Review: That Swoony Feeling (Meghan Quinn)

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That Swoony Feeling
Series: Getting Lucky, #4
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: August 6, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

USA Today bestselling author Meghan Quinn brings more humor and heart with the fourth novel of her Getting Lucky series: a story about breaking curses and finally finding that swoony feeling.

I’m single . . . so single it’s painful.

Yup, ladies, Brig Knightly–that’s me–is still a lonely bachelor, stumbling through the streets of Port Snow, looking for the girl he’s supposed to end up with.

That is until my brother, Rogan, presents me with the opportunity of a lifetime. The Summer of Love, a secret pen pal program in Port Snow is looking for applicants and I’m the perfect fit.

I couldn’t sign up fast enough.

I found myself quickly falling in love with a pair of red lips at the bottom of a letter. Just like in the movies . . .

Life could not have been better, that was until I started hanging out with Ruth Barber. Starting a new business right next to my shop, I found myself gravitating toward her. Her smile, her humor . . . her tea sandwiches.

My attraction for Ruth came in full force, leaving me dazed, confused, and *ahem* excited.

As new feelings for two women come to a screeching halt, I have to figure out who to choose. But when I discover my pen pal is Ruth, it might be too late.

All I want in life is to experience that swoony feeling . . . but I think I might have just missed my chance.


Did That Swoony Feeling make me swoon? Why yes, it did! This romance was so freaking cute. It was everything I wanted and hoped it would be for Brig.

Brig is an adorable goof with a big heart. If you have read any of the three previous books, you know this. His love of love made me smile. What I didn’t know about him was that he was going to be the most frustrating of the Knightly brothers. There were times he drove me batty — but not in a way that ruined the book. Everything that was frustrating was what made this romance even sweeter in the end.

Ruthie was the perfect match for Brig. I knew a little about her from the previous books, but not enough to get a complete picture. What I learned about her in this book made me love her. She may have been a little shy, but she was a firecracker underneath.

I loved the progression of Ruthie and Brig’s romance. Every step they took getting to know each other added something special. I loved how the Knightly family and town were involved in the story. I don’t even know how to describe what I loved further without giving too much away. That Swoony Feeling was truly a great ending to a fantastic series. It couldn’t have wrapped up in a better way. I’m going to miss this family and town so much!

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PROLOGUE:

