Author: Jen (Page 2 of 193)

I ♥ Paranormal, Dystopian, Romance, YA, NA & some Fantasy and Science Fiction. I ♥ not being able to knock that darn smirk off my face, crying my eyes out or feeling every emotion under the sun with characters. I ♥ cheesecake, wakeboarding, snowboarding, being a mommy & wife, dancing, singing and being a beach bum addict!
Find me on: Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: In the Weeds (Lovelight #2) by BK Borison

BOOK REVIEW: In the Weeds (Lovelight #2) by BK BorisonIn the Weeds (Lovelight #2)
by BK Borison
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

A grumpy farmer and a no-nonsense social media influencer have another chance at love in this charming romantic comedy.

Evelyn St. James isn’t the kind of woman you forget. Beckett Porter certainly hasn’t. One incredible weekend in Maine, and he’s officially a man distracted. He’s not unfamiliar with hot and heavy flings, but Evie wove some sort of magic over him during their tumble in the sheets. He can’t stop thinking about her laugh. Her hand pressed flat against his chest. Her smiling mouth at his neck.

So when she suddenly appears on his farm as part of a social media contest, he is…confused. He had no idea that the sweet and sexy woman he met at a bar is actually a global phenomenon. When Evie disappears again, Beckett resolves to finally move on.

But Evie, who has been feeling disconnected from her work and increasingly dissatisfied with life online, is trying to find her way back to something real. She returns to the last place she was happy: Lovelight Farms and the tiny town of Inglewild. And it has absolutely nothing to do with the hot farmer she spent two incredible nights with.

Review:

In the Weeds was a second chance romance set in an adorable small town.  I fell in love with these characters in Lovelight Farms, and was so happy Beckett got his own story.  This opposites attract, slow burn, forced proximity warmed my heart.  And I was so happy to be back with these characters I adore.

I look at her and all I seem to do is want.

Beckett worked at Lovelight Farms, and when he was away at a conference had a two night stand with Evelyn St. James.  Evelyn was a social media influencer, who oversaw the contest in the previous book.  After their awkward moments together, I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.

“I want more,” I tell her— another confession— my hand slipping down between us to brush the soft skin just below her belly button. “I want everything.”

This story started out with flashbacks from the past that were steamy.  We got to see how Evelyn and Beckett met, and how easily they clicked.  It was effortless when they were around each other.  And then we jumped back into the present, and Evelyn had lost her way in the world.  When her bestie asked where she was last happy, and it was Lovelight Farms, Evelyn booked a trip back there.  And crossed paths that same day with Beckett.

I don’t want to be her friend. I want to be more. I want us to be the people we were when we were away from everyone else. I almost say it, biting down on the inside of my cheek to keep the thought to myself.

I adored Beckett.  He was the strong, yet silent type.  The one you could always count on.  He was loyal.  Trustworthy.  And had the biggest heart ever.  But he was also that man who walked into a room and just made you sigh out loud.  Plus with a gaggle of kittens crawling on him, it was impossible not to adore Bennett.  Yet with Evelyn back, Beckett had a standoffish attitude.  And I got it.  This woman left him without a word.  Twice.  And it felt like he was waiting for her to do it again.

But that’s the thing about happiness, I guess. You can show whatever you want to the world and not feel a lick of it inside yourself.

Evelyn felt like she could finally be herself with Beckett.  He wasn’t looking to use her fame, like so many had tried in the past.  So when she decided to take a break from social media, and found herself bunking with Bennett, I was so happy for her!  She was determined to find her happiness each day, and that thought resonated so deeply with me.  It took a little while, but when she started to open up to Beckett.  Their talks were beautiful and hopeful.

I don’t feel ready to leave this place yet. For the first time in a long time, I’m content standing still.

