Posts By: Rachel Geiger

Blog Tour: Abroad

June 23, 2017 Blog Tours 0


Series: Abroad Duology

Publisher: Brain Mill Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): June 27th wide release; early access June 17th

Length (Print & Ebook): ~100K words; 372 pages

Subgenre: NA; LGBTQIA

All buy links or pre-order links:

BMP: http://www.brainmillpress.com/books/abroad-book-one/

Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Abroad-Book-Hellum-LGBTQIA-Literature-ebook/dp/B06ZYK5P1S/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1492994058&sr=8-2&keywords=liz+jacobs

Book Blurb:

Nick Melnikov doesn’t know where he belongs. He was just a kid when his Russian-Jewish family immigrated to Michigan. Now he’s in London for university, overwhelmed by unexpected memories. Socially anxious, intensely private, and closeted, Nick doesn’t expect to fall in so quickly with a tight-knit group of students from his college, and it’s both exhilarating and scary. Hanging out with them is a roller coaster of serious awkward and incredible longing, especially when the most intimidating of the group, Dex, looks his way.
Dex Cartwell knows exactly who he is: a black queer guy who doesn’t give a toss what anybody thinks of him. He is absolutely, one-hundred-percent, totally in control of his life. Apart, maybe, from the stress of his family’s abrupt move to an affluent, largely white town. And worrying about his younger brother feeling increasingly isolated as a result. And the persistent broken heart he’s been nursing for a while . . .
When Nick and Dex meet, both find themselves intrigued. Countless late-night conversations only sharpen their attraction. But the last thing Nick wants is to face his deepest secret, and the last thing Dex needs is another heartache. Dex has had to fight too hard for his right to be where he is. Nick isn’t even sure where he’s from. So how can either of them tell where this is going?

Quotes from the author about the book:

ABROAD is a story of struggle, love, identity, fear, family, and friendship. It’s about finding your people. It’s a story of how our cultures can define, constrict, and, ultimately, free us. It’s a story of immigration and its fallout, of confusion and clashes and how help can come from the most unexpected places. It’s the story I have always wanted to tell, ever since I was a confused, frightened immigrant kid with no recourse but to adapt to unfamiliar surroundings or sink. In many ways, while fictionalized and quite altered, this is my story.

Teaser Excerpt #1:

Nick didn’t feel better in the morning. At three am, his anxiety had been a shapeless thing, with weight and texture but part of dreams, too. A sort of terrifying unreality he had to breathe through.
At eight am, as his alarm shrieked at him to wake the fuck up, the shapeless, textured thing coalesced into something more terrifying than the nightly ghosts. If, at ten years old, he’d been aware that being unable to answer the kids on the bus who asked him why his teeth looked the way they did would someday end, at twenty, he knew better.
He wanted men. He hadn’t really wanted Lena, in all the years they’d been together. He hadn’t really wanted Ashley during sophomore year when they’d kissed in the art classroom, her hair tickling his palms where his hands had trembled on her shoulders, and later humped fruitlessly in her sunroom, sweaty and shaky and half-hard.
He wanted Dex. Of all people, of all the people he had met, he wanted him so much, his hands ached with it. Nick was past denying anything. All he knew now was the whine in his chest that told him truth frightened more than denial.

Press Kit | Abroad (Book 1) by Liz Jacobs
A Novel Take PR

ABROAD: Book One by Liz Jacobs

Series: Abroad Duology

Publisher: Brain Mill Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): June 27th wide release; early access June 17th

Length (Print & Ebook): ~100K words; 372 pages

Subgenre: NA; LGBTQIA

All buy links or pre-order links:

BMP: http://www.brainmillpress.com/books/abroad-book-one/

Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Abroad-Book-Hellum-LGBTQIA-Literature-ebook/dp/B06ZYK5P1S/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1492994058&sr=8-2&keywords=liz+jacobs

Book Blurb:

Nick Melnikov doesn’t know where he belongs. He was just a kid when his Russian-Jewish family immigrated to Michigan. Now he’s in London for university, overwhelmed by unexpected memories. Socially anxious, intensely private, and closeted, Nick doesn’t expect to fall in so quickly with a tight-knit group of students from his college, and it’s both exhilarating and scary. Hanging out with them is a roller coaster of serious awkward and incredible longing, especially when the most intimidating of the group, Dex, looks his way.
Dex Cartwell knows exactly who he is: a black queer guy who doesn’t give a toss what anybody thinks of him. He is absolutely, one-hundred-percent, totally in control of his life. Apart, maybe, from the stress of his family’s abrupt move to an affluent, largely white town. And worrying about his younger brother feeling increasingly isolated as a result. And the persistent broken heart he’s been nursing for a while . . .
When Nick and Dex meet, both find themselves intrigued. Countless late-night conversations only sharpen their attraction. But the last thing Nick wants is to face his deepest secret, and the last thing Dex needs is another heartache. Dex has had to fight too hard for his right to be where he is. Nick isn’t even sure where he’s from. So how can either of them tell where this is going?

