After (Books 1-4) by Anna Todd + Movie Review

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Overall Rating: # Stars
Title: After
Author: Anna Todd
Series: After (Books 1-4)
Format: Audiobooks purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
Experience the internet’s most talked-about book, now a major motion picture, from Anna Todd, the writer Cosmopolitan called “the biggest literary phenomenon of her generation.” Now with new exclusive material!

There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER… Life will never be the same. #Hessa

Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.

But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, and tattoos, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.

But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.

He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.

Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?

Unless…could this be love?

GOODREADS

Review

You guys… this entire series was a hot freaking mess and the movie was awkward and barely followed the same storyline, but goddammit if I didn’t read the entire series in a week and watch the movie several times.

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Migraines & My Viking Lover


For those of you who are new around here, TeaChats are a monthly post that I do in which I pretend that you and I are going out and grabbing a cup of tea (or coffee or wine) and we’re chatting about what we’ve been up to lately.

Let’s chat!

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The Trouble With Kissing Frogs (St. Mary’s Academy #6) by Seven Steps

Review by Kayla, In Love & Words Teen Reader

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: The Trouble With Kissing Frogs
Author: Seven Steps
Series: St. Mary’s Academy #6

Synopsis:
SOPHIA’S KISSED PLENTY OF FROGS. HAS SHE FINALLY FOUND HER PRINCE?

The last time Sophia Johnson spoke to Josiah Walker, she gave him a fake name, a very real kiss, and a broken heart to remember her by. Now, he’s back, and handsome as ever. There’s just one problem: he hates her guts for lying to him last year. When he embarrasses her in front of the entire school, the feeling becomes mutual.

But, when Josiah is hired as her tutor and cast as her co-lead in the school play, old feelings begin to resurface and sparks start to fly.

Will Sophia resist Josiah’s charms? Or can this frog turn into her bona fide prince?

The Trouble With Kissing Frogs is a funny, emotional, enemies-to-lovers, second chance, older brother’s best friend romance. Inspired by The Princess and the Frog, it’s a tale of one girl’s journey to find her voice and find love. Grab your copy of this unforgettable young adult contemporary romance today.

St. Mary’s Academy is a young adult contemporary romance series that brings classic fairytale characters to life in a modern day, high school setting. It’s filled with angsty heroines, hot heroes, and drama galore.

Be prepared. You’ve never read fairytales quite like this.

Book 1 – The Boyfriend Agreement
Book 2 – Chasing Mermaids
Book 3 – The Golden Boy
Book 4 – Stealing Hearts
Book 5 – The Secret Lives of Princesses
Book 6 – The Trouble With Kissing Frogs
Book 7 – Rebels, Love Letters, and the Secret Crush

GOODREADS

 

Review

Loving this series!

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September 2019 Wrap Up

I’m finally getting back into the swing of things here on the blog and over on my BookTube channel.

If you feel up to it, you can watch my September Wrap-Up here:

Otherwise, check out the books I read in September. Hopefully, reviews will happen soon!

September Stats

  • 8 Books total
  • # Re-reads
  • # three-star book
  • # four-star book
  • # five-star books
  • # audiobooks
  • # hard copy
  • # eBook
  • 1 currently reading

Re-reads

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The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2) by Helen Hoang

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

★★★ 3 Star Reads

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Black Sheep (Dirty Mafia Duet #1) by Meghan March

From New York Times bestselling author Meghan March comes a story of untold truths and one man’s redemption in the Dirty Mafia Duet.

Every family has a black sheep.
In the infamous Casso crime family, that black sheep is me—Cannon Freeman.
Except I’m not a free man. I’ve never been free. Not since the day I was born.
I owe my loyalty to my father, Dominic Casso, even if he won’t publicly acknowledge me as his blood.
I’ve never had a reason to go against his wishes… until I met her.
Drew Carson turned my world upside when she walked into my club looking for a job.
Now, my honor and my life are on the line.
Going against my father’s wishes might buy me a bullet straight from his gun, but black sheep or not, it’s time to make my stand.
She’s worth the fallout.

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Fallen Too Far (Rosemary Beach #1) by Abbi Glines

To want what you’re not supposed to have…

She is only nineteen.

She is his new stepfather’s daughter.

She is still naïve and innocent due to spending the last three years taking care of her sick mother.