While both of them couldn’t stop thinking about the past, and how good they were together, in the present they made each other smile.  And they started to find that connection again.  Their moments together were heartfelt and steamy.  And just like the fist book, I adored the found family in this series.  Stella, Beckett and Layla loved one another so deeply.  I adored every single banter, squabble, and hard time they gave each other.  Because underneath was so much love.  They would do anything for the other.  So the moment in the field, I was a crying mess.

“Beckett,” I say, a little bit dazed. His name lingers in the space between us. We don’t talk about it, he’s right, but I thought that was what he wanted. “How much have you had to drink?”
“Not enough,” he says, his eyes intent on my face. “’Cause I still think about kissing you all the damn time.”

Family dinners and sisterly love, hilarious phone tree moments, cute kittens, small town drama, flashbacks that made me smile, a scene that left me terrified, a beautiful date under the stars and all the longing filled the pages.  Even though this story moved slower than the first it was impossible not to feel everything these characters did.  Yet I wasn’t the hugest fan of the conflict.  I’m super picky about miscommunication, and this one didn’t work that well for me.  Yet it ended with a happily for now that warmed my heart and I loved the grand gesture!

Maybe this is what happy is supposed to be. A person, a place. A single moment in time.

PS I still adore Stella’s calendar idea!

BOOK REVIEW: Small Town Swoon (Cherry Tree Harbor #4) by Melanie Harlow

BOOK REVIEW: Small Town Swoon (Cherry Tree Harbor #4) by Melanie HarlowSmall Town Swoon (Cherry Tree Harbor #4)
by Melanie Harlow
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Only in the movies does the Hollywood heartthrob fall for the small town diner waitress.

So when Dashiel Buckley returns to Cherry Tree Harbor for a wedding, I'm determined not to let my massive crush on my best friend's older brother hijack my good sense.

(It happened once before. Do not recommend.)

But when my hand is injured, it's Dash who steps in at the diner. The moment he realizes I can't afford to fix my car, he takes care of it. And when he hears about the way my toxic ex treated me, he refuses to let it go.

Now it's not just his blue eyes and sexy smile that have me swooning, it's the way he wants to help me. Encourage me. Protect me.

I can't resist.

Our text messages heat up. Our phone calls melt all my defenses. "Just friends" turns into "just once," and "just once" becomes a distant memory. Night after night, he warms my bed, my body, and my heart.

But it can't last.

Our dreams have us on two different paths-Dash wants the lights, camera, action of Hollywood, and I'll always be a small town girl.

If only I could be his.

Review:

Small Town Swoon was a beautiful, heartwarming story about a Hollywood actor and his little sister’s best friend back home.  She was a waitress at her parent’s diner, and it was set in a small town that had all the charm.  With memorable moments, characters that will capture your heart, steam that was fabulous, and a happily ever after that will have you crying tears of joy, I can’t recommend this book enough!

Ari had practically grown up at our house and had been like another little sister to me.
Until one day she wasn’t.

First off, this book can easily be read as a standalone, but I can’t recommend the previous books in this series enough!  You’ll definitely want to meet the rest of the Buckley brothers.  They are beyond sexy, will melt your heart, and are so swoon worthy!

His eyes scanned the photos on the wall, and he laughed. “What happened there?”
I followed his line of sight to his headshot. “Oh, that. Uh, someone broke in and vandalized your picture.”
“Just my picture?”
I nodded, pressing my lips together.

Dash was desperately wanting to change what his next role entailed.  He was looking for something deep and emotional, yet he struggled with hiding from his feelings.  So his agent sent home to get in touch with himself.  Back home was Ari, who had been in love with him forever.  Before he left for Hollywood, there was a moment that made Ari hate him.  Or at least she tried to hate him.  Yet when she ran into him, all of her feelings came flooding back.  And that scene will have you screaming with laughter and joy!

Was it wrong that I was getting myself off while thinking about my sister’s best friend, just like I used to when she was sixteen and sleeping down the hall?
Probably. But damn, it felt good.

