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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

*Grabby Hands* Release & Review - My Roommate's Girl by Julianna Keyes

Image and blurb from Goodreads

Title: My Roommate's Girl
Author: Julianna Keyes
Publication Date: June 12th, 2017
Category/Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

The day a judge gave me the choice between going to prison or going to college was the day I vowed to stop stealing. Never again would I see something beautiful and beyond my means and take it, just because I wanted it. Just because I could.

When I moved in with Jerry, it was with good intentions. I needed a place to live while I got my degree, and he needed a roommate. 

Then I saw Aster.

Blond and beautiful, good, pure, sweet, smart…and Jerry’s girlfriend. She was everything I never thought I could have. Except…maybe I can.

So I put a plan into action. Yeah, I’d probably go to hell, but it would be worth it. I wanted Aster. I wanted her yesterday and tomorrow and every possible way.

But you know what they say.

Be careful what you wish for…because you just might get it.

Buy Links: Amazon

4 “Guilty Pleasure” Stars

ARC via NetGalley

Thank you!

I almost feel guilty for liking this book this much. Don’t get me wrong. This is my third Julianna Keyes’ book, so I should’ve expected it, but I still feel guilty that Aidan hooked me the way he did.

Aidan is a bad boy—and it has little to do with the fact that he used to steal cars, and a lot to do with the fact the he does horrible things in order to steal his roommate’s girlfriend. Worse yet, Jerry, the roommate, is such a nice guy that you can’t help but feel sorry for him. Sure he cheated and that’s unforgivable, drunk or not, but Jerry was so heartbroken by his own stupidity that he told the Aster, the girlfriend about it right away. You can imagine how well that went.

Well, the thing is Aidan is partly responsible for Jerry’s cheating. He paid a prostitute to hit on a drunk and pretty clueless Jerry. All so Aster would find out and break up with his roommate, leaving the path open for Aidan to make the move.

Dude, that’s just horrible. It’s… horrible. And still, I liked Aidan.

See. I have a reason to feel guilty.

I shouldn’t like a guy like him, but he kind of grew on me with time. Besides, I blame Julianna Keyes’ ability to write a convincing male POV. All your fault, author!

Now that I’ve transferred a little bit of my guilt, let me tell you what else I liked about this book: the complex characters.

As you can see, Aidan makes it hard for readers to like him by being a jerk. But he also makes it easy to like him because he’s trying to change, even if his initial actions don’t show that. But as we spend time inside his head, we get to see how he’s truly holding on to his scholarship – a special scholarship given to people who were once in trouble with the law as a way to rehabilitate them (I absolutely LOVE that, BTW). Aidan is starting to see a future that doesn’t involve crimes and prison, and I couldn’t help but root for him.

Aster, on the other hand, makes it easy for you to like her until BAM! A Gone-Girl like twist hits you in the face. I LOVED the way that twist was introduced and when it happened in terms of pacing. It shook things up and added a new layer to the story and the characters. It took Aster from the role of good girl and gave her the opportunity to be a stronger female character. She had a troubled past, but she wasn’t willing to let it interfere in her present and keep her from having a better future. It complemented Aidan’s arc and gave her one, too. I thought it was a really smart choice.

The romance had a little less heat than I expected, but maybe that’s because it focused on developing the characters as individuals. I still rooted for them to get together, especially once the truth about Aster came to light.

I also loved Jerry and Missy. I thought they were fun and added something different to the story.

This was another great New Adult book by Julianna Keyes. She’d already been a one-click author for me, and after enjoying my third book by her, I don’t see it changing.
*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Book Blitz with Excerpt & Giveaway - Dear Banjo by Sasha Wasley

Title: Dear Banjo 
Author: Sasha Wasley
Publication Date: May 29th 2017
Age Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary, Romance

Publisher: Penguin Random House

They were best friends who were never meant to fall in love – but for one of them, it was already way too late.

Willow ‘Banjo’ Paterson and Tom Forrest were raised on neighbouring cattle stations in the heart of the Kimberley. As young adults, sharing the same life dreams, something came between them that Willow cannot forget. Now ten years have passed since she’s even spoken to Tom.

