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BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY – Spies, Lies, and Allies by Lisa Brown Roberts

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY - Spies, Lies, and Allies by Lisa Brown Roberts

I absolutely loved this book! So check out my 4.5 Review below and enter a fabulous giveaway. Enjoy!

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY – Spies, Lies, and Allies by Lisa Brown RobertsSpies, Lies, and Allies by Lisa Brown Roberts
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Summers are supposed to be fun, right? Not mine. I’ve got a job at my dad’s company, which is sponsoring a college scholarship competition. I just found out that, in addition to my job assisting the competing interns, I’m supposed to vote for the winner. Totally not what I signed up for.

My boss is running the competition like it’s an episode of Survivor. Then there’s Carlos, who is, well, very distracting––in a good way. But I can’t even think about him like that because fraternizing on the job means instant disqualification for the intern involved.

As if that’s not enough, an anonymous informant with insider intel is trying to sabotage my dad’s company on social media...and I’m afraid it's working.

Review:

Spies, Lies, and Allies had me a laughing, sighing, swooning mess!  This was such an adorable book and it almost had a Breakfast Club feel to it at times, which I absolutely loved!  When I finished that last page, I realized that Lisa Brown Roberts has become one of my favorite authors.  Each time I pick up a book by her, I not only fall in love with the characters and story line, but I always have the hugest smile on my face while I’m reading.  I did just that with Spies, Lies and Allies and I can’t recommend it enough!

Did anyone ever tell you your eyes look just like Hershey’s Kisses?”
Omigod. That was my outside voice.

In hopes of spending more time with her dad, Laurel Kristoff got a job at his company over the summer.  She would be assisting the new interns and at the end of the project she would help vote for which intern would win a $100k scholarship.  You guys…. I loved Laurel right from the start! Yes she was Star Wars obsessed, huge heads up about that, but she had me laughing from the nicknames she gave people, to her Facebook stalking, to her reactions to something as simple as someone else leaving notes in her notebook.  But she was so much more than a teenage girl who made me laugh.  I felt as though I got to grow up right along side her.  So many of her feelings and insecurities took me back to moments in my past where I felt just like her.

I sneak a peek at Carlos. If I had to vote today, I’d vote for him. He was so passionate when he spoke, and he did so much research and he— he— My brain shuts off as he raises his head and meets my gaze, one corner of his delicious mouth quirking up.
Delicious
? What is wrong with me?

There was four summer interns – Carlos, Elijah, Ashley and Jason – competing for the scholarship.  And alongside them was Trish, whose father worked at the company. They were all so different from one another and their first project was to work together as a team.  They had rocky moments with each other, especially Trish and Laurel. But we watched as they tried to put aside their differences and take those first few awkward steps to form a friendship.  It wasn’t easy and mistakes were definitely made along the way. But I loved watching them all figure out how to mesh together as a team.  It was so entertaining and smile inducing!

I’m indignant , but my body is also buzzing from the adrenaline of this… this whatever we’re doing. Are we just joking around? Or are we flirting? Whatever it is, I don’t want it to stop. But it has to. I’d never forgive myself if he was disqualified because of me.

When Laurel was at work, she constantly found herself drawn to Carlos.  They could joke so seamlessly together, but it always had this undercurrent of electricity.  Sparks flew any time Laurel and Carlos were around each other and I found myself gripping onto every word they said to each other.  It made me feel like I was falling in love for the first time, all over again.  But nothing could happen between them.  There was a no fraternizing rule at work and if it was broken Carlos would get kicked off the team and lose his opportunity for the scholarship.  Sigh. I have to say that Carlos was so easy to love. He was thoughtful, smart, and such a hard worker. He also stood up for Laurel and every once in a while a little bit of jealously would peak through.  I loved everything about him. But Laurel? She could be so clueless at times since she didn’t have much experience with boys.

“And you’re a lot smarter than I thought you were.” An ironic smile curves her lips. “You’re still a princess, but you’re more of a Fiona than a Sleeping Beauty.” – Trish to Laurel

There was so many hidden gems in this story about friendships and family relationships.  I absolutely loved the interactions between Trish and Laurel.  Trish could be so bitchy towards Laurel and they seemed like polar opposites.  Yet I loved watching Laurel find her backbone and I have a feeling that a lot of people are going to love this part of the story!  But I also loved watching her relationship with her dad develop. It was funny, awkward, and had moments of hurt and love all rolled together.  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.  So if you adore relationships outside of the couple, you are definitely in for a treat!

