I feel like this is one of those cases where it's me not the book- I've tried this author before and didn't love it but wanted to try again- no such lI feel like this is one of those cases where it's me not the book- I've tried this author before and didn't love it but wanted to try again- no such luck. I just hate when it's all jealousy and miscommunication and lying that is supposed to make the story. This just didn't work for me and I'm not sure I'll be trying this author again. ...more
I’m going to say it right now, The Anatomical Shape of a Heart is going to be on my top ten book list at the end of the year.
From the moment I read thI’m going to say it right now, The Anatomical Shape of a Heart is going to be on my top ten book list at the end of the year.
From the moment I read the summary of this book I knew I was going to love it and love it I did. When I turned the last page, I wanted to read it all over again.
Jenn Bennett is a new to me author, even though she’s not by any means a new author. This is her first YA title and I’m so, so happy she’s jumped in this genre.
The story here revolves around Beatrix or Bex as we get to know her. She’s our narrator and I absolutely loved being in her head for this story. Bex is determined to win a much needed art scholarship and she’s going to do whatever she has to do to make it happen. Even if that means disobeying her mom and pushing her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program so she can draw cadavers. Yes. I said cadavers. That’s her specialty and she’s crazy talented, but she needs the extra experience to win, and she needs the scholarship because her deadbeat dad walked out on them several years ago and left her mom to care for her and her brother with no support. But this whole decision is what ultimately changes her entire summer and introduces her to the mysterious Jack.
Jack is everything you ever wanted in a book boyfriend you guys.
“And right now, my anatomy-obsessed mind was appreciating the way my new acquaintance fit together, too. He was a walking figure study in beautiful lines and lean muscle, with miles of dark lashes and cheekbones that looked strong enough to hold up his entire body.”
He’s gorgeous, he’s funny, he’s talented and he’s got a secret no one would ever guess about him. He’s one of the city’s most wanted graffiti artists. His life is definitely not perfect. He’s got some major things happening, things that he can’t exactly be up front about for reasons I can’t even tell you because I’m not a spoiler!
From the very second that these two meet, I was hooked. I wanted more of them… more of their banter and more of them falling for each other, because those were two of my most favorite things here. Bex is probably among my most favorite characters I’ve read as of late. I appreciate her voice, her wit and her humor, her quirkiness and her talent… I would want her as a best friend if she were here in real life. And Jack – no matter the hand he’s been dealt, he tries so hard to find the happiness in his life and when Bex appears, he wants to grab tight with both hands and never let her go, I absolutely loved the way he pursued her.
While outside forces may be pushing and pulling them apart, they know what they’ve become to each other and are determined to make this relationship work. And they are seriously the cutest and sweetest. But there are a lot of background forces at play here… The secret that Jack has in his life and the noose over his head in regards to being the most wanted artist in San Francisco.
“Hey Bex?” Jack said as he grated. “Just so we’re clear, if we were alone, I’d probably kiss you right now.”
I gave him a swift glance as the hallway laughter made its way back to the kitchen. “Just so we’re clear, I’d probably let you.”
You guys… the SWOON in this book – I can’t even tell you how much I loved seeing these two fall more and more for each other. If you’re looking for an amazing YA romance then this should be at the top of your list. One of my favorite parts was when Bex and Jack talk about sex and can I just tell you how much I love his eagerness to make sure she gets what she needs and they are just so adult and mature about it and what an amazing representation of two people who are in a spot in their lives where they are responsible enough to be having sex. Plus Barnett is really good at writing the really sexy stuff so if you’re like me, you’ll appreciate that.
“Just promise me one thing,” he continued. “If it’s not good, tell me. Don’t just get angry and resent me. I’d rather us not do anything and keep what we have now than screw things up between us. Okay?”
If you’re a fan of contemporary and looking for a book filled with romance and friendship and family, look no further because this has it all and more. Bennett does an amazing job of weaving a captivating story filled with wonderful characters, and a story you’ll absolutely love. Plus, it’s low on drama and that is always a bonus in my reading life!
Thank you to my lovely Kassiah for grabbing this for me at TLA! ...more
So everything about this book was calling my name… I couldn’t even wait until I got back from BEA to start it. I downloaded it while sitting in a restSo everything about this book was calling my name… I couldn’t even wait until I got back from BEA to start it. I downloaded it while sitting in a restaurant in New Jersey and read it all in the next 24 hours.
Off Base is written by Tessa Bailey and Sophie Jordan… two authors who I’ve enjoyed previous stories from, so I knew I had to give this one a try.
