WWW Wednesday: September 30, 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

This week I devoted time to some library books that I had to read and an ARC. I ended the week with a buddy read with Kayla. It was a good reading week.

The Story Guy (Lakefield Novellas)
an ARC of Overdue
Kiss My Cupcake
Brady Remington Landed Me in Jail
Misadventures of a College Girl (Misadventures, #8)
The Enemy (What Happened in Charleston, #2)

Currently Reading

I’m reading Rifts & Refrains (Hush Note, #2).

Reading Next

My plan is to read an ARC of Muses & Melodies (Hush Note, #3).

This is kind of a side note, but I’m thinking I might take a break from WWW Wednesdays for a bit. I’ve been doing it religiously since I started my blog, and I think I need a break. It might not last long. We’ll see. I’ll still be looking for your posts.

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

Top Ten Tuesday: New Favorite Book Quotes

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:

Favorite Book Quotes

I feel like I’ve done this as a TTT post at least twice now, so I’m going to change things up just a tad and go with

New Favorite Book Quotes

1. “People sometimes still drown in the shallow end,” he whispers.

-Colleen Hoover, Heart Bones

2. “There are two different kinds of wrong. The wrong that stems from weakness and the wrong that stems from strength. You made that choice because you were strong and needed to survive. You didn’t make that choice because you were weak.”

– Colleen Hoover, Heart Bones

3.“Hatred is a one-way emotion.” I take a breath. “It only affects the person holding on to that hate. Take Laney’s ex, for example…” I face him, but he’s already watching me. “Do you think he knows how much you hate him? Do you think he cares that you do?” Leo chews the corner of his lip as his eyes search mine.  “Does he even know you exist?” His lashes lower. “So, what’s the point, right?” I murmur. “Only you carry the burden of hatred, Leo. And it’s a lot easier to let go of that pain than it is to hold on to it.”

– Jay McLean, Leo

4. “I like being the main character in your story.”

– Jay McLean, Leo

5. “Still, I’m drawn to him. Annoyingly drawn. Like a bruised and wayward moth flying into a flickering light bulb.”

– Erin Hahn, You’d Be Mine

6.“It sounds lonelier than it is. But I’d rather lose myself in a sea of strangers than find myself one-on-one with an acquaintance.”

– Erin Hahn, More Than Maybe

7. “Lyrics do that sometimes. They find their home at just the right time. Like a secret message in a bottle, floating on a current for decades, only to wash up at someone’s feet when the words are needed.” 

– Erin Hahn, More Than Maybe

8. “Even the sun gets covered by clouds some days. That doesn’t take away from the light it gives off.” 

– Brittainy C. Cherry, Southern Storms

9. “We didn’t fix everything for each other–but we didn’t have to. We just made a choice to be there. Which counted for a lot.”

– Katherine Center, What You Wish For

10. “More than anything, I know that you just have to choose to make the best of things. You get one life, and it only goes forward. And there really are all kinds of happy endings.” 

– Katherine Center, How to Walk Away

 

Review: The Right Player

The Right Player
Author: Kandi Steiner
Publication Date: September 24, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I have a three date rule — but it’s not what you think.

See, I’ve been told I’m the “good time girl,” not the one you take home to Mom. And while that label stung at first, I’ve since embraced it — living the wild and free life and sticking to a three date max. That’s just enough time to have some fun and snuff out the possibility of catching feelings. And it’s been working for me for years…

Until Makoa Kumaka.

Sadly, he also has a three date rule — and it’s the exact opposite of mine. From the second I meet him, all I can think about is stripping down that six-foot-five Herculean hunk of a man. But like the gentleman I wish he wasn’t, he’s making me wait.

The more time we spend together, the more I feel those pesky emotions creeping in. I’m even tempted to trust him, but blame it on my past or my instincts, I can’t shake the feeling that he’s hiding something…

I’ve been playing the game forever, and no man has ever won my heart — which meant they never had the power to break it.

But maybe I just hadn’t met the right player.

Maybe I’ll wish I never did.


Sigh. ADORABLE. The Right Player was so freaking adorable. I knew it would be since it was connected to my favorite Kandi Steiner book, The Wrong Game. I just didn’t know how adorable it would be.

Belle was so vibrant and independent. Mokoa was a sweet, good guy. Their chemistry was perfect. I loved them falling in love. I enjoyed how the tables were turned in this one. Instead of being the guy not wanting a relationship, it was the girl. That spin created such an interesting dynamic. It also created some interesting, low angst drama. Normally, a lack of communication (or lying) doesn’t always work out for me, but it made sense in this case. I might have been cringing waiting for things to go down, but when they did I liked it.

Another great thing about this book was getting to see Gemma and Zach again. Belle and Gemma’s friendship was once again in full swing. I also loved how Zach now played into that friendship. It was just so great to see them all together again. I wish there were more friends for Steiner to write about because I would read another book set in this world.

