Author: Jen (page 1 of 110)

BOOK REVIEW: Smiling Irish (The Summerhaven Trio #2) by Katy Regnery

BOOK REVIEW: Smiling Irish (The Summerhaven Trio #2) by Katy RegnerySmiling Irish (The Summerhaven Trio #2)
by Katy Regnery
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Tierney Haven and Burr O’Leary come from completely different worlds…
…but there’s a reason they say “opposites attract.”

Bookish Tierney Haven has always preferred places to people, and she especially loves the peace and quiet of Moonstone Manor, an estate museum located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where she is head docent, chief historian and live-in caretaker. The very last thing she expects to find on her doorstep in the middle of the night is bruised and bloodied stranger, Burr O’Leary, in desperate need of her help.

Against her better judgement and at the risk of her brothers’ wrath, Tierney offers Burr sanctuary at Moonstone Manor, and nurses him back to health, surprised to discover that the dashing, enigmatic stranger loves the history and peace of Moonstone as much as she. But Burr has a dark history, and those who hurt him will stop at nothing to eliminate him...placing Tierney in grave danger until he is well enough to find them first.

Review:

I absolutely adored Smiling Irish!  The story started off with a bang in the middle of a dark and stormy night and I was glued to the pages.  There was action, heartache, friendship, secrets, true love and I couldn’t get enough of it!

He’d barged into her tidy life, turning it upside down, and yet…and yet, it was some of the most exciting fun she’d ever had. She didn’t want him to go. Not even a little bit.

Tierney Haven was the sweetest woman ever, and I came to care for her in the previous book, Fighting Irish.  She loved her happy, quiet little life….well almost all of it.  Once her brother, Rory, became involved with Brittney, she seemed to long for more.  So I loved that right from the start of this story, Burr O’Leary stormed into Tierney’s life.  Burr was bloodied, injured, showed up in the middle of the night and was frightening.  Yet Tierney and her good heart helped him.  From that one decision, Tierney’s whole life was about to change.

“You asked if I was good or bad. I can’t tell you exactly who I am or what I’ve done, because the less you know, the better. But I want you to know this: I was always on the good side, Tierney. I’ve always counted myself among the good guys.”

While Burr was a mystery, I quickly liked him.  In case you haven’t realized it yet, I’m a sucker for tortured males. And Burr was absolute perfection in that regard.  He had scars that ran deep from what he saw and did, and my heart ached for him.  He sacrificed more than any person ever should.  As time passed, we slowly got to learn little pieces of who he was, and see the bigger picture.  It was so easy for me to fall head over heels in love with him.

Her breath caught as he took a step toward her. Placing two fingers under her chin, he lifted it so that her face was upturned to his. Then, gently, so gently that tears bit at the backs of her eyes, he dropped his lips to hers, brushing against them tenderly.

With the traumatic situation Tierney and Burr were thrust in, they easily formed a quick friendship.  They had to trust each other right from the start, even if the trust wasn’t entirely there.  They were both Irish, and it was heartwarming how that helped link them together.  Plus the banter and chemistry did that too.  They had me laughing one moment and then swooning the next.  Their scenes together officially made them my favorite couple in this series.  Just don’t tell Tierney’s brothers that. 😉

“You are…the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, in all my life.”
He reached for her waist, pulling her back between his legs.

Again I loved watching the relationship the triplets had with one another.  It was heartfelt and emotional.  They loved one another deeply.  And while Tierney had her brothers, I liked watching her form a friendship with her brother’s girlfriend, Brittney.  They both needed a true friend and Tierney was beyond clueless when it came to guys.  She was highly inexperienced and I loved that she had Brittney to talk to.  Because Burr and Tierney realized that fighting their attraction was futile.  It didn’t matter that they were from two entirely different worlds.  What was happening between them was so much bigger than life.  I just knew in the bottom of my heart that they would get their happily ever after.

“Do you still have hope for us?”
“I’ll always have hope for us,” she said.

Smiling Irish was the perfect mix of suspense, romance and friendship!  I loved every single moment and I’m so thankful I picked up this series.  So if you adore sweet romance stories, then definitely give this series a try.  Spoiler alert – I’ve already read the next book and it’s absolutely adorable too.

