Stroked Long is the second book in the a new adult contemporary romanc**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**
Stroked Long is the second book in the a new adult contemporary romance series, Stroked, by Meghan Quinn. I loved the first book, Stroked, a LOT, so I went into Stroked Long expecting to enjoy it, but I got so much more than that. This book LEVELED ME. I love this book, and Bodi so hard. It is without a doubt, the best book I have read in 2016. Hands down. I don't even know how to adequately express my love for this book.
I loved Reese from book one, but Bodi made me say Reese who? I can't even decsribe how deep my love for Bodi and Stroked Long goes. This book affected me on a very deep level. The care and liove that Meghan Quinn took describing Bodi's struggles were evidence on every single page. I have seen so many books with OCD characters, and character that have seen terrible tragedies in their lifetime, but none have touched me like Bodi did. I just felt for him so much. And that is all due to how masterful and tender Meghan was in her portrayal of him. Bodi is on my short list of top book boyfriends of 2016. And it will be hard to top him. He deserves so much more attention. (even though he would hate that.) And then there is Ruby.
I remember when I first met Ruby, I was only about 5 sentences into her dialgoe and the only thought running through my head was, "man, she is ANNOYING!" I didn't think there was any way that she would win me over. She has the wrost case of nervous word vomit that I have ever seen, she is distruptive, and loud and totally out there. But darn it, if she didn't make me fall for her just like Bodi did. I think the turning point was when she first went over Bodi's house to work on the foundation project. She is so perceptivve when it comes to reading people, and I loved how she quietly gave Bodi what he needed without making a big deal out of it. I loved this loud over the top person, could reign it in and quietly be there for someone without bringing attention to their eccentricities. Ruby is a good person.
Bottom line: Stroked Long is the best book I have read this year. It was even better than Stroked. It has everything that I look for in my romantic comedy books. It made me laugh out loud so many times, but it also made me cry. It made me feel. It made me fall in love. Bodi and Ruby are pure magic. I don't think you could have found a more mios matched pair if you tried. but they work so beautifully together. And Meghan Quinn's writing is really a work of art. I have not been this moved by a book in a longggg time. I really loved this one! There are really great characters, who have out of this world chemistry and I love the Olympic theme. I think Meghan Quinn has a gold medal series here! (sorry, I couldn't resist.)
The Replacement crush is a young adult contemporary romance by Lisa Br**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**
The Replacement crush is a young adult contemporary romance by Lisa Brown Roberts. I heart this book. It has been so long since I have read a standalone young adult romance that was so cute and adorkable that it put a huge smile on my face, like this book did. I had a blast with the replacement crush. It reminded me everything that I love about young adult contemporary romances. I love the brisk pace of the story. I love the solid friendships, and the cute flush of high school crushes.
Vivian is burned by a secret summer fling that wants nothing to do with her when school starts. (jerk alert!!) so she decides that what she needs to get over said jerk is to come up with a replacement crush, which I have to say, is a solid plan. But, and here is the real kicker...she doesn't want anyone on the list that she could actually see herself liking. She wants to play it safe and just pick guys that she can feel comfortable with but not fall for. Insert the new guy, Dallas here. Dallas is what Vivian and her bff like to call nerd-hot. And let me tell you nerd-hot is my kryptonite. I love Dallas so much, I can't even adequately express my love for him in words. Let's just say he is easily a contender for top book boyfriend of 2016.
It was so much fun to watch Vivian and Dallas embark on what I am going to call the crush dance. You know what I am talking about. When you like someone, or you are starting to like someone and you do that awkward, but totally adorable dance around one another, not wanting to admit what you might be feeling, but also wanting to spend time with the other person, and looking for clues and hints for how the other person feels about you. My heart just can't handle the total cuteness of the crush dance and of this book. I love Viv and Dallas.
Lisa Brown Roberts is a god to of mine for young adult contemporary romances. I know I can always expect great characters, cute dialogue and plot situations and an all around fun read. And The Replacement Crush might just be my favorite of hers yet! Trust me, you will fall in love with Dallas. (but pick another book boyfriend because this nerd-hot guy is MINE.)
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**Spindle by Shonna Slyaton is a young adult fairy tale retelling of Sle**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**Spindle by Shonna Slyaton is a young adult fairy tale retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I knew I had to read Spindle because I love retellings, because Sleeping Beauty is one disney classic that I never watched too much and because the cover is bea-u-ti-ful! I mean, seriously it is so pretty! I loved Spindle. I thought it was well executed, had a great flair for the classic story, but Shonna Slayton still made it her own.
Spindle is the story of Briar Rose, a young girl trying to work for a better life for her siblings. I really loved Rose. I thought her work ethic was admirable and I loved her dedication to her brothers and sister. But no story is complete without a prince. In this case, her best friend Henry Prince. Which I thought was a cute twist. His family is hiding a big secret, which totally intriged me. I had my guesses from the beginning but I would be lying if I said I easily had this one completely figured out. Shonna Slyaton does some really cool things with the twists and secrets in Spindle.
