Review: R.S. Grey’s Coldhearted Boss

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Ok y’all. I gotta be honest – I have sat with my feelings about this book for a while. I was somewhat conflicted, because I love R.S. Grey so much. But I owe it to myself (and all of y’all) to give you my honest thoughts. So here we go!

Synopsis
Taylor’s life has not gone according to plan. That’s how she finds herself considering stealing the wallet of the rich, totally hot guy that she meets at the bar. She’s buckling under the pressure of supporting her family and providing her sister the life that she never had.

So when Lockwood Construction breaks ground in their tiny town, the construction jobs they’re offering are literately too good to be true. Dressed up, pretending to be a burly construction worker – she isn’t fooling anyone. She especially isn’t fooling her boss, who turns out to be that rich, totally hot guy at the bar from before.

Tension builds. Hatred intensifies. And if it’s one thing her boss, Ethan Stone, knows, it’s that revenge is best served cold.

Review
As always, I want to start with what I loved. Taylor’s characterization was my favorite. I grew up in a very similar situation to Taylor, and my heart just went out to her. I loved how determined and driven she was. If you want a strong willed, fierce heroine – look no further than Taylor. Her character was the strongest part of this book for me. Taylor definitely makes the exclusive list of my top heroines from R.S. Grey.

I also gotta give Coldhearted Boss it’s props because this one really delivers on enemies-to-lovers and slow-burn romance. I mean this is ~SLOW~ burn (think Mariana Zapata slow-burn.) The banter was great for enemies-to-lovers, and the tension between Taylor and Ethan was amazing.

I love the forced-to-live-together trope. Forcing characters into a small space turns the tension and the heat up. These two weren’t backing down from the tension – they were leaning into it. When they finally got together…it was magic! The epilogue literately filled up my heart. From the moment they finally got together until the end, my heart was swooning.

The only downfall for me is that they were enemies for far too long. I felt like I was at the 80% mark, and they were still enemies! I wanted to see more of them emotionally connecting/learning more about each other. I loved the last 10% of the book and wish there was more to read after they got together. After I hit the 60-70% mark, I was getting impatient. Our leads still hadn’t gotten vulnerable with each other. There was still no crack in the hate/enemies facade. I live for the thawing portion of the enemies-to-lovers trope. I love seeing their hatred break down and slowly turn into love. I loved the enemies portion, but part of the fun of enemies-to-lovers is the lovers part. I needed a better balance.

Also, I wish we could have seen Taylor having some of the conversations with Ethan about her family. (I think I remember Taylor saying she told Ethan about her mom/Lonnie but it was a recap of their conversation.) We never got to see Ethan first meet her family or actually see where she came from. Some of this did happen, but it was off-screen. I just truly live for the emotional/vulnerable moments in romance, and didn’t find that as much here in Coldhearted Boss.

Overall, I enjoyed Coldhearted Boss. I went back and forth between a 3/4 star rating, and finally decided on 3 stars. If there was more time spent on the romance, this would easily be a 4/5 star read.

Regardless, RS Grey continues to deliver amazing romcoms, and she will forever be a one-click author for me. The classic RS Grey wit and heart is here. This very well may be a classic case of it’s not you, it’s me. This isn’t my favorite from RS Grey, but I’m definitely happy I read it and still recommend it. If you want to read about my top favorite RS Grey books, click here. I also have a review on RS Grey’s Make Me Bad, which was a 5 star read from me this year.

Ratings
Goodreads Rating: 4.27
My Overall Rating: 3/5
Steam: 5/5
Romance: 3/5
Friendship: 3/5

Get More Info: visit R.S. Grey’s website; sign up for the author’s newsletter; connect with the author’s Facebook group; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Twitter; find Coldhearted Boss on Amazon

Coldhearted Boss is RS Grey’s newest romantic comedy. It published on June 6, 2019, and is available for free on Kindle Unlimited as of 6/9/2019.

About the Author: Daytime pajama-wearer, USA TODAY bestselling author, & comedy lover in Texas.

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links. The author was kind enough to provide me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review: Chloe Liese’s They’re a Match

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Happy publication day to Chloe Liese’s They’re a Match, the third and final installment of the Tough Love series. They’re a Match brings the story of Zed and Nairne to a close (at least in this capacity – there will be spinoffs focusing on the other characters, so I’m sure we’ll see them again!).

