Tag: Contemporary

My Best Friend’s Ex by Meghan Quinn

My Best Friend’s Ex by Meghan Quinn

Publication Date: June 1, 2017

Find this book here:

Rating: ★★★★★

“When I found an eviction notice taped on my apartment door, I had two options: find a comfortable cardboard box to call home, or move in with Tucker Jameson.

Seeing that cardboard makes me feel itchy, I chose the latter. Which shouldn’t be that big of a deal Tucker is one of my good friends. And because he’s still pining after his ex-girlfriend and I’m trying to finish my nursing degree, there is nothing to worry about in the romance department, making my last semester an easy one to conquer.

Boy, was I wrong.

Rules are set, dinners are made, conversations are had, and a shirtless, swoony roommate walks around in nothing but a pair of black briefs, ruining me for every other man.

Before I know it, I turn into a panting, lust-filled woman begging for Tucker to kiss me, touch me, and show me exactly what is hiding under those briefs.

But with great orgasms, comes great consequences.

Tucker might be my friend and roommate but he’s also my best friend’s ex-boyfriend, making him completely off-limits. At least that’s what my brain is telling me, my heart is speaking an entirely different language.”

Review:

Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god.

This book was absolutely phenomenal. My Best Friend’s Ex is listed as #2 in the Binghamton Series, but I read it at as a standalone and it didn’t make a difference. Everything was explained very well from the first book, so I don’t see the need to read it if you so please. However, after reading this one, I absolutely will read the first one in the series as well as Meghan Quinn’s other books.

I have heard great things about Meghan Quinn’s books, so I had a bit of high expectations when it came to reading my first book of hers. She did not disappoint me at all. There were so many great things about this book. I’ve been struggling with romance novels lately, and I think that this contemporary romance just put me right back into the genre.

This book had everything that I needed/wanted. The chemistry was outstanding. I felt like the relationships in this book were absolutely perfect. I wouldn’t change them in the slightest. The way that the relationships progressed…sheesh! My Best Friend’s Ex really sold me on the romance. I was feeling like recent romance novels that I were reading were a little far fetched, but this, this, took me back into the world of romance.

The fact that this book had it’s fair share of heartbreak as well made this a five star read for me. Most of the time, a romance novel will have some sort of heartbreak involved. It is rare that I can feel the pain of the characters, but with this one, I felt myself tearing up at the words. It was moving and beautiful. It really showed how a person who has been through a tough heartbreak would be, and it was incredibly relatable.

Also, my other favorite thing about this book were the friendships. These friendships were everything. There were so many times where I stopped and thought, “wow, I need a friend like Emma has with her friends”. The friendships showed true tests and how exactly to talk through things. They were all there for each other through all of their problems, and that’s exactly how a friendship should be.

Overall, this book rocked. I am so happy I picked it because it might be the book that gets me out of my romance slump. Meghan Quinn surely did not disappoint me. I can’t wait to read another of hers.

 

On the Fence by Kasie West

On the Fence by Kasie West

Published: July 1st, 2014

“For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she’s spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can’t solve Charlie’s biggest problem: she’s falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.”

Review:

This book was super quick, cute, and emotional. There were things that this book that were phenomenal, but overall, it was a four star rating for me!

The characters were great. I really loved the “only girl in a all boys household”. This is a classic “brother’s best friend” story and I love that kind of book. There were parts of the characters that I loved, but also, didn’t make me swoon completely. I think that there were more things that could have happened with their developments in the characters that would’ve made this book five stars.

The plot of this book was very emotional. The overall story of what happened and how she had been living with this secret that she didn’t even know about was heartbreaking. There were some parts of it that had me close to tears. However, there were times where I thought that the story was a little far-fetched and that they couldn’t really happy. I love a story that I could relate to, and this one was great, but it seemed a little too far for me.

I’ve read two of Kasie West’s books and I liked both of them. They are written very well and a person can fly through them in one day. Maybe even a few hours. Young adult lovers and romance lovers should really read Kasie West’s books. I think that the people who resonate with current romance troubles or current love lives would love these books!

Rating: ★★★★

It’s Not Me, It’s You by Stephanie Kate Strohm 

It’s Not Me, It’s You by Stephanie Kate Strohm 

Publication Date: October 25th, 2016

“One girl’s comedic examination of her dating past, as told by friends, family, and boys who were involved! Avery Dennis is a high school senior and one of the most popular girls in her class. But a majorly public breakup with the guy she’s been dating causes some disastrous waves. It is right before prom and Avery no longer has the perfect date. She runs the prom committee, how could she not show up with somebody? Post breakup, Avery gets to thinking about all the guys she has ever dated. How come none of those relationships ever worked out? Could it be her fault? Avery decides to investigate. In history class she’s learning about this method of record keeping called “oral-history” and she has a report due. So Avery decides to go directly to the source. Avery tracks down all the guys she’s ever dated, and uses that information, along with thoughts from her friends, family, and teachers, to compile a total account of her dating history. Avery discovers some surprises about herself and the guys she spent time with — just in time for prom night!”

