#Review: In Every Way, by @Amy_Sparling

in-every-wayTitle: In Every Way
Author: Amy Sparling
Rating: 5/5 stars

“It’s the start of summer and Josh Graham will be working at his parent’s surf shop. When his best friend Colby goes on vacation, Josh is stuck working with Bryce—and all of Bryce’s terrible ideas for summer. They make a list of what the “perfect girlfriend” would be like, and now they plan to find her. It shouldn’t be too hard, since Josh is one of the hottest, most popular guys in school. Right?

Bess Navarre would rather read a book than go outside. She’s chubby, dorky, and a self-proclaimed loser. But when her grandmother volunteers her to work at a boutique on the beach, Bess has to comply, no matter how humiliating it is. Bikinis and Bess do not go together, and now she feels even dorkier than ever.

When Bess and Josh’s paths collide, sparks fly. But it won’t be that easy. Bryce wants Josh to date a supermodel. And although Bess might just fit all of the things on Josh’s list, she won’t give herself a chance to figure it out. (description from Goodreads)

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I’ve never read Sparling’s work before now, and I’m glad I started with this book. The description is what grabbed me. It sounded like a quick, light beach read of a romance. With summer winding down, the setting is something that definitely caught my eye, but there was more to the story that kept me reading.

I haven’t read many books set in that in-between time after high school graduation and before college starts. It’s a strange summer in limbo and a lot happens in an adolescence’s life. I enjoyed that aspect of this story. Both Josh and Bess grow over the period of time this book takes place. They’re done being high schoolers, but not quite adults. There’s young love, but maturity between both at times. It’s a fresh take on romances for me.

Sparling also touches on bullying, popularity, and self esteem issues in the book. Both are very real for the age group of these characters to deal with. They make the characters who they are, while at the same time the book isn’t bogged down by drilling these into the reader’s head. It’s there, it’s important, but the characters slowly overcome issues and I enjoyed how the author did it. And even in the end, like in real life, things don’t go away magically. People, and the characters in this book, need time to work through things.

In Plain Sight is a book that deals with Josh and Bess’ friends and if it’s anything like In Every Way was, I know I’m going to enjoy it. This book was a great way to end my summer reading. Maybe I can start my fall with more from the author.

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You can grab this book from:

Amazon

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About the Author:

Amy Sparling is the author of The Summer Unplugged Series, Deadbeat & other awesome books for younger teens. She also writes books for older teens under the name Cheyanne Young.

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#NewRelease: Prude, by @JordanStephanie

prude

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Rebecca Washington is a girl in control. Well, at least when it comes to acing her college classes. The rest of the time, she seems to be at the mercy of everyone else. Like when she’s dumped in front of her peers, hit on right afterwards by a jerk for some stupid bet, and then paired up with the same jerk for a lit project.

In order to maintain her perfect GPA, Rebecca will need to give a stellar presentation while ignoring the prodding eyes that will be staring at her. When her partner, Derek, starts to ease her fears of public speaking with his laid back attitude, she’s forced to confront her new feelings about him and his charming smile. Rebecca knows falling for a guy who teases her for being a prudish nerd can only end badly, but what if it’s just another thing out of her control?

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You can grab a copy of this book from

Amazon | ARe | BookStrand

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About the Author:

Jordan S Gray is a full time mother, college student, and writer. She never did quite grow out of that emo stage and considers coffee, punk music, and Taylor Swift to be the necessary fuel for her writing. PRUDE is her debut novel, and you can find her on Twitter @JordanStephanie where she procrastinates most of her adult responsibilities and all of her schoolwork.

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#CoverReveal: Heat Wave, by @MetalBlonde

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Release Date: November 3, 2016

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They say when life closes one door, another one opens.
This door happens to lead to paradise.
And a man I can never, ever have.

Still grieving the loss of her sister who died two years ago, the last thing Veronica “Ronnie” Locke needed was to lose her job at one of Chicago’s finest restaurants and have to move back in with her parents. So when a window of opportunity opens for her – running a kitchen at a small Hawaiian hotel – she’d be crazy not to take it.

The only problem is, the man running the hotel drives her crazy:

Logan Shephard.

It doesn’t matter that he’s got dark brown eyes, a tall, muscular build that’s sculpted from daily surfing sessions, and a deep Australian accent that makes your toes curl.

What does matter is that he’s a grump.

Kind of an asshole, too.

And gets under Ronnie’s skin like no one else.

But the more time Ronnie spends on the island of Kauai, falling in love with the lush land and its carefree lifestyle, the closer she gets to Logan. And the closer she gets to Logan, the more she realizes she may have pegged him all wrong. Maybe it’s the hot, steamy jungles or the invigorating ocean air, but soon their relationship becomes utterly intoxicating.

There’s just one major catch.

The two of them together would incite a scandal neither Ronnie, nor her family, would ever recover from.

Forbidden, Illicit, off-limits – sometimes the heat is worth surrendering to, even if you get burned.

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About the Author:

Karina Halle author picKarina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Racing the Sun, Sins & Needles and over 25 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit http://www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.

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#Review: Edward Gets Messy, by @ScrewyDecimal and @OlgaSternArt

edward-gets-messyTitle: Edward Gets Messy
Author: Rita Meade
Illustrator: Olga Stern

Rating: 5/5 stars

“A very particular little pig discovers the joys that come with getting messy in this sweet and silly debut picture book.

Edward the pig never pets friendly dogs on the street. He never, ever eats food that spills or splatters. And he never, ever, EVER uses markers or glue sticks or paint. They are just too messy.

