ARC · book review · Loveswept · NetGalley · Random House Publishing Group

Sleepover by Serena Bell

Sleepover

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: November 13th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Where you can find Sleepover: Amazon | Barnes, and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

A brand-new contemporary romance from the USA Today bestselling author of Head Over Heels.

The girl next door is the one that got away. He just doesn’t know it yet. . . .

Sawyer: After my wife died, I promised myself I’d never go through the pain of losing someone again. Now I keep my flings neat, tidy, and one-time-only. Besides, my son needs me more than ever. He’s miserable in our new town, so I’m pumped when he makes friends with the kid next door—until I recognize his mom from a one-night stand. Perky and upbeat, Elle Dunning is not my type for anything other than tearing up the sheets. So why do I keep letting myself get roped into game nights and get-togethers?

Elle: It so hasn’t been my year. That’s my first thought when I see my new next-door neighbor. I never would have hooked up with Sawyer Paulson if my husband hadn’t left me for his high-school sweetheart, but because our eight-year-old boys have become best friends, I’ve got to make nice with Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent. Yet the more time we spend together, the more Sawyer opens up. We’ve both been hurt—badly. So it’s one thing to send the kids off to sleepaway camp together. It’s quite another to promise each other a lifetime of sleepovers. . . .


My review:

Elle is fresh from a divorce that she didn’t see coming. Still reeling and hurt, she decides that the best thing for her to do is to go to a bar and forget her problems. And oh boy, did she. She met Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent at the bar. Before she knew it, they were having sex up against the outside of the bar. The best sex she has ever had. Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent leaves right afterward. Fast forward a few months. Elle has gotten new neighbors. Elle is surprised to see that her new neighbor is Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent and his 8-year-old son.

Sawyer is still grieving the death of his wife from cancer. Selling the business and the house that they built together, he moves into a rental to start over fresh. He has never forgotten the blonde that he picked up at the bar a few months back. The blonde that had sadness in her eyes. The blonde that gave him the best one-night stand he ever had. Sawyer is surprised to see the blonde from that night is his next door neighbor. Even more surprising is that she has an 8-year-old son that immediately bonds with his son. He is surprised that he wants Elle as much as he did that night in the bar. He soon finds out that Elle wants him as bad. But, they are both hesitant. A chance encounter with Elle’s ex-husband draws Elle and Sawyer together. They make a pact. No sex until the wedding. Can they both hold out for the wedding? And is there hope for a lasting relationship.

I am going to start this review talking about sex. Or the lack of it. Sleepover did something very rare for a contemporary romance novel. The author had the main characters (Sawyer and Elle) from having actual sex until almost the end of the book. Well, besides the hookup which happened several months earlier. Instead, they kissed, sexted or had oral sex. There was so much build up that when they actually had sex, it was amazing. Put it this way, I needed a fan and a cold shower when the book was over.

But, what I liked the most, is that the author had Sawyer and Elle build up a friendship. They might have started off as sex but they became friends. I loved seeing them bond over the boys and their different hurts. Loved it!!

The main plotline was Elle and Sawyer’s relationship. Even though the book was told in 1st person, I couldn’t tell what Sawyer felt for Elle for the longest time. I don’t even think he knew what he felt until Brooks pointed out the obvious. I knew everything that Elle felt for Sawyer. She wasn’t as hidden with her feelings…lol.

I loved the storyline with the boys. What they did for that transgender girl brought tears to my eyes. I also loved their friendship. Right from the get-go, they were inseparable.

The end of Sleepover was what I expected. It was a true HEA. I loved that Elle and Sawyer were able to talk about things and get things straight. What Sawyer wrote in that journal touched my heart. I was crying with Elle. Also, the end of the book made me smile. Loved how it came full circle!!


I gave Sleepover a 4-star rating. This was a cute book with a realistic romance. The plotlines were great. I loved how the author held off on the sex until the end of the book. The only thing I didn’t like was Elle’s ex. I thought he was a jerk (Mr. Yap perfectly described him….lol).

I would give Sleepover an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is mild violence. There are triggers. They would be divorce and death of a spouse. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Sleepover. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Sleepover.

All opinions stated in this review of Sleepover are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


Have you read Sleepover?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

book review · Non ARC · Red Adept Publishing

Exposed Fury by Marie Flanigan

Exposed Fury

4 Stars

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Date of publication: August 7th, 2018

Genre: Mystery, Suspense

Where you can find Exposed Fury: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Annie Fitch, a former police detective, struggles to make ends meet as a private investigator in the sleepy town of Leesburg, Virginia. On partial disability because of gunshot injuries, she’s relegated to doing surveillance gigs and background checks. But things are looking up, since her on-again, off-again relationship is back on and might stay that way.

