Let’s Pretend We’re Married by Edith Scott

Published: April 12th, 2017

“Asher Morgan’s publisher is ready to drop the cranky author. And if he isn’t married in four days, his rich grandmother will disown him. He needs to polish his image and find a husband — fast.

Jess Winters needs cash, like yesterday. His bookstore is on the verge of bankruptcy and if it goes under, he and his dog Gary will be homeless.

A marriage of convenience is just what they both need to make their dreams come true. Except the more the chemistry heats up between them, the less convenient their little deception becomes.

When the time comes for their story to end, will either man be ready to close the book?

Let’s Pretend We’re Married is a full-length novel featuring an idealistic bookstore owner and a cranky author, a lovable shop dog, a group of crazy friends, scorching hot explicit scenes, and a no-cheating, all heart, fully realized happily ever after, all set in everyone’s favorite town of Amberly, the cutest town in America.”

Review:

Right from the beginning, I fell in love with Jess Winters. He was this strong, independent man who had a bookstore (LOVE). Also right from the beginning, I hated Asher Morgan. He was this cocky, egotistical douche that published a few romance novels (without a romantic bone is his body). As the book progressed, you can see how things change between the two. Obviously there is chemistry between them in the beginning, but when Jess overhears Asher talking poorly about him, all emotions are halted. They get over their differences because when Jess tells Asher about his financial problems and is in danger of losing his bookstore, Asher proposes to him. Asher is supposed to get married for multiple reasons: his grandmother is impatiently waiting, his PR agent is ready to give up on him, and he is to receive an inheritance.

SPOILER:

It ends the same way that every fake marriage novel ends.

However, the way that their relationship showed throughout this book was the cutest. Jess showed Asher real love, and that really showed by the end. This was super cute and I would recommend this to anyone who loves a romantic, steamy M/M Romance.

Rating: ★★★★

Anna and the French Kiss Series by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss (#1)
“Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?”

Lola and the Boy Next Door (#2)
Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.”

Isla and the Happily Ever After (#3)
“Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.”

Okay but can I just say that this series will forever be engraved into my favorite books. Each one of these books had it’s own story, but was interconnected somehow. In the first book, Anna is unexpectedly shipped to Paris to attend school by her parents. She’s confused because she has a whole life in Atlanta. A job at a movie theater, a best friend, her little brother, etc. In Paris, she finds out many different things about people, but about her self as well. She meets many people there including Merideth (her neighbor), Rashmi and Josh (a couple who fights all the time), and others. She meets St. Clair, a British student attending the same school. Things get difficult between the two considering Anna is new and shy, while St. Clair has an internal battle about his girlfriend vs. Anna. Anna ends up getting violent after hearing terrible things being said about a girl named Isla. She’s never been in trouble and things just keep getting worse and worse. The end was perfection. Angsty and lots of tears. Overall, the first book would’ve been great by itself. However, I loved it more throughout the second and last book.

Lola and the Boy Next Door begins with a girl who’s name is not really Lola, but that is what she prefers to be called. She’s extremely different than her peers. She has a different idea of wardrobe, and talks about it a lot with her two dads. At a young age, she was heartbroken when the boy (her next door neighbor) that she was in love with moved away. She’s currently happy with her boyfriend (her parents aren’t so happy) who is older than her. What happens when the boy who had her heart moves back next door? Of course, Cricket tries to maintain a friendship with Lola knowing she has a boyfriend. But, enough was enough. There was clearly so much still between them. Anna was included in this book because Lola has a job at a movie theater where she Anna works. Everything about this book was just as wonderful as the first.

Lastly, Isla and the Boy Next Door. I don’t even know what to say. I think this was the best book in the series, and that’s really hard to do. Isla is a girl who also attends the American School of Paris. She was included in the first book. Anna gets physically violent when someone says something about Isla, as stated before. The secret is: Isla has secretly been in love with Josh (read the first synopsis) since her freshman year. They meet in Manhattan again when Isla just got her wisdom teeth out. Here’s another secret: Josh likes to draw. He has book after book of drawings. He drew her that day, and she couldn’t really remember that. Back in Paris, love blossoms. It was amazing to watch their love story, however, it was so private, I almost felt like I was intruding. Things go wrong when Josh doesn’t care about anything. This book had me in tears more than once. I swear people were looking at me funny, and I didn’t even care. The ending of this book just made me swoon. I was almost jumping up and down. I was so giddy that I had a smile gracing my cheeks for days.

Do yourself a favor, and pick up these books. Stephanie Perkins is an absolute genius.

Rating: ★★★★★ for all. I would give them millions of stars.

Mixed Up by Emma Hart

Published: April 18th, 2017

Dirty cocktails, deadly enemies with a red-hot attraction, and one big, crazy, Greek family–what could possibly go wrong?

Hiring my brother’s best friend was not on my to-do list.
Neither was he.

Expanding my dirty cocktail bar into food was supposed to be easy, except finding a chef in my little town of Whiskey Key is anything but.
Until Parker Hamilton comes home–bringing his Michelin starred chef’s hat with him.
He has no work. I need someone like him in my new kitchen.
There’s just one problem: I hate his cocky, filthy-mouthed, sexy-as-hell guts.
Even if I might want him. Just a little…

Working for my best friend’s sister? Not on my to-do list.
She’s another story.