When her father falls ill, Willow is called home to take over the running of the family property, Paterson Downs. Her vision for a sustainable, organic cattle station is proving hard to achieve. She needs Tom’s help, but is it too late, and all too complicated, to make amends?

Tom’s heartfelt, decade-old letters remain unopened and unmentioned between them, and Willow must find the courage to finally read them. Their tattered pages reveal a love story like no other – and one you’ll never forget.

Dear Banjo is a wildly romantic and utterly captivating story about first love and second chances from an exciting new Australian author.

Somehow she managed to pack up the entire apartment overnight. On the way to the airport the next morning, Willow got the taxi driver to drop in at Tanya’s place. Her friend was still in her pyjamas when Willow gave her the keys to her apartment and a couple of hundred dollars. Tanya tried to refuse the money but Willow pushed it into her hand.
‘No, Tan, I’ve booked professional cleaners and I need you to pay them for me. Keep whatever’s left over as a thanks. And could you possibly go in and get rid of the boxes I’ve left behind? You can have anything from them or just donate it all to charity. And then if you could just drop the keys off to the real estate agent, I’ll be grateful forever.’
Tanya nodded and her eyes went a little glassy. ‘You’re really going, aren’t you? For good, I mean.’
‘Yeah. Going home at last. I can’t believe I stayed in the city this long.’
Tears spilled down Tanya’s cheeks. ‘I’m going to miss you.’
‘Oh, Tan. You should come visit.’ Willow hugged her. ‘I’ll stay in touch.’
‘It’s not the same,’ Tanya sobbed.
‘I’ll call you in a couple of days, okay?’
Tanya nodded and gave her another tearful hug before letting Willow leave.
Jeez, Willow thought as she ran back to the taxi. Shows of emotion had never been her thing. Okay, she was moving a couple of thousand kilometres away, and she’d miss seeing Tanya at work, but surely it wasn’t worth crying over.
A memory of her sessions with a psychologist surfaced. Willow, you tend to hold people at arm’s length. Why don’t you try letting people in a little more? Willow snapped her attention back to the present, logging into the power company’s website on her phone to cancel her account.
She checked in for her flight and paid an exorbitant amount for her excess baggage before watching it glide away on the conveyer belt – the sum total of her adult life in two large suitcases. No, she remembered. 3700 square kilometres, 6500 head of cattle, a groundbreaking, humane, organic beef operation. That would be the sum total of her adult life.
She settled into her seat and thanked the heavens she’d been placed next to a young fly-in-fly-out type, probably contracted to the Herne River catchment project. He was already plugged into his tablet and watching a show involving zombies, so she wouldn’t have to talk to anyone during the flight. She wanted to write a to-do list. As soon as they were in the air she reached into her bag for a notepad and her hand met something unfamiliar. Not her notepad.
Tom’s letters.
Willow considered them, her heart rate bumping up all over again. Wouldn’t it almost be an invasion of Tom’s privacy to read them now, so long after he’d intended her to? Maybe those sleeping dogs should just be left to lie?
Yes, she would bin them all – drop them into the roving rubbish bag the next time the steward came around.
But she would be living next door to the Forrests again once she got home. By now, Tom would soon be taking over Quintilla, just as she was about to do with Paterson Downs. Their families were as close as ever. She’d need to resume some kind of relationship with Tom Forrest, no matter how difficult the initial patching up phase would be.
Maybe she could use this three-hour flight from Perth to Mount Clair to read all of Tom’s letters at last. She hadn’t even given the poor guy a chance after looking at the first couple. She’d been so absorbed in her own pain; grappling with the panic she felt every time she thought about what he’d done. Perhaps there had been an apology in one of those letters – an apology she should have acknowledged by now. A retraction of that awful moment when he’d said those words . . .
Tom’s handwriting was scrawled across the front of the topmost envelope – always familiar, no matter how long it had been. Willow took a shaky breath. Seven-thirty in the morning was a little early for a stiff drink, so she requested a coffee and pulled out the first two letters; the ones she’d opened and read ten years earlier.

