War by Lane Hart and D.B. West
This is the fourth book in the Savage Kings series. I was excited to read War’s book from seeing him around in the previous stories. I will say he was a bit different from what I expected. He almost had this split personality. One minute was sweet, caring, affectionate….then he became almost cruel and calloused. I loved when he was being vulnerable and showing his softer side. When his uglier side came out….I wasn’t a fan. To give you some backstory, War (aka Warren O’Neil Sr.) had a son named Ren (Warren O’Neil Jr.). Ren’s mother was an addict and was never really involved in his life. War became closed off and completely gave up on finding love because he thought they were all like Ren’s mother, Marcie. This gave War major trust issues that we see throughout the book. While I understood why he was this way, it was quite hard seeing him take his problems out on Nova.
Nova McQueen is War’s love interest in this book. She’s fairly new to town and currently works as a social worker. This comes into play during the book but I won’t give away how. I felt quite bad for Nova’s character during the story. She seemed to always have the worst luck. Nova just couldn’t catch a break. I admire her determination with so many hardships in her life.
The romance in this was a bit of a let down. Once again, like in Torin’s book, it got a little kinker than I enjoy reading. Nothing major but it still wasn’t my cup of tea. I honestly don’t know how Nova put up with War sometimes. He was frustrating me and I wasn’t even having to deal with him personally lol. I’m downing War a bit but he honestly took care of his family. He was always there for his son and even took care of his little sister as her guardian when they were younger. I think over time War will let that guard down and these trust/attitude issues will go away.
Overall, I enjoyed the story and love seeing this world through each club member’s eyes. I also like the updates we have on previous couples running in the background. It’s nice checking in on them to see how their relationships are progressing.
365 Ways To Beat Stress by Adam Gordon
This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased, honest opinion.
I’m a super stressful person with lots of anxiety. My “favorite” thing to do is worry. I’m trying my best here lately to calm down and de-stress. It’s definitely not easy by any means. I saw this book on Net Galley and quickly snatched it up. I’ll take all the help I can get when it comes to beating stress.
I learned quite a few things from this book. A lot I already knew but it’s nice to be reminded of simpler things we can do to help out. I will say, some of the ways felt like they were thrown in just to reach 365 differences. I would’ve preferred a fewer amount with more substance to them if that makes sense.
There’s no way I can list all my favorite tips from the book so I’ll just list a few.
- Look forward, not backwards. This was nice because sometimes we only look at the past instead of focusing on the future and ways we can conquer it.
- Decide to be happy. Now this one is tricky because I totally believe it’s not as simple as just “deciding” to be happy. I took this to mean, be aware of your emotions and try to look on the brighter side of things. Wake up and say “today will be a great day” and then try your best to make it a reality.
- Write down your worries. I recently started an anxiety journal where I keep track of my worries, things to help me while I’m having a panic attack, etc. It’s really helped to write down these fears/worries and then it sort of releases it from my brain for a bit. It’s hard to explain but I hope you can try it and find relief.
- Don’t jump to the worst case scenarios. I’m the queen of jumping to worst cases. I don’t even allow myself to think whatever is going on has a simple explanation/fix. It just goes to the MAX and I spiral from there.
- Write a letter to yourself to read when anxious. Now this is cool!! I never thought of doing this and I definitely plan on writing a letter asap. It’s just nice for your calm self to tell you that everything will be okay. That whatever you’re going through is temporary. You’ll overcome this!
- Make smaller goals. Take baby steps. Set goals you can easily reach. It doesn’t have to always be something major. Let yourself have the win.
- Take eye breaks. This is something I’m learning to do more and more. Resting your eyes is soooo important. Eye strain is a real thing and being on electronics 24/7 isn’t the best for us.
There are plenty others that I enjoyed but I think that gives you a gist of what’s inside the book. If you pick up this book, I hope it helps you tremendously. Good luck with all your de-stressing!!!!
Torin by Lane Hart and D.B. West
This is third book in the Savage Kings MC series and the reading order is:
Chase, Abe, and then Torin. I highly recommend reading the other books before starting this one.
Usually I love a protective man but Torin took it to a whole other level. Going through what Torin did in previous books I can understand why he felt the need to act this way, but I still couldn’t get on board with his antics.
