3 Star Mini-Reviews: Crew by Tijan, Broken Prince by Erin Watt, Black Sheep by Meghan March, Top Secret by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy, Verity by Colleen Hoover

These are some books that I’ve read within the last few months – all of which just happen to be rated 3 stars.

 

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Crew (Crew #1) by Tijan

★★★
This was the first book that I read by Tijan and though I wasn’t too impressed with this initial book, I’m still absolutely willing to read more books from this author. I think the main reason why this book didn’t necessarily work for me is that though the book revolves around high school students, it read much more like an adult contemporary novel. The students essentially had gangs that ran the school with no consequences. I was so distracted by how these characters were acting and I couldn’t get past it. Aside from all of that, I did enjoy reading this. I really liked the romance in it and I like her writing style. I think the next book I plan on reading by Tijan will be Enemies.
Goodreads

 

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Broken Prince (The Royals #2) by Erin Watt

★★★
I had no intention of reading this book. I gave the first book 3 stars. However, my coworker read and loved this series and basically forced me to read it. This book was as ridiculous as the first book in this series. I am not a fan of bully romances, I feel like the heroes never make up for how horrible they are in the beginning. Granted, I didn’t despise Reed nearly as much in this book as I did in the first. That could be because it’d been a while since I read the first book and I forgot how much he pissed me off, but I have no intention of rereading that one, so… here we are. I actually enjoyed the first part of this book, but then it just got ridiculous and I was done. All three of these stars are applied to the first half of the book.
Goodreads

 

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

★★★
So, this book ends on a cliff hanger – fair warning. I think it’s fair to assume most duets will have the first book end of a cliff hanger, but this one was pretty intense. And, you know what? I never read the second book because, honestly, I didn’t care. I think this book had a lot of potential, but it did something that I get annoyed with in romances. It focused way too much on how hot and sexy the characters were, the romance moved slowly at first, then rushed way too quickly, and I didn’t feel any chemistry between the love interests.
Goodreads

 

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Top Secret by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

★★★
This book was kind of a disappointment for me. I love this duo. Their Him/Us duet was one of my favorites, so I was SO excited about this book, but unfortunately, this one fell kind of flat. There just wasn’t enough swoony romance in it and the entire time our main character is cheating on his girlfriend. I felt like that was never really addressed. It also just made me feel uncomfortable a lot of the time. I can’t put my finger on why, perhaps it has to do with the deception aspect of this book? The premise was promising, but it just didn’t live up to expectations.
Goodreads

 

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Verity by Colleen Hoover

★★★
I don’t read thrillers and Colleen Hoover doesn’t normally write thrillers. That’s not why this didn’t vibe with me. I love CoHo, I love her characters and I love her writing. This book, however, I didn’t so much love the characters. Usually, I fall hard for her heroes, but I was pretty indifferent to the hero in this book. Most of the stars from this book goes to the shock value and the creep factor. It was nearly intolerable as a parent reading the horrifying book that Verity was writing. I almost stopped reading several times. Also, the believability just wasn’t there. Though the ending was unexpected, it was kind of a letdown.
Goodreads

 

How I Met My Book: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

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This book will always have a special place in my heart, and not just because it is a hard-hitting, super intense, romantic read… but because it was the first Colleen Hoover book I ever read.

And I was not prepared.

PS – Justin Baldoni is planning on making this book into a movie, and I was obsessed with his first movie, Five Feet Apart, which shed light on Cystic Fibrosis – and I loved it SO much.

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Let’s talk a little bit about how It Ends With Us and I met, shall we?

I was browsing the Goodreads Choice Awards and decided that I would read any book that won the Romance award, no matter what. I wouldn’t read the synopsis or reviews. And it didn’t matter if I didn’t know anything about the author or the book.

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I love romance and popular books enough to take the chance.

So, off I went, to Audible and I downloaded the audiobook and I went in blind.

I. Went. In. Blind.

Completely.

I knew nothing about Colleen Hoover and how she tends to throw gut-punch curveballs into her books.

I was all in with Lily and Ryle. I thought he was so charming and the way he pleaded with her in that tongue-in-cheek kind of way was so adorable and cute, I shipped them hard from the beginning.

I thought this was a typical romance. I was wrong.

::SPOILERS AHEAD::

All the minor “signs” that Ryle gave about his true nature didn’t even register to me. Heroes are aggressive and assertive in novels all the time – this was no different.

And then he hit her the first time.

And suddenly, I was Lily.

I’ve never been in her situation before, thank goodness. But instead of being the judgmental person I probably would have been if I wasn’t so invested in their relationship, I would’ve immediately thought, “GET THE EFF OUT.”

But I didn’t.

Because Ryle was the romance hero. I fell in love with him right alongside Lily. He’s charming. He’s sweet. I ran through all the adorable things he did previously and it didn’t compute that this was the same person.

And I did what Lily did. A horrifying thing: I started trying to justify it.

