Book Review: Who is Rich?

WHO IS RICH?: A NOVEL, BY MATTHEW KLAM

PUBLICATION:  RANDOM HOUSE; JULY 4, 2017

who is richAbout the book: 

Every summer, a once-sort-of-famous cartoonist named Rich Fischer leaves his wife and two kids behind to teach a class at a weeklong arts conference in a charming New England beachside town. It’s a place where, every year, students—nature poets and driftwood sculptors, widowed seniors, teenagers away from home for the first time—show up to study with an esteemed faculty made up of prize-winning playwrights, actors, and historians; drunkards and perverts; members of the cultural elite; unknown nobodies, midlist somebodies, and legitimate stars—a place where drum circles happen on the beach at midnight, clothing optional.

One of the attendees this year is a forty-one-year-old painting student named Amy O’Donnell. Amy is a mother of three, unhappily married to a brutish Wall Street titan who runs a multibillion-dollar investment fund and commutes to work via helicopter. Rich and Amy met at the conference a year ago, shared a moment of passion, then spent the winter exchanging inappropriate texts and emails and counting the days until they could see each other again. Now they’re back.

Once more, Rich finds himself, in this seaside paradise, worrying about his family’s nights without him and trying not to think about his book, now out of print, or his future as an illustrator at a glossy magazine about to go under, or his back taxes, or the shameless shenanigans of his colleagues at this summer make-out festival, or his own very real desire for love and human contact. He can’t decide whether Amy is going to rescue or destroy him.

Who Is Rich? is a warped and exhilarating tale of love and lust, a study in midlife alienation, erotic pleasure, envy, and bitterness in the new gilded age that goes far beyond humor and satire to address deeper questions: of family, monogamy, the intoxicating beauty of children, and the challenging interdependence of two soulful, sensitive creatures in a confusing domestic alliance.

My Review: 

I just finished reading Who is Rich? by Matthew Klam, and overall I really enjoyed this novel. It was not a normal, everyday read, but a complex glimpse into the life of a married, middle-aged Cartoonist named Rich. Rich and his wife Robin do not have a very warm and fuzzy marriage, they struggle financially, have two small children, and basically tolerate one another day to day. However, it’s time for his once a year art conference where he holds cartooning workshops in a small beach town. This also means that he will see Amy, a super rich, unhappy wife and mother whom he has been intimate with before, as well as, carrying on communication with over the past year. 

This novel is told entirely from Rich’s point of view which I liked, but sometimes his thoughts or feelings wandered a bit too far away for me. Rich is obviously a very devoted father but is cynical about life in general. He struggles over his career not becoming what he had hoped, he feels slighted and beaten down by Robin (rightfully so), and appears completely confused about his ever-changing feelings, or lack thereof, for Amy. I love the honest exploration into Rich’s life and feelings about who he is, but there were also times it bordered on a pity-party. Money was a huge player in this novel, not only because he struggled with making and responsibly spending money, but also Amy’s enormous wealth as compared to his own. On one hand he wanted her to rescue him financially, but on the other hand, he refused any financial help and felt certain they could never really co-exist as a couple because of her wealth. 

I was torn throughout the entire novel as to whether Rich and Amy had any genuine feelings for one another, but I’m inclined towards it just being an escape and a moment to connect with someone. Sex seemed to make them both happy then sad then happy then sad again. It was almost as if they each gave too much power to sexual acts, expecting miracles from it, but instead felt dirty and disappointed in themselves afterwards. My hopes are that by the end of the novel, Rich came to realize his own enormous because of his two children, but I’m not sure because there was still the joy-sucking wife of his that was consistently uncaring and bitter. Rich also seemed to struggle with other social relationships, frequently replacing conversation with sarcasm and rhetorical questions, but this also prevented him from really looking at himself and the choices that he has made. 

Matthew Klam’s writing was beautiful, detailed, and honest. He truly provided a window into Rich’s soul and revealed so much about this man who so often doubted himself and others. I can’t say it left me feeling happy with my spirits lifted, but I appreciated the overall themes of his internal and external struggles. Rich is not a character that I will soon forget and I am rooting for him to enjoy a happier life!

*Thanks to First to Read and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Pre-Order Who Is Rich? on Amazon!

Learn more about Matthew Klam by visiting his web page. 

Book Review: Tell Me How This Ends Well

TELL ME HOW THIS ENDS WELL: A NOVEL, BY DAVID SAMUEL LEVINSON

PUBLICATION: HOGARTH; APRIL 4, 2017

tell me howAbout the book: 

Why is tonight different from all other nights?
Tonight we kill dad.
 
In 2022, American Jews face an increasingly unsafe and anti-Semitic landscape at home. Against this backdrop, the Jacobson family gathers for Passover in Los Angeles. But their immediate problems are more personal than political, with the three adult children, Mo, Edith, and Jacob, in various states of crisis, the result, each claims, of a lifetime of mistreatment by their father, Julian. The siblings have begun to suspect that Julian is hastening their mother Roz’s demise, and years of resentment boil over as they debate whether to go through with the real reason for their reunion: an ill-considered plot to end their father’s iron rule for good. That is if they can put their bickering, grudges, festering relationships, and distrust of one another aside long enough to act.

