Neat by Kandi Steiner

Librarian Laura’s Review of Neat

The second book in a three part series set in and around the Scooter whiskey distillery in small-town Tennessee, Kandi Steiner’s Neat will have readers eagerly anticipating the third book. While the first book, On the Rocks, was Noah’s story, Neat focuses on one of Noah’s three brothers, Logan Becker, a tour guide at the distillery. When not at the distillery working or spending family time with his mom and brothers, Logan spends his time reading and organizing things in his clean but humble home.

The Scooter and Becker families are not fans of one another and have a very tense working relationship. Logan’s grandfather was one of the original owners, but he was left out of the legal documents by the Scooters as they forged a wedge between the two friends and business partners. Logan’s father worked for the Scooter’s as well, up until his untimely, mysterious death in a fire at his office. The Becker family has their doubts that it was an accident, giving them more reason to distrust the Scooters.

Imagine Logan’s trepidation and dread when he’s told that Mallory Scooter is finally going to work at her family’s distillery, and in his department to boot. Mallory makes a deal with her money-obsessed, overbearing father to work at the distillery in exchange for studio space to open her art studio, which has always been her dream.

Logan’s anticipated dread and unease quickly turns to pleasure once he gets to know Mallory and her determined, rebellious attitude toward her future and her family. Though they are fully aware of the destruction a relationship with each other could bring to their plans, neither Logan or Mallory can resist their attraction to one other, creating swoon-worthy romance and a hard-to-put-down story. There is also an element of mystery that comes into play when Mallory and Logan stumble across a box of Logan’s father’s belongings that they were told were burned in the fire. Why would the Scooter’s save them in an old storage closet?

This could be read as a stand-alone, but I would recommend reading On the Rocks first so that you’ll have a more full picture on the backstory of the Scooter and Becker families and the reason for their Capulet and Montague like rivalry. Well done, Kandi! I can’t wait for the final book in the series, Manhattan, to release.

Thank you to Social Butterfly PR for an advanced reader’s copy for review.

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Rival families. Deep secrets. Exact opposites who can’t help but cross all the lines. Neat will leave you thirsty for more Becker Brothers!” — bestselling author Staci Hart

Neat, an all-new standalone contemporary romance by Kandi Steiner is LIVE!

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My life is over.

I swore I would never work at the whiskey distillery with my last name on it, that I would never be a part of my father’s legacy. But when I graduated with my art degree and realized there were no jobs, the devil appeared, and I sold my soul, agreeing to work in the family business if he’d give me the art studio I’d always dreamed of.

It can’t be that bad, I thought.

Until I realized my new boss was Logan Becker.

The Becker brothers have a reputation for being trouble, and since I love trouble, it’s no surprise to me that I’m infatuated by that forbidden fruit the first day I walk into the distillery. That lean, whiskey-eyed, too-hot-for-his-own-good man hates me — and I can’t blame him. His family has been at war with mine for decades, and for good reason.

The Beckers and the Scooters are the Montagues and Capulets of Stratford, Tennessee.

But if he’s Romeo, and I’m Juliet?Well… we all know how that story ends — and for that reason, I tell myself to steer clear.

Because if my father finds out I’m falling for Logan Becker, my life actually will be over.

And Logan’s will be, too.

Neat is a stand-alone book in the Becker Brothers Series.

➔ Small town

 

➔ Country

➔ Romeo & Juliet vibes

➔ Angst paradise

➔ Holiday romance

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Qg5p9D

Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/NeatKS

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2LOF0N8

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About Kandi:

Kandi Steiner is a bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she’s your gal.

An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the firstHarry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a diehard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.

When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with
her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer, and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order.