Dear Banjo,

Happy New Year. I guess you’re settled in at the student hall by now. You sure went early. The other kids who got in aren’t leaving until February. I don’t know where you’re staying so I asked Beth to send this on to you. You might have heard I’m probably not going to take up my offer of a place at uni. I’m thinking I’ll defer my course – for now, anyway. Dad’s not fazed. He won’t have to hire extra help this way, not to mention the savings on the tuition fees. Mum’s not overly happy but I keep telling her it’s only for the year. She asks a lot of questions. Not really sure what else to say to you, Banjo. It’s weird without you. Whenever I’m on the quad I turn towards Patersons before I remember you’re not there any more. I keep thinking I’ll see you at the eastern gate, sitting on Rusty, ready for a fenceline race. You knew I’d always beat you but you’d have a go anyway. So, yep. Really weird. You’ve always just been there. I guess it doesn’t quite compute yet. Take care of yourself in the big city, okay?
P.S. We should probably try to sort this mess out.

Sasha Wasley was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia.

She has completed a PhD in cultural theory and loves nature, Jane Austen and puns.

Sasha is a farming wannabe, with a passion for animals and the land. Although she’s in her forties now, she still wants a pony.

Her debut novel, a young adult paranormal, was published in 2014. Today, she lives and writes in the Swan Valley wine region with her partner and two daughters, surrounded by dogs, cats and chickens.

Sasha writes mystery, paranormal and young adult novels as S.D. Wasley.


Book Blitz with Excerpt & Giveaway - Chasing Love by Melissa West

Title: Chasing Love
Author: Melissa West
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Farming family land on sunny Crestler’s Key, the sweet, sexy Littleton brothers are notorious bachelors. But all that will change when the right woman comes along…

There aren’t many things Charlie Littleton values more than his lifelong friendship with his buddy Lucas, currently home from a tour in Iraq. But when he discovers that Lucas’s younger sister, Lila, is back to assist the town’s overburdened veterinarian, Charlie is torn. She’s no longer the skinny, awkward kid he remembers, but a gorgeous woman—one Lucas would never approve of him dating. When Lucas asks him to watch out for Lila when he’s called to duty again, Charlie can’t say no—but he can’t pretend it’s easy to ignore his feelings either.

As a teen, Lila crushed on Charlie—hard—and the man he’s grown up to be is even more wonderful than she dreamed. Relationships are a tricky business, though, and too much history is at stake to risk one now. But every moment they’re together is heated by their simmering attraction—and one day an impulsive kiss leads to much more. What’s tangled in a matter of loyalty soon becomes a question of the kind of love worth chasing…

