Book Blitz, Giveaway, Reviews

Book tour & giveaway: Swept into Love

NEW RELEASE….

The Ryders are a series of stand-alone romances that may also be enjoyed as part of the larger Love in Bloom series. These hot contemporary romance novels feature alpha male heroes and sexy, empowered women. They’re flawed, funny, passionate, and relatable to readers who enjoy passionate contemporary romance and women’s fiction.

In SWEPT INTO LOVE…

It’s been years since Sally Tuft’s husband died and she was left to raise her teenage son alone. And almost as long since she told the only other man she’d ever wanted that they should be just friends. Now her son has left for college and Sally has no distractions to keep her from thinking about her best friend and coworker, Gage Ryder, and what could have been.

Gage always believed that one day Sally would move past the death of her husband and they would finally explore the passion that’s simmered between them since the day they met. Tasked with opening a new youth center in Oak Falls, Virginia, Gage hopes the trip away is just what they need to finally come together.

Before Gage and Sally ever reach Oak Falls, one night at a conference changes everything, putting their friendship–and their love–on the line, and the two must decide if getting swept up in love is the beginning of forever, or the end of their friendship as they know it.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

GET MORE RYDERS!

Seized by Love (Blue)
Claimed by Love (Duke)
Chased by Love (Trish)
Rescued by Love (Jake)
Swept Into Love (Gage)

The RYDERS are part of the LOVE IN BLOOM big family romance collection. Each book may be read as a stand-alone novel, or as part of the series.

Available to buy from……
Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com    Barnes and Noble    KOBO    iBooks   GPlay

My Review:

I am so excited for my day on the book tour for Melissa Foster’s Swept into Love! Part of the Ryders series, this time it’s Gage’s story and it is so romantic!

Gage and Sally have been best friends for years, doing things that normal couples would do. They buy gifts for others together, share dinners, work together, and Gage has been like a father to Sally’s son Rusty. Sally’s husband Dave died in a skiing accident almost 6 years earlier, and both Sally and Gage have ignored their feelings for one another. But now that Rusty has been away at college for a few years, things definitely start to change between them. 

I loved Gage and Sally’s story for several reasons, but it was basically just the incredible chemistry, love, and respect between the two of them. They were practically the perfect couple already as best friends, but once they admit their true feelings, they are unstoppable. There are several other familiar characters interlaced in the story (Blue, Jake, Trish, etc), but overall, it’s all about Gage, Sally, and Rusty.

I won’t give any spoilers, of course, but get ready for a different kind of story this time, compared to a lot of Melissa’s other novels. This romance is written differently from the others, but also made it once of the sweetest and romantic novels of hers that I have read! This is a fast-paced novel that you should prepare to be sucked in to. You will want to finish Swept into Love in one sitting, so don’t start this one if you have to be somewhere in an hour! As always, I was left feeling romantic, smiling, and full of love after reading Melissa Foster, but something about Swept into Love stands out to me, easily making this one of my favorite novels she has written. 

 

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You can always rely on Melissa Foster to deliver a story that’s fresh, emotional and entertaining. Make sure you have all night, because once you start you won’t want to stop reading. Every book’s a winner!” New York Times Bestselling Author Brenda Novak

Melissa Foster is synonymous with sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance!” New York Times Bestseller Lauren Blakely

Also available in The Ryders

Each book may be read as a stand-alone novel, or as part of the series.

Seized by Love, Love in Bloom: The Ryders #1 

YOU FELL IN love with Blue Ryder and Lizzie Barber in Seaside Summers, now follow their journey to find true love in SEIZED BY LOVE, the first book in the Ryder series

Lizzie Barber runs a successful flower shop by day and secretly hosts the Naked Baker webcast at night to help pay for her younger sister’s education. To keep friends and family from finding out about her sexy secret, she’s put her social life on hold until her sister’s education is paid off and she can stop filming the webcast.

Blue Ryder fell hard for Lizzie Barber when he met her a year ago, and he hasn’t been able to get her off his mind since. Everything about the feisty little brunette, from her tight bod to her seductive smile, cuts straight to his heart. Though Lizzie has turned down every invitation he’s extended—Blue is not about to give up trying.

Renovating Lizzie’s kitchen brings Blue further into Lizzie’s life, and the oven is not the only thing heating up. One night and one powerful kiss changes everything. But when Lizzie’s secret is revealed and the safe bubble she’s hidden in shatters, true love may not be enough to put the pieces back together.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from …
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble    KOBO    iBooks

Claimed by Love, Love in Bloom: The Ryders #2 

Family law attorney Gabriella Liakos has one true love, Elpitha Island, where she grew up and hopes someday to return. But Elpitha is in financial ruins, and Gabriella will do anything to keep it from falling into the wrong hands.

Duke Ryder is a savvy real estate investor set on making Elpitha into an exclusive resort. Unlike other investors, he’s not scared of purchasing a property where one family has roots so deep they practically reach the ocean floor…until he meets his beautiful, stubborn, and enticing tour host―the daughter of the owner of most of the island.

Gabriella sets out to dissuade Duke from purchasing Elpitha, but Duke has other ideas. He wants Gabriella and the island. Duke’s powerful seduction draws Gabriella in, but can a savvy investor who’s used to glamour and glitz, and a woman interested in preserving the culture she adores find a happily ever after together?

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from…
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble    KOBO   iBooks

Chased by Love, Love in Bloom: The Ryders #3

Actress Trish Ryder takes her job seriously and has no time for those who don’t. When she’s awarded a major role in a new movie featuring America’s hottest rock star, Boone Stryker, she’s beyond excited. The six-two, tattooed hunk of burning desire is known for his dedication to his craft–but when he ditches their first meeting, she begins to wonder if he’s just another rocker with a great PR team.

Sex, booze, women, and music pretty much sum up Boone Stryker’s private world. He’s coasted through life playing by his own rules with plenty of people willing to cover his tracks, and he’s not likely to change–until he meets a woman who refuses to give him the time of day, much less anything more.

