Tag: Contemporary

Review: Breaking the Ice by Julie Cross

Posted February 7, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Breaking the Ice by Julie CrossReviewer: Rowena
Breaking the Ice (Juniper Falls, #2) by Julie Cross
Series: Juniper Falls #2
Also in this series: Off the Ice (Juniper Falls #1)
Published by Entangled, Entangled Teen
Publication Date: December 26th 2017
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 300
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

The second book in the Juniper Falls series from NY Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Julie Cross, perfect for fans of Miranda Kenneally and Abbi Glines.

Haley Stevenson seems like she’s got it all together: cheer captain, “Princess” of Juniper Falls, and voted Most Likely to Get Things Done. But below the surface, she’s struggling with a less-than-stellar GPA and still reeling from the loss of her first love. Repeating her Civics class during summer school is her chance to Get Things Done, not angst over boys. In fact, she’s sworn them off completely until college.

Fletcher Scott is happy to keep a low profile around Juniper Falls. He’s always been the invisible guy, warming the bench on the hockey team and moonlighting at a job that would make his grandma blush. Suddenly, though, he’s finding he wants more: more time on the ice, and more time with his infuriatingly perfect summer-school study partner.

But leave it to a girl who requires perfection to shake up a boy who’s ready to break all the rules.

Breaking the Ice is the second book in Julie Cross’s Juniper Falls series. It follows Haley Stevenson as she tries to come to terms with who she was and who she wants to be. She doesn’t have time for boys and after the disastrous way her last relationship ended, she’s swearing off boys until college…too bad, Fletcher Scott comes into her life and changes of all her well thought out plans.

Fletcher Scott keeps to himself and doesn’t want to socialize with anyone. He keeps to himself and lives his life. He has a job that makes good money, gets good grades and doesn’t have a problem getting girls but when he takes a Civics class in the summer and Haley Stevenson sits in front of him, things get really interesting. More interesting than he knows how to deal with.

Haley and Fletch are from two totally different worlds and the more time they spend together, the more they feel for each other. Their romance was complicated because there were things about Fletch that Haley didn’t know, things that could hurt Fletch and trying to get to know him was like trying to break out of prison because he was a steel vault. Fletch doesn’t trust easy and he’s got his reasons. Finding common ground where they both get what they want was hard but staying apart was never going to work either.

What a fantastic book this was. From beginning to end, I was locked into Fletch and Haley’s story. I read this book in a day because I couldn’t put it down. Between Haley’s issues and then Fletcher’s, seeing them battle their attraction, knowing that they wanted different things and just everything. It was such a well written, drama-filled young adult romance that hit me with feels at every single turn.

My heart completely melted for Fletcher, seeing him deal with all of the changes that Haley was bringing into his life and not wanting the change but not wanting to be without Haley. Sure, he was an asshole but he was an asshole for reasons that broke my heart. My heart soared for him when he started letting more and more people into his life. Gah, his whole life had me in tears and I was soooo happy for him when Haley proves to be one of the good ones.

Haley really came into her own in this book and it was great to see. To see her come to terms with the end of her and Tate and then reflect on the person she used to be and try to be the kind of person she wanted to be, it made for some great reading. I was super proud of her by the end of the book and when she realized that if she wanted any kind of life with Fletcher, she had to make some drastic changes to her lifestyle, I just loved it to pieces.

I enjoyed the first book in this series but Julie Cross knocked me on my ass with this one so this book is my favorite book of the series so far and I’m pretty stoked to see who will get their story told next. I really enjoyed Jamie, Leo, Mike and the others. The way that they rallied behind Fletch was so sweet. I seriously loved this book. If you’re into first love stories with younger characters than you should definitely read this book because, ahhhh, the feels…you’ll have them.

Juniper Falls Series

Grade: 5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Posted February 5, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: The Wedding Date by Jasmine GuilloryReviewer: Tracy
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: January 30th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex's wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend...

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other...

They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century--or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want...

Alexa is visiting her sister Olivia’s hotel room in order to celebrate with her as Olivia just made partner at her law firm.  While in the elevator on the way up to the room the power goes out and she’s stuck in an elevator with Dr. Drew Nichols who is San Francisco for his ex’s wedding.  They have such a good time conversing on the elevator that when they finally get out, Drew asks Alexa to the wedding with him as his date.  He unfortunately slips and says she’s his girlfriend so she has to play the part.  After the wedding their sexual tension gets the best of the two and they end up having a great time in bed together.  After that they make arrangements to fly to each other on weekends to see each other.

Alexa really liked Drew but he says that he doesn’t really “do” relationships so she tries to keep her emotions separate, but it turns out to be impossible.  Drew never has a girlfriend but when he thinks of breaking it off with Alexa it practically gives him hives because he doesn’t want that.  Unfortunately life and his ex’s get in the way of things and soon Alexa is seeing that any future relationship with Drew is impossible, or is it?

This was a really cute story. I liked how it was light-hearted for the most part and only had a couple of angsty moments.  Drew was a pretty big player but once he’d found Alexa that was it for him. Of course it took a while for him to admit that to himself but I thought he was great with her.

