RELEASE DAY REVIEW – Chasing A Legend by Sarah Robinson

Title: Chasing a Legend
Author: Sarah Robinson
Series: Kavanagh Legends #4
Release Date: August 22, 2017

A topnotch manager and agent, Quinn Kavanagh pictures a life outside of his family’s renowned MMA gym. Beneath his sleek exterior, Quinn has a secret passion for sculpting. But after a nearly fatal motorcycle accident, he’s struggling just to walk again, let alone get back to the studio—and it doesn’t help that the doctor in charge of his physical therapy is his childhood crush. Quinn’s always ready for a fight, but the bittersweet sting of unrequited love has him begging for mercy.

Dr. Kiera Finley is determined to make her medical residency a success. Six years ago, she gave in and shared a single passionate night with Quinn. Now she’s just hoping the cocky lover from her past doesn’t derail her plans for the future. Little by little, though, Kiera gets to know another side of Quinn. She knew he was a family man, devoted to his parents and brothers, but he’s also a free spirit trapped in a cage—and only she has the key. To heal both Quinn’s body and soul, Kiera’s tempted to give him a special kind of medicine.

Sarah Robinson serves up a sweet, sexy second-chance romance with Quinn and Kiera’s story in Chasing a Legend. After a lifetime of friendship and one impassioned night that changed everything, this duo went their separate ways only to be reunited years later when Quinn finds himself under the care of Kiera (now a physical therapist). Their connection was immediate and their chemistry undeniable, the perfect building blocks for a heartfelt and deeply satisfying journey. Sarah Robinson did a fantastic job blending Quinn and Kiera’s old familiar feelings with their exciting new ones to create something enchanting and utterly addictive. I fell hard and fast for this adorable couple, reveling in their shared history and thrilled at the promise of something bigger, better, and forever taking root this time around.

“I like who I am when I’m with you, Keeks. I like who you push me to be. Don’t stop, promise?”

As much as I adored Quinn and Kiera as individuals, I really connected to their journey as a couple. They pushed each other to try new things, take risks, and live life on their own terms. Quinn and Kiera grew together in a way that was simply breathtaking and I couldn’t help but fall head over heels for this unforgettable duo. I enjoyed experiencing the emotions that came with wading through this couple’s past, loving both the heart-wrenching admissions and passionate revelations that came to light while exploring their hurts and moving forward together. The dynamic between these two characters was truly one-of-a-kind and it made rooting for Quinn and Kiera’s happily ever after an absolute must. Sarah Robinson had my heart soaring with the totally unique road these two travelled together and I loved that in all of their doubts and insecurities they felt entirely genuine.

“Life isn’t always meant to be easy, but it is meant to be happy . . . so find your happy.”

This would have been a 5 star read for me had it not been for the handful of storyline inconsistencies and medical improbabilities that pulled me out of the story. It’s the little things that really create a fictional world for me and finding error in the details tends to keep me from losing myself completely to an author’s words. If you’re not one to linger on the small stuff then you’ll probably be head over heels in love with this story because, for the most part, I genuinely was. Sarah Robinson has effortlessly re-captured the unique and brilliant feeling of family that readers have come to adore from the series. I absolutely loved seeing more of the Kavanagh family, catching up with past couples and getting hints at who we can expect to hear from next. Beautifully written and paced to be devoured, Chasing a Legend is the perfect addition to the Kavanagh Legends series. Quinn and Kiera are sure to leave their mark with this stunning second-chance romance!



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Breaking A Legend (Kavanagh Legends #1)

Breaking a Legend

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Saving A Legend (Kavanagh Legends #2)

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Becoming A Legend (Kavanagh Legends #3)

Becoming A Legend

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BLOG TOUR – Wish You Were Here by Renee Carlino

Title: Wish You Were Here
Author: Renee Carlino
Release Date: August 15, 2017

You know when you’re looking at someone and you can’t help but smile at how oblivious they are to their own charm? That’s what was happening to me, and it was making me feel…happy. Euphoric. Something indescribable. It was like we already knew each other, like we had met in a previous life. Memories that didn’t exist began exploding in my mind like fireworks. 

Charlotte has spent her twenties adrift, searching for a spark to jump-start her life and give her a sense of purpose. She’s had as many jobs as she’s had bad relationships, and now she’s feeling especially lost in her less-than-glamorous gig at a pie-and-fry joint in Los Angeles, where the uniforms are bad and the tips are even worse.

Then she collides—literally—with Adam, an intriguing, handsome, and mysterious painter. Their serendipitous meeting on the street turns into a whirlwind one-night stand that has Charlotte feeling enchanted by Adam’s spontaneity and joy for life. There’s promise in both his words and actions, but in the harsh light of morning, Adam’s tune changes, leaving Charlotte to wonder if her notorious bad luck with men is really just her own bad judgment.

Months later, a new relationship with Seth, a charming baseball player, is turning into something more meaningful, but Charlotte’s still having trouble moving past her one enthralling night with Adam. Why? When she searches for answers, she finds the situation with Adam is far more complicated than she ever imagined. Faced with the decision to write a new story with Seth or finish the one started with Adam, Charlotte embarks on a life-altering journey, one that takes her across the world and back again, bringing a lifetime’s worth of pain, joy, and wisdom.

