Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Vicious (Sinners of Saint 1) by L.J. Shen

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Emilia
They say love and hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances, and it’s true. The man who comes to me in my dreams also haunts me in my nightmares. He is a brilliant lawyer. A skilled criminal. A beautiful liar. A bully and a savior, a monster and a lover.

Ten years ago, he made me run away from the small town where we lived. Now, he came for me in New York, and he isn’t leaving until he takes me with him.

Vicious
She is a starving artist. Pretty and evasive like cherry blossom. Ten years ago, she barged into my life unannounced and turned everything upside down. She paid the price.

Emilia LeBlanc is completely off-limits, my best friend’s ex-girlfriend. The woman who knows my darkest secret, and the daughter of the cheap Help we hired to take care of our estate. That should deter me from chasing her, but it doesn’t. So she hates me. Big fucking deal. She better get used to me.

Book: Vicious (Sinners of Saint 1) by L.J. Shen
Published: December 27, 2016
Pages: 339
Genres: Romance, Erotica
Format: Kindle
Date Read: December 27-28, 2021
Rating: 4 Potatoes πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”

I have never read a book by this author before so I wasn't sure what to expect but I can confidently say I will definitely read some of her other work in the future!

My initial thoughts for this book was how on earth could this be a romance novel? The heroine has a crush on the hero and is just as infatuated with him as he is with her but I couldn't figure out why. I use the term hero for Vicious very loosely, he is a brutally honest jerk. He is arrogant, obnoxious and down right nasty to everyone he meets. I honestly have no idea why anyone associates with him. I guess money and looks trump personality?

"You were so clean and I was filthy. I guess I wanted to dirty you up."

I was about 50% into this book when I realized there might be something redeemable in Vicious after all! He began to open up to Emilia and started to change, ever so slightly. At least when it came to her, not so much to everyone else.

"I'm just not sure how you can be both nice and compassionate and a terrible asshole all at the same time."

Emilia said this to Vicious in a later part of the book and she really hit the nail on the head with this one! It was at this point that I really started rooting for them as a couple! Vicious was actually trying to be nice to Emilia, just because he cared about her and not just to use her as a means to an end.

I honestly did not think I would have anything nice to say about Vicious after reading this book but gosh, he was really dealt a crappy hand in life and didn't know how to deal with it since he had no support. I understood the whys and even though he went about everything the wrong way I truly wanted him to get the happily ever after he deserved! I love that, at his core, the Vicious in the end of the book is the same one at the beginning, with Emilia being the only exception to the rule.

All in all, I ended up enjoying this book and am thinking of rereading it now that my eyes have been opened!

Friday, December 24, 2021

Not My Romeo (The Game Changers 1) by Ilsa Madden-Mills

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We start off with a lie on Valentine’s Day.

My blind date isn’t the studious guy I expected: he’s a drop-dead gorgeous player with sinful amber eyes. Somehow we end up at his penthouse. I blame the gin and tonic.

The next day I learn he’s Jack Hawke—bad-boy professional quarterback with a murky past. The NDA he has me sign should be a warning that he isn’t a regular person. Please. I sign it Juliet Capulet, so goodbye, famous football player with abs of steel, and good luck tracking down this small-town librarian.

But Jack keeps showing up in places I least expect him. Just when I’m sure he’s gone, he waltzes into my community theater and wins the part of Romeo to my Juliet. How’s a plain, mostly innocent girl like me supposed to resist a man like him?

Is Jack my real Romeo… or will this gorgeous football player only break my heart?

Book: Not My Romeo (The Game Changers 1) by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Published: August 18, 2020
Pages: 346
Genres: Romance, Rom-Com, Athlete
Format: Kindle
Date Read: December 23-24, 2021
Rating: 4 Stars

So this is another one of my reviews that accidentally got deleted so I apologize if its a little less wordy than usual. Thanks again Google Keep!

This book had me in stitches for the hero and heroines first meeting! I could feel the instant spark between them and love how their journey together began. It is definitely a story to tell the future grandkids!