Connect with Kandi:

Mailing List: bit.ly/NewsletterKS

Facebook: facebook.com/kandisteiner

Facebook Reader Group: (Kandiland): facebook.com/groups/kandischasers

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kandisteiner

Twitter: twitter.com/kandisteiner

Pinterest: pinterest.com/kandicoffman

Website: www.kandisteiner.com

Kandi Steiner may be coming to a city near you! Check out her “events” tab to see all the signings she’s attending in the near future:

www.kandisteiner.com/events

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What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand

9781478947691_c0143Set for release on October 8th, 2019, the second installment in the Winter in Paradise series, What Happens in Paradise gives readers a little more insight into the story of the late Rosie Small and Russ Steele and their love affair that was tragically cut short when both were killed in a helicopter crash as the first book began. As with all of her spectacularly written beach reads, this one leaves readers on a cliffhanger wondering what will happen next. Waiting for the next installment is going to be torture for me! Ironically, the remaining members of the Steele family, Irene, Baker, Cash, and Baker’s young son, Floyd, all end up on the island of St. John once again, a place where Russ had a secret sprawling villa on Little Cinnamon as well as a secret mistress and tween daughter, Maia.

To complicate matters, the FBI is now investigating the helicopter crash, along with Russ and his business partner Todd Croft, searching around both the Iowa City and Little Cinnamon villa for clues. Baker and Cash are both still vying for Ayers’ (Rosie Small’s best friend) attention, though Baker more seriously, after his wife Anna, now a lesbian, agrees on a divorce and then decides to move out of state to work, live, and start a family with her lover. Ayers is back with her ex-husband Mick, even though he cheated on her in the past with one of his bar employees. Let’s just say, once a cheater, always a cheater. Things are looking good for Baker on that front. Cash doesn’t really have anything tying him to Colorado just as Irene feels a pull to St. John and her budding friendship with Huck, Meanwhile, Ayers and Huck find some unsettling information while cleaning out and searching Rosie’s room before the FBI does the same thing. Rosie’s step-father. As the Steele family settles into St. John, more fireworks from the past ignite, forcing each of them to consider what the future holds for them and where they should call their home – Iowa City or St. John?

Readers will love the atmospheric setting of St. John with its picturesque beaches and quaint streets. What Happens in Paradise is a quick read which is written in multiple points of view between characters in short chapters, keeping readers interested and wondering what Elin has up her sleeve for the third and final book in the series. Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an advance reader’s edition of this book in exchange for an honest review. As with all of her books, I loved this one so much!

WaterColor Wishes by Melissa Chambers

Librarian Laura’s Review of WaterColor Wishes

This book can be read as a stand alone, even though it’s the 4th book in the Love Along Highway 30A series. I read the first one and then this one and I recognized some of the characters from the first one. However, I wasn’t lost on any plot information due to skipping the 2nd and 3rd books. I’ve got them on my TBR pile now. I love her books! WaterColor Wishes is Marigold’s story. Marigold loves living in the seaside town of WaterColor, Florida where she has a great group of loyal friends (including Cassidy, Seanna, & Chase who you may recognize from the other books). She owns & operates a gift shop, but it’s sort of hidden behind another building and as such, business and her bank account are both dwindling. When the town decides to add a hotel, she encourages her father to bid for the chance to build another one of his hotels so that she can move her shop there where it will hopefully flourish. However, also bidding on the property are twin developers, Dane & Ethan Knight. Marigold is instantly attracted to Dane, even though the first time she met him at a bonfire a few weeks back she had a highly embarrassing wardrobe malfunction. She knows she had to focus on winning the hotel bid or her future is in peril, so she tries to keep her distance from Dane’s charm and ridiculous good looks. The competition for the hotel bid is not quite strong enough to tamper down the romantic feelings growing between Marigold and Dane. Dane is still reeling a bit from the previous relationship which was unhealthy, at best. Unfortunately, though it’s over between he and his ex, she has a bad habit of using her two little boys to keep him tangled in her web of bad choices. Dane’s a softie who loves the little boys as if they were his own, but he isn’t sure how that will affect his future, a future which he hopes to share with Marigold. You’ll have to read it if you want to know the juicy details between Dane and Marigold. Trust me, you won’t be sorry! This is a sweet love story with unique characters and some laugh out loud scenes. I highly recommend it for fans of romance, realistic fiction, and beach reads. 

Thank you to Melissa Chambers for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review. 

