Review – Outmatched by Kristen Callihan & Samantha Young

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Outmatched by Kristen Callihan and Samantha Young

Release Date: November 19, 2019

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Outmatched, an all-new standalone contemporary romance by New York Times bestselling authors Kristen Callihan and Samantha Young.

What happens when a boxer finds chemistry with a geek?

Parker Brown can’t believe she needs to hire a fake boyfriend. When she landed her dream job in renewable energy, she thought she’d be entering a world at the forefront of progressive thinking. But the head boss prefers to promote employees who are “settled.” Thankfully, she’s found the perfect candidate, a fellow intellectual looking for some quick cash. What Parker gets is his protective big brother—Rhys Morgan. The tall, muscled ex-boxer with a foul mouth shows up just as her boss does, and now she’s stuck with the manipulative jerk.

Responsibility weighs heavily on Rhys. Now permanently out of the ring, he’s trying to hold together his late father’s gym and keep his younger brother, Dean, on the straight and narrow. To save Dean from himself, Rhys takes his place, ready to give this society girl a piece of his mind. Instead, he finds an opportunity. Even though they can hardly stand each other, posing as Parker’s boyfriend is a win-win deal. She gets to keep her job, and he’ll charm her star-struck boss into sponsoring his gym.

Problem is, they can barely keep their hands off each other. And what started as an easy deal isn’t so easy anymore. Because what future can a rough ex-boxer, afraid to open his heart, and a polished society geek, who has sworn off real relationships, possibly have?

They say opposites attract. These opposites are about to combust on impact.

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Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ZwJjPt

Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/OutmatchedKCSY

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BFF K’s Review of Outmatched

When I first saw that this duo was releasing a co-written book, I was super excited. Then the cover and the blurb were both SO cute! I think the anticipation built it up too much. The reality was unfortunately not quite what I had hoped for. In fact, I almost DNF’d at about 30%. I just had a really had time getting into it. Thankfully a friend had already read it and told me to stick it out. In the end, I’m glad that I read Outmatched.

What I liked: the enemies to lovers storyline is spot-on! I thought that Rhys was a strong character. I liked him a lot and I wanted him to find happiness. The banter and text conversations were fun and lively.

What I struggled with: there was just too much going on! There was her job-in jeopardy with an uber creepy boss, her family (which didn’t end up making any sense as a conflict point), his gym, why he quit boxing, his brother, her college friends….there was just sooo much. I needed about 4 fewer sub-points or to flush a couple of them out a little more. I felt like overall it needed some more judicious editing.

Once the two main characters decided to become a real couple, I thought everything made more sense. I wish that would have happened sooner. The book was a slow burn that came too close to smoldering out a few too many times. I think the story had so much potential and there were things I loved about it. All in all, I am still glad that I read the story. I think it’s the loss of a great opportunity for an incredible story that disappointed me the most.

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

Excerpt

AngryTink: Hey. This is Parker. Parker Brown.

My phone dinged loudly. I fumbled around my bed, finally finding the damn thing under a pillow. Wiping the sleep off my face, I rolled onto my back and read the text that had pulled me out of a pleasant sleep. I smiled. It was just so … Parker. Settling in, I answered her.

RhysThis: Don’t have to tell me who you are. Your number is programmed on my phone. What do you want?

AngryTink: Well, good morning to you too, Happy Pants.

My smile turned into an evil grin. The girl was always going to punch back and make it count.

RhysThis: That’s Mr. Happy Pants. Though, TBH, my pants aren’t too happy at the moment. Want to help me out with that?

AngryTink: Tempting. Truly. But, no.

RhysThis: RU sure? ‘Cuz Happy Pants Rhys is much more agreeable than Sad That He Had to Self-Satisfy Rhys.

AngryTink: Would you please behave?

RhysThis: I’m not the one who mentioned the emotional state of my pants.

AngryTink: ARGH!

A chuckle rumbled in my chest as my thumbs tapped out a response I knew would piss her off more.

RhysThis: Was that even English? Honestly, Ms. Brown, I thought you were educated.

She took a moment to answer. I could picture her, phone in hand, grinding her teeth.

AngryTink: You’re deliberately trying to annoy me, aren’t you?

RhysThis: You’re quick. I’ll give you that.

AngryTink: Mr. Morgan, I’m about ten seconds away from finding an alternate fake boyfriend. A goat on a rope would be a better candidate at this point.

It was cute she thought that was threatening.

RhysThis: Yeah, probably. But the goat doesn’t have a signed contract. I do, Tinker Bell.

AngryTink: ARGH@!!

RhysThis: You’re kind of cute when you talk pirate.

About the Authors

About Kristen:

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a RITA winner and three-time nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.


Connect with Kristen:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/KristenCallihan/

Twitter – Kris10Callihan

Website – http://www.kristencallihan.com/

Amazon – https://amzn.to/2zrf3Lo

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/Kristen_Callihan

About Samantha:

Samantha Young is a New York Times and #1 International bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. On Dublin Street was Samantha’s first adult contemporary romance series and has sold in thirty countries. She has since published over thirteen romance titles including the New York Times Bestsellers Into the Deep, Hero, and her most recent contemporary romance Play On. When writing Adult Paranormal romance she writes under the pen name S. Young.

Connect with Samantha:

Social media links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSamanthaYoung/

Website – http://authorsamanthayoung.com

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/authorsamanthayoung/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AuthorSamYoung

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.co.uk/samyoungauthor/

Amazon – http://amzn.to/2H47kEP

Goodreads – http://bit.ly/2FWgYdn

Bookbub – http://bit.ly/2D241eO

Review – Beard Necessities by Penny Reid

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Billy Winston’s family is going to see him happy and in love if it’s the last thing they do.

