EXCLUSIVE Interview – That’s What She Said with Hilaria Alexander






Two years ago, his kiss left her reeling, but she pushed him away and they never spoke of it again.

Lena Andrews is bad at love, and has no intention of getting better at it.

Men are good for one thing, and love isn’t it.

She’s perfectly okay with finding happiness in her job as a comic book artist.

Yet, she can’t shake the memory of her coworker’s kiss.

Amos St. Clair has stayed the hell away from Lena Andrews for the last two years.

Work has filled his time and he’s on the cusp of making a name for himself. When an opportunity to complete a project that’s dear to Lena’s heart presents itself, Amos seizes the opportunity – even if it means being with the woman he’s avoided all this time.

Through their mutual passion for art and each other, their love blooms like a lotus flower out of a dark, muddy pool. But, is their love strong enough to withstand the challenges posed by the most important job of their careers?



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That’s What She Said Exclusive Interview with Hilaria Alexander

When BFF K finished The Art of Us, she immediately had to know more about the story and the world created in the story! We hope you’ll enjoy this sneak peek behind the scenes of The Art of Us!


BFF K: This book was so detailed and in a world that was completely foreign to me (manga/cartoon) how much research did you have to do? Is this something you enjoy? Where should a newbie start if they want to check some of this out?

HA: I grew up in Italy and I’m an eighties child. When I was a kid, Japanese anime were extremely popular. I watched tons of robot-sagas like Voltron and lots of “magical girl anime” by Studio Pierrot like Creamy Mami and Magical Girl Emi. The heroine was usually a young teen who was in possession of a magic wand and could transform into an older girl, kind of like Erica Raymond becomes Jem from Jem and the Holograms. When I was in high school, I watched the anime version of Marmalade Boy by Wataru Yoshizumi and Neighborhood Story by Ai Yazawa before I even read the comics. Later, I decided to start studying Japanese and as my love for Japanese culture grew, so did my interest for manga (Japanese comics).  Some of my favorites were Slam Dunk by Takehiko Inoue, centered about a young greaser/gang leader who starts playing basketball to win the heart of the girl he loves, and Neighborhood Story by Ai Yazawa. If you’d like to check out some manga, I would suggest picking up Shojo Beat by Viz Media or checking out their site. Most popular anime series started out as a manga. Sailor Moon (Naoko Takeuchi), Inuyasha (Rumiko Takahashi), Vagabond (Takehiko Inoue), are all great series that started as a manga.



BFF K: I know you spent time in Japan in college. How much of this experience made an appearance in The Art of Us?

HA: Some details are definitely taken from my experience overseas. I don’t have a lot in common with the heroine of my story besides the fact that she was also an exchange student and lived for a time in Japan with her best friend. The house were Lena and Maggie lived is an accurate description of the house where my best friend and I lived. It was within walking distance from Shibuya, one of the busiest districts, but it was far from glamourous. However, I did love that little neighborhood a lot. The places described in the novel are places I traveled to – there was so much more I wanted to include. The story about Lena never seeing Mount Fuji or the one about the old lady from the hostel in Nikko are things that happened to me in real life.


BFF K: Tell is about the unfinished manga IRL that inspired this story.

HA: It’s called Nana and it’s by Ai Yazawa. She is hands down my favorite artist. Her style is so unique, and her stories are beautifully crafted. Nana is about two best friends, Nana Komatsu and Nana Osaki, who meet on the train to Tokyo and end up sharing an apartment by accident. The first volume came out in Japan in 2001 – just when I started my year there as an exchange student – but nothing new has been published since 2009. The manga is on indefinite hiatus. Ai Yazawa was ill for a while, and then there were rumors she was well enough to go back to work. However, nothing new has been published and no one knows what’s the author’s ailment or if the story will ever be completed. It’s the BIGGEST cliffhanger of my life – I believe the millions of people who read this manga will agree. Even if it’s incomplete, I highly recommend it.

These are “adult” manga and they are just as addictive as romance novels.


BFF K: Lena’s relationship with Rika-san was so lovely. What inspired that relationship? Do you have a mentor like that for your writing?

HA: I have a lot of women who inspire me to be a better writer and better human in general, but I don’t have a mentor quite like Rika-san – I just tried to imagine how I would feel if I found myself in that kind of position. I think Lena’s reluctance to go to Japan at first was really because she didn’t want to disrespect her idol. She loved her too much and didn’t want to “humiliate” her like that.


BFF K: I’ve seen your Pinterest boards but for those who haven’t, tell us about your inspirations for Lena and Amos.

