Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie – 50 States Challenge

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 a freebie, so I thought I would share a challenge I’ve been working on. It’s a 50 States Challenge to see if I can read a book set in each state. It’s not really a Top Ten, but I thought it would be fun to share. Here’s how I’ve done so far.

50 States Challenge

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory
Colorado  The Other Side by Kim Holden
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews
Georgia Hollywood Dirt (Hollywood Dirt, #1) by Alessandra Torre
Hawaii
Idaho One Little Lie by Whitney Barbetti
Illinois The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
Indiana Pretty Reckless (All Saints High, #1) by L.J. Shen
Iowa The Lying Hours (How to Date a Douchebag, #5) by Sara Ney
Kansas
Kentucky Burn for You (Slow Burn, #1) by J.T. Geissinger
Louisiana The Billionaire Boss Next Door by Max Monroe
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center
Michigan
Minnesota Teardrop Shot by Tijan
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana Tattered (Lark Cove, #1) by Devney Perry
Nebraska
Nevada Making Up (Shacking Up, #4) by Helena Hunting
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York F*ck Marriage by Tarryn Fisher
North Carolina Something Like Gravity by Amber Smith
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania On the Corner of Love and Hate (Hopeless Romantics, #1) by Nina Bocci
Rhode Island
South Carolina Three Little Words (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #3) by Jenny Holiday
South Dakota
Tennessee Kozart by J. Nathan
Texas Justified (Loveless, Texas #1) by Jay Crownover
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
West Virginia
Wisconsin Past Perfect Life by Elizabeth Eulberg
Wyoming

 

Review: Say You Still Love Me (K.A. Tucker)

Say You Still Love Me
Author: K.A. Tucker
Publication Date: August 6, 2019
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway.

On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus, she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancé—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.

Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group Industries, and coincidentally the first love of her life.

The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counsellors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.

Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is not only alive but stronger than ever, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.


I have mixed feelings about Say You Still Love Me. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. As always, I loved K.A. Tucker’s writing. I appreciated the emotion of it. There were just some things that didn’t work for me personally.

Let’s start with what worked for me. Like I said above, I loved the writing and the emotion of the story. I easily got caught up in the “Now” part of the story. I was curious about where Piper and Kyle’s relationship would go with all their history. I loved the last part of the book after all the revelations. I loved the ending and how everything wrapped up.

Where this book lost me was all of the flashbacks. I am not the biggest fan of flashbacks used in books. Sometimes they work for me, most of the time they don’t. I usually like the present better than the past and I just want to know what’s going to happen, not be thrust back into what did happen. This book had a ton of flashbacks — pretty much every other chapter. Just when I was getting into the present day story, I was pulled back to the past. I didn’t really like either character in the past, so I didn’t enjoy those flashbacks much. I was curious to know what happened to them, but I would have liked it to have just been a prologue or something. So basically, I loved half of this book and didn’t really care for the other half.

Review: The Rebel of Raleigh High (Callie Hart)

The Rebel of Raleigh High
Series: Raleigh Rebels, #1
Author: Callie Hart
Publication Date: April 27, 2019
Genre: Mature Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

* The Rebel of Raleigh High is the first book in the Raleigh Rebels Series. Please be advised, this book comes with a trigger warning. Intended for readers 17+ *

Silver

Hit me.
Kick me.
Hurt me.
Hate me.

There’s nothing that the students of Raleigh High can do to Silver Parisi anymore. Over the past year, she’s had to endure more pain and suffering than most people are asked to bear in their lifetimes. She’s a pariah, an outcast, a ghost. She’s also never been one to take shit lying down, though…despite what half the football team might say.

With only one hundred and sixty-eight days left of the school year, it won’t be long until graduation, and Silver’s planning on skipping town and leaving Raleigh firmly in her rearview mirror…

Until he comes along…

Alex

Orphan.
Degenerate.
Reprobate.
Deviant.
Alex Moretti’s earned most of his labels, and he’s not ashamed of a single one of them. He’ll earn far worse before he’s finished with his new found ‘friends’ at Raleigh High. Having spent years being ground down under the boot heel of society, it’s time for a little payback. And if exacting revenge upon the heads of the Raleigh elite means he can also help the beautiful girl who hovers in the shadows, then that’s all for the better.

