ARC Review: The Accidentals by Sarina Bowen

TheAccidentals_Amazon

Title: The Accidentals

Author: Sarina Bowen

Genre: Young Adult

Rating: 4.75 Stars!!

Release Date: July 10th, 2018

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Never ask a question unless you’re sure you want the truth.

I’ve been listening to my father sing for my whole life. I carry him in my pocket on my mp3 player. It’s just that we’ve never met face to face.

My mother would never tell me how I came to be, or why my rock star father and I have never met. I thought it was her only secret. I was wrong.

When she dies, he finally appears. Suddenly I have a first class ticket into my father’s exclusive world. A world I don’t want any part of – not at this cost.
Only three things keep me going: my a cappella singing group, a swoony blue-eyed boy named Jake, and the burning questions in my soul. There’s a secret shame that comes from being an unwanted child. It drags me down, and puts distance between me and the boy I love.

My father is the only one alive who knows my history. I need the truth, even if it scares me.

 

review

Sarina Bowen’s debut YA novel is the ultimate coming of age story about loss, forgiveness and falling in love. The Accidentals is angsty, raw, witty and swoony. It broke my heart a few times before completely stealing it from me. It begs the question: can a burned bridge ever be repaired? The Accidentals is perfect for fans of Miranda Kenneally, Huntley Fitzpatrick, Jenn Bennett, Katie McGarry and Sarah Dessen.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself that you don’t read YA, so you can’t picture yourself enjoying this one. Well, you’d be wrong, and I’ll give you NUMBER reasons why you would. 🙂

1.The plot. This isn’t a fluffy tale of a lovesick teen. In fact, while there is romance, it isn’t the main focal point of the story. Instead, we find Rachel Kress, who is struggling after the death of her mother, who raised her as a single parent. As if losing a parent isn’t hard enough, Rachel has no one else to turn to. Or so she thinks, until she in introduced to Frederick Richards, aka “Freddy Ricks”, the famous musician. He is her father, and after 17 years of being absent, he wants to help take care of her. Suddenly Rachel is living a life completely different than the one she is used to, with a man she isn’t fully sure she even wants a relationship with. Cue the overloads of feelings. Sarina used my heart as a punching bag multiple times. We also see Rachel entering her senior year at a new boarding school, dealing with a roommate, new friends, and maybe even a new love.

 

2. Rachel. I loved everything about Rachel and her journey. Rachel is mature, intelligent, talented and quirky. She struggles with the idea that she isn’t enough, and kind of views herself as a burden. The relationship with Frederick isn’t an easy one, there are many ups and downs between the two as they navigate into unfamiliar territory. It felt completely real. It wasn’t wrapped up with a pretty bow but any means, and at times Rachel’s thoughts made me want to cry. At the same time, Rachel is also dealing with friendships, feelings, and hormones. So many pesky hormones. 😉

 

3. The romance. As I mentioned before, the romance isn’t the main part of the plot. That said, there is a ton of moments that are simply adorable. Jake and Rachel first meet via email. While it it suppose to be regarding information and questions about the boarding school, a friendship slowly forms between the school. Then, when Rachel finally meets Jake in person… that friendship feels like so much more.

 

4. The Characters. Sarina is the type of author that just knows how to bring a character to life. There are so many interesting characters in this book, with their own voices, personalities, and problems. It makes for such an incredible read, and brings such life to the book. I know sometimes side characters are not as well thought out or developed as the main ones, but that is one thing you do not have to worry about.

 

5. The writing. The writing in this book is everything you’d expect from a Sarina Bowen novel. From the witty dialogue to the touching moments, it is all so well-written. Every word has a purpose. I was truly addicted from the moment I started. It feels like a bit more mature of a YA book- there are no extreme over the top characters or unnecessary drama. Everything in this book felt genuine. It made me smile, laugh, swoon, and even tear up. This book was simply wonderful. ❤

 

So please, please do yourself a favor and take a chance on this book. You won’t regret it! Here’s to hoping this isn’t the last YA Sarina graces us with. 😉

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Pre-Order The Accidentals

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ARC Review: The Upside of Falling by Megan Quinn

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Title: The Upside of Falling

Author: Meghan Quinn

Series: Blue Line #1

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

Release Date: June 21st, 2018

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Find on Amazon!

 

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Tucked away at the base of the Rocky Mountains lived a little boy with one singular dream: leave this broken and battered home and become someone.

Be somebody’s hero.

That boy was me—Colby Brooks. Except I’m not that same little boy anymore.
My dreams might still be the same, but my reality isn’t.

I’m smarter. Stronger. A man.

And I learned a long damn time ago, the only way to achieve my dreams was to avoid distractions—at any cost.

Focus. Resolve. Determination.

