Publisher: Self-Published

Review: More of You by A.L. Jackson

Posted September 17, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: More of You by A.L. JacksonReviewer: Casee
More of YouNarrator: Andi Arndt, Joe Arden
Series: Confessions of the Heart #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 19, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Length: 11 hours and 35 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge, New to Me Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

My daddy warned me never to fall for a boy like Jace Jacobs...

The second I saw him walk through the door, I knew he was trouble.A gorgeous rebel with a bad attitude and a huge chip on his shoulder.My heart warned me. I didn’t listen. I saw something protective and good beneath the fierce, tough exterior.I fell hard and fast.He promised we’d be together forever, and then left me with a broken heart.Now, ten years later, Jace Jacobs is standing at my door.Sexier than he’s ever been.Provocative and commanding.Successful and powerful.The man I always knew he would become.But I promised myself I’d never lose my heart to him again.Even time couldn’t dim our chemistry. One glance of his intense eyes, and I become weak. One brush of his hand, and he brings me to my knees.Little do I know, Jace holds the key to everything I’ve lost and everything that threatens my future.Now he will either save me, or he will break me all over again . . .

More of You – a Confessions of the Heart second-chance, stand-alone romance

This is yet another new-to-me author. I’ve seen her books mentioned, but wasn’t really interested. I’ve decided to have more of an open mind when it comes to new authors. I’m really glad I picked this one up because it was amazing.

Faith has been in love with Jace since high school. He was the bad boy, she was the good girl. She felt an inexplicable draw toward him from the moment she saw him. When Jace’s life takes an abrupt turn for the worse, he leaves her with a broken heart. She doesn’t know why he left, only that he did. Now as a widow with a toddler, Faith is doing the best she can. However, there is something sinister lurking and she has know idea what it could be. Then Jace shows up at her door after ten years.

For as long as Jace can remember, he has been the protector of his little brother and his cousin. He protects them from their mother and from the men in her life. When he met Faith, it was life changing for him. He was in love. They made big plans. Then it all went to crap when his cousin put drugs in his backpack. Jace was eighteen when he was framed by his cousin, so he went to jail. After he is released, he immediately goes to find Faith. And finds her married to the cousin that framed him.

Now his cousin is dead. Murdered by an unknown assailant. Jace knows that he was into something shady and it’s now spilling into Faith’s life. While Jace wants to be bitter that she married and had a child with her cousin (a child that should have been his), Jace will not let Faith and Bailey go unprotected. He soon is immersed in her life. As the days pass by, Jace is certain that he will not let her go.

Like I said, I really liked this book. It was about two lovers reuniting after years apart. They find out that a love one has betrayed both of them. All stemming from jealousy and greed. I loved how Jace instantly loved Bailey, even though he didn’t want to. He was such a good hero. Jace was totally given a bum deal, but he’s not only living his life, he’s thriving. As for Faith, I didn’t like her at first. She really loved Jace that much, then turned around and married his cousin? WTAF. It was sort of explained, but I tried not to think about it. What can I say?

You should read it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Confessions of the Heart

four-stars


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Guest Review: Falling for Farmer Brown by Tammy Blackwell

Posted September 16, 2019 by Jen in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Falling for Farmer Brown by Tammy BlackwellReviewer: Jen
Falling for Farmer Brown by Tammy Blackwell
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 4, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 278
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars

Home is where the heart is...

When the death of a dear friend forces Isabella "Izzy" Moreno to return to the small town where she grew up, her main goal is to get out and back to New York as soon as possible. But bad weather and delayed funeral plans mean not only is Izzy trapped in Cupar County for an entire week, but she's forced to bunk down with her former friend Ethan Brown.

Ethan Brown can't remember the first time he fell in love with Izzy Moreno, but he knows he's in danger of doing it all over again the moment he sets eyes on her. He vows to protect his heart this time around, but it's near impossible when she's living under his roof, reminding him of all the things he turned his back on years ago.

As Izzy spends more time in Cupar County and with Ethan she begins to wonder, can you really go home again?

I’m not gonna lie: I 150% picked up this book because of the cover. It is freaking adorable and utterly perfect for the book. Thankfully, what was inside the book was well worth reading.

Isabella Moreno has come back from New York City to rural Kentucky to be with her friends after one of their group died unexpectedly. (CW: This book deals with the aftermath of their friend’s death. I was worried it would be horribly angsty, but it’s not. There are, however, some painful moments and the grief is unavoidable at some points.) Izzy has remained close to her group of friends, except for Ethan Brown. As soon as she’s back, however, they decide to rekindle their friendship. Except Ethan’s never wanted just friendship from Izzy, and she’s starting to think that might not be what she wants either.

