Take It to the Grave Part 1 of 6: Take It to the Grave – Sarah’s Story\Take It to the Grave – Maisey’s Story (Take It to the Grave #1) by Zoë Carter

34857352Blurb:

It started with an anonymous note…

Sarah Taylor-Cox has the perfect life—a gorgeous husband, a picture—perfect house in the Hamptons and a beautiful baby, Elliot. Now, the invites are being sent out for Elliot’s christening, and the Taylor—Coxes are determined the party will be the event of the year.

There’s just one chink in Sarah’s carefully constructed calm demeanour—her sister, Maisey, will be coming. The sisters used to be close, but now their lives couldn’t be more different. Surely though, they will slip back into their old ways, and the party will go off without a hitch…

Then, Sarah’s difficult relationship with Maisey is pushed to the back of her mind when she receives a note, one which makes her whole body shake with dread: I know your secret. I’m going to tell.

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Netgalley

3 stars

It was very suspenseful, but I didn’t really get an idea of what the story was about. Just that there was something in their past that they didn’t want anyone to know. And they haven’t spoken in years. It was very “I know what you did last summer”

The dual POV was interesting because they are not alike and with Sarah’s lifestyle I was glad.  Her husband’s behavior was a lot to take and I don’t think I could have kept reading it if Maisey wasn’t in the story.

I kinda dug Maisey as a character and would have like to see more from her perspective but alas, it was not in the book. Other than that, Maisey seems to be a serial dater while Sarah is in a an abusive relationship but seems to like it.

I don’t think I’m gonna read the rest as I don’t have the patience to read five more parts to find out what it was they did. I just don’t care enough about the characters to put in the effort.

I received this book in exchange for an honest/unbiased review.

Curly Carla_small

The Diary of Bink Cummings: Vol 1 (MC Chronicles #1) by Bink Cummings

bink cummings 1Blurb: I’m a biker, and I’m a woman, who was raised by my biker family the Sacred Sinners.

Growing up an MC brat, I’ve known nothing but leather, booze, club whores, comradery, and bikes, my entire life.

My name is Eva “Bink” Cummings, and this is my story.

How at the ripe old age of thirty, with no husband, no kids, and being a part of a motorcycle club. Things aren’t always what they appear to be. I’ve found out the hard way, that your life, in an instant, can be flipped upside down. And the people you know and love aren’t always what they seem.

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4 stars

So I read this book a while back and never finished the series.  I really like this authors writing though and wanted to tackle a series to finish so I dug this one up and started to re-read it.  I have found that I still feel the same as I did when I first read it….

This book was so interesing! I loved how it was written in diary fashion. It was very straightforward and real. Lots of sex, drinking and fighting. Just so you know, definitely not for kids.

Bink is a badass biker chic! She was raised by her ‘family’ in the Motorcycle club and resided there for most of her life. This gives her special prviledges because women are never allowed to live in the clubhouse. Her daddy is the VP and the men all love her. She is a smartass of the highest caliber and can give as good as she gets. She can cook like no ones business and enjoys spending time with her ‘family’. Her mom is a snatch and left her to fend for herself when she was very young.

This is a love story, albeit a pretty twisted one. I normally don’t like these kinds of books because they are too unbelievable. *says the fan of sci-fi and fantasy adventure* But seriously, they are too vulgar and the characters are usually pretty shallow.

I like to be proven wrong. And I was with this book. The storyline had a good background and while it was quite sexual in nature it wasn’t overkill. At least not to me. Bink cusses and fights like a dude but can be very motherly to her family.

Big is the quintessential alpha male. Prez of the club, controlling to the point of irrationality. Too much at times. He was too demanding for me. But Bink puts him in his place and doesn’t cave to his demands. Which leads to all kinds of fighting, but its all foreplay right?

Can’t wait for the third one as I have already read the second one.

Curly Carla_small

Stacking the Shelves — June 24th, 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!

Lenoreo’s Haul

(All Ebooks unless otherwise specified)

ARCs from Authors/PR Companies:

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  • Hello Forever (Pay It Forward #2) by Sarina Bowen — releases July 14th, 2017.  I’m looking forward to meeting Ms. Bowen at the Big Apple Author Event in October, and I was so excited to get approved for an ARC of this one!

New Releases:

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  • Paper Cranes (a Fairytale Twist Novel) by Jordan Ford — released June 22nd, 2017.  I actually read an ARC of this book, but of course I needed to get a final copy since I loved it so much.  You can read my review here.

