Tag: Contemporary Romance (Page 1 of 73)

BOOK REVIEW: Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score

BOOK REVIEW: Things We Never Got Over by Lucy ScoreThings We Never Got Over by Lucy Score
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


Bearded, bad-boy barber Knox prefers to live his life the way he takes his coffee: Alone. Unless you count his basset hound, Waylon.

Knox doesn’t tolerate drama, even when it comes in the form of a stranded runaway bride.

Naomi wasn’t just running away from her wedding. She was riding to the rescue of her estranged twin to Knockemout, Virginia, a rough-around-the-edges town where disputes are settled the old-fashioned way…with fists and beer. Usually in that order.

Too bad for Naomi her evil twin hasn’t changed at all. After helping herself to Naomi’s car and cash, Tina leaves her with something unexpected. The niece Naomi didn’t know she had. Now she’s stuck in town with no car, no job, no plan, and no home with an 11-year-old going on thirty to take care of.

There’s a reason Knox doesn’t do complications or high-maintenance women, especially not the romantic ones. But since Naomi’s life imploded right in front of him, the least he can do is help her out of her jam. And just as soon as she stops getting into new trouble he can leave her alone and get back to his peaceful, solitary life.

At least, that’s the plan until the trouble turns to real danger.


Do you ever feel like you read a completely different book then everyone else? Or do you struggle comparing the tropes in one book to other books where they were done so beautifully that they were forever etched in your brain? Whelp that is me and Things We Never Got Over. I kept seeing this book all over bookstagram and I was so happy that our book club ended up picking this one to read. I jumped head first into the story and loved the beginning. But somewhere before the 100 page mark I could close the book and easily walk away. I wanted a book that was going to make me fall head over heels in love, but what I was left with was an emotional story that was just okay for me. So here are some of my favorite things and hiccups I had with this story….

“Why don’t you ever fucking listen?” he grumbled, lips moving against my hair.
“Because sometimes people don’t know how to ask for what they really need. You needed a hug.”
“No. I didn’t,” he rasped. He was quiet for a long moment, and I listened to his heartbeat. “I needed you.”

Some of my favorite things:
*I loved Naomi’s thoughts and her sarcasm.
*I loved the horrible meet cute, it felt like hate at first sight!
*I adored the small town setting.
*The friendships where the type where they will forever have your back.
*My favorite character was Waylay, and I don’t think a child in a book has ever been my top favorite character in a book *shrugs*.
*Nicknames – Not Tina and Daisy
*Found family


He was unfairly gorgeous. Too bad about the whole terrible personality thing.

My hiccups:
*It was soooo long, and I love my books long.
*Territorial. I have NEVER used this as a complaint towards a character. Knox and his caveman ways should have made me fall for him hard. But his ‘get your ass in the truck’ type of comments rubbed me the wrong way.
*It took forever to get to that first kiss.
*I loved the sex scenes, but some of the descriptions just pulled me straight out of the moment.  Like…her quivering pu**y.
*Peeing off a deck. As someone who spent her first 20 years camping in the middle of nowhere, this shouldn’t bug me but I think I wasn’t ever a fan of Knox or any of his ways *sad sigh*.

This story went from hilarious to emotional drama to a criminal plot and I don’t know how I feel about that. It was a little bit of everything mixed together and I was left thinking of my favorite books with those aspects instead of reflecting on this story. With forced proximity, some enemies to lovers and the grumpy sunshine trope, this book should have been a slam dunk. But it wasn’t. Maybe I was off? Or maybe this author just isn’t for me. I’m going to try By a Thread the next time I feel like reading one of her books.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that book works for me!

BOOK REVIEW: Full Measures (Flight & Glory #1) by Rebecca Yarros

BOOK REVIEW: Full Measures (Flight & Glory #1) by Rebecca YarrosFull Measures (Flight & Glory #1)
by Rebecca Yarros
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


She knew. That’s why Mom hadn’t opened the door. She knew he was dead.