I found myself loving every single thing about Beck and I even really liked Kenna. And together they were just explosive. Picture this…. A marine… a Southern boy… and a virgin. Good lord the boy’s eagerness had me dying!
“I already know you’re going to be the best of my life, Kenna. How do I make sure I’m the best of yours? Tell me.”
I’m just going to be straight here. This was a 5 star read up until a certain point of Tessa Bailey’s story. I’m not going to give anything away, but if you read it, and you know me, you’ll absolutely know when this took a weird turn for me. Let’s just say, it wasn’t necessary and really killed the mood.
The two stories are tied together in that Huntley in Sophie Jordan’s story is actually Beck’s sister. She’s pined for the moody and sullen Cullen for what seems like ever, and the death that Beck shares in the first installment has a huge impact on Cullen and actually brings these two together.
I struggled a bit with the back and forth between these two, but Jordan totally can keep up with Bailey in the sexy stuff.
Overall, this was a really amazing read. (I’m just going to pretend that one thing didn’t happen) Fans of military romance absolutely need to pick this one up, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. ...more
So it’s my opinion that not enough of you have read Brenda St. John Brown’s work yet. Swimming to Tokyo was among my favorite reads last year so I wasSo it’s my opinion that not enough of you have read Brenda St. John Brown’s work yet. Swimming to Tokyo was among my favorite reads last year so I was chomping at the bit to get my hands on her latest, Lies We Live.
When Brenda asked me to read it I got all excited and a little bit scared if I’m being honest… that’s how much I loved Swimming To Tokyo… could she live up to the expectations I have for her with her new story?
The short answer to that question is a resounding YES.
I honestly was barely able to put this down. I started it at bedtime on Sunday and I had to make myself put it aside at 56% because I knew I’d be crap at work if I kept going. But I wanted to keep reading, and if I hadn’t had the previous week off, I just may have considered calling in sick and finishing this story!
I’ll be honest, Lies We Live is filled with DRAMA. Ella Ingraham is a best-selling author who was sued by her ex for the death of their stillborn baby. See … Drama and incredibly sad drama at that. But I’m telling you, it all works. Now, legally, I don’t know if this would ever fly, but I didn’t even care I was so entranced with the characters that Brenda has created.
Ella ends up in a tiny town in Arkansas and has an immediate connection with the town golden boy – Josh Deveraux. Josh is a little cagey from the start… you know he’s keeping secrets, you just don’t know exactly why or to what extent.
All I could think was I had to know everything and that kept the pages turning and the story moving.
I’ll be honest though, it wasn’t complete perfection for me… I struggled with a few things. First, the timeline and flashbacks. Admittedly, I always struggle with the type of story that goes back and forth on a random timeline. I struggle with placing certain things and I find that the story flow doesn’t work that well for me when this happens in a story. I completely understand why this was done in this case… we had to learn about the relationships and the full story somehow, I just struggled to stay in the flow of the story when I had to stop and try and place the chapter on a timeline.
Also – I have to say that I was hoping that Josh would come clean… especially since Ella’s life is basically an open book due to the press and coverage of her trial, and I got a little frustrated at the piecemeal way that he revealed some things.
The cliffhanger had me wide-eyed and searching for more pages. I had a feeling the end was going to go where it went based on a clue earlier in the story, but I’m DYING to get my hands on the second book here. Also – I wouldn’t mind a bit more … ahem … sexy times. But that could totally be me, I’m kinda dirty like that.
Brenda St. John Brown creates amazingly layered & complex characters and if you’re like me, you’ll love getting to know each one… digging deeper and reading faster to get to know them better.
Okay, so if you haven’t read Swimming to Tokyo, GET ON IT. Read that while you wait for Lies We Live and then open this one as soon as it releases so we can chat about that ending … YOU GUYS THAT ENDING.
Thank you so much to the author for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts… this did not influence my opinion in any way. ...more
I simply can’t measure the love I have for this book… well I guess I can, with these 5 stars I’m giving it, but I just don’t feel like it accurately rI simply can’t measure the love I have for this book… well I guess I can, with these 5 stars I’m giving it, but I just don’t feel like it accurately represents just HOW much I actually loved this story. I couldn’t stop reading and ended up staying up way too late just to finish.
Can I tell you all a secret? I have never read a single Jane Austen book. Ever.
Okay, stop with the astonished looks. I will tell you this. I am not much for the classics. I told myself I was going to read more of them… I just haven’t.
I promise I will read them… or one… or something.
BUT the reason I’m saying that is because this book summary sells it as Pride & Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights.
Did you guys know I’m a bit of a sucker for sports related stories? First & Then kind of revolves around football… I mean it’s definitely a part of the story but it’s not the whole story.
