Top Ten Tuesday: Last 10 books I’ve added to my TBR list

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

She assigns each Tuesday a topic and then posts her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


1 Made in Manhattan by Lauren Layne

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Central Park Pact comes a reverse My Fair Lady for the modern era about a pampered and privileged Manhattan socialite who must teach an unpolished and denim-loving nobody from the Louisiana Bayou how to fit in with the upper crust of New York City. Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne.

Violet Townsend has always been a people pleaser. Raised in the privileged world of Upper East Side Manhattan, she always says the right things, wears the right clothes, and never rocks the boat. Violet would do anything for the people closest to her, especially her beloved grandmother. So when she asks Violet to teach the newly-discovered grandson of her friend how to fit in with New York City’s elite, Violet immediately agrees. Her goal? To get Cain Stone ready to take his place as heir to his family company…but to say he’s not exactly an eager student is an understatement.

Born and raised in rural Louisiana and now making his own way in New Orleans, Cain Stone is only playing along for the paycheck at the end. He has no use for the grandmother he didn’t know existed and no patience for the uppity Violet’s attempts to turn him into a suit-wearing, museum-attending gentleman.

But somewhere amidst antagonistic dinner parties and tortured tux fittings, Cain and Violet come to a begrudging understanding—and the uptight Violet realizes she’s not the only one doing the teaching. As she and Cain begin to find mutual respect for one another (and maybe even something more), Violet learns that blindly following society’s rules doesn’t lead to happiness…and that sometimes the best things in life come from the most unexpected places.

2 The Butler by Danielle Steel

Two different worlds and two very different lives collide in Paris in this captivating novel by Danielle Steel.

Joachim von Hartmann was born and raised in Buenos Aires by his loving German mother, inseparable from his identical twin. When Joachim moves to Paris with his mother in his late teens, his twin stays behind and enters a dark world. Meanwhile, Joachim begins training to be a butler, fascinated by the precision and intense demands, and goes on to work in some of the grandest homes in England. His brother never reappears.

Olivia White has given ten years of her life to her magazine, which failed, taking all her dreams with it. A bequest from her mother allows her a year in Paris to reinvent herself. She needs help setting up a home in a charming Parisian apartment. It is then that her path and Joachim’s cross.

Joachim takes a job working for Olivia as a lark and enjoys the whimsy of a different life for a few weeks, which turn to months as the unlikely employer and employee learn they enjoy working side by side. At the same time, Joachim discovers the family history he never knew: a criminal grandfather who died in prison, the wealthy father who abandoned him, and the dangerous criminal his twin has become. While Olivia struggles to put her life back together, Joachim’s comes apart.

Stripped of their old roles, they strive to discover the truth about each other and themselves, first as employer and employee, then as friends. Their paths no longer sure, they are a man and woman who reach a place where the past doesn’t matter and only what they are living now is true.

3 The Party Crashers by Sophie Kinsella

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love Your Life comes a humorous and heartwarming novel about family, set against the backdrop of the most fabulous party you’ve ever snuck into.

It’s been over two years since Effie’s beloved parents got divorced, destroying the image of the happy, loving childhood she thought she had. Since then, she’s become estranged from her father and embarked on a feud with his hot (and much younger) girlfriend, Krista. And now, more earth-shattering news: Greenoaks, the rambling Victorian country house Effie called home her whole life, has been sold.

When Krista decides to throw a grand “house cooling” party, Effie is originally left off the guest list–and then receives a last-minute “anti-invitation” (maybe it’s because she called Krista a gold-digger, but Krista totally deserved it, and it was mostly a joke anyway). Effie declines, but then remembers a beloved childhood treasure is still hidden in the house. Her only chance to retrieve it is to break into Greenoaks while everyone is busy celebrating. As Effie sneaks around the house, hiding under tables and peeping through trapdoors, she realizes the secrets Greenoaks holds aren’t just in the dusty passageways and hidden attics she grew up exploring. Watching how her sister, brother, and dad behave when they think no one is looking, Effie overhears conversations, makes discoveries, and begins to see her family in a new light. Then she runs into Joe–the love of her life, who long ago broke her heart, and who’s still as handsome and funny as ever–and even more truths emerge.

