Review: American Sweethearts, by @ladrianaherrera

Title: American Sweethearts (Dreamers #4)
Author: Adriana Herrera
Rating: 4/5 stars

“Juan Pablo Campos doesn’t do regrets. He’s living the dream as a physical therapist for his beloved New York Yankees. He has the best friends and family in the world and simply no time to dwell on what could’ve been.

Except when it comes to Priscilla, the childhood friend he’s loved for what seems like forever.

New York City police detective Priscilla Gutierrez has never been afraid to go after what she wants. Second-guessing herself isn’t a thing she does. But lately, the once-clear vision she had for herself—her career, her relationships, her life—is no longer what she wants.

What she especially doesn’t want is to be stuck on a private jet to the Dominican Republic with JuanPa, the one person who knows her better than anyone else.

By the end of a single week in paradise, the love/hate thing JuanPa and Pris have been doing for sixteen years has risen to epic proportions. No one can argue their connection is still there. And they can both finally admit—if only to themselves—they’ve always been a perfect match. The future they dreamed of together is still within reach…if they can just accept each other as they are.

This book is approximately 90,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!” (description from Goodreads)

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This is the third Herrera book I’ve read and as I knew from the first I read, American Dreamer, I’ll want to read anything the author puts out. So far I’ve only read that first book in the Dreamers series and this one. This didn’t hurt my enjoyment of American Sweethearts, even though it is the fourth in the series. Though, I do feel recommending reading the series in order or close together wouldn’t hurt. It’s a good series, so why not?

American Sweethearts is the story of Priscilla and Juan Pablo, two long time lovers…fighters…and best friends even if they don’t always get along. Part of what made this book enjoyable for me is their history. It’s troubled. It’s long. It needed to be resolved, though it wasn’t clear just how that’d be done. The entire time, though, I knew these two needed to be together. That was the only outcome for the characters or they’d be miserable the rest of their lives.

Another thing that keeps me coming back to Herrera’s work is the inclusion of diverse characters, be it their race or sexuality, the inclusion of mental health talk and it’s importance, and also mention of the good and bad of police work. That may seem like a lot to throw all in there and that it’d beat the reader over the head or be preachy, but it’s not. The author includes it in her book(s), but it’s naturally done. It’s all part of life for the characters because they’re accepting human beings from different walks of life.

I’ll be diving into both American Fairytale and American Love Story soon so I can finish this series and enjoy more of the character’s I’ve gotten tastes of in the books I’ve read so far.

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You can find this book on:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Adriana was born and raised in the Caribbean, but for the last 15 years has let her job (and her spouse) take her all over the world. She loves writing stories about people who look and sound like her people, getting unapologetic happy endings.

When she’s not dreaming up love stories, planning logistically complex vacations with her family or hunting for discount Broadway tickets, she’s a social worker in New York City, working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

She’s one of the co-creators of the Queer Romance PoC Collective and serves as the VP of Programs for the Romance Writers of America New York City Chapter.

Find out more:

Review: Once and Future, by @AmyRoseCapetta and @CoriMcCarthy

Title: Once & Future (Once & Future #1)
Author: Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy
Rating: 5/5 stars

I’ve been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.

Now I’m done hiding.

My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

No pressure. (description from Goodreads)

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Most people are familiar with the legend of and surrounding King Arthur. For me that’s mostly what it is; a familiarity. I’ve seen the Disney version of Sword in the Stone. I’ve also seen an early 2000’s movie called King Arthur, though I don’t recall anything from it. I also have picked up the basics of the main legend here and there. Do you need to know any or more of that to enjoy Once & Future? No. I don’t think you do. Will you finish the book and want to read more about the legendary king? Well, I know I do.

Retellings of classic tales, whether they’re Pride & Prejudice from a few hundred years back or the Iliad millenia ago, always catch my eye. Putting King Arthur in space grabbed my attention more than most other settings probably would have. How would it work to have knights in space? Where would the sword be stuck? How would magic work up there? My questions were answered in this book in a very entertaining and developed way.

I think one of the strengths of this book was that the authors didn’t just retel the King Arthur story. King Arthur himself already had his time to do his thing in the story. In fact, he had his chance 41 other times. It’s time for Ari, a wanted refugee, to try to bring humankind back together and out from under an evil empirical corporations rule. She’s a reincarnation of Arthur, thousands of years later. This allowed for things to change, modernize, all while sticking with tropes necessary to the myth all while being self-aware of them. The Merlin in this book won’t let up on how things “should” be and who is a version of who.

I flew through this book since it was hard to put down often. I haven’t had a read like this in awhile. While it was great as its own book, I’m eager to see what happens in book two of the duology. There was a little bit of a lead-in to that book, and I’d really like to see Ari finally fulfill her role as this future Arthur and finish her journey.

