Briefly Romantic (4)

Briefly Romantic (4)A Love Like Yours by Robin Huber
Published by Forever Yours
Published: May 21, 2019
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three-stars

True love deserves a second chance.

I've been a fighter all my life, even before I made it my career. As a kid in the foster system, I didn't have any other choice. But I've never fought for something--for someone--as hard as I fought for Lucy. I was her protector, her hero--and she was my everything. From the day we met, she made our grim days in Atlanta's notorious Brighton Park fade away--leaving only us.

But we broke each other's hearts, and we did a damn good job of it. A decade has passed since I last saw her, but not a day goes by that I don't think of her clear blue eyes or easy smile. So when I see her at one of my matches--and find out that she's engaged--I need to understand why she turned her back on me all those years ago. Because no matter what I do, no matter how many guys I knock out in the boxing ring, I can't forget her.

So I'm not giving up on her. I'm not walking away.

I'm going to fight for Lucy one last time.

A Story Like Ours, book 2 in the Love Story duet, will release June 18, 2019.

Love Story Duet:Book 1: A Love Like YoursBook 2: A Story Like Ours

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.

Honestly, I had some issues with A Love Like Yours on a few points that made not love it like I thought I would. Don’t get me wrong, it was entertaining and a fast read, but there were just things in it that I didn’t love, Lucy being one of them. I loved Sam and how much he loved Lucy, but she just couldn’t seem to make up her mind and had such little empathy for his feelings and faith in him that it annoyed me a lot more than I wanted it to. I also found Sebastian to be a little too much most of the time. And don’t even get me started on Drew and his mother. They were taking advantage of Lucy and she was letting them and that really bothered me. Plus there was some really bad advice given. I know it sounds like I hated this book, but it didn’t. I struggled with it and that is on me. I recommend not taking my word for it and trying it yourself.

 

Briefly Romantic (4)A Story Like Ours by Robin Huber
Series: Love Story Duet #2
Published by Forever Yours
Published: June 18, 2019
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two-half-stars

Praise for Robin Huber

"If you love second-chance romances, you do not want to miss this duet that delivers all the feels.."―Frolic

"A Love Like Yours has angst, heat, conflict, tension, and heart.... Fans of Meghan Quinn and Katy Evans will enjoy."―Harlequin Junkie

"Sexy, emotional, and heartfelt. I read this second chance love story in one sitting and eagerly anticipate A Story Like Ours!"―Mia Sheridan, New York Times bestselling author, on A Love Like Yours

"A story that doesn't shy away from the complexities of tangled hearts. Achingly romantic."―K.A. Tucker, USA Today bestselling author, on A Love Like Yours

"Robin Huber is a fantastic storyteller. A Love Like Yours is a breathtakingly romantic debut."―Melanie Harlow, USA Today bestselling author

In the riveting, powerful conclusion to the Love Story duet, Sam and Lucy discover that sometimes it's not about finding love, it's about saving it.

Even when we were kids, the connection between us was overwhelming. I knew Sam and I were soulmates, destined to be together. Breaking that love would mean breaking us. And for a little while, that happened. I lost the man who had always been my other half.

After too much heartache and too many years apart, we've finally found our way back to each other. But Sam's professional boxing career is getting in the way of our happy ending. I don't know how much longer I can watch him take another crushing punch, knowing each one knocks him closer to danger. He's killing himself. For me. For us. And for one tiny other...

Then the blow comes. It's not the one I thought it would be--fist in glove--but the result is the same. We're on the verge of losing everything we fought for. Everything we sacrificed for.

We thought we paid the price. We thought we had it all.

But what if my love isn't enough to bring Sam back to me?

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 finishing A Love Like Yours (even though it wasn’t a favorite) I needed to read A Story Like Ours to find out what happened after the cliff hanger of an ending in book 1. Sadly it just didn’t work for me at all. Everything was a little too much and way over the top for my particular taste. The drama was just non stop and there was one part of the book that really had me scratching my head. I get that the author really wanted to test Lucy and Sam, but they were put through soap opera level drama and it just didn’t work for me. Once again I know people that did enjoy it so check out their reviews and decide for yourself.

Briefly Romantic (4)The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
Series: Modern Love #1
Published by Avon
Published: August 6, 2019
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four-stars

Alisha Rai returns with the first book in her sizzling new Modern Love series, in which two rival dating app creators find themselves at odds in the boardroom but in sync in the bedroom.

Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:

- Nude pics are by invitation only

- If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice

- Protect your heart

Only there aren't any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night... and disappears.

Rhi thought she'd buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won't fumble their second chance, but she's wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a 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.

I have been a fan of Alisha Rai since I read Hate to Want You so I was really excited for The Right Swipe. As someone who uses dating apps I was really into the idea of a book about one, and Rai did not disappoint. She nailed everything about this book. Rhiannon was amazing and powerful and didn’t take crap and Samson was the perfect counterpart. There push-pull was really fun and the driving force of the book. The other great thing about Rai and her storytelling is the unexpected depth that she adds to her stories and The Right Swipe was no different. I truly enjoyed all aspects of this book and Alisha’s writing. Highly recommend.

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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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