ARC Review: My Kind of Wonderful by Jill Shalvis

25317360My Kind of Wonderful (Cedar Ridge #2)

Author: Jill Shalvis

Publication Date: December 22, 2015

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis: Bailey Moore has a clean bill of health and new lease on life. She’s going to do things she never imagined she would be able to do. One of those things involves painting a mural. Luckily, she’s been contracted to do just that in Cedar Ridge, Colorado.

As soon as Bailey steps foot in Cedar Ridge, she meets Hudson Kincaid. Hudson’s the town cop/head of the ski patrol and a member of the family that contracted her to paint the mural. He’s also sexier than sin. Bailey quickly adds Hudson to the top of her to-do list.

Hudson Kincaid doesn’t have time for any distractions — especially the female kind. He’s way too busy with the ski patrol, being a cop and helping his family run their ski resort. But Hudson can’t resist brave and determined Bailey. She looks like a delicate flower, but the fire in her calls to him. Plus, he knows it’s only for now. Bailey’s got too much to do herself.

When their feelings for each other start to become more than just for today, Bailey and Hudson will have to decide whether to take a chance at forever.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


I get excited every time I see Jill Shalvis is coming out with a new book. I know I can always count on her to write a contemporary romance that is going to make me smile. My Kind of Wonderful did exactly that.

My Kind of Wonderful is the kind of story I want to read when I reach for a contemporary romance. The storyline was cute and humorous. I loved Bailey and Hudson wanting each other but not wanting to fall in love with each other. It was steamy and sweet all at the same time. Jill Shalvis created lovable characters who I couldn’t help but root for.

Hudson and Bailey weren’t the only fun characters, though. Every character in My Kind of Wonderful added so much amusement to the story. The entire Kincaid family was entertaining. The way they interacted with each other was comical. Things got even funnier when you added in all of the people they came in contact with on the mountain.

If you’re looking for a lighthearted contemporary romance to put you in a great mood, I would highly suggest My Kind of Wonderful. It’s the second in the Cedar Ridge series and can be read after Second Chance Summer or as a standalone novel. You can find my review for Second Chance Summer here.

**I received an electronic ARC of My Kind of Wonderful from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Other books in this series:

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ARC Review: Steal Me by Lauren Layne

25058352Steal Me (New York’s Finest #2) by Lauren Layne

Publication Date: November 24, 2015

Publisher: Forever

Synopsis:

Captain Anthony Moretti has chosen his path in life. He wants to be the police commissioner one day. Anth knows that becoming commissioner means giving up some of his other dreams: a wife and kids. He’s fine with that until Maggie Walker shows up in his family’s favorite diner.

Maggie didn’t always dream of being a waitress in a diner, but it pays the bills while she writes her first novel. Another added benefit to waitressing at the diner is getting to spend Sundays with the Moretti family — specifically Anthony Moretti. Too bad he hates her.

When Maggie unexpectedly becomes an informant in the toughest case of Anth’s career, he can’t help but throw professionalism out the door.


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Steal Me was a light and fun contemporary romance. The chemistry between the characters was great and I liked each character’s backstory. Their separate histories added a lot to the story — especially Maggie’s. I also enjoyed the hunt for the criminal, which turned out to be her ex-husband. (Don’t worry, that’s not a spoiler. It’s in the book blurb.)

It was fun to meet another Moretti cop. Anthony was a little uptight, but it was easy to understand why with his previous relationship history. The frustration he felt when making choices was interesting and understandable.

My favorite thing about Steal Me was Maggie, though. I thought her attraction to the grumpy Captain was cute. I loved the way she reacted to everything he did. I also liked her family history and the way she ended up dealing with them.

Steal Me is the second book in the New York’s Finest series. It can be read as a standalone novel or after reading Frisk Me. You can find my review for Frisk Me by clicking here.

**I received an electronic copy of Steal Me from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Other books in this series:

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Review: Hellion by Elle Casey

Hellion (Rebel Wheels #2) by Elle Casey

Publication Date: November 30, 2015

Publisher: Elle Casey

Synopsis:

Quinlan Torres is planning ahead for her future. She needs to finish college and get out on her own. She also has a lot of responsibilities: school work, her younger brother Jersey, and helping her best friend win back her deceased father’s company. The last thing Quin has time for is a guy.

If only Quin’s best friend didn’t have a boyfriend with a smoking hot brother. Maybe then she could actually stick to her plan. But each time they see each other, they get closer and closer to combusting…


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Last week I read Rebel, the first book in the Rebel Wheels series. I loved it. It was a fun NA romantic suspense. There were so many great one liners in it. It didn’t quite end in a cliffhanger, but there were still some unanswered questions. So, of course, I had to read Hellion.