                               “Nah-ah, boy, you better take that dog on out of here.”Charlie Littleton tightened his hold on Henry’s leash and shot Patty a look. “You know he doesn’t bark.”The bakery owner placed a hand on her hip and cocked it for ef- fect. Like always, she wore an apron with the AJ&P Bakery yellow- and-blue logo on it, though you could scarcely see it through the flour and spices smeared across the apron.
“Right,” Patty said now. “A dog that don’t bark. Is that sort of like a man who don’t eat? Because as far as I’m concerned that’s a fic- tional being. Like the dog. But if you do find a man who will share his sandwich, you be sure to point him in my direction, okay? But seeing as how that man don’t exist, kind of like that nonbarking dog don’t exist, I don’t expect you to be introducing me to him anytime soon.” She winked at him and clucked her tongue. “Now, you take that cute bottom of yours out of here, leave the dog in your truck, then come back and I’ll make you a roast beef with extra au jus.”
Charlie peered around the bakery, the smells of fresh baked bread and toasted hot sandwiches hitting his nose. His stomach grumbled. Of course, the small bakery and sandwich shop was packed today, half the town there to witness Charlie getting put in his place. A part of him wanted to remind Patty that his family’s farm supplied most of her produce and could just as easily refuse to deliver, but he’d learned long ago to retreat slowly and carefully when dealing with the bakery owner.
“Fine, but I’m holding you to that extra au jus.”
Patty flashed him a grin. “It’ll be waiting for you, honey.” Then she waved her hand through the air in a sign that he better get mov- ing, and then she went to greet someone else. Someone without a dog.
Resigned, Charlie pushed out of the glass door and eyed his old Husky. “Sorry, boy. I’ll bring you some leftovers, though.” He un- locked his Silverado, cranked the truck, and rolled down the win- dows. It was a mild sixty out in Crestler’s Key, Kentucky, a perfect early spring day, but Henry meant more to him than most of the peo- ple in the town, and if he was going to be forced to stay in Charlie’s truck, then he’d do it with a nice breeze.
With a long glance down Main Street at the row of shops— Southern Dive, his family’s sports and outdoors shop at the very end—Charlie couldn’t help wondering if he was making the right de- cisions in his life.
He’d moved back to Crestler’s Key after living in the Florida Keys for five years. There, he’d operated a small scuba diving busi- ness, his life as much under water as above it. And he loved every moment of it. Then there were the women, too many to count, al- ways around, always eager to occupy a little bit of his time. He’d been content with that life, never asking for more and never wanting it. He was a typical twenty-something and enjoyed every bit of his young age.
Then he met Jade, and hell if he didn’t fall hook, line, and sinker. Still to this day, years later, he remembered with painful clarity her walking down the dock at the marina and stopping outside his houseboat, long sun-bleached blond hair and even longer legs. She was beautiful in that natural, God-made way—his kryptonite,  when
it came to women, so all it took was one look and he was gone.
It took mere days, maybe even hours, for her to rope him into her world. She had innocence behind that beauty that he couldn’t refuse, and weeks passed with them tangled in each other’s arms, a new kind of happiness swirling in Charlie’s chest. She would never fill the spot someone else had once filled, someone he was never allowed to care for, someone he told himself he could—would—forget, but Jade made him feel good. They meshed together perfectly, peanut butter and freaking jelly.
Until that fateful day when he woke to discover she’d taken every- thing he owned. His dog. His wallet, which she used to drain his checking account. His prized possessions. Even the coin collection his grandfather had left him. Every. Single. Thing. Hell, if he hadn’t been on the houseboat, he felt sure she’d have sailed off with it, too.
And while, yeah, the money thing sucked, and the coin collection sucked even more, what really dropped him into the depression bucket was losing his old dog, Rocky.
He’d rescued Rocky as a puppy from the pound, more mutt than anything, and with a broken left leg. Thousands of dollars in vet bills later, and that dog was his only friend down there. And his idiotic self had let some vixen walk in and steal him.
The thought brought on a fresh wave of guilt, and he contem- plated going to talk to Patty again, convince her that they could sit out on the back patio, but then he’d been through this argument with her before. Besides, this was Crestler’s Key, not Florida, and he knew everyone in town. No one would take his dog.
Still, just to be safe, he hit the locks on his truck twice, before heading back into AJ&P, determined to rehash this with Patty before he left if she hoped to continue to get discounted produce from the farm.
“There you are, cute bottom.”
Ah, crap.
Grimacing, Charlie pivoted to find his best friend, Lucas, already seated at one of the white-washed wooden tables, a giant smirk on his face. “Funny,” Charlie said. “You know, I was excited to see you and then you had to go and open that big mouth.” The men laughed, then hugged, because it’d been too damn long.
They took their seats and Lucas joked, “Thought you were going to cry there when she said you couldn’t bring Henry in here.”
Charlie peeked out the window at his truck before returning his gaze to his friend. “Well, she ought to remember who’s supplying all her produce.”
“So you’re going to hold her produce ransom until she lets you bring in your dog? Dude, you need a chick in your life. Stat.”
Charlie laughed, until he glanced around and noticed several of the women he’d dated off and on eating at the bakery, half of them glaring at him. “Yeah . . . think I’ll pass on that one. Thanks, though.” “What’s the deal with your insane overprotectiveness of Henry
anyway? He’s a giant dog. He can take care of himself.”
