Sunday, February 2, 2020

Book Review: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing by Charlie Adhara

Title: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
Author: Charlie Adhara
Series: Big Bad Wolf, #4
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: March 2, 2020

Synopsis: Agent Cooper Dayton and his partner, Oliver Park, are going undercover—at a retreat for couples who need counselling. They do say the best cover story is one that’s close to the truth… 

Agent Cooper Dayton is almost relieved to get a phone call from his former boss at the Bureau of Special Investigations. It means a temporary reprieve from tensions created by house hunting with Oliver Park, his partner both in work and in life. Living together in a forever home is exactly what Cooper wants. He’s just not keen on working out the details.

With a former alpha werewolf missing, Cooper and Park are loaned to the BSI to conduct the search at a secluded mountain retreat. The agents will travel to the resort undercover…as a couple in need of counseling.

The resort is picturesque, the grounds are stunning and the staff members are all suspicious as hell.

With a long list of suspects and danger lurking around every cabin, Cooper should be focusing on the case. But he’s always been anxious about the power dynamics in his relationship with Park, and participating in the couples’ activities at the retreat brings it all to the surface. A storm is brewing, though, and Cooper and Park must rush to solve the case before the weather turns. Or before any more guests—or the agents themselves—end up dead.

Review: When I first read the Big Bad Wolf trilogy, I completely fell in love and was heartbroken that it was over. And then Charlie Adhara gifted us with Wolf In Sheep's Clothing. Cooper and Oliver are at it again with their next big mystery. I loved the setting of this book, getting to learn more about AQs, and seeing their relationship further develop. It was a perfect balance between the investigation that kept me on my toes and my favorite duo who kept me laughing and swooning throughout. I am beyond happy the series will be continuning and only a *little* miffed I have to wait till 2021 for the next one...

An ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

Rating: 5/5 stars

-Kristen ♥

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Blog Tour: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord (Excerpt)


Title: Tweet Cute
Author: Emma Lord
Publication Date: January 21, 2020

Synopsis: A fresh, irresistible rom-com from debut author Emma Lord about the chances we take, the paths life can lead us on, and how love can be found in the opposite place you expected. 

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

About the Author: Emma Lord is a digital media editor and writer living in New York City, where she spends whatever time she isn't writing either running or belting show tunes in community theater. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in psychology and a minor in how to tilt your computer screen so nobody will notice you updating your fan fiction from the back row. She was raised on glitter, grilled cheese, and a whole lot of love. Tweet Cute is her debut novel.

Excerpt:

JACK

“Look.” I glance into the classroom, where Ethan is thoroughly distracted by Stephen and no longer keeping an eye on us. “I may have . . . overreacted.”

Pepper shakes her head. “I told you. I get it. It’s your family.”

“Yeah. But it’s also—well, to be honest, this has been kind of good for business.”

Pepper’s brow furrows, that one little crease returning. “What, the tweets?”

“Yeah.” I scratch the back of my neck, sheepish. “Actually, we had a line out the door yesterday. It was kind of intense.”

“That’s . . . that’s good, right?”

The tone of my voice is clearly not matching up with the words I’m saying, but if I’m being honest, I’m still wary of this whole overnight business boom. And if I’m being honest, I’m even more wary of Pepper. If this really is as much of a family business as she claims it is—to the point where she’s helping run the Twitter handle, when even I know enough about corporate Twitter accounts to know entire teams of experienced people get paid to do that—then she might have had more of a hand in this whole recipe theft thing than she’s letting on.

The fact of the matter is, I can’t trust her. To the point of not knowing whether I can even trust her knowing how our business is doing, or just how badly we need it.

“Yeah, um, I guess.” I try to make it sound noncommittal. My acting skills, much like my breakfast-packing skills, leave much to be desired.

“So . . .”

“So.”

Pepper presses her lips into a thin line, a question in her eyes.

“So, I guess—if your mom really wants you to keep tweeting . . .”

“Wait. Yesterday you were pissed. Two minutes ago you were pissed.”

“I am pissed. You stole from us,” I reiterate.

“You stole from an eighty-five-year-old woman.”

“I didn’t—”

“Yeah, yeah, but still. You’re them, and I’m . . . her. It’s like a choose your fighter situation, and we just happen to be the ones up to bat.”

“So you’re saying—you don’t not want me to keep this up?”

“The way I see it, you don’t have to make your mom mad, and we get a few more customers in the door too.”

Pepper takes a breath like she’s going to say something, like she’s going to correct me, but after a moment, she lets it go. Her face can’t quite settle on an expression, toeing the line between dread and relief.

“You’re sure?”