And God help them if their mother finds out . . .

Tell Me How This Ends Well presents a blistering and prescient vision of the near future, turning the exploits of one very funny, very troubled family into a rare and compelling exploration of the state of America, and what it could become.

My Review:

For those of you that read my blog regularly (thanks!), you will soon learn that this is the shortest review I will ever write. Tell Me How This Ends Well is an interesting title, because I kept asking myself, “does it get any better?” From what I gathered, Jacob and his boyfriend/partner Diet are visiting L.A. from Berlin because of Jacob’s mother being ill. But also, him and his two siblings – Mo and Edith – have all planned to kill their father Julian. Because he was a bad parent, they think he’s contributed to their mother’s illness, etc. I will admit that I was unable to force myself to finish this book. Most of the time spent reading was re-reading over and over because the writing style had me completely baffled trying to differentiate between the present and flashbacks. What I thought was going to be “dark humor” did not provoke the tiniest of a chuckle. This book has mixed reviews, with several being very positive reviews, however, I just didn’t get it. Moreover, I didn’t want to. It was a tedious read at best and rather than connecting with the characters and the story, I just kept wishing I was doing anything but reading this novel. 

*Thanks to Blogging for Books for providing this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Book Review: The Party

THE PARTY, BY ROBYN HARDING

PUBLICATION: GALLERY/SCOUT PRESS; JUNE 6, 2017

The PartyAbout the book: 

In this stunning and provocative domestic drama about a sweet sixteen birthday party that goes horribly awry, a wealthy family in San Francisco finds their picture-perfect life unraveling, their darkest secrets revealed, and their friends turned to enemies.

One invitation. A lifetime of regrets.

Sweet sixteen. It’s an exciting coming of age, a milestone, and a rite of passage. Jeff and Kim Sanders plan on throwing a party for their daughter, Hannah—a sweet girl with good grades and nice friends. Rather than an extravagant, indulgent affair, they invite four girls over for pizza, cake, movies, and a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong?

But things do go wrong, horrifically so. After a tragic accident occurs, Jeff and Kim’s flawless life in a wealthy San Francisco suburb suddenly begins to come apart. In the ugly aftermath, friends become enemies, dark secrets are revealed in the Sanders’ marriage, and the truth about their perfect daughter, Hannah, is exposed.

My Review:

Holy crap readers, I don’t know where to begin with this one! Talking about a disturbing read for parents of teenagers… I’m not sure whether to advise all parents to read this book before allowing their child to have and/or participate in a sleepover or if I should say to never read this because it will put the fear of God in you!

Jeff and Kim live in a beautiful home, have beautiful cars, beautiful boat, and of course – two beautiful children. It’s their daughter Hannah’s sweet sixteen and she is having four girlfriends over for a sleepover. They order pizza and Kim prepares plenty of healthy snacks and sodas for the girls. Oh, and she also threatens them regarding any smoking, drinking, drugs, boys, or porn. All seems well until Kim and Jeff are woken up in the middle of the night and see Hannah standing in their bedroom crying and covered in blood and vomit. 

To begin, this was an incredible novel. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time and evoked every emotion imaginable. Fear, disgust, disappointment, shock, sadness, and on and on. I can’t talk about the plot much because so many things happen that all add up to the unraveling of Jeff and Kim’s family, plus several others. However, I think my most frequent reaction while reading this was, “No! What the hell are you thinking? Don’t do that or say that!” Every mistake known to mankind was made by these characters – and that is not an exaggeration. However, they are all mistakes that any of us could easily make. Not all of us would do all of these things, but I could easily see any average man, woman, child doing these things. 

Take Mean Girls, The Dinner, and Crazy, Stupid Love – mix them together and you will get The Party. The terrifying thing about The Party is that this story is something that could happen to anyone. Granted, their lives were not as pretty as they pretended, but so many lives fell apart throughout this novel – all because of one evening with a bunch of teenage kids doing things that shouldn’t have done. What’s frightening is most of us have done the same things they did at some point while we were growing up. As I said earlier, if you have teenagers this novel could quite possibly scare the crap out of you… But the lesson in this dark story is that our lives can change in an instant and things we think are “secrets” will usually come out eventually. Therefore – be honest, don’t lie, and for God’s sake don’t let your girls have a sleepover!

Last thing – if you have read this I would love your take on the last page or so regarding the text that Hannah sent…  Did things happen the way she said or was she just looking for revenge?

*Thanks to NetGalley for providing this arc in exchange for an honest review. 

Pre-Order The Party on Amazon!

Learn more about Robyn Harding by visiting her web page. 

Release Blitz: The Rebellion

 

Title: The Rebellion
Series: Hard to Resist #5
Author: S.L. Scott
Genre: STANDALONE Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 18, 2017

 

Blurb

 

I met my muse at fifteen. I’d just gotten busted
for smoking behind the school gymnasium. She inspired me with her laugh and
nonjudgmental attitude and, before I knew it, we were inseparable. Then I left
to pursue my rock star dreams—dreams she encouraged.
 
I got over Jaymes Grenier no problem. I never
think about that little bow at the top of her pink lips, or the way her green
eyes admired mine. Nope, I barely recall the way she fit so perfectly in my
arms when I held her at night. The sweet way she would whisper she loved me has
long faded from memory.
 