HA: Ahhhhh! I love Pinterest. I don’t always have a clear visual of my characters, so Pinterest helps. My inspiration for Lena is Marion Cotillard – I think I had a hard time picturing Lena at first. I have been thinking about writing this book for the last two years and since the beginning I always had a very strong idea of her personality more than her looks. Marion Cotillard embodies in movies quite often those traits that made Lena who she was: strong, yet extremely fragile, feminine, but with an edge. My inspiration for Amos is Adam Driver. When I imagined Amos I thought of someone who had to be solid, strong, comfortable with who he was. He needed to be strong and patient enough to carry Lena’s pain and her insecurities. Coincidentally, the name Amos means brave. I know not everyone finds Adam Driver attractive – but he’s a fantastic actor and I’ve liked him since I first saw him on Girls. I might be biased, but I find his character on Star Wars one of the most compelling villains ever.


BFF K: I LOVED the cameo from Amira Farouk from Lost in Scotland! Will Amira be getting her own story?

HA: Maybe someday. Never say never. I would like everyone to get their own story, but time is against me. I would really like to write about Amos’ sister Charleigh. I’m dying to write a book set in the kitchen of a restaurant.


RAPID FIRE with Hilaria Alexander

BFF K: We do a fun rapid fire round with all of our That’s What She Said interviews, give us your quick answer to the following tough choices!

HA: I’m just going to say this rapid fire is cruel. There is no good answer! LOL!


Books or Manga?

Sorry, Manga. I have to say Books.


Mountains or Ocean?

Oceans. I’m a sea person.


American Pop Music or Japanese Pop Music?

I wouldn’t be who I am without American Pop Music.


Sushi or Steak?



Sake or Sapporo?



Camaro or Prius?



Reading or Writing?

Reading was my first love, but writing is something I never thought I’d fall in love with.

I choose writing.


Comic Book Store or Shoe Store?

Comic Book. My feet are big, I have a hard time finding the right shoes.


Rosetta Stone or Language Classes?

Language classes. It’s more fun if you’re interacting with other people.


A HUGE Thank You to Hilaria Alexander for sharing some insight into The Art of Us! We hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of That’s What She Said! If you haven’t picked it up yet, we can’t recommend it strongly enough – this is a wonderful story!

Check out BFF K’s 5-Rated Review of The Art of Us!


RELEASE DAY The Art of Us Hilaria Alexander Teaser


About the Author

Hilaria Alexander never thought she’d be a writer one day. Reader? Yes. Book hoarder? You betcha. Then, she started reading romance – that’s when she felt the need to write a story. Unfortunately, she didn’t listen to her gut, and talked herself out of it A MILLION TIMES. She finally gave up a few years ago, when the urge to write was stronger than self-doubt. She loves funny, sexy romances wrapped with a huge happily-ever-after bow at the end. Her inbox is always open if you want to chat about one of her books.


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Review – On a Tuesday by Whitney G.

We met on a Tuesday.
Became best friends, then lovers, on a Tuesday.
And everything fell apart on a Tuesday… 

Charlotte Taylor has three automatic strikes in my book: 1) She hates me. She also claims that I’m a “domineering jerk with a huge, overbearing ego.” (I do have something huge. It’s not my ego, though.) 2) She takes our mandatory tutoring sessions way too seriously. 3) She’s sexy as hell…And a virgin.

At least, those were her strikes before our study sessions started lasting longer than they were supposed to. Until one innocent kiss became a hundred dirty ones, and until she became the first woman I ever fell hard for.

Our future together after graduation was supposed to be set:
Professional football for me. Law school for her.

But she left me at the end of the semester with no explanation, and then she completely disappeared from my life.

Until tonight.

We met on a Tuesday.
Became everything, then nothing, on a Tuesday.
And now it’s seven years later, on a Tuesday… 

Find it on Goodreads!

Guest Blogger MJ Review of On a Tuesday

Hey BFFs!  With all the cold temps and snow storms sweeping the nation, I’m staying in by the fire and reading during January! So, I’m catching up quickly on my to read list and have a good one to share with you.  This was my first book by author Whitney G.,“On A Tuesday.” This is the first stand-alone in her new One Week series.

The story is a second chance romance about two college sweethearts who barely got their love story started before they went their separate ways, and then are unexpectedly reunited years later.

It would be easy to fall into stereotypes with these characters and this story line, but both characters were dynamic and surprising at times.

Grayson is the school’s all-star senior quarterback bound for the NFL with a reputation as player off the field, too.  But, behind the image, there’s much more to him.  Charlotte is his opposite in every way, a reserved, serious prelaw student with a love for art.  She is closed off to relationships after a series of dating disasters, and Grayson seems like another in a long line of jerks she’s encountered.