Hellion was just as much fun to read as Rebel. Quin was just as snarky and hilarious as Teagan. She has such a potty mouth! I loved getting to know her and her family better. Her family — Jersey especially — was so cool. It was also fun to see her get all flustered by Rebel’s brother(s).

In keeping with the book description, I won’t tell you which brother Quin falls for. I’ll just say the tension between them was incredible. So were their hot and heavy moments.

I really enjoyed reading Hellion. It was almost as amazing as Rebel. My only big complaint was how quickly the story wrapped up. There was a huge build up to Quin and her hellion getting together, but once they were their relationship moved too quickly for me. I can’t explain it without giving too much away. It didn’t ruin the story, I just found it a little unbelievable. That being said, it didn’t ruin the book for me or keep me from wanting to read the next book in the series.

Other books in this series:

Rebel

Review: Sustained by Emma Chase

Sustained (The Legal Briefs #2) by Emma Chase

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

Publisher: Gallery

Synopsis:

Jake Becker is a hot-shot Washington D.C. defense lawyer on his way to making partner. His cold demeanor helps him win cases. It also helps deter women that think he could be more than a one-night stand.

Jake’s not interested in having a wife or family. Having a girlfriend isn’t even on his radar. He’s content with a revolving door of women and his busy work life. Or so he thinks until Chelsea McQuaid and her seven nieces and nephews bump into his life.

All of a sudden, Jake finds himself involved in the McQuaid’s family life. If he’s not saving one kid from trouble, he’s taking one to a class. And it’s all worth it to see Chelsea McQuaid smile.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Sustained was so much fun to read. I absolutely adored it. I loved that the story was told from Jake’s POV. His thoughts were hilarious! I loved how cocky and sure of himself he was. I also loved the sweet side of him that wanted to help Chelsea and the rest of the McQuaid family. I would have fallen in love with him too, if I was Chelsea.

I also loved each and every one of the McQuaid kids. Emma Chase created an amazing and fun bunch of kids. I don’t think I could pick a favorite if I tried. Their interactions with Jake were so much fun to read.

This book was just so sweet! I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a contemporary romance that will leave them in a happy mood.

Before the Blog: Little Bee by Chris Cleave

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Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Publication Date: January 1, 2008

Publisher: Simon & Schuster 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Little Bee, a young Nigerian refugee, has just been released from the British immigration detention center where she has been held under horrific conditions for the past two years, after narrowly escaping a traumatic fate in her homeland of Nigeria. Alone in a foreign country, without a family member, friend, or pound to call her own, she seeks out the only English person she knows. Sarah is a posh young mother and magazine editor with whom Little Bee shares a dark and tumultuous past.

They first met on a beach in Nigeria, where Sarah was vacationing with her husband, Andrew, in an effort to save their marriage after an affair, and their brief encounter has haunted each woman for two years. Now together, they face a disturbing past and an uncertain future with the help of Sarah’s four-year-old son, Charlie, who refuses to take off his Batman costume. A sense of humor and an unflinching moral compass allow each woman, and the reader, to believe that even in the face of unspeakable odds, humanity can prevail.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Why did you choose this book? 

I remember the back of the cover saying the less you knew about the story the better. It was true. The way the story unfolded was very different and cool at the time I read it. I also remember describing it to my mom and she told me it sounded horrible. It wasn’t, though.

 When did you read this book? 

2008 or 2009, I think. It was BGR (before I was on Goodreads).

Who would you recommend this book to?

Adult readers that enjoy a darker story.

ARC Review: S.O.B by J.C. Valentine

S.O.B by J.C. Valentine

Publication Date: November 10, 2015

Publisher: J.C. Valentine

Note: **This novel is for MATURE ADULT READERS only. It contains explicit sexual content and alcohol use.**

Synopsis:

If there’s one person Vista Marquis never wants to see again, it’s Levi Black. It’s been years since she’s seen Levi, but she still isn’t over the way he broke her heart. Vista thought they had a special connection, but all Levi wanted was to add her name to the list of notches on his bedpost.

It might have been easier to move on if Levi wasn’t a famous soccer player — and her stepbrother. Not only does Vista have to hear all about him from her mother, she gets to see and hear about him and his woman of the moment in every celebrity gossip report.

Now, in order to establish her own physical therapy business, Vista is being forced to return home to Chicago and face the one man who has broken her heart. It’s going to be her job to make sure Levi recovers from his most current soccer injury. She plans on keeping things strictly professional. All she has to do is avoid Levi’s womanizing charms.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


I’m going to have to admit that I wasn’t so sure what I was going to think of S.O.B prior to reading it. I love J.C. Valentine’s writing and the creative situations she comes up with, but I was curious to see how she was going to set this one up. I had never read a step-brother/step-sister romance before. I was worried it might be too taboo, too pseudo-incestuous for my tastes.