I adored both Izzy and Ethan. Ethan in particular is a sweet, bearded cinnamon bun of a man who has straight up loved Izzy forever. I didn’t exactly enjoy that he had essentially cut off contact with her for stupid reasons, but I could understand how it happened. He was young and dumb, and most of us have probably had that experience of drifting away from a childhood friend. I do wish they had talked a bit more about it, because I felt like his explanation to her was a little thin. Izzy is a great character too. The book is told in alternating first person, and it’s in Ethan’s chapters that I came to love Isabella. He just adores her and sees her for what she is. It’s lovely!

The big conflict in the book is that Izzy is heading back to NYC, while Ethan has firm roots in Kentucky. (Literal roots! He’s a farmer with a thriving business which I LOVED SO MUCH.) I appreciated that they BOTH have to figure out what their priorities are, and Izzy’s soul searching isn’t all about Ethan. She has to put aside all the expectations of the people in her life (her parents, her friends, her neighbors, etc) to figure out what she truly wants her life to be. Her friends are amazing as well. I loved getting to know them and desperately hope this is the start of a series. I want to read about every last one of them.

This book is cute but with enough of a serious backbone to stop it from being cutesy. I had a great time reading it.

Grade: 4 out of 5.

four-stars


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Review: Royally Yours by Emma Chase

Posted September 11, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Royally Yours by Emma ChaseReviewer: Holly
Royally Yours by Emma Chase
Narrator: Shane East, Andi Arndt
Series: Royally #4
Also in this series: Royally Matched (Royally, #2), Royally Endowed (Royally, #3)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 28, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance
Pages: 215
Length: 7 hours and 33 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Historical Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 Historical Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

*New York Times bestselling author Emma Chase returns with a sweet and sexy romantic comedy.*

Princess Lenora Celeste Beatrice Arabella Pembrook had an unusual childhood. She was raised to be a Queen—the first Queen of Wessco.

It’s a big deal.

When she’s crowned at just nineteen, the beautiful young monarch is prepared to rule. She’s charming, clever, confident and cunning.

What she isn’t…is married.

It’s her advising council’s first priority. It’s what Parliament is demanding, and what her people want.

Lenora has no desire to tie herself to a man—particularly one who only wants her for her crown. But compromises must be made and royals must do their duty.

Even Queens. Especially them. ** Years ago, Edward Langdon Richard Dorian Rourke, walked away from his title and country. Now he’s an adventurer—climbing mountains, exploring jungles, going wherever he wants, when he wants—until family devotion brings him home.

And a sacred promise keeps him there.

To Edward, the haughty, guarded little Queen is intriguing, infuriating…and utterly captivating. Wanting her just might drive him mad—or become his greatest adventure. ** Within the cold, stone walls of the royal palace—mistrust threatens, wills clash, and an undeniable, passionate love will change the future of the monarchy forever.

Every dynasty has a beginning. Every legend starts with a story.

This is theirs.

I didn’t read the other books in this series, but I’m given to understand this is the story of the grandmother from the Royally series. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Set in the late 40s and into the 50s, this novel chronicles the life of Queen Lenora Pembrook, as she’s crowned at 19 and takes her place as ruler of Wessco.

Lenora was raised to be queen from birth. She didn’t have much of a childhood, outside of a few short incidences, because she was training for the moment she’d take over and rule the country as the first queen. She had a couple childhood friends who grew to adulthood with her, but there was a lot of loss in her life. The romance doesn’t really even begin until about the 50% mark (perhaps a bit more, I listened to the audio so I’m not sure when exactly Edward was introduced into the story), but I didn’t really miss it, I was so engaged in Lenora’s life. I enjoyed seeing her training, then eventual coronation. She had to deal with centuries of patriarchal bullshit, but I thought she handled it all rather well.

Loss, heartbreak and eventually a smoldering love affair with the husband she never thought she’d get, Royally Yours had me swept up in life at the palace. I don’t really have a desire to read the modern day stories, but this was just what I was in the mood for.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Royally

four-stars


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Review: Hot as Puck by Lili Valente

Posted September 9, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Hot as Puck by Lili ValenteReviewer: Holly
Hot as Puck by Lili Valente
Narrator: Tyler Donne, Summer Roberts
Series: Bad Motherpuckers #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 3, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 6 hours and 39 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars


The NHL's biggest bad boy is about to fall for the virgin next door...

I am the world's biggest dating failure. We're talking my last date went home with our waitress kind of failure.

But I have an ace in the back pocket of my mom jeans--my sexy-as-sin best friend, NHL superstar forward, Justin Cruise.

