Saturday, 18 November 2017

Review: Hooking Up by Helena Hunting

Hooking Up by Helena Hunting

Publishing Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Swerve
Pages: 304
Romance

The Premise from the Author: "Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception–but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw. Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him. They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical" (HH).

My overall thoughts and review: So full disclaimer first: I totally should have read the first book Shacking Up first. Even though it's not technically a series, it takes place in the same world and reading Hooking Up kind of spoils it for me, but I'm ok with that. So you don't need to read the Shacking Up first, but it does help with world building and learning about characters. I immediately downloaded a copy of Shacking Up as soon as I finished this one because I legit am in love with Helena Hunting's writing. To be honest, I went a crazy binge buy of all of her backlist titles on Kobo and I have no regrets. I wasn't sure going into the book what to expect and I honestly expected a traditional HEA contemporary romance. What I did not expect was how many laugh out loud hilarious moments their were and how much character background I would get for certain characters. I loved that the world building was perfect and I honestly felt as if when I was reading it, it was a movie playing out in my head. Everything was so perfectly described and it all felt so vivid to me. The premise of the story follows Amie, who on her wedding day, hears her new-husband getting a blow job over the speakers for all the attendees to hear. WHAT A JERK. No seriously, Armstrong is a big jerk and goodness, I was so glad it wasn't going to be a redemption story with him because I had a feeling from chapter one, I was not going to like him. She finds herself immediately on a plane and taking what would've been their honeymoon together, alone. However, things don't always pan out the way you want, and she finds herself going to Bora Bora with Lex, who is Armstrong's cousin. You quickly learn that the night Armstrong met Amie, Lex was the one who approached her first, but Armstrong swooped in and stole him from her in a way. Lex has always been attracted to Amie and as you learn from their background stories: Lex and Armstrong don't have the best relationship. It's like Armstrong went after Amie just to get under Lex's skin. There's more linked to it with Armstrong's mom and Lex's mom, but man, learning about their childhood and Armstrong's behaviour, you really begin to not like him. It's not even a matter of being misunderstood, he is just downright an asshole. Despite him trying to worm his way back into Amie's life and attempts to justify his actions, Amie holds her ground and does not let him manipulate her. I loved that she didn't take crap from him and made it very clear that they were done with one another. So even though, her and Lex's story was quite lovely to read, I just loved how they both stood as fantastic characters on their own. Their story was soooo swoonworthy. I was grinning ear to ear with some moments and I just loved how attentive and sweet Lex was with her. Their falling in love with so sweet and respectful and the complete opposite from what she had with Armstrong. I loved that they were able to respect one another's boundaries and come together stronger in the end. I didn't want their story to end and I could honestly read about them forever. Overall, I loved this book and I was so terribly sad when it was over. It had everything I wanted in a contemporary romance: some hilarious moments, a great female lead, a sweet and sexy male lead, and other interesting components that made it feel more than a romance novel at times (I really liked learning about the hotel and resort business). There are also so many beautiful moments in the text. Like really beautiful. Like put up a quote up on your wall kind of beautiful. I can't say enough good things about this book. It is definitely one of my favorite romance reads of this year and I just LOVED it. I can't wait to sit down and have a reread again soon. Please pick it up. You will not regret it! (Also.. I learned not too long after that Helena is a fellow Canadian, so that made me love her even more ;))

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Chapters/IndigoAmazon, Kindle, Kobo, and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Disclaimer: I received an e-ARC of this book from St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. I've also signed up to promote this book. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

[Release Blitz] Bad at Love by Karina Halle

SBPRBanner-BadAtLove-RB.jpg

Bad at Love, an all-new contemporary STANDALONE by New York Times Bestselling author Karina Halle is LIVE!!!

[Cover Reveal] Sex, Not Love by Vi Keeland

We are thrilled to bring you the next standalone novel from #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Vi Keeland. SEX, NOT LOVE will release on January 15th, 2018.

     

Checkmate Duet Series (Logan & Kayla) Boxed Set Cover Reveal & Release Blitz


Titles Included: Checkmate: This is Dangerous & Checkmate: This is Beautiful 
Series: Checkmate Duet Series (Logan & Kayla) 
Author: Kennedy Fox 
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Trope: Second-chance Romance 
Photographer & Designer: Sara Eirew 
Release Date: November 16, 2017

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Monday, 13 November 2017

[Release Blitz] Spider by Ilsa Madden-Mills

SBPRBanner-Spider-RB.jpg

From Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills comes a new standalone romance about a flawed hero and the woman he can’t forget.

Spider, a sexy and forbidden new standalone, is LIVE!

[Release Blitz] True Abandon by Jeannine Colette

True Abandon, an all new Second Chance Romance from Jeannine Colette is Available Now!

Friday, 10 November 2017

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

[Release Blitz] Most Eligible Bastard by Annika Martin

MEB-SBPRBANNER-RB.jpg

Most Eligible Bastard, an all-new standalone romance from New York Times bestselling author Annika Martin is LIVE!