The wait is over! Book four in the Love Along Hwy 30A series, WaterColor Wishes, is finally here!

 

Marigold Appleton was made for the laid-back beach life of picturesque WaterColor, Florida. Unfortunately, her bank account was not. She’s about to lose her gift shop due to her hidden location. When the town which rarely allows hotels announces they are designating a plot of land for one, Marigold convinces her father to bid on the land and build one of his boutique hotels on it so she can move her shop into it. But also bidding on the same plot of land is property developer and insanely hunky Dane Knight. She’s got to keep her guard up, because his interest in her may be only to get her to drop her bid for the land. She just wishes he wasn’t the first guy in years to make her knees buckle.

For weeks, Dane has been trying to get the girl he met at the bonfire out of his brain. As she crystalizes in front of him at the bar of the WaterColor clubhouse, he knows his daydreams of her didn’t stack up to the real thing. But he just got out of a poisonous relationship. His ex has a bad habit of dropping her kids off without notice, and he’s too big of a sucker for them to say no. A relationship with Marigold is out of the question. But after he gives in to his weakness for her for the first time, he knows he’s never going to be able to get her out of his heart.

WaterColor Wishes is book four in the Love Along Highway 30A series, which features beautiful beach communities, a circle of unique and amazing friends, and romances that will have you cheering on the couples and fanning yourself from the heat. All books are standalone and can be enjoyed in or out of order.

 

Available at Amazon for $.99 this week only!

Free on Kindle Unlimited

 

Also available in the series now!

After her ex runs up her credit card, clears her bank account, and gets her fired, Seanna escapes to Seaside, Florida where the men are hot as the Gulf Coast sun…one in particular. But while paying the price, literally, for the last man she trusted with her heart, she’s not interested in any sort of beach romance, or so she keeps reminding herself.

Maya has never had a one-night-stand. But something about being on vacation, and the hunk of a guy in front of her, has her considering giving it a try. Bo lives at the beach, and he’s sick of one-week relationships with tourists that lead nowhere. But the smart and irresistible Maya has him reconsidering. Now if he could just get her to stay.

When Shayla needs a safe place to stay to hide from her dangerous ex, Chase is just fine to offer up his guest house. But with his best friend, who happens to be her brother, breathing down his neck and warning Shayla against him, Chase knows he needs to keep his distance. If only she wasn’t the most intriguing woman he’d ever known.

 

Add to your Goodreads

Available at Amazon

Free on Kindle Unlimited

 

GIVEAWAY TIME!

To celebrate the release of WaterColor Wishes, Melissa is giving away a $20 Amazon.com gift card!

To enter, sign up for her newsletter HERE. If you are already signed up, you’re all set.

For an extra entry, follow her on Facebook or Instagram (or both for two extra entries!).

(Winner will be determined and contacted on 8/27/19. Click here for a list of sweepstakes rules.)

Melissa Chambers writes contemporary novels for young, new, and actual adults. A Nashville native, she spends her days working in the music industry and her nights tapping away at her keyboard. While she’s slightly obsessed with alt rock, she leaves the guitar playing to her husband and kid. She never misses a chance to play a tennis match, listen to an audiobook, or eat a bowl of ice cream. (Rocky road, please!) She has served as president for the Music City Romance Writers and is the author of The Summer Before Forever, Falling for Forever, and Courting Carlyn (Entangled Teen).

 

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Something Like Breathing by Angela Readman

9781911508304_fea99Originally published in School Library Journal, February 2019.

Gr 9 & Up: Readman’s debut novel unfolds in 1950’s Scotland, weaving together mystery and magical realism surrounding two young girls on a remote island. Lorrie’s family moved from England to help her aging grandfather, Grumps, in the family whiskey distillery. At once intrigued by her shy next door neighbor, Sylvie, whose life seems fairly uneventful due to her mother’s extreme rules. Sylvie is fascinated by kisses, keeping a secret scrapbook from her protective, prying mother. An unlikely friendship between the two young girls develops, providing a bit of happiness for each, though their family lives are far from happy. As Lorrie and Sylvie spend more time together, it becomes apparent that Sylvie and her mother are hiding a secret. Strange occurrences like Lorrie’s father’s disappearance and a miraculous healing of a young boy involved in an accident leave Lorrie and the town wondering about the friendly, yet strange Sylvie. VERDICT: Readers will enjoy the unique plot and vividly drawn characters of this atmospheric, coming of age story, though pacing is slow at times.

