Weekly Wrap Up: September 30th through October 6th 2018

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Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

The Forbidden Door (Jane Hawk, #4)

The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)

America's Sweetheart (Real Love, #5)

The Wartime Sisters

First Earl I See Tonight (Debutante Diaries, #1)

Rough & Ready (Lightning, #3)

After the Fire

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):’

The Wartime Sisters—review coming January 22nd, 2019

The Wartime Sisters

First Earl I See Tonight—review coming November 2nd, 2018

First Earl I See Tonight (Debutante Diaries, #1)

Rough & Ready—review coming October 16th, 2018

Rough & Ready (Lightning, #3)

After the Fire—review coming October 1st, 2018

After the Fire

The Rain Watcher—review coming October 23rd, 2018

The Rain Watcher

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

America’s Sweetheart—review here

America's Sweetheart (Real Love, #5)

In the Mood Fur Love—review here

In the Mood Fur Love

The Dream Daughter—review here

The Dream Daughter

After the Fire—review here

After the Fire

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Black Diamond Fall

In the Blink of an Eye

Big Stick: An Aces Hockey Novel

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

 

America’s Sweetheart (Real Love: Book 5) by Jessica Lemmon

America's Sweetheart (Real Love, #5)

3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: October 2nd, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: Real Love

Eye Candy—Book 1 (review here)

Arm Candy—Book 2 (review here)

Man Candy—Book 3 (review here)

Rumor Has It—Book 4 (review here)

America’s Sweetheart—Book 5

Where you can find America’s Sweetheart: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Old flames burn bright. When a disgraced starlet returns home to lick her wounds, she discovers that her high school sweetheart is just as tempting as ever.

“No one writes big-hearted bad boys like Jessica Lemmon!”—New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster

Allison: When I left for California, I gave myself a new name and never looked back. Now my carefully crafted good-girl image is getting torn to shreds in the press thanks to my Oscar-winning A-hole of an ex-boyfriend. So I escape to the only safe haven I know and trust—my hometown—to take a breather while I plot my triumphant Hollywood comeback. However, when I arrive at my parents’ house, Jackson Burke answers the door instead. And suddenly the past comes rushing back. . . .

Jackson: First kiss. First time. First love. Yep, Allison Murphy and I shared many firsts back in the day. When she left, she took half my heart with her. Now she’s back in town, and even though I swore I’d keep my distance, her parents hired me to remodel their house, and I’m going to finish the job. But one hot kiss later, suddenly the press is calling us the next big celebrity couple. Sure, I’ll play the part, for Allison’s sake—but I refuse to let her close enough to break my heart all over again. . . .


My review:

I was excited to read America’s Sweetheart. For the most part, I was happy with what I read. It was a sexy, original second chance romance. But, I was left feeling “meh” about the characters, how a certain character’s backstory was explained, and the romance was boring. Not the sex, the romance.

America’s Sweetheart is a second-hand romance featuring Jackson and Allison. Jackson and Allison were high school sweethearts who broke up in college when their lives went in different directions. Allison became a famous TV star and Jackson is a successful business owner. 10 years after they broke up, they are reunited. After taking the fall for something her famous ex-boyfriend did, Allison came home to figure out what her next move would be. Jackson, a successful contractor, is remodeling Allison’s parents’ house when she waltzes back into his life. Soon, Jackson and Allison are thrown together into a “faux” relationship to throw off the paparazzi. But, what is supposed to be fake soon becomes real. Can Jackson and Allison get through that without breaking their hearts again?

I am a huge fan of second chance romances. I like them because it is awesome seeing two people separated by years fall back in love. But, in the case of America’s Sweetheart, I felt that the romance was boring. There needs to be a rekindling of the romance between those people. Not walking into their lives and falling back into the same relationship. Which is what happened to Jackson and Allison. Plus, I didn’t know what Allison felt from one day to the next about Jackson. Did she want to be with him? Was she using him? In the back of my head, I was going “What the heck is going on!!!

If I thought the romance was lacking in this book, sex definitely wasn’t. The sexual attraction and chemistry that they had were intense. Which in turn made the sex scenes powerful. I did have an issue with Jackson going bareback with Allison after making sure she was clean. Sorry, but if I were having sex with someone after 10 years of not being with them, I would sure as hell make sure to have a box of condoms there. I know it is nitpicking and weird but I get skeeved out over that. Other than that, the sex was insane.

