Us, Again by Elle Maxwell

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Us, Again is a standalone, contemporary second-chance romance and the debut novel from author Elle Maxwell. I couldn’t stop reading it – both main characters, Graham and Mackenzie, will stay with readers long after the final page.

5 years ago, Mackenzie Thatcher and Graham Wyatt were young teenagers in love. The high school seniors were dreaming up their future together, when two weeks after graduation Graham’s parents were killed in a car crash. Unable to cope with the loss and grief, Graham turns to drugs and alcohol, keeping secrets from Mackenzie. While purchasing pills from his dealer one evening, Graham finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and a man is shot right in front of him, landing him in prison for 5 years as an accessory to the crime. At this point, Mackenzie’s heart and future plans with Graham are shattered. She wonders if he ever really loved her at all, if he was able to keep such  major secrets from her. Determined to ward off relationships, Mackenzie moves on, growing a thicker skin and attitude along the way. Now she lives with a roommate, her hilarious Latina best friend Marisa, and has a job in social work, which is tough but rewarding. Her love life is rather nonexistent, because though she tries not to, she is always comparing them to Graham, the one who will always have her heart. Super sexy, alpha male Graham is released from prison and he has one goal in mind – find Mackenzie, apologize, tell the truth, and do whatever it takes to win back her trust. However, Mackenzie’s a lot stronger than she was 5 years ago, but every bit as beautiful to Graham. Getting her back into his arms and heart is going to be a lot more work than he thought. Good thing he doesn’t give up on a challenge. I won’t give up any more of the plot, but trust me, you’ll love it! Elle Maxwell has nailed the second-chance romance story with steamy romance and a bit of suspense/danger thrown in for good measure. I can’t wait for her next book!!

Thank you to the author for the chance to read an Advanced Review Copy and provide my honest review.

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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

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!

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

Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

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 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

 

 

As Dust Dances by Samantha Young

InkSlinger Blogger Final

As Dust Dances coverLibrarian Laura’s Review

Running from a past too painful to endure, American singer/songwriter, Skylar Finch, is homeless and playing music on the streets of Glasgow, Scotland. She spends her days busking for enough money to buy food and her nights sleeping in a tent wherever she can find a safe spot. Her most prized possession is her guitar, which was a gift from her late mother. She thinks no one recognizes her in Scotland, though she was once very famous in the United States.

From the first time Killian O’Dea of Skyscraper Records, a highly successful Scottish record label, hears Skylar playing on the street, he recognizes her and her obvious talent.  Winning her over and convincing her to sing for his label, however, will prove to be the bigger challenge for O’Dea than he imagined.

Skylar has been living on her own long enough to be very wary of others, and unwilling to trust strangers. She doesn’t want to go through any more pain or loss than she already has with losing her mother and leaving Micah and the other band members, who were essentially her family. Why is gruff but ridiculously handsome Killian so interested in signing Skylar up with his label? Will Skylar be able to trust Killian with both her career and her heart, or will a combined business and romantic relationship end up tearing them apart?

This book has some mature scenes and is not intended for readers under the age of 18. Thank you to InkSlinger for providing me with a review copy of this title.

 

About AS DUST DANCES:

Once upon a time Skylar Finch was the lead singer of a hugely successful American pop-rock band. But fame made her miserable. When years of living a lie suddenly ended in tragedy, Skylar fell off the map.

Eighteen months later she’s sleeping in a tent in a cemetery in Glasgow, making just enough money to eat by busking on the streets. She manages to avoid recognition, but not the attention of one of Glasgow’s ambitious A&R executives.

Killian O’Dea works at Skyscraper Records, Scotland’s most successful record label. Raised by his uncle and owner of the label, Killian’s upbringing would have been devoid of affection entirely if it wasn’t for his loving sister. Killian is unflinchingly determined to bring the label more success than ever, and the young homeless woman who busks on Buchanan Street is going to help him do that. Her music speaks to him in a way he refuses to over-analyze. All he knows is that if it can touch his dark soul, it’ll set everyone else’s alight.

