Revelry by Kandi Steiner

Happy release day to my girl, Kandi Steiner. She killed it with this one, you’re going to want to pick up a copy for yourself and all your girlfriends.

 

SYNOPSIS

Wren Ballard is trying to find herself.

She never expected to be divorced at twenty-seven, but now that the court date has passed, it’s official. The paperwork is final. Her feelings on it aren’t.

Spending the summer in a small mountain town outside Seattle is exactly what she needs. The peaceful scenery is a given, the cat with the croaky meow is a surprise, but the real kicker? A broody neighbor with nice arms, a strange reputation, and absolutely no interest in her.

Anderson Black is perfectly fine being lost.

He doesn’t care about the town’s new resident — he’s too busy fighting his own demons. But when he’s brought face to face with Wren, he can see her still-fresh wounds from a mile away. What he doesn’t see coming is his need to know who put them there — or his desperation to mend them.

Sometimes getting lost is the way to find yourself. Sometimes healing only adds a new scar. And sometimes the last place you expected to be is exactly where you find home.

MY REVIEW

Having just finished REVELRY an hour before sitting down to write this review, I feel as though I’m still working through my feelings. What I DO know, is that I loved it. No surprise there! Kandi Steiner remains one of my favorite authors these days, and REVELRY is a perfect example of why.

“He was trying to figure out my story–who I was, why I was there. And I’d have told him, but I didn’t know myself.”

Divorced or not, Wren is an incredibly relatable character and I found myself rooting for her from the very first page. And as usual–I wasn’t disappointed.

I’m on a Roll

I don’t want to jinx anything, but, when it comes to books, I’m on a roll.

It started early this year with Lucky You by Erika Carter—which was so beautifully written. There’s something about young women trying to find themselves and make sense of their messy lives that always gets me. And then I jumped right into History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund. The writing was exquisite and the characters so well-formed that I didn’t even mind being left with unanswered questions in the end. Shortly after that, I read All The Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood, which was so uncomfortable and beautiful and attitude-altering that I will probably always get chills when I think about it. From there, there was Dark Matter (devoured) and The Animators (truly a touching story of the vulnerability of women and friendship) and I’ve put the smallest dent into The Possessions in the past twenty-four hours. 

These would be the books that sit out on my bedside table (if I had one—but seriously, I’m in the market for one, I’m just so damn picky and cheap) because I never want to be too far away from them. And beside them would be the perfect reading lamp (that is evading me) and a collection of my favorite pens (that, in another word, my toddler wouldn’t run off with). A glass of water. Lip balm. Hand lotion. Now I’ve gone off topic…

All of this is just to say: there are truly some incredible books out there. And I’ve read five of them already this year.

I Want to Start Reading Like Ksenia Anske

I’m a bookworm. I always have been and I always will be. It’s rare that I don’t have a book with me. It’s rare to see me, in my spare time, not with a book in my hand or close by. I love to read … but lately I feel a little like I’m not enjoying it as much as I could be.

It made me think of the incredible, Ksenia Anske.

I follow Ksenia on social media religiously, so I knew she was—for lack of a better term—really paying attention to the books she read, even before she wrote this post about it. I read her post. I read it a second time. And then I thought: this is what I need to do. Maybe not write notes in the detail that she does, but take the time to truly notice how they’re written. I have this bad habit of racing through books—especially the ones I like. And sometimes I feel like that’s going it a disservice. What I really should be doing is slowing down and enjoying it.

So that’s what I’m going to do. And I have no doubt that it will make me a better reader and a better writer. I just might snag myself a pretty little notebook to write in, too, just like Ksenia. And I might just share my experiences with it, because, well, this is my little space on the internet to talk about whatever I want to.

Usually, I want to talk about books.

THE BEST BOOKS I READ ALL YEAR (THE 2016 EDITION)

Here are (in my humble opinion) the best books I read in 2016, in no particular order:

IT ENDS WITH US by Colleen Hoover

There are only two books I’ve ever read that have made me cry, and It Ends With Us is one of them. It was brave and heartbreaking and glorious and absolutely unforgettable.

