Briefly Romantic (3)

Welcome to the third installment of Briefly Romantic. Today’s books are all books from Forever Publishing.

Briefly Romantic (3)Now or Never by Victoria Denault
Published by Forever Yours
Published: January 15, 2019
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three-stars

Get ready for all the feels in this sexy, "emotionally charged" (Library Journal) romance about a bad boy hockey player who wants a second chance to win the heart of his high school crush.
All Winnie Braddock wants is a quiet place to be alone and time to heal her battered heart. But the refuge she'd hoped for in her family's summer cottage is destroyed when she gets there to find Holden Hendricks literally camped out in the driveway. He made her life hell when they were kids, and despite what he says, it doesn't look like much has changed. She doesn't care if her brother hired Holden to renovate the house this winter; she wants him gone.

You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. Holden knows that hockey saying all too well. After all, he could have gone pro if he hadn't messed up so much as a kid. But now he's desperate to prove he's changed for the better, especially to Winnie Braddock. As the two work together to fix up the cottage piece by piece, they realize that perhaps they can give each other the new beginning they've both been waiting for -- if they're just willing to take the shot.

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.

First let me say how much I love the Braddock family! They are so genuine and loving and just a really fun group. I think they are the reason this series as a whole (I still need to read book 1, OOPS) is so enjoyable. But sadly Now or Never just didn’t 100% do it for me. Don’t get me wrong, it was entertaining and a super quick read, but there was something missing. I don’t know if it was the chemistry between Winnie and Holden, the pacing, the storyline? I just know that something felt off and there was some kind of spark missing. It was a good read, but just not my favorite of the series. I do think there should be a mystery Braddock that we don’t know so I don’t have to lose this family. Just sayin. But if you are a fan of the series definitely make sure you check this one out.

 

Briefly Romantic (3)Three Little Words by Jenny Holiday
Published by Forever Romance
Published: January 29, 2019
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five-stars

Gia Gallo is officially in bridesmaid hell. Stranded in New York with her best friend's wedding dress, Gia has six days to make it to Florida in time for the ceremony. And oh-so-charming best man Bennett Buchanan has taken the last available rental car. Looks like she's in for one long road trip with the sexiest - and most irritating - Southern gentleman she's ever met...

Bennett's pretty sure that if there was ever a woman to break his "no flings" rule, Gia would be it. Sure, she's stubborn. She's also funny, smart, and the attraction between them is getting hotter with every state line they cross. While Bennett doesn't do casual, Gia doesn't do "relationships." But if they break the rules, this unlikely pair might discover that their impromptu road trip could turn out to be the best ride of their lives.

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.

I had an interesting relationship with the Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series. I adored book one and enjoyed book 2 a little less book one. I wasn’t really sure how I would feel about Gia’s story as I didn’t think I really knew her as much as I knew the other two. Instead I got my FAVORITE of the series. I loved, loved, loved this book. Gia and Bennett had off the charts chemistry and I found myself desperate for more words. There was showing so natural about their pairing. Two people that seemed to be 100% opposites just clicked. Did they both frustrate me at times? Absolutely, but only in the way that a perfectly told romance can. This was just the perfect end to this amazing series about friendship and finding love.

Briefly Romantic (3)The Fearless King by Katee Robert
Published by Forever
Published: February 5, 2019
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four-stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Undercover Attraction comes a sexy convenience romance between the heir to a Texas oil company and the rugged, dangerous man who may be the only one who can help her out of deep family drama.

Ultra-wealthy and super powerful, the King family is like royalty in Texas. But their secrets can be deadly.

Fake boyfriend. Real danger.Journey King is an expert at managing the family business. But when her father returns to Houston hell-bent on making a play for the company, Journey will do anything to stop him, even if that means going to Frank Evans for help. Frank deals in information, the dirtier the better. Rugged and rock solid, he's by far her best ally - and also the most dangerous.

Frank knows better than to get tangled up with the Kings. But something about Journey's rare vulnerability drags him deep into enemy territory... and into her darkest past. Pretending to be her boyfriend may be necessary for their plan to work, but Frank soon finds helping Journey is much more than just another job - and he'll do whatever it takes to keep her safe.

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.

I have a minor obsession with the King family and a major obsession with Frank Evans. This book was totally addicting and edge of your seat. There is nothing that will hook me quicker than a fake relationship that turns real and that is exactly what Journey and Frank’s relationship is. But there is more to it than that and that is what I ended up truly loving about this book. This isn’t just a typical romance. There are some darker themes in this book, heavy things that each character deals with like abuse and the past. Between those themes and the romance this book was an amazing balance. Sure there were a few questionable moments for me, but that didn’t take away from the fact that this was an A+ reading experience. The King family is one you need to meet and Frank Evans needs to be in your life for sure! Check this series out.

