Tag: Contemporary Romance

Every Dog Has His Day by Jenn McKinlay

Every Dog Has His Day by Jenn McKinlay

Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Berkley Books

A stray kitten and a rambunctious poodle bring together a small-town bachelor and a single mother in the latest romance set in Bluff Point, Maine.

Bluff Point brewery owner Zachary Caine wants nothing to do with commitment. His wild bachelor lifestyle suits him perfectly—until a foster kitten named Chaos makes him a reluctant hero. Now he’s BFFs with the kitten’s two little girls and finds himself falling for their gorgeous mother, who couldn’t think less of him.

Divorced mother Jessie Connelly wants nothing to do with men like Zach. He’s sexy and charismatic and bad news, just like her ex. But her girls adore him, and he’s doing a good job filling in for their deadbeat dad. Then a snowstorm brings out the best in both neighbors, who, it turns out, have more in common than their mutual attraction…

So when Jessie’s past threatens her and her girls, Zach is determined to do whatever it takes to protect them—and live happily ever after with this family he has made his own.”

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Berkley Publishing, and Jenn McKinlay for allowing me to read a copy before the publication date in exchange for an honest review. 

This book is listed as #3 in the Bluff Point series, but I read it as a standalone and understood everything.

This was an adorable contemporary romance. If you are a lover of a cutesy romance and animals, I would absolutely recommend this book to you! The chemistry in this book was enough to make me swoon, so as an avid contemporary romance reader, read this book!!

The first thing that I really enjoyed about this book were the characters. I loved the two little girls in the beginning. They were so cute and innocent. When I got further into this book, I realized that I had fallen in love with Zach’s character. He was adorable and capturing from the beginning. There were a few times where his character pulled on my heart strings. His home life was interesting to learn about. I’ve rarely read a book with a foster child, so it was great to learn about the experience.

The chemistry between Zach and Jessie was very hard not to notice. Jenn McKinlay did a great job with showing just how well these two worked together. From the beginning, I was rooting for them. I liked how just like in every relationship, there were points of angst and it shows that even in romance novels, not every relationship is perfect.

Again, contemporary romance lovers,  read this!! I couldn’t say it enough that you will fall in love with this story. As an animal lover and romance reader, this was easily a great book. It’s short, sweet, and has a great narrative. I would love to give Jenn McKinlay’s other books in the Bluff Point series a read!

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Atria Books

Find this book here:

Rating: ★★★★

Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.”

Review:

This book has a lot of different conversations about mental health, so if you struggle with depression, etc., I would take care of yourself when reading this book.  

Colleen Hoover has definitely become one of my favorite authors. Every book I’ve read by her is fantastic and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on “Without Merit”. Since I’ve read her before, I know that her books always deal with tough topics and it’s one of the many reasons I love her. This book was not an exception. I honestly think this book had more tough topics than the others that I’ve read by her. There were times where my heart broke for the characters because of what they were dealing with. It wasn’t just one character dealing with issues either, it was every single character in this book.

The main thing that I noticed about Without Merit was the fact that I wouldn’t say this book is classified as romantic. Every single book I’ve read by Colleen Hoover has been a heartbreaking romance. This book was absolutely a switch up from her usual. This is a great thing as an author to surprise their readers, but I’m not sure I fell in love with this story as much as her others because of this. Was there romance in this book? Definitely. It was more mixed-in than the main plot. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s good to switch it up, but personally, I love Colleen Hoover’s angsty romance and I’m sad there wasn’t really any.

The characters were probably my favorite thing about this book. There were so many different point of views because it is about a family through the eyes of the main character, Merit. It was really interesting to see which family member had which problem and how they were currently dealing with it. The characters through the end were pretty crazy. They each had their own troubles and when it all comes to a head, it was great to see who reacts which way.

I think what was different about this book for me was the fact that this book didn’t grasp me right away like her others did. Usually by the first paragraph, I’m hooked on what will happen next which makes me interested in the entire book. I noticed that I had a hard time grasping right away with this one, and there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just different than what I was used to with her. Colleen Hoover gives so much information in the first few chapters. With her other books, the story starts right away and we find out who the characters are throughout the narrative. This book told us a lot right away.

