Review: Amber by Elle Casey

Amber
Series: Red Hot Love, #1
Author: Elle Casey
Publication Date: January 9, 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: I won this book from a Goodreads Giveaway and this review is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

In the bright lights of the big city, she’ll find red-hot music—and red-hot love.

Fiery, free-loving Amber Fields has just discovered she’s the daughter of a 90s rock legend. Amber is determined to know more and heads to the bright lights of New York City, a world away from the hippie commune she’s grown up on in Maine.

She tracks down the band but answers seem hard to come by. And then there’s the new lead guitarist—troubled, sexy, intriguing Ty who is anything but welcoming.

Ty is not into commitment and Amber is not into the music yet, soon, sparks begin to fly. The more time they spend together, the hotter things get. They’re bound by music—could they also be bound by love?


I’ve loved reading Elle Casey’s romance novels for years. I was excited to read her newest series, Red Hot Love. I was curious to find out what her take on a rock star romance would be. Unfortunately, Amber is the first book of hers that has given me problems.

It wasn’t that I didn’t like Amber. Elle Casey’s writing is always good. Her stories are fast paced and funny. The mystery surrounding Amber’s father kept me interested. My problem was mostly with the entire plot of this book.

The thing about Amber’s plot is that it was almost too unbelievable for me. Three groupies get knocked up around the same time by a band, and they sneak away to have/raise the babies. They create a hippy commune together where the kids call all three ladies mom and each other sister. None of the ladies know who the father of their baby is, and the fathers never know there are babies. The ladies keep the entire band thing a secret from the kids. It was just too crazy out there for me. I guess it wouldn’t have been if it wasn’t for the commune thing and Amber’s personality, but it was.

Amber… It’s hard to explain other than to say she completely annoyed me. Her personality was just abrasive. I found her dialog irritating. She was this tough, angry chick who didn’t care who she was talking to, but at the smallest problems would deflate. There was just something about her I didn’t like, and I don’t know if I’m putting it into words correctly.

Ty was easier to like than Amber. I could understand his position on everything. I didn’t quite get why he was into Amber, since she was so off-putting, but their relationship was sweet.

My favorite part of this book was the mystery with the fathers. That whole thing was really cool. I wanted more from it than I got at the end, but I liked how everything played out.

Overall, Amber was a good book that just wasn’t my cup of tea. I am interested in finding out where the rest of story goes, so I will be continuing on with the series. I’m hoping I like Amber’s sister, Emerald more.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Sports Romances For When You’re Missing the Winter Olympics

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is Love Freebie (Romances, swoons, OTPs, kisses, sexy scenes, etc.). 

My topic choice is Ten Sports Romances For When You’re Missing the Winter Olympics. I know all of us are loving watching the 2018 Winter Olympics and will miss it when they’re over. That’s why I have come up with several series/books to keep the winter sports love alive after it’s all over.


SKIING / SNOWBOARDING

1. Gravity Series by Sarina Bowen

2. Wilder Series by Jill Shalvis

3. Hold Me by Susan Mallery

ICE SKATING

4. From Lukov with Love by Maria Zapata

HOCKEY

5. Something So Series by Natasha Madison

6. Off-Campus Series by Elle Kennedy


7. Him & WAGS Series by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

8. WAGS Series by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

9. Bayard Hockey Series by Kelly Jamieson

10. Chinooks Hockey Team Series by Rachel Gibson

BONUS HOCKEY SERIES

Cold Fury Hockey by Sawyer Bennett
Ivy Years by Sarina Bowen
Brooklyn Bruisers by Sarina Bowen
Aces Hockey by Kelly Jamieson
Taking Shots by Cindi Madsen
Chicago Rebels by Kate Meader

 

Release Day Review: The Smallest Part by Amy Harmon

The Smallest Part
Author: Amy Harmon

Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Publisher: Amy Harmon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“In the end, only three things matter. How much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” 
– Unknown

