Publisher: Avon

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ARC Review: Accidentally on Purpose

February 6, 2017 Reviews 0 ★★★★

ARC Review: Accidentally on PurposeAccidentally on Purpose (Heartbreaker Bay, #3) by Jill Shalvis
Published by Avon on January 24th 2017
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss
Also by this author: Sweet Little Lies (Heartbreaker Bay, #1), The Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay, #2), One Snowy Night (Heartbreaker Bay, #2.5)
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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.

There’s no such thing as a little in love…
Elle Wheaten’s priorities: friends, career, and kick-ass shoes. Then there’s the muscular wall of stubbornness that’s security expert Archer Hunt—who comes before everything else. No point in telling Mr. “Feels-Free Zone” that, though. Elle will just see other men until she gets over Archer . . . which should only take a lifetime . . .
There’s no such thing as a little in lust…
Archer’s wanted the best for Elle ever since he sacrificed his law-enforcement career to save her. But now that she’s earned happiness and success, Archer just wants Elle 24/7. Their chemistry could start the next San Francisco Earthquake, and Archer doesn’t want to be responsible for the damage. The alternative? Watch her go out with guys who aren’t him . . .
There is such a thing as…
As far as Archer’s concerned, nobody is good enough for Elle. But when he sets out to prove it by sabotaging her dates, she gets mad—and things get hot as hell. Now Archer has a new mission: prove to Elle that her perfect man has been here all along…

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Jill Shalvis’s Heartbreaker Bay series. Ever since I first read Sweet Little Lies, I’ve been looking forward to getting the chance to read Elle and Archer’s book. From the previous stories, readers could tell that they had an electric chemistry that both of them were refusing to acknowledge. Anyway, I’m happy that we didn’t have to hold out any longer on getting a happy ending for the pair! I’m not sure if it’s my favorite in the series, but it’s definitely a memorable and awesome one to say the least. I recommend reading the other books in the series first due to how all the characters are connected and the small town life in general.

Elle has been an intriguing character to me from book one. She’s such a loving friend who is there for her girls automatically with no questions asked, but she’s also someone who doesn’t like needing people to be there for her. She’s stubborn and likes to take care of herself, and she’s pretty good at doing just that. Though she’s a badass boss, she does have a big heart. Basically, I love everything about this girl. She’s fierce, confident, and unapologetic about who she is but she has her vulnerable side as well. She isn’t as quirky as some of the other girls from the series like Pru, but she is still very unique and special nonetheless. She’s completely her own person, and that’s what is so great about her as a whole.

So Archer has always been this badass and mysterious guy who knows basically everything. He protects the people that he cares about at all costs, and he does everything he can to help out his friends, who might as well be his family. But like Elle, he’s also ridiculously stubborn and as some of his friends put it, he’s an “alpha.” Meaning, he feels like he has to dominate people and be in control at all times. Though he’s a tough egg to crack at times, I’ll be the first to admit that he’s an extremely swoony guy. Once you get down to it, he has a huge heart and at times it’s really adorable how he shows that he cares and loves Elle. He’s a guy who puts himself in danger all the time to help others, which is a seriously awesome and difficult thing to do. Sometimes he can be frustrating at times, but he’s a great character.

You guys, the romance between Elle and Archer was obviously a highlight of the book for me. It’s blatantly obvious to literally everyone but them that they have crazy chemistry, so it’s refreshing once they finally figure it out for themselves. At times, the romance gets rather hot, including a scene where they have “hate” sex. I’m always a fan when the characters have a history, and I thought that the story was well written. This isn’t a second chance love story though, they’ve never actually been together, but they have a sort of “platonic” history that we gradually learn about as the book progresses. I keep on saying it, but the romance is just seriously so fabulous that I have to ramble out it a little bit.