Overall, I liked this book, but it wasn’t my favorite CoHo. I gave it four stars because once I got started, I really couldn’t put it down. After the first few chapters, the story really gets going and it was an interesting twist on Colleen Hoover’s usual narrative. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us in the future.

 

 

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Publication Date: August 5th, 2014

“When Tate Collins meets airline pilot, Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are our out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her. Never ask about the past. Don’t expect a future. They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it all. Hearts get infiltrated. Promises get broken. Rules get shattered. Love gets ugly.”

Review: 

Wow. This book broke my heart, mended it back together, and repeated this cycle throughout the entire book.

I’ve read Colleen Hoover before, and she just gets it. She gets feelings and emotions, and she makes the reader feel along right with each character. In every Colleen Hoover book I’ve read, I’ve cried on more than one occasion. I’m a very emotional person when it comes to books and movies, but if her books don’t make you feel anything, I think there might just be something wrong.

This story is something unlike anything I’ve ever read. It was raw and emotional. The originality of this story is why I liked it so much. It felt real because of the reactions and demons that each person held onto. I’ve read stories with angst and heartbreak, but this was enough to make my chest hurt for a few hours.

Miles, Miles, Miles. I want to bring him up because he was my favorite character in this book. He went through so much in his life and learns how to deal with it. Even though in life, it’s hard to figure out what to do and when, but it was great to see that he could try and figure things out. I’m glad I got to read something like this. It was pretty motivational.

There were so many things that I loved about this book. If I had to list them all, this review would easily be over the necessary amount of words. I would give this book higher than 5 stars if I could.

Rating: ★★★★★

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Publication Date: August 9th, 2016

“Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome; 2) A person’s undoing; 3) Joshua Templeman. Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgedly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assisstants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude. Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached a boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.” 

Review: 

Josh and Lucy are one of my favorite book couples of all time. There were so, so many things with this book that made me absolutely swoon. 

Josh and Lucy are co-CEOs of a publishing company. Everyone loves Lucy and everyone is afraid of Josh. She is lovely and bubbly, and he is quiet and stern. The only thing in common that Lucy and Josh have is the fact that they’re gunning for the same job as Official CEO. Since everyone knows that their friendship is anything but sunshine and rainbows, Josh and Lucy agree to spend some time together in order to be professional. Things aren’t always as they seem. 

Lucy is one of my favorite characters from a book. She grew up in a small town where her parents own a strawberry farm, but she needed to leave in order to fulfill her dreams of working at a publishing company. She met Josh on her first day, and they didn’t like each other ever since then. This was so realistic to me. Small town, big dream, and an annoying coworker. This seems like a very possible scenario for the average person. I think that made me like this book even more.

The Hating Game was full of chemistry. Sally Thorne has this specific writing style that really makes you feel their chemistry and how well Lucy and Josh actually work together. Their friendship was angsty, and I am a sucker for some harsh love. 

This was such a great debut novel. I can’t wait for her next one. There were really great things this story has to offer. If you haven’t yet, read this book!

Rating: ★★★★★

Once Should Be Enough Series by Nikky Kaye

Once Should Be Enough Series by Nikky Kaye

(#1) Once Should Be Enough
Publication Date: August 17th, 2016

“”I think I hate sex.”

Betting on sex with your hot best friend is not the best way to get over a secret crush.

When I confessed to my cocky friend Will that I’d never had a happy ending, he bet me a thousand bucks he could give me one. I find sex pretty ‘meh’, so once should be enough to say “I told you so,” right? Easiest money I’ll ever earn.

But I didn’t know he meant trying everything once, and now he’s raising the stakes…

This 25,000-word spicy new adult romance novella has no cliffhangers and only happy endings (more than one). It can be read as a standalone, but it also has a sequel, DON’T THINK TWICE.

Get ready for friends with more benefits than a platinum card!”

Review:

Wow wow wow wow wow. Super, super steamy. Cassie and Will make a bet. Will is extremely cocky and knows he can do it. Cassie is not so sure.

