#YourNextBBF & Giveaway: Becks from Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman

#YourNextBBF & Giveaway: Becks from Adorkable by Cookie O'Gorman

I’m so excited to join along with the Meet Your Next Book Boyfriend Tour!  So check out my interview with Cookie O’Gorman below!  See why I can forever gush about Becks from ADORKABLE by Cookie O’Gorman.  I’ve listed some of my favorite quotes, which I’ve re-read an embarrassing number of times lol.  And there’s a fabulous giveaway you can enter too!  Good luck! ♥

 

About Adorkable:

Adorkable (ah-dor-kuh-bul): Descriptive term meaning to be equal parts dorky and adorable. For reference, see Sally Spitz. Seventeen-year-old Sally Spitz is done with dating. Or at least, she’s done with the horrible blind dates/hookups/sneak attacks her matchmaking bestie, Hooker, sets her up on. There’s only so much one geek girl and Gryffindor supporter can take. Her solution: she needs a fake boyfriend. And fast. Enter Becks, soccer phenom, all-around-hottie, and Sally’s best friend practically since birth. When Sally asks Becks to be her F.B.F. (fake boyfriend), Becks is only too happy to be used. He’d do anything for Sal–even if that means giving her PDA lessons in his bedroom, saying she’s “more than pretty,” and expertly kissing her at parties. The problem: Sally’s been in love with Becks all her life–and he’s completely clueless. This book features two best friends, one special edition Yoda snuggie, countless beneath-the-ear kisses and begs the question: Who wants a real boyfriend when faking it is so much more fun?

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Interview With Cookie O’Gorman:

✮ What’s one thing you hope readers will take away from ADORKABLE?
I hope readers take a lot away from ADORKABLE!  I hope it gives them a moment to laugh and smile, swoon and sigh–and geek out lol!

 

✮ What was your inspiration for this book?
Honestly, I was inspired to write ADORKABLE because I wanted to write a fun, funny, swoon-worthy YA romance!  And because I’m a dork and love other dorks :).  Also, I just wanted to put something positive into a world with a lot of sadness.  We need more happily-ever-afters!

 

✮ What is something that we might not know about Becks?
Hmm…Becks’s full name is Baldwin Eugene Charles Kent.  He loves soccer and is amazing at it.  He has a big, tight-knit, awesome family (youngest of five brothers, you guys).  He gives the best hugs on the planet, and he’d do anything for his best friend, Sal.  She’s his girl <3.  He’s also super hot, smart and kind.  And for the thing you might not know: He’s my ideal book boyfriend, and I’m basically in love with him.

 

✮ What was your favorite quality about Becks?
Ugh, that is so hard!  Can I just cheat and say ‘everything’ ha?  There is so so much to love about Becks…but if I had to pick my favorite quality…I guess I would say how kind/loving he is to Sally.  He really is her best friend (and soulmate).

 

✮ Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene to write?
My favorite scene to write was definitely the scene in Becks’s bedroom where they do the PDA lessons–and the shaving scene at the party *swoons*.  I’m sorry; I couldn’t choose just one!

 

✮ Did you know how this book was going to end when you started writing?
Yes!!!  Though I did have to re-write it several times before I got it just right.

 

✮ And who is your most recent book boyfriend?
My most recent book boyfriend who I love is Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses series!  Gah, love him!

 

Why I love Becks:

Becks was Sally’s BFF.  He was beautiful, a player, a jock and everyone easily loved him.  Including myself.  He was one of my favorite things about this book!  And a lot of it had to do with the way he looked at Sally, the way he claimed her as his, the way he protected her, his jealousy, oh my gosh to even the way he touched her.  It ALL made my heart beat faster. 

But I had no clue what he was thinking some of the times, since we only got Sally’s POV.  Becks would say and do these things that implied he liked Sally more than just friends.  But then again, he was just playing a part of being her fake boyfriend.  And his words would reinforce that.  But when he suggested that they should start practicing touching….oh my goodness you guys….I had so many butterflies.

Becks conquered my heart so easily.  He stole my breath.  He made me fall in love.  He made me laugh and smile.  He was everything.  And you all definitely need to meet him!

 

Quotes That Make Me Happy:

Ducking, he placed a lingering kiss on the spot right below my ear. The move made my hand shoot out to grip his jersey. Becks laughed silently, little puffs of air hitting my neck, as I shivered.

✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮

“But Becks,” she whined, “I don’t understand. Why her?”
“Nothing to understand really,” he said, smiling down at me. “Sal’s my girl. Always has been.”
As he squeezed my hip, I swear I stopped breathing.

✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮

He was just acting, I reminded myself. But he’d sounded sincere, my heart insisted. And that kiss…

✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮

With every pass of his mouth, I became a little more his.

✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮

Even if he still just saw me as Sal, his friend who was a great girl but not girlfriend material, the thing I’d take with me, the feeling I’d bottle up and keep in my pocket if I could, was this: Becks kissed me like he meant it.

✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮

“What’s your dream girl like?”
“Freckles,” he said, not missing a beat.
“What?” I scoffed, secretly pleased. I had freckles! “Way to narrow the field, Baldwin.”
“You didn’t let me finish.” Eyes moving over me with a focus that made my breath catch, he said, “Cute freckles, wavy brown hair, about five-six, hazel eyes. Naturally beautiful.”
“Becks—”
“She’s smart.” He talked right over me. “Can quote Star Wars, curses like a German sailor when she’s mad. Someone who makes me laugh out loud, a girl who’s herself and lets me be me. Sounds pretty great, right?” I stared at him. A moment , two hours, I didn’t know. He’d sounded sincere, but he couldn’t be. I wasn’t that lucky.

 

About Cookie O’Gorman:

Cookie O’Gorman writes YA romance to give readers a taste of happily-ever-after. Small towns, quirky characters, and the awkward yet beautiful moments in life make up her books. Cookie also has a soft spot for nerds and ninjas.

Connect with Cookie:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check Out The Rest of The Tour:

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BOOK REVIEW: All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1) by Adalyn Grace

BOOK REVIEW: All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1) by Adalyn GraceAll the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1)
by Adalyn Grace
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice, Adalyn Grace’s All the Stars and Teeth is a thrilling fantasy for fans of Stephanie Garber’sCaraval and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.

Review

“The world doesn’t work with only your eyes, Princess. There’s truth in more than what you can see.”

I am bound and determined to write this review today, even if I’m in a terrible mood because of work and my pregnancy rage that I seem to have in abundance lately.

This was an impressive first book by this author and a start to what I think is a duology. Her writing was captivating, the magic system seemed a lot different than the typical run-of-the-mill stuff in YA, and the world building was phenomenal and I want more, more, more. In the blurb on Goodreads it mentions how this would be for fans of the Caraval series and honestly, I agree with that when it came to the crew visiting the different islands. Every place was so unique along with the people there that is was truly magical.

Other than my intensely piqued curiosity over why/how Amora didn’t seem to know ANYTHING going on in her soon-to-be-kingdom, the main reason I enjoyed this book so much was the characters. Dudes, Amora is kick ass. Some of the scenes with her fighting and using her magic were so visceral…Sometimes that bothers me depending on how intense it is but here, it was so impressive. She might not be that relatable to most common people in that aspect but there are other parts of her that are. She cares SO much for her people, her kingdom and was horrified when she learned what kinds of things were happening that she didn’t know about. I loved her surety that she was the right person to next take charge of the kingdom because she wanted to fix things so badly. Even with that surety though, she still had moments of vulnerability that bring her more down to earth. I greatly enjoyed reading about her journey through the book and can’t wait to see what the next one will bring, especially after that ending.

Bastian, obviously, was a favorite as well (and I think he’ll be a fan favorite with basically everyone). He’s a dashing pirate that’s impeccably dressed and has a smile that earned an insta-swoon from me. There were a few STEAMY kisses that I loved, obviously. And again, I can’t wait to see what the next book brings for him as well after that ending……….As for Ferrick, he really grew on me (wasn’t sure what to think of him at first, kinda annoyed me a little) and now that I’m thinking about it, that’s kinda punny, lol. Vataea too, also super badass. Hope to see her use more of her magic in the next book.

Overall, solid start, but just wasn’t quite a five star read for me. Might just be my mood though (as I said, I’m super pregnant and super tired and some days super cranky, lol). Will 100% be snatching up that second book!

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Imprint for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review!

BOOK REVIEW: Dead to Her by Sarah Pinborough

BOOK REVIEW: Dead to Her by Sarah PinboroughDead to Her by Sarah Pinborough
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

For fans of Liane Moriarty, Liv Constantine and Lisa Jewell, a twisty psychological thriller about a savvy second wife who will do almost anything to come out on top from the New York Times bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes.