But all it took was one single night. One night and my entire life…changed.

One night had me colliding head first with the biggest distraction of my life; Rory Oaks.

Smart. Charming. Beautiful.

Rory changed everything.

Quickly, my one-track mind started to bend.

Each kiss faded decade-long dreams.

And with one single incident, I fly off course.

 

excerpt

Head turned down, pushing the sleeves of his white Henley up his arms, he swaggers toward me. His jeans hang low on his hips, held up by the same brown belt he wore the other night. His narrow waist directs my eyes to the center of his jeans, and I can’t help wonder what might be behind the crotch of his pants.

And then there is his chest. Barrel like, broad and prominent. His thick biceps showcase his strength, and the fabric of his shirt stretches over his shoulders and forearms. Having spent a lot of time at the gym, I’ve seen every body type, but Colby’s is different. He’s strong, built, but not like a body builder. His body seems to suggest the only kind of weight he’s been lifting is his own body, pushup after pushup. I can’t imagine there being barbells in his workouts, but I can imagine logs, cadets, and heavy machinery. He has working muscles, the kind you earn from hard, dedicated work on the field. In a word? Impressive.

Walking up to Stryder, he grips his friend’s shoulder and says something into his ear. A smirk crosses Stryder’s face before he moves over to our side of the bowling alley and takes Colby’s place.

Is he leaving? Already?

Might as well at this point. It’s not like he’s going to talk to me, not after my pathetic attempt at a bet. I should have known I was going to hang out in the gutter all night. It’s where I usually am when I’m bowling. I blame the ball. The thing has a vendetta against me.

Sighing, I prop my chin in my hand and watch Stryder expertly toss his ball down the lane, getting a strike . . . once again. And just like every other strike, he pumps his arm up in the air and celebrates. We get it, you’re good, no need to—

“Hey.”

That voice . . .

Stunned, eyes wide, not able to move, not wanting to scare him away, I keep my eyes trained forward, soaking in that beautifully deep voice of his for a brief moment before saying, “Hey.”

“Can I sit here?”

Still keeping my eyes trained forward, I say, “Sure.”

My body tingles with awareness of how close he is to me, that fresh laundry scent invading my senses, prickling the little hairs on my arm. My body leans toward his, wanting a little more, searching for anything else he might give me. I don’t know why he’s choosing to engage me in conversation, but I’m sure as hell not moving while he does.

“Sorry about tonight,” he says and he actually sounds sincere.

“Why are you sorry?” I mumble.

Reaching around, he takes my cheek in his hand. The callouses on his palm rubbing against my skin is a welcome sensation. As I’m turned toward him, I steady my breathing. I’m having a hard time slowing my heart rate because of his close proximity, and the unexpected touch shooting a wave of heat through my veins.

“I’m sorry you didn’t get to ask me any questions. I didn’t think you were going to suck that bad.” A playful smile tugs at his lips, and my heart sinks to the floor. Oh God, he’s so gorgeous, especially when he smiles.

Matching his smirk, I say, “I didn’t think I was going to suck that bad either.”

“I feel bad.”

“You should.” That garners a laugh, deep and throaty, the sound cloaking me like a shield, protecting me from the outside world, bringing me into a little bubble where we are the only two that exist.

“Ask me a question.”

Shocked, I swallow hard and say, “Really?”

He nods and holds up his fingers. “You get three.”

“Oh, three? Wow, I feel like you just gave me the key to your soul.”

Rolling his eyes, he adjusts his stance on the barstool and leans back, giving us some space, our knees still knocking into each other. “Easy killer; it’s just three questions.”

“Yeah, three questions I didn’t have before.” Tapping my chin, I try to think of good questions, but now that I have him willing and waiting, nothing comes to mind. I wasn’t prepared for this, he caught me off-guard, and now I feel I can’t be strategic about my probing. “Hmm . . . what do you like to do on the weekends?”

“Jump,” he answers.

Searching his eyes, lips quirked, I say, “Uh, you’re going to have to be more specific than that. What kind of jumping are we talking here? Like jump roping? Because that seems kind of weird to do on the weekends, and if you tell me you’re in some kind of jump-roping club at the academy, I’m not going to believe you.”

His lips curve up as he scratches the side of his jaw. “Jump out of airplanes.”

Oh.

Oh.

That’s . . .

Uh, that’s really hot.

“So you just casually jump out of airplanes?”

“I’m part of the Wings of Blue, the academy’s parachute team. We jump every day, at least two to three times a day after class and before dinner, depending on wind and ceiling limits. On the weekends, some of the guys, including Stryder and me, go to Springs East Airport and do civilian jumps. The more jumps we get in, the higher the chance we’ll be considered for big demonstrations, like parachuting into football games and major sporting events for the Rockies and Broncos.” Ummmm. Did anyone else just hear how many words he gifted me? And seriously? Does the man have no clue how incredibly sexy he is when he talks about something he loves? The expression on his face . . .

