Blog Tour Review: The Varlet and the Voyeur by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid

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The Varlet and the Voyeur, an all-new standalone in the USA Today bestselling Rugby Series from Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway is available NOW!

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He kept his salacious secret for years. But soon, everyone is going to be reading about it in their morning paper…

THE VARLET (and the VOYEUR)

William Moore is a long way from home. A farm boy from Oklahoma, he’s now the most well-respected member of the Irish rugby team. But appearances are often deceptive, and Will isn’t the clean-cut, all-American good-guy everyone imagines him to be. He’s got a secret, one that will tarnish his reputation forever.

THE VOYEUR (and the VARLET)

Josey Kavanagh is a self-proclaimed mess, but she’s finally get her shi…uh, act together. She’s set her sights on becoming a veterinarian, but there’s one teeny tiny road bump. Her living arrangements are coming to an abrupt end, leaving Josey homeless and in need of a job to pay her way through college.

THE PLAN

What he needs is a companion to keep him on the right path.

What she needs is an apartment with free rent.

Will is convinced Josey will make the perfect companion, since she’s brutally honest and basically ‘just one of the guys.’ Josey is convinced she can ensure Will doesn’t succumb to his voyeuristic proclivities by keeping a scrupulous eye on him.

Except, what happens when the varlet is tempted by the voyeur, and vice-versa?!

Perchance something very, very volatile. And vexing.

The Varlet and the Voyeur is a full-length romantic comedy novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the 4th(and last) book in the USA TODAY bestselling Rugby Series.

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Review:

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

I wasn’t sure what to expect by the title of this book. First, I had no idea what a varlet was. Second, a voyeur? That sounded way more erotic than this series normally is. All this made me a little hesitant and a whole lot curious to read this book.

Thankfully, The Varlet and the Voyeur was not a departure from the rest of the series. It was just as fun, witty, and hilarious. I was also surprised by how enlightening it was. L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid took the voyeurism topic to a different place. Will’s whole reason behind his kink was actually respectful and thoughtful. I didn’t see that coming. I also didn’t know how much I would learn from Josey on an array of subjects. It was all so cool.

Before I get away from how well written this book was, I need to praise the authors’ writing. This collaboration was one where it was easy to tell who wrote what. Normally, that might not be a good thing. In this book, it was a great thing. It made Will and Josey’s voices stand out. Their points of view felt like two different individuals.

Will was a stoic man. He seemed to take everything in stride, and he was willing to accept his faults and mistakes. His whole back story fascinated me, and I enjoyed the way he learned to think differently about himself thanks to Josey.

Josey was a ball of fire. She was hilarious. Her strange ramblings were so endearing. I didn’t fault the people closest to her for being on the edge of annoyance with her. I probably would be, too. What I loved about her strangeness was that it made her unique and somehow perfect for Will.

Will and Josey were simply adorable together. I won’t say more because the way they ended up together was so fun to read. All you need to know was that their chemistry was off the charts. Every interaction they had was a priceless experience.

Obviously, I loved The Varlet and the Voyeur. Whether you’re a fan of the Rugby series or new to it, you’re in for a fun ride. This is a romantic comedy you won’t want to miss.

Excerpt:

*Will*

When I saw how spotless the shared living space was, I allowed my curiosity to get the better of me and peeked my head into her bathroom, Rocky dancing around my feet as I entered the space. The counters were covered in woman-products, but the marble surface and sink were free of water spots, and the glass of the shower had been wiped clean.

I glanced at Rocky. He glanced at me. Bemused, I chuckled to myself, about to turn back to the door, and that’s when I spotted it.

A dildo.

A big, Pyrex dildo.

With ridges.

In the shower.

I froze, blinked, and I stared at it, my brain sluggish. Oddly, I had to remind myself to breathe. Likely because I was . . .

I was—

I was shocked.

I shook myself, tearing my eyes from it and rubbing my chest where an odd kind of pang was spreading mild warmth up my neck.

But why was I shocked?

Why should I be surprised?

Despite my never seeing her that way, Josey was a woman and women have needs.

Don’t they?

I hadn’t grown up around women—any women. My mother died when she had my youngest brother. My grandmother died before I was born. I had no sisters. We lived on a farm, way out in BFN Oklahoma.

Girls—women—and their bodies were sacred lands of the unknown to us Moore boys.

Unbidden—completely unbidden—an image of Josey flashed through my mind’s eye. Her full lips parted, her big eyes closed, causing her thick black lashes to catch droplets of water before they dripped over her sharp cheekbones. Her head would be lolled back as shower spray melted bubbles of slippery soap, sliding down her bare skin as they dissolved. Her legs would be parted, and maybe one hand would be braced against the wall of the shower while the other moved in a steady rhythm.

Holding that huge, glass dildo.

I swallowed a sudden rush of salvia and, unable to help myself, I leaned closer to the sex toy, examining it and comparing its size against my own.

I was bigger.

But not by much.

And for some reason, this realization made me instantly hard.

Crap.

Of course I knew Josey was a woman, but until this moment, I’d never really thought of her that way. Not even the tampon-mountain drove the point home. Up until this point, she was someone I liked as a person, someone who made me laugh, who was smart and compassionate, someone around whom I felt completely comfortable. A good—no, a great companion.

She was still all of those things, except—

Except now I’ve pictured her naked.

Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Connect with Penny:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter/

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Twitter: @ReidRomance

Newsletter: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

www.pennyreid.ninja

Meet L.H. Cosway:

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

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Connect with L.H. Cosway:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LHCosway/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jVTDk8

Twitter: @LHCosway

Newsletter:http://lhcoswayauthor.com/newsletter/

Website: www.lhcoswayauthor.com

Review: Knocked Up by Stacey Lynn

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Knocked Up by Stacey Lynn
Publication Date: June 12th, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes baby in a baby carriage. Just not necessarily in that order….