Being the second wife can be murder . . .

“Once a cheat, always a cheat,” they say. Marcie Maddox has worked hard to get where she is after the illicit affair that started her new life a few years ago. But her world of country clubs, yachts and sumptuous houses in Savannah, Georgia, isn’t easy to maintain, no matter how hard she tries. Nor is keeping her husband, Jason, truly interested.

So, when Jason’s boss brings home a hot new wife from his trip to London, the young Mrs William Radford IV isn’t quite the souvenir everyone expected. Sexy, drop-dead gorgeous and black—Keisha quickly usurps Marcie’s place as the beautiful second wife. But when Marcie sees the extra spark in the room when Keisha and Jason are together and their obvious, magnetic attraction, the gloves come off.

Revenge is best served cold, but in the steamy Savannah heat, blood runs so hot that this summer it might just boil over into murder.

Thank you to Edelweiss, William Morrow and the author for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

“But in this town, dear,” she continued. “murder is considered classier than embezzlement.”

This was a really unique and refreshing mystery/thriller book. I feel like I’ve read a lot of thrillers and I truly haven’t read anything like it. Between the setting and mystical realism components, it certainly has some unique features that aren’t found in most mystery/thriller book.

Here’s the main characters:
•Marcie Maddox: Second wife to Jason, working her way into the upper echelon of the Savannah elite
•Jason Maddox: Marcie’s husband and business partner to William Radford
•Keisha Radford: The much younger wife to the newly widowed William; Fish out of water in Savannah, as she is from London
•William Radford: Much older and richer husband to Keisha; Upper crust of Savannah circles

There’s a lot of side characters, but those four really serve as the main characters, with chapters told in alternating viewpoints of Marcie and Keisha.

Let’s start with the setting: Savannah, Georgia. I’ve read very few thrillers set in the south, let alone a large city in the south. So right off the bat I was happy for the change. The oppressing summer heat and humidity is almost a character itself. There’s a lot of discussion about what it means to be in southern high society and the expectations that are pressed on those trying to get in and stay in.

They were all poison one way or another, and maybe she was the only one honest enough to see it.

I found all of the characters to be incredibly engaging, even if I didn’t personally connect or particularly like any of them. If you’re looking for likeable character(s), this may not be the book for you. All of them are doing what they feel they need to, but it doesn’t mean it’s the right thing. However, especially for Keisha and Marcie, I had a lot of sympathy for them at various times. They are both different from a lot of the other Savannah elite and are doing their best to fit in. It’s also incredibly clear that their marriages are not everything they thought they would be and there’s a very serious power imbalance between them and their husbands.

“Often what you worry other people might be thinking of you is most likely to be what you think of yourself. Be kinder to yourself, Marcie. Nobody’s perfect.”

Another thing that sets this apart is just how risqué it is. Sex is often part of thriller books, but not as explicit as this. There’s several different relationships that have fairly graphic sex scenes between partners. I would imagine they wouldn’t be too hard to skip if that isn’t your thing, but there are numerous ones. If you’re also totally not OK with cheating, this definitely won’t be the book for you. It’s a very big point for several of the characters.

Overall, Dead To Me was very well written and fairly different from a lot of other thrillers. I was left guessing until the very end and was even surprised (but happy with) the route the author took. If you are looking for a steamy mystery, look no further.

Dead to Her is available February 11, 2020.

Their marriage foundations had been secrets, an affair and lies. It had been exciting then. It wasn’t so much fun now. But still-if he had his secrets, what was so wrong with her having hers? Why shouldn’t she have something for herself?

Content Warnings: Cheating spouse/partner, explicit sex scenes (m/f and f/f), death, attempted murder, talk of death of animal, abusive relationship, sexual assault.