Sparks fly from the first moment Trish and Boone meet–Tensions run hot and desire runs hotter when they’re trapped together on a remote location with no place to hide. Will sparks ignite, or will a hurricane douse the flames?

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from …
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble    KOBO   iBooks

Rescued by Love, Love in Bloom: The Ryders #4

As the daughter of a world-renowned fashion designer, Addison Dahl enjoyed a privileged life attending the most sought after parties, traveling around the world, and having anything she wanted. Until she broke free and went against her father’s wishes, needing to prove to herself–and to him–that she could make it on her own. Now she’s ready to take her adventures in a new direction and sets her sights on roughing it in the wilderness.

Jake Ryder followed in his father’s footsteps as a top search and rescue professional. He spends his days saving those in need and his nights in the arms of willing women who offer nothing more than a few hours of sexual enjoyment. Just the way he likes it.

When Jake’s sister-in-law calls, concerned because she’s been unable to reach her best friend, it’s up to Jake to find her and bring her home. But Addison isn’t lost, and she sure as hell isn’t going to be told what to do by an ornery mountain man with whom she’d spent one torrid weekend after her best friend’s wedding. Jake has never left anyone behind–will Addison be his first failed rescue?

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from…… 
Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com    Barnes and Noble    KOBO    iBooks   GPlay

About the author

Melissa writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Readers adore Melissa’s fun, flirty, and sinfully sexy, award-winning big family romance collection, LOVE IN BLOOM featuring the Snow Sisters, Bradens, Remingtons, Ryders, Seaside Summer, Harborside Nights, and the Wild Boys After Dark. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented.

Melissa also writes sweet and clean romance under the pen name Addison Cole.

Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on Facebook or her personal website.

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Find Melissa on the following sites….
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DOWNLOAD 5 FREE EBOOKS! 

Start 4 of Melissa’s bestselling Love in Bloom series FREE! 

Download Today -Sisters in Love (Snow Sisters), Lovers at Heart (The Bradens), Game of Love (The Remingtons), Seaside Dreams (Seaside Summers), and Taken by Love (The Bradens at Trusty).

Follow the Book Tour

018836-glossy-silver-icon-symbols-shapes-square-2 I received this book through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

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Win Rescued by Love (Love in Bloom: The Ryders) ebook Two Winners Ending on Sunday 3rd September at 11.59pm EST

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Reviews

Book Review: The One That Got Away

The One That Got Away,

by Melissa Pimentel

Publication:  St. Martin’s Press; August 22, 2017

the oneAbout the book: 

Melissa Pimentel delivers smart, funny, and modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, where a young woman comes face-to-face with a lost love, proving that the one that got away is sometimes the one you get back.

Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren’t.

Ten years later, Ruby’s single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There’s barely time for a trip to England for her little sister’s wedding. And there’s certainly not time to think about seeing Ethan there for the first time in years.

But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can’t help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago? Because there’s nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past . .

My Review:

Who, What, When, etc. 

Ruby is in her early thirties and spends the majority of each day at her office where she works in advertising. Her only real romance was ten years earlier when she met and fell in love with Ethan Bailey, whom she now sees all of the time due to his face being on magazine covers because of his brilliant techie career. Ruby heads off to England for her sister Piper’s wedding to Charlie, Ethan’s best friend, nervous about coming face to face with him again after so much time. Jess, Ruby’s best friend that is now married, pregnant, and living in New Jersey, urges Ruby to open her heart to see if there is still a spark between her and Ethan, but Ruby is reluctant.

Thoughts & Reactions

The One That Got Away is a bit tricky to review. The reason being that I was not crazy about the characters. I loved Ruby’s best friend Jess, there was a local doctor in England named Chris that I liked, and I grew to like Ruby’s stepmother, Candace. Ethan and Charlie were o.k. also, but despite this, it did not make up for the fact that I didn’t like Ruby, her father, and especially Piper. Piper was the epitome of a spoiled, hypochondriac narcissist. Honestly, those words may be too kind for Piper.

Ruby had some moments that made her almost likable, but overall, she was a selfish, work addicted, depressed, whiny person. Her and Ethan were in love when she left for New York, but she quickly became this miserable shell of herself, putting only work and the needs of her boss first. She withdrew, became dishonest, and lost sight of the love her and Ethan had shared. 

With that being said, I enjoyed the plot and storyline of the novel quite a bit! How romantic (and nerve-wracking) to meet up with a long-lost love ten years later at a romantic wedding in a castle in England?? Dealing with all of the family members, her God-awful sister, an old flame at an overseas wedding all added up to amazing potential for a novel. Then throw in two hottie, crazy-successful twins/bridesmaids to spark some jealousy, and the story became even better. But again, my enjoyment was somewhat dampened because of the characters. I also wish that the author would have alternated points of view between Ruby and Ethan. With everything coming from Ruby, it was frustrating even attempting to guess what was going through Ethan’s mind. 

I feel like I’ve been so negative but I did like The One That Got Away. Something about the novel had spunk to it and for me, it was a fast-paced page turner! Surprisingly, although I wasn’t crazy about the characters, I would love to see a sequel to this one to find out what happens with everyone. It was a good, quick read, but not the best thing I’ve read recently. 

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Learn more about Melissa Pimentel!

Pre-Order The One That Got Away on Amazon.

Book Blitz, Giveaway, Reviews

Release, review, & giveaway: Aim

 

 

Title: Aim
Series: Circle of Justice
Author: LP Dover
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 7, 2017
Blurb
When someone asks
what I do for a living, I answer it plain and simple . . . I’m a hunter. I hunt
the dregs of society and I’m very damn good at it.
I’m Ian Chandler,
FBI agent and a member of the Circle of Justice, an organization of justice
seeking vigilantes. My mission is to solve a string of ‘accidental’ hiking
deaths occurring around my Wyoming town. When Grace Myers –a woman who’s been
missing for days –shows up on my land, it turns out she’s the key to it all.
Someone is hunting her, and I make it my duty to keep her safe.
However, the deeper
I get into the case, the more dangerous it becomes; especially, now that I’ve
fallen for the woman I have to protect. If hunting is the game, I won’t fail. I
always hit my mark. 