These are the lies I regularly tell myself
in hopes of believing them one day. Yeah, I was told I’d get over my first
love.
 
I didn’t. 
 
Derrick Masters marked me the moment we met back
in ninth grade. He called me over—all bravado and bad boy mystery wrapped in a
James Dean-esque package. Dark hair and blue eyes with a rebel without a cause
charisma. He was everything I was warned about, but I couldn’t resist. I
was his from that moment on.
 
His career took off almost as soon as he
did. I knew it would. I just thought I would be beside him as his partner in
crime, best friend, and lover. That’s what we had always been … before he left
me behind to fend for myself.

Fend? Fight is more like it.

 
I’ve been fighting ever since. 
 
Fighting for survival.
 
Fighting for a better life in a world determined
to keep me down.
 
I don’t have the luxury of letting my head live
in the lure of La La Land. His dreams may have come true, but mine were
extinguished. These days I fight for something bigger than me, bigger than we
were ever meant to be.
 
When his dreams come crashing back into my
reality, is this a second chance at that fairy tale ending or another
heartbreak in the making?

 

 My Review:

I hate to say that this was my first time reading S.L. Scott, but I assure you that it will not be the last! This is the story of sexy rock star Derrick Masters and his first and only love Jaymes (Jamie) Grenier. Derrick left years ago to follow his dreams and join the band The Resistance, while Jaymes has been trying to work, go to school, raise her son, and battle Reggie – one of the demons from Derrick and Jaymes’ pasts. During a break from the tour they see each other once again, but while Derrick is trying to win Jaymes back, she is busy trying to push him away.

I loved Jaymes right away – and especially Ace – but I didn’t truly warm up to her until more of her life was exposed. Her integrity and drive was amazing, as well as, her determination to provide her and her son a better life. Derrick quickly grew on me after the first chapter or so, leading to me eventually falling head over heels for his character! 

The Rebellion was a great read because it’s a blend of romance, coming of age, rock star life, and also overcoming the bad in our lives. I can’t say that I was surprised by the events of the novel, but it was still a page-turner that I loved from the first word to the last. The main characters were outstanding, as were the secondary characters – which makes me want to go back and read the entire Hard to Resist series! S.L. Scott has created a fantastic story and journey about Derrick and Jaymes that you don’t want to miss!

*Thanks to the author and Give Me Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited

Trailer


Excerpt

On the front porch, leaning against the wood column in all
his new found glory, stands the most breathtaking man I’ve ever seen. As a
teenager, I thought he was the best-looking boy I’d ever seen,
and based on how I’m struggling to breathe just from looking at him now, I
think he still holds the title. But now he’s a man.
Ace is talking about what some kid named Shiloh got in
trouble for today at school, but I’m still staring at Derrick Masters.
Derrick Masters.
My very own Perseus, though right now I’m thinking he was
more my Achilles heel in the grand scheme of things.
Derrick Masters is standing on my mother’s front porch like
he belongs there. A smile that shines like the star he’s become appears and he
waves. Not sure if it was the grin on his face or the wave that sends me
tripping flat on my face into the grassy lawn, but I’m cursing the curb when I
lift up and look right into the dark blue eyes I’ve tried to despise.
“Are you okay?” he asks, trying to help me up. His voice is
deep, the timbre the same one that always made my heart beat a little faster.
It’s not that thought that runs through my mind. It’s his hands on me,
grappling to help me to my feet.
He’s touching me.
Derrick Masters is touching me and I consider lying there
longer just to savor the feel of his calloused fingers again. Ace tugs at my
ankle like that will help me up. “Mommy, you fell.”
Mommy.
Mommy.
Derrick knows I’m a mommy.
Oh my God. What does he think?
Does he hate me? Disappointed in me? Happy for me? Or not
care at all?
I would care if I found out he has kids.
Maybe he already knew . . .
Maybe I’ll just lie here as long as I can until he goes
away.
Ace lies down next to me and rests his face on my hand.
Looking at me with wide eyes, he asks, “Are we playing a game? This is fun.”
“Yes, I quite like it here.”
I hear Derrick chuckling just above me, enough to feel his
warmth covering my body like sunshine as I lie in the cool grass. I might be
mistaken but it sounds like he’s behind me now. On the ground with me.
Ace’s eyes look over my head. “My friend is here too.” He
giggles. “See? Right there.”
Lying like a dead fish, I smile at my cute son not quite
ready to face Derrick Masters. “What’s your new friend’s name?”
“Derrick. He plays a guitar like you, Mommy.”
After a tap on the back, Ace’s new friend speaks, “Hi.”
I miss Derrick’s hands on me, even if it was just helping me
up. Ace is a ball of laughter and gets up. I watch until he runs behind me.
“I’m here now. We’re all here. This is fun. Oh look, the moon.”
I can’t avoid him forever and the grass is grounding,
literally, and settles my anxiety over just this kind of thing happening. I’ve
embarrassed myself and he’s found out I’m a mother in the course of one sexy
smile and a wave. I shake my head and close my eyes annoyed with myself for
acting so foolishly in front of him. He was once my everything. When
I roll onto my back, the top of our hands meet in an innocent touch that
neither of us bothers to retreat. Finally building enough nerve, I turn my head
and look straight into his eyes again. “Hi,” I whisper.
That devastatingly charming smile reappears, and he says,
“It’s good to see you, Jaymes.”

