Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely

337 pages
Published July 10th 2018

Get ready for your next favorite romantic comedy, THE REAL DEAL!

April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn’t been on GigsforHire since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn’t even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family's summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can’t handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the GigsforHire ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she’s ready to pay to play.

Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m the REAL DEAL. 

Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He’s thisclose to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He’s no gigolo. Please. He’s something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April’s new beau -- the bad boy with the heart of gold.

Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents’ inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.

She only wanted to show her family once and for all that she had no need to settle down.

He didn’t expect to have the time of his life at her parent’s home.

They didn’t plan on loving every single second of the game.

But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love?

The Real Deal was a charming, flirty, and fun novel to read on a summer day! 

One thing I liked about this book was all of the characters! The author created a wide cast of characters that were all lovable in their own ways. I was glad that side characters had important roles in this story and weren't just thrown to the side once the romance was introduced.

Speaking of the romance, the relationship between April and Theo made me SWOOOOON. At first, I thought their romance as going to be a cheese fest, but it ended up being a a cute and sweet romance! Their romance had a lot of flirty banter and plenty of playful moments. Their romance was one that made my heart feel like it was full of rainbows! Watching them build their emotional relationship by slowly opening up to each other and showing their true selves was a heart warming experience. That on top of their sexual tension made for an extremely enjoyable romance!

Even though the romance was the main focus of the story, there were a lot of side plots that kept the book interesting and entertaining. There was a great balance of drama, swoons, and angst that made for a fun story!

Overall, this was the perfect feel good type of romance novel that will put on a smile on your face! I recommend picking this up if you are looking for a sweet love story!

3.5 / 5 Fangs

*This ebook was given to me in exchange for an honest review. * 

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

All Your Perfects
by Colleen Hoover
Atria Books | ISBN: 9781501193323| 320pp | Paperback | Publication Date: July 17, 2018

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us—whose writing is “emotionally wrenching and utterly original” (Sara Shepard, New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars series)—delivers a tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it.

Quinn and Graham have a perfect love story, but their unique connection is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart, day by heartbreaking day. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair. So do they risk it? Is their history worth saving?

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple struggling with a relatable issue – infertility – whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. In Colleen Hoover’s inimitable style and brilliant narrative voice, this heartbreaking page-turner asks: Can a resounding love with a fairytale beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?

What did I miss while you were sleeping?

Colleen Hoover is a must-read for me. She has such great stories to tell!

I was going to try to write my review without spoilers but it's really hard to keep them all to myself. So if you think this is a problem for you, please stop reading now.

In All Your Perfects, Colleen Hoover deals with the topic of infertility, a medical problem rarely touched in romance novels. 

Our couple has been trying to get pregnant just short of a year after they get married. Their story is told in past and present scenes. 

Beginning with the way they meet, the story captures the audience and it doesn't let you go until the last page is done. 

Most of us (romance readers) love the idea of an HEA. We love the idea that true love can conquer all. In All Your Perfects, we learned that love alone sometimes is not enough. 

Quinn and Graham deal with a problem that neither can fix. After meeting on the worst day of their lives, a few months later they meet again under different circumstances. This time, they won't let the other one go without a fight. Fast and furious, their love for each commences. During their courtship and their first year of marriage, everything is perfect. It's when they try for a pregnancy that their perfect life starts falling apart. After Graham is tested and told that his sperm is perfect, the pressure falls on Quinn's shoulders. As a couple, they try numerous ways for a baby. Every single one fails, leaving their bank account completely drained. It also takes Quinn on a road to depression without a way back. She's unable to express her feelings of devastation and loneliness. They stopped communicating and you start wishing for a miracle to save their marriage. But maybe love is not enough.

No matter how much you love someone-the capacity of that love is meaningless if it outweighs your capacity to forgive.

All Your Perfects is an emotional rollercoaster with plenty of guilt, depression, love, loneliness and hope to go around.

With CoHo's writing, I was able to feel what Quinn was experiencing. Her marriage and love for her husband and for herself had changed over the years. She felt she was not enough because she couldn't procreate. Unfortunately, we live in a society where procreation is a must. I can't begin to tell you how many times I've been asked how many kids I have and how come I don't have any. Not only do I think the question is rude when you don't know someone well but I think that we shouldn't see women as a uterus alone. We're more than that. We are professionals. We can choose not to have kids. We can choose to have ten. We can choose to marry or stay single. We can choose to love our jobs or travel instead.  It's up to us. It is time we tell society to mind their own business.

Now, why didn't I give it five stars? Well, I had problems with two scenes were Graham came out as a douche. It was hard for me to forgive and forget.

