Tag: Adult (Page 1 of 39)

BOOK REVIEW: Tomorrow is for the Brave by Kelly Bowen

BOOK REVIEW: Tomorrow is for the Brave by Kelly BowenTomorrow is for the Brave by Kelly Bowen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Based on true events, Tomorrow Is for the Brave is a gripping World War II page‑turner about a courageous woman who risks it all for what is right—perfect for fans of Natasha Lester and Kristen Harmel.

1939, France: Lavish parties, fast cars, and a closet full of the latest fashion—to the average eye, socialite Violet St. Croix seemingly has it all. But what she truly wants is a life full of meaning and purpose. So when France falls to Germany, Violet defies her parents’ wishes and joins the war effort. With her impeccable skill for driving under pressure, she is soon sent to North Africa to shepherd French Foreign Legion officers carrying valuable intelligence through dangerous territory.

But as the Allies encounter one mishap after another, Violet becomes convinced there is a spy in their ranks. And when her commanding officer is murdered, Violet realizes she might be the only one who can uncover the traitor and save the lives of countless soldiers on the front lines. Convincing others to believe her is difficult enough. Finding someone she can trust just might be impossible.

Review:

Tomorrow is for the Brave was a WWII story that will capture your heart.  With danger at so many turns, a little bit of romance in the pages, and friendship that will warm your heart, I adored this book!  This is my first by Kelly Bowen, and I definitely will be reading more books by this author!

You won’t last a day. Tino’s last words rang just as sharply in her head.

While it took me till chapter 5 to click with this story, once I did, I didn’t want to put this book down till that final page!  I didn’t like Violet’s fiancé, Tino.  Or her family either.  Tino was controlling, grumpy, boring, and he invoked a lot of anger towards him.  With the brink of war on their doorsteps, Violet wanted to help and volunteer with the Red Cross.  Yet Tino and her father forbade it.  But sometimes you have to go with your gut, and I love that Violet did just that!

George linked her arm through Violet’s. “There is a reason we chose to do this together . To come here together. None of this is easy. But having a friend makes the truly hard things bearable. Having you here has made these months away from home bearable.”
Violet heard the slight catch in George’s voice.

Violet was tenacious, brave, and someone that many will remember for their lifetime and beyond!  I loved the historical note at the end of this story, that spoke of how Violet St. Croix was inspired by real life Susan Travers and what her experience was!  From the moment that Violet signed up with the Red Cross, her entire future changed.  I loved how she created independence for herself.  I love that how led to her driving an ambulance.  Violet was a woman who took charge of a situation, and I was just there gripping the pages having to know what happened next.  While fear and horror leaped from the pages.

The first bomb fell somewhere behind them, a dull, crumping noise that ignited the darkness and shook the ambulance. George gripped the side of the ambulance door, and Violet gritted her teeth but didn’t slow.

On top of Violet, I loved her best friend, George.  She was true, kindhearted, and the friendship she forged with Violet was beautiful.  And besides George, I couldn’t help but love Henri.  The animosity between Violet and Henry was done so fabulously!   Their banter was smile inducing and fun!  So, the moments where Henri listing 5 things about Violet, the book, dancing, and so much more…oh I was a goner.  I loved Henri!  Yet Henri and Violet were in such dangerous situations.  There were no guarantees, and I was so nervous that they could just survive to that next day.

“Henri.” Violet finally stood. “We’ll survive this. We’ve come too far.”
“No matter what happens, I’ll be with you out there. You might not see me, but I’ve got your back. That I promise.”
“I know.” She reached up and touched the side of his face. “And I’ve got yours.”

This book made me scream out loud.  I was terrified for Violet in a certain scene!  Yet hold tightly onto all your hope, because there is an epilogue that is set in the future.  And I closed this book with a smile on my face.  Also, there was a mystery.  We got a few chapters sprinkled here and there with a spy’s POV.  It ended up being my secondary guess, and that’s all I’m saying!   So good luck trying to figure it out!  And I can’t recommend this book enough for those that love historical fiction with a sprinkling of romance!