Got It On Sale:

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  • The Fall Up (The Fall Up #1) by Aly Martinez — Saw this one on BookBub and remember being intrigued by the reviews of it.  And since it was on for free from its usual $3.99, it was an easy decision.  Sale is over.
  • Time For Love (Gansett Island #9) by Marie Force — I’ve read quite a few books in this series, and so put the remaining ones on my wishlist.  So when I got an eReaderIQ alert that this one was free from its usual $3.99, I snatched it up!!  Ms. Force was originally supposed to be attending Apollycon 2018 in Washington, D.C. next March, which would be a bonus, but she’s recently pulled out.  Oh well.  Still free!
  • Rule (Marked Men #1) by Jay Crownover — Now as far as I know, this author is still going to be attending Apollycon 2018 in Washington, D.C. next March, and I did get a paperback copy on sale at my local bookstore recently.  But since I rarely read my paperbacks, when I got an eReaderIQ alert that it was on sale for 99 cents from its usual $1.99, I wanted to go for it.  But of course the Canadian publisher did not have the sale ($10+ for me!!!), so I decided to circumvent by giving Curly Carla a $1 gift card and getting her to gift it to me!  Take that Canadian publisher!  Still on sale!

The Director and Don Juan by Katy Regnery

Blurb:
32721297The Director and Don Juan is the second of four books about the Philadelphia-based Story sisters who are all on the look-out for love.

Heiress Alice Story left her father’s company three years ago in a blaze of glory, inviting all of his employees to jump ship and join her, but only one accepted her offer: mail room clerk, Carlos Vega.

While Alice spent the next three years getting her own company off the ground, Carlos became her indispensable right-hand man — executive assistant and office manager, loyal counsel and trusted co-worker.

And all the while, they were quietly falling in love with each other.

When Alice is offered a lucrative business deal in Puerto Rico, island-born Carlos is the perfect person to accompany her on her trip as translator, but as they travel together from Philadelphia to Santo Domingo to Ponce, two unlikely co-workers will discover that during their three years working together, their feelings for each other have grown far deeper than they ever could have guessed.

And though business-minded, proper Alice will try her very best to ignore the longings of her heart, scorching hot, insanely sexy Boricua, Carlos, has no intention of letting her go.

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

I love it when you dive into a favourite author’s new book and she reminds you that YES you do love reading, and YES that last book just wasn’t right for you!  Because I can wholeheartedly say that I was sucked into Alice and Carlos’s story from the first page.  It’s funny how it’s hard to articulate what style of writing you love, but you just know it when you do…and Ms. Regnery’s writing is always just smooth like butter, I can just consume it and devour it and I’m captivated instantly.

One of the things she does so well is chemistry between characters.  And Alice and Carlos definitely had that going for them in spades.  It’s funny, b/c this one is a bit more of a slow burn romance, we don’t get to the steam until like 70% I believe.  But all that anticipation is pretty delicious in itself, and then once the romance delivers, it’s beautiful and tummy tingling!  I loved the way the romance between Alice and Carlos developed, from a deep abiding trust and respect, with a side of friendship, to acknowledging that more had developed, sometimes without them knowing.  And then just facing that moment where you couldn’t ignore it any longer, and it was time to go for what you wanted.  While there was a bit of angst and drama, it wasn’t drawn out for the sake of being drawn out, and it resolved as I would expect it would in real life.

I LOVED Carlos’s patience with Alice.  I loved that he knew not to push it too fast, but that he wouldn’t give up.  I loved his optimism in the face of potential obstacles.  I loved how clearly he cared about Alice and was thoughtful over her needs.  I loved that he was charming as can be, but not too much of a dog (though perhaps I would have liked a better resolution with Leticia and Lena).  I loved that he had a multi-faceted personality — alpha when he needed to be, but happily beta in other aspects of his life.  And I really felt like that juxtaposition was well placed, b/c Ms. Regnery was not afraid to address the gender roles and pressures that men face as well (and in this case, particularly in the latin community).  As a romance reader, we often see the struggles that women face in their professional lives (and I love that), but how often do we see a man deal with criticism for somewhat less ambition, or being happy serving a strong woman.  I don’t know if I’m making sense, but I just really loved that.

