ARC Review: Her Defiant Heart by Monica Murphy

Her Defiant Heart ebook

Title: Her Defiant Heart

Author: Monica Murphy

Series: Damaged Hearts #1

Genre: New Adult

Rating: 4 Stars

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Life can feel like a cruel joke. I grew up poor and motherless, with a father who never got over his wife’s abandonment. But now he’s gone too, and I’m dead set on finding the woman who so carelessly tossed me aside when I was a baby.

I want revenge. And I’m going to get back at my mother any way that I can.

I change my name. Start my new life in college, and just happen to cross paths with the gorgeous, ultra-rich Rhett Montgomery. He’s immediately interested in me, not that I’m surprised.

You see, I planned it that way. I meant for him to find me. He’s the one connection to my mother, and I’m using him, so I can destroy her. But I didn’t plan on Rhett being so charming. Sweet. Sexy.

And I definitely didn’t plan on falling for him either…

 

review

This is one of those books that is hard to review, because SO much happens and it’s filled so some twists and turns that I don’t want to give away. So, I’m going to be a little vague here, but I think you will thank me. 😉

Jennifer/Jensen wants revenge on the mother who walked out on her and her father. Her mother leaving set off a chain of events in her life that cause so much heartbreak and sorrow. So she carefully puts together a plan to get back at her mother. That plan involves Rhett Montgomery.

When her mother left she found a new family, and has three step-children. Rhett Montgomery is one of those children. Only, he is no longer a child, but a college guy who is gorgeous, charming and intelligent.

The plan is to meet Rhett, get Rhett to fall in love with her then destroy her mother. Only, pretending to be interested in Rhett doesn’t go according to her plan. The chemistry is real, the connection is real, and the attraction is definitely real. Suddenly Jensen is feeling all kinds of things she shouldn’t be feeling towards Rhett. And she isn’t sure if that’s good or bad.

This book is told through Jensen’s POV and I found it super interesting to be inside her mind. She is calculated by bad intentions, yet you can’t help but be on her side. She is clearly hurt and sometimes in pain we do and say crazy things. She is also human with a conscious. I really enjoyed her softer side once she starts interacting with Rhett.

Rhett isn’t what I thought he would be. Sure, he’s rich and gorgeous and has had a very privilege life, yet he is kind. The way he tries to make everything perfect in Jensen’s life is sweet, and shows the compassion he has for others. I do feel there is a lot more to his character, and I’m excited that the next book in the series will have his POV.

I do have to warn, this does end in a cliff-hanger. I’m squirming here waiting for the next book, eekk, what an ending!

Her Defiant Heart isn’t your conventional love story. It’s a little dark, a little twisted, and is filled with some lies and inevitable betrayals. Despite that, it is filled with a romance that shouldn’t be. One that is swoony and sweet and sexy.

Completely addictive!

 

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rah

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ARC Review: The Hook-Up Experiment by Emma Hart

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Title: The Hook-Up Experiment

Author: Emma Hart

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Series: The Experiment #1

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Release Date: March 13th, 2018

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1.Hate-screw my high school nemesis.
2.Remember to hate him.
3.Prove my brother wrong.
It should be easy.
It isn’t.

As the owner of Pick-A-D*ck, New Orleans’ premier hook-up website, my job is simple. Connect two people for a no-strings, no-expectations hook-up. The plus for my clients is that I’m the one who gets to sift through the d*ck pics—except this time, they’re required.

My problem? My brother, co-owner of Pick-A-D*ck’s sister dating site, doesn’t believe it’s possible to hook up with someone three times and not fall in love.
I disagree. I know it’s possible.

And my disagreement is exactly how I end up reconnected with my high school nemesis, Elliott Sloane. The guy who asked me to junior prom and then stood me up. Who egged my car when I rejected him, and convinced my senior homecoming date to ghost me.

It should be easy to hate-screw him. If only he was still that person, instead of a hot-as-hell single dad, working as a builder to make ends’ meet, fighting for custody of his daughter.

Three hook-ups.
One outcome.
Right?

