Publisher: Penguin

ARC Reviews: The Au Pair and I Owe You One

Posted February 14, 2019 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Au Pair and I Owe You One

I’ve been requesting and reading an absurd about of books from Berkley / Berkley Romance lately. I can’t stop myself. EVERYTHING they put out has an adorable or intriguing premise, a cute cover, and/or a lot of buzz. I was initially interested in THE AU PAIR but held off on requesting it (somehow)… then I saw Cristina’s review. I don’t have a lot of success with mystery/thrillers in the sense that I don’t always rate them highly. I love reading them, but my expectations are always higher than reality. I’m going to include a snapshot of her review because it perfectly describes how I feel about this genre and my struggles/wishes: In today’s over saturated world of mediocre thrillers, it can be hard to find one that simultaneously manages to surprise me and that’s well written. So many thriller novels I actually find work better for me in a movie format, so I’m always on a hunt for a solidly written mystery/thriller that manages to create an unsettling, atmospheric world on the page. That’s exactly what I experienced with The Au Pair to my delight, and found myself completely immersed in a mystery that not only enveloped me in its setting, but actually had an ending that I didn’t foresee in advance. – The Au Pair review at Girl in the Pages I actually enjoyed a somewhat mysterious (more contemporary-ish, but you get the point) book earlier this year that was also set in England AND involved some kind of castle/huge house… so this […]

Review Round Up | Last Seen, The Proposal, and This Lie Will Kill You

Posted January 18, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 1 Comment
Review Round Up | Last Seen, The Proposal, and This Lie Will Kill You

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I can’t believe this series is over… hopefully! The ending wasn’t exactly ambiguous but I suppose there’s always a chance Shepard continues the series multiple times a la Pretty Little Liars. Jokes aside, this was a REALLY strong end to this trilogy! The main issue I had throughout all of the books was that I was disconnected from the characters. I never warmed up to them or felt anything for them – didn’t care about the ships, was uninterested in any of their personal lives, etc. I’m not sure if, again, it’s because it was a mystery and I was on edge or not trusting anyone? But I just could never get on board with them. I think it’s an interesting twist when you know who the murderer/culprit is AND get to read from their point of view. Sometimes it can take a little bit of the fun out, but that was certainly not the case here. There were SO MANY twists and connections that were built throughout the whole trilogy that I never would have picked up on. Just because you knew the killer and what he was doing, definitely did not mean that you knew why he was doing it or how he picked his victims. […]

ARC Review: In Dog We Trust

Posted January 10, 2019 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
ARC Review: In Dog We Trust

When I arrived at the end of the Black Dog Bay series, I was not ready to leave that perfect setting. I loved the town and its characters, plus all of the quirky breakup-themed businesses there. I started to come to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t get to visit there again because the final book came out in 2016 without any word of follow-ups. I was randomly browsing Netgalley one day and saw IN DOG WE TRUST. I was excited to see a new title by Beth Kendrick in general, but was even mooooore excited to see that we’d be returning to my beloved Black Dog Bay for the story. I knew I wouldn’t be able to wait on this one and had to read it immediately. The premise of the book, from the synopsis, is that Jocelyn is put in charge of some purebred Labradors after their owner passes away, and is suddenly working and living in a beachfront mansion, instead of cleaning up after tourists in her business with her mom. The late dog owner’s son shows up, looking for his inheritence, and a legal battle (of sorts) ensues. So… this wasn’t exactly what I was looking for in my unexpected return to Black Dog Bay, my literal favorite book setting of all time. First, the romance was…bizarre. Without getting too far into spoilers, Jocelyn and Liam were essentially in a legal battle throughout the book, which led to a weird version of the “hate to […]

Review Round Up | The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats & Piracy and Royals

Posted November 7, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats & Piracy and Royals

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE was a pleasant surprise for me – I can be hit or miss with historical fiction and it was overall a bit out of my comfort zone. I was optimistic about LADY’S GUIDE though because of how much I enjoyed Felicity in the previous book. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed here! Like the first book, it’s a bit looong. The audiobook made listening enjoyable throughout a month-long timeframe and it became one of those books where I’m not in the MOOD to listen to it, but I loved it while I was actually listening. This is exactly how I felt about GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE too. The audio narrator was solid and really brought Felicity to life. While Felicity is the main character, the other powerful ladies at the front of the story made a huge impact too. Joanna, Felicity’s childhood ex-friend, and Sim, the badass pirate, were so fun to get to know. They all wanted more for themselves and fought against the stereotypes or expectations of the time. I loved how everything ended for them too. Of course, meeting up with Monty and Percy again was wonderful. There were a lot of different parts or stages in this story, from Callum’s bakery to Joanna’s […]

Fantasy Football Buddy Read: Review and Giveaway for Intercepted

Posted September 26, 2018 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
Fantasy Football Buddy Read: Review and Giveaway for Intercepted

As you definitely already know, I love football an absurd amount. It’s my favorite thing to think about, watch, and talk about with friends and family. I’m ridiculous in how much I love my team and how much a loss can ruin my day/week. My fantasy football ladies-and-“book bloggers”-only league, Game of Throws, was given the chance to buddy read this novel from Berkley. I also had an egalley for review on my own, but knew I wanted to read it at the same time as my gals. We all read it over the course of opening weekend of football, which is also around my birthday AND when I was in Charlotte to see the season opener for my team! It was absolutely perfect timing and got me into the football mood even more than before. I enjoyed this one overall! There were a few things that bugged me throughout, but they are all smallish complains. I think the writing style was very easy to read, but some dialogue and scenes felt forced, like they were trying too hard. The constant hashtags annoyed me (the MC explained that she “hashtags her life” in her head sometimes) and only got worse as the book went on. There was a lot happening in the second half of the book and there were a few different conflicts. There were issues with heckling and even assault, the other football wives, her ex-boyfriend and whoever he was dating at the time, AND obviously within the […]