In all these years at the same school, they have never crossed paths until they are thrown together as seniors, when Charlotte is assigned to tutor Grayson.  She is definitely not open to Grayson’s immediate flirtation, keeping their weekly Tuesday tutoring session all business. But, he is up to the challenge. It is not often that he has to chase a girl, and he’s sure this one is worth the wait.

I found myself completely charmed by Grayson’s relentless quest to get more than tutoring from Charlotte.  As I read, I was laughing and smiling at his efforts to win her over, as if he was sitting across the table from me on Tuesdays at the coffee shop.  Eventually, as their friendship develops, Charlotte is charmed too, and surprised to realize she may have misjudged Grayson. She lets him in slowly, and their relationship grows serious.  But, as quickly as it began, it is all abruptly over, with many unanswered questions, and the future they imagined together will seemingly never come to be.

I was cheering for them to find their way back together, though, when we catch up with them years later.  They are both professionally successful and leading their own lives.  But, it is hard for either of them to hide that they are both still very affected by their attraction and the unspoken, unfinished business between them.  Seeing each other again, they both wonder if they can bear to open the old wounds, face the past, and attempt to mend their broken hearts. And, if they do, can they move forward, together or apart?

In addition to great character development, I loved Whitney G’s writing style. She crafted very realistic, comfortable dialogue for the characters, and the story included entertaining believable supporting characters surrounding the main couple.  The pacing of the story was spot on.  The use of flashbacks and alternating perspective created the angsty story that slowly fills in the blanks, but keeps you guessing along with the characters about how it will all end!  I’m looking forward to more in this series!


Guest Blogger MJ


About the Author

Whitney G. is a twenty-eight-year-old optimist who is obsessed with travel, tea, and great coffee. She’s also a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of several contemporary novels, and the cofounder of The Indie Tea–an inspirational blog for indie romance authors.

When she’s not chatting with readers on her Facebook Page, you can find her on her website or on instagram: @whitneyg.author. (If she’s not in either of those places, she’s probably locked away working on another crazy story.)
Don’t forget to sign up for Whitney’s monthly newsletter here.

Review – The Heiress by Cassia Leo



The Heiress is a new heartfelt and suspenseful stand-alone novel from New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo.  How much is love worth?

Twenty-two-year-old Kristin and her single mom have always struggled to make ends meet. When her mother’s body begins to deteriorate after many back-breaking years of working as a housekeeper, Kristin must say farewell to her college dreams and hello to a full-time job waitressing. She doesn’t really mind. After all, giving up on her dreams will be her penance for that one horrible night.

Her luck begins to turn when she meets Daniel Meyers. Daniel is sexy and funny, but most importantly, he wants to get to know the real Kristin. It doesn’t hurt that he’s also extremely wealthy and intent on protecting her. Kristin feels safe with him. She wants to open up to him, to share the details of the awful night that changed her life. But she can’t shake the feeling that Daniel may be keeping a dark secret of his own…

Find it on Goodreads

Guest Blogger Review of The Heiress

Hey BFFs!  I’m finally dropping in to share some reading love with you!  I’ve been catching up on my late-2017 releases that I didn’t get finished over my holiday break.  In September, author Cassia Leo, released her first stand-alone in 4 years, The Heiress.  If you didn’t catch it at release, add it to your library today!

In this story, Kristin is barely making ends meet working as a waitress and caring for her disabled mother in a tiny dingy New York apartment. An unexpected eviction notice posted on her door one afternoon leads her to a chance meeting with handsome, wealthy Daniel Meyers, who saves the day, when she can’t convince her landlord there has been a mistake.  There is an immediate spark between Kristen and Daniel, and it is clear she hasn’t seen the last of him.  But, her dark past is never far from her thoughts, and she tells herself can’t allow herself to get caught up in a relationship.

But, when he keeps showing up to save the day, what’s a girl to do?  Kristin cautiously begins allowing him in, allowing herself the comfort of his protective nature. She has spent so long punishing herself and taking care of others in her life, and as she spends time with Daniel, she begins to believe she might deserve to be loved, too.  At the same time, even if she can learn to trust him with her secrets, she can’t help but notice Daniel might be hiding something dark of his own.

I loved the pace of this book, as it mixed a little bit of mystery and suspense with the angst of two cautious souls beginning a romance that they aren’t sure they deserve.  At the same time, it wasn’t too drawn out and the story kept progressing, revealing the unknown, chapter by chapter, without getting stale.  Leo’s usual comfortable, conversational narrative style is very easy to read.  Both characters were very likable and real, with good hearts, and I was cheering for them to find happiness together against the the odds!  Romantics will really enjoy Kristin and Daniel’s surprise filled story, too.