 

review

I have to admit I didn’t totally love this book, but it was good. Due to the amount of raving reviews I’ve seen on it, I think there is a chance it might be a case of “it’s me, not the book”.

The heroine Peyton runs a hook-up company called Pick-A-D*ck, where clients pretty much pay her to find them causal hook-ups. Her brother Dom runs a dating company, and the two of them bicker over which one is more rewarding- hook-ups or love. They make a bet that Peyton can’t sleep with the same guy three times without falling in love with him.

Peyton’s two best friends decide they will be in charge of picking the guy for her, and she ends up on a blind date with someone she knows from back in high school. Someone she hates. She makes it pretty clear she still has those hatred feelings for him, but decides he is the right guy for her bet, since there is no way she could fall for him. Famous last words, right?

Elliot is all grown-up and way different from high school. He is a single dad to a little girl, and fighting to keep custody of her. His story line with his daughter was my favorite part of this whole book, and I wished we saw more of them together.

Of course, the more Elliot and Peyton spend time together, the more their feelings grow. But of course, love is never that simple. 😉

It’s kind of strange because during some parts of the book, I didn’t really like Peyton. She was a bit over the top for me. However, her scenes with Elliot and his daughter were amazing, and I wish she was like that for more of the book.

It also felt like it took a while for the chemistry between the characters to show up, even after we were told there was chemistry between them. However, when it does it, it hits hard, and they are pretty darn cute!

It’s well-written and had me laughing out loud several times. It’s also heartwarming, particularly in Elliot’s chapters.

The down side, besides my hate/love feelings toward Peyton, is that I felt a few over characters were a bit too much, and at times felt immature. Maybe they are supposed to be, who knows, but they didn’t quite fit their ages, and some of the scenes made me skim through them.

All in all, it was cute and fun. I am anxious to see the next book in the series.

 

rah

ARC Review: Two Wedding Crashers by Meghan Quinn

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Title: Two Wedding Crashers

Author: Meghan Quinn

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Series: Dating by Numbers #2. Can be a standalone.

Rating: 4 Stars

Release Date: March 11th, 2018

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I don’t know what love is anymore.

Well, that’s not entirely true, but I’m going to tell you a little secret: I’ve lost the spark.

You know the kind of spark I’m talking about?

Where butterflies take flight in your stomach from two hands innocently colliding. Or catching your breath when you first meet someone attractive. Yeah, that spark.

Except I haven’t felt that feeling in forever; there is nothing left inside of me.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem–but I’m a writer on a serious deadline, and my editor is breathing down my neck for a romantic, Nicholas Sparks type love story. No pressure, right?

That’s how I find myself flying across the country to crash a wedding in the name of research, dress and heels stuffed into my small suitcase.

It should be the easiest book research ever. Drinking some free champagne, basking in the love of two strangers, and tapping into my romantic side. That will be a breeze. I’m a pro. I can handle this.

Until I mistakenly end up in the wrong hotel room, naked as the day I was born, with the sexiest human I have ever met staring me down, wondering what I’m doing taking a shower in his bathroom. I don’t think calling it research will get me out of this pickle.

But it will make for one hell of a story….

 

excerpt

Chills scream their way down my arms and legs, my nipples pucker, and just like that, with one word, all humor vanishes from our little conversation and awareness of this all-consuming man wrapped around me hits me hard.

Gathering myself, I say, “Tell me something Chris and Justine know about you.”

“Hmm.” His thumbs hook under the waistband of my shorts, playing with the lower part of my hipbones. His touch spurs on my pelvis, needing to rock, begging for him to go lower. My toes curl in my sandals and my back slightly arches, reaching for more. “Something they know about me.”

His mouth doesn’t stray from its position against my ear, and his hips start to slowly move underneath me, his legs tangling with mine. Involuntarily, one of my hands hooks the back of his neck as I hold on tightly to him, feeling like I need support from the onslaught of sensation I’m feeling.

I hear him say something, but it doesn’t register in my brain, which has turned to mush as his thumbs stray from my hipbones to right above my pubic bone.