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

BOOK REVIEW: Tips Up by Christina Hill

BOOK REVIEW: Tips Up by Christina HillTips Up by Christina Hill
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Myra wasn’t expecting to get divorced. She also wasn’t planning to book a flight to the Montana mountains to teach herself to ski. But after three glasses of wine—maybe it was four?—and her newly purchased just-for-me underwear, she embarks on her solo ski trip.

There’s just one minor issue, and he’s ten years younger.

Lincoln and his avalanche dog, Otto, moved back to patrol the mountains he grew up skiing. It wasn’t his first choice, but he’s on a different journey now. One he thought would be easier to navigate on and off the slopes than waiting for a stork-delivered girlfriend to drop from the sky. Instead, she rammed into him.

Running into each other had its perks. She now had a fake boyfriend to prove she was definitely not in a divorce-life-crisis. She was, but would rather give up her beloved Gilmore Girls DVD set before admitting it. He just wanted to bring a woman home to impress his family. If only it wasn’t so easy to fake it.

But Myra’s second chance at love and Lincoln’s crash course in speaking his mind might come with more bumps than getting off the chair lift.

For fans of Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez and Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison, readers will swoon and sweat over this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy set in a small town in Montana.

BONUS EPILOGUE available for newsletter subscribers!!

Review:

Tips Up was an age gap, fake dating romance, that was a quick read.  But as someone who loves to get emotional when reading a book, I wasn’t able to connect with one of the main characters.  And when that happens, I usually struggle enjoying myself throughout the book.  There were also some other issues I had, with how the story played out.  But don’t mind me standing on my own little island.  So many other people on Amazon and Goodreads love this book, and I seem to be the anomaly. 

First off I have to say my three favorite things were Lincoln, his dog Otto, and the whole scene before and after something involving a swimsuit.  Lincoln was one of the good guys.  He was sweet, kind, and lovable.  And if you adore men who take charge of a situation, with just a touch or a word, he is your man.  Lincoln had me melting time and again.  He was so swoon worthy!

My main struggle was that I couldn’t ever connect to Myra, let alone like her.  I gave her slack in the beginning of the book, for arguing with an eight year old child.  Because I expected her to grow.  And while she did grow from that first page to the last, I still couldn’t click with her.  I struggled to see what Lincoln saw in her besides their scorching chemistry and someone who was interested in him.

The other struggles I had were with scenes that played out in the pages.  Some of them were…

*The dog scene and the bed.  Nooooo.  That made me go from this is so hot, to being thrown in a cold shower in 2.2 seconds.

*When there’s an age gap, I have no problem whatsoever with that trope.  I have multiple family members that have 10-15+ years between them.  But when the older person refers to the younger person as a baby-man, newborn baby-man, and says baby-man’s dick that just gives me the ick factor.  I can’t do it.

*The ending.  I hated it.  Yes, it’s a happily ever after.  But that’s just not what I thought would pan out.

*I felt like Myra still needed to work on herself, before jumping into a new relationship.  When she cried because she saw something, that made me pause.  I get that emotions can be messy, but it felt like she shouldn’t sleep with someone, let alone fake dating someone until she had moved on and healed herself.

*I also felt like the reader was supposed to suspend their belief for a few things on the mountain to make the story flow.  I’ve read contemporary books, and some arcs, where it states to suspend your belief in this contemporary world and I loved that lol.  So I think if you read this story as someone who rarely ever or never skied or snowboarded, then you wouldn’t have the same issues as me.  But as someone who spends almost every winter weekend snowboarding, and has a lot of friends that work for ski resorts in all different areas of the business, the two things that bugged me were…

-I really struggled that a ski patrol person would take a beginner on a lift, when they haven’t even tried the basics like pizza on the magic carpet ride.  Even when you take lessons, for someone who has never ski/boarded before, you start out on the magic carpet ride.  Which is a fraction of a green run, and usually not as steep.  Then part way through your lesson, you move over to the bunny/green run.  I’m thinking it was probably done this way in the book, so there could be a swoon worthy scene.

