Review – Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren


Love, loss, friendship, and the betrayals of the past all collide in this first women’s fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).

The story of the heart can never be unwritten.

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco devouring books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.

 

Buy Love and Other Words Today

Amazon           Audible          Barnes and Noble          iBooks

 

BFF K’s Review of Love and Other Words

What to say about another impeccably written, unique, emotional, heart-felt story from two romance masters? Buy it! Read it! Listen to it! Love it! That pretty much sums it up!

Love and Other Words is a deeply moving story of innocent, bone-deep-love, heartbreaking loss and the wondrous gift of a second chance. The story is a rich and stirring account of first love broken up by misunderstandings, poor decisions, youth, and loss and mended together by devotion, time, and intention.

Macy and Elliot are meant to be and there is really nothing that can completely sever their bond and commitment to one another. Their story is told in chapters alternating between past and present. But, each is gripping and impactful.

I did a combo read and listen of Love and Other Words. Many of the most emotional bits were listened to in the car during my commute. I think that’s the only thing that saved me from body-wracking-sobs during parts of the book. Just thinking about it makes my heart both heavy and full of hope. I don’t think it’s possible to read this story and come away unscathed. It will mark your heart, leaving you stunned and pondering the characters, their love and their second chance for days and weeks to come.

Buy it! Read it! Listen to it! Love it!

An advance copy of this book was received. The reviewer purchased the audiobook copy. Receipt of the advance copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

About the Authors

NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY AND #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHORS
Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced fourteen New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 30+ languages.

You can find them online at ChristinaLaurenBooks.com or at @seeCwrite (Christina), @LolaShoes (Lauren), or @ChristinaLauren on Twitter.

Review – Rebel Heir by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

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How to kick off a great summer in the Hamptons:

Snag a gorgeous rental on the beach. Check.

Get a job at a trendy summer haunt. Check.

How to screw up a great summer in the Hamptons:

Fall for the one guy with a dark leather jacket, scruff on his face, and intense eyes that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the tony looking crowd. A guy you can’t have when you’ll be leaving at the end of the season.

Check. Check. Check.

I should add—especially when the guy is your sexy, tattooed God of a boss.

Especially when he not only owns your place of employment but inherited half of the town.

Especially when he’s mean to you.

Or so I thought.

Until one night when he demanded I get in his car so he could drive me home because he didn’t want me walking in the dark.

That was sort of how it all started with Rush.

And then little by little, some of the walls of this hardass man started to come down.

I never expected that the two of us, seemingly opposites from the outside, would grow so close.

I wasn’t supposed to fall for the rebel heir, especially when he made it clear he didn’t want to cross the line with me.

As the temperature turned cooler, the nights became hotter. My summer became a lot more interesting—and complicated.

All good things must come to an end, right?

Except our ending was one I didn’t see coming.

 

Rebel Heir is the first book in the Rush Series Duet. Book Two, Rebel Heart, will release six weeks later on May, 22, 2018.

Add to Goodreads ➜ Rebel Heir (Book One)

Add to Goodreads ➜Rebel Heart (Book Two)

Rebel Heart Pre-order links ➜ http://www.booksneakpeek.com/therushduet.html

BFF K’s Review of Rebel Heir

Argh! This book ends with a bang… a great big explosive twist that gets your heart pumping and your brain twisting! And, now we have a few weeks to wait for the exciting conclusion. But, bring it on! I am dying to know what’s next for Rush and Gia.

Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward have spun a tale centering around great characters. Rush and Gia are well-developed, and multi-layered with interesting and complex back-stories. And, they are surrounded by a strong cast of supporting characters that add depth and perspective to the plot.

As the synopsis indicates, this is the story of a sexy, fun, flirty, HOT, summer romance. But, it’s so much more. I don’t want to give away any of the plot twists because they are so much fun to uncover as they happen. But, this wild ride will keep you turning the pages and reading way past your bedtime.

I want to stamp my feet like a toddler and demand the conclusion right now! I just can’t stop thinking about this story. But, I remember that “good things come to those who wait” so I’ll do my best to be patient. Make sure you pick up a copy of this book TODAY and join me in the delayed gratification!

 

 

 

An advance copy of this book was received. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

About the Authors

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over ninety Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

Website | Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

 

 

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son and beautiful daughter with autism.

With over a million books sold, she is a seventeen-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over fifteen novels, including RoomHate which hit #2 on the New York Times bestseller list and #1 on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list. Other New York Times bestsellers include Stepbrother Dearest, Neighbor Dearest, Drunk Dial, Cocky Bastard, Stuck-Up Suit, Playboy Pilot and Mister Moneybags (the latter four co-written with Vi Keeland).

Connect with Penelope Ward

Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Website |Twitter | Instagram

 

 

Other books by the authors:

Cocky Bastard
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1LfN3fc
iTunes: http://apple.co/1PffE2J
B&N: http://bit.ly/1EjxNpY
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1UxCSUO

Stuck-Up Suit
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1S3LnpZ
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Qbwy57
B&N: http://bit.ly/29vrQhV
Kobo: http:// bit.ly/1RJdUif

Playboy Pilot
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2d5I5rS
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Wb06Cf
Nook: bit.ly/2caXPEK
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2cJDXO1

Mister Moneybags
Amazon http://amzn.to/2oTaaHf
Barnes & Noble http://smarturl.it/kx7h8m
iBooks http://smarturl.it/3y1tuq
Kobo http://smarturl.it/qqf5ho

Dear Bridget, I Want You
Amazon: ➜ http://amzn.to/2sGyJbZ
iBooks: ➜ http://smarturl.it/y4x3xi
B&N ➜ http://smarturl.it/o780mb

Other books from Vi Keeland:

Standalone novels
Sex, Not Love
Amazon ➜ http://amzn.to/2DtUO0L
iBooks ➜ http://smarturl.it/vlfabb
B&N ➜ http://smarturl.it/hivkor
Kobo ➜ http://smarturl.it/9bxfwx
Google Play ➜ http://smarturl.it/19muiq
Audio ➜ http://smarturl.it/qbf0bs

Beautiful Mistake
Amazon eBook http://amzn.to/2uoeoJN
iBooks http://smarturl.it/20x53a
B&N http://smarturl.it/n8jey6
Kobo http://smarturl.it/1btxsz

Egomaniac
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/b1gi74
iBooks: http://apple.co/2fIsmvC
B&N: http://smarturl.it/t4ohsv
Kobo: http://smarturl.it/azmhq9

Bossman
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2a8D5B6
iBooks: http://apple.co/25x2jyX
B&N: http://bit.ly/29sL4H2
Kobo: http://bit.ly/29lW19I

The Baller
Amazon: amzn.to/1PBF2hG
iBooks: http://bit.ly/iBooksBaller
B&N: http:// bit.ly/BarnesBaller
Kobo: http:// bit.ly/KoboBaller

Left Behind (A Young Adult Novel)
http://www.amazon.com/Left-Behind-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00OJM92LI/