Twenty years as an army brat and Ember Howard knew, too. The soldiers at the door meant her dad was never coming home. What she didn’t know was how she would find the strength to singlehandedly care for her crumbling family when her mom falls apart.

Then Josh Walker enters her life. Hockey star, her new next-door neighbor, and not to mention the most delicious hands that insist on saving her over and over again. He has a way of erasing the pain with a single look, a single touch. As much as she wants to turn off her feelings and endure the heartache on her own, she can’t deny their intense attraction. Until Josh’s secret shatters their world. And Ember must decide if he’s worth the risk that comes with loving a man who could strip her bare.


Why was it so damn hard to breathe?

Full Measures was an emotionally powerful book.  With healing and love woven together, this story was impossible not to cry while reading.  I was looking for a New Adult romance that would be an angsty, emotional ride and this fit that need perfectly!

I placed my right hand on the chilled exterior of the coffin and stifled my cry with my left. “I love you,” the whisper broke from me. “I miss you, and I don’t know what to do without you,” I cried. I dragged the frost- bitten air through my lungs. “But don’t you worry about them, not Grams, or Mom, April, or Gus. I will take care of them, I promise.”

Full Measures started out with an emotional bang.  It was impossible not to sob your eyes out.  Or cry through that first chapter.  It was horrific watching Ember Howard’s whole world blow up in her face.  Losing her father.  Watching her mother turn into a shell of a woman of who she was.  And she was left trying to help take care of her younger siblings, while not drowning in her own grief.  Watching Ember try and keep it together while everyone else fell apart had me lost in her agony. This book radiated her pain, and it was impossible not to feel every single thing Ember did.

I wanted someone to hold me, to tell me it was going to be okay, to assure me that my life hadn’t ended with Dad’s. I wanted solace, and comfort, and not to think about it for a while. Wasn’t there anyone else who could help carry the weight of this house?

Josh Walker stumbled upon Ember on the most horrific day of her life.  He had gone to school with her and was her little brother’s hockey coach.  His compassion was beautiful.  And I loved how he was always there.  That he could lend a hand and tried his best to help out where he could.  Yet Ember had her walls infinitely high.  She had a boyfriend.  Who I dubbed as a complete douche bag.  And a mother, sister and little brother that she now was like a parent to.  But one of my favorite things about Josh was that he would just show up.  Where others would say if you need help just ask, he stepped in there and helped.  It was impossible not to fall for how kind Josh’s heart and soul were.

“She’s going to be okay, eventually.”
“So are you.” He squeezed my hand gently before quickly pulling it away, careful not to brush the skin of my knee just below my hem.

Josh and Ember together felt inevitable.  Yet they didn’t have an easy path.  It slowly started out as friendship. And I loved how that led to more. Ember was so focused on doing what was right for her family. And I loved that Josh could then help focus Ember on her life. What she wanted to do. Josh was considerate, patient, understanding, protective, caring and such a beautiful book boyfriend. Yet Josh had been the ultimate player. And had girls fawning over him left and right. I loved two of the names Ember gave them haha.

“God, Ember.”
I said the only thing I could think of. “More.”
He lifted his head, staring into my eyes like he could see through my soul. “This isn’t what you want.”

My notes while reading consisted of tears, more tears and that I couldn’t stop sobbing throughout this story.  Ember’s loss and her family’s struggle to survive while going through the motions gutted me.  The emotions were so intense, real.  At times it felt like I was suffocating in all of their grief and I couldn’t stop the tears that constantly kept pooling in my eyes.  YET in the pages was also a beautiful love story.  And another beautiful story about family healing.  It was a rough journey, but by the end of his book my heart was so happy!

“Oh, and Ember?” I blinked in response. “I’m still your whatever, for whatever you need.”

