The Deal

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.


This is my second attempt at reading this book, and I’m really glad I gave it another shot. I think I wasn’t ready for the heavy material of the book the last time I tried to read it. Hannah and Garret were a cute couple and the love story was very good. I’m not sure I’m interested in reading the rest of the series though. If I do it definitely won’t be right away.

I feel like I don’t have much to write about this book. Other than the heavier material it was pretty standard romance novel. I enjoyed it, but I don’t see myself coming back for a reread.


Memorable quotes:

“Sometimes people sneak up on you and suddenly you don’t know how you ever lived without them.”

“And the most important lesson I learned is that I’m not a victim – I’m a survivor”

“Living well and being happy is how we get over shit in our past.”

Rating

The Cheat Sheet

The friend zone is not the end zone for Bree Camden, who is helplessly in love with her longtime best friend and extremely hot NFL legend, Nathan Donelson. The only problem is that she can’t admit her true feelings, because he clearly sees her as a best friend with no romantic potential, and the last thing Bree wants is to ruin their relationship. Then her plan backfires as she spills her deepest, darkest secret to a TMZ reporter. One viral video later, the world thinks Nathan and Bree are the perfect couple. Before they can really talk about her confession, Nathan’s publicist proposes a big opportunity that could mean financial security for Bree. The catch? They have to pretend to be in love. For three whole weeks. What will happen when Bree gives in to the feelings she’s been desperately hiding for so long, and could she be imagining that Nathan is actually enjoying it?


I’ll be honest, I liked this book more than I expected I would. It was cute and sweet and clean, which you don’t get very often from a romance book these days. What took away from it for me was all the miscommunication. I’ve talked about it on a previous post, but I just can’t stand the miscommunication trope. I knew it would happen going in, so I was a little more prepared, but it still took away from the story a little.

This was a true slow burn and that I liked. Before starting to read them I thought I would hate slow burn stories, but they’re really growing on me. I find myself seeking out slow burn stories now. I love a good friends-to-lovers as well, which this definitely is. This was all in all a very cute story, but not a favorite.


Memorable quotes:

“Your soul is my favorite in the entire world.”

“She holds my heart, and, with all that I am, I hope she never gives it back.”

“I think some things are worth waiting for, no matter how long it takes.”

Rating

Belladonna

Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her well-being–and each has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy. Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family’s waning reputation, and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. But when their mother’s restless spirit appears claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the killer. However, Signa’s best chance of uncovering the murderer is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side. Though he’s made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful–and more irresistible–than she ever dared imagine.


This book was a slow start, but a really strong ending. I was a little skeptical at first and afraid I wasn’t going to enjoy it, or I would DNF, but right around the middle mark I realized that I did not want to put this book down.

Death was so swoony. Signa was kind of badass (especially at the end). Blythe was my favorite and I truly hope we get to see more from her in the next book. Honorable mention to the covers for this series. They are absolutely gorgeous, especially the naked hardbacks.


Memorable quotes:

“Do not change the parts of yourself you like to make others comfortable. Do not mold yourself to fit the standards someone else has set for us.”

“There is no such this as true goodness, there is only perception.”

“Because death is only a reprieve for the dead, Mr. Thorly. It cares little for those it leaves behind.”

Rating

Icebreaker

Anastasia Allen has worked her entire life for a shot at Team USA. It looks like everything is going according to plan when she gets a full scholarship to the University of California, Maple Hills and lands a place on their competitive figure skating team. Nothing will stand in her way, not even the captain of the hockey team, Nate Hawkins.

Nate’s focus as team captain is on keeping his team on the ice. Which is tricky when a facilities mishap means they are forced to share a rink with the figure skating team—including Anastasia, who clearly can’t stand him.

But when Anastasia’s skating partner faces an uncertain future, she may have to look to Nate to take her shot. Sparks fly, but Anastasia isn’t worried…because she could never like a hockey player, right?


Okay, I seriously loved this romance. It was the best combination of sweet and sexy. Despite a rocky start to Anastasia (another great name) and Nate the wormed their way into my heart. I especially loved the lack of a third act breakup. There’s something about ice skating and hockey books that I love, despite not liking either myself.

I loved that even with there being steamy scenes they didn’t overtake the story, and I loved watching this love story develop. I hope to one day see a Henry story.


Memorable quotes:

“We’re still individuals, but we’re individuals together, and I never knew relationships could be like this.”

“Let it all out. You’re safe. I’m here.”

“Of course I know you really well, Anastasia. You’re my favorite subject.”

Rating

All Rhodes Lead Here

Aurora De La Torre knows moving back to a place that was once home isn’t going to be easy. Starting your whole life over probably isn’t supposed to be. But a small town in the mountains might be the perfect remedy for a broken heart. And checking out her landlord, across the driveway, just might cure it too.


I knew I was going to love this book because I love everything Mariana Zapata writes. The queen of slow burn did it again. This book was incredible. I loved the characters, the story, just everything. I laughed and then cried and swooned and then laughed some more. Rhodes was an amazing love interest. Aurora (I mean the name alone, am I right?) was the type of character I could see myself in.

This book was a slow burn, and you didn’t even realize the extent of the characters feelings for each other until they admit it themselves. As long as this book was I would have been happy to read another 100 pages. I don’t know why I waited so long to read this, but I’m so glad I finally did.


Memorable quotes:

“The people we lose take a part of us with them, but they leave a part of themselves with us too.”

“I found a place where I belong. A place with love that feels like home again.”