“Wow, that’s . . . that’s really hot.” I chuckle. “Sorry, I don’t mean to fangirl over your parachuting, but I guess I wasn’t expecting that answer. You just jump out of planes?”

He slowly nods. “Every day.”

“Anything to get you up in the clouds, huh?”

“Yeah,” he answers shyly, rubbing his jaw. “Okay, next question.”

 

review

*Yes, this review is completely spoiler free!*

Meghan Quinn completely surprised me with this one, in the best possible way. The Upside Of Falling was gripping, witty, sexy and emotional. So very emotional. In fact, I may need a cart full of ice cream, and I indeed to send Meghan the bill.

I’m going to attempt to say a lot about this book, because it is wonderful, while saying little about it, because you should experience it yourself. Make sense?

Colby is kind of a jerk. He’s moody, has walls up a mile high, and doesn’t care about much. The only thing he does care about is becoming a fighter pilot for the US Airforce. That is his dream, his passion- pretty much his entire life.

Rory is the opposite. She’s sweet, kind, has a huge heart and her family is the most important thing in her life. She’s the kind of person that lives for helping others, while sometimes forgetting to put herself first from time to time.

In a refreshing change of pace from so many romance books, it’s Rory that chases after Colby, determined to get under his skin. To help him. To show him that the world can be filled with kindness and love.

And slowly, something starts to form between the two of them. It’s romantic, and unexpected and swoony and so perfect. It’s a slow change, and you can’t help but to fall in love right beside them. The connection and chemistry they have feels so natural, it squeezed at my heart. Colby and Rory are just two people you can’t help but root for.

And Colby? Wow, does Meghan Quinn do some amazing character growth with him. Wowza. He will steal your heart.

And yes. As you might be aware, this book does a cliffy. But I know it will be worth it, this delicious torture we are in. Plus the second part, The Downside To Love will by out July 5th- not much time at all!!!

Trust me when I say READ THIS BOOK! It’s going to be a top favorite, I know it. Even if you aren’t typically into military books (like myself), you will want to read this book!

 

rah

 

 

ARC review: Only Him by Melanie Harlow

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Title: Only Him

Author: Melanie Harlow

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: 4 stars

Series: One and Only #2- can be a standalone

Release Date: June 4th, 2018

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Sometimes your first love deserves a second chance.

He was my first crush, my first kiss, my first everything.
But I’m not a lovesick teenager anymore, and I’d never let that cocky troublemaker break my heart again.
So when he shows up out of the blue asking me to have dinner with him “for old time’s sake,” I say I will. After all, it’s been twelve years, and I’m stronger and smarter than I was back then.
Except…he still does something to me. He’s got those eyes that make me weak, those hands that drive me wild, and a body I can’t resist—especially once I see the tattoos. It doesn’t take long for our trip down memory lane to go from sweet to sizzling.
We’re just as good together as we were back then—better, even—and I’m willing to give the only man I’ve ever loved another chance.
But he’s got to tell me the truth.

* * *

All I wanted was to see her again. Tell her I’m sorry. Make her smile.
Okay, that’s a lie. I wanted to do more than that—a lot more. But I know she’s better off without me, and I promised myself I’d behave.
Except I’ve never been much good at keeping promises…or my hands to myself when I’m around her.
I can make her laugh, I can make her cry, I can make her body surrender to mine in ways that neither of us could have imagined back then. I can—and I do—love her more than she’ll ever know.
But I can’t tell her the real reason why I’m here.
And I can’t stay.

 

review

Eeek! Another sexy, emotional, swoony book by Melanie Harlow. This book was a complete emotional roller-coaster, and took me through every emotion. More than once.

Maren is shocked when Dallas shows up at her doorstep. The last time she saw him was 12 years before, when they were still couple, the night he broke her heart. But now there he is. Looking better than ever, giving her that same smile, wanting to make amends for hurting her.

When a dinner turns into much more, and Dallas being in town for “one night” turns into multiple nights, they both know they are in trouble. The feelings they had for each other have never gone away, and they are feeling stronger than ever.

But can Maren trust him not to hurt him again? Especially when it starts to seem like Dallas is hiding one major secret..

This was a really great second chance at love book. Maren and Dallas have obvious chemistry and a connection they can’t seem to shake. Of course it’s not that easy, as Dallas is battling something that brings a really emotional aspect to the plot. (HEA tho, don’t worry!!)

All in all, this was a great read. I really enjoyed both the characters, as well as seeing Emme and Nate from Only You. I can’t wait for Stella’s book!

