Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Hail Mary Teaser Blitz

We're counting down to the release of THE HAIL MARY, book 3 in The Waiting Series from Ginger Scott.

THE HAIL MARY releases on January 18th. Enjoy this teaser!





Pre-order THE HAIL MARY today!

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The Hail Mary
Waiting Series Book 3
Adult Contemporary Romance, Coming of Age Trilogy

Sixteen years is a long time. In a marriage, it’s a milestone. On the gridiron, it’s a miracle. Reed Johnson wants more time for everything, but time is funny that way.

It can be cruel.

With a body that can’t quite take the hits it used to and a heart tired of being torn in two different directions, Reed is faced with a reality he’s not quite ready for—life without the game. He became a man under Friday night game lights and in college stadium tunnels, and without the grit and the glory that’s earned ten yards at a time, he’s afraid of what kind of man he’ll be.

But there’s more than a game at stake now.

Reed’s wife, Nolan, is afraid too. She’s seen what can happen when the love of her life pushes himself too hard, and she can’t escape the nightmares she relives after almost losing her entire world to one single play on the field.

There is no compromise when it comes to football. Same goes for the heart. You’re either all in, or you get crushed. For Reed and Nolan, the clock is ticking down. Time…it does that. One way or another, they’re going to have to make a choice.

This is their hail Mary.

This is win or lose.

(The Hail Mary is book 3 in The Waiting Series, which follows high school sweethearts Reed Johnson and Nolan Lennox through football, life, love and everything messy that goes along with it. The series begins with Waiting on the Sidelines and Going Long.)




Pre-order THE HAIL MARY today!

Amazon     I     iBooks     I     Nook     I     Google     I     Kobo 


Read the first two books in the series today!

 


Start with Waiting on the Sidelines here-https://amzn.to/2pU4JXy
Going Long is book 2, and find it here -https://amzn.to/2yk3lSC

The One You Fight For (The Ones Who Got Away #3) by Roni Loren

* * * *



How hard would you fight for the one you love? 

Taryn Landry was there that awful night fourteen years ago when Long Acre changed from the name of a town to the title of a national tragedy. Everyone knows she lost her younger sister. No one knows it was her fault. Since then, psychology professor Taryn has dedicated her life's work to preventing something like that from ever happening again. Falling in love was never part of the plan...

Shaw Miller has spent more than a decade dealing with the fallout of his brother's horrific actions. After losing everything―his chance at Olympic gold, his family, almost his sanity―he's changed his name, his look, and he's finally starting a new life. As long as he keeps a low profile and his identity secret, everything will be okay, right?

When the world and everyone you know defines you by one catastrophic tragedy...


How do you find your happy ending?


Source: advance e-galley provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review


The One You Fight For follows yet another survivor of the Long Acre High School shooting. Taryn along with Liv, Finn and Rebecca from the previous books were brought back together by a documentary in which they participated. Since then we've come to know how they've coped since the shooting.

Taryn is definitely interesting because of the unique way she has chosen to move forward with her life. As a professor who has done extensive research into sociopathic behaviour she hopes to put her work to good use. Since her life was spared she wants to make sure that everything she does makes a difference and brings about positive changes. But she's always gingerly towing the line between being the dutiful daughter and letting her creative side break through. 

At the other end there's Shaw who's life was upended by the shooting because of his relation to the killer. Though he didn't pull the trigger he's carried the guilt and shame of what happened. His life fell apart and his future took on a far different trajectory than what he was destined for. He moved away for a while to escape all the unwanted attention and was convinced to come back to Austin to start up a business. 

This isn't necessarily a case of opposites attract but two people at opposite ends of the same tragedy.. Somehow Taryn and Shaw work. Honestly, I'm surprised by Taryn's ability to compartmentalize all these facts and details and look past all the ugliness that surrounds their association to each other to fight for a chance with Shaw. This is why I find her so interesting - she really is one surprise after another. There's so much working against them least of all people's reactions to their friendship. But what might drive them apart is the one thing that they have in common: that they've continued to be defined and imprisoned by this one event. Perhaps their union is the catalyst to help them recover the parts of their identity and lives that went to pieces. 

I couldn't get enough of Taryn and Shaw's chemistry but mostly it was their complicated situation that kept me tuned in. It was enough to make me fidgety. And then there's the tragedy itself that has forever marked these individuals. I'm fascinated by how Loren relays these individuals' experiences reminding us that the effects don't just stop because the horrible thing is over. They last forever, there's no escaping that and each one of these friends has dealt with it in their own manner. 

