Category: Review (page 1 of 183)

BOOK REVIEW – Crossing Hearts (Cross Creek #1) by Kimberly Kincaid

BOOK REVIEW - Crossing Hearts (Cross Creek #1) by Kimberly Kincaid

I signed up for the Cross Creek Series Tour because not only did Kimberly Kincaid's books sound amazing, but she’ll be attending RT this year. After reading the first book in this series, I’m not only super excited to meet her in person, but I can’t wait to read the next two standalone books in this series! So check out my review below, see what the other books are about and enter a fabulous giveaway! Enjoy!!

BOOK REVIEW – Crossing Hearts (Cross Creek #1) by Kimberly KincaidCrossing Hearts (Cross Creek #1)
by Kimberly Kincaid
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


Hunter Cross has no regrets. Having left his football prospects behind the day he graduated high school, he’s happy to carry out his legacy on his family’s farm in the foothills of the Shenandoah. But when a shoulder injury puts him face-to-face with the high school sweetheart who abandoned town—and him—twelve years ago, Hunter’s simple life gets a lot more complicated.

Emerson Montgomery has secrets. Refusing to divulge why she left her job as a hotshot physical therapist for a pro football team, she struggles to readjust to life in the hometown she left behind. The more time she spends with Hunter, the more Emerson finds herself wanting to trust him with the diagnosis of MS that has turned her world upside down.

But revealing secrets comes with a price. Can Hunter and Emerson rekindle their past love? Or will the realities of the present—and the trust that goes with them—burn that bridge for good?


Crossing Hearts was sweet, sensual and such a fabulous second chance romance.  The way the story evolved reminded me of honey slowly pouring out of a jar. It was beautifully slow and mesmerizing.  While Emerson and Hunter met again, right from the start, we got little pieces of their past here and there.  And we didn’t fully learn all there was about Emerson and Hunter until further into the story. As someone who is more of a fast paced kinda girl, I found myself loving every single second of it!  So if you adore small town stories, sexy cowboys and strong females then definitely give this one a try!

He’d forgotten her once. He could damn well stick to forgetting her again.

Emerson and Hunter dated in high school, and they were so serious that Hunter even proposed to her.  She not only turned him down, but left the state for college, leaving him with his heart completely shattered.  Twelve years later, Emerson left her high profile career, her NFL boyfriend and was back in their tiny town as a physical therapist.  And Hunter was about to be her very first client!

“I’m even wondering what if right now. Like what if”— he paused, but just long enough to fully face her on the bench, letting his opposite hand trail up the outside of her arm—“ you let me get closer to you.”

While they tried their hardest to have a professional relationship, over time chemistry started to appear.  Not only was their friendship still there, but their past was definitely not buried.  Their old emotions were just begging to be released.  It slowly started to come out in their physical therapy sessions, their little town’s festival and it got to the point that there was no way they could ignore it any longer.  The sexual tension between the two of them was so hot. And when they finally caved, ohhh the sex scenes were even hotter!

“Hunter,”she whispered, her breath hot on his hand, and just like that, he was done waiting. He’d wanted his mouth on hers for twelve goddamn years. He might be light-years away from playing it safe right now, but he didn’t even want to wait another twelve seconds.
He just wanted her.

I found myself easily obsessed with Hunter.  He was strong, caring, determined, a hard worker and such a good guy.  As someone who usually prefers the bad boys, I was shocked how hard I fell for him.  His feelings were so real, and I loved watching him struggle between caring for Emerson yet being guarded because of their past.  And while I liked Emerson, it took me a little bit longer to warm up to her.  You see, she could be so stubborn at times.  She didn’t want anyone to know her medical condition, let alone help her in any way. But over time, Hunter started to wiggle his way into her heart, and I found myself caring for Emerson too.  I so wanted them to make it this time around, and I found myself rooting for their HEA!

“Don’t worry. I’ve got you, Em. I won’t let go.”
As he settled against the bedsheets with her nestled in close, Emerson realized that when she was in Hunter’s arms, she didn’t just feel normal.
For the first time she could remember, she felt whole.

In Crossing Hearts, you definitely feel all of the small town charm.  And on top of that, I loved Hunter’s family!  His dad and two brothers worked with him on their farm, and I adored how true their family dynamics felt.  Yeah they had some problems, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out in the future books, but I loved learning about all of them.  And I loved even more how Emerson fit so effortlessly in with Hunter’s family. Scenes that just involved them eating dinner together, always felt like so much more.

