20.5.18

Sunday Post/Stacking the Shelves: Rainy Weather, Morning TV, and Binge Reading





Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and focuses on new books that were received/bought/borrowed this week while the Sunday Post is hosted by the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and focuses on recapping your week. 

New Books: 

For Review: 


Always Forever Maybe by Anica Mrose Rissi
The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager 
Eagle & Crane by Suzanne Rindell 
The Banker's Wife by Christina Alger 

Much thanks goes to Penguin, First to Read, HarperTeen & The Fantastic Flying Book Club! 

Books Read this Week:  


Always Forever Maybe by Anica Mrose Rissi: I was hesitant to start this as the reviews I've seen have been incredibly mixed, but I ended up really liking it. It's a fast paced read, one that chronicles the many ups and downs of a sudden relationship. I thought Anica did a great job of addressing abusive relationships in this, and I LOVED the friendship between the main character and her best friend. It won't be for everyone, but I think it will definitely find its place among contemporary lovers. 

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager: SO GOOD. Everyone's been telling me for AGES how good Riley's books are, but of course, I didn't listen. I need to read Final Girls asap! 

All of This is True by Lygia Day PeƱaflor: One of my most anticipated books of the spring, and it didn't disappoint! I've seen this compared to Pretty Little Liars, and that comparison definitely rang true. It's incredibly readable - I didn't put it down once - and there's such a deliciously dramatic tone to it. While I could see the big twist coming from the beginning, I didn't feel too left down by that. Lygia took this book an interesting pathway, and while I think some more could have been said, it's still a solid book. 

Fair Game by Taylor Lunsford: I can't believe how fast I tore through this book! I never expected to love it as much as I did. It's nerdy, sweet, and incredibly hot. There's also a mystery involved. 

Love Beyond Opposites (Grad Night #3) by Molly E. Lee: Just as cute as the previous Grad Night book! I also adored the epilogue. 

The Lies They Tell by Gillian French: Meh...not for me 

Out of Left Field by Kris Hui Lee: Double meh...not for me as well 

August and Everything After by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski: Not exactly what I had expected, but I still enjoyed it. I loved the setting even though it's making me crave the beach more than ever. 

The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin: This has been described as being similar to Grey's Anatomy and that is exactly what I got. Kimmery did an amazing job of diving into the many intricate details of a long-term friendship, and the ending still has me thinking...

Under a Storm-Swept Sky by Beth Anne Miller: The scenery in this book was superb! The main characters go on a hiking trip through Scotland, and if you don't get incredible wanderlust from it, I'll be shocked. It got a little shaky towards the end, as I felt that it was a tad too long, but overall a sweet and emotional romance. 

One Baby Daddy by Meghan Quinn: LOVED IT! 

What I'm Currently Reading: 


The Banker's Wife by Cristina Alger: At the very beginning of this one so not too much to say about it just yet. 

Lies by T.M. Logan: I actually started this one a while back, but I'm just now getting back into it. It started off rough, but it's slowly gaining traction. The "bad guy"  is super creepy! 

Posts You May Have Missed: 

Monday: Spotlight Tour for August and Everything After (Review & Giveaway!) 
Thursday: Review for Foolish Hearts  
Friday: Review for August and Everything After 
Saturday: Review of One Baby Daddy & Reviews for Out of Left Field, Love Between Opposites, and The Lies They Tell

Life Update: 

How I managed to read 11 books this week, I'll never know. I feel like I'm either in a read-read-read-read mood or I-CAN'T-read-anything-why-are-all-these-books-NOT-working mood. There is no in between, it's all or nothing lol 

I'm finally catching up on reviews, which is good considering how much I read this week. I'm also proud of myself for already reading 2 out of my 4 new books. Makes me feel like I have my life together. 

Other than that, it's been a relatively slow week. Some family events but that's about it. I was in a baking mood so I made chocolate chip cookies, and I have to say they were really good. Not my best, but still high up there. I've had some free time in my mornings lately so I've fallen into the morning television trap *hides face* it's so easy to get sucked in. But you know you've been watching too much of it when half of your conversations involve "well on Live with Ryan and Kelly/Ellen/GMA, they said..." lol 

Last but not least: I started a new Netflix show this week: Safe, which was created by Harlan Coban. It's not exactly what I had expected, but somehow I've managed to fly through the first four episodes on Saturday morning (I think the rainy dreary weather played a big role in it). Have any of you watched it? 