But will Effie act on these revelations? Will she stay hidden or step out into the party and take her place with her family? And truthfully, what did she really come back to Greenoaks for? Over the course of one blowout party, Effie realizes that she must be honest with herself and confront her past before she’ll ever be able to face her future.

4 House of Shadows by K.A. Linde

Kerrigan Argon, a half-human, half-Fae, has joined the Dragon Society against almost everyone’s wishes.

A year of training is required with her dragon.

But first she must travel with the dark Fae prince, Fordham Ollivier, back to his home in the House of Shadows. Nothing but slavery and death has ever awaited a half-Fae in their halls.

Yet something is wrong within their wicked world. A thousand year old spell is weakening. Cracks forming in the foundation. And Kerrigan may just be their ruin or their salvation.

5 Kalyna the Soothsayer by Elijah Kinch Spector

Kalyna’s family has had the Gift for generations: the ability to see and predict the future. For decades, they have traveled around the four connected kingdoms of the Tetrarchia—one country with four monarchs—selling their services as soothsayers. The Gift is their calling and what defines them. Every child of their family has the Gift.

Except Kalyna. Born without the Gift, for years, she’s supported her father—who is losing sight of reality under the weight of his confused visions of the future—and her cruel grandmother on the strength of her wits, using informants and trickery to fake prophecies and scrounge a living. But it’s getting harder every year.

And poverty turns to danger when, on the strength of her reputation, Kalyna is “hired” (kidnapped, she would call it) by Lenz, the spymaster to the prince of Rotfelsen. Lenz wants Kalyna to use her talent for prophecy to uncover threats against Rotfelsen’s king, and he’s willing to hold her family hostage against her good behavior. But Rotfelsenisch politics are devious; the King’s enemies abound; and Kalyna’s skills for investigation and deception are tested to the limit. Worse, the conspiracy she begins to uncover points to a threat not only to the King of Rotfelsen but to all four monarchs of the Tetrarchia, when they meet for their annual governing “Council of Barbarians.” A Council that happens to fall at precisely the same time that Kalyna’s father has prophesied the catastrophic downfall of the Tetrarchia.

Kalyna is determined to protect her family (even Grandmother!), and her newfound friends—and to save the Tetrarchia too. But as she is drawn deeper into palace intrigue, she’s not sure if her manipulations are helping prevent the Tetrarchia’s destruction—or if her lies will bring it about.

6 The City of Dusk by Tara Sim

Set in a gorgeous world of bone and shadow magic, of vengeful gods and defiant chosen ones, The City of Dusk is the first in a dark epic fantasy trilogy that follows the four heirs of four noble houses—each gifted with a divine power—as they form a tenuous alliance to keep their kingdom from descending into a realm-shattering war.

The Four Realms—Life, Death, Light, and Darkness—all converge on the city of dusk. For each realm there is a god, and for each god there is an heir.

But the gods have withdrawn their favor from the once vibrant and thriving city. And without it, all the realms are dying.

Unwilling to stand by and watch the destruction, the four heirs—Risha, a necromancer struggling to keep the peace; Angelica, an elementalist with her eyes set on the throne; Taesia, a shadow-wielding rogue with rebellion in her heart; and Nik, a soldier who struggles to see the light— will sacrifice everything to save the city.

But their defiance will cost them dearly.

7 Just Like Mother by Anne Heltzel

Maeve has struggled to achieve normalcy since a violent incident involving the cult she was raised in shattered her childhood and stole away her cousin, Andrea, the only true friend she’s ever known. So when Andrea reappears in her life decades later, Maeve is thrilled. She doesn’t even mind that Andrea’s world of wealth, amassed from a successful but secretive start-up, is vastly different from her own. Andrea is family, and has always known how to put Maeve at ease.

