Coffee, Tea or Me by Rich Amooi

coffee tea or meBlurb: Susie opens a tea shop next to Jack’s coffee shop and the war begins.

Jack Robbins has a booming coffee business, an eighty-year old customer who can’t keep his clothes on, and a rescue Chihuahua named Chimichanga that likes to kiss on the mouth. Life is good until the new business next door takes a bite out of his sales.

Susie McKenna has the new tea shop everyone is talking about, an over-protective brother, and a stubborn, good-looking neighbor who is trying to steal her customers.

Things really start to percolate when Jack and Susie both volunteer to help plan the downtown festival. They have to work together and soon Jack won’t be able to get by without his daily fix of Susie. But can a coffee lover and a tea devotee put their competition aside to get their happily ever after?

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Favorite Quote

“You don’t know if you’re going to be here tomorrow or the day after. Neither do I. Ask her out.” “What if she says no?” “There’s something a thousand times more painful than her telling you no.” “What’s that?” “Regret…”

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2.5 stars

This book was cutesy. But I felt it lacked a lot of depth.  A lot.  The potential was there, but the follow through was pretty non-existent.  I was pretty disappointed with the romance portion.  It was pretty flat and one dimensional in that area.  And it kinda went downhill from there.

It was too slow and was missing chemistry.  In a romance, that will kill a book for me in a heartbeat. I didn’t get why they were attracted to each other other than the fact that they were in close proximity to one another and they both had businesses of their own.  Other than that, I didn’t see them as a feasible couple.

Honestly, I felt the secondary characters had more depth and emotion than the main ones.  And I felt the climax was…to put it simply, lame.  I just didn’t get it.

Curly Carla_small

Rabbit Bones (Redemption #2) by A.L. Tyler

rabbit bonesBlurb: The time for closure has finally come.

Gina Gillespie is dead. That’s what the invitation to the funeral said, tucked into an envelope next to a prepaid ticket home.

It’s been two years since the summer that screwed up Ember’s life, and the time for closure has finally come. But when she returns to the island of Tulukaruk, she finds that things aren’t exactly as she remembers them. People are acting strange, and her sister claims she didn’t send a death announcement or an invitation to the funeral. Their mother has been dead for several months, having drowned earlier that year.

What’s worse, though she won’t say how or why, her sister believes that it was murder. She’s pegged it on the person Ember would have thought the least capable of such an act: the local bartender and fashion icon that took her in when her mother threw her out–Zinnia Knox.

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Favorite Quote

“Let me put it this way…”  Delia said, sitting down next to Ember and pushing her brunette hair out of her eyes.  “You’re a…distraction, let’s say, to Acton.  So you’re like a thorn in his butt.  Your sister Thalia doesn’t like Acton, and he’s like a thorn in her butt, so she gets to being a thorn in Zinny’s butt.  All of this is fine with me.  But the thing is that when Zinny has a thorn in her butt, she gets to being a thorn in everyone’s butt.  It’s one long chain of thorns and butts while you’re here.”

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4 stars

Damn this series is weird. Nothing really happened except that she got her memory back. I am still unsure where this story is going. But I can’t look away!!!

Okay, so I was trying to put a dent in my series reading challenge but when I checked to see how many books are in this series my eyes just about popped right outta my head. There’s like seven fricking books in this series!

So one of the things I liked about this book was the fact that she went back to the island. She belongs there no matter how many people tell her she isn’t welcome.  The paranormal-ness of this book was incredibly subtle and didn’t really show itself till like half-way through. A fact that upset me because its the second book in the series so….its not a secret.  Let’s see more of it please.  I mean, hello? I love demons and angels, so give me more please.  Another thing I loved is how dark it is.  These people are evil and have no redeeming qualities and they don’t try to be good.  They embrace their evilness.  And I like that.

Honestly, this series makes NO sense whatsoever, there isn’t a true plot, no true climax, and no tangible antagonist.  It just kinda flows with no real rhyme or reason.  The characters are hard to follow because Ember’s mind is so fucked up we have no way of knowing what’s real and what’s fake.