As with the first two books in this series, The One You Fight For is a highly addictive read. It overwhelms with emotion, squeezes your heart and also offers a glimmer of hope to hold onto.

~ Bel


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Once Ghosted, Twice Shy (Reluctant Royals #2.5) by Alyssa Cole

* * * * *
Alyssa Cole returns with a fun, sexy romance novella in the Reluctant Royals series!
While her boss the prince was busy wooing his betrothed, Likotsi had her own love affair after swiping right on a dating app. But her romance had ended in heartbreak, and now, back in NYC again, she’s determined to rediscover her joy—so of course she runs into the woman who broke her heart.
When Likotsi and Fabiola meet again on a stalled subway train months later, Fab asks for just one cup of tea. Likotsi, hoping to know why she was unceremoniously dumped, agrees. Tea and food soon leads to them exploring the city together, and their past, with Fab slowly revealing why she let Likotsi go, and both of them wondering if they can turn this second chance into a happily ever after.
Source: advance e-galley provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Alyssa Cole's delightful Reluctant Royals series has introduced amazing women and dashing men whose lives intersect unexpectedly. It's been great to read a romance about royalty that features people of colour who are creators of opportunity in their own lives.
Once Ghosted, Twice Shy - seriously cute title, by the way - brings back Likotsi, Prince Thabiso's most valued, most trusted advisor who has been by his side for what seems like forever. When she's not busy keeping the future king in line she manages to carve out a bit of time for herself to find love as well. Thanks to a dating app, she meets Fabiola who instantly knocks her off her feet. Likotsi has no intention of seeking anything long term and Fab seems like she's up for some fun, too. She even helps Likotsi loosen up a bit but then just as quickly as they hook up it's all over, and Fab simply disappears from her life. Until one day when she reappears out of nowhere and all the passion, the bitterness, the hurt is reignited. As they spend the day together wandering around New York and tip-toeing around each other they fall into a familiar pattern. But there's no way to move forward until they address the cause of their breakup. 
Even though it's a novella it doesn't deprive Litkosi and Fab of the time to tell their story. It's a delightful read from beginning to end and Cole invokes some gorgeous imagery that just makes the two of them come alive. It also made me want to visit New York again. And did you know that the book's cover features a real-life couple? I found that out before I started it and it made me feel even more gushy about Likotsi and Fab as I was reading it. Once Ghosted, Twice Shy was the something "sweet and fun" I wanted to read about genuinely good people deserving the good things coming their way.
~ Bel

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Me I Meant To Be by Sophie Jordan

* * * * 1/2


Girl Code: Never date a friend’s ex.

Willa Evans has no intention of breaking the code. So what if she’s always secretly loved her next-door neighbor Zach? As her best friend’s boyfriend, he was always off-limits and it needs to stay that way, even though they just broke up. Even though every time she turns around he’s there, tempting her…
 
No keeping secrets from your bestie.

Flor Hidalgo has a lot on her plate: her breakup with Zach, her dad’s new dating life, and her struggling grades. So why can’t she stop thinking about her hot, know-it-all tutor? At least she’s got Willa, her constant in the chaos.
 
Breaking the code breaks friendships.
 
Two friends find themselves tempted by love that defies the rules in this steamy romance perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Simone Elkeles.


Source: advance e-galley provided in exchange for an honest review


I absolutely enjoyed Sophie Jordan's latest YA offering because this one focused on a theme that I can relate to and am witnessing right now through my two teens: the changing nature of friendships.

Willa and Flor have been besties for a long time and have seen each other through ups and downs. While Willa likes to be in the background, Flor is the more popular friend at the forefront. But things are slowly changing. Flor recently broke up with Zach who happens to be Willa's nextdoor neighbor so it kind of puts her in an awkward situation. While Flor is fixated on why Zach broke things off with her and how she can win him back, Willa's just trying to work out how she can remain friends with both of them and also loyal to Flor. And because of her loyalty and their friendship, Willa has made a silent vow to herself to never allow her long held secret crush on Zach to go any further than that. Flor's way of coping is to create the Girl Code, a set of rules that girlfriends should adhere to in order to support each other and lift each other up. Poor Willa feeling treacherous inside, although Flor isn't faring any better because she's developing strange feelings for her math tutor, Grayson who is the exact opposite of Zach and who shouldn't even be occupying space in her head when she's trying to get back together with him.