Renee Carlino serves up another unexpected romance with Wish You Were Here. A one-of-a-kind twist on the love triangle, Charlotte’s story is fairly low on drama and overall, incredibly hopeful. This book read quickly and I was undeniably intrigued by the premise of the story. Fast paced and filled with fascinating secondary characters, Wish You Were Here explored life, love, and family in a totally unique way. I appreciated the various relationships Renee Carlino explored throughout this book. In addition to Charlotte’s very different relationships with Adam and Seth, the author highlighted the heroine’s friendship with Helen along with her relationships with her brother and parents. Endearing, self-reflective, and just the right amount of funny, this novel was sweet, surprising, and utterly life-affirming.

“She still believed in fairy tales. And because of that, she would get hers.”

My biggest issue with this novel was the emotional development of the heroine. Written to be flighty and unfocused, Charlotte’s voice sometimes came across as unfeeling and disconnected. We were told how Charlotte felt instead of being made to experience the emotions through her dialogue, deportment, and inner musings. This narrative style kept me at arms length and I was never really able to feel for the character the way I so desperately wanted to. Charlotte just felt too inconsistent and by the end of the story, I still wasn’t convinced her feelings were authentic. I genuinely missed being wholly captivated by Renee Carlino’s words and felt as if this story lacked the kind of heart-wrenching emotional depth and perfectly fluid pacing I’ve come to expect from this author.

“Promise me this is the last moment in your life that you will let fear stop you from doing what you want.”

That’s not to say I didn’t love pieces of this book. I definitely enjoyed getting to know both Adam and Seth. I’m always happy to fall in love with the hero, but falling for two was even better. Renee Carlino did a great job developing these completely different personalities while still managing to make both men utterly swoon-worthy and worth rooting for. Admittedly, the storyline had its ups and downs for me, but the last thirty percent or so really hit its mark. The beautiful imagery and poetic prose that colored the conclusion of Charlotte’s story was much more reminiscent of Renee Carlino’s usual style and I found myself truly appreciating the novel for its raw and poignant plot. Other readers may connect better with Charlotte than I did, in which case Wish You Were Here will certainly enchant. Renee Carlino reminds readers to live, laugh, and fall in love with this decidedly intriguing read.


Renee Carlino is one of those authors that I jump at the opportunity to read whenever I see that she has a new release coming. When Wish You Were Here was announced, it sounded like one of those life-altering, beautiful journeys that I just knew I would need to experience. What I never could have guessed was that it would turn out to be such an emotional ride from the very first moment we meet the characters until the very last turn of the page. Carlino presented unique aspects to tropes that exist in the literary world, putting her very own style and flair into them, which I certainly appreciated. The storyline was intriguing, resulting in a fast-paced read that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from.

“That’s the reason for all the paintings. The world came to life around me. I could see people for who they were, not what they had. And when I was with you, I felt more alive than ever before.”

That being said, I have to admit that I was a little underwhelmed with Wish You Were Here, especially in comparison to other novels I have read from this incredible writer. The emotional depth and imagery that is typical to her style was almost lacking in Charlotte’s story, which left me craving more on several occasions. I was never able to fully connect to any of the characters, but especially to the heroine of the story. Given that the book is written solely from her point of view, I felt it was critical to feel an emotional pull toward her, and yet, I did not. She came across as flighty and indecisive, without a level of maturation and growth. Furthermore, Carlino typically excels at painting a picture to draw her readers in and bring the story to life, but I never became a part of the story and felt like an outsider looking in for most of it.

“I think when you’re done searching for some of the bigger answers, you can experience this sense of awe again, like everything is different, covered in a new coat of paint.”

Despite my inability to connect with the characters in Wish You Were Here, I loved Carlino’s take on the storyline and overall message of the book. She wrote from the heart, resulting in an emotional read that is sure to tug on heartstrings and leave readers wanting more at the end. Her ability to teach others to live life to the fullest and appreciate the things we have is admirable and so pertinent given the society that we are living in and status of the world today. I may have just finished the story, but I’m already anxious to see what message of love and hope Renee Carlino will spread next.


“You’re making love sound tragic,” I said.

“No”—he shook his head—“I wouldn’t want it any other way. Tell me about us. What do we like to do?”

“Paint and sail and eat and drink. Just simple things.”

“Don’t forget about sex,” he said.

“Yeah, lots of sex. Before the children were born we were practically naked every second of the day.”

“I like that.”

“When they got older, we’d sneak away for weekends and leave them at my mom’s.”

“What are they like? Our children.”

“Happy. That’s all we wished for. We put our love first and it just spilled over into them and now they’re happy.”

Tears sprang from my eyes and ran down my cheeks. Isn’t that what we all hope for when it comes to our children?

His tone suddenly changed. “That’s beautiful, Char- lotte.” It was like he was waking up from the dream. I didn’t want to go back to reality yet, but I knew these fantasies were just to help Adam get his mind off things.