I loved Dash with my whole heart.  He was thoughtful, kind, and had this charisma about him that made it so effortless to like him.  And being around Ari again, they got along so well.  Their banter was fabulous.  They knew each other inside out.  So when Dash would help Ari time and again, it was so easy to fall in love with him.  Yet all of those moments felt so brotherly to Ari.  If only she knew the dirty thoughts he was having about her!  

How do you think about me?
                                                I am not sure I should answer that question.
Answer it.
                             Next level it was.
Naked.
In bed with me.
Begging for my cock.
                                                Why would I have to beg?
Because I’m not done fucking you with my tongue.

I adored Ari.  She was pure joy and made me smile so much.  Plus she had this fire in her that seemed to burn brighter every time Dash was around.  I loved that she wanted to help her parent’s diner.  And I hoped that her fabulous ideas for menu items would be seen by them.  So each time Dash was around Ari, I felt the butterflies she did.  It was impossible not to be consumed by Dash’s spell.  So when they finally did cross that line of friendship, I couldn’t stop smiling.

I put my lips at her ear. “Good girl.”

So with steamy phone sex, fabulous dirty talk, and a friends with benefits relationship, this book was so steamy.  When you mix that in with heartfelt moments like braiding hair, fixing her house, or even attending one of Dash’s brother’s wedding, sigh.  This book was so emotional too.  And I loved that we got to alternate between the two of them.

I opened my mouth to say a hundred different things—I miss you, I wish you were here, I think I might be in love with you—but nothing came out. I was too afraid I’d make things worse, not better.

While there were struggles, I loved how this book felt more light-hearted.  Yet I still cried all the tears.  There were so many happy ones towards the end, and some of those moments it was impossible not to laugh while crying tears of joy.  The grand gesture was one of the best.  And the epilogue was everything!  We got a fabulous look into the future, and it was more than I ever could have hoped and dreamed for!  We also got peeks into Dash’s brother’s lives too.  So if you love romance, definitely add this one to your list!  This book had me smiling from that first page to the last and is easily one of my top favorites from 2024!

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

 

BOOK REVIEW: Lovelight Farms (Lovelight #1) by BK Borison

BOOK REVIEW: Lovelight Farms (Lovelight #1) by BK BorisonLovelight Farms (Lovelight #1)
by BK Borison
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Two best friends fake date to reach their holiday happily ever after in this first romantic comedy in the Lovelight series.

A pasture of dead trees. A hostile takeover of the Santa barn by a family of raccoons. And shipments that have mysteriously gone missing. Lovelight Farms is not the magical winter wonderland of Stella Bloom’s dreams.

In an effort to save the Christmas tree farm she’s loved since she was a kid, Stella enters a contest with Instagram-famous influencer Evelyn St. James. With the added publicity and the $100,000 cash prize, Stella might just be able to save the farm from its financial woes. There’s just one problem. To make the farm seem like a romantic destination for the holidays, she lied on her application and said she owns Lovelight Farms with her boyfriend. Only…there is no boyfriend.

Enter best friend Luka Peters. He just stopped by for some hot chocolate and somehow got a farm and a serious girlfriend in the process. But fake dating his best friend might be the best Christmas present he’s ever received.

Review:

Lovelight Farms was a beautiful friends to lovers romance that was so easy to devour.  The found family was everything, the storyline was adorable, and the characters warmed my heart.  This book became an instant favorite and I’m excited to binge the rest of BK Borison’s stories!

I thought about a lot of things when it comes to Luka.  Things you shouldn’t think about your best friend.

Stella and Luka were the bestest of friends.  Ten years ago, Luka’s mom moved to the tiny little town where Stella lived.  And it created the most adorable meet cute!  From that moment on, they had been inseparable.  But there was always that line that neither of them would cross.  They were just friends.  Even though Stella had been in love with Luka forever.  So when Stella was forced to fake date someone, in order to save her failing farm, I couldn’t wait for the lines between her and Luka to get blurry!