And on the other side of the coin, I loved Alice’s ambition, and her unwavering desire for both a career and a family.  She was such a strong heroine, and someone to be admired.  But I also loved that she needed someone like Carlos to take the reins in their intimate settings, so she could just feel and experience.  They were such a great match.  I kind of appreciated that she was a bit awkward socially, b/c she had spent so much time trying to live up to her father’s impossible expectations, and focused on her professional pursuits, that she had let some of her personal relationships slide (like with her sister’s).

And that is the crux of why I love Ms. Regnery’s Blueberry Lane series.  EVERY SINGLE ONE has a completely different set of characters.  We get to see and fall in love with all types of people, and we get to learn of each of their struggles.  From the shy to the bold, from the family oriented to the career oriented.

Honestly my only problem with this novel is that it *felt* short.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it was because I was interrupted in the middle of my reading, and couldn’t get back to it for a whole day, and so I fell out of the pacing?  Or maybe b/c I wanted to see more at the end after they were together.  I LOVED the epilogue we got, but a part of me was curious to read the scenes with her sisters when she told them about her new relationship, or at the office once they were back, or again, what happened with Lena (is their relationship strained now?).  It just ended with me wanting a tiny bit more.  Hence my 4 stars instead of more.

So yeah.  It’s so nice to read a book and get what you’ve been missing.  It feeds my reading soul or something.  Can’t wait to see what happens with Elizabeth and Jane.

Lenoreo_small

Diamond Girl (G-Man #1) by Andrea Smith

Diamond girlBlurb: Thirty-five year old Samantha Dennison sends her only child off to college and finds herself generally feeling F-R-U-M-P-Y and lost. Her loveless marriage to ‘the mannequin’ has become intolerable; her daughter and best friend have both advised ‘Sammie’ to get a life of her own. Her husband has his own agenda which does not include her.

Sammie finally heeds their advice and takes pole-dancing lessons to get into shape and develop self-esteem, but it serves to do much more than that! The thrill of the dance and sexuality she discovers within herself is a potent mixture. She gets a part-time job as a dancer in an Indianapolis Gentleman’s Club called Jewels. She becomes the dancer known as ‘Diamond’ and very quickly catches the attention of a ‘bad-boy’ biker named ‘Slate.’

Slate is the ultimate ‘alpha’ male; however there’s a problem: he simply wants it to be about exclusive sex; Sammie wants and needs more from Slate. Sammie’s certain she’s embarked on a dangerous relationship with the hot biker and ‘prospect’ member of the notorious Outlaw Motorcycle Club. She soon finds out she’s totally out of her league with Slate and the dangerous people he associates with in Indianapolis. Something big is brewing in Indy; and it’s not about race cars!

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4 stars

I liked it.  One of the things I really loved was that the female was so close in age to me. I don’t see a lot of those as I tend to gravitate towards NA and YA books.  But I could identify with a lot of what she as feeling. Her life was predictable, no change, no surprises and she wanted to shake it up a bit.

I was NOT prepared for the amount of violence in this book.  Nor was I prepared for all the twists and turns.  I can’t really go into them but suffice to say that it was not predictable, at least for me.  I figured this book to be a biker club romance, complete with cliches and tropes that go along with this type of story.  But it had more depth than that. And the plot was solid.  Most biker books I read have simple, easy to understand plots.  This one was developed and strong.  And I think I could have really enjoyed the book if there was no sex in it.  Which says something since I’m a huge romance fan.

Her husband (thats right kiddies, shes is married), I think his name was Jack, is the ultimate bad guy, I mean, I really had some physical hate brewing inside me for him.  His actions and lack of remorse were beyond shameful and I’m clearly still upset about the things his character did.  And while I don’t condone cheating, in this case, I’m glad she moved on to greener pastures.

Sammie was awesome. She transformed in this book, from frumpy housewife to sex magnet.  Her confidence soared and I loved how she took control of her life when things seemed to be so out of it for her.  I really dug Slate’s character. He seemed to be an alpha type but he was respectable like.  He walked the line, if that makes sense.  It’s all kinda hard for me to explain. I’ve seen some really bad reviews for this book and while I can see the flaws they point out, those seem to be the very reasons I liked it.  Ah, well, to each their own. Sometimes a book is enjoyable without having to dissect it.  And that’s how I felt about this one.

I’ve had this book for over two years and I’m just now getting to it.  I’m glad I finally did.