 

Reading Order & Links:

Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
***Each book can be read as a standalone, but best enjoyed in order.***


Fighting Irish #1
Reviews:

Jen

Smiling Irish #2
Reviews:

Jen

Loving Irish #3
Reviews:

Catching Irish #4
Reviews:

BOOK REVIEW: Fighting Irish (The Summerhaven Trio #1) by Katy Regnery

BOOK REVIEW: Fighting Irish (The Summerhaven Trio #1) by Katy RegneryFighting Irish (The Summerhaven Trio #1)
by Katy Regnery
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Rory Haven and Brittany Manion knew one another as children...
...but it's been a long time since their childhood summers at Summerhaven.

The Havens weren't the children who attended exclusive Summerhaven Camp in Center Sandwich, New Hampshire. They were the children of the owners, expected to “pull their weight” and absolutely forbidden to fraternize with the paying guests. But that didn't keep Rory from having a quiet, unrequited crush on gorgeous, popular, insanely-rich, Brittany Manion for three tortuous summers.

When all-grown-up, recently-engaged Brittany books the off-season summer camp for her upcoming spring wedding, she immediately recognizes Rory as the scorching-hot boy who wouldn’t give her the time of day. Meanwhile, Rory, who senses that Brittany’s nuptials are less about Mr. Right and more about Mr. Right Now, launches the fight of his life to win the heart of the girl he’s always wanted.

Review:

Fighting Irish was a sweet story that left a smile on my face.  It was filled with heartwarming characters, not a lot of angst and it was a quick read.  So here are three things that I absolutely adored while reading this book:

Cute love story:

“Rory,” whispered Brittany, her lips so close to his ear that his eyes fluttered closed for a split second, “I wish you’d broken the rules.”

Rory always liked Brittney from afar.  She was one of the campers that would come to his family’s exclusive camp each year.  But Rory’s mom had a strict do not fraternize with the guests rule, and Rory was always the rule follower.  Years later he comes face to face with Brittney, she wanted to use the camp to host her wedding.  While the obstacles should feel daunting, because Brittney was engaged, I never felt like they were.  I didn’t like her fiance from the get to, so I was all about her ditching her fiance and getting with Rory.  Bad Jen lol.  Brittney and Rory were both attracted to each other, even if they shouldn’t, and there was no way they could deny what was between them.  What unfolded was oh so sweet and absolutely adorable. 

 

Loveable characters:

“Why are you so sweet?” she asked, blinking away unexpected tears as she looked over at him, her glance resting on his strong, smooth jaw and tracing the lines of his beautiful profile. Her cheeks were still warm from the way he’d just looked at her, but she squelched the tiny thrum of hope from deep, deep within her heart.

The characters were so easy to connect with and I loved how we alternated between Rory and Brittney.  Rory Haven was sigh worthy, extremely patient, a hard worker and I loved how he went after what he wanted.  Brittney Manion was from an extremely wealthy family, and she seemed a little nervous about why others truly liked her.  While she didn’t always trust her judgment, I loved how much she grew in this book.  She went from a woman who almost seemed meek at times to one who finally started to listen to her heart.  Brittney was such a warm, caring, thoughtful woman and I hoped she would finally make the right decision for herself.

 

The importance of family:

Rory, you’re a dumbass if you think all fights require fists and fury. Some fights are quiet, but the battle’s still being waged. – Ian talking to Rory

This wasn’t just a love story, in my eyes, family also played a strong, central theme.  You see, Rory is one of three triplets.  Not only did he come home to take over the family’s business and put aside his dreams because his mother had a stroke.  But his brother, Ian, was an alcoholic and we got to see how Rory and his sister, Tierney, pulled together for their brother.  It was extremely heartwarming and I loved their dynamics.  I also adored the mother son relationship Rory had with Mrs Toffle, who worked for him.  They were such opposites, but they cracked me up!

So now I’m off to jump into the second book.  It’s about Rory’s sister, Tierney, and I can’t wait to learn more about her!