Each chapter is headed by a Girl Code entry that has a tie-in to that chapter. It's quite cute. With the POV switching between Willa and Flor there's an abundance of emotion, confusion, angst and flirting flying about. I love how well Jordan handles both their stories, giving them equal time. She treats their friendship delicately - which it is at the moment - while also showing how Willa and Flor are gradually diverging on their own paths. The matter of loyalty is constantly brought up, as is the idea of family and what that should mean. Willa and Flor are each experiencing changes within their families and I can say that what's going on with Flor's astounded me. 

There is a third friend in the mix, Jenna whose story isn't delved into. I wish there could've been a way to flesh out her storyline as well but I can also see why Jordan just kept it to the two main girls. Jenna's brief appearances do initiate the topic of self-acceptance, and the painful reality of how how hard it can be to be honest with your family about something you've come to know about yourself. 

I fell in love with this book and its honesty about the inevitable changes that come with simply growing older. Even though boys are in the picture for Willa and Flor, The Me I Meant to Be is truly about the girls' friendship, growth and acceptance. Girl Code is important but it's also just a guide. Any friendship will face its test but it rests on the individuals involved to see that their friendship survives. 

~ Bel


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Nightchaser (Endeavor #1) by Amanda Bouchet

* * * * *

A delicious new heart-pounding romantic adventure from USA Today bestseller Amanda Bouchet!

Captain Tess Bailey and her crew of Robin Hood-like thieves are desperate and on the run. Pursued by a vicious military general who wants them dead or alive, Tess has to decide if she can trust Shade Ganavan, a tall, dark and arrogant stranger with ambiguous motivations.

Shade Ganavan had oodles of arrogance, oodles of charm, and oodles of something that made me want to kick him in the nuts.

What Tess and Shade don’t know about each other might get them killed…unless they can set aside their differences and learn to trust each other—while ignoring their off-the-charts chemistry.


Source: advance e-galley provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review


Amanda Bouchet is at the top of the list when it comes to imagination and world-building. It's what made me a fan after reading her Kingmaker Chronicles Series. Naturally I was eager to read Nightchaser and more than a little curious to see how she'd switch from Greek mythology to space and the great beyond. 

The blurb describes Tess and her ragtag crew as Robin Hood-like and it's an accurate description. Tess is a threatening figure to the Black Watch because she steals their valuable resources to give to the less fortunate. You know, your average space-roving pirate. She's fearless against them which only makes her more dangerous to them. Her capture and subsequent removal is their top priority. This time she might have taken on more than she can chew and after a harrowing and death-defying chase, winds up on another planet, Albion 5 to refuel and assess the damage done to their spacecraft. Thinking she's undetected, she also conducts some sketchy business on the side but her presence raises questions for one Shade Ganavan who has priorities of his own. Tess could be his ticket to freedom so he'd better not muck it up. And of course, he mucks it up. That's half the fun!

I ate up each and every page of Nightchaser. I couldn't get enough of it and I even felt crushed once it was over. It's adventurous, suspenseful, funny. If you're familiar with the show, Firefly then that gives you an idea of the space crew assembled on Endeavor and the loyalty and affection that binds them together. I loved Tess immediately because she is grit personified. No matter what she's been through she has this "bring it on" attitude that lets you know nothing is over until she's tried everything she can. The moral fiber at her core prevents her from simply giving up and looking the other way. She is a warrior. I also loved her and Shade together. Any couple that can banter well together gets two enthusiastic thumbs up from me. 

I did notice some similarities between this and the Kingmaker Chronicles, namely strained familial relations and an emphasis on the family you choose as opposed to the one you're born in to. Tess feels the weight of the world on her and sacrifices a lot without uttering a word about it to everyone. Shade, who's conflicted about what his role should be embodies the moral dilemma of the story. Either he can go with the status quo looking out for himself only or he can become part of the resistance. But don't think of him as the handsome hero swooping in to rescue the damsel in distress because Tessa is more than capable of taking care of herself. For Tessa, it's about learning to trust someone outside of her tight crew and you know how dysfunctional families lead to trust issues.

Nightchaser was a blast and I can't wait to read more in the Endeavor series!

~ Bel


Friday, December 28, 2018

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

* * * 3/4

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship...but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.
 


Source: advance e-galley provided in exchange for an honest review


Christina Lauren (the writing duo of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings) may have been around awhile but it's only been this year that I finally started reading their books. They bring a fun, sexy edge to their writing that creates many great conversations amongst their characters which is something that gets me.