There is no denying how turned on I am, how wet I am from his mere touch, how much—despite my reservations—I want this man.

With each stroke, my head turns farther and farther to the side until our noses are touching, Beck’s head bends forward to meet me halfway. My eyes flutter shut for a brief moment before I open them and am captured by those flecks of green and gold.

The air stills around us, our breath mixing, swirling between us, our lips so close.

One swipe of this thumb.

Another one.

I can’t breathe.

I can’t focus.

Another swipe, my head leans even closer, my tongue wetting my lips.

One more swipe . . .

My heart hammers in my chest, my skin prickling with awareness.

Beck brings his mouth even closer, only a whisper away now, and he waits.

Holding still.

His breathing feeling erratic beneath me.

One.

More.

Swipe.

And I’m gone.

I bring my mouth to his, slowly parting my lips ever so slightly, just enough to maneuver my mouth across his.

A low, provocative moan escapes Beck as one of his hands snags the back of my head and holds me in place, almost as if he lets go, I’ll disappear.

Needing more, I shift on his lap so I’m straddling him once again, my hands on his bare chest, feeling the powerful sinew that holds him together.

Our lips press and mold, mingling, taking, begging . . .

Desperate.

Beck’s tongue runs against my bottom lip, eliciting a moan from deep within me, lighting a fire so hot, so wild, my hands start to travel up his neck to his cheeks where I grip him, positioning his head so when I open my mouth, I can expertly dive my tongue onto his.

He groans, his lap shifting against mine now, his hard-on pressing against my wet and throbbing center. I match his rocking, using my position on his lap to take advantage of his length I can feel through his board shorts.

This is exactly what I didn’t want to happen, but God, am I happy it has. Maybe I really should live in the moment, maybe I should take advantage of the opportunity, maybe I should…

 

rah

 

ARC Review: Only You by Melanie Harlow

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Title: Only You

Author: Melanie Harlow

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Release Date: March 12th, 2018

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Nate Pearson is ridiculously handsome and wears the hell out of a suit and tie, but I’ve seen the parade of beautiful women leaving his apartment across the hall—a different one every time—and I want no part of it. When it comes to romance, I’m looking for something real, something that will last: the happily ever after.

As a divorce attorney, he loves to tell me there’s no such thing.

As a wedding planner, I choose to disagree.

We disagree on almost everything, in fact. Everything except James Bond. The only time we really get along is when we’re watching 007 flicks together, and I’ll admit—he has rescued me from a disaster or five. So when one of the baton twirlers from his parade leaves a baby girl at his door with a note that says “I’ll come back for her” and he begs me for help, I can’t turn him down.

But it’s a mistake.

Because watching him with his daughter, I start to see another side of Nate, a side that has my breath coming faster, my body craving his, my heart longing for him to change his mind about love and tell me there’s a chance for us.

I don’t want to be just another girl leaving his apartment in the morning.

I want to be the one he asks to stay.

 

review

I don’t know how Melanie Harlow does it every single time, but man, does she deliver. Only You is incredably heartwarming, witty and filled with many “aww” moments. It’s the kind of book you know you will have to re-read, but you’re even finished the first time. One of the ultimate friends to lovers book!

Nate and Emme have been neighbors for several years, and have become friends during that time, even though they are complete opposites. Emme is a wedding planner and believes in love and HEA. Nate is a divorce attorney and believes in one night stands.

When a baby girl is left at his door, with a note announcing him as the father, Nate is pretty stunned. Not knowing the first thing about babies, he begs Emme to help him. Of course Emme does, and before long she starts to see Nate in a whole new light- a man who does everything for his little girl. And that is dangerous.

I LOVED everything about Nate and Emme. I loved their friendship, their banter, their fights, their chemistry- EVERYTHING. It was perfection. Of course I wanted to yell at Nate a few times, but hey, flaws make up the perfection. 😉

Another thing I learned with Melanie Harlow is you’re going to get a lot with the characters. Both Nate and Emme had so many layers to them, causing them to feel so real. There was a real vulnerability in them that I absolutely connected with, making me love them all the much more.