Many thanks to Atria for providing me with an early copy of All Your Perfects in exchange for an honest review.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

COLLEEN HOOVER is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, Point of Retreat, This Girl, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Maybe Not, Ugly Love, Confess, November 9, It Ends with Us, and Without Merit. Colleen has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance three times—for Confess in 2015, It Ends with Us in 2016, andWithout Merit in 2017. Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Colleen and her family founded The Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service offering signed novels donated by authors. All profits are given to various charities each month to help those in need. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Visit


07/17: Denver, CO
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Call Store for details: 503-228-4651 or pre-order

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Call for more details: 952-920-2124

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09/17: New York, NY (just added!)
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Friday, July 13, 2018

Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky

Title: Before and Again 
Author: Barbara Delinsky
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: June 26, 2018

Mackenzie Cooper took her eyes off the road for just a moment but the resulting collision was enough to rob her not only of her beloved daughter but ultimately of her marriage, family, and friends―and thanks to the nonstop media coverage, even her privacy. Now she lives in Vermont under the name Maggie Reid, in a small house with her cats and dog. She’s thankful for the new friends she’s made―though she can’t risk telling them too much. And she takes satisfaction in working as a makeup artist at the luxurious local spa, helping clients hide the visible outward signs of their weariness, illnesses, and injuries. Covering up scars is a skill she has mastered.

Her only goal is to stay under the radar and make it through her remaining probation. But she isn’t the only one in this peaceful town with secrets. When a friend’s teenage son is thrust into the national spotlight, accused of hacking a powerful man’s Twitter account, Maggie is torn between pulling away and protecting herself―or stepping into the glare to be at their side. As the stunning truth behind their case is slowly revealed, Maggie’s own carefully constructed story begins to unravel as well. She knows all too well that what we need from each other in this difficult world is comfort. But to provide it, sometimes we need to travel far outside our comfort zones.

I love when a book surprises me. Before and Again was a welcome unexpected revelation for me. 

In a fraction of a second, Mackenzie Cooper loses everything she cared for. Before the accident, she was a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter and an artist. After the motor vehicle accident, she's left with nothing. The collision takes the lives of two people. One of them being her small daughter. Mackenzie can't let go of the guilt and the depression that follows. Her marriage crumbles and when her husband asked for a divorce, she's ready to sign on the dotted line. 

With no one to help her through her pain, she packs her things and moves to Vermont. Five years later, she is a makeup artist working at the Devon Spa. She has friends, a job she loves, three pets and a new identity as Maggie Reid.  

How has she dealt with her loss? 

She has suppressed all her feelings. Only through panic attacks, dreams, and nightmares, she allows herself to remember her past and the life she left behind. 

She won't date and the only men in her life are her gay friend Kevin and her parole officer who has shown a personal interest in her. She does not return the affection. He might be tall and dark but only her husband has been the one to trigger something in her. To her utter dismay, her new boss is none other than her husband and the soon-to-be new restaurant's chef is her brother. Even more upsetting is when her friend Grace and her son are implicated in a federal crime. Maggie knows how devastating it is to face the police, the reporters or a trial with no one in your corner. She can't let Grace go through it alone but stepping in could ultimately affect her own freedom. 

Before and Again started slowly for me. It took a few chapters to get into the action. However, once I got over the first couple of chapters, it was impossible for me to put it down. I had to stay awake until I was done with it. 

Before and Again is an amazing story about unresolved grief, forgiveness, hope, and love. I fell in love with the main characters. Mackenzie had suffered so much but she was so strong. She was able to create a new life for herself. She was able to make real friendships although, she wanted her past to remain anonymous. Despite risking her own future, she was there for Grace and her son in every way it counts.

Edward Cooper was difficult to read from the first few glimpses but then it was crystal clear why he was there. Why he bought the Devon Inn and Spa, and why he had hired his ex- brother in law, Liam. As a romantic, I was rooting for him. I was jumping up and down and waving my imaginary pompoms hoping for a happy ending. 

Grace's storyline is weaved through Maggie's present in such a way that there's no way to disconnect them from each other. I wasn't sure how Barbara Delinsky was going to come to a resolution and I was worried. Thankfully, I personally love how the story unfolds. Lastly, if you want to reinvent yourself, Devon is the place to go.

One of the best parts of Before and Again was the wonderful epilogue. I could feel myself sighing with pleasure. 

I can't wait to read another novel by Barbara Delinsky. 

I want to thank St. Martin's Press for providing me with a copy of Before and Again in exchange for an honest review.

Cliffhanger: No

4.5/5 Fangs

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Fifth To Die by J.D. Barker

Title: The Fifth To Die
Series: 4MK Thriller
Author: J.D. Barker
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: July 10, 2018

In the thrilling sequel to The Fourth Monkey, a new serial killer stalks the streets of Chicago, while Detective Porter delves deeper into the dark past of the Four Monkey Killer.

