Review: Staci Hart’s Well Suited

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Y’all I’m back with another romance book! I have to thank Staci Hart for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Well Suited is the final book in the Red Lipstick Coalition series, although each can be read as a standalone. Prior to reading Well Suited, I had only read Work in Progress, the third book in this series. I went into this expecting a lighthearted, funny, rom com…and Staci Hart delivered. There were a few qualms I had, but overall I did have a lot of fun reading this one, and will definitely check out the earlier two books in the series.

Well Suited is the story of Katherine and Theo, who meet through Amelia (one of Katherine’s best friends) and Tommy (Theo’s brother) when they all go out for a night of dancing. Surprisingly, Katherine and Theo hit it off and end up spending the night with each other. Afterward, Theo is determined to keep their connection, but Katherine is determined to leave it in the past. Until she finds out she’s pregnant. Theo is determined to show her that they are well-suited — to co-parent, to be friends, and to be together.

You might like this book if:

  • you enjoy romantic comedies
  • you are fan of the accidental pregnancy trope
  • you enjoy female protagonists that have a unique point of view with a strong voice

You might not like this book if:

  • you dislike the accidental pregnancy trope
  • you dislike books where a majority of the conflict comes from characters’ lack of communication

I want to start with what I liked about Well Suited. My favorite thing about Well Suited was Katherine’s voice/perspective. Her voice was not one that I have seen in the romance genre before, and it felt refreshing. I loved that she did not act like a stereotypical female protagonist that we’ve come to expect in a romance. She prided herself on her independence and self-sufficiency. Her relationship with Theo was one of want, not of need.

I also enjoyed Theo’s characterization. From the very beginning he was passionate about becoming a parent and co-parenting. He never doubted his role in the baby’s life or the kind of father he wanted to be. What is not to love about that?

Now onto some of my qualms with this story. I first have to mention that on the whole, I am not a fan of the accidental pregnancy trope. 90% of the time a novel has this trope, I find  myself not connecting as much with the story. This time was not an exception. There is something about this trope that makes the relationship feel so forced (I mean it kind of does force it realistically, so this makes sense) that just turns me off to the story. However, this is just a personal taste “issue” with the book that you probably won’t have if you are a fan of the trope.

Another element that I wasn’t crazy for was some of the dialogue. While I loved Katherine’s character (how formal and rigid she was), it made for some awkward dialogue. While I can appreciate that her character was formal, the dialogue felt so rigid and just…unrealistic. It didn’t really make for a romantic comedy vibe (in my opinion). I cringed at times hearing how she talked about the pregnancy process and just some of her vocabulary in general felt so unnatural. It just brought me out of the romantic comedy mindset.

My biggest issue with Well Suited was the complete lack of communication between our main characters. I want to keep this spoiler-free but towards the end of the book, there is a major lack of communication between the two that could have easily been solved if they stopped to talk about what they both wanted from their relationship/each other. I was literately cringing because I was shocked one of the characters even made this decision before talking to the other.

Overall, I enjoyed this story. It was great to see how Staci Hart ended the series, and I enjoyed reading through Katherine’s perspective. I related to her a lot in the way that she was closed off and required control due to her upbringing. I would say to pick this one up if you’re looking for a rom-com, but this ultimately just wasn’t my favorite. I gave it 3/5.

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Well Suited is new adult romance, and it is the fourth book in the Red Lipstick Coalition series. It was published on May 2, 2019. It is 217 pages and has a 4.47 rating on Goodreads. As of 5/5/19, it is on Kindle Unlimited.

get more info: visit Staci Hart’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Twitter; find Well Suited on Amazon

 

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: Carol Wyer’s The Dare

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Alright y’all I have got to talk about one of my new favorites, Carol Wyer. I actually came randomly across Carol Wyer’s The Dare while browsing on Netgalley, and was immediately intrigued by the premise. I of course had a blonde moment and requested the book without realizing it was actually the third in its series. (Side note: thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for allowing me early access to this ARC!) Luckily, I was able to read the story without feeling like I missed out on anything. Wyer does a great job of explaining any plot/character growth that may have occurred in the past that is relevant to know. I didn’t feel left out at all. Even so, I’m quickly going back and reading the first and second in the series, so hopefully I can eventually review the series as a whole.