**My Review**

Aim is the latest in the Circle of Justice novels by L.P. Dover. I have not read any of the other novels, however, they are each standalone so it didn’t matter in the least!

Grace Myers is a young woman in her small Wyoming town that is a successful marketing and event planner for a hotel. She has been flirting with the secretive and sexy Ian Chandler and they’ve even shared a kiss, but she hasn’t heard from him in awhile. One night she is kidnapped while leaving the hotel and Ian is contacted by Grace’s Dad, Colton, a local police officer, requesting his help in finding her. When Grace turns up on Ian’s porch, they get busy trying to figure out who kidnapped Grace and why, while also falling for one another. 

Grace was an immediately likable character that was sweet, charming, beautiful, smart, and so on. Devoting most of her time to her career or spending time with her best friend Mya, Grace hadn’t had a lot of luck in the love department. Ian was such a charismatic character that drew me in immediately. Sexy, dangerous, mysterious – but such a big-hearted romantic! I thought that their romance was a little on the fast side, but then again, this is a fast-paced novel full of tension that spurred on their relationship and protectiveness for one another.

I was quickly intrigued by the overall plot surrounding several disappearances and deaths, but I wished that the author would have developed the actual crimes and reasons behind the crimes a bit further. Written from Grace and Ian’s points of view, I wonder if one of the “bad guys” would have had a voice if it would’ve added to the suspense of the novel? 

Anyone that is a romantic suspense fan and loves strong, sexy alpha-males will love Aim. Ian is the epitome of a sexy, protective man that makes your heart melt. There is a wonderful blend of steamy scenes, suspense, sweet moments, and fearful moments. It was absolutely my pleasure to read and review this novel and participate in the release blitz and giveaway!

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Playlist

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/authorlpdover/playlist/1PoZHRAj2PCFzYWpR7iJ6X
Excerpt

My phone rang and I thought it’d be Bryce, but it wasn’t.
“What can I do for you, Chief?”
Colton Myers was the chief of police back in Wyoming. His
call wasn’t unusual, because they often called me and my brothers when there
were cases the local PD couldn’t solve. “I need your help,” he replied, his
voice shaking.
The cab driver pulled up to the airport entrance and I
passed him a wad of bills before getting out. “What’s going on? I’m about to
get on a flight to head home.”
“Good. I’ll drop these files off with Reed, so you can see
them when you get back.”
The din of the bustling city made it hard to hear him, but I
could tell he was distraught. “Files for what?”
He sighed heavily. “You know how there’ve been missing
hikers in Montana?”
“Yeah, I saw something about it before I left for New York.”
It wasn’t uncommon for tourists to sway from the hiking trails or test their
limits by doing stupid shit. Most of those people found themselves dead. I
liked to climb the cliffs, but I was good at it.
“We’re missing people here too,” Colton confessed.
“It happens every year. Why does this case shock you?” I’d
been gone for three weeks, so I hadn’t even paid attention to what was going on
in Wyoming.
He huffed angrily. “About three weeks ago, eight men
supposedly went missing in our mountains. Just this morning, I couldn’t get a
hold of Grace. Her boss also called me and said she never showed up at their
meeting last night. Her car is still at the hotel. It’s like she disappeared.”
“You’ve got to be shitting me,” I growled low.
Grace was his daughter and a good friend of mine. Hell, I’d
wanted to be more than that for quite some time. I only held back from pursuing
her out of respect for her father. She was one of the most beautiful women I’d
ever known.
“Please, Ian. I have to find her.”
Hurrying through the doors, impatience flooded through my
veins. “We’ll find her, if it’s the last thing I
do . . . I swear.” 

 

Also Available

 

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

 

 

Author Bio

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author L. P. Dover is a southern belle living in North Carolina with her husband and two beautiful girls. Before she began her literary journey she worked in periodontics, enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries.

She loves to write, but she also loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes and white water rafting, and has a passion for singing. Her two youngest fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime, usually Christmas carols.

Dover has written countless novels, including her Forever Fae series, the Second Chances series, the Gloves Off series, the Armed & Dangerous series, the Royal Shifters series, and her standalone novel Love, Lies, and Deception. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense, but if she got to choose a setting in which to live, it would be with her faeries in the Land of the Fae.

L.P. Dover is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency and Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management for dramatic rights. 

Author Links
Book Blitz, Giveaway, Reviews

Book Blitz, Giveaway & Review

 

Title: Forever Hearts
Author: CJ Martín 
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 3, 2017
Blurb
Best friends
aren’t meant to fall in love with each other…
 
From the time I was
five, Jesse Collins was my world. He was my partner in crime. My best friend.
My confidant. 

We were
inseparable. Soul mates. Forever hearts. But all that changed when he took on a
new role. Lover. 

He told me to
trust. To have faith. To believe in our love. 

And I did. 

But we all eat lies
when the heart is hungry. And mine was damn hungry for Jesse Collins. I
couldn’t stop myself from falling for him, even if I wanted to. 

This is our story.
The good. The bad. The heartbreaking. 

But in the end,
will the thread that binds us together be strong enough to weather the storm? 

I used to think so,
but now I’m not quite as sure… 
Forever Hearts is a
friends to lovers new adult romance. If you like sexy and sweet, hot and
handsome, mixed with a whole lot of spice, then you’ll love this steamy romance
by best-selling author CJ Martín.

 

My Review:

Who, What, When, Where

Forever Hearts is the story of Jesse and Riley that have been best friends since they were five years old and Jessie’s family had moved in across the street from Riley. Jesse is a very hot, popular, biracial young man who becomes one of the star basketball players in high school. Riley sticks to smaller groups of friends and works hard to make good grades, eventually leading to college and a career in design. But during their senior year and throughout college, they struggle with their feelings for one another that progress way beyond just friendship.

