Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday (105)

Breath Like Water
By: Anna Jarzab
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release Date: May 19, 2020

Book Synopsis:

“Expansive, romantic, and powerful.” —Gayle Forman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay and I Have Lost My Way 

Susannah Ramos has always loved the water. A swimmer whose early talent made her a world champion, Susannah was poised for greatness in a sport that demands so much of its young. But an inexplicable slowdown has put her dream in jeopardy, and Susannah is fighting to keep her career afloat when two important people enter her life: a new coach with a revolutionary training strategy, and a charming fellow swimmer named Harry Matthews. 

As Susannah begins her long and painful climb back to the top, her friendship with Harry blossoms into passionate and supportive love. But Harry is facing challenges of his own, and even as their bond draws them closer together, other forces work to tear them apart. As she struggles to balance her needs with those of the people who matter most to her, Susannah will learn the cost—and the beauty—of trying to achieve something extraordinary.

Why I'm Eagerly Waiting:

I love sports romance and have enjoyed books where the main character is a swimmer.  I think this sounds like a story that I would really enjoy!

What Are You Waiting On?

Monday, October 28, 2019

Blog Tour: Beautifully Broken Spirit (Sutter Lake #3) by Catherine CowlesJe

Beautifully Broken Spirit
Sutter Lake #3

Catherine Cowles

October 22, 2019

eARC from Social Butterfly PR in exchange for a honest review

“Beautifully Broken Spirit is a beautiful, emotional and memorable friends-to-lovers romance with a dash of intrigue and suspense that ensures you stay on the edge of your seat.”-- Frolic

Beautifully Broken Spirit, an all-new beautiful and emotional standalone in the Sutter Lake Series from Catherine Cowles is available now! 

Book Synopsis:

She’s always been his safe place to land. 

Jensen has shared a special bond with Tuck for as long as she can remember, their friendship a language that never needed words. But as life threw her one curveball after another, that secret language turned to stony silence. 

He’s always been her protector. 

Tuck has looked out for Jensen since the day she was born. As his best friend’s little sister, he’s tried to keep her firmly in the friend category. But she’s always been more. 

All it takes is one moment of weakness to send Tuck’s fiercely guarded walls crumbling to the ground. As a new fire burns between them, someone watches. Someone who doesn’t like the new life Jensen’s building for herself. 

And they’ll stop at nothing to keep her in the dark. 


My Thoughts:

Beautifully Broken Spirit was the first book that I've read by Catherine Cowles, and I will definitely be reading more of her stories in the future!  While the series doesn't have to be read in order, I'd highly recommend it, because there were important events that occurred in the two previous books that were referenced, and had a large impact on the main characters as well as the secondary characters in this story.

Fans of the friends to lovers trope need to check out this story!  It was done beautifully.  Jensen and Tuck grew up together.  Tuck was best friends with Jensen's older brother Walker.  However, Jensen and Tuck shared a unique and beautiful bond.  They grounded one another, and knew each other in a way that no one else did.  They were perfectly in sync, and the author was able to portray this in such a way that I could feel and sense their connection from the moment I began their story.

Jensen is a single mother to nine year old Noah, and has had terrible luck in love.  She believes it's due to bad judgment.  Since she no longer trusts herself, she has given up on finding someone, and chooses to focus on her son, her tea shop, and the wild mustangs that she rescues and rehabilitates.  

Tuck comes from a dysfunctional family.  His father has an alcohol addiction and has been cheating on his mother, flaunting woman after woman in the small town of Sutter Lake, since Tuck was a young boy.  This has made Tuck decide that he doesn't ever want a serious relationship.  Instead he just has casual hookups, spends time with his best friend's family, and dedicates himself to being a forest ranger and working with SWAT.

Chemistry between Jensen and Tuck begins to simmer, until they both can't deny it one moment longer.  However, since both of them are not looking for a relationship, they decide to have a secret friend with benefits arrangement instead.  In the meantime, danger escalates all around them, and it soon becomes clear that someone is targeting Jensen.  Just when things couldn't get any worse, Noah's father comes to town because he wants to rekindle things with Jensen, and become a part of Noah's life.  