Yeah, well, Rocky had been a big dog, too, and that didn’t save him from that thieving witch of a woman. Charlie had searched for the dog for nearly a year, all to no avail. Jade was probably halfway across the world now, with his money and his coin collection and his dog. Damn woman. No, damn women. They were more trouble than they would ever be worth.
Lucas continued to stare at him with a questioning look, but all Charlie could say was the same excuse he always said. Because no one, not Lucas, not his brothers Zac or Brady, no one knew about Jade or what she’d done to him. The humiliation would be too much.
“Henry had a rough childhood. Gotta protect the boy now.” “Right . . .”
MaryAnn, one of AJ&P’s waitresses, came over then to get their order, and Lucas smiled a little too wide at his former high-school flame before clearing his throat and trying for mock-cool. Charlie suppressed a grin. MaryAnn, with her wavy blond hair and deep brown eyes, still looked exactly as she did in high school. And just like in high school, she was still 100 percent in love with Lucas. “Hey, there,” MaryAnn said, matching his smile. “I didn’t know you were home.”
Lucas shrugged. “Three-day leave before going back.”
“When is your tour over?” she asked, her eyes filling with a bit of hope that she probably wished wasn’t there. She and Lucas had mu- tually ended their relationship when she realized he intended to be a career soldier, and having lost her brother in Iraq, she said she couldn’t live that life. It was a mature decision, they had both said, but now ten years later, they both still looked like they regretted it. And come to think of it, Charlie couldn’t remember a single woman Lucas had dated seriously since ending things with MaryAnn.
With another careful glance at his old girlfriend, Lucas relaxed into his chair, the single thing between them now back front and center. “Three months, then I’ll have a few weeks off, before another one.”
MaryAnn nodded slowly, and then flipped her attention over to Charlie for the first time, like she couldn’t bear to look at Lucas an- other second. “Your regular?”
“Yeah, though Patty promised extra au jus if I left Henry in the truck.”
“What’s up with you and that dog?”
Lucas laughed. “Didn’t you know? He’s married to that dog. Pa- pers and all.”
“Again, funny.”
Both MaryAnn and Lucas laughed, until they made eye contact with each other and both went mum. She took their order and saun- tered off, her shoulders drooped a little, and Charlie couldn’t stand it anymore.
“What?” Lucas asked.
Charlie deadpanned. “What? Are you freaking kidding me? The whole town could feel that tension. Why not try?”
Lucas took a drink of his sweet tea, set it down, then did it  again, like he wasn’t ready to speak yet. Or maybe he didn’t know what to say. “She made her intentions clear years ago. Her mind’s not changing.”
“She’s older now. Y’all were teenagers then. Maybe she wants you to make the first move.”
“Says the dude who hasn’t been on a real date since . . .” Lucas cocked his head. “Come to think of it, I don’t think you’ve ever been on a real date.”
“Whatever. I date.”
“Sure you do,” Lucas said, relaxing now that the spotlight wasn’t on him. “You sound just like Lila, always deflecting.”
And just like that, just the mention of her name, and Charlie sat up taller, eager to hear anything that might have to do with Lucas’s little sister. “What’s up with Lila these days? Still in vet school?” He thought of Lucas’s only sister, two years younger and forever tag- ging along with the two boys when they were kids. She’d always been pretty in a sweet, natural way, her smile and laugh infectious. Charlie looked after her when Lucas left for basic, but then Charlie moved to the Keys and Lila moved away to college, and he hadn’t seen her since.
“Actually she finished school. Went to work in Charlotte for a while, but she moved back to town a week ago.” He took another drink of his tea, his look distant now, and Charlie got the distinct im- pression that Lucas was keeping something from him.
“Why’d she move back to town?” Charlie asked. He wondered what Lila looked like now, if she’d kept her black hair cropped short like she had when she was little. But then most women changed their hair all the time, so it could be long now—beautiful. She probably had men waiting in lines to get her attention, that bright smile of hers forever turning the eye of everyone she passed. It had certainly caught his eye.
Lucas shrugged. “Work stuff.”
MaryAnn returned then with their food, saving Lucas from ex- plaining, but something was definitely going on. Still, it wasn’t Char- lie’s business, and he was never one to pry.
“She ever marry?” All right, so maybe he was one to pry. “Nah, not her thing.”
Charlie perked up at the thought, his heart light—happy. Wow, Lila wasn’t married. He’d expected her to be—
But before he could finish the thought, Lucas pointed at him. “Don’t even think about it.”
Charlie threw up his hands. “Think about what?” “Lila. And you. You and Lila.”
A sarcastic laugh broke from his lips, despite the uneasiness in his chest. “You go insane again? This is me. She’s like a little sister     to me.”
Lucas settled in his chair again, but his face was still tense. “Right . . . just like the last time. My thoughts on this haven’t changed.” Cringing, Charlie thought of that fateful day in high school when he’d asked Lucas about his sister. It was a simple question—Is Lila around? Three words, nothing more. He and Lucas had always been best friends, but somewhere along the way, Charlie started noticing Lila more and more. Curious where she was, how she was doing. But needless to say, the conversation with his friend didn’t go well.
Lucas went ballistic, shouting all the reasons Charlie wasn’t to touch his sister, and their friendship meant enough to him that he didn’t.
“Relax, man. I’m not going after your sister.”
Besides, Lila was the furthest thing from Charlie’s type now. He wasn’t into doctors or the professional type. Lucas had nothing to worry about. Nothing. But still, he couldn’t deny that he was curious what adult Lila looked like and whether she would remember the time they’d almost . . .
No, surely not.
Even if he would never forget.
Melissa West writes heartfelt Southern romance and teen sci-fi romance, all with lots of kissing. Because who doesn't like kissing? She lives outside of Atlanta, GA, with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Monday, May 29, 2017