The only thing that annoyed me about Briar Rose was her continued fascination with Wheeler. I thought he was a jerk, but she couldn't seem to get him out of her head. But other than that, and a few slow points in the story, I really really enjoyed this tale. I thought it was a lot of fun. I think fans of retellings will love Spindle. I do wish there was a little more romance. It builds throughout the story but it is loaded heavier on the back end of the book.
The industrial revolution time period is the perfect setting for Spindle. In fact, I think that was my favorite story telling decision. It set the mood of desperation perfectly. Spindle is a retelling take you don't want to miss. I can't wait for more from Shonna Slayton.
Worked up is the third book in the adult contemporary Made in Jersey s**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**
Worked up is the third book in the adult contemporary Made in Jersey series by Tessa Bailey. I loved this book so hard. I stayed up until 2 am reading, and it is the first thing that has put a smile on my face in days. (it has been a tough couple of days...) Worked up works well as a standalone. I have not read either of the previous two books in the Made in Jersey series, and while we do see glimpses of the couples, they do not distract from Duke and and Sam's story. The focus is always on the two of them. Worked up is the perfect beach or poolside read for people looking for a romance as hot as the Florida sun.
Worked up is told in dual narrative bewteen main characters Duke and Sam. Duke is always taking care of everyone around him. His best friend's family lives with him, and he is resident babysitter to their four year old daughter. And Duke's four divorcee sisters also live with him, so he does not get a moment of peace. It cannot be easy to constantly be surrounded by four siblings and have no where to escape them. Bless his heart. He can't even escape to the local bar to watch sports, because there he meets Sam, and pretty much everything in his world flips upside down. I loved how good of a person Duke is. And I really loved how completely unglued he becomes around Sam. I mean, she really does a number on him without even really doing anything, and I really enjoyed seeing his reaction to her.
And who doesn't love Sam. She loves her puns. No matter how bad they are, they still crack her up, and I just love that about her. She makes me smile. Her quirky sense of humor is so darn adorable. And she can't seem to stay away from Duke either. (not that I blame her, because he is pretty book boyfriend-worthy.) Worked Up is the kind of book you finish and immediately debating starting over again, because you just want more of it. I really loved this story. I need to get more of Tessa Bailey's books because she writes fan yourself worthy romances. I want more. Worked up is one of my favorite reads of 2016. It was darn near perfect.
Note: I will try my best, but there will probably be some spoilers from the first two books. If you are new to the series, check out my review of The Collectors' Society HERE and my review of the Hidden Library HERE and my review of The Forgotten Mountain HERE. These books need to be read in order. The Lost Codex is the fourth and final book in the New Adult Fantasy Series, The Collectors' Society. I was so freakin' scared to pick up this book because I have loved loved LOVED the first three books so much. I didn't want the series to end. But fear not Collectors' Society fans- The Lost Codex is the perfect ending. I don't know why I am surprised because all of Heather Lyons' books are pure perfection. I have loved everything about this series, starting with the covers. They are some of my favorite covers for any series. Which is fitting because The Collectors' Society is ONE OF MY FAVORITE SERIES OF ALL TIME. There I said. Favorite of all time. I can't remember a series where every single book has gotten a full 5/5 stars from me. But truth be told, the books in the Collectors' Society deserve more than 5 stars each. This is such an amazing series, and Heather Lyons really ripped my heart out with the Forgotten Mountain, and now again with The Lost Codex.
As is the case with all of the books, The Lost Codex picks up right where the Forgotten Mountain left off. This book is action packed, but even so Heather Lyons's does an incredible job making this very character driven. I loved getting to see Alice and Finn and all of my favorites again. But be warned, not everything is bright and shiny and happy all the time in these books. Loyalties will be tested and there are certainly some cry worthy moments. heather knows how to tug on my heartstrings. But through everything, I really do love Alice. She is so strong and loyal and sharp. I love her ability to see through everything and read people so well.
The real magic of these books is Heather Lyons' writing and her way with words. Every time I see her talk about someone from wonderland, I feel like I am reading Lewis Carroll himself. She has captured the essence of the books in her timelines so well, all the while putting her own crazy spin on them. Heather Lyons continues to surprise and delight me with her masterful writing and story telling. I am so in awe of Heather and her writing. I read The Lost Codex and the entire Collector's Society series really, with wide eyes and dropped jaw, bouncing on the edge of my seat the whole time. The characters all hold a place in my heart, some I hate, some I love, and some totally creep me out, but everyone in this very large cast of characters are so distinct that they stay with me long after I put this book down.
