Blog Tour & Review: Any Boy But You (North Pole, Minnesota #1) by Julie Hammerle

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ANY BOY BUT YOU (NORTH POLE, MINNESOTA #1) BY JULIEHAMMERLE

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Any Boy but You (North Pole, Minnesota #1) by Julie Hammerle
Publication Date: February 13, 2017
Publisher: Entangled: Crush

Elena Chestnut has been chatting with an anonymous boy late into the night. It’s a very You’ve Got Mail situation, and she has no idea who he is. He can’t be Oliver Prince, hot-and-bashful son of the family running the rival sporting goods store. Their fancy sales strategies are driving Elena’s family out of business. Elena’s mystery boy has teamed up with her in their latest sales strategy, an augmented reality game, to help her win the grand-prize plane tickets. Money’s so tight Elena’s going to miss senior year spring break with her friends if she can’t win this game.

The girl Oliver’s fallen head-over-heels for online had better not be Elena Chestnut. She’s his angry, vindictive Latin tutor, the daughter of his dad’s business rival, and the one girl he’d never even think of kissing. She’s definitely not his online crush, because that girl is funny, sweet, and perfect.

When Oliver asks to reveal their names at the Valentine’s Day dance, their IRL relationship will either ruin what they have online, or they’ll discover just how thin the line between love and hate really is.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains swearing, snowball fights, and sexual tension that could melt the North Pole. Read at your own risk.
four-stars

MY REVIEW
I really liked this young adult story that reminded me of those Shakespearian tragedies that featured families that had feuds lasting generations but had a romance entangled in it.

Elena Chestnut worked in her family’s sporting goods store which was struggling to keeping afloat thanks to the rival sporting goods store run by Oliver Prince’s family. Right from the beginning, the author set up the Chestnut versus Prince family feud. Thanks to the title, I already suspected how the story would conclude, but I was curious as to how the author would get the readers from loathing to love. I was really impressed by how the author wove the story around the Stash Grab app, which reminded me of the Pokémon Go that was all the rage this summer, and it really worked in keeping the story fresh.

I enjoyed the journey because it was not insta-love. The Chestnut – Prince feud was exasperating but betrayal is often the cause of long-lasting grudges. What I found thought-provoking was the parent’s indifference to the effects of their grudges on their children and the community. This self-centered attitude was evident in Elena and Oliver’s actions towards each other as well as their neighbors. I am glad that the main characters all grew as people and made better life choices. It was encouraging to witness characters develop as the story unfolded. I really ended up liking Oliver and Elena whereas in the beginning I didn’t really care for their attitudes.

The author’s writing was entertaining and the plot was laid out really well. I found the characters to be likable especially Elena, Oliver and Harper. The unsung heroes here were Harper and Oliver’s mom. The mother because her intervention caused Oliver to exist outside his computer and Harper because she was the link between Elena and Oliver. The second half of this story was a little more angst-filled and I was even more captivated by secrets that I could clearly see would blow up in people’s faces. I took pleasure in how Elena and Oliver got together and the effect on their families.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a light and charming read with a fresh twist on the enemy to lovers trope.
Ezi

About Julie Hammerle

Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us, which will be published by Entangled Teen on June 7, 2016. Before settling down to write “for real,” she studied opera, taught Latin, and held her real estate license for one hot minute. Currently, she writes about TV on her blog Hammervision, ropes people into conversations about Game of Thrones, and makes excuses to avoid the gym. Her favorite YA-centric TV shows include 90210 (original spice), Felicity, and Freaks and Geeks. Her iPod reads like a 1997 Lilith Fair set list.

She lives in Chicago with her husband, two kids, and a dog. They named the dog Indiana.

Audiobook Review: Choices (New Beginnings #1) by Michelle Lynn

Series:
Narrator: Allyson Voller

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Choices by Michelle Lynn
Series: New Beginnings #1
Release Date: January 25th 2016
Pages: 196 • Format: Audiobook (5 hrs and 31 mins)
Published By: Michelle Lynn
Purchase Links: Amazon US Barnes & Noble

Everyone makes lots of little decisions from the moment they wake up until they sink back into sleep at night. Decisions that have no consequences or expectations. But, what about the rare choices that could change everything? How do you know what is right for you?