And I think that’s what appeals to me.  Trying to figure out the plot and her mind is like reading one of those choose our own adventure stories but reading it straight through. WTF right?

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Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want to Read a Book

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in which you make a list of ten to do with a certain topic.  This week’s topic is “Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book (topic originally done back in 2013) — tell us all your book turn offs!”  I’m a bit late yet again…

Lenoreo’s Top Ten:

Some of these are impossible to tell unless someone spoils it in their reviews, but they still turn me off…  (And it doesn’t mean there won’t be exceptions, or I won’t be convinced to give it a try, these are just what make me NOT want to read it)

  1. CHEATING!  Yeah, I know this is hard to know beforehand, though you can guess some in the blurbs.  But if I do see any mention in a review, I’m dibs out.  It’s just hard to empathize with characters that go there.  It apparently tests my empathy gene, and I come up short.
  2. Love Triangles.  Now, don’t get me wrong, one of my favourite authors, and 2 of my favourite paranormal series by her contain major love triangles.  I will tolerate them if there’s something else bringing me in, but I’d rather avoid them.
  3. Motorcycle Club books.  I just can’t get interested in heroes that are often killers or torturers or dicks to women.  I’m sure there are exceptions, but yeah…I’m not good with unredeemable characters.
  4. Glaring mistakes in the blurb.  Yup, if an author can’t make sure that at least the blurb is typo free and with good grammar, then it doesn’t bode well for the book.
  5. The book is MEGA popular.  See, I’m a hipster.  So if the book is mega popular and I didn’t get in from the beginning, then I’m likely to NEVER read it.  I think there’s so many other great underhyped books to read.  And I’m paranoid I won’t like it as much as everyone else.  Oh, and if there’s a movie made of it, then I’ll probably watch it, the final nail in the coffin.
  6. The book is highly recommended by a good friend.  TOO MUCH PRESSURE!!!  If it’s just vaguely recommended, then sure.  Or if I’m already interested in the author, or I already have the book, then sure.  But if they’re super excited about the recommendation, I will avoid avoid avoid.  I know, it’s crazy.
  7. No romance WHATSOEVER.  Yeah, I don’t mind if it’s just a tiny hint, but I need something.
  8. Fancy flowery language.  This pretty much rules out classics, historicals, and high fantasy.  If I have to think too much about what the words are saying, then I’m out.  AND, it makes it so that I can’t relate to the characters if the dialogue is too hard to parse.  Personal quirk, I know.
  9. Flat characters.  These next two are ones that are hard to know beforehand, but that can sometimes be mentioned in reviews.  Characters are my favourite part of a book, so I need them to be multi-faceted.
  10. Miscommunication problems.  Yeah, it’s what killed my most recent read.  I HATE miscommunication problems…or at least ones that don’t get resolved in good time.

OK, so that was a wide range.  What about you guys?  What makes you instantly NOT want to read a book?

Waiting on the Sidelines by Ginger Scott

Blurb:
18807015Nolan Lennox had things figured out. Named after a baseball legend, she enjoyed being the Tomboy, her closet filled with her brother’s hand-me-downs, cut-off jeans and soccer shorts. But when her first trip to high school results in a broken heart from the first boy to ever make her heart flutter and cruel words from an older girl she once thought a family friend, Nolan starts to question the very person she thought she was and wonders if her humble upbringing can compete with the afforded luxuries of her privileged peers.

Throughout the next four years, Nolan struggles to maintain herself throughout her path of discovery, learning just how cruel teenagers can be through the pressures of underage drinking, sexuality and class. And despite how life seems to continue to work against her, she still manages to listen to her heart, falling deeper and deeper for the guy the entire town adores, even if he only sees her as a friend. Can Nolan strike a compromise between her own integrity and the boy she loves? And can she make him notice her before it’s too late?

