What I read: July 2019

July was a good reading month thanks to a pinched nerve that kept me away from my laptop much of the time.

Teardrop Shot: A Friends to Lovers Sports RomanceTeardrop Shot: A Friends to Lovers Sports Romance by Tijan

This one took longer than a normal Tijan novel for me to get into but once Reece and Charlie started hanging out, I loved it.
Transcend (Transcend Duet #1)Transcend by Jewel E. Ann

I love finding romances with a twist. These flawed characters make perfect sense by the time you're done with the duet. I recommend you give them a chance to tell their stories.
Epoch (Transcend Duet, #2)Epoch by Jewel E. Ann

Just read it.
The Truth About Lies (The Truth Duet, #1)The Truth About Lies by Aly Martinez

In truth, I struggled a bit with this one. Loved the concept and characters but it felt like it went on without much happening for a while. I trusted Aly though, and by the end, I was downloading book two without thought.
In hindsight, the lag was quite possibly my mindset at the time because in the end I'm happy with this duet and would recommend it.
The Truth About Us (The Truth Duet #2)The Truth About Us by Aly Martinez

Love it when totally screwed up lives get happy endings.
Pretty ScarsPretty Scars by C.D. Reiss

Talk about a binge read. Thanks to a pinched nerve in my neck, I was able to spend all day reading this wonderfully angsty Romeo/Juliet-esque tale.
Told in past and present, Gabriel and Carrie's story unfolds in perfect little clues and details until every jaw-dropping moment crushes you. Loved it.
The Wrong Prince CharmingThe Wrong Prince Charming by Holly Renee

In love with the best friend? check
New amazing -forbidden- guy walks in? check
College life? check
Football life? check
The Wrong Prince Charming hits a whole lot of tropes with a whole lot of steamy fun. This is a great one to read in one sitting.
The Bombshell Effect (Washington Wolves, #1)The Bombshell Effect by Karla Sorensen

Fun sports romance when you're looking for a book to cleanse the pallet after a hefty read. Would have loved to see more of the single dad aspect (and how he handled dad life with "dating" and football) since that was a compelling reason for me picking up the book in the first place. Still enjoyable, and I wouldn't rule out reading more of Sorensen's books.
Heartache and Hope (Heartache Duet, #1)Heartache and Hope by Jay McLean

Two teens with a bunch of sh#$ luck form a bond that helps remind readers young love is all like. Love this story and thank goodness book two was already published so I could jump right in.
First and Forever (Heartache Duet, #2)First and Forever by Jay McLean

Yup. I loved it.
Also, I loved the maturity Jay gave her characters while still allowing them to be stupid.
Highly recommend this YA romance.
StayStay by Tia Louise

Enemies (kinda) to lovers.
Single mom.
Second chance.
Relationship of Convenience.
Alpha, sexy billionaire.

This bad boy runs with all the tropes. Enjoyable, if not a tad bit (okay a lot) unrealistic. Sometimes you just need a fun dirty romance to get away from reality.
FYI: this isn't all fun. There is a key plot point that provides a lot of emotional meat.

**Bonus points to all the Blue Planet references ;)
One Little Lie: a hate to love rom-comOne Little Lie: a hate to love rom-com by Whitney Barbetti

This is a super slow burn, kind of second chance, love to hate romance that sees Adam and Hollis telling one little lie so they can both get what they need. The premise for the "hate" aspect is a bit flimsy (IMO) but it's a fun little read nonetheless.
DriveDrive by Kate Stewart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

one woman and two epic loves. Three, if you count music.

My heart hurts. I was absolutely enthralled with this story of love and rock n roll. It's perfection, and now I have a hangover.

