Thursday, July 11, 2019

Book Review: Say You Still Love Me by KA Tucker

Say You Still Love Me
by KA Tucker
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Source: Netgalley
Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway.

On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus, she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancĂ©—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.

Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group Industries, and coincidentally the first love of her life.

The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counsellors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.

Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is not only alive but stronger than ever, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.


I have been a long time fan of KA Tucker ever since I discovered her Ten Tiny Breaths series. When I saw this book on Netgalley, I didn't hesitate requesting a copy and reading this second chance romance! 

When Piper was 16, she fell in love with Kyle at camp Wawa. And never saw him again after that summer. Now, as a 29-year-old business women grooming to take over her father's business, Piper is shocked when she runs into Kyle in the lobby of her building. Kyle is their newest security guard. Old memories and emotions come rushing back. Why is Kyle back in her life? Can she really trust him with her heart again? 

From the beginning, I really loved how this book was a dual timeline between when Kyle and Piper first fell in love and when they reconnected years later. Piper then and Piper now were pretty different people, but her feelings for Kyle were definitely the same. I loved how Piper was fighting to prove to people she was just as capable as the men in the company. There was some drama in her company that I did feel was dragged out and a bit anticlimactic, but I enjoyed seeing her dedicate her life to a job she was passionate about. 

This book felt fluffy and fun, but definitely took a more serious, somber turn near the end. I really enjoyed the cast of characters in this book and the people that Piper had surrounded herself with, specifically her friends. This book reminded me to so much of my own teenage summers and spending time away at camps and with friends. Kyle was so adorable and I really wanted to see more of him with Piper in the current timeline. 

If you're looking for a second chance summer read, I would absolutely recommend Say You Still Love Me. You get to watch a couple fall in love as teens and reconnect many years later. There is so much more than the romance here and you won't want to put the book down.




Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Blog Tour + Review: Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Wilder Girls
by Rory Power
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Source: Publisher
It's been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty's life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don't dare wander outside the school's fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there's more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.


I don't even know where to begin with this book because it is so different than any book I've ever read before. All the stars for originality! 

Eighteen months ago, Raxton school for girls shut down and went under quarantine when girls started coming down with strange illnesses. Slowly, each girl would experience body disfigurements and only the lucky ones would survive each bought of illness. Hetty is just surviving day by day with her best friends Reese and Byatt, but when Byatt disappears, Hetty is determined to find her friend. 

When this book started, it threw the body gore in your face and never looked back. This is definitely not for the faint of heart and one scene had me closing the book and stepping away for a second. I'm usually totally fine with blood, but...ew. Other than the gore, there was also this huge mystery behind where this illness came from and who you could really trust out of the girls left alive at Raxton. I loved how loyal Hetty was towards her friends and how much she was tested as she learned more and more secrets about the school. 

While the mystery and friendships were great, I will say the romance wasn't even really a romance? Like it happened (kind of?) and then it was completely forgotten for the rest of the book. Then, we're finally on the cusp of getting at least some answers to the mystery, and then the book ends. And there's a second book? Is there? Because so many things were left unanswered and I feel like the book could have been so much more surprising and twisted (answer-wise) than it was. I was just left wanting some more at the end. 

If you want a super unique survival story, you definitely have to pick this up. You never know what's coming and what gory thing is going to happen next!




Monday, July 1, 2019

Blog Tour + Review: Say No to the Duke by Eloisa James

Say No to the Duke (The Wildes of Lindow Castle #4)
by Eloisa James
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Source: Publisher
One little wager will determine their fate—a daring escape or falling into temptation with a rakish lord. 

Lady Betsy Wilde’s first season was triumphant by any measure, and a duke has proposed—but before marriage, she longs for one last adventure.

No gentleman would agree to her scandalous plan—but Lord Jeremy Roden is no gentleman. He offers a wager. If she wins a billiards game, he’ll provide the breeches.

If he wins…she is his, for one wild night.

But what happens when Jeremy realizes that one night will never be enough? In the most important battle of his life, he’ll have to convince Betsy to say no to the duke.


Every time I start a historical romance review, I mention how I don't read this genre enough. Because every time I read one, I'm like, WHY AM I NOT READING MORE OF THESE!? That reaction was no different the entire time I was reading this newest release from Eloisa James!

Lady Betsy Wilde is determined to never be like her mother, which means being the perfect lady that all of the gentlemen want to wed. Well into her first season, Betsy has had plenty of proposals and finds delight in declining each one. Until a future Duke asks for her hand. Betsy knows he would make the perfect husband, but when Lord Jeremy is constantly teasing and testing her, Betsy isn't so sure she'd be happy with the Duke...