So when Maeve’s careful routine in New York City begins to unravel, it feels only natural that she move into Andrea’s palatial Catskills home. There she meets Andrea’s husband and suffers the attention of their friends and business associates, Rob and Emily, who constantly evangelize about coupledom, marriage, and motherhood. But behind the influencer lifestyle and perfect facade lurks a nefarious agenda that was set in motion when Maeve was a child. Will Maeve ever escape her past? Or will she end up just like Mother?

8 The Reddening by Adam Nevill

One million years of evolution didn’t change our nature. Nor did it bury the horrors predating civilisation. Ancient rites, old deities and savage ways can reappear in the places you least expect.

Lifestyle journalist Katrine escaped past traumas by moving to a coast renowned for seaside holidays and natural beauty. But when a vast hoard of human remains and prehistoric artefacts is discovered in nearby Brickburgh, a hideous shadow engulfs her life.


Helene, a disillusioned lone parent, lost her brother, Lincoln, six years ago. Disturbing subterranean noises he recorded prior to vanishing, draw her to Brickburgh’s caves. A site where early humans butchered each other across sixty thousand years. Upon the walls, images of their nameless gods remain.

Amidst rumours of drug plantations and new sightings of the mythical red folk, it also appears that the inquisitive have been disappearing from this remote part of the world for years. A rural idyll where outsiders are unwelcome and where an infernal power is believed to linger beneath the earth. A timeless supernormal influence that only the desperate would dream of confronting. But to save themselves and those they love, and to thwart a crimson tide of pitiless barbarity, Kat and Helene are given no choice. They were involved and condemned before they knew it.


‘The Reddening’ is an epic story of folk and prehistoric horrors written by Adam Nevill, the author of ‘The Ritual’, ‘Last Days’, ‘No One Gets Out Alive’ and the three times winner of The August Derleth Award for Best Horror Novel.

9 The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht

The city of Elendhaven sulks on the edge of the ocean. Wracked by plague, abandoned by the South, stripped of industry and left to die. But not everything dies so easily. A thing without a name stalks the city, a thing shaped like a man, with a dark heart and long pale fingers yearning to wrap around throats. A monster who cannot die. His frail master sends him out on errands, twisting him with magic, crafting a plan too cruel to name, while the monster’s heart grows fonder and colder and more cunning.

These monsters of Elendhaven will have their revenge on everyone who wronged the city, even if they have to burn the world to do it.

10 Wake the Wicked by Christian Baloga

In this explosive debut collection of thirteen twisted tales, we meet an alcoholic who’s obsessed with a tattoo of his dead daughter (“Digging Deep”); split Siamese twins with a sinister connection (“Poison Ivy”); two morbid magicians determined to make their final trick unforgettable (“Dusk to Dust”); an army of vengeful wasps who stop at nothing to rebuild a nest (“Unraveling the Nest”); and many more.

I Think I Love You (Oxford: Book 5) by Lauren Layne

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4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: July 10th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Where you can find I Think I Love You: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Series: Oxford

Irresistibly Yours – Book 1

I Wish You Were Mine – Book 2

Someone Like You – Book 3

I Knew You Were Trouble – Book 4 (review here)

I Think I Love You – Book 5

Book Synopsis (from Goodreads):

A game of seduction between two best friends goes deliciously wrong in an irresistible Oxford Novel that brims with wit and sexual tension. Library Journal hails Layne’s work as exemplary contemporary romance.”

Brit Robbins knows that dating in New York City is hard—she just hoped to have it mastered by age thirty. But after yet another promising suitor says they have no sparks, Brit decides it’s time to torch her dating game and try a new plan. And who better to coach Brit through the art of seduction than the guy who first gave her the “let’s be friends” card?
 
Hunter Cross has always figured there’s nothing his best friend Brit can do to surprise him. But Brit’s request is a surprise he doesn’t see coming—and one he’s definitely not ready for. Hunter and Brit have always been careful to keep things perfectly platonic, but the fake dates and faux flirting are starting to feel like the real deal. And soon Hunter realizes he has taught Brit too well. Not only has she become an expert at seduction, the man becoming thoroughly seduced is him.