Quotes from the author about the book:

ABROAD is a story of struggle, love, identity, fear, family, and friendship. It’s about finding your people. It’s a story of how our cultures can define, constrict, and, ultimately, free us. It’s a story of immigration and its fallout, of confusion and clashes and how help can come from the most unexpected places. It’s the story I have always wanted to tell, ever since I was a confused, frightened immigrant kid with no recourse but to adapt to unfamiliar surroundings or sink. In many ways, while fictionalized and quite altered, this is my story.

Teaser Excerpt #1 (short 100 – 200 words):

Nick didn’t feel better in the morning. At three am, his anxiety had been a shapeless thing, with weight and texture but part of dreams, too. A sort of terrifying unreality he had to breathe through.
At eight am, as his alarm shrieked at him to wake the fuck up, the shapeless, textured thing coalesced into something more terrifying than the nightly ghosts. If, at ten years old, he’d been aware that being unable to answer the kids on the bus who asked him why his teeth looked the way they did would someday end, at twenty, he knew better.
He wanted men. He hadn’t really wanted Lena, in all the years they’d been together. He hadn’t really wanted Ashley during sophomore year when they’d kissed in the art classroom, her hair tickling his palms where his hands had trembled on her shoulders, and later humped fruitlessly in her sunroom, sweaty and shaky and half-hard.
He wanted Dex. Of all people, of all the people he had met, he wanted him so much, his hands ached with it. Nick was past denying anything. All he knew now was the whine in his chest that told him truth frightened more than denial.

Teaser Excerpt #2 (long 200 – 400 words):

No, Izzy wasn’t drunk. She was happy. She’d needed this. She just felt…unbalanced. Not right. Something was niggling at her, but she couldn’t catch it, not without a bigger net.
​Maybe it had been that stupid fight with Dex.
​Maybe it had been the talk with Nick about her course.
​Maybe she was just overthinking everything, which never ended well, and anyway, she never dwelled on the bad shit. Why was she even doing it now?
​Maybe that was why, when she was taking a quick rest against an empty bit of wall, catching her breath, and saw a girl appear in front of her and beckon her for a dance with a tilt of her chin, Izzy went.
​”What’s your name?” the girl shouted in her ear once they were bouncing up and down on the dance floor. Her breath was hot against Izzy’s skin and smelled beery.
​”Izzy!”
​”What?”
​”Izzy! Like Isabel, but, like. Shorter?”
​The girl laughed and pulled back enough to catch Izzy’s eye. “I heard you the first time, love, just having a laugh.”
​It should have annoyed her, and maybe it would have, had a guy done it. But somehow, it only made Izzy laugh. Flush and laugh, but luckily, she was probably pink all over from the dancing alone, so at least it wouldn’t be noticeable.
​”What about you, then?” she shouted.
​”I’m Ruby!”
​Izzy thought that if they hadn’t been shouting, Ruby’s voice would have been husky. It had that edge to it. She had that edge to her, anyway. She was shorter than Izzy, just enough to probably be of a height when Izzy wasn’t wearing heels. With heels on, Izzy brushed the other side of six foot, which she loved more than most people, probably. She’d once cried on her mum’s shoulder that she felt like an elephant compared to all the other girls (and, what was worse, boys) in her class, and her mum had petted her head, then said, “Isabel? Great Danes don’t produce chihuahuas.” It had been so absurd, it had actually comforted.
She liked the way she towered over Ruby, because it didn’t feel as if she should be able to. Ruby was sort of tall and lanky but had a presence about her; she felt bigger than her build. She, too, had tattoos. Seriously, was this a queer lady thing? She’d have to ask Nat later, because Nat had also already started on an arm sleeve, but Izzy had thought it was more of a Nat thing, not a lesbian thing. Ruby’s left arm was covered shoulder to midway through her forearm. Vines and sea monsters and things. It was cool. She had a lip piercing, an eyebrow piercing, and short black hair in a sort of chunky haircut where the fringe periodically fell over her darkly-lined eyes. In this light, it was impossible to tell what color they were, but regardless of anything, she was easily the coolest girl Izzy’d ever met.

Author Bio:

Liz Jacobs came over with her family from Russia at the age of 11, as a Jewish refugee. All in all, her life has gotten steadily better since that moment. They settled in an ultra-liberal haven in the middle of New York State, which sort of helped her with the whole “grappling with her sexuality” business.

She has spent a lot of her time flitting from passion project to passion project, but writing remains her constant. She has flown planes, drawn, made jewelry, had an improbable internet encounter before it was cool, and successfully wooed the love of her life in a military-style campaign. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for her essay on her family’s experience with immigration.

She currently lives with her wife in Massachusetts, splitting her time between her day job, writing, and watching a veritable boatload of British murder mysteries.

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ARC Review: Until It Fades

June 22, 2017 Reviews 0 ★★★

ARC Review: Until It FadesUntil It Fades by K.A. Tucker
Published by Atria Books on June 27th 2017
Pages: 368
Source: Netgalley
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania: population two thousand outside of tourist season.
And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.
Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works.
For a time.
But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. What begins as an immediate friendship quickly turns into something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something that Catherine is afraid to trust.
Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?