It was a big lie. The biggest lie she’d ever told. It reverberated through her head as she said it, ringing eerily, and the girl behind her eyes—the girl who knew the truth—screamed, and her scream echoed along with the lie.
“Are you in love with Noah, Mercedes?” Cora asked. “I mean . . . I know you love him. You’ve been friends forever. We all have. But are you in love with him?”
If it had been anyone else—anyone—Mercedes would have stuck out her chest, folded her skinny arms, and let her feelings be known. She would have claimed him. But it was Cora. Brave, beautiful, broken Cora, and Cora loved Noah too.
So Mercedes lied.
And with that lie, she lost him. With that lie, she sealed her fate.
She was the best friend, the bridesmaid, the godmother, the glue. She was there for the good times and the bad, the ups and the downs, the biggest moments and the smallest parts. And she was there when it all came crashing down.
This is the tale of the girl who didn’t get the guy.


Before I begin, I want to give some advice. If you haven’t read The Law of Moses, I highly recommend reading that book prior to reading The Smallest Part. Noah, one of the main characters, is from that series. It’s not necessarily a have-to situation, but there are scenes and situations that cross over. I felt like those scenes had a greater impact on me while reading The Smallest Part than if I hadn’t read The Law of Moses first. You can still enjoy the book if you haven’t, though. It can be read as a standalone. Now, to get down to business…

The Smallest Part was a very beautiful book. The writing was exactly what I have come to expect from Amy Harmon. There’s a little bit of mystery, a whole lot of love, tons of emotions, and a bunch of inspirational sentences that will be some of my favorite book quotes from here on out. I loved every moment I spent with The Smallest Part — even those that hurt.

The Smallest Part was pieced together in the best way with bits of the past and the present. I felt like I truly got a complete image of what the relationships between Noah and Cora and Mercedes, Noah and Cora, Noah and Mercedes, and Mercedes and Cora were. These friendships felt very real and the dynamics of those relationships are ones I know are out in the real world. Their friendship and love for each other were such an integral part of this story. They were beautiful even when they shouldn’t have been.

Going into The Smallest Part, I already knew I loved Noah Andelin. I knew his story was sad. I knew he was an amazing guy and doctor. What I didn’t realize was that is story could get sadder and that I was going to love him even more after this book. Sometimes he made me angry, but his heart was so good.

Prior to this book, I knew about Cora, but I didn’t know her. I was surprised and, honestly, shocked by her and Noah’s love story. It wasn’t what I had imagined for them. I especially wasn’t expecting the aftermath of it all. I didn’t expect to feel the way about Cora that I did. I don’t want to give away too much in this review because Amy Harmon’s books are always the best going in blind, but Cora might just be her most complex character yet.

As for Mercedes, the girl who didn’t get the guy, I loved her. While I didn’t always like her choices, she was an example of real love and friendship. I loved how she made peace with the choices in her life and tried to do best by herself and others. I also loved that she got a second chance at getting the guy because Noah and Mercedes belonged together.

And that’s it. That’s all I’m going to say other than The Smallest Part is not a book you want to miss.

Release Day Review: Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen

Brooklynaire
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers, #4
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: February 12, 2018
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

You’d think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You’d be wrong.

For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don’t know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.

When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It’s what friends do. But what friends don’t do is rip off each others’ clothes for a single, wild night together.

Now she’s avoiding me. She says we’re too different, and it can never happen again. So why can’t we keep our hands off each other?


If you’re like me and have read the entire Brooklyn Bruisers series from the very beginning, there’s a romance you’ve been hungery for: Becca and Nate’s. We all know they belong together and have wanted to see that happen. Thank goodness Sarina Bowen has finally given that to us with Brooklynaire!

Brooklynaire is slightly different from any other of the Brooklyn Bruisers novel. It’s the first book not published in the series by Berkley. That brought about one amazing, important change. Brooklynaire is written in FIRST PERSON! Yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds. As amazing as Sarina Bowen writes in third person, first person is just always that much better. There was a little third person sprinkled in during chapter’s exploring Becca and Nate’s past, but it was done in a comical way that was so much fun.