When Annie is hired by Laura Carlton to follow her husband to get evidence of cheating, Annie is certain the case won’t take long. Nick Carlton grew up with money and privilege and has a sex addiction dating back to his high school days. But things go sideways when Annie finds her target dead in an alley just a few blocks from her own home.

Working with her former partner, Gunnar Jansson, Annie digs deeper into Carlton’s background, slowly excavating his past to reveal the multiple suspects and motives. The list includes his many lunch-hour-tryst partners, a local shop owner, and his business partner, among others. Layer by layer, Annie uncovers a truth that runs deeper than anyone expected.


My review:

Annie is a detective turned PI. Forced off the squad due to a brain injury that occurred when she was shot on the job, Annie is struggling to make ends meet. She is also struggling with not having the physical or mental abilities that she had before she was shot. So when Laura contacts her to follow her husband and get evidence of cheating, Annie agrees. What Annie was not expecting was to find Nick’s body during her walk with her dog. She also doesn’t expect to get drawn back into the investigation when Laura hires her to find out who killed Nick. Working with her former partner, Gunnar, Annie digs through the tangled mess that was Nick Carlton’s life. But she is in for a surprise when she figures out who killed Nick and why. Who killed Nick? What was his/her motivation? Can Annie come through this investigation unscathed?

I have come to appreciate a good mystery. A good mystery needs to draw you in and keep you engaged in the story. Which is tricky because the author has to keep the clues to the mystery a secret but at the same time give out hints about what is going on. It’s a balancing act and sometimes, the author slips. There have been books where I have figured out what was going on or who did it by the middle of the book. But with Exposed Fury, that wasn’t the case. Marie Flanigan did a fantastic job of keeping who killed Nick and why under wraps until the end of the book. I will get more into that when I discuss the ending.

I loved Annie. The author did a fantastic job of creating a character that I could relate to. Annie didn’t let her disabilities get in the way of trying to get back on her feet. While she wanted to be back on the force, she understood that it wasn’t going to be. So she decided to become a PI. Her strength came off the pages. I also liked how she knew that she needed help with things and wasn’t afraid to ask. She also had a strong sense of family. While her father drove her nuts, she understood that he was afraid and that was coming from love. Her devotion to her brother was sweet.

The mystery angle of the book was amazing. The author did a fantastic job at keeping who killed Nick a secret until the end of the book. I was in shock over who it was. I had another person pegged for it. So when the plotline did a sudden turn and pointed in another direction, I was shocked. I was also shocked at why that person did it. Another shock.

The author also did a great job at portraying Annie’s continuing recovery from her brain injury. She made a point to let us readers know that Annie was not the same person she was before the brain injury. Annie was a, for lack of a better word, gentler, more emotional person. She empathized with people easier. From what I gleaned from the plot, Annie was more uptight and not as emotional before the injury.

The main plotline, the investigation of Nick’s murder, was interesting and wonderfully written. The author took me on a rollercoaster journey. She fingered so many people who I had a list of suspects to pick from. Red herrings were thrown out left and right. Normally, I would get irritated when that happens. But in this case, it was great and worked with the plotline.

The plotline with Annie’s on again, off again boyfriend was kind of “meh” with me. Not that I didn’t like Ford, I did, but I didn’t like that he was leaving Annie all the time. Like Annie, I would have been upset over his constant coming and going. Plus, he never mentioned what he did for work. Just that it was for the government and he was sent into high-risk areas (like Afghanistan). I wish that there could have been more stability with him. I would have loved more clarity with what he did.

The plotline with Annie’s father drove me nuts. I completely understood where he was coming from. His kid almost died and suffered a brain injury. But he didn’t support her career choice. He kept harping on it. Every single scene he was in, he kept mentioning how she should go back to college, get another job. Annie did brush him off, for the most part, but I got sick of it. I wanted to jump in the book and say “Leave her be!! Support her, darn it.

Like I mentioned above, I loved the end of the book. The author did a fantastic job at wrapping up Nick’s murder plotline, as well as a couple of the secondary ones. She did leave the one with Annie’s father and Ford open. Like I mentioned above, I was surprised at who did it and the motive behind it. Talk about a plot twist. I did not see it coming at all. And I loved it!! I am hoping that the author will write another book with Annie in it!!