Obviously, I loved The Right Player. I would highly recommend it. I would also recommend The Wrong Game. You don’t have to read it first, but it might be more fun if you do. 😉

Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Amazon: https://amzn.to/33MPHq6
Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/TheRightPlayer
Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2Q3JJur

Meet Kandi

Kandi Steiner is a bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she’s your gal.

An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.

When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order.

Connect with Kandi

Website:  www.kandisteiner.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7319216.Kandi_Steiner
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kandi-Steiner/e/B00JDJOINE/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KandiSteiner/
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kandilandks/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kandisteiner/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KandiSteiner
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kandi-steiner
Book+Main: https://bit.ly/39u1KLs

Review: Love Lettering (Kate Clayborn)

Love Lettering
Author: Kate Clayborn
Publication Date: December 31, 2019
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Meg Mackworth’s hand-lettering skill has made her famous as the Planner of Park Slope, designing beautiful custom journals for New York City’s elite. She has another skill too: reading signs that other people miss. Like the time she sat across from Reid Sutherland and his gorgeous fiancée, and knew their upcoming marriage was doomed to fail. Weaving a secret word into their wedding program was a little unprofessional, but she was sure no one else would spot it. She hadn’t counted on sharp-eyed, pattern-obsessed Reid.


A year later, Reid has tracked Meg down to find out—before he leaves New York for good—how she knew that his meticulously planned future was about to implode. But with a looming deadline, a fractured friendship, and a bad case of creative block, Meg doesn’t have time for Reid’s questions—unless he can help her find her missing inspiration. As they gradually open up to each other about their lives, work, and regrets, both try to ignore the fact that their unlikely connection is growing deeper. But the signs are there—irresistible, indisputable, urging Meg to heed the messages Reid is sending her, before it’s too late.


Love Lettering was an utterly charming read. It’s my first book by Kate Clayborn and I was SO impressed. I went into this one blind, and I was addicted from the first word, first paragraph, first chapter. It was one of those types of reads.

The whole concept of letters and codes was fascinating. The way Meg saw letters and words was very cool. It’s hard to imagine a whole book being written around that concept, but it worked well. I’m going to be thinking about letters every time I look at a hand painted sign or wedding invitation now.

At the heart of Love Lettering was a sweet slow burn romance. I was completely sold on the idea of a relationship between Meg and Reid from the minute he walked into the store. His slightly awkward, buttoned up personality was perfect. It made me curious about him in ways I wouldn’t have been if I had his POV. Normally, I like a dual POV. Surprisingly, this one was probably better without due to the curiosity thing. Anyway. I liked the way Meg and Reid’s personalities and abilities fit together.

Meg also had several other relationships that were important. Her friendships with four different women stood out. The one I was most fascinated by was with Sibby. I was just as frustrated as Meg was with what was happening in that relationship. My favorite was probably Meg’s relationship with Lark and how it played out. There was just a lot of great friendship stuff that didn’t overwhelm the romance, but coexisted in a good way.

There was even a shocking twist in this book. There was some foreshadowing, but not enough to ruin the surprise for me. I wasn’t expecting things to go down the way they did, and I loved it.

So, yeah. I loved Love Lettering. I was so impressed with Kate Clayborn’s writing. I can’t wait to discover more of hers books. If anyone has a suggestion on which to read next, drop it in the comments.

WWW Wednesday: September 23, 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

Loathe Thy Neighbor (Roommate Romps, #1)
Baking Me Crazy (Donner Bakery, #1)
The Morgan Brothers Book #s 1-4

Currently Reading

I’m reading Rockstar (The Morgan Brothers, #5).

Reading Next

My friend Lenore at Celebrity Readers recommended The Story Guy (Lakefield novellas) to me, so I’m going to read that next.

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

Review: Lies and Lullabies (Sarina Bowen)

Lies and Lullabies
Series: Hush Notes, #1
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: September 22, 2020
Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Summer nights and star-crossed lovers! From USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen.

Once upon a time, he gave me a summer of friendship, followed by one perfect night. We shared a lot during our short time together. But he skipped a few crucial details.

I didn’t know he was a rock star.

I didn’t know his real name.

Neither of us knew I’d get pregnant.

And I sure never expected to see him again.

Five years later, his tour bus pulls up in Nest Lake, Maine. My little world is about to be shattered by loud music and the pounding of my own foolish heart.


Lies and Lullabies was a sweet second chance romance. The whole rock star and secret baby tropes melded perfectly. I loved Kira and Jonas’ characters. It was easy to understand why Kira kept Vivi a secret and for why Jonas would want to come back to her five years later. Their chemistry was on point, and it didn’t feel weird for them to reconnect quickly. I’m normally not a fan of flashbacks, but they were few, woven well into the story, and didn’t distract from the present but added to it.

