Review: Start Here – Trish Doller {giveaway}

Review: Start Here – Trish Doller {giveaway}Start Here by Trish Doller
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: August 13, 2019
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Two teens go on a life-changing sailing trip as they deal with the grief of losing their best friend in this heartwrenching, hopeful novel from the author of Something Like Normal and In a Perfect World.

Willa and Taylor were supposed to spend the summer after high school sailing from Ohio to Key West with their best friend, Finley. But Finley died before graduation, leaving them with a twenty-five-foot sailboat, a list of clues leading them to destinations along the way, and a friendship that’s hanging by a thread.

Now, Willa and Taylor have two months and two thousand miles to discover how life works without Finley—and to decide if their own friendship is worth saving.

From acclaimed author Trish Doller comes a poignant tale of forgiveness, grief, and the brilliant discoveries we make within ourselves when we least expect it.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

It’s safe to say I’m a Trish Doller fan girl. I don’t think she could write anything that I won’t love. My love started with Something Like Normal, her debut, and has only grown. So when I heard about Start Here I was so excited. There is something I love about a good friendship book and mixing one of my favorite authors with a favorite kind of story? YES PLEASE! And I am happy to say Trish hit it out of the park with this one.

Start Here is the story of Willa and Taylor, two girls left behind after their best friend Finley dies. The plan was always for the three of them to sail from Ohio to Key West, but when Finley dies before graduation the two remaining girls reluctantly decide to go using the 25 clues that Finley left for them. With time and a lot of distance to go, Willa and Taylor try to figure out if they have a friendship without Finley or was she the glue that held them all together.

What I personally loved about Start Here was the journey. Not the literal journey of the 2000 miles from Ohio to Key West, but the journey of Willa and Taylor. Both of these girls are just lost without the one person that made them feel like they were special like they had someone to belong to. With her death, they were both gutted and not sure how they fit in the world or with each other. Over their trip and with the help of Finley’s clues, they learn who they are, what they are made of, and how they work as a duo instead of a trio. That was what I loved the most. Watching these 2 girls figure things out and have meltdowns and fights and breakdowns was what made this book a 5 star read. It captured the essence of loss and moving forward and uncertain friendships to perfection.

Start Here is a book that you definitely need to add to your TBR. It is romance light, but friendship heavy and something everyone should read. I highly recommend going on this journey with these complicated characters.

Giveaway for one copy of Start Here by Trish Doller. US ONLY. Ends 11:59pm EST 8/19/19.

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Review: Vow of Thieves – Mary E. Pearson

Review: Vow of Thieves – Mary E. PearsonVow of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
Series: Dance of Thieves #2
Published by Henry Holt
Published: August 6, 2019
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Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in love than ever. Their new life now lies before them―the Ballengers will be outlaws no longer, Tor's Watch will be a kingdom, and the two of them will meet all challenges side by side, together at last.

But an ominous warning mars their journey back, and in their rush to return to Tor's Watch, just outside the fortress walls, they are violently attacked and torn apart―and each is thrust into their own new hell.

Unsure whether the other is alive or dead, Kazi and Jase must keep their wits among their greatest enemies and unlikeliest allies. And all the while, Death watches and waits.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Reading a book that culminates 5 years of reading is always terrifying. A lot is riding on it. Expectations are high and so are emotions. That is why I was scared to read Vow of Thieves, but I was wrong to be. It was exactly what this story needed and my favorite book by Mary Pearson.

Vow of Thieves picks up where Dance of Thieves left off. Jase and Kazi are making their way back to Jase’s home, Tor’s Watch, but things have changed. The two of them are violently attacked and everything they thought they knew is different. Instead of settling in and making the plans the made happen, they find themselves in a situation where trust means everything and deciding who to trust could mean life or death. They have vowed to do whatever it takes to protect Tor’s Watch and the people they love and they will do just that, even if it means losing everything.

Jase and Kazi are the backbone of Vow of Thieves. They make the tough choices and do the hard things and I love that about them. Everyone loves that about them. But what I want to really talk about is how Pearson creates the heart and soul of the story with her secondary characters. The Ballengers, Wren, Synové, and the characters from the Remnant Chronicles that make appearances, those are the people that add life and love and even more color to the strength of Jase and Kazi and who bring them to life and show what they are made of. It is them they fight for or with and that is what makes Mary’s books so special to me. Everyone is going to remember the main characters but is a talent that makes readers remember the secondary ones and want to know more about their stories. I mean I’m still begging for a book about 2 people in The Remnant Chronicles and I will be begging for books about people in The Dance of Thieves duology.

So, how would I describe Vow of Thieves? Amazing, fantastic, epic, Mary Pearson’s best book to date; that’s how I would describe it.  Since 2014 I have been wrapped up in this world that Pearson created, starting with The Kiss of Deception, and she finished it off perfectly with the final part of Jase and Kazi’s story. Add this to your TBR. You won’t regret it.

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Monthly TBR – August 2019 (#ARCAugust and #Reviewathon)

This is month five of my TBR list making. In March I tried categories and it was a bust. So when April rolled around I went back to something I haven’t done in a long time, a list of actual book titles. That seemed to work and I had a lot of success with it. At the beginning of each month, I create a new TBR list and  I have been reading based off those books and I’m kind of loving it.

Here is a look at how July went for me:

July was a mixed bag in terms of success. I did spend a lot of time reading Vow of Thieves because it was so good I was savoring it. I wish I had gotten through a couple more, but August is a new month.