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You can find this book on:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Rebel Carter:

Amy Rose Capetta [she/they] is a bestselling and acclaimed author of YA fantasy, sci-fi, and mystery. Amy Rose’s first novels, Entangled and Unmade, comprise a spacepunk duet. Echo After Echo, a queer love story wrapped in a murder mystery and set on Broadway, was an ALA Rainbow List Selection and JLG Selection. The Brilliant Death, an Italian-inspired, nonbinary fantasy, made the Locus Reading List and Kirkus Best YA Books of the Year. Once & Future, a bestselling Arthurian space fantasy co-written with Cori McCarthy, received four starred reviews and was a finalist for the New England Book Award. The Lost Coast, aka queer teen witches in the redwoods, landed on Booklist’s Top 10 SF/Fantasy & Horror for Youth. Sequels to The Brilliant Death and Once & Future are forthcoming in 2020! Amy Rose holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA, and co-founded the Rainbow Writers Workshop, the first workshop for LGBTQIAP+ writers of YA and middle grade. AR lives in Vermont with Cori McCarthy and an adorable small reader.

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About the Cori McCarthy:

CORY (aka Cori)…earned degrees in poetry and screenwriting before falling in love with writing for children and young adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. They have authored four acclaimed YA novels, with a middle grade series and nonfiction picture book forthcoming. Cory coauthored the bestselling ONCE & FUTURE, a finalist for the New England Book Award, with their spouse Amy Rose Capetta. They live in the mountains of Vermont where they champion queer teens and raise a young maverick.

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Review: An Alaskan Christmas, by @JenniferSnow18

 

An Alaskan ChristmasTitle: An Alaskan Christmas (Wild River #1)
Author: Jennifer Snow
Rating: 4/5 stars
 

In Alaska, it’s always a white Christmas—but the sparks flying between two reunited friends could turn it red-hot…

If there’s one gift Erika Sheraton does not want for Christmas, it’s a vacation. Ordered to take time off, the workaholic surgeon reluctantly trades in her scrubs for a ski suit and heads to Wild River, Alaska. Her friend Cassie owns a tour company that offers adventures to fit every visitor. But nothing compares to the adrenaline rush Erika feels on being reunited with Cassie’s brother, Reed Reynolds.

Gone is the buttoned-up girl Reed remembers. His sister’s best friend has blossomed into a strong, skilled, confident woman. She’s exactly what his search-and-rescue team needs—and everything he didn’t know he craved. The gulf between his life in Wild River and her big-city career is wide. But it’s no match for a desire powerful enough to melt two stubborn hearts… (description from Goodreads)

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Christmas books aren’t only good to read around the holiday. At least, I that’s how I feel about them. An Alaskan Christmas is no exception here. Christmas has been done for a few months and this book took me back to cold winter nights, a little festivity, and some romance to warm things up.

Jennifer Snow’s first Wild River book really helps establish the series, as well as the small town of Wild River up in Alaska.  It’s a small town, butted right up against the wilderness that is Alaska. There’s danger and beauty out there, and Snow shows that well on the search and rescue missions Reed and his crew take on in this book. Aside from the setting, the characters are strong elements of the book. They’re flawed, realistic, and make decisions that aren’t always easy to predict, which sets them apart for me.

Having only read this book, but knowing which characters will be coming up in the next one, I know I’ll be revisiting Wild River soon. And I feel that I’ll be coming back to this small Alaskan town again and again this year, with each new release.

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Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Jennifer Snow lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband and four year old son. She is a member of the RWA, the Alberta Writers Guild, Canadian Authors Association and SheWrites.org. Her first Brookhollow book was a finalist in the Heart of Denver Aspen Gold contest and the Golden Quill Award.

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New Release: The Enemy Hypothesis, by @Amy_Sparling

 

The Enemy Hypothesis

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Abby Pena’s hands are full this year. Between school and helping her grandma wrangle her three younger sisters, there is no time for an after-school job, and certainly no money in the budget to get a car. When Brazos High announces a brand new school-wide contest, everyone thinks it sounds lame. Until they learn the winner of the contest gets a brand new car.

Mark Caputo is living a lie. His family owns a popular restaurant in town and their favorite pastime is being rich. Only… they’re not rich. His parents’ constant pressure to look the best and be the best has Mark on edge. This new car could give his parents some much needed financial help. Too bad he’s starting off this school contest in last place.

Abby and Mark have their own reasons for wanting the car, and so does the rest of the school. As tensions rise and students scramble to win the contest, Abby finds herself battling for first place with the last person she’d ever expect: the super cute Mark Caputo, her new mortal enemy.

The Brazos High Romance Series is a collection of flirty, sweet young adult novellas that each feature a different couple. They can be read in any order. Download your copy now and dive into this heartwarming romance!