I loved how realistic both the hero and heroine were. They were both flawed with baggage but truly good people at their core, just trying to do what makes them happy. They didn't instantly fall in love but they had amazing chemistry and fit each other so well that I kept rooting for them to be together.

The ensemble cast was amazing - loved all the extra characters and their back stories. Well, all but one and I'm sure everyone else feels the same way!

I saw there is a second book to this series and I am definitely intrigued because this is a book I will read again in the future and always recommend if someone asks about it. Check it out, you will not be disappointed.

Back in the Burbs (The Burbs 1) by Tracy Wolff and Avery Flynn

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Ever have one of those days where life just plain sucks? Welcome to my last three months—ever since I caught my can’t-be-soon-enough ex-husband cheating with his paralegal. I’m thirty-five years old, and I’ve lost my NYC apartment, my job, my money, and frankly, my dignity.

But the final heartache in the suck sandwich of my life? My great-aunt Maggie died. The only family member who’s ever gotten me. Even after death, though, she’s helping me get back up. She’s willed me the keys to a house in the burbs, of all places, and dared me to grab life by the family jewels. Well, I’ve got the vise grips already in hand (my ex should take note) and I’m ready to fight for my life again.

Too bad that bravado only lasts as long as it takes to drive into Huckleberry Hills. And see the house. There are forty-seven separate HOA violations, and I feel them all in my bones. Honestly, I’m surprised no one’s “accidentally” torched the house yet. I want to, and I’ve only been standing in front of it for five minutes. But then my hot, grumpy neighbor tells me to mow the lawn first and I’m just...done. Done with men too sexy for their own good and done with anyone telling me what to do ever again.

First rule of surviving the burbs? There is nothing that YouTube and a glass of wine can’t conquer.

Book: Back in the Burbs (The Burbs #1) by Tracy Wolff and Avery Flynn
Published: March 30, 2021
Pages: 326
Genres: Romance
Format: Kindle
Date Read: December 22, 2021
Rating: 3.5 Potatoes

First of all, I apologize for the short review for this one. My original review was accidentally deleted!

I read this book straight through, I just could not put it down!

The heroine made me so angry in the beginning that I just wanted to slap her but I continued to read, hoping she would get her redemption. I was getting so frustrated with how naive she was towards her ex. He took advantage of her in every way and she just let him. But then, when I really thought about it - how many women are in the same boat? So the more I thought about it, the more realistic this book became and the more I started to understand her motives a bit.

I enjoyed the character of Nick from the second we met him in the book and I loved his chemistry with Mallory!

There were many unnecessary scenes in this book in my opinion but it was a good read and I truly did enjoy it.

Pierced by Sydney Landon

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Lucian Quinn is the wonder boy of the business world. At twenty-nine, he owns one of the hottest software companies in the world. Personally, his life has been filled with tragedy and loss. He has learned to use his hate to survive and even thrive professionally, but his demons are always there, lurking just out of sight.

Lia Adams is a college student who has suffered through years of abuse at home to get to where she is today. She has done whatever was necessary to survive, including working as an escort for Date Night to pay for her education. Her life changes forever the day that Lucian Quinn’s friend convinces him to hire an escort for an important business dinner.

Circumstances bring two people that should have never crossed paths together and in the days and weeks ahead, they grow close quickly, each seeing a kindred soul in the other. As ghosts from their past rise to haunt them, they cling to each other as their lives start to spiral out of control. Soon, they realize that they’re both damaged possibly beyond repair. Will their love be what saves or destroys them?

Book: Pierced by Sydney Landon
Published: July 2, 2014
Pages: 235
Genres: Romance, Erotica
Format: Kindle
Date Read: December 15-21, 2021
Rating: 2 Potatoes πŸ₯”πŸ₯”

My initial thoughts for this book were not good. I did not like the way the hero talked about women, treating them as objects. Then when he talked to the heroine, who was a stranger, in the same over sexualized manner it didn't make sense to me. And as someone who was sexually, verbally and physically abused, the heroine's behavior to him talking to her that way really didn't make sense to me.

