Thursday, August 20, 2020

Book Review: Dating Makes Perfect by Pintip Dunn

Dating Makes Perfect
By: Pintip Dunn
Published: August 18, 2020
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Add to Goodreads
Source: eARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review
Book Summary:

The Tech sisters don’t date in high school. Not because they’re not asked. Not because they’re not interested. Not even because no one can pronounce their long, Thai last name—hence the shortened, awkward moniker. But simply because they’re not allowed. 

Until now. 

In a move that other Asian American girls know all too well, six months after the older Tech twins got to college, their parents asked, “Why aren’t you engaged yet?” The sisters retaliated by vowing that they won’t marry for ten (maybe even twenty!) years, not until they’ve had lots of the dating practice that they didn’t get in high school. 

In a shocking war on the status quo, her parents now insist that their youngest daughter, Orrawin (aka “Winnie”), must practice fake dating in high school. Under their watchful eyes, of course—and organized based on their favorite rom-coms. ’Cause that won’t end in disaster. 

The first candidate? The son of their longtime friends, Mat Songsomboon—arrogant, infuriating, and way too good-looking. Winnie’s known him since they were toddlers throwing sticky rice balls at each other. And her parents love him. 

If only he weren’t her sworn enemy.


My Thoughts:


Dating Makes Perfect was the first book I've read by Pintip Dunn, but it won't be my last!  This story was a colorful, fun, feel-good #OwnVoices romance, that delighted me from beginning to end.  

There were so many things I loved about this story!  The descriptions of Taiwanese culture, as well as the customs, traditions, and cuisine were exquisite!  I loved reading about the various Thai dishes, and could see how food was such an integral aspect of the culture.  The cuisine sounded so delicious that I could picture everything, and wished I could hop through the pages and try the various foods. 

The Tech sisters had an unnbreakable bond.  I loved the twins Ari and Bunny, and of course Winnie was absolutely wonderful.  These girls shared everything with each other, and always supported one another.  They were more than sisters; they were best friends. Anyone who reads this story will love this trio.  I enjoyed time spent with Winnie's parents as well.  They brought a lot of levity and humor to the story.

The romance between Matt and Winnie was a blast!  These two had so much fiery chemistry!  I loved their interactions and fake dates.  I was rooting for them from the start, and wanted to know what could have broken up such a strong friendship. Their journey from enemies to friends/crushes was a fun one filled with the passion and excitement of first love, humor, heartbreak, life lessons, and an abundance of feels!

In case you can't tell, I loved Dating Makes Perfect, and highly recommend it!






Purchase At:




About the Author:

Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and received her J.D. at Yale Law School. 

Her novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. Her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for the following awards: the Grand Prix del'Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; the MASL Truman Award; the TomeSociety It list; and the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award. 

Her other titles include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, THE DARKEST LIE, GIRL ON THE VERGE, STAR-CROSSED, and MALICE. 

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland.



Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Blog Tour: Wicked Princess (Royal Hearts Academy #3) by A. Jade



Wicked Princess
Royal Hearts Academy #3

By:
Ashley Jade

Release Date:
August 18, 2020

Add to:
Goodreads
Source:
eARC from Candi Kane PR in exchange for a honest review

Book Summary:


Welcome to their kingdom.

They call me a heartless b*tch.
An evil manipulator.
A wicked princess who enjoys hurting people.

They tell me terrible things happened.
Things that changed my life forever.

Only problem is...

I can't remember any of it.


This is book 3 in the Royal Hearts Academy series. Please note: Although this is Bianca's book, Cruel Prince (Jace and Dylan’s book) and Ruthless Knight (Cole and Sawyer's book) should be read first for a better understanding of the family dynamic.


WARNING: 


Royal Hearts Academy is a New Adult/High School series of standalones filled with drama, a touch of angst, and boys who are bad to the bone. The characters are flawed. If you're looking for a safe, sweet romance with nice heroes and heroines who are perfect all the time, this series is NOT for you.



