Category: Review (Page 1 of 246)

BOOK REVIEW: Breaking All the Rules by Amy Andrews

BOOK REVIEW: Breaking All the Rules by Amy AndrewsBreaking All the Rules Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Synopsis:

Sometimes you gotta toss your whole life into a burning dumpster to find what’s most important...

Beatrice Archer has always done everything she’s supposed to ―worked her ass off, ignored her non-existent personal life, and kept her mouth shut. Now she’s over it. The rat race, respectability…the underwire bras. She’s taking her life back. Starting with moving to Nowhere, Colorado to live life on her own terms.

Now Bea gives exactly zero forks. Beer for breakfast. Sugar for everything else. Baggy sweats and soft cotton undies FTW. Then a much younger and delightfully attractive cop is called to deal with her flagrant disregard for appropriate clothing outside the local diner (some folks just don’t appreciate bunny slippers) and Bea realizes there’s something missing from her little decathlon of decadence…and he might be the guy to help her out.

When it comes to breaking rules, Officer Austin Cooper is surprisingly eager to assist. He’s charming, a little bit cowboy, and a whole lot sexy. But Bea’s about to discover that breaking the rules has consequences. And all of the cherry pies in Colorado can’t save her from what’s coming…

Review:

Breaking All the Rules was a charming, romantic small town romance that was so much fun! With an age gap, steamy scenes, heartfelt characters and all the pie, this book was so easy to devour! Breaking All the Rules was so adorable that I went and added the first book in the Credence, Colorado Series to my tbr because I could not get enough of this world! Amy Andrews is an author I definitely need to read more of!

“If you want to know the number of each law you intend to break, then it’s Officer Cooper. If you just want to shoot the breeze about it, then it’s Austin.”
“Can I take a little bit of A and the rest B?”
“Beatrice,” he said, his loaded fork poised between the plate and his mouth, “you can take whatever you like.”

Beatrice’s whole world got flipped upside down when the promotion she worked so hard for, was handed to someone else. With the need to get out of LA, she landed up in the small town of Credence, Colorado. Where she binge watched TV, drank what she wanted, and kept track of what day it was by name of the week underwear. When Beatrice was finally ready to venture out into the small town, she ran into Austin. The town’s local sheriff. Who was 10 years younger than her 35 years of age. And from those first few moments together, there were lots of sparks. They were flirting even as he put her in a jail cell lol. And that banter and sparks continued as Austin encouraged Beatrice to continue to break all the rules.

Bea smiled. “You ready for this?”
“Honey,” he said, his gaze locking on hers, “I’ve been ready since the day I saw you eating ice cream outside Annie’s.”
And damn if her heart didn’t do a funny little triple tap in her chest. No twenty-five-year-old should have such a way with words.

Austin was my favorite! Not only were his parents absolutely hilarious, their fondue jokes killed me! But Austin was the ultimate book boyfriend! You’ll want to steal from the pages, just like me! Austin was intoxicating, swoon worthy and so easy to be obsessed with. I loved all of his confidence, how sure he was of himself and the way he handled situations. And his words. He made me melt and sigh out loud I don’t even know how many times! Ohhh and his thoughts….I don’t even have adequate enough words other then they made me love him even more! You have to meet Austin! I loved every single thing about him!

“I was wondering if you had that V thing going on between your hips, you know…” She dropped her gaze to the area of his anatomy under discussion. “With the muscles there.”
Austin didn’t say a word as the smile hovering on his mouth faded. He didn’t do anything for a beat or two, either, just drew in a couple of deep, ragged breaths.
Then reached for his belt buckle.

Austin brought out the best in Beatrice. I loved how she was so bold around him. Yet Beatrice was hurt from her past. And she could be skittish around him too. So while it took me a little while to click with Beatrice and her story, the moment I did I could not stop smiling and randomly laughing! I loved how the more time she spent around Austin and his small town, the more she seemed to grow. It was smile inducing watching Beatrice find her way. Especially with her passion for a different line of work. So I was so excited and rooting her on! Yet Beatrice definitely had her hang ups. She did not want to run into Austin’s mom lol. And she didn’t think anything could come of being with someone 10 years younger. So even though they spent the majority of Austin’s non-working time together, they were just a fling. They couldn’t become more than that. Right?

Bea made sure to put a little extra swing in her step.
“Tease,” he called after her.
“Pervert,” she replied, so freaking happy, she practically skipped.

