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Friday, July 19, 2019

ARC Review: Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

This book popped my Helena Hunting cherry, my first book by her and I absolutely adore this book. This book would fall under my classification as fluff, I love fluff, it’s quick and easy to read, it’s lighthearted with some deep emotional moments, and most importantly it’s funny. This is the kind of book that made me feel good when I finished it, where I just had to stop and take in the wonderful ending. For me this is one of those books that if I run out of books to read I could easily reread it, or if I am feeling depressed I could read it just to make me smile.

Kailyn and Dax met in law school and after the embarrassing first meet where Kailyn went all fan girl over the former child actor of her favorite sitcom they started a friendly rivalry between the two of them until one day it wasn’t friendly anymore. Despite Kailyn’s dislike for Dax as a human being she didn’t let that get in the way of still loving the show. Eight years later, Dax walks back into her life with his parents wanting to update their will, a few months later and his parents are dead and he finds himself the guardian of his teenage sister, Emma. Dax’s aunt is contesting the will and Kailyn is asked to represent Emma in the case. Kailyn has a soft spot for orphans and only agrees because she wants to make sure Emma is going to end up with the best person possible. Emma latches on to Kailyn and being around Emma means being around Dax and all those old feelings she use to harbor for him in college come back but also all new one for the man he became. Dax is glad that Kailyn is looking out for his sister’s best interest because that means he gets to spend time with her too and explore these feelings he’s had for her since college.

Overall, I loved this book, I loved the romance and the humor, the external conflict of the custody battle was a predictable but brought the story together. I definitely want to read more from Helena Hunting.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | Apple |

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Audiobook Review: The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, Narrated by Julia Whelan

This is not my usual pick of storyline. I usually like romances and stay away from psychological thrillers but I heard so many great things about this storyline that I had to try it out myself.

This story starts off with Nellie the ex-wife. She is trying to rebuild a life for herself. Her husband Richard has moved onto a new love and has taken all their wealth with him. Nelly is living with her aunt, her only remaining relative. Nellie is barely holding on. She struggles with her new life as a divorced woman and her old life haunts her. Soon she finds out that Richard has moved on and becomes obsessed with his new girlfriend. The story is told from a first person point of view. We are seeing the story unfold through Nellie’s eyes .

The story is also told from Vanessa’s point of view. Vanessa is in love. She has fallen in love with Richard and he is a dream come true. She works two jobs as a waitress and also as a pre-school teacher. Richard is very wealthy and has introduced Vanessa to a lavish lifestyle. Vanessa is getting ready to marry Richard and start a new life with him as his wife. The story takes place in NYC. Soon they will have a house in the suburbs where they can start a family together.

Most of part one of the story describe the life of these two narrators and its in part two where we realize that nothing is what it seems! The story unfolds in a manner that it was one surprise after another. The intertwined storylines were new and refreshing. There were so many plot twists that I did not see coming! Even at the end where everything seems resolved, there are yet more plot twists! Although not in the romance genre, this story is a must read or hear!

The narrator is amazing. She really seemed to understand the sensitive twists and turns that were involved! I highly recommend and really enjoyed this story! I plan to read more by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen.

Purchase: | Audiobook | Amazon | B&N | Apple |

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Feature and Giveaway: The Kissing Contract by Amy Andrews

Marshall Dyson wants one thing and one thing only: to raze his grandfather’s island to the ground. Everything is ready to go––except for the freakin’ bunnies! Hundreds of the furry critters hopping about and multiplying before his eyes. And then there’s the American Bunny League, along with one distractingly beautiful veterinarian, taking him to court to save them...

Dr. Augusta “Gus” North can’t believe the grumpy–and annoyingly hot–builder she’s facing in court cares more about demo-ing some cabin than the lives of 200 bunnies. But when the judge orders Marshall to stay on the island and help her rehome the rabbits – the entire month – she knows they’re going to need to lay some ground rules.

Like, for example, absolutely no kissing. Might as well go ahead and get that in writing. Sure it’s on a napkin, but that still counts.

How hard could it be to keep their hands off each other amidst all the fighting? Surprisingly, harder than wrangling 200 bunnies...

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo |

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Books and Swag Up for Grabs!

