Friday, May 29, 2020

Book Review: Say Yes Summer by Lindsey Roth Culli

Say Yes Summer
By: Lindsey Roth Culli
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: May 12, 2020
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Source: eARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review
Book Summary:

Perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Netflix/Hallmark Channel rom-coms, this is the story of a girl who decides to give in to the universe and just say yes to everything, bringing her friendship, new experiences, and, if she lets her guard down, true love. 

The perfect book to kick off summer! For as long as Rachel Brooks can remember, she's had capital-G Goals: straight As, academic scholarship, college of her dreams. And it's all paid off--after years of following the rules and acing every exam, Rachel is graduating at the top of her class and ready to celebrate by . . . doing absolutely nothing. Because Rachel Brooks has spent most of high school saying no. No to dances, no to parties, and most especially, no to boys. 

Now, for the first time in her life, there's nothing stopping Rachel from having a little fun--nothing, that is, except herself. So when she stumbles on a beat up old self-help book--A SEASON OF YES!--a crazy idea pops into her head: What if she just said yes to . . . everything? 

And so begins a summer of yes. Yes to new experiences and big mistakes, yes to rekindled friendships and unexpected romances, yes to seeing the world in a whole new way. This book is a fresh and fun take on the coming-of-age novel that explores the quintessential themes of growing up: taking risks, making mistakes, and, of course, love. And who knows? Lindsey Roth Culli's hilarious and heartwarming debut may just inspire your own SAY YES SUMMER.

My Thoughts:

Say Yes Summer was a delightful treat of a story!  Rachel Brooks has always been a responsible, dedicated and hardworking student and daughter.  As she's delivering her Valedictorian speech, she realizes that she doesn't know her classmates that well, and has missed out on a lot of fun during her high school years.  

When at home, she comes across a book that inspires her to say "yes," to every new experience and opportunity that comes her way.   What follows is an entertaining, fun, and lighthearted story about growing up, friendship, dating, and coming into your own.

I happily turned the pages on my Kindle, as this story just flew by!  It was exciting to see what new adventure would await Rachel as each new day begun.  It was a joy to see her grow as a character as she ventured out of her comfort zone, and had new experiences.  Best of all was a friendship rekindled, as well as the time Rachel spent with Clayton, her high school crush, and Miles, her co-worker and childhood friend.  A word of warning, there is a love triangle is this story as Rachel finds herself growing feelings towards both guys, as she spends time with them.

If you are looking for a light-hearted, fun, and easy going read, check out, Say Yes Summer by Lindsey Roth Culli!

About the Author:

Lindsey Roth Culli earned her MFA in creative writing in 2010. She writes books for teens and people who used to be teens. Though she currently calls Baltimore, Maryland home, a part of her heart will forever be hidden among the cornfields of Illinois where she grew up. She is Team Oxford Comma.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Waiting on Wednesday (125)

Instant Karma
By: Marissa Meyer
Release Date: November 3, 2020

Book Summary:

In this young adult contemporary romance, a girl is suddenly gifted with the ability to cast instant karma on those around her—both good and bad.

Chronic overachiever Prudence Daniels is always quick to cast judgment on the lazy, rude, and arrogant residents of her coastal town. Her dreams of karmic justice are fulfilled when, after a night out with her friends, she wakes up with the sudden ability to cast instant karma on those around her. Pru giddily makes use of the power, punishing everyone from public vandals to karaoke hecklers, but there is one person on whom her powers consistently backfire: Quint Erickson, her slacker of a lab partner and all-around mortal enemy. Soon, Pru begins to uncover truths about Quint, her peers, and even herself that reveal how thin the line is between virtue and vanity, generosity and greed . . . love and hate.

Why I'm Eagerly Waiting:

This story sounds unique and fun!  I like the idea of the main character coming in to a magical ability, and discovering things about herself, her enemy, and her peers.

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Book Review: The Somerset Girls by Lori Foster

The Somerset Girls
By: Lori Foster
Release Date: May 19, 2020
Publisher: HQN Books
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Source: eARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review
Book Summary:

No one knows you quite like a sister… 

When they’re running the animal-rescue farm they inherited from their grandparents, Autumn and Ember Somerset are perfectly in sync. At all other times, not so much. Dependable Autumn would rather curl up with a good book than paint the town red with Ember. After the disaster that was Autumn’s last relationship, it’s pure self-protection. But when her high school crush comes back to town with his adorable young daughter, igniting memories best left forgotten, there’s only one person Autumn can turn to… 

Beneath Ember’s free-spirited facade is a layer of deep hurt. She’ll gladly nudge Autumn toward a second chance. But risk her own heart? Not likely. The closer Autumn gets to her own happily-ever-after, the more Ember wonders what she might be missing—and if it isn’t her time to be bold, too. 

Summer in Sunset, Kentucky, means long, hot days—and sometimes surprising new beginnings. Through it all, the ties of sisterhood will be there, guiding Autumn and Ember to the lives, and loves, they need…'

My Thoughts:

The Somerset Girls by Lori Foster was a charming second chance romance.  It was the story of two very different, but extremely close and loyal sisters. We get two delightful romances in this book, as well as such a touching story with family as a focus, and extra emphasis on sisterhood.