But with Luka, it’s easy.  The way we touch each other, the way we breathe and move together.  It’s so easy.

I absolutely adored Stella!  She had such a kind soul, and yet she was so nervous to ask Luka to be her fake boyfriend.  Which of course he would do without a second thought!  So when the two of them announced to their tiny town that they were dating, I couldn’t stop laughing.  Small town shenanigans were at their best in this story!  And as Luka and Stella pretended to date, oh my heart I was so nervous for Stella.  She was getting everything she wanted, except it wasn’t real.  Right?

He steps back, but his hand holds against my hip, fingers slipping away with reluctance.  I look up at him in the dim light of my kitchen, and for a single breath, I see a wild, ferocious hunger. But he blinks and it’s gone. He’s my Luka again, the change so quick I think I’ve imagined it.  Brown eyes soft, smile crooked, hair a wild mess.

Luka was such a fabulous book boyfriend!  He was thoughtful, kind, and cared so much for Stella!  Yet unlike Stella, I had no problem finding all the little clues that he liked her.  So the moments when he agreed to go to ‘Thanksgiving’ with her dad, and everything else in between showing him step up….sigh.  It just made me love Luka that much more!

It’s hard to think about the consequences when his palm is warm on the small of my back, dragging up my spine.  He tangles his hand lightly in my hair and tugs gently, just once, a flash of something decadent in amber eyes when I make a small noise in the back of my throat.  He likes that noise, I can tell.  He wants to hear it again.

The tension between Stella and Luka was intense and left me desperately needing for them to do more than just have a look or a touch.  It seemed like Luka could take Stella right there in her kitchen, and then you blink and he’s back to her Luka again.  Just friends.  The will they or won’t they played out fabulously in this story!  With missed kisses, tension simmering, and pretending to date, there were so many favorite moments.  When they woke up together *fans face*, after Thanksgiving, and so many more that were deliciously steamy!

The line defining fiction and reality is obliterated.

This book also made me cry.  There were some tears here and there, but when found family became prevalent, I was sobbing my eyes out!  And then again when there was a heart to heart.  Lovelight Farms creeps up on you, and the emotions are so hard to ignore!  So if you’re looking for a friends to lovers romance, I can’t recommend this one enough.  It was steamy, heartfelt, and made me smile so much!  I can’t wait to read Beckett’s story next!

It’s hard to think of Beckett as anything other than stoic, but I recognize the shades of loneliness in him the same as me and Luka.  It’s another reason I’m grateful for this farm and the weird little family we’ve pieced together.  We’re all a little less alone.

BOOK REVIEW: Rise of the Cinder Fae (Dark Hearts Fairytale Retellings #1) by Whitney Dean

BOOK REVIEW: Rise of the Cinder Fae (Dark Hearts Fairytale Retellings #1) by Whitney DeanRise of the Cinder Fae (Dark Hearts Fairytale Retellings #1)
by Whitney Dean
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Born and raised in the forgotten and broken kingdom of Ashbury, Elora has spent years resenting the royals of Pumpkin Hollow, the kingdom that forced the fall of Ashbury and procured the town as its own.

Separated by a mysterious glass bridge, Ashbury is treated as the orphan kingdom, left to squander and starve with only the promise of protection from King Jasper, preventing anyone outside their realm from searching for the magic that lay within the ashy valleys and red skies.

Because twenty-five years ago, the Cinder Fae arrived. As mysterious as the magic encompassing Ashbury, the Cinder Fae bargained for their lives by promising to keep the entire realm warm with their ability to mine mountainsides into coal.

But Elora and the Cinder Fae hold a secret that could bring the end to Ashbury and the mysterious winged creatures, who, despite Elora's best efforts to pry, refuse to share where they came from or why they can't return.