The romance in this book was darker/kinker than I prefer as well. I enjoyed the previous two stories romance a lot more because of this. Torin liked always being in control and dominant so the love scenes weren’t very swoon worthy in my opinion. BUT to each their own.
Lexi Cruz was this strong, independent woman who could take care of herself. I loved how strong she was and that she didn’t need a man to provide for her. I don’t want to go into too many details about the story line because I feel it will give away too much. I think if you are a fan of motorcycle romances you should definitely give this series a try. I’m loving it so far and can’t wait to pick up the next brother’s story.
Make me bad by RS Grey
This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased, honest opinion.
RS Grey has done it again!!!!! This was such an adorable read!!! I loved all the characters, the small town, the romance, the humor, etc. I could go on and on!!
Madison Hart, 25 years old, works at her local library as head of the Children’s department. Madison was your typical bookworm. She loved reading and was excellent at her job. Madison lives in her childhood home with her chief of police father, Derrick. Her mother passed away when she was younger so Madison took on the motherly role in taking care of her father and sometimes her brother, Colten. The problem with taking on a motherly role at such a young age is she wasn’t able to really be a teenager/young adult. Her days were spent working then coming home to cook and care for her father. She wanted a change. Madison was tired of the rut she was in…..enter Ben Rosenberg.
Ben, 31, worked as a lawyer with his best friend Andy at their firm. Ben was sort of a celebrity within their town of Clifton Cove. His family was well off and their previous generations seemed to have jump started this town from what I could gather. Ben managed to get into some trouble and needed to complete some community service hours. He chose the library. That’s where our two main characters meet.
Madison has a proposition for Ben. Shake up her mundane life and to “make her bad”. That’s what the story revolves around and it did not disappoint. Madison is this quirky girl who says what’s on her mind. She doesn’t stop to think whether this would make her sound bad/cheesy and I loved that about her. These two had some great chemistry!! This was a slow burn romance but oh so worth the wait. You’ll be laughing and swooning before you know it!!
Overall, I love this author. I think she has a way of writing these amazing stories filled with humor, love, and steamy times. She creates the perfect balance. I highly recommend this story as well as her others.
Vicious by LJ Shen
“Lust is when you want the person to make you feel good. Love is when you want to make the other person feel good.”
“…love and hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances. The passion is the same. The pain is the same.”
“Be wise. Let your heart lead the way. And when you find someone who’s worth it never let them go”
It seems I’m in the minority on this one. I didn’t love it…I’m not used to reading darker romances and this was definitely a darker romance. There wasn’t this clear cut path leading us to Prince Charming. Our love interest, Vicious, had some serious issues. While I enjoyed his confidence, his hatefulness and constant disrespect wasn’t something I could ever be on board for. Vicious has a back story that we learn throughout this book. I won’t spoil you but there’s some twisted things that happened. I get why he’s damaged. I get why he doesn’t trust or love easily. BUT when you say you care for someone, you don’t constantly put them down or put them in debt to you. I felt every good thing Vicious did had strings attached to them. Granted, he did have that past I spoke about and I’m sure that’s how he was taught. It’s hard to say “you should just put your past behind you and become a better person.” That’s way easier said than done. But at what point do you give someone a free pass to constantly treat you like crap??
Emilia was this kind, sweet soul who thought everyone had some good in them. She greeted everyone with a smile and always gave others the benefit of the doubt. Emilia took care of her family members and really went above and beyond what was acceptable. You could feel how intensely she loved her family and how she would do anything for them. Emilia went through a lot in her life as did Vicious. She had a lot weighing on her shoulders. I admired the way she just kept pushing and grinding day to day.
Overall, this story was very interesting. This world is so fun to be immersed in. I love the characters, the setting, the drama, etc. Sadly, Vicious just wasn’t someone I could swoon over. I did enjoy his story though and look forward to continuing with this series. LJ Shen is quickly becoming a new favorite author!
Finding Alexei by Kendall Ryan
So I was going to start this review with how I thought parts of this book were unrealistic and then I thought….you know what, this is a fictional romance novel. It’s okay for it be slightly unrealistic!! We read romances and other books to escape the real world. We don’t need something to be 100% accurate and follow the real world because we need adventure and to live outside our comfort zones.