What I read: June 2019

What did I read during June? Here you go…

Million Dollar Devil (Million Dollar, #1)Million Dollar Devil by Katy Evans

Somehow, I *think* this was my first Katy Evans read! A fun, slow burn romance with a reverse My Fair Lady storyline.
TrustTrust by Kylie Scott

Great mature YA dealing with the aftermath of gun violence and drug use, yet it doesn't stay heavy throughout. This is one I wished I'd read sooner.
Written with Regret (The Regret Duet, #1)Written with Regret by Aly Martinez

That ending!
This story hit checked every single mark on my "what I love in a read" list. Characters I can sympathize with regardless of their actions, a hero I can love, a well-rounded plot, side characters who add to the story, moments of laughter and tears. All the feels.
Written with You (The Regret Duet, #2)Written with You by Aly Martinez

Loved.
I could not wait to dive into Written with You after that crazy plot twist/cliffhanger ending in book one. This one didn't disappoint at all. This is a duet I will happily reread.
Tell Me To StayTell Me To Stay by Willow Winters

This is a novella that feels like a novella. A longer story would serve the plot and these characters better, but it is an entertaining bedtime read.
On the RocksOn the Rocks by Kandi Steiner

I totally forgot to write any notes on this one but I read the entire book in one day. I think that says enough...
Flow (Grip, #0.5)Flow by Kennedy Ryan

This is a prequel with an ocean's worth of depth. Typically, prequels tend to offer us but a small glimpse into the character's story before their "main" novel. Flow isn't like that. This story is heavy with political and race-related conversations that build up the characters of Bris and Grip and give a good insight into a few side characters that I imagine take up more room in the future.

I walk away from Flow knowing who these characters were and look forward to seeing who they are in eight years when the conclusion to their story picks up.
Grip (Grip, #1)Grip by Kennedy Ryan

Once again Kennedy uses her platform for good. Love that Grip and Bristol's story tackles the reality of everyday life for POC. This is a romance with meat.

View all my reviews

HUGE SALE on the Paper Planes series!

Did you know that the Paper Planes series co-written with Mindy Hayes is currently on sale for 99¢ each? That’s over 300 thousand words for $3
Available on Kindle, Nook, Apple Books, and Kobo. Get your summer read on today!

PP series 99 (1).png

**A Young Adult Contemporary Sweet Romance, Paper Planes is the first book in the Paper Planes Standalone series and CAN be read on its own.**

On June 18, 1992, Flight 397 crashed off the coast of Long Island. But this story isn’t about the crash. Not completely.

This is a story about two high school seniors living very different lives, who share one connection: they both lost parents on that fateful flight.

Slowly, letters bridge the gap between California and Pennsylvania as Ruby Kaminski and Brett Pratt find a way to remember the past while looking toward the future.

This is a story about hope, paper planes, and the other things they lost.

**An Adult Contemporary Sweet Romance, Subway Stops is the second book in the Paper Planes Standalone series. It CAN be read on its own.

On June 18, 1992, Flight 397 crashed off the coast of Long Island. Meet Cole and Samantha, two workaholics who randomly meet one year later at a memorial for the crash. Both lost loved ones that day.

Cole Rossner is a twenty-five-year-old med student dealing with the grief of his orphaned seventeen-year-old half-siblings. He doesn’t have time for dating.

Determined to kick life in the face after her loss, Samantha Cooper opens a kickboxing studio with her best friend. She’s not looking for a man, but Cole Rossner keeps popping up and screwing with her plans.

There are over seven million people in New York City. 
One random encounter is called chance. 
Two is coincidence.
Three? Well, baby, we call that fate.

**A New Adult Contemporary Sweet Romance, Chasing Cars is the third book in the Paper Planes Standalone series and CAN be read on its own.**

On June 18, 1992, Flight 397 crashed off the coast of Long Island. 

After Amber Pratt lost her parents, her life turned into a downward spiral. So, she did what any twenty-one-year-old would do; she quit her life to backpack across Europe.

Olle Holström was supposed to be a fling in the wilds of Finland. A detour. That is all it should have been. 

It was so much more.