-The struggle in the latter half of the book.  Oh gosh.  I’m thinking this is another thing where I should have suspended my belief?  I’ve been to 7 different resorts from tiny to huge and there are sooooo many warnings above and below ☠️ lol.  I don’t want to say more than that, because of spoilers, but I really struggled with this scene.

So while this book didn’t work for me, so many other people love it!  I think it’s definitely a me issue.  And I hope if you pick this one up, that you end up finding everything in the pages to love!

PS How can you not like leftovers?  I think chili and soup are always so much more tasty that next day.

BOOK REVIEW: Phishing for Love by Lara Martin

BOOK REVIEW: Phishing for Love by Lara MartinPhishing for Love by Lara Martin
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Katherine Center, Phishing for Love is a swoony, laugh-out-loud, enemies-to-lovers, workplace romance.

Phishing: When hackers send malicious emails designed to trick people into falling for a scam.

Phishing test: When organizations send deceptive emails to their own staff to test their response to phishing attacks.

It all started with a cat video.

A video that Tess Miller, a sassy and talented greeting card writer, shouldn’t have clicked on. But cat videos are her kryptonite. And how was she to know the video embedded in the email was a phishing test designed to take down the company she works for?

The infuriating man who tricked and humiliated her? Aaron Sinclair, cybersecurity consultant brought on by her paranoid boss to whip their company into peak security shape. A dark-haired man with a dark past, and an unrelenting thorn in her side.

Buried beneath their mutual animosity, however, is an attraction they both have reasons to fight. Thanks to Aaron, Tess’s boss has labeled her a high security risk and her professional reputation is at stake. A fierce battle of wits ensues as Tess uses every trick not to fall for Aaron’s random phishing tests.

With the end of Aaron’s six-month contract fast approaching, Tess is faced with the looming risk of losing not only her job but also her heart to the man who has tested her in every way possible.

Review:

Phishing for Love was a workplace, enemies to lovers that was an instant favorite!  With banter that will make you laugh and sigh, and so many memorable moments, this book was so easy to fall in love with.  The characters leapt from the pages and I didn’t want to put this book down.  This story was so effortless to love and I can’t recommend it enough if you love grumpy/sunshine adult romance that has the most fabulous slow burn!

This is the moment my ploy backfires dramatically because… those eyes. They seem to see right through me, stripping me bare.

Tess Miller was so relatable, kind, and made me laugh.  She worked at a greeting card company along with her two best friends.  And from the first moment she met Aaron Sinclair, I was laughing and screaming.  Her comment was heard throughout the conference room and I wanted to hide away because of the embarrassment level.  So while she definitely put her foot in her mouth, I loved watching Aaron dish it right back!

I turn to see my current nightmare exiting the elevators. My stomach doesn’t know what to do with itself, getting all quivery at the sight of Aaron.

Aaron’s looks had me melting into a puddle on the floor.  He was the silent, grumpy type who you just wanted to steal from the pages.  So I desperately wanted to know everything he was thinking!  In the moments where he would be kind and thoughtful, like thinking picnics weren’t weird, I fell that much harder for him.  But I  also loved that he could be so tricky.  There were moments, like the bet, where I was gasping out loud afterwards and I couldn’t stop the smile on my face!  Aaron was a protective, good guy, who pulled on my emotions.

“What happened to ‘sharing is caring?’” he asks, quoting my words back to me.
“It doesn’t apply to my mom. Besides, you don’t seem the kind of man who shares.”
He nods slowly. “You’re right, I’m not.”
For an arrested moment, his eyes hold mine. In their depths, it feels as though there’s a message there for me, a message that sends a shiver through my whole body.