Oil and water. Fire and ice. The differences between Silver and Alex are broader than any chasm. To reach one another, they must take a leap of faith and fall into the divide.

And falling?

Nothing good ever came from falling.


Ever since I finished the Fallen Crest High series I have been looking for a book that gives me the same combination of drama and feels. While I have found ones that capture the same level of drama, I haven’t found one that captured the feels. The Rebel of Raleigh High is the first one that’s not only captured all of the drama, but also the feels.

Silver is the girl who was once at the top of the popularity chain, but now is considered dirt at her high school thanks to the friends she once reigned with. She terrified every day she goes to school. Silver’s perfected keeping her head down until new bad boy Alex comes to town. Alex sees her in a way she doesn’t want anyone to.

I think this was supposed to be kind of a bully romance, but it wasn’t at all. It was actually a really sweet story about a girl who has been through hell and is trying to make through each day until she can get out-of-town. She’s in a lot of emotional pain, so she doesn’t realize just how strong she is. Alex is the one who shows Silver she’s got more backbone than she knew. He’s got problems of his own, but that doesn’t stop him from taking on hers. Silver and Alex have this really sweet romance.

The Rebel of Raleigh High isn’t all sweetness, though. There is a TON of drama. It’s peppered throughout the story. Some of it was typical high school popularity stuff. Much of it was much more than that. There is more than one situation that could be a possible trigger for someone. There’s a least two different ones. The last one came out of nowhere and shocked the heck out of me. It’s pretty timely with the state of the some things, but it also was hard to read. I was very surprised the author chose to go this direction. It felt more like shock and awe than a learning moment, which bugged me a bit. This book would have been at least 4 stars for me without that whole thing.

Overall, I did enjoy reading this one. I got swept away in the emotions and story. I am glad the author has decided to give us a second book about these characters. I wish it would hurry up and get here!

Mini Reviews: Bad Apple & One Night of Scandal (Elle Kennedy)

Bad Apple
Author: Elle Kennedy
Publication Date: August 13, 2019
Publisher: Elle Kennedy Inc.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A flirty standalone novel* from New York Times and international bestselling author Elle Kennedy!

One night with him will change her life…

Between her waitressing job, volunteer work, and college classes, there are never enough hours in Maggie Reilly’s day. Especially not for a relationship. Luckily, she’s got the perfect arrangement: a lover she meets three or four times a year. But when she shows up at the hotel expecting to hop into bed with one man, she accidentally ends up with another—Ben Barrett, Hollywood’s most notorious bad boy.

Ben, determined to lay low after another scandal, just wants some much-needed sleep. What he gets is a scorching make-out session with a gorgeous, naked redhead. He won’t accept her apology, but what he will accept is a place to hide out…and if there’s some hot, no-strings sex involved, why the heck not?

But Ben soon discovers that one week with his sassy, bed-hopping waitress is definitely not enough. He wants more. A lot more.

Now he needs to convince relationship-averse Maggie that a bad boy might be oh so good for her—and the best thing that’s ever happened to both of them.

* Previously published in 2008, Bad Apple (formerly Midnight Encounters) features almost entirely new content, including a point-of-view switch. Enjoy this new version of an old favorite!

My thoughts:

I really liked Bad Apple. It was a lot cuter than I thought it would be. The synopsis sounds like it would be a sexier read, and it was, but Ben Barrett brought a tenderness to it. I loved how he knew he wanted more than a few nights with Maggie and set out to prove to her a relationship was worth it. Bad Apple was one of those fun, quick reads that are perfect for a hot summer night. I never read the original release of this book, but whatever Elle Kennedy revised or added to it made for a great story.

One Night of Scandal
Series: After Hours, #2
Author: Elle Kennedy
Publication Date: September 8, 2014
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A sexy category romance from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…

The wrong man never felt so right…

Ex-fighter Reed Miller has been secretly lusting over his best friend’s girl for months, but he refuses to jeopardize a friendship over a woman—especially one who doesn’t like him all that much. Now that Darcy’s on the market again, it’s even more imperative to stick to his strict hands-off policy. But the sizzling attraction between them is too powerful to ignore, and once he’s had a taste of her…all bets are off.

