Category: Review (page 1 of 225)

BOOK REVIEW: Bad Influence (Bad Love #3) by Charleigh Rose

BOOK REVIEW: Bad Influence (Bad Love #3) by Charleigh RoseBad Influence (Bad Love #3)
by Charleigh Rose
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Allie

When I moved to River’s Edge, dating was the last thing on my mind.
I definitely didn’t expect to fall for him.
Jesse Shepherd.
Popular. Star athlete. Cocky as hell.
You know the type.
But as time passed, I realized there was more lurking beneath that gorgeous exterior.
Secretive. Angry. A little bit broken.
The more I peeled back his layers, the deeper I fell.
Until I slammed headfirst into his sea of lies.

Jess

I blew my shot.
Pissed everything away—college, lacrosse, my future—only to end up right back where I started in River’s Edge.
I was content to revel in my misery, spending my days drowning in a bottomless pit of booze and girls.
Until I saw her.
Allison Parrish.
Beautiful. Sarcastic. Perpetual bad attitude.
The pretty little distraction from the shit show that was my life.
But the sins of my past were closing in on me, and I learned the hard way that nothing gold can stay.

Review:

“So, we’re on the same page?”
“We’re not even reading the same book.”

Bad Influence is my newest obsession!  I found myself laughing, sighing, swooning and even crying.  I loved how much these characters meant to me and that every single time I pick up a book by Charleigh Rose, it becomes an instant favorite.  Her stories are emotional, sexy as hell and the characters always become embedded in my heart.  So if you love romance stories that will pull at your emotions, have fabulous banter and scenes that will have you melting into a puddle, then you definitely need to pick up one of her books!  

Love is real. Powerful. It has the potential to destroy you. To start wars and end lives. Love is a weapon. Love is dangerous, and I want nothing to do with it. – Allie

Within that first chapter I was sucked right in and my heart ached for Allie.  She tried her hardest to be emotionally strong and take care of herself, but she had been dealt a shit hand.  Her mother would rather be with her newest boyfriend and not be bothered by her.  And the way her dad died?  It was horrific, life truly sucks some times.  But Allie was a breath of fresh air to me.  She was fierce, loyal and had the hugest heart. Her sarcasm cracked me up and her taste of music made her feel like she was a long lost friend.  When Allie ended up working at the bar with Lo, I couldn’t wait to see what happened next!

I study him, once again sensing that there’s more to him than his persona. I want to swim in his depths, uncover every little hidden piece that the rest of the world doesn’t get to see.

Let it be known that I had already fallen in love with Jessie Shepard back in Bad Intentions.  You can easily read this book as a standalone, but I have so much love for Bad Intentions too!  Jessie was Lo’s younger brother and his smart mouth, Netflix obsession and take no shit attitude completely hooked me.  Jessie was the ultimate bad boy who was tortured, seductive, charming and hot as fuck. *fans face*  So when Jessie started showing up where Allie always seemed to be, you couldn’t knock the smile off of face.  The way they met had me giggling and smiling so hard.  

He moves toward me, and instinctively I step backwards until my back is flush with the door. “I want you. And I’m sick of playing this game.”
I swallow hard, feeling the warmth of his skin without even touching him. “That’s not why you’re here,” I say, calling his bluff. 
“No,” he admits. “But it definitely sweetens the deal.”
“You had your chance. The offer’s expired.”
“Is that so?” he asks, moving closer. “And what’s changed?” He pinches my chin between his finger and thumb and tilts it up so I’m forced to meet his gaze. 
“Everything.” I don’t know why my voice comes out as more of a whisper.

Both Allie and Jessie were hurt from their pasts and were trying their hardest to find their paths in life.  But while both of them were struggling with their own problems or demons, they kept running into each other.  And while there was a carnal attraction between them, Allie tried her hardest to fight it.  But this is Jessie Shepard we’re talking about, there was no escaping him.  His charm was impossible to resist and the sexual tension between them was intense.  Even the moments that had me laughing so hard I couldn’t catch my breath, were still sigh inducing.  

He moves past me, his chest skimming my folded arms as he leans in close to my ear. I hold my breath, suppressing the shiver that’s fighting its way through me, but my traitorous heart doesn’t get the message. “See you at home.”