A LOVE LETTER TO WHISKEY by Kandi Steiner

If you’ve read A Love Letter To Whiskey, you know I don’t even really need to explain why this was one of my favorite books I’ve read this year.

I LET YOU GO by Clare Mackintosh

I Let You Go was well written and had me staying up late for three nights reading it. It was engaging and kept me guessing for the most part (I will admit that some of it was predictable, but it’s pretty much impossible NOT to have some predictability). That twist in the middle, though… that one got me 🙂

AFTER I DO by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Let me gush about the perfection of AFTER I DO for a moment. This book. This. Book. I felt as though I crawled into Ryan and Lauren’s life. I felt their pain. I felt their frustrations and indifference and joy. I laughed. I cried. Oh how I cried!

A PLACE IN THE SUN by R.S. Grey

A Place In The Sun was romantic in a way that I haven’t seen in quite some time. It wasn’t the fastest paced, nor did it give you emotional whiplash … but I was grateful for that. It was … exactly what I needed it to be: light, funny, sweet and full of hope. R.S. Grey out did herself.

THE DREAMLAND SERIES by E.J. Mellow

I love when I pick up a book that I would usually pass by … and love it. The first of the series, The Dreamer was one of those books. I’ll be honest, I’m not usually one to read fantasy, but I gave this series a go and I was absolutely not disappointed. I will say this: buy all of the series in one go, because ending this one where it left off without having the next book was torture!

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SOPHIE STARK by Anna North

I absolutely loved this book. Such beautiful writing. I was on vacation when I read this and it couldn’t have been more perfect.

What are the best books you read last year?

THE BOOK LIST | #6

Here’s what I read in December:

 

AFTER I DO BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID

 

“Ryan and I are two people who used to be in love.
What a beautiful thing to have been.
What a sad thing to be.”
Let me gush about the perfection of AFTER I DO for a moment. This book. This. Book. I felt as though I crawled into Ryan and Lauren’s life. I felt their pain. I felt their frustrations and indifference and joy. I laughed. I cried. Oh how I cried! This is my favorite TJR read yet, and she has cemented herself as one of my new favorite authors of all time.

TALKING AS FAST AS I CAN BY LAUREN GRAHAM

This book was exactly what I expected it to be. I could easily have glossed over some of it, but that’s okay, because really, I just wanted to hear about Gilmore Girls and her writing career. Done and done.

NAILED BY STACI HART

As a big fan of Staci Hart’s, I knew I would devour this little, sexy novella. Four stories. Four sets of strangers. Four sexual encounters. I mean, who hasn’t fantasized about such a thing before? These stories were short and delicious … just like I knew they’d be.

FOREVER, INTERRUPTED BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID

At the time of this review, I have read three of Reid’s novels, and I can say, without a doubt in my mind, that all three have made me cry. What a truly, truly wonderful story. And what an inspiring, yet heartbreaking ending.

MILK AND HONEY BY RUPI KAUR

I loved this collection of poetry, mainly because it is just how I like my poems; short, direct and powerful. This book is one I’m happy to own and will be reading over and over again.

SWEETBITTER BY STEPHANIE DANLER

Ok, where do I start? I was on the library waiting list for this book for MONTHS. When it finally came, I was so excited and read the first section with gusto. But then, despite the beautiful language and the intriguing cast of characters, I had to continually push myself to keep reading.

THE ANIMAL UNDER THE FUR BY E.J. MELLOW: LET US BOW DOWN TO THE GREATNESS THAT IS THIS COVER

Listen, I don’t do a lot of these cover reveals, but when it comes to books and authors that I love, I’m all about supporting them in any way I can. E.J. Mellow happens to be an author I absolutely adore, which means I’m more than willing to help spread the news about her new book, The Animal Under The fur.

On the count of three, let us all release a collective sigh in awe of the greatness of this book cover. Ready? 1… 2…. 3…

I’m going to need to buy this in paperback because … yeah … that cover will look amazing in person!