“I can imagine a long life with you,” he said. “I can imagine what a great wife you’d be.”

I pulled my hand out of his. “The story is about you and me.” He didn’t say anything; he just nodded and then continued to stare out the window. I bent and kissed the top of his head again, and whispered, “It’s about us. Don’t take that away from me.”

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Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women’s novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. Learn more at www.reneecarlino.com

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RELEASE DAY REVIEW – Never With You by Anie Michaels

Title: Never With You
Series: Never #6
Author: Anie Michaels
Release Date: August 15, 2017

Talia Lennick expected an uneventful week at the beach with her family. Reading, sunbathing, recharging her proverbial batteries—all typical beach vacation activities. Oh, and dealing with her family, who was too concerned with her almost-thirty-and-single status. What she didn’t expect was Briggs Townsend. Briggs was the handsome man living in the house next door, who looked too damned sexy all the time—whether he was surfing or wielding a tool belt while remodeling his beach house. It was hard to keep her eyes off him. But looking at him and admiring his incredible body was as far as she could take it, because a relationship was the last thing she needed.

Briggs Townsend was completely consumed with tearing down the house he’d shared with his cheating ex-wife and building new walls—for both the house and his heart. Women were the last thing on his mind when he spotted her on the beach. Then the firecracker in the sexy red bikini became the only thing he could think about. He didn’t need a relationship—but he needed her.

Two people who had both been burned in the past with undeniable chemistry and attraction, where was the harm in a little vacation romance? Sex with an expiration date sounded like a perfect solution, until emotions came into play. Will Talia be able to have casual sex with the irresistible stranger without getting lost in him? Will Briggs be willing to take a chance on her and tear down his walls to let her in? At the end of their week together, will either be able to walk away?

Anie Michaels takes readers back to the beach with the newest installment in the Never series, Never With You. A complete standalone, Briggs and Talia’s story is sweet, sizzling and overflowing with feels. From the moment they met to the very last page, this couple captivated with their adorable banter, inexplicable connection, and undeniable chemistry. I fell hard and fast for this duo, caught up in their whirlwind romance and wholly invested in the personal journeys that led them to one another. Anie Michaels expertly balanced the humor, heart, and heat of this story, serving up what felt like the perfect summer read. A feel good love story through and through, I laughed, swooned, and lost my heart to Talia and Briggs in Never With You.

“Even if it was only for a few hours, it was nice to be around someone who hadn’t seen me fall apart, hadn’t been around to witness the last year of my life.”

Having both been hit with their share of heartache, Briggs and Talia’s journey to love was somewhat reluctant. They were careful with their hearts, content to be friends (with benefits) and protect themselves from feeling too much too fast. As delightfully frustrating as this could be at times, it was the couple’s hesitance and obvious vulnerability that made this journey so incredibly sweet. I absolutely adored seeing Talia and Briggs come undone with one another – their growing feelings taking them both by surprise and leading them down a beautiful road of self-discovery, forgiveness, and healing. Anie Michaels did a phenomenal job nailing the emotions of this story, capturing every nuance of the characters and giving readers a hero and heroine that were lovable, easy to relate to, and impossible not to root for.

“You gotta be the one to walk away, firecracker.”

Fans of the series will absolutely swoon as all of our favorite couples make cameos throughout the book. Effortlessly recapturing the magic of this series, Anie Michaels once again delivers that fantastic feeling of family I’ve grown to love from her writing. With Talia’s family in tow and a much more relaxed setting, this book had a decidedly different vibe than the others in the series. Never With You was low on drama and angst, instead hitting readers with that kind of deliciously slow burn one expects from a vacation read. The storyline serves up plenty of heartfelt moments and just the right amount of steam to leave readers simultaneously satisfied and desperately wanting more. Paced to be savored and bursting with vibrant characters and breathtaking imagery, Anie Michaels has another utterly enchanting romance on her hands with Talia and Briggs.


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Never Close Enough (Never #1)

Never Close Enough

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Never Far Away (Never #2)

Never Far Away

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Never Giving Up (Never #3)

Never Giving Up

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Never Standing Still (Never #4)

never-standing-still

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Never Tied Down (Never #5)

never-tied-down

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REVIEW – Holy Frigging Matrimony by Emma Chase

Title: Tangled
Author: Emma Chase
Series: Tangled #1.5
Release Date: December 1, 2013

Synopsis

What does Drew Evans have to say next? Find out in this forty page short story, filled with his sexy charm, unique advice and hilarious one-liners.

Marriage: the final frontier. Steven went first. He was kind of our test subject. Like those monkeys that NASA sent off into space in the fifties, all the while knowing they’d never make it back.

And now another poor rocket is ready to launch.

But this isn’t just any posh New York wedding. You’ve seen my friends, you’ve met our families, you know you’re in for a treat. Everyone wants their wedding to be memorable. This one’s going to be un-frigging-forgettable.