He had a really important surgery coming up. He was probably a little drunk. He was in pain. It was a reflex. He didn’t mean it.

All toxic self-talk.

And I realized what Colleen Hoover had done. She put someone who otherwise never had to deal with this type of abuse directly in Lily’s shoes.

As the book went on, as things got worse, I was just as scared as Lily. I saw no way out of the situation… how could I?

But Colleen did something else amazing… she lit a glimmer of hope. In Atlas.

I loved Atlas from the beginning, too. And as the book went on, I feel deeper for him. And I hurt for him, too. How hard it is to be on the outside of an abusive relationship. How hard it is to try to save someone you love from such a toxic, scary, life-threatening situation.

This is how I met my book. This is how I met one of my all-time favorite, auto-buy authors.

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: Regretting You
Author: Colleen Hoover
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible {Audible Escape}

Synopsis:
From #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us comes a poignant novel about family, first love, grief, and betrayal that will touch the hearts of both mothers and daughters.

Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

GOODREADS

Review

Though this wasn’t my favorite Colleen Hoover novel (that award goes to Maybe Someday), I still really enjoyed this one.

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Maybe Now (Maybe #2) by Colleen Hoover

5-stars
Overall Rating: # Stars
Title: Maybe Now
Author: Colleen Hoover
Series: Maybe #2
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
What is more important? Friendship, loyalty or love?
Colleen Hoover and Griffin Peterson collaborate once again to bring fans of Maybe Someday back into the musical world of Ridge and Sydney.
And Maggie.
And Warren and Bridgette.

This is a follow-up to the NYT bestselling novel, Maybe Someday. It should be read after Maybe Someday and the novella spinoff, Maybe Not in the series.

Completed.

GOODREADS

Review

This book is such a prime example of a book that has proven one of my bookish pet peeves wrong.

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Recent 5 Star Reads

I have been gone for far too long, my friends, but I’m back really quick with a new BookTube video!

Instead of trying to talk about all the books I’ve been reading while I’ve been gone, I decided to just talk about my favorites… and there are some great ones here.

For those who don’t feel like watching, I’ve listed my favorite reads from the past few months below. (If you’d like to hear my thoughts on these books, check out the video.)

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Satisfaction Guaranteed by Lauren Blakely

Look, she started it.

She issued me a challenge I couldn’t back down from. Make her purr like no man has done before.

Fine, she’s my business partner’s daughter. All right, I’m also working in the same damn practice with her. Yes, she happens to be my ex-fling. But that was seven years ago, and it was barely a week-long thing.

Except, Sloane is still the one I can’t stop thinking of — brilliant, sexy, captivating Sloane. Maybe a week of taking her to new heights will get her out of my head.

So what if we spend a few nights on the town too? So what if I romance her across Manhattan? It’s all in the name of scientific pursuit of more magnificent Os.

Until the rules change…

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Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

Talk about an embarrassing introduction. On her first day of law school, Kailyn ran – quite literally – into the actor she crushed on as a teenager, ending with him sprawled on top of her. Mortified to discover the Daxton Hughes was also a student in her class, her embarrassment over their meet-cute quickly turned into a friendship she never expected. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming either…

Now, eight years later, Dax is in her office asking for legal advice. Despite her anger, Kailyn can’t help feeling sorry for the devastated man who just became sole guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister. But when her boss gets wind of Kailyn’s new celebrity client, there’s even more at stake than Dax’s custody issues: if she gets Dax to work at their firm, she’ll be promoted to partner.

The more time Kailyn spends with Dax and his sister, the more she starts to feel like a family, and the more she realizes the chemistry they had all those years ago is as fresh as ever. But will they be able to forgive the mistakes of the past, or will one betrayal lead to another?

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Amour Amour by Krista and Becca Ritchie

Love is a circus

“Every day,” he says lowly, “I hold a person’s life in my hands. The circus is based one-hundred percent off trust. I give it all to someone, and they give it all to me.”

The best aerial technique won’t land 21-year-old Thora James her dream role in Amour—a sexy new acrobatic show on the Vegas strip. Thora knows she’s out of her element the second she meets Amour’s leading performer. Confident, charming and devilishly captivating, 26-year-old Nikolai Kotova lives up to his nickname as the “God of Russia.”

When Thora unknowingly walks into the crosshairs of Nikolai’s after-show, her audition process begins way too soon. Unprofessional. That’s what Nik calls their “non-existent” relationship. It’s not like Thora can avoid him. For one, they may be partners in the future—acrobatic partners, that is. But getting closer to Nik means diving deeper into sin city and into his dizzying world.

Thora wants to perform with him, but when someone like Nikolai attracts the spotlight wherever he goes—Thora fears that she’s destined to be just background to his spellbinding show.

This sexy and exhilarating New Adult Romance can best be described as Cirque du Soleil meets the steamy, athletic romance of Center Stage.

