Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Book Review: Wolfsong by TJ Klune

Wolfsong (Green Creek #1)
by TJ Klune
Release Date: June 20, 2016
Source: Gift
Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.

Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road, the boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.

Ox was seventeen when he found out the boy’s secret, and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.

Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.

It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.


Seriously. This book wasn't even on my radar until I saw my friends Lacey and Chandler talking about this series. I immediately put it on my wishlist and didn't even hesitate to pick it up when I received it as a gift. I was a die-hard Twilight fan in high school and this book gave me all of those feels and so much more. I absolutely loved the pack (this is paranormal-werewolves) and the importance of the pack to these people. Your pack is your family and you make your family. The bonds in this book were just so strong and I was just obsessed and in love with every single one of the characters.

As for the characters, Ox is such a special character that I will cherish forever. I absolutely adored him when we met him in the beginning and he felt like he wasn't special. The way he developed and really came into his own in this book was just so endearing and I just wanted to give him a big hug. Then, his SUPER slow burn and angsty romance with Joe was EVERYTHING and I was rooting for that ship from the start. I think TJ Klune handled their relationship very well and developed it (from when Joe was 10 and Ox was 16) very tastefully and realistically. At no point did I feel grossed out by the age difference, which is important considering the characters are so young when this book begins.

Like I said, I adored everything about this book. The book is very character driven and the plot is slow at times, but I never felt bored or disinterested. The slow parts of this book were so important to the plot and allowed characters to develop and relationships to solidify. I loved the paranormal aspects of this story and am already dying to read book two so I can see more of my favorite characters. You HAVE to pick up this book and fall head over heels for these characters. 

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Book Review: The Rebel King by Kennedy Ryan

The Rebel King (All the King's Men Duet #2)
by Kennedy Ryan
Release Date: November 18, 2019
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Ambition. Revenge. Love. 

Raised to resist. Bred to fight. Survival is in my blood and surrender is never an option.

Though surrender is what Maxim Cade demanded of my body and heart, I had other plans. We were fast-burning fascination and combustible chemistry, but the man I trusted with everything was a trickster. A thief who stole my love. If what we had was a lie, why did it feel so real? The man I swore to hate will have it all, and wants me at his side. But power is a game, and we're the pawns and players.

Facing insurmountable odds, will we win the world, or will we lose it all?

Rita Award-winning author Kennedy Ryan delivers the gripping conclusion to the All the King's Men Duet.

How does Kennedy Ryan continue to write breathtaking romances while making such important, impactful messages in the process? I absolutely loved The Kingmaker and knew that The Rebel King would be no different! 

After that cliffhanger of book one, I knew we would be in for a ride in this book. I loved how this started out as more of a suspenseful book and I honestly had no idea how our characters were going to make it out of that situation. Nothing was drawn out, though, which I really appreciated. So much happened in this romance and really tested Lennix and Maxim's relationship. I loved how much they went through in book one and how much they were fighting to stay together in this book. That relationship is so strong and I was in awe over how much that respected each other and would sacrifice everything for one another. 

While I'm really not a fan of political books, Kennedy Ryan wrote this in a way where I felt like there wasn't a strong political message she was trying to shove down our throat. I really appreciated the look at Native American culture and injustices, but she tastefully looked at the political climate of the US and didn't try to show how everything could be "fixed." I loved how Lennix was working on the presidential election and how important that was to her life. Maxim's support was so endearing and I enjoyed how closely they had to work and prioritize different aspects of their lives and their relationship. 

Overall, this duet was AMAZING and unlike anything I've read. I loved the power and pride we got from Lennix's character and the power and passion we got from Maxim's character. These are two people I won't forget anytime soon and this is a romance I will remember for a very long time.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Book Review: The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

The Wives
by Tarryn Fisher
Release Date: December 30, 2019
Source: Publisher 
Imagine that your husband has two other wives.

You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.

But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket—an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another of the wives.

You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretenses, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you really are. Then Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realize she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.

Who exactly is your husband, and how far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life?

And who is his mysterious third wife?


The first 50% of this book was intriguing and I knew it was building up to something. So many different scenarios were running through my head as our main character learns more about her husband and is forced to reevaluate the nature of their relationship. Once that 50% hits, though, this book TURNS IT ON and I literally couldn't put it down until I reached that last page. 