Emma Chase delivers a delicious dose of the Tangled series with her short story, Holy Frigging Matrimony. I absolutely devoured this tale, loving every extra minute of Drew, Kate and the rest of the crazy Tangled family. Told from Drew’s point of view, Emma Chase’s voice is just as charming, hilarious, and addictive as I remembered and then some. Drew and Kate’s chemistry is as potent as ever and reader’s were quickly reminded just how hot things between this couple could get.

“Relationships only work when both parties put the other person’s feelings before their own. Without that? Things tend to implode rather quickly.”

While this story was certainly a sweet treat, there was also some real emotion and vulnerability laced throughout the pages. I must applaud Emma Chase for her ability to keep things light and sexy while still continuing to develop the characters and move them forward in their relationship. If anything, Holy Frigging Matrimony left me salivating for more of Drew and Kate and anxious to finally hear the rest of Matthew and Dee’s story. This short story is proof that Emma Chase never disappoints and fans of the Tangled series will undoubtedly love seeing some of their favorite characters back in action!


Emma Chase has given readers an absolute treat in the form of Holy Frigging Matrimony! Drew Varney is back with all his delicious antics and hilarious comments, and I could not be happier. This short and sweet bonus short story will make you fall in love with the characters (and impeccable writing) all over again. Emma Chase also included a couple of extra bonus scenes following moments in the course of Drew and Kate’s relationship and they were everything you’d expect – witty and entertaining. It was the perfect way to demonstrate that it’s difficult to teach an old dog new tricks 😉 If you’ve read Tangled already, this is a definite not miss – and if you haven’t met Drew and Kate yet, what the heck are you waiting for?!


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Tangled (Tangled #1)

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Twisted (Tangled #2)

Twisted

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Tamed (Tangled #3)

Tamed

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Tied (Tangled #4)

Tied

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It’s A Wonderful Tangled Christmas Carol (Tangled #4.5)

Its a Wonderful Tangled Christmas Carol

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REVIEW – Anything You Can Do by R.S. Grey

Title: Anything You Can Do
Author: R.S. Grey
Release Date: February 2, 2017

Lucas Thatcher has always been my enemy.

It’s been a decade since I’ve seen him, but our years on opposite coasts were less of a lasting peace and more of a temporary cease-fire. Now that we’re both back in our small town, I know Lucas expects the same old war, but I’ve changed since high school—and from the looks of it, so has he.

The arrogant boy who was my teenage rival is now a chiseled doctor armed with intimidating good looks. He is Lucas Thatcher 2.0, the new and improved version I’ll be competing with in the workplace instead of the schoolyard.

I’m not worried; I’m a doctor now too, board-certified and sexy in a white coat. It almost feels like winning will be too easy—until Lucas unveils a tactic neither of us has ever used before: sexual warfare.

The day he pushes me up against the wall and presses his lips to mine, I can’t help but wonder if he’s filling me with passion or poison. Every fleeting touch is perfect torture. With every stolen kiss, my walls crumble a little more. After all this time, Lucas knows exactly how to strip me of my defenses, but I’m in no hurry to surrender.

Knowing thy enemy has never felt so good.

R.S. Grey serves up plenty of heart, humor, and heat with Lucas and Daisy’s story in Anything You Can Do. An enemies-to-lovers romance, this duo kept me captivated with their witty banter, not-so-friendly (but utterly delightful) competition, and the totally electric chemistry that poured from the pages of this book. R.S. Grey has definitely crafted an entertaining dynamic with this unlikely hero and heroine and I enjoyed diving into their deliciously intense world. Having known each other since birth, the longstanding grudge between Lucas and Daisy ensured that their relationship was as unique as it was intriguing. I found myself quickly devouring their hilarious and sometimes adorably awkward story, anxious to see where their competitive natures would take them next.

“I am the Annie Oakley to his Frank Butler and I firmly believe that anything he can do, I can do better.”

While I adored the easy sarcasm and socially relevant humor that colored this book, Anything You Can Do was missing the kind of surprising emotional depth I’ve come to expect from R.S. Grey’s romantic comedies. The author generally dives a little deeper with her characters, demonstrating the development of a more significant connection between the characters as their relationship progresses and ensuring the reader’s complete investment in their happily ever after. However, this book was almost too focused on the fun, sexy side of Lucas and Daisy’s journey for me that the bits of raw emotion we did experience were easily overshadowed by the couple’s silly antics. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re looking for something smart, funny, and relatively angst-free, then Anything You Can Do won’t disappoint.

“I squeeze my eyes closed, preparing for death, and instead his lips press against mine. I am still alive. Maybe more than ever.”

An interesting blend of several popular themes: enemies-to-lovers, childhood friends, second-chance, and small-town romance, this novel definitely had a unique feel to it. I enjoyed the undeniable tension between Daisy and Lucas and fell hard for the vibrant secondary characters that rounded out their world. R.S. Grey made me laugh and swoon and happy sigh while also managing to throw in a few wrong turns that kept me flipping the pages until the very end. Packed with all of the author’s signature sass, sizzle and sweetness, this enemies-to-lovers romance is the kind of lighthearted read that will leave you absolutely grinning.