Reed Johnson came to Coolidge High School with a lot of fanfare. The son of a hometown football legend and the brother of a local football hero, Reed wore all the pressures of carrying a town without hope into the spotlight. Thankfully, he had the talent to back it up. But when he meets a girl who makes him think twice about exactly what being a hero means, he starts to wonder if following in his brother’s footsteps might be all wrong.

Nolan Lennox was everything that was opposite of expected. She didn’t flirt, she didn’t drink and she didn’t sleep around. Nothing about her was easy, but something about her made Reed want to try harder. Though she didn’t look the part, she seemed to be spending a lot of time in Reed’s thoughts, and he wondered if she could be the one who made it all worthwhile. But could Reed handle letting her down? And would breaking her heart break him beyond repair?

Waiting on the Sidelines explores young love to its fullest, exposing how real young heartbreak and passion is and how important it is to discover yourself and hold onto your own identity. The story follows two young characters as they deal with mature situations, including the prevalence of bullying and promiscuity in today’s high school setting. Ultimately, Waiting on the Sidelines is a story of hope, honesty and those powerful, first true loves–the ones worth holding onto at any cost.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — Well crap.  I can’t even tell you how bummed I am right now.  This book started off AMAZINGLY.  Like, I stupidly started it at midnight (I know, but I couldn’t get my brain to sleep), and then I proceeded to stay up til 4am reading — THAT kind of amazingly.  Like, amazingly enough that I gushed on Facebook about it.  But little things that bothered me kept building up and building up until I was left with an ending that was so unsatisfying for me.  I’m so sad right now.  😦

OK, so we’re going to sprinkle the good with the bad, b/c each aspect of the story had both for me.

Nolan was initially my kind of girl.  I love reading about insecure heroines (I know, kind of weird, but I can relate).  But she was so strong in other ways as well.  And this was truly a coming of age story.  She made some cringeworthy decisions at times, but it also felt authentic to a teenage experience (even if I don’t want that to be true).  She bowed to peer pressure on occasion, right from the very start…she wasn’t immune to the horrible things other teenagers can say and do.  I actually loved this part.  Because you know what?  Not every teen girl is strong and can brush that stuff off.  Especially early on in high school.  And I did get to see some growth there, she had strong moments and weak moments and vacillated between them in the way that often happens when a person is growing up.  So while I *hated* some of the things she did (mostly wrt her romantic relationships), I initially forgave her because I expected growth and change.  The problem is, I didn’t quite get enough growth and change to satisfy me.  Mostly wrt her relationship with Reed.  So while I actually celebrated the growth we did see — I adored the passion she developed with Nancy, and her memoir was beautiful — it wasn’t enough to make up for what ended up being a very unhealthy relationship that she continually pursued.

And that’s where the major problem lies for me in this book.  I ended up hating the romance.  There were glimmers in the beginning that had me sooooo excited.  I truly felt Nolan’s crush on Reed, and I could even see his feelings for her.  I found it so intriguing to read about Nolan’s high school journey and how her relationship with Reed changed over those years.  I kind of liked that it was initially unrequited, but that there was a strong friendship there.  But at a certain point I wanted to see more of what was keeping them interested in each other.  Again, I wanted growth and change, and I didn’t quite get that.  Reed had these glimmers of goodness, and the summer after sophomore year looked like it was going to be amazeballs!  I had so many tummy tingles, and I had forgiven him for his teenaged choices earlier.  I was just happy.  I knew it wouldn’t last, but I was not expecting what happened.  Or rather, I sort of was, but this time I was disappointed (there had been some other predictable plot choices earlier on, but I was fine with them).  The main reason I was disappointed was lack of communication.  I *hate* when the whole reason things don’t work is a lack of communication.  It’s so unrealistic to me that Reed wouldn’t have yelled out the reason right away.  Or that someone else wouldn’t have told Nolan.

