Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Review: All Your Perfects, by Colleen Hoover



Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.


Review
5 out of 5 stars


One thing is for certain when you start a new Colleen Hoover book, she’s going to take you on a truly one-of-a kind unique experience.  Her stories’ originality continually blow me away.  I feel like if I go into too much detail with this review I’m going to ruin the experience for anyone reading this review so please bear with me as I try and explain my thoughts on this gem!

All Your Perfects is told from our heroine Quinn’s POV.  Throughout the entire book one chapter is told from the past and the next in the present.  Quinn isn’t going to be an easy character for a lot of people to like.  Her story is absolutely devastating and there were so many times when I wanted to scream open your mouth, say something, do anything, and just take a baby step.  But in that same breath I could empathize with her.  I got her struggle, I was able to even sympathize with her obsession.  It literally broke my heart, there were points I honestly wanted to put the book down because I was so sad but at the same time I needed to know how her story was going to end, so I waded through the heavy emotions and pushed forward.  Quinn is one of the most real characters I’ve ever read about. 

Graham our hero is the entire package, talk about a beacon of light.  He fully encompassed romance, sensitivity, humility, grace and determination.  He loves his wife and is prepared to do whatever it takes, even if it means losing her completely in order to put her happiness above his own.  In the end when the contents of “the box” were revealed I was completely blown away by his honesty, sacrifice and pure love.  I have to say it was my absolute favorite part of the entire book!

Quinn and Graham’s story from beginning to end was incredibly well executed and packed full of honest, real, and raw emotions.  It’s a genuine story with what I consider a perfectly designed ending.  All Your Perfects may not be a story I read time and time again, but it’s a story that left an imprint on my heart I won’t soon forget.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Review: The Problem With Him by Rachel Higginson



I’m over men. I’m done with them. 

Or at least the ones that work in my kitchen. Fine, one man in particular. Wyatt Shaw is cocky and condescending and so far out of his element that he doesn’t know which way is up. Or how to run his brand new kitchen all by himself. 

That’s where I come in. Sous chef extraordinaire. Second in command. Bane of his existence. I am the reason Wyatt’s doing so well as the new executive chef of one of our city’s most prestigious restaurants. He has me to thank for his glowing accolades and five-star write-ups. Only if you were to ask him, he’d say I’m his biggest problem. 

Despite his discouragement and bullish behavior, I’ve set two goals for myself. 

The first? I’m going to fight my way to the top of this male-dominated industry and claim my own award-winning kitchen. 

The second? I’m going to do whatever it takes to ignore Wyatt and his rare smiles and the thickening tension that’s started to simmer between us. 

Wyatt Shaw might be Durham’s new shining star. He might be up for a James Beard Award. He might be my new boss and key to my future success, but he’s also in my way. 

So he can keep his smoldering looks and secret kisses. And he can be the one that figures out how to make it through service without getting distracted by me. 

I’m not the problem. The problem is him. 


Review:  4.25 of 5 Stars

If you have read the first two books in this series, you've already been introduced to Wyatt Shaw.  I loved his character in the other books and was excited to see more of him in The Problem with Him.  As you remember, Wyatt has taken over the Executive Chef role at Lilou since Killian and Vera are opening their own restaurant.  The Wyatt that is EC is totally different that the other books.  He is more stressed out and is having a hard time finding time for everything.  And he is a tyrant to his staff, especially his Sous Chef, Kaya Swift. But there is more to this tyranny than meets the eye.

Kaya is from a small NC town.  I relate to that aspect perfectly since I am from rural NC as well.  But she dreams of more out of her life that the ideal small town life.  She is driven and passionate about food.  And she is a dang great chef and she knows it.  She is jaded and feels like she should have been given the opportunity to be EC at Lilou as well.  And she hates Wyatt Shaw.  He makes her life miserable.  

This book was really well written and I enjoyed the sparring matches between Wyatt and Kaya.  The drama was really to a minimum and there was a good pace to the book that felt like it was worth savoring.  While I did not love it as much as the first two books in the series, you really can't go wrong with anything Rachel Higginson writes.  So go ahead and one click this one, you will really enjoy it.




Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Review: Dirty Exes by Rachel Van Dyken

Blaire has never quite gotten over Jessie Beckett, the ex–NFL star whose kisses were hot enough to ignite the entire Eastern Seaboard. When he chose work over her, Blaire was left brokenhearted. Why else would she have married a skeezy two-timer, just to divorce him less than a year later?
Now Blaire is getting even by becoming one half of Dirty Exes, a PI firm fully committed to humiliating cheating jerks. If only the new jerk she’s been hired to uncover wasn’t Jessie Beckett himself.
Exposing Jessie isn’t going to be easy, especially when she still daydreams about his sexy smile. Further complicating matters is Colin, Jessie’s best friend. He’s gorgeous, a little bit cunning, and willing to help Blaire get the inside scoop on Jessie—for a price.
Now caught between two men—one totally right and the other totally wrong—Blaire will need to decide just how much she’s willing to risk…and whom she’s willing to risk it for.
Review:  5 of 5 Stars
I have been in a slight slump lately with reading.  I have devoured another series and nothing has really come close to making me happy since those books.  Then Dirty Exes arrived on my Kindle.  And I am not going to lie.  I was a little scared to read it.  You see, I love Rachel Van Dyken but I don't always feel blown away after reading one of her books. The last one I read, was okay but nothing like I really wanted and expect from her.  Nonetheless, I opened Dirty Exes and immediately kicked myself for waiting 2 weeks to read it.  It. Was. Perfect.
Blaire Hunter, Ian Hunter's sister, from Wingmen Inc. is the heroine in this book and the first time you meet her she is in a sewer with a camera.  She is a woman scorned and well, we all know that hell hath no fury. Her ex-husband and best friend ruined her life and she can't get over it or forget it.  But she does always reminisce and think about Jessie, the one person she can never forget.  But when he suddenly becomes the target of an investigation what will happen?  Oh and Jessie has a hot best friend that has suddenly decided to aid Blaire in this investigation.  Colin probably makes this book for me.  He is so much fun and really forces both characters to look at things in a different light.  
Jessie is obviously in a miserable marriage.  You will know that the first moment you meet his wife.  Then out of the blue, the one girl that got away is back in his life.  How can Jessie pursue Blaire while remaining loyal to a woman he can't stand until he can be finished with her.  It is a tangled web that we weave in life when we want something.  And even the most ethical people can struggle with it.  Will Blaire possibly understand how cheating could happen even with the best people?  
Truthfully, you need to get this book. It is one of the best Rachel Van Dyken books I have read in a really long time.  It is real, not over the top.  The humor is there but it is not far fetched.  The characters are real and easy to connect with as you read.  And really, I loved every moment of this book.  I have not one bad thing to say.  It was amazing!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Review: Co-Ed by Rachel Van Dyken



Four guys. 

Constant moaning. 

And a revolving door across the college suite I somehow ended up in because my first name is Shawn. 

They don't discriminate. Girls. Guys. Grandmas. Plants (okay maybe not plants) all walks of life stroll in stressed to the brim, and leave so satisfied I'm wondering what sort of talents lie behind that door. 

My roommate calls them the pleasure ponies. 

But the rest of the college campus? 

They just call them the new face of Wingmen Inc. A paid for relationship service that makes big promises. 

Breakup? They'll glue you back together again. 

Depressed? They have the magic pill. 

Lonely? Just spend a few minutes while they rub you down and you'll forget all about it. 

And broken hearts? Well, that's their specialty. They'll fix you.

For a price…

I swore I wouldn't get involved. 

But apparently they like a challenge, and a girl who doesn't put up with their BS is basically like waving a red flag in front of a bull. 

They. All. Charged. 

But one holds my attention above the rest. 

Knox Tate looks like a Viking — and getting pillaged is starting to look more appealing by the day. Though he's hiding something — all of them are. And the closer I get. The more I realize that some things are left better in the past.

You've read reverse harem books before — but you've never read one like this. It's not what you think, or is it? Dive in and find out…

Knox, Leo, Finn, and Slater are waiting, and they aren't patient men. 

Welcome to the new face of Wingmen Inc — You're welcome.