Whenever I am in the mood for a good laugh, I know that R.S. Grey is guaranteed to deliver. Her books are filled with the perfect balance of light-hearted humor and back and forth banter to make every reader smile. Anything You Can Do was a prime example of this and certainly left me grinning from ear to ear. Daisy and Lucas had an unconventional relationship, if you can call it that, but their story is just too much fun to miss!

“I am Daisy Bell, rival to Lucas Thatcher, and the weight of carrying around that hatred has started to wear on me.”

From the moment I began reading the story, I knew that Lucas and Daisy would have one of those firecracker type of relationships. Everything was a game and it became about who would come out on top. That fierce competitiveness definitely kept me intrigued, even though it sometimes felt slightly childish. There were moments that I wanted to shake both of the characters, clock their heads together, and tell them to figure things out. Furthermore, I needed just a bit more of depth from Lucas’ character. It may just be that I know what Grey is capable of, but I craved more from his personality and his back story. However, I can say with utmost certainty that the back and forth bickering between these two was hilarious and ultimately rewarding. It gave a new meaning to the enemies to lovers trope and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

“I brush my chest against his with my eyes closed, greedy for more. I am behind enemy lines and I feel alive.”

It seems that no matter where Grey’s characters take her, she promises to bring readers on a ride. Anything You Can Do will have you singing the classic tune, as well as seeing just how Daisy and Lucas can one up the other. It’s a read that I’d love to see an extended epilogue for, and have no doubt that others will want one too!


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RELEASE DAY REVIEW – The Wright Mistake by K.A. Linde

Title – The Wright Mistake
Author – K.A. Linde
Publication Date – August 8, 2017

I spent six weeks screwing Austin Wright’s brains out and all I got was this broken heart.

He can’t be trusted. Not with my body or my heart. Yet, two years have passed and I still crave him like an addict needing a fix.

The last time we tried this, it nearly ruined me. I know I should run and never look back. But his dark haunted eyes and razor blade smile speak to my soul. His touch sets my body on fire. And we all know what happens when you light gasoline. Someone is bound to get burned.

A second chance might destroy us both.

Because everyone knows two wrongs don’t make a Wright.

Oh my goodness! This book! This book had so many different feels that my head is still spinning and my heart is pounding out of my chest. Given that I’ve read the other siblings’ stories, I knew going in that The Wright Mistake would be angsty and highly emotional. However, I wasn’t quite prepared for what K. A.  Linde actually delivered. Austin’s book will make readers feel a gamut of emotions from positive to negative, but above all – hopeful.

“Austin Wright was broken…and I wasn’t about to try to fit the pieces back together.”

I was incredibly touched by Linde’s portrayal of Austin’s alcoholic traits. Having grown up with an alcoholic, it’s such a sensitive topic for me, so I often find myself in tune with these characters more so than usual. Austin and Julia were no exception, as their feelings were quite often ones that I have experienced. Austin has always been intriguing to me and in The Wright Mistake, it became abundantly clear as to why. He had such a complex personality, masking emotions and numbing much of his everyday life. My heart ached for him on more than one occasion, but it was Julia who was able to make it soar. I loved the way she defended herself and was this independent firecracker. Though she had deep insecurities and scars, she seemed to wear them with pride at times and it made me love her, wishing she could be in my circle of friends.

“When we spoke, we mixed about as well as oil and water, but our bodies were another story. We were the ocean waves, destined to crash together.”

Julia and Austin may have been combatant together at times, but their journey is definitely one for the books. The Wright Mistake sent an important message about loving others, as well as loving ourselves, and finding hope when we think all is lost. K.A Linde’s writing is as addictive as ever with incredible dialogue and real life scenarios that readers will not soon forget. If you’re ready for a read packed with emotion and grit, I promise that you don’t want to miss The Wright Mistake!


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Don’t Miss The Standalone Companion Novels!

The Wright Brother

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The Wright Boss

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The Wright Secret – Releasing January 9, 2018!

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Author Bio

K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifteen novels including the Avoiding series and the Record series. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, geeking out over Star Wars, binge-watching Supernatural, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

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RELEASE DAY REVIEW – A Better Place by Jennifer Van Wyk

Title: A Better Place
Author: Jennifer Van Wyk
Release Date: August 7, 2017

After James Cole’s wife walked out on him, he put his dreams aside to raise his daughter. But now she’s grown and he’s ready for more.

When the opportunity arises to own a restaurant, his life-long dream, he can’t deny that it’s meant to be. And for more reasons than one.

He’s kept his heart closed off since the day his wife walked away. He’s never found someone who he thought was worth opening himself up to. But one look at her, and he knew she was everything.

Carly Hanson has a secret. A secret only she and her teenage son Jack know about. She’s built a new life but kept herself carefully guarded.

The day Carly stumbled, literally, into James, her world was turned upside down. She tries to keep him strictly as a friend, but he’s relentless in his pursuit. Can he break down the walls she’s so firmly built? Can he get her to join him in… A Better Place?