And at that point, the romance spiraled out of control for me.  Not saying there weren’t good moments, but it stopped being enough.  Reed was a dick.  I could forgive earlier moments, but when he continued to make horrible and hurtful choices without learning and changing, his apologies didn’t end up feeling sincere.  I felt like Nolan bent over backwards for him, and that’s just not healthy.  It made Nolan look a bit more doormat-like, and it made Reed more and more unredeemable.

(This paragraph might be a bit spoilerish, so please stop reading if you haven’t read the book and still want to) I still held out hope though.  I sincerely did.  I vacillated between two major desires for an ending.  I WANTED that redemption for Reed, or I wanted it to not be a HEA for Reed and Nolan.  And I got neither.  I actually was leaning more towards the second scenario, and then this book really would have been more of a coming of age.  I wanted Nolan to realize that while she might love Reed, it wasn’t healthy for her and it never would be.  I wanted her to love herself more.  I wanted her to go to College and find a better love, and know that Reed would be her first, but that she deserved better.  BUT, if I couldn’t have that, then I wanted Reed to understand that he needed help.  Because he did.  He was unhealthy.  He had goodness in him, but he wasn’t treating Nolan well.  I at least needed him to truly change and make a grand gesture.  A hat is not a grand gesture.  And he should have been mortified that he had made Nolan believe she was at fault.  I needed to *see* him change before I could give him another chance.

(OK, end spoilers) I enjoyed a lot of the secondary characters though.  I found her best friends to be interesting, and I almost wish she had listened to them more (especially Sienna, she seems to have a good head on her shoulders).  I really loved Sean (and eventually Becky), and that *really* pleasantly surprised me.  And I loved most of the parents in this story.  Nolan’s were actually pretty good people, and pretty tapped into her.  And then there was Buck.  I wanted more from him for *Reed*, but I guess I can’t say what kind of conversations they had since we never had Reed’s POV.  But I LOVED what he was for Nolan.  He was a big pleasant surprise.

So yeah.  A super strong start, but for me it was mired with an unhealthy relationship, an unredeemable hero, and too many problems that boiled down to communication.  So, basically, bummer.  And reading the bad reviews for the next book, it sounds like more miscommunications, so I won’t be continuing on.

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Déjà Revu April 24th, 2017

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Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.
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Meme

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Contemporary

Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic

Paranormal

Religious

Romance

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Contemporary

Romance

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Contemporary

Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic

General Fiction

Non-Fiction

Paranormal

Romance

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Romance

Woman’s Fiction

The Faith of William Shakespeare by Graham Holderness

TFOWSBlurb: William Shakespeare is arguably the world’s most famous writer. His plays and sonnets have been translated into many different languages, and are performed, read and loved the world over. But what of the man himself? What did he believe? Was he a secret Catholic, like his father, prepared to run the risk of being accused of treachery to the Tudor state? Or was he convinced by the new Protestant teaching? Or maybe did he not believe any of it, just saying and doing what was expected of him, in order to get by in a dangerous age? Shakespearean scholar Graham Holderness examines the evidence, both from Shakespeare’s life and his key works.

 

Netgalley

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DNF

I tried and tried and tried to finish this book. I’ve had it for a looooong time. I think I thought this was a fictional story when I first requested it. I made it about 25% through before I couldn’t read anymore. This book is not in my wheelhouse so I wouldn’t count this as a negative review. I don’t generally read non-fiction and was trying to challenge myself to broaden my horizons. This one just didn’t do it for me.

I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

Curly Carla_small

Shacking Up by Helena Hunting

33838194Blurb:  Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.

Netgalley

Pre order

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5 stars

I absolutely LOVED this book.  I was lucky enough to be offered to read this ARC through Netgalley.  I have actually never heard of this author before but the title, cover and blurb really drew me in. I hit the trifecta in the book world!

And now I find myself looking up all the other books by this author cause she writes my kind of romance.  It was witty. It was clumsy and full of humor.  It was a slow, simmering romance that also had some kinky sex scenes in it.  You see what I mean?