Happiness is something you have to choose again and again, each day.

Michaela Matthews wants that more than anything. Standing in her way is a family pushing her down a specific path and the man she loves preventing her from choosing anything different. When she moves to the city for the next step in her parent’s plan, she starts to figure out what she wants – or more importantly, what she doesn’t want. She thinks she has to leave her old life behind to discover a new one. This throws every choice she has made into question. It isn’t until tragedy strikes that she learns that sometimes there is no choice at all. Sometimes you can have it all.

Jason Marks has had the kind of life where things have seemed to just happen to him, no choice involved at all. It’s a struggle for him to keep the past at bay while he tries to move forward. He is no longer the unwanted foster kid. He is a business owner, surrounded by people that love him. But, he isn’t in love. He’s not even sure he believes in it. Not anymore. At least, not until a heartbroken girl falls apart in his arms. It’s enough to make him a believer. Make him a dreamer. Enough to force him to answer that question. Do you give all of yourself to someone who might not choose you in return?

Yes. Yes, you do.

three-stars

I wanted to like this book more, but it just didn’t flow well and the characters kept giving me whiplash. In the beginning, it appeared to be another cliché new adult book with rich overbearing parents who strong-armed their kids to following a life path set by the parents in order to fit into their high society expectations. When the heroine Michaela Matthews refused to marry Ethan Walker, the prized prince of their social circle, it appeared that she finally stood up for herself. However, Michaela waffled a lot between asserting her independence and falling back to the abusive lifestyle her parents crafted for her.

This book’s premise has a lot of potential but the execution left me wanting more. There are two young adults, Michael and older brother Chris Matthews, who were trying to find themselves outside of their parent’s expectations. There was an orphan bar owner, Jason, who was looking for someone to love and belong to. I didn’t feel like this book was developed that well. The characters at first blush were so one-dimensional and stereotypical. But half way into the story, it appears that some of the characters were misunderstood and actually more complex that first believed.
It became clear that this family lacked communication from the dad and mom, to the siblings with each other. The family wasn’t as screwed up as I initially thought so there was room for the author to delicate build those relationships. The book wasn’t paced well and I couldn’t connect to the characters expect the brother Chris and his friend Jason. Chris and Jason drew my emotions in because their pain was more evident.

I can actually envision this being a true-life story and I found the character’s behaviors to be normal. I would have liked the author to take her time with the characters and slow down the pace from subtopic to subtopic. The writing just lacked the finesse to really smoothen these characters and their plight out. I am glad the book ended on a good note. I was pleased with the resolution.

Ezi

Release Day Launch: A Thousand Letters by Staci Hart

Source: InkSlinger PR

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Today we have the release day for A Thousand Letters by Staci Hart! I love this fantastic new contemporary romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

Check it out and grab your copy today!

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Title: A Thousand Letters

Author: Staci Hart

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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About A Thousand Letters:

Sometimes your life is split by a single decision.

I’ve spent every day of the last seven years regretting mine: he left, and I didn’t follow. A thousand letters went unanswered, my words like petals in the wind, spinning away into nothing, taking me with them.

But now he’s back.

I barely recognize the man he’s become, but I can still see a glimmer of the boy who asked me to be his forever, the boy I walked away from when I was young and afraid.

Maybe if he’d come home under better circumstances, he could speak to me without anger in his voice. Maybe if I’d said yes all those years ago, he’d look at me without the weight of rejection in his eyes. Maybe if things were different, we would have had a chance.

One regretted decision sent him away. One painful journey bought him back to me. I only wish I could keep him.

*A contemporary romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion*

Get Your Copy Today!

Add on Goodreads

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About Staci Hart:

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life: a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, even though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey. Her favorite word starts with f and ends with k.

 

From roots in Houston, to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s sleeping, cleaning, or designing graphics.