Accidentally on Purpose is a great addition to a wonderfully written series. There’s still so many characters in the series that have yet to receive a story and I can’t wait for that. Elle and Archer made an explosive couple from the start. I’m beyond happy that they were finally able to get their shit together and be happy as a couple. Although I clearly was a major fan of them as a couple, I also loved them separately. I thought they were both well developed characters who were just full of personality. This was a nice story and I recommend it! Next up, we finally get Spence’s story and I can’t wait for that.

four-stars

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Do You Want to Start a Scandal Review

December 5, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★★

Do You Want to Start a Scandal ReviewDo You Want to Start a Scandal (Spindle Cove, #5) by Tessa Dare
Published by Avon on September 27th 2016
Pages: 272
Source: Library
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four-stars
On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library.•Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan?•Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall?•Perhaps the butler did it.
All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true identity, she’ll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville—the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she’s ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn’t got a clue.
But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit … and melt a woman’s knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte’s safety is the truth about his dark past.
Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte’s feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who’s sworn to never love?

So I’ve never read a historical romance before. I’ve tried reading a few of them, but I just haven’t been able to get into them for whatever reason. I’m a fan of basically all types of romances, so it’s weird that historical hasn’t seemed to be my thing. I decided to give Tessa Dare a shot since she’s one of the most popular authors in the genre. I started with the fifth book in the series, which may have not been smart since characters from previous books appear in this one, but I was able to catch up for the most part. I settled on this one just because it’s her most recent book and the concept seemed like my cup of tea. Anyway, I’m happy that I read this one because it actually worked for me! I’m still not sure if I’m going to love ALL books in this genre, but this is definitely a good start.

One of the best parts of the story was easily the MC Charlotte. She was just full of sass and didn’t take crap from anybody. She reminds me a lot of Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. She’s not the type of person to simply sit on the sidelines and watch the men do all the work. She’s the girl who gets right in there and does whatever she can. I loved her attitude and her personality in general. It was all extremely refreshing to see and I certainly won’t mind this genre if more heroines have this kind of spirit. She’s also very perceptive from the start. Her romance with Piers begins due to both of them being in the library when two lovers come in and so the pair is forced to hide together. After the lovers leave, a little boy declares to everybody that he heard noises coming from there and everyone assumes it was Piers and Charlotte. So Charlotte does a little Nancy Drew work to get to the bottom of who it actually was so she won’t be forced to marry Piers. This wasn’t a huge part of the plot, but I liked it because it showed us yet another endearing and awesome side to our heroine.

Piers is definitely one swoony dude. I was afraid that he might be too possessive and typical alpha male. However, he wasn’t exactly that. He had a cold and closed off way about him, but he was much more than just that. Once Charlotte got him to open up, she realized that he was quite the kind and caring man. Yes, he’s serious about his work and doesn’t want any distractions from it, but he also can’t help falling for Charlotte from the first time he meets her. He also had such a romantic and sweet side to him which his girl easily brought out of him. He said some ridiculously hot things at times that sort of bordered on being corny, but were still meaningful coming from him.

Piers and Charlotte made a beautiful and strong couple. As mentioned, they are basically forced into marriage when they are caught together since this is obviously a huge scandal since they aren’t married. Piers surprisingly wants to marry Charlotte for reasons that are completely unknown to her at the time. She’s very much concerned about taking extraordinary spy measures to finding out who the lovers are, but Piers could really care less about discovering who it is. The real focus is on their relationship and not the mystery part, though I liked that as well. In the end, Piers and Charlotte made a good team because Piers allowed them to be one. What I mean by that is they are partners, he doesn’t have total control over everything. The romance was also steamier than I was expecting it to be.

This was a refreshing and surprising read for me. If you aren’t sure what to make of historical romances, you should definitely read this book. In my opinion, it represents pretty much the opposite of what I was expecting a historical romance novel to represent. It was truly a beautiful and compelling love story that managed to hold my attention from the first page. I certainly plan on reading more books by Tessa Dare as soon as possible!

four-stars

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ARC Review: The Trouble with Mistletoe

September 22, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★

ARC Review: The Trouble with MistletoeThe Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay, #2) by Jill Shalvis
Published by Avon on September 27th 2016
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss
Also by this author: Sweet Little Lies (Heartbreaker Bay, #1), One Snowy Night (Heartbreaker Bay, #2.5), Accidentally on Purpose (Heartbreaker Bay, #3)
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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.

If she has her way ...
Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her ...
He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.
Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him ...
Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice ...
Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work ...