Happily Ever After is more easily said than done, but no one is more deserving than Zed and Nairne who have overcome both obstacles and odds to be together. They’re a Match shows us just what “happily ever after” can look like for our favorite couple…assuming they both live long enough to see it.

You might like this book if:

  • you enjoy steamy romance novels
  • you need a little thrill/suspense in your romance
  • you love well rounded, inclusive, strong female characters
  • you enjoy dual-POV

You might not like this book if:

  • you dislike suspense/danger in your romance
  • you prefer to read standalones as opposed to series
  • you prefer single POV

Alright so to get us all up to speed – you can read my review on the first book in the series here and you can read my review on the second book here.

Now that we’re all on the same page… They’re a Match carried over all of my favorite aspects from He’s a Brute and She’s a Spitfire. Nairne, as always, packs a punch on the page. She’s the type of heroine you fall in love with. She’s a role model for all, but especially women as we navigate a modern world. Nairne lets you know it’s ok to live life on your terms, to be ambitious, to be unconventional, and to laugh in the face of stereotypes.

Zed is also a powerful character to read. He’s the embodiment of what it means to love fiercely, to be nonjudgmental, and to be selfless. Zed is truly a character who puts his love and his family above all else. He is a great alpha hero, and while he isn’t perfect, he really is the perfect match for Nairne.

They’re a Match had Liese’s signature suspense running through, but in an entirely new way. I loved the fresh story line and my stomach dropped at multiple points throughout this book. It’s a great mix of romance and suspense that kept me turning pages until the very end.

The ending was *chefs kiss.* I thought They’re a Match did an amazing job of deepening the connection between Zed and Nairne. Exploring the changes in their relationship as they prepare for parenthood. Unveiling a vulnerability in Nairne as she grappled with what motherhood looks like as a parent who has a disability. The care and fragility that Chloe Liese used when writing these scenes is beautiful. I dare you to not cry a little.

Also, Chloe Liese publishes playlists for her books. They add such dimension to a story, whether you listen while reading or queue up the playlist afterward. Am even more convinced than ever after listening to the playlist that these would make great movie adaptations. You can listen to the playlists here.

Overall, I loved the Tough Love series. If y’all check it out, please let me know what you think! They’re a Match gets a 5/5 from me.

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Ratings
Goodreads Rating: 4.6
My Overall Rating: 5/5
Steam: 5/5
Romance: 5/5
Friendship: 5/5
Suspense: 4/5

Get More Info: visit Chloe Liese’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; find He’s a Brute on Amazon; find She’s a Spitfire on Amazon; find They’re a Match, now

They’re a Match is new adult romance, and it was published on August 12, 2019. It’s available to purchase here.

About the Author: Chloe writes stories that, like people, resist categories. Her contemporary romances are hot, witty, full of heart and keep you on the edge of your seat. She’s an avid reader, Harry Potter lover, and eats more peanut butter cups than she probably should.

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This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links. The author was kind enough to provide me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review: Laura Pavlov’s Beautifully Damaged

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Beautifully Damaged
tells the story of Peyton Kroft and Jackson Vance. Peyton and Jackson were soulmates. In love, the two vowed to stay together through it all. They were unbreakable, until an unthinkable tragedy occurs. Jackson walks out of Peyton’s life, seemingly for good. Nine years later, Jackson reappears and he’s ready to mend fences (and also Peyton’s broken heart). They both are forced to decide whether they will let the past continue to haunt them, or love each other through all their damage. 

You might like this book if:

  • you love second chance romance
  • you enjoy the friends to lovers trope or the childhood friends to lovers trope
  • you like reading dynamic characters with complex, emotional backstories

You might not like this book if:

  • you dislike reading flashback scenes
  • you don’t enjoy second chance romance
  • you don’t enjoy reading third person POV

There was a lot I enjoyed about Beautifully Damaged. I received it as an ARC from the author, who is so sweet and lovely. I was very excited to read this one as it was highly anticipated in my reader friend group. I don’t read many second chance romances, so I was excited to dive into this book all around.