But for twenty-four year old Rush Finlay, she is the only thing that has ever been off limits. His famous father’s guilt money, his mother’s desperation to win his love, and his charm are the three reasons he has never been told no.

Blaire Wynn left her small farmhouse in Alabama, after her mother passed away, to move in with her father and his new wife in their sprawling beach house along the Florida gulf coast. She isn’t prepared for the lifestyle change and she knows she’ll never fit into this world. Then there is her sexy stepbrother who her father leaves her with for the summer while he runs off to Paris with his wife. Rush is as spoiled as he is gorgeous. He is also getting under her skin. She knows he is anything but good for her and that he’ll never be faithful to anyone. He is jaded and has secrets Blaire knows she may never uncover but even knowing all of that…

Blaire just may have fallen too far.

Finding Our Course: Collision Course Duet (Finding our Way #1-2) by Ahren Sanders

I fell in love with my brother’s best friend the first time I laid eyes on him. He walked through the door, flashing me a crooked smile with his blue eyes shining bright. I knew in that instant, he was the man of my dreams.
As the years went on, my feelings grew stronger, waiting for the day he’d see me as more.

“Devon Harris, when you turn eighteen, I hope to God you still feel this way.” Bryce whispered sweetly, hugging me close.

“I will.” I vowed, knowing this was a promise I’d keep.

Then the unthinkable happened.
Bryce shattered my heart into a million pieces, leaving me devastated beyond repair.
I took the only choice I had, leaving behind my dreams of him and any chance at a future together.
Time and distance did little to heal my heartache, but I forced myself to move on.

Right when my life starts to make sense, Bryce returns.
I tell him it’s too late, but he’s determined to prove me wrong.
Together, we’re thrust into a world of undying passion, unrelenting devotion, and promises of a future worth fighting for.
But life has a way of threatening even the most solid foundation and our bonds are tested.
Can we really have it all?
We find ourselves facing obstacles and decisions that change the course of our lives-forever.

For the first time ever you can read the epic love story of Bryce and Devon in one edition. Finding Our Course, the Collision Course Duet was previously published in two separate books, Finding our Way and Staying on Course.

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

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Pride and Prejudice gets remixed in this smart, funny, gorgeous retelling of the classic, starring all characters of color, from Ibi Zoboi, National Book Award finalist and author of American Street.

Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

In a timely update of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic.

 

★★★★ 4 Star Reads

Maybe This Time by Kasie West

One year. Nine events. Nine chances to . . . fall in love?

Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.

Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all . . .

Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places.

★★★★★ 5 Star Reads

The Wish Collector by Mia Sheridan

New Orleans, a city of mystery and magic, of secrets and dreams, and a history drenched in both love and the deepest of heartache.

When ballet dancer Clara Campbell arrives in New Orleans, lonely and homesick, she is immediately captivated by the story of Windisle Plantation and the tragic tale that is said to have transpired beyond its gate. Legend has it that it is abandoned by all living souls, but to Clara’s great surprise, it is not a ghost she hears through the stone wall surrounding the property, but a flesh and blood man. A scarred stranger with a pain deeper and darker than the churning waters of the Mississippi river that flows beside his self-imposed prison.

The ruined man behind the wall hides himself from the world. The last thing he expects is to find a friend in the selfless girl who speaks to him through the cracks in the rock. The girl who keeps returning week after week. The girl who makes him wish for things he has long since given up on. The girl who strikes both fear and hope within his wounded heart. But there can be no future for them, no life beyond Windisle, for no one knows better than him that monsters only live in the dark.

The Wish Collector is the story of shame and triumph, of loneliness and love, and the miracle of two hearts connecting despite the strongest of barriers between them.

Savaged by Mia Sheridan

When wilderness guide, Harper Ward, is summoned to the small town sheriff’s office in Helena Springs, Montana, to provide assistance on a case, she is shocked to find that their only suspect in the double murder investigation is a man described as a savage.

But the longer she watches the man known only as Lucas, on the station surveillance camera, the more intrigued she becomes. He certainly looks primitive with his unkempt appearance and animal skin attire, but she also sees intelligence in his eyes, sensitivity in his expression. Who is he? And how is it possible that he’s lived alone in the forest since he was a small child?

As secrets begin to emerge, Harper is thrust into something bigger and more diabolical than she ever could have imagined. And standing right at the center of it all, is Lucas. But is he truly the wild man he appears to be? A cold blooded killer? An innocent victim? Or a perplexing mix of all three?