S.O.B was neither of those two things. Levi and Vista were not blood related. They were not even raised together. They lived in the same house for a short period of time before their parents married. That was shortly before Vista left for college. Basically, they were “brother and sister” through their parents marriage alone. They didn’t even share the same last name.

S.O.B felt more like a second chance erotic romance than a taboo love story. Levi was a cocky, famous athlete who walked away from the one girl he really wanted. Vista was a strong, independent female determined to make her own way. She wasn’t going to fall for the one man who shattered her heart at eighteen.

Levi and Vista’s reconnection was sexy and steamy. The chemistry between these two was off the charts! Levi was just the right amount of cocky and exactly what I would expect a sports star to be. He also had a sweet softer side when it came to Vista that I adored. I loved how strong Vista was. It was really cool that J.C. Valentine didn’t let her back down from standing up to Levi. Her backbone was one of my favorite thing about her.

The book wasn’t just filled with steamy moments, though. S.O.B had a great storyline. It was a lot of fun and cute at times.There were even a few surprises that I didn’t see coming. I enjoyed watching the entire story unfold.

If you’re looking for an erotic romance with a fun storyline, I would recommend S.O.B. It’s a fun, steamy read.

**I received an electronic copy of S.O.B from the author in exchange for an honest review.

ARC Review: The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams & Lauren Willig

The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig

Publication Date: January 19, 2016

Publisher: NAL

Synopsis:

In 1945, it’s rare for women to be doctors. Dr. Kate Schuyler must dedicate her life to medicine to be taken seriously. She works in Manhattan at an old mansion that has been turned into a hospital.

When injured Captain Cooper Ravenel arrives at the hospital, Kate can’t help but be drawn to him. She feels like she’s known him forever. The feeling is intensified by a portrait in the captain’s possession. A portrait that looks very much like Kate. Not only does the woman look like Kate, she is wearing a ruby necklace exactly like the one Kate’s mother gave her.

As Kate and Cooper start to search for the truth behind the mysterious painting, they begin to uncover stories of the past. The stories involve Kate’s grandmother Olive, her mother Lucy and the wealthy Pratt family.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Karen White is one of my favorite authors. Her writing is beautiful. I love how she mixes past and present, mystery, romance and history all into one amazing story. I was very excited to read her collaboration with Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. I haven’t read these authors before, so I was excited to read their work in combination with an author I love.The combination of the three authors was seamless. Honestly, I couldn’t even tell the story was written by three people.

The Forgotten Room was so interesting to read. I loved the way the three different characters and time frames were woven together. It kept my attention and kept me wondering what had happened in Olive’s Gilded Age and Lucy’s Jazz Age. I wanted to know how all three women were tied together. The authors did an amazing job doling out pieces of information a little at a time to keep the story fresh and entertaining.

My favorite thing about this book was that not all of the secrets were easy to guess. Just when I would think I had something figured out, I would learn something that changed how I saw the characters.

If you’re looking for a wonderful historical romance / mystery to read, I would highly suggest The Forgotten Room.

**I received an electronic copy of The Forgotten Room from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Before the Blog: This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

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Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Publication Date: August 6, 2009

Publisher: Orion

Goodreads Synopsis:

The death of Judd Foxman’s father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family—including Judd’s mother, brothers, and sister—have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd’s wife, Jen, whose fourteen-month affair with Judd’s radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public.

Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch’s dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together. In the same house. Like a family.

As the week quickly spins out of control, longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed, and old passions reawakened. For Judd, it’s a weeklong attempt to make sense of the mess his life has become while trying in vain not to get sucked into the regressive battles of his madly dysfunctional family. All of which would be hard enough without the bomb Jen dropped the day Judd’s father died: She’s pregnant.

This Is Where I Leave You is Jonathan Tropper’s most accomplished work to date, a riotously funny, emotionally raw novel about love, marriage, divorce, family, and the ties that bind—whether we like it or not.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Why did you choose this book? 

I remember thinking it was pretty hilarious when I read it. I thought they did a pretty good job on the movie version released last year, but (of course) the book was better.

 When did you read this book? 

2009 or 2010. I’m not sure exactly. I picked it up at Borders Books when it was on the new(er) releases shelf.

Who would you recommend this book to?

Adults that enjoy a good, comical book.

Wicked Restless by Ginger Scott

Wicked Restless (Harper Boys #2) by Ginger Scott

Publication Date: October 20, 2015

Synopsis:

Andrew Harper knows what people in his small town say about his family. His brother, Owen,  may have tried to protect him from the rumors and hurt, but Owen’s gone now. Andrew’s on his own now to prove everyone wrong.

Then, Andrew meets new girl Emma Burke at school. She’s the most beautiful girl Andrew’s ever seen. She’s also smart and sweet. Emma’s heard the rumors, but she doesn’t seem to care. It makes being stuck in the small town of Woodstock bearable.