My favorite thing about Beautifully Damaged was reading about our two main characters, Peyton and Jackson. Reading their friendship was amazing and you could truly feel as a reader the strong, emotional bond they had. You could feel the desperation, the angst, the longing, and the heartbreak. I thought the author did a beautiful job of not just telling us what the characters were feeling, but actually showing us. This, for me, is the marking of a talented author.

I also enjoyed the bit of danger/suspense element thrown in surrounding a situation that Peyton had to deal with. I don’t want to give anything away, but I’m a sucker for a danger element in a romance.

I also loved the complex backstories for both our main leads. I love reading about strained, complicated family dynamics, because it mimics reality. I thought the author did a great job of introducing these dynamics without making them cookie cutter. These relationships aren’t magically solved or perfect by the end of the book. (Which is good, because in real life, relationships are hard and take work. There is no easy fix). I enjoyed how these strained relationships turned into a source of strength and familiarity between our two leads.

In terms of romance, it was really very sweet. You can tell that Peyton and Jackson are destined to be together from the very beginning. I myself am still with my childhood sweetheart (10 years later!!) so I could really relate to their childhood love morphing into a true, deep and emotional one.

As you all may know, I typically am not a fan of 1) flashback scenes and 2) third person POVs. This book has both. However, I honestly felt like it worked here. I almost think that flashback scenes are necessary for a second chance romance to help set the scene and explain the past. For me, I just like a linear storyline and this is a personal choice. However, I did not mind the flashback scenes here. Additionally, I just prefer to read first person POV, because it helps me connect better with the characters and what they are thinking. However, I found that I still was able to connect and bond with these characters even in a POV that isn’t my favorite, which I think is a testament to the strength of the author’s storytelling. These aren’t criticisms as much as they are my personal preferences.

All in all, I gave this one a 4.5/5. I enjoyed this sweet, second chance romance, and I’m excited to see what else this author has in store for the rest of the series.

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Ratings
Goodreads Rating: 4.23/5
My Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Steam: 2/5
Romance: 5/5
Friendship: 5/5
Suspense: 3/5

Get More Info: visit Laura Pavlov’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Facebook; find Beautifully Damaged on Amazon

Beautifully Damaged is new adult contemporary, and it published on July 24, 2017. It is the first book in the Shine Design series. It is available to purchase here.

About the Author: Laura Pavlov writes sweet and sexy contemporary romance that will make you both laugh and cry. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, mom to two awesome almost-grown kids, and dog-whisperer to a couple crazy yorkies. Laura resides in Las Vegas where she is living her own happily ever after. Be sure to sign up for updates on new releases. Laura loves to hear from readers!

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links. The author was kind enough to provide me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review: Riley Sager’s Final Girls

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As soon as I read the synopsis for this book, I went to the store to purchase it. I love thriller/suspense (my favorite genre next to romance), and I love scary movies. Seriously, horror is my favorite movie genre. I love it. This book sounded like it merged the thriller/suspense genre and the “final girl” concept seen in horror genre. Yes, please.

Final Girls tells the story Quincy Carpenter, a final girl. In college, Quincy went on a vacation with a group of friends, but just like the horror movie massacres, she was the only one who made it out alive. She unofficially joins the final girls club alongside Lisa and Sam. Yet, as the years have passed Quincy finds herself settling into normalcy thanks to her prescription medication, loving fiance, and popular baking blog. Everything is normal…until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead. Quincy is forced to relive and remember her past as she fights for her life in the present.

You might like this book if:

  • you enjoy horror movies/the final girl concept
  • you enjoy murder mysteries
  • you like reading dynamic characters that are unreliable/untrustworthy

You might not like this book if:

  • you dislike reading flashback scenes
  • you don’t enjoy suspense books that have a slower build up

Ok y’all I actually really loved this one. It had me hooked from the very first chapter. I actually enjoyed that Quincy could not remember much from the night of the massacre. While I understand why some readers don’t enjoy the repressed memory device in stories, I thought it worked here. Just imagine going through something that traumatic and seeing all of your friends be killed…I can definitely see how this would be something a person would block out. So, I enjoyed this plot device!