Braxton: I should probably be dead or in jail right now. Instead, thanks to some tough love, I worked my ass off and now I own a string of tattoo parlors throughout the Pacific Northwest. And yet the one thing I’ve always wanted—a family—still seems out of reach. When my best friend gets married, I’m just hoping to blow off some steam with the super-hot maid of honor. But after Cara Thompson tracks me down to tell me she’s pregnant, she’s more surprised than I am when I tell her I’m all in.

Cara: For the first time in my life, I’m living for myself—not for my parents and their ridiculous expectations. I gave up on my MBA, dropped out of the Ivy League, and moved to Portland to pursue my dream of becoming an artist. And what’s the first thing I do? Get knocked up. For a tatted-up sex god, Braxton Henley seems way too eager to “be there for me.” Is this guy serious? Maybe. He sure is patient. Because he won’t back down until I admit what I know in my heart: that our one night stand might’ve led me to the one.

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Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Knocked Up is a story of a girl and the guy who accidentally knocks her up. Neither Cara nor Braxton planned on seeing each other after they hooked up at their best friends’ wedding. Several weeks later, Cara comes to terms with the fact that she has to track down her one night stand to tell him she’s pregnant. Braxton surprises Cara by the level of involvement he wants. Braxton’s determined to have more than just a baby with Cara, so he sets out to get to know her and create the family he’s never had.

Knocked Up is the first book I’ve read by Stacey Lynn. The blurb is what convinced me to pick it up. The idea of two people hooking up at their best friends’ wedding and ending up pregnant sounded cute. It totally was. Cara was a young woman learning to stand on her own. She was very unsure what life held for her, but she knew how to make the best of things and do what was best for her. Braxton was this guy with a tough exterior and soft interior. I loved how he wanted to take care of Cara for all of the right reasons. Braxton and Cara were far from perfect, but they were perfect for each other.

This book wasn’t all cuteness, though. It also had some deep moments. Both Cara and Braxton had some tough issues they were dealing with from their past. Initially, some of those things kept them apart. In the end, their differences brought them together even more. How they worked through all of their problems made me fall even more in love with their romance than I already was.

I’m happy I decide to give Knocked Up a try. It was a fun read. I loved Stacey Flynn’s writing. I’m looking forward to going back to read the first book in this series. I’ve already requested it from my local library.


Excerpt:

I quickly take everything off and drape the paper sheet over my lap, leaving my socks on, and when I’m ready, the edges of the sheet tucked under my thighs and backside, Pam knocks on the door.

“Ready?” she calls as she’s already pushing open the door.

“Yup.” I sound like I’m about ready to croak, and Braxton’s deep, rumbling chuckle worsens my rattled nerves. He kissed me!

I raise my hand to my mouth and as my fingertips press my lips, they’re taken away, gripped in Braxton’s warm hold. He smiles down at me knowingly and I force my attention on Pam.

She pulls the internal monitor out of the drawer, along with a bottle of lubricant and a condom, and Braxton’s grip on my hand turns almost bone-crushing.

“Is that—”

“Yup.” I cut him off.

“Um.”

“Now you see why I wanted the external one,” I mutter quietly.

I can’t look at him. My cheeks are on fire, and for some absolutely insane reason, other parts of my body are warming and this should not be happening at my midwife’s office.

“So,” Pam says, turning around and back to business. Except it’s hard to take her seriously as she waves what looks like a massive vibrator in her hand. “We’re going to insert this inside of you.”

“Holy shit,” Braxton mutters. And God, kill me. Please kill me now.

If Pam hears him, she ignores him as she steps toward me, and pulls out a set of stirrups from beneath the table. “I’m going to need you to lie down, Cara, and spread your legs, and slip down to the edge of the bed for me.”

“I feel like I’ve heard this before,” I say, unable to stop myself. My filter has evaporated along with my self-respect and all of this is so absolutely humiliating.

Pam pauses, glances at me and then at Braxton and nods, understanding. But I swear, as her gaze sweeps down Braxton’s arms, even she blushes. Which is great . . . my midwife thinks my non-boyfriend baby daddy is hot.

“I feel like I’ve said this before,” Braxton says, and both of our eyes whip to him. My gracious. He’s smiling, shoulders shaking like he’s holding back the world’s most boisterous laugh, and it’s all I can do to not kill him while he’s standing there, glancing between the monitor-slash-vibrator and my spread legs and I can’t hold it in anymore.

“This is embarrassing.”

Pam is back to business, already spreading the condom over the phallic-shaped instrument, and then she drizzles on the lubricant.

Braxton’s breath brushes over my cheeks. His dark locks tickle my temple as he whispers, “I feel like I should be offering to help with this.”

“Shut up,” I grit, my stomach muscles clenching from trying not to die or laugh. “This isn’t funny.”

“Oh. This is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen, I’m not going to lie.”

My fingers squeeze his hand and Pam is in front of me. She holds a small black box in her other hand and the tip of the wand against my center. “I’ll go slow, and it might be cold, okay?”

“Yup.”

“Sweet Jesus,” Braxton whispers. “I don’t know whether to be terrified or turned on right now, Cara.”

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About the Author

Stacey Lynn Author Photo


Stacey Lynn currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and four children. When she’s not conquering mountains of laundry and fighting a war against dust bunnies and cracker crumbs, you can find her playing with her children, curled up on the couch with a good book, or on the boat with her family enjoying Minnesota’s beautiful, yet too short, summer.

She lives off her daily pot of coffee, can only write with a bowlful of Skittles nearby, and has been in love with romance novels since before she could drive herself to the library.