Actually August is ARC August, hosted by the fab ladies of Read. Sleep. Repeat. They have hosted this challenge for 6 years and admittedly I was a little late to the party. Last year was my first time doing it but I plan to keep it up. My ARC pile (physical and eARCs) is a lot, to put it mildly, so this is perfect to get some of those old ARCs off my list and read them. It also is perfectly coinciding with Reviewathon, hosted by Netgalley. Timing couldn’t be better!

Now on to the August TBR list made up of all ARCs minus the New to Me option and my planned reread of Anna on my 40th birthday.

What do you do for a monthly TBR? Do you stick to a list or wing it? Are you doing ARC August or Reviewathon? Share in the comments.

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2019 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge- August Link-Up

HAPPY August, you Fabulous Readers!

I have no idea where the summer went, but we have reached August. Crazy if you ask me! If you haven’t officially signed up for the challenge, you can do so HERE. If you don’t sign-up, your entries will not count toward the giveaway and I have to disqualify you. Basically…SIGN-UP!

Monthly Link-Up and Giveaway Details:

  • Your thoughts on each book you read must be posted somewhere, like your blog, Goodreads, Amazon, YouTube, Tumblr, etc., in order for it to count towards this challenge. Ratings on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, etc. will also work.
  • Monthly link-up posts will go live the around the first day of each month so you can add your links throughout the month as your posts go up. Each linky will remain open five days into each new month to allow you some time to get all your posts linked up!
  • In order for us to tell what you’re linking to on the monthly linky, the format for the links you enter need to be as follows:
    • UPDATE POST @ your name/blog name.
    • REVIEW: [BOOK TITLE] @ your name/blog name.
    • MONTHLY RECOMMENDATION@ your name/blog name.
  • Each month we’ll choose a lucky winner from that month’s linky to win a Contemporary Romance novel of their choice (up to US$10).
  • Each link you enter in that month’s linky will count as one entry into the giveaway.
  • Challenge and Giveaways are open internationally. (As long as The Book Depository ships to your country, you are eligible for a prize.)

Monthly Recommendations: (I’m switching it up this year)

  • Each monthly link-up post will include a Contemporary Romance book I will recommend/suggest. If you read that book and review it or do some kind of creative post about it that month it will count as an entry.
  • Monthly Recommendation posts can go up anytime in the specified month. Link them up as follows: MONTHLY TOPIC @ your name/blog name.
  • These posts will also earn you an entry in the monthly giveaway as long as you link back to them.

If you have any questions, please email me ( . Also, make sure you follow me on Twitter (@andiabcs) for challenge updates and reminders! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ContRom2019 to follow everyone’s challenge updates on Twitter!

This Month’s Book Recommendation:

I recently reread Emery Lord’s book, The Start of Me and You in anticipation of the sequel, The Map from Here to There, which is out January 2020, and fell in love all over again with her writing and books. Read any Emery Lord book (including an ARC of Map or the anthology she was a part of) and write a post in August about it and get bonus credit.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Photo is by Vivacious Bibliophile and was used with her permission.

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New to Me: Royally Screwed by Emma Chase

In 2018 I had the idea to have readers and friends read my favorite books from years past. I had 20+ amazing people sign up and read some of my all-time favorite books. They took the time out of their busy lives and reading schedules and read books I love and shared what they thought on my blog. It was a lot of fun and I got to see some new takes on old favorites. It actually was a fun experience. If you are interested in the reviews HERE.

This year I decided to give back in a way and asked everyone that signed up to tell me their favorite book (that I have not read) because in 2019 it is time to do NEW TO ME.


New to Me: Royally Screwed by Emma ChaseRoyally Screwed by Emma Chase
Series: Royally #1
Published by Everafter Romance
Published: October 18, 2016
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Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka His Royal Hotness, is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant; hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.

Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn't bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.

Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.

Dating a prince isn't what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.

There's a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they've traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces, and haven't chopped anyone's head off lately, the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.

But to Olivia, Nicholas is worth it.

Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is and, more importantly, who he wants to be: a King... or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.

I have had Royally Screwed of my TBR since 2016 and have owned the eBook for just as long. Honestly, I’m not sure why I didn’t read it back then. It is totally my kind of read but something held me off. Well, thanks to all you wonderful voters I was finally pushed to read it and I’m so mad at myself for waiting. Royally Screwed was so fun and entertaining and it made me want to read the rest of the series as soon as possible!

Royally Screwed is the story of Nicholas, the Crowned Prince of Wessco. Nicholas is everything stereotypical about the royal family. He is arrogant and charming, and handsome. And he is used to people bowing to him and falling at his feet. That is of course until he meets Olivia Hammond. She refuses to be charmed by his obnoxious ways. So much so she actually shoves a pie in his face. But as the two get to know each other the sparks begin to fly and suddenly Olivia is brought into the world that is Nicholas’s life. Too bad being the Crowned Prince of Wessco comes with a lot of rules and obligations and Olivia just doesn’t meet those standards. Nicholas may be worth it to her, but is she worth it to him?

Immediately when I finished I thought…that was royally fun! The book flowed naturally and didn’t feel like it was trying to be something it isn’t, like some other royal-themed books I have read. Nicholas and Olivia had OODLES of chemistry and I think that helped with the story. I also loved that Olivia had a backbone and didn’t just sit back and become a wallflower behind the Prince and his life. The friends were all a little over the top for me, but that was just a minor annoyance. all in all, it was so worth the read.

If you are looking for a fast, royal-themed book with a lot of romance and smiles, Royally Screwed is for you. Is there drama? of course, it is a romance after all, but I felt the drama added to the story instead of distracting. Get to reading. Don’t be like me and wait so many years!


And there you have it, July’s book selection for New to Me. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!



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