This story toyed with my emotions in the best of ways.  I was enchanted with the push and pull that played with my heart and through it all,  I fell in love.  And while I know that Charleigh Rose’s stories are emotional, this one hit me hard.  I cried, and before I could even stop the tears from falling, I found myself sobbing.  This story reached deep into my heart and Jessie and Allie’s pain became mine.  

She pushes off the doorframe, making her way toward me. Her arms wrap around my middle, palms flattening against my stomach, cheek pressing against my back. I squeeze my eyes shut, allowing her touch to calm the storm inside me.

So yes, a million times yes I recommend this book!  Bad Influence was absolutely everything I look for in a romance story and I loved that we alternated between Allie and Jessie.  I loved how important the side characters were.  You have to meet Halston and Dylan, Allie’s friend.  Btw I would kill for Dylan’s story!  And I loved that we got to see all of our old favorites!  If you’re wanting to give Charleigh Rose a try, this is the perfect book to start with.  Her writing is addicting, her characters are consuming and Bad Influence is my new favorite Charleigh Rose book!

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

BOOK REVIEW: You Must Not Miss

BOOK REVIEW: You Must Not MissYou Must Not Miss Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Magpie Lewis started writing in her yellow notebook the day her family self-destructed. That was the night Eryn, Magpie's sister, skipped town and left her to fend for herself. That was the night of Brandon Phipp's party.

Now, Magpie is called a slut whenever she walks down the hallways of her high school, her former best friend won't speak to her, and she spends her lunch period with a group of misfits who've all been socially exiled like she has. And so, feeling trapped and forgotten, Magpie retreats to her notebook, dreaming up a place called Near.

Near is perfect--somewhere where her father never cheated, her mother never drank, and Magpie's own life never derailed so suddenly. She imagines Near so completely, so fully, that she writes it into existence, right in her own backyard. It's a place where she can have anything she wants...even revenge.

If you give a name to an impossible thing, does it make the impossible thing any less impossible?

This was a weird book and I really didn’t know what to rate it or how I really felt about it by the end. On the one hand, I thought it was great idea and the writing was excellent. On the other, I was really put off by the main character and it was even more weird than I expected, especially the ending.

“You Must Not Miss” follows Magpie Lewis, who unfortunately has a very rough life. Her parents are divorced after she witnesses her dad cheating with her aunt. Her mom is an alcoholic and she is no longer on speaking terms with her best friend. She sits with a few other “outcasts” at school, who were actually my favorite characters. I wish we could have got a little more from them, but ultimately, the story was around Magpie and those she was angry with.

And boy does Magpie have a lot of anger. Some of it is justified, but other times she lashes out at those who are specifically trying to help her. There’s a heartbreaking (at least to me) scene involving a teacher trying to help Magpie, but also trying to hold her accountable for her actions. While I think a lot of people who Magpie was upset with deserved it in some way or another, this teacher did not.

Let it be worried. Let the whole town be worried. If they knew what was good for them, they would be.

The blending between the real world and the mythical Near is done well. There were a lot of interesting rules, especially about other outside people entering into Near with Magpie. I wish I could say, even knowing all the unfortunate events in Magpie’s life, that I could say I liked Magpie, but ultimately, I did not. While I felt sorry for her, the way she treated others was honestly not OK with me. And because of that, I found the ending to be unsatisfactory and more open-ended than I would have liked. Ultimately, this was a miss for me.

We all make mistakes. Wasn’t that the truth? The thing was-there were some mistakes you couldn’t come back from.

BOOK REVIEW: Fix Her Up (Hot & Hammered #1) by Tessa Bailey

BOOK REVIEW: Fix Her Up (Hot & Hammered #1) by Tessa BaileyFix Her Up (Hot & Hammered #2)
by Tessa Bailey
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

A brand new romantic comedy from New York Times bestseller Tessa Bailey!

Georgette Castle’s family runs the best home renovation business in town, but she picked balloons instead of blueprints and they haven’t taken her seriously since. Frankly, she’s over it. Georgie loves planning children’s birthday parties and making people laugh, just not at her own expense. She’s determined to fix herself up into a Woman of the World... whatever that means.