Jennifer Van Wyk serves up another sweet, sparkling small town romance with James and Carly’s story in A Better Place. Heartfelt, entertaining, and hilarious at times, this book expertly recaptures the brilliant feeling of family first cultivated in the companion novel, From the Ground Up. A Better Place brings readers back to Liberty and reintroduces all of the vibrant, unforgettable characters that call Jennifer Van Wyk’s fictional world home. A Better Place delivers plenty of feels, overflowing with raw emotion, lots of laughs, and just the right amount of sizzle. James and Carly shared an absolutely electric chemistry that made for a ton of great banter and decidedly delicious moments. However, it was the deeply significant emotional connection this duo shared that made them so addictive and ensured I was wholly invested in their happily ever after.

“I knew in that moment that it was either him or me. That I could choose to let him win, let him take over my life even more than he already had. Or I could be fierce. I could be strong.”

Carly is the kind of heroine you can’t help but root for. Having been through some seriously dark stuff in her life, I found myself in awe of Carly’s incredible strength, obvious kindness, and inspiring resilience. I wanted to hug her and high-five her all at once, completely moved by this breathtaking character. Carly’s relationship with her son Jack was equally touching and I quickly fell hard for their fantastic family. Jennifer Van Wyk did a phenomenal job developing this character over the course of the story. Seeing Carly’s beautiful spirit and brave heart being truly appreciated and watching her grow into her own as her relationship with James progressed, made my heart all kinds of happy.

“In the real world, people’s hearts don’t stutter just from someone’s look.”

James was pretty much book boyfriend perfection. I sincerely adored his relationship with his niece and nephews, his daughter Lily, and Jack. Talk about making me melt in all the best ways! Although he seemed fairly flawless, James had his own baggage. In fact, it was James’ past and the hurt he had suffered that made him feel so tangible and easy to connect with. James had overcome his obstacles to build a life he could be proud of and this made him the perfect match for Carly. James’ unwavering patience, absolute understanding, and fierce love for not only Carly, but Jack too, had me all sorts of swooning.

“Around him I feel like it would be okay to maybe try again, move forward and break all my rules. I’m falling for him, hard. Along the way, I wondered how the hell it happened. But I realized… he happened.”

Jennifer Van Wyk’s writing has definitely grown since her first novel and I loved experiencing the depth of the emotion she seems to so effortlessly have captured with Carly and James’ story. Touching upon some tough subjects, I must applaud the author for not only giving a voice to anyone who has experienced what Carly has, but also doing so with the kind of quiet grace and incredible strength these warriors deserve. I appreciated how perfectly this story balanced the heartbreak with the humor and overall hopeful nature of Carly and James’ story, taking readers on a journey that was as enchanting as it was poignant. Simply breathtaking, unapologetically real, and absolutely memorable, A Better Place is a grand slam of a second novel from author Jennifer Van Wyk!


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From the Ground Up

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RELEASE DAY REVIEW – Broken Hearts by Micalea Smeltzer

Title: Broken Hearts
Author: Micalea Smeltzer
Series: Light in the Dark #5
Release Date: August 4, 2017

After everything we’ve been through, I thought we could weather any storm.
But this is one thing neither of us ever saw coming.

Jace and Nova have learned to roll with the punches—they’ve had to. The last few years have been bliss-filled and better than they imagined, but they’re ready to take the next step.

The problem?

Life apparently has other plans.

Sometimes you have to fight for what you want, and for Jace and Nova they’ll have to battle this war together or lose it all in the process.

Micalea Smeltzer serves up one seriously angsty sequel to Jace and Nova’s story with Broken Hearts. Picking up shortly after Dark Hearts left off, Jace and Nova are living their happily ever after when life throws them a series of curveballs that would change their relationship forever. My heart ached and soared and sang and shattered as I experienced this journey alongside the couple. Micalea Smeltzer definitely didn’t pull any punches, putting Jace and Nova through the wringer repeatedly over the course of this story. Through it all, their electric chemistry and significant connection continued to outshine the darkness, bringing a much-needed sense of hope to an otherwise emotional rollercoaster. This couple continued to captivate me with their delightfully snarky banter and unexpectedly sweet moments, ensuring that I was once again riveted to this novel from start to finish.

“Sometimes we wait for things because we’re scared. I don’t want to go through life denying myself things because I’m scared. That’s not me. It’s not us. We’re wild and chaotic.  A storm that can’t be contained.”

Jace and Nova both go through some serious growth as their story progressed, surprising me at every turn with their strength and incredible resilience. I loved seeing this couple come unhinged, even if it meant completely obliterating my heart in the process. There was something so beautiful about their unmistakable vulnerability. Both characters felt utterly raw and undeniably genuine, making it easy to relate to their heartache and invest myself further in their journey. While I definitely found myself cursing the author a time or two as I read, there was no doubt that this couple had the kind of real, gritty and unapologetic love that would see them through any storm. The obstacles Jace and Nova faced in this book only served to further the depth of their connection and left me with no choice but to fall harder for this duo than ever before.

“Confession—” I whisper and he turns his attention to me. “I used to dream in black and white but now it’s in color, and it’s all because of you.”