 

Reading Order & Links:

Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
***Each book can be read as a standalone, but best enjoyed in order.***


Fighting Irish #1
Reviews:

Jen

Smiling Irish #2
Reviews:

Jen

Loving Irish #3
Reviews:

Catching Irish #4
Reviews:

Our Most Anticipated Releases For December

We love talking about books that we can’t wait to read! And that includes the ones that haven’t been released yet. So around the first day of every month, we’ll share with you the books coming out that we’re the most excited about. There’s a link to Goodreads in case you want to add them to your tbr too! So here are the books we are counting down until they are released in December.

 

Releases 12/04 – Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra Clare

GoodreadsAmazon

Dark secrets and forbidden love threaten the very survival of the Shadowhunters in Cassandra Clare’s Queen of Air and Darkness, the final novel in the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling The Dark Artifices trilogy. Queen of Air and Darkness is a Shadowhunters novel.

What if damnation is the price of true love?

Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the disease that is destroying the race of warlocks. Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.

 

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Releases 12/11 –  This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher

GoodreadsAmazon

Tell the truth. Or face the consequences.

Clue meets Riverdale in this page-turning thriller that exposes the lies five teens tell about a deadly night one year ago.

One year ago, there was a party.
At the party, someone died.
Five teens each played a part and up until now, no one has told the truth.

But tonight, the five survivors arrive at an isolated mansion in the hills, expecting to compete in a contest with a $50,000 grand prize. Of course…some things are too good to be true. They were each so desperate for the prize, they didn’t question the odd, rather exclusive invitation until it was too late.

Now, they realize they’ve been lured together by a person bent on revenge, a person who will stop at nothing to uncover what actually happened on that deadly night, one year ago.

Five arrived, but not all can leave. Will the truth set them free?
Or will their lies destroy them all?

 
 
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Releases 12/18 – Kiss Collector by Wendy Higgins

GoodreadsAmazon

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Sweet Evil series comes a sizzling new YA romance perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Kasie West, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Seventeen-year-old Zae Monroe is over relationships. Between getting cheated on by the only guy she’s ever loved and watching her parents’ marriage crumble, she decides to turn the tables and go after what she wants, and what she wants are kisses. Athletes, musicians, poets, bad boys—their lips are all on her agenda, and it’s time to collect.

Zae proposes a contest with her friends to see who can kiss the most boys during spring break. But what starts as a harmless competition leads to a downward spiral of drama. Zae is forced to face the reasons behind her boy angst and starts to wonder if she was wrong about the male race…or at least some of them.

Bestselling author Wendy Higgins delivers a searing YA romance filled with endless flirting, heartthrob boys, and of course, lots of kisses!

 
 
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Releases 12/18 – The Disasters by M. K. England 

GoodreadsAmazon

The Breakfast Club meets Guardians of the Galaxy in this YA sci-fi adventure by debut author M. K. England.

Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than twenty-four hours. But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy.

Nax and three other washouts escape—barely—but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats.

On the run, Nax and his fellow failures plan to pull off a dangerous heist to spread the truth. Because they may not be “Academy material,” and they may not even get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight.

Full of high-stakes action, subversive humor, and underdogs becoming heroes, this YA sci-fi adventure is perfect for fans of Illuminae, Heart of Iron, or the cult classic TV show Firefly and is also a page-turning thrill ride that anyone—not just space nerds—can enjoy.

 
 
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Releases 12/31 – Evermore (Everless #2) by Sara Holland

GoodreadsAmazon

Jules Ember confronts the girl who is both her oldest friend and greatest enemy in the highly anticipated sequel to Everless, praised by New York Times bestelling author Stephanie Garber as “an intoxicating blend of blood, secrets, and haunting mythology.”

Jules Ember was raised hearing legends of the ancient magic of the wicked Alchemist and the good Sorceress. But she has just learned the truth: She is the Alchemist, and Caro—a woman who single-handedly murdered the Queen and Jules’s first love, Roan, in cold blood—is the Sorceress.