Until It Fades was a REALLY slow novel. I wasn’t sure what to expect from K.A. Tucker. I’ve heard positive things about her romances, and I’ve been meaning to get around to reading some of them for myself. This was the first one that I was able to read and I honestly wasn’t that impressed. At first, I thought it was a charming premise that sort of reminded me of Gilmore Girls. It focuses on a young single mother who has a strained relationship with her own mom. So it was promising at first, but I slowly grew tired of it. The book just seemed to go on and on. The romance also didn’t play a huge role in the plot, which is important to me as a reader. This wasn’t awful, but wasn’t the best first impression for this author.

Catherine was a character you can easily cheer for. She’s been through a ton of shit and she’s still pretty young. She has a bad reputation in her small town because of charges that she brought against a young teacher and quickly dropped. So Catherine hasn’t had an easy hand at life based on all the rumors and bullying that followed her. She also cut off her parents once she had her baby because they didn’t approve of her choices. She became a hero when she saved a man from a burning car. She later learned that the man she saved was a star hockey player who has an Oscar winning mom. Catherine is definitely brave for doing what she did. But she wasn’t totally prepared for the backlash and debates that came once her identity was revealed. As I said earlier, she’s an easy character to cheer for. You also can’t help but fall in love with her five (nearly six) year old daughter.

Brett is the star hockey player who’s life that Catherine saves in that one split second. Brett wasn’t your typical hockey player. He was sweet, especially to Catherine’s daughter. His injuries were pretty extensive so he’s not totally sure if he can ever play hockey again. He also lost a close friend in the car accident. His friend was the one who was diving that night, and he was beyond saving for Catherine. Honestly, I wish that we’d gotten to know even more about Brett because all I know to say about him is that he was nice throughout the story. Obviously, he was extremely grateful to Catherine and everything that she risked just to save him.

The romance was boring and slow in my opinion. They have rather limited interactions throughout the novel. They spend a lot of it apart since he goes to Canada and other places while she stays in her small town. It was a ridiculously slow burn to say the least. So don’t expect crazy sex at like 30%. To be honest, there is zero crazy sex at all. The sex isn’t super descriptive, it’s slow. I didn’t hate it, but it was okay. This isn’t the book if you’re looking for a hot and steamy romance. If you don’t mind some slowness and a bit of censor to it, this book is for you.

Until It Fades was a book that was just okay for me. I’ve seen some nice early reviews so I was looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately, it was slow paced. I just wanted it to hurry the hell up. It took me like three days to read it because I truthfully had to push myself to get through it at all. If you don’t mind something slow and with a mediocre romance, feel free to pick this one up.

three-stars

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ARC Review: Words in Deep Blue

June 12, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★★

ARC Review: Words in Deep BlueWords in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
on June 6th 2017
Pages: 288
Source: Netgalley
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Love lives between the lines.
Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.
Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction, and the escape. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore. She can’t see her future.
Henry’s future isn’t looking too promising, either. His girlfriend dumped him. The bookstore is slipping away. And his family is breaking apart.
As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.

Words in Deep Blue is easily one of the best books that I’ve read this year. I’ve actually never read a book by Cath Crowley before, though I’ve heard nothing but positive things. After reading this amazing novel from here, I absolutely believe the hype and look forward to reading more of her books in the future. This was a brilliant book with a wonderful concept that had an even better execution. I imagine that book lovers especially are going to love this book. It’s been out in Australia for awhile now, but has only been recently released in the United States. I imagine that the popularity and hype of this will only grow as time passes by. This was a beautiful and easy to read book. I loved every second of it! I don’t have a ton to say about it because this is one of the books that you simply need to pick up and read for yourself. I’m so happy that I got to read this and I hope that you pick it up as well!

Rachel is my girl and I’m not just saying that since we have the same name. She’s a strong and fierce character. I loved and related to her right away. She was rude at times and suffering from severe depression due to the recent death of her brother. My heart bled for the grief that she was feeling. I can’t imagine going through something like that. However, sometimes it was a bit awful because of some of the things that she had to Henry and others around her. I get that she was hurting, but I can’t deny that some of it was definitely on the borderline of crossing the limit. It was still fascinating to be inside her head for a portion of the novel.

Henry was the other main character and we also got a chance to see his POV. I really liked Henry as a character. Though it did piss me off a bit that he was so hung up on his ex girlfriend who was basically the worst anyway. He did some dumbass things throughout the book. He was also rather pretentious when it came to books and mostly quoted the classics and things like that. He didn’t always quote modern books besides like John Green and a few Australian books. He wasn’t a book boyfriend that completely swept me off my feet or anything, but I didn’t necessarily hate him either. I liked him a whole lot actually, just didn’t love him.

The relationship between Henry and Rachel was pretty cute though sometimes you wanted to yell at them to get their shit together. They were best friends but things changed once Rachel moved away. Now, she can barely look at him. But they slowly work back to becoming friends and then eventually they become more. There is somewhat of a love triangle involving Henry being a dumbass and going back and forth with his ex girlfriend. Anyway, the banter between Henry and Rachel is beautiful and fun right from the start. I adored them as a couple and felt as if the buildup was well written.

