Thursday, July 18, 2019

One of the Girls (Friendzone Book 1) by Robin Daniels

Senior Nick Moody is the second string quarterback on Roosevelt High School’s championship football team. He’s crushed on Mia for years, but she doesn’t know he exists. It’s time to come off the bench and into the game. Nick refuses to graduate without getting the girl or the glory.

Mia Ashlock is the remarkably kind cheer captain. She’s a yes girl, and her penchant for people pleasing always leads to bad relationships. After being humiliated in a very public dumping, her teammates decide to break her bad habit with a ban on boyfriends.

When Nick sees a poster, advertising cheer tryouts, he has a crazy idea: quit football and become a cheerleader. It’s perfect! He can get close to Mia and steal the spotlight, using his true and hidden talent—gymnastics. Nick and Mia have instant chemistry, but it does him little good. If Mia’s zero dating rule weren’t bad enough, the team treats him less like boyfriend material and more like one of the girls. Breaching the friendzone will be much harder than he thought.

Content: This book contains kissing along with limited/mild swearing and minimal inuendo/crude humor. No explicit language or references to sex.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

This is one of the more well rounded YA books I have read lately.  Yes, much of the book occurs at school or at school functions, but we get the characters in home and family life as well.  It provided a more realistic base for their motivations and desires.

These characters were so easy to like and so easy to root for.  I really fell in love with Nick- how could I not?  He is forging his own path through some pretty tough terrain.  He's pushing against social norms, standing up to his grandfather and putting everything into getting the girl of his dreams.  He is determined, resilient and patient.  Oh, and he is kind.  I am such a fan of kind boys.  💙

There is a slow burn romance here but I loved every minute of it.  I could picture all the moments of this book in my head like a movie. (and some were really funny!)  The story was engaging and I was really invested in everything from beginning to end.  This was such a cute book!  I can't wait for the next one.

Please note content information in the book blurb above given by the author.

This book is on KU if you have that!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Tate (The Montana Marshalls #2) by Susan May Warren + $25 and Book Giveaway!

Bodyguard, Tate Marshall, has always been the family troublemaker. Maybe it's his impulsive propensity to get into the middle of problems that don't belong to him. But once in, he can't stop himself from trying to solve them and that includes his recent dilemma. He's in love with the woman he's supposed to protect, the beautiful Gloria, "Glo" Jackson, daughter of US Senator and presidential hopeful Reba Jackson. A member of the country band, the Yankee Belles, Glo was targeted in a recent terrorist attack designed to deter her mother from running.

Glo is as stubborn as her mother, and Glo isn't about to hide from threats, at least the kind that won't cost her heart. Because she's already paid a terrible price for the war on terror, and she can't let herself love a man who might die, especially because of her.

As the campaign heats up and the threats deepen, so does the attraction between Tate and Glo. But when they're discovered, and Tate is fired, what will he do to protect the woman he loves?

And what will Glo do to keep from losing another man to the costs of war?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

This is the second book in the Montana Marshalls series and you definitely need to read these book in order.  Although each book focuses in on one particular couple, the story line is continuing and believe me when I say you won't regret starting at the beginning.  

I really love this fast paced romantic suspense series.  It's current, it's crackling with energy and growing intensity and it's got the romantic tension.  Tate is one tough guy who just doesn't give up.  He just keeps on fighting no matter what the circumstance.  You have to love a guy who just won't back down in the best of ways.  I loved his all in attitude with Glo despite her efforts to turn him away.

This is a book that is hard to put down!  I'm always looking forward to the next book by one of my favorites, Susan May Warren.  Luckily, the third book in this series, Ford, will be out in a few months.

Content:  violence, fighting, kissing

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

“He was sent here to kill you, wasn’t he?” Glo’s voice emerged in a whisper of horror.

Tate drew in a breath, and even Knox looked away as Tate nodded.

Oh, she knew it. Apparently, she had a type.

The kind of men who didn’t care what trouble—or death—might be waiting for them. Who turned their face to it and charged ahead.

The kind of men who died for what they believed in.

 The kind of men who would break her heart.

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Sweet Home Alaska (Northern Lights #5) by Beth Carpenter + $20 and Book Giveaway!

Sweet Home Alaska
(Northern Lights #5)

By Beth Carpenter
Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
July 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Some sparks last forever.

But once burned…

World traveler Dr. Scott Willingham is known for being calm and levelheaded—except where Volta Morgan is concerned. In the ten years since they parted, Scott still can’t forget her. Now he’s come to Alaska to find Volta and finally let her go, only to find their attraction is stronger than ever. Can Scott leave her behind one last time…or has he truly found a place to call home?

Beth Carpenter has such a gentle way of building a story.  Her books are easy to fall into and I always feel like I'm on a journey that will take me somewhere satisfying.  

Scott and Volta are two very interesting people with even more interesting jobs.  I loved the setting in Alaska and the work both Scott and Volta were doing.  There is history between Scott and Volta which adds another layer to the dynamics of their relationship as does Volta's young daughter.  As I said before, this book is very gentle in nature and the story line progresses slowly but it was a good journey and I really enjoyed it.  I could see this book becoming a TV series or a Hallmark movie.