As for the romance we’ve all been waiting for — IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT! Nate and Becca’s story was EVERYTHING I hoped it would be. Everything. Their was heat, sweetness, passion, adoration, friendship…Brooklynaire had it all. I loved the way Becca and Nate admitted their feelings for each other and navigated through what it meant being co-workers and friends. It was just so much fun and so special.

Honestly, I don’t think Sarina Bowen could have done anything better with these two. I loved how the story went back into their history to show how they met. I loved how they fought their feelings for each other, but couldn’t withstand their attraction for each other. I simply loved everything about it. I’m so, so happy Nate and Becca got their happily ever after. The only thing that bugs me is that I have a feeling this might be the end for this amazing series. I’m really hoping that’s not the case. I would love more Brooklyn Bruisers in my life.

Excerpt:

I grab a towel off a waiting stack of them and toss it onto the edge. “You can sit and put your feet in.”

She’s wearing a short little knit dress that’s been making me crazy all evening, so it would be easy enough for her to strip off those stockings, sit on the towel, and drop both feet in.

And that’s what she does. She eases one stocking down over a smooth knee and tugs it off.

I don’t want to stand there staring like a middle-school boy. Okay, I do want to. But I don’t want to make her uncomfortable. So I go over to the sound system instead, and I set my phone on the speaker and cue up a really old playlist. One she’ll recognize.

When I turn around again, she’s seated on the towel, both legs hanging down into the churning water. “Ah. Wow.” She looks up at me, her eyes sparkling. “Nice place you got here.”

“Isn’t it?” I toe off my shoes and kick them to the side.

The first song comes on, and it’s a Macklemore tune that we used to play far too often in our first office. Rebecca laughs immediately. “You didn’t! I haven’t heard this playlist in forever. But I’ll bet I still know every transition. Lady Gaga is next.”

“She sure is.”

Rebecca kicks her feet, making a splash. “I have a little confession to make.”

“What’s that?” I loosen my tie and slide the knot out.

“Well…” She grins up at me. “I used to have a crush on you. Back in the early days.”

My hands freeze on the tie silk. “Get out of town. You did not.”

“No, I really did.” Her cheeks are pink. “That first year especially. But you were taken, and you were my boss. Those two things made it pretty easy to tamp down, when you’re a practical girl like me.”

I walk over and drop down beside her, my back to the water, though, because I’m still wearing trousers and socks. “So how does that work, exactly?”

“What?” She gives me a sidelong glance, but then looks away again and won’t meet my eyes.

“How do you stop wanting someone? I’m a practical person, but I don’t see how that makes it any easier. Nothing seems to mute the raging attraction I have for you.”

Her chin turns quickly toward me, and I seize the opportunity to kiss her. And it only takes one kiss—one slide of my lips over hers, and I’m on fire again.

We’re facing opposite directions, so it’s awkward as hell. But I don’t even care. I take greedy sip after greedy sip of her mouth, until she pulls back to stare at me. Her color is high and her eyes are bright and happy. “This is like Twister.”

“It’s better,” I correct. Lady Gaga comes on, just as Becca said she would. “Are we getting into this pool or what?”

Becca kicks a foot in the water. “I’m tempted. But I don’t have a bathing suit.”

“Oh, snap.”

She smiles and shakes her head. “Are you really getting in?”

“We don’t have to.” I’m never going to pressure her.

Her fingers trail across the surface of the bubbling water. “But this is an adventure, right?”

“Right.” I stand up and remove my socks. She’s watching me. And I can’t read her expression. “What?”

“Just wondering what else you’re going to take off.” She smiles.

“Come here.” The order rolls off my tongue.

But Rebecca doesn’t blink. She gets up and turns toward me, curiosity in her eyes.

“You tell me. What am I taking off?”

She puts two hands tentatively on my chest, and I make myself be patient. Everything I ever wanted is on the other side of this moment. I just need us to break through this awkwardness—the “will we or won’t we” tension.

Her fingers find the top button of my shirt. “I’m not getting in the water unless you are.”

That’s a compromise I can live with. I find my lower shirt buttons and work upwards, until we meet in the middle. She pushes the two halves of my shirt apart and runs a hand down my bare chest.