From that first moment they met, I was glued to the pages.  Aaron and Tess didn’t seem to like each other, so the tension and banter between them was delicious.  I loved how the sparks flew anytime they were near each other.  Whether he caught her drawing him as the devil and I was cracking up, to her teasing him with her sexy boots, the chemistry between them simmered!  And while some of their banter was laced with barbs, we got to watch as these two souls shared the emotions that were within them.  And that they needed to work through.  I loved them both so much!

Surrounded by his thoughtfulness, I fall just a little bit more. 

But I have to say….I had some horrible thoughts.  The moment Nathan popped up on the pages, I was not a fan.  I mean, who doesn’t laugh at Friends?  That’s a deal breaker for me right there haha.  But there were so many other characters I adored!  Mevia was hilarious with her ability to find out all the gossip.  And I loved Tess’s best friends and their vending machine moments and texts.  They made me laugh and I wanted to be besties with all of them!  I also adored the close relationship she had with her parents and grandma.  And while I struggled with her sister and some of her choices, I’m excited that she is getting her own book!  I feel like she has so much room to grow and I can’t wait to watch it unfold!

My lips part and my head tilts back as his fingers skim the base of my throat and glide up my neck to cradle my jaw. I hear his breathing quicken.

This book made me laugh so much!  But it also had an emotional side that cut so deep.  I cried multiple times.  So with characters that you’ll fall in love with and an epilogue that was everything, I can’t recommend this closed door romance enough!  If you adore the feelings you’ve gotten while reading a Christina Lauren, Melanie Harlow, Lauren Layne or Livy Hart book, you desperately need this story in your life!

PS, I just loved this quote and wanted to share this one too…

I think, this is what everyone deserves to have. And I’m so very, very grateful I have it, because when that giant tidal wave comes out of nowhere and breaks over you, threatening to drag you under, friends and family are who you cling to. People with deep, strong roots.
I close my eyes and take comfort in two truths: I am strong. I am loved.

BOOK REVIEW: Ship of Shadows (Stolen Crowns #2) by Tee Harlowe

BOOK REVIEW: Ship of Shadows (Stolen Crowns #2) by Tee HarloweShip of Shadows (Stolen Crowns #2)
by Tee Harlowe
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

He broke my heart once. Now working with him might shatter it for good.

I’m chained to my crown. Queen of a court I don’t want. Ever since my brothers and father disappeared, I’ve been forced to rule, to give up the freedom I crave.

It’s all the pirate lord’s fault. Bastian Lore sailed into my life, charmed me completely—then betrayed me. The scoundrel kidnapped my brothers and delivered them straight to the shadow court where they’re trapped, their shadows now under the court’s control.

Worse, Bastian has returned—and his offer to rescue my brothers and find my missing father is too good to be true. All he wants in return? My help finding a cure for his mysterious illness. I don’t trust him, but if anyone can navigate the shadow court and get my family back, it’s him.

He’s as charming as ever. But I can’t fall for him again. If I’m not careful, it won’t just be my heart that I lose—it’ll be my family, my court… and my life.

Ship of Shadows is book two in Stolen Crowns, a series of steamy standalone but interconnected fairytale retellings. This enemies-to-lovers, second-chance romance is perfect for fans of banter, (very) snarky heroines, and slow-burn fantasy romance.

Review:

Ship of Shadows was a beautifully, captivating retelling that was Disney meets romantasy!  It was Peter Pan, yet with Hook as the love interest, and wrapped around the tale was also The Little Mermaid.  I loved this book!  The characters came alive, the story was impossible to put down, and I loved how elements of the original tale played out but also found new light.  The twists and turns were fabulous, and the ending had me closing the book smiling!

“Do not speak to me like that,” I said, stepping forward. “I am the princess of Apolis, and you will address me as such, or you’ll lose your tongue.”
Bastian chuckled darkly. “You won’t cut out my tongue, not when you know firsthand all the things I can do with it.”