In her desperation to prevent the downfall of her kingdom and the death of her beloved Fae, Elora drinks from an enchanted spring, convinced she can make the prince of Pumpkin Hollow fall in love with her and guarantee their safety.

But magic takes to give.

And Elora didn't realize her heart would be the sacrifice.

Review:

Rise of the Cinder Fae was an enemies to lovers, fairytale retelling of Cinderella.  With a fantasy twist, an arranged marriage, found family, and one horse, this book will take readers on a magical journey!  

“A marriage of convenience. How romantic.”
I curse. “Believe me, Irina. The only one this is convenient for is her.” I recall Elora’s glares and venomous insults, my jaw clicking as a fresh wave of annoyance rises and nearly drowns me. “Romance is out of the question.”

My heart was instantly pulled in by Elora.  With an evil stepmother and two evil stepsisters, who used her as their personal maid, I couldn’t help but feel for her.  She should have been a princess.  Yet instead she slept in the attic and didn’t seem to have much freedom.  So when Elora was taken in a pumpkin carriage to the ball to meet a dashing prince, I was so excited for her!  Yet this Cinderella retelling had so many fascinating elements mixed in.  There were the cinder faes, an arranged marriage, a King who was disgustingly horrific, and a future mother-in-law and sister-in-law who I absolutely cherished!

“This is twice you’ve walked away from me,” he snaps, his tone laden with irritation.
“I’m shocked you can count.”
A low growl rumbles in his chest as he wraps a hand around my wrist and tugs me backward.

The kingdom Elora was from, suffered greatly.  And as she set her sights on the prince, she hoped that she would be able to save her kingdom.  I adored that we not only got this story from Elora, but from Finnian too.  He was the dashing prince.  I loved their enemy vibes from the start.  And I loved how they both saw each other, because I just knew their growth would be fun to watch.  From the moment they smashed pumpkins together, I was smitten.  Especially during the cleaning up afterwards.  Elora and Finnian were at the start of a beautiful relationship! So by the time they were dancing where she grew up, I was in love. 

Finnian tsks. “I expected more from you, Elora. Is your only weapon that mouth of yours?”
My lower stomach tightens. “The one you keep staring at?”
I don’t turn to gauge his reaction.
  

My absolute favorite in this story was Irina!  She was Finnian’s sister, and a princess.  She was bold, hilarious and just made my heart melt with happiness.  Her taking a liking to Elora, and helping her every step of the way just made me love her that much more!  I would hope that she gets her own book too, or is super prevalent in the next book.  

The second I crossed that bridge, my life was decided.
I fell right into their trap.
What a foolish doe to graze where lions play.

While this story was slow to start, I adored the first half.  I didn’t care that it was long, I was fully absorbed and obsessed with every single word.  Yet the latter half of this story dragged for me.  Even with some interesting twists, I couldn’t help but find myself skimming from time to time to hurry it along.  Also, there were some scenes that had me questioning what the characters were thinking, like the river and small room scene.  But as the story kept unfolding, I realized that I couldn’t ever find the love I had for this story.  Which made me so sad.

“There is only one way this can end.”
I barely feel his hand on my lower back as the stars above us start to spin. “And which way is that, little doe?”
“Ruin,” emerges in a breath as the starry sky envelopes me.

This story ended with a bang, and will leave the reader excited for the next book.  While I’m unsure whether I’ll read the next story in this series, I absolutely loved how unique this retelling felt.  So if you’re looking for a spicy retelling that also has fae mixed into the story, then definitely give this one a try.  Here’s hoping you love it more than me!

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

BOOK REVIEW: Just One of the Groomsmen (Getting Hitched #1) & Always a Bridesmaid (Getting Hitched #2) by Cindi Madsen

BOOK REVIEW: Just One of the Groomsmen (Getting Hitched #1) & Always a Bridesmaid (Getting Hitched #2) by Cindi MadsenJust One of the Groomsmen (Getting Hitched #1)
by Cindi Madsen
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Addison Murphy is the funny friend, the girl you grab a beer with―the girl voted most likely to start her own sweatshirt line. And now that one of her best guy friends is getting married, she’ll add “groomsman” to that list, too. She’ll get through this wedding if it’s the last thing she does. Just don’t ask her to dive for any bouquet.