Thoughts and Reactions

I really loved this novel! I’ve started to realize that I’m a huge fan of best friends to lovers novels, but this one was amazing. They had such a close bond and a strong friendship making me feel the love and commitment between them. Jesse was somewhat of a player while in high school while Riley hadn’t even experienced her first kiss. The author walks the reader through their growing up, dealing with romantic and sexual feelings, as well as, challenges among friendships and romantic relationships.

Riley’s college roommate Liza was a fantastic secondary character in that she was fun, spunky, but also very supportive of Riley and her feelings for Jessie. Riley’s police officer father was definitely a challenge due to his being against Riley dating someone who was biracial, although Riley’s mother had absolutely no issue with it. Her Dad went above and beyond trying to keep them apart whether as friends or more, adding to the conflict that they already created for themselves. There was amazing chemistry and some very hot scenes between Riley and Jessie, however, their main problem was communication due to both of them struggling to be honest about their feelings. 

The plot definitely held my attention as it depicted Riley and Jessie growing up, experiencing relationships with others, and dealing with their underlying feelings for one another. There were funny moments, heartbreaking moments, and definitely sexy moments from beginning to end. I highly recommend this romantic and addictive novel!

*Thanks to the author and Give Me Books for providing a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Excerpt
I shower, get dressed, make it all the way to my car, before
I realize that I left my cell phone in my apartment. I pat my pockets, check my
purse, and glance at the dashboard to see if the Bluetooth symbol is
illuminated—it isn’t. I groan audibly as I switch off the ignition and rush
back into the cold. It’s mid-March, yet the thermometer has barely reached
thirty degrees this week, and with the wind whipping through the air, the “real
feel” is in the single digits.
Back inside my apartment I locate my phone on the kitchen
counter, still plugged into the charger. As I pick it up, my eyes scan over
several notifications, one of which is a text message from Bill.
Bill: Hi, Sweetie. Just got back from the airport with my
parents. Reservations are at seven. Are you on your way?
I glance at the clock. It’s five forty-five. I can make it
across town with plenty of time to spare—I think. Bill’s
perpetually early, as in if we do not arrive twenty minutes prior to the start
of any function—and I do mean any and every function—
he panics. He’s chronically early; I’m chronically late. We balance each other
out…in theory, anyway.
My thumb swipes the screen, but my fingers are too cold to
register the touch, so I drop the phone and blow into my hands in an attempt to
warm them up. A minute later, I type a quick message to Bill.
Riley: Omw. Left ten minutes ago.
This is an outright lie; I’m still standing in my
kitchen and I would never text and drive. He should know
that after nine months of dating, but he simply agrees.
Bill: Ok.
His response is simple. Quick. Efficient. Just like him.
I knock on Bill’s front door thirty minutes
later—traffic was heavier and slower than I anticipated. His mother and father
are seated on the sofa. It’s not the first time I’m meeting them, but every
time they visit I have the feeling I should be walking on eggshells. They’re
prim and proper, formal, refined—the exact opposite of me.
“Mr. and Mrs. Lewg.” I smile as I embrace first his father,
then his mother, in the world’s most awkward hug. “So good to see you.”
“Lovely to see you, dear.” Mrs. Lewg—Carole, though she’s
never told me to call her that—says. “Bill was just telling us he has a special
announcement before we leave for dinner.”
“Oh?” I raise my eyebrows as I turn toward Bill. My mind
quickly scans over our last few conversations. I can’t remember him talking
about any major deal specifically, apart from the new property, but that deal
closed weeks ago. All right, okay, I may not pay one hundred
percent attention when he blabs on and on about investment properties or the
price per square foot of Building A versus Building B, but can you blame me?
Commercial real estate is freaking boring. Take it from me, I should know; it’s
all Bill ever seems to talk about.
“Riley.” Bill makes no effort to move from in front of the
mantle where he stands, but he extends his hand and pulls me toward him. “Can
you come here for one second? There’s something I want to ask you. Something
I’ve wanted to ask you for a long time.”
The smiling face of my roommate pops to mind and her words
bounce around my brain. You’ll be engaged before me. But
surely that’s not what this is. We haven’t been together that long. I haven’t
even given him a key to my apartment yet. He just met my
family.
“Riley Ann Jones.” He takes both my hands, and I will myself
to close my mouth, which gapes open in the most unflattering way.
Oh, shit. Oh, no. Fuck. Please don’t let him be asking
what I think he’s going to—
“This past year…” —nine months, I
automatically correct in my head— “has been the happiest year of my life.
You’re everything that I want in a life partner: smart, beautiful, kind,
honest…”
I swallow. I’m not so honest.
He drops to one knee, looks up at me with caring brown eyes.
“Would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
My gaze darts around the room, heart beating wildly in my
chest, not from excitement, but from fear.
His mother smiles at me encouragingly, as Bill cracks open a
small, velvet jewelry box. “It was my grandmother’s. It’s been in our family
for generations. I asked my mother to bring it in with her.” He waves with his
free hand to where his parents sit. “It’s part of the reason why they flew in
early.” He smiles again. “So, will you? Will you be my wife?”
Holy fuck. Bill scrunches his nose and I press
my lips together, sending another silent prayer heavenward that I didn’t just
say fuck in front of his parents. In front of my (potential)
future in-laws.
“Kind of waiting on an answer here, Riley.” His voice jokes,
but I can see the tension around his eyes.
I squeeze my eyes tight, swallow a deep breath, and nod.
“Yes.” My voice is the faintest of whispers. “Yes, I’ll marry you.”
“Wonderful!” his mother exclaims, clapping her hands in
front of her chest. Bill pulls himself to his feet and slips the ring onto my
left finger. It’s delicate, a solitaire, round-cut stone, light and classy, but
it feels like a heavy anchor pulling me down. I’m suffocating. Sinking.
Drowning.
Mr. Lewg claps Bill on the back. “Congratulations, son.”
They shake hands as though they’re business associates rather than father and
son.
Bill locks eyes with me, the megawatt smile that is
plastered on every billboard within a thirty-mile radius beams at me. He mouths
“I love you,” but all I can do is nod because there’s only one thought looping
through my mind right now, and if I’m not careful, the words will escape and
topple the house of cards that I’ve struggled to build this entire year.
Those words are on my mind throughout our indulgent,
five-course meal.
They’re there later that night when Bill makes love to me
and tells me how happy he is.
And they’re still there long after his breath has slowed and
he has fallen asleep. Then, and only then, do I let the devastating truth fall
past my lips:
He’s not Jesse.
Author Bio
   