With that being said, this book was so flipping adorable!! I knew Alexei would be a favorite because I loved him so much in Dear Jane (the book before this one). Alexei is just a class act. He’s a stand up gentleman who you easily fall for. Our story starts out with Alexei rescuing the other main character, Ryleigh, from a creepy guy outside her workplace. From there, sparks fly and their connection is instantaneous.
Ryleigh was a great character and one I really enjoyed reading about. She’s this strong, independent woman who wants to make it on her own no matter what. Ryleigh doesn’t want a hand out from Alexei or to feel like a charity case. I also loved how she didn’t care that Alexei was this famous professional football player. She could care less about how much money he made. What matter to her was his personality and how he treated her and little Ella. (Ella is the sweet baby girl that Ryleigh is currently taking care of.)
Without going into spoilers/detail, these three were THE cutest family I’ve seen in quite some time. I loved seeing them hang out together and having those quiet moments at home. It melted my heart.
Overall, this was a super cute book and yes, it had some steam to it as well. Kendall Ryan always impresses me with her stories. I cannot wait to pick up another by her.
If I Only Knew by Corinne Michaels
Where do I begin?! Seriously….I loved this book so much and have no idea how to write this review. First and foremost, this is a part of a series of interconnected standalones. I had no idea!!! This book features a group of friends and they each have their own stories. For reference, Heather’s story was We Own Tonight, Kristin’s was One Last Time, and Nicole’s was Not Until You. If I Only Knew is Danielle’s story. Each story can be read as a standalone but you get more backstory to the other characters when you go in order. I definitely plan to go back and start this series from the beginning. I cannot get enough of this author or this particular group of friends.
Danielle is one tough cookie. This woman is so strong and brave. I truly wish she were a real person so we could be besties. It was very easy to fall for Dani and to wish her nothing but the best in life. Danielle and her two children, Ava and Parker, are learning to live life with the loss of Danielle’s husband, Peter. Danielle is trying to hold her family together while keeping herself from falling apart at the seams. She truly is a remarkable woman. Story wise, Danielle gets a promotion at work only to find out her boss’s brother is here and wants to job for himself. Enter Milo Huxley.
Milo was another great addition to this story. He had charisma for days!!! It wasn’t long before I started swooning over him. I just loved his confidence and when he showed how truly big his heart was, I was a goner!!! Milo didn’t want to fall for Danielle. In fact, he wanted to do quite the opposite by stealing his job back from her. These two had this pull and chemistry that neither one was able to resist.
Not only did we have two amazing MC’s for a couple, we also had some fantastic background characters. Danielle’s kids for one added so much to the story. Her sweet son Parker loved comic books and superheroes. I’m a fan of superheroes too so it was fun to have Parker talking about his favorites, specifically Thor. Milo was also a superhero fan and the talks he had with Parker absolutely melted my heart. Ava was Danielle’s teenage daughter and eek!!! Dani definitely had her hands full with her. To be fair, Ava went through something very traumatic and was dealing with quite a lot. It’s to be expected that she would be acting out.
The relationships and friendships in this story were off the charts. I loved the camaraderie Danielle’s circle of friends had. You can tell they would do literally anything for each other. Milo and his brother Callum had a bit of a prickly relationship but at their core, they were brothers and had each other’s backs no matter what.
I’m going to stop myself here. This review is getting way too long. The romance in this was amazing. I even teared up while reading this one. It will steal your heart and make you feel warm, ooey gooey feelings. I highly recommend giving this book, series, and author a chance. I hope you feel half of what I do for them!!!
Abe by Lane Hart and D.B. West
It’s true what they say, the guys that are big and tough are the ones who are soft teddy bears on the inside. Abram aka Abe was such a great guy!!! It was beyond easy to fall for him even with all the baggage he came with. Abe’s mother wasn’t there for him and his younger brother, Gabriel aka Gabe. So Abe had to take on this provider role at a very young age. I always admire those who step up and take care of those they love. That’s the quickest way to make me fall for someone….it melts my heart every time.
Mercy was best friends with Sasha from book one in this series, Chase. You can read my review on that story here. Mercy quickly became a favorite for me. I loved how she gave all of herself. She went through something traumatic but kept pushing forward. Sure she was afraid of getting her heart broken but she kept pursuing Abe even though deep down I don’t think she was aware of it. These two had such a strong, instant connection. You could just feel it while reading. As I mentioned earlier, these two both had their issues and things they were battling. It took awhile for them to be vulnerable enough to let their feelings grow. It was well worth waiting for though.