Beard Necessities, the final standalone in the bestselling romantic comedy Winston Brothers series from New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Penny Reid, is available now!

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No one deserves a happily-ever-after quite as much as the second oldest Winston brother and his lady love, Claire McClure (aka Scarlet St. Claire). Cruelty and circumstance tore them apart almost twenty years ago. Secrecy and bitterness kept them separated.

But you know who’s tired of their separation and stubbornness? Everyone. Especially Billy Winston’s family. And now they’re going to do something about it.

Well-meaning interference means the star-crossed lovers can’t stop tripping over each other in the hills of Tuscany, the catacombs of Rome, and the waterways of Venice. Billy and Claire find themselves thrown together and at the mercy of the Winston siblings’ shenanigans.

But will their forced proximity bring them together? Or push them even further apart?

This second-chance romance brings back the entire Winston gang, playing cupid in one last story of love, hi-jinks, and family collusion.

BEARD NECESSITIES is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, and can be read as a stand-alone, but it’s probably best read after books 0.5, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the Winston Brothers series.

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Download your copy today!

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Apple Books: https://apple.co/2nytE4S

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BFF K Review Beard Necessities

I hate to start a review by paraphrasing the synopsis but….”No one deserves a happily-ever-after quite as much as Billy Winston and Claire!” I’ve read every book in this series as soon as they released and I don’t think I’ve ever been as anxious for a story. I also found myself torn…I wanted desperately to devour it and I also wanted to slow down and savor every word!

If you’ve ever loved a series and felt deeply connected to its’ characters, you understand the thrill and sadness of realizing you’ve reached the end of their literary journey. And, I had been waiting for Billy’s story. The entire Winston Brother’s Series alluded to a dramatic history between Billy and Claire/Scarlet. And, it was a doozy. So much unrequited love and personal sacrifice create a really really lovely love story.

The entire Winston family comes together to make sure that Billy and Scarlet will finally get over themselves, forgive each other, forgive themselves and find their happily ever after. And, anything having to do with Cletus and the rest of the Winstons, is never simple, almost always hilarious and thoroughly full of love and heart!

I would say that you don’t need to read the Winston Brother’s Series to enjoy Beard Necessities, but I’m not going to give anyone a pass. If you read romance, this series is perfection. I love Jethro (and Sienna), Billy (and Claire), Cletus (and Jen), Ashley (and Drew), Beau (and Shelly), Duane (and Jessica), and Roscoe (and Simone) and you will too!

*For those that have read the the Winston Brothers, the Smartypants Romance books will give us glimpses into Green Valley and the characters we love! And so far, every book I’ve read has been fantastic!

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

 

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Excerpt from Beard Necessities

Strolling to the desk, I set down the milk and cookies, crossed my arms and turned to face my brother. “You’re pointing out that Scarlet and I will see each other during various family functions.”

“Correct.”

“And, therefore,” I continued reasonably, “I need to be nice to her.” I knew that already, and tonight—after watching her face crumple and feeling a part of my soul shrivel at the sight—I’d finally accepted it. I would be nice. I would be so damn nice. I’d be a saint.

But then Cletus said, “No, Billy. Not nice. Nice is for tea parties and doctor’s visits. You need to woo her.”

I blinked once. “Woo her.”

“That’s right. You need to woo the pants off her, hopefully literally, and then make that woman yours. Permanently. Once and for all. Put a ring on it. Woo is where it’s at. Jenn still has the centerpieces from our wedding if you’d like to borrow them.” During this enlightening monologue, he’d moseyed over and picked up the glass of milk and a cookie, dunked the cookie into the milk, and then took a bite just as he’d finished his listings of delusions.

“That’s never going to happen.”

“Why not? Those centerpieces are lovely. You don’t know your color scheme yet. Ask Scarlet before you decide.”

I ground my teeth. “Scarlet and I are never going to happen, Cletus.”

He shook his head firmly. “I’m disappointed in your lack of ambition, Billy. I thought we’d be on the same page. But I see now, I’m going to have to take a tough love approach.”

“Cletus—”

“I’m going to give you one chance,” he said, then pushed the rest of the cookie in his mouth and spoke around it as he continued, “One more chance is all you get. I’ve waited long enough for this and you know my feelings on delayed gratification.”

“Pardon?”

“It’s overrated.” He took a gulp of milk and picked up another cookie.

“No, Cletus. One chance on what?”

“I’m giving you one chance. One.” He pointed the cookie at me. “Tomorrow, you’re going to go find her, apologize to her for whatever that kerflufflefuck was I walked in on. Tell her you were suffering from temporary insanity, hopped up on illicit drugs, abducted by asshole probing aliens, whatever. I’m giving you one chance to make this right, and if you don’t take it, you are not going to like what happens next.”

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Enter the giveaway for a signed paperback set of the entire Winston Brothers Series!

http://bit.ly/2Y4LKcN

 

Meet the Author

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Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

Connect with Penny

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

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

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Mailing List: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

www.pennyreid.ninja

 

 

Review – Stud Muffin by Jiffy Kate

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It’s hard to get revenge without getting a rap sheet.

Stud Muffin, an all-new friends-to-lovers standalone romance from Jiffy Kate, is available now!

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After Tempest Cassidy walks in on her husband banging her high school nemesis, her whole world gets turned upside down. She goes from being known as the Duchess of Muffins to the town crazy. Her new MO: revenge. Eventually, Tempest grows weary being arrested. Yet what choice does she have? If she’s not angry, then she’s simply . . . sad.

Just as she decides to get her life back on track, in walks Cage Erickson, the new bouncer at the local strip club. He’s scary-handsome and the polar opposite of her ex. She’s attracted to him, but she’s not looking for a rebound. He’s attracted to her, but he’s not looking for a serious relationship. So, they agree to be friends.