Curly Carla_small

Budgeting: The 21-Day Budgeting Challenge – learn key strategies to set up a budget, make the most of your money, pay off debts and start saving (personal … habit) (21-Day Challenges Book 4) by 21 Day Challenges

25543304Blurb: Maybe you’re thinking that the only thing worse than budgeting is reading a book about budgeting. And you may be right. But with this book, my hope is that I can change your mind. My hope is that by following this challenge, you will feel more in control of your spending habits, have clearer and more meaningful financial goals and, most importantly, have a little fun while doing it!

In this book, we’ll look at ways to uncover your own personal psychology behind money, as well as practical methods to make and reach finance goals. From saving pennies here and there by cutting out mindless spending to rethinking your approach to saving entirely, we’ll tackle your money issues the simple way: day by day. We’ll consider realistic ways to save money, but also look in depth at what it really means to live a minimalist life and what the true value of the items in our lives actually is.

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2 stars

This book didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t already know.  It was short and quite honestly a waste of my time.

It was also contradictory, in one chapter it would say something like if that 3 dollar coffee keeps you sane then its worth it to budget that in and keep it  but then in another it would suggest hitch-hiking as an adventurous way to save money.  Not only is that dangerous, but its illegal!  I skimmed it after that part because it was just so over the top ridiculous I couldn’t take it seriously.

I hate to say you get what you pay for but in this instance it rings true, I paid nothing for this book, and that’s what I got out of it.

Curly Carla_small

Vanishing Act by A.M. Madden

Blurb:
32502728In this captivating standalone romance from the USA Today bestselling author of Stone Walls, Hollywood’s hottest actor meets his dream woman: a free spirit who has no idea who he is.

After personal heartbreak and professional setbacks, Landon Price is running on empty. If he doesn’t take a break from the public eye soon, he’ll risk becoming another cautionary tale in a town that’s full of them. So in between film projects, Landon asks his agent to clear his schedule and then he simply . . . vanishes. Renting a discreet home on a remote Hawaiian beach for the summer, Landon begins to recharge. And in the process of finding himself, he meets a beautiful, feisty local who challenges everything he thinks he knows.

Zara Jobert has no interest in being a conquest for a cocky playboy from the mainland—even one with undeniable charisma and movie-star good looks. So she’s pleasantly surprised when the handsome newcomer’s persistent advances mellow into cozy banter and a sneakily seductive intimacy. When Landon reveals his true identity, Zara’s hurt that he lied, but she doesn’t care that he’s famous. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way. And falling for Landon might come with a heartbreaking choice—between Zara’s old life, and a new love.

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My Review:
DNF @ 40% — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

I really tried with this one.  I will say one thing right from the start, this was not a *bad* book.  It just wasn’t capturing my attention AT ALL, and I just have too much to read to spend my time reading something that’s not captivating me.  Basically I was bored.  And when I looked at my Kindle’s prediction of time left in this book and it said 4.5 hours, I said I’M DONE!

If the book kept going as it was going, I probably would have given it a 3 star.  Like I said, it wasn’t bad.  But I’m behind on things as it is, so I gave up.  The first bit until we meet Spike/Marshmallow was really slow, and I did not get a great feel for Landon at all.  He didn’t have personality traits that bugged me, but I really had no idea what he was like, other than self-important.  There really just didn’t feel like there was any depth there.  I was already considering DNFing it at that point, b/c I think the writing style just wasn’t jiving with me either.  I know it was just an ARC, but the tenses felt funny, and I kept getting tripped up on sentences because of the weird way the words were organized sometimes.

BUT!  Then we met Spike/Marshmallow.  AND OMG HE STOLE THE SHOW!  And it wasn’t just because he was freaking ADORABLE, but b/c he brought out something that I had been waiting for in Landon — a personality!  Landon was HILARIOUS when he was interacting with Spike.  Like, he was funny, and sassy, and I just started to love him!!  Things were looking up!!

And then we met Zara.  And again, nice girl, but she felt a bit flat.  And part of that is because Landon concentrated so much on how beautiful/hot she was, it really felt like the physical aspects were the main ones in their attraction.  And even at 40%, I still wasn’t feeling them together.  We were *told* that he liked other aspects of her, but not shown really.  I enjoyed his teasing, and I thought we were getting a wee bit more depth, but for some reason I was just bored.  Too slow?  I don’t know.  But I wasn’t even remotely invested.  OK, I was like 1% invested, b/c that part of me wants to know what happens.  If anyone wants to spoil it for me, please feel free.