“I don’t think I realized it until now, but what I’ve been waiting for is you. It’s always been you. And this time, I’m not letting you slip away.” – Hunter

Crossing Hearts had a ton of character and soul.  I absolutely adored this book, and I’m so excited to read the rest of Kimberly Kincaid’s books.  The next two books in this series are Hunter’s brothers stories, and I can’t wait to dive into them!

*ARC kindly provided by Inkslinger in exchange for an honest review*


Additional Standalone Books In The Series:


Cocky farmer Eli Cross plays twice as hard as he works. When his latest stunt drums up a heap of negative PR for the family farm, he grudgingly agrees to play host to an ambitious New York City photographer. Her feature on Cross Creek could be just the ticket to show the country what the Cross brothers do best…which is more problem than solution for Eli.

Scarlett Edwards-Stewart has photographed everything from end zones to war zones. She’s confident she can ace this one little story to help her best friend’s failing magazine. At least, she would be if her super-sexy host wasn’t so tight lipped. But the more Scarlett works with Eli, the more she discovers that he’s not who he seems. Can his secret bring them closer together? Or will it be the very thing that tears them apart?




For Owen Cross, the only thing that matters more than family is farming. As the oldest Cross brother, the land is his legacy, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make Cross Creek a success—including hiring local widow Cate McAllister to manage the bookkeeping tasks that are growing in his office like weeds. Cate’s as pragmatic as she is pretty, and she rattles his hard-fought composure at every turn.

Cate had known a lot of things about her husband before he died three years ago in a car accident, but how much debt he’d gotten them into wasn’t one of them. She needs her job at Cross Creek, even if her boss is both gruff and gorgeous. But Owen’s a family man, through and through, and the last thing Cate is interested in is anything—or anyone—with strings attached.

As Owen and Cate join forces to right the farm, they discover there’s more to the other than the surfaces shows, and that passion can be found in unexpected places. Can Cate heal from the loss of one family to gain the love of her life? Or will the past prove too much for the promise of the future?


Amazon * Barnes and Noble * iBooks * Kobo


Excerpt for Crossing Promises:
Cate dragged a hand through her hair, her gaze moving over the boxes in disbelief. “Let me see if I’ve got this right. You don’t do any of your bookkeeping online. At all?”

“We do. Just not a lot of it,” he amended. The Cross men lived to work the land, not the ledgers. Sure, their current system was a little time consuming, but it wasn’t totally ineffective. Cross Creek had been running on it for decades. “We have software right here on the computer.” He paused to pull up the program they used for much of their bookkeeping before adding, “It’s just that none of us are great at using it.”

“So I see,” Cate said after a quick perusal over his shoulder.

Irritation splashed through Owen’s chest. “Our books aren’t that bad.”

The parting of her lips said she was primed and ready to take him to the mat on that count, and damn it, he really didn’t have time to argue with her. “Look, I know it’s going to take some work to get things running smoothly in here.”

“It’s going to take a lot more than that,” she murmured with a shake of her head, and just like that, Owen’s patience redlined.

“Can you do it, or should I find someone else?”

Once again, his words came out gruffer than planned. But before he could even think of cooking up an apology, Cate’s arms had snapped across the front of her sweater dress to form a don’t-mess-with-me knot that was far, far more of a turn-on than it had a right to be.

“That’s what you hired me for, isn’t it? To manage your books effectively?”

“Yes,” Owen answered carefully, still caught between the desire to be annoyed, the desire to apologize, and, well, just plain desire.

“Well, then. Since I have my work cut out for me with a chainsaw, I suppose I should get to it,” Cate said.

After a quick internal debate, Owen nodded. Brash or not, he needed her. More than he cared to admit. “Okay, then.”

She answered by way of pushing up her sleeves and sliding an elastic from her wrist to secure her hair in a knot at the crown of her head. Even with the more casual edge, the powder-blue dress still hugged her curves, her calves flexing and releasing as she moved from one stack of boxes to the next in her heels, and he cleared his throat.

“Just so you know, we’re pretty casual around here. You don’t have to look nice.”

Cate’s cheeks flushed a shade of pink that, while highly pretty, didn’t bode well for him in the mending-fences department. “Good to know,” she said, and holy hell, why did his mouth refuse to cooperate with his brain around this woman?

“Not that you don’t look, uh. Fine like that. All I meant was, you don’t have to get dressed up. Jeans are okay.”

She stared down at the toes of her shiny black shoes, but only for a split second before meeting his stare with her own. “Got it, Casanova. Is that all?”