That being said, I continued to read as the storyline intrigued me. I ended up finishing this book and I'm not really sure what to make of it. I liked the storyline but not how it was executed. I didn't feel any kind of spark between the hero and heroine, it was like instant lust that turned into love. And I really didn't understand what they saw in each other, except looks. They never talked about any other traits they liked about each other.

This book had such promise from the ratings and reviews but it was a let down for me. I would not read it again or recommend it.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Meant To Be (Sweetbriar Cove 1) by Melody Grace

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Poppy Somerville believes in happily-ever-after. It’s the reason her romance novels have won devoted readers all over the world—and why she’s broken off her engagement just weeks before the wedding instead of settling for less than true love. Escaping to her aunt’s beach cottage in Sweetbriar Cove, Poppy is looking for inspiration to end her writer’s block and finish her new book. She just wasn’t counting on the handsome, gruff contractor making such a racket next door…

Cooper Nicholson doesn’t believe in soul-mates. He thought he’d found his forever once, and the world proved him wrong, so when the cute brunette comes storming over and demands he keep the noise down, romance is the last thing on his mind. But his new neighbor is full of surprises, and soon, their chemistry is too hot to ignore.

As they grow closer, they discover fiction has nothing on the plot twists life has in store. But will Cooper find a way to let go of the past and risk his heart again? And can Poppy find her happy ending — on and off the page?

Book: Meant To Be (Sweetbriar Cove 1) by Melody Grace
Published: February 24, 2017
Pages: 292
Genres: Romance, Freebie On Amazon
Format: Kindle
Date Read: December 12-13, 2021
Rating: 4 Potatoes πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”

"Sharing something real, revealing your heart... that always matters, whether its for a week or a year."

I absolutely love books set in small towns where everyone is considered family so I knew I would enjoy Sweetbriar Cove.

I loved how strong our heroine, Poppy, was from the first few pages. It could not have been easy to break up with her fiance, knowing they were settling for each other and both deserved more. It was very courageous of her.

Cooper...oh Cooper. I enjoyed his character from the first scene he was in! He had absolutely no self esteem when it came to love but was such a gentleman and truly tried to help Poppy with her writing struggles.

I didn't care for the misunderstandings and childish decisions between the hero and heroine after getting together but I can understand why they would do the things they did, based on their pasts.

I read this book in the span of a few hours and truly enjoyed it. I would have liked a longer epilogue or more chapters of the hero and heroine after they got together. We didn't get much and I would have liked to see more of the day to day and how things are working out for then.

If given the opportunity, I will definitely look into the rest of the books in the series.

One Tough Cowboy by Lora Leigh

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For as long as Samantha can remember, Hunter—a man as strong as steel, with a heart of gold—has been her hero. It came as no surprise to Samantha when she found out that the ranch-hardened cowboy who always protected her from bullies went on to become the town’s sheriff. What does surprise her is how incredibly hot he still is. And how much she still wants him…

And, lo and behold, Hunter still has feelings for Samantha. The long-smoldering heat of their innocent flirtation has grown into a full-raging fire. But when tragedy strikes, and their small-town community is shattered, Hunter vows to do everything he can to keep his childhood sweetheart safe. But can Samantha trust that Hunter has her best interests at heart…and that, after all these years, his love is true?

Book: One Tough Cowboy by Lora Leigh
Published: January 29, 2019
Pages: 293
Genres: Romance, Cowboy, Erotica
Format: Kindle
Date Read: December 11-12, 2021
Rating: 2 Potatoes πŸ₯”πŸ₯”

With the way this book started, I thought it would be a nice slow burn. Then, only 4 or 5 chapters in, the hero and heroine had sex and I was left confused. These characters had barely even flirted at this point! Both had crushed on each other 10 years ago and liked what they saw now but they were having a serious discussion and then bam- having sex. I don't know if its just my old fashioned views or what but I was definitely shocked by what seemed like a random sex scene.

In the next chapter they almost have sex again and then the heroine says that they need to stop and that it was a mistake. I enjoy Lora Leighs writing so much, some of my favorite books were written by her, but this book confused me more than anything in the first few chapters.

I kept reading, hoping it would get better as I truly do enjoy her characters and stories but it didn't. I ended up skimming the second half of the book just to see how it ended.