The Animal Under The Fur
by E.J. Mellow
Publication date: 2017
Genres: Action, Adult, Romance

SYNOPSIS:

From award-winning author E. J. Mellow comes an action romance dripping with vengeful delight.Orphaned on the streets as a baby, Nashville Brown, a.k.a Kill Operative 3, knows better than to rely on anyone. With heightened senses and superhuman strength to survive, she’s been raised as the perfect assassin.The trick to her success? Keeping everyone, even her best friend, at arm’s length.Losing his entire family in the span of a year, Carter Smith left his ability to love buried deep in their graves. His only concerns now are completing his missions and effortlessly charming the next temptress to warm his bed.The key to his accomplishments? Working alone mixed with a Casanova smile.But when a deadly weapon needs to be stopped from falling into the wrong hands, the lone wolves find themselves thrown into an explosive partnership. Can Carter and 3 lower their guns aimed at one another long enough to succeed, or will their unwillingness to compromise end up destroying more than their perfect records? Whatever their differences, both agree on one thing—in the game of lies and deceit, the line between friend and foe is often blurred by blood splatter.The Animal Under The Fur is a hate-to-loath-to-love stand-alone novel filled with savagery, secrets, and enough angst to wrinkle the pages you’ll find gripped in your hands.Coming 2017Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32623625-the-animal-under-the-furAUTHOR BIO

E.J. Mellow is the Award Winning author behind the NA Contemporary Fantasy trilogy The Dreamland Series. With a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, E.J. Mellow splits her time between her two loves – visual design and writing. Residing in NYC, E.J. is a member of Romance Writers of America and their Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter. She has no animals but loves those who do.

 

REVIEW: A PLACE IN THE SUN BY R.S. GREY

SYNOPSIS

When her mother’s incessant matchmaking hits an all-time high, Georgie Archibald does what any sensible woman would do: she flees the country.
Seeking refuge in the picturesque seaside village of Vernazza, Italy, Georgie’s only plan is to lie low, gorge herself on gelato, and let the wine and waves wash her troubles away…that is until she wakes up in a bed that belongs to the most romantic-looking man she’s ever seen.
Gianluca.
After going out of his way to rescue her, the former London financier turned mysterious recluse makes it clear that despite acting as her white knight, he has no plans to co-star in her fairytale.
But Georgie isn’t asking for his heart—she’s merely intrigued.
After all, Gianluca isn’t just gorgeous—tall and tan from days spent in the sun—his touch sets her world on fire. With him, Georgie experiences the most intoxicating passion she’s ever known, and it only takes a few steamy nights for her to realize that sometimes running away from trouble is the best way to find it.

MY REVIEW

There is a moment, after I finish a book, where I sit back and take a deep breath. What comes after is completely dependent on how I felt about the book. I may sigh contentedly. I may frown. I may smile, or curse, or cheer. I finished A Place In The Sun just moments ago, and my reaction was exactly what I believed it would be: a deep sigh and a knowing smile.

A Place In The Sun was romantic in a way that I haven’t seen in quite some time. It wasn’t the fastest paced, nor did it give you emotional whiplash … but I was grateful for that. It was … exactly what I needed it to be. Light, funny, sweet and full of hope. R.S. Grey has out done herself.

4.5 stars.

BUY LINK

Amazon – http://amzn.to/2ewA8ID

REVIEW: A LOVE LETTER TO WHISKEY BY KANDI STEINER

SYNOPSIS

It’s crazy how fast the buzz comes back after you’ve been sober for so long.

Whiskey stood there, on my doorstep, just like he had one year before. Except this time, there was no rain, no anger, no wedding invitation — it was just us.

It was just him — the old friend, the easy smile, the twisted solace wrapped in a glittering bottle.

It was just me — the alcoholic, pretending like I didn’t want to taste him, realizing too quickly that months of being clean didn’t make me crave him any less.

But we can’t start here.

No, to tell this story right, we need to go back.

Back to the beginning.

Back to the very first drop.

This is my love letter to Whiskey. I only hope he reads it.