If you would like to know more about Stacey Lynn, follow her here:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/staceylynnbooks
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Review: Burning Up by Jennifer Blackwood

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Series: Flirting with Fire, #1
Author: Jennifer Blackwood
Publication Date: May 8, 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway and this review is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Blackwood fans the flames of desire in her smoking-hot series about firefighters and the women who want them…

Unemployed schoolteacher Erin Jenkins is back in Portland, the town she hasn’t called home for more than a decade. It’s not the way she wants to spend her last days of summer: in between jobs and avoiding her mother’s snooping by escaping to the ice-cream aisle. But when the opportunity arises for her to accompany her brother’s best friend—her lifetime crush—to a wedding, summer gets a whole lot more interesting.

Firefighter and single dad Jake Bennett has built a nice, safe wall around his heart—no romance, no getting burned. That doesn’t mean he’s ruling out a fling. Considering Erin’s visit is temporary, they’re the perfect fit for a scorching no-strings one-night stand. Or two. Or five. Until the worst thing happens: Erin and Jake are feeling more. Damn that four-letter word.

Now their hearts are on the line, and when their smoldering summer comes to a close, it’s going to be harder than ever to put out the fire.


Burning Up is one of those books I could have fallen in love with but didn’t. I’m sad to say that because I’ve enjoyed other books by Jennifer Blackwood. This one was good, but it could have been so much better.

My biggest frustration with Burning Up was all of the back and forth between the characters. Erin and Jake had a cute connection based on the fact that Jake was Erin’s older brother’s best friend. She had a high school crush on him, and he stayed away based on her brother’s warning. Years later, they reconnect when Erin returns to Portland. They’re super attracted to each other, but Jake can’t pull the trigger on hooking up with her because of his worries. It’s not just once, but multiple times. I couldn’t believe how okay with that Erin was. Granted she had her own issues, but still. It drove me crazy. There was way too much build up. I wanted to scream at them to get it on already. Their hesitation to actually be together almost killed this book for me.

What saved things? The secondary characters. Erin’s entire family was fun. Her mom was a hoot. I loved her interactions with her sisters and brother. Same for Jake. Hisfamily was funny, too. I especially adored his relationship with his daughter. I also loved Erin and Jake’s friends. Without all these side stories carrying the main one, I don’t know that I would have stayed as interested as I did.

Would I recommend reading Burning Up? That’s a hard question. Yes and no. There are better books written by Jennifer Blackwood that I would rather tell you to read, but this one feels like a gateway to a possibly great series. I have a feeling that some of the upcoming novels in it are going to be good. I am crossing my fingers for Reece and a certain friend of Erin’s to show up. Also, Hollywood needs a book.

Review: A Wish for Us by Tillie Cole

From the author who brought you A Thousand Boy Kisses comes the new emotional novel, A Wish For Us.
A story of music. A story of healing. A story of love conquering all.

Nineteen-year-old Cromwell Dean is the rising star of electronic dance music. Thousands of people adore him. But no one knows him. No one sees the color of his heart.

Until the girl in the purple dress. She sees through the walls he has built to the empty darkness within.

When Cromwell leaves behind the gray skies of England to study music in the South Carolina heat, the last thing he expects is to see her again. And he certainly doesn’t expect that she’ll stay in his head like a song on repeat.

Bonnie Farraday lives for music. She lets every note into her heart, and she doesn’t understand how someone as talented as Cromwell can avoid doing the same. He’s hiding from his past, and she knows it. She tries to stay away from him, but something keeps calling her back.

Bonnie is the burst of color in Cromwell’s darkness. He’s the beat that makes her heart skip.

But when a shadow falls over Bonnie, it’s up to Cromwell to be her light, in the only way he knows how. He must help her find the lost song in her fragile heart. He must keep her strong with a symphony only he can compose.

A symphony of hope.
A symphony of love.
A symphony of them.

Review:

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

It’s been a while since a book has made me feel the way A Wish for Us did. A Wish for Us was one of those emotionally raw books. (I am admitting to tears with this book, folks. It takes a lot to make me cry while reading.) There were elements to the story that weren’t exactly new and that I could see coming, but those were eclipsed by the beauty of the story and the surprises it had in store.

I was completely entranced by Cromwell Dean and Bonnie Farraday. They were so different, yet perfect for each other. Cromwell and Bonnie truly saw and understood each other. It’s one of my favorite things when a book can bring a connection like theirs to life. I loved how they were bound together by music, and how music was brought to life in this book.

Now that I’ve mentioned the music piece, I have to talk more about it. I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced music quite like the way Tillie Cole used it in A Wish for Us. It was pure genius. This definitely wasn’t a regular rock star/musician romance. A Wish for Us had something amazing and extra special that made it stand out.

I absolutely loved A Wish for Us. It was beautifully written. I don’t want to say too much more about it. I don’t want to give anything away. It’s truly one of those books you have to experience for yourself, and one I’ll be thinking about a long time to come.