I really liked Rubys’ character. She had a stubbornness that I could identify with.  I totally get not wanting to rely on anyone to support myself.  But there is a difference in making it on your own with support and being fully supported.  And I think she was having a hard time figuring out which side she landed on at times. She had a great sense of humor rounding out her character. Along with a fierce sense of independence and penchant for looking for the silver lining of life. When life gives you lemons, you buy some fucking vodka to go with it, amIright?

And Bancroft!  Oh dear lord, this man is the epitome of sexy.  His alpha, millionaire manliness is physically attractive. But this man has layers, not just sexiness.  His sensitivity shines through with his care for his pets.  And his family values are clear as day with his willingness to compromise for them.

You know what? I think I’m gonna have to read this one again very soon.  Highly recommend to anyone who reads contemporary romantic comedy.

Curly Carla_small

180 Seconds by Jessica Park

Blurb:
32739485Some people live their entire lives without changing their perspective. For Allison Dennis, all it takes is 180 seconds…

After a life spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, Allison is determined to keep others at arm’s length. Adopted at sixteen, she knows better than to believe in the permanence of anything. But as she begins her third year in college, she finds it increasingly difficult to disappear into the white noise pouring from her earbuds.

One unsuspecting afternoon, Allison is roped into a social experiment just off campus. Suddenly, she finds herself in front of a crowd, forced to interact with a complete stranger for 180 seconds. Neither she, nor Esben Baylor, the dreamy social media star seated opposite her, is prepared for the outcome.

When time is called, the intensity of the experience overwhelms Allison and Esben in a way that unnerves and electrifies them both. With a push from her oldest friend, Allison embarks on a journey to find out if what she and Esben shared is the real thing—and if she can finally trust in herself, in others, and in love.

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My Review:
4.5 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

WOW.  Seriously, wow.  I knew I was going to enjoy this book, but I’m not sure I entirely realized HOW MUCH I was going to enjoy this book.  I was sucked in right from the start, and my love just grew in intensity as I continued to read it…  It was one of those books where you resent your life for interfering with your reading…or at least it was for me.

I am a sucker for a damaged heroine.  I wasn’t quite sure how damaged Allison would be, and while some of my suspicions were way off base, I really appreciated that we got to see some different effects of just being in the Foster system and bouncing around from home to home without an added other huge trauma.  Not sure if that makes sense, but sometimes I think just that basic concept of feeling unwanted and unloved and too much rejection does not get enough attention.  Allison honestly brought out all the feels for me, I HURT for past and present her.  I felt how much she wanted to close off the world, and how afraid she was of letting people in.  There’s a teeny tiny part of me that wonders if her transition was too fast, but that’s partly b/c there were time jumps in the story.  But quite honestly?  I was getting so much out of the story, I didn’t even care.  I LOVED seeing Allison slowly open up and accept love.  It was beautiful.

There were two shining stars for me in this story (besides our heroine of course).  Obviously there is Esben.  I wondered if he would be too good to be true, and I debated about whether that would annoy me, but you know what?  It really didn’t.  Especially because despite being such a good and kind and generous soul, we did get to see into his own damage, and see what shaped him into the person he was.  And he was not without his own flaws and bad decisions.  But I ADORED him.  EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.  I really expected a much different hero after reading the blurb and seeing social media star, and the glimpse we get before the experiment.  My preconceived notions were blown away.  He made me feel so many emotions all on his own, and he is totally my kind of book boyfriend material.  I want an Esben.

And I loved the way they grew together.  Their chemistry was palpable, and sweet, and slow burning, and gave me so many tummy tingles.  I ADORED the way their relationship progressed, it was all so satisfying for me.

The other star for me was Simon.  I’m not sure if it’s just because he’s a Dad, and I’m missing my own, but I LOVED HIM SO MUCH.  He made me cry in so many unexpected moments, just by being himself.  He was vulnerable, and honest, and tried so hard, and I was just always so happy that Allison had him.  And OMG, did he make me laugh!!  Right from that first chapter!!  I’m not sure I’ve ever loved a secondary character in quite this way before.  He added so much to the story.