Have a great week everyone! 

19.5.18

Review Tour: One Baby Daddy by Meghan Quinn



One Baby Daddy (Dating by the Numbers, #3) by Meghan Quinn
Release Date:  May 17, 2018
Publisher: Self Published 
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: ARC provided by publicist in exchange for an honest review 
"What are you doing now that your team is out of the running for the Stanley Cup?"

Forget.
I need to forget. I need an escape.
Only one person isn't falling for my reputation as the NHL's Golden Boy; she captured my attention the minute she called me out for snooping through my best friend's house. She didn't want to hear my reason--she only wanted to playfully give me a hard time.
Adalyn is bold, sassy--and the perfect escape.
She's everywhere. In town and in my dreams, and suddenly I need to spend every waking moment with her.
And I do, making this summer the best off-season I've ever had.
But in the midst of getting lost in Adalyn, what I don't expect is to get her pregnant.
And what I definitely don't expect is having to fight for her affection.

Review:   

To be completely honest, I wasn't 100% pumped about Hayden's book. He was one of the most aloof, distant characters in Three Blind Dates, and while I knew he was getting over a certain somebody, I wondered if I would truly find a book about him all that interesting. 

The result? As per usual, my worrying was for nothing, because (surprise, surprise!) One Baby Daddy is by far my favorite book in the series. Don't get me wrong, I loved Three Blind Dates and I really enjoyed Two Wedding Crashers, but One Baby Daddy knocks both right out of the park. This book contains 3 Ss (a.k.a the "musts" in my romance reads): sweetness, a swoon factor, and sexyness. If Hayden and Adalyn's romance doesn't make you feel some kind of emotion, I'll be shocked. 

In Three Blind Dates we learned that Hayden had his heart broken prior to his arrival in LA; however, much of the details remained a secret. Luckily, One Baby Daddy not only shows Hayden and Adalyn's romance from the very start but also those moments in LA. 

I LOVED the way in which Meghan set this book up. It was so much fun to see Hayden and Adalyn fall in love. From the moment they run into each other in Racer's kitchen, I knew that they were going to become a favorite couple of mine. There was so much chemistry, so much sass (from Adalyn in particular!), so much oomph! I was hooked. 

It also didn't hurt that I adored Hayden and Adalyn to pieces. 

As it turns out, Hayden has quite the personality when he's not down in the dumps. He's sweet as well as sassy. He can dole the trash talking out just as well as he can take it. He's an amazing friend - his friendships with Racer and Calder brought so many smiles to my face, I couldn't get enough of them- as well as an amazing son - the story about his mother's cooking lessons? SO ADORABLE! - and as Adalyn finds out, he's an amazing boyfriend. Honestly, he may just be my favorite hero of the year, and that's a big honor considering how many romance books I read. 

Like Hayden, Adalyn can be sassy when she wants to be (a.k.a all the times she's with Hayden), and she's also fearless as well as fierce. As she shows in the book, she can stand on her own just fine, no matter the situation. I had so much respect for her, and it also didn't hurt that I found her personality to be hilarious. 

Just like Three Blind Dates and Two Wedding Crashers, the romance in this is HOT, HOT, HOT. I loved/hated the slow burn aspect to it, because while I loved the build-up, there were so many times I was internally screaming, Just kiss already!! Hayden and Adalyn's banter was also a highlight. They both knew how to dole out the trash talking at just the perfect/worst moment. I laughed out loud several times, especially during the dinner scene in New York. Besides the romance aspect, Meghan included storylines about their families, careers, and friends. I enjoyed being exposed to so many aspects of their lives, and I especially liked that they experienced the same ups and downs that any twenty something is facing (hectic work schedules, sudden career changes, family pressure, etc.) It made the book more realistic and heartwarming in my opinion. 

Overall, One Baby Daddy is by far my favorite book in the series. I can't tell y'all how much I didn't want it to end. The last 10 percent of this book crept up on me so fast! I kept thinking, how can that it be ending so soon?! 

If you've loved the previous books in the series, you're sure to love this one, and if you haven't read the previous books in the series but love a good slow burn romance, give it a try. These books stand alone quite well.

5 stars!! 

About the Author:

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!


1 Gem & 2 Duds: Out of Left Field, The Lies They Tell, Love Beyond Opposites



Out of Left Field by Kris Hui Lee
Release Date: May 1st, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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There’s no playing it safe in love or baseball in this sparkling debut, perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Kasie West.