I didn’t like this one nearly as much as Sweet Little Lies, but this was still a pretty decent romance as a whole. I thought that Willa and Keane were such a cute couple, just felt like the angst went a little too far at times. This new series by Jill Shalvis hasn’t let me down so far yet, so I’m definitely eager to read more of these stories. I’ve been looking forward to reading Archer and Elle’s story since the first book, so I can’t wait to read it next! I recommend this series to romance readers who love small town stories with quirky supporting characters.

Willa was a character who immediately fascinated me in Sweet Little Lies. We could tell that she was a caring and loving friend from the start, who also worked way too hard. Anyway, it was awesome to learn even more about her upbringing and just her personality in general. I loved how seriously she took Christmas. Seriously though, this girl took Christmas spirit to an entirely new level. Once we learned more about her relatively crappy childhood, it made sense why decorating her business completely and taking the holiday ridiculously seriously was so important to her. I wouldn’t say that Willa is my favorite female character by any means, but she was still very well written and I thought her story was mostly pretty well done.

Keane was a super swoony guy from the beginning. I’m not sure I believe that he was so serious about Willa right from the start if he was known for being a playboy, but he was still a well developed character for the most part. He had a lot less baggage going on than Willa, he was fully (for the most part) involved in the relationship, while she was still partially holding back. I’ll admit that he wasn’t the most interesting and swooniest book boyfriend, but he was still a classic Jill Shalvis guy, which is a true compliment.

For the most part, the romance was a decent one. However, I did have some problems with the heavy drama going on. I absolutely can’t stand it when the couples are unable to be together and happy for more than a couple of pages before the major conflict pops up and momentarily ruins everything. I get that drama is inevitable, but in my opinion, there is something as TOO much and that was the case here. When they actually were together though, things were on the steamy side. There wasn’t too much sex or not enough sex, I felt like the author found a happy balance. I liked the romance, but I can’t say that I loved it.

All in all, this was a fun romance that I’m glad that I read. Jill Shalvis is still a fairly new to me author. Sweet Little Lies was the first book of hers that I ever read. I’m glad that I continued reading because she writes awesome romances and I love how she has dogs in her books as well. Willa is the definition of a pet person, and that was my favorite thing about her for sure! So the point is, I’m officially a Shalvis fan, right along with so many contemporary romance lovers out there.

three-stars

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Sweet Little Lies Review

June 28, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★★

Sweet Little Lies ReviewSweet Little Lies (Heartbreaker Bay, #1) by Jill Shalvis
Published by Avon on June 28th 2016
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss
Also by this author: The Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay, #2), One Snowy Night (Heartbreaker Bay, #2.5), Accidentally on Purpose (Heartbreaker Bay, #3)
Reading Challenges: Contemporary Romance Challenge
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four-stars
three-flames

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.

Choose the one guy you can’t have . . .
As captain of a San Francisco Bay tour boat, Pru can handle rough seas—the hard part is life on dry land. Pru loves her new apartment and her neighbors; problem is, she’s in danger of stumbling into love with Mr. Right for Anybody But Her.
Fall for him—hard . . .
Pub owner Finn O’Riley is six-foot-plus of hard-working hottie who always makes time for his friends. When Pru becomes one of them, she discovers how amazing it feels to be on the receiving end of that deep green gaze. But when a freak accident involving darts (don’t ask) leads to shirtless first aid, things rush way past the friend zone. Fast.
And then tell him the truth.
Pru only wants Finn to be happy; it’s what she wishes for at the historic fountain that’s supposed to grant her heart’s desire. But wanting him for herself is a different story—because Pru’s been keeping a secret that could change everything. . . .

I feel like one of the only romance fans on the planet to not have read all of (or at least most) Jill Shalvis’s books. I did read the first book in her Animal Magnetism series but that’s it. Anyway, I’m glad that I decided to pick up the first book in her brand new series, Heartbreaker Bay. This was a wonderful introduction to a quirky cast of characters including: a hilarious and mysterious homeless man, an old noisy neighbor, and Pru’s cute little dog Thor. Not to mention that Finn had a great group of friends (and his brother) and I can’t wait to learn their stories in the next books. If you’re looking for a funny but also somewhat emotional story with a beautiful romance, Sweet Little Lies is probably just what you need.