Devon Tennyson is kind of drifting through her senior year of high school, she’s spent ages crushing over her best friend Cas, and once an only child, her house and life is now being overrun by her younger long-lost cousin’s presence.
I think what I loved most in this story were the relationships and the way they were explored. Devon and Foster are kind of forced into a type of brother/sister relationship which you can tell from the beginning that she kind of resents. Foster, for his part, seems nice and even a bit sweet, even though he’s a bit closed off about his emotions and feelings, but his life has been anything but nice and sweet. Despite his history I loved his protectiveness towards Devon and I really enjoyed their dynamic together.
Devon herself is totally my kind of girl. She’s funny and snarky and there were times that I found myself literally laughing out loud while reading parts of this book.
“Linds?” “Yeah. Lindsay. You know.” Oh I knew. A cute nickname was the first mile marker on Gag Highway…
High school parties are breeding grounds for idiotic people with too much drama and not enough sense.
Of course there is a boy… or two. I mentioned Cas, Devon’s best friend earlier, and I honestly really loved their ease together and their friendship. I thought I really liked him… but then something happens at the end that really just crushed me. I’m not telling you what it is, you’ll figure it out when you read it, but let’s just say his swoon factor dropped exponentially.
The second boy is Ezra… Devon has Ezra pegged as a huge asshole when she realizes that they are the only seniors in a freshman gym class together and he treats her like crap. Oh… Ezra is an all American football player… best on the team and going to the college of his choosing. But he’s not the guy everyone has him pegged as and I really, really enjoyed the evolution of their relationship. My only complaint… more kissing please! LOL
Overall a wonderfully told story of love and friendship, family and loss, and finding the things that drive you. And yes… it’s my understanding that fans of Austen will recognize the references while reading… even if I didn’t.
Put this one on your TBR list now… pre-order it and then wait patiently by your mailbox because you NEED to read this one as soon as you possibly can! ...more
In Rules of Seduction, we meet Dani Young… newly graduated and heading to LA to work with her dream company as a screenwriter. But upon her a3.5 stars
In Rules of Seduction, we meet Dani Young… newly graduated and heading to LA to work with her dream company as a screenwriter. But upon her arrival, she quickly learns her dream job is no more, the Independent Film company has closed up shop and she’s stuck with no job and no prospects because she also quickly learns that in LA it’s all about who you know.
Drowning her sorrows in ice cream, she runs into a high school friend who headed to LA, and Elise is just the friend she needs in this city. While catching up, Elise ends up getting Dani a job on a hit teen show, but it comes at a price. Elise wants Dani to seduce her sexy, superstar boyfriend Tate to make sure he’s being faithful to her.
Sounds easy enough, but what Dani doesn’t account for is dealing with a ruthless fellow intern, a showrunner who makes her feel like they just might have a future, and a not so shallow celebrity she can’t stop thinking about. When you say a book is for fans of Stephanie Perkins, you’ve almost always immediately got my attention, that said, you also set very high expectations for me as well.
Unfortunately, while this was a fun and entertaining read, it didn’t really live up to Stephanie Perkins levels of character development and swoon for me.
First, Dani… I really liked her, but I felt like for someone who was headed to LA and who should have known the business, she seemed somewhat naïve. What I did like was her obsessive list making, it was a cute addition to her character and as a bit of a list maker myself, it really made her that much more relatable. Tate, too, was very relatable and easy to like. I thought he was incredibly sweet and kind and definitely not your typical Hollywood persona. Secondary characters here, especially Brit, were interesting and a nice way to round out the cast. I really enjoyed her Southern charm and the way she was trying to fit into the vegan LA lifestyle and if this becomes a series, it would be interesting to get her story!
Overall, the story is an interesting glimpse into the behind the scenes workings of Hollywood… whether it’s correct or not, it was fun to follow along, and I enjoyed Mullins writing.
If you’re looking for a funny, sweet new adult romance has the perfect balance of drama and comedy… a story about the inner workings Hollywood, definitely grab this one as soon as you can.
Thank you to Paper Lantern Lit for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. ...more
2.5 stars- I didn't love this obviously there were a ton of things that bothered me - that said I'm going to try the next in the series because I kind2.5 stars- I didn't love this obviously there were a ton of things that bothered me - that said I'm going to try the next in the series because I kind of want to know what that ending was about .
Here I am telling you that if you haven’t read any Lyla Payne books you absolutely must, and book 3 in her Lowcountry mystery series is just one moreHere I am telling you that if you haven’t read any Lyla Payne books you absolutely must, and book 3 in her Lowcountry mystery series is just one more reason why.