BUY LINKS

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2dJrZl1
Amazon CA – http://amzn.to/2ers8Mj
Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2e3gO5Z
Amazon AU – http://amzn.to/2dJ90Y

MY REVIEW

I honestly don’t know where to start, because this book broke me. It absolutely broke me. But in the best kind of way. A Love Letter to Whiskey is full of angst. It will stress you out. It will leave you laughing and crying and cringing and holding your breath … and shouting at the pages.

It will also leave you knowing you’ve just read something epic.”It turned out a Whiskey stain was just as permanent as ink, and I wondered If I would ever truly wash myself clean. Or if I even wanted to.”

ALLTW is Kandi Steiner’s best book yet. An absolute must-read.


REVIEW: TONIC BY STACI HART

SYNOPSIS

Joel Anderson doesn’t take anything seriously.

Not his relationships, which have been few and far between since his brutal divorce. Not the drama of working in a tattoo parlor, which seems to be around every corner. When things get him down, he smiles and cracks a joke. But he’s not the kind of man you cross, or you’ll find yourself at the wrong end of his fists.

Annika Belousov takes everything seriously.

Like her job as a reality television producer, given that she typically has something to prove. Or her love life, which is defined by a series of requirements — affluent, ambitious, accomplished, to name a few. Definitely her family, who worked their whole lives to afford her every opportunity, a sacrifice she doesn’t take lightly. When she’s tapped to produce a reality show at Joel’s shop, she doesn’t think twice, just goes in for the kill, as if there were any other way.

The second Annika walks into Joel’s shop, he makes it his mission to crack her open, but she’s not having it. He’s all wrong — too crass, too hairy, too un-serious. But it doesn’t take her long to find out there’s more to him that smirks and tattoos. And what she finds could put her career and his heart on the line.

Not that Joel cares. Because for the first time in a long time, he’s found his tonic.


MY REVIEW
I’ve been trying to write this review for a few days now. It’s not normal that I can’t immediately put into words how I feel about a book, which leads me to believe that this one hit me pretty hard.

That wouldn’t be far from the truth.


“She was all eyes and lips and a story I wanted to know. Needed to know.”

I loved Joel’s character immediately, but I will admit that it took me a little while to warm up to Annika. There is no denying, though, that the constant up and down of their relationship made for some good reading. And I love the way she ties in the characters from her other books.

“It had been ten years since I’d been bared this way, my heart, my body. I’d forgotten. I’d forgotten how to trust, how to feel, how much I needed to be felt.”

All in all, Tonic was another great read from one of my favorite authors, Staci Hart.

COVER REVEAL: A PLACE IN THE SUN, BY R.S. GREY

In the grand scheme of things, I’m a new R.S. Grey fan, but that’s okay. It doesn’t make me less excited for her releases. This one … well, I will be buying it in paperback FOR SURE.


Title: A Place In The Sun
Author: R.S. Grey
Release Date: Oct 24, 2016
Add on Goodreadshttp://bit.ly/2dICdRG

SYNOPSIS

When her mother’s incessant matchmaking hits an all-time high, Georgie Archibald does what any sensible woman would do: she flees the country.

Seeking refuge in the picturesque seaside village of Vernazza, Italy, Georgie’s only plan is to lie low, gorge herself on gelato, and let the wine and waves wash her troubles away…that is until she wakes up in a bed that belongs to the most romantic-looking man she’s ever seen.

Gianluca.

After going out of his way to rescue her, the former London financier turned mysterious recluse makes it clear that despite acting as her white knight, he has no plans to co-star in her fairytale.

But Georgie isn’t asking for his heart—she’s merely intrigued.

After all, Gianluca isn’t just gorgeous—tall and tan from days spent in the sun—his touch sets her world on fire. With him, Georgie experiences the most intoxicating passion she’s ever known, and it only takes a few steamy nights for her to realize that sometimes running away from trouble is the best way to find it.

AUTHOR INFO

I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way, I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things… everyday.

I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favorite authors include Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I’m a comedy geek and love all things “funny”. Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.

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