Anytime that Beatrice and Austin were in the room together, the sexual tension between them was scorching hot! And when they went further… I loved how they used pie *fans face*. This book was the perfect mix of emotions and passion mixed together in the pages! Especially with Beatrice having all of these different things she wanted to do, like camp beneath the stars. As she checked things off of her list, it was amazing to watch how happy she was becoming. How much Austin made her smile and laugh. And how Austin was feeling and looking at Beatrice. So while I had already fallen head over heels in love with Austin, I wanted to push Beatrice into that feeling too. Yet Beatrice still had more healing to do.

Their mouths fused, her arms wound around his neck, her legs wound around his waist as she kissed him deep and hard, and he almost lost his mind. It felt good. It felt perfect. Like everything he’d ever wanted was right here in his arms.
So why did it also feel like goodbye?

Breaking All the Rules was a fun and flirty small town romance! With bunny slippers, a cat, lots of pie, a cowboy and so much heart, this book had the right amount of hope and laughter. And I loved how issues were resolved, my heart was so happy by the time we reached that final page. So if you’re a fan of adult romance that is spicy and heartfelt, definitely make for sure you have this one on your tbr! I’m looking forward to whatever Amy Andrews releases next!

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

BOOK REVIEW: Blush (Black Rose #1) by Helen Hardt

BOOK REVIEW: Blush (Black Rose #1) by Helen HardtBlush (Black Rose #1)
by Helen Hardt
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

What he wants from you will make you…Blush

Amanda Thomas is hopelessly in love with Jackson Paris, but he will never see her as anything more than his sweet and innocent bestie. After being virgin-adjacent for too long, Mandy is officially ready to move on. She wants to learn about hot, dirty sex, so she joins an online dating app where the enigmatic Mr. Dark promises to fulfill all of her wicked fantasies...

Jackson Paris has been keeping secrets from his stunning, too-innocent best friend―like forbidden sexual proclivities and his membership at the exclusive Black Rose Underground club. But Mandy has decided she needs an education―the filthy kind. As Mr. Dark, Jackson can safely give her a taste of what she wants―and deter her from pursuing more―without revealing his identity.

But in the dim, provocative atmosphere of Black Rose Underground, there are no secrets. Here, every wicked appetite is satisfied. And for the first time, Mandy will discover who her best friend really is...just in time to shock him with a secret of her own.

Review:

Blush was an extremely seductive friends to lovers romance.  Amanda Thomas had been in love with her best friend Jackson Paris for forever.  With her sister getting married, Amanda was ready to change her life around.  I was so excited for Mandy’s journey and for when Jackson would lead her into his world.  Yet I never found a connection to Mandy, Jackson or their romance.  The friends to lovers had all of the angst from Jackson, since he didn’t want to corrupt what they had.  Or what he perceived was her innocence, even though Mandy was completely ready to go all in!  So while there was a lot of push and pull, it wrapped up nicely with a one month look down the road and a happily for now.  While the sex was erotic and the embodiment of empowering woman and their sexuality was shown, the nickname Jackson gave Mandy didn’t work for me at all.  But so many other people fell head over heels in love with this book!  So if you’re looking for an erotica that is friends to lovers, Blush may just be the book for you!

She’s going to be the undoing of me.
And it dawns on me.
I’m not afraid that she won’t like my dark side.
I’m afraid that she will.

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

BOOK REVIEW: The Backup Plan (Sunrise Cove #3) by Jill Shalvis

BOOK REVIEW: The Backup Plan (Sunrise Cove #3) by Jill ShalvisThe Backup Plan (Sunrise Cove #3)
by Jill Shalvis
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

When Alice receives a call about an unexpected windfall, she’s stunned to learn the gift is a falling-apart-at-the-seams old Wild West B&B she once considered home—and she’s inherited it along with two strangers. Except they weren’t always strangers. Once upon a time, they were friends. One is her ex-BFF Lauren. The other is Knox, the only guy to ever break her heart, all while never even knowing she existed.

It turns out their lives are unknowingly entangled because they once separately helped the same woman without expecting anything in return. Years later, Alice, Lauren, and Knox are broken in their own way, with their own history—and secrets— causing them to start out on the wrong foot with each other. But according to the will, they must renovate and be partners in the inn for one year or else lose their inheritance.