While this can easily be read as a standalone, I can’t recommend reading Mirror of Malice first.  There you meet our main heroine, Princess Gabrielle.  Her brothers were taken by the pirate lord, Bastian Lore.  And then her father and his men disappeared too.  She was to become Queen, yet that wasn’t what her heart wanted.  With Bastian back and promising to help get her brothers, in exchange for finding a cure for an illness, Gabrielle’s world was going to get turned upside down. The man had already broken her heart once, how could she trust him?  Yet what unfolded was the most fantastical journey that had me glued to the pages!

Our entire relationship was stolen moments. Secret trysts. A lie.

From those first few words out of Bastian’s mouth, I was a goner.  He was protective, ruthless, and there was nothing he wouldn’t do to protect those he cared for.  He was feared, yet underneath that gruff exterior was a heart of gold, or at least I hoped.  From the moments he seemed to show he cared, like the fireworks, I fell that much more in love with him.  Bastian made me laugh, smile and when he shared little pieces of his past, it made the stars shine brighter!

Second star to the right, he’d said. That’s our star.

Gabrielle tugged at my heart.  She was trapped with a future she didn’t want.  Her brothers were taken by the man she had fallen in love with.  And when she boarded Bastian’s ship, everyone hated her.  Her loneliness pierced deep into me.  Yet through it all, she was resilient.  I loved watching her use her water magic.  I loved her finding a way into those hearts around her.  And I loved watching her use her cunningness to try and stay one step ahead of others.  Yet, Gabrielle also double crossed Bastian.  So there were many shades of gray within the pages!

“I’m trying to be so good,” he whispered, “when all I want is to be so very bad.”
I didn’t move, letting his words, his breath, his scent, wash over me.

Bastian and Gabrielle together were explosive.  The sexual tension could be seen with every look, touch, and word between them.  There was an enemies to lovers vibe there.  And the secrets they both kept were numerous.  Yet through it all, they both acted like they were trying to protect the other.  And while I’m super picky about second chance romance, this one was done fabulously!  So when there were moments between them that were more, the steam was perfect too!

There were a million reasons not to do this. Yet with his voice so soft, so vulnerable, I couldn’t make myself care about a single one.

Along for the ride were Bastian’s crew, Driscoll and Leoni.  I adored the two women on Bastian’s crew and Driscoll.  Driscoll made me laugh numerous times!  Yet Leoni and I never clicked.  I’m hoping that will change with a future book.  Within the story, there were so many moments that had me smiling in joy!  I loved how elements from the original tales played out.  So many of them twisted in ways that were shocking and unique.  I’m not going to say much besides walking the plank part and afterwards, the cabin, and many more were some of my top favorites!

He dipped his head down, a question in his eyes, and I answered, tipping my head up. He brushed his lips against mine.

Ships of Shadows was filled with twists and turns, moments that will make you laugh and fall in love, and the ending was perfect!  This second chance, enemies to lovers vibe romance swept me away!  With found family and forced proximity laced within the pages, it just made me love this book even more!  I’m so excited to see what happens next in this world, and I have a guess about what two fairy tales it will be.  I can’t wait!

He placed his hand over mine. “Then who do you need me to be if not your hero?”
A grin spread across my face. “I need you to be what you’re best at. The pirate lord of the Dark Seas.”

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

BOOK REVIEW: My Dark Beast (Wicked Retellings #1) by Olivia Wildenstein

BOOK REVIEW: My Dark Beast (Wicked Retellings #1) by Olivia WildensteinMy Dark Beast (Wicked Retellings #1)
by Olivia Wildenstein
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

SLEEPING BEAUTY x HADES & PERSEPHONE

Tarian Hadez—thirty-three, real estate mogul, mob lord, most eligible bachelor in New England, god. The god-part is an exaggeration. After all, if true deities existed, then the world would be a magical place, and it's really not. At least, my world isn't.