Monday, 6 November 2017

Review - It's Messy: On Boys, Boobs, and Badass Women by Amanda De Cadenet

It's Messy: On Boys, Boobs, and Badass Women by Amanda De Cadenet 

Publishing Date: September 19, 2017
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 224
Biography/Memoir

The Premise from the Publisher: "In this deeply personal collection of essays, creator of the The Conversation Amanda de Cadenet shares the hard-won advice and practical insights she’s gained through her experiences as businesswoman, friend, wife, and mother. Amanda is on a mission to facilitate conversations that allow all women to be seen, heard, and understood. Through her multimedia platform The Conversation, she interviews some of today’s most bad ass women—from Hillary Clinton to Lady Gaga—in no-holds-barred conversations that get to the heart of what means to be female. Now, in It’s Messy, Amanda offers readers an extension of that conversation, inviting them into her life and sharing her own story. From childhood fame to a high-profile marriage (and divorce) to teen motherhood to the sexism that threatened to end her career before it started, Amanda shares the good, the bad, and the messy of her life, synthesizing lessons she’s learned along the way. Through it all, she offers an original perspective as a feminist on the front lines of celebrity culture. Edgy, irreverent, poignant and provocative, It’s Messy addresses the issues, concerns, and experiences relevant to women today" (HC).

My overall thoughts and review: I have to admit that I didn't know of Amanda before reading this book. I had saw that one of my managers raved about the book and I quickly read the description and I was intrigued. I haven't read a non-fiction book in a while, and with everything in our political climate at the moment, I was in the mood for some feminist essays. I think it was a good thing that I dove into this book without knowing anything about the author. I always find I enjoy those books most because I don't build some preconceived expectation for the book and the author. Immediately, I want to say how readable this text was. Amanda writes in such a way that felt like she was sitting next to me the entire duration having a candid conversation. She is incredibly open and honest and tells things like it is. I really appreciated learning about her childhood, her upbringing, and the path of her career. She reminds us we are not stuck in one role/career forever and that we continuously change as individuals and she encourages these changes. I really loved hearing about how she spoke with some strong women such as Hillary Clinton, Adrianna Huffington, Jane Fonda, and more. She had meaningful conversations with these women and didn't focus on things like fashion or what they would like to eat. She got to know them as an individual and I really enjoyed learning small tidbits she shared with us. I think what I really enjoyed most about this book was hearing from Amanda, her experience of being a mother and how raising children in a Trump world works. I'm no where near ready to be a mother, but she has definitely inspired me to parent a certain way when the time comes for me. I loved seeing how she also spoke about body issues, PPD, and sense of self through the lens of motherhood. My favorite chapters were definitely "Diets That Don't Work but Do Give You a Bunch of Weird Health Problems (and Other Body Issues)" and "It's Never Okay." Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I'm totally now following Amanda on all social media outlets. I just really think this is a great book for many women because it highlights so many aspects of life. Amanda reaffirms your worries, reminds you that you are not alone, and most of all, empowers you.

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Chapters/Indigo, Kobo, Audible, Amazon, Kindle, and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

[Excerpt Reveal] True Abandon by Jeannine Colette



Thursday, 2 November 2017

[Teaser] Most Eligible Bastard by Annika Martin


Most Eligible Bastard, an all-new standalone romance from New York Times bestselling author Annika Martin is coming November 7th!

He’s a powerful billionaire CEO who built the family business into an empire. The money doesn’t matter to him, but the company is his life. And then his eccentric mother wills it all to her tiny dog.

********
I’m Vicky, the dog whisperer. (Not really, but that’s what my elderly neighbor always says.) When she dies, she surprises everybody by leaving a corporation worth billions to her dog, Smuckers. With me as his spokesperson. 

Suddenly I go from running my Etsy store to sitting in an elegant Wall Street boardroom with Smuckers in my lap. And my neighbor’s son, Henry Locke, aka New York’s most eligible bachelor, glaring across the table at me. 

Rumor has it Henry’s a business genius who’s as talented in the bedroom as he is in the boardroom. Sure, he’s gorgeous. Sex-in-a-seven-thousand dollar suit. But…

He’s arrogant and infuriating. 
He refuses to listen to me when I insist I didn’t con his mother. 
He thinks he can bully me, buy me off, control me, even seduce me. 

Henry may have the women of Manhattan eating out of the palm of his hand, but I'm so over entitled rich guys who think they own the world. 

No way will his wicked smile be charming ME out of my panties. 

His wicked...devastating...impossible-to-resist smile. 

Oh well, who needs panties anyway? 


Preorder Today!
GooglePlay Alert ➜ http://eepurl.com/c7ngpz
ADD to your TBR➜ http://geni.us/BeIcB

Disclaimer: I have signed up with Social Butterfly PR to help promote this author and her book. All opinions are my own. 

Blog Tour: Darkest Temptation by Rachel Van Dyken - Excerpt & Review

SBPRBanner-DarkestTemptation-BT.jpg

Darkest Temptation, an all-new standalone in The Dark Ones Saga from New York Times Bestseller Rachel Van Dyken is available NOW!


[Release Blitz] Craving Midnight by A.M. Hargrove

SBPRBannerCravingMidnight-RB.jpg

Craving Midnight, an all-new romantic standalone from A.M. Hargrove is LIVE!