Hey everyone! So we are doing something a little different today on the blog...I'm in the process of moving and over the last few years have accumulated A LOT of books and swag from various events that I've attended. Unfortunately I have to downsize and can no longer keep the stash that I currently have. Well I thought I could let you guys take them off my hands. So if you are interested, you can have a box of books or swag and all you have to do is pay shipping. That's right, just pay the flat shipping fee and I'll pack up a box for you filled to the brim with books. Just fill out the form or click the link and I'll get your goodies out to you. Please note there are no guarantees as to what will be in the boxes. Just know that the books are all new. Some might be signed and there might even be an old ARC or two but I can't guarantee what exactly will be in the boxes. Also, do to shipping prices I do have to limit this to US shipping ONLY.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

ARC Review: All Grown Up by Vi Keeland

I’ll admit that while I was super excited for another Vi Keeland book, older woman/younger man stories aren’t really my thing. I much prefer the opposite when it comes to age gap stories. But I still was excited to read All Grown Up since I love Vi’s stories, and this one was great! Vi never disappoints, and I think readers are going to love this one! 

Ford and Valentina captured my attention instantly, and I couldn’t get enough of them. I loved the chemistry and connection between them. They were real and genuine and very easy to relate to. I felt like I was right there with them on their journey and I loved how they handled every up and down that they experienced along the way. This couple is one of my favorites from Vi, and I really felt like Val and Ford were perfect together. 

Overall, another great story from Vi. She always captivates me with her unique and original characters, and I love knowing that she always has a fresh new story full of the unexpected whenever I begin a new book by her. Each story feels like an entirely new experience with characters I know I’ll love forever, and that was definitely the case with Val and Ford. If you are a fan of age gap romances, this is one you must read. If you are on the fence or unsure, I highly recommend you take the chance here on All Grown Up. You won’t regret it!

**ARC Provided by Author**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes

Friday, July 12, 2019

ARC Review: The Trouble with Vampires by Lynsay Sands

Yay Santo!! Book 29 in the Argeneau series brings us to a suburban Albany, New York neighborhood. The Enforcers got a lead that may end up being the mad scientist they have been trying to track down since he escaped from his private island off the coast of Venezuela where he had been experimenting on immortals and humans in a Dr. Moreau kind of way. After being held captive by the mad scientist Santo is ready for a swift justice. Petronella Stone is babysitting her nephew but soon after she gets there strange things start to happen someone tries to break in to the house luckily the neighbors intervene before anything can happen. The visiting neighbors, Marguerite, Julius, Zanipolo, Jason, and Santo are there to track down the mad scientist who maybe hiding out in his cousins house right next door and the attempted break in at Pet’s house is just too coincidental. They find out early on Pet knows about immortals due to a traumatic past experience which makes things easier for the Enforcers to protect her and her nephew, Parker. Once Santo realizes that Pet is his life mate and she already knows about immortals he thinks the rest should be easy, but it’s never easy!

Overall, this was another very entertaining read. Santo and Pet are hot, it gets very steamy and Santo is very deserving of a life mate. Parker is adorable. I foresee something happening with the Brass Circle in the future (finger’s crossed). This one wasn’t as predictable as some of the past books I didn’t guess what exactly happened and it was good, it had a very nice ending. I think this could be read as a standalone but if you need to read the previous one to catch up on the whole mad scientist plot you don’t have to go back to the very beginning just maybe back maybe six or seven to Runaway Vampire or Immortal Nights. I am also anticipating Zanipolo’s book to be next, I’m hoping. I always enjoy Lynsay Sands writing, her characters are always quirky and Pet and Santo’s have very dark emotional past they have to deal with which lead to them connecting on an emotional level as well as physical.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | Apple |

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Feature and Giveaway: Cowboy Summer by Joanne Kennedy

Jess Bailey broke Cade Walker’s heart when she left for the city—but she was just trying to find her own way in the world. When Jess’s dad calls her home and tells her he’s selling the ranch, she realizes she’s about to lose the life she was born to live. And when she sees Cade again, she knows how much she’s lost already.

As their nearest neighbor, Cade is always trying to help. But he’s got his own ranch and his horse training business to think about. Even though his heart fills with hope for a second chance when he sees Jess, she left him once when things got tough. And she knows he moved on without her.

As the sale of the Bailey ranch looms over them, Jess and Cade start looking to the future. But can they ever trust one another again?

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | Apple |

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

ARC Review: The Governess by Christi Caldwell

Christi Caldwell has been on my to-read list for a long time. “The Governess” caught my eye and I dove right in. This is part of a series, Wicked Wallflowers. “The Governess” is book is the third book in the series so many of the characters from the previous books appear. I didn’t feel lost but there is a very critical events that build up in this story and those events start in the previous books, so I would recommend that before you fall down the Caldwell rabbit hole like I did you have those on reserve at the library.