My inner caveman stands up and cheers.

Review: Sweet Little Lies by Sierra Hill

Sweet Little Lies
Series: The Sweetest Thing, #5
Author: Sierra Hill
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: I won this book in a Goodreads’ giveaway and this review is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Lance:
Some lies are meant to deceive. Others to protect.
My lies have done nothing but harm. They push people away. Even the people that I want to hold onto for dear life. Mica Reyes is too beautiful and pure for my tarnished soul, although I want her with a fierceness of a caged lion.
They say letting go of your grief and your sins will unburden you and set you free. But it’s her I need to set free from the pain I’ll cause from loving her too much.

Mica:
My Abuelita always said I should never give my heart away unless I knew it would be in capable hands. To give it to a man who would love and cherish me and put me first above all others.
But my heart didn’t listen. I fell for Lance Britton, the college basketball player who uses humor to outwardly disguise the emotional turmoil that lives inside him. To hide his painful secrets.
But I know him. And although I hate ultimatums, I may need to give him one before the lies between us grow any deeper. Letting go may be the only way to reach him.

This is a standalone book that can be read alone or accompanied by the other books in this series.
This book covers sensitive topics such as drug and alcohol addiction, recovery and racism.


Sweet Little Lies is a college sports romance that digs deeper than just falling in love and playing sports. It’s a story of two young adults finding love while dealing with addiction and racism.

Lance has wanted a relationship with his friend Mica since they met. He knows she’s different from all the girls he’s hooked up with in the past. She’s a forever kind of girl. Lance knows he doesn’t deserve her, but he can’t help but want her. Mica has kept her attraction for Lance hidden deep. She can’t afford to let her feelings free. Her family expects her to end up with a Mexican man. Lance is not one. He’s also a serious partier and womanizer. Mica has standards, and she won’t be just another hook up.

When Mica finally gives into Lances advances, they find a love neither could have truly imagined. They have a connection and chemistry that can’t be denied. Life isn’t easy, though. Soon their families’ views on interracial relationships and Lance’s addiction issues are tearing them apart. Their new-found relationship will have to weather obstacles it may not be able to survive.

I have to give Sierra Hill props for taking on two very tough topics. I loved how she dealt with racism in this book. Hearing Mica’s thoughts on her family’s opinions and those of other people was cool. Her truths were a little devastating, but I loved how strong she was. I also loved how Lance’s addiction was portrayed. He slowly and then quickly succumbed to it, and I imagine that’s how it might be in real life.

There is one question I had while reading Sweet Little Lies. How did Mica truly feel about Lance’s alcoholism and drug abuse? I don’t feel the book touched on this deeply enough. Mica was completely in love with and supportive of Lance, but other than her worries about him drinking, I didn’t learn how she felt about him using drugs. There was no hesitation or heavy thinking about whether she could handle the pressure of having a relationship with an addict. For someone as grounded and determined as Mica was, I expected her to have more internal strife about that than just worrying about if Lance was done with her. It just felt like a huge piece of the equation was left out. That might sound mean on my part because most of us want love to be unconditional, but there’s also the reality of how Mica was treated by Lance.The love Mica and Lance had for each other was sweet, but if I’m going to be honest, it was also a little toxic. If this would have been touched on, this would have been a 5 star read for me.

Overall, Sweet Little Lies was a good book that covered some very tough and socially relevant topics. Even though I found it to missing a little something, it is still a book I would recommend. I think we need more romance novels that deal with both racism and addiction.

Review: From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

From Lukov with Love
Author: Mariana Zapata
Publication Date: February 1, 2018
Genre: New Adult, Contem

porary, Sports, Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one.

After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close.

But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything.

Including Ivan Lukov.


Last year, I fell in love with Mariana Zapata’s writing. I loved how her books were set up. They are super slow burn romance. In fact, the majority of her books aren’t necessarily about the romance. They are more about the main character’s journey within themselves. I love how that journey leads them to a romance with (usually) someone unexpected.

