Author: Arielle (Page 1 of 32)

BOOK REVIEW: Shenanigans (Brooklyn #6) by Sarina Bowen

BOOK REVIEW: Shenanigans (Brooklyn #6) by Sarina BowenShenanigans (Brooklyn #6)
by Sarina Bowen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

What I meant to do in Vegas: Let my hair down for once and celebrate winning a medal at my first women’s hockey all-stars competition.

What I actually did: Got senior prom drunk and woke up married to Brooklyn’s star winger, the great Neil Drake.

He’s the heir to a billion dollars, and I barely survived my childhood. Our friendship is based strictly only on hockey, takeout food and smack talk.

And now holy matrimony. Although we both know it can’t last, especially once his evil family gets wind of our Vegas shenanigans…

Contains: Meddling teammates, meddling parents, ugly jewelry and a pretend-kiss that nearly sets the world on fire.

Review

I have been salivating over this book now since I finished the last page of Bombshells. The dynamic that Charli and Neil have had since their very first meeting TOPPED with a drunken marriage in Vegas? Perfection. Sign me the hell up.

What I had not anticipated exactly was how fucking dreamy Cornelius Drake III was. What a King. And Charli? I knew there was always going to be more to peel back from that gruff and tough outer layer that no one has yet been able to see behind and I couldn’t wait to find out what that “more” was.

One of the real kickers in their relationship, too, was their financial situations. The one thing that is consistently known to cause the most stress in a person’s life and relationships of all kinds. Neil was an ACTUAL billionaire while Charli was used to just barely scraping by her entire life. Pile on a family of old money who is used to burying “embarrassing” or “unsavory” headline producing incidents and we’ve got some good fuel for the angst fire part of this story. But one thing you need to know is that Neil is generous. That man. He may use his billionaire powers to get what he wants sometimes but he’s also a guy who was refusing to get new furniture even though the stuff he currently owned was unbearable to sit on, because he’s a person who hates waste and wants to try to minimize it as much as he can (which you know, since he actually has the resources to help make those kinds of changes in the world, I’m sure he’ll do everything in his power to actually achieve it).

ANYWAY what I’m trying to say is that Neil Drake is a stand up guy. The things he does to win over Charli in this book….and even then some of the things she does for him..made my heart ache in the best way. Charli has lived a pretty hard life and has been surrounded by some pretty terrible people so the fact that Neil was able to worm his way into her softer interior until he was able to burrow his way into her heart should be pretty telling. I’m over here PRAYING for a Vera book because I just can’t be done with the Bruisers or Bombshells yet–I really can’t.

P.s. The scene where the guys are watching the Bombshells’ game is my favorite.

Huge thanks to Tuxbury Publishing LLC for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review!♥

BOOK REVIEW: Hook, Line, and Sinker (Bellinger Sisters #2) by Tessa Bailey

BOOK REVIEW: Hook, Line, and Sinker (Bellinger Sisters #2)  by Tessa BaileyHook, Line, and Sinker (Bellinger Sisters #2)
by Tessa Bailey
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

King crab fisherman Fox Thornton has a reputation as a sexy, carefree flirt. Everyone knows he's a guaranteed good time--in bed and out--and that's exactly how he prefers it. Until he meets Hannah Bellinger. She's immune to his charm and looks, but she seems to enjoy his... personality? And wants to be friends? Bizarre. But he likes her too much to risk a fling, so platonic pals it is.

Now, Hannah's in town for work, crashing in Fox's spare bedroom. She knows he's a notorious ladies' man, but they're definitely just friends. In fact, she's nursing a hopeless crush on a colleague and Fox is just the person to help with her lackluster love life. Armed with a few tips from Westport's resident Casanova, Hannah sets out to catch her coworker's eye... yet the more time she spends with Fox, the more she wants him instead. As the line between friendship and flirtation begins to blur, Hannah can't deny she loves everything about Fox, but she refuses to be another notch on his bedpost.

Living with his best friend should have been easy. Except now she's walking around in a towel, sleeping right across the hall, and Fox is fantasizing about waking up next to her for the rest of his life and... and... man overboard! He's fallen for her, hook, line, and sinker. Helping her flirt with another guy is pure torture, but maybe if Fox can tackle his inner demons and show Hannah he's all in, she'll choose him instead?

In the follow-up to It Happened One Summer, Tessa Bailey delivers another deliciously fun rom-com about a former player who accidentally falls for his best friend while trying to help her land a different man...

Review

Is Tessa Bailey a genius or is she a genius, people?

I am absolutely kicking myself for not having read this sooner but I think I was nervous. I’ve read a few different romances with the trope of the ~playboy whose phone is constantly going off with booty calls he has lined up~ and they typically have at least one moment in the book where things go south between the couple in some, stupid, preventable way.