Review: 

This book had a lot of potential and I liked the story. The synopsis sounded super cute and I was definitely intrigued. 

This book wasn’t totally for me unfortunately. I liked some parts and the characters, but there are definitely some things I would change.

The characters started out great and I liked them all. I really liked Avery’s attitude and how she was in general. However, throughout the book, there were just wayyy too many characters for me to understand and I really started to not like any of the characters. 

The only thing I really loved about this book was the ending. It was super cute and well thought out. I like everything about the ending. 

Overall, this book was good but confusing for me. There were too many characters and I had trouble understanding a lot. I’d recommend to readers that enjoy young adult and can keep up with multiple characters. 

Rating: ★★★

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Publication Date: May 9th, 2017

“Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. Then everything changes when she meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they each have been living–and it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.” 

Review:

I want to keep Eleanor Oliphant with me forever. This book was absolutely outstanding. 

Eleanor Oliphant has had a tragic life, but she has tried to make the best of it. She lives this life that she has created for herself. She works, she goes home, and drinks her glass of vodka a night. One day, she meets the IT guy, Raymond while her computer was on the fritz. They agree to go to lunch and find a gentleman named Sam, unconscious on the ground. This was the story of how these events changed Eleanor Oliphant’s life. 

This just might have been my favorite read this year. Eleanor Oliphant’s quirkiness and awkwardness was funny and depressing at the same time. Her story, which you will read about because I don’t want to give any spoilers, was absolutely disturbing, but amazing to read. The struggles that she endures were so heartbreaking, but extremely realistic. Gail Honeyman really did a phenomenal job. 

I love the fact that this book showed both sides of how a person is in public versus in private. Eleanor Oliphant seemed to be very alike in both aspects until she wasn’t. There were parts of this book that showed how sad she was in private, but seemed fine with Raymond. This was a very important lesson that Gail Honeyman taught. There are people that struggle everyday with anxieties and depression that hide it from the rest of the world. Eleanor Oliphant was no different. This book was a beautiful testament to those people. 

I want to keep Eleanor Oliphant in my pocket and carry her with me. There are things and quotes from this book that I will remember forever. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is a book that I would recommend to anyone at any age. This book was so beautiful from cover to cover. I wish I could rate higher than five stars. 

Rating: ★★★★★

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Publication Date: July 18th, 2017
Publisher: Lee Boudreaux Books

Who says you can’t run away from your problems?

You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can’t say yes–it would be too awkward–and you can’t say no–it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world.

QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town?

ANSWER: You accept them all.

What would possibly go wrong? Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last.

Because, despite all these mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes, LESS is, above all, a love story.

A scintillating satire of the American abroad, a rumination on time and the human heart, a bittersweet romance of chances lost, by an author The New York Times has hailed as “inspired, lyrical,” “elegiac,” “ingenious,” as well as “too sappy by half,” LESS shows a writer at the peak of his talents raising the curtain on our shared human comedy.”

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Lee Bourdreaux Books, and Andrew Sean Greer for providing me an arc in exchange for an honest review. 

I love this book. I could go on and on about the main character, Arthur Less. He was one of the best characters in a book I’ve read in a long time. A failing novelist who can’t find love and deals with it along the way. There’s so many things that could go wrong in life, and Arthur Less is the champion of that happening to him. Above all, this story is about love and how it can bring you down and lift you up.

This book definitely shows heartbreak. I resonate with these kind of books because I’ve seen love fall apart and mend back together. This book is so great because it would stand out to a lot of people for the same reason. So many people have had their hearts broken, whatever their sexual orientation is. Writing about something that so many people can talk about was definitely well done by the author. Andrew Greer really made me feel like he was the heartbroken one himself. He wrote this book so beautifully that it made me feel for Arthur on multiple occasions.

Next, this book was so very quotable. There were many quotes that I will take from this book. I highlighted a lot on my Kindle, and I love when that happens because it shows how quotable a book really was. It seemed that every page had a different theme, but each theme wrapped into one big theme at the end. There was one specific quote I took from this and I think it was written in to each page: “Just for the record: happiness is not bullshit“. And it’s not. Arthur Less proves that through everything he goes through.

This was absolutely wonderful to read. It was comforting because it shows that in the end, it will all work out. Arthur Less goes through a myriad of things and he comes out of it okay. It’s a very important message, and it is displayed very well throughout this book on every single page you read.

Overall, a beautiful, dazzling, comforting, heartbreaking read by Andrew Sean Greer and it was magnificent. I will be recommending it to a lot of people.

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!