Review: The Kiss Quotient

Posted August 17, 2018 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
Review: The Kiss Quotient

I won’t lie: I was planning on sleeping on this book for a LONG time until the hype died down. This story was all I saw in my feeds (Twitter, Goodreads, RSS, etc.) for quite a while. The hype kept pushing me farther and farther away from it. When I saw the audiobook on Hoopla, though, it was the only one calling my name for some reason. Well, I recommend throwing any reservations out the window and just picking this one up folks, because the hype was well worth it. The premise was… unique, to say the least. Stella has Asperger’s and (so far) hasn’t enjoyed any of her intimate experiences. She decides to hire a male escort in order to get over these fears or concerns. I absolutely loved their dynamic and haven’t read such great steamy moments in a LONG time. There were a few parts of those scenes that made me cringe because of the dirty talk (like Stella did initially haha), but they were otherwise SO good. Both Michael and Stella felt so REAL to me, which I really appreciated. The characters were fully fleshed out and their personalities went much deeper than any kind of stereotypes that could have been used. Michael’s history with his family (especially his father) was very interesting and I kept wondering when we’d learn exactly what happened there. I think Stella’s parents were okay for most of the book but was surprised they weren’t more present, since the story opened […]

Review Round Up | There’s Someone Inside Your House and The Fifth Letter

Posted November 2, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 5 Comments
Review Round Up | There’s Someone Inside Your House and The Fifth Letter

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! Unlike many other readers before me, I was really happy to find out that this book was more of a contemporary mixed with horror. I don’t do horror – even in October – but knew I needed to read this book because of its author. Anyways, I agree with everyone else that said basically not to go into this expecting an actual horror novel. There’s a lot of romance with a bit of killing thrown in throughout. The premise is that a serial killer starts attacking high school students in a small Nebraskan town. I can’t really say too much more on that end, except that the typical hysteria starts spreading throughout. Not a lot really stuck out about the characters or even the romance. Makari and Ollie were cute enough and liked them together. They definitely found plenty of time to fool around even though their classmates were dropping like flies, but I guess there’s not much else to do when a killer is on the loose and no one has school to keep them busy? Her whole backstory wasn’t that interesting… even though it was built up throughout to be this big surprising reveal. Her friends, Alex and Darby, seemed to be okay friends? I […]

Review Round Up | Ringer, The Broken World, and Turtles All the Way Down

Posted October 19, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 8 Comments
Review Round Up | Ringer, The Broken World, and Turtles All the Way Down

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! The cool thing about this series is that there are multiple ways you could read it. You can read one girl’s story all the way through and then read the second girl’s, or you could alternate back and forth to create a dual POV. I can’t help but compare this experience to REPLICA. In that book, I was equally interested in both Gemma and Lyra’s stories as I was reading them. I liked reading Gemma’s all the way through and then learning Lyra’s after to see how they connected. I could see how reading the book that way OR alternating back and forth would both work. I wish I could say the same about RINGER. I wasn’t a huge fan of this one. Gemma’s story, which I read first, was somewhat boring and not as shocking as I thought it would be. I wish I read Lyra’s chapters in between because I think that method actually would be better for RINGER. Lyra’s story was generally more interesting than Gemma’s and would have provided some extra context in between, plus balance out the boring parts. SO if you’re curious about what it would be like with both reading experiences for this series, I recommend trying REPLICA with all […]

Review Round Up | The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service and Ten

Posted September 14, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service and Ten

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I absolutely loved the last series I read from Beth Kendrick, and was a pretty big fan of one of her standalones as well. It took me a while to figure out what book to read that had an animal name in it for the Reading Quest, but I was happy to remember THE LUCKY DOG MATCHMAKING SERVICE as a light summery contemporary. I found the audio on Hoopla for the few days I was commuting into work recently and finished up with the physical copy afterwards. Anyways, this book was pretty good. It’s perfect for a dog-lover. And by dog-lover, I mean someone dog-obsessed. That person is not really me. I like them enough, but (don’t judge me) animals aren’t my thing as much as other people. I was frequently frustrated with Lara’s attitude about the dogs, their behavior, and her ex. I don’t know how I always come across adult contemps where the parents are basically like toddlers and the main character gives into their every whim, or falls for their traps. Her mom was so irritating and clearly didn’t care about bonding with her daughter. Her dad was the type of person who would fly into her life and then fly out whenever he wanted, […]

Review Round Up | Blacklist, Once and For All, Blood of Wonderland, and The Hate U Give

Posted June 23, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | Blacklist, Once and For All, Blood of Wonderland, and The Hate U Give

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 reviews of already published books (either older/backlist or newer releases) that I’ve read or listened to recently. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! After enjoying UNRIVALED and being incredibly interested to see what would happen next, it felt like BLACKLIST would never arrive. I checked it out from the library and stashed it under my bed (where I unfortunately keep and forget about all of my library books). I finished up what I was reading and suddenly remembered that I had BLACKLIST to dive into. Let me tell you, it was exactly what I needed at the time. Like its predecessor, I couldn’t put this one down. I don’t see many differences in my feelings between the two books, to be honest. I felt the same way about the characters (didn’t really care about or for them). I felt the same way about the pacing (awesome). I felt the same way about the mystery (really interesting; I have a few theories!). I don’t know why but I think I liked this book more than the first. Maybe it’s because the stakes feel higher? I can’t put my finger on it. Long story short, I stayed up late to finish one night and had to wake up at 4:30 AM the next day. On my way home that evening, I was so excited to think I had more to read when I […]