And you would think a surprise baby would bring in A LOT of drama, but there were no over the top situations.

There are also a few side characters, namely Emme’s sisters, that I can’t wait to know more about. Melanie Harlow has created this new world, and I can’t wait for more!

 

rah

 

ARC Review: The Coaching Hours by Sara Ney

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Title: The Coaching Hours

Author: Sara Ney

Series: How to Date A Douchebag # 4- Is a standalone.

Genre: New Adult Romance

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Release Date: February 5th, 2018

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THERE ARE NO DOUCHEBAGS IN THIS STORY.

Well, there are, but they’re not who this story is about.
This story is about me—the coach’s daughter.
When I moved to Iowa to live with my dad, the university’s take-no-prisoners wrestling coach, I thought transferring would be easy as pie—living with my father would be temporary, and he’d make sure his douchebag wrestlers left me alone.
Wrong on both counts.

ASSHOLES ALWAYS COME OUT OF THE WOODWORK WHEN THE STAKES ARE HIGH.

A bet is placed, and I’m on the table. After one humiliating night and too much alcohol, I find the last nice guy on campus. And when he offers to rent me his spare bedroom, I go all in. It’s time for the nice guy to finish first.
Midnight chats and spilling my problems turn to lingering touches. Lingering touches turn to more.
And the ultimate good guy has the potential do more damage than any douchebags ever could.

 

review

Before I begin, please note I will not be posting any major spoilers to The Coaching Hours, so some of my review may be vague at times. It’s for your benefit, I swear! 🙂

This is a different review for me to write, because I both loved and disliked this book. Yeah, I know, I’m a strange one. 😛 First of all, I loved the first 70% of this book, so lets focus on that first. It was witty, adorably awkward, and filled with sizzling sexual tension.

Elliot is the kind of hero that doesn’t seem to be in books too often anymore. He’s the nice guy, the one who will take care of you when you drink too much, and let you pick the show- no matter what- type. I really liked his character. I thought he was perfect without being perfect, and wasn’t annoying sweet either. He had some dirty thoughts, trust me. I thought he really made this book.

His relationship with Anabelle is a slow burn. They are strangers, then roommates, then friends. It happens slowly, and feels very natural. While there is a instant attraction between them, the tension between them is one that builds up over time. But don’t worry, there are plenty of aww moments and a whole bunch of “almost” moments. I was smiling, laughing and swooning.

For a while.

I just could not get into the last 30%. All the build up and happy feels I had inside from the beginning were disappearing, and not enough happened at the end to bring them back. There IS a HEA, please don’t worry! I just felt like due to some situations, Anabelle and Elliot lost the connection. I didn’t feel the chemistry anymore. It just felt like you were supposed to be rooting for those two, instead of doing it naturally. The whole thing felt rushed and out of sorts, and to me didn’t match how wonderful the beginning was.

I also never fully grew to love Anabelle. There was something about her character that was a little annoying. I couldn’t get a good feel of her. I don’t want to say too much about her character to give things away, but she wasn’t my favorite leading lady.

So, there you have it. I hope that everyone else doesn’t have the same problems I did, and love it 100%! It is worth a read. 🙂

 

rah

ARC Review: The Beau and the Belle by R.S. Grey

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Title: The Beau and the Belle

Author: R.S. Grey

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Rating: 5 Stars

Release Date: February 1st, 2018

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Beau Fortier starred in most of my cringe-worthy teenage fantasies.

I met him when I was a junior in high school, a time that revolved exclusively around bad hair, failed forays into flirting, and scientific inquiries into which brand of toilet paper worked best for stuffing bras.

That is, until Beau moved into the small guest house just beyond my bedroom window.

A 24-year-old law student at Tulane, Beau was as mysterious to me as second base (both in baseball and in the bedroom). He was older. Intimidating. Hot. Boys my age had chicken legs and chubby cheeks. Beau had calloused hands and a jaw cut from steel. Our interactions were scarce—mostly involving slight stalking on my end—and yet deep down, I desperately hoped he saw me as more of a potential lover than a lovesick loser.