But when lines get blurred in the friend zone, will they both get burned? Or will it be a TKO?

‘Stud Muffin’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#2 in the Donner Bakery series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/35TdNQh

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2lWf2eJ

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/StudMuffin

Nook: http://bit.ly/2m1a1lk

Kobo: Coming Soon!

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2kkIo6o

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2khZoKt

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2m25z5P

BFF K Review of Stud Muffin

A girlfriend called me tonight and asked, “what do you think of this Smartypants Romance thing?” I am pretty sure I went on for about 7 solid minutes listing all of the things that I love about this world and the incredible authors bringing more of the spaces and characters to life! Stud Muffin is one of my favorite books in the Smartypants world so far; and this delightful rom-com is a standout and one of my favorite books in 2019!

Tempest is fabulous! She’s clever and sweet, smart and talented. She’s a little naive, but not in a way that gets annoying, in a way that makes her charming and endearing. She doesn’t deserve the horrible way that her husband has treated her and it’s easy to see why she loses her mind for a bit. In fact, I think her slightly unhinged personality is super easy to relate to! 😉

Cage….Cage is just everything. When you picture a viking, cage fighter with a heart of gold…you get Cage. He’s strong, protective, patient, kind, loyal and everything Tempest needs and deserves. He’s a really swoony, dreamy, fantastic hero!

Like the rest of the Smartpants books, it’s wonderful to see what these talented authors have created inside Penny Reid’s world. You don’t need to be a Penny Reid fan to enjoy this book, but it sure makes it that much sweeter if you are a Penny-fangirl! I did a combo read and listen on Author’s Direct. The narrators made this story come alive and were really wonderful.

If you’re looking for a rom-com that that you can absolutely devour, Stud Muffin definitely hits the sweet spot!

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 from Stud Muffin

As Mindy gets closer, she begins rubbing her hand over her belly, ensuring I know she’s with spawn, I mean, child. How far along is she anyway? The picnic wasn’t that long ago and she didn’t look pregnant then, did she? Maybe she did, but I was too shocked by the ring on her finger to notice? My mother would’ve said something to me when she broke the news about Mindy and Asher being married, so she must not have noticed either.

Maybe she just carries big… and early. Maybe she’s pregnant with multiples. That would be rich—I can’t even get pregnant with one, but Mindy Mitchell, husband stealer extraordinaire, can have my husband and all the babies.

All I know is that I have to stop gawking because Mindy is enjoying this way too much.

“Hey, Tempest. Soup for one, I presume?” Her smile is wide and condescending as she glances at the contents of my shopping cart.

Bitch.

“You know, I’ve been so busy lately that canned soup is all I have time for some nights. It’s not always the healthiest option, with all that sodium, but I’m fortunate to not retain water, like you obviously do.”

Really, Tempest? Is that the best put-down you can think of?

“I’m not bloated, silly.” She laughs, swatting the air in front of her face. “I’m pregnant! Of course, I don’t expect you to notice the difference.”

It’s illegal to hit a pregnant lady, Tempest.

She’s not worth the jail time.

Deep, cleansing breaths.

You don’t look good in orange.

“How far along are you?” I ask, willing myself to stay calm. “Elephants are pregnant, for what, two years?” I know I’m being immature, but I’m using my words and not my fists, so I’m calling it a win.

“Gah, you’re such a bitch. No wonder Asher wanted to leave you. At least I was able to give him what he wanted,” she brags, rubbing her belly even faster than before.

Maybe if she rubs a little more, a fucking genie will pop out, and I can at least get three wishes out of this deal. Wish one: Asher and Mindy disappear off the face of the planet.

“And,” she continues, “because I know it’s driving you crazy, I’ll let you in on the secret. I’m in my third trimester.” She smiles and squeals, like we’re BFFs and she just told me the best news. “Just a couple more months to go and this precious bundle of joy will be in the world… Asher is going to be such a great daddy.”

The blood drains from my face as I do the math in my head. Asher and I have been divorced for almost two months. I found them in bed together three months before that. Two plus three does not equal the amount of months it takes to be in the third trimester. I know my pregnancy facts.

Mindy just answered one of my many burning questions: that sack of shit was cheating on me months before I busted him.

And now, he’s having a baby with someone else.

Honestly, I don’t know how to feel right now… numb, blind-sided, furious, hurt?

All I know is I’m trying my damnedest not to lose my shit.

Deep breaths.

“Believe me,” Mindy says, breaking through the haze I’m in. “I tried and tried to get Asher to leave you before you found out about us on your own, but he didn’t listen.” She sighs, like she’s disappointed for me… like she’s on my side and she was trying to do me a favor. “Oh, well, life goes on, right?”

We enter into a bit of a staring competition for a brief moment, her bright, smiling eyes against my crazy, sadistic glare. I feel the crazy oozing out of me. When she finally starts to back her buggy up to make a U-turn in the aisle, she has the audacity to smile… and wink at me.

She’s the incarnation of Satan.

Asher and Mindy aren’t going to have a bouncing bundle of joy, they’re going to have a devil love child. I should alert the media. This has a horror movie written all over it.

“See you around, Tempest,” she says over her shoulder, before stopping and turning. “Oh, I guess I’ll see you at the reunion, if not before… and you’re bringing a date, right?”

Deep breaths, Tempest.

I don’t answer her with words, only with my glare, hoping it burns a hole in her skull.

You can do this.

Don’t let that cow win.

After she makes a turn onto another aisle, I take a few more deep breaths, willing my nerves to calm, and when that doesn’t work, I close my eyes and try harder. With my hands on my knees, I suck in air like it’s going extinct. My breathing becomes routine and I automatically start swaying my body in preparation for the Tai Chi moves that come next.