I let the rush of nicotine fill my lungs and closed my eyes. As my eyelids shut, I heard quiet music playing somewhere nearby. Classical. Mozart. My drunken mind immediately drifted off to when I was a little kid . . . “What do you hear, Cromwell?” my father asked. I closed my eyes and listened to the piece of music. Colors danced before my eyes. “Piano. Violins. Cellos . . .” I took a deep breath. “I can hear reds and greens and pinks.” I opened my eyes and looked up at my father as he sat on my bed. He was staring down at me. There was a funny expression on his face. “You hear colors?” he said. But he didn’t sound surprised. My face set on fire. I ducked my head under my duvet. My father pulled it down from my eyes. He stroked my hair. “That’s good,” he said, his voice kind of deep. “That’s very good . . .” My eyes snapped open. My hand started to ache. I looked at the bottle in my hand; my fingers were white as they gripped the neck. I sat up, my head spinning from the mass of whiskey in my body. My temples throbbed. I realized it wasn’t from the Jack, but from the music coming from further down the beach. I pushed my hair back from my face then looked to my right. Someone was only a few feet away. I squinted into the lightening night, summer’s early rising sun making it possible to make out the features of whoever the hell it was. It was a girl. A girl wrapped in a blanket. Her phone sat beside her, a Mozart piano concerto drifting quietly from the speaker. She must have felt me looking at her, because she turned her head. I frowned, wondering why I knew her face, but then—“You’re the DJ,” she said. Recognition dawned. It was the girl in the purple dress. She clutched her blanket closer around her as I replayed her accent in my head. American. Bible Belt was my guess, by her thick twang. She sounded like my mum. A smile tugged at her lips as I stayed mute. I wasn’t much of a talker. Especially when my gut was full of Jack and I had zero interest in making small talk with some girl I didn’t know at four in the morning on a cold beach in Brighton. “I’d heard of you,” she said. I stared back out over the sea. Ships sailed in the distance, their lights like tiny fireflies, bobbing up and down. I huffed a humorless laugh. Great. Another girl who wanted to screw the DJ. “Good for you,” I muttered and took a drink of my Jack, feeling the addictive burn slide down my throat. I hoped she’d piss off, or at least stop trying to talk to me. My head couldn’t take any more noise. “Not really,” she shot back. I looked over at her, eyebrows pulled down in confusion. She was looking out over the sea, her chin resting on her folded arms that lay over her bent knees. The blanket had fallen off her shoulders, revealing the purple dress I’d noticed from the podium. She turned to face me, cheek now on her arms. Heat zipped through me. She was pretty. “I’ve heard of you, Cromwell Dean.” She shrugged. “Decided to get a ticket to see you before I left for home tomorrow.” I lit up another cigarette. Her nose wrinkled. She clearly didn’t like the smell. Tough luck. She could move. Last time I checked, England was a free country. She went quiet. I caught her looking at me. Her brown eyes were narrowed, like she was scrutinizing me. Reading something in me that I didn’t want anyone to see. No one ever looked at me closely. I never gave them the chance. I thrived on the podium at clubs because it kept everyone far away, down on the dancefloor where no one ever saw the real me. The way she was looking at me now made nervous shivers break out over my skin. I didn’t need this kind of crap. “Already had my dick sucked tonight, love. Not looking for a second round.” She blinked, and even in the rising sun, I could see her cheeks redden. “Your music has no soul,” she blurted. My cigarette paused halfway to my mouth. Something managed to stab through my stomach at her words. I shoved it back down until I felt my usual sensation of numbness. I sucked on my cigarette. “Yeah? Well, them’s the breaks.” “I’d heard you were some messiah or something on that podium. But all your music comprised was synthetic beats and forced repetitive bursts of unoriginal tempo.” I laughed and shook my head. The girl met my eyes head-on. “It’s called electronic dance music. Not a fifty-piece orchestra.” I held out my arms. “You’ve heard of me. Said so yourself. You know what tunes I spin. What were you expecting? Mozart?” I glared at her phone, which was still playing that damn concerto. I sat back, surprised at myself. I hadn’t talked that much to anyone in . . . I didn’t know how long. I took in a drag, breathing out the smoke that was trapped in my chest. “And turn that thing off, will you? Who the hell goes to hear a dance DJ spin, then comes to a beach to listen to classical music?” The girl frowned but turned off the music. I lay back on the cold sand, closing my eyes. I heard the soft waves lapping the shore. My head filled with pale green. I heard the girl moving. I prayed she was leaving. But I felt her drop beside me. My world darkened as the whiskey and the usual lack of sleep started to pull me under. “What do you feel when you mix your music?” she asked. How the hell she thought her little interview was a good idea right now was beyond me. Yet, surprisingly, I found myself answering her question. “I don’t feel.” I cracked one eye open when she didn’t say anything. She was looking down at me. She had the biggest brown eyes I’d ever seen. Dark hair pulled off her face in a ponytail. Full lips and smooth skin. “Then that’s the problem.” She smiled, but the smile looked nothing but sad. Pitying. “The best music must be felt. By the creator. By the listener. Every part of it from creation to ear must be wrapped in nothing but feelings.” Some weird expression crossed over her face, but hell if I knew what it meant. Her words were a blade to my chest. I hadn’t expected her harsh comment. And I hadn’t expected the blunt trauma that she seemed to deliver right to my heart. Like she’d taken a butcher’s knife and sliced her way through my soul. My body itched to get up and run. To pluck out her assessment of my music from my memory. But instead I forced a laugh, and spat, “Go back home, little Dorothy. Back to where music means something. Where it’s felt.” “Dorothy was from Kansas.” She glanced away. “I’m not.” “Then go back to wherever the hell you’re from,” I snapped. Crossing my arms over my chest, I hunkered down into the sand and shut my eyes, trying to block out the cold wind that was picking up and slapping my skin, and her words that were still stabbing at my heart. I never let anything get to me like this. Not anymore. I just needed some sleep. I didn’t want to go back to my mum’s house here in Brighton, and my flat in London was too far away. So hopefully the cops wouldn’t find me here and kick me off the beach. With my eyes closed, I said, “Thanks for the midnight critique, but as the fastest-rising DJ in Europe, with the best clubs in the world begging for me to spin at their decks—all at nineteen—I think I’ll ignore your extensive notes and just keep on living my sweet as fuck life.”

Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.

Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.

Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.

When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.