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Queen’s Assassin (Queen’s Secret #1) by Melissa de la Cruz

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Queen's Assassin (Queen's Secret #1) by Melissa de la Cruz

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Queen’s Assassin (Queen’s Secret #1) by Melissa de la CruzThe Queen's Assassin by Melissa de la Cruz
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Red Queen, this is the first novel in a sweeping YA fantasy-romance duet about a deadly assassin, his mysterious apprentice, and the countrythey are sworn to protect from #1 NYT bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz.Caledon Holt is the Kingdom of Renovia's deadliest weapon. No one alive can best him in brawn or brains, which is why he's the Guild's most dangerous member and the Queen's one and only assassin. He's also bound to the Queen by an impossible vow--to find the missing Deian Scrolls, the fount of all magical history and knowledge, stolen years ago by a nefarious sect called the Aphrasians.Shadow has been training all her life to follow in the footsteps of her mother and aunts--to become skilled enough to join the ranks of the Guild. Though magic has been forbidden since the Aphrasian uprising, Shadow has been learning to control her powers in secret, hoping that one day she'll become an assassin as feared and revered as Caledon Holt.When a surprise attack brings Shadow and Cal together, they're forced to team up as assassin and apprentice to hunt down a new sinister threat to Renovia. But as Cal and Shadow grow closer, they'll uncover a shocking web of lies and secrets that may destroy everything they hold dear. With war on the horizon and true love at risk, they'll stop at nothing to protect each other and their kingdom in this stunning first novel in the Queen's Secret series.

Review:

Guys, I really, really, really liked this book. Like I finished it in three sittings over two days and I can’t get it out of my head. Shadow and Cal have made themselves at home and now I’m desperate to find out what’s next, which is TOO FAR away.

Quick note before I start gushing – this book probably won’t be for everyone. I’m already seeing some mixed reviews and I’m sure there will be more. There’s a lot of historical backstory and there’s a some tropes happening in this book. But let me be clear – I didn’t care. Tropes are tropes and we all have ones we love. I adored the main characters and was invested in their struggles.  I also think there’s enough differentiating factors to make this feel unique in its own right. So there, now moving on. Mild spoilers ahead.

Do you like…

  • Adventure, action and traveling for a secret mission?
  • One person keeping a secret from the other in order to protect them?
  • Characters constantly denying their feelings but get jealous (a lot)?
  • Royalty, balls and spying?
  • Witchcraft and knights?
  • Oh no, there’s only one bed at the inn, guess we’ll have to share?
  • One person making a huge sacrifice for other and then both have to deal with the aftermath?
  • A bit of a cliffhanger ending?

If you said yes to any (all) of these, it’s time to start reading The Queen’s Assassin by Melissa de la Cruz. Outside of read the Au Pairs a long, long time ago, I haven’t read any other of her books, so I can’t compare to any of her other series.

TQA is told from the alternating perspectives of Shadow, who has spent her whole life trying to prove she should follow in the footsteps of her family and join the Guild, and Caledon “Cal” Holt, the queen’s personal assassin. Cal is bound by a blood oath, passed on from his father, to find the Deian Scrolls as a means to not allow warring countries old and serious magical powers. Shadow has been learning some of this forbidden magic that has been passed down through the generations and hopes to be as helpful to the crown as Cal.

Their paths cross after Cal saves her life and after a daring escape, Cal and Shadow team up to find the scrolls and identify a new threat to their country. Of course, there’s plenty of complications along the way.

This series is described as a romantic fantasy and I think that’s an incredibly fair description. There’s a lot of historical information given to help the readers truly understand the history of the different nations and bloodlines, as well an understanding of the magic in the world. There’s royalty and court intrigue and spying and balls (of course!). And there’s a blossoming romance between Cal and Shadow that’s pretty much apparent from the moment Shadow goes out of her way to help Cal. He’s reluctant to team up, as he’s always worked solo. And he’s even more determined to never fall in love, as his blood oath could be passed down to the next generation if he fails to find the scrolls. Obviously Shadow’s addition to his life complicates all his best laid plans.

Shadow is determined to prove that she is more than capable of training and joining the Guild. The opportunity to rescue and join Cal in a secret mission is more than she can hope for to prove her worthiness, but she’s also keeping a secret from Cal that could change everything.

I don’t recall specific ages being mentioned, but I imagined our two were somewhere between 17-20 (sorry if I missed this detail). Even as they go from reluctant partners to friends to more, they both are constantly fighting against their feelings, as both are determined to focus on the task at hand. However, their immaturity shows at various times, as jealousy becomes a huge point of frustration between them. They can’t stand the idea of the other flirting or kissing others, even when it means they may get important information for their mission. I’ll be honest, I really enjoyed these moments, but I can see others struggling with the drama of it all. But to each their own.