CJ Martín lives in
Pennsylvania with her wonderful husband and her adorable (sometimes
infuriating) dog, Albert. She is an avid reader and has been known to spend her
days ignoring her responsibilities while engrossed in a good book. She enjoys
traveling and yoga.
You can find her on
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Author Links

 

Reviews

Book Review: Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here: A Novel, by Renee Carlino

Publication: Atria Books; August 15, 2017

wishAbout the book: 

You know when you’re looking at someone and you can’t help but smile at how oblivious they are to their own charm? That’s what was happening to me, and it was making me feel…happy. Euphoric. Something indescribable. It was like we already knew each other like we had met in a previous life. Memories that didn’t exist began exploding in my mind like fireworks.

Charlotte has spent her twenties adrift, searching for a spark to jump-start her life and give her a sense of purpose. She’s had as many jobs as she’s had bad relationships, and now she’s feeling especially lost in her less-than-glamorous gig at a pie-and-fry joint in Los Angeles, where the uniforms are bad and the tips are even worse.

Then she collides—literally—with Adam, an intriguing, handsome, and mysterious painter. Their serendipitous meeting on the street turns into a whirlwind one-night stand that has Charlotte feeling enchanted by Adam’s spontaneity and joy for life. There’s promise in both his words and actions, but in the harsh light of morning, Adam’s tune changes, leaving Charlotte to wonder if her notorious bad luck with men is really just her own bad judgment.

Months later, a new relationship with Seth, a charming baseball player, is turning into something more meaningful, but Charlotte’s still having trouble moving past her one enthralling night with Adam. Why? When she searches for answers, she finds the situation with Adam is far more complicated than she ever imagined. Faced with the decision to write a new story with Seth or finish the one started with Adam, Charlotte embarks on a life-altering journey, one that takes her across the world and back again, bringing a lifetime’s worth of pain, joy, and wisdom.

My Review:

Who, What, When, Etc.

This is the story of Charlotte (Charlie) as she sort of stumbles through her twenties, unsure about what to do with her life. She is roommates with her best friend Helen and they also work together at a local diner. She’s never quite figured out if she wants to be a massage therapist or a hair stylist and certainly hasn’t had meaningful relationships with men. 

Soon she meets Adam and is immediately drawn to him, but when things abruptly end, she meets a baseball player named Seth. Thus begins her indecision about whether to find Adam and try to make things work, or to give Seth a chance. 

In the meantime, Helen falls for Seth’s friend and fellow ball player, Roddy, prompting Charlotte’s adorably aggravating brother, Chucky to move in with her and help with the rent. Helen, Chucky, and Charlotte’s parents all try to support her, but she really has to go on this journey on her own.

Thoughts and Reactions

I absolutely adored this novel. Wish You Were Here grabbed me from the first few pages and didn’t let go. Without giving spoilers, I warn that this novel requires ample Kleenex in your immediate vicinity while reading! There are such devastating moments in this story, but this novel is also packed full of love, commitment, and self-discovery.

Honestly, I struggled with Charlie as a character in general at the beginning of the novel. There wasn’t anything really unlikable about her, however, I struggled relating to her. As the novel progressed, so did Charlie. She went from not knowing what in the world she wanted or who she wanted to learning how to completely love and how to behave selflessly. Her relationship with her brother and parents strengthened, and although she and Helen had some struggles during the novel, theirs also grew by the end of the book. 

The plot was engaging and paced perfectly, but I felt that the character development fell short compared to the novel as a whole. Besides my initial struggles with Charlie, it occurred to me that although I just finished this novel last night, I cannot tell you what any of the characters looked like. What I did learn about them felt somewhat superficial, but even with this drawback, I loved this book

Wish You Were Here is a tearjerker, but it includes such important themes about love and life in general. I highly recommend this to lovers of new adult & women’s fiction.

*Many thanks to the author and NetGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Learn more about Renee Carlino by visiting her web page!

Pre-Order Wish You Were Here on Amazon!

 

Book Blitz, Giveaway, Reviews

The Way it Hurts: Blog tour, review, giveaway

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wayithurts

Title: The Way it Hurts

Author: Patty Blount

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release Date: August 1, 2017

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Pages: 352 pages

Format: Paperback and Digital

Print ISBN: 978-1-492632-788

Digital ASIN: B06XR172ZD

Synopsis:

There may be two sides to every story, but sometimes there’s only one way to set things right…

Music is Elijah’s life. His band plays loud and hard, and he’ll do anything to get them a big break. He needs that success to help take care of his sister, who has special needs. So he’d rather be practicing when his friends drag him to a musical in the next town…until the lead starts to sing.

Kristen dreams of a career on stage like her grandmother’s. She knows she needs an edge to get into a competitive theater program–and being the star in her high school musical isn’t going to cut it. The applause and the attention only encourage her to work harder.

Elijah can’t take his eyes off of Kristen’s performance and snaps a photo of her in a costume that he posts online with a comment that everybody misunderstands. It goes viral. Suddenly, Elijah and Kristen are in a new spotlight as the online backlash spins out of control. And the consequences are bigger than they both could have ever imagined because these threats don’t stay online…they follow them into real life.

Add to your “Want to Read” shelf:  Goodreads

Available at:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes

**My Review**

The Way it Hurts is an upcoming novel by author Patty Blount that addresses challenges of growing up, especially when social media is involved. 

Elijah and his best friends, Nick and Sam, have a hard rock/metal band named Ride Out. Music is Elijah’s life and all he wants is for the band to gain exposure and make it big. Despite problems at home with his special needs sister, Anna, Elijah devotes as much time and energy as he can to grow their band.