But back to when I fell in love with Zapata’s writing… My first book by her was Dear Aaron. I loved that book so much, and I was so excited to find out that From Lukov with Love was about Ruby’s sister Jasmine. It was a fact I didn’t connect until I started the book. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t remember that Ruby’s sister was an ice skater, but I did binge read all of Zapata’s books in between reading the two. Anyways. I was so happy to be back in the world of the Santos family!

Jasmine was the complete opposite of Ruby. She wasn’t the sweet one. Jasmine was outspoken almost to a fault. She didn’t hold back, and in the past that had hurt her. Life was also harder for Jasmine in some ways. I really liked how Mariana Zapata portrayed all of Jasmine’s issues and insecurities. Jasmine had to do more than most to accomplish her dreams. Life wasn’t easy for her, and I applauded her determination. It’s not often that I run into characters who share Jasmine’s problems in other books. I wish more did because there are so many people who will identify.

Ivan wasn’t a character I immediately loved. I was such a fan of Jasmine’s from the beginning that her hatred for Ivan became mine. He had this refined almost silent personality thing going on. I had as many problems reading his thoughts at first as Jasmine did. Luckily, it didn’t take me long to find some good in Ivan. I ended up loving his sneaky tactics to worm his way into Jasmine’s heart.

Jasmine and Ivan had a snarky, competitive frenemy relationship that I loved. Ivan could easily give back what Ruby dished out. I loved how much his character complimented hers. Any time Jasmine and Ivan were together, it was like powder keg waiting to go off. There was that much electricity between them. I absolutely adored their relationship and how it slowly built.

I mentioned earlier being happy to be back with the Santos family again. That was because they have such amazing family dynamics. I loved how Jasmine interacted with her siblings and her mom. She had a very close-knit relationship with her family with the exception of her father. Her dad was another story. That relationship was so tough, but I loved how Jasmine dealt with it in the end. Ivan’s family seemed to be just as tight as the Santos family. I didn’t get to see too much of them, but what I saw I loved.

One of the things that impressed me the most in From Lukov with Love was the figure skating. Man, was the attention to detail about it good. It feels weird saying that because I wasn’t watching it, but I feel like I learned a lot about what it takes to be a figure skater. It’s something I’ve never really thought about before. All that practicing and falling and…well, just everything. It’s made me excited to watch the competition in the upcoming Winter Olympics. I gained even more respect for those athletes than I had before.

Sorry, this review is starting to feel long and rambly. I can’t help it. I loved everything about this book. Everything. I cannot find one fault with it. Well, except maybe that I didn’t want it to end. I could have gone on reading about Jasmine and Ivan FOREVER. I’m really, really hoping that Mariana Zapata will give us another book about one of the Santos or Lukov family members so that I can spend more time with them.

Review: The Coaching Hours by Sara Ney

THERE ARE NO DOUCHEBAGS IN THIS STORY.

Well, there are, but they’re not who this story is about.

This story is about me—the coach’s daughter.

When I moved to Iowa to live with my dad, the university’s take-no-prisoners wrestling coach, I thought transferring would be easy as pie—living with my father would be temporary, and he’d make sure his douchebag wrestlers left me alone.

Wrong on both counts.

ASSHOLES ALWAYS COME OUT OF THE WOODWORK WHEN THE STAKES ARE HIGH.

A bet is placed, and I’m on the table. After one humiliating night and too much alcohol, I find the last nice guy on campus. And when he offers to rent me his spare bedroom, I go all in. It’s time for the nice guy to finish first.

Midnight chats and spilling my problems turn to lingering touches. Lingering touches turn to more.

And the ultimate good guy has the potential do more damage than any douchebags ever could.

AMAZON | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AU

 

MY REVIEW:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

I recently discovered the How to Date a Douchebag series. I devoured the first three books in record time. Sara Ney’s writing is just so much fun! Her characters are just the right mix of good and douche-y. There’s so much witty dialog and many moments to bring about laughter. There’s also so many unexpectedly sweet moments. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the fourth book, The Coaching Hours.