Also Available

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited 

Author Bio

 

 

Living in the capital of Texas with her family, Scott loves traveling and avocados, beaches, and cooking with her kids. She’s obsessed with epic romances and loves a good plot twist. Her favorite color is blue, but she likens it more toward the sky than the emotion. Her home is filled with the welcoming symbol of the pineapple and finds surfing a challenge though she likes to think she’s a pro.
Author Links

Blog tour, review & giveaway: The Truth About Happily Ever After

The Truth About Happily Ever After
Karole Cozzo
(Swoon Reads)
Publication date: May 16th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Chin up, Princess, or the crown will slip.

A theme park princess must put her life back together after her happily ever after falls apart in The Truth About Happily Ever After, a contemporary YA romance from Karole Cozzo, author of How to Keep Rolling After a Fall and How to Say I Love You Out Loud.

Everything was supposed to be perfect. Alyssa has a job she loves, working as Cinderella at her favorite theme park; a fantastic group of friends; and a boyfriend who will no longer be long distance. But as the summer progresses, her prince becomes less charming and more distant, and Alyssa’s perfect summer falls apart.

Forced to acknowledge that life is not always a fairy tale, Alyssa starts working to pull her herself back together. Fortunately, she doesn’t have to do it alone. With her friend Miller’s support, she’s determined to prove that she’s more than just a pretty princess. And with his help, maybe she’s finally ready for something better than dreams. Maybe she’s ready for something real.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

My Review:

I’m so excited to a part of the blog tour for The Truth About Happily Ever After! This was my first time reading Karole Cozzo and just loved this sweet story. When the novel begins, Alyssa seems to be the perfect, beautiful, blonde sorority girl who is constantly happy, and she is, for the most part. Working at a theme park as Cinderella, she basically lives her life as if it were a fairy tale, until she starts to realize that everything is not as perfect as she thought. Although she experiences hurt and disappointment, Alyssa learns over the summer that life isn’t always a fairy tale and things don’t always go as planned. 

This novel was fantastic in that the author took Alyssa from this happy, wonderful Cinderella, to being sad and feeling sorry for herself, to getting to where she was really getting to know herself and what she wanted. Alyssa had all of these “perfect” dreams and ideas about guys, marriage, work, and life – which there is nothing wrong with that. However, as the book progressed, Alyssa realized that happiness comes in different packages and in unexpected ways.

There are no words to express how much I adored Miller. He was the perfect blend of the fun guy friend and adorably sexy. His enormous heart and caring nature was evident so many times throughout the novel, and in so many ways. I was secretly rooting for Miller from the first moment that he was introduced in the novel!

I think this novel actually offers some great lessons to women of all ages. Despite the numerous times that Alyssa was wronged, she maintained very respectful composure, for the most part. She didn’t always deal with hurt in the healthiest of ways, but even when she was hurt or angry she didn’t behave in a way that she would regret later. Also, although this story reminds us that life isn’t always a fairy tale, it also serves as a reminder that our dreams can still come true! I would highly recommend this to YA/New Adult & College readers for a realistic, yet romantic story!

*Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Author Bio:

Karole lives outside of Philadelphia, PA with her loving husband, exuberant little girl, and smiley little boy. She adores YA Romance, because it would be awesome if life in general had a requisite feel-good happy ending rule. Vices include obscene Haribo gummy consumption, addiction to Starbucks NF vanilla lattes, and tendency to hoard Bath and Body Works 3-wick candles.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THE TOUR

May 15th
blogs and coffee >> Guest post
Fic Central >> Review
Ammie’s Book Obsession >> Review
Kourtni Reads >> Review
Novels and Necklaces >> Review

May 16th
CBY Book Club >> Excerpt
Maya Hearts Books  >> Excerpt
The Avid Reader >> Interview
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! >> Excerpt
Only True Magic >> Review

May 17th
Daydreaming Books >> Excerpt
Rebel Mommy Book Blog  >> Review
Eru Books and Recs >> Review
Writing Pearls >> Review

May 18th
Kindle and Me >> Guest post
Dandelions Inspired >> Review
The Candid Cover  >> Review
Wishful Endings >> Interview
To Be Read >> Review

May 19th
Blushing babes are up all night >> Excerpt
Twirling Book Princess >> Excerpt
Girl vs Books >> Excerpt
Feed Your Fiction Addiction >> Review

 

XBTBanner1

Book Review: Where There’s Smoke

WHERE THERE’S SMOKE, BY CATHY COLE

PUBLICATION: FIREBORN PUBLISHING; MARCH 8, 2017

where theres smokeAbout the book: 

Firefighter Jo Woods is struggling to hold onto her job and her sanity. Banished to the backwater town of Mourne Lough, she vows to stop making waves, admit her family’s death was an accident, and that the guilt she feels is plain old survivor guilt.

Then she finds the roses and everything changes.

The killer hasn’t stopped. He’s here. In the same town. Stalking her. And once again, no one believes her.