The characters in this book were very alike to what they seemed like in the synopsis. They both have certain quirks about them, and just like the synopsis, she’s quiet and he’s cocky.

There were a few things about this book that didn’t hit all the way home with me. There were some parts where I thought “…huh?”. Therefore, I had to drop it a star. However, the writing style flowed beautifully and I enjoyed it. This book could be classified as a standalone, but I am glad there is a sequel because I think it would make it that much better.

Rating: ★★★★
(#2) Don’t Think Twice
Publication Date: February 10th, 2017

“WILL
Cassie is more than a friend with benefits, and I love helping her overcome her shyness in the bedroom. Now our teaching assistant has his eye on her too and all my primitive instincts are taking over. Maybe I’m being a bit possessive, but what have I got to lose?

CASSIE
I told Will that once should be enough, but he’s determined to make me scream over and over again… I feel truly sexy for the first time in my life, but with a new wager on the line I’d better think twice before falling for my best friend.

This 35,000-word sequel to the hot new adult romance novella ONCE SHOULD BE ENOUGH can be read as a standalone–but you might want to sit down (on a towel). If you like your romance swift, sharp and sizzling, then DON’T THINK TWICE!”

Review:

After reading the sequel, I was extremely happy that there was a sequel in the first place. There was so much that could happen after the first one, and it was very, very good. I can say the same thing about this one as the first one. It was very steamy, maybe even steamier than the first one. This story is more friends-with-benefits to lovers as the first one was more friends to friends-with-benefits. I was extremely happy with the outcome.

Again, like the last book, there were some parts that didn’t totally win me over. The characters and the writing style were great again, but there were somethings missing.

I’d recommend these two to someone who really enjoys contemporary romances with a good bit of sexiness. The chemistry was very well done in both and I enjoyed them very much.

Rating: ★★★★

Sex & Sweet Tea Series by Juliette Poe

Sex & Sweet Tea Series by Juliette Poe

#1: Ain’t He Precious
Publication Date: April 11th, 2017

“Welcome to Whynot, North Carolina, population 3,872. It has one stoplight, one bar, and the one-and-only Trixie Mancinkus.

Eleven years ago, Trixie graduated Harvard Law, turned down a job offer from one of the most prestigious law firms in Boston, and headed home to Whynot to open her own firm. Not only did she leave behind the big city, but she also left her boyfriend of three years. And just so we’re clear… that would be me.

So what am I doing in Whynot at this very moment? It seems Trixie needs help with a legal case and for some insane reason, she called on me for assistance. I’ve been in town for five minutes, and I’m every bit as out of place as I feel. Trixie is all sweet, southern curves to my tailored suits and high-priced haircuts. It’s a culture clash of north versus south and about the only thing we have in common is our physical attraction to each other.

But I have a new motto since coming to Whynot: When life hands you lemons, all you need is a little sex and sweet tea to make things better.”

Review:

Trixie and Ryland made life choices that left them both without love for eleven years. He stayed in Boston, working at one of the biggest firms there, while Trixie went back home after Harvard. When Trixie needs help on a case, she asks Ry to come help her in her hometown of Whynot, NC. Trixie is exactly where she is supposed to be and Ry sticks out like a sore thumb. After denying their chemistry for so long, it’s bound to happen that things will escalate in the way that they both want it to.

This book was so fun to read. Sawyer Bennett is using a different name to write as Juliette Poe. There were so many memorable and hilarious quotes that could come from this book. One of my favorites was from Ryland: “The people in this town are nuttier than squirrel shit.” There were moments where I laughed out loud.

The chemistry that this book had was unbelievable. I read tons and tons of romance. It’s one of my favorite genres. “Ain’t He Precious” had some of the best chemistry that I have ever read. I love the story of this book too. Two loves from college get away from each other: if it’s meant to be, it will be.

The last thing was the characters. Juliette Poe did a magnificent job describing what it’s like to live in a small town. I live in a town where it’s only two miles long. It’s very true that when you go out into town, you know everyone. When we have family or friends visit, they always say, “Wow, you know everyone, don’t you?”.  Juliette Poe wrote the small town narrative perfectly.