This book is part of a series but can easily stand alone.  I've only read one other book in this series and felt nothing lacking.

Content:  mild peril, kissing

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Once upon a time ...

when Beth Carpenter was a little girl, she read everything she could get her hands on, and entertained herself on the school bus by making up stories in her head. Not a lot has changed. She's still consuming books like M&Ms, and spends her days creating happily-ever-afters for her imaginary friends.

She lives in Alaska and Arizona with her husband and an aggressively affectionate fifty-pound lap dog. She loves to hear from readers.

Tour Schedule

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will receive:
- A neoprene pansy-print lunch tote
- A $20 Amazon gift card

Please note: International entries welcome, but if the winner has no US mailing address, the substitute prize will be AN ALASKAN PROPOSAL and ALASKAN HIDEAWAY ebooks, plus a $20 Amazon gift card.

Ends July 17, 2019

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Redgrave Murders by A. L. Sowards + Win a Copy of This Book!

Loss is inevitable, as Evie Hampton knows all too well. But despite losing her mother to cancer and her older brother to a war, she knows she’s one of the lucky ones. After all, she still has her father, a distinguished professor of medieval history. And she has Gary Redhawk, the man she loves despite the emotional scars he carries from the Second World War—and despite her father’s opposition to their relationship.

When a freak accident sends Evie’s car careening off the road, she chalks it up to poor maintenance, or sheer bad luck making another appearance in her life. Little does she know a host of hardships is just beginning—the car was her father’s, and the brake lines were deliberately cut. Someone wants them dead—but why? All fingers point to Gary, a man with a troubled past and no solid alibi, but Evie is unwilling to believe he’s involved. Determined to uncover the truth, she begins to piece together a startling picture of deception and vice. But as she closes in on the truth, it is clear that someone is determined to silence her—and the next attempt on her life may be a deadly success.

I've been reading (and loving) books by A.L Sowards for a long time.  She is one of my favorites because her books absolutely come to life in my hands.  This book is a bit different than her previous books as it is a mystery instead of a historical fiction, but I'm so happy that it actually felt like a historical fiction because Sowards really knows how to build the time period she is writing about to feel so authentic and real.  The beginning of each chapter also includes a snippet of letters that Evie and her brother exchange while he is serving in the military during WWII which accomplished the dual purpose of establishing a human connection between Evie and her brother and giving me another bit of history to lean into.

This story really brings to light all the social, economical, and political unrest occurring at the time.  The effects of the war have brought about economical depression, low housing, and war veterans who are struggling to live and work because of the horrors they witnessed.  As always there is discrimination which seems to be present no matter what time period historically is being represented.

Greg battles discrimination as well as PTSD (although it wasn't called that at the time) from a brutal childhood as well as his horrible experiences during the war.  Greg is working so hard to overcome the stigmas and his past.  His gentle, steady nature made him a hero in my eyes.  Evie has dealt with much loss and tragedy herself.  I could feel and I connected with her desire to be loved, valued and accepted.  Greg and Evie together were fantastic lead characters.

While mystery isn't my very favorite go-to genre, I really did love this one.  That's probably due to the author's ability to bring to life the time period.  It was fantastic.

I love the cover of this book.  It's a perfect representation of what is inside.  Can I also just say that I love the details of this book too?  Each chapter heading has a noose like the one on the cover and I loved how the theme carried throughout the whole book- cover to cover.  

Content:  violence (mostly referred to and not described in much detail), kissing, mention of sexual and physical abuse, death

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Falling for My Best Friend: A Sweet YA Romance by Victorine E. Lieske

It was just a fake kiss. It wasn't supposed to make my heart stop.

He was my best friend since...forever. Parker was just, Parker. Dependable. A little geeky but so was I. And we weren't supposed to have chemistry. I was in love with Lucas. Dreamy, hot Lucas. But Lucas was in love with Charlotte, which stunk.

And then I kissed Parker and my world shifted and I started to wonder, was Lucas the one for me? Or was I chasing after the wrong guy?

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Really Cute!

It's high school and Hannah and Parker have been best friends for most of their lives. They know each other well. Hannah decides to shake things up when she asks Parker to fake date her to get the attention of her crush. That's where things start to shift because one kiss later, Hannah starts to wonder and see Parker in a different way. The awareness came gradually for Hannah and I enjoyed watching the progression. I wish I knew more about what Parker was feeling because I feel like I didn't really get to know him as well but what a great best friend he was to Hannah. Especially when she was pitching her fits. This book definitely has the teenage high school vibe going on which is perfect for this series. I'm loving this recreation of the Sweet Valley High type books. It's so much fun.

Content:  kissing

- I picked this book up on Kindle Unlimited.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Midsummer Night (A Timeless Romance Anthology Book 23) by Charlie N. Holmberg, Julie Wright, Annette Lyon, Jane Redd, Amber Argyle

ILLUSIONS OF LOVE by Charlie N. Holmberg:
Aster has worked as the great magician Celtin's assistant for two years and has been in love with him nearly as long. After hearing he'll be looking for a wife at the house ball, Aster disguises herself as a high-class woman so she can woo him away from other bachelorettes. But not everything goes according to plan...