Harper must find out the answers to these questions because the more time she spends with him, the more she risks losing her heart.

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

5 Star Books I’ve Read in a Day

Have you ever unassumingly picked up a book and the next thing you know several hours have passed and you’ve finished it?

Other times, I go in with the full intention of reading a book in one sitting. Particularly A Court of Wings and Ruin. My sister and I took the day the book came out off of work, as well as the next day knowing full well that we planned on having a No-Sleepover and read the book all night. We literally sat in her house all night long with cups of tea and snacks and took turns reading the book to each other chapter by chapter.

With Breaking Dawn, my sister and I went to the Midnight Release Party at Barnes and Noble. I began reading as soon as I got home (around 1am) and did not stop until the next evening when I finally finished it.

There is something amazing about reading a book in a day, especially if you’ve read it the entire night. Somehow, the delirium that sets in almost makes you feel like you’ve been completely transported into that world.

At least, that’s what happened when I read A Court of Mist and Fury. My sister had already read the book and I’d been texting her updates all day. When she asked me at around 11pm what chapter I was on, and I told her, she said, “You better stop there or you won’t be able to stop and you’ll never sleep.” I didn’t listen. I kept reading and I didn’t sleep. I also had to work the next day.

I met her during my lunch break and I’ll never forget pulling into a parking space at her work and texting, “I’m here. At least the shell of who I used to be is here.” I was in such a surreal, zombie-like state, reeling from the book and lack of sleep.

Anyway, onward!

I’m only listing the 5 Star Books I’ve Read in a Day as opposed to any other rating, though it’s rare for me to blow through a book in a day and not completely love it, just to make sure this post isn’t even longer than it already is.

Enjoy!


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The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

I actually got sick the day after I stayed up all night reading this and I was starting to feel sick as I was reading it. I thought, at first, the sick scene was just getting to me, but nope! I definitely was getting sick, LOL!

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth-shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

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Pucked (Pucked #1)]by Helena Hunting

With a famous NHL player for a stepbrother, Violet Hall is well acquainted with the playboy reputation of many a hockey star. So of course she isn’t interested in legendary team captain Alex Waters or his pretty, beat-up face and rock-hard six-pack abs. But when Alex inadvertently obliterates Violet’s misapprehension regarding the inferior intellect of hockey players, he becomes much more than just a hot body with the face to match. Suffering from a complete lapse in judgment, Violet discovers just how good Alex is with the hockey stick in his pants.

Violet believes her night of orgasmic magic with Alex is just that: one night. But Alex starts to call. And text. And email and send extravagant – and quirky – gifts. Suddenly he’s too difficult to ignore and nearly impossible not to like. The problem is, the media portrays Alex as a total player, and Violet doesn’t want to be part of the game.

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Captain (Morgan Brothers #2) by Lauren Rowe

Speaking of being sick… I had the flu when I read this book and Ball Peen Hammer. It was almost worth feeling miserable to be able to have time to read them!

It wasn’t the way this kind of story was supposed to go . . .
Insta-love isn’t supposed to turn into insta-hate.

But that’s exactly what happened when the hot-as-hell dreamboat I met in a bar turned out to be a lying, cheating scumbag-player-douche looking for nothing but a little side action. Jerk.

And he has the nerve to call me a liar and a “sociopath”? Assh*le.

And now, three months later, through a mind-blowing series of events I couldn’t have predicted in a million years, it turns out my boss is marrying his sister in Hawaii and I’ve got to play nice with him for an entire freaking week.

Okay, sure, I’ll put on a happy face this week and act like I’ve never even met the jerk before–did I mention his sister is marrying my boss?–but that doesn’t mean I’ll like it. And it certainly doesn’t mean I’ll stop secretly hating the cocky bastard’s guts.

Because I do.
I hate him.
I really do.

I just wish my brain would explain the situation to my body . . . because every time he flashes that panty-melting smile at me, it takes all my self-restraint not to jump the bastard’s hot-as-f*ck bones.

*For fans of Ball Peen Hammer and The Club Series, please note Captain features Ryan Morgan and takes place one year before the events of Ball Peen Hammer. It also includes characters from both Ball Peen Hammer and The Club Series, though Captain is a complete standalone with no prior reading is required.