Phase one: new framework for her business (a website from this decade, perhaps?)

Phase two: a gut-reno on her wardrobe (fyi, leggings are pants.)

Phase three: updates to her exterior (do people still wax?)

Phase four: put herself on the market (and stop crushing on Travis Ford!)

Living her best life means facing the truth: Georgie hasn’t been on a date since, well, ever. Nobody’s asking the town clown out for a night of hot sex, that’s for sure. Maybe if people think she’s having a steamy love affair, they’ll acknowledge she’s not just the “little sister” who paints faces for a living. And who better to help demolish that image than the resident sports star and tabloid favorite?

Travis Ford was major league baseball’s hottest rookie when an injury ended his career. Now he’s flipping houses to keep busy and trying to forget his glory days. But he can’t even cross the street without someone recapping his greatest hits. Or making a joke about his… bat. And then there's Georgie, his best friend’s sister, who is not a kid anymore. When she proposes a wild scheme—that they pretend to date, to shock her family and help him land a new job—he agrees. What’s the harm? It’s not like it’s real. But the girl Travis used to tease is now a funny, full-of-life woman and there’s nothing fake about how much he wants her...

“I didn’t want to visit tickle town, but you left me no choice.”
“Stop calling it that.”
Georgie half laughed, half squealed, attempting and failing to twist onto her belly. “Oh my God. A naked man is tickling me by force. I never want to hear clowns are scary again.”


Holy sheeeeeeet this was good. So far this book weirdly seems to make people either fall madly in love or hate which is pretty impressive. I am strongly in the LOVE camp. Wow. This is my first book my Tessa Bailey and you can best believe she is staying on my radar now (I may have already ran to request an advanced copy of Love Her of Lose Her. Now, I think this book cover, similarly to The Hating Game, is going to make people think that they are going to find something else when they open this up. I know that I would have before reading the reviews that I did.

This book is NOT cutesy and fluffy and tame. This book is emotional, and filthy, and addicting. I listened to most of it yesterday while I was doing things at my desk at work and holy shit….you probably shouldn’t do that hahahah. I kept being super paranoid about my volume being too loud or my headphones suddenly being ripped from my computer which would have led to my coworkers being probably momentarily stunned and I would have had to run away and hide my blushing face for at least a week. Seriously though, the dirty talk. I’m sweating and fanning myself just thinking about it. If you’re not a big fan of that, I don’t think you will like this book, tbh. Travis is a very, in-your-face, tell-it-like-it-is-especially-sexually kind of character lol.

“The quiet got too loud once you’d come and gone.” Another long kiss that left her gasping. “How dare you.”

What I love most about this book though, is that it’s more than just some book about sex. Bailey gives us so, SO much more emotionally with ALL of the characters. Georgie was so relatable on so many different levels. Even if you’re not a youngest child, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all been treated like a kid before, even long after we should have been. We’ve all been not taken seriously at one point in our lives and know how shitty that can feel, especially if it’s coming from someone you know and love. I appreciated that while Georgie and Travis started their “fake relationship” to help fix one another’s appearances, that they both kind of still ended up helping themselves in the process. Of course the fact that they could be real with each other and talk about what they were REALLY thinking or what they really WANTED out of life helped a lot…but Georgie especially ended up taking her life into her own hands just after Travis had stuck up for her to her family ONE time even. I do love a good H saves h story but who also doesn’t love stories that also feature the heroine saving herself, too?!

I also really loved when Georgie, Bethany, and Rosie started the Just Us League. I think that really went a long way with Bethany realizing how hurtful (even without meaning it) and unfair she was being to Georgie about being a clown and all that jazz. Also….can we just talk about how much I’m DYING to get Rosie and Dom’s story. Especially after that….charged….scene before they did the tough mudder. Wowwowwow. I am going to snatch that up so fast.