Cage has been teaching me a little bit of Tai Chi to further help channel my anger and anxiety and I have to admit, I love it. Completely forgetting where I am, I begin to perform my favorite combination of steps. If people see me, I don’t care. I’d rather them talk about me doing Tai Chi in the canned goods aisle than losing my shit at the Piggly Wiggly.

I’m finally feeling relaxed and in control of my emotions, so to celebrate my victory, I decide to throw a few punches into the air, similar to what Rocky Balboa did after running up all those stairs in the movie.

I am Tempest Cassidy, master of my emotions.

Thoroughly enjoying myself, I decide to end my impromptu workout with a killer roundhouse kick… right into a tower of Pork N Beans.

At first, it’s only a few cans. I lurch out, containing them in a lunge, looking around to see who might’ve witnessed my performance. Only a lady down at the other end of the aisle seems to be in the know. I breathe out a sigh of relief, feeling uncharacteristically lucky as I try to balance the cans and myself.

Just as I decide it’s safe to stand up, I lose my balance and the cans in my hands take a tumble… and then the entire end cap begins to fall.

Cans.

Cans of Pork N Beans are rolling everywhere.

When everything finally comes to a rest, I’m sprawled out on the glossy tile of the Piggly Wiggly in aisle six, using my body as a dam to stop them from getting too far. I’m afraid to move… afraid to breathe…

 

 

About the Authors

Jiffy Kate is the joint pen name for Jiff Simpson and Jenny Kate Altman. They’re co-writing besties who share a brain. They also share a love of cute boys, stiff drinks, and fun times.

Together, they’ve written over twenty stories. Their first published book, Finding Focus, was released in November 2015. Since then, they’ve continued to write what they know–southern settings full of swoony heroes and strong heroines.

Connect with Jiffy Kate

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2kkDmqx

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2ki0mq5

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2lGyhsz

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2kkDkPr

Website: http://www.jiffykate.com/

Connect with Smartypants Romance

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2kvDnb4

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Instagram: http://bit.ly/2kwKsYK

Website: https://smartypantsromance.com/

 

 

Review – Happy Trail by Daisy Prescott

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“Happy Trail was a feel good, funny and heartwarming adventure with the usual Daisy Prescott charm..”– T. Gephart, USA Today bestselling author

Happy Trail, an all-new opposites attract standalone romance from USA Today bestselling author Daisy Prescott, is available now!

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A man of few words, Ranger Jay Daniels values the calm, quiet solitude of the Great Smoky Mountains. Never quite fitting in with either side of his family, he prefers the company of birds and trees to people.

Yeah, he’d most definitely prefer a bird—any bird, any bird at all, take a vulture for instance—to the human-tornado hybrid that just blew onto his peaceful stretch of the Appalachian Trail.

The path of true love never has run smooth for Olive Perry. After getting dumped and promptly abandoned in the middle of her multi-month hike, Olive swears off men. Determined to finish the long trek by herself, she doesn’t need a prince—or broody and taciturn ranger—to save her.

Yet, when an early snowstorm threatens the mountains, and Ranger Daniels is charged with getting hikers to safety, that includes hot-tempered Olive Perry. Snowed in and forced to share an abandoned cabin, can Olive’s heated intensity melt Jay’s cool reserve?

And if so, will this happy trail lead to true love? Or will their time together be just another bump in the road?

‘Happy Trail’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#1 in the Park Ranger series.

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Download today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MEE8K1

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2lB3BJv

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/HappyTrail

Nook: http://bit.ly/2m0VeXN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2lEAwww

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2jXnfPc

Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/2ku05Al

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2kwOTmm

 

BFF K’s Review of Happy Trail

Daisy Prescott is consistent…..consistently amazing! I know for a fact that when I pick up one of her stories, I’m going to fall in love. I’m going to fall in love with the characters and their struggles, with the highs and lows of the personal and romantic journey, with the setting and the supporting characters. Daisy Prescott writing a book set in Green Valley and the Penny Reid Universe? Well, I knew it was going to be great, and boy was it ever GREAT!

Jay and Olive have the most unlikely journeys that bring them together. In so many ways, they wouldn’t seem a match “on paper” but in every way that counts, they’re perfect for one another. They both have super interesting back stories that give each of them solid identity and their own substance. Olive’s journey on the Trail is particularly interesting, dare I say inspiring! And, Jay is learning how to come to terms with his own identity, history and future. It’s a joy to read, learn and experience the lives of both main characters.

Happy Trail is set on the Appalachian Trail and in and around Green Valley. It’s so idyllic, I desperately wish Green Valley were a real place I could visit and experience along with these characters. It’s the true mark of an incredible writer when they can make a place come alive as a character in the book and Daisy has painted such vivid images of life on the Trail and in Green Valley. Her story has continued to add depth to the Penny-verse and I can’t wait for more in this Park Ranger series!

Three cheers for Smartypants Romance and the chance to savor more great authors in this really vibrant world! And 5 amazing, happy, bright, shiny, feel-good stars for Daisy Prescott’s Happy Trail!

An advance copy of this book was received from the author. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review. BFF Book Blog also uses a set of icon ratings. This book received additional icons for: world creation, romance, hero, heroine, character development, supporting characters, sweet and butterflies.

 

 

 

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

Excerpt

“Can we drop the pretense of not being trapped on the wrong side of the fence with whatever bloodthirsty beast is making such a sound?” I squint into the distance, hoping narrowing my eyes will give me super strength vision.

It doesn’t. I step behind Ranger Daniels for protection.

“What are you doing?” He twists his neck to look down at me.

“Hiding. I believe you took an oath to protect and serve.”

“Pfft. You’re confusing me with a police officer. I’m here to engage, educate, and empower.” He moves so he’s beside me.

“You carry a gun, don’t you?”

“Sometimes. Do you see a holster now?”