*standalone & no love triangles—recommended for readers 18+ for mature content*

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Marriage of Inconvenience by Penny Reid

There are three things you need to know about Kat Tanner (aka Kathleen Tyson. . . and yes, she is *that* Kathleen Tyson): 1) She’s determined to make good decisions, 2) She must get married ASAP, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Being a billionaire heiress isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Determined to live a quiet life, Kat Tanner changed her identity years ago and eschewed her family’s legacy. But now, Kat’s silver spoon past has finally caught up with her, and so have her youthful mistakes.

To avoid imminent disaster, she must marry immediately; it is essential that the person she chooses have no romantic feelings for her whatsoever and be completely trustworthy. Fortunately, she knows exactly who to ask. Dan O’Malley checks all the boxes: single, romantically indifferent to her, completely trustworthy. Sure, she might have a wee little crush on Dan the Security Man, but with clear rules, expectations, and a legally binding contract, Kat is certain she can make it through this debacle with her sanity—and heart—all in one piece.

Except, what happens when Dan O’Malley isn’t as indifferent—or as trustworthy—as she thought?

★★★★★ Goodreads Choice Award Semi-Finalist for Best Romance ★★★★★

Marriage of Inconvenience is book #7 in the Knitting in the City series. Each book is a standalone, full length (110k words), contemporary romantic comedy novel, and follows the misadventures and exploits of seven friends in Chicago, all members of the same knitting group.

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Maybe Now by Colleen Hoover

What is more important? Friendship, loyalty or love?
Colleen Hoover and Griffin Peterson collaborate once again to bring fans of Maybe Someday back into the musical world of Ridge and Sydney.
And Maggie.
And Warren and Bridgette.

This is a follow-up to the NYT bestselling novel, Maybe Someday. It should be read after Maybe Someday and the novella spinoff, Maybe Not in the series.

Completed

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A Lesson in Thorns by Sierra Simone

When librarian Poe Markham takes the job at Thornchapel, she only wants two things: to stay away from Thornchapel’s tortured owner, Auden Guest, and to find out what happened to her mother twelve years ago. It should be easy enough—keep her head down while she works in the house’s crumbling private library and while she hunts down any information as to why this remote manor tucked into the fog-shrouded moors would be the last place her mother was seen alive. But Thornchapel has other plans for her…

As Poe begins uncovering the house’s secrets, both new and old, she’s also pulled into the seductive, elegant world of Auden and his friends—and drawn to Auden’s worst enemy, the beautiful and brooding St. Sebastian. And as Thornchapel slowly tightens its coil of truths and lies around them, Poe, Auden and St. Sebastian start unravelling into filthy, holy pleasure and pain. Together, they awaken a fate that will either anoint them or leave them in ashes…
***
From the author of the USA Today bestselling New Camelot series comes an original fairy tale full of ancient mysteries, lantern-lit rituals, jealousy, money, murder, sacred torment, and obsessions that last for lifetimes…

***A Lesson in Thorns is the first of four books in the Thornchapel series.***


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Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.


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Infini by Krista and Becca Ritchie

Some love is infinite

“Don’t have a best friend that’s a girl” — this was the advice from my older cousin. I didn’t take it. Because he followed with, “friends don’t f*ck friends. And you’ll want to f*ck her.”

It was terrible advice.

My cousin should’ve told me that being best friends with Baylee Wright — since she was twelve — would be the best and worst decision of my life.

He should have told me to protect her from what was coming.

He should have told me that when a darkness crawled towards us, there’d be no safety net.

Now I’ve signed back on to the same Vegas acrobatic show as Baylee, working together for the first time in years. And she tells me that she’s having trouble in a certain “area” of her life — because of our past.

“You can help me fix it,” she says.

And then she hands me a list.

 

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: All Your Perfects
Author: Colleen Hoover
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
Colleen Hoover delivers a tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it.

Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?

GOODREADS

Review

This was unbearable to read.

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Maybe Someday (Maybe #1) by Colleen Hoover *Favorite Read*

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Maybe Someday
Author: Colleen Hoover
Series: Maybe #1
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she’s a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope….

Maybe someday…

Colleen Hoover draws you in to this passionate tale of music, love and betrayal…

GOODREADS

Review

I am still swooning from this novel and I may never stop.

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November 9 by Colleen Hoover

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: November 9
Author: Colleen Hoover
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?

GOODREADS

Review

This book threw me onto a rollercoaster of emotions.

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Coming Soon: Mini-Reviews {August 2018}

You guys… I’ve been the WORST blogger this past week. August is an insane month around here. School just started for my girls and literally EVERYONE but me has a birthday in August at my house: my husband and both of my girls have birthdays this month!

Anyway, please accept my apologies for not being very present here or in your comments section. I’m dying at how many great blog posts I’ve likely missed by you!

Anyway…

Here are the reviews that are coming up over the next few weeks + their mini-reviews!

Continue reading “Coming Soon: Mini-Reviews {August 2018}”