Her Book Boyfriend (The Awkward Duckling #1) by K.R. Grace

Her book boyfriendBlurb: She believes the secret to love is in the tropes of her favorite romance novels. He’s the best friend prepared to prove her wrong.

Then comes the bet.

If she can’t land a boyfriend for prom by recreating the ten popular tropes in her favorite romance author’s books, she has to go to the prom with her.

The glitch?

They’ve been close their entire lives. He’s the rock god and school legend, while she’s the brainy sidekick who does all his dirty breakups. Thus, finding a guy who doesn’t think they’re already an item is going to be a lot harder than she thinks.

Will she land the book boyfriend of her dreams? Or will she be forced to go to prom with her best friend?

The truth is in the pages.

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Netgalley

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5 stars

I loved this book!  Very entertaining.  It was a refreshing spin on the geek and jock romance.  Macey wasn’t meek and she wasn’t bullied.  She stood up for herself and didn’t take crap from her jock guy friend, Cam.  It seemed like a role reversal in the best way.

Cam was super sleazy when it came to girls.  A fact that was made pretty clear early on.  It didn’t bother me as much as I expected it would.  I don’t know why, maybe it was because he was such a good guy to Macey.  At any rate, I enjoyed their chemistry and easy dialogue.  Actually, I floved their dialogue.  It was fantastic.

Macey’s headstrong, smart and funny.  Cam is smart, horny and holds some things close to his chest which I realized early on.  It made him vulnerable and mysterious, two things I find attractive in a male MC.  You should really just go read the book.  I will be looking forward to more by this author.

I got this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest/unbiased opinion.

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One True Pairing (Fandom Hearts #2) by Cathy Yardley

30174469Blurb: They couldn’t be more opposite, the Hollywood actor and the hometown girl, but all they need is a little convention magic to become the perfect ship in Cathy Yardley’s One True Pairing.

Jake Reese needs a decoy girlfriend. Fast. The lead actor of the popular TV show, Mystics, is tired of losing his shirt to overeager fans. Literally. Which is why a chance meeting with gothabilly bookworm-slash-barista Hailey Frost seems almost too perfect to be true. Hailey is not impressed with his TV fame and is desperate to save her family’s bookstore. It’s a match made in Hollywood, but as the two pretend to date, fan fiction becomes reality. Can this OTP become canon?

 

 

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4 stars

First off, I LOVE the covers of her books!  Level Up had a great cover too!

I really enjoyed this cute romcom with a nerdy twist.  I mean, how could you not?  We already met these characters in Level Up and the setting for the story takes place in a book store.  That sold me right there!

Hailey is a spitfire with a fierce loyal streak.  I loved her character immediately.  Her gothabilly style was appealing and described perfectly.  You could really tell her family was important to her and she was not too proud to ask for help.

Jake was super adorable.  His genuine love of the show was written beautifully and he was very down to earth despite his fortunate circumstances.  The pocket ripping incident shone a light on the fact that sexual harassment isn’t just aimed at females.  The chemistry was scorching hot and I loved how they both tried to ignore it but just couldn’t keep their hands to themselves.  Which made for some pretty heavy fanning as I read it!

And the setting was totally up my alley.   You know you are gonna meet some great characters in a bookstore.  Even better, a fandom bookstore! I’m totally jealous of Hailey for being able to live above it.  But I’m not bitter. 😉

Highly recommend reading all her books.

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

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Imperfectly Criminal (Imperfect #2) by Mary Frame

22888717Blurb: Freya Morgan thought it was a great idea to hire the bad boy on campus to beat up her douchebag ex-boyfriend after he cheated and treated her like crap. Fast forward a few months, and nothing she’s done has helped her get over the scars left behind by her ex. Not the paid beating, not the string of sucky dates, nothing.
Dean Collins is in trouble, and it’s all Freya’s fault. After all, she started the trend of all the ladies on campus paying him to do their dirty work. But now, two of the boys he was hired to beat up are dead, and he’s the only connection.

When Freya agrees to help him find the real killer, she discovers that this bad boy isn’t so bad, after all. And getting involved with him means more than finding a killer, it means potentially losing her life…and her heart.

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Favorite Quotes: 

“Don’t you know how these things work? When there’s a mystery to be solved, it’s always the person you least suspect, not the person you hope it is.” He laughs. “This isn’t an Agatha Christie novel.” “You’re right,” I sigh and sit down on the swing next to him. “If this was an Agatha Christie novel, the writing would be way better.”

