Saturday, January 25, 2020

Him by Carey Heywood

Him (Him & Her, #1)Him by Carey Heywood
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a love story that jumps between present and the past. This is also a love story that does revolve around miscommunication. It was a sweet story, but there was just too much that was driving me crazy.

It has been seven years since Sarah and Will have seen each other. I found it odd that Will is best friends with her brother and was around her family all these years, but Sarah had no idea. Her family has no clue what happened between the two and she just disappeared. It would have been ok if they were around people they were not close too, but this was her family (including the brother who she was really close with as a teen). It just annoyed me.

Sarah was very unlikeable to me. She was stuck in her past and held onto high school way too much. I found myself rolling my eyes so many times.

This one just did not work for me. Will bit his lower lip so many times that again I found myself rolling my eyes and annoyed. I only finished since I was flying through it.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Gretchen by Shannon Kirk

GretchenGretchen by Shannon Kirk
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I will never look at a puzzle the same way again!

I went into this blind and only knew it was going to be a mystery/thriller based on the creepy cover. This one had me hooked from chapter one! I really wanted to know what was happening.

This story is told within three different parts. The author did a great job in part one creating such a creepy atmosphere while really capturing your attention. There were so many times I was screaming in my head for Lucy to run (even when it was just red flags jumping out at you). Part one was looking like a five star read for me.

Part two started to slow down as some secrets start to unravel. Part three is where this one lost me. So much happens, but it was so much slower than what I was expecting. It was so tactical more so than action packed. I just wanted more.

Overall, this story is still crazy and was a wild ride even though the second half just did not do it for me.

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Saturday, January 18, 2020

Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart

Scars Like WingsScars Like Wings by Erin Stewart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“You are in control. You can’t change what happened to you, but you can take control of your story.”

This was a story unlike any other I have read. It was an emotional ride with so many amazing messages along the way. This is a story around healing, family, and finding yourself. There were also so many quotes I loved and highlighted while reading this. I noted one in the beginning, and there was another one I wanted to note that occurred during therapy, “use words that give you power instead of strip it away.”

There were certain parts that just hit me harder than others. Every time Ava was on stage and singing, I teared up. It was just powerful moments in her journey that really touched me. The moments with her Aunt and Uncle were also touching. They also lost so much, but are doing whatever they can do for Ava.

Ava is really struggling with her looks, and that might seem like the forefront of her concerns but it really was not. She was fighting with the aftermath of the fire in every part of her life. There was flashbacks of what happened with her family, her recovery, and her internal struggle of losing her parents and cousins. It was all emotional, but not in ball my eyes out pull.

This also tells the story on how we each struggle differently. Ava is very open around her hurt and healing where as Piper acts like she is full of life. You can really tell that Piper was hiding her feelings behind a smile. I actually like this added message to the story, but I am not sure if a younger audience will pick up it.

I would love to see this turned into a Netflix or similar adaptation as I could picture it the whole time I was reading. Overall, I really enjoyed this one.

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Saturday, January 11, 2020

Present Perfect by Alison G. Bailey

Present Perfect (Perfect, #1)Present Perfect by Alison G. Bailey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was sent this book from the publisher/publicity team. My ratings and reviews will be my own personal opinions and are in no way influenced by publishers or authors who may have sent me books to review.

I really enjoyed this story. It did take a direction that I was not expecting towards the end. I will say that Amanda was very unlikable most of the story. She annoyed me and I was over how she ran away from her feelings for Noah. When things change for her, it was hard to feel connected to her and what was happening to her. It was sad for sure, but just not as sad if I would have loved her characters (I hope that makes sense as I do not mean that anyone deserves what happened. It just did not make me ugly cry like I would have if I loved her character).

I loved Noah. I really loved how he never gave up on Tweet and loved her no matter how she pushed him away.

I was not a huge fan of the ending. I have now read two books from the author and the endings were both rushed. The story just almost comes to an abrupt end like the previous book I read. I wanted more towards the end when Noah and Tweet were together. The whole book was leading to that and we did not get much of them together.

I really loved Noah, so I really want to pick up book three. Overall, this was pretty good though.