Heather is the best at weaving different characters, clues, and minor plot points that come into play later. I just love reading her books, even when she does things that make me want to cry. Her writing is so exciting and emotional. I want to live inside this series. I just love it so much. Everyone needs to read these books. If you are looking for a fantasy series, an action series, a series for lovers of classic literature, a romance, or just a series that is original and so well done- you are looking at the Collectors' Society Series! It is all of those things and so much more. The ending of this book completely wrecked me. I need the next book now. I cannot say it enough, this is one of my all time favorite series. Read this series! If you haven't you are doing yourself a disservice. I can't wait to re-read this series time and time again. Now I need to get all the books for my bookshelves.
King of Wall Street is a sexy, standalone, contemporary romance by Lou**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**
King of Wall Street is a sexy, standalone, contemporary romance by Louise Bay. Louise Bay is a go to favorite of mine for sexy romances. I have seriously loved all of her books. I don't think she has ever gotten lower than 4.5 stars from me. (you can see my reviews of her books HERE) King of Wall Street might be my favorite book of her yet! I loved, loved loved that it is a standalone romance. Harper and Max are fantastic together and i am super excited that I didn't have to wait for multiple installments to continue with their story.
King of Wall Street is told in dual narrative between Max King and Harper Jayne. Harper is Max's newest employee, and she also lives in his building so their paths just keep crossing. Which is bad news for both of them because Max can't stop thinking about her, and the only way he knows how to deal with that is to be a grade A jerk to her. And Harper just thinks he is an ass. Which as I am sure you can tell, leads to something pretty explosive between them. But King of Wall Street is more than just a great romance. It is also a really sweet story. I loved the back story with Max and his daughter. I liked that she was already a teenager, and I loved that it was her that was doing most of the encouragement for Max getting a girl friend. It was very mature of her. In fact, all of King of Wall Street was refreshingly drama free. I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved that.
Louise Bay always impresses me with her stories. I know they will be very well written, very well thought out, and have amazing characters with even more amazing chemistry. If you have not yet read a Louise Bay romance, I think King of Wall Street is the one you need to start with. And you need to read it ASAP. It is my favorite book of hers yet! I want more Max and Harper. Maybe we can write Max's sister's story and we can see them again? HinthintwinkwinkLousie. :)
Bottom line: This is a fantastic romance. One of my favorite reads of 2016, hands down. Read it now.
The Sapphire Heist is the second book in the Jewel series by Lauren Bl**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**
The Sapphire Heist is the second book in the Jewel series by Lauren Blakely. The Sapphire Heist is an adult romantic suspense series about bodyguards and jewel heists and all kinds of things that are sure to get your heart pumping. The novel is told in dual narrative, which is really my very favorite narration method. Nowadays, whenever I pick up a book told entirely from one person's point of view, I find myself missing the other person. I really enjoyed the tension in the air throughout the story, and the passion between Jake and Steph. This was a great read for me and I can't wait for more. This is a continuation of the first book in the series, The Sapphire Affair, so if you have not read book one, you need to start there. (you can check out my review here)
I think it is hilarious how neither Jake nor Steph fully trust the other one. They are each so used to either being dishonest or dealing with dishonest people, that their trust meter is so shattered. It is the cause of most of their strife in this novel, and I don't think that is going anywhere anytime soon. I still really like the two of them together, but I will admit that aspect got a little old before the book was over. But in the end that didn't matter too much because their chemistry is still off the charts! And because the mystery and suspense is so awesome that you can't help but fall in love with this series.
I still think this series would make a kickass movie. The suspense is edge of your seat stuff, the mystery is awesome and the romance will have you thinking Antarctica is too hot. This is a wild ride of a book, and I can't wait for more. (There had better be more!)
Also note: ** THE SAPPHIRE AFFAIR & THE SAPPHIRE HEIST are being released by Montlake, which is an Amazon publishing company, and will only be available for sale at Amazon. You can download a free Kindle reading app for any smartphone or tablet here: http://amzn.to/1MIyrHi ***
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net** The Best Friend Bargain is the third book in the adult contemporary ro**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net** The Best Friend Bargain is the third book in the adult contemporary romance Kisses in the Sand series by Robin Bielman. I read the first book in the series, Keeping Mr. Right Now and I really enjoyed it. I missed the second book in the series, but that is ok because while each of the books are set in the same world, they each work really well as standalones. The Best Friend Bargain is a fun, quick little read that will put a smile on your face.
The Best Friend Bargain is told in dual narrative between Olivia and her best friend Danny. I'm not sure why, but when I originally read the summary, I thought this was going to be a fake marriage/relationship/fake baby turned real type of book, but I was wrong. This is a very real marriage and baby book. It took me a little by surprise when I 1) found out that Olivia was actually pregnant, by someone other than Danny and she really wanted to marry Danny and have him pretend to be the father, and 2) that Danny so easily and readily jumped on board. That is a HUGE thing to ask of your friend and an even bigger thing to accept, no questions asked. For that reason, I found the story to be a little unbelievable. But once I pushed past that and just went with the flow, I really enjoyed Danny and Olivia.