Stuck together, they make a list of rules to keep the peace—rules that end up doing the opposite, but by some miracle they find what they didn’t even know they were looking for—acceptance, true friendship, and in a case (or two!), true love.

Review:
 
“And we are a trio, whether you like it or not,” Lauren said and pointed to Knox. “One.” She pointed to Alice. “Two . . .” She pointed to herself. “Three. See? A threesome—”
Knox choked on a soda.
Not that kind of threesome!” Lauren turned back to the rules and wrote rule number twelve, all in caps:
NO FALLING IN LOVE!
 
The Backup Plan was a tale of friendship, love, forgiveness and healing. Three lost souls came together and filled this story with letters, a list of rules that you just knew were going to get broken, secrets and a dog named Pickle that will completely steal your heart! With emotions running high, memories around every corner and secrets that refused to stay buried, this book had so much going for it! If you love women’s fiction mixed with romance and friendship, then you may want this one on your tbr!
 
Her usual mantra was an automatic “I’m fine,” but she could pretend all she wanted, the truth was that deep down she wasn’t fine and she wasn’t living her best life.
 
Alice inherited one third of the Wild West B&B from Eleanor, which was where she grew up. Along with Knox, who she had crushed on in her younger years. And her ex-bff Lauren. Yet each of them were filled with secrets, and haunted by their pasts. There were so many unspoken words and at times it seemed like everything would just fall apart. Especially since they were so different from one another. But differences and pasts aside, they had to work together to fix up the inn and have it running in 30 days. This story alternated between the three of them, and it was an emotional, messy journey that was filled with tons of heart!
 
Alice: Warning— sleep with one eye open tonight.
Knox: Sorry, can’t hear you. We’ve got a bad connection.
Alice: THAT DOESN’T WORK WITH TEXTS! 
 
Lauren let out a horrified laugh and covered her mouth. “You like poking at the bear?”
I’m the bear. He’s poking at me.” She turned on a heel and went back to painting.
 
Alice could be hilarious with her dry humor, yet she was extremely closed off. She wanted to get the job done and leave this town behind. There were too many ghosts hanging around and things she didn’t want to face. So Alice was the most challenging one to like or click with. She didn’t want feel. She didn’t want to heal. She just wanted to keep going with her head barely above water. Yet that was no life to live. And as she spent time around Lauren and Knox, I saw that she could still care. That she could still feel. She remembered why Lauren was the way she was for certain things, and in moments like that it felt as though she was giving us the tiniest bit of connection between them. It was a fight with Alice from start to finish. But I was so happy to watch her grow!
 
Knox looked Alice over for a long moment, then reached out. And as if her hand were a part of someone else’s body, it latched onto his.
He gave her a small but warm smile and a squeeze, and for a moment she held on. He didn’t ask her if she was okay, for which she was grateful.  Because she wasn’t. Not even close.
But maybe she could get there.
 
Lauren was Eleanor’s grandniece and I never understood why she wasn’t at the inn, or had a relationship with Eleanor. Especially since she was bffs with Alice in her younger years. But that wasn’t the first thing I wanted to know. I desperately wanted to understand what happened between Lauren and Alice. And as we got pieces of their past and it all came together, hold onto your heart. There was so much healing that needed to take place and things that needed to be aired out. Their road was extremely challenging. But I loved who Lauren was. Her pink, vegan ways will always stick with me. So I wished for her happily ever after too! I was cheering her on every step of the way!
 
“Are you baiting me for a reason?”
“Is that what I’m doing?”
He smiled at her innocent tone, not fooled for a second. “It’s that, or you’re  flirting with me.”
That shut her up.
 
Then there was Knox who ran a successful contracting company. He was one of my favorites. I loved that he remembered Alice, and that you knew he wanted her. His actions and words towards Alice made me smile again and again. He was such a hard worker, kind and so easy to fall for. And his patience with Alice and her struggles was mind blowing amazing! But his past hurt my heart too. So when him or Lauren would click, or he could make headway with Alice, I was so happy for Knox!
 
Lauren’s To-do List
Water succulents.
Ask Ben out on date (I know this was you, Alice, and it’s not funny!)
 
It felt as though Alice, Lauren and Knox were alone and each of them was against the world. Yet when they came together, there was so much possibility. For a fresh start. For friendship. And love. I loved how they all bickered together. I loved how they started to feel like a family. But as things from their pasts came out and truths became known, there was so much to unpack. But with each obstacle, it slowly pulled them closer together. I even shed tears in a moment between Alice and Lauren. And I was grateful when there was laughter, like with that lipstick lol. Or when their Ground Rules grew!  The story ended with a wonderful epilogue and a fabulous happily ever after for all. The Backup Plan was filled with so much heart and emotion, and I can’t wait to see what Jill Shalvis writes next!
 