Pru is an amazing and selfless heroine who I really loved from the start. She has a tremendous amount of guilt due to a major mistake made by her parents that hurt many lives. Since then, she’s done everything that she can to help those people out by providing them money, jobs, houses, and whatever else they need. You could tell just how caring and giving this girl is from the scene where she makes a wish in the famous fountain that Finn will find true love. There were so many parts in the story when I wanted to give this girl a huge hug. She carried a huge weight around because of what her parents did, and I hated that for her.

Now Finn is just something else entirely. You can tell from the physical description of him that this guy is seriously hot, and he’s also an incredibly decent and selfless man as well. Finn was on track to become a professional baseball player when his father was killed in an accident and he was forced to take care of his teenage brother so he wouldn’t have to go into foster care. They ended up opening a bar together and Finn has no time for anything not involving work. Things obviously start changing for him when he meets the beautiful new girl in town, Pru. However, Pru is keeping something major for him, and he must decide if he can continue on with her after learning this secret.

I’ve never been a fan of books that have some secret that one of the characters is keeping from the other one. This one did bother me to an extent because I was just not so patiently waiting for it to all blow up in her face, but it wasn’t unbearable to me either. Once I overlooked this part of the relationship, it was actually a very steamy and swoony romance. Jill Shalvis doesn’t get ridiculously descriptive with her sex scenes, but they definitely don’t disappoint. You could feel the chemistry from them pretty early on in the book, it felt extremely believable to me and I really enjoyed it as a whole.

Sweet Little Lies has certainly made me hooked on this new series and I can’t wait to read Willa’s story. There are so many supporting characters that are introduced which is honestly a little overwhelming for only the first book, but I still enjoyed the huge personalities that Jill Shalvis has already given them. I’m particularly looking forward to Sean, Archer, and Jake’s books. Even if you’ve never read a Jill Shalvis book before, you’re sure to love this if you’re a contemporary romance fan. This book is out today, so go and buy it for your Kindle!

four-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Mini Reviews: New Adult Edition

January 28, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★

Mini Reviews: New Adult EditionFighting Temptation (Men of Honor, #1) by K.C. Lynn
on January 18th, 2014
Pages: 399
Source: Purchased
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three-stars
three-half-flames
Jaxson is arrogant, angry and aggressive. Yet he’s also beautiful, strong and honorable. I unconditionally and irrevocably love every damaged part of him. And for the boy, who didn’t believe in love, he would always and forever have mine. ~Julia Sinclair
Julia was different from anyone I’d ever met. I never thought someone so good and genuine existed until her. The more I saw of her the more I became addicted to her. Every time I was around her she would destroy some of the darkness that lurked inside of me. She made the bad shit in my life seem not so terrible. Then, before I knew it, I had fallen for a girl from another world. ~Jaxson Reid
Two unlikely friends—the innocent, good girl and the notorious bad boy. One fateful night brought them together, and they formed a bond—one so strong it was unbreakable—until one night they gave into temptation.
Fast forward five years and Jaxson is back to fix the mistakes he’s made with the only girl who’s ever mattered to him. Only someone isn’t happy with his return, someone who thinks Julia is theirs and they will stop at nothing to make sure it stays that way—forever.
Jaxson will not only fight to protect Julia, but will also battle the new and existing demons that haunt his soul from death, corruption, destruction and war.
This is Book One in the Men Of Honor series. It can be read as a standalone and has a HEA. It’s New Adult Romance and is told from both character’s POV. Due to strong sexual content, coarse language and mature subject matter this book is not suitable for anyone under the age of 18.

So I’ve been reading a ton of books in January and just not posting reviews for them. My solution for this is putting together some of these into one post. All of these books share at least one common theme: they are all New Adult books. I hope you enjoy this edition of mini reviews!

I’m a big fan of the friends to lovers trope, and I feel like it worked rather smoothly here. While not the best book, it still was able to hold my interest extremely well. I had to keep reading so I could make sure the couple ended up together! What made me enjoy this book were a few key things: the love interest, Jaxon, the supporting characters, and the military part of it all. I could give or take the MC, she was far too mopey and reminded me a lot of other NA main characters.

While Jaxon’s character isn’t all that unique either, I still found myself totally falling for his actions and him in general. You have to read it to understand, I’ll just say that he’s one that you’re sure to love and cheer for. Though I personally have no experience with the military nor do I know anyone close to me who is, I felt like the military part was easy to understand even if you know little about it. Mostly, the author handles how being in the military has changed Jaxon, and he experiences a very real and heartbreaking event while over there. The reason why I didn’t rate this one higher is because of Julia (the MC) and some of the drama wasn’t needed. I’d recommend this if you love broody and bad military men and a friends to lovers story all in one.