Detective Porter and the team have been pulled from the hunt for Anson Bishop, the Four Monkey Killer, by the feds. When the body of a young girl is found beneath the frozen waters of Jackson Park Lagoon, she is quickly identified as Ella Reynolds, missing three weeks. But how did she get there? The lagoon froze months earlier. More baffling? She’s found wearing the clothes of another girl, missing less than two days. While the detectives of Chicago Metro try to make sense of the quickly developing case, Porter secretly continues his pursuit of 4MK, knowing the best way to find Bishop is to track down his mother. When the captain finds out about Porter’s activities, he’s suspended, leaving his partners Clair and Nash to continue the search for the new killer alone.

Obsessed with catching Bishop, Porter follows a single grainy photograph from Chicago to the streets of New Orleans and stumbles into a world darker than he could have possibly imagined, where he quickly realizes that the only place more frightening than the mind of a serial killer is the mind of the mother from which he came.


May I please have the next book now?

The Fourth Monkey Killer was one of my favorite thrillers last year. I was left wanting for more. J. D. Barker listened to his readers and he has given them a present in the form of The Fifth To Die

Like so many other readers, I was dying to know more about Anson and detective Sam Porter.  I couldn't wait to know where was the story taking us!

At the end of 4MK, Anson told Sam, he was ready to find his mother. I was thinking nothing good could come from it, right? 

The Fifth to Die opens with the discovery of a girl frozen in a lake. Sam and his team are called to the scene. Nothing makes sense, the girl seems to have drowned in salt water and her clothes belong to another missing girl. It seems the city of Chicago has another serial killer on the loose.

Sadly, Sam won't be able to follow up on the case. Not soon after discovering the body of Ella Reynold, he's in trouble with his boss, work, and with the FBI. You see, Sam couldn't let it go. He's still searching for the 4MK. He's been doing his own investigation on the side and this is a no-no for his superiors. 

The Fifth to Die had me in a stage of complete wonder. I was trying to piece things together with the little clues J. D. Barker was spreading throughout the pages. There were multiple storylines, another diary by 4MK and the sense of urgency in finding any of the girls alive. The cast was fantastic. Sam, Anson, Clair, Nash, Kloz and Agent Poole all had a purpose. 

Now let's talk about the ending. Major cliffhanger. I hope we don't have to wait too long for the conclusion of this excellent series.

Kudos to J. D. Barker for following with a solid sequel. 

Cliffhanger: A major one.

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr

Title: The Language of Spells 
Author: Garret Wey

Grisha is a dragon in a world that's forgotten how to see him. Maggie is a unusual child who thinks she's perfectly ordinary. They're an unlikely duo—but magic, like friendship, is funny. Sometimes it chooses those who might not look so likely. And magic has chosen Grisha and Maggie to solve the darkest mystery in Vienna. Decades ago, when World War II broke out, someone decided that there were too many dragons for all of them to be free. As they investigate, Grisha and Maggie ask the question everyone's forgotten: Where have the missing dragons gone? And is there a way to save them? At once richly magical and tragically historical, The Language of Spells is a novel full of adventure about remembering old stories, forging new ones, and the transformative power of friendship.

The Language of Spells it's a tale of dragons. The main characters are Maggie, an eleven-year-old human and Grisha a young dragon.

Grisha was taken from his home at a young age by a sorcerer. He was turned into a teapot for decades until his current owner figured out a way to release him. He is told that all the Dragons are flying to Germany. Grish leaves for Germany right away. But Dragons are not free. They all have to register and are assigned a job under the close supervision of the guards. Some dragons have disappeared too. They were separated from family and friends. Some, not to be seen again.

When Grisha meets Maggie, they become fast friends. Grisha starts remembering things thanks to Maggie and they both will embark on a quest to save all the dragons.

Sadly, I will say this novel didn't keep my attention.  The ending was not what I was hoping for. The resolution of the conflict was way too easy.

I was hoping for so much more.

Thank you Netgalley and Chronicle Books for my providing me with a copy of the Language of Spells by Garret Weyr.

2/5 Fangs

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Lucky Scars by Kerry Heavens

Title: Lucky Scars
Author: Kerry Heavens
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 3, 2018

Not every love story begins with a fiery explosion of lust.
Some are tiny embers of hope that smoulder slowly until the stars align…

I’d been living in a bubble.
It was meant to protect me from the things in life that hurt. 
I could live, I could laugh, but at least I didn’t have to love.
Loving was dangerous and I would never do it again.

It was working just fine, until the bubble burst.
It let in danger.
It let in light.
It let in…him.

Unknowingly I’d been living in the dark, feeling my way. 
He filled my world with starlight. 
He showed me how to move on to the next level.
He made me feel again.

I thought the wounds from the past would never fully heal,
But perhaps they only heal when the time is right.

Sometimes you just have to thank your lucky scars.


London born indie author, iPhone addict & general ray of sunshine! Kerry writes: sometimes sweet, sometimes not, often funny, always hot, real romance, dirty romcoms and other such smut.