Emma may not be the talk of the town, but she has problems of her own to deal with. Problems she’s keeping secret from Andrew. She knows she needs to tell him, but she just wants to be a normal teen for a while.

As Andrew and Emma are quickly falling for each other, they will be faced with a choice that will change the directions of their lives forever. Their choices will not only divide them but ruin them.

Five years later, Andrew can’t let go of the pain. He’s hurt and angry.

Andrew always wondered what he would do when he saw Emma again. Now, he knows: get revenge. He has the perfect opportunity to do it and he’s going to take it. But as he puts his plan in motion, the truth of what happened all those years ago starts to present itself — along with feelings he thought were long gone.

If Andrew and Emma can’t make peace with their past, they may lose out on their future.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Wicked Restless is the second book in the Harper Boys series. I couldn’t wait to read it because I absolutely loved the first book, Wild Reckless. (You can read my review here, if you’re interested.) Wild Reckless was about Owen Harper, while Wicked Restless is about his younger brother, Andrew. Each book can be read as a standalone, but there are some things that carry over from Wild Reckless to Wicked Restless.

Dude, socks. If you just wore socks, this wouldn’t have happened.

Wicked Restless started out sweet, cute and funny like many YA contemporary romances. Andrew and Emma’s instant connection during P.E. class is funny and cute. I was so excited for this couple!

“I want this girl to be the girl – my girl. The one I take to things and experience everything with.”

Then, everything gets all complicated and messed up. It turns into the angst filled NA romance I was expecting. It plays with my emotions in ways I didn’t expect.

The decisions Andrew and Emma make tear them apart. It tore me apart! It was heart breaking to read. I hurt for Andrew. He was trying to be such a good person and all it did was prove the rumors true. I couldn’t help but dislike Emma. I felt like she ruined his life. I kind of hated her. I honestly wondered how Ginger Scott could ever redeem her at this point.

Flash forward five years. Andrew has changed. He’s no longer trying to prove he’s not what people think he is. Andrew runs into Emma again. Understandably, he hates her and wants revenge. (I kind of want revenge on her myself!) He doesn’t care about anything but making Emma suffer.

It’s from this moment that every choice Andrew makes is gut wrenching for me to read. I didn’t like what the past five years had done to him. It was so sad to see who Andrew had become. When Andrew takes his anger out on Emma, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. I went quickly from hating her to understanding her. I wanted Andrew to understand her, too. I wanted the sweet and innocent Andrew back.

I’m not going to give anything else away from the story. Just know that I absolutely loved Wicked Restless. It played with my emotions in so many different ways. One minute, I was happy. The next, I was angry. It went on the entire book! Everything felt so intense. At times, the story took turns I wasn’t quite sure I believed. That didn’t matter, though; Ginger Scott’s writing is so good and packed with so much emotion that I could look past those things. Wicked Restless was an amazing follow up to Wild Reckless. Now, I hope Ms. Scott will give us a spin off in the form of Andrew’s roommate, Trent. Love that dude.

If you are a NA reader looking for an emotionally intense series filled with beautiful writing, I would highly suggest Ginger Scott’s Harper Boys series.

Other books in this series:

ARC Review: How to Be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras

 How to Be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras

Publication Date: November 3, 2015

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Synopsis:

Georgia isn’t excited about starting her senior year of high school. She just lost her mother and isn’t quite sure how to go on. Her mother left her a letter telling Georgia who her mother would like her to be. Mostly, she wants Georgia to be brave and have the courage to try new things.

With the help of her best friend, Liss, Georgia decides to make a “Live Life List.” Together, they set out to complete the list. But nothing goes as easily as planned and soon Georgia find her life going places she never wanted it to go. Friendships are ruined, hearts are broken and trust is gone.

Georgia must be brave and take the steps necessary to put her life back together again.


My rating: 3 out of 5 stars


“It’s not you, it’s me.”

I feel like that pretty much sums up how I feel about How to Be Brave.

How to Be Brave started out strong. I really felt for Georgia and could identify with her. The writing was great. I loved the way Georgia’s memories were poetic. The issues in the story were important and relatable.  Then, it lost my attention fairly quickly.

To be honest, I think it was the tone of the book. It started out sad but optimistic. I was excited to see how Georgia was going to take her mom’s words of wisdom and where she would go from there. I had high hopes.

How to Be Brave just didn’t meet them. Instead of being a hopeful book about seizing life, it became Georgia’s decent into mischief and misery. It was depressing. While I understand why it took this direction, it wasn’t fun to read — at least for me. I kept reading in hopes that things would pick up and get better for Georgia. They did, but it just didn’t feel real to me. It felt like even her future might be depressing. I wanted to be uplifted. I wanted to see major growth throughout the entire book.

Something was just lacking for me in How to Be Brave. I have a feeling other readers are going to love this book. It was a good book — I just think it wasn’t for me.

**I received a copy of How to Be Brave from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.