Mini Reviews: New Adult EditionDearest Clementine (Dearest, #1) by Lex Martin
Published by Lex Martin on July 14th 2014
Pages: 368
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three-stars
two-flames
Twenty-year-old Clementine Avery doesn't mind being called bitchy and closed off. It's safe, and after being burned by her high school sweetheart and stalked by a professor her freshman year of college, safe sounds pretty damn good.
Her number one rule for survival? No dating. That is until she accidentally signs up for a romance writing class and needs material for her latest assignment. Sexy RA Gavin Murphy is more than happy to play the part of book boyfriend to help Clem find some inspiration, even if that means making out...in the name of research, of course.
As Gavin and Clem grow closer, they get entangled in the mystery surrounding a missing Boston University student, and Clem unwittingly becomes a possible target. Gavin tries to show Clem she can handle falling in love again, but she knows she has to be careful because her heart’s at stake…and maybe even her life.
DEAREST CLEMENTINE is a stand-alone with two companion novels. Look for book 2, FINDING DANDELION, on July 11, 2014. This contemporary New Adult romance is recommended for readers 18+ due to mature content.

Dearest Clementine was definitely not the best book that I’ve read lately, but it wasn’t the worst either. I’d say it lands somewhere in the middle of the two. I liked that Clementine was a YA author with a ridiculously popular book that she published under a different name. Clementine was a girl that I could relate to for some of the book, however, I felt like she was extremely whiny at times. Truthfully, she wasn’t an all that memorable MC as a whole, despite the fact that I liked some of her characteristics.

At times, there was just WAY too much going on. I felt like there was an insane amount of subplots and unfortunately, not all of these were wrapped up and handled in a positive way. Additionally, the love interest was not very swoony to me. Gavin had a few moments here and there, but there was just quite a bit of miscommunication going on between the two that made it difficult to truly love the romance part of it. Anyway, this is a fast paced novel and all, it’s just not one that made that huge of an impact on me personally.

Mini Reviews: New Adult EditionForever with You (Wait for You #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Avon on September 29th 2015
Pages: 370
Also by this author: The Problem with Forever, Fire in You (Wait for You, #6)
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four-half-stars
four-flames
In the irresistibly sexy series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout, two free spirits find their lives changed by a one-night stand…
Some things you just believe in, even if you've never experienced them. For Stephanie, that list includes love. It's out there. Somewhere. Eventually. Meanwhile she's got her job at the mixed martial arts training center and hot flings with gorgeous, temporary guys like Nick. Then a secret brings them closer, opening Steph's eyes to a future she never knew she wanted—until tragedy rips it away.
Nick's self-assured surface shields a past no one needs to know about. His mind-blowing connection with Steph changes all that. As fast as he's knocking down the walls that have kept him commitment-free, she's building them up again, determined to keep the hurt—and Nick—out. But he can't walk away. Not when she's the only one who's ever made him wish for forever . . .

The Wait For You series is by far one of my favorite NA series out there. Thus far, I’ve found all of the couples to be likable and also very steamy. With all that being said, the fifth book continues that trend in an awesome fashion. Truthfully, the writing style does sort of blend together with the other books, but I found the plot itself to be much more unique than the others. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to connect with Stephanie at all considering what we’ve seen of her so far in the other books. I shouldn’t have been so quick to judge though, J. Lynn makes us cheer for and understand her from the very beginning of the book. Nick definitely wasn’t my favorite book boyfriend of the series, but he did have some swoony moments sprinkled throughout the story which I always love to see.

I don’t want to say much else about the plot in order to avoid any spoilers, but let’s just say that it’s definitely different. I also loved getting to see this relationship slowly but surely grow. Nick is a guy who has some major issues, and Stephanie is a girl who has more than a few of her own. The two deal with these issues by having sex with random people. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I like how J. Lynn tackled being completely comfortable with your sexuality without being labeled anything. I recommend buying this book right away because it’s only $1.99 on Amazon currently so take advantage of that deal while you still can!

three-stars

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