First Thing I See
http://www.amazon.com/First-Thing-See-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00AWXY3HG
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/first-thing-i-see-ms-vi-keeland/1114703332

Life on Stage series (2 standalone books)
Beat
http://www.amazon.com/Beat-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00ZOMUV12/ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beat-vi-keeland/1121715501 https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/beat/id983959123 https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/beat-5

Throb
http://www.amazon.com/Throb-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00SS2RYBU
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/throb/id948747986
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/throb-vi-keeland/1121112695
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/throb-4

MMA Fighter series (3 standalone books)
Worth the Fight
http://www.amazon.com/Worth-Fight-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00FLG5B9S
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-fight/id805540252
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-fight-vi-keeland/1117014180
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-fight

Worth the Chance
http://www.amazon.com/Worth-Chance-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00I2UKQOK
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-chance/id813714461
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-chance-vi-keeland/1118634058
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-chance

Worth Forgiving
http://www.amazon.com/Worth-Forgiving-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00MWL78EG
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-forgiving/id906130022?ls=1&mt=11
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-forgiving-vi-keeland/1120173153
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-forgiving

The Cole Series (2 book serial)
Belong to You
http://www.amazon.com/Belong-You-A-Cole-Novel-ebook/dp/B00BUTCXLE/
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/belong-to-you/id639401754
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/belong-to-you-vi-keeland/1114962845
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you

Made for You
http://www.amazon.com/Made-You-A-Cole-Novel-ebook/dp/B00DPWVKS6
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/made-for-you/id84550637
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/made-for-you-vi-keeland/1115883225
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you

Other books from Penelope Ward:

Gentleman Nine
Amazon:http://amzn.to/2ELlxJl
iBooks: http://bit.ly/2D7K7Qi
Nook: http://bit.ly/2EPuDCn
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2nMeoP3
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2C9ESTm
Audio : http://amzn.to/2nHRlVQ

Drunk Dial
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2fXfzKn
iBooks: http://apple.co/2tq7dRz
Nook: http://bit.ly/2xeEH2H
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ihXnMD
Audio: http://amzn.to/2fWnsQg

Mack Daddy:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2kWzE1S
iTunes: http://apple.co/2iNrIPj
B&N: http://hyperurl.co/aiypfj
Kobo: http://hyperurl.co/r3hv19

RoomHate
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1TksrpE
iTunes: http://apple.co/1PgsvE7
B&N: http://bit.ly/1PLGnSL
kobo: http://bit.ly/1POvSnW

Stepbrother Dearest
Amazon http://amzn.to/1mFNMeg
ITunes: http://bit.ly/YER0mT
B&N: http://bit.ly/1taMFjG
kobo: http://bit.ly/1fJaaBs

Neighbor Dearest
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aS8BPa
iTunes: http://apple.co/29mC6L8
B&N: http://bit.ly/2akQ2aq
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2axt1SY

Sins of Sevin
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1F9tbc3
iTunes: http://apple.co/1K8mzGg
B&N: http://bit.ly/1hTKAKE
kobo: http://bit.ly/1OaGY3D

Jake Undone (Jake #1)
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1dJrHBC
iTunes: http://apple.co/1fJayQ8
B&N: http://bit.ly/1obAwJ6
kobo: http://bit.ly/1SPKl0M

My Skylar
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1obOG2F
iTunes: http://bit.ly/SLNOTR
B&N: http://bit.ly/SLO1qi
kobo: http://bit.ly/1kNrtAB

Jake Understood (Jake #2)
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1GFdves
iTunes: http://apple.co/1DQQwgC
B&N: http://bit.ly/1FwJC0z
kobo: http://bit.ly/1LQ7Fvk

Gemini
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vgk1SE
iTunes: http://apple.co/1QTaONj
B&N: http://bit.ly/1KfmLHD
kobo: http://bit.ly/1BGJ2wu

 

 

Review – Marriage of Inconvenience by Penny Reid

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Marriage of Inconvenience, an all new romantic comedy standalone in the USA Today bestselling, Knitting in the City Series by Penny Reid, is available NOW!

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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. In fact, it sucks. 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?

 

Review of Marriage of Inconvenience

I’m not sure what to say about another immensely satisfying story, delivered by one of my favorite authors, centering around some of my most anticipated characters….How about: delightful, engaging, sweet, sentimental, heart-felt, smart, challenging, wicked funny, everything-I-hoped-for, and MORE!

I have been looking forward to Dan and Kat’s story since I read the very first Knitting in the City Series book. It’s been such a long and wonderful wait and it was worth every minute! Dan and Kat are perfect for one another, they’re hot for each other and they’re both delightfully awkward. After learning that a misunderstanding has kept them apart for years, and that Kat is desperate for a husband, the two find themselves in a marriage of convenience that is actually quite inconvenient. The story is just everything….(see the above list!)

There aren’t enough adjectives in my vocabulary to tell you how wonderful this book is, how much I adore these characters and how sad I am that this book-journey is coming to an end. I will always have a special place in my heart (and my library) for Janie, Sandra, Elizabeth, Ashley, Fiona, Marie and Kat and all of their incredible loves. While individually these books are about strong, smart, quirky heroines who find their own unique loves. Collectively this series is about a group of friends/soulmates who find love, strength, support and acceptance from one another.

I will continue to read every single book written by Penny Reid, but there will never be another group like the Knitters or a way to express my love and gratitude for these characters and this series.

An advance copy of this book was received. The reviewer purchased the audiobook copy. Receipt of the advance copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

 

 

 

Excerpt

Staring at his chin, because I couldn’t quite lift my eyes any higher, I cleared my throat. “Should we get ready for bed?”

“Sure,” he said, his voice a rumble. Dan’s eyes were on me, I felt the weight of them.

My hands came to the hem of my skirt and I hesitated, feeling winded for some reason. Sneaking a glance at him, I immediately wished I hadn’t. His gaze was watchful, but it was also unmistakably hot in a way that seemed at once both avaricious and accusatory. The vice tightened around my lungs.

Kiss him! Just freaking kiss him! You want numbered steps? Fine. You kiss him- check. He kisses you back- check. Then you make out- check. Check the boxes.

I licked my lips, balling my hands into fists at my sides again, preparing to follow my hasty list.

But then he said, “Undress me.”

My breath caught. On instinct, my eyes lifted and collided with his in much the same way our bodies had collided at the top of the stairs just moments ago. Jarring. Startling. Thrilling. This time I couldn’t look away because this time I was falling. He made no move to catch me.

“What? What did you say?”

His eyes narrowed, which served only to increase the intensity of his gaze from smolder to inferno. “Take my clothes off.”

I stared at him, licking my lips again, and shaking my head. That wasn’t one of my steps.

Lifting my chin, I moved to kiss him. He leaned to the side, evading me even as his eyes dropped to my mouth.

“Take off my shirt and I’ll give you a kiss.” He’d used his naughty-secret voice.