The whole kingdom believes that Jules is responsible for the murders, and a hefty bounty has been placed on her head. And Caro is intent on destroying Jules, who stole her heart twelve lifetimes ago. Now Jules must piece together the stories of her past lives to save the person who has captured her heart in this one.

Perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard, Kiera Cass, and Kendare Blake, Evermore is the high-stakes, star-crossed follow up to the New York Times bestselling Everless that fans have been waiting for.

 
 
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So these are the books we can’t wait to be released this month! Are you excited about any of these releases too? Or is there a book we missed that we should definitely check out? Let us know. ♥

Monthly Wrap-Up – November

 

During our Monthly Wrap-Up, we’ll take a look at what has happened around here in the last month. That’ll include what’s happened in my life, what the four of us have read, any other posts we may have had, giveaways still going on, our most popular Instagram posts, and books that I’ve added to my ever-growing TBR.

*We linked this post to the November Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up Link-Up at Feed Your Fiction Addiction*

♥ Enjoy!

Jen’s Life:

Some of my highlights from November were –

My youngest is in Kindergarten and I swear he brought home every germ last month.  First it was a cold, then it was the flu and then croup.  Thankfully we were all healthy by Thanksgiving, but it was a rough road to get there.  And hopefully that means we’re good for the rest of the year?!  Fingers crossed!
I discovered a new favorite cookie while baking.  They are Soft Caramel Snickerdoodles from Sally’s Baking Addiction (Chelsea and I are both love with her recipes).  A snickerdoodle with caramel inside….oh my gosh, yum!  I highly recommend them if you adore baking and snickerdoodles.  You can find the recipe here.
We celebrated Thanksgiving at my parents house.  My parents, brother, aunt, uncle and my Grandma now live by my husband and I so we only have to drive 18 minutes to celebrate the holidays.  It was such a nice, relaxing day with family and my boys had so much fun!

 

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What Arielle, Cassie, Chelsea & Jen Read:

5 Stars:
Dangerous Exes (Liars, Inc. #2) by Rachel Van Dyken
Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J. Maas
Not So Nice Guy by R. S. Grey
Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners #3) by Libba Bray (Chelsea)
The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners #3) by Libba Bray (Arielle)


4.5 Stars:

The Diviners (The Diviners #1) by Libba Bray
You Had Me at Cowboy (Cowboys of Creedence #2) by Jennie Marts

4 Stars:
Shifters and Glyphs (Fairy Tales of the Magicorum #2) by Christina Bauer
Arrogant Devil by R. S. Grey
Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2) by Libba Bray
The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
#Murdertrending (Murdertrending #1) by Gretchen McNeil

 

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Our Favorite Books of the Month:

 Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J. Maas (Arielle’s Choice)
I swear to God I spent this entire book crying, laughing, heart racing, scared out of my wits, clutching my heart or throat because I was damn invested in what I might find on the next page. If some evil person were to tell me that I was only able to read one author’s books for the rest of my life, it would be hers.

 

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The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager  (Cassie’s Choice)
I was breathless up until the last page and I was left fully satisfied. I cannot wait for future books from Sager if his first two novels are an indication of what’s to come next.

 

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Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners #3) by Libba Bray  (Chelsea’s Choice)
When I love something, I love it with every fiber of my being…and this series deserves all the praise. I just hope I can last until that final book comes out…because Ms. Bray literally holds my heart in the palm in her hand.

 

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 Dangerous Exes (Liars, Inc. #2) by Rachel Van Dyken (Jen’s Choice)
I loved how they toyed with each.  I loved the games they played. But I loved the passion between them the most.  It was crazy addicting and created so many explosive scenes bursting with sexual tension.  

 

 

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Other Posts:

Our Most Anticipated Releases For November
Backlist Books We Want to Read
Platonic Relationships In Books We Love

 

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Giveaways:

5 Copies of Caught Up In A Cowboy by Jennie Marts

 

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Instagram:

We thought it would be fun to share Chelsea, Jen & Arielle’s most popular posts for November. And they are….