Release Blitz & Review - My Week with the Bad Boy by Brooke Cumberland and Lyra Parish

https://www.forewordpr.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/release-day-banner--1024x379.jpg

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Friday, 27 October 2017

[Cover Reveal] Bad at Love by Karina Halle

SBPRBanner-BadAtLove-CR.jpg

Bad at Love by Karina Halle 

Release Date: November 16th 

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Designer: Hang Le

Thursday, 26 October 2017

[Cover Reveal] Spider by Ilsa Madden-Mills

SBPRBanner-Spider-CR.jpg

From Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills comes a new standalone romance about a flawed hero and the woman he can’t forget.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Review: Cheater by Rachel Van Dyken

Cheater (Curious Liaisons #1) by Rachel Van Dyken

Publishing Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Skyscape
Pages: 320
Contemporary Romance

The Premise from the Publisher: "Lucas Thorn wasn’t born a cheater. All it took was a single moment—say, a certain disastrous incident on the night before his wedding—and boom. Reputation destroyed forever and always. So now he owns it. He has a lady friend for every night of the week (except Sundays—God’s day and all), and his rules are simple: No commitments. No exceptions. But a certain smart-mouthed, strawberry blonde vixen is about to blow that all to hell. Avery Black has never forgiven Lucas for cheating on her sister. And suddenly being forced to work with him is pretty much a nightmare on steroids. Of course, it does afford her the opportunity to make his life as difficult as possible. But no good revenge scheme comes without payback. Because he didn’t become the Lucas Thorn without learning a few things about women. Now Avery’s lust for vengeance has turned into, well, lust. And if Lucas stops cheating, it’s definitely not because he’s falling in love…" (Skyscape).

My overall thoughts and review: So I was first introduced to RVD by a fellow blogger friend, Ambur at Burning Impossibly Bright and I fell in love with RVD's writing when I read Fraternize (full review here!) I was intrigued to pick this one up because I'm definitely anti-cheating and a book can deter me if they try to justify it in some sort of way. I was curious to see how RVD was going to handle this topic. The story follows Lucas Thorn and Avery Black. They have a history because Lucas used to date Avery's sister and they were even engaged to be married, when one night Lucas "cheats" and things are forever changed. Things are further complicated because the Thorn family and the Black family are quite close and this incident rocks them to the core. Fast forward to present time and years later, Avery finds herself working with Lucas. Lucas is not who he once was. He now has a girl for every single day of the week and he is strictly a no-strings-attached kind of guy. He doesn't do monogamy and perhaps it's the incident that happened years ago that has left him changed forever. Avery, who has always harbored a crush for her sister's ex-fiancee, doesn't fall for his ways immediately. There are some cat and mouse moments and hilarious work stuff that takes place. Avery is definitely a spitfire and I love that she can hold her own against Lucas. I will admit, I was determined not to like Lucas, but he definitely grew on me. We get flashbacks to the night where things changed forever, and we also get to see Lucas' relationship with Avery then. It's really a second chance romance because Lucas fell for Avery then, but didn't act on it because of how messed up the situation was. I loved that it wasn't a simple happy ending for the two of them. There was a lot they had to work through and trust was a big issue. There's one quote that happened in the book and it totally reminded me of Meredith's "Choose Me" declaration from Grey's Anatomy, and I just really loved how Avery handled it: "I want you to choose me not because I'm pressuring you to, because I know you'll resent me for that. I want you to throw this life away because you want to. And right now you don't. You think you do, but it's a comfort, having someone on the side, just in case. I can't wait at home, knowing that one day you're going to smell like another woman's perfume. I want all of you, not a day, not five days--I want forever" (282). Overall, I really enjoyed this second chance romance/enemies to lovers romance. The premise does seem like it can go down a dark road because of the male protagonist moving from sister to sister, but it's quite nice how things are explained. RVD touches on how you can fall out of love when things become too comfortable and simply move towards a platonic direction. RVD also writes second chance redemption really well. I really enjoyed this read and I have to say that Avery is definitely one of my favorite female leads in a romance novel. The story does continue following Avery's friend in the next one and I'm already starting that one... so be sure to keep a look out for that review! ;)

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Chapters/Indigo, AmazonKindle, and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was sent to me by Thomas Allen & Son in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Most Anticipated 2018 YA Sequel Titles

Hi everyone! Bit of a different post from me today, but there has been so much bookish news recently and I'm just slowly catching up with everything. There has been cover reveals and title announcements. My TBR for 2018 is absolutely overflowing, but I wanted to share some of my most anticipated sequel titles (and also gush over the beauty of some covers). Let me know below in the comments what 2018 titles you are most looking forward to! 

Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2) by Neal Shusterman 
Release Date: January 9, 2018 
Thunderhead is the sequel to Scythe which I read and loved. The story of Citra & Rowan continues as they go down very different paths. Rowan has gone rogue, whereas Citra wants to stop corruption from the inside. I can't wait to see where this story goes. I really want a Citra & Rowan reunion! 
See my review for Scythe HERE

Release Date: March 6, 2018 
I. AM. SCREAMING. MORE WARNER?? I honestly thought the series ended with Ignite Me, but when this was announced I was shouting from the rooftops. I love Warner so much. I read this series before I really started my book blogging days, so I don't have full reviews for them all, but my bae Warner has earned himself his very own tag on the blog, so you know my love for him is real. I am so excited to see more of Juliet and Warner's story and the small preview we got included Kenji! I can't wait for more swoonworthy moments between Juliet and Warner, and just general moments of Warner. Also, can we talk about that cover? It is stunning! 