*Grabby Hands* Release & Review - Why I Loathe Sterling Lane by Ingrid Paulson

Image and blurb from Goodreads
Title: Why I Loathe Sterling Lane
Author: Ingrid Paulson
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Publisher: Entangled : Teen
Category/Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Per her 537 rules, Harper Campbell keeps her life tidy—academically and socially. But the moment Sterling Lane transfers into her tiny boarding school, her twin brother gets swept up in Sterling’s pranks and schemes and nearly gets expelled. Harper knows it’s Sterling’s fault, and to protect her brother, she vows to take him down. As she exposes his endless school violations, he keeps striking back, framing her for his own infractions. Worst of all, he’s charmed the administration into thinking he’s harmless, and only Harper sees him for the troublemaker he absolutely is. 

As she breaks rule after precious rule in her battle of wits against Sterling and tension between them hits a boiling point, she’s horrified to discover that perhaps the two of them aren’t so different. And maybe she doesn't entirely hate him after all. Teaming up with Sterling to save her brother might be the only way to keep from breaking the most important rule—protecting Cole.

Buy LinkAmazon
4 “10 Things I Hate About You Feels!” Stars

ARC via NetGalley

Thank you, Entangled Teen.

This book is addictive, hot and gave me major flashback to late 90’s/beginning of 2000’s. If you were a teenager then, you’ll understand why.

Before Heath Ledger became the Joker on that Batman movie, he was a bad boy teenager full of attitude in a movie called Ten Things I Hate About You. I love this movie. Like, LOVE LOVE, so if you haven’t watched it yet, fix it!

For me, Sterling Lane took me back to Ledger’s character. And Harper Campbell, the main character in this book, instantly reminded me of Julia Style’s character in that movie.

Smart, sassy and protective of her sibling, Harper sees new student and known troublemarker Sterling Lane as an unwanted distraction. She has her entire school year (and possibly her life) planned out and she follows an impressive set of rules that will lead her toward success. As far as Harper is concerned, Sterling is the personification of a rule breaker and she wants nothing to do with him.