I answer by opening the container she handed me. The smell that immediately wafts out of it should honestly be illegal; it stops kids I’ve never even spoken to in their tracks.

“Are you a witch?” I ask, reaching in and taking a bite of one. It’s like Monster Cake, the Sequel—freaking Christmas in my mouth. I already want more before I’ve even managed to chew. My eyes close as if I’m experiencing an actual drug high—and maybe I am, because I forget myself entirely and say, “This might even be better than our Kitchen Sink Macaroons.”

“Kitchen Sink Macaroons?”

Eyes open again. Yikes. Note to self: dessert is the greatest weapon in Pepper’s arsenal. I swallow my bite so I can answer her.

“It’s kind of well-known, at least in the East Village. It even got in some Hub Seed roundup once. I’d tell you to try some, but you might steal the recipe, so.”

Pepper smiles, then—actually smiles, instead of the little smirk she usually does. It’s not startling, but what it does to me in that moment kind of is.

Before I can examine the unfamiliar lurch in my stomach, the bell rings and knocks the smile right off her face. I follow just behind her, wondering why it suddenly seems too hot in here, like they cranked the air up for December instead of October. I dismiss it by the time I get to my desk—probably just all the Twitter drama and the glory of So Sorry Blondies getting to my head.

“One rule,” she says, as we sit in the last two desks in the back of the room.

I raise my eyebrows at her. “We don’t take any of it personally.” She leans forward on her desk, leveling with me, her bangs falling into her face. “No more getting mad at each other. Cheese and state.”

“What happens on Twitter stays on Twitter,” I say with a nod of agreement. “Okay, then, second rule: no kid gloves.”

Mrs. Fairchild is giving that stern look over the room that never quite successfully quiets anyone down. Pepper frowns, waiting for me to elaborate.

“I mean—no going easy on each other. If we’re going to play at this, we’re both going to give it our A game, okay? No holding back because we’re . . .”

Friends, I almost say. No, I’m going to say. But then—

“I’d appreciate it if even one of you acknowledged the bell with your silence,” Mrs. Fairchild grumbles.

I turn to Pepper, expecting to find her snapping to attention the way she always does when an adult comes within a hundred feet of disciplining her. But her eyes are still intent on me, like she is sizing something up—like she’s looking forward to something I haven’t anticipated yet.

“All right. No taking it personally. And no holding back.”

She holds her hand out for me to shake again, under the desk so Mrs. Fairchild won’t see it. I smile and shake my head, wondering how someone can be so aggressively seventeen and seventy-five at the same time, and then I take it. Her hand is warm and small in mine, but her grip is surprisingly firm, with a pressure that almost feels like she’s still got her fingers wrapped around mine even after we let go.

I turn back to the whiteboard, a ghost of a smirk on my face. “Let the games begin.”

-Kristen ♥

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Book Review: Graveyard Shift by Jenn Burke

Title: Graveyard Shift
Author: Jenn Burke
Series: Not Dead Yet, #3
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: November 4, 2019

Synopsis: Shifting Into High Fear

Ghost/god Wes Cooper and his not-life partner, vampire Hudson Rojas, have settled into cohabitation in an upscale part of Toronto. So what if their hoity-toity new neighbors haven’t exactly rolled out the welcome mat for the paranormal pair? Their PI business is booming, and when a suspect they’ve been tailing winds up in the morgue, it’s alongside a rash of other shifters in apparent drug-related fatalities.

Now Wes and Hudson must connect the dots between the shifter deaths and an uptick in brutal vampire attacks across the city. Throw in a surprise visit from Hudson’s niece—who may or may not be on the run from European paranormal police (who may or may not exist)—and guardianship of a teen shifter who might be the key to solving the whole mystery (if only she could recover her memory), and Wes and Hudson have never been busier…or happier.

But when a nightmare from Hudson’s past comes back to haunt him, their weird, little found family is pushed to the brink. Mucking this up would mean Hudson and Wes missing their second chance at happily-forever-afterlife…

Review: The Not Dead Yet series has been such a delight to read and Graveyard Shift was a great conclusion. The premise is what first caught my attention and it was executed so well. The overall pacing is phenomenal- Jenn Burke has a way of drawing you and not letting you go! I devoured all three books in four days. The characters are all so amazing and I loved seeing their little family grow throughout the series. Graveyard Shift is definitely the saddest of the bunch, but don't let that deter you! There are still plenty of funny and swoony moments. Wes really comes into his own, Hud opens up more, and the rest of the gang still kicks ass! My fingers are crossed that we will get more books because there's no way Wes & Hudson are going to stay out of trouble!