Release Date: May 29, 2018
I absolutely loved Caraval which I reviewed earlier this year here! I honestly thought at the time it was going to be a stand-alone, but there's so much in that world that can be explored. I'm so excited that the second book will be focusing on Tella (Scarlett's sister) and I really liked seeing bits of her in the previous book. I'm so glad she's going to be the focus of the next book, but I also hope we'll see Scarlett pop up as well. 

(I also attended a TeensRead preview recently and I made a recap post talking about my most anticipated reads for Fall/Winter there! You can read it all here!)

What sequels are you looking forward to in 2018? Let me know in the comments below! 

Thursday, 19 October 2017

[Teaser] Darkest Temptation by Rachel Van Dyken


Darkest Temptation, an all-new standalone in The Dark Ones Saga from New York Times Bestseller Rachel Van Dyken is coming October 31st!  

I'm a werewolf King who chose to step down out of grief for my mate.
For centuries I've been alone, choosing to live a life of modesty despite the wealth surrounding me.
I deserve to be punished.
I crave things I have no business craving.
And it is manifesting itself in a way I'm terrified I won't be able to control any longer.
Especially since she arrived.
Vampire. Orphan. Beaten beyond recognition.
My blood calls to her in a way that makes no sense.
I'm a wolf.
She's a vampire.
The two don't mate.
They barely tolerate one another.
All it takes is one slip of control on my part — one taste.
And I doom us all.
Then again, I never knew what is lurking inside has the power to balance good and evil.

Preorder Today!

Paperback

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2xRF47F

Disclaimer: I have signed up with Social Butterfly PR to help promote this author and her book. All opinions are my own. 

[Teaser] Craving Midnight by A.M. Hargrove


Craving Midnight, an all-new romantic standalone from A.M. Hargrove is coming November 2nd! 

She’s a starlet with secrets. He makes scandals go away. Together, they’ll make sparks fly…
Midnight Drake’s squeaky clean reputation has suddenly taken a nosedive. She’s horrified after she wakes up naked from a drugged stupor, but the worst is yet to come. She just found three sex videos of the night she has no memory of on her phone. Midnight wonders if the videos will be leaked to destroy her career…

Harrison Kirkland cleans up Hollywood’s sordid messes for a living, and he’s never met a scandal he couldn’t contain. But when he’s assigned to fix the sultry Midnight’s problems, he never expected to get dragged in after her…

Behind Midnight’s diva exterior, Harrison discovers a mysterious woman with a web of secrets he can’t untangle. The deeper he’s pulled into her world, the stronger his desire for her grows. If he’s not careful, the next heart that’ll need fixing… will be his…

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2gnE5Ft

Disclaimer: I have signed up with Social Butterfly PR to help promote this author and her book. All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Review: Possession by A.M. Johnson

Possession (Avenues Ink Series Book 1) by A.M. Johnson 

Publishing Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: A.M. Johnson
Audiobook Duration: 9 hrs and 18 mins
Narrated by: Tracy Marks, Aaron Shedlock
Romance

The Premise from the Author: "Paige Simon was the only girl Declan ever loved. The only one capable of silencing his voices, the only person to ever have faith in who he was, until the day her faith turned to doubt and destroyed everything they’d made together. Declan O ’Connell was the only person Paige could be herself with. The only one she could rely on, until the day she was forced to make a choice that would condemn them both. They’ve had years apart, and second chances don’t belong to the damned. But when you come face to face with your savior, it’s almost impossible to walk away. In order to move beyond the sins of their past, and forever silence the demons in his head, they’ll have to risk it all. But with love, there are real reasons to be afraid and, sometimes… your salvation is your damnation" (AMJ).

My overall thoughts and review: Before I begin, I just want to say that this was my first romance read in audiobook form. I wasn't sure if it was going to be for me, but I LOVED this book so much. Tracy Marks and Aaron Shedlock did an amazing job of bringing Declan and Paige to life for me. So kudos to the both of them! I didn't have any idea what to expect going into this book besides the premise but the story follows two perspectives: Declan and Paige. It switches narratives between them, and also flip flops back and forth between the past and present time. You learn that they were highschool sweethearts and had such an intense love. Declan suffers from psychosis and depression, and I really liked how mental health was represented in the text. Every time one of Declan's inner voices came out, it tugged at my heart strings, and Aaron did such a good job narrating those parts. I really empathized with those moments in the text because it's similar to some anxiety that I sometimes feel in certain situations. Paige on the other hand, comes from the other side of town, with very strict parents who begin working with the church. Her parents don't entirely approve of Declan, but things are forever changed between the two of them when they are forced to make a difficult decision. Fast forward to nine years later, Paige has left her cheating husband who she never loved, and Declan is trying to stay afloat still. They both bonded previously over art and painting, and it is through Paige's new job at an art gallery that brings them together again. I really liked how Johnson was sure to indicate that they couldn't go back in time and recreate what they once had. They had grown up and they had changed, and if it were to work again, they had to love each other for who they were now. It was a great second chance romance, but it also felt like falling in love for the first time story. I loved how both were able to overcome their own battles and come together stronger. I love books that have a big emphasis on art (this reminded me of Brooke Cumberland's Pushing The Limits). I think the parts that I loved most though were where Paige's family wasn't a great support system, you saw Declan's brothers: Liam and Kieran, being there 100% for their brother. They also slowly warmed up to Paige again. I think it's good that Johnson acknowledged that sometimes you don't need to make up with your family and things are all shiny and great again. The reality is that a lot of people don't get along with their families, and sometimes their life is much better off without that toxicity. This was such a beautiful book. Although there were swoony and sexy moments, this book was so much more than that. It focused on mental health, religion/faith, and family. I really enjoyed this book. I am already listening to the second book in the Avenues Ink series! Also, I barely mentioned the tattoo shop where the brothers worked, but one of my favorite moments of the text was Paige getting her tattoo of a Sylvia Plath quote <3

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
AudibleAmazon, and Kindle

Disclaimer: I received an audiobook version of the book from Foreword PR & Marketing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, 12 October 2017

[Teaser] Darkest Temptation by Rachel Van Dyken


Darkest Temptation, the first standalone in The Dark Ones Saga from New York Times Bestseller Rachel Van Dyken is coming October 31st!  