Review:  4 of 5 Stars

I don't always read the synopsis of books, in fact, most times I don't.  It was by pure chance that I read this one on a Facebook post.  Rachel Van Dyken is one of my favorite authors and I never really wonder if I am going to like or love her books.  But when I read this particular synopsis and the words "reverse harem" were thrown around, it gave me pause.  All that being said, I gave her the benefit of the doubt and opened to page one.

Shawn, is a transfer student from LSU.  She is bi-racial and an athlete, she also just happens to have a boys name and gets stuck in a suite with 4 boys when she is in fact, a gorgeous woman.  I mean it sounds ideal to be the one girl in a suite full of hot as sin men, but it has all sorts of drama and history associated with it.  Not to mention the constant moans from across the hall that wake her up.

Knox, Leo and Finn are the "pleasure ponies" and they are constantly making anything with a pulse swoon.  Slater is mad at the world and wants to keep them as far away from Shawn as possible.  But in this crazy suite, things are not always what they seem.  What you think is going on behind those doors is probably a long way from the truth.  

I am not going to lie, I struggled with this book in the beginning.  I felt like the premise was bit far fetched and I was just not into the multiple guys in a suite with a girl, regardless of the interaction.  But in the end, I really enjoyed learning about the characters and what makes them tick, especially Knox and Slater. In my opinion, no one will be able to take the place of Ian and Lex in the original Wingmen series, but this book definitely had an intense and great ending that I enjoyed.  If you want something different, unique and fun, I vote you give it a try!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Review: The Consequence of Rejection by Rachel Van Dyken




You know the universe is trying to tell you something when you get struck by lightning, but only after getting hit on by the elderly, almost getting ran over by a semi, and running into the one who got away. 
Why do they say it like that anyway? 
Like I accidentally lost her when she was the one that got in the car with my best friend and left me. 
The day after I proposed. 
We were eighteen. 
I wanted forever. 
She didn't. 
It's been ten years. 
I tried to move on, tried to get married, had that same wedding crashed by my now best friend who says the only way for me to stop pissing off the universe, is to gain closure with the one woman I can't forget. 
So I do it. 
I embark on a journey down memory lane that not only lands me in prison but on the receiving end of a fist fight in front of the entire town, this naturally happens after drunken pool sex, climbing the same girls window, and getting threatened at gunpoint by her father.
To say the universe is trying to tell me something anything, is a giant understatement. 
I just hope I survive the message. 
And then, I hope I survive her--again. 


Review:  4 of 5 Stars

The Consequence Series by Rachel Van Dyken has been an interesting ride. The characters in each book are unique in their own way.  I loved Milo and Colt's story in the first book and have read all the books in the series.  

Jason is Milo's brother and Colt's best friend.  He has honestly had the worst luck in this entire series. He seems to have a black cloud that follows him around and if something bad is going to happen, it will happen to him.  

Maddy Summers is Jason's high school sweetheart that walked out the door on him the day after he asked her to marry him.  He never knew why or what happened but when she shows up back in town after 10 years, you can bet it is going to get interesting really fast.  

Throughout all of these books, there is a lot of comedy and while I enjoy it, at times it is a bit over the top for me.  I love Max's character, but sometimes he exhausts me and I am just reading about his plots, plans and antics.  As always, if you love Rom-Com and hilarity and chaos, this book is the ticket.  I am super happy with how it all worked out for Jason and I really enjoyed the journey to get there.  

Monday, March 19, 2018

Review: The Valiant (Spy Girl #4), by Jillian Dodd



From USA Today bestselling author Jillian Dodd comes the fourth book in a sizzling series filled with action and adventure. Fans of The Selection and The Hunger Games will discover a heart-pounding thrill ride of espionage and suspense set in glittering high society.


What will happen when the world goes ka-boom? 

The assassin known as The Priest was tasked with a series of three hits, and the last one blows up in his face—literally. 
People will die. 
People will go on. 
Unlikely alliances will be formed.
And when British intelligence learns that a series of nuclear backpack bombs were smuggled into their country, there’s a lot more to worry about than discovering why a covert agent was assassinated over six years ago or what’s going to start in Montrovia.



