Review: Man Hands, by @SarinaBowen and @Blunder_Woman

 

Man HandsTitle: Man Hands (Man Hands #1)
Author: Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby
Rating: 4/5 stars

He puts the “screw” in screwball comedy…

BRYNN
At thirty-four, I’m reeling from a divorce. I don’t want to party or try to move on. I just want to stay home and post a new recipe on my blog: Brynn’s Dips and Balls.

But my friends aren’t having it. Get out there again, they say. It will be fun, they say. I’m still taking a hard pass.

Free designer cocktails, they say. And that’s a game-changer.

Too bad my ex shows up with his new arm candy. That’s when I lose my mind. But when my besties dare me to leap on the first single man I see, they don’t expect me to actually go through with it.

TOM
All I need right now is some peace and quiet while my home renovation TV show is on hiatus. But when a curvy woman in a red wrap dress charges me like she’s a gymnast about to mount my high bar, all I can do is brace myself and catch her. What follows is the hottest experience of my adult life.

I want a repeat, but my flying Cinderella disappears immediately afterward. She doesn’t leave a glass slipper, either—just a pair of panties with chocolate bunnies printed on them.

But I will find her.” (description from Goodreads)

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While I’ve been following Sarina Bowen’s work for a few years, what made me check out this book was her co-author. I’ve only had the pleasure of listening to Tanya Eby read other author’s books. This time, I got a taste of her writing. Bowen is a great author and along with Eby Man Hands was a great book to pick up.

The comedy in this book reminds me of Tara Sivec’s writing. They all are hilarious most of the time and don’t pull punches. Along with that, but characters are also sweet and a great fit for each other. I even ended up enjoying the reality show elements of the book, despite not enjoying them in the real world.

The only (minor) thing that brought the rating down for me was the pacing of the story. I felt it was a little on the speedy side. With how much I was enjoying the characters and their interactions, I felt the story as a whole was a little rushed. I think there was room to stretch it just a little more while not fluffing it up. Maybe there’ll be a novella with more of this couple to satisfy my needs. Even without that, there are more books in this series for me to read!

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You can grab this book from:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Sarina Bowen:

Sarina Bowen is the RITA® Award winning author of over two dozen contemporary and LGTB romance novels. She most recently hit the USA Today bestseller’s list in February, with Brooklynaire. Formerly a derivatives trader on Wall Street, Sarina holds a BA in economics from Yale University.

Sarina Bowen is a New Englander whose Vermont ancestors cut timber and farmed the north country since the 1760s. Sarina is grateful for the invention of indoor plumbing and wi-fi during the intervening 250 years. On a few wooded acres, she lives with her husband, two boys, and an ungodly amount of ski and hockey gear.

Sarina’s books are published in a dozen languages on four continents. In 2016, The Romance Writers of America honored HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with a RITA award for Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.

Find out more:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Smashwords

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About Tanya Eby:

Tanya is a member of SAG/AFTRA. She is a narrator and has over 500 titles to her credit. She also narrates under the name of Tatiana Sokolov for books that are particularly saucy (AKA erotica books). When not narrating, she’s working on her own writing. Check out her books: Easy Does It, Blunder Woman, Pepper Wellington and the Case of the Missing Sausage, Foodies Rush In,  Tunnel Vision, and Synchronicity. She also has a food blog at dips.tanyaeby.com.

Find out more:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

Review: To Get Me to You, by @KaitNolan

TO Get Me to You

Title: To Get Me to You (Wishful #1)
Author: Kait Nolan
Rating: 5/5 stars

“Just a city girl, living in a lonely world.

Displaced Steel Magnolia Norah Burke doesn’t know the meaning of failure. But when she threatens to blow the whistle on some shady business practices at her Chicago marketing firm, she gets fired fast as all get out. Licking her wounds, she heads back below the Mason-Dixon for a little home-grown Southern comfort.

Just a small town boy.

With his iron-clad Mississippi roots, Councilman Cam Crawford is a man who values tradition, preservation, and the love of a good dog. When a big box warehouse store tries to capitalize on his hometown’s economic downturn, it seriously burns his biscuit. He’s not about to let anyone’s ambition destroy what he holds dear.

A David vs. Goliath story with a side of grits.

This unlikely pair just might be the perfect allies–in war and out. But as the battle to stop GrandGoods heats up and sparks of attraction turn to something more, will Norah’s bigger-picture perspective go with Cam’s “keep it as it is” attitude? Are they meant to be like biscuits and gravy? Or are they just as wrong as unsweetened tea?“(description from Goodreads)

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I’m a sucker for a romance set in a small town. What this sub-genre normally has is the ability to world build, develop a large cast of characters, and make you want to visit the town itself, all while enjoying the main plot (the romance) of the book. That’s what Kait Nolan did in this book. And she did it well.