Long intro aside, I loved Carol Wyer’s The Dare, the third book in the Detective Natalie Ward series.

spoiler free: There was so much that I loved in The Dare. First, I can’t praise Carol Wyer enough regarding the quality of writing. I genuinely felt as though I was a part of Ward’s investigation team. I actually felt as though I was in the midst of a serial killer. Wyer lets you (the reader) in on each stage in the investigation and it makes it feel hauntingly real. If you’re a fan of Law and Order, CSI, Criminal Minds or true crime/police investigations – you will love this book.

I also loved reading through the perspective of Natalie Ward. She was an amazing character to focus on. She felt so well rounded – like I could actually walk into a police station and find her sitting there. I also really enjoyed the contrast between the intense situation in her work life and the drama of her home life. Wyer shed light on just how difficult it is to have a demanding career and balancing the intricacies of being a parent (especially a parent to teenagers). Natalie Ward was complex, flawed, and fiercely dedicated. This made for a compelling main character.

Lastly, let us talk about, you know, the actual mystery here. I truly flew through his book – it had be hooked from the very first chapter. The plot is fairly complex, and I didn’t know the killer’s identity until the book revealed it (and then of course, I couldn’t believe I didn’t see it.)

During the middle of the book, the plot did feel a bit slow as the case felt somewhat hopeless as the team was left with so few clues. Yet, I felt this was intentional. It was slow and a bit frustrating as a reader, because it was slow and frustrating to the team. This just added to my connection with the story. I felt like I was in the thick of it with them.

Overall, I gave this one a 5/5. I recommend this fully, however if you’re new to Carol Wyer – I may suggest starting at the beginning of this series as I’m about to now!

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get more info: Visit Carol Wyer’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Twitter; find The Dare on Amazon

The Dare is Carol Wyer’s third book in the Detective Natalie Ward series. It is classified as a thriller, and it releases on April 25, 2019. It is available for pre-order now.

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.

Review: Elle Kennedy’s The Risk

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Alright, y’all – I loved this one. I’ve been eyeing up The Risk for quite some time now. Elle Kennedy is one of my favorite New Adult authors, and I fell absolutely in love with her Off Campus series. So I was super excited for her new series, Briar U. The first book in the series (The Chase) was also really good (hopefully will have a review on that one up soon!), but this one (the second) was amazing.

spoiler free review: There was a lot that I loved. First, Brenna was an amazing heroine. She was so confident and headstrong, and I loved that about her. Her perspective felt honest and refreshing. Jake is probably one of my favorite heroes (although basically no one can top Garrett from The Deal – sorry). Enemies-to-lovers tropes are always one of my favorites. Throw in some hockey, fun friendships, fake dating, and complicated family back stories and I am all in. Essentially this book was witty, fun, and it made my heart swoon. I think one of the reasons that I loved this one even more than the first in the series is that this book was somewhat slow-burn. Not as slow as say a Mariana Zapata book, but I loved the build up between the two characters and the push and pull of their friendship. Overall, I give this one a 5/5.

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get more info: Visit Elle Kennedy’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Twitter; find The Chase on Amazon; find The Risk on Amazon; find The Deal on Amazon

If you’re looking for more on Elle Kennedy – read my mashup contemporary authors post.

The Risk is the second book in Elle Kennedy’s Briar U series. It is classified as New Adult. The Risk can be read as a standalone; however, I would suggest reading The Chase first so you’re introduced to all of the characters (and get to read another fun romance). Elle Kennedy is set to release the third book in the series, The Play, on October 7, 2019.

spoilers ahead: I really loved the chemistry between Jake and Brenna. I am an (admitted) sucker for the fake relationship trope, so as soon as Brenna proposed that her and Jake fake dating for her job – I was sold. There was something just…magnetic about the push and pull between them.

I will say that I wanted to bang my head on something when Brenna gave the bracelet to Jake’s friend assuming she would just give it to him…arg!! His friend’s motives were questionable at best and I was having anxiety thinking the bracelet wouldn’t make it to him. Luckily it worked out, but Brenna was so naive in that moment and I was screaming.

I honestly just can’t say nice enough things about this one. I love Elle Kennedy and think she’s an amazing writer. I cannot wait until her new release in October. GO BUY THIS BOOK!

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

Review: R.S. Grey’s Make Me Bad

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I was so fortunate to receive R.S. Grey’s newest release as an ARC. I’ve been sitting on this review for a week and I’m so happy to announce it is finally out!