Royal Hearts Academy Series:
My Review

My Review



My Thoughts:

I've been struggling with reading lately.  With health issues, a jam packed schedule from my daughter's virtual schooling, I haven't been able to read as much as I usually do.  I've attempted a few books, and haven't been able to stick with any of them.

Imagine my excitement when Wicked Princess landed on my kindle.  I love this series, and hoped that this would be the book to pull me out of my reading slump.  The moment I began reading, I was completely engrossed, and could not stop reading.  I finished Wicked Princess in one sitting, and it blew me away.  There were lots of tears, surprises, excitement, and a rollercoaster of emotions as I consumed Bianca's story.  

I loved getting reunited with Jace, Dylan, Cole and Sawyer, as well as getting to know Bianca on a deeper level.  The ending made my heart leap right out of my chest!  I hope Ms. Jade writes book four at lightening speed, as Bianca's story is a to be continued, and I need all of the answers now!!!  

I went from a book slump to a book hangover, and boy did I miss the feeling of being completely immersed in a story, and rapidly turning pages, because I wanted to both finish and never finish the story.

The Royal Hearts Academy is one of my favorite New Adult Series, and I highly recommend it!  It is addictive, passionate, exciting, and packed full of feels!  I love the deep connection that the siblings share, as well as the alluring romances in each segment. If you've enjoyed the Fall Away Series by Penelope Douglas, you should check out this series!






Book Teaser:


Purchase At:




About the Author:

Ashley Jade loves to tackle different genres and tropes within romance. Her first loves are New Adult Romance and Romantic Suspense, but she also writes everything in between including: contemporary romance, erotica, and dark romance.

Her characters are flawed and complex, and chances are you will hate them before you fall head over heels in love with them.

She’s a die-hard lover of oxford commas, em dashes, music, coffee, and anything thought provoking…except for math.

Books make her heart beat faster and writing makes her soul come alive. She’s always read books growing up and scribbled stories in her journal, and after having a strange dream one night; she decided to just go for it and publish her first series.

It was the best decision she ever made.

If she’s not paying off student loan debt, working, or writing a novel—you can usually find her listening to music, hanging out with her readers online, and pondering the meaning of life.
Check out her amazon page and Facebook page for future novels. She recently became hip and joined Twitter, so you can find her there, too. She loves connecting with her readers—they make her world go round’.





Blog Tour Hosted By:
https://candikanepr.net/


Saturday, August 1, 2020

Stacking the Shelves &. Sunday Post (70)

Hosted by:  Tynga's Reviews
Hosted by:  Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer


This month has been a very difficult one for me.  I've been having a lot of health challenges.  I can't hold down most of my food, have been having horrible acid reflux, heartburn, and GI problems.  I've also been having really bad pain running throughout my whole body.  My doctor ordered a ton of tests, because he is concerned.  He is checking me for a compression of the spine, as well as having me to a endoscopy, and sending me to G.I,  My blood pressure has been significantly up, and I've been struggling.  I decided to start juicing again, so I'm taking vitamins, and just eating raw fruits, vegetables, salads, and smoothies right now hoping to improve my health. 

As far as reading this month, I attempted three books, and struggled with all three of them.  I DNF'd The Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth, and am going to give the other two a little more time, but might end up DNFing those as well.  I began Nightfall by Penelope Douglas, and am hoping it will be the book I need to pull me out of my book slump. I didn't blog this month, but hope to get back in to the swing of things.

My daughter starts school on Wednesday, and we will be doing distant learning.  I'm waiting for her new teacher to contact me to see how it will work, but the paperwork said 8-2 instruction via Zoom.  I'm hoping that I will be able to do independent study, because there is no way my daughter can sit in front of a computer for six hours a day.  

I got some really exciting ARC's this month and can't wait to read them.  Sadly, I was turned down for Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews, one of my most anticipated reads of the year.  