When Tucker Crawford returns to his small hometown, he expects to see the same old people, feel comfort in the same old things. He certainly doesn’t expect to see the nice pair of bare legs sticking out from under the hood of a broken-down car. Certainly doesn’t expect to feel his heart beat faster when he realizes they belong to one of his best friends.

If he convinces Addie to give him a chance, they could be electric…or their breakup could split their tight-knit group in two.

Hiding the way he feels from the guys through bachelor parties, cake tastings, and rehearsals is one thing. But just as Tucker realizes that Addie truly could be the perfect woman for him―he was just too stupid to realize it―now she’s leaving to follow her own dreams. He’s going to need to do a lot of compromising if he’s going to convince her to take a shot at forever with him―on her terms this time.

Review:

Just One of the Groomsmen was a heartwarming, friends to lovers romance.  Set in a small town in the south, with characters that will make you smile, I absolutely adored this story!  There was spice.  Angst.  And all the feels!  Addie was a tomboy surrounded by her best friends, Tucker, Shep, Ford and Easton.  And when Tucker came back to town, sparks flew between them.  While they both tried their best to deny their feelings for each other, it was impossible!

The push and pull between them was intoxicating!  And when they did toe the line, their moments together were steamy!  Add in characters that will make you laugh, like Nona, and friendship that runs so deep and this story had everything I love about small town romances.  This was my first Cindi Madsen, and I listened to the audio which was phenomenal, so I can’t wait to binge read all of her other stories!

 

BOOK REVIEW: Just One of the Groomsmen (Getting Hitched #1) & Always a Bridesmaid (Getting Hitched #2) by Cindi MadsenAlways a Bridesmaid (Getting Hitched #2)
by Cindi Madsen
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Violet Abrams may have been a bridesmaid no less than seven times, but her wedding day was near—she could feel it. Until her longtime boyfriend left her for someone else. That’s just fine—she has her photography and a new project redesigning her sister’s bakery to keep her happy and fulfilled. Fast-forward to the day of his wedding, though, when Violet might have accidentally, totally not on purpose, started a fire. And... Officially the worst day ever.

Firefighter Ford Maguire thought he’d seen it all. Until he’s called out because someone tried to set the local bakery on fire…with a wedding magazine? The little arsonist might be the cutest woman he’s ever seen, but he’s too career-focused to consider something serious. Still, Violet seems like a great person to help him navigate his upcoming “man of honor” duties in his best friend’s wedding.

Pretty soon, not only is Violet giving him lessons on all things weddings, she’s helping him train his latest rescue-dog recruit puppies and weaving her way seamlessly into his lone-wolf lifestyle. But forever is the last thing on Ford’s mind, and if there’s one thing a perpetual bridesmaid knows, it’s the importance of a happily ever after.

Review:

Always a Bridesmaid took us back to the small town we love, and there were all the familiar faces.  Yet this one hit deeper.  It was emotional.  And heartfelt too.  Both Violet and Ford thought that they were not worthy of love.  Their pasts and families had created doubts in their minds.  So it was heartbreaking that they thought they weren’t good enough.  Watching them fight their way to their happily ever after, will have you cheering them on!

Violet and Ford’s meet cute was beyond memorable!  And the cake testing, the bar, playing pool, to even the coffee house scene all slowly started to build a friendship between these two people.  Mix that all in with characters we love, friendships that run deep, and the most adorable puppies ever and this book was so easy and fun to listen to!  I loved how the story transported me to another world.  It was so vivid and colorful!  So if you adore small town romances with steam, then definitely put this one on your tbr!  I’m so happy I listened to it!

 

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