After seven years of avoiding family and friends, Jo is alone and friendless in a strange town. In order to survive and, more importantly, bring the killer to justice, she must overcome her fears and embrace her new life. And she must do it quickly because the killer has his sights set on her and he’s willing to kill anyone who gets in his way.

Enter Ian “Coop” Cooper, who sets Jo’s pulse fluttering and her antenna into overdrive. Does she dare trust him?

One thing Jo is clear about: this killer destroyed her life once before. No way is she going to let him do it again–no matter what it takes.

My Review:

I am completely speechless after reading Where There’s Smoke! This was such an outstanding, whirlwind of a thriller and it wasn’t until I had finished that I realized that this is author Cathy Cole’s debut novel. So I will begin by saying, this is an author to watch because if this is her debut, I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Anyhow, to the review part… The main character of this novel is Jo Woods, a firefighter that has recently transferred to the small town of Mourne Lough. She has a chance to start fresh but is also running from almost losing her job due to her theories about a possible murderer/arsonist. Jo has some horrible ghosts pertaining to losses involving fires, and when she comes across a house fire where she sees the roses, she knows that she’s been right all along and that he’s back. The problem is, no one believes her. 

Jo immediately appears very professional and dedicated to her work, but it’s also apparent that she has suffered tremendous loss, as well as, a lot of gossip and whispering behind her back regarding her theories of a string of “accidental house fires” actually being murder. After beginning at her new station, she easily befriends Dave but struggles to relate to the others in her unit, as well as, her superior. In the meantime, she befriends a neighbor Mary that is struggling as a single mother, as well as, the attractive but mysterious man across the hall, Coop. She has one person she can trust back from where she came from, Mavis, who is helping Jo compile profiles and information regarding the deaths of children in house fires over the years, but otherwise, everyone else thinks she’s crazy. 

Jo faces several battles in this novel. First is her own loss related to a fire – which I don’t want to spoil/reveal. Second is her being the only female in the small fire station in Mourne Lough with some sexist men as partners. The third is her frustrations over truly feeling these fires and deaths were intentional, but unable to produce any solid proof. Despite her past and present struggles, Jo is a strong and assertive main character presented in a realistic but positive light. I immediately felt connected to Jo and felt for her when every possible door on solving these fires kept shutting in her face. 

Beyond Jo, I can literally say that I felt suspicious of almost every character. Maybe not Dave or the older woman in Jo’s building, but literally every other character seemed to raise at least one red flag with me. Thus, this was an amazing suspense novel because I was floored as the truth slowly unraveled. Cathy Cole’s writing and plot development left me closely watching every move that every character made, as I struggled to figure out who was committing these fires and murders – if anyone was at all. I can attest that I did not figure everything out until maybe a few paragraphs before it was made clear and I was shocked. 

Where There’s Smoke was a fantastic surprise of suspense, mystery, crime, and maybe a tiny speckle of romance. You will not be able to put this one down once you start reading, so save this one when you have no other pressing matters that day. Prepare yourself for keeping a running tally in your head of who has said something or done something odd as you read because you will be busy trying to figure this one out!

*Thanks to the author for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review!

Purchase Where There’s Smoke on Amazon!

Learn more about Cathy Cole by visiting her web page.

What Am I Reading?

Happy Tuesday! Here are the books I am planning to read and review for this week! Have you read any of these titles? if so, let me know what you thought 🙂 

Tell Me How This Ends Well: A Novel, by David Samuel Levinson

Publication: Hogarth; April 4, 2017

tell me howAbout the book: 

Why is tonight different from all other nights?
Tonight we kill dad.
 
In 2022, American Jews face an increasingly unsafe and anti-Semitic landscape at home. Against this backdrop, the Jacobson family gathers for Passover in Los Angeles. But their immediate problems are more personal than political, with the three adult children, Mo, Edith, and Jacob, in various states of crisis, the result, each claims, of a lifetime of mistreatment by their father, Julian. The siblings have begun to suspect that Julian is hastening their mother Roz’s demise, and years of resentment boil over as they debate whether to go through with the real reason for their reunion: an ill-considered plot to end their father’s iron rule for good. That is if they can put their bickering, grudges, festering relationships, and distrust of one another aside long enough to act.

And God help them if their mother finds out . . .

Tell Me How This Ends Well presents a blistering and prescient vision of the near future, turning the exploits of one very funny, very troubled family into a rare and compelling exploration of the state of America, and what it could become.

Where There’s Smoke, by Cathy Cole

Publication: Fireborn Publishing; March 8, 2017

where theres smokeAbout the book: 

Firefighter Jo Woods is struggling to hold onto her job and her sanity. Banished to the backwater town of Mourne Lough, she vows to stop making waves, admit her family’s death was an accident, and that the guilt she feels is plain old survivor guilt.

Then she finds the roses and everything changes.

The killer hasn’t stopped. He’s here. In the same town. Stalking her. And once again, no one believes her.

After seven years of avoiding family and friends, Jo is alone and friendless in a strange town. In order to survive and, more importantly, bring the killer to justice, she must overcome her fears and embrace her new life. And she must do it quickly because the killer has his sights set on her and he’s willing to kill anyone who gets in his way.

