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: Ella Maise’s Marriage For One

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Y’all I couldn’t wait to write this review. I’m just going to say it right up front: I absolutely loved this book. It’s already one of my favorite romances I’ve read so far this year (and possibly favorite all-time romance, ever). You should read it. If this praise hasn’t already convinced you – keep reading. I’ll do my best to convince you.

Synopsis
Jack and Rose are getting married. Throughout her life, Rose has had a dream to open up her own coffee shop. She wants to have a place she feels safe and one she can truly call hers. Her dream is almost a reality until its ripped right out from beneath her fingers. Yet, hope is not lost. Jack swoops in and after one odd meeting at his law firm – he presents the perfect solution: they get married. He proposes a loveless marriage for two years as the cover for a business transaction so that they can both get what they want. Is it too soon to say this is doomed from the start or will their marriage be more than business after all?

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

  • You enjoy the marriage of convenience/fake relationship trope
  • You love slow-burn romance
  • You enjoy having emotional depth in your romance

You might not enjoy this book if…

  • You do not enjoy the fake relationship trope
  • You prefer insta-love as opposed to slow burn
  • Trigger warning: deals with health issues, loss of a loved one, abandonment issues

Spoiler Free Review
Well I loved everything about this book, so let’s break it down a little. First let’s talk characters. I loved Jack and Rose. They are so well written. They aren’t perfect – they have strengths and weaknesses, just like anyone else. It made it so easy to fall in love with them and their romance, because they felt like people I could be friends with in real life. I also loved Rose’s strength. If you’re looking for a romance with a badass heroine – look no further. Her drive and ambition were unparalleled. I felt like I needed to get to work on my passions after reading this. Jack was amazing as well. Reading his journey and character growth – let’s just say he made me (happy) cry in the end.

In terms of the romance…it was slow burn at its absolute BEST. If you want to literately read a story where you’re able to read the characters slowly fall passionately in love, it’s Marriage for One. The slow burn intensified their romance and made the steamy scenes super steamy. There are also small gestures and intimate moments that may not seem like much at first, but each one had me swooning. It’s the little things that make this romance feel so full in the end.

The plot itself was amazing. There was romance (obviously) but there was also individual character growth and a bit of mystery surrounding the exact circumstances of Jack and Rose’s marriage arrangement. The pacing was perfect, and even though it was a longer romance (which I personally love), it kept my interest the entire time.

This book made me feel every emotion. Sad. Happy. Heart broken. Excited. Nervous. Scared. By the time the end rolled around, I had even cried which is so unlike me while reading. That’s how invested I was in this story and these characters. The ending made my heart so full, and I swooned so hard throughout the entire book. This book was everything romance is supposed to be and more.

My favorite part about the book was Rose’s character. I felt like we would be would be best friends in real life. She had such strength, but also incredible vulnerability. I loved watching her character grow and change and reading her journey as she went after her dreams. Rose is a character that everyone needs to read about. She taught me a lot.

Y’all what more can I say? You need this book. You need to learn about these characters. This is my top read of 2019 so far and it’s going up on my list of favorite romances ever. If you’ve read this, please let me know so we can chat. If you haven’t, let me know if y’all put it on your TBRs. I’m off to read another Ella Maise book because I love her writing that much.

Overall, I give this a 5/5. If I could give it a million stars I would.

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Ratings
Goodreads Rating: 4.14
My Overall Rating: 5/5
Steam: 5/5
Romance: 5/5
Friendship: 5/5

Get More Info: visit Ella Maise’s website; connect with the author on Facebook; connect with the author on Instagram; find Marriage for One on Amazon.

Marriage for One is Ella Maise’s newest release, and it is a new adult contemporary. It released on May 9, 2019. It’s available to purchase now. As of 5/23/19 it is available on Kindle Unlimited.

About the Author: [1st person written by Ella Maise] I love nothing more than to escape real life to find those very few magical moments in a book. I love how it has the power of stealing your worries away, putting a smile on your face even when smiling is the last thing on your mind. Crushing on fictional characters is also another bonus. Through my words, if I can manage to make even one person smile, it means I’ve done my job well. Writing became my world and I can’t imagine myself doing anything other than creating new characters and telling their stories. You know how some things simply make your heart burst with happiness? A really good book, a puppy, hugging someone you’ve been missing like crazy? That’s what writing does to me. And all the hard work, all the sleepless nights, all the anxiety that comes with publishing…everything is worth it at the end.

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