Kristen has an incredible singing voice and Elijah is hypnotized by it when he first hears her in a school play. Kristen dreams of studying acting, dance, and singing at a music conservatory and eventually being on stage in Broadway shows. When approached by Elijah about singing with their band, she isn’t sure, but her outgoing performer grandmother, Etta, encourages her to step out of her comfort zone. 

The problem? A series of posts on social media promote Ride Out and Kristen’s voice, but it all spirals out of control. Between problems at home, the tension between the band members, and social media chaos – Elijah and Kristen have feelings for each other even though everyone has warned them against trying getting involved. 

Author Patty Blount includes so many relevant issues and situations in this novel that make it not only important to read, but it’s also very engaging. First is the social media issue that is so often the culprit for problems with adolescents today. Elijah sends out a comment about Kristen that he meant specifically about her voice, but it soon goes viral and is misconstrued. Excited about all of the attention, Elijah plays it off as being o.k. and that it will eventually die down, however, it only gets worse and results in several scary and dangerous situations. 

The Way it Hurts also addresses the life of a family having a child with Autism. Elijah struggles to protect his sister, Anna, while her parents are looking for help with their daughter who is getting stronger and more explosive. There is so much love between them all, but there is also an extreme amount of guilt that you could practically feel coming off of them while reading. 

Kristen’s family is also tested in the novel dealing with an illness in the family. The author depicts a normally happy-go-lucky family as they suffer through the fear of a loved one being ill in a very realistic way and details what an impact it has on our lives. 

The characterization and plot development kept me interested in this novel from the first page to the last, however, I found myself frustrated with several characters throughout the novel, especially Elijah’s bandmate Sam. Although this further proves the author’s fantastic ability at building her characters, there were moments that I just wanted to yell at Sam and Elijah for the repetitive selfish and immature comments and behaviors. 

I highly recommend The Way it Hurts to young adult fiction fans that want a mix of topics in their novels. So many issues are addressed from a young romance to the dangers of social media that I feel this novel is relevant to almost any reader. I look forward to reading more from Patty Blount in the future and will continue thinking about this novel and characters for quite some time. 

Advanced Praise for The Way It Hurts:

“Blount writes authentically; both protagonists’ voices are distinct. The author explores the rapidly consuming world of social media and how it affects relationships online and in real life. A relevant read and must-have for all YA collections.” – School Library Journal

“THE WAY IT HURTS draws our attention to the joy, heartache and confusing contradictions that arise as we try to find our place in the real world and the virtual one.” – Kimberly Sabatini

Elijah and Kristen’s personal evolutions through the novel, along with their chemistry, feel as authentic as the conflicts they face. A genuine plot filled with steady tension that will keep readers hooked.” RT Book Reviews

“This book sensitively covers topics such as sexism, handicapping conditions, communication, and ageism. Agency is also shown when Kristen says she wants to pursue studies in a conservatory rather than continue in the band and the three young men acknowledge her wish. Talking about what bothers us rather than trying to guess another person’s feelings is demonstrated through the actions of the characters. The characters’ issues are eventually resolved through hard work and understanding, making this an interesting and informative read.” School Library Connection

Excerpt:

Elijah took my hands. “Okay, look. Maybe you’re right. Maybe these people are taking this whole battle thing way too seriously. If you’re scared, then we’ll stop. No more posts except for appearance information.”

“So no more battle of the sexes, no more make Kris scream?”

He held up his hand. “Swear to God.”

“Okay.” I sighed in relief. “You’d really do that?”

He leaned closer and repeated the vow. “I promise, Kris.”

And just like that, I forgot why I was mad at him. I couldn’t talk, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t even blink because I was afraid he’d let go. This was the part of him I adored. I clung to him for a long moment, and when his gaze drifted to my mouth, I wondered if—hoped—prayed—he’d finally kiss me.

And then, Etta’s voice suddenly spoke inside my head. “Well, my God, darling, it’s the twenty-first century. What on earth are you waiting for? You can kiss him.”

I could. Yes. Yes, I could just lift my head and lean in and kiss Elijah Hamilton like it was a normal, ordinary occurrence.

Right. Like kissing Elijah Hamilton would ever be ordinary?

I’d watched him kiss that girl at the mall and was sure I’d memorized all the steps in his routine. He’d move in, grip my face between his hands, run his thumb along my jaw, and finally, glide his arm down around my body, pulling me against his own, all the while, peeking through his lashes to see if I enjoyed it.

I wasn’t sure when I decided—even what made me decide. I just touched my lips to his and waited.

It took a second or two. But then there was a sudden, tiny squeak from him, and I felt the pulse in his wrist leap under my fingertips.

And then, his hands were in my hair, angling my head just the way he liked it, his tongue brushing against mine, so soft it might have been my imagination…except imaginary kisses were never so intense. He kissed me like I was a song he wrote, lips wrapped around every word until it hummed with hidden meaning and promise, and his hands held me the way they held his guitar—like the music would stop if he let me go.

Copyright © The Way It Hurts by Patty Blount 2017

Rafflecopter for The Way It Hurts Two Week Blog Tour Giveaway:

Patty Blount is offering one (1) lucky winner a $50 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

Enter Giveaway

 

Patty Blount PicAbout Patty Blount:

Native New Yorker Patty Blount is the award-winning author of several critically acclaimed internet issues novels for teens as well as a few adult contemporary romances. She is inspired to write by such greats as Judy Blume, JK Rowling, and Gayle Forman. In fact, Judy Blume is the reason Patty elected to write under her real name…so she’d appear on shelves next to her idol. Patty adores writing; she’s written everything from technical manuals to song lyrics (see THE WAY IT HURTS, coming August 2017). Patty wants you to know she loves chocolate…really, really loves chocolate.