An ARC was provided by the author.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

-Kristen ♥

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Book Review: Monster of the Week by F.T. Lukens

Title: Monster of the Week
Author: F.T. Lukens
Series: The Rules, #2
Publisher: Duet Books
Publication Date: October 15, 2019

Synopsis: Spring semester of Bridger Whitt's senior year of high school is looking great. He has the perfect boyfriend, a stellar best friend, and an acceptance letter to college. He also has this incredible job as an assistant to Pavel Chudinov, an intermediary tasked with helping cryptids navigate the modern world. His days are filled with kisses, laughs, pixies, and the occasional unicorn. Life is awesome. But as graduation draws near, Bridger's perfect life begins to unravel. Uncertainties about his future surface, his estranged dad shows up out of nowhere, and, perhaps worst of all, a monster-hunting television show arrives in town to investigate the series of strange events from last fall. The show's intrepid host will not be deterred, and Bridger finds himself trapped in a game of cat and mouse that could very well put the myth world at risk. Again.

Review: This series is quirky & adorable and Monster of the Week made for a great next installment! Bridger is his usual hilarious mess and I love him. Leo is practically perfect. Getting to see their relationship develop more was icing on the cake. And where would the book be without the rest of the gang, Astrid, Pavel, Elena, & the Pixies? The world continues to be both fascinating and endlessly entertaining, so I certainly wouldn't mind getting even more books! *hint hint* Overall, I'm completely smitten and loved every sparkly page of this goofy not-at-all-horror/totally-a-romance story.

An ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

Rating: 5/5 stars

-Kristen ♥

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Book Review: Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

Title: Again, but Better
Author: Christine Riccio
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: May 7, 2019

Synopsis: From one of the most followed booktubers today, comes Again, but Better, a story about second chances, discovering yourself, and being brave enough to try again. 

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane's made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that?

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time's a ticking, and she needs a change—there's nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She's going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure! 

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart.

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

Review: Again, but Better was so much fun- filled with bookish references, song lyrics, movie discussions, and little YA winks- it was relatable and thoroughly entertaining. If you are a fan of Christine’s booktube channel, a lot of her personality shines through the story, but Shane still stands out as her own character. This book makes me wish I could have done a study abroad program! I loved reading about Shane’s stay in London and her many travels. Pilot! He was definitely a swoon-worthy love interest. He did frustrate me a bit with his inability to do the right thing. But I recognize it stemmed from a very human character flaw he eventually worked through. His banter with Shane had me grinning. Something that was very unexpected (but now looking at that title, I should have known) was the speculative twist that I not only enjoyed, but was left wanting to know more! The ending left me so satisfied, with an epic epilogue I absolutely adored. Overall, I definitely enjoyed this story and am looking forward to Christine’s next work.

An ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

Rating: 4/5 stars

-Kristen ♥

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Release Blitz: Moonlight Scandals by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Book Trailer)

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9780062674579.jpgTitle: Moonlight Scandals
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: de Vincent, #3
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: January 29, 2019

Synopsis: It takes a fearless woman to love the most scandalous man alive in New York Times Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s breathtaking novel.

Even a ghost hunter like Rosie Herpin couldn’t have foreseen the fateful meeting between two mourners that has brought her so intimately close to the notorious and seductive Devlin de Vincent. Everyone in New Orleans knows he’s heir to a dark family curse that both frightens and enthralls. To the locals, Devlin is the devil. To Rosie, he’s a man who’s stoking her wildest fantasies. When a brutal attack on her friend is linked to the de Vincents, he becomes a mystery she may be risking her life to solve.

Devlin knows what he wants from this sexy and adventurous woman. But what does Rosie want from him? It’s a question that becomes more pressing—and more dangerous—when he suspects her of prying into the shadows of his past.

Now, the legends surrounding the de Vincents may not be myths at all. But if she’s to discover the truth, she must follow them straight into the arms of the man she can’t resist—the handsome devil himself.


About the Author: # 1 New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.



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Book Trailer:

-Kristen ♥

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Book Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Title: Red, White & Royal Blue
Author: Casey McQuiston
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: May 14, 2019

Synopsis: A big-hearted romantic comedy in which the First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends...

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

Review: Ahhh, this book was marvelous! And romantic! And funny! Alex and Henry were amazing, nuanced, and so perfect for each other. Their banter was everything. Their emails were swoony. I loved the side characters and the world they lived in, which was just a little bit better than ours- enough to feel hopeful that we can one day make it a reality. The President's son and the prince of England falling in love is a story I've definitely wanted, and Casey McQuiston delivered! I even got a little teary-eyed at one point, which almost never happens! I cannot recommend this book enough. It will set your heart aflutter and linger long after the final page is turned.

An ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

Rating: 5/5 stars

-Kristen ♥
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