I was not impressed by this book, the characters annoyed me and seemed to have no real depth, the storyline itself had potential to be great but was too rushed. I will obviously continue to read Lora Leigh's books in the future but this one gets a thumbs down from me.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Like You Love Me by Adriana Locke

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Two childhood friends are playing house—and maybe playing for keeps—in this sexy, and unpredictable marriage-of-convenience romance.

To save her Tennessee bed-and-breakfast, Sophie Bates needs a fast-cash miracle. Holden McKenzie, her childhood best friend, needs to prove to a prospective employer that he’s a committed man. Their fortunes on the line, Holden proposes…a solution.

He’ll take care of Sophie’s bills if she agrees to a temporary marriage of convenience. And why not? They’re comfortable together, they have fun, and they trust each other. It’s as simple as saying “I do.” But the off-the-cuff wedding has all of Honey Creek talking—and Sophie and Holden realizing that their perfect arrangement is working too well. If they’re not careful, this marriage could turn into a love story.

Book: Like You Love Me by Adriana Locke
Published: February 16, 2021
Pages: 284
Genres: Romance
Format: Kindle
Date Read: October 23-December 10, 2021
Rating: 4 Potatoes πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”

This book was so predictable that I figured out the ending pretty much off the bat but I enjoyed it anyway!

I liked the hero and heroine and how there wasn't just this instant love between them, even though they knew each other forever. As childhood friends they were comfortable picking up their friendship where they left off, which paved the way to more.

I truly enjoyed this book and don't have any complaints with it. Will it be a favorite of mine? No, not at all. But it was a good book from start to finish and is definitely worth reading!

A Love Song for Liars (Rivals #1) by Piper Lawson

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I fell for Tyler Adams when he had nothing but a guitar.
He was my rebel prince, my handsome muse, my twisted friend.
We were worlds apart in every way that mattered:
He was poor, I was rich.
He was beautiful, I was plain.
He honed his talent in private, while I ached for the spotlight.
When Tyler moved in with us, Oakwood Prep fell on its knees to worship at his altar.
He traded my friendship for their crown.
I will never forgive his betrayal.
But some nights...
He makes me want to.

Book: A Love Song for Liars (Rivals #1) by Piper Lawson
Published: April 29th 2020
Pages: 195
Genres: Romance, Freebie on Amazon, New Adult
Format: Kindle
Date Read: October 16-18, 2021
Rating: 3.5 Potatoes πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”

"Forgive me."
"Someday."
"When?"
"When you never leave me."


This book definitely took my heart on a roller coaster of emotions. I truly did enjoy reading it but I'm not sure if I want to read the next book or not.

Both characters were very wishy washy and Annie was extremely childish. I found myself wanting to stop reading the book multiple times because of her.

Tyler was hard to get a read on as well. He cared for Annie, he liked her and that never wavered but he chose time and time again not to fight for her. It was very frustrating.

Again, the book was well written and I enjoyed it for the most part, but I don't think I will be reading the rest of the series.

Friday, October 15, 2021

The Real Thing (Sugar Lake #1) by Melissa Foster

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This sassy, spirited baker is fine with heat—but is her fake fiancΓ© too hot to handle?

Bakery owner Willow Dalton’s friendship with Zane Walker has always been a bit complicated. Now a scrumptiously hot A-list actor, Zane’s always had a reputation as player. He’s arrogant, and he’s definitely not boyfriend material. Sure, he did Willow a favor by agreeing to take her virginity before college, but is that reason enough to go along with a fake engagement a decade later—even if it comes with a real diamond ring?

Zane should have known better. Nothing involving Willow has ever been easy. Still, he knows her better than anyone, and becoming America’s hottest new leading man means cleaning up his reputation. An “engagement” to curvy, sass-mouthed Willow is the perfect PR move . . . provided no one gets hurt.

Now Zane and Willow’s little white lie has turned into an irresistible recipe for sweet temptation. And soon no one will be able to tell the difference between their fake engagement or the real thing—including them.