With a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of book 2, we jump right back into the thick of Gracie’s life. Her boyfriend is being accused of abuse of power and is facing an uncertain future, and she has a spirit that’s been hanging around, not giving her much in the way of clues as to why he’s here. Add to that, her cousin Amelia’s depression, and she has a full plate.
A girl’s trip to Charleston and a ghost tour of all things, brings the “Whistling Doctor of Duelers Alley” to her attention and is the main mystery of this installment. Finding out the doctor’s history and why he still haunts the area takes Gracie’s mind off of all her other troubles and gives her mind something to figure out, but this mystery brings along its own kind of trouble and of course, she can’t seem to let Beau’s case run its course… she’s determined to prove that he’s not the criminal that he’s being made out to be.
My favorite part of these books is the history and that’s a credit to Payne, because I’m not big on history if I’m being honest! When I finish one, I have the urge to head South and hit up all the ghost tours in these amazing cities though, I can’t help being intrigued! It’s so fascinating, and as I finished up the story, I found myself googling the Whistling Doctor just to learn more! Part of the mystery in these books is Gracie finding out just exactly what these ghosts need from her, and with Dr. Ladd, it may end up being a lot more dangerous than she ever expected and for reasons no one would ever have expected!
Payne does relationships amazingly well and I’ve loved the development of the relationships in this series and how they’ve progressed. Not just her relationship with Beau, even though that’s my favorite… I mean he’s a swoony, southern mayor!! But I’m also talking about the relationships with the lovely secondary characters. From her cousin Amelia, to her friend Leo, to her ex Will and her friend Mel… and yes, some questionable moonshiners, everyone is unique and layered and intriguing and I find myself waiting impatiently for more about each of them.
There is an over-arching storyline that we get a little bit more progression in, though I think I would have liked to see a bit more. Gracie and her family are dealing with a curse and the strange Mrs. LaBadie and I think if I had any complaint, it would be that that kind of fell to the wayside and we didn’t really move that part of the story ahead much.
If you’re a fan of mystery and suspense… if you love a story that incorporates true history and will have you dying to learn more, then I can’t recommend this series more. Payne knows her stuff and she writes an amazing story that will have you glued to the pages. Definitely grab a glass of sweet tea and this book, then settle in for a fun, action-filled mystery-romance-ghost story.
Thank you to the author for providing an early copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. ...more
Marley Lake is a woman in what has historically been known as a man’s world. She’s an editor for Gamers Magazine and she’s amazing at what she does. BMarley Lake is a woman in what has historically been known as a man’s world. She’s an editor for Gamers Magazine and she’s amazing at what she does. But her personal life has taken the back seat to establishing and proving herself. A late night in the office, a deadline on the very near horizon and a frozen computer brings the IT guy, Austin Rivers to her desk… What she completely forgets about is the dirty GIF that was on her monitor when it froze.
Austin Rivers shouldn’t be attracted to Marley… she’s off-limits as an employee of the magazine he’s a silent partner in. But when he catches a glimpse of the GIF she’s been looking at, he’s completely intrigued, and when he sees how it affects her, it takes everything in him to walk away from her that night.
Okay… so apparently I have a thing for nerdy, gamers and hackers. I think I have an even bigger thing for them when they are Austin Rivers. I mean how can you not be attracted to a guy who according to Marley, "talked like a textbook and looked like an underwear model." He claims to have all kinds of control, but Marley seems to test that claim in all the ways that could cause them both all kinds of trouble. Austin is alpha in all the best ways, and this book has probably some of the sexiest sexy times I’ve ever read… can you say work supply closet? *fans self* But Austin has been burned in the past by people he trusted, so he doesn’t open up to anyone easily not only is there a big secret that he’s not disclosing to Marley, but he doesn’t share anything about himself with her.
I loved Marley – I loved that she is a strong, intelligent woman…but she’s also fun and doesn’t apologize for the things she loves to do and most importantly doesn’t apologize for her sexuality or the things she desires. Which leads me to the chemistry between these two… it is amazing… Austin is alpha in all the best ways, and this book has probably some of the sexiest sexy times I’ve ever read… can you say work supply closet? *fans self* If you love a dirty talker I can’t tell you enough how much this will satisfy you. But it was more than that… there is excellent banter and sweet moments too. All the things I love in a good story.
But Austin has been burned in the past by people he trusted, so he doesn’t open up to anyone easily, and the big secrets that he’s not disclosing to Marley could affect her ambitions at work.