I could keep going on and on about how this book is so remarkable, especially for people who adore books. How great is the concept of writing letters in books? It’s a beautiful way to communicate with other book lovers. The supporting characters featured in the book are also downright amazing. I don’t want to spoil anything, but we learn a lot of background on two of the supporting characters through the letters that they left each other in books. There aren’t many flaws with this book honestly. It’s one of those books that you aren’t going to want to put down once you pick it up. I can’t recommend it to you guys enough!

five-stars

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ARC Review: One of Us Is Lying

June 11, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

ARC Review: One of Us Is LyingOne of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Published by Delacorte Press on May 30th, 2017
Pages: 370
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.
Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

So I wasn’t totally sure how I should rate One of Us Is Lying. On one hand, it was fast paced and held my attention for the majority of the novel. On the other, I felt like there was a lot of problems with the characters and the plot. I feel like maybe the author was being overly ambitious with having four different POV’s. Some of these characters seemed to blend together instead of having distinctive personalities. I was also extremely disappointed by the ending. Ultimately, this was an entertaining read, but it wasn’t the thriller that I was expecting it to be.

As mentioned, there’s four main characters instead of just one. The characters are kind of (except for one) similar to The Breakfast Club gang on the surface: we have a popular Princess, jock, criminal, and then we have the smart girl. When you take a closer look at them, they turn out to have much darker secrets that challenges these identities. Bronwyn is the super smart, Ivy League bound next valedictorian at the school. Bronwyn was a decent character, and I found her relationship with Nate to be one of the highlights of the book. Nate is the criminal, the misunderstood bad boy who has a reputation for doing drugs and hooking up. Once we get inside his head, we learn that he has a rough past and we learn that he isn’t capable of murdering someone else, though he probably seems like the most likely suspect based on his history alone. I’m not going to lie, Addy was a little boring and hers and Bronwyn’s points of views ran together at times. I felt bad for Addy once her secret was revealed, but I still felt like she wasn’t a totally unique character. Cooper is the All-American athlete with a bright future in baseball, and a secret that may or may not ruin that entirely. I thought Cooper was a pretty interesting character as well, though his secret was a little predictable.

So there obviously isn’t much romance in this book since it is meant to be a thriller. However, I felt like the romance was still a sweet part of the story, even if it was rather small. Early on in the story, it becomes obvious that Nate and Bronwyn have a connection between them. Like I said, Bronwyn is a serious student who hasn’t had any time for dating in the past. Nate is a guy who has no problem with messing around. Ultimately, they end up exploring the spark that they have and taking it a step further. I thought it was adorable, and I loved all the texts and calls that went down between them.

Though I’ve hinted at it some already, I want to talk more about how the thriller aspect of the book. So basically, there are five kids in detention. All of the kids there were there under shady circumstances. Each of them had phones confiscated that didn’t actually belong to them. In the end, one of them doesn’t make it out of the room alive. It appears as if someone put peanut oil in his water and he’s allergic to peanuts. They tried to get him an EpiPen but there were none in the nurses office. He ended up dying, and the police thinks that one of them had to have done it since there’s no way anyone else could have done it. The kid who was killed ran a gossip blog about people in the school, and his reports were always accurate. Things get interesting when they find that he had a post in his drafts about secrets belonging to all four of the people in detention. So who killed Simon? You have to read to find out!

One of Us Is Lying wasn’t a bad book, but I still found it slightly disappointing. I was expecting way more excitement and thrills. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. There were some characters that I obviously liked more than others. I felt like some of them could have been more developed so they were more distinguished. In the end, it was still a book that I wanted to keep reading. I don’t think I put it down once after I started reading it. While I’m glad that I read it, it still wasn’t a super memorable thriller as a whole.

three-stars

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ARC Review: Eliza and Her Monsters

June 10, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

ARC Review: Eliza and Her MonstersEliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
on May 30th 2017
Source: Edelweiss
Also by this author: Made You Up
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of Monstrous Sea, a wildly popular webcomic, but when a new boy at school tempts her to live a life offline, everything she’s worked for begins to crumble.
In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, smart, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of a popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. With millions of followers and fans throughout the world, Eliza’s persona is popular. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community. Then Wallace Warland transfers to her school, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart. With pages from Eliza’s webcomic, as well as screenshots from Eliza’s online forums, this uniquely formatted book will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.

I thought that Francesca Zappia’s debut novel was absolutely stunning, so I couldn’t wait for her next book. Unfortunately, I found Eliza and Her Monsters to be a little on the disappointing side. This wasn’t exactly the worst book I’ve ever read, I still actually enjoyed reading it and devoured it in only one sitting. I thought that the premise was really unique, but I was expecting more from it. It’s highly possible that my standards were just set far too high because of how much I loved Made You Up. Whatever the reason might be, I wasn’t a huge fan of Eliza and her Monsters.

Eliza was a decent enough of a character. My favorite element of the story was probably her art. She created this wonderful comic that has such a large and popular fandom behind her. However, her identity is kept a secret. No one knows that she’s a high schooler with severe anxiety who would rather make friends online than in the real world. I could definitely relate to this part of the story. Like Eliza, I also find it easier to communicate with people online than in person. So yeah, I felt like she was a realistic character who I enjoyed reading about. The only thing I didn’t like about her was her treatment of parents. I felt like the way the book portrayed parents in general was a bit cliche. There was the whole “no one understands” me thing going on that I didn’t really like.