The heroine, Regina-or as the hero fondly calls her Reggie, has been Broderick Killoran’s right hand women. Broderick runs a gaming hall and is very successful. He depends on Reggie for everything but has never seen her as anything other than his confidant. Now that Reggie is ready to leave Broderick he starts to realize that he not only grew accustomed to Reggie but he has very deep feelings for her. Everyone around Broderick can tell that Reggie is in love with him but Broderick had never thought of Reggie that way. As Broderick’s family and gaming hall is threatened, he slowly comes to realize that he can’t control everything and despite his best efforts, he can’t always protect the ones he loves. Reggie feels that Broderick will never see her as the women she has become. She feels that if she doesn’t move on her life will always be the same. With the help from a friend she dares to separate from Broderick and the family that has slowly become hers as well.

I loved everything about this story. Once I started to read it, I could not put it down. I loved the chemistry between Reggie and Broderick. I loved their friendship and their history together. I loved the back stories which were all interesting and I could not help but feel for the characters. Once I finished this story I quickly looked for the first two books in the series:” The Hellion” and also “The Vixen”. The back stories are interesting and add to the characters but I still loved “The Governess.” I am making my way for “The Bluestocking” which already is a great story even though I have not finished it. Review to come soon!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

Monday, July 8, 2019

Interview with Author CD Reiss and Giveaway

CD Reiss is a New York Times bestselling author. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God, but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn’t pick up, she’s at the well hauling buckets. Born in New York City, Reiss moved to Hollywood, California, to get her master’s degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere—but it did give her a big enough ego to write novels.

Reiss is frequently referred to as the Shakespeare of Smut, which is flattering but hasn’t ever gotten her out of chopping that cord of wood. If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine. Text cdreiss to 77948 to get a notification whenever she has a new release.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Feature and Giveaway: Jackson by Emily March

From New York Times bestselling author Emily March comes Jackson, the newest novel in the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series.

Sometimes it takes a new beginning
Caroline Carruthers thinks she buried her dreams along with the love of her life…until a stranger named Celeste dares her to chase a dream all on her own. Moving to Redemption, Texas, is chapter one in Caroline’s new life story. Opening a bookstore is the next. Finding love is the last thing on her mind as she settles into this new place called home. But when she meets a handsome, soulful man who’s also starting over, all bets are off.

to reach a happily-ever-after
Jackson McBride came to Redemption looking only to find himself, not someone to love. Ever since his marriage ended, he’s been bitter. Sure, he used to believe in love—he even has the old song lyrics to prove it—but the Jackson of today is all business. That is, until a beautiful young widow who’s moved to town inspires a change of heart. Could it be that the myth of Redemption’s healing magic is true…and Jackson and Caroline can find a second chance at a happy ending after all?

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | Apple |

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

ARC Review: Three Weeks With a Princess by Vanessa Kelly

Three Weeks With a Princess by Vanessa Kelly was a let down for this reader, I am sorry to say. It dragged on too long for me, and a lot of things said about or in this book was misleading in my opinion.

Lia Kincaid is the illegitimate daughter of a prince and a courtesan. Her grandmother shared the same profession as her mother. Lia is made to grow up in the country raised by her grandmother who became mistress to the Marquess of Lendale. Growing up there, Lia befriended Lendale's grandson (or great nephew I can't remember exactly), Jack Easton, and established a school girl crush on him. He was always kind to her despite her lineage and looked out for her well being.

Unfortunately for Jack, upon the demise of both his father and grandfather (or great uncle) he must assume the title of Marquess and take over the responsibilities that come with it. In his opinion, this included Lia and her grandmother, much to his own mother's despair. However, since the late Marquess didn't provide anything for his mistress in his will, Lia and her grandmother believe they need to make their own way. Lia determines her only options are to either become an actress (as her mother has recently become) or a mistress. Jack does not like either option, and continually insists that she stay at his country home and he will continue to care for her and her grandmother.

I found I did not like barely any characters in this book. Lia was annoying in her determination to ruin herself. She didn't even try other potential options which may have been possible if she got lucky and put forth some serious effort. Jack and almost every other male in this book were just huge dictators trying to force Lia to do what they believed was best for her. Most of the female side characters had spunk but were also making dumb decisions that seemed completely silly and unrealistic.

