What I read: August 2019

The Guy on the RightThe Guy on the Right by Kate Stewart

What a fun read! It's amazing what can happen when you stop looking at people on the outside and get to know them inside. This fun college romance proves that.
Quirky characters, fresh plot... highly recommend.
ImpactImpact by Haley Jenner

Heartbreaking and gorgeous story about putting your life back together after a traumatic event.
This is one that will make you hurt.
Broken Wings (Dark Legacy, #1)Broken Wings by Jaymin Eve

Le Sigh ... I'm such a sucker for these dirty guilty pleasure type reads.
Broken Trust (Dark Legacy Book, #2)Broken Trust by Jaymin Eve

When I sit down to books described as dark romances with rich boy clubs and sassy girls I know I'm sitting down to a few hours of unrealistic fun. Just like book one, book two delivers on all the tropes one would expect from this type of story. It's steamy delicious fun. Don't analyze it, just go with it.
Broken Legacy (Dark Legacy, #3)Broken Legacy by Jaymin Eve

Just what you would expect from the finale to this series—over the top.
Tangled Love (Chaotic Rein Book 1)Tangled Love by Haley Jenner

Revenge isn't always the sweetest...
A somewhat Romeo and Juliet type of tale here where Romeo blames Juliet's family for his past so he plots revenge. I think there are missed opportunities to dig deeper into these characters and their relationship (beyond the sex) but overall I enjoyed the story.
Jersey SixJersey Six by Jewel E. Ann

Warning: lots of abuse triggers here
This is a dark read. I hated all the MCs at one point or another and loved them too.
A refreshingly different game of revenge is played out in Jersey Six and it was nice to have a heroine who was most decidedly NOT a damsel in distress. Another great read by Jewel E. Ann.
Coming Up RosesComing Up Roses by Staci Hart

This is a fun contemporary romance with a little P&P bend to it. I would love to read more about the Bennet siblings love lives. Read this one when you need a little pallet cleanser between heavier titles.
Ruckus (Sinners of Saint, #2)Ruckus by L.J. Shen

Four very bad boys and their love stories. Vicious is still my fav hothole thus far.
While Sinner of Saint (parents) and the All Saints High (offspring from the first series) spin-offs are listed as standalone reads I recommend reading them in order. I went from the first in one series to the first in the other, then realized how much information I lacked because I didn't know the backstory. I'm now backtracking.
I love LJs stories, she hasn't done me wrong yet.


View all my reviews

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: 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.

What I read: April 2019

In an effort to share books and authors you may be unfamiliar with, I’ll be posting snippet reviews every few weeks from my recent reads. If I post a review here it is because I enjoyed the story and suggest you give it a read. Happy reading!

Over the Falls (Ryder Bay Book 1)Over the Falls by Jordan Ford


Enjoyable surfer read with all the right YA components: drama, rich kids/poor kids, bad boys, breakups, makeups, and a whole lot of flirting.

View all my reviews
The Birthday List (Maysen Jar, #1)The Birthday List by Devney Perry


My one frustration was I wanted Poppy to move on a little faster. << That's a ridiculous statement to make when you're the widow, but Cole was so amazing! It was hard to watch him go out of his way to help her fulfill the birthday list. It sometimes felt like she was using him more than seeing him as a man who'd fallen for her.
Grieving is an individual process and this story was lovely.

View all my reviews
Rock Bottom GirlRock Bottom Girl by Lucy Score


90s Flashbacks

High school was hard. Reading Marley's story felt like reliving those days. Bad boys, bullies, inadequacy, laughter, and tears... My first Lucy Score book will not be my last.

View all my reviews
The Worst Best ManThe Worst Best Man by Lucy Score


There's a crazy bit of drama that surrounds the wedding at the beginning that was a bit out there for me but once we moved beyond that I truly enjoyed Aiden and Frankie's story. Laugh out loud moments, great characters, sexy times, and I hero you can easily fall in love with.

View all my reviews
My Life in Shambles: A Standalone RomanceMy Life in Shambles: A Standalone Romance by Karina Halle


Possibly my favorite Karina romance. One thing I love about her characters is they are almost always "flawed" physically. Are you shocked the entire world isn't filled with perfectly sculpted, thin, and gorgeous people?
I also commend Halle for tackling an issue you don't see very often in romance novels. Loved this one.

View all my reviews
 

FREE Friday! Sharing books by people I love...

FREEFriday (1).png

Looking for some new books to read? Why not check out these free/Kindle Unlimited reads by a few of my friends…

100% FREE Books

From the Wreckage by Michele G. Miller

“In a matter of minutes on a Friday night, I lost my school, my identity, the security of my first love, the personality of my sweet fearless brother, my best friend, my town, everything as I knew it. Everything changed.” 

"Minutes—that’s all it takes to change your entire life. How do you deal with that?” 

For high school senior Jules Blacklin surviving the storm is only the beginning. Faced with the new reality of her life, she must find a way to rise From The Wreckage and answer the question—how do you get back to normal, when everything that was normal is gone?

Grab From the Wreckage HERE (all platforms)


Promises in the Dark by Princess McConnell

Some secrets are better left untold. Until you realize your life may depend on revealing them.
Once upon a time a man and a woman meet but happily ever after is not in their story, at least not yet. When Derek Williamson first met Rachel Adams he knew his life would never be the same. Through her, he will learn that his life has been a complete lie, and through her love, he will find his truth.

Grab Promises in the Dark on Smashwords for FREE!