Like in all of Bowen’s books, the side characters helped make the story. Kira and Jonas’ daughter Vivi was adorable. There were so many sweet moments due to her. Kira’s brother Adam also had a big part. I loved his character. I’m wondering if we’re getting a book for him because his part in the story felt like it wasn’t resolved. I hope so! And then there was the rest of Jonas’ band. I liked the introductions to Nixon and Quinn. I’m so interested to see where Rebecca Yarros and Devney Perry take those characters.

There were a few things that felt a little too unresolved to me. One was teh whole Luke storyline. The second was Adam’s story, as I pointed out earlier. The third was that I wanted a little more time with Kira and Jonas at the end. There was a perfect epilogue, but the story felt like it ended a little abruptly. I can’t exactly explain why it felt that way. I guess I needed a little more clarification on how everything worked out for them with Jonas’ tour, etc.

Overall, this was a great second chance romance. It was filled with sweet moments and rock star fun. I’m so excited to read the rest of the series!

PURCHASE LINKS:
SERIES PAGE https://www.subscribepage.com/hushnote
All links in one spot → https://shor.by/hush-note
Audible → https://geni.us/Audible-LandL
Paperback → https://geni.us/Paperback-Land…
Amazon → https://geni.us/Amazon-LandL
Apple → https://geni.us/apple-LandL
Kobo → https://geni.us/kobo-LandL
Nook → https://geni.us/Nook-LandL
Google → https://geni.us/Google-LandL

Lies & Lullabies is book one in the Hush Note series. This can be read as a complete standalone. Book two, Rifts & Refrains is by Devney Perry, and book three, Muses & Melodies is by Rebecca Yarros.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall 2020 TBR

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is:

Books On My Fall 2020 TBR

1. Rifts & Refrains
Author: Devney Perry

2. Muses & Melodies
Author: Rebecca Yarros

3. Every Last Secret
Author: A. Torre

4. Wild Like Us
Authors: Krista & Becca Ritchie

5. See Me After Class
Author: Meghan Quinn

6. The Bribe
Author: Willa Nash

7. The Bookworm’s Guide to Dating
Author: Emma Hart

8. Secret Puck
Author: Rebecca Jenshak

9. Varsity Rulebreaker
Author: Ginger Scott

10. Sorrow
Author: Tiffanie DeBartolo

Review: Yours to Keep (Lauren Layne)

Yours to Keep
Series: Man of the Year, #2
Author: Lauren Layne
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
Publisher: Montlake
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

An irresistible baseball star and a resistant hometown girl stumble into love in a flirty romance by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

Pro baseball shortstop Carter Ramsey is about to be Citizen magazine’s Man of the Year, but the only title that matters to him is out of reach: World Series MVP. Benched by a recent injury, Carter retreats to his hometown to recover. His ten-year class reunion and a potential reconciliation with the sweetheart he left behind could be perfect distractions. Until another old acquaintance throws Carter a curveball.

Olive Dunn admits that her former high school science partner is still a handsome charmer. But she wasn’t swayed then, and she won’t be swayed now. Because Olive remembers Carter’s little shortcoming: he tends to bail the moment it suits him, without a backward glance. Best to keep her feelings strictly platonic while he’s in town.


Except the entitled boy she knew is a changed man: solid, reflective, and generous. As they ease back in to their familiar friendship, things take a surprising turn, and Carter and Olive must decide if what they have is a passing flirtation or a real shot at love.


Lauren Layne is back! Well, she didn’t really leave, but… I hate to admit that the first Man of the Year book wasn’t my cup of tea. That didn’t stop me from wanting to read Yours to Keep because it is very rare that I don’t fall in love with an LL book. I totally fell in love with this book. What made it so great, you ask?

  • Yours to Keep is one of those books that made me smile the entire time I was reading it. The words feel like they’re wrapped in this upbeat, happy bubble wrap no matter what’s going down.
  • The characters were lovable, each in their own way. Carter because he was a professional athlete trying to figure out who he was without baseball (a great guy). Olive because she wasn’t about to let anyone decide who she was without her input. They weren’t perfect, but they were good people.
  • The chemistry was undeniable, but I loved that they started off by developing a friendship.
  • The side characters were great and added some fun moments to the story. I especially loved Carter’s twin and parents.
  • Just have to say that I loved the ending and epilogue for this book.
  • This is a weird one, but I loved that the whole “Man of the Year” article was what tied this book to the first one and not the political aspect from the first book. They almost didn’t even feel related, and that was a good thing for me.

Was there anything I disliked? Not really. The only thing I could probably point out was that I would have preferred it be in first person instead of third, but this LL so the third worked for me. Yours to Keep was another great addition to her contemporary romance catalog, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. Can it hurry up and get here, please?