When not crushing on actors Gilles Marini or Sam Heughan, Patty can be found sitting in traffic somewhere on the Long Island Expressway, listening to audio books or talking wildly to herself about plots and characters. Prone to falling madly in love with fictional characters, Patty suffers frequent broken hearts when they all invariably prefer the heroine to her… go figure. When she’s not writing, Patty loves to watch bad sci-fi movies and live tweet the hilarity, and scour Pinterest for ideas on awesome bookcases. Patty lives on Long Island with her family in a house that, sadly, lacks bookcases.

Connect with Patty:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  BookBub

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Reviews

Book Review: Chocolate for Two

Chocolate for Two (The (Mis)Adventures of Waverly Bryson Book 4),

by Maria Murnane

Publication: Lake Union Publishing; April 9, 2013

choc for 2About the book: 

Waverly Bryson’s life is officially perfect: She’s engaged to her gorgeous boyfriend, Jake; her Honey on Your Mind TV segment is more popular than ever, and Waverly’s Honey Shop is growing by leaps and bounds. What could possibly go wrong? For starters…everything.

This is Waverly, after all, and drama follows her wherever she goes. Why should her trip down the aisle be any different? Now, before she can marry the man of her dreams, she’ll have to go head-to-head with his high-society mother, whose vision for their wedding isn’t exactly meshing with Waverly’s. Adding to the chaos is the impending departure of Paige, Waverly’s very pregnant retail partner; the arrival of her suddenly secretive best friend, Andie; and the meddling of a new TV producer who’s promising to “shake things up.” Suddenly Waverly’s perfect life feels like it’s about to come crashing down…unless the irrepressible Miss Bryson can prove to the world—and to herself—that she really can have it all.

My Review:

I have to begin with the fact that I am heartbroken that this series is over! It took me years to discover Waverly and now she’s gone. But what a fabulous ending 🙂

Who, What, When, etc.

Waverly and Jake are back, living in New York and engaged. Not only is Waverly’s spot on Wendy’s t.v. show doing well, her Honey merchandise business is booming. More great news is that Andie has work in New York bringing her out to the east coast for awhile and McKenna is still happily adjusting to motherhood back in California.

Problems arise when Waverly’s sales guru, Paige, announces she can no longer work for Waverly, and of course the insane control and meddling from Jake’s mother.  

Thoughts & Reactions

Besides being run ragged from her tv show and the merchandising of her Honey brand, Waverly’s biggest challenge this time around was Jake’s mother. Poor Waverly was willing to put up with just about anything in the hopes that she would start to like her, and she put up with a load of different crap between Jake’s mom trying to take over the wedding planning, choosing dresses, and then throwing in her trademark vicious remarks from time to time. Waverly being completely railroaded became irritating at times, but I also understood her desire to please Jake’s mom and earn her respect and affection.

Jake was as fabulous as always and although I wished he would step-in to defend Waverly from time to time, he was basically left in the dark about his mother’s controlling actions, so it wasn’t exactly his fault. 

Andie was different this time, battling her own fears about things getting serious with Nick, however, Waverly’s two interns picked up right where Waverly and her friends left off as far as experiencing and relaying tales of dating nightmares!

Once again, I fell in love with one of Waverly’s tales and Chocolate for Two was a wonderful conclusion to this series. It was fast-paced, funny, frustrating, and fabulous all at once! These have become my go-to novels when I am in the mood for something smart but funny, so now I must find my new happy place among new characters. However, I have been so impressed and honestly blown away by Maria Murnane’s writing, characterization, dialogue, and mostly – her beautifully crazy and somewhat inappropriate sense of humor! All of the stories about various bodily functions and freak happenings on their dates have made me laugh harder than I ever remember laughing at a book and I loved it. 

Maria Murnane is talented, creative, takes risks, and has become one of my absolute favorite authors. I cannot recommend this novel and this series enough!

*Many thanks to Maria Murnane for providing this novel in exchange for an honest review!

Purchase Chocolate for Two on Amazon!

Learn more about Maria Murnane by visiting her web page.

Reviews

Review: Going Down and Man Candy

Going Down and Man Candy (Five Wishes Book 1), by Elise Sax

Publication: June 15, 2017

going downAbout the book: 

The Five Wishes Series: Novellas about wishes that go terribly wrong…fortunately. Five Wishes…A happy ending is just a coin toss away. Each novella is approximately 100 pages with NO cliffhanger.

Book 1: Going Down:
Marion MacAlister wants to nail her audition, not get nailed. Truly. Honestly. All right…maybe she does want to get nailed, but that’s just because her hottie landlord and local diner owner Mack Ryan is confusing her. Can friends become lovers? Especially friends who might not even be friends in the first place?

Book 2: Man Candy:
Raine Harper is in love with Wade Gates. But Wade likes women who are model thin, and Raine is model thin plus a whole lot of pounds. Desperate to make him love her, she trains just a little too hard and passes out in the arms of superstar movie star Dirk Adams. Dirk thinks Raine’s junk in the trunk is perfect and proposes to make Wade jealous by becoming her pretend boyfriend. Pretend soon seems very real. Is Dirk a great actor, or is something really developing between Raine and the movie star?

My Review:

I read the combo of Going Down (Five Wishes book 1) & Man Candy (Five Wishes book 2), the funny, light-hearted novellas by Elise Sax.

In Going Down, I loved the undeniable chemistry and sassy banter between the wannabe actress, Marion and diner owner, Mack. Mack has been serving up yummy diner food to Marion for two years and is also her landlord, but after a stroke of luck, they are stuck together in a compromising situation that gives them a chance to get a little closer. 

In Man Candy, Raine works with her parents catering to guests of their lakeside cabins. Raine is trying to lose as much as weight as possible before her forever crush, Wade returns to town. Instead, she meets a movie star named Dirk Adams. When he offers to pretend to be together to make Wade jealous, Raine learns a lot about herself and the type of man that she deserves. 

Both of these were very quick reads but packed with plenty of laughter, as well as, some pretty steamy moments. The most relevant thing that comes to mind thinking back on these stories is the very realistic and relatable female characters. Marion is trying (unsuccessfully) to become an actress while Raine is struggling with her self-esteem and weight loss. There are very real moments in their struggles, as well as, laugh out loud moments that we have all experienced. 