Enter Ian “Coop” Cooper, who sets Jo’s pulse fluttering and her antenna into overdrive. Does she dare trust him?

One thing Jo is clear about: this killer destroyed her life once before. No way is she going to let him do it again–no matter what it takes.

The Truth About Happily Ever After,

by Karole Cozzo

Publication: Swoon Reads; May 16, 2017

the truthAbout the book: 

Love doesn’t always work out the way fairy tales tell us it should in this sweet romance about learning how to move on from a broken heart.

Everything was supposed to be perfect. Alyssa has a job she loves, working as Cinderella at her favorite theme park; a fantastic group of friends; and a boyfriend who will no longer be long–distance. But as the summer progresses, her prince becomes less charming and more distant, and Alyssa’s perfect summer falls apart.

Forced to acknowledge that life is not always a fairy tale, Alyssa starts working to pull her herself back together. Fortunately, she doesn’t have to do it alone. With her friend Miller’s support, she’s determined to prove that she’s more than just a pretty princess. And with his help, maybe she’s finally ready for something better than dreams… Maybe she’s ready for something real.

From Karole Cozzo, author of How to Keep Rolling After a Fall and How to Say I Love You Out Loud, comesThe Truth About Happily Ever After, a charming, uplifting young adult novel for the princess in all of us.

Who Is Rich?: A Novel, by Matthew Klam

Publication:  Random House; July 4, 2017

who is richAbout the book: 

Every summer, a once-sort-of-famous cartoonist named Rich Fischer leaves his wife and two kids behind to teach a class at a weeklong arts conference in a charming New England beachside town. It’s a place where, every year, students—nature poets and driftwood sculptors, widowed seniors, teenagers away from home for the first time—show up to study with an esteemed faculty made up of prize-winning playwrights, actors, and historians; drunkards and perverts; members of the cultural elite; unknown nobodies, midlist somebodies, and legitimate stars—a place where drum circles happen on the beach at midnight, clothing optional.

One of the attendees this year is a forty-one-year-old painting student named Amy O’Donnell. Amy is a mother of three, unhappily married to a brutish Wall Street titan who runs a multibillion-dollar investment fund and commutes to work via helicopter. Rich and Amy met at the conference a year ago, shared a moment of passion, then spent the winter exchanging inappropriate texts and emails and counting the days until they could see each other again. Now they’re back.

Once more, Rich finds himself, in this seaside paradise, worrying about his family’s nights without him and trying not to think about his book, now out of print, or his future as an illustrator at a glossy magazine about to go under, or his back taxes, or the shameless shenanigans of his colleagues at this summer make-out festival, or his own very real desire for love and human contact. He can’t decide whether Amy is going to rescue or destroy him.

Who Is Rich? is a warped and exhilarating tale of love and lust, a study in midlife alienation, erotic pleasure, envy, and bitterness in the new gilded age that goes far beyond humor and satire to address deeper questions: of family, monogamy, the intoxicating beauty of children, and the challenging interdependence of two soulful, sensitive creatures in a confusing domestic alliance.

The Party, by Robyn Harding

Publication: Gallery/Scout Press; June 6, 2017

The PartyAbout the book: 

In this stunning and provocative domestic drama about a sweet sixteen birthday party that goes horribly awry, a wealthy family in San Francisco finds their picture-perfect life unraveling, their darkest secrets revealed, and their friends turned to enemies.

One invitation. A lifetime of regrets.

Sweet sixteen. It’s an exciting coming of age, a milestone, and a rite of passage. Jeff and Kim Sanders plan on throwing a party for their daughter, Hannah—a sweet girl with good grades and nice friends. Rather than an extravagant, indulgent affair, they invite four girls over for pizza, cake, movies, and a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong?

But things do go wrong, horrifically so. After a tragic accident occurs, Jeff and Kim’s flawless life in a wealthy San Francisco suburb suddenly begins to come apart. In the ugly aftermath, friends become enemies, dark secrets are revealed in the Sanders’ marriage, and the truth about their perfect daughter, Hannah, is exposed.

Release Blitz & Review: Mistaken Identity

 

Title: Mistaken Identity
Author: M.C. Jackson
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Blurb

 

The last time I saw my sister was the day before she
vanished from my life. I’ve spent the last five years searching for her,
clinging to the hope that one day I will find out what happened to her, but
every lead has ended up at a dead end.
 
Until now.
 
He took me because he thinks I’m Her.
 
My instinct is to run. I want to fight my way out of there,
but I can’t. This man is my only connection to my sister. I’ll do whatever it
takes to uncover the truth. Even if it means falling right into the arms of a
psychopath.

 

 My Review:

I’m so excited to be a part of the release blitz for M.C. Jackson’s Mistaken Identity! This is going to be tricky to review because I absolutely don’t want any spoilers, but it was an incredible suspense and thrill ride!

Lena wakes up feeling completely beat up and is being held in some kind of cage by a man. This man knows her and thinks that she should know him also. When he calls her Anna, she realizes that he thinks that she is her twin sister Anna, that she hasn’t seen or heard from in 5 years. Does she tell him that she’s not Anna or does she play along and hopefully find out what happened to her sister?