Book: The Real Thing (Sugar Lake #1) by Melissa Foster
Published: September 5th, 2017
Pages: 288 Pages
Genres: Romance
Format: Kindle
Date Read: October 12-14, 2021
Rating: 4 Potatoes πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”

I read this book in 2 nights. I just could not put it down and enjoyed every single page of this book from start to finish.

I did notice that the summary for the book didn't seem to really match up with the book itself. The heroine is the sibling of the hero's best friend and that was something I was suprised wasn't included in the summary. It definitely threw me for a loop.

I loved Willow and Zane. They had such great chemistry and I enjoyed reading their past, and present relationship unfold. It was refreshing to read about a hero who knew who and what he wanted and wasn't afraid to do whatever he had to do to win the girl and keep her.

I'm not sure if I will read the rest of the books in the series since some of the other characters didn't really interest me but I will defintely read other books from this author. Brava!

Make Me Yours (Bellamy Creek #2) by Melanie Harlow

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He’s my brother’s best friend.

The hot single dad next door.

And one accidental sext later, my massive crush on him is no longer a secret.

It’s my own damn fault. I’m thirty years old, for heaven’s sake. I’m a kindergarten teacher and a (reasonably) responsible adult. I should know better than to get tipsy and draft a fake text listing all the dirty things I wish Officer Cole Mitchell would do to me.

I wasn’t supposed to hit send.

He wasn’t supposed to see it.

And he definitely wasn’t supposed to text back telling me to go on . . .

Because after that, things escalate quickly.

Cole is everything I’ve ever wanted. He’s sexy and protective. A devoted father to his little girl. A dedicated cop the whole town adores. The kind of guy you can trust to keep his hands to himself, even when you’re desperately hoping he won’t.

I’m not the girl he thought he’d end up with, but after all this time, I might finally get the chance to say the words I’ve always dreamed of . . . make me yours.

Book: Make Me Yours (Bellamy Creek #2) by Melanie Harlow
Published: November 23, 2020
Pages: 371
Genres: Romance, Heroine loves siblings best friend, Men in Uniform
Format: Kindle
Date Read: October 6-11, 2021
Rating: 3.5 Potatoes πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”

I did not read the first book in this series but I'm always a sucker for books where the hero is friends with the heroine's brother so I wanted to give it a try.

I'm still undecided on a true rating for this book. I liked it, I enjoyed reading it, but i felt it needed a little bit more. I enjoyed the characters and loved our hero and heroine but we needed to understand them better. I also would have liked there to be more realistic timeliness and not so much instant love/relationships and such.

All that being said, I truly did enjoy this book and it was a good read!

Friday, February 5, 2021

Mystery Man (Dream Man 1) by Kristen Ashley

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Night time is the right time...

Gwendolyn Kidd has met the man of her dreams. He's hot, he's sexy, and what started as a no-names-exchanged night of passion has blossomed into a year and a half-long pleasure fest. Sure, it's a little strange that he only appears in her bed at night, but Gwen is so sure he's the one, she just can't turn him away...

Hawk Delgado knows more about Gwen than she could ever imagine. She's gorgeous, headstrong, and skittish about relationships. But Hawk is facing his own demons, demons that keep him from connecting with anyone. Yet when Gwen is drawn into Denver's lethal underground scene, Hawk's protective nature comes out full force. The problem is, when Gwen gets a dose of Hawk's Alpha attitude in the daylight, she's not so sure he's the one anymore...

Book: Mystery Man (Dream Man 1) by Kristen Ashley
Published: July 11, 2011
Pages: 494
Genres: Romance, Erotica, Sexy Alpha Male, Series
Format: Kindle
Date Read: January 31-February 4, 2021
Rating: 4 Potatoes πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”

I have read at least a half a dozen of Kristen Ashley's books and I always enjoy them. In fact, one of my favorite books to reread over and over is one of hers!

Mystery Man had me hooked from the get go and I truly enjoyed it. I thought the characters were very realistic and I loved each of their different personalities.

I find myself going back and forth with how I feel about the heroine, Gwen. She is a very wishy washy character. I completely understand why she is that way and the way she is portrayed is very realistic but it drove me nuts to read! I found myself yelling at her and rolling my eyes over and over.