Marnie has never had a hard time fitting in with the guys. It would take a lot more than their goofy antics to keep her from joining them at the neighborhood sandlot to do what she loves best: play ball.

An added perk of hanging out at the sandlot? Spending time with Cody Kinski, their high school’s star pitcher and Marnie’s best friend. Sure, he can be stubborn and annoying. He also knows how to make her laugh and respects her skills on the mound. And when he gets nailed in the arm by a bone-fracturing pitch, Marnie becomes the team’s best chance at making it to the playoffs. Except no one told the guys they’re supposed to be on her side.

With her own team against her, Marnie begins questioning her abilities. And when fate throws her a curveball, can she play without losing the game, Cody, and her belief in herself?

Review:

When a book is said to be perfect for fans of Morgan Matson, I instantly add it to my TBR. It also didn't hurt here that Out of Left Field was giving me Dairy Queen vibes. I had high hopes, and I couldn't wait to dive in! 

The result? Out of Left Field left me feeling underwhelmed. I didn't love it nor did I hate it; instead, I felt indifferent. 

The premise is what originally hooked me. It screamed girl power, and while I've never been particularly good at sports, I still enjoy reading about them, especially when some romance is thrown in. However, the execution here wasn't the greatest. In some ways, I felt that Out of Left Field had no real plot; instead, it was felt like a compilation of a week of baseball games and practices with a teensy bit of romance and family drama thrown in. Even at the "big" moment, I wasn't exactly glued to my seat. It felt so incredibly anticlimactic. I felt that I should be pumped, eager to see the end result, but I just couldn't get myself to that level. 

Additionally, the characters weren't well developed. I didn't truly care all that much about any of them, and not because they had horrific personalities, but because they had almost no personality. The one that had the most development was Marnie, but even then I felt that it didn't dig much deeper than establishing that she had a bossy, determined personality. It was also hard to root for the characters when I felt that I knew almost nothing about them. Sure, some dramatic reveals were thrown in about Marnie's friends and family, but it was never dug deeper than that.  

Overall, Out of Left Field was not the book for me. I wanted to love it, but the plot and characters held me back. I think diehard fans of softball/baseball may enjoy it - there is a lot about the sport included - but if you're looking for a sports related romance, I would suggest Miranda Kenneally's Hundred Oaks series or Catherine Gilbert Murdock's Dairy Queen instead. 

1.5 stars 


The Lies They Tell by Gillian French
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Source: ARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review 
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Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indiebound | BAM | Indigo
With shades of E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars, this dark and twisted mystery by the highly acclaimed author of Grit will be the page-turner of the year.

Everyone in Tenney’s Harbor knows about the Garrison tragedy. How an unexplained fire ravaged their house, killing four of the five family members. But what people don’t know is who did it. All fingers point at Pearl Haskins’ father, who was the caretaker of the property, but Pearl just doesn’t believe it. Leave it to a town of rich people to blame “the help.”

With her disgraced father now trying to find work in between booze benders, Pearl’s future doesn’t hold much more than waiting tables at the local country club, where the wealthy come to flaunt their money and spread their gossip. This year, Tristan, the last surviving Garrison, and his group of affluent and arrogant friends have made a point of sitting in Pearl’s section. Though she’s repulsed by most of them, Tristan’s quiet sadness and somber demeanor have her rethinking her judgments.

Befriending the boys could mean getting closer to the truth, clearing her father’s name, and giving Tristan the closure he seems to be searching for. But it could also trap Pearl in a sinister web of secrets, lies, and betrayals that would leave no life unchanged…if it doesn’t take hers first.

Review: 

I was so incredibly excited for The Lies They Tell. I love mysteries, and while this book was not getting the best reviews, I still held out hope. Now that I've finished the book, however, I feel that I should have listened to the reviews, as The Lies They Tell unfortunately was not the book for me. 

The Lies They Tell falls into the 'meh' category.  I didn't love it nor did I hate it; instead, it was just kind of there. I had no problem finishing it, as I wanted to know how it ended, but at the same time, I never became hooked or felt a wave of emotions. 