**BRIG**

Hands stuffed in my pockets, I look at Reid while nibbling on the corner of my lip. “But—” “Brig, I swear to God,” Reid says, dragging his hand down his face while we make our way past Jackson Square, toward Café Du Monde. “Do not ask about your penis turning green one more goddamn time. We all looked at it. It’s flesh colored. Any signs of green you might have seen was from the shit lighting in the bathroom. Now, drop it.” “Yeah, okay,” I sigh, even though I don’t feel convinced. Something happened last night. Something terrifying. Something that has left me shaking in my shoes—because I don’t wear boots—wanting to rip my pants down repeatedly to make sure things are still intact. Two days ago, I turned twenty-one, and to celebrate the youngest Knightly’s freedom to hold a beer in his hand legally, my three brothers took me to New Orleans to party in style. And we did . . . up until last night, when the depths of hell tried to swallow us all whole. Mom warned us, saying, “Don’t get into any trouble.” My dad slapped the back of our heads before we left and told us to use our brains. Even our sister, the oldest and wisest of the Knightly children, stared us in the eyes and told us not to do anything stupid. And yet, we failed all of them. Have you ever been to New Orleans? Neither had I, but I’d heard great things about the place. Drinking in the streets and peekaboo boobs on every corner. Beignets and rice and beans. Scandalous fun. Sounded like a great time. But after doing extensive research before the trip—I like to plan ahead—the one thing I wanted to avoid, the one thing that made me extremely nervous, was the voodoo magic prevalent on the grimy cobblestone streets. You know what I’m talking about. The dark stuff, the chilling life-altering spells that can change you as a man . . . as a human. *Whispers* Black magic . . . We did a great job avoiding any and all scary things, until last night, when I inadvertently ran smack dab into the palms of evil. Shocking news: I was drunk. I couldn’t tell if I was walking on cobblestone streets last night or lobster rolls—that’s how far gone I was—so when I stumbled over a palm reader’s table and broke it, I wasn’t exactly aware of the severity of my mistake. She roared with displeasure. Her eyes tore through me with veritable hatred that shook me to the tip of my dick. And her gangly fingers rattled while she spoke vehemently. Terrified out of my wits, I held up my palm while my brothers tossed her twenty bucks and asked her to read it. I wish I could remember what she said. The future she spoke of is all a blur at this point. Pretty sure she said something about how incredibly handsome I am and how I outshine my brothers with the curves of my jaw, but I can’t be quite sure. The boys deny that part of the story, but they don’t deny the stark hatred that spit like venom from the petrifying woman’s mouth. My brothers, of course, didn’t make the situation any better by making fun of her predictions. They actually sparked the flame that set the fire. I might be telling this wrong—you know, completely wasted and all—but the moment the palm reader turned an evil shade of hate, I felt every ounce of fun-loving booze seep from the bottom of my feet and out into the streets, sobering me up to the point of understanding. In a whirlwind of vengeful movements, her arms waved about, the wind swirled around us, trash from the streets danced around my jean-covered legs, and the palm reader’s eyes turned yellow—I confirmed that fact with all three brothers this morning. Indeed, her eyes were yellow. And then she said something I will never forget . . . This wretch of a wench cloaked in the devil’s garb took our fate into her own hands and punished us with broken love. Broken. Love. If you know me at all, you’d know that would cut deep to my very being. Then Reid said something about her telling us our dicks were going to fall off or turn green; can’t be sure, because I was stunned. Stunned with the notion that my entire life goal of getting married and becoming a doting husband was quickly stripped from my soul and set into blazing embers, never to be seen again. The miscreant cursed the one thing I strive for as a man . . . that swoony feeling of being wrapped up in a warm, safe relationship with a woman. And I can’t shake it. No matter what my brothers say, no matter how many times they tell me to drop it, I keep worrying. I keep remembering the whirl of evil that was cast upon us. I keep trying to decode the meaning of it all. Are we truly cursed? “There’s a table over there,” Griffin, my oldest brother, says, making a beeline toward the back corner of the incredibly busy beignet-making icon. We came here for their famous beignets when we first arrived and decided to indulge one more time. We catch a flight to Port Snow this afternoon and before we get back to our gossip-loving town, I want to set some things straight. Taking seats, we quickly put in an order for beignets and a café au lait each, and when the waitress leaves, I say, “Can we talk about last night?” Reid groans and slouches in his chair. He’s in a shit mood, and I’m not sure if it’s from the phone call he got last night that he’s not talking about or if it’s because he’s hung over. Maybe a combo of both. “Can we not?” “Aren’t you worried?” I ask, looking around at my brothers. I can’t possibly be the only one who’s concerned here. But it seems like I might be. Griffin is texting. His wife, I’m sure. Rogan is staring at the trifold menu on the table. And Reid is rubbing his eyes with his palms, looking like he wants to be anywhere but here. “Uh, hello? Do you guys not remember what happened last night? The whole alarming witch in a cloak thing, waving her dangly bone fingers at us. Table-breaking, palm-reading curses being flung about like beads off a balcony? Ring a bell?” Griffin sets his phone down and lets out a deep breath. His tone is the even, oldest-brother sensible voice. “We were drunk last night, Brig.” “Yeah, we were, but it doesn’t negate the fact that we all woke up with the same story this morning. She cursed us. You’re telling me none of you are concerned?” I glance around to all three pairs of blue eyes, the same blue eyes I share, and none of them are returning the look. Which tells me they’re not willing to admit they’re just as scared as I am. I poke Rogan in the side. “Hello, are you listening?” “Trying not to,” he says, his fingers pressing to his left eye. “Fuck, my head is pounding.” Rogan is my second oldest brother, the quiet and annoyed one. He’s had a rough go at life and barely cracks a smile anymore. He’s more interested in punishing himself for the decisions he’s made in the past than in parting the dark cloud that hangs over his head so he can experience the world. As a retired football player, if pushed too hard, he’s been known to fight back. I think I’ll pass on leaning on him now. “Griff.” I turn to the reasonable one in the group. “You saw it all, the way she spouted off that little limerick about broken love. She came up with that out of nowhere. It rhymed and everything. Who does that? Who wishes broken love on unsuspecting tourists? Frankly, it’s fucked up.” The waitress drops off our food and drinks. We give her a mumbled thank you before she takes off to serve another table in the busy outdoor seating area. Mouth full of beignet and powdered sugar coating his lips, Griffin says, “If she was half the palm reader she said she was, then she would have known that I was already married and this curse she set upon us was flawed. Yeah, was it strange that there was wind whipping around when she raised her arms—” “The wind was weird,” Rogan says. “Wind freaked me out,” Reid grumbles while bringing his coffee up to his lips. “Now you chime in,” I say with an eye roll. “Can I finish?” Griff asks, sounding annoyed. We all silence ourselves with bites into our beignets. “The wind was a strange coincidence, but I also think she was deranged. There’s no merit to what she said, and I think we would waste time thinking about it anymore than we have. Let’s just enjoy breakfast and then get the hell out of here.” “Agreed,” Rogan says. “Yeah,” Reid murmurs. “But—” They all shoot me a death glare, and I snap my mouth shut. I’m outnumbered, and even if I try to press it, they’re not going to change their minds. They’re chalking this experience up to what seems like a drunken it-was-all-an-illusion-we’ll-soon-forget night. But just a quick glance around the table, and I don’t buy it. Worried brows. Keeping to themselves. Shifty eyes. They’re thinking about it just as much as I am. Listen to me, to the words I have spoken. From this day on, your love will be broken. It isn’t until your minds have matured That the weight of this curse will forever be cured. Might not seem like a big deal, but I have a bad feeling our worlds are about to be flipped upside down. And boy, were our lives flipped. Griffin lost his wife. Rogan’s high school sweetheart re-emerged with a vengeance. Reid’s restaurant, his pride and joy, was stolen from him. And me . . . well, I haven’t been in a relationship since the fateful day when my taut and beautiful ass tumbled over a palm reader’s table. Just bad luck? That everything good, everything we loved was taken away from us? No. It was the curse, but surely things would improve on their own. Wouldn’t they? From this day on, your love will be broken.