For just a heartbeat, Owen was tempted to say no, to dig deep into his Neanderthal brain for the right words to tell her she actually looked fucking beautiful. To surrender to the hot demands coming from both his chest and his cock, and cross the room to impulsively kiss her sexy, sassy mouth.

But this was Cate McAllister. His buddy Brian’s widow. He shouldn’t think she was pretty. He shouldn’t wonder if the skin on her shoulders bore the same provocative dusting of freckles as the neck she’d just put on display. And he damn sure shouldn’t be turned on like floodlights at the fire in her eyes that he’d never quite seen before, but seemed to somehow fit her perfectly.

So, he simply said, “Yes. That’s all,” and walked out of the room.



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Cross Creek Series Tour:

About Kimberly Kincaid:

Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she’s not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber”, she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a USA Today best-selling author and a 2015 RWA RITA® finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. Kimberly resides in Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.        

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BOOK REVIEW – The Raging Ones (The Raging Ones #1) by Krista and Becca Ritchie

BOOK REVIEW – The Raging Ones (The Raging Ones #1) by Krista and Becca RitchieThe Raging Ones (The Raging Ones #1)
by Krista Ritchie, Becca Ritchie
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


In a freezing world, where everyone knows the day they will die, three teens break all odds.

Franny Bluecastle, a tough city teen, dreams of dying in opulence, to see wealth she’s never known. Like the entire world, she believes it’s impossible to dodge a deathday.

Until the day she does.

Court Icecastle knows wealth. He also knows pain. Spending five years in Vorkter Prison, a fortress of ice and suffering, he dreams of life beyond the people that haunt him and the world that imprisoned him.

Mykal Kickfall fights for those he loves. The rugged Hinterlander shares a frustrating yet unbreakable connection with Court—which only grows more lawless and chaotic as their senses and emotions connect with Franny.

With the threat of people learning they’ve dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet to survive. But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought after spot in the newest mission to space. Against thousands of people far smarter, who’ll live longer, and never fear death the way that they do.

We found each other in the winter wood. 
He threw his arms around me like I’d been his long-lost friend. I hugged him like I was meeting my soul again. There are some moments and some feelings that I can’t even explain. I’m a young man of medicine and science and logic, but the sentiments I wield for Mykal transcend all three.

Dang you guys this was good. I mean I don’t know why I ever was worried because I have read and loved just about every single other book by these ladies. BUT in my defense, they had never ventured into the world of YA before and that can be a much different thing than the romance that we had been used to up until this point. I can very happily say that I am here to announce their debut into the world of YA is a stunning one (and I hope you all think so too!)

“But what will I do until then?”
She smiled as bright and lovely as the smile she wore on her deathbed. “You will live Franny. You will live hard…” She cupped my face.“Fast.” She rested her forehead on mine. “And full.”

The first thing that deserves note is the genius plot. Our main characters Franny, Court, and Mykal live on a planet that is always cold (f that) and a society that is separated into three different classes called the Influentials, the Fast Trackers, and the Babes. When everyone is born, everyone receives a death day and based on how old you will be when you die, you are fitted into one of those categories. Influentials will live to an old age and are able to go to school and make a good living for themselves because they simply have the most time, Fast Trackers ususally only live to be about 29 and are therefore forced into the labor jobs that don’t take long to learn but usually live the fiercest, and Babes of course only get a few years and are love and cherished for as long as they can be.

“You keep saying that you make my life dismal and bleak. But my world never felt as bright, as worthwhile and full, until I met you.” 

What I thought was the most interesting was that compared to other books/movies based on people who have a countdown to their death, these people enjoyed knowing. They each had their specific roles in life and found comfort in knowing when exactly they were going to die. I mean on one hand I get it because you would never have to worry about the unknown—you would never get sick enough or injured enough to die before that specific date. You could plan to live life to its very fullest in the allotted time you were given. 

His smile stretches his cheeks like they’re my cheeks. I can’t stop feeling. Can’t stop starting. Gods bless that’s beautiful.

In the case of Court, Franny, and Mykal though, they dodged their death day and are somehow irrevocably bonded (literally) because of it. They can feel each other’s emotions, pain, tastes, etc. THIS is where I knew that the story would be solid right from the beginning. If those of you who have read this, haven’t read their other Calloway Sisters andAddicted series, you will have missed out on the AMAZING interactions they are able to portray between couples/friends/families in their books. You can never not feel the love, hate, hurt—any emotion on the spectrum. I don’t know what it is but their characters and their relationships are my favorite parts of their writing. I was worried about the possibility of a love triangle but it was for nothing. Court and Mykal do have a stronger and deeper emotional and physical connection (no secret, we see this right away) but the one they share with Franny becomes just as important. I really wonder how it all will play out, especially with ~certain~ revelations that come out at the very end of this first book.