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Connect with Staci:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/stacihartnovels.com

Twitter: @imaquirkybird

Instagram: @quirkybird

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/imaquirkybird

Website: http://stacihartnovels.com

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Staci-Hart/e/B00BFCANRW/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

 

Audiobook Review: Egomaniac by Vi Keeland

Narrator: Andi Arndt, Joe Arden
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

Title: Egomaniac by Vi Keeland
Release Date: January 14th 2017
Pages:  289 • Format: Audiobook (8 hrs and 8 mins)
Published By: C. Scott Publishing Corp.
Purchase Links: Amazon US AudibleBarnes & Noble

The night I met Drew Jagger, he’d just broken into my new Park Avenue office. I dialed 9-1-1 before proceeding to attack him with my fancy new Krav Maga skills. He quickly restrained me, then chuckled, finding my attempted assault amusing.

Of course, my intruder had to be arrogant.  Only, turned out, he wasn’t an intruder at all.

Drew was the rightful occupant of my new office. He’d been on vacation while his posh space was renovated. Which was how a scammer got away with leasing me office space that wasn’t really available for rent. I was swindled out of ten grand.

The next day, after hours at the police station, Drew took pity on me and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. In exchange for answering his phones while his secretary was out, he’d let me stay until I found a new place. I probably should have acted grateful and kept my mouth shut when I overheard the advice he was spewing to his clients. But I couldn’t help giving him a piece of my mind.
I never expected my body to react every time we argued. Especially when that was all we seemed to be able to do.

The two of us were complete opposites. Drew was a bitter, angry, gorgeous-as-all-hell, destroyer of relationships. And my job was to help people save their marriages. The only thing the two of us had in common was the space we were sharing.  And an attraction that was getting harder to deny by the day.

five-starsAdd to Goodreads

Vi Keeland smashed this one out of park. I immediately dismissed this book when I saw the title but don’t make the mistake I did. This book was such a great read. The person who titled this book did it a great disservice. I mean, epic fail. I don’t know if it was an attempt to get attention and sell books but Drew Jagger was absolutely not an egomaniac. I looked up the definition and Egomaniac is “a person obsessed with their own importance.”
I don’t believe heroine Emerie Rose fit that bill either. This book was actually the opposite of that title. I think the two main characters didn’t take themselves that seriously, and that was part of the book’s charm.

This story is not one of those billionaire romances. Its a story about common sense versus book smarts, personal growth and learning to open one’s eyes and heart. I really really enjoyed it. I am mega impressed with the writing. The comedic timing, the emotional touches, even Emerie’s naivete was touching. I loved the contrast between the more celebral and mild mannered therapist from Oklahoma and the playful, yet hard working New York attorney. The tone of the story was humorous, sweet and touching in parts. It was completely delightful. The author did a great job building the characters and making them relatable. Drew can be both a jerk and a sweetheart. Emerie was both clueless and yet perceptive. The character perfection lies in their flaws. They make you want to shake sense into them, laugh with them and give them comforting hugs.

What a fun audiobook. Joe Arden and Andi Arndt were awesome narrators. I found them so believable and I enjoyed every minute of this story. They really projected the chemistry and camaraderie between the characters. I couldn’t help but be sucked into Emerie and Drew’s banter. From the funny dialogue, to the sharing past pains and the building of solid relationship, I was all in this story. I have read The Baller by this same author and didn’t enjoy it half as much as this one. This is a book that will be on my re-read shelf for when I need a pick me up when I hit a reading funk. I will definitely be checking out more of Vi Keeland’s work.

If you want an entertaining romance that balances humor, chemistry and personal growth, this is the book for you.
Ezi

About Vi Keeland

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twelve languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

Any Time, Any Place (Billionaire Builders #2) by Jennifer Probst

Series:
Narrator: Madeleine Maby, Sebastian York
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: InkSlinger PR

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Any Time, Any Place by Jennifer Probst
Series: Billionaire Builders #2
Release Date: January 24th 2017
Pages: • Format: 400 pages (e-arc)
Published By: Pocket Gallery Books
Purchase Links: Amazon USBarnes & Noble Google PlayKoboiBooks
HGTV’s Property Brothers meets The Marriage Bargain in this second volume in the Billionaire Builders series, an all-new heart-wrenching and sexy contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.

When she was a teen, Raven Bella Stratton’s father was killed in a horrible car crash. The bigger shock was the discovery of a woman with him—Diana Pierce—and their two fully packed suitcases with airline tickets to Paris. Devastated by her father’s betrayal, Raven went to live with her aunt, never truly overcoming the traumatic event. When she discovers that the mysterious woman had a family with a husband and three boys, Raven vows to leave the memory of her father behind.