Hawk. Cabe. Whatever you prefer to call his character, he was one I enjoyed a lot. For the most part, once he decided he wanted more with Gwen, he jumped right in and I loved that about him.

Bax, Meredith, Gwens friends, Mitch, Dog, Tack; I loved all of the other characters and would truly enjoy reading more about them.

I throughly enjoyed the ending of this book so much. I'm a sucker for a happy ending and I was so impressed with how well this author wrapped everything up! I feel like this book was closer to a 4.5 rating but Gwen drove me nuts so much that I'm keeping it at a 4.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

When the Night is Over by Lily Foster

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The last time Charlotte Mason saw Simon Wade, he was shoving a paper bag from the pharmacy into her hands with a morning-after pill inside.

Even though he literally left her holding the bag, when love is true it’s limitless...and sometimes it's blind. She wants more for Simon than the ties that bind him to their dead end town. He has one shot at a better life, and she’ll stand aside so he can take it.

Nearly four years later Charlotte is still nowhere to be found, and it’s not as if Simon hasn’t been looking. How can he forget the girl who still haunts his dreams?

Book: When the Night is Over by Lily Foster 
Published: September 20, 2020
Pages: 346
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Freebie on Amazon
Format: Kindle
Date Read: January 25-27, 2021
Rating: 3.5 Potatoes πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”

I almost stopped reading this book several times during the first 20%. I didn't like the tone of the prologue and the first few chapters didn't pull me in enough.

I continued on because the summary for the book sounded so interesting to me but the book had a completely different feel than the summary did. I'm glad I continued because the book started to get really good and I did not want to put it down again.

There were many parts of this book that I did not like but I loved how raw and realistic it was. This book read like something that could have truly happened and I know similar versions actually have. The characters flaws were real and not over the top.

I enjoyed this book and I did like Simon some of the time but I loved Charlotte. Was she perfect? No. But she made her choices and stuck with them. She went with the best decision for everyone and always tried to do the right thing. She was a very strong heroine.

I liked Simon and Charlotte as a couple but I felt like there was no emotion between them. They loved each other, yes, but I couldn't feel it through the book like I normally can in romance books. And I don't know why that is.

Overall, I did like this book but I feel like it was lacking in a lot of areas. To me, the premise did not live up to the book itself.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

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When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

Book: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
Published: August 5, 2014
Pages: 337
Genres: Romance
Format: Kindle
Date Read: January 22-25, 2021
Rating: 5 Potatoes! πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”

This book is a must read. Go, go now- find it!

I have read a handful of Colleen Hoover's books and I am never disappointed when I select them. They drag you in and take you on a roller coaster of emotions; this book was no different.

I loved the evolution of Miles and Tate's relationship. It wasn't instant love or even instant like since they pretty much just tolerated each other at first.

Miles back story just broke my heart a little bit more every time we got a peak at it. I knew it could only end badly as more and more was shared and I was right- it was devastating. Poor Miles has been to hell and back and I completely understand his reluctance to be in any kind of relationship.

I loved the character of Tate- she truly cared about people, especially Miles. And I love how her strength shined through when it was needed.

My favorite character in the book was Cap! I loved his advice and his random thoughts and sayings. I loved his relationship with everyone in the building. It makes me wish I had a Cap in my life!

The ending of this book had me crying legit tears of joy. I was so happy for everyone! It's not surprising to me since this author always does a fabulous job of wrapping up her books. Brava Colleen Hoover, you have done it again!!

Now, what do we need to do to for a sequel to this book, even if its about the other characters in the book? I need more glimpses of the future!

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Playing for Keeps (Hot Jocks Book 1) by Kendall Ryan

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I've never been so stupid in my entire life.

My teammate's incredibly sweet and gorgeous younger sister should have been off-limits, but my hockey stick didn't get that memo.

After our team won the championship, and plenty of alcohol, our flirting turned physical and I took her to bed.

Shame sent her running the next morning from our catastrophic mistake. She thinks I don't remember that night—but every detail is burned into my brain so deeply, I’ll never forget. The feel of her in my arms, the soft whimpers of pleasure I coaxed from her perfect lips…

And now I’ve spent three months trying to get her out of my head. Which has been futile, because I’m starting to understand she’s the only girl I’ll ever want.