I feel them. For the first time I realize they’ve been my strength, my hope, and they can be my peace. I just have to let them help me. And to do that, I need to grow the courage to speak.

The only part that people *might* not like is that these ladies don’t give us all of the information right away..on anything really. At first I didn’t have a concrete vision of the planet, what the different social structures were all about, or why these three dodged their death days and became connected when no one else has. You do gain this knowledge though as you go along and once I started to, I kind of like that we were kept in the dark at first. I mean, Franny was thrown for such a loop when she dodged her death day and I felt like we were there with her, learning about how Court and Mykal have lived like that for years and how she now had a possibility to begin a new life and maybe even see the stars in the process.

“You’ve stolen my heart, you little crook.”
His smile only stretches further and brighter. “My most valuable theft.”

I hope that everyone gives this a try and that they love it, I really do. I think this is going to be one kick ass series and I am already so in love with each character and so intrigued with what could possibly happen in the next book. That’s the only hard part about getting ARCs….not only do I have to wait for this to actually come out for everyone else, but it makes the wait for book two that much longer. SIGHHH. Oh well, it was more than worth it!

ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review. The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. THANK YOU NetGalley and Wednesday Books for the chance to read this early.

BOOK REVIEW – The Struggle (Titan #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

BOOK REVIEW – The Struggle (Titan #3) by Jennifer L. ArmentroutThe Struggle (Titan #3)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


A bloody path has been chosen…

The war against the Titans continues, and they remain determined to wreak havoc on the world, but Seth has become something all gods fear. Now the most dangerous, most absolute power no longer resides in those who have been freed from their tombs.

The Great War fought by the few is coming…

All may doubt and fear what Seth has become. All except the one woman who might be his final chance at redemption. Josie will do anything to prove that Seth is on their side, but fate has a nasty way of changing lives, of changing people.

In the end, the sun will fall…

The only way they can save the future and save themselves is by facing the unknown together. It will take more than trust and faith. It will take love and the kind of strength not easily broken. No matter what, their lives will never be the same.

For what the gods have feared has come to pass. The end of the old is here and the beginning of the new has been ushered in…


The Struggle had me on the edge of my seat, and I thought my emotions would burst out of me!  With pages filled to the brim with sacrifice, redemption, forgiveness, friendship and love, I couldn’t help but continue to fall madly in love with this series.  It was such a huge win!  And I loved that the characters constantly pulled at my heart, it made me turn the pages that much faster.  So yes, I loved every single thing about The Struggle, and I can’t wait to see how it’s going to wrap up in the final book!

Doing the right thing had never felt more wrong than it did right then.
Maybe that was how it always felt.
I wouldn’t know.
It was so rare when I actually did the right thing. – Seth

*Cries* Seth continued to break my heart.  I hated that he only saw the bad in himself.  And every time he hurt others, it weighed so heavily on his shoulders.  So his emotional anguish easily became mine, and I ached to make it better for him.  But there’s finally a but in this series, because something happened in The Struggle that was a game changer.  And I loved how it all unwound and how Seth took control.  And on top of that, Seth had Josie, even when he didn’t realize it.  She refused to walk away from him. No matter what happened.

Locating the other two demigods was what my father—Apollo—had ordered me to do, but that had fallen way down my priority list, and I didn’t even care. Didn’t give a flying Pegasus about what that said about me, because no one, no one had ever fought for Seth before.
And I would.
I would fight till my dying breath for him. – Josie

I’ve said it before, but I love Josie!  Not only because of her realistic take on this world, but because of how she viewed Seth!  I loved her for that! I loved that she was going to fight for Seth!  That she planned to prove to him that he deserved love.  And that they both deserved to stand side by side in the upcoming battle.  But while that may have been her focus and goal, the situation changed.  And this became Josie’s most emotional book so far.

“Oh my god,” I whispered. “No. No way.”
This couldn’t be happening. I couldn’t be
here. Panic unfurled in my chest. My gaze swung around the room as my pulse pounded erratically. Oh god, I couldn’t be here. – Josie

Josie’s pain ripped me to shreds.  Her suffering was so horrific, that at times it felt like I couldn’t breathe and that I was choking on her emotions.  There was no escaping the horror in Josie’s thoughts and surroundings.  So I found myself with so many tears, and I couldn’t get them to stop. Even when there was a moment of solidity or bonding, I found myself with tears in my eyes.  Again. The pain that came off of Josie, and some of the others, just went straight through my heart.