Usually I’m not a fan of flashbacks in stories (I like the story line to be linear), but again I really enjoyed it here. I loved how I was unraveling the story of the past while trying to get to the bottom of what was happening in the future. It kept my attention all the way through.

While I thought the suspense was good (there was somewhat of a slower build up), the ending is really what made this book for me. The last 20% of the book had me reading like crazy to get to the end. Truly, I didn’t know what was going to happen until the very end. I had my theories and suspicions, but they were way off! Then, looking back once you know the ending…it all makes sense. These are my favorite and most fulfilling suspense/thriller endings as a reader.

Overall, I give this a 5/5. I really enjoyed it and flew through this one. I couldn’t stop reading. I had to know what happened. The ending was totally worth it for me that I didn’t mind the slower beginning. Please let me know if you’ve read this one and what you thought!

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Ratings
Goodreads Rating: 3.8/5
My Overall Rating: 5/5
Suspense: 3.5/5
Ending: 5/5
Characterization: 4.5/5

Get More Info: visit Riley Sager’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Twitter; find Final Girls on Amazon

Final Girls is adult thriller/suspense, and it published on July 11, 2017. It is available to purchase here.

About the Author: Riley Sager is the pseudonym of a former journalist, editor and graphic designer. Now a full-time writer, Riley is the author of FINAL GIRLS, an international bestseller that has been published in 25 languages, and the New York Times bestseller THE LAST TIME I LIED. His latest book, LOCK EVERY DOOR, will be published in July. A native of Pennsylvania, Riley now lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links.

Review: Chloe Liese’s She’s a Spitfire

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Happy publication day to Chloe Liese’s She’s a Spitfire, the sequel to her debut novel, He’s a Brute. I am so very fortunate to have been sent an ARC by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Chloe Liese!

She’s a Spitfire is the second book in the Tough Love series. She’s a Spitfire continues the story of Zed and Nairne. Zed and Nairne’s love for one another is strong, and they are both ready and willing to fight for their future – together. But their future together is getting more distant by the day with a present life Zed can’t escape from and a past life Nairne keeps running from.

You might like this book if:

  • you enjoy steamy romance novels (18+ sexual content – dom/sub)
  • you need a little thrill/suspense in your romance i.e., the mafia
  • you love well rounded, inclusive, strong female characters

You might not like this book if:

  • you dislike suspense/danger in your romance
  • you dislike mafia romance
  • you prefer to read standalones as opposed to series

Alright so to get us all up to speed – you can read my review on the first book in the series here. Now that we’re all on the same page…everything I loved about He’s a Brute stays true for this sequel. I still loved the romance and the steam between our main characters. Chloe Liese definitely knows how to deliver a strong romance.

While I loved the characterization of Nairne in He’s a Brute, it was even better in She’s a Spitfire. Nairne is the definition of a strong, independent woman. She literately is “a spitfire.” There is no damsel in distress here. Nairne doesn’t back down from any challenge that’s thrown her way. She’s intelligent and she’s not waiting for a man to save her. She’s willing to save herself and those around her. I just love this strong, female character.

So if you go back and read my review for He’s a Brute, my one complaint was that I wanted to see more mafia romance. Well She’s a Spitfire met this demand and then some. From the very first chapter, I was completely drawn in. This series is my first time reading a mafia romance, and I found that I loved it. Any time my romance has a bit of suspense/danger, I am totally sold.

I loved being able to read and see more from our secondary characters. I love reading about Elodie and Lucas, and I think I detected a slight flirtation between them? I’m kind of hoping the next book explores this.

Also, Chloe Liese publishes playlists for her books. I love listening to them and reading along with the story. It literately makes it feel like a movie is playing in my head. If you enjoy music while you read, I definitely recommend this. Or even if you listen to the playlist after reading, I think it’s a really fun experience to hear the different vibes of the books. You can find both playlists here.

Lastly, I need to talk about the ending…let’s just say I was holding my breath for the last 10% of the book. This book delivered serious steam and was very suspenseful. Then, just when I thought I was in the clear, I read the last chapter. I am so happy that I don’t have to wait long to read book three, because I can’t wait to read the rest of Zed and Nairne’s story.

Overall, I really enjoyed this new adult romance. If y’all check it out, please let me know what you think! She’s a Spitfire gets a 5/5 from me.