It is clear to see that they care about each other so much. I can honestly say they would do anything for the other one. And that kind of friendship is really hard to go by. I don't read too many books that feature kids and/or pregnancy so this was a bit out of my comfort zone, but it was funny to see these two people, not only try and deal with all the things that go along with a first time pregnancy, but also deal with planning a wedding, an deal with fooling everyone into thinking they are really getting married (this one didn't seem to be too hard.), not to mention living with one another for the first time. As you can probably tell, each of those things led to some cute and funny situations.
Bottom line: Even though The Best Friend Bargain was a bit unbelievable as far as the premise goes, the actual story was very cute. If you are looking for a quirky but adorable quick best friends romance, check out The Best Friend Bargain. However, if the plot seems a little hard to imagine for you, this might not be a good match.
The Architect of Song is the first installment in author A.G. Howard's**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**
The Architect of Song is the first installment in author A.G. Howard's Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga, which according to the summary follows the "generations of one family as - haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts - they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness." It has been so long since I have read a ghost story, and even longer since I have read a historical ghost story. I adored The Architect of Song. It is such an atmospheric read. It is on the slow side, but when you are in the mood for a very well written, meandering, but romantic book, The Architect of Song is a great one for you to check out.
Because of the slow, descriptive pacing throughout, coupled with the fact that The Architect of Song is 425 pages, it took me some time to read. Actually, it took me a few days, which is very odd for me. But I rather enjoyed the denseness of this story. It allowed me to take my time and savor the characters. I love Juliet. As soon as she described how she tricks the world into thinking she is not deaf, she fascinated me. Then there is the ghost (AKA Hawk). He is a delight as well. I liked him so much that I was disappointed when the Viscount finally made his appearance as a love interest as well in the story. Juliet is a wonderful 1880's female protagonist. She is all at once true to the time, but still pushes boundaries. It was a very complex persona that A.G. Howard developed and I thought it was perfect!
The Architect of Song is a perfect mix of mystery, twists and turns and romance. It is unlike other new adult novels I have read in the past, because the romance in this one does not take over everything else this book has to offer. Instead, the romance (and yes, there is a love triangle- you are forewarned.) blends in with the rest of the story, which is actually what I prefer with atmospheric reads such as The Architect of Song. A.G. Howard really did a great job with this one. I love a new adult time period piece.
Bottom line: Fans of A.G. Howard need to read The Architect of Song. The book ends at a good place, so you aren't left hanging until book 2, but I am certainly very interested in continuing the Haunted Hearts Legacy series. The Architect of Song is a haunting and mystery time period historical that is beautifully done. It is a slow paced and dense read, but one that is well worth the time and effort. The Architect of Song is a book meant to be savored.
Sigil in Shadow by Constance Roberts is a historical mystery in a**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net** 4.5/5
Sigil in Shadow by Constance Roberts is a historical mystery in a royal court setting. Not a historical in the sense that it is modeled after events in history, but the book takes place in the past. I love a good royal court setting in a book, especially a book that has a mystery element to it because I feel like politics and high society and people trying to climb the court ranks all lend themselves really well to deception, betrayal and mind games galore. I adored Sigil in Shadow. I think this is a book that deserves to be put out in the spotlight of the young adult world. I have not heard too much hype surrounding this book, and I am shocked! This is a book worth reading, and then some.
Sigil in Shadow follows Ellary, a young girl with an aptitude for healing. Ellary's talent with healing and making potions for healing reminded me of the Maria V. Snyder's Healer series. I think this book would be perfect for fans of the Healer series. Ultimately it is Ellary's healing powers that land her in the castle court, and this is where her real adventure begins. I loved meeting the cast of secondary characters, including the princess Corrin, who actually surprised the heck out of me in a good way. Constance Roberts does an excellent job of creating solid friendships among the characters, which I really appreciated. There are enough bad guys running around that you don't need friends to also be a bad guy. My only complaint is with the romance in the book. It felt lacking in some way. I wanted to see more development between the couple. I felt like they started out great and then just kind of stagnated. However, there is so much else going on in the story that the romance felt secondary to me.
I'm not sure if there is a planned sequel to Sigil in Shadow or not, but I really hope there is. This is such a fantastically developed world that it would be a shame to not visit it again. Not to mention there are so many characters that I want to read more about. Please Constance, please write another book! I really loved Sigil in Shadow. It has wonderful fantasy elements, a fantastically detailed world, great characters, and a twisty-turny adventure. Bottom line: Sigil in Shadow is a really great book.