Series Review: Havenbrook (Brighton Walsh)

Hi, guys. I have a fun series to share with you today. A while ago, I downloaded Brighton Walsh’s Second Chance Charmer for free and it sat on my Kindle for an embarrassingly long time. I finally picked up it and I was hooked! You can probably tell what happened from there: a series binge. Here are my mini reviews for each book in the series.

Second Chance Charmer
Series: Havenbrook, #1
Author: Brighton Walsh
Publication Date: March 19, 2018
Publisher: Bright Publishing LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

I immediately fell in love with Brighton Walsh’s writing and the small town setting of Havenbrook. Finn and Willow were high school sweethearts who were finally getting a second chance at love. Finn’s attempt at winning Willow back and everything that was revealed during this was so much fun and very swoon worthy. I barely even noticed that it was written in third person and I am not a third person fan — that’s how much I enjoyed reading this sweet romance.

Hometown Troublemaker
Series: Havenbrook, #2
Author: Brighton Walsh
Publication Date: March 14, 2019
Publisher: Bright Publishing LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

After meeting uptight Rory Haven in Second Chance Charmer and the little insight I got into what was coming for her next with Nash, I couldn’t wait to start this book. I know Rory was supposed to be the stuck up princess, but I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. She learned a lot with the implosion of her marriage and the road back from that wasn’t easy mentally. I found myself tearing up for her. And Nash… I loved the way he came to grips with his own past. Oh, and the way he went after Rory. It was just a really sweet romance.

Pact with a Heartbreaker
Series: Havenbrook, #2.5
Author: Brighton Walsh
Publication Date: July 11, 2019
Publisher: Bright Publishing LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

This little novella is a preview to the third book in the series that features the middle Haven daughter, Mac. It was set the story for the next book. I appreciated it because this novella because it could have been done in flashbacks in Captain Heartbreaker and I am not a fan of flashbacks. I would much rather have a novella like this.

Captain Heartbreaker
Series: Havenbrook, #3
Author: Brighton Walsh
Publication Date: March 31, 2020
Publisher: Bright Publishing LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

My thoughts:

Captain Heartbreaker was a great second chance romance between childhood best friends. Mac and Hudson had amazing chemistry, but their friendship is what stood out. It was one of those where you go without seeing each other for years and fall right back into things. I loved that. I did get frustrated at times by both of their decisions, but it did make for a sweet romance.

Overall Thoughts:

This was such a fun series! I loved every moment with it. I’m really hoping Brighton Walsh gives us a book for Natalie, the youngest Haven. Oh, and Willow and Mac’s friend Avery, too! I’m really not done with Havenbrook and I hope Walsh isn’t either.

WWW Wednesday: October 28, 2020

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

what did you recently finish reading?

Nikan Rebuilt (Preload, #3) by Scarlett Cole is the last book I read. I’ve been binging the four book series.

what are you currently reading?

I’m finishing up the Preload series with Lennon Reborn.

what do you think you’ll read next?

My NetGalley shelf is getting larger than I like, so I think I will read Five Ways to Fall Out of Love by Emily Martin.

Top Ten Tuesday: Disturbing Reads

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:

Halloween Freebie

My topic is:

Disturbing Reads

These books aren’t all scary or anything. Some of them were mentally disturbing.

1. The Sun Down Motel
Author: Simone St. James

Ghosts haunting a run down hotel and a possible serial killer had me reading with one eye open.

2. Echoes Between Us
Author: Katie McGarry

I was on edge with this one due to the possibilities of ghosts and the empty tuberculosis hospital.

3. Marrow
Author: Tarryn Fisher

There wasn’t one thing about it that didn’t get under my skin or make me uncomfortable.

4. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
Author: Brynn Greenwood

Beautifully written, but all those ugly things were truly ugly to read about.

5. Nine Minutes
Author: Beth Flynn

Disturbing, but in a good way? There’s Stockholm syndrome involved in this one and a lot of other bad motorcycle gang stuff, but the twists and turns are fascinating.

6. Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma

One word: Incest.

7. The Weight of Blood
Author: Laura McHugh

The tone of this book was so disturbing and stressful to me that I was constantly having to take breaks while reading it.

8. Verity
Author: Colleen Hoover

I think what made this book even more disturbing was that it’s written by a romance writer. I wasn’t expecting to feel so… disturbed.