Make sure you add these to your TBR!

What kind of romance books are your go tos?

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ARC August, The Round-Up

Today is the last day for ARC August and I’m really proud of my accomplishments. On a personal level my August didn’t go as planned and I didn’t have as much reading time as I thought I would. Life unfortunately got really hard in the middle of the month and reading time was a struggle. But when all is said and done I read 7 full books (8 if you count the book that is out next year that I read to help an author out that but isn’t on Goodreads) and am in the middle of Six of Crows. Not too bad if you ask me.

Here are my mini reviews for all 7 completed books:

ARC August, The Round-UpThese Things I've Done by Rebecca Phillips
Published by HarperTeen
Published: August 1, 2017
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five-stars

Before: Dara and Aubrey have been inseparable since they became best friends in sixth grade. Dara is the fearless one, Aubrey the prodigy, yet despite their differences they support each other unconditionally. However, as they begin their sophomore year of high school, cracks in their friendship begin to form, testing the bond they always thought was unbreakable.

After: It’s been fifteen months since the accident that killed Aubrey, and not a day goes by that Dara isn’t racked with guilt over her role in her best friend’s death. Now, after spending a year away from home in order to escape the constant reminders of what happened, Dara is back at her old high school to start her senior year. Dara thought the worst thing about coming home would be confronting the memories of Aubrey that relentlessly haunt her, but she soon realizes it’s not half as difficult as seeing Ethan, Aubrey’s brother, every day. Not just because he’s a walking reminder of what she did, but because the more her feelings for him change, the more she knows she’s betraying her best friend one final time.

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.

I don’t think I have the words to talk about how much I loved this book. I’m actually really mad at myself for waiting so long. I downloaded this book over 550 days ago and am ashamed of myself for taking so long. The writing was fantastic, the story was amazing, and the characters were perfect. It was the perfect storm for me. Everything that I love in a book was there. My heart broke for Dara and all the blame she put on herself for an accident. It was heartbreaking to read, but it was also beautiful to see her build herself back up and be the Dara she was before tragedy struck her. And let’s not forget how adorable Ethan was! Definitely a book everyone needs to check out. I highly recommend it!

ARC August, The Round-UpFar from the Tree by Robin Benway
Published by HarperTeen
Published: October 3, 2017
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four-stars

A contemporary novel about three adopted siblings who find each other at just the right moment.

Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—

Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.

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.

After reading Robin Benway’s book Emmy & Oliver I was so excited for her next book. Why I waited over a year to read it I have no idea. It was everything I expected from Robin. It was touching and moving and broke my heart (you will notice a theme in some of the ARC August books I read). How these three siblings were separated by something beyond their control and managed to find one another was just beautiful. They each lived very different lives, raised very differently, yet they managed to find a way to connect and support one another. I loved seeing how they supported one another even when they were dealing with stuff themselves. Honestly my only complaint was that the book wasn’t written in 1st person for each of the three main characters. But besides that another book I would definitely recommend. Be prepared to cry.

ARC August, The Round-UpWhen It's Right by Victoria Denault
Published by Forever Yours
Published: August 14, 2018
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four-stars

IT'S ALL A MATTER OF TIMINGGriffin Sullivan is handling the ultimate balancing act. Between being a single dad to an active six-year-old and the crazy demands of his job as a hockey coach, finding love is not in the cards. But when the team's goalie is rushed to the ER, he's immediately captivated by the gorgeous, sassy nurse on duty... who just happens to be the sister of one his players.

Sadie Braddock has always had a big, open heart and a bit of a wild side. But since her dad got sick, she's closed herself off to life and love. Relationships are way too complicated - and so is Griffin. He's also funny and tender and sexy as hell. How can something that feels so right come at the worst time ever? Then again, someone to lean on may be exactly what they each need - if they're only brave enough to take the risk.

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.

The Braddock family is by far one of my favorite families in fiction. I fell in love with them when I read Slammed and that love has only grown stronger after reading When It’s Right. What I love about this family is how funny and supportive they are of one another. They are going through a really hard time yet they still manage to find something to laugh about or celebrate. And watching Griffin and Sadie fall for each other was definitely something to celebrate, especially since Sadie takes on so much of the burden for her family. I laughed and even cried reading this fun hockey themed romance. This is a series I would say you need to pick up. I still need to read book 1, but 2 and 3 ae fantastic!

ARC August, The Round-UpGirl Out of Water by Laura Silverman
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Published: May 2, 2017
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three-stars

Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves?

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.