Review
4 out of 5 stars

I was on pins and needles when the bomb went off in book #3 and then ended, leaving us wondering about Huntley and Lorenzo's potential demise!  I mean if they had died there really wouldn't have been a need to continue the story so I felt confident they would make it but I was dying to know how Jillian would spin it.  Let me just say she did it brilliantly!

So what did I love about this installment?  Mainly Huntley and Lorenzo's relationship.  It's like they are both finally on the same page, the same team and have the same goals in mind.  They have finally freely admitted their feelings for one another and while Huntley is struggling to balance feelings she was trained to stay away from she continues to push through and choose love.  I was so excited and felt all the "feels."  She's a girl on a mission and I especially enjoyed the "treasure hunt."  I think watching her re-live her memories left me feeling more connected to her character.

What I found myself frustrated with was trying to keep track of all the secondary characters and their back stories.  Jillian, if you're reading this review, can we get a flow chart or something at the start of the next book with a little brief synopsis of where the previous book left off?  I think because I read other books in between waiting on the new releases of this series I forget important details and then I spend the first several chapters trying to re-familiarize myself with the players and that takes away from really being able to focus on the important details and clues as the new material progresses.  Maybe I should just re-read the previous book before I start the new release?!?!

I do wish Huntley hadn't reacted so quickly and stormed out at the first sign of trouble in paradise.  I would have loved to of seen the two of them stand united, fight for one another and their relationship.  I think they are stronger and better together and only hope they figure this out very quickly in the next  book because I'd much rather see them stand together than apart.

Needless to say I love these characters and really do enjoy this series.  I without a doubt recommend you take the plunge into this series yourself!  It's full of mystery, love and seriously who wouldn't want to pretend they were living vicariously through this Spy Girl as they escaped their own reality?

Monday, March 12, 2018

Review: Consequence, Book Two, The Confidence Game #2 by Rachel Higginson



Consequence, the conclusion to Sayer and Caroline’s epic love story

Five years ago, I escaped a dangerous life I had always wanted to leave. I got away. I found freedom. But it cost me the love of my life.

For five years I lived in hiding, protecting my most valuable secret while Sayer Wesley sat in prison paying for both our sins. I promised to love him forever. I promised to never leave him. 

I broke my promises.

Five months ago Sayer found me.

Five weeks ago, I was forced to face my past.

Five days ago, someone took my daughter. They kidnapped her in order to make Sayer and me suffer. I will do anything to get her back. Even if that means coming clean to Sayer, letting him into my life and introducing him to our daughter.

All I wanted was to protect her from this life and now she’s right in the middle of the chaos. Sayer is the only one that can help me. He’s the only one that can get her back.

But it might mean losing him again.

Fifteen years ago, I fell in love with Sayer Wesley. Now I must pay the consequences for falling in love with a con man.
 


Review:
4.75 out of 5 stars

From the moment I finished Constant, I was dying to get my hands on Consequence. I absolutely fell in love with Caro and Sayer and I had to know how their story ended.  Without a doubt my love for mafia drama is what sucked me into this story from page one. 

 Consequence begins exactly where Constant ended.  Juliet has been taken from day care and Caro and Sayer are hell bent on getting her back and exacting revenge on whoever is responsible.  Intertwined in the present day drama are a lot of flashbacks from Sayer and his childhood and what occurred in his life.  Some are the same scenes from Constant but with a totally different point of view.

Caro is still reeling from Juliet's kidnapping and is struggling with trusting Sayer.  She definitely wants to blame him for a lot of things and her inability to see what I could through flashbacks was at times annoying to me.  But, I realized I had the luxury of more information than she did, and so I tried not to let my aggravation with her waffling emotions keep me from liking her character.  One of the things I loved most about Caro was her tenacity.  She is strong, stubborn, smart and she loves with all she has.  She is one heck of a mama bear and will always protect her child.

For me, Sayer is just about the picture perfect hero.  Obviously he's hot as hell with a side dose of brooding and dangerous.  But as much as he's dangerous at his core is also this deep sense of loyalty and protectiveness towards Caro as well as Juliet.  While he's never had the luxury of meeting Juliet in person his parental bond to protect and get revenge is just as strong as Caro's. 