I gave Exposed Fury a 4-star rating. This book was one of the best mystery books I have read to date. The author did a great job at keeping me engaged with the story. There were no dropped or forgotten storylines. I was surprised at the ending. I did not care for Ford or Annie’s father’s attitude.

I would give Exposed Fury an Adult rating. There is sex but it is not graphic (mentioned but no detail). There is language. There is violence. There are trigger warnings. They would be brain injuries, cheating on a partner, the death of a sibling. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Exposed Fury. I would also recommend this book with family and friends. I would mention the triggers.


I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review Exposed Fury.

All opinion stated in this review of Exposed Fury are mine.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**


Have you read Exposed Fury?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

book review

Music Monday: November 12th, 2018

My 13-year-old has played the radio version of this song (aka no swears) 24/7 and it has grown on me. So, I am sharing it with y’all. I apologize for the swearing. I couldn’t find the edited version on YouTube.

book review · Non ARC

Freebie Sunday: November 11th, 2018

Image result for freebie sunday image

Click on the pictures for Amazon link.

Disclaimer: Books are free at the time of the post publishing. Please check before buying!!!


Romance:

Kiss Me Forever

Kiss Me Forever (Bachelors & Bridesmaids #1) by [Freethy, Barbara]

Breathless in Love

Breathless In Love (The Maverick Billionaires, Book 1) by [Andre, Bella, Skully, Jennifer]

Once Upon A Texas Christmas

Once Upon a Texas Christmas (Whiskey River Christmas Book 4) by [Garbera, Katherine ]

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

The Anonymous Source

The Anonymous Source (An Alex Vane Media Thriller, Book 1) by [Fuller, A.C.]

Death of a Dapper Snowman

Death of a Dapper Snowman (Stormy Day Mystery Book 1) by [Pepper, Angela]

The Advocate’s Homicides

The Advocate's Homicides (The Advocate Series Book 8) by [Burrell, Teresa]

Young Adult

Hero in a Halfling: A Humorous Fantasy Adventure (Epik Fantasy Book 1) by [Davis, William Tyler]

A Diamond in My Pocket

A Diamond in My Pocket (The Unaltered Book 1) by [Angell, Lorena]

Prelude to Fire

Prelude to Fire: Parts 1 and 2 (The Cloud Warrior Saga Book 0) by [Holmberg, D.K.]

Fantasy/Science Fiction

Reaper’s Run

Reaper's Run: An Apocalyptic Action-Adventure Technothriller (Plague Wars Series Book 1) by [VanDyke, David, King, Ryan]

Spirited Legacy

Spirited Legacy (Lost Library Book 2) by [Baray, Kate]

The Vixen and The Vet

The Vixen and the Vet: (inspired by "Beauty and the Beast") (A Modern Fairytale) by [Regnery, Katy]

Women’s Fiction

The Wright Brother

The Wright Brother by [Linde, K.A.]

Scoring Her Heart

Scoring Her Heart (Scored Book 1) by [Valentine, Marquita]

Whisper Me This

Whisper Me This: A Novel by [King, Kerry Anne]

LGBTQIA

Blind: A Memoir

Blind: A Memoir by [Cipriani, Belo]

Ride Her Good

RIDE HER GOOD! : 40 EROTICA STORIES   (EROTIC STORY COLLECTION) by [Slamhard, Sasha]

Seduction Games

Seduction Games (Game for Cookies Book 1) by [Lindt, Allyson]

Horror

Unleashed

Unleashed: V Plague Book 1 by [Patton, Dirk]

We See No Evil

We See No Evil (The Cornelius Saga Book 4) by [Taylor, Tanya R.]

Frankenstein

Frankenstein (AmazonClassics Edition) by [Shelley, Mary]

Algonquin Young Readers · ARC · book review · NetGalley

You Are The Everything by Karen Rivers

You Are The Everything

3 Stars

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Date of publication: October 30th, 2018

Genre: Young Adult

Where you can find You Are The Every Thing: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Can you want something—or someone—so badly that you change your destiny? Elyse Schmidt never would have believed it, until it happened to her. When Elyse and her not-so-secret crush, Josh Harris, are the sole survivors of a plane crash, tragedy binds them together. It’s as if their love story is meant to be. Everything is perfect, or as perfect as it can be when you’ve literally fallen out of the sky and landed hard on the side of a mountain—until suddenly it isn’t. And when the pieces of Elyse’s life stop fitting together, what is left?