And what a last page that was. I STILL don't know what I truly believe or think actually happened. I'm not a thriller reader and am pretty new to the genre, but I honestly did not see that twist coming. Tarryn Fisher kept me on my toes for the entire book and, once again, blew me away with her talented writing. 

If you want a book that will freak your mind out and make you think, you HAVE to pick up The Wives. I haven't read any book like this one and know that I never will again. Tarryn Fisher has this magic of creating such unique storylines, weaving beautiful sentences together, and forcing you to take a hard look at the characters. You have to pick this up when it comes out!

Book Review: Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

Crown of Coral and Pearl (Crown of Coral and Pearl #1)
by Mara Rutherford
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Source: Publisher 
For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…

Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.

Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen… and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.

In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.

I haven't read nearly as many YA fantasy books lately as I used to, so when this book showed up from the publisher, I was so intrigued and couldn't help but pick it up as soon as I could!

If you're a person who loves an atmospheric read, you're going to love this book. The sea was such a central part to this story, especially in the first 100 pages, and was a part of Nor's soul, even when she left it to live in the castle in the mountain. It was so cool getting to learn where Nor came from and how their whole society worked. I did think the buildup took too long and I wish the action started with the royalty earlier than 180 pages in, but once Nor finally left her home, things started getting more dangerous and more unknown and I couldn't stop reading. 

Nor is a twin and I really loved her dedication and loyalty to her sister. In their world, they competed their entire lives to be the most beautiful in order to be chosen to marry the prince, so I loved how close they were even while they had to live with that kind of weight on their shoulders. There was also a romance that I wasn't the biggest fan of (the pacing was a bit weird), but I am definitely intrigued to see what's going to happen in the next book!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Book Review: Manhattan by Kandi Steiner

Manhattan (Becker Brothers #3)
by Kandi Steiner
Release Date: December 18, 2019
Source: Author
Everyone knows not to fall in love with your best friend.

But when your best friend is Michael Becker, it’s impossible not to.

He’s everything our town knows a Becker brother to be: devastatingly handsome, charming as a thief, and the icing on the cake — a sentimental musician who’s never without his guitar.

And he was mine. At least, that’s what I’d convinced myself.

Our bond was born in elementary school, strengthened by circumstance and the promise to always be there for each other, no matter what. And the best thing about my life was being friends with Michael Becker.

Until it was the worst.

I watched him fall in love with someone else, and helped patch him back up when she left him behind. But when he drops the bomb that he’s moving to New York, I realize it’s my last chance to tell him how I feel. And I ask him to make one more promise.

One summer. One list of adventures to remind him that our small town has more to offer than memories of the girl who left him behind.

One last chance to tell him I’m in love with him.

And I’m just dumb enough to believe that maybe he could love me, too.

I am trash for Kandi Steiner's writing. Every new book, I utterly devour the story and am always left wanting more. I have loved the first two books in the Becker Brothers series and couldn't wait to return to this small town! 

When we started this book, I was surprised that it was going to take place during the summer after Mikey and Kylie graduated from high school. The other two books are definitiely adult romances, so this was new for this series. Kylie has always loved Mikey (thought he never knew because they were just best friends) and it was so sad seeing how hurt she was that Mikey pretty much dropped her when he was dating Bailey for two years. I loved the plot of Kylie showing Mikey how amazing their their town was so that he wouldn't leave at the end of the summer. Their little adventures were adorable and I loved the fun little things, especially the mudding! 

While I do love a good friends to lovers romance, I felt like this one turned out a little too predictably pertaining to a certain character. I called a certain plot point about 20% in and was disappointed when I was right. Also, I really loved how Kylie was dedicated to honoring her mother's memory by taking a gap year, but I didn't really like how she changed her plans at the end because of Mikey. I wish she stayed true to her plans and really discovered herself the way she had planned to. I do think I'm being more picky because that's how I typically read new adult books. It's harder for me to connect with teenagers trying to find their place in the world, so I judge their decisions and actions more than normal. 