I scan his hips and shake my head, allowing my eyes to linger on the tight fit of his uniform pants over his strong thighs and the thick belt at his narrow waist. Ranger Daniels is packing heat, but not of the pistol variety.

Is it hot in here, or is it just me?

A distinct braying reaches my ears.

“Is that a donkey?” I tip my head.

“What would a donkey be doing up here? Makes no sense.”

“Ask him. Or her.” I point at the gray beast moving toward us. “I’m a city girl, but I’m pretty sure that’s an ass.”

“Well, I’ll be damned.” Jay removes his hat.

Maybe he plans to shoo away our attacker with it?

The gray form ambles toward us, letting out a loud bray and revealing large teeth.

“Should we be worried?” I’m standing behind Jay again.

“About a donkey? They’re mostly docile. He’s probably just curious.” Shifting his attention forward, he addresses our new friend. “Hey there. Where’d you come from?”

The donkey halts.

“See? He’s fine. Probably thinks we’re bringing treats.”

“And what will he do when he realizes we’re showing up to his house empty-handed?” I’m half mocking. In my world, not bringing a hostess gift is an unthinkable breach of etiquette. I have no idea about the social decorum for equines.

“Let’s go.” Jay encourages me forward with a sweep of his hat.

We take several steps and the donkey does the same without breaking eye contact, like we’re about to duel. There’s definitely a challenge, a mild threat in the eyes of our new foe.

“Should we slowly retreat to the fence?” I whisper at Jay’s back.

“Nah, we’re fine.”

“Maybe he’s a guard donkey.” I slide a glance over my shoulder toward safety. We’re a dozen or so yards away, but it isn’t too late to make a quick escape.

Jay’s eyes meet mine. “You know guard donkeys aren’t a thing.”

“I’m a stranger in a strange land—anything’s possible.” I wait until he faces forward to stick my tongue out at him.

He’s shaking his head and clearly not paying attention to me anymore as he stomps across the squishy field.

Left with no choice, I follow after him.

My boot slips in the mud, or donkey poop—it’s impossible to tell the difference. I squawk and flail my arms as I tumble forward in an awkward motion resembling the mating dance of an emu.

The donkey’s ears prick up before flattening against his head.

“Uh oh,” I murmur as I straighten up.

“It’s fine,” Jay says for the dozenth time.

Only he’s wrong.

About the Author

Born and raised in San Diego, Daisy currently lives in a real life Stars Hollow in the Boston suburbs with her husband, their rescue dog, Mulder, and an imaginary house goat. When not writing about herself in the third person, Daisy can be found traveling, gardening, baking, or lost in a good book.

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Website: https://www.daisyprescott.com/

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Review – Weight Expectations by M.E. Carter

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Hilarious, engaging and relatable, I started laughing out loud from the first page” — Kristin Vayden, bestselling author

Weight Expectations, the first in the romantic comedy Cipher Office series of standalones, from M.E. Carter is available now!

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Rian Thompson thought she joined the gym to get healthy. Little did she know she was about to add hundred and ninety pounds of swoonworthy abdominal muscles and arrogance to her life.

Every day in Rians’s life follows a predictable pattern, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s got a nice job, a nice place to live, and a nice family—even if they are a little wedding-zilla-ish at the moment.

She doesn’t need anything spectacular to be happy. She just needs to get healthy—mentally, physically. . . and maybe spiritually if that happens. But she’ll settle for two out of three until her sister finally gets hitched.

Carlos Davies thought his life was perfect. Little did he know it was about to be turned upside down by a woman who is not his type.

In Carlos’s mind, his life is damn near perfect. He’s got a great job, a great place to live, and a great stash of pick up lines that always work. It has occurred to him that maybe no one actually takes him all that seriously. But with these bulging biceps and thick, dark hair, does that even matter since he’s never sleeping alone?

Welcome to Weight Expectations, where great—and unexpected—things happen.

‘Weight Expectations’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#1 in the Cipher Office series, Knitting in the City World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

 

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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BFF K’s Review of Weight Expectations

There are few storylines that I like better than a cocky hero who gets knocked on his a$$. And Carlos Davies is about to get his world rocked when he least expects it!

We can be honest…..at the beginning of this book, Carlos is…. an a$$hole. He’s cocky, self-absorbed and really really regimented about his fitness and lifestyle. Rian is not. She’s none of those things. She’s snarky, funny, sweet, smart and kind. And, she thinks, that Carlos thinks, he’s pretty darn special. And, she’s not wrong.

When Rian joins a new gym (Weight Expectations) she’s not so thrilled about the exercise, but she is ecstatic about meeting some new friends. She’s quickly taken under the wings of Abel (her trainer), Tabitha (the smoothie bar-ista) and Fred (resident geriatric hot-shot). This new group of friends helps her to expand her outlook on life. She recognizes the areas of personal growth she wants to embrace beyond the gym. And she creates for herself, the mindset to make those changes happen. This is a wonderful transformation, even if her plus size figure stays on the plus side.

Carlos is a pillar of health. He has a staunch regimen that he follows religiously. This is NOT the guy who skips leg day, or ab day or arm day. He eats clean. And his personal life is pretty darn clean as well. It’s stark and void of much color or personality. He works hard and plays pretty much never.

While they may seem like the most opposite of personalities, they find in each other a comfortable and comforting partnership. One where they each smooth the other’s rough edges and they support each other’s personal growth. It’s a delightful transition and makes the book a joyful, uplifting read. And it’s also wickedly funny!

Weight Expectations exceeded my expectations. I loved both Rian and Carlos and their unique and entertaining love story! This is another great installment in the new Smartypants Romance Universe!

