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.

Cover Reveal: Staci Hart’s Coming Up Roses

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Y’all, the cover reveal for Staci Hart’s upcoming release is here! I have to say that the cover for Coming Up Roses is beautiful. I can’t wait to have this sitting on my shelf upon release day!

Coming Up Roses is a romantic comedy, and the synopsis sounds amazing. I love a workplace romance, and this sounds like it’ll be a tension filled enemies-to-lovers story. I’m here for it, and I’m really excited. Coming Up Roses publishes August 1, 2019. See the Goodreads’ blurb below! If you’re interested in reading more from this author, check out my review on Well Suited here.

Everyone hates parts of their job.

Maybe it’s the paperwork. Maybe it’s the day-to-day grind. Maybe it’s that client who never knows what they want, or the guy who always cooks fish in the microwave.
But not me. I love every corner of the Longbourne Flower Shop, every flower, every petal, every stem. I love the greenhouse, and I love Mrs. Bennet, my boss. I love creating, and I love being a florist. I don’t hate anything at all.
Except for Luke Bennet.

The Bennet brothers have come home to help their mom save the flower shop, and Luke is at the helm. His smile tells a tale of lust, loose and easy. He moves with the grace of a predator, feral and wild. A thing unbridled, without rules or constraint.
When he comes home to save Longbourne, I almost can’t be mad at him.
Almost.

He doesn’t remember that night I’ll never forget. That kiss, touched with whiskey and fire. It branded me like a red-hot iron. But it meant nothing to him.
Everyone hates part of their job, and I hate Luke Bennet.
Because if I don’t, I’ll fall in love with him.

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Get More Info: visit Staci Hart’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Facebook; add Coming Up Roses to your Goodreads

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 with the cover reveal before release day.

Review: Lynn Weingarten’s Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls

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When I found Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls on Book Depository, I immediately added it to my cart. I had seen this book floating around Goodreads and Bookstagram before, so I was excited to add this to my backlist books this year.

TW: mentions of suicide, drug use, abortion, sexual assault, and rape

Synopsis
June’s best friend is dead. The official report says that Delia committed suicide by burning herself to death in her stepfather’s shed. June and Delia used to be best friends – the kind that did everything together and knew everything about one another. The two were inseparable, until they weren’t. This is why June doesn’t believe Delia committed suicide. She believes Delia was murdered. Now all she needs to do is prove it.

Spoiler Free Review
I’m going to be upfront and say that I gave this book a 2/5. I honestly did not really enjoy it. With that being said, there was still some things that I did like about Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls. For starters, I love the title. It’s very catchy, and it immediately drew my attention. I also loved the book cover. Honestly, everything about the outward appearance made me so excited to begin reading.

I also enjoyed the first chapter or two of the book. The premise drew me in, and it seemed like everyone could have been guilty right off the bat. Plus, I was quickly turning the pages to see the reason behind June and Delia’s falling out. All of this was great. The book had a strong start, but then it lost me.

My first (small) issue is with June’s narration. There is something about reading through her POV that is so troubling. Her voice sounds dead and detached (and not in a good way). Further, she sounds like this before she realizes her best friend is dead. From the very beginning she just sounds alone, detached, and lifeless. It did not seem purposeful and just felt off putting.

My largest issue with this book is the plot itself. Honestly, it felt all over the place. The plot goes from cheating to suicide to murder to rape to sexual abuse to abortion to drug use and it just keeps going. There were a lot of twists and turns, but not in a good way. It more so felt like the author was just throwing elements in there for the sake of having them.

By the time I got to the end of the book, I still had no idea what was going on, really. There were so many questions left unanswered. So many issues left unresolved. Then, naturally, the ending is open-ended; it allows the reader the ability to interpret the ending. I did not like this. When I’m reading a thriller, especially a whodunit, I want to know whodunit. I don’t want to read an entire thriller and still be just as confused on the last page as I was on the first. You have no idea if any of Delia’s reasons/explanations were true or not. I also still didn’t understand the depth of the relationship between June and Delia. It seemed at times June was willing to go to the ends of the earth for Delia, and there was a depth of desperation there. Yet, just a while before, June was completely fine with not being friends anymore, content to live her life with her boyfriend. It just didn’t make sense.