A girl may love a ghost, but where would they live? When a ghost who insists he isn't dead shows up in Grace's shed, he begs for her help. If they cannot reunite his spirit and body before the full moon rises, Arell will die in actuality and so will the royal family. The race against the moon becomes more frantic when Grace realizes she loves him and will die alongside him if she loses him. But can a ghost with no heart return her love?

When Saara’s sister Fia is stricken with a fatal illness, she goes on a quest to find a magical treasure with which to pay a shaman who can save Fia. Midsummer Night is the best time to locate such a valuable item, as piru fire, which marks the location, appears then. Along the way, she meets Timo, who, unbeknownst to her, is on a similar quest: if he can’t find treasure to pay for an apprenticeship with a wizard, his magical abilities will never grow, and he’ll never reach his dream of becoming a wizard. They meet in the woods and become a team. but only one of them can come away with the treasure. As their feelings for each other intensify, deciding what to do when—and if—they seize the treasure becomes a much trickier proposition.

THE ISLE OF ROSE by Jane Redd:
Cornelia's greatest secret is that she can read minds. When her sister elopes with another man, Cornelia must stand in her sister's stead to marry Lord Moss, a man with the same gift, who has the power to expose her.

FIRE AND FOUNTAIN by Luisa Perkins:
Historian Lucie Tremblay loves studying Québec’s past, but when she accidentally travels back in time through a magical St. John’s Eve bonfire, she finds that life in 17th-century New France is far more complicated than it seems in books. As colonist Nicolas Beaubien tries to help her find a way back to 2019, Lucie finds herself falling for him—and must choose between her old life and new love.

LADY OF SHADOWS by Amber Argyle:
Every year, girls go missing in the night—taken by the beast of the Forbidden Forest. A beast that has haunted the town of Hamel for centuries. A beast that is now coming for Caelia.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

The Timeless Romance collection is taking a jump into the magical with this new collection.  These novella length stories are written by different authors but have one common element- Midsummer Night and a touch of the mystical and magical.

Honestly, fantasy/magic isn't my go-to genre so this book overall wasn't my favorite but I still enjoyed the stories here.  I think my overall feeling with most of these novellas was that I wanted more.  More time to develop feelings for the characters, more meat to the stories themselves.  I think I felt that the most with The Isle of Rose.  I really wanted more of that story!  All the elements of attraction, mystery, light suspense were there and because I know this author, I know an extended version of this book would be incredible.

Amber Argyle's story is set as a backstory for a character in her Forbidden Forest series which I have read (and really enjoyed!) so it was a treat for me to delve back into that world for a bit.  I know others have said that this novella was harder to understand having not read the other books in the series and I can see that but for me it was awesome.

The great thing about these Timeless Anthologies is that you get a taste of many authors.  Sometimes new authors pop up- in this collection for me it was Luisa Perkins- which is fun!  I love variety.

Content:  mild violence, kissing

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Kissing on Third (Belltown Six Pack #6) by Heather B. Moore

His past will never go away. Hers has left deep scars. Together, maybe they can build something new.

Levi Cox carved his baseball game out of the dirt. The hard way. Bouncing between foster homes as a kid, and trying everything he could do to protect his kid brother from bullies, Levi backs down from no one and has a record to prove it. Baseball has given him a purpose and a career. A way to provide for his brother. When Levi meets Finley Gray, he finds things happening to his heart that he never thought possible. She has her own broken past, using boxing as her outlet. Yet the more Levi gets to know Finley, the more he’s convinced they belong together. Breaking through Finley’s tough exterior might be Levi’s hardest challenge ever. But he has a feeling it will be more than worth it.

I can't even tell you how much I have been loving this series.  It is so much fun!  I'm a baseball girl so combine that with romance and it sure feels like a home run to me.  😄 

Levi is a little rough around the edges but his heart is gold.  He works so hard at being the guy he wants to be while putting the past behind him.  I loved his instant interest and attraction to Finley.  He kept showing up and he definitely kept saying all the right things.  He had me swooning with his honest and endearing words.  I loved Levi.

Finley isn't your typical girl and I liked that but her boxing matches had me cringing.  I'm not a fan of boxing- male or female- so I kind of skimmed through the boxing match details.  (Personal preference, don't hate on me for it.)  Finley is strong but so unsure about Levi and his intentions.  Levi's steady presence and persistence chips away at her doubts.  I really loved how Finley took the time to understand Levi's past and give him the benefit of the doubt.  Levi and Finley are the perfect match.

Three authors combined to write this series.  The main characters all appear lightly in all the books but each book focuses on a different person.  You can read the books in any order.  This series is at it's close now which is sad, but happily these authors are writing another sports series revolving around hockey.  I know next to nothing about hockey but I know it won't matter because these authors will help me feel like I do!

This series is on Kindle Unlimited if you have that!  Yay!

Content:  kissing, some mention of neglect and abuse, mild violence in the form of boxing

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.