“There are plenty of reasons to go around,” I answer. “Considering his status as the Duke of Douche.” I know you shouldn’t speak ill of the dead and all that, but I’ve never understood that philosophy. An asshole who dies is still a dead asshole.

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4 stars

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Love Hacked (Knitting in the City #3) by Penny Reid

love hackedBlurb: There are three things you need to know about Sandra Fielding: 1) She makes all her first dates cry, 2) She hasn’t been kissed in over two years, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Sandra has difficulty removing her psychotherapist hat. Of her last 30 dates, 29 have ended the same way: the man sobbing uncontrollably. After one such disaster, Sandra–near desperation and maybe a little tipsy–gives in to a seemingly harmless encounter with her hot waiter, Alex. Argumentative, secretive, and hostile Alex may be the opposite of everything Sandra knows is right for her. But now, the girl who has spent all her life helping others change for the better, must find a way to cope with falling for someone who refuses to change at all.

 

 

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Favorite Quotes:

It is the burden of the optimist to live a life not knowing why others can’t see the beautiful light within themselves.

“What would I do without you girls?” “Likely eat more ice cream.” Kat patted her hair. “I hate to admit this, but I feel so lost.” I didn’t tell her, because I didn’t think it would help, but all people are lost, to varying degrees. I suspected that it’s only when we love others—through purpose, friendship, romance, or any combination thereof—that we become found.

Desire was like a good soup; it needed simmering.

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4 stars

I liked this one even though Alex was all kinds of wrong for my personal tastes. I just kept thinking that he was very creepy and his mannerisms quite frankly scared me. I would have ran in the opposite direction the very first night. But that’s the great thing about books, what seems crazy in real life is believable in a fictional world.

I love Sandra!  She was analytical just like me.  Well, she was a bit more than me but I loved the way she thought. And I totally identified with her friends view of her.  That she seemed like she had it all figured out and always had a plan.  That is so me!   And I love how held back she was with regards to starting a relationship with Alex. 

While Alex is not my cup of tea, I could appreciate his character all the same.  He had such passion that seemed to temper his possessive mannerisms.  Even though he was a bit selfish in some areas he clearly put Sandra’s welfare above his own personal wants.  Which in the end, made me like him.  Just…like…platonically.  🙂 

The love story was awesome but I gotta say I STILL have no idea what the plot was with regards to bitcoins.  WTF is a bitcoin? That was all a bit too abstract for me to interpret. The cool thing was that Sandra felt the same way so I didn’t feel like a complete idiot reading about it.  

A solid book in the series and exactly what I’d expect for PR.  

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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.

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Friends Without Benefits (Knitting in the City #2) by Penny Reid

Freinds without benefitsBlurb: There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Finney: 1) She suffers from severe sarcastic syndrome, especially when she’s unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her like Nico Manganiello, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Elizabeth Finney is almost always right about everything: the musical merits of boy bands are undervalued by society, “benefits” with human Ken dolls are better without friendship, and the sun has set on her once-in-a-lifetime chance for true love. But when Elizabeth’s plans for benefits without friendship are disarmed by the irritatingly charismatic and chauvinistic Nico Manganiello- her former nemesis- she finds herself struggling to maintain the electric fence around her heart while avoiding electrocution or, worse, falling in love.

 

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3 stars

I was let down by this one I’m afraid.  I found Elizabeth contradictory, stubborn, and emotionally stunted.  And not in a charming, witty, sarcastic way.  She claimed to be super honest but habitually lied to herself.  It was frustrating and I got tired of it real fast.

And the male MC! Not really my kind of love interest.  I wasn’t attracted to him in the slightest so I had a hard time taking him seriously.  His past as a bully to her kept coming up and for some reason I just could’t let that go.  He played to love card too early and it came off as creepy than endearing.  Like real creepy.

Everything after that was fruit of the poisonous tree.  There were some funny parts that had me laughing like the panty party and whenever they had their knitting night.  The little girl gave it a bit more even if it felt like a gimic.

The backstory could have been a book in its own right and I would have liked to have had some flashbacks to get a better feel for Nico.  I think that might have helped me to know him on a deeper level.  Other than that, I was underwhelmed.

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Adapted for Film by Stacey Rourke

adapted-for-filmBlurb: Aubrey Evans is living every author’s dream; her sizzling romance novel is being turned into a blockbuster film. She would be celebrating this momentous event, if she wasn’t busy fighting over every tiny production detail with the maddeningly cavalier director, Kole Camden.