The Lies They Tell focuses on Pearl, a recent high school graduate who has spent summers catering to the needs of her town's elite. There wasn't much to Pearl. She wasn't incredibly interesting, and I never felt that she was the strongest character. I didn't like how she was so willing to throw her true friendships aside, and I also felt that she was incredibly indecisive. Sometimes I felt as if she was aiming to prove Tristan was the culprit while other times I felt as if she wanted nothing more than to shield him from the world. She brought that level of indecisiveness to all her relationships, particularly with the boys. Tristan, Reese, and Bridges...they all seemed to blend together. I was never fully behind her relationship with Bridges - they was never a true connection there - and her unrequited love with Reese became too much over time. There were so many times that everything with Reese could have been solved with a simple conversation, but Pearl was never willing to take it to that level. I also didn't like how she was so quick to throw him to the side...

The synopsis stresses a twisted mystery, but it took a long time to get to that mystery, and even then it wasn't the most gripping one out there. I could see the culprit coming from miles away. I wanted more suspense, more sleuthing, more clues. I liked the times at which she teamed up with Reese to look for clues, but those times were slim. Instead of focusing the mystery, The Lies They Tell focused on the divide between the rich and the poor of the town. In some ways, I liked that topic - it was interesting to see how the town's people interacted, how their was such a great divide - but at the same time, I never felt that Gillian could have taken it further. There were so many more things that could have been said regarding the video, the jobs, etc. 

In all, The Lies They Tell never managed to truly 'wow' me due to a variety of reasons. Fans of slower paced reads may enjoy it, however, if you're looking for a fast paced mystery, this won't be the book for you. 


1.5 stars 

Love Beyond Opposites (Grad Night, #3) by Molly E. Lee 
Release Date: May 7, 2018 
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush 
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary 
Source: ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review 
Add to Goodreads! 
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If high school has taught mathlete Jade Aaron anything, it's that nerds never get the guy.

So when rock star Lennon Pryor starts pursuing her, It's not rocket science. This doesn't add up.

I mean, sure, he's hot.

And charming.

And a god on the guitar...

But he's also the world's biggest player. Being with him would be a bigger mistake than 2+2=5.

Until graduation night, when a reckless moment leads to a reckless kiss. And now Jade's falling for the one guy destined to break her heart.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains one epic party, complete with every high-schoolers-gone-bad shenanigan, and two opposites with nothing in common and nothing to lose...except their hearts.

Each book in the Grad Night series is STANDALONE:
* Love in the Friend Zone
* Love Between Enemies
* Love Beyond Opposites


Review:  

Earlier this year I read Love Between Enemies, the second book in the Grad Night series, and I became hooked. I loved the characters, the excitement of grad night, and, most importantly, the romance!  

In Love Between Enemies, Jade and Lennon were spotted occasionally in the background, and it was easy to tell that there was something brewing between them. Good or bad, I didn't know, but one thing was for sure, I couldn't wait to find out! 

Love Beyond Opposites alternates between Jade and Lennon's perspectives, and just like Love Between Enemies, I loved seeing from both viewpoints. On the surface, Jade and Lennon couldn't be any more different. Jade's always been a quiet, sweet girl, focusing on her grades and actives rather than having the typical high school experience. Lennon, on the other hand, is a rising rock star. He's set to go on tour this summer, and he can't wait - the road is where he's meant to be. I adored Jade and Lennon for a variety of reasons. For instance, I completely related to Jade's love of math, and I also admired how determined she was to break lose, of her family, of the world's expectations for her future, etc. She was her own person for sure. Lennon wasn't the typical rock star. He was swoony of course, but he also had this level of sweetness to him, especially when it came to Jade. Like Jade, Lennon is rebelling against what his parents think are best for him - college rather than touring - and I gave him mad props. Lennon knew what he wanted to do, and he wasn't letting anything get in the way of his dream. 

The one thing I love about this series is how developed the romances become considering such a short timeline - 24 hours essentially. In Love Beyond Opposites, we have a case of long-term crushing. Both Lennon and Jade have been crushing on one another from afar, but they don't believe they're right for each other until they're thrown together for a night of adventure. I enjoyed seeing Jade and Lennon become more comfortable with each other. They had such a great banter develop, and I also admired how willing they were to stand up for the other. While there was some drama near the end, it added some suspense to the book. 

Overall, Love Beyond Opposites is just as sweet as the previous book. I'm sad to see this series come to an end; however, I couldn't be happier with how Molly ended it - that epilogue was perfect! 

3 stars!! 
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