But what happens when—GLOOP!—a big tub of paint falls on Edward’s perfectly neat little head? Well, it might just turn out that getting messy has its upsides, too.

After all, even particular pigs can clean up afterward.“(description from Goodreads)

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I’m terrible at reviewing children’s books, but I’ll try to come up with a few good words for this one because I enjoyed it so much.

It has everything you’d expect in a cute picture book: Edward, a pig who doesn’t like getting messy. incredible illustrations with vibrant colors, and a message for the young readers (and adults). It’s ok to enjoy yourself and get messy every now and then.

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You can grab this book from:

Amazon | Kobo | B&N

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For more on Rita Meade:

For More on Olga Stern:

#Review: The Unidentified Redhead, by @Alice_Clayton

the-unidentified-redheadTitle: The Unidentified Redhead (Redhead #1)
Author: Alice Clayton
Rating: 5/5 stars

“When Grace Sheridan returns to Los Angeles to become a working actress, it’s a second shot at a life-long dream. With some help from her best-friend agent, will that dream become a reality—or at thirty-three, has Grace missed her chance at the big time? And when an unexpected sizzling romance with Jack Hamilton, the entertainment industry’s newest “it” boy, threatens to shine an uncomfortable spotlight on her life, how will that affect her career…and his?

Funny, borderline neurotic Grace is perfect in her imperfections, and the sexual chemistry between her and charming yet blissfully unaware Jack is off the charts. With laugh-out-loud dialogue and a super-steamy romance that will get your heart racing, sneaking around in L.A. and dodging the paparazzi has never been so fun.” (description from Goodreads)

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This is my first time reading an Alice Clayton book. What I wasn’t expecting when I started it was to go out and buy the next two books in the series before I got halfway through this one. I only expected to read it, hopefully enjoy it, and have a good time laughing (as I’ve heard Clayton’s great at writing comedic books). I’m glad I got more than I thought when going into this one.

There’s many aspects of this book that made it one of my favorite reads of the year. One is the characters. My romance reading doesn’t consist of many female leads similar to Grace. I’ve enjoyed many other romances, and many other female MCs, but Grace’s maturity shines through and strengthens her character. I’m sure there are many characters I haven’t been exposed to yet like her, but Grace was a welcomed change for me. I want more characters like her. She knows what she wants and gets it. She’s also hilarious, fun, and a great match for Jack. And even though Jack is the younger, hot new guy in town, he also shows he’s got a level head on his shoulders. He’s someone I’d like to be friends with, especially with how he handles his celebrity fame.

With these two characters comes the romance driving the story forward. It was fast, but natural. There’s a strong bond between them. I’m left wanting to see where it goes from here, with how this first book ended off. I’m even more glad I have books 2 and 3 on my shelf already after finishing this. It’ll be difficult to get through more of my TBR before diving into more Redhead books.

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You can grab this book from:

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks

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About the Author:

ALICE CLAYTON worked in the cosmetics industry for over a decade before picking up a pen (read laptop).

She enjoys gardening but not weeding, baking but not cleaning up, and finally convinced her long-time boyfriend to marry her.

Now, about that Bernese Mountain dog

Find out more:

#NewRelease: The Debt, by @MetalBlonde

The Debt

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Her life changed in an instant.
And he’s the only one who could have prevented it.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Pact and The Lie comes a new standalone contemporary romance about those McGregor men.

Jessica Charles shouldn’t have even been in London when the unthinkable happened.

She should have been back at home in Edinburgh, perhaps hanging with her boyfriend, having drinks with her sister or doing yoga with her group of friends. She should have been going on in her normal, dependable life as always.

But on that fateful day in August, when a mentally-ill ex-soldier opened fire in public, Jessica’s world changed forever.

Now single and crippled from the gunshot wounds, Jessica finds herself scared and alone, losing faith in herself and humanity with each agonizing moment that passes.

That is until a stranger enters her life. A stranger who makes her live again.

Keir McGregor has always been the strong, silent type. Throw in tall, dark, and handsome and you’ve got pretty much the perfect Scotsman.

Except Keir is anything but perfect. He’s got a past he’s running away from and a guilty conscience he can’t seem to shed. But the more time he spends with Jessica, the more he falls in love with her.

And the more his secret threatens to tear them apart.

He may have been a stranger to her.

But she’s never been a stranger to him.

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You can grab a copy of this book from

Amazon | SmashwordsB&N | iBooks

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About the Author:

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Find out more:

#NewRelease: Wait, by @aljacksonauthor

Wait

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From NYT & USA Today bestselling author comes a new Bleeding Stars stand-alone novel…

She is his strength and he is her weakness. And this time he won’t let her go.

Edie Evans is gorgeous.
Sexy.
Kind.
She’s also the definition of off-limits.
But that didn’t stop me from sneaking into her room to comfort her at night.
But guys like me? We destroy everything, so it should have been no surprise when I destroyed us, too.
The night I sent her running, I thought I’d never see her again.
Until I saw her standing like a vision in the crowd.

Austin Stone is dangerous.
Alluring.
Tempting.
He broke my heart and I refused to give him the chance to do it again.
It’s been years since I’ve seen him, and now I can’t do anything but stare at the gorgeous, tattooed man playing onstage. I should run. I know I should. But like a fool, I run straight back to him.
Our desire is overpowering.
Our need unrelenting.

She is my hope.
He is my weakness.
We should have known a passion this intense would burn us right into the ground.

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You can grab a copy of this book from

Amazon | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and new adult romance.

She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children.

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