Nolan’s first Wishful novel sets the bar high for the rest of the series. She has strong characters, in both personality and how well they’re developed. Cam and Norah were great to get to know, and the rest of their friends and family weren’t lacking, even if they were secondary characters. I feel that moving forward with this series Kait won’t need to spend too much time building up most of their stories. It’s all there in this first book, while no bogging down the book with too much information. Nolan skillfully gave the readers what they need as they need it.

Along with the characters, the setting of Wishful was a joy to read. It was, as many small towns are, a character in itself. There’s much more to explore in this town and the antics that I’m sure will occur. I’m ready to keep coming back for visits in the rest of this series. Maybe I’ll see you all there.
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You can grab this book from:

Amazon | Smashwords | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Kait Nolan is stuck in an office all day, sometimes juggling all three of her jobs at once with the skill of a trained bear—sometimes with a similar temperament. After hours, this RITA® Finalist author uses her powers for good, creating escapist fiction. This Mississippi native has something for everyone, from short and sweet to Southern contemporary romance to small-town romantic suspense—all featuring heroes you’d want to sweep you off your feet and rescue you from work-day drudgery. When not working or writing, Kait’s hanging out in her kitchen cooking and wishing life were a Broadway musical.

A passionate believer in helping others, she has founded a writing challenge designed for people who have a life (aka we NaNoWriMo rejects who can’t give everything up for the month of November).  Please check out A Round of Words in 80 Days.

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Review: The Text Dare, by @Amy_Sparling

The Text Dare

Title: The Text Dare (First Love Shorts #1)
Author: Amy Sparling
Rating: 5/5 stars

“Sixteen-year-old Jess Parker is stuck babysitting her little brother all weekend, which is why she accepts her best friend’s dare: to text the random phone number they found written on a lost piece of algebra homework. When the owner of the number texts back, Jess and Max hit it off through their anonymous conversation. The last thing Jess expected was to spend her boring weekend texting the guy of her dreams, and now that she’s crushing hardcore on a guy she’s never met, she hopes he’s actually the guy he claims to be.“(description from Goodreads)

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I was in the mood for a quick, light read and that’s what I got with Amy Sparling’s The Text Dare. This is the first book in a young adult novella “series” from Sparling and I’ll be reading the rest for sure, next time I’m looking for a guaranteed enjoyable novella.

What I enjoy with Sparling’s work is that she’s able to write the teenage first person so believably. I’m no longer a teenager, but from what I remember a lot of the main character’s inner thoughts and interactions felt familiar and realistic. Sparling’s characters aren’t too mature for where they’re supposed to be in life, and they also weren’t too immature and kiddish. I appreciate this when reading a Young Adult book.

I also think that with a novella based almost completely on text interaction, there was more meet to it than expected. The characters were able to develop through these conversations, just like face to face dialogue could have done, and these were characters that hadn’t even met when their conversations started.

I’m curious what the next novella has in store for me. Maybe it’ll be my next weekend read.

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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.

Find out more:

New Release: #LosingLeah, by @TiffanyKingYA

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Some bonds can’t be broken.

Ten years after the tragic disappearance of her twin sister Leah, sixteen-year-old Mia Klein still struggles to exist within a family that has never fully recovered. Deep in the dark recesses of her mind lies an overwhelming shadow, taunting Mia with mind-splitting headaches that she tries to hide in an effort to appear okay.

Leah Klein’s life as she knew it ended the day she was taken, thrust into a world of abuse and fear by a disturbed captor―”Mother,” as she insists on being called. Ten years later, any recollections of her former life are nothing more than fleeting memories, except for those about her twin sister, Mia.

As Leah tries to gain the courage to escape, Mia’s headaches grow worse. Soon, both sisters will discover that their fates are linked in ways they never realized.

 

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Want to grab a copy of Losing Leah? You can get it from:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo

And if you’d like to read my review of the book click anywhere in this sentence.

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About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling author Tiffany King is a lifelong reading fanatic who is now living her dream as a writer, weaving Young Adult and New Adult romance tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, zombies and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

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ARC Review: Losing Leah, by @TiffanyKingYA

Title: Losing Leah Author: Tiffany King
Rating: 5/5 stars

“Some bonds can’t be broken.

Ten years after the tragic disappearance of her twin sister Leah, sixteen-year-old Mia Klein still struggles to exist within a family that has never fully recovered. Deep in the dark recesses of her mind lies an overwhelming shadow, taunting Mia with mind-splitting headaches that she tries to hide in an effort to appear okay.

Leah Klein’s life as she knew it ended the day she was taken, thrust into a world of abuse and fear by a disturbed captor―”Mother,” as she insists on being called. Ten years later, any recollections of her former life are nothing more than fleeting memories, except for those about her twin sister, Mia.