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Ball Peen Hammer (Morgan Brothers #1) by Lauren Rowe

“Keane Morgan wouldn’t return any of my calls or texts, and I was pissed as hell about it. I didn’t want to drive from Seattle to L.A. with the guy any more than he wanted to drive with me, but I had no frickin’ choice in the matter–at least, not if I wanted to use his brother Dax’s coveted parking spot at UCLA.

Okay, so it turned out Keane was objectively gorgeous, and, fine, pretty funny, too. But did he have to be so damned in love with himself? I mean, jeez, the cocky way he flashed those dimples was just so orchestrated. And, honestly, what kind of guy uses the phrase “baby doll” with a straight face? Oh, that’s right: the kind of guy who’s a male stripper.

Yup, the cocky jerk turned out to be Seattle’s answer to Magic Mike, a stripper known as “Ball Peen Hammer”–which meant Keane Morgan was emphatically not the kind of guy I’d ever fall for.

Not. At. All.

No freakin’ way.

Well, until Keane convinced me to fall for him, that is.

Which I did.

Hard.”

Indulge in the distinctive world of Lauren Rowe, as she invites you into a world filled with humor, passion, wit, and heat. One of the sexiest novels ever written, while still maintaining an enormous amount of wit and humor and originality.

NOTE:
Ball Peen Hammer is a full-length, standalone sexy romantic comedy about Keane Morgan (one of four Morgan brothers introduced in The Club Series) and Maddy Milliken (the little sister of Hannah Banana Montana Milliken). This book is a standalone book in The Morgan Brothers Series, a spin-off of THE CLUB SERIES, and can be read as a complete standalone. The Morgan Brothers books are intended to be read in any order.

Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

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White Knight by C.D. Reiss

Catherine Barrington is a rich girl. Chris Cartwright is a poor boy.
He left her to make something of himself. A man she could be proud of. A man she could bring home to her parents. A man she could marry.
On the trading floor he became the man he knew he could be. Now, it’s time to return.
Rich girl.
Poor boy.
She didn’t care about his money, but he didn’t believe her. Soon after he left, all the money was gone.
Her life is hell.
Now he’s back, and he’s different. Pristine. Gorgeous. Rich.
Rich boy.
Poor girl.
Money was never the barrier, until now.
—-
White Knight is a standalone in the same world as King of Code, with it’s own beginning, middle, and end. You don’t need to read anything else to read White Knight.

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The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2) by Helen Hoang

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

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Hearts in Darkness (Hearts in Darkness #1) by Laura Kaye

I didn’t realize this was a novella when I began reading it, so when it ended, I was a bit shocked and immediately began reading the next book in the series.

Two strangers…

When accountant Makenna James finds herself stranded in a pitch-black elevator, she can’t help but wonder about the stranger stuck with her. All she noticed about him before the lights went out was a dragon tattoo; all she knows now is his sexy, gruff voice in the darkness.

Four hours…

Caden Grayson is inked, pierced, scarred on the inside and out—and terrified of the dark for reasons he’d rather not remember. Trapped in his worst nightmare, only the sweet voice of the red-headed beauty distracts him from his fear. And, oh, man, as the hours pass and the darkness heats up, that’s nothing compared to her touch.

One pitch-black elevator…

He’s all rough edges and she’s pin-striped skirts, but in the darkness they open up and reach out without any preconceptions to hold them back. But as attraction grows and sparks fly, will they feel the same when the lights come back on?

The Hearts in Darkness Duet Continues with LOVE IN THE LIGHT!

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Me Before You (Me Before You #1) by Jojo Moyes

Discover the love story that captured over 20 million hearts in Me Before You, After You, and Still Me.

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation and perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

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My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares

Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together-and he remembers it all. Daniel has “the memory”, the ability to recall past lives and recognize souls of those he’s previously known. It is a gift and a curse. For all the times that he and Sophia have been drawn together throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart. A love always too short.

Interwoven through Sophia and Daniel’s unfolding present day relationship are glimpses of their expansive history together. From 552 Asia Minor to 1918 England and 1972 Virginia, the two souls share a long and sometimes torturous path of seeking each other time and time again. But just when young Sophia (now “Lucy” in the present) finally begins to awaken to the secret of their shared past, to understand the true reason for the strength of their attraction, the mysterious force that has always torn them apart reappears. Ultimately, they must come to understand what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together.

