Thursday, May 3, 2018

ARC Review: Friend Zone by Nicole Blanchard

Friend Zone is my first book by Nicole Blanchard, but I am such a sucker for friends to lovers stories that I had to give this one a shot. While there were things I enjoyed about the story, this one ended up being just okay for me. I did like some of the secondary characters though, so I might read those as they are released. 

Charlie and Liam have only ever been friends. But when Charlie breaks up with her latest boyfriend and finds herself in need of help, things with Liam begin to change. Suddenly needing a place to live, Liam offers to let her stay with him and both of them find themselves drawn to the other in a way they never have been before. Each of them knows they should fight it though, as they don’t want to ruin their friendship and both have plans as soon as school is done for them. But soon they are unable to avoid what is happening between them. 

I struggled with the character here a bit. While I liked Charlie and Liam, I thought that they both acted a bit on the immature side sometimes, especially Charlie. I didn’t really feel a connection to them, and I didn’t feel a strong connection between them. I think part of that was that I felt they weren’t entirely developed characters, so everything was very on the surface for me and I was left wanting more. I didn’t get much of a romantic relationship between them, and it seemed like not a lot changed from friendship for them. I also wasn’t entirely sold on the chemistry and attraction between them. I just felt like there was something missing here and that had me feeling as though their transition from friends to more wasn’t 100% believable for me. 

While I did think that there were some good moments here and that the characters had some good qualities, this one was just okay for me in the end. I found my attention wandering and I wasn’t invested in the HEA. I liked the characters and the secondary characters well enough, but this isn’t one that I will remember in the long run and I probably wouldn’t re-read it again in the future. I am interested in possibly reading more about Charlie’s friends, but I’m not sure that I will rush out to get them. I think that this story is one that a lot of readers will probably enjoy, especially if you are a fan of short and sweet NA books. If you are looking for something with more depth though, this one might not be for you.

**ARC Provided by IndieSage PR**

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

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

ARC Review: I Dare You by Ilsa Madden-Mills

I Dare You is the first book in the Hook Up Series by Ilsa Madden-Mills, and I loved it! This was a great start to the series and honestly just might be my favorite book from Ilsa yet. I read it in one sitting and really enjoyed it from start to finish. This book was sweet and sexy and I couldn’t get enough of how funny and cute it was. 

At first glance Delaney and Maverick have nothing in common. She is a nerdy good girl and he is a popular football player that all the girls want. But the two share a kiss their freshman year before going their separate ways. Now a few years later, Delaney has sworn off athletes after her boyfriend cheated on her, but when a late night text on a lonely Valentine’s Day comes in, she finds herself drawn in. Though she doesn’t know who “badass athlete” is, he knows her, and he is determined to do whatever it takes to win her over. When the truth comes out and secrets are revealed, will it destroy any chance they have of something together? 

I loved both Delaney and Maverick. I loved that they were unique and weren’t your cookie cutter NA characters. They were likable and fun and easy to relate to and root for. You couldn’t help be drawn in by them, and I was hooked from the very first page. Delaney was nerdy and fun, sweet and perfect for Mav. He was sexy and sweet, and I loved his determination and loyalty. He was so caring and would do anything for those he loved, there was so much to him and I was glad that we got to see his different layers. I really thought that these two were perfect for one another and they just worked, even if you wouldn’t imagine it at first glance. 

This book was a lot of fun to read and I found myself not wanting to put it down. I loved the secondary characters as much as Delaney and Mav, and I am really looking forward to reading more in this series. It has been a long time since I have read and loved a New Adult story as much as this one, but it was such a great story and I think it will be one many readers love like I did. Sweet, Sexy, funny and heartfelt, this book had it all! A must read for fans of Ilsa Madden-Mills and fans of sports romance/NA stories.

**ARC Provided by Enticing Journey Book Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle |

Monday, April 30, 2018

Review: Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

I have to be honest and say that I couldn’t wait to read this book, yet at the same time I was a bit scared to tell the truth. I loved Bully and the Fall Away series, but I have struggled with the last few books from Penelope Douglas because I felt like they were all so similar. Like she had taken characteristics from Jared and just changed names and small details of the story to release a new book. Birthday Girl completely restored my faith in her again though, and made me remember everything I had loved about Penelope’s books to begin with. 

Birthday Girl is a standalone forbidden romance featuring Jordan and Pike. Jordan and Pike first meet on a chance encounter and are immediately drawn together, but since Jordan has a boyfriend nothing happens between them. But when Jordan and her boyfriend Cole have to move out of their apartment and in with his dad, she comes face to face with Pike. Pike never expected to be so drawn to his son’s girlfriend, but the more time they spend together the more he realizes why none of his relationships have ever worked out. But what happens when they find their attraction and connection more than they can continue to fight? 

I loved these characters so much. They might have been 19 years apart and forbidden due to how they met and their circumstances, yet they couldn’t have been more perfect for one another. Pike and Jordan were made for each other. They connected emotionally as well as physically, and I couldn’t get enough of them. They shared common interests and you could just feel how genuine everything was between them. I loved the slow burn and chemistry between them, and I was on the edge of my seat waiting for things to explode between them. I was lost in their world and never wanted it to end. I really cannot even begin to describe how much I loved this book and Pike and Jordan. Pike was sexy and sweet, thoughtful and caring. Jordan was genuine and sweet, and I loved how she fit with Pike. They were everything the other needed. 

Overall, this might be my favorite book Penelope Douglas has written. It was forbidden which has always been my jam, but it was so much more than that. It was believable and just felt right. It wasn’t forbidden just to be forbidden, but the story was good and the characters felt like they were supposed to wind up where they did because that was their story. Nothing about it was forced and honestly I found myself lost in their story so much that their ages didn’t even register to me and neither did their circumstances. This truly felt like a situation where these two had always been meant to wind up where they did and I was just happy to be along for the ride with them. I can’t recommend this one enough. As soon as I finished, I wanted to start it all over again and immediately went and ordered the paperback so that I could add it to my favorites shelf. This will definitely be one I read over and over again, and I am really looking forward to getting to know Jordan’s friend Dani better in her book Motel.

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

Blind Date with a Book Event with Nina Bocci

Nina Bocci is a novelist, publicist, eternal optimist, unabashed lipgloss enthusiast, constant apologist, and a hopeless romanticist. She has too many college degrees that she’s not using and a Lego addiction that she blames on her son.

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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Blind Date with a Book Event with Sylvain Reynard

I’m a Canadian author who is interested in the way literature can help us explore aspects of the human condition – particularly suffering, sex, love, faith, and redemption. My favourite stories are those in which a character takes a journey, either a physical journey to a new and exciting place, or a personal journey in which he or she learns something about himself/herself.

I’m also interested in how art, landscapes, and music can be used to tell a story. In my writing, I combine these elements with the themes of love and redemption.

I try to use my platform as an author to raise awareness about the following charities: WorldVision, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and Covenant House.