Lauren Layne’s New York Times bestselling Oxford Novel series can be read in any order:
IRRESISTIBLY YOURS
I WISH YOU WERE MINE
SOMEONE LIKE YOU
I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE
I THINK I LOVE YOU

Don’t miss any of Lauren Layne’s hot reads:

The Love Unexpectedly series: BLURRED LINES | GOOD GIRL | LOVE STORY | WALK OF SHAME | AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS

The Sex, Love & Stiletto series: AFTER THE KISS | LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH | JUST ONE NIGHT | THE TROUBLE WITH LOVE

The Redemption series: ISN’T SHE LOVELY  | BROKEN | CRUSHED

The I Do, I Don’t series: READY TO RUN | RUNAWAY GROOM | JUST RUN WITH IT

My Review:

I enjoyed reading the last two books of the Oxford series. I was bummed when the author left a note at the end of I Think I Love You saying that this is the last book in the series. I became attached to the characters and the world they are set in. I did get a little weepy when I read that.

I also want to point out that all these books can be read as stand-alone. But, I would suggest reading them in order. That way, you aren’t confused (as I was in I Knew You Were Trouble) about some of the backstories. Also, if you are going to read I Think You Love You, you should read I Knew You Were Trouble first. That way, you aren’t going “Whaaaa” during some scenes.

The plot of I Think I Love You was simple. Brit is having a hard time keeping a boyfriend. After her last boyfriend broke up, she figured something was wrong with her. So, she decides to change her dating game. She also decides that she needs some help in the seduction game. The perfect person? Her best friend, Hunter. Hunter’s friend zoned Brit after their first date. Instead, they became besties. Who better to teach the art of seduction than your bestie? But can Brit keep Hunter in the friends with benefits zone, or will she start to fall for him? The same goes for Hunter.

I liked Brit. She was hilarious. I also felt her pain about dating. When I was single, way back when, I had a hard time with guys too. I didn’t have a male bestie to help me with my seduction game. I loved how she propositioned Hunter. I was dying laughing. What I didn’t like was how desperate she sounded when she was talking to her friends. Hello, because you turn 30 doesn’t mean suddenly you are undateable. It rubs me the wrong way when I hear/read that.

I liked Hunter. I did feel that he was more realistic about what would happen with Brit. I loved the surprise when she propositioned him. I laughed my butt off. I liked how he dealt with all their friends’ ribbing and concern. He was a likable guy.

The romance between Hunter and Brit wasn’t there until after she told him what she wanted. Which was great because up until then, I got to see how comfortable they were with each other. I also got to see exactly why Brit couldn’t keep a boyfriend. Let’s say that Hunter marked his territory when it came to Brit. After that, the romance was a little tepid. But it was too scorching hot real fast. Like a chapter fast.

The sex scenes were everything that I expected from them. They were comfortable enough with each other not to have issues with being naked with each other. The sex itself was hot. Scorching hot. The first time they had sex, it was a little awkward. I mean, isn’t it always? But every time afterward, it wasn’t. As I said, they were comfortable with each other.

The end of the book was great. I loved how Brit and Hunter realized that they loved each other. It was also a little bittersweet because the series was ending. The epilogue was even more so!!

What I liked about I Think I Love You:

A) Brit. She was awesome

B) Hunter. Loved him

C) How comfortable they were with each other

What I disliked about I Think I Love You:

A) How desperate Brit sounded at the beginning of the book

B) How turning 30 is portrayed as the end of dating

C) Being the last book in the series.

I would give I Think I Love You and Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is no violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

There are no trigger warnings in I Think I Love You.

I would reread I Think I Love You. 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 I Think I Love You.

All opinions in this review of I Think I Love You are mine.

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

Runaway Groom (I Do, I Don’t) by Lauren Layne

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4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: January 30th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Humor

Number of pages: 240

Series: I Do, I Don’t

Ready to Run – Book 1 (review here)

Runaway Groom – Book 2

Just Run With It – Book 3 (Expected publication date: March 20th, 2018)

Where you can find Runaway Groom: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

For one charming playboy, getting cast on a Bachelor-esque reality TV show is the shock of a lifetime—until he finds love where he least expects it. And now the chase is on!