Deep feelings, sizzling chemistry, danger, and drama all abound in this story, and I was all in from the moment I read the first chapter!  If you are looking for a story that will make your heart melt, as well as give you an added sense of danger and suspense, add Beautifully Broken Spirit to your TBR!!!

Book Teaser:

Book Excerpt:
“Hey, Little J.”

My entire world seemed to tunnel as my vision went black, and my knees buckled.

“Shit!” Strong hands caught me before I could hit the floor. I blinked rapidly as Tuck’s face came into focus. His expression was full of worry. “Are you okay?” He settled me into one of the cafĂ© chairs.

My stomach pitched. “I’m fine. Just got up too fast. You startled me.”

Tuck’s brow furrowed. “The door was unlocked.”

“Well, I thought I’d locked it.”

Tuck let out a sound that was a cross between a sigh and a growl of frustration. “You need to be more careful. Anyone could’ve come in here, and you wouldn’t have even known. Just because we live in a small town doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take precautions.”

I pinned him with a stare that should’ve had him taking a step back. “I know that. Believe me, I of all people fucking know that.” 

Tuck winced. “I didn’t mean it like that.”

I waved him off. “I know.” I pushed up to stand, but the world turned wobbly again, and Tuck pressed me back into the chair.

“Oh, no, you don’t. When’s the last time you had something to eat?”

I tried to think back. I guess I had missed lunch. “A granola bar in the car on the way to drop Noah off at school?”

This time Tuck did growl. “You need to take better care of yourself.”

My skin prickled. “I take fine care of myself, you big behemoth.”

“I’m not seeing a whole lot of evidence of that lately. You take care of everyone but yourself.” I opened my mouth to argue, but he kept right on going. “You stay right here while I go fix you a snack.” Tuck pinned me with a hard gaze. “You move a muscle, and I will paddle your ass.”

My jaw came unhinged, but simmering heat pooled low in my belly. My hands fisted. What the hell? Before I could regain any semblance of the ability to speak, Tuck had turned on his heel and strode towards the kitchen. Had I actually hit my head? Was I now in some sort of coma-induced alternate universe where Tuck threatened to spank me? And why the hell did some part of me like the idea?

I was clearly in some sort of hunger-induced brain misfire. That was the only reasonable explanation. I did all kinds of crazy stuff when I went too long without sustenance. Yes, those crazy things were generally something like eating an entire pan of brownies in one sitting. They weren’t typically the burning desire to climb one of my best friends since birth like a tree. But hunger could make you do lots of insane things.

Tuck emerged from the kitchen juggling a plate with the largest sandwich I’d ever seen and a tall glass of what looked like apple juice. He came towards me with what I could only describe as a swagger. Had his hips always moved like that when he walked?

Don’t get me wrong, I knew Tuck was attractive. Hot even. I’d had the requisite crush on him throughout my middle school years and even into high school. But he had always treated me like a little sister. Someone he liked hanging with. But never once had he given me even a single hint that he was interested in more than friendship. And I’d grown up. I’d put him firmly in the big-brother category. So, why, all of a sudden, was my body reacting to him?

It had to be my dry spell. Could it even be called that if it was as dry and vast as the Sahara? I needed to get laid and stat. Because the last thing I needed was to fall for a guy who was a walking one-night stand.

Purchase Information:

About the Author:

Writer of words. Drinker of Diet Cokes. Lover of all things cute and furry, especially her dog. Catherine has had her nose in a book since the time she could read and finally decided to write down some of her own stories. When she's not writing she can be found exploring her home state of Oregon, listening to true crime podcasts, or searching for her next book boyfriend.

Connect with Catherine:

Friday, October 25, 2019

Stacking the Shelves &.Sunday Post (49)

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

October has been a busy month for us.  Last week we had a lot of responsibilities to take care of, and this week we had a lot of fun stuff to do.  We went to brunch with my in-laws for my husband's birthday, went costume shopping because my sister-in-law is having a Halloween Party, and went on a field trip to Pieology with my daughter's class to make our own pizza's from scratch.  October feels like it's flown by!