I also noticed that despite the short length of these novellas, Elise Sax developed these characters wonderfully, making it feel as if we had been reading about them much longer than you actually do. I could easily see and hear these characters throughout their stories and felt connected with all of them.

If you are looking for a quick, happy read, then check out these first two novellas in the Five Wishes series. Elise Sax packed a lot of character and exciting plots into a wonderfully small package!

*Thanks to Elise Sax for providing this book in exchange for an honest review!

Purchase Going Down and Man Candy on Amazon for free right now!

Learn more about Elise Sax by visiting her web page!

Reviews

Book Review: To Say Goodbye

To Say Goodbye, by Lindsay Detwiler

Publication: Hot Tree Publishing; September 24, 2016

to say goodbyeAbout the book: 

Feisty Sophia never shies away from life. Playful, romantic, connected—her marriage was the thing of fairy tales. But when tragedy strikes, Sophia is left to pick up the pieces of her life.

After leaving the army, Jackson is ready to start afresh. But when he returns home, his life spirals out of control.As Sophia and Jackson find themselves in each other, they start to see redemption is possible. 

Trying to piece together a new life, they must answer the question: Should they forge a life together and say goodbye to their pasts completely, or should they loyally go their separate ways to avoid heartache?

My Review:

I came across To Say Goodbye on NetGalley a few weeks ago and for some reason, this one just called to me. This was my first time reading Lindsay Detwiler and it was an amazing love story.

Sophia is a beautiful, vibrant woman that has experienced the tremendous loss of her husband Tim. She has a wonderful family and is part-owner of a salon with her best friend Stella. Jackson has returned from the Army and experiencing his own difficult losses in addition to losing Tim who was his best friend when they were growing up.

Sophia and Jackson’s losses are similar and different at the same time, however, they instantly seem to be drawn to and relate to each other because of their grief. As Jackson and Sophia get to know one another, the reader learns more and more about Sophia and Tim’s past, Jackson and Tim’s past, as well as, Jackson and his ex’s past. The characters are so well-developed and relatable, and the author’s descriptions make it easy to picture the characters and settings in your mind while you read. 

The main theme of this novel is grieving and overcoming loss, however, it strongly depicts moving on and being open to happiness again after tragedy. Grief looks different to everyone and feels different to everyone. There is no set time table for grieving, but it is important to continue living and finding joy where possible. This was so incredibly sad at times, yet so moving and uplifting also. The love, care, and respect portrayed in To Say Goodbye was incredible, as were all of the various characters. It was a raw and honest fast-paced story that I could not put down. To Say Goodbye is an exceptional piece of women’s fiction that everyone should read. 

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase To Say Goodbye on Amazon!

Learn more about Lindsay Detwiler by visiting her web page!

Reviews

Book Review: Perfect on Paper

Perfect on Paper (The (Mis)Adventures of Waverly Bryson Book 1),

by Maria Murnane

Publication: Lake Union Publishing; January 26, 2010

perfectAbout the book: 

Anything can look perfect on paper. When her fiancé calls off their wedding at the last minute, Waverly Bryson wonders if her life will ever turn out the way she thought it would…or should. Her high-powered job in sports PR? Not so perfect. Her relationship with her dad? Far from it. Her perfect marriage? Enough said. To keep sane, Waverly makes a habit of jotting down “Honey Notes,” her own brand of self-deprecating wisdom and a pipe dream for a line of greeting cards.

As Waverly stumbles back into the dating scene (no stalkers or jean shorts, please), her personal and professional lives threaten to collide. Perfect on Paper reminds us that everyone has a bad date (or twelve) and that everyone eventually needs a best friend to tell them, “Honey, you are not alone.”

My Review:

I cannot believe that I have not read this earlier, but it was such a joy from the first to the last page. Perfect on Paper tells the story of Waverly and her best friends Andie and McKenna. After her fiance calls off their wedding, Waverly starts writing funny “honey-notes” to poke fun at her own life or when inspired by others. She’s got a great job doing Sports PR but isn’t passionate about it. Her relationship with her Dad is complicated and her dating life is one hilarious disaster after another.

Waverly is one of the funniest characters I’ve ever read about. The banter between her and her friends about their dating lives had me laughing out loud multiple times, including one story of a gassy date that had me bent over dying with tears streaming down my face! I love it when books make me really laugh, and this novel provoked such a response several times. I even told the author yesterday before reading that I was in the mood for something happy and uplifting – and Perfect on Paper definitely met those marks. Maria Murnane takes pieces of all of our lives and weaves them into fantastic stories that remind us that we are not alone and that there are plenty of others that have bad dates, get dumped, screw up at work, are clumsy and so on. There is a moment with Waverly eating and choking on a Milky Way which made me feel quite a kinship with her! There were some events here and there that I found a bit too fantastical and too perfect, however, this novel was meant to depict a normal, everyday woman with loads of issues whose life starts to turn around.

Waverly, her friends, and co-workers were very believable and relatable characters, but I must say that Waverly’s love interest Jake is still quite a mystery to me. The author described his physical features and his job, but otherwise, I don’t feel like I really got to know him. Their conversations consisted of Waverly either spewing all sorts of information about her life, or being tongue-tied due to nervousness, but Jake just never really said much.  

I have seen other reviews that are critical of the dialogue in the novel, claiming that it is too immature, too many “I saids” or “she saids,” but I completely disagree. Why you ask? Waverly and her friends had been friends for many, many years. Although they were technically grown-ups, they had a very easy, fun relationship that was very blunt and straight-forward. Call it immature or what you like, but several times during their dialogue I could easily see myself and friends having similar conversations and just being funny. This wasn’t written as serious literary fiction, but light-hearted, women’s fiction that is hilarious. 

Overall, I found this to be a wonderful read that was just what the doctor ordered. It’s funny, crazy, fast-paced, and just a good time! I hope to read more of Waverly’s (mis)adventures in the future!

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

Get Perfect on Paper from Amazon!

Learn more about Maria Murnane by visiting her web page!