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

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

(#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

#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!

Rating: ★★★★★

#3: Barking Up the Wrong Tree
Publication Date: September 14, 2017

“Things in Whynot, NC have gone to the dogs, and that’s just the way the town’s only veterinarian, Laken Mancinkus, likes it. No matter if she’s up when the rooster crows, or working until the cows come home, Laken never leaves an animal in need. So when a gorgeous Yankee comes begging for help herding some wily goats, Laken is up to the task.

Jake McDaniel is looking for a tax break, and what better way than to take up…farming? This ex-football player turned businessman turned unwitting goat farmer is up to his knees in goat drama. Runaway goats, dehydrated goats, and a baby goat that wants no one other than him, Jake needs more help than he cares to admit. Good thing the sexy veterinarian is right there to coach him on how to be a farmer. The only problem is, Laken’s not looking for anything more than a good time, while Jake is looking for his forever girl.

Will the baby goat, and Laken, be enough to get Jake to stay? Or will he take his tax break and hoof it back to Chicago? One thing is for certain…what happens on the farm doesn’t always stay on the farm.”

Review:

Rating: ★★★★

#4: Pretty as a Peach
Publication Date: March 15, 2018

“Mainer Farms is steeped in family history, but it’s also deep in debt from the effects of the ever-changing farming industry. Not about to let his family’s legacy go under, Colt Mancinkus is willing to do anything he can to save the farm.

Darby Culhane is the new farmer in Whynot, North Carolina, and she’s proving to be quite the forbidden temptation for Colt. Darby isn’t looking for anything but a fresh start, and she’s got it all figured out. Get settled in? Check. Apply for the rural county grant? Check. Confrontation with the steaming mad, smoking hot local farmer? Well, that wasn’t on the agenda.

As pretty as she is sweet, Colt can’t help but be drawn to Darby’s…peaches. No really, she’s a peach farmer. Get that mind out of the gutter, and get on down to the farm to see what happens when circumstances force Colt and Darby to team up. They may just find that the peach trees aren’t the only things in bloom.”

Review:

Rating: ★★★★★

#5: Gimme Some Sugar
Publication Date: To Be Determined

“Larkin Mancinkus prides herself on making the town of Whynot, NC just a little sweeter. As owner of Sweet Cakes Bakery, Larkin gets all the town gossip – the sugar, the spice, and the everything not so nice. So when she finds herself on the tip of everyone’s tongue thanks to an encounter with someone tall, dark, and handsome, she learns the true meaning of ‘if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.’”

 

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!

Until I Fall by Claudia Burgoa

Publication Date: April 3th, 2017
Publisher: CreateSpace

“ER doctor, Aspen Zimmerman is no stranger to pain and loss. The tragic death of her fiancé catapults her life into a promise of healing—of being the best damn ER doctor her hospital has ever encountered. After all, it makes her feel like she’s making a difference when she couldn’t so long ago. And when her most beloved patient suffers horrifically, all Aspen cares about is healing her—even though her son has a special way of igniting a fire she thought fizzled out long ago.

As a private security officer, Anderson Hawkins puts everyone’s life before his own. With his mother fighting for her life, Anderson is hellbent on finding a way to save her. On the plus side, he gets to spend his time with a sexy and fiery ER doctor who would do anything for his mother. Though Aspen seems to be pulling back—away from any feelings she may have for him. Now, it’s up to Anderson to prove that they can build a future together if they both let go of the past. Can Aspen trust her heart with someone when she already feels “dead on arrival?”

Review:

This book blew. me. away. I had my eye on this book for a while now because of the cover. I love the fact that it started to tell the story just from looking at it. The story starts off as Aspen is engaged to a SEAL named Michael. They’re so in love and everything is looking forward to the future. When tragedy strikes, Aspen feels like she has to start all over. Eleven years later, Aspen is denying herself love because of her past. When she meets Anderson, her neighbor’s son, she lets her walls down to find love again. Well, she tries and through careful consideration and the pushing from her friends and family, she lets herself indulge in love for the first time since the death of her fiance.

The beginning of this book had me in tears. It wasn’t shocking that Michael’s death was happening because it was given away in the synopsis. However, Claudia Burgoa wrote the grief that Aspen was feeling so well that I feel like I really felt her pain. I felt the loss she was going through. There was nothing more that I wanted than Aspen making it through and falling in love. When Anderson came in the picture, I wanted to swoon. He was so good with her and her feelings, and yet, he also wasn’t afraid to call her out on things. When she was open and then put her walls back up, Anderson would tell her like it is. Sometimes, people need to just hear it like it is.

Aspen’s best friends were also pretty awesome as well. The characters and their developments were written well. This book flowed amazingly and I would recommend it to anyone.

The only thing that would bother some is that there are a few grammatical errors. I usually knock off a star for that because I am a massive grammar snob, but the story was so good that I had to give this book five stars. I really hope Claudia Burgoa has more books on the way!

