comfortable in your solitude.

I really liked the minimal use of color and the emphasis of using the color red to draw the eye, but then also discovering everything happening in the scenes that aren't highlighted with the primary color. Two images that I found the most memorable in CRUSHING are the view of the sky and nature after a long run through the park, and also the image of the man receiving care and compassion from a stranger after an accident - again the solitude and the companionship.

 I'm glad to have this book in my collection and I know I'll pick it up often. I hope that other readers will find acknowledgment in CRUSHING in a way that makes them feel comfort as well as compassion.

Disclaimer: I received this promotional copy from the publisher for review consideration. Thoughts and opinions are my own.


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