Life feels like "Groundhog Day," with the monotony of the same thing happening day after day.  I find myself losing track of what day of the week it is. Being high risk, we are staying inside for the most part, and when we go out it's just for a drive, walking while socially distancing, or picking up food through the drive-thru.  I live in Southern California, and we are one of the hardest hit states right now. 

On my mother's side, my cousin and his family caught COVID, and his wife was in her last month of pregnancy.  My cousin's wife couldn't breathe, was on oxygen, and they had to give her a c-section.  The hospital kept the baby in an incubator to keep him safe. My cousin also went to the hospital for not being able to breath and they sent him home, because there wasn't enough room in the hospital.  His mother-in-law is now on a ventilator, and his father-in-law, two sisters-in-law, 8 year old stepson, and grandfather-in-law all have COVID.  We lost my 48 year old cousin on my dad's side to an unexpected stroke, and I wonder if it was due to COVID as well.  His wife and son got it.  The wife had mild symptoms, but his son had double pneumonia, lost a lot of weight, and was very sick.  My brother-in-law also lost his uncle.  

This thing is more of a reality to me now, and most definitely here.  Another cousin has had repeated exposures because she works in a bank, and they keep having to shut down the bank to clean everything, and get employees tested.  Thankfully, she's been lucky so far.  My sister and brother-in-law, had an exposure, but were lucky thankfully.  I'm hoping we can stay healthy, but at this point I'm wondering if it's not a matter of if we'll get this virus, but when.  How are you all holding up?  I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.

Thanks to Berkley Romance, St. Martin's Press, and Entangled Teen

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Book Spotlight: Sucker Punch by Laurell K. Hamilton


Sucker Punch
Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #27
By: Laurell K. Hamilton
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
For over 25 years, Hamilton has treated readers to her signature blend of chilling mystery, pulse-pounding action and sizzling sensuality. With more than 20 million books sold, Hamilton is a true literary powerhouse. 

 Over the years the tough-as-nails heroine, Anita, known to vampires as “The Executioner” has evolved from a legal vampire executioner to a badge-carrying U.S. Marshal, necromancer and a metaphysical power far greater—and far deadlier—than many of the supernatural beings she’s battled. 

In SUCKER PUNCH, Anita faces her most unusual case as a Marshal: determine if a wereanimal that’s already been caught and arrested for murder, and marked for execution, is actually a killer. When Anita arrives in a small town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, she knows her investigation won’t be easy. Prejudice against wereanimals runs deep and the local community members are eager to make someone pay. 

There is plenty of evidence that young wereleopard Bobby Marchand killed his uncle in gruesome fashion, but something seems off about the murder, so Anita is called in to give her expert opinion. With escalating pressure from the locals and fear in the community growing, Anita races against the clock to find the truth. Do the Marshals have the real killer or are they about to execute and innocent man?

Excerpt from SUCKER PUNCH 
by Laurell K. Hamilton:

     We drove for a few minutes in companionable silence. 
     “It’s a dark night up here,” I said. 
     “The cloud cover is thick tonight, but if it clears off, you’ll see stars here like I’ve never seen outside of the desert or the ocean.” 
     “It’s not just cloud cover, Newman. Last night was the dark of the moon, and tonight won’t be much brighter. If Bobby Marchand has been a wereleopard—sorry, Ailuranthrope—for this long, he shouldn’t even shift form this far from a full moon.” 
     “It’s one of the things that bothered me enough to try to delay executing him, and don’t worry. I’m having trouble remembering all the new terms, too. Besides, we know that Bobby Marchand is a leopard, so we don’t have to use the generic terms between us.” 
     “Great. I appreciate that. I hate the new vocabulary. Do you have the warrant of execution in hand already?” 
     “Yeah, the judge e‑mailed it to the sheriff’s office and got it signed through DocuSign just hours after the body was discovered.” 
     “I remember when getting the warrant faxed over was high‑tech,” I said. 
     “Yeah, it’s all high‑tech most of the time now. Fast and efficient, maybe a little too efficient.” 
     “How much time is left on the warrant?” I asked. 
     “About sixty hours out of the original seventy‑two. I should have called you sooner.” 
     “Should isn’t helpful, Newman. Concentrate on what we can do here and now. Second‑guessing yourself just eats up your energy and time.” 
     He glanced at me, then back at the road. “Maybe, but they’ve started to get really picky on extending the timeline on a warrant of execution.” 
     “Yeah, since they stretched the window for a warrant from forty‑ eight to seventy‑two, they don’t like extending the time unless it’s a live hunt where you can’t lay hands on the murderer, and you’ve got this one locked up in jail. There won’t be grounds for more time, and if you don’t pull the trigger in a timely fashion, it will be seen as refusing to perform your duty as a marshal of the preternatural branch, and that will be a career killer.” 
     “Better my career than an innocent man’s life.” 
     “You told me you don’t believe he did it, but we didn’t have time for you to tell me all your reasons over the phone.” 
     “No, I needed you here ASAP so you could help me figure out what’s wrong with this case.” 
     “I’m surprised that the first police on scene didn’t just kill him on sight. They would have been able to make a good case for it being a clean shoot.” 
     “If they’d found him covered in blood right beside his uncle’s body, they probably would have, but he was in his bedroom passed out. I’m not sure they’d have even suspected him if he hadn’t had blood all over him.”
     “I looked at the crime scene photos you e‑mailed me. First glance, the victim was clawed to pieces. Why wouldn’t the local cops suspect the only wereleopard living in the house with him? I’m not com‑ plaining that they didn’t jump to the conclusion, but it’s simple cop math to think it.” 
     “Like Jim said, Bobby is a local boy. He’s well‑liked. Doesn’t drink too much, doesn’t do much of anything to excess, and his family is rich enough that he could afford a lot of excess.” 
     “A lot of shapeshifters are careful about doing anything that will lower their control of their inner beast, like drinking or drugs or even strong emotions,” I said. 
     Newman nodded. “Which means that Bobby is careful and doesn’t take chances with his beast.” 
     “He sounds like a model citizen,” I said. 

Posted by arrangement with Berkley Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Laurell K. Hamilton, 2020.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Waiting on Wednesday (130)

https://www.wishfulendings.com/



Dating Makes Perfect 
By: Pintip Dunn
Release Date: August 18, 2020
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Book Summary:

The Tech sisters don’t date in high school. Not because they’re not asked. Not because they’re not interested. Not even because no one can pronounce their long, Thai last name—hence the shortened, awkward moniker. But simply because they’re not allowed. 

Until now. 

In a move that other Asian American girls know all too well, six months after the older Tech twins got to college, their parents asked, “Why aren’t you engaged yet?” The sisters retaliated by vowing that they won’t marry for ten (maybe even twenty!) years, not until they’ve had lots of the dating practice that they didn’t get in high school. 

In a shocking war on the status quo, her parents now insist that their youngest daughter, Orrawin (aka “Winnie”), must practice fake dating in high school. Under their watchful eyes, of course—and organized based on their favorite rom-coms. ’Cause that won’t end in disaster. 

The first candidate? The son of their longtime friends, Mat Songsomboon—arrogant, infuriating, and way too good-looking. Winnie’s known him since they were toddlers throwing sticky rice balls at each other. And her parents love him.

If only he weren’t her sworn enemy.


Why I'm Eagerly Waiting:

I think this sounds like a fun and humorous enemies to lovers romance that I would enjoy!  Plus, I'm a huge fan of reading books that feature different cultures!

What are you waiting on?