It’s Madison’s birthday, and her only birthday wish is for her life to have some excitement. Perhaps she shouldn’t have been so vague, because her life gets a whole lot more exciting after an introduction with the town’s wealthy, “bad boy,” Ben. Madison is tired of living her life by the safe harbor, so she asks Ben to help her break out of her shell – to make her bad.

spoiler free:  Make Me Bad had me hooked from the very first chapter, or more accurately, the very first sentence. R.S. Grey is one of my auto-buy authors. I know when I’m reading one of her books I’m getting a witty, laugh-out-loud, steamy book with great emotional depth. R.S. Grey is rom-com at its absolute best, and Make Me Bad was no exception. In fact, this is my favorite R.S. Grey book to date. Ben is so swoon-worthy.  Madison’s character growth was amazing! I was her biggest cheerleader. I saw so much of myself in her. Add in a slow-burn romance and a little bit of danger – I’m sold.

Overall, this is definitely a 5/5 read from me. But, don’t take my word for it. Go and read it yourself!

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R.S. Grey is the USA Today bestselling author of thirteen novels, including The Foxe and the Hound. She lives in Texas with her husband and two dogs, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga! Make Me Bad is R.S. Grey’s newest novel, and it released on March 7, 2019.

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 Make Me Bad on Amazon

If you want to hear more about why R.S. Grey is one of my favorite new adult authors, read here.

spoilers here: I can’t get over the beginning few chapters of this book. The fact that Madison being held up at gun point still managed to be funny to me says something about the quality of R.S. Grey’s writing. Plus, one of Madison’s first thoughts was to protect her new book, and I’ve never related to a character more.

I loved Maddie’s character arc. I love how she realized that she didn’t need anyone else to make her into the person she wants to be. She has that power within her all on her own. Very empowering message. Plus, the epilogue just filled my heart. It is seriously so sweet.

Overall, I can’t recommend Make Me Bad enough. A full 5/5 rom-com. If you’re looking for more R.S. Grey recs, start with Hotshot Doc, Arrogant Devil or The Foxe and the Hound – three of my favorites. Stay tuned for a future post where I blog a mashup post (quickly) reviewing all the R.S. Grey books!

What rom-coms are you reading? Did y’all enjoy Make Me Bad?

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 an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review: Dana Mason’s Accidental Groom

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I was able to read my first Dana Mason book this week thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture who provided me an advanced copy of Accidental Groom in exchange for my honest review. Thank you, thank you!!

Accidental Groom is the first book in the Accidental Love series. This book tells the story of two strangers – Kelley and Mac. Their connection to one another is instant and their chemistry is pretty off the charts. Both leads have somewhat intense backstories, yet they are drawn to each other. Their relationship begins with a fun “no strings attached” weekend together. But, 24 hours after arriving – they’re (accidentally) married. Enter the will-they-or-won’t-they.

Ok there was a lot that I loved here. First, the novel was well written and the dialogue was fun and felt very fresh. There were bits of dialogue that I actually found myself laughing out loud. My favorite thing about Accidental Groom though was Mac’s backstory. It felt so refreshing to have a male love interest with a complicated backstory, especially one that I can honestly say that I haven’t seen in new adult romance. I loved the way that this particular issue was explored throughout the book and how it attributed to both characters’ growth. The backstory wasn’t a quick fix and it was something Mac took responsibility of his past and the decisions that he made. (I don’t want to spoil it – it was great going in and not knowing!)

I am very curious to see who the second book in the series is going to be about. I’m hoping it’s Mac’s sister. (*fingers crossed*) I will definitely be continuing this series and keeping Dana Mason on my radar. Overall, this one gets a 5/5 from me.

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Accidental Groom is a new adult contemporary, and it releases on April 2nd, 2019. It is available for pre-order now.

get more info: Visit Dana Mason’s website; Pre-order Accidental Groom on Amazon; connect with the author on Twitter; connect with the author on Facebook; connect with the author on Instagram

spoilers ahead: Ok so first I wanna say that I totally bought in to the (somewhat) insta-love. Sometimes this can bother me in a story, but here I was all in. I think one of the reasons why is that the author wrote it so well. I loved the scene where Mac leaves to go get food, but basically he’s just having a panic attack. He loves Kelley, but it takes him awhile to understand these feelings are love. I love that he shows that he’s overwhelmed – he’s not freaking out because he doesn’t want/love her, he’s just dealing with an overwhelming change in life.

I also love how the author handled Mac’s alcoholism. The scene where he picked up the drink – ugh I felt like my heart was pounding. I loved how she wrote the scene where he tells Kelley that it’s his responsibility and no one is responsible for his relapse. He just really owns his shit, and it was so refreshing. The scene where he calls his sponsor – the way the author writes his tone of voice, his actions – it all felt so real. I have unfortunately seen addiction first hand, and I could really relate to this scene.