Click on the titles above for the Amazon US links. Click below for all store links:
Paper Planes: books2read.com/PaperPlanes
Subway Stops: books2read.com/SubwayStops
Chasing Cars: books2read.com/ChasingCars

What I read: May 2019

Funny enough, as a writer I am NOT a very stingy reader. So many authors struggle with reading because they disagree with plots or the book isn’t “smart enough.” Sorry friends, I am totally in love with guilty pleasure reads. I get wrapped up in characters even if the writing is so-so or the plots are ridiculous. This month I finished A LOT of out there, crazy plot books. It was delicious!!!

The Rebel of Raleigh High (Raleigh Rebels #1)The Rebel of Raleigh High by Callie Hart

Ohhhh, how I love a good juicy, guilty pleasure, bad boy read.
Beware of triggers.
Filthy Rich Boys (Rich Boys of Burberry Prep, #1)Filthy Rich Boys by C.M. Stunich

The plot is so ridiculously far fetched that you can't help but hang on every single word. I'm a sucker for rich kids and bad boys/girls series.
Bad, Bad Blue Bloods (Rich Boys of Burberry Prep, #2)Bad, Bad Blue Bloods by C.M. Stunich

Yup, I'm still drinking the kool-aid. Sue me.
The Envy Of Idols (Rich Boys of Burberry Prep, #3)The Envy Of Idols by C.M. Stunich

I am so confused. Who do I love?
I cannot tell a lie, I am such a sucker for these freaking books. It's a train wreck you can't look away from.
More of You (Confessions of the Heart, #1)More of You by A.L. Jackson

Here's a case of the blurb not matching the plot. At all. However, I liked the book in the end so whatevsss...
Be prepared for a mystery and questioning the iffy timing of this romance.
Her Defiant Heart (Damaged Hearts, #1)Her Defiant Heart by Monica Murphy

Holy cliffhanger! I'm up in the air on this one—invested enough to want to read on and see what happens but not sure when I'll grab book 2
Jens bugged me with the way she used Rhett after he was so nice, but I have a feeling Rhett isn't what he seems either.
His Wasted Heart (Damaged Hearts, #2)His Wasted Heart by Monica Murphy

I needed answers after that cliffy!
Damaged Hearts (Damaged Hearts, #3)Damaged Hearts by Monica Murphy

Hmmmm. Didn't love it, didn't hate it.
Had this been one novel I think I would have been happier with it. Jens secret ended up being anti-climatic by the end.
The Perfect First (Fulton U, #1)The Perfect First by Maya Hughes

This sweet and sexy book is exactly what New Adult should be (IMO)
Switch Hitter (Jock Hard #0.5)Switch Hitter by Sara Ney

Fun little novella.
Rebel Born (Secondborn, #3)Rebel Born by Amy A. Bartol
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Love.
Rebel Born was a bit more scientific than Secondborn or Traitor Born, but because Amy has a way of writing sci-fi plots for the non-sci-fi reader it didn't overwhelm the story or my simple brain ;)
After that cliffy from book two, readers are rewarded with a fast-paced, questions answered finale.

Also, this romance lover was totally happy with the romantic resolutions.
The Moth and the Flame (When Rivals Play, #2)The Moth and the Flame by B.B. Reid

Good, bad boy fun but not as enjoyable as Ever and Four's story. This one felt repetitive, and a lot of the reveals (the ones that began as part of Ever and Four's story) were confusing bc everything was from Lou and Wren's POV.
The overarching storyline still has a lot of holes to fill which means Jamie and Bette's story is next... not sure how I feel about that, but I'm sure I'll be reading it.

Hidden Creek Secrets (Hidden Creek High Book 1)Hidden Creek Secrets by Jaxson Kidman

As the cover alludes, there are a lot of secrets in Hidden Creek. Trouble is you won't find many answers in book one.
Typical rival bad boys and drama-ridden girls in this guilty pleasure read.
Punk 57Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

I hate that it took me so long to read this one. Loved Ryen and Misha's story.