“Well, maybe you should try to control your murderous impulses,” Aiden suggested. “You never know when the gods might actually be useful.”
Seth snorted as he placed the last of the eggs on a plate. “That is just as likely as you actually being useful.”
One side of Aiden’s lips kicked up. “You know, I think you have a crush on me.”

But this book wasn’t just about Seth and Josie.  Friendship was such a strong theme, and I was beyond ecstatic that many of our favorites from The Covenant Series could be found in The Struggle.  Alex and Aiden played an even bigger role in this book. And on top of that, we got another favorite character, who made an appearance. Oh my gosh, I screamed when they appeared on the page!  So if you loved The Covenant Series, then you’re going to love seeing this face again, along with all of our other favorites too *smiles hugely*.  

“If something happened to you again?” Lighting shot between the clouds, lighting up the sky in brilliant white. “I would burn this fucking world to the ground and then I would destroy Olympus.” – Seth

The Struggle was beyond amazing and that ending, oh, it was breathtaking.  I’m so excited to see how the final book is going to play out!  I just known that it’s going to be beyond epic!!

“The Army of Awesome reunited at last.” Deacon grinned while his brother sighed heavily. “It’s been a long time coming.”

See?!?!  Amazing I tell you!!!!

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
the return titan jennifer armentrout
The Return #1

The Power Jennifer L. Armentrout Titan
The Power #2


The Struggle #3

The Prophecy #4

BOOK REVIEW – The Girl With the Red Balloon (The Balloonmakers #1) by Katherine Locke

BOOK REVIEW – The Girl With the Red Balloon (The Balloonmakers #1) by Katherine LockeThe Girl With the Red Balloon (The Balloonmakers #1)
by Katherine Locke
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


When sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin, she’s caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall—but even to the balloon makers, Ellie’s time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything—including her only way home—to stop the process.

If you gave a girl a magic balloon, she’ll become something else.

OKAY. Can I just say that if this isn’t the best book I’ve read all  last year (I don’t think I can take that position away from ACOL) then it’s the one that’s left the biggest impact on me. And it still takes the cake as second best book. I requested this after having read ONE great review but still wasn’t fully prepared for what I was getting myself into. This book is a prime example of historical fiction and time travel done right—EVERYTHING about this book is done right. And as a person who love time travel that should really mean something.

Ellie is a modern day student who is in Germany on a study abroad trip. Her grandfather, who was actually a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, used to tell her these stories about magic red balloons and how one actually saved his life while he was being transferred from a Polish ghetto to an internment camp. Oh a whim, she goes to grab it and ends up in East Germany in 1988.

The city hummed with a frenetic sort of energy, the kind that came when people say the light at the end of the tunnel and realized it wasn’t the oncoming train. It was hope. The world was changing. We were along for the ride.

Now, I was born in 1991 and I’m going to tell you straight up that it was unbelievable for me to read about this place, one continent over, that had people living in that much fear only three years before I was born. I know that people in different places around the world are STILL living in that kind of fear but…this book in particular made me feel so sheltered. In all of my twenty six, almost twenty seven years I have NEVER known that kind of fear. And it just kills to know that I have it so easy when so many others don’t. I think that this book is a good reminder of that. What’s out there even still today.

But I digress. Let’s get to the other parts of this book that had me laughing, SOBBING, and everything in between. Well let’s see. First of all, ALL of the characters were amazing. Ellie, the main character is probably one of my favorite female protagonists of ALL TIME. Other than the small breakdown she has after being transported back in time (and I mean who WOULDN’T freak out about leaving YOUR time and friends and family) she is calm, cool, collected, sassy. UGH I  LOVE her. Kai and Mitzy are just as amazing. Oh—and by the way, this book is DIVERSE. Ellie is Jewish, Kai is Romani, and Mitzy is gay. And that’s just who they are and we get to see how being those people in that time period affects their lives in a place that is so unforgiving.

For those of you who love romance, the stuff we get in here is SO BELIEVABLE AND WILL GIVE YOU BUTTERFLIES AND SO MUCH MOREEEEEE. I just want to cry thinking about it. I don’t want to say any more honestly, you’ll just have to read it and find out yourself. Not sure what direction book two will go in or who will be in it but I am already dying to get my hands on it.