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Waiting on Wednesday (129)

https://www.wishfulendings.com/



Engagement and Espionage
Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries #1
By: Penny Reid
Release Date: July 14, 2020

Book Summary:

Jennifer Sylvester made her deal with the devil . . . and now they’re engaged! But all is not well in Green Valley. A chicken choker is on the loose, 61 dead birds most "fowl" need plucking, and no time remains for Jennifer and her devilish fiancĂ©. Desperate to find a spare moment together, Jenn and Cletus’s attempts to reconnect are thwarted by one seemingly coincidental disaster after another. It’s not long before Cletus and Jenn see a pattern emerge and the truth becomes clear. Sabotage! Will an undercover mission unmask the culprit? Or are these love-birds totally plucked? 'Engagement and Espionage' is the first book in the Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries series, is a full-length cozy mystery, and is a spin-off of Penny Reid's Winston Brothers series. This novel is best read after 'Beard Science,' Winston Brothers #3.

Why I'm Eagerly Waiting:

Jenn and Cletus were my favorite couple in the Winston Brother Series.  They were quirky, fun, and made me laugh so much! There was never a dull moment with these characters, and I was so excited when I heard they were getting their own series!!!

What are you waiting on?

Monday, June 29, 2020

Book Review: You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley


You Were There Too
By: Colleen Oakley 
Published: January 7, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Audible Purchase
Mia Graydon's life looks picket-fence perfect; she has the house, her loving husband, and dreams of starting a family. But she has other dreams too — unexplained, recurring ones starring the same man. Still, she doesn’t think much of them, until a relocation to small-town Pennsylvania brings her face to face with the stranger she has been dreaming about for years. And this man harbors a jaw-dropping secret of his own—he's been dreaming of her too. 

Determined to understand, Mia and this not-so-stranger search for answers. But when diving into their pasts begins to unravel her life in the present, Mia emerges with a single question—what if? 

Acclaimed author Colleen Oakley delivers a heart-wrenching and unforgettable love story about a woman who must choose between the man she loves and the man fate has chosen for her in a novel that reminds us that the best life is one led by the heart.

 

My Thoughts:

Mia and Harrison have a good marriage. They love each other, but like any couple they have their ups and downs. Mia wants a baby more than anything, but has known great pain after suffering two miscarriages. These two move from the big city to a small town where Harrison is a doctor, and Mia is trying be successful with her paintings.  Mia has had vivid and reoccurring dreams of a man she doesn't know. Imagine her shock, when she sees this man in real life.  His name is Oliver, and fate keeps bringing him into her life.  Mia can't believe it when Oliver confesses that he's been dreaming of her too.  What could be the reason for their mutual dreaming of one another?

You Were There Too was a novel with a unique and intriguing premise.  It started out a little slow, but took off once Oliver entered the picture.  I enjoyed the mystery behind the dreams, and trying to guess their purpose.  I loved the way the author kept me on my toes, and gave me a thoroughly unpredictable ending.  Things did not turn out the way I thought they would.  The ending broke my heart and had me in tears, but also offered an open-ended ray of hope.  I have never read a story like this, and really enjoy when an author can deliver something that I've never seen done before. I found it refreshing, creative, and original.

This story tugged on my emotions, and was done in an authentic, and very realistic manner.  This was my book club's pick for June, and I am so glad that I discovered and read this book through them.  If you are fascinated by dreams, and are looking for an original and unique storyline, that is unpredictable, I recommend you check out, You Were There Too; but fair warning, have tissues nearby!







About the Author:

Colleen Oakley’s novels have been named best books by People Magazine, Us Weekly, Library Journal, and Real Simple, and both were long-listed for the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. Formerly the editor-in-chief of Women’s Health & Fitness and senior editor of Marie Claire, her articles and essays have been featured in The New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, Women’s Health, Redbook, Parade, Marie Claire and Martha Stewart Weddings. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, four kids and the world's biggest lapdog, Bailey. Her fourth novel THE INVISIBLE HUSBAND OF FRICK ISLAND will be published by Berkley/Penguin in summer 2021.