Justin owes me favors dating back to seventh grade, long before he became a hotshot with a world famous...stick. So in return for my undying platonic loyalty, all I want is an easy-peasy crash course on how to be a sex goddess.

How hard can it be?

***

I have never been so hard in my life.

The things I want to do to my sweet, kindergarten-teaching, mitten-crocheting best friend Libby Collins are ten different kinds of wrong. Maybe twenty.

But I'm a firm believer in teaching by example, and by the end of our first lesson, we've graduated to a hands on approach to her education: my hands all over her, her hands all over me, and her hot mouth melting beneath mine as I prove to her there isn't a damned thing wrong with the way she kisses.

Give me a month, and I'll transform Libby from wall flower to wall banger, and ensure she's confident enough to seduce any guy she wants.

Problem is... the only guy I want her seducing is me.

Hot as Puck is a sexy, flirty, friends-to-lovers Standalone romantic comedy from USA Today Bestseller Lili Valente.

Hot as Puck is the first book in the Bad Motherpuckers series by Lili Valente. It’s the first book I’ve tried by the author. This was a cute friends-to-lovers story I enjoyed for the most part.

Justin and Libby have been friends since he was 13 and she taught him to crochet while he was stuck in bed with mono. He’s best friends with her older sister, Laura, but he and Libby have a special bond. Which is why she feels comfortable asking him to help her learn how to flirt and overcome her extreme shyness around the opposite sex. She’s had a crush on the Vice Principal at the school where she teaches kindergarten forever, but she makes an absolute fool of herself every time she tries to talk to him. She’s tired of feeling like an idiot and just needs some guidance. There’s no one else she trusts enough to ask for help.

Justin is a professional hockey player at the top of his game. He’s killing it on the ice, but his personal life is kind of shit since he just broke up with his latest girlfriend. He isn’t ready to get married and start popping out babies, but he can’t quite figure out why all his relationships keep ending. When Libby asks him to teach her how to be comfortable around men, he’s kind of a jerk because he’s uncomfortable with the idea of Libby as anything other than a friend. Soon, however, he steps up and agrees.

I really loved Justin’s nerdy self. He crochets and geeks out over Star Wars, which was a cute look on a professional hockey player. I didn’t dislike Libby, but her actions toward the end of the book definitely brought her down a few notches. Still, I enjoyed them as a couple and fully bought into their friends-to-lovers romance.

While this wasn’t perfect, it was a quick, light read and I enjoyed it for the most part.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Bad Motherpuckers

three-half-stars


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Review: Wait No More by Stephanie Nicole Norris

Posted September 4, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Wait No More by Stephanie Nicole NorrisReviewer: Holly
Wait No More: A With Your Permission Spin-off by Stephanie Nicole Norris
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 1, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 156
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-half-stars

The rumors... they came from sources that she trusted; the news, the neighborhood, and now the patrons in her night club, Rendezvous. Still, Sophia Clark wouldn’t believe that the soldiers who returned from their tours included the only man she ever loved. But when Dean St. James strolled through the door, the shock to Sophia’s spirit nearly disassembled her. There was no explanation for the reckless up-surging beat of her heart, not after the way Dean disappeared, leaving Sophia to wonder if he’d become a casualty of war.

Now, without time to process her turbulent emotions, Sophia comes face to face with his return, which proves to challenge the love they lost—bringing them together or closing the door on what could have been for all time.

Wait No More by Stephanie Nicole Norris is listed a spinoff of her With Your Permission series. I’ve never read the author before, but I didn’t feel like I missed anything by starting with this novel. This came up as a KU recommendation, so I decided to give it a try. The reunited lover romance was sweet.

Dean and Sophia were college sweethearts who were planning their future together. Until one day he comes home and tells Sophia he enlisted in the Army without speaking to her first. She tried to maintain a long-distance relationship with him, but two years after he left for the Army he broke it off with her. Four years later, he’s suddenly back in town and wants to pick up where they left off. Although she loves him still, she doesn’t trust him to stay.

I really liked seeing Dean and Sophia come back together. His struggle to readjust to civilian life was well done, and I liked that she supported him as he dealt with his PTSD.

I did struggle with the writing at times. It was overly descriptive at times, and very flowery. I also struggled with the basic premise of the story. They were together in college, engaged, buying a house together, then bam, he enlists in the Army without checking with her first? Then he doesn’t see anyone for 6 years? That’s just not realistic. Still, I set that aside to focus on their reunion.

I’ll look for more books by Norris in the future.

Rating: 3 out of 5

two-half-stars


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