I was excited The Coaching Hours book was going to be about a non-douchebag, like the third book. That was my favorite book in the series, and I wanted another sweet guy in this douche-y world. I couldn’t wait to find out who that guy was going to be. I don’t want to spoil it, but I will tell you I wasn’t disappointed. This guy was who and what I wanted him to be. Granted, he wasn’t always perfect (I wanted to give him a good shake a couple of times), but he came pretty close. I loved him.

I also loved the coach’s daughter. Everything about her made this story was much fun. She was smart, sharp-witted, and strong. I didn’t always agree with the decisions she made, but I felt like she put a lot of thought into everything at least. I loved her relationship with her dad and how that set up this entire book. It was cute.

I know what you’re wondering… Are there any douchebags in this book? Yes, there are still douchebags at play in this story. It is the How to Date a Douchebag series after all. We get to shake our heads at the horrible things some our most (un)favorite jerks do to our new favorite heroine. We get to laugh at them when she gets her revenge. There is so muchy douche-y fun.

The Coaching Hours was a great ending to the How to Date a Douchebag series. I’m sad to see this series end, but so very happy we are not quite leaving this college yet. I can’t wait to see what’s next in Sara Ney’s upcoming Jock Row series.

EXCERPT:

She perks up. “Wait, you’ve never had a back massage?”

“No?”

“Ever?”

“Nope.”

“Well, what the hell? How can I, in good conscience, lie here letting you rub my back when you’ve never had anyone rub yours?” She scoots over, pointing to the mattress. “Lie on your stomach, I’ll do you first.”

I wave my hands in front of me in protest. The last thing I need is her warm hands roaming my body. “No, no, you don’t have to. It’s not a big deal.”

“Are you crazy? Back massages are the best—like, better than an orgasm. You’re first, so lie down.”

“And you call me the bossy one?”

“Quit stalling and get on the bed.”

Obediently, I climb to the middle of my bed in nothing but a pair of gym shorts, legs hanging off the side. Next to me, the mattress dips, Anabelle on her knees, approaching my side.

A finger glides down my spine. “It will be easier for me to do this if I’m sitting on you. Hope that’s okay.”

“Is that the approved method?”

“No, but my arms will get tired if I have to lean over you the whole time.”

“Do whatever then, I don’t care.”

I stiffen when Anabelle swings one leg over my body, straddling my ass. Warm palms at my lower back.

“You’re so tense. Try to relax,” she coos, making it worse. “Tilt your head to the side, that’s it.”

I hear the lotion bottle snap open. Click closed. My roommate’s palms rubbing together, warming it up. “Sorry, I don’t have any actual massage oil. This will have to do.”

When her hands make contact with my back, I almost groan it feels so fucking good. Warm. Smooth. Pressure in all the right places, pushing gently into my muscles.

Slowly.

Slower still, caressing along my shoulders, thumbs and fingers working together to soothe the burning on my right side.

“Doesn’t this feel great?” Her soft voice cuts into the silence. “You’re loosening up. That’s good.”

I feel her leaning as her hands move up and down my spine until they stop, hovering at the base of my neck. Thumbs stroking the skin below my hairline, back and forth.

Kneading.

Her torso dips, hands maneuvering my arms, placing them at my sides. Palms slide up and down my biceps.

For several minutes, she rubs my arms and shoulders. Then she skims down my ribcage unhurriedly, in no rush, making little humming sounds inside her throat.

I know I’m not imagining the feather-light way her hands drift down my spine. I remain still, letting her touch me, basking in it.

Remain still when her lips kiss the tender spot of my shoulder where it meets my neck, nose nuzzling behind my ear, her breasts rubbing against my back and what the fuck was that all about? What does she think she’s doing, trying to drive me insane?

Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.

She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read. Oh goodness! This is embarrassing! Some of these have been on my TBR for YEARS.