My Favorite Half-Night Stand features a close-knit group of friends who are university professors, geeky but lovable to their core. They've all had their fair share of relationships and heartbreaks and this group seems to be their salvation. Their sanity. That is until they decide they must all find dates to an important event. They agree to set up online dating profiles to snag a date. Millie is highly skeptical of this in the first place and this is compounded by the fact that she's developed an attraction for one of the guys in this group, Reid. They do the deed one night and instead of all hell breaking loose, things are a wee bit awkward before going back to somewhat normal. Still, Millie hasn't stopped her feelings for Reid. In the meantime, the pursuit of a date through the dating app continues but then takes a twisted turn when Millie, who's dissatisfied with her initial pairing, decides to set up a second profile under her other name, Catherine, and winds up getting paired with Reid. It would be great BUT he doesn't know it's her. Catherine and Reid hit it off and things just get more complicated between them. Millie done messed up.

At first I really liked My Favorite Half-Night Stand. I liked the idea of this tight circle of friends and the fact that even as adults in their thirties they didn't have their shizz quite figured out. The comedic banter and ridiculous mishaps are always a win for me. But after I let the entire story sink in, the questionable stuff that transpires between Millie and Reid stood out. 

Millie tends to be closed off. She's not good with emotions and looks to be not so great with empathy. So while she's close with the guys she hasn't really shown them her real self. The only time she's been able to come close to this is when she's speaking to Reid through her second online profile and sharing details she'd otherwise be unable to talk to him about in person. Now while the things she shares with him are true she's still doing it under the guise of someone else and Reid is falling for this someone else. Ladies and gentleman, Millie has catfished her best friend and sometimes lover. The fact that she feels safer talking about herself as Catherine should ring several bells and perhaps a mega siren in her head. Instead, she goes so far as to justify it because she's telling him the truth in their conversations. And she kind of passes the buck because she's expecting him to figure it out by dropping hints. This sadly eats away at the delightful parts of the story. 

I know I revealed quite a bit in this review but I also suspect that some readers might be sensitive to the catfishing plot. It's an invasion of privacy and trust, for sure, so I circle back to my earlier point about adults not having it together, especially ones who tend to run away from their problems and hide behind a facade of everything is good when they're clearly not. As irritated as I was with Millie's actions, I was, for some inexplicable reason, accepting of her character flaws and waited for her to wake up and grow up. I'm quite sure I wouldn't have been quite as forgiving had there not been a fallout that forced things to come to a head. I still enjoyed the book overall because I wanted the resolution and the forgiveness and the happily ever after, and Christina Lauren delivered on that. 

~ Bel

  

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Hail Mary Cover Reveal

Check out this AMAZING cover for The Hail Mary by Ginger Scott! One-Click the first two books in this amazing series today! 
The Hail Mary releases January 18th!



The Hail Mary by Ginger Scott
Adult Contemporary Romance
Release day: January 18, 2019
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2E0rz80

Blurb:

The Hail Mary
Waiting Series Book 3
Adult Contemporary Romance, Coming of Age Trilogy

Sixteen years is a long time. In a marriage, it’s a milestone. On the gridiron, it’s a miracle. Reed Johnson wants more time for everything, but time is funny that way.

It can be cruel.

With a body that can’t quite take the hits it used to and a heart tired of being torn in two different directions, Reed is faced with a reality he’s not quite ready for—life without the game. He became a man under Friday night game lights and in college stadium tunnels, and without the grit and the glory that’s earned ten yards at a time, he’s afraid of what kind of man he’ll be.

But there’s more than a game at stake now.

Reed’s wife, Nolan, is afraid too. She’s seen what can happen when the love of her life pushes himself too hard, and she can’t escape the nightmares she relives after almost losing her entire world to one single play on the field.

There is no compromise when it comes to football. Same goes for the heart. You’re either all in, or you get crushed. For Reed and Nolan, the clock is ticking down. Time…it does that. One way or another, they’re going to have to make a choice.

This is their hail Mary.

This is win or lose.

(The Hail Mary is book 3 in The Waiting Series, which follows high school sweethearts Reed Johnson and Nolan Lennox through football, life, love and everything messy that goes along with it. The series begins with Waiting on the Sidelines and Going Long.)




Read the first two books in the series today!

 
Start with Waiting on the Sidelines here-https://amzn.to/2pU4JXy
Going Long is book 2, and find it here -https://amzn.to/2yk3lSC

About the Author:


Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, and A Boy Like You.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

When she's not writing, the odds are high that she's somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork 'em, Devils).

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