If you give a girl a red balloon, she’ll believe in magic and memory. If you give a girl a red balloon, she’ll never want to let go.

Overall, this book just goes to show that one person, magic or no, has the ability to change the course of history with even just one decision—exactly the kind of book that we want to be reading in this day and age.

An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne

An Ex for Christmas by Lauren LayneAn Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


She’s making a list—and checking it twice. But is there a nice guy among all her naughty exes? The New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines returns with a charming friends-to-lovers rom-com.

When a psychic tells spunky, superstitious Kelly Byrne that she’s already met her true love, she becomes obsessed with the idea of tracking him down before Christmas. Kelly immediately writes up an “Ex List” and starts contacting old boyfriends to figure out which one is the one. When her college sweetheart rolls into town, Kelly convinces herself that they’re meant to be. The trouble is, sparks are flying with someone she’s never given a chance: her best friend, Mark.

Mark Blakely has watched the guys on Kelly’s list break her heart, and he’s not looking forward to watching them do it all over again. Mark’s always been there for her, but the timing’s never worked out for their relationship to be something more. Now, just as Mark is ready to move on, the sexual tension between them is suddenly off the charts. With Christmas morning around the corner, he just hopes Kelly will wake up and realize that everything she wants has been right in front of her all along.

“I meant that I’m not usually. Not before.” 

“Not before…?”
I feel him smile against my neck, stubbornly refusing to answer. I smile, too, because I know what he’s not saying.
Not before me.

Anyone who has been around long enough knows that LL used to be my absolute favorite author. Without any doubts, when asked, it was LL. Fast-forward a couple years annddddd…that answer isn’t the same. It’s not that I don’t like her-I do. But, after a while, it all became a bit contrived, to me.

“Mark hates Christmas,” I inject, tired of being ignored.
Both men look at me. Mark frowns. “I do not.”
I look up at him. “Okay, you don’t hate it, but you don’t really get into it. You never get a tree, you won’t hang lights, you wouldn’t even let me put a wreath on your door last year.”
“Because it was white and had a pink bow.”
“It was flocked, and pink and white were very in that year.”

Somewhere along the way, and I’m not sure when, I lost that connection I had held steadfast to. I stopped picking up every book because I wasn’t laughing and swooning as much…and it broke my heart. But, here we are, and LL wrote a Christmas book and…well…it was Christmas. So why not?

“Where’s his snowman costume?” I call to Mark.
“Burned it.”
“I hope you didn’t put it in the washing machine—it’s hand wash only,” I say, picking up my peppermint martini and heading back into the kitchen.
“Yeah, Kelly. I hand washed a dog sweater. Sounds just like me.”

Well. I don’t know. There was just way too much that bothered me:

-Clueless heroine
-Single POV (CANNOT believe I’m saying that, but I needed to hear what Mark was thinking, frankly. She was just too much)

I don’t know! I can’t even remember all the reasons! It just did not work for me. I eventually fell hard for Mark, but it took forever. I like gruff men, but without being in his head he just seemed flat…until when I fell for him, obviously lol. At that point, he became the thing I held onto, the guy I couldn’t stop reading about…and hating Kelly for hurting. He was just…so so loyal. Ugh. Amazing.

Mark stamps out my babbling with a searing kiss. “I’ve wanted,” he says against my mouth, a little gruffly. “God, how I’ve wanted.”

And, frankly, I found the blurb a bit misleading, like…why tell us that Mark wants her to wake up and smell the roses, but then not let us be in his head to hear that? Just…odd. Odd odd odd.

“Ask me,” he orders, pinning my wrists over my head with one hand.
“Ask you what?” I say, a little breathless.
“Ask me what you asked the damn ball.”
I swallow. “Should I sleep with Mark again?”
His smile is slow and confident as he slowly lowers his body to mine. “It is certain.”

Like I said, somewhere along the way LL stopped being my ‘go-to’ contemp gal. And for real, it kills me to say that. But it is what it is and I can’t fake loving something. I loved their friendship. I loved the shared dog, backyard, etc. But when your heroine is as dumb as Kelly was-well. It’s just too much.

“You’ll never guess what happened to me at the train station,” I say, leaning forward excitedly.
“Hmm?” he asks, less excitedly.
“Okay, if I tell you, you have to not roll your eyes and tell me I’m a crackpot. Promise?”
That’s about what I was expecting.

PS-OH! And it really sucks, it does, because I loved Kelly’s humor. She had the funniest dialogue…I just couldn’t get past the stupidity, unfortunately.

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