I always worry when starting part 2 of a two book series that perhaps the second book will loose momentum, I was pleasantly surprised this one never lost it's pace.  While I knew in my gut Caro could trust Sayer I loved watching the story play out and was pleasantly surprised to see some twists.  Whether or not you as a reader like Caro or even agree with her dramatics one thing is for certain she loves Sayer, he is the only person for her and Sayer's heart will only always beat for Caro!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Review: Eulogy by Rachel Van Dyken


All is lost.
All.
I don't recognize myself in the mirror anymore.
My thoughts are filled with hatred and dripping with rage.
I've lost my soul.
She took it to the depths of Hell with her and haunts me with images of what could have been.
Sixty lives are mine to take.
Sixty lives stand in the way of my vengeance.
Sixty lives plus one more.
Mine.
When the last drop of blood falls — mine will be spilled.
Only one person stands in the way.
She doesn't realize I'll kill her too.
I don't own a heart.
And even if I did — I wouldn't fall prey to its lies again.
I am Chase Abandonato.
Heir to a legacy of betrayal.
And I will kill them all.
Even if it means pointing the gun at myself.
A life for a life.
A soul for a soul.
Now I lay me down to sleep… I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Blood in. No out.



Review  
4 of 5 Stars


If you have been around the blog any length of time, it is no secret I absolutely adore the Eagle Elite series by Rachel Van Dyken.  Mafia, Humor, Love, Betrayal and everything in between; it is the perfect mix of everything I love.  While I was heartbroken at the end of Enrage for Chase, I also have to admit I have struggled with my connection to Mil in the last few books, and I felt as though he deserved better.  Needless to say I was pretty excited to get my hands on Eulogy just to see how Rachel was going to spin his story.

I love the big mafia family that is EE.  It goes without saying all the characters hold a special place in my heart and I am going to read every single book that comes out about them because my love for them and this series runs deep.  Simply put, I'm committed.  Eulogy's tone and mood are far darker than any of the other books in this series because Chase is basically out of control.  And while I understand the reasons behind it, I missed the fun and carefree character I fell in love with in the beginning.  I think what surprised me the most was just how unrecognizable Chase was to me and even to the other characters in the story.  Even at the end when he found his redemption he just wasn't the same.  Again, who would be after all that was Enrage, but for me it left me feeling so disconnected to his character.  

Nikolai sends one of his naive, young and beautiful attorneys to the family with an offer she can't refuse.  While I love Luciana and her character, I have to admit that some of this was fairly predictable, which I usually don't mind, but this time it felt to me Luciana fell to fast for Chase and it just didn't feel authentic.  That being said, Chase needed someone who knew nothing of him, who would learn to trust him and would ultimately put him first, be willing to sacrifice for him, since Mil never showed Chase any of those feelings.  True love is selfless, from both individuals and his relationship with Mil was always very one sided.      

As per usual, there are lots of twists and turns and one completely unexpected part of the book.  While Eulogy is probably my least favorite chapter of this series, I am still more than happy I invested the time into reading the book and I am very much looking forwards to the next installment.  My new fear after finishing Eulogy is the more books that are written in this series, the less likely they are to live up to the first 5-6 and I don't ever want to lose my love for them.  My hope for this series are for the stories to continue to go deeper while not loosing the love and familial bonds between the characters which makes this series addictive.  I hope they always keep me interested and that I always love and feel connected to all the characters as I did when we were first introduced to them.  

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Review: Keep Her Safe by K.A. Tucker



Noah Marshall has known a privileged and comfortable life thanks to his mother, the highly decorated chief of the Austin Police Department. But all that changes the night she reveals a skeleton that's been rattling in her closet for years, and succumbs to the guilt of destroying an innocent family's life. Reeling with grief, Noah is forced to carry the burden of this shocking secret.

Gracie Richards wasn't born in a trailer park, but after fourteen years of learning how to survive in The Hollow, it's all she knows anymore. At least here people don't care that her dad was a corrupt Austin cop, murdered in a drug deal gone wrong. Here, she and her mother are just another family struggling to survive...until a man who clearly doesn't belong shows up on her doorstep.