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You can grab a copy of this book from

Amazon

If you missed the first novella in the Brazos High Romance series, The Square Root, grab it from:

Amazon

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About the Author:

Amy Sparling is the bestselling author of books for teens and the teens at heart. She lives on the coast of Texas with her family, her spoiled rotten pets, and a huge pile of books. She graduated with a degree in English and has worked at a bookstore, coffee shop, and a fashion boutique. Her fashion skills aren’t the best, but luckily she turned her love of coffee and books into a writing career that means she can work in her pajamas. Her favorite things are coffee, book boyfriends, and Netflix binges.

She’s always loved reading books from R. L. Stine’s Fear Street series, to The Baby Sitter’s Club series by Ann, Martin, and of course, Twilight. She started writing her own books in 2010 and now publishes several books a year.

Find out more:

New Release: Messy, by Katie Porter (aka @loreliebrown)

Alec Davies is an aging-out rock star.

He’s twenty years older than me.

He’s also my father’s ex-best friend.

Dad used to be the lead guitarist of The Skies, an icon of the 90s British music scene. His fights with lead singer Alec were legendary, and so was the band’s self-destruction. I’ve hunted down Alec to tell him that Dad is back in England and determined to die at home. Ending our first encounter by riding Alec’s face is not the smart thing. Saying “yes” when he wants to reconcile with my dad and offers his townhouse as hospice – it’s not the smart thing either, but I do that too.

This is a stand alone, full length romance. Happily ever after guaranteed.

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You can find this book on:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Katie Porter is the award-winning alter-ego of RITA-nominated Lorelie Brown. Lorelie is a US Army veteran and true-crime devotee who’s traveled the world from South Korea to Italy and now lives north of Chicago with her family. As a closet history nerd, she is eternally interested in the mystique of Old Hollywood and the shady, shadowy corners of fame.

All five of Katie Porter’s “Vegas Top Guns” contemporary erotic romances received 4½ Stars from RT BookReviews. These books are “impressive and incredibly well done,” and will “move Fifty Shades of Grey to the children’s section.” The third title, HOLD ‘EM , won the 2012 RT Reviewers’ Choice award for Best Ebook Erotic Romance, and the m/m Christmas-themed CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR was nominated for Best Book of the Year.

Find out more:

 

New Release: American Sweethearts, by @ladrianaherrera

American Sweethearts

Juan Pablo Campos doesn’t do regrets. He’s living the dream as a physical therapist for his beloved New York Yankees. He has the best friends and family in the world and simply no time to dwell on what could’ve been.

Except when it comes to Priscilla, the childhood friend he’s loved for what seems like forever.

New York City police detective Priscilla Gutierrez has never been afraid to go after what she wants. Second-guessing herself isn’t a thing she does. But lately, the once-clear vision she had for herself—her career, her relationships, her life—is no longer what she wants.

What she especially doesn’t want is to be stuck on a private jet to the Dominican Republic with JuanPa, the one person who knows her better than anyone else.

By the end of a single week in paradise, the love/hate thing JuanPa and Pris have been doing for sixteen years has risen to epic proportions. No one can argue their connection is still there. And they can both finally admit—if only to themselves—they’ve always been a perfect match. The future they dreamed of together is still within reach…if they can just accept each other as they are.

This book is approximately 90,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

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You can find this book on:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Adriana was born and raised in the Caribbean, but for the last 15 years has let her job (and her spouse) take her all over the world. She loves writing stories about people who look and sound like her people, getting unapologetic happy endings.

When she’s not dreaming up love stories, planning logistically complex vacations with her family or hunting for discount Broadway tickets, she’s a social worker in New York City, working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

She’s one of the co-creators of the Queer Romance PoC Collective and serves as the VP of Programs for the Romance Writers of America New York City Chapter.

Find out more:

New Release: Queen of Barrakesch, by @DelaneyDiamond

 

 

Queen of Barrakesch_600X900 - Garden Avenue Press

They had no idea how much their lives would change…forever.

Imani Karunzika is fiercely independent and refuses to be forced into a loveless marriage with the domineering man her parents want for her. When her friend Crown Prince Wasim al-Hassan of Barrakesch learns he’ll be passed over for the throne because he has no wife, she suggests a plan where they enter into a fake engagement. He can then secure his birthright, and she can get her parents off her back.

But the marriage must proceed as planned. Wasim becomes the king, she becomes the queen and is now under the rule of a man whose power and authority is unmatched. But Imani’s greatest struggle lies not within the walls of the palace, but inside herself as she fights to keep the ultimate secret—that she’s madly in love with the king.

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If you’d like a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Amazon

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About the Author:

Delaney Diamond is the USA Today Bestselling Author of sweet, sensual, passionate romance novels, born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She reads romance novels, mysteries, thrillers, and a fair amount of nonfiction. When she’s not busy reading or writing, she’s in the kitchen trying out new recipes, dining at one of her favorite restaurants, or traveling to an interesting locale. To get sneak peeks, notices of sale prices, and find out about new releases, visit her website and join her mailing list. Enjoy free reads and the first chapter of all her novels at http://www.delaneydiamond.com.

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