Overall, I give this a 2/5. It was not the thriller for me, and I don’t recommend it.

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Ratings
Goodreads Rating: 3.46/5
My Overall Rating: 2/5
Suspense: 3/5
Ending: 1/5
Characterization: 1/5

Get More Info: visit Lynn Weingarten; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Twitter; find Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls on Amazon

Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls is young adult thriller, and it published on July 7, 2015. It is available to purchase here.

About the Author: Lynn Weingarten is a New York Times bestselling author and Creative Director living in Brooklyn. In the past, Lynn has been an editor at Alloy Entertainment and Working Partners, where she developed ideas for books (and edited them). She is currently Creative Director of Dovetail Fiction, a new YA packager and sister business to  Working Partners. She lives in Brooklyn.

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

Review: Tessa Bailey’s Fix Her Up

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First, I want to say thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins for providing me with an advanced reader’s copy of Fix Her Up in exchange for my honest review. Thank you, thank you!!

Synopsis
Fix Her Up follows Georgie Castle and Travis Ford. Georgie is tired of her family treating her like the baby of the family – as if her existence is just one big joke. She’s determined to take control of her life – starting with a new wardrobe and hopefully ending with a new framework for her business. Travis Ford is struggling to find his footing after an injury ended his major league baseball career. He is biding his time flipping houses until he decides what his next move is. Georgie cooks up a plan that she think will benefit both her and Travis that forces them both to reconsider what is real and what’s not. Did I mention Travis is Georgie’s brother’s best friend and her life-long crush?

Will I like this?
You might enjoy this book if…

  • You enjoy the friends-to-lovers trope
  • You are interested in romance books with steamy scenes
  • You like books with strong secondary characters/women empowering women

You might not enjoy this book if…

  • You do not enjoy the friends-to-lovers trope
  • You prefer fade-to-black romance

Spoiler Free Review
This is not my first Tessa Bailey novel, but it’s definitely my favorite. Fix Her Up had everything I love about new adult contemporary. It had slow burn romance, uplifting women’s empowerment, individual character growth, well-developed side characters, a fake relationship trope, and a classic character makeover. I went into this one expecting to like it, but it surpassed any expectations. Fix Her Up is officially on my favorites list.

I really enjoyed Fix Her Up. Bailey’s writing is of high quality and it made it easy to fly through the story. I loved both lead characters for their romance with one another, but also for their individual growth. Fix Her Up is a novel where both main characters go through tremendous growth that you can’t help but cheer them on in the end. I really couldn’t put this one down – I was so invested in this world and these characters.

Also, the sexy scenes are pretty, um, sexy. I gotta give it up to Tessa Bailey, because she wrote an intense, passionate romance. Yet, the passion felt balanced out (in the best way) by the humor and lightness of the character’s banter. The opening scene when you first see Georgie and Travis interact – I was seriously laughing out loud. Tessa Bailey describes it so richly that you can really see the scene play out in your head. Fix Her Up is rich with both humor and passion, my favorite combination.

Overall, I give this a 5/5. I’m so excited to see who the next book will be about! I’ll definitely be pre-ordering it whenever it’s out.

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Ratings
Goodreads Rating: 3.9
My Overall Rating: 5/5
Steam: 5/5
Romance: 4/5
Friendship: 5/5

Get More Info: Visit Tessa Bailey’s Website; connect with the author on Twitter; connect with the author on Instagram; find Fix Her Up on Amazon Fix Her Up is Tessa Bailey’s newest novel and is the first in her new series Hot and Hammered. It’s a new adult contemporary, and it releases on June 11, 2019. It’s available for pre-order now.

About the Author: Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days. Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention. She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eleven years and seven-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

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.