Despite their differences, Noah and Gracie are searching for answers to the same questions, and together, they set out to uncover the truth about the Austin Police Department's dark and messy past. But the scandal that emerges is bigger than they bargained for, and goes far higher up than they ever imagined.

Review:  4.75 of 5 Stars

One thing I love is a good book full of mystery and suspense.  It is rare to find a good one that keeps me guessing until the end. But, Keep Her Safe was just that for me.  While I may have figured parts of the story out before the end, I did not get all the missing pieces.  I love when I can't figure it all out and it makes me know it was extremely well written.

Keep Her Safe begins with Noah Marshall dealing with an enormous amount of grief and way more questions than answers after his mother, Jackie Marshall and Chief of the Austin Police Department's sudden death.  And after all that Noah has been through when he gets a cryptic message from his mom he knows he has to follow her wishes.

Gracie Richards (Wilkes) was born in Austin, TX but after the death of her father and the fallout from his involvement with drugs and being a dirty copy her mom fled to Tucson with Gracie and never looked back. Even though she can barely remember her dad, her mom is obsessed with Texas and keeping up with the drama in Austin, to the point that all she cares about is that and getting strung out.

When Noah shows up on her trailer door step with lots of unanswered questions, the two are thrown together to see if they can figure out the mystery that drove both their parents to death.  I love Noah and his southern gentleman charm and I love how you can feel his internal struggle with so many things throughout the book.  Gracie is jaded and tough on the outside but still vulnerable too.  They are the perfect combination for each other.  

The book is told in multiple points of view and in the past and present.  Not many authors can pull of alternating two POV but to pull of four is pretty amazing.  I really felt like I connected with all of the main characters, Noah and Gracie in the present and Abe and Jackie in the past.  The book was a puzzle that I was working to figure out in my mind along with the characters.  I enjoyed every second of it.  Definitely one click this one, you won't be disappointed. 



Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Review: Infraction by Rachel Van Dyken


Pro footballer Miller Quinton would do anything for his best friend and teammate—including “fake dating” his friend’s sister. What no one knows is that seven months ago in Vegas, Miller and Kinsey did a whole lot more than just kiss. Miller knows that this cheerleader is off-limits to him and any guy on the team. Still, he can’t stop himself.
Kinsey’s whole world is on the verge of crumbling. Her dad has cancer. Her overprotective brother is falling apart. Dating Miller may be a fake-out, but he’s the one guy who can make her forget about everything—including all the reasons she stayed away from football players. With each heated moment, Miller feels more like a safe place…even though he’s not safe at all.
Now temptation is testing every rule in the game of love. But how long can they go on playing when winning is a harder goal than either of them imagined?

Review:  4.75 of 5 Stars
I never really thought I would enjoy a sports themed romance novel.  I don't really care about football at all, but I adore Rachel Van Dyken and I liked book one, Fraternize.  This review will contain spoilers to book one, so read the rest at your own risk.  I was ready to give Infraction a chance.  I wanted to see what happen to Miller and Kinsey since I like their characters in book one.  
Miller Quinton was introduced during Fraternize when he was part of a love triangle, vying for the affection and love for Emerson, his high school sweetheart.  He was the loser of that triangle and honestly, I was glad because I felt like Emerson and Grant were meant to be.  Miller is a great guy, but he was trying to force something in book one because he thought it was right, but life has a way of making sure you get what you really want.
Kinsey and Miller hooked up at the end of Fraternize, but let's be honest; no one wants Jax, her overprotective, perfect QB, brother to lose it so they don't date or even look at Kinsey.  But when Jax asks Miller to "fake date" his sister to protect her from an ex boyfriend, things are about to get interesting.  I absolutely love Kinsey and her spirit.  She is kind but fiery and I love what she brings to the story.  
I was not prepared for this book.  At all.  I loved it from page one and my love just kept growing.  I knew it would be a great story about Miller and Kinsey but I was unprepared for the story that unfolds with Jax and his personal life, as well as their relationship as siblings. There were times I laughed out loud while reading, and others where I was sobbing.  It was truly a fantastic read.  I highly recommend that everyone read this series!


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