Whiskey Key was supposed to be a relaxing vacation, except I haven’t reached the heights I have by lying in a hammock drinking cocktails. So when Raven Archer is desperate for a chef, I offer up my skills.
I’m bored. She needs what I can give her.
Except there’s a problem: I’ve always hated her.
Her and her big, blue eyes, sassy mouth, and killer curves.
If only I didn’t want her.

Mixed Up is a standalone, enemies-to-lovers romance. It’s red-hot and hilarious, so grab a glass and get comfy!”

This was the PERFECT enemies-to-lovers novel. Raven (what a cool name) is a mixologist living in Whiskey Key, Florida trying to make ends meet. She needs a chef, and the only popular chef she knows is her mortal enemy. They’ve known each other since childhood, and hated each other since then. I was entranced from start to finish with this book. I couldn’t put it down. Enemies-to-lovers is one of my favorite type of novels and Emma Hart hit the nail on the head. Parker was so hate-able, I loved him. And the tension? Sheesh! You could cut it with a knife. Overall, I enjoyed the hell out of this book, and if you like romance..read this NOW.

Rating: ★★★★★

You can get it here.

#famous by Jilly Gagnon

Published: February 14th, 2017
Publisher: HarperCollins

Find this book here:

“In this modern-day love story, Girl likes Boy, Girl takes photo of Boy and posts it online, Boy becomes accidentally insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent joke spirals into a whirlwind adventure that could change both their lives—and their hearts—forever. But are fame and love worth the price?

Told in alternating points of view, #famous captures the out-of-control thrill ride of falling for someone in front of everyone.”

This was super cute!!! It was totally based off of today’s social media and things that have happened. This is the story of “Alex from Target” and it’s hilarious. In this book, they have the “Laura” show..I’ll let you figure that one out haha! If you like authors like Rainbow Rowell and Stephanie Perkins, this book is totally for you. It was slow at some points, but it was definitely a book I would read again. The only problem I had with this book: Kyle is a DOUCHE. I didn’t like him from the beginning. I still didn’t like him towards the end. Read this book and you’ll see what I mean. He’s got a lot going on and I get that…but come on man!

Rating: ★★★

The Debt by Karina Halle

Published: August 29th, 2016

“Her life changed in an instant.
And he’s the only one who could have prevented it.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Pact and The Lie comes a new standalone contemporary romance about those McGregor men.

Jessica Charles shouldn’t have even been in London when the unthinkable happened.
She should have been back at home in Edinburgh, perhaps hanging with her boyfriend, having drinks with her sister or doing yoga with her group of friends. She should have been going on in her normal, dependable life as always.
But on that fateful day in August, when a mentally-ill ex-soldier opened fire in public, Jessica’s world changed forever.
Now single and crippled from the gunshot wounds, Jessica finds herself scared and alone, losing faith in herself and humanity with each agonizing moment that passes.
That is until a stranger enters her life. A stranger who makes her live again.
Keir McGregor has always been the strong, silent type. Throw in tall, dark, and handsome and you’ve got pretty much the perfect Scotsman.
Except Keir is anything but perfect. He’s got a past he’s running away from and a guilty conscience he can’t seem to shed. But the more time he spends with Jessica, the more he falls in love with her.
And the more his secret threatens to tear them apart.
He may have been a stranger to her.
But she’s never been a stranger to him.”

Okay so the prologue of this book had me in tears. Karina Halle really made me feel like I was there in Jessica’s shoes living this moment along with her. It was so much in a few pages that it had me very emotional. This book was honestly the quickest I was ever grabbed into a novel. I like true crime novels, and in the beginning, that’s what it felt like, but from the eyes of a witness. I honestly couldn’t believe the twists and turns this book threw at me. It was sad, then happy, then angry, then disappointing, then happy again and this book pulled my emotions in every direction. Jessica feels like one of the strongest characters I’ve ever encountered in a book. She doesn’t take any shit, and I applaud her for that. Keir was also a wonderful character and I’m glad things ended the way they did. I didn’t know that this book was part of a series, so it was a little confusing with the other characters. If you plan on reading this book, I would read the others first to get to know the other family. If not, it was perfect as a standalone as well.

Rating: ★★★★★

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

“A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.”

I liked this book. I did, but there was a little trouble for me getting into it. I first wanted to read this book when it came out, then I found out it was high up on the list for Goodreads’ best of the year award which made me want to read it more. I got 50 pages in..then 100..then 120..and I felt like I was still waiting for something to happen. I didn’t really like the characters other Candance. Her mom was a whole lot of expletives, and her friends weren’t really her friends.. (OR SO I THOUGHT). The ending of this book made the entire thing. The epilogue is absolutely phenomenal and made it completely worth it. I loved it by the end.