Secrets can never stay hidden, for long.  And Josh had one that could tear him and Ember apart.  So I loved watching the struggle and the path it took.  The clarity moment was so beautiful! Yet I did have a hiccup with this story. Some of the lines just didn’t work for me. And while I do love cheesiness, I just wasn’t looking for it now. I think if I would have read this story when it first came out, it would have worked perfectly for me. But regardless, I’ll be jumping into the next book. I’m excited that Josh’s roommate is getting his own story. And while Josh and Ember’s story ended on a happily for now, you just know they will get their happily ever after. And I’m hoping we’ll get to see it in a future book!

BOOK REVIEW: Always Mine (Honey Mountain #1) by Laura Pavlov

BOOK REVIEW: Always Mine (Honey Mountain #1) by Laura PavlovAlways Mine (Honey Mountain #1)
by Laura Pavlov
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


He fights fires for a living, but the flames building between us may be too big to extinguish.

Niko West is the most beautiful man I’ve ever laid eyes on.
Six feet, four inches of broody, chiseled Greek god in a firefighter suit.
He’s also been my best friend since kindergarten.
He always says the only solid thing in his life is our friendship.
He’s Honey Mountain's favorite player and I’m what you’d call a relationship girl.
But when I find myself single for the first time since turning sixteen, I make Niko an offer he can’t refuse.
Who better to show me what I’ve been missing?
But now that we’ve crossed that line, I don’t know if friendship is enough for me.

**This is book 1 in the Honey Mountain Series. Each one can be read as a complete standalone. A HEA is guaranteed!**


Always Mine was a charming, friends to lovers romance. It was set in a beautiful town, that I pictured as the Donner Lake area. And with that small town charm, adorable characters, and a storyline that was easy to devour, this was such a quick read! I buddy read this friends and there was lots to talk about. Including some of the hiccups I had too.

Vivian had been the only good thing in my life for as long as I could remember. My only constant. I’d never fuck that up.

Niko West had the weight of the world on his shoulders. He had put his life on hold to take care of his mom and sister when his dad had gone to jail. And his childhood hurt my heart. His dad had abused him. A lot of times he would escape to Vivian’s house and sneak into her bedroom window to find solace with his best friend. Now as an adult, he had so much responsibility on his shoulders taking care of his sister, niece and mom. All while being a firefighter. Thankfully his bestie Vivi was still a shining star in his life. And I loved how the guys at the firehouse were there for him too.

“One time, Honey Bee. Then we go back to normal,” I said against her ear, nibbling on her lobe before I could stop myself.

Vivian had also put her life on pause while helping take care of her family. I adored her large family of sisters and her dad who was the head of the fire department. She was a baker and was so easy to click with. So when she found herself finally single, she propositioned Niko something he couldn’t refuse. She wanted him to teach her what she’d been missing. I loved that she spoke her mind. I love that she was bold and brave. When Vivi and Niko were together, they were so sexy and cute together. Their friendship was beautiful and I loved how they would do anything for each other. But when you mix friendship and more, the lines get very blurry and grey. Yet there wasn’t a lot of angst between them. The struggles in this book were found with other characters.

She was the light that shined through all of the darkness.

With friendship, jealousy, small town drama, family and love, this book had a lot going for it. There was a scene that left my palms sweaty and nervous for who was going to be okay. A few other moments that made me have tears in my eyes. And I didn’t expect there to be so many steamy scenes, which played in nicely. The story ended with a wonderful happily ever after and set us up to want her sister’s stories in the future books. Yet I had a few hiccups. I struggled with Niko’s mom, although hate would probably be a better word to describe how I felt towards her. And there weren’t visual descriptions about the characters. So while they easily stood out by name, I struggled seeing them in my head. And when I read a book I want it to play out like a movie in my head.  That could never happen. So I may give the next book a try, or not.  I haven’t decided yet.

Tragedy had a way of reminding you how precious life was.
Reminding you about what mattered most.
About what was most important.
Love and family were everything.

BOOK REVIEW: Every Bit a Cowboy (Creedence Horse Rescue #5) by Jennie Marts

BOOK REVIEW: Every Bit a Cowboy (Creedence Horse Rescue #5) by Jennie MartsEvery Bit a Cowboy (Creedence Horse Rescue #5)
by Jennie Marts
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


There's nothing quite like a cowboy.