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.

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Connect with Meghan:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meghanquinnauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7360513.Meghan_Quinn
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormeghanquinn/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorMegQuinn
Website: http://authormeghanquinn.com
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/meghan-quinn
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LitE4x

Review: One Little Dare (Whitney Barbetti)

One Little Dare
Author: Whitney Barbetti
Publication Date: July 16, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Truth or dare? I always choose a dare. And no matter the dare, I always follow through.
Even if it means walking down a busy street in my bathrobe and hair curlers.
Or recreating that iconic When Harry Met Sally deli scene while on a crowded subway.
Or hitting on a handsome stranger in a bar.
And then … marrying that stranger. While in Vegas.
But the one thing I’m not supposed to do is fall in love with this man.
That wasn’t part of the dare.
Only my heart never got that memo.


I’m a big fan of this series of standalone romances by Whitney Barbetti. They’re lighter than some of her other books and make me happy to read. Tori’s book is one I’ve been waiting for. She’s always been that wilder, spunky, loyal friend. First it was to Hollis (One Little Lie), and then it was to Keane (One Big Mistake). I was so interested in finding out what lie beneath her outgoing facade.

Tori was all the things I thought she was and more. She hid a lot of hurt that she couldn’t just share with anyone. I loved seeing those things she hid come to light in her relationship with Liam. They met and got to know each other in one of the funnest and also sad ways.