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Blog Tour REVIEW: The Right Stud by Ilsa Madden-Mills & Tia Louise

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The Right Stud, an all-new steamy standalone from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and USA Today bestselling author Tia Louise is LIVE!

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Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and USA Today bestselling author Tia Louise are back with an all-new romantic comedy filled with Southern sass and steamy scenes that will have you laughing out loud and fanning yourself. Pour the sweet tea and get ready…

“The best way to get over your sh**ty ex-fiancé is to get under a shiny new stud…”

As soon as Mr. Tall, Blond, and Handsome walks into that bar, I know he’s the hook-up I need to get over stupid Cheater Kyle.

A few stolen kisses in a dark hallway, and I’m pretty sure we’re headed for a home run—until he disappears without a trace.

Whatever. Men are all snakes in the grass, and I don’t need a new one anyway.

I resolve to forget about his perfect lips (and chest of steel) and instead focus on turning my Granny’s old beach house into a profitable B&B.

What I don’t expect is for him to show up the next day in my kitchen!

You see, my sexy mystery man is none other than Jax Roland, the drop-dead gorgeous home improvement star of The Right Stud, and he’s got an offer I can’t refuse.

With a suitcase in one hand and a hammer in the other, he wants to move in and renovate my old house while he films his new show.

But my roommate has secrets, and they threaten to rip our blossoming friendship—and possible love—apart.

When push comes to shove, is Jax really The Right Studor is he just another nail in the coffin of love?

Review

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

In The Right Stud, Jax and Ashton almost hook up at a bar without realizing they are soon going to work together. Once Jax shows up at Ashton’s beach house, she decides it’s best to keep their relationship platonic. Jax doesn’t agree. He wants nothing more than to act on his attraction to Ashton. Soon, Ashton is willing giving in to their attraction. Remodeling while hooking up seems easy until a secret Jax is keeping threatens to wrench them apart.

The Right Stud in one word? Hilarious. I couldn’t believe how much I laughed while reading this one. Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise crammed The Right Stud with as many crazy fun moments as possible. The Right Stud was such a good time.

Jax and Ashton’s romance was predictably cute. I loved the way they met and then ended up working together. Despite the short timeline of the story, their instant chemistry made their quick fall into love fairly believable. I enjoyed how their relationship unfolded and the drama they had to fight through.

Here’s the thing, though. Jax and Ashton were out shined by some amazing side characters. Mrs. C. was Ashton’s grandmother’s friend and her boarder. The old widow was HILARIOUS. Her nuggets of wisdom and comments about her late husband killed me. She made me laugh so hard. So did her parrot. The words that parrot knew…Oh my goodness! His timing was amazing. Then, there was Jean Claude van Ram. The name alone was enough to make me giggle every time I read it. These characters stole the show. I loved Jax and Ashton, but I would have read this book if it was just about all of these guys. Seriously. Super funny. I couldn’t get enough.

If you’re looking for a humorous romance, The Right Stud would be an excellent choice. It’s fun, fast-paced, and is guaranteed to make you laugh.

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Excerpt

Ashton

I disentangle myself from Jax’s strong arms and land on the floor with a plop. I freeze, hoping I didn’t wake him, and I’m reassured when I hear a soft snore.

Thank God. I don’t think I can face him right now. I completely made a fool of myself. It was the wine. It was the Marvin Gaye. It was…

Hell, it was just him. No man has the right to look that fucking good when he’s washing skunk spray off his body in the ocean!

I snatch up my clothes and throw them on with haphazard care. With one last, regretful look at his physically perfect form on full display, I open the door and slide out, closing it with a soft snick.

I’ve just made it downstairs in the dark, hoping to grab a glass of water, when I run smack into Mrs. C leaving the kitchen.

“Oh!” I stammer, stepping back.

“You got the big D didn’t you?” Her face is covered in some kind of green mask that smells faintly of cucumbers. Rufus, her parrot, studies me with beady eyes from his perch on her shoulder.

“What’s a D?”

“Don’t play coy with me. I may be sixty but I know a satisfied woman when I see one. I had that same look every time Mr. C took me to pound town.” She sighs. “He had the biggest cock you know. I used to tease him that he could have been a porn star…”

I blink. Pound town?

I clear my throat. “You’ve been watching too much HBO, Mrs. C. Jax and I are in a working relationship, and I would never jeopardize that.”

Her eyebrow arches. “Whatever you have to tell yourself. But your dress is on inside out.”

“Fuck!” Rufus calls out and I scowl at both of them.

She hushes him, still looking at me. “And don’t think I didn’t hear all the moaning and grunting. It was loud. I kinda liked it to be honest. It’s been a long time since anyone got a good seeing-to in this old house.”

Pushing the hair away from my face, I exhale, feeling embarrassed. “It’s one in the morning. Shouldn’t you be in bed?”

“I came in here to grind up some cucumbers for my mask. But I can tell you’re not in the mood to talk, so I’ll go to my room and wash it off.” With an offended sniff, she turns to go.

“Wait.”

She pivots back around. “Yes?”

I rub the back of my neck, which is sticky from being pressed against sweaty male-flesh for the past few hours of glorious bliss… which reminds me that I don’t ever recall Kyle giving me two orgasms in one night.

Focus, Ashton. “If we did have sex, and that’s a big if—”

“You did. I heard you cry out…Oh God, I’m coming.” Her face is deadpan.

“Did I make a mistake? I mean, he’s here to work, and he’s a man, which makes him an asshole.” I give her a pleading look, and I know I must be desperate to be seeking dating advice from Mrs. C.

Her lips purse as she gives it a think, beady eyes carefully studying me from beneath the layers of the lime green mask. “Honey, he’s the goat savior and the skunk hero. He deserves a good fuck. Just call it a one-off and let it go.”