Mini Reviews: Engagement and Espionage & Batter of Wits

Engagement and Espionage
Series: Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries, #1
Author: Penny Reid
Publication Date: July 14, 2020
Publisher: Cipher-Naught
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Jennifer Sylvester made her deal with the devil . . . and now they’re engaged!

But all is not well in Green Valley. A chicken choker is on the loose, 61 dead birds most “fowl” need plucking, and no time remains for Jennifer and her devilish fiancé. Desperate to find a spare moment together, Jenn and Cletus’s attempts to reconnect are thwarted by one seemingly coincidental disaster after another. It’s not long before Cletus and Jenn see a pattern emerge and the truth becomes clear.
Sabotage!

Will an undercover mission unmask the culprit? Or are these love-birds totally plucked?

‘Engagement and Espionage’ is the first book in the Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries series, is a full-length cozy mystery, and is a spin-off of Penny Reid’s Winston Brothers series. This novel is best read after ‘Beard Science,’ Winston Brothers #3.

My thoughts:

If you’re a fan of Cletus Winston and his baker love Jenn Donner, you will most likely enjoy Engagement and Espionage. It’s a fun cozy mystery filled with antics that can only be attributed to Cletus. Plus, getting more of Cletus and Jenn’s relationship was so fulfilling. They are a couple of favorite characters of mine and I’m so glad there are more books in this series to come.

Batter of Wits
Series: Donner Bakery, #5
Author: Karla Sorensen
Publication Date: April 21, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Hate at first sight couldn’t possibly exist, right?

That’s what Grace Buchanan thought, before her useless car stranded her on the side of a deserted road just inside the Green Valley city limits.

When Tucker Haywood—tall and handsome and full of southern charm— shows up to help, her reaction to him is the strongest thing she’s ever felt in her life, and it makes no freaking sense.

It doesn’t make much sense to Tucker either. Not why she hates him, or why he finds her so intriguing. He knows well enough that Grace is moving to Green Valley for a fresh start, not to distract him when he’s got no room for something like her in his life.

The complications between them are endless, but that doesn’t stop her definitely not love-at-first-sight feelings from changing into something else entirely.

Grace and Tucker are about to learn the hard way that in Green Valley, hating someone has never tasted so sweet.

My thoughts:

I’m always a little hesitant to read a book by one author set in a world created by another author. I’m afraid that it just won’t have the right “feel” to it. Penny Reid’s writing style, settings, and characters are one of a kind. Her Green Valley, home of the Winston brothers, has a special place in my heart. I have read a couple books in this world now, and neither of them quite reflected the setting or style I expected. This is all a big build up to say that Karla Sorensen is the first author who has managed to write her own unique characters and do Green Valley justice. Batter of Wits felt like coming home to Green Valley, and that’s a good thing. I loved Grace and Tucker. Their love story had some uncomfortable bumps, but it was fun.

Review: Dirty Empire (Nina West)

From internationally bestselling author K.A. Tucker, writing as Nina West, comes the dark and sexy Dirty Empire series.

Dirty Empire
Series: Dirty Empire, #3
Author: Nina West
Publication Date: September 15, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Mercy Wheeler and Gabriel Easton’s sordid tale continues in Dirty Empire as Mercy finds her loyalties tested and Gabriel’s attempt to break free of his family’s legacy comes with unexpected consequences.

Dirty Empire is the third book in the Dirty Empire series and should be read after Sweet Mercy and Gabriel Fallen.


One word for Dirty Empire: EXPLOSIVE.

Why explosive? If I gave away Gideon’s secrets he would kill me, so this review is going to be a little sparse. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Things started where they left off. The drama and suspense continued and actually heightened in this third book.
  • Gideon and Mercy’s relationship went next level and got hotter, if that was possible.
  • There were some revelations I guessed but still managed to be a little shocked by.
  • Dirty Empire was supposed to be the end of Gideon and Mercy’s story, but IT’S NOT!!! There was another crazy cliffhanger and there will be a FOURTH book. I can’t decide if I love or hate that.
  • Dirty Empire was a fabulous addition to this series and I can’t wait for the fourth book!
Dirty Empire by Nina West is now live!
Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Dirty Empire (#3 Dirty Empire)

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3m5UHy9
Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/DirtyEmpire

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/DirtyEmpireGR

Sweet Mercy (#1 Dirty Empire) is also FREE!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Fkq8Ew
Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/SweetMercy

 Meet Nina

 Nina West is the author of the sinfully sexy and highly addictive The Wolf Hotel series and Dirty Empire series. She lives in the city but spends her summers in the wilderness.

Connect with Nina

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nina-West/e/B0184G39E0
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14465382.Nina_West
Website: https://www.ninawestauthor.com/|
Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/nina-west
Facebook: @K.A.Tucker.Author
Instagram: @katucker_
Twitter: @kathleenatucke