1. Outlander
by Diana Gabaldon

2. Rebecca
by Daphne du Maurier

3. Body Check
by Deirdre Martin

4. Heartsick
by Chelsea Cain

5. Life of Pi
by Yann Martel

6. The Knife of Never Letting Go
by Patrick Ness

7. The Giver
by Lois Lowry

8. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
by Michelle Hodkin

9. Ten Beach Road
by Wendy Wax

10. The Opportunist
by Tarryn Fisher

Review: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

The Great Alone
Author: Kristin Hannah
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Alaska, 1974. Untamed. Unpredictable. A story of a family in crisis struggling to survive at the edge of the world, it is also a story of young and enduring love.

Cora Allbright and her husband Ernt, a recently-returned Vietnam veteran scarred by the war, uproot their thirteen-year-old daughter Leni to start a new life in Alaska. Utterly unprepared for the weather and the isolation, but welcomed by the close-knit community, they fight to build a home in this harsh, beautiful wilderness.

At once an epic story of human survival and love, and an intimate portrait of a family tested beyond endurance, The Great Alone offers a glimpse into a vanishing way of life in America. With her trademark combination of elegant prose and deeply drawn characters, Kristin Hannah has delivered an enormously powerful story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the remarkable and enduring strength of women. About the highest stakes a family can face and the bonds that can tear a community apart, this is a novel as spectacular and powerful as Alaska itself. It is the finest example of Kristin Hannah’s ability to weave together the deeply personal with the universal.


The Great Alone was wonderfully written and captivating book. The Alaskan setting was both beautiful and brutal. Leni was a fantastic narrator. She, along with her parents and the other characters, were well-developed and had important stories to tell. Everything about The Great Alone was pretty much perfect — except that it was torturous to read at times.

There were just so many tragic moments. It hurt to read about Leni’s life. There was just so much heartbreak. I had to take little breaks to get through much of it. I never felt like I could relax and just enjoy it.

In a way, that’s a compliment to Kristin Hannah’s writing. She really did touch my heart with The Great Alone. She depicted a life that was tough, but never let me give up hope for a brighter tomorrow for Leni. Even though The Great Alone wasn’t a comfortable read, it was a great one. It shared an important story in a fascinating landscape.

Review: The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith

The Last to Let Go
Author: Amber Smith
Publication Date: January 6, 2017
Publisher: McElderry Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, LBGTQ
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

How do you let go of something you’ve never had?

Junior year for Brooke Winters is supposed to be about change. She’s transferring schools, starting fresh, and making plans for college so she can finally leave her hometown, her family, and her past behind.

But all of her dreams are shattered one hot summer afternoon when her mother is arrested for killing Brooke’s abusive father. No one really knows what happened that day, if it was premeditated or self-defense, whether it was right or wrong. And now Brooke and her siblings are on their own.

In a year of firsts—the first year without parents, first love, first heartbreak, and her first taste of freedom—Brooke must confront the shadow of her family’s violence and dysfunction, as she struggles to embrace her identity, finds her true place in the world, and learns how to let go.


Amber Smith’s The Way I Used to Be was one of my top reads for 2016. I couldn’t get over the fact that a début author had written such an emotionally raw book. I loved everything about that book. It touched me so deeply. I’ve been waiting for her next release from the minute I finished that book, so I was very eager to read The Last to Let Go.

Everything about The Last to Let Go was so raw. Brooke had too much to deal with in this book. Her mother killed her abusive father, she’s worried about her siblings, she’s making unexpected friends, meeting new family members, and she might just be finding love. Everything is more than she can handle. She was doing everything to hold onto her family and what she thought was important.

I felt so bad for Brooke. As much as I wanted her to get herself together, I completely understood why she was falling apart. It broke my heart. Luckily, I’ve never been in Brooke’s situation. It’s one I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Obviously, I can’t relate completely with her life, but I felt like her feelings of needing to control and having a hard time letting go were something everyone can identify with at some point.

The Last to Let Go was so good — in a painful sort of way. What I mean is that it was utterly heartbreaking. Amber Smith has a way of writing that makes me feel the emotions her characters are feeling. It’s breathtaking and it’s brutal. The Last to Let Go is a book that’s going to stick with me for a long time, and it’s one I definitely recommend.