 

rah

 

ARC Review: Speakeasy by Sarina Bowen

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Title: Speakeasy

Author: Sarina Bowen

Series: True North Number 5 (can be read as a standalone!)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: 5++++ Stars

Release Date: May 29th, 2018

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Sometimes you fall for Mr. Right. And sometimes for Mr. Right Now…


May

Did you hear the one about the girl who walks into a bar and catches her live-in lover kissing someone else? No? You’re the only one in town who missed it.
Luckily Alec is there to wrap me up in strong arms and carry me out the door before things get too ugly. And that’s not all Alec is good at. Our unexpected chemistry makes him the perfect rebound guy.


Alec
I should know better than to hook up with my rival’s little sister, but the fiery look in May’s eyes really turns my crank. She needs cheering up, and I’m just the guy for the job.
It’s not like I’ll fall in love. Not even after a string of scorching hot trysts, and the realization that we’re good at the same things: wild nights and familial disappointment. I don’t do love, never have, never will. So this is the perfect arrangement, for both of us.
Nobody would approve, but nobody has to know…

 

review

Have you ever had a Drumstick ice cream cone? You start off eating the chocolate shell, covered with peanuts and you think it can’t get any better than this. Then you get to the cone, lined with chocolate and ice cream that has caramel in it and think, okay, it really can’t get any better than this. But then, at the very end you find a solid piece of chocolate and you realize it did get better and better as you went along. Yet it was utterly delicious every step of the way.

That’s exactly what it’s like to read Speakeasy. I loved everything about this book. It stole a piece of my heart, and is going to be a book I go to time and time again. I laughed, I cried, I fell in love.

Alec and May have the type of love story where most of the odds are against them, yet it shows you that sometimes love does conquer all. It also shows that love isn’t easy and it isn’t perfect. It’s also completely unpredictable.

May is one of those people who want to have love, but always seems to find herself with the wrong lover. Or on the wrong side of unrequited love. She is intelligent, hard working, and has a huge heart. She also is vulnerable, self conscious and too hard on herself at times. May is also a recovering alcoholic.

Alec doesn’t want love, he just wants his bar to succeeded. To prove people who have doubted him wrong. Instead of romance, he prefers hook ups. Alec is determined, cocky, and witty. He is one of those heroes that unexpectedly sweeps you off your feet.

The two of them start an unlikely friendship, and sigh, Alec had me feeling like I would burst from the cuteness at times. Of course, the friendship changes when a kiss happens, showing off the sizzling, undeniable chemistry the two of them have.

Okay, Alec and May seriously gave me an epic case of the swoons. I adored their friendship, yet right away could sense the connection they have. It’s effortless. I don’t know how Sarina Bowen does it, but I could feel them falling in love. So damn well-written.

I don’t want to give too much about this book away, because trust me, you want to experience it on your own. This is one of the best forbidden romance books I’ve ever read. Hands down. There are a million reasons why they shouldn’t be together. Can’t be together. Yet…

😉

Also, if you have read the previous books in the series, you will understand my love in seeing the Shipley‘s and Rossi’s again! I can’t wait for more!

 

Find Speakeasy

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ARC Review: His Wasted Heart by Monica Murphy

His Wasted Heart ebook

Title: His Wasted Heart

Author: Monica Murphy

Series: Damaged Hearts #2

Genre: New Adult Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

Release Date: April 26th, 2018

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Jensen is a mystery I can’t figure out. She’s a liar. A thief—though the only thing she stole is my heart. She tried her best to escape me and by pure luck, I found her. In the very last place I expected.

No matter how hard we try, we can’t resist each other, and as we grow closer, she’s starting to reveal pieces of herself. Sharing her secrets, sharing her truths. Yet she’s still hiding something from me, and I can’t figure it out.

Soon I have my own secrets to keep. One that has the potential to ruin everything…

 

review

Just like my review for Her Defiant Heart, I’m not going into too much detail, as this book is plot heavy, and I don’t want to ruin it for you. This series keeps getting better and better. It’s steamy, witty and FULL of twists and turns.

His Wasted Heart picks up right where Her Defiant Heart leaves off, and Rhett’s POV does not disappoint. I like this book more than the first one. Rhett is caring, charming and swoony. It’s so interesting seeing things from his perceptive. Not to mention getting a chance to meet his family, who are…interesting, to say the least.

The chemistry is still there in this book between Jensen and Rhett, more so than ever, but we also get to see their growth. They are bonding more emotionally, and not just physically.

In this book we get some questions answered, but we are also thrown some curve balls. AHH! I didn’t want the book to end, yet at the same time I was trying to read as quickly as I could.

If you loves series that are twisty and steamy, this is the series for you!

 

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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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Find exclusively on iBooks!

 

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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

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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blurbb

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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blurbb

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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blurbb

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