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About the Authors

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and USA Today bestselling author Tia Louise are not a secret duo, but simply themselves.

Great friends, former English teachers, and southern gals in real life, they’ve teamed up to bring you laugh-out-loud naughty romances with strong leading ladies and sexy alpha males who know how to please their women… and who sometimes you just want to slap.
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Website: http://www.ilsamaddenmills.com/

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Awaken the Travel Bug In Me

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 is Books That Awaken the Travel Bug In Me. Here are books that make me want to hop on a plane even though I hate flying.


1. Juniors by Kaui Hart Hemmings

2. The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

3. Chasing Crazy by Kelly Siskind

4. Burning Moon by Jo Watson

5. Almost a Bride by Jo Watson

6. Finding You by Jo Watson

7. Roman Crazy by Alice Clayton & Nina Bocci

8. Hooking Up by Helena Hunting

9. A Place in the Sun by R.S. Grey

10. Interference by Mignon Mykel

Blog Tour REVIEW: Unexpected Love Story by Natasha Madison

Title: Unexpected Love Story
Series: Love Series
Author: Natasha Madison
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: June 5, 2018

When one man’s death exposes a complex web of lies, three couples discover the true meaning of love, loss and redemption.
 
Crystal
I was the strong one, they said, until two words brought me to my knees. 
It was a secret I didn’t share with anyone. A secret that made me promise I’d never fall in love. 
I no longer wanted that white picket fence of every woman’s dreams. 
Until the unthinkable happened. 
 
Gabe
I thought I had it all with the best medical practice in the state and the woman of my dreams. 
I wore a smile on my face every single day. 
I couldn’t wait to watch her walk down the aisle and start our forever, except she never did. 
My runaway bride made me realize love isn’t worth it. 
 
What happens when your dreams unexpectedly come true?
 

This is the story of unexpected love.

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

After reading Perfect Love Story (Love, #1), I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Unexpected Love Story. Gabe and Crystal were my favorite characters from that first book.

Gabe and Crystal’s love story was predictable but entertaining. They had a fiery chemistry. I don’t want to give anything away, but I loved how they met and where their relationship went. There was almost a love-hate aspect to the romance. It was incredibly fun.

My only complaint is that because this book spans the same timeline as the first book in the series, there were lots of overlapping events. I didn’t mind seeing those through Gabe and Crystal’s eyes, but I would have liked more fresh content. I didn’t need some of the recap, although readers who hadn’t read Perfect Love Story probably wouldn’t be bothered by this.

Overall, I really liked Gabe and Crystal’s story. It was feisty, sweet, and fun. I’m looking forward to reading the third book in the series.

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Crystal

“I’m going to the restroom.” I giggle to Dawn, who nods her head at me. Making my way through the crowd of people around the bar, I bend my head to watch my feet. Walking into the dim hallway, I smash into a man who has just come out of the bathroom. His arm automatically flies to wrap around my waist and bring me against him. His smell intoxicates me further, and I giggle as I try not to fall. I put my head back, looking up at him, and my smile gets even bigger. “I’m sorry, I wasn’t watching where I was going.” I look up into his blue eyes, and he smiles down at me.

“It’s my fault.” His voice comes out deep. “I should have looked right and left when I walked out of the bathroom.”

I throw my head back and laugh. “I get it. Like crossing the street.”

He loosens his hold on me, and I step back, finally taking him in. His hair is cut short on the side, the top longer. His t-shirt looks like he is bulging out of it, especially his biceps. Ink decorates both arms to his wrists. His jaw looks chiseled, his nose perfect. I don’t know if it’s the booze talking or not, but this man is fucking perfect. “Are you here for the convention?” I ask him, and he nods.

“Are you?” He puts his hands in his back pockets.

“No, I’m a nurse over at the hospital,” I tell him as someone walks by me and nudges me with their shoulder, sending me flying into him again. “Sorry.”

“You’ve fallen into my lap twice now, and I still don’t know your name.” He smiles at me, holding my arms in his hands.

“I’m Jane,” I tell him, hoping he gets the joke. “Jane Doe.” This time, he is the one throwing his head back and laughing.

“Well, Jane Doe, I’m John.” He holds out his hand, and I take it in my hand, shaking it. “John Doe.”

“I think we’re related somehow.” I smile at him, and this time, his eyes go serious.

“I really fucking hope not.” He takes a deep breath.

“I have to go to the bathroom,” I say, dropping his hand. “Excuse me.” I look down and then back over my shoulder once I walk away to see him staring at me. “Enjoying the view?”

“More than you fucking know.” He smiles, and I push open the bathroom door, whispering, “Holy shit,” the whole time.

Gabe

I watch Jane Doe walk into the bathroom, thinking this night just got a whole lot better.

When we first arrived an hour ago, even with a large crowd I spotted her. My gaze found her right away, and then she moved her hips, and I just couldn’t look away. It was as if fate handed her to me when she smashed into me.

I look toward the bar and then back at the bathroom door as I list the pros and cons of staying and leaving in my head. Everything tells me this is a bad idea, but I go with my gut, which brings me back to the women’s bathroom door. I lean against the wall, facing the door, one foot on the wall, and both hands in my pockets. I haven’t done this in forever. I was never a one-night stand kind of guy, but something tells me not to walk away.

The door swings open, and there she stands. If I thought she was good looking through the crowds of people in the dim light, then nothing compares to her standing in the fully lit bathroom. Her blond hair falls down her back and her blue eyes shine with mischief. Her neck bare and white gives me the sudden urge to bite her. “You waiting for me?” she asks, walking to me.