So, yes – when she wakes up Jake is holding her captive and she can’t remember anything – but it was impossible to not immediately fall for Jake. Besides his handsome and sexy looks, his inner and outer dialogue make it clear pretty fast that he has a huge heart and is trying to mend something that went very wrong. He’s frustrated by her lack of memory and fears that when she does remember that she will take off. Lena keeps wondering if her boyfriend and friends are looking for her, but in the meantime keeps flashing back to the childhood that her and Anna shared, including horrific abuse. She continues playing along as if she’s Anna, because she feels certain that Jake will be the link to where she has been for so many years. 

Besides trying to deal with his prisoner, Jake has a whole other world of trouble going on of his own, however, it’s all attached to ways that he has helped and protected Anna over the years. The author’s character development is fascinating as she slowly shows the loving and caring side of Jake, all while Lena keeps blurring the lines between her own life and Anna’s. She slowly starts to trust Jake and earn his trust, but Jake is constantly struggling with how to help her once she remembers what happened. This is the part that was so suspenseful because it was a complete jaw-dropping shocker! I never suspected what would be revealed and love the author for providing such a killer surprise!

I will say that in probably the first 20% of the novel I was confused. I felt like I was reading a sequel and I had missed the first part… However, as I read on and learned more about the characters, I realized that the incredible writing was making me feel as Lena did when she wakes up at the beginning of the novel. We had no clue what was going on but it was slowly put back together, piece by piece. 

Mistaken Identify is a must-read that combines all of the best elements of mystery, suspense, and romance. This was a page-turner that I knocked out in just a couple of hours because I had to know what was going to happen. It wasn’t a typical romance by any means, and also wasn’t a typical suspense/thriller, but it checked off all of the boxes for being a wonderful novel! I cannot wait to read more from this talented author in the future!

*Thanks to Give Me Book Promotions for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

**Possible trigger warning involving physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.**

Purchase Links

99c for a VERY limited time

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AUFree in Kindle Unlimited

 

Excerpt

Before my eyes even open, I know he’s watching me. I can
feel the weight of his stare. My heart plummets as any chance of this being a
dream disappears. Sure enough, as I roll over he comes into view, sitting in
the same spot he was before. I sit up, both embarrassed and curious at his
interest in watching me sleep.
 
“Thought you might be hungry,” he says, tossing a neatly
folded brown package on the bed. “It’s just a sandwich,” he adds, noting my
dubious expression.
 
As much as I want to throw it back in his face, my stomach
betrays me with a loud rumble. My face heats as I busy myself with opening the
thin layer of paper.
 
The bread is fresher than I expect and the aroma of ham
fills the air. I eat without coming up for air, partly due to being so damn
hungry and also because I have no idea when my next meal will be coming.
 
“Thanks,” I mutter, screwing the wrapper up into a tight
ball.
 
He hesitates and sits down next to me. My heart races at his
proximity and I shuffle over a few inches. He chuckles and rubs his jaw.
 
“You’re really taking this whole wide-eyed innocent act too
far,” he comments.
 
My mouth gapes. I have no idea how to respond to that. When
he reaches for my hand, I jump, and try to yank my arm away. His fingers close
around my wrist as he pulls me closer to him. I whimper. He’s so close I can
feel his warm breath on my neck.
 
“I’m sorry if I scared you earlier,” he says, his eyes
penetrating mine. I want to look away, but I can’t. “I’m just…you frustrate me
sometimes. I think you’re finally getting it and then you do something stupid
like this.”
 
“I don’t know who you are,” I whisper, shaking my head.
“Please, let me go. I wont tell anyone—”
 
“For fucks sake, Anna, will you quit this bullshit,” he
growls, pulling me to my feet. He steps backward, pushing his body against
mine, trapping me against the wall. Terrified, I try and push him back, but
he’s too strong. His six foot and well stacked frame easily overpowers me.
Suddenly, my blood runs cold. I gasp, struggling to breathe as his words repeat
in my head. One word. Anna. He called me Anna.
 
Oh god, oh god, oh god. It all makes sense now.
 
He thinks I’m her.

 

Author Bio
M.C. Jackson released her debut novel, Mistaken Identity, in
May 2017. When not writing, M.C. enjoys reading everything she can get her hands
on, spending time with friends and family, and cooking up crazy meals after
binge watching Masterchef.

Release Blitz and Giveaway: Waiting to Fall!

 

Title: Waiting to Fall
Series: Waiting Duet #2
Author: Alyson Reynolds
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 16, 2017

 

Blurb

Finn Crawford never thought his life would change with one stupid dare. Or that he would make the mistake of taking things too far with his twin sister’s best friend. Now he’s fighting off an attraction he didn’t expect.Cora Donovan doesn’t want a relationship, especially one with the guy who’s always been there for her when she needed it most. Just being in the same room as him makes her body heat up in ways she never thought possible.

There’s only one other thing that might stand in their way of being together, if they can actually figure out how to make it work. Neither of them want to hurt Olivia, and if they broke up, that’s exactly what would happen. Sometimes it’s hard to determine if love is worth the risk.