Overall – this was a complex new adult contemporary. It’s steamy, it’s romantic, but it’s also filled with complicated characters. It mimics life in the best way. Please give this one a try – go and pre-order it! Let me know if you’ve read any other Dana Mason books.

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.

Review: Karen M. McManus’ Two Can Keep a Secret

TwoCanKeepaSecret.jpgThrillers and mysteries are my jam. There is something about a whodunit that I literately cannot resist. So I was really excited to read Karen McManusTwo Can Keep a Secret. I unfortunately had the ending to her debut novel (One of Us is Lying) spoiled accidentally (thanks a lot internet. kidding), so this was my first read by her. Going into it, I only knew the book had murder and homecoming queens. I had heard it compared to Pretty Little Liars, so I was immediately intrigued. (Ugh that show and book series used to be my guilty pleasure.)

Two Can Keep a Secret essentially kicks off with Ellery and Ezra, teenage twins, who moved back to their mother’s home town, Echo Ridge, to live with their grandmother. Echo Ridge is famous for the murder of Lacey, the town’s Homecoming Queen. Lacey was murdered in the town’s fair ground, known as Murderland. Years before that, when the twin’s mother was in school, the mom’s twin sister disappeared…without a trace. Now the Murderland killer is back. With threats happening all over town, it seems everyone is keeping secrets.

spoiler free review: So, I flew through this book. I loved the autumn atmosphere and the Halloween-themed park (and murder site). It gave off an eerie vibe, which was great for a thriller novel.

I also enjoyed the dual POV. Ellery was always fun to read through, and as a fellow true-crime junkie, I related to her character. I enjoyed her naturally suspicious personality. I feel like I would be the same way if I suddenly found myself in a town where a murderer was sending out threats. Malcolm was also great to read through. Just imagining myself stuck in his situation, I can’t imagine how I’d handle it.

Overall, this was a really fun thriller read. I did not figure out the ending (although there were some things I did guess… I’ll explain more in the spoiler’s section below). There were some strings that I would have liked tied up in the end (see spoiler section). However, the last line of this book literately gave me chills.

Ultimately, I would give it a 3.5/5 stars. I liked it, and I would recommend it.

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get more info: Visit Karen McManus’ website; connect with the author on Twitter; connect with the author on Instagram; find Two Can Keep a Secret on Amazon; find One of Us is Lying on Amazon

This is Karen McManus’ second novel. It is a young adult mystery/thriller, and it was published in January 2019. McManus currently plans to release a third book (a sequel to One of Us is Lying) in January 2020 in addition to a standalone YA mystery as her fourth.

spoiler’s ahead: So I knew there was going to be some type of twin switch when I read the scene with the porcelain doll with the crack down her face. For some reason, in my head this made me think of two halves of a whole and then I suspected that the twins had switched in some capacity. (Then, I remember the bit in the beginning about twin switching, so I became sure of it). I will admit though that I didn’t fully figure it out – I was thinking more along the lines of Sadie had actually died and Lacey was alive (posing as Sadie) although the why/when I wasn’t sure. Clearly, I was somewhat off base, but I was still a little disappointed that I had figured out even that much. My favorite mysteries are when I have all the clues, but absolutely no idea how to put them together.

My only real issue with this book was the situation involving Sarah. I felt like I did not get enough closure on this issue! How did he get the twins mixed up? Did he kill Sarah because he thought Sadie was going to go public with their affair? I need answers!! Although, I guess if the book did answer all these then the last line would lose its punch (and it really was such a great sentence to end on.)

Overall, I recommend this one! I can’t wait to read what McManus comes out with next!

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

Mashup: Contemporary Romance Authors

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Hi y’all. Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day! In celebration of the holiday, I wanted to share with y’all my top ten contemporary romance authors. Contemporary romance has always been one of my favorite genres. Even though most romance books aren’t necessarily life changing or perhaps the most profound literature…they make me happy. There is just something heart warming about reading someone’s love story. So – enough rambling – here are some of my favorite contemporary romance authors (in no particular order).

Elle Kennedy
I have to start out by recommending any book by Elle Kennedy. Kennedy was the first author that really got me to love the contemporary romance genre. I started out with the Off-Campus series and absolutely fell in love. There are four books in this series – but if I had to choose my favorite (and I really love them all, so this is hard) … I would tell you to check out The Deal (book 1) or The Score (book 3). Kennedy does a great job of creating a dynamic cast of characters that you can keep up with throughout the series. Kennedy also creates some funny and strong-willed female leads, which I love. Plus, the series is about hockey. I mean… need I say more?