9. After
Author: Anna Todd

I know this book/series gets a TON of love, but it has one of the most disturbing college relationships I’ve ever read. Hardin is emotionally abusive and I can’t romanticize his and Tessa’s relationship is romanticized so much.

10. Fear Me
Author: B.B. Reid

Here’s another one that’s disturbing based on emotional, sexual, and physical abuse content. In no way should the relationship between Kerian and Lake be romanticized. Not to say that Reid isn’t a talented writer, though.

Cover Reveal: Roommate (Sarina Bowen)

 What happens when a man from Kieran Shipley’s past blows back into town? You’re about to find out.

Photo by Wander Aguiar
Cover design by Christine Coffey

ROOMMATE by Sarina Bowen
Coming January 12, 2021

Wanted: One roommate to share a 3-bedroom house, split the rent, and ideally not be the guy I can’t stop thinking about.  

I’m a man with too many secrets, so the last thing I need is a new roommate with a sexy smile and blue eyes that see right through me. Eight years ago, Roderick left town after high school. We’re not friends. I owe him nothing. But back then, I let one of my secrets slip, and he’s the only one who noticed.

Part of me knows I should run far, far away. But the other part wants him to come upstairs and spend the night. But if I let him in, I could lose everything.

Seeking: a room to rent in town. I’m tidy, have no pets, and I will feed you homemade bread. 

I should probably add: Gay AF, and has no filter. It’s no wonder my new landlord is so wary of me.

A smarter man would ignore those hot glances from the broody lumberjack. He may want more from me than another fresh-baked pretzel. But if I push my luck, I’ll end up back on the street.

Too bad I’ve never been smart with my heart…

Review: Sorrow (Tiffanie DeBartolo)

Sorrow
Author: Tiffanie DeBartolo
Publication Date: October 20, 2020
Publisher: Woodhall Press
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From Tiffanie DeBartolo, author of God Shaped Hole, How to Kill a Rock Star, and Grace: The Jeff Buckley Story, comes Sorrow, a poignant story about friendship and love, art and music, and how these pursuits can save us from ourselves.

Joe Harper has backpedaled throughout his life. A once-promising guitar prodigy, he’s been living without direction since abandoning his musical dreams. Now into his thirties, having retreated from every opportunity he’s had to level up, he has lost his family, his best friend, and his self-respect.

But Joe finds an unlikely path to redemption when he starts working as a carpenter for the bohemian conceptual artist October Danko. The job returns him to his hometown, loaded with bittersweet reminders of his former life, in the shadows of his beloved redwood trees. As Joe’s relationship with October develops, he yearns to take a daring step toward a bold future but struggles to escape the craven decisions of his past.

Sorrow is a stunning, moving novel that explores masculinity and suspended adolescence, all the while begging the questions: Can courage be learned? And is it ever too late to follow your heart?


Um… I just finished this book and I have GOOSEBUMPS. Goosebumps. Reading this book was like listening to a singer who can emote like no other. Everything that Tiffanie DeBartolo wrote I felt. Deeply. This book’s title is Sorrow. That title encompasses so much more than just the feeling. Joe himself was basically one big sorrow. That probably makes no sense, but I have no idea how to explain what this book put me through! I had no idea where this story would end up going when I started it. I disliked the characters through much of it. I thought the book would depress me because I felt the sorrow, but somewhere along the way that sorrow combined with hope. Maybe that hope is what left me with goosebumps in the end. All I can say about this book in the end is that I loved it as much as I was expecting to while feeling rubbed the wrong way while reading much of it. It was such a weird thing. A fantastic, hopeful thing.

Mini Review: Together Apart Anthology

Together Apart
Author: Erin A. Craig, Auriane Desombre, Erin Hahn, Bill Konigsberg, Rachael Lippincott, Brittney Morris, Sajni Patel, Natasha Preston, Jennifer Yen
Publication Date: October 20, 2020
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A collection of original contemporary love stories set during life in lockdown by some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Erin Craig “delivers” on a story about a new girl in town and the cute pizza delivery boy, Auriane Desombre captures our hearts with teens communicating through window signs, and Bill Konigsberg takes us along on daily walks with every step bringing us closer to love. There’s flirting and romance from Rachael Lippincott, a tale of a determined girl with a mask-making business from Erin Hahn, and a music-inspired love connection from Sajni Patel. Brittney Morris turns enemies to lovers with the help of a balcony herb garden, Jennifer Yen writes an unconventional romance that starts outside a hospital, and Natasha Preston’s teens discover each other–and their love story–in a storybook oak tree.