Turns out, I was fooling myself. My fragile ego learned that lesson the hard way.

Now, ten years later, we’re both back in New Orleans, and guess who suddenly can’t take his eyes off little ol’ me.

My old friend, Mr. Fortier.

But things have changed. I’m older now—poised and confident. My ego wears a bulletproof vest. The butterflies that once filled my stomach have all perished.

When I was a teenager, Beau warned me to guard my heart.

Let’s hope he knows how to guard his.

 

review

Wowow. I don’t know how R.S. Grey manages to outdo herself each and every time she releases a new book, but I’m really glad she does. The second I read the blurb for The Beau and The Belle, I was instantly excited for it. Like- needed it on my kindle right this very second- excited. But then I got nervous. Being that excited for it was a sure fire way to be disappointed, right? Not when Grey is the author! The Beau and the Belle is a true romcom- romantic, sexy, witty, and splattered with the best second hand embarrassing moments.

When we first meet the characters, Beau, a 24 year old law student, is renting the guest house on the LeBlanc property. The guest house is small, but has everything he was looking for: it’s close to his college, flexible rent and privacy. Well… maybe not complete privacy, as a pair of eyes tend to be on him a lot of the time.

Those eyes belong to 17 year old Lauren LeBlanc. Lauren has an insta crush on Beau from the moment she first lays eyes on him. And her poor, naive 17 year old heart actually believes something could happen between them.

The two form a little friendship, which ends just as quickly as it begins.

Then the story starts back up, ten years later. Both Beau and Lauren are grown up, turning those chased dreams into reality. Lauren, no longer an awkward teen, but a gorgeous woman. Men around New Orleans are quick to notice, including Beau.

Ekkk!!! Guys. I don’t want to go into too much details, but seriously, you have to read this book!

Everything about Beau and Lauren is perfection. From failed flirting, a sweet friendship, to witty banter and sizzling sexual tension. Ugh, so good!!

Beau will still your heart right along with Lauren’s. He’s intelligent, driven, cocky, and charming. He’s kinda a breath of fresh air, with so many heroes being very similar lately. Trust me when I say you want to experience Beau.

And Lauren. She’s a WCW. She felt so authentic, I’m kinda disappointed she can’t be my best friend. She’s strong, independent, romantic and a little silly. She made me laugh out loud quite a few times. Don’t even get me started on her younger years… let’s just say that Grey captured being a teen so well, you may have cringe worthy flash backs.

The Beau and the Belle is the type of book you read when you want to laugh, swoon, and fall in love.

Don’t miss out on that!!

 

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Find The Beau and the Belle on Amazon!

 

 

rah

ARC Review: xo, Zach by Kendall Ryan

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Title: xo, Zach

Author: Kendall Ryan

Genre: New Adult Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

Release Date: January 23rd, 2018

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The first time we met was at a party.

Your ex arrived to show off the person he’d left you for last month, and you asked me to pretend to be your date.

I was more than happy to help. You were attractive, smart and witty–and that kiss we shared? It left me wanting you for days.

The second time we met was in my office on campus where we were both surprised to discover you were the new master’s degree student in poetry that I would be working with. You promised to be professional. I did no such thing.

The late nights and intense study sessions spent alongside you majorly throw me off my game. I want you, and I fight with myself daily over this fact.

I know I’m crass, that my sexual innuendos and dirty mouth annoy you, but I live for those two bright spots of color in your cheeks. If that’s the only reaction I can get out of you, I’ll gladly take it.

You hate Mondays so every Monday I slip an anonymous poem into your bag and your smile gets me through the week.

I think I’m falling for you, and I know it’s wrong. I know that I’m only supposed to be the adviser to your program and nothing more, but here’s the thing. I think you’re falling for me too.

xo, Zach

 

review

Swoon. Okay, I reserve the right to take this back, but until this moment, XO, Zach is my favorite Kendall Ryan book. Emotional, heartwarming, steamy, a delicious slow burn, forbidden love- this book has everything you could want.