My Review:

I blown away by reading Waiting to Breathe, but oh my goodness Waiting to Fall was AMAZING! Nate and Olivia are still around, but this time the story focuses on Finn and Cora. They’ve been best friends forever – Cora, Olivia, and Finn – but Cora and Finn have notoriously flirted with one another for years. After a dare that results in a one night stand, the two friends have to figure out how to let it go and just get back to being friends, especially since neither wants a relationship. But suddenly they each quietly find themselves questioning if their feelings have changed and if they want more.

Waiting to Fall allowed the reader to get to know Cora on a much deeper level. Besides somewhat absent parents and stepparents, Cora had also dealt with an abusive ex in her past. As much as I adore Finn, the author also revealed a more brooding and jealous side of him in this novel, but it just added to the drama of the plot! Overall, both Finn and Cora had many different sides that the reader wasn’t aware of before this novel. I loved the chemistry and banter back and forth between Finn and Cora, however, I was so frustrated reading this book because every time I thought they were going to just suck it up and admit their feelings, one of them would pull back or screw up in some way. 

This was such an outstanding, but suspenseful romance! There were surprises that I never saw coming and the story flip-flopped between a fairy tale romance and sometimes just a big mess! Author Alyson Reynolds has a gift of pulling the reader in and her books are definitely those that cannot be put down until finished. She just swept me away in Finn and Cora’s story and tied in previous characters more than some do in follow-up novels – which I loved. I cannot recommend this novel and series enough for lovers of New Adult/College Romance! I am crossing my fingers that there will be more with these characters, perhaps Hannah and Chance??? 🙂 

*Thanks to Give Me Book Promotions for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS
Also Available

 

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS

 

Author Bio
Romance writer. Wife. Mother of two. Avid reader. Queen of multitasking.
Originally from the south, Alyson likes to incorporate what she knows into her books. She’s lived not only on the east coast, but the west coast and a few places in between. Alyson loves sharing stories about her crazy family to anyone who will listen. Her guilty pleasures consist of coffee, country music, brunch, breaking the rules, and pedicures. And she will always be a daddy’s girl.
When Alyson isn’t chasing around her two kiddos, she’s normally writing. Or reading. Her Kindle library is out of control. Alyson writes mainly contemporary novels and novellas with a bit of new adult mixed in.
Author Links

Book Review: When Two Hearts Collide

When Two Hearts Collide (Game of Hearts Novels Book 3), by Sonya Loveday & Candace Knoebel

Publication: Sonya Loveday & Candace Knoebel;

March 23, 2017

2 hearts collideAbout the book: Charlie Williams’ view on relationships is simple—one night, no strings, move on.

But when the opportunity to see a girl from his past comes up, Charlie finds himself breaking all his own rules. Ever since the night he’d turned her away, Charlie hasn’t been able to get Charlotte off his mind. A break from his pub for a vacation across the pond should be enough to cure him of his curiosity and get her out of his system. At least, he hopes…

Charlotte Mackay channels love through coffee.

Running her fandom-themed store and specialty coffee bar keeps her nerdy heart busy after one too many relationship disappointments. Until the man she can’t manage to forget calls.

Charlie’s coming to The Hamptons for a two-week vacation. She’s going to be his host—nothing more. She’d fallen under the spell of his bedroom eyes and roguish charm once before, and it nearly wrecked her. Charlotte can’t risk the same mistake twice.

But love knows no boundaries when two hearts collide.

My Review:

When Two Hearts Collide is the sweet, yet tumultuous story of Charlie and Charlotte. When Hannah can’t use the airline ticket she purchased to go visit Charlotte, Charlie – who was needing a vacation and hasn’t gotten Charlotte out of his mind – decides to go in her place. Charlotte has been building her new business and spends most of her time at her coffee shop, but finds herself excited about Charlie’s arrival, despite the fact that he never called. Although the old sparks are still there between them, what about each of their businesses on two different continents?

Charlotte struck me as the quiet one in previous novels, but I learned in this novel that she has many different sides. She’s driven and loves her new shop, but also can’t keep her mind off of Charlie. Charlie surprised me with his romantic side, seeming more like a funny guy and player before, and this time I really fell in love with him. 

I would have to say that the number one conflict/theme in this novel is miscommunication. Charlie makes assumptions, Charlotte makes assumptions, and they both end up disappointed and heart-broken. I loved the suspense of their story regarding “will they or won’t they?” They had so many ups and downs and obstacles that I didn’t think they had a chance. Once again, I also loved the authors’ dialogue between characters and the witty banter, especially concerning Charlie. Like Ed, I believe Charlie could charm the pants off of anyone with his cute expressions! 

Something I truly love about this novel and the series in general is the varying versions of happily ever after. Things aren’t always wrapped up in a pretty package in romance, even in fiction novels, and I love that the authors find different, open-ended ways to end their stories. Not every love story has to end with a ring, wedding, and a baby in the epilogue, but sometimes it’s enough to know that the characters are creating their own versions of happily ever after, whatever that may look like. 

Loveday and Knoebel make an outstanding writing team and I have so loved this series and hate that I’ve reached the end! I highly recommend this novel and series to those who love romance with real-life complications and relatable and realistic characters! 

Purchase When Two Hearts Collide on Amazon!

LEARN MORE ABOUT SONYA LOVEDAY & CANDACE KNOEBEL BY VISITING THEIR WEB PAGES!