Thirty-two year old Autumn Somerset was jilted at the alter three years ago.  Since then, she's sworn off men, and instead indulges in books and ice cream.  Younger sister, Ember Somerset is known for being fun loving, feisty, and free-spirited, but she too has suffered loss.  Together, these two sisters run a business where Autumn designs, and Ember builds.  On top of their business, they live on and run an enchanting rescue farm, where they built themselves a duplex, as well as a home for their parents.  After their father suffered a severe stroke, Autumn and Ember decided to take turns helping out with their parents.

When Autumn's high school crush Tash Ducker moves back to town with his seven year old daughter, Sadie, Ember decides to play matchmaker.  She sets up an appointment for Tash with Autumn, because he wants to design and build Sadie's dream bedroom and play area.  As things start to heat up between Autumn and Tash, Ember's feelings grow towards, Mike, their farmhand.  Will Autumn and Ember get the happily ever after that they both desire?

The Somerset Girls was a breath of fresh air.  It was low-angst, sweet, and my type of feel good romance.  I had a smile on my face the whole time I took this story in.  I loved that I got two wonderful romances, as well as getting to know Autumn and Ember's eccentric parents, and Tash's adorable daughter Sadie.  I loved the strong bond that Autumn and Ember shared, and these two women reminded me of myself and my sister.  Tash and Mike were two sexy, kind, and charming leading men, and both love stories were great!  If you are in the mood for a small town second chance romance, with close knit sisters, kind hearted leading men, smiles, laughs, and the perfect romantic ending, look no further!

Purchase At:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Google 

About the Author:

Since first publishing in January 1996, Lori Foster has become a USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and New York Times bestselling author. Lori has published through a variety of houses, including Kensington, St. Martin’s, Harlequin, Silhouette, Samhain, and Berkley/Jove. She is currently published with HQN. 

Lori hosts a very special annual “Reader & Author” event in West Chester, Ohio. Proceeds from the event have benefited many worthy causes, including the Hamilton County YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter, the Animal Adoption Foundation, The Conductive Learning Center for children with spina bifida and cerebral palsy, and The One Way Farm, Children’s Home. 

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Monday, May 18, 2020

Waiting on Wednesday (124)

Crave #2
By: Tracy Wolff
Release Date: September 29, 2020
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Book Summary:

Jaxon and Grace’s story continues in New York Times bestselling author Tracy Wolff’s captivating sequel to Crave. I’m in the fight of my life. For my humanity. For Jaxon. And for the world I’ve only just begun to be a part of. I’m all in, even if saving the people I love means I risk losing myself forever.

Why I'm Eagerly Waiting:

I loved Crave, the first book in this story, and it was a five star read for me!  The ending was really exciting, and gave me a surprising plot twist that has me dying to get my hands on this sequel!

What are you waiting on?

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Book Review: Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye

Date Me, Bryson Keller
By: Kevin van Whye
Release Date: May 19, 2020
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
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Source: eARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review
Book Summary:

What If It's Us meets To All the Boys I've Loved Before in this upbeat and heartfelt boy-meets-boy romance that feels like a modern twist on a '90s rom-com!

Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new--the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he's never really dated before.

Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes.

Kai Sheridan didn't expect Bryson to say yes. So when Bryson agrees to secretly go out with him, Kai is thrown for a loop. But as the days go by, he discovers there's more to Bryson beneath the surface, and dating him begins to feel less like an act and more like the real thing. Kai knows how the story of a gay boy liking someone straight ends. With his heart on the line, he's awkwardly trying to navigate senior year at school, at home, and in the closet, all while grappling with the fact that this "relationship" will last only five days. After all, Bryson Keller is popular, good-looking, and straight . . . right?

Kevin van Whye delivers an uplifting and poignant coming-out love story that will have readers rooting for these two teens to share their hearts with the world--and with each other.


My Thoughts:

Date Me, Bryson Keller was such a sweet and cute love story, and while I expected this, it also delivered a depth to it that gave me so much more!  Bryson Keller appears to be the stereotypical wealthy, and popular sports star. At Fairvale Academy, all the girls fawn over him, and all of the guys want to be his friend. 

While at a classmate's party, Bryson accepts a dare.  He will date the first person to ask him out at the beginning of each week for five days.  This dare will span for three months, and if at any time Bryson doesn't get asked out or gets tired of dating, he loses the bet.  The price of losing is having to forsake his beloved white jeep, and instead riding the school bus for the rest of senior year.

Kai Sheridan has known he was gay for several years, but has been in the closet.  He's not popular like his best friends Donnie and Priya, but prefers to stay under the radar of his classmates.  On a whim, Kai asks Bryson out, and thus begins an adventure in to self- discovery, friendship, romance, heartache, and best of all, love...

I adore the fake relationship trope, and was so excited for Kai to have the chance to experience a fake boyfriend/undercover relationship.  It was obvious from the beginning that there was so much more to Bryson than Kai had originally thought.  As Kai learned more about the many layers that made up Bryson, I fell in love with him, right alongside Kai.  Bryson was very thoughtful, caring, compassionate, and governed his life by a strong sense of fairness.  The strong friendship that Bryson and Kai developed had me excited and giddy, as I saw it begin to bloom into more!