I'm a werewolf King who chose to step down out of grief for my mate.
For centuries I've been alone, choosing to live a life of modesty despite the wealth surrounding me.
I deserve to be punished.
I crave things I have no business craving.
And it is manifesting itself in a way I'm terrified I won't be able to control any longer.
Especially since she arrived.
Vampire. Orphan. Beaten beyond recognition.
My blood calls to her in a way that makes no sense.
I'm a wolf.
She's a vampire.
The two don't mate.
They barely tolerate one another.
All it takes is one slip of control on my part — one taste.
And I doom us all.
Then again, I never knew what is lurking inside has the power to balance good and evil.

Preorder Today!


Paperback

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2xRF47F


Disclaimer: I have signed up with Social Butterfly PR to help promote this author and her book. All opinions are my own. 

[Cover Reveal] Prince Charming by CD Reiss

PRINCE CHARMING CR BANNER.jpg

Prince Charming - an all-new sexy standalone from New York Times bestselling author CD Reiss coming February 20th.


Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Monday, 9 October 2017

Review: Vicious by L.J. Shen

Vicious (Sinners of Saint #1) by L.J. Shen 

Publishing Date: December 27, 2016
Publisher: ljshen
Pages: 338
Romance

The Premise from the Author: "Emilia - They say love and hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances, and it’s true. The man who comes to me in my dreams also haunts me in my nightmares. He is a brilliant lawyer. A skilled criminal. A beautiful liar. A bully and a savior, a monster and a lover. Ten years ago, he made me run away from the small town where we lived. Now, he came for me in New York, and he isn’t leaving until he takes me with him. Vicious - She is a starving artist. Pretty and evasive like cherry blossom. Ten years ago, she barged into my life unannounced and turned everything upside down. She paid the price. Emilia LeBlanc is completely off-limits, my best friend’s ex-girlfriend. The woman who knows my darkest secret, and the daughter of the cheap Help we hired to take care of our estate. That should deter me from chasing her, but it doesn’t. So she hates me. Big fucking deal. She better get used to me" (Shen).

My overall thoughts and review: This review has been a long time coming. I read this book a few months back and absolutely loved it. From there, I began buying all of Shen's backlist and binge read them all. Vicious was the first to draw me in, and even after a reread yesterday, I'm still in love, and if it's even possible, I love the book even more with a reread?? There is just something about Shen's writing that immediately pulls you in and she somehow makes you feel such frustration for a character, but also love for them at the same time. Baron Spencer AKA "Vicious" was given this nickname, because he is absolutely vicious. He is one of the Hotholes of Todos Santos and the narrative flips between present day and the past in his high school years. When he first meets Emilia, she accidentally walks into a private conversation, and from there, he seems to have this hatred towards her. Her parents work for his family on his estate, and even though don't get along well, they are constantly drawn to one another. Things also get complicated when Emilia starts dating one of his best friends, Dean "Ruckus" Cole. It's clear they both have feelings for one another though, and Vicious acts out through jealousy and Emilia pushes her feelings away.

Flash forward to present day New York, where Emilia has been fired from her job and she must work every waitress shift she can get to support herself and her sister, Rosie. On one unlucky evening, she meets Vicious again and from there, he offers her an offer she can't refuse. A PA job with a great income and a new apartment for her and Rosie. She promises herself that she will keep her guard up this time, and not fall for him again. Vicious says he's simply only hiring her so that she can help him with a certain lawsuit. It sounds so incredibly complicated, but it just worked. The future/past narrative really worked because you got to see how they were with each other, and how Vicious acted incredibly selfishly and impulsively. Gosh, I wanted to shake high school Vicious!! But I loved that Emilia was chipping away at his hard exterior piece by piece. She was so strong, independent, and sassy. She definintely gave back everything he threw at her, and he described it best at the end of the book just how "good" she was: "Knowing what I'd done, she was still here. What's more, she was still strong. That was the true beauty about this girl. She never cowered. She always stood tall and thought for self, knowing what was right and what was wrong in her universe. Always" (303). Their day in New York, going to the museum and the tattoo shop, is definitely my favorite moment of the book. You just see Vicious completely undone by her and I think that's what made me love him so much. So many hilarious and cute moments during this moment in the book. He's frustrating as ever, but also soooo swoonworthy. I loved their messy and not so-beautiful love story: "We've waited a long time for this. I want the real thing. Not the watered-down version. And the real thing is not only beautiful. It is also ugly. I want your truth" (199). I love how they both made mistakes and both had flaws, but I loved how they somehow were better because of the other person, while not losing themselves completely. I feel like with a lot of romance novels, some of the bad guys do a complete 180 after falling in love, but Vicious remains Vicious (I love how crazy he can get and his arrrogant hot hole self), and in a way, he becomes Emilia's Vicious? I don't want to say too much and spoil the book because holy twists and turns and reveals, but when you learn the background story of Vicious, it just tugs at your heartstrings and you want to hug this guy. Emilia put it perfectly when she described how complex her can be: "I shook my head quickly. 'I'm just not sure how you can be both nice and compassionate and a terrible asshole all at the same time,' I muttered. He smiled. 'It's a hard job, but someone's gotta do it'" (281).