Darcy Grant is tired of walking the straight and narrow path. She’s on the hunt for passion, and there’s no denying Reed is just the man to give it to her. Although she has no interest in dating a bad boy, and certainly not her ex’s best friend, it’s impossible not to melt beneath Reed’s skillful touch. Now it’s just a matter of setting a few ground rules—and hoping her rule-breaking, sweet-talking bad boy agrees to follow them. But if she lets Reed into her bed, does she stand a chance of keeping him out of her heart?

My thoughts:

I’ve read several of Elle Kennedy’s books and I always love her writing. This After Hours series is one of her older ones with Brazen. It’s written in third person, which isn’t my favorite but worked for me in this one. I loved the chemistry between the characters. Darcy and Reed were on fire. I liked how Darcy’s ex was Reed’s best friend and what that brought to the story. The only thing I was big on was the drug plot. It just seemed not very hard-hitting and like something extra added just for drama. Overall, this was one of those fun, flirty reads.

Top Ten Tuesday: Settings I’d Like to See More Of (Or At All)

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:

Settings I’d Like to See More Of (Or At All)


1. Meghan Quinn’s Binghampton

I wouldn’t mind if Meghan Quinn took us back to Binghampton. I miss those characters that place.

2. Jay McLean’s More Than This world

I know Jay McLean has taken us back in the form of the Preston Brothers series, but I would really like to have a Heidi book. I know we’re not getting one, but I can still wish.

3. Emma Mills’ This Adventure Ends world

Only because I need more Frank Sanger. It’s really his world and the other characters just live in it.

4. Tarryn Fisher’s Bad Mommy / I Can Be A Better You world

I need to know what came next…

5. Tijan’s Fallen Crest High world

Nate’s book is coming, but I would take a book about any and all side characters just to stay in this world.

6. Kim Holden’s Bright Side world

I hold these characters so dear that I would take books about any of the side characters just to know how they’re doing now. Keller, especially.

7. Max Monroe’s The Billionaire Bad Boys world

I love this group of friends so much that they could write book after book about them and I would read it.

8. Bowen & Kennedy’s Top Secret world

I just need Annika’s book please. Or for them to write any other book together!

9. Elle Kennedy’s Briar University world

I need Elle Kennedy to write spin off after spin off after spin off for the Off-Campus/ Briar U series.

10. Katie McGarry’s Thunder Road world

There just aren’t enough books in this series. I miss the characters and their world.

Review: My Brother’s Billionaire Best Friend (Max Monroe)

MBBBF - BT banner

One minute, I’m a woman trying to find her way in the world, and the next, I’m the sender of six of the most embarrassing text messages that have ever been sent in the history of time—or the cell phone.

Whatever.

My Brother’s Billionaire Best Friend
Author: Max Monroe
Publication Date: July 18, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Mabel “Maybe” Willis died a virgin at the very young age of twenty-four. She leaves behind her parents, Betty and Bruce, her brother, Evan, a laptop filled with one too many Jason Momoa memes, and a Kindle library with more books than one human being could ever finish in a lifetime.
Cause of death: a text message.

Okay. So, I didn’t die.
But I may as well have.

One minute, I’m a woman trying to find her way in the world, and the next, I’m the sender of six of the most embarrassing text messages that have ever been sent in the history of time—or the cell phone. Whatever.

We’re talking code red, send a flipping mayday, the apocalypse is coming kind of texts.

And I didn’t just send them to some random person I’ll never see again.
No. That would be too easy.

I sent them to Milo Ives.

The man who played a starring role in all of my teenage fantasies—and my brother’s lifelong best friend.
And, boy oh boy, has he grown up.
He’s hard-bodied, blue-eyed, jawline-of-stone handsome, crazy successful, and has more money in his bank account than my brain can fathom.

Deflower me, please? I said.

Yeah. Send help.


Adorable.
Hilarious.

Those are the two words that first come to mind when I think of My Brother’s Billionaire Best Friend. From the minute it started I knew I was in for another entertaining read by Max Monroe and they delivered big time.

What did I love so much about it? It was all based on Mabel “Maybe” Willis sending her older brother’s (billionaire) best friend some rather incriminating texts while under the influence. Those text messages were everything. Maybe was so awkwardly adorable with all of her actions I couldn’t do anything but love her. Then there was Milo. He was the classic older brother’s best friend who just couldn’t help himself from falling first in lust and then in love with Maybe. Add in some funny and lovable side characters to up the entertainment factor and it was pretty much not stop smiles and laughs.