Wallace didn’t completely blown away. My heart did totally break for him once we discovered his story. And of course I wanted to give him a huge hug. I’ve seen some reviews where people strongly disliked Wallace in the second half of the book. I was expecting him to like get with another girl or do something evil. But I felt like his reaction wasn’t totally awful. I didn’t think it was okay, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be either. So basically, I wasn’t in love with Wallace but I didn’t think that he was the worst either. He wasn’t as swoony as I was anticipating, which was truly disappointing for me.

Since I had a few issues with both Eliza and Wallace individually, you might be able to guess that I didn’t really ship them as a couple. I thought they were just okay, not my favorite couple or anything like that. It was great and relatable how they bonded over fandom. The friendship that they started off having was extremely sweet. I also loved how they opened up to one another. They were mostly a kind and lovely couple, though I didn’t completely get it.

Eliza and Her Monsters was an alright novel that I wanted more from. I think the concept was creative. I love the idea of someone creating something so popular without their identity being revealed. The various online and real life relationships that were portrayed in the book felt very realistic. One of my other main issues with the story was that it felt slow to me. For whatever reason, the book felt much longer than it actually was. It could have been cut down a hundred pages or so. I hope that whatever this author writes next will work better for me!

three-stars

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ARC Review: When Dimple Met Rishi

June 8, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★

ARC Review: When Dimple Met RishiWhen Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Published by Simon Pulse on May 30th 2017
Pages: 380
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.
Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

When Dimple Met Rishi was definitely a funny and charming read. However, I still felt like I liked it just a little less than everyone else. Don’t get me wrong, it was wonderfully diverse, awkward, swoony, and unique. For me though, I felt that it was missing something. It was still a fun book and I’m happy that I picked up. I totally get the hype that’s been surrounding this book for months now. If you’re looking for something that is fairly light and will make you laugh out loud, this is the book for you.

First things first, I love the name Dimple. I think it’s unique and lovely. So now let’s talk more about her personality. Dimple is one fierce girl. Whenever she first meets Rishi, she greets him by throwing ice coffee in his face. To be fair, he did say, “Hello future wife, I can’t wait to get started on the rest of our lives.” Dimple knows exactly who she is and what she wants to do. She wants to develop apps and she’s great at coding and all that other technology stuff that I know nothing about. I loved her independence and personality as a whole. I will say that I didn’t agree with some of her choices towards the end of the book. I wanted to shake some sense into her for sure. At the end of the day though, Dimple is still a wonderful character who I truly enjoyed for most of the story.

Guys, Rishi has my heart. He’s awkward, funny, sweet, and charming all at the same time. His first encounter with Dimple reminded me a lot of Dexter and Remy’s from This Lullaby. It broke my heart how desperately he wanted to please his parents. His parents wanted him to marry Dimple, so he followed her to the summer program for aspiring web developers. I don’t know exactly how to describe him, but he’s just so freaking previous. No matter what he does or says, you just want to give him a big hug and protect him for anything bad in the world. You need to read it in order to capture how awesome he is.

So as I mentioned, they meet because Rishi and Dimple’s parents want to set them up in an arranged marriage. Dimple obviously doesn’t go for that because she’s ready to become a developer and attend college long before she gets married. Rishi is the opposite, he’ll put his dreams on the back burner in order to do what his parents want for him to do. Once he ends up at the program, he eventually enjoys it. Although they start off as just friends, they make a good team as they make their own app together. I thought the build up from friendship to more was very realistic. Once they became a couple, they were pretty adorable.

Although it wasn’t my favorite book of the year, it was still pretty good. It was still probably one of the best YA romantic comedies of the year. It definitely did a wonderful job at making me laugh out loud from the very beginning. I think I had a tough time with Dimple’s actions towards the end of the book. In my opinion, Rishi didn’t deserve some of that treatment. Other than that, it was a decent book that I enjoyed reading. I recommend if you want something light and fun to start your summer off right.

four-stars

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Windfall Review

June 6, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★½

Windfall ReviewWindfall by Jennifer E. Smith
Published by Delacorte Press on May 2nd, 2017
Source: Library
Also by this author: Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
two-half-stars
Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes.
At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.
As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined . . . and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.

I’ve only read two books by Jennifer E. Smith, and I wasn’t all that impressed by either of them. But I was still seriously looking forward to Windfall. The concept sounded totally unique: you buy a lottery ticket as a present for your crush and he ends up winning. Unfortunately, the concept itself was more intriguing than the execution turned out to be. Smith’s writing is really beautiful and quotable. What didn’t work for me is that I wasn’t invested in the romance or either of the main characters. I can see the appeal of this book, but it just wasn’t able to work for me. It wasn’t a terrible book, but it wasn’t a great one either. I felt like it could have been about 100-200 pages shorter and still be enjoyable. While I’m sure that a lot of readers will love Jennifer E. Smith’s latest work, it wasn’t totally for me.

Alice was such a sweet girl, but she wasn’t my favorite. I did sympathize with the fact that she lost both of her parents at very young age. I can’t imagine going through something like that and my heart broke for her. I thought that her humanitarian work was admirable. I loved that she volunteered frequently at the soup kitchen and tutored a little boy who also lost his parents. I also identified with her struggles with figuring out what she wanted to do with her life. I have to say that I did want to shake her for turning down half the money. She was the one who bought the lottery in the first place, why in the world would you ever turn down receiving a chunk of that change?! It didn’t make any sense to me. I know that might seem like a petty thing to note, it just bothered me. You have so many bad things happen in your life so you’d think that getting a large sum of money would be some good karma, but I guess she didn’t see it that way. Alice wasn’t a bad character, but she wasn’t the most memorable one either.