Pickle chewed the vegan burger, then froze, the whites of his eyes showing . He made a “gak” sound and spit out the food.

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

BOOK REVIEW: The Curse of Ophelia (The Curse of Ophelia #1) by Nicole Platania

BOOK REVIEW: The Curse of Ophelia (The Curse of Ophelia #1) by Nicole PlataniaThe Curse of Ophelia (The Curse of Ophelia #1)
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The war is over.
The curse is lifted.
Malakai is gone.

It’s been two years since Ophelia has seen the boy she loves. When a treaty was signed ending the war and lifting the curse on Mystique Warriors, Malakai left to attempt the sacred ritual known as the Undertaking.

He never returned, and the Undertaking was forbidden. Ophelia’s world crumbled around her.

Since then, she has pursued a fruitless search for answers. When the deadly curse resurfaces only on her, Ophelia finds solace in the idea that when she dies, she may finally be reunited with her lost love. Then, a messenger appears, telling her that she alone may be the one to save her people.

With her closest friends by her side, Ophelia embarks on a race against death—one that will not only challenge her physically, but make her question the Mystique leaders, the Angels, and her belief in love.

Can she win the fight against fate before the curse takes her life, or will the betrayals exposed along the way kill her first?

With influence from Greek Mythology, this debut is the first in a New Adult Fantasy Romance series full of heart-wrenching love, shattering betrayals, and fighting for what you believe in. Fans of Throne of Glass, From Blood and Ash, and The Bridge Kingdom will love it.

Review

I’m back and ready to flail. As most of you know I have been reading Dramione NONSTOP for the past, ohhhhh, year and a half now. For all of December and the first half of this month I have been back to actual books and I am not stopping any time soon. I forgot how much I missed walking in the shoes of all of these different characters in all of these other worlds, so, so much. This book was no exception.

As the first of a series, I was gladly thrust into an entirely new world full of complex governing structures, territories where people excelled at different things, and even other kinds of beings. Honestly there’s still a bit I don’t quite understand in the bigger scheme of things but I think that was intentional as the journey we went on with our main group of characters was to a specific place with a specific purpose. I have a feeling that we’ll be seeing other lands and many more new characters as the series progresses.

Speaking of, while this story as a whole was a great balance of both plot and character-driven, I think the characters were my favorite part. I have always been that way. Obviously, a unique and well-developed plot (which this book definitely has) is very important but to me, having characters who are easy to relate to or even easy to love and hate is super important–always has been and always will be. Ophelia, our main character here is perfectly imperfect. She is a warrior at heart and because of that, she can be hot-headed and stubborn to a fault. Because she is still in a state of grief and mourning (a few different things) for the majority of this book, we get to see her as more than a larger-than-life Warrior figure–we see her humanity. We see her friends surrounding her, trying to help her and keep her sane. Cyph, Tolek, Rina, and even her sister Jezebel each play different roles in her life and keep her from breaking as best as they can. The found family trope is something that has always appealed to me because it means that these characters have CHOSEN to be a family. They don’t feel obligated because they are blood-related. they want to be there because…they just want to. I feel like I’m getting too deep into this but I just really love these characters so much, lol.

Anywayyyy this book has it all. Badass characters, romance that will make you ache, writing that I can’t believe came from a debut author, and a plot that I’m dying for more of. You won’t want to miss out on this one!


Huge thank you to Nicole Platania for allowing me to read an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review!♥

BOOK REVIEW: Wake My Heart (Jasper Falls #1) by Lydia Michaels

BOOK REVIEW: Wake My Heart (Jasper Falls #1) by Lydia MichaelsWake My Heart (Jasper Falls #1)
by Lydia Michaels
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

From bestselling and award winning author, Lydia Michaels, comes a small town romance readers will want to visit again and again!

Ryan Clooney moves to the outskirts of his small town and the last thing he expects to find is love, but once he meets Maggie, the beautiful, young widow next door, his plans change.

Maggie O’Malley is not looking for romance. Since losing her husband, she has withdrawn from small-town life and prefers to be left alone. But her new neighbor doesn’t seem to understand personal privacy, and the more he intrudes on her solitary world, the less control she has over her heart.