 
 
 
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A post shared by Star-Crossed Book Blog (@starcrossedbookblog) on

 
 
 
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A post shared by Star-Crossed Book Blog (@starcrossedbookblog) on

 
 
 
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A post shared by Star-Crossed Book Blog (@starcrossedbookblog) on

 

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Books Added To Jen’s TBR This Month:

I just keep adding books to my tbr lol…..


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So that was our November. Did you read any of the same books that we did?  Or share the same favorite book as us?  If not, then what was your favorite book?  Or have you read any of the books I just added to my TBR?

Here’s hoping you all had a wonderful November too.  And cheers to December being fabulous for all of us!

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Platonic Relationships In Books We Love

Top Ten Tuesday.13

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl
Today we’re sharing Platonic Relationships In Books We Love.  And they are….


(Chelsea’s Choice – Review)

(Chelsea’s Choice – Review)

1. The Diviners (The Diviners #1) by Libba Bray
Amazon * Goodreads

The friendships are pos-I-tute-ly to die for and I am obsessed with them all!

 

2. A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely #1) by Brigid Kemmerer
Amazon * Goodreads

Rhen and Grey have the most addicting friendship and I’m so here for it…and even more so is HARPER and Grey’s friendship.  I love it all so much!


(Chelsea’s Choice – Review)

(Jen’s Choice – Review)

3. A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab
Amazon * Goodreads

Kell would do anything for Rhy…and I do mean anything.  And Rhy loves him so much.  I will never forget these guys-so addicting.

 

4. Spies, Lies, and Allies by Lisa Brown Roberts
Amazon * Goodreads

Laurel and her Dad came to become one of my favorite father/daughter relationships in any book I’ve read.  It warmed my heart and there was so much emotion between the two of them.

 


(Jen’s Choice – Review)

(Jen’s Choice – Review)

5. The Uprising (The Union #3) by T.H. Hernandez
Amazon * Goodreads

One of my favorite things about this series was how friendships were cultivated throughout every moment.  They were deep and meaningful.  This time around I loved how Rainey and Cyrus had each others back in every way possible.

 

6. The Great Pursuit (Eurona Duology #2) by Wendy Higgins
Amazon * Goodreads

Not only did this book display strong, female friendships, which I loved!  But it also displayed strong non-sexual friendships between males and females, which I loved too!

 


(Arielle’s Choice)

(Arielle’s Choice – Review)

7. Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas
Amazon * Goodreads

Lysandra and Aelin – these two went from being enemies who were jealous of one another to the best of friends who would literally lay down their lives for the other.  Maas might be known for her whirlwind romances but she also knows how to create some of the most powerful girl friendships I’ve ever read about!

 

8. My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
Amazon * Goodreads

Millie and the boys – these guys were HILARIOUS together.  I feel like Millie was the glue that kept all of the guys together and I loved reading their text exchanges.  

 


(Arielle’s Choice)

(Cassie’s Choice)

9. First Test (Protector of the Small #1) by Tamora Pierce
Amazon * Goodreads

Kel and Neal  – Neal was the first page to accept Kel when she started her training at the palace and quickly turned into her best friend.  He was a nagging thorn in her side (lol) until they became knights and their friendship is one of my very favorites of all time!

 

10. A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab
Amazon * Goodreads

The friendship between Lila and Alucard is to die for.  They are both smart, snarky and fiercely loyal.  The fact that Kell is loved by Lila and (mostly) disliked by Alucard brings a whole additional layer to the friendship and their dynamic.


(Cassie’s Choice)

(Cassie’s Choice)

11. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins
Amazon * Goodreads

The sisterly bond between Katniss and Prim will always be one of my favorite sibling relationships.  The love Katniss has for Prim is above anyone or anything else and that is evident in the entire series, which makes the ending all the more tragic.

 

12. Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber
Amazon * Goodreads

Similar to the Hunger Games, the sisterly bond between Tella and Scarlett is so strong.  Even with the crazy setting and the swoon-worthy boys, the sisters’ friendship is deep and it’s clear that no matter what, they will always care about and help each other.

 

So these are the Platonic Relationships In Books We Love.  Do you share any of the same as us?  If not, then what are your favorite platonic relationships in a book?

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