Last Two Weeks on the Blog:

*Spooktacular Giveaway Hop ($10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway)
*Sweet Retribution (Rydeville High Elite #3) by Siobhan Davis (Blog Tour & Book Review)
*Throw Like a Girl by Sarah Henning (WOW) 
*Holidate (Dating #3) by Monica Murphy (Blog Tour & Book Review)
*The Opposite of Falling Apart by Micah Good (WOW)
*A Lie for a Lie (All In #1) by Helena Hunting (Book Review)
Thanks to Berkley, Entangled Teen, and Macmillian-Tor/Forge

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Book Review: A Lie for a Lie (All In #1) by Helena Hunting

A Lie for a Lie
All In #1
By: Helena Hunting
Release Date: October 15, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Add to Goodreads
Source: eARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series comes a romantic comedy about instant attraction, second chances, and not-so-little white lies. 

Sometimes I need an escape from the demands, the puck bunnies, and the notoriety that come with being an NHL team captain. I just want to be a normal guy for a few weeks. So when I leave Chicago for some peace and quiet, the last thing I expect is for a gorgeous woman to literally fall into my lap on a flight to Alaska. Even better, she has absolutely no idea who I am. 

Lainey is the perfect escape from my life. My plan for seclusion becomes a monthlong sex fest punctuated with domestic bliss. But it ends just as abruptly as it began. When I’m called away on a family emergency, I realize too late that I have no way to contact Lainey. 

A year later, a chance encounter throws Lainey and me together again. But I still have a lie hanging over my head, and Lainey’s keeping secrets of her own. With more than lust at stake, the truth may be our game changer.


My Thoughts:

I have come to expect nothing less than a great story when I see a book written by Helena Hunting.  Her stories are consistently wonderful reads, and A Lie for a Lie was another excellent addition to the books that she has already written!  I enjoyed the Pucked Series, and the All In Series is a new spin-off that I am looking forward to continuing!

In A Lie for a Lie we get the sexy and reformed playboy, NHL Team Captain R.J. "Rook's" story.  Every year R.J. spends quality time in Alaska with his brother fishing, enjoying the great outdoors, and getting the peaceful quiet time that he needs.  However, his brother is unable to come this time due to his pregnant wife having complications.  R.J. decides to go anyway, because it was a tradition he had with his father, and he really needs to get away.

Lainey is on her way to Alaska to work on her research and thesis for her third Master's degree.  She is studying dolphins and whales in the wild and is excited to have an exciting adventure.

R.J. and Lainey meet on the plane ride to Alaska.  These two fall quick and hard for one another, and I loved the two of them together.  R.J. was kind, attentive, sexy, and I loved him.  Lainey was sweet, refreshing, a bit awkward, and quirky, and I loved her too!  The two of them clicked.  

The story began in the present, then went back in time to when R.J. and Lainey met and had their whirlwind romance, and then came full circle back to the present.  I enjoyed the format, as well as the fact that we got both R.J. and Lainey's perspectives.  A Lie for a Lie was a fitting title, and when everything came out between these two, the story got really exciting.

I absolutely adored the dynamic between R.J. and Lainey.  They were such great couple, and their relationship gave me a major case of the "feels."  I loved everything that R.J. did to try to make up for his lie of omission, and you could tell how much he had fallen for her, and that he didn't want to lose her again.  This story had a great cast of secondary characters as well. I loved seeing previous beloved characters from the Pucked Series, as well as meeting new ones!  If you are looking for a sexy, sweet, and romantic romance with unforgettable characters that will make you believe in whirlwind love, and romantic fate, check out, A Lie for a Lie!


Purchase Info:
Available on Kindle Unlimited!


About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She's writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy. 

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

Waiting on Wednesday (104)

The Opposite of Falling Apart
By: Micah Good
Publisher: Smith Publicity
Release Date: February 25, 2020

Book Synopsis:

After losing his leg in a terrible car accident, Jonas Avery can’t wait to start over and go to college. Brennan Davis would like nothing more than to stay home and go to school, so she can keep her anxiety in check. When the two accidentally meet the summer before they move away, they’ll push each other to come to terms with what’s holding them back, even as they’re pulled closer to taking the biggest leap of all—falling in love. The Opposite of Falling Apart has more than 2.1 million reads on Wattpad.