Overall, this was an adorable romance in the Becker brother world. I do think Mikey is my least favorite brother so far, so that might be why I didn't love this book as much of the others. But I am DYING for Jordan's books and can't wait to see how this series ends!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Cover Reveal: Credence by Penelope Douglas

Credence - CR banner.jpg

Credence, an all-new standalone dark romantic suspense by Penelope Douglas, is coming January 14, 2020!


Tiernan de Haas doesn’t care about anything anymore. The only child of a film producer and his starlet wife, she’s grown up with wealth and privilege but not love or guidance. Shipped off to boarding schools from an early age, it was still impossible to escape the loneliness and carve out a life of her own. The shadow of her parents’ fame followed her everywhere.
And when they suddenly pass away, she knows she should be devastated. But has anything really changed? She’s always been alone, hasn’t she?
Jake Van der Berg, her father’s stepbrother and her only living relative, assumes guardianship of Tiernan who is still two months shy of eighteen. Sent to live with him and his two sons, Noah and Kaleb, in the mountains of Colorado, Tiernan soon learns that these men now have a say in what she chooses to care and not care about anymore. As the three of them take her under their wing, teach her to work and survive in the remote woods far away from the rest of the world, she slowly finds her place among them.
And as a part of them.
And she also realizes that lines blur and rules become easy to break when no one else is watching.
One of them has her.
The other one wants her.
But he…
He’s going to keep her.


Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2qZbdZm
Cover Designer: Punk Ink Designs

About Penelope: Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her books have been translated into fourteen languages and include The Fall Away Series, The Devil’s Night Series, and the stand-alones, Misconduct, Punk 57, and Birthday Girl. Please look for Kill Switch (Devil’s Night #3), available now.
She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter.

Connect with Penelope:
Be alerted of her next release: http://amzn.to/1hNTuZV
And all of her stories have Pinterest boards if you’d like to enjoy some visuals: https://www.pinterest.com/penelopedouglas/

Monday, December 9, 2019

Book Review: From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

From Lukov with Love
by Mariana Zapata
Release Date: February 1, 2018
Source: Kindle Unlimited 
If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one.

After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close.

But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything.

Including Ivan Lukov.

I have been on a Mariana Zapata marathon lately, so this is my third book by her in a month. I have heard so many people raving about Lukov and now I definitely understand the hype! 

I am a huge fan of the movie The Cutting Edge, so as soon as I started this book with the enemies to lovers skaters who have to partner together, I was HOOKED. I absolutely loved how Jasmine was so in love with skating and made so many sacrifices just so she could compete. When this opportunity was offered, she couldn't say no, no matter how much she hated Lukov. And just like Jasmine, I fell so hard for Lukov as the book went on. Um, the animals!? Made me fall for Lukov right then and there. I loved how they bickered so much with each other and how that bickering blossomed into an adorable friendship. 

I also loved how close Jasmine was with her family and how important they were to the story. Jasmine hung out with them a lot and their banter was so cute. I am also so excited to read Dear Aaron now after seeing those characters in this book! 

What more is there to say? While this book was long, I never felt like it was slow and I was swooning so much all throughout the book. The romance is definitely slow burn, but the pay off is SO WORTH IT. This has easily become a new favorite from Mariana and I'm so happy I finally read it!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Book Review: Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters

Would Like to Meet
by Rachel Winters
Release Date: December 3, 2019
Source: Netgalley 
In this charming, feel-good debut novel, a cynical assistant at a screenwriting agency must reenact the meet-cute scenes from classic romantic comedy movies in order to help her #1 client get his scriptwriting mojo back--but can a real-life meet-cute be in store for someone who doesn't believe in happily ever after?

After seven years as an assistant, 29-year-old Evie Summers is ready to finally get the promotion she deserves. But now the TV and film agency she's been running behind the scenes is in trouble, and Evie will lose her job unless she can convince the agency's biggest and most arrogant client, Ezra Chester, to finish writing the script for a Hollywood romantic comedy. 

The catch? Ezra is suffering from writer's block--and he'll only put pen to paper if singleton Evie can prove to him that you can fall in love like they do in the movies. With the future of the agency in jeopardy, Evie embarks on a mission to meet a man the way Sally met Harry or Hugh Grant met Julia Roberts. 