Liam was a character I loved getting to know. I personally connected with some of his character traits than Tori’s. I guess I’m just more like him than her. I understood the reasons he was the way he was. I loved meeting his tight knit group of friends and how he fit within that group.

I love a good “married in Vegas” romance, and this one was memorable for so many reason. I actually believed in the instant-love relationship that developed.

Blog Tour: Want You to Want Me (Lorelei James)

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“Deliciously real, modern, hot, and funny.” —New York Times bestselling author Katy Evans

Want You to Want Me, a sexy friends-to-lovers contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author Lorelei James is available now!

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Hockey player Gabriella “Gabi” Welk spent her life in pursuit of championships, but she has little to show for it besides dusty trophies and second-place medals. Now her career consists of several part-time jobs to make ends meet. When Gabi gets a chance at her dream job, she swallows her pride and asks her nemesis—smart, sexy and savvy Nolan Lund—for help.

Since being named future CEO of Lund Industries, Nolan has tried hard to overcome his reputation as a fun-loving playboy and ladies’ man. For the first time ever, he’s more focused on the company than his personal life. He spends his free time at the ice rink his brother owns, cheering on his niece at her hockey games…and watching Gabriella Welk, the superstar athlete and assistant coach who gets under his skin in a way he can’t ignore. He’s shocked when Gabi agrees to trade a favor for a favor.

They have little in common besides their mutual mistrust, but between family crises and sibling rivalries, Nolan and Gabi realize they want to be more than just friends—much more.

My review:

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

Want You to Want Me is a book I wanted to read simply because I have read the first book in this series and the entire related series. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the Lund family, and wanted to spend some more time with them.

This book was a great read. It was a slow burn in a lot of ways. The  romance built slowly. The characters spent a lot of time getting to know each other as their relationship developed. Nolan and Gabi were kind of an unlikely couple. He was into fashion and business, while she was into hockey and coaching. They didn’t have the best or even correct impression of who the other was at first, but they once they figured each other out, they were perfect together. It was a super sweet relationship that I loved.

The plot also built slowly throughout the book. There were a couple of tiny hints at what was to come, especially for Nolan. What was a little unsettling was how the major problem was kind of just dumped on me all at once. I had to think hard back to those tiny hints to put some of it together. I had a hard time coming to terms with the side characters acted. I liked how things played out for Nolan and Gabi, but the rest I’m still trying to wrap my head around. I’m not sure if I loved that or not.

There were a few other great things about this book that I want to spotlight. I loved that Gabi was the athlete in this book. She was a great female sports role model. I also liked the inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters and events. Everything Nolan did to support the community was done with the best intentions. The other thing I liked was the way Nolan’s mom and brother interacted with both him and Gabi.

Overall, Want You to Want Me was a great contemporary sports romance. I enjoyed the low amount of drama and the sweetness of the romance.

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Meet Lorelei James
Lorelei James is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of steamy westerns in the Rough Riders series and the Blacktop Cowboys® series, steamy romance in the Mastered series, contemporary romance in the Need You series and Want You series, and the New Adult Rough Riders Legacy series, as well as several stand-alone novels and novellas. Lorelei’s books have been nominated for and won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award as well as the CAPA Award. Lorelei also writes gritty mysteries under the name Lori Armstrong. Both she and her alter ego live in western South Dakota–yes, by choice–with her husband, and Copper, their crazy corgi who has made their empty nest more interesting.

Connect with Lorelei
Facebook: https://bit.ly/3f8sB0W
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Don’t miss any updates! Sign up for Lorelei’s newsletter: https://loreleijames.com
Website: www.loreleijames.com

WWW Wednesday: August 5, 2020

Welcome to WWW Wednesday!

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. The purpose is to share what I’ve reading lately. The three W’s stand for:

What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Recently Read

Exciting things this week? Hm… Well, I let me husband cut 5″ off my hair. Talk about trusting your husband. It desperately needed to happen and I’m happy with the results. He did good. 🙂

 This week I finished up an ARC of Leo (Preston Brothers, #3). Then I read ARCs of That Swoony Feeling (Getting Lucky, #4) and The Reality of Everything (Flight & Glory, #5). I finished up with One Little Dare.