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What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

I read this one for a readathon.

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

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Some Quiet Place (Some Quiet Place #1) by Kelsey Sutton

I can’t feel sadness, anger, or fear. I can’t feel anything. I’ve grown talented at pretending.

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions… she sees them in human form. Longing hovers around the shy, adoring boy at school. Courage materializes beside her dying friend. Fury and Resentment visit her abusive home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, except beautiful Fear, who sometimes torments her and other times plays her compassionate savior. He’s obsessed with finding the answer to one question: What happened to Elizabeth to make her this way?

They both sense that the key to Elizabeth’s condition is somehow connected to the paintings of her dreams, which show visions of death and grief that raise more questions than answers. But as a shadowy menace begins to stalk her, Elizabeth’s very survival depends on discovering the truth about herself. When it matters most, she may not be able to rely on Fear to save her.

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A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

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A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

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A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1 (companion book)) by Sarah J. Maas

Hope warms the coldest night.

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scar

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No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay

Following the success of her breakout poem, “B,” Sarah Kay releases her debut collection of poetry featuring work from the first decade of her career. No Matter the Wreckage presents readers with new and beloved work that showcases Kay’s knack for celebrating family, love, travel, history, and unlikely love affairs between inanimate objects (“Toothbrush to the Bicycle Tire”), among other curious topics. Both fresh and wise, Kay’s poetry allows readers to join in on her journey of discovering herself an

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Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan

When Bree Prescott arrives in the sleepy, lakeside town of Pelion, Maine, she hopes against hope that this is the place where she will finally find the peace she so desperately seeks. On her first day there, her life collides with Archer Hale, an isolated man who holds a secret agony of his own. A man no one else sees.

Archer’s Voice is the story of a woman chained to the memory of one horrifying night and the man whose love is the key to her freedom. It is the story of a silent man who lives with an excruciating wound and the woman who helps him find his voice. It is the story of suffering, fate, and the transformative power of love.

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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

This book is such a quick read with all of the illustrations.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. It’s a form of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, but basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in fifteen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives. New next door neighbors. I look out the window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black t-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. I want to learn everything about him, and I do. I learn that he is funny and fierce. I learn that his eyes are Atlantic Ocean-blue and that his vice is stealing silverware. I learn that when I talk to him, my whole world opens up, and I feel myself starting to change—starting to want things. To want out of my bubble. To want everything, everything the world has to offer.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

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Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood #3) by J.R. Ward

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other – six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…

businessman working on laptop  in black suit
Pucked Off (Pucked #5) by Helena Hunting

I’m NHL defenseman Lance Romero, AKA Lance “Romance.”

I’m notorious for parties and excess. I have the most penalty minutes in the league. I get into the most fights. I take the most hits. I’m a player on and off the ice. I’m the one women with no inhibitions want.

Not because I like the notoriety, but because I don’t know how to be any other way.

I have secrets. Ones I shared with the wrong person, and she used them against me. Sometimes she still does. I should cut ties. But she makes it difficult, because she’s the kind of bad I deserve.

At least that’s what I believed until someone from my past gets caught up in my present. She’s all the good things in this world. She lights up my dark.

I shouldn’t want her.

But I do.

I should leave her alone.

But I won’t.

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Royally Matched (Royally #2) by Emma Chase

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to help her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora agrees to give him “space”—but while the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit… and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

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Breaking Dawn (Twilight #4) by Stephenie Meyer

To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, she has endured a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife to reach the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or to pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fates of two tribes hangs.

Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating and unfathomable, consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella’s life – first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse – seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed… forever?

What books have you read in a day?

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Format: Hard copy borrowed from the library

Synopsis:
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

GOODREADS

Review

Where do I even begin?

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Chasing Mermaids (St. Mary’s Academy #2) by Seven Steps {Review by Kayla}

Review by Kayla, In Love & Words Teen Reader

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: Chasing Mermaids
Author: Seven Steps
Series: St. Mary’s Academy #2

Synopsis:
A hot ex-boyfriend. A determined swim star. And a battle of wills that will make you laugh, cry and cheer.

Ariel Swimworthy thought her life was perfect. She was the new captain of her school’s swim team, she had a new best friend, and even a shiny new crush to dream about.

And then her father pulled her off the team to join a boring business academy.