Kai was trying to figure out who he was as a person.  He was of mixed ethnicity, as well as being closeted, which lead to his inner struggle.  Bryson made him stronger, and braver.  He helped Kai find his voice, and the both of them were a strong sense of support for one another.  The secondary cast of characters were fantastic. I loved Kai's best friends, as well as Bryson and Kai's families.  However, my favorite secondary character was Kai's 13 year old sister, who was like a little mini grown-up. She managed to deliver pep talks, life lessons, and sass, at times when it was needed most!  I loved this little girl's spirit, and sense of self.

I could tell that Date Me, Bryson Keller was an #ownvoices story.  It came through as being sincere and authentic.  This story tugged on my heartstrings, and more than a few times, my husband wanted to know why I was crying.  It was such a beautiful story, and I can't recommend it enough.  The story balanced out the adorable, sweet and swoon-worthy moments, with the challenges, emotional pain, character growth, and life lessons.  If you are looking for your next good read, look no further!

About the Author:

Kevin van Whye is a writer born and raised in South Africa, where his love for storytelling started at a young age. At four years old, he quit preschool because his teacher couldn’t tell a story. Kevin’s love affair with stories led him to film school to study script writing. Kevin currently lives in Johannesburg. 

Friday, May 15, 2020

Stacking the Shelves & Sunday Post (69)

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

This week has really dragged.  I'm exhausted from lack of rest and sleep, but am really excited to have the weekend to catch up. I didn't get much reading done, but am hoping to get a lot done Friday night and Saturday.  Sunday is my birthday, and we don't have much planned.  We will probably just take a scenic drive, and eat some good food at home.  Next week my husband only works Monday and Tuesday, so I'm counting down the days until Wednesday!

For Review:
Add to Goodreads

Thanks to Delacorte Press

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Blog Tour Promo: The Hunter (Boston Belles #1) by L.J. Shen

The queen of enemies-to-lovers strikes again. I devoured every page, hooked on the sizzling chemistry between Hunter and Sailor. A ten star read." --Parker S. Huntington, Wall Street Journal bestselling author

The Hunter, an all-new compelling and must-read contemporary romance from USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen is available now! 


Boston’s debauched elite is going up in flames, and it’s the Fitzpatrick family that set it on fire. 

I didn’t mean to star in a sex tape, okay?
It was just one of those unexplainable things. Like Stonehenge, Police Academy 2, and morning glory clouds.
It just happened.
Now my ball-busting father is sentencing me to six months of celibacy, sobriety, and morbid boredom under the roof of Boston’s nerdiest girl alive, Sailor Brennan.
The virginal archer is supposed to babysit my ass while I learn to take my place in Royal Pipelines, my family’s oil company.
Little does she know, that’s not the only pipe I’ll be laying…

I didn’t want this gig, okay?
But the deal was too sweet to walk away from.
I needed the public endorsement; Hunter needed a nanny.
Besides, what’s six months in the grand scheme of things?
It’s not like I’m in danger of falling in love with the appallingly gorgeous, charismatic gazillionaire who happens to be one of Boston’s most eligible bachelors.
No. I will remain immune to Hunter Fitzpatrick’s charm.
Even at the cost of losing everything I have.
Even at the cost of burning down his kingdom. 


Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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“Why?” I asked, blinking at him in confusion. I had two left legs and the coordination of roadkill. I couldn’t dance if my life depended on it. I’d tried dancing at the only party I’d ever gone to—sophomore year—and was subjected to such thorough humiliation. People took videos of me dancing and forwarded it to half my school. Saggy Sailor, they’d graffiti-ed on my locker. Apparently, my back looked hunched and droopy when I danced.  

“Because…” He tilted his chin down, his voice low, smoldering. “You’re obviously bored, and my family is watching us, and I’m partial to fondling you.” 

“It’s the dress,” I muttered. 
“I’d actually prefer fondling you out of it.” 

I sliced my gaze sideways, noticing that Aisling and Persy hadn’t picked up on my exchange with him. They were now watching a video, probably of the reality show they were arguing about. Even though Hunter was just after a friendly dance to show his family we were getting along, I couldn’t unglue my butt from my chair.   

“No fondling.” I crossed my arms over my chest, buying time. 

“No promises. Get up.” “Did you tell anyone we live together?” I accused, my eyes narrowing into slits.  

He stared at me, wide-eyed, mouth parted. “Negatory.”

“Did you tell anyone we were dating?” 

“This is the lamest twenty-questions game I’ve ever participated in. No. 

“Well, people are talking about us.” 

“That’s what people do. They fill the air with useless words to entertain each other. It’s called gossip, and it sucks all the asses in the world. Doesn’t mean it was me. Our building employs more than a hundred people. All of them work for my father. That means he’s spreading whatever the hell he wants to spread.”  

About LJ Shen:
L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon #1 best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult and YA romance. Her books have been sold to twenty different countries.  

She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.

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