Steffi was another intriguing character.  I knew there was more to her story, but for some reason I was still caught off guard.  I enjoyed what we learned about her, and what she brought to Allison’s own growth.

I did end up losing some of my steam nearer to the end, but I was also interrupted so many times, that I think that hurt it too.  If you can read it all in one sitting, I highly recommend that.

All in all this book made me laugh, smile big grins, get tummy tingles, silently cry some tears, and bawl like a baby.  That’s a pretty great spectrum.  Definitely one of my favourite reads of the year, it just hit all the right places for me.

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Stacking the Shelves — April 22nd, 2017

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(Images link to Goodreads, Titles link to Amazon using Amazon Affiliate links)

Stacking The Shelves is feature/weekly meme created by Tynga’s Reviews in which you share the books you are adding to your shelves, both physical and virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Curly Carla’s Haul

(All Ebooks unless otherwise specified)

eReaderIQ Freebies:

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Lenoreo’s Haul

(All Ebooks unless otherwise specified)

NetGalley ARC Requests Approved:

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  • Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny (Taking Shots #4) by Cindi Madsen from Entangled: Embrace (Entangled Publishing LLC) — releases May 8th, 2017.  I’ve become behind on this series and because of things going on in my life at the time, I didn’t get a chance to read the NetGalley ARC of book 3 I received, so I went out and bought it instead.  I was trying to read the books in order, but I’m not going to fail this time and am just going to skip ahead to this one.  It sounds AMAZING.  I’ll get back to the others hopefully this summer or fall.
  • True Colors (True Love #2) by Anyta Sunday from the author — released March 14th, 2017.  Technically this one was a Read Now on NetGalley, but I thoroughly enjoy Ms. Sunday’s M/M’s, so I clicked that Read Now button.
  • The Doctor’s Redemption (Shadow Creek Montana #3) by Victoria James from Entangled: Bliss (Entangled Publishing LLC) — releases May 22nd, 2017.  I’ve read the first two books in this series, and enjoyed them with some caveats (see my reviews for Christmas with the Sheriff and The Baby Bombshell).  So I knew I’d need to find out what happened with Gwen.
  • The Nanny Arrangement (Country Blues #2) by Rachel Harris from Entangled: Bliss (Entangled Publishing LLC) — releases May 22nd, 2017.  I actually read the first book in this series, and really enjoyed it (see my review for You’re Still the One), so obviously I wanted to read more.

New Releases:

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  • Locked Tight (Mindjack #4) by Susan Kaye Quinn — released April 17th, 2017.  I have the first three in this series, but haven’t read them yet.  But I’m very intrigued, and have enjoyed other books by Ms. Quinn.  So when I saw that this sort of spinoff extension of the series was being released and would be 99 cents on release week, I said OK!  Unfortunately that sale is over.  Yay for me, boo for you.  😉
  • Edge of Brotherhood (Love on the Edge #5) by Molly E. Lee — released April 19th, 2017.  I’ve been collecting this series by Ms. Lee, even though I still haven’t read one yet.  So when I saw this new release on The Rock Stars of Romance daily newsletter, and then saw it was only 99 cents, I said YES PLEASE!  AND it’s still just 99 cents!

Had to Get the Next Book in the Series:

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  • Wicked Restless (Harper Boys #2) by Ginger Scott — I’m reading in preparation for Romancing the Falls in May, and this is one of the main authors I’m going all the way there to meet.  I LOVE her.  I had the first book already, and read it, and of course had to buy the next one and find out what happened with Andrew.  You can read my review here.

The Bohemian and the Businessman by Katy Regnery

Blurb:
32721286Priscilla Story, the self-proclaimed “wild child” of the straight-laced Story clan, has always had a knack for getting herself trouble. Except this time, her “growing problem” is going to require a Daddy sooner than later…or she can kiss her inheritance good-bye.

Shane Olson, who previously dated Priscilla’s sister, Margaret, isn’t opposed to a marriage of convenience for the sake of furthering his business interests, but Priscilla – with her wild ways – is just about the last woman he’d choose to marry.