It doesn’t help that Sterling’s charms (and his family’s influence) prevent him from getting in trouble even when he teases their teachers, lie to everyone’s faces, tries to pay her to do his school work and breaks all sorts of rules. Harper instantly sees him as an enemy. A situation that only gets worse when she discovers he’s sharing a dorm room with her twin brother.

As Harper’s brother starts getting in trouble, she blames Sterling’s influence. But Harper doesn’t stop at that, she tries to get Sterling out of the way by exposing him. That makes Sterling notice her and their little hating/revenge game start.

Watching those two go at each other is half the fun. The other half is watching them try not to be all over each other since their hate looks a little too close to attraction and passion.

The puns and teasing and straight-out insane things they come up with to get even are pretty funny, even if some of them are borderline absurd. I didn’t care. I was too busy turning pages, desperate for me.

The dynamic once again reminded me of that teen movie I was obsessed with.

Sterling was sexy and loved to get under Harper’s skin, but she didn’t stay behind. Girlfriend was a force to be reckoned with. She wasn’t afraid to say the truth and she wasn’t about to turn into someone else just because she didn’t fit some pretty mold.

Something I appreciated was that Harper’s arc didn’t end up changing her into someone else. Sure she learned a thing or two about making friends and being more approachable, but she didn’t become a different person because of that.

The romance was HOT, HOT, HOT and swoony.

The enemies to lover trope was played to almost perfection here. I adored their bantering and how they fought against their chemistry, which was off the charts, and how powerful it was when they gave in.

I got my happy ending, but I thought it ended a bit abruptly. Maybe that’s just me wanting more of them because I seriously couldn’t get enough. I read this in one sitting and was eager for more. Now that it’s done, I’ll go watch Ten Things I Hate About You for the millionth time. 
*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Blog Tour & Review - The Heartbeat Hypothesis by Lindsey Frydman

Title: The Heartbeat Hypothesis
Author: Lindsey Frydman
Publication Date: March 20th, 2017
Age Category/Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Audra Madison simply wanted to walk in the shoes of Emily Cavanaugh, a free-spirited teenager who died too young. After all, Audra wasn’t supposed to be here.
Thanks to Emily, Audra has a second chance at life. She’s doing all the things that seemed impossible just two years ago: Go to college. Date. Stargaze in the Rocky Mountains. Maybe get a tattoo. You know, live.
Jake Cavanaugh, a photographer with mysterious, brooding gray eyes, agrees to help chronicle her newfound experiences. She makes him laugh, one of the only people who can these days. As they delve into each other’s pasts – and secrets – the closer they become.
But she’s guarded and feels like she can’t trust anyone, including herself.
And he’s struggling with the fact that his beloved sister’s heart beats inside her.

I pulled out my phone and set it on the table. Sixty daunting seconds later, I’d found Emily’s page and twisted the display so he could see.
Jake tapped on the phone, scrolling for only a moment before removing his finger and looking at me. “Why would you think these are mine?”
“Most of them share the same hashtag: my favorite photographer Jake. That’s you. Right?”
He returned his attention to the phone, this time picking it up, interest lighting his face. “Oh. Yeah, I took these. There’s so many damn hashtags, I didn’t even see my name.”
“Well, her whole page, it’s a done-it list.”
His gaze lifted, along with the corners of his lips. “A what?”
“According to her, she never understood why people made lists of the things they were going to do, so she made a page dedicated to all the things she did do.”
“Sounds like Emily.”
Now that is a smile. “Well, it’s inspired me to start my own done-it list, but I want to start by recreating her list.”
Jake set the phone down and slid it across the table. “Recreate it?”
“Yes. Like this one…” I scrolled until I found the photograph. “She threw glow sticks in a pool and went swimming.” I assumed he remembered, since he’d been behind the camera. “I’m going to do that, then put it on my own done-it Tumblr list. Emily only had sixteen done-its, so I plan on redoing all of them.”
After taking a slow sip of coffee, he leaned forward like he was going to share a secret. “Can I make a suggestion?”
I winced, instilled with a burning desire to flee from the coffee shop. There I was, alive and well—with a perfectly functioning heart—and Emily lay six-feet under, dead and gone. Jake probably thought—
 “You should name it something else,” he said. “Done-its sounds like Cheez-its, and that’s a little weird, don’t you think? Don’t get me wrong, kudos to my sister for the idea, but uh, she could’ve been more original with the name.” His smile grew, crooked and adorable.
Relief washed over me, and I smiled too. “I agree done-it is unoriginal, but I can’t think of anything better that isn’t also weirder. Can you?”
With a considerate expression, Jake leaned back in the booth, and while he thought, I took a sip of my coffee and cream mixture.
“See. Not as easy as it sounds.” I laughed, warming my fingers around the mug.
Jake chuckled, shaking his head. “Guess I’ll have to get back to you on that one. But where do I come into this?”
I let go of the ceramic and splayed my hands across the tabletop. “I want you to photograph my…poorly named list.”