Kaleidoscope by Mindy Hayes

“Was I still a human? Gosh, I still wanted to be human. Even just to keep a sliver of who I thought I was. But as I thought about being human, standing in the shade of the forest, I felt less human than ever. The trees fought for my allegiance."

It starts in her chest. The change Calliope doesn't see coming. It pulses like a second heartbeat, urging her to give in to the need to be in the depths of the forest. She's compelled to fight the pull, but the more she denies it the stronger it becomes until she finally surrenders and is pulled into a secret world of enchantment.

Kai and Declan need her to accept what she is, but with everything left unsaid, acceptance may be the least of their worries. Knowing their fate lies in her hands, they’ll stop at nothing to protect and prepare her for what lies ahead.

Will Calliope be able to accept what Kai and Declan reveal or will her desire to be normal keep her from acknowledging her true destiny?

Grab Kaleidoscope on Apple Books
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

FREE on #KindleUnlimited with your paid subscription


The Calm Within by Crystal A Blanton:

When you are lucky enough to find love, take it in both hands and hold on to it like it’s your lifeline. Don’t let go. Don’t let it slip through your fingers.
My name is Kinsley Carmichael. I’m one of the fortunate ones, I found my true love. I experienced it, felt it, tasted it. He was my best friend, my soul-mate. Life without him would be incomplete.
So what happens when that love is taken away? Is it possible to come back from something like that? Is it possible to want to move on? Can a person be granted more than one chance of an all-consuming love in one lifetime? I’m not sure, and I don’t know if I have the strength to find out.
This is my story…in all its tragic glory.

Grab The Calm Within on Amazon

FOUR Poetry collections by Kayleigh Michelle

- Réticent is the 4th poetry collection from Kayleigh Michelle. This collection is pieced together with scratchings scrawled faded receipts and hastily typed notes of things one might be reluctant to share with the world.
- In My Soul
- In My Roots
- Nows: Moments in Motherhood

Grab Kayleigh’s poetry on Amazon


Whiskey & Wine by H. Dillon Hunt

Ellie Ray Vaughn needs to start over. A clean slate, a redo. She’s starting college and running away from an abusive ex-boyfriend and all of her mother’s mistakes, which means she’s trying to avoid two things. Music and men. Unfortunately for her, Dean Thomas is both of those things. He’s arrogant, pushy, and completely infuriating. But Ellie can’t seem to shake him, and in Nashville, it’s hard to run for the music that runs in her veins. They form an unlikely friendship as she tries to stifle the heat between them, but Dean won’t let her hold anything back. 

As far as Dean Thomas is concerned, nothing matters but music. He’s come to Nashville to pursue one thing, a record deal. Well, two things if you count all the girls he chases. He’s always been chasing the same ghost, but he doesn’t even believe she exists anymore...until he lays eyes on Ellie. She’s hard-headed, passionate and the most talented musician he has ever met. So why is she trying to stifle her talents, and her feelings?

Grab Whiskey & Wine on Amazon

Where the Heart Is by L.S. Pullen

Felicity Jamison could never have imagined how one fateful night would change her life. Compelled to stay away from the only place she’s ever felt at home, has meant losing her best friend and first love, Nate Davenport.

Fate now intervenes leaving her with no other choice but to return.

Not only does she harbour demons of her own, she carries with her a secret that threatens to destroy an entire family.

Nate has experienced his fair share of grief, what he didn’t expect was for Felicity to walk back into his life, a mere shadow of the girl he used to know.

Angry and hurt, the last thing he is willing to admit is how much he needs her.

Will he risk turning to her for comfort?

Together, can they move past a heart-breaking revelation or are they destined to be apart forever?


Grab Where the Heart is on Amazon UK or Amazon US


Tiny Drops by Dusti Dawn Rose

1995
Brice Garrison is your typical fifteen-year-old girl. Until one day, she's faced with a life threatening illness--one without a cure. Befriending her neighbor and finding support become her new normal. But will she have the strength to thrive when even her doctor doubts a long future?
2005
Harrison Wade is finally right where he wants to be--beside the woman who has owned his heart for more than a decade. Brice, his wild-haired wisp of a woman, has a love and grace unmatched by any other. Together they journey through the ins and outs of life until heartache becomes an unwelcome visitor threatening to steal their happiness forever.
2015
Brice has done her best to soften the edges of her jagged soul. But, sometimes the only way heartache can escape is to eat its way out, bit by bit, and by the end, it's hard to see what you're left with anymore. Chewed pieces of the person she once was, Brice must try to rebuild the life around her.

Grab Tiny Drops on Amazon


Refusing to Fall by G.L. Moore

On any given day, Keltie Sullivan tries to get by with the least amount of drama and strife. But when a chance encounter brings Bryce Montgomery into her life, she’s forced to take a second look at everything she’s been avoiding.

Keltie’s initial reaction is to fight her attraction to Bryce. Determined to avoid the heartache and complications of a new relationship, she finds it difficult to resist his charms, and as soon as she allows him into her heart—the nightmares she’s endured for many years get worse.

Plagued by a haunting and painful past, Keltie must make a tough decision. She knows her heart is strong enough to find happiness again...but is it strong enough to lose it? Will she let her past dictate her future, or will her stubbornness allow her to choose a different path?

Rich with emotion and passion, G.L. Moore’s debut novel will have you wondering whether or not love is worth the risk.

Grab Refusing to Fall on Amazon


My FREE on #KindleUnlimited titles: Last Call - Awaken the Soul - Avenge the Heart