Overall, this was a wonderful book that I would recommend to any romance lover. If you like a little steam, you’ll get that too! The writing style and characters were all phenomenal. Read. This. Book!

The second book of this series: Stubborn As A Mule, is published as of July 20th, 2017. This is a story of Trixie’s brother Lowe, and how he got himself in deep trouble with the law. There’s a historical house that belongs in the Mancinkus family and it was bought from underneath of him by a woman named Melinda. So, what does Lowe do? He vandalizes the house and paints it bright pink. The second book will be about Lowe and Melinda’s journey to fix the house as court ordered by a judge.

Rating: ★★★★★

#2: Stubborn As a Mule
Publication Date: July 20th, 2017

Down in Whynot, NC, there are three things that hold true: 1) life moves just a little bit slower, 2) family means everything, and 3) you don’t mess with history.

When his family decides to sell a home that’s been part of their history for over a century, Lowe Mancinkus is madder than a hornet. To add insult to injury, the woman who purchased it is some fancy pants, city girl looking to fix it up and sell it off. Doesn’t matter that she’s sexy as hell or that just being near her gets his blood racing like never before. That home belongs to his family, or at least it did until she came to town.

Well that just won’t do, now will it?

From the moment that she laid eyes on the historical home in rural North Carolina, Melinda Rothschild knew Mainer House was something special. The perfect escape from life in New York City, Melinda signed the papers and set to work restoring the house to its natural beauty. That is until an angry Lowe showed up on her doorstep one day. With a scowl on his handsome, chiseled face. And a shotgun in his strong, muscular arms.

Is it getting hot in here?

Melinda’s about to get a lesson on life in the south, but Lowe is about to learn a lesson of his own – this city girl doesn’t back down from a fight. ”

Review:

I waited and waited months for this book to come out and let me say, I am NOT disappointed. Stubborn as a Mule starts off with Lowe and Melinda in the court room trying to figure out a punishment for Lowe’s vandalism. The judge has known Lowe and his family for a long time, so when the outsider, Melinda, starts putting up a fight about how much punishment he is actually getting. When the judge finds her to be a nuisance, he summons both of them to work on the house together for 200 hours. When they begin working together, it’s not a surprise that there is chemistry there. Melinda learns the hard way of a town that is so small, running into Lowe’s ex-flings and having to hear all the details. Lowe is falling for Melinda and vice versa. The perfect story yet again.

I should just copy and paste my review of the first in the series. This book was absolutely fantastic. Honestly, it was the perfect sequel. This book had a different premise than the first. The first book was more of a “one that got away” story line, and this one was enemies-to-lovers. It was amazing.

The characters were great. I loved Lowe because even though he acts tough on the outside, he’s sweet and romantic on the inside. I didn’t like Melinda at first. She was just so mean and her attitude was holier-than-thou. However, I loved her by the end. She’s a strong, independent woman that hasn’t been in a relationship in a long time. Again, Melinda learns how it is in a small town. Juliette Poe continues to really bring that home.

Overall, again, a perfect love story about learning how to be patient and kind. Trixie and Ry were mentioned in this book, so it’s important to acknowledge that this series is staying together. I love this series and can’t wait for the next!

As of right now, this series is five books long. The next book is called “Barking Up the Wrong Tree” and it’s about Trixie and Lowe’s sister, Laken, who is the only veterinarian in Whynot. What will happen when a new dog shows up in town with a very cute owner? We’ll find out in September of 2017!

I will continue this post as a series when each book comes out!

Book Giveaway: If Not For You by Debbie Macomber

Book Giveaway: If Not For You by Debbie Macomber

Hello everyone! I’m currently hosting a book giveaway on Instagram, so I thought, why not bring it to my blog and Facebook?! I’m hoping people will enter!

If you would like to enter on Instagram, you can do so here!

If you would like to enter on Facebook, you can do so here!

Or, if you would like to enter here on my blog: here are the rules:

  1. Follow my blog (www.laceyslibrary.com)
  2. Like this post
  3. Comment your favorite read this year!

Good luck! This giveaway will end on 8.10.17!