Honestly, in that entire 40%, the bits where Spike/Marshmallow were present were the absolute highlights for me.  But an awesome dog is not enough to make a book great.  Good?  Yes.  Great?  No.  And so I gave up.  Ah well, they can’t all be matches right?

Lenoreo_small

Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Blurb:
34080660Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never even met?

Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch–an anonymous virtual assistant service–is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson.

Although it’s against the rules for her to check his file, she’s 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting…until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.

Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He’s still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth–that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won’t show her pretty face.

But it’s nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can’t fix. Hailey can’t resist the offer. Matt can’t resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn’t have to. Fire up the kiss cam!

Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.

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

Oh you guys! Matt and Hailey were my kind of characters.  They were both dealing with something, be it insecurities or other damage, but they were also full of sass and it made for such a fun courtship to follow!!  I totally fell in love with them both, and with them together.

Hailey was my kind of girl, just the kind of female character that I gravitate towards time and time again.  I loved that while she was a bit worse for wear following her divorce, it wasn’t horribly damaging.  She just lost her hutzpah, you know?  She was thrown for a loop, and was taking a while to figure out how to get back to *her*.  But I loved that her relationship with her ex wasn’t toxic.  In fact, this book was interesting in that it showed two completely different relationships that declined, in different ways.  And that it can be hard no matter what.  I always appreciate when we don’t always hate an ex, you know?  As a reader I mean.  It’s refreshing.  And Hailey was just sweet, and sassy, and so smart and driven!  I loved that about her.  And I loved that she didn’t put up with too much crap.  She picked her battles, and with some encouragement from friends, she pushed back when she needed to.  I was totally rooting for her.

Matt was adorable to the extreme.  My heart hurt for how damaged he was following his divorce…he definitely had a toxic relationship with his ex.  It made him unsure of himself, and it was nice to see an alpha male suffer from his own insecurities too.  I was so mad at Kara, and yet Ms. Bowen and Ms. Kennedy made just the right moves to resolve that in a way that felt real.  I love that.  No black and white evil characters (well, except maybe Mr. Emery), but *flawed* characters.  And I loved seeing Matt finally get a hint and stand up.  WOOHOO!!!!  So much cheering.  And on the other side, he was sweet, sensitive, patient and caring, a fantastic father, and his dirty talk was spot on!  😛

And with two fabulous characters, we get a fabulous romance/relationship.  I didn’t even mind all the uncertainty about what kind of relationship they had, b/c it made sense for their characters.  And the two of them together just made me laugh, right from the first date.  I really felt like they matched up perfectly.

And you know what else I loved??  The tiny side plots!!  MrEightInches!!  BWAHAHAHA…  And seeing all the characters we’ve fallen in love with!!  And the extra development of the WAGs!!  I love those girls!!  And Jenny was a fantastic friend!  And I’m even intrigued about OC, which part of me expected, b/c these authors know how to make you love even the most awful characters.  But I didn’t expect to be clamouring for his book!  And even the girls were cute and not annoying (which is a bonus for me)!

So yeah, not only did we get a fabulous romance, we got just a great all around, FULL story.  Can’t wait for more in this series (because there has to be more!).

Lenoreo_small

Top Ten Series We’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t

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

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 Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t (topic originally done March 2013) — anyone else have a mile long list of series to start like I do??”

Curly Carla’s Top Ten:

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  1. Alistair Grim’s Odditorium (Odditorium #1) by Gregory Funaro. I don’t even remember who told me about this book, but I love the cover and the blurb.
  2. The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle Book 1) by Maggie Stiefvater. I love this cover and have heard this is a good series.
  3. #Nerd (Hashtag #1) by Cambria Hebert. Ah Lenore, she dug this series and I’m way more inclined to read books that I know my reader friends have read.
  4. How I Fall (How I Fall #1) by Anne Eliot. I remember Caylie told me I need to read these books. I own them both.
  5. Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1) by Richelle Mead. I am almost done with Vampire Academy and I love this world so….I’m a read it someday.
  6. The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1) by Jessica Sorensen. This is one of my auto click authors, although I haven’t read anything from her in a while. I own this book.
  7. Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo. So many people have recommended this series!
  8. Slammed (Slammed #1) by Colleen Hoover. I own this book and need to just start it.
  9. A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas. If I had a nickel for every time Caitlin asked me if I read this yet…..LOL. I really do need to check this one out.
  10. See No Evil (Brotherhood #1) by Jordan Ford. Again…Lenore. Although this cover practically calls to me.