“I wanted to know if maybe you wanted to grab a drink.” Her citrus smell hits me in the stomach. Fresh and clean. “I was thinking,” I say, tracing my finger down her cheek, “we could maybe go over our family tree.”

Her hands go straight to my waist as she leans into me. “Let’s go have that drink.” She winks at me, walking away from me as I follow her to the bar. “What are you having?” She turns to ask me.

“Scotch on the rocks,” I yell to the bartender, who then looks at her. “I’ll have the same,” she says.

“So.” She leans in, the noise of the bar drowning out her voice. The bartender returns with the two scotches and places them in front of us.

“Put it on my tab,” I tell him, and he nods his head. I pick up the glass, holding it in front of me. “To long-lost family.”

She picks up her glass. “To living in the moment.” I clink her glass in a toast, then she drinks a sip and looks at me. “Are you married?”

I shake my head. “Nope. Single. You?” I ask her. Even though I want to do this, I don’t want to cross that line.

“Always single.” She smiles, taking another sip, this time longer. “So, John”—she looks at me, stepping into my space—“there is just one more question that needs answering.”

I down the scotch, not even hissing when it burns my throat to my chest and then straight down to my stomach. I place the glass on the bar. “Do you want to go someplace where it’s quiet?” I ask her. She nods and smiles at me. It’s a smile that I’m not sure I ever want to see go away. It’s a smile that lights up her whole face. I don’t know if it’s the booze or not, but I’m not ready for it to be over just yet.

“I just have to tell my friends I’m leaving.” She points behind her and goes to tell them something while I close up the tab. A couple of women look over her shoulder, waving their hands at me, and one high-fives her. She shakes her head, laughing, while she walks back to me. “So where to?” she asks me. I grab her hand and walk outside to the building next door. “Well, that wasn’t too far.”

I guide her to the elevator and press the button standing next to her. I’m nervous; I haven’t had sex with someone new since Bethany and that feels like forever ago. I start thinking about different moves when the elevator dings, and the doors open. She steps in before me. “What floor?” she asks.

“Twenty-seven,” I say, and she presses the button. She leans on the wall while I lean on the other across from her. “I don’t usually do this.”

The little minx smiles at me. “A one-night stand or sex?”

I smile at her. “Very funny. A one-night stand.”

She stands straight and walks over to me. Her hands go straight to my chest, causing my heart to beat faster. “Well, then”—she inches closer, her hands moving to my neck, and my hands going to her waist, pulling her close to me, “let me start then.”

She goes on her tippy toes, and something in me takes over. I turn her so she is the one against the wall now. My hand runs over her bare neck, coming up to cup her chin. “I’m the one driving this car,” I tell her right before I hear her breath hitch and my mouth crashes into hers. I taste the scotch on her when her hand touches my cheek, and I angle my head to get more of her. To get all of her. The elevator dings, letting us know we are on our floor. Our lips separate from each other as our chests rise and fall rapidly. I hold out my hand, and she places hers in mine. As soon as our fingers intertwine, I pull her out of the elevator before the doors shut us in. She laughs as she follows me, and I make the mistake of looking over at her, seeing her with her hair going everywhere, the smile on her face, and the twinkle in her eyes. I make sure to remember it all.


Broken Love Story July 10th (PreOrder)

 
When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…

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Review: Folsom by Tarryn Fisher & Willow Aster

Folsom
Series: End of Men, #1
Authors: Tarryn Fisher, Willow Aster
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Genre: Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The nation as we know it is a thing of the past.

With the male species on the verge of extinction, a society called the End Men is formed to save the world. Folsom Donahue is one of twelve men whose sole purpose is to repopulate the Regions. The endless days spent having sex with strangers leaves Folsom with an emptiness no amount of women, money, or status can fill.

Until Gwen.

Gwen has wanted a child for as long as she can remember, but when she finally gets a chance to have her own, she uncovers a long hidden truth. The injustice she sees moves her to help save the men whom no one else believes need saving.

A forbidden love, grown in a time of despair, ignites a revolution.

Folsom and Gwen, torn between their love for each other and their sense of duty, must make a choice. But some will stop at nothing to destroy them.


I have so much to say about Folsom, and I think the best way to do that is to break this review down piece by piece for you. Here we go!

The collaboration: Tarryn Fisher and Willow Aster’s writing melded perfectly together. I couldn’t tell where one author ended and the other began. That’s exactly what I’m looking for when two authors write a book together. Their writing was flawless and kept me wanting more.

The setting: I’m not a science fiction or fantasy reader. I’ve read several of the most hyped dystopian series and liked them, but they’re not books I normally gravitate to. I was surprised by how much I loved the dystopian setting of Folsom. The age of women was so unique and so cool. I was surprised by how interested I was in it.

The story: It was so unique! It’s the age of woman and there’s not enough men. They’ve all died off with the exception of the End Men. These guys move yearly to new regions to try and impregnate as many women as possible. They’re hoping to create baby boys to help carry on the human race. Folsom is moved to the Red Region where he meets Gwen. Their meeting changes the way both of them think about the End Men and how society is living. I loved it!

The characters: Folsom’s job was a little disturbing at times (that’s just coming from a monogamous woman’s thoughts), but I enjoyed reading how his feelings about it changed over time. I loved how he was with Gwen. His true personality came out then. Gwen was a spitfire. I loved how she stood up for her beliefs. The rest of the characters, good and bad, fit the story well and added some really good drama.

The love story: It’s hard to imagine falling for a man with such a promiscuous job, but Gwen’s attraction to and immediate bonding with Folsom made it easy to accept. I loved how falling for Gwen brought the spark back to Folsom’s life. It was so different, yet so sweet. I adored them together. I wanted more time with them that way.