You guys, Teddy was a total jerk. I didn’t really see what Alice saw in him honestly. I will admit that it was nice of him to offer half of the money to her in the first place. However, that still didn’t make him all that redeemable in my book. Alice and Teddy have been close friends for a long time now. Alice has been in love with him for a long time as well, but he proceeds to spend a majority of the book jerking her around. There’s no way that he doesn’t know her feelings, yet he never directly talks about it and just keeps leading her on. It also bothered me how he just kept buying pointless things instead of saving his money. I know that it was a luxury to him, but he really has NO interest in saving some for college in the beginning? Maybe I’m just being picky, but all of this seemed weird to me.

I’m not going to waste much time going into details about the romance since it was rather disappointing. I’ve already summed up most of it, Teddy strings Alice along for most of the book. I usually like friends to lovers but it didn’t work for me in this case. So I want to talk more about Leo. He’s Alice’s cousin and is absolutely adorable. He was nerdy, wise, funny, charming, and just wonderful. I wanted more of him! I thought his relationship with his boyfriend was so freaking cute. I honestly wished that this was Leo and Max’s story instead. Maybe they could get a novel focused on them still? I’d be down with a companion.

Windfall was a disappointing read for me. As I’ve said, I wasn’t overly in love with either of the Jennifer E. Smith books that I’ve read in the past. I know that so many contemporary romance fans adore her books and I figured that I’d give this one a shot anyway. I felt like this book was truthfully boring and WAY too long. In my opinion, it wasn’t necessary to make the book as long as it was. I wish that I liked this book a lot more than I did, but it turned out to not really be for me.

two-half-stars

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ARC Review: I Believe in a Thing Called Love

June 5, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

ARC Review: I Believe in a Thing Called LoveI Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
on May 30th 2017
Pages: 336
Source: Netgalley
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
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three-stars

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Desi Lee believes anything is possible if you have a plan. That’s how she became student body president. Varsity soccer star. And it’s how she’ll get into Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds guidance in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Steps to True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and staged car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love was a fun and entertaining book, but not my favorite. In the end, I found it to just be okay. I’m happy that I read it because it was relatively fast paced and easy to read. The writing was also pretty good. The concept of a main character following the steps of a K Drama to win over a guy was entirely unique, though I felt like some of the things she did took things a bit too far. Overall, this was still a nice debut novel and I look forward to seeing what this author writes next.

Desi is our main character here. I had problems with her character from pretty early on. In the beginning, the awkward situations that she found herself in around guys was obviously embarrassing but also relatable and realistic. I felt like she took things too far once she followed the steps of a K Drama. She seemed to have little issue with staging a car accident and other strange things just to get closer to him. I don’t know you, but if I found out that someone was doing those things to win me over, I’d find it creepy and run far away. I found a lot of her actions to be uncomfortable and hard to accept.

Luca was a decent enough guy. He loved art, and was extremely good at what he did. I’m not sure how realistic it is that he was as popular as he was, but that’s besides the point. I thought that he was a charming and swoony guy. He didn’t really stand out to me other than those minor things. I feel like his character just wasn’t all that memorable as a whole. I will admit that he was still too good for Desi. What she did was pretty creepy, and I’m not sure if I could personally get past that if it were me.

One thing that I did enjoy about the book was Desi’s relationship with her father. Her mom passed away, so her father and her have a very close and loving relationship. I thought it was hilarious how her Appa (Dad in Korean) watched K Dramas religiously. I’ve never watched them before, but the book made me desperately want to watch some. After seeing so many that were mentioned here, I definitely looked up quite a few up on Wikipedia and they look great! Anyway, her Appa was a lovely character who clearly would do absolutely anything for his daughter. I also thought Desi’s friend were funny and I enjoyed reading about them. Though a lot of the plot focused on the romance, I thought that friendship and family were also entertaining and memorable points of the plot as well.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love might have not been a perfect book, but it was still alright. I was hoping for a story that was a little less predictable which is sadly not what I got here. It wasn’t the worst book that I’ve ever read by any means, I just had higher expectations. Desi’s actions were sometimes extremely creepy in my opinion. I just wanted her to act a little more like herself and not just follow some set formula. I’m glad that I read it because it was fairly light, but not nearly memorable enough in my personal opinion.

three-stars

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Hold Me Review

June 4, 2017 Reviews 0 ★★★

Hold Me ReviewHold Me (Cyclone Book 2) by Courtney Milan
on October 25th, 2016
Source: Library
Also by this author: Trade Me (Cyclone, #1)
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
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three-stars
Jay na Thalang is a demanding, driven genius. He doesn’t know how to stop or even slow down. The instant he lays eyes on Maria Lopez, he knows that she is a sexy distraction he can’t afford. He’s done his best to keep her at arm’s length, and he’s succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.
Maria has always been cautious. Now that her once-tiny, apocalypse-centered blog is hitting the mainstream, she’s even more careful about preserving her online anonymity. She hasn’t sent so much as a picture to the commenter she’s interacted with for eighteen months—not even after emails, hour-long chats, and a friendship that is slowly turning into more. Maybe one day, they’ll meet and see what happens.
But unbeknownst to them both, Jay is Maria’s commenter. They’ve already met. They already hate each other. And two determined enemies are about to discover that they’ve been secretly falling in love…
Hold Me is the second book in the Cyclone series. It stands alone, but those who prefer to read in order may want to read Trade Me first.
The Cyclone Series Reading Order Trade Me Hold Me Find Me What Lies Between Me and You Keep Me Show Me