My Brother’s Billionaire Best Friend was all so hilariously Max Monroe while being so classically the older brother’s best friend trope. There really wasn’t anything for me not to love in this book. It was such a good time! I am loving this series of standalones. I can’t wait to see what Max Monroe has next for me with Cap’s book. It’s guaranteed to be a good time.

MBBBF - AN 12.09.21 PM.jpg

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/30FAALT

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/MyBrothersBestFriend

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/317HY3w

Excerpt:

Maybe Here I rest, you guys. I. Mother-flapjacking P. to me. And now, I’m coming to you live from what I believe is the afterlife. Just think of this as that morning show with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest, Live with Kelly and Ryan. Only, change the name to DEAD with Maybe, take away the celebrity guests, and fill the audience with people who don’t mind witnessing a full-on embarrassment-fueled emotional breakdown. Good God, if I would’ve known I was going to kick the bucket right before I reached twenty-five, I sure as shit wouldn’t have spent the last six years of my life slaving away at Stanford for a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English Lit. I would’ve partied in college rather than studying until my eyeballs bled. I would’ve danced on bars. Flashed some nip for beads at Mardi Gras. Actually gone to Mardi Gras. I would have indulged in unlimited pasta night at the Olive Garden instead of counting carbs, and I wouldn’t have stopped binge-watching Game of Thrones on season flipping six. I would have tongue-kissed loads of guys and spread my legs like a contortionist for any of them who seemed reasonably adept. You know, a little bam-bam in my ham-ham. Some not-too-big, but not-too-small P in my V. A good old-fashioned pants-off dance-off… Sex, you guys. I’m talking about sex. And if you haven’t picked up what I’m putting down from my delirious ramble, I’ll lay it out for you. I’ve yet to be sexed up by anyone. That’s right. I have officially bought myself a one-way ticket to the afterlife as a virgin for-freaking-eternity. And now, I guess I’ll never know how it feels to have an actual penis rub up against my G-spot because, you know, I’m dead. And I’m pretty certain God probably frowns upon people flashing their boobs at the angels and public displays of leg-spreading and definitely the unchaste actions of a desperate-to-bone but unwed woman. No way. Heaven’s strictly G-rated. I put it all off. I figured I had time. I mean, I thought I’d at least get to see The Office do a reunion special before I went lights out for good. Although, my parents’ flower shop feels more like purgatory than heaven, and I thought for sure I’d be wearing something other than jean shorts and Converse when I headed to meet the Big Guy upstairs. Honestly, the afterlife feels eerily like real life, and I’m not one to be dramatic, but I have to be dead, you guys. Seriously. Because no one could live through what I did. I’m talking a 10.0 on the Richter Scale of embarrassing and awkward. A Category 5 hurricane of humiliation. A twisting, catastrophic EF5 tornado of comedic disaster. No freaking way I survived that…right? Okay. Fine. So, I can be a little dramatic sometimes… And maybe, just maybe, I’m exaggerating things a bit here, but I’m doing it in the name of self-preservation. Because, trust me, if you did what I did, you’d let yourself mentally pretend to be dead for a little bit too. Because if I’m not dead, I’m going to have to face the consequences of my awful, humiliating, cringeworthy actions. I’m going to have to face him. Milo Ives—a tall, handsome, unbelievably sexy drink of water. A man I’ve known since I was a prepubescent girl. A man I’ve basically been crushing on my whole damn life. A billion-dollar-empire kind of successful man who just so happens to be my brother’s best friend. I’ll say it again for the folks in the back. Milo Ives is my brother’s billionaire best friend. And I’m in way over my head.

About Max Monroe:

A secret duo of romance authors team up under the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you sexy, laugh-out-loud reads.

Max Monroe is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than ten contemporary romance titles. Favorite writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half. This is their most favorite adventure thus far. ​

Connect with Max Monroe:

Website: https://www.authormaxmonroe.com/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/max-monroe

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ReoxkK

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormaxmonroe/

Stay up to date with Max Monroe by joining their mailing list today: https://www.authormaxmonroe.com/newslette

Review: The Bromance Book Club (Lyssa Kay Adams)

The Bromance Book Club
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The first rule of book club:
You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.