“But we’re not supposed to fraternize. Rule number eight. Remember all the exclamation points?”
He takes a long sip of water, so I take the opportunity to stare at his mouth.
“I see rules as suggestions.” He sets his glass on the table and his lips take their sweet time curving into a tempting smile.

There is so much I’m not even touching on, but pick up this book and you’ll discover my love for Elijah, or the ridiculous daily jokes Laurel told Miss Emmaline or even the mystery that was in this story.  But my favorite thing was that I couldn’t make it more than a few pages without busting out laughing or having the hugest grin on my face.  And I won’t ever forget how a scene towards the end made me cry.  I absolutely loved Spies, Lies and Allies! So if you adore YA Romance, you definitely have to give one of her books a try!

I wish I was like Rey in The Force Awakens, brave and tough. Or Princess Leia, snarky and brilliant. But right now, I feel like a young Anakin Skywalker, when no one thought he was capable of piloting his own Podracer, let alone winning a race.

PS I have to give a heads up that there were A LOT of Stars Wars references, she even calls her dad Vader.  And at first I was definitely confused.  You see, I’ve seen six of the movies but that was forever and a day ago.  And besides kinda knowing the characters names and what they looked like, that’s it.  Yup, sorry lol. So when we kept getting Stars Wars references I thought this book may not be the best fit for me.  But I was completely wrong. Even if there were probably a few things I completely missed….I totally had to Google stuff like Alderaan….I still loved every single minute of it.  Oh I didn’t get the Harry Potter references too. Yes I know I’m an awful human being lol. But hey I got The Big Bang Theory reference ha!

PPS There were a few moments between Carlos and Elijah that I would have died to be able to know what they were saying!!  Does anybody else feel that way too??

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

 

About Lisa Brown Roberts:

Award-winning romance author Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn’t recovered from the teenage catastrophes of tweezing off both eyebrows, or that time she crashed her car into a tree while trying to impress a guy. It’s no wonder she loves to write romantic comedies.  

Lisa’s books have earned praise from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and the School Library Journal. She lives in Colorado with her family, in which pets outnumber people. Connect with Lisa at www.lisabrownroberts.com.

Author Links:

Website  l  Twitter  l  Facebook  l  Instagram  l Goodreads  l  Newsletter

 
Giveaway:

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BOOK REVIEW – Resisting the Rebel by Lisa Brown Roberts

BOOK REVIEW – Resisting the Rebel by Lisa Brown RobertsResisting the Rebel by Lisa Brown Roberts
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Spirit committee leader Mandy Pennington is secretly in love with her best friend, Gus, but when he hooks up with her archenemy at a party, she decides to win him over once and for all. She just doesn’t know how. But who better to help than hot loner Caleb Torrs?

Caleb’s got his own problems, but when he sees Mandy pining over Gus at a party, he thinks she’s finally smoked the spirit stick and lost her mind. Maybe he has, too, because he just asked Mandy to be his fake girlfriend. She’ll get her loser friend’s attention, and he’ll get his stalker ex off his back. It’s a win-win.

But soon one fake date blends into the next and before he knows it, he actually wants to kiss Mandy. For real. Too bad their plan is working, and Gus is finally noticing the one girl Caleb just might be falling for…

Review:

Resisting the Rebel was the cutest book ever!  I just can’t get over how adorable this fake boyfriend story was!  I constantly found myself smiling while sighing and laughing out loud.  And when you add in banter and angst that was perfectly done, well I couldn’t help but go back and re-read a ton of my favorite scenes!  I am completely obsessed with this heartfelt story and it’s definitely one of my favorite books from this year!

“Y-you’re such a—” He was still holding her hand, though he’d loosened his grip.
“Jackass. I know. But let me pretend to be your jackass boyfriend and we’ll both get what we want.”
Everything in her screamed no, but when she finally opened her mouth, the word that fell out was “Okay.”