Rating

Finlay Donovan is Killing It

FINLAY DONOVAN IS KILLING IT…except, she’s really not. The new book she promised her literary agent isn’t written, her ex-husband fired the nanny without telling her, and this morning she had to send her four-year-old to school with hair duct-taped to her head. When Finlay’s overheard discussing the plot of her new novel with her agent over lunch, she’s mistaken for a contract killer and inadvertently accepts an offer to dispose of a problem husband in order to make ends meet…and she soon discovers that crime in real life is a lot more difficult than its fictional counterpart.


I just finished this (not really, this review is old) and holy cow. This book was fantastic. Funny, witty, and charming. I absolutely adored the characters, although my favorite was Vero. She’s so spunky and I love it. I loved that Finlay felt like a real single mom. Her life wasn’t glamorous or fun, it was real, messy, and challenging.

I will think about this story for a long time. I felt so many emotions while reading and none of this felt fake. I could totally see a single mom ending up up in this scenario (maybe that would just be my family?). I’m impatiently waiting for my copy of the sequel from Libby.


Memorable quotes:

“You can’t spend your whole life shut up in that house making up stories.”

“It is a widely known fact that most moms are ready to kill someone by 8:30am on any given morning.”

Rating

Make it Sweet

Life for Emma isn’t good. The world knows her as Princess Anya on Dark Castle, but then her character gets the axe – literally. The cherry on top is finding her boyfriend in bed with another woman. She needs a break, and sanctuary comes in the form of Rosemont, a gorgeous estate in California promising rest and relaxation. Then she meets the owner’s equally gorgeous grandson, ex-hockey player and current recluse Lucian Osmond. Despite a growing attraction, they avoid each other. In trying to stay apart, they only grow closer – and their broken pieces just might fit together and make them whole.


Overall, this was a cute story and I can see why people enjoy it. I had a good time reading it, but found myself feeling as though the author was pushing too hard for it to be something I didn’t find it to be. There were some serious moment, but to me the book was too Hallmark channel movie.

There was definitely character development. Lucian found himself, which I was happy about. I found the characters, and the story itself, to be sweet and lovable. I wish I enjoyed this book more. I don’t see myself trying anything else by this author.


Memorable quotes:

“Just remember, it doesn’t matter how far you go; you’ll always be where your heart is.”

“The more I get to know you, the more beautiful you are to me.”

“Don’t be afraid of failure or change, loves; it means you’re alive.”

Rating

New year, old books?

YA GIRL HAS TO READ HER TBR. It’s getting out of control. So I decided that I’m going on a ban. FOR THE WHOLE YEAR. Now I won’t lie, there are books I had already preordered that come out this year. And when VE Schwab drops a book I buy it no matter what. Other than those though I’m going to read through my TBR this year. I already have gotten through a couple and I’ll be posting reviews for those soon.

I have 2 challenges I’m doing this year. The 12 month challenge, where I read 1 book a month recommended by friends. I’m also doing the alphabet challenge where I read a book from every letter of the alphabet. I’m trying to get through that challenge before I read anything else. I didn’t think I would be able to complete that challenge with what I already own, but I have a book for every letter of the alphabet.

So this is me committing to doing this. Everyone wish me luck. I want to go to a bookstore, send help.

Quincy

Welcome to the mostly true memoir of Quincy, an Irish soft-coated wheaten terrier. Read about Quincy’s life as he describes his time with his dog mom and his puppy siblings and feel the mixture of concern and excitement as they all go to their forever homes with their new pet parents. Quincy tells us his thoughts as he moved to New Jersey with his new parents, Diane and John, and then describes the adventures he experiences with his humans until his parents bring home a tiny wheaten terrier puppy named Duffy. Through Quincy’s eyes, we watch as Duffy grows up and becomes a partner in Quincy’s escapades. Together they travel from the sea to the mountains, the absolute best of buddies, until their world is upended by a little girl wheaten terrier named Kitty. Quincy talks about how Kitty changed their routines and has taken his spot on the bed, but the affection between Quincy and Kitty becomes evident over time. When Alvin joins the family, the dynamic changes again; but as usual, Quincy guides the youngster as he joins the pack and learns the rules of the household. Throughout the book, Quincy shares perspective on his journey, and along the way, he provides some tips and ideas that are right for raising any dog.


I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and to be completely honest I was pleasantly surprised by it. Was it perfect? No, but very few debut titles are. When I started I was a little worried as this isn’t my usual type of book, but Quincy and his family stole my heart. As a dog mom I loved to see the relationships between all of the pets and I loved that I felt like I learned something about raising a dog. I got this book right around when I adopted my own puppy and needed the advice, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a puppy.

So I’ll reiterate that this book was not perfect, but it was a truly enjoyable ride. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who loves animals, is thinking about getting a pet, or is just starting their pet journey. I also have to give credit to the illustrator, Wendy Carty. I loved getting little peeks of the story and getting to see what everything might have looked like in the authors mind while she were writing. Diane McHutchison wrote a lovely book and I am very excited to see what else she has in store.

Rating

The Prison Healer

Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer. When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal. Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom. But no one has ever survived.


I’ll be completely honest, the first quarter of this book had me a little worried. It was good, but it wasn’t phenomenal. But my sister told me to read this book so I knew it must get better, and I’m glad I stuck with it. By halfway through the book, I was hooked. I guessed part of the twist of the book, but oh my god did the end take me by surprise. I found myself really liking the characters, even the ones you weren’t supposed to. Lynette Noni did a really good job making you see each character and who they were.

Now I’m all about a good romance, I read Sarah J Maas after all. This book wasn’t a romance. That’s not to say there wasn’t any romance, it just wasn’t a main plot point. I really liked that. I feel like making it a romance would have cheapened the book a little. The main plot would have suffered.

Overall, I truly enjoyed this book, and I’m excited to read book two. I would give this book 3.5 stars, with the potential that the next two books in the series could be a higher rating.

Rating
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