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Ratings
Goodreads Rating: 4.9
My Overall Rating: 5/5
Steam: 5/5
Romance: 5/5
Friendship: 4/5
Suspense: 4/5

Get More Info: visit Chloe Liese’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; find He’s a Brute on Amazon; find She’s a Spitfire, now

She’s a Spitfire is new adult romance, and it was published on June 24, 2019. It’s available to purchase here.

About the Author: Chloe writes stories that, like people, resist categories. Her contemporary romances are hot, witty, full of heart and keep you on the edge of your seat. She’s an avid reader, Harry Potter lover, and eats more peanut butter cups than she probably should.

TV Review: Netflix’s Dead to Me – Season 1

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I first learned of Dead To Me, a new Netflix original, while I was just randomly browsing. I saw the trailer when it auto-played, and I was immediately intrigued. I love grief as a theme whether it’s in tv/movies/books – I think there is just something so emotionally relatable about it. So when I saw that Dead to Me was taking a dark comedy spin on grief, I was pretty much sold. I’m going to try to break down this review into different components, but rest assured, this will remain spoiler free.

However, before getting into the review I do want to post a trigger warning. This tv series shows mature, adult content. TW for loss of a loved one, issues surrounding fertility, miscarriages [graphic scenes depicting a miscarriage], and attempted sexual assault. I will always post TW because I want y’all to be able to enjoy the content I recommend, and that requires you to be in a safe mental/emotional/spiritual/physical place to do so.

Characters
I really loved watching all of our characters. Jen and Judy were amazing to watch. Both actresses did a phenomenal job delivering both comedic scenes and extremely emotional ones. I loved that I kind of hated all the characters? They were raw, complex, flawed, and often horrible. They made for strong characters and a compelling story line. Judy was my favorite. I felt every emotion while watching this character.

Plot
Dead to Me
gave a lot in terms of plot. While it’s dark comedy, it’s also mystery and suspense. While the first episode was somewhat slow (which makes sense as the pilot needs to world build), the ending of the first episode drew me in with the suspense element. I think it hit its stride mid-season. While the season seemingly sets itself up to revolve around one mystery, don’t draw any conclusions until you see the credits roll to the season finale.

Overall, I gave this one a 4/5. I really enjoyed it, and I will definitely be binge watching the second season when it releases. I’ve even convinced my boyfriend, Derek, to try it (and he has the best taste in tv/movies!) Y’all gotta let me know if you tried this one!

 

Review: Kimberly Belle’s Dear Wife

Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin for providing me with an advanced copy of Kimberly Belle’s Dear Wife in exchange for my honest review. I was really excited to read this one as soon as I read the synopsis. I am a sucker for thrillers.

Dear Wife is told through multiple POVs as we follow the stories of two missing women and the people they left behind. Beth Murphy is on the run from her violent husband. She’s skipped town and she won’t stop running for fear that he’ll catch her. Sabine Hardison is missing, and she’s left behind a husband and a sister who will do anything to find her. As the story unravels, the truth behind these women’s disappearance gets harder to find.

spoiler free: I really enjoyed Dear Wife. I loved the premise of following two different disappearances and the effect they had on a multitude of characters. One of my favorite things about this one was the unreliability of each character. Everyone seemed like they were telling the truth and everyone seemed like they were lying. The story unfolds with various twists and turns and no character is exactly what they seem. This made the story feel fresh and exciting.

The only reason this wasn’t a full 5/5 was that I figured out the large plot point at about 75% in and then at 85% the author kind of lets you in on it. The rest of the story is suspenseful for sure as the story wraps up, and I was still turning the pages until the very end, but I kind of wish I hadn’t figured it out so soon.

Overall, I gave this one a 4/5. I enjoyed the multiple POVs and how the story was interwoven between all the characters. I loved how the author built the suspense up and the unreliable narrators kept me flipping through the pages.

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Dear Wife is a suspense/thriller novel, and it releases on June 25, 2019. It’s available for pre-order now.

get more info: Visit Kimberly Belle’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Twitter; find Dear Wife on Amazon

 

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links. Netgalley and the publisher were kind enough to provide me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.