No matter how swoony the cute cowboy is, romance is the last thing on Carley Chapman's mind. But it's hard to ignore Knox Garrison and the spark of attraction she feels every time he's near. When a water line break floods her building, she's forced to move her salon out to the Horse Rescue ranch, and Knox shows up to help. But things get even more complicated when Carley's no-good ex comes sniffing around and Knox "fixes" the problem by telling him they're engaged…


Every Bit a Cowboy was a heartwarming, small town romance.  With fake dating, adorably cute farm animals and characters that leapt from the pages, this book was such a huge win!

“Lunch isn’t exactly what I’m hungry for…”
He left the statement open-ended, as if passing the flirty ball back to her side of the court. But as much as her body was responding to his words with surges of heat and crazy stomach flutters, this was one game she wasn’t prepared to play.

Carley Chapman was a hairdresser in town, and we got to meet her in Never Enough Cowboy.  When she got her moving weekends mixed up, and her sister and friends weren’t available, she turned to Knox.  Knox Garrison was a deputy in their town, who worked with her sister’s husband. They got along so easily and there was a definite spark between them!  So when Carley’s horrific ex came back to town, who definitely had some creepy stalker vibes, Knox stood up for her and ended up stating they were engaged.  Living in a small town had word spreading fast.  And they both decided it was best to continue the farce, until her ex left town. What unfolded was so much fun!

“Oh, and Knox,” she said softly. “Thanks for checking in with me. It helped.”
“That’s what friends are for,” he said. “See you tonight.”
That’s what friends are for? He gave himself a mental head slap. Why had he said that? He didn’t want to be her friend.

Carley was definitely jaded from her past, since her ex was a complete douchebag.  Because of him, she didn’t want to go on a date let alone have a relationship with a man.  When she found out that Knox had said they were engaged, I was so nervous.  When she agreed to go along with his plan, butterflies erupted.  I had so much hope Carley.  She never felt like she had a home anywhere.  She moved around a lot as a kid and her ex-husband didn’t make things stable for them.  So it was easy to understand why she internally struggled about Knox.  She liked him and even though he kept helping her out, she was still terrified that he would hurt her.  Or leave her, like everyone else did.  I patiently waited for Carley to catch up with what her heart already knew, that Knox was one of the good ones.

She closed her fingers around his hand. “You’re a good man, Knox Garrison. Better than I deserve.”
“You deserve everything,” he whispered, the emotion stealing his voice.

Knox was so easy to love!  He showed us time and again that he was kind, thoughtful and caring.  He was so good to his townspeople and I loved how they thanked him with Twinkies lol.  And I loved how he put his feelings out there. He was forward with Carley and let her know that he was interested. Even in front of others. So watching him care and protect Carley shined beautifully from the pages. When they started to pretend that they were engaged, it was impossible not to be giddy with the little touches here and there.  Along with the moments they wanted to be seen together.  But most of all I loved how hot their first kiss was!  The passion and chemistry between them was electrifying!  And together they made such a good team.  They had similar pasts, similar friends and their friendship seemed seamless.  I kept hoping they would switch from faking to real. They both deserved their HEAs!

A grin tugged at his lips. “You think I’m hot?”
She pressed her lips together as if trying not to smile, but in the end she failed. “Yes, of course I do. Remember our moment on the dryer?”
“Darlin’, to my dyin’ day, I will forever remember our moment on the dryer.”

Rounding out this story were side characters that were so easy to like….or dislike.  I was so over the moon happy to see characters from It Started With a Cowboy, that’s one of my favorites in the Cowboys of Creedence Series!  We saw soooo many of those we loved from that series and this one too.  Plus we got to attend a wedding for a couple we love!  While yes, you can easily read this as a standalone, I can’t recommend the other books in Cowboys of Creedence Series and Creedence Horse Rescue Series enough!  There were also animals we adored from previous books and the introduction of new ones too.  Otis and Tiny and their antics had me cracking up again!  I wish they were real, I’d love to meet them!  And the newest additions, awww sooo cute, and I loved the nod to Friends.  Now for the dislike side, ohhh how I hated Paul and kept wishing for something bad karma to happen!