I have one shot to show her I can be exactly what she needs, but Elise won’t be easily convinced.

That’s okay, because I’m good under pressure, and this time, I’m playing for keeps.

Book: Playing for Keeps (Hot Jocks Book 1) by Kendall Ryan
Published: August 13, 2019 
Pages: 390
Genres: Romance, Athlete, Freebie on Amazon, Heroine loves siblings best friend
Format: Kindle
Date Read: January 21, 2021
Rating: 3 Potatoes πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”

Elise-
"I've always been enamored with him, from his quiet confidence, to his dedication and hard work on the ice, to his hard won smiles and casual attitude."

Justin-
"My hear starts to beat faster as she grins up at me. Well damn, I didn't know I still had one of those."

Elise and Justin have clearly has more than pseudo-sibling feelings for each other for years but even after their one night stand, they still take quite a bit of time to admit their feelings, which I enjoyed. I liked that they didn't fall into insta-love with each other.

I liked this book but I did not love it. I enjoyed the characters and read this book over the course of a day but there was something missing from this book and I don't know what it is. I just feel like I needed more from it- more emotion, more realism from the characters, more everything. I liked the summary of the book and I think I just expected more from it overall.

I don't think I will be reading the next book in this series but I would be more than happy to check out another one of this authors books!

Shatter Me (The Jaded 1) by Alex Grayson

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Pain.

That’s a word Bailey Winsor knows well, having endured it since she was a child from the people who were supposed to protect her. Just when her life appears normal, something Bailey has never experienced, she meets a man and falls in love.

Love can be deceiving.

Bailey jumps from the frying pan that was her childhood into the burning bowels of hell, which is her sick and twisted husband. It’s hopeless. Suffering more years of abuse, Bailey eventually realizes she has no choice but to run.

Forced to stop in a small town in Ohio, Bailey encounters a town full of people that welcome her with open arms, especially Jaxon Walker, the tattooed and pierced local bar owner. Bailey has secrets she’s unwilling to reveal. Jaxon senses her fear and refuses to give up trying to discover them.

Will Bailey be brave enough and learn to trust Jaxon with her deepest secrets? Will Jaxon be strong enough to protect Bailey when her past comes knocking at her door?

Book: Shatter Me (The Jaded 1) by Alex Grayson 
Published: January 12, 2015
Pages: 241
Genres: Romance, Abuse, Tattoos/Piercings, Freebie on Amazon
Format: Kindle
Date Read: January 20-21, 2021
Rating: 4 Potatoes! πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”

I'm still crying big, fat, ugly tears as I write this. This book had me feeling allllll the feels- anger, sympathy, laughter, joy, heartbreak, and the list goes on. This book pulled me in, chewed me up in every way and spit me back out again.

I love the characters in the small town of Jaded Hallow! I love how everyone just banded together and was there for one another.

One of my wishes for this book was that there was a little more time for Jaxon and Bailey to build up the trust between them before they got into a relationship. I know time passed and they grew closer but I would have liked to see more of those moments instead of them being glossed over.

Jaxon, Jaxon, Jaxon... he is definitely ranking up there on my book boyfriend list! I love how truly kind he was and how he thought nothing of helping a stranger in need. It made him all the more sexy.

Bailey was a strong heroine, even though she didn't believe she was. It takes an enormous amount of strength to leave an abusive relationship. There are so many that never get enough courage to do so!

The ending of this book destroyed me in more ways than one. I don't want to spoil anything but the death of a character I loved gutted me. And I really didn't like the way the characters death was handled in the book by the other characters at all. It might just be my opinion but the aftermath of the characters death didn't seem realistic.

The epilogue, Jax and Bailey's happily ever after, had my tears turning to happy ones. Those two more than deserved it!

I would recommend reading this book but beware- the abuse scenes in this book are not for the faint of the heart and are pretty graphic.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Dirty Like Me (Dirty 1) by Jaine Diamond

26085501
A gorgeous rock star.
An indecent proposal.
How can a girl resist?

Struggling barista Katie Bloom doesn’t even know who Jesse Mayes is until she inadvertently wins the coveted role of sex kitten in his hot new music video. But by the time she’s in bed with him, she knows his reputation.