I loved this book so much and I can't say enough good things about it. It's definitely an enemies to lovers story, but also a second chance romance. It is just the best kind of romance, and I'm sitting her wishing that Shen will one day write more of Emilia and Vicious' story. When Vicious learns that he has fallen for her, well has loved her all this time, it's just beautiful: "'I want you,' he said simply. 'Just you. Nothing else. Only ever you,' he breathed out in pain, closing his eyes" (295). If you haven't read anything by L.J. Shen yet, what are you waiting for? THIS is her best book in my opinion and I loved it so much, I now own a few copies of it ;)

🎵🎵 - Haunting by Halsey // Back to You by Louis Tomlinson & Bebe Rexha 
(I had these songs on loop while reading and they made me think of Vicious/Emilia)

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
AmazonKindle, and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Links for L.J. Shen: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram 

Thursday, 5 October 2017

TeensRead Preview Winter & Spring 2018 | September 30, 2017


This past weekend, a bunch of book bloggers gathered at the Bloor-Gladstone Library to hear about some new and upcoming excited reads coming Winter & Spring of 2018. The event was hosted by Raincoast Books, and for the Toronto one, we had the lovely Jenn from Lost in a Great Book & Vanessa from Ampersand Inc. as our great hosts! 

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

[Teaser] In Pieces by Danielle Pearl


In Pieces, an all-new standalone from Danielle Pearl is coming October 10th!

Preorder Today!
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2a5Uafh

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/29TYZHf

Three years ago she was left in pieces . . . Most college freshmen love the newfound freedom of living on campus, but none of them craves it like Beth Caplan. One ill-fated night when she was fifteen left her locked in a posh prison of private tutors. It's for the best, everyone said, and maybe it was. But after years of hard work and healing, the one person who never thought of her as broken could be the one to break her all over again. And Beth can't seem to stay away now any more than she could all those years ago. 

As soon as David March learned his best friend's little sister was enrolling at his school, he promised to look after her, and promised himself he'd keep a safe distance. But the sweet little girl he'd grown up with has transformed into a gorgeous young woman, and she's attracting attention from people she shouldn't-like the ex who nearly destroyed her and a strange new student with a disturbing habit of showing up wherever Beth goes. But for David, the most troubling discovery is realizing that he doesn't just want Beth to be safe. He wants her to be his. 

Disclaimer: I have signed up with Social Butterfly PR to help promote this author and her book. All opinions are my own. 

Blog Tour: The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook - Review and Author Q&A

The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook

Publishing Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 320
Young Adult Mystery/Thriller

The Premise from the Publisher: "Skye Thorn has given tarot card readings for years, and now her psychic visions are helping the police find the town's missing golden girl. It's no challenge-her readings have always been faked, but this time she has some insider knowledge. The kidnapping was supposed to be easy-no one would get hurt and she'd get the money she needs to start a new life. But a seemingly harmless prank has turned dark, and Skye realizes the people she's involved with are willing to kill to get what they want and she must discover their true identity before it's too late" (HMH).

My overall thoughts and review: I absolutely loved Eileen Cook's last book With Malice, so when I heard she was coming out with a new one, I knew I wanted to read it! The premise of this book sounded really interesting as well, and I loved the idea of tarot readings and psychic visions being incorporated as well. To begin with, I really wasn't sure what to expect going into this book, but I did not expect it to go the route it did. There were many surprises and to be honest, I didn't see any of them coming. I was pleased that Cook was able to surprise me! I kept thinking that I had the whole bit figured out, but I definitely didn't. The story follows Skye, who has been known to elaborate on stories when she was younger (about her dad), and now she gives fake tarot readings to earn some money to move to New York with her best friend, Drew. She finds it hard to save because it's just her and her mom trying to make ends meet, and along comes an opportunity where she has to play a harmless small role, and move an investigation along in order to earn some money. Things don't go as planned, and it gets incredibly complicated. More secrets are uncovered and a bunch of lies unravel. You honestly begin to question everyone. I don't want to say too much because it really is hard to discuss the book without spoiling it, but you really see how different family dynamics work in the novel: Drew and her family, Skye and her mother, and Paige and her parents. It is so interesting how all three differ greatly, and it tackles just how far you will go for your family, or just how far you won't go. I really enjoyed this book and I honestly finished it in one evening! Eileen Cook will always be an insta-buy author for me and I really hope she continues writing mystery/thriller YA reads in the future. Definitely check this one out if you enjoy thrillers.