As Leah tries to gain the courage to escape, Mia’s headaches grow worse. Soon, both sisters will discover that their fates are linked in ways they never realized. (description from Goodreads)

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I’ve read much of what Tiffany King has written over the last few years. Knowing a majority of her body of work, I thought I knew what to expect from her books. After diving into Losing Leah I now know that I should toss all I knew about King aside and brace myself for a new side to this author’s writing.

Losing Leah takes the reader on a dark and twisty ride testing the bounds of reality unfolding with each chapter. This book is one that continued to give satisfying surprises, laughs, and meaningful moments in an unapologetic flow making it difficult to put down.

I’m amazed by where King has taken her writing and will gladly continue following this new direction in her storytelling. Losing Leah is a book that’ll stick with me for years to come.

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Want to pre-order a copy? You can find it over on

Amazon | B&N | Kobo

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About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling author Tiffany King is a lifelong reading fanatic who is now living her dream as a writer, weaving Young Adult and New Adult romance tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, zombies and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

Find out more:

Review: All Out Wild Wonder, by @kaysarahsera


Title: All Out Wild Wonder
Author: Sarah Kay

Rating: 5/5 stars

“From renowned poet Sarah Kay, a single volume poem perfect for teachers and mentors.

All Our Wild Wonder is a vibrant tribute to extraordinary educators and a celebration of learning. The perfect gift for the mentors in our lives, this charming, illustrated poem reminds us of the beauty in, and importance of, cultivating curiosity, creativity, and confidence in others. (description from Goodreads)

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All Our Wild Wonder is yet another poem by Sarah Kay that I won’t get tired of rereading or relistening to, no matter how many times I do.

Not many poems can become a book all on its own, but Kay has a gift for doing so. Like B and The TypeAll Our Wild Wonder is a piece that combines Kay’s style of storytelling with life lessons and positive outlook on the world. This poem explores the life-long influence that one person can have on an entire school full of children, just by caring around them more than others may have.

Much can be said about Kay’s writing. But I find that it speaks for itself even better than if I tried to put more words to this review. I suggest not skipping over this poem and this poet.

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Want to grab a copy now? You can find it over on

Amazon | B&N

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About the Author:

Sarah Kay is a New Yorker. a poetry writer and reader. a spoken word poetry teacher. the founder and co-director of Project V.O.I.C.E. with Phil Kaye. a witty banter enthusiast. a postcard lover. a documentary filmmaker. a foodie. a playwright. a singer. a songwriter. a photographer. a best-selling author of the book B. an editor for Write Bloody Publishing. a Gemini. a mediocre driver at best. a musical theater geek. a smoothie expert. the daughter of a Taoist mother and a Brooklynese father. a hapa. less cool than her little brother. an alum of the United Nations International School. an alum of Brown University. an alum of Brown University Graduate School’s Masters Program in the Art of Teaching Secondary English. a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Grinnell College.

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Review: Pixie Tamer, by @MeganPHaskell

Title: Pixie Tamer (Sanyare Chronicles #0.5) Author: Megan Haskel
Rating: 5/5 stars

“A Short Story Prequel to Sanyare: The Last Descendant

It’s Nuriel “Rie” Lhethannien’s twenty-fifth nameday. She should be celebrating her rise to maturity, not sweating in the training hall. But life isn’t fair, and humans aren’t equal to the elves, at least not in the High Court.

After losing a practice bout to the one man she wants to trust, Rie is thrown into the most challenging test of her life. Will the rewards outweigh the risks? (description from Goodreads)

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I bought a copy of book one of the Sanyare Chronicles thinking it looked like something I’d enjoy. When I got home, I discovered that there was this prequel, Pixie Tamer, and decided to read it first.

I’m glad I read this quick short story. It’s not very long, but it felt like a good introduction to the world I’ll soon dive into in The Last Descendant. In its few pages I got a feel for who Rie is. I also got a feel for the world in which she lives. It’s a world I now want to explore more. I also think the characters will be even more interesting as the series does on.

This prequel story is just a taste of what I’m sure will be a series worth reading. I can’t wait to read more.

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Want to grab a copy now? You can find it over on

Amazon

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About the Author:

Legend has it, I was born with a book in my hands. When I was a kid, my mom would ground me from reading in order to get me to do my chores. To this day, I can readily ignore the real world in favor of the imaginary one lurking between the pages of my current addiction. My dad — also an avid reader — introduced me to Tolkien in my late elementary years, and I never looked back. I love escaping to worlds where magic and monsters are real, especially stories with kick-butt heroines and dangerously attractive heroes.

Despite my voracious book appetite, I didn’t start creative writing until I was working as a number cruncher in a big accounting firm. With an hour plus commute by train every day, and a demanding left-brain occupation, I needed a mobile creative outlet. A pen and paper are about as mobile as it gets! As the pages began to fill, I quickly moved onto a tiny laptop, and a writer was born. Now I get to create my own fantasies!

I currently live in Southern California with my wonderfully supportive husband, two daughters, and a ridiculously energetic dog.

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