Determined to charm Maggie, Ryan pulls out all the stops. But once real emotion gets involved, things go too far and Maggie has a difficult decision to make.

Review:

Wake My Heart was an emotional tale of loss, hope, friendship and love. This adult romance was an emotional powerhouse set in a heartwarming small town setting. This was my first book by Lydia Michaels, and once I finished that last page I went and added her other books to my tbr! She’s an author who I’m looking forward to reading more of in the future!

Everyone was so concerned about her progress and closure, as if it were that easy.
Didn’t they know her heart had been ripped to shreds? Sometimes things were too messy to simply close.

Maggie O’Malley had lost her husband in a car accident two years ago. And was still drowning in her grief. She visited his grave-site every morning, tried her best to push those she loved away, and was struggling to survive each day that she was still alive. The sorrow that seeped out of her was so intense and I kept my fingers crossed she would get some counseling or help. Because she desperately needed it. So when she met her new neighbor, Ryan Clooney, she was cold and short with him. He was just trying to help her, but she wanted no part of it. Yet there was something special about Ryan, and his arrival marked the beginning of Maggie’s life starting to change.

“But I’m not. When Nash died, I died with him.”
“That’s not true.”
“You don’t know me enough to argue otherwise.”
She was right, but Nash was dead and she was very much still alive.

Maggie was such a multi-faceted character. Her depression was consuming. Her life choices made me want to shake her throughout this story. Yet even though I struggled with her a lot, I loved Maggie. I wanted her to find happiness. I wanted her to be able to live again. Because she definitely wasn’t living. And I hoped Ryan would be the goodness that she needed to make her see that she desperately needed to make changes in her life. I was grateful that she had a kind boss and a loving sister who tried again and again to connect with her. So when Maggie started to make a few decisions that were for the better, I was cheering her on every step of the way!

“Where did you come from?” she whispered, her thoughts jumbled and lost somewhere between her memories and reality, between here and outer space.
“I just got here.” His stare held hers like a hug, warming her from the inside out.

I absolutely loved Ryan! He was my favorite character. He was helpful, sexy, kind *his offer to walk with her, cries* and I loved his huge family. But that man had no game when he ran into Maggie at her job lol! He made me smile, laugh and fall so hard for him. He tried countless times with Maggie, whether it was to help or be friendly, even though she would shut him down so many times. Thankfully he was persistent and had a kind heart. So he didn’t give up easily. So when he got Maggie to have fun or even smile, I felt Ryan’s joy flying from the pages!

“…. Not all emotions hurt, Maggie.”

The beginning of this story started out a little slow as we got to know both Maggie and Ryan, along with their town and families. And getting that solid foundation, wow, that led to an extremely powerful effect. It felt like we knew them and their world inside and out. That they were a part of us. So their emotions bled through the pages with an intensity that was consuming. As the story progressed and Maggie and Ryan had friendly moments together, oh my heart it was breathtaking and emotional. I still felt like they were walking on eggshells. But it was all part of the process. There was still so much healing that had to take place. And I hoped Ryan would continue to have all the patience in the world for Maggie, because she needed it!

“I have this fear that you’ll erase him.”
“What?”
Her brow pinched with regret. “The more time we spend together, the less I think of him.”
“Maggie, you can’t put that on me.”
“I know. But it’s what’s happening. I like this. But I feel like I’m losing pieces of myself the more we do this.”

This book was rounded out with so many fabulous side characters. Ryan’s family and extended family was humongous! And I realized that a lot of his relatives were in a completed series, The McCullough Mountain Series! So of course I went and added that first book, Almost Priest, to my tbr! Those people were heartwarming, boisterous, hilarious and I loved how much they loved each other but were also completely in each other’s business ha! That’s a series I’m looking to dive into!

When she pulled away, she looked up at him and whispered, “If you keep rescuing me like this, I’m going to forget how to save myself.”
“Who said you have to do it alone?”

Wake My Heart was filled with being brave, making amends, fresh starts, jealousy, friendship and love, this book was so fabulous! I loved the emotional side and it was impossible not to shed tears.  I loved the laughter the large family brought. And I adored the small town this story was set in. I picked this book up because Lydia Michaels will be attending Apolllycon this year and I’m so happy I did. I can’t wait to meet her in person and read so many more of her books!

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

 

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