I don’t know if it was because of things going on in my personal life when I read this or if it was a mood I was in, or what, but although I enjoyed Girl Out of Water, something felt like it was missing. I loved the characters, especially the twins, but something just didn’t click with me. Don’t get me wrong, the book was enjoyable and a quick read. I didn’t struggle to pick it up, I actually wanted to read more. It just felt like something wasn’t there which disappointed me because I was really looking forward to this one. Lincoln was by far the best of all the awesome characters. He was just a good, solid, stand-up guy and exactly what Anise needed when she was kind of lost. All in all I enjoyed this one. Not a favorite, but still a really well done book. You should check it out.

ARC August, The Round-UpGoodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
Published by Crown Books for Young Readers
Published: March 7, 2017
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four-stars

What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?

One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.

The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.

Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a Goodbye Day with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend.

Soon the other families are asking for a Goodbye Day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these Goodbye Days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or—even worse—prison?

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.

This was my first time reading a Jeff Zentner book and it won’t be my last. Goodbye Days was a super powerful book. It was an emotional journey of guilt and grief and loss and how to move on with life after a tragedy. Carver broke my heart for about 99% of the book. He was just wracked with so much guilt and couldn’t see a way about of it. On top of that he had no friends anymore and was under a constant microscope at school or home. He was slowly drowning and it was heartbreaking. But it was also uplifting to see him slowly dig himself out of the dark hole he had made for himself. It really was an excellent story and one I’m so happy to have read.

ARC August, The Round-UpThe Leading Edge of Now by Marci Lyn Curtis
Published by Kids Can Press
Published: September 4, 2018
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four-stars

Just when Grace is beginning to get used to being an orphan, her estranged uncle suddenly comes forward to claim her. That might have been okay if he'd spoken to her even once since her father died. Or if moving in with Uncle Rusty didn't mean returning to New Harbor.

Grace once spent the best summers of her life in New Harbor. Now the place just reminds her of all she's lost: her best friend, her boyfriend and any memory of the night that changed her forever.

People say the truth will set you free, but Grace isn't sure about that. Once she starts looking for it, the truth about that night is hard to find --- and what happens when her healing hurts the people she cares about the most?

When a friend asked if I wanted to take part in a book tour for this book I said sure. It sounded like a good book and I had been meaning to read the author. I really had no idea how the book would be, but I can happily report it was really fantastic. It had everything I love in a good realistic contemporary book. My heart really felt for Grace and everything that she had been through over a two year period. How alone and confused she must have felt and how her world unraveled  shortly after the worst night of her life. It was hard to see her go through all the things she went through and finding out things she thought were true for so long might not have been. But I loved everything about Grace and how strong she was. My only complaint was I thought there were too many smaller stories building on the outskirt that weren’t important and were a little distracting. But besides that, this book was truly amazing and a must read for any YA contemporary lover.

ARC August, The Round-UpWait for Me by Caroline Leech
Published by HarperTeen
Published: January 31, 2017
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three-stars

The perfect blend of sweet romance and historical flavor, Wait for Me, from debut author Caroline Leech, brings a fresh new voice to a much-loved genre.

It’s 1945, and Lorna Anderson’s life on her father’s farm in Scotland consists of endless chores and rationing, knitting Red Cross scarves, and praying for an Allied victory. So when Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, is assigned as the new farmhand, Lorna is appalled. How can she possibly work alongside the enemy when her own brothers are risking their lives for their country?

But as Lorna reluctantly spends time with Paul, she feels herself changing. The more she learns about him—from his time in the war to his life back home in Germany—the more she sees the boy behind the soldier. Soon Lorna is battling her own warring heart. Loving Paul could mean losing her family and the life she’s always known. With tensions rising all around them, Lorna must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice before the end of the war determines their fate.

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.

I think my hopes were too high for this one. After waiting about 2 years to read it I think I expected something it wasn’t and I ended up disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it was good enough, but I was bored a lot of the time reading it but that could be on me. I think I was excited thinking I would get Summer of my German Solider (which I LOVED when I read it many, many years ago) but I didn’t feel the same love in Wait for Me. It did have its good moments for sure. There were parts I didn’t want to end because they were great, but there were just too many slow moments for my liking. All in all it wasn’t a terrible book, but not one I would reach for again. I do think you should check it out for yourself. Maybe if your expectations aren’t so high it will be a hit for you.

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So far Six of Crows is great! I know I won’t finish it today, but just wanted to mention that I’m loving it. I also did pretty okay on my Bingo card and got two bingos. (I counted Six of Crows as the start of a series and I considered I made my goal because I think I did well for the month I had:

How did you do in ARC August? Huge shout out to Read. Sleep. Repeat for hosting!