When I started this book, I absolutely loved Betsy's character. She is really aware of what people in public think of her, so she puts on this good girl facade that makes all of the gentlemen want to marry her. That's why I loved how Jeremy totally saw through her persona and brought out the rebel that Betsy really was. Their relationship was soooo cute and kind of slow burn, which I loved. It was fun watching Betsy not wanting to notice Jeremy in that way but not being able to ignore it. 

While I really wish this was a five star read, the pacing of this book dropped it a star for me. The whole premise was that Betsy and Jeremy made a bet and Betsy would be able to dress as a man or Jeremy would get one night with her. Well, one of them wins the bet and it takes almost the entire novel for the bet to actually come to fruition. It seemed to drag and I wish it happened earlier and the rest of the book was them continuing to dance around each other and interact in society. 

Eloisa James is one of the queens of the historical romance genre and I will read everything she has to read. This was my first of the series (I know, it's book number 4, but I'm a rebel) and now I am dying to pick up the first three of this series. There is so much familial love and such an expansive group of characters that I'm dying to get even more of them!




They moved toward each other as if they were following the steps of a very slow, very grand country
dance. One that was danced by kings and queens and countryfolk alike.

When they were beside each other, she squared her shoulders and met his eyes. “I decided to come
to you. I hope that is all right.”

“I do believe that you are the bravest woman I’ve ever met,” he replied.

He couldn’t have said anything better; Betsy felt herself begin to glow. “I haven’t been brave to this
point, but I have made up my mind to change. I outlawed being nervous, but now I need to outlaw being afraid.” She hesitated. “I have chosen courage, and now I choose happiness.”

“I love you as you are,” he whispered, and then his mouth came down on hers.

Her breath caught in her throat because their tongues met as if they kissed every day, every night. He
tasted right, which sent a shiver through her whole body, and pushed her against him gently, the way
a pebble might roll up a beach when the tide comes in.

One doesn’t fight the tide.

About the Author

Eloisa James is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author and professor of English literature, who lives with her family in New York, but can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight. Visit her at www.eloisajames.com.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Book Review: These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling

These Witches Don't Burn (These Witches Don't Burn #1)
By Isabel Sterling
Release Date: May 28, 2019
Hannah's a witch, but not the kind you're thinking of. She's the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she's ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly by Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans. 

But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah's concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah's sure it's the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica.

While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she's going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem's witches become deadlier by the day.


I have been devouring adult paranormal romances, but I haven't really been reading any YA paranormal books. When I saw the cover of this one and saw it was about teen witches, I knew I had to pick it up! 

Hannah is still hurt over how things ended between her and her ex, but when strange things start happening and signs of a blood witch are popping up, Hannah knows they have more serious problems. As an elemental witch, Hannah has to make sure to hide her own powers while trying to figure out if a blood witch is really in town and how to protect those she loves. 

I love a good paranormal book, so it's no surprise that I absolutely loved the magic system in this book. I really loved how there were three types of witches and, even among witches, there was stigma against what kind of witch you were. I also loved how much Hannah actually used her powers and seeing the scope of her abilities. Of course, living with humans (or "regs" in this book), the whole aspect of having to keep her powers secret added a whole other dimension of conflict to the story. 

And talk about diversity! There were so many different kinds of relationships and identities in this book and I was soooo in love with Hannah's own romantic journey in this book. Her ex was definitely very toxic, but I enjoyed watching Hannah meet a new girl and starting to date her while still getting over her heartbreak. Hannah's best friend was also a huge bright spot in this book and I loved all of the friendships in this book. 

While reviews aren't the best for this book, I absolutely loved it! It was so witch-ey and I was all in for Hannah's romance. While I thought I had everything figured out by the end, there were some serious surprised thrown in and I immediately went to Goodreads to see what book two was releasing. I can't wait to read even more from Isabel Sterling!


Friday, June 28, 2019

Book Review: The Perfect First by Maya Hughes

The Perfect First (Fulton U #1)
by Maya Hughes 
Release Date: April 25, 2019
Source: Author
Persephone Alexander. Math genius. Lover of blazers. The only girl I know who can make Heidi braids look sexy as hell. And she’s on a mission. Lose her virginity by the end of the semester. 

I walked in on her interview session for potential candidates (who even does that?) and saw straight through her brave front. She’s got a list of Firsts to accomplish like she’s only got months to live. I’ve decided to be her guide for all her firsts except one. Someone’s got to keep her out of trouble. I have one rule, no sex. We even shook on it.

I’ll help her find the right guy for the job. Someone like her doesn’t need someone like me and my massive...baggage for her first time. 

Drinking at a bar. Check. 

Partying all night. Double check. 

Skinny dipping. Triple check. 

She’s unlike anyone I’ve ever met. The walls I’d put up around my heart are slowly crumbling with each touch that sets fire to my soul. 