That was NOT the case in this book. GOOD LORD. For starters, I’m not sure that I have ever read about a character similar to Fox’s that, on the outside, was the stereotypical hot playboy who NEVER is in a relationship for the exact reasons that Fox was. My heart hurt so. Damn. Bad for him. It was one of those age old cases of growing up with a shitty example of a father, thinking certain behaviors were a norm when clearly no young kid should EVER be thinking that way, acting on those said behaviors starting in his teenage years, and then because they lived in such a small town, everyone around him continued to perpetuate that stereotype for him. SO BASICALLY THIS FUCKING MARSHMELLOW OF A HUMAN BEING thought his only worth was in being that hot, wild cat, never-to-be-tamed, kind of man. Sure he still found pleasure in the hookups but was he ever fully satisfied–NO and yet he still didn’t even think he would ever even deserve that kind of normal happiness with a woman. Good fucking lord. Toxic masculinity at its finest right there, folks.

…and Hannah was always comfortable waiting in the wings, anticipating her cue to talk on as best supporting actress, even providing bail money on more than one occasion. That was where she shined. Bolstering the heroine at her lowest point, stepping in to defend the leading lady when necessary, saying the right thing in a pivotal heart-to-heart.

In comes Hannah. The quieter, more reserved Bellinger sister but one that loves with the fierceness of a thousand burning suns. She considers herself to be in a supporting role instead of holding a leading lady title so naturally she’s gotten really good at being a hype woman and solid support system for everyone in her life other than herself. When Hannah and Fox were foisted upon one another so that Piper and Brendan could spend time together in It Happened One Summer these two left a massive impression on one another.

AND I AM SO SOFT FOR THE WAY IN WHICH THAT MANIFESTS. Like I am a sucker for text exchanges in romances so naturally the ones we saw here were so lovely. And the records. And the secret record player. And the moments when they ask each other what kind of song their day was and they both just get what the other is asking.

“Hannah. I can’t answer what I don’t know,” he said through stiff lips. “What do you want me to say? Do I want to fuck you? Yes. Oh my God, I”–his eyes closed briefly, those fisherman’s hands flexing on the steering wheel–“I want you underneath me so bad that I can’t lie in bed without already feeling you there. I’ve never even had you, and your body haunts mine.”

But the main thing I loved? Hannah. Hannah may find it easier to be a supporting actress but damn if those qualities aren’t SO important in a person. The way she was so supportive and loving to Fox when he needed it most–when he needed to believe he was worth something more than just a playboy who would never take life seriously she was there. She did not allow him to sabotage their friendship/relationship when he felt it was treading too close into “real feelings” territory. Like I’m talking multiple times. She was steadfast and just simply loved with every fiber of her being. Good lord I’m literally tearing up thinking about it LOL. I don’t know, something about this was just extra special to me and I loved every second. (Also not like this needs to be said the steam was obviously hot as hell *insert 10 flame emojis*)

“Good night,” Hannah said warmly, going up on her toes to kiss his cheek. “What kind of music day did you have?”
He let out a breath, happy to be back on familiar ground. “Coming home after four days on the water. Mmm. Something about home.”
“‘Home’. By Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.”

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Avon for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

BOOK REIVEW: House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2) by Sarah J Maas

BOOK REIVEW: House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2) by Sarah J MaasHouse of Sky and Breath (Crescent City)
by Sarah J Maas
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Sarah J. Maas's sexy, groundbreaking CRESCENT CITY series continues with the second installment.

Bryce Quinlan and Hunt Athalar are trying to get back to normal―they may have saved Crescent City, but with so much upheaval in their lives lately, they mostly want a chance to relax. Slow down. Figure out what the future holds.

The Asteri have kept their word so far, leaving Bryce and Hunt alone. But with the rebels chipping away at the Asteri’s power, the threat the rulers pose is growing. As Bryce, Hunt, and their friends get pulled into the rebels’ plans, the choice becomes clear: stay silent while others are oppressed, or fight for what’s right. And they’ve never been very good at staying silent.

In this sexy, action-packed sequel to the #1 bestseller House of Earth and Blood, Sarah J. Maas weaves a captivating story of a world about to explode―and the people who will do anything to save it.

Review

*Spoiler Alert* While I will be putting any straight up spoilers in spoiler bars, please be warned that I may still infer things in my normal review that could still spoil things for you. Proceed with caution!

Hunt’s voice was a thunderclap as he said behind her, “Light it up, Bryce.”

I was just telling Chelsea that I had opened up a document to review this beauty and that it was such a daunting task because for as much as I am A COMPLETE STAN for SJM, I hardly ever, properly review her books. I love them so much but SO much goes on that all that is in my head afterwards are these threads of jumbled flailing that I can hardly untangle so far as to get a coherent thought that isn’t just straight up screaming out.

