Review: The Friend Zone – Abby Jimenez

Review: The Friend Zone – Abby JimenezThe Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez
Published by Forever
Published: June 11, 2019
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four-stars

Fall in love with this hilarious and heartwarming romantic comedy that USA Today bestselling author LJ Shen calls "an absolute treat."
SheReads' "Most Anticipated Romance Books of 2019"

Kristen Petersen doesn't do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don't get her. She's also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.

Planning her best friend's wedding is bittersweet for Kristen -- especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He's funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he'd be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it's harder and harder to keep him at arm's length.

The Friend Zone will have you laughing one moment and grabbing for tissues the next as it tackles the realities of infertility and loss with wit, heart, and a lot of sass.


"Harnessing sass, heartfelt struggle, and unapologetic sexuality, Jimenez's debut is as hysterical as it is tear-jerking....Jimenez manages to fulfill all expectations for a romantic comedy while refusing to sacrifice nuance. Biting wit and laugh-out-loud moments take priority, but the novel remains subtle in its sentimentality and sneaks up on the reader with unanticipated depth." --Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

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 first heard about The Friend Zone over a year ago when a friend of mine got to read the manuscript. She couldn’t tell me anything about the book (it didn’t even have a title and was still in submission) but she told me she loved it so, so much and she hoped that everyone got to read it. Fast forward to now and I can say she was 100% right. The Friend Zone was awesome. It was the perfect balance of humor and emotional heartbreak and I’m so happy I got to read it.

The Friend Zone is the story of Kristen, a strong, funny, feisty woman that is facing the fact she is about to have a procedure done that will stop her from being able to have children. Being the good friend that she is, she puts aside all of that to help her best friend plan her wedding. Which means she will be working side by side with Josh, the best man. As Josh and Kristen get closer it becomes harder and harder for them to stay in the friend zone. The problem is, Josh wants kids and Kristen won’t be able to have them.

What I loved about this story, besides Josh and Kristen, was the fact that the author stared what it is like to be a woman right in the face. She didn’t shy away from the problems women can have when it comes to reproductive issues and how that can make a woman feel. Jimenez was raw, and truthful in her storytelling but also added so much humor into the mix it was a nice balance. There was one part, okay, more than one part, that shredded my emotions and I 100% didn’t see it coming, but again it felt like real life because the unexpected can and will happen.

In the end, The Friend Zone was everything I was hoping for in a book. It hit all the notes I wanted it to and more. I definitely recommend picking this one up.

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Review: Meet Cute – Helena Hunting

Review: Meet Cute – Helena HuntingMeet Cute by Helena Hunting
Published by Forever
Published: April 9, 2019
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four-stars

Talk about an embarrassing introduction. On her first day of law school, Kailyn ran - quite literally - into the actor she crushed on as a teenager, ending with him sprawled on top of her. Mortified to discover the Daxton Hughes was also a student in her class, her embarrassment over their meet-cute quickly turned into a friendship she never expected. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming either...

Now, eight years later, Dax is in her office asking for legal advice. Despite her anger, Kailyn can't help feeling sorry for the devastated man who just became sole guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister. But when her boss gets wind of Kailyn's new celebrity client, there's even more at stake than Dax's custody issues: if she gets Dax to work at their firm, she'll be promoted to partner.

The more time Kailyn spends with Dax and his sister, the more she starts to feel like a family, and the more she realizes the chemistry they had all those years ago is as fresh as ever. But will they be able to forgive the mistakes of the past, or will one betrayal lead to another?

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 only read a few books by Helena Hunting. I never really found my connection with her until I read The Good Luck Charm. I really enjoyed that one more than the first book I read by her. Because of my success reading The Good Luck Charm I was interested in reading Meet Cute and seeing if that one would be a hit as well. I’m happy to say that Meet Cute was not only a hit with me, but it is also my current favorite book by this author.

Meet Cute is a fun rom-com(ish) book about Kailyn and Daxton. Kailyn is just starting law school when she meets Daxton, a former TV heartthrob (and crush), who is also a law school student. After their awkward meeting, they become friendly rivals. That is until something happens and Kailyn wants nothing to do with him. Now years later they meet again with Daxton needs Kailyn’s help with a family matter. Soon the banter is back and old feelings are once again sparked. Only this time it is Kailyn that may be pulling the wool over Dax’s eyes when he needs her the most.

The thing about Meet Cute is once I started it, I had to finish it that day. To me, it was one of those books that it was so easy to fall into, to be invested in these characters and their lives and stories. Both Dax and Kailyn were such complex characters with great background stories that sucked me in. Plus I loved their chemistry, not to mention Dax’s sister Emme. Everything just clicked and worked even with some heavier subject matter for a romance. I do admit everything could have been easier if they just talked, but there also wouldn’t have been a book if they did so there is that.

All in all, Meet Cute is what I call a fun book! Sure the subject matter was heavier but the personalities of the two main characters and Emme made it an easier pill to swallow. Plus you can’t go wrong with a book you can read in a day. Kudos to you Helena Hunting. Curious to see what you have for us next.

 

 

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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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Briefly Romantic (2)

Today for Briefly Romantic I’m reviewing a cowboy romance, a radio jockey romance and a hockey romance. Nothing like a variety of professions to bring on the romance.