I’m the first to bend the rules. One electrifying kiss changes everything and suddenly I don’t want to be her first, I want to be her only. But her plan was written before I came onto the scene and now I’m determined to get her to re-write her future with me.



I love new adult sports romances and some of my favorite books ever fall under that category. I was so excited when Maya Hughes sent me a copy of The Perfect First because it is a romance between a college football player and a math genius determined to make her last year of college a memorable one. 

Reece loves football and knows that's his only future, which means he has to buckle down and be serious when it comes to NFL scouts. What he doesn't need is the distraction that is Persephone. Seph has been driven to be perfect by her father her whole life, which is not including her next year in school. Left feeling like her life is out of her control, Seph decides to make a list of everything she hopes to do before the school year is out. Reece was definitely not part of those plans, but when the two accidentally meet, Reece can't stop thinking about Seph and decides to help her on her quest. 

I love a romance between two unlikely people and you can't get more different than Seph and Reece. I loved how Seph was determined to try new things and really live her life and it was so fun how Reece decided he was the one who was going to help her do it. There was an inexplicable draw to Seph that Reece felt and I loved how he slowly realized he was actually kind of falling for her. 

What I also tend to love about new adult books are the entire cast of characters that surround the two main characters. In this book, Reece had some pretty awesome friends and, as soon as I finished this book, I ran to Goodreads to see who was getting the next two books. I am so excited for the next books because I fell in love with all of the characters and their quirky personalities in this book. 

Overall, this was such a fun sports romance and I loved how both characters really grew and learned from one another. If you're a fan of the Off-Campus series or the Game On series, you have to try out The Perfect First!





Thursday, June 27, 2019

Release Day Blitz: One Little Lie by Whitney Barbetti

New Release: One Little Lie by Whitney Barbetti


One Little Lie by Whitney Barbetti
Genre: New Adult

Blurb

Adam Oliver hated me. Loathed my very existence. He had every right to, but that didn’t make my life any easier the afternoon I had to rescue him on the side of the road. But worse than rescuing a guy who hated me to his core was the lie I told my parents. Because I’d just told them that my long-term boyfriend was finally back in town. My long-term boyfriend who didn’t actually exist. The one named Adam Oliver—the guy I’d crushed on all through high school. So the real Adam had no idea that he and I were engaged in a years-long, committed, serious relationship. And, somehow, some way, I needed to convince him to play along with my one little lie.
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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Book Review: Bad Influence by Charleigh Rose

Bad Influence (Bad Love #3)
by Charleigh Rose
Release Date: June 12, 2019
Source: Author
Allie

When I moved to River’s Edge, dating was the last thing on my mind. 
I definitely didn’t expect to fall for him. 
Jesse Shepherd. 
Popular. Star athlete. Cocky as hell. 
You know the type.
But as time passed, I realized there was more lurking beneath that gorgeous exterior.
Secretive. Angry. A little bit broken.
The more I peeled back his layers, the deeper I fell. 
Until I slammed headfirst into his sea of lies.


Jess

I blew my shot. 
Pissed everything away—college, lacrosse, my future—only to end up right back where I started in River’s Edge. 
I was content to revel in my misery, spending my days drowning in a bottomless pit of booze and girls.
Until I saw her
Allison Parrish. 
Beautiful. Sarcastic. Perpetual bad attitude. 
The pretty little distraction from the shit show that was my life. 
But the sins of my past were closing in on me, and I learned the hard way that nothing gold can stay.


Charleigh Rose is one of my auto-buy authors; she releases a book, I'm going to read it. I was very excited that Jesse was getting a book and I couldn't wait to have it in my hands! 

All Allie wants to do is finish school and figure out what she wants to do with her life. Ever since her dad died, it's been hard to move on. When Jesse enters her life, Allie knows he's bad news. But when she starts working for his sister, it's pretty hard to ignore him. Jesse is intrigued by Allie, especially since the rest of his life is going down in flames. He's tired of being a disappointment and his past has told him nothing good ever lasts, so will Allie really last or will she slip through his fingers? 

From the moment Allie and Jess meet, I love how cocky and annoying Jess is. There's nothing better than a bad boy in a new adult novel and that's exactly what Jess is. Allie, on the other hand, is just trying to figure out her life and try to figure out her future. It was fun watching her and Jess dance around each other and tease each other. 

While the romance was fun, I will say that this book dragged just a bit and I was not at all a fan of Jess's big "secret" he was hiding from Allie. I felt like, at this point in the publishing world, that was a cliche and I was disappointed it wasn't something more exciting or surprising. I was happy, though, that we got to see the characters we love from Bad Intentions! 

In the end, this was a fun read that had a very entertaining romance. There was a lot of back and forth and angst and I was definitely a fan! While some parts dragged, I enjoyed the book overall!




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