Now, the only way to swim again is to accept the help of her ex-boyfriend, Eric Shipman. Eric shredded Ariel’s heart when he lied to her, and she’s determined not to get back with him. But its hard to be around someone who knows your deepest, darkest secrets. Even harder when that someone will do anything to win you back.

When sparks start flying, and old flames start igniting, what will Ariel do? Follow her dream or protect her heart at all cost? Its a battle of wills and hearts are on the line in this young adult contemporary romance. Buy it now.

**Can be read as a standalone novel**

Book 1 – The Boyfriend Agreement (Bella)
Book 2 – Chasing Mermaids (Ariel)
Book 3 – The Secret Lives Of Princesses (Jasmine)
Book 4 – The Art Of Kissing Frogs (Sophia Tiana)

GOODREADS

 

Review

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Good Girl by Lauren Layne

3-stars
Overall Rating: 3 Stars
Title: Good Girl
Author: Lauren Layne
Series: Love Unexpectedly #2
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
Lauren Layne brings all the unpredictable heat of her USA Today bestseller Blurred Lines to an all-new cast of characters! Country music’s favorite good girl is hiding away from the world—only to find herself bunking with a guy who makes her want to be a little bad.

Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music, not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and serious heat.

Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.

GOODREADS

Review

Coming off from the high of Blurred Lines, I jumped right into Good Girl after finishing one of my new favorite novels by the same author.

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Bree’s Ultimate Dream BookCon: My Ideal Book Convention Featured Authors & Events

I have several friends who fully believe that if you put something out into the universe, there is a good chance it will happen.

Here’s hoping this is true because below I am telling you all about my DREAM book conference. My dream author and audiobook narrator lineup, activities, panels, giveaways… everything.

Obviously, this would be a week-long convention… it may even need to be a month-long with everything I want to happen!

Location
tampa convention center

Tampa Convention Center
Because it’s close to me!

Author Lineup

(+ my favorite books by them)
Angie Thomas – The Hate U Give
Ashley Poston – Geekerella
Becca Ritchie – Infini
Becky Abertalli – The Upside of Unrequited
Benjamin Alire Sáenz – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Brigid Kemmerer – A Curse So Dark and Lonely
Brittany Cavallaro – A Study in Charlotte
Casey McQuisten – Red, White, and Royal Blue
Cate Tiernan – Sweep
CD Reiss – White Knight
Christina Lauren – Autoboyography
Colleen Hoover – Maybe Someday
Cora Carmack – Roar
Deb Calletti – The Natureof Jade
Deborah Harkness – A Discovery of Witches
Diana Gabaldon – Outlander
Elle Kennedy – The Deal
Emma Chase – Royally Matched
Emma Mills – Foolish Hearts
Emma Scott – All In
Helen Hoang – The Bride Test
Helena Hunting – Pucked Off
Holly Black – Cruel Prince
Jacquelyn Frank – Jacob
Jana Aston – Wrong
Jay Crownover – Rule
Jenny Han – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
JR Ward – Lover Awakened
Kasie West – By Your Side
Kelsey Sutton – Some Quiet Place
Krista Ritchie – Infini
Kylie Scott – Trust
Laini Taylor – Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Laura Kaye – Hearts in Darkness
Lauren Blakely – Wanderlust
Lauren Layne – Blurred Lines
Lauren Rowe – Misadventures of a College Girl
Leigh Bardugo – Six of Crows
Lucy March – A Little Night Magic
Mackenzi Lee – A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
Madeline Miller – The Song of Achilles
Mariana Zapata – The Wall of Winnipeg and Me
MaryJanice Davidson – Undead and Unwed
Mia Sheridan – Archer’s Voice
Molly Harper – How to Date Your Dragon
Nicola Yoon – Everything, Everything
Penelope Douglas – Birthday Girl
Penny Reid – Marriage of Inconvenience
Rachel Vincent – Stray
Rainbow Rowell – Fangirl
Richelle Mead – Succubus Blues
Sally Thorne – The Hating Game
Sarah Dessen – Just Listen
Sarah J Maas – A Court of Mist and Fury
Sarah Kay – B
Sarina Bowen – Keepsake
Sierra Simone – Priest
Stephanie Garber – Caraval
Stephanie Meyer – Eclipse
Stephanie Perkins – Isla and the Happily Ever After
Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games
Tahereh Mafi – Shatter Me
Tarryn Fisher – Atheists Who Kneel and Pray
Taylor Jenkins Reid – The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Tiffanie DeBartolo – How to Kill a Rockstar
Trisha Wolfe – With Visions of Red
Victoria Schwab – This Savage Song