But here’s the thing, I wasn’t so sure in the beginning that I was going to connect with Mandy Pennington.  Her thoughts and words seemed all over the place and her endless supply of energy had me pausing and looking at her sideways.  She was a lot to take in.  But by the second chapter I was laughing so hard I had tears pouring down my face and I absolutely loved everything about her.  And just a heads up, we do learn about her diagnosis that explains why she is the way she is.  Mandy was this sparkly, thoughtful, caring, sweet girl who had the hugest heart ever.  But she had a problem that she couldn’t figure out how to solve.  She desperately wanted her friend Gus to want her back.  And thanks to Caleb, it looked like her problem would be solved.

Mandy snatched the cup from his hand. “Apparently they don’t teach manners in hell.”
He licked a few drops of chocolate from his lips, keeping his dangerous eyes on hers. “Oh, they do. Just not the kind you’d approve of.” His lips curved into a wicked grin that sent her body temp into the stratosphere. “They teach us demons all kinds of bad things.” He leaned in close, lowering his voice. “Very bad things, babe.”

While Caleb Torrs spent his time by himself and his classmates were intimidated by him, he convinced Mandy to become his fake girlfriend after a run in at a party.  It was a win win for the both of them since he’d get rid of his stalker ex and it’d push Gus to make a move on Mandy.  Or so that was their plan.  But what happens when a friendship starts to form between them that has a very strong undercurrent of lust?  Or what happens when touches start to feel real and you want more?  How can you tell what’s fake and what’s not?  It all played out sooooooo good and the best part was that we got to alternate between Mandy and Caleb, so we got to know every single one of their thoughts.

“Practice makes perfect, Disco.” He closed his eyes and brushed his lips across hers, barely making contact, but it was enough to light him up inside. He wanted more. A lot more. Fake, real, whatever the hell this was, he wanted more.

And I’m so grateful for that because I loved being in Caleb’s head.  You see, Caleb was everything I want in a book boyfriend.  He was dark, broody, mysterious, and had a tragic history.  But my favorite thing about Caleb was when he took control of a situation or acted as Mandy’s fake boyfriend.  Every single one of those moments he was insanely seductive and incredibly sigh worthy.  It was amazing how hot he could make some of the scenes, even though not much physically was truly happening.  You have to see what I’m talking about because he completely melted me into a puddle and I was absolutely obsessed with Caleb.  

“I know about life sucking, Caleb,” she muttered. “Trust me, I know. But I choose to believe…I have to believe there’s a reason for everything.”
The desperation in her voice hit him like a punch. He hoped like hell he hadn’t hurt her. He reached out his hand tentatively, resting it on her knee. After a moment, she rested her hand on top of his.

And while their story alone would have been more than enough, we got to witness some beautiful friendships and family dynamics that pulled at my heart.  Some of the friendships already existed, like Mandy with J.T. And Cammie, and others we got to watch form like Caleb and J.T.  I absolutely loved Caleb and J.T.’s bromance.  Especially their Red Ranger and Blue Ranger verbal spars!  I was laughing, cheering and their moments together always left me feeling all warm and cozy inside.  Ohhh I also loved Mandy’s Grandma.  That woman made me laugh so hard I couldn’t catch my breath.  This story was filled with so many fabulous characters that I want everyone to meet!

“Mandy,” he whispered against her cheek, his mouth almost to her lips. Let’s stop pretending. The words were almost there, just hovering in the back of his throat, waiting to escape.
“Caleb,” she whispered back, just as he was about to finally taste her lips for real. “I want…”
You
, he willed her to say. Say you want me, not that tool Gus masquerading as a dork.

Resisting the Rebel was exactly what I needed and I’m so thankful for this story!  So if you’re looking for an adorable book that will make you laugh, smile and leave you in the best mood ever, then definitely pick up Resisting the Rebel!  I can’t recommend it enough!

PS The song titles at the beginning of the chapters were so cute, and they fitted each chapter perfectly.

PPS Slade and Trina were in this book?!?!?!  Oh my gosh, I love them!  They were in Playing the Player and if you haven’t read that book, I definitely recommend it too!

BOOK REVIEW – Playing the Player by Lisa Brown Roberts

BOOK REVIEW – Playing the Player by Lisa Brown RobertsPlaying the Player by Lisa Brown Roberts
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Trina Clemons needed the money. Why else would she - the most organized, prepared student in school - spend the summer as a nanny and partner with the biggest slacker ever? Now she's ready to tackle nannyhood with her big binder of research and schedules. Just don't ask her about the secret job of "fixing" the bad habits of a certain high school player...