Hold Me was a wonderfully diverse novel. I was a fan of the author’s first book in this series, and this one didn’t totally disappoint. I was so happy that Maria received her own love story. I thought that Jay made an awesome match for her. However, I did have some reservations that really just came down to my personal reading preferences. I felt like the book was slow in the beginning, and felt like there was too much scientific terminology that just went over my head. I could tell that Courtney Milan did her research on the subject, I just wasn’t in the mood to read about it. I thought the banter was enjoyable, but some of the hate between them was a little much for me. Ultimately, I thought the diverse characters couldn’t have been better, but some of my other issues brought the book down for me.

Maria was so fierce and memorable when she was first introduced in Trade Me. She easily kept up that extraordinary attitude in this book, which I adored. I thought she was funny and sweet in all the right ways. I really enjoyed her character all around. I did have some issues with her blog. I’m not sure how realistic it is that her blog would be that big of a deal. Like how these huge science figures and websites debate about the identity of who the blogger is, I just couldn’t see that actually happening. But who knows, maybe this is a possibility and I’m just being very picky. All that aside, she’s still a solid character who I truly liked reading about. Although her past was so sad, I loved how she made the best out of her future and did well for herself.

Jay made an intriguing love interest for Maria. I loved that he was smart and also seemed to be a hottie at the same time. He wasn’t a perfect character, he had a poor attitude for a lot of the novel. He was a grumpy dude, which wasn’t always exactly fun to read about. I wouldn’t say that he was boring or anything, he was just unique in his own special way. Sometimes his sort of pretentious attitude was a little annoying at times, but it wasn’t horrible in my opinion. I don’t know what else to really say about him, he wasn’t my favorite, but he wasn’t the worst either. I know that isn’t a ringing endorsement, but I liked him quite a bit more once he showed more of vulnerable side and we learned more about why he is so guarded about certain things in his life.

As far as the romance goes, this wasn’t my favorite. I liked how they had this easy banter going on from the beginning. But I still wasn’t sure what to make of the hatred that was going on between them. Meaning, the hate was too much for me at times. I’m a person who typically enjoys hate to love romances, but this time I felt like maybe it went a bit too far. I also liked how they started off communicating anonymously in the virtual world. That’s another trope that I also usually like, but this time I questioned how realistic it actually was. It takes quite awhile for the actual romance to get started between them. At times, I felt like it was a bit on the corny side. I also thought that it was steamy and fascinating once it did get started.

In the end, Hold Me wasn’t a bad book by any means. It was difficult to get started though. I felt like some of the scientific dialogue wasn’t necessary, instead it just made the book extremely slow in my personal opinion. Some aspects of the plot also weren’t realistic to me, which did affect how much I personally enjoyed reading the book. I will admit that Jay and Maria made a wonderful couple. I thought it was great how the relationship developed. I wasn’t a fan of how the hate to love relationship went down, though I have to admit that it was pretty unique. I realized that I didn’t go into a ton of details about the diversity in the book, but I thought that was important. I’m happy that I read this book, though it might have not been my favorite.

three-stars

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Blog Tour: Mature Content Review

June 2, 2017 Blog Tours, Reviews 0 ★★★★

Blog Tour: Mature Content ReviewMature Content (Cyberlove, #4) by Megan Erickson, Santino Hassell
Published by Megtino Press on June 2nd 2017
Pages: 218
Source: A Novel Take PR
Also by this author: Strong Signal (Cyberlove, #1), Fast Connection (Cyberlove #2), Overexposed (In Focus, #4), Daring Fate (Silver Tip Pack #1), Strong Signal (Cyberlove, #1), Fast Connection (Cyberlove #2), Sutphin Boulevard (Five Boroughs, #1), Sunset Park (Five Boroughs, #2), First and First (Five Boroughs, #3), Interborough (Five Boroughs, #4)
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars

I received this book for free from A Novel Take PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My life plan is to be brutally honest all the way to the bank. Don't believe me? I run a popular YouTube channel called TrashyZane, and my claim to fame is oversharing about every aspect of my personal life. Sometimes while tipsy. Not everyone loves my style, but I have a long history of icing out people who can't handle me. I have no time for judgmental foolishness.
Except, apparently, when it comes to Beau Starr. His channel is the polar opposite of mine, and so is he. Wholesome, inspirational, and clean-cut. Everything about him should turn me off, but when we hook up following a confrontation at a convention, my world flips upside down. Not only does Beau Starr turn me on, he uses the exact combination of dirty talk and roughness needed to turn me out.
But we still hate each other. I think.