Okay, guys. Get ready for me to gush about The Bromance Book Club! There wasn’t a thing I didn’t love about it, so this one is going to be a fun review to write / read. I don’t even think I can fit in everything I loved about it without giving you a play by play, so I’m going to try to break it down a bit. Here we go!

The writing: I am not one for third person narration, but it worked for me in this book. The transitions between points of view were smooth and there was all the emotion I normally only get from first person.

The characters: I really loved Gavin’s character. He wasn’t perfect. He had some hard truths to face in this book, but I loved how he was willing to do anything and everything to save his relationship with Thea. Thea was a little harder to love only because I wanted her to give into Gavin so much earlier. The reasons she didn’t were important, though, and I liked how she also had some things to learn. The character development was great.

The story: I liked how real and raw the story felt. Gavin and Thea were married, had small children, and some of the possible issues that come with that. Gavin finding out that Thea had been faking it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but there was so much more to what was going on in their marriage. They had bigger issues to deal with.

Both Gavin and Thea needed to not only work on their marriage, but themselves as well. Thea needed to take a deeper look at herself. I could relate to some of Thea’s thoughts and feelings. It’s very easy to “lose yourself” when devoting all your time and energy to your children. I can see how it would be even more overwhelming when your partner travels most of the time for work. Gavin needed to listen to Thea and think about why he reacted to things the way he did. It was all so true to what happens in many marriages. I loved that.

Their family: Thea and Gavin’s twin daughters were adorable! I love how they worked into what Gavin and Thea were going through. Thea’s sister, Liv, also played an important part of this story. Her character was spot on. She resembled the friend or sister everyone has one of when going through a breakup. I also really liked Gavin’s dad.

The Bromance Book Club: “But wait!” you say, “What about the book club?” The Bromance Book Club was such a clever thing to have in this story! I loved how Gavin was initiated and how these guys helped him out. It was funny and cool to read about these super successful men reading romance novels to understand their wives.

Overall: This book deserves all the hype it’s getting. The Bromance Book Club was a delight to read. I basically read it in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down. It was both adorable and heartbreaking at the same time. I loved every moment I spent with it. I am really hoping this book is the start to a series because I would love to read more set in this world. I found a new book to add to my favorites of 2019.

Review: The Last Hope (Krista & Becca Ritchie)

The Last Hope
Series: The Raging Ones, #2
Authors: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Publication Date: August 13, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

 


The Last Hope is one of those books that is harder for me to review because it was very different from the first book in the duology, The Raging Ones. The characters were the same, but the story took a turn I wasn’t expecting (possibly because I hadn’t seen the new book blurb).

This book felt like it was more about a quest than it was the connection between the characters. I was most interested about Mykal, Court, Fanny’s relationship in the first book. Their histories and the personal stories was what made that book for me. With a greater emphasis on their quest, I wasn’t enjoying things as much. It took a long time to build up to the quest and reasoning behind it. I wasn’t really into all that stuff. Once the reasoning behind it all — the baby, the connection between Mykal, Court, and Fanny, what was at stake– became apparent and the action started, I became way more invested in the story.

That last third of the book when everything started happening was super exciting. I loved finding out how everything was connected and what it meant. This part of the story saved the book for me. I wasn’t quite as into this book as I was the first one, but it was still a fast-paced read that gave me an ending I was satisfied with. I enjoyed Krista and Becca Ritchie’s writing even when I wasn’t into the story. Overall, I thought it was a good way to end the duology.

Review: Making Up (Helena Hunting)

Making Up
Series: Shacking Up, #4
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: July 16, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A new standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy by New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting.

Cosy Felton is great at her job—she knows just how to handle the awkwardness that comes with working at an adult toy store. So when the hottest guy she’s ever seen walks into the shop looking completely overwhelmed, she’s more than happy to turn on the charm and help him purchase all of the items on his list.

Griffin Mills is using his business trip in Las Vegas as a chance to escape the broken pieces of his life in New York City. The last thing he wants is to be put in charge of buying gag gifts for his friend’s bachelor party. Despite being totally out of his element, and mortified by the whole experience, Griffin is pleasantly surprised when he finds himself attracted to the sales girl that helped him.