FINALLY I just loved Travis and Georgie together so much in general. I have always really liked the older brother’s best friend gets with young sister trope. It’s weirdly exciting and always steamy with the “no I shouldn’t be doing this but I literally can’t helping ripping you’re your clothes off right now” type of thing. Even though Travis seems like he has the possibility of being a douchey, macho character (his dick is called Two Bats but I’d like to think he didn’t name it that himself lololol), there was SO much more depth to him. I hurt for him so much hearing about how shitty his parents were to him and and how much it hurt him for people to objectify him day after day. I can’t even imagine what that must have felt like. Knowing that Georgie was there, rooting for him since high school made my heart fucking melt into a gooey mess. ALSO THAT PROPOSAL???!?!?! Sighhhh This a must read, you guys. Seriously.

Georgie’s heart was in her eyes. She could feel it. How much she showed him in that moment. Ten years of nursing an all-consuming crush she’d assumed was love, when she’d had no idea that this was what love felt like. This. This was it. So heavy at times it couldn’t be lifted, so light at others it made you capable of floating.

BOOK REVIEW: Kickin’ It (Red Card #2) by Rachel Van Dyken

BOOK REVIEW: Kickin’ It (Red Card #2) by Rachel Van DykenKickin' It (Red Card #2)
by Rachel Van Dyken
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Love breaks the offside rule in New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken’s irresistibly sexy Red Card romance.

Successful, high-profile sports agent Matt Kingston thinks he can handle anything. Then soccer player Parker Speedman shows up at his door. She is young and gorgeous, has natural talent, and is looking for a team. She’s also a hothead with a punchy past who floored her last coach on live TV. Despite his misgivings, Matt agrees to be both her agent and her coach. Professional common sense says she’s off-limits. But what can he say about the raw attraction between them?

Parker plays soccer with her heart and soul. But after the events of the last year, she’s shaken. She’s already seen what a powerful man can do to a female athlete’s career. And her beloved dream is in the hands of a sexy, gorgeous man with the uncanny ability to slip past her defenses…and into her heart.

Now Matt and Parker are about to learn that when it comes to love, the only way to win is by breaking every rule they know. And by playing nice. Real nice.

Review:

Kickin It was fun, flirty and I couldn’t stop smiling or laughing.  With deep and meaningful friendships, characters who came alive off of the pages and a romance that had me constantly begging for more, this book was a solid win!  While Kickin It can easily be read as a standalone, I highly recommend you also read, Risky Play. They’re both a ton of fun and if you’re looking for books to take to the beach, look no further!

“Behave.” His breath was hot on my ear. “I don’t know you. In fact, I’m instantly regretting letting you into my house, but this night is important. These people may be friends, but they’re still clients. Respect them or I’m finding you a nice cardboard box to call home in downtown Seattle. Got it?” 
I sucked in a breath. “You would steal a box from people who are truly homeless?”
“What did I do to deserve this?” He looked toward the sky and then shook his head.

I adored Matt Kingston from Risky Play.  He was such a thoughtful, caring and considerate man.  But he was also ruthless in the work world and he owned a highly successful business of managing sports players.  There was an edge to him and while he could be a dickhead, he loved his sister fiercely.  So when his sister, Willow, asked him if she could work for his company over the summer, he gave in.  But Matt had no clue what he was getting himself into lol. Willow brought her bestie Parker Speedman to live at Matt’s house with her.  And Parker and Matt didn’t get off on a good foot at all.

She was pretty when she smiled, but she didn’t do it often enough. 
And it made me wonder too much. 
It made me want to dig when I had no business digging. 
Coach. 
Agent.

Parker Speedman was sassy and bold, but she was also hurt and broken from the past.  She wanted to play professional soccer more than anything, but her past reputation of punching her coach didn’t have teams lining up for her.  Even though she was an amazing player. So when Matt agreed to be her agent, Parker was finally within reach of her dreams.  

“Good thing we aren’t friends,” Parker piped up, her venom directed at me. And all I could conjure up was an image of us being anything but friendly in the shower. 
And me pulling her hair. 
Running my hands over— 
I locked eyes with her and whispered gruffly, “Good thing.”

Not only was there a ton of banter between Matt and Parker, but there was attraction too.  But Parker is focused on her goal, to be signed by a soccer team. And Matt needed to just be her agent, nothing more.  Well until he also agreed to be her trainer too. Between living and training together, it was hard for them to keep the lines from not being blurred.  Even if they were still fighting and throwing jabs at each other. But that didn’t matter because any time they were together, that attraction was there.  It helped that they both had ridiculously high walls, but spending that much time together meant walls would eventually crumble a little.  And any time they got emotionally closer to the other, it felt like the hugest victory ever.