Alexa fell for Drew hard and fast but was reluctant to admit her feelings, which might have been a good thing.  Sometimes I think that it’s best that couples get in these arguments because it makes them see what life would be like without the other and I think it makes them appreciate the relationship so much more.  That’s not always the case, but in this book it was true.

The story is pretty simple and straightforward, getting a tad bit slow in the middle, but overall a good read.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Posted February 4, 2018 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 6 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

I’ve been hearing wonderful things about this book. I’m really excited for it.

Sunday Spotlight: The Wedding Date by Jasmine GuilloryThe Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: January 30th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex's wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend...

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other...

They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century--or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want...

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

THE WEDDING DATE by Jasmine Guillory
Book Binge – exclusive excerpt

By the time she knocked at the door of room 1624 she was a bundle of nerves. Maybe he thought better of this? Maybe he already checked out of the hotel and forgot to tell me? Maybe he . . . She didn’t have a chance for another possible worst-case scenario before he opened the door. And then she was speechless for a moment.

She’d thought Drew was hot in his worn gray T-shirt in the elevator, and she’d thought he was hot at the rehearsal dinner, clean-shaven in his pale blue button-down shirt. Now, in a tuxedo, he was so hot she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to look him in the eye all night.

He wasn’t even fully in the tux—that was the worst part. He had the shirt on and the bow tie untied around his neck, with his hair still damp. He looked like every romantic comedy hero at the end of the night, just before the heroine pulled his shirt out of his pants and started unbuttoning . . .

“Hey!” He interrupted her increasingly lurid train of thought. “You’re just in time. I was about to break into the snacks.”

“Snacks?” she asked. She followed him into the room, momentarily distracted from her fantasies.

“I got us cheese and crackers . . . and beer. If this is anything like most weddings, we’re not going to eat for a while. I don’t know about you, but I could use a drink before this night gets under way.”

“You read my mind,” she said. She dropped her tote bag on his bed and hung her dress up in the closet. “I almost brought a bottle of wine, but I didn’t want to start dancing on tables before the wedding even began.”

He disappeared into the bathroom and came out a few seconds later with two bottles of beer in his hands.

“Beer’s in the bathroom sink. The champagne bucket was too small for a six-pack. Plus, there are two sinks; filling one up with ice was the biggest stroke of genius I’ve had in a while, if I do say so myself.” He cracked open both bottles, handed her one, and then raised his to her. “To my wedding date, and thanks again.”

She took a long drink of her beer and looked around the room, trying to find something to distract herself from how much she wanted to lick that drop of condensation off his lower lip. Huge king bed, neatly made up, so housekeeping must have already come and gone. A full-length mirror by the closet— great, she would need that while getting dressed. Floor-to-ceiling windows beyond the bed. She wandered over to the window, beer in hand, and glanced outside.

“Wow.” The view stretched out over the sparkling bay. She could see both the gray and white bulk of the Bay Bridge and the gleam of the Golden Gate Bridge, with the bright sun overhead.

“The view is something else, isn’t it?” he asked. He came up behind her so close she could feel his body heat. She wanted more than anything to lean back against his warm chest.

“It really is,” she said, without turning around. “Olivia was on this side of the hotel, too, but we were so busy talking I didn’t even look out the window. Josh and Molly got a perfect day for their wedding.” She turned to him, but he’d already stepped back over to the desk.

“I couldn’t compete with your fancy cheese and crackers,” he said, “but I did what I could.”

She walked over to investigate and set her beer down so that she could dig in.

“I love this stuff,” she said, dipping a Wheat Thin into the tub of herbed cream cheese.

He followed suit.

“You’re not just saying that to be nice? Or because you need to eat something so that you don’t jump up on that table and start dancing? Don’t hesitate to do that on my account, by the way.”

She took another swig of beer and grinned.

“I told you, I love all forms of cheese and crackers, even that gross stuff that I used to get in my lunch as a kid with the little red plastic spreader.”

He flopped down on the bed with his beer and grinned at her. She could just push him all the way down and unbutton that shirt of his. Would he have chest hair? If so, not too much—that glimpse of his stomach she’d had in the elevator was branded in her memory, and there hadn’t been a ton of hair there.

Oh my God, what was wrong with her? A few sips of beer and her fantasies were trying to take over.

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Jasmine Guillory

WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS

Jasmine Guillory is a graduate of Wellesley College and Stanford Law School. She is a Bay Area native who has towering stacks of books in her living room, a cake recipe for every occasion, and upwards of 50 lipsticks.

As well as writing books, Jasmine sometimes writes about books, pop-culture, and food, some of her favorite things. Here are some of her recent pieces:

Words With Friends
The 33 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time
If Michelle Obama Were Your Girlfriend
If Nigella Lawson Were Your Girlfriend
What to Do When ICE Raids Your Restaurant
If Lupita Nyong’o Were Your Girlfriend
If Barack Obama Were Your Dad


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Guest Review: #Starstruck by Sariah Wilson

Posted February 2, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: #Starstruck by Sariah WilsonReviewer: Tracy
#Starstruck (#Lovestruck #1) by Sariah Wilson
Series: #Lovestruck #1
Published by Montlake Romance
Publication Date: January 16th 2018
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

“You’ve done better.”