As skeptical as Cosy may be of Griffin’s motivations, there’s something about him that intrigues her. But sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas and when real life gets in the way, all bets are off. Filled with hilariously awkward situations and enough sexual chemistry to power Sin City, Making Up is the next standalone in the Shacking Up world.


Making Up was so much fun to read. It had the same feel as Shacking Up or the Pucked series. Basically, it had the over the top humor I’ve come to love from Helena Hunting.

Cosy wasn’t quite a Violet, but she had a quirky sense of humor and self-confidence. I didn’t expect her to be as mature as she was, and I loved that. Her romance with Griffin was adorable from the start.

Griffin came across as slightly uptight, but only because he was wealthy and established. Oh, and like ten years older. The age difference between the two of them was smart. It added this fun aspect to the story. It gave Cosy a way to make Griffin slightly uncomfortable.

The romance between Cosy and Griffin wasn’t quite a slow burn, but things happened slower than I expected. I loved that their relationship had a natural feel to it. Things progressed in a believable fashion and they really got to know each other before diving deeper. There were some predictable parts of their relationship, but there were also some big surprises.

Making Up is the fourth book in the Shacking Up series, but it did feel like a standalone novel. Sure, there were cameos by some previous characters. Their presence wasn’t a walk down memory lane, though. They popped in to help Griffin out and that was it. It was fun to see them, but a reader could totally start the series with this book and be good.

Overall, Making Up was super entertaining and filled with characters I adored. It’s one of my new favorite Helena Hunting books.

Purchase Links:

https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250253378

About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

Helena Hunting Blog Tour Q&A MAKING UP

  1. What inspired you to write Making Up?

I’d introduced Griffin in the previous Shacking Up Series novels, Shacking Up and Hooking Up—he was a bit of a mystery for readers because he was talked about, but not really present. I had a very clear picture in my mind of who he was, and the kind of woman who would end up being the perfect fit for him, and it was not his fiancé from the previous books. 

2. Introduce us to your main characterGriffin Mills is the oldest of the three Mills brothers. At thirty-three he’s had several very long term relationships and was formerly engaged, but that relationship went up in flames. He’s gorgeous, smart, loves the numbers side of the family business he’s part of—a chain of hotels he’s set to inherit with his brothers. Also, he’s a little awkward, which I love, because there’s nothing quite like a hot guy who doesn’t have all the lines and fumbles a bit when he’s dealing with someone he’s attracted to. It makes for some hilarious banter with his love interest, Cosy Felton. Our heroine is a twenty-two year old who has been a bit of a nomad for most of her life, but is finally finishing school and happens to work at an Adult Toy Store part time. It’s definitely not her favourite job, but it pays the bills. She’s sassy, not much of a planner and definitely more than Griffin bargained for.

  1. Lots of aspiring authors out there. Any advice for them?

Just keep writing. Every day put words on the page and surround yourself with positive people who are there to support you. Ask questions, join book groups, be an avid reader and an observer.

  1. How is Making Up different from your other books?

Making Up has a trope I’ve never really explored or played around with before, so it was a lot of fun to write. While I’ve written age gaps before, it hasn’t been a key part of the storyline, or had a significant impact on how the characters perceive the relationship. Griffin and Cosy are from two very different worlds and balancing their expectations and insecurities was one of my favourite parts of writing their story. Making Up has my signature quirky, sassy heroines and I love writing heroes that are sexy, yet a little awkward. While it’s a light read, there’s some drama, and some heavy baggage, which I think grounds the story and balances out the hilarity.

  1. I know asking someone’s all-time favorite book is a loaded question so what’s your current favorite read?

I’ve been so lucky to read so many amazing books this year but I’m going to go with Broken Knight by LJ Shen which releases this August. I love YA/NA romance and angst, and she knows how to deliver both flawlessly.

  1. Alright, the ultimate question: why should we read your book?

We all need a little escape from our own realities once in a while and Making Up is a fun, sexy romance that’s perfect for the summer. Also, Griffin is hot, and not particularly suave at times. I think we can all appreciate a guy who doesn’t have all the lines, especially if he looks like he should.

  1. A famous movie producer wants to make your books into movies and they want you to cast your characters from Making Up. Which actors/actresses make the cut?