Currently Reading

I’m reading Smitten.

Reading Next

I’m still over here mood reading. I am supposed to start a buddy read soon, too.

What are you reading? Make sure to leave me your link below so I can check out your post. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Colors In the Titles

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:

Today’s topic is:

Books with Colors In the Titles

These are all ones I’ve read in the past.

1. Black Lies
Author: Alessandra Torre

2. White Oleander
Author: Janet Finch

3. Fifty Shades of Grey
Author: E.L. James

4. Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard

5. A Different Blue
Author: Amy Harmon

6. Bellman & Black
Author: Diane Setterfield

7. Words in Deep Blue
Author: Cath Crowley

8. The Silver Swan
Author: Amo Jones

9. Dirty Red
Author: Tarryn Fisher

10. Emerald
Author: Elle Casey

 

Mini Reviews: The Girl in the Love Song & 40-Love

The Girl in the Love Song
Series: Lost Boys, #1
Author: Emma Scott
Publication Date: June 7, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

At Santa Cruz Central High School, they called them the misfits, the outcasts, the weirdos. But most of us knew them as the Lost Boys…

Miller Stratton is a survivor. After a harrowing childhood of poverty, he will do anything it takes to find security for himself and his mom. He’s putting all his hopes and dreams in the fragile frame of his guitar and the beauty he creates with its strings and his soulful voice.

Until Violet.

No one expects to meet the love of their life at age thirteen. But the spunky rich girl steals Miller’s heart and refuses to give it back.

Violet McNamara’s life hasn’t been as simple as it looks. Her picture-perfect family is not so perfect after all. Her best friend Miller is her one constant and she is determined not to ruin their friendship with romantic complications.

But the heart wants what it wants. As Miller’s star begins to rise to stratospheric heights, what will it take for Violet to realize that she’s the girl in all of his love songs?

Lost Boys is a new series of interconnected, coming-of-age standalones from USA Today bestselling author Emma Scott, coming in 2020

My thoughts:

This book was VERY angst filled. More so than any other book I’ve read by this author. The level of angst was too much for me, honestly. Even though I loved the characters and the story, I had a hard time bringing myself to read it. After about 20% I ended up skimming through until Part 4 where I started reading again. I hate that I did that, but I didn’t want to not finish it. It really was a vbeautiful story with a fantastic ending.

40-Love
Series: There’s Something About Marysburg, #2
Author: Olivia Dade
Publication Date: May 16, 2020
Publisher: Hussies & Harpies Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

This match is no game.

When a rogue wave strips Tess Dunn of her bikini top, desperate, half-naked times call for desperate, please-cover-me-kids-are-coming-closer measures. Enter Lucas Karlsson, AKA that flirty Swede in the water nearby. When he prevents her bare buoys from being exposed to fellow vacationers, even an ocean can’t drown the sparks that fly.

Lucas, a former top-level tennis pro now giving lessons at the resort, fled there after the abrupt, painful end to his injury-plagued career. But he’s finally ready to move on with his life—and after a few late-night, hands-on sessions with Tess, he’s eager to prove he’s the ace she wants.

But this match comes with challenges: She’s forty, and at twenty-six, he’s barely old enough to rent a car. Worse, they only have two weeks together before Tess returns to her assistant-principal life in Virginia. During that brief time, they’ll have to play hard, take a few risks, and find out whether their chemistry is a one-shot wonder…or whether they’re meant to be doubles partners for life.

My thoughts:

I’m pretty new to Olivia Dade’s writing. This only my second book by her. I really like how she combines strong, relatable women with hot guys. It’s a nice change from perfect bodies all the time. I enjoyed this book a lot, but there were times where the MC’s hangups about her body and perceived self bugged me. I got over it, though, because I loved the guy who won her heart. It was a fun vacation read.