Lenoreo’s Top Ten:

OK, so I had a hard time narrowing this down because I have a gagillion.  So I kind of picked series I’m hoping I’ll get to this year finally…mostly b/c the authors will be at events I’m planning on attending.

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  1. True North series by Sarina Bowen
  2. Royally series by Emma Chase
  3. Starcrossed series by Leisa Rayven
  4. The Summer Games series by R.S. Grey
  5. Alabama Summer series by J. Daniels
  6. Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer
  7. Fall and Rise series by Chelsea M. Cameron
  8. Rusk University series by Cora Carmack
  9. A Field Party series by Abbi Glines
  10. The Royals series by Erin Watt

So what series do you have on your TBR that you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t gotten to?  Are any of these series ones you love?

Good Boy by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Blurb:
30747137Hosting her brother’s wedding for an MVP guest list is the challenge of Jess Canning’s life. Already the family screw-up, she can’t afford to fail. And nobody (nobody!) can learn of the colossal mistake she made with the best man during a weak moment last spring. It was wrong, and there will not be a repeat. Absolutely not. Even if he is the sexiest thing on two legs.

Blake Riley sees the wedding as fate’s gift to him. Jess is the maid of honor and he’s the best man? Let the games begin. So what if he’s facing a little (fine, a lot) of resistance? He just needs to convince the stubborn blonde that he’s really a good boy with a bad rap. Luckily, every professional hockey player knows that you’ve got to make an effort if you want to score.

But Jess has more pressing issues to deal with than sexy-times with a giant man-child. Such as: Will the ceremony start on time, even though someone got grandma drunk? Does glitter ever belong at a wedding? And is it wrong to murder the best man?

Caution: May cause accidental aspiration of tea or coffee. Do not read in a public place where loud laughter is inappropriate. Contains hot but hilarious hockey players, puppy cuddling and a snarky pair of underwear.

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My Review:
4 stars — These books by Ms. Bowen and Ms. Kennedy are just endless boodles of entertainment.  And not just laugh out loud funnies, but heart too you know?  They always have an amazing balance.  And this book is non exception.

Blake is such a bizarre creature, I had no idea what I was going to find in this book.  He’s really…almost, eccentric?  He’s hilarious, but just so freaking weird too!!  He’s like this big teddy bear that you just want to hug, but that could also annoy the bejeezus out of you.  But I think the love always wins out in the end.  He was kind of a different book boy than I’m used to falling in love with, b/c he is just so…hard to define.  It’s not your normal kind of sexual intensity, you know?  Not like he’s not sexy, but he’s goofy sexy.  He’s make you laugh during the steamy moments sexy.  And that’s hella fun too.  And in spite of all his goofy qualities, he’s just such a great guy with a big heart.  I loved how sweet and considerate he was of all his friends and his family.  I loved that he really saw Jessie, and what she was going through, and always had the most thoughtful advice and observations and pick me ups waiting in his own unique Blake way.

Jessie took me a bit longer to warm up to.  It’s funny, b/c at the beginning I was worried I wasn’t going to love Jessie.  Because she really had a LOT of growing up to do, and the way she saw Blake and the way she almost…lashed out? at him because of her own insecurities hurt my heart.  I felt so protective of Blake, so I was quick to frowny face all over her actions.  But of course Ms. Bowen and Ms. Kennedy would not stand for that!  Nope, they had to make her learn and grow and change.  It’s almost like they’re good character writers or something, right?  So Jessie definitely grew on me.  I started to feel for her and the pressures she was feeling, even if I wanted to smack her for her insecurities, I still GOT it.  Sort of.  Mostly.  And I LOVED seeing her come into her own, and really start to understand her value.  It might have been nice if she could have gotten there a bit more on her own, without Blake, but I’m not going to complain too much.

I loved how well they complemented each other too.  How they both contributed to the others growth and healing.  How Blake showed her a different side of herself, and how Jessie stood up for him and took care of him.

And obviously the secondary characters were pretty sweet.  They didn’t necessarily have huge roles, but they played their parts.  From Mama Riley, to the WAGs, to Leila…actually, writing that out, my favourite secondary characters all played a role in Jessie’s growth.  But I guess Blake still had Wesmie and some of his other fellow hockey players.  I wouldn’t have minded a bit more on the support front.

Anyways, thoroughly entertained.  Can’t wait to dive into more of these Toronto hockey players stories!!

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