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Briefly Romantic (2)Big Bad Cowboy by Carly Bloom
Published by Forever
Published: October 30, 2018
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three-half-stars

In the New York Times tradition of Lori Wilde and Carolyn Brown comes the first book in a new western romance series from Forever debut author Carly Bloom about a no-strings cowboy fling with a fairy tale twist.

Who's afraid of the big, bad cowboy?

After one too many heartbreaks, Travis Blake hung up his cowboy hat and put Big Verde, Texas, behind him. But when he gets the call that his young nephew needs him, he knows he has to return home. His plan is to sell the family ranch and hightail it back to Austin, but there's a small problem: the one person who stands in his way is the one person he can't resist.

Maggie is pretty sure she hates Travis Blake. He's irritating, he's destroying her business, and . . . and he's just so frickin' attractive. But when they're forced to work together, Maggie discovers that the Most Annoying Man in the World is more than he seems. He's sweet with his nephew, he helps out in the community, and he makes her heart flutter. Maggie doesn't want to risk everything on a man who wants to leave, but what if she can convince this wayward cowboy to stay?

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.

 

Big Bad Cowboy is 100% a mix of fairytale magic and You’ve Got Mail all in one little book package. It was a really fun story but a tad heavier in the serious aspect than some of the other romance books I have read in the past. Travis and Maggie had fantastic chemistry and I loved little Henry. He was a nice addition of comic relief a lot of the time. I also enjoyed the core group of supporting characters. If I had to complain about a thing or two I would have to say the pacing at the end was a little abrupt and I wish that Travis and Maggie fought a little more than they did because I love a good love/hate kind of story. All in all I enjoyed myself reading it and got wrapped up in parts (I almost missed my train stop). I recommend picking this up for a fun, quick read.

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Briefly Romantic (2)Tell Me Something Good by Jamie Wesley
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Published: August 11, 2014
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three-stars

Two radio show hosts. One show. Who will come out on top? In a moment of restlessness, Tate Grayson sold his multimillion-dollar company and spun his love of sports into a radio talk show. Life, and love, is too short to take seriously-a fact he enjoys rubbing in uptight radio host Noelle Butler's face. After the death of her parents, a tragedy she blamed on herself, Noelle vowed to live a controlled, focused life. Now a psychologist, she channels her need for connection into her radio show. But when the arrogant sportscaster next door tells listeners men shouldn't get married, she's all too happy to yank the silver spoon out of his overprivileged mouth. Their heated on-air arguments are a hit, but when the station director forces them to do a joint show for two weeks, Tate and Noelle object. They can't stand each other, despite the attraction sizzling beneath every interaction. But if they can't pull the struggling radio station back from the brink, they'll lose their jobs. Or worse, their hearts.

Tell Me Something Good was a fun story and a very quick read. It played up the enemy to love troupe very well and the banter and flirting between Noelle and Tate was spot on. I would say I enjoyed myself for about 80% of the book and then every cliché imaginable seemed to creep into the book and it pulled me out of the story a little and made me just want to get to the end. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t terrible and I certainly didn’t hate it, I just thought it had so much more potential. In the end I would say though to get it if you aren’t in the mood for anything too serious and something you can read in a day or even a few hours if you have the time.

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Briefly Romantic (2)The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting
Published by Forever
Published: August 7, 2018
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four-stars

Experience the hilarity and heartache of first love and second chances in a sexy new romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series.

Lilah isn't sure what hurt worse: the day Ethan left her to focus on his hockey career or the day he came back eight years later. He might think they can pick up just where they left off, but she's no longer that same girl and never wants to be again.

Ethan wants his glory days back. And that includes having Lilah by his side. With her, he was magic. They were magic. All he has to do is make her see that.

Just when Lilah might finally be ready to let Ethan in, though, she finds out their reunion might have nothing to do with love and everything to do with improving his game. But Ethan's already lost her once, and even if it costs him his career, he'll do anything to keep from losing her again.

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 Good Luck Charm was a really fun second chance romance story that surrounded around my other romance love, hockey. I swooned a lot reading this one and found Ethan and Lilah to have great chemistry. Honestly I wanted a whole book dedicated to their backstory when I was done. There was a minor part at the end that I wasn’t crazy about, but all in all it was a sexy, light, romance read. If you love sports romances mixed with second chance romance, this book is for you!

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Do you have a current favorite romance? Share in the comments!

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On My Radar – The Last King by Katee Robert (16) {+ a giveaway}

On My Radar – The Last King by Katee Robert (16) {+ a giveaway}The Last King (The Kings, #1) by Katee Robert
Published by Forever
Published: April 3, 2018
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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.

Back at the end of January I came across a book on Netgalley that seems like it would be a fun read. I was a little leery because I had tried a different book by the same author and it wasn’t for me. But I downloaded it anyway and I was so happy I did. I ended up totally enjoying The Last King. So much in fact I made a fool of myself and went up to the author to tell her how much I enjoyed the book when I was at ApollyCon back in March.

It’s hard to pinpoint what I loved the most about this story. It could have been the romance (I seriously loved Beckett and Samara. They had amazing chemistry) or the thriller aspect. Whatever it was it all worked really well for me and I found myself pretty captivated by the whole book in general. They was just something that clicked for me and now I want it to click for you as well.

The publisher has kindly offered to allow me to give out two copies of The Last King by Katee Robert. This giveaway is opened to the US and Canada and will be shipped by the publisher so your address will be shared with them. Giveaway will go until May 6, 2018 at 11:59pm EST.

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