Until Dalton Pierce visits one night and suddenly her past challenges her future…

Leaving his life in California behind to run Pierce Construction with his two older brothers, Dalton Pierce has enjoyed returning home and studying his passion of woodworking. But when he visits the local bar with his brothers one evening, he’s immediately drawn to the smart-mouthed, badass, sexy bartender who sets his body on fire. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem as intrigued by him, and his multiple advances are met with rejection. When he offers to restore the bar back to its original glory, he begins to work with her on a daily basis, and falls harder. His plan of seduction slowly weaves a web around them both, until they are caught up in the spell. But Dalton doesn’t know the secret that can either destroy them both…or finally mend two broken hearts.

four-stars

Dalton Pierce is the youngest and still trying to prove himself in the family business Pierce Brother’s Construction. He doesn’t believe in permanence when it comes to his love-life, preferring casual hookups with no attachments. As fate would have it, the owner of a popular bar, Raven Hawthorne appears immune to his charms and isn’t interested in a casual hookup. The more she rebuffs his advances, the more intrigued he is. When Raven hires Pierce Brother’s Construction to renovate her bar, Dalton sees it as his opportunity to show her that he isn’t the shallow ladies’ man she believes him to be.

When they finally give into the sexual tension, Dalton and Raven realize they may have something special. But Raven knows things about Dalton and his family. In fact, Raven targeted the Pierce family for revenge. Will the past hurts keep Dalton and Raven from embracing a future together or have they built enough to overcome the secrets?
I enjoyed this story and the characters. I felt drawn to the story and the people in it. The author Jennifer Probst did a great job of creating characters that the readers could empathize with and root for. Both Dalton and Raven were good people being held back from love because of the way they lost their parents. Their inability to find out the circumstances of car accident left them unable to trust people as well as the institution of love. Their slow crawl to a relationship allowed them to chip away at their respective walls. They laughed together, they had fun together and they eventually found out they were compatible together. I struggled with the fact that the man who didn’t believe in marriage or forever said such romantic and poetic words. In fact, Dalton did and said a lot of forever-ish things. I also don’t believe for a second that Dalton and his siblings wouldn’t have wanted to know everything there was to know the man who was in the accident with their mother including his child. That part seemed unrealistic to me. The chemistry though was tangible and the connection intense. With all that happened, the author kept the character’s authentic to themselves and I enjoyed the continual restoration of Dalton’s relationship with his brothers. What I do love about Jennifer Probst is she writes serious matter but without angst and you always leave her books feeling good about the conclusion. Her writing makes you smile, sigh, feel sad and later hopeful and happy. I definitely recommend this contemporary romance to those who love a good story about family, love and forgiveness. I look forward to book 3.

About Jennifer Probst

Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.
She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

Release Blitz: Forged in Desire by Brenda Jackson

(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: Social Butterfly PR

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Forged in Desire, an all-new sexy standalone from Brenda Jackson is live!!!

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Forged in Desire by Brenda Jackson
Publication Date: January 31st, 2017
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Strong enough to protect her. Bold enough to love her.

When good girl Margo Connelly becomes Lamar “Striker” Jennings’s latest assignment, she knows she’s in trouble. And not just because he’s been hired to protect her from an underworld criminal. The reformed bad boy’s appeal is breaching all her defenses, and as the threats against her increase, Margo isn’t sure which is more dangerous: the gangster targeting her, or the far too alluring protector tempting her to let loose.

Though Striker’s now living on the right side of the law, he’s convinced his troubled past keeps Margo out of his league. But physical chemistry explodes into full-blown passion when they go on the run together. Surrendering to desire could be a deadly distraction—or finally prove that he’s the only man qualified to keep her safe, and win her love.

Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/uYihxn

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Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2jc39Ok

Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/rqExwF

Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/2il0hKX

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Kobo: https://goo.gl/re1LFH

Google Play: https://goo.gl/PmNqsV

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About the Author

Brenda Jackson, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of over 100 novels and novellas, was born in Jacksonville, Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Jacksonville University. She married her high school sweetheart, Gerald, and they have two sons, Gerald Jr. and Brandon, ages thirty-six and thirty-four, respectively. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Her professional writing career began in 1995 with the release of her first book, Tonight and Forever. Since then she has written over 100 titles, which includes a made-for-television movie by BET, One Special Moment as well as the movie, Truly Everlasting. She was a 2012 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Fiction for her book, A Silken Thread; and was named Romance Writers of America’s Nora Robert’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for 2012.