“Also, stay far, far away from Willow.”
“I love the name Willow.” Jagger stared me down. 
“I have no problem shoving you off my yacht and dumping a bucket of blood in afterward for good measure.”
“Graphic.” Jagger grinned. “I like it.” 
Slade stood. “What’s for lunch?”
“You aren’t staying for lunch.”
“I’ll get the plates!” Jagger followed.

One of the gems I always find in Rachel Van Dyken’s books are the friendships.  Not only the one that the hero and heroine form, but the ones they have with their friends.  Parker and Willow’s friendship felt so real and was filled with tons of love. And then there was Matt with Jagger and Slade.  The three of them were brutally honest with each other and had the others back. But Matt, Slade and Jagger also messed with one other, and there were so many moments that had me laughing hysterically.  I love that Rachel Van Dyken is the queen of writing friendships that are deep and real. 

Our eyes locked. 
Off-limits. She’s off-limits. 
I just never realized how much.

On top of the friendships, banter, and chemistry there was also a side love story between two characters.  I can’t say who, but know that it was hilarious, smile inducing and absolutely everything!  It added so much to this story and the epilogue at the end of this book was absolutely perfect!  Kickin It was such a huge score!  I loved every single minute of it and I can’t recommend this book or series enough!

PS We don’t learn much about Chief Johnny Alfero but I need MORE!  He seems like a man who has miles of secrets and I was obsessed! I’m hoping he gets a story!!

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

BOOK REVIEW: Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack

BOOK REVIEW: Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora CarmackRoar (Stormheart #1)
by Cora Carmack
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora's been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.
To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.
She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

7/9/19 Finished the #StormlingReadAlong early and wowwowwow and I SO READY for Rage.  Below is my review from when I first read the book and honestly, my thoughts on it did not change at all!


This was an amazing start to a series that I am already really excited about!! Full, honest review given below. Thanks to NetGalley and Tor Teen for giving me a chance to read this eARC! ♥

Okay, on to the goods. When I saw that Cora Carmack had written a YA Fantasy novel I was PUMPED. I’ve read–more like devoured–her Rusk University novels already and was dying for more. The fact that the “more” was a genre that I am especially obsessed with had me rushing to request an ARC from NetGalley and turing into a fangirly mess once I actually got it.

Honestly, this book was really damn good. The only thing that bothered me was that there were a lot of abrupt changes in POV but that could just be the editing of my ARC and it could be taken care of once the book is actually in print. Other than that, this was such a fresh newpremise!!!! This book is set in a fantasy world where storms of any kind are magical and violent and there are only a select few people called Stormlings that are born with the power to reign them in and protect their kingdoms. Aurora, the main character and heir to the Pavan throne, was born without powers and has had to keep it a secret her entire life. Of course, her mother, the queen, decides that it’ll be a great idea to marry her off to another Stormling prince so that her throne remains secure and her people stay protected. Of course things don’t always go as planned…When Rora feels betrayed by her groom-to-be she sets out with a band of storm hunters to take control of her future and learn how to tame the horrible storms herself.

First of all, we are introduced to an interesting and easily likable/hateable group of characters. It seems at first like there could be a possible love triangle but fear not!! That isn’t a thing in this first book. Rora, or Roar as she eventually becomes known as, was an extremely likeable female lead for me. She falls a little too easily for her male counterparts but given her sheltered life, I guess I can see how she quickly made a connection with two of the first two people who *really* paid her attention. Other than that though, she’s a fighter. She’s stubborn and pig-headed and I’m really excited to see how her future pans out. Locke, the love interest, is VERY swoon worthy (but I can agree that he CAN be a little overprotective at times). Oh my lawd. You guys will see. I’m a big fan…I am curious to see more about Cassius though.  Something tells me that he and Roar will have a hell of a time with a reunion in the next book…

Overall the story is a memorable one. The ending isn’t a huge cliffhanger but does set up for book two perfectly which I will 100% be pining for. I highly recommend!!

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