My review: 

Elyse Schmidt is flying home from a band trip to Paris. Having argued with her best friend, Kath, Elyse is sitting next to her crush, Josh Harris. The unthinkable happens when their plane crashes into the side of a mountain. Elyse and Josh are the sole survivors of the crash. A year after the crash, Elyse and Josh are living in Wyoming, dating, and trying to forget the crash that changed their lives. Elyse starts to notice that her perfect world isn’t as perfect as she thought. There are inconsistencies that she keeps noticing. What is happening to her world? Will Elyse figure it out?

You Are The Every Thing is an odd book. First off, it is written in 2nd person. That is something that I am not used to. I have read only one other book where it was written in 2nd person and like this one, I had a hard time following it.

The other thing that I didn’t like about this book was that Elyse insisted on calling Josh by his full name. Josh Harris. Even to his face. It was cute the first few times that it happened. After that, it got repetitive and boring. And it went the same way with Josh calling Elyse by her last name. I wanted to go into the book and yell “Just call him by his and her by their first name, darn it“. I know, overreaction for a book. But man, it drove me nuts.

I didn’t care for Elyse. I couldn’t connect with her at all. Her actions at the beginning of the book started the ball rolling with that. I couldn’t bring myself to like her after that. I can’t say why I didn’t like her but I didn’t.

There were things that I did like about the book. I thought it was very well written. I loved the storyline. The author did a great job at creating a world around Josh and Elyse that I didn’t question. And let’s not forget the ending.

Speaking of the end, I was not ready for it. I should have known what was going to happen because of the hints dropped in the book. Talk about a mind screw.


I gave You Are The Everything a 3-star review. I thought that the book was well written with a great storyline. But, I couldn’t get past that the book was written in 2nd person. I also didn’t care for Elyse. I also didn’t care that she called Josh by his full name….all the flipping time.

I would give You Are The Everything an Older Teen rating. There is sex (not graphic but is mentioned a few times). There is mild language. There is violence. There are no triggers. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread You Are The Everything. I am also on the fence if I would recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank Algonquin Young Readers and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review You Are The Everything.

All opinions stated in the review of You Are The Everything are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


Have you read You Are The Everything?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

book review · Dragonfly Press · Non ARC

An Unlikely Setup (Welcome to Otter Trail: Book 1) by Margaret Watson

An Unlikely Setup (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 1)

4 Stars

Publisher: Dragonfly Press

Date of publication: September 12th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: Welcome to Otter Trail

An Unlikely Setup—Book 1

Can’t Stand the Heat—Book 2

Life Rewritten—Book 3

For Baby and Me—Book 4

Where you can find An Unlikely Setup: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Maddie’s teenage crush humiliated her fifteen years ago. Now Quinn runs the Otter Tail pub that Maddie inherited and needs to sell. Too bad Maddie’s high school crush on Quinn is still alive and kicking. 

Quinn wants to buy the pub, but can’t afford Maddie’s price, so he plays dirty. His smile, bright blue eyes, and broad shoulders are just his first bid. As they get reacquainted, they realize someone else has plans for the pub. Plans that endanger Maddie and Quinn – and the rest of Otter Tail. 

Can Maddie and Quinn save the pub? Can they put their past behind to create a future together?


My review:

Maddie has returned to Otter Tail after leaving 15 years earlier. When her beloved godfather passed away from leukemia, he left her a house and a pub. Otter Trail has no good memories for her and Maddie plans on leaving as soon as the pub and house are sold. But she is forced to face those memories when she learns that Quinn is managing the pub. Quinn is the reason she never returned to Otter Trail. Quinn and Maddie are soon at odds over what will happen to the pub. Can Maddie and Quinn get over the past? Will they have their HEA or will everything blow up in their faces.

I enjoy reading books where the hero and heroine have to overcome the odds to be together. An Unlikely Setup is such a book. Maddie had to overcome what happened in the past to be with Quinn. Quinn had to overcome his anger and grief to be with Maddie. Both had a hard time of overcoming past and current hurts to forge a relationship with each other. I loved it. I loved that it showed how hard it is to overcome the past. Maddie and Quinn struggled with it. Quinn more than Maddie.

I did like Maddie and I did feel bad for her about what happened between her and Quinn in the past. I had some of the same issues that Maddie did when I was a teen. It hurts to be rejected like that. But, dwelling on it for 15 years? That was a bit much. And judging a whole town on how their teenagers treated her 15 years past was a bit much too. I did like that Maddie was able to finally reconcile her hurt feelings when she talked to Quinn about what happened.