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If you would like to know more about Brenda Jackson, follow her here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaJacksonAuthor/

Twitter: @AuthorBJackson

Website: http://www.brendajackson.net

Stay up to date on Brenda’s latest news! Subscribe to her Newsletter today!

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About Brenda Jackson

Brenda Jackson, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of over 100 novels and novellas, was born in Jacksonville, Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Jacksonville University. She married her high school sweetheart, Gerald, and they have two sons, Gerald Jr. and Brandon, ages thirty-six and thirty-four, respectively. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Her professional writing career began in 1995 with the release of her first book, Tonight and Forever. Since then she has written over 100 titles, which includes a made-for-television movie by BET, One Special Moment as well as the movie, Truly Everlasting. She was a 2012 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Fiction for her book, A Silken Thread; and was named Romance Writers of America’s Nora Robert’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for 2012.

Review: Keepsake (True North, Book 3) by Sarina Bowen

Review: Keepsake (True North, Book 3) by Sarina BowenSeries:
Narrator: Erin Spencer, Teddy Hamilton
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

Title: Keepsake by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North #3
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Pages: 326 • Format: Audiobook (10hrs, 8mins)
Published By: Rennie Road Books
Purchase Links: Amazon US Barnes & Noble

There’s a first time for everything.

Lark Wainright used to be fearless. Her life was a series of adventures, each one more exhilarating than the last. But her recent overseas adventure was one too many. Now she’s home and in one piece. Mostly. But her nights are filled with terror.

When her best friend offers her a stay at the orchard in exchange for help at the farmers’ markets, Lark jumps at the chance to spend fall in Vermont. But her nightmares don’t stop. Desperate to keep her fragile state a secret, she relies on the most soft-spoken resident of the Shipley Farm to soothe her when her dreams prove too much.

Zachariah is a survivor, too. It’s been four years since he was tossed aside by the polygamist cult where he grew up. He’s found a peaceful existence on the Shipley’s farm, picking apples and fixing machinery. But getting thrown away by your own people at nineteen leaves a mark on a guy. He doesn’t always know what to make of a world where movie quotes are the primary means of communication. Before hitchhiking to Vermont, he’d never watched TV or spoken on the phone.

Actually, there are a lot of things he’s never done.

Zach and Lark slowly grow to trust one another. One night they become even closer than they’d planned. But Lark may still be too broken to trust anyone. When she pushes Zach away, he will have to prove to himself that he’s good for much more than farm labor.

four-stars

I enjoyed this book as much as I did the previous one. It had family, damaged characters and the readers finally got to find out Zachariah. Lark and Zach were a great match together. Both characters were at the Shipley Farm in Vermont looking for a safe haven. Zach and Lark were trying to heal from past hurts, so it was so sweet to watch the evolution of the characters.

I am glad that we didn’t know wild child Lark as I am not sure that I would have liked her. However, she was the carrot that drew Zachary out of his cocoon. They were sweet and tender with each other and their connection was intense.

In addition to the romance, I love the tidbits we learn about farming, cider and apples. I never gave much thought to the choices farmers make but it seems to be such an interesting process. I also love the Griff’s family and how accepting they are of everyone around them.

The writing is smooth, entertaining and completely engaging. I really enjoyed this book as well as the series overall. I loved the ending to this story.

 

About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

Audiobook Review: Let the Wrong Light In by Avon Gale

Audiobook Review: Let the Wrong Light In by Avon GaleNarrator: Derrick McClain
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Let The Wrong Light In by Avon Gale
Release Date: August 25, 2016
Pages: 210 • Format:  Audiobook (8hr 32 mins)
Published By: Dreamspinner Press Audio
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner Press Publishing Amazon US Barnes & Noble

Avery Hextall, a junior architect at a prestigious firm, is thrilled when his design is chosen for a new performing-arts center—even if it means working closely with his insufferably uptight project manager, Malin Lacroix. When a chance encounter in the boss’s office proves that Lacroix is anything but cold, Avery is determined to learn more about the real man beneath the aloof veneer.