I absolutely adored seeing more of Cade, Rae, Thea and Xander – their presence and role in the story giving Broken Hearts that overwhelming feeling of family I’ve come to love from this collection of colorful characters. Although decidedly darker than previous books in the series, Broken Hearts managed to capture all of Micalea Smeltzer’s signature sass, sizzle and sweetness. This book made me laugh and cry and swoon, guaranteeing that my heart wouldn’t be the same by the time all was said and done. From the enchanting writing to the whirlwind pacing, everything about this story was perfect for Jace and Nova. The world Micalea Smeltzer has so effortlessly brought to life with this novel is vibrant, breathtaking and overflowing with heart-stopping emotions. Topped off with the kind of epilogue that leaves your heart bursting at the seams, Broken Hearts is a powerful and stunning conclusion to Jace and Nova’s epic, must-read romance!


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Rae of Sunshine (Light in the Dark #1)

Rae of Sunshine

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When Stars Collide (Light in the Dark #2)

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Dark Hearts (Light in the Dark #3)

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When Constellations Form (Light in the Dark #4)

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Author Bio

micalea-smeltzer

Hi. I’m Micalea. Ma-call-e-uh. Weird name, I know. My mom must’ve known I was going to be odd even in the womb. I’ve written a lot of books. Like a lot. Don’t ask me how many, I don’t remember at this point. I have an unhealthy addiction to Diet Coke but I can’t seem to break the habit. I listen to way too much music and hedgehogs have taken over my life. Crazy is the word that best sums up my life, but it’s the good kind of crazy and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

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REVIEW – Midnight Lily by Mia Sheridan

Title: Midnight Lily
Author: Mia Sheridan
Series: Sign of Love #9
Release Date: March 1, 2016

Holden Scott is the prince of professional football. At least he was before he lost it all . . . or more to the point, before he threw it all away. Now he’s out of a job, out of the public’s good graces, and perhaps just a little out of his mind. So when a friend offers up his remote lodge in the wilds of Colorado, giving Holden some time away to get his life back on track, he can hardly say no. The last thing he expects is to see a beautiful girl in the woods—one wearing a white, lace dress who appears in the moonlight, and leaves no footprints behind. Is she a dream? A ghost? A product of his muddled imagination? Or something entirely different?

Midnight Lily is the haunting love story of two lost souls reaching for each other in the dark. A tale of healing, acceptance, and the worlds we create to protect our own hearts. It is a story of being lost, of being found, and of being in the place between.

Bs Review

Once again, I find myself totally blown away by Mia Sheridan! Midnight Lily is all consuming and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. From the raw and gripping emotions to the ingenuity of the storyline, Lily’s journey held me captive from start to finish and continued to linger long after the final page had been turned. This is definitely one of those books you should go into completely blind, experiencing every nuance of this novel for yourself. Mia Sheridan kept my head spinning and my heart aching as I navigated this emotional rollercoaster right alongside the hero and heroine. Holden and Lily’s obvious connection, potent chemistry and uncertain future made for one seriously riveting read and I’m still in complete awe of every twist and turn this storyline took.

“It felt like my soul was sleeping, and I had no earthly idea what would wake it up again.”

From the moment I dove into this book, I knew that Midnight Lily would be something special. The premise was intriguing and the characters a bit mysterious, more than enough to capture my attention and hold it. However, I couldn’t have prepared myself for the deeply emotional and shockingly delicate direction this story would take. Mia Sheridan proves to be fearless as she tackles some serious issues with this novel, shining a light on the human condition in a way that is somewhat dark, a little bit scary, and unapologetically real. Lily and Holden’s journey seemed to give my own pain and grief a voice and by the time all was said and done, this couple had somehow delivered me to a place of peace and acceptance. I have to applaud the author for the beautifully bold and incredibly graceful way in which she told this unconventional love story. Midnight Lily is simply stunning.

“And for just that moment, we had found our very own world, and we lived in it joyfully.”

I had a few issues with how quickly things wrapped up and the role of certain characters introduced near the end of the story, but overall Midnight Lily was absolutely incredible. The magic of Mia Sheridan lies in her unparalleled diversity. Each book is a completely new reading experience, significant and unique in its entirety. Midnight Lily did not disappoint in this regard and yet, also maintained that inexplicable quality that makes this novel undoubtedly Mia Sheridan’s handiwork. From the poignant writing and enchanting imagery to the wholly unexpected storyline and carefully complex characters, Lily and Holden’s journey was everything I’ve come to love from this author and then some. Mia Sheridan explores love, loss and the power of the human mind in this thought provoking and beautifully haunting story.

Rating

Cs Review

Wow – I finished Midnight Lily and honestly could not think of words to do this story justice. I’ve read plenty of other things from Mia Sheridan, but this book was nothing like I would have expected; it was so much more. The depth in character development and complexity of the storyline kept me turning the pages, aching to see how the author would come to a resolution. My mind was absolutely blown from Midnight Lily, with all its twists and turns, that I’m not even sure I have proper words to do the story justice.

“I wanted someone to save me. But I didn’t know what to do about that.”