 

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

About the Author

My name is ME Carter and I have no idea how I ended writing books. I’m more of a story teller (the more exaggerated the better) and I happen to know people who helped me get those stories on paper. I love reading (read almost 200 books last year), hate working out (but I do it anyway because my trainer makes me), love food (but hate what it does to my butt) and love traveling to non-touristy places most people never see. I live in Houston with my four kids, Mary, Elizabeth, Carter and Bug, who was just a twinkle in my eye when I came up with my pen name. Yeah, I’ll probably have to pay for his therapy someday for being left out.

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Review – Baking Me Crazy by Karla Sorensen

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“Friends to lovers at its best– a sweet indulgence I couldn’t put down!” – R.S. Grey, USA Today Bestselling Author

Baking Me Crazy, the first in the romantic comedy Donner Bakery Series of standalones, from Karla Sorensen is available now!

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I’m Levi Buchanan, and until five years ago, I thought the legend of my family’s curse was a load of crazy, Southern nonsense.

No curse can make you fall in love at first sight. No curse can force a true, deep, passionate, all-consuming love that will haunt you all the days of your life.

Then I met Jocelyn Abernathy and I realized how completely wrong I was.

The problem is, Jocelyn guards her feelings like well-armed soldier. She’s the most beautiful, stubborn, infuriating woman I’ve ever met. Every time she talks, I want to kiss the living daylights out of her. But I can’t.

Because when we met, she didn’t need true love. She needed a best friend. And that’s what I’ve been to her… for five years.

But when Jocelyn meets a handsome stranger her first day working at Donner Bakery and she lets him buy her a dill pickle cupcake, I realize with ominous regret that I may have missed my window with my best friend.

If I can’t get her to see past our friendship, my new curse may be to watch the love of my life move on with someone else.

‘Baking Me Crazy’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#1 in the Donner Bakery series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Download your copy today!

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BFF K’s Review of Baking Me Crazy

If Baking Me Crazy is any indication, we all need to get ready for some incredible books from the Smartypants Romance writers!
There’s a Buchanan Curse. ”…it’s been said that Buchanan men fall in love only once, and they fall in love—real, true love—the moment they meet the one.“ Levi Buchanan has fallen victim to the curse as well and the object of his affection is his best friend Joss. They’re move from friends to lovers is a slow burn, but so sweet and authentic that you’ll be cheering for them to “figure it out already!”
Part of what I love about Penny Reid and the Smartypants universe is a commitment to tell stories with diverse characters and truly unique settings. Baking Me Crazy is a glowing example of both of these tenets. Joss is an extraordinary character and it’s wonderful to read a book that places you in a unique setting and in the mind of a character with a uncommon set of circumstance. And, Levi fiercely loves her through it all. It’s fun reading the scenes as he tries to get Joss to switch from the BFF mindset to Best Friends with All-the-Benefits!
I absolutely recommend Baking Me Crazy, in fact, I think I told 3 people at work about it on Tuesday. I hope many many more people will read it too! Bring on all the Smartypants books ASAP!
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 from Baking Me Crazy

“Besides, this is my best friend perk. Shouldn’t I get perks in baked goods?”

She cut me a look. “You’ve been getting those perks for two years, Buchanan. Don’t even pretend you didn’t put on a solid ten pounds that first year I started baking.” Quite pointedly, she looked at my stomach, which we both knew was covered in muscle.

“That’s rude,” I mumbled under my breath. I flexed my bicep. Nero licked my elbow since it was right in front of him. “Yeah, ten pounds in my left arm maybe.”

The noise she made roughly translated to you are ridiculous. She made that sound at me a lot. Of course, the sad truth of the matter was that I was ridiculous.

Not once in the past five years had my feelings lessened for her. I had just learned to live with them. In my junior year of undergrad, I was taking a class on brain pathology in injuries, and a man came to talk to us about how he learned to live without his right arm after it was amputated.

He told us about how, even years after he lost his arm, his brain still triggered sensations to the limb that was no longer there. The adult brain, in particular, struggled to reorganize after the loss of a limb, and given that four out of five amputees suffer from phantom pain symptoms, some of which were incredibly debilitating, it was a lesson that stuck with me.

I wasn’t fool enough to think that me loving Jocelyn was on par with a man who’d lost his arm, but something about the way he talked plucked at a chord inside me. Sometimes my brain struggled to remember that we were just friends.

She’d never dated, never even hinted that she wanted to. She’d never given me a longing glance. Never stared at my mouth like she wondered what it tasted like.

But my hands never, not once, stopped wanting to reach for hers. My fingers always, always itched to dig into her crazy hair and see what the curve of her scalp felt like.

My brain knew what this relationship was, but sometimes, the signals it sent to the rest of my body didn’t always match up with the truth of our situation. We worked out together a lot, Joss and I, and when she got frustrated with the limitations of her body, I always wanted to wrap my arms around her.

I wanted to pull her into the curve of my body, absorb her dissatisfaction into my skin, and carry it for her. That was the irony when she made noises like that.

She had absolutely no clue how ridiculous I really was.

About the Author

Karla Sorensen has been an avid reader her entire life, preferring stories with a happily-ever-after over just about any other kind. And considering she has an entire line item in her budget for books, she realized it might just be cheaper to write her own stories. It doesn’t take much to keep her happy…a book, a really big glass of wine, and at least thirty minutes of complete silence every day. She still keeps her toes in the world of health care marketing, where she made her living pre-babies. Now she stays home, writing and mommy-ing full time (this translates to almost every day being a ‘pajama day’ at the Sorensen household…don’t judge). She lives in West Michigan with her husband, two exceptionally adorable sons and big, shaggy rescue dog.

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Website: http://www.karlasorensen.com/

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Review – Black Sheep by Meghan March

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

Every family has a black sheep.

In the infamous Casso crime family, that black sheep is me—Cannon Freeman.

Except I’m not a free man. I’ve never been free. Not since the day I was born.