Love maker. Heartbreaker.

Making out with a stranger in front of a camera crew isn’t how Katie imagined herself getting over a broken heart, but when Jesse touches her, sparks fly. The sex is fake but the chemistry is real, and soon the steamy video is blazing up the charts.

Then Jesse makes Katie an irresistible offer: act as his girlfriend for six weeks while he promotes his new album. The only catch? Their sizzling make-out sessions will be for the cameras only.

Which is fine with Katie, since she's not about to trust her heart to rock's most legendary lover. Her body? Maybe…

Book: Dirty Like Me (Dirty 1) by Jaine Diamond
Published: November 2, 2016
Pages: 404
Genres: Romance, Musician, Famous Hero, Tattoos/Piercings, Erotica
Format: Kindle
Date Read: January 17-19, 2021
Rating: 4 Potatoes πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”

I really enjoyed this book and the characters in it. One thing I wished for, and its the main reason this is not rated 5 Potatoes, is because the characters weren't as fleshed out as I would have liked. We barely got to know Jesse and Katie and we know next to nothing about the secondary characters. I wanted to know more about everyone!

The character of Jesse was very hot. I love that, as famous as he was, he wasn't a jerk about it and didn't make Katie feel inferior for not being famous. He was strong when he had to be but also sensitive and kind too.

Katie's characters was also fun for me to read. I like that she was always aware of how she really felt and what she was doing. She wasn't in denial or pretending to be something she wasn't. She was true to herself and I loved her for it. I also loved that, in the end, she fought for Jesse and I enjoyed reading the way she went about trying to prove her love.

I did not care for how the book ended. The epilogue did not wrap up the story, it was the beginning of the next book about Jessa to get you interested in it. While I did enjoy reading a bit about the her in the eplilogue since she wasn't in the book much, I would have preferred the eplilogue to be about Jesse and Katie. I needed more, I wanted more and I felt like the ending wasn't as wrapped up as I would have liked without it being about Jesse and Katie.

This book was still a great read! I might check out some of the other books in the series.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1) by Julia Quinn

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In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound. From their earliest days, children of aristocrats learn how to address an earl and curtsey before a prince—while other dictates of the ton are unspoken yet universally understood. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable…but not too amiable.

Daphne Bridgerton has always failed at the latter. The fourth of eight siblings in her close-knit family, she has formed friendships with the most eligible young men in London. Everyone likes Daphne for her kindness and wit. But no one truly desires her. She is simply too deuced honest for that, too unwilling to play the romantic games that captivate gentlemen.

Amiability is not a characteristic shared by Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings. Recently returned to England from abroad, he intends to shun both marriage and society—just as his callous father shunned Simon throughout his painful childhood. Yet an encounter with his best friend’s sister offers another option. If Daphne agrees to a fake courtship, Simon can deter the mamas who parade their daughters before him. Daphne, meanwhile, will see her prospects and her reputation soar.

The plan works like a charm—at first. But amid the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London’s elite, there is only one certainty: love ignores every rule...

Book: The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1) by Julia Quinn
Published: June 27th, 2006
Pages: 384
Genres: Historical, Romance, Rom-Com
Format: Kindle
Date Read: April 4, 2011
Rating: Five Potatoes! πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”πŸ₯”

"There were rules among friends, commandments, really, and the most important one was Thou Shalt Not Lust After Thy Friend's Sister."

I read quite a few books in this series many years ago but with the show airing I find myself wanting to re-read them and enjoy these amazing characters again and again.

I love Julia's writing style and the chemistry between her hero and heroine. I loved this book, plain and simple. Such a great, fun read!

Saturday, January 16, 2021

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaack

Hi all! I'm so sorry for the long absence! I am now a mom of two (my youngest is going to be a year soon) so I'm hopeful that I will now be able to begin reviewing again!

I am currently going through the website as a whole and trying to make it better so bare with me. Fun changes are coming!