While I liked the historical information that provided throughout the book, sometimes it did slow the pacing down. It was important and informative, but so much else of the book was moving at lightning pace. A LOT happens in the 384 pages, and yet, I am in desperate need of more. As much as I enjoyed all the fantasy aspects, it was Cal and Shadow’s relationship that truly drew me in. In some ways, it really reminded of Serpent & Dove (which I also LOVED), with shades of Red Queen and Everless.

Hard spoilers for the ending: View Spoiler »

Overall, I REALLY enjoyed this book and I’m full of anticipation for the future books. While I have ideas where it could go, I can see a lot of things getting in the way of the happy ending I’m wishing for. The ending of this book ripped my heart, but I still have hope for the next book.

If you’ve made it this far, THANK YOU. This was a long one, but I just had a lot of thoughts and feelings lol. I hope if you decide to pick this up, you enjoy it as much as I do!

Favorite Quotes:

I want to train. If I go to the palace, it will be as an assassin. Not as a doll. Or a pawn.

*

“Not saying I don’t believe you,” he says, noting just how quickly she grows defensive. “Good thing I was here then,” he says with a grin. “To help you out when your magic couldn’t.”

Instantly, he know he should’ve kept his mouth shut.

*

Here I am, about to embark on an adventure under the tutelage of the Caledon Holt. It’s all I’ve ever wanted-and yet all I feel is frustration and fury.

*

Today he hasn’t been half as irritating, which I find rather irritating.

*

He would spend every night at the flea-bitten inn if it meant he would lie next to her again. But of course he doesn’t tell her that, as much as he wants to, and as much as he wants to know how she feels about all of this.

*

“All I did was kiss a girl I didn’t particularly want to kiss, but I did it, for us.”

“For me? You kissed her for me?” Shadow whips from the window. “Should I be grateful? Should I kiss the king too? For you?”

*

“Keep in mind, you’re my brother,” Shadow whispers to him. “Thanks for reminding me. I almost forgot,” he says, a mischievous twinkle in his eye. “That would certainly give them something to gossip about, wouldn’t it?

*

Unbeknownst to Shadow, her lies were made of truth. “After all, there is no place safer for the princess than with the Queen’s Assassin.”

*

“I am not free, not without my love,” he says and this time, when he looks at me, I don’t look away. “Shadow. Be with me. Always. I am yours. Be mine.”

Giveaway:

Win one copy of The Queen’s Assasin (US only)! Contest runs Feb. 4 – Feb. 18, 2020.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.

Keep up with Melissa: Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr

BOOK REVIEW: Marriage on Madison Avenue (Central Park Pact #3) by Lauren Layne

BOOK REVIEW: Marriage on Madison Avenue (Central Park Pact #3) by Lauren LayneMarriage on Madison Avenue (Central Park Pact #3)
by Lauren Layne
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Can guys and girls ever be just friends? According to Audrey Tate and Clarke West, absolutely. After all, they’ve been best friends since childhood without a single romantic entanglement. Clarke is the charming playboy Audrey can always count on, and he knows that the ever-loyal Audrey will never not play along with his strategy for dodging his matchmaking mother—announcing he’s already engaged…to Audrey.

But what starts out as a playful game between two best friends turns into something infinitely more complicated, as just-for-show kisses begin to stir up forbidden feelings. As the faux wedding date looms closer, Audrey and Clarke realize that they can never go back to the way things were, but deep down, do they really want to?

Review:

Marriage on Madison Avenue was the perfect ending to this series.  I fell madly in love with the fake fiancée story-line…oh my heart, it was so much fun!  And I loved Audrey, Clarke, and their group of friends.  I found myself laughing, crying and even gasping out loud while reading, this book was such a huge win!  So if you’re a fan of swoon worthy romance, a fabulous group of friends and the fake boyfriend trope, you definitely have to pick this one up!

Clarke’s fingers dug slightly into her hip, reminding her of the plan, and she played her part, winding an arm around his waist and beaming up at him. “Me, too. I don’t know what took me so long to see that he’s the one, but I’m glad I finally woke up.”
The smoldering look Clarke gave her in return caused her breath to hitch just for a second and made her think the man had seriously missed his calling— that was some Oscar-level acting right there.

I have been excited for Audrey’s story since the first book, Passion on Park Avenue.  She was always my favorite, but shhh don’t tell the others.  Audrey was an Instagram influencer who was extremely popular.  But an evil troll got dirt from her past and tried to tarnish her reputation.  When her best friend since childhood, Clarke, announced they were engaged, it looked like all of their problems could be fixed.  Her troll would hopefully disappear, right along with Clarke’s ex who was back in town.  And being pushed on him by his over bearing mother.