Guest Blogger MJ

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo loves her coffee, chocolate, and margaritas with salt. When she’s not writing, she spends way too much time re-watching Game of Thrones. When she’s not binge watching, she’s usually enjoying the Oregon rain with a cup of coffee and a book. She’s the author of the New York Times bestselling Shattered Hearts series and Black Box, and the USA Today bestselling series The Story of Us, Luke, Knox, and Unmasked.

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



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


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.

Quick Review – Roomies by Christina Lauren


From subway to Broadway to happily ever after. Modern love in all its thrill, hilarity, and uncertainty has never been so compulsively readable as in New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren’s (Beautiful Bastard, Dating You / Hating You) new romance.

Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

For months Holland Bakker has invented excuses to descend into the subway station near her apartment, drawn to the captivating music performed by her street musician crush. Lacking the nerve to actually talk to the gorgeous stranger, fate steps in one night in the form of a drunken attacker. Calvin Mcloughlin rescues her, but quickly disappears when the police start asking questions.

Using the only resource she has to pay the brilliant musician back, Holland gets Calvin an audition with her uncle, Broadway’s hottest musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until his reason for disappearing earlier becomes clear: he’s in the country illegally, his student visa having expired years ago.

Seeing that her uncle needs Calvin as much as Calvin needs him, a wild idea takes hold of her. Impulsively, she marries the Irishman, her infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves and Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway—in the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting—will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

BFF K’s Quick Review of Roomies

Christina Lauren consistently delivers incredible books. They’re full of heart and humor, clever and charming characters and heartwarming storylines. Roomies proves the consistency of this rule! Holland and Calvin are each searching for their own fulfillment. They want to lead meaningful and enjoyable lives, but they’re both a little stuck for a variety of reasons.

They come together in a marriage of convenience that quickly becomes a marriage of love and mutual adoration. Their journey to discover themselves and discover each other is absolutely delightful. This was a combo read and listen and both were equally compelling. This title comes with a little higher price point, but it’s worth every penny!

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


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





Review – Barreled Over by Jenna Sutton


Ready for another round?

Ava Grace Landy’s music career is humming along until a shakeup at her label jeopardizes her recording contract and curses her with the world’s worst boss. Determined to satisfy him, she partners with Trinity Distillery to access a larger male audience. To her surprise, she’s the one who’s satisfied—by none other than Jonah Beck, the gorgeous, yet gruff man behind the bourbon.

No doubt about it, bourbon runs in Beck’s blood. But it’s audacious Ava Grace who makes it run hot. When she signs on as the spokesperson for his craft distillery, he doesn’t plan on hoisting her onto an oak barrel and rocking the rickhouse. Though he’s convinced their lives don’t mix—like a terrible cocktail—he can’t keep his hands off the alluring country star.

Ava Grace and Beck try to keep their intoxicating relationship private, but the glare of her fame is too bright, revealing secrets they both want to remain hidden. With a spotlight shining on his tumultuous past, their future is at risk. Now they must decide if being together is worth sacrificing the career she loves and the company he’s poured his heart and soul into.


Buy Barreled Over (Trinity Distillery Book #1) on Amazon

BFF K’s Review of Barreled Over


I think that Jenna Sutton is one of the most overlooked authors in the Romance genre! I have absolutely LOVED every book of hers that I’ve read. Her characters are delightful and well developed. Her stories are well written and emotionally charged. I smile and swoon and even tear up a little every time I get lost in one of her books. Barreled Over is another great example of her terrific work!

Ava Grace is a country music star, but she’s also a friend and a daughter and a really wonderful, down-to-earth woman. To appease the new leadership at her record label, she agrees to an endorsement deal with an up and coming bourbon company. Jonah Beck is one of the owners of Trinity Distillery and a good man with a fractured past. He is drawn to Ava Grace, but reluctant to pursue her until he just can’t resist anymore. Both characters are struggling with their pasts and trying to build solid futures. It ends up that they’re just about perfect for each other.

I enjoy a book where every character has likeable features. Since this is the start of a series, there are lots of new characters introduced and they’re all interesting and enjoyable. I loved Ava Grace and Beck and I can’t wait for the next book in the Trinity series! I recommend Barreled Over or any of the other great books by Jenna Sutton!



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


BFF K’s Review of other Jenna Sutton Books

Coming Apart at the Seams

Hanging by a Thread

The Perfect Fit

Riley O’Brien and Co. Novellas


About the Author

Jenna Sutton is the author of the Riley O’Brien & Co. romances. She is a former award-winning journalist who traded fact for fiction when she began writing novels. Surprisingly, the research she conducted for her articles provided a lot of inspiration for her books. Jenna has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Texas Christian University and a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University. She and her husband live in Texas in a 105-year-old house affectionately known as “The Money Pit”. You can find out more about Jenna and her books by visiting www.jennasutton.com.