Gage Barrett’s reputation as a ladies’ man has been greatly exaggerated, but none of that matters after a drunken bet lands him on Jilted, a reality TV show that matches runaway grooms with wannabe brides. Now he’s stuck at a Hawaiian resort with nineteen women competing to drag him back to the altar—and one contestant who’s even more miserable than he is. Gage has no idea how feisty, independent Ellie Wright wound up in the cast, but it’s obvious she hates his guts. And if there’s one thing Gage likes, it’s a challenge. . . .

Ellie can’t believe she let her best friend talk her into exchanging her dignity for a glorified bikini contest. Still, she could use the exposure—her business is struggling—and she’ll probably be one of the first to get eliminated anyway. But Gage isn’t the shallow jerk Ellie anticipated—and he’s in no rush to send her home. As stolen kisses turn into secret trysts, she finds herself losing track of what’s real and what’s for the camera. With the wedding finale looming, this runaway groom is tempting Ellie to start believing in storybook endings.

Trigger Warning: None

An Ex for Christmas (Love Unexpectedly: Book 5) by Lauren Layne

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4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: November 7th, 2017

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Number of pages: 204

Series: Love Unexpectedly

Blurred Lines – Book 1

Good Girl – Book 2

Love Story – Book 3

Walk of Shame – Book 4 (review here)

An Ex for Christmas – Book 5

Where you can find An Ex for Christmas: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

She’s making a list—and checking it twice. But is there a nice guy among all her naughty exes? The New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines returns with a charming friends-to-lovers rom-com.

When a psychic tells spunky, superstitious Kelly Byrne that she’s already met her true love, she becomes obsessed with the idea of tracking him down before Christmas. Kelly immediately writes up an “Ex List” and starts contacting old boyfriends to figure out which one is the one. When her college sweetheart rolls into town, Kelly convinces herself that they’re meant to be. The trouble is, sparks are flying with someone she’s never given a chance: her best friend, Mark.

Mark Blakely has watched the guys on Kelly’s list break her heart, and he’s not looking forward to watching them do it all over again. Mark’s always been there for her, but the timing’s never worked out for their relationship to be something more. Now, just as Mark is ready to move on, the sexual tension between them is suddenly off the charts. With Christmas morning around the corner, he just hopes Kelly will wake up and realize that everything she wants has been right in front of her all along.

Trigger Warning: None

Ready to Run (I Do, I Don’t: Book 1) by Lauren Layne

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Title: Ready to Run

Author: Lauren Layne

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: August 22nd, 2017

Genre: Humor, Romance

POV: 3rd person

Series: I Do, I Don’t

Ready to Run – Book 1

Runaway Groom – Book 2

Just Run With It – Book 3

Where you can find Ready to Run: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The Bachelor meets The Runaway Bride in this addictive romance novel about a reality TV producer falling for her would-be star: a Montana heartthrob who wants nothing to do with the show.

Jordan Carpenter thinks she’s finally found the perfect candidate for Jilted, a new dating show about runaway grooms: Luke Elliott, a playboy firefighter who’s left not one but three brides at the altar. The only problem? Luke refuses to answer Jordan’s emails or return her calls. Which is how she ends up on a flight to Montana to recruit him in person. It’s not Manhattan but at least the locals in Lucky Hollow seem friendly . . . except for Luke, who’s more intense—and way hotter—than the slick womanizer Jordan expected.

Eager to put the past behind him, Luke has zero intention of following this gorgeous, fast-talking city girl back to New York. But before he can send her packing, Jordan’s everywhere: at his favorite bar, the county fair, even his exes’ book club. Annoyingly, everyone in Lucky Hollow seems to like her—and deep down, she’s starting to grow on him too. But the more he fights her constant pestering, the more Luke finds himself wishing that Jordan would kick off her high heels and make herself comfortable in his arms.

