Bitter Rivals by Winter Renshaw

Published: April 30th, 2016

“First it was love. Then it was war.

XAVIER

Work hard, play harder.

All I wanted was a weekend in the Hamptons, but what I got was forty-eight hours of quality time with my former business partner. My ex best friend. The girl who walked away without so much as an explanation the second sh*t got real.

I’m going to make her sorry she was never mine.

MAGNOLIA

Work hard, forget the rest.

All I wanted was a peaceful weekend alone at my boss’ Hamptons manse, but what I got was forty-eight hours with the guy who convinced me to fall in love with him and then did the unthinkable.

He broke my heart once, and I’ll be damned if I let him anywhere near it ever again”

Review:

This was a novella so there wasn’t really much to analyze. If there’s anything I love in this world, it’s the rivals-to-lovers story. Something happens in their lives where they are arch-nemeses. Once they spend some time with each other, they see that it’s not all bad. It’s all the same, but I still love it every single time.

Xavier and Magnolia worked at the same company. They went on a retreat together years ago, and things escalate quickly (wink). However, the next morning, something happens and causes Magnolia to loathe Xavier.

Now, they have to spend 48 hours together in their bosses Hampton home. It’s pretty clear what happens, only it’s not what you expect. The author put a little bit of a different spin on it, and I really liked that. Overall, there were some parts where I was confused, but it was a refreshing rivals-to-lovers story.

Rating: ★★★★

The Romantics by Leah Konen

Published: November 1st, 2016

“Perfect for fans of Lauren Myracle and Rainbow Rowell, The Romantics will charm readers of all ages. Gael Brennan is about to have his heart broken when his first big relationship crumbles on the heels of his parents’ painful separation. Love intervenes with the intention of setting things right—but she doesn’t anticipate the intrusion of her dreaded nemesis: the Rebound. Love’s plans for Gael are sidetracked by Cara, Gael’s hot-sauce-wielding “dream girl.” The more Love meddles, the further Gael drifts from the one girl who can help him mend his heart. Soon Love starts breaking all her own rules—and in order to set Gael’s fate back on course, she has to make some tough decisions about what it means to truly care.”

Review:

Let’s start off with the narrator of this story: “Love”. This was the cutest idea I’ve seen in a long time when it comes to narration. Love is basically a emotion that makes things happen throughout the book. Whether it’s a chair getting pushed closer together or making one of them think about something, it’s her and it’s adorable.

Gael’s life is hard. He has this big relationship that ends in the worst possible way. His parents are divorcing. He doesn’t know if he has a best friend anymore. Things are really hard at the moment. On the way from leaving his own birthday dinner, his life gets even weirder when he meets Cara by smacking into her bike. Gael and Cara aren’t really that good for each other, but it seems that they really are into each other. What can Love do to stop it?

The story flowed very well and it was such an interesting concept to learn about. I’ve never read another book with a narrator like that. It’s like Love was a person and an emotion. Super great read. By the end of the book, I loved it, but overall I felt like there was just one thing missing, and it kept me from giving this book a five star rating. I’d recommend this book to anyone!

Rating: ★★★★

 

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Published: September 1st, 2015

“My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.”

Review:

Maddy is extremely sick and is allergic to the outside world. She has a cleaning station in her front door. She has never left the house. Maddy has hit her 18th birthday without leaving the house. When Olly and his family move in to the house next door, all bets are off. Maddy must see if things will pan out.

This book was very, very quick to read. I read it in only a few sittings. There were so many good qualities about this book that don’t really get talked about. First, Nicola Yoon did a beautiful job writing it. The words flowed amazingly and made sense the whole way through.

The only thing that I didn’t really like was how a little predictable this book was. The ending definitely shocked me, but things were a little foreseeable. For some people, it might not be.

I would definitely read this book, and because it’s a movie now, there’s all the more reason to!

Rating: ★★★★

Little Blue Envelope Series by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes (#1)
Published December 21st, 2010

“Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.

In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.

The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.

Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/ bloke–about–town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous–though utterly romantic–results. But will she ever see him again?

Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it’s all because of the 13 little blue envelopes.”

The Last Little Blue Envelope (#2)
Published April 26th, 2011

“Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny’s backpack—and the last little blue envelope inside—she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end.

Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he’s found her bag. Finally, Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure—one filled with old friends, new loves, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits . . . and her heart. This time, there are no instructions.”

Review:

13 Little Blue Envelopes: The first thing I thought when I read this book was: “Where are her parents?”. I understand the concept of not having contact with anyone from America because the notes from her aunt said so. However, I know that if I didn’t keep in contact as a seventeen year old going across to a completely different country without knowing their language or anything, my parents would be calling and texting every minute. Okay, now that I have that off my chest, I think this book was good, but depressing. 13 Little Blue Envelopes is about how Ginny’s aunt sent her these letters after she disappeared for years. It turns out that Ginny’s aunt was very sick and wanted to show her what she did when she disappeared. Ginny takes the letters and flies to England where her journey starts. I’m not so sure I really liked Ginny that much in the first book. I think she was way in over her head. However, I commend her for getting out there and doing something she would never have the chance to experience again. Maybe I’m just nervous, but I could never see myself doing that. Next, she meets Keith who is a good/bad boy. He was just an okay character. You’ll find to not really like him in the sequel. Overall, I think this story was pretty good and had a nice family message along with it, but I feel like it was just missing that wow moment. Rating: 4/5 stars.

The Last Little Blue Envelope: Okay, so it’s pretty clear by the sequel that something happens to the last envelope in the first book. If you read the synopsis above, you will find out what happened to it. I think that this is one of those funny cases where I liked the sequel better than the original. This time around I was flying through the pages to see what was going to happen next. Of course, the first book is a scavenger hunt type of novel, and it kept me interested, but not as interested as this book. There is a new character named Oliver and you hate him right off the bat. Like I stated before, you will hate Keith, too. Ginny got much better in this book than she did the first. By the end, it’s all great and leaves you with a sense of accomplishment for Ginny. It does seem to leave a little bit of a cliffhanger, but you can use your imagination to figure out what will happen next. Rating: 5/5 stars.

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Published: May 30th, 2017

One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.”

Review:
I very, very much enjoyed this book. A modern day Breakfast Club with a deadly twist. Something I’ve never seen in a novel’s story before.

I just want to start off on how this book made me feel like I watching an action movie and I was sitting on the edge of my seat. It was a little slow at parts, but the ending saved it for me. I couldn’t put it down.

Next, the characters. The CHARACTERS. There were so many different developments with each individual character and I absolutely loved that. There’s nothing more wonderful than having a love/hate relationship with a character that you want to see succeed.

Lastly, the ending of this book shocked me. Some might see it coming from the beginning, but you forget about it throughout the book. When you hit that gasp moment, and you know what I mean when you read it, you will think back.

Loved this book and would recommend it to anyone!

Rating: ★★★★★

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.

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: ★★★★★