An explosion of heat erupted in my belly, and now I was hot all over. I couldn’t figure out if the heat was embarrassment or arousal or both.

He didn’t give me a chance to figure it out. His hands lifted and he undid his cuffs; then they moved to the top button of his shirt.

“You better take over,” he said darkly, “or else you’re not getting that kiss.”

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About the Author

Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

PennyReid

Connect with Penny:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lakzsD

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Newsletter: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

www.pennyreid.ninja

 

 

Exclusive Interview with Forever My Girl Director Bethany Ashton Wolf

 

The motion picture Forever My Girl releases this Friday, January 19. Today the BFF’s are thrilled to bring you an EXCLUSIVE interview with the screeenwriter/director, Bethany Ashton Wolf! Check out the interview and let me know what you think of the movie – I’m headed to see it ASAP!

 

 

 

 

 

That’s What She Said, Exclusive Interview with Bethany Ashton Wolf

BFF K: How did you learn about Forever My Girl by Heidi McLaughlin?

The production company, LD Entertainment, had just read a screenplay of mine that I had written called Other People’s Love Letters that had just been bought by a studio, and they loved the script, then asked my agents if I wanted to read Heidi’s book and consider coming into pitch my take on it as a screenplay and for the big screen. I read Heidi’s book, was passionately inspired by it, and then I immediately saw the whole milieu that I wanted to create for it for the big screen. Every storyline, set piece, character, their back stories, arcs, the periphery characters around them and their back stories, to every little detail in the film that I was visually seeing in my head, from Josie’s pink shimmering gown as she walks across a vast green field with a vermillion sun setting, with to go on a romantic date with Liam, to what Liam’s dad is cooking on the stove when he has Billy over to his house for the first time, to every song in the film and where I would place each song. Needless to say, I was extremely ignited and creatively inspired as an artist. Thank you, Heidi!

BFF K: Are you a reader? Who are some of your favorite authors? How about your favorite genres? 

I’m a voracious reader. My taste is somewhat eclectic, but I am a romantic at my core. Classics: my favorites are Dickens, Steinbeck, Tennessee Williams, Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, Maya Angelou. Current authors: Rebecca Wells, Sue Monk Kid, Janet Fitch, Kathryn Stockett, Cheryl Strayed…are all some of my favorite reads. I have been writing back-to-back screenplays as of late, so I have been reading Michael Singer’s The Untethered Soul over and over again to keep me centered.

BFF K: Do you have plans to turn any other beloved novels into books? 

I do! Myriad plans! I love book adaptations in all different genres.

BFF K: Tell me about the process of bringing the book to the screen, particularly the development of the music.

The development process was effortless with LD. I remember when I first walked into their conference room to pitch them my take on it for the big screen, and I saw a family at that conference table. And I remember thinking, I don’t just want to sit at this table, I want to break bread with the people at this table. And we did. We broke bread together from that very first meeting. They said yes in the room to my pitch, and off I went to write the first draft of the screenplay.

One thing that I have learned about myself as a screenwriter from doing this professionally for over a decade now, and I learned this very early on after one of my first screenplay assignments for a production company, was that I don’t like to hand in a formal outline before writing my first draft. I’m so meticulously detail-oriented creatively, and I visually see everything so vividly out-of-the-gate, that if I take the time to write a formal outline/treatment to hand in, that I start writing the first draft into that outline, and then I as though some of the magic that happens for me in the very first draft of my screenplays, it loses a little of my fizzle because I’ve used too much of it already in the outline/treatment.

There is something fantastical that happens for me in the process of writing my first draft, and if I place too much perfunctory efforts on a treatment, the mystery and the magic of leaving myself open to just seeing where the writing takes me each day, I lose some of that magic. I love having it all figured out, but opening myself up to the unexpected and the unknown part of the journey of a first draft. It feels exciting and less like a writing assignment. If it starts to feel like work, then it doesn’t feel like art to me.

And so LD understood that in me as an artist and took that leap of faith with me as a writer, and then after the first draft was done, we would meet about once every 3 months, as they were navigating multiple film projects, and I was navigating three screenplay assignments simultaneously.

But each time we would gather, it was a beautiful, loving, open conversation and discussion about the script. We would just break bread together as I moved the screenplay along while collaborating with them. Coming from an indie filmmaker background, I didn’t know until my first studio screenplay assignment in 2010 how much I would adore collaborating with studios and production companies on my screenplays. It’s a labyrinthine journey we all go on together, and I absolutely adore it.

On the music front, this is a fun anecdote: early on in development, I kept passionately emphasizing to the production company how vital I thought the country music was going to be to this particular film. I strongly felt that the music was equally as important as the screenplay, and that I wanted to simultaneously work on developing the music while developing my script. But it is a very hard thing to pitch something audible to a room instead of something visual. So I went out on my own without telling anyone to later surprise them, and I started working with Brett Boyett and Jackson Odell to develop all of the original songs for the film. My plan was to bring it into the next development meeting and have Brett and Jackson, with their guitars and amps, play all of the songs live in their conference room. I did just that. Without anyone knowing beforehand, I brought in Brett, Jackson, and a female singer that I hired for the day and surprised the room with an impromptu live jam session.

I walked the production company through every place in the film each song would go, and then I had the band play each song live for them. All went very well. It was a really fun meeting. Every original song that you hear in the film was played in that meeting 2 years before we commenced shooting. All of Brett and Jackson’s songs from that meeting are in the film. And then I worked hard at getting Brett Boyett hired as my music producer, and then Brett and I worked feverishly on more music and getting a country star lineup for the film and its soundtrack over the next two years together.

BFF K: What was your favorite part of the story to bring to the big screen? Were there any scenes that you really wanted to include but couldn’t for some reason?

I love and adore every single scene in this movie. They all have a sentimental story and personal experience behind each one that I shared with my actors and crew that I will always cherish. For me, as a filmmaker, it’s about the personal pilgrimage that I go on with my actors and my crew, and I think when I’m making it about that–when we are all standing in our truth together as artists and lifting each other up–it allows everything to take flight; it releases itself in cathartic, healing, and revelatory ways, and then I feel it translates into something profound and moving on screen…at least I hope it does for audiences.

I was able to shoot everything that I wanted, but I had to passionately and vehemently advocate relentlessly to get some of the scenes and set pieces that I wanted in the film. We were a modest production with a modest budget and a very short shooting schedule, but I knew that I was going to move mountains and will this film into bigger waters, and I needed certain scenes in the film to give it that romantic, sweeping, epic feel to sustain my lofty plans for it, but those moments in film cost time and money, and so while it wasn’t that the production company didn’t want to give me everything that I wanted to bring my vision to the screen, there were just practical, pragmatic challenges that we faced with a modest budget and short shooting schedule.

Coming from an indie background where I am used to raising my own money and producing my own film projects, I am extremely mindful and thoughtful of staying within the lines of a given budget, but I get really creative in finding ways to get what I need within those lines. I get really resourceful and innovative. That part gets really exciting when you figure out how to do it. I think because I’m also the screenwriter on my directing project and I’ve produced so much in the past, that it’s second nature for me to think of ways to get what we need without just demanding it as a director or going over budget.