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Chapters/Indigo, Kobo Books, Amazon, and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Author Question and Answer
Q: The Hanging Girl is quite different from With Malice since there are aspects of tarot reading and psychic visions, but how do you think your character Jill from WM would fare in THG world? 
Jill has to find her strength over the course of the book With Malice.  She’s been in her friend Simone’s shadow for years. Initially, she isn’t sure how to cope with the things that have happened. She’s crushed when people (both people she knows and total strangers on social media) turn on her and say nasty things. I admire her for digging deep to find her strength and realize that ultimately, what matters the most is what she thinks of herself.

I admire Skye, the main character in The Hanging Girl, for being a fighter. Things haven’t always been easy for her. Skye doesn’t always make the best decisions, but she’s active in trying to do something to make her life better. She doesn’t sit back and complain. I always respect people who at least try.

However, I think Jill would do quite well in the world of The Hanging Girl. Both of them are willing to face some harsh truths to figure out how far they will go to survive.

Links for Eileen: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram 

Don't forget to swing by other tops of the blog tour to check out more content from other book bloggers and more Q&As with Eileen. Many thanks to Eileen for stopping by today! 
Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Raincoast Books for participation in the book tour. All opinions of the book are my own. 

Monday, 2 October 2017

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Review: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee 

Publishing Date: June 27, 2017
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 528 | Duration: 10 hrs and 47 mins
Narrator for Audiobook Version: Christian Coulson
Young Adult Historical

The Premise from the Publisher: "A young bisexual British lord embarks on an unforgettable Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend/secret crush. Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy. So Monty vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores" (HC).

My overall thoughts and review: When I first heard about the premise of this book, I was immediately drawn in. I love historical fiction with elements of LGBTQ+. I will say I was put off by the sheer size of the book, but after learning that good looking Tom Riddle (Christian Coulson from the second Harry Potter film) narrated the book, I clicked that download and play button so fast. Coulson does an amazing job bringing Henry and Percy to life. I just loved listening to his narration of the story so much and it really felt as if I was right there along with the characters as I was reading it. The story follows Henry as he embarks on his final grand tour of Europe with his bestfriend, Percy. This tour is to symbolize Henry's last hurrah before he has to take on a more leadership role within his father's company, and we learn that individuals like Percy have some secrets to hide. The story also introduces Henry's sister, Felicity, who tags along as a type of chaperone. I just loved her character so much and how she is able to hold her own. She is sassy and I loved seeing how she spoke with Henry in some instances and really brought things back into perspective. In terms of Henry and Percy, I loved learning about their friendship, but it is also quite obvious that they are both really in love with one another. It tackles the fine line of friendship and romance, and I loved how it just felt so pure. The text also does a good job at handling bisexual representations, and explains clearly that just because Henry loves Percy, it does not change his sexual orientation. The text also does a decent job at disability representation. I won't say more than that since it is huge spoilery, but there's a lot of representation in the book! Well done, Lee! There are some moments where you do have to suspend your disbelief though since there are some magical and alchemist moments. I really don't want to say too much without spoiling the plot, but the characters do move around quite a lot from Paris to Spain to Rome, and so much crazy drama unfolds which really tests each character in a unique way. Overall, this is such a lovely book. It had everything I could want in historical fiction and more. There's hilarious moments that had me chuckling, swoony moments, and some tear jerking moments. There's an emphasis on family, friendship, love, and tackles questions of how far you will go to help the one you love and learning to become comfortable with yourself. If you haven't read this yet, I totally am pushing for the audible version of the book because it is just so wonderful. There's talk about a companion book that follows Felicity and I'm so down for that. I totally want to see Felicity and swash buckling pirates, and I hope there will be some mention of Henry and Percy as well. Where do I sign up? ;)

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Audible, Chapters/Indigo, Kobo Books, Amazon, Kindle and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

[Teaser] In Pieces by Danielle Pearl



In Pieces, an all-new standalone from Danielle Pearl is coming October 10th!

Preorder Today!
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2a5Uafh

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/29TYZHf

Three years ago she was left in pieces . . . Most college freshmen love the newfound freedom of living on campus, but none of them craves it like Beth Caplan. One ill-fated night when she was fifteen left her locked in a posh prison of private tutors. It's for the best, everyone said, and maybe it was. But after years of hard work and healing, the one person who never thought of her as broken could be the one to break her all over again. And Beth can't seem to stay away now any more than she could all those years ago. 

As soon as David March learned his best friend's little sister was enrolling at his school, he promised to look after her, and promised himself he'd keep a safe distance. But the sweet little girl he'd grown up with has transformed into a gorgeous young woman, and she's attracting attention from people she shouldn't-like the ex who nearly destroyed her and a strange new student with a disturbing habit of showing up wherever Beth goes. But for David, the most troubling discovery is realizing that he doesn't just want Beth to be safe. He wants her to be his. 

Disclaimer: I have signed up with Social Butterfly PR to help promote this author and her book. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Release Day Blitz: Scandalous by L.J. Shen

Scandalous, the highly anticipated next standalone in the Sinners of Saint Series by LJ Shen is LIVE!