Trigger Warning: None

I Knew You Were Trouble (Oxford: Book 4) by Lauren Layne

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Title: I Knew You Were Trouble

Author: Lauren Layne

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: June 13th, 2017

Genre: Humor, Romance

Number of pages: 215

POV: 3rd person

Series: Oxford

Irresistibly Yours – Book 1

I Wish You Were Mine – Book 2

Someone Like You – Book 3

I Knew You Were Trouble – Book 4

Where you can find I Knew You Were Trouble: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

New York City’s hottest bachelors are stirring up trouble in this fun, flirty Oxford Novel, as a love triangle forces a feisty beauty to choose between winning back Mr. Right or giving into Mr. Wrong.

Taylor Carr has it all—a sleek job in advertising, a stunning Manhattan apartment, and the perfect man to share it with Bradley Calloway. Even after Bradley dumps her for a co-worker on move-in day, Taylor isn’t worried. She’ll get her man eventually. In the meantime, she needs a new roommate. Enter Nick Ballantine, career bartender, freelance writer—and longtime pain in Taylor’s ass. Sexy in a permanent five-o’clock-shadow kind of way, Nick knows how to push Taylor’s buttons, as if he could see right through to the real her.

Nick’s always trying to fix people, and nobody could use a good fixing more than Taylor. Sure, she’s gorgeous, with mesmerizing silver eyes, but it’s her vulnerability that kills him. Now that they’re shacking up together, the chemistry is out of control. Soon they’re putting every part of their two-bedroom apartment to good use. Then Taylor’s ex comes crawling back to her, and Nick figures she’ll jump at the chance to go back to her old life—unless he fights for the best thing that ever happened to him.

My review:

I really enjoyed reading I Knew You Were Trouble….even though it was book 4 in the Oxford series. Reading books out-of-order from the series that they are in usually annoy me. Unless they are standalone and I Knew You Were Trouble is definitely stand alone. While the other people from the other stories are in the book, they do not overwhelm the book with their stories. Instead, Taylor and Nick’s story is allowed to follow its own path.

What really made this book enjoyable to me was that the author took the time to have Nick and Taylor build up their relationship by starting the story almost a year before their relationship took off. You got to see them both grow into their feelings for each other. Honestly, on that, I didn’t think that they would. They were like oil and water and there was always verbal fallout when they got together. You did get to see a softer side of Nick and Taylor when her aunt died but that was the only niceish interaction until  Bradley chickening out and breaking up with her by letter (who even does that????) scene.

I liked Taylor but I didn’t like how cool she was with Nick. You could feel the sexual tension every time they were together, regardless if they were in relationships or not. There was one point in the book, before the trench coat scene, where I kinda wanted to reach through my Kindle and shake her. Why? Because she was fighting her attraction to him and I thought she was being stupid. So I was pretty happy when the trench coat scene happened. I am going to say that I think that she could have handled Bradley showing up unexpectedly at her apartment a bit better. Look what happened. A huge misunderstanding that almost cost her the man that she needed.

I love Nick. He was such a wise guy and kept Taylor on her feet. He also was the only one who was there for her when her aunt died and then again in different parts of the book. It didn’t take me long to see that he was falling for her (I think I figured that out before he did). Another thing I liked about him was that he was a nice guy. A genuinely nice guy who got hurt pretty bad by his ex. So I wasn’t surprised at his reaction to Taylor’s news. Honestly, I wouldn’t have expected him to act any other way.

I was a little taken aback by certain events involving Taylor and Nick. Honestly, I didn’t see Taylor’s news happening and but, like I said above, I could see what Nick reacted the way he did. I just think that maybe a week was too long but then again, Nick needed time to process what he was told. He did make it right but I was so afraid that he was too late. Of course, the book wouldn’t have had its happy ending if he didn’t but still I worried.

The end of the book and the epilogue was perfect. Not going to give anything away but I loved…..well you need to read the book to find out what I loved about the epilogue (haha).