In order to make the marriage look convincing, they end up having to spend more time together than they’d originally planned. When rolling stone, Priscilla, who lives by the seat of her muu-muu, and seriously-ambitious Shane, who’s had his whole life planned since he was eleven, start falling for each other, it’s going to take a whole lot of compromise for this Bohemian and her Businessman to find their happily ever after.

Pre-order now —>

Barnes & Noble: http://ow.ly/h8Og308M1fv
iBooks: http://ow.ly/gxJ2308M1k0
Kobo: http://ow.ly/LoIi308M11F

Available April 24-26 on Barnes & Noble, iBooks and Kobo.
Available April 28+ on Amazon (and KU!) (I will add the Amazon link once released)

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My Review:
4.5 stars — I received a free copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

OMG!!!  Stratton has competition as my favourite Blueberry Lane boy!!  Shane was sooooo my type of hero.  He was unsure, and confused, and inexperienced, and sweet, and caring, and SO HOT with the way he loved Priscilla!!  GAH!  Yup, I LOVE me some beta-ish boys.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about him after meeting him in Crazy About Cameron.  He was so abrupt, and clueless, and I just didn’t get a very swoony vibe from him at all.  But wow, underneath all that serious exterior is someone who is just so focused on his goals, that he’s let relationships fall by the wayside.  I really enjoyed watching him struggle with his attraction to Priscilla, and his conflicting feelings about where he thought he was going, and where his path ends up taking him.  His growth was really believable, and I LOVED the choices he made, and the points where he stood up for Pris…I didn’t feel like we had to wait too long for that, I HATE when authors make you wait and then give you an abrupt change.  Shane’s transition and development was perfect.  And on a sidenote, I want to punch Vicky in the nards!!  Screw you Vicky!

And then we have Priscilla!!  I was also confused on how to feel about P in CAC.  But she was such a strange combination of sweet and wild!  In fact, the wild is probably an overstatement.  I think they just call her wild b/c they don’t know what to do with her, b/c she breaks the mold.  Sure, she may be a wanderer, but you find out there’s reasons underlying that beyond the obvious.  And OMG, I totally felt her vulnerability, and how much it hurt that being who she truly was inside was so frowned upon by most of her family.  Honestly, I’m not sure how I’m going to fall in love with Betsy at all, she and Pris really have a volatile relationship…but I have faith that Ms. Regnery will work her magic.  I get that in big families, there are often divisions between the different types of personalities.  I LOVED that Pris had Meggie though (and vice versa).

And the great thing about Priscilla and Shane is that I really FELT their chemistry, and they totally made their “opposites attract” thing work.  Like I could really feel how they each fascinated each other.  Priscilla wanted to help Shane loosen up (and I think deep down he wanted that too), but she also needed the safety and security she felt with him.  And Shane needed Priscilla’s sweetness and light, but also gave her a safe place to acknowledge that it’s OK to set down some roots.  And damn!  They sure know how to steam up the place!!

I will say that I’m a bit torn on Priscilla’s extra secret.  I don’t mind the way she dealt with it, and I liked that it gave me a bit more understanding of her, but I felt like it came up really late in the book, and so it wasn’t given as much attention as I would like.  We didn’t really get to see her have a conversation with Shane about it, it was just mentioned and moved on from.  I guess that could happen, but it made me feel sad for Pris.

All in all, a FABULOUS read for me in the Blueberry Lane series.  It was definitely my kind of book, and I LOVE that we get to see such wildly different people in this series, both boys and girls.  Often times I feel like the heroes in long series can become a bit cookie cutter, but Ms. Regnery gives us a spectrum of both heroes and heroines.  And manages to find a way for ALL characters to get into our hearts somehow.  It’s truly my absolute favourite thing about this series, that no matter the personality of the character, whether I’m like them or not, Ms. Regnery always manages to get me to *understand* them, and root for them.  That’s a sign of great character writing.

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