Rating: ★★★★

Barley Cross Series by Emma Hart

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Book #1: Being Brooke

Publication Date: December 13th, 2016
Publisher: Self-Published
Rating: ★★★★

“My name is Brooke Barker…

And I’m a freaking disaster.

No, seriously. I’m a college drop-out working a dead-end job, my best friend Carly’s dog gets more action than I do, and I have more bad dates in my diary than there are movie remakes.

Not to mention I’m completely and utterly in love with Cain Elliott.

The problem? He’s in a relationship. With a girl who’s so plastic she makes Barbie cry herself to sleep with jealousy.

The second problem? He’s my best friend.

My shut-up-and-put-on-Harry-Potter, yes-this-is-your-shirt, help-I-have-no-power, crap-I’m-out-of-tampons, kinda best friend.

And that’s all he can be, right?

Right.”

Review:

Brooke Barker. I absolutely adored her and this book that told this romantic story. Falling in love with your best friend? YES PLEASE. It’s such a romantic topic and Emma Hart did a phenomenal job with telling it through the eyes of Brooke.

The chemistry was one of the best things about this book. Cain Elliot and Brooke Barker are a match made in best friend/friend zone/in love but doesn’t want to say it, heaven. This book was a perfect example of a slow burn. It builds up until there’s no where else for the chemistry to go for the two characters. The romance was perfection and I love how deeply Cain and Brooke felt for each other.

I loved Carly, Brooke’s best friend. Their friendship was so relatable that I felt like I was their friend as well. It reminded me of my best friend and I’s friendship. We make jokes and there are times we can’t stop laughing. Carly and Brooke’s nickname for each other were perfect and hilarious. I hope I have more friendships like Brooke and Carly’s in the future.

The only thing that caught me off guard was where it would lose me at some parts. I would have to go back and reread to make sure I got what Brooke was saying. That’s the only reason I knocked a star off. Other than losing me a few times, this book was flawless.

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Book #2: Catching Carly

Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Self-Published
Rating: ★★★★★

“Life Goal #1: Forget about my best friend’s brother. (Because Zeke Elliott is a colossal cockwomble.)

From New York Times bestselling author, Emma Hart, comes another hilariously wild romantic comedy about being the third wheel in your friendship and, um, accidentally having sex with your best friend’s brother…”

Review:

Carly gets a book!! I was so excited to read this one. I was definitely not disappointed. This just so happens to be one of those funny cases where I loved the sequel more than the first one. I loved everything about this book. The best part was the fact that it never slowed down for me and I never had to stop to reread this one!

Carly was fantastic in the first book. I loved everything about her character. She was hilarious and witty with a twist of genuineness when it came to her friends. My favorite thing about this story was Carly’s character and how she develops throughout the book. I love that the characters from the first book were included as well. Zeke’s character was exactly how I expected him to be. He was cocky and funny, but it came to romance: swoon.

The chemistry in this book was just as great as the first. The romance was outstanding and something that every reader would dream of. Emma Hart’s romance is just beautiful, sexy, and emotional. Everything about the way Carly and Zeke’s romance was portrayed was amazing.

There was nothing wrong with this book. I went into this book thinking that it was going to be similar to Being Brooke where I was getting a little lost and having to reread some parts. I’m so glad I was wrong. I’d recommend this series to romance lovers who are looking for a juicy, emotional, quick read. These two were perfect.

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Published: May 3rd, 2016

“I made the wrong choice.”

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.”

Review:

I love this book. I love this book. I love this book. It starts out with a girl named Lina who’s mother is very ill which sent a shock through her system. During her mother’s treatments, her mother would tell her stories about a man named Howard. Howard lives in Italy where her mom did years of college for photography. After her mother’s passing, Lina was shipped off to Tuscany against her will. There, she meets Howard and his assistant at the cemetery where Lina will be living, and is given her mother’s journal that she kept during that time. This is a tale of a daughter following her mother’s footsteps to uncover secrets not only about her mother’s past, but also her past as well. She meets Ren (Lorenzo) who is Italian in the United States, but American in Italy. He helps Lina by reading the journal as well and taking her to the places that were specified to help uncover the clues that her mother left behind. There is one quote that really stuck out to be in this book:
“You know, people come to Italy for all sorts of reasons, but when they stay, it’s for the same two things.”

“What?”

“Love & Gelato.”

Rating: ★★★★★

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarity

Originally Published: 2009

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes.

Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over.”

I feel like this book took me a while to read. It starts out with Alice waking up from sustaining an injury from hitting her head on a pair of handlebars during cycling class. She’s dreaming of this scene, but she can’t put her finger on where she’s seen it before. When she fully wakes up, she’s in the hospital, shocking everyone by thinking it is 1998 and not 2008. She believes she is pregnant with her first child, and has a wonderful husband named Nick. She was in for the shock of her life when she found out she was actually a mother of 3, and getting a divorce from her loving husband. She has a boyfriend named Dominic that happens to be the principal at her children’s school. Alice can’t believe this is her life, and tries to do everything in her power to change it. I had a hard time pushing through the slow parts, but the ending was awesome. Definitely a good read. This book is in the works to become a movie, so you should read it before it comes out!

Rating: ★★★★