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Friday, January 10, 2020

The Dance by Alison G. Bailey

The DanceThe Dance by Alison G. Bailey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was sent this book from the publisher/publicity team. My ratings and reviews will be my own personal opinions and are in no way influenced by publishers or authors who may have sent me books to review.

Initially from the cover, I thought that this story was going to involve dancing or a dancer. It does not. This follows “the dance” of life between Bryson and her husband Will. This is a full circle story that will break your heart. It touches on some very heartbreaking and sensitive subjects as well.

I really loved the beginning of this story. There are triggers for emotional abuse, illness, and AIDS. This is a story about second chances, love, forgiveness, and so much more. It covers topics such as AIDs (as mentioned above) and a love interest in a wheelchair. These are both not seen in many romances I have read. It brought something new to romance reads. I was not expecting certain things to happen but really enjoyed the story overall.

This was a little too detailed at times though. I think this could easily have been a four or five star read for me if it was around 100 pages less. There were parts that dragged on way too much, leaving the ending feeling rushed. The ending definitely builds within the story, but I also had the feeling that it just ended abruptly.

Overall, this is an emotional story that is still worth the read.

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Monday, January 6, 2020

The Play by Elle Kennedy

The Play (Briar U, #3)The Play by Elle Kennedy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 Stars

Elle Kennedy did it again! She just knocks sports romances out of the park. I absolutely loved The Play! You can read this as a standalone, but I highly recommend reading the previous books as it will give you some insight into several of the other characters.

I really enjoyed how Hunter and Demi started off as friends and we got to see how their relationship developed into more. Hunter was swoon worthy and always there for Demi. I just loved him! The bi-line on this one does say “She’s the player he never saw coming,” however; I do not really see Demi as a player at all. Her story was much different than what I was expecting from seeing that. I enjoyed it all just the same.

This does deal with issues/triggers of cheating, mental health, acceptance, family, love, and more. It had a little bit of everything.

I really wish the Off Campus Series and the Briar U series would be adapted into a TV series. It would be so good. I am obsessed with both series and all of the characters. I am heart broken to know this is the end of the Briar U series!

Overall, I loved this one and highly recommend it.

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Friday, January 3, 2020

The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Darkest Star (Origin, #1)The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I do recommend reading the Lux series first. It has been too long since I read the previous books, and this does mention characters and things that happened during the Lux series. I found myself trying to remember the details as they were talking about them in the new story. I wish I would have re-read the series right before reading this one. I recommend it, but I do not think you have to read the Lux series to enjoy this one.

This one started off a little slow for me. It really started to pick up the second half though and I was hooked.
I was enjoying the new characters and getting back into this world. There is a lot of recapping around Luxen and the world to help bring you back to the world which I appreciated. It was not overdone and just enough to get a good idea of the previous information.

I really love that this had a little bit of a mystery and a little bit of romance. So much happens right away, and continues to happen as you read to keep your interest. Overall, I really enjoyed this and can’t wait to see where JLA will take the series.

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Wednesday, January 1, 2020

The Starter Wife by Nina Laurin

The Starter WifeThe Starter Wife by Nina Laurin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I actually finished this in one sitting as it was a quick read. However; I did not love it and at times thought about DNFing. I kept pushing through waiting for something to happen.

The beginning was way too slow. There was nothing really happening. I knew things had to pick up, but it still took too long to get to the action. It just never had me sitting on the edge of seat. I wanted more.

I am glad I finished to see how everything unfolded, but this one is a pass from me.

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One Last Time by Corinne Michaels

One Last TimeOne Last Time by Corinne Michaels
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I went into this not knowing much, and I did not realize this was book two in a series. As it started, I could tell there was information around different characters that I did feel I was missing. It makes sense that they may have had a previous story. I do think you can read this one without reading book one though. I had no issue picking up the story of Kristin and Noah.

This does have triggers for emotional abuse. Kristin is going through a divorce and you will get glimpses into some emotional abuse from her husband. It was never too intense, but something to be aware of when going into the story.

I really enjoyed the beginning of the relationship between Noah and Kristin. However; I just never bought into their connection for how fast it all moved. I wanted more around the build up. It was like Kristin was divorced and they were together. It was almost insta-love without being the typical insta-love. I was not a huge fan.

Overall, this one was good but did not blow me away.

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Shadowed Shadow and Moon Series Book One Michelle Areaux