Skylar makes it clear that she doesn’t want to sign with him. But when she experiences the dangerous reality of a woman sleeping rough, Skylar has no one else but Killian to turn to. An undeniable connection forms between them. But Skylar doesn’t want the career Killian is trying to forge for her, and when her past comes back to haunt her Killian will be faced with a decision that could ruin him. He must either free Skylar from his selfish machinations and destroy everything he’s ever worked for, or lose a woman who has come to mean more to him than he ever thought possible…

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Samantha Young-author-photo.jpgAbout Samantha Young:

Samantha Young is the New York Times,  USA Today  and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows.  Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017

Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for HeroOn Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.

Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway!

Click here to enter to win a copy of As Dust Dances

 

Sweet Sixteen by Brenda Rothert

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It is my pleasure to be a tour stop for the blog tour of Sweet Sixteen by Brenda Rothert.

Sweet Sixteen by Brenda Rothert is a young adult contemporary romance novel with very mature themes and language. I would not recommend it for readers under the age of 18. I would place it in the New Adult Romance genre, even though the main characters are high school seniors.

Gin (unfortunately named Ginger for her fiery red locks) prefers to lessen the constant taunting from classmates, so she dyes her hair black and keeps to herself. For this, she gets called a lesbian and has only two real friends that she can count on to help her get through her senior year. Her only goal is to graduate and get as far away from Roper, Missouri as humanly possible, hopefully to New York to study art. In her free time, she swims, designs sets for the drama club, and volunteers to teach swimming lessons to kids. Though she has always harbored a crush for star football quarterback and town golden boy, Chase Matthews, Gin doesn’t act on it,  knowing she doesn’t even have a chance because he is way out of her league. And even if he would pay any attention to her, it would not be the kind of attention she needed to help her graduate and leave Roper as soon as possible. Gin knows all about Chase and the horrifying, disgusting “elite Sweet Sixteen” parties held by the football team after each game. In Roper, football is and always has been everything to the town, and Gin doesn’t want any part of it. When Gin sees an underclassman about to get beat up by bad girl, Ronnie, she steps in to defend her and gets beat up in her place. It’s just her luck that the girl she defended is one of Chase’s little sisters, bringing Chase closer to Gin than he’s ever been before. How can someone who looks at her so kindly and speaks to her as an equal be the same monster who lures young girls to parties to be victimized by the football team?

Chase Matthews could have any girl he wants. He has a choice of several full-ride scholarships to play football after graduation. But he is anything but happy, walking on eggshells at home around his abusive father. When he is thrown into close quarters with Gin Fielding after she bravely stands up for his little sister, Chase realizes that she isn’t the girl he thought she was. Thinking he is doing her a favor, he convinces the team to give her the next rose, allowing her to join the Sweet Sixteen. Little does he know, this is the worst decision he would possibly make, one that will ultimately lead to misery for both of them. How can Chase stop his bad behavior and prove to Gin that is he is sorry before its too late?

Sweet Sixteen is a quick read full of real characters and sweet moments. I would recommend it for fans of YA and NA contemporary romance. Again, it is very mature in nature and is recommended for readers age 18 and over.

 

BLURB:
They say roses are the most beautiful…

Gin Fielding is counting the days until she escapes the small-town life of Roper, Missouri for college at NYU. She prefers to blend in, though she’s far from invisible. But when she protects a younger student from a bully, the spotlight turns on her in ways she never imagined.

I say that every rose has its thorn…

The Friday night lights shine bright on Chase Matthews. Roper’s golden boy, Chase can do no wrong, enjoying the small-town celebrity being the star quarterback brings. When Gin defends his little sister against a bully, he decides to lend her his star power and change her senior year in ways she never imagined.

But maybe the thorns are part of their beauty.

When Gin declines Chase’s invitation to be part of the elite Sweet Sixteen, the repercussions turn both their lives upside down. But amidst the chaos, Gin and Chase find solace in one another. Together, they confront the ugly truth– that sometimes glory has a dark side.

***Warning–Sweet Sixteen is an upper YA book with mature themes and is intended for readers 18+.

 

About Brenda
Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.

These days Brenda writes New Adult Romance in the Contemporary and Dystopian genres. She loves to hear from readers by email at bjrothert@sbcglobal.net. Her website is http://brendarothert.com/.

Thank you to InkSlinger PR for providing me with a review copy of this book.