For just that moment in time, she let herself trust Knox, with her body and her heart, and surrendered herself to him.

Every Bit a Cowboy was a romantic fake dating romance that brimmed with tons of heart! With characters that were so easy to connect with, a town that felt like home, and friendships and love that filled the pages with so emotion, it was impossible not to love this book. I always pick up Jennie Marts books knowing that I’ll smile, laugh and fall in love, so I can’t wait to read her next release!

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

BOOK REVIEW: Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

BOOK REVIEW: Dating You/Hating You by Christina LaurenDating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


Everyone knows that all’s fair in love and war. But these two will learn that sabotage is a dish best served naked.

A sexy, compulsively readable romantic comedy that dives headlong into the thrill and doubt of modern love, Dating You/Hating You by New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren is the story of what two high-powered agents will—and won’t—do to get everything they ever wanted.

Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.

But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it?

Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their actor clients just be something close to human? Whether these two Hollywood love/hatebirds get the storybook Hollywood ending, or just a dramedy of epic proportions, you get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, hilarious story of romance in the modern world.


Dating You / Hating You was a hilarious adult, enemies to lovers romance. Evie and Carter had the most adorable meet cute at a Halloween Party. It seemed like they were destined to be together, even if their friends may have had a hand in setting them up. And while they had similar jobs, at competing companies, they hit it off so easily. It was as if they could be friends or more without even trying. They were both quirky and complimented each other so well. So while they started the beginning of something, everything changed the moment their companies merged together. Evie and Carted were now competing for the same job, and only one of them could keep it.

I hate how funny he is, and I hate how much I want him to keep touching me. I hate this entire situation.

Evie cracked me up time and again with her honest thoughts. She worked in such a cut throat field, and I hated so many around her. Yet she loved her job and thrived at what she was doing. Carter was the first thing she seemed nervous about. She was finally going on a date, and with someone she liked. So when she learned she’d be competing for her job, against Carter, she tried to be nice. And helpful. But after a few mistakes by Carter, all bets were off. And Evie had NO problems playing dirty!

It feels like we’re standing on the deck of the Titanic as it goes down, saying, It’s gonna bob back up any second now.

Carter was adorkably cute and so kind. I loved his compliments. I loved how he paid attention. I loved how honest he was. And that he even called Evie, Evil! But his family life was something else. His brother was a famous photographer who was a jerk. And his parents, wow, I don’t even have words. But Carter loved his job and LA. This was his home and he wanted to keep his job. So while he had good intentions, sometimes things came off as sooooo wrong. While I was on Evie’s side a few times, it felt like the line was drawn deep in the sand between them. But through it all, he always seemed to be thinking of Evie.

This whole situation would be about a million times easier if I didn’t want to kiss him as much as I want to shove him.

When Carter and Evie worked together, it was so effortless. They truly made a formable team. Yet Evie and now Carter’s boss, Brad, seemed to remind them time and again that they were competing for the same job. So it was impossible for there not to be at war. They didn’t play nice and the games they played on each other were HILARIOUS! I was laughing so hard quite a few times that I had tears falling down my face.  Yet I kept hoping that they would fall in love and get a happily ever after!

“I liked you,” he whispers.
An ache worms itself between my ribs when he says this, and my response comes out more raw than I’d planned: “I liked you, too.”
He stares at me, unblinking. “Evie—”
“I’m just glad I figured out who you really are before we got in too deep.”

Dating You / Hating You could easily be made into a romantic comedy movie! Between their texts, practical pranks and games they played against each other, this book was so funny! And the friendships they had with Daryl, Amelia, Carter and Stephanie rounded out this story so well! This story was such a fun enemies to lovers romance and another book I enjoyed by Christina Lauren!

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