I owe my loyalty to my father, Dominic Casso, even if he won’t publicly acknowledge me as his blood.

I’ve never had a reason to go against his wishes…until I met her.

Drew Carson turned my world upside down when she walked into my club looking for a job.

Now, my honor and my life are on the line.

Going against my father’s wishes might buy me a bullet straight from his gun, but black sheep or not, it’s time to make my stand.

She’s worth the fallout.

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BFF K’s Review of Black Sheep

Black Sheep is a dark, foreboding, mind-twisting, delicious, angsty, steamy, suspenseful romance! Meghan March builds the most amazing worlds and this one is centered in the mafia. There’s more to Drew than she is revealing and Cannon doesn’t know why buy he’s absolutely willing to risk everything to discover all her secrets!

As with any Meghan March masterpiece, I can’t say much without spoiling all the delicious goodness! Both the audiobook and the book are incredible. Sometimes you just need a little mysterious mob drama and this book is the boss!

An advance copy of this book was received. The reviewer listened to the audiobook via the Audible Escapes package. Receipt of the advance copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

 

 

About the Author

 

Making the jump from corporate lawyer to romance author was a leap of faith that New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Meghan March will never regret. With over thirty titles published, she has sold millions of books in nearly a dozen languages to fellow romance-lovers around the world. A nomad at heart, she can currently be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, living her happily ever after with her real-life alpha hero.

Sign up for Meghan’s newsletter and receive exclusive content that she saves for her subscribers: http://meghanmarch.com/subscribe

To get the inside scoop on a daily basis, search Meghan March’s Runaway Readers on Facebook and join the fun!

 

 

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE | TWITTER |

 

 

 

Review – On the Corner of Love and Hate by Nina Bocci

 

For fans of Lauren Layne and Kristan Higgins comes a delightfully “fun bit of fluffy entertainment” (Publishers Weekly) in the first book of a charming new series, in which a young woman is forced to help her old friend revamp his image for the upcoming mayoral elections…and discovers that she might not be as immune to his charms as she once thought.

When Emmanuelle Peroni’s father—and current mayor of Hope Lake, Pennsylvania—suggests she help with Cooper Endicott’s campaign, she’s horrified. Cooper, one of her (former) oldest friends, drives her crazy in every way possible. But he’s also her father’s protégé, so Emma reluctantly launches her plan to help him win the local election.

It’s not as easy as it looks. Cooper’s colorful love life is the sticking point for many voters, and his opponent is digging up everything he can from his past. It seems that every time Emma puts out the flames from one scandal, another one flares up. Emma knows that if Cooper wants to win, he needs to keep his nose clean. The only problem? She might just be falling in love with the one person she promised never to pursue: the mayoral candidate himself.

 

BUY On the Corner of Love and Hate on Amazon

 

BFF K’s Review – On the Corner of Love and Hate

I’ve been in a serious funk! You know, the kind of funk where you start book after book and can’t finish any of them. The funk where it takes you hours and days to get into a book. I can bust out audiobook after audiobook, because HELLO captive audience on the Interstate. But, I haven’t been able to finish a read book in ages, until On the Corner of Love and Hate by Nina Bocci! This book broke my funk and I couldn’t be more thankful! I was up until almost 2am to finish the story and then went to bed and read 2 chapters in a new story. My funk has ended, hallelujah!

On the Corner of Love and Hate is a sweet story full of tension, romance and so many butterflies. It’s a delightful small-town romance with an engaging cast of characters that draws you in and makes you want to be a part Hope Lake! This story is completely charming and a joy to read!

The banter between the characters and the internal dialogue are both stellar and keep the book moving at a great pace especially from 20% through the end of the book. I’m a bit of a policy/politics nerd and a rule follower. There were a couple of details that bothered me a bit. In “real life,” a few of the circumstances would not have really happened. For instance, the heroine of the story works for a Chamber of Commerce/Economic Development type agency and her dad is the Mayor. That probably wouldn’t happen in real life. I had to let a few of those details go, but I didn’t really mind because I was enjoying the story and the characters so much!

If you’re looking for a wonderful, heart-warming romance filled with lovable characters and a sweet plots, you definitely need to place On the Corner of Love and Hate at the top of your to be read list!

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

 

About the Author

 

 

Nina Bocci is a USA Today Bestselling novelist, publicist, eternal optimist, unabashed lipgloss enthusiast, constant apologist and a hopeless romanticist. She has too many college degrees that she’s not using and a Lego addiction that she blames on her son.

Review – Never Fall in Love with a Rockstar by Rachel Higginson

My name is Clover Calloway and I’ve lived two separate lives.

The first, I like to call “my past.” I never talk about it. I try not to think about it. My rockstar days of playing in one of the hottest bands on the planet are over. Along with the most volatile, beautiful, tragic love story of all time.

Over the past five years, I’ve settled into my second life. My “normal life.” The one where I work a normal job, hang out with normal people and fall in love with a normal, but wonderful guy. The life where I’m admittedly a little bored, but also safe.

My past wasn’t boring. But my past broke my heart into a million, unfixable pieces. So, I’m determined to keep it where it belongs—behind me.

And the man responsible for the shattering of me? Malachi Porter, lead singer and mastermind of Bright Tragedy, should stay there too. Far away from me and this idyllic life I’ve carved out for myself.

But what happens when my two lives collide?

When Malachi comes crashing into my perfectly normal world, he threatens to destroy it, promises to annihilate everything I’ve replaced him with.

He upends everything I thought I wanted and forces me to question the reasons I left Bright Tragedy all those years ago.

But I didn’t walk away five years ago, I ran. As fast as I could go. And while my heart is whispering that it’s different this time—that he’s different—my brain is screaming for me to run again.