Calanthe Bloom. That's me. Twenty-four, college graduate drowning in debt, true crime addict, florist by default, single by design. Although not living my best life, I'm enthusiastically pursuing it. Especially, in my dreams, which, since a recent flower-delivery snafu, all feature none other than lethally private Tarian.

Oh, the things he does to me when I sleep.

Wickedly surreal.

Except . . . are they?

Enter a world of gods and monsters where dreams are made of flesh. My Dark Beast is a paranormal romance standalone brimming with spice and intrigue.

Review:

My Dark Beast was a Hades x Persephone retelling, with Sleeping Beauty mixed, making this story intoxicating, unique, and impossible to put down.  With Alice in Wonderland vibes, from the dreamscape, I was left questioning what was real at times.  As the story unfolded, it was dark, mesmerizing, and so easy to love.  The characters will capture your heart. And the ending will leave you smiling while you read two beautiful epilogues!  I can’t recommend this book enough to romantasy lovers and those that love retellings too!

I don’t realize I’ve stopped walking until a deep voice rasps right beside my ear, “The first thing that draws most women’s gazes when they step past my threshold is the expensive art on my walls or the breadth of my entry hall, yet you, Calamity, seem enraptured by my floors.”
“I was expecting the fires of Hell, or the stones to runneth over with blood.”

Calanthe Bloom was helping take care of her mom, while also running her parents business.  Not by choice, but by duty since her mom had Alzheimers.  It broke my heart to watch her interact with her mom at times, and I couldn’t help but shed tears.  Yet through it all, I loved the light and fire that burned within Calanthe.  And her thoughts cracked me up at times too.  I loved how sarcastic she could be.

“The beast has a conscience. Who would’ve thought?”

From the moment Tarian Hadez appeared on the pages, I was obsessed.  He was dark, brooding, and had a way of commanding all of your attention.  Yet while he was a mystery, there were so many things to love about him.  Like how he called Calanthe, Calamity.  To how he could make simple words so seductive.  To even getting to see a sweet side of him too, which seemed to contrast with how deadly he was perceived.  So when something happened between Tarian and Calathe, I was grasping for breath trying to figure out what was going on.

“Why do I always dream of you?” I murmur.
He watches me, and I watch him. He looks so real. So…tangible.
He stalks closer to the door.

When Calanthe and Tarian were together, the sexual tension that exploded between them was beautiful.  And when you add that into a dreamscape, it was intoxicating.  With steamy kisses, flirting that will have you sighing out loud, being called a good girl, and more, this book was so seductive.  How Tarian could make just a simple lick panty melting was talented.  Add that with Tarian messing with Calamity, and this book was so much fun!

“I’m sorry to have dragged you into my hell.”
She snakes her arm around my middle and takes a step forward, slotting her body into mine. And then she twists her head and presses her cheek against my chest.
Against my dark, bestial heart.

This story held me in the palm of its hands.  I tried my best to put together the clues, but it was challenging since we were taken on such a wild ride with a million and one questions swirling around.  I wasn’t sure who I could trust, but I went with my gut and hoped that would pan out correctly!  So while I’m not saying much, because it’s definitely best to learn on your own, just know that I can’t recommend this book enough!

“You’re not some means to an end. You’re my fucking salvation, Calamity.”

My Dark Beast ended with a beautiful happily ever after, yet it was a journey to get there.  With death bleeding from the pages, and moments that made me shed tears, this book consumed me.  So I was grateful for Tarian’s ability to make me laugh, during moments where I just wanted to cry.  And I adored that we learned this world with Calanthe as the story progressed.  So I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that some of the side characters will get their own stories down the road!  I am not ready to say goodbye to these characters!

“What’ll it be, Calanthe darling?”
“Fuck me,” I breathe out.

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

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