Friday, 22 September 2017

Blog Tour: Fraternize by Rachel Van Dyken - Review & Guest Post

Fraternize (Players Game #1) by Rachel Van Dyken

Publishing Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Skyscape (Available in Canada through Thomas Allen & Son)
Pages: 318
Contemporary Romance / Sports Romance

The Premise from the Publisher: "Emerson just made her dream come true as a professional cheerleader for her favorite pro football team. But even though the plus-size athlete is breaking down boundaries, she still has to contend with the massive rulebook. Carbs? Nope. Chocolate? Definitely not. Still, Emerson loves her curves, and she’ll rock the hell out of this job even if it kills her. Except for one mandate that is easier read than done. No fraternizing with the players. Problem one is Miller Quinton: Emerson’s first love, first sex, and the guy who still ignites her daydreams and R-rated fantasies. Thrown back together, Miller and Emerson feel the undeniable pull of passion again, even if the conflict that tore them apart seems insurmountable. Then there’s way-too- sexy Grant Sanchez. He has a serious reputation with the ladies, and when it comes to winning someone he wants, he doesn’t let anyone stand in his way. Now Emerson is breaking every rule in the manual. But what she doesn’t know is that she’s part of a wicked little game—one that could steal both her dream and her heart" (Skyscape).

My overall thoughts and review: So as you all know, I'm absolutely on a romance novel kick, but I have to admit that I haven't read any sports romance books :O This is my first one and it is also my first book by Rachel Van Dyken. It surely won't be my last because after finishing this, I may or may not have gone on a little spree on kindle and bought a bunch of her other books. I absolutely loved the premise of this book and I was excited to see what Van Dyken would do with a love triangle. I find love triangles can often really be one sided and it's super clear from the get-go which guy she'll end up with, but in this one, both guys were such great picks. Emerson is such a lovely protagonist to follow because she's incredibly strong and independent, but also shows her vulnerable side. I definitely empathized and found myself in how she discussed body image and her own insecurities. I loved that Van Dyken didn't give us a traditional protagonist. As someone who is not a size zero, it was great to read about someone working hard to be comfortable in their own skin. Definitely one of my favorite parts about the book was Emerson and how hard she worked to achieve her dream of being a cheerleader for the Bucks. Learning about her relationship with her father also totally hit me right in the feels. I loved learning about her past with Miller, and how their friendship developed. They had such a unique relationship together and it was something that surpassed simply friendship. They had a level of understanding with one another that was really special. I really liked Miller as a character even though some moments he was quite childish and I wish he would've taken ownership for what happened in the past earlier. But guys, the reason why I absolutely loved this book so much is Grant Sanchez. What a character. He's arrogant and definitely has that playboy persona, but underneath, there are so many layers to him. The scene when he goes to Emerson's house and plays checkers with her dad is so precious. He doesn't push Emerson and he is willing to wait for her. You can see him falling for her with every chapter, and it was just so incredibly sweet. I loved how it was a story of both second chances and falling in love again. I don't want to spoil what happens, but I LOVED how it ended ;) I also know next to nothing about football, so it was fun learning about how the game worked and just the overall stress that comes with it. I learned a few tidbits like the rookie dinners, coaches expectations, and regime, and I am definitely on board to read more football books in the future. I loved this book so much and I would highly recommend it if you are looking for a heartwarming romance read. There's a bit of everything and I can't say enough good things about it!

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Chapters/Indigo, Amazon, and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Author Guest Post
Writing Fraternize was probably one of the most fun experiences I've ever had, mainly because I was able to interview real NFL players (most of them retired). I wanted everything to be really authentic, but I had no clue where to start, so I posted on Facebook asking readers if they had any contacts and if those contacts would be willing to chat with me. Shockingly, I had three people get back to me, all of them willing to talk! One was a doctor for one of the teams, and the two other men were past players who were now retired and enjoying life off the field with their families.

I came up with a list of questions like, is it true that the rookie dinner is basically something that the other team members make you do so that the rookies have to pay for all the food? What kind of things happen during the locker room pre-game pump? Are guys really that mean on the field, what things do they say in a huddle? And a personal favorite, when a kicker misses, are you angry at them?

The answers that I got blew my mind! Especially the one where I found out that one of the rookie dinners ended up costing over 40K dollars. Yeah. Insane, right? Another answer that I heard from a player was that when a kicker misses, the entire team is angry, not because they missed, but because they have one job, and they need to do it. It was said by one of the players I interviewed, that most kickers dont even have to show up for all the summer practices so basically they're out hunting and hanging out, and show up right before pre-season meanwhile all the players are sweating buckets and ready to puke.

For the most part, they all had similar answers about just loving the game. I'm an avid football fan so I basically nerded out over all the answers and honestly wrote this book so fast not because of a deadline but because I had so much fun in this world! I think you guys are really going to enjoy it!

Fraternize Tourwide Giveaway!
The winner will receive 1 copy of Fraternize by Rachel Van Dyken!
Giveaway Details: 
- Canada Only (full rules found in the T&C on Rafflecopter)
- Giveaway ends on September 28th at 11:59 am EST
- Winner will be drawn randomly through Rafflecopter, contacted via email & will have 48 hours to claim their prize

About the Author
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

Follow Rachel:
Website | Twitter | Facebook
Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads


Be sure to check out the other stops on the blog tour! Show some fellow bloggers some love in the comment sections and check out more exclusive Fraternize content. 

Sept. 12 – Between the Spine 
Sept. 13 – Bookish Wanderlove | Instagram: Pattycakess20 
Sept. 15 – Booking It With Hayley G 
Sept. 18 – BookCatPin 
Sept. 20 – Cupcake and a Latte
Sept. 21 – Brains, Books & Brawn
Sept. 22 – Padfoot's Library

Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Thomas Allen & Son for participation in the book tour. All opinions of the book are my own.