Malachi Porter isn’t a normal guy. And he doesn’t belong in my “normal life.” But, nevertheless, he’s bound and determined to make a place for himself here.

I just hope my heart can survive him, that we don’t burn into another bright tragedy.

 

Buy Never Fall in Love with a Rockstar Today

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Add to you TBR on Goodreads

Review Never Fall in Love with a Rockstar

Never fall in love with a rockstar; even if you are one yourself! This is an interesting twist on the rockstar trope. Clover was on top of the music world, a household name, playing sold-out stadiums and doing what she loved with her brother, her friends and her boyfriend-since-childhood. But, eventually it was all too much and she left it all behind. She did everything to start a new life. A simple life. A normal life. But, when her old life crashes headfirst into her new life, she has to examine if this “new her” is who she really wants.

And, things are different than they used to be. But, will those changes last? And are those changes enough to cancel out some of the rough memories and replace them with new ones? Clover has to decide if she can trust this new Kai and figure out where she fits into this new life.

Clover and Kai are well-written characters with so many attributes that are both likeable and relatable. It’s easy to become invested in their love story and truly root for their happily ever after! The hero and heroine are surrounded by a terrific cast of supporting characters that have their own personalities and add depth and liveliness to the tale. How I wish Bright Tragedy was a real band! I’m really hoping that we’ll at least get a series so each of the members of the band can find their own loves!

This story is heartfelt, emotional and full of angst. It’s a story of love, fame, success, addiction, recovery and forgiveness. Woven through these themes is a romance for the ages. Never Fall in Love with a Rockstar is a gripping, emotional, page-turner and I definitely recommend adding it to your TBR!

 

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

 

About the Author

Rachel Higginson is the best-selling author of The Opposite of You, The Five Stages of Falling in Love, Every Wrong Reason, Bet on Us and The Star-Crossed Series.

She was born and raised in Nebraska, and spent her college years traveling the world. She fell in love with Eastern Europe, Paris, Indian Food and the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka, but came back home to marry her high school sweetheart. Now she spends her days writing stories and raising five amazing kids.

 

 

You can visit Rachel:
Instagram @mywritesdntbite
rachelhigginson.com
facebook.com/rachelhigginsonauthor
Twitter @mywritesdntbite

Review – Rogue Wave by J Bengtsson

We are so excited to be sharing the release of ROGUE WAVE, the next standalone in J. Bengtsson’s beloved Cake series. Be sure to grab your copy today or read it for free with Kindle Unlimited!

 

About ROGUE WAVE

A love story that survives the test of time.

Keith McKallister is the king of the stoners. You know the type. Every school has one – the hot, fun, dopey guy beloved by the student body but despised by, well, just about everyone else. He spends his early mornings in the ocean and his days trying to get to class on time. Life is as easy as it gets until one poor choice too many catches up with him and he’s forced to reevaluate his path.

Samantha Anderson sits in the front row. You know the type. Every school has one – the quiet, faceless, studious girl who fears the taunts of her peers and fades into the background. Life has never been simple for Samantha, and it’s about to get a little more complicated when Keith slides into the seat beside her with a partnership plan designed for his benefit only. But what Keith brings to the table is more than either of them could imagine.

Sometimes the person you least expect to make a difference will change your life forever. Sometimes the person you love the most might be better off without you.

Add ROGUE WAVE to your Goodreads TBR!

Get your copy of ROGUE WAVE on Amazon today!

 

 

BFF K’s Review of Rogue Wave

 

Finally! I finally have the answers to the mystery of Keith McAllister. Since Book 1 – Cake: A Love Story, I’ve been drawn to Keith. He seemed like such a wonderful and somewhat tortured soul. I have craved his backstory. The previous stories in this series briefly touched on his substance abuse, but it just felt like there was so much beneath the surface. And, the full story was everything I had hoped for and more!

It’s really hard to pick a favorite McAllister. They’re all so fantastic for their own reasons. But, Keith….Keith will hold a special place in my heart. He’s battered but keeps reviving himself in ways that are so genuine and heartening. He’s like a piece of Kintsugi pottery, the way his broken pieces are fused back together makes him even more beautiful than before. And, I think Sam is the gold that holds it all together. She’s lovely on her own, but combined with Keith they make a piece that is more perfect than either were alone. (Wow, super cheesy analogy, but it seems so perfect!)

J Bengtsson just continues to outdo herself. Each book in this series is more emotional and more perfect than the one before. I want the McAllister family to exist in real life and I want to be a part of it! I don’t think it’s too much to ask to be a slightly distant cousin or really close family friend….I just want to live in the middle of this crazy, funny, loving, supportive, wonderful family! At least each story gives me a spot in their world from beginning to end and book to book. You won’t need to read the rest of the series to fall in love with Keith and Sam, but why wouldn’t you want to?!?! Rogue Wave continues this fantastic series and the stories just keep getting better and better!

 

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

 

 


Get your copy of ROGUE WAVE on Amazon today!

 

About the Author

A professional stay-at-home-mom for twenty-one years, Jill started her writing career in 2016 after reading a really bad rockstar romance. Although she had no previous writing experience and no desire to become an author, Jill was convinced she could write a better story.

And so began Cake: A Love Story. She wrote the novel for fun and added every single thing she’d ever wanted to read in a romance. Embarrassed by her newfound hobby, Jill kept her writing a secret from her family.

When the story was complete, she turned to Amazon to get the feedback she desired. Not thinking the book would ever sell, Jill planned to pull Cake off Amazon once it got a review or two but that never happened because, within a week of its release, Cake began to soar up the bestseller charts. Not only was Jill shocked by Cake’s success but now she had a whole new burgeoning career on her hands…and some explaining to do. Needless to say, the news of Jill’s secret book bay came as a complete shock to her husband and three children.

Jill is now a full-time writer.

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