EXCERPT:

I shifted closer to him, and, like an invisible rope was pulling us together, he leaned into me, until I could feel his breath and the heat from his body. I cupped his face, rubbing my thumb over the corner of his lip, then closed the distance between us to press a soft kiss to his lips. I didn’t control this kiss, and neither did he. It was an equal give and take, a push and pull of our tongues, our breaths, as our hands grasped each other’s faces, hair, skin.

Every time with Zane had been a rush to get off, but this time, I wanted to explore his mouth, to enjoy the kiss without it being foreplay. It was the main attraction to moan into Zane’s mouth, to feel his soft, huffed breaths.

When I pulled away, I was dizzy, and Zane’s eyes were glazed, his lips wet and puffy. I was terrified at what I felt in that moment, how much I wanted to fall back into the kiss, to not worry about what anyone thought, or how Beau Starr would be forever changed if word got out he’d fallen for TrashyZane.

And in this car with Los Angeles spread out before us, I didn’t want to think about anything but the messy, long-haired boy who’d managed to loosen my tongue and just about every other part of me. “I kinda like you, Zane. A lot.”

His eyelids fell to half-mast. “I like you too, Beau. A lot.”

REVIEW:

Mature Content was yet another fabulous book in this series. Unlike the other three, this one explores two YouTubers, which brings a whole new side to an internet romance. I loved learning more about this community. This was a steamy and intense romance. It’s a little different from the previous ones just because Beau and Zane absolutely can’t stand each other in the beginning. Anyway, this was a funny and clever book that was well written. As always, this series is filled with memorable characters, both main and supporting. You get so invested in the plot, characters, and romance that you can’t help but instantly fall in love with all of it. I’m not sure if it’s my favorite of the series, but it was still really great.

Beau is a character that I fell in love with back in Hard Wired. In that one, he was the main character Jesse’s cousin who is a big YouTube star who makes encouraging videos for the LGBTQ community. He’s a lovely guy, though his video personality doesn’t always reflect who he actually is. He chooses to talk more about the positives of the community, being gay, and things along those lines. But he never really discusses the negative side of the community and in his own life. Though he seems to have it all together on the outside, he’s actually keeping a secret about his past, which is what led him to start making videos in the first place. Beau definitely had his faults at times, like sometimes it did seem like he was slut shaming Zane. But the authors handled the situation in a well written and sensible manner in my opinion. He has his personal demons, but he’s still a great person at the end of the day.

On the other hand, Zane is a hot mess to say the least. He’s blunt, and he has no problem with putting all of his personal life out there. In Hard Wired, Ian loved watching his videos because he felt like he was so real. We also saw in Hard Wired that Beau and Zane seemed to be bothered by one another’s videos for differing reasons. Anyway, Zane is definitely an interesting character who is a lot of fun. I thought his POV was always enjoyable. I loved how Zane was unapologetically himself. He made no apologies for he was to his family or anyone else who had an issue with it, which I seriously respected.

As I’ve already mentioned a few times, Beau and Zane have a hate to love relationship in Mature Content. Why do they hate each other? Well, Beau feels like Zane making videos about all the details of his personal life are way too much information, even though secretly it kind of turns him on. But Beau likes to snub him in videos so they have kind of a feud going on. Zane feels like Beau is too stuck up and just downright fake. As I said earlier, Beau does slut shame Zane, but it does get shut down. I won’t reveal too much about the details, but just keep in mind that the authors don’t just let his comments go easily. Beau and Zane have some fierce and steamy sex scenes. As you might have guessed, they have quite a bit of hate sex. That might not be everyone’s thing because the actual romance takes awhile to kick in, but it’s pretty lovely when it does.

Mature Content is the fourth book in the Cyberlove series. I’m honestly not sure which one is my favorite because I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each of them and this is no exception. Megan and Santino are both fabulous writers in their own right, but even more powerful when they come together as a team. I hope that they write more books together in the future. There’s one YouTuber that we’re introduced to that I think could potentially receive his own book. That would be awesome to read about. I loved the exploration of YouTube culture and felt like they handled it well. This was a fast paced read and I’m happy that I picked it up!

ABOUT SANTINO HASSELL:

https://box1078.bluehost.com:2096/cpsess2774242518/horde/imp/view.php?actionID=view_attach&id=4&muid=%7B5%7DINBOX2399&view_token=69iRvh_FZ37mlOQ7eJV6pLY&uniq=1496434237767

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.

 

Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

www.santinohassell.com

Santino@santinohassell.com

https://www.facebook.com/santinohassellbooks

https://www.goodreads.com/santino_hassell

amazon.com/author/santinohassell

 

ABOUT MEGAN ERICKSON

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Megan Erickson is a USA Today bestselling author of romance that sizzles. Her books have a touch of nerd, a dash of humor, and always have a happily ever after. A former journalist, she switched to fiction when she decided she likes writing her own endings better.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her very own nerdy husband and two kids. Although rather fun-sized, she’s been told she has a full-sized personality. When Megan isn’t writing, she’s either lounging with her two cats named after John Hughes characters or… thinking about writing.
For more, visit meganerickson.org

Website: www.meganerickson.org

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2qHcnD2

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MeganErickson_

IG: https://www.instagram.com/meggiejoknows/
FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1440306062901719/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/authormeganerickson/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mrsmeggiejo/

four-stars

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