I did enjoy the suspense parts of this book. Mercy, with her ever growing fame status, ends up getting a stalker. Let me tell you, I was creeped out in several parts of the story but that just made me want to know what happened that much more!! I enjoyed the drama that happened throughout. It was a great story that kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to see what happens on the next page.
Overall, this book has instant connections but also a bit of a slow burn romance at the same time. Kind of hard to explain but once you read it, you’ll understand. I adore this series and cannot wait to see the rest of the MC guys falling in love.
Bombshell by Jen Frederick
So, this was my first official audio book. With that being said, I’m new to the audio book world so I’m not sure if you rate books based on the narrator or strictly the story? I’ll just breakdown my thoughts on each aspect and try to get in touch with some audio book friends to see what they think.
Narrator wise: it was quite strange to listen to someone read you a story. You really have to adjust your entire thinking to focus on what’s being said and absorbing it. At least that’s what I experienced. By the end of the book, I think I started to get the hang of listening and actually comprehending what was being said. Previously I’ve tried audio books and my mind would wander and then I would realize I’m listening to a book and would have to constantly rewind. Luckily I’m getting the hang of it now.
I thought it was strange that one person, a lady, would read for everyone in the story. I found it so odd that she would deepen her voice for the male roles. It completely threw me for a loop lol!!! I’m guessing this is the norm for audiobooks??? You’d think they would have a guy read for the male roles but what do I know haha.
Story wise: It’s going to be hard to tell you why this didn’t work for me without including spoilers but I’ll try. I just didn’t connect with the two people as a couple. I loved Kate’s character and how strong she was throughout this entire experience. I can’t imagine going through what she did! Sadly I didn’t much care for the love interest, Jack. Yes he had a reason for leaving when he did but I just didn’t care for his attitude or personality. He thought he could come right back and go on like nothing ever happened. Then he had the nerve to act like he had some type of dibs on Kate after all this time. That just really rubbed me the wrong way. Without going into detail and spoiling it, I just couldn’t deal with the fact that certain health issues went away just by being near Kate and Anna. I just didn’t buy it. This may be an actual medical thing but it just felt like bs from my standpoint. I wish I could go into more detail but I won’t spoil anyone.
Overall, I liked Kate and her daughter Anna. I liked the idea of the story line. I just didn’t enjoy Jack and his end of the story. I think this would’ve been better with a different guy but that’s just my opinion. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Royally Endowed by Emma Chase
4.5 Stars rounded up to 5 Stars
“Love isn’t a cure; it doesn’t magically solve every problem. But it makes solving those problems worth it. Love is our inspiration, our motivation . . . and our reward.”
What a fun story!!! I love when stories are able to focus on a couple while also giving us glimpses into the previous book’s couples. It was so nice to hear about how the others were doing and us seeing their relationships progress. GAHHH I loved this book.
You may be wondering why I gave this 4.5 stars. The truth is….Ellie annoyed me at times. I know, I’m so sorry!!! She grew on me don’t worry!! It’s just we practically saw her grow up in front of our eyes. I think the book started with her as 17 and by the end, I’d say she was 25. (Unless I didn’t calculate that correctly, which is a definite possibility) Sometimes Ellie would act very immature, even when she was older and out of High School. She would whine and do certain things that just drove me nuts. BUT as I said, she grew on me and I loved her by the end of the story.
Logan on the other hand was a favorite from the get go. I had such a huge crush on him. He may even beat Henry for my favorite of the series. His protectiveness and that swagger just did it for me. Did I mention his nickname was Lo?! *swoons* I don’t know why but I thought that was the cutest nickname lol!! I also appreciated Logan’s personality. How devoted and committed he was. He would do anything for the royals and it clearly showed.
This book was a slow burn since we started out with Ellie being quite young. I’m usually not a fan of slow burns but this one worked well for me. The romance was SO worth the wait between these two!!! I loved watching their story unfold and I had so many warm fuzzy feelings whilst reading this.
Overall, I didn’t quite love book one so if you didn’t as well, keep going!! Books two and three blew me away. This series now holds a special place to me. I highly recommend giving it a try 🙂