This is always a fun question and I’ll be 100% honest, I never actually look at actors prior to writing a story because I generally have a picture of the character in my head. But, I went on a Pinterest mission and Alex Morgan (she’s a soccer player, not an actress) would make a fabulous Cosy if she suddenly switched career paths. Hailee Steinfeld (Bumblebee) is super sassy, and could definitely play up the humor in this story, so she would be a legitimate actress choice. Gabriel Macht has a great smolder and can rock a seriously sexy suit, so I think he’d be great as Griffin.

  1. Favorite quote or scene you wrote in Making Up?

Making Up is definitely a rom-com with some incredibly hilarious moments, but Griffin has some heavy baggage, which means there are also serious moments, and this is one of my favourites: “Talk to me. Fall apart on me. Show me your weakness so I can give you my strength.”

  1. What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve always loved to write, but finding time was a challenge during university and then afterward I was building a career and we renovated a house down to the studs—which takes up a lot of time and doesn’t leave much of an opportunity for putting down words (but it was an amazing experience). When I gave birth to my daughter she struggled to sleep—or rather stay asleep—and that meant I spent a lot of time awake in the middle of the night. So I started writing again during those late nights, and finally penned my first full novel.

  1. What is a typical writing day like?

I usually start with a run and then copious amounts of coffee while I manage the administrative side of things—ie emails, social media posts etc. But when I sit down to write I have a playlist I put on repeat, more coffee, sparking water (so I can stay hydrated) and my cat Pumpkin generally lies on top of my closed laptop and supervises me for the day.

  1. Do you have any interesting writing quirks or habits?

I listen to the same playlist while I write a novel. So if it takes me two months, then I listen to the same set of songs for two full months. I’ve destroyed A LOT of albums for my husband over the past several years. I just need the background noise, and listening to the radio or unfamiliar songs can be distracting.

  1. What has been one of the most surprising things you’ve learned as a published author?

I’ve only been in the industry for five years and there has been so much change, learning to adjust and adapt and just staying true to your personal goal is really the most important thing I’ve learned. I think when you start out there are just so many unknowns, and taking risks can be scary, but if you don’t take those risks, it’s hard to grow as an author.

  1. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next after this for you writing wise?

I have one more book in The Shacking Up Series, HANDLE WITH CARE, which releases at the end of August! Griffin’s cousin and best friend, Lincoln Moorehead, is the hero and if you didn’t know, he is also Armstrong’s brother. Lincoln is the polar opposite of Armstrong so it was so fun to write. I can’t wait for people to meet Griffin and Cosy and Lincoln and Wren.

  1. How can readers connect with you online?

They can connect with me all over social media! (add links)

Website→   http://www.helenahunting.com/

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Facebook Reader Group  →  http://bit.ly/TheBeaverDenHH

Review: My Crazy (Sick) Love (Drica Pinotti)

My Crazy (Sick) Love
Author: Drica Pinotti
Publication Date: March 14, 2019
Publisher: Adriana Da Silva Gomes
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Amanda Loeb is a single, intelligent New York City attorney coming up on the eve of her thirtieth birthday. With a stable job, circle of supportive friends, and close relationships with her mother and sister one detail sets Amanda apart from others – she is a hypochondriac. Her medicine cabinet is home to a stock of medications sourced from an actively managed A-Z list of the best doctors in NYC. When Amanda meets Brian Marshall, a handsome and charismatic restaurant owner, her heart beats in undiagnosable somersaults. As their relationship develops Amanda learns the intricacies and complications love brings may be the cure-all ‘pill’ she needs to free herself from the affliction – for the rest of her life.


My Crazy (Sick) Love exhausted me. One of the reasons I read it was because I was curious about Amanda’s hypochondria. I know I have had moments where I was filled with anxiety and worried that something was wrong with me, so I thought it would be easy to relate to. I was also curious how this mental illness would work in a romance. Unfortunately, it didn’t work all that well for me in this case. Amanda’s suffering was completely overwhelming. Her thoughts took over the whole story and made it hard to focus on any other aspect of it. I didn’t find anything about it humorous.

That’s not to say that writing wasn’t good. I thought it was very good and felt like it was well researched. I also really liked Brian’s character. My Crazy (Sick) Love might just be one of those books that works better for others than it did for me.