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Briefly Romantic (1)

I have been a fan of romance books for a long time, but I never got into the habit of reviewing them unless it was for a blog tour. To be honest I always found it hard to review a romance book. The set up is the same 95% of the time so there really isn’t much to talk about besides characters and the love of the story, which can be quite short. Well that brings me to this. Welcome to my new review feature, Briefly Romantic.

This post is dedicated to the publisher Forever

Briefly Romantic (1)One and Only by Jenny Holiday
Published by Forever
Published: February 27th 2018
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four-stars

In this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, USA Today bestselling author Jenny Holiday proves that when opposites attract, sparks fly.

Miss Responsibility meets Mr. Reckless
With her bridezilla friend on a DIY project rampage, bridesmaid Jane Denning will do anything to escape - even if it means babysitting the groom's troublemaker brother before the wedding. It should be a piece of cake, except the "cake" is a sarcastic former soldier who is 100% wicked hotness and absolutely off-limits.

Cameron MacKinnon is ready to let loose after returning from his deployment. But first he'll have to sweet talk the ultra-responsible Jane into taking a walk on the wild side. Turns out, riling her up is the best time he's had in years. But what happens when the fun and games start to turn into something real?

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.

One and Only was such a fun book. It had the typical plot, good girl with the reckless guy, but it felt anything but typical. It felt new and fresh. Jane and Cameron were anything but the stereotypes they were place in if you got to know them. And quite honestly they brought out the best in each other, kind of the ying to each others yang. They also had some of the best banter! They played off ea ch other nicely and were able to just be themselves when they were together without having to worry about the preconceived notions others had of them. All in all this was a fantastic start to a new series. I personally can’t wait to see what the next bridesmaid will be up to!

 

Briefly Romantic (1)Slammed by Victoria Denault
Published by Forever
Published: December 5th 2017
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four-stars

Not every goalie plays it safe...
As a publicist for the San Francisco Thunder hockey team, Dixie Braddock is too busy rescuing the players from trouble to get into any of her own. Except, of course, when it comes to the super hot new goalie. Because when a guy's kiss curls your toes and sets your heart on fire, how the hell do you just walk away? But if anyone ever catches them together, she'll lose her job faster than any slapshot.Eli Casco is on the brink of having everything he ever wanted. He's finally been called up from the minor leagues to play on a championship team. And he just had the most mind-blowing night with the woman of his dreams. But now that he's an official Thunder player, Dixie is determined to keep her distance. None of the fame and fortune means anything to him without her to share it. If he truly wants Dixie in his life, it's time to throw down his gloves and put everything on the line.


The San Francisco Thunder series:

Score

It was strongly suggested I read Slammed, so I went against my policy of starting a series from the beginning and picked this one up. I’m so happy that I did. It was a really fun book. Eli and Dixie had the most amazing chemistry from the beginning to the end and I didn’t get that romance reading anxiety from the break-up that almost always comes. Because of how the story was written I wasn’t anxious for the dreaded moment and I really appreciated that. As a fan of hockey romances (I read a lot of them), this was definitely up there as a favorite and I’m grateful I broken my rule. After meeting Eli and Dixie I will happily go back and read book one.

Briefly Romantic (1)The Last King by Katee Robert
Published by Forever
Published: April 3rd 2018
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four-stars

Ultra wealthy and super powerful, the King family is like royalty in Texas. But who will keep the throne? New York Times bestselling author Katee Robert introduces a red-hot new series.

THE MAN SHE HATES TO LOVE

Beckett King just inherited his father's fortune, his company-and all his enemies. If he's going to stay on top, he needs someone he can trust beside him. And though they've been rivals for years, there's no one he trusts more than Samara Mallick.

The rebel. That's how Samara has always thought of Beckett. And he's absolutely living up to his unpredictable ways when he strides into her office and asks for help. She can't help wondering if it's a legit request or just a ploy to get her into bed. Not that she'd mind either one. After all, she likes to live on the edge too.

But soon the threats to the King empire are mounting, and the two find family secrets darker than they ever imagined and dangerous enough to get them both killed.

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.

The Last King is proof why you can’t always give up on an author. While I tried to read Katee Roberts before and it ended with a DNF, this one was fantastic! I loved the romance and the thriller involved in it. Beckett and Samara had the greatest push/pull relationship. When they let their guard down with one another the sparks really flew and the chemistry was off the charts. They were smart in understanding what a relationship between them would look like, but they were also unable to stay away from one another. And the thriller aspect was just enough to not feel over the top even with a few of the twists that happened. The end felt a tad off and rushed, but other than that everything about this wooed me. I can’t wait for book 2!

Make sure you have all three of these on your TBR!

What kind of romance books do you love? Share in the comments!

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