What had been brutally true was that Audrey was the other woman. The whole time she’d thought she’d finally found her happily ever after, she was destroying someone else’s. A woman who, as Audrey had come to discover, deserved it more than anyone she knew.

I absolutely loved Audrey, she felt like a friend. Her thoughts made her easy to relate to and I loved all of her energy.  But my heart hurt for her.  She had lost faith in herself when she was damaged by a horrible man.  And it ate away at her.  Audrey had been the other woman, even though she had no clue.  So she didn’t think she deserved a happily ever after.  A fake engagement was not only perfect, since it’d fix her reputation, but it’d be the closest thing she would ever get to experiencing marriage. Without it going anywhere. Or so she thought.

“Smile,”he instructed, stepping even closer and sliding his hand around her waist. She smiled automatically, even as she registered that his hand had slid low on her back, his face needlessly close to hers.
“Clarke—”
“Brace yourself,”he said out of the corner of his mouth.
“What—”
His lips closed over hers.

Clarke was the ultimate friend and book boyfriend.  He was driven, dedicated and I loved how much he loved Audrey.  And how he always tried to do right by her.  Even the relationship Clarke had with Audrey’s parents was what hopes and dreams are made of.  But with his overbearing mother pushing his ex in front of him and his ex showing up where he was, being engaged seemed like the perfect answer to fix it all.  It was a safe plan.  Especially since Audrey had been his best friend since they were kids.  What could possibly go wrong?

It was no big deal, she told her thundering heart. Just a perfunctory stamp of a kiss to get the doubters to back off. It’d be over before she knew it.
Clarke’s lips moved against hers, his head tilting to the side, deepening the kiss slightly as his hand slid up her back, pulling her more firmly against him.
Audrey felt something strange and unfamiliar flutter in her stomach.

As Audrey and Clarke got further into their charade, I was a smiling, laughing and oh my gosh what’s going to happen next mess.  I had butterflies and excitement, but I was also so nervous for them.  Because what happened when pretending to be in love with your best friend caused feelings to stir inside?  Especially when you had to touch each other in public.  Act like you’re in love.  And have kisses that melted those around you.  It was only a facade.  Right?!  Ahhh see that’s why I love these types of books so much.  They’re such a blast and Lauren Layne, for the second time, has pulled this trope off beautifully and seamlessly (the other book she wrote with this trope is Isn’t She Lovely and that book is like a modern day Pretty Woman…sooo addictive!).

“Okay, I’m going to ask something that’s not my business,” Naomi said.
“Now, there’s a surprise,” Claire said. Naomi gave Claire a toothy smile and turned back to Audrey.
“Have you ever thought about trying this whole romance thing for real with Clarke?”

On top of a beautiful romance story, there was a friendship that spanned these three books.  And it was such a huge gem in these stories!  Audrey, Naomi and Claire seemed like an unlikely trio.  Especially since Audrey and Naomi had been sleeping with Claire’s husband, unbeknownst to them that he was married.  And from their first meeting on the day of his funeral, a beautiful friendship blossomed.  One that was based on trust and respect.  These ladies had true friendship goals, and I loved watching them grow with each other throughout this series!

She glanced down and winced. “I was in a hurry to talk to you.”
“About?”
Slowly she dragged her gaze back up, but only as far as his Adam’s apple. “About us getting married. Shouldn’t there be . . . more?”
He swallowed, though it felt like a Herculean effort. “Do you want there to be more?”he asked roughly, needing to ask the question even if he wasn’t at all sure that he wanted to know the answer.

If you’re looking for a fun romance story that is light and will make you smile and laugh, but also deep and will pull at your heart, then definitely add Marriage on Madison Avenue to your list!  This story left me feeling so happy, especially with that epilogue!  Just keep in mind, this series is a little different than LL’s other books, since it’s a fade to black.  But it was still extremely sexy!  So yes, I definitely recommend this book and series!  And Marriage on Madison Avenue can easily be read as a standalone.

PS The crossover with Alexis Morgan, from To Love and To Cherish, as their wedding planner had me squealing with delight!  Especially with that Bride Wars reference…the scene with it was absolutely perfect!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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