Romantic, realistic, sweet and uplifting, TOGETHER, APART is a collection of finding love in unexpected places during an unprecedented time . . . each with the one thing we all want: a guaranteed happy ending.


I don’t know that I was necessarily ready to read anything set in the age of COVID-19 yet, but these meet cute novellas were more fun than I was expecting. They were short but sweet stories of high schoolers meeting during this strange time. Like I said, they’re meet cutes, so not really an entire romance. I liked them all, but Erin Hahn’s Masked was my favorite. I’ve become a fan of Erin Hahn’s writing this year and I adored this meet cute. I would have loved to read an entire book about Gray and Jude.

Mini Reviews: I Promise You, The Bribe, & Take A Number

Today, I’m sharing with you three mini reviews for new releases I’ve read recently.

I Promise You
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Publication Date: October 12, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

This is the last book in Madden-Mills’ sports romances set at Waylon University. This time it’s newly starting quarterback Dillon McQueen’s turn to shine. His character was so much fun. He started off with a cocky flare, but I liked what was layered beneath. Dillon was a good dude who seemed to be a little misunderstood. I liked his pairing with Serena. She also had some great layers to unravel. She had an ex to move on from and insecurities to deal with. Their love story and characters might have felt a a little cliche at times, but it was the romance was entertaining. I especially loved that first scene. It was a good way to finish up the series.

The Bribe
Series: Calamity Montana, #1
Author: Willa Nash
Publication Date: October 15, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

I’ve been waiting for this book since I read a preview of it in the One More Step Anthology. It was just as good as I was expecting. I loved the small town vibe and all the characters. Lucy and Duke were adorable together. I even enjoyed the suspense aspect that managed to surprise me. The Bribe was everything I’ve come to expect from Devney Perry — or I guess I should say Willa Nash. I wish she would have kept it branded Devney Perry because it didn’t seem like a departure from her regular romance brand.

Take A Number
Series: Wait With Me, #4
Author: Amy Daws
Publication Date: October 15, 2020
Publisher: Stars Hollow Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

I binged the first three books in this series about a month ago. I was so excited to see this fourth book coming so soon. I have to admit that Dean has not been my favorite character in this series, but I looked forward to getting to know him better. He proved himself to be not as arrogantly disgusting as I expected. His romance with Norah was actually a really great fake relationship. It was everything I liked about the trope. The only thing I wasn’t a big fan of was Norah being described as OCD at the beginning. It sounded like she had some traits of OCD, but then it kind of just got put off as being controlling after that. I needed some clarification. Otherwise, this book was a lot of fun.

WWW Wednesday: October 21, 2020

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

My WWW Wednesday hiatus didn’t last as long as I thought it would. I missed interacting with everyone, so I’m starting them up again.

what did you recently finish reading?

The last book I read was one that has been sitting on my Kindle for a while now: Second Chance Charmer (Havenbrook, #1) by Brighton Walsh.

what are you currently reading?

I’m reading Tiffanie DeBartolo’s new release, Sorrow.

what do you think you’ll read next?

I’m going to go back to the Havenbrook series and read Hometown Troublemaker.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read (and LOVED) Based on Blogger Recommendations

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 I Read (and LOVED) Based on Blogger Recommendations

There are tons of bloggers who have given recommendations to me over the years that I have followed. It’s one of my favorite ways to find books. Here’s some of the books I’ve read (and loved) based on recent recommendations.

1. Work Song
Author: Danielle Allen

Recommended by: Nick of The Infinite Limits of Love

Nick had me at office romance + texts.

2. The Story Guy
Author: Mary Ann Rivers

Recommended by: Lenore of Celebrity Readers

Lenore recommended this book to me on Goodreads, and she was right. I loved it!

3. Filthy Forward
Author: Kelsey Cheyenne

Recommended by: Alecia of The Staircase Reader

This book wasn’t even on my radar until Alecia raved about it.