But in the course of testing out the meet-cute scenes from classic romantic comedies IRL, not only will Evie encounter one humiliating situation after another, but she'll have to confront the romantic past that soured her on love. In a novel as hilarious as it is heartwarming, debut author Rachel Winters proves that sometimes real life is better than the movies--and that the best kind of meet-cutes happen when you least expect them.

This book had everything I thought I would love. Rom-coms? Script writers? London? I had super high hopes going in, but this book ended up being just an average read that I didn't feel the need to devour and keep on reading. 

I want to start off by saying that this book was in no way bad. It was actually cute and I did enjoy the romance, but I never found myself dying to read this or to find out what happened next. When I finished, it was just an okay read that I know I'll forget about in a month or two. I think that Evie was a very relatable character with how she was stuck in a rut with both her job and her love life, and she just wanted to prove she could be an actual agent instead of just an assistant. When she decided to do these meet cutes to help out the screenwriter who was her boss's client, I loved the idea. As she did the meet cutes, though, she never actually had any guys who came close to being an option of her actually dating. I would have liked it better if some of them actually did lead to dates instead of every single one of them being a disaster. 

By the end, the story did become pretty predictable and I called the "twist" pretty early on in the book. The real love interest was obvious from the start and, while that romance was cute, it took way too long to actually develop in my opinion. This one held so much potential, but instead it was just an okay romance that was fun to pass the time, but didn't really leave any real lasting impression on me.

Book Review: Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

Regretting You 
by Colleen Hoover
Release Date: December 10, 2019
Source: Publisher
Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

Every time Colleen Hoover writes a book, I add it to my TBR without even reading the synopsis. I love going into her books blind and I think that's what made me love Regretting You even more than I already did while reading it. 

Since I went in blind for this one, I'm not going to mention anything about the plot. All I can say is that it deals with a mother and a daughter and their respective romances. We get both POVs in alternating chapters and I loved seeing their perspectives regarding their own romances and their relationship with one another. Both of them are at such different points of their lives with such different kinds of romances happening, and I loved both of them so much. I really do enjoy both YA and adult romances, so I think that's why I really connected with both perspectives in this story. 

I will say that this book does deal with grief, so it was heart-wrentching to watch both Clara and Morgan dealing with their grief in their own ways. As a mother, Morgan has to protect Clara, so it was hard seeing Clara not understanding her mother when we knew what was going on because we saw it from Morgan's side too. The ending was adorable and I really loved how both romances in this book progressed. 

If you can't tell, this was another great book from Colleen Hoover that I just devoured and could not stop reading. You won't want to put this down when you pick it up!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Book Review: The Best Thing by Mariana Zapata

The Best Thing
by Mariana Zapata
Release Date: August 7, 2019
Source: Kindle Unlimited 
Some things are easily forgiven. Other things… not so much.

Lenny DeMaio made herself a promise: she was done.
Done thinking about him.
Done worrying about him.
Done reaching out to a man who clearly didn’t want to be found.

Too bad no one gave Jonah Collins the memo.

THIS BOOK WAS SO BORING. I love Mariana Zapata's books, but I think that's because I started with her most popular (Winnipeg and Kulti). When I started this book, I was so annoyed with how redundant the story was. Literally the first 20% of this book is the main character complaining over and over and over and over again about how much she hates this guy who ghosted her for a year and a half. We figure out around that 20% mark why she was so mad at him when he shows up, but then she spends the rest of the book reminding us how mad she was that he didn't respond to her. 

As for Jonah, the love interest? WHAT A BORE. Seriously, his character had NOTHING going for him except for that he was a rugby player (who was currently between teams) and that he was a giant. And the main character never let us forget how massive he was. Also, his reason for cutting her off was SO STUPID and made no sense. And it was just kind of brushed aside and they moved on. Seriously? Can you feel my annoyance from here? I slugged through this book and didn't care at all about the romance, especially since it took until like 97% into this book for any romance to actually happen. While Mariana Zapata is known for her slow burn romances, this book was just plain slow. I didn't care about anything. 

The redundancy in this one was so surprising to me because I don't remember that in the other books I've read by this author. I could have done without reading this one and it's definitely my least favorite from Mariana Zapata to date. 

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