How many stars will I give I Knew You Were Trouble: 4

Why: Sweet romance with likable characters that had oodles of sexual tension

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex and language

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne

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Title: Walk of Shame

Author: Lauren Layne

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: April 18th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 218

POV: Alternating 1st person and 3rd person

Where you can find Walk of Shame: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Sparks fly between a misunderstood New York socialite and a cynical divorce lawyer in this lively standalone rom-com from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Love Story.

Pampered heiress Georgianna Watkins has a party-girl image to maintain, but all the shopping and clubbing is starting to feel a little bit hollow—and a whole lot lonely. Though Georgie would never admit it, the highlights of her week are the mornings when she comes home at the same time as her uptight, workaholic neighbor is leaving to hit the gym and put in a long day at the office. Teasing him is the most fun Georgie’s had in years—and the fuel for all her naughtiest daydreams.

Celebrity divorce attorney Andrew Mulroney doesn’t have much time for women, especially spoiled tabloid princesses who spend more time on Page Six than at an actual job. Although Georgie’s drop-dead gorgeous, she’s also everything Andrew resents: the type of girl who inherited her penthouse instead of earning it. But after Andrew caps one of their predawn sparring sessions with a surprise kiss—a kiss that’s caught on camera—all of Manhattan is gossiping about whether they’re a real couple. And nobody’s more surprised than Andrew to find that the answer just might be yes.

My review:

I had to giggle at the title of this book. Everyone knows what a “Walk of Shame” is but I will refresh those who don’t know. The definition is taken from Urban Dictionary:

“Walk of Shame

The walk from another person(s) house, apartment, condo, dorm, van, bar, park bench or other; to your place of residence wearing the same clothes you had on the night before.

Typically used when someone leaves the home of a sexual escapade (quite possibly with someone you met the night before) in the morning; hair sticking out in all directions, lines on your face, and missing at least one article of clothing.

In the event that your “Walk of Shame” did include sex, you may be wearing your partner’s clothes. If you did not have sex you probably did get into a fight, damaged property was escorted off someone’s premises, or in some way embarrassed yourself. In any case, you will need to check yourself for injuries.

Still half-drunk, I began the walk of shame to my room and made a futile attempt to recall all that I had done on Friturday.”
Now there are other more to the point on the Urban Dictionary website but I chose the more reader-friendly. If you want to read the slightly raunchy, totally not PC definition, just click on the link above.
So, based on the definition I put up and my own personal experiences with walks of shame, I really was expecting a book that started and ended with sex and didn’t really have a plot. But what I read, instead, really surprised me.
Georgi was a sweetheart….once you got past her party girl exterior. I was actually kind of put off by that at first because she was rolling in as most people were getting up and going to work. But her sweetness and her positive outlook on life won me over. Plus, she knew how to dish it and take it, like a pro. Her interactions with Andrew had me laughing my butt off and I loved the Wizard of Oz references.
I couldn’t get a handle on Andrew at first. Because the story is mainly told from Georgi’s perspective, I really didn’t know what he felt about her. Actually, I felt the vibe I got from him is that he thought she was annoying. So, I was pretty surprised when the author turned to 3rd person to tell his part of the story and when I learned that he had feelings for Georgi and had feelings for her since he met her. I did a “Whaaa” when I read that because it did kind of blindside me (and yes, I knew they were getting together….I can still be blindsided).
I loved the romance between Georgi and Andrew because it was more real life (forgetting that she was an heiress and he made money hand over fist). They were frenemies first, then true friends and then the romance kicked in. I loved it!!
What I liked, even more, was that the sex was put off on in the book. The author allowed for her characters to develop feelings for each other before they bumped uglies. It was refreshing to read that because the sex didn’t take over the book.
I did figure out the plot twist that added drama to the book. I actually figured it out as it was happening but still, it was sad to read and I felt bad for all involved.
The end of the book was great and I loved the happy endings for everyone involved!!
How many stars will I give Walk of Shame: 3.5 (rounded up to 4 for Goodreads and Amazon)
Why: Written wonderfully with a good plot line and great characters
Will I reread: Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes
Age range: Adult
Why: Sex and language
**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**
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