The story itself isn’t anything new or different, there’s no crazy twist or turn… what you will find is a refreshing storyteller in Erickson and fun characters that you can’t help but want to learn more about. I’m definitely looking forward to the other books in the series and at the very least, hope we get Grant and Chad’s stories!
Pick this one up if you’re looking for a steamy, sexy, story with a slightly nerdy alpha male lead … you can’t go wrong! I’ll just be over here re-reading… over and over until the next in this series arrives.
Thank you to Entangled for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. ...more
I just have to start with saying that I loooooved Ford in this. Like… absolutely. I haven’t read every book in this series, in fact, I think3.5 stars
I just have to start with saying that I loooooved Ford in this. Like… absolutely. I haven’t read every book in this series, in fact, I think I’ve actually only read one other, but whatever. He wins. Everything.
Victoria Slade is one of the city’s most successful divorce lawyers… her mantra ‘what do you need to move on from this marriage and start building your new life’ provides her with a goal for her clients and she’s pretty successful at it. A break-in at her home opens up some of her past issues … issues she’s buried way down deep, and it also forces her to change her life drastically. Moving into a condo isn’t ideal, but it will have to work for the summer. Even if her cocky neighbor drives her nuts.
Ford Dixon is determined to help his sister find the guy she had a one-night stand with that resulted in his amazing niece Zoe. As an investigative journalist he has the means to help but he begrudgingly accepts that his irritating new neighbor is necessary in this process too. He’s willing to work with Victoria to help Nicole but that’s as far as it goes… only, the more time he spends with Victoria, the more he’s drawn to her and they can only resist the chemistry between them for so long.
Here’s the thing. I was completely into this story. I loved the dynamics between Ford and Victoria… I loved the side story about Nicole and finding the father of her child… I loved the chemistry between the main characters.
I know… you’re waiting for the “but”.
When everything finally came to a head, it just didn’t work for me. It didn’t make sense to me. I couldn’t figure out why she was letting him go. I guess maybe I was supposed to understand that she was pushing him away because he finally got to see something real about her, he finally was getting under the superficial and she didn’t want to let him in… but I don’t think that was really conveyed all that well here. I felt like everything is going well, this one thing happens, and then boom sorry… see you around hot, sexy investigative journalist.
Plus… ugh this is set in Chicago and there was a lot of references to a subway… Which just was bothering me, because I don’t know – it’s the El right? I mean I guess some people might call it the subway, but it was distracting because the first few times it happened I had to double check to make sure it was actually set in Chicago.
Okay – so all that said, I did enjoy the story. The characters were fairly well-developed, I really enjoyed the plot, and Ford and Victoria were fun to get to know. I absolutely loved Ford (please see the first sentence of this review) and I am positively becoming a Julie James fan. I’m definitely going to be checking out some of her previous stuff that I haven’t read yet and I will be looking forward to seeing what she has in the future.
Thank you to Berkley / NAL for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts! ...more
This was my first Jaci Burton book – I know that’s weird right? I don’t know, I’ve always loved her covers but my trusted contemporary romance sourcesThis was my first Jaci Burton book – I know that’s weird right? I don’t know, I’ve always loved her covers but my trusted contemporary romance sources never really raved so I never grabbed them.
Sidenote – this is a book 4 in a companion series – I don’t feel you have to read the full series in order to get into these.
Anyway, this one caught my interest of course… There’s a dog on the cover…. And a dude, who owns a bar, so I was in.
Chelsea Gardner is tired of dating the wrong kind of guys… she’s got a list of things required in “The One” and she isn’t going to settle for anything less. Sebastian or “Bash” (The bar owner!) is intrigued by Chelsea – she’s smart and beautiful but he thinks this list is ridiculous, and he’s prepared to prove her completely wrong, because he doesn’t fit the ideal man of Chelsea’s imagination but he’s determined to prove that he’s perfect for her.
So… if I’m being honest, I wasn’t blown away or anything by this. The writing is good, the story is fun and light and the sexy stuff is sexy… but it’s predictable and it wasn’t really anything that would have me yelling into the void about how amazing it was.
I don’t know what it was, I just never connected on the level that I need in order to be invested in these characters lives. In fact, for me, it was just one of those books that I found that I read and then moved on to the next. Nothing about it stood out.
I know that isn’t exactly a glowing review, but sometimes, for me, contemporary romance just falls into that category where you find yourself entertained while you’re reading it and then when you’re done it gets quickly forgotten. This is just one of those cases.
If you’re looking for something light and sexy, something with some fun banter and a story about finding love in a place you least expect… definitely check this one out!
Thank you to the publisher for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. ...more