I also disliked the flow of the story. Many of the scenes I felt were unnecessary and contributed to an overly lengthy book. I never really felt either character "fall in love". Lia has loved Jack from childhood which is just mentioned as a backstory, and Jack just seems overbearing, and I never felt his over protectiveness turn into love. I was looking forward to this story being a little more involving royalty as the title suggests a princess type is involved. It really didn't come into play very much at all. The three weeks timeline also really didn't match. I know I am nitpicking but it honestly it bothered me.

I am not really interested at all in continuing this series. I may give Vanessa Kelly's work another try someday, but with something separate.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | AmazonB&N | Apple | Kobo |

Monday, July 1, 2019

ARC Review: Someone to Honor by Mary Balogh

Someone to Honor is the sixth book in Mary Balogh's Westcott series. This book focuses on Abigail Westcott and Gil Bennington. If you need a reminder, Abigail is one of the three children discovered to be technically illegitimate in the first Westcott book because her father married her mother whilst having already being wed to another. This book takes place about six years after that first book.

Abigail Westcott has been pushed by her meddling (but full of love) family to return as best she can to society and find herself happiness through marriage. However, she finds herself no longer interested. She has gotten over the "Great Catastrophe" that happened to her mother, brother, and sister, but no one else seems to see that. They only see her as being lonely.

Gil Bennington is on his way back to England when he stumbles upon a healing Harry Westcott. Gil and Harry served together against Napoleon, and became friends. Gil insists on helping Harry get back home to recover from his wounds there. He stays with Harry even once they get to England to help Harry get his strength back. He doesn't realize the stampede of family determined to check on Harry as soon as they have word of his return. It is almost overwhelming to Gil, whose upbringing was very different to the love and concern shown to Harry.

Abby along with the rest of her family are over the moon to have Harry back home, but they are all worried about his weakened condition. She happens to find Gil chopping wood on the grounds when needing a moment and mistakes him for a servant. She lectures him about his state of dress (or lack thereof since he is bare from the waist up). Gil lacks to correct her incorrect assumption and just grits his teeth at yet another annoying lady of society.

Throughout their encounters, they find themselves disliking each other and yet being drawn to each other upon learning more of each other's character. Gil is struggling with personal/legal issues while he is there, and stemming from that, they find they need each other.

I found this book to not be very romantic. However, it touched my heart a lot! Gil is a tough guy with a hidden heart and I just wanted to give him hugs all the time! Abby was sweet and she was doing a lot of finding herself and figuring out what she wanted. It was a little too much for me with Abby though as I felt I didn't truly get to know her. I liked her; I just struggled to empathize I guess.

I did still very much enjoy this story. I believe the series will continue, and I am excited to see where it goes!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | Apple |

Sunday, June 30, 2019

ARC Review: Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau

Kingdom of Exiles is a debut for new author Maxym M. Martineau. It was advertised on Goodreads as, "Fantastic Beasts meets Assassin's Creed." I LOVED Fantastic Beasts so it grabbed my attention, and I read the synopsis. Don't really know anything about Assassin's Creed but that's ok.

Leena Edenfrell has been exiled from her kind, Beast Charmers, though she keeps the skills she learned before her exile. In order to survive, she sells beasts that she charms for people, which is against everything she learned from the Charmers. She does the best she can, and it is all to go towards finding redemption for her false crimes. Unfortunately for her, she gets targeted by an assassin, one who though she defeats, means there is a bounty on her head that the entire organization will go after her to fulfill.

Noc is the leader of an undying people in a place called Cruor. They are assassins for hire. When Leena walks into their home with one of his brothers hostage, she immediately has his attention. They strike a deal; she will acquire four beasts for him and his people will spare her life. Noc hopes there is a possibility a beast can stop a curse put upon him. He is also clever though to create a loophole in their bargain so he can still keep his contract.

Leena, Noc, and three other Cruor members set out to find the beasts. All the while, the assassins do what they've learned they shouldn't do to get their job done. They get to know Leena and start to believe in her innocence. All the while, she sneaks into Noc's thoughts and heart, which could be fatal for them both.

Within this emotional struggle and new world was a great starting point for a fantasy romance. I loved learning about some of the beasts described, but I was disappointed that as the book progressed, we learned less about new creatures. The love interest between Leena and Noc wasn't as convincing to me, though it wasn't horrible. I found myself more interested in the three other members of the group.

For me this book had a great build up and idea, and then around the halfway mark, it began to lose my interest. Despite that, I did enjoy the tale overall and I hope to have the opportunity to continue reading the series. Definitely a great debut!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | Apple |