Why I'm Eagerly Waiting:

The book description sounds so good!  I love reading about characters that have challenges to overcome, and the fact that these two characters help each other heal, and fall in love along the way, has me really excited to read this story!

What Are You Waiting On?

Friday, October 18, 2019

Blog Tour: Holidate (Dating #3) by Monica Murphy

Dating #3

Monica Murphy

Oct. 15, 2019

eARC in exchange for a honest review

Add to:

Book Synopsis:

Candice Gaines loves Christmas. Not only does she bask in the twinkling lights, sing Christmas carols and go crazy with the decorations, she’s also in the giving spirit, donating much of her time and wealth to various charities in the local area. 

Charlie Sullivan despises Christmas. Though it keeps his family afloat, considering they own Sullivan Family Christmas Tree Farm, the main provider for Christmas trees on the Monterey peninsula. He’d much rather work among the trees versus have to deal with people. 

But Charlie’s parents are taking on more philanthropic projects—and as their oldest child, they want him to be their official public representative. He just has to play nice and convince everyone he’s not a total holiday hater. 

When Charlie’s mom asks Candice to accompany him to a variety of holiday parties and events, she reluctantly agrees. She thinks Charlie is a big ol’ Grinch, but is determined to change his mindset and help him spread Christmas cheer. Charlie finds Candice too chatty, too sweet, too much. Do people like her really exist? 

Why yes, yes they do. The more time they spend together—along with a few kisses under the mistletoe—the more they start to like each other. Hopefully Charlie can convince Candice he doesn’t have a heart that’s two sizes too small before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. 

My Thoughts:

Holidate is the third story in the Dating series.  I love that all of these books stand alone, so you can jump in and read them in any order.  The classic covers are whimsical, and I think they would look great on any bookshelf.

I met Candice Gaines in the previous book, Fake Date.  She was the male lead's little sister, and I instantly fell in love with her effervescent, optimistic personality.  Candice see's the best in everyone, has the biggest heart, and is a do-gooder. We saw the superficial aspects of Candice, but in Holidate we get to see the deeper layers of who she is and what has shaped her.  Candice is lonely and has a lot of pain and sadness that she has stuffed deep down; regarding the loss of her mother at a young age.  Yet on the outside, everyone just see's the smiling, fun loving, energetic, and festive Candice.  My heart broke for her, when I got to truly know her. 

We meet Charlie Sullivan in this story.  He's the sexy, gorgeous, grumpy, lumberjack type.  I love the way Ms. Murphy described him. I pictured him as being the model male specimen, and I loved his gruff and grumpy personality, but what enchanted me the most, was the way that he had an instant soft spot for Candice, and we get to see the way she changes him by just being in his life.  In fact love changes both of them, and I thought this story was so sweet and romantic. 

Charlie's mom, asks Candice to attend some philanthropic holiday functions with her son to help promote the Sullivan Family Christmas Tree Farm.  Charlie doesn't like socializing, and he could really use the guidance from an expert people-person like Candice.  Charlie isn't on board with his mom's plan, but goes along with it to make her happy.  While Candice is reluctant to help at first, she thinks it will be fun to help Charlie; kind of like a reverse My Fair Lady.  They say opposites attract, and with each interaction, Charlie and Candice find themselves falling for one another, but can a lie destroy a love story that is just beginning....

Holidate had me smiling from ear to ear.  It's the perfect holiday romance to curl up with while sipping your hot beverage of choice, relaxing by the fire, and lounging in your pajamas and warm fluffy socks or slippers.  It gave me the warm fuzzies, and made me get in the mood for the approaching holiday season.  While reading the story, I was in need of a Gingerbread Latte, (Candice's favorite,) and could smell the Christmas tree pine scent, hear the classic Christmas music, feel the cold chill in the air, and feel the warmth, love, and excitement of the holiday season.  Holidate was romantic, uplifting, nostalgic, and such a joy for the senses!

Book Teaser:

About the Author:

Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and Harper Collins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance. 

She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she's not writing, she's reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She's a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.

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