 

Audiobook Narrators

Amanda Ronconi
Andy Arndt
Bahni Turpin
Caitlin Kelly
Callie Dalton
Christian Fox
Deacon Lee
Elizabeth Evans
Erin Mallon
Jacob York
Jason Clarke
Jennifer Ikeda
Joe Arden
Josh Lane
Katie Schorr
Laura Knight Keating
Richard Armitage
Rose Dioro
Sebastian York
Shane East
Stephanie Rose
Stephanie Willis
Teddy Hamilton
Xe Sands
Zachary Webber

 

Things to Buy/Giveaways at Author Tables

Exclusive editions of books
ARCs
Movie adaptations
Bookmarks
Reading lights
USBs
Pens
Candles
Stickers
Magnets
Bookshelf Knickknacks
Stationary

 

Panel Discussions & Q&A’s

Sports Romance Discussion led by Helena Hunting
Contemporary Romance Q&A moderated by Christina Lauren
SFF Discussion Panel led by Laini Taylor
Indie Author Panel – A Discussion led by Penny Reid
Audiobook Q&A – Moderated by Lauren Blakely
New Adult Romance Discussion Panel led by Rainbow Rowell
YA Discussion Panel led by Sarah Dessen
Smut Lovers Q&A led by Sierra Simone
Writing Dark Romance w/ Trisha Wolfe
The Slow Burner’s Club Led by Mariana Zapata
Queer Romance Q&A moderated by Casey McQuisten
Romantic Comedy Discussion led by MaryJanice Davidson
Diversity in Romance Discussion led by Angie Thomas
Disability in Romance Discussion led by Helen Hoang
Discussing Modern Poetry led by Sarah Kay

 

Bookish Content Creator Workshops

BookTube 101
Book Blogging 101
Goodreads 101
Writing Book Reviews 101

 

Bookish Marketplace

Barnes & Noble
Oxford Exchange
Indie Author Book Shop
E-Book Shop
Audible Book Shop
Bookish T-shirt Shop
Bookshelf Decor Shop
Bookish Candles, Bath, & Body Items
Owlcrate Shop
Fairyloot Shop
Bookish Jewelry
Bookish Stationery Shop
Misc. Bookish Stuff
Bookish Spices, Teas, & Coffees
Bookish Candies & Snacks

 

Misc. Things to Do & Events

Character Runway Show
Character Cosplay & Costume Contest
Screenings of Movie Adaptations/Book Trailers
Photobooth w/ Characters, Authors, & Narrators
Custom Recordings w/ Audiobook Narrators
After party w/ the attendees, authors, & narrators
Bookish Coffee Shop
Bookish Bar
Bookish Restaurant

 

So, what do you think? What would you add to this list? Let me know if you end up making your own Dream Book Convention post!

Rule #3: You Can’t Kiss Your Best Friend (The Rules of Love #3) by Anne-Marie Meyer {Review by Kayla}

Review by Kayla, In Love & Words Teen Reader

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Rule #3: You Can’t Kiss Your Best Friend
Author: Anne-Marie Meyer
Series: The Rules of Love #3

Synopsis:
It was supposed to be a simple kiss. That was all. Whoops.

My plan was perfect: convince my best friend and school quarterback, Ethan, to be the final prize for my matchmaking test where the proceeds go to sending the band to Paris. Plus, if it matches me with my life-long crush, that’s a bonus, right?

What could go wrong?

Apparently, a lot.

First, the test matches me and Ethan. Which is easy to explain. Computers make mistakes all the time, right?

Second, the girl I switch myself for seems perfect for Ethan. Maybe a bit too perfect.

Third, my date with my crush goes horribly wrong and my first kiss tanks.

Now, I’m pretty sure I’m destined to be alone while Ethan rides off into the sunset with his perfect match.

Man, I’ve screwed up bad—especially when I ask Ethan the secrets to a good kiss.

Big mistake.

Feelings start to change and I’m pretty sure that our friendship isn’t going to be enough anymore. Too bad I seem to be the only one in our duo who seems to feel this way.

GOODREADS

 

Review

OMG I so did not expect to love this so much!

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