I thought that the storyline was different. I liked that the author had Allison’s ex-boyfriend steal the Oscar and then frame Allison for it. But what I didn’t like, and what confused the heck out of me, was that Allison’s POV about the Oscar theft was brought up in the middle of the book. Put it this way. I ended one chapter and began the next one with Allison at that party. I was like “What the heck. Shouldn’t that have been at the beginning of the book? Maybe as a prologue????” It made zero sense to have it added in the middle of the book. While it helped me with understanding Allison better, it interrupted the flow of the story.

I couldn’t connect with Allison. It’s not that I didn’t like her, I didn’t understand where her character was going from one chapter to the next. I was also bothered that I couldn’t tell what she felt for Jackson. I couldn’t figure out if it was for sex or if she loved Jackson. She also came across as a little spoiled. Which I expected because she had spent 10 years on a successful show. But still. I wish that I had seen more of the Allison that Jackson knew.

I did like Jackson. I could understand why he was wary of getting involved in any way with Allison. She destroyed him when they broke up. I got it. I even understood why he got involved with Allison’s dating scheme. Unlike Allison, he was pretty good to read. I could tell that he was falling for Allison. Everyone could. Because I couldn’t get a hold on her feelings for him, I was hoping that she wouldn’t stomp all over his feelings again.

The end of the book fell flat for me also. The author did a great job of wrapping up all the storylines. She also did a great job at giving Allison and Jackson their happy ending. It didn’t do it for me. I didn’t think that the ending scene and what Jackson did was romantic. If anything, it stoked Allison’s ego. Call me unromantic, but “eh“.

What I liked about America’s Sweetheart:

  1. Original storyline
  2. Second chance romance
  3. The sex

What I disliked about America’s Sweetheart:

  1. Couldn’t tell how Allison felt about Jackson for 90% of the book
  2. Allison’s side of the story thrown in the middle of the book.
  3. End of the book

I gave America’s Sweetheart a 3-star rating. I did like the storyline. I also liked that it was a second chance romance. Plus, the sex was hot. But, I didn’t like how Allison’s side of why she went home was put in the middle of the book. Which factored in my rating. Everything else that I didn’t like was just me. I couldn’t tell how Allison felt about Jackson. Also, the end of the book fell flat for me.

I would give America’s Sweetheart an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence about rereading America’s Sweetheart. I am also on the fence if I would recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Loveswept, NetGalley, and Random House Publishing Group for allowing me to read and review America’s Sweetheart.

All opinions stated in this review of America’s Sweetheart are mine.

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

WWW Wednesday: October 3rd, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

Personal: Nothing much. Reading: I have come to the conclusion that I need to join a support group for people who download free Kindle books and just let them sit there…lol. I have downloaded so much, it isn’t even funny. On top of all the ARC’s I have waiting to review, I will never get to them. Oh well, lol.


What I am currently reading:

America's Sweetheart (Real Love, #5)

click on the picture for Amazon link

Old flames burn bright. When a disgraced starlet returns home to lick her wounds, she discovers that her high school sweetheart is just as tempting as ever.

“No one writes big-hearted bad boys like Jessica Lemmon!”—New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster

Allison: When I left for California, I gave myself a new name and never looked back. Now my carefully crafted good-girl image is getting torn to shreds in the press thanks to my Oscar-winning A-hole of an ex-boyfriend. So I escape to the only safe haven I know and trust—my hometown—to take a breather while I plot my triumphant Hollywood comeback. However, when I arrive at my parents’ house, Jackson Burke answers the door instead. And suddenly the past comes rushing back. . . .

Jackson: First kiss. First time. First love. Yep, Allison Murphy and I shared a lot of firsts back in the day. When she left, she took half my heart with her. Now she’s back in town, and even though I swore I’d keep my distance, her parents hired me to remodel their house, and I’m going to finish the job. But one hot kiss later, suddenly the press is calling us the next big celebrity couple. Sure, I’ll play the part, for Allison’s sake—but I refuse to let her close enough to break my heart all over again. . . .

 


What I finished reading:

The Wartime Sisters

Click on the picture for Amazon link

Two estranged sisters, raised in Brooklyn and each burdened with her own shocking secret, are reunited at the Springfield Armory in the early days of WWII. While one sister lives in relative ease on the bucolic Armory campus as an officer’s wife, the other arrives as a war widow and takes a position in the Armory factories as a “soldier of production.” Resentment festers between the two, and secrets are shattered when a mysterious figure from the past reemerges in their lives.