I wasn’t too sure about what Quinn wanted with Maddie. I was starting to think that he was only doing things for her because he wanted the pub. And that the attraction he had to her was part of his end game. I hate writing that because he did keep me guessing. But after Maddie’s house got vandalized, I realized that he cared for her. I do wish that his “secret” was addressed sooner in the book. I did kind of figure out what was going on but still. It would have been nice to hear about it upfront.

The sexual attraction between Quinn and Maddie was understated at times but when it flared up, it was red hot. I loved the whole scene when she wore the skirt to work. I loved seeing Quinn getting turned on. I loved knowing that Maddie knew what it was doing to him. The sexual attraction gave away to some amazing sex scenes. I had to fan myself after some of them. Sex on the beach in the moonlight? Thank you very much!!

The plotline involving Maddie, her secret, Quinn and the pub was well written. I was surprised by Quinn’s reaction to the naughty secret (you have to read the book). His reaction to her main secret was what I thought it was going to be.  I mean, how else was he supposed to feel? Happy that he destroyed a teenage Maddie’s confidence. His reaction to Maddie meeting with the store rep was a bit much. But I get it. I would have freaked out too.

The secondary plotlines and characters were as well written as the main plotline. I liked how she merged the secondary plotlines with the main one at the end of the book. Also, I liked how the secondary characters added that extra “Oomph” to the storyline.

The end of the book was amazing. I had a huge smile at how everything ended. It was perfect!!


I gave An Unlikely Setup a 4-star rating. This was a fast-paced romance novel. The plotlines were fantastic. The characters were well written. This was a book that I enjoyed reading. I also cannot wait to read book 2!!

I would give An Unlikely Setup an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is violence. There are triggers. They would be the death of a parent/parental figure and bullying. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread An Unlikely Setup. I would also recommend this book to family and friends. I would include a note about the triggers, though.


I would like to thank the author and Dragonfly Press for allowing me to read and review An Unlikely Setup.

All opinions stated in this review of An Unlikely Setup are mine.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**


Have you read An Unlikely Setup?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

book review

Book Blogger Insider Tag

I wasn’t tagged in this but I saw it on Boston Book Reader’s blog. I thought “Hey, I’d like to do this” and guess what, I am. So, here’s mine.


 

Where do you typically write your blog posts?

At my desk on my computer. I tried to do one on my phone and I screwed it up (thankfully, I didn’t publish it) and forget about my tablet.

How long does it generally take you to write a book review?

Depends on how much I get interrupted. If I am lucky enough to start the review when Miss R is in school, about 2 hours. But, if I start it after I pick her up, it can take anywhere between 4-6 hours. I also do not take notes. So I spend a lot of time thumbing through the book to getting the correct spelling of names and key events. So, yeah, it takes me a while.

When did you start your book blog?

On Blogger? At some point in 2009/2010. I switched over to WordPress in 2013. Started seriously doing book reviews in October 2015 and haven’t stopped since.

What is the worst thing about having a book blog, in your opinion?

I put too much pressure on myself to make sure every single post is perfect. Also, trying to post something every day. I just can’t do it some days.

What is the best thing about having a book blog, in your opinion?

Letting people know about how I felt about a book I read and then having a discussion about it. I also love connecting with other bloggers.

What blog post have you had the most fun writing so far?

My WWW Wednesday posts. I love putting it up, then linking it to Sam’s post and seeing people view it.

What is your favorite type of blog post to write?

Obviously book reviews. But I also like my weekly posts. Throwback Thursday, Freebie Sunday, Music Monday.

When do you typically write?

Between mid-morning and late afternoon. I sometimes write at night but it is very rare (don’t look back at this past week…lol)

Do you review every book you read?

I do. I know, silly but I am compelled to share my feelings and thoughts with other people.

How do you write your book reviews? With a cup of coffee or tea? With Netflix? Cuddled with your fur baby?

I usually have the TV on. We don’t have Netflix but we do have an antenna, Hulu and Philo. So, my writing is often interrupted by me watching TV. I usually drink water or a diet soda when writing. As for cuddling, Miss R has been known to sit on my lap and watch me type. I will let her type her name, over and over, until she gets bored. My cats also will make an appearance. My long-haired cat will sit down on the keyboard. Her sister, the short-haired cat, will stand on the keyboard. They both want some loving when that happens.

How often do you post?

Every single day (see the worst thing about having a blog post). I usually schedule things 3-4 weeks out but sometimes I forget (like today with Foodie Friday).

I TAG:

Everyone. Just tag me in your post so I can read it!!