When Poppy’s friend drags her to a party, she isn’t really expecting to have fun. And she definitely isn’t expecting to run into her newly ex boyfriend- who is there with his new arm candy. Refusing to let him see her sweat, she walks up to a sexy, tattooed guy and demands (asks?) him to play along, that he’s her date. He agrees.

Although there is an instant attraction between the two, they are shocked to learn they actually have quite a bit in common. Even more shocking is a toe curling, goosebump inducing, fireworks going off kiss they share. But Poppy leaves soon after that, declining Zach’s number.

Zach finds himself thinking about Poppy, the slightly insane and majorly hot girl from the party. Then he can barely believe it when he discovers that Poppy is the new girl he is advising.

Keeping things profession between them is a piece of cake, right?

Ha, so wrong!

But both Poppy and Zach have things about themselves the other person doesn’t know. Things that can change it all.

Ugh, I just LOVED Zach and Poppy’s relationship. It’s a slow burn, filled with witty banter, tons of flirting and oozes sexual chemistry. It’s also not easy. There are complications on both ends.

Poppy is more hesitiate than Zach is to explore the connection between them. She’s independent, strong willed, and isn’t used to having a guy completely there for her. And Zach… sigh. He’s a writer, and oh so romantic. Oh, and he happens to have a lovely dirty mind. 😉

Do yourself a huge favor and go one-click this baby!!!

 

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Find xo, Zach

Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

 

 

rah

ARC Review: Until You’re Mine By Cindi Madsen

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Title: Until You’re Mine

Author: Cindi Madsen

Genre: Contemp. Romance/ Sports Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

Release Date: January 22nd, 2018

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You might’ve heard of me, Shane Knox, the guy who rose quickly through the MMA fighter ranks, only to crash just as fast. No one cares about personal reasons when it comes to losing fights and money. I’m determined to get back to where I was. For you to hear my name again. I’ve finally convinced the owner of Team Domination to take a chance and get me back in fighting—and winning—shape. What I didn’t bargain for is the guy’s spitfire of a daughter. Factor in her two professional-fighter brothers who are acting as my coaches and the fact that my career hangs in the balance, and Brooklyn’s the last girl I should be fantasizing about.

The closer we get, the more I want Brooklyn. The stakes are high, and I know there’s a big chance of both of us getting hurt, but I won’t stop until she’s mine.

 

review

I have a confession: I’m not really into MMA books. There, I said it. When I found out that Cindi Madsen’s new series would feature MMA fighters, I wasn’t sure how to feel. But when I had the chance to read this book, I couldn’t turn it down. I mean, it was a new Cindi Madsen book after all. I’m SOO glad I decided to give this book a chance. I LOVED it. It’s filled with flirty banter, witty dialogue, a swoony hero and very touching. I even found myself getting into all the MMA parts as well.

Brooklyn isn’t thrilled to be going back home to help out her family with their MMA training gym. Despite all the good memories there, there are a lot of bad ones too, especially between her and her father. It doesn’t help that she meets their newest fighter, Shane. Shane is a bad boy with a troubled past. He is the type of guy that Brooklyn wants to stay away from.

However, Shane isn’t exactly what he seems. There is a heart of gold inside of him, and Brooklyn starts to form an unlikely friendship with him. There is some major sexual attraction between them too, though despite Shane’s best efforts, Brooklyn keeps it in check. Which is kinda torturous. For her and for me. Especially during one sweaty, practice fight scene between the two. Wowza.

I loved their whole relationship. Even though they both have insta-attraction, there is a slow burn that will drive you crazy, in the best way possible.

You also get to know Brooklyn’s brothers, and they are pretty intriguing! I’m excited to read their stories.

There are some pretty bittersweet sub plots, but I don’t want to get into them too much, as I feel you will enjoy the book experiencing them first hand.

Make sure to add this book to your TBR pile, you won’t be sorry!!

 

Find Until You’re Mine:

Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

 

 

rah

ARC Review: Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy

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Title: Pretty Dead Girls

Author: Monica Murphy

Genre: YA, Mystery, Thriller, Romance

Release Date: January 2nd, 2018

Rating: 3.75 Stars

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blurb

Beautiful. Perfect. Dead.