 


What I am reading next (click on the pictures for Amazon links):

The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Hope series comes another heartwarming, inspirational story for the holidays.

Thirty-two-year-old Amy Denison volunteers at Glory’s Place, an after school program where she meets seven-year-old Maddie, a precocious young girl who has spent her childhood in foster care. Unbeknownst to Amy, Maddie is a mini-matchmaker, with her eye on just the right man for Amy at Grandon Elementary School, where she is a student. Amy is hesitant – she’s been hurt before, and isn’t sure she’s ready to lose her heart again – but an unexpected surprise makes her reconsider her lonely lifestyle.

As Christmas nears and the town is blanketed in snow and beautiful decorations, Maddie and the charming staff at Glory’s Place help Amy to see that romance can be more than heartache and broken promises.

In The Christmas Star, Donna VanLiere delivers yet another sweet, joyous story that is sure to capture readers’ hearts.

The Forbidden Door (Jane Hawk, #4)

When this relentless rogue FBI agent comes knocking, her adversaries will have to answer—with their lives—in the latest thrilling Jane Hawk novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Corner.

“We’re rewriting the play, and the play is this country, the world, the future. We break Jane’s heart, we’ll also break her will.”

She was one of the FBI’s top agents until she became the nation’s most-wanted fugitive. Now Jane Hawk may be all that stands between a free nation and its enslavement by a powerful secret society’s terrifying mind-control technology. She couldn’t save her husband, or the others whose lives have been destroyed, but equipped with superior tactical and survival skills—and the fury born of a broken heart and a hunger for justice—Jane has struck major blows against the insidious cabal.

But Jane’s enemies are about to hit back hard. If their best operatives can’t outrun her, they mean to bring her running to them, using her five-year-old son as bait. Jane knows there’s no underestimating their capabilities, but she must battle her way back across the country to the remote shelter where her boy is safely hidden . . . for now.

As she moves resolutely forward, new threats begin to emerge: a growing number of brain-altered victims driven hopelessly, violently insane. With the madness spreading like a virus, the war between Jane and her enemies will become a fight for all their lives—against the lethal terror unleashed from behind the forbidden door.

Don’t miss any of Dean Koontz’s gripping Jane Hawk thrillers:
THE SILENT CORNER • THE WHISPERING ROOM • THE CROOKED STAIRCASE • THE FORBIDDEN DOOR • THE NIGHT WINDOW (Coming Soon!)

 


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

WWW Wednesday: September 26th 2018

IMG_1384-0

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

Nothing much. All is good with my family. Readingwise, I have fallen slightly behind on my reviews. Nothing that couldn’t be fixed by doing some reviews over the weekend. Another reason I have fallen behind…I forgot that I had blog tours. So, I had to rearrange my schedule to get those down asap.


What I am currently reading:

A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)

click on the picture for Amazon link


What I finished reading:

The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)

 

Click on the picture for Amazon link


What I am reading next (click on the pictures for Amazon links):

The Rain WatcherAfter the FireRough & Ready (Lightning, #3)First Earl I See Tonight (Debutante Diaries, #1)The Wartime SistersAmerica's Sweetheart (Real Love, #5)The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)The Forbidden Door (Jane Hawk, #4)


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

Weekly Wrap Up (July 29th through August 5th)**

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

Blood Match (Blood Type, #2)

Blood Cure (Blood Type, #3)

Sister of Mine

Bishop (Arizona Vengeance, #1)

Down with Love (Laws of Attraction, #1)

The Raging Ones (The Raging Ones, #1)

The Zoo Crew (A Zoo Crew Novel, #1)

Cut (The 1/2986 Series, Book 1)

Celilo's Shadow

Books I’ve Reviewed (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

The Warrior of Clan Kincaid (review here)

The Warrior of Clan Kincaid (Highland Warrior, #3)

Set the Night on Fire: review here

Deep Cover: review here

Deep Cover: A Love Over Duty Novel by [Cole, Scarlett]

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

The Wartime Sisters

The Forbidden Door (Jane Hawk, #4)

Email Request (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Incognito

Weekly Posts:

WWW Wednesday—none

Throwback Thursday—none

Weekly Wrap Up

**Looks bare because I was on vacation and away from my computer for 5 days!!!