Despite their growing attraction and their increasingly kinky encounters, the enigmatic Malin remains as emotionally distant as ever. Worse, Avery’s friends are convinced Malin thinks of Avery as a dirty secret and nothing more—a secret that might destroy both of their careers.

But the real secret is a single moment in time that haunts Malin and keeps him from committing to the life he wants with Avery. In order to move on, Avery must help Malin come to terms with the tragedy in his past before they can work on building a future together.

three-stars

The narrator of this audiobook had a pleasant voice to and the story was well written. I just didn’t connect with the main characters here so it was hard for me to feel invested with their love story.

Avery Hextall was a junior architect who seemed to have all his design proposals passed over by his project manager Malin Lacroix. What made Malin’s rejection of Avery’s ideas worse was that Avery found Malin so attractive but Malin seemed to barely notice Avery.

When a breakthrough at work leads Malin to choose Avery’s business proposal, it led to personal connection between the two men. Soon, Avery and Malin began having secret encounters. Honestly, I didn’t enjoy their hookups. Without being judgmental, their kinky sex life didn’t convey pleasure to me, but it obviously met a need for the both of them as they kept finding their way back to each other.

Avery was in his head way too much for me. He seemed like he had self confidence in the beginning, but he was a ball on insecurity. Of course, he had to fall for an emotionally aloof Malin. I liked Avery a little bit, but I never warmed up to Malin. Even there was an explanation for Malin’s attitude, Malin was just a closed off and robotic in action. I didn’t feel pulled into the story and I cringed during their sexual encounters. While I didn’t “feel the love”, the author was very descriptive and the pace was good. It didn’t resonate with me as I need more of an emotional connection in my love stories.

I am glad that I have read other works by this author so I know she is a great storyteller. The last 30% of the audiobook was much better but I never warmed to the characters.

Ezi

About Avon Gale

Avon Gale wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it — even if it was a bit weirder than the other, more normal hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after — though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.

Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert and will never say no to candy.

At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.

Whiskey Business by Avon Gale

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Whiskey Business: by Avon Gale
Series: States of Love
Release Date:
Pages: 104 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
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Ryder Waites will do anything to keep the tiny town of Gallows Grove, Kentucky, from vanishing off the map—even sell his family’s whiskey recipe to Bluegrass Bourbon in Lexington. Hopeful that the larger company can provide necessary improvements to the distillery, Ryder’s ultimate goal is to get Gallows Grove on the Bourbon Trail… and bring in much-needed tourism revenue. But to keep producing Hanged Man Bourbon in Gallows Grove, he’ll have to convince company liaison, unbearably stuffy and seriously hot Adam Keller, that he’s worth the investment.

Adam comes from an old-money family, but he’s determined to make his own way in the world. When he’s sent to Gallows Grove, he questions the life choices that led him to a rented room in a funeral home, in a town full of macabre-themed businesses. And he doesn’t know what to make of Ryder, the descendant of bootleggers who’s on a mission to save his strange town from extinction. When Adam and Ryder put aside their initial mistrust, the results are as smooth as good whiskey. But after Adam’s assignment ends, he’ll have to decide if small-town life and a future with Ryder is to his tastes.

four-stars

Whiskey Business has plenty of laugh out loud scenes. Avon Gale scored another one. Ryder & Adam were perfect together! Bourbon, Kentucky-isms, Basketball and Bad Puns what more can you want?

I really enjoyed the town of Gallows Grove! I think the town made for a more interesting character seeing as it brought most of the excitement. Ryder Waites is born and bred Kentucky, it’s in his blood, essence, and in his family’s bourbon. Trying to do right by the family and town, Ryder agrees to sale his brand to a company that’s in state and can equally help his little town. In comes Adam Keller. Adam is from old money, and doesn’t need to work, but when you hate horses why work for them? He doesn’t. He goes to school to start his own future. He finds his niche in the world and everything is smooth sailing until he rides into Gallows Grove.