With one uncharacteristically sassy tweet to her longtime celebrity crush, Zoe Miller’s life turns upside down. Ultrahot A-lister Chase Covington doesn’t just respond to Zoe’s tweet, he does the unthinkable: he messages Zoe directly. Now she must decide between walking away or meeting her crush in person.

Chase knows better than to trust anyone from the Internet, but Zoe’s saucy challenge has totally caught his interest—and her girl-next-door personality is keeping it. He’s been burned enough to know he needs to keep his heart close. But his feelings for Zoe might be a lot more than just an online flirtation. He just has to convince her

When the press gets wind of Zoe and Chase’s secret relationship, their romance turns into tabloid headlines. Will they be able to hold on to their Hollywood love story?

Zoe has been a fan of Chase Covington’s since she was 12 (he was just a teen actor at the time).  When she responds to one of Chase’s tweets and lets him know that one of his movies was sub-par, it catches Chase’s attention.  They start to converse via direct message and ending up meeting. After an incident with a bowling ball and his PA, Zoe becomes his personal assistant.  She’s not sure how she’ll do it as she is in her last semester of college, takes care of her brothers and sisters when needed and has an internship at a foundation as well.  Chase makes it easy on her and they spend a surprising amount of time together.

The more time that Chase and Zoe spend together the closer they become although at times Zoe’s not sure what Chase’s intentions are.  They seem to be on dates at times, but he never kisses her. He seems to have no problem with the fact that she’s celibate and waiting for marriage, but is that what’s holding him back? When a question of trust comes up between Zoe and Chase neither one is sure they can trust the other to be in their life for the long haul.

This was a very cute and sweet story.  I really liked Wilson’s writing style and her sense of humor.  She made me laugh on more than one occasion and I loved that.

Zoe was a great girl and I really liked her.  She tried to be the best person she could be.  She was so good with her younger siblings and I loved seeing them interact.  She kept her relationship with Chase a secret from her best friend and roommate, Lexi, which I had mixed feelings about.  They didn’t seem like they would have a relationship where they would keep secrets but I kind of understood Zoe’s insecurities and thoughts that Chase might choose Lexi instead.  I didn’t think he would be I got that a young girl might think that way.  It did kind of annoy me that she kept thinking of him as Chase Covington for such a long time rather than just Chase.  I guess that goes with the title of the book so I tried to let it slide when it happened.

Chase was a nice person.  He said he hadn’t always been but the person he was at the time of this story was kind and for an A-list star, pretty down to earth.  He did have one moment in the book where I wanted to hit him, hard, but he made up for that in the end. 🙂

Overall the book was cute and fun and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: About That Kiss by Jill Shalvis

Posted January 26, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: About That Kiss by Jill ShalvisReviewer: Tracy
About That Kiss by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #5
Also in this series: Sweet Little Lies (Heartbreaker Bay #1), The Trouble with Mistletoe, The Trouble with Mistletoe, One Snowy Night, Accidentally on Purpose, Chasing Christmas Eve (Heartbreaker Bay, #4), Chasing Christmas Eve, Holiday Wishes (Heartbreaker Bay, #4.5), Holiday Wishes, About That Kiss (Heartbreaker Bay, #5)
Published by Avon
Publication Date: January 23rd 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

When love drives you crazy . . .

When sexy Joe Malone never calls after their explosive kiss, Kylie shoves him out of her mind. Until she needs a favor, and it’s a doozy. Something precious to her has been stolen and there’s only one person with unique finder-and-fixer skills that can help—Joe. It means swallowing her pride and somehow trying to avoid the temptation to throttle him—or seduce him.

the best thing to do . . .

No, Joe didn’t call after the kiss. He’s the fun time guy, not the forever guy. And Kylie, after all she’s been through, deserves a good man who will stay. But everything about Kylie makes it damned hard to focus, and though his brain knows what he has to do, his heart isn’t getting the memo.

… is enjoy the ride.

As Kylie and Joe go on the scavenger hunt of their lives, they discover surprising things about each other. Now, the best way for them to get over “that kiss” might just be to replace it with a hundred more.

Kylie needs help.  Someone has stolen the carved wooden penguin that is the only item she has left from her grandfather.  She engages Joe to help her find it.  He doesn’t really think she’s serious until she tells him that she’s getting what amounts to threatening letters, then he’s on the case.

Joe and Kylie kissed at one point after a night of drinking and Joe hasn’t stopped thinking about the kiss since that time.  He tries to keep himself and his feelings separated from Kylie but eventually decides that he just needs to give in and admit that he wants her for his own.

This was another great book from Shalvis.  She does romance so very well and I love all of the different situations that the characters find themselves in.  This one had romance, sexy times and humor which is always a wonderful combination.

I really liked Kylie and Joe together.  Their personalities played off of each other perfectly.  They were both strong and capable people but they each had their own vulnerabilities as well.  Just a great match.

Overall another really good book in the Heartbreaker Bay series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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