In the peaceful seaside town of Cape Bonita, wicked secrets and lies are hidden just beneath the surface. But all it takes is one tragedy for them to be exposed.

The most popular girls in school are turning up dead, and Penelope Malone is terrified she’s next. All the victims so far have been linked to Penelope—and to a boy from her physics class. The one she’s never really noticed before, with the rumored dark past and a brooding stare that cuts right through her.

There’s something he isn’t telling her. But there’s something she’s not telling him, either.

Everyone has secrets, and theirs might get them killed.

review

Okay, wow. When I first started reading this book, I had no idea the rollercoaster of a ride Monica Murphy was about to take me on. I’m pretty certain I felt every emotion possible while reading this book. Pretty Dead Girls is fresh, thrilling, witty, suspenseful and even filled with swoony moments. You’re never quite sure what is going to be on the next page, but you can’t wait to find out.

Disclaimer: There are a lot of twist and turns in this book, and also a lot of things that play into the plot. Therefore, to give you the best experience when you read it, I’m not going to go into too much detail.

The heroine in this book is Penelope. She has a pretty normal life, spending most of her time cheerleading and being involved in the Larks, a small, semi exclusive club at her school. Then, her life completely changes when one by one, members of the club start to be killed off. Dealing with the mourning of her friends, the fear of being a target, and the stress from police, Pen finds an unlikely friendship forming with a boy in her school named Cass.

Cass is the bad boy/loner type, who has a history of getting in trouble. He also seems to be linked to all the girls that are being killed. And while Pen is kind of hesitate of him at first, the two do become close, and there is major attraction/chemistry between the two of them. But there are things they don’t know about each other, that could change everything.

I have to say, Monica Murphy’s writing is AMAZING in this book. The story had me completed addicted, I couldn’t put it down. Honestly, I was up late reading it and at times it had me a little scared, complete with my heart racing.

The story is written from Pen’s POV, while also being from the POV of the killer every so often. It was interesting getting an inside look at their thoughts.

My only real complaint with this story is the romance aspect of it, which is why it’s not quite a 4 star. At times Penelope and Cass were too adorable for words, then at times I didn’t like the two of them together. I get they are teens and have all the angst, but it was a tad frustrating. They are a true tale of opposites attracting which I love, and they have plenty of banter between them as well.

So, if you are looking for a fresh, witty spin on “whodunit”, make sure you get this baby! I am planning a re-read of this one!

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Review: Love, Life and the List by Kasie West

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Title: Love, Life and The List

Author: Kasie West

Genre: YA Romance

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Release Date: December 26th, 2017

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blurb

Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances.

Which is where the list comes in.

Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself.

This is the first in a set of three standalone books with crossover characters.

 

 

review

Sometimes I get in the mood for some YA romance, and Kasie West is one of my go to author’s for those cravings.

Abby Turner isn’t having the easiest time. Her father is deployed and her mother’s Agoraphobia is getting worse. Her unrequited love for her best friend Cooper doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon and to top it off she was recently told that her paintings- the one thing she finds comfort in- lacks heart and emotions.

Wanting some quick life experience, Abby puts together a list of things she needs to do over the summer, hopefully to bring some growth to her paintings. With Cooper’s help, of course. The more items Abby checks off the list, the more she finds growth not only in her art, but in herself as well.

I found the sub plots (Abby’s family) in this one really interesting. My heart broke for Abby, watching her mother’s condition becoming worse and worse. I adored her close bond with her grandpa, who also lived with them. The two of them were a bit of kindred spirits. Obviously there is major character growth for many of the characters, which I really appreciated.

I thought Abby and Cooper had a really cute friendship. It felt real, with ups and downs, little bickering and mistakes, laced with some sweet moments.

My major complaint is that there are no huge swoon moments between the two until about the 93% mark. And while I enjoy a nice slow burn, in this case I’m not really sure you could call it that?

Still a cute, fast, fun read.

 

 

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