Things are a little tense after this. I found myself chuckling at each guy’s expense. Both had some hilarious internal monologue-ing going on. Adam is a bit uptight when we meet him, and it immediately raises Ryder hackles. From there it’s lust on both guys ends, and funny moments. Who knew Mr.Uptight had such a dirty mouth on him? Good Lord, Adam surprised me. He was super filthy but that’s how I like my guys. Of course when feelings get involved signals get crossed then things go to hell in a hand basket for these two. It eventually works itself out and their union is a blessed one at the end of the day. *wink*

To me this is one of the better novels in the States of Love Series. I really had a fun timing reading it, and Avon stories seem to flow so easily for me. I can always count on her to bring the steam, feels, and humor in each and every one of them. To this day Power Play is my favorite book by her. Not to say, the others aren’t good, but this one stuck with me big time. I’d highly recommend this novella to anyone who wants to laugh, and have some steamy moments while doing it!

About Avon Gale

Avon Gale wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it — even if it was a bit weirder than the other, more normal hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after — though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.

Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert and will never say no to candy.

At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.

Audiobook Review: Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Narrator: Suzanne Elise Freeman
Twelve Days of Christmas Book Cover Twelve Days of Christmas
Debbie Macomber
Contemporary Romance
Random House & Publishing Group
October 4th 2016
audiobook
288

Continuing in a festive annual tradition, #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber returns with a new original holiday novel full of romance and cheer—and the magical prospect of finding love in the most unexpected places.

Friendly and bubbly, Julia Padden likes nearly everyone, but her standoffish neighbor, Cain Maddox, presents a particular challenge. No matter how hard she’s tried to be nice, Cain rudely rebuffs her at every turn, preferring to keep to himself. But when Julia catches Cain stealing her newspaper from the lobby of their apartment building, that’s the last straw. She’s going to break through Cain’s Scrooge-like exterior the only way she knows how: by killing him with kindness.

To track her progress, Julia starts a blog called The Twelve Days of Christmas. Her first attempts to humanize Cain are far from successful. Julia brings him homemade Christmas treats and the disagreeable grinch won’t even accept them. Meanwhile, Julie’s blog becomes an online sensation, as an astonishing number of people start following her adventures. Julia continues to find ways to express kindness and, little by little, chips away at Cain’s gruff façade to reveal the caring man underneath. Unbelievably, Julia feels herself falling for Cain—and she suspects that he may be falling for her as well. But as the popularity of her blog continues to grow, Julia must decide if telling Cain the truth about having chronicled their relationship to the rest of the world is worth risking their chance at love.

This one was really a yummy and cute holiday story.


Julia Padden was trying to secure her dream job while working retail at Macy’s. One day, she discovered her cold and standoffish neighbor Cain Maddox was stealing her newspaper, Julia’s best friend Camie suggested Julia kill him with kindness. So Julia started the Twelve Days of Christmas Blog, where she wrote everyday about ways she was showering Cain with kindness and it became an overnight sensation. To protect his identity and because she didn’t like him very much, Julia dubbed her neighbor “Ebenezer” on her blog. Soon, Julia began getting insight into Cain’s life and quickly found out that he had been dealt a hard hand in life and was unapproachable because being vulnerable to people was too scary for Cain. They soon began letting see who they really were underneath, like peeling away layers of clothing.

After about a week, Cain asked Julia out on a real date and Julia realized that she had come to actually like Cain. She decided to continue with the blog but see where this new “thing” with Cain would lead. They began to really form a bond until Cain discovered that Julia had made him a project of sorts and he felt betrayed. Would Julia be able to convince him it was all real?

This story was cute, amusing and sweet. I enjoyed it like a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter night. It was lighthearted reading with a very subtle reminder that we cannot always judge a book by its cover as well as reminding us that a little act of kindness can go a long way to thaw out the coldest of hearts.
Julia was really a nice person who tried to fill her days up with as many activities and good deeds because she was avoiding dealing with her feelings of loneliness. Cain used a thorny exterior to keep everyone at bay since he had severe trust issues. It was nice juxtapose of precociously happy versus grumpy grouch. I loved the interplay with blogging and the holidays. I could picture something like this actually happening and everyone loves a happy ending. Debbie Macomber is an author I discovered with another Holiday book Starry Night and she has a gift with writing heart felt romances. but the message was woven well into the feel good romance story.

This is the best Christmas story I’ve read this yea and I plan to read more by this author soon.

Ezi