If there is one thing I’ve come to learn, it’s that Mia Sheridan’s mind is a fountain of unique, fresh ideas. Midnight Lily was so inventive that I’m still struggling to truly process the plot. Though I can understand the polarized reviews on this particular book, nobody can deny just how incredible this woman’s writing is. She pens such a complex world that sucks readers in, time and time again. Though each story of hers is incredibly different from the one before it, Sheridan gives a voice to the perceived outcasts of society and I absolutely love her for it. The characters in this particular book are mind-boggling, yet I couldn’t help but admire their tenacity and courage for everything they both have gone through.

“…we don’t get to choose what we carry, but we do get to choose the grace with which we carry it.”

There is one shortfall for me when it came to Midnight Lily, and that was one of the side characters. I needed a bit more of an explanation or connection to her purpose in order to fully engage in the story. However, that does not mean that I didn’t fully enjoy this novel. I was blown away by the words on the page and continue to be even now. Midnight Lily will take readers on the ride of a lifetime, keeping them guessing at what will happen next. I felt blindsided so many different times, but only ever in the best way possible. Sheridan’s writing continues to evolve and she keeps surprising me so I can’t wait to see what happens next…I just know it will be fantastic!

Rating

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Don’t miss the rest of the Sign of Love series:

Leo (Sign of Love #1)

Leo by Mia Sheridan

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Leo’s Chance (Sign of Love #2)

Leos Chance by Mia Sheridan

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Stinger (Sign of Love #3)

Stinger by Mia Sheridan

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Archer’s Voice (Sign of Love #4)

Archers Voice by Mia Sheridan

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Becoming Calder (Sign of Love #5)

Becoming Calder by Mia Sheridan

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Finding Eden (Sign of Love #6)

Finding Eden by Mia Sheridan

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Kyland (Sign of Love #7)

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Grayson’s Vow (Sign of Love #8)

Graysons Vow by Mia Sheridan

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Ramsay (Sign of Love #10)

Ramsay

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Preston’s Honor (Sign of Love #11)

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RELEASE DAY REVIEW – The Difference Between Us by Rachel Higginson

Title – The Difference Between Us
Author – Rachel Higginson
Publication Date – July 25, 2017
Series – Opposites Attract #2

I’m cursed.

At least when it comes to finding Mr. Right.

I’m tired of men that only want one night stands or blind dates that are nothing but awkward and uncomfortable. I’m tired of avoiding inappropriate text messages and the constant disappointment of always meeting Mr. Wrong.

After all these years of dates that lead nowhere, I can admit that it’s me. I’m the problem. I’m shy and picky and cursed. Definitely cursed.

So I’ve decided two things.

The first? I’m giving up dating and relationships and men in general. Maybe, possibly, forever.

The second? I’m going to have to try harder to avoid Ezra Baptiste.

If I couldn’t hack it in the kiddy pool of dating, I certainly can’t swim in his deep end. He’s too successful. Too intense. He’s all man when I’m used to nothing but boys pretending to be grownups. He’s everything I’m afraid to want and so far out of my league we might as well be different species entirely.

So he’ll need to find a different artist to paint his mural. And a different graphic designer to help him with his website. He’ll need to find someone else to glare at and flirt with and kiss.

It can’t be me.

We’re too different.

Rachel Higginson dazzles once again with the release of The Difference Between Us! The second book in the Opposites Attract series is filled with that delicious slow burn in your stomach, the kind where you’re waiting for the explosion of tingles to come and boy does it deliver. Ezra and Molly’s relationship is angsty in an untraditional sense, filled with a back and forth banter that is bound to keep readers on their toes. I don’t think the grin was wiped from my face the entire time, and that certainly makes for an awesome read!

“And hating him didn’t feel safe anymore either. In fact none of the emotions I felt for Ezra felt safe. But they didn’t necessarily feel wrong either.”

I saw pieces of the girl I used to be whenever I read Molly’s inner thoughts, and I think that’s what likened me to her so much. She was so unsure of any relationship, given that her family was dysfunctional and didn’t provide the best example. However, it turned out her biggest obstacle was her own mind. I really loved the uncertainty surrounding Ezra. We saw him through Molly’s eyes the entire time, so his personality was always colored with the vibe that she got from him, rather than his feelings and emotions. He would make comments that seemed like flirting, but with Molly’s bias, it was difficult to know for sure. Honestly, it was my favorite part of the entire novel. I’m normally a fan of the double point of view so I can tell what both the hero and heroine are thinking, but I could not image The Difference Between Us being written any other way. Higginson hit the nail on the head, providing just enough intrigue and fun-filled banter to keep readers smiling and wondering just when the fireworks would happen.

“I had spent twenty-seven years of my life blending in. But I wasn’t invisible with Ezra. He saw me. And I was enough for him.”

I wish that the end of the novel didn’t wrap up quite so abruptly, but I enjoyed the story nonetheless. I think that readers will find themselves aching for more from not only our main hero and heroine, but the secondary characters as well. The writing is memorizing, the storyline is fantastic, and I promise that you’ll be finding anything but the difference between you and these characters. I may have just finished, but I’m already dying to dive back in for a reread!


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The Opposite of You (Opposites Attract #1)

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