Rating: ★★★★★

Cheeky by Natasha Madison

Publication Date: June 4th, 2017

“​Bradley Fitch has it all. A suave job, a gigantic trust fund, and an accent that makes panties drop faster than the speed of light. His new life in New York City is fast-paced and furious, but it’s nothing a little getaway can’t cure.

What says party and unwind like Las Vegas? Nothing. Plus, whatever happens there has to stay there.

When his best friend bails, he finds himself sitting on the plane next to his best friend’s sister.

She’s off-limits—proverbial caution tape wrapped around her body. Of course, she’s also totally ball busting gorgeous.

Lexi Quinn fell in love with Bradley at eight years old and then vowed to kill him at eight and a half. What was supposed to be a romantic week away is turning into a nightmare. Her ex is actually married, her luggage is lost, and her reservation is cancelled. And she’s sitting next to the man she swore to hate forever

One week. No strings attached. What is the worst that could happen?

It’s all fun and games till this British bad boy gives new meaning to BBC and becomes a little bit too cheeky.”

Review:

I am a sucker for British contemporary romance. I live for it. When I hear about a new one being put out, it gets put on my first to read list. Bradley and Lexi are both individuals from Britain who are away from home. They’re childhood friends where Bradley was best friends with Lexi’s brother. Both living in New York City, they find each other on a plane to Las Vegas when Bradley’s best friend bails and Lexi is getting away from her old life. After the flight, things go wrong for Lexi. Her luggage is lost and her reservation at the hotel is cancelled from her ex. Bradley, being a nice guy, invites Lexi to just stay with him for the week. Can Bradley hold the temptation of his best friend’s sister? Not by a long shot. They agree to have one week and then it goes back to how it was. What will it be like when they get home to NYC?

I loved this book. Natasha Madison wrote this with such passion and excitement that I read it in two days. I couldn’t put it down. The characters, the idea, the setting, everything was perfect. This book was definitely a great mix of romance and comedy. There were so many funny one-liners that I laughed out loud at. Very sexy, funny and overall romantic. A great read. Can’t wait to read more Natasha Madison!

Rating: ★★★★★

Bitch Slap by J. Kenner

Publication Date: June 1st, 2017

The first time I met her I wanted to slap her.

The second time, I knew I had to have her.

As for the third time, a gentleman doesn’t tell.

So I guess it’s a good thing I’m no gentleman … right?

Let’s get this out of the way, right off the bat: I love women.
I love the way they look. The way they smell. The way they feel. Especially the way they feel. And I’ve pretty much made it my mission to give each and every woman who shares my bed the ride of her life.

Then I met her. Bitchy as hell and completely uninterested in me. And damned if I didn’t want her. Crave her. I told myself I only wanted to tame her. That it was all about the challenge.

I never expected to break through that ice queen exterior and find the softness underneath. Never expected how wild she’d be between the sheets or the way she’d cry my name with such sincere intensity when I totally rocked her world.

Most of all, I never expected to fall for her.

But I did.

And the question is, now that I know I want her, how the hell do I go about keeping her?”

Review:

Very, very well written novel by J. Kenner. I really enjoyed this.

It was a very current and contemporary romance based on finding the wrong person in a restaurant using a dating app for one night stands. She thought he was looking for long-term, he thought she was looking for, well you know.

There were some parts in the beginning that had me a little confused. When they first meet at the restaurant, I was confused on who she actually was. However, when I understood, things really picked up. I read this in a day.

The ending was my favorite part of this book. It was so sweet and absolutely perfect. There was nothing I wanted more than that ending, and I got it so I was extremely happy.

Rating: ★★★★

Irish King by Dahlia Rose

Published: February 28th, 2017

“Son. Successor. Enforcer. Alone.

Ian ‘King’ Mordha, son of Collin Mordha, runs one of the biggest crime families in Chicago. If he obeys his father’s wishes and accepts his role, he could lose something he didn’t even know he wanted. One freezing cold night he saved a life and changed his own, but there’s a cost.

Sunshine. Hope. Enemy. Love?

Kiya Gunn, sister of a cop, and a teacher at Chicago’s Art School for Disabled Children. She sees behind the mask to who he really is, his strength far outweighs the power of his fists. The gentleness in his heart belies the cruelty associated with his name.

Family vs Their Rivals with Kiya in the middle.

With a turf war brewing against their rivals. Can he keep her safe or will he lose the only sunshine in his life? Or worse, will he pay the ultimate price to keep the woman he loves safe?”

Review:

Irish mob life in Chicago. Moral of the story. Ian ‘King’ Mordha and Kiya Gunn meet when he saves her from being attacked after clubbing. They keep meeting each other after their initial meeting. That’s when Kiya drops the bomb that her brother is a police officer in the city of Chicago and is basically trying to bring down the mob.

This story was a different contemporary romance. It was more of a war between romance and mob vs. police. There were different stories throughout. It was King vs. his enemies, King vs. Kiya in romance, King vs. his father, King vs. his own head, etc. There were so many things going on, and I really liked that.

However, I had to give this book a lower rating because of the dialogue. I think everything was really well done except for the dialogue. It seemed stilted as some parts and even left me confused a couple of times.

Rating: ★★★