The surprises: There were several, and I wasn’t expecting them all. I loved being surprised – especially by the ending! I wasn’t expecting it to turn out the way it did. I am so excited to read the next book!

Overall: If you’re a fan of these authors, you will like Folsom even if dystopian novels are not your thing. I’m proof of that. Folsom was an addictive read that kept me turning page after page. I loved everything about it.

Review: Dead Certain by Adam Mitzner

Dead Certain
Author: Adam Mitzner
Publication Date: June 1, 2017
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Ella Broden is living a double life.

By day, Ella works as a buttoned-up attorney on some of the city’s most grueling cases. By night, she pursues her passion for singing in the darkest clubs of Manhattan.

No one knows her secret, not even Charlotte, the younger sister she practically raised. But it seems she’s not the only one in the family with something to hide. When Charlotte announces she’s sold her first novel, Ella couldn’t be more thrilled…until she gets a call that her sister’s gone missing.

Ella starts investigating with the help of Detective Gabriel Velasquez, an old flame in the NYPD, and what she finds is shocking. If art imitates life, then her sister’s novel may contain details of her real-life affairs. And any one of her lovers could be involved in her disappearance.

Desperate to bring Charlotte home, Ella works through her list of suspects, matching fictitious characters with flesh-and-blood men. But will it be too late to save the sister she only thought she knew?


Dead Certain is a hard book for me to review. There were several things I really liked about it, but there were some I didn’t. Rather than write out a lengthy review about it all, I’m going to break this review down to what I liked and what I didn’t care for.

What I liked:

  • The mystery behind Charlotte’s disappearance.
  • The chapters of Charlotte’s book. They were the heart of the story for me, and the most interesting clues to her disappearance.
  • The unexpected narrator in the second half.
  • How the mystery of Charlotte’s disappearance wrapped up.
  • Ella’s double life. I wanted more of it. It wasn’t as big a factor as I expected.

What I didn’t care for:

  • Ella. Her character wasn’t one I easily connected to. There was something about her personality that annoyed me.
  • The amount of legal detail overwhelmed me at times.
  • The first half of the book was a bit boring, to be honest. The second half was so good. I don’t know how the author could have made the beginning more like the second half, but it would have made the book more entertaining.
  • The plot was somewhat predictable. I knew who did it early on.

Overall thoughts:

Despite not enjoying the first half of this book, the second half totally redeemed Dead Certain in my eyes. Even though I didn’t enjoy that first half, I can now appreciate that part. It made the surprises that were coming in the second half even better.

Would I recommend Dead Certain? Yes. I did end up really liking how things played out, and I think others would, too.

Release Day Review: Dreams of Falling by Karen White

Dreams of Falling
Author: Karen White
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary, Historical
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Karen White crafts evocative relationships in this new contemporary women’s fiction novel about best friends who share a devastating secret, set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

It’s been nine years since Larkin fled Georgetown, South Carolina, vowing never to go back. But when she finds out that her mother has disappeared, she knows she has no choice but to return to the place that she both loves and dreads–and to the family and friends who never stopped wishing for her to come home. Ivy, Larkin’s mother, is discovered in the burned out wreckage of her family’s ancestral rice plantation, badly injured and unconscious. No one knows why Ivy was there, but as Larkin digs for answers, she uncovers secrets kept for nearly 50 years. Secrets that lead back to the past, to the friendship between three girls on the brink of womanhood who swore that they would be friends forever, but who found that vow tested in heartbreaking ways.


Karen White is one of my auto-buy authors. I love the way she writes. I’m always pulled into her books from the first few words on the page. Her stories take a while to unfold, but I know the pay off is going to be worth the wait. It was for Dreams of Falling.

Dreams of Falling is a multi-generational tale about the relationship between mothers and daughters. It stars three women: a grandmother, a daughter, and a granddaughter. Larkin, the granddaughter and main narrator, is a woman who ran from her past. She lives in New York, but is summoned back to South Carolina when her mother is injured. Returning home opens up old wounds for Larkin, and she’s forced to confront her them while her mother is fighting for her life. Ivy, the daughter, is an unexpected narrator. She’s in limbo between life and death, reflecting upon the choices she made and the truths she uncovered before her accident. The final point of view is Ceecee. Ceecee is Ivy’s step-mother who raised her for most of her life and helped raise Larkin. Ceecee was one of Ivy’s mother’s best friends. Her chapters switch between the present and the past, helping unravel the mystery of what happened on the night Ivy’s mother died.

Dreams of Falling was spellbinding. There was this dream like feel to the story. Even when things were taking place in the characters’ present, there was a sleepy quality to the writing. I loved it. The whole tone of the book went with the story being told. It was really cool.

I adored the Georgetown, South Carolina setting. The small town feel helped connect the past to the present and the characters to each other. The mystery brought a darkness to the story, but this amazing setting brought the light. I liked the contrast.

The characters in this book were frustrating — but only because of the way they avoided asking the tough questions of themselves and each other. I understood Larkin’s reasons for trying to become someone different, but I wish she would have been more open to the advice of the people who loved her. Ceecee was way too involved in everyone’s lives. It took me a long time to understand why. There wasn’t enough of Ivy, in my opinion. I really, really wanted to know more about her life growing up. I can’t complain too much about these frustrations, though, because they’re what made Dreams of Falling a captivating story.

I loved the mystery of what happened on the night Ivy’s mother died. The way it unfolded and was revealed to the reader was great. There were some things I guessed, but many that I was surprised by. I loved finding out how one event that happened years ago shaped the lives of three generations of women.

Overall, I loved reading this book. It was exactly what I’ve come to expect from Karen White. If you enjoy multi-generational stories about family, friendship, and love, Dreams of Falling might just be the book for you. Heck, any book by Karen White would be for you.