3.5 “His sister’s heart” Stars

ARC provided by the author

Thank you!

I’d been meaning to read this book for a couple months now, and I’m glad I finally got my hands on it.

What intrigued me most about The Heartbeat Hypothesis was the         promise of heartbreak—yeah, promise me angst and you’ll have me. The romance between Audra and Jake was complicated from the start because of the role Jake’s little sister played in the story—Audra received Emily’s heart.

When Audra decides to recreate Emily’s “done-it” list, she asks Jake to help by using his skills as a photographer to capture those special moments, bringing these two people together.

I really enjoyed the premise and the whole idea behind the “done-it” list. Emily was a smart girl. We often spend too much time worrying about what we haven’t done instead of just enjoying what we have. I also liked that Audra decided to recreate that and that she wasn’t afraid of asking for Jake’s help, even though she feared he’d resent her for taking his sister’s heart.

Having said that, I wish I could’ve seen more of that element--Emily’s heart playing a big role. I didn’t feel like Jake cared enough about the fact that Audra had received Emily’s heart and that “a part” of his sister was alive inside of her. He never really showed any sign that it mattered, and it felt like a missed opportunity.

Audra and Jake had some cute moments together, especially when they were recreating the list, but they lacked that extra factor. They weren’t sweet enough, because the story had a certain heaviness to it. They weren’t angst enough, because the story never really went there as far as angst was concerned (see the paragraph above). And while they had some hot scenes, the heat never picked up enough to leave me breathless. So I guess in the end I was left wanting more of at least one of those three elements. Maybe if the author had chosen to make this really angsty (or really sweet, or really hot) and committed to it, I would’ve been hooked.

Out of the two main characters, Jake was my favorite. I liked how damaged he was (even though sometimes he came across as too damaged, especially when it came to the whole situation with his mother and the fire). I thought he had more layers than Audra.

Audra was a little harder to like. I initially felt for her due to her health condition, but I feared she ended up taking too many steps back as far as character growth was concerned. Toward the end, she’d made so many bad choices that I wasn’t sure if I could get behind her. I think she learned her lesson, but I’m not 100% sure she redeemed herself.

Overall, I liked the story. I thought it had a very strong concept and the writing was solid. 
Lindsey has been writing since she was nine years old, when she discovered the awesomeness that is Harriet the Spy. Her books always include a romance, though sometimes there’s an added sci-fi or magical realism twist. She lives in Columbus, Ohio (where the weather is never quite right). Her BFA in Photography and Graphic Design has granted her a wide assortment of creative knowledge that serves as inspiration (and not much else). When she’s not crafting YA and NA stories, you'll likely find her spending waaay too much time on Pinterest, playing a video game, singing show-tunes, or performing in a burlesque show—because she enjoys giving her introversion a worthy adversary. (Plus, it's the closest to Broadway she’ll ever get.) Lindsey was a proud 2016 Pitch Wars Mentee and thoroughly adores being a part of the wonderful writing community. THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS is her debut novel.

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