When news of their heated rivalry hits the gossip columns, drastic measures must be taken to save their sinking project. In an elaborate PR hoax, she is publicly linked to Greyson Meyers, the swoon-worthy star of her movie. A whirl-wind love affair is staged for the couple to mirror the steamy chapters of her own books.

Can the introverted author resist the charms of Hollywood’s sexiest leading man? Or will love find her in the City of Angels?

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5 stars

I finished this book in damn near one sitting.  It was drenched in sarcasm.  And I loved it. I’ve had this book in my queue for a while now. I don’t recall how I got it but I needed a break from my series reads and the Sci-Fi book I had been reading. (H.G. Wells is hard to read for too long) I immediately loved it.  From beginning to end this book screams wit, snark and lots of humor!

I laughed so much during this book you guys.  I could not put the damn thing down.  The pretend romance was not what I would have expected so that was fun.  It was more realistic. I mean, I remember people in high school that wore sex appeal like a second skin, which is how Greyson came off.  But I do like the fact he wasn’t a douche, which is usually the case with the sexy ones.  I honestly liked him better than the actual love interest.

The main plot was pretty predictable but the WAY it was written was what hooked me.

The only thing I found a bit off was the Camden and Aubrey’s attraction.  We could see where it was headed but we never really see ‘the moment they fall’ ya know.  Then it just skips to them being in love.  Its hard to explain without spoiling the book but that’s the best I can do.

It didn’t have any impact of my likability of the story though.  It was a quick, funny read that I could see going back too when I need a break from life.

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Imperfect Chemistry (Imperfect #1) by Mary Frame

imperfect-chemistryBlurb: Lucy London puts the word genius to shame. Having obtained her PhD in microbiology by the age of twenty, she’s amassed a wealth of knowledge, but one subject still eludes her—people. The pendulum of passions experienced by those around her both confuses and intrigues her, so when she’s offered a grant to study emotion as a pathogen, she jumps on the opportunity.

When her attempts to come up with an actual experiment quickly drop from lackluster to nonexistent, she’s given a choice: figure out how to conduct a groundbreaking study on passion, or lose both the grant and her position at the university. Put on leave until she can crack the perfect proposal, she finds there’s only one way she can study emotions—by experiencing them herself.

Enter Jensen Walker, Lucy’s neighbor and the one person on the planet she finds strangely and maddeningly appealing. Jensen’s life is the stuff of campus legend, messy, emotional, complicated—in short, the perfect starting point for Lucy’s study. When her tenaciousness wears him down and he consents to help her, sparks fly. To her surprise, Lucy finds herself battling with her own emotions, as foreign as they are intense. With the clock ticking on her deadline, Lucy must decide what’s more important: analyzing her passions…or giving in to them?

Audible button

 

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Favorite Quotes:  

Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.

“You’re totally grabbing her ass,” Freya whispers loudly. “Is that weird? Groping your ex’s ex?”

“I dropped out of school,” he says. “I’m going to go back, when I can afford it or when I can figure out how the whole student loan thing works. Until then, I’m going to live off of my art, and if that doesn’t work, I’m going to get a job. But I’m never going to give up doing what I love.” “That’s good. I’m glad.” I really am. He deserves every bit of happiness, whether I’m part of that happiness or not. He looks down at the couch, and his fingers fiddle with a bit of fabric that’s come loose on the old piece of furniture. “The thing is,” he says quietly and then clears his throat. “The thing is,” he repeats it louder. “I don’t want to do any of that.” His eyes meet mine again. “Without you.”

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5 stars

This ebook is free on Amazon!

I really liked this story.  Lucy was so fricking funny.  It almost seemed like she was deliberate in her responses but she just had no idea how to deal with people.  Her demeanor was crisp yet edgy.  She was completely obtuse when it came to her emotions, which made this book that much more awesome.  To see her thrive in academia but struggle with social settings.

I mean, emotions as a pathogen?  Think about it. A Pathogen.  Come on!  That’s funny, I don’t care who you are.

I think what really helped me to love this book was the fact that the side characters were just as deep and rich in their attitudes as the MC was.  Freya especially, was a favorite of mine.  She seemed the typical college student but she didn’t show disdain to Lucy (at least, not for long) for her lack of warmth and affection but instead realized that what she really needed was a friend.  And she was there for Lucy in a way that most people couldn’t or refused to be.  That says a lot about a persons character to commit to friendship when you really have no idea what they are saying half the time.  Haha.