Slade Edmunds prefers easy hook-ups, and Trina is definitely not his type. She's all structure and rules, while Slade wants to just have fun. Fortunately, Trina has no idea about the bet Slade made with his best friend that he can totally get her to unwind by the end of summer...

Then the weirdest thing happens. There's chemistry. A lot of it. But nothing gets between a boy and a girl like a big, fat secret...

Review:

Playing the Player was beyond adorable.  I couldn’t stop smiling or keep the laughter contained that kept bubbling out of me.  I honestly can’t remember the last time a book made me laugh this much.  Plus it had the perfect amount of angst that pulled at my heart.  Playing the Player was the perfect feel good story and such a huge win!

Not even two weeks into this gig and it had all turned upside down and backward. – Trina

Ironically, I started out this book unsure if it was going to work for me.  Slade Edmunds came across as a slacker who seemed to have maturity issues and Trina Clemons was a control freak who didn’t know how to let loose and have fun.  But I was so wrong.  So very wrong!  Because while that may have been my first impression of them, I got to learn who they were.  I got to understand why they were the way they were since we got to alternate being in both of their heads.  And I absolutely loved the both of them!

“You’re late,” she announced.
I looked around at the empty library. “ Yeah, it was crazy. We had to drive in circles waiting for a parking spot. Almost as bad as a concert at Red Rocks.”
Trina’s glare intensified, and her chest shifted higher. Why was I noticing this? – Slade

Trina got a job being a nanny to both Gillian and Max.  Well technically she was Gillian’s nanny and Slade was supposed to be Max’s nanny.  But here’s the thing, Gillian was being paid to nanny both kids and she was also being paid to report back on how Slade was performing to his mom.  Slade’s mom was friends with the kiddos mom, and thinks that Gillian will help her son mature and grow up.  It sounds like a recipe headed for a huge disaster right?!  While I guessed how a few things would play out, it definitely didn’t take away from the story that unfolded!

“Naked party!” Gillian screeched. Before I could stop her, she’d peeled off her sundress and shot up the stairs in her swimsuit. Max followed her, giggling, with Spike in pursuit.

The two little kids they were nannying, Gillian and Max, were beyond crazy and energetic!  They made me laugh so hard.  Saying they added chaos to Trina and Slade’s day is a huge understatement.  And Slade and Trina already have a rocky past.  He’s the reason she earned the nickname Bird Brain years ago.  Plus they are literally the polar opposites from one another in almost every way imaginable.  Slade was relaxed, calm and enjoyed being a player so no one could break his heart again.  Trina was controlling and had the minutes of her day planned down to a T.  So between the two of them and the crazy kiddos, things were bound to be explosive, hilarious and emotional! And as time proceeded, Spade’s playboy charm started to affect Trina, and Trina’s cute pixie ways started to cloud Slade’s head.

“I know the Heimlich.” I kneeled in front of him, worried by all his hacking noises. “Do you want me to do the Heimlich on you? Give me one finger for yes, two fingers for no.”
Still coughing violently, he waved four fingers at me, two on each hand.
Geez. Whatever. Not like I’d hurt him. I totally knew what I was doing from Babysitter First Aid class. I stomped away and opened cupboards until I found a glass, then filled it with water and handed it to him. – Trina

Playing the Player was so cute, and it was filled with such a charming story!  I have to say that my favorite scenes by far were the shredder incident, oh my gosh I went from laughing so hard to crying!  And the climbing wall.  Butterflies, excitement and nervousness consumed my thoughts while those moments took place.  If you’re looking for a book that is going to make you laugh, feel giddy, and fall in love then this is definitely your book.  I can’t wait to discover the other books this author has written!

“You called me a man whore.”
He looked surprised, then he laughed. “No I didn’t. But I wish I had. How ’bout I just call you bro-ho for short? Since you’re hardly a man.”
I splashed water at him as hard as I could.
“Bro-ho!” he yelled, sending a wave of water my direction. – Slade talking to his bff Alex

PS I have to give a huge shout out to Trina’s best friend, Desi and Slade’s best friend, Alex.  They were so full of life and added so much to the story-line!

*ARC kindly provided by Entangled: Crush via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

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