But I’m here. I have written down very specific points I want to talk about. Wish me luck.

This book….may have topped ACOMAF for me. *Gasps in a huge breath* There I said it. ACOMAF has held my top favorite book spot since it came out and not even ACOSF (Cassian and Nesta are still my OTP) had superseded that. HOEAB is the only book that I have EVER read that consistently makes me cry and gives me physical reactions (goosebumps, aching chest LOL, etc.) in the exact same spots during every re-read, even when I already know exactly what’s coming. While I still didn’t hold it up on as high as a pedestal as I did ACOTAR and ToG, that might honestly just be because I had YEARS to fall in love with those characters over multiple books, whereas until now we had only had one Crescent City book. Besides that, the fact that this is FIRMLY in the adult fantasy/ adult urban fantasy genre has really set it apart. It’s in an entirely different league and Sarah has found. Her. Fucking. Element.

“Boyfriend sounds weird for you. It’s so … young. But what else is there?”
If he had a star on his chest, Hunt knew it’d be glowing as he asked, “Partner?”
“Not sexy enough.”
“Lover?”
“Does that come with a ruff and lute?”

He swept a wing over her bare thigh.“Anyone ever tell you that you’re a pain in the ass?”
“Just ye olde lover.”

Let’s start with the OG stars of the show. Hunt and Bryce. Sarah had been hinting that she was going to be holding these two back from one another since hey, they only have known each other for about five months before going through some super traumatic experiences together to top off all of the other trauma shit that each had previously individually experienced. Fun times. I do love that they wanted to try to explore a “normal” relationship with one another first, even if I myself felt blue balled and let’s be real, these two were NEVER going to have a normal relationship/life.

To keep things simple though, I love their relationship. I love their banter. I love how horny they are for each other’s power. I love how they both stand up for one another only to turn around and roast the hell out of the other person in the next minute. So many one liners in this book that I highlighted and that had me straight CACKLING. Even their sexy time banter=UNPARALLED. Gods so fucking hot I can’t even stand it. These two are so perfect for one another.

And let’s talk about the –FOLLOW ME TO THE SPOILER BAR MY FRIENDS – View Spoiler »

In short. I love them and am obsessed with them and as I told Chelsea, I will eat a fucking cactus if they don’t wind up together for all eternity.

Hunt growled, low and deep.
“I’m going to fuck you senseless.” Her nipples were hard as pebbles, and she squirmed against him. Nothing but those little lace panties separated her sweetness from his bare thighs.
But then Holstrom shouted, “That sounds medically dangerous!”

On to the rest of the cast. GUYS. Guys. GuYs. I love this ragtag group of loveable idiots. I know some people might not like that they added more POVs but I LIVE for that. Loved and both cried getting to know Tharion and what he was dealing with in the Blue Court (spoiler alert a bunch of BS). Ithan– SARAH WERE YOU TRYING TO DESTROY US MORE THAN USUAL?? HUH WERE YOU???? Loved Dec and Flynn AS ALWAYS and even the Cormac bits were interesting/enlightening in certain ways *wink*. The one person I found myself missing the most at first was Hypaxia but she does come into play eventually and I was so glad, especially when she and Bryce had some girl time. Queens need to stick together (and no I am not calling Bryce a queen in the literal aspect….yet anyway). Who is going to come up with a new squad name for me because I really think we need one.

AND NOW, FOR THE BEST BOY OF ALL. RUHN DAAANAAAANNNNNNNNNNN. *the crowd roars* Yallllll. My love for Ruhn in book one pales in comparison for what I feel for him now. We learn more about his past AND just see more of him as a friend and Bryce’s brother and boy was my heart working in overtime. He deserves SO SO much and I am so fucking glad that his TRASH father didn’t suck all of the joy and kindness out of him. Autumn King is #1 on my shit list let me tell you. And after that Pollux and Rigelus tied. ANYWAY we DO get a new ship in this book involving Ruhn that….well, I’ll go ahead and say it. I am fucking obsessed you guys. There are quite a few bad-guys-or-are-they in this book and I was MOST DELIGHTED when both were uncovered as GOOD. I seriously have been internally screaming since I found out about one of them in particular. Anyway not going into detail but just know, this new ship is my everything and I can’t wait for more.

Ithan said slowly, “Hel is our enemy.”
“Is it?”
 Aidas laughed, ears twitching. “Who wrote the history?”
“The Asteri,”
 Tharion said darkly.