Jensen was a very unexpected male lead for me. He’s creative and shy, attempting to squirm out from under his father’s thumb and expectations.  But my first impression of him came off as sexy and alpha, which he wasn’t at all!  I mean, he WAS sexy but not in that arrogant way.  It was more understated.  I loved that about him.  He had drive but lacked support and a bit of courage.  And I think that’s where Lucy helped him. They really helped each other. It was a true give and take relationship.

And the narration!  Rhiannon Engell nailed it.  Each character was easily discernible and had their own ‘voice’.  I found myself laughing at least once a chapter, her timing with the punchlines was perfect.  With the ebook being free and the audio only 1.99 to add, this book is a steal!  You should really go read it.  You’re welcome in advance!

I received a free audible code from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.

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Flirty Thirty (Nerdy Thirties Book 1) by Cassie Mae

32327970Blurb: Maya never expected to get kissed when she walked out in her ratty old hoodie (and nothing else) to get the mail. But when a shirtless god jogs down your street, grabs your face, and kisses you… you kiss that man back!

Cooper is on a mission to find the love of his life, and he’s gotten desperate. Over thirty years old with more money than he could spend in his lifetime, he’s ready to spoil and love his soul mate. After hiring the beautiful woman he kissed on the street as his realtor, he’s convinced that fate has led him to her.

Maya doesn’t buy into fate and definitely doesn’t want something serious. She’s not ready to become one of her baggy-eyed friends who all have two or more kids and one or less husband. But when Cooper challenges her to a week of living the married life, Maya dives in headfirst thinking she’s sure to prove that singlehood is really the way to go, even if she does end up falling head over heels.

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg   This is a pre-order for October 24.

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3.5 stars

I enjoyed this new adventure that CM took us on.   And the cover is super cute!

The story was a great one.  But I feel the characters could have been fleshed out a bit more, especially Maya.  I got Cooper, he was easy to peg but for a character as multi dimensional as Maya I felt that there was something missing in her development.  What? I couldn’t tell you.  I had a bit of a dilemma identifying with her, which is super weird because I am in my 30’s (late 30’s but it still counts!) and I didn’t want kids when I was younger until I meant my husband.  Both things should have made me love her since we had them in common.  But for some reason I found myself not feeling her that much.

I think she changed her mind too fast and he chased her too quickly for me.  The issue of having children didn’t seem to be taken as seriously as I thought it should have I guess. That was the main thing for me.  As someone who didn’t want kids when I was younger, let me tell you I was on every birth control I could find!  It seems odd that she wasn’t and didn’t have a back up plan in place for accidents.

Bypassing the child issue, I loved the story!  They had great chemistry and Cooper’s social awkwardness was just the most adorkable thing you have ever saw!  I loved how Maya didn’t make him feel bad about his non filter in conversations.  And how he just wanted to skip the first dates and move straight in the middle.  Which for me is one of the best parts of a relationship too.

I will definitely be reading the next one because I need to know what happens!

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Beard Science (Winston Brothers, #3) by Penny Reid

beard-scienceBlurb:  Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate.

And desperate times call for Cletus Winston.

Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So… what’s a maniacal mastermind to do?

Likely, the last thing you expect.

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3 Stars (or 2.5 I’m still debating)

I don’t know what I think about this book. The ending seem disjointed from the beginning. I felt the transitioning from blackmailer to friend to love interest was a bit off. And it went downhill from there. I felt like I was reading two different books. The beginning stayed true to the characters but the second half….It was like reading a completely different book.

Cletus came off as arrogant, conniving and manipulative peppered with a loyalty and a fierce protectiveness towards his family. He also enjoyed when others misjudged him and used it to his already considerable advantage multiple times. I liked that about him and didn’t really want him to change, I was looking forward to his growing a bit more, but not really changing. But then he did like a 180 and I fricking lost it. Now I think of him as some weakling who can’t control his urges whenever his kryptonite walks in the room. Instead of seeming confident he comes off as vulnerable and insecure. And not in a good way. It was very unattractive to me.

Really I felt this story should not have been a love story. It should have been about Jennifer, not Cletus. Or at least Cletus as a strictly platonic friend. Jennifer had the most growth and her character stayed consistent throughout the book. I loved her a lot and think Cletus is no longer good enough for her.

I will say that we got a whole lot more background on the family in general and I feel like I know the siblings better, which was a concern of mine going into the series since they seem to focus on each brother but didn’t really show the family dynamic in the first two. This book really gave me a more in depth look into their lives and I now feel I know the other brothers more. Solid character building in that aspect.

Other than that, I was a bit disappointed in this one.

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