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

9780778330271_56037Originally published in Library Journal, January 2019.

Jenoff seamlessly weaves together the stories of three remarkable women and the impact of WWII on their lives. In the New York train station, Grace Healy, a newly widowed legal secretary, stumbles upon a suitcase with the name Trigg, containing a dozen photos of women with only first names and no other way to identify them.  Eleanor Trigg, an outsider with a painful past, is the leader of a group of secret female agents. Her girls are sent into occupied Europe as radio operators, charged with the task of sabotaging the Germans and arming the citizens. Grace feels a connection to Eleanor and the girls, yearning to discover why they never made it home, creating an element of mystery to the story. Marie, a young single mother, takes a job with Eleanor’s unit of the Special Operations Executive in London, posing as a French woman. Marie is sent to Paris to serve in the Vesper circuit under the direction of roguishly-handsome Julian. The City of Lights will bring great passion and heartache for brave patriot, Marie. VERDICT: Recommended for fans of Lilac Girls and The Alice Network, Jenoff’s fast-paced historical fiction boasts an intriguing plot and strong female characters.

The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman

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Originally published in Library Journal, January 2019.

Loigman’s second novel follows Jewish sisters Ruth and Millie Kaplan from their childhood in Brooklyn to adulthood living at an armory base in Springfield, MA. The eldest by three years, Ruth is held to almost impossible standards, while Millie, with her striking looks and pleasing manner, gets away with most anything. Possible male suitors for Ruth always end up pursuing the younger, more beautiful Millie. After their parents die unexpectedly and Millie loses her husband, Lenny, the sisters end up together. Ruth’s husband, Arthur, is an army officer allowing Ruth a prestigious job in payroll, while Millie becomes a soldier of production in an armory factory. Resentment and jealousy intensify as Millie again becomes the beloved center of Ruth’s social circles. Then a stranger arrives and long-buried secrets are revealed, leaving the sisters a chance at a hopeful future. Unfolding in alternating points of view, Loigman provides a behind-the-scenes look at women fighting their own wars at home. Readers will enjoy the heartfelt picture of women’s daily life during wartime through the eyes of two unique, extraordinary sisters. VERDICT: Recommended for historical fiction fans of Pam Jenoff and Kate Morton.

Best Rom-Com Books

Romantic Comedies

Let’s talk rom-coms. Literary rom-coms that is. I’m a huge sucker for a quick, lighthearted romance book. I’m not referring to what I would call cheesy, sappy romance (in the vein of Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, etc.) or time period romance (i.e. the book covers with the scantily-clad women and long haired muscled man-beasts). Unless it’s Chris Helmsworth, no long hair for me please. I’m referring to the “meet-cute” type romance book that will have you laughing, crying, and swooning throughout the story. I’ve seen a trend in publishing lately where more and more books in this fun, enjoyable genre are being released, and it brings me great joy. I must read them ALL!

My Favorites – So, without further ado, here are some that I have read and thoroughly enjoyed lately:

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez (June 11, 2019)

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey (June 11, 2019)

Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (May 14, 2019)

One Day in December by Josie Silver

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

Dating You, Hating You by Christina Lauren

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Roomies by Christina Lauren

Intercepted by Alexa Martin

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

Fumbled by Alexa Martin

Blitzed by Alexa Martin

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

My TBR – Here are some on my to-read list (along with their publication date if they are still forthcoming):

Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

The Honey Don’t List by Christina Lauren

This is by no means a complete list, just some that I have read and enjoyed and some that I have flagged to read. Does anyone have any others to suggest for me, in case I finish all these in this lifetime? 🙂 Please drop them in the comments if you do!

Best wishes & happy reading,

Librarian Laura