Also: recommend trying out her Briar U series (spin-off from the Off-Campus series). Kennedy also has a series Him which she authors with Sarina Bowen. This series is very sexy, but also very heart-warming. It follows the love story of Jamie and Ryan (and again, includes hockey!)

Mariana Zapata
Mariana Zapata continues to give me life with her romance novels. Before you go into one of her books, though, you have to know – her books are sloooow burn. If you’re not into the slow build up between the leads, her books are not for you. However, I will say I have loved the books of hers that I’ve read. She just finds a way to make me fall in love with the leads based on their friendly interactions and the love between them – not necessarily for the sexy scenes. I have to recommend that you try The Wall of Winnipeg and Me (my favorite!) Find more of her books here.

Sally Thorne
Sally Thorne has written one of my favorite books, The Hating Game. This is a romance novel that was so funny and just truly warmed my heart. This is also a enemies-to-lovers romance, which always entertains me. Plus, I love how quirky and happy the main character was. 99 Percent Mine is her new release, and I have a full review on that here. Please don’t miss out on this author! Both books are so witty and she clearly has a talent for writing.

Linda Kage
Ok I have to recommend Linda Kage to y’all. I started the Forbidden Men series and fell in love. First, there is just something I love about a good trope. In this case, it’s obvious, forbidden love! I think I find this trope so entertaining because this trope tends to align closely with slow-burn. I love when the anticipation builds between the two leads. In this series, I have to recommend Price of A Kiss (although trigger warning: includes prostitution), Be My Hero, A Perfect Ten, and Priceless.This series includes ten novels, so it can keep you entertained for quite some time! However, for full disclosure, I could never get into Worth It or The Girl’s Got Secrets. But please – let me know your thoughts!

Sawyer Bennett
I’m starting to think my love of hockey really shines through my romance choices. Regardless, I can’t help but recommend Sawyer Bennett to y’all. I have read quite a few books from her Carolina Cold Fury Series, and I really loved each one I read. She has a mix of tropes in there, but she truly just writes very complex characters with dynamic backgrounds. She writes real people with real issues/baggage – and some of these “issues” aren’t just resolved in one book. She has a spin-off series Arizona Vengeance Series, which I also have loved. Although, if I have to recommend my favorites: try Alex, Garrett, and Bishop.

Kristen Callihan
When I first found Kristen Callihan, I was obsessed. The idea of contemporary romance surrounding famous band members? Um, count me in. The VIP series is one of my favorites! The characters have complex back stories and it’s so fun to see them all interact together. Plus, the setting (a band on tour) makes for such an entertaining read. Out of the three books that are currently out in this series, if I had to choose, I would say that Managed is my favorite – but only barely. I really love them all.

Sarina Bowen
Ok so I guess hockey is a theme for me? Should I be embarrassed or embrace it? Regardless, Sarina Bowen is one of my favorites. I know I’ve already mentioned Bowen’s book Him that she co-authored with Elle Kennedy, but she has another series I love: Brooklyn Bruisers. I love Rookie Move and Brooklynaire. Also, Overnight Sensation. Basically – read the series, I love the whole thing! I fall in love with all the heroes. Plus, I love when a series has a cast of characters that you get to follow throughout each book (although one book is clearly their focus.) Please check this author out if you haven’t already.

Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward
Listen, we have to talk about Hate Notes. Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward kind of broke my heart with this one. It’s a stand alone, which is a change up from the series recommendations above. I honestly don’t want to give much away, because I went into this unspoiled and it was so worth it. This book was really so much more than your typical surface level romance. This one just hit me right in the heart. Ugh, I can’t recommend it enough. Please check this one out!

R.S. Grey
R.S. Grey has written quite a few of my favorite romance novels. She writes dialogue that makes me laugh out loud and characters that really pull at my heartstrings. One of my favorites from R.S. Grey is The Foxe and The Hound. I’m gearing up to read one of her newer releases soon, so hopefully a review on that one will be up shortly!

Hooray if you’re still here after reading all that! I can’t wait to hear some of your recommendations for contemporary romance authors (seriously! please! I need more!). Let me know if you’ve read or loved any of the ones I’ve recommended above. I hope to eventually have more in depth reviews of some of these books on the blog, because I really do love them that much.

Happy Valentine’s Day y’all.

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