4. Follow
Authors: Tessa Bailey

Recommended by: Kayla of Books and Blends

I like Tessa Bailey’s writing, but her backlist is DEEP. I didn’t even know about this one until Kayla sang it’s praises.

5. Playing for Keeps
Author: Kendall Ryan

Recommended by: Jessica formerly of Reading with Jessica & Nicole of Boundless Bookaholic

I love a good sports romance and both Jessica and Nicole enjoyed this one. Plus, Kendall Ryan books are just fun.

6. Beartown
Author: Frederik Backman

Recommended by: Stephanie of Stephanie’s Book Reviews and Brandie of Running on Words and Wine

Not my normal read, but when Stephanie and Brandie said it’s a must read — it’s a must read.

7. The Sweet Gum Tree
Author: Katherine Allred

Recommended by: Stephanie of Stephanie’s Book Reviews and Brandie of Running on Words and Wine

I NEVER would have read this book without these two saying how good it was. I mean, that cover kind of screams old school.

8. The Guy on the Right
Author: Kate Stewart

Recommended by: Daisy Gal of DG Book Blog

I had read one Kate Stewart book before this and it was kind of meh. Daisy Gal swore this one was amazing, and I trust her judgement, so I gave it a try. It ended up being one of my favorites of last year.

9. Worth the Fall
Author: Claudia Connor

Recommended by: Corina of The Brown Eyed Bookworm

Corina has been lighting up her blog with recommendations lately, and it’s really working out for me. I ended up binging this entire series.

10. Cake
Author: J. Bengtsson

Recommended by: Tanya of Girl Plus Books

I saw this book on Tanya’s blog and was intrigued. She was loving it, so I decided to give it a try. Let’s just say I read the entire 5 book series.

Review: Secret Puck (Rebecca Jenshak)

Secret Puck
Series: Campus Nights, #1
Author: Rebecca Jenshak
Publication Date: October 19, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Secretly hooking up with the team captain’s sister was a bad idea.
In my defense, the first time I saw her I didn’t know who she was.
Kind, gorgeous, a little naïve. Ginny brightened my world from day one.
I knew I was no good for her. She was just out of a relationship and I had a reputation for having a new girl in my bed every weekend.
I tried to do the right thing. Honest.
I’m the one who insisted we should be just friends.
That lasted about as long as you’d expect.
But Ginny? She’s the best – best friend, best everything.
So yeah, hooking up with the team captain’s sister wasn’t a great idea.
Would I do it again?
In a heartbeat.


You know how some books make your heart happy? That’s exactly what Secret Puck did for me. I loved it from the very start. I had no doubt I would, getting to return to the same college setting that hosted Jenshak’s Smart Jocks series, and getting to know Nathan’s little brother Heath better. It was more than that, though. Jenshak has become an author I know is going to make laugh, smile, and fall in love with her characters.

Ginny and Heath were so stinking adorable together. Their relationship had this natural progression that I really dug. It may have been a “secret” relationship at the start, but that didn’t weigh things down emotionally. Secret Puck was low on angst, even when dealing with the more complex issues Ginny and Heath faced. I loved how they truly enjoyed each other’s company. It was all just so swoony!

Another thing that made me incredibly happy were all the side characters. Heath’s teammates and roommates were perfect additions to this book, and make me excited to find out what’s coming next in the series. Ginny also had some great friends who I can’t wait to see find their significant others in the future. There are just so many possibilities for romances coming. I can’t stand waiting!

So, yeah. I loved this one. I loved it so much that I don’t know that I really have anything non-gushy to say about it. It was just one of those romances that I could sit back, read, lose myself, and enjoy. If you like college sports romances, this is definitely one I would recommend.

🏒🏒 #OɴᴇCʟɪᴄᴋ:

Amazon Universal: https://smarturl.it/6d6k5j

The author is doing a signed paperback/swag giveaway on her Facebook and Instagram pages. Stop by to enter!

www.facebook.com/rebeccajenshak
www.instagram.com/rebeccajenshak

Rebecca Jenshak is a self-proclaimed margarita addict, college basketball fanatic, and Hallmark channel devotee. A Midwest native transplanted to the desert, she likes being outdoors (drinking on patios) and singing (in the shower) when she isn’t writing books about hot guys and the girls who love them.

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