I feel myself winding down so I had better go out with a bang here. This wouldn’t be a Sarah book or even series if it didn’t have a BILLION twists and turns that you never saw coming. We learned so many more things about Danika (which I honestly hadn’t expected her to STILL be playing such a big role) and I’m not going to lie, I was very pissed off FOR Bryce. I can only hope she had at least PLANNED on telling her best friend someday. Sighhh

One thing that I had expected out of this book was the talk of rebellion and the looming war on the horizon. What I didn’t expect was to learn exactly what we learned. That even though we hate the Asteri and know they are wrong, there are also plenty in the human rebellion that are almost just as awful. The question of WHO might be the best people to rule if the Asteri are dethroned comes into play a lot and it was actually very interesting to think about. I think a LOT of realllly big changes and power plays are going to be made in the final book.

And finally. Yes. I think you all know what’s coming. Dive into that spoiler for some really fun flailing.

View Spoiler »

WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to re-read all my favorite parts over again.

Bryce faced her father. The Autumn King said in a voice so low no one else could hear, “You little bitch.”
Bryce smiled broadly. “It’s ‘You little bitch, Your Highness.’”

COVER REVEAL: The Unmarked Witch by Miranda Lyn

I am so excited to be part of the cover reveal for Miranda Lyn’s upcoming book, The Unmarked Witch! The book will be hitting the shelf on September 20–just in time for witchy season!

Summary

ALL RAVEN WANTS IS PEACE. BUT IN A MAGICAL REALM PLAGUED BY DECEPTION, THE ONLY THING HER WORLD KNOWS IS TURMOIL.

A land where witches wear their spells like tattoos is no place for a woman without a single magical mark—except for Raven, whose unblemished skin contradicts the truth of her power. Surviving under the scowls of her fellow witches has carved indelible scars into her mind over the years—just as the day she watched the Dark King’s men murder her grandmother in cold blood. But the Dark King’s reign of terror is far-reaching, and Raven’s grandmother won’t be the last witch to die under his rule. After the death of a coven leader heralds the start of the infamous Witch Trials, Raven finds herself dodging death to triumph. The journey quickly descends into perils far greater than she’d ever imagined, including a war on her heart from a man she’d only ever known as a villain. Still, trust is always fragile in kingdoms ruled by magic, especially when love enters the fold. Yet, something else is awry in the land of spells and shadows and Raven must decide whether she trusts her gut or her heart. The Unmarked Witch is the first gripping book in the seductive and intriguing duology, Unmarked.

From the author of the heart-pounding fantasy series, Fae Rising comes this new darkly ambitious tale.

Reserve your copy today!
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Add The Unmarked Witch to Goodreads

Author

Miranda Lyn is the author of the trending, high fantasy series, Fae Rising, and is soon releasing her new novel, The Unmarked Witch.  Miranda has spent the past two decades reading romantic fantasy novels, and the last hand full of years crafting similar worlds steeped in heartache, adventure, love, and loss. Her latest work will take her readers into the heart of a witch. And she owes it all to that one science teacher that made her write a paper on dirt and loved it so much he read it to the class. And then lectured her for missing class that day. But if not for him, because he probably doesn’t deserve the credit since she missed the next day of class as well, then to that little, old English teacher that swept her into a world of creative writing. The only class she never missed.

BOOK REVIEW: People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

BOOK REVIEW: People We Meet on Vacation by Emily HenryPeople We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.

Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.

Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

From the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read, a sparkling new novel that will leave you with the warm, hazy afterglow usually reserved for the best vacations.

Review

“I don’t think I knew I was lonely until I met you.”

Well, well, well it’s been a good long while since I’ve read a friends to lovers story that has made me go OKAY WHY DO I ALWAYS SAY I LOVE ENEMIES TO LOVERS BEST??!?!!? amirite?

This is only my second Emily Henry book but you better believe she has already skyrocketed up to the top of my favorite authors in the contemporary genre. Her writing is so crisp and her banter is hilarious but also REAL. Sometimes when authors lean too hard into banter it becomes almost TOO funny and therefore unbelievable. Like…are people really that funny? Are they always able to have these off the cuff back and forths??? Nahh lol.

Poppy and Alex though hit all my favorite everythings. They met in college and found out they were from neighboring towns but had never met before. They are different enough that their friendship easily wouldn’t have worked out…only that it did. Because not only are they special, but they are special to one another. They are the kind of person that you meet once and have this chance and maybe almost seemingly nonexistent spark with, maybe don’t see for some time, and then meet up and boom–it’s destiny. Does that make sense? It does for me because I had the same exact experience with my husband in college and looking back at the continuous CHANCE encounters of it all makes me giddy.

So, yes, I love this book for the reminders that it served me but also because of how it was told. We get snippets of their past and of their present. We find out what makes their relationship special, where things may have went “wrong,” where they fell in love, where they just couldn’t let one another go. The vacations themselves were also a perk to me because it’s the dead ass of winter here and any picture that can be painted of sunshine and warmth is a balm to my soul.

Overall I think…nay, I KNOW I loved this more than Beach Read even though that was soo, so good, too. I cannot wait to get my hands on anything and everything she comes up with next.

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