I do a lot of what I call “trading” with the production company and my line producer. For example, one of the biggest things that I advocated fervently to keep in the shooting production was the whole romantic date night sequence with Liam and Josie. Without giving everything away, I had created a pivotal, protracting romantic arc that builds and builds to that whole romantic sequence, from Josie getting dressed for it at her house to walking across that green vast field at sunset with Liam waiting by a helicopter to whisk her away to a few things that come next that haven’t been revealed yet outside of the trailer, so I don’t want to spoil anything for you guys, but I felt deep in my soul that we needed to keep every single piece of that sequence because it is one of the most visually stunning and most romantic sequences that I had ever seen on screen if we could find a way to keep it, and that sequence pulls you in and leaves you wanting more and more…again, at least I hope it does for audiences.

I remember that I was going to have to give up something in it: either the helicopter, the original jazz song playing live in the restaurant with a sultry jazz singer and an original song by Brett, or some of the sequences that follow that I don’t want to divulge if you haven’t seen the film yet, but it was (and is still!) all so delicious, and I didn’t want to lose any of it.

I remember looking at the screenplay and seeing what I could possibly lose that would equal the money that we needed to create what my team the whole romantic date night sequence in the script. I remember walking into our line producer’s office, Alison King, who handled our budget like a rock star, and saying to her “I’ll trade you 1 town festival, these 6 speaking roles, and this 2nd happy montage sequence if I can keep all of the romantic date night sequence intact.” She looked at our budget, studied my proposal and the script, then held out her hand and said “Done.” We shook on it, and the rest is history. The romantic date night sequence always screen-tests as the favorite scene in the movie by both men and women. It’s a feat we all worked really hard to achieve in the film in every aspect of it—cast, crew, my producers, production, my music department, my post team—so it’s a great feeling for all of us, seeing that sequence on screen play out the way that I had presented it to the team visually and audibly.

BFF K: Alex Roe and Jessica Rothe are perfect! I can’t imagine how difficult it is to find the right actors with the acting and musical ability required for the roles. What was the casting process?

For Liam Page, when we meet him on stage, he seems like the dreamiest, most charismatic, romantic guy on the planet…but then we soon see as Liam exits the stage and the spotlight who he really is in this moment in his life—the dichotomy between who he is on stage to who he is off stage. On stage, he is this ubiquitous, charismatic, magnetic guy…

…and then off stage, we see that he is self-absorbed, mercurial, caustic, high-maintenance, with this simmering angst and torment simmering underneath his skin that he doesn’t seem to even understand.

This is the state in which we meet Liam Page, and as an actor, it’s deeply complex, and then that actor has to exude a natural, gritty coolness with that misplaced angst, and to me, it felt as though we were going to be on the search for an actor that felt like a throwback to old Hollywood leading men—an amalgam of what Steve McQueen, Paul Newman and James Dean personified.

And then layer in that this actor also has to be an amazing singer and command a stage as a huge country star, playing to thousands upon thousands, it’s an extremely tall order.

My casting director, Jeanie Bacharach, happens to be a good friend of mine and has cast all of my film projects. I was lucky enough and so thankful to LD that I could have her as my casting director on this. Jeanie and I had been casting and reading “Liams” for weeks and weeks, and just not finding him at all.

We couldn’t cast any of the other roles without finding our Liam Page first, and without Liam Page, we wouldn’t have a movie…

…and then I would love to say for the poetic aspect of it that ALEX ROE was the last audition that we had set up on our long list of auditions, but he was the 2nd to last…and when he came in, he just blew us both away.

The beauty of Alex’s auditions was that it immediately stopped feeling like an audition and started to feel like he was my actor and I was his director, and we had the scenes up and were just working them in a rehearsal setting. It all felt seamless, and Alex and I had this immediate short-hand working together. It was an exhilarating feeling to have that exchange artistically.

Then, in the audition, after the scenes, it was time for Alex to sing (I had all of the actors who auditioned sing a song in the room; it was a given for me that my actor would really sing in the role), so Alex sang a song and played his guitar, and he again blew us both away.

Alex is an athlete, an amazing soccer player, and he tackles his acting like an athlete, with that same focus and discipline…but at the same time, he allows it to come out of him from his gut up, and it’s unbridled, raw, and complex, which keeps it alive and intriguing. He is a remarkable actor. Truly.

There are very few actors who naturally and effortlessly have that swooning “it” factor while also being profoundly talented, and Alex has that. And then couple that with him being the kindest, most thoughtful, gracious, grounded guy, he is just a gem of an artist and human being.

FOR JOSIE, it was extremely important to me to create a leading heroine that isn’t a damsel in distress, waiting for the man to swoop in and save her. Josie truly has created a great life for herself when Liam returns home. She has already weathered her own storm and has come out the other end with peace, grace, and has created a wonderful life for her and her daughter, Billy.

However, at the same time, Josie wants to protect that wonderful life that she has created for her and Billy, and Liam returning threatens what she has worked so hard to achieve for her and her daughter.

And then add another layer, that Liam is the one love of her life, and so of course feelings are going to bubble up for her emotionally, and all of that is happening simultaneously, and it needed to exist in the actress playing her with such subtly and grace with an air of effortlessness but also with gumption. Josie is sweet, loving, giving, but also extremely strong. She is the epitome of a true steel magnolia. So again, it was a very tall order that we were searching for in our Josie, and Jeanie and I were again seeing hundreds of actresses, and we just weren’t finding her.

And then I saw Jessica Rothe, and she blew me away just as Alex had. She accomplished that extremely difficult, delicate balance in Josie, and made it all appear so effortless, but it’s not effortless to do at all as an actress. It took someone extraordinarily talented, disciplined, and focused, who could then portray it effortlessly. And Jess did just that. She is that talented.

Jess auditioned for me on her birthday on a Saturday at my house because she was on a TV show at the time, and that was the only day that she could get off and come in to audition. That right there showed me how her high work ethic was, and I loved that about her.

And just as Alex’s audition went, it immediately went from feeling like an audition to feeling like an actor and a director just working the scenes together. It was a seamless transition, and from that similar feeling that I experienced working with each of them separately, I knew that the two of them together would be pure magic. That they were cut from such similar cloth, as human beings and as artists, that it was going to light up the screen when they were together.

We didn’t even wait to do a chemistry test with them. They never met when we hired them both. It was one of those situations that if we didn’t move fast, we would possibly have lost Jess to the role, and I just knew in my gut that it was supposed to be the two of them together in this film. We all did: me, my casting director, LD. We took that leap of faith, and I think that is part of the undeniable, swooning alchemy that we see and feel between Liam and Josie.

It was also vitally important to me for Josie’s look and vibe to be effortless, as well. I didn’t want a girl suddenly putting on makeup and doing her hair when the guy comes back to town. Josie knows that she’s enough already. She doesn’t need to do anything to win back Liam. And Jess has that same vibe about her as a person, as well. She’s effortlessly gorgeous when she enters a room, in a T-shirt, jeans, and no makeup.

And Jess has these stunning, grey-blue eyes with this raspy, mellifluous voice that is so incredibly alluring. She reminds me of a modern-day Lauren Bacall.

So here I had these two lead actors that both felt like a throwback to Old Hollywood glamour but in a modern-day world. I knew in my heart of hearts that it was going to be something extraordinary and celestial transpiring between the two of them.

And Jess is just as sweet, kind, loving, and down-to-earth as Alex is as a person. I was truly blessed with the two of them as actors and as people.

Jess, Alex, and I also discussed before shooting that we wanted to show the playful side of Josie and Liam together. To find the fun in the two of them. I didn’t want two gorgeous people falling for each other just because they are both gorgeous.

Josie and Liam have this undeniable pull and attraction to each other, but I also wanted to underscore their humor, banter, and playfulness together. For us to see and feel on screen that they are truly best friends when we see them laugh together and take playful jabs at each other, that’s the icing on an already beautiful cake…because when you find your soulmate in life, you want all of those things, not just the attraction part of the equation. And I think that angelic chemistry that Jess and Alex have, the amalgam of all of those attributes in the two of them is what really makes them transcendent on screen. There was something deeply auspicious and fortuitous at play, and it was extremely exciting to get on board that journey with the two of them.

BFF K: No book to movie adaptation ever completely follows the story. But, there are some significant changes to this original story. Particularly the decision to make Noah’s character a girl instead of a boy. Can you tell us about that change? Why was that change made? Did it change how you approached the story? What will movie-goers and bibliophiles love about the change?

I have tremendous respect for Heidi, her book, and her work as a novelist. To give your baby to a production company knowing that their plan is to make changes with your art, your life’s work, that takes a strong, intrepid, egoless artist to take that leap of faith. I truly commend Heidi for being able to do that. Not all artists can.

When I was given the book, I didn’t meet Heidi or have any connection to her. I think the production company set it up that way so that the assignment could be done without any emotional attachments. There are all different kinds of adaptation scenarios, and this one was presented to me with very specific guidelines. It was a screenplay assignment, and the assignment was to find a way to lift the story off of the page, make the changes that were necessary to do that to turn it into a screenplay that could then be made into a film.

Heidi accomplished her artistry as a novelist in spades, and when a novelist is writing her novel, his/her job is not to think about how it will translate into a movie; the job is to tell the story in the most compelling way to readers, and that is what Heidi did. She accomplished that in the biggest and best of ways. Her book is a success and has many accolades. We are all here talking about this movie right now because of Heidi, her book, and the movement that she created in Liam and Josie.

She inspired me to want to go in and pitch this whole movie that I had flash before my eyes for it to work as a film. There wasn’t ever a clinical thought in my head about what to keep, what not to keep. It was a very innate process that unfolded as it unfolded from my brain to my pitch, all with admiration for this novelist that I didn’t know or meet that was comfortable with a screenwriter and director taking her book and letting me catapult it into all different directions that worked for the story being told on screen instead of being read on the page. As set up by the production company, I didn’t meet Heidi until we invited her to the set. It was a very joyful and celebratory experience. I put her into one of the scenes in the film. We all thought that would be fun for her. She was just the loveliest on set, and a beautiful human being.

In regard to changing Noah to Billy, a boy to a girl, I wish I could say that I sat down and really thought about making that change before doing so. It was the most organic creative process that was flowing out of me all at once–seeing this movie in every detail with every new character, set piece, their arcs, back stories, forward stories, etc. and yes, I also saw a little girl instead of a little boy. It was just divine inspiration at the time, and I just saw Billy in full form, three dimensional, in my vision of the film.

It doesn’t mean that it could not have been made with another filmmaker creating it with Noah. I just knew where I could take this film in the way that it played out in the vision with the particular characters I had in that vision and their relationship to each other, and the heights that I could take it to as the storyteller for it on the big screen. Abby Ryder Fortson as Billy is such a unique young leading lady, and is exactly what I wanted for my Billy. That is a beautiful thing indeed, but it took incredible courage on Heidi’s part, for sure.

BFF K: Should first-timers read the book and then watch the movie or watch the movie and then read the book?

Hmmmm, interesting question! I think both should be enjoyed and appreciated, and it could go in either order, as long as the person has an open mind to go on two different rides, but rides that are deeply connected, have tremendous respect for each other, and love each other. The book and the movie are actually dating. I think they may be soulmates, too!

BFF K: When will the soundtrack for Forever My Girl be available for purchase?

The soundtrack is available as a digital download on opening day, January 19th.  Everyone can get it online from the Universal Music Group Nashville. I’m so excited to share that 3-year journey with you all with all of our original songs and vast array of country stars, singers, and musicians.  (www.UMGNashville.com)

10) Is there anything else you want us to know about the screenplay or film?

I would love for audiences to know that as sublime as our romance is in this film, that this film has many more layers to it. There is something for everyone in it: it is a romantic love story, it is a father/daughter story, it is a father/son story, a mother/daughter story, and a brother/sister story.

It is a story about not just romantic love, but familial love and the power of friendship and community. It is a story of atonement, redemption, joy, and happiness. It is a story about crossing over to find your own truth. Of finding your way back home to your true self. And it’s also a really fun movie! And if you love country music, get ready! I wanted to represent the vast array of country music that is very much alive right now. I wanted to represent classic country, anthem country, blues country, pop country, folk country. And if you think you don’t love country music, try us out. Audiences in screen-tests would say all of the time that they thought that they didn’t love country music until they heard our soundtrack. I love that. It’s just packed with feel-good music that gets into your soul and lights you up.

I hope you all relish and enjoy the ride of Forever My Girl. We hope to see you all at the theater with us on January 19th!

That’s What She Said – Rapid Fire

This is a fun game we play with our interviewees. You can just give a one word answer or give explanations – it’s totally up to you!

Country or Pop? Both!

Small Town or Big City? Both! But if I live in a big city, I like to be in a small community within the big city, like I do now.

Cozy movie night or Splashy dream date? Cozy movie night and an occasional splashy dream date.

Book or Movie? If I had to choose, movie!

Wine or Beer? Champagne!

Live Concert or Chilling with your headphones? Live concert!

Kimmel or Fallon? Depends on the night!

Big Wedding or Intimate Gathering? Intimate gathering, for sure.

Twizzlers or Red Vines? Red Viiiiiines for daaaaaays.

Star Quarterback or Rockstar? Rock star…or COUNTRY STAR! xxxx

Check out the source material! Forever My Girl by Heidi McLaughlin

BFF K’s Review of Forever My Girl

Check out the other books in the Beaumont Series


Forever My Girl (#1) – Released Dec 2012

 

My Everything (#1.5) – Released March 2013

When Nick Ashford lost his friend, Mason, he didn’t realize he was going to lose his family as well, but that’s exactly what happened. Alone and in a foreign country, Nick is working on rebuilding his life one patient at a time, that is, until a striking volunteer makes her presence known.

Can Nick finish his year in Africa without risking his heart being broken again, or is he willing to start a new chapter in his life before his return to Beaumont?


 

My Unexpected Forever (#2) – Released Sept 2013

I expected a life of music.I expected to raise my son.It took one look to make everything change.I never expected happiness.I never expected to find her.I never expected to feel desire.

I never expected I’d be a family man.

I never expected to be loved.

I never expected to fall in love.

They say you should expect the unexpected, I didn’t realize my unexpected would be the forever kind.


 

Finding My Forever (#3) – Released Dec 2013

Everywhere I look, my friends are settling down – marriage, children, white picket fences; but not me. Marriage isn’t in the cards for me. I’m a ladies man.

A rock star.

I was born and raised in the industry.

I love everything about my life, especially the attention from the women that my status brings me.

Women find me. I don’t chase. I know what they want and they know I’ll deliver.

But after one look, one touch, one night…

Now I’m the one doing the chasing.

I need to find a way to show her that I’m serious, that I can change.

I need to find a way to show her that I can love her fully, and only her.

I need to find a way to show her that she’s my forever.


 

Finding My Way (#4) – Released April 2014

Liam Westbury has the world at his feet. He’s the quintessential golden boy. He’s the superstar quarterback for Beaumont High. His girl, Josie, is head cheerleader. He has his choice of colleges just waiting for him. Except he’s suffocating from all the pressure he’s under and no one understands.

Liam Page is the heartthrob he never wanted to be. He’s successful, smart and in demand by record companies and his adoring fans. Music is his passion, his love, but something’s missing. His nights are lonely and he longs for the girl he left behind. Seeing her in every face in the crowd haunts him with the knowledge that she hates him. Going home has never been an option until now.

Be there when Liam Westbury becomes Liam Page and follow the highs and lows of the Quarterback turned Rockstar as he finds a way back to Beaumont in this prequel to Forever My Girl.


 

12 Days of Forever (#4.5) – Released Feb 2015

Even though she’s living her life-long dream and dancing on Broadway, the city is a lonely place for Yvie James. The holidays are both her favorite time of the year and the worst. A last minute decision puts Yvie in Beaumont to spend time with her family.

Alexander Knight is new to Beaumont, but he’s making the best of it. His dream of running a successful business is within his grasp, and Xander has a dedicated client base most trainers vie for. On the surface, Xander is happy, but he works long hours for nothing more than to avoid going home to an empty house.

Thrown together for Christmas shopping, holiday gatherings with friends and family, and a special anniversary party, Yvie and Xander find themselves seeking solace in each other for an unforgettable, romantic winter.


 

My Kind of Forever (#5) – Released Sept 2015

Liam Page knows music and a life of solitude, but that all changed when he returned to Beaumont.

The once notorious bad boy lead singer of 4225 West is now living the domesticated life with his wife and high school sweetheart, Josie, and their son, Noah.

Life is good for the Westbury family, until Liam is called back to Los Angeles and the place where it all started for him.

Liam and Josie’s story continues in this last installment of The Beaumont Series.

 

  

 

About the Original Author

 

 

Heidi is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author.

Originally from Portland, Oregon and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup and a Highland Westie/Mini Schnauzer, JiLL and her brother, Racicot.

When she isn’t writing one of the many stories planned for release, you’ll find her sitting courtside during either daughter’s basketball games.

Heidi’s first novel, Forever My Girl, is currently in production for a major motion picture

 

   

2017 Besties

 

What a year 2017 has been! It was an amazing year in my book life and my real life! I’m so grateful to all of the authors who filled my days (and lets be honest mostly my nights) with incredible stories and fabulous characters! And, I’m thankful to my book friends who share new authors, rave about great stories and talk with me about fictional people as though they were real. What an incredible community to be a part of, thank you for your love of books and authors and for following BFF Book Blog! Without further ado, I present my 2017 Besties…..

 

#1 Dating-ish by Penny Reid


Unique, thought-provoking, fun!

 

#2 Autoboyography by Christina Lauren


This should be required reading for all humans.

 

#3 Cake: A Love Story Series by J. Bengtsson

This is a fantastic series from a terrific new author!

 

#4 Royally Matched by Emma Chase

This story has everything I look for in a romance, it’s perfection!

 

#5 The Year of Amy Daws

In 2017, I read and/or listened to almost every book that Amy Daws has written and she rocketed to the top of my must-read author list! Her Harris Brothers series is Sports Romance Gold and her London Lovers series was a primer for my trip to London in March. I love following her on Facebook, she’s fun and funny and her books always deliver the heart and the humor that I love. Devouring her stories was a highlight to my 2017!

 

#6 Devil’s Cut by J.R. Ward

This book was the whipped cream and cherry on top of the Bourbon Kings Sundae and it was the perfect way to finish my beloved series. I’m holding out hopes for the TV Series!

 

#7 The Difference Between Us by Rachel Higginson

I haven’t had a chance to write my reviews for this series yet, but I adored this book. It was sweet and funny, angsty and smart. The heroine experiences sexual harassment in the workplace and the timing of the story and current events was impeccable!

 

#8 Defiant Queen by Meghan March

The Mount Trilogy is absolutely stunning. It’s full of twists and turns and all kinds of awesomeness. Book #2, Defiant Queen was my favorite in the trilogy. It’s full of great settings, terrific characters and tons of action. This whole series is a must-read!

 

#9 Wild For You by Daisy Prescott

Daisy Prescott always delivers solid stories and engaging characters, but Wild For You is exceptional! It’s emotional and heart-warming! I think it’s one of 2017’s hidden gems!

 

#10 Egomaniac by Vi Keeland

This is one of my most recommended books in 2017! It’s fun and funny and a tiny bit tear-jerking!

 

That’s the Top 10, but it doesn’t feel quite complete, so I present the…..

2017 Besties Honorable Mention List

Buns by Alice Clayton

Champagne and Forever by Andrea Johnston

Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne

Hooking Up by Helena Hunting

King of Code by CD Reiss

The Contract by Melanie Moorland

Glitterland by Alexis Hall

The Player and The Catch by K Bromberg

Secondborn by Amy A. Bartol

Barreled Over by Jenna Sutton

Show Me the Way by A.L. Jackson

________________________________________________

 

There have been lots of changes for the BFF Book Blog and I’m sure there will be more to come next year. Thank you for following the BFF Book Blog. Book Friends really are the Best Friends! I look forward to highlighting more amazing books in the coming year and here’s a sneak peak at what’s coming next year!

 

What I’m most looking forward to in 2018

The Matchmaker’s Playbook movie on PassionFlix (Rachel VanDyken cracks me up!)

More awesomeness from Meghan March

A new kind of story from Daisy Prescott

Forever My Girl by Heidi McLaughlin on the big screen

More sweet stories from Andrea Johnston

Fifty Shades Freed premiere in February

Book Number Four in the Cake Series by J Bengtsson

New books, new friends and new adventures

Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

 

Series Review – Cake A Love Story by J. Bengtsson


I happened upon Cake: A Love Story by J. Bengtsson via some recommendations in my most favorite audiobook lovers Facebook group. Shout out to Aural Fixation! I listened to Book 1, and immediately to book 2 and then book 3. It was 33 hours of audiobooks in 8 days. Don’t judge – I drove a lot, my house was spotless and all the laundry got folded! I’m in love with this series and I can’t wait to see what this author delivers next! If you’re an audiobook lover, you have got to get this series! If you’re a romance lover, you’ve got to get this series! I’m going to feature brief reviews below for each book, but you’ve just got to get them!!! This post contains: Amazon buy links, reviews, author bio and then book descriptions!

Buy this series TODAY on Amazon

All of the books are also available on Kindle Unlimited!

Cake: A Love Story

The Theory of Second Best: Cake Series Book Two

Fiercely Emma: Cake Series Book Three

 

BFF K’s Series Review for Cake: A Love Story

BFF K’s Quick Review for Cake: A Love Story

This is a Rockstar Love Story that is ANYTHING but a typical Rockstar Love Story! There is a backstory combined with supporting characters that make this book something truly special.

I fell in love with Jake. He’s deep and broody, sweet and funny, moody and swoony and everything that a romance Hero should be! Casey is witty and charming, laid back, young and sweet. She is also Jake’s perfect match. No one else brings out the best in Jake. Casey doesn’t worship or coddle Jake, but she listens and supports and loves him unconditionally. There are powerful demons and unbelievable experiences in Jake’s past, but Casey proves woman enough to handle them and him.

Their romance is a wave that’s swift and powerful and an absolute joy to ride. Andi Arndt and Joe Arden deliver an engrossing and enthralling audiobook performance. Beware – once you start this series, you’ll be consumed until it’s over! But, it’s worth every minute, I know you’ll fall in love with Cake!

 

BFF K’s Quick Review for The Theory of Second Best: Cake Series Book Two

Kyle has lived his life in the shadow of his talented and sometimes troubled older brother. He’s spent his life being second to Jake. But, it’s a role he’s grown weary of playing and Kyle wants to see what else is out there. Is there anything else he can be good at or can he be content filling this role forever. In an attempt to figure out the answer to that question, Kyle signs up for a Survivor-esque reality show. He discovers a great deal about himself and finds the girl who lights up his world.

Kenzie has been sister, mother, daughter, and manager for her entire family. She’s worked harder than anyone her age should have to. Her efforts have kept her father and siblings going. But, she wants to see what life looks like outside of the tiny town she calls home. This reality game show will provide her with the perfect opportunity.

Kyle and Kenzie come together under the craziest of circumstances, but learn so much about each other and themselves. They’re not perfect. They’re flawed and damaged, naive and reckless. But, they’re also sweet and silly, charming and funny and absolutely perfect for each other! The cast of quirky characters makes this book a humorous tale of self-discovery and sweet love. Andi Arndt and Zachary Webber deliver engaging performances that drive the story. This book is second in the series, but holds its own in all the very best ways!

 

BFF K’s Quick Review for Fiercely Emma: Cake Series Book Three

 

Emma feels as if she was denied a childhood. Her family’s trauma (particularly her brother Jake’s) impacted her in ways that she never disclosed or dealt with. Emma is cautious and careful. She prescribes to specific plans and ideas for the best ways to live her life and she has no intention or desire to deviate. Until she meets Finn.

Finn blows into her life like the hot winds that whip up a wild fire. He is unlike anyone she’s ever met and absolutely the last thing she thinks she needs. Finn dances to the beat of his own drummer. He takes life as it comes and rolls with the punches. He doesn’t realize that Emma’s brand of structure and organization is just what he’s been searching for.

Apart, Finn and Emma are pretty much a mess in completely opposite ways. But together, they’re pretty much perfect! They bring out the best in one another, each smoothing the other’s rough edges. Are they just too different to make life work together for the long run? Or, can their differences become the glue that binds them together? This book is a stellar opposites attract love story and the perfect continuation to the Cake Series!

 

About the Author

J. Bengtsson lives in Southern California with her husband and three children. Her favorite things to do are laugh, go for walks, and hang out with family.

Twitter: @CakeALoveStory

jbengtssonauthor@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/jbengtssonauthor

Join the Cake series email list for updates on new books http://eepurl.com/chhhbX

 

Cake: A Love Story

-A reclusive rock star going through the motions-

Jake McKallister might have been a rock star, but he was no ordinary one. Surviving an unspeakable crime as a young teen had shaped him into a guarded workaholic, and he now lived his life trying to forget. If it hadn’t been for music and the redemption he found through it, he might not have survived. Career success came easily for him. Personal connections did not.

-A vivacious college student embracing life-

When outspoken and fun-loving Casey Caldwell was paired with the famously reserved musician for a friend’s wedding, she was prepared for the worst. What could they possibly have in common? She was a bubbly talker; he was a media-shy loner. His life was filled with music; she couldn’t carry a tune. She’d enjoyed a happy childhood; his was a well-publicized nightmare.

-Their worlds are about to collide-

Despite their obvious differences, Jake and Casey found each other, and her light balanced out his darkness. Would their love be strong enough to survive the weight of his tragic past?

 

The Theory of Second Best: Cake Series Book Two

 

-A brother who lives his life in the shadows of greatness-
Kyle McKallister is the younger brother to one of the world’s most elusive and embattled celebrities. He has carved out a comfortable existence touring with his famous brother and living in the lap of luxury with no commitments or plans of his own, only a deep, haunting loyalty to his brother. But Kyle’s life is about to be shaken up when the opportunity comes to compete on a popular reality show.

-A sister who sets aside her dreams for the ones she loves-

Small town girl Kenzie Williams has come on the show for one thing only: to win. But when a disastrous start forces her to rely on an eclectic band of misfits, she finds herself immediately smitten with a handsome and mysterious cast mate.

-Pushed together by circumstance, two outcasts find love-

But life on the island is just a game. Can Kyle and Kenzie’s fragile spark survive the pressures of the real world?

 

Fiercely Emma: Cake Series Book Three

Emma, older sister of renowned rock star Jake McKallister, has crafted a quiet existence for herself. Fiercely independent, scorned at work, and indifferent to relationships, she’s spent the past decade trying to move on from the crime that shook her family to the core. Living by a promise she made to herself as a distraught sixteen-year-old, Emma has sworn off marriage and children… until a chance encounter with a scruffy hitchhiker throws her orderly world into chaos.

A wild child raised in mayhem by a teenage mother, fearless Finn Perry cruises through life as the perennial nice guy. Now a struggling actor, he supports himself by performing daredevil stunts. At a crossroads in his life, one thing has always remained constant in his world: Finn’s desire to start the family he never had. The mystery woman who rescues him from the side of the road sure seems like the perfect person for the job.

But unfinished business from Emma’s troubled past looms heavy, threatening to destroy the fledging love she’s found with the only man to ever jump-start her wounded heart.

 

Buy them all TODAY on Amazon

All of the books are also available on Kindle Unlimited!

Cake: A Love Story

The Theory of Second Best: Cake Series Book Two

Fiercely Emma: Cake Series Book Three

 

Review – Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

 

Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this funny and poignant coming-of-age novel from New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren about two boys who fall in love in a writing class—one from a progressive family and the other from a conservative religious community.

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

BFF K’s Review of Autoboyography

Autoboyography is my most thought about and talked about book of the year! I absolutely can’t stop raving about it! Christina Lauren has delivered another incredible story. But, this one rises above even their usual brilliance. It is a sweet, smart, heartwarming and heartbreaking story of young love. But, it is also a captivating social commentary and thought provoking look into the lives and struggles of two not-straight young men growing up in areas where they can not truly be themselves.

Tanner is smart and sensitive. He is surrounded by a loving family and supported by good friends, but there are still parts of himself that he keeps hidden. Sebastian is also smart and caring, and similarly, he has grown up with a great deal of love and support. But, Sebastian is also prohibited from revealing who he truly is. The push and pull and angst-filled journey is exposed in a book within a book. It will grab your heart in a vice and squeeze it so so tightly!

I can’t describe how much I LOVE this book. I have told everyone who will listen how great it is. I’ve bought copies for friends and family. I love the written copy and the audio version. I warn you…I don’t believe you can not read this book and come out unscathed. It will carve it’s lines in your head and your heart and you’ll look at the world just a little differently when you’re done. Without a doubt, this is one of my Besties of 2017, worthy of a 6-rated review and you won’t regret a minute you spend with this compelling novel.

 

About the Authors

NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY AND #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHORS

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced fourteen New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 30+ languages.

You can find them online at ChristinaLaurenBooks.com or at @seeCwrite (Christina), @LolaShoes (Lauren), or @ChristinaLauren on Twitter.

Review – First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

First Grave on the Right is the smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper.

Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e., murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

This is a thrilling debut novel from Darynda Jones, an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense.

First Grave on the Right is the winner of the 2012 Rita Award for Best First Book.

 

Buy First Grave on the Right on Amazon

 

BFF K’s Quick Review of First Grave on the Right

I LOVE the Sookie Stackhouse, True Blood series by Charlaine Harris. First Grave on the Right is the closest thing I’ve read to Sookie in the last several years! It is campy, entertaining and fun. The premise of the Heroine being the Grim Reaper is unique and interesting. The storyline is fast-paced and amusing. I did a combo read and listen and both were super enjoyable! If you’re looking for something different, particularly paranormal romance, I strongly recommend checking this one out!

An advance copy of this book was received. The reviewer purchased the audiobook copy. Receipt of the advance copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

About the Author

NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious RITA, a Golden Heart, and a Daphne du Maurier, and her books have been translated into over 18 languages. As a born storyteller, Darynda grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, and she is ever so grateful for the opportunity to carry on that legacy. She currently has two series with St. Martin’s Press: The Charley Davidson Series and the Darklight Trilogy. She lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

Click here to read one of the more popular short stories by Darynda called Dust Devils:

Dust Devils

She can be found at http://www.daryndajones.com

 

 

 

 

New Release – Hooking Up by Helena Hunting

Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception–but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw.

Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him.
They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical.

Filled with hilariously scandalous situations and enough sexual chemistry to power an airplane from New York City to the South Pacific, Hooking Up is the next standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Helena Hunting, the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series and Shacking Up.

Grab your copy today!

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BFF K’s Review coming soon!

 

About the Author

NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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Review – The Corner of Forever and Always by Lia Riley

Title: THE CORNER OF FOREVER AND ALWAYS

Author: Lia Riley

Series: Everland, Georgia #2

On Sale: September 26, 2017

Publisher: Forever

Mass Market: $7.99 USD

eBook: $5.99 USD

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Fairy tales aren’t ever what they seem . . .

Tuesday Knight’s dream of Broadway stardom has flopped, leaving her unemployed and brokenhearted. Ready to quit kissing frogs and make her own happily-ever-after, she takes a job as a princess in Everland, Georgia’s historical amusement park.

Mayor Beau Marino lives an unenchanted existence-all work, no play-which is fine by him. After his marriage ended in disaster, the last thing he wants in his life is more drama. But Everland’s new free spirit has a talent for getting under his starched collar.

When the town’s beloved but bankrupt park might be shut down, Tuesday and Beau face a choice. Can they join forces, save the day-and each other? Or will their fierce battle of wills destroy any chance of a fairy-tale ending?

In the tradition of New York Times bestselling authors Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, and Marina Adair, comes the second book in Lia Riley’s Everland, Georgia series about two city sisters finding love in a small town.

 

 

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BFF K’s Review of The Corner of Forever and Always

Pepper Knight is fresh out of law school and ready to make her mark as a legal professional. However, when she arrives for her new job in Everland, nothing is as she plans. And for the consummate planner, this is a problem. Also problematic are the sparks she feels for her next-door neighbor, the town veterinarian, Rhett Valentine.

Rhett has spent most of his life in Everland. He came back home from college to open his veterinary practice; much to the disappointment of his physician father who wanted him to follow in his footsteps. Rhett has spent years avoiding his father and creating his own life. But, that has left a little time for romance. Until pepper moved in next door.

Pepper is an uptight planner. She has her life in order until the bottom falls out. With no plan and no money, she’s forced to take any job she can find. And, the position she lands will leave you scratching your head and cracking up! She just needs to make a little money, get out of town and reorganize her life plan. She just doesn’t expect Rhett.

At first, I wasn’t sure what I thought of this book, it’s a little slow to start but the characters are so interesting and the setting is so unique that I soon found myself engrossed in their world. This book will not lead you to any earth-shattering secrets of the meaning of life. But, it will bring you joy and smiles and butterflies and happily ever after romance. I definitely recommend this series, especially the audio version of the book.

 

 

 

An advance copy of this book was received. The reviewer purchased the audiobook copy. Receipt of the advance copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

Read the Rest of the Everland, Georgia Series

IT HAPPENED ON LOVE STREET, #1

THE CORNER OF FOREVER AND ALWAYS, #2

Series Page on Goodreads

 

Giveaway

 

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About the Author

 

Lia Riley is a contemporary romance author. USA Today describes her as “refreshing” and RT Book Reviews calls her books “sizzling and heartfelt.” She loves her husband, three kids, wandering